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If you haven’t heard of Francis Chan, he is an man of impact that founded the Cornerstone Church and Eternity Bible College in Simi Valley, California. I happen to enjoy listening to what ministers/pastors from other congregations have to say and stumbled upon a brief excerpt of a message entitled “What Are You Living For?” In this clip, Chan provides a concise illustration of what our perspective of life on Earth vs. Eternal life should be? Dare to have your perspective impacted!

I was looking through my spiritual journal again from 3 years ago and realized that I had written down some positive affirmations about who I wanted to be as a wife. I am not sure where these words came from, but I know that when you speak powerful words into the air, there is a connection between the brain and heart that helps the words come to fruition. If you are a wife, or hope to be one in the future, let these words fill your heart…your mouth will follow!

Luke 6:45

45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Confessions for Being a Godly Wife

“I confess that I am a supportive wife who demonstrates love in the way I approach my husband. He doesn’t see me as a nagging, complaining wife, but as a friend to confide in and to look to for strength. God is able to speak to my husband without my interference. I trust God to speak to him. I trust God to deal with my heart and help me take on a supportive role in our home.

I confess that I live a powerful, godly and chaste life before my husband. Therefore I am a constant encouragement to him. He seeks my advice. He wants my help. He desires to know what I believe is right regarding decisions affecting our family and our relationship. God’s Spirit is changing me and making me the kind of wife that He wants me to be. I declare this by faith, in Jesus’ name.

I confess that the beautifying of my spirit is a high priority in my life. I don’t make the mistake of putting all my time and effort into improving my outward appearance while forgetting to invest in my spirit. I’ve made a decision that my spirit is beautiful. I’m becoming more godly and beautiful all the time. I have an inward beauty that far outshines everything that I could ever do to improve the appearance of my outward man.

I confess I am a source of stability and power. I am a source of peace in my home. I don’t give in to anger. I don’t fly into a rage and say things that I will later regret. My husband and my children depend on me to be a tower of strength even in the midst of turmoil because I am so stable. I help bring stability to my husband, to my children and to the general atmosphere in my home. Instead of being a contributor to strife, conflict and turmoil, God uses me to bring peace and tranquility to all those who are near me.”

This morning, I wanted to see if there there areas that I have grown in, spiritually, over the past 3 years. This prompted me to take a look at my Spiritual Journal that I had in 2009. It’s funny how some of the areas that we have struggled with in the past, are still the “thorn(s) in my side” that Paul spoke about! I thought that I would share my thoughts with you. (By the way…I have seen some improvements in these areas!)

February 20, 2009
There is something inside of me that is stifled. I want to do more for God, but there is just something holding me back. As I read Closer Than a Brother by Frank Barton Davis, I recognize that there is a passion that is missing. There is so much that I strive to change in, but am held back by my own laziness. I know that nothing or no one should stop me from having passion…I need to find a way to fix this.

Areas I need to change: my discipling, my friendships, my evangelism, my Bible study, my Bible knowledge, my hospitality. I guess these are areas that I can study out, so that I can become better at them.  I need to find ways to fight Satan’s attacks to keep me down.

I need to be passionate about God, I have lost some of my zeal. God, please help me to be an example of order, friendship, hospitality, love, tenderness, servitude, kindness. Help me to seek out discipling, keep the house clean, not be lazy, not give into idleness, have devotions with our son, set a good example for him of what it means to be a Christian. Let me live out what I talk about, let my words not be just words, let me be a light that shines and causes others to look toward Jesus.
Study on Love
1. 1 Peter 4: 8 – Love each other deeply. To love deeply means to love with passion, to have intense feelings for someone. Do I love my husband deeply? Do I love my friends deeply? My love for others should not be wishy-washy. Love covers a multitude of sins.
2. John 13: 34-35 – If we love one another, others will know that we are followers of Christ. Jesus also says to love as he has love us: unconditionally, not holding grudges, holding nothing back.
3. John 15: 12 – Jesus tells us again to love one another using the example that he has set.
4. Romans 13: 8 – We have a debt to love one another. Debt means to repay what was borrowed, we need to repay the love that Jesus has given to us by showing the same love to one another.
5. 1 Corinthians 12:25 – Relationships should not be divided, there should be equal concern for one another. If one hurts/rejoices, the other hurts/rejoices.
6. 2 John 1: 5 – Love is being obedient to the Lord’s commands.
7. 1 Thessalonians 3: 12 – God can make my love overflow and increase for those around me.
8. 1 Thessalonians 4: 18 – Encourage each other with the news about the coming of the Lord.
9. 2 Thessalonians 1: 3 – Love increases and faith increases.
10. 1 Peter 1: 22  – When we obey the truth we learn what it means to be sincere in our love for one another. The only way to love deeply is from the heart.
11. John 3: 11 – We must believe.
12. 1 John 3: 16 – Jesus laid down is life for us out of love. We should be willing to do the same for one another.
13. 1 John 3: 23 – We must believe and love one another.
14. 1 John 4: 7 – Love comes from God.
15. 1 John 4: 11-12 – God lives in us when we love one another.
16. 1 John 4: 19-21 – How much we love God is an extension of how much we love people.
I truly believe that God can increase my love for others the more that I get to know him through his Word. My love for others should be a reflection of my love for God.

Last time I wrote down 11 things that I was grateful for in my quest to reach 100! I took a couple of days to think about what I wrote and realized…this list could technically go on forever. So for today’s installment, I will continue with my gratitude list #12-25.

Gratitude List #12-25:

12. Having money to buy food to put on the table during these hard economic times

13. Have a library that I can borrow books from for no cost…unless they are returned late (i.e. fines)

14. Having my favorite grocery store (Trader Joe’s) be not more than 15 minutes from my home

15. Being able to watch TV and record shows to watch at a later time (i.e. DVR baby!)

16. Having great friends who are willing to help others out during a time of need

17. Being on bedrest (Wow, I am shocked I said that!) because it is providing me some time to think about life changes that I would not have spent the time thinking about otherwise

18. Being able to read about topics of interest to me – theology, homeschooling, education, current events, cooking, parenting

19. Having dishes that get dirty and need to be cleaned because that reminds me that I have food to eat and mouths to feed

20. Having utility bills to pay because it reminds me that I have a place to live

21. Having a Bible to read because I can use it to help me focus on God’s Word instead of having to do it all from memory or oral traditions as disciples did in the 1st Century church.

22. Being able to be limber, despite how ill I feel on some days (Rheumatoid Arthritis has not taken control of my life!)

23. Having a bed to make because it reminds me that I have a place to sleep

24. Having to discipline my son when he needs it – although it is difficult to do, I know that it is best because long term it will help him to stay on the right track

25. Having periods during the day of peace and quiet – the soul needs moments of rest

What are you grateful for?

Have You Heard of S.O.A.P.?

I am not talking about the kind that you take a shower with🙂. I stumbled upon this website this morning called S.O.A.P., which is a method that has been developed to help you get more out of your bible study. It stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. Now in a previous post, My New Devotional Time (“Quiet Time”) Plan,  I shared my 4 steps that I like to follow, devotional reading, scriptures, prayer, praise & worship. Notice that there are some similarities, however in S.O.A.P. the application is a separate step…I have added the praise & worship portion.

S.O.A.P. is not a new method! Those who have been having their “Quiet Times” have been using this journaling strategy for years to deepen their understanding of scripture. However, what I do find innovative about the site www.soapstudy.com that has been created based on this method, is its way of making it more convenient for those who like to use their technology when studying.

You can register online and begin make note of scriptures that stand out to you. Plus, there are fields where you can type in what you have learned in your “Quiet Time” using the 4 parts of S.O.A.P. You can even access your account on your mobile device!

If you are interested, check it out at S.O.A.P!

What method do you use for bible study?

What Are You Grateful For?

Last night, I had an epiphany! There are so many things to be grateful for regardless of how crazy things are going in your life and if you are anything like me…it seems like things have been doing some back flips! So, I decided that I would start a list of 100 things that I am grateful for, write them down over the next couple of days, and then see where it goes from there. I have to say that I was a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure I would be able to come up with 100 things, but I figure that by at least writing them down, I would be able to reflect on the good in my life when things don’t remind me of a bed of roses! Here it goes:

Gratitude List #1-10 (I thought I would start with something manageable…at least for me):

1. Having a wonderful, loving husband who strives to do his best to meet the needs of our family

2. Having an energetic and curious little boy who loves anything related to sports

3. Having another child on the way who is showing signs of being healthy so far…(I will continue to pray about that one!)

3. Having a place to live that I can take care of and call “home”

4. Having a way to bring in income

5. Having both of my parents

6. Having God’s Word to guide my life

7. Having a shower that has hot running water (there have been a few times where we have had to deal with cold water for a few days…not fun:()

8. Having the internet so that I can search out resources and information

9. Having a car that is driveable

10. Having a backyard where my child can play

_____

11. Living in the United States (I have to say I am not that grateful when I focus on all of the bureaucracy that is apparent in this country, however I am thankful for the opportunities and resources that are available to us.)

Oops…I did say that I would start of with 10, didn’t I? It started to get a bit easier after I got through the things that were apparent and had to think a bit deeper. This is going to be an ongoing project!

What are you grateful for? I would love to hear about them!

There were 2 scriptures that stuck out to me this morning during my devotional time:

Luke 6:45

45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Philippians 2:14

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing..

This weekend has been a huge challenge for me! I have been very uncomfortable with this pregnancy from the daily aches and pains to the thoughts running through my mind as I sit on bedrest. At times, it is hard to believe that I am here again. When I had my son, I was placed on bedrest for preterm labor at 24 weeks, however I never expected that during a second pregnancy I would be told to “take it easy” starting at 12 weeks. I have been trying to take it a day at a time, but it is NOT EASY. These scriptures help to remind me I need to take some time out and reflect on how I can do some deep spiritual housekeeping….cleaning out my heart. Within my heart is worry, concern, and fear about what the future holds. Will our baby be healthy? Will I be able to carry to full term? Will I have to go through the rest of the pregnancy in pain? Will we be able to handle everything financially?

I notice that when there is fear in my heart, it tends to pour out of my mouth; I am not as confident in the way that I speak, I am not a energetic about my normal responsibilities, my thoughts are negative and discouraged. However, I know that if I think about good thoughts, good things will come out of my mouth as a result.

I must do my best to not complain, remember that this situation is only temporary, and continue to believe that all the pain that I am going through will be all worth it when I get to see the beautiful little baby that God is growing!

Do you have any words of encouragement?