Sunday, January 23, 2022

7 Reasons Why We Need To Read the Bible

1.  To see what it actually says -
Many have strong opinions about the Bible but many have not even read it.  I recently read that  only 15% of those who claim to be Bible-believing Christians regularly read the Bible and  35% never read it at all. The other 50% only read it occasionally.

  You will want to read it, study it and understand it and so you can personally know what it says.  Many times Christians who attend church go Sunday to Sunday where they don’t read the Bible for themselves but rely on their pastor to read it.   We need to be in it every day. You might be thinking to yourself….  it's confusing to understand.  One of my favorite things to use along side the Bible when I am reading it every day is a Bible Commentary called Unlocking the Bible.  It’s a simple easy to read commentary that take you through every book, chapter and verse of the Bible.  It’s written in simple English so that anyone can understand it.  There is also a video series to go along with each book.

2.  To know God
We get to know God through a personal relationship with Jesus.  This is built by walking with him and talking with him and you find out what He’s like.  For instance, if you want to get to know someone new to you . . how do you do that?  You have to spend time with them. . . God is no different.  You have to spend time with him so that get to know that He’s like, what He thinks . .what He feels what He has done and what He is still doing.  Song of Solomon 2:4 says, “He brought me into His banqueting house and His banner of me was love."

3.  To hear God.
God speaks and God has already spoken.  We serve a God who still today sees, hears, moves and speaks .  There are a few different ways that God speaks to us today - maybe a dream, a vision, an angelic visitation, a prophetic word from someone but the most common way for God to speak to us is through His Word . In 2 Timothy 3 it says "All Scripture is inspired by God". . . it doesn’t say some or just a certain book of the Bible but ALL Scripture - every book, every chapter every verse . . .it’s the inspired word of God.   Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God”  so if you want to grow in faith and you want to hear God’s word than you must read your Bible.  So as you read the Bible see how you can apply to your own life.  

4.  To Find your identity and purpose
We live in a world where we have voices trying to  tell us who we should be or who they want us to be.  So many struggle with identity, insecurity, self confidence.  They don’t know who they really are why they are even here.  But the Bible actually tells us the truth of who we are.  You will find your purpose, your true identity, who you really are and why you were created in the Bible.  God has a plan for your life because we were created with a purpose, and a destiny and a mission and the Bible helps us find our unique role in  human history.  

5.  To know how to live
In 2 Timothy 3:16  - "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”   
The values of this world we live in our so opposite of the values of God so we need His Word to teach us how to live because the nature of the world is just pulling us towards sin, temptation and towards selfish sinful nature so we need God to help us  so that we can live rightly.  The Bible will  help teach us how to follow Jesus, how to live our life, it will give us wisdom and understanding and it will help us stay on that narrow path.  The One who created us . . He knows the pathway to freedom and true joy and so when you walk according to his word you know how to live and you know how to live a full life.  

6.  Find out about the future
The Bible is not just a book about things that have happened in the past but the Bible actually says a lot of about things to come.  the Bible  talks about eternity or life after death.  Every single person  in the world will meet the Lord face to face.  And the life that we live here on this earth will dictate our eternal future . . whether that’s heaven or hell.  So we want to know what the Bible says about those things so we know how to make decisions today that will dictate our eternal future.  We also get to find out about the End Times .  God wants us to be prepared so He has told us in advance in great detail of the things that are yet  to come.  

7.  To delight in it
Reading the Bible doesn’t have to be your “Christian duty” but it can actually be your daily delight.
Psalm 1:1-3 says,  "Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand around with sinners,
    or join in with mockers.
But blessed are they that delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.

Most people approach the Bible that it’s super boring and super confusing and I’m sure there are parts that seem irrelevant that seem like what in the world is it talking about.  But the Lord wants to give us vision and fascination when reading the word of God.    But when you dive daily into the word you aren’t just reading the Bible to get information  You are opening up the Bible to meet and talk with a Person.  It can get enjoyable  . . it doesn’t have to be boring.       
The Bible is the doorway to revelation and experiencing God.  It really can be exciting and exhilarating.  When God gives you revelation or something you haven’t seen before in the Word it can actually be exciting.  The more you read it the more you will fall in love with the word and you will crave reading it.  

I hope today's post will encourage you to dive into the Word of God so you can get all the benefits available to you!

Have a blessed and beautiful day!

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Faith In The Christmas Season

The story of Jesus' birth gives us assurance, confidence and joy because even though the waiting lingered for decades, God broke in at just the right time.

Are you in the midst of going through a tough or trying time?  Are you struggling with a lack of faith?  Let me bring you some encouragement and hope.  It doesn’t take much faith to get God's attention. When Jesus was here on earth he told the people,  "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you”  Matthew 17:20.  

I’m sure you have hear the saying “You can grow a tree in one day.”  That’s very true but here is some good news for you!   Jesus Himself  invites us all to begin with a tiny seed.  He encourages us to watch it grow and wait for it to become all that you dreamed it would be. This is a truth from Jesus’ own lips as we read in Matthew 17.  

I read the following in a devotional:

"We expect everything to be at our fingertips the moment we have the desire for it. It's a world we're growing into and it's addicting. We live in a world of easy downloads, instantaneous email, on demand and food prepared in a few minutes. Yet God finds ways of making us wait. Waiting and faith go hand-in-hand."

  • We wait for the baby we've dreamed we'd hold in our arms.
  • Some are waiting for their prodigal son to come to the end of himself and return home.
  • Many of us are waiting for the phone to ring so we can return to a job with a normal salary and benefits.
  • Others are waiting for an eye-opening spiritual breakthrough.

The Christmas Advent season is all about faith and waiting.  Let me ask you a question, what are you waiting on God for?  Have you been waiting days, week, months or even years?  Speaking of waiting,  God's people waited for years and I mean years for the Messiah but they held on to faith that His promises were true!  But the Messiah came!  God sent His son on that very day in Bethlehem.  As you reflect on the birth of Jesus reflect on the fact that God's timing is quite different from ours.  The story of Jesus' birth encourages us to not give up and to keep believing for what we are believing for.  

If you are struggling this Christmas season I encourage you to hold on to faith and to remember the promises of God.  He is faithful and will come through for you.   


Sunday, November 21, 2021

Finding Joy In All Things


“It’s amazing that when you look at what you have, instead of what you won’t or don’t have, you usually see that in one form or another you’ve gotten what you wished for. “  Sara Frankl

Did you know that the most repeated command in the Bible is “give thanks?”  I had no idea until I read that statement.  Knowing that God asks us to “give thanks” in all things really challenged me and I had to ask myself if I had a heart that was overflowing with gratitude and joy so I did some digging in the Scriptures and I thought I would share those with you.

In Colossians 1:9-11 it says, “may you be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so as to walk in a manner fully pleasing of Him, being strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,”   What exactly is this joy that is mentioned here?

I read the following in my morning time with the Lord this morning. "Biblical joy is a perpetual gladness of the heart which stems from knowing, experiencing, and trusting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christian joy is unaffected by outward circumstances. We look at Jesus to understand true joy: “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus knew that the will of God for His life was to suffer the utmost pain by dying on the cross to save us, sinners. Yet, despite Jesus’ excruciating death, he remained joyful, because Jesus understood the supreme glory that his death and resurrection bring God daily.” Annie Harris

Wow!  Can you imagine being joyful even as you are being executed on a cross?  I don’t know if I could have done the same thing that Jesus did for us.

Jesus had three kinds of joy that are mentioned in the Bible: Abounding joy, abiding joy and abundant joy. This is the same joy Jesus wants us to have. How to we find or have that same kind of joy? We can have that same joy by first surrendering our lives to Him. Then depending on God to see us through and not depending on our own strength. Also, obeying His commands will bring us joy and cause us to rejoice because His joy is in us.

Gratitude in all things is God’s will for us and it’s based on trusting his unfailing love.  We shouldn’t base our practice of gratitude on the circumstances of our lives.  They can change in a heartbeat.  One thing to remember is that our life without joy is meaningless and true joy can only truly be found in Jesus.

Have a blessed and joyful day!

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Taking The Narrow Road

Have you ever gone hiking in a new area and came upon two trails and you weren’t sure which trail to take?

Life will always take us down numerous trails or paths. Following the wrong one can cause a lot of frustration, hurt and anxiety.   How do we know which road or path to take?  Well, Jesus clearly tells us in the Bible to stay on the narrow road.  Matthew 7:14 says, "But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”  The wide road is easy, many people walk on it and go and do whatever they please. Staying on the narrow road means we listen God even when He says what we would rather not hear.   You will find that the narrow road is not very popular to be on compared to the wide road where you will find most populated.  

Every time we make the difficult but right decision we are walking on the narrow road. In the world we live in today it is tempting to follow whatever everyone else is saying or doing. It’s normal not wanting to feel left out or that we are missing something. 

Walking the narrow road is sometimes difficult.  It’s like swimming or rowing upstream. To make it even harder, the things we are exposed to brings plenty of things into our lives that look good to the eye but not good for the soul.  It is then that we have to decide are we going down the wide easy road or to turn and say no to those things that look captivating and inviting but in our hearts we know that it’s not the way to go so we turn towards the narrow difficult road.  

Even though it might be hard to choose or walk the narrow don’t forget that God gives us grace.  When the road gets hard or life gets challenging and we don’t seem to have the strength to keep moving it is then that we can ask for help and He will be there to see us through.

  We always need to remember that we don’t have to face the narrow road alone.  He is always there right by our side willing to help and guide down the path that was meant for us to succeed, grow and live a vibrant and fulfilling life.   Jeremiah 7:23 says,  “Live exactly the way I tell you and things will go well with you.”   Think of it this way.  Jesus is the guide on the trail who says, “Do not go that way!   And when we ask why he just says, Trust me!  Many times God will not tell us why we should do things a certain way, in fact Jesus rarely explained in detail the benefits of following his instruction or commands. 

In the end, God wants us to simply trust Him.  


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Gift Ideas Under $100, $50 and $25


It's that time of year where we are all writing out our holiday gift giving lists.  Whether it's for family or friends now is the time to think about what you want to give.  Also, with the supply chain craziness we have going on right now in our country it might be wise to shop ASAP to make sure you have all your gift buying done sooner than later. Here are a few ideas that might help you cross some people off your list.

Gifts Under $100

I love to grill but there are times that the weather doesn't permit it so I was excited when I heard about this Smokeless Indoor Grill.  I have been using it for at least most of this year and I love it.  I have. grilled steak, pork chops, chicken, hamburger and fish.  Everything has come out perfectly and cleanup is super easy!  Easy to use and to clean, this countertop appliance has two dishwasher-safe, nonstick cooking plates (one griddle and one grill plate) and a built-in fan that helps to reduce the amount of smoke released into the air.Whatever the weather, you can still enjoy the delicious taste of barbecue from the comfort of your kitchen If you know someone who likes to grill or who is a foodie and you need a gift that is under $100 check this one out by PowerXL.   First time customers use code HOLIDAY to save another $10. 

Do you have an NFL football lover on your holiday gift giving list?  If so, I know they would love this NFL full zip hoodie.  All NFL teams are available in sizes XS through 5X.  This graphic-packed, color-blocked NFL hoodie lets everyone know exactly who you're cheering for. A full-front zipper is joined by your fave team's name, logo, and city boldly splashed all over the front and back. So whether your seat's in the stadium or on the sofa, you've got the gear to cheer on your team. Check out this NFL Full Zip Hoodie for that sports lover on your list that's currently on sale for under $55.  First time customers use code HOLIDAY to save another $10.

My last gift idea for under $100 are these super cool 2 pack of these Tiki Torch Bluetooth Speakers with Ground Sticks.   We have these on our back pool patio and we use them almost nightly.  I love that you can use them with or without the speakers and they recharge with an USB cord.  Perfect for parties or days spent working in the garden, this pair of tiki torch wireless speakers will be the ultimate addition to your backyard. Use the included ground sticks and sync them together with your Bluetooth-enabled device to enjoy your favorite tunes outdoors. Once night falls, turn on the bright LED flame inside each speaker for extra ambience.  This set of 2 is under $65 but if you are a first time customer use code HSN2021 to save $20 more!

Gifts Under $50

If you have a makeup lover on your gift list check out this set of four Tarte Lights, Camera Action Mascara's.  This set normally retails for $92 but you can get them now for under $43 and FREE SHIPPING.  Plus they come with holiday gift bags.  This four-in-one mascara volumizes, lengthens, curls, and conditions the look of lashes. The ultra-black pigment delivers darker, defined lashes with a vitamin-rich formula that conditions with each coat. Plus, get an instant lash lift with the magniLASH wand that boasts shorter bristles add the look of intense volume, while the longer bristles add an instant curl.  First time customers us code HOLIDAY for another $10 off.  

Most every woman loves to have nice nails!  I have a product that I have been using for years that is now part of a 6 piece set.  It's by Perfect Nail Treatment and Color Kit!  Perfect Formula Gel Coats create a think protein rich coating over nails that add an instant temporary strength and thickness effect.  This set retails for $96 but it's currently on sale for under $32.  First time customers use code HOLIDAY to save another $10.  

I love cross necklaces!  I found a beautiful one that is done in sterling silver that I think you will love as much as I do.   It's called the He Is Faithful To Complete It necklace that's based off of Philippians 1:6.  This cross sterling necklace is a beautiful reminder of God’s grace, love, and redemption. A sweet simple design with such a powerful message makes this the best gift for a special occasion or just because. Made in sterling silver and hung on a dainty 18" sterling silver chain.  It's available for $45 but use code EMILY15 to save 15%.

Gifts under $25

I have been using these amazing 7 piece Makeup Remover Towel Set.  Use with a cleanser or just water to gently and thoroughly remove all makeup, dirt and grime!  This set redials for $104 but it's currently on major sale for $26 and free shipping.  There are four color print options to choose from.  When you first get them wash them on the gentle cycle by themselves with no fabric softener.  You can tumble dry or just set out to dry.  After that you can wash them with other things but just not ever with fabric softener.  First time customers use code HELLO10 to save another $10.  

I love essential oils and we love diffusing them daily and nightly in our home.  This Essential Oil Diffuser we have in all our bedrooms!  We have also purchased many of these as gifts.  We love diffusing lavender each night to help us sleep.  I love this one because you can set it to go on for 30 seconds and then off for 30 seconds.  Plus, there are all different light color settings you can choose from.  I love the compact size which is perfect for a night stand, desk or countertop!   We've had ours for at least three years and it's going strong and it's only $15.  

This last items is a great gift but would also make a great stocking stuffer.  it's called the ID Police and it's an amazing invention.  Use the  ID Police to cover bank statements, credit card statements and offers, prescription labels, shipping labels, court documents, tax documents, and anywhere else your name, address, phone number and/or social security number is printed.  The ID Police is so incredibly easy. Simply roll it over your personal info you want hidden and that's it! There's no inking pads or stopping to re-ink your stamp. Just one roll is all it takes and it's under $15.  

Sunday, October 10, 2021

We Are A Reflection of God

"We have been created with a soul which means we have been given an eternal nature.
 Therefore, you and I  are a reflection of God our Creator." 

Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”  God who created Heaven and Earth in the seven days of creation saved the best creation for last - Mankind! His very own reflection.   Genesis 1:27 says, "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

God created us in His image and made us each uniquely. Psalm 139:14 says, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!"  As a Christian and as one who professes to follow Christ I am called to represent or reflect Him in my actions, my thoughts and my words.  Why?  So that others may see the love, grace, and kindness He has brought into my life.  By reflecting God’s attributes in all I say and do my hope is that others will want to know Him too.  

In the Bible, there are several times where we are encouraged to reflect God. John 8:12 says, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” We are to reflect God and shine His light to others, as His light is shines onto us. When I said “Yes” to Jesus I was filled with a “spiritual light” that shines so that others can see God’s goodness and grace and love.  

Every day we are faced with stressful situations whether they be with friends and family, or with strangers that we meet as we go about  day to day. It’s in those times that we can either be quick to react negatively, or look at the each incident through God’s eyes with love, understanding, and patience. I read once that it is easy to show God’s goodness when we are in a positive place both mentally and emotionally, but our true image and character are conveyed most in the situations that we cannot control. That’s such a true statement.  When we  walk close to God we can find peace and understanding in each situation.  Each situation helps us to grow in God and all He has to offer us.  

 My hope and prayer is that every time I reach out in love, act in kindness, soften my heart in forgiveness, show a little extra patience, and follow through in faithfulness, that others would experience the character of God through me. 

 May you all have a very blessed day and remember Jesus love you very much!  


Sunday, October 3, 2021

When Fear and Anxiety Tried To Overcome Me!

"Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith."  Harold Ward Beecher

I always want to be honest with you here on this account.   I wouldn’t be telling you the truth if I didn’t admit that this week I could feel anxiety and fear welling up inside me.  A few days ago I was on my daily 3 mile walk.  As I was walking all the emotions of everything that is going on in the world finally hit me and overflowed into tears.  I started thinking of it all - the mandates, people losing their jobs, food and other supply shortages, inflation and the price of everything going up, the southern border, election integrity, medical freedom and so much more.  

As the tears began to flow  I looked up to big blue, vast sky that had big fluffy clouds floating in it.  I tried to look as far as I could see even past the clouds as if I was trying to look right into heaven.  I then said to God, “Lord, I know you must see what’s going on down here but it feels like things are spiraling out of control.  Every day we wake up to another insane reality of what’s going on.  It seems the only place I feel peace is when I am asleep. I know you are bigger than my fear!  I know you are bigger than my anxiety!  I know you are bigger than the problems and chaos we face!  I know you are the true Peace Giver!  I need You God more than every before!  I need to feel Your presence even stronger than ever before.  I need You Jesus!!”   

After I spoke those words to God I felt a calmness and peace come over me.  I kept looking up to Jesus!  I felt the burden lifting!  I felt the anxiety lifting!  I knew it was a sign that He had heard me and He was there and He was going to see us through.  That peace and strength He gave me that day was just what I needed to keep on keeping on.  He took away my troubled heart and caused me to instead be courageous to face whatever we have to face.

Are you facing something that is causing fear or anxiety to well up in you?  Is peace missing from your life?  Look up to Jesus!  Call on His name and He will answer you!  He will fill you and He will cover you with the most beautiful peace.  John 14:27 says, “I leave the gift of peace with you - my peace.  Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world but my perfect peace.  Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts - instead, be courageous!”

I took the picture above while staring out at the Sea of Galilee the last time I was in Israel a few years ago.  This is the same water where Jesus calmed the waters and even walked on water.  In Matthew 14:22-33 we read the account of Jesus walking across the water to the disciples in a storm. They were frightened and thought he was a ghost. So Peter,  yelled out, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”    So Jesus told him to, "Come!"  Peter took a step out of the boat and we can see below what happened when he did.

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith, he said, “why did you doubt me?”

When we read this story of Peter we kind of hone in on Peter's fear but it wasn’t the fear that sank him. Jesus didn’t say, “why did you fear?” He said, “why did you doubt Me?” Look at verse 30 ... "But when Peter saw the wind, he became afraid."  Peter only began to fear when he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the storm.

So here is a lesson we can all learn.  When we  take our eyes off Jesus, we start to lose faith. When we don’t see Him in what’s happening around us, we lose focus and we lose faith.  Is there something you are fearful about that is taking away your faith and peace?  Let me know below in the comments and I will be pray for you that the Lord would take away all fear and replace it with strong faith and His sweet peace.