Sunday, December 30, 2012

Begin Again: a Free printable calendar

In lieu of Scripture Memory Monday tomorrow and with January just around the corner, I thought I'd share a little something with you all...

For those of you who read through the Bible each year, or for those of you who'd like to start, I've created a FREE Printable 2013 Calendar for you to use!


FREE Printable 2013 January Calendar - Cover to Cover Bible Reading Plan

Just follow the link above and save the image to your computer. It's designed to be about 8in.x5in. (easy to stick behind your Bible's front cover) but you should be able to tell your printer what size you'd like as well so long as a little bit of scaling doesn't bother you too much.

Let me know what you think and if you're planning on Cover to Cover Reading!

Happy New Year (a couple days early)!!!


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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Today's Thanks...


Today… today I am thankful.
For quiet nights spent fireside dreaming of somedays and onedays with my husband, all wrapped up in hand stitched quilts and cozy blankets.

Every good and perfect gift is from above…James 1:17
 


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Black Ink and White Parchment




"If I’m honest, I have to tell you I still read fairy-tales and I like them best of all."
                Audrey Hepburn
 
Let me tell you what I think about books, shall I? I think they’re absolutely lovely! I’m rarely found without one tucked somewhere closeby. In fact, when I was small, my mother used to take my books away as punishment… I’d have chosen a book over a Barbie almost any day of the week. 

I get stuck lost in books I suppose… I’m certain entire conversations have flown by unnoticed as I’ve buried my nose in a good book.

So for now,  I'll be found where the perfect book and a delicious hot cocoa meet – black lettered parchment and rich hazelnut cream all wrapped up in an oversized chair and thick cashmere blankets.
Quite a perfect way to utilize the soft glow of twinkling Christmas lights, I think...

Be sure to check back for my next book review - coming just as soon as my fingers can turn the pages!



photo credit: Christina Ann VanMeter via photo pin cc

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Love, By the Power of The Gospel



Ever have one of those “A HA” moments when you realized the problem you have WITH another person is, in actuality, a problem  you have WITHIN yourself?

It’s rough, isn’t it?

Oh I long to be a kind, compassionate, have it all together Christian woman. But I can sit still and long to be something until my feet go numb and if I never put anything in to action, I’m not going to get anywhere!

We have this amazing tool that conquers malice (ill-will), deceit, hypocrisy, envy, slander [see 1 Peter]… the GOSPEL. The power of the gospel – it’s not just words on a page! The gospel is a two edged sword. A tool for our battle in looking less and less like us and more and more like Jesus.
When I find myself jealous, defiant, dishonest… I have fallen out of love – love for the church, love for His people… When I sit in a mess of self-pity and pride… I’ve put myself on a pedestal and forgotten to look first to those around me.  

We are the same… we are all children of God, saved by grace, washed in mercy… bathed in an unending unimaginable love.


So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:1-11

And so, with the POWER OF THE GOSPEL, I choose to live my life in LOVE…Wrapped in the reminder of a same mind, a same love, a selfless ambition, and a heart of humility.

Starfield: Love Break Me

photo credit:nova031 via photopin cc

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Never Forsaken




Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. 
Deuteronomy 31:6
Let’s start with the basics…

I’m drawn to this word “forsake.” Not that I didn’t already know the definition, but sometimes grabbing a big thick book filled with words upon words can bring a new perspective.

And so we get, ABANDON. He will never abandon me.

That word abandon seems more potent somehow. When images are conjured of abandonment, my heart turns sad… But HE will never leave me in a place like those pictures I imagine. He’s always with me.

But before we’ve even read to the forsake/abandon part, we stumble upon the “them.” I’m always searching for the definition of those pesky pronouns. In this case, we turn to images of battling armies, of the nations that must be conquered to enter in to the promise. To enter in to rest.

Okay, lets get down to the 'oomph' of it, shall we?

These words – this phrase is spoken and then Moses calls up Joshua. If I was Joshua, I’d be shaking in my boots. To be given the task of conquering the enemy and walking in to the promised land? That’s a whole lotta shoe to fill! Think he’s frightened? Think he’s nervous? Think he feels so completely unqualified and inexperienced? (And we wonder if anyone has ever felt the way we do???)

Joshua has been called to a new role – one that the Lord has set in place just for him, one that He’s had in the making since the world began. And yet, I’m sure Joshua was worried. Will I do a good job? Will I be enough? What will they think of me? BUT the Lord himself will go before him. And that is Joshua’s comfort – and our own. Just as He went before Joshua, He has gone before us.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.” Hebrews 6:19-20
See it? We are NOT blazing our own trail! The Lord has already made a way – He is the forerunner. Just as He made a way to the promise for Joshua, He has made a way to the promise of salvation for us. 

                …the land that the Lord swore to their forefathers to give them.” 
                Deuteronomy 31:7

What land has the Lord given me? Am I living that hope, in that promise, or have I spent so much time wandering in the wilderness that I’ve forgotten that the Lord has already made a way for me?
Do I have the confidence that even though it seems the trials have no end, that He has gone before me, prepared a way, set me on the perfect course?

Do I live in the truth of His words every day – He will never leave me, never forsake me, never abandon me.

Those long ago words of comfort spoken to Joshua ring true for me today…

When I stand at the brink of the unknown, He is there.
When I struggle to find myself called redeemed, His grace surrounds me.
When I wonder how anything good could come of my sinful heart, He sees me cleansed by the blood.
When I stand in the mirror and see nothing but negatives, He looks at me and calls me His.
When I feel lost and lonely, left out and insecure, He has not abandoned me.
When I am in the darkness, when I am in the light, through trials and joys, He has never left my side.
He has made the way for me and now as I walk it He is right beside me all the while.

He goes with me.
                Whatever the task, because His strength is made perfect even in my weakness.
 2 Corinthians12:9
                Whatever the trial, because He makes a way out. 
1 Corinthians 10:13
                Whatever the circumstance, because He is my joy.
 Philippians 4:4-9

Monday, December 10, 2012

Deuteronomy 31:6 : Scripture Memory Monday




Be strong & courageous
Do not fear or be in dread of them, 
for it is the Lord your GOD who goes with you
He will not leave you or forsake you.  
Deuteronomy 31:6

photo credit: harold.lloyd via photopin cc
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