In and Out of Season…

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

“Preach the word, in and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with complete patience and teaching. The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching…” 2 Timothy 4:2-3.

I spent the last few weeks reading through 1 & 2 Timothy. Again and again I was struck by how applicable these letters were for us today. I was struck by Paul’s descriptions to Timothy of the culture they were living in. I guess I was so struck because it sounded like he was talking about 2017.

We’ve definitely entered a season that seems like the one Paul described in 2 Timothy 3 & 4.

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” 2 Timothy 3:2-5 {Side note: this is not a judgement completely on the world outside of the church. I see as much of these things in the church — in me — as I do anywhere else. We must be on guard and pick up the sword of the spirit, church!}

Here is what I think Paul was saying to us…

Don’t neglect God’s Word, its the very breath of God.

Don’t quit what you’re doing just because the world is falling apart.

Be ready to speak truth and live out your calling – in season and out.

Yet also? Be patient. Keep teaching. The Word of God is applicable and useful for every season, every generation, every culture, every person.

Let’s put on the armor of God. The armor doesn’t make us mean, it makes us ready, it guards our hearts, it gives us peace in the storm.

God is our shield and we have enough in Him. We don’t have to defend ourselves, He is our defense.

Lord, remind me each and everyday of the importance of filling myself with Your Truth. May I never place more importance on the things of this world than the truth of Your Word. Help me to not fall apart though the world if falling apart. Yes, sadness and grief come with this world, but help me to stay fixed on You and Your Truth through it all. Give me words of Truth with love. Help me to be ready, in and out of season, to show others who You are. Give me Your patience as I walk out this journey of life. With You, I can suit up in my armor that You’ve given me, each and everyday. You are my defense. You’ve given me the breastplate of righteousness, the sword of the Spirit, the belt of Truth…I just need to pick it up and walk in it! Amen.

Write the Word: Ruth

 

Why Write the Word?

Take a quick moment and think about the things you write down throughout your day. Now, you may be more digital than I am, but I still WRITE in an actual paper planner, I write down my grocery list, notes to my kids, in my prayer journal…you get the idea.

But, why do we write things down? 

We write things down that we want to remember.

Why wouldn’t we want to write down the most important Words there are?

His Word is life to us — write it down!

His Word is a treasure — treat it as such!

His Word is comfort to us — allow Him to comfort you as you write.

His Word is conviction to us through His Holy Spirit — soften your heart as you write. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life as you write and pray His Word.

Find 12+ FREE Write the Word plans on this page! 

Write the Word Ruth Plan

Print your PDF for this plan here!

Write the Word Ruth PDF

Write the Word: Ruth

 

Why Write the Word?

Take a quick moment and think about the things you write down throughout your day. Now, you may be more digital than I am, but I still WRITE in an actual paper planner, I write down my grocery list, notes to my kids, in my prayer journal…you get the idea.

But, why do we write things down? 

We write things down that we want to remember.

Why wouldn’t we want to write down the most important Words there are?

His Word is life to us — write it down!

His Word is a treasure — treat it as such!

His Word is comfort to us — allow Him to comfort you as you write.

His Word is conviction to us through His Holy Spirit — soften your heart as you write. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life as you write and pray His Word.

Find 12+ FREE Write the Word plans on this page! 

Write the Word Ruth Plan

Print your PDF for this plan here!

Write the Word Ruth PDF

5 Ways To Strengthen Ourselves in the Lord

“And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6

In the midst of great distress and war happening all around him, David chose to strengthen himself in the Lord. In our times of distress, have we forgotten that these times call for picking up our shields, preaching the gospel to ourselves, replacing the lies of the enemy with truth and strengthening ourselves in the Lord?

The Lord gives us His strength. He is so gracious and good to us. When we are weak, His strength is perfect.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

But, what does it mean that David actually strengthened Himself in the Lord? To me, this sounds like doing intentional and proactive battle in our minds against the enemy. We can sit by and do nothing, but eventually the lies become louder than the truth. Eventually the lies start to sound like truth. Eventually truth becomes negotiable.

I think there are ways we can be very intentional to build up our hearts and minds and to fill up on Jesus and not the world. I think we must learn to take up our shields and take every thought captive to Christ.

5 Ways to Strengthen Yourself in the Lord

Daily time in God’s Word. We cannot neglect God’s Word if we hope to fill our minds with truth and learn to discern a lie from the truth. The Holy Spirit transforms our minds as we read and meditate on His Word. Take it one step further and dig in deep to study it. Read 5 Suggestions for a Meaningful Quiet Time. 

Memorize His Word. Reading and studying God’s Word is vital. But, if we want to truly take on the schemes of the enemy, I think we need to have God’s Word hidden in our hearts and minds so that we can repeat, pray and speak Truth in the face of the battle.

Pray without ceasing. To strengthen our relationship with Christ, we must be in communication with Him. Talk to Him through the day. Whisper cries for help. Speak gratitude. Lift up those in need. There is always, always something to pray for. Don’t make it complicated. If you can’t think of what to pray, start with praying God’s Word.

Turn up the praise music. Music has a way of ministering to our hearts and minds like not many things can. Don’t neglect the gift of music and worship in your daily life. Don’t save it for Sundays.

Fellowship with believers.And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25. The longer we stay away from church or meeting with other believers, the more isolated we feel and the more the enemy can sneak into our minds when we allow this to happen. God made us for relationships. He wants us to encourage one another while it’s still called today. At my lowest times, when I didn’t FEEL like going to church, when I made myself do it, I was always, always so very grateful as I was leaving the service or meeting time. 

Put on the Full Armor of God

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” 

“God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

And don’t forget to pray for me. Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I, jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out.” Ephesians 6:10-20 from The Message26

How can you strengthen yourself in the Lord today, friends? 

Happiness and the Christian

Are Christians supposed to be happy? Are happiness and joy really that different? What exactly *is* the difference? Aren’t we supposed to strive for holiness more than happiness? Was Jesus happy on earth? Is God happy?

The gospel is good news, right? If we believe it to be such, I think living lives of misery likely doesn’t do much toward showing others the love of Jesus.

My ideas about happiness have certainly changed in the last year or so. It started when I read The Happniess Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee. Her message so deeply resonated with me that I blogged about it, I led an online book club through it and I’ve given the book as gifts. The message has been further applied in my life as I have read 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life and 60 Days of Happiness: Discover God’s Promise of Relentless Joy by Randy Alcorn.

“Among Christ-followers, happiness was once a positive, desirable word. Only in recent times have happiness and joy been set in contrast with each other. This isn’t just biblically and historically ungrounded; it has undermined our understanding of merriment, pleasure, and joy. Are laughter, celebration, and happiness God-created gifts, or are they ambushes from Satan and our sin nature that incur God’s disapproval? Our answer determines whether our faith in God is dragged forward by duty or propelled by delight.” Randy Alcorn from 60 Days of Happiness.

I knew that my life as a believer would include suffering. I knew that Jesus suffered and so would we. I honestly thought that God desired my holiness and NOT my happiness.

God does call us to holiness, of course, YES. But, through our lives of obedience and service and living out the uniqueness of who God has made us to be…there is joy. There is happiness.

I don’t think that there truly is so much difference between joy and happiness. I think we use those words interchangeably and try to make joy sound a little holier. {grin} Not that there is anything wrong with choosing our words carefully or feeling strongly about certain words.

Did you know the Bible references happiness?

Have you ever read this famous passage from Matthew?

The Beatitudes

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Blessed = Happy

In the original language, the word that Jesus is using in this passage means happy. Hmmm. Although He uses the word happy, the things he tells us will make us happy are not traditionally thought of us happy things. Oh, but that is the way of the cross…that is the way of Jesus…and I think that is the key to understanding happiness as a Christian.

Happiness doesn’t look like what the world says happiness is. As believers, we can find happiness {and joy!} in things that the world may think are crazy. 

For the JOY set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. (Hebrews 12)

Finding joy in giving of your life on a cross?

There is joy to be found in living a life of love. Jesus was the perfect and ultimate example.

There is joy to be found even in sorrow.

There is happiness to be found in obedience.

There is a deep seated happiness in knowing our eternity is secure.

There is a blessedness in knowing Jesus and reminding our hearts that we are never alone.

Let’s take back the word HAPPY

So, I say it’s time that we, as believers, TAKE BACK the word happy. Let’s not look at it as a bad word. Let’s remind our hearts that joy and happiness can be very similar and both can be wonderful benefits of living a life in Jesus. Let’s not look condescendingly at people who use the word happy, but on the same token, if someone has a conviction about the word let’s show grace. Either way: grace. Whether you like the word happy or you don’t, there is grace for you.

And you know what? Grace is one of the ultimate happy gifts of Christ. Let’s enjoy Him.

One Year in the Psalms

 

One Year in the Psalms

So many of you have been enjoying the Write the Word posts we’ve been doing!

Write the Word. Pray the Word.

Here are the resources I’ve shared thus far:

Ephesians

Psalm 119

Philippians

The Last Days of Jesus from Matthew

James

Now, I have a larger plan that will actually include 365 + 10 days! A whole year PLUS more in the Psalms! (The reason it is more days than 365 is because I tried to break up the readings into either complete chapters OR where it made sense to split them up.

This newest Write the Word plan to spend One Year in the Psalms is FREE for subscribers!

Subscriber FreebieOne Year in the Psalms COVER

Here’s how to get the plan:

Subscribe to His Mercy is New. Go here to subscribe! 

The next time a blog post or email comes from His Mercy Is New, check the BOTTOM OF THE EMAIL for “FREEBIES” and this resource will be listed there as one of your SUBSCRIBER FREEBIES!

Subscribe here to receive this and other freebies from His Mercy is New!

 

Be small

“For you died and your life is now hidden in Christ.” Colossians 3:3

Recently, God asked a question of me and it took me awhile to answer…but I think I’m becoming more and more OK with the answers.

I heard the Lord say, “Are you OK with being small?”

After coming back from the Teach Them Diligently conference I was ready to quit blogging all together. I met so many wonderful bloggers there and it was a HUGE blessing. But, I found myself wondering what I have to offer anyone. And, God reminded me that His ways are not my ways.

And I heard the words, “Are you OK with being small?

He reminded me that He calls me to bloom where I am planted, He chooses the location. I am obedient.

He reminded me that Jesus told His disciples that the last would be first. He washed their feet.

At the time, this lesson was personal for me in regard to blogging…am I OK with sharing the message God has given me here on my blog if I never gain another follower? Am I OK with being who God created me to be for an audience of One?

 

January Favorite Things

What I am loving in the New Year…

It’s barely 2 weeks into the new year and the goals have been  stated, the new routines are forming, and here are a few things I’m loving…

Smoothies

Smoothies are by far the easiest way for me to get in several servings of FRUITS and VEGGIES. I can always tell I have more energy when I’m having a daily smoothie! I have had this blender for years now and *love it.*

Here’s what I toss into the blender for my smoothies, and without measuring, which would feed a few of us:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 big handfuls spinach
  • small handful frozen strawberries
  • small handful frozen blueberries or any frozen fruit
  • greek yogurt
  • orange juice (half my household likes MILK in their smoothies, I prefer the citrus taste)

Water

I am drinking a GALLON of water everyday! I’m feeling GOOD!

My Journaling Bible

I have a renewed love for my Bible at the beginning of this year. I think it must be reading the book Women of the Word and realizing just what a treasure we have in those pages! And the journaling Bible just provides so much room in the margins for note taking and prayers and such…

Bullet Journal

Super uber simple, I followed Edie’s methods in her free video found here.  So. I was NOT going to jump on the bullet journal band wagon. I wasn’t going to do it! Til I was at a goal setting workshop with the amazing Dr. Edie of LifeinGrace blog and she pretty much convinced me. {grin} She has a free video you can sign up to receive in your email and it goes over exactly how she does it. Her ideas are so simple that we can all benefit from it!

Essential oils

I also have a growing and somewhat renewed love for my oils. I have been using Young Living oils for a little over a year now. I can tell such a difference in these oils and the ones I used to use. My mood and overall emotional well being is more STABLE, I’m using their fruit juice supplement and have more ENERGY, our house is generally very WELL. I taught my first class on DITCHING THE TOXINS via video on facebook. I am just loving it all!

Exercising regularly

Ouch. Yep. It’s the beginning of a new year, of course I am exercising. LOL! But I feel so.much.better. I told my husband that weight lifting and walking/jogging 3-4 times a week leaves me feeling empowered. Like I really CAN do hard things. Maybe I’m not a wimp after all. And, handling stress is something I actually can do when I’m exercising. My body needs it.

Live videos for inspiration

Are any of you enjoying  live videos from your favorite bloggers and online authors as much as I am?? Some of my favorites:

Edie Wadsworth of LifeinGrace blog, she also leads the essential oil group I’m in, she does videos and classes online and also does AMAZING videos and talks in our business building group. She has done a goal setting workshop, a talk on living out of LOVE and not fear, how to grow your business and more. If you want to join our Young Living team, please send me a message.

Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom – I’ve done a few of her courses which are video based but I also have loved her periscopes and facebook live videos through 2016 as she talked about her year of rest.

Craving Connection

We all have a God-given longing within us for meaningful and authentic relationships. We were created with that longing because God desires relationship with His children. He created us for intimacy. But, getting to that place can be difficult for many of us. I have struggled with friendship over the years. That is probably why I love this new book, Craving Connection, from the (In)Courage writers so much.

This book discusses improving our connections with God, with friends and with our communities. Each day there is a suggestion for engaging those around you, a 3-4 page devotional, connection questions, a prayer and a challenge.

Simple challenges like “text a friend and tell her how much you appreciate her.”

How could your life be different after prayerfully and intentionally connecting with God, friends, and your community?

Craving Connection is a journey where (in)courage writers share real-life stories, practical Scripture application, and connection challenges that will encourage you to find out!

Craving Connection Devotional Kit

Along with the new book, the Illustrated Faith devotional kit for this month goes along with the new book!! It is BEAUTIFUL. Such pretty colors, fonts and flowers!

The new kit is also called Craving Connection

My Unboxing Video

 

Craving Connection Video from (In)Courage

Find the Book & Illustrated Faith Kit

You can find the book AND the devotional kit at Dayspring! 

1 & 2 Thessalonians: Write the Word. Pray the Word.

1st and 2nd Thessalonians square

I finally have a new Write the Word plan up for you!! I can’t believe how many requests I’ve gotten to KEEP MAKING these Scripture writing plans! I love it when you tell me what is helpful for you! <3

1st & 2nd Thesslonians made a great plan that will take you about a month if you follow this plan!

{You can find Psalm 119, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, James, 1 & 2 Peter, Last Days of Jesus and a Women of the Word plans ALL on this page!}

But why write the Word? Why do we write things down? 

What is “write the word” or a “scripture writing plan?” You can read all about it and watch a video where I explain more by going to this page. 

We write things down that we want to remember.

Why wouldn’t we want to write down the most important Words there are?

His Word is life to us — write it down!

His Word is a treasure — treat it as such!

His Word is comfort to us — allow Him to comfort you as you write.

His Word is conviction to us through His Holy Spirit — soften your heart as you write. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life as you write and pray His Word.

Write the Word 1 and 2 Thessalonians PDF

Write the Word 1 and 2 Thessalonians