2016 Word of the Year – Prepare – Marriage tools 2

I wrote recently about how God is preparing our marriage for, well, whatever. We started repairing our marriage by attending a Smalley Institute Marriage Intensive. I shared some marriage tools in Marriage Tools 1.

I admit, I did not think that this was going to work for us. I was, however, compelled(by my commitment, and by God’s constant reminding) to do my part. We were instructed to pray 1 Cor 13, personalized for the two of us. Like this:

4 Love is patient,
I will love Jim.
I will be patient with Jim

love is kind.
I will be kind to Jim.

It does not envy,
I will not be envious or jealous of Jim.

it does not boast,
I will not boast to Jim.

it is not proud.
I will humble myself before God and with Jim.

And so on….
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.

This is the NIV version.
The other versions have some additional twists….like verse 5 in KJV!

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Here’s CEB:

4 Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant,
5 it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints,
6 it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth.
7 Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails.

Here is the version that will give me the most challenge:
Amplified Version:

4 Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant.
5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured.
6 It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail].
7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
8 Love never fails [it never fades nor ends].

I confess, I tried to get out of this assignment by pleading to go back to Galatians 5:22-23. But the Amplified Version really convicted me:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

“the result of His presence within us”
“unselfish concern for others”

Those amplifications of being in the Spirit and love really threw me back to this assignment – praying 1 Cor 13:4-8 over Jim, as I confessed and asked God for grace and mercy to follow His path.

What happened?
I changed.
I have heard so often that if you pray for someone, you will love them more. Yeah yeah yeah! I pray for Jim – and not for him to change. That wasn’t changing me!
This changed me.

Try it.
I dare you!

Praying God’s word is powerful…especially if you are praying it over yourself!
Warning! This could change you forever!

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

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2016 Word of the Year – Prepare – Marriage tools 1

This year, God has put the word PREPARE upon my heart for meditation.

  • Prepare ye the way of the Lord – as John the Baptist cried out.
  • Prepare for the storm/battle ahead – as in put on the full armor of God, as Paul exhorted the Ephesians.
  • Prepare to give an accounting for your days – as in Teach me to number my days that I may apply my heart to wisdom.

This journey is not mine alone, because I am not alone. I have been married to my husband for almost 36 years(this year). While we will stand alone before the Lord to give an accounting of our lives for Him, we do walk in this life together. What happens to me, effects him, and vice versa.

This past week, we have attended a Marriage Intensive, through the ministry of Michael and Amy Smalley. There is an online course, ReIgnite your Marriage. We decided to take a trip to the Houston, Texas area, and do one in real life. Our coach, Gil Martin, was amazing, and very well versed in the material, as well as the Life handbook, the Bible. I’m not going to tell you that it was easy. I’m not even going to tell you that Jim and I got all of our issues taken care of in this three day, 8 hours a day, session. What I can say is that these principles are based upon the Rock of Jesus Christ, and even basic conflict resolution skills and communication skills, but applied to the person in your life that can most easily get under your skin.

What I can also say is that this is preparation to move forward in our marriage. We’ve been given the tools. We’ve been pointed to the one that loves us enough to die for us, and asks us to live love for each other. By God’s grace, we can learn to move past 36 years of disconnection, and move together in HIS direction.

But that’s not what this blog is about.
As we were working through some of the material, I remembered one of the tools that Jim and I came up with years ago, and it helped us to connect. Why we stopped is probably why everyone stops doing something that works with their spouse – someone got angry, someone got hurt, and neither one knew how to get out of that cycle. While we did use this tool, we were growing together.

I’d like to share this tool with you.
P-R-A-I-S-E

  • First, we purchased a spiral notebook. I picked out some cutsey ones that had hearts on them, somewhere near valentines day.
  • Second, we chose individual colors. My color is blue, and Jim’s is red.
  • Then, we set aside time to meet over breakfast each morning.

P-PRAISE (GOD)

blue – Praise God from whom all blessings flow
I read mine to Jim.

red – Praise God who blesses us with every good thing
Jim reads his to me.
if there are questions, here is where we ask them.
(sometimes this gets even more specific, but this is the idea)

R-REVELATION (WHAT HAS GOD BROUGHT TO YOUR HEART TODAY?)

blue – Ps 15 talks about who shall abide in God’s tabernacle, ending with “He that doeth these things shall not be moved” while Ps 16 starts with “Preserve me O God; for in thee do I put my trust!” Even though the Psalmist was given a list of things with a promise, he knew he had to cry out for grace and help from God!

red – Ps 1 progression. blessed is the man that
walketh not – community circles
standeth not – social circles
sitteth not – at home

A-APPRECIATION (OF YOUR SPOUSE)

blue – thank you for coming to this intensive
red – thank you for giving me time to lie down

I-INFORMATION (SOMETHING THAT WE BOTH NEED TO KNOW)

blue – the spot on my neck is causing some headache pain
I have appointments almost everyday next week
we are meeting our friends sat at 8:30am

red – I have trips in the middle of the week
I have a presentation to prepare for
I need to study to retake a test

S-SUPPLICATION (PRAYER REQUESTS TO SHARE)

blue – healing for our ‘son’ in Ethiopia
prayers for friends dealing with cancer
Faith’s pregnancy and birth and plans

red – healing
tests
travel

E-EXALTATION (A SONG THAT THE LORD LAYS UPON OUR HEARTS)

blue – he that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high
shall abide under the shadow of the almighty…

red – the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and he delights in his way…

Once we have shared back and forth, we then go to prayer together over the prayer requests, and any others. When we are done, we sing praises to God with the songs He laid upon our hearts.

This can take as long as an hour(I don’t think it ever has) and as short as 20 minutes or less.

There are so many way that this connects the two of us, and keeps us on at least a close similar page.

True confession – once Jim started traveling for his job, 3+ years ago, I was inflexible about how we would do PRAISE.
We tried it via email, but I missed the interactive part, and seriously, I wanted the pretty colored pages in the book for remembrance.
Via the phone didn’t work for me, because I really wanted to look into his eyes, and wanted him to look into my eyes!
Jim has worked on setting up video chatting, and really, that didn’t work so well until recently, with technological advances.

In order for this to work, both people need to disconnect from other things, and focus upon each other. That means, no computer, no tv, and no phone unless that is the device for the discussion!

This is just our take on various other versions of how to sit down and talk.

We’ve been to Marriage Encounter – and tried to learn to dialogue – but never got the follow up group, and we just never seemed to figure that out.

In this Smalley Intensive, they talk about LOVE talk.

There are many tools out there to teach conflict resolution, negotiation, communication, and respect. Pick one. Try it.

But understand, you are preparing for battle, and a storm is coming.
You aren’t battling your spouse,
but you are entering into battle with the one that comes to steal, kill and destroy.
Gather up some tools.
Practice.
and be PREPARED!

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

Posted in Bible Thoughts, MyOneWord | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

2016 Word for the year – PREPARE – today

Ps 90:12 So Teach us therefore to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.

Proverbs is full of verses and passages about wisdom.

This blog meditation is about TODAY

Ps 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. – TODAY

Heb 3:15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation – TODAY

Josh 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve…. – TODAY

There is only one day for us to be concerned with – TODAY

We only have today
yesterday is gone
tomorrow is not here yet,
Today is all we have, that is why it’s called the present!

As believers in christ, it is our responsibility to go to the throne at the end of each day, and put our mistakes, sins, and anything that would hinder our progress under the blood of Jesus. Then, we are to let it go. If we believe that putting things under the blood, by asking forgiveness, and truly repenting – then we should LET IT GO!

As believers in Christ, we are to believe that God has tomorrow in His hand. We cannot do anything to effect tomorrow, except to live today in the most powerful way possible. That is to live by faith – not pulled down by fear and anxiety about tomorrow.

Elisabeth Elliot is quoted as saying that we do not have to worry about tomorrow because God is already there.

Tomorrow has enough evil.

Matthew 6:27

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

My focus needs to be on TODAY.
honestly, tomorrow is not promised – therefore, why do I waste energy worrying about tomorrow?

Choose ye this day….how to serve the Lord.

I was thinking about the 10 virgins that were called to wait for the bridegroom.
apparently, 5 of them took the time to PREPARE by obtaining extra oil. 5 did not. (Matthew 25)

They all fell asleep waiting for the Lord(bridegroom) to come.
they all heard the call – but the foolish were running out of oil.

Here is a lesson I want to dig deeper into someday.
When the foolish asked the wise to share their oil, THE WISE DID NOT DO SO! THEY DID NOT JEOPARDIZE THEIR READINESS FOR THE FOOLISH ONES!

The mercy in me wants to say “but they made a mistake! surely you can share a little!”
The server in my wants to say “it’s our duty to help out the brethern!”
The giver – well, the giver wants to give and give and give until my well has run dry.
Oh, there are parts of me that wants to say “you should have prepared!” or “if you had picked up a jar of oil, instead of the new eye shadow….” or “There is a lesson in this”

Somewhere in here is a truth – one that is not as goody goody and sugar sweet as love love love.
My relationship with Jesus Christ comes before anyone else!
Anything that takes me away from my relationship with Jesus, wears me out, leaves me too empty to stand in battle – that is something that is out to destroy me, or able to destroy me, and I could end up just like the foolish virgins that didn’t prepare!

During Y2K, there were many that were stockpiling things, along with guns to protect their families.
At that time, I stood up in a meeting of Christians, and asked how they were going to deal with starving neighbors coming to them for food. Their response was that they would shoot them. Kill to protect their families’ supplies. I could not swallow this. In fact, I stood up and said, ‘dont worry about yrou neighbors, the mormons have been saving up food so that they can bring in their neighbors and bring them into the flock. Far be it for Christians to serve the hungry and show them Jesus christ!’ Oddly enough, we were not invited back!

This has been my focus, to be PREPARED to help our neighbors when things get rough(and they are going to get rough).

A can of tuna is not the same as oil for my lamp that shines my light, the light of Jesus Christ in my heart. I need to separate the two.

Today, if you hear his voice – harden not your heart!
The oil is the word of God, hidden within my heart, that I would not sin against him.
In times of concentration camps, the word of God strengthened men and women.
Bonhoffer
Ten Booms
a story about men jailed, and each one quoted parts of the book of John, and between them all, they were able to compile the whole book.

Today, if you hear his voice – harden not your heart!
The relationship with Jesus Christ cannot be taken away from those that hold it dear.
During the first century, as Christians were being slaughtered, one man stood and stated that God had not abandoned him, how then could he abandon God in the face of death.
Foxes book of Martyrs tells much about those that gave their lives – and right up until they entered into the rest of the Lord, they were declaring Jesus Christ.
Stephen – the first martyr – preached the Bible from Genesis to the current revelation as he was being stoned.
The relationship, with the Word of God – will keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Actually, that scripture is Philipians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

It’s interesting – right before Phil 4:7, Phil 4:6 says this:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Back to Matthew 6:27-34 – focus on today – there’s enough evil in today to deal with. Paul tells us how to ‘not be anxious’ in his letter to the Phillipians – take everything to the Lord in prayer.

How can that bring peace?
Because we have a high priest (Jesus Christ) that knows us well, and has made a way into the throne room for us.
Heb 4:

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Coming boldly unto the throne of grace requires the relationship with Jesus Christ. That relationship grows through prayer(time with Him) and study of the Word(getting to know Him).

We can do all things through Jesus Christ – including taking on the evils of this day – TODAY.

One other thought about the oil – often oil is a symbolism of the Holy Spirit.
I belive that being filled with the Holy Spirit is a second and separate invitation. Once saved, the Holy Spirit comes and abides with you. When invited in, the Holy spirit abides within, and the power of the Godhead dwells within the believer. Could it be that the foolish virgins were those that walked with Christ, but never asked the Holy Spirit in, in order to be empowered from on high? I would not give up my relationship with the Holy spirit within me for anything. And, if the indwelling of the Holy spirit is the only thing to keep me until the end, I can only offer it to others to go get it, I cannot give of mine to them.

It is the very endwelling of the holy spirit that keeps my heart burning for the Lord, learning of the Lord, and shining a light to the world.

I do like how Christian Apologetics explains the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, with wise counsel and warnings of the possible division.

WISDOM
Whatever way the oil is understood, relationship, word, baptism, it is crucial to understand that preparation is necessary to awaite the bridegroom. To apply my heart to wisdom, I must cherish my relationship with God the Father,through Jesus Christ, and by the Power of the Holy spirit. I must appreciate the importance of His Word to strengthen me to not sin. I must not grieve the Holy Spirit that dwells within, and learn to listen to that still small voice.

TODAY if you hear his voice, harden NOT your hearts!

Lord God, I come into your throne room, asking for grace and mercy that I would make sure that my lamp is full, and that I have reserves to handle whatever comes. I thank you that I only have to deal with today. Yesterday I put under the blood of Jesus, so that I can start new this morning, with your mercies. Tomorrow I put into your hand, and I thank you that you are already there. This is the day that the Lord has made – I will rejoice and be glad in in.

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

Posted in Bible Thoughts, MyOneWord | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 Word of the Year – Prepare – foundations

Foundations.
What are they?

Webster’s Dictionary says:

Full Definition of foundation
1
: the act of founding

2
: a basis (as a tenet, principle, or axiom) upon which something stands or is supported

3
a : funds given for the permanent support of an institution : endowment
b : an organization or institution established by endowment with provision for future maintenance

4
: an underlying base or support; especially : the whole masonry substructure of a building

5
a : a body or ground upon which something is built up or overlaid
b : a woman’s supporting undergarment : corset
c : a cosmetic usually used as a base for makeup

The Bible has some serious warnings about the importance of foundations:
Psalm 11:3

If the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do?


1 Corinthians 3:11

Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid which is Jesus Christ.

Jesus described listening to his words and heeding them as building on a rock – solid foundation:

Luke 6:

…47″Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like:
48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.
49 “But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

My word PREPARE has brought me to preparing the foundation, and the possibility of repairing the breaches, wherever they may be.

1 Corinthians 3:

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.
11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Christ is the foundation stone.
Christ is the stone the builders rejected, and became the cornerstone. (Mt 21:42; Ps 118:22-23)

Foundation to what? Cornerstone for what?
Salvation!
Psalm 118:

…21 I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, And You have become my salvation.
22 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone.
23 This is the LORD’S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.…

Jesus Christ is the only foundation – for faith and salvation.

1 Peter 2:4

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—

Jesus isn’t a dead stone, set as a monument – He is risen – He is alive – He is the living cornerstone!

and we are part of that building:
1 Peter 2:5-6

5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual housefn to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

We are to be building upon the foundation!

1 Corinthians 3:

11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.…

The parables about pruning would also fit here.

We are to be building with Gold, Silver and Precious Stones – things that will endure the fiery trials that will come upon us. James talks about how to make it through fiery trials, but the assumption is that the foundation is already laid, and solid. Psalms and Proverbs talk about obtaining Wisdom rather than gold. Knowledge and understanding is better than silver. The author of 119 talks about how precious is the law of God, more so than any riches.
But before we build, we must have the foundation.

Hebrews 3:6

6 But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

In this passage of Hebrews, over and over we are warned to harden NOT our hearts –

  • the deceitfulness of sin would harden our hearts.
  • An unbelieving heart turns away from God.
  • Not knowing God’s ways will harden one’s heart.

The cure? – hear His voice – hearken to His voice – obey His commands – do not be dull of hearing.

As I said, I found warnings about the foundation.
Ps 11:3 – IF THE FOUNDATION BE DESTROYED – what can the righteous do?

God sees. God knows. His word is quick and powerful and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit , and of the joints and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb 4:12)
And in Jesus, we have a high priest that cannot….well, Hebrews says it best:

Hebrews 4:

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 5

12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!
13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.
14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

God provided a way that we could rebuild our foundation, as long as we are building on the solid rock. That will be the next blog!

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

Posted in Bible Thoughts, MyOneWord | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 Word for the year

I was given a suggestion – one little word. Based upon Ali Edwards’ One Little Word. (scrapbooking focused)

12/26/2015
We have done that in the past, but last year, I was in a mental hospital and wasn’t sure.

This year I’m hearing prepare. Maybe two words, faithfully prepare.

I tend to forget them through the year, until I look back over the year and see God’s hand. I think this year’s leading will be much more obvious as I walk 2016.

12/30/2015
Stewardship would work with the “prepare” for me, as I’m to prepare for coming storms. Stewardship fits in there. Blessed to be a blessing is our giving phrase…which works with stewardship and preparing things so that you are a blessing, not a burden.

Plans, which were supposed to be the focus of this week, and have not been, are the cornerstone of my word preparation…with bible prep being the most important. That’s where I get adding faithful.

I could snag so many of your words(from my friends), probably all of them, and though they have things in common, they mean something different too us as individuals!

Prayer – the war room was timed perfectly for one of my middle of the night needs for encouragement. My prayer life will be changing this year as I practice and prepare for battles, and attack old ones anew. But I wasn’t given the word prayer, this year! That had been my word before. As has faith. Trust. Sounds the same , don’t those two? But they weren’t for me!

Another friend recommended the site My One Word for those that don’t scrapbook.

My word is PREPARE
faithfully prepare

And the first four things I’m to focus upon are
Faith
Foundations
Finances
Food

Here we go!

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

Posted in Bible Thoughts, MyOneWord | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Day 2015

Christmas Day – 2015

Christmas on the Advent Log

Christmas on the Advent Log

Luke 2
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Christmas Candles

Christmas Candles

Isaiah 9:6
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.

May you be filled with the Joy and Peace of the Lord Jesus reigning in your hearts and minds.
May your year finish with a real sense of purpose.
May your 2016 begin with a purpose, and the determination to take on what lies before you.
Give of yourself freely – you will never suffer want when you share all that you have. You will find that love multiplies all things.

With much love and big hugs and many kisses!

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. These are two that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

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Advent 2015 – Christmas Eve

Advent 2015 – Christmas Eve

For the longer Advents – this is Advent 28
Here is the Advent Log for day 28:

Christmas Even Advent Log - Day 28

Christmas Eve Advent Log – Day 28

Tradition was that we would have pizza. Then, we would get serious.
This is the evening that we would have communion – preparing our hearts for the coming of the King.

Christmas Eve Communion

Christmas Eve Communion

For years I attended Midnight Mass at Christ Episcopal Church. Mass = Communion.
This was our family tradition.
When we had children, we attended non denominational, or non liturgical churches that had their Christmas Eve services in the evening. There wasn’t always communion.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Busted Halo gives a very short explanation on why we go to Midnight Mass.
Wikipedia information on Midnight Mass

My memory is that we were combining the vigil of waiting for Christ’s birth, and preparing ourselves to give Him room, and at Midnight, we celebrated his birth.

Christmas Carols

Christmas Carols

Joy to the world, the Lord has come! Let earth receive her King! Let every heart, prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and heaven and nature sing!

Christmas Carols

Christmas Carols

Christmas Eve, Jim would read the Christmas story from Luke.

Jim reading Christmas Eve devotions

Jim reading Christmas Eve devotions

Then, we would say the Lord’s prayer:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Glory and the power forever,
Amen.

This prayer, given to us by Jesus, covers most of what any worship service should cover:

  • Glorify God
  • Align yourself with His will.
  • Ask for needs.
  • Ask for forgiveness, as we forgive.
  • Ask for help to walk in this world.
  • End with praise.

We would then read the communion scripture:

Usually using this passage for the communion:
1 Cor 11:23-26

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

In 1 Corinthians 10:16, The Apostle Paul asks

“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?”

The whole focus of our Advent Meditations was to turn the eyes upon Jesus and giving, and off of the worldly focus of Santa and getting gifts.
Communion is an outward sign of choosing to set aside my life, and decide to follow Jesus.

Tonight, I will pull out my old Episcopal Prayer Book, and go through communion with my husband. Here is the Episcopal Prayer book Online.

Lifeway has a set of resources online for practicing the Lord’s Supper. They are for churches, but could easily be adapted for your home.

For us, it was just simple to do the Lords Prayer, and then follow 1 Cor 11:23-26.

In a world where Christmas is so full of rabble rousing, and even those that say they know the reason, we wanted it to be a somber, and sacred celebration. Jesus didn’t come to earth so that we could get ginormous flat screen TVs! Jesus came to save our souls!

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Hail, the heav’n born Prince of Peace.
Hail the Son of righteousness.
Light and life to all He brings,
ris’n with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays His glory by,
born that man no more should die;
Born to raise the sons of earth,
born to give them second birth!
Hark the herald angels sing,
Glory to the New born King!

What Child is this?

Why lies He in such mean estate where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear” for sinners here the silent word is pleading/
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
the cross be born for me, for you;
Hail, Hail, the Word made flesh,
the Babe, the Son of Mary.

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Oh Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray.
Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels, the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emanuel.

We sang many Christmas Carols!

One of my favorite Christmas Albums is by Don Moen, 1990
Praise Worship, Christmas

Here’s a compilation of the Piano Guys for Christmas

Since it’s pretty obvious that I love Pentatonix – here’s a compilation of their Christmas songs.

Instead of reading the Night Before Christmas, we would read a few different things.  The Shoemaker stories:

AdventShoemakerNVP004 AdventShoemakerCTB2006 AdventShoemakerCTB1005

We compared Jesus to Santa.

JesusSanta

And we read Twas the night before Jesus came. (c) 1993 Bethany Farms, Carrollton, IL.

I found a cute printable Christmas Story book on Ministry to Children that may be useful for those that still have littles.  My littles have all grown up.

One last thing, is this A Christmas Prayer for the Home by Henry Van Dyke, from The Book of Jesus edited by Calvin Miller.

 

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. These are two that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

Posted in Advent, Bible Thoughts, Christmas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment