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08 Apr

Taming Dragons: The Crisis of Compromise

My Bible study, Taming Dragons: The Crisis of Compromise, is set to be released on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Ingram in June. It is the result of many conversations with my friends and family members about what is happening in the world. It shows that God’s timeline is playing out before our very eyes.

Compromise has crept into every facet of our lives. We are seeing the consequences of it in our government, our schools, our workplaces, our churches and our homes. For the one who follows the One, it is heartrending. To many, many more, it is “social change.”

While I do believe that change is necessary, it should always be in the direction of the Word of God. If you love God, then be encouraged, and light a candle. For as someone once said, “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” I hope this little Bible study helps you see things in that respect.

From the Preface

As time winds down for planet earth, it seems to get blacker and bleaker every day. Of course, it’s what we should expect. Revelation 12:12 tells us: “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows he has a short time.” We can also expect to see people—Christians!—compromising the Word of God in order to “fit in” with the prevailing culture. We also know that many will depart from the faith, as 1 Thessalonians 2:3 says, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first.”  Don’t let that be true of you! Instead of despairing, look up with hope! He promised us: ”But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

26 Jan

The Problem of “Natural Evil”

natural evilIn a previous post, I talked about how God could be good and still allow evil. In that post, I explained that evil is not something in and of itself, but the corruption of something good. So now we come to natural evil, such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes. How do those things fit in with God’s goodness?

The earth is under the curse

Romans 8:19-22 informs us, “For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”

This Scripture shows us that even nature has been subjected to the curse that originated at Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God’s will. At the beginning, all things—including weather—worked in harmony. There were no natural disasters before the fall. It’s important to remember that we live in a fallen world.

God is sovereign

Another important point is that God is sovereign. Because He can stand at the beginning and see the end (and we can’t), we often think that He must be capricious, allowing or perhaps even causing natural disasters to befall mankind. After all, He did send the flood, and in Mark 4:9 we see Jesus control the weather with a single word. But that doesn’t make God bad. Just because we cannot understand the reason for things does not mean that God cannot. In His wisdom, He allows things to be as they are for now, to be reconciled to Him in the end days.

Bad is sometimes the result of good

For instance, we have earthquakes because we have tectonic plates below the surface. Without the plates, we would not have continents. Without them, the earth could not support life.  Decrying earthquakes because they sometimes cause death is about as sensible as decrying the sun. After all, you can die from sunstroke, too. Once again, just because we do not understand why God allows some natural disasters is not a reason to quit trusting Him. Are you trustworthy to your children even when you allow them to feel the consequences of their behavior or restrict something they want to do? Of course you are. And God can be trusted even if we don’t understand all His reasons.

The worst is yet to come

The whole earth is groaning. It eagerly awaits the coming of God Himself to right all wrongs and reestablish balance in nature. We wait as the children of God for Him to rescue us from the mess that is largely our own doing. If we don’t cause all “natural disasters,” we certainly have a hand in some, such as when entire populations starve due to the evil of their governments who do not allow food to get to them. The earth is plenty capable of feeding the world. It is man who prevents it from happening.

Matthew 24:5-8 tells us what we are currently witnessing. “Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.”  Note that Matthew says these are the beginnings of birth pains.

We can still rejoice

When you belong to the Lord, you can rest in knowing that He has good things—perfect things—in store for you. Listen to Isaiah 25:8-9: “He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the disgrace of His people from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken. And it will be said in that day, ‘Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.’”

 

22 Jan

If God is REALLY Good, Why Does He Allow Evil?

Defining “good” and “evil”

Many people have given up on God because of the evil in the world. If God were really a loving, good God, He’d stop all the evil. He wouldn’t allow evil to exist at all. In fact, if God created everything, isn’t He actually the creator of evil? To tackle this ticklish issue, we need some good, working definitions. But we can’t just hop to the nearest dictionary to find them.

Did God create everything?

The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:31 that not only did He create everything, but that it was all good. “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31, KJV)  (If you are not comfortable that God created everything, I’ll cover that in another post.) So we can go from here with putting the credit on God for absolutely every single thing that was created.

Then doesn’t that mean that He created evil?

The problem here is why we need definitions. What is good? What is evil? Good is the quality of a thing that conforms to the character of God. Evil is the corruption of good. Evil is not a thing in and of itself. It does not exist as an independent entity. Have you ever walked into a room and seen an evil in it? Think of evil as a weeping wound on a person’s body. The body—the thing that God created that conforms to the quality of good in God—is there. But you cannot have the weeping wound without the body. It is the body that exists. The wound cannot exist without the body. It is the corruption of the good that constitutes evil.

So why does God allow evil?

The answer to this question is two-fold. I’ll start with the most commonly spoken answer: because of free will. God made us in His image, which makes us free agents of will. We can will to do good or we can will to do bad. We are given great freedom from God to choose His ways or to choose our own, even when those choices lead us into evil. Every person ever born is given the gift of free will. God desires us to choose good because He can stand at the beginning and see the end. He knows what the outcomes and consequences of our choices will be, but He will not stop us from making wrong choices if that is what we have determined in our hearts to do.

You may not be aware of how often God actually intervenes in your life to prevent something that would take your life or even worse, steal your faith. But He doesn’t violate your free will.

Yes, it’s true that He could have simply made us love him. But then is that really, truly love? Do you want your kids to love you because you make them? Is it even possible to make someone love you? You can see the difficulty here.

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

(Matthew 13:24-30) 24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

If you are a believer in Christ, you are the wheat in this story. Those who do not follow the Lord are the tares. The field is the world and the sower is God. Although there are tares (weeds) in the field, the Sower decides not to remove them before the harvest, lest the wheat gets damaged in the process. So as contradictory as it seems, it is for our own sake that He does not simply remove evil right now. When the harvest time comes at the end of the age, everything will be harvested, but the tares will be burned and the wheat will be saved.

Isaiah 46:10 (KJV) tells us plainly: Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

God is good all the time

There is never a day that God is not good. He cannot not be good because that is His character and nature. And when we choose evil (the corruption of what He created to be good), it grieves His heart.

Next time we’ll talk about natural evil. Stay tuned.

02 Jan

How to Make Sure Your New Year’s Resolutions Are Successful

New Year's Resolutions

Changes.

Lots and lots of people start the new year out by making resolutions, most of which fall by the wayside after a few short weeks or sometimes months. I’ve been there, and so have you. And yet each year we say that this year will be different. So what’s going to make this year really and truly different?

Prayer.

The first thing about prayer is that it is effective. It is powerful, pulling down strongholds, which are the things that hold you back from really changing. Recognizing this is paramount to seeing real change in your life. And in mine. Your resolutions absolutely must be bathed in prayer. That leads us to a very important question.

What is prayer?

Do you bow your head, close your eyes, and suddenly your mind is a blank? You’re not alone. Prayer is not a formula for changing God. It is, however, the most effective way of changing you. The great apologist C.S. Lewis once said, “I don’t pray because it changes God. I pray because it changes me.”  Prayer is not a laundry-list of things you want to change. It is a conversation wherein you ask God what He wants to change. And note that I said a conversation.

The Oxford Dictionary has this to say about what it means to converse. “Late Middle English (in the sense ‘live among, be familiar with’): from Old French converser, from Latin conversari ‘keep company (with’), from con- ‘with’ + versare, frequentative of vertere ‘to turn’.” So to converse with God is to live with Him, be familiar with Him, and to turn to Him. Make your most important resolutions prayer.

How to pray.

Yeshua (Jesus) Himself gave us a model for prayer. Let’s look at it and see what HaMashiach (the Messiah) has to say about prayer.

Matthew 6:9-13 (Orthodox Jewish Bible)

Therefore, when you offer tefillos (prayers), daven (pray) like this, in this manner: Avinu shbaShomayim (Our Father in heaven), yitkadash shmecha (hallowed be Thy Name).

10 Tavo malchutechah (Thy Kingdom come) Ye’aseh rtzonechah (Thy will be done) kmoh vaShomayim ken baaretz (on earth as it is in heaven).

11 Es lechem chukeinu ten lanu hayom (Give us today our daily bread),

12 u-slach lanu es chovoteinu kaasher salachnu (and forgive us our debts as we forgive) gam anachnu lachayaveinu (also our debtors).

13 V’al tvi’einu lidey nisayon (And lead us not into temptation) ki im chaltzeinu min harah (but deliver us from evil). [Ki l’chah hamamlachah (for thine is the Kingdom) vhagvurah (and the power) vhatiferet (and the glory) l’olmei olamim (forever). Omein].

So what does it mean?

Yeshua’s prescription for the proper way to pray does not mean repeating meaningless words. He starts out by recognizing the relationship between us and God: Our Father (Avinu). He is the One who created us, as our earthly father procreated us. His relationship is one of blood-ties, through the sacrifice of His Son. He is deserving of worship (hallowed be Thy Name) and obedience for that fact alone. Always speak His very Name with reverence and awe. Jewish believers refuse to even utter His Name, saying HaShem (the Name) instead and writing G-d so they do not use it commonly or irreverently.

Next, Yeshua instructs us to pray for God’s kingdom and will on the earth. His agenda. His purposes. Not ours. His.

He tells us to ask the Father for those things we need. Of course, God already knows what we need, but He wants us to ask Him for it. When we do, we are acknowledging that He is our provider. (In fact, nothing you ever do provides for you. If God does not provide for you, you will not be able to make wealth. The Amplified Bible says it this way: But you shall remember [with profound respect] the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore (solemnly promised) to your fathers, as it is this day. (Deuteronomy 8:18)

He reminds us that we were sinners and have been forgiven, so we should forgive others as well. Mark 11:25 tells us: And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Our forgiveness is tied to our forgiving others. So when we are cognizant that we have been forgiven so much, we should—we must!—forgive others as well.

Pray for protection from the evil one. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Peter 5:8). Don’t be concerned that the translation implies that God leads people into temptations if they don’t ask Him not to, for the Word is very clear on that point. James 1:13 explicitly says: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:” Nevertheless, Yeshua says to ask God to keep us from temptation, which is the work of the evil one.

Finally, close out your prayer with the acknowledgment that God is almighty, everything belongs to Him, and He will have all the glory. Never try to keep glory for yourself, but humbly remember that God is all-glorious. Commit yourself to humility, and in due time, God will raise you up. When your heart is right with God, even when He does raise you up, your desire will be to glorify Him and deflect the glory that man tries to attribute to you.

Have you asked God for the desires of your heart in your resolutions?

Many scholars believe (as do I) that Psalm 37:4, which says: “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” can actually mean that He will put His desires into your heart. Have you asked God to tell you how to partner with Him in prayer? What does He want you to pray about? He will always answer the prayer that says, “Thy will be done.”

 

 

03 May

Finding the Safe Space Within

Finding the Safe Space Within

Our world is in turmoil, and the United States is no exception. One response to this turbulence is to retreat to a safe space, which is defined as “a place or environment in which a person or category of people can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment, or any other emotional or physical harm.” In other words, a place to withdraw from the world.

Our universities, which should be preparing students to thrive on this bumpy journey we call life, are fragmenting. They are becoming ideological ghettos that have been carved out of what one writer said should be a vibrant academic community. I couldn’t agree more.

Unfortunately, these safe spaces are dividing our college and university students by race, religion, creed, political affiliation, or coveted cause. America was designed to unify people with these diverse characteristics, to build strength from our differences.

Yet, there is a safe space where you are not affected by hatred, bigotry, or irrational thought. That place is within you. You carry it with you to every meeting, job, and human interaction you face throughout the day. Here’s how to find it and live within its protected boundaries.

Realize that you are loved.

Yes, loved. In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells His disciples, A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another” (John 13:34). Those quoting this scripture usually emphasize the commandment to love one another. But before you can do that, you must receive the love that Christ gives to those who follow Him. When you are filled with the love of God—and you know it—then and only then are you able to love others.

Working from a position of being loved removes your anxiety about being discriminated against, treated unfairly, or hated. It becomes your strength.

Abide in love.

Jesus further tells us to abide in His love. Just as the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. So abide in my love” (John 15:9). It isn’t enough to feel His love; you must remain in it, regardless of what is happening around you. Only when you truly know you are loved can you obey this precept. If you don’t really believe you are loved, you won’t have anything to give anyone else, and you will find yourself constantly at odds with the violent world in which we live.

Receive His peace.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). Jesus knew that His own would experience trials and tribulations, but He encouraged them to remain true to His call on them to love one another. His commandment that they not allow themselves to be overwhelmed by fear was the key to finding peace in the midst of the storm.

The Bible provides a year-long devotional on fear, saying 365 times, “Do not be afraid.” It also reminds us that “perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). Those who have discovered the power of love are not afraid.

Released from insecurity.

Author and minister Joyce Meyer says on her website, “We have an epidemic of insecure people in our society today. Many people have an identity crisis because they don’t really know who they are and they base their worth and value on all the wrong things – what they do, what they look like, who they know, what they know or what they own.”

Security and safety are in the Christian’s DNA.  Isaiah 54:17 assures us,  “But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord….” With this promise from God, should we still seek safe spaces that insulate us from the “weapons formed against us”? There is no reason to be insecure in God’s economy.

The secret to being secure in Christ is knowing that you are in Christ. He has promised never to leave or forsake you. Therefore, in the midst of the turmoil that defines your day, your life will be a reflection of your position in Christ.

Where is your refuge?

In the Old Testament, Isaiah foretells that a King will come who will be a refuge for His people. And a man shall be as an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land” (Isaiah 32:3). This “man” will be the safe place for those who put their trust in Him.

Jesus has already come. He has fulfilled most of the prophecies about Him, and those who have believed in Him shall find their hiding place in Him.

If the world around you has frightened you and you feel like you need someplace safe to avoid the persecution you feel, remember that Jesus has overcome the world. He takes up residence in you, and you can retreat into Him at any time. But if you seclude yourself in physical safe places, how then will you shine His light?

“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:15-16).

 

02 May

Why Does God Allow His People to Fail?

Why Does God Allow His People to Fail?

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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

Who among us has not experienced failure? What’s even worse is when we believe we are that failure. Yet we know that is not what God says about us. So how do we approach failure in a godly way?

Failure requires grace.

Without the grace that God provides, we are left with only our own sufficiency to recover. Yet God tells us that His grace is our sufficiency. A more accurate translation would read something like “I am all the grace you need.” Grace comes in His presence, because He is grace.

Failure drives us to God.

It reminds us we need a Savior. We need not only to be saved from our sins, but to be saved through our failures. When we realize our total helplessness to find strength in ourselves, we fall back into our dependency on God. Only then we are positioned to succeed.

What we see as failure may actually be great success.

When Jesus was nailed to the cross, His disciples forgot that He had already told them it would happen. They didn’t remember that He said He would rise again. They thought He had come to set up His kingdom on earth, so His death looked to them like a failure. But it was the greatest success the world has ever seen! Only after the third day did they remember what He had told them and understand the truth about the Kingdom of God, and ultimately about themselves.

God may allow you to fail.

God may allow you to fail so that you remain humble (See James 4:6). He gave Paul a “thorn in the flesh” because of his great revelations. Without this constant reminder, there would have been tremendous temptation toward pride. Paul’s  “failure” to overcome this tribulation meant that God got all the glory, and Paul remained humble. And when you are humble, God will lift you up (Matthew 23:12). If God had answered Paul’s prayer to remove the thorn, it would also have removed God’s grace in the situation.

Failure sometimes, but not always, involves sin.

We can fail because we are physically weak, not knowledgeable enough, or for other reasons beyond our control (like outside interference). But even in those things, sin is a possibility. Did we neglect our bodies and now we are ill? Did we refuse to pay attention to our teachers? Did we put ourselves in a place we should not have been? Sometimes we have no one to blame but us for our failures.

It is then that the Gospel comes into play. He forgives our sins, even those in our failures. And God promises to lift us out of failure and set our feet firmly on the rock. Psalm 40:2 reminds us He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.”

Failure often does involve sin. Even when we don’t recognize the sin in our failures, it’s there. David prayed, “But who can discern their own errors?  Forgive my hidden faults” (Psalm 19:12). He knew that he sinned even when he wasn’t aware of it. He also realized that even if he prayed all day, there would still be sin left unprayed for. God’s grace is sufficient to cover even the unknown sin in our lives.

But don’t automatically equate weakness with sin. Weakness is the knowledge that God has all the power. Weakness means that we endure persecution, affliction and perplexity so that Christ may be revealed in us.

Be instant in continued prayer.

When failure comes (and it will), what is the answer? Be instant in continuing prayer. Do not cease to pray, for it is in prayer that we recognize God’s great power and acknowledge His perfect plan.

Be joyful in every circumstance, as it produces perseverance and patience (Romans 5:3). Godliness is developed in us through the trials we face, especially when we seem to have failed. It is then God’s grace is worked out in us!

Be content in limitations.

“Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6). We are not all great athletes, scholars, or statesmen. Most of us have more humble gifts. Being content with whom God created us to be brings about reliance on God for His grace, and ultimately that He would be glorified in us. Our weakness allows God’s strength to be the focus of attention, and it brings Him the glory that pride would keep for itself.

We should pray that our failures advance God’s kingdom and leave us content in Christ. Were we to overcome all our weaknesses in our own strength, how then would Christ get the glory?

 

09 Jan

Choosing My Guiding Word for 2017—Bless

bless rainbow

I’VE COME ACROSS the idea of a guiding word several times in reading my favorite blogs recently. Seems like everyone is looking to simplify their New Year’s Resolutions and find a word that will guide them through the muddle of life in 2017.

My word came to me when I wasn’t even thinking about it. I just suddenly knew the word. But if you are looking for a guiding word and nothing is standing out, take a look at “How to Choose One Word To Define & Guide Your Year Ahead” on one of my favorite blogs, “A Pair and A Spare.”

Bless is my word. It can overarch my goals for the year quite nicely when used to receive blessings as well as to give blessings.

But what does bless actually entail? First, let’s define it.

Bless
verb (used with object), blessed or blest, blessing.
1. to consecrate or sanctify by a religious rite; make or pronounce holy.

2. to request of God the bestowal of divine favor on:

Bless this house.

3. to bestow good of any kind upon:

a nation blessed with peace.

4. to extol as holy; glorify:

Bless the name of the Lord.

5. to protect or guard from evil (usually used as an interjection):

Bless you! Bless your innocent little heart!

6. to condemn or curse:

I’ll be blessed if I can see your reasoning. Bless me if it isn’t my old friend!

7. to make the sign of the cross over or upon:

The Pope blessed the multitude.
My use of the word is contained in the third definition, meaning to bestow good of any kind upon. This year, I’m desiring to bless the people God has so graciously put in my life, and to extend myself for the good of others, even those I don’t know. So, giving of my time and my treasure to the people who are in need, and to provide good things for those I love.
Jesus, when speaking of what is commonly called the Beatitudes, said the following.

Matthew 5:3-12King James Version (KJV)

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

My goals for this year mean that I want to become like those Jesus was speaking about: poor in spirit, comforted in mourning, meek, merciful, pure in heart, a peacemaker, and even persecuted for His sake.

If I were to choose a guiding word that I think is prophetic for America for the coming year, I would probably say chaotic. I’m not a doomsayer, and I’m not predicting doom. But I do think that our political climate has become toxic, and that it will sift down through every facet of our lives.

How can it not?

So for Christians, I think we have been called to be light and salt in uncertain times, showing the way by our actions and love, and preserving our land through our prayers.

Will you join me in blessing America this year?

05 Jan

Faithbooking: Scrapbooking My Spiritual Journey

Faithbooking 1/2017

Have you ever tried Faithbooking?

It’s taking your spiritual journey and making scrapbooking or journaling pages about it. My only resolution this year is to let go and let God. So embarking on this new way (for me) of documenting how God is moving in my life is intriguing, to say the least.

This first page shows a picture of my grandchildren (and the boyfriend of my oldest granddaughter) sitting in front of a museum at Christmas time. It’s not all of my grandchildren (I have eleven!), but it’s the ones who were there that day. The picture was taken by my daughter-in-law, who is a fantastic photographer. (We have two photographers in our family, and they are both stupendous. I’m sure I’ll have pictures from my son-in-law during the year, too.)

Matthew 15:13 says: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” That sounds like a great goal for the new year, and I want to embrace it fully.

Deuteronomy 4:9 says, “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.”

That’s a mandate from God, and faithbooking is a great way to obey the commandment. Keeping my faith journey alive for my grandkids is very important to me, and I am looking forward to really getting down with the whole idea.

Sometimes I’ll do it digitally, as I’ve done with this first page. Then I’ll print it out and put it in a scrapbook. And then sometimes I’ll do it traditionally, with paper, embellishments and ink. Perhaps some of the layouts will be “tradigital,” a combination of the two.

I’d love for you to come along on my journey, and for you to share yours with me!

How do you document your faith?

05 Aug

What is the Gospel?

1275-12433873098dvk

YOU’VE PROBABLY MET PEOPLE who have told you about Jesus Christ, haven’t you? They may have said that Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship. They may have told you that you can have that relationship by saying a simple prayer. But that’s not the Gospel.

People have received many benefits of Christian life in this country, including peace and the ability to gather freely at places of worship, whether that is in a church building, a storefront, or a home. But that’s not the Gospel, either.

Christian fellowship may include teaching, praying, and eating together. Sharing the Lord’s Supper together is a wonderful way to fellowship. But it’s not the Gospel.

Here’s the Gospel. God is holy and righteous. I am not (neither are you). One day you will die and face the Lord God Himself. You will be judged, either on your own righteousness or that of someone else. Our righteousness is as filthy rags, says the Bible. So God caused His Son to walk through this world and live a sinless, righteous life. Then, to pay for all the sins I’ve committed (and you, too), He allowed His Son to be crucified and become the sacrificial lamb to pay for those sins. Then He raised Him from the dead. His death has purchased my freedom and given me His righteousness in place of my own (yours, too).

Now when I stand before God, I will be able to claim Jesus’ righteousness as my own (you can, too) and because of what He’s already done, I will be welcomed into God’s kingdom.

If you understand and believe that, then a simple prayer will, indeed, make you a Christian and guarantee your entrance into heaven. That’s called faith. The Bible says we must come to Him in faith, and His grace will do the rest.

Are you ready to believe? Jesus will save you. And that’s the Gospel truth.

05 Jan

Two New Printable Posters for the New Year

fall-flysoshedidI LOVE making printable posters. My craft room walls are covered in posters I’ve made and today I have two new printable posters for you. Print them out on 11×17  (17 x 11 for so she did) or reduce them to 8-1/2 x 11  (11 x 8.5 for so she did) for a more compact size.

These two memes are ones that I’ve always cherished, because I grew up with a mother who had these as her mottos. She instilled in me the belief that I could do anything I wanted to do, and all I had to do was act on that belief. And you know what? She was right! I’ve accomplished everything I set my mind to accomplish, and I’m far from through now. 2016 looks like a year in which I’ll be doing everything I set my mind to, also. So can you! Believe you can and you’re halfway there.

Click on the image to download.