Prayers To Pray For Your Community

Do you sometimes leave church and think to yourself, “How am I going to make a difference for Christ? I can’t fly to another country and love on orphans.”

Have you attended a local town meeting and said to yourself, “What use am I? I’m just a woman who works at a bank.”

Have you sat through a PTA meeting at your kid’s school and thought, “I can’t sew. I’m not crafty.”

Do you watch the evening news and think, “So sad all this violence. So disappointing all this scandal and corruption.”

Maybe you’ve left the voting poll and thought, “What influence do I have? I’m just one vote.”

You are certainly not alone. 

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Prayers You Should Be Praying for Your Family in 2018

Praying is one of the most important things we can do for our family.

Let's be real. 

No family is perfect.

But, you know one thing I can 100% guarantee? Prayer WILL help.

Does that mean your situation will be magically fixed? 

No. 

What it means is that in the process of praying, you increase your faith and surrender the fight to Jesus.

Here are 5 Biblical truths about home and family you can pray for today:

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When the Bible is Hard to Understand- How to Power Through

When the Bible is Hard to Understand- How to Power Through

The microwave has ruined us. 

Seriously.

I’m showing a little of my age right now, but stay with me.

When my mom was growing up, they didn’t have electricity. My grandmother, with seven children, washed the laundry over a wash basin. And, she cooked. From scratch.

By the time I was a kid, from scratch cooking wasn’t really a ‘thing.’ The microwave cooked waaaaaaaay faster and was waaaaaaay easier. 

That line of thinking, faster and easier, permeated the thought process of society. And it has done nothing but gotten worse.

If a website doesn’t load in less than two seconds, it’s considered slow.

Raise your hand if you’ve clicked on a link, and when it didn’t open instantly, you clicked away and were off to the next one.

Raising my hand.

We’re all guilty. 

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Quit Saying You Don't Have Time to Read the Bible

Quit Saying You Don't Have Time to Read the Bible

Can we be real for a moment?

Like, for real, real?

You know as well as I do we make time for the things we want to make time for. End of story.

When we’re not reading the Bible and spending time with God, it’s a symptom of a larger problem.

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How Can you Trust God If You Don’t Really Know Him?

How Can you Trust God If You Don’t Really Know Him?

A friend of mine and I went out to eat at a quirky, local, hole-in-the-wall restaurant. The tables bore the marks of years of use, and the booths were cramped and had holes in the vinyl. Basically, it's our favorite place to eat.

During dinner, my friend and I did what this friend and I always do, laugh way too loud and delve into all things Jesus. Not the surface-level, platitudes, but the deep. The messy. The ugly.

We talked about trusting God not just with the small things, but with the big things.

Our talk led me back to the night of the car wreck when I was standing on the side of the road, and Office Pirtle told me there were no survivors. 

That was the moment my husband, five and a half-year-old daughter and 19-day old son died.

It took me back to the instant where life as I knew it was never the same. 

It was the marker in my life of Before and After.

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Online Bible Study Tools That Will Help You Understand the Bible Like Never Before

Online Bible Study Tools That Will Help You Understand the Bible Like Never Before

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, if you wanted to study the Bible, you had to have a library full of commentaries, Bible dictionaries, and a good old Nave’s Topical study Bible.

When I began a serious study of the Bible, I spent the hundreds of dollars to order the necessary resources. 

When the books arrived, I was excited to dive into them. While they are amazing, they’re bulky and require a concerted effort to use.

Since that time, a plethora of Bible resources are now available online and for free. 

Despite having shelves full of resources, I find myself using these resources the majority of the time. 

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Context 101- Your Comprehensive Guide to Better Understanding Scripture

Context 101- Your Comprehensive Guide to Better Understanding Scripture

If you’ve been around our blog before, you probably already know I have a passion for reading the Bible. There’s nothing more transformative than being in God’s Word. 

That certainly wasn’t always the case. 

For the longest time, I would read and not understand a single thing I had just read. To say I was frustrated was an understatement. 

Maybe that’s where you are today. 

You want to read the Bible and grow in your faith, but you’re overwhelmed with life, and the last thing you want to do is add another thing to your to-do list. Especially something that leaves you feeling dumb.

The Bible is simple, but it isn’t easy. 

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The Power of our Words- 3 Ways to Control Your Tongue

The Power of our Words- 3 Ways to Control Your Tongue

Words have power.

Here are 3 ways to control your tongue so that you use your words for good.Ever scroll through Facebook and just get tired? Tired of the negativity? Tired of the fighting?

Ever think, why in the world are they posting that?!

Yeah, me too.

So much so I took my question to the Lord. Not to search for the “why” people post what they post, but more so how to make sure I don’t.

My seeking led to Proverbs.

Do words in verses ever jump out at you? 

Like when you're reading a passage of Scripture or a book of the Bible, and a similar idea keeps coming up over and over and over again?

Throughout Proverbs, while there are NUMEROUS themes and ideas, God spoke to me about the tongue. (And maybe added a little reproof and correction in for good measure.)

The Bible gives us a wealth of wisdom regarding our tongue.

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He Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone- But What Does That Really Mean?

He Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone- But What Does That Really Mean?

Christians and non-Christians alike frequently refer to this passage. Dare I say it is one of the most commonly misused and misapplied verses today?

Let's take a look at John 8:1-11

What is this passage really teaching us? What truth are we to learn?

"but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.  When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

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Worship- What does it look like in real life?

Worship- What does it look like in real life?

Worship.

We hear lots about it, but what does worship look like in real, everyday life?

I've been reading A.W. Tozer's Pursuit of God, and so far it's been incredible. In my research of Tozer, I've learned that he spent the majority of his day worshipping God. He spent copious amounts of time in solitude so that he could hear the voice of God. His life was one of worship.

It got me thinking... what does worship look like in real life?

Psalm 100

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

Here are 11 Ways to Worship in Real Life

1. Worship is all about God

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him." Psalm 28:7

Worship is so much more than singing songs on Sunday morning. It's a spirit of focusing on the goodness of God each and every day and responding to His call.

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Prayers You Should be Praying in 2018- Part 2: Growing in Christ

Prayers You Should be Praying in 2018- Part 2: Growing in Christ

Now let’s suppose you’ve been walking with the Lord for quite a while, and it’s time to GROW in Christ. 

You’re ready to go to the next level, ready to go deeper, to enrich your relationship with the Lord.

GROWING in Christ means positioning yourself for God to use you. Making yourself available. Allowing yourself to be a vessel for kingdom work. And, again, the best way to do this is through prayer.

Here are 8 biblical principles a soldier of Christ prays for: 

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Prayers You Should Be Praying in 2018- Part 1: Knowing Christ

Prayers You Should Be Praying in 2018- Part 1: Knowing Christ

Let’s suppose you’re new to the Christian walk, and you’ve decided that 2018 is your year to KNOW Christ.

What’s that going to look like? Let me help.
 
KNOWING Christ means positioning yourself to hear Him and to see Him. The best way to do this is through prayer.   

So what will you pray for? Again, let me help. 

Giving your life to Christ indicates your desire to be made new. The condition of your heart likely needs refining, and your mind needs training. 

Here are 7 Biblical truths every Christian needs to be praying about: 

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A Brand New Bible Study Method + a Free Printable

A Brand New Bible Study Method + a Free Printable

Have you attempted Bible study before, and thought, “where in the world do I start??”

Do you find your mind wandering as you read through the verses? 

Do you secretly wonder if you're reading your Bible to check it off your list?

Does the thought of reading the Bible without a book to guide you make you a little nervous?

You’re not alone!

What if I introduced you to a method of study that helped you stay focused, fit in your schedule, and showed you how to dig into the Scriptures?

Would you give it a shot?

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10 Bible Journaling Myths- and How to Overcome Them

10 Bible Journaling Myths- and How to Overcome Them

Sometimes we will tell ourselves anything to keep us from starting something new or out of our wheelhouse. 

If you have been wanting to start Bible journaling, but have been nervous about it, here are 10 things you might be telling yourself…but they are totally not true!

1. I have to be artistic  

You don’t have to be a great painter, draw well, or even write pretty to Bible journal. If those things make you uncomfortable, you can use stamps, stickers, die cuts and anything else you can find at your local craft store that you think would look good! I have a blog post about Bible journaling supplies you can use when you don’t feel artistic. 

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The Secret to Taking Better Pictures of your Bible Journaling Pages

The Secret to Taking Better Pictures of your Bible Journaling Pages

If you have looked at images of other people’s bible journaling pages on Pinterest or Instagram, you might have found yourself wondering how some people get such professional looking pictures of their pages.

I do happen to be a professional photographer, but I never use my actual camera or any special lights or tools to take my pictures.

I’ll bet that 99% of the images that you see of Bible journaling pages are taken the same way.

The secret is easy, simple and most importantly, it’s free:

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6 Reasons Why You Should Love Instagram

6 Reasons Why You Should Love Instagram

I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that I spend a lot of time on Instagram. I love it there! 

Today I want to tell you a few reasons why I love it because the reasons might just be something you’re seeking right now.

1. It’s simple

All you need is an account and a phone capable of using apps. To set up your Instagram account, download the app from the app store, and use your email to sign up. Super easy!

If you’re new to Instagram, you might be a little apprehensive, but it really is pretty simple. Just give it a chance! You post a picture. The end. You can choose to add captions and hashtags if you want to (I’ll tell you later why you want to). But that’s all it is. It’s a platform to share images that mean something to you.

2. There’s community.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with hashtags, but on Instagram, you can bundle your images into categories. These categories are communities, sort of like your neighborhood!

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7 Tips to Improve Your Coloring Technique

7 Tips to Improve Your Coloring Technique

Hey gang! 

Hopefully, by now you have a copy of my coloring book, and you’re diving right in!

Or maybe your copy is laying on your desk, crisp and untouched because you’re a little overwhelmed. 

Today I want to give you a few tips to make you feel more confident when you start coloring your first page, or maybe you’re just looking for some tips to take your artwork to the next level!

1. Practice. 

As with anything in life, unfortunately, we have to practice at them to get to where we want to be. If you’re not happy with the way your pages are looking, just keep trying! Relax. Smile. :)

2. Color in one direction. 

Be sure to color in the same direction so you can’t see your pencil lines. When you color in the same direction, your picture will look more consistent, and your lead will blend together easier.

3. Don’t push too hard. 

Instead of pushing hard when you first pass over the spot you want to color, build your color up. This way you will be able to blend your colors better, and you can add shading easier. If you want something darker, just go back over it. This will also help you keep from breaking your pencils or ruining your marker tips.

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How to Choose a Journaling Bible: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Choose a Journaling Bible: A Comprehensive Guide

Today I wanted to address something that I didn’t really have to think about when I started Bible journaling — how to choose which journaling Bible is right for you. 

When I started Bible journaling, pretty much the only option that you had was an ESV journaling Bible from Crossway. To make your decision you just needed to decide if you wanted single or double column and which cover you liked best. Since then, they’ve come out with lots of different translations and styles and they just keep coming!

The Crossway ESV journaling Bible is my favorite, but I wanted to give you guys some examples of the many journaling Bibles that there are to choose from now. 

Keep in mind that this list isn’t exhaustive, but it does include many of the most popular styles and translations. I want to try and make this post informative and helpful without being overwhelming.

I’m going to break this post into two sections. Bible Translations and Bible Styles.

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7 Reasons Why You Should Be Coloring

7 Reasons Why You Should Be Coloring

In the last few years adult coloring books have become extremely popular. You can find them pretty much anywhere in almost any theme you can think of. 

But why? 

Why would anyone want to sit down and color in a coloring book? Especially a grown adult?

If you ask me, I think the reason might be because life is rough. 

Guys, it’s challenging sometimes being an adult, and it’s nice to just sit down and refocus!

As adults, we face multiple things daily that stress us out and make us feel overwhelmed, and sometimes it’s really hard to find a way to unwind that is healthy and constructive. 

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