In Deed and Truth

 

1 John 3:18 (KJV)
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

 

It all starts with me….we need to have this experience on a personal level; it sparks a fire in us and our passion must be poured out onto others until it become a raging inferno for Christ. Soon together we are changing lives, churches, communities, cities…..

 

 

 

 

Says Matthew Henry’s commentary:

“Compliments and flatteries become not Christians; but the sincere expressions of sacred affection, and the services or labours of love, do. Then, this love will evince our sincerity in religion, and give us hope towards God: And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him, 1 John 3:19. It is a great happiness to be assured of our integrity in religion. Those that are so assured may have holy boldness or confidence towards God; they may appeal to him from the censures and condemnation of the world. The way to arrive at the knowledge of our own truth and uprightness in Christianity, and to secure our inward peace, is to abound in love and in the works of love towards the Christian brethren.”

 

Here it is again. I keep seeing it.  It keeps reminding me. We need to be intentional in our LOVE for others. Our ACTIONS should speak louder than our words. We simply cannot pick and choose who we will love or when we shall love – it should show at all times.  Whether we feel like it or not; whether we like someone or not.  When we truly LOVE the way Jesus loves… we will let go of our own selfish desires. We will love at all cost!s This is the love Christ has for us – a pure, never-ending, sacrificial love!
I admit it, I don’t love at all times. I am tired, I am frustrated with my kids, I am just having a bad day …. And I just don’t feel like loving ‘some’ folks. But how would it be, if He had chosen that day, to not show His love for me? Or for you? What if He was as fair weathered in His love, as so many of us can be?

 

I’m so very thankful that  Jesus loves me ‘all the time’! (and in my third trimester right now I am sure I am more difficult to love, more often than not)

I need to be more like Him. He laid down His life for me when I was pretty darn unloveable …. It makes me wonder, that one person who I see as so unloveable, intolerable…. would I lay down my life for them?

 

My prayer today, my prayer for each day, should be (shall be) that people see and feel His love from me. May I never forget the love He has for me, His willingness to give it all – to give His life as He did, for me, even as I did not love Him.  May all that I have and all that I am, be a dedication to Him ~ May there be not one thing that I seek to hold back from being His hands and feet and mouth – Where there is a need, let me be willing and eager to share all that I am, all that I have, to further His Kingdom and show the love that He has for every one of us.

 

 

Wanna Be a Trim Healthy Mama

Have you heard of Trim Healthy Mama ? I have heard all kinds of things; the name has been buzzing about online and offline for some time now. And I was “blessed” enough to be given a copy of this book recently so ….  Since we need, as a family, a better way of eating, I figure, why not give this one a try?

So how does this work, you must be wondering, as was I when it all began (last week! haha)

In a nutshell, Trim Healthy Mama is about changing when you eat, and what you eat together.  The daily meals are broken down into 2 general types, energizing meals (plenty of carbs) and Satisfying meals (healthy fats). The rule goes like this:  you don’t want to eat a lot of fats and carbs in the same meal; wait three hours between meals when you are switching from one meal type to the other.

So I still get to eat cheese, use butter, and all sorts of other good fats… Just not on bread, or pasta. (this is a bit tough I admit – love bread and butter since I love to make it at home)

Salivating just thinking about a fresh warm loaf of bread with melted butter smothered all over it….

It is also recommended to avoid – White sugar, white flour, potatoes, regular pastas.

We recently have begun using coconut and almond flour; I have a new box of coconut sugar I am going to try out too.

To keep it simple, so you are not as overwhelmed as I am as I read, we simplify these into three things:

  • Don’t eat fats with carbs (but you can eat good fats, and whole grain carbs, just keep them separate)
  • Avoid whites
  • Choose foods with very low/no sugar content (huge bonus in my eyes – for the kids)

    Want to know what really inspired me to do this?  Here it is; one simple paragraph :-)

 

“Like the Hebrew children of Israel wandering around in the wilderness, we ran around in circles looking for answers. Finally, a very drawn out “finally,” the biblical approach hit us in the face and everything swung into place. The Bible clearly outlines what we should eat. Science and historical context infallibly back up the Scriptures. Why were we blind to biblical simplicity , spending our time frantically searching for the next “guru” to give us wisdom on what to eat, when God had already told us the truth in simple terms? God has given us all the food groups and He wants each one to be enjoyed in a balanced way. Every gift God gives is good. Why would we shun any of his gifts? Why would we dismiss their value with a “ we know best” attitude? As we came to this understanding, the pieces of the missing puzzle came together . Even little nuggets of truth extracted from all the conflicting diet books we had read lined up in agreement. We noticed recurrent themes that finally fit together. We could now take the good from all the extreme dietary journeys we had traveled and shed the nonsense. Balance at last! And what happened to our weight? All the constant angst and effort we’d previously poured into staying in our skinny jeans was no longer needed. Trim naturally happened. Health naturally flourished. ”

 

It just makes sense. I mean, our Creator, He is the one who knows us best. He created us and made sure that all we truly needed was there for us.  So why have we made things so complicated?  Sometimes I think progress, is really not progress at all. As a child of His, my body being His temple, is it not good to be in obedience to Him, especially when it comes to how I care for my body? Surely I can better serve and hear my Lord when all is well. :-)

So here we go ….. stay tuned for more…..

Are you Still Here?

Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

 

Go . .  – – you may not believe it but I really am a fairly quiet and shy person.  I stumble over words when I first meet people; I dreaad meeting people by the way and large groups gathered together? Major anxiety!?!? But Jesus commands me to GO. But where shall I go – all nations? I don’t think we can afford that :P  I was oncce a “world traveller” but what He means, it is so much more – this is different. He commands us to go “to all peoples everywhere” There are no excuses. My community, my next door neighbor, my shopping market, mit’s wherever I go. Do I hear the command or do I have my hands over my ears? (like my son when he doesn’t want to listen, singing, la-la-la-la)

Make disciples . . . – – this requires us to open our mouths, to move out feet.  Are we not told to preach with boldness?  Time is short I do believe. Whe are not promised tomorrow; we must live each day as though it is our last. Be watching and ready for His return.  Because He could come at any time.  Really! Perhaps its time to start a new relationship; what about those we have? Have we been bold enough to share, to ask, “Do you know there is One who loves you, who died and rose for you?”

It reminds me of a clip I heard on the Prophecy News, he said: “Who do you love so much you are willing to risk losing them, that you may save them?”

 

Baptize . . .  – – this is powerful; it is key in the plan of salvation “But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God” 2 Corin. 6:4. We are all ministers; we are all ambassadors of His message of salvation. We must share the value and the need for us to be born again. Of the water. In Jesus name.  Without baptism we are not clean but with it, we have been washed and we are whiter than snow.
Teaching . . .  – – scary stuff.  We really have to get our hands dirty here.  They may not agree. Perhaps we have to unteach so that we can teach truth. We need to share, His word, not our own opinions and thoughts – pointing them to the Word, to God. To observe (obey) all things that have ben commanded you. To obey is better than to sacrifice . . . . show them love, and mercy…..follow Jesus with me.

 

Go – Make disciples – Baptize – Teach . . . . overwhelming?  Perhaps….remembering when we are weak He is strong.  It is then, when we are broken, that He moves and works in us – we are anointed vessels for the Lord … May He use us – may we (I) be willing and able to walk in the Spirit, to be still and wait…..to hear and obey…. He will send them, if we are willing…. Use me Lord….

 

JESUS IS WITH ME . . . He’s always with me, I am never alone; He declares, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” His will not mine. He said I can do this. I must show my faith in my actions; I must live it and step out in it.  I believe every Word that is His. I will obey always, without question. For His ways are higher and greater…Be alert…. See every opportunity He places before me… Be bold…..Open my mouth….Move my feet…..

 

 

 

“Go and make disciples.” It may be peanut butter and jelly at home with the children; sweeping and dusting and cooking for the family (this IS powerful service!) it may be exciting, travelling overseas, always meeting and teaching, going new places, fast and furious work for the Lord (we all want this right?) yet the assignment God has for every one of us— are we living a life that IS an act of worship to Him? —  it can overwhelm us or bore us.  We have to trust in Him; we have to see the miracles in the mundane :-)  They are there.

 

 

And the promise of His presence?  It is His promise forever.  He will not ever change His mind. He will not forsake us.  <3

 

Go and Do

Luke 10:36-37 (KJV)
Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

 

I had go back when I read these verses. I needed to be reminded of the whole story. It’s important to notice the laywer’s question, and his reason for asking it. In verse 29 it says: “But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?” He wanted to be able to confirm this; as if it were something to tick off a list of deeds done for the day.

 

But Jesus turns the question around and asks one Himself instead.  The command to love your neighbour doesn’t ask us to pin down exactly who our neighbour is. We cannot simply make a list of names here; the woman at the drugstore, the jogger that goes by my house each morning, my literal neighbor, or the lady at the checkout whp always comments on my children’s “lovely singing”. This command is all about our hearts. In Luke 16:15, Jesus says to the Pharisees, “Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”

 

It reminds me of a sermon I was listening to yesterday that spoke to Three Things Better Than Sacrifice: obedience, love, mercy. These are so much better :-)
We need to be careful that we do not let our fire go out, we cannot lose our love for Christ and His word. We must never let our attitude, or deeds become a list of accomplishments to hold up before God each day so that we can say: “I did it!” Even our best of works will not be perfect enough to justify us before God. May we always be in His will, doing the work that He has for us.  Thanks be to God who creates in me a desire and a love for His creation.

 

Let us say each day: “Lord, for the future of the church, for the future of the gospel, for Your way, and also for my own life, I offer myself without condition, without reservation, into Your hands. Lord, I delight to offer myself to You and am willing to let You have Your full way through me.”

 

 

 

Just Give!

Matthew 25:35 (KJV):  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

“Are good works necessary for eternal life?” (25:35-36)


“Jesus did not teach that good deeds form the basis of our salvation. The Bible shows clearly that eternal life results from what God does, not what we do (Titus 3:4-5). We are saved by God’s grace, not by our works. Yet, God intends that those who receive his grace will also do good works (Eph. 2:8-10). True faith is more than just claiming to have faith; there is fruit that can be seen when we have true faith. Others shall know us by what we do. Genuine love for God will be expressed through service to others (1 John 3:16-18)–simply because a heart that truly loves God will be so filled with compassion for others, we will not be able to do anything but what He would do Himself. Jesus set the example for us to follow; he came to heal those in need. Good works that come from people grateful for God’s grace are at the heart of true religion (James 1:27).”

 

These are some truly challenging verses to pray over and meditate upon.  These actions, they are what show the true state of our hearts.  These are meant to challenge that we would reach out, show mercy, love, seek opportunities to preach His word, to those in need, more and more. Again we are shown how important it is to serve, for just as He came not to be served but to serve, so have we been called to serve.  It’s not about us but about the body of Christ; the community where He has placed us.  We are missionaries in our own homes and neighborhoods.  We must reach out; we must be still that we can hear and see where God is calling us to go, and to speak, to love and to heal. In His name and for His glory. 

 

We must be willing to step outside of our comfort zone and be “welcoming” to “strangers”.  We are here to meet the needs of those who are “the least of these” — the undesireables (when I was still a social worker my caseload was always jokingly referred to by that name – the ones no one else really wanted or hoped for).   We cannot turn a blind eye; we are called to love as Christ would love them. He never tells us to “play it safe” or  simply “take care of your own.” Rather again and again, He says, “When you love the outcast, you are are loving me.”  

 

When we are still, we are so much more aware of our surroundings. One lady wrote how this brought to mind the title of a book – The Geranium on the Windowsill Just Died, but Teacher You Went Right On.  In other words, we can be so busy we don’t notice other things around us. Are we too focused on the flowers that have died? Do we see those opportunities and needs which cross our path? 

What could happen if we really could “be still”? It makes me think of snipers – in order to make an accurate shot, they must shoot in between their own heartbeats. To do that, they have to be able to hear their heartbeat.  A study was done to show what happens when people are placed in a completely sound-proof, darkened room. When placed in complete stillness, people can hear their heartbeats, and air passing through their lungs. Can you imagine that? I can barely hear myeslf think some days. 

Imagine if we could be that still with God, what could we, would we, accomplish? Would we miss those dried up, dead flowers? What “urgent” thing could fade away as we focus on Him and His kingdom ~  What would we see that REALLY matters? 

Shine that Light

Matthew 5:14, 16 (KJV)
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid….Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 

We cannot hide this light within. We cannot try to dim it either. We have been so very blessed to be called, to be chosen, by God, to be His vessels. We cannot hide what God has done in our lives.  We must tell everyone; testify to His goodness and mercy and love. Do not try to hide the reason for the hope in us, the power that we have that causes us to not just show but desire to show compassion, mercy, peace, joy and love.  This is the that very light which God uses to draw people to Himself.

What good is salt if it’s left on a shelf and never used? What good does it do to have a candle that remains hidden? 

 

Did you know that salt has been used in several cultures throughout time as a valuable commodity?  In fact, our english word ‘salary’ originates from an ancient word used in reference to the Roman solider’s salt purchase allowance or “salt-money.” It is also sprinkled throughout the Old Testament as a legally binding agreement and the Law commands it to be used always in meat offerings. Salt enhances flavor, but it goes on to say that it slows decay ONLY if the salt itself stays pure. So sodium chloride never actually loses its saltiness, but it CAN lose its effectiveness when diluted.

Consider, if we are the salt, that means we are a: Valuable Commodity…Legally Binding Agreements…Enhances Flavor…Slows Decay

Jesus sees me as a precious (you too!)…a valuable commodity. Oh how He loves me <3

I am His workmanship created for His good works. (Rom 1:7; Eph. 2:4, 10; Col 3:12; 1 Thess 1:4) I have been born again for the water and of the Spirit, thus I have put off the old man and out on the new.   I have a new heart that is as His is; no longer is the stony heart within me.  I am a new creature; an heir – I am firmly rooted, built up, established in my faith. 

As a Christian, my walk…my life should not be hidden. It should be lived out in all that I do. It should be as the city on a hill. Am I (are we) a beacon of light to those seeking shelter? Do we enhance the flavor, slow the decay, and have a preserving influence in our community…our world?  Or have we lost our flavor? 

 

In Freedom’s Cause ~ A Schoolhouse Review

One of my favorite companies I was so blessed to have been a part of reviewing last year through the Schoolhouse Review Crew was Heirloom Audio Productions.  In fact, we were so impressed with their audiodrama of G.A. Henty’s Under Drake’s Flag there was such annticipation, waiting to see if we would be blessed again.  Sure enough, here we are with their newest audiodrama, even better than the first.

We received In Freedom’s Cause Single Package.  This includes a physical CD of In Freedom’s Cause and digital downloads of their study guide, the audio soundtrack, and a printable copy of William Wallace’s prayer. We were also blessed with access to some great bonuses that come with other packages that are available.  Our favorite was Behind the Scenes of In Freedom’s Cause; my oldest loved being able to see the actors in the recording studio and was in awe of the process of creating this production!  For my younger son it simply made the story even more real! And I myself loved having the In Freedom’s Cause Soundtrack containing all of the original music by Emmy-winning composer John Campbell. (John also composed the original score for C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia).  It’s amazing – trust me.

If you have never heard of Heirloom Audio Productions you simply must check them out!  This is an amazing company with a passion for making history come to life.  Even more this is a resource that is so valuable for teaching Biblical values.  Throughout the story are examples of what it means to walk in faith and trust God. We see the value of freedom and the  This is so much more than just history; this is about building character and faith.  Learning about true heroes, and the sacrifices they made as they served their God. It is refreshing and inspiring to share stories like these with my children.

In Freedom's Cause Audio CD Review

In case you don’t know, in this family we are HUGE history fans. And we love the works of G.A. Henty so when we see something like this, it realy gets us excited. If you are not familiar with the story, let me give you a brief summary:

In Freedom’s Cause is the story of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce; this is a tale of their fight for Scotland’s independance.  The story begins in the present day with Ned and Gerald who meet with an older friend,Mr. George, and while visiting his study they find an amazing number of historical artifacts. Mr. George begins telling them about the claymore, and William Wallace, casting them in the very story he tells. As the story goes on and Ned learns more about his father, he begins to take up his father’s cause against their English oppressors, as his own.  He begins to learn sword fighting (my boys hads a blast re-enacting this with swords they made out of legos), and as tine goes by he meets young Scottish revolutionary, William Wallace.  It gets quite exciting from here (my boys listened to this part again and again…).  As the men of Scotland begin to band together, we see how a common cause brings about a greater purpose.  We see the development of brotherhood, loyalty and love as well as the ongoing battle for freedom. Ultimately this tale follows the fight for Scottish independence from England, through Bruce’s victory against the English and Scotland’s entrance into a time of independent rule.

 

In Freedom’s Cause provides lots of great opportunities for learning for all ages too!  The In Freedom’s Cause eStudy Guide and Discussion Starter is a 49-page document that helps you to use this recording to go deeper, into the story and the many lessons within it (this is available as a download included in the CD packaging).  It offers suggestions for walking younger children through the story or helping older children complete related written assignments. There are 37 lessons provided, covering different segments of the story.  And each lesson contains three pieces.

 

  • Listening Well (narrating what happened in the story)
  • Thinking Further (encourages further research, goes deeper into certain aspects and events)
  • Vocabulary (define these words from the story)

There are also some great Bible study materials included here to help identify and better understand those concepts that are a part of this tale. And history – to help us better understand the context of the story itself, in Scotland, at that time. Plus a list of suggested reading materials.   As an avid bookworm, my heart always skips a beat when I see a list like this!  :P

 

Yet again the quality of this production was so much more than I can express with any words; from a full symphonic score to actors and sound effects.  Some of the actors were: Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings), Joanne Froggatt (Downtown Abbey), and Skandar Keynes (Chronicles of Narnia). While I was not familiar with any of these names myself, I am now, and was quite pleased with their performance. Plus, this is great for super cold winters (such as ours here in Wisconsin) and long car rides too (my oldest travelled to Missouri for a Bible Quiz tournament and something like this really helps make the journey go by).  I cannot speak enough to how wonderful this is; how it inspireds curiosity in children of all ages. In fact mine are listening to this again right now as I write this.

 

You can follow In Freedom’s Cause:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InFreedomsCause

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Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jointhecause

In Freedom's Cause Review

Coming Soon From Heirloom Audio!

With Lee In VirginiaWe truly enjoyed Under Drake’s Flag and In Freedom’s Cause; that said we are really looking forward to the next great tale in line:With Lee in Virginia, be released around Memorial Day 2015.

Stay up-to-date on this new release by following here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WithLeeInVirginia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeeAudioDrama

Google+:https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/114534826166314080647/114534826166314080647

 

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