Sunday, May 27, 2018

June Scripture Writing Plan: God is SOVEREIGN

Happy almost June friends!

The scripture writing plan this month is over the wonderful fact that GOD IS SOVEREIGN!

God is sovereign. 

Sovereign is defined as:
  1. a monarch; a king, queen, or other supreme ruler.
  2. a person who has supreme power or authority.
  3. a group or body of persons or a state having sovereign authority.

There is no limit to God's rule. He is the boss. 
He is sovereign over the whole universe & absolutely everyone & everything in it. 

He is never frustrated, helpless, or lost. 
He is the ultimate source of all power, authority, and everything that exists. 

He is without equal. 
He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. 
He is not limited in any way at all. 
He has no beginning and no end. 
He is in control. 

His sovereignty means that there isn't anything that will ever enter your life that God does not either cause or allow. And NOTHING will ever enter your life that, if you are willing to trust in Him, He cannot work our for your good. 

He is more powerful and more loving than we can ever imagine. 


Let's spend this month focusing on the fact that God is sovereign. 


FYI: I made the plan 31 days and plan to do that with
all topical plans in the future so that they can be done any month-
not just the month I write them for.

TO PRINT: You can find a copy of the plan in English and Spanish in the folder HERE.
{Just a reminder, don't try to print the images below or they will be blurry. Be sure to click the link to download a PDF copy!}


And if you are looking for the old plan for June over Forgiveness, you can find it  HERE
or the one on Who I am in Christ you can find it  HERE



Thursday, May 24, 2018

He is WITH Us

There are times when the tragedy and horrors of this life just seem to be too much and honestly threaten to overwhelm me. My heart literally aches for so many hurting families and friends facing serious illness crisis, death, struggle and pain. When things are good it's so easy to praise the Lord for His goodness. But when things are bad and sad? It can be just plain hard y'all.

My life verse is an interpretation of Daniel 3:18 which is...."& if not, He is still good." It's a reminder that although God doesn't promise to save us from the flames, He has promised to be with us as we walk through the fire. It comes from the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego as they headed into a furnace- facing what could have been a terrible & incredibly painful death. Thankfully, God protected them but they were prepared to be faithful and were actually prepared to die if necessary. It's important to note that God didn't put out the fire they were facing. He just put Jesus in there with them and they came out perfectly fine- without even smoke on them. 
(You can read the awesome story here: https://goo.gl/S6piRg )

My prayer for you and me to today is that we are reminded as we face the fires in our lives (and we WILL face them) that He is with us. He may not stop the fire that we face or the trial that we are going through- but He will be in it with you. We are never alone- He is with us always. And that no matter what....He IS good and faithful and loves us so!

Monday, May 21, 2018

SHINE, Jesus, SHINE


John 12:46 says... "I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness."
My prayer today (and every day) is that God would shine through me. I am called to be a light for Him, regardless of the circumstances going on in my life. I think sometimes we all (I know I do!) make excuses for not being a light for him.
I must remind myself each day that I am called to do so, regardless of...
-how many things are on my to-do list
-how many cranky pants people I encounter
-how many struggles & problems I have currently in my life
-how many things don't go my way today (because things WILL go wrong, we can count on it!)
-how tired, frustrated, or overwhelmed I am
-how many things/people I am worried about right now
My prayer today is that we all shine brightly for Him to everyone we encounter, because He is the ONLY hope we have in this dark world.

Memory Verse: Week 21

I believe that Satan doesn’t want us in God’s word and will use any and every means possible to keep us from the truth and therefore we must be prepared and have a PLAN!

To work on hiding God's word in our hearts, 
this year I'm going to be posting a memory verse for each week
 along with a printable to print out and hang up. 


Here's the verse for week 21:


You can print out the verses in English and Spanish and the complete list in a folder  HERE

     

Friday, May 18, 2018

But God


But God.
Those words are two such powerful words.  
Over 40 times in the Bible are the words, “But God” and almost every single time they are like a giant white flag, pointing us to sit up and pay attention- because what is next is SUPER important.

Psalm 73:26 is one of those verses that I cling to when I am weary and worried and fearful. 
Because my flesh and heart does and will fail (and I know yours does too), 
BUT GOD is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
 GOD is. 
Not this sad, sinful, broken world full of pain and sorrow and sickness and strife. 
God is.

He will sustain us……even when we feel weary.
He will enable us……even when we feel completely incapable.
He will equip us….even when we feel it’s impossible.
He will comfort us….even when our hearts are breaking.

If your flesh and heart are failing today- Trust Him. Lean on Him. Let Him be your strength.

He is faithful.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

He will be our PEACE

Are you weary? Deep, soul weary? Is there something in your life that has your heart physically aching? Something heart breaking that you simply can't understand or fix or make better? Me too. 
As someone who is a person of action- who loves to help and to serve and solve problems- facing a situation in the life of someone I love greatly that I can't? It is hard and painful and heartbreaking. And to be honest I've been greatly struggling with that reality over something in my life.

But I am thankful, oh so thankful, for a heavenly father who meets me in my weariness. 
A father who I can sit at His feet and weep- knowing He hears me and loves me and that although I am weak, He is strong and I can rely on His great strength. I'm thankful that God's strength, not mine, is all powerful and that in moments of despair and weariness, I can lift my prayers to Him- He who is always listening and is fully in control. He promises in His word over and over again that He will be our peace and our strength- always. 

In case you need them this morning, here are a few of those many promises I am clinging to.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30)
"He will be our peace." (Micah 5:5)
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." (Isaiah 40:29)
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. (Psalm 62:5-7)
"I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." (Psalm 121)

Monday, May 14, 2018

I think for most of us prayer about BIG things comes pretty easily. We go to God to pray for those huge concerns and issues we have which is good because God is all knowing, all powerful, all loving- He is a BIG God. He moves and shows himself mighty in the huge things (parting a whole entire Red Sea for one BIG example). But that same, big God also cares about the small things in our lives, even down to the exact numbers of hair on your head. In our little minds and hearts, the BIG and small things are drastically different in significance and importance. But to God- nothing is too large or too small for Him to care about - absolutely NOTHING. Absolutely every person and every single thing matters to Him, no matter how large or how tiny it is to our human minds. 


It's easy to think....God has bigger concerns than my silly problems to deal with, I don't want to bother Him with this trivial issue because He has more important things to do. But that is a lie from Satan. God DOES care about things big and small. He reminds us of this in Philippians 4:6 where it says...."Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." It doesn't say, only the big things. 
It says in EVERY SITUATION. 


So today my prayer is that we are reminded to come to Him about the big things
 (and trusting that He WILL move in them) 
but also to pray for the small things and concerns in our lives. 
Remember, He loves you greatly and you are so important to Him 
He knows the number of hairs on your head!

Memory Verse: Week 20

I believe that Satan doesn’t want us in God’s word and will use any and every means possible to keep us from the truth and therefore we must be prepared and have a PLAN!

To work on hiding God's word in our hearts, 
this year I'm going to be posting a memory verse for each week
 along with a printable to print out and hang up. 


Here's the verse for week 20:


You can print out the verses in English and Spanish and the complete list in a folder  HERE

     


Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Letter to my Sweet Girl on Her College Graduation


Madison,
This won’t surprise you sweet girl, but I’ve started to write this letter many times now and each time I end up in a puddle of tears (one-eyed of course!). As you prepare to graduate from Baylor (how is that even possible? I swear you started Kindergarten just a few days ago!) I could not possibly be prouder of the young woman you have become. From the moment I knew I was pregnant with you (after years of praying for you) you captured my heart! You’ve always known right from wrong guided by Jesus and your eternally positive drive to find the good in people. Watching you grow from an adorable, bouncing and almost always smiling baby girl into a beautiful, confident and caring young woman has blessed me more than you could possibly know. Why God picked me of all the mamas in the world to be yours I’ll never know, but you truly are my greatest earthly blessing.

You have grown and changed in so many ways over the last four years while at Baylor. You choose to leave home to go to a school that you felt God called you to, where you basically knew no one- leaving everyone and everything familiar at home- including all your close, precious friends. I know how hard that was for you, but you handled it so amazingly well- quickly making new friends and building what I have no doubt are life-long friendships as well as jumping into new groups and leadership roles- always with a heart to serve others. You went from often being a follower to finding your voice and becoming a fabulous leader. Watching you flourish and grow into the person you are today has been an incredible honor and joy.
My sweet girl, you have exceeded my biggest hopes and dreams for you. Being your mama has been my favorite job, EVER. I truly can’t imagine life without you and I thank God for His graciousness is allowing me, of all the women in the world, to be YOUR mama. The joy you’ve brought to my life is incredible and such a gift. You always strive to do your very best and you may not know this but by doing so- you challenge others (including your mama) as well.  I could write a giant list all the wonderful things you’ve done and accomplished over your years at Baylor, because I am so very proud of them (Dean’s List, CASA 5K chair, YMT leader, Dallas CASA internship, etc.), but that’s not what I am MOST proud of. What I am most proud of is your character, your love for Jesus, and your gigantic, Texas sized heart.
A few of the MANY, MANY things I love about you are:
  • You are resilient my sweet girl. When something doesn’t go your way and life knocks you down- you get right back up, dust yourself off and try again. I so love your tenacity!
  • You are so, so loyal when it comes to your friends and to your family. And, even when that loyalty isn’t returned, and folks let you down, you are still loyal.
  • You are caring. You pay close attention to those around you– everyone around you, not just the people who you love and see every day. Everyone. You give everyone a fair chance, no matter what others say about them. And sometimes you are disappointed. And yet, you are still caring.
  • You are loving. You love fully and with your whole heart and hold nothing back. You love your friends and your family and all those around you. And once you love, you don’t yield. Your heart is as big as Texas and your love for Jesus and others shines in all that you say and do.
  • You are forgiving. When someone hurts you, you forgive them, even when it’s not easy- because you know that is what God calls us to do. 
  • You are brave, in that you aren’t afraid to try new things- even when you are scared. You don’t shy away from a challenge- even when it seems huge and scary. 
  • You are humble, in that you know that there is so much you don’t know. But you are always, always, always eager to learn.
  • You are funny and FUN and don’t take yourself too seriously. You love to laugh and be goofy and don’t worry about what others will think if you do something silly.
  • You are passionate. From sports to Baylor to children in need- you feel so strongly and deeply. Not only do you feel passionately, you act on those feelings and work to make situations, your community, and the world a better place.
  • You are strong. You know who you are and stand firm in what you know is right, even if you find yourself standing alone. 
  • You are so very thoughtful and kind. When you were little, we used to pray each morning on the way to school to consider others as more important than ourselves and you, sweet girl, live out Philippians 2:3 each and every single day.

 I know that as excited as you are to graduate, you are also fearful about the unknowns ahead. As a girl who loves structure and routine (so like her mama), the unknown IS scary. So, I want to put your mind at ease because my precious girl, YOU ARE READY. College is so much fun and I know that you have absolutely loved your years at Baylor. You have made precious friends, learned tons academically, and had so many fun experiences and adventures- and each of them has played a part in getting your ready for the big world waiting for you out there. You are mature, confident and grounded.You know whose you are and that with Jesus at your side all things ARE possible.

So, my sweet baby girl, in front of you is a big, beautiful world filled with so many people and opportunities and adventures and you ARE READY FOR IT! You ARE ready, and I can’t wait to see the next chapter of your life.

I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck,
Mommy

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

WHAT IS, not WHAT IF

True confessions time...I am a huge WHAT IF girl. I spend way too much time thinking about things that could happen in an effort to prepare myself for the worst case scenario (often what I do when I am not sleeping at night!). I can easily start thinking about something and spiral down into a huge pit of WHAT IF.

Are you a WHAT IF-er?
Do you find yourself thinking....
  • WHAT IF...I don't get that job? 
  • WHAT IF...I lose my job?
  • WHAT IF...this relationship falls apart? 
  • WHAT IF...someone I love dies? 
  • WHAT IF...the medical diagnosis is terminal?
  • WHAT IF...this new business doesn't succeed?
God clearly calls us to focus on WHAT IS, not WHAT IF.
What IF is speculation and allows Satan to get a foothold in our hearts. Dwelling on WHAT IS- the facts laid out in the word of God- is what we are called to do. His TRUTH that is LIVING, ENDURING, and remains FOREVER.

I love the Message version of Matthew 6: 33-34 which says..."Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."

This is a perfect passage to remind us to focus on WHAT IS, not WHAT IF in our lives. God WILL provide what we need. Worry is needless, senseless, useless, faithless, godless, ridiculous and pointless. 1 Peter 1:25 says....But the word of the Lord endures FOREVER! My prayer today is that we are able to focus on WHAT IS, not on WHAT IF!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Memory Verse: Week 19

I believe that Satan doesn’t want us in God’s word and will use any and every means possible to keep us from the truth and therefore we must be prepared and have a PLAN!

To work on hiding God's word in our hearts, 
this year I'm going to be posting a memory verse for each week
 along with a printable to print out and hang up. 


Here's the verse for week 19:

You can print out the verses in English and Spanish and the complete list in a folder  HERE

     

Friday, May 4, 2018

Listen, Hush, Calm down

Social media has made it so easy for folks to speak without thinking. WAY too easy. 
People speak online- saying things they would NEVER say to someone in person. 
I see things every single day online that make me cringe- 
because I know that most of the time, 
the people writing them are speaking from anger and doing so impulsively- 
not stopping to consider the impact, pain it may cause, and the consequences of doing so- 
and definitely not taking the time to consider the other's perspective. 

This passage, written so long ago- speaks with amazing clarity to our world today 
and is something I think we all need to be reminded of:
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. ~ James 1:19-20
Simply put we are to: Listen, Hush, Calm down. 

Ouch. Those verses step all over my toes. 
If you are like me my human reaction is usually the complete opposite of those things
and I have to work really hard to ignore that gut reaction. 

My prayer today is that we can all:
-LISTEN to really understand a person's concern or complaint (not listen to speak, actually listen)
-WAIT until our initial impulse passes, till we pray, till we ask some clarifying questions
-and THEN respond with patience, kindness, graciousness, honesty and clarity