How To Find Your Birth Verse

Do you know what your birth verse is?

I had never heard of such a thing until I saw an article about it online that led me to a website: Find Your Birth Verse

All you have to do is enter in your birth month and day and it brings up a verse from Scripture that corresponds with the day you were born.

August 1st is my birthday and my birth verse is from Romans 8:1

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

I love the message from this book that Paul shares with us.  For those of us who believe in Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord, there is no punishment.  We are not condemned.  We are free and forgiven.  What a beautiful message this is!

While I absolutely love that verse, I decided to search every book of the Bible and look up the eighth chapter and first verse.  I wanted to see if I could find a verse that really resonated with my life and spoke to me.

And I found it….

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.    Joshua 8:1

I have struggled with fear for a majority of my life.  Even though I was raised in a Christian home and have loved and known Jesus my whole life, I don’t remember ever truly praying through my fears and quoting Scripture to help me through it until just a few years ago.  It has been a comfort to me to be able to find peace through fear in the pages of His Word.  This verse from Joshua is spot on for my life and a great reminder that I am not to be afraid.

I decided to take both of these verses, turn them into a printable image, and place where I can be reminded of them each and every day.

Joshua 8:1

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is your birth verse?  Please leave a comment below and share your verse and what it means to you.

4 Ways to Give God the Glory and Not Yourself

gloryHave you ever been tempted to give yourself the glory for something you did, instead of giving God the glory?

Let’s play out a scenario here… You’ve just finished doing something awesome for the Lord.  Maybe it was lead a Bible study at your church, plan an outreach event for your church that brought in many people, or even led a group of people on a mission trip.  Whatever it was, it was a HUGE success!  Everyone is saying what a great job you did.  The pastor makes you stand up in front of everyone while they applaud you. “Great job!  You are awesome!”  Everyone rises to their feet and gives praise to you for a job well done.  And you love it!  You love the attention. You love that people are giving you credit for all the hard work you did.  You deserve it for sure. Doing this thing that God called you to do wasn’t easy.  Thankfully others recognize that and are giving you praise!

What is wrong with this picture?  Some of you may say nothing.  It’s okay to be recognized.  And you are right.  There is nothing wrong with being recognized.  The problem comes when we are taking the credit for what God has done.  The problem is when our hearts are in it for the wrong reasons.  The problem is when we do what God calls us to do for selfish reasons and not for what God wants us to do. The problem is when we boast of what we have done.  It is NOT right to take credit when all the glory needs to go to God.  God gave you some great gifts in order to do the thing which He called you to do.  God is using those gifts for His purposes and not yours.  You are God’s vessel.  You are being used by God to to share His name with others.  God is using you, yes, but for what He wants and NOT for what you want.

So how do I enjoy the praise, thanks, and pats on the back, without losing sight of God?

Here are four ways you can make sure you give God the glory and not yourself:

1.  Pray   Before you do anything, pray A LOT!  Ask for God’s will to be revealed to you. Ask God to give you wisdom in all you do for Him.

2.  Study Scripture   Dive into the Bible and fill yourself with His words.  Let them flow through you.   It will be helpful to know His Word and it will keep you from washing up on the shore, having forgotten all about God in what you are doing.  A great Scripture to memorize to help you with this is Psalm 115:1:

“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and your faithfulness.

3.  Praise God At All Times    In everything you do, thank God.  Thank God for the good things and the bad things in your life.  Everything that happens, God can use to do His will.  Praise God at all times!

4.  Say “Go God!”  A friend of mine says this all the time, especially when she is thanked for doing something.  She says it helps keep her focused on God and what He does through her.  It keeps the emphasis off her and puts it on God, which is exactly where it should be. So the next time you are thanked for something you did for the Lord, just say “Go God!”

God has each of us where we are for a reason.  He has us there to serve HIS purpose.  He wants to do great things through us. However, we must be willing to step out of that spotlight and make sure God shines brightly and not us.  When we learn to do that, God will bless us so much more.

All praise and glory goes to our Lord!

7 Ways Your Family Can Choose to Serve the Lord

serving the LordAs a parent, I strive each day to lead my family in their faith journey and teach them about serving the Lord.  But I’ll be honest….it’s rather difficult.  There are days when I feel like I’m doing a pretty good job and other days when I stink at it.

Yet there is one thing I will not do.

Give up.

I refuse to allow the Enemy to keep me and my family from serving the Lord.  I refuse to stop teaching my kids about Jesus.  I refuse to throw in the towel when life gets hard.  I want my family to serve the Lord.

Here are seven ways I believe that can help my family and your family in serving the Lord:

 1.  Put God First

Joshua 24:15
This sign hangs in my living room as a reminder to our family that we have chosen to serve the Lord.

Parents, first and foremost, must make a conscious decision to put God first in all they do.  They must decide whom they will serve.  Will they serve the world and all its lies and temptations or will they serve the Lord?  I love what Joshua says in Scripture when he is talking to the Israelites:  “Choose this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15).  Joshua made a decision that day for his family.  A decision that affected not only his life but the life of his family.  And what a wise decision that was.  We as parents must do the same thing for our family.  We must choose to serve God and put Him first in our life.

2.  Go to Church    

The church was established by God.  He asks us to come together to serve and worship Him.  I love the church, but I know there are families who struggle with going to church for many different reasons.  No matter what your reason, I believe it all boils down to number one above…putting God first.  When God is first in your family’s life, you will naturally want to worship Him, learn more about Him and gather with other fellow believers at church.

3.  Show Kindness

When we show kindness to others we are serving the Lord.  Kindness can be sprinkled over others through our words or actions.  Teach your children to share encouraging words to their siblings (sometimes that’s easier said than done).  Encourage your children in their school work and sports.  Smile.  Be positive.  Do a random act of kindness for someone else together as a family.  Show kindness because that’s what Jesus did.

4.  Forgive Each Other

It’s so important to seek forgiveness from your family.  Repent to the Lord, apologize to your family members, and then move on.  Don’t be bitter about the past.  Don’t say you’ll forgive but you’ll never forget.  What good is that?  Don’t let the hurt keep you from loving each other.  God forgives us and so we need to forgive one another.  Serve the Lord by showing the forgiveness He gives to other people.

5.  Pray Together

You’ve probably heard the saying, “A family that prays together, stays together.”  Maybe a little cheesy for you, but I firmly believe this to be true.  We must not only be praying to the Lord in our own personal walk with Him, but we need to be praying together as a family:  in the car, at the dinner table, before your child plays in a game, at bedtime, and even at random times during the day.  When a family comes together for prayer, it is powerful.

6.  Have a Family Devotion

Serving the Lord can be done together as a family when you take the time to learn more about God and His Word.  This can be done at any time, but probably the easiest time to do it is at the dinner table.  While you are eating, open your Bible and share your favorite Scripture or even just one of your favorite Bible stories.  You can also buy a family devotion book and read from it.  Just spend time together as a family learning about the Lord.

7.  Do a Service Project

Find ways that your family can serve the Lord by serving others in your community.  Take a Saturday to do yard work for a neighbor, pick up trash in your local park, pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, make no-sew blankets for kids in the hospital, bake cookies for local law enforcement.  Service projects are a hands-on way for your family to serve the Lord.

This month on my blog, I will be going into greater detail about each of these ways your family can choose to serve the Lord.  So be on the lookout for more on these!

What are some ways your family chooses to serve the Lord?

Book Review & Giveaway! Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart

Love Letters from GodDo you need a good book or resource to help teach your young daughter, granddaughter, or niece about the women of the Bible?

I have the perfect book…Love Letters from God:  Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart.  Author Glenys Nellist has written another fabulous book in the Love Letters series (if you have never heard of this series check out Love Letters from God, Little Love Letters from God, and Christmas Love Letters from God).  In this series titled Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart, Glenys beautifully re-tells the story of fourteen different women of the Bible.  Some of the women include Eve, Miriam, Deborah, Mary (mother of Jesus), Martha, Mary Magdalene and others.  Each story includes a Bible verse for your daughter and a lift-the-flap love letter from God in which she can personalize the letter by writing in her own name.

What makes this book a good resource for that special girl in your life?

As a mother of two girls, I want to teach them that God loves everyone, speaks to everyone, and can use anyone to do His will.  I believe it’s important for them to see how God used women from Bible times to do mighty things for Him.  You don’t have to be special, have a lot of money, be important, or even be popular to be seen, known, loved, or used by God.  God loves everyone and can use anyone to accomplish His perfect will.

My 9-year old daughter and I sat down to read this book together.  As we came to every story, she would tell me whether she knew the story or not.  I was surprised to hear that she did not know several of these women.  My initial thought was, “I need to do a better job of broadening the stories we learn from the Bible!”  But then I thought,  “I can use this book to help me teach her about these amazing women from the Bible!”  Our time together reading this book turned into a special moment for me to share with her and teach her about some pretty cool women in the Bible.

I decided to ask her a few questions about the book.  Here are her responses:

Which of these stories was your favorite and why?   I loved the story of Mary the mother of Jesus because I love to hear about the birth of Jesus. 

Which of the Bible verses that are included in the book was your favorite?  I like the verse that was included in the story of Miriam that was from Isaiah 41:13, “I am the Lord your God.  I take hold of your right hand.  I say to you, ‘Do not be afraid.'”

If you could go back in time and visit one of these women from the Bible, who would you visit and why?  I would like to visit Deborah because she was not afraid.  She was very brave.

As I listened to her responses, I could see there was a theme…do not be afraid.  My child was learning there is no reason to fear in this life.  God gave Deborah strength and courage to defeat Sisera and his army.  He also gave Mary faith and courage as she became the mother of Jesus.  God gave my daughter this special Bible verse from Isaiah that showed her when she gets afraid, all she has to do is remember that He holds her hand and whispers peace to calm her fears.  This makes a mama’s heart smile!

I am excited to announce that Zonderkidz is giving away a free copy of this book!  If you would like to enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this blog post. A winner will be announced on Monday, April 24th.

**All entrants must live in the United States.  Zonderkidz cannot ship to P.O. Boxes.  You must have a physical address.

If you would like to learn more about the author, Glenys Nellist, and listen to her story of why she wrote this book, click on this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jnsp-OL-WCs&t=14s

Also…

To read more about this book, you can click on this Amazon link:  https://www.amazon.com/Letters-Bible-Stories-Girls-Heart/dp/0310753287/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

I know that special girl in your life will be blessed by this book and I hope you will grab a copy of it!  Thank you, Glenys, for sharing the Word of God with all children!

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Day Forty: The Promise to Never Fail

“And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one thing has failed of all the good things the Lord your God promised concerning you; all have come to pass for you, not one of them has failed.”     Joshua 23:14

Today marks the end of our 40-day journey through Lent.  What an amazing walk through the promises of God!  Did you realize how many promises God makes with us?  And this is not the end!  I could go on for more than 40 days, too!

I enjoyed these past 40 days because it was a good reminder for me that our God is faithful. I think we all need reminders about this, especially when life gets crazy, or tragedy happens, or even when life is going great.  We all need to be reminded of the promises of God and that He will never fail.

In Joshua 23:14, Joshua is giving his farewell address.  He has faithfully led the Israelites for many, many years.  It all began under the leadership of Moses.  When Moses died, God appointed Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. He definitely had his work cut out for him but he faithfully followed the Lord through it all.

I really like Joshua.  I like his character, his style of leadership, his obedience to God, and how he encouraged others.  But before Joshua leaves this earth, he wants to give the Israelites one more reminder of God.  He tells them to remember that God never fails.  All they needed to do was look back and see how faithful God was at fulfilling all that He promised them.  He rescued them from the land of Egypt.  He provided food and water for them.  He gave them victories in battle against the enemy.  He never left them.  He guided them safely.  He provided excellent leaders to lead them.  And even though the Israelites messed up so many times and even though there were consequences to their actions, God never went back on His promises to them.  He remained faithful, despite their unfaithfulness.  Joshua reminded them that God never failed.

Are you having a difficult time remembering this promise of God to never fail?  Do you feel like God has left you or failed to follow through on His promises to you?  Sweet friends, I pray that your heart has been filled through this 40-day journey through Lent.  I pray these promises of God have revived your heart and helped you remember that God never fails.  God has not abandoned you.  He is present with you now.  And He loves you very much.

One of my favorite signs in my grandparents house when I was a kid was a sign that said “Jesus Never Fails.”  It hung above the door to their kitchen.  Every time I entered that room I was reminded of God’s promise to never fail.  This sign hangs in my mother’s house today and when I go there I love that I can continue to be reminded of this promise.

God never fails.  All you need to do is remember.  Then you will see that He is true to His Word and He loves you very much.

Tomorrow morning is a joyous day for all of us!  We know that Jesus died yesterday, but that tomorrow He will rise again.  Christ the Lord is risen!  Hallelujah!!

Thank you for joining me this Lenten season!  I pray that you will continue to follow my blog and hope that what God writes through me will bring you hope and encouragement in your faith.

Prayer:  Faithful God, thank You for all of Your promises.  Thank You for giving us so much.  Help us to remember Your promises each and every day.  Keep them fresh on our minds so that we will never feel abandoned.  Help us to be faithful to You, too.  We love you, Lord, with all our hearts.    In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal

  1.  What promise from God strikes you the most?
  2.  What promise are you struggling with today?  Pray and ask God to help you see Him.

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Day Thirty-Nine: The Promise to Die

“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”   Matthew 16:21

Today is Good Friday.  It’s a somber day where we focus on the death of Jesus on the cross. We aren’t necessarily thinking about a resurrection.  Our pastor told us this past Sunday that many of us will celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (which we call Palm Sunday), and then we will come back the next Sunday and celebrate His resurrection.  We like to only think of and celebrate the good things that happened to Jesus.  But in doing that, we will forget some of the very important parts to the story of His resurrection.  He told us we do not need to skip over the other events that take place during this week (which is known as Holy Week). We need to remember.

In Matthew 16:21-28, Jesus is explaining to His disciples all that will happen to Him.  First, let me say what a blessing this is to these men.  Jesus is giving them a heads up. There’s going to be no surprises.  Jesus isn’t going to all of a sudden die without any explanation.  No, he’s telling the disciples, his friends, exactly what will happen.

And guess what?

They freaked out!  They didn’t want to hear any of that!

They began to shout and yell and tell Jesus He was crazy (well, not exactly in those words), but they were pretty adamant that this wasn’t going to happen.  Peter was the one who began yelling.  Verse 22 of Matthew 16 says:  “Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’, he said.  ‘This shall never happen to you.'”

Now let’s stop here for just a minute.

Who would ever have the boldness to rebuke the Lord…to His face!  That would be Peter.  I guess Peter was so upset that He basically told Jesus that this wasn’t going to happen.  No way.  Not on his watch. Nobody is going to kill the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.

And what does Jesus have to do?  Rebuke Peter!  He calls Him Satan!  Yikes!

“Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan!  You are a stumbling block to me, you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.'”  Matthew 16:23

I am sure Peter slumped back in his chair after that one…embarrassed, feeling guilty for having gotten so upset about Jesus promising that He would die.  Peter had heart.  He loved Jesus deeply…to the point of blowing up at the mere mention of Jesus dying.  Peter didn’t even want to talk about it.

Aren’t we like Peter?  We like to gloss over Good Friday.  Let’s not even think about or mention His death on the cross.  It’s too sad.  It pains us to even think about it.  It grieves us to know that Jesus willingly gave up His life for us.  I know I am one who does this.  I don’t like thinking about Jesus’ death and how they whipped, beat, and tortured Him.  It breaks my heart.  He didn’t deserve to die.  He did nothing wrong.  No one should have even laid on hand on Him.  His death was not fair!

But friends, Jesus had to die.

He was born on this earth, knowing that He would die to save everyone.  It was part of the plan…from the beginning (John 1:1-5).  We need to be mindful of this day. We need to grieve on this day.  This day plays a huge part in Holy Week.  We don’t need to skip it.  We need to remember it.  Because it’s only then that we can truly be grateful for His death, giving thanks to God for sending His Son to be our sacrifice and allow us to live eternally.

Mark 15:33-34, 37 says, “At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.  And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachtani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?)’…With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.  The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!'”

Wherever you are today at 3:00 pm (Jesus’ time of death), stop what you are doing and remember the death of Jesus.  You could not live in heaven with Him if it were not for the sacrifice He made.

Prayer:  Eternal God, we know it grieved You to see Your Son die this way.  But, we know there was no other way.  Thank You for this sacrifice.  Thank You for loving us so much and sending us Jesus to save us.  Help us to focus on His death today and be reminded of the sacrifice He made.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal

  1. What does Jesus’ death mean to you?
  2. How can you make sure to share the message of Easter with others?

Day Thirty-Eight: The Promise to Be Our Joy

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”   John 15:11

You’re never fully dressed without a smile!

Have you ever heard that before?  If you’re into musicals you would know that this is a song from Annie.  This was one of my favorite musicals as a kid (and still is one of my favorites today).  My grandmother always used to say this phrase to me, too.  She knew how much I loved this musical and she also knew that I always smiled.

I like to think I am a pretty joyful person…although, if you ask my kids they would say I’m not happy all the time!  I’m the type of person who can easily get out of bed in the morning, loves to talk, loves to smile, loves to wake my kids up in that annoying sweet voice. I love being joyful to others and I always wear a smile.  I believe smiles are contagious.  I also believe that a smile can show the love of Jesus to others.  You never know the type of day a person is having and your smile just might be the one thing that gives them joy for that day.

You want to know what the real reason behind my joy is?

Jesus.

I have known Jesus since I was a little girl.  My parents raised me in a Christian home and we went to church every week.  I gave my life to Christ when I was 12 years old.  Since that day I have strived to live a joyful life in Christ.  The more I know about Jesus, the more joyful I become.  Even at 40 years old I am still learning many things about Jesus and who He is.  My joy in the Lord continues to grow deeper and deeper into my heart.

I am reminded of the song I learned as a child called “I’ve Got the Joy Down in My Heart”.  The lyrics say:

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.  Where?

Down in my heart. Where?  Down in my heart.

I’ve the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.  Where?

Down in my heart to stay.

And I’m so happy, so very happy

I have the love of Jesus in my heart.

And I’m so happy, so very happy

I have the love of Jesus in my heart.

We sang this song many times at Sunday school and VBS when I was a child.  I always loved it and now that I have remembered it, I am sure this song will be stuck in my head for days!

In the John passage above, Jesus is in the middle of a discussion with His disciples.  He’s telling them so good stuff about Him.  Deep stuff like…He’s the vine and we are the branches, how we must abide in Him, how we should remain in His love, and how we should keep His commandments.  And then He says this verse from John 15:11:   “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

I wonder if the disciples began smiling and jumping for joy after this deep discussion?  Did they have the love of Jesus in their heart…the type of love that creates a deep joy in Christ?  I know they loved Jesus, but I’m not so sure at this point they truly understood what He was saying.  Would we have reacted the same as the disciples if we lived back then?

I am thankful that I can look in God’s Word and know the true reason of my joy.  I can read stories from His Word and know and understand that everything Jesus was saying was true and that things were going to be okay despite what lie ahead. We have a gift from the Lord…a spoken and written gift that He gave us so that we can read and know that Jesus is our joy.  When we know Jesus as our Savior then our joy is complete.

So if my joy is complete, does that mean I will be joyful all the time?  No.  There will be days where you feel anything but joy.  Days where all you want to do is not smile or talk to anyone.  But the great thing is, that the joy we have in Jesus does not disappear.  It is nestled deep inside our hearts.  So when we have days like this then we can know that Jesus is with us and we can remember His love for us.

Do you have joy down in your heart?

My prayer is that you will open your heart to that joy.  My prayer is that you will spend time getting to know our Creator, through His written Word and through time spent with Him in prayer.  My prayer is that His joy will shine brightly through you so that others can see Him.

BE JOYFUL!

Prayer:  Almighty God, thank You for sending Jesus so that our joy may be complete.  We admit there are times when we do not want to be joyful.  There is a lot of pain in this world and sometimes it’s overwhelming.  Help us to remember the deep love we have for You and may Your joy overpower the pain and sadness that lives in us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal

  1. What has hidden your joy recently?  What can you do to find His joy in you?
  2. How have you shown the joy of the Lord to others?