And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived… (Genesis 4:1)
I never knew you; depart from me… (Matthew 7:21-23)
What do these two scriptures mean to you? What do they have in common?
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
Now we are in full swing of the new year, we tend to make empty promises or deliver ill-intention resolutions. We say we will do more in our community, read more books in a month and so much more. In this season in my life, I’m in a place in my life that a new year shouldn’t dictate how I live in it. Living your life with a purpose every day, every year should be everyone’s life goals. It’s easy to be complacent, but this season, I’m making my study time more intentional.
A few weeks ago, I was listening to a podcast by John Piper entitled, How Do I Make the Most of Daily Bible Reading and I was left encouraged. There are days when I feel unmotivated and life tends to get the best of me. I know there are reassurances in the Word of God, but I am usually stomped to find a passage of scripture to study or meditate on. With all the journals and devotionals I’ve been gifted or downloaded over the past few years has been used and I know is a great way to begin a study, but I’ve been in the search of something deeper. While listening to the podcast, John Piper mentioned this Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan so I signed up for a free download.
So this is a 25-day reading plan. Normally, you have a 30-day reading plan or devotional. This 25-day plan is for those of us who miss a day and try to make up days. So you have 5-6 days to make up if needed without feeling as if you didn’t commit to completing the month. The days are scheduled to following a particular test with backup scriptures for complete understanding and revelation. I know for me, with other plans, I would read a passage of scripture and would finish my study time with questions. I am confident in my study and journal time with this plan.
I plan to follow-up at the end of February to update you. If you’re looking to take your personal Bible study to a new level, join me! I am excited to see what God says this year!
Sorry I’ve been M.I.A. but I have been recovering from some recent repairs….long story! Stay tuned for May 6th post!!!
Well, we have some catching up to do! Since my last post on the Love Dare challenge, hubby and I reconciled after a PMs explosion and are on good terms until next time! 🙂
Day 21: Love is satisfied in God
The Dare: Be intentional today about making a time to pray and read your Bibleâ€¦.as you do, immerse yourself in the love and promises God has for you.Â This will add to your growth as you walk with Him.
Day 22: Love is faithful
The Dare: Choose today to be committed to love even if your spouse has lost most of their interest in receiving it. Say to them today in words similar to these, â€œI love you.Â Period. I choose to love you even if you donâ€™t love me in return.â€
Day 23: Love always protects
The Dare: Remove anything that is hindering your relationship, any addiction or influence thatâ€™s stealing your affections or turning your heart away from your spouse.
Day 24: Love vs. lust
The Dare: End it now. Remove every object of lust in your life â€¦ it must be killed and destroyed â€“ today â€“ and replaced with the sure promise of God and a heart filled with his perfect love.
Day 25: Love forgives
The Dare: Whatever you havenâ€™t forgiven in your mate, forgive it today. Let it goâ€¦ unforgiveness has been keeping you and your spouse in prison too long. Say from your heart, â€œI choose to forgive.â€
Day 26: Love is responsible
The Dare: Take time to pray through your areas of wrongdoing. Ask for Godâ€™s forgiveness, then humble yourself to admit them to your spouse.
Day 27: Love encourages
The Dare: Eliminate the poison of unrealistic expectations in your home. Think of one area where your spouse has told you youâ€™re expecting too much, and tell them youâ€™re sorry for being so hard on them about it â€¦ promise them youâ€™ll seek to understand, and assure them of your unconditional love.
Day 28: Love makes sacrifices
The Dare: What is one of the greatest needs in your spouseâ€™s life right now? Purpose to do what you can to meet the need.
Day 29: Loveâ€™s motivation
The Dare: Before seeing your spouse again today, pray for them by name and for their needs.Â Whether it comes easy for you, say â€œI love youâ€ then express love to them in some tangible way. Then thank God for giving you the privilege of loving this one special person unconditionally.
Day 30: Love brings unity
The Dare: Isolate one area of division in your marriage, and look on today as a fresh opportunity to pray about it. Ask the Lord to reveal anything in your own heart that is threatening oneness with your spouse.Â Pray that he will do the same for them.
Day 31: Love and marriage
The Dare: If there is an issue about the biblical command to â€œleaveâ€ your parents, confess it to your spouse and resolve to make it right. Follow this with a commitment to your spouse and to God to make your marriage your priority over any other human relationship.
Day 32: Love meets sexual needs
The Dare: Initiate sex with your spouse today.Â Do it in a way that honors what your spouse needs from you.Â Ask God to make this enjoyable for both of you.
Day 33: Love completes each other
The Dare: Recognize that your spouse is integral to your future success. Let them know today you desire them to be included in your upcoming decisions and that you need their perspective and counsel. If youâ€™ve ignored their input in the past, admit your oversight and ask for forgiveness.
Day 34: Love celebrates godliness
The Dare: Find a recent example when your spouse demonstrated Christian character in a noticeable way, and verbally commend them for this.
Day 35: Love is accountable
The Dare: Find a marriage mentorâ€”someone who is a strong Christian and who will be honest and loving with you. If you feel counseling is needed, make the appointment.
Day 36: Love is Godâ€™s Word
The Dare: Commit to reading the Bible every dayâ€¦If your spouse is willing, see if they will commit to daily Bible reading with you. Begin submitting each area of your life to its guidance and start building on the rock.
Day 37: Love agrees in prayer
The Dare: Ask your spouse if you can begin praying together.
Day 38: Love fulfills dreams
The Dare: Ask yourself what your mate would want if it was obtainable. Commit this to prayer, and start mapping out a plan for meeting some (if not all) of their desires, to whatever level you possibly can.
Day 39: Love endures
The Dare: Spend some time in personal prayer, then write a letter of commitment and resolve to your spouse. Include why you are committing to this marriage until death, and that you have purposed to love them no matter what.
Day 40: Love is a covenant
The Dare: Write out a renewal of your vows and place them in your home. If appropriate, you can make arrangements to formally renew your wedding vows before a minister and with family present. Make it a living testament to the value of marriage in Godâ€™s eyes and the high honor of being one with your mate.
The last days of this challenge focused on intimacy, not only physically but spiritually as well. When you invite Jesus into your marriage, something miraculous happens…. You’ll find joy, peace and confidence in your relationship. Knowing God and His order will help you know just how much each other’s role is in the marriage. When you know your role, you can focus on your strengths and together can work out the fine details into making your Godly marriage work for you. God’s Word is the structure/foundation to a honorable marriage. Trust His Word and live it out daily and watch the Lord do the rest. God wants to use us to prove His Word when it says “what God joins together, let no man put usunder.”
We are into the next phase of the challenge? What did you learn this past week?!?!
Well, I’ve learned that men need encouragement and compliments as much as we do despite the fact that they’re men and won’t admit it!
Let’s look at days 6-12!
Day 6: Love is not irritable
The Dare: Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation. Begin by making a list of areas where you need to add margins to your schedule. Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.
Now I know I’m not the only one who thinks they can be quite a bother. We (women) can be a bit petty when it comes to certain situations, but this challenge focuses on trying to tame it. How we react to things will make or break a conversation or even relationship. Choose wisely!
Day 7: Love believes the best
The Dare: On one sheet of paper, spend a few minutes writing out positive things about your spouse. Then do the same with negative things on a second sheet. Place both sheets in a secret place for another day â€¦ at some point during the day, pick a positive attribute from the first list and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.
Choosing to speak and think positively is usually easier said than done. We have to be positive to gain positive results.
Day 8: Love is not jealous
The Dare: Determine to become your spouseâ€™s biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy. To help you set your heart on your spouse and focus on their achievements, take yesterdayâ€™s list of negative attributes and discreetly burn it. Then share with your spouse how glad you are about a success he or she recently enjoyed.
For me, it is easy to become my husband’s biggest fan. I’ve realized the importance of support in marriage. Even if I don’t quite understand my husbands calling or hobby, I will support him to the fullest because I am confident that the Lord is leading him.
Day 9: Love makes good impressions
The Dare: Think of a specific way youâ€™d like to greet your spouse today. Do it with a smile and with enthusiasm. Then determine to change your greeting to reflect your love for them.
Ummm…. I think you know how the normal wife will greet their husband…not need to go further!
Day 10: Love is unconditional
The Dare: Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouseâ€”something that proves (to you and to them) that your love is based onÂ your choice and nothing elseâ€¦.demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.
Love is a verb! In what ways do you show your love? Mine will be baking my husband his favorite dessert!
Day 11: Love cherishes
The Dare: Choose a gesture that says, â€œI cherish youâ€ and do it with a smile.
Day 12: Love lets others win
The Dare: Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse. Tell them you are putting their preference first.
You don’t always have to be right..just let go and love!!
Are you taking to challenge?!
It’s Spring!!! Flowers are blooming…Earth is awaken and refreshed!! So.. this is the perfect opportunity to awaken and revive our marriages! With so many diseased relationships, it is time to remedy them with a interactive challenge. The Love Dare Challenge!! Now, we can discuss all the mess we see in social media concerning marriages, but why spend our focus and time on the obvious and make that time useful in building marriages?!?
If you are not familiar with the Love Dare, well, it was made popular by a Christian movie called, Fireproof.
In the movieÂ FIREPROOF, The Love Dare covers the topics of relationship parasites (addictions like pornography and gambling) and unconditional love. The Love Dare devotional book expands and extends the topics addressed in the filmâ€™s plot to include such vital issues as:
(Click HERE to purchase the book)
This week (Monday through Friday) the focus was as follows:
Day 1- Â do not say anything negative to your spouse. Great or small. We tend to nag or complain without thought and much of the time, it is miserable to always assume that all your spouse do is speak or think negative about everything. Replace your nagging with compliments….
Day 2- Â Do an unexpected gesture of kindness. Letting your spouse know you care in the smallest way..whether it’d be washing the car, ironing their clothes or even a note in their lunch will go a long way. I know from experience my husband loves to have me visit him for lunch at his job. It brightens his day!
Day 3- Â Buy something for your spouse. From aÂ greeting card to a box of chocolate or if you’re fancy, an outfit from his/her favorite store!
Day 4- Contact your spouse during the day to check on them. I love to call my husband throughout the day. If you use discernment, you will know when to call them when they need it the most.
Day 5- Now this is where it gets a bit hands on…..Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you. You must do so without attacking them. Can you do it?!?! After much conversation and care, this will become second nature to just communicate!
I’m taking the challenge. Not to say my marriage is in turmoil, it is to say I care and want more out of my relationship… a revival. Same with having a relationship with God, there is always room to grow and know more about the Father. He has so much to reveal to us if we would only commune with Him…God created relationships AKA marriages and they are a reflection ( or should be) of our relationship/intimacy with Him.
Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright Â© 2009 by B&H Publishing Group.
I AM A WOMAN. I AM A WIFE. I AM A MOTHER….
Even the more reason to complete this challenge and to make it apart of my everyday. We, as women, are consumed by life whether we are clocking in at Corporate America or cleaning up fallen glitter at 7:30 AM (true story); so having those quiet moments are essential in being refreshed, though rare, it is essential. With any job, you are given breaks and vacations…although we can’t vacation from our responsibilities, we can have those burst of me- times to keep us pressing . I remember years ago, there was this popular YouTube video that interviewed people for the labor intense, almost inhumane job position to find out mothers do this year round, nonstop!Â Job InterviewÂ (click to view) Watching this video again, makes me even more encouraged as a wife and mother. God is good and He knew what he did when he created us! We are the brace to our families and we can either make or break it. With the challenge, I’m choosing to make my family stronger and wiser with the Lord’s help.
Well, this year, this week starting today for the next 14 days, I will partake in a challenge inspired by Young Wife’s Guide called Makeover Your Morning Challenge. I was inspired to participate in this challenge for the simple fact that life can be draining and as a mother, I have no time for that! So, instead of complaining about my daily routine and to-do’s, I’d figure I give it to God…after all, God says “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)
The next 14 days will consist of me waking up an hour before my family to spend time with God….to study His Word… to journal my thoughts, questions and desires and also to write His responses according to His Word. I hear of people waking up early to exercise and stay fit for the day’s journey, well, in my case, I will exercise my faith and will prepare for the day’s journey with praise and worship. To be perfectly honest, I know there will be obstacles that will prevent me from reaching the Lord in the morning, but that’s more fuel to my spiritual flame I have burning in me to get closer to the Lord.
So, who will take the challenge?