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!
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
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.”
Back to our regularly schedule posts! Last week was my 30th birthday and I just had to share the 30 things I’ve learned…but this week I am back to the 40 day Love Dare Challenge!
This week, I will recap Days 13 through 20. Now I have to admit, my Crimson friend arrived and she had my emotions all over the place! My husband caught the backend to it and I have been apologizing to him since Saturday!! But, let’s see what we SHOULD have learned this past week!
Day 13: Love fights fair
The Dare: Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagementâ€¦.resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.
Obviously, Day 13 was a complete fail this week! I am learning to deal rationally while my Crimson friend is in town. I’ve been doing better but there is always room for improvement.
Day 14: Love takes delight
The Dare: Purposely neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your spouse. Do something he or she would love to do or a project theyâ€™d really like to work on. Just be together.
This is actually funny to me because after our little spat, I’ve been trying to become more delightful and graceful to my husband. I blame Eve!!
Day 15: Love is honorable
The Dare: Choose a way to honor and respect your spouse that is above your normal routineâ€¦show your spouse that he or she is highly esteemed in your eyes.
A nice foot rub can put a smile on anyone’s face and doing so without your spouse asking is both surprising and honorable (especially after a fight!) Obviously, I’ve been rubbing feet all week!!
Day 16: Love intercedes
The Dare: Begin praying today for your spouseâ€™s heart.
I pray for my husband daily..even multiple times a day. Working outside of the home can be stressful for your spouse so go before God for them, it means more than you think!
Day 17: Love promotes intimacy
The Dare: Determine to guard your mateâ€™s secrets (unless they are dangerous to them or to you) and to pray for them. Talk with your spouse and resolve to demonstrate love in spite of these issues. Really listen to them when they share personal thoughts and struggles with you.Â Make them feel safe.
Intimacy is way more than sex. Intimacy is how you guard your husband’s heart and emotions. I’ve learned that even though my husband can be thick-skinned, he longs to be heard and feel wanted. Intimacy begins with a positive morning (for you non-morning people) and throughout the day!
Day 18: Love seeks to understand
The Dare: Prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of you. The dinner can be as nice as you prefer.Â Focus this time on getting to know your spouse better, perhaps in areas youâ€™ve rarely talked about.Â Determine to make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate.
Everyday I learn something new about my husband. Whether we want to admit it, we change quite often. Our standards indeed remain the same, but we may go about it a different way. communicating these differences and emotions matters in a marriage. I’m still learning to include my husband in my deepest thoughts even if its not that deep to him or vice versa!
Day 19: Love is impossible
The Dare: Look back over the dares from previous days. Were there some that seemed impossible to you? Have you realized your need for God to change your heart and to give you the ability to love? Ask him to show you where you stand with him, and ask for the strength and grace to settle your eternal destination.
Day 20: Love is Jesus Christ
The Dare: Dare to take God at his word. Dare to trust Jesus Christ for salvation. Dare to pray, â€œLord Jesus, I am a sinner. But you have shown your love for me by dying to forgive my sins, and you have proven your power to save me from death by your resurrection. Lord, change my heart, and save me by your grace.â€
Wow!! Day 20 gives us the opportunity to get it right…do our first works over. Learning the source and example of true intimacy and relationship gives us all a foundation in our marriage. Have you repented for your shortcomings? As Paul states, we must die daily!
Ok people!! 20 days remain in the challenge!! Let’s do this!!
NO MORE TWENTIES!!!
I think may cry!! God has been so good to me and I am ready to see what amazing things He’ll do in the 30s!! I’ve learned so many things the past 30 years and I would like to list…
30 things I’ve learned in 30 years in good humor! ENJOY!!!
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?!
Well, looks like the church is riding the fence on this one! Before I share my thoughts about this subject, I will begin withÂ thisÂ questionÂ from Megan Good that was posted on her Instagram account….
“Why would anyone ever want to be a Christian when you see how they treat each other?â€
On a promotional tour of the couples’ new book on abstinence before marriage called “The Wait” on Valentine’s Day, a woman who was apart of the audience had a “question” during the Q & A portion of the meet. This was her comment:
â€œThis is not offensive, but I was at the grocery store and I looked at a newsstand and I saw you, and you had your breast showing,â€ one woman in the audience said.Â â€œSo, so, I wasnâ€™t gonna come here, I wasnâ€™t, but the Lord brought me here to see you. Youâ€™re beautiful. You are a beautiful young woman, and your testimony is awesome. Itâ€™s awesome. Amen. Amen! And the Lord let me come and push past the judgment … because you have to make sure what you say and what you do match up, you understand?Â So we gonna cover up, right?â€
I’m pretty sure everyone’s jaw dropped to hear this, including Meagan Good. Her husband came to her defense as any husband who love their wife would do…but he lost me at “She can wear whatever she want in the Name of Jesus!” Ummm, sir…. Tis not true! The bible speaks clearly about modesty.
â€œI desireâ€¦that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godlinessâ€”with good works.â€œ 1 Timothy 2:8-10
While what you wear can speak volumes about you, it can easily be mistaken as well…modesty, I believe, is the state of one’s heart. Perfect example… A young lady comes to church with skin tight clothes and breasts exposed. What is your first thought? Perhaps she’s a prostitute. Maybe, but she came to the church! The church isn’t for perfect people..AND the church isn’t a fashion show. The church is for the lost to be found…the church is for conviction and comfort… if you are apart of the Body of Christ, then you too are the church. In my honest opinion (there wouldn’t be no other way), I believe the audience member was out of line. No way was it acceptable to start off your comment about someone with “This is not offensive”… you shut their ears at the first sentence! God is not out of order and that was completely out of order. I know Meagan Good is human and she professes Christ and by the looks of it (or that was her acting skills at work LOL), but I truly believe she is struggling with the topic anyway. It’s us typical church folk who is quick to judge. No one knows the heart of the person or what they’re truly going through unless you are transparent. But how do you reach someone like Meagan Good? Honestly, I don’t know, but God has people assigned to certain people. The statement the audience member made was quite distasteful especially because she threw God in the mix. GOD IS ALL ABOUT ORDER.Â But check this out…. look at what Good as on during this engagement and every other church engagement they attend… she’s fully clothed. She knows enough not to wear what she would wear on the Red Carpet or Movie Premieres to the church. Maybe if she had everything out, maybe something should have been said.
Well, back to her husband (Devon Franklin). In every way, he was right to defend his wife and I believe he spoke out of anger. There’s no way he can fix his mouth to believe that his wife can dress how she want IN THE NAME OF JESUS…but in the culture we live in, it just might be okay in his eyes. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with dressing up for your husband, but there is a place for that as my BFF in my head (Ayesha Curry) stated before.
But in defense to all who is struggling in the heart, God sees you. I was once ridiculed because of what I wore to church. By no means was I revealing, but the color I decided to wear was too much for the saints. I came to church with a red skirt that was pleated in the back…SO FREAKING CUTE…but IT WAS RED! Since when the color red was ungodly? I was highly offended, but because I was secured in my relationship with Jesus, I didn’t let it bother me…but who is to say it won’t bother the next girl who wears red? Or cleavage is revealed? She may turn away from God, never to experience the love He has for her because a “Saint” got to her first.
We must examine our motives and think before we speak… Christian or not!
So in closing… LOL… Modesty is not about your clothes only, but about your attitude and behavior. You can be fully dressed, head to pinky toe and be jacked up!
Modesty is about who you worship. Wow!! Deep right?!?! The God we serve is about us reflecting him, being an example… holiness..fruit bearers, seed sowers…being holy in your communication and entertainment.
Modesty is true freedom. Culture sees it as opposite, but when you truly think about it, the world is wrapped around the idea of freedom as self-love and expression as in our body is art, explore it, show it off. True freedom is being sober minded and respectable and not being a sexual nuisance or a slave to sin.
The next time you see a young girl in whom you discern is dealing with matters of the heart, talk to her. Don’t be so quick to condemn her…everyone needs the love of God.Â Conviction will always cause change, but when you put yourself in it, you’ll take the love and discipline away from the only One who brings change.
All you have to do is be the willing to put your thoughts and opinion of others aside, God will definitely do the rest.
Ever received a word from the Lord and He sweeps you off your feet in the direction of the promises He’s promised to you? Then suddenly, you seem to be steered off track to find out it was all apart of His plan?
Well, I can testify that we are and were faced with plenty of detours our entire time here in Texas. If you are new to my blog, I suggest you hold your place here and begin reading my entries entitled, “Thankful Thursday: Journey to Texas”… well, in review February 2016 will mark our 5th year here in Texas. We’ve had some challenges, but we also had many successes… (2) evictions, pregnancies and farm animals! Being a city girl from Chicago, I believe I was prepared for the unexpected and the hustle of it all, so I was bred with tough skin! LOL
April ofÂ 2014, we closed on 2 acres of land that was in horrible condition; if you look at the before pictures, you would have thought we were crazy..well, jokes on you, because…… WE ARE!! lol We cleared the property off, killed a few snakes and chainsaw a few trees and placed our mobile home on the property within a month’s time!! Fast forward to October 2015, we have a healthy flock of free-ranged hens, two goats, a pig and a donkey! Yep, Chicago born and raised turned to dirt slinging, egg catching farmers! We were living our life’s dream!! Well, October 31 came around and we were alerted of a nearby tornado, so I woke up my family (including a very tired and angry husband) and we left! Well, half a day went by and we went to check on the house! We GLORY TO GOD, it’s still in tact, but…huh?!?! We’re completely flooded out! My husband literally swam to the house to grab clothes and feed the visible animals.Â
Once the waters receeded, we returned to find only 4 of our chickens alive and dead goat and our pig with 5 piglets!! LOL God surely has a sense of humor, because even in our loss, we somehow manage to experience gain in the midst! Seeing our pig with her babies shown me that even though it may look bad around me, God still provides and will keep our heads above the waters He sent to us. What an amazing reassurance!
God, sent the floods not only to restore my faith, but He revealed that He still will fulfill His promise to us!Â I’ve also learned that trials have purpose. Â We are still in clean up mode even 3 months after the flood, but God has been restoring since day one. God cannot lie, so seeing Him continue to work in the midst of is so encouraging. His word says, For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord,” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11
Knowing that His plans will continue and that the detours were apart of His plan as well…NOTHING SURPRISES HIM! He’s all knowing!
I hope this is encouraging to you as it has been for my family! He’s good y’all IN ALL THINGS!!
**stay tuned for our life as homesteaders the past few months and things to come in the future!**
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?
Who would have thought I would be able to fit my wedding dress after 10 years!!??
I was lucky enough to travel to Chicago to grab my only physical memory of our wedding day. My wedding album somehow disappeared but thank God I have my dress in excellent condition!
So what are my plans for our 10th wedding anniversary? None, really. We will acknowledge God and thank Him for 10 years and keep pressing. This is only the beginning!