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ByAngie

Don’t Feed The Animals – How I Learned To Remain In The Presence of God At ALL Times

In my previous post, In The Midst Of A Cloud, I mentioned the worry of becoming distracted and being drawn out of a continuous presence with God and the joy that only comes from Him.

What if an animal suddenly appeared in the fog and surprised me?

Well, sadly, in life it is inevitable. There will always be “animals” that come looking for food, water, or shelter. What makes the difference, however, is how we handle them.

In 2003, my two older children (who were both still babies at the time) and I moved with their father to Mesa, Arizona so that he could attend law school. I remember that on certain Saturday nights, the local news would put out a special about Arizona wildlife and how to live amongst the animals. The Phoenix metro area was quickly growing, people from all over the world were moving there, and new construction was being put up constantly. We humans had invaded the territory that they knew as their home and they were confused, and some were even angry. There were tips on what to do if a predator was in your yard, how to back away from a rattlesnake, who to call should you find a Gila monster, snake, coyote, or other wild animals on your property, and more. They included tales of forewarning with past examples, including one of a child that had been carried off by coyotes because the family kept feeding the coyotes and one day it showed up to find they had forgotten to put food out. Their biggest point that was made over and over: DON’T FEED THE ANIMALS!!!

I knew this from living in the country in Kentucky, and from stray cats in the suburbs of Southern California. Unless you want an animal to stick around, never offer it food or water. It becomes dependent on you and will refuse to leave, eventually annoying you and possibly cause grief in retaliation for its anger.

So how should we handle the “animals” and distractions in a spiritual sense? The same way, don’t feed the animals.

Stress, negative thinking, sin, drama, gossip, worry, anxiety… the list goes on. It will always be there. It is inevitable that we encounter some of these things occasionally if not on a daily basis. But do we feed it? Are you offering them water without even realizing it? Maybe they are just silently sitting in the corner enjoying the shelter. The Bible gives a clear instruction on how to avoid feeding these things with our thoughts and time:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.  -Philippians 4:8

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. -2 Corinthians 10:3-6

No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. -2 Timothy 2:4

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. -1 Corinthians 10:31

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. -Matthew 6:21

And many, many, more…

 

If my thoughts and actions steer clear of the animals, when they appear I will be able to handle them in a way that my Father God approves of, especially if I am making the effort to stay in His continuous presence. HE MUST COME FIRST! However, if I take my eyes off of God and put them on the problem before me, I am leaving His presence to feed the animals. My mind quickly becomes overwhelmed and tired, unable to make sense of what is going on and missing the presence of my Savior.

It is not an easy effort to keep our flesh from luring us away from where our spirit wants to be. It has to be a constant conscious decision to stay in His lap and ask God how I should handle the animals. It requires studying the Word of God and applying scripture to each and every situation. Not feeding the animals means that sometimes, though I could possibly fix a situation, I can’t. I have to stand back and remove my hands from the project so that He can move or so that I am not dragged into a place where the cloud (see the previous post mentioned at the beginning of this post) can’t move to. While sometimes God will have me help a situation with something He has willed me to do, I have to pray and use discernment to know whether I am working in a safe garden or if there is a critter there waiting to bite me. From time to time, I have to refrain from conversations that would lead to feeding animals, possibly hurting the feelings of someone that does not understand. No, it is not easy, but it is SO worth it and over time it becomes more and more a second nature.

One key thing to remember, and though this is not the context that these scriptures intended, it makes a point:

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 1:26-28

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.
20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.
Genesis 2:18-20

What do we learn from this? Read it a few times and see if you catch this as well:

  1. God gave us dominion over the animals. We are not to be afraid of the animals! (I should write another post on how with scripture I overcame my intense phobia of snakes another time… I still steer clear though. No snake handling going on over here…) We have the right to tell the animals in our lives to get out of the way, we have dominion here and they are not to distract us. They are not allowed to control our mind or emotions. Oh, there’s a whole other blog post there, too… I’m sorry, and I used to be guilty of this, but your actions are not excused by your diagnosis. God has called you to act a certain way and clinging to a label that has been put on you instead of the name God gave you is not okay. Instead of Redeemed and Worthy, I used to answer to Anxiety, Victim, and more. I even expected others to know that was who I am and to cater to it. Don’t allow it! You were made for more!
  2. God gave us other humans to help us. WE SHOULD NOT SHUT OUT OTHERS! While their actions may involve animals, the people are NOT the animals. We are to help them, they are to help us, we are to be companions. There should be LOVE and not repellent. Especially our spouses, children, families, and those we have entered into covenants of ministry with. Genesis 2:18 states it clearly, IT IS NOT GOOD THAT MAN SHOULD BE ALONE! As a recovering introvert that took it way too far, I repeat this to myself a ton. There is nothing wrong with wanting alone time or needing more quiet time than others. But it is not good for us to only seclude ourselves. He gave us spouses, family, church families, and friends for a purpose. If another person, however, is allowing the animals to overrun them, this is the time to distance ourselves so that our minds are not overtaken by the animals of stress and worry.
  3. Adam named the creatures. I have always imagined this to have been such fun as he sat on a boulder and was like, “Hmm, let’s look at your features and temperament.” I think the image of a boulder comes from a drawing my Sunday School teacher (and cousin) Sis. Peggy showed me in my primary class, but it always brought me such delight. Did he name some of them funny names just for fun? I don’t know… But what are we naming the animals that are trying to distract us? Are we naming them things which they are not to make us feel more comfortable about keeping them around? Are we renaming gossip as concern? Are we renaming anxiety as natural? Oh, be careful little mouths what you name…

I have one last point I want to make with this, and it is the biggest.

Not feeding the animals includes our thoughts.

In fact, it is more our thoughts than anything, I believe. Think on these things Philippians 4:8, remember? Maybe we didn’t physically react to an animal. We ignored it and walked right into the house and it went on its way. But when you got in the house, did you sit at the window and wonder what happened to it? Did you lay awake and worry that it was going through your trash? Did you worry that it was a skunk and was going to spray and you’d have to smell it all night?

We have to take captive our thoughts, ladies! The moment an animal appears, we need to turn from it or rebuke it, depending on the situation, and then pray every time it comes to mind. We have to make a conscious decision to not dwell on the animal but to pray about it and move on. That’s it, it’s done. No calling a friend and talking about it more than to ask for prayer to the point that another animal, gossip, has been birthed. No allowing your thoughts to run wild until you forget you left the gate open and anxiety wanders in. Keep the gates closed, don’t feed the animals, and stay in His presence. It’s not easy, it’s not always pleasant, but it is necessary to keep the animals away.

I touched on this before, but I want to repeat it again: Always remember when it comes to the animals, Ephesians 6:12.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

In any situation, don’t start to feed and run with the animals. Wage not, meaning don’t gossip, argue, or act nasty. Don’t fret with anxiety. Your battle is not with another person. Our battle is with the enemy of our souls. Jesus already won that battle! So wage not, but intercede! Intercede in prayer for the situation and leave it at the foot of the cross.

 

Do you have some animals nagging at your door? Have you learned how to get them to leave? Are you in need of prayer? Feel free to comment here or join us in one of our Facebook groups. We’d love to hear from you!

ByAngie

In The Midst of The Cloud

Have you ever been enveloped by a cloud? Watched it move in towards you and then suddenly be completely surrounded? It’s an eerie experience. Exciting, a tiny bit frightful, and often times very relaxing.

In the Bible, we read a lot about God appearing as a cloud. Even in the New Testament, but especially in the Old Testament to Moses and the children of Israel. One part of scripture that I would like to focus on is Exodus 24:15-18:

15 Then Moses went up into the mountain, and a cloud covered the mountain.
16 Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud.
17 The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.
18 So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Several months ago I went to pick up my son from school. It is right on the ridge of the mountain and often times it will be bright and sunny at our home only a few minutes away, but his school will be, literally, in a cloud. As I sat in the parking lot waiting for the bell to ring and the kids to be released I watched as the clouds approached the mountain. It was bright and sunny, and here came these clouds just bustling right up. Within about a minute, it was dense and the windows were wet. The wind picked up and I could see the fog blowing where the wind willed it. Before long I couldn’t see much of anything and all I could think of was Moses. Was this what it was like in the presence of The Almighty?

 

A few days later, it was a slightly different story. The fog was covering most of the mountain this day but was still much thicker at the school. In fact, I couldn’t even see the lights on the tops of the school buses that I had noticed as I pulled in behind them into the parking lot. I carefully found a parking space and realized that I could not even see a car that I had just passed a few spaces down. It took a moment to get a grip on my surroundings and not panic about not being able to see! I’m not usually very claustrophobic, but it hits me once in a while and this was one of those times… especially when it dawned on me that I  was in a crowded parking lot with the edge of a cliff on the other side of the highway and most of these cars were going to have teenage drivers in them in a matter of minutes! However, I thought again of the presence of the Father and felt such a peace. I began to cry and ask God, “Can we just do this all the time? Like, even when there isn’t a dense fog? Can I just feel your tangible presence like this wherever I go no matter the circumstances? Because I know You’re there, and I know that You are able. I just want to sense You more than I already do! What I have is not enough, I need more of You!”

This photo was taken another day but was pretty similar. If you look REALLY closely you can see the outline of the school buses.

 

As I sat in my truck that day, I noticed a few things about being enveloped in the midst of a cloud…

  • I couldn’t see. That meant I couldn’t see what was coming towards me or even a foot in front of me! However, if a predator were seeking me, they would not be able to see me either…

When I am in the presence of my Father, I am protected. Satan and his minions may wish to harm me, but the closer I am to my Savior, the easier the blow… if it even comes close.

  • I could actually feel the cloud. No, I could not pick it up. But my breath was heavier and my skin was damp. Even my eyes had more moisture. The temperature dropped and there was a sudden chill.

As the Lord moves in, I sense His presence in many ways, spiritually and physically. The air may seem different, and I may get “God bumps” or feel a sudden rush of adrenaline. My emotions change and I can feel His love all around me, much like jumping into a swimming pool and being surrounded by water… which I know, is pretty much what being in a cloud is… bear with me, I’m blonde and making points can get a little tricky. 😉

  • Again, I couldn’t see. I was unable to tell when my son walked out of the school to edge closer to the entrance. I didn’t have to worry about my bad hair day being observed by a parent in a nearby car. In fact, at this point, I was crying and worshiping my King and had no concern about anyone thinking what was going on with this crazy lady with the wild hair. I was isolated in the cloud.

When I am alone in God’s presence and shut out the world, nothing but Him matters. The state of the nation and the drama going on over to that side while the chaos on the other is out of my mind (unless those are things I am praying for in that exact moment) and it is just the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and myself. Even in corporate worship settings, this occurs. I’m sure it is the same for you, and I’m hoping this is not coming across as boastful but to make a point… 

…And the point is that I wanted all of those things all of the time. Not just when I was able to stop and clear my head. I wanted it ALL of the time so intensely that should something come up and upset me, my focus was still on Him and my countenance left unaffected. I wanted my emotions to be so even with what God wills for them to be that while a circumstance may shift them slightly to the left or right, that they were quickly centered on Him. Like when you are riding a bike and almost fall but quickly line the wheels back up and have that moment of relief and think, “whew, okay, I’m alright.” Just like that.

Then it popped into my head… old cartoons where the characters would be flying or fall off a cliff and keep going, but there were pieces of cloud with them… Jesus is always with me! I mean, duh, He’s in my heart, but keep hanging with me for a second. If my mind and focus stay on Him and Him alone and I don’t let something else take my attention… Much like DRIVING in a cloud of deep fog, (oh boy…) keeping my eyes only on the lines that guide the highway and not straight ahead, not becoming distracted by a car that is coming towards me for even a split second, my eyes on those lines, there is nothing to fear. If my eyes stay on those guidelines, I will not become blinded by the brightness.

Living in the forest where there are bears and mountain lions among various other animals that I was sure had not entered hibernation yet, I wondered what if my driving is distracted? What if I encounter one unexpectedly as I walk from my truck to our cabin? How can I keep the animals of life from luring me out of the cloud of God’s presence in day to day life? I was smacked in the face with such a wonderful lesson that required me to change EVERYTHING about my life… and it worked! I’ll share more of this in the next post…

Have you had a similar experience to this one? Are you wanting a deeper relationship with God that is at all times and not just when you are able to sit in silence? Have you been praying for a more God-centered life? Maybe you are like me and feel close to God, but just feel like there is more and He is drawing you closer. I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to post a comment, send me an email, or join one of our Facebook groups and tell me all about it!

ByJudye

I Like God’s Plan Better

On the long ride home as my sister maneuvered through heavy Memphis traffic, I was happy to be in the back seat and simply think about everything that had transpired during our mission.

Our one day trip to pick up our Ghana sister, Constance, had resulted in a 2-day wait at the airport due to mechanical and weather delays. After HOURS of waiting in the airport on the first day, her flight was grounded in Chicago. We found a nice hotel and spent the night – not a bad thing – we did some shopppppping the next morning. We drove to the airport and AGAIN – the flight was postponed and arrival time was changed every few minutes due to severe weather. We waited, had lunch, waited, watched people and waited. During the long wait, I observed people. You can learn a lot about the human psyche as each postponement or delay in flights came up on the board.

I saw the young man as he approached the waiting area and immediately recognized him as an observant Hasidic Jewish man. I would guess him to be maybe 30 years old at the most. He kept to himself and used his phone often and checked the flight board like the rest of us. He pulled his luggage and walked near us and my sister excitedly said, “Look, a Jew! We’re supposed to bless Jews.” In my effort to calm her down, I said quietly, “I know, I saw him earlier.” My sister is much friendlier than I and more approachable. Long story short, she struck up a chat with him and we learned he was waiting for his flight to New York. My sister can get information out of a clam – not because she is nosey – she isn’t – she just cares about EVERYBODY and most people with problems spill their guts to her! We learned about his beautiful wife and three children and he was anxious to get home to them.

Eventually, all flights were canceled. There we were – day two in the same clothes – snowing like crazy, no hotel reservations, and an airport full of people trying to book rooms at the closest inn. There were no rooms at the inns. My sister turned to the young man and said we would take him to a hotel and not to take a taxi. He was quite taken aback and insisted he would not wish to inconvenience us. My sister insisted, he relented and climbed into the big black truck with two old Gentile Christian sisters. I imagine he was praying the entire trip to the hotel a few miles away in Germantown – my sister gave guided tour information as we passed by three ENORMOUS white, brightly-lit crosses at one of the local churches. I learned some new things as we discussed Netanyahu and current events. Very intelligent young man.

We rode back to the airport next morning said our goodbyes. My sister took a photo of our new friend and I & they exchanged names and addresses. Up to that point, we didn’t know each other’s names! But that’s irrelevant.

Sister Constance survived her ordeal, arrived in Memphis and we got back into the big, black truck and headed home. After it was all over, it was as if God was telling me, “I wanted to show you something! I am sovereign and I will use My obedient servants no matter where they are.” The young man from Brooklyn was on two sisters unknown agenda for that day and we made a new friend. We just didn’t know there was a mission added to our mission. Possibly, we were on his mission. I do not think this story is over & know this was not just a “chance meeting”. In Ghana, when you visit someone, upon arriving at the home, the tradition is for the host to ask, “What is your mission?” The primary mission, or what we thought was our primary mission, was to pick up our sister, plan a nice lunch and drive home.

I like God’s plan better.

ByAngie

One Word 2018 – New

I’ve been sitting on this video for a good while… I actually had my #OneWord before the New Year, but being the procrastination queen am just now getting the video I recorded a month ago online. Oops…

For more posts from Women Bringing Heaven about One Words and Starting The Year Off Right, go here: http://raisingstickyhands.com/category/starting-the-year-off-right/

ByJudye

The Time Jesus Made My Travel Arrangements

While on an overseas flight to Israel, I found myself separated from the rest of our group due to an error in booking. While everyone else was enjoying the flight sitting together I was stuck near the front of the plane in the last seat of a row of 6, center aisle. Behind the seats was a room that the flight attendant used a key to go into.

Don’t mind telling you I was feeling sorry for myself as I heard the laughter of my group further back in the plane. While I was having my little pity party, a very tall, distinguished looking older gentleman came and sat at the other end of the row. I thought this is just great….now I’ll have to leave my shoes on and sit up straight all the way over the ocean! I could tell he wasn’t too pleased with the arrangement either. I wondered why the rest of the seats weren’t filled in the section & the rest of the plane was full.

Settling in with my book, The Late Great Planet Earth, which I had read once already, I noticed the man looking at me – he seemed to be puzzled. Finally, he asked me if was in the right seat. I said yes. He asked me to look at my boarding pass, so I did & it confirmed I was in the right seat. He introduced himself and asked me where I was going. I told him and he explained that he was on his way to Moscow. This interested me & I asked him if he was on business or had relatives there. He told me he was an envoy to Russia & traveled this flight weekly. He told me that “This whole row of seats is expressly reserved for me – standing reservation by the government. In fact, I keep a change of clothes here in the room behind us at all times. That’s why I don’t understand how you were given that seat because I usually am able to lie down since the row is always empty.”

I apologized & said I didn’t understand why they separated me from my group, who were obviously having a very good time in the back! So, we came to a friendly agreement to make the best of the situation. He asked me what I was reading & I explained to him it was a book about prophecy & the end times. He listened closely as I told him the events that were to unfold – which probably included Russia. I was able to witness to him as he asked pointed questions. We had a very intelligent conversation & we both agreed I could keep the seat. I never saw the gentleman again, but he has the book.

Jesus – I love Him & sometimes His travel arrangements may seem strange, but I don’t question, I just go.

ByAngie

Review & Giveaway: Higher Vision – For Your Kingdom Worship Album

I received this product in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are those of my own.

I love music… Especially worship music. I seem to not be able to do anything without it playing in the background. It just brings motivation and encouragement to everything I do. Knowing this, I jumped at the opportunity to review the new debut album from Higher Vision, For Your Kingdom.

Higher Vision Church is located here in Southern California and is quickly growing, averaging about 3,000 attendees each week from all walks of life. Their worship team sings some of their own original songs, and now has released an album.

With a sound that some would find similar to Hillsong Young and Free or Elevation Worship but is also unique to its own style, this album does not disappoint. Each track seems to have a reference to scripture and doctrinal truths, leaving no room for fluff. A perfect mix of upbeat songs that would be perfect on your workout playlist and slower ballads that will help usher you right into the Throne room during your personal prayer time… or, if you’re like me, great to listen to as you drive, do housework, or sew and craft.

Among the songs on this album, I have to say that my favorites were Trust In You (which anyone going through a trial would appreciate!), We Cry Holy, and Broken The Chains. Worship leaders in modern churches looking for new music to add to their set lists would enjoy this album as well.

Songs on the album include:

  1. [continuum]
  2. Higher
  3. Freedom of Your Love
  4. Worthy is the Lamb
  5. Trust in You
  6. He is Here
  7. We Cry Holy
  8. For Your Kingdom
  9. Hands Held High
  10. Hallelujah
  11. Near to the Broken
  12. Broken the Chains

For more information or to purchase this album, visit https://sc.lnk.to/HghrVsn

How about a chance to win a copy? You could win 1 Higher Vision For Your Kingdom CD from Higher Vision and Frontgate Media! Follow this link here to find out how to enter: Click HERE!

Have you listened to this album yet? Tell me what you thought about it in the comments!

ByAngie

5 Christmas Gifts For Boys That Will Connect Them To Jesus

When it comes to shopping for Christmas gifts for little boys, there usually isn’t a lot of guesswork involved. Most boys have no problem with being straightforward with what they want. Action figures, video games, legos… they know exactly what they want and will give you a detailed description and where to find it upon being asked what they want for Christmas. Yes, we must enjoy this time while it lasts because before we know it they are teenagers and NOT as easy to shop for…

But what about when it comes to a gift that will connect them to Jesus? A gift that will deepen their relationship with their Savior and the Father? Well, there it gets tricky… But I’m here to help! As a mom of 5, 3 of them boys, these are a few gifts that I have given my sons over the years that they actually enjoyed and didn’t get tossed aside.

(I admit that I am piggybacking on Emily’s posts, 5 Christmas Gifts For Girls That Will Connect Them To Jesus Part 1 and Part 2… Feel free to check them out by clicking on the links in the sentence above or on the photos below:)

5 Christmas Gifts For Girls That Will Connect Them To Jesus - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

 

5 Christmas Gifts For Boys That Will Connect Them To Jesus

1: Uplifting Music

Music weaves its way into everything in our home naturally. Rather than having my little guys listen to just anything, I try to make sure that 99% of what they listen to lifts up the King of Kings and draws them closer to Him. Sure, we still listen to fun silly songs and what not, but most of the time I try to turn on Christian music that the kids will enjoy and help them grow spiritually. Some favorite singers/bands amongst the boys in our home are The Newsboys, Family Force 5, TobyMac, Hillsong Young & Free, Hawk Nelson, Capital Kings… and quite a few others.

Our family actually has an Amazon Music subscription, making it quite a bit easier for us to access all the albums we love. If your family is constantly buying new albums, this may be a great option as a family gift for you!

Another gift idea that ties in here: Concert tickets! My 9-year-old still says 2 of the greatest events in his life were the 2 separate times he got to see The Newsboys in concert, with the time he got to meet them as his all-time favorite. This was actually a Birthday gift, but it was a gift, nonetheless. While it was a lot of fun for me, I did hang my head in embarrassment when his idea of complimenting Michael Tait was telling him that his arm muscles looked like “tiny bubbles”.

 

2: Bibles

To most kids, a standard Bible might seem a bit dull. Thankfully these days, there are many options when it comes to time for devotion and study. Even for kids! A few of the favorites in our home are The Adventure Bible, the Boys Bible (which includes Grossology… lol), and The Brick Bible.

 

3: Books

My kids LOVE to read! I know not all do, but maybe the right book could change that. Books by Becky Fischer and Answers In Genesis have been big hits in our house lately. This Christmas, some gifts will be Indescribable by Louis Giglio, The Ology: Ancient Truths, Ever New by Marty Machowski, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Hinds’ Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard, The Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan, and quite a few others.

 

4: Movies

Look for a film that either has a biblical message or tell an actual Bible story. You know your child best, so pick a theme that would strike a chord with them. When my kids were younger they adored VeggieTales and Larry Boy. Now that they are a bit older, they watch the Dreamworks movies, Joseph King of Dreams and Prince of Egypt, almost repeatedly. Not surprising given the love of Newsboys in our home, they also love to watch the God’s Not Dead series. War Room is another favorite!

 

5: Creativity and Play

Boys love to work with their hands, that’s no secret. Each child also has their own creative talent and/or interest. Find things that line up with those but can draw them closer to God. Have a child interested in playing an instrument? Teach them about King David and purchase some Christian sheet music. Does your boy love imaginative play? Try an Armor of God playset and explain the purpose of each piece to him.  Almost all boys love Legos! Proverbial Homemaker has a few different Brick Challenge sets for sale (and a few free!) that are biblically themed. You can’t go wrong there!

 

Do you have any other ideas or gifts that you have given in the past that were a hit? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

ByAngie

8 Free Easter Printables

He is RISEN! Hallelujah! Jesus has risen from the dead!

Enjoy these free Easter printables as a reminder that we are no longer slaves, for we have been washed clean by the blood of the Lamb!

 

Download your printables by clicking here.

 

God bless!

ByAngie

Songs To Get Your Soul Amped Up For Easter – 2017 Edition

Easter is only a few days away!

Hear the bells ringing, they’re singing alright… and so am I!

Sorry, I just can’t help myself. Easter is my favorite day of the whole year. I can’t contain it! I have to SING about it!

A few years ago I attempted to do a music series for Easter and quickly realized that it is impossible. There are just too many songs out there! Songs about the gospel of Easter, songs about Holy Week leading up to it, songs about the blood and the healing and redemption that it brings, and glorious songs about the resurrection and grace. Think about it… the list never ends!

Since then I have compiled a list of songs that pertain to this special time of year. Some are songs we sing all year. Some are saved especially for this Holy Day.

But I can’t just keep it to myself!

So I’m going to share it here with all of you as well… but can you do me a favor? If you know of an Easter Song that has not made the list, can you let me know? Thank you!

Feel free to listen to this Easter playlist anytime you need to feel inspired about what Jesus has done for you… Whether during the Easter season or another time of year. We will be continually adding to the list as we come across more songs! Enjoy!

(And yes, we added the Veggietales Bunny Song. We couldn’t contain ourselves…)

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel yet? Every week we add playlists of our favorite worship songs from the Women On The Warpath Facebook Battalion. Want to enlist in the Battalion? We’d love for you to join us!

ByAngie

Don’t Scratch! Scriptures To Cleanse Itching Ears (Part 1)

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
2 Timothy 4:1-5 KJV

Have you ever had a sore that just itched? You tried so hard not to scratch it, but eventually, you give in and do. Sometimes you are so careful not to scratch while awake, but do so while sleeping and wake up to a bigger sore? What happened? Did you get an infection? We all know what happens with an infection if untreated… Sepsis can poison the blood and/or the infection can reach the heart. If continually untreated, it can eventually lead to death. This can happen quickly, or very slowly, but an infection can not be ignored. However, if we don’t scratch, we can prevent it from spreading.

Right now, all across the world, infection is quickly spreading through the church due to itching ears being scratched.

It begins with a little tingle. A little bit of falsehood that doesn’t even seem like it may matter. From there it grows into a doctrine that contradicts scripture but is presented in a way that seems right because it has been garnished with twisted out of context scripture.

BEWARE! Do not let this infection spread into your heart and soul! Clean those itching ears and stop the spread of infection with cleansing scriptures from the Word of God!

The Word of God is the medicine that can cleanse and cure this infection. Here are some scriptures to apply to your itching ears:

So and so wrote a book, it’s like an extension of the Bible…

Revelation 22: 18-19

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
First and foremost, everything that we allow ourselves to believe must align with the Word of God. If it is not in the Bible, then it is not scripture. God often gives authors knowledge, prophets a word to share, and whispers to the heart of the believer… However, if it does not align with scripture, it is not from God. Period. There are religions out there that believe they can add to the Bible, rewrite it, and call it irrelevant. While there are many scriptures that warn against this, this passage has a powerful punch and proves that there is no argument against God’s written Word. Also, with a warning like that, your temptation to even do so should be quenched.

Being a Christian is no longer politically correct, so we need to update some things…

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Many like to sugar coat the verses they have read and change them to fit what they need it to be. They will state that the Bible is outdated and no longer the case.

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

If He is the same yesterday, today, and forever… then His Word is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He does not change, nor does He lie. If the Father, Son, or even the Holy Spirit were to change something, which they don’t, it would change all throughout time. There is no wrapping your head around it because it just isn’t done. So no, the Bible and what we are expected to follow as Christians may not be politically correct, but it IS relevant and it does NOT change.

Jesus said you’re not supposed to judge anyone

Matthew 7:1-5

1  Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Yeeeeaaaahhh… That’s not what He’s saying here. People like to quote that first verse and completely throw out the rest of the Bible…

Matthew 7:15-20

15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Oh, look, in the SAME chapter! We are to check the fruit!

James Chapter 3

I am unable to post all of that here, so please read that on YouVersion or in your own Bible.

Now, I will say this… it is NOT our job to condemn or shun a person. It is our job to LOVE a person. While at times we are called to correct another Christian (NOT A SINNER), we are to do so in love. If you’re unsure about what that means, then simply don’t attempt it until you are able to receive better teaching on the subject. (By the way, God will not call you to do this very often…) However, yes, we are to judge their fruit. The warning at the beginning of Matthew chapter 7 is kind of a warning to you that people are going to be watching you as well, so clean up your own house and keep it that way… Especially if you are in a place of leadership.

I can live however I want as long as I believe in God. I’m a good person, so I will go to Heaven. God would never cast anyone to hell.

Matthew 7:13-14

 13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Matthew 7:21-29

21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Revelation 3:13-22

13  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
14  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Revelation 20:12-15

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
No. Nope. Not what the Bible says… and those are only a handful of many supporting scriptures.

Well, that is all I have for today. Use these scriptures generously and as often as needed to treat any symptoms that cause your soul discomfort. I will follow up with more as needed.