Tag Archive Emily

ByEmily

5 Christmas Gifts for Girls that will Connect Them to Jesus: Part 2

5 Christmas Gifts for Girls that will Connect Them to Jesus: Part 2

For more gift ideas, be sure to see my original post here.

When it comes to Christmas shopping, I’ve noticed quite a bit of women in a frenzy trying to secure the latest craze for their loved ones. Gifts have become overrated, over the top, and beyond my price range! It’s all about the latest technology, the newest toys/gadgets, and expensive clothes that will go out of style by next year.

I’ve never been one to understand going into debt over things that are too quickly cast aside- especially since we’ve seemed to have forgotten the greatest gift of all time…..the one that didn’t come wrapped in sparkly paper with a giant glittery bow, but in swaddling clothes…..the one that is the true purpose for the Christmas season- Jesus!

Presence over Presents

Presents are no longer meaningful. And along with everything else in the world these days, they can distract us from our relationship with God. So instead of buying electronics and apps that will consume their time or toys that won’t last, let’s get our daughters gifts that will guide them to a closer walk with the Lord. Instead of swiping your credit card for whatever gifts are all the rage, look for items that will help your daughter seek His presence.
Whether your daughter (daughter/niece/cousin/best friend/student/etc.) is a youngster, a preteen, or heading off to college, these inexpensive gifts are the perfect options to point them to a personal relationship with the star of Christmas Himself and will even last well beyond December!

1. Uplifting Music: Part 2
If the girls in your life are anything like the girls in my life, they LOVE to sing and listen to music. And if you are anything like me, then you understand how important it is that what they are singing and listening to is encouraging and uplifting their spirits.

The following suggestions are albums that have not only had major positive impacts on my young daughters, but also on me as an adult:

Lauren Daigle – How Can it Be

Natalie Grant- Be One and Hurricane

Bethel- You Make Me Brave

Francesca Battistelli- My Paper Heart

Bethel Kids- Come Alive

Any of these, along with the ones listed in the original post (Francesca Battistelli- He Knows My Name and Barlow Girl- Never Alone), would make great gifts for the music-loving girl on your gift list.

2. Cool Coloring Books
Coloring books are all the rage these days and there are tons to choose from with inspirational quotes and scriptures. You can find them almost anywhere (Walmart, Christian Bookstores, Dollar General, etc). Pick one up along with colored pencils or gel pens and you’re good to go!

3. Busy Books Sermon Notes
Last year for Christmas we bought our daughters Busy Books Sermon Notes for kids 8-12 by Madison and Darlene Shacht. This gift option encourages younger ones to take their own notes each Sunday and helps them pay attention to the sermon. My girls have enjoyed having theirs!

For the older girls on your list, try the Busy Books Sermon Notes for Young Ladies, ages teen to adult. Both books are available on Amazon.

4. Bible Study
This world around us lately seems to have lost it’s mind. One thing I know for sure is I would certainly follow suit if not for the Word of God. A Bible study is the perfect option for any girl that will help them to remain grounded in what the Lord has to say about navigating this thing called life in a world as crazy as ours. There is a variety of choices when it comes to the many Bible studies available, so I would suggest basing your pick on the age and personality of the recipient.

Prayer Works by Stephen and Alex Kendrick is a great choice for younger kids that will keep their attention while strengthening their prayer lives.

Quieting Your Heart 30- Day Prayer Journal: Virtue Edition by Darlene Schact is full of adorable illustrations for the teens and young adults on your list.

5. Time
Maybe more than something physical, there’s someone on your list that could benefit from a Girl’s Day where you can pour into her spirit. Whether you’re chatting over a bite to eat or a pedicure, make sure she knows she has your full attention. Does she need a listening ear followed by Godly wisdom? Does she need encouragement? Does she need prayer? Ask God to guide you as you gather the specific details for this gift and know that it will be appreciated just as much as a physical gift, if not even greater.

We’d love to hear your ideas! What awesome gift ideas do you have that will bring girls closer to Christ? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know!

ByEmily

Why I Will Not Pray for Patience (and the Biblical loopholes that make it okay!)

WARNING: This post is gonna make you itch!

Ahhhh….patience. Sometimes just the word itself can give me the heebie jeebies, not to mention the action it requires. Surely I am not alone in this!

I grew up in the church hearing saints say things such as, “I refuse to pray for patience,” or “I will never pray for patience again!” Then there were the holier saints who would say, “Now, Sister, patience is a virtue,” or “God is wanting to teach me to wait on Him so I’m praying for patience.”

I remember witnessing some of those saints that prayed for patience go through trials and tribulations almost immediately. If that’s what praying for patience got you then I wanted no part of it! So I decided to join the first group of saints.

Of course I was a teenager when I made that decision. I have since matured, not only physically, but spiritually. I began to read the Bible to get to know the author and not just to check it off my To Do List. I began to form a relationship with God that became more than just 3 church services a week. I fell in love with Jesus, the Savior of my soul.

In that process of spiritual growth (that thankfully continues daily) I started to look back over my teenage years and see things from a different perspective. I began to study those same saints with a new appreciation. They didn’t just go through trials and tribulations. They survived them! I realized patience and waiting on God made sense and helped them see the light at the end of the tunnel. I felt a twinge of guilt for the stance I had taken.

So I did it. I worked up the courage and bravely prayed for patience.

And that’s when my youngest daughter, Adah, came home from school with head lice.

If you’ve never dealt with head lice, bless your soul. If you have, then you completely understand where I’m coming from.

This Mama went through the stages of grief faster than a getaway car at a bank robbery! There were tons of tears while cutting off several inches of thick, tangled hair to ease the process of cleaning it, yet we still weren’t done until midnight. And we can’t forget all the store bought and natural remedies (the smell of mayonnaise in your hair takes forever to go away!), along with endless laundry.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know we aren’t above head lice. That’s not the issue. The issue is the effort you have to put in to getting rid of it! Especially when it does not want to go away. It’s quite costly and extremely time consuming. One might even say it demands…*ahem*…patience.

It was on a Tuesday and she had to miss school the rest of the week. And although I had taken precautions by treating my own hair, my husband still ended up having to clean and scrub my scalp because they had somehow survived enough to show up in my hair anyway. It was a nightmare.

My Light at the End of the Tunnel

That following weekend, I had more tears of frustration streaming down my cheeks as my husband took the time to comb the nits out of my hair. I looked up into his eyes and said, “This is all my fault. I decided to pray for patience last week.” Then surprisingly, we both began to laugh.

We love the Happy Goodmans and had been listening to Vestal sing “Won’t it be Wonderful There” earlier in the week. At that point I started to sing it, however, I changed the lyrics from “Won’t it be wonderful there, having no burdens to bear” to “Won’t it be wonderful there, having no lice in your hair!” The girls joined in the singing and giggling with us. It felt amazing to have laughter through the tears.

I began to appreciate my spiritual maturing all the more because I was able to see God’s hand, even in the trial. Praying for patience may have opened the door for extra testing, but I believe being brave enough to pray for it allowed us to find joy in the midst of a stressful situation.

That being said, once it was all over and done with and nary a nit was to be seen, I decided to rejoin the first group of saints and no longer felt guilty about it.
I truly believe it was a lesson in which God revealed to me why it isn’t necessary to pray for patience. He showed me two reasons straight from the Bible that are so simple, I should have already known. And I am going to share these Biblical truths with you right now!

Are you ready?

  1. Galatians 5: 22-23 says, “ 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (NLT)

The Bible tells us that we are to be walking in the Spirit, not the flesh. If we are walking according to the Spirit, then we should be producing the fruit of the Spirit, patience included! Therefore, we should already be walking in patience because we are followers of Christ, not having to pray for it to show up.

  1. James 1:3 says, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

I don’t know about you all, but my faith isn’t perfect. It is tried quite often, and according to James, that means patience is being produced.

 

Remember when I said I formed a relationship with God? Remember when I mentioned falling in love with Jesus, His son? Because of that, His Holy Spirit is my teacher and takes me to scriptures in the Bible, giving me understanding. For that I am beyond grateful. It’s freeing to know that I don’t have to pray for patience…instead I am expected to apply the Word and practice it.

Instead of praying for patience, we should be practicing it.

 

I’m not saying that you should never pray for patience, but to this day when someone mentions patience, Adah is quick to tell them, “If you pray for patience you’re gonna get head lice!” 😉

 

*DisclaimerThis article is in no way meant to lessen the true hardships people go through. I could never compare the frustrations of head lice to the death of a loved one, divorce, etc. In the grand scheme of life, a week of dealing with head lice was no big deal. However, I do believe that God will see you through even those true hardships and give you joy and peace in the midst of hurt and chaos.

**Author’s note:  I was very blessed to have my mom, Ann, and friend, Lynn, help with the process of treating our heads and home during that dreadful week. I would have been insane without them! Also, it was the ONE time in my life I remember being caught up on laundry. I believe God knew I needed to be caught up so I wouldn’t be that much more behind when it came time to wash all the bed clothes, etc. He takes care of even the smallest details.

ByEmily

Greater Works- One Verse 2017

Along with my One Word for each year, I choose a focus verse. This year my verse jumped out at me like a fountain in the scorching hot desert.

And you better believe I dove in headfirst.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” –John 14:12

This verse hits me with conviction like a bag of bricks.

WHY am I not walking in this? Listen, folks, we have no excuses. God has called us to greater and I am determined to walk in what He has called me to. I cannot let anything hold me back any longer. Lives and souls are hanging in the balance while I sit around twiddling my thumbs cause I’m just little old me.

I refuse to allow it any longer. I am compelled to call this verse forth in my life and demand action.

Yes, it’s easy to read the accounts of the ministry of Jesus and become intimidated. Especially when trying to comprehend the possibility that He Himself said we are capable of doing greater. But y’all, it’s right there in red and white. His Word is faithful and true. We must realize it’s not about us. It’s about Him!

I am declaring that this is the season I begin walking in greater works. I am declaring greater to be made manifest. Why? Because as long as I have Jesus on the inside of me then I am not operating in my own strength, but in the very power of the Living God!

Greater, come forth!! The time is now!

Are you aware of the works that Jesus did? If not, you can see a very select few here on a previous post:  http://raisingstickyhands.com/2012/04/26/psst-guess-what/

Do you pick a focus verse for the year? Tell us about your #oneverse2017!
ByEmily

One Word 2017- Hungry

We are 4 months in to 2017 and my One Word for this year has been more persistent than any of my other One Words chosen in years past.

I actually began to pray about my #oneword2017 at the close of 2016 and thought I had the perfect one. Then one day around the last week of December, God said, “Hungry. This is your word.” Like I said before, this One Word has not left me alone.

And y’all, I am so okay with that.

This kind of hungry isn’t the kind where I run through McDonald’s and grab a cheeseburger. This kind of hungry isn’t the kind where I can pop a TV dinner in the microwave and wait a few minutes. This isn’t even the kind of hungry where I can slave over a home cooked meal and eat with my family and be full.

No. This kind of hungry is a spiritual hunger that only God can satisfy. But no, I will never truly be satisfied. Cause when God fills this hunger, I only become hungrier for Him to fill it some more, and more, and more. And again, I am so okay with that.

True hunger = desperate!

When you are sincerely hungry you do whatever it takes to eat. Just ask the homeless man who digs through trash or dumpster dives. It’s the same spiritually…when you are hungry, you are willing to do whatever it takes.

I always chuckle when I scroll through my Facebook news feed and see the meme that says something along the lines of, “I hate it when I go to the kitchen and there’s no food– only ingredients.” I can totally relate to that. Listen when I say this girl loves food and loves it to be available 24/7.

But when you are truly hungry, really reallllly hungry, you grab those ingredients and get to cooking! It’s either that or starve.

Many times in the natural we gorge ourselves and live like gluttons. Why is it that we live the complete opposite spiritually and we tend to let our spirit man starve? It makes no sense, yet this is true for most Christians. It’s so easy on Sundays because we run into our church services and someone else has done all the work. The meal has already been prepared, we sit down, eat, and leave. What about Monday through Saturday? We’re too lazy to feed ourselves so we starve the spirit. We don’t want to dig in to the word or seek God in prayer and because of our complacency we are leaving ourselves to be spiritually dead.

NO. MORE.

Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
Luke 6:21 says, “Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled.” (emphasis my own)
Psalm 107:9 says, “For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.”

God wants us to be hungry because He longs to fill that hunger.

There has never been a time that my husband has went to his mama’s house hungry and left hungry. Why? Because when she sees that he’s hungry, she says, “What do you want? Let me fix it for you.” And then she begins the process of making sure her child gets filled. She’s more than happy to feed him. When my babies are hungry I don’t make them stay that way. I’m glad to feed them and watch them grow. So it is with God! He’s more than happy to feed and fill His children any time they show up hungry.

I have been in the presence of the Lord. I have tasted of His goodness. And because of that, I have decided that it’s up to me to stay hungry enough that I’m willing to do whatever it takes so He can fill me over and over. Like a drug addict constantly chasing that next high, I will allow my hunger to fuel my chase of a fulfilling God.

Just like a baby starts with milk, then moves on to milk with cereal, then moves on to baby food, then one day Mama gives that baby a little taste of mashed potatoes… There’s no turning back when baby has had a taste of the good stuff.

When you’ve had the good stuff you’ll never be satisfied with anything else.

I’ve tasted the good stuff and I’m hungry for more!

What about you? Did you pick a word for 2017? If so, tell us how it’s going!

ByAngie

Will You Cry Out With Us On September 23rd?

Have you heard of Cry Out 16?

this-is-your-night

 

On September 23rd, women all over the United States will be uniting in prayer together in a simulcast prayer event.

 

You can find more information, along with locations near you, on their website: http://www.cryout16.com

 

Some of us at Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven will be participating in Cry Out 16 simulcast events at our own churches. We’d love for you to join us!

If you are near Water Valley, KY, you can join Emily, Karen, Judye, and other ladies at Pentecostal Tabernacle. You can find more information on their website by clicking here.

If you are near San Bernardino, CA, you are invited to join Diania (I’m trying to convince her to join us back on RSHTH 😉 ), Shani, and myself (Angie) at Trinity Full Gospel Church. We have a Facebook event set up for this location and you can find more information by going to that page by clicking here.

It is time for us to CRY OUT! Join us in prayer for our nation, our families, and for REVIVAL!