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:
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Can you even imagine what was going through Joseph’s mind and heart when he found out that Mary was expecting? What about when he realized that the baby she was carrying in her womb was the Son of God?
He had to be terrified, and that is confirmed by the angel coming to him to say “do not be afraid”.
Often, when God calls us to do something, we can become afraid as well. While what we are doing may never compare to marrying a woman who others believe to have done something she did not do and raising The Savior of the world from an infant into a man, it can still leave us feeling overwhelmed and scared. We forget what we know to be true: that God has it all under control. We stress over things like logistics, money, what others may think, and more.
But what we need to remember is what Joseph is proof of: If it is the will of God, and we stay on His course, everything will work out.
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The second that we let our flesh try to detour His plans, by negotiating our ideas in, that is the very moment that things start to go wrong. What if Joseph had said, “I will marry her, but we will not keep the child.” I doubt that any of our lives would be where they are today.
It is because Joseph did as he was instructed without fear that Jesus was able to thrive, grow, and eventually save the world. He trusted God and stuck to the plan. When God calls you, remember Joseph and do not be afraid.
Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Luke 15:8-10 NKJV
Have you ever felt down and wondered if you mattered to anyone? Have you ever questioned if what you do to for God really matters to Him? What about considering if it really made a difference whether or not you served the Lord?
Many people have had those questions before. The enemy likes to put those thoughts in our heads, whether when we are contemplating salvation or during a struggle with our Christian walk. It’s a dark thought, and one many don’t want to admit they have weighed over in their head and hearts, but it’s true. Something that no one wants to talk about, but true.
However, Luke 15:10 brings something very important to light. The angels rejoice over each and every sinner that repents and gives their life to God. Every. Single. One.
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Life in this world is hard. Excruciating. It can become very lonely. But with Christ, not only do we have an almighty God who cherishes us. We have His son Jesus, all of the angels, and our constantly growing Christian family. Is that not amazing?
The next time that the enemy tries to sneak in and whisper lies into your ear, remember those angels that are in Heaven rejoicing over your soul. You are the lamb that the Shepherd left the 99 to find the 1. The coin that was found. The prodigal son… and every other parable that Jesus taught. He did it all for YOU! And if no one else ever wanted to follow Him, He would do it all again just for YOU! The angels rejoice over YOU!
While it doesn’t exactly follow the same lines of this scripture and post, I want to share with you the status that I posted on our Facebook page on Thanksgiving. Salvation is a wonderful thing, and if you have not asked God for forgiveness, I would like to invite you to right now.
I’ve been trying really hard the last few months to get in shape. With the help of Plexus, I have lost 54 lbs since the last week of April. I also have less pain (MUCH less) from my joints/fibromyalgia issues. Since losing all that weight, I am feeling more inspired to embark on other paths to becoming healthier. I’m trying to get in an exercise routine, drink more water, and take better care of myself in other ways as well.
Now, in no way do I claim to be doing everything I can (though I would like to), but I am trying. I decided to put some scriptures to encourage healthy living up around the house in strategic places to remind me of the changes I am making. Since I was typing these up for myself, I thought maybe someone else would like to have a copy too.
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The reason I chose Galatians 5:22-23 is pretty self-explanatory, especially since I have self-control in a larger font than any of the other words. I am placing this passage on my refrigerator and inside the cabinet for our pantry. With this scripture in my face every time I feel like snacking, I can stop and think about what and why I am reaching for something to eat. Am I really hungry, or am I bored, thirsty, emotional, etc? Should I really be getting chips? Because occasionally that is okay, but maybe I should be cutting up some veggies instead. If I am reminded to use self-control with my eating, a lot of good can be done instead of “just this once” turning into “just this time every day at the exact minute”.
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Ecclesiastes 10:18 is going above my tv, and maybe inside my Kindle case. There are many times that I could be doing something active, but would rather do something else that does not use a single muscle. Now, as I stated above, I do have joint issues and fibromyalgia. However, that does not give me a free pass to never work out at all. There is also a kind of funny/embarrassing aspect to why I chose this scripture: I need to be reminded to do kegels. I don’t want my house leaking… I don’t think anyone else wants my house leaking either. In fact, it’s pretty frowned upon. 😉 No reason a few can’t be done every time I sit down in the living room, right?
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I am always beating myself up for my appearance. Saying that I lack self-esteem is an understatement. But I know deep down in my heart that I am beautiful in God’s sight. Proverbs 31:30 is going to be taped to the mirror on my vanity, so that when I am preparing to leave the house I will read those words and not walk out the door in a foul mood. It will also make me sing “That Kinda Girl” by DC Talk. Who doesn’t love a little memory from the Free At Last album in their day? If that doesn’t put me in a good mood, well, something must be really wrong that day.
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Can you guess where I will be taping John 7:38? If you guessed inside the fridge, you guessed right. This is for a couple of reasons: to drink more water and to remember who the life-giver is… and if I want to be healthy in this life I need to take care of His temple. I have always hated water. The taste, the way my stomach feels after drinking it, just everything. I don’t know why. But if I add a few flavor drops or infuse it with water, I handle it fine. Whatever it takes, I need to have more of it for many reasons.
Soon I may add more scriptures to encourage healthy living to my decor, but for now these are the 4 I am going to focus on. I still have a lot of weight to lose, but I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Like how I through Philippians 4:13 in there? Did you see my post about that on our Facebook page yesterday? Maybe next I will put up some scriptures to encourage housework…)
To learn more about Plexus, click the blog button below or go directly to Alicia’s Plexus site by clicking here. I truly tried every route my doctor suggested for a few years without any success. This has been the only thing that has worked for me so far. An answer to prayer!
And just for fun…
All the days of the afflicted are evil,But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.
When I was a teenager, I was already in a nasty battle with depression and anxiety that began in my childhood: The outcome of adolescent hormones and grief along with some unfortunate circumstances. I would become overwhelmed with everything wrong and I just couldn’t seem to get a grip. My Grandma would ask me what was wrong, and as I began to list everything off she would quip back with scriptures like Proverbs 15:15, Proverbs 17:22, and many others. She would give examples that usually involved Polly Anna or Corrie Ten Boom. But most of all she reminded me of the promise that not only did she love me but so does a sovereign God that is on the throne.
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I’ll be honest, sometimes I hated her encouragement. I wanted to sulk, cry, and vent. I always knew she was right, though. So I dried my tears and reminded myself of all the things she told me and go on with a smile on my face until the next “end of the world teenage crisis” would happen.
A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.
Just like every other truth that is written in the Bible, the many scriptures about having a merry heart hold a lot of weight. If we don’t choose to be happy, even in the hard times, the negativity and darkness will overwhelm us and eventually lead to bitterness and extreme unhappiness. Without a merry heart, we see only the bad. But when we make that choice to be happy, no matter what, we are able to see the “sunny side” that the character Polly Anna talked so much about. With a merry heart, Corrie Ten Boom’s sister, Betsie, was able to thank God for the fleas that kept the Nazi guards from coming into their sleeping barracks instead of crying about one more problem during a time of extreme torment where evil truly afflicted every part of their days.
Now that I am an adult and have continued this battle with depression and anxiety, I understand more of what my Grandma was saying. I have seen God’s power in my life to know for certain that He is still on the throne. No matter how dark things may get, or how many nights are spent in tears, God is always in control. Even when it seems that there is no hope, I know that there is.
Does this mean that Christians should not seek medical help when things become unbearable? Not at all. By all means, if you need help, please get it. But it does mean that we should not focus on the evil around us. We should focus on the love of God, and rest in knowing that He will bring us through.
With a merry heart, we will strengthen and grow. The scripture is saying that with happiness we thrive. I am living proof. In fact, if I hadn’t chosen joy quite a bit these last few weeks, I would certainly not be smiling today.
With all the change going on in our home, my Fall (or Autumn, if that is your preferred term, 😉 ) decor is more than lacking this year. It’s not that I don’t want to do it. It’s that I’m just way too distracted.
At the same time, I have been working to implement more scripture around our home. I have scriptures for encouragement, fitness, healing, and more.
When I was trying to think of a verse that would fit for Fall (um, Autumn), there was one that stood out in my mind. Not only is it fitting for the season of the year we are in, but perfect for this season of my life.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Since the house is lacking the leaves, pumpkins, and scarecrows at the moment, I decided to make a printable to frame. (I would say that I am going to decoupage it on to a sheet of wood, but obviously I’m not sure I even have the time to do that right now. Maybe next year…) So that is what I did, I made a simple printable with Galatians 6:9 using Fall (Okay, Autumn) colors that I can throw in a frame and place on my piano or coffee bar.
A great reminder, pretty, and a way to help our family memorize the scripture and put it to work.
So while I don’t claim that it is gorgeous or fancy, I thought I would share it with all of you. Just in case there is someone else out there, right now, that needs this reminder as well.
Happy Fall/Autumn and God bless!
But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Philippians 1:12-14 NKJV
It doesn’t take much looking around today to know that being a Christian is often frowned upon, no matter where you are in the world. In the United States, we are considered politically incorrect. In other countries, we are treated as criminals. The temptation to be silent and hide is strong. I know, because that is what I did for years until I became fed up. The fear of being looked down on and losing friends was a heavy burden to carry.
Heavy, until I realized what was happening to others on the other side of the world.
In fact, long story short, it was hearing a sermon on something along these lines that brought me to beginning this blog and “coming out of the closet as a Christian”.
Paul faced a ton of adversity when he made the decision to follow Christ. Yet he never let that stop him. He shared Christ with every person he came in contact with. Confidence in the Lord wiped out all fear and gave him boldness.
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This is not an easy place in time to live in. We fear the loss of jobs, friends, family, and freedom for following Christ. Sadly, many have had to give all of that and more up already. Terrorists and anti-Christian regimes strip our brothers and sisters of their rights, possessions, and loved ones daily in other parts of the world. Yet, they stand firm. They are BOLD and FEARLESS in their proclamation of following Christ.
So why aren’t we?
I want to challenge you. Be bold and fearless. Become confident in God, that no matter what happens, He is in control. Stand firm in your faith and never waver because you are afraid. No matter if the fear is of something small or large. Because in the end, God wins, evil loses, and our reward in Heaven will be worth every bit of grief we face on earth.
If Jesus, Paul, victims of ISIS, and countless others can do it, we can too.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
When it comes to memory verses, this one has always been a favorite, so I was more than excited for my girls to learn it. I remember being a little girl, around 5 years old, and going to my grandmother’s church. They had missionettes and I got to be in the Daisies class with Sis. Barbie. She taught me this verse and I have never forgotten it. In fact, I can never read or hear this verse without seeing myself sitting across from her at the moon-shaped table in that little Sunday school room. If I think back as far as I can remember, this particular verse is the first one I ever memorized! That’s why it is a favorite of mine and I’m thrilled to share it with my children.
When we discussed this verse, I used a really simple demonstration to show my girls what being the light means. For this demonstration, all you need are 2 things: a flashlight to represent yourself, and the battery to represent Jesus (make sure the battery isn’t in the flashlight until you are ready).
1. Everyone knows a flashlight has one purpose. The purpose it was created for is to shine light in the darkness.
2. (Turn the lights out for this part) Now that the room is dark, we’re going to turn on this flashlight so that the light will shine and we can see. (The flashlight obviously will not work because the battery is not in it.)
3. It looks like our flashlight isn’t working! Maybe if we put this battery in it will help. (Put the battery in the flashlight and turn it on. This time it will work.) It seems our flashlight will only work if the battery is inside. Without the battery, it cannot fulfill it’s purpose.
Did you know, just like that flashlight, our purpose is to shine a light in the darkness? That’s what this verse is all about. God created us to shine His light to all men so that He can be glorified. And just like that flashlight, we will never do what we were created to do unless we have a battery. For us, that battery is Jesus, who lives in our hearts if we have accepted Him as our Savior. If Jesus doesn’t live in our hearts, our light will not shine. Even thought the flashlight looked like it was ready to work, it just couldn’t until the battery was inside. We can’t just look the part. We actually have to have Jesus in our hearts in order to represent Him and shine His light. When we have our “battery” in place, we can light up the darkness all around us, just like we were created to!
The following song is a great tool to help your little ones with memorization. Naomi and Adah love this song and can’t help but dance and worship to it!
Let Your Light Shine
Now what about you and your little ones? Are your batteries in place? Fulfill your purpose and overtake the darkness with the bright light of God!
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18 NKJV
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I don’t think there is a single part of my life where I haven’t dealt with fear.
I worry about my kids, my husband/marriage, my loved ones, money, health, the state of our world, life, the future, what everyone is thinking, how will I have enough time next week, and don’t you dare show me a picture of a snake unless you want me to slap you. Put one in front me? Well, you’re just mean. All of that at some point has deeply scared me… and some I deal with on a daily basis.
God doesn’t want us to fear. There a numerous times in the Bible that fear is mentioned, and over and over again it is stated that we have no reason for it. For our minds to comprehend that is impossible, though, right? With what we see on the news and happening to those around us?
When our faith is in God, when we know His love and let it envelop us, our focus on Him and making everything else fall behind it… That is when we are able to live without fear.
Why? Because we know that we are putting our love and trust into the creator of the universe, and He has our best interest in mind. His love forces every fear to leave us, but only once we put our full and complete trust in Him.
A servant cannot serve two masters. Love and fear cannot reside in the same house. Which one is living in your heart? Don’t allow yourself to be tormented. Choose love.
This is your prayer journal. It can be however you want it to be. It can include whatever you want to include in it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be prayer requests or prayers at all times. It can be plain. It can be fancy. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that it’s YOURS.
Keeping a prayer journal is simply a way of putting what’s in your heart on paper. Don’t try to use flowery words to make it sound dignified or professional. You’re not publishing a novel. You’re expressing your soul.
A prayer journal isn’t about drama. It’s something between you and God and anyone else with whom you choose to share it. It isn’t a place for you to rant about this person or that person or this situation or that situation.If you do this, you’ll eventually get through that season or over that situation, and when you look back on the drama instead of the prayer….you’ll cringe. By all means, write your heart and how you feel. However, you don’t want your words to be demeaning. Even if no else ever sees them besides you and God. Trust me.
If you haven’t written anything in a month, don’t worry about it. It’s not about daily writing or even weekly writing. I started mine in a regular single subject notebook over a year ago and I’ve only used half of the notebook. You write in it whenever you feel led to write in it. If this is only once every 6 months, good for you! As I said earlier, there are no rules.
I started my journal about a year and a half ago and I truly enjoy it. Like I said, my journal is technically a single subject notebook, not the top of the line deluxe edition journal. I only write in it when I feel the desire to…I don’t force it. Some pages have doodles. Some doodles are random, some actually pertain to whatever I’ve written about. Some entries are songs God recently gave me that I want to write down so I don’t forget. Some entries are about a word someone gave me from the Lord. Some are me baring my soul about certain feelings, situations, circumstances. Some are lists of people I need to pray for. Some are thoughts or God drops that I eventually end up sharing with you all on our blog. I even wrote about my #oneverse and #onescripture for 2014 in my prayer journal. At the end of 2013, I wrote a page of memories, good and bad, happy and sad. Some pages are nothing but Bible scriptures that I need to indulge in at the moment. Some pages have quotes that encourage me or challenge me.
Writing helps me to remember. I love going back and reading old entries. I can remember the hardships that God brought me through. I can remember the blessings He showered upon me. I can see answered prayers. I can see worship. I can see growth. It’s not for everyone but it’s something I relish. And I hope one day at the end of my journey to pass my prayer journal on to my children and grandchildren.
Do you have a prayer journal? Share your thoughts with us!