Coloring and the Gospel

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I love being creative.  That is no secret, especially on this blog and my instagram account.

And when books, encouragement in the Word, and creativity combine – that’s definitely a winner.  That’s why I love lettering the Word and using colors to help the Word come alive and be a pictured part of my day.

April Knight, in her two coloring books, combines her love of the Scripture and encouraging others with her love of art, drawing and coloring.  This one, more than others I’ve seen, offer a devotional and just allows for a small getaway in your day to be creative and focus and meditate on the Word.

One thing all of us need to more is repeat and rehearse the Gospel to us.  We live in a world full of expectations and self-imposed expectations that we will never be able to meet.  The Gospel frees us from those.  And coloring the Gospel might allow us a break from the expectations and time just to square our hearts and minds on truth.

Thanks Litfuse for these coloring books!  All opinions are my own.

Jesus Calling Family Edition

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Jesus Calling Family Edition

The most popular devotion in the last 5 years is by far Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.

And here are some posts that explain why I don’t use this for my devotions.  One two and here is one for the kids version.

But, I know everyone doesn’t believe the same about this.  I know many who use it and are encouraged by it.

Tommy Nelson gave me the chance to give away both the devotional and the kids version.

Why it would be helpful?  You and your kids can be on the same page each day of the year with what you are reading. You can learn the same Bible verses.  Hear the same truth.

Here is my caution: if you are reading it – and having your kids read it as well – at least be aware of the cautions that people give it.  Think through these thoughts.  Then, decide for yourself. My main problem is not what she says, but the fact that Sarah Young says the words are from God (and writes them as such) and then if they are words from God they should be binding on our lives.  That is why we have the Bible.  The Bible is the only authoritative word of God!

If you would like to win this set of books – leave a comment about something God has been teaching you lately!

That’s all!

Read This: Dream Devotional (Renee Fisher)

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Do you live a life in a glass bubble where everything is rosey and lively and romantic, free of trials, every day?  Since when do we not know of hardship, trials, anger, feelings of worthlessness or just mad at what others have done to you or what you have done to others?

God doesn’t promise his children the perfect life.  But, He has promised to always walk with us.  That is a treasure in hard times.  Life, in these almost three years of marriage (and Renee and I got married in the same month) have not been perfectly photographed and stages.  My husband and I have had the greatest joys of our life (children) and some of the greatest hardships of either of our lives (dealing with personal sin and then the dealings of other sins to us).  It has been a marriage of joy and hand-holding, and months of tears and hard conversations.  I wouldn’t trade my husband for anything in the world and am so glad I said yes to him almost 3 years ago (Thursday, to be exact).

Hardships are real.  If you know any of that, then you want to pick up Renee’s Kindle devotional: Dream Devotional.

What I like about Dream Devotional:

1.  Renee is real.  I love being a real friend and person.  Sometimes, that has come back to bite me, but I hate being artificial and fake.

2.  Its free until June 5.  Amazon. Kindle.  Thank you!

3.  Readability.  You find yourself in the stories and thoughts that Renee shares and you can find hope in the truths that she finds hope in.  And they are short.  When you are a mother – you don’t have time to read long chapters – so I like short ones!

4.  Hope.  We are not stuck in our hardships.  We are not stuck where the going gets tough.  God uses hardships to grow us more like Christ.  And we all need that.


Do Hard Things

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This post actually has nothing to do with the Harris brothers’ book by the same title. But, as I was thinking of titles for this blog, that is what came to mind. Others that came to mind: Things I Learned from Randy Stinson, Spiritual Laziness, What I Don’t Like To Do, but Need To. The Do Hard Things stuck and is shorter.
So…what am I talking about? One of the best part of my jobs while administrative assistant in Louisville was transcribing my boss’ talks or sermons. Sometimes I get to hear them live, but other talks I basically memorized because of the time I had to rewind, and rewind again to get the talks just right. It was a period of growth and memorization for me.
Mostly he spoke to men, but I learned a lot. He would tell the men that a lot of the younger generation is lazy. Not because they don’t like to do things, or they just sit around (which some of them do), but more than that he was talking about men who don’t do hard things. They may be really busy, but they don’t like doing things that are hard for them. They would rather live passively with their wives than bring up the issue that both of them know they need to deal with. They would rather let the slacker keep going at work than to confront him and call him on his laziness. They would rather play video games all day than prep for that test or sermon, or fix the toilet that is leaking in the guest bathroom. Do hard things. The boss would always say, do them first: write that note, send that email, fix that toilet, study for that test, ask that girl out, apply for that new position. Whatever is most hard for you to do – do it first, get it off the to-do this first and then you’ll have plenty of time to do the not so hard things.

So, I was thinking about this all day and really the past couple of days. There are two things in my life right now that are harder than the rest: and I haven’t done them because they wouldn’t be easy. I guess I should say I haven’t done either of them with sincere regularity, and my whole life reflects it.

Exercise/Healthy Eating. It is much easier to not exercise, to sleep in when the alarm goes off because it is cold outside, or to not run that extra 2 miles when you’ve already run 3. It is easier to eat brownies and roasted chicken than it is to eat carrots and roasted beets.

Personal Quiet Time. I spend all day writing curriculum, in books, digging into Scripture for my job. I love it. But, what I’ve not done with regularity is sit down in the morning – pre-work – and dig into the Scriptures for myself, for my soul, for my walk with the Lord.
I need to set my alarm, get out of bed, put my feet on the floor (and not hop back in bed) and do the hard things.
What are your hard things?
Is it cleaning the house?
Is it carrying on a conversation with your husband or wife?
Is it asking for accountablity?
Is it reading the Bible?
Is it exercising?
Is it cooking healthy meals for your family?
Is it asking that girl out?
Is it losing weight?
Is it serving in your local church?
Is it giving some of your income away to missions or service projects?
Is it opening your home to strangers or friends?
Is it practicing the spiritual discipline of prayer, worship, giving, evangelism?
Is it not buying any more “toys” because you already have too many?

Whatever your “hard thing” is – DO IT.
1 Timothy 4:8 “Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.