Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Life Verse

Some of you may be wondering, "What is a life verse?" So, let me answer that question...
A life verse is a specific verse in the Bible that holds a significant meaning to you. Maybe it defines your life in some way, gives you inspiration, or just plain speaks to you in a way that no other verse does.
MY life verse is written at the top of this blog:  Isaiah 41:13.

I don't remember exactly when I came across this verse, but I know I was in my teenage years (probably around age 15 or 16). It definitely spoke to me in a way that no other verse has. It gave me inspiration at that time, and continues to do so today.

To give you a little better idea of how this verse has helped me throughout the years, I added a new tab at the top titled MY TESTIMONY. Go there now to check it out!
NOTE:  Comments will not be able to published under the "testimony" tab. But, feel free to come back and leave a comment here below THIS post. 
Now, here's an assignment for you... think about your own life. What one verse (or series of verses) could you call YOUR life verse? Write it down.

Go a step further and take some time to write (or type) out your story (or testimony) around this verse, and explain why it means so much to you.

Then, if you feel led, share it with me in an E-MAIL! I'd love to hear how God's Word has been an inspiration in your life. I might even be inclined to feature you as a guest blogger! You don't have to have perfect spelling, or perfect grammar. The important thing is to just write out your thoughts and make them known. Like Linda Thomas said in my previous post, "Your stories are part of God's stories, and God's stories are part of your stories." So, take some time to share them with others!
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Monday, April 25, 2011

GUEST BLOGGER: Linda Thomas - Spiritual Memoirs 101

Not too long ago, I "met" Linda Thomas through The Faithful Bloggers. Linda previously served as a Teaching Leader with Bible Study Fellowship International. She and her husband, Dave, also worked with Wycliffe Bible Translators for three years in South America and eight years in Africa. In 2010, Linda published  "Grandma's Letters from Africa," which is a memoir about her first four years in Africa. Then, only a couple of weeks ago, I got in on the ground breaking of her newest project about Spiritual memoirs. Just to clarify - a memoir is not the same thing as a journal or a diary. A journal is private, but a memoir is something that is meant to be shared.

Linda graciously agreed to write a post for my blog about this project. I really wanted to let you all know about it, as I think its a really great idea. This is a project that ANYONE can take part in, in the comfort of your own home, whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt/uncle, or special friend to a child. And, if you can write a letter, then YOU can do this project. Thanks so much, Linda! I am excited to be a part of this project...

A Rhema Moment
By: Linda Thomas

About ten years ago while reading Deuteronomy 4, I had a rhema moment - an instant when "a word in Scripture zings you," as Priscilla Shirer describes it. It's a flash of "Aha!" when God gives extra significance to a Bible passage and you know He is speaking to you.

Deuteronomy 4:9 tells us to remember what we've seen God do for us and to be sure to tell our children and grandchildren. I had read that verse many times before but that day I had a rhema moment. That verse took on new meaning and urgency. I knew I had to do something about it.

At that time, I wasn't even sure what a memoir was but soon discovered memoir is a perfect format for telling kids and grandkids what God has done. A couple of years later, I started teaching memoir classes, first in Washington State, and now in Missouri. And now, for several reasons, the time is right to begin my new blog, SPIRITUAL MEMOIRS 101.

About the blog...

Spiritual Memoirs 101 is about inspiration and celebration, with a focus on Deuteronomy 4:9, "Always remember the things you've seen God do for you, and be sure to tell your children and grandchildren!"

Inspiration is one of my favorite words. I pray that within this blog, you'll find inspiration.

What words come to mind when you think of inspiration?

I think of infusing with enthusiasm, encouragement, passion, gusto, and eagerness.

Week by week, we will examine the art and craft of memoir and, as we do, my heart's desire is that you'll receive inspiration to write and write and write and write.

Celebration is another of my favorite words. It conjures up images of cheering, praising, and applauding. I pray that within and beyond this blog, you'll participate in a celebration - ultimately a celebration of God in all His goodness, faithfulness, holiness, and splendor.

May God help us remember all we've seen Him do for us, and with us - and even in spite of us.

May He give us a longing to write those stories for our children, grandchildren, and "spiritual" children as well - precious people God has brought into our lives whether we share DNA or not.

Your stories are part of God's stories,
and God's stories are part of your stories.
People need to hear those stories. Believe it!
Get ready to write!

~*~*~*~*~

Linda writes for her blog on a weekly basis, and you can follow along at: SPIRITUAL MEMOIRS 101 where she will be teaching us more about Spiritual memoirs and giving assignments to help get us started.  For example, the first assignment was to start a list of things you’ve seen God do for you and add to it throughout the week.

You can also follow her along on Facebook: HERE.

And, if you would like to read more about her book, "Grandma’s Letters from Africa," you can follow her on this blog: GRANDMA’S LETTERS FROM AFRICA.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Death, Burial & Resurrection - Group Writing Project

A couple of months ago, I became a member of FAITHFUL BLOGGERS, a community for Christian bloggers. The purpose of this group is to provide a common ground where we can encourage one another to use our blogs for God's glory.

At the beginning of this month, several of us in the group stepped up to write a blog specifically about the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord. Each blogger wrote a personal testimony, a devotional, or a Bible study of some sort. 

Now, thanks to Courtney (the owner of Faithul Bloggers), 15 of these blogs have been compiled into a FREE PDF download of 37 pages.  It is my pleasure to share this download with you now. All you have to do is click on the book cover below. You can, then, save it to your computer and read it on screen, or print it out to read at your leisure.


ENJOY!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Eternal Encouragement Magazine

On Tuesday afternoons, I get the opportunity to sit and read for about 40 minutes as I wait for my daughter’s Speech Therapy class to get done. My 8yo son and I will usually sit in the upper part of the High School gymnasium where, on some days, I will read him a book or two, giving him a little extra one-on-one time with mom. Other days, when he is more intrigued with watching the High School boys during gym class, or would rather just play with his toys, I will read something just for me... something that is usually encouraging, inspiring, or informational... and will conveniently fit into the front pocket of my purse. To name a few titles that have automatically found a home tucked between my checkbook and my wallet, I remember having a Guideposts magazine to read, as well as one from Remedy. Both of these magazines are just the right size for a carry-along bag or purse. More recently, I have been reading Eternal Encouragement. It is also a small, take-along size, and it just so happens to be this month’s Gabby Mom’s review. 

Let me tell you, if any of you moms out there are looking for an inspiring magazine to subscribe to, this would be the one! I don’t say that lightly. I’ve read my share of some great magazines in the past - some for parenting, cooking, homemaking, homeschooling, Christian living, health, etc.; and, to be quite honest, I really didn’t think Eternal Encouragement would be overwhelmingly impressive to me at first. However, as I began to read the articles (this issue’s theme was “Time Flies”), I didn’t read just one or two encouraging... or helpful... or convicting articles. I’d say at least 3/4 of the magazine really spoke to me in a way that no other magazine ever has.

To be fair, there’s a chance that this issue’s theme just really hit home to me, as I’ve certainly been struggling with how I spend my time and how some of it could be spent in better ways. I can see how the Lord has so lovingly and patiently been speaking to me in numerous ways over the past few months about how my days are numbered... about how my children are growing up so quickly... about how much time is wasted in a day doing things that should be at the bottom of my list rather than the top. I know it wasn’t a coincidence that all of these things, and more, were discussed in various articles in this issue of the magazine, solidifying that I need to be faithful in prioritizing every activity of every day. 

So, granted, I only have this one issue to go off of. But, after reading this one issue, I am totally curious to know what the next issue will entail.

FYI: Eternal Encouragement is a magazine “that will help you with your God-assigned tasks as a wife and mother by:”  
  • Encouraging you with wisely spoken words.
  • Convicting your heart as He refines you into His image.
  • Challenging you to continue to strive for improvement.
  • Touching your spirit with heart-warming stories.
  • Entertaining you through life-learning lessons.
  • Inspire you to immerse yourself in the holy promises that are yours.

Go here to subscribe for $25.97 per year, plus receive a FREE gift:
http://www.subscribe.eternalencouragement.com/

Disclaimer:
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I reviewed Eternal Encouragement Magazine as an official member of The Gabby Moms blogging program. I did not receive compensation for this post and all opinions are solely my own.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Velveteen Bible - Review and GIVE-A-WAY!!!!

Now that we have our computer back, I can finally tell you about a new keepsake Bible I was given the chance to look over.... and give YOU a chance to win it!

I think almost everyone has at least heard of the popular classic children’s book “The Velveteen Rabbit.” Well, now here’s The Velveteen Bible. This is a complete copy of the NKJV Bible, enclosed in a sweet little keepsake box, and designed to be given as a gift to young ones. It has several pages at the beginning that allow the Bible to be personalized by the giver.

The cover of the Bible has the words “Holy Bible” written in pastel colors, and a brown & white rabbit that feels velvety to the touch. The designs encompassing the rabbit are also raised with a velvety feel to them, making it appealing to little fingers. There are also several colorful illustrations mixed among the traditional black & white pages, sure to be a delight to the eyes of a child.

While this is not a Bible with easy words for children to read on their own, it would make a cute gift for a baby shower, baby dedication, baptism, 1st birthday, or any other special occasion for young children. It would even be a sweet gift for Easter morning, which is coming up very soon!

With that in mind, I have decided to have a drawing to give this Bible away, as I don’t really have a need for it. My babies are.... well... no longer babies (Sniff, sniff....my how the time flies. One of my friends’ little ones spontaneously snuggled up in my lap for a few minutes on Friday and, oh.... I was in heaven.) So, anyway, if you are interested in participating in the drawing for this Bible, just do one of two things. Either comment below and be sure to include your e-mail address, or send me an e-mail: HERE. I will collect names through Friday, April 15th, draw a name on Saturday, and get it in the mail to the winner - hopefully arriving in time for Easter!

One entry per person.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Who Has Influenced You the Most in your Spiritual Journey?

Yes, I'm still alive. I have been without our desk computer for the past week and haven't been able to write much. It's been a nice break, actually, but I started having writing withdrawal yesterday afternoon. I have been periodically checking e-mail on my husband's laptop. However, it is difficult to write on my blog without having the computer I normally use. I'm not really sure when we will get the computer back so, today, since the kids and I are having an easy school week (a much needed little Spring Break), I decided I would go ahead and write something, regardless....

Today's topic was suggested to me by a group called The Faithful Bloggers. The question is... 

Who has influenced you the most in
your Spiritual journey?

Well, that one, for me, is easy - my parents! They both grew up in Christian homes and had good examples from their own parents, thus passing it along to me and my siblings. At a young preschool age, I can remember my parents being area directors for CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship). So, from the earliest time I can remember, I have been hearing about events that happened in the Bible. Most will call them Bible Stories, but they are not really "stories" like we would read in a picture book. They are true events that happened - a part of history. Obviously, many in this world will disagree with me on that and explain the Bible away as "stories" or myths. I feel sorry for those people, as they are truly missing out on knowing God in a real and meaningful way. My parents taught me, by their example, that the Bible is true; and that God's love for us is real.

At the young age of 4, my mother was teaching a children's Bible class (called a Good News Club) to some children in the basement of our home. I was included in these clubs, and it was during one of them that the Lord got ahold of my heart. At that young age of 4, I understood who Jesus was. I understood that I am a sinner in need of a Savior (Romans 3:23). I understood that Jesus died on a cross for my sins. I understood that asking Jesus to forgive my sins and to be a part of my life forever made me a new person, as well as someone who would have eternal life in heaven (John 3:16).

THAT was the beginning of my spiritual journey, but it didn't end there. My parents are not perfect, but they continued to faithfully teach me and my brother and sister about Spiritual matters. They not only helped to bring me to a saving faith in Jesus, they discipled me and helped me to understand that faith in Jesus is only the beginning of our service to Him. Anyone can believe in Jesus, but it doesn't really mean a thing if you're not willing to live for Him.

There IS more to my story, but I think I'll stop here for now. My hope is that my story never comes to an end as long as I am here on this earth. It is my desire to serve the Lord with gladness all the days of my life. And, I have my parents to THANK for their example.

Thankyou, Mom & Dad, for caring enough to teach me about God's Word, to tell me the truth of Salvation through Jesus Christ alone, to disciple me in my Christian walk, and for your continual love, encouragement, support, and example. Because of you, I am who I am today.


So, now, it's your turn? Who has influenced YOU the most for the Lord? Tell me about it below, or in an e-mail. I'd really LOVE to hear from you!

God is good.....
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