Biblical Womanhood · Christian growth · Godly Character Traits

BEST Bible Journaling

Recently when I was using a feature on my iPhone, the person with me said, “There are probably so many features on my phone that I don’t even know to use! This is what they had just heard me say ~

Siri, add ketchup and baking soda to my shopping list.

Alright, it’s added!

It’s so helpful to just speak and add a note to my ongoing shopping list! I need that list when I get to the store because I’ll remember things like milk or chicken, but forget things like ketchup and baking soda!

There’s another “list” that I make as I go through my week that is even more helpful, and that’s what God is teaching me each morning as I read His Word. I keep this list, for the most part, in my journal. It’s written with pen and ink. Why do I do this? It’s truly all glory to the Lord as an answer to a prayer that I asked Him for. It came from this passage ~

Jeremiah 15:16

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

I realized at one point in my life that God’s Word needed to be a higher priority, that I needed to love it more. It was then that I began to ask the Lord to give me a greater desire for it. God will answer a prayer like that, and I’m so thankful! It’s been a blessed journey!

Are you realizing like I did that you need greater doses of God’s Word? How can you know? Well, ask yourself these questions:

The answer for all of these needs is found in God’s Word. Then when we get God’s answers, it’s so important that we do something with those answers…and that includes putting it into a journal – that ongoing “list” so we won’t forget!

Last week I posted about the importance of writing down what God says to us in our Quiet Time with Him. Today let’s talk about some ways to make it easy and fun to write what God is teaching you. There are lots of ideas out there, but this is what works BEST for me. (Note the acronym that will help you remember the tips)

  • Best method – Use the method that works for you. You could use a paper journal, but if you hate to write, then type it up on your lap top on a Google Document. Or as in my opening illustration, you could even speak your note into your phone. “Hey Siri, make a note in my Bible notes.” What do you want to add? “Joseph is a reflection of Christ.” Typically iPhone notes are tricky because of misunderstanding your words, but my point is, look for the option that works best for you.
  • Equipment – Use good tools that will help you. I keep this little pouch filled with colored pens, highlighters, a straight edge for underlining, and a pencil. I buy the tiniest tip of a marker that will not transfer through pages. I also like buying colored ink and a pretty journal to make it more interesting.
  • Simplify – Keep your writing simple. I like to make bulleted points most of the time, rather than writing lengthy paragraphs.
  • Together – Keep everything in a basket, bin or tote so you can pull it together quickly in the morning. Having to go look for your highlighter or your notebook will only serve to frustrate you instead of encourage you.

Take your time as you read; be still before the Lord. It’s not the amount of things you’ve written down, but what you’re learning that is the most important. As you faithfully listen and the note what you’ve learned, you will look in time to come and see that you have grown deeper in your walk with the Lord. You have God’s Word on that!

I Peter 2:2

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”

Did this post encourage you to begin journaling or to pick it up again? I pray so! Let’s keep growing until the day we go home to heaven!

Biblical Womanhood · Conflict

Wisely Dealing With Conflict

“I Just love conflict!

said no one.

Ever.

We all avoid it. We’d rather put up with someone, overlook what might be rightfully ours, or look the other way at a grievance, just to avoid the stickiness a confrontation would bring. While it is wise at times to turn the other cheek, to overlook a transgression for the sake of love, there are times/situations that demand a confrontation.

I was encouraged recently to read what sort of seems like a little side story in the life of Abraham. In Genesis 21 we read the beautiful answer to Sarah and Abraham’s long-awaited prayer request – the birth of their son, Isaac. God “did as He said He would do.” What a God!

Then the chapter moves on to tell about a little “sticky situation” that involves Abimelech the King and Abraham. We read about it beginning in verse 22. See the bold verse to read about the conflict.

And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest:
23 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.
24 And Abraham said, I will swear.
25 And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away.
26 And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing; neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day.
27 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant.
28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.
29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?
30 And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.
31 Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.
32 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.
33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God.
34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines’ land many days.

Wells were very important because water was scarce because Canaan had no significant rivers. A well had been dug on Abraham’s land. It was rightfully his, but it had been taken away. I find in this passage some good advice when dealing with a conflict.

  1. Approach the situation under the control of God’s Spirit and not in your flesh. Abimelech told Abraham in verse 22, “God is with you in all you do.” He didn’t come with an angry spirit. His attitude made it obvious that he was walking with God.
    It’s sometimes hard to get our emotions in check, but we will be received so much better if we will be walking with God so that we come with a peaceful, loving spirit.
  2. Ask questions, rather than making an accusation. A question will soften the heart, but an accusation hardens the spirit. It appears that Abraham probably asked Abimelech about the well because of his response in verse 26.
    Saying, “You always,” or “you never!” will only make a person bristle up and be on the defensive. Asking a question like, “It seemed like this is what you were saying, am I correct?” is so much softer than telling it like you assumed it was.
  3. A loving gesture, such as a gift will pacify anger. Abraham gives a generous gift to Abimelech. He gave sheep, oxen and lambs. The gift was to prove that the well did indeed belong to Abraham. It was kind of like a consolation prize! It sealed the deal they made. The matter was taken care of and this was proof.
    The gift is not to be a bribe. This is a gesture of love and given with a heart to mend the wrong.

    Years ago I had a neighbor who was just a mean-hearted woman. She was offended by my husband by something that was totally innocent on his part. We tried and tried to explain and make amends. Finally one day the Lord put something on my heart that I could do for her and I decided to make one more attempt at breeching the situation.
    Because she kept her young grandchildren every day, I thought she might appreciate some toys my girls had outgrown. I knew her grands would enjoy these toys that were still in great condition, so I boxed them up, along with a loaf of bread. I crossed the street, my heart pounding. When her husband opened the door I asked if I could speak with his wife. He looked quite surprised, but went and got her. She came to the door in a huff. I quickly offered her the box of toys for the children. She started to resist, but I implored,
    “I’d love for your grandchildren to have these. They’re all cleaned up and in perfect condition.”
    She finally did reach out and take them. I assured her that we truly wanted to be friendly neighbors and were here for her, should she ever need us.
    That was the last time I spoke with her before we moved. Though we were never “close friends,” I’m thankful that the last time we had a conversation, it was a civil one, and that I had done what the Lord prompted me to do in an attempt to mend any offense.

Sometimes the conflict will be mended, as it was in Abraham’s case. Sometimes, as happened in my case, only our own heart will be mended because we did what the Lord required of us in this difficulty.

When it was all said and done, Abraham Called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God. One commentator said,

Even through this time of conflict in his family and among his neighbors, Abraham kept a real, live walk with God. Conflict did not drive him away from God, but he allowed it to push him closer to the LORD

Your conflict can do the same thing for you! Just keep walking with the Lord.

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Biblical Womanhood · Motherhood

A Mother’s Strong Influence

The following is not my post, this is from Our Daily Bread, but I was so touched as I thought of the great impact mothers have on their children’s hearts. I wanted to share it because I thought you would be encouraged by it, too.

My son, keep thy father’s commandments, and forsake not the law of thy mother.

As I read Proverbs 6:20, which refers to “the law of your mother,” I recall some of my mother’s unique “laws” that have helped me many times.

The first I call “the law of the warm kitchen.” When we got home from school on a cold winter’s day or when the holidays rolled around, the kitchen was always so warm from baking and cooking that the windows were steamed. It was also warm with a mother’s love.

A second law I call “the law of a mother’s perspective.” When I would come to her all upset over some childish matter, she would often say, “Pay no attention.” Or, “Ten years from now you’ll have forgotten all about it.” That helped me put things into perspective.

But above all was my mother’s “law of faith.” She had an unswerving trust in God that kept her strong and gentle amid fears, pressures, and sacrifices of the war years and of the 1950s.

Mom’s been with the Lord now for many years. Yet I’m still grateful for her “laws,” because they have helped me through many difficult days.

Christian mother, you too are writing “laws” for your children. Are they worth remembering? – D C Egner

That question is truly worth considering…”What ‘laws’ are you writing on the heart of your children?” Are they the kind of laws that will help and encourage them as they mature and move on in life? Your personal life has everything to do with whether or not you have anything to pass along to the next generation. Walk with God today. Let Him fill your heart with His joy, His Word and His directives.

Refresh the heart of your children with your “laws.”

Bible study · Biblical Womanhood · Fear · peace

Safe Am I

When our daughter and son-in-law brought their precious twin boys home from the hospital, I watched with intensity as they got the babies ready to go to sleep in their bassinets. They would lay down a blanket on the changing table, set the baby at an angle in the middle, and then bring each side in very tightly. Finally the bottom part of the blanket came up and was tucked in securely. it was like they were ready for shipping by UPS! There was not chance for flailing arms or legs – every part of the boys was tucked safely and securely inside.

Photo by Laura Garcia on Pexels.com

This was a whole new approach to me, since my last baby came more than 25 years before. I felt concerned.

“Won’t the boys need to stretch?” I asked.

“This swaddle will keep them from jumping and alarming themselves while they sleep” my daughter explained.

True to its word, that tight little swaddle kept them snug and sleeping soundly until their tummies woke them up with hunger.

Little babies have it made, don’t they?! To be wrapped so safely and snuggly and allowed to rest like that would be like….well, it would be just like what Christ does for us as His children. As a matter of a fact, there’s even a reference in Scripture to the Lord doing that very thing for David.

We’ve been taking a look at the story of Nabal the fool and how he angered David by refusing to feed him and his men after they had treated Nabal’s sheep shearers kindly. David decided this man and all his household would die as a result! A wise servant of Nabal’s hurries to Nabal’s wife, Abigail to tell her what has taken place and also of the sure destruction that was coming soon unless someone stopped David.

Wise and beautiful Abigail stepped in by sending a huge gift of food to David and his men. (Wisdom fed the men before talking!) It was sheep shearing time, and there had been lots of preparations, so she was well able to load the donkeys with the best of food to fill the appetites of these hungry soldiers.

But now David needed to be addressed and Abigail had the godly character and wisdom to know just how to speak the truth into his heart. You can read exactly what she said here. She simply reminded David that if he killed these innocent men, he would have a blight on his name, but if he would trust the Lord, God would take care of wicked Nabal.

As I imagine this scene in my mind, I see David’s hand drop from his sword and hang down at his side. His shoulders relax and his head drops as he realizes the foolish decision he had been spared.

Abigail reminded David of a truth that is especially beautiful for each one of us who know Christ and could feel like some threat or danger is before us ~

But the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God;

She was saying that David was safe in God’s hands, that God would watch over and protect him, just like a traveler who carries their precious possessions bundled up underneath their robes.

Friends, that is our position in Christ! We are bound up in His bundle! It’s like He has us wrapped up in a swaddling blanket and carries us close to His heart.

When I was a girl we would sing the song, Safe am I, safe am I, in the hollow of His hand. There’s no better place to be than safe in Christ!
(Here’s a recording of the song made by The Dayspring Quartet.)

Whatever trouble may be around you today, stop and realize that if Christ is your Savior, you are safe and secure in Him…all day and all night, too. Like those little baby boys wrapped so tightly, there’s no need for us to jump or be alarmed!

Now rest peacefully.

Biblical Womanhood · Home making · Wife's Role

Homemaker Encouragement

As we finish this short series on Home Management, I wanted to leave you with a few thoughts about your work as a homemaker.

  1. Prepare your heart for the day. Talk to the Lord about your day and your work.  Give it to Him. 
    Ps. 90:17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.

As you look at your list of “To-do’s,” give it to the Lord and let Him order your steps. You’ll be amazed at how much more you’ll accomplish that lines up with His will instead of your own!

  1. Deal with only today. Matt. 6:34 Take therefore no thought (Don’t worry) for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. 

Be not anxious about tomorrow; today has its own challenges! Augustine took Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. and said, “Number each day as your last day. (One day it will be).  

I can remember a few years ago I let myself get so stressed out about some company that was coming at a very busy time. Guess what? They ended up having to cancel! I had stressed and worried for naught! So often that is the case. Dealing with today will relieve those worrisome situations and help you do the next step…

3. Value each minute of today. Make each moment count for eternity.  Think about the eternal, not the temporal. 

We remember moments not days.

Make your home more about the people than you do the place.  People – not things – create the memories in your home.  People are eternal; things are not!

Here are three last helps as you manage your home – 

** Keep moving. Like the law of inertia,  A body in motion will remain in motion! A body at rest will remain at rest. Keep going until your work is done.

** Develop a routine – same place, same thing, same time. Do the worst first. If you do that, it will make your day more productive!

** Say “No!” Make your plan for the day, then unless you are sure that God is moving you to Plan B, the answer is going to be “No” until that plan is complete. Say no to people, to yourself, your own indulgences and rash things.

She looks well to the ways of her household and doesn’t eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27

A refreshing look at our responsibilities can give us a right perspective and a determination to give it our all! I trust this has refreshed your attitude about being a home manager and has also shown you what a blessing it is to wear that title!