Monday, December 31, 2012

my one goal for 2013 + planning goals in the new year


I'm just getting back from a little time away from everything- the hubs and I went to Hot Springs for three days while my mom kept the kiddos {thanks Mom!!}. It was so relaxing, but Rob and I both decided we missed the chaos a little bit. :) We were ready to come back home. We don't know how to sit still for too long. :)

But I can't say I'm quite ready for the new year. I keep wanting to think about setting a bunch of goals for the year, but I'm trying to restrain myself from planning everything out this time.

I tend to get crazy and a little too ambitious with my goals- and I always end up doing more than I thought I could, but never all of what I wanted to do. Which drives me crazy sometimes. And I even knew that going into 2012! Ha! Does that happen to you too? :)

This year I'm working on just a couple of ideas to try, and I think I'm going to plan out my months as they come along instead of so far in advance. If one thing's for sure, my plans are not His plans. :)

My one big goal this year is to grow in Christ. I want to fall more in love and become more like Him, and I want to look less like myself at the end of 2013. Oh, I just can't get enough of Him, you guys! Even when I go through dry seasons in my quiet time, my heart somehow cries out to Him to keep me in His hand- to not let me slip away from Him, even a little bit. And that encourages me, because it is the Holy Spirit interceding for me. I know it's not me.

Becoming a better mama and wife, staying disciplined in my work, learning more about Him- all the things I desire to grow in this year, really depend on Him working in me first. He decides my priorities, and He changes my heart.

I'm excited about what is to come in 2013. I can't wait to see what He does, and how He guides the months ahead! Soon I'll make out a few goals for January {maybe even including a little fitness challenge! :D}, and share those with you, but for now I'm enjoying the last few sweet hours of 2012.

Thank you Jesus, for this beautiful, beautiful year.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

what a merry day...

Oh, this day.

He was born.

He lived.

He died.

He rose.

We live.

He left us His Spirit as a promise, and one day soon He will return for His bride.

We celebrate Him today-what was, what is, and what is to come.

The great I AM.

Jesus, we praise you!

Thank you that we are given a chance to worship you today, and every day. Thank you for giving us salvation and true joy!!

We eagerly wait for you to make your appearance.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.



p.s. I'm taking a bit of a blogging break through the new year to celebrate with my family. I'll be back soon!! Merry, merry Christmas friends!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

how we have hope in the face of evil

Their precious Noah, age 6, who was killed last Friday at school. My own little Noah is just 7.
After Friday, how do we go back to regular life?

I think it's the question on everyone's heart today.

My heart aches for the families of the children and teachers that died in Connecticut last week. I can't begin to imagine the grief and anger they must face right now.

I feel angry that an evil boy-man can go in and take the lives of little children.

I'm angry that he killed himself. That he's not alive to see what he did. I realize He will face a much more serious judge than here on earth, but I still can't believe that he was so cowardly.

I don't know if I should be angry or not, honestly. We are called to love, but my chest burns because I can't believe a human being would be capable of such an atrocity. It's just so evil.

But there is nothing new under the sun, my brother Josh reminds me. Evil men have been taking the lives of children and the innocent for centuries. 

How could I forget?

Around this time more than two thousand years ago, a decree went out from the government that all of the first-born sons under 2 in Bethlehem were to be killed. That's why Mary and Joseph had to take Jesus and flee to Egypt.

Can you imagine your government killing your first-born baby boy?

How about the government demanding the life of any of your newborn baby boys like Pharaoh did in the time of Moses?

Or your government deciding to murder your disabled child like Hitler did not even 75 years ago?

And what about people deciding to kill their own children? 

1.2 million innocent babies died in our very own country last year.

It seems to me that evil hates innocence. Evil wants to kill innocence.

How is this possible? So many people ask why a good God would allow this to happen.

My question in return is, why would mankind allow this to happen? Why do we allow it to happen?

The responsibility is ours. The consequences are ours.

Man is desperately wicked. 

From the fall in the garden, we have been seeking our own way apart from God. We are completely unable to bring ourselves to goodness. 

History just shows us that man continues to sin, and even in the same way. 

We are forever lost without a chance- doomed to repeat history- unless someone comes to redeem us.

And only Jesus, the Son of God, did that. 

He was innocent, but He gave Himself up. 

We killed Him, the spotless Lamb, just like all those madmen killed those innocent children. 

Why? 

Because evil wants to kill innocence.  Evil hates good.

Our sins put Jesus on the cross that day. We crucified Him with our lies, our disobedience, our hate. He died because of what we did. 

But God in His amazing GLORY, defeated our sin in that moment- through the death and resurrection of His perfect Son, we became able to be made clean and perfect like He is. In a moment, we went from murderers to adopted, righteous sons and daughters made new in His likeness. 

What???

What is that incredible, crazy mercy?

Oh, do you see it??

We have no hope aside from Jesus!


But God is so, so merciful. 

God's eyes weren't closed when the Connecticut shooting happened. He sees the evil happening here. Like Ninevah, this country's evil has come up before God

And He sent a Way for us to repent- to be saved, just like He did for that evil city.

God is as full of mercy today as He was in Ninevah's day. They were a culture known for loving violence {does it seem strange that we as a culture today love to watch it in movies, TV, video games, and the news?}, but God had great pity on them, and gave them the chance to repent. 

He saw their 120,000 who didn't know their right hand from their left. He saw their tiny innocent ones, and He didn't want them to die. 

God isn't willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance: 
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Like the persistent widow demanding justice from the judge in Luke 18, our human heart cries for justice when evil does us wrong. But do we remember that we were once the evil-doer? And that God had mercy on us?

My heart is angry for the children that died, and I want to see that a punishment is given to the person who did it. My heart wants justice for the innocent. I want what is wrong to be made right. Everyone in this place does. 

This world is broken. We can all see that. Anyone can see that.

The question is, are we willing to see what we did to the Redeemer of all things?

He died for our sins. He was innocent. Spotless. Pure.  

Will we turn from our sins, and put our hope in Him alone? He waits with great patience for us to come to Him. 

What can we do as believers as we look for His return? For this broken world to be made new and clean and right again? 


Oh, and we can't miss how Jesus finishes the parable of the widow with this important question:
"Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Luke 18:8

Will he find us faithful at the end? Will you put your hope in Him today?

Jesus, thank you for your great mercy toward us. We are sinners desperately in need of you, and we praise you for giving us a way to come before you. We eagerly await your return, Jesus. Please comfort the broken-hearted as only you can do, God. You can imagine their grief, Lord. Oh Jesus, we come before you asking that you would be the light in the darkness of this situation. Show them your glory, Lord, and give them hope, Father. We love and praise you God, and we long for you to come.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

the $10 business | buckle your seatbelt {investment #4}

I feel so much better today!! I think your prayers worked, because I slept like a baby last night. Thank you, Lord!! :D


Remember the $10 business? {I'm still working on it, slowly!}. I'll post more of these as I get a chance!

I found this Harvey's seatbelt bag at Goodwill in great condition for $7.57:



These sell for $138 online, and they're actually made out of seat belts!  They're really well made bags, and pretty too. And no one will be able to rip it off your shoulder, that's for sure!

I sold my sweet little find for $35- making about $27 before taxes! :D Wohoo! :D

$126.69 + $27.43= $154.12 in four transactions {I started with $10!}.

After doing a few of these earlier this year, I realized that spending my free time shopping to make extra money isn't really high on my priority list. :) And I stopped doing as much thrifting after our Goodwill remodeled and prices went up. But if it's feasible for my family, I hope to do more of these kinds of transactions soon!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

how to be like Jesus as a woman today {when you’re weary}

what it looks like to follow Jesus as a woman in today's world

Do you ever feel like you have little ones hanging on your legs all day long? Asking you for things constantly?

Jesus did too. :)

He even had adults pulling on his robe. Every person wanting something from Him. Touch me, heal me, help me.

Just imagining that scenario makes me twitch a bit.

Worse than the worst paparazzi- these people were infected, possessed, bleeding, leprous- and they all wanted to get to Jesus. To touch Him. To talk to Him.

Jesus certainly wasn’t a germaphobe, was He?

He had these needy people all over him, all the time, and over and over He had compassion on them.

I wonder how long would it take for my compassion tank to run out? Like two days? But He never runs out.

I love seeing in the Gospels how Jesus dealt with the needy people. I get tired just reading all He did {in between walking miles and miles everywhere}. When I would call it quits mentally, He has compassion and keeps on healing the sick and teaching the hearts of the lost. In almost every town.

I’m thinking, how does Jesus keep on? I know He has to be tired. I have just four little kids and a husband, and I get tired of constantly being needed. How does His human body keep going? Surely He felt something like I do today?

Then I see it: in the midst of all the ministry, over and over again He slips away from the crowd to be alone with His Father.

It even says it here in Luke 5:16: “But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.”

Sometimes after the day ends, and many times before the day begins, Jesus recharges Himself in the presence of His Father.

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. Mark 1:35

And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. Matthew 14:23

Wherever He is, He finds a quiet place to hear Him. To walk with Him.

So many times before and after big events in Jesus’ ministry, we find Him withdrawing to places He can be alone with God.

That last night in the Garden- He prayed all night. The culmination of His ministry here on earth was preceded by and soaked in prayer.

I know you’re thinking what I have before- but I have all these little children and I’m never alone. I have so much to do, all the time.

I think in light of the Scriptures, we have no excuse. :)

God Himself wore flesh, and everywhere He went He was followed by people needing Him to do something. To teach them something. Not so different from mamas.

And yet, even with all the work He had to do, He found Himself needing to be alone in the presence of God.

Perhaps we need the same. Before, after, during the day- it doesn’t matter when.

If you feel like you don’t have a moment to yourself, you’re in great company. Jesus understands. :)

And just like God provided a chance for Jesus to be alone with Him, He will do the same for you. He will refresh you with His Spirit, just like He did for His Son.

You have the Holy Spirit in you, speaking to your heart. I know if you ask, He will give you a moment to hear His voice.

It’s not the law of course- you don’t have to have any certain “quiet time” every day. God provides you with His Spirit everywhere! But looking at the example of Jesus, I think we would so benefit from being alone with Him regularly.

I know for me, a lot of times I read the Bible on the couch with the kids running around, but I can’t pray with little people talking all around me. I can’t. I need to be alone- I need to speak with God- I need to hear Him.

My heart burns and seeks God, and I want no distractions when He is calling me. Most of the time it’s in the morning, but sometimes in the middle of the day I can hide in the bedroom or the laundry room for a few minutes. Or in the bath at night.

If you feel God pulling you away for a moment, stop and go to your room or the laundry room or a closet, and pray to Him. He wants your heart, and you already know this, but your constant serving is draining on you, sweet friend.

You need to refresh your spirit in Him- to set your mind on things above so that you can continue in your well-doing. He gives power to the faint, and to them who have no might, He increases strength!

This morning I woke up really early because I have this awful sinus pressure. I didn’t sleep well at all last night. I woke up before the kiddos and had time alone with God. I told Him right away I had nothing today- that I am weak and tired and broken, and He said to me, when I am weak, He is strong.

And you know what? He gave me energy. Energy to brush hair. To put clothes in the dryer. To clean up the house. To do a load of laundry. To write two articles. To not have a terrible attitude because the center of my face hurts.

He gives you strength.

When you’re tired, find your rest in Him. Find anywhere you can to have a minute alone with God.

He will give you your strength. He did it for His Son, and He promises the same for you today.

Seek Him, my friend.

Monday, December 10, 2012

gift guide for men {$35 and under}


I had a ton of fun making a gift guide for the ladies last week, so I thought I would share a men's gift guide based on things I know my man likes. :D

My hubs is a techie, but he's a handyman too. He's single-handedly remodeled the entire downstairs of our house so far. He's also very good at inventing things. And working out. :D {I like to tell him it must be because he has an amazing fitness instructor. Ahem. ;)}

So here are a few gift items he might want, use, or already love:

When we met, he got endless amounts of teasing from my dad that his favorite movie had the words princess and bride in it. I think my dad may have even called it the princess diaries once or twice. But Rob stuck to his guns, and still proudly admits his favorite movie of all time is:



And with "fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles..."

I have to admit, it's the best movie ever. :D

Headphones are also at the top of his wish list- he loves to listen to the Bible and audiobooks while he remodels our.entire.home... ;)

$5.58 with really excellent reviews, and they come in lots of colors! {also apparently, they were recommended by Consumer Reports!}
And this may or may not be what I'm getting the hubs for Christmas. {don't tell!} It's a table top set that makes any table into a ping pong table. :D I'm excited about this one too!


We saw this over at Restoration Hardware, and he fell in love with this:



Here is a slightly less stylish Amazon version for $12.93 shipped.


And both my husband and my brother profess great love for their comfortable zipped fleece jackets. I know why- I love them too! They are perfect for wearing around the house all day:



And I mentioned that Rob loves to listen to books while he does house repairs... this year he mentioned he would love to listen to this audio book again:



{That book is amazing- I think it's good for every Christian to read! It's a fictional work of letters written between the ranks of the demons as they work on Christians. It really makes you think!}

And you know every guy needs another flash drive! This one is special because it's crazy tiny:

And if the man on your list works out, he really might like this blender bottle my husband LOVES:



It's the only "glass" my hubs uses every day. ;)

And I loved this classic Timex. If I didn't just buy him a watch, I would totally buy this for him this Christmas:




{It was selling for much, much more on the J. Crew website a year ago!}

And while the last gift definitely does not qualify to be exciting, I think every man loves a great pair of super comfortable socks that will last {comfort is always the #1 priority for most guys I know!}:


What kinds of gifts does your guy love? Would you say comfort is at the top of his list too? :D





{p.s. the amazon links above contain my affiliate information, so that if you should decide to buy those items, {bh} will get a small percentage! yay for affiliate programs!}

Thursday, December 06, 2012

coming soon...a Mandy's Closet pop-up sale!!

I'm working on a fun little project today!

Within the next week or so, I'll be posting another round of Mandy's Closet!! :D

In case you missed the first round, it's like shopping at the thrift store from home! :D

Each item is a unique find from my closet, and the prices will be the same as you would find at the thrift store or eBay, just without all of the hunting!

Here are some items I'll be listing: Cole Haan Nike Air leather boots, a leather military-style jacket, a metallic leather Coach purse, sweaters, blazers, a Fossil leather bag, Joe's Jeans, Giani Bini leather heels, Citizens of Humanity jeans, a silk olive green dress, Frye strappy heels, Christian books, home decor, and more.

I'm so excited!! :D I am super thrilled to be able to share a few of my finds with you! :D 

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

signs of life in our home

I am so amazed at how spending time with Jesus totally transforms your perspective. I can remember last week a time when having to deal with all of this would have made me feel overwhelmed:

The paper snowflakes all over the living room...

the muffin crumbs everywhere...

random junk to put away {and more crumbs}...

laundry to do...

and the never empty sink of dishes...


Not so long ago, seeing those things would have forced me to take a deep breath and tackle them as soon as possible.

But this morning, they aren't my taskmasters. 

Instead, they are beautiful signs of life at my house.

Of tiny hands creating...

of mouths being fed...

of little bodies being clothed.

It's amazing how walking with Jesus takes the temporary and gives it an eternal perspective.

These precious lives have been entrusted to me. They are His, yet they are in my care.

Do I love them the way my Father loves me?

Oh, I want to so badly.

I love how my Father is so patient with me. How I make messes, and He takes care of them for me.

I stumble, and He picks me up. Yet He doesn't tell me how awful I was for falling. I sin, and He forgives and is still merciful to me.

He holds my hand through it all. And that's what I want to do for them too.

My Father is helping me focus on my little ones instead of the mess this week. And you know what? The mess doesn't matter at all anymore.

It's such an incredible mercy- only He could change this stubborn heart.

He's taking my eyes off the temporary and showing me what really matters.

They are His little ones too.

I praise you, Lord, for the precious signs of life in our home. Thank you for food, and dishes to eat it on; clothing, and a place to wash it; for the eight little busy hands and eight little growing feet you've given me to care for. Please help me to keep my eyes on what is important in this time I have with them. Help me to show them the way to you by displaying your love to them.

Monday, December 03, 2012

10 fun online gifts for women {gift guide: $1-$40}


I must confess: I love seeing gift guides all over blogland this time of year. It so much fun to have someone else shop and then give me all their great ideas! :)

When I buy gifts for others, I really want them to like what I've spent my time and effort on to give them. Is that weird? I just really like to try to find something that person might actually like. :D 

I'd rather give the person the money I spent than to give them something they'll never use. You know what I mean?  When it comes to gift giving, I really want to spend my money wisely. So I like to do lots of research. :) 

In case you're like me, just for fun, I've gathered a list of 10 things I really like {and some of them, I have been given myself and love}, in case you're looking for a great gift for a woman between 25 and 35 years old. :) {I say that because I'm right in the middle of that range. You can be 19 and 55 and still like them all too! There are no rules! :D hehee!} 

This year I've become a shopping hermit, and I've pretty much decided I don't want to leave my house to shop. I don't know what's up with that, but for those of you who are there with me, all of these gifts can be purchased online. YAY! 

Here are my top 10 online gifts:

My husband gave me this candle for my birthday, and I think every single person that has smelled it has really liked it. It's a scent called Volcano, and it's this sweet citrus smell that reminds us of the pink Starburst candy {specific enough? ha!}. It's been a very special gift that has lasted through the months.

$28

I don't have this, but I thought it was adorable and very affordable:

$12.50 on Etsy

So funky, and fun! I love unusual hair accessories, especially when they're cheap!
$1.56 with free shipping {I haven't tried it but it has excellent reviews!}.

 This one is so special to me because this ministry was started by a local doctor and his wife and is near and dear to many people in my city. I love, love, love PCM. :D I don't have this, but I think it's gorgeous, and I love that the money goes to a great cause:

$15


$1.37 with free shipping? Yes, please.

6. Pretty? Scalp Massager
Here's something weird I've been wanting to try because it could be very amazing {the reviews say it is, anyway!}. It could be an awesome stocking stuffer for just $1.13 with free shipping:

One of my all-time favorite books, and an awesome conversation starter {I'll have to tell you that story some day!}:
 $8.99


Wait for a sale since they are $39 {regular price}, but these are so cute and real leather so I'm guessing you'll get years out of them:



I have a set of these in orange, white, and aqua, and we use them all.the.time. They are beautiful and functional, and they don't break or chip easily. They would be the perfect gift for someone who loves vintage kitchen stuff but won't spend $5 on a bowl:

set of 6 for $30 {you can buy them in-store by the single bowl}

This is my favorite perfume. It's really affordable and I love the way it smells. Plus, I love the rollerball because it takes me years to use a bottle of perfume. I could keep this size for almost a year:

$15

And those are some of my favorite online gifts this year! What are your favorite gifts to give? Please share! I know so many of us are still searching for a perfect gift!

{p.s. the amazon links contain my affiliate information, so that if you should decide to buy those items, I might get a small percentage! no pressure. haha! :D}

Thursday, November 29, 2012

$11 DIY gilded art :: thrifty Goodwill re-do

Last week I showed you this little bit of gorgeousness:

IMG_4303

This lovely metallic paper is the main attraction of one my newest projects that I’m entirely in love with:

IMG_4300

It took me less than 30 minutes to make, and after I finished, the entire painting was only $11! I’m still excited about it!

Here’s what I started with:

IMG_4283

  • a large $7.99 Goodwill painting
  • one sheet of handmade wrapping paper from World Market for $2.99
  • $1 metallic acrylic paint {I used very little}
  • spray adhesive
  • paint brush

I loved the bright gold of the original frame, but it had seen better days:

IMG_4286

So I touched it up with my strangely perfectly matching acrylic paint:

IMG_4287
I asked the hubs to take a pic of my hand brushing on the paint, but I like this one better than just my hand- Ava’s laughing and I’m seriously concentrating {I guess?}. I’m always shocked when I see a candid pic of myself. My face naturally looks um… very serious. I have to remember that. ;)

I was going to cut out the paper and glue it on, because the staples were crazy strong on the back. Rob came to the rescue and popped those babies out in no time flat. He’s my knight in shining armor! I was so glad for his help. He’s so much better at these things!

IMG_4295

Once the very faded canvas was out, I sprayed the smooth back of it with the adhesive and glued the paper over it. I folded the corners over like wrapping paper and glued them with the spray:

IMG_4297

The hubs helped me put it in the frame and re-staple it {love that man!}, and here’s the finished product again:

IMG_4298

My favorite part about this project? Seeing that fun art in colors I love doesn’t have to cost $40 or more. :D I think that’s the biggest reason I have had nothing on my walls for so long- I didn’t want to pay big bucks for traditional art that wasn’t really special to me. That, and I was waiting to remodel everything before I decorated.

We’ve been in our house for almost three years, and as of last month, we finally have the walls painted in every room downstairs. Now it’s time to decorate with some pretty, personal, and inexpensive DIY art!

Apparently, I’m not the only one who doesn’t like spending tons of money on wall décor. I was so inspired by seeing Ashley’s fabulous DIY art that she and her husband do all on their own. She does beautiful projects for pennies! I think you will love her!! {someday I even hope to buy her ebook, Handmade Walls! But her site is inspiring on it’s own too!}  She made me think outside the box for ways to decorate my bare walls. :D

Her living room makes me smile:

A couple of weeks ago I ordered an Instagram poster a little like the one over her sofa for my living room wall. I LOVE it and I can’t wait to show you guys! It’s so special to me because it visually documents our life for the last year. And it’s on the wall instead of in an album. Eek! Personal, inexpensive, and beautiful wall décor. Such a great idea! :D

How do you make your wall décor personal and unique? And what’s the best way you’ve found to save money on art?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

$100+ holiday giveaway winner


Okay, you guys have some awesome giving traditions!! I know I loved reading all of your comments on this post, and I know lots of other people have enjoyed them as well! Thank you all for entering the giveaway!!

I assigned each one of your comments a number, and let random.org pick a winner, and the lucky person is....


......


Rebekah!

Here's what she said about her family's giving tradition:

We started this last year. We give to a little boy about the same age as our angel baby. It is a difficult time every year but it allows us to use his memory as a blessing.

Sweet Rebekah, thank you for sharing your heart with us. That is such a special way to celebrate the life of your little one. Much love to you! {and please check your email!}

Again, you guys blew me away with all of your ideas!! Thank you.

Don't forget, you still have a few days to use your {bh} discount codes:

 Red Letter Ink: 
{bh} readers receive a 15% DISCOUNT when you use the code BIBLICALHOME15 at checkout through Dec. 25!


DISCOUNT code good through December 3. Use BIB14 to get $2 off the $14 planner.

in the world but not of it: Jesus showed us how to do it

This is part 3 of our series on following the example of Jesus as a 21st century woman. Here’s part 1, and part 2.

what it looks like to follow Jesus as a woman in today's world

Do you ever feel like you’re torn between two worlds?

Like you don’t quite belong? I do.

I enjoy my house and I am thankful for it, but at the same time I know that it is constantly a distraction.

I like cute clothes and beautiful things. But I don’t want what I wear to define me. I don’t want to obsess about what I look like, because that is idolatry.

I sometimes think about my body size. But what weight will a number on a scale in 2012 have in eternity?  Zip. Absolutely zero. {unless of course I serve that number all my life, and then I will be ashamed}.

People are starving across the world, and yet I want to take a vacation. From all the work of caring for my load of stuff. Yeah.

I want to go and preach the gospel to the nations. I want to leave everything I have and follow Jesus wherever that may lead, completely and fully abandoned like the disciples did. But I have four precious little ones and a husband who is my authority and my leader. I have been given these people by God Himself and I have to be faithful to serve them. I have to proclaim the Gospel to them too. My heart is here first, but my heart is out there too.

If that all sounds a bit crazy, I’m sorry. It probably is. :)

It’s like this huge war is going on between my spirit and my flesh. And it’s happening constantly.

Sometimes I feel this gut-wrenching tension- how do I live in this culture and time in which I have been called to live? How do I separate the world from the things of God? How can I be in the world but make sure I’m not of the world?

How can I be a woman who is like Jesus, today?

I think studying the life of Jesus really reveals this very thing for me.

Jesus lived here.

He walked on the ground of this earth. He ate and worked and lived just like we do now.

But how did Jesus manage to do it? How did he not look like the rest of the world?

He had His mind set on doing the will of His Father.

Did you realize Jesus spent 30 years of His life preparing for ministry?

He had a house. He had a job. He had a family. All good things. And yet He didn’t get caught up in them. He even willingly left them behind to do what He came to do.

Why?

His mind was set on things above, not on things of the earth.

He had set His mind on doing the will of His Father.

His purpose was solely this:

John 4:34: Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.’

John 6:38: For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.

Matthew 26:39: And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

John 5:19: So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.

Jesus lived for the will of the Father.

And yet the will of the Father didn’t spare His own Son.

Can you imagine? Being so obedient to the will of God that you are willing to give yourself over to a horrible death for the sake of others?

His life was not in what He had or didn’t have- it was in seeking the glory of His Father.

And that’s how we can live here and do this life too.

We can’t have our eyes on this stuff. And we can’t discipline our eyes enough not to look, or our hearts enough not to care about ourselves. We’ll never get there. It will pull us away as long as we live.

What do we have to do?

We have to lose our life in Him.

When we look to Jesus- when we seek His will for our lives and not our own- our souls lose interest in this world.

Houses, cars, jobs, vacations, kitchens, clothes…they all start to fade away. Nothing else matters but doing the will of our Lord and Savior.

Oh, friends. Oh. This stuff is JUNK.

It will burn. It’s already ashes.

When you stand before your Savior, what will He say to you?

Will it be that your treasure, your heart, was set on worldly things?

It doesn’t matter if you have a great car- it’s not about the car. The question is, do you love your car? How willing are you to give it away?

If God asked you to leave it all behind tomorrow, how easy would it be?

What if He asked you to be poor? Right here. In the United States. In your city. To go and live in the very worst part of your city. To sell your car and use the bus and walk everywhere. To live in a nearly condemned, dirty rent house. And have your friends know you have nothing, for the sake of Christ?

Think about it. How attached are you to your things? Is your life in them????

These are the thoughts that will be revealed on that day.

When Jesus told His disciples that He would be killed, Peter told Him that wouldn’t have to be. And here’s what Jesus said:

31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life[d] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Do you see it? Jesus had set out to do the will of His Father, and even one of His closest friends told Him He didn’t need to do it. Someone who had intimate knowledge of Jesus Himself tried to keep Him from dying for humanity. Crazy. Satan does not want you to do His will.

And what does Jesus say to them all?

You have to deny your own life.

You have to give up your will.

You cannot serve yourself with your life. You will forfeit your soul.

Can you hear it?

Saying you love Jesus doesn’t mean you love Jesus.

If you love Jesus, you will obey the commands of Jesus. Giving up your heart- your will- your desires to God, means you love Jesus.

If you’re working to gain the world, you will lose your soul.

You have to give your heart fully to the Redeemer.

When your heart and eyes and mind are on Jesus above, your life will no longer be about this useless junk.

Success, degrees, status, the things you own, the volunteering you’ve done, the awesome places you’ve traveled…they’re all worthless.

They are counted as dung. 

What good are they in light of Him?

Our righteousness is as filthy rags.

We can only be made clean by Him.

Only by the grace of God are we made like Him. He wants our lives. More than that, He wants our hearts.

Are we setting our mind on things above?

Do we long to do His will?

Are we ashamed to speak of Him to our own friends?

If you know you aren’t living for Him, there is such good news for you.

You are still alive.

You can still lose your life in Him. You can be fully His- you can stop caring so much about this junk that will keep your soul from Him.

Pray. Pray that He will change your heart.

He will not deny you.

He does not want you to lose your soul.  He has been so patient with you! He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Repent. Tell God everything. Tell Him you’ve lived for yourself and you can’t not live for yourself without Him. Ask for His forgiveness.

He will answer. He will.

Live for your Lord.

Maybe you have a great house. But your hope is not in it. Your hope is only found in Him.

He is good and worthy. Jesus died on the cross, rose again and defeated sin for YOU. It has no power in you when your hope is in Him. All who believe in Him will not be ashamed. It’s a promise.

Whose will are you seeking today?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

$100+ Holiday Giveaway package!! {48 hour giveaway}

Black Friday? Cyber Monday? They're great and all, but they don't imply that anything is free... :D 

How about Holiday Giveaway? And over $100 of free stuff? 

That's much better!! heeehee!

I'm so excited to share a fun *Christmas* giveaway with you!!  I can't believe it's finally that time of year! :) Are you as excited as I am? To get you in the giving spirit, I'm going to start with some awesome gifts for you from a couple of my friends and myself! :D yay!

One big winner will win all of these exciting gifts:

1. your choice of one 8x10 and one 5x7 print from Red Letter 
Ink shipped to your home for free:

I love this one:
and this one too:



Oh, it would be hard to choose!! It's so fun! You can keep one and give one as a gift! :D 



Aimee is the designer behind Red Letter Ink, and I love what inspired her to create the beautiful art she does. Here's a little bit of her heart I stole from her blog: :) 
God has given us so many wonderful gifts in His word, gifts that encourage, inspire, and challenge us. My desire is to create artwork using God's word as inspiration so others can find hope and strength through the truths found in scripture. We are blessed to have the freedom to dig in to God's word daily, so why not take advantage of this and hang His word on our walls as daily reminders of His goodness? We are blessed. Truly blessed. 
I love that! :D

If you would love a Red Letter Ink print, you can get one here now! {bh} readers receive a 15% DISCOUNT when you use the code BIBLICALHOME15 at checkout through Dec. 25!

And as the second part of our giveaway package, the winner will receive:

2. one 2013 Weekly Household Planner + Supplement Kit from the Confident Mom:



One of my favorite things about this planner is that you can choose the version with a Bible plan for each day. How awesome is that? She sent me a copy to try and I can't wait to use mine!

I love what Susan, the creator of the planner says about why she made this planner and how it works for her:
I saw the need in my own household for a daily or weekly household task organizer. I’ve tried some out, but they just didn’t cover everything I wanted or were not compatible with my needs and household. So based upon my own needs and the needs of the many moms I’ve coached over the years, I have developed my own weekly household planner that I believe rivals any household planner on the market.
The 2013 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner will keep busy moms from all walks of life motivated and on track with all their to-do items day after day, week after week, all year long. This weekly planner breaks down household tasks into manageable daily and weekly bite size pieces, utilizing smaller increments of time to keep the tasks from becoming too large and overwhelming. Most of the items can be easily completed in 3 to 30 minutes, and you can select appropriate items to delegate to family members (after all, even with the household planner, you still can’t be “super mom”). 
This supplement includes several valuable organization tools to keep you ahead of the game—you’ll be able to find important information quickly, keep track of everyone’s schedules, plan meals, be prepared for special occasions, and more!
download a preview copy here 
if you want to buy one, Susan generously offered you guys a DISCOUNT code good through December 3! Just use BIB14 to get $2 off the $14 planner.


3. One $15 Starbucks gift card
Because who doesn't love a warm cup of something yummy? :)

And while you're there, you can read one of your three new books you carried in your tote bag! ;)

4. one swag tote bag filled with three books and a fun t-shirt:








All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below with the answer to this question:

What is your favorite Christmas giving tradition?? Or what's one tradition you would like to start this year? 

We open gifts one at a time in a circle, starting from youngest to oldest. When everyone has opened one, we go around again, until all the gifts have been opened. We started that because we wanted to make sure that the children were thankful for each and every gift they received. :)


This giveaway is open to all U.S and Canadian residents, and entries will close at 11:59 p.m. CST on Tuesday, November 27, 2012. A winner will be randomly chosen on November 28, 2012 and will be contacted by email {so please leave a way for me to contact you when you comment. :D} and announced here on the blog. :)


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