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Friday Freebie

Say HELLO to Friday!  Not only is it the beginning of the weekend but it is also a day for freebies!  Grab your free printable Scripture calendar and phone screen calendar.  These calendars will be available every month for my amazing subscribers.  A free 5×5 framable print is also available as well as a phone screen display.

 

I purchased this amazing 5×7 glass frame at Hobby Lobby for $5, during their half off frames sale (every other week).  It makes for an amazing calendar frame!  Simply download your calendar, print it on the paper of your choice, insert, and your set to learn a new verse every month.  I chose to print mine on thick card stock paper but regular computer paper will work too.  Don’t have a frame?  Pin it to a memory board or get creative as your heart desires!

Prefer not to print it?  No problem!  Download the phone lock screen and assign the image to your lock screen, home screen or both.  Available with or without the calendar.  Easy peasy! calendar with scripture for phone lock screen

free phone lock screen with Philippians 2:15

 

If you would like to keep the printable longer than a month, print the Scripture piece alone.  Sized to print at 5×5 and ready to go!

free 5x5 scripture printable with Philippians 2:15

 

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When God Asks You To Move In Faith

“You want me to do what?”, I murmured to the Lord with a slight hint of sarcasm. He answered, “Write them a letter.” Write them a letter?!!”, This time more fearful than sarcastic. What if the letter is not received well? How will they view me after that? It’s so personal, and I’ve only met them once, Lord? What if they show it to others? Are you sure this is what you want me to do, God??

 

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Has the Lord ever asked you to do something so big, so bold, so beyond your comfort zone that you tremble at the thought?

Tightened stomach muscles begin to twist. Racing heartbeat progressively noticeable, through your shirt. That was me at the thought of writing this letter. A letter to a couple I had only met once yet knew the Lord had brought into my life for a very specific reason. As I sat at my desk that day, throwing a temper tantrum unbecoming to a woman of my age, all fear and anxiety melted away the moment I felt Him assuring me, “It will be okay, Esther.”

Scripture doesn’t say it but, this is what I imagine Abram experienced in Genesis 12 when God called him from the comfort of his home. “You want me to leave my country?… My people?… My family?” Abram didn’t have a map, Google directions, or our trusty iPhone GPS and yet, he didn’t allow the comfort of the known keep him from heading to a promised land full of unknowns. A promise that, in time, would bless the entire world for all time. He moved out in faith and, in verse 7, we see the Lord met him there. How quickly his faith in the Deliverer turned to fear of man when famine fell upon the land though. “Tell them you are my sister,” he told his bride, Sarai, “then I will be treated well for your sake, and my life spared.” Not only had he used his wife for his gain but, he had placed his faith in Sarai for protection and deliverance. He trusted his life would be spared for Sarai’s sake rather than God’s goodness and ability; a false security!

Although it took me a few months to “move out in faith,” I did end up writing that letter. I even hand delivered it! One day, turned to two and a week, turned to two weeks. No response. No e-mail. No phone call. No letter. Nothing. What I perceived as famine in my promised land of unknowns, set in. Fear mounted as I began anxiously analyzing every possible thing that I just knew they were thinking. I can completely relate to Abram. How quickly my faith in God’s assurance that “It will be okay, Esther” turned to fear of man. My story ends a little different than Abram’s though.

In my desperate fear of rejection, I sat crying out to God. It was a cold Thursday afternoon and, as I sat there with tears rolling down my face, I released my need for a response. Lord, if I NEVER hear back from them, I will trust you are working. I will trust that I walked in obedience to you, that you are working behind the scenes, and I will leave the results in your hands, your timing. The very next day, just a little over 24 hours later, I received the sweetest email from the couple, an email that still brings tears to my eyes! I cry, not because of the words they wrote or the perceived acceptance, but because of the heart of my Father. I journeyed through faith into my promised land of unknowns, and the Lord met me there.

Press In

  1. Where is the Lord asking you to move out in faith?
  2. What seems to be holding you back?
  3. Do you trust the Father’s leading in this area?
  4. Write a statement of commitment, committing to walk out in obedience, leaving the results to Him.

Blessings, obedient brave one!

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POURING OUT OUR LIVES IN DEVOTION | WHEN ACTS OF SURRENDER REQUIRE BRAVERY

She galloped into the room filled with men. All eyes watched as she melted to the floor in front of him. Her hands cradled a small jar filled with a year’s worth of wages in perfume. Completely devoted, she broke the alabaster jar and began pouring the expensive perfume onto his feet.  As the aroma filled the house, disgust filled the hearts and mouths of those questioning her wasteful decision. A loving but firm, serious but sincere, voice broke the awkward tension of the room. This one external act of selfless worship revealed an inward deficiency in others.

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Can you picture the scene?

Here was a dinner, to honor Jesus, not long before His crucifixion. The disciples and others reclined at the table as Martha served. In true Martha fashion, of course! In walks Mary, Martha’s younger sister, who was often found at her Maker’s feet, holding a small jar. While the precious alabaster jar held a high price, someone of greater value held Mary’s heart. Mary knew, He alone was worthy of her richest gains. Worthy of her greatest devotion, regardless of the cost.

As we draw close to Easter, a time in which He paid the highest price for us, what alabaster jars do we need to lay at His feet? Perhaps a hobby, job, dreams, relationship, desires, or maybe loved ones. Only when we take the most precious areas of our lives, worth so much to us, and lay them at the Master’s feet, do we have the divine opportunity to watch as His beautiful aroma fill our hearts.

Can you see the disgusted disciples?

I find it ironic that such a sweet display of surrender would bring such indignation to those who walked the streets with Jesus. Those who witnessed Jesus give sight to the blind, voice to the mute, sound to the deaf, wholeness to the leaper, silenced the storms, cleansed the sick, rebuked the demons, multiplied food, and raised the dead to life “rebuked her harshly”. In a society where women held little authority and were considered inferior to men, her devotion had bitter outward consequences. Just like Mary, our acts of surrender require bravery. When we are willing to be viewed as crazy by the world, we are freed to display the kind of worship He desires and commends.

Can He be your defense?

Of the three places her story is told, I love that she is not recorded as saying one word. Not once, did she spout off out of self-preservation or defend her pure motives. Hold my tongue, O’ Lord, because I am surely not her! Often, probably more times than not, I am quick to defend my actions and motives. Not Mary. She relied on her only source of defense. “Let her alone. She has done a beautiful thing to me”, Jesus responded. He, who did not defend himself, stands to defend us. When we choose to release our “right” to defend, we find shelter under His wing, strength from the Rock, and comfort from our Friend.

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Can He be your reward?

Jesus not only defended her, but He also crowned her action of worship. “Wherever this gospel is preached through the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” Her story of faithful devotion is still a testimony today. Albeit, our stories might not spread throughout the world, ages later, but they will be told in our families and circle of friends. What will our legacy be? Will it tell of His glory and speak of His faithfulness? Declare His goodness and reflect our complete yielding? This is the story I want to leave! Because, when we release our stories to Him, we pick up a lasting legacy!

Father, thank you for Mary’s story of worship and devotion. We pour out our lives at your feet in complete surrender. May your beautiful aroma fill our hearts, flow from our mouths and bless your lost and hurting world. Protect our hearts from becoming like the disciples, who scorned another believer’s form of worship. Jesus, you are our only Righteous Defender. Give us willing hearts to abandon this right and walk in complete humility to you and those you have called us to serve. Fixate our eyes on you, our Deliver, as we walk out every part of our lives so, we too, leave a lasting legacy of love. Invade our hearts with your matchless love.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen!

Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, John 12:1-11

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Staying Connected To The Source Of Life

The light bulb in our chandelier flickered off and on. As I walked over to it and gave it a soft twist, I thought how on earth do light bulbs become loose anyway? After all, they are stationary, right? The light bulb in my head flickered a few times before recalling the verse, “You are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14

Like the lightbulb, when we become stationary in our walk with Him, we become disconnected from the one true Light source. The source of all life, all power, all majesty, and all light.

Motionless and dim, our demeanor, priorities, decisions, love for others and response to everything “flickers” when we are not fully plugged in. 

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In a world fascinated with plugging into distorted outlets, how do you – and I – remain fastened to our immovable, unshakable current of Light?

Recognize The Struggle Is Real.

We have a real enemy ALWAYS seeking to devour us (1 Peter 5:8). He has studied your ways, knows your weaknesses, and waits patiently for the perfect moment to invade. Remain connected to the source, and refuse to fall prey to “blackouts”.

Commit To A Plan

From the moment you wake up, business is competing for your attention. Staying connected to the Vine takes intentionality. When you commit to spending time with the Lord, He will establish your plans (Proverbs 16:9) and the Lord’s purposes prevail (Proverbs 19:21).

being-intentional-with-God, planning to spend time with the Father

Read Scripture

By putting God in His rightful place, you are both nourishing and guarding your heart. Because we do not live on bread alone but every word that proceeds from God’s mouth, choosing to live on God’s word provides the spiritual nourishment needed for daily life (Matthew 4:4). His spiritual nourishment guards your heart and everything that flows from it (Proverbs 4:23).


When you hunger and thirst for His righteousness, you will be filled. – Matthew 5:6


Be Spirit Led

As children of God, we are to be led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14). The Spirit of truth guides us in all truth and tells us things that are to come (John 16:13); helps us in our weakness and prays for us when we can’t (Romans 8:26); and produces eternal fruit (Galations 5:22-23).

Friends, don’t shut your light off from the rest of the world! Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Make a plan today to soak in God’s word, pray, and be led by His Spirit.

Do you find staying connected to the Father challenging? How do you remain connected to the all powerful source? Leave me a comment!

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Praying For Paris

My heart is breaking. I think of all the shattered hearts, lives forever altered by the loss of loved ones and I can’t help but cry and mourn with them. I know the pain they are experiencing because I still feel it at times.

Their consuming grief and complete despair of a loved one killed, gone forever. Not able to think about anything else, sleepless nights, and utter hopelessness. All of the moms, dads, brothers, sisters, children, and friends left behind to grieve the sudden and very tragic loss. Did they get to say goodbye? Did they kiss them when they walked out the door? Tell them they loved them? Was the last time they spoke a fight? Was there something, ANYTHING, they could’ve done differently?

All of the “what if’s” and “if only’s” plague their every thought. The finality of never seeing their loved one again, hearing their voice, birthdays without candles, holidays with an empty chair, surrounded by their memories, and saturated with OVERWHELMING SADNESS. Will their lives ever be the same? No. Will they move beyond this empty hole of sorrow? I pray! Oh how I PRAY!! Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4

Please PLEASE bathe them in prayer and continue praying fervently and specifically in the weeks to come. Prayers that they will find comfort for their aching heart (Matthew 5:4). Strength for the times they can barely get up (Isaiah 41:10). Rest for the countless sleepless nights (Matthew 11:28). A renewed mind for the thousands of thoughts that flood in (Isaiah 26:3). Peace for their racing heart (John 14:27). Refuge in the arms of God through the support of family and friends (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Joy to replace the the weeping (Psalm 30:5).

Amen!

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