Those who persecute: torture, enslave, rape, and kill Christians. These are our enemies. How can we work toward loving and praying for them? Here is a crucial first step toward these acts of obedience.

Called To Love And Pray For Our Enemies–Even When It’s Hard

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Most of us are pretty aware of the 10 commandments, and even try really hard to keep them all to the best of our abilities.  But what about all of the other commandments God gives us in the Old Testament?  What about the ones Jesus gives us in the New Testament? In this area, many of us struggle sometimes–either because we don’t know what they all are, or simply because they are really, really, hard. Right now we face a time of open persecution of Christians all over the world. Every day Christians are being burned, crucified, and beheaded simply for being a follower of Jesus Christ. In our western world, we fervently hope and pray that their persecution would end–and that they would be strong and brave in the midst of it.  But Jesus asks more of us.

Some homeschools can be void of joy, but it need not be this way. Here are 6 things that steal the joy from a homeschool. Recognizing what they are, and choosing to change them can bring joy to your lessons.

6 Things That Steal The Joy In A Homeschool

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It’s no secret that some families don’t enjoy homeschooling.  There are families out there that struggle to get through their days, and weeks. Many-a-mother has shed tears trying to pick curriculum, keep on schedule, and teach multiple grade levels at the same time. Depression is experienced as women realize they cannot keep up with all the housework, schoolwork, and social pressures placed on them. And some homeschooling parents eventually just give in and start to believe that it could never be enjoyable.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.  There is enjoyment to be had once the things that steal our joy are recognized and changes are made. Here are six things that can steal the joy from a homeschool.  

We live in a lost and broken world Friends. All too soon the death sentence of Hell comes for so many. If you are moved by this fact as much as I am, please, read here how you can help release even one prisoner this year.

How You Can Help Release A Prisoner This Passover

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More people attend church on Easter every year than any other day of the year. Friends, there is no doubt about it—if there is one day every year where more people will voluntarily subject themselves to hearing the message of eternal salvation, it will be on Easter. Do you take advantage of this help? Of all of the days of the year that you are asking your fellow human beings to come to church—offering to drive them to the service—calling them in the morning to make sure they wake up on time—even if you don’t celebrate Easter—are you asking them on this day? We get a lot of questions about “holidays” in our home.  I understand those who do not celebrate Easter, and in my understanding, I still believe we should be taking advantage of this day. If you do celebrate Easter?  Then you should have no excuse for not inviting people on a day when they are more likely than any of the other 364 days of the year to come hear about a heartbreaking love story written just for them.

Reflections on our past mission fields and where God has placed us today. Sometimes it's hard to say good-bye to such wonderful people in our lives. But it's okay--because even when we physically get up and leave, God is still there.

Reflecting On Changes In Our Mission Field

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Twenty years ago (or even more), I would never have even contemplated being where I am today.  Although I didn’t know exactly where I would be, this is certainly one of the last places I ever thought I would wind up. I planned to stay single.  I planned to roam the world doing anything God asked me–meeting new people, spreading the gospel to every creature who would listen. Some of my favorite places were various villages in Peru.  Those people are so full of compassion and love that it’s unbelievable.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve felt so loved by a large group of people, or as safe as I did in those tiny mud and brush homes with no door and no glass windows. When I was there I felt as though I was finally doing what God wanted from me–and my heart so loved it that I thought it was where I was meant to be forever.  I even told those closest to me that I would one day retire in one of these little mud houses.

There are still blind, lame, and other sick among us that need laid at Jesus feet. Here are some ways we can help some of them get there.

5 Ways To Bring The Lame And Blind To Jesus

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We see over and over (especially in the gospels) the amazing healing powers of Jesus Christ.  One such verse reads: Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.                                                                                               Matthew 15:30   It’s a touching story of one event that took place over and over as Jesus walked this earth.  Repeatedly we see Jesus heal any and all that only ask.  Not once do I see in the Bible where Jesus said, “Not today, I’m tired” or “Bring me something to eat first.” While we see some dialogue with those asking to be healed or those interceding on their behalf, no one who comes to Jesus honest and with faith that he can heal them is turned away. Is this just a history story to us?  Or when we look at Matthew 15:30, do we ask […]

Are we living lives of repentance? Or did we just ask for our sins to be washed away when we invited Jesus to come into our hearts and be our Savior and then stop? Is there more?

A Sinner’s Prayer of Repentance

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How often do you repent?  I mean really pray for forgiveness, vow to do everything in you to stop, and ask the Lord to help you stop?  How often are you completely turning away from your sin? This concept evaded me as a new Christian.  Wasn’t admitting I was a sinner and accepting Jesus’ sacrifice as payment for my sins enough?  Wasn’t that the end of the road? Well, that’s enough to be saved from hell.  But I want more.  I am ever so grateful to be pardoned for my past sins and accept Jesus as my Savior which affects my eternal existence. But I want to be affected now.  I want more than to stumble frustrated and lonely every day through this desperate and broken world waiting to be in His Glory.  I want something now—a relationship that gives the joy I need to live the physical life I have been given now. I want to walk with Jesus now.  But as the saying goes, Jesus will not walk with you when you are holding the devil’s hand.

We know we're here to live for Jesus and work for His glory in all that we do. But this world makes that hard when we walk away from our bibles and prayer time to face the activities of the day. Have you ever considered having a written plan each month to purposefully bless others? Hmm...

Walking The Walk: Scheduling It

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Did you get a new planner this year?  I did.  I didn’t know I was going to, but I did. It’s black with gold writing on it that says, the best is yet to come. I figured since I got it, I would need to use it myself.  You know, since I got it in January and I didn’t have time to give it to anyone else–and it’s only good for 2016.  I thought it might just be like a glorified calendar–you know, cute and with a hard cover. But after opening it up, I soon realized I was wrong.  And the more I flipped through it, the more I realized what a blessing this little book is going to be to me this year.

Ask the Lord of the harvest, to send out workers into his harvest field. Matthew 9:38

Are You The Worker They Prayed For?

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I came across a scripture in my studies this morning that I know we are all familiar with. Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”                                                                                                                                                                             Matthew 9:35-38   Dear strong and faithful Christian woman, it made me think of you.  Could it be that 2000 years ago Jesus told His disciples […]

Sometimes, people who don't "get it" are just the people who really do "get it." This Roman officer knew some things Jesus Himself stated no one else did.

3 Things A Roman Officer Understood About Jesus

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God made Israel His chosen people—they were (and still are) told to represent Him; to be a holy nation to a holy God. We see throughout the bible that there were times when Israel’s rulers and it’s people took this seriously.  But we also see times when rulers and people took this for granted. It’s always been perplexing to me that people on the outside could at times see and understand more than His chosen people could.  This is true not only of biblical times, but this is also occasionally true today. One example is found in the book of Matthew:

God is so good! But sometimes it's hard to focus on that. There are so many distractions in this world it can make it hard to focus. See what I'm doing this year to intentionally focus of keeping the faith and growing it stronger.

Keeping Faith Strong And Growing This Year

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I’m not necessarily one for New Year’s Resolutions.  But I do believe that anytime we have something we want to work on, it’s appropriate to make a plan. Once the plan’s complete, we need to set a date. I’ve been thinking for quite sometime now about the direction of our country, this world, my own place in this universe—and my family. This country is broken. This world is broken. And I am willing to be broken as well. Like a horse that is broken and obedient, I want to live a life of obedience.  Not because it will earn me a single thing, but because I love my Lord.  And loving Him brings such a desire to live for Him—His way. I want to keep my faith strong and also increase it.