That time I taught on marriage . . . . after 17 years I have learned a few things

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/116828098″>1.07.15_Staying in Love Week 1</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/newvisionwomen”>Kasey Ewing, Director of Women's</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/116828099″>1.14.15_Staying in Love Week 2</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/newvisionwomen”>Kasey Ewing, Director of Women's</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/117452387″>1.21.15_Staying in Love Week 3</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/newvisionwomen”>Kasey Ewing, Director of Women's</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/118243338″>1.28.15_Staying In Love Week 4: The Foxes – Making an Appeal</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/newvisionwomen”>Kasey Ewing, Director of Women's</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/119405420″>2.11.15_Staying in Love Week 5: Enough</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/newvisionwomen”>Kasey Ewing, Director of Women's</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

How To Have a Quiet Time

We are going through a series at church called, “Guidelife” The mission of New Vision is to guide people to lives of gospel transformation. Gospel transformation is the process of individuals leaving a life of self-directedness to follow Jesus and gradually conform to his image. This transformation begins at salvation and continues throughout a person’s life, but it does not happen automatically. Transformation requires intentionality, and it requires help. That is what the guide life is all about: seeking a guide to help you on your journey and becoming a guide for someone else.

This series will challenge you with six questions to help you determine where you are in the transformation process and what you are doing to help others along the way. The first question is,  When am I turning the pages?

Brad and I did a video on How to Have a Quiet Time. 

Check it out!

 

Here are some helpful tools and websites as you seek to grow in the Word. Remember, the goal is not information, but gospel transformation! Enjoy!
biblehub.com
blueletterbible.com
biblegateway.com
mystudybible.com
dictionary.com
Jesus Story Book Bible – jesusstorybookbible.com
Prayer Portions by Sylvia Gunter – thefathersbusiness.com/product/prayer-portions/
Five components of time with God:
Prayer
God’s Word
Journaling
Memorizing Scripture
Waiting/Listening
Setting up alarms on your phone as Scripture reminders – vimeo.com/119476976
You Version Bible App – youversion.com

Deception

IMG_0125 Our house is currently experiencing Day 3 of Middle Tennessee’s #winterblast2015. Inside my warm house, I gaze out the window at the shining sun and twinkling ice as I’m pleading for relief from cabin fever.  From my perspective my yard appears to be a warm winter paradise. I attempt to enjoy that paradise and gently stick my toes out, but the wind bites my face with twenty-degree coolness and it steals my breath.

Deception.

There is no such thing as a warm winter wonderland. Snow and ice equal biting temps regardless how it looks from my window or even if I can see the warm sun shining. Appearances betray the reality. My perspective fools true knowledge. My desires deceive me to the truth.

Eve experiences similar deceptions in the garden when the serpent entices her with a question such as, “Did God really say,?” or his reassurance, “That really won’t happen”.

Feelings or blurry perceptions foster beliefs that exceptions to the rules are possible.  That truths are tainted with lies. Jeremiah 17:9 reminds us that,  “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” The perceptions of our hearts can only be trusted when immersed with the truth of the Scripture. Hearts stained by lies must be corrected with the truth of God’s Word.  If not, we will mimic Eve responding to God with, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Gen. 3:13b)

What prevents deception? Knowing truth. The Secret Service states that they way to detect counterfeit money is to know your money. They have created a whole website (http://www.newmoney.gov) on the characteristics, design, and special features of our money. The world is full of deceivers and deceptions and a wise man seeks to discern the truth. One can spot counterfeit word by exchanging it for HIS TRUTH.

Yesterday in my home, it played out like this, I had decided how to handle a situation with our kids. I told Brad how I thought we should proceed.  He disagreed. In my head I work up all the reasons I KNOW BETTER THAN HIM. The greatest deception we as women can believe is that we know better than everyone. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. Eve struggled with this and so do I – deception. We must take what we think, feel, and believe and line it up with what God says to be TRUE.

P.S. While writing this, I had the Today show on mute and looked up to them discussing “good lies vs. bad lies”  We have gotten so comfortable with lies, we see some as good. Deception.
​P.S.S My quiet time verses were on the exact same thing. What happens when we exchange the Truth for a Lie. IMG_0127

Pinterest Purgatory

Pinterest Purgatory

 I have been obsessing over Pinterest since the day we decided to buy our house. Pinterest perfection sears a level of supremacy in home décor that I cannot surpass or replicate. The feelings of inadequacy reign in my soul and I am filled with dread for decorating my new home. Upon moving into the house, Sandblast colored walls close in on me and I immediately want to paint. I like color and I love bold statements. I know what I like but I don’t necessarily know how to pull that all together. I am ADD and eclectic to the core and Pinterest only increases my stress.  obsession.

 I fell in love with a turquoise painted door but I question myself. Is this in style? Will it match the rest of the house? Doubt after doubt punch at me but I head to Sherwin William’s despite my doubts. Admittedly, I text my mom and sisters over 100 times trying to pick out colors and consult Facebook for moral support for my paint pickings but I do it. I paint the door blue.

 Guess what? The door is awesome. (It might not match but lovely nonetheless) Bottom line – I love it and every time I look at it, I am encouraged to not allow public opinion to rule my life. The blue door is a symbol of my freedom – my freedom in Christ.

 You might be wondering how a blue door has anything to do with my relationship with the Lord but it does. That blue door means that I am free to be me – an eclectic, color blind woman that God created to serve Him and not the opinion of man. Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

I have enslaved myself to Pinterest perfection. I doubted what I wanted to have in my house based on what the world was providing as perfection. I realized I do this often – I allow the world to tell me what is in style or popular.

 The world tells me I am not enough – I am not.

 The world says I am inadequate – I am.

 The world says I don’t measure up – I don’t.

 But He does so I don’t have to be enslaved with perfection. I am free to be me.

I don’t have to be perfect – He is. 

Image

Who Is Your Team?

Today is my first official day of fall break. I am spending the day lying on the couch, reading, and studying while football plays in the background. This is my kind of day, not leaving the house and wearing my running shorts and t-shirt all day.

My team, Alabama wins in a landslide that is boring to watch so I change channels and settle on the Tennessee game. Now that I live in Tennessee I figure I should at least show them some Saturday afternoon love.  The game starts out boring with the Vols losing by a few touchdowns. However, the game quickly shifts as Orange gets on the stick. The crowd stirs; volume increases, and plays are made.  The game gets interesting and I pay a little more attention. I watch as the whole demeanor of the Vols changes as the noise rises and excitement of crowd increases. Orange boys start jumping up and down after plays, fire stirs in their hearts and they are pumped.

It seems to me that the louder the crowd cheers, the better they play. The higher the chest bump, the greater the yards on the next play.  The players are motivated by those around them and encouraged to fight harder for a few more yards.  The tide turns, dream plays are made and the score climbs. I am now glued to the screen as the teams answer each other in points. This is a game worth watching.

This is my desire for our churches and ministries – to form a team. We are called “fight the good fight of faith” (2 Tim. 4:7) and we need each other to do this. We will all experience the back and forth drama of life – the fears, hurts, and doubts.

Each of us needs a group

to ignite us to carry on,

to incite a determination to not give up,

to inspire us to keep the faith.

We all need a cheering section. All of us long to know that we have friends on our side to carry us forward. Decide today to get in a group and find your team. Decide that your group will be a top priority in your life. Decide to stick it out and stand up for each other. Somedays you will be the cheerleader and some you will be cheered for. Today, it is time to join the team. Get in a group and get loud loving on each other.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. “ Hebrews 10:24-25

BTW, as I am posting this the game is headed into overtime.