Faith, Jesus

Contentment

When the unnecessary is swept away it allows the simple powerful truth to become clear.  The quotes below are examples of this.

Unbelief puts our circumstance between us and God,

but faith puts God between us and our circumstances.

– F. B. Meyer

_Christian contentment…is the direct fruit of having no higher ambition than to belong to the Lord and to be totally at His di

Bible, Faith, Goals

Simple

Can you believe it is July already? We are halfway through 2019! I hope your summer is off to a good start and that you are making time to enjoy the simple pleasures this season offers. Here is something I love at this time of the year. The Mimosa trees are in bloom

IMG_20190603_184044222_HDR

Going to share a post with you today that was originally posted in March of 2018.

Pour yourself a glass of ice tea and maybe sit in the shade while reading. Afterward please share your thoughts in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you!



Do you feel overwhelmed with   (fill in the blank)  

  • too much information
  • too many choices
  • too much stuff

I could keep adding to the list but I’m sure you get the idea of what I’m talking about. We seem to be drowning in too much everything! It is the cause of a huge amount of the stress people have come to accept as normal.

Recently this overload has been recognized as the cause of terrible stress, resulting in poor physical and mental health. One of the biggest problems is the overload of social media. Are smartphones really a smart idea?

Great that the problem has been identified. Next comes the challenge of what to do about it. It is pretty easy to find some help today. There are books, articles, videos, even entire websites devoted to returning to a simpler lifestyle. You will easily find much on the subject of living better with less, minimalism, and many practical tips to make much-needed changes.


However, I do not think we have exposed the problem of too much within the Christian community. Many of us are living with an overload in areas like Bible study, prayer, Church activities… There is a constant flood of information, too many choices, and excessive social media options available to the believer today! The availability of all things “Christian” sounds good, but is it all too much? I think so. What do you think? The explosion of instantly available materials, social media and more in the Christian world has contributed to our loss of focus. We begin to drift from the simple basics of our faith.


Here’s what I asked on Facebook ↓

Question:
What comes to mind when you think of the word SIMPLE? 

I was writing this post and wondered if SIMPLE was the right word to use. After reading comments that people shared I feel encouraged. I think I’m starting to hear the rumbling of a move toward returning to the simple basics of the Christian life! 🙂


First, let’s define simple

1. easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.

2. not elaborate or artificial; plain:

3. not ornate or luxurious; unadorned:

4. unaffected; unassuming; modest: a simple manner.

5. not complicated: a simple design.

6. not complex or compound; single.

7. occurring or considered alone; mere; bare: the simple truth; a simple fact.

 (Go to Dictionary.com-simple to find more on the definition of simple)

Looking at definitions causes me to wonder why simple has been so undervalued. It seems that it should be especially desirable for followers of Jesus.


 Let’s take a look at a portion of scripture that might be helpful in understanding how we go off track.

Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain. “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed.  “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!”

 The manna looked like small coriander seeds, and it was pale yellow like gum resin.  The people would go out and gather it from the ground. They made flour by grinding it with hand mills or pounding it in mortars. Then they boiled it in a pot and made it into flat cakes. These cakes tasted like pastries baked with olive oil.  The manna came down on the camp with the dew during the night.

Numbers 11:4-9  NLT

 How could it be that God’s provision of daily bread from heaven was not satisfying to the people? Manna was not good enough? These verses seem to indicate an influence from other people and a looking back at the world they left behind. God set these people apart but instead of praising God for His care they craved something more… Simple manna didn’t seem like enough.
Today there is a call from the world to join in a quest for the latest new thing. The push is for constant updating. The result of this influence causes us to think we need to read the latest book, use the newest prayer model, follow the latest Christian social media, join multiple Bible studies… Meanwhile, maybe you never got around to just sitting down with Jesus and reading His word for you today.
Sometimes what we need is to let some things go and cling to what truly matters. Is Jesus enough for you_
In 2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul warned against drifting from the simplicity that is in Christ.
God’s word is never outdated.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
The Holy Spirit has a training course that is perfectly designed for you!
We have the written word = Bible

                         Living Word = Jesus

Jesus said

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and over-burdened, and I will give you rest! Put on my yoke and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30  J.B. Phillips New Testament


When you have the time, listen to someone who never seemed to forget the power of the simple basics.

Click on one of the links below to watch ↓
Apparently, some are now debating if Billy Graham’s theology was too simpleWhat do you think?
Who wants to join me in a return to the simple basics?
Please comment below 
IMG_20190603_183951237_HDR - Edited
Mimosa tree near my house
Bible, Faith

Longing

The last blog post was about how life is well Worth Living when you are walking with Jesus.

BUT

Does this mean we should be completely content and satisfied?

Or is it good to have a kind of discontentment that urges us to seek something more?

Do you ever find yourself longing?


“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

– C.S. Lewis from The Weight of Glory 

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death…”

-C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity

So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.    – 2 Corinthians 4:18 HCSB

Hebrews chapter 11 tells us a little about some of the people of faith who lived during the time of the Old Testament. They were people who lived with a beautiful longing. Read the entire chapter (see link below) to get the whole picture and then notice verses 13-16.

Hebrews 11

All these whom we have mentioned maintained their faith but died without actually receiving God’s promises, though they had seen them in the distance, had hailed them as true and were quite convinced of their reality. They freely admitted that they lived on this earth as exiles and foreigners. Men who say that mean, of course, that their eyes are fixed upon their true home-land. If they had meant the particular country they had left behind, they had ample opportunity to return. No, the fact is that they longed for a better country altogether, nothing less than a heavenly one. And because of this faith of theirs, God is not ashamed to be called their God for in sober truth he has prepared for them a city in Heaven.

– Hebrews 11:13-16  J.B. Phillips New Testament

May we never find ourselves so comfortable and satisfied that we lose the longing! 

_If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were ma (2)

 

Faith, Goals

Burn The Ships

Burn the ships is a phrase that I was familiar with but could not remember the origin story. So when I heard for King & Country’s great song Burn The Ships, I immediately had to do some quick research.

In 1519 Hernan Cortes and his crew sailed to Veracruz, Mexico. Soon after arriving the men of  Cortes’ crew wanted to return back home. Legend says that Cortez ordered his men to burn the ships. Once they burned the ships they no longer had the option of going back home. They had no choice but to go forward into a new life.

Burn the ships means to cut off the option of returning to old ways and forging ahead to the new. It is easy to see how this can be applied to the Christian life.

Have you left your past behind? Are you forging ahead into the new life? What ships do you need to burn?

Below is the music video for King & Country – Burn The Ships

Faith, prayer, Summer of Prayer Series

Soliloquy

“If you know God’s hidden companionship, your prayer will become a conversation instead of a soliloquy.”    – Corrie ten Boom
Soliloquy is an unfamiliar word that stands out in the above quote. Let’s take a look at the definition to fully understand the point that Corrie ten Boom intended to make.
Soliloquy is a device often used in drama when a character speaks to him or herself relating thoughts and feelings thereby also sharing them with the audience giving off the illusion of being a series of unspoken reflections.
If other characters are present they keep silent and/or are disregarded by the speaker.

Watch the first 45 seconds of this video → Soliloquy 


Andrew Murray also used the word soliloquy when writing on the subject of prayer.

One reason why the discipline of prayer is not attractive is that people do not know how to pray. Their stock of words is soon exhausted, and they do not know what else to say. This happens because they forget that prayer is not a soliloquy where everything comes from one side, but it is a dialogue where God’s child listens to what the Father says, replies to it, and then asks for the things he needs.

Then he gave a suggestion to those who encounter this problem.

Read a few verses from the Bible. Do not concern yourself with the difficult parts in them; you can consider these later. Take what you understand, apply it to yourself, and ask the Father to make His Word light and power in your heart. Thus you will have material enough for prayer from the Word which the Father speaks to you. You will also have the liberty to ask for things you need.

Keep on in this way, and prayer will become at length, not a place where you sigh and struggle, but a place of living fellowship with the Father in heaven. Prayful study of the Bible is indispensable for powerful prayer. The Word prayerfully read and cherished in the heart by faith will, through the Spirit, be both light and life within us.

– Andrew Murray

I challenge you to slowly read the Corrie ten Boom quote again.

Think about it and perhaps ask yourself some questions.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below 

Copy of “If you know God_s hidden companionship, your prayer will become a conversation instead of a soliloquy.”-Corri (1)
Bible, Faith, Goals

Simple

Do you feel overwhelmed with   (fill in the blank)  

  • too much information
  • too many choices
  • too much stuff

I could keep adding to the list but I’m sure you get the idea of what I’m talking about. We seem to be drowning in too much everything! It is the cause of a huge amount of the stress people have come to accept as normal.

Recently this overload has been recognized as the cause of terrible stress, resulting in poor physical and mental health. One of the biggest problems is the overload of social media. Are smartphones really a smart idea?

Great that the problem has been identified. Next comes the challenge of what to do about it. It is pretty easy to find some help today. There are books, articles, videos, even entire websites devoted to returning to a simpler lifestyle. You will easily find much on the subject of living better with less, minimalism, and many practical tips to make much-needed changes.


However, I do not think we have exposed the problem of too much within the Christian community. Many of us are living with an overload in areas like Bible study, prayer, Church activities… There is a constant flood of information, too many choices, and excessive social media options available to the believer today! The availability of all things “Christian” sounds good, but is it all too much? I think so. What do you think? The explosion of instantly available materials, social media and more in the Christian world has contributed to our loss of focus. We begin to drift from the simple basics of our faith.


Here’s what I asked on Facebook ↓

Question:
What comes to mind when you think of the word SIMPLE? 

I was writing this post and wondered if SIMPLE was the right word to use. After reading comments that people shared I feel encouraged. I think I’m starting to hear the rumbling of a move toward returning to the simple basics of the Christian life! 🙂


First, let’s define simple

1. easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.

2. not elaborate or artificial; plain:

3. not ornate or luxurious; unadorned:

4. unaffected; unassuming; modest: a simple manner.

5. not complicated: a simple design.

6. not complex or compound; single.

7. occurring or considered alone; mere; bare: the simple truth; a simple fact.

 (Go to Dictionary.com-simple to find more on the definition of simple)

Looking at definitions causes me to wonder why simple has been so undervalued. It seems that it should be especially desirable for followers of Jesus.


 Let’s take a look at a portion of scripture that might be helpful in understanding how we go off track.

Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain. “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed.  “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!”

 The manna looked like small coriander seeds, and it was pale yellow like gum resin.  The people would go out and gather it from the ground. They made flour by grinding it with hand mills or pounding it in mortars. Then they boiled it in a pot and made it into flat cakes. These cakes tasted like pastries baked with olive oil.  The manna came down on the camp with the dew during the night.

Numbers 11:4-9  NLT

 How could it be that God’s provision of daily bread from heaven was not satisfying to the people? Manna was not good enough? These verses seem to indicate an influence from other people and a looking back at the world they left behind. God set these people apart but instead of praising God for His care they craved something more… Simple manna didn’t seem like enough.
Today there is a call from the world to join in a quest for the latest new thing. The push is for constant updating. The result of this influence causes us to think we need to read the latest book, use the newest prayer model, follow the latest Christian social media, join multiple Bible studies… Meanwhile, maybe you never got around to just sitting down with Jesus and reading His word for you today.
Sometimes what we need is to let some things go and cling to what truly matters. Is Jesus enough for you_
In 2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul warned against drifting from the simplicity that is in Christ.
God’s word is never outdated.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
The Holy Spirit has a training course that is perfectly designed for you!
We have the written word = Bible

                         Living Word = Jesus

Jesus said

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and over-burdened, and I will give you rest! Put on my yoke and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30  J.B. Phillips New Testament


Let’s listen to someone who never seemed to forget the power of the simple basics.

Click on one of the links below to watch ↓
Apparently, some are now debating if Billy Graham’s theology was too simpleWhat do you think?
Who wants to join me in a return to the simple basics?
Please comment below 
Is Jesus enough for you_ (1)
Bible, Faith, Jesus

He Lives!

He Lives!

Jesus is Victor

Now and Forever

King of kings

Lord of lords

Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.   – Mark 16:6

He lives!

Who is He to you?

Watch this short, powerful clip from Priscilla Shirer as she appeared in the Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed A Study of David.


Matt Maher – Because He Lives

Let our song join the one that never ends! 

AMEN

Bible, Faith, prayer

Steps to Victory

What do you do when trouble knocks on your door?

There is no doubt that difficulties will come into your life.

What is important is how you choose to respond.

Would you like to be prepared in advance?

Please read the following chapter from 2 Chronicles for a great plan.

2 Chronicles 20

This chapter contains a powerful formula, that if followed today, will produce the same results that it did for Jehoshaphat, so long ago. This chapter shows us the steps to conquer problems, and enable us to live in victory with joy!

Note: To respond as Jehoshaphat did, we need to be choosing to spend time alone with God on a daily basis. Walking and talking with the King needs to be our way of life.

Follow Jehoshaphat’s steps to victory

  1. Seek the Lord.  (prayer and fasting)   verse 3
  2. Stand on the Word of God. Hold onto the promises and remember what God has done before.   verses 6-9
  3. Give the whole problem to God. Depending on Him completely. (submitting to God’s will, trusting in the Lord)   verses 10-13
  4.  Listen to God. Respond to His instructions.   verses 15-20
  5. Praise the Lord. (while people are praising, God is moving)  verses 21-22
  6. See what God has done. Rejoice!  verses 26-28
  7. The power of God becomes known by others.  verse 29

These are steps that I found while studying the chapter. I remind myself of them when difficulties come my way. I pray that you will find it helpful also. I am very certain that you will discover more treasure in the chapter if you study and pray to see. Please take a moment to comment below. I would love to read what God shows you.

Blessings,

Lynn 🙂

garden-886073_1280

Book Reviews, books, Faith

Fall Reading

I have just finished reading Lynn Austin’s new book “Waves of Mercy”.  I received a free copy of the book from Bethany House Publishers. I’m thrilled to be on the launch team for “Waves of Mercy”. Released on October 4th this book immediately became #1 on Christianbook and Amazon in the category of Christian Historical Fiction.

14469677_714238348751863_4002144236032929470_n

The book is set in Holland Michigan in the year 1897, as the town is preparing to celebrate it’s 50 year anniversary. Geesje begins writing a memoir of her experience emigrating from the Netherlands to Michigan. At the same time, a young woman from Chicago is seeking direction in her life after a broken engagement. The stories of these two very different women are woven together with masterful skill.

Captured from the first chapter, I gobbled the pages during every spare moment and hated putting the book down. Lynn Austin is a gifted writer who does extensive research to ensure historical accuracy. It was great to learn about the Dutch immigrants who came seeking religious freedom. “Waves of Mercy” is bursting with rich wisdom and inspiration for real life.

If you enjoy reading Christian Historical Fiction, you will like this book. My only caution is that you may want to keep tissues within reach.

adobe-spark-23

Learn more about Lynn Austin

If you read the book please leave a comment and answer the following question.

Do you want Lynn Austin to make “Waves of Mercy” into a series?

Happy reading 🙂   sunflowers-1719121_1280


 

Find “Waves of Mercy” at your local bookstore or order online.

Available in Hardcover, Paperback, e-Book and Audio formats.

 

 

 

Bible, Corrie ten Boom, Faith, prayer

One Way Door

Corrie ten Boom spoke to many groups of people all over the world. Sometimes she visited and shared her story in prisons. She made a video, especially for prisoners. Even if you are not living in a prison building, you may find that you are a prisoner. She had this in mind as she spoke on the video. Do you feel trapped in your life today?  Do you feel like things can never change? Perhaps you are just discouraged and tired. Do you long to be free from whatever is holding you down? There is a way to be free.

The first 3 1/2 minutes is a great introduction showing scenes from “The Hiding Place” movie. Some of Corrie’s best illustrations are in this video. She was 85 years old when “One Way Door” was made.

I would suggest that you get comfortable with a glass of ice tea. Have paper & pen handy in case you want to take some notes. Sit back and enjoy this time with Corrie. If you are not familiar with Corrie and her amazing life, this is a perfect way to meet her.

Corrie ten Boom – One Way Door

 

 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.   

– Matthew 11:28-30 

Jesus is the answer 

Thanks for watching Corrie ten Boom’s “One Way Door”

I pray that Jesus is speaking to your heart and you experience the new life that only He can give you.

Blessings,

Lynn

Be sure to visit the Corrie ten Boom page

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