Even Now

The locusts were sent by God as a judgment on an unfaithful people. They had turned their backs on Him. They had forsaken the One who had brought them so far. Then, there are two of the sweetest words in Scripture…

“Even now…”

After all that you’ve done – even now you can return to me.

After all the places you have been – even now there is a place for you here with me.

No matter how far we have fallen. No matter how many times it has happened. No matter what lies the enemy whispers. God says to us, “Even now, come back to me.”

And He calls us back, not to a place of shame, but of restoration. (Joel 2:25)

He promised to restore what the locusts had eaten. The locusts that were sent by Him in response to their sin. Think about that! He offers to restore to them the very things that their own unfaithfulness had cost them.

That’s grace.

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Let’s Catch Up!

It’s been way too long, friends, since I have visited this space. Let’s just say that there’s a whole lot of life being lived on this side of the screen.

However, for those who don’t follow my Bible journaling on my Insta page, I wanted to post some highlights from recent weeks.

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(I read this book every year during the week of Easter. I highly recommend it!)

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(As I sit here this morning, do I feel peace or panic? Do my efforts seem fruitful or in vain? Is the Lord’s presence evident in my life?

Often, I want to blame (or give credit for) the answers on my current circumstances, other people or my own effort.

What if it were all dependent upon my obedience to the Lord?)

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(God starts out by saying, “I have a command for you.” And, before anyone can even respond, He says, “it’s not too hard for you.”

{I would like to point out that He didn’t say that it wouldn’t be hard – but it wouldn’t be TOO hard.}

The command is to choose life.
To choose good.
To choose Him every time.

Also, how cute is this phone case from Prone to Wander LA?!)

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(It’s been said that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

God’s “past behavior” has always been faithfulness. He has kept every promise He ever made. Anyone can be a promise maker but our God is a promise keeper.

One really fun way to study scripture is to begin at the beginning and highlight every promise made by God. Then, as you make your way through, highlight or somehow mark the fulfillment of those promises. )

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(Our hope comes from what we KNOW and not what we feel.

Also, another super cute phone cover from Prone to Wander LA. I have signed my blogs and books with “You are loved” for years so I am in love with this one!)

He is risen, friends.

He is risen, indeed.

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead… 2 Timothy 2:8

You are loved. ❤

Two Bible Study Tips for the New Year

Here are a few excerpts from our first two weeks with the F260 Bible reading plan. As I read each day, I am looking for two things:

An Inhale – a meditation

An Exhale – an application

Here are a few examples.

*****

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Inhale: Grief changes people.

Exhale: Do I allow people who have suffered a great loss to find their new normal?

26220011_1573868926038645_7647826988527679204_nInhale: We must know Scripture well so that we do not speak things of God that are not true.

Exhale: Do I use God’s Word to shame or condemn someone instead of to bring light and freedom?

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Inhale: The GOspel is about going.

Exhale: Where (or to whom) is God calling me to go?

*****

I would love to hear from y’all and know what God is revealing to you!

Also, follow me on Instagram for my daily Bible journal posts!

You are loved. ❤

Blog the Bible 2018

If you have not yet chosen a Bible reading plan for 2018, I would love for you to join me! I’m using the F260 plan which you can download here. It’s a little bit lighter than some other plans with only 5 days a week in the schedule. Also, something that makes it different is that it includes a weekly memory verse which I love.

I will be posting my journal entries from my daily reading on my Instagram account. That will be the best place to connect with me daily regarding the Bible reading. However, I will post occasional updates here on the blog.

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I would love to hear what God reveals to you this year. So, feel free to leave a comment or email me with your thoughts as you make your way through God’s Word this year!

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You are loved. ❤

Stacy

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

I have recently taken up running. Now, when I say running, what I mean is more of a fast jog. Perhaps, an impressive mall walker. I’m not breaking any speed records, but I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve enjoyed it.

A couple weeks ago, I ran a one-mile race. It was my first official running event and there was an amazing assortment of people. There were those who clearly took this race very seriously. (Did I mention we were only running one mile?) They had all the running gear and their game face firmly in place.

Then, there were people like me. I’ve got a decent pair of running shoes and I’ve been consistently somewhat consistently occasionally running at the Y for a couple of months. Then, of course, there were some folks who seemed to have taken a wrong turn somewhere and were looking for the nearest Arby’s.

There were many people who made the race look easy. When the race began, they sprinted ahead and out of sight. Some walked the entire way with no interest in beating anyone. Several started out running quickly and, then, had to slow down. Others began slowly but, at some point, increased their speed.

One lady stood out to me. She was up at the front of the group, full of laughter and very excited to begin the race. The starter shot was fired, the mass of people began to move and, almost instantly, she fell. As if in slow motion, she awkwardly hit the pavement and rolled a couple of times. She quickly stood up, glanced around, laughed it off and continued the race – walking instead of running this time.

It was all over in 10-15 minutes and we gathered at the finish line. As I looked around, I saw everyone. The guy with the cool running gear. The women who walked the entire way pushing baby strollers. The ones who (like me) thought it would be a breeze and found it slightly difficult. She was also there – the one who had publicly fallen. She had endured the giggles and the looks of pity and had risen to finish the race.

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1

It made me think of the author’s words in Hebrews. He never said that we need to look a certain way, have the impressive gear or be faster than anyone else. We simply need to endure. We need to show up and not quit.

It won’t look the same for all of us. It will look like some are having an easier time but, we must keep in mind, that we aren’t always privy to the training taking place behind the scenes. Perhaps, we will look at some and think, “They aren’t trying very hard,” without realizing the effort it took for them to simply get out of bed that morning. For some of us, the race will be downright ugly. We will stumble, fall and embarrass ourselves. None of that matters. What matters is that we finish the race set before us.

Let us run with endurance.

For in due time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. Hebrews 10:36

I don’t know what your race looks like at this moment. I don’t know what painful training you’ve endured or what stumbles you have made. Here is what I do know, my friend, there is a reward waiting if you don’t give up. And the reward is Jesus Himself.

To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end…I will give him the morning star. Revelation 2:26-28

I, Jesus…am the morning star. Revelation 22:16

There is a prize at the end of this faith race and His name is Jesus.

Don’t quit, my friend. Just keep your eye on the prize.

You are loved. ❤

Stacy