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

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He’s God and He’s Good

We read the story of Jesus calming the storm. The winds are howling, the waves are crashing and the disciples are panicking. Why were they so concerned?

As far back as I can remember, I have been terrified of dogs. Big dogs, little dogs, hot dogs. I have frozen in fear at the sight of a canine and the phobia still seems to be going strong after all of these years. But, here’s the thing. If I pass someone walking their dog on a leash, I don’t freak out and act a fool. I trust that the owner of the animal is in control of it. Now, if I encounter a dog and there is no owner in sight, it’s every woman for herself.

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These men found themselves in the middle of an out of control sea and simply didn’t realize that Jesus had the storm on a leash.

All throughout Scripture, Satan tries to make people doubt two things about Jesus. First, he wants people to doubts Jesus’ Godness.

If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread. Matthew 4:3

If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. Matthew 4:6

If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself. Luke 23:37

If.

If.

If.

The problem is that, once someone has a face to face encounter with Christ, there is no doubting His Godness.

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” Mark 8:29

 

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This doesn’t deter Satan. He just moves to the next trick in his bag. If the enemy can’t make you doubt His Godness, he’ll attempt to make you doubt His goodness.

Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die? Mark 4:38

Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Luke 10:40

Don’t you care, Lord?

When the job doesn’t work out, the baby doesn’t come, the prodigal doesn’t return, our health fails, Prince Charming doesn’t arrive, someone betrays us, we’ve been rejected. Underneath it all is one vital question: Don’t you care, Lord?

Satan wants you to wonder if Jesus is good.

Spoiler alert: He is good.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

The Lord is good to all. Psalm 145:9

Maybe you’re grieving a loss. Perhaps, you’re making your way through the valley of the shadow. Possibly, you’re coming to terms with the fact the God’s plan doesn’t look quite like your plan did.

Here is what we need to cling to in any and every situation.

We have a Saviour who is God and who is good. That’s a combination worthy of our worship and our faith.

You are loved.

4 Ways to Respond When You S.P.O.T. a Battle on the Horizon

There have been many times when I’ve struggled with knowing how to respond in a situation. I am, by nature, a peacemaking, people-pleasing, don’t-rock-the-boat kind of girl.

It’s not always easy to know. Do I let this offense slide (turn the other cheek?) Do I confront and make my feelings known? What should I do when I feel I’m being wronged, taken advantage of, or downright attacked?

As I read through the book of Esther recently, I developed a battle plan to help me deal with these situations. So, the next time you spot a battle brewing here is the battle plan (based on Esther 4) which you can have in place.

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S – Seek the Lord. 

Esther 4:15 says, “Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, ‘Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do.”

The first step of her battle plan was to pray. Do you want to know why it’s important to pray before going into battle? Because not every battle is ours to fight. You may pray and the Lord may tell you to engage the enemy. The prophet Nehemiah told the people to “fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, and your homes.” In Psalm 144, David said, “Blessed be the Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.” There are certainly times when we are called to battle.

But there are other times when, after seeking the Lord’s will, we will find Him telling us to be still. In 2 Chronicles, the Lord told King Jehoshaphat, “The battle is not yours but God’s…You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf.”

How are we going to know if we are called to battle or to be still unless our first step is to seek the Lord? Do note, however, that being still is not the same as backing down. God is clear that the people were to hold their position – they were just not to actively engage the enemy in that moment.

P – Patiently wait.

We saw back in verse 3 that there was mourning, weeping, and lamenting in every province. There were people lying around in sackcloth and ashes. And Esther waits a whole day, then a second day and then a third day. Don’t you know there were those who didn’t understand? There were certainly some who just wanted her to go to the king already. Yet, Esther patiently waited for the Lord to respond.

There will be times when you want to rush into battle. But Proverbs 19:11 says that a person with good sense is patient. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit.

O – Obey the Lord.

It wouldn’t do any good for Esther to seek the Lord and patiently wait for His response if she had no intention of obeying. At the end of the fast, we see that Esther says, “I will go to the king.”

We have to be willing to obey whether we are called to battle or to be still.

T – Trust the Lord with the outcome.

This is often the most difficult part. We see this in Esther’s final words in chapter 4. She says, “I will go to the king and, if I perish, I perish.” We see this same sentiment later with Paul when he says, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” He trusted God to work it for good either way.

In 2011, my mother had stage 4 kidney cancer and stage 4 lymphoma at the same time. I sat with her every Friday that year while she took chemo and we laughed and told stories and made friends. People would ask her if she was afraid and she would always say, “It’s a win-win for me. If he heals me it will be great. If he calls me home it will be great.” She trusted Him with the outcome no matter what.

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The truth is that there is no shortage of battles constantly brewing around us. Whether we’re on Facebook or attending a family gathering, conflict is always just around the corner. Let’s be prepared ahead of time so that, when we S.P.O.T. it, we’ll know what to do.

You are loved. ❤

Stacy

That Time I Prayed to be Invisible

My mother and I were in Birmingham for an event. We arrived on a beautiful, sunny Friday afternoon. I parked my car in the parking garage and we made our way to the venue two blocks away.

After enjoying the teaching and the music, ten thousand women exited the arena to make their ways to their vehicles. My mother and I turned to the right and began to walk and no one (not a single woman) followed us.

I don’t know how 9,998 other women all knew to park in the opposite direction. All I know is that my mother and I were left to walk alone, in the dark, to a parking garage two blocks away. Between us and the vehicle were abandoned buildings, empty parking lots and several men wandering the streets.

In that moment, all I could think to do was to pray that we were invisible. I asked the Lord that, if any of those men had any evil intentions, they simply would not see us. Now, I’m not saying that God made me invisible (although I’m not saying He didn’t either.) I do believe that God blinded the eyes of any potential enemy that night.

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I told that story at a recent women’s event to illustrate the power of prayer. I had forgotten about this incident and it came to me at the last minute. I couldn’t help but laugh as, as we walked those two blocks, I kept repeating, “It’s fine. They can’t see us. We’re invisible.”

Here’s the thing, though. I totally believed that God could do it. And, if I’m honest, it isn’t the first time I’ve prayed such a thing. Sometimes, at night, my spirit will feel unsettled and I’ll pray.

Lord, if there is anyone currently roaming the streets with ill intentions, let them not even take notice of our home.

God, if my children are out in public and the enemy is on the prowl, draw his attention away from my babies.

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It’s a prayer I’ve prayed often but never mentioned to anyone. It’s not exactly the parenting advice people expect.

What advice would you give for raising children in this broken world?

Oh, I just pray we’re all invisible.

Yeah. Hmm.

BUT – I found the coolest verse today.

Are you ready?

Wait for it…

Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked. – Psalm 64:2

I wanted to do the slow clap after reading it. Essentially, y’all, David just prayed to be invisible. Do with it what you will.

You are loved. ❤

Stacy