Grace & Truth ~ When It’s Hard to Give Thanks at Thanksgiving

It feels like there is tragedy somewhere in the world at every turn.  And every time I wonder how much closer we are to His return.  It might feel like His return is on the horizon, but we can’t know for sure.  I keep thinking this world can’t possibly get any worse…and then tragedy strikes again – worse than before.  Or just piling another heartache on top of the pain.  

With all of the tragedies we are facing today, it can be easy to grow discouraged and hardened, numbed to the horrific events that unfold before our eyes.  That’s why I appreciated Stacey’s post, When It’s Hard to Give Thanks at Thanksgiving.  She offers practical ways to inspire thankfulness despite these difficult times.  Head on over to her post and read her ideas.

Stacey, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up https://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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2 Transforming Applications for Building Wisdom

We have been talking about building a God-honoring life on A Work Of Grace over the last several weeks.  When I was younger, I had no idea what wisdom was all about.  I grew up in what was referred to as a Christian home.  However, the fruit that grew from that home did not prove this.  Looking back, I can see that lack of wisdom was a huge proponent of the destruction of what was in that home.  I have taught my kids from a very early age to seek Godly wisdom.  I had no idea what that would look like at that time, but now…well, I am so thankful that I did that!  So often, we fall into the lie that our kids are just not ‘smart enough’ to have wisdom.  This can’t be further from the truth.  Can I encourage you today to start inviting your kids to seek God’s wisdom?  Even if they are toddlers…are tiny babes.  Speak this truth to them!  To help you, I am writing this post, 2 Transforming Applications for Building Wisdom, and offering a special challenge for you and your family.

Do you know how to rebuild your life? How to build your life around God's wisdom? Here are 2 Transforming Applications for Building Wisdom

I want my kids to understand that their entire life – their speech, habits, character, time, priorities, what they watch or read – should be built around the wisdom of God.  Every decision we make ought to be determined by Godly wisdom.  In order to teach this truth effectively, I must be living this myself.  Here are 2 basic applications to live this out.

1. God’s promises lead the way to renewal.

2. Wisdom is completely in my control.

Let’s take a closer look.

Renewal

In order to tap into God’s wisdom, we must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  This really is a ‘given’.  However, the problem is when Christians get stuck in the infant stage of faith.  This is the Christian who gets upset over even the smallest of things.  Like a real baby who cries whenever he or she wants something.  Infant Christians need to be handled with kid gloves, easily offended with the slightest of slights. 

Infant Christians remember the wrongs they have suffered.  Even if it has been years.  They do not understand the concept of forgiveness and reconciliation. 

Baby Christians put up a good front at church, but at home, it’s a completely different story.  At church, she is the sweetest lady there is.  But at home, she is sour.  Maybe she is patient at church and at home she is explosive.  At church, always positive, at home, always grumbling.  Politeness rules at church, while gossiping rules at home. 

Christians who are not maturing in their faith are receivers instead of givers.  Church attendance is for consuming, not serving.  They always ask “What’s in it for me?”.

We Have What We Need

However, just like human babies are born with all they need to develop into functioning adults (like walking, talking, eating, etc), Christian babies also have all that they need in order to develop into wise, mature Christians.  We have the ability to live a life that God desires for us to live.  We have what we need for Godliness IF we make every effort to mature.  

The problem here is that so many of us are still babes in Christ – even after 20 years – when in reality, we need to step it up.  We have not made every effort.  Maybe no effort at all.  We still need to be coddled and held.

The biggest hindrance to developing Godliness is the lack of biblical literacy.  If we want to become wise, then we absolutely must raise our scriptural literacy.  God’s wisdom ought to be in every single aspect of my life.  Not just in the areas that are comfortable.  If we do not build up on our knowledge, then we will be ineffective.   

How???

Maybe you are wondering HOW you can build you scriptural literacy…well, you are in the right place!

1. Read it!  Goodness knows we read everything else that is put in front of eyes.  How much time do you spend scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, reading posts, watching videos, etc.?  Technology is great – I love it!  When you are sitting in a waiting room, get out your phone and READ.

2. Study it!  It’s not enough to just read it.  We must study it.  It’s easy enough to get a bunch of head knowledge, but when we study it, His word begins to be rooted in our hearts.  Besides, it is so fascinating looking up word meanings – I have learned so much just from doing that!  If you need help studying God’s word, start with my Bible Study on John (PS – Black Friday sale begins on the 24th!  See my shop page for details). 

3. Meditate on it! Take time to focus on what He is saying to you through His word.  Make cards and posters to keep in your purse or on your fridge as reminders of His truth.

4. Memorize it! OK, this is the most difficult one for me.  But we need to find out how we memorize.  Some people memorize right away.  While others need to put it in song form or use art to help us remember.  Whatever it is, figure it out and use it to your benefit.  ScriptureTyper is a great app to use!  I need someone to keep me accountable on this one – any takers? 

5. Live It!  Live out His word.  Need I say more? 

The Word is alive in us through Jesus Christ and this list is the mark of a life ruled by Godly wisdom.

Wisdom

There isn’t much in this world that we have control over, but how much wisdom we have is one of them.  If I am not growing in wisdom, it is no one else’s fault but my own.  The question is whether or not we will each take responsibility for our choices or not.

Solomon had the opportunity to ask God for anything, anything at all, and God promised to give it to him.  So, what does he ask for? 

More wisdom. 

And God blessed him with so much wisdom!  I am grateful for that wisdom because I get to soak up every bit of it through His word.

Asking God for His wisdom should be at the very top of our prayer life.  If you haven’t been asking Him for His wisdom, start now.  And encourage your kids to start asking God for wisdom, even if they are toddlers!  I started training my kids to ask for His wisdom when they were very young.  I am reaping the fruit of that today.

So, are you ready to join me in a challenge?  

Yes???  Good!

The Challenge

There are 31 chapters in Proverbs.  One for each day in December.  Every day (or almost every day), read one chapter.  Before reading, ask God to let one verse sift to the top.  God’s word is active and living, there should be at least one verse in every chapter that will resonate with you.  Let that verse take hold of your heart.  Write it down.  Study it.  Meditate on it.  Memorize it.  Live it.  

Then text it to someone.  Or hop on to the AWOG facebook group page and share with all of us (to gain access, subscribe to my newsletter to get the link).  Or share it verbally.  You can also tweet it or IG it!  The ideas are endless.  Just share it somehow with someone.  

When the 31 days is over, read through your list of verses.  Ask God for one verse out of those 31 to be the banner over your life in 2018.  

To help you with this, I have created a FREE PDF with a master checklist, scripture cards for you to write on and larger cards for the final verse.  I’d love for you to do this as a family, so I created sets for husbands/teen boys, teen girls, and younger children.  At the end of the PDF, I also made a printable poster of the 5 steps to Biblical literacy mentioned above.  

Growing in Wisdom with Proverbs Challenge

Do you know how to rebuild your life? How to build your life around God's wisdom? Here are 2 Transforming Applications for Building Wisdom

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Grace & Truth ~ What if My Brokenness is Not About Me

Brokenness…something I am sure we have all experienced.  And, I usually find that the more broken a person becomes, the more real their faith becomes when they hold fast to the Lord.  And the deeper the faith, the more wisdom.  As wisdom increases so does the ability to share the story of that brokenness.  I know this from my own experience.  And that story is shared with so many other broken hearts.  Those broken hearts turn to Jesus for healing and redemption. 

The plan for our brokenness is so much bigger than we can even imagine when we hand it all over to God.

I chose Rachel’s post, What if My Brokenness is Not About Me, as my feature this week because she shares this important truth from her own tragic story.  I love how she gets right to the problem:

“So often, when we are forced to endure hardship, we have a tendency to make our brokenness all about us. Why me, God? Why did you let this happen? Where were you? Why didn’t you save me? What did I do to deserve this? Why her? Why him? Why us? Why now?

But maybe, just maybe, these are the wrong types of questions.”

Head on over to Rachel’s site and read her incredible post.

Rachel, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up https://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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4 Ways To Steward A God-Honoring Life

I felt so disappointed.  I was even angry.  And frustrated.  My heart screamed, “Why were all of these things happening to ME?  Hadn’t already been through enough?”.  I spent a lot of time in tears and with a sense of despair.  I’d love to say that I could pinpoint exactly when I was feeling like that but the truth is that I have felt like that more times than I wish I’d had.  It wasn’t just one time or one incident.  It has been many times.  Many experiences.  Many situations.  I look back at those times – any of them – and I realize I was missing something pivotal, something so integral to my spiritual growth that without understanding the fundamental truth of it, I would still be considered a ‘baby Christian’ that Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 3. I wish I had learned sooner about these 4 Ways To Steward A God-Honoring Life.

Often, when we are disappointed about our plans not working out, it’s because we miss a fundamental truth for spiritual growth. I had to learn to steward my life according to God’s will. Here are 4 Ways To Steward A God-Honoring Life.

When I was caught up in frustration, disappointment, and anger, I was focused on my plans and dreams for my life.  I wasn’t thinking that God might have other plans for me.  I had already made my plans and dictated how I thought my life should be like.  And when those plans failed, I turned to my jaded self.  

I had to learn to steward my life, not steer it.

Hmmm…how many of you are trying to take control of the steering wheel?

How many of you have forgotten – or not even understood – that God has great plans for you.  he is the One who has woven you together, he has the perfect blueprint for your life.  This life you have is not yours.  It is on loan to you from God. 

Your life is really His life.

When we begin looking at our lives with this perspective, we are less likely to become so involved with our feelings when things don’t work out the way we think that they should.  Sure, there will still be disappointments, but that disappointment is eased by the Hope we have in the truth that He has something so much better for us.

1. Purpose

Your life matters.  Do you really believe that?  Do you believe just how important you are to God?  

Every now and then, I will come across an AMAZING woman of God and I’ll think to myself, “I want to be a Godly woman like that!”.  I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about.  It’s that older woman whose eyes always sparkle.  The woman who oozes Jesus.  When she is around, everyone feels her JOY and LOVE.  Your spirit immediately relaxes and feels at rest. 

How did she get like that?  Well, she realized that her life has a purpose and she let that purpose plant her like an oak tree.  She has allowed herself to be a place where people find rest under the shady tree.  Has her life been easy and pain-free?  Most likely, it hasn’t been at all.  In fact, I’d even bet that it is because of the pain that she is the way she is.  She has allowed the Lord to use her pain and suffering for His glory.  She has found purpose in her life.

 If you want to be a good steward of your life, find your purpose.

2. Build a Legacy

Legacy is so important.  The biggest reason how I know this is because neither my husband or I have a strong Godly legacy in our lives.  We both wish that we did have a Godly legacy to speak of.  Instead, we are left with legacies of infidelity, witchcraft, mental illness, divorce, abuse…just plain evil. 

But we are changing that, the 3 of us – me, Marcus (hubby), and God.  We are providing a healthy, safe, and loving home for our kids.  With them and for them, we are building our lives upon Jesus Christ.  We are showing them how to live a Godly life, how to have a Godly marriage, what Godly parenting looks like, and what is most important in life.

Sure, we mess it up sometimes, but what we do with that mess is equally important as getting it right.  Sometimes it’s even more important.  Building a legacy means handling those mistakes the right way.

A legacy is a long-term commitment.  It’s from generation after generation.  We must understand that there will be opposition from the opposer of God.  He wants to destroy these plans – he certainly wants to destroy the legacy you are building, and that typically starts with your marriage.  And we might take some detours along the way.  I took a detour this weekend, sadly.    

But remember this truth: God’s plans are so much bigger than any detours I might take.  Isn’t that wonderful truth?

If you want to be a good steward of your life, build a legacy.

3. Live Free

I talk about this truth a lot on this blog.  I talk about it often because I know what it’s like to not live in freedom.  Living in darkness and death is not new to me.  I have experienced it. I have also experienced finding life and freedom in Jesus Christ. 

This understanding helps me to continuously pursue a life of freedom.  To pursue LIFE.  The more I pursue this, the more I see that my life will stand up against the storms of life because it is built on Jesus Christ.  It’s not built upon my own desires, dreams, and plans.  That structure would crumble at the first gust of wind.  I know this is true because it has happened!

Some posts you might find helpful in living LIFE:

Are You Offering Life?  Or Are You Sitting in a Puddle? 

5 Habits Of The Effective Woman Of God

1 Essential Thing For Living In Freedom

How To Live In Freedom

If you want to be a good steward of your life, pursue life and freedom in Jesus.

4. Wisdom

Wisdom…something we are seriously lacking in our day and age! I mean, we have tons of worldly wisdom.  The self-help industry is a $10 billion per year commerce – in the USA alone!  We certainly do not lack in ‘wisdom’ and advice.  However, this advice is more about opinion rather than truth.

Our world is devoid of Godly wisdom.  Because our world is bereft of His wisdom, it is no wonder it is falling apart.  It is no wonder we have so much tragedy.  So much pain.  So much death.  

Worldly wisdom brings destruction.  Godly wisdom builds.

One thing I have been doing lately is rephrasing Proverbs 24:3, By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established.  I have been saying, “By wisdom, a woman is built.”  Now, that is empowering!  I am being built on Godly wisdom!  When I rearticulate this verse that way, I am reminded to make the wisest choice available on a daily basis.

Seek Him

God’s word is way ahead of us – it will never, ever have to play catch up with us.  If you don’t know what to do in a situation, then seek wisdom in His word.  Pray before, during and after you search His word.  He will answer.  We might not like His response, but He will give us His wisdom every single time.

For example, when my son was little, he’d have the absolute worst temper tantrums.  I couldn’t find any worldly wisdom that worked for him.  Finally, I prayed – and God answered.  He told me exactly what to do.  My son is now 14 and I can tell you, without a doubt, that God’s wisdom in dealing with that problem has lasting effects.  It has developed good fruit – in my life, in his life, and in our relationship – not to mention how our trust in God grew.  

Seek His wisdom, friend.  You won’t go wrong.  Have your habits, speech, decisions, everything, built on God’s wisdom.  

If you want to be a good steward of your life, make the wisest choice available.

Next week, we’ll dive deeper into the topic of wisdom.  I plan to cover ideas such as the development of wisdom, how to build up knowledge, maturing in our faith…PLUS, there will be a special challenge!!  

My friends, what are some other ways you have stewarded your life well?

Often, when we are disappointed about our plans not working out, it’s because we miss a fundamental truth for spiritual growth. I had to learn to steward my life according to God’s will. Here are 4 Ways To Steward A God-Honoring Life.

 

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Grace & Truth ~ I Am My Child’s Friend

When my first child was born, I knew I had to parent differently from how I grew up.  Big changes were in order.  I tried some parenting books and some offered bits and pieces of practical advice.  But none really fit quite right.  So, I turned to God for His wisdom – probably what I should have done first;)  And He taught me.  He taught me so many things.  One of those things was the fact that my kids and I are friends. 

Now, this wasn’t a popular view then and it isn’t now.  But maybe, just maybe, we have the definition of friend wrong instead of being friends with your children wrong.  Years ago, I shared my ideas with my friend, Kaylene’s site with a post called My Daughters, My Friends.  My oldest is now 16 and we are very close – we are friends.  And this has helped her draw even closer to God!  We even created a course together (which will be closing on November 17th).  For more details, click the image to the right.

I also wrote more extensively about the idea of being friends with our children in my book, Raising Godly Children.  This book goes on sale on Amazon (Kindle version only) on the 12th with a countdown sale (price starts at 99 cents and increases daily – back to full price on the 18th). 

Because this is a topic that isn’t talked about much – or people look at you like you are crazy – I just had to choose Rosa’s post as my feature this week.  I love how she has come to the same conclusions I have!  Head on over to her blog to read her post I am My Child’s Friend.

Rosa, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up https://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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1 Common Ingredient In A God-Honoring Life

When I was younger, many of my life decisions were greatly influenced by other people.  I wanted to make sure they were happy.  My happiness was put aside, even ignored.  I would remain unhappy just so other would be happy with me.  Needless to say, this rarely worked out.  There would be at least one person who still wasn’t happy with my decisions.  And the people who were ‘happy’ in the beginning, eventually grew unhappy with me for whatever reason.  It was a lose-lose situation.  It wasn’t until I started to listen to God’s plan for my life that things got better for me.  Sure, those people still got angry with me about my decisions, but at least I knew I was doing something right.  Let’s chat about 1 Common Ingredient In A God-Honoring Life.  PS – I’ve created another set of worksheets – you can find them at the bottom of this post.

There is always one common thread running through the lives of Godly people. Do you know what it is? 1 Common Ingredient In A God-Honoring Life

Last week, we talked about the 5 Essential Tools For Building Your Life.  Today, I want to look at the common ingredient in building a life that honors God.  

Truth

Truth – God’s Truth – must be the common ingredient when to comes to building a Godly life.  We need His truth to guide us in placing the building blocks that are used in constructing our lives.  If we attempt to place those blocks where we think they ought to go, they will end up in the wrong place.  If we listen to others opinions before trusting God when it comes to construction, those blocks will be misplaced.  

God’s truth helps us in many ways when we place it into the equation for building our lives.

Wisdom

One element of truth is wisdom.  I’m not talking about worldly wisdom here.  I’m talking about the wisdom that only comes from God.  You see, we have come to a place in our culture where earthly wisdom has more weight than Godly wisdom.  We’ve got ‘follow your heart’ and ‘you can be anything you want to be’.  Or arguments that begin with “I think…”.  

We miss the importance of Godly wisdom here.  What does God’s word say?

Another strange trend I have found is that people are willing to listen to pretty much anyone these days.  And then they wonder why they are having so many problems.  For example, there is this ‘parenting expert’ near where I live.  Many people seek her for advice.  But…my daughter has had a ‘run-in’ with her teen daughter.  She was picking on a younger boy and Sarah had to step in and tell her to stop.  I’ve had my own experiences with this girl – picking on another little boy, rolling her eyes, and just being plain disrespectful to adults and her peers.  That makes me wonder…how valid is the parenting wisdom of her mother?  Certainly not advice I care to hear.  We must look at the fruit of whom we are listening to. 

Now, I have received some flack for my viewpoint here.  Which is also quite fascinating.  Why on earth would I take parenting advice from someone who does not hold the same values as I do when it comes to parenting???  This would be the same for financial advice.  Which is more prudent: listening to my broke relative or heeding advice from a financial expert like Dave Ramsey?  That really is a no-brainer!  How about marriage advice?  Would I be better off asking that friend who has been divorced twice already and her present marriage is on the rocks?  Or that Godly couple at church who have been happily married for 60 years? 

If we want to build our lives with truth, we need God’s wisdom.

Freedom

The other truth we need to live by is the fact that we are free.  So many of us are not living the victorious life that Christ died to give to us.  He paid a great price for our freedom.  We are stuck in bondage – the bondage of sin and lies – and we either don’t know how to get out, we don’t realize we are in bondage, or we just want things to remain the same.

When I say I am living a victorious life, I don’t mean a life that is all lollipops, cotton candy, and rainbows.  It isn’t perfect.  In fact, if I am totally honest right now, I am struggling.  I am struggling with some mild depression right now.  I am feeling like I am not heard by a certain person in my life.  And weariness threatens to swallow me up.

But…I know the truth.  And I know that this isn’t forever.  My Savior has already won this battle.  Do I have to walk through?  Yes, I do.  I have to keep putting one step in front of the other.  But I will come out the other side stronger, with a deeper faith, and some good lessons learned.

That, my friend, is living a victorious life.        

He longs for us to live a victorious, radiant life through Him.  Even – or especially – through the hard times.  He paid a very high price for us to live a life of freedom and victory.  Let’s honor Him by choosing life.  I have written extensively on living in freedom because I’ve had to fight tooth and nail for it – I’ve lost some skin and I have many scars to prove it, but I am a beautiful example that living in freedom is possible.

If we want to build our lives with truth, we need to live victoriously.

The Word

Another piece of truth to live by is how much we need the Law of the Lord to refresh and revive us.  Oh, friend, I desperately need this right now!  

Sometimes, depending on the software program I am running on my computer (or the number of windows and tabs I have open at once…don’t ask…), my computer will start to run slowly.  I need to close several programs, windows, and files and restart my computer.  

This takes time – especially shutting down programs that are running S-L-O-W-L-Y!  But, when my computer is up and running again, it is super fast.  It operates better.

How similar is this example to being revived – or restarted – by being in God’s word?  Without His word in my life deeply rooted in my heart, I am just running in low power mode.  This computer is SLOW!  I need to shut down the applications that are running and quiet my heart before the Lord.  This means sitting at His feet through His word and allowing Him to teach me.

If we want to build our lives with truth, we need to have soul refreshment with the Law of the Lord.

Living Water

In my study of John, I have been learning so much about the identity of Christ.  I always knew these things, but actually digging in to create a study just bring this understanding to a whole new level.  He talks so much about being the Living Water.  I need the Living Water to give me unspeakable joy!  He is the Light of Life.  He has the words of eternal life!  As Peter says in John 6:68 – where else can I go?

My sister, there is nothing else that will satisfy.  Nothing.  There is absolutely nothing on this earth that will speak joy into your heart except for Jesus Christ.  Why are you looking elsewhere?  Why do you keep searching for purpose and happiness in all the wrong places?  Or with the wrong people?

If we want to build our lives with truth, we need to drink daily from the Living Water.

The Truth

My friend, who is speaking into your life today?  Are you letting the General Contractor (Jesus) dictate your thoughts?  Your actions?  Your life?

Are the people who are speaking into your life today level?  Do they have Godly wisdom?  Or earthly wisdom?  Are you listening to the person who is an alcoholic?  On her third marriage?  Or living a life contrary to God’s word?  If so, this is NOT the person you should be listening to.  They do not hold fast to the truth.  Whatever they are building with is what is being built into you.  

My friend, you are prized by God.  You are His unique creation.  There is no one quite like you.  He has an amazing purpose for you.  You are not a sinner, but a saint.  You are not a failure.  He is your strength.  Start building your life on such truths.  If you have some crooked 2x4s in your construction process, take them out and replace them with straight ones.  Build on thoughts that have been leveled by the truth.  God’s truth.

The common ingredient in the lives of God-honoring Christians is the truth.  It is with that truth that they measure wisdom and discover freedom.  This truth comes from God’s word and the Living Water.

How do you need to apply God’s truth to your life today?

Next week, we’ll chat about things like stewardship, God’s promises, building a legacy and more.  Iw ill also have a very special challenge I hope you will join me in doing! 

1 Common Ingredient In A God-Honoring Life

There is always one common thread running through the lives of Godly people. Do you know what it is? 1 Common Ingredient In A God-Honoring Life

To start at the beginning of this series:

Building For Wisdom

How To Build A Firm Foundation In Faith

Who Is The General Contractor Of your Life?

5 Essential Tools For Building Your Life

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Grace & Truth ~ How To Connect With Your Teenager

Raising teens is both wonderful and challenging!  Kids are finding their voice and learning how to use it in a God-glorifying way.  They make mistakes…but then again, so do I.  As parents, we are the most important people in the lives of our teens.  Whether they acknowledge it or not – we are. 

Connecting with our teens can be tricky.  But a sincere connection is vital for a healthy family dynamic.  Just over a year ago, God gave me the idea to create a teen girl course with my daughter.  My daughter was excited about the idea and we brainstormed topics together.  We shared ideas and we created video lessons.  I created the worksheets and she edited them.  We came up with ideas for bonus material and she gave me ideas for songs for each lesson.  I never dreamed that this course would become a wonderful way for us to connect and draw closer together.  But it did.  She has ministered to my heart on so many levels.  It truly has been a beautiful gift for both of us. 

It was our intention that our course would draw other teen girls and their mother closer together as well as draw girls closer to God.  So, the fact that we were drawn closer together is a BONUS for us!  PS – if you are interested in this course, it is offered at its lowest price now for a short time.  Cart closes midnight, November 24th.

Because the parent/teen relationship is so important in my life and in my heart, I chose Valerie’s post, How To Connect With Your Teenager, as my feature this week.  Hop on over to her site to read her awesome post.

Valerie, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up https://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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5 Essential Tools For Building Your Life

Have you ever started to make a delicious dessert only to find that you have run out of an important ingredient…after you already mixed together the first several ingredients?  I have.  More than once.  If I hadn’t run to the grocery store to pick up that missing ingredient, the dessert would have been a disaster.  This is the same idea for building a Godly life.  We need the right building tools.  In this post, I discuss 5 Essential Tools For Building Your Life.   PS – scroll down to the bottom for a free printable set of worksheets for this post.

Do you have what it takes to build your life on Christ? The correct tools make all the difference. Here are 5 Essential Tools For Building Your Life.

We’ve discussed, trusting God with your building plan, building a solid foundation for your life, and allowing God to be your general contractor.  It’s important to cover these ides before framing our life.  If we have a poor and unstable foundation or the wrong contractor who has no clue about building, then the rest of the structure is going to be unsteady and insecure.

Let’s introduce our 5 essential tools for building your life and then we’ll discuss each of them more in depth.

  1. Thoughts
  2. Relationships
  3. Habits & patterns
  4. Time
  5. Money

These are the components that will help us build a productive life.

Thoughts

If you could picture your life built with 2x4s, and each 2×4 had your thoughts written on them, what would that look like?  Let’s take this a bit further.  How about every 2×4 with a negative thought about yourself is decaying rapidly.  And every 2×4 with a good thought about yourself is in perfect shape.  What would be the condition of your life house?  Would it be in pretty good condition?  Or would it be falling apart? 

Friends, how we think about ourselves is vital to building a solid life on Jesus Christ.  Don’t believe me?  Then maybe you’ll listen to Paul. 

He tells us to think about things that are true, honorable, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praise worthy.  When you look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I am so ugly and disgusting.” is that any of those things Paul listed?

NO!

What about when you make a mistake and think to yourself, “I am so stupid!”.  That is not on the list of things Paul instructed us to think about.  

If we want to build a God-glorifying life, we must take every thought captive under Jesus’ authority.

Regardless of whether or not we believe the true and good thoughts at that point.  Believing comes after our action of taking those negative thoughts captive under Jesus’ authority and allow Him to show us His truth.

If you need a bit more help in this area, try some of my posts under Freedom in Christ as well as these posts:

7 Perfect Valentine Gifts For Your Husband (Not just for Valentine’s Day!)

For The Wife Who Doesn’t Feel Sexy

Relationships

You are a product of the relationships you are involved in.  Whether you like it or not, this is very true.  Sometimes we don’t realize just how true this is until we are out of an unhealthy relationship.  

  • 1 Corinthians 15:33 ~ Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
  • Proverbs 13:20 ~ Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

We must be careful with whom we spend most of our time with. 

If you want more joy in your life, spend time with joy-filled people.

Hanging out with peaceful people will help to eliminate drama from your life.

If you want to dig deeper into God’s word, go for coffee with people who are already immersed in God’s word.

Building a relationship with a couple who has a strong marriage will help build a strong marriage.

If we want to build a God-glorifying life, we must invest in healthy, God-honoring relationships.

Habits & Patterns

Healthy habits and patterns are essential for building a God-glorifying life.  What habits and patterns rule your daily life?  Are they good ones that bear healthy fruit?  Or are they destructive habits?

Every habit started as a thought.  That thought turned into action, which eventually turned into a habit.  That habit builds our character and our character builds our life.

Again, we can easily see here just how important it is to take our thoughts captive.  Those thoughts eventually form patterns and habits that impact our character, and ultimately, our life.

If we want to build a God-glorifying life, we must produce healthy habits and patterns.

Time

How many of us wish we had more time in a day?  At first, that idea sounds great.  However, it wouldn’t be long before we start to complain that we just don’t have enough time…again.

The problem is not lack of time.  It’s the lack of setting our priorities straight.  God knew exactly what He was doing when He gave us 24 hours in a day.  We have enough time during our day to do our work and then we have the time during the night to rest our bodies with sleep.  Any more would mess up our mortal body systems.  It truly is the perfect amount of time every day.

We must be careful with how we spend our time.  Our time here is a wonderful gift from God.  We can spend it bickering on social media (seriously, that has gotten way out of hand!).  Or we can spend our time blessing others. 

We will end up becoming what we invest our time in.  Think about this for a moment.  Think about the people you know.  Do you know someone who always seems to be ‘down’ and tired?  What do they spend most of their time doing?  Watching the depressing news?  Consuming unhealthy beverages and foods?  Do they complain a lot?  Too much time on social media?  Watching movies and TV shows that they shouldn’t be watching?  These things will have a negative effect on how they are building their life.

Now think about someone who seems to be joyful and content.  What do they spend much of their time doing?  If you don’t know, then find out!       

If we want to build a God-glorifying life, we must spend our time wisely.

Money

How we use our money will determine how we will build our lives.  How do you use your money?  Are you wise with your investments? Do you tithe regularly?  Are you generous?  Perhaps you waste your money on frivolous things or you are too stingy with it.  Both unwise spending habits and holding onto your money with a tight-fist will prevent you from building a life God desires you to have. 

If we want to build a God-glorifying life, we must use our money prudently.

So, here are the questions that will help you to see if you are using these tools properly or not.

1. Who controls these tools.  If it isn’t God, then the wrong person is in control.

2. Am I getting what I want in these areas?  Or is Jesus having His way?

3. Do other people opinion of me in these areas matter more than God’s?

4. Are the desires of my flesh being met?  Or am I denying my flesh in order for God to be glorified in my life?

We aren’t smart enough to build a long-standing structure of life.  We need God’s help.  Honoring Him by using these tools wisely is what we must do.

Next week, we will look at the common ingredient in building a life that honors God.

What is another tool you would add to this list?

5 Essential Tools For Building Your Life Worksheets

To start at the beginning of this series:

Building For Wisdom

How To Build A Firm Foundation In Faith

Who Is The General Contractor Of your Life?

Follow-up posts in this series:

1 Common Ingredient In A God-Honoring Life

Do you have what it takes to build your life on Christ? The correct tools make all the difference. Here are 5 Essential Tools For Building Your Life.

 

 

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Grace & Truth ~ 4 Ways Jesus Approached Disappointed People

Being in ministry, I come across people who are disappointed in me.  “The event wasn’t advertised well enough” or “This is how I used to do it”.  Sometimes, certain people simply want to complain – they look for something to grumble about (and they are sure to find it quickly!).  It is incredibly frustrating and extremely discouraging.  I know I’ve been in the position several times where I wonder if leading Women’s Ministry is really worth it.  That maybe there is a better woman for the job.  It’s hard to hear those criticisms – especially when the encouragement is few and far between.  NOTE: if you appreciate your WM director, pastor’s wife, kids’ Sunday School teacher, Children’s ministry director – TELL THEM!  It’s amazing just how far a few encouraging words can go. 

Becuase I understand the challenging relationships that being in ministry can have, I chose Christa’s post as my feature this week. 4 Ways Jesus Approached Disappointed People encouraged me and gave some practical tips I can take into my ministry – both online and at church.   Head on over to her site to read her post.

Christa, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up https://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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When You Are Looking For A Christmas Themed Bible Study

Christmas is just around the corner.  Are you ready for the hustle and bustle?  Often times, the holidays are full of busyness and a jam-packed schedule.  It can be difficult to find time for yourself let alone God.  So, I want to share with you one of my favorite Christmas-themed Bible Study Resources.  So, When You Are Looking For A Christmas Themed Bible Study, then look no further!  PLUS – check out all the fantastic bonuses at the bottom of the post!

When You Are Looking For A Christmas Themed Bible Study

I love all of Sarah Ann’s resources.  She is a good blogging friend of mine and we’ve known each other for quite a few years now.  She always creates quality products.  You might remember her Family Bible Study Kit from earlier this year.  It is a fabulous resource that is perfect for the entire family.  

Well, now, just in time for this holiday season, she has released her brand new product, Discovering Hope: Holiday Bible Study Kit.

So, what’s inside this kit?  Well, I bought one for myself, so let’s take a look!

Bible Study Guides

Sarah Ann has created 2 Bible Study guides.  One for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas.

In the Thanksgiving guide, she focuses on scriptures related to being thankful, leading us to have a heart of thankfulness to God for His character, salvation, and our identity in Christ.

In the Christmas guide, she explores the promise, life, and ministry of Jesus. 

A Reflection Journal

Oh, now these are so good!  If you really want to go deep with the Lord, this journal will help you do just that.  These pages accompany the study guide mentioned above. 

The thoughtful questions will really help you draw closer to God. 

I can’t wait to use these!

Prayer and Journal Calendars

I like this calendar.  It will be easy for me to hole punch and stick in my existing prayer journal.  There is great little prayer prompts for each day. 

The prompts will encourage you to cultivate a heart of prayer in your life.

Again, one calendar for each study guide – Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Bible Journaling

OK, now this one is my absolute favorite!  I love to Bible journal.  But because I am not that gifted in art, I need some templates to help me out.  Sarah Ann’s templates are great for me!  YAY for Bible journaling!

FOCUS Cards

These cards are such a great idea.  Simply print, cut, and stick somewhere to read every day.  Each card has a promise to speak to myself as well as a scripture reference. 

There are 2 sets of 4 cards – one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas.

Prayer & Gratitude Journals

OK, so then this is my next favorite.  I love the idea of having separate pages just for Thanksgiving and Christmas prayers.  And, honestly, I don’t think we can ever be grateful enough for all the blessings we have. 

It is good to reflect on being grateful.

Daily Blessings

Here is another great idea!  There is a spot to jot down things I am thankful for today, a prayer journal box, verse of the day, and ideas for blessing others.  And then the last page is all for journaling my blessings.  Meditating on my blessings is a good practice to be into – this brings joy, peace, and thankfulness. 

Bonuses!!

You knew there would be some bonuses, didn’t you?  Sarah Ann has 3 awesome bonuses for everyone who purchases before October 23. 

The first is a little resource called 5 Keys to Thriving in Holiday Bible Study.  This PDF will help you get organized and use the Bible Study to its full potential.

The second is a set of 8 wallpapers for your phone or tablet.  I can’t wait to get mine on my phone!

The third is an exclusive opportunity to join her Thrive FB group (PS – I am in this group!).

OK, that’s not all.  I’m throwing in my own little bonus here!

I created a Promises of Christmas printable as well as 8 pretty Christmas Cards for you to print and use.

Sarah Ann’s extra goodies are only available until October 23, but mine will be available for a while.

In order to claim my bonus, please email me a copy of your receipt and I will send you the PDF.

Price

Now, what’s the lowdown on the price?  Well, this really is a SUPER deal!  Until October 23, Sarah Ann has a special launch price for ALL of the above – $8.99!!!  After October 23, the price will go up to $12.99.  

When You Are Looking For A Christmas Themed Bible Study

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