Spring Scripture Printable

Spring Printable

 

​From our family to yours, print this file on cardstock, cut out and be creative! We chose scriptures for our spring printable that both encourage and inspire. Identity statements to fill our minds with truth as we face uncertain times. Hang them on the refrigerator or bathroom, carry them in your pocket, the options are limitless!

Three Ways to Live Joyfully in Life’s Tensions

Three Ways to Live Joyfully in Life’s Tensions

tensionWhy can’t life be a relaxing, sunny day at the beach? 

Home life has a way of arousing tensions, doesn’t it?  From granular tensions such as whose day is it to clean the kitchen, to who gets to go the store with Mom, or which movie to watch; to moderate tensions such as which car to buy, or how to get through a disagreement with a spouse; to the most serious tensions job choice, whether or not to get married, or what house to buy.  Ironically, I think we struggle more from the daily granular tensions than we do from the serious ones.  Someone; a spouse, a child, a mother-in-law: people could be or will be upset with whatever we decide to do which makes any choice seem unacceptable leaving us indecisive.

Almost every decision we face places us in the crosshairs of complex and conflicting forces which raise tension, stress, and the wry if not resigned reflection, “Why can’t this be easier? Why does life have to be so hard!”

Inner and relational tensions come from living in a fallen world.  But there are three positive sides to life’s tensions that I want to encourage you with today.

  1. Tension provides an opportunity to look at life from a godly perspective so that we can have joy. If we’re honest, we struggle to always remember God in our decisions, especially the most granular.  Life happen so fast and we easily succumb to habit, whim, or someone else’s “wishes” er hmm, demands.  If everything went the way we wanted, then we would have no need for God.

As Christians, we are sojourners, exiles, aliens because our real home is in heaven.  Our primary allegiance to God is always challenged.  If we’re living right, there’s a sense in which we should always feel tension on some level.  Tension is a reminder that we need to look at situations from God’s perspective. As the Author of Life, he alone can tell us how to live joyfully in a sinful world.

  1. God is showing how dependent we are on him so that we can rest. As created beings, we all need outside help: God’s “help”.  As The Creator and sustainer of life, we absolutely need God’s wisdom, understanding and guidance in all things. The rugged individualism that we prize in America exalts independence and self-reliance. In proper context and balance, there is value in these qualities. However, our flesh seeks to make these qualities ultimate and we easily carry these qualities over into other parts of our lives such as our spiritual walk and relationships often with devastating consequences.

All spheres of life require ultimate dependence upon God and his word. Tension is an accountability tool that calls us to examine what or who we are depending on.  We can rejoice that God is a rewarder of those who seek, and hence depend, on him. When we depend on him, we can rest, even in distressing situations.

  1. God wants us to exercise our faith to apply his promises. In some cases, especially major decisions, we might cry out, “I want to do God’s will!”  While commendable, God’s will is often not an easy decision that is made with complete clarity on all the factors involved—or the certainty of an ideal outcome.  Seeking to make the right decision can also be a reflection of our own idolatry.  We do not know the future, only God does.

Romans 8:29 tells us what the will of God is: conformity to the image of his son, Jesus Christ.  Previously in verse 28, we read that God uses “all things” which includes good and bad, to accomplish his will.  Life seems to teach us that we learn more from the situations that run the gamut from unpleasant to misery.  They are opportunities to exercise our faith without which it is impossible to please God and to access the precious promises he gives us for life that carry us through tension.

Not every day can be a day at the beach.  I’ve heard it said, “Live joyfully in the tension.”  We can do that when we look at tensions from a godly perspective, accept that each tension reminds us our place a dependent creatures, and that each tension is an opportunity to exercise our faith.

Doing those three things may not make yours a day at the beach, but it will help you navigate the seas of life with resilient hope and the unwavering confidence that gives us peace and draws us closer to God.

ID from A-Z

Identity in Christ from A-Z

 

This document was given out at a real hope for your homerecent Men’s retreat. Print and keep it with your bible to meditate on during your devotions. Chose one truth to focus on per week as a family. Pull it out during discouraging times and refresh your soul. The uses are many!

Re-energizing Prayer for Your Family in 2019

Prayer is a strong wall and fortress of the church; it is a goodly Christian weapon.

-Martin Luther

Wouldn’t it be great if at the end of each year we could trade-in the unresolved challenges we faced—especially at home—and get different ones (much more to our liking, of course?) Maybe that falls into the category of, “be careful what you wish for, you might get it.”

We are strapped with diverse problems in our relationships. Often, the problems that hurt the most are the ones that drag on, drain our resolve, and even sometimes plunge us into hopelessness. It is easy to check-out emotionally and stop using the resources that God has given to overcome these problems. Prayer is one of those resources (“weapons” says Luther) that often gets shorted. Don’t let that happen!

Following are three reminders and three ideas to help reenergize your prayers for your family this year.

Reminder #1. God hears your prayers. Remembering that God hears and answers our prayers helps silence our own self-talk and the lies of the Evil One that lead us to doubt God. God is the one who has commanded us to pray. We are praying—to God!—and he promises to hear.

But I call to God, and the Lordwill save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.

–Psalm 55:16-17

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

–1 John 5:14

Reminder #2.Prayer is powerful.Knowing that God tells us that our prayers are powerful gives us confidence that our prayers are effective.

The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

–James 5:16

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

–2 Corinthians 10:4-5

God’s answers of “No” or “Not yet” do not mean that our prayers have no power. We need a third reminder.

Reminder #3.God is still good, merciful, and sovereignly working in the situation according to his will. Sometimes it is not until much later that we see how God was working through his, “no” or “not yet” answer. A dear friend recently died of brain cancer after we had prayed for 18 months for healing. God said, “no”. I remember at times having a hard time actually praying the words, “Lord, your will be done” because I didn’t want anything but for her to be healed. I think that revealed to me how often my own prayers even for good are motivated by my own will rather than God’s.

In the face of suffering none of us will ever completely fathom, Jesus serves as our example.

Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.

–Mark 14:36

Strong faith in God’s sovereign goodness and mercy allows us to submit to God’s will as Jesus did in the Garden. Praying this way is an acid test of our faith.

Now, several months after Nancie’s death, we are beginning to see how God had a different plan with his, “no.” He was using the ordeal to do work in other’s lives. The ripple effects have been extraordinary extending even as a witness to many unbelievers around the world in places like South Africa and Korea. At some point, we will fully know how God used her illness and death to work in many lives.

When we submit to God’s wisdom in his “no” or “not yet” answers we find the rest our souls need in order to carry on in faithful prayer and action.

Three Ideas to Energize Faithful Prayer for Your Family

Idea #1. Have your children write down two prayer requests on a 3×5 index card. One request for a specific area of spiritual growth such as “to have unconditional joy in God” and a second request for a practical matter such as “learning to complete school work on time.”

Idea #2.Write a prayer letter to your parents giving them specific prayer requests for each of your children.Include the requests in idea #1 if you want to. Grandparents are a wonderful prayer resource. Including them this way gets them involved in your children’s lives in another spiritually-meaningful way. This also provides something significant to talk about at get-togethers during the year.

Idea #3.Aim to pray with your spouse each day. Generally, my wife and I pray for one-two children each morning. Praying like this accomplishes a second benefit of keeping husband/wife communication about the children regular.

Persistence Pays Off

There is a young man from a Christian home who we know who has for several years been struggling mightily. He has been down all of the wrong roads: drugs, immorality, and crime. Even denying Christ at a few points. The tempestuous nature of his struggle and its impact on his family have been at times hellishly devastating. Yet, his parents and the families in ours and other churches have not ceased praying for this young man. It is hard to keep praying faithfully in those moments when things are going in the exact opposite direction—at ever increasing speed. The buckets of tears and anguish of betrayal were real but not the end.

It has taken years, but he has reached a more definitive point of life change that has been very hope-full and exciting! The story is still being written but there is great hope. This is the work of God’s Holy Spirit. To Him be the glory forever and ever.

Faithful prayer has been a means that God has honored not only to bring this young man back onto the right path but to keep a marriage and a family from disintegrating. I believe that there will be many redemptive ripple effects that will likely take heaven to see.

We all face challenges in our homes from last and previous years. Be encouraged that your prayers about these struggles are powerful. God hears them and is working to bring about his will for the good of all involved—even if it is taking longer than we’d like.

New Year 2020

New Year 2020

2020

Every year around this time, we do a lot of reflecting. Christmas is over, there are new gifts to enjoy and some to exchange and return:) We are sad to see it go and very glad to put decorations away and get back to some order!

As you reflect on the year past and make plans for the new year, here are a few articles to consider:

Will you Say "No" this Year?

If you have not yet carved out some time to quiet yourself and think about some basic goals…

Simple Way for your Family to Pray for a lot of People

Our family has been using this approach for years now!

How to Prioritize your Relationships

One of the problems with being too busy is that we easily lose sight of our priorities…

Ministering to Neighbors

Practical ideas and encouragements for making ministry in your neighborhood a reality this year!

It is important to start off the new year remembering that we are New Creations! If you have not already purchased a copy of one of our Who Are You? resources, consider signing up for our newsletter you will get a free PDF copy of twelve key identity statements to meditate on. Fill out the form below!

It is easy to get overwhelmed with plans for great change and personal growth. These goals in themselves are not harmful. They should never be made outside of the Gospel and our identity in Christ. We are new creations in Christ, this means for us that everyday is New Year’s Day. If you don’t already have a copy, consider reading through Who Are You? as you start your new year. Remember your identity!