Help Me Read the Bible!!!


Having a hard time diving into the BIBLE lately? Don’t worry you are not alone!
Here is an amazing tool to help you start understanding it better:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist…

Why Read the bible!??? It’s what helps us understand God, it what adjusts our patterns of thinking and doing life- so we aren’t following the patterns that are unhealthy for us! If you ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand it, it can be a counselor, guide for everything! Check this out: they have an app too!

What is divorce mom?


Ethan: “mom! will you die if you get divorced?”

Me: “no, What does divorced mean Ethan?

Ethan: “when you drag your feet on the ground because you can’t walk anymore” -lol.

cue a talk on what divorced means… Ethan has a lot of friends whose parents are divorced and it got me thinking-

well, … maybe that is a kind of accurate description of what it feels like right before you get divorced – you used to be able to walk together, but now you are just dragging your feet around because you can’t do it anymore.

Can I just say that divorce is not God’s plan for your life. He has the ability to give your marriage new hope. To help you walk again. If you are in a divorce, or thinking of filing…

Can I just encourage you to not give up on your marriage just yet. Seek Help. God is actually invested in this marriage too, It is a convenant WITH God. Don’t break it casually.
It may feel like this relationship is just dragging you around. God can restore it. He can help you communicate, can help you forgive.

5 Tips to help: Pray, Remember, Be the kind of person you want to live with , Communicate, Live Pleasing to the Lord. -exerpt from link below.

God CAN and WILL help you walk together again!

Check out this article about couples and divorce:

5 Tips for Christians Considering Divorce

 

Christians-considering-divorce

5 Tips for Christians Considering Divorce
It is a heartbreaking thing to have friends and family members who are going through divorce. Maybe you and your spouse are the ones considering a divorce and…
WHATCHRISTIANSWANTTOKNOW.COM

 

For more help check out marriagetoday.com and their youtube channel:

marriage today

 

This is goals


  
My daughters say “this is so goals” for me – like a picture of relationship goals, or school goals, or you name it- if they like it- it’s “goals”. 
Thinking about it tonight – how have you moved past pause and accomplished certain goals in your life??? I want to know what moved you: 

How much time effort and priority we give toward a goal prove whether it is just a hope or truly a thing we might actually accomplish. For instance, if you say you want to go to church more, but neglect to put it down as a permanent immovable part of your schedule- chances are it will still only be a hope next year. 

If you say it is a priority to get married, prove it, what are you doing toward that goal?! 

We can’t force some things to change, but we can change ourselves. 

I’m thinking moving from Hope to actual goals has to do with thinking 😄😎 moving things that seem like intangible goals into the possible category. Like that one “New Years goal” that is still the same after years. I think it is because we are pretty sure we will miss the mark with it… Because We actually have tried have many times.
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭23:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

http://bible.com/114/pro.23.7.nkjv

So- we must stop getting stuck in all the things we feel we have failed in and take a look  

 at and learn from an area we feel we are winning – what was the difference motivated you!? 

Lead 101


ef64b883-d552-4902-a62c-2aa845abc572_3362Hey Leaders – As you move forward in leadership here at City Life. We feel it’s important to speak the same language…. or have the same “DNA” as the house. I want to encourage you to listen in to our Lead 101 classes if you have never been able to attend personally. A personal class is so much more fun. But we know with w
ork not everyone can make it out in the evening. I even had to listen in later 🙂 #momlife

Here is our latest Lead 101 class that we recorded so that you & I, with our busy life can watch and join in the conversation. Each session is about 1 hour long… and broken up into 20 min sessions.

Please click on the class below and it should open up the video right away.  Hit me up with any questions you might have.

If you want a PDF of the leadership manual… The written format to go along with class… just let me know and I can send it to ya.

Class 1  http://livestream.com/accounts/3544533/events/2011453/videos/98024950/player?width=560&height=315&autoPlay=true&mute=false

Class 2   http://livestream.com/accounts/3544533/events/2011453/videos/99455145/player?width=960&height=540&autoPlay=true&mute=false

Class 3   http://livestream.com/accounts/3544533/events/2011453/videos/99460504/player?width=960&height=540&autoPlay=true&mute=false

Class 4    http://livestream.com/accounts/3544533/events/2011453/videos/100095768/player?width=960&height=540&autoPlay=true&mute=false

 

 

A future and a hope


cropped-img_2885.jpgSource: For I know the plans I have for you,” says the lord . “They are plans for good and not for…

HEY YOU- guess what?? Our favorite scripture… You know…. Jeremiah 29:11 – It was not written to a people just to encourage them. It was written to Israel in a time when they had just been taken captive.This letter was even potentially written to the group that included Daniel, Shadrack, Mishack, and abendigo. It was written in a time when they had just LOST EVERYTHING. When they were prisoners without any hope. So this verse is not just a feel good verse. it is written in context to a people who were in distress and needed help and hope. Maybe it will help you to hear what God says in these kind of situations – maybe today you are in a place you never wanted to be, maybe you are feeling like you have lost everything- here is what God says:

“This is what the lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: 5“Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. 6Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! 7 And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.10This is what the lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11FOR I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU,” SAYS THE LORD. “THEY ARE PLANS FOR GOOD AND NOT FOR DISASTER, TO GIVE YOU A FUTURE AND A HOPE. 12IN THOSE DAYS WHEN YOU PRAY, I WILL LISTEN. 13IF YOU LOOK FOR ME WHOLEHEARTEDLY, YOU WILL FIND ME. 14I WILL BE FOUND BY YOU,” SAYS THE LORD. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

Completely Candid.


(more…)

Wholehearted


20120214-092901.jpg Here are the thoughts from a word I spoke a few months ago. Wholehearted… In the truth of Jesus and in His love.

God is Not looking for perfect people or actions.  You are not a disappointment to God. God is simply looking for people who wholeheartedly serve him.

Over and over again in the Old Testament… God simply asks for a people who will wholeheartedly love and serve him. His heart was continually broken by his people only giving half -hearted devotion to him.

Wholeheartedness is what Jesus made emphasis of while he was here… It is still what God is after today!

Matt. 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matt. 22:37 Love the Lord you God with all your heart and Love your neighbor as yourself

So what does it mean to be wholehearted?

Websters Definition of WHOLEHEARTED
1 completely and sincerely devoted, determined, or enthusiastic
2 marked by complete earnest commitment : free from all reserve or hesitation

A few biblical examples of wholeheartedness:

These woman did not KNOW that their wholehearted obedience would be in the bible one day…in fact in their lifetime, they never knew the influence that ultimately they would have. Some were known in their generation… and some were simply hidden in time until someone around them passed on the story. Likely their own children.

Mary: mother of Jesus, believed the angel, willing to risk scandal-unwed mother to obey
Ruth: left everything she knew, wholeheartedly devoted herself to her mother-in-law after the death of both their husbands. in lineage of Jesus
Deborah: Defied status Quo, female prophet & leader- Let them to battle
Rahab: risked death saving the spies, only family saved in Jericho- Jesus’ lineage
Esther: Became queen, stood before king facing death to appeal the life of her people- rescued a nation.                                                                              Hannah: Wholehearted prayer, wholehearted decisions, wholehearted offspring.

Let’s look another, lesser known woman from the bible…. The book of 2John was written to a woman!! a mother. 

Scholars have discussed whether this is an actual woman who was a mother, or maybe the pastor of this church, others believe the “lady” refers to the church itself. Either way it is good a valid stuff… The word Lady is translated from the greek both ways.

Today we will be looking at her as a leader, an influencer in her community. I LOVE that there is a book written to a woman, a leader, a mother. I can totally relate.

Go with me to 2 John 1 NLT

 

1 This letter is from John, the elder.[a]

I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children,[b] whom I love in the truth—as does everyone else who knows the truth—

2 because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever.

3 Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.
Live in the Truth

4 How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded.

5 I am writing to remind you, dear friends,[c] that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning.

6 Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning…….

…….10 If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement.

11 Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.
Conclusion

12 I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to do it with paper and ink. For I hope to visit you soon and talk with you face to face. Then our joy will be complete.

13 Greetings from the children of your sister,[f] chosen by God.

Summed Up: The elder is commending her for teaching her children to live in Truth and LOVE. and having a heart after God. Let’s look at what made her wholehearted:

5 defining factors about this woman:

 

 

1. CHOSEN – She knew she was chosen by God.

It is sooo easy to be frustrated, feeling invisible or feeling we are not doing the right thing. We don’t “feel” chosen by God at all. But can we just be reminded that confidence comes from God alone…

-God chose you!!!! John 15- Jesus says, “you didn’t choose me, but I have chosen you” – We can have God Confidence.

You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17This I command you, that you love one another.

Chosen: Greek translated to elect: picked out, selected, handpicked, chosen by God, rare, The best of it’s kind.

1 pet. 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of himcalled you out of darkness into his wonderful light”
-YOU are selected by God. THIS is how God sees you.

God knows your potential.

God sees the beauty in the rough: He restores what the enemy tried to steal and cover up.

San Francisco’s Painted Ladies

About 48,000 houses in the Victorian and Edwardian styles were built in San Francisco between 1849 and 1915 (with the change from Victorian to Edwardian occurring on the death of Queen Victoria in 1901), and many were painted in bright colors. red, yellow, chocolate, orange, yellow and brown…”[5]

Many of the mansions of Nob Hill were destroyed by the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and….

Those that were saved were stripped of their color and During World War I and World War II, many of these houses were painted battleship gray with war-surplus Navy paint.

Another sixteen thousand were demolished, and many others had the Victorian decor stripped off or covered with tarpaper, brick, stucco, or aluminum siding.

In 1963, San Francisco artist got a vision and began to restore these houses…

Today you would never know that they had been through an earthquake, stripped of decoration and color, and many destroyed – they are an icon in our city and people go out of their way to look for them and take pictures of them.

The painted ladies of San Francisco always had the potential… but they had been destroyed and stripped of their beauty. A gray painted mask covered up their potential.

*****God sees our potential… and chose us just the way we are. He does not require us to be perfect, he is looking at our hearts… His heartbeat for us should compel us to take off our masks…. but get real with God and allow him to restore color once again to our hearts – restoring the pain of the wars and earthquakes in our lives. We are chosen and accepted just the way we are.

Wholeheartedly serving God looks like this: Seek first the Kingdom of God and being in right relationship with HIM and then all “these things” (our needs, cares) will be taken care of by God…He knows our dreams and our heart…

You have nothing to prove- His love for you is complete… his heart beats for you. He has chosen you to be his. HE is asking us to be wholehearted towards HIM in return.

2- TEACHABLE. She was open to instruction.

John is writing to this woman to commend her and also to instruct her… 1Pet. 5:5
5 You younger men, accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for “God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble.”

It is so easy to try and do it all on our own. We make our plans, we tell others what to do… not the other way around – if we are not careful we can easily find ourselves not even needing God. That is a dangerous place to be.  A great leader is ALWAYS first a great follower. A great leader never stops learning.

-BE OPEN to instruction –
-READ YOUR BIBLE :o) & Obey Word of God
-Listen to leaders – find a Godly mentor.

3- ALERT She guarded her house.

She was reminded to keep guarding her house …against anything that was not consistent with the truth of Jesus.

Prov. 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life…. with all diligence, Guard your home, MOMS- guard your child’s heart for the truth of Jesus. Care an caution are needed when caring for these kids – Let nothing in your house that does goes against promoting Jesus and His reality in your lives.

We need to guard our own heart and mind first and then our actual household…. and then our sphere of influence.

-Guard against your toxic thought patterns.

-NOTICE when something is wrong – guard your heart, your eyes and help the children guard thier hearts. TV, WORDS SPOKEN.

-Don’t allow anything or any person to be in a place of influence that could potentially sway you or your children from the truth of Jesus.

4- DILIGENT .She was Diligent in Truth and LOVE & reproduced herself

 

In this day women were not respected. John did not have to give her this kind of respect and honor… HE even goes so far as to say that everyone around her that knew Jesus knew how honorable she was.

She was a woman of good character. She was diligent. She was known for LIVING in the truth – This was a filter for her life. She was genuine.

She knew Jesus as truth. She followed Jesus.  . John 15 Jesus says.- “I am the way the truth and the Life.”

The truth she lived out was evident in the way she loved others and taught others.

She Taught others to be diligent in the truth and love of Jesus.

She was commended for her diligence in TEACHING the truth. Even her own kids were known for living in the truth. This is our goal. How do the people around us, closest to us know us, know Jesus, and live for Jesus? Are we diligent to Live in  and to TEACH others to genuinely follow Jesus? wholehearted?

We look at the proverbs 31 woman and we get discouraged. – But notice…. this chapter wraps up the end of a the book about wisdom…  This last chapter is not a checklist for women to try and live up to but simply the visible results of a wisdom in action.

Our Goal… diligently put wisdom in action and wholeheartedly serve God.

5. LOVE- She loved others.

Here is the way to love others:  live in the TRUTH> wholeheartedly in Jesus, Let this be the filter of your life…. loving God with all your heart, mind and soul produces a genuine love from God for others.

As we pour out our love on God… he encourages us to pray for and bless others… this produces a God kind of love for others.

Loving even the unlovable….This is is what distinguishes us. LOVE for Jesus produces LOVE for others.

We see from this woman in 2 John that  knowing the TRUTH of Jesus and living in His love produces a care and LOVE for others…. IN word, action, even in decisions. He commends her for LOVING others and teaching others to love.

She reproduced herself. Those around her loved God, lived in the truth of Jesus, taught others what they learned and were known for loving others… just like her.

We must allow our wholehearted devotion to God be a filter for us as we live, as we parent. We can BE the example of living in truth AND loving others.

So God is looking to restore our hearts back to his. He longs for us to love him wholeheartedly and share that love with others.

 

 

 

 

 

A few mom tips I have learned over the years.


1393529_10153377958345089_1953073226_nIn honor of mother’s day – Here are a few things I have discovered with my 4 kids that are helping me parent: God knows I do not do them all correctly all the time. But here is to doing it right today:

1- PRAY for your kids. Pray blessing, love, help, joy, peace. Pray specifically for what they have need of. Sometimes you need to pray to receive love your kids. PLEASE do not start a day without praying for grace from God for your kids. Pray, and declare God’s will over your kids. PRAYER is powerful and effective. Here is a great guide to print & pray over your kids: http://www.imom.com/tools/build-relationships/10-ways-to-pray-for-your-child-printable/

2- READ bible verses over your kids.  Print this to help: http://www.circleofmoms.com/christian-mommies/scriptures-to-pray-over-your-children-259246

3- TO PARENTS: despite how you feel. NO YELLING to tell kids what to do, or what they did wrong. PERIOD. That is much harder done than said. Yelling produces yelling, anger, misunderstandings, abuse = not results. Believe me, others see it and it is NOT a good witness of Jesus to others.

4- Ask kids of any age to use words, not whining. Use, I can’t hear what you are saying when you whine, and please lower your voice.  Don’t let the kids hear you whining about things… sometimes they are just copying our behavior. ouch. Pray don’t say.

5- When giving instructions follow up immediately with: “What did I say?” Ask them to Repeat the instructions.  Make sure understand what you are asking of them and that they know the Clear consequences for disobeying this instruction. Follow through.

6- DO NOT “allow” kids to say no to you or throw a temper. It is soooo hard to follow up with this one sometimes. BUT the minute you let it go… they notice and take advantage of you.  Kids learn your response and push until they get the response they want!!!!!   Sometimes we just laugh it off, ignore the behavior hoping it will go away….or we are in public or too tired with a baby nursing in our laps to follow up. Do your best. When they say no “ask, what do we say to mom, yes or no?”  LET YOUR NO BE NO.  Sometimes they just need to eat or sleep. Know the difference, but even still allow NO temper tantrums.

7- It takes 5 years to teach kids love, obedience, sharing, foundations for life and principles of Christian living, The 1st 5 years are the absorbent years – don’t let them just learn natural values: (pre-school training). TEACH them about Jesus, bible stories and principles to build their life on. Start at least as soon as they can talk. Teach, train, release

8- Discipline for direct disobedience & defiance. Never discipline while angry!!!! Take a time out, then continue discipline. IF you are angry, STOP!!! Take a prayer break and get calm. Always spend more time loving and approving after discipline than on actual discipline. IF YOU ONLY DISCIPLINE and DO NOT LOVE 2x’s as much after…. you are making a BIG mistake.  The kids need to be told they are NOT a bad child! Tell them: they did make a mistake and the mistake was a bad decision, but THEY are not bad. Kids need to know we LOVE them especially after we have disciplined them. Don’t leave them in mental punishment because they were bad…. they will act out what you say they are.  We need to watch what we say when our kids are defiant to us… it marks them for life.

9- If a verbal fight breaks out with kids. Ask them to: Start over and speak respectfully. If one comes tattling on the other about verbal Fights –  ask the child : did u ask them to settle difference while speaking kindly? – If not, ask the child to go back and retry…. IF that doesn’t work then you can step in. Teach them to handle things.

10- Use: How many minutes technique IF there is a fight over using the same toy, thing ect. Ask the child who does not have it currently to ask the other politely “How many minutes until I can use that? (YOU Give proper time limits to choose from – but let them choose the time)”. usually, they give it up before the time they chose. They just wanted control over it.

11- Rethink Time outs: Add prayer to Change your attitude-time outs!!!!!  Teach the children that their attitude is a choice and they need God to help them. Ask them to go on time out to pray and ask God to help them-  They cannot come out without a changed face and new attitude. If they have the attitude again, send them back to time out. We might need to use this one on ourselves too!!!

12- Discipline for attitude first. – and then actions. Attitude always precedes action. Watch attitudes. Even your own.

13- JESUS said “Let the children come to me”.  PLEASE don’t be too busy for your kids. It doesn’t last – take the time. Pick them up now, Let them sit on your lap and cuddle now, play with them now. Have the same attitude as Jesus. Ask them about things, take time to talk, ask them how they are feeling and if their heart is sad. FIND out about things happening at class by asking them!

14- Children are a mirror and magnification of our own attitudes. Just let that one sink in a bit.

15- Pray when kids get hurt. Instead of kissing the boo boo ….Pray first when kids get hurt. Then offer kisses and band aids. Jesus is our healer… it is so simple to teach.

16-  MODEL  the fact that Church is not an optional thing for your family. YOUR  goal is not to force them to go to church, but to be excited about going yourself. Don’t ask them if they “feel” like going…. WE don’t live by our feelings. If you have excuses why you don’t go, so will they. If it is an option for you… it will be an option for them when they grow up. Being a Christian is who we are, not what we do.

17- Don’t FORCE them to DO Christian things, but reward them when they do, if we will give rewards for chores, potty training, school work… why not for Christian disciplines….. DO NOT FORCE THEM TO DO IT> but model it and testify of the changes it makes in you – tell your kids your story of Gods rescuing you. Let them see you read the bible and pray.

18 -MODEL forgiveness. IF you make a mistake say you are sorry and ASK for forgiveness. If kid does something wrong- from age 12 months and on…. teach them to say 1- they were wrong, 2- I’m sorry 3- will you please forgive me OUTLOUD to the other child. If child hurt-even if by mistake add, I’m sorry, and GO HELP other person and then have child pray immediately for healing for hurt child.

Always let these three be linked together: I’m sorry, I was wrong, will you u please forgive me for______? Don’t let them skip will you forgive me…. Ask kids to hug each other…. for real. giggling always happens.

Teach your other child to choose to forgive –  forgiveness is a choice –  we always forgive others because Jesus always forgives us.

19- Obedience is expected from the time they learn to crawl. YOU are the only one that can teach it properly. Expect obedience. Start very small and keep teaching and expecting obedience – demand it by 12 mo of age. Kids can learn by 2 to sit, stay, eat, obey, listen, ect.

20- LAUGH, have FUN, Play, Enjoy LIFE with your kids!!

HOW Can we find time to do all this? (This section adapted from training I have received)

Work on being a leader. Never stop learning.  Model these things yourself.

Maintain your own healthy attitudes.

Strive for better – ask, vision cast & model – but do not let the realities of where you are open the door to bitterness, envy or anger.

Maintain healthy boundaries. Here’s what I’ve learned  is never complete. I must maintain for the health of my body, my mind and my relationships. Define what these are for you and keep these boundaries.

Maintain healthy habits. The complexities of motherhood require strong leadership.  Because of this, maintain the habits necessary to lead well and continue growing as a mother. If you do not grow yourself and develop your  own attitudes  you will either not lead your kids for very long, or it will, in fact, become childcare.

Be consistent.

Remember:

Many have said:

“Give me just one righteous generation of youth and I will transform the whole world.”

Consider that Jesus said:

“…the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.” (meaning they model
the very type of faith that all of us should embody.).

If this is true: Why wouldn’t our spiritual enemies make motherhood as challenging as possible?

So should all of this discourage us? Not at all. Quite the opposite, I want to encourage you as a parent and leader to continue on! Do your best. That is all God asks. All your efforts are worthwhile! – you are my heroes!

 

Do you have any tips to add?

 

 

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