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Wednesday Devotional: Authority

Well, folks, it is less than 1 week before Election Day in America, and if you are like most, you think both candidates are a stinky choice for authority!

So let’s talk today about authority. We, as Christians, have to remember that God has ordained all the authorities put in place, including our government, our president, our church leaders, our pastor, our families, our parents, our husbands, our bosses and anyone else who is the authority in our life.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” Romans 13:1-2

Boy, is this a heavy topic. I feel like our American culture has surely drifted away from respecting authority. We see it everywhere-the police, our parents, our bosses-everywhere. It is all about “me” and not many people are respecting the authority figures placed above them.

So back to the election…No matter what the outcome of this election, God is the one that put them in that place. (Remind me to reread this after the results are announced!) But seriously, we must remember that God’s plan is perfect, and He always works out every scenario in order to glorify Himself! Crazy to think that one of our Presidential candidates will be used to glorify God, right? But remember Pilate? He was placed in a position of authority, and God still received glory from his leadership.  He was the one that crucified Jesus-glory to God!

So let’s put our faith in God and not in people, and remember that even through this election, God is in control!

God, thank you for the authorities you have placed in my life. Forgive me for not trusting in your sovereignty. Help me to trust in the leaders you have placed in my country, my home and all aspects of my life. Help me be faithful to pray for the authorities over me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Authority
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Just Play

I recently talked with my MOPS group about the importance of children’s play, so I wanted to share it here too…

Play is such a necessary part of children’s lives because it helps them develop skills early in life, which they will continue to use throughout the remainder of their lives. Play helps children flourish cognitively, socially and even emotionally. We know that play helps children build new skills that help them intellectually; and socially we realize it helps them grasp how to play with other children, but I think we often forget about how play influences them emotionally. It helps them grow mentally, and it helps them to process their feelings through playing out scenarios in a safe environment. Play helps children learn to understand every day life by reenactment and playing out different outcomes. It can help them work through difficult situations as well. It is also a fun way for them to express themselves.

So what are the different types of play?

Active Play. When a child uses his mind and body to engage in play. He manipulates materials and plays with other children or adults.

Adventuresome Play. This type of play is when a child explores new things. She is often pretending, but may take more risks during this type of play to explore the world around her.

Communicable Play. When a child shares his knowledge during play. It can be verbal or non-verbal communication, and it can be simple knowledge or complex knowledge.

Entertaining Play. This form of play is fun and exciting, usually with lots of silliness and laughing and with a sense of humor.

Involved Play. Occurs when a child becomes very involved and focused during her playtime. She concentrates and thinks very deeply about what she is doing during this type of play.

Meaningful Play. Happens when a child replays the things he has heard or seen others say or do. It helps him to build on his knowledge of the topic he is acting out during play. It also helps him to understand situations better when he acts out what he has seen or heard in a previous situation.

Social Play. Simply when a child plays with other children or adults. It helps the child develop appropriate social skills by interacting with others. 

Symbolic Play. When a child uses her imagination when playing. She tries new ideas during this type of play. She even pretends to read or write during this type of play.

Therapeutic Play. Allows a child to process the emotions he feelings about a paritcular situation.

Voluntary Play. Happens when a child chooses what she wants to play. She decides how to play, who the characters are, what is happening and where each character should go and how to get there.

Again, it is important for children to have time to play in order to develop their cognitive skills, social skills and for good mental health.

So let’s allow our children time to play, provide opportunities for them to play with others and play with them because play is so important to every aspect of their development!

What’s your favorite way to play with your child?

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Wednesday Devotional: Outdoing Others

 

Do you like competition…to outdo others? If you don’t know me very well, one thing I should mention here is that I am HIGHLY competitive. I mean, I refuse to let my husband win in a card game of speed, I fight till the end of a ping pong match and I may have slammed my tennis racquet down too many times to count losing an infinite amount of tennis matches against my husband.

Paul suggests a friendly game of “One Uping” each other in honor. However, I think we as Christians often forget this friendly competition and take is as a suggestion, rather than a declaration of what at true Christian looks like.

In Romans 12:10, Pauls says, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

To honor someone means to pay attention to them, celebrate their successes, acknowledge and build up their confidence and give them credit for the accomplishments in their life. Praise them when they do good, recognize their hard work, build up their reputation, notice when they are trying and let them know they are dear to you.

These are ways you can tell a Christian from a non-Christian. If you are a Christian, you are called to treat others-all others-in this way. Even if you are at odds with a person, you should treat them this way. You will be astonished at the change of your mindset if you start treating those you have disliked in this way. Begin to put into action your Christian morals by noticing the good in others, telling them you are proud of them and telling others about it too.

Are you ready to accept the challenge?

God, thank you for each and every person in my life. Forgive me for being focused on negative things in others’ lives. Help me to honor others’ lives and celebrate the people you have placed in my life. Help me to build up others’ confidence instead of tearing it down. Help me to notice only the good in their lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Outdoing Others in Honor
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Wednesday Devotional: Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Are you afraid of the dark? Do you like the dark? There is something about the darkness that is a bit unsettling. You can’t see what is in it. Maybe you can hear it, but you don’t know what it really is or where it is. The dark is sorta depressing too. You can’t see anything, so it makes it hard to do anything, so you are just sitting…in the dark. Or you get up to get something in the dark. Watch out for that…ouch! Too late!

Isn’t it funny how the world always tries to portray itself as enlightened? A world full of bright individuals, but then the world likes to say Christians are in the dark; they are boring and don’t understand the forward-thinking mindset of the world. Christians are so ignorant, says the world.

However, the Bible tells us just the opposite. The Bible tells us that the world lives in darkness because they do not know God. It’s not the Christians who don’t understand. However, they are actually the ones with the true knowledge.

Romans 13:11-12 says, “Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” 

Friends, the hour of darkness is coming to an end. The light (the Lord) is coming sooner now than when we first believed. The time is getting closer and closer each day. This should motivate us to get our act together and start living in the light as the Bible calls us to do instead of following the non-believers stumbling around in the dark.

Are you sleeping or are you awake in this present time? We could die right now or Christ could come back tomorrow. Are you ready? Is you light shining brightly enough that you share the Gospel at every opportunity you get? Is you light on when temptation comes knocking at your door or are you hiding it in the darkness? Our time is coming. It is getting closer every day.

So friends, put on Jesus, your armor of light.

God, thank You for bringing me into the light. Forgive me for hiding in the darkness over and over again. Shine Your light through me. Help me be a light to others and help me to live with urgency for Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

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Wednesday Devotional: Dress the Part

Today, we are talking about how you dress and what that means for you and for others. Sorry  gentlemen, today this post is geared more toward women, but read along and share it with your female friends too if you’d like!

Ladies, our clothing style can tell others who we are, our values and often what we believe. If a woman dresses risqué, she is typically looking for attention. If she is overly focused on her outward appearance, how others view her looks is often very important. 1 Timothy 2:9-10 tell us that we should neither dress immodestly or over-the-top in order to get attention.

Let’s take a closer look at those verses: 1 Timothy 2:9-10-“…likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modest and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness-with good works.”

What this doesn’t mean: It doesn’t mean that we are not supposed to look pretty. No, I firmly believe that you can look beautiful given the description above. It also doesn’t mean we can never braid our hair. Nor does it mean that we are not allowed to wear gold or pearls.

We have to consider the context of these verses and during the time these verses were written, women were out of control with braiding their hair and buying expensive jewelry in order to look better than everyone else. Their clothing was not glorifying God, but instead becoming a distraction. In these verses, Paul was addressing the behind the scenes reasoning for purchasing such extravagant clothing and jewelry because the women were being distracted by elegant fashion instead of doing the work of the Lord.

Don’t be distracted by the words Paul is saying, but listen to the point he is making. Gals, let’s dress modestly in order to not distract ourselves or others from God’s glory. His glory is more exquisite than anything we can ever put on anyway. Let’s allow others to see who we truly are-Godly women-instead!

God, thank you for your words of conviction and grace. Allow me to be an encouragement to others. Forgive me for being a distraction both to myself and to others. Help me to see the Godliness in others and not be distracted by them either. Pour out Your love through me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

If you want to read similar posts, check out this Wednesday Devotional, this Wednesday Devotional: Beauty Isn’t Everything also and Beauty is Worthless.

Dress the Part-Wednesday Devotional

A Wife's Duties in Her Marriage

Wifely Duties

There is so much confusion today within the roles of marriage. Culture tells woman to stand up for herself, fight her own battles, live for herself, etc. To set the record straight, I am neither a feminist nor a prude. However, the Bible is clear on the role of a wife.

#1 Ladies, we have to help our husbands. I was sitting with a group of moms recently, and we were talking about all the roles we have as mothers have and all the things we have to schedule, remember and do for our children. We began to talk about how these responsibilities typically fall on the shoulders of the mommy, while the dad gets to wrestle the kids and be the “fun” parent. A friend of mine gently spoke up and reminded us our husbands have much on their shoulders as well. They are scheduling, remembering and doing important things all day at their jobs too. They are providing for our families and are stressed too. 

With two toddlers, I am exhausted at the end of the day. When my spouse walks in the door, It is hard to think about what he needs because I am too busy exploding about how my day went wrong to even give him the chance to share the ups and downs of his day. 

The fact of the matter is, whether our men verbalize it or not, they need our help too. 

#2 Friends, we need to love him unconditionally. Yeah, maybe he is not perfect and does not do everything just like you want him to, but we have to accept him for the person he is and appreciate him to the fullest. Period.

#3 Girlfriends, we must respect our husbands. Okay, my intention was not to talking about sex in this post, but it fits here! I recently I overheard my husband joking to someone, and he said, “If our wives would respect us and have sex with us, all men would be happy!” Well, that totally makes sense! 

Showing respect to our husbands means we must build up their self-worth. We value his wisdom and follow his decisions. We need to end up back on the same team after a conversation, disagreement or argument. We should be his biggest fan and loudest cheerleader! He needs us to believe in everything he does, verbalize and show our support for him in all that he does.  He wants and needs our respect.

#4 Gals, we have to submit to our husband’s leadership. I know, I just rocked the boat, but for our marriages to last, our man has to be our leader. Let me be clear about what I am saying. I am not asking you to sit quietly and have no place in your marriage. I am not asking you to never share your opinion or not give input into a situation with your hubby. I am not asking you to be a doormat or be submissive to ungodly leadership. However, the Bible clearly tells us the man has the authority over decisions for our families, and we, as wives, must meet our husband with approval of the decisions they are making for our families. It is not always easy, but it is what the Bible calls us, as wives, to do. 

So how about we become women who are committed to helping our spouse-loving him, respecting him and submitting to his leadership? I’m up for the challenge, are you?

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Wednesday Devotional: He’s a BIG God

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I love this verse, so let’s just jump right in! Today, we are talking about praying to a BIG God.

Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

I want to encourage you today to pray BIG prayers. Trust in a big God, and know He is able to do far more than we can ever even imagine!

Let’s talk about this big God we can trust in for a minute. I am talking about the God that spoke the universe into existence. He spoke, and everything came into existence. Friends, nothing is too difficult or too big for Him, who created it all!

Not only did He speak everything into existence, He also raised Christ from the dead. Who else has ever raised someone from the dead to never die again?

The point of prayer is to ask God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. God places us in situations we cannot handle ourselves, so we must trust in Him to accomplish the task through us, so it is impossible to ask God for too much.

It is also important to point out God can do immeasurably more than even the biggest prayers we pray.

So pray to our big God and have faith that He is going to come through. He will come through and bring glory to Himself.

God, thank you for being such a BIG God! Forgive me for lacking faith to pray BIG prayers. Reveal your power to me through my prayers in order that You may be glorified. Be glorified through me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Wednesday Devotional: He's a BIG God
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Wednesday Devotional: God’s Love

What is your view of God? Is He a God of wrath? Or is He a God of love?

Ephesians 2:4-7 gives us a picture of who God is. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved-and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in  Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

Sure, God is a God of wrath. If we are not His child, we are His enemy, but if we follow Him, He loves us and pours out His mercy on us. We cannot do anything to deserve His love, but He chooses to save us by grace through Jesus Christ! Thank you, Lord!

We do deserve God’s wrath, “But God” sends us Jesus, so that we can be united with God again in Heaven! The verses above tell us we are raised up and seated with Jesus in the heavenly places. This verse means we are citizens of heaven when we become a Christian! That is so amazing! So if we know we are citizens of of heaven, then we must live like it each and every day. We must live like we are living in heaven today.

Friends, it will take us all of eternity to understand just how much God loves us, and then, I’m not sure we will even be able to fully understand! This is how much He loves us!

If you are a Christian, and you see God as a wrathful God and not a loving God, search God’s Word for His promises for His children and see if you view changes.

God, thank you for loving me. Forgive me for not living a life like You love me. Radiate Your love through me. Help me to love others as you love me, and help me to always remember how much you love me. Thank you for saving me, God. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

A short devotional about God's love for us!
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Birthday Gifts for a 4 Year Old Girl

Birthday Gifts for a Fabulous 4 Year Old Girl

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My daughter’s birthday is coming up next month, so I have been looking into what to buy her. She is turning 4! Whoa! Where did the past 4 years go? She is fabulous, and I can’t wait to celebrate her 4th birthday!

In our house, we buy gifts to celebrate the life of the child God has given us! Hooray! Thank you, God, for my beautiful little girl (who is not so little anymore)! I love just being able to celebrate how special this little girl is to me and her daddy and how amazing God made her!

#1 on the list is something she requested-a Barbie! Yes! I LOVED Barbies growing up, so I am so excited she asked for this item for her birthday! And, of course, I wanted to be the one who buys her 1st Barbie!

Here is just a simple Barbie for your Barbie lover. I will most likely be buying this Barbie for my sweetie’s 4 birthday!

I also loved the Holiday Barbies growing up, so this one would be great for a birthday gift, or even a Christmas present! She is absolutely stunning, as they all are!

Or this would be a fabulous birthday Barbie for your birthday girl! She is super cute too!

#2 Games! My daughter loves to play games, when I saw this game, I thought it would be perfect for her! This game is the Classic Candy Land game, but Disney Princess themed! So if your little Princess loves Candy Land and Princesses, this game is definitely for her! It looks like it is so much fun!

#3 a Bike. We recently got my daughter a bike, and she absolutely loves it. This bike would be a great birthday gift for your little love. This one is Pinkalicious, and it is really cute! This particular one is a 14 inch bike because my daughter is tall, and she would be able to grow into this one as well. This size bike is the one we bought for her, but there are also all sorts of cute 12 inch bikes out there if you think that would fit your daughter better. I also like this one because it seems pretty sturdy. What little girl won’t love a pink bike for her 4th birthday?

#4 Where’s Waldo? Type Books. These are oldies, but goodies! My daughter loves these type books, and we can spend so much time sitting together looking for Waldo. These books can be difficult, but they are still so much fun! We ended up losing these books in the past, so we hope to get some new ones soon!

#5 a themed Bed Set. My daughter is having a Hello Kitty party this year, so I couldn’t forget about something Hello Kitty in this post! This bed set comes with the comforter, bed skirt and pillow shams, but put it with some pink sheets and you have a super cute bed for a sweet 4 year old girl! The reviews for this one seem to be pretty good, and it seems like it would hold up pretty good. If you have a Hello Kitty fan in your life, like me, this gift would be great for her!

All of these would be great gifts for the fabulous 4 year old in your life!

If you have a 2 year old boy, don’t forget to check out my previous post on Birthday Gifts for the 2 Year Old Boy.

What did you get your 4 year old daughter for her birthday?

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Wednesday Devotional: We Are His

Going off of the post from last Wednesday, He Knows You, we will look in Isaiah today, which tells us that God created us, formed us, redeemed us and calls us by name. If this statement doesn’t prove He knows us, I’m not sure what does?

Isaiah 43:1 says, But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.'”

We do not have to be afraid because God knows us by name. He is our Comforter and He cares for us. He is for us and He loves us.

We should fear the Lord because we sin, but because we have been redeemed by Him, we no longer need to be afraid. Jesus fulfilled his promise to buy us back with the payment of His own body. He made up for our sins. He exchanged His life for our salvation! We are His! By grace He chose us! By grace He saved us! By grace He called us back to Himself. By grace He forgave us! We are His, friends!

God, thank you for choosing me! Forgive me of my sins. Remind me daily You call me by name. Help me to never forget of your redemptive love You pour over me daily. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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