When Grace Appeared

God’s grace works well, his kindness is endless, His fullness is poured out upon us from the outstretched hands of a tiny baby.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14

Grace. The Word born to life and living among us, a tiny baby born in an insignificant village, living His life in humble surroundings. He was God’s finest gift, treasured like you and me, held in His Father’s arms and close to His heart.

But one night, God leaned low. He bent down to earth and set that baby in a manger, in a small and insignificant village, in lowly and humble surroundings. It was a moment of grace lived out from the heart of our Father God who loved us enough to give us His only Son.

Can you feel God leaning down, holding that baby in His arms, all the while knowing that He would die for you and me? And yet still …

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From the Manger to the Cross: Finding True Identity

There is a deep love for you and me and a God who sent His Son to earth as a tiny baby so we could understand it. In seeking His face from the manger to the cross, we can understand our true identity.

{Guest Post at www.LoriSchumaker.com}

I looked into those precious baby blue eyes. They seemed to peer right into my soul. We had just come home from the hospital, and I was having my first few moments alone with my sweet baby girl. I just couldn’t quit looking into her face, and as her eyes were searching mine, they seemed to be looking straight into my soul. I felt something I had never felt before, a love deeper than I had ever known, something that cannot be put into words. As I rocked her back and forth, I remember wondering at a love like that. It came to me at that moment, just a little whisp of a thought that flickered through my mind, “This must be how God loves me. I understand it better now.”

That was over 20 years ago. In most of those 20 years as I raced through the responsibilities of being a mother and wife in those child-raising years, the joy and wonder of the kind of love that God wanted me to understand became dulled until I could barely see it.

But one day I heard the Lord calling me back…..

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5 Days to a Thankful Heart

Spend 5 days in this easy study of Bible verses about thanksgiving. Come away with deep insights and a thankful heart!

Words. We hear them, we speak them, we read them. From the time we are tiny babies just starting to talk, words are part of who we are. From a very young age, we seek to know and understand the world around us through our developing language. Knowing the meanings of the words we speak and read is necessary in order to understand the world around us and interact with it.

It’s no different with the Bible. Word meanings are very important!

The Bible was first written in Hebrew and Greek. Translations are not perfect because languages are so different. The meanings of words can vary and change over time. The English words that we read in our modern translations can represent two or more different words in the original languages, so sometimes the meaning of one English word doesn’t quite do justice to the complexity of the concept implied in the original languages. This is why it’s a great idea to do a Biblical word study!

Word study can seem very intimidating, but fortunately, we have so many resources for solid Biblical research and understanding right at our fingertips. There are places online that you can go to find concordances and lexicons in order to do a deeper study of God’s word. You do not have to be an expert at languages to gain some deep insight into what God is speaking through His word!

Click below to read more and pick up your FREE WORD STUDY PRINTABLE!

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Empower Your Life with Praise and Thanksgiving! (Part 2)

Join me for part two of our discussion about the difference between thanksgiving and praise. Find practical resources for adding praise to your prayer life!

Last week we talked about how praise and thanksgiving empowers our life. It’s so exciting to know that such simple things can make such significant differences! It’s also true that misunderstanding certain things can keep us from experiencing all that God intends for us.

This week we’ll continue this discussion and look at some practical resources for adding praise to your prayer life. {{FREE PRINTABLES in our Resource Library!}}

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Empower Your Life with Praise and Thanksgiving!

Did you know there’s a difference between thanksgiving and praise? Both are essential and can empower your life in many ways you may not realize! Click through to read more!

It’s November, the month we celebrate Thanksgiving, and that always brings to mind themes of thankful hearts and all that God has done. We know we should be sincerely grateful to God for our many blessings, and we are! But sometimes we miss another life changing aspect, and that is the element of praise.

Praise and thanksgiving are closely related and can significantly empower our lives. At the same time, there is a difference between the two, and this important fact was something I missed for a long time. I had always thought that giving thanks was what it meant to praise God. It was not until I realized the difference between thanksgiving and praise that I come to a new place in finding peace in difficult situations and began to experience powerful changes within all areas of my life.

So what’s the difference anyway?

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Give Hope to the Hurting – Share Your Scars

Your story has a purpose, and sharing it will make a difference in ways you can not imagine! Click through to find courage and hope for you and others in a story only you can tell!

{Guest Post by Lori Schumaker}

The other night I sat across the table of a group of women. Remarkable women.

All beautiful and all with scars.

These are real everyday kind of women. The kind that smile and give you hugs when you see them. The kind that laugh at the funny stuff, shake their heads at the nonsense, sit with a friend in need, and love their people like crazy. They are also the kind that push themselves each day, run late, miss deadlines, yell at their kids, get irritated behind the wheel, and cry.

Real everyday kind of women.

Each of them have a story uniquely theirs. In each there is much good, yet in each there is pain.

Pain

… from loss and from gain.

… from lack and from abundance.

Pain that comes simply from the fallout of the sin and brokenness of our world.

Each has a story and each has hope.

*Click below to read more of this guest post by Lori Schumaker. Find hope and purpose in your own story!!!

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Three Ways to Fight Spiritual Attacks on Your Marriage

Facing spiritual attack in your marriage? Click through to find out three ways to fight back!

This week I’m so happy to be guest posting at my friend, Beth Stephaniak’s blog, Messy Marriage. Beth is doing a series on spiritual warfare in marriage and this post is part of that series. You’ll find a sneak peek of the article below. You can click through at the end to go to Beth’s blog to read more. While you are there, take a look at all her marriage helps and her subscriber’s library. You’ll find much encouragement there! 

Here’s a peek at the article where you can find three ways to fight back when the enemy attacks!

Marriage is under attack today in so many ways. One avenue of attack that is easy to overlook happens within the spiritual realm. Without a doubt, Satan wants to weaken and destroy marriage, and this means we will face spiritual attacks in our marriages at one point or another. Fortunately, we have a God who is infinitely more powerful than the enemy who fights against us. We have a God who protects us (Proverbs 18:10), and gives wisdom (Proverbs 2:6-7), strength (Psalm 73:26), and guidance (Psalm 32:8).

The three areas below may be places to go for insight and discernment to help you fight spiritual battles within marriage. In each area below, there is a verse from the Bible that you can pray or repeat out loud to help bring the truth and power of God’s Word into your life and marriage.

Click below to read more or head on over to Beth’s blog at www.messymarriage.com!

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How to Encourage a Friend During Difficult Times

Are you looking for ways to encourage a friend? Click through for some creative ideas!

Have you ever felt at the end of your rope? Me too, and when I’ve been open enough to tell a friend, there is almost always is encouragement there to keep me hanging on. I’ve been the receiver of so many thoughtful little things over the years.

Below is a little list of the some of the things others have done for me and a few that I have done for others. Some are things that you’d instantly think of when you know you have a friend in need, and perhaps a few in the list below will give you new ideas.

Click below to read more and find {Free Printables!}.

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Something to Believe In: 5 Anchors for Every Writer

Are you struggling through a something difficult? Click through to discover 5 anchors that will help you persevere through a hard task.

Are you struggling through a difficult task? Is it hard to persevere? This is a common thread for many of us as we walk through a calling, a difficult situation, or a particular season in life.

My post today was written for other writers like myself who are facing the massive task of persevering through something hard. Even if you are not a writer, I think you could take the points made in this article and apply them to places in your life that seem difficult for you right now.

As writers, we sometimes share our numbers and statistics, but real success isn’t in the numbers. True success is marked by what happens inside of the journey. The 5 anchors that are mentioned in this article are things I learned because the writing journey was difficult for me. It’s these inner changes and these kinds of qualities that God highlights in each of us as we walk through life that are marks of a successful journey. And to me, this means every journey, even the most difficult ones, are successful because they change us from the inside out.

As we learn to persevere through the hard things, we learn to look in the right places. If we keep our eyes focused, we know God will make a way.

Today’s post can be found at my friend, Frank McKinley’s website. He’s an author, writer, and encourager. I’ve found his articles (at www.frankmckinleyauthor.com) very helpful as I embark on my own writing journey and I count Frank as one of my writing mentors.

To read a sneak peek of the article, click below!

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A New Kind of Peace

There’s a peace waiting just for you. It’s so full and rich and beyond what you can imagine. Join me today to find out more.

I sat in the stillness of the early morning with a new kind of peace. It came from deep inside, quiet, strong and sure.

It was a long time coming, this new kind of peace. It had always been there waiting for me, but every time it tried to come out of its hiding place, it was beaten back into the recesses of my heart by an enemy bent on blinding me to it.

My new kind of peace was strong though. It was patient and knew how to wait for me. My new kind of peace never gave up and was steady, not changing with the ebb and flow of my emotions. My new kind of peace understood me better than I understood myself. And it accepted the other one and felt their pain. My new kind of peace was not mine at all. It was His.

It was all about my identity.

Over the years I had found my identity in all sorts of things, good grades, awards and activities, my jobs, my relationships, being a wife and mother, and sadly, even in my mistakes and failures. The ups and downs associated with any of those things tended to dictate my level of peace and happiness. The truth was, the messiness of the ebb and flow of my emotions left me feeling at a loss most of the time. And very much far away from the peace I was seeking.

But that fact was conveniently folded away like an unnecessary piece of paperwork, tucked away into a sliver of a place where my heart could not dwell on it but always felt its presence. I didn’t want anyone to know. And it weighed on me.

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