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January 2017

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Imagine if the inner most private details of your life were made public; splashed on the internet, news stands, E! Television and the latest View or the Talk or whatever the latest gossip show is. Imagine that bikini pic from ’98 posted on Instagram. Or that private Snapchat someone took a screenshot of. Things you thought you did in secret EXPOSED on the latest Dr. Phil. Well, that’s basically what it’s like for women of the Bible. We read all of their failures, accomplishments, lies, affairs and tragedies. The Karshashians have nothing on these gals. Beth & I are excited to kick off a new series that may never end, as we dive head first into the lives of women in the Bible. From Abigail to Zeruiah, the Bible is full of soap opera level drama only without the big hair and Botox. It is my hope through this that…

I had the privilege of being with my sister, Carrie, when she gave birth to both of her children (Mikela – 19, Cameron – 16) as well as my sister in law, Amanda, when she brought her oldest into the world, Olivia. Today is Olivia’s 13th birthday. Her mother had the idea of starting a tradition of doing a coming of age ceremony. She asked family and friends to write letters to Olivia as part of this special celebration. I immediately prayed about what to say. Her family has this inside joke of calling Olivia “tree”. She is tall, and is the oldest of 5 children. She looks like a tree. My mind immediately thought of Psalm 1:3: They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. (NLT) I have decided to pray this over her…

This is the final fruit of the Spirit we’re wrapping up our series with – self control. Truthfully, I’ve dreaded this particular topic as I am not exactly the poster child for self control. I am a compulsive and emotional eater. I eat when I’m happy, sad, angry, tired, bored or for social reasons. I am not going to sugar coat the truth for you because then I’d probably want to eat that, too. I have gained and lost 60-100 pounds at least 3 times in my lifetime. At my skinniest, I was awake at 5am to work out and I ate ZERO carbs or sugar. ZERO. NADA. ZILCH. NOTHIN’. Veggies and meat made up most of my diet with snacks of cheese and occasional berries to satisfy that wicked evil sweet tooth that I have had my entire life. (Seriously, if I could identify which tooth is the sweet…

My kids and I have sensitive skin. I’m cautious about detergents, soaps and lotions. I rely on the gentleness of these products to not harm us, but to also get the job done. Otherwise, how effective is a detergent if it doesn’t get your clothes clean? Or a soap that doesn’t take the stink away? I think about gentleness in this way. Strength & gentleness are not mutually exclusive, but i think some mistake it for weakness. Your gentleness is in fact your strength. Your words can be a salve to someone’s soul. Gentleness is that powerful. It’s hard in this current political climate where gentleness is lacking. People are angry. The best thing we can do is have big ears, small mouths, and let gentleness reign where anger rears its ugly face. Where there is hatred, be love. God, help us to be gentle and kind. In the end…

Faithfulness is key to the dreamer. It is forged in the deepest caverns of our souls, in the hidden places of our heart’s desires. It is the place where the Lord longs to meet us; where He awaits our invitation. It is the call to the deep. It is the where dreams take root and the place we are tested. It is what separates the casual Sunday morning church-goer from the Jesus-heart chaser. Are you faithful in the small things? Or do you do them begrudgingly, wishing there was more? Just be faithful. Even if no one notices. Know that God has a plan for you. Keep chasing His heart. He will work out the details in His time. Continue onto to Beth’s teaching on Faithfulness.

Goodness. Seems like such a simple thing, really. I think most people want to do good. Can we be honest? Sometimes doing good is exhausting. It takes thinking outside of yourself in addition to the laundry list of things you have to do already. It requires faithfulness, because good deeds don’t give you anything in return. It requires integrity because nobody is looking anyway. It requires time you don’t have. It requires patience that’s likely wearing thin. If you’ve ever had any of the aforementioned thoughts, you aren’t a bad person. You’re just burned out. Burn out is the enemy of goodness. It turns good deeds into chores and can set you on a path of bitterness. Galatians 6:9
 And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. My dear sweet burned out friends, do not grow…