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Category: Faith

Are You Committed?

I will give them hearts that recognize me as the Lord.  They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.  Jeremiah 24:7 NLT

 

Wholeheartedly…Wow what a big word.  But do we really understand the meaning of this word?  What does it mean to worship our Lord wholeheartedly?  If we worship our Lord in this way, we are completely committed and sincere, thus we give all of ourselves to Him, our creator.  Passion comes to mind when I think of worship this way.  Are we passionate with our worship or do we just go through the motions?  Are we passionate in our quiet time and prayer time with Him?  Or do our minds tend to wander about all the things we have to do?  Are we cheating our Lord in not giving Him our undivided attention?

 

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.  Jeremiah 29:12-14 NLT

 

Wow!  What powerful words those are.  His Word says that He will hear our prayers when we seek Him with ALL our heart.  How often do we nonchalantly ask God for something, yet we fail in the one thing He wants most from each of us, a relationship with Him.  Yet we expect Him to answer our prayers and grant our desires.

 

I know, life gets busy and in the way, but if we get too busy to spend time with our creator, who should be first in our lives above even our spouse, then we are frankly, too busy.  In order to have a true relationship with our Lord, which is what he desires of us, we must seek Him with everything we have, and with all our heart and soul.  God sees our heart, so He knows when we are sincere in our actions.  When we are sincere in our pursuit of Him, then He will do amazing things in our lives.  When we are committed to Him, and pursue Him, He will listen to our prayers and restore us.  This is when we can truly say we have a relationship with Him.

 

So, I ask you to evaluate yourself.  What do you spend your time on?  Are you committed?  Do you give God your undivided attention?  Or are you too busy to spend time daily with Him?  To grow in our faith and to have an intimate relationship with Him, it is crucial and necessary to spend time daily in prayer and in His Word.  So, I challenge you to do these things daily, and commit.  And then watch what amazing things He will do for you and just how much you will be blessed.

 

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Letting Go

I remember that day as if it were yesterday.  It was Monday afternoon when I got the call and was given the news.  My mom had stage 4 colorectal cancer.  What? I thought.  “No,” I screamed, as tears ran down my face and I sobbed uncontrollably.  “Please God,” I begged, “don’t take her away from me.”  “She’s too young to die.”  My heart raced.  There must be some mistake, I thought. “Please God,” I begged, “I need my mom.”  “I want her to see my girls graduate, and get married.”   “There’s so much I want to do with her.”  My heart was broken,  I was completely devastated.  I had to see her.

 

I remember the first time I saw her after I had received the news.  As I walked into her hospital room and saw her, all I could do was cry.  She smiled and hugged me and said, “Now don’t cry, we’re going to beat this.”  Here she was trying to comfort me and be the strong one, like always, but it did not disguise the look of fear she had in her eyes.  I said, “I don’t want you to die.  I’m not ready.”

 

Every day I prayed and begged God for a miracle and to please heal her and not take her.  I could not imagine my life without her.   I also began to pray for peace for my mom and asked God to make her not be scared.  And as the weeks went on, I witnessed God answering my prayers, as my mom was facing her battle head on with a sense of peace and without the fear she once had.

 

One day, as I walked into the hospital to visit her, an unknown lady whom I had never met, came to me and said, “Your mom is ready.”   “Ready,”  I thought.  “Ready for what?  Because I am not ready.”  Little did I know that just a couple days later, 6 weeks exactly from the day she was diagnosed, God would call my mom home.

 

My life was in shambles.  It would take years for me to pull myself together and heal my broken heart.  Day after day, I went through the motions, but withdrew from all relationships, including with my husband and children.  I returned to school to further my degree, and graduated at the top of my class.  I stayed as busy as I could and I looked like I had it all together from people looking on from the outside.  But in reality, on the inside I was falling apart.  I distanced myself from everyone, even those whom I loved dearly.  Every day I would want to call mom, and just talk.  How would I ever get through this?  It’s not fair, I thought.  How could God take her away from me?  Why?  I kept asking.

 

Then my mind began to wander.  What if my mom didn’t go to heaven?  You see, we never really talked about this.  I knew she believed in Jesus, but life had gotten in the way and she was no longer in church.  Again my mind drifted back, who was that lady?   I found out that every day this lady, whom nobody knew, would come to my mom’s room and pray with her.  My mom loved it when she came.  But who was she?  It is strange to me now but at the time, none of us even asked who she was.

 

A few months later, after mom’s death, I went back to the hospital and tried to find this lady.  I asked around, and not one person from the hospital knew her or her name, and said they hadn’t seen her.  How odd I thought?

 

Again, I thought back to her comment she said to me.  So what was my mom ready for?  You see, I truly believe with all my heart that this lady was an angel sent from God, and now I know what this lady was telling me, when she said those words to me.  She had prayed with my mom, and she knew my mom’s final destination.  She was making sure that I also knew.  You see, God knew what I would need to hear for me to have peace and He sent her.

 

Over 11 years have passed since mom left us, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her and miss her dearly.  Depression took so many years of my life when my girls were still at home.  Oh, how wish I could get those years back.  But the truth is, we all probably wish we could turn back the hands of time, but we can’t.  We can never go back.  I felt so alone, for so many years, although I was here with my husband and children.  Yet even when I thought I was alone, I know without a doubt my God was always there with me.  His Word tells me this.

 

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God is with you.  He will not fail or forsake you.  1Chronicles 28:20 NLT

 

I have to remember that even when I am down and feel discouraged, His Promises to me.  My God is always there; He is faithful even when we are unfaithful, and He never changes.  His love never fails, because God is Love and His Word tells us that nothing can separate us from His love.

 

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.  Neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  Romans 8:38 NLT

 

 

I know one day I will see my mom again and all my tears will be wiped away.  For now, I will cling to the promises of God, and trust Him to carry my through.

 

For I hold you by your right hand, I, the Lord your God.  And I say to you, Don’t be afraid.  I am here to help you.  Isaiah 41:13 NLT

 

My prayer is that anyone that is struggling with depression, that you find peace in God’s promises and His Word.

 

May God’s blessings be upon you,

Rhonda

 

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

 

How is your Prayer Life?

How is your prayer life?  Do you pray daily?   Do you ask God’s guidance in all you do?  Or is your prayer life something that needs work on?  As I continue to grow in my walk with the Lord, I also continue to work on my prayer life.  My prayer binder has been a huge help for me and I love writing my prayers out.  I intend to look back on them and reflect as time goes by.  In doing this, I also write out a few scriptures daily in one of the sections in my Prayer/War Binder.  So, I have compiled a list of scriptures about prayer to focus on.  I am sharing this list with you to use.   Have you made your own prayer binder?  Do you write out your prayers?  I would love to hear from you.  Click on the link below to download the Prayer Verse list.

Blessings to you all,

Rhonda

Daily Scripture Writing Prayer

What is Bible Journaling? How do I start?

Bible journaling has recently become very popular.  It is a way for individuals to meditate on scripture while expressing one’s creativity.  There are many opinions on whether or not the text in the Bible should or should not be covered.  Although, there are now many journaling Bibles with wide margins to draw or take notes and even some Bibles that have blank pages between each page, there is still controversy regarding what is acceptable in this form of scriptural art.

 

When I first began journaling in my Bible, I purchased a Bible specifically for this purpose. I have several versions that I have for reading and studying. For my journaling Bible, I chose one with wide margins as my journaling Bible.  In my first entries, I elected to keep my artwork in the margins, or if I did decide to add something over the text, it was usually just a form of watercolor or light background coloring so I was still able to read the text.

 

As I have continued in my Bible art journaling, I have learned to relax some.  As a perfectionist, this was very hard for me to do.  But seeing now how much my own faith and Christian walk has come since engaging in the scriptures with this form of art, I have come to the conclusion, that this is for me.  Each person has to decide what they feel is right for them.  Whether they decide to journal only in the margins, a separate journal, or cover the text or not.

 

So how do you begin?  Don’t tell me you can’t draw, etc… Because I am definitely not an artist, and you tube has become a close friend.  So here are my tips:

 

  1. Choose what you will use to do your journaling in.  Whether you will choose a journaling Bible with wide margins, or one with blank pages, or maybe you decide to do yours in a separate art journal… it is up to you.  Do what you feel comfortable in.  Pray about it and you will know what is right for you.
  2. Gather your supplies. There are many ways to do Bible journaling.   I have tried a few and still have lots more I intend to try.  But I honestly think my personal favorite is using my Prisma colored pencils.  In my opinion, starting with colored pencils, is a good way to start the process.  I prefer the Prisma pencils because they blend well and their colors are so vibrant, but you may have another brand you like.  Prisma pencils are a little on the pricey side, and if you are not able to get these, then I also like Crayola brand colored pencils. Also, I use micron pens for outlining my text and designs.  These do not bleed through when using, (unless of course you color or stay in one spot too long).

Other supplies I have tried:  Prisma watercolor pencils, clear gesso to prep page if using products that bleed, brush markers (which will bleed, unless page is prepped).  Choose one media to use and begin with that.  You can always add more a little at a time and venture out.  Quick note, it is a good idea to use a mat between the pages so you will not impress on the following pages when you are doing your art.  Also, if using any other media, besides colored pencils, it is probably best to prep page with clear gesso.

  1. So now that you have your supplies, where do you start?  That’s really a good question.  I wish I had a simple answer for you but I don’t.  You could maybe start with your favorite scripture, or maybe choose a verse that stood out to you when you were doing your daily Bible study, or maybe a verse from Sunday’s sermon.  The point is, there are no rules, you can start wherever you like and choose any verse that speaks to you.
  2. Ok, so you say you can’t draw? First of all, your entries do not have to be masterpieces.  They aren’t for sale; they are for you.  Secondly, there are templates you can buy for tracing, lots of videos you can watch on how to draw certain items, like flowers, etc, As you begin to do this, and do a few, you will become more and more creative.  I have a few templates on this blog that are free to download and use, and I will be adding more soon.  I also, plan to add some instructional videos.

 

One last thought, there are no rules in Bible journaling.  This is for you and what a great heirloom to be passed on to your children and grandchildren.  I know if my Mom was still here with me, she would so enjoy doing this.  Some of my favorite treasures from my Mom are a couple of paintings she did while taking a beginning art class.  She always criticized her work, but I personally feel they are beautiful and even more so now that she’s gone.

 

The goal of Bible journaling is to engage and meditate on God’s Word.  Bible journaling for me has become a form of therapy and what better therapy than the Word of Our Creator.

 

Questions or comments, feel free to contact me or comment below.

 

Blessings

Rhonda

This one was done with colored pencils and Micron pens to outline

 

Example I did using watercolor pencils.  In this example, I prepped my page with clear gesso.

 

Nothing is Impossible with God

Do you ever feel that you are trapped and there is no way out?  Like you just can’t do what you need to or expected to do?  As women, we have so many roles that we are expected to fulfill which can be overwhelming at times.  I think the hardest thing for us to say is the word “NO”   Of course there are those things that we have to take care of, and “No” is not an option.  Sometimes, we forget, that although we, ourselves, cannot do certain things,  but Our GOD can do ALL.  Luke 1:37 reminds me of this.  For with God, Nothing is impossible.  Now, I don’t know about you, but sometimes, it is hard for us to understand the literal meaning of God’s Word.  Notice, it says NOTHING, not some things, but NOTHING is impossible with God.  This is where our faith comes in.  How strong is your faith?  Do we really believe God can do all?  Or do we put God in a box and think He can do only so much?  I personally struggle with this at times.  Faith is believing in things we cannot see.   We must learn to pray and turn over our worries to the Lord, and fully rely on Him.  Trust in the Lord, and he will carry you.  May your relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ increase and may you receive blessings from Him, our creator.

Blessings,

Rhonda

My Personal War Binder

Recently I decided to create my own personal war binder in efforts to improve my prayer life.  I wanted a place to write out my prayers and to be more diligent in my prayer efforts, as I continue to grow in my faith and walk with Jesus.

In order to make one’s own War Binder, Faith Journal or Prayer Binder, you must consider which sections will work for you personally.  Remember, this is for you to grow in your own faith and walk, and what works for others, may or may not work for you.  So, after reading countless articles, watching many tutorials, etc,  I finally came up with my own War Binder and I absolutley LOVE IT!!

I am super excited to share mine with you.  Maybe it will give you ideas on doing your own War Binder.  Let’s face it, we all could probably use a little more prayers in our life.

First of all I had to decide on the main sections I wanted for my binder.

These are what I decided on:

  1.  Praise -in this section, I write out my praises and thanks to the Lord for blessings I have received.

2.  Scripture-In this section, is where I take the time to write out a scriptures each day

3.  Prayers- This is the only main section in my binder in which I have subcategories.  In this section, I write out prayers for each of the subcategories I have.

Currently in my Prayers section, I have the following subcategories:

Husband

Marriage

Family

Self

Job

Church

Leaders

Nation

Requests

 

4.  Bible Study-in this section, I write out special verses or things that stand out to me during devotions, bible studies, etc.

5.  Memory Verses- in this section, I write out verses I am working on memorizing

6.  Notes-

 

I then made my own dividers out of plain white cardstock, and then found a scripture I felt went with each main category and hand drew artwork on each of my dividers, as I wanted it to be more personal.  I absolutely love how it came out.

 

Do I know if I will add or make changes?  Possibly…But the good thing about this, is you are not stuck with anything you make. Try it out for a couple weeks, if it doesn’t work for you, then make the necessary changes.  What is important is that you utilize whatever you decide to use to grow your faith and walk with our Creator.

Do you have a War Binder or Faith journal you created?  I would love to hear about it!

Blessings,

Rhonda

 

Call upon the Lord Bible Art Journaling

Being in the path of Hurricane Harvey has been somewhat unsettling.  It’s devastating to see the flooding and the many families that have been displaced due to this storm.  And it’s still not over.  Sometimes it can be hard for us to see the light when tragedies come.  As I sit here, waiting out the storm, I have had lots of time to think and read God’s word.  I must not forget, that He knows everything and I must trust in Him completely.  Psalm 50:15 reminds me of this, to call upon Him and He will deliver me.  I am so very thankful for each day and I feel truly blessed as I have not lost power in this storm and my house has not flooded.  Please continue to pray for those who have been affected.  I will continue to pray for their peace, comfort and safety, as I have heard that we can expect another 50 inches of rain!!

Here is my Bible journaling art for that verse.  I am also including a template I sketched for you to use.  All I ask is that you please do not sell my art.  Thank you,  May God bless each and every one of you.  Just click on the link below for the template.

Call upon the Lord

C