If God Has A Brag Book, I Want To Be In It

Grandma's Brag Book

I have a baby book for each of our children.  I brag about their tiny footprints, their cute little baby pictures, and their adorable toddler and childhood photos. In each baby book I have recorded their milestones; their “firsts.”

 

  • First time baby slept through the night (I really loved this one)
  • First smile (I loved this one too)
  • First laugh (and this one too…well, I loved all the firsts)
  • First time to sit up
  • First word
  • First tooth
  • First crawl
  • First food
  • First step
  • First birthday

I also recorded special moments that were dear to my heart and special hopes and prayers for our children in their detailed baby books. Each child brought so much joy to my heart. Kids say the most adorable things.  I recorded many of those cutesy things they said in their baby book, and would get their books out and read to them when they were older.  Back in the day, we had a tape recorder.  We were playing the tape recorder when our toddler son, Brandon, put his ear close to the tape recorder and said in baby talk, “There’s people in there.” 🙂

Mothers love bragging, I mean, talking about their children to others.  And…unless you have time on your hands, you don’t want to ask a Grandmother about her grandchildren. Grandma’s are so proud of their grandchildren and may even bring out Grandma’s Brag Book to show you their pictures and brag on them.

I started wondering if God has a Brag Book on His children. You know, God bragged on Job, so He just might have a brag book on his faithful children. In the Bible, this is God bragging: “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (Job 2:3) To me, this sounds like God is bragging.

Look at Psalm 139:14,15: God was bragging on each of us as He created us. Picture God creating you as He says, “You are:

  1. “fearfully made” which shows the extreme value God places on   your
    Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
    Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

    life.

  2. “wonderfully made” which proves your uniqueness.
  3. “curiously wrought in the womb” which in the Hebrew means  needlepoint and embroidery, demonstrating God’s attention given to every detail of your being. Isn’t that exciting?

God took intricate measures to create each one of us within the womb with utmost delicate care. Because the Bible says so, we know God wrote these details of creating each of us in a book just like a proud parent does. “And in thy book all my members were written…were fashioned.” (Psalm 189:16) God is our Abba Father, our Daddy, our Creator. Verse 17 says His thoughts toward each of us are precious and more than the grains of sand.

If God has a Brag Book about His faithful children, I believe He enjoys:

  • Remembering our Spiritual “Born Again” Birthday.  I know my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and your name is too if you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour. You and I came to the Lord in childlike faith trusting Him to save us. I do know for a fact there is a celebration that goes on in heaven when a person is saved. It’s a Born Again Party! “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.” (Luke 15:7) I like to picture the day of my salvation and how all heaven rejoiced.
  • Remembering those steps of faith we took that seemed like the impossible. Then how we rejoiced in thanksgiving when we saw God work it out for good. (Romans 8:28,29)
  • Remembering how we, like little children, felt helpless and put our entire trust in Him.  Remembering how the going got difficult, but we trusted God to keep us going. (Proverbs 3:5,6) Like a loving Father, He carried us!
  • Remembering how we never quit on God, but kept doing what we knew pleased Him. (Galatians 6:9)
  • Remembering all of the Daily Quiet Times where we were alone in the presence of the Lord being fed like a baby desiring nourishment from His Word.
  • Remembering how we often cried out to the Lord like a child needing help in our sweet time of prayer. Remembering how thankful we were with His incredible answers to our prayers.
  • Remembering how we daily totally surrendered and said, “Take my life and let it be consecrated, LORD to Thee.”
  • Remembering how we obeyed and shared the plan of salvation to others~ Remembering our beautiful feet. (Romans 10:15)
  • Remembering how we gave to others and served in the name of Jesus.
  • Remembering how we encouraged others and used our talents for the Lord.
  • Remembering how we diligently did the will of God and how we sought to please God with our lives.

I think God would have these precious thoughts about you and me recorded in His Brag Book.  I can picture our Abba Father taking His Brag Book out and saying of you and me, “Look at my faithful servant…”

“Heavenly Father, if You have a Brag Book, I want to be in it. I desire to live to make You smile.”

“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.” Malachi 3:16

3 Motives To Have When Studying The Bible

3 Motives To Have When Studying the Bible

  1. To know God! God desires for me to know Him and experience Him through studying His Word. “That I may know him…”  Phil. 3:10
  2. To Interpret God’s message.  There is one interpretation, but many applications.
  3. To apply God’s message to my life.

A young bus child, Destiny rode the church bus to our church as often as she could. She loved church. We watched this young girl blossom into a beautiful young lady. Against all odds, this young lady remained faithful to the Lord and to going to church. The day came when she went to Bible College.

I told this precious young lady, “When you get to Bible College, you will take classes where you will study the Bible.  Focus on knowing God through His Word.  Before studying the Bible, ask God to reveal Himself to you. Tell Him you want to know Him.”  When asking Destiny permission to share this with you, she said, “I have remembered what you told me. It has definitely been beneficial to know God on a more personal level rather than just studying for class. God is amazing! To Him be all glory! Thanks for your words of wisdom. Love you!”

This is a vital lesson to teach our children also.

Why did I tell this young lady to study the Bible in this way? If we do not seek to know God through studying the Bible, the Bible will become just another information book that causes a person to become proud of their knowledge.

We must teach our children to passionately pursue God through His Word to know Him; to experience Him.  Let us begin Bible Study by praying, “My Heavenly Father, I want to know you! I want to experience you!”

When to Make Major Decisions

Our family is riding on the first three seats of the wooden roller coaster in the photo. You see the lady in the front seat? That is me! We took a family vacation a few years ago with all our married children and grandchildren. Those old wooden roller coasters are rough to ride! Ouch! I was literally rattled. They jerk a person every which way.  I think I even see a smile on my face.  I can remember my husband who was sitting next to me grabbing my arms trying to get me to lift them above my head. He loves to aggravate me…ha.   Let’s just say that I was glad when the ride came to an abrupt end. Give me a ride on a smooth roller coaster any day. I may even raise my hands up over my head on a smooth ride, maybe.

We have heard the saying, “Life is like a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs.” There are “down seasons” in one’s life and there are “up seasons”.  God evens it out for us. We are either coming out of a “down season”, we are presently in a “down season”, or we are about to enter a “down season” in life.  “In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other…” (Ecclesiastes 7:14)  

A “down season” in life is not a question of “if”; it is a question of “when”.  When we enter a “down season” in life, God wants us to consider His goodness and what He is teaching us. He wants us to consider whether we are putting our trust in Him or not. The “down season” in life is a time of endurance. It is not a time to make huge life changing decisions unless the Lord directs. It is usually an emotional time with diverse temptations attached. If we make important decisions when discouraged, we are not seeing clearly and we do not respond in faith.

The “down season” may come as huge pressures, a major sickness, problems with family and friends, death of a loved one, a tragic accident, undesirable changes in life, betrayal, temptation, hurts, financial pressures and so on. When it gets rough in the down season of life, do not bail out of marriage, homemaking, going to church, reading your Bible, or whatever you know God has called you to do. You wouldn’t bail out of a roller coaster. Endure and keep doing what is right, and you will make it through.

Don’t give up on God’s Known Will:

1.  Marriage: Make a decision in the “up season” about your marriage vow. I read that financial problems are the number one reason for divorce. If financial hardships or other problems enter your marriage, make the decision beforehand: “I am committed to my husband.  My marriage vow to him and to God are sacred. I will not break my vow.”

2.  Church, Bible reading, Prayer and making disciples: Make a decision in the “up season” of life that you are going to follow the Lord and obey His Word no matter who disappoints you.  Never drop out of church. Find a church that teaches the Bible and encourages strong families. Our nation is as strong as our families. The Lord will lead you where you will best serve Him.  Stay in fellowship with the Lord through daily Bible reading and prayer.  When life disappoints, stay closer than ever to the Lord. The last thing Jesus said before He left this earth was to make disciples.  (Matthew 28:19,20) Keep doing the known will of the Lord in the down season of life.

3.  Homemaking: Financial problems are also the reason many mothers go to work.  Our family was pressed at times financially, but God took care of us on my husband’s income. We endured the tough times financially and made it through. I was committed to do God’s will in being a keeper at home.  God said for mothers to be “keepers at home,” and a mother can’t do that if she is not at home.Titus 2:5

4.  Homeschooling, (if it is God’s will  for you to homeschool): When God calls a family to homeschool, He will carry the family  through the tough times. Trust Him. Be committed.

Don’t give up on the good things God has called you to do. Endure during the “down season” and wait on the Lord.  You will do well if you wait well.  “I had fainted (quit), unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living (in life). Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” Psalm 27:13,14

In the “down season”, find God’s goodness. His goodness is not difficult to see if we look for it.  The most courageous people I know have patiently gone through a major trial in life. The muscle men (and women) are weaklings compared to these courageous strong people who did not waver, but shined in a beautiful way in the midst of incredible trials of life.  These strong courageous people glorified the Lord the entire time in the very lowest of the “down seasons” of life. Perseverance in the “down season” builds character.  “Down seasons” are temporary and you will come out eventually. It is a good feeling to come out knowing you persevered well.

5.  Doing right: We need to continue to do right during the down season of life. We also need to teach our children to do right at all times and to make wise decisions for God before they enter into temptation.  The “middle of temptation” is not the time to be

Hand signal for “NO”

wondering what to do. Our teenage son was tempted by some peers to smoke, but he stood for God. Answering his peers, our son firmly said, “No! I won’t. God doesn’t want me to smoke,” and walked off.  We had previously role played in the home to prepare our children for temptation. We practiced saying those very words along with the hand signal for no.  We taught our children the principle of fleeing temptation.  Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”  2Timothy 2:22

  • Why should we make life changing decisions in the “up seasons” of life and not the down seasons?
  • Why should we teach our children how to handle a temptation before they are in the middle of a temptation?
  1. You can see your situation clearer in the “up season.”
  2. You are less likely to make emotionally bad decisions and have regrets.
  3. You leave loved ones, friends and yourself in a better position.
  4. You decide using positive data and not negative.
  5. You are more likely to move from “up to up” instead of from “down to down.”

There have been down seasons in my life where God closed a door, but opened a bigger and better door. I remember being invited to a church as a new Christian.  It was not the place God wanted me to be.  I was meeting new friends at the church, but I did not understand at the time that the church was falsely teaching water baptism saves a person.  All of a sudden something hurtful happened to me within that church. It did not take me long to realize that God was trying to get my attention.  God used that hurtful situation for good in my life. God was wanting to protect me as a new believer from false teachings.  I left that church and got into a church that taught the truth about salvation:  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

Sometimes God allows us to have a down season, because God loves us so much! He may need to get our attention, so we will make the needed adjustment in our life to get back on the right track.  In the down season pray, endure, and wait until God makes the direction clear.

We have a choice in life.  Life is like a roller coaster. Life has its ups and downs. The true character of a person comes out in the “down season.” True character is “What does it take to stop her?  Continue in being consistent to what is good: marriage, parenting, Bible reading, praying, church, homemaking, doing what God has called you to do and in doing what is right. Good character counts. To finish life well, we must make wise choices in God’s timing while in the up season and in God’s timing while in the down season.

 

 

What is a Christian’s Greatest Life Challenge?

Have you ever wondered, “What is my greatest life challenge as a Christian?

A Christian’s greatest life challenge is being balanced.

We all have heard the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”  This “saying” illustrates the Christian who goes to the extreme in a certain area and gets off-balance. “Throwing the baby out with the bath water” is an expression that implies that an entire idea, concept, practice or project should not be rejected or discontinued if part of it is good. The baby, in this sense, represents the good part that should be preserved. The dirty bath water needs to be discarded, just like the parts of the concept that are bad or useless.There is so much truth to that saying, and Christians need to apply it to be balanced in everyday life.

Let me share an example. Physically, I like to be flexible and have good balance because both are important to one’s health. To have good flexibility and balance are the reason I like to do Yoga exercises.  Did I hear, “Oh, yoga is wrong. Isn’t she aware a pagan philosophy is behind yoga?” Yes, I am aware of that. I throw out all paganism associated with yoga, but why throw out perfectly good exercises that help a person physically? I don’t even use the word yoga but call them flexible exercises and balance exercises.  Having good flexibility and balance I get from the exercises keep me safe from injury, allows me to do so much more physically, and to enjoy life more. I like to hike. Before I started the balance exercises, I tried to jump while hiking and lost my balance.  I landed with a thud… on my face. Ouch!

The challenge in the Christian Life: In my life, I don’t want to fall on my face because of being unbalanced.  More important than having good physical balance is having good balance in the things of God. Having good balance spiritually will help us enjoy life more too. We will be a better witness to others.  We will be a better witness to our children who are looking to us for direction in their lives.

How to Overcome the Christian’s Greatest Life Challenge:

3 Things we Must Practice to be a Balanced Christian:

  1. Abide in Christ~ Jesus is the Source of our life.  Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” John 15:4.  Hudson Taylor, missionary to China said this Scripture was his Spiritual Secret.   How is your daily quiet time, meditation, and prayer life?  Are you struggling or surrendering? Not abiding is like not eating. We will get weak from not getting our Source of nourishment. Just as we remember to eat daily, we need to spend time in God’s Word every day for strength, power and growth. If we don’t have time for God’s Word, we are too busy. Meditating on His Word and talking to Jesus throughout the day keeps us in an abiding relationship. Abiding is worship. Challenge yourself to never miss a quiet time with Jesus. I cannot remember the last time I missed a quiet time.  Start today being consistent and in years to come, you will be saying the same thing.   
  2. Serve, by doing God’s will~ God has good works planned for each of us to do. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  (Ephesians 2:10)  I love this Scripture because it is a “God loves Me” verse.  God took the time before I was born to plan good works that I would do to glorify Him. How special! Caution: We get off-balance if we only serve, but do not abide, and we will experience burn out. We need the Source. We need the strength of the Lord that comes from abiding to serve. Do you ever feel like giving up because you feel worn out from serving? Abiding is the answer. Bask in His Word and tell Him all! It is easy to know the will of God in serving when we are a wife and mother. Our good work God has called us to do is homemaking. Sometimes we must in a kind way, say “no” to others, so we do not burn out. The word, “no” is in the dictionary for those who feel guilty saying no. It is alright to say “no”, so you don’t neglect priorities and burn out. Caution: We get off-balance if we abide and separate, but do not serve, because we are being selfish by not doing the work God has planned for us to do.  Serving is worship when we serve as unto the Lord.
  3. Separate and be holy~ Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate…” 2 Corinthians 6:17   “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16   It is extremely important to see my Christian life as “living to please God and not as a set of do’s and don’ts.”  If we don’t get this one down, our children may react and not get saved, or they may rebel. Our children may also see the Christian life as rules instead of a Relationship and become rebellious.  Caution: We will get off-balance if we focus only on dos and don’ts and we may become like the Pharisees in some ways.  Unbalance in being separated, without abiding and serving, causes a person to become one-sided and issue oriented. Caution: We also get off-balance if we abide and serve but do not separate, because we are in danger of secret sin. Balance is so important. We are to separate from sin unto holiness. We have Bible standards for our life because we want to please God.  If Jesus died for me, why should I not live to please Him? Balanced parents teach their children to please God by obeying His Word, the Bible.  Our standard in our home was the Bible no matter what anyone else taught.  If God said it, that settled it. We live a holy life to make our Lord and Saviour smile. Living a holy life to please the Lord is worship.

What is a Christian’s Greatest Life Challenge?  To daily abide, serve and separate. Our children will thrive better in a balanced home. Our marriage will thrive better if we are  balanced.

Being Balanced is the secret to a fulfilled life.

“Lord, I pray that I (and those reading) will live the Balanced Christian Life today and each day. I desire to abide in You.  You are my Source.  You are my strength and I surrender to you.  You have good works for me to walk in.  I desire to serve You. Lord, live in and through me. Thank you for Your power to accomplish Your will. Lord, you gave your life for me, so I turn from sin to live a holy life that is pleasing unto You. I separate from sin unto You. In Jesus Name. Amen”

Would anyone like to share your thoughts on what you believe is the Christian’s Greatest Life Challenge? Do you struggle with being balanced? Would you like to add any suggestions?

The Unveiling of Beauty Secrets

I think most ladies like to look wholesome and feel beautiful. As I was reading Psalm 33 this morning, I had a smile on my face, because just reading the Psalm caused me to be grateful! Every lady, young and old, will feel beautiful if she follows the Lord’s beauty secrets.

The unveiling of beauty secrets in Psalm 33

Beauty Secret #1.  Psalm 33:1~ Rejoicing/ Praising are beautiful for the godly Christian. There it is! Praise is beautiful! God said it! “Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.” Praise is telling God what we appreciate about Him. Praise is an act of our will that is an outpouring of awe and reverence for our Lord and Saviour. Praise glorifies the Lord and creates a deeper fellowship with Him. Praise turns our attention off of our problems and on to the nature and character of the Lord God. The result of reflecting God’s goodness back to Him fills us with peace, joy, and contentment. Praise is like a waterfall of beauty to God and spills over to others. Praise glorifies the Lord and beautifies a person inside and out. During the day, let us remember to praise our husband and our children as well. Rejoicing/Praising God is beauty secret #1.

Beauty Secret #2.  Psalm 33:2,3~ Sing unto the Lord.  “Sing unto him a new song.” Do you have a song in your heart for God?  I like to sing a song to the Lord daily. I can’t help but smile while singing unto the Lord.  I have even cried and smiled at the same time.  Just because you may catch me smiling, does not mean that everything is perfect in my life. God gave us our smile, so let us give it back to Him and to others.  Have you smiled to God today? Let us Sing and Smile right now. “I’ve got that Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart.”  Singing unto the Lord is beauty secret #2.

Beauty Secret #3.  Psalm 33:4 ~ Focus on how God’s Word is right and true and  written just for you. “For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.” Have I spent time with the Lord in His Word today? “A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” Charles Spurgeon

The Word of God will make us sweeter. The Word of God is sweeter than honey to our souls.  “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103) Being sweet is being beautiful! Focusing on the beauty of God’s Word while reading it is beauty secret #3.

Beauty Secret #4.  Psalm 33:5-12~ Have a grateful heart. Why? “The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.”  Am I thinking on God’s goodness to me? Am I counting my blessings right now?  Write them down where you can see them. Having a note written in my home as a reminder sure helps me to remember God’s goodness to me! “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance” (Proverbs 15:13)

Just a few of my many blessings that bring on a cheerful countenance:

  • The day I was born, God gave me physical life and daily He gives me my every breath!
  • Jesus Christ left His heavenly home and came to earth to shed His blood on the cross for my sins!
  • After patiently seeking me, on April 6, 1975, Jesus saved me from my sins!
  • God saved me from hell and gave me eternal life!
  • God wrote me a Bible that is 100% truth and gives me hope!
  • God gave me a home in heaven and is preparing my mansion right now!
  • The Holy Spirit miraculously lives within me and guides me every second of the day!
  • God gave me an incredibly wonderful family!

Having a grateful heart is beauty secret #4.

Beauty Secret #5.  Psalm 33:13-15~ Focus on how God knows you, loves you

God delights in watching the homemaker

and enjoys watching every detail of your life. “The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.” Do I realize how much God loves me? He never abandons me! He enjoys me. God delights in watching everything about me.  Am I aware of His presence? God is like a proud parent enjoying watching you and me live for Him.  We can wash laundry, homeschool, cook and do all to the glory of God.  Martin Luther said a dairy maid can milk cows to the glory of God. We have to do the work of a homemaker anyway, so why not choose to do the work with a good attitude. Focusing on God’s love for me personally and on His delight in watching me is beauty secret #5.

Beauty Secret #6.  Psalm 33:16-21~ Trust and hope in the Lord, instead of worrying. “For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.” God promises he will deliver me. He will deliver me in the middle of my problems. When I worry, I am not a happy camper because of feeling downcast.  Trusting and hoping in the Lord makes life both bearable and beautiful. Replacing worries with trust and hope in the Lord is beauty secret #6.

Beauty Secret #7. Psalm 33:21,22~Pray for His mercy and leave all your troubles with Him. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.” Prayer is powerful! God wants us to tell Him all and then leave all with Him. A long face is a bad testimony to others of the love of God. Let us get

I am blessed and in love with my hubby!

our laugh back. Do you remember as a child laughing so hard, you couldn’t stop laughing? My husband and I laughed ourselves silly today, and we had the best time together just laughing. If you have lost your laugh, find it. Today, let us choose to live on the bright side and leave our worries with the Lord. God has face lifts all throughout His Word. I just happened to see an unveiling of beauty secrets written in Psalm 33 today. Pray for God’s mercy, leave all troubles with Him; then forget them for the rest of the day is beauty secret #7.

Would you like to share a few of your many blessings?