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Joy is my Inheritance

Jesus was a compassionate man week 1

Joy is my Inheritance

What an exciting introduction to Choosing Joy by Kay Warren!  Have you ever taken time to ponder the thought that Joy IS our inheritance?  Pure joy as we walk the streets of gold, as we live in mansions prepared for us, as we finally see our Savior face to face?  That inheritance is waiting for us AND if the Lord did nothing more for us while we were here on earth, that would still be reason enough to choose joy in our daily lives!

Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t stop with the joy of heaven?  The mercy and grace that He gives to us each day is simply amazing.

I love the authentic honesty that Kay Warren starts out this study with.  I love the fact that she lays it all out for us saying that Joy is a choice and that yes, even though we are Christians, we still struggle to find joy in the most difficult, darkest times of our lives.

We tend to forget about the verses that tell us to “Count it all JOY” when we face trouble, like James 1:2 reminds us to do.  Also John 16:33 tells us that we WILL have tribulation in this world, but it doesn’t end there, it also reminds us that Jesus has overcome this world.

When we are struggling to see joy in our trials and we fail to, it brings about guilt, depression and makes us wonder within our heart “why bother.” That guilt weighs us down and wears us out to exhaustion and then we are no longer effective for the Kingdom of the Lord.  If we are doing nothing but drowning in guilt and depression, then the enemy has won that battle.

Keeping in mind what Kay says “Joy and sorrow will always be linked” we can truly step back from our trials and remember Romans 8:28 “ALL things work together for good” even if we can’t see it right now, or if it’s been many years, we can always trust God to work it out for our good.

As Kay points out that yes, even though Jesus was a man of sorrow, He was also a “vibrant, compassionate man, a man of both sorrow and joy who could enter fully into life with all its brokenness.”

Let’s strive to be like Jesus this week and be:

  • A Woman of JOY through our Attitude – We can’t change what happens, but we can control how we react to various situations.
  • A Woman of Joy through our Words – Words are lasting! Good or bad, your words will linger in someone’s heart!
  • A Woman of Joy through our Actions – Jesus was a servant! As you are making a difference for others, your heart will be flooded with great joy!

As you go through your week, seeking to choose joy, remember Kay’s definition of joy.

“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right, and the determined choice to praise God in all things.”

 

What have you allowed to hold you back from living a life of joy?  Before I answer this, I want to remind you that pain is pain…regardless of what kind – it ALL hurts.  Many feel that there are big hurts, little hurts and everything in between, but, keep in mind pain hurts.

Even though I’m a pretty joyful, roll with it kind of gal, I struggle with seeing the good in the negative just like many others do.  The worst time was when my father died.  I knew it was coming, the doctors told us he had 6 months due to a worn out heart.  I tried to prepare others, get cousins, family and friends to come and see him and say what they wanted to say.  I moved in with him to help him with various physical limitations he had towards the end.

I thought I was ready.

I thought wrong. 

For nearly 2 years afterwards, I was such a deep depression that I hardly remember any of it.  There was no scrapbooking, no journaling, no nothing.  I went to work or church and came home to sleep.  That was it. It wasn’t until I started pouring myself into others that needed help, senior ladies in my church that wanted to be a “secret sister” but couldn’t afford to.  I asked people to donate things they could use and started praying more, covering the pain and guilt of not being able to “fix him.”  I knew that I had done all I could for my dad, but the loss was so great that it stole my joy for a long time.  He would not be happy with that as he was a “giver.” We never had a lot growing up, but we always gave to others and helped where we could.

Do one thing a day for someone else.  This will take your eyes off of your pain and troubles for just a little bit and allow you to see the needs of others.  Also, do something you enjoy daily.  These things do not have to require money, but the decision and determination to do them.

The lack of “Things” will try to steal your joy, people and their attitudes will try to steal your joy, and circumstances that are beyond your control will try to steal your joy – but remember…you have a choice.  You can choose joy.

It’s ok to choose joy in the middle of pain and sorrow.  It’s ok to let go of the guilt and give yourself permission to be happy.  It’s ok to say, “I don’t understand, but I believe God has me” and simply trust HIM.

Look to your inheritance, don’t focus on the fear or sorrows that surround you, focus on the Father!

Download your Free PDF Worksheet

Discussion – choose to answer any or all of the following:

  1. What do you allow to hold you back from living a life of joy?
  2. What does your faith-life reveal about the depth of your relationship with God?
  3. How does it make you feel to understand that God dances over you with joy? Is that easy for you to believe? Why or why not?

 

**Make sure you check the box to receive the followup comments so you can communicate with others during this study

Choose Joy Bible Study

Choose Joy bible study

I’m personally inviting you to this Choose Joy Bible Study. If you don’t have the book, I encourage you to hop on Amazon and get a copy or head over to your local Christian Bookstore and grab one there.   I’m so excited about this 4 Week Bible Study!  Joy doesn’t come easy for many of us and with the issues that we face daily, sometimes we wonder if we’ll ever see/feel or have joy again.

The truth of the matter is that we can, and on a daily basis.  Choosing joy is possible, regardless of darkness that seems to surround you.

It is my desire that as we go through this study together you’ll not only choose joy but that you’ll daily display that the JOY of the Lord is YOUR strength!  Neh 8:10.

I know how painful day after day of troubles and trials are.  I know just how frightful and discouraging life’s issues are.  I know firsthand financial troubles, health issues with children and how the sting of unemployment affects families.  I know the loneliness and fear that can consume your heart during those times of complete darkness and sorrow.  I know how tightly discouragement holds on to you, rendering you powerless to even lift your head sometimes.   I know the pain and grief of families being torn apart and loved ones dying, never to hear their sweet voices or see their precious smile again.  I know how guilt and shame leaving you feeling like you have no right to blessings.  I know how the pain of any situation is enhanced when night falls and the silence of darkness surrounds you.

But….

I also KNOW the ONE who is right beside me as I’m struggling to choose joy and trust His will!  As I’m traveling through the darkness, HE doesn’t mind living there to protect me, to strengthen me and to guide me.

 

Our darkest days are no surprise to HIM.  Our tears of pain, aches of discouragement and feelings of failure are no surprise to Him.  Our anger and questions screamed at the top of our hearts because we simply don’t understand does not cause Him to worry or wonder what will happen.

I know how choosing joy through all of that is possible!  It’s not us it is HIM.

Joy Is

Can you imagine how your heart will be swimming in true joy, even when you wonder just how things will work out at all? 

Can you imagine the joy that others around you will experience, because joy is highly contagious?

Can you imagine living a life of joy, simply because you choose to? And we know that we can do all things through Christ. Phil 4:13.

Each week there will be a pdf to download with a Memory verse and some open questions to get your heart focused on Choosing Joy.

Let’s strengthen our resolve by studying this together and choosing joy together.

Can’t wait to see you and study this with you.  Dive right in and choose joy!

 

 

The Smell Of Smoke

Have you ever sat by a campfire and found, that even hours later, the smell of smoke had permeated your clothes?  It lingers, it clings and others can smell it too.

Often, as I live in a world that reminds me of Sodom and Gomorrah, I’m aware that the smell of the culture has clung to me, that I’ve sat by their campfires too long.

I know, having experienced it, that by simply walking by a campfire the smoke of it easily and quickly permeates your clothing and the smell goes with you.  Some of that is unavoidable as we live in a world walking away from God, but it’s not the aroma I want others to smell in my life.

Paul writes of another aroma, another smell that permeates a Christian, that’s what I long to smell like,

 “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,  to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.” 2 Corinthians 2 

I live in a world that smells of smoke, the smoke of rebellion against God, but in the midst of that aroma God has given us a new fragrance, the smell of Christ, the aroma of life.

Lord, help me to live in the world, but not smell like it.  Let me smell like you, having walked by the fires of your Spirit burning in the lives of others, and may that aroma linger with me, the smell of Christ, and might it be a sweet aroma that draws men to you.

 

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

The Key To Everything

Christ is the key that unlocks the mystery of history.

Poetic, isn’t it? The quote above, in part, is from a German theologian.  After writing more than 17,000 pages on the Bible and Christ these are his concluding thoughts.

The key to everything is Jesus Christ.  If you leave him out the box remains locked, the mystery still a mystery, the reason for our existence still uncertain.

Jesus himself told the religious leaders, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;” That’s either the most arrogant thing ever said or the most profound truth ever revealed.

Your response to Christ is the most important decision you will ever make.

Years ago I spent some time with the great Major Ian Thomas.  He was a wonderful man of God, crusty to be sure, but he loved the Lord.  Once, before he spoke, I made the mistake of asking him, “What are you going to talk about tonight?”

He replied, with a bit of irritation, “I’m going to talk about Jesus, what else is there to talk about?”

And he’s right.

In the last book of the bible these words begin the text, “The revelation of Jesus Christ.”  In five words we get a hint to the theme of this last book, to the entire bible, and in this book revelations about Jesus are in nearly every chapter.  It’s about him.  He’s the key to everything!

Without Christ, without knowing him, life remains a mystery. Without him we have no purpose, no meaning, no reason for being.

Jesus Christ is the key to everything. Do you know him?

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

What Will We Do?

Panic.

You’ve felt it, haven’t you?

That sudden sense that everything is out of control…

…that the world and the problems you face are overwhelming, too big, too much!

You may have actually said it at one time, “What will I do?!”

It was a question one man asked one morning when he realized what had happened in the night.  Here is the short story from 2 Kings 6,

15 When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha.

16 “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” 17 Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.

When all we see is what we know we miss what God is doing around us.

This servant was in a complete panic because of what he saw, but

Elisha was sipping his coffee quite calmly.

He saw something completely different.

He saw what God was doing.

When panic comes, when fears rise, when the situations you see are overwhelming don’t forget that what you see is not all there is.

Unseen is a sovereign God guiding, protecting, watching.

And around us are heavens armies watching over his people.

As God said to the prophet Isaiah he says to us,

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”

 

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Week 4 Bible in 90 Days

b90day week 4

 

As we near completing our first month of Bible reading, I’m excited that this goal is actually possible.  I’m still a little behind, but working diligently to catch up.   I hope that you are still on track and are enjoying your journey.  If you are behind, still work on it.  Think about it…how bad its it to have read through your bible in 100 days? hmmm?

You can do this.  I have faith in you.

Bible Reading Schedule for this week:

  • Day 22 1 Samuel 28:20 – 2 Samuel 12:10
  • Day 23 2 Samuel 12:11 – 2 Samuel 22:18
  • Day 24 2 Samuel 22:19 – 1 Kings 7:37
  • Day 25 1 Kings 7:38 – 1 Kings 16:20
  • Day 26 1 Kings 16:21 – 2 Kings 4:37
  • Day 27 2 Kings 4:38 – 2 Kings 15:26
  • Day 28 2 Kings  15:27 – 2 Kings 25:30

In the early 1990’s H. Jackson Brown wrote Life’s Little Instruction Book. His son was going to college and he watned to share some gems of wisdom that he had gleaned over the years. He collected 511 gems of wisdom that were to guide his son’s life.  For instance – learn to make great chili, never buy a house without a fireplace, overtip breakfast waitresses, be brave – even if you’re not, pretend to be – no one can tell the difference etc etc.

His son responded enthusiastically and the document made its way to a publisher and became a best seller. It’s hard to know whether anyone was transformed by this  – but the Bible…that’s a different story.  Billions of people have been changed by its message of hope and salvation.

Books you’ll Encounter This Week:

1 Kings – The book opens with the region of Solomon, a time when Israel enjoys a great deal of influence, wealth and worldwide recognition.  Yet, even as the world’s wisest man, Solomon is corrupted by worldly matters and the faiths of his wives and concubines. At his death the kingdom becomes divided.

2 Kings – Continues the account of the kings and the divided kingdom through the fall of Jerusalem

Reading Tips:

Many new people and names are introduced that can be hard to distinguish from one another.  Some events are described more than one and the kings of Israel and Judah are handled in rapid-fire succession.  To minimize confusion, slow down, read attentively.  Notice the patterns of behavior by the various kings.

Discussion:

1. Why do you think there is such a disconnect between modern Christians and the Bible?

2.  How is your perception of the Bible changing as you read each day?

3.  What questions evolved from your readings this week?

4.  Our reading shows us many instances when Israel only partially follows God’s commands. What are some examples and the results?

5.  Based on our reading to date, talk about what God tends to do whan a society turns to him for help.

6. List the tragedies and unfortunate events that befall Naomi and Ruth in the Book of Ruth. Does any good come from all of this?

7.  What are some examples of tragedy or hardship from which good has emerged?

8.  Do you have any “life instructions” you’d like to share?

Click here to Listen to the Bible as you read it.

This Weeks Study Guide. There is good stuff here, don’t pass this by!

 

Please print out the Lesson! It will help you so much as you journey through the Bible!

What are your thoughts so far?

How are you doing?

Week 2 Bible in 90 Days

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Wow, what an exciting week we’ve had so far! I’m glad that you are along with me on this journey! Here is the main landing page for our study The Bible in 90 Days.  It has all of the links of the various resources and will have each week linked to it at the bottom.

Here is a Free Study Guide for week 2.  This has some great information. I hope you’ll grab it.  Here are a few thoughts taken from the study guide for this weeks reading:

Have you ever experienced a wilderness, a time of wandering and dryness in the desert, where you felt deserted by God?

  • A financial circumstance that is burying you
  • Waiting for an adoption to be finalized
  • Lacking clarity after graduation
  • Attempting to sell a house that has been on the market way too long
  • An illness that won’t go away
  • A family member who is rebelling
  • A dream that is turning to disappointment

Survival Skills for the wilderness – 1.  Don’t Whine Numbers 11:4-6 (speaking directly to me!!) 2.  Get Help – Numbers 11:10-15  3.  Grow Strong Numbers 11:16-18

These things and more are discussed in the free weekly study guide. Enjoy!

Reading Schedule for this week:

  • Day 8 – Lev 1:1 through Lev 14:32
  • Day 9 – Lev 14:33 through Lev 26:26
  • Day 10 – Lev 26:27 through Numbers 8:14
  • Day 11 – Numbers 8:15 through Numbers 21:7
  • Day 12 – Numbers 21:8 through Numbers 32:19
  • Day 13 – Numbers 32:20 through Deut 7:26
  • Day 14 – Deut 8:1 through Deut 23:11

Biblegateway on the computer or Youversion on your phone allows you to listen to these chapters! I hope you’ll take advantage of it.

 

Think about it:

Unless you’ve adopted, you don’t get a choice about the children you have.  One difference between God and us is that He does know who his children will be.  Yet He creates us and gives us a free will, despite that knowledge.  A question we might ponder while reading the Bible from cover to cover is, “knowing what HE knows, why would God create each one of us? Why did God create me?”

 Reading Tips:

  • Remember what our goal is: “To read, attentively, every word of the Bible in 90 days.”
  • As you encounter repetition in the Bible, consider it an opportunity to more firmly plant important writings in your mind.
  • Do not obsess with capturing everything you are reading. Absorb what you can, God will bring it back as you need it.
  • If you’ve gotten behind in your reading, don’t give up! Catch up by reading a little more each day or take Sunday and catch up.

Leviticus Overview:

This book of rules gives direction to the Levitical priests in the rituals necessary to maintain holiness for the children of Israel. While modern readers may marvel at the seeming harshness of some directives, it also includes God’s earliest command to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (and we are always kind to ourself aren’t we?)

Numbers Overview:

At the beginning of this book, the Israelites number 603,550 at the end they number 601,730. What occurs in between is a lessonin the pitfalls of failing to submit to God and his plan.

Deuteronomy Overview:

With the Israelites finally approaching entry to the promised land, many elements of the previous four books are revisited here, including the Ten Commandments. Moses gets to view the promised land from Mount Nebo but dies before his people enter it.

 

Some discussion questions:

1.  What did you modify (if anything) this week to make sure that you  did your Bible reading? .

2.  When/how did you read? Did you do it all at once, break it up? Read in the mornings, evenings?

3. Ok…honesty time – you ready for this? Did you complete all of your reading? hmmm?? If yes, was it easy for you? If no, what can you do to try and get back with it? Please don’t give up.  We are in this together.

4. What are your suggestions to help others that may have found the first week difficult?

5. So many emotions in last weeks reading.  Did you relate at all? Have you been angry with God? How do you handle it? Is the God you read about in Genesis and exodus the God that you “know”.

6. Adam and Eve blew it. Cain blew it.  What can we learn from it, because it’s just a matter of time before we blow it.

7.  Can you recall the 10 Commandments? You don’t have to list them here, but just for the fun of it…try.  Don’t be afraid, because there is NO way your memory is worse than mine!

Please feel free to list any “aha” moments, any verses that spoke to you.  I hope that you’ll listen to the audio notes as far as the discussion goes.  Speak yer peace….what say ye? hmmm? *grinning*

Keep drawing closer to God! Stay in the Word! You are developing great habits of reading/listening and moving closer to the Lord each and every day!

 

Bible in 90 Days Study

 

bible in 90 days

The Bible in 90 Days 

I’ve done this study a few years back and wanted to do it again with you! Many feel you can’t “get anything” when you read through the Bible in this fashion, but I submit to you God Promised HIS Word will NOT return void.  So, what do you have to lose?

Each week I’ll post the schedule, some discussion questions and a FREE study guide for us to follow along/help us out with.

We will start Sunday 6/21 but you can Join us at anytime!

You do NOT need to purchase another Bible.

Each week I will be posting the schedule for the week, some thoughts, questions and such.  But, should you want to, here is a link for products in this study that has a NIV Bible with the pages marked with start and finish.  There is also a participant guide you can purchase for $8.99. Personally I like the participant guide, but feel free to use a journal or notebook to write things down in.

You will be able to participate in discussions about what we read by answering questions, leaving comments, asking questions and having a fun time as we soak up the history of so many wonderful people, times and miracles listed in the Bible.

We’ll be reminded that even great men failed to believe, do the right thing at the right time and even got angry, disobeyed direct commands, yet still were mighty men of faith.  We’ll see the beauty of relationships restored, faith increased and tears of joy through out this study.  Are you committed? Are you a little nervous? Are you with me?

If you use the Bible from the link above, you’ll read 12 pages a day.  Just 12.  You can do this. WE can do this.  Many may wonder about reading through so “quickly” and not retaining it.  Well, if my math is correct – you’ll be reading through your Bible 4 times a year.  I don’t know about you, but I’m expecting growth from this!

What can you expect as we journey through the Bible together?  These are just a few of my own personal observations, but I feel that you can expect:

  • “Things” to get in your way and you’ll fall behind. If this happens, take the time to read a few extra pages a day, or set time on Sunday to get caught up.
  • Work to pick up and tiredness will be a factor. Read while you rest!!
  • You’ll make it through the Bible in 90 days having learned/felt something that applied to right where you are, right now. Growth, hope and inspiration.
  • You’ll find new friends that are supporting what you do here. Even if it’s just me ;-)
  • Questions that may lead to more questions. But, together, we’ll find the answers.
  • More admiration for the Lord
  • A deeper, closer walk with the Lord.
  • Joy in your heart from overcoming your fears of failure in this area.

I’m hoping by the end, you’ll have a desire to do it again. Each time you read through the Bible, you’ll get something different, as you are in a different place in your life.  It will be an awesome accomplishment by the time a year ends and we will have read through the Bible 4 times!

There are study guides that give extra insight in each week. I hope you’ll grab them and make use of them.

 

You can also read through your Bible ONCE in this year by using THIS schedule

If you want to Join me on this 90 Day Bible Adventure, please leave your name, twitter handle (if you have one) and State/area below so that we can interact together.  I’ll be posting things in the comments about my adventure, and hope that you’ll do the same!

Make sure you check back to catch up on any comments that are made here.

We can do this!

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

 

 

The 10 Commandments of Motherhood

So often we get lost or overwhelmed in all the demands of being a mom.

I wouldn’t trade the job for the world, but sometimes a mom just needs a break! We also need good advice and guidelines when it comes to being the mom our children need. Over the years I have learned and tried to apply the principles of these “10 Commandments of Motherhood.”

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1. You shall spend time with the Lord everyday before your children wake up.

Spending time alone with your Creator, seeking His will and His ways, will supply you strength and wisdom for the days challenges. If mornings are not an option, find a time that suits you better. Just make it a priority every single day.

2. You shall not esteem or accommodate your children over your husband.

God.

Husband.

Children.

In that order.

3. You shall not misuse your position as mother by making ridiculous demands of your children.

Rules and guidelines bring structure to every home. Your children may not like the rules. They will challenge your authority. Stick to your guns. You are not to appease their every whim, but neither are you to exasperate them by endless angry commands. Encourage them. Praise them for a job well done or an attitude improved. As much as possible, keep a loving, joyful atmosphere in your home, finding a balance between work and play.

4. Observe a time once a week for the whole family to engage in an activity.

Let children take turns choosing and planning a weather appropriate engagement. This will help each child feel valuable to the family unit.

5. Honor your father, mother, and in-law’s presences in rearing your children.

Grandparents add a special family tie to your child’s life. Grandparents are also willing to share advice on parenting do’s and don’ts from their own parenting successes or regrets. Honor their advice. You didn’t turn out so bad, did you?  Thoughtfully and respectfully consider their advice, ultimately choosing what is best for your situation.

6. You shall not kill/crush your child’s spirit by degrading them privately or publicly.

Speak kind words. Is it really necessary to make a snide remark about your child’s behavior or are you trying to shame them into obedience? For myself, I’ve found that its OK to let them wear a mismatched outfit or have that hairstyle. Does their choice really matter or is it more about you not wanting to be embarrassed?

7. You shall not secretly or verbally wish your child was like so-and-so’s child.

Again, speak kind words. Never make them feel as though they don’t measure up. They have enough of that from their own peers. Don’t devastate them by stripping them of the security found in your unconditional love.

8. You shall steal a few moments for yourself.

Reread that!

Whether its sipping a quiet cup of coffee, indulging in a salon appointment, or hitting the gym, take some time to love yourself. You’ll feel better equipped to tackle the next demands of your day.

9. You shall not speak a lie to your child nor live a lie in front of your child.

Speak truthfully. Walk with integrity. Did you mess up? Admit it. Vow to do better.

“What we are at home, that we are indeed.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

10. You shall not love one child more than another child.

Playing favorites causes lifetime pain for your child and generations of separation in the family. Just don’t go there. I get it, sometimes your personalities clash.

The bottom line is, you are the adult. It is your job to act maturely and graciously. It is your child’s job to act like a child.

Guide them with wise words and a life that demonstrates the love and humility of Christ.

What would you add to these 10 Commandments of Motherhood? What is the most important thing you can do for your children? 

 

kaylene

 

Kaylene is just a girl with a sword, a shield and a strong cup of coffee. She finds her first ministry to be in her home living out her calling of wife and mother. In her spare time she writes to encourage women to thrive well in their current roles. Be it through sweet encouragement or an occasional dose of humor or spunkiness, her goal remains the same… to point women to the Lord.

You can follow along with her here: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Faithful-Feat/260551190785913?ref=hl

Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110172231736818866452/posts

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kayleneyoder/

 

Return to the Hiding Place

hiding place

 

Release Date March 6, 2015

Synopsis:

Based on a true story:

Corrie’s Teenage Army

Thrilling, Action, Romantic Drama

When Corrie ten Boom realizes the rising Nazi empire will swallow Holland and create the holocaust of every innocent Jew in secret death-camps, she faces the deadly threat of these “Death-Skull Storm Troopers” with a surprising remedy: an army comprised of untrained teenagers.

Around that same time, brilliant young physics student, Hans Poley, chooses not to join the Nazi party. To protect him, his parents force him into hiding in the home of Corrie ten Boom. While in hiding, he witnesses the atrocities toward the suffering Jews and decides he must do something.

Hans is drawn by resistance fighter, Piet Hartog, and love of Piet’s life – Aty van Woerden (Corrie ten Boom’s niece) into an intricate web of espionage and clandestine activities centered in the famous Hiding Place.

As part of Corrie ten Boom’s army of untrained teenagers, Hans, Piet, and their friends navigate a deadly labyrinth of challenges to rescue the Jewish people in their modern-day, panicked exodus from death while embarking on a nonstop, action-packed hunt with the underground involving Gestapo hijacks, daring rescues, codes in windswept old windmills, and stunning miracles in one of history’s most famous dramas. Climaxing in the true, breath-taking rescue of an entire orphanage of Jewish children marked for mass execution by Hitler’s assassins, audiences will both cheer and weep at this exciting, sobering tale of Hans and the youth movement that dared to resist one of History’s cruelest tyrants.

 

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReturntotheHidingPlace

Twitter: http://twitter.com/hidemovie

Website: http://returntothehidingplacemovie.com/

as well as http://hide-movie.com

 

character

Old Fashioned

old fashioned

 

Old Fashioned produced by Skoche Films

Release Date: February 14, 2015

DVD Available to purchase June 16, 2015

Synopsis: 

A romantic-drama, OLD FASHIONED centers on Clay Walsh, a former frat boy who gives up his reckless carousing and now runs an antique shop in a small Midwestern college town. There, he has become notorious for his lofty and outdated theories on love and romance as well as for his devout belief in God. When Amber Hewson, a free-spirited young woman with a restless soul, drifts into the area and rents the apartment above his shop, she finds herself surprisingly drawn to his strong faith and noble ideas, which are new and intriguing to her. And Clay, though he tries to fight and deny it, simply cannot resist being attracted to her spontaneous and passionate embrace of life. Ultimately, Clay must step out from behind his relational theories and Amber must overcome her own fears and deep wounds as the two of them, together, attempt the impossible: an “old-fashioned” and God-honoring courtship in contemporary America.

 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/OldFashionedMovie

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/OldFashionedVow

Website:  http://www.oldfashionedmovie.com/

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmlLVkObCysZSzKtvX6hbHA

 

be a woman

 

be a man

 

Have you seen this movie? Have a review? Leave it in the comments below so we can share it with others

 

 

Woodlawn

woodlawn

Woodlawn Produced by the Erwin Brothers

Release Date: October 16, 2015

Sypnosis:

A film based on an inspiring real-life story about love and unity in a school torn by racism and hate in the 1970s.

In 1973, a spiritual awakening captured the heart of nearly every player of the Woodlawn High School football team, including its coach Tandy Gerelds. Their dedication to love and unity in a school filled with racism and hate leads to the largest high school football game ever played in the torn city of Birmingham, Alabama, and the rise of its first African American superstar, Tony Nathan.

Social Media: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WoodlawnMovie

Twitter: https://twitter.com/woodlawnmovie

Website: http://woodlawnmovie.com/

never give up

 

 

War Room

War Room produced by Kendrick Brothers 

Release Date: August 28, 2015

Synopsis: 

From the award-winning creators of Fireproof and Courageouscomes WAR ROOM, a compelling drama with humor and heart that explores the power that prayer can have on marriages, parenting, careers, friendships, and every other area of our lives.

Tony and Elizabeth Jordan have it all—great jobs, a beautiful daughter, and their dream house. But appearances can be deceiving. Tony and Elizabeth Jordan’s world is actually crumbling under the strain of a failing marriage. While Tony basks in his professional success and flirts with temptation, Elizabeth resigns herself to increasing bitterness. But their lives take an unexpected turn when Elizabeth meets her newest client, Miss Clara, and is challenged to establish a “war room” and a battle plan of prayer for her family. As Elizabeth tries to fight for her family, Tony’s hidden struggles come to light. Tony must decide if he will make amends to his family and prove Miss Clara’s wisdom that victories don’t come by accident.

Opening nationwide in theaters August 28 and filled with more of the authentic characters loved by millions in previous Kendrick Brothers’ films, WAR ROOM is a vivid reminder that prayer is a powerful weapon.

Social Media: 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/warroomthemovie?fref=ts

Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/warroommovie

Websitehttp://www.kendrickbrothers.com

 

prayer

Faith of Our Fathers

 

faith

 

Faith of Our Fathers Produced by Pure Flix Entertainment 

Release Date – July 1, 2015

Synopsis: 

With the Vietnam War raging in 1969, two young fathers report for duty. A man of great faith and a doubtful cynic. A quarter-century later, their sons, Wayne and John Paul, meet as strangers.

Guided by handwritten letters from their fathers from the battlefield, they embark on an unforgettable journey to The Wall—the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Along the way, they discover the devastation of war cannot break the love of a father for his son. FAITH OF OUR FATHERS: a story of fatherhood; a journey of brotherhood.

Starring Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Downes, David A.R. White, Rebecca St. James, with Si Robertson and Candace Cameron Bure, FAITH OF OUR FATHERS opens in theaters Wednesday, July 1.

Social Media: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/faithofourfathersmovie?fref=ts

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/faithfathers

he can heal every hurt

 

 

The Terrible Sin

We are becoming a world with its fist in the air to God.

The anger, resentment, rebellion of our world is growing.  We see it in the wars, the riots of our cities, the parade to demonstrate this or that.

All around us our world is coming apart at the seams.  At the core of it all is one terrible sin.  It’s the #1 sin, the worst sin.  Although all sin (a word we rarely use anymore) has the same outcome there is one that is the cause of all others.  The one sin that is #1 on the list and is the cause of most of what we see in the world is pride.

Pride was the cause of satan’s rebellion.  It was at the heart of Adam’s sin.  It’s the driving force for much of what gets me in trouble.

It’s my #1 problem!  Pride makes me jealous of someone else’s success, envious of what another has, resentful of what another does. At the heart of it all is pride.

Pride’s symbol is “I”.  I am the master of my fate, I make my own decisions, it’s my right to do this, go there, believe that.  Pride is me trying to be god.

But it doesn’t work….because all around me are other proud little creatures trying to be god as well…and so we fight, squabble, kill, steal and a hundred other things to validate what pride has made me believe about myself.

The number #1 sin?  Pride.  It’s the first sin and my biggest enemy.

 

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Do You Believe Movie

Do you Believe produced by
Pure Flix

Released Spring 2015

Synopsis:

A dozen different souls—all moving in different directions, all longing for something more. As their lives unexpectedly intersect, they each are about to discover there is power in the Cross of Christ … even if they don’t believe it. Yet.

When a local pastor is shaken to the core by the visible faith of an old street-corner preacher, he is reminded that true belief always requires action. His response ignites a faith-fueled journey that powerfully impacts everyone it touches in ways that only God could orchestrate.

This stirring new film from the creators of God’s Not Dead is in theaters now. More than a movie, it’s a question we all must answer in our lifetimes: DO YOU BELIEVE?

Find out More about the movie here:

http://doyoubelieve.com/

Follow them here: 

Facebook – http://facebook.com/doyoubelievemovie

Twitter – http://twitter.com/dybmovie

Get Our Discussion Questions for your Small Group, Ladies Group or Youth Group here:  Do you Believe Discussion Questions

 

do-you-believe-2

Friends

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. 

Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. 
Wouldn’t you like to get away? 
Sometimes you want to go 
Where everybody knows your name, 
and they’re always glad you came. 
You wanna be where you can see, 
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.
You wanna go where people know, 

people are all the same, 

You wanna go where everybody knows 
your name.

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/tvthemes/cheerslyrics.html

Those are the lyrics to the theme song from the T.V. show “Cheers”.  The lyrics speak to our common longing. We want to be known, we want someone to know who we are.  We all want friends.  And yet, in our culture today friends, real friends, are hard to find and even harder to define.

Today I had lunch with one of the guys from our church.  He welcomed me with this question and a troubled frown, “Do you consider us friends or just acquaintances?”  That beginning didn’t bode well for the visit to follow.  The reason for his question was the awareness that he really doesn’t have many friends and was I one of them?

Friends are rare.  Real friends that is.  It takes years to get to know someone and often longer to really trust them.  Chuck Swindoll said, “If you have eight men at your funeral who don’t look at their watches you had a good life.”  Isn’t it sad that most of us have so few we connect with, even fewer who know us and care about us.

In the last two weeks I have visited with several of our men and in the visit asked them, “So, do  you have any friends?”  Both answered, to my amazement, “No”.  How sad that we live in a culture surrounded by others and no one knows us, no one cares.  How have we let this happen?  Why are we so fearful of the emotional intimacy a friend would offer?

It’s even worse for our young adults.  They have grown up with electronics between themselves and others.  Many have thousands as “friends” on Facebook, but know no one personally!  It’s a tragedy that is beginning to reveal itself in the suicides of lonely people with thousands of “friends” who have never met them.

So how do we move from this loneliness to relationship? How do we connect in a way that bridges the chasm we feel between us and others?  And, even more important, what is a “friend” anyway?  That question was one we asked our waiter today as my friend and I discussed our relationship.  Even our young waiter didn’t really know.

Here’s a project for you to work on, an assignment if you wish:  Write down on a piece of paper five names of people you consider friends.  Then, call them. Talk to them. Tell them how important their friendship is in your life.  No, you can’t text them or send them a note on Facebook.  That’s missing the point entirely.  You have to talk to them. Really talk to them…and even better…meet them for a meal.  It will make a difference in your life you never imagined.  It will refresh your soul and brighten your day!

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Forgive Myself?

“You just have to forgive yourself”, my friend told me. I grievously sinned against God and another believer. My heart broke and no matter how much I asked God to forgive me I did not feel forgiven. But forgiving myself? Somehow that did not sit right in my spirit. However, I would repeat the phase to others when they felt the lack of forgiveness.

– “You just have to forgive yourself”

– “What does this mean? Is it biblical?”

Through prayer and study the Lord revealed to me why my spirit was unsettled about the statement,

– “You must forgive yourself”

As a believer I know that sin is inevitable.   Even the Apostle Paul confessed his struggle.

“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing” Romans 7:19

What did the apostle Paul do when he encountered his own sin?

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:24-25

– He acknowledged his sin.

– He acknowledged the need to be rescued from it.

– He thanked God for Jesus’ deliverance.

– He did not forgive himself.

As I continued to study I heard these questions echo in my head.

– “Did you hang on the cross?”

– “Was the sin of the world put on you?”

– “Did you endure excruciating pain?”

– “Are you God?”

Tears filled my eyes as I exclaimed

– “NO! NO! NO! NO!”

– “You did it Lord, You were the one.”

I remembered the following verse.

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;” 1 Peter 2:24

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6

“Why do I still feel bad after knowing that I am forgiven? I know that I stand righteous before God because I am in Christ, so why am I hurting?” Fifteen years later I got my answer during a sermon from Reverend Ken Lawrence of First Baptist Church in Hampton Falls.   I am ashamed to say I do not remember the sermon topic but I remember him saying, “Sin leaves a wound and that wound needs to heal.”

“That’s it! I have a spiritual wound that needs time to heal.”

I sat in the pew carefully writing down exactly what the pastor said. I continued jotting down verses that came to mind.

Hebrews 4:12

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

The Word is a sword that goes deep; cutting out the sin that so easily entangles; leaving a Spiritual wound. The pain from the divine surgery lingers and we think that we are not forgiven.

We must allow our sin wound to heal. This takes time.

As the Word convicts and cuts, it also heals.

“I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me.” Jeremiah 33:8

“My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.” Psalm 119:28

Why do people say, “You must forgive yourself?”   In my case it was ignorance.   Ignorance of what truly takes place in a person who has sinned against a most Holy God. I did not realize the pain I felt was the healing of a wound surgically removed by the word of God through conviction and repentance.   I have forgiveness. I stand righteous before God in Christ. Nothing can take that Truth away.

“For He chose us in Him (Christ) before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, In Him (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” Ephesians 1:4,7

How will you react when someone says, “You just need to forgive yourself”?  Be gentle. Remember we are all at different places in our walk with Jesus.

Maybe you are the one making this statement to others. God knows your motives. My motive was to help and encourage. Also, I was repeating what I heard.   Now I know the Truth.

So what do you say to someone who has sinned, asked for forgiveness and still feels guilty?

Have you been forgiven through Christ? Live in that forgiveness and embrace the Truth.   Please do not judge yourself more harshly than your Heavenly Father.

Give them the Word.

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22

Be like Isaiah. He stood before the Holiness of God, he heard the angels. The glory of God surrounded him. He was pierced to the heart with conviction and he felt ruined.

“Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:6-8

Isaiah did not remain in the pain; He desired to serve the Lord.

The best way to heal from a Spiritual wound is serving your God.

The power to forgive comes only from God.

I promise the pain will decrease as you bask in God’s love and forgiveness.

Cherrilynn Bisbano
Speaker/Teacher/Writer
godsfruit@juno.com

Visit Cherrilynn at Pelican Promise

Mundane Faithfulness

 Lately I’ve been following the last journals of Kara Tippetts and her husband, Jason, at Mundane Faithfulness.  It’s a blessing, a grief, a joy, a sorrow….even though I don’t know them personally they have opened their hearts and lives as she has neared her own death from cancer.
The reality of death and its heavy hand on each of us makes us focus on what is really important.  Kara and Jason are doing that.  There is nothing that sobers and focuses our lives like the end of it.  I know thousands have been encouraged by Kara and Jason’s words and faith.Her life and death models what a walk with God should look like….trusting him even in the hard days.  If you haven’t followed her story I encourage you to do so.  It will help you in your own walk with God.  You can find her story here.

Visit Mike at Finishing Well for more.

Failure

I don’t know if you have ever felt it, that feeling of complete and total failure.  It’s one of the worst feelings I have ever experienced.

Many struggle with it.  Jobs lost, marriages ruined, relationships destroyed, children alienated.  All of these make us aware of our weakness and failure to do those things well, to be a success at something…at anything.

There is a partner to failure, it’s depression.  It may be, at times, that the depression arrives first and failures are then unavoidable, but that’s just a thought I’ve been dwelling on for a while.  I’ve noticed as well that I find myself feeling an overwhelming sense of failure when there is really nothing wrong at all.  It’s a terrible cloud, but one that plagues us all at times if we are honest.

We each struggle with failure.  We don’t think we are pretty enough, happy enough, successful enough, good enough, that we don’t have enough friends, enough money, that we don’t do anything “important”.  On the list goes, but in the midst of whatever we do many of us feel the tug of failure pulling us down constantly whispering in our ears…”you’re not good enough, you won’t make it, you don’t fit in, you won’t get that job.”

Knowing that this cloud hangs over us all at times makes it clear why we so desperately need God.  Our expectations and goals are far above our abilities and so we live with the high jump bar at 20′ knowing the highest we have ever jumped is 5′.  Failure is sure. Doom is near.

At least that’s the way it feels.

Then comes Jesus to deal with all of this in the gospels.   In those amazing encounters with failures he embraces them, loves them, forgives them.  He tells them he really likes them!  He loved eating with “sinners” and they loved him.  Why?  Because as bad as the world considered them to be and as bad as they felt about themselves there was one person who loved them and really liked them….Jesus.

The rich young ruler, the woman caught in adultery, the leper begging for help, the tax collectors, the foreign mother with a sick child and so many more.  All of them, if they could tell us their stories, would admit they felt like failures, but there was one who didn’t see them that way.  He really loved them….even in their mess.  He enjoyed their company…even when the “religious people” wouldn’t even look at them.

Jesus loves failures because failures know they need Jesus!

I’m really glad that the story of Jesus is the story of God loving broken, struggling, failing people.  People like you and me.

Here’s what God says about people like us, the failures of the world,

1 Cor. 1:26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose those the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose people that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.28 God chose the ones who are despised by the world, some of us considered as nothing at all, and used us all to bring to nothing people the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”

So, if you find yourself struggling with self-doubt, the cloud of failure, failing at everything, failing at anything….know there is a God who loves people like you and me.  Isn’t that great?

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

On Being Nobody

I live in a time and place in history when fame and popularity are important.  In fact, if we can’t find fame from the media we create it through Facebook.  With enough friends reading all about us and our lives we have a sense of value, significance, a feeling that we are somebody.

Often I have fallen into this trap as well.  I have had the goals and desires for success, fame in my field, the desire to be “known”.  With the years of life I am realizing how fickle and worthless all of this really is.  Quickly people weary of any one person and move on to the next “celebrity” who will provoke their interest and attention.  Fame is fickle!


In my world of Christianity I have desired to “make a difference”, to be known, recognized, speak in front of large crowds, to “be somebody”!  But I am at a place where I’m honestly thrilled to be nobody.  If God does anything with who I am, where I am and what I do that’s up to him.  As for me, I’m finally content with anonymity.  What a great place to be.


Suddenly I find that I can engage people without an agenda, without watching my watch.  Time, status, position and fame don’t matter.  What matters is a walk with God….all the rest is God’s problem.  Aaaaaaahhhh……finally, I pull over to the slow lane and enjoy the scenery, really listen to those around me, think, experience the world God has made, “smell the roses”.  


Finally, for me to live is simply knowing Christ and when it’s over I get to be with him!  How great is that?  


All the rest is smoke and mirrors.  


Everything else is a waste of time.

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Verses To Struggle Over

Often, as I read the Bible, I come to passages that cause me problems.  Statements made that challenge me, make me struggle.  Here is one that has haunted me for decades,

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”  Phil. 1:21

As I read Paul’s words it’s clear he has a level of understanding, a relationship with God that I have yet to achieve.  Yes, like Paul, I want my life to be all about Christ, but it’s not.  I get busy and forget about him.  Sorry, but I really do.  Here I am, doing “God’s work” and so busy about it that I forget about him.  I’m not sure how in the world I can do that, but I must be honest….it happens often.

What does it look like to say and live out, “For me to live is Christ”?  This is what has bothered me, challenges me and caused struggles for me for decades.  I want to walk with him, and for a few minutes at a time I find I can, but then the world attacks and I forget, I get busy and off I go…”serving God”.

For a long time I told people this was my life verse, but as I grew in faith it soon became clear I had no idea what it meant. For me to live is Christ….those words challenge me, convict me and leave me without words.

I hope, one day before I’m done with this life, I will understand just a bit of what Paul means when he says, “For me to live is Christ.”  I long for that, want that, desire that to be true in me, but I know that I don’t even understand what that means yet.

And never mind the rest of the verse….to die is gain!  That will be another visit.

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom is a riveting story of faith, hope and complete trust in the Lord during a time that is nothing short of horrific.

This true account of a family that helped Jews without regards to their own well being, will have you on the edge as you listen to Corrie’s recollection of the events that led up to her family’s imprisonment in a Nazi Concentration camp. Their home was the hub for the underground activities that was responsible for saving the lives of hundreds of Jews.

The grace through the episodes of testing and the miracle of 100 ration cards for food, all under the cover of a small watch shop will remind you that as long as you are willing, God is able.

The Sisters faith and trust as they were “thankful in all things”, including a flea infestation, will walk you through the dark days of World War II. Thinking of others, before, during and after the Concentration Camp imprisonment. Corrie’s detailed memories will have you searching your own heart, looking for all the wonderful blessings that are bestowed upon you each day.

The Narrator, Bernadette Dunne is exceptional! I listened with ease and excitement as I imagined it was Corrie, herself recounting the events over a warm cup of coffee.

I strongly urge you to get this book, listen and let your heart be blessed as you are reminded how living unselfishly, giving what you can, making a difference for others regardless of your circumstances is truly the greatest life of all.

I’d like to thank Christian Audio for the complimentary copy of this book through your Reviewers’ program. Follow Christian Audio on Twitter here.

Other Books from Corrie Ten Boom

Who I Am In Christ

From the book, Victory Over the Darkness, Dr. Neil T. Anderson.

I am accepted…

John 1:12 I am God’s child.
John 15:15 I am a friend of Jesus Christ, as His disciple.
Romans 5:1 I have been justified.
1 Corinthians 6:17 I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 I am a member of Christ’s body.
Ephesians 1:3-8 I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
Hebrews 4:14-16 I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ.

I am secure…

Romans 8:1-2 I am free from condemnation.
Romans 8:28 I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
Romans 8:31-39 I am free from condemnation. I cannot be separated from God’s love.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 I have been established, annointed, and selaed by God.
Philippians 1:6 I am confident God will complete the good work He’s started in me.
Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.
Colossians 3:1-4 I am hidden with Christ in God.
2 Timothy 1:7 I have been given a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind.
1 John 5:18 I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me.

I am significant…

John 15:5 I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a chnnel of His life.
John 15:16 I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
1 Corinthians 3:16 I am God’s temple.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
Ephesians 2:6 I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.
Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things Christ, who strengthens me.

 

Whales, Worthless Idols and Grace (Revised)

I wrote these words a few years ago.  Today they ring even clearer as our world chases worthless idols.  All around us is the quest for the idols of the world…fame, success, money…and yet in the quest for those things we forfeit the most important thing. Your choice (and mine) is simple…worthless idols or grace.  You can’t have both.

I came to Jonah chapter two this morning and as I read I stopped at verse 8. Rather, verse 8 stopped me! I read it over at least 10 times as I thought about Jonah’s words,

Jonah 2:8- “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”
These words were part of Jonah’s prayer when he finally gave in to God’s will as he sat in the belly of the big fish. At the end of this prayer God instructs the fish to spit him out and Jonah finally obeys God’s commands to him.
But let me camp for a minute on this verse…”Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”
I honestly had never seen this verse before. It had to be there for the first time today. I know I have read this passage hundreds of times before, but I never saw this. It’s profound! It’s life changing to me. When we cling to the worthless idols of our lives we forfeit (miss, give up) the grace that COULD BE OURS. You can’t hold onto your idols and grasp grace as well. You have to let go of one to find the other.
I looked up the definition of forfeit for this discussion and here’s what it means: “something to which the right is lost, as for commission of a crime or misdeed, neglect of duty, or violation of a contract.” Another way of saying this is, “Those who cling to worthless idols lose the right to the grace that could be theirs.”
What idols are you clinging to that make you forfeit the grace that could be yours?
What benefits of grace have we given up to have something worthless instead?
Let me invite you to meditate on this verse for a bit and share your thoughts…in the belly of the big fish Jonah has shared with us an amazing truth to help us contrast the grace of God and any other option. It is, ultimately, the choice between the Christian faith and any other- grace or worthless idols. Cling to one and you will forfeit the other.
Visit Mike at Finishing Well.