Friday, December 2, 2016

Jesus Take The Wheel



Jesus Take The Wheel

Navigating life through faith means you not being in control. Surrendering to His will is not allowing your fears, or what others do and what is expected to dictate what you and your family does. 

There is much freedom in letting go by simply trusting instead. God has got your back, I promise! 

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways." Isaiah 55:8

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27 

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Christmas Favorites - Decorating Our Homes

Relating Christmas Favorites to Christ - Decorating Our Homes
Carri Pratt
Decorations from the homes of Amy Gentry & Kim Hawkins - Thanks Ladies!

It takes a lot of work to transform our homes into the perfectly decorated Christmas retreats we cherish during the month of December (and into January!).  It also takes a lot of work to transform our hearts and minds to resemble Christ. And although it is exciting and fun to pick and choose how our homes will look, it is often not so fun to go through the "fire" and trials of life to be transformed into the image of Christ.

Transforming our homes and hearts during the Christmas season is only a shadow of the awesome transformation that is taking place in our  lives each day as we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives and homes and allow the Holy Spirit to do a magnificent work in us.  We are becoming a work of art that will ultimately shine for eternity!

Tip: Ask your children if they enjoy the transformation your home takes over the holidays. Explain to them that they also can be transformed into a child of God through accepting Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives.

"And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, 
are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, 
which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."  2 Corinthians 3:18

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christmas Favorites - The Christmas Tree

Relating Christmas Favorites to Christ - The Christmas Tree
Carri Pratt

"For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord." Psalm 117:2

There are many stories that attempt to explain why Christians put up Christmas trees in their homes. However, my favorite is that  during the bleakest time of the year, when all is cold and barren, the pine tree shines as a faithful witness to life just as Jesus did when he blessed our world with His presence.

Tip: Discuss with your children why they think Christians put up Christmas trees. Try Googling to see what you can find. Below is a beautiful poem you may consider reading to them:

Christmas Tree by Virginia Blanck Moore
A tree, the verdant evergreen,
Is mute testimony that some things on earth
Do not change as the seasons,
And the centuries come and go;
That in this world of change
Something abiding, enduring, unvariable
Has been provided.

For this reason it is fitting
That the evergreen be used as the symbol of Christmas,
The season when we celebrate the birth
Of the One whose love is
Unchanging, unflagging, and steadfast;
A love which, like the evergreen,
Whatever the season,
Remains ever verdant.

So each evergreen tree,
Gay in its holiday dress,
Proclaims to us the unfailing nature
Of the love of Him who was born
In the manger at Bethlehem.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas Favorites - The Nativity

Relating Christmas Favorites to Christ - The Nativity
Carri Pratt

 

 

The first Christmas decoration my family puts up is the Nativity. We do this to symbolize the importance that Christ should be the center of all Christmas activities.

 

 

Tip: Allow your children to put up your nativity and take this wonderful opportunity to have them tell you the story of Christmas.


"This will be a sign to you
 You will find a baby wrapped in cloths 
and lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:12

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Advent 2016

Welcome to the Advent Season!
 Carri Pratt
 
Today is the beginning of Advent, a time when we not only get to look forward to celebrating the birth of Christ but also a time to look forward to the 2nd coming of Christ.


Each Sunday a candle is lit representing the corresponding theme of the week.

Week One is HOPE and we light the first of the four (or five) candles. The optional 5th candle is lit on Christmas Eve along with all the others.

Candle to Light:                    The first candle (traditional = purple)
Prayer:                        Thank God for the HOPE we have in Jesus Christ, His only Son.
Family Scripture Reading:       Luke 1:26-38

“The Lord Himself will give you a sign: 
The virgin will conceive, have a son, 
and name him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

This year we will be posting a daily tip on our Facebook Page to help you relate your Favorite Christmas Traditions to Christ for your children.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Fit For Battle?


Fit For Battle?

Soldiers must pass strict health and fitness tests and are skillfully trained for battle and endurance. A military Sergeant would not send wounded and broken soldiers into battle, only those with what it takes physically, emotionally, and mentally. 

Life is a spiritual war that you cannot see, but you should not ignore. In this spiritual battle, many of us are wounded and broken because of bitterness and unforgiveness.

For you to be healed, you must allow God to tend to your wounds so you are fit for battle. For the deep rooted issues, getting professional help may be required.

"Forgiveness is fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." ~Mark Twain

"Walk in love, which is the bond of perfection." Colossians 3:14

"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." 
Romans 14:17 

titus2womendevotional.blogspot.com
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Friday, November 18, 2016

Seed To Sow


Seed To Sow 

I recently brought my small kneeling cushion for gardening from the garage and put it beside my bed. It now serves as a reminder to get on my knees in prayer. 

Each prayer sows seeds of faith in me and and produces a harvest in our life. 

Meeting with Jesus by faith (not in fear) soaks our seeds of faith to be nourished and sprout.  

Beloved Sister, regularly pray over your husband and children sending angels into flight on your behalf. 

Imagine if all women stopped complaining, pointing out flaws, surrendered a controlling spirit and the fear that causes it to the Lord.... 

Father, May our prayers, thoughts, words, and actions build up our loved ones and empower each one to walk according who you created them to be. In Jesus powerful name. Amen

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 5:6

http://titus2womendevotional.blogspot.com/
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Friday, November 11, 2016

Young Little Sponges


Young Little Sponges

Our example makes a deep impression on our children. How we respond to difficulties or stress, when we put others above ourselves, how we serve, respect, & love our husbands and bring out the best in him, when we stand firm in faith and not give into fear... they are watching, learning, growing, being trained just by watching us.  

Saturate your children in pure, unconditional love, faith, obedience, courage, HOPE, respect, JOY! 

"Learn (train) to do common things uncommonly well." ~George Washington Carver

"A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." Proverbs 14:1

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

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Friday, November 4, 2016

He Can Smooth Us


He Can Smooth Us 

If someone (or something) is rubbing you the wrong way, maybe you need your rough edges sanded off. Here's the catch: Will you allow it?

Trials (as difficult as they are) have a wonderful way of smoothing out our rough parts. There are so many valuable lessons in trials or difficult people in your life. 

I can testify that fighting it will only prolong the problem. If your particular problem is a friend, spouse, or your child...digging in your heels by being prideful or stubborn will only destroy the relationship. 

Look how the certain problem reveals what's in you. 

In the example above, it was pride/stubbornness. Now, putting the other person aside, is that pride good or productive? Does God help you see your issue by allowing your problem?? YES!

You are only responsible for your behavior. After all the pressure, you can be a beautiful diamond.

"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Oh, To Be Like Him


Oh, To Be Like Him

Jesus is a friend to sinners...the down cast, broken, afflicted, and lost. 

Jesus always met people right where they were. He doesn't need anyone to clean their life up before he will speak to us. He sees you as you were created.  He loves you so much that he suffered and died to save you.

To be like him is to be gentle, tender, and loving with those who are not where we believe they should be. 

Why is it that we withhold love or respect from those who are not where we are? Or much worse, we hold others to an expectation that we ourselves are not willing to live to? 
This should NOT be!

Ask the Lord to show you who needs an encouraging word or a hand up today and he will show you. Ask yourself, What would Jesus do?

"For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost." Luke 19:10

"Love is patient, love is kind." 1 Corinthians 13:4

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Weight of WAIT

The Weight of WAIT

Carri Pratt



Do you ever feel as though nothing you do is working? Like there are roadblocks at every turn? That you are frustrated? Discouraged? Perhaps even depressed? I feel your pain.

The Lord has slowly been revealing His will for me to “Wait” when I think I should be charging ahead.  It can be pretty discouraging to have a dream in your heart and cement shoes on your feet!

“Wasteland” is the name of this period of time referred to by Bruce Wilkinson in The Dream Giver. He connects it to the period of time the Hebrew exiles from Egypt wandered in the wilderness before going into the Promised Land. It is definitely not always an enjoyable place to be, however, it does strengthen your faith.

I have been feeling such a heavy weight from waiting that I was actually considering giving up. Fortunately I watched Wilkinson’s study, The Dream Giver, and it provided me with an entirely new perspective that I desperately needed. What I learned was where I feel a heavy weight to wait on God, God sees a time of preparation and fellowship. An intimate time that He freely gives to us all. Where I feel a heavy weight of inadequacy God sees a fertile training ground ready to till up, plant and harvest.

I say this to encourage you, my sister in Christ, if you too have a big dream in your heart but feel God telling you to wait, He is not necessarily saying No, He could actually be saying, “YES! But not now, I must prepare you for your big dream, the dream I put in your heart, the dream I created you to live.”

So what should we do while we wait? Firstly, release the "Weight" of waiting. See it as a much needed time of restoration and growth. Spend time in fellowship with the Lord. Read your Bible. Look around you for the messages God has for you. Allow the Holy Spirit to be your guide and “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding! In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6





 
Bruce Wilkinson shows how to identify and overcome the obstacles that keep millions from living the life they were created for. He begins with a compelling modern-day parable about Ordinary, who dares to leave the Land of Familiar to pursue his Big Dream. With the help of the Dream Giver, Ordinary begins the hardest and most rewarding journey of his life. Wilkinson gives readers practical, biblical keys to fulfilling their own dream, revealing that there's no limit to what God can accomplish when we choose to pursue the dreams He gives us for His honor.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Drive For Diligence


Drive For Diligence

Are you your own worst enemy

Do your thoughts tell you these type things?

 I am not good enough.
I can't keep up.
I wish I was like her. 
I'm not _____
I can't ____ {fill in the blank}

The negative chatter inside your brain will sabotage your life. As long as you are agreeing with the lies that have been fed to you, you are caught in a trap which some people never get free from.

The first step in making a progressive change is believing you can and visualizing your goal. 

Beloved Sister, repeat out loud right now: 
Lord, As of today I will no longer allow destructive and dead-end thoughts in my head. From now on, instead of dwelling on these lies and eventually acting on them, I cast them out and back to the pit of hell where they came from.  
Lord, please replace my thoughts with the truth of your word so that I may be free from the snare of the enemy. 
In Jesus name, amen

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1 

"For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Detox


 Detox

My life wasn't going as planned. Everything was a struggle. It was as if I was pulling a loaded trailer behind me. I desperately needed change.

I had to forgive. 

My unwillingness to forgive was destroying the possibility of success in my relationships (among other areas). Unforgiveness is living in the past with no hope for the future. 

I had to surrender my hurt, my negative thoughts and defensive attitude and take on the mind of Christ.

I am most Christ-like when I forgive and love unconditionally.

Unforgiveness Is Poison. 


"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has any grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:12-14

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick.." Proverbs 13:2

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Friday, October 7, 2016

Momentum Demands Movement


Momentum Demands Movement 

For anyone to make change for the better several things must occur.

1) A new way of thinking
2) A Starting Point 
3) Commitment
4) Keep your eye on the prize
5) Perseverance

"Success is like a snowball...it takes momentum to build and the more and more you roll it in the right direction the bigger it gets." 
-Steve Ferrante 

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." Proverbs 16:3

"May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed." Psalm 20:4

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Friday, September 30, 2016

The Opposite of What You Think


The Opposite of What You Think 

God's way is opposite of your flesh and/or what the world tells you.

The world says to guard yourself, keep safe distance.
God says to be vulnerable and transparent.

The world says to defend yourself.
God says, I'll be your defender.

The world says to hide your sin and pain.
God says to confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

The world says hold onto grudges and past hurts.
God says to forgive and hold no record of wrongs.

"...you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors." 1 Peter 1:18

"Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."
Ephesians 4:23-24

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