Friday, December 30, 2016

Renew Your Mind, Change Your Life


Renew Your Mind, Change Your Life

It's not who you are or how you were raised, but how you think. 
Your thoughts and habits operate your life, thoughts dictate the path you take and stay on. Your thoughts also determine your habits, addictions, and patterns...healthy or unhealthy, your brain/thoughts control you.

It's bad thoughts and beliefs that keep you stuck.
However, if you could only see yourself as God sees you--you would know that you are worthy! Jesus paid your ransom, His robe of Righteousness is now your cover if you are His. Have you surrendered to him? 

Ready for change?? Surrender control and all your past hurts and disappointments to him today! 


"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21


"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2


"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by it's deceitful desires to be made new in the attitude of your minds.."Ephesians 4:22-23
  

"Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead." ~Philippians 3:13

Click the link below for a powerful testimony to watch!
http://kingdomliving.com/watch-and-listen/overview/

women encouraging women 





Sunday, December 25, 2016

Advent - Merry Christmas

 Advent Celebration - Happy Birthday Jesus


“To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, 
who is the Messiah, the Lord.”
Isaiah 9:6

Candle to Light: All Candles
 

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the amazing gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ. We rejoice in accepting the free gift of salvation He provides for all people. Please help us to be ever aware of your mercy, grace and love. Guide us to understand Your will for our lives.
 

Family Scripture Reading: Luke 2:15-20 / John 3:16

Friday, December 23, 2016

Reconciled


Reconciled

The Holidays are meant for family. Family gatherings are very wonderful, but tend to make some feel obligated, guilty, or pressured and such.... 

This is a great time to consider reconciliation. Who among you are you on rocky terms with or even estranged from?  

Jesus is our BEST example:

Jesus was sent into this world to reconcile the world to God. He came to serve and not be served. He is love, peace, protector, self-controlled, gives unconditional love, and keeps no record of wrongs. 

Predetermine before you walk into your family Christmas that you will walk in pure love with NO expectations or record or wrongs. 

~"For if, while we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" Romans 5:10

~"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:32

~"Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14

~"And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:14

women encouraging women 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Advent Week 4 - LOVE

Advent Celebration Week Four- LOVE
By Carri Pratt


“God so loved the world that He gave His only son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have ever lasting life.” John 3:16.

Welcome to Week Four. The theme for this week is "Love" because Jesus is the original ‘Love Child’ given for all of the earth.  The angels were thrilled to see Jesus being born into and for the world:



“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host 
praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, 
good will toward men!”
Luke 2:13-14

As you go through this week, focus on the fact that God made the ultimate sacrifice by giving you His son.  What can we give back to Jesus this year for his birthday present?
Celebrating Advent is a special way to keep Jesus Christ at the center of your Christmas Season. All you need is a Bible, a few candles and a willing heart to share the true meaning of Christmas with your family.

Instructions for Celebrating Advent Week 4:
Candles to Light: 3 Purple & 1 Pink (the center white candle is for Christmas Day)

Prayer:  Joining with the Heavenly Hosts we sing “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace, good will toward men!” Father, we pray that your love would shine through us on earth, to our fellow man. May we be thankful for Your sacrifice and may we reach out to others as your Son has done for us. Amen.

Family Scripture Reading: Luke 2:13-14

REMINDER:  All five candles will be lit on December 25th.  Check back Christmas Eve for final instructions.  Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 16, 2016

A Virtuous Women


A Virtuous Women 

She in under the influence of the Holy Spirit. She is wise. She is calm and self-controlled. She is gentle in deed and disposition. She believes God at his word and knows that he is trustworthy. She is the crown of her husband and her children rise and call her blessed. She will leave a legacy of faith, love and character. 
She knows well her purpose and keeps her mind set on the bigger picture. 

"You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God." 1 Peter 3:5

"For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints." Proverbs 2:6-8

women encouraging women

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Advent Week Three - JOY

Advent Celebration Week Three - JOY
By Carri Pratt

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, 
which shall be to all people.”
Luke 2:10

This week is a great and JOYFUL celebration of advent! The theme for this week is "Joy" because Jesus has come into our world to free us from the bondage of sin and darkness. We have much to be joyful for in our lives!

As you go through this week, focus on how Jesus has brought joy into your life.

Celebrating Advent is a special way to keep Jesus Christ at the center of your Christmas Season. All you need is a Bible, a few candles and a willing heart to share the true meaning of Christmas with your family.

Instructions for Celebrating Advent Week 3:

Candle to Light: The 1st 2nd & 3rd candles (traditional = 2 purple & 1 pink)

Family Scripture Reading: Luke 2:8-12          read at www.Biblegateway.com

Prayer:  Father God, may we experience the great joy proclaimed by the angel sent to earth by You. Help us to overcome anything in our lives that might stand in the way of our joy. Help us to focus on the greatest blessing we could receive, the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ.


Digging Deeper…
Week Three is also known as “The Shepherd’s Candle” because the good news was proclaimed first to the Shepherds, by Heavenly Angels.

About Advent Wreaths - Candle Colors
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas.

Friday, December 9, 2016

A Heart That Is Fully ALIVE


A Heart That Is Fully ALIVE

Being a human and living among fellow humanity is difficult to say the least. Our flesh can get easily hurt or offended. And people tend to hold on to those grievances because they believe it protects them somehow.

As I have grown in my faith I have learned how to let so much roll right off my back. 

So seeing older men & women who are grumpy, rude, and unwilling to give their hearts to anyone seems like such a waste of the lifetime they were given. 

Without change they could die unhappy, guarded, and will have missed the joys of life that come with peace and contentment. 

"I (Jesus) have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness." John 12:46

women encouraging women
http://titus2womendevotional.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Advent Week Two

Advent Celebration Week Two- PEACE
By Carri Pratt



“For a child will be born for us, 
a son will be given to us, 
and the government 
will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, 
Mighty God, Eternal Father, 
Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6



Welcome to Week Two. The theme for this week is "Peace" because Jesus is known as The Prince of Peace. As you go through this week, focus on the peace that can be yours by simply calling on the precious name of Jesus. He was sent here for you.

Celebrating Advent is a special way to keep Jesus Christ at the center of your Christmas Season. All you need is a Bible, a few candles and a willing heart to share the true meaning of Christmas with your family.

Instructions for Celebrating Advent Week 2:

Candle to Light: The first & second candles (traditional = both purple)

Family Scripture Reading: Luke 2:1-7

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending us your Son, Jesus Christ, to bring peace to our world. Please help us to have peace in our family and to enjoy Your peace this Christmas season. In Jesus name, Amen.

Read Luke 2:1-7 at Biblegateway.com

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

http://titus2womendevotional.blogspot.com/
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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.