Sunday, June 25, 2017

James Week 5 James 3: 1-12

Week 5, can the tongue be controlled?





Study Question for week 5:


  1. We all stumble in many ways. Have you ever let the fear of failure stop you from doing something that you're called to? 
    1. Is there something in your life right now that you need to take more seriously? Teachers are judged more harshly but we're all called to be good stewards of our time and gifts. Are you using your gifts to the best of your ability?
  2. Horses are led by a bit but it doesn't mean that they won't reject a harsh master. Are you allowing some small event, emotion, or slight to direct the course of your life? Can you get back on course by giving the reigns over to God?
  3. The tongue is something that can easily set fire to a situation. Has your tongue ever got you in trouble? Have you ever used your words to purposely hurt someone that you love? It can be difficult to mend those broken relationships but it is possible. Even if that mending is one sided. If you can, forgive yourself and then work on forgiveness in your heart towards that person. Set your intention to speak words of life.
  4. James asks if a fig tree can bear olives or a grapevine bear figs. We know that this cannot be. What is directing your tongue? And not just your tongue but your social media interactions. Are you a source of life or one that is seeking only to serve your own ego? 
  5. Weekly Challenge: Take some time to look at the bitter areas of your life. And the set them before God. If you are able, give your entire heart to Jesus to allow it to be reborn, overflowing with love and blessings. 











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Having trouble getting the podcast to play? You can access it directly through this link. Or send me an email to get a copy of the manuscript.
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Magic of Making Time



There's a little irony in me posting this today. Mainly the one of me contemplating how exactly I will use my time this day. This isn't about Bible study, it's about time with God in general. But any Bible study can be a small part of that.

Here are three magic steps I've discovered to make time:



1. You have to look at what you gain and not what you're giving up. The worst part about this particular aspect of the magic is that you really have no clue as to what you're going to gain. Especially if you've never had a consistent time reading scripture. I can tell you from my experience that some of the things that you will see an increase of are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. That last one is the best.

2. You have to be consistent in where you try to create it. If you go about trying to make time whenever you can find it, you'll never find it. You have to look at your schedule and decide when your time making magic is going to happen and then don't stray from it. It doesn't matter if it's the first thing in the morning, the last thing at night, right after lunch. It's best to pick a time when you know that you can guard it well.

3. If other people are present in your life, you're going to have to let them know that you are practicing the magic of making time and that you can't be bothered during that five to fifteen minutes of your day. When Hannah was very young, I attended a conference and one of the leaders there said that one way that she helped her family recognize that time and space was by lighting a candle. When she would sit down, she would light a special candle that meant that she was making time to be with God and that when the candle was blown out, she would gladly help them with whatever they needed. If you have littles and are concerned about an open flame, battery operated candles work just as well.





Those are my three beginner steps to the magic of making time. I must warn you that there will be all kinds of obstacles to actually getting the magic to work. The world is not interested in you making time to be with God. The world doesn't want you to become friends with Jesus. So you have to be determined and know that it's worth every battle that you will face. This time making magic will change your life. So be strong and courageous. You can do it.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

James Week 4 James 2:14-26

Week 4 and we're looking at the idea of faith without works.






Study Questions for week 4:



  1. What is faith? 
    1. Is there a difference between belief and faith? 
  2. Ergon is the Greek word for work/deeds. You can check out the definition for it through this linkhttp://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/ergon.html
    1. What is your daily work? 
    2. Does your work express your faith?
    3. Colossians 3:17 says "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
      1. Do you feel like your work is for God's glory? If not, what can you do to change that?
  3. James says in verse 17 that faith without works is dead. 
    1. Do you believe that your work can lead to either life or death? 
    2. Is wisdom the key to knowing which path is which? 
  4. Abraham and Rahab were given as examples of faith that also had works that lead to life. What other people in the Bible or in your personal life can you think of that have works that lead to life?
  5. Weekly Challenge: Take some time to think about what your work is and if it is filled with life or death. And then determine that because Jesus is a God of new life that your work can be resurrected, whether that be through new work or a new spirit in the work you’re already doing.


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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thankful Thursday



I'm thankful for a lot of stuff this week, so I'll just share a few.

I'm thankful for my amazing husband that is a faithful worker, getting things done at his job and then coming home and taking care of life here, too.

I'm thankful for homeschooling and the time that it gives me to be with my daughter and allows us to talk.

I'm super thankful for Hannah and all her teenage angst.

I'm thankful for my sweet, beautiful mama and the last couple of days I have left to scare her as if I were work calling.

I'm thankful for short walks with the dog, who's really just interested in leaving the yard for awhile more than the exercise.

I'm thankful for all of you, that make this blog such a fun place!

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

NIV Kids' Visual Study Bible



I know that this is a kid's Bible, but seriously, I think I'm keeping it for me. I have reviewed several children's Bibles over the years and most of them have been some form of a current fad or really geared towards younger readers with a very small age group that it will work for. Meaning that kids will easily outgrow them. This particular Bible I think can last a bit longer than the average kid's Bible because the thing that makes it different is the thing that also bridges the gap.

It's the standard NIV version of the Bible with various study notes throughout. The colors and images are visually appealing, but beyond that the images also make some of the things happening in scripture much easier to understand. For instance, this passage from Second Kings does a great job of explaining the difference between how the divided kingdoms played out for the people.


If you have a young person or if you yourself are a visual learner, this Bible is worth picking up and adding to your personal study time. I guess that's what I really like about it is that at its heart, it is a study Bible to help give kids and adults a greater understanding of scripture. But it doesn't over explain what's happening, just enough to give clarity and then allow you to come to the lessons conclusion on your own. Visually appealing, theologically sound, and perfect for the kids in your life.

A copy of this Bible was given to me through Handlebar Publishing for the purpose of review. I'm never required to give positive reviews but I'm always happy when I can.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

James Week 3 James 2: 1-13

Week 3: Favoritism, judgment, and mercy are on the agenda!





Study questions for week 3:





  1. What does favoritism mean to you? 
    1. Do you find yourself judging people based on the outside? What other ways do you see favoritism in your life?
    2. What is the opposite of favoritism? How would that look in your daily life?
  2. Do you consider yourself a law breaker? Is there a difference between willingly breaking the law and breaking it because you aren't aware of the law? 
    1. Not being aware of the fact that the speed limit doesn't prevent you from getting a ticket. Since we're now aware of the law to love our neighbor, even the ones we hate, what is our responsibility to that law? 
  3. In the story of the good Samaritan, we see that the person who was in need of help had to accept it from someone that he hated. Think back in your own life to a time when someone that you didn't like surprised you by being kind or helping you out. 
    1. How did your relationship with that person change? How did you view them after they helped you?
    2. Is there someone in your life today that could prove to be different than you expect? Take some time to pray for those that cause you heart ache and see what God would like for you to do about it.
  4. In the podcast, grace and mercy were defined. Look up the word mercy in the dictionary and write your own definition, 
    1. How have you seen mercy in your own life? Have you ever not got what you deserved?
    2. Is mercy something that we need when everything is going our way? Think about something that you're going through right now and see if you have been gifted mercy. If the answer is yes, thank God for that gift.
  5. The Challenge this week: Once you have figured out what mercy is, take some time to share it with others. 

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ask Tina: Keep Knocking or Move Along?

The question for this week comes from Karen in our Facebook community. She asked, "How do we know when to persevere and when God is telling us the door is closed so move on?"


I was super excited about this question and immediately sat down and pounded out over a thousand words on my computer. Got to the crux of answering the question at that point and decided to sleep on it. The next morning, I woke up with a passage from Psalm 37 on my mind. Check out the video below to hear how I answered it with that Psalm in mind.







If you get this blog post via email, you can access the video online at https://youtu.be/3FvHdIVdej0


Leave your questions in the comments!