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Free Christian Audio Book “Choose Joy” by Kay Warren

Free Choose Joy Audio BookRight now, Christian Audio is offering the book “Choose Joy” by Kay Warren as their free christian audio download.  This freebie will be available through 3/31/13.  Go to Christian Audio to get your free copy.

 

What’s this book about?

Ever wonder why some people seem to experience joy in their daily lives–even in the tough times–and others can’t seem to find it no matter how hard they search? Is a joy-filled life really possible? The answer is yes! And it’s possible for every woman, no matter what her circumstances may be.

In this inspiring book, Kay Warren teaches women what joy really is, where to find it, and how to choose it in the good times and the bad. With compassion and wisdom, she shows listeners–even those who live with the constant companions of discouragement and depression–that true joy is deeper, richer, and more accessible than they might think. Perfect for small groups or individual reading, Choose Joy will empower women who feel like their emotions and well-being are at the mercy of others by helping them understand the life-giving truth that joy is within their grasp–every day.

 

Thanks, Christian Clippers!

DaySpring God’s Amazing Love Free Printable!

God's Amazing Love Printable

 

DaySpring has a really great freebie right now!  You can print your own copy of God’s Amazing Love by DaySpring for free!

 

God’s Amazing Love
His love is unquestionable-
Its power unconquerable,
Its meaning undeniable,
Its mystery unexplainable,
Its sacrifice incomparable,
Its price unimaginable,
Its absence unthinkable!
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

I absolutely love this and as soon as I get more ink I’ll be printing this to hang on the wall. I think it will be lovely framed!  Hey, this would make a great Valentine’s Day gift for someone!   Go to DaySpring to check out more gift giving ideas and Inspirational Art and Home Decor.

 

Get your FREE copy of God’s Amazing Love here.

 

Thanks, Saving Dollars and Sense!

Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge

 

Living life on the edge means you’re continually at the point where something may begin, or not begin, depending on your choices.

 

That’s where I’m at.  Right now.

 

I’m looking around, waiting, praying that God will guide me into choosing the right edges to step onto next.  It’s easy to rush ahead without seeking God’s guidance and I promise you, it’s much more comfortable to stay right here where I’m at.

 

But God never called me to be comfortable, right?  The truth is, I’ve made mistakes before.  I’ve endured the consequences of my poor choices and the hard falls that came because of those choices.  They make me a little more than timid about being on the edge.  Those past failures make me want to hide in the deepest darkest of the mountain, alone and having my own pity party.

 

God has forgiven me of those mistakes and I feel that it’s time to move on.  God wants me out there on the edge watching and waiting for new opportunities to glorify Him.  I want to live life with the constant awareness of the opportunities around me.  Opportunities to serve others, to minister, and sometimes just to listen.  I want to be watching with a mind-set that is expecting marvelous possibilities to appear at any moment.

 

Can you relate?  I have a decision weighing on my mind and it’s all I can think about.  I’m trying to decide whether I should attempt something and possibly fail or if I should not even try and live with regret.  Without spilling the beans, I can say that this is a big decision and I would love your prayers.  It’s a God-sized dream, if you will.  It’s BIG.  Either God will bless it and it will succeed wildly or it will fail and I’ll be humiliated.  Because I’ve prayed about this and I’ve had the desire to do this for a while I’m leaning towards making the leap.  I’ll keep  you updated!

 

Living on the edge is far from comfortable but I think it’s a place where we realize we’re not the ones in control.  When we surrender ourselves and look to God for direction, He’ll guide us.  When we feel uneasy about stepping into the unknown, we must remember that He is always there with us.  That’s why the edge is a great place to be.

12 Bible Verses About the Birth of Jesus

12 Bible Verses About the Birth of Jesus

Christmas time is always a special time for most everyone worldwide but it should be especially so for those who have trusted Jesus as their Savior.  Christmas is celebrated in many different ways. Some families celebrate traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. It’s possible that not everyone participating in these traditions even understands them and why they are celebrated.  One such tradition practiced by many is the Advent Season.  If you’ve been on Pinterest this month I can almost guarantee that you’ve seen at least one homemade Advent calendar.  But what does “Advent” really mean anyway? The word “advent” comes from the Latin “adventus” meaning “arrival” or “coming,” particularly of something having great importance. The coming of Jesus Christ to earth was the most significant historical event that has ever occurred.  The “arrival” of the promised Messiah has changed the world forever.  It’s my hope that you’ll read the following verses and journey with me as we see Old Testament prophecies of Jesus Christ and then we will see some the New Testament verses that will describe how the Creator of Heaven and Earth came, ever so humbly, to be born in a feeding trough so that He may eventually die for the sins of this world.  For your sins and for mine.

Old Testament Verses About Jesus

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 53:3-7 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

Born of a Virgin
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Born of the House of David
Jeremiah 23:5 Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

Born in Bethlehem
Micah 5:2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

New Testament Verses About the Birth of Christ

Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Luke 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Visit of the Shepherds
Luke 2:15-20 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

The Visit of the Wise Men
Matthew 2:1-12 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

Mary Visits Elizabeth
Luke 1:39-45 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Mary’s Song
Luke 1:46-55 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

Verses About the Birth of Jesus
John 1:9-14 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Technically, this last passage makes 13 but I love it so much that I had to include it.  Think of it as a bonus verse!

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, The innkeeper had no room for Jesus. Do you have room in your busy life to let Jesus in. He came to this earth to be crucified so that you and I may one day live with Him in heaven. Will you come to Jesus? If not, why not? Maybe today is the day that God is knocking on the door of your heart. Have you any room for Jesus?

12 Great Bible Verses To Memorize

12 Great Bible Verses to Memorize

 

Knowing God, so we can exalt Him, is the ultimate purpose of life. Memorizing the Bible is a great way to get to know Him and what He has planned for our life. These are 12 of my favorite Bible verses and I think they’re 12 Great Bible Verses to Memorize. These verses are from the King James Version, which is my favorite one to memorize from, but feel free to use your version of choice.

 

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

 

Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

 

Philippians 3:7-8 “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”

 

Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

 

Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

 

Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

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

 

Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

 

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

 

It’s been pointed out to me that I left off a very important verse!  I didn’t originally include it because I assumed that most people were already familiar with it but I guess it really is one that you can’t be too familiar with.  Here’s a bonus verse to memorize if you haven’t already and one to reflect on if you have, John 3:16.

 

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Free Christian Audio Book “What is the Mission of the Church?”

What is the mission of the church

 

Christian Audio is offers a free audio download every month and this month’s free download is the book “What is the Mission of the Church?” by Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert.  You can download this anytime through out the month of November 2012. Go to Christian Audio to download your free copy.  Note that I haven’t read this book yet so I can’t give a recommendation one way or the other.

 

What’s this book about? Addressing mission, evangelism and social justice, two pastors draw readers to the Bible’s teaching on some contentious matters. Readers in all spheres of ministry will grow in their understanding of the mission of the church and gain a renewed sense of urgency for Jesus’ call to preach the Word and make disciples.

Maybe Today

Maybe Today

 

Maybe today! We all say that a lot. Maybe today I will get that room cleaned out, maybe today I will clean out that closet, or maybe today I will get a plan together to pay off those bills. But more importantly, sometimes we say, “Maybe today I will witness to that person,” “Maybe today I will forgive that person” or “Maybe today I will start my day with Bible reading and prayer.”  But we all know that many times these “days” come and go.

 

Allow me to remind us of something that may indeed happen today. Maybe today Jesus will come. One day the trumpet will sound, and the dead in Christ will rise first and then we who are alive will be caught up together with the Lord. You will find this in 1 Thessalonians 4. The obvious implications of this are important. We are running out of “days” to do what we know we should do.

 

Ephesians 5:15-16 says we are to “walk circumspectly not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil.” Live today like it may be “the day” when Jesus keeps this promise and comes to get us. And in the mean time, let us Worship Him, Wait For Him, Witness of Him and Work For Him.

 

Is He coming? YES, without a doubt. Will it be today? Perhaps! Should I live differently because it could happen today? Absolutely.

 

This is a guest post compliments of Pastor Skip Furrow.

October 15th – Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

Candle

 

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day. Mothers and fathers all over the country will light candles tonight in rememberance of the child they no longer hold. While there is nothing wrong with this, silence does not make the pain go away. Please say a prayer for those who have lost a child. Mothers, fathers, families, all feel the loss and all need peace in their hearts. Those who have the opportunity, hug your babies tight today and just be thankful you can! Life is such a precious gift!

Magic Mike Who?

Magic Mike Who

 

I stumbled across a post today and I absolutely loved it.  Actually, my husband found it and showed it to me.  Mrs. Gore writes about true masculinity and I think she hit the nail on the head.  She wrote it in response to the new movie, Magic Mike.  I hadn’t heard of this movie until now but apparently it’s a movie about a male strip club. IMDB‘s description of it says, “A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money.”  Umm yea.

 

Please, if you have the time take a few minutes and read this post from Mrs. Gore’s Diary called Magic Mike Who?  I think you’ll like it!  Feel free to come back and share your thoughts.

 

On a related topic, you may be interested in reading Why I’m Not Reading Fifty Shades of Grey.

Why I’m not reading Fifty Shades of Grey

Why I’m not reading Fifty Shades of Grey.

Fifty Shades of Grey

I wasn’t planning on writing about this, to be transparent I’m very uncomfortable approaching the subject but I feel it’s something that needs to be addressed.  When I was in the doctor’s office for my pre-op appointment my husband looked up from his magazine shocked by what he read.  He was thumbing through a local magazine, Forsyth Family Magazine, and found an article that recommended the book Fifty Shades of Grey to teenagers!  The exact quote is, “50 Shades of Grey is also a very popular series; they are somewhat explicit, and some teens may find these books to have too much adult content.”  My husband’s comment was that, “most adults would find that it had too much adult content.”  That was the first that I had heard of the book but I’ve heard nothing but buzz about it ever since.

 

The blogosphere is filled with chatter about the Fifty Shades of Grey.  I’ve seen Facebook friends post that they can’t wait to get a copy.  My girlfriend’s grandmother is eager to read it.  One friend heard that it is good Christian book and asked me if I knew anything about it.  Another friend devoured the book in one day and hates that she can’t get the images out of her head.  In attempt to keep the images out of your mind, I’d like to share with you the five reasons why I’m not reading Fifty Shades of Grey.

 

#1:  Fifty Shades of Grey is categorized as fiction, erotic fiction.  One online dictionary defines erotic as writing, pictures, or film which has “no literary or artistic value other than to stimulate sexual desire.”  That falls in line with the many reviews that say, “poorly written” and “unimaginative.”  Part of Amazon’s description of the book says, “Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.”  Erotic…stay with you forever.  Hmm.

 

According to God, the inventor of sexuality, there is only one person who should stimulate a sexual desire in me and that is my husband.  If God desires me to only be aroused by my husband then any other stimulation would be wrong.  Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt. 5: 27-28 NIV)  This is also true for a woman who looks at {or reads about} a man.  I believe reading erotica is sinful, plain and simple.  This should be reason enough to convince you not to read Fifty Shades of Grey but I’ll continue in case you’re not convinced.

 

#2: We’re women {well, most of my readers are} and even though it is sad, devastatingly sad, we have to admit that a few of our men have looked at porn.  How does that make you feel?  It hurts my heart just to think about the possibility.  Women have enough self-esteem issues without trying to compare themselves to the “perfection” created by professional make up artists, camera tricks, and Photoshop!  You know what though?  Your husband doesn’t deserve to be compared to a false, polished, idea of manhood either.

 

#3: The Bible clearly says that lust is harmful and warns us to flee from it.  (Ephesians 5:3Galatians 5:16Psalms 101:3) Not surprisingly, neuroscientists and biopsychologists warn about the detrimental effects that lust, erotica, and pornography have on the human brain and body. Over time the human body  becomes conditioned to self-gratification.  Are you getting this?  These effects are physiological.  In the beginning a little erotica may give you a desire for your spouse but over time it will turn sex into a self-satisfying endevour.  If you associate arousal with your spouse, their kiss, their scent, that is what, over time, will turn you on.  However, if you open your focus to an endless chasm of sexual images, that is what it will take to turn you on.  You’ll become less interested in real sex with your husband. While I’m not quoting sources for these studies, the post, 7 Negative Effects of Porn, shares easy to understand side-effects of pornography along with references.  The fact of the matter is this, erotica robs you of the pleasure real sex can bring.

 

#4:  The Bible exhorts us to be intentional about controlling our thought life, because we are what we think!  Too often we fail to remember that our minds and hearts are programmed by what we listen to, watch and read.  Romans 12:2 cautions us “…be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  II Cor. 10:5 says, “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”  One of my favorite songs and Bible verses is Phil. 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

 

Strive to hate sin the way that God hates sin.  He hates sin because it is contrary to His perfect and holy nature.  Sin causes separation between ourselves and God (Isaiah 59:2 NASB).  Such separation has a horrible consequence: damnation in Hell, eternally separated from God.  Jesus suffered, died on the cross, and rose again so that you can be forgiven of your sins! Don’t run back to that sin, hate it.  I’ve heard Rand Hummel say, “God wants what’s best for your life.”  I believe that with all my heart.  God is not trying to keep any good thing from you but He wants what’s best for your life.  Is this book, that has been called “soft-porn” and is filled with erotica, best?  I don’t think so.

 

#5: This book contains BDSM.  Do you know what that stands for?  Bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism. Don’t feel embarrassed if you don’t know what those words mean, be glad in fact!  If you do know, please see that the most damaging part of Fifty Shades of Grey is the dismal picture of sex it portrays.  Sex was created by God to be enjoyed between a man and a woman.  That passion should be fueled by self-sacrifice and love for the other person.  Never humiliation or pain.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about a spicy and exciting sex-life within my marriage!  Woot!  Woot!  I think the real issue is that women are dealing with a void in their lives.  The problem with this is that no man on this earth can satisfy and fill the void that we all have.  We have a God-size void in our soul that only God Himself can fill.

 

For those wondering if I’ve read the book, I haven’t.  I don’t need to in order to discern that it is harmful to me.  I value myself, my marriage, and my God too much to open this book’s pages.  I know that not everyone will agree with my but if you feel the same as I do please take a moment to share this post with friends.  I’m afraid that too many Christian women will pick up this best seller, will struggle to put it down, and won’t be able to get those images out of their heads.