December 4, 2017

Embracing the Gift of His Presence & Giveaway

Today, I’m excited to welcome my friend, writing and editing mentor, and Proverbs 31 Ministries sister, Glynnis Whitwer, to share from her new book, Doing Busy Better. As we get swept up in the busyness of the Christmas season, Glynnis reminds us  to not only embrace God’s gift of work, but also of His gift of rest. Jesus tells us to come HIM first. HE is the one who gives us rest. Be sure to read till the end and enter Glynnis’ giveaway!

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Embrace the gift of God's presence this season. #doingbusybetter by Glynnis Whitwer.

It was a Christmas I’d like to forget. With five children at home, I should have planned a Pinterest-perfect experience – complete with decorations, cookies and crafts. But the stress of a crazy year had brought me to end of my strength.

The tree got put up, but no ornaments. It only had lights because it was pre-lit. That’s how bad it was.

Every day I felt like a failure. No matter how hard I worked, I couldn’t get ahead.

When that happens, I usually switch into go-mode. Checking items off my to-do list can easily supersede my desire for the quieter priorities of life, like time with God or my loved ones.

How can I possibly sit when there’s so much to do? That mindset has made me miss some of the most precious moments in life, and it’s a way of thinking I battle daily.

Somehow in the midst of that overwhelmed Christmas, God reminded me of the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible.

Luke 10 records a day when Jesus came to visit at Martha’s house. It’s a very short story, but we know that Martha fussed at Jesus because her sister wasn’t working hard enough. Rather than helping fix the food, Mary was sitting listening to Jesus.

Jesus loved both Mary and Martha. But in that moment, as the story records, Jesus was more delighted with Mary’s heart to be with Him than Martha’s heart to serve Him.

I can be a fusser too. Too busy with the details, too worried about planning for what’s next, too preoccupied with my to-do list. Even worried about other people’s to-do lists.

It’s not that I don’t love Jesus. I do. But so did Martha. She dearly loved Jesus. And I’m sure she loved having Him as a houseguest, where she could hear Him talk as she went about her daily tasks. Maybe she asked Him questions and served Him lunch.

But she didn’t stop to sit at His feet. She didn’t pause her preparation to give Him wholehearted attention. She didn’t embrace the gift of His presence.

Jesus so gently and lovingly corrected Martha saying:

“‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:41-42, NIV)

Jesus loved Martha’s heart of service, but He just wanted her to stop what she was doing and prioritize spend time with Him.

I wonder if Martha changed her habits. Did she check her heart and consider where Jesus fit? Did she review her priorities and put Jesus before cleaning up?

We don’t know the answer. The only thing we can know is what we decide to do with this story.

It’s so compelling to jump into our days ¾ whether it’s fixing breakfast for children or leading a meeting at work — without ever pausing to sit at Jesus’ feet. It’s so much easier to whisper a prayer while driving carpool or listen to the Christian radio station and consider that time with God.

That crazy December day I decided to follow Mary’s example and sit in the middle of my mess to spend time with Jesus.

Normally, I feel as if everything has to be clean before I can “treat” myself to some down time. I believe I have to have the dishes clean, counters cleared, urgent emails addressed, laundry going. By the time I’ve done all that, something else has demanded my attention, and my time with Jesus is neglected – much like what happened to Martha.

But not that day. That day I made a cup of coffee and sat at the kitchen table and looked at my mess. It was big. There were papers, dishes, clothes and blankets strewn over every surface. The floor was filthy, and the list went on. I had to fight my instinct to get up.

Closing my eyes, I pictured Jesus sitting across the table from me. Sighing deeply, I felt the stress melt away, as my heart filled with peace. It was pure pleasure … and the mess amazingly faded from my view.

The presence of Jesus brings me more joy and satisfaction than checking 100 things from my list.

This Christmas, whether you’ve gotten your house decorated or not, whether you’ve mailed out cards or not … Jesus has come to your house for a visit. He longs for us to pause our preparations and sit with Him. What a gift.

Giveaway Ended

Congrats Kay (comment December 4, 2017 at 7:42 am) – you won! Please check your email and reply with your mailing address.

Glynnis is giving away a copy of Doing Busy Better to one of my readers! Comment below and let us know how you are embracing God’s presence this month. U.S. Addresses only please.

Doing Busy Better by Glynnis Whitwer.

P.S. The winners of last week’s giveaway were announced here.

About Doing Busy Better

In Doing Busy Better, Glynnis helps you examine your heart and your schedule in order to seek a healthy, holy, and enjoyable balance between work and rest. Most importantly, she shows you that your worth is found not in your accomplishments but in the love of the One who made you for work and for rest.

Glynnis Whitwer is the Executive Director of Communications at Proverbs 31 Ministries. She is one of the writers of Encouragement for Today, the Proverbs 31 e-mail devotions, with over 950,000 daily readers. She is the author and co-author of 10 books, including her latest Doing Busy Better: Enjoying God’s Gifts of Work and Rest. Glynnis, her husband Tod, have five young-adult children and live in Glendale, Arizona. She blogs at www.GlynnisWhitwer.com.

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November 27, 2017

Join us for an “I Am Loved” Online Bible Study

**GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED: Congrats Amber B. and Lisa R., you are the winners! Please see your email and respond. Thank you!

Hi friends,

As I shared last week, I have a new book releasing next month. Today, I get to reveal a secret I’ve had to keep about the study until today.

I’m thrilled to announce Proverbs 31 Ministries has selected my new book, I Am Loved: Living in the Fullness of God’s Love, for their next Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies!

The five-week study will run January 22 – February 23. I’d love for you to sign up and join us for an journey through 1 John.

Register here to join us, and you’ll receive email notifications about the I Am Loved study blog posts, events and giveaways. And there are always LOTS of fun giveaways!!

I Am Loved by Wendy Blight - an online Bible study with Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Please invite your friends to join you! The studies are free. All you need is your Bible, a copy of I Am Loved and a heart ready to dig deeply into God’s Word with the most amazing community of women anywhere.

My I Am Loved book releases on December 26th and you can preorder it at Proverbs 31 Ministries. The first 2,000 get a signed copy and a free gift.

To give you a sneak peek into the study, I’ve written a FREE devotional, 5 Days to Walking in the Fullness of God’s Love. You can sign up to receive it in your inbox here.

5 Days to Walking in the Fullness of God's Love - a free devotional by Wendy Blight.
I’ll be praying for you in the weeks ahead. If you’ve never done a Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study, it’s a great way to study God’s Word. You’ll make wonderful new friends from all over the world. You can do it in your cozy clothes at a time convenient for you. Everything is online. And what I’m most excited about is that I will be actively involved in the study!!!

Giveaway Now Closed

Congrats Amber B. and Lisa R., you are the winners! Please see your email and respond. Thank you!

If you plan to join us, leave a comment below and let me know. We’ll choose two winners to receive both a copy of my new I Am Loved and also a copy of I Know His Name (my bible study on the names of God). U.S. Addresses only please.

Blessings,

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November 22, 2017

“I Am Loved” Faith Proclamation for You

Happy Thanksgiving week!!

I always love this week because it’s often a slower-paced week, good for resting and relaxing. I pray you find some time to rest and spend time with friends and/or family.

Before I share my news, if you’re looking for the winner of Suzie’s giveaway from my last post, I announce the winner at the end of today’s post.

I have some fun news to share with ya’ll. I know you, like me, LOVE God’s Word and Bible study. In a few weeks, my next book releases. It’s a study of 1 John entitled I Am Loved: Living in the Fullness of God’s Love. You can read a sneak peek at Week 1’s study here.

Over the next weeks and months we’ll have some fun giveaways and surprises for you. So watch your inbox! If you’re not already a subscriber, join us here. I’d love to also have you join our launch team. Get more info here.

Today, I’m sharing a faith declaration I created for the study. I thought Thanksgiving would be a great time to be grateful for, and declare God’s promises over, our hearts.

In the near future, when time allows, I will make this declaration available in a printable. But, for today, I pray you’ll take a few minutes, sit quietly with the Lord and speak these precious promises over your heart. May confidence and strength rise up within you as you remind yourself of who and Whose you are.

 I am Loved, a Bible study on 1 John by Wendy Blight.

“I Am Loved” Faith Declaration

Abba Father, I proclaim this day …

I am forgiven redeemed, cleansed, and sanctified by the blood of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:7; Ephesians 1:7)

My body is the temple of the God’s Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

I am an instrument of God’s righteousness, yielded to Him for His service and His glory. (Romans 6:13)

I am a vessel of His goodness, mercy, love, and grace. (2 Corinthians 4:7-10)

The devil has no hold on me and no power over me. Fear cannot control me. Anxiety cannot overwhelm me. I am a blood-bought daughter of the One True God. (1 John 4:4, Revelation 12:11)

I will stand steadfast in the Commander of heaven’s armies. Every battle is His, and by His power, no weapon formed against me shall ever prosper. (Psalm 91:7-8)

I have overcome Satan, and I crucify my flesh, my pride, my ego, and desiring my own way to the glory of my Father in Heaven. (Romans 8:31-38)

I receive in all its fullness the mind of Christ, and I stand on and commit to walk in the truth that my heart, my mind, and my body belong to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:12-16)

I am a covenant child of God Most High. Bought with the blood of Jesus. I will contend for my faith. I not waver. I will be bold and brave, standing confidently in who and Whose I am. (1 John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14-15; Psalm 91:13)

I am a daughter of the Conquering King. Greater is He who lives in me than he who lives in the world. I know this. I believe this. I commit to live this. And because of this, I will live a life of victory that brings honor and glory and praise to my King. Amen.

I’d love to hear YOUR favorite promise from the Faith Declaration!! Please take a minute and leave it in the comments.

P.S. Churchsource has the best price today on I Am Loved and you can save an EXTRA 15% and get FREE shipping with Promo Code: HOLIDAY15.

***** Winner of Suzie’s giveaway is Valerie who posted on 11/7 at 12:00 pm. Valerie, please e-mail me with your full name and mailing address so Suzie can mail you her devotional. *****

Blessings,

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