December 19, 2014

“Read thru the Word” in 2015 {with Giveaway}

Today, I am SO excited for you to meet one of my dearest friends, Wendy Pope. At our Proverbs 31 office, we are famously known as “the Wendys.” We have worked together for years and share a common love for God’s Word and a great passion to get women into His Word. We enjoy watching God’s Word come alive in their lives and begin huge life transformation.

For the past 7 years, Wendy has come alongside thousands of women from all across the world and walked through the Bible with them. God has blessed and grown her ministry, and I want to invite you to join her this year.

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Below please find a message from Wendy’s heart to yours.

The Bible that Changed My Life

“Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instruction.”

Psalm 119:18 (NLT)        

In my mind I was not a “good” Christian because I had not read the entire Bible. I read the Bible to fill in my blanks for Bible study or to look up the verses listed in my devotional. Seriously? What kind of Christian was I?

I was the kind of Christian who suppressed the voice inside that whispered, “Read it. You know you want to” but listened to the voice that shouted, “You aren’t smart enough to understand all that stuff so don’t even try. You are doing fine with what you know.”

I was a changed Christian in 2007 when I made the decision to read the entire Bible. With an anxious heart, I went to my local Christian bookstore thinking: If I’m going to read the whole Bible, certainly I need a new Bible. After spending what seemed like hours previewing various types of Bibles in an array of colors, styles and formats. I pulled the One Year Chronological Bible from the shelf. I remember reading the word chronological and saying to myself, out loud, “The Bible I take to church isn’t in order of how events happened? No wonder it is confusing. No wonder I don’t understand it.”

The format of the Chronological Bible intrigued me. Short readings. (This was my favorite part because I am not big reader.) An easy-to-follow daily plan. An attractive cover. The best part to me was knowing I would read the Bible in the order the events occurred. 

That year I read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. I stumbled some, but I also learned a lot. I learned Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy really are difficult to read. They are full of laws, actual numbers and more laws. But through those books and the rest of the Old Testament, I learned to really appreciate the wonderful sacrifice Jesus made for me (because there’s no way any human on the planet could keep all of those laws).

I learned it’s okay if I don’t understand the everything.

I learned God’s Word is full of rich life application written to produce God’s best in my life. It is meant to be read and digested on a daily basis.

My mind wanted my heart to love God’s Word but it didn’t, not at first. My love for His Word has developed and deepened over the time. As we read it, we learn it. As we learn it, we live it. As we live it, we love it.

2015 will mark the eighth year of my Read Thru the Word online Bible study class. It would be a great honor to have you as a part of this amazing class! Women and men of all ages, from all walks of life, and all over the globe have satisfied a deep longing of reading through the Bible by participating in Read Thru the Word. My 84-year friend, Teeny from North Carolina is just one of thousands who finally read through the entire Bible with Read Thru the Word.

Have you always wanted to read through the Bible? Will join our class today? You will have the support and accountability of Christian friends to help you keep the course on the amazing journey. Yes. Today decide to read the Bible that WILL change your life.

Follow this link to my blog for a free sample of a Read Thru the Word video and sample journal.

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Thank you for sharing your heart with us today, Wendy. I pray God’s rich blessings over you and your study this year. I pray His living and active Word will come alive just as He promises and do a mighty life-transforming work in and through every heart that participates. I love you, friend!

Now for the GIVEAWAY! Wendy has been gracious enough to give away one class membership (valued at $19.99). Please leave a comment by Monday, December 21st and share YOUR favorite Bible verse for a chance to win a membership to her class. Check back here (at the end of the comments) for the winner next week!

And the winner of Tracie’s book, Your Life Still Counts, is Jennifer who posted on 12/16 at 1:11 p.m. Please e-mail me at deuteronomysix@aol.com with your full name and address by Monday, December 21st so we can send you your book.

Blessings,

December 15, 2014

Meet My Friend Tracie Miles {with Giveaway}

God has a plan for your life and a purpose for your future.

“No matter what you’ve been through or what’s been done to you, if you’re still breathing God isn’t finished with you yet!  Sometimes we just need to be reminded. Other times we need to be persuaded to believe it’s true.”

Tracie Miles

Proverbs 31 Ministries brought Tracie and I together many years ago. We have served side by side for years. When she shared the topic of her new book, my heart filled with joy. Because I had been in that place…feeling like God could never use me because of something horrific that had been done to me. I knew her book would be a vessel of healing and hope. And I was so honored when she asked to include my story in her book.

Today, I invited her  to share a bit about her new book, Your Life Still Counts. In this book, Tracie Miles shares how she convinced herself that God couldn’t use her. There were too many things she had done wrong. But over time, as Tracie came to know Christ, she realized she was the perfect candidate for His transforming power. Through her brokenness, Jesus now displays His grace and goodness. The very things Tracie believed  “disqualified” her from ministry are now the most significant and powerful parts of her life’s mission and message.

Meet my friend Tracie…

 

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DON’T LIVE THE LIE

Tracie Miles, Your Life Still Counts

Because of the mistakes of my past, I spent a lot of years not liking the woman staring back in the mirror, and just maybe in your mirror, you too see a woman you feel like you don’t know, or don’t respect. In fact, maybe you’ve played the “wonder” game, like I did, for far too long.

Wondering who you really are. Wondering if you are forgivable. Wondering if you are worthy. Wondering if you are loved or lovable, by God or others. Wondering if you’re beyond repair. Wondering if what someone did to hurt you stole your value. Wondering if you are a good enough person, wife, mom, employee, boss, sister, daughter, friend, servant.  Wondering if you measure up at all, in any area of life.

Wondering if your life counts for something beyond your responsibilities and obligations, or if you are just meant to march through your daily routines with no real purpose or direction.

Wondering about all the lies that have kept you too blinded to see God’s love for you and that consistently remind you that you are a worthless sinner. The lie that has caused you to believe you could never be used for a meaningful purpose in God’s kingdom—and that not only does your life not matter to God, but you probably don’t matter either.

It’s possible you have felt that way too and lived in the shadow of the lies every day. Either because of your own mistakes or because of someone else’s choices to sin against you through no fault of your own. But whether we are the sinner or the victim of a sinner, shame still follows, and it ultimately shapes the way we see ourselves, allowing deceptive lies to weave deep into our hearts and minds.

I wasted so many years believing the enemy’s lies were absolute truths, until I finally discovered that I mattered to God, and that He had a special plan and purpose for my life. And He has one for you too.

If these false beliefs and lies have been keeping you too discouraged to trust in God’s promises, my prayer is that today becomes the day you begin seeing yourself in a new light with a new reflection looking back at you. I pray you would be proud of your reflection because of who you are in Christ.

One of the biggest dangers of going through periods of hurt, abuse, distress, heartache, and shame is that we begin to doubt God’s unconditional love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. We lose sight of who we are in Christ. And that’s exactly what the devil wants us to do. His ultimate goal is get us to believe the lie, then live the lie. But it is up to us whether he reaches that goal or not. We can thwart his plans by claiming God’s sovereignty over our hearts today and embracing His call on our lives and it begins by knowing who we are in Christ, and whose we are.

John 1:12 reminds us that we are, without question, beloved children of God: “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” Beth Moore, well known Bible teacher and author, once said, “If you are not royalty, He is not King.” We are rightful heirs to God’s kingdom—and His love and acceptance. You are a royal and dearly loved daughter, and He is the King of all kings!

When we stop living the lie, and start living God’s truths, we can begin to discover a purpose we would have never imagined- not despite our past, but because of it.

What a beautiful message of hope and encouragement. Thank you, Tracie!!!

We are giving away a copy of  Your Life Still Countsand a downloadable study guide. To enter to win, simply share your thoughts about today’s post…maybe a lie you are believing or maybe how God has taken your past and transformed it into something beautiful. I will announce the winner on Friday.

***Winners of Target Gift Card and my book giveaway on my last post announced at the end of this post.****

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****The winners of Living So That and the $25 Target Gift Cards are Angela who posted on 12/8 at 1:29 pm and Sabrina who posted on 2/8 at 9:54 am. Please e-mail me at deuteronomysix@aol.com with your full name and mailing address by Friday, 12/19.****

Blessings,

December 8, 2014

Just Another Trip to Target {w/ 2 Giveaways!}

Ugh! Another morning facing my long to-do list.  I’m so not in the mood to grocery shop. To stop by the cleaners and the bank. To fill up my car with gas. To run by Target. All those people. Cranky people. Coughing, sneezing people. The parking. The lines. The money draining out of our bank account with every swipe of the card. And how can I get it all done before Bo gets home from school?

Can you relate? If you are joining us from my Proverbs 31 Devotion today, welcome. I am so thankful you stopped by!

Thankfully, God met me in the midst of my pity party. He reminded me of something I had learned in Bible study just the day before. So I whispered a simple prayer…a prayer that transformed my ordinary day into a most extraordinary day. Something only our God can do!

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If you want to read more of the story, click here to read my Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today devotion.

By  inviting God into my ordinary day, He showed up in such an extraordinary way. A simple invitation extended through a simple prayer is all I needed to escape my pity party and see God at work in my midst.

And it’s all you need too, sweet friend.

God’s Word says in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV),

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

And Deuteronomy 4:29 (The Message) says,

But even there, if you seek God, your God, you’ll be able to find him if your’re serious, looking for him with your whole heart and soul. (emphasis added)”

But even there.” Even in your disobedience, your complaining, your whining, your pity party, if you cry out for me, you will find me.

Oh, thank You, Jesus, that you love us no matter what!

Prayer is a tremendous force in this world. God invites us to seek Him. To talk with Him. To engage our hearts with His. We need only accept the wondrous invitation He’s extended.

And when we’ve breathed our prayer, that’s not the end of the matter. GOD RESPONDS! And His faithfulness changes things. It opens doors, changes hearts, heals wounds, pours out blessings, and transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary!

Will you join me this Christmas season in praying for God to come into your life ordinary and do the extraordinary?

On one of your ordinary days, pray this simple prayer:

Heavenly Father, I invite You to show up in my ordinary. I want to see You in my midst. I want to experience You in my ordinary day. I want to hear Your voice, sense Your leading. I want to be used by You in the middle of my tasks on an ordinary day. Show up in all Your glory, Lord! I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Now for the Christmas Giveaways!I love giveaways.

So first giveaways from me…

First, I will choose two comments to win a signed copy of my new book Living So That and a $25 Target gift card. Please leave a comment by Friday sharing EITHER 1) an ordinary to extraordinary experience you’ve had,  or 2) your simple prayer asking God for an extraordinary experience! I’ll announce the winner on my next post. 

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Second, If you’d like a sneak peek at Living So Thatclick here for my free Five Day Devotional, “Five Days to a Faith-Full Life.”

Now the giveaway from my publisher…

All this week, I will be hosting our InScribed Studies (Thomas Nelson Collection of which Living So That is a part) Facebook page. In celebration of the birth of Jesus, InScribed Studies is having a 25 Days of Christmas giveaway! Each day between now and December 25th, you can enter to win lots of fun gifts, including our books, DIY crafts, jewelry, and special presents picked out by our authors (that includes me!). All you need to do is click here, like our page if you haven’t already and register. Be sure to let me know if you are visiting from the P31 devo in your comment! 

Blessings,