Encouragement, God’s plan

WHAT IF MY SPOUSE DOES NOT BELIEVE?

I would like to offer some encouragement to anybody that has a spouse that doesn’t believe in God. If there is one thing I could say to you it would be this:

Don’t start thinking it’s hopeless!

My husband did not believe there was a God. We had so many discussions (always brought on by me) after I accepted Jesus as my Saviour. He always had an excuse not to believe. He would say things like..

  • There are to many bad things happening in the world for there to be a God.
  • Good things still happen to unbelievers.
  • It’s an organized cult.
  • I would not want to serve a God who sends people to hell.
  • If God exists, why does He not show Himself?

See, he didn’t understand but neither did I until I was a Christian. And I’ll be honest, I got so frustrated at him at times. Sometimes, I felt like it was hopeless to try. I prayed and prayed and even started doubting the God I had put my faith in. I prayed hard and nothing happened. None of the approaches or schemes I tried worked. I bought him church clothes, played Christian music around him, posted bible verses on sticky notes all over the house and still nothing. I talked with my pastor and he came to visit us twice. The pastor gave him a couple books to read but that didn’t help either. So I stopped trying so hard. I prayed and stayed faithful to God. I lived out my faith without frustration and worry. Ever now and then, I would ask if he wanted to come with me to church on Sunday with a smile on my face. He would say no and I just told him I would be back.

But then it happened.

I went to the sanctuary for service after Sunday school and sat down. I few minutes later he walked in and sat beside me. I didn’t ask any questions. I just thanked God because He is always faithful.

And guess what! He is now the pastor of a church. He serves God faithfully and preaches his Word. Our God is working things out even when we don’t see them. Please, never give up hope. God’s desire is that all men be saved.

My husband is always telling people that he saw Jesus in me and wanted what I had. He said it wasn’t the books he read or anything I said. It was the glow, happiness, and joy I had. He saw a change in me. I was a new creature that visibly showed.

Don’t give up my friend, God is always working!

Remember, if you have found your joy in Jesus, share it!

Studying the Bible

Best Supplies for Inductive Bible Study!

BDA27FED-7D67-4403-B76C-5C3EB960C502Not only do I absolutely love inductive Bible study but I also love the thrill of finding great supplies. I’m a true sucker for all stationery products. I get that fluttery feeling every time I see pens, pencils, notebooks, journals, washi tape, post-it pads, tabs, and everything in between. I know it’s weird. We will call it my weird obsession.

Anyways, there are so many office and stationery products out there that it’s a real task finding what works for you. I wanted to make a few suggestions based on what I use and what others I know use. You shouldn’t have to be stressed trying to find good products especially if you are new to inductive Bible study and trying to learn that.

These are a few I’ve found that work well with the specific task of inductive Bible study.

In inductive Bible study you use highlighters and pens and/or pencils to mark certain words from scripture using mainly symbols. I need you to know that you do NOT have to have these supplies to do inductive Bible study. You can study inductively without marking anything. Marking just helps you slow down and see words that are important to identify in scripture.

Up first is pens I use on a regular basis. They are called triplus fineliner by Staedtler which are my favorite. They don’t bleed through the pages as easy as most other pens I’ve tried. This largely depends on the thickness of your Bible pages. My pages are pretty thin. I found these on Amazon. Now, Micron pens are awesome but a little more expensive.

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Next up is some colored pencils. Just basic and inexpensive colored pencils(below). They definitely don’t bleed through and are great for shading. However, they are not as bright as pens but still do the job.01BF4DA3-BFF3-49BF-ADB0-4503FCD65937You also need highlighters. You could use the colored pencils and not use highlighters but again I like the brightness of pens and highlighters. I like the colors bold and popping. Remember, I have a weird obsession. So it’s likely that you aren’t as concerned as I am and that’s perfectly fine. I use two types of highlighters. These are gel highlighters made for Bibles (below). I found them on Amazon.

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The sometimes use the standard retractable highlighter (below). I got them cheap at Wal-mart. But be aware that they do bleed through if you press or move slow.

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You will be writing down what you learn as you studying through a book of the Bible. I often write down everything on regular notebook paper and then transfer the information to large sticky notes in a neater and more organized way (I’ll talk more about this during the study). By doing this I can put the sticky notes in my Bible and therefore carry my insights with me. Any will do but I have grown fond of these I discovered on Amazon a few months ago (below). They have them in lighter colors too.

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So we have covered pens, colored pencils, highlighters, and paper. Again, I need you to know that you do NOT have to have these supplies to do inductive Bible study. You can study the same way without marking anything. But when you use this method of marking it helps you to retain the info and makes words jump out at you like never before. It helps to slow you down while reading and notice important words in scripture. I see symbols on words that I haven’t even marked yet. It somehow helps your brain to start looking for these words. So, maybe you don’t like the thought of marking and that’s fine just try the inductive process without it. Who knows, you might decide to try it later after you learn the  “How to Study Inductively “ method.

Now the last thing I would like to mention is a dictionary and concordance. I have the “Strong’s Concise Concordance And Vine’s Concise Dictionary Of The Bible: Two Bible Reference Classics In One Handy Volume” that I purchased from Amazon. But honestly, I mostly use the dictionary unless I’m studying a particular subject such as forgiveness, prayer, or sanctification and not a book of the Bible. I also have just the “Vine’s Concise Dictionary of the Bible” by itself. I found it on eBay for around $4.00. A dictionary is an invaluable tool. 

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I hope this article is helpful. I haven’t set a date yet but we will start an inductive Bible study right here on my site.

Remember, if you have found your joy in Jesus, share it!

God’s plan

What is Your Message?

CBC40CD1-6E56-4095-81E8-AE06A2E70278God has a message for each of us. God’s plan is for the whole world, everybody. He had a message for Jonah. It was an eight-word message. Jonah ran and God could have used someone else but He didn’t. It was Jonah’s message to give and it was meant to be heard by a whole city. From the least to the greatest heard and responded to the message by repenting. God gave these messages because it all fits together into a bigger plan. Like a puzzle. He is piecing it all together. Have you ever put a puzzle together just to find pieces missing? You don’t display that puzzle until all the pieces fit together. We are all ordained by God with a message. In John 15:16, the Bible says when the Lord called you to Himself and you accepted the free gift of salvation that you are not only chosen by Him but ordained.

John 15:16a (KJV)

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.

Isn’t that powerful?

The Bible also says you are His workmanship.

Ephesians 2:10 (KJV)

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Do you know your personal message? Everybody has one that will reach the world. Your world may be your neighbor or maybe its to reach hundreds or thousands. Either way, it’s your message given to you by God. No matter if it’s for one or thousands it needs to be said. Each message is important. We are made by God for God and His glory.

Isaiah 43:7 (KJV)

[Even] every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

God gave Peter a message to the Gentiles.

Acts 15:7 (KJV)

And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. God showed him a vision.

Read about it in Acts 10.

You might be thinking, How do I know my message? I would say first and foremost, pray and ask. What is on your mind most of the time? What do you struggle with yourselves? We know that God allows us to go through certain things to help us grow and learn. So it could be that you struggled with something in your life and God brought you through it and now that’s your message. It could be you lost a child, divorce, little faith, addiction of any kind, total surrender or anything God helped you through. A lot of times we need to live it, feel it, and see it to understand it.

God gave me a message. It’s a short message, but a powerful one. Over the years I have tried to relay this message. It’s something I struggled with and honestly, I’m still working on it. My message is “There is joy in Jesus”. No matter what we are going through on this earth, joy can be found in Jesus. That is where our joy comes from. It’s a real joy that nobody can take away. Finding joy in Jesus is my message from God to you. Pray that God will reveal your message. Give it some thought.

Remember, if you have found your joy in Jesus don’t forget to share it!