Monday, April 30, 2012

Mr. Monday ~ Respect

Give everyone what you owe him: 
If you owe taxes, pay taxes; 
if revenue, then revenue; 
if respect, then respect; 
if honor, then honor.
~ Romans 13:7

Respect: To treat with special consideration and/or high regard.

I spent some time this past weekend looking into the quality of respect. We are instructed in Ephesians 5:33 that we, as wives, must respect our husbands. But that is probably one of the things that most wives struggle with the most. Even those of us who think we have mastered it, fall short. That was brought to my attention the other week when I was reading Elizabeth Georges book "A Woman After God's Own Heart", so that's where I wanted to start my new Mr. Monday series of looking at the various descriptions of wives in the Bible.

The very first thing that I was brought to when I was researching the word "respect" in reference to husbands and wives, was Queen Vashti. Do you remember her? The picture that the Bible paints of her is pretty small. In fact, she is only in a few short verses in the first chapter of the book of Esther. Do you know who she is now? She was King Xerxes' disrespectful wife. Her husband wanted her to do something, and she said no. Thankfully, we live in a very different culture now-a-days, because I must admit that I have told my husband no more than once.

King Xerxes' advisers were worried that if the King's own wife didn't respect him, that all of the women in the country would start disrespecting him as well. Can we apply that to our lives as well? If we disrespect our own husbands, how will others treat him? Have you ever been around a wife that disrespects her husband in public? All of her friends do the same thing - trust me, I've been there (on both sides of it). King Xerxes' had a right to be concerned. That doesn't mean that I agree with the actions that he took, God said that what He has brought together that no man should separate. When we get married, we don't have instantly perfect relationships. Our husbands are no more perfect then we are - and we are all far from perfect (Rom. 3:23).

Respect is a hard thing to learn. Especially when it's learning to respect someone who's life is laid open before you. We know our husbands better than anyone else on earth, that means that we see all of the faults that he has. We know all of his short comings. Yet, if we don't respect him, others will pick up on that. They will see that the person who knows him the best, doesn't think that he deserves respect, and they will follow our lead. But on the flip side, when we do respect our husbands, others will see that too and will be more likely to offer him that same respect.

Not only will others see it and implement it, our husbands will see it. Shaunti Feldhahn dedicated an entire chapter in her book, "For Women Only" about the impact that a wives respect has on her husband. The massive research that she put into that book showed that "Men would rather feel alone and unloved than inadequate and disrespected." The best way that we can show our husbands that we love them, is by respecting them. To quote Shaunti Feldhahn one more time "If a man feels disrespected, he is going to feel unloved."

So do you think that maybe we ought to put a little more effort into respecting our husbands?

As Elizabeth George would say: "Yes, but how?"

The answer to that is so massive that I couldn't possibly cover it here. But here are a few ways that we can respect our husbands:

  • We can respect his decisions, opinions, knowledge and judgement. - To me that means not questioning his decisions and not always adding my own two cents worth when he has clearly already made a decision. That doesn't mean that I have to be silent and lose myself as a person, that would NOT make my husband happy. He didn't marry a doormat, and he didn't want to. But he also shouldn't have to listen to my "infinite wisdom" every time he wants to do something or tells me what is on his mind. 
  • We can respect our husbands with our thoughts and words. - Respecting our husbands by choosing to assume the best from him instead of the worst. Choosing to only think and say positive things about him. Nancy Leigh DeMoss's 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge was a HUGE help to me in this area. Quite honestly, that challenge changed my entire marriage, just by changing the way that I thought.
  • We can respect his abilities. - When the girls were little, Mr. Amazing would try to help me out by getting them dressed, and I often didn't like the clothing that he picked out for one reason or another (it was too cold for short-sleeves, or maybe I had already set out clothes for the day), so I would change them. After a while, he stopped dressing them. When I inquired as to why, he said that I would just re-do it anyway, so why should he bother... and you know what? He was right. The same thing goes for re-folding clothes after he did the laundry, or re-doing anything that he has done. That does not show respect for his abilities in any way shape or form, and it tears our husbands down more than we will ever realize. 
What are some ways that you can choose to respect your husband this week?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Teen Devotionals... for Girls! Vol. 2

Pardon the poor photo... my webcam has seen better days...
I'm so excited to tell you that our second devotional book, "Teen Devotionals... for Girls!" Volume 2 was published last week! I'm not sure how many of you were following me way back when my first devotional book got published in July of 2010, but this is a totally different feeling. Back then I struggled with humility. I was battling the pride of being a published author, but this time that's not the case. I am just so excited to be seeing everything that God is doing through these devotions. You see, they are read daily by teens around the world, used in Bible study groups, and have even been used at events such as See You at the Pole. The responses that we get via e-mail are simply amazing, and so encouraging.
We started writing these devotions back in 2009, and God has just continued using them in the lives of teen girls, youth leaders, and even moms and college aged women. Here's a short video that Shelley (the founder of the ministry that I write them for) put together:

Since this video was filmed, we now have over 180 devotions available - that's 6 months of devotions that girls can get delivered to their e-mail inbox's for free each day. With over 3,000 girls subscribed to those e-mails I am just blown away.  - And to think, I had given up on my dream of becoming an author!

A little background for those of you who don't know:

Back when my twins were infants, I was looking for someway that I could volunteer my time online. During the same month I found and Circle of Moms. I became active with both organizations. I took over volunteering as the administrator of the Christian Mommies community on Circle of Moms, and volunteered for responding to messages by teen girls and praying over their needs. Well, at some point in time a mom in my Christian Mommies community asked about where she could find good, biblical devotions for her teenage daughter and it just so happened that I knew of this amazing ministry for teen girls, but I didn't know if they offered devotions. So I asked.

I sent Shelley an e-mail asking if she had any devotions on her website, and she responded that she didn't but that it was a great idea and asked if I would be willing to help her put something together. And thus, Teen Devotionals... for Girls! was born. It's crazy to me that that was around 3 years ago. Time has just flown by! It's been a wonderful road and I couldn't be more happy that Teen devotions… For Girls! Vol. 2 is out there to continue bringing teen girls to Christ and help them grow in their walks with Him. Like the first book, it has been compiled by multiple authors and brought to you by, where our desire is to help teens draw closer to God by finding their true beauty in Christ. 

If you know of any teen girls (moms with teen girls or youth leaders) that you think would be interested in these devotions, please share with them. They can sign up to receive the devotions for free via e-mail on Shelley's website, or purchase the books on Amazon

Pretty Please.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I Feel A Series Coming On....

Wives, submit to your husbands, as fitting in the Lord. 
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.
~Colossians 3:18 and 23

It's Monday! While many folks are complaining about Monday, I actually enjoy it. Monday is when the boys head off to school and I get to write! I love writing... Oh, and it's also Mr. Monday here at Servant, Wife, Mother, and I love my Mr.!

I'm still in the midst of my study through Elizabeth George's book, "A Woman After God's Own Heart" (It was set to the side for about a month, but I'm back at it now), and last week I went through chapter 6. This chapter was all about following our husbands. She made points like asking ourselves "Am I treating my husband as I would treat Christ? and that our husbands will be accountable to God for their leadership, we will only be accountable for whether or not we followed their leadership. They are carrying the heavier load, we just have to trust God enough to follow our husbands - which brings Sarah to mind...

But the thing that I found the most challenging was respecting my husband by saying nothing. I don't need to correct the little details, or attempt to finish his sentences just because I think I know what he's going to say. I struggle with that. I highlighted the line in the book that says I don't always have to express my opinions - and I am VERY opinionated. I need to practice listening and learn to speak only when it benefits those who listen (Eph. 4:29).

Also in the study guide she had us look up the definition of several words that we could apply to our husbands. Words like admire, respect, love, notice... well, there were a lot of them. I'm thinking about doing a Mr. Monday series on applying those words to our husbands :) Any input?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Self Love

"Greater love has no man then this, that he lay down his life for his friends." 
~ John 15:13
I've been reading through "A Gospel Primer" by Milton Vincent, and I came across the following quote about the above verse that I just loved:

"...the deeper I go into the gospel, the more I experience the truth of His claim and thereby know how far His love for me surpasses even my own."

But Mr. Vincent didn't stop there. He went on to say:

"His astonishing love for me renders self-absorption moot and frees me up to move on to causes and interests far greater than myself."

Have you ever thought about it that way before. This has by far been one of the most impactful segments of the book for me. We live in a world that tells us that before we can love others, we have to learn to love ourselves. But that's not what the Bible says. The Bible says that if we want to truly love (ourselves or others) that we must first love Him. When we truly love God with all of our hearts, that the love that He has for us (and others) will trickle down to us, and will be expressed through us.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mama Said...

Photo Credit

You know that old song "Mama said there'd be days like this (there'd be days like this my mama said)"? Well, I had one of those days recently. I couldn't really tell you exactly what caused it. It could have been a lot of things. My neck has been bothering me a lot lately, and I had a touch of a head ache. The weather had been gloomy and cold. The hurtful words from the lady at the park were still sitting heavily on me, a friend said something thoughtless that I know she didn't mean the way it sounded, and there was another phone call that left things intended but not said that really hurt. So I was just feeling low. 

The positive side of this was that I use to feel that way a lot. I battled with depression for years, and I never even realized that it went away... but obviously it did. I haven't felt that low in a long time, and the best way to classify it was depression. It wasn't stress, I'm use to stress. Stress doesn't make you feel the same way depression does. Depression zaps the life right out of you. It makes it so that all you want to do is lay down and do nothing. You don't want to be productive, you don't want to have to care about anything, you just want to be left alone. It's an awful feeling really. And it's intensified by the number of things that you know that you should be doing, but that you can't bring yourself to do...

When I finally dragged myself to my computer to think about doing something productive, I couldn't accomplish anything. I just sat and stared at the screen, wishing that I had some spiritual lesson that I could gleam from the crummy state that I was in. But nothing came. I tried bathing myself in the gospel, but it didn't seem to help. I tried counting my blessings, and praising God for all that He has done for me... still nothing. But you know the funniest thing happened. It seemed like the more I tried to dig myself out of the pit of depression, the deeper I seemed to get. So I stopped trying, and trusted that God would do it on His own... and He did. He's pretty amazing like that. After He had me feeling better through nothing that I could take credit for, He led me to Psalm 40. And I wanted to share it with you here:

I waited patiently for the LORD; 
   he turned to me and heard my cry. 

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, 

   out of the mud and mire; 
he set my feet on a rock 
   and gave me a firm place to stand. 

He put a new song in my mouth, 

   a hymn of praise to our God. 
Many will see and fear 
   and put their trust in the LORD.

Blessed is the man 
   who makes the LORD his trust, 
who does not look to the proud, 
   to those who turn aside to false gods.

Many, O LORD my God, 

   are the wonders you have done. 
The things you planned for us 
   no one can recount to you; 
were I to speak and tell of them, 
   they would be too many to declare.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, 
   but my ears you have pierced; 
burnt offerings and sin offerings 
   you did not require. 

Then I said, “Here I am, I have come— 

   it is written about me in the scroll.

I desire to do your will, O my God; 

   your law is within my heart.”

I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; 
   I do not seal my lips, 
   as you know, O LORD. 

I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; 

   I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. 
I do not conceal your love and your truth 
   from the great assembly.

Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD; 
   may your love and your truth always protect me. 

For troubles without number surround me; 

   my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. 
They are more than the hairs of my head, 
   and my heart fails within me.

Be pleased, O LORD, to save me; 
   O LORD, come quickly to help me. 

May all who seek to take my life 

   be put to shame and confusion; 
may all who desire my ruin 
   be turned back in disgrace. 

May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” 

   be appalled at their own shame. 

But may all who seek you 

   rejoice and be glad in you; 
may those who love your salvation always say, 
   “The LORD be exalted!”

Yet I am poor and needy; 
   may the Lord think of me. 
You are my help and my deliverer; 
   O my God, do not delay.

This week, I'm linking up with Word-Filled Wednesday over at Internet Cafe Devotions. Check it out for more Word-Filled posts by visiting:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Dreaded Rental Inspection

I hate really don't look forward to rental inspections. I know that they only happen once a year, but I spend the entire year dreading the next one. It's the soul reason that I want to move. This year they have added to the stress of the inspection, by giving us less than a weeks notice, and putting in the letter that they will be inspecting our housekeeping as well as our home. If you ever want to put a woman in a frenzy, just tell her that you are coming to inspect her house keeping and will be there in 3 days. Thankfully I don't have any deadlines this week, so I might not even turn my computer back on before they have come and gone.

But I digress, God is sovereign. If we get evicted because I am a horrible housekeeper, He will make something good come of it. But just in case, any volunteers to let us room with them? No, I'm kidding. Well... maybe.

For any of you who don't rent, a rental inspection is where the people you rent from come into your home (invading your privacy) and snoop around. They want to make sure that their property (that you are paying a hefty fee to use) is being well taken care of. Now sometimes good things come of it. Like getting a dead tree cut down. But other times you are told that you have to pick up all of the toys in you back yard. You say, "Oh, I did that yesterday... did you notice that I have four children?" And you send the children out to pick up all of the toys that they drug out in the last 24 hours, and you still get a phone call a week later to make sure that you picked up your back yard. "Why yes," you reply sweetly, "at least 5 times since you've been here."

Then other times you are told you have to rearrange your furniture, because... well, they always have some reason. It's not a full 6 inches from the heater vent, or your powdered laundry detergent can't be in the laundry room because the furnace is in there and the dust might clog the filter? You get randomly questioned about all of the neighborhood cats, just in case they belonged to you, and you didn't have permission for them (even if you paid a pet deposit and they have on record which animals are yours).

Did I mention that this is the soul reason that I want to move? Yes? Well, it is. Today would be good.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fancy Shoes

Mr. Amazing had Friday off last week, and as always we planned to spend the day together running errands and just enjoying each others company. So as I always do on his days off, I spent a little bit more time getting ready in the morning. My choice for clothing was one of the outfits that he loves the most, a cute denim skirt and a neat top that I got off a clearance rack, and I completed the outfit with some really cute high-heeled sandals. I should note that these are some of the cutest shoes that I own, and this is the only outfit that they really go with. So, my husband loved it, it was modest yet stylish, and great for the shopping and stuff that we were planning to do.

And off we went. We ran most of our errands and then the girls asked if we could go to a play ground. Being the parents that we are, we of course said yes. We found a nearby park that had lots of equiptment. There were a few other moms their with their kiddos, but that just provides playmates for the girls so we weren't concerned. Ella needed to go potty. On the way to the bathroom, one of the other moms called over her shoulder to me "Mom's got cute shoes, but their not park shoes. You definitely can't play in the sand in those baby's." I was a bit speechless, but just smiled at her and kept walking - I did have a little girl in need of a potty after all. I tried to blow it off, but the comment just didn't sit right with me. On the way back over to the equipment, my dearest Ella took off running to her dad. I wasn't in a hurry, but was enjoying the warm weather and the break from my daughters over enthusiastic chatter when the same mom looked over and said, "Yeah, you can't even run in them." Then she turned to her own little boy and said loudly, "She can't even run after her daughter because she has fancy shoes on."

The comment hurt. Part of me wanted to say that I could if I wanted to. In fact, I had ran earlier that day just for fun as we were going into a store because my daughter wanted me to. I just didn't feel like it at the time. But I didn't. I just smiled and kept walking. I reached Mr. Amazing and our little girls, just as Alexa decided that she wanted to go over to where Ella and I had been (to the toddler portion of the equipment), so I went back with her. It was then that I noticed that every other mom that was there was in sweats. Not that that was a bad thing, but obviously there was a huge difference in the way that we looked. I started to wonder if that's what caused the comments from the lady in the pink sweats. I was the only one who had done anything other then throw my hair into a pony tail that morning. Of course I did this because my Mr. was home, but it obviously made me stick out. I was also the mom at the park that was accompanied by her husband. Being that it was a Friday, I'm certain that this was because all of their husbands have these glamorous 9-5 jobs and they work Monday - Friday each week and get the weekends off. That's not a luxury that we have in my home, but that's okay.

Anyway! The pink sweats lady's comments left me feeling uncomfortable, like I was less of a mom because I wasn't wearing park clothing. I almost felt the need to stand up and give a speech explaining to everyone there that we weren't really planning on going to the park that day, and that this was pretty much the closest thing that I would have to a date with my husband for a couple of months and that I dressed for him. But that would have been silly. I didn't need to justify myself to them. I was doing what God had called me to do. To be a wife, and to honor my husband. I'm not less of a mom because I took my daughter's to the park when I wasn't wearing park shoes. If anything, I'm more of a mom for not telling them no because I was wearing inappropriate shoes. But the real take-a-way that I believe God showed me through all of this, is that when we honor Him, when we live our lives for Christ, we should stick out. I don't know the spiritual state of any of the moms that were at the park, but the clothing choices left me with a great analogy. Just like I stuck out in my denim skirt and fancy shoes, so the believer should stick out when they are among a group of non-believers. Sticking out might make us uncomfortable at times, and people might make comments, but we have to lead the life that God has called us to live, especially when we stand out.

Friday, April 13, 2012

2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
~ 2 Timothy 4:2

I was writing down the above verse earlier, and just as I got to the last part about doing it all with great patience and careful instruction my daughter, who had been doing a lot of playing instead of finishing her supper, knocked over her glass of water. Well, I didn't have great patience, and it certainly wasn't careful instruction that I snapped at her... It's ironic how things like that work. I was writing the verse down because it was so powerful to me, and I really wanted to work at applying it to my life, but even before I finished penning it down, I had already abandoned the message. 

God's Word has so much to say about patience and gentleness, I'm pretty sure that that's because of the fact that sinful human nature is the exact opposite. But the Bible does lead me to believe that it is possible.  So today, I want to ask you: How do you keep your cool? How do you develop great patience and respond with careful instruction instead of with harsh reactions?

Earlier this week I mentioned that I got some new books in the mail, one being "Uprooting Anger" by Robert D. Jones. I'm hoping that that helps with both of those things, because patience seems to be the opposite of angry reactions... 

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Just Stuff

It's been a busy month so far! After returning from our Spring Break vaca to Texas at the beginning of the month, my mom came to visit us last weekend and just left yesterday. I can hardly believe that it's already mid-April!

Besides all of that, a lot has been going on in regular life too. I'm fighting hard to stay afloat and trusting in the promise that with God all things are possible.

I got 4 new books in the mail this week:

A Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent
Write His Answer by Marlene Bagnull
Uprooting Anger by Robert D. Jones
and Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson
Yeah, I'm pretty excited about each of them, but have no clue when I will actually get a chance to read them...

I also got a new plant for my office (Mr. Amazing bought it for me... he's pretty awesome like that, he even picked out the coffee cup flower pot):

These flowers are so fragrant that you can smell them all the way in the living room! I love them!!!! 

Okay, besides the new stuff that I've gotten, a lot is going on with work too. I've picked up numerous new clients, and I'm loving it! "Teen Devotionals... for Girls! Vol. 2" is coming out this month. I've started working on a True Beauty book for young girls (more on that later). And I'm working on a couple of other projects as well. I get exhausted just writing about it all... 

But, enough about me! What have you been up to lately? I'd love to hear from you.

Did you know that Melyssa over at Daze of Us just published a book? I interviewed her on my other blog this week if you want to check it out... 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mr. Monday: Remember When...

I honestly believe that one of the best things you can do for your marriage is to remember. Not the bad things that have happened, but what it was like when you were first dating. Do you remember back when you longed to be the one in his arms? When you would drop everything just to answer the phone when he called. Back when he had your undivided attention, even when he wasn't around?

After being married for 5 years, life happens, and our attention is stretched to it's limits. It seems like somewhere along the way the infatuation fades, and we become more self centered. Instead of feeling blissful every time our Mr.'s look our way, we get irritated when we have to abandon the project we are working on to go and do something for us. Why is that?

I love looking back to the way it use to be, not because it's not that way anymore, but because it helps me to be that way again. When I remember that having my husband is not a right that I have, but a privilege, it puts things in a different perspective. It helps me to remember that I still want to be the one in his arms. I still want to be the one that he calls everyday, the one that he smiles at and thinks of on and off throughout the day. And I still want him to be the same for me. Why? Because I still love him. I couldn't imagine being with anyone else, and I don't even want to try. Mr. Amazing still amazes me each and every day.

Listen! My lover! 
   Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains,    bounding over the hills. 
   Look! There he stands behind our wall, 
gazing through the windows, 
   peering through the lattice. 
 My lover spoke and said to me, 
   “Arise, my darling, 
   my beautiful one, and come with me. 
 See! The winter is past; 
   the rains are over and gone. 
 Flowers appear on the earth; 
   the season of singing has come, 
the cooing of doves 
   is heard in our land. 
 The fig tree forms its early fruit; 
   the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. 
Arise, come, my darling; 
   my beautiful one, come with me.”

 My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. 
~ Song of Songs  2:8-13

Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring Break Re-Cap

Spring break was AWESOME! I have the best in-laws EVER, and I love Texas. I almost have Mr. Amazing convinced to move there. If he had a job offer in the area, we would be there in a heartbeat (prayers appreciated!). But, we're back in Colorful Colorado now, and I really do love it here too...

We kept our tradition of stopping in Kansas to visit Dorthy's house and the Land of Oz. 
Above is a picture of our little munchkins. :)

And that's a picture of the beautiful Texas sunset that we got to watch as we drove to our finial destination. 

Granny got permission from the neighbors to let the kids jump on their trampoline. This was a hit.

Daddy and Grandpa took the kids fishing. I sat and watched. 

Okay, watching them fish got pretty boring, so I picked up sea shells instead. They were EVERYWHERE.

No one caught anything, but they still had fun... and I have a TON of sea shells :)

We played Frisbee

...and Croquet

...and lots of board games.

On Sunday the kids carried palm branches in at Granny and Grandpa's church.

And we took lots and lots and lots and lots of pictures

Our big happy family

In conclusion. We had the time of our lives, and I wish it never had to end. But, I'm home now, and dreaming of Texas once again. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Libraries Across Our Home

Robin, over at This Mom Follows God, had the wonderful idea to share libraries, so here's my post:

Our books are actually spread out throughout the house, so there's multiple pictures here.

This is my reference section in my office. They are the books that I keep at my desk for easy reach. They include my Christian Writer's Manual of Style, Thesaurus, Dictionary, and such...

This is the other shelf of books in my office, it contains random reference books on cults, books that I have reviewed, or Bible study books, books on Christian living, or just random books that I have received. 

This is they boy's book shelf in their room. It has books that are at their reading level - and their Bibles... and a few history books from when we were homeschooling... I think that's it...

This is the girl's book shelf in their room. I'm not sure how the book on Latin got here, but the rest are books that I read to them, or that they like to look at on their own. Most are board books, but not all of them.

This is the messy book shelf from the living room... It contains mainly children's books and piano books, but there are a few other random books shoved in (literally). 

This is the book shelf in my bedroom. It holds my husbands Terry Brooks collection, and books that I like to keep downstairs. It's where the books that I want to be reading are suppose to be... but the ones that I'm actually reading are usually spread out across the house, or on the kitchen table... Currently they are still in my bag that I took with us on vacation...

These are our homeschooling books down in the basement. There's a lot of them, and they range widely in topic. Most are non-fiction books (like the entire set of Encyclopaedia Britannica's), but there are also work books, and a few educational fiction books mixed in. 

And this is my small collection of books that I keep in the guest room. Just in case guests want to do any reading while they are here. :)

I'd like to tell you that that's all... but the truth is, it's probably only about 2/3 of our books. I gave away a ton of them last year (including my entire collection of Lori Wick books... I had almost every book she had ever written), but I'm aware that I probably still need to downsize some. What can I say, I have a thing for books... And my library is ever growing from the book review programs that I'm involved in... I just got "The Ministry of Christ: 1000 Days" by Jonathan Falwell in the mail yesterday :)

Anyway, that's our libraries, I'd love to see and hear about yours as well. You can view more libraries over at Robin's blog.

And since this is a very long post about books, I wanted to point you to the list of book review companies that I have here on my blog. If you're interested in getting free books, you should check out one or more of the programs available here.

Tangible Faith

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints— 
Colossians 1:3-4

God has been teaching me a lot lately about tangible faith. Faith that you can see. Faith that reaches out and touches those around you. I'm not talking about whitewashed pharisee faith, I'm talking about New Testament faith. What's the difference? One is self centered, showing others how good you are, the other is Christ centered and focused on showing His love to everyone you come in contact with. One is based on glorifying yourself, the other is based on glorifying God. 

There are several mentions of this New Testament faith in the Bible. Those Scriptures have been helping me to get a better picture of what kind of faith God wants us to have - faith that He considers pure (James 1:27). One such example is in Acts: 
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. 
Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
Now that is visible, tangible faith! But this wasn't the only New Testament church that lived like this. They were everywhere. In the letter Paul wrote to the Colossians, he told them that he had HEARD of their faith and love for ALL the saints. I can't imagine that he means anything other then what was spoken of in Acts. But do you know of any churches that have faith and love like that today?

I don't.

I know a lot of churches where people are very friendly on Sunday morning, and even during weekly planned activities, but none where they extend that same friendliness during the week with random acts of kindness. Very few people call just to see how their church family is doing, and even fewer call more then their selected social group.

So if someone reported on you or your churches faith and love, what would they say? Would they speak of your love for ALL the saints, or would they say that you had an awesome worship service and gave lots of money to missionaries? Which would you rather that they said? Do you have work to do? I sure do.