Bible Reading Challenge Check-In And A Trip to Nashville

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Hey Friends! Monday is here and it’s time to check in with the Bible reading challenge! How are you doing??

I’m thrilled to let you know that I’m all caught up on the reading (I can hardly believe it!) and I was able to get the Pinterest board caught up as well. We’re just about down to the three months remaining mark for this year’s reading challenge. Whether you have the goal to read the Bible through this year or you simply have the goal to read some each day, we’re glad to have you use our weekly Monday check-in to have a place to stay connected with others who want to read the Bible each day. Let’s continue to encourage one another!

On Thursday and Friday last week, you may have noticed that I didn’t post anything on the blog. Time got away from me last week! On Thursday morning, I headed out early to Nashville to meet up with the Tommy Nelson Mommy team! We all had a great time together at the Gaylord Opryland hotel. Thursday evening we took the indoor river ride together inside the Opryland. Then Friday, we spent the day together at the Harper Collins Christian Publishing office in Nashville, which houses the Tommy Nelson brand and division.

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Friday night after dinner at the downtown Puckett’s, we took a beautiful walk and I snapped this beautiful bridge:

Nashville bridge

Saturday we took in a few more authentic Nashville spots, including the famous Loveless Cafe.

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and Johnny Rocket’s!

We also had the privilege of going to the Grand Ole Opry, which I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I could hardly believe that we were given a backstage tour!

opryland tommy nelson backstage opryland

 

So while we had a ton of fun, and I managed to get a ton of work completed also, I’m back home now and ever so thankful to see my husband and family. Just thought you might enjoy the pics from the Tommy Nelson mommy meetup; if you’d like to see more pics, check out the hashtag #mommymeetup . See you tomorrow!

Don’t forget to let me know how your Bible reading is going! :)

Rachel

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Sarah Who Remembered God’s Promise: Women in the Bible Week 1

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Welcome to week 1 of  our Women in the Bible: Beautiful and Brave series! To catch up on the details of the series, you can tune in here. I’m delighted that you are joining us as we explore Sarah, the wife of Abraham. I think Sarah has gotten a bit of a bad rap over the years. I’ve heard many sermons and lessons on Sarah that have discussed her response  upon the news that she would have a child. In Genesis 18, we find the story:

The LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him.Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”

Prior to this passage, Sarah and Abraham were waiting for the promise of God to be fulfilled. God’s promise was that they would have as many children as the stars. At one point, Sarah got a little ahead of the game and sent her handmaids in to be with Abraham. You know, I can relate to Sarah, because I’m not so great at waiting on God’s timing either. It’s easy to think our human ideas can “help God out a little”, if you know what I mean. So, yes, Sarah gets quite the rap for her issues outlined in Scripture.

But there’s such an incredible nugget of truth tucked in the Bible about Sarah, the first mother of God’s chosen people. Have you ever heard of the Hall of Faith, Hebrews 11? Take a look at verse 11:

By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

You know, Sarah had her little laugh upholding her doubts about her own physical ability to even get pregnant at her age, but I can’t help but think how brave Sarah was. She was clearly past child-bearing years and her body was thrown into a hormonal tailspin. Many of us women can hardly deal with the normal cycle of monthly hormones; can you imagine a reversal cycle? Seriously!

Since I’ve had 6 babies, I’ve tried to put myself in Sarah’s place. And honestly, I think I might have laughed in her condition also. However, she stopped laughing and took God at his Word. She willingly accepted the hormonal reversal as God’s way of keeping his promise and she knew it could only be him who kept his promise. No one else could have performed such a miracle and there was no mistake about her baby bundle of blessing. Ultimately, she was Sarah who remembered God’s promise.

Believing God’s promises and accepting his delivery method was Sarah’s specialty. There was no FedEx; just Faith.

I wonder what it must have been like for Sarah to experience this unusual physiological process. While there’s no doubt it was miraculous for her to conceive, I have pondered what it must have been like to carry a baby at her age. God must have given her body a total makeover in order to carry a baby for nine months when she was beyond child-bearing years.  Her strength had to come from him; there’s no other explanation. And that’s what I think she would tell us if we had the opportunity for an interview.

So here’s the skinny on Sarah’s beautiful and brave profile:

  • Name: Sarah
  • Occupation: Homemaker
  • Family background: Wife of Abraham, Mother to Isaac
  • Daily life: Tent dweller
  • Emotional baggage: Self-doubt, Fear, Unbelief
  • Weaknesses: Eavesdropping, Laughing inappropriately
  • Beauty secret: Believing God, Receptive to his will, Faithful to his promises
  • Act of bravery: Accepted a total physiological makeover in order to allow God to fulfill his promise through her, by not only conceiving a child, but carrying him safely through birth. All at 90 years of age!

Sarah certainly inspires me to be one who considers God faithful to keep his promises.

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Bloggers, I’m thrilled to have your 100% Christian encouragement  linkups this Whimsical Wednesday. If you have chosen to participate in the Women in the Bible series and link up your post about Sarah, then I plan to choose and highlight one of your posts here on the blog Thursday.

Rachel

 



13 Bible Verses for when you feel empty

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Emptiness is a difficult emotion to simply describe. It is that feeling you have not just when you are tired, but when you have given it everything you’ve got. Nothing remains, but it may not be from fatigue. When you feel empty, it’s like a piece of your soul is missing.

Maybe you are grieving the loss of a loved one and that grief is causing you to feel empty.

Perhaps your heart aches with the space left open by one you love who didn’t return your love.

Sometimes the emptiness comes from feeling unfulfilled in our goals or dreams.

Life can be so full; yet without a deep heart satisfaction, we continually wrestle with complete contentment.  No matter the lack of fulfillment, God’s Word holds the promises to combat the emptiness and find fulfillment in Christ.So today I’m sharing these 13 Bible verses for when you feel empty.

I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Rom. 15:13

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, I Peter 1:8

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2

Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything. Colossians 2:9&10 MSG

May Jesus fill your emptiness and use it for his glory today.

I’m looking forward to the Women in the Bible series beginning tomorrow! If you’re a blogger and participating by writing a post and linking it up, then tomorrow’s focus lady is Sarah, the wife of Abraham.

If you felt this post was for you, then you might enjoy A Prayer for when I feel empty.

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Rachel

 

“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”