Bible Reading Challenge Check-In

fall leaves west virginia

 

Welcome to Monday! I thought you would enjoy this photo my niece took in the mountains of West Virginia. Isn’t it beautiful?

Here we are at the Bible Reading Challenge check-in once more. We have 11 more Monday check-in’s to go! If you are reading through the Bible with us this year, then congrats on making it this far. If you are using this Monday group for weekly accountability, I applaud your commitment. No matter where you are in reading God’s Word, our goal is to read each day and spend quality time getting to know God more.

Let’s celebrate what God is doing in our lives today.

I feel so blessed to have found a sweet two page writing signed by my mom this weekend. I’ve been doing some cleaning in the basement where we’ve stored things for the last 14 years. The place was getting a little scary so my husband and I started tackling it all last weekend. We have a ways to go to being totally organized, but we made quite a dent in the backlog. The essay I found that was written by my mom was about me, used as part of a college honor ceremony from 1993. (Ok, go ahead, calculate my age.) 

The essay is a brag letter and it touched my heart to read it again, especially since my mom has been in Heaven for 14 years. I wanted to share one part with you:

Finally, when I think of Rachel, I am reminded of her keen sense of humor. God has used this to help others and herself through the tough times. I am sure He will continue to use this, as well as her other talents, for his glory.

I know that so many of you stumble across the blog because you are facing hard times. Either Google sends you here or a friend shares a link that brings you here. Or maybe you know someone who knows someone else who…. :)

Who knew that what my mama believed almost 20 years ago would be exactly what God would do?

And to close out her “brag letter” about her girl, she wrote out:

Philippians 1:6

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

That’s what my mama said Jesus wants to do for me.

And that’s what he wants to do for you too.

Do you have a praise to share? I’d love to read it.

Have a marvelous Monday and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Rachel

20 Questions to Ask Those You Love

those you love

Last weekend I read a book I could not put down. Really. I kept thinking about it when it wasn’t in my hand.

While those who know me well might argue that statement applies to every book, that’s not true.  Occasionally as a blogger, I receive books before they are released and this book was completely unsolicited. To make things more interesting, initially I took a glance at the cover and wasn’t impressed at all. But there were two things that caused me to pick up the book once more. A. Bob Goff endorsed the book. That man is a genius and loves Jesus. B. Who writes a book and titles it “Jesus Prom?”


Jesus Prom: Life Gets Fun When You Love People Like God Does

Four days passed before my schedule allowed any luxury reading, but as soon as Friday night came, I was on this book. And in this book. Soaked in beautiful simplicity, I read and tweeted for the next few hours. I can’t remember ever telling you that I really wish I could buy this book for every person I know. I wish I could give this book to every Christian I know. And actually love them into reading it.

But since I can’t do that, there is one thing I can do. I can tell you that of all the books I’ve read this year, this one has kept me thinking on it alllll week. The biggest question I have continually asked myself is:

Do I love people like Jesus loves people?

Then I kept thinking about how do I really love the people God has placed in my life and on my path. The first question for “20 questions to ask those you love” was provided in Jesus Prom in one of the beautiful stories told by the author, Jon Weece. The simple question is:

What can I do for you?

I don’t want to spoil the story for you, but the emphasis of this question is on the word “can.” Because many times what we think someone needs is not really what they need. Jesus is a need-meeter. Is that a word? I just made it up. Being a need-meeter is more than being a provider. It is knowing first what people really need. Since I don’t always know this, I have to learn to gently ask.

All these thoughts led me to share this unusual, wonderful read with you. It also prompted me to produce this list of questions to help me think through loving others by asking them questions in a loving manner.

1. What can I do for you?

2. How are you doing?

3. How are you feeling?

4. Can I pick up something at the store for you?

5. What would you like to do?

6. Do you have an idea?

7. Can I do something for you?

8. How can I help you?

9. Do you need anything?

10. Did you do anything new today?

11. Can I help you with that?

12. Do you need something else?

13. Do you want me to take care of that?

14. What would you like to do?

15. How can I pray for you right now?

16. What do you think about it?

17. Do you know I love you?

18. Do you know Jesus loves you?

19. What’s your biggest frustration today?

20. How can I show my love for you today?

I hope you’ll buy Jesus Prom. I know it doesn’t release until Oct. 21st, but you can preorder it. I don’t think I’ve ever recommended a book to you that I really wish every Christian would read, so this is a first. Ignore the book cover (I didn’t care for it) and I’m telling you to ignore the Amazon description too (It doesn’t do the book justice at all.) Just get your hands on the book and I guarantee you’ll experience a heart change.

What good is a book if it doesn’t cause a heart change in some way, shape or form? It’s the beauty in words and our ability to interpret them.

What’s your favorite way to show others you love them?

Happy Friday!

Rachel 

If you want more info, check this out:

Jesus Prom: Life Gets Fun When You Love People Like God Does

Disclosure: Product provided by Publisher; all opinions are my own.Site may be compensated if purchase is made. See full disclosure policy here.

The Importance of Counting Happy Habits And Devotional Giveaway for Men

happy habits
Post includes a devotional book giveaway for men!

Today I’ve been thinking about the importance of counting happy habits. What do I mean by “counting happy habits?” As a recovering perfectionist, I think having a critical eye comes naturally to me. I can walk in my kitchen and see every crumb on the floor and smudge on the fridge. I don’t even have to look; it’s like a sixth sense for me to see the dirt and flaws in a room. I don’t even have to look in the mirror to see all of my own flaws; they are more than evident to me. This sixth sense becomes a problem when I place routines over relationships.

Relationships and routines are married; each should influence the other in a positive manner. 

When my routine is to examine the carpet stain and brush over the sorrowful eyes of a child who wants to help clean up the mess, then I lose.

When my routine is to see toothpaste in the bathroom sink again and overlook the sweet girl who is doing her best to brush her teeth all by herself, then I lose.

When my routine is to count the bad habits, whether my own or those I love, then I lose.

The running tally in my mind must focus on consistently acknowledging the positive attributes. I’ve found that counting the happy habits is a great way to channel these thoughts. This step comes before I even begin to give thanks. For example, one of my children has the habit of taking his socks off before he plays in the backyard. And those socks seem to wind up in odd places, like under the couch or ottoman. This habit is not pleasing to me and I don’t want this little habit to become a bigger one. But I also don’t want to focus on this “little” habit so much, that this routine defines our relationship. This is where the importance of counting happy habits enters. If I count the happy habits of my children and my husband, then praising them in  the moment becomes much easier for me.

In society today, our focus seems to be on the negative habits to the point of stereotyping. In an effort not to issue labels, I believe counting the positive habits of those closest to us is the key. So I started keeping a mental ticker tape of my husband’s habits that I love. I do it for my children too. I say to myself “I love it when she…” or “He just did it- that thing I love so much.” Just as an example, here’s my current “ticker tape” of counting happy habits of my husband:

  • I love it each Tuesday when he weekly remembers to take out the trash and I’ve totally forgotten it.
  • I love that he prays with each of our children, every single night.
  • I love that my husband always rinses his plates; he never leaves dirty dishes in the sink.
  • I love that he thinks it is so funny to leave the speakers up full blast when he gets out because he knows it will scare me to death when I start the minivan.
  • I love that my husband is reliable to follow through on his time commitments every day for family, ministry, and work.

Interestingly enough, I’ve noticed in the last two weeks that my sweet 3 year old has picked up a new habit. She says “Oh, I love …..” No matter what it is, she’s not afraid to tell you what she loves. Bacon. Apple juice.  When Auntie Mary comes over. When Daddy comes home from work.

Encouraging words carry empowering weight. And that’s why we should use them.

I’m super excited to introduce you to a wonderfully encouraging tool for men, a new devotional, “Man Stuff: Devotional Thoughts on Faith, Family and Fatherhood.” This devotional by Josh Turner holds an incredible number of encouraging words that carry empowering weight. In the amount of time it takes to drink a cup of coffee, your son, brother, father, husband, uncle, grandfather or friend can read heartfelt words to inspire living out Biblical principles.

Josh Turner is a country music superstar, but he focuses on the shining stars of his wife and three children. I thought you would enjoy a preview of this awesome book:

You can find more great information or order it Man Stuff: Thoughts on Faith, Family, and Fatherhood“>right here. I know you’re interested in this book for someone you love, so follow the Rafflecopter and have a wonderful weekend!

but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:25

 

Rachel

Related posts:
7 Ways to Praise your Husband for 7 Days
20 Things to Say to Encourage Your Husband

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Product provided by Publisher; all opinions are my own.Site may be compensated if purchase is made. See full disclosure policy here.