The Stirring Faith Blog

Discovering Deeper Love

Discovering Deeper Love

Are you ready to embark on a journey of profound spiritual growth, delving into the depths of Deeper Love? Join us as we dive deep into the essence of loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength with our latest 8-week Bible study, “Life Principles for Living Out the Greatest Commandment.”

Introducing “Life Principles for Living Out the Greatest Commandment” Bible Study

overcoming hindrances

In this transformative study, we unpack the profound words of Jesus as He breaks down the greatest commandment into four distinct ways of loving God. What if there’s more to this commandment than meets the eye? Suppose understanding and living out these principles could revolutionize your spiritual walk and lead you into a deeper love relationship with God?

What Can I Expect from the Bible Study?

Allow me to invite you to explore the significance of each facet of loving God wholeheartedly. Chapter One, “When Life is Hindered,” confronts the barriers that hinder our love for God and seeks to unravel the question: Why do we struggle to love God with our entire being?

Subsequent chapters delve deeper into each aspect of loving God, examining examples from Scripture that illuminate both the pitfalls and the pathways to Deeper Love. From the wavering heart to the overwhelmed mind, from the strength that moves mountains to the soul satisfied in love, we explore what it truly means to live out the greatest commandment in every facet of our lives.

Each chapter is meticulously crafted into five days of study, providing ample opportunity for reflection, introspection, and application as you journey towards Deeper Love. Whether you’re studying individually or in a group setting, you’ll find practical insights and transformative truths to apply to your daily life.

Part of a Larger Plan

This study is part of the Following God Discipleship series from AMG Publishers, designed to equip believers with practical tools for spiritual growth. Alongside the study book, we offer a comprehensive Leader’s Guide and six original teaching sessions to enrich your group experience as you delve deeper into Deeper Love together.

Get Ready!

Ready to embrace Deeper Love and deepen your relationship with God? “Life Principles for Living Out the Greatest Commandment” is available at leading online retailers, like Amazon, and our shop. It’s also available right here at The Stirring Faith Company. Special pricing is available for group purchases of more than 15 books. (Contact me for pricing.) So gather your friends and embark on this transformative journey of faith into Deeper Love.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to deepen your relationship with God. Discover the abundant life found in loving Him wholeheartedly. Join us as we journey together into Deeper Love!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For His glory,

Before you go

Allow me to personally invite you to Momentum: How to Get Unstuck. This exclusive challenge helps you overcome obstacles, ignite your spiritual growth, and unleash your true potential.

Each day, you’ll encounter Biblical truths, devotional insights, and a personal challenge. These help you cultivate momentum and step into a more profound connection with Jesus.

Ready to take the leap? Sign up now and let’s embark on this transformative journey together!

Click here to join the challenge and unlock your spiritual potential

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Guarding Your Focus

Guarding Your Focus

In a world filled with endless distractions and opportunities, it’s easy for you and me to lose sight of the life God has called us to live. However, Scripture reminds us of the importance of staying focused and moving in the right direction, while guarding against outside influences that can lead us astray. And this is for our good. As Leviticus 26:13 so boldly declares, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, so that you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to live in freedom.” Sometimes, that freedom feels more like bondage, and I forget how good God has been to me. Today, I thought I would offer three practical steps that will help us guard against what comes against us, leading us to forget the glorious freedom we have been given.

Fix Your Gaze Straight Ahead

Proverbs 4:25-27 encourages us to keep our eyes focused on the path set before us:

“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

Although this may not feel like a practical suggestion, when we fix our gaze on God’s plan for our lives, we are less likely to be swayed by the allure of side hustles or distractions. It’s the same as keeping out the desserts when we are trying to lose a few pounds. If I know Oreos are a distraction for me on my diet, I don’t leave them out on the counter. Staying steadfast in pursuing God’s purpose for you works the same way. We can help reduce our succumbing to the temptation to veer off course if we fix our eyes on the path.

Guard Your Heart and Mind

Proverbs 4:23 instructs us to guard our hearts diligently.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Guarding involves avoiding exposing yourself to influences that lead you away from God’s truth. Psalm 119:36 petitions, “Turn my eyes from looking at what is worthless; give me life in your ways.” Make a conscious effort to turn away from anything that distracts you from God’s ways and focus on pursuing life-giving activities that honor Him.

Embrace the Power of Prayer

Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us of the peace and power that come through prayer:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Remember, He broke sin’s power to hold us captive through the redemptive work of Jesus. That’s how He has enabled us to walk in freedom. Freedom in Christ means that instead of allowing worries and distractions to consume our thoughts, we can commit them to God through prayer. Make prayer a daily habit, setting aside intentional time to communicate with God. Pour out your heart to Him, and seek His guidance and wisdom. Better yet, make it a moment-by-moment habit while you navigate through those tempting turns and twists that inevitably come.

Through prayer, we invite God’s peace to guard our hearts and minds. At the same tie, we can ask for His help to enable us to stay focused on His will and purpose for our lives.

A Final Word on Guarding Your Focus

By implementing these three principles into our daily lives, we can guard against the allure of side hustles. We can give up the pursuit of what is worthless. These practices will help enable us to live in that promised freedom.

May we fix our gaze on God’s plan, pray for His help, and diligently guard our hearts and minds. In doing so, we will find true freedom and fulfillment in living out the purpose God has called us to.

For His glory,

Before you go

Allow me to personally invite you to Momentum: How to Get Unstuck. This exclusive challenge helps you overcome obstacles, ignite your spiritual growth, and unleash your true potential.

Each day, you’ll encounter Biblical truths, devotional insights, and a personal challenge. These help you cultivate momentum and step into a more profound connection with Jesus.

Ready to take the leap? Sign up now and let’s embark on this transformative journey together!

Click here to join the challenge and unlock your spiritual potential

See you there!

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Growing a Christ-Centered Home

As a mother navigating the complexities of family life, I understand the challenges of fostering a Christ-centered home amid the chaos of daily responsibilities. Out of the eight, we are living with the youngest three who will move into their next stage of life within the next couple of years. With years of experience raising children from diverse backgrounds, my husband and I have learned valuable lessons about what it takes to cultivate a home where Jesus is at the center. Today, I’m excited to share some insights and practical tips to help you grow a Christ-centered home of your own.

Love Well

We love because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

At the heart of a Christ-centered home is love – a love that reflects the sacrificial love of God. This love is not merely expressed in words but demonstrated through selfless actions and unwavering commitment. It involves learning for ourselves, the depths and the riches of the love of God toward us, and out of that understanding, learning to love other. Loving well in a Christ-centered home beckons us to often set aside our own desires and preferences to prioritize the needs of others.

Love, at its core, in a Christ-centered home encompasses discipline, order, and clear boundaries, all rooted in the love of God. It’s about cultivating an atmosphere of love and acceptance where every family member feels valued and cherished.

Live with Intentionality

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

Growing a Christ-centered home requires intentionality in every aspect of life. It’s about forming habits that reflect our commitment to following Christ. This includes personal devotion to God, regular family devotions, and intentional choices about how we spend our time, money, and resources. From the words we speak to the media we consume, every decision should align with our desire to honor God and point others to Him. By intentionally weaving the principles of Scripture into our daily lives, we create a culture where faith is not just a Sunday activity but a way of life.

Lace Conversations with the Bible

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” – Deuteronomy 6:6-7

One of the most effective ways to nurture a Christ-centered home is through regular Bible-based conversation. This doesn’t mean you need to be a Biblical scholar, or hold regular family Bible drills. It does require that you and I spend enough time with God, personally, that we begin to think about the world (i.e., our goals, decisions, ideas, and opinions) through a Biblical lens. Growing a Christ-centered home requires talking with our kids about real world issues from a biblical perspective. As the parent, we are to help them answer how a Christian should think about an issue, according to Scripture, or determine the right response for a believer. And this naturally happens in a thousand different conversations.

Limit Exposure to Worldly Influences

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

In a world filled with competing voices and ideologies, it’s essential to be the gatekeeper of our houses. It’s up to you and me to determine what media is allowed inside. We can decide what technology is available and what can be consumed by said technologies. This role will likely feel a little like a killjoy. You might risk your chance at becoming “the cool mom” on the street. But that’s okay. We are not given a biblical mandate to walk in step with the culture.

Instead, growing a Christ-centered home calls us to surround ourselves and our families with Christian influence. This includes everything from the media we consume to the friends we choose to spend time with. It’s not a dull or silent environment. Instead, it is one overflowing with Christian music, podcasts, books, and other resources that reinforce biblical truth and values. Let me encourage you to be intentional about fostering relationships with other believers. These connections will provide support, encouragement, and accountability for what to limit and what to embrace in your homes.

Lead Well

“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.” – Psalm 127:4

Finally, embrace your God-given role to lead. The Psalmist paints a picture of a skilled warrior with arrows in his quiver and likens it to parenting. Skilled warriors aim arrows. You, my friend, are that skilled warrior in your home. Your children are the arrows, who need you to teach them and lead them. They learn from you by your habits, your words, and your temperament. You lead them in your treatment of God, others, and a host of other things every day. It is good and right for you and me to aim them toward loving Jesus with their whole lives. There will be plenty of influences to aim them otherwise. Use your God-given influence in the lives of those entrusted to you. Lead them so that they will know nothing else but to love Jesus all of their days.

A Christ-centered home is a journey that requires commitment, intentionality, and reliance on God’s grace. By prioritizing love, living with intentionality, lacing conversations with the truths of the Bible, limiting exposure to worldly influences, and leading well, we create homes that honor Jesus, and where faith flourishes. Remember, you are not alone on this journey. God is with you every step of the way, equipping and empowering you to build a home that glorifies Him and blesses others.

For His glory,

Before you go

Allow me to personally invite you to Momentum: How to Get Unstuck. This exclusive challenge helps you overcome obstacles, ignite your spiritual growth, and unleash your true potential.

Each day, you’ll encounter Biblical truths, devotional insights, and a personal challenge. These help you cultivate momentum and step into a more profound connection with Jesus.

Ready to take the leap? Sign up now and let’s embark on this transformative journey together!

Click here to join the challenge and unlock your spiritual potential

See you there!

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Biblical Wallflowers: Learning from Overlooked Women of the Bible

Biblical Wallflowers: Learning from Overlooked Women of the Bible

I am a wallflower by nature. You’ve seen women like me. (You might even be a woman like me.) Comfortable on the sidelines. Terrorized at the thought of speaking in the group. You’ve got nothing to say, especially compared to THEM. Experience bears this out, so I remained at an emotional distance relationally many years. That is until I began to understand how God sees me., and how He uses women just like me for great and eternal purposes. In the Bible, I discovered how you and I are to conceptually understand His love and goodness toward us.

Across Scripture we find examples of women like you and me who help show us how He embraces the individual. The lives and experiences of these insignificant Nobodies have influenced me greatly. I no longer find myself in a room feeling invisible or unworthy of being chosen and used by God. You might say these Biblical wallflowers have helped me learn how to be seen and used by God in this life. In fact, I’ve moved from feeling invisible to being what I might call spiritually invincible.

You, too, can experience the freedom and joy that comes from learning how to become seen for all the right reasons and in all the right ways. Let’s look at nine women just like you and me—comfortable in the shadows, living their best wallflower lives, who God uses to show us His love and design for our own lives.

Biblical Wallflowers #1: Abigail

(1 Samuel 25:2-42)

Abigail demonstrated wisdom and diplomacy in a critical situation involving her husband Nabal and David. When David’s men sought provisions from Nabal, he responded rudely, provoking David’s anger. Abigail intervened, bringing food and making peace with David. Her actions averted disaster and showcased her intelligence and courage. After Nabal’s death, David married Abigail, recognizing her as a woman of virtue and discernment. God uses her in her personality and gifting to become more than she ever dreamed possible.

Biblical Wallflowers #2: Priscilla

(Acts 18:1-3, 18-26; Romans 16:3-4; 1 Corinthians 16:19)

Priscilla, along with her husband Aquila, played a significant role in the early Christian community. They were tentmakers by trade and worked with the Apostle Paul. Priscilla is mentioned several times in the New Testament, and she is often listed before her husband, indicating her active involvement in teaching and mentoring. In Acts 18, she and Aquila instruct Apollos in the ways of the Lord. She uses the places where God plants her, sharing her life, experiences, and understanding of who God is in a way God uses mightily.

Biblical Wallflowers #3: Jael

(Judges 4:17-22; 5:24-27)

Jael is a woman who played a crucial role in the defeat of the Canaanite general Sisera. After he fled from the battlefield, seeking refuge, Jael welcomed him into her tent. While he slept, she drove a tent peg through his temple, delivering a decisive blow to the enemy. The Song of Deborah in Judges 5 praises Jael for her bravery in fulfilling a key role in Israel’s victory.

Biblical Wallflowers #4: Joanna

(Luke 8:1-3; 24:1-10)

Joanna was one of the women who followed and supported Jesus during his ministry. She is mentioned in the Gospel of Luke as having been healed by Jesus and later becoming a benefactor to him. Joanna is also one of the women who discovered the empty tomb and witnessed the angelic proclamation of Jesus’ resurrection. Her role in financially supporting Jesus’ ministry and being a witness to the resurrection is noteworthy.

Biblical Wallflowers #5: Huldah

(2 Kings 22:14-20)

Huldah was a prophetess during the reign of King Josiah. When the Book of the Law was discovered in the temple, Josiah sent a delegation to inquire of the Lord through Huldah. Her authoritative response played a crucial role in the religious reforms initiated by Josiah.

Biblical Wallflowers #6: Tabitha (Dorcas)

(Acts 9:36-43)

Tabitha, also known as Dorcas, was a woman known for her acts of charity and kindness. She made tunics and other garments for the widows in her community. When she died, the apostle Peter raised her from the dead, showcasing the impact of her benevolent deeds.

Biblical Wallflowers #7: The Woman with the Alabaster Jar

(Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:36-50)

An unnamed woman, often identified as Mary of Bethany, demonstrates profound love and devotion to Jesus by anointing him with expensive perfume from an alabaster jar. Despite criticism from onlookers, Jesus praises her actions, emphasizing the significance of her gesture in preparation for his burial. This woman’s act symbolizes deep faith, love, and understanding of Jesus’ impending sacrifice.

Biblical Wallflowers #8: Euodia and Syntyche

(Philippians 4:2-3)

Euodia and Syntyche were two women in the early Christian community at Philippi. Although their specific contributions are not detailed, the Apostle Paul mentions them by name and acknowledges their partnership in the gospel. This suggests their active involvement in spreading the Christian message.

Biblical Wallflowers #9:The Widow with Two Mites

(Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4)

In a brief but powerful story, Jesus highlights the sacrificial giving of a poor widow who contributes two small copper coins to the temple treasury. Though her offering is minuscule in monetary value, Jesus commends her for giving all she had. This woman’s act of generosity exemplifies the principle of giving from the heart and sacrificing despite having very little.

These women may not be as well-known as some of the major figures in the Bible, but their stories offer valuable insights into the roles and contributions of women in biblical narratives. They are here for you and me. These testimonies live in the pages of Scripture so that we can see more clearly how God sees his people—even the ones who feel left out and less than.

Four Ways to Draw Inspiration from Biblical Wallflowers

There are at least four ways you and I can benefit from these stories about obscure women on the sidelines.

There is Strength in Diversity

Do not miss the sprinkling of these women across two thousand years, in different cultures, ethnic backgrounds, and stations in life. There is no mold we must fit into. They were not limited to one specific role or task, demonstrating that wallflower nobodies can contribute in various ways. Whether it’s through acts of kindness, courage, wisdom, or financial support, the Bible showcases a spectrum of strengths that women possess. You and I are to embrace our God-given unique qualities and understand that our contributions, however small they may seem, can have a significant impact.

Aim for Character and Virtue

The testimony of these lives showcase the importance of character and virtue over societal expectations or outward appearances. PRAISE GOD! Many of these women were recognized for their wisdom, courage, and faithfulness rather than disappearing into the woodwork of their conventional roles. You and I need to ask God to cultivate our inner strength, develop more resilience, and plant in us integrity. For these qualities hold lasting value and can make a lasting impact.

Your Faithfulness in the Ordinary Changes the World

These examples of women like the Widow with Two Mites or the Woman with the Alabaster Jar illustrate the power of small acts of faithfulness, kindness, and generosity.

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”  Zechariah 4:10 NLT

Remember, seemingly insignificant contributions, when offered with a believing heart, are highly valuable to God. It’s how He does much of His Kingdom work. What we do in our daily lives matters. Our God is in the ordinary, and He has ordained it for changing the world. The testimonies of these women show us the value of generosity and compassion for the individual and for the body as a whole.

Aim for an Audience of One

Your life, worth, and contributions, though unnoticed by the world, are seen and valued by God. He sees you, knows you, and has a plan for your life, even if and when others in our lives may not. Just as these women in the Bible were sometimes overlooked in their social connections or by society at large, they were recognized by God, Jesus and those we might deem the A-Team of Christianity. Wallflower Friend, your efforts are seen and appreciated by the only One that matters.

Embrace your uniqueness, cultivate virtuous qualities, engage in acts of kindness, and recognize the significance of their contributions in the eyes of God.

If you are like me and have trouble taking God at His Word in this arena, Can You See Me, Now? Good News for the Lonely, Left Out, and Less Than, is for you. As I have confessed, I naturally operate out of a wallflower mentality that keeps me hidden, unable to experience all God created me to enjoy for His glory, and my good. In Can You See Me, Now I’m passing on my notes to you for how to say “goodbye” to invisible you and start living life seen, known, and loved.

I wrote it for you. Buy the book. You won’t be sorry you did. You can learn more and purchase a copy here.

For His glory,

 

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The Art of Memorizing Scripture

The Art of Memorizing Scripture

In the whirlwind of our daily lives, finding moments for spiritual growth can feel like a daunting task, especially for busy Christian women juggling multiple responsibilities. However, amidst the chaos, there exists a transformative practice that holds the power to deepen our connection with God—the art of memorizing Scripture. Join me on this journey as we explore three compelling reasons to commit God’s Word to memory, hear an inspiring story of someone impacted by Scripture memorization, and discover three practical techniques for busy women to make memorizing Scripture a reality this year.

Three Reasons to Memorize Scripture

  1. Nourishment for the Soul

In our hectic schedules, we often neglect our spiritual well-being. Memorizing Scripture acts as a source of continual nourishment for our souls. Just as we prioritize feeding our bodies with regular meals, our spirits require the sustenance of God’s Word. The verses we memorize become a wellspring of comfort, guidance, and encouragement, readily available to sustain us in every circumstance.

  1. A Weapon Against Challenges

Life is filled with challenges that can leave us feeling overwhelmed and powerless. However, when we store God’s Word in our hearts, we equip ourselves with a powerful weapon against the struggles that come our way. Like a warrior preparing for battle, memorizing Scripture allows us to access God’s promises and truths, providing strength and resilience in times of adversity.

  1. Deepening Intimacy with God

Memorizing Scripture is not just an intellectual exercise; it’s a pathway to a more intimate relationship with God. As we commit His Word to memory, we internalize His truths, allowing them to shape our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. This deepening connection fosters a sense of closeness to our Creator, transforming our faith from a mere belief into a lived experience.

An Inspiring Story

Consider the life of Corrie ten Boom, a remarkable woman whose story exemplifies the profound impact of memorizing Scripture. During World War II, Corrie and her family sheltered Jews from the Nazis, ultimately leading to their arrest and imprisonment in concentration camps. In the direst of circumstances, Corrie clung to the verses she had hidden in her heart.

One day, faced with the harsh reality of her sister Betsie’s failing health in Ravensbrück concentration camp, Corrie recited the entire 91st Psalm—the same Psalm Betsie had requested (from The Hiding Place, Chp. 8). In the midst of the darkness, these memorized words provided a glimmer of hope and comfort, creating a sacred space where God’s presence was felt even in the bleakest moments.

Four Techniques for Busy Women

Use your Technology for Good

Busy schedules often leave us glued to our smartphones or computer screens. Leverage these digital platforms by creating visual aids for the verses you’re memorizing. Design simple graphics or use apps that allow you to overlay text onto photos. Two are like include YouVersion and Word Swag. I download these as lock screens and then create a special folder for them where my pictures are stored. This way, you can glance at your phone during the day and reinforce your memory with visual cues.

Incorporate Scripture into Daily Routines

Seize the snippets of time scattered throughout your day to engage with Scripture. Whether you’re waiting in line, commuting, or cooking dinner, use these moments to recite and reflect on a verse you’re working to memorize. By integrating Scripture into your daily routines, you’ll gradually build a repertoire of memorized passages without adding extra time commitments.

Use Scripture Cards

Another way I incorporate Scripture into my routine is with physical cards. There is often something about holding it in my hand or placing the cards where I can see them that gives just one more opportunity to make the words stick. That’s why I design these for The Stirring Faith Company. My favorite set for getting started is our Plaid Collection Set that includes twelve verses every Christian should know. It’s simple as well as foundational. I created it with my special needs daughter in mind. I cannot tell you what it meant to me hearing her recite several of these to us a few weeks ago. It’s a great place to begin, for yourself, and anyone you know who might need the visual reminders.

You can find it here 

  Repeat and Associate

Memorization thrives on repetition and association. Choose a verse and repeat it consistently throughout the day. Some experts encourage reciting a verse 10 times per day when you are learning it for the first time. A tool I use and encourage my family to utilize is an app called Fighter Verses. This app helps tremendously because it offers lock screen images of verses, songs, an audio player for having the verse read outload to you, and games. The downside is that it costs $3. I prefer free apps, but in the grand scheme, the price is well worth the benefits gained.

Additionally, associate the verse with specific cues or locations. For example, link a verse about strength to your morning coffee routine or associate a verse about peace with your bedtime ritual. Creating these mental connections enhances recall and makes memorization more accessible.

Make This Your Year

As we embark on a new year, let’s make memorizing Scripture a goal that transcends our busy lives. Embrace the reasons that make this practice invaluable, draw inspiration from those who have gone before us, and adopt practical techniques tailored to the rhythm of our bustling days.

Imagine the impact of having a treasure trove of God’s Word stored within you, ready to guide, comfort, and strengthen you in every season. The art of memorizing Scripture is not an additional burden but a transformative journey that aligns with the flow of our lives, bringing us closer to God in the midst of our daily hustle.

This year, let’s not merely survive; let’s thrive by nourishing our souls, equipping ourselves for challenges, and deepening our intimacy with God through the beautiful art of memorizing Scripture.

For His glory,

Before you go

Allow me to personally invite you to Momentum: How to Get Unstuck. This exclusive challenge helps you overcome obstacles, ignite your spiritual growth, and unleash your true potential.

Each day, you’ll encounter Biblical truths, devotional insights, and a personal challenge. These help you cultivate momentum and step into a more profound connection with Jesus.

Ready to take the leap? Sign up now and let’s embark on this transformative journey together!

Click here to join the challenge and unlock your spiritual potential

See you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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