Slayed Yet Vindicated {Guest Post}

Thank you so very much to those that contributed to make this summer break possible!
Slayed Yet Vindicated
This morning as I was doing my devotion I was reading the daily My Utmost for
His Highest and what Oswald Chambers had written really penetrated my heart.
Encouragement for when your are going through the refiner's fire. #encouragement #bible #job #refining #toughtimes #hardtimes @godschicki
I mean, I still find myself drowning in amazement at how what he wrote can so perfectly fit into our everyday lives. He had used Job as an example in his writing this morning and to be honest, it made me want to read the book of Job from beginning to end. (I don’t even know if I have done that before.)
I am just so quick to complain when things may get hard or when life brings me to a crossroad and I am left to decide one thing or another.
Poor me, having to make tough decisions and poor me when the wi-fi is down
or I have no phone service.
And God knows it is a tragedy when my blonde is attributing those brassy penny colored hues.
But seriously, who has been there before?
When not only the day or week but the whole month, maybe half the year seems to not
be going our way!
The first thing I know I don’t do is praise the Lord. That’s for certain.
Because why would I?!
My life is literally falling apart!! Right?
Haha. So, so wrong, my beautiful friend. Our lives are simply falling into place.

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

Job 13:15

Though it may feel like the Lord has a chisel on our lives and is constantly pounding at
that chisel, will you choose to trust Him still?
Is He the same God you learned about as a child that would never leave you, never let anything “bad” happen to you, the God who loves you this big? (Opening your arms as wide as they can go.) Yes, yes He is and He will always be.
I will be the first to admit that this is something I struggle with every single day.
Whether it’s because my life seems like it will never come intact, I will never
lose that weight, I won’t succeed, I am not a good mother or simply because I see
another mom who looks like they have it all together even though she has 10 kids. Ha.
Because we all know those are fiery darts straight from hell that the enemy endlessly
shoots our way.
Whatever it is that may be slaying you at the moment, let God have His way.
Trust in the stretching and uncomfortable straining you might feel right now
because soon, He is going to release you just like an arrow in an archers’ bow.
God sees the ultimate target and He is doing what is necessary to get us there.
So please, whoever you are, wherever you may be, whatever you may be feeling:
DO NOT GIVE UP. DO NOT WAVER. PERSEVERE.
Trust in the God you could never even doubt when you were a child. Trust….in the God who is bigger than the universe. He’s got you. He’s got me. He even has those who you may be praying for.

“See now, I have prepared my case, I know that I shall be vindicated.”

Job 13:18

Bianca WIlliamsBianca Williams is a mother of 2 handsome boys and wife to an amazing husband, Chance. “If you were to describe to me the life I have now when I was in high school I would have literally died from laughing so hard. But that is what makes this life worth living. The fact that God can take who we were and turn us into who He has created us to be. I started writing as a form of venting and it was not until recently that I began to Blog and share what God was placing on my heart with others. I am nowhere near where I believe God can take me but that is what my Blog is about. Simply being Beautifully Unfinished. I hope that you remember that when you feel like throwing in the towel or when you just don’t think you can take one more ounce of pain. Christ is right beside you ready to endure all that you go through. Step by Step. Love you all and hope you have a blessed day.”
You can connect with her through her blog, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
 

Viewing People As God Does {Guest Post}

A big thanks to all of the lovely contributors that helped make this summer break possible!

Viewing People As God Does

One evening, while standing on top of a parking deck, I was prompted to look all around at the bustling people of downtown Greensboro. Office buildings, cars driving by, people waiting for the bus. There are people everywhere. I don’t know them, they don’t know me. But there they are, going about their business.
I began to wonder at the thought of how many people there were – and potentially could be – within my limited line of vision.
I was asked, “How do we view people?”
How do we view those around us? Especially the lost? #evangelism #Christian #Bible #jesus #jesustotheworld #saltandlight @godschicki
This thought struck a chord.
Oftentimes we view people (especially those with whom we aren’t familiar) through a lens of physical judgment. We base our opinions of people – and, therefore, our levels of appreciation and respect – on what they look, dress, sound, or act like. We narrow-minded humans can only seem to value others based on our view of them. We are quick to judge and to label.
This particular evening, I was inspired to view people in a much deeper sense.
I viewed each person I could see (and those in office buildings, I imagined) through God-lenses. I wondered what thoughts were going through their mind, what emotions they were feeling, and if they had joyful or broken hearts. What they were dealing with and what they were working towards. Heartbreakingly so, the question of the destination of their souls arose.
“Every name has a soul, every soul has a name.” –Dr. Jim Stagg
When we view people through our sinful lenses, they become worth what we feel they are worth. We often feel this way ourselves. We find our worth in what other people see in us – not who God created us to be.
So, how do we view ourselves?
Feeling valued plays an extensive role in our lives. People have started to find their value, worth, purpose, and identity in what they have accomplished in life, and what people say about them. We tend to find our worth in our title and job description. Those who attend college identify as students. Those who are parents identify as parents. Those who work in the corporate world identify with their job position – secretary, CEO, etc.
We find our worth in how good we are. Straight A student vs. a student who scrapes by on C’s. Those of us with a larger paycheck vs those who work a number of part-time jobs. How many followers we have on social media or the number of likes we get on our content.
This logic that we use to define our worth is flawed and misguided, a tool used by the enemy, Satan.
The Bible has a lot to say about our worth in Christ! Maybe you feel like you’re a mistake, or you know someone who does. But, my friends, if you feel you are a mistake, then you are saying that God has made a mistake – which is impossible!

“For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made.  Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well.”

-Psalm 139:13, 14

If you’re afraid that this is outdated because it’s in the Old Testament, I must caution you against that dangerous kind of thinking.
However, your worth is talked about in the New Testament, as well.

“Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

-Luke 12:6, 7

Everyone has been made uniquely and with purpose in God’s eyes. Everyone has a soul. Everyone matters. You don’t matter because of the words I am telling you, you matter because of the sacrifice that was made for you by Jesus Christ on the Cross. I do not have all the answers about for what purpose God created you, aside from for His glory.
Imagine, we have been created in the image of God, the One who is perfect! He made you, every curve, dimple, and mole. Embrace who you are in Christ!
You may think you are worthless because of your past. But, take heart!

“For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.”

–Romans 3:23

 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!

-2 Corinthians 5:17

 
But if no one tells the lost and lonely about the Good News, then how will they find their true worth? They will remain searching, hopelessly, among the dead-ends of this world. A relationship that is abusive, where they remain because they feel no one else could “love” them. Addicted to alcohol or drugs, because they think it will take them outside of their tormented minds – but only temporarily. Working themselves into the ground, for their mind is set on promotions and their income determines their value as a human being.
Maybe they feel worthless because they are different from other people around them. What they see in the media as being “ideal”, they strive for. A worldly interpretation of perfection that is wildly in and of itself, imperfect.
Who knows, they could have come in contact with Christians who made them feel as if they were not good enough for church, or even Jesus. There was a church who turned their back on someone in their time of need. There was someone who proclaimed loudly that they were a Christian, yet they didn’t treat others with love and respect. Or they didn’t tell someone about the Good News and the love of Jesus because they were different from them.
How can the lost and lonely find their true worth in Jesus, if we treat them so differently? If we treat them like they aren’t good enough for Christ?
Jesus is for everyone. He is for you, He is for me. He is for every color, every age, every background. He has the power to change hearts, we do not. So why do we try to change people before they meet Jesus? If it is such a turnoff to the Gospel, why do we persist so aggressively?
Changing people is not our job.
Showing them the Good News through our words, lifestyles, and attitudes, is.
How do you view people?

Acts 10:34 – “Now I truly understand that God doesn’t show favoritism.”

The context of this verse is extremely important in our understanding this issue of God favoring one person over the other.
This verse is a quote from Peter, a Jew and one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. During this time period, the Jews still held onto the mindset of being God’s chosen people – which they were – but that God was only for them. When Jesus walked the earth as 100% God and 100% man, He paved the way for the new mindset: God, and therefore the Gospel, is for everyone. Jew or Gentile. Peter was learning this lesson on a day filled with visions from the Lord, an officer in the Roman Army named Cornelius, and God breaking down the barriers of nationality. It was not only natural for a Jew to dislike a Roman officer, but even against traditional Jewish custom!
Cornelius was a leader, a God-fearing man, and a Gentile. He had an obvious respect and fear of God, but he didn’t have the Gospel – the Good News. God used Cornelius in Peter’s life, to break down the aforementioned barriers, and He used Peter in Cornelius’ life to tell him the Good News.
The whole story can be found in Acts chapter 10!
I challenge you today to view people differently. To view them as individuals who are different, fearfully and wonderfully made, and in need of Jesus.
SarahRichardsonBorn and raised in a small, southern town, Sarah loves calling North Carolina home. Saved by Grace, and passionate about helping others find boldness. Though she is often at home working on her blog, she enjoys exploring new places – England is next on the list! Flannels, coffee, mountains, and deep conversations are essentials.
You can connect with her through her blog, FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.
 
My note:
Ephesians 2:10 is also a great verse on our worth in Christ:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

 

Joy & Sorrow {Guest Post}

Thank you very much to each of the contributors that have helped give me a bit of a break this summer!

Joy & Sorrow

Joy & Sorrow {Guest Post} #joy #sorrow #mourning #gladness #hope @godschicki
Photo by Yaoqi LAI on Unsplash
It was September 18, 2008 – my freshman year of Bible college – and I was driving two hours to Syracuse, NY to say my last goodbyes to the man who would become my father-in-law (though he did not live long enough for me to call him that in person). I don’t remember the trip to the hospital but I do remember walking into the room. I remember seeing this man I loved so much in the last moments of his life. I remember how loud the hospital seemed. I thought the whole world ought to be weeping. Didn’t they know who they were losing?! I remember the quiet sight of my mother-in-law as she told her beloved he could go, they would be ok, he didn’t have to fight anymore. I remember feeling like he waited for me to get there. I remember the doctor coming in and shutting off the machines. I remember the surreal feeling of stepping onto the elevator. It all seemed wrong. He should be with us. I learned a lot about sorrow in those days.
 
Sometimes sorrow settles for a while deep in the crevices of our hearts. It finds a home and makes itself comfortable. People hurt us, our own sin threatens to undo us, financial struggles fill us with anxiety, sickness and death come knocking at the door of a loved one’s life, and sadness creeps over us and remains. Life moves forward but the sorrow hangs in the air like a curtain separating us from the rest of the world.
 
On the other hand, sometimes joy is unexplainably beautiful. It comes in waves filled with gratefulness. Friendships are made or restored, babies are born, our income exceeds our need, health is revitalized and enjoyed, people are saved from their sin, and the joy feels tangible. It seems as though the whole world should jump for joy with us.
 
Two and half years after that awful day in the hospital, I married that man’s son and the joy hung thick in the air so that we could almost slice it. A snowstorm swirled outside but we were safe and warm, surrounded by dear ones, and making the most joy-filled covenant of my life.
 
Most of us have experienced both utter joy and sorrow. I have felt the amazing joy of answered prayer, real soul-deep friendship, a snowy white wedding day, and the birth of my two children. I have also felt the very tangible sorrow of grief, chronic illness, a broken heart, and a familial betrayal.
 
When sorrow and sadness take over my life, my temptation is to dwell on the pain and challenge of my circumstances and allow my heart to grow bitter and angry. When joy and happiness swoop in, my temptation is to find contentment in the circumstances I feel I have acquired for myself and allow pride to gain a foothold in my heart. Both are wrong.
 
Both sorrow and joy are supposed to make me long for home with Christ where everything will be restored. Pain will be taken away, death will no longer reign, friendships won’t face an uphill battle against miscommunication and misunderstanding, and familial ties will be written in the blood of Christ which is stronger than any bond on Earth. Heaven will be glorious.
 
Sorrow, like the sour taste of a beautiful lemon, reveals the utter inadequacy of everything that is beautiful here. It is all stained by sin and groaning to be made new. Joy, like a commercial for ice cream, is supposed to make me long for the lasting peace that can only come when I am home in Heaven with Christ.
 
Nothing here can fully satisfy. Sorrow reminds us of that. But a day is coming when our hearts will be resting fully for eternity and joy reminds us of that.
 
Sorrow and joy mingle together in this life, with the ultimate purpose of making me love, worship, and long for the presence of Christ eternally. It is my challenge now to not to be satisfied in the joy and not dismayed by the sorrow but to look to Christ with anxious expectation for a day that is coming when my joy will be eternal and my sorrow a distant memory.
 
And, won’t that be a glorious day? When all the saints from history will join together in one song, proclaiming the excellency of Christ. And our praise will be all the more amazing because we have experienced those heartbreaking sorrows that drew our hearts on Earth. And we will think how gracious it was for God to give us a tiny foretaste of this beauty through the joys He bestowed on us.
 
May we never think that this world is all there is. When we face joy, may our pride never cut us off from reality. When we face sorrow, may we look with longing for the day that will be so far greater than our earthly realities. And may we proclaim with the apostle John, “Come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).
KatieDeckert
Katie is a wife, homeschooling mom to littles, and writer from New York. She spends her days perpetually picking up toys and opening the door to her home. She blogs at Hospitable Homemaker where she discusses the joys and stresses of hospitality, homemaking, adoption, and the Christian life.
You can connect with her through Facebook and Pinterest as well.

When Anxiety Threatens Your Personal Peace {Guest Post}

A big thank you to all of the contributors this summer!

When Anxiety Threatens Your Personal Peace

{Guest post} How I deal with anxiety from a Christian perspective. #anxiety #help #peace @godschicki @tammykennington

Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash

It waits in the shadow of thoughts; sitting real and large on my chest like a rock pressing sharp edges into earth’s soft soil. Settling into tender places until the pressure builds and the corners of my heart fracture enough to allow tears to seep through and thin shocks of electricity shoot down my arms into the tips of each finger–seeking release.
I’ve been managing anxiety well for years, but its risen from dormancy the last several weeks. I’m not terribly surprised. For a short time, my husband was hospitalized. A colleague threatened suicide. A dear one is battling against the stronghold of depression. And the only evidence now of a long-time canine companion is a small pink collar and unused dog dish.
Unwelcome, apprehension greets me in the morning and whispers in my ear as I lay my head on the pillow at night.
You should have done something for her today. Why didn’t you call him? What if he doesn’t know how important he is to you? To God?
I gather the thoughts and then release them in prayers.
This sort of battle resides in the mind, but is as real as any visible enemy. For some, its roots may have sprung from a biological bent toward mental illness. A lack of feel-good chemical production. Others may have suffered trauma or loss. Perhaps a loss so overwhelming that is seems to grow uncontrolled and ever-larger–like a nightmarish beanstalk in a child’s fairy tale.
Friend, when we feel impossibly small as we hack away at anxiety–burdened by the hard of circumstance or overwhelmed by worry, remember that Christ conquered every power. Every principality. Every plot to separate us from Him. In His name we can stand against the lies of the enemy, denying satan the right to shift worship from Christ to concern.
Pray against worry. Pronounce Christ’s truth over yourself. And, cling to His promises.

Action Steps to Help When You are Anxious

P-When assaulted by an anxious thought, immediately pray against it. Renounce it as powerless in the name of Christ. (John 14:13)
R–Remind yourself of God’s promises. Memorize scriptures you can pray back to Him when you’re struggling. (James 4:8)
A–Ask others to pray with and for you. (James 5:16)
I-Develop intentional habits to help ward off anxiety. These might include daily Bible reading and meditation, regular exercise, and eating well. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
S-If anxiety becomes part of your day-to-day struggle,seek help from a counselor or doctor. (Proverbs 12:15)
E-Press into God, enduring with patience and hope for He will bless you. (James 1:12)
Blessings,
Tammy
TammyK
Tammy Kennington is a writer, speaker, education workshop presenter, and child abuse awareness advocate. Familiar with the impact of trauma, mental illness, and parenting in the hard places, Tammy hopes to lead women toward a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with the God who loves them.
You can connect with Tammy through her blog, Facebook,  or Twitter.
 
 
 
 

Biblical Encouragement For The Lonely Wife {Guest Post}

A big thanks to all of the contributors this summer!

Biblical Encouragement For The Lonely Wife

There are times when most of us feel lonely as a wife or mother, here is some Biblical encouragement for those tough times. #encouragement #biblical #christian #wife #mother #lonely #toughtimes @godschicki @marriagemomlife
I don’t think it’s completely off base to say that a lot of wives go through some period of loneliness. Whether you have been married 10 years or 10 minutes, that feeling can come creeping in!
Maybe you’ve moved away from family and friends to somewhere new, had kids, a job change, or life has been just plain old overwhelming lately.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I’ve been there too; right after my husband and I got married, we moved 3 hours away from my family and started ministering as youth leaders in a new church. I didn’t know anyone. I was far away from my mom (we all need our mamas, no matter how old we are right??) and best friends.
Then we had our first child. I love my daughter with all my heart but nobody told me how lonely the “4th” trimester could be!
All it takes is for that one thought to enter in. That whisper from the enemy that says, “no one knows what you’re going through,” “you’ll always feel this way,” and the worst one, “no one cares.”
But God’s Word says something different.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:1

God cares, and He never leaves us.
So, as wives and moms, what do we do when we are feeling this way? Here are three ways to combat loneliness with holiness.

Remember that God is ALWAYS faithful.

He never leaves our side. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 says:

“But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.”

He is always there, no matter where we go or how far we feel we have drifted. He is there when the water is abundantly flowing, and when we’re in the desert. The Bible says that He has established us. Not only is He faithful but He also guards us against the evil one! Loneliness is from Satan, not from the Lord. We can always turn to God for comfort.

Examine your hearts for hidden idols.

1 Corinthians 3:11 reads:

“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Anyone else ever have times where they place their identity in worldly things? Our spouses, kids, church, books, our jobs… all of these are gifts that have been given to us! However, when they become more important than the ONE who gave, we lose our focus and seek fulfillment outside of Christ.

Pray for the Lord to bring people into your life.

In James 4:2, he writes:

“you do not have because you do not ask God!”

God is not too big or too little for our prayers. The prayers that go unanswered are the ones that we don’t lay at his feet!
Do you desire godly friends in your life? Ask! We are created for relationship. We are meant to share our struggles and pray for each other, encourage and uplift each other. He wants to give us close community because we were never meant to go through this life alone.
Who else is thankful that God gives us ways to conquer these feelings of loneliness? When we stop believing the lies from the enemy, and start listening to the Truth, that is where transformation happens! We have each other and His Word to lean on, and I pray you take encouragement in these words.
Remember, sister, you are not alone!
MindySueJones
Mindy is the creator of Marriage & Mommyhood. She is a Christ follower, loving wife and mama to a sweet little girl, with a passion for seeing marriages thrive, and sharing mom-tips. Her hope is to offer you encouragement in your marriages and as mothers. Let’s figure out life together!
You can connect with her on her blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram.

Summer Family Bucket List (With Printable)

This summer we will be adjusting to life with a new little one, so , while I am aiming high as always, I do not know how much of this we will get done, but we will be making memories with our new little one either way. I know that I do want to be intentional about making memories with the children.
Our plan for intentional memory making this summer. #bucketlist #summer #summerfun #familytime #familyfun @godschicki
Many of these are cheap or free, some take intentional scheduling, others are great spur of the moment things.

  • Make Popsicles
  • Make Gelatin
  • Make S’mores
  • Build a Camp Fire
  • Camp in the Backyard
  • Water gun fight
  • Play with water balloons
  • Go to the beach
  • Build a sand castle
  • Have a pillow fight
  • Make pizzas
  • Watch the stars
  • Make cupcakes
  • Find shapes in the clouds
  • Teach the children to climb trees
  • Eat watermelon and have a seed spitting contest
  • Rock painting/hunting
  • Slip and slide
  • Glow stick pool
  • Farm stand visit
  • Do science experiments
  • Do some craft projects
  • Hide and seek
  • Play in the sprinkler
  • Read 100 books
  • Have an Independence Day Scavenger Hunt
  • Go to dollar movies
  • Lowes or Home Depo Kids Workshop
  • Water balloon base-ball
  • Tin can stilts
  • Shadow puppet/ animal play
  • Write letters/cards
  • Bowling
  • Learn about sea shells/animals
  • Visit the aquarium
  • Make ice cream
  • Roll down a hill
  • Eat corn on the cob
  • Mini golf
  • Fly a Kite
  • Enjoy our veggies from the garden
  • Paint with water guns
  • Do an act of service
  • See Fireworks
  • Play with Glow sticks outside after dark
  • Catch lightning bugs

 
I have made a printable to help keep up with our list, if you would like to download it to help you be intentional about making memories this summer, you can click here. I have made a Pinterest Board with a load of Summer Bucket List ideas to pull from as well.

Spring Family Bucket List (With Printable)

I love each of the seasons for their own reasons. I love the new life and growth in spring.

Making Memories

I try to be intentional about making memories with the children. I made a summer bucket list last year. We really enjoyed it, and it made helped us to be intentional about our time together, so I am making one for the spring. Not all of these things are necessarily spiritual, but many (like gardening, rainbows, Easter, and learning about the creatures that God has made) if not all, open the door for many teachable moments. Far more often than not, quality time happens in quantity time! With faith at home, more is caught than taught.
Spring Family Bucket List with Printable #spring #bucketlist #family #garden #familytime @godschicki

Our Spring Bucket List

[This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you purchase things through my links, I get a small commission.]
  • pick strawberries
  • make jam
  • garden
  • make bread
  • visit a farm/petting zoo
  • celebrate Easter
  • check out our favorite farm stand
  • go on a nature walk as a family
  • pick flowers
  • do the object lessons of the Resurrection Eggs
  • dye eggs
  • press flowers
  • make sun catchers
  • splash in puddles
  • dance in the rain
  • paint with bubbles
  • fly a kite
  • have a picnic
  • bake cupcakes/cookies
  • smell the flowers
  • make play dough
  • draw with sidewalk chalk
  • make a berry pie
  • teach the kids how to play hopscotch
  • have a tea party outside
  • play tag
  • read outside
  • get a good family picture
  • nature scavenger hunt
  • make flower crowns/daisy chains
  • bug hunt/catch bugs
  • blow bubbles
  • play ball
  • learn about butterflies
  • paint rocks
  • build a fort
  • paint a rainbow
  • watch the clouds/find pictures in the clouds
  • do some origami (might just be a paper air plane…but we’ll see)
  • cook with fresh veggies together
  • learn how plants grow
  • make a windsock
  • make paper flowers
  • look for four-leaf clovers
  • wash cars
  • tell jokes
  • make pinwheels
  • make old fashioned lemonade
  • make a bird feeder
  • some fun spring crafts
  • make cards for people
  • family movie night
  • family game night
  • visit a new place (museum, historical place, etc)
  • enjoy the sunshine

Now, this is quite the list, and we may not get to all of it, but aim for the moon and at least you will land among the stars, right?
I made up a printable to help you out in your planning, you can click here to get that!
Need some ideas on what to add to your spring bucket list? I have a Pinterest Board for Spring Bucket List Ideas.
Do you have any spring traditions?

36 Songs For Tough Days

36 Songs for Tough Days @gosdchicki
One of those days. I’ve had a lot of them many times. Here are some songs that have each ministered to me in difficult times, and encouraged me to press on.
Music is such a powerful medium. We can learn a song as a child and remember it 20 years later. These songs all hold truths that are great to tuck away for hard days. I have shared a bit before about how songs have ministered to me in my posts His Grace Is Enough and Peace.
I would love to share the snippets of lyrics that have really spoken to me, but as a blogger I have to abide by copyright laws, and posting more than a song title is considered infringement.

This post contains affiliate links. This means that the price that you pay will not change, but I receive a small commission when you purchase through my links.

36 Songs For Tough Days

  1. Shackles by Mary Mary
  2. Held by Natalie Grant
  3. God is God by Steven Curtis Chapman
  4. This Is The Stuff by Francesca Battistelli
  5. Strong Enough by Matthew West
  6. Out of My Hands by Matthew West
  7. Trust In You by Lauren Daigle
  8. Walk By Faith by Jeremy Camp
  9. I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp
  10. Blessed Be Your Name by Tree 63
  11. Your Grace Is Enough by Matt Maher
  12. Lord Move Or Move Me by FFH
  13. You Are God Alone by Phillips, Craig, and Dean
  14. Let The Waters Rise by Mikeschair
  15. Hills And Valleys by Tauren Wells
  16. You Are Loved by Stars Go Dim
  17. Rescue by Michael Gungor
  18. Never Alone by BarlowGirl
  19. Praise You In The Storm by Casting Crowns
  20. One Thing Remains by Passion Conference
  21. Your Love Never Fails by Jesus Culture
  22. It Is Well With My Soul by Jeremy Camp
  23. Trading My Sorrows by Darrell Evans
  24. He Is Our Peace by Maranatha
  25. The Voice Of Truth by Casting Crowns
  26. Corner Stone by Aaron Shust
  27. I Have This Hope by Tenth Avenue North
  28. Your Hands by JJ Heller
  29. Whom Shall I Fear by Chris Tomlin
  30. Need You Now (How Many Times) by Plumb
  31. Lift Me Up by The Afters
  32. Steady My Heart by Kari Jobe
  33. Cry Out To Jesus by ThirdDay
  34. At The Foot of The Cross by Kathryn Scott
  35. Desert Song by Shane and Shane
  36. Hungry (Falling On My Knees) by Kathryn Scott

Has music ministered to you? What songs do you like to listen to in hard times?
 

The Enemy

The Enemy @godschicki
Imagine that you are on an African safari. Something happens to your jeep and you are stranded. You are going to be more aware of the dangers around you. Especially if there are lions in the area.
You are going to make choices based on the fact that there is a lion out there seeking to eat you.
Scripture says that the devil is like a lion:

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

Let us think about that for a bit.
What are some are some of the characteristics of the prey that a lion goes after?

  • The Weak
  • The Slow
  • The Young
  • The Old
  • The Unsuspecting
  • The Isolated
  • The Injured
  • The Different

Imagine those characteristics as spiritual things. What are one or more things that you do that might put yourself in one or more of those categories?
Here are some of the thoughts that I had:

The Weak

Lack of exercise and nourishment can leave us weak. Are we feeding your soul daily? Are we working the muscles of our faith?

The Slow

Lack of sleep can leave us slow. Are we taking time to be still with God? To observe a day of rest?

The Young

Are we new in the faith? Have we found a mentor and an accountability partner?

The Old

Has our faith grown stagnant?
Sometimes we get arrogant. We think that we have nothing more to learn about God, His Word, or faith.
Have we grown weary in doing good?

The Unsuspecting

Are we preparing for the devil’s attacks by putting on the garment of praise, love, and the full armor of God? Are we familiar with your weapon?
Are we so busy that you are distracted?

The Isolated

Are we active in a community of believers? We are called to fellowship with fellow believers. Not just get our church from the tv, but really be part of the church body (yes, there are people who cannot get out of their house, but that is where the body should come in through visits, etc).
Sometimes lions will work to isolate prey. He knows that there is safety in numbers.
Imagine breaking a pencil. Not always easy, but very doable. Now, imagine holding a handful of pencils. If you have 10 pencils in your hand, it is nearly impossible to do unless you are the Incredible Hulk or Superman.

The Injured

We all feel broken at times, but we should not stay there. Allowing God to heal our brokeness is important.
Maybe we have been hurt by someone in the church.
Maybe we feel the devil’s attacks daily and that we are losing ground, we have gotten distracted by the storm.

The Different

Unlike the other things, this is not a bad thing. We are called to stand out as people of God. Sometimes that makes us easier prey because we are more visible. In this case, it is encouraging when we face trials for a our faith.
 
 
We must live our lives like we are being sought by a prowling lion. Preparing for the daily spiritual warfare.
How do you prepare yourself for the day, and more specifically, for the enemy’s attacks? What are some verses that you use to sword fight?
 

Family Dinner Games

I shared the other day how important intentional family dinners are. Here are some great games and conversation starters to help you connect with your family, as well as help your kids learn language skills (among other things).
Family Dinner Games @godschicki
The Green Glass Door is a fun game to play, as are going on a picnic, first letter last letterI SPY,  and fortunately unfortunately.
The Family Dinner Project’s Pickles and Predicaments
The Family Dinner Project‘s Dinner Games
She Know’s 5 Games to Play at the Dinner Table

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Dinner Games

Beginner Dinner Games
We have the Beginner Dinner Games set, some of them are still over out children’s heads (our oldest is almost 5), but there are a lot of them that we have enjoyed.

Family Talk.

Conversation Cards
This one is fun because it doubles as a card game.

After Dinner Conversations-Get Smart Trivia Questions

Melissa and Doug Conversation Starters

Q’s Race to the Top On-the-Go Pack: fun questions and activities for practicing social skills, manners, and emotional control!
This one is a lot of fun, but not all of it is doable at the table (crab walking is not really doable at the table), but a lot of it is fine for table time. I really like that it teaches how to handle emotions and how to think things through.

Table Topics

(click on the images below to check them out, or click here to see all of the available sets)
This one is really fun, but there are many editions for almost every occasion.

The To-Go Kids Edition is a great way to start:

Teen Edition

Family Edition

The Family To-Go Trio

Family Gathering Edition

What are your favorite games to play at the table? Have you tried any of these?