Halloween Ministry

There is much debate as to if Christians should participate in Trick or Treating on Halloween.
What we do for the neighborhood children at Halloween. #ministry #halloween #allhallowseve #neighborhood #trickortreat @godschicki
It is a tough decision to make, and ultimately one of the rib issues in Christianity.
I am just going to share how we minister to the neighborhood kids on Halloween.
We put together goodie bags. Each year we hand them out, and the kids get so excited about it.
What we do for the neighborhood children at Halloween. #ministry #halloween #allhallowseve #neighborhood #trickortreat @godschicki
We include:

This year we may include an organic juice box instead of candy. Last year we did snap bracelets.
I would love to include some fresh fruit, but sadly I do not think that it would be seen as safe.
We will also include a prayer card from church as well as a flyer for our monthly family game night (which happens to be the Friday after Halloween).
We have bags that are for the Teal Pumpkin project.
The reason that I am sharing so early in October is that if you do want to include Gospels of John from TPTL it can take 2-4 weeks to get them.
You can either purchase the Gospels (30 of them for $20), or ask someone to sponsor you if you cannot afford to purchase them.
We pray over the baggies. That God would prepare the hearts of those who end up with them. That they would be open to His word and either come to know Him in a real and powerful way or draw even closer to Him and pass along the Gospel.
I hope that you take this opportunity to reach out to those in your community. What other time do you have people knocking on your door all night? We as Christians can choose to shut ourselves up, or be a light in the darkness.
How do you reach out at Halloween?

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.

 

Verses For When Trials Come

I have been sharing some Scriptures that I turn to on hard days. Today I am sharing ones more specific to trials, though they all go together somewhat. You can check out the first post in the series, Renewing Your Mind, and the second, Verses for Overwhelmed and Weary Moms. I am writing from a mom’s point of view, but they are really good even if you are not a mom.
Verses for When Trials Come #biblestudy #jesus #christian #trials #bible @godschicki
Sometimes as a mom, and especially lately, it seems like it is just one thing after another, after another. These verses have encouraged me to press on during the trials.

Scripture Verses For When Trials Come

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:15-16

Our high priest is not unsympathetic. He knows what it is like to be tempted. To go through hard times. We can go with confidence to the throne of grace for mercy and grace to help in time of need.

 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

James 1:12

Persevere means to “continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.” When we have renewed our minds, and are focused on the end result, it makes it much more bearable when we are going through trials.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us…

Romans 8:18

Again, mindset is huge.

 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

1 Timothy 6:12

Fighting is active. It often requires being prepared to put up a good fight.

 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7

Remembering the power within us is important. Discipline is never easy.

 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 2:1

It is in His grace that we can be strong.
 

 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.  And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,  so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hebrews 6:10-12

God will remember your work for Him, as well as the love you have shown for Him by ministering to the saints. We need to be diligent in our service for the Lord.

 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

James 1:2-5

God allows trials to refine us. To make us more like Him. Remembering that there is a purpose behind the struggle is important:

 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

1 Peter 1:6-7

 

 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.  As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.  We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

James 5:7-11

 

 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;  so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,  holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.

Philippians 2:14-17

 

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

Galatians 6:9

 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. …

2 Thessalonians 3:13

Even in hard times, we need to remember that we should not let ourselves grow weary.
I hope these help you when you are going through trials.

The Quiet Homemaker

Renewing Your Mind

Renewing one’s mind is an important part of a Christian’s walk. This is especially important when you are a mom. When tough days come, having the right mindset is a big help. When our focus is right, other things seem easier. Still hard, but better. Our peace comes from the Lord. It does not take away the hard, but it does make it bearable.
Renewing Your Mind #biblestudy #renewingyourmind #mindfulness #bible #romans #Jesus #holyspirit #scripture #newyou @godschicki

Scriptures to Help Us Renew Our Minds

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2

When we view service to our families, and others, as a sacrifice of praise to God, it is an act of worship.
As Christ followers we are called to renew our minds. Allowing God to change our minds is important. Getting drunk in the Spirit changes our minds. In Scripture, when the mind is set, the heart follows. Then the outward life follows that. We are called to be a people set apart. Then we will be able to tell the difference between the truth and Satan’s lies.
Remembering what we are called to, especially during tough times:

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Ephesians 5:1-2

As Christians, and as moms, we must remember that Christ gave Himself up for us, offering His life as a fragrant offering. It is not easy to deny self, but when we are renewing our minds, we want to fill it with the mind of Christ.

  Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,  make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:1-8

We are called to look out for the interests of others, serving them. Having the attitude of Jesus who died on the cross for those He was called to serve.

  Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;  not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

Romans 12:9-13

When our focus in serving others is right, it makes it much easier to do so, even if we are not getting the recognition we would like.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,  does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,  does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Putting on love is an intentional act. Allowing God to refine us, so that we can be patient, kind, not self-seeking, not score keeping, able to bear all things, hope all things, and endure all things.

 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:32

Being tender-hearted toward each other is hard on tough days, but we are still called to it. We need to remember to be tender to our children. Even in the tough times.

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Hebrews 10:19-25

Because of the Jesus’s sacrifice, we have access to the Holy of Holies! Drawing near to God is so important in getting our focus right and renewing our minds. Spending time in the word and worship. Being a part of community that can help build us up, and call us out if need be. Having a mentor to spur us on and challenging us to be the Titus 2 woman. Proverbs says that “Iron sharpens iron”. God uses community to refine us and help renew our minds.

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”  so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”  Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:5-8

Many of us would not think that we love money, but are we content in knowing that no matter what is going on, Jesus will never leave nor forsake you? Do we confidently say that the Lord is our helper? He is the same everyday.

 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.  And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Hebrews 13:15-16

Worship is not always singing pretty songs in church. Many times it is a sacrifice. Dirty dishes or laundry, diapers. But when we look at it as an act of worship (Colossians 3:17, 23-24), it changes things.

 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21

God will give equip us for what He has called us to. He is working in us that which is pleasing in His sight. Refining us.

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:13

Being prepared for action is incredibly important. There is an enemy out the who is seeking to devour us.

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

Colossians 3:2

Setting our minds on things above is hard, but when that is our focus, it makes walking the path that God had laid out for us easier.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;  bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.  Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankfulLet the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Colossians 3:12-17

We have been chosen. God chose us as the keepers of our homes, and as mothers. He could have given them to anyone, but He chose us!
Putting on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience is hard, and can only be done through the power of the Holy Spirit, but through Christ, all things are possible. We just have to be willing to deny ourselves and offer our lives to Him.
Letting the peace of Christ rule our hearts is a daily (and moment by moment) choice.
Being thankful is mind changing! If we are looking for the good, it totally changes our mindset. Seriously, neuroscience has found that being grateful changes your brain.

 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

Colossians 4:6

When we are allowing God to refine us, to make us salt, it makes it easier to answer. Having grace filled speech is a huge help when I am overwhelmed and dealing with children needing my attention every two seconds.

  Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!  Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Philippians 4:4-8

Rejoicing always, even in hard times, is not always easy, but we are instructed to.
Is our gentle spirit known to all? Would our children say that we are gentle? Our husbands?
Instead of turning on the worry, our first response should be to take things to God. Putting them in His hands. When we do “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and mind.”
What we are focusing on, feeding our hearts and minds, is huge as well. If we are focusing on the obstacle instead of the finish line, it seems huge. If we switch our focus, it does not seem as big. Putting on praise and worship music is a way that I turn around a bad day and help refocus.

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

When we are allowing the Holy Spirit free reign of our hearts and lives, He produces the fruit of the Spirit. It is a natural overflow from our walk with Him.

 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.  So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Galatians 6:9-10

Remembering to not grow weary in doing good, in looking for opportunity to do good, is important. If we are focusing on God, and other, it makes it a lot easier than if we are focused on ourselves.
I hope these Scriptures have encouraged you as they have encouraged me!

What verses have helped you renew your mind/refocus?

Every Nation, Every Tribe, Every Tongue

Missions is something that I have always felt strongly about.

A beautiful taste of heaven on the mission field #missions #preach #gospel #tribe #language #jesus

I went with Global Expeditions to Spain in 2005. I would not have chosen Spain, but my mom wanted my sister and I to go together.
It was a great experience. Global Expeditions had partnered with Jesus Revolution, a missions organization based in Europe. So, on top of the team from the US and Canada, there were 11 or 12 other countries represented.
One thing that I will never forget was a prayer service we had not long after arriving in Spain.
After a welcome and some worship, they asked for a representative from each country to come up and pray in their countries language.
It was such a beautiful taste of the promise in the Word:

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;

Revelation 7:9

There were 11 or 12 languages prayed in. What a small fraction of every tribe, tongue, and nation, but so powerful!
These days my mission field is filled more with diapers, laundry, toys, and activities than foreign countries, but it is none the less a mission field!
Have you ever gone on a missions trip? Do you view your home, neighborhood, town, and country as a mission field?

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?
 

Walking Passed God

Walking Passed God @godschicki
I shared yesterday about helping a homeless woman, Cheryl, out near Thanksgiving one year.
We bought her dinner, and when Cheryl was done, we all went to our van and we were going to take her offered to take her home. She said she had a sister in the area that may take her in for Thanksgiving and so we were going to take her to her sister’s house and see if her sister would indeed take her in.

Walking the Talk

At the time my family drove a van and the whole back side of it was plastered with Christian bumper stickers.
When Cheryl saw this she said “You know, you are the first person or people with Christian bumper stickers to stop and help!”.
Day after day, she watched people with bumper stickers for radio stations or just cute Christian sayings and just drive past her without so much as looking or stopping the offer to pray with her or any help whatsoever.

Words to Think About

“One day I just got so mad. I went to God. ‘Do you see how Your people are ignoring me? Driving right passed?'”
“Then He spoke to me saying ‘How many times do you walk right passed me?‘”
“I sat down right then and got my Bible out and began reading and praying. How sad is it that we just walk right by God?”
I have thought about that often.
Walking Passed God @godschicki

How many times do I go to God upset over something and all the while I do it to Him?

I go to Him feeling alone. The truth is that I am never alone. He is with me always and I have just walked right passed Him.
I go to Him when I feel that I have been wronged or treated unfairly. How many times have I sinned against Him, treated Him unfairly?
I feel ignored. How often do I ignore the fact the God of the Universe wants to commune with me?
Is it wrong to take all of these feelings to God? I do not believe so, but often we need to shift our focus. It is okay to have those feelings, but not dwell there.
What a blessing I would have missed out on if we had just turned a blind eye to Cheryl’s need! If we had dismissed her as so many had.

Have you ever been blessed by helping someone? Were you blessed as a result?

Grace & Truth Linkup @godschicki

Helping the Poor

Christians and the Poor @godschicki

Living The Difference

I have thought much about her over the years. She held a small cardboard sign saying “homeless sick need money for medicine God bless”.
Some backstory: my mom when I was growing up I always followed the Holy Spirit’s prompting to help those in need.  Very often somebody was asking for help we would do it, even though we struggled with finances ourselves.
Cheryl was one of those people.
We were driving a neighbor to her son’s house for Thanksgiving when we saw her on a street corner exiting a busy shopping center we just had in from lunch and we didn’t have any cash with us.
We dropped my neighbor at her son’s house and came back and praying the whole way back that if it’s for us to help her, let her be there. She was so we helped.
My mom had had my sister and I take our little siblings to a pet store while my mother took Cheryl to the buffet in the shopping center.
When Cheryl was done, we all went to our van and we were going to take her offered to take her home. She said she had a sister in the area that may take her in for Thanksgiving and so we were going to take her to her sister’s house and see if her sister would indeed take her in.
At the time my family drove a van and the whole back side of it was plastered with Christian bumper stickers. When Cheryl saw this she said “You know, you are the first person or people with Christian bumper stickers to stop and help!”.
Day after day, she watched people with bumper stickers for radio stations or just cute Christian sayings and just drive past her without so much as looking or stopping the offer to pray with her or any help whatsoever.
What she said next was so profound I often think back on it, and think about it as a life lesson. I will share about that next time hopefully, but I just can’t help but stop and think about how many times people with Christian bumper stickers don’t stop to help those in need.
If we had not helped her, I would have missed out on the deep spiritual truth she shared.
It is becoming less and less common to have bumper stickers on your car or to wear Christian shirts out. At the time it was quite a fad to do so, but you know, even if we do not boldly wear a Christian t-shirt or put Christian bumper stickers and our car we are called to help the poor.

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;  naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
Matthew 25:34-40

In Matthew 6, Jesus does not say IF you give to the poor, but WHEN.

Going With The Flow Or Being Different

All too often the church follows the world’s view. Unfortunately, helping the poor is one of those areas. It really breaks my heart.
I hear “Well, you can’t trust them to not buy alcohol.” or “they just need to get a job.” all of the time from Christ followers, but what does the Bible say?
In this fallen world it is easy to become cynical and jaded, but we who claim to follow Christ are called to be different. To live and love radically. To be peculiar.
Christians and The Poor @godschicki

The Bible Says…

That we are to honor God with our wealth (Proverbs 3:9).
Happy (blessed) is he who is gracious to the poor (Proverbs 14:21)
He who is gracious to the needy honors their maker, but those who mock the poor mock their maker (Proverbs 14:13, 17:5)
Those who shut their ear to the poor will not be heard when they cry out (Proverbs 21:13)
That God made both the rich and poor (Proverbs 22:2)
That the generous are blessed for giving some food to the poor (Proverbs 22:9)
Those who gives to the poor will never want, but those who shut their eyes will have many curses (Proverbs 28:27)
That the righteous are concerned for the poor (Proverbs 29:7)
The Proverbs 31 woman extends her hand to the poor (Proverbs 31:20)
The Jerusalem council made it clear that caring for the poor was important (Galatians 2:10)
Acts 2 talks about the early church going to sell their things to be able to give to anyone as they might have need.
That we are to labor so that we can have something to share with those in need (Ephesians 4:28)
While talking about faith and works, James says:

 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?

1 John 3:17 says:

But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

Hebrews 4:16 says that we are to:

draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

We are to show hospitality to even strangers (Hebrews 13:2).
There was a skit that we read in Sunday school when I was in high school that was very much about this.
The new Pastor gives out a box of food and $20 to a man that just goes to churches looking for handouts. A member comes in as the man is leaving and tells the Pastor what the man does. She tells him he’s been taken advantage of.
His reply is “So, what?” And shares that he had done nothing wrong, and if he’s indeed being taken advantage of then it is on the other person, not him.
He would rather have it on his conscience that he was foolish than having a legitimate opportunity to help and not taking it. The skit ends by reading Matthew 25:31-46. (If you are interested in the skit, it is “So, What” in the What Would Jesus Do Playbook by Chuck Neighbors)
Indeed, we are called to be different. To be Jesus to the world, not fall in line with the world’s mentality. We are called to love as Christ did. To help those in need.
More With Less Mom has an excellent, eye-opening post on What the Homeless Really Need. She is having trouble with her servers at the moment, but you can find it here on the WayBack Machine. I hope to do my own post on making blessing bags soon, but for now, please check this one out.
Do you give to the homeless? Have you been blessed by it?
Grace & Truth Linkup @godschicki

Eclipse Thoughts and The Aprons & Pearls Linkup

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that it does not change the price of the items that you purchase through the links, but I get a very small percentage.

In case you were not in the United States, or you just missed the memo, yesterday there was a complete solar eclipse.
I love that sort of thing. My oldest was slightly interested. I think I scared my girlie with the whole “You never look at the sun with these special glasses or it will hurt your eyes.” speech.
We did not get the full eclipse, but I think it was over 80%, so it was still cool. In case you do not know what exactly a solar eclipse is, it is where the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, blocking out part of the sun’s rays. Even at totality (where the sun is completely covered), you can still see the sun’s rays around the moon.
A friend of mine share something on Facebook for the day, that I loved.
She asked “What is blocking the Son in your life?“.
Eclipse Thoughts @godschicki

What is being allowed to eclipse God in our lives?

You shall have no other gods before Me.

Exodus 20:3 NASB

Kelley Mentor’s study, No Other Gods, is a great book. It tackles the gods we set up for ourselves.
While this is the great over-simplified version, it really boils down to anything that comes between us and God, anything that we give more time, money or attention to.
Money, alcohol, and drugs are often things that can come up between people and God, but there are subtler, less sinister things as well
It is not necessarily a bad thing. Family, health, fitness, romance, or hobbies can all be idols. While these things are bad in and of themselves, if they are taking God’s place, His time, coming between us and Him, if they begin to motivate us, then they are false gods.
Church can even be a god. If I let my service for God get in the way of my relationship with God, my priorities are out of place.  I can busy ourselves with functions or service and neglect to take time at the feet of Jesus.

It is important to take time regularly to ask myself if there is anything coming between myself and God.

It is so easy to let things slip in. What is blocking out the Son in my life? What is motivating me? What am I serving? What have I set my heart on? What do I trust? What do I fear? Where do I turn first in times of turmoil?

Did you catch part of the eclipse? Have you ever asked yourself those questions?

What You Eat Matters | Putting On Love | Getting Drunk |Dressing For The Day | Lessons From The Garden | Grace Filled Speech | Peculiar

 On to the linkup!

The Aprons & Pearls Link-up

“If you want to experience consistent victory and see it played out in the atmosphere of your home, continually look for areas in which the Holy Spirit is leading to greater obedience, and ask God what your part is in making that a reality.

Cynthia Carrier

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki
This is a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.
Leave links to posts that are:
Homemaking/natural living/parenting/Christian walk related.
This could be natural living posts, recipes, cleaning, parenting, devotions, lessons, homeschool, Christian living, mentoring, modesty, gardening, homemade, diy, marriage, relationships, frugality, etc.

Linking Guidelines:

  • Link directly to your post (not to your homepage).
  • Please, no marketing posts (Plexus, Jamberry, MLM Oils or the like). Affiliate links to relevant items okay.
  • Feel free to include old posts that need some love, relevant link ups and giveaways.
  • Leave as many as you like.
  • Link back to the Aprons & Pearls Linkup, either using the button below or a text link on either your post, sidebar, or link party page.
  • Use the hashtag #apronspearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!

I would like to encourage you to browse through the links and take time to visit some and comment when lead.
The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back Sunday and check out some of the posts!
I have made a Pinterest Board for the posts that you link-up, feel free to send me a message over on pinterest to be added. You can click here to check out the board.
As time allows I will pin some links from the linkup (unless you have already added them to the board), share them on social media and comment.
fe0da277-145a-4965-b39e-a835bbc51409
Now, to the link-up!



I often link up posts at:

Spring Thoughts and The Aprons & Pearls Linkup

Totally dropped the ball on posts the past two weeks.
Littlest man is going through a phase of no sleep and hates being set down for anytime at all. While I love baby wearing, I can’t wear him in the front and type very well, and I can’t sit comfortably with him on my back… And times that he does play, I have stuff around the house to catch up on.
I always feel like typing on my phone (as I am now) is so much slower, so I usually don’t bother. Slow but steady might just be the way to go for now.
Spring is here. Flowers and trees are blooming (just ask our seasonal allergies!). Days are getting nicer, so the kids and I get outside more.
Spring means planning the garden. I have been weeding out the raised bed. I love digging in the garden. Preparing the soil for the seeds.
I love lessons from the garden. There’s a good one in preparing the soil, I hope to get it typed up soon.
I’ve had another guest post published. Nichole over at Defying Shadows is doing a Fearless 365 series and I shared what Psalm 56:4 means to me.
If you missed it, I did a Guest post on Making Grocery Shopping Easier for The Stay-at-home Mom Survival Guide.
I also have a giveaway going on right now. You can check out how to enter the giveaway of His Word Alone here.
On to the linkup!

   The Aprons & Pearls Link-up

“If you want to experience consistent victory and see it played out in the atmosphere of your home, continually look for areas in which the Holy Spirit is leading to greater obedience, and ask God what your part is in making that a reality.

Cynthia Carrier

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki
This is a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.
Leave links to posts that are:
Homemaking/natural living/parenting/Christian walk related.
This could be natural living posts, recipes, cleaning, parenting, devotions, lessons, homeschool, Christian living, mentoring, modesty, gardening, homemade, diy, marriage, relationships, frugality, etc.

Linking Guidelines:

  • Link directly to your post (not to your homepage).
  • Please, no marketing posts (Plexus, Jamberry, MLM Oils or the like). Affiliate links to relevant items okay.
  • Feel free to include old posts that need some love, relevant link ups and giveaways.
  • Leave as many as you like.
  • Link back to the Aprons & Pearls Linkup, either using the button below or a text link on either your post, sidebar, or link party page.
  • Use the hashtag #apronspearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!

I would like to encourage you to browse through the links and take time to visit some and comment when lead.
The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back Sunday and check out some of the posts!
I have made a Pinterest Board for the posts that you link-up, feel free to send me a message over on pinterest to be added. You can click here to check out the board.
As time allows I will pin some links from the linkup (unless you have already added them to the board), share them on social media and comment.
fe0da277-145a-4965-b39e-a835bbc51409
Now, to the link-up!



I often link up posts at:

Christian Blogger Community | The Art of Homemaking Link~up | Raising Homemakers Link~up | Making Your Home Sing Monday Link~up | Monday Musings Link~up | Monday of Many Blessings Link~up | A Wise Woman Link~up | Modest Monday Link~up | Soul Survivor | Titus 2 Tuesday | Tell it to Me Tuesday | Think Tank Thursday | From House to Home | <!–Wow Us Wednesday | Grace & Lace Linkup | The Loft | Inspire Me Wednesday | From House to Home | Think Tank Thursday | Grace at Home | Merry Monday | Home Matters | Welcome Home Wednesday | Grace & Truth | The Loft