Adoration Bible Journal

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A little over a year ago, I received a journaling Bible as a gift. I already had one that I was working through, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with a second. I put it on the shelf for a while, contemplated giving it as a gift, but then I randomly had an idea….

What if I read and journaled through this Bible specifically with the purpose of learning who the Lord was and worshiping Him for those things?

I decided it seemed like a good endeavor and this extra became my “Adoration Bible”. My daughters actually know which one I’m asking for if they are fetching it for me by that name. (I find that kinda sweet.)

So I set out on this journey over a year ago adoring the Lord as He has revealed Himself in the Scriptures using this little black journaling Bible. I had no idea at the time what a great impact it would have on my heart and spiritual life.

Fast forward a year later, and I can’t imagine life without this practice. It gives my heart a solid anchor to cling to moment by moment.

3 things Adoration Bible journaling does for the believer

 1. It stirs up enjoyment and delight in God.

The Westminster catechism says that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. I tend to be a “what do I need to do” kinda girl when I read the Bible, which is not a bad thing. In many ways, we should read the Scriptures with a submissive heart that says, “not my will, but Yours be done” and realizing that the Scripture is where the Lord has revealed His law and will to us. It’s an important piece, Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” What we do (our obedience) is important, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. To enjoy God, how do we do that? Well we have to meditate on who He is and let those truths permeate our hearts, then they will flow from our lips and thoughts. Nothing quite sustains our hearts on the darker days like meditating on who God is and praising Him for it.  We should be praising the Lord often in our hearts and with our mouths, or our little typing fingers… however it is we are communicating, we should be communicating how wonderful the Lord is because that should be flowing from our hearts. But those things will not be the meditations of our hearts if we aren’t intentionally seeking them out.

Now one quick thing about obedience, I dare say that the two things, obedience and adoration (loving and enjoying God) go hand in hand. You really can’t have one without the other. You may find people who are filled up with obedience ideas and that is their heart focus. They talk about how they live this way and that and they have the Scripture to back it up, but they have no love and delight in God Himself. That’s a huge red flag! Often times that means they love those laws because of the way their obedience is self-exalting above those who don’t obey. And then on the other side of this cliff, there are those who get extremely excited to talk about the things of the Lord, they lift hands high, dance, jump, leap, and shout about how great and wonderful God is, but do not seek to know and obey His commandments. That is not true love for God, because again remember that Jesus said if we love Him we will keep His commandments. True love for Him seeks to say, “what are the commandments, and oh Lord help me to keep them!, with all my heart I want to!”  We definitely need both sides of the coin. We should love and delight in the Lord, and if that love and delight is genuine then it will be lived out in our obedience to the Lord.

2. It helps us to guard our hearts against lies about who God is or isn’t.

For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. -Romans 10:2

This Scripture often jumps off the page to me when I read it. In the context Paul is talking about the Jews, how they worship God by trying to keep the law in order to be made right before the Lord. They are zealous for the Scripture and the Law without the knowledge of Jesus Christ and how He is our righteousness and fulfillment of the law.

In a similar but different way I see this same problem of zealousness without knowledge in our own culture. Modern America has a different problem than the Jews. Here we have so many brands of Christianity, some of those sadly are nothing close to the Bible and what it says. They alter their lives, they live with zeal, but sadly it is zeal without knowledge. I find myself often puzzled by certain “christian” bloggers who will say God is like this, Jesus is like that, the Lord approves of this action or that one, and they have absolutely no Biblical basis for the claims they are making. Not a Scripture one is mentioned. Just making up a god of their own ideas and liking, an idol to put it more accurately, and they are calling it, “Jesus”. This is so dangerous. And it is everywhere. Too often because of the popularity of these types of unscriptural claims there are even Christians who will believe these and begin sharing them with their brothers and sisters.  People tend to like their ears tickled. The feel good messages with “Jesus” stamped on it tend to make rounds quite quickly. Oh how easily we can be deceived when we are not guarding our hearts and holding fast to what the Lord has revealed in the Scripture. That is another reason adoration Bible journaling is such a valuable practice. It not only stirs up our hearts to love and enjoy God by seeing clearly who He is, but it also teaches us what is true about Him so that when deceptions come we will be able to fight against the schemes and lies of the evil one and those who are under his influence.

3. It gives a solid place to fix our hearts, hope, and joy no matter what happens in our lives.

Awhile back I wrote a post on rejoicing in the Lord. This has been instrumental in enabling me to do that in the throws of motherhood. Children are a blessing, but there are also many challenges that come with serving, teaching, and training these sweet children day in and day out. When the house-work piles up, the kids act up, and I feel utterly exhausted, I still have a steady place to fix my heart. Although my situations change moment by moment, there is no shadow of turning with the Lord. He remains the same beautiful and magnificent Lord.

 

It took me a little while to get a method, but now here is what I do:

  • I choose a book of the Bible to go straight through. (Usually it’s something we are going through at church or in family devotions) In between books or for a change of pace, I will go through a Psalm.

I think it’s important even while focusing on adoration to go straight through books of the Bible, also it’s just as important to pick books you wouldn’t necessarily think of such as Deuteronomy, and remembering that God is the same today as He was then, but now the covenant has been fulfilled through Jesus Christ. You can look for the promises of the Savior to come, but also pay close attention to the holiness and righteousness of God. The reason I believe it is important to do this is to keep us from picking and choosing certain attributes to focus on to the neglect others. God has many attributes, and we should seek to worship Him for all of them, not just the ones that make us feel warm fuzzies. All of His attributes are good.  Also this method keeps us understanding the Scripture in context. It is important that we know what God is really saying about Himself, and not just an idea we get from a sentence or two pulled out of context.

  • I pray that the Lord would reveal Himself to me and cause my heart to delight more in Him.
  • I read through the passage a bit; analyze what it is saying in general, and specifically what it is saying about God. Then  I go back through a second time with a highlighter (colored pencils tend to make the best in my opinion because they do not bleed through). I highlight the sentences that tell me something about the character of God.
  • I then read those over and over, meditate on many different aspects of those truths and begin praising the Lord for those things. At this point I also start journaling prayers and praises of who He is in the journaling space.
  • Throughout the day or next few days I try to keep focusing on these things. Often times I will find a place to keep my adoration Bible opened to that page so that I can come back to it and bring my mind back to those truths in the chaos of kids and homeschooling and house cleaning. This is why the journaling and highlighting is so helpful. I can simply take a quick glance at the page and remember what I learned.

An Example of Adoration Bible Journaling with Psalm 16

Psalm 16 is one of my favorites. I recently went through it in my adoration Bible and although I’ve had it memorized for over a year and have meditated on it many times, this brought new things to light for me that I had not seen before. Here is a look at the page.

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Now I don’t do this every single day, although it would be a fabulous thing to do every day! …..but many days I just read and pray through my Bible reading plan using the Bible app on my phone, and I try to work this in whenever I can. I always find the 10 to 30 minutes I spend on it to be time very well spent. It’s the perfect pick-me-up when it’s been a crazy day- when my hubby gets home, I often ask if I can have 30 minutes of quiet in the bedroom before we all move into dinner. Adoration Bible Journaling is one the best actives to fill that time with for me. Another time I love to do it is when my children are playing outside in the evenings after dinner. If everyone is playing nicely then I can sneak this in and it’s so refreshing. I share this tid-bit to say that even busy moms can do it! And it doesn’t have to be this all or nothing thing. Just do a few verses at a time.

I hope this concept of Adoration Bible Journaling is helpful!

Blessings to you as you grow in knowing and adoring the one true living God!

Casting Down the Idol of a Clean Home

clean home

In the midst of spring cleaning season this may seem like an odd post. So let me start out by saying with honesty and enthusiasm that I believe in having a clean home. A clean house is a good thing! It is a good thing to work for and it is good to desire to have. I absolutely love when my house is all clean! That may seem like a bit of a strange intro to a post entitled “Casting Down the Idol of a Clean Home”, but I think it’s an important starting point. As women we are called by God to be sensible and pure workers at home. (Titus 2:5) One of our primary roles given to us by the Lord is to work within our homes serving our husbands and children. This means we are the ones who do (or delegate and oversee) the dusting, the laundry, the toilet scrubbing, dishes, and the list goes on. That is good and right, and we should do that with joy! We should desire to do it well, and work diligently to improve in areas that we struggle in. We should do this job heartily as unto the Lord, and not to please men.

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. (Colossians 3:23-24)

I believe whole-heartedly that the idolizing of a clean house comes when we are no longer doing our work of homemaking as unto the Lord, but instead we are doing it to please ourselves and the eyes of men. All idolatry is sin against the Lord that must be confessed and repented of. A Christian lady will not walk in this once she sees it, she will turn from it and call upon the help of the Holy Spirit to do so. She will give herself to meditating on God’s Word and to spiritual disciplines, and she will fight this sin. I say that so plainly because it’s easy to read a post like this and think, “Oh, I do that too, glad I’m not the only one”, and then never actually repent of it. It is one thing to read a post like this and recognize a sin problem, but that won’t really accomplish anything. Our response when we see idolatry in our hearts is to turn from it: that will likely begin as turning from it moment by moment, bringing all of your thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ, confessing our sins and failures to the Lord and knowing He will forgive us. In time by the help of the Spirit you will grow stronger, and your heart will learn to look more faithfully to the Lord as you work, and these temptations to idolatry will be less and less. Sanctification is such an amazing and freeing thing! It brings such joy! But sanctification does take willingness and work on our behalf, and it is worth pursuing. This is what it looks like to submit to Jesus as Lord.

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Clean House Idolatry Hearthcheck

Here are a few things we can ask ourselves to identify the idol of a clean home.

  • Do I lose my joy, am I consumed with anxiety when we have a life event (sickness, pregnancy, or a similar event) that prevents me from tending to the house and it seems as if everything falls behind and out of order? Or will I accept that this is exactly what the Lord has for us right now? It was in His sovereign plan for this event to occur, and He intends to use it for our good and for His glory. 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. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9) Will I think on this truth when the going gets tough and find my joy in Him or will I let the mess in my house cause me to sin against the Lord with my anxiety and despair? We must learn to rejoice even in the midst of chaos, weakness, and messes.
  • Do I put my to do list and cleaning schedule before my kids? Do I value productivity more than people? Do I feel like I have more important things to do in the area of cleaning and homemaking that I neglect the hearts of my children? 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. (Philippians 2:3-4) Honestly ladies, I struggle with this, that’s why I’m writing about it…. I’ve been thinking about this. I have a vision of being a nurturing relational mother, and yet at the end of some days I regret that while I did get a lot done on my list; laundry is caught up, floors are mopped, closets are organized, some freezer meals were put together, but I didn’t really interact with my children in meaningful ways. That is not how I want to live, and I don’t think that is right. God has given these children to me as one of my first priorities. The messes clean up and get messy again, but teachable moments and sweet little opportunities to really deepen relationship with my children don’t always come back around.
  • Do I get quick tempered with my children, lose my patience and gentleness, yell at them because they are making a mess or making it impossible for me to get anything done around the house? Do I act out of my flesh or am I walking in the Spirit when these things happen? But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22-24) Do I sigh, moan, and grumble at my little interruptions that hinder productivity? 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. (Phillipians 2:14-15) I too have to take these thoughts captive and turn from this behavior; I don’t have this all together, but I’m identifying it and I’m choosing to see these little people as God sees them. Children are called a “heritage” or “gift” and a “reward” in the Bible. Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. (Psalm 127:3) God views them as way more important than a clean home. I think this is something we would do well to think on often in regards to the children He has given us, do we treat them as more important than a clean home?

If you see yourself in any of this, then join me in casting down this idol.

Casting down the idol

We must begin to turn our hearts more and more fully to the Lord for all things.

  • He has given grace upon grace to cover this sin struggle of idolizing our clean house by sending Jesus to die for our sins; He took the wrath this idolatry deserves upon Himself. That is such a joyful and freeing thing. We do not have to walk in defeat or despair. We can walk in victory in our pursuit of holiness.
  • He has given His Word to shape our thoughts and renew our minds so that we will know what is true and right.We must be willing to do the hard work of renewing our minds. It may help you to write some of the Scriptures above down and put them up on the fridge so that you can pray through them and meditate on them when the house is getting messy and you’re starting to lose your cool.
  • He has given us the Holy Spirit to help us put this sin to death and to turn from it when temptation comes. When you feel those anxious thoughts about the messes in the house creeping in, pray and ask for the help of the Spirit. We have a good Father who loves to care for His children and give them what they need to overcome sin.

He has given us everything we need to cast down this idol of a clean home and to worship the Lord in and through our homemaking, child raising, and all the many productivity interruptions that the Lord has planned for us.

Let us run to Him today.

If this was helpful please save and share on pinterest with my image below.

idol of a clean home

Spring Cleaning Challenge Giveaway!

Now for all of you who are trying to do a bit of spring cleaning, I have something fun! How can it be? Another instant pot giveaway? And a $50 amazon gift card? I know, awesome, right? All the details are below!

SWEET! The InstantPot pressure cooker has been on my wish list, and Amazon gift cards are my love langue. :) Awesome spring homemaking giveaway!

I’m joining with some fantastic homemakers to host a 6-week spring clean and declutter challenge starting March 6! Click here to download the planner and find out more about the challenge. THEN enter below to win the Spring Homemaking Giveaway to bless your home and family! The winner will receive an Instant Pot Duo 6-quart 7-in-1 pressure cooker! ($234.95 value) AND a $50 Amazon gift card!

Giveaway runs until 11:59pm PST on 4/23/17. Winner will be notified via email and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

(because my comments are disabled, leave a comment on this post for your first entry)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rejoice Always

Rejoice Always -abidingwoman.com

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. -Philippians 4:4-7 NASB

Rejoice in the Lord

“Rejoice in the Lord always”, this is one of those commands in Scripture that can often leave us feeling a bit conflicted. We all have times that we definitely do not feel like rejoicing, and yet we are called to rejoice always. How do you rejoice when the baby kept you up all night, you wake hazily to a sink full of dishes and energetic children bursting at the seems ready to start the day? How do you rejoice when your best friend betrays you? How do you rejoice when someone you love deeply dies? How do you rejoice when you’ve been pouring your heart and soul into homemaking and homeschooling ,and then someone criticizes your efforts and says they aren’t good enough or points out all your failures? How do you rejoice when you are sick or in pain? How do you rejoice when your child is suffering?

There are many circumstances in life that we will not at all feel like rejoicing in, but the the Scripture does not say rejoice in your circumstances; instead it calls us to rejoice “in the Lord” and “always” because the Lord is always something to be rejoicing in! The goodness, majesty, and love of the Lord are constant and never-ending. There are good moments in life, but they end. There are moments when we encounter majesty in creation, music, art, or photography, but those moments end as well. There are moments when our marriage, motherhood, and friendships are flourishing and filled with love, but even those things are not constant either. Sin and death taint this world we are living in, but we can rejoice in Jesus Christ, the one who conquered sin and death and all the effects that flow from them. Perhaps in those deepest moments of longing and pain, that is where we can rejoice in Him the most; when the parts of life that bring us joy are stripped away and we find that He is the sweetest, purest, never-ending source of joy.

Rejoice Always -abidingwoman.com

A Gentle Spirit

Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. (vs 5) In the ESV it says “reasonableness”. I think the two words in both translations can give us a good idea of what is meant here. I have little girls, 5 of them, and I’m a girl so maybe I’ve seen this in myself a time or two…. (ahem); it is really evident when emotions are ruling the day. When you see it in yourself or another, it is absolutely undeniable…. the person is anything but gentle or reasonable. They tend to be fretful, harsh, negative, whiny, overly sensitive. But the woman whose heart is rejoicing in Christ is not looking to her circumstances for peace and joy. She has a certain calmness of spirit about her. She is not panicked or complaining, she isn’t up late fretting over what may have happened or what might happen in the future. She’s resting in Christ and knowing that no matter what life sends her way Jesus will be hers to cherish and enjoy from now until eternity, and that is more than enough. She takes great comfort in knowing that her trials and challenges are only for her good and His glory, they were given by the sovereign hands of a loving Father. And this heart posture is so clear to all who come in contact with her: the ones who see her inside the four walls of her home and the ones who only know her in passing. There is a sweet confidence that is evident in her…. not a confidence that she has in herself, but a confidence that she has in the Lord who is in her and who is greater than the trials and evil in the world.

Be Anxious for Nothing

Be anxious for nothing. (vs 6a) Be anxious for nothing, is that a tall order or what?! How many of you worry about things? This is a battle I personally have to fight. I can allow myself to become worried about my children, or about what others think of me, or about my health, or about how I’m going to be able to “do everything I need to do”.  And that is not okay. I have to repent of those things and focus my heart back on the Lord and what is true. Our anxiousness is truly a sin that we must repent of! I know it may at times seem like something we can’t help, but that is a lie. We can take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ, we have the Holy Spirit in is and we have the Word of God that says we can walk in victory. This anxiousness is actually a bigger problem than we might even see on the surface, it says something…. it says, “I don’t trust you God! I don’t trust your wisdom, I don’t trust your sovereignty, and I don’t trust your power.” This is why it is so important for us to repent of. I have many times found myself saying, “Lord, please forgive me for not trusting in Your power and plan in this situation”, and I’m so thankful that the we Jesus is our advocate with the Father when we do sin, He is so gracious to forgive us and restore us. And He will also give us victory! He will strengthen our faith when we ask Him too. Truly anxiousness is a lack of faith. We may believe that His wisdom, sovereignty, and power are trustworthy with our lips and minds; but our actions and responses say more about what we believe than our ability to affirm a truth.

Compared with our actual thoughts our credal statements are of little consequence. -A.W. Tozer

Rejoice Always -abidingwoman.com

Prayer

So what can we do when we are feeling anxious, scared, or worried? In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (vs 6b)  “In everything” tells us that God cares about all parts of our lives, big and small! There is no request that is unimportant to Him and there is nothing that is impossible for Him! He really wants for us to bring our burdens and cares to Him! This is such a comfort and joy in and of itself, that our Lord as majestic and powerful as He is would care for us on such individual levels.

And we can’t miss this, as we present our prayers and supplications to Him, there is a key component within our requests which is thanksgiving! We should be giving thanks to Him for the things He has already done, for the current trial which is shaping us to be more like Him, and for the wonderful work that we know and expect that He may do in response to our calling upon Him.

A prayerless soul is a Christless soul. Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint… It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honor of a Christian. -C. H. Spurgeon

Prayer is so important. Prayer changes everything! We know that God is sovereign, but we can’t be so fixated on God’s sovereignty that we neglect His command for us to bring all things to Him in prayer! Does He know the outcome? Yes. Does He know our need before it ever leaves our lips in prayer to Him? Yes. Did the Holy Spirit through Paul say ‘in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God’? why yes, He did. God does not contradict Himself! If He said pray, then we better pray, don’t you think? I sometimes think about how Jesus knowing full well that He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead for His glory wept. He was right in the moment, mourning with those who mourned. He is with us in our moments of need as a comforter and friend. Does He have a plan? Absolutely. But is He a present help in time of need? Absolutely. Prayer is so key to overcoming anxiety and to rejoicing always. There is a hymn that I absolutely love, “Dear Refuge of my Weary Soul” ,if you have never heard it, then I highly encourage giving it a listen, especially if you are walking through a difficult trial. In this song Anne Steele writes such a beautiful truth in response to the Lord’s sovereignty and pouring out our hearts before Him:

“Hast Thou not bid me seek Thy face,
And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace,
Be deaf when I complain?
No still the ear of sovereign grace,
Attends the mourner’s prayer
Oh may I ever find access,
To breathe my sorrows there.”

He attends the mourner’s prayer, that is so sweet to me! This just draws my heart to pray all the more.

Rejoice Always - abidingwoman.com

The Peace of God

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.(vs 7) We have an inner peace and tranquility that is based on unwavering confidence that God is able and willing to do what is best for His children. This peace will surpass understanding, it will transcend what our human minds can comprehend. This peace will guard our hearts and minds from fear and anxiety! We have Christ and He is our peace, what more could anyone ask for or need than this great treasure that we have in Him! I find for myself that if I will take my eyes off of myself and my little world around me and lift them up to Jesus, offer praises of adoration to Him, look in the Scripture to see who His Word says He is and then pray to Him and praise Him for it, and think on it all through the day (even just one verse or attribute!) it brings a peace surpasses human logic. We will still walk through difficult times filled with tears and prayers of supplication, but we will have this peace that keeps our hearts steady even in the valleys, trenches, and steep paths of life.

He that hath Christ, being a pauper, hath all things; and he that hath not Christ, possessing a thousand worlds, possesses nothing for real happiness and joy. -C.H. Spurgeon

Hope you have a great week ladies!

In Christ,

S

 

Enjoy this post? Pin the photo below to remember and share with friends. Thanks!Rejoicing in the midst of trials or even just in the daily trenches of motherhood can be hard. Come have your heart encouraged to rejoice always in the Lord.

for your further pursuit

  • This book, “The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment” is excellent and is free at Chapel Library. , also in that link is a booklet with a collection of writings from men such as Jonathan Edwards, RC Ryle, AW Pink, and others on the topic of contentment. At Chapel Library you can get a copy sent in the mail or get an ebook copy right away… both are free! Such a cool ministry in general so definitely check them out if you haven’t ever before.
  • This book by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth (affiliate link)
  • This sermon by Albert Martin: “Make Me to Hear Joy and Gladness: That My Broken Bones May Rejoice” 

A Biblical View of Halloween

 

 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them. -Ephesians 5:11

This post will be long because I want to be thorough. I don’t follow many “good blogging” rules anyway. This post is not meant as a judgement on anyone who celebrates Halloween, but instead I simply desire to present the facts about the day and the Scriptures which address those facts. I pray that they are received in love as I assure you they have prayerfully been written in love. Love for Christ and love for His Church.

I know there are many views and thoughts on Halloween, some are seeking God’s perspective and use Scriptures, while others use the logic of man and try to discern what God is like without the use of Scripture. A quick word of warning, there are many blog posts that begin to surface this time of year from Christians claiming to have the correct perspective on the day; the heart of a true Christ follower should be to find teaching that is rooted in the truth of God’s Word. If the writer does not support their ideas and thoughts with Scripture I would quickly disregard what they are saying. Those posts circulate like wildfire because the flesh likes to hear things like “give out the king size candy bars and don’t give out gospel tracts” and “dressing up kids and trick or treating is a way to love your neighbors”, but you won’t find real Scriptural support for those ideas so just beware. Use discernment,  that is, compare to the Scripture.

You don’t have to agree with me, but I hope you will at least consider the Scriptures and facts about the day that I place forth and consider that God penned these Scriptures by His Spirit through the men He chose, and He has not changed His mind based on our culture. He is the same forever.  If you have an objection to the truths I put forth in this series, please object kindly and with the use of Scripture in its correct context, as we don’t really view the wisdom of the world to be of any value in our decisions concerning anything including holidays.

Facts about Halloween origins:

Halloween origins begin with the Celtic festival of “Samhain”, which comes from the Old Irish for “summer’s end”, it marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or the ‘darker half’ of the year. This time was believed to be when the spirits or fairies  could more easily come into our world and were particularly active. The fairies were both respected and feared (in other words “worshiped”), there were offerings of food and drink, or portions of the crops which were left for them. The souls of the dead were also said to revisit their homes on this day. Places were set at the dinner table or by the fire to welcome them. At the household festivities, there were many rituals and games intended to divine the future of those gathered, especially with regard to death and marriage. Special bonfires were lit and there were rituals involving them. Their flames, smoke and ashes were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers, and were also used for divination. It is suggested that the fires were a kind of imitative magic which mimicked the Sun, helping the “powers of growth” and holding back the decay and darkness of winter. Scholars also believe that the bonfires were used to scare witches of “their awaiting punishment in hell”. “Christian” influence (I will use quotes as this is not in any way shape or form in line with the Bible, but this is what these people who called themselves “Christians” at the time came up with which is just as pagan and false as the Celtic celebration) The Catholic church in 609 established a day known as “All Hallows Eve” or “All Saints Day”, they believed that the souls were passing from purgatory to heaven. This created a superstition and fear that the souls would use this time to take vengeance on their enemies, so many would dress in costume so as to not be recognized by them. They prayed to the dead saints, and prayed for the souls that were still trying to reach heaven. They also lit fires which they believed would guide these souls to heaven. It should be noted that this does not make Halloween a Christian Holiday, it has nothing to do with Hallowing God and everything to do with Hallowing Souls which is completely unBiblical. This was thankfully cleared up in the Reformation as false teaching, that there was no such thing as purgatory, this was simply a made up place in which the Catholic church would collect money from the loved ones of the dead based upon the pope’s false teachings that they could buy their loved ones’ souls out of purgatory and get them to heaven. (it was a money making scheme that had no Biblical basis) Later these two holidays meshed and were celebrated in many countries for centuries. The superstitions and celebrations grew. One addition to the holiday which came later was the story of the Jack O’ Lantern:

On route home after a night’s drinking, Jack encounters the Devil who tricks him into climbing a tree. A quick-thinking Jack etches the sign of the cross into the bark, thus trapping the Devil. Jack strikes a bargain that Satan can never claim his soul. After a life of sin, drink, and mendacity, Jack is refused entry to heaven when he dies. Keeping his promise, the Devil refuses to let Jack into hell and throws a live coal straight from the fires of hell at him. It was a cold night, so Jack places the coal in a hollowed out turnip to stop it from going out, since which time Jack and his lantern have been roaming looking for a place to rest. (Wikipedia)

As this folk story grew in popularity, people would carve demonic faces in pumpkins for protection over their household from evil spirits. I used the Britannica Online Encyclopedia and Wikipedia to gain this information.

Some people have tried to tell me that the Church had a hand in the origins of Halloween and therefore it must be permissible for Christians, but the truth is that the Roman Catholic Church (not THE Church, the body of Christ) decided to adopt and merge with the Samhain religion. They have always been and still are very ecumenical, it’s dangerous and unChristian.

You are welcome to do your own research, but this is basically what you will find. I have tried to simplify it as much as possible.

Facts about Halloween as it is celebrated today:

I don’t need an encyclopedia for this, and neither do you. Simply look around the stores and see what kinds of things are sold for the celebration of Halloween. Walk through the neighborhoods and see the decorations in front lawns portraying what this celebration is about. You will likely find a wide range of things from friendly looking ghosts with white wispy sheets and smiling faces alongside friendly looking witches with green faces, pointed hats, and smiling faces all the way to dead looking skeletons, demonic looking masks, devil horns, and tombstones. Whether these things look cute and friendly or horrific they still have one common thread. They are evil things. They are a glorification of spirits, demons, the dead, and those who conjure up demons and the dead. There’s nothing cute about that really. God’s Word certainly would not define those things as cute or innocent and fun traditions. 

Still a holiday for witches today:

Another thing to consider is that Halloween is still an active holiday for witches and Satan worshipers. It is also still a day that many from the Roman-Catholic Church pray to and worship the dead, which is against the Scripture.

From an article you may find here written by a practicing witch:

For your Samhain, try one or more of these rituals:

  • Think of the candy you give to young trick-or-treaters as offerings to the ancestors, who return as the children of a new generation. Imagine that with each treat, you also give a blessing.
  • Gather your friends and family and set out pictures of your beloved dead. Light a candle (perhaps in a jack-o-lantern), then tell their stories and give thanks for what they’ve given you. Gaze into the candle flame, envisioning the renewal you want to support in your own life, community, and the world. Share your visions, write or draw them, or set out objects on your altar that represent the rebirth you hope for.
  • Share food and leave a bit of each dish on the altar (or outside, near the compost) as an offering for the ancestors.Halloween is a time when powerful forces converge. Our most sacred holiday is also, unfortunately, the time when anti-witch propaganda may abound.I believe the way to respond to fear and misinformation is to tell the truth about what we do. Halloween gives us a great opportunity to educate the public by speaking at your child’s school or giving an interview to the local press. In 25 years of public life as a witch, what amazes me is not the prejudice I’ve encountered, but how many open and supportive people I’ve met.

 

Time for an honest evaluation of what Halloween is actually about (then and now):

Here is a look at a conversation I had with my daughter when she was 5 years old concerning the ghosts and witches on display in the yards as we went on our regular afternoon stroll. I try to be very honest with my children about things and to make sure that my answers to their questions line up with Scripture (I don’t always do this perfectly, but it is what I strive for):

daughter- What are those suppose to be? (pointing to the friendly smiling faced, not at all scary Halloween decorations in one of the yards)

me- The white one is representing a ghost and the green one with the pointed hat is representing a witch.

daughter- Are they real?

me- These are just made to look like things that are real. They are ghost and witch decorations, not the real thing. The Bible tells us about the Holy Ghost, which is God who is with us right now and convicts us of our sin and helps us to understand the Gospel of Jesus, and who helps us overcome sin and be a witness to the world. The Bible also tells us about other Spirits, remember Jesus and the apostles casting out evil spirits? (these are stories we’ve read together many times) Satan and the other angels that fell with him from heaven are those other spirits, and they are also called demons in the Bible. (we have talked about Satan and where he came from before, so this is a bit of review for her). But you know that we don’t need to be afraid of them because Jesus has power over them and has overcome them. And witches we have talked about before, they call on those spirits or demons and worship them in order to get power from them. But again, we don’t need to fear them either because Jesus has all power over the demons and those that worship them.

daughter- Why do these people have these in their yard? Do they worship Satan? (seriously friends, I did not coax this question, we haven’t yet talked a lot about Halloween, and this was completely her own speculations based on the honest answer I gave her to the questions she asked.)

me- I don’t think that these people mean to worship Satan by putting these things out in their yard, but these are the things that represent him. So in a way, unknowingly,  sadly, yes, they are.

If my 5 year old can see that these things are evil when presented with the Biblical facts about what these things represent, then anyone can, right? Anyone can see what the holiday of Halloween is about today, as well as what it was about years ago. It’s about the dead, ghost, divination, witchcraft, sorcery, demons, vampires, etc….  Are these things to be celebrated by a follower of Christ??? Are these things that Jesus would celebrate??? Many people will say “we do Halloween” or “we participate in the traditions like costumes and trick or treat”, but let’s call this what it is…. you are celebrating this holiday in the same actions and dress as many of the pagans who originally started the holiday, and you are celebrating just like the rest of the world does today. So I ask again, Should Christians be celebrating these things?

Ask yourself, what am I celebrating on that day?

What the Bible says about the things Halloween celebrates:

“When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. 14 For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so. -Deuteronomy 18:9-14

This is the only Old Testament verse I will use as there are plenty to be found in the New Testament, but I do feel it is important to see God’s opinion on the very things that Halloween is about. This may be the Old Testament is a wonderful place to learn the things the Lord detests: some of those are witchcraft, divination, and sorcery. He did not allow His people to participate in those things. God is the same today, if He had changed His opinion on magic arts, sorcery, and divination then we would not have seen the people in the New Testament burning their magic books when they were converted. (Acts 19:19)

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we? -1 Corinthians 10:21-22

Here we see in the New Testament that nothing has changed, it is still evil in the sight of the Lord to partake of things of demons. If you have knowledge that something is evil (and with Halloween you do!) then you should not participate in it in the way that the pagans and witches do.

 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. -Ephesians 5:6-12

Let’s not be deceived by “church culture” which doesn’t address Halloween with Scripture! We were once in darkness, but not anymore! We should not be participating in unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead exposing them. And while I realize many are sick of Halloween posts, for me personally, if the post is Biblical and true then I view it as a good thing! We as Christians should be exposing the darkness and calling Christians to act like people of light even as it pertains to Halloween!

 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil. -1 Thessalonians 5:21-22

God has called us all to examine things carefully in light of God’s Word, and abstain from every form of evil. Since we know that Halloween has evil origins and is celebrated in evil ways today, why would we believe it to be acceptable in the sight of the Lord to take part in? He has said abstain.

 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,

“I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 17 “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. 18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty. -2 Corinthians 6: 14-18

We are not to be yoked with the world in the ways they partake in this day! We are not to be yoked with witches and those who practice Wicca on this day.  We are to be set apart! Christ does not have harmony with evil, and we know that full well.

 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. -Galatians 5:16-23

Shortly after that well-known verse on freedom that I use to quote out of context years ago as my ticket to do whatever I wanted, we find an explanation that we do have freedom from the burden of the law which we cannot keep, but that freedom is given so we can now live by the Spirit and to put to death the deeds of our flesh. Take a look at that list of deeds of the flesh, some of them definitely pertain to Halloween: idolatry, sorcery, sensuality (which is seeking pleasure for your senses). We see that those who practice those things will not enter the Kingdom. Now I know we will struggle against our flesh, but it is a far different thing to “practice” the deeds of the flesh. Choosing to celebrate a holiday year after year that is evil definitely falls into the category of “practicing”, this is a planned thing that you do. And whether you know the truth about the day and what God’s Word says or not, sin is still sin. We have been given His Word and all the more will be held accountable to live by it. Walking by the Spirit doesn’t mean that you get to decide what is good and evil in your own eyes, it means that you walk in accordance with what the Spirit has given us through His Word.

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night. -Psalm 1:1-2

It is a blessing to not do as the wicked do, to not even be standing in their path. It is a blessing when our delight is in the law of the Lord, when we would much rather know and live by what is in God’s Word than by the wisdom of the world or by our own thoughts and opinions. It is a blessing and it leads to life to follow that narrow path, but we must also be aware that there is a broad way which leads to destruction. We should not try to see how close to the broad way we can walk without actually stepping fully off of the narrow path. We are clearly called to avoid the path of the wicked: don’t sit, stand, or walk there. It’s not a place to hang out, even for one night.

But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” -Revelation 21:8

When we look at the holiday we see clearly that the practice of our current culture is celebrating sorcery, mimicking idolatrous worship of the dead and of demons, and is largely about provoking fear and causing people to be cowards-to be afraid of things which God has full dominion over. Does it look like He is celebrating those things in this passage in Revelation? If this is His response to these things, what would He want His followers response to be on this day that celebrates these things? ‘Celebrate with the pagans’…. You know that’s not the right answer. He has a much more excellent plan for us! Let’s go on and look at that now. And how very unloving to embrace these things and lead the lost to believe that God embraces them as well. We are called to be set apart, and it is not unloving to be set apart.

A Christian Response to Halloween:

 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. -Romans 12:21

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. -Romans 12:9

Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. -3 John 1:11

If you have read all things previous in this series, then you are now able to fully identified what is evil about October 31st, so now how can we respond with what is good? We see this pattern in Scripture, not to just avoid evil, but to do good!!!

What should we do on October 31st?

1. Proclaim His excellencies because He has called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light!

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. -1 Peter 2:9

How can we honor Christ on this day? We should seek to honor Him every day, and this day is not an exception! We do not get a free pass to be unconcerned with the glory of Christ and honoring Him as Lord simply because it is a holiday. We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,  a people for his own possession…. this is amazing! He called us out of darkness (even the darkness that we use to participate in on this particular day) and into his marvelous light, and why? That we may proclaim the excellencies of Him!

2. Be alert and aware that Spiritual warfare is real, and that Satan desires our destruction and the destruction of our children.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. -1 Peter 5:8

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. -Ephesians 6:12

We do not need to stick our heads in the sand or pretend like this isn’t happening around the world on this night. Wiccans are doing rituals in worship to demons. People are delighting in darkness and evil. People are looking for and searching out spirits (and if they find any it can only be one thing, demonic). People are imitating demonic spirits to insight fear in others, and other people are paying to experience those things at haunted houses and watching haunted films. People are unknowingly partaking in these acts of worship to Satan that have been handed down to us from those who worshiped and feared the spirits all the way back in the early Celtic days of this celebration.  Among these are Christians who are greatly deceived by a church culture that falsely preaches theories of relativism (“whatever is right for you is right for you, whatever is right for me is right for me”), instead of the fact that there is only ONE TRUTH and that is defined by God Himself in His Word. Think of the laugh that Satan and the powers of darkness must get at God’s followers on this day who are unknowingly participating in things that are acts of worship to Him both in the past and now. Praise the Lord, He may think He is winning something, but the Lord is mighty in battle and has already defeated Him, and there is an appointed day for Satan’s certain doom. Do not be too discouraged by this, rest assured that God Almighty will have the last laugh.

3. Do not be fearful, but instead walk in love and self-control on this day.

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. -2 Timothy 1:7

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. -1 John 4:18

This may seem contradictory to the previous point, but it isn’t. Having knowledge of Satan and His schemes should not invoke fear in us. As I stated previously, God has overcome all evil! He is sovereign over all things! I think this needs to be said because there are people with fears of the powers of darkness, and friends you should not fear them! Did you know that fear is a form of worship? We are to fear the Lord, and Him alone because He has all power and authority and everything is under His feet.

However concerning “fearfulness and Christians”, I’m not going to make a generalization like I’ve heard far too many other bloggers on the topic of Halloween do. So many bloggers and people who discuss Christians who abstain from the pagan traditions of Halloween do so as if we are fearful people, like we are locked up in our houses hiding out from the devil and all his little “evil trick-or-treaters”. Can I just be frank here? I have never met a believer who is faithful to God’s Word, and abiding in Christ that is fearful of these things! And I know plenty of people including my own family who do not celebrate Halloween as the world does. You are welcome to leave all of your preconceptions about Christians who don’t celebrate Halloween right here! We’re not fearful of Satan or demons, and definitely not fearful of trick-or-treaters and shivering mothers….. We are however walking in a very healthy fear of the Lord who has given us His Word to guide us in this day, and that is why we have chosen to respond to this day the way that we do. Do not wrongly assume that Christians choosing to honor the Lord on this day are fearful when, if anyone ever actually talked to us about it instead of casting judgement and making assumptions, they would see we clearly are not! (and yes I am addressing posts that have circulated the internet for years, and many of you know which ones I am addressing, some of these even come from reputable and fabulous Gospel preaching sites, but unfortunately those particular writers made some wrong assumptions about Christians being fearful, and my blog is a no-name blog compared to them, but I still feel it is right to set that straight among my tiny sphere of influence.)

4. Love God and Love people.

 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. -Matthew 22:37-39

Loving God:

We love God with all of our hearts and all of our souls and with all of our minds when we seek to understand what this day is about, find out what God’s Word says about it, obey, and walk in the Spirit, abiding in Him, worshiping and delighting in Him, and being fully satisfied in Him…. He is more than enough, and we can count the things of this world loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Him! Even fun little things, like cute costumes or the more difficult things like our kids feeling a little left out or like our being persecuted for our decision not to partake in the deeds of darkness as commanded in Scripture, those things are just rubbish compared to Him! Furthermore, about that persecution, Jesus says:

“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.-Matthew 5:11-12

Loving people:

Now many get confused about what love is, especially when they start thinking of loving their neighbor, and they assume without looking at the Scriptures that the most loving thing we can do is to say trite and shallow things and never share any truth. They assume that doing what they do to make them feel comfortable is right. I mentioned this above. It’s actually very unloving to act like God is at peace with these evil things and that we are permitted to do them. Some of those same bloggers that I addressed above will suggest: hand out the big candy, tell all the kids they look so cute! Offer the moms some water. Don’t give out tracts!” And then what, hope someone happens to discover that you have the most valuable truth that is known to man. This is a lie from Satan, that is not love, that is hate! The most loving thing you can do for people is to tell them about the most wonderful news that there ever was or ever will be, and that is the Gospel! That Jesus died for their sins, bore their wrath, died on the cross and rose from the dead, breaking the curse the law had on them, if they will repent of their sins, believe in Him, and serve Him as Lord, they will be saved! There is no better news. There is not a more loving thing you can say to anyone. Now on the flip side, don’t be trite with the Gospel, giving out tracts like you don’t care whether they are read or not.  NO, these are people! These are souls that will exist for eternity in heaven or in hell, and they should be valued as such. Love them well! Tell them about the way, the truth, and the life!

5. Make disciples.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”-Matthew 28:17-20

October 31st is a great day to fulfill this very commandment! Every day is, but this day particularly has everyone out of their houses and doing something. Not to mention, their minds are already on spiritual things because this really is what the holiday is about, what an opportunity to easily take the conversation over from the dark spiritual focus, to the light of Christ Jesus! This is a great opportunity for many.

6. Train your children in the way they should go.

Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6

Bear in mind that you are training your child, especially on holidays. These will be the lasting memories for children. They may not remember much from the day to day, but they remember what they did on holidays. These are lasting memories you will leave with your child. Therefore, this is a fantastic opportunity to sew some really good seed! It is very likely that your child will remember what you do on this day simply because the day is different than all the others. Make it special for them; create your own traditions, you are not called to be like the world, you are called to something more excellent, so be that! Make your time together meaningful, and most importantly, disciple them in the truth of God’s Word.

When your children are old enough and mature enough to understand, teach them the facts about Halloween, about it’s origins and about the ways it is celebrated by those who practice Wicca today. Share with them how many Christians are deceived. Encourage your children to have grace for these people, but also to share the truth with them in love. Teach them the Scriptures that speak to this day, many are listed here in this post, and there are many others.

Parents, be aware of the atmosphere you place your child in on this night. You will need to use discernment to decide what you should do on this night as far as the Great Commission is concerned. There are many places that my husband and I could serve and witness that we would not bring our young children to. If your child is a fruit bearing, born again believer in Christ that fully understands what this day is and what will be going on, then that child may be ready to join you on this day in fulfilling the Great Commission. You will need to prayerfully discern, and be ready to leave any given situation at any time if you feel it is at all spiritually dangerous for your child. If it is causing them to have doubts, if it is causing them to be fearful, or if it is causing them to be persuaded to join in with the partakers of the darkness then it. is. time. to. go! Talk about it at home, flee from evil! I’ve left many things before, and will do it again. I was given to my children by God to be their protector and to train them up in Him, and I take that job very seriously. You should too. In my current season of life I have found that my best work is by being home with them and teaching, training, and discipling them like I do on other days. We like to celebrate Reformation Day as a family or with friends. I share more about that here.

7. Flip this holiday on its head!

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. -Genesis 50:20

In Joesph’s response to the evil that his brothers meant for him, we see something miraculous! That what humans meant for evil, God meant it for good in order to bring about the saving of many people from the famine. In the same way, let us join together in praying that God will take this day that is meant for evil, and use it for His good purposes to save many from perishing! Be fervent in prayer for the Lord to move, be purposeful in how you will spend your time on this day of opportunity to reach so many, and be a diligent worker. Don’t use this day as day to fulfill your selfish desires, be a servant of the Lord, be about His Kingdom on this day!

hal·low
ˈhalō/
verb
  1. honor as holy.

Hallowing God above all because He is the one to be honored as holy! Not the dead, not saints, not spirits, not our children, not our trick-or-treaters, not our perceived freedoms, not our right to our own opinion, not self-righteousness, not what people think of us, not anything else except:

Hallowing the one and only who deserves to be Hallowed! 

Blessings to you and your family on October 31st as you seek to honor and serve our great King and Master, Jesus Christ!

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Time with God // Part Three

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time with God

So excited to be back and diving into part three, the final post in the series “Time with God”. I said this in my first post: “God seeks worshipers who worship in Spirit and in Truth.” But perhaps that doesn’t resonate with you, Maybe you are thinking to yourself, what does that even mean?

True Worship in the Spirit

I think some people have it in their heads that worship is similar to yoga… silence required!  Good thing that isn’t the truth otherwise moms like me wouldn’t have the opportunity to worship hardly at all. Other people may believe that worship is something we do on Sunday mornings, singing songs with other believers, and while that is one Biblically ascribed way to worship, there is so much more to worship!

The Holy Spirit through Paul gives us a great definition of worship here:

 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. -Romans 12:1-2

So we see that true spiritual worship is a life offered up as a holy and living sacrifice to the Lord. Now here’s the bad news: you can’t do this on your own…. But here’s the good news: God has done it for you if you are in Christ Jesus and He is your source to be able to live this out moment by moment.

This type of true worship has everything to do with what my blog title is about, “Abiding Woman”. I chose this as the title because that is my deepest desire! To be a woman who is continually abiding in Jesus: relying and trusting fully on His works of righteousness and not my own and drawing from Him as my source in order that I will bear fruit for Him.

 

The Knitty Gritty: The Practical

Drawing from the Source:

Children and chaos do not keep us from drawing from the source, our own flesh does. Until this becomes a way of life, you will need to purpose to die to your flesh and to seek Him right where you are (this is the disciplining yourself for life and godliness that I was talking about in part two). It’s not always easy, it takes focus and patience, especially with little ones underfoot. It is easy in the silence of a morning or evening when all the house is asleep, and while that’s very nice and relaxing, it isn’t our reality for most f the time. We have to learn to draw from Him as our source in our real, kinda loud, sometimes mundane, moments in every day life.

Here are some ways I do this:

*Have a plan: A Reading Plan. I have a Scripture reading plan. I hope to go into more detail on this at some point, but basically my plan is suppose to be a year long plan, however I do what I can when I can. My goal is to read and understand and respond, not “knock it out” so I can check it off my list. Each day on my plan I’m scheduled to read 2 chapters in the Old Testament, 1 Psalm or Proverb, and 2 chapters in the New Testament. This morning I was only able to get through the Old Testament portion before kids woke up and started stirring and asking for breakfast. So I’ll finish the rest this evening, or I’ll pick back up tomorrow where I left off. Sometimes I even work on this as my kids are playing together in the same room as I am in. I figure if I can check my facebook, look at pinterest, or even write a blog post while they play underfoot, then I can certainly read God’s Word! I also think this is a great thing for them to actually see us mamas doing throughout the day, we are an example to them… all our “time with God” should not be done before they wake. They need to see us seeking the Lord, not just hear us talk about it. This is also a great opportunity to look up from God’s Word and say, “guess what I just read….” and share a little of it with those sweet little ones in excitement, you have no idea the impact this will have on them!

*A Bible Listening Plan, I am currently going through a chronological plan that I keep on my fridge and check off as I go. I use the Bible.is app for this. When I’m doing dishes or chores around the house I push play. The kids listen along sometimes and other times they play and know to keep their voice levels low so that I can listen. The great part is, they are listening too.

*Sermons and podcasts are a mom’s best friend! These are great for in the car or for listening to while kids are napping and you have to get chores done. Stick your phone in your pocket and put some headphones on if you think the noise may wake the baby. It is such an encouragement to my heart to hear Biblical teaching and preaching throughout my day. If you’re not sure what to listen to, try some of these sites (my favorites):

I’ll Be Honest  (this group is always posting good stuff)

Revive our Hearts (just for women)

Desiring God sermons

Ask Pastor John (I love these for quick listens)

Look at the Book (I adore these!)

Grace to You

Sermon Audio -There is an app for this also! (look up Paul Washer, Richard Own Roberts, Anthony Mathenia, Tim Conway, Charles Leiter, just to get you started)

here’s a screen shot of my current “Abide” apps. (there are certainly others, these are just the ones I use)

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*Scripture memory and meditation: I have recently been using the phone app Remember Me for Scripture memory. In the past I have also just used index cards. I still do this from time to time since having something as a physical reminder in my pocket is very helpful. If I find I am really struggling with something, I write the Scripture on the card and meditate and pray through it when my mind is tempted to think in ways that are not according to God’s truth. This is one way that I work to renew my mind. Let’s say I’m struggling with bitterness towards someone, I write a Scripture where I’m commanded to forgive and place it on the card in my pocket. If thoughts of unforgiveness or hurt rise up, I pull it out and start praying over the situation and praying for the Lord to change my heart and give me grace to forgive.

These are just a few ideas….  there are certainly other ways to be soaking in God’s Word throughout our days.

Responding in Prayer, Song, Word, and Deed:

Now this isn’t just a one way thing… we also are responding to what we are hearing  from the Lord through His living and active word. We respond in prayer, songs, words, and deeds all throughout our day. Pray about the things you learned or read or just listened to on a sermon. Confess sin if the Lord showed you an area of your life that needs repentance. Thank Him for thing things He has done and the things He is showing you. Rejoice in who He is and just worship Him! Sing songs of praise and hymns as you go about your daily work around the home. Praise the Lord out loud to your children and husband and friends. Speak of Him often to everyone that you can. If you are constantly taking in His Word, then you very easily begin to speak His Word to others. And respond with obedience right where you are. Did you read about patience or seeking unity, do that! Did you read about forgiving others, do that. Did you read about evangelism, do it! Think of tangible ways to respond to His commands. Do you need to sit down and write a letter to a friend to share God’s truth with her, do you need to pick up the phone and repent to someone for something you did, do you need to go repent to your children for anger or impatience, do you need to go open God’s Word and teach your children? What did God say to do? Do it! Jesus says if we love Him we will keep His commandments. That is a way that we worship! We worship in response to His words.

The Presence of God: He is with us!

The Lord is not far off, He is with you even when you may feel distracted from that truth, it is still a reality. Furthermore, He longs for us to worship Him in these ways. He deeply loves us who are in Christ Jesus, He has made us His own, and He cleansed us so that we no-longer would live in separation from Him. He delights in us delighting in Him! Take time today to purpose to do this throughout your day.

Maybe you couldn’t wake up early and seek Him in the silence, that is okay, seek Him now! If you were able to get up early to spend time alone with Him, let it continue, we can’t just be products of our environments, we must seek Him when it’s easy and when it’s hard. 

There is a quote that I read in a study called “Behold Your God” that has affected my perception of God’s presence and what my response is to it:

“You can have as much of God as you want; in fact you already do!” 

It is very true!

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you!

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Time With God // Part Two

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I’m so excited to journey on in this series! Walking in light of the presence of God is of utmost importance!  If you haven’t read the first post yet, hop over and read it, then come back here to dive in deeper.

 Time with God in the Trenches of Mommyhood

So what does time with God for the busy and often tired mom of young children look like? Should we make it our goal to set aside a specific time to study the Scriptures and pray, be it in the morning or during the naptimes of our children, or in the evening when everyone is asleep YES ,ABSOLUTELY! We should definitely pursue making this happen! I hope that no one heard me say that it was unnecessary for you to have, pursue, and desire those alone times with the Lord in my first post. It is good to start your day with Him and to continue to walk with Him for the rest of the day.

If anyone got that they were not to pursue this type of time with the Lord out of the first post then you very much misunderstood me, and absolutely must stick around because what I was sharing there is almost the complete opposite of that.

The first post aimed to address this tendency for moms to set these goals of waking before the children and spending time with the Lord (much like the Triple G challenge), but when plans fall through because the life of a mom is unpredictable and let’s face it sometimes sleepless, instead of walking out the rest of their day with their Savior at their side, they walk it out in condemnation. But here’s the truth sweet sisters:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. -Romans 8:1

Jesus isn’t looking down from heaven saying, “I know her baby woke her up twice last night, and that her toddler woke at 7, but she should’ve set aside some alone time with me sitting in her easy chair sipping her coffee with her Bible wide open.” That’s ludicrous on so many levels, and we know it! But sadly, sometimes moms put this type of condemnation on themselves. The reality of the situation according to God looks much different, the reality He gives us is this:

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. -Hebrews 4:14-16

The Gospel Changes the Way We View Our Time with the Lord

How is it that we can be with God in His presence when we fail in so many ways? We fail to live up to not just our own human standards of a schedule or a time to wake up ,but we fail His perfect holy standards, big time, more than we will ever know. The reason this invitation is open to us is because of what Jesus has done and is doing. It’s not because of something you accomplish or bring about on your own. Don’t be deceived, if you think waking up early every day to read and study the Bible and pray is going to earn you the right to be in the presence of God, you are dead wrong! Can He meet you in that time, will He meet you in that time, Yes, but it isn’t because of you, it’s because of Him! The only thing that gives us the right to come boldly to His throne of grace is the great high priest, Jesus who was tempted in every way, He knows our struggles all too well, and yet He was perfect and blameless! He came to this earth with one purpose, to fulfill the Father’s will by redeeming a people for Himself and bringing them near to Him. What had to be done for that to happen? This perfect man who was also fully God had to die and bear the wrath that was meant for our sins, and then He overcame sin and death, rose from the grave! He now sits on the the throne praying for us! Do you think He did and does all that so we could only meet with Him in a silent house before our children wake? Absolutely not!!!! He did that so we could abide in Him moment by moment, forever!

What about disciplining yourself for godliness?

Some will say, But what about disciplining yourself for life and godliness (1 Timothy 4:7)? And I submit, what I’m saying to do here takes much greater discipline than sitting in a silent house and sipping coffee and reading your Bible. I love what Paul Washer says:

“You are struggling to DO … you need to struggle to BE.”

I am talking about something much more authentic than setting a schedule and having your “quiet time” and giving yourself a little Pharisaical pat on the back.

No, I am talking about abiding in Him moment by moment! Abiding when the kids are screaming, abiding when the dishes and laundry are over flowing, abiding when you are teaching phonics to a young child, abiding when you have morning sickness for weeks on end, abiding at play dates, abiding at the zoo, abiding when the stomach bug strikes your home, abiding in the late night nursing hours, abiding… always and continually abiding.

God is near, He is here. He is in the silence and the chaos. Will you abide in Him right now…… or do you think He’s still waiting for you back at that easy chair?

Sister, I hope this set you free in some way and encouraged you to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness….. in order to BE not to DO!

Tomorrow’s post is going to get much more practical. What does it look like to enjoy the Lord and abide in Him in our moments of chaos and homemaking and not-so-silent houses? I hope you will join me again tomorrow.

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Be blessed.

Read part 3 of this series here.

Time with God // Part One

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“I didn’t get up….. there went my time with God!”

If you weren’t able to get up before your kids and have your “time with the Lord”, don’t despair. I have fallen into the lie of thinking, “well there went my time with God” when I was unsuccessful at waking early or when one of the littles decided to wake early too. Here is what I finally had to see and understand: we are with the Lord ALL THE TIME! I know I know… that’s not a novel thought, but how often do we forget that He is ever present in ALL the parts of our day? While we wash dishes and wipe noses and change diapers, He is here! What a joy to know we can call upon His name, worship Him in the chaos, open the Bible and read the Scriptures out loud.

Now don’t hear me saying that waking up and setting aside time to pray and study God’s Word is not beneficial. It is a wonderful thing to aim for, but not every day and every season of life will allow for this, especially for the mamas of young children.  It is such a sweet thing to be alone with the Lord and pray and read unhindered, but let us be clear that the presence of God is not relegated to the quiet and chaos free moments of life. Time with God is not defined by a silent house and uninterrupted cup of coffee.

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24) 

The Spirit of God is present, because of His sacrifice on the cross the veil was torn and He is with us in both quiet and chaos. It says He is seeking worshipers who worship in spirit and truth….. not silence and easy chairs. Our truest worship takes place in daily life that is not separated from children, challenges, and messes.

He is here and near!

He came to this earth, died for us, and rose from the dead to bring us near to Him!

 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God. (1 Peter 3:18)

Let us not be so distracted by day to day tasks that we forget His wonderful nearness to us!

Be with Him right now…. this is your time with God!

read part two of this series here

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Mothers Your Work is Eternal Work

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Dear Mothers,

You have one of the most difficult and most wonderful jobs given.
It’s not insignificant work, in fact it is eternal work.
What you do each day inside the four walls of your house will affect so much!
You are influencing your children’s hearts moment by moment.
You have a chance to point them to Christ in the middle of messes, play, discipline, and cuddles.
30 years from now, your laundry and dishes piles will be much smaller, and your children will be much bigger. And today you can train them in the way they should go.
300 hundred years from now you and your children will be consumed with one thing and one thing only, and it’s a much bigger deal than laundry and dishes.
In 300 years we will all be thinking about the glory of Christ…. some around His throne in beauty and fullness of joy, and others with great regret in agony and turmoil.
But today you can focus your heart on Him, and point your children’s hearts to Him.

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Don’t be deceived to think what you do today will not affect them then, it will.
Point them to Christ! He is the one thing our hearts need most, and He is the one thing your child needs most!

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And Mamas, this is not adding to your to-do list…. this is the thing you must do while you do the to-do list. And if you can’t do this and that at the same time, then that other thing is the thing that must go because remember this is eternal work.

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Amidst your seemingly mundane work of kissing booboos, teaching phonics, potty training, nursing, remember what your real work is.
Pray for your children continually to know and love Christ, live your life in a way that points to the redeeming power of the Lord, and proclaim the Gospel to your children as often as you can, rejoice in the Lord before their very eyes. This is your real work that God has given you and there is an eternal reward.

“Those who think that a woman detained at home by her little family is doing nothing, think the reverse of what is true. Scarcely can the godly mother quit her home for a place of worship; but dream not that she is lost to the work of the church; far from it, she is doing the best possible service for her Lord. Mothers, the godly training of your offspring is your first and most pressing duty. Christian women, by teaching the children the Holy Scriptures, are as much fulfilling their part for the Lord, as Moses in judging Israel, or Solomon in building the temple. “Seek first His kingdom, set your minds on the things above, fix your eyes on Jesus.” While a truly God besought mother and wife may be one of the most unnoticed overlooked posts in the eyes of the world, there will be a day when its eternal significance will be brought to light and no sacrifice will seem too great, nor any negligence seem so small.”  -C.H. Spurgeon

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Celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus

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Happy Resurrection Day, sweet readers!

Of all the holidays on the calendar, Resurrection Sunday is the one most worth celebrating. There is nothing more significant in all of time than the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God! So it is right that we celebrate! It is right that we worship!

Because He is alive, because He is risen, everything has changed!

Because He is alive, we can be made alive!

So I have 2 cute activity ideas that you can do with your children to celebrate the Gospel with them!

Two Cute Resurrection Activities

Gospel Story Stones

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I bought these smooth rocks from a craft store and some paint pens. I simply drew these little symbols on the stones and told the story to my children using these visual cues. (I got this idea from the resurrection eggs symbols) After I told the story, I had them tell the story using the stones. It was a great way to meditate on the death and resurrection of our Lord with them. And they really loved this! (ages 3 and 4)

Empty Tomb Garden
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My Mother in Love actually did this with my kiddos! They collected some moss, sticks, and rocks from around the yard and pieced this together with some old planting pots. Is it not the cutest! I know, I know, it’s on pinterest everywhere, but it’s still the cutest. ;)

I hope you had an amazing day celebrating our risen King! And that you enjoy these sweet little ideas in your home.

Rejoice! He is risen!!!!

 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ (Luke 24:6-7)

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An Abiding Woman

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I wanted to start a blog.
And then I thought, “What will I call it?” All blogs have to have a name, right?
I thought about a homemaking theme, a motherhood theme, something catchy with my last name, and so it went, until the words “Abiding Woman” popped into my mind.

“Perfect!” I thought as I reflected on John 15 and thought about how every action and vocation and season of life that I have had or ever will have is inconsequential apart from Jesus. I can do nothing good apart from Him, and I know it!

And this is how my blogging journey began.

My hope is to share pieces of my life and to point my readers to Jesus along the way.

In all we do: mothering, homemaking, dressing, chatting, loving, thinking, or homeschooling, may our hearts first and foremost be abiding in Jesus Christ, the Lord.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

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PS For full transparency, this is not the first blog post I ever wrote here. Actually, I wrote it on 11/9/2017, because this blog has underwent so much change and reconstruction, it didn’t even have a clear starting place, and it sort-of felt like a house without a front door….. so I wrote “first post”…. ya know, like 4 years after actually starting the blog. Doesn’t everyone do that?

PSS The baby in the picture is my 6th born, isn’t she cute?!