living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!


Leave a comment

A Firm Foundation

IMG_2600

Life is full of changes – some I can control, but most I cannot. Observing circumstances in my changing world often fills me with despair and anxiety. BUT this is not how God desires for me to live my life! The Bible is filled with promises that give me a firm foundation when circumstances around me are changing like sinking sand.

Here are several things that do not change no matter what mankind does:

1. God never changes. He is the same all-powerful, all-knowing God today as He was in the days of Adam, Noah, Daniel, Peter, John and Paul.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8

“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Malachi 3:6

2. My salvation is secure because of what Jesus did on the cross. Because I repented of my sin and put my faith and trust in Jesus as my Savior, I am a child of the King of kings. No one can take that away from me. I am secure forever because of what my Savior did for me.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” John 10:28-30

3. This world is not my permanent home. There are times when life is going so well that we lose our perspective about where our treasures are truly to be. We can accumulate lots of “stuff” in this life and yet be found empty-handed some day when we stand before God. In these perilous days, we must be about our Lord’s business – reaching the lost and seeking to grow in our knowledge of the Lord and the Scriptures.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God,and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

4. My joy comes from the Lord, not my circumstances. Life’s ups and downs can steal my joy if I let them. If I need my joy restored, I must go to the Joy-Giver. His joy can sustain me through hard, uncertain days. Even when I’m unhappy, I can still find joy in His strength.

“…for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

5. God still speaks to me through the Bible and hears me when I pray. These are some of the most precious gifts we have; yet how often we neglect them! When troubles come, so often we run to others or just give in to fear and focus on the “what-ifs”. When I was in college, a statement was made during a sermon that changed my viewpoint about worrying: “God will not give you the grace to worry.” This was a light bulb moment for me. I suddenly understood why emotionally I could get to such a place of despair when I would worry. What brings us to our knees in fear should instead bring us to our knees in prayer! We MUST open our Bibles to let God speak to us and we MUST pray and cast our burdens on the Lord.

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” Isaiah 26:3-4

“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” I Peter 5:7

6. Jesus could come back at any moment. This one ties in with number 3. As things in our world seem to deteriorate before our eyes, we need to look up! We could be with our Savior and in Heaven at any moment!

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” I Thessalonians 4:16-18

7. Jesus still saves. All the things I’ve mentioned above don’t mean anything to you if you don’t know Him as your Savior. If you want to have a personal relationship with Him, you must repent of your sins and put your faith and trust in Him as your Savior. He wants to save you. You cannot do anything to save yourself. His promise of salvation is still true today.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

“For whosoeover shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13

One of my favorite hymns is “How Firm a Foundation”. My favorite verse is the fifth one:

“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,

I will not, I will not desert to his foes;

That soul, tho all hell should endeavor to shake,

I’ll never – no, never – no, never forsake!”

(R. Keen)

Remember – when you are tempted to fall on your knees in fear, instead fall on your knees in prayer! Our unchanging God is our firm foundation through all of life’s harshest storms!

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7


Leave a comment

4 Things I Can Control in an Out-of-Control World

Lately, my heart has been so grieved. This world is so full of sin. Our nation is so full of sin. My own county is full of sin. My neighborhood and community are full of sin. I can hardly scroll through my newsfeed without feeling scared, anxious. So many personal conversations and phone calls are spent talking about current events, and how scary this world is getting.

Sometimes, my heart is pounding and I feel so completely scared. Scared for my kids.

bench 1

So many decisions our government makes don’t directly affect my family… yet. But I fear it is coming. The end times are near, and life is scary, just like the Bible says (II Timothy 3). People are lovers of themselves. They forget about God, then there seem to be no rules.

However, I cannot dwell on these events. I need to shut my laptop, put down my phone, and take care of the things I CAN control in an out-of-control world.

  1. I can control who my children come into contact with. We have chosen to home school our children. I do not believe it is for every family, but I know it is for ours. I know where they are all day. If your children attend school, know who their teachers are, know who their friends are. Know where they are!  Recently, I had a conversation with a mother whose youngest daughter just got married. Both her daughters are married now, and she was telling me how that she had always kept track of where they were, and who they were with. It makes a difference!
  2. I can control how much they learn about God. This is so sobering to me lately. Who knows what the future holds. Make the best use of the time you have to teach them about God! Take them to church. Get good entertainment for them. We love several audio series’ including Adventures in Odyssey, Patch the Pirate, Jonathan Park, The Brinkman Adventures, just to name a few. I can tell a difference immediately in my children’s behavior when I turn off the TV, and turn on something moral. And most importantly, teach them God’s Word directly. It’s always something we’re starting, stopping, and starting again. But we strive to teach them. Several simple tools are Great Stories of the Bible, Keys for Kids, and the Bible Songs for Kids (by Bible Truth Music – Scripture verses set to music).
  3. I can control the mood of my home. “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” is pretty much true in a normally-functioning home. When I am in a rotten mood, it’s almost inevitable that everyone else will be. Make it a happy place! I cannot emphasize how important it is to be awake before the children to get my bearings, spend a few minutes alone with God, and prepare for my day. I often exercise before the day gets going. Happy endorphins, anyone? So why is a happy home important in this list? All my efforts are pretty much fruitless if I don’t do it in the joy of the Lord. Reading God’s Word helps remind me that I am here to be the salt and light of this world, starting with my home. I have an important job, and I need to create a happy place while I’m doing that job.
  4. I can control how much I pray. The more I pray and focus on the things of God, the more peace I have. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Prayer really works. It changes me, and it strengthens me. Pray, dear mom!

Every power on earth and in heaven

Is a shadow in His light,

No authority, law or government

Challenges His sovereign might.

His reign and rule have no boundary,

All that is, His hands have wrought.

Nothing ever can, nothing ever will

Overcome the Lord our God.

We are well aware we were orphans once,

Bent and broken in our shame,

Then He sought us out and adopted us,

Now we bear His royal name.

Every sin or crime we have ever done

Is no match for Jesus’ blood.

Nothing ever can, nothing ever will

Overcome the Lord, our God.

We are rescued out of darkest night,

Freed from Satan’s evil hold

And the kingdom of our Savior’s light

Is our soul’s eternal home.

Though the enemy tries to steal and kill

What the death of Christ has bought

Nothing ever can, nothing ever will

Overcome the Lord, our God.

Our God is victorious,

He always wins! He always wins!

In love He reigns over us,

He always wins! He always wins!

We, the Church, declare: Jesus Christ is King,

For He conquered death once for all.

We will live in light of His victory

Following His gospel call.

And when the story ends we know Jesus wins,

For His power cannot be stopped.

Nothing ever can, nothing ever will

Overcome the Lord, our God.

Nothing ever can, nothing ever will

Overcome the Lord, our God.

(Ross King)

Have a blessed day.

<3 Joy B.


Leave a comment

Teaching Self-Control

A few days ago I finished writing some curriculum on the Fruit of the Spirit. The last fruit is one of the hardest to teach, especially with children, “self”-control (or better yet, temperance).  Today, I want to share with you a method of teaching our child this particular fruit of the Spirit.

Think about it–if we as parents struggle so much with “self”-control, what are our children picking up and learning from us?

The most basic key to temperance is being Spirit-led. (Galatians 5:22-23)  Thus, teaching our children to follow the Holy Spirit is what needs to be done. However, it is a process and a growth that comes with time.

If my child has not trusted Christ as Savior, it is impossible for him to learn, because he does not have the Spirit living within him.

So what can I do in the meantime?

While writing curriculum on the Fruit of the Spirit recently, I was doing some research, came upon this idea and fell in love with it.  Here is the method.  It is from the Scripture, Matthew 5:29-30.  The Bible says:

29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Many times, we are caught laughing at sin. The world attempts to make it funny and people are portrayed as heroes for stepping out and breaking the rules.  However, God does not take sin lightly.

We need to treat sin as God treats it.  So to teach our children not to take sin lightly, we can use this principle from Matthew:

When my child uses a part of his body to sin, he loses the right to use it.

For example:

  • When my child yells at his siblings, he loses the right to speak
  • When he hits a friend with his hand, he loses the right to use his hand. (You can have your child sit on his hand)
  • When he follows his siblings to a place he should not go, he loses his right to walk.
  • When he peeks at something he should not, he has to close his eyes.

 (As a parent you determine the amount of time)

You can take these examples and make them personal with your child.  I pray that, through using this method, children will quickly get the idea and eventually learn to control their own actions.  This is a great tool but not the only thing to teach them.

As I mentioned earlier, the most important thing we can teach them, is to be Spirit-led.

No matter how strong they are, some day, they will have a temptation that is just too much for them to overcome.  Everyone has weaknesses and the devil often knows what they are.  So, at that point, it will only be God that can help lead them in the right direction. This is why teaching them to be able to sense the Holy Spirit and follow His leading is a must!

I hope that you can use both of these tools. From one momma’s heart to another.

Rejoicing,

Joy

Ps. What are some methods, that you use to teach self-control to your children? Please comment below.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 972 other followers