How well do I know the Bible?

We just got back home from going to a MOPS get together for the first time. MOPS stands for moms of preschoolers and it’s a thing that’s country wide. Every month the moms get together for a meeting and once a month there is a “field trip” or play date of some sort planned. Today we woke up to a beautiful cool breezy fall day. It felt amazing after all the super hot weather we’ve been having! I packed up the kids and I meet the MOPS group at a park for a couple hours. I got to meet and chat with other moms and my kids really wore themselves out good so that’s why I have some time to sit down and write! 🙂 If you’re looking to meet some friends or are new to an area I recommend finding out if your area has a MOPS.

Anyways! Last night I dreamed I was talking to a woman who told me her favorite book of the Bible was Psalms. In my dream I told her I liked Psalms as well. “Oh yeah?” she asked,”what are some Psalms you like?” And in my dream I couldn’t remember one reference or even one verse. I was embarrassed and realized I didn’t know the Bible very well.

When I woke up this morning I strained my mind to try and remember a reference from Psalms. NOTHING CAME TO MIND. I remembered a few lines from a couple different Psalms but I had no idea what the references were or where to find them if I needed to. My summary in my dream unfortunately is true. I don’t know the Bible well enough. I’ve heard and read it all my life so I can repeat stories and summarize well but as far as memorization or knowing references I’d get like a D-.

That’s a sad state for a child of God! This morning one of the first things I did was open to the book of Psalms. Because I opened to it I read Psalm 148, 149 and 150. That should be easy to remember because those are the last 3 chapters in Psalms. So, to answer the woman in my dream who asked me to share a psalm…

Psalm 149: 4-5 “For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.”

Isn’t that a beautiful thought that God takes pleasure in His people? I’m going to write that up on the chalkboard in our dining room and try to memorize this.

And so you can visualize my dream, the woman who I was talking to was a sailor, was smoking a cigarette, and had an anchor tattoo and every thing. Even my normal sounding dreams are weird!

How do you memorize scripture? Share with me in the comments!

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Practical Preparations for a Peaceful Sunday Morning

I better get busy!

snowinlove

Getting a little one(s) out the door and at church on time isn’t always easy but there are a few things that if I’m diligent to do them Saturday night make Sunday mornings both relaxing and gets my family to church on time.

  1. Tidy up the house. I don’t mean deep clean or anything but if we can wake up Sunday morning to a clean kitchen and the place generally picked up it takes the stress level down a whole bunch getting ready the next morning.
  2. Have an easy to prepare and clean up dinner Saturday night.
  3. plan breakfast for the morning. We do simple breakfasts on Sundays, cereal, oatmeal etc.
  4. lay out everyone clothes including shoes. For some reason little ones shoes seem to disappear just as we are getting ready to head out…
  5. Pack the diaper bag including quiet time church activities for the kids and mom and…

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Not afraid of boogers- being the hands of Christ

I’m not a touchy person. I always appreciate those warm people I meet who will greet me with a hug or give me a pat on the back but it doesn’t come naturally to me to initiate touch with those outside my immediate family. I’m shy too so when when I’m talking with people I don’t usually make a lot of eye contact. If someone is standing close when talking to me the shy side of me will usually cause me to take a step or two back to put some space between us. It’s not that I don’t like people or feel comfortable around them, it’s just that I’m a little shy by nature.

God’s working on that though. People need touch. People need to be looked in the eye to feel, “I see you and care about you.” God wants to reach out and touch and hold people who are hurting. God wants to look people in the eye and let them feel His love. God has a strange way of fulfilling this desire though. He wants to use my hands and my eyes to do these things.

1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Yesterday I was out by myself getting lunch at Chick fil A. I saw a skinny woman with long gray hair on the corner across the street holding a cardboard sign that read, “homeless” on it.

I spent the few extra dollars and bought her a sandwich and a bottle of water. After I had gone through the drive thru and drove back around the building where I had seen her she was gone. I sat in my car and ate my lunch wondering where she had gone and what I was going to do with an extra sandwich. I finished eating and pulled out of the parking lot when I saw her in another parking lot.

I pulled up and got out of the van. “Hey girl!” I said as I approached her, “I saw you but then didn’t know where you went.” (that’s me being awkward and trying to think of something to say..) She had gone inside to use the bathroom and get a free water. “Are you hungry?” I asked her. “I bought you a sandwich.” “Yes ma’am!” she responded eagerly taking the bag and then with a big toothless grin held out her arms. There was a split second where I recoiled inside but I immediately saw in my mind my arms as the literal arms of Christ and was able to hug her and let her hug me. For a moment she searched my eyes as I smiled into hers. “God bless you.” she said and I told her the same. As I pulled out I saw her eagerly unwrapping the food as if she was really hungry.

I was hesitant to write about this because of Christ’s command to “let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth”. I’m not writing this though to brag that I bought a homeless woman a cheap sandwich. I wanted to share this little thing that God has been working in my heart. That He is teaching me how to physically surrender my body to be His tool to love people even when I feel uncomfortable.

“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

This concept applies to my role as a mother. I know I can not ask God to keep my children safe and healthy and then grumble about having to diligently supervise them and cook them healthy food. My body is the means God uses to feed and keep these kids safe. Yes, I believe God does miracles but day to day he wants to use this tool that is my surrendered body to serve and bless those around me.

As I have read the gospels over the years it always sticks out to me how much Jesus TOUCHED people. I think I notice it because I don’t like germs and touching strangers seem weird. Jesus without hesitation TOUCHED lepers. Those people surely hadn’t been touched by another human being in years! He also let snot nose kids climb all over Him and while I like kids, I don’t like holding other people’s babies sometimes because I don’t like snot and drool or poop. That may sound funny but I’m just using that as a way to make this point- Jesus was and is AMAZING! Boogers, snot, tears, fevers, skin diseases, blood issues- he didn’t recoil, he touched, He loved, He cared.

How can you use the power of physical touch to minister God’s love to someone today? What is an area of your life that God is growing you in right now?

A few thoughts on For Your Joy By: John Piper

For Your Joy By: John Piper

I’ve been reading through and thinking about a short book/long tract written by John Piper. Here’s a few quotes I’ve been thinking about.

“His law demanded, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5). But we have all loved other things more. This is what sin is-dishonoring God by preferring other things over him, and acting on those preferences. Therefore, the Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We glorify what we enjoy most. And it isn’t God.”

I thought John Piper’s definition of sin was both convicting and thought provoking. Sin is so much more than just breaking the rules. It’s breaking the purpose of what we were designed for- fellowship with God. We distort the very essence of who we are created to be when we follow after the lusts of the flesh instead of satisfying our whole being with God’s presence. To not love God with every fiber of my being is sin. Everything in me according to the scripture must cry out for the presence of God.

This reminds me of David’s words in Psalm 42: 1-2 “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirtieth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” It makes me realize more fully why David was called a man after God’s own heart and why God reckoned David’s faith as righteousness. David truly with every thing in him wanted to see and know God.

John Piper goes on to say, “Therefore sin is not small, because it is not against a small Sovereign. The seriousness of an insult rises with the dignity of the one insulted. The Creator of the universe is infinitely worthy of respect and admiration and loyalty. Therefore, failure to love him is not trivial- it is treason. It defames God and destroys human happiness.” pg.12 For Your Joy By John Piper

Wow. That second line, “The seriousness of an insult rises with the dignity of the one insulted.” I’ve tried to explain this concept before using words like, “God’s holiness and justice is so perfect, it is far above our human comprehension.” That’s true but I really like the mental picture created by John Piper’s words. I can imagine myself standing trembling before an earthly king that I had insulted how much more should I tremble at the thought of having offended The KING of kings?

These next several paragraphs are so good because it hits an issue that is often overlooked in gospel presentations. I don’t like gospel tracts that scare people with hell to get them to say a prayer for the sake of trying to secure eternal security. It’s not the whole picture. We very well should fear hell but fearing hell in and of itself won’t save a person.

“But what is the ultimate good in the good news? It all ends in one thing: God himself. All the words of the gospel lead to him, or they are not gospel. For example, “salvation” is not good news if it only saves from hell and not for God. “Forgiveness” is not good news if it only gives relief from guilt and doesn’t open the way to God.” “Justification” is not good news if it only makes us legally acceptable to God, but doesn’t bring fellowship with God. “Redemption” is not good news if it only liberates us from bondage, but doesn’t bring us to God. “Adoption” is not good news if it only puts us in the Father’s family but not in his arms.
This is crucial. Many people seem to embrace the good news without embracing God. There is no sure evidence that we have a new heart just because we want to escape hell. That’s a perfectly natural desire, not a supernatural one. it doesn’t take a new heart to want the psychological relief of forgiveness, or the removal of God’s wrath, or the inheritance of God’s world. All these things are understandable without any spiritual change. You don’t need to be born again to want these things. The devils want them.
It is not wrong to want them. Indeed it is folly not to. But the evidence that we have been changed is that we want these things because they bring us to the enjoyment of God. This is the greatest thing Christ died for. “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” (1 Peter 3:18)
Why is this the essence of the good news? Because we were made to experience full and lasting happiness from seeing and savoring the glory of God. If our best joy comes from something less, we are idolaters and God is dishonored. He created us in such a way that HIs glory is displayed through our joy in it. The gospel of Christ is the good news that at the cost of HIs Son’s life, God has done everything necessary to enthrall us with what will make us eternally and ever-increasingly happy, namely, himself.
Long before Christ came, God revealed himself as the source of full and lasting pleasure. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forever more” (Psalm 16:11) Then he sent Christ to suffer “that he might bring us to God.” This means he sent Christ to bring us to the deepest, longest joy a human can have. Hear then the invitation: Turn from “the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25) and come to “pleasures forevermore.” Come to Christ.

I’m thinking about fall!

I love fall! It’s so cliche but the moment I feel the weather start to cool and the humidity give way I get so happy. A cold crisp morning makes me so over the moon happy after the heat of summer that it’s embarrassing. Must be the New Englander in me haha. Anyways… it’s September and I don’t care if it’s still miserably hot out in Arkansas, with the flip of the calendar into September I start declaring it fall!

I made my children a summer fun bucket list the last 2 years so without further ado, here is the Snow family 2016 fall fun bucket list! This one’s not just for the kids but for me too!

1. go camping (I put this at the top because it’s one we didn’t get around to this summer)
2. make a low carb pumpkin pie for me and a regular one for my family
3. Let’s make a low carb pumpkin pie spice cheesecake while we’re at it
4. go apple picking
5. and then bake my children apple everything
6. of course pumpkin picking and fall decorating
7. Teach E about the first Thanksgiving
8. She may be old enough to enjoy making pilgrim and indian costumes this year…
9. Get Grandpa to bring us on a hay ride around the mountain (pretty please 🙂 )
10. go hiking
11. one word: campfire.
12. chili cook off anyone?
13. crayon leaf rubbings with E
14. make my kids a giant leaf pile and
15. take a gazillion pictures
16. go shopping for new clothes for both my growing kids
17. drink herbal teas
18. make clam chowdah
19. have a fall picnic
20. give thanks! Last year I made a thankful tree for E. I want to do something along those lines again.
21. visit the fair
22. find a corn maze
23. cook with fresh squash
24. get out my knitting needles and make something!
25. burn fall scented candles
26. go star gazing in an open field
27. make cinnamon play dough
28. read the kids fall themed books
29. teach E about why leaves change colors
30. decorate with mums

phew! thats’s a lot! I like to aim high though when it comes to fun 😉

can you think of anything that you’d add to this list?

I’m not good at praying.

I’m not. Especially in private. My mind wanders, I get tired and lose focus. About a year and a half ago I started a new prayer journal that I only have a few pages left in. I don’t sit and write prayers on a daily basis- mostly because I’m busy with small children, but when I really need to pray about something I pull out pen and paper and write to God. When communicating with people I am a better writer than speaker and it is the same with my relationship with God. When I’m writing a prayer I’m focused. I can see the progress I’m making as the words cover the page and afterwards my faith is built because if I’ve written down my requests, I don’t forget that I’ve left it in His hands. Also, writing down a prayer has the added benefit of recording my prayers so I can have a history of how my relationship with God has grown and how He has answered my prayers.

The other day I took some time to flip through this prayer journal. I was blessed by one particular answered prayer but I also got a good laugh. February of last year I had repeated prayers of asking for forgiveness and asking for help because I kept yelling at my child. I laughed because those two weeks of continually re repenting I was pregnant and didn’t know it yet. Can you say hormones!? lol

Anyways, I’m sharing this little thing about myself because I hope to encourage you if you also find prayer difficult. Do you enjoy writing? Have you tried writing down your prayers? It doesn’t have to be in a fancy journal in calligraphy. Today I needed God to help me with something so I grabbed a notebook that had greasy stuff spilled on it, wrote down my request and then tore it up. The format wasn’t what mattered. What mattered was my heart was coming before the throne of grace to “obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

This is not to say I don’t want to become a better praying. If God is the closest One to me and the most intimate relationship of my life shouldn’t I be able to talk to Him without getting distracted? If I never verbally communicated with my husband we wouldn’t be very close! At the same time, I do have boxes and binders full of letters I’ve written to my husband communicating my heart to him sometimes better than my words could.

Let’s talk in the comments! If prayer is a strong point in your life, how did it become so? Do you write down prayers?