Cookie Cutter Creations

Preschool age children love to get their hands in Play-Doh and cookie dough. They roll it, pound it and squash it when they get mad. Mommy ads to their fun when she puts cookie cutter molds into their tiny hands; youngsters now have the excitement of creating favorite shapes.  The tikes laugh with glee when they see that they have created an exact copy of animals, Christmas trees, stars or snowmen.

As their mothers or grandmothers, we must guard our hearts and minds. We must not conform to the molds of our godless society. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2 KJV).” The Creator places no cookie cutter into our feeble hands; He writes His word upon our hearts and watches to see its transforming power in our walk with Him.

All That You Say To Me I Will Do

Read Ruth 3

And she said to her “All that you say to me I will do.”

If ever there was a statement of faith and obedience this is it.  Ruth, a Moabite, had left her land, and her relatives to go with Naomi, her mother-in-law, to the land of Judah.  She puts complete trust in her mother-in-law and her mother-in-law’s God.

What does it take for you to follow through with anything? Some need to know everything will work out as planned. Others may do a certain thing, if they know they will receive something in the end.  Precious few follow through because it is what God wants.

Can you say to God, “All that you say to me I will do?” For God has told us His desire, that we love Him, walk humbly before Him and follow His ways.  As the story of Ruth shows, blessings follow obedience.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.  With faith, obedience will follow.  With obedience blessings follow.

Whether you are seeking love, forgiveness, protection, or provision it is found through faith in God.  When we are obedient to His ways, He blesses us with what we need.

Father the One of infinite abundance, you love us. Thank you for wanting to bless us.  Help us trust you more with each passing day.  May obedience to your ways become nature to us.  Give us desire for you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

© Elizabeth Marks, founder ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc, a 501(c) (3) Public Charity, has a heart to encourage and equip you with God’s Word.

A Picture of Love, Mercy, and Grace

Read Ruth 2
It’s barley harvest time when Naomi and Ruth arrived in Judah.  Ruth asks to go glean in the fields.  Naomi allows her to go.

While gleaning, Boaz takes notices of Ruthand asks who she is.  He finds out how she cares for Naomi.  Boaz tells Ruth not to gointo any other field, but to stay in his field.   Boaz and Ruth share a meal together. Boaz instructs his men to let Ruth glean and to purposefully drop grain for her.

Ruth returns to Naomi, who asks where did you glean today?  Ruth answers in Boaz’ field. Naomi praises God for His kindness.

Did you notice how obedient Ruth was to Naomi and Boaz?  Can you see God’s care, protection, and provision to Ruth through Boaz? Do you see Naomi’s guidance, instructions towards Ruth? Notice how blessings seem to follow obedience?

Ruth had love, mercy, grace, compassion for Naomi. Ruth leaves her own relatives to stay with Naomi,her mother-in-law. Ruth moves to a new country with Naomi. Ruth provides for Naomi. Ruth’s life is not her own by choice. She purposefully sacrificed her life for Naomi’s sake.

Is that not a beautiful picture of what Jesus hasdone for us? Jesus had mercy on us. He left heaven to live on earth. He chose to live with humans rather than with God.  He sacrificed His life for our sake.

Father you are so wonderful.  There are no accurate words to describe your worth.  You are amazing in your love, mercy, and grace.  Thank you for filling us with your spirit that we may extend your love, mercy, and grace to others as you have given to us. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen.

© Elizabeth Marks, founder ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc, a 501(c) (3) Public Charity, has a heart to encourage and equip you with God’s Word.

Even When Its Dreary God Is With Us

Read Ruth 1
There was a famine in the land, so Elimelech and Naomi moved to Moab to provide and protect his family. We don’t know whether this was hisown will or God’s will.

While in the foreign land, Elimelech dies leaving Naomi in a worse state than before the move.  Now she’s on her own with her two sons who both married women from Moab. But then both her sons die also.
Naomi heard the Lord visited His people by giving them bread, so she decides to return to land of Judah.  She tells her daughter-and-lawsto return to their own family.  Oprah leaves. But Ruth stays with Naomi.

Ruth declares “your God will be my God, your landwill be my land” and the two head back to Judah. Ruth committed her life to Naomi’s God and to Naomi herself.  Ruth sacrifices her own comfort, support,and family so she would be able to comfort, supportand encourage Naomi along the way.

When they arrive, the whole city was excited to see Naomi. Naomi says call me Mara for the Almighty dealt bitterly with me.  I went out full and came back empty.  But it happened to be the beginning of barleyharvest when they got there, which shows you how God provides.

Father God above, how great you are.  Even if we take a wrong turn you graciously receive us back. Thank you for bringing others into lives to encourage us when we go off course.  Thank you for providing for us every step of the way. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

© Elizabeth Marks, founder ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc, a 501(c) (3) Public Charity, has a heart to encourage and equip you with God’s Word.

Wake Up

My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
James 5:19,20

I fell back asleep the other morning. I couldn’t help it. It was cool out and my bed was cozy. I just didn’t want to wake up. So I shut off my alarm and laid my head down, for just a minute. The next thing I knew, Chase was shaking me and saying, “Wake up Mom. I don’t want to miss the bus.”

I have Carson to get to school after Chase and if I were to miss Chase’s bus and drive him to school, it would start a whole chain of negative reactions and my day would not go so well.

But because Chase woke me out of my sleep, all was well here at the Schneider home this morning. Breakfast was eaten … lunches packed … book bags filled. Time to spare … no stress … no pain.

I was thinking about how sometimes we doze off in our relationship with God. We don’t mean to … but life, as we know it, is comfortable for us and we don’t want to step out of that zone.

It starts out as simply missing a Sunday or two, but then it becomes so cozy relaxing at home on Sunday mornings and there is preaching on the TV, we don’t really need to go to church. And that is true. Going to church doesn’t make us right or wrong with God. It’s what’s in our heart. But God’s Word tells us to not neglect the fellowship of the brethren. We need to hang out with other Believers, for support and encouragement.

Then we start having a couple of drinks on Saturday night, cause we aren’t getting up early for church, so it will be okay. Then we start going out with our friends to the bars, it won’t hurt to go have some fun, we’re just dancing. And we start flirting with someone and the next thing we know, we’re in the midst of an affair or we’re caught up in drugs or alcohol or surfing porn sites on the Internet.

Or maybe nothing quite so dramatic … maybe we just start to withdrawal into ourselves, caught up in that web of depression that never seems to let go of us. Or maybe we keep ourselves so busy with work or our kids or _____, that we just don’t have time for God anymore.

Regardless of the situation, the result becomes the same, God is not in the picture, he’s not a part of our lives.

Then one of our good friends comes along and says, “Hey … wake up. What are you doing?”

And we stop and take a look at our lives. We realize the mistakes we made, and we get down on our knees and ask God to forgive us. Then we move forward … with Him!

Father, thank you for the amazing grace that you offer to us. If we confess our sins, you are faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Thank you Lord for loving us, so very much.

I Love You Jesus.
   In Your Name I Pray,
   Amen

God Bless You!

Love,
Joyce
The Choices You Make Today
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!
http://www.alifedecision.org

Finish Strong

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13,14)

Whether you are a football fan or not, I hope you can appreciate the New Orleans Saints win over Indianapolis in the Super Bowl this past Sunday.  I wasn’t rooting for the Saints, but after learning their history, I have a newfound respect for them.  The Saints team was founded in 1967. They went more than a decade before they had a .500 season, two decades before having a winning season, and over four decades before reaching the Super Bowl.  Four decades … that’s 40 years before they hit their goal!  That’s a long time!

At the end of last season, the quarterback for the Saints, Drew Brees, decided to inspire his team by giving them an inspirational book called Finish Strong.  It was filled with stories about people overcoming adversary with courage.  Finish strong became the team’s mantra, and they carried it forward, not only in their life, but on the football field, overcoming much adversity to become Champions of the National Football League!

Finish strong is a challenge that is given to us over and over in God’s Word.   We can’t change our past, but we can move forward to our future.  David committed adultery, had a man killed and yet God called him a man after his own heart.  He was one of the greatest Kings of Israel and part of the lineage of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Moses got angry and killed a man, yet God used him to free the children of Israel from captivity in Egypt.  Rahab was a prostitute in Jericho, yet God used her to save her family from destruction and she was the Great-Great Grandmother of King David.  The Apostle Paul had Christians killed, yet God used him to spread the Gospel to the Gentiles and he wrote a good portion of the New Testament. Paul didn’t focus on his past, but moved forward … pressing towards the goal of Jesus!

I had a pretty rough start … drugs, alcohol, promiscuity – lots of wrong choices, but I am leaving my past behind and straining forward … pressing in … pressing on … I am finishing strong with JESUS!

Thank you Jesus that you have given us the opportunity to be new creations through you!  Thank you that we don’t have to carry the weight of our past, but can be free to move forward and to finish strong, through you!

I Love You Jesus!
   In Your Name I Pray,
   Amen

God’s Blessings Upon You!
Joyce

The Choices You Make Today…
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!
http://www.alifedecision.org

Planting Seeds of Character

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
John 5:15

Webster defines character as: moral or ethical quality; good repute; qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity.

I define it as ‘what you do when no one is looking.’

Every night, when I pray with the boys before they go to sleep, I ask Jesus to help them to do the right thing, even when no one is looking. I want Carson and Chase to be men of good character.

And those seeds have to start taking root, today. They have to be boys of good character and then teens of good character to grow into men of good character. It won’t happen overnight. And they won’t just wake up one day, when they are 30 years old and be moral men.

And it won’t happen on their own. They need God’s guidance, and our constant nurturing.

Bobby has started a garden. He’s turned part of our back deck into his own little flowering domain. He has herbs and vegetables and fruits growing. He even spent the day screening in his section of the deck, so Zeke can’t get into his plants and eat them.

Bobby is spending a lot of time with those seeds. He’s watering them and he’s protecting them and eventually, they will produce good fruit. But it will take effort and care.

Just like our little boys. What we put into them today – will produce a fruit later on. And with God’s help, those little guys will be strong trees of good repute!

Father, you give us so many examples in our daily life, to learn how to walk in your ways. Thank you for the lessons … always the lessons. And Jesus, thank you for blessing me with a family that I love so very much. And nope, we’re most certainly NOT perfect, but you love us anyway. Lord, thank you for the good seeds that are growing inside of Carson and Chase. Nurture them Lord and let them produce a harvest for you!

I Love You Jesus.
In Your Name I Pray,
Amen

God Bless You!

Love,
Joyce

My Life In 30 Seconds!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY6cDRzpzPs

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