Undying Love For You

Undying Love For You
Thanks Christina for this awesome pic from Mugs & Muffins!

Thanks Christina for this awesome pic from Mugs & Muffins!

WOW!  What an amazing conversation we had at Mugs & Muffins a few weeks ago.  There is nothing like being there in person, but I just wanted to share a little bit of our conversation with you in case you missed it.

Our theme for Mugs & Muffins was True Love.

We began our time together looking at a few verses in I John 4.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him….18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 

We also looked at I John 3:16

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Then we flipped over to passage many of us have heard at wedding over the course of our lives:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. {I Corinthians 13:4-8a}

Finally, here is what we did.  We took what we learned from I John 3 & 4 and applied it I Corinthians 13.  It looks like this:

God is love.

Perfect Love drives out fear.

Jesus demonstrated love for us by dying for us.

We should love others with the same love Jesus gives us.

With this framework in mind, we walked through each of the attributes described in the I Corinthians passage and talked about how fear might keep us from living out the love of Jesus in each of these ways.

For example, we asked, why/how could fear tell us it is okay to keep a record of wrong?

To which we responded: To protect ourselves – we fear the act being repeated.  NO ONE wants to be hurt repeatedly.  We want to protect ourselves from being hurt.  So we keep a list of wrongs to throw at the ones we love in times of stress in an effort to protect our hearts.  The problem is, this isn’t how Jesus loved.

{PLEASE HEAR ME. IF YOU ARE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY! JESUS IS NOT SAYING FORGIVE AND TAKE ABUSE. For the sake of this blog, we are not talking about abusive wrongs, we are talking about the sin that penetrates all human relationships.}

Jesus does not love us while keeping a record of wrongs.  He also did not ignore the sin in our lives.  This is fine balance.  To ignore the sin in our lives, would have meant that He would not have had to die because He would have recognized the consequence of sin in our lives.  To keep a record of wrong, Jesus would have not died either because He would have known that we would be repeat offenders of sin.  Instead, He looked at us through the eyes of LOVE.  And He acknowledged the ugliness of our sin, black of our souls, and he laid down on that wooden cross and DIED so that those awful sins could be forgiven.  He died so that He could pursue an intimate relationship with us.  One where He refines us, so that those ugly sins become part of our past, and we can walk in the newness of life with HIM!

This is what Easter is about.

As we walked through each of the attributes of the I Corinthians passage we challenged ourselves to over come the fear that is holding us back from loving others the way that Jesus loves you and me.  This can ONLY be done through the life that Jesus gives us when we surrender every part of our heart and soul to Him.  It can not be accomplished in our own strength.

I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit who continues to teach me and refine me.

I am challenged today to be more like Jesus.  To love unselfishly, without expecting anything in return.

What is my motive?

To love people the way Jesus did.

If you need some inspiration for the Holy Week, take I Corinthians 13:4-8 and spend time this week asking God how Jesus demonstrated each of these attributes, and how you can live them out through the power that lives in you!

If you want to read more about the Easter story, click here.

Bible Study Notes 3/25 – Part 2…The Answers


IMG_1387If you missed yesterday’s post, you’ll want to start here to see what lead to today’s notes.

Let me start today by saying, great job! Making lists takes patience!  It takes discipline and time.  But it also allows us to spend time in God’s Word which allows His Word to penetrate our hearts and change us from the inside out.  So congrats on your lists!

Here are the lists we made in class on Wednesday.


V2 do pray

don’t announce your giving with trumpets to be honored by men

V3 don’t let right hand know what left hand is doing

V4 give in secret & God will reward you


V5 do pray

Pray in secret.  If praying for attention you have received your reward in full

V6 Go into your room and close the door and pray to the one who is unseen

your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you

V7 Don’t babble – be sincere



V16 Do fast

Don’t look somber as the hypocrites to show everyone they are fasting

V17-18 Put oil on your head & wash your face so it won’t be obvious you are fasting

Fast in secret &your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you


V1 No reward if you do you righteous acts before men

V2 if you pray before men that is your entire reward

V4 the Father rewards what is done in secret

V6 The Father rewards what is done in secret

V14 If you fast in public you have received your reward in full

V18 if you fast in secret your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you


V4 Give in secret and the Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you

V6 Pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

V18 Fast in secret to be noticed by your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.


V12 Ask God for forgiveness and forgive others

V14 If you forgive others, your Heavenly Father will forgive you

V15 if you don’t forgive others, your Heavenly Father will NOT forgive you


  • So that they will be honored/seen/noticed by men
  • Truly I say to you they have their reward in full
  • Your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you

Now that you have made your lists…

What conclusions can you draw from these lists?

We discussed yesterday what this would look like today…

I think Jesus would say,

“When you give, don’t post on facebook in order to see how many likes you can get.  Truly I tell you, that is your reward.  Instead, give in secret.  Your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

What do you think?

We also had a great discussion about what as women we struggle with wanting praise from others and/or feeling judged by others.

Here are a few things that we came up with…please add to the list!!

  • Work status (Stay-At Home Mom, Working Mother, Not working with grown children, etc.)
  • Appearance (what we wear and or who much we weigh)
  • Marital Status
  • Childbearing status
  • How clean our house is
  • How we parent our children (how they act in public)

What would you add to the list?

We left knowing that God knows and judges the intentions of our heart!  We can be free from the pressure we put on ourselves to impress others, because our reward is greater if our intention is to please God alone!

Bible Study Notes March 25th – Inductive Study



Which  name of God are you clinging to right now?


What did you like/dislike about inductive study?

Why did it feel so uncomfortable?

What did you learn from this week?

In my opinion, this passage was a semi-difficult to passage to use as an intro to inductive study.


Who here has done inductive study?

Why is it important?

  • Looks at all the “facts” before coming to a conclusion {DRAW PICTURE}
  • Instead of asking, “What does this mean to me?” I am asking, “What is God saying in this passage?”
  • Keeps us from developing skewed theology.

What have I learned about it?

  • I have done inductive study since I was 17.  It is has completely shaped how I read and teach Scripture.
  • Often when people talk about Scripture, they want to twist it to fit their life experience
  • Inductive study eliminates the subjective side of reading Scripture, and makes it much more objective.

What does it alleviate?

  • It alleviates a lot of bad theology, taking verses out of context, etc.
  • It does not alleviate every disagreement over the intention of God’s Word, theologians will still disagree over different things.

Today we are going to spend the majority of our time looking at Matthew 6:1-18.

To get a frame of reference with chapter 16, we need to understand that Jesus is preaching the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7) all in one sitting.  It isn’t broken up into 3 part sermon series.  He packs a lot into one sermon.  In chapter five  he says:

20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Pasted from <https://www.biblegateway.com

And He ends chapter 5 with this directive:

48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Pasted from <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+5&version=NIV>

With this is in mind, He begins the next segment in His sermon which is the passage we will look at today:

Matthew 6:1-18 {New American Standard Bible}

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

“So when you [a]give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you [b]give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your [c]giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners [d]so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

“Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

10 ‘Your kingdom come.

Your will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

11 ‘Give us this day [e]our daily bread.

12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from [f]evil. [g][For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]

14 For if you forgive [h]others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive [i]others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

16 “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they [j]neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face 18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who seeswhat is done in secret will reward you.


  1. Matthew 6:2 Or give alms
  2. Matthew 6:3 Or give alms
  3. Matthew 6:4 Or alms
  4. Matthew 6:5 Lit to be apparent to men
  5. Matthew 6:11 Or our bread for tomorrow
  6. Matthew 6:13 Or the evil one
  7. Matthew 6:13 This clause not found in early mss
  8. Matthew 6:14 Gr anthropoi
  9. Matthew 6:15 Gr anthropoi
  10. Matthew 6:16 Lit distort their faces, i.e. discolor their faces with makeup

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation                     Pasted from <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+6%3A1-18&version=NASB>

In class today we broke this down and looked at this passage inductively.

Here is how you can do it:

Read through the passage one time.

What are some of the repeated words that you notice?

We came up with 6:

Give, pray, fast, reward, secret and forgiveness.

Then we made a list for each word (I will post our lists tomorrow, but for the sake of you doing it on your own, I’ll save that for later) :)  But I will get you started.

Read verses 2-4 (v2-4) and write down what the text says about giving. Don’t try to draw conclusions at this point we are just writing down facts.



V2 – do give

– don’t sound a trumpet when you give to be honored by men

V3 – do give to the poor

– don’t let right hand know what the left hand is doing

V4 – give in secret

Next read v5-13 and make a list of what the text says about prayer.

Next read v16-18 and make a list of what the text says about fasting.

Read the entire passage two more times.  The first time write down what the text says about the word “secret” and lastly what the text says about “reward.”

Finally read v14-15 and write down what the text says about forgiveness.

After you have all of your lists make a note of the repeated phrases.

We will discuss this more in tomorrow’s blog after you have your lists, but as we close today, I want you to think about what other situations Jesus would add to this list in 2015.  What would He say we should do in secret rather than posting on facebook? Why?

Love is not easily angered



With all the stress I face in life, I must admit I can have a short fuse. I can get frustrated very easily. I re-read this blog a few weeks ago, and am now trying to ask my self, “What right is being stepped on?” Read below to find out more…

Originally posted on Speaking in Faith Blog:

Well, if you have been following this series on love, it has been one that has convicted my heart to the core.  This week’s attribute is just as convicting as the rest.

We are walking thru a series at church called love works.  To find all of my blogs regarding this series in one place you can click on the new page called LOVE IS.

We’ve been through love is patient, kind, does not envy, is not proud and is selfless.  Today we are going to talk about anger’s place in regards to love.

God’s Word says, “Love is not easily angered.”

Sunday morning our preacher said, “We get angry when we feel like our rights have been stepped on.”  I’ve been pondering this statement all week.  I’ve also been evaluating the truth of this statement when I’m frustrated or angry.  So far, I think he…

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Bible Study notes: Jehovah-rapha The Lord Who Heals

Bible Study notes: Jehovah-rapha The Lord Who Heals

This week we talked about what God can heal.  We saw that He has the power to heal sickness, broken hearts, and even our broken spirit damaged by sin.

I have a few posts related to what God heals.  You can click here and here to read those.

Today in Bible study, we actually talked about the consequences of sin.  And our need for healing in this regard.

Today we opened up the fridge and grabbed that one tupperware in the back…you know the one.  The one that no one know what it holds inside.  The one you don’t even want to open.  Often times we just throw this tupperware away.  But today we are going to open it up, see what is inside, and ask God to clean it out.

We have talked about God as Lord, Adonai.

If we are to call upon Him as Lord, then we must be obedient to His Will.

Throughout our study we have gone back to week one’s definition of our purpose in life.

To glorify God: which we defined as living our lives in such a way that other people have a correct estimate or opinion of who God is.  Do we really reflect the glory of God to others?

This is a huge burden.  Do we really understand/grasp the magnitude of this?  Jesus said it this way in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect.”

No pressure, right?  How can we ever live up to that standard?

To start our discussion let’s look at what sin in.

The word sin is an archery term.  It means to miss the mark.  Essentially anything that isn’t a perfect bulls eye is sin.  Pretty easy and pretty convicting definition.

When I initially walked through this lesson, I thought we could talk about how God likes to show off.  Focus more on the story where Jesus says the blind man was born blind so that God could be glorified.  And we can talk through this, but what about all the other verses that talked about physical ailments coming as a result of sin.

When I ask for healing I usually ask for healing of physical needs.  I am selfish.  I want to be comfortable in this world.  So I want to be healed of aches and pains.  I also pray for healing for emotional aches and pains.  But I RARELY pray for healing of my sinful heart.  Why?  Because that would mean examining my heart and admitting to my sin.  AND that can lead to guilt and/or shame.

Before we get into examining our sin, let’s look at two buzz words surrounding sin: Guilt vs Shame

I have heard in many churches that guilt is of the devil, but I do not agree.  I believe shame is of the devil.

Guilt, I am going to define more as conviction.  Guilt helps us recognize that we have messed up.  It makes us feel “yucky” about the situation, and motivates us to not feel “yucky” again.  Therefore, it helps motivate us to make a different decision the next time.  Guilt addresses a decision we made.  We made a poor decision, we don’t want to make that decision again.  Therefore we are motivated to put practices or safe guards in place so that we don’t make that decision again.

Shame on the other hand, does not tell us we made a bad decision.  Shame tells us we are bad person.  Shame leads to self-loathing, self-hatred.  And therefore, rather than overcoming the “sin” we cannot see past it.  Shame tells us we won’t be able to overcome the sin.  Shame tells us we will never be strong enough to make a different decision.  Therefore, shames contributes to us repeating the cycle of sin, leading to more self-hatred.  Shame tells us that we are no good, that we aren’t worthy of God’s promises. Shame tells me that even though Jesus died for me, I am not worthy of that kind of love.  So I am not really forgiven. So we keep on living in sin, rather than reaching out to the only One who can truly heal us.

That is why the cross is so important.  God is Jehovah-rapha, the God who heals.  He could not heal our souls without the death and resurrection of His Son.

Again, we cannot be healed without the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Jesus did not stay because Jesus while on earth he could only be in one place at a time.  So He returned to heaven so that He could send the Holy Spirit to us.  When we surrender our lives to Jesus, we receive the Holy Spirit.  And he begins to mold us, to shape us into more of Christ’s image.

So as we examine our hearts, we do not have to be afraid.  Because we are not the source of healing for our sin.  Jesus is.

How do we overcome this?

In October at Mugs & Muffins we talked using the Bible as a workbook rather than a textbook.

One way to do that in regards to sin is to look at Scripture and let the Scripture penetrate your heart.  As I wrestle through sin in my own life, I like to look at the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Pasted from <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=galatians+5%3A22-23&version=NIV>

This week at Bible study, we took time to look at the fruits of the Spirit.  {keyword:Spirit}

As we try to conquer sin in our lives we need to replace sin with a new habit.  We cannot do this on our own.  That is why we should pursue the fruit of the {SPIRIT}.

Kay challenged us in our study to pray for God to examine our hearts.  One way we can do that is to walk through Galatians 5:22-23 and ask God for guidance in how we can practically put these attributes into practice in our lives everyday!

So here is what I suggest:

Grab a note book or piece of paper and write:










Then over the course of a day or a week, pray through these and ask God to show you how you can live these out in your life  Write down what God shows you.

The cool thing about this is instead of focusing on what you are trying to avoid…which only makes you want to do it more, you are focusing on what you are trying to achieve through the strength of the COUNSELOR that Jesus sent as our Helper…the  Holy Spirit!

So instead of praying, “God help me not snap at my kids today.”  I could pray, “God please let me display kindness to my children today by ___________.” {you fill in the blank}

God has so much for us to take a hold of.  Let us turn from our sin and fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith!

Just a note:  We will not be meeting next week .  So the following week we will discuss chapter 10.

What Does God heal?



We are talking about Jehovah-rapha at Bible study today. Here are a few of my thoughts from a few years ago…I definitely needed to be reminded of this today.

Originally posted on Speaking in Faith Blog:

As I read through Kay’s chapters on Jehovah-rapha, the Lord who Heals, I was deeply convited about my motivation to be healed.  I realized that I usually want God to heal the things in my life that make me uncomfortable, things like lonliness, a broken heart, or an illness or disease.  But in reading His Word I realized that there was one of the major thing I was missing on this list: SIN! 

I have had stages in life where I have earnestly prayed for freedom from sin, but if I’m honest, I usually call on Jehovah-rapha for things I don’t like rather than for the sin God despises.  I would rather use the name of God to bring comfort my own life than to bring glory to God.  Is it selfish to pray for healing for things like a broken heart or a disease that has ravaged your body?  Absolutely not.  Trust…

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Bible Study Notes: Jehovah & Jehovah-jireh


If you missed Bible study, or are following along from somewhere else, we are happy you are here.

We had a great discussion yesterday, and here are the questions we discussed.


READ Exodus 34:5-7

Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger,abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

Pasted from <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=exodus+34%3A5-7&version=NIV>

  • Compassionate
  • Gracious
  • Slow to Anger
  • Abounding in lovingkindness & truth
  • Keeps His lovingkindness for thousands
  • Forgives iniquity, transgressions & sins
  • He will not leave the guilty unpunished

Which one of these adjectives speaks the most to you at this time in your life? And why?


PG 69: 6-10


1. What is one thing you underlined in your study this week?  What did it say to you?

2. The name Jehovah is used more frequently in Scripture than any other name of God.  What does Jehovah mean?  (pg 55)

To be or become: the self-existent one – he does not need us to bring anything to the table

Last week we talked about the responsibilities of being women…isn’t it great that God doesn’t need anything from us!!

3. Jehovah is the God of the covenant.  From your study, what did you learn about your covenant-keeping Jehovah that can be applied to your life today?

How long did God wait to fulfill his covenant with His people? (pg 56, Genesis 15)

What significance does this have on your life?  How does this give you hope?

4. What is significant about Abraham saying, “The Lord will provide for Himself”

5.  What new insights did you learn about love, worship & obey?

6. Pg 67 The phrase “it will be provided” can be translated literally “it will be seen”

Again this ties back to El Roi: The God Who Sees

What other names make being Jehovah-jireh possible?

7. Kay states on page 58

“By being compounded with Jehovah, each [name] shows us that the very essence of His Being is to love, to give, to be more than self-constrained.

As the self-existent one, He desires to meet the needs of those He created in His own image.”

How does this comfort you?  How is the statement, “He desires to meet the needs of those He created” Differ from “He CAN meet the needs” of those He created?


Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

Pasted from <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=exodus+34%3A5-7&version=NIV>

As we strive to live as the Imago Dei (the image of God) which one of these characteristics do you need Jehovah-jirah to live out through you?