Happy Children’s Day

In China, June 1 every year is Children’s Day. Here in the U.S., it seems like every day is Children’s Day. 😆

Have you ever heard the phrase, “We’re all God’s children?” It’s a pretty popular saying and somewhat accurate in that we are all God’s creation, or that we are all created in the image of God. Every man, woman, and child, born or unborn, has been created by God, after the image of God, for the intentional purpose of God. In that way, yes, we’re all God’s children.

But, today, as I was reading Ephesians 2, verses 2 and 3 jumped out at me. They say that we were all once by nature sons of disobedience and children of wrath. Verses 4-10 go on to explain that because of God’s rich mercy and love and grace, we have been saved from His wrath by faith in His Son, Jesus.

In order to be God’s children, we must be born again and be made new by the Holy Spirit. In order to call on God as our Father, we must be adopted as His sons and daughters.

I pray that today, as Children’s Day is being celebrated on the other side of the globe, you will call out to your Creator, that you will receive Him as Your Father, confessing your sins to Him and asking Him to welcome you into His family, coming to Him by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. I’d love to call you my brother or sister and welcome you into the household of God.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:1‭-‬10 ESV

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:9‭-‬13 ESV

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Romans 8:14‭-‬17 ESV

for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
Galatians 3:26 ESV

Friendship

Over the years, intimate friendship has always been tough for me. Maybe because I’m selfish. Maybe because I’m critical. Maybe because I can be too direct and intimidating. Maybe because I’m too busy, and genuine friendship takes work.

So, today, as I was reading James, I was captured by James 4:4

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

James 4:4 ESV

Being friends with the world is easy. The world encourages me to be selfish and critical. The world is waiting for me every time I pick up my phone and veg out on the couch, or pick up a big slice of “poor me pie.”

But, God is a better friend than the world can ever be. God listens to me at all hours of the day or night. He’s never too busy. He’s never distracted. He never ignores my call. He’s never too tired.

God tells me what I need to hear, not only what I want to hear. God gives me wise counsel filled with His loving grace and mercy. God is patient with me. God knows my weakness and still loves me.

The world woos us, pretending to love us, calling to us to come and be filled, but really it is only speaking empty lies and deceit. When I’m chasing after the world, I’m turning my back on the lover of my soul, Jesus, my Savior and Shepherd who gave up His life in my place.

If you’re looking for a true friend, look up.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24 ESV

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 17:17 ESV

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
Proverbs 27:6 ESV

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Matthew 6:24 ESV

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 ESV

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Revelation 3:20 ESV

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
Revelation 22:17 ESV

A Cord of Three Strands

If you’ve ever spent more than a few hours with me, you’ve probably seen me whip my hair back into a simple little braid. While together with family for the Christmas holiday, I asked someone (I can’t remember who ☺️) if they could do that and they replied that, no, they couldn’t, it must be a special thing for my curly hair.

So, yesterday, while getting my hair out of my face by quickly braiding three strands of my fine, curly hair behind my head, I suddenly remembered Ecclesiastes 4:12 ESV, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

But, then, my mind went to this — that three-fold cord takes effort to stay tight, to stay woven and together. I can’t just throw my hair up in a braid and expect it to stay for the rest of the day or week or month. This reminds me that my relationship with God, my relationship with my husband, or my sister, or my children, or a good friend, needs attention to remain tightly held together. Something to ponder.

Father, please help me to abide in You, to hold fast to you, to cling to you. Help me to weave myself into Bill’s life and to be his faithful helper. Grant me your strength to love others and to serve them by your love abiding in me. Thank you for giving me Your Spirit and for the promise that You will never leave me or forsake me. Help me to hear Your voice and to walk step by step holding onto Your loving hand. By the Grace of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

“And though a man might prevail against one
who is alone, two will withstand him
a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:12 ESV

Ecclesiastes 4:12 KJV “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

From Creation to Christ: A Family Advent Devotional Tracing the Story of the Savior Through Scriptures, Stories, Songs, and Pictures

I’ve been working hard to get my new family advent devotional book publishedin time for this Christmas season … and it finally happened!

If you order a copy directly from Amazon TODAY you will receive it on about December 2, so I ordered a bunch of copies that will be here November 29 (God willing!).

If you know anyone in the Memphis area who would like a copy, please let me know and I’ll sign and hand deliver it!


From Creation to Christ: A Family Advent Devotional Tracing the Story of the Savior Through Scripture, Stories, Songs, and Pictures

Making a Drill Book for your Children

I use a drill book to give my children some independent work to review anything they need to memorize.

I can put in WHATEVER I want – Bible verses, catechism questions, spelling words, math or geography facts… The possibilities are endless!

One child can work on their personalized Drill Book while mom is working with a sibling.

Enjoy this quick 2 minute video, then get busy making your own!

If the above video isn’t loading, you can watch it on YouTube at https://youtu.be/NL8WG5CgvsY

A Mother’s Day Prayer

May our mouths be full of kindness.

May the teaching of kindness be on our lips.

May we look well to the needs of our households.

May our children and our husband rise up and call us blessed.

May our hearts and minds be full of the peace, love, hope, and joy of Jesus Christ the Son of God who came into the world to save sinners like me!

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.” Proverbs 31:26-31

A prayer for my grandbaby

I pray that you know how deep and wide and long and high is the love of Jesus.

I pray that you know the greatness of our God – from His mighty power and perfect holiness to His personal closeness and faithful love.

I pray that you know that God has a unique purpose for your life.

No matter what happens, no matter how hard life gets, I pray that you will always remember that God is always, always good. May your faith in Him grow as you grow. May you trust Him with every part of your life every day of your life.

I pray that you cast all your cares on Him – from the biggest to the smallest – knowing that He cares for you.

I pray that you will give thanks in all circumstances – not because the circumstances are good, but because God is good. God has created you at just the right time, in just the right place, and with just the right parents, but sometimes your parents are going to blow it. They’re going to mess things up like their parents before them and their parents before them and their parents before them. I pray that you will know that you have a Heavenly Father who is perfect in all of His ways and who is always there for you and always there for them, too.

I pray that your parents will be quick to see and confess their faults, and be quick to turn to God in their sins and shortcomings. May your parents have humble hearts toward one another, toward you, and toward God.

Baby, I pray that you will be quick to forgive those who hurt you, even your mom and dad. You can only do this, Baby, when you realize how much God loves you and how much He loves to forgive you. God loved you before you were born, before you’d taken a breath, before you’d had a chance to do even one good thing. In fact, God loved you even before He created you, before He knit you together in your mother’s womb.

You are not an accident. You are a unique, purposeful creation of the Most High God of the Universe.

God will give you unique skills and interests, and I pray that you will use those skills and interests for His glory. Wherever you live and whatever you do, may you live for the glory of God – giving thanks to Him for everything that you receive because our Father is a good Father who gives us these gifts to enjoy, for our pleasure and for His fame and glory.

I pray that you will know Jesus.

I pray that you will know all about Jesus, about His birth, His life, His goodness, His teachings, His death, and His resurrection. But I also pray that you will know Jesus – like a friend who is always there for you, who sticks closer than a brother, who walks with you on the lonely roads and busy streets of life, who talks with you in quiet closets and noisy rooms, who is your best and closest counselor, speaking words of life and wisdom every day.

May you hear His still, small voice above all the others. May you hear clearly the voice of your Lord and King saying, “This is the way: Walk in it.”

And may you obey Him. May you follow Him as a faithful sheep, discerning His voice among all the cacophony of thousands of voices screaming out at you in this world. Jesus is the way, the only way. Jesus is the truth, the source of truth. Jesus is the life. He is the giver of life, Baby. Turn to Him and follow Him, and it will go well with you even when life isn’t really going so well.

I pray that your life will be filled with Joy and Peace and Hope and Purpose. But I also pray that you will know that these are only truly found at the feet of Jesus.

I pray that your heart would be kept free from idols. I pray that you would diligently keep your life free from the love of money, of fame, of power and selfish ambition, of worldly pursuits and people pleasing, of thinking too highly of yourself and not highly enough of others.

Look to Jesus. Jesus is our perfect example. He has gone before us and shown us the way. Jesus left heaven, HEAVEN, to be born as a helpless little baby – like you. Jesus gave up His glory and His throne, to live among common men and women like your mom and dad, and your grandma and grandpa.

Jesus loved people. Always. Jesus told the truth. Always. Jesus told the truth with love. Always.

I pray this for you. May you love truth and love people. May you love God’s Word, our fountain of truth and our fountain of love, and our source of wisdom for life.

Jesus was humble. Jesus, the great and glorious King of kings and Lord of lords, listened to the very people He had made. Jesus, the sinless Savior and sacrificial Lamb of God, went willingly to the cross to die a sinner’s death in place of sinful man. Jesus willingly gave up His own life that we could have life eternal and life to the full.

Baby, I pray that you would have that kind of spirit, a humble, gentle, willing, selfless spirit.

Jesus was bold. Jesus spoke boldly and loved boldly. Jesus didn’t follow the crowd. Jesus led the crowd, or Jesus left the crowd. Beware of the self-righteous. Beware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Jesus spoke earnestly with the Samaritan woman at the well, an outcast, a sinner. Jesus touched the hearts, minds, and lives of broken people like you and me.

I pray that you would be a bold, sacrificial leader for God’s kingdom, following Jesus rather than the crowds.

I pray that you will have the strength and fortitude of Daniel and his three friends, standing strong for what is right despite the risk.

I pray that you would have the wisdom of Esther, discerning right from wrong and using your life to serve others rather than your self.

I pray that you would have the righteousness of Job, holding fast to your integrity and your Savior, no matter the tests and trials that come your way.

I pray that you would have the tender heart of David, repenting time and time again of your own sins even at great personal expense.

I pray that you would have the integrity of Joseph, trusting in God’s good, loving will and choosing what you know is right, even when all of life’s circumstances are pointing you the other way.

May you know that no matter how often you mess up, no matter how often you go astray like a foolish little sheep, that you have a praying grandma who loves you, who’s in your corner, who’s cheering for you.

By the grace and love and power and strength that is ours in the Mighty Name of Jesus I pray.

Amen.

The Great Revealer

Have you ever seen my favorite TV couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, in their most excellent show, “Fixer Upper?”

This amazingly talented couple help their clients select a home in need of help. Then, the Gaines complete an incredible rehab on these “needy” houses. The show culminates on the last day with a big “reveal” to their clients of their new, improved house.

The highlight of the show is the moment this giant, billboard-sized poster of the “before” image of the house is opened up to reveal the “new and improved” exterior of the home as the client stands in awe and tears of amazement.

As I was working on my previous blog post “Hidden in Plain Sight,” I was prompted to do a little word study into this word, “REVEAL.”

I confess, I am a bit of a “word junkie.” I love to study where words came from, their roots. So when I see a word with a prefix like “re-,” I sometimes get this sneaky desire to see where that word came from, especially when the word isn’t obvious. What is a “veal” anyway? Surely not a baby calf!

It turns out that “-veal” actually comes from VEIL. Like a bride removing her veil, revealing her face to her excited groom, to reveal comes from the French and Latin for unveil, to remove the VEIL.

How cool is that?

Thank You, Lord, for opening my eyes, for removing the veil that prevented me from seeing you. Lord, help me to be waiting and watching for the day Jesus is REVEALED, the day when I will see Him face to face.

Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 2 Corinthians 3:12-16 ESV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5 ESV

Hidden in Plain Sight

Re-posted from 5 years ago-

You know those “Hidden Pictures” puzzles that Highlight magazine is famous for? Those pictures where common objects are “hidden” in plain sight, but you can’t see them and you have to search the picture for them.

Well, I’ve noticed that life can be a lot like that. I’ve noticed that my life is filled with these seemingly obvious sins that I am absolutely oblivious to. Sins that I am totally unaware of, but to someone standing next to me, they appear glaringly obvious.

The other day (5 years ago now!) I was recording a couple little videos of my oldest daughter singing in church. (Yes, I know. Videotaping during church. I know. Sorry. That’s not the point here. I don’t need anyone to point that one out now. Hang with me here.) Anyway when I played the videos back, in 3 of the 4 recordings can you guess what really stands out? Me. My voice. And it’s not pretty, friends. Not pretty.

And there it was. There are dozens of things that I am doing every single day that I am unable to see. Why? Because they have not yet been revealed to me. That ugly tone of voice. That bitterness. That pride.

Friends, do you know how much I have GROWN in the last 26 years I have been a follower of Jesus Christ? How MUCH I have changed? How MANY blind spots have been revealed to me in the past two decades?

And yet, I suddenly realized how many blind spots are still there. And, once again, God humbled me. And once again, I heard my Savior’s loving voice, gently urging me, “Kim, you have so far yet to go.”

And I was encouraged to give more grace, to have more patience and to be that much quicker to forgive a wrong, because the Lord daily has grace for me and patience with me. He has forgiven me soo much.

Thank you, Father, for not revealing the depth of my wickedness all at once, but rather moment by moment opening my eyes to the next thing, day by day conforming me more and more to the image of Your Son.

How is God opening your eyes to those unseen sins today? Pray for Him to show them to you.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24 ESV)

This post is still true today. God is still faithfully, gently opening my eyes!

Where is your Focus?

On the Problem or the Purpose?

On the Father or the Failure?

On the Trials or the Triumph?

On the Savior or the Storm?

Jesus told us that we would have tribulation in this world. Why are we surprised? But Jesus also said TAKE HEART, I have OVERCOME the World!

Daily we have to actively choose to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who for the JOY that was COMING endured the cross.

We, too, can endure and overcome with hope and peace … because of our FAITH in our Risen Savior who conquered death. We, too, know that JOY is coming. These trials are light and momentary when compared to the eternal WEIGHT of GLORY!


I’m looking forward to ETERNITY with Jesus. Who wants to join me there?

The road is indeed narrow, but Jesus made a way! Jesus made a way where there seemed to be no way. Jesus made a way to reconcile sinful man with Holy God – by His death on the cross, paying for my sins.

Jesus IS the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Him, but WOW what GOOD NEWS that there is a way at all for a sinful woman like me to spend eternity with a good and holy God!!!

Who needs to hear this good news today? If God’s given you this hope, go share it with someone who needs it!

TWIG