A Prayer for the Start of a New Week

Will you pray this with me this morning?


Dear God —

As we wake to a brand new week we thank You for a fresh start. Your mercies are new every morning. Each day is a gift and its Your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise.

We are excited about what this week might hold. You alone know the end from the beginning have good plans for us. We wait in eager anticipation.




As we begin again this week, we will intentionally forget what lies behind — those moments last week where we deliberately chose to ignore the promptings of Your Spirit and stubbornly walked our own way. We intentionally commit to press forward into what lies ahead, forging boldly into the future You have planned for us.

Help us to turn the mundane into holy moments with You. Those piles of laundry and stacks of dishes and mud tracked onto clean floors are really evidence of Your blessing — the family You’ve given and this home we make together. As we move through the routine of regular life let us see every mundane task as a sacrifice of praise.

May we seize every opportunity You give for Your glory and our growth — making the most of our time for the days are so evil.




Lord, on the cusp of a new week, we are so aware that we will fail You. There will be moments that frustration erupts into anger, times of unbelief and ungratefulness, missed opportunities and flat out rebellion. We confess all this up front. But we are also so aware that You will never fail us. You remain faithful. Faithful to forgive when we turn to You in repentance.  Thank you, Lord.

We want to walk with You this week, and amazingly You want to walk with us.

The future is unknown and so uncertain. Life can change in an instant. God, this week could contain something that significantly alters the course of our lives. But we trust You. You know what this week holds. Calm our fears. Lift our eyes. Banish our doubts. Give us that steady assurance that You are never more close than when Your children are suffering, and help us to trust Your purpose in trials.

Our plans for the next seven days are written in the lightest of pencil and we submit them to You. Change them. Jesus. Make them better. Because You can do far more than all we can ask or imagine.

Help us to live God-aware this week. At the end of the week our hope is to know You better and be changed by You.

Give us greater faith, believing You for great things, because without faith it is impossible to please You.

We give this week to You.

And we pray all of this in the mighty, matchless name of Jesus Christ,


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What God Taught Me in September

God is always teaching us – either new truths or a deeper understanding of what we already know.

Let’s pause at the end of the month to review what God has taught us before racing into the next month. Because if we don’t stop to reflect — to pick up stones of remembrance — we are likely to forget.

What God Taught Me in September

Here are a 6 things I’ve learned this past month:

1. I need to give myself GRACE and TIME to adjust to new routines

I LOVE routine. I like September and the start of school. But this year there were a few big changes in my family’s routine. Despite knowing this, I still expected to jump right from summer (lack of) schedules to fall schedules without skipping a beat. Well … I skipped … and tripped … and fell. It’s only now at the end of the month that I feel our family settling into these routines. Grace and time.

2. Christian school is not the saviour

One of the changes this September was moving our kids from the public school system to a private Christian school. (Now before you have an opinion, please know that I strongly feel each family should do what is best for their own children –whether that’s public education, private education, or home education.) I’ve wanted this opportunity for my children for a long time, BUT …

God has taught me this past month that Christian school is not the saviour. A biblical education alongside math and reading and writing does not address the sin nature. Only Jesus Christ can rescue us from ourselves and our sin. Here’s the lesson for my husband and I: make it a priority to continue to disciple our kids at home. Keep showing them their need for a Saviour. Keep pointing them to Jesus.

3. Trust Jesus alone

I learned the hard lesson this month of not putting my faith and trust in people because people disappoint. When people don’t live up to our expectations we are often disappointed and disillusioned. The truth is, none of us are perfect and everyone fails at some point. I need to put my faith and trust in Christ alone. He will never disappoint.

4. Choose to trust and wait expectantly for God when the future is uncertain

I thought September would bring some stability to the shifting sands of my life. It hasn’t. Quite the opposite. But God has taught me to trust Him and wait in eager anticipation for what He will do.

5. God has confirmed my passion and calling to teach women the Bible

There, I’ve said it.

I sat in my living room and watched Revive ’15 (Women Teaching Women) and my heart cried, “YES!” through the whole thing. I LOVE teaching the Word to other women. I LOVE studying together and talking about what God is doing in our lives. God is asking me to step out in faith in what He’s called me to do and dare to believe Him for great things. And so I’m dreaming …

6. God allows suffering in our lives with a view to the future

Why did God allow cancer to cross my path? There are probably many answers to that question, but a priority answer is so that I can comfort others when they go through similar difficulties. God gave me the opportunity to do that this month with a sweet friend.

This is my challenge to you: Think about what God has allowed into your life over the past month and reflect on what He has taught you. I pray we are always learning and growing in our walk with Him.

(And maybe you want to head over here to Emily Freeman’s to look at what others are learning.)


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When you want to know how to live {1 Thessalonians 2:1-12}

1 Thess 2_12 graphic

It’s all over the Bible — this theology of walking.

Walk by the Spirit.

Walk in good works.

Walk in a manner worthy of the calling.

Just as you received Christ, so walk in Him.

I’m walking down the old rail road tracks and I’m wondering why God chose this idea of walking to describe living life with Him.

Why not chasing? or jumping? or sitting? or standing?

Certainly chasing hard after God has it’s place.

Jumping boldly into the unknown characterizes faith-filled Christ-followers.

Sitting still in His presence is absolutely live-giving and essential.

Standing firm against the world, the flesh, and the devil is necessary for victorious Christian living.

But no, it’s none of these. When scripture talks about our journey of faith, it’s always WALKING.

Step-by-step. A steady pace. Intentionally putting one foot in front of the other.

I glance down at my feet.


I haven’t yet gone by myself. It’s been over a year and I’ve not yet ventured on my own. Because, to be honest, I haven’t been quite sure what to say.

But this afternoon I move steadily down the track to the place where we laid her to rest.

One foot in front of the other.

This idea of walking with God — a theology of walking, really — is threaded throughout the pages of scripture.

It’s when I’ve reached the corner of the cemetery that I think of the faithful men of old.



Noah walked with God.

Enoch walked with God.

Levi walked with God.

Will I walk with God?

I settle into the grass in front of the stone and notice my reflection in its polished surface.


There are seemingly insignificant moments — days even — that pass by without us hardly giving life a second thought. Packing lunches and driving carpool and dishes piled high … do these moments matter?

But the seemingly mundane moments of each day add up the sum total of our lives.

And the question becomes — will we faithfully walk with God through all of life’s circumstances?

Paul, during his brief time in Thessalonica, exhorted, encouraged and even implored the believers there to walk in a manner worthy of the God who called them into His kingdom (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12).

I want to walk in a manner worthy of God.

But what does that mean?

The stone is warm from the August sun as I touch it.


I tell her I miss her and about all the things she’s missed. Her grandbabies are growing up. I’ve journeyed with cancer. There are big changes on the horizon. It kills me to watch him do his best to keep his head above the tidal waves grief. And there are still those times when the phone rings that for a split second I wonder if it might be her.

“But mama, I’m still walking with God.”



Putting one foot steadily in front of the other, in good times and in bad. Not running ahead or lagging behind, but staying in step with the Spirit.

Leaning on Him when difficulty strikes.

Dancing beside Him when the joy is spilling over.

Raising my hands in praise when His goodness overwhelms me.

I always want to be moving forward with God, because I know if I’m not, I am inevitably moving backward. Standing still is not an option on this journey.

Perhaps that’s the simplicity of walking in a manner worthy of the God who calls us.

We must put feet to the conviction that no one is worthier than God.

We must determine to walk with Him.

1&2 Thessalonians graphic narrow

Wednesdays in the Word


Today we continue in our study of 1&2 Thessalonians, focusing on 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12. God wants to meet you on the pages of His Word. Will you download the study below and spend some time soaking in the truths found in this letter?


Click below to listen to an audio reading of 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12.

Download the workbook for 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 here.

Life Application

  1. What do you think it means to walk worthy of God?
  2. In what ways is your walk with God worthy of His calling? In what ways is your walk lacking?
  3.  What are you currently walking through with the Lord? What is your response to God in this season of your life (think about His character and His ways)?


Scripture text for 1&2 Thessalonians


Introduction to the letters of 1&2 Thessalonians (blog post)

1&2 Thessalonians Introduction Workbook

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

The Uncanny Mix of Joy and Difficulty (blog post)

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 Workbook

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when you feel God may be calling you to teach

I travelled to Indianapolis this past weekend from the comforts of my living room.


It was a conference for women who feel called by God to teach the Bible to other women.

And yes — I sat mesmerized and took pages and pages of notes.

My sweet husband hooked up the live stream to the big screen, ran interference with the kids for two days, and offered to make me popcorn. So thankful for him.

Before you abandon this post thinking it doesn’t apply to you, I will remind you that all of us are teachers in one way or another (e.g. teaching and discipling our children, offering biblical advise to friends in crisis, etc.).

But some of you may feel that fire deep in your belly to teach God’s Word. If that is the case, I pray you will be blessed by what I learned at Revive ’15.

(BTW: God spoke to me so clearly through #6 and #8.)

TOP TEN from Revive ’15

1.Teachers must have a love for the people they teach

It is not enough for Bible teachers to have a love of teaching the Bible. They must also have a love for the people they teach. Teaching is not about being right, but about letting the living and active Word do a work in people’s hearts and lives. We must see faces and names and have compassion on those sitting in our classes. Teachers must offer comfort through the Word to those going through difficult circumstances. A love for the students must accompany a love for God’s Word.

2. Not many should become teachers


Jen Wilkin began with this terrifying verse in James 3:1, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.”

Teachers are judged with greater strictness because there is much at stake. Everyone will give an account for every word we speak, and apparently teachers even more so. Since words have either destructive or creative power, we as teachers need to learn how to use life-giving words.

She went on to explain right and wrong motives for the desire to teach.

WRONG MOTIVES for wanting to teach:

  • personal gain or glory
  • wanting to be right

RIGHT MOTIVES for wanting to teach:

  • a love for God and His glory
  • a deep desire for wanting to serve God in this way
  • a deep love for the women you teach
  • something burning inside of you for wanting to teach the truth
  • a desire to rightly divide the Word of truth
  • to be so captivated by what we see on the pages of His Word that we want other women to meet God there to
  • a deep desire for God to be known

3. Teachers will never feel comfortable in their role (and this is a good thing)

When teachers begin to feel comfortable it is a sign they are relying on their own abilities. If we lose our sense of neediness, we lose our usefulness. It is when we truly believe that God has to show up that we understand our teaching will only bear fruit through the supernatural workings of the Spirit through His Word, and not through our own abilities. Teachers must stay completely dependant on God, asking Him to never let them get to the place where they don’t’ need Him.

4. Teachers must teach with the divine anointing of the Holy Spirit

Paul said it best, “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake” (I Thessalonians 1:5).

Some teaching is in word only, and is missing the anointing of the Holy Spirit. This kind of teaching goes in one ear and out the other, and people aren’t changed. Without the divine enablement in the teacher, there are no spiritual results.

So how can a Bible teacher teach under the anointing of the Holy Spirit?

First the teacher must lead an anointed life. Preparation of our notes and minds is useless if its not accompanied by preparation of our hearts and lives. Our lives must illustrate what we proclaim to others. In other words, we must live what we teach. Walk the talk.

Secondly, the teacher must have anointed lips and a powerful presentation. We must cultivate and communicate a reverential awe of the Word of God. We must seek and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, and point people to Christ. The message must be communicated with fervency, earnestness and conviction. Teachers must know their audiences, and give them an opportunity to respond to the truth. Finally, and above all, teachers must confidently trust the power of God’s Word to change lives.

5. The role of repentance is HUGE in the life of a teacher

“Create in me a clean heart, O God … Then I will teach transgressors Your ways” (Psalm 51:10-13).

Teachers must fully come clean with their own sin and long for real transformation in their own lives before they can lead people in the same. Every teacher should have one or two people that will lovingly point out areas of sin in their lives.

6. Teachers must determine to maximize every season God gives

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

Pastor Eric Mason urged us never to see any part of life as mundane or useless. We are not to be frustrated with where God has us right now because we will miss what God wants to teach us in this season. Although we often do, God never wastes time. Teachers must always ask how God wants them to maximize the time He has given them right now to be good stewards of all that God has allowed into our lives, using it to deepen their compassion for others going through difficulty and the impact of their teaching.

7. Teachers must resolve that God will be the strongest influence in their lives

A maturing teacher is always in tune with what God is doing in her own life and in the lives of those around her. We must understand what the will of the Lord is and seek Him in every situation, instead of foolishly seeking the advice of the world.

8. If we want to feel more deeply about God, we must think more deeply about Him

Women are often driven by emotions. We want to feel more in love with God. But we often don’t realize that we will love God more when we know God more. To know Him is to love Him. The path to transformation is found in Romans 12:2 where it says we will be changed by the renewing of our minds (not our hearts). Right thinking informs right feeling. An effective Bible teacher will lead her students to love God with their minds, learning more about His character and His ways. When women know God their love for Him will naturally increase.

9. Teachers must teach women to be students, not mere consumers

Good Bible teachers teach their students how to think, learn, and work. The goal is to move women to the place where they can study the Bible for themselves, not remain dependent on the teacher. Therefore Bible teachers must give their students tools to study the Scriptures on their own, encouraging them to have a long-term view and not expect instant gratification. We teach them to study all of Scripture, honour the context, and follow the steps of comprehension, interpretation, and application.

10. Teachers must be women of the Word

If we want our students to be women of the Word, we must be as well. We must learn how to discern error from truth if we want our students to do the same. Our lives must be rooted and grounded in God’s Word, believing it is alive and active to change us as well as those we teach. Just as Paul charged Timothy, we are to teach the Word – the pure Word. When we do this, women will be changed, they will experience God’s grace, they will be a witness to those around them, they will be able to withstand the devil, and will grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

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There is a God in Heaven

We are all bone-weary and sick from worry and battling fear at one time or another.

She stands at my door and tells me her current struggle. And we call on the name of God together – right there – arms linked, door wide open for all the neighborhood to see.


And what they see is two broken women desperate for rescue.

Aren’t we all desperate for Him to intervene?

Because whether it masks itself as health issues, or relational difficulties, or financial struggles, or emotional pain, we all feel the affects of this sin-soaked world.

But there a God in heaven.

Daniel was the one who said it. The King asked him if he was able to interpret his dream, and even at the risk of his life, Daniel quickly responded no. “However,” he said, “There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries” (Daniel 2:27-28).

He reveals mysteries because He knows the end from the beginning. He calms fears and replaces them with faith. He gives hope in the form of a Person.

This phrase echoes through my mind as I close the door and watch her drive away.

But there is a God in heaven.

But there is a God in heaven.

Yes — no situation is too hard for God to change …

no relationship too broken for God to repair …

and no pain too great for God to redeem.





You may say … I’m afraid of what tomorrow might bring.

I say to you … but there is a God in heaven.

You may say … I can’t take this anymore.

I say to you … but there is a God in heaven.

You may say … My situation seems so hopeless.

I say to you … but there is a God in heaven.

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1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Wednesdays in the Word


Today is Wednesday, and that means we will spend some time in the pages of the Word together.

If you missed our introduction to 1&2 Thessalonians last week, you can find it here: Introduction to 1&2 Thessalonians; Introduction to 1&2 Thessalonians Workbook




1&2 Thessalonians graphic narrow

Today we dive into the first chapter of the letter to the Thessalonians.

Grab a bible and read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 or listen to the audio reading below:


Click to download the workbook for 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10.



The Uncanny Mix of Joy and Difficulty


They are strange partners – difficulty and joy.

Maybe you’ve experienced it yourself. When life turns upside-down and your world is in turmoil, even in the midst of the storm there is often this unexpected sense of JOY.

Let’s be clear – this is NOT happiness. Happiness is completely dependant on circumstances, which as you know, changes with the day (or hour?).

It’s difficulty and JOY that are unlikely allies.

When death struck my family suddenly and unexpectedly last year, this joy manifested itself in the steadfast hope we have in Christ of seeing our believing loved ones again.

When cancer interrupted my plans this year, this joy again arose in the supernatural awareness of His presence in the face of overwhelming fear.

When followers of Jesus Christ find themselves in the midst of extreme difficulty, as they surrender their circumstances to God, a calm delight in the Person and purposes of God emanates from within.

This kind of joy transcends all circumstances.

It’s part of what sets us apart in a world that chases the waves of eluding happiness.

As Paul is reflecting on his time with the Thessalonians, he says:

You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the JOY of the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 1:6).

The believers in Thessalonica were in the midst of terrible persecution by those who felt it was their duty to preserve the Jewish laws. These Judiazers were violently opposing the teaching of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

But in the midst of the mounting pressure, Paul brought the gospel to Thessalonica – the Word of Christ.

And they received it with joy.

It was their willingness to receive the word in the midst of their trial that produced joy in them.

No one chooses difficulties, but they do come to each of us and quite often take us by surprise. But if we are diligent to stay in God’s Word and trust that He is completely in control and has a good plan, the Holy Spirit will give us this biblical joy.

Sadly, its often in crisis that we neglect the Word of God – the very thing that can bring us God’s peace and joy.

Our circumstances do not change the character of God.

Did you catch that?

Your circumstances do not change the character of God.

Regardless of what life brings, God is still the same, and He always has a good purpose for your trial.

That is cause for rejoicing.

receive the Word

Life Application

  1. What difficulty has God currently allowed into your life?
  2. Are you trusting that God is still sovereign and He is still good despite your circumstances?
  3. Are you being faithful to receive the Word or in the midst of the storm have you neglected the very means of anchoring your soul to your Maker? How can you allow God’s Word to speak into your circumstance in greater measure this week?
  4. How has joy manifested itself in your difficulties?


Scripture text for 1&2 Thessalonians


Introduction to the letters of 1&2 Thessalonians (blog post)

1&2 Thessalonians Introduction Workbook

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 Workbook

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When life seems a bit uncertain

We sit in my kitchen and she tells me things are up in the air, the future uncertain.

I nod knowingly.

This one I understand by experience.

The waves of the storms of life roll in one after the other and we squint in the darkness, trying to discern the future.








But life is so unpredictable and can knock you around a bit.

As much as I plan and prepare, this year has kept me in a state of uncertainty for various reasons.

Just as I thought the fall would lead to some  sense of routine, life has handed me another trial, which is in reality another opportunity to trust God and wait patiently for the outcome.

As many have said:

We do not know what the future holds, but we know the One who holds the future.

That has to be enough.

And so each morning, I surrender it again to God, telling Him I’ll wait and watch for His leading.

Because He is still on the throne.

What is causing uncertainty in your life? Will you surrender it (again) to God and wait for Him to lead and guide you?  

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From a mama to her daughter on her birthday

My darling daughter,

I kissed you goodnight last night and this morning you woke up a whole year older.


Today we celebrate 8.

Doesn’t every mama wish she could turn back the hands of time?

If I could, I’d go back to this …

lake superior 2009 129

july 4 209

shining tree 2009 016

You like running wild and climbing high and keeping up with your big brother. You run with a pack of boys that plays Manhunt well after dark, and you race dirtbikes through the dust and scooters down the sidewalk after those same boys. Your not afraid to bait a hook and touch a fish and kiss a frog.









I wonder … if I would have dressed you in pink satin and tied pretty bows in your hair when you were little, would you be more likely to choose those things now? Would you enjoy painted nails and salon-styled hair and shoes that match frilly dresses?

But that’s not who you are. And do you know what? That’s not who I was either.

When you were a babe in arms you always reached for your Papa over your Nanny and your Daddy over your Mommy and your Uncle over your Aunt.

When I watch you follow after your Papa in rubber boots and choose the outdoors every time, I see a much younger version of myself. I was the one out of three girls who trudged through the snow with my Dad every night to the barn. I was the one who rode endless lengths of the field on the back of the corn planter. I was the one who climbed every tree I could just because I could.


I see some of myself in you.

But you are much more independent, much more determined than I ever was. You have a strong spirit and I see a leader emerging in you as you grow. Your teachers tell me you don’t care about following what others are doing, you are happy to do it your way. Dear daughter, you will save yourself a world of trouble by not following the crowds.

You are fiercely passionate, and even though we sometimes battle over clothes and piano and bedtimes, I love your independent nature.

You know who you are far more than I did at your age.









Your Daddy and I thank God for you. You are a gift straight from Him and we are blessed to have you in our lives.

Jaden, on your birthday this is my prayer for you. These are the words I whisper beside your bed as you sleep:

I pray you will know God (1 Chronicles 28:9)

Knowing God will be your greatest pursuit.

I pray you will serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind (1 Chronicles 28:9)

As you get to know God, the only right response is to serve Him. Take all your and determination and be independently dependant on God. Follow His plans for your life. This will be your greatest joy and your greatest fulfillment.

I pray you will seek hard after Him (1 Chronicles 28:9)

If you seek Him, He will let you find Him. Chase hard after God all the days of your life. He is not far from you.

I pray you will direct your heart to God (1 Chronicles 29:18)

Take all your God-given passion and spunk and love God with your whole heart. Let your love for God drive everything you do. Worship Him with an undivided heart.

I pray God will give you a perfect heart to keep His Word (1 Chronicles 29:19)

His Word is your life. It is alive and active and works its purpose in you. Cling to God’s Word. Spend time in it daily. It will guide you, and in it’s pages you will meet your God and know Him better.

Happy birthday, sweet girl!








Introducing Wednesdays in the Word

I’m so excited to introduce WEDNESDAYS IN THE WORD to you!

Wednesdays in the Word

I LOVE studying and teaching God’s Word … and I’m passionate about encouraging and equipping women to do the same. I’ve spent considerable time this past summer dreaming and praying about how these passions might meet here on the blog.

I’ve also humbly asked God to give me just the smallest ounce of His creativity to create a space that is warm and encouraging and motivates women to meet God on the pages of His Word.

Because – quite frankly – I can’t do it for you. BUT … I can share with you how God is speaking to me through His Word. I can encourage you to dig deeper and provide you with the tools to study Scripture.

So, every Wednesday you can expect some new teaching from Scripture.

Most Wednesdays you will find some or all of the following:

Scripture Text: The portion of Scripture we are studying for the week will be written out for you to read right here on the blog.

Audio Reading of the Text: For those of you who would rather list to the text there will be an audio file of the reading of the text.

Teaching: A short teaching, either in written or video format, based on a portion of the text.

1&2 Thessalonians Workbook: A link to a downloadable workbook based on the current week’s passage for those who want to dig a little deeper (this is what I am using with my classes at my local church).

Scripture Memory Cards: Printable cards to carry with you to allow you to commit portions of the text to memory.

Graphics: Graphics pertaining to the current text that you can share on your own social media sites.

Introduction to 1&2 Thessalonians

This fall  (drumroll please), we will study the letters to the THESSALONIANS.

1&2 THessalonians graphic revised

I am teaching this material twice a week to two different groups of ladies at my local church, but you can follow along right here on the blog.

Next Wednesday we will dive right into the text, but for the remainder of today we will spend some time introducing the book.

Author: Paul (and Silvanus/Silas and Timothy)

Paul only spent three weeks in the city of Thessalonica, but the church left such an imprint on his heart that afterward he wrote two letters to the believers there to encourage them in their faith.

Recipients: The church in Thessalonica, the capital city of the Roman Province of Macedonia.

Date Written: 51AD from Corinth, during Paul’s second missionary journey (Acts 18:5).

Themes: There are several major themes in the letters of 1&2 Thessalonians.

1. Biblical Church – First Thessalonians paints a remarkably clear picture of the biblical church and how a pastor ought to shepherd the flock God has given him.

2. The Coming of Jesus Christ – This letter also contains exciting teaching about eschatology, which is the doctrine of end time events. The theme of 1 Thessalonians is undoubtedly the coming of Jesus Christ, as this phrase is repeated again and again in the text. Paul did not want his readers to be unaware of what will happen in the future concerning God’s kingdom calendar and His plan for the ages. He urges the believers in the church in Thessalonica – as well as us today – to be careful to be found blameless at His coming.

Background: Please read Acts 17:1-15 to understand what happened during Paul’s time in Thessalonica.

This week:

1. Read through 1 Thessalonians as many times as you can. Much of learning and knowing God’s Word is simply reading it over multiply times. As you read, the Holy Spirit will increase your understanding and insight. HE is the teacher.

2.  Consider completing this first introductory lesson in the workbook to give you a better understanding of who the Thessalonians were and what Paul’s time in Thessalonica was like.

3. Also, here is the Scripture Text for the entire books of 1&2 Thessalonians. This will be helpful if you choose to mark the text as the workbook instructs.

I will meet you right here next Wednesday ready to dive into 1 Thessalonians 1.

Remember, God reveals Himself through His Word and He promises to reward those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

Truly, it’s the greatest thrill ever.

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When you feel like you have to do it all

We spent much of the summer talking about our fall schedule.

Cautious of over-committing our family with the uncertainty of a cancer diagnosis, a new school for our kids, and an upcoming season of work travel for my husband, we were wise to carefully consider our activities.





We talked through each one, evaluating its importance and impact on the family pace (there may have even been a spreadsheet or two involved!).

Truth be told – I lobbied hard to keep them all.

Every individual commitment seems so worthy (and so fun!), but when strung next to each other in the weekly grind, I realized (with my husband’s repeated wise counsel) that we could not do it all.

I could not do it all.

But I want to do it all.

But wisdom is foreseeing what will happen if we commit to too many things. Wisdom knows this mama becomes harried and stressed and not at all fun to live with when life is too full.

I can’t do it all … 

… but I can be faithful.


God has given me the exact amount of time in this life to fulfill what He’s called me to do.

I spent the eve before the swing back into familiar fall routines on my knees confessing I wanted to do it all, but admitting I couldn’t. I told God I wanted to be faithful with the ministry He has given me.

“As much as we’d like to think otherwise, we have just one little piece, and our faithfulness with it is paramount.” (Beth Moore)

But I needed Him to narrow the scope slightly and show me His priorities for me. What should I invest my time in and what should I release?




The next morning He was faithful to show me the first step.

“When the height of ministry outgrows its depth, it will inevitably come tumbling down. We are wise when we focus on the depth alone and from that time forward leave the length, breadth, and height to Him. As long as the latter dimensions matter most to us, we are not ready to build what lasts.” (Beth Moore).

His priority for me is to focus on the depth of my relationship with Him. I can’t give what I don’t have. Any ministry He calls me to must come out of the overflow of what He is doing in my heart and life.

So I begin here.

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