How to "Spring" into Joy & Peace by Growing in Gratitude

It's so easy for me to give thanks in the spring! I've always thought the Thanksgiving holiday ought to be in the spring.

But I have to confess: at all other times, gratitude doesn't come naturally to me. My mind naturally focuses on the tasks I need to get to done, the problems I need to solve, or the flaws I wish I could change. I don't normally enjoy joy and peace. I'm too busy.

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Three Areas to Guard when Judging

I don't know about you, but sometimes I struggle with name-calling or personally attacking people I see as enemies, at least in my mind. I may not actually say these thoughts out loud or write them on social media for everyone to see, but I'm thinking them. Is there a time when this is permissible, even beneficial to do? This touchy subject led me to some rather surprising conclusions.

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How to Diagnose Spiritual Heart Disease

May has been a month of Words for me. I mean, I've always used words, no matter what month it is. :) But this month has been one of listening to many messages about the power of our words and sins of the tongue. I think the Lord has really been hammering this home to me. I must have really needed it. ;)

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How to Overcome Barriers to Quiet Time with God

Do you find Bible study boring? Or difficult? Or do you find making time for it too inconvenient? Then you need to read this not-too-long, easy-to-read guide on why and how to study the Bible for yourself.

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How to Love your Foolish Husband using Proverbs 26

I want to be a wise wife, don't you? But what if our husbands aren't being wise but acting foolish? How do we remain gentle and wise while living with someone who disregards our wisdom? What if we're the one acting foolish?

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3 Areas to Avoid in order to be a Wise and Loving Wife

Do you want be wise? I sure do. In my study of Proverbs this month, I have been reminded of three things to avoid in order to be a wise woman. When I'm wise, I will also then fulfill the law that Jesus said was most important: love.

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Connecting to the Psalms with Authentic Personal Insight

Are you new to Bible study? Are you stuck in your current Bible study method? If you’re looking for an example of what it looks like to dig deeper into the Scriptures and to read more creatively, look no further than Psalms Alive by David Kitz.

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Who Else Wants More Time with Jesus?

Do you want to spend more time in the Lord? Great! You should! But just keep in mind a few caveats. You will need to sacrifice a few things. You might be misunderstood by others. But if the goal is to know the Lord more and invite Him into every area of our lives, then these sacrifices don't really matter. They're not worth the sweet fellowship of growing closer and closer to our Savior.

Charles Stanley in his In Touch devotional for May 3, 2017, gave some great advice. Here are three areas to give youselves (and others) grace in:

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Ultimate Guide to Lila's Favorite Verses

Do you have a “Life Verse”?  Whenever I hear that phrase, I get a little squirmy, because I don’t have one Life Verse.  I have a dozen! 😊  I always have a hard time choosing favorites of anything, because it’s comparing apples with oranges—each one has something unique and beneficial about it.  But here are a few of my favorites, verses I return to time after time for hope, encouragement, and reminders (which I need often). 

I believe that at least some of these verses will encourage you to hope and trust in the Lord, as they have for me. 

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Find Freedom in “Imperfect Progress”

What is the Christian life supposed to look like?  Once we’re saved (justification), then we spend the rest of our lives on Earth being changed, living out our salvation in our everyday lives (sanctification).  The Holy Spirit comes to live in us, and He convicts us, encourages us, teaches us, comforts us, and slowly changes us into the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29).  But it’s easy for us task-oriented believers to get bogged down in checking off the lists in our Christian lives.   

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4 Benefits of Hope

Have you ever felt so hopeless you didn’t know what to do?  Have you ever felt weighed down and stuck in the Bog of Despair (or, Slough of Despair, according to John Bunyan in Pilgrim’s Progress)?  You know as a child of God that you shouldn’t feel that way, but you do.  What do you do?  How do you boss your feelings around when you can’t see anything else?

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How to Find Trust in Jesus: From Truth to Trust

We hear all the time that we just need to “trust in Jesus more.”  But what exactly does this mean?  How do we learn to trust Him more?  I have reverse-engineered the path from Trust.  If trust Requires Hope, Hope Requires Faith, Faith Requires Belief, and Belief Requires Truth, then we need to start with Truth.

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Whatever is Praiseworthy, Philippians 4:8, Part 8

Bravo! Encore! Amen! Hallelujah!  Each word is just for praising. 

We love to express our admiration or appreciation for a job well done, a song well sung, a masterpiece of art, a piece of music that moved us, a dessert that surpassed our expectations, or a sermon that hit home.  Those are the kind of things that are worthy of our attention. 

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Whatever is Virtuous: Philippians 4:8, Part 7

Philippians 4:8: “…If there is any Virtue…think on these things” (New Heart English Bible).

If we are to “take every thought captive” (2 Cor. 10:5, NASB), then we need to know what kinds of things deserve to be let into the doors of our minds.  Everything else gets entry refused.  Philippians 4:8 gives us a checklist of things we should be thinking about: true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, worthy to be repeated, virtuous, and praiseworthy things.  Today we will be looking at the seventh in this list:  virtuous.

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Whatever is Worthy to Be Repeated: Philippians 4:8, Part 6

I don’t know about you, but with all the false news stories going around, and rumors of corruption and scandal abounding everywhere it seems, I want to be extra careful about the news I spread.  I may not be talkative or extroverted, but that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with gossip.  And it can be so subtle that I don’t even realize I’m listening to it, much less doing it.  What about you?  Do you find yourself listening to news that you found out wasn’t true or repeating something damaging? 

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Whatever is Lovely: Philippians 4:8, Part 5

Philippians 4:8: “Whatever is lovely…think on these things.”

When I think of things that are “lovely,” I think of a mountain lake, so still that the reflection looks like a second mountain; green trees and wildflowers surrounded by the snowy peaks.  Maybe you think of a sunset, or a beautiful model, or a masterpiece of art.  But the Greek word for “lovely” (prosphilḗs) has more of an idea of a gift, an offering, acceptable, a friendly attitude towards, having affection towards.  The Greek word in this form is only used here in the entire New Testament (NT)! 

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Whatever is Pure: Philippians 4:8, Part 4

Philippians 4:8: “Whatever is pure…think on these things.”

If we are to “take every thought captive” (2 Cor. 10:5, NASB), then we need to know what kinds of things deserve to be let in.  Everything else gets entry refused.  Philippians 4:8 gives us a checklist of descriptions about things we should be thinking: true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, worthy to be repeated, virtuous, and praiseworthy.  Today we will be looking at the fourth in this list:  pure.

What does the word pure really mean?  How can we ingest thoughts and images that are pure?  And is it really that important?

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Whatever is Just: Philippians 4:8, Part 3

Philippians 4:8: “…Whatever is just…think on these things.”

If we know we need to stand on guard at the door to our thought lives, then we need to know what to allow in and what to refuse admittance to.  We know already from Philippians 4:8 that we need to admit those things that are true and honorable.  Now we get to the word “just.”  What does “just” mean, and what are some examples of the kinds of things that live in the “just” category?

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Whatever is Honorable: Philippians 4:8, Part 2

If we are to “take every thought captive” (2 Cor. 10:5, NASB), then we need to know what kinds of things deserve to be let in.  Everything else gets entry refused.  Philippians 4:8 gives us a checklist of descriptions about things we should be thinking: true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, worthy to be repeated, virtuous, and praiseworthy.  Today we will be looking at the second in this list:  honorable.

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