Great resource 

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Hey Readers: 

I think this is a great thought for  today from Brian Simmons: 

“Begin to free yourself from your burdens today; exchange what troubles you for the enveloping love that comes when you dwell on heavenly matters. Will you take the words of this devotion to heart and let the burdens of the earth fall to the glory of the Lord? 

Undoubtedly lovers of God will still face times of unexpected trials, unpredictable difficulties, and seemingly unsolvable problems. In a word, this is the wilderness and so following the devotion we happily share a sneak peak at the upcoming book, The Wilderness: Where Miracles Are Born, by Brian and Candice Simmons.

Brian Simmons and Your TPT Team

http://us10.campaign-archive2.com/?u=8c3eb957a5ad87253d475a511&id=0371cbbf23&e=6d249f0478

We create the truth filter

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I’m very concerned, parents – us who call ourselves Christ followers. 
Let’s not expect the church youth leaders or much worse the public school system do our job. Time to lay down our lives for our kids by be willing to talk about this stuff and even let God shift our own paradigms and beliefs so we are clear examples of victoriously pure, holy and set apart men and women of God.  
“What was once whispered in the dark corners of topless bars is taught in mandated public school curricula all across America! That’s right, folks, if your children are in the public school system, they are likely to end up in a “Health” class teaching them that bisexual, homosexual, and transgender lifestyles are all normal expressions of their sexuality.” -Moral Revolution
(….or even if they’re homeschooled and take classes and have friends and attend youth group….
If you don’t teach them someone else will. Start young. WE, parents, need to give them their truth filter! …and not let a godless confused educational system do the job God gave US to do.)

Protecting Your Kids – Internet

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Hey parents!

I just wanted to get this out there for you. One of the moms in my network shared an article this morning that is not surprising at all.

I think it’s really important to read it, get involved in your child’s gaming activities if you aren’t already, and set up protections on your Internet to protect your kids from sexual predators, sexual solicitations, Internet pornography and any other harmful images, games, pop ups and, and sites.
But the most important thing is to have an open and honest relationship with your children so that, like the girl in this article, they will feel safe enough to come and talk to you about what’s happening in their world.

A strong connection with our kids is the greatest protection any parent can have besides, of course, supernatural protection by God.

God gave us wisdom, resources and friends who know more than us so that we are equipped and without excuse.

Everything Changed the Day I Learned Minecraft Has a Sex Mod

Having simple guidelines like:

– no Internet in bedrooms

– no smart phones or cell phones in bedrooms

– no Internet access after 10 PM

– blocking and restrictions on the Internet or electronic devices has given me and my husband so much more peace as our children use the internet to learn and study.

Do you have any more tips or guidelines you would add to this list?

I pray for peace, wisdom and clarity over all your parenting and leadership decisions.  May your family always prosper as your souls prosper.

~ esf

Alignment=Transformation 

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“Courage does not back down with criticism or opposition.”

This is a quote I have on my rest/writing/prayer/war room wall.  
Do the next right thing for you.  In the end, it’s you (not your biggest critic) that answers to God for you. 

It’s time to live according to your identity and destiny! Only you and God (and hopefully 3-12 loyal, faithful and true friends around you, who believe what God has spoken over you and who believe in your dreams and passions) know what that is for you. If you’re a believer in Jesus and you don’t know your identity or destiny, let someone help you! Find out! Knowing your identity

According to your Maker is essential to living wholeheartedly.  

Don’t let anyone discourage, dissuade, distinguish or disillusion you and your dreams – especially beware of that little voice buzzing around your head that tries to stop you from fulfilling your calling and dreams saying,”If only, you should’a, could’a, would’a…” 

It’s time to be all you are created to be! Time to stand up, stand out, stand firm, stand steady, stand strong! Gird up the loins of your mind. We are in this for the long haul! In Christ you are more than a conqueror! 

So let’s quit trying so hard! It’s not about us. It’s time to rest in WHO we already ARE in Christ!
On a personal note…one of the hardest things I do is say “no” to things that are good and I want to do.  Recently I’ve had to say “no” to people, activities, meetings, PRAYER meetings!, good things, helping people at the grocery store, even ministering to strangers at a deli last week because I have a big “YES” to my family and to my own health and effectiveness as a wife, mother and leader.  

Friends, if we don’t say no to something we can’t say YES to the things we are really created for.  

The world and causes scream for help and assistance and volunteerism and rescue and giving.  This is where we take example from Jesus and live like he did.  He only did what he saw his father do and he only said what his Father said.  This is where we get to be so close to God’s heart that our hearts beat with his.  We do what he’s doing.  We say what he’s saying.  We look where he looks.  

My cry is to rest and move and live and have my being …even more…from this place of identity in Him.  

When we truly are truly aligned with our identity as sons and daughters of a Loving Father, more change will happen, more souls saved, more hearts healed, more lives transformed because wherever we go/speak/act it will be God working in us and through us.  

Oh God, let it be! 

Your kingdom come!

Your will

Be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

Trees and roots and hope

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I love this verse from Job.

“For there is hope for a tree if it is cut down, that it will sprout again….”

Psalm one says we are like trees. Job is talking about the natural man. But I love the analogy of our spiritual man being like a tree. 🌳

“For there is hope for a tree if it is cut down, that it will sprout again and that the tender shoots of it will not cease. [But there is no such hope for man.] Though its roots grow old in the earth and its stock dies in the ground, Yet through the scent [and breathing] of water [the stump of the tree] will bud and bring forth boughs like a young plant.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭14:7-9‬ ‭AMPC‬‬ http://bible.com/8/job.14.7-9.amp

Psalm 1 says that in its season the tree will bring forth fruit. It’s leaves will not with her and whatsoever it does will prosper.

What do you see in this passage in Job? Really curious for other perspectives.

“For there is hope for a tree if it is cut down, that it will sprout again….”

It’s time to say yes to the process. Say yes to the season. Say yes to the time of sprouting again.  We call the roots to sprout!  We call life forth from every tree that’s been cut down.  

What stage are season are you in? Have you been cut down?  Does it feel like your route to been all ripped out of the ground? Or maybe have your roots were cut? 

Whatever the time and season it is, it’s time to let your roots do what God made them to do: sprout again, grow again.  There’s always more growth.  Let your roots go down deep. Let them sprout trees that begin to give off oxygen for the other trees around you.  

There is so much to be learned from a tree.  

“For there is hope for a tree if it is cut down, that it will sprout again….”

How much do I miss? 

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One day over coffee a wise, sweet, experienced and precious friend looked at me and said, “Emily I want to give you this book,” as she slid it across the table.  Inside she had a scripture handwritten for me on a beautiful note card.

Thank you, Friend! ❤️

Little did I know how much I would need this reminder – a message to my soul to get quiet, to read, to look into situations with a  new curiosity and awareness of God, to pause, to rest, to notice, to hear. 

Now a few weeks later, as I pick it up for probably the fourth time (yeah, I know, I know…I “savor” books while others may tend to inhale them) and I am sitting by my window reading, in walks my son with something cool to show me during my quiet/coffee/reading moments. 

Here’s the quote at the beginning of the chapter…See the scripture reference here about the “bush afire” here: 

“And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭3:2-4‬ ‭KJV‬‬

http://bible.com/1/exo.3.2-4.kjv

I think it’s really significant that God called him after he saw that “Moses turned aside to see.” (Just a highlight) 

Anyway, back to my son. 

He makes up different designs with a plastic chain link smart toy that’s been around for at least 10 years and wants to show each design off as he creates them. (Isn’t that like God??)   Usually I would send him up to do something quiet in his room…but today I decoded to pause.  In that pause I realized “I’m seeing deeper into his soul.” I see that he loves company, he needs to be with people, he is orderly, creative and an inventor by nature.  (So I told him what I see.) Fiddling with stuff, creating and building brings him joy.  Over the past few days I’ve seen his creativity explode as I’ve watched him do his science experiments and build things like sword, bridges, and rockets from his own imagination with popsicle sticks and glue gun.  

Today I could choose to have my quiet time without the intermittent questions, clicking of the toy,  whistling and a,”Mom!” here or there (and I did eventually send him to his next assignment), but this day I saw into him a little more. I’m thankful I took that 15 minute pause. 

I see God in my son.  

I’m convicted and wondering  much I’ve been missing because I’m focused on coordinating schedules for three homeschool children, lining up extracurricular activities, meetings, business talks, trips, home management, ministry admin, social time, wrapping up for fall, my business, etc.  

Some of us can be so diligent in life that we miss major opportunities to “see the bush ablaze” and then to stop and listen for God to call our name.

We have opportunities everywhere to stop/look/listen to God: the State Fair, the drive to and from classes and appointments, every store we frequent, even each call, email, text, or message we answer….God is in, around, under, and surrounding everything we are involved with.  Creation declares his glory. 
I am convicted to

Stop

Look 

Listen!!!!

Ken Gore writes it so well.  So I pray today: 

May we never lose our wonder…

STOP! LOOK!! LISTEN!!! 

The joy of my salvation 

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If asked what does my salvation mean to me, here’s what I’d say.  

I am so thankful for my salvation.  I gave my life to Jesus when was four kneeling down by my teachers knees.  At that point I’m pretty sure I was just scared of hell.  

Now, I have so much joy knowing that I am saved by faith and not by what I do or don’t do.  Jesus paid for every sin I ever did, or will commit in the future – he paid for  it all.  I can come as I am just because his blood was shed for me.   He took my place.  He’s always ready with arms wide open.   

 Salvation to me means I am secure in his love, forgiveness, life and grace. I never fear for my future nor am I afraid to die. I am so loved, accepted, forgiven, chosen and free because of the righteousness I have now because of Jesus.  I will never be thirsty again because I have full access to Living Water.

Because of my faith in Jesus and the finished work on the Cross I am propelled to spread the good news to others and let them know they are accepted and loved and that God doesn’t want anyone to perish!  Not one! 

What about you? How would you describe your salvation?