22May

Weep with those who weep {responding to Scandal as Christians}

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scandal

This week, I’ve been saddened as I watched my facebook newsfeed fill up with news about the latest Christian scandal. I’m embarrassed at some of the reactions I’ve seen from my brothers and sisters in Christ. It made me think of Harriett Oleson.

We’ve been watching a lot of Little House on the Prairie lately. I’m building our collection as the deluxe remastered editions are released, and we’re up to Season 5.

Harriett Oleson has always been bad, but in this season, she reaches a new level of just plain mean. We recently watched a new-to-us episode  called The Cheaters. Alice Garvey has been the town’s school teacher and her son Andy isn’t doing very well.

Throughout the episode, we see Mrs. Oleson “tsk, tsk” and “Oh, you must be so embarrassed.” or say things like “I just knew something like this would happen.” Her words might say she’s sorry, but her tone and expressions show us that she’s anything but. She enjoys it. She relishes in the pain of others. She just can’t wait to spread the next bit of juicy gossip.

And, sadly, that’s what I’ve seen this week coming from Christians about this scandal. I’ve seen things like,

“Well, I always knew something like this would happen.”

“I never liked that family anyway.”

“They aren’t so high and mighty now are they? They deserved to be taken down a notch.”

“I always knew they couldn’t be as perfect as they seemed.”

In the midst of these haughty, Harriett Oleson type of responses, are the hateful, judgmental responses. Yes, this is a national scandal, but I’ve seen the attitude locally as well. We are so excited to share the latest news that we forget real people are involved. I’ve seen this both in celebrity situations and in everyday life.

We just love to watch each other fall. And we love to kick one another while they’re down.

So, I turned to my Bible, and the Lord brought to my mind a single verse that summed up some of the discomfort I’ve been feeling.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” -Romans 12:15

Weep with those who weep.

This is the heart of what bothers me. The Lord calls us to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. So often our hearts are so filled with bitterness and jealousy that we do the opposite. We are saddened when we hear of a fellow Christian’s successes, and we stand around just waiting for them to fall so that we can rejoice in it and taunt them with it.

The Lord calls us to weep with those who weep.

If there is a family–local or celebrity that is going through a scandal or trial, there is a lot of pain! There is a hurting family getting dragged through the mud as we stand on our self-righteous podiums hurling stones. We should hurt for that family. Weep with them. Put down the stones and realize it’s not our place to throw them.

We should mourn with that family. Our hearts should be broken. And we should spend so much time praying for them that we don’t have time to talk about them. 

I challenge you, the next time you are tempted to talk about a situation–pray about it instead. Get on your face before the Lord and plead with him for that situation.

I’m not talking about sweeping anything under the rug or acting like a wrong didn’t happen. This is not a matter of guilty or innocent. Some things absolutely should not happen. Actions have consequences and wrong needs to be called out in certain situations, in the right way. But I’m talking about searching our own hearts and being sure that we have an attitude that reflects God’s heart for His people.

Love does not rejoice in iniquity.

21May

Brand New Hillsong United Album {With Giveaway!}

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united empires

I’ve shared before that one of the things I do to make cleaning and housework more enjoyable is to listen to some good music. I especially love to listen to hymns or praise music. Hillsong United is one of my favorites, so I was very glad to get the opportunity to preview their brand new album, Empires, before it was available for purchase!

About Empires

This CD features more of the praise and worship music that we’ve come to love and expect from Hillsong United.

My personal favorite so far on this CD is “Even When It Hurts (Praise Song).” It is a beautiful song about bringing a sacrifice of praise to the Lord regardless of what you’re going through. As someone who struggles with depression, this is something that I can relate to. Trusting the Lord and seeking His face and praising Him even when it hurts…and He will sustain.

His grace is sufficient and He will sustain you through whatever you’re going through.

Song Titles:

  1. Here Now (Madness)
  2. Say the Word
  3. Heart like Heaven
  4. Touch the Sky
  5. Street Called Mercy
  6. When I Lost My Heart to You (Hallelujah)
  7. Even When It Hurts (Praise Song)
  8. Prince of Peace
  9. Empires
  10. Rule
  11. Captain

You can pre-order the CD now (it releases May 26th). Two of the songs are available for download right now, Touch the Sky and Prince of Peace, so you can preview some of the songs before you purchase the album.

Preview Touch the Sky right here

See an accoustic version of Touch the Sky:

And more info about the song’s story:

 

About Hillsong United

UNITED is committed to writing songs that speak truth, create a unique sound, connect with churches, individuals and ultimately connect people everywhere with God. UNITED serve in church as a part of the wider Hillsong Worship and Creative team when they are home. When on tour, they are accompanied by the whole Hillsong team’s support and prayers that their ministry would arrest hearts and point people to Jesus, impacting individuals, local youth groups and local churches.

united stage

Enter to Win

Now for the best part! I have a copy of this CD to give to one of you! Enter using the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Connect with Hillsong United

Twitter: @HillsongUnited
Instagram: @HillsongUnited
Check them out on tour this summer: http://outcrytour.com/
Official website: http://smarturl.it/Empires

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

17May

Thriving Thursday 6/18

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What have you been up to this week?

There were so many FANTASTIC posts linked up last week and I can’t wait to see what you ladies have to share this week :)

Thriving Thursdays Link Up!!!

Thriving Thursdays is a link up for family-friendly bloggers, who are choosing to THRIVE in their lives. It’s a place for us to encourage and inspire one another to live life to the fullest–in Jesus Christ. Link up your posts about thriving–in marriage, faith, parenting, homemaking, relationships, in the kitchen, in frugality.

Everything we do can be a ministry and worship to our Lord. Link up as many posts as you want, and I hope that you’ll take the time to visit some other participants as well.

I am so blessed by the posts you all share! I really look forward to seeing all of the encouragement shared here each week. Keep it coming! Sometimes I highlight posts here, and I also pin my favorites to the Thriving Thursdays Pinterest Board.



16May

FREE All About Summer Activity Pages

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All About Summer Graphic

Through June 1st, you can get my All About Summer pack for FREE. It is a fun, summer theme and contains the following:

  • Summer Match Game
  • Summer Dominoes Game
  • Summer Mini-Book and comprehension questions
  • Counting, Subtracting, adding, and patterns
  • Biggest/Smallest discernment
  • Writing practice
  • Beginning Sounds, phonics

How to Get It

  1. Go to the product page in my printables store and add it to your cart.
  2. Use code freesummer to get it completely free.

Bonus: Get anything else in my store for 50% off your entire order with code SUMMER50.

PS–Don’t keep it to yourself…share this offer with your friends :)

Don’t miss anything…

Join thousands of other subscribers and find me on facebook, pinterest, or twitter to be sure you don’t miss my future freebies.

And if you really don’t want to miss anything, subscribe to my blog via email.

 You Might Also Be Interested In:

 

12May

Why Did God Allow This to Happen?

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why did God allow this to happen 2

“Why did God let this happen?”

I have heard this question voiced over and over as there are so many tragedies and truly unspeakable things that happen in this world. It recently became personal to me in a new way.

I shared with you that we had an emergency with our puppy last week.  In case you didn’t see, I hit our puppy with my van. She made a recovery, but that night things looked really, really bad. And it was a really bad night. My boys both saw her after the accident, and they were both devastated.

While my husband was rushing the puppy to the vet, the boys and I stayed home. We cried, and prayed, and talked.

In the midst of this, my oldest said, “Mommy, why did God let this happen?”

My youngest added, “Yeah, mommy, why didn’t God help you see her so you didn’t hit her?”

I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Mainly because I couldn’t answer their question.

A Sovereign God

I have heard it taught, and I know many will argue that God did not allow it to happen. Some things just happen because we live in a fallen world. But I believe in a sovereign God. I believe that He is still on the throne and is ultimately still in charge. I believe he could have said the word and our accident would not have happened. Just like that. So, I have to believe deep in my spirit that the Lord did allow this to happen.

But at the same time, I have to be honest. I don’t know why.

There are tragedies and bad things that happen every day and I don’t know why.

What I do know

I might not know why bad things happen. And I couldn’t answer my kids when they asked me why did God not help me see Rosie (if I’m being completely honest, I kind of wondered myself!)

But there are a few things that I do know about the Lord, which overshadow the unanswered questions for me. And while I can’t answer all the “why’s” for my children, I can assure them of these things.

  • God is good. (Psalm 100:5). There are many verses throughout scripture that remind us of this fact. God is good. When our situations aren’t good, He still is. Always.
  • I am redeemed. (Romans 8:38-39). I love the song, “It is well with my soul.” It’s such a great reminder to me in tough times. God’s word says that nothing can separate us from His love. When we keep our eyes focused on Him, the burdens of this life are much easier to get through. If we can just remember the sacrifice, remember the promise, that can overshadow any pain in this life. It is well with my soul.
  • His ways are not our ways. (Isaiah 55:8). There are things in this life that I don’t understand. Things that don’t make sense to me. But that is to be expected. We serve a big God. His ways are not our ways, and I am so thankful for that fact! If God were so easily understood by our small minds, He wouldn’t be the awesome creator that He is! He is all knowing, all seeing, omnipresent, sovereign. He knows better than we do!
  • All things work together for good…(Romans 8:28). God’s word tells us that all things work together for God for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Sometimes this “good” might be physical/temporal-often times bad situations and closed doors lead to better things. Sometimes the “good” might be spiritual. The Bible tells us that hardships draw us closer to the Lord. They lead us into the person He is creating us to be. And sometimes we won’t know about it until we reach glory! But that’s okay. We walk in faith.
  • His Grace is Sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). No matter what the situation, His grace is sufficient. Yes, he allows hardships to come into our lives, but He also gives us the strength we need to face them, if we let Him.
  • He will never leave me or forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5) In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Bad things happen. But the Lord never leaves you to face them alone. He is always there.

What are some of the promises you hold to when bad things happen?

 

why did God let this happen

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