The writing and teachings of Nicole Love Halbrooks Vaughn 

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When You Discover Your Discouragement

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My husband scrolled through my newsfeed yesterday and laughed and commented that people must be wondering about my mental state because my posts are all over the place, I am in wildernesses, climbing mountains, starting over, and all kind of mess. As he said this I thought to myself, well if you think my posts are all over the place you should try taking a look at the stuff that is actually scrolling through this head of mine. The newsfeed ain’t nothin’ compared to the full fledge real thing.

I never claimed to be sane… ever.

As I walk through my wilderness and I continue to seek the face of my Heavenly Father I am amazed at His grace for me. I am also overwhelmed at how He is slowly revealing the things that got me here so that I can name it, process it, deal with it, delete it, and move on.

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14

The simple truth is that Satan has been watching me for a while and he knows what works to blind me, confuse me, and hurt me. He knows how to get me to that place of inward turning and churning. The worst part about it is the way you can somewhat sense it is him, but at the same time the way in which he works his cloud of chaos can so get us off balance that we can’t see clearly for just trying to see anything at all.

As I work through my Priscilla Shirer study and my David Jeremiah study and continue to dig into the book of John the Lord is helping me find my footing once again. He is stilling the the rocking and nerve wracking and bringing clarity to my confusion.

He has reminded me of the weaknesses that once again Satan has been able to use to trip me up and has given me once again a lesson in sword sharpening. Once again feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and my desire to people-please has led me straight into the chains of discouragement.

As I have been digging into the book of Nehemiah the Lord opened my eyes to where the d-darts of the devil began to shoot and when my defenses had finally been worn down to the point that his fiery arrows were able to find their mark.

Thus in Judah it was said, “The strength of the burden bearers is failing, yet there is much rubbish; and we ourselves are unable to rebuild the wall.”

Nehemiah 4:10

I am a task oriented person, and a perfectionist, and a forward thinker. Things must be moving forward. Accomplishments must be being made. Lasting accomplishments. I must be able to walk back in and breathe and say, ahhhh it’s done. Things must be done right, when asked, or really just forget it and I’ll do it myself. I don’t handle ruts, traffic jams, or inconsideration well at all. I ask very little of others and when that very little gets ignored I lose trust and faith in that person and will not ask anything of them again.

Thus the fiery darts of inadequacy, guilt, and people-pleasing work wonderfully to lead me into discouragement and I find myself unable to see anything but the rubbish before me and after trying to remove it alone for so long my strength fails and I realize I cannot do it… inadequacy hits, guilt from inadequacy hits, and the realization that I must not be pleasing the people or they would help, encourage, listen, care, etc… hits. The arrow of discouragement hits its mark and I am now closely walking on the edge of despair… therefore emergency shut down begins.

I went into emergency shut down… When we find ourselves in ESD the only thing that can open us up is the Word of God. In case of emergency… dial 119!

Psalm 119 that is. Go straight to the Word.

Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.

John 6:68

I have realized that discouragement can disguise itself and it can slowly creep in on you… it begins with disappointments. We can get through a little disappointment… usually.

Disappointment can be like a tree  limb that has fallen across your path or a stone that has rolled off the side of the mountain and fell in your way. One tree limb and one stone at a time can easily be maneuvered around, or through, or even moved, but when that limb becomes a whole tree or that one stone becomes a landslide… then disappointment becomes discouragement.

Disappointments are going to come. We can do nothing about it. Jesus never held any punches with us that tribulation WILL come.

In the world you have tribulation…

~ Jesus (John 16:33)

However, what I love about Jesus’ point blank in our face, hey honey tribulation is comin’ is that He nestles this fact right in between two other very important promises…

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

There it is. Tribulation. Tucked right in between peace and courage. When we find ourselves in the midst of disappointments, smack dab in the muck of tribulation… it’s time to look back to our Peace.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 5:1-5

As we look back at our Peace… then even in the midst of our tribulation we can then look forward to courage… remembering that He has overcome the world! We have hope… and hope DOES NOT disappoint.

Here’s a message by Charles Stanley, Overcoming Discouragement 

An just in case the fiery darts that hit you and wound are the same as the one’s that easily wound me, those of inadequacy, guilt, and people-pleasing. Here are some verses to memorize so that you can place a healing balm on those wounds…

Inadequacy:

Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

(2 Corinthians 3:5-6)

Guilt:

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

(Romans 8:1)

People-pleasing:

so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

(Colossians 1:10)

but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.

(1 Thessalonians 2:4)

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Homeschool Curriculum Giveaway

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I am excited to announce and participate in another giveaway opportunity with Home School Adventure. I have worked with Stacy Farrell before and truly enjoy her products. And besides, who isn’t looking for an opportunity to receive some free quality biblically sound curriculum?  

Home School Adventure Co. is ready to release their latest biblical worldview resource — Creative Freewriting Adventure – A Journey Into Freewriting!

Creative Freewriting Adventure is a collection of thought-provoking freewriting exercises designed to inspire creativity and critical thinking, even in reluctant writers.

The official release of this wonderful resource will be at a Facebook Party on Thursday, September 18, 9 PM ET. I’ve heard there will be lots of prizes given away that night (and some free stuff for all guests, too). I hope you will join me! You can RSVP here.

I am joining author, Stacy Farrell, and Home School Adventure Co. to celebrate the release of Creative Freewriting Adventure with this impressive giveaway, valued at nearly $300! One winner will win PRINT copies of all of HSA’s resources, plus 4 biblical worldview books and a lovely canvas tote bag.

Creative Freewriting Adventure Giveaway -- Winner will be announced at the Facebook Release Party on September 18

Here’s what you could win:

Creative Freewriting Adventure – A Journey into Freewriting ($21.95)

Bring joy and excitement into your student’s writing with these simple-to-execute (yet significant) writing exercises. No prep required. Just grab a pen and paper, set a timer, and have fun!

Writing can be hard work. Good writing most often results from much rewriting, and much rewriting can make a writer weary. Since Philosophy Adventure students polish one primary writing assignment over the course of several weeks (supported by clear step-by-step instructions and seven writing checklists), we created freewriting exercises to offset their hard work with play!

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Philosophy Adventure™ — Pre-Socratics Complete Set with Resources CD  ($89.95

DO YOU NEED to teach advanced writing and speaking skills? DO YOU WANT your students equipped to discern truth as ungodly messages bombard them? DO YOU WONDER how to cover all they need academically as well as practically? Philosophy Adventure may be your solution!

Philosophy Adventure™ is designed to help students 6th-12th grade cultivate and defend a biblical worldview by teaching them how to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately as they explore the history of ideas.

***

Mere Christianity Journal and Softcover Print Bundle (Journal & Book) ($38.95)

Have we forgotten whose we are? In this “Age of Tolerance,” Christians are in danger of forgetting (or never learning) what distinguishes a Christian worldview from other worldviews. The Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal is a powerful tool to strengthen critical thinking while cultivating a biblical worldview. A companion to Lewis’s classic work, the Journal can be used for independent study with teenagers or adults, or as a group study in families, homeschools, co-ops, classrooms, Sunday school, and small groups.

This bundle contains the Print Edition of the Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal with a softcover edition of Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis’s original work.

***

Philippians in 28 Weeks — Scripture Memory Resource ($28.95)

What does it mean to love Him with all your mind? The Bible is banned in many countries. Countless believers have sacrificed their freedom—and many, their lives—to spread the message of God’s love and salvation contained within its pages. Are we exercising our freedom responsibly? Memorize the entire book of Philippians in 28 weeks!

***

The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal Questions ($28.95)

How do you train a heart?

George MacDonald’s The Wise Woman enchants readers while it contrasts the ugliness of pride, selfishness and conceit with the beauty of humility, sacrifice, and compassion.

The Wise Woman is a perfect story for a family to read together curled up on the couch under a warm afghan or after a meal. (It is only fair to warn you: once you read the first chapter, you might not put it down. More than one mom has stayed up late to read after her children have gone to bed.)

Read each chapter and discuss the literary analysis questions and vocabulary. Clear writing requires clear thinking. The exercise of formulating and writing answers will strengthen your students’ thinking and communication skills. Middle school and high school students create a profound keepsake as they write their answers in the book.

By offering students 16 to 24 literary analysis questions per chapter, this 160-page spiral bound edition teaches critical thinking in a way that is engaging and transformational.

***

Nancy Pearcey Book Bundle ($63.98)

Nancy R. Pearcey  is scholar in residence and professor at Houston Baptist University, where she is also director of the Francis Schaeffer Center for Worldview and Culture. She is also a fellow at the Discovery Institute. Previously she was the Francis A. Schaeffer Scholar at the World Journalism Institute, where she taught a worldview course based on her book Total Truth, winner of the 2005 ECPA Gold Medallion Award for best book on Christianity and Society. She has also served as professor of worldview studies at Philadelphia Biblical University, during which time she wrote her most recent book, Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning.

This bundle of books written by Nancy Pearcey includes:

The Soul of Science – Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy
Total Truth- Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity
Saving Leonard0 – A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals & Meaning

***

Home School Adventure Tote Bag ($18)

This duo color canvas tote is roomy enough to hold all of your Home School Adventure Co. reasouces! Sturdy and fashionable, it is emblazened with the Home School Adventure Co. logo on one side, and the words, “Cultivate and defend a biblical worldview” on the other.

vistaprinttotebag

 

The winner of this giveaway will be announced during the Creative Freewriting Facebook Release Party on Thursday, September 18, 9-10 PM ET. Please join us on the Home School Adventure Co. Facebook wall that evening to find out if you won!

(Winner does not need to be present to win.)

Be sure to RSVP here.

CFA FB PROMO

 

To enter the giveaway, please complete the Rafflecopter below. U. S. residents, age 18 and older please. Other terms and conditions are located in the Rafflecopter.
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I Remember I Recited That Confession

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John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is for us.
(Mark 9:38-40)

Last Wednesday night somehow our class discussion detoured to the recent comments of Victoria Osteen. Now I have my own issues with the preaching of Joel Osteen but the Lord convicted me with the above verse a few years back as well as some others.

Yes, there is great lack in the presentation of the Word of God by Joel Osteen, but as I shared with my class, I used to watch his father. He would come on television on Friday or Saturday nights around 11pm. I would sit in front of the televisions as a 12 year old girl with my Bible and my notebook and would try to learn from him. I sat in front of my television with my Bible held up and I recited that confession, “This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do. Today I will be taught the Word of God. I boldly confess. My mind is alert. My heart is receptive. I will never be the same. I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living, seed of the Word of God. I will never be the same. I will never be the same. Never never never will I ever be the same. In Jesus name. Amen”

Joel walks a thin line on a wide path… and he very much appears to be an ear tickling teacher, but personally I have not heard him say that Jesus is not the Christ. I have not heard him deny the Deity, death or resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ… and if God can use a donkey… He can use Joel and He can use Victoria… even though she appears to have stuck her foot in her mouth BIG time in front of millions.

I just thank God that all my misspoken words have not been broadcasted out before millions. I am sure I have said a plenty of stupid things in my frail, terrified, weak attempt to proclaim the Word of God and somehow encourage and convince others to love Him as much as I do.

Now, Joel Osteen is not going to be my recommendation to anyone who asks me for help in growing in the grace and knowledge of God. I will most definitely point them toward the David Jeremiah’s, Charles Stanley’s, Chuck Swindoll’s, Ravi Zacharais’, and Kay Arthur’s. Please don’t confuse my grace with propagating, it’s not.

With all the Osteen talk passing through my newsfeed, I just had to go back and listen to some old John Osteen…

There I am in my sunken den on my knees in the floor, in front of the television, using the bay window rise it sat on as a table for my Bible and notebook… it took God a while to bring that confession to fruition… but He did.

Who knows… maybe there is a 12 year old little girl sitting in front of her television watching Joel, reciting that beginning confession… what might God do within her in the next 12 years?

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Thankful God Is Greater

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The Lord is King forever and ever;

Nations have perished from His land.

O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;

You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear

To vindicate the orphan and the oppressed,

So that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.

Psalm 10:16-18

For me one of the greatest miracles of God is going to be experienced in eternity. The fact that He is going to be able to wipe away every tear and heal every hurt. The fact that we will be able to spend eternity peacefully and joyfully and whole with others who have cut us to the bone in this life amazes me. I wonder, if like as Christ, we will wear our scars for all eternity. Will we finally be able to see how these wounds were in relation to suffering with our Savior? Will we be able to see which scars really were the brand marks of Christ and which ones were just the effects of a sinful, stupid, and selfish world. Will we see how this pain brought glory to the One who died for our sin and the One who sent Him to die on our behalf?

Or will we simply rest in the sovereign truth that the only scars that matter are the ones in the hands and feet and side of our Savior.

Yes… I believe so…

His scars are the only ones that will matter in eternity… because His heal all of ours. We will stand before Him without spot and blemish… as we bow face down in worship in adoration at his nail scared feet.

I don’t question why pain and hurt come. For me that’s obvious. We are dying and our world is dying. The more the world rejects our Creator the more the presence of sin reigns. Apart from God sin abounds. Only His grace is sufficient to surpass it. Denial of that grace leaves us under the condemnation of sin and under the terror of man.

Only God is greater.

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.”

John 14:1

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“If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction.”

Psalm 119:92

Anytime we discount the grace of God, any time we discount the Law of God we will find ourselves sinking in the mire.  Anytime we find ourselves placing trust in man… we will eventually be disappointed or hurt. Jesus knew that better than anyone…

“But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.”

John 2:23-25

So how do we move past this… how do I move past this? I have been here before. Actually, I have lost count on how many times I have been here within this very same context and others. Somehow God restored and God redeemed. So I will wait. I will trust Him to once again work a miracle in the depths of my soul and cleanse my mind and purify my heart with the washing of His Word. I know He will accomplish it. He always has before…

My gut reaction wants to clean sweep and walk away… just let it go. Shake the dust off my feet and all that, but I know my God and He will not allow this cycle to continue or this tape to keep replaying in my mind. He will indeed save me from myself. I just can’t quite see how. I was blind before and He gave me sight, so somehow, someway, He will do it again. He promises that if we seek Him, He will let us find Him. He promises that by His stripes we are healed and He promises that if we go boldly to His throne of grace we will find mercy and we can’t go boldly if we don’t go truthfully.

I feel like I am starting all over again. So it’s a good thing that I serve a God of do-overs and try agains and clean slates and rewrites. And I know that in all of this there is a lesson for me… to give me more compassion, empathy, sympathy, humility, mercy, grace, and hope. Somehow God will, is using this, to conform me more and more into the image of His Son. Teaching me how to think with this mind of Christ that He has given me in Him. His mind struggles against my mind. My thoughts with His thoughts. Thank God greater is He!

In my inbox this morning came a word from Mr Swindoll…

“The only thing we can be thankful for when it comes to blowing it is that nobody keeps a record of ours. Or do they? Or do you with others?

Come on, ease off. If our perfect Lord is gracious enough to take our worst, our ugliest, our most boring, our least successful, our leaning-tower failures, our Edsel flops, and forgive them, burying them in the depths of the sea, then it’s high time we give each other a break.

In fact, He promises full acceptance along with full forgiveness in print for all to read . . . without an erratum sheet attached. Isn’t that encouraging? Can’t we be that type of encourager to one another? After all, imperfection is one of the few things we still have in common. It links us close together in the same family!

So then, whenever one of us blows it and we can’t hide it, how about a little support from those who haven’t been caught yet?

Oops, correction. How about a lot of support?”

A reminder today that every one blows it… I know I have countless times.

And then a word from the Word…

“Your testimonies are wonderful;

Therefore my soul observes them.

The unfolding of Your words gives light;

It gives understanding to the simple.

I opened my mouth wide and panted,

For I longed for Your commandments.

Turn to me and be gracious to me,

After Your manner with those who love Your name.

Establish my footsteps in Your word,

And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.

Redeem me from the oppression of man,

That I may keep Your precepts.

Make Your face shine upon Your servant,

And teach me Your statutes.”

Psalm 119:129-135

His grace will find me… and I will find oceans of His grace. Feet fail, but faith does not.

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When No One Wears White

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A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city,

And contentions are like the bars of a citadel.

Proverbs 18:19

I keep asking God is this selfishness? Am I overreacting? Is this illegitimate hurt? Why has this stung to the core of my very being? Dear God, don’t allow my heart to grow hard…

I have never wanted to recluse so bad in my entire life. The introvert in me is at level highest ever. The walls of protection around my heart are not being built with straw, but strong concrete blocks… something that the big bad wolf that threatens to destroy all the faith that I had ever placed in friendship could never huff and puff and blow down.

This doesn’t seem to sting my father, but it stings me deep. It stings with the wrath of a hornets nest, no, more like a tracker jacker’s nest. Because it has made me utter delusional. Delusional that I keep going back. I keep looking, hoping maybe I have missed something… may it’s not what it appears. Maybe they just didn’t care to send cards or hope our way, but they are sending them to him.

We consoled ourselves with the reality that the others didn’t worship there. They just don’t see them, life gets busy, Sunday is busy. Of course it just slips their mind. They care, surely they are praying with us, for them, for us…

I could handle all the rest. I could. I could justify the lack. It’s me and Jesus. I got that. I do. Our expectations were too high. I get that. Whenever you expect anything you will be let down. Expect nothing and even the three cards will be enough… right. Three cards… three. That’s it. Three cards since May. Three cards and one gift of a book and a hand made blanket. 

Tell me. Please someone tell me. How can anyone expect me to worship in a place where no one wears white. 

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A Time To Uproot What Is Planted

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There is an appointed time for everything.

And there is a time for every event under heaven…

Ecclesiastes 3:1

When is it okay to share publicly how excited you are to once again attend church when that church is a new church? The joy that has been restored to our souls has nothing to do with being coddled by the people or entertained by the stage show. The joy is from the Lord.

As we entered the doors of this new place God met us there. The Sunday School lessons, the music within the service, the message of the Pastor, the Wednesday night classes, the parent/youth meeting that shared the vision and goal of the youth ministry for the year and encouraged the parents to participate in the church life of their children including discipleship classes that were geared to train and equip parents to disciple their own children and to build relationships with them during this most difficult time of their lives. The youth activity list which consisted of only 4 activities off campus all the way through February. I could go on and on…

My husband and I just sat there giddy, elbowing each other and smiling, because this was everything we had been looking for in consideration of our family.

We walked out one Sunday and the deacons of the church were serving the widows lunch. I have yet to see one woman walk around hauling tables, boxes, or garbage while grown men sat and watched. If water spills over from the sink onto the counter in the ladies bathroom, the ladies there don’t leave it to soak the next ladies clothes… they dry it up before they toss their paper towels in the garbage. These things may seem trivial but they speak volumes to us.

Even at the church where I am serving as the Weekday Education Director. If I need tables moved the men do it. The cleaning ladies come and clean the floors and bathrooms every morning before our preschool begins and they come every evening to check on things. I am able to to do my job with joy because those who are supposed to be doing their job… do it.

Last Sunday as I sat and listened to the Word being shared from the pulpit I simply took a deep breathe in and breathed out while my heart said, “the soil is good.” I have realized that my families feet had been trying to suck nutrients out of soil that simply had no life in it for us anymore. As a matter of fact the soil was actually sucking what life we had out of us to feed itself instead of supplying life to us.  There no longer was any even exchange, no circular motion of photosynthesis. It simply was time for us to be replanted.

It is as the Lord God breathed the words through Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes, there is an appointed time for everything…

A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.

(Ecclesiastes 3:2)

Trust me I know all the reasons why not to change churches. I have written about it, Hurt By The Church, read books and blogs about it, and counseled others on it. I have the same issues as any believer would with those who simply church hop to keep from becoming involved or committed. My husband and I were in this place several years ago and as we visited other churches seeing if the Lord was moving us, it just didn’t sit well. My husband explained it as, “it felt like we were cheating on our spouse.

As we visited and prayed and were actually getting ready one Sunday morning for a first time second visit we heard from God. I was in the shower and my husband was driving home from a night shift. God spoke to both of us, even though we were in separate places, we both clearly knew that God had told us to stay put, but not to stay silent.

My husband came in the door and we shared our experience with one another and then he got ready and left to meet with our Pastor and I began a full force leap into the Children’s Ministry. God actually used the places we had visited to educate me into what I needed to do in that ministry.  We obeyed God and we stayed.

This time when we visited… well, actually we felt called before we visited. The visiting simply was for seeking confirmation. Fifteen years ago, when we walked into the church that we used to attend, it immediately felt like home… and now once again we have walked into a church and it feels like home. The Lord has met us there time after time and spoken through the messages and the people… it’s been both encouraging and liberating.

A pastor can feel called to leave a church and no one questions it… but there is blog after blog by pastor’s about how horrible and devastating and cruel and childish it is for members to leave, as if the pastor is the only one who can be called of God to serve somewhere else.

Not everyone leaves because of the color of the carpet, or which side the piano should go on, or whether or not the drums are too loud. Every once in a while there is indeed legitimate reasons, legitimate convictions, and legitimate hurts. No the church can’t please everyone, but mocking and becoming offended by the reasons they give instead of asking God if this is a valid claim that needs attention called to it… to me that’s arrogance.

Sometimes the Lord let’s the well run dry so that we will pack up and move on… we entered the doors of this new church broken, hungry, hurting, feeling absolutely abandoned and rejected. Today we walked in and I noticed this verse on the wall:

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

There is light in my daughters eyes again. There is hope in my husbands. And there is laughter in mine. We don’t know yet what specific place in ministry we will have here, but that’s okay… right now we are in desperate need of being ministered too and we are finding that here. 

One of the hardest parts has been not attending church with my parents. I loved serving with my parents. I also miss the kids that I got to love on and teach the Word too and I miss encouraging their parents… but this missing is not as hard as watching the continual reminder of hurt scroll through my newsfeed. 

We have chosen to not post about about the encouraging moments we have experienced or “check in” at our new location… out of respect for those we still so love at our old church… but this time of silence is coming to a close. The Lord has moved us to another well, we have found Rehoboth, and we are ready to openly praise Him for it.

But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of flowing water, the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with the herdsmen of Isaac, saying, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek, because they contended with him. Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over it too, so he named it Sitnah. He moved away from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he named it Rehoboth, for he said, “At last the Lord has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.” Then he went up from there to Beersheba. The Lord appeared to him the same night and said,

“I am the God of your father Abraham;
Do not fear, for I am with you.
I will bless you, and multiply your descendants,
For the sake of My servant Abraham.”

So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.

Genesis 26:19-25

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Romans Study For Kids (Romans 16:1-27)

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The very last post for the Romans Study For Kids!

Today we begin digging into our last chapter in the book of Romans. I pray that you have learned a lot about yourself, about the church, and about Jesus as you have  worked through this study.

We are going to do the first part of Romans 16 a little different. Are you ready?

In Romans 16:1-16 Paul mentions a lot of names. These are all people that Paul asks the church in Rome to greet and to allow to come into their homes and worship God with them.

As you read through Romans 16:1-16 printed below, your instructions is to underline or circle all the adjectives that Paul uses to describe the people he mentions.

Romans 16:1-16

1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea;

2 that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.

3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,

4 who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles;

5 also greet the church that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia.

6 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you.

7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord.

9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys my beloved.

10 Greet Apelles, the approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus.

11 Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet those of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord.

12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers in the Lord. Greet Persis the beloved, who has worked hard in the Lord.

13 Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine.

14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brethren with them.

15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.

16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

THINK ABOUT IT…

If your name was added to this chapter what would you want Paul to say about you?

Would you want to be known as a choice boy or girl in the Lord?

Would you want to be known as a hard worker for the Lord?

Would you want to be known as an outstanding servant of Christ?

I know I do!

Take a moment now and spend some time with God and ask Him how He sees you. First of all do you have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ? Have you asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins and to be the Lord over your life?

That’s enough for today! Tomorrow we finish :-)

Romans 16:17-27

17 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.

18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.

20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

21 Timothy my fellow worker greets you, and so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen.

22 I, Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord.

23 Gaius, host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer greets you, and Quartus, the brother.

24 [The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.]

Read Romans 16:17. How does this verse begin?

Now I  __ __ __ __  you

THINK ABOUT IT…

Does it sound like Paul has something very important to tell the church in Rome?

Yes, he does!

Paul is giving the church in a Rome a warning. He is telling them what they need to be on the look out for in order to keep growing in the fullness of God. This warning is still important for us today.

Read Romans 16:17. What does Paul tell the church in Rome that they need to keep their on? Circle all that apply.

those who cause dissensions

those who eat weird food

those who cause hindrances

those who teach them wrong things about God

those wear different kind of clothes

According to Romans 16:17 what is the church in Rome to do when they see people doing what Paul has warned them about?

__ __ __ __    __ __ __ __  from them

Read Romans 16:18. Why does the church need to turn away from them? Answer true (T) or false (F).

___ they are slaves to their own appetites

___ they are slaves to Jesus Christ

___ they use their smooth speech to preach the gospel

___ they use their smooth speech to deceive hearts

THINK ABOUT IT…

We have to be very careful who we listen to and learn from. There are lots of people who have the ability to draw a crowd because they can say things in a way that gets people’s attention.

Think about what happened to Eve in the garden in Genesis 3:1-6. The serpent was able to deceive Eve by his crafty words. He was able to catch her alone and off guard and tricked her into believing a lie instead of believing God.

Read Romans 16:19. What does Paul want the church in Rome to be?

__ __ __ __ in what is good

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ in what is evil

One of the lies that the devil will tell you is that you have to know all about evil in order to know what is really good. He still tries to trick us into thinking that just knowing God’s way is not enough. That’s why it is so important for you to do what you are doing right now. Keep learning more and more about God and His Word.

Read Romans 16:20 and answer the following questions.

How is God described in this verse?

the God of __ __ __ __ __

What is God going to do to Satan?

__ __ __ __ __ him

Now here is the really awesome part. Read Romans 16:20 again. Under who’s feet is God going to crush Satan? Draw a picture showing your answer.

Under whose feet will God crush Satan?

How cool is that!

Read Romans 16:21-23 very carefully. Who is writing this letter for Paul?

Timothy       Gaius       Jason      Tertius 

Read Romans 16:24. What does Paul want to be with the church in Rome and with all those who are saved?

the __ __ __ __ __ of the Lord Jesus Christ

We are about to conclude our study through the book of Romans. Read the last three verses below and let’s answer some questions together!

Romans 16:25-27

25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past,

26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith;

27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.

In Romans 16:25, who is the one that is able to establish you?

__ __ __

To be established by God whose preaching do we need to listen to? Circle your answer.

Buddah         Muhammed        Jesus      President Obama

What secret had been kept by God but was revealed to us when Jesus came? Answer true (T) or false (F).

___ God only wanted to save the Jews

___ God only wanted to save the Gentiles

___ God sent His Son to save all who would believe

___ God wanted one church full of both Jew and Gentile ___ God never intended to save anybody

Read Romans 16:26. To who did God want His plan of salvation known?

all the __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Read Romans 16:27. Who gets the glory for anyone who is saved through Jesus Christ?

__ __ __

That’s right God does!

Well you did it! You have completed your study through the book of Romans. Look at all you have learned! I am so very proud of you… and I know that digging into God’s word and seeking His truth makes God smile too!

Get the Romans Study For Kids in a downloadable PDF form here: Romans Study For Kids Part 1 – Part 5

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Romans Study For Kids (Romans 15:22-33)

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This post will complete Romans 15… Once again this study is written to coincide with the NASB translation.

Look at Romans 15:22. How does this verse begin?

__ __ __   this   __ __ __ __ __ __

This is another important phrase in the Scriptures. The phrase “for this reason” is just like saying “therefore” or “this is why”. Remember when we see these phrases we need to look at what comes before the phrase to find what the reason is or what the therefore is there for.

Read Romans 15:22. Why had Paul been prevented from coming to see the church in Rome? Answer true (T) or false (F).

___   Paul didn’t like them

___   Paul didn’t think they would listen to him

___   Paul had to first preach where no one knew Jesus

___   Paul didn’t want to build on another’s foundation

___   Paul was afraid to come to Rome

Read Romans 15:23. How long had Paul wanted to come to the church in Rome? Circle your answer.

a couple of days     a few weeks     for many years

Read Romans 15:24-25. Where did Paul have to go and serve the saints before he could go to Rome?

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __      

Read Romans 15:26. Why did Paul have to go to Jerusalem first? Answer true (T) or false (F)

___ he liked the people in the church in Jerusalem them better than in Rome

___ the church in Macedonia and Achaia had sent a gift with Paul to help the poor in the church in Jerusalem

___ that was the shortest route to get to Rome

Read Romans 15:27. Who made up the church in Macedonia and Achaia? Circle your answer.

Jews              Gentiles           Jew and Gentiles

Read Romans 15:28. Where was Paul going after he delivered the contribution to the poor in the church in Jerusalem?

S_ __ __ __ __

Read Romans 15:28 again. Did Paul plan to stop by Rome on his way to Spain? Circle your answer.

Yes         No         I don’t know

Read Romans 15:29. Whose blessing did Paul want to come to Rome with?

__ __ __ __ __      __ __ __ __ __ __

Read Romans 15:30. What did Paul ask the church in Rome to do for him?

__ __ __ __

  Rom 15 praying-kids-cartoon               

Read Romans 15:31. What specific prayer request did Paul have for them?

that he would be __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Read Romans 15:32-33. How did Paul want to come to Rome?

in __ __ __  by the __ __ __ __ of __ __ __

THINK ABOUT IT…

As much as Paul wanted to visit the church in Rome he would not go unless God had sent him. He knew that he had to obey God.

Paul also knew that even if he could not come to Rome yet, he could pray for them and they could pray for him.

Paul was a missionary. Do you know any missionaries that you can pray for?

Do you know of any places left on the earth that have not heard the gospel and learned about Jesus?

Go this website http://www.unreached.org/ and learn about places where the gospel has not been preached and pray that God would send someone like Paul to tell them about Jesus.

That’s enough for today. Tomorrow we will finish our study in the book of Romans! I am so excited that you are still here learning and growing in God.

 

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Romans Study For Kids (Romans 15:14-21)

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Continuing with our Romans Study For Kids. This post covers Romans 15:14-21.

 

Romans 15:14-19

14 And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another. 

15 But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God, 

16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 

17 Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God. 

18 For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, 

19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

20 And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation; 

21 but as it is written, “They who had no news of Him shall see,
And they who have not heard shall understand.”

Read Romans 15:14 and answer the following questions. 

How does Paul address those in the church in Rome?

my __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

What was Paul convinced of concerning the church in Rome? Circle all that apply.

they were full of goodness       

they were smelly         

they were filled with knowledge   

they loved to eat     

they were able to admonish one another   

they liked to go fishing

Read Romans 15:15. If Paul knew that the church in Rome was able to admonish their own selves, why did he write this letter to them?

to  __ __ __ __ __ __  them

THINK ABOUT IT…

Paul has written to the church in Rome to remind them of the truth that they already know. He wants them to remember that they are able to encourage and teach one another because they have the knowledge of God too. 

Do you know that if you have Jesus and you have His Word and if you are reading the Bible and learning from it then you too have the knowledge to help others?

The next time you see a friend that is having a hard time try to remember a story or a Scripture that you can share with them. 

Pray and ask God to help you. I promise You He will!

Read Romans 15:16 and answer the following questions. 

God gave Paul the grace to be what to the Gentiles? Circle the right answer.

a spy      a trouble maker      a minister

What is Paul to be ministering as a priest?

the  __ __ __ __ __ __  of God

Who was Paul offering up to God as an offering? Circle the correct answer.

an ox      a lamb      the Gentiles       his money

Why did Paul serve as a priest who ministered the gospel of God to the Gentiles?

He wanted them to be __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

He wanted them to be __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Who is the One who sanctifies?

the  H__ __ __   S__ __ __ __ __

Read Romans 15:17-18 and answer the following questions. 

Who did Paul boast about? Circle the correct answer.

himself             Jesus Christ    

What was the result of what Jesus had accomplished through Paul?

the __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ of the Gentiles  

Read Romans 15:19 and look at the map below. Draw a line between the two places that Paul has said he fully preached the gospel.

Rom 15 map

Read Romans 15:20 and answer the following question. 

What did Paul aspire to do?

to  __ __ __ __ __ __   the  __ __ __ __ __ __

The word for “aspire” in the Greek is philotimeomai. Yes, that’s a hard word to try and say! The word means to strive very eagerly for, to love, to seek after honor, to be ambitious. Paul’s heart, his mission given to him by God (Acts 9:15), was to go to places and reach people who had never heard about Jesus.

Where did Paul aspire NOT to preach the gospel?

where __ __ __ __ __ __ was already __ __ __ __ __

Why did he not want to preach the gospel where Christ was already named? What did he NOT want to do?

__ __ __ __ __  on another __ __ __’ __ foundation

Read Romans 15:21 and look up and read Isaiah 52:15. Once again, was it always in God’s plan for His salvation to be offered to everyone?

Yes          No          I don’t know

Look up and read John 3:16 and 2 Peter 3:9 and let’s end today with thanking God for loving us and for keeping His promises to us!

 

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Romans Study For Kids (Romans 15:1-13)

 

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Read Romans 15:1. What are those who are strong supposed to do for those who are not strong?

bear their __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Rom 15 strong man

If you are the strong one should you please yourself first?

Yes        No        I don’t know

Read Romans 15:2. Who are we to try and please? Circle all that apply.

ourselves      our neighbor       the one weaker than us      

no one          God           other strong ones

Read Romans 15:3. Did Christ please Himself?

Yes      No     I don’t know

Read Romans 15:4 and answer the following questions. 

Why did God have things that happened a long time ago written down? 

for our __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Where do we find the things that God had written for our instruction? Circle the right one.

  Rom 15 Encyclopedia Rom 15 Dictionary Rom 15 Bible         

                    

In Romans 15:4 we find one of our important phrases. We find the phrase “so that”. This is a phrase that helps us answer the question “Why?” in a verse. According to what you read in this verse why did God have things written for our instruction? Answer true (T) or false (F). 

______  so that we could have Sunday School classes and talk about it

______  so that we would have cool bedtime stories 

______  so that we might have hope

Read Romans 15:4 again. Use this verse to fill in the blanks for God’s instructions to us so that we can have hope.

p __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __  

+  e __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ =  hope

According to Romans 15:4 where does the encouragement that brings us hope come from?

the   __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Read Romans 15:5. Who is able to give us both perseverance and encouragement?

__ __ __

In Romans 15:5-6, Paul prays that God would grant us to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus. According to Romans 15:6 why does he want God to do this?

so that with __ __ __ accord you may with __ __ __ voice __ __ __ __ __ __ __ the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Look up and read John 17:22-23. Does Jesus ask this same thing of God for us?

Yes        No        I don’t know

In John 17:23 we see the important phrase again, “so that”. According to this verse why does Jesus want us to be one and perfected in unity? Answer true (T) or false (F)

____   so that we will sound better when we sing

____   so that the world will know God sent Jesus

____   so that the world would know God’s love

____   so that we could wear matching t-shirts

____   so that we would never disagree 

Look up and read John 15:12-13. Answer the following questions. 

What one command does Jesus give to His disciples? 

that they  __ __ __ __  one another

According to John 15:13 what is the greatest way we can show love to another?

laying down our __ __ __ __ __ for them

Now look up and read Philippians 2:1-8 out loud.

THINK ABOUT IT…

Who is stronger, Jesus or us? 

Yes, that’s right. Jesus is stronger. 

Jesus was the stronger one, so He lay down His life for us, the weaker one. In Philippians 2:1-8 we have Paul reminding us once again that we are not look out for our own self-interest and just try and please ourselves. We should always serve the weaker. 

Jesus humbled Himself all the way to the point of dying on a cross for us even when we were sinners and enemies of God. We should at least be able to humble ourselves enough to not watch a tv show, or play a video game, or eat things in front of our friends that are not allowed to participate in them. We should be able to do this without making fun of them or saying mean things about the ones who made those rules for them.

Read Romans 15:7. What word does this verse begin with?

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Remember when we see a “therefore” in Scripture we need to pay attention to what follows before it and after it. This therefore is pointing back to everything that Paul has taught us in Romans 14:14 through Romans 15:6

According to Romans 15:7 what does Paul conclude that we, as Christians, should do? Circle the correct answer.

lie to one another     pick on one another    

accept one another

According to Romans 15:7 how should we accept one another?

just as  __ __ __ __ __ __  also accepted us

THINK ABOUT IT…

Did you have to anything special for Jesus to accept you? Did you have to eat certain things or stop eating certain things before He would let you ask Him to save you?

Take a moment and read Luke 23:39-43 below:

One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not theChrist? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Was there anything that the thief on the cross could have done before Jesus could accept Him?

No there wasn’t. 

The thief was nailed to a cross. He couldn’t change anything about his past or his future. All he could do was believe in his heart that Jesus was Lord and confess Him with his mouth. That was all that the thief on the cross could do and Jesus accepted him.

Jesus also was nailed to a cross. At that time Jesus didn’t perform a special miracle to prove that He had accepted the thief on the cross, the word of Jesus was enough. 

Now would be a great time to sing the old hymn “Just As I Am” If you don’t know it. Type this link in your URL search bar:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=460vFWX3ccs

Let’s just spend the rest of the day thanking Jesus that God takes us just as we are… 

Read Romans 15:8. What phrase does Romans 15:8 begin with? 

__ __ __     __     __ __ __

This phrase is Paul moving to a conclusion. He is beginning to close up his letter to the church in Rome. We have almost finished our study in the book of Romans. 

As we read Romans 15:8-13 we will see that Paul uses several Old Testament scriptures to explain to us why we should accept one another as Christ accepted us.

As you read remember that the church in Rome is filled with both Jews (the circumcised) and Gentiles (the uncircumcised).  

Read Romans 15:8. Why did Jesus come to be a servant of the circumcised?

to __ __ __ __ __ __ __  the __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Did Jesus fulfill Old Testament promises that God had made to the children of Israel?

Yes           No         I don’t know

Yes He did. Jesus fulfilled and confirmed over 300 promises that God had made through Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophets. 

Read Romans 15:9. Why did Jesus become a servant to the Gentiles?

to glorify God for His __ __ __ __ __

We have already learned in Romans 11 how the Gentiles were grafted into the family of God through Christ. Let’s look up the promises in the Old Testament that Paul uses in Romans 15:9-13.

Read Romans 15:9 and compare it to Psalm 18:49

Read Romans 15:10 and compare it to Deuteronomy 32:43.

Read Romans 15:11 and compare it to Psalm 117:1

Read Romans 15:12 and compare it to Isaiah 11:10

According to these verses was it always God’s plan to show mercy to the Gentiles?

Yes           No          I don’t know

Read Romans 15:13. Use this verse to fill in the blanks below to conclude our study today.

Now may the __ __ __  of __ __ __ __ fill you with 

all __ __ __ and __ __ __ __ __  in believing, so 

that you will abound in  __ __ __ __  by the 

__ __ __ __ __ of the H __ __ __   S __ __ __ __ __

THINK ABOUT IT…

The word hope is used many times in the book of Romans and it is used several times in these verses that we have studied in Romans 15:1-13

The word hope in the Greek is “elpis”. This word means to have expectation of what is sure or certain, to have trust or confidence.

God is the One who gives us hope. He gave us His Word and we can see from the things that have happened in the past that He has confirmed His Word. 

Because we know that God has kept His Word in the past we can know for certain that God will keep His Word in the present and in the future. 

As we close our study today, look back and read Romans 5:5. Let me ask you, does the hope of God ever disappoint?

No, it doesn’t. 

Hope never disappoints when that hope is placed in the God of hope and His Word because we can trust our God to keep His promises always. No matter what!

 

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