Good morning, Sweet Sisters!
Have you enjoyed reading God's word this week? Has it made a difference in your life? Has it brought you closer to Him? Are you yearning for more? I have soaked up Scripture this week and have been touched by the words in Ecclesiastes. God has spoken to me and I have tried to listen. Quickly, I want to share a few verses that have echoed through my heart this past week.
"Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don't have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless - like chasing the wind. Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there is no use arguing with God about your destiny." ~ Ecclesiastes 6:9-10
Chapter 7 was full of good "bits" of knowledge. Verses 1-14 reminds us of the importance of a good reputation, finishing what we start, patience, self-control, and looking forward not backwards.
Chapter 9, verse 9, tells us to live happily in our marriage, and the first five words of verse 10, speak volumes.
"Whatever you do, do well...." ~ Ecclesiastes 9:10
And chapter 10 did two things: gave good advice and taught us how to spot a fool.
*(verse 1) " a little foolishness spoils great wisdom and honor."
*(Verse 2) "A wise person chooses the right road..."
*(verse 4) "A quiet spirit can overcome even great mistakes."
*(verse 10) "That's the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed."
*(verse 12) "Wise words bring approval..."
How to spot a fool....
*(verse 2) takes the wrong road
*(verse 3) daily foolish actions
*(verse 12) talks foolishly and is destroyed by their own words
*(verse 13) assumes foolishness, concludes wickedness, and chatters on and on
*(verse 15 & 18) lazy
What verses stood out to you this week?
How is God working in your life?
This week we will finish our journey with Ecclesiastes and begin in I Corinthians. Here is our reading plan for the week:
Monday - Ecclesiastes 11
Tuesday - Ecclesiastes 12
Wednesday - I Corinthians 1
Thursday - I Corinthians 2
Friday - I Corinthians 3
Keep reading God's Word!
Good morning, Sweet Sisters!
Whew! Has Ecclesiastes affected you the way it has affected me? It's been somewhat of a hard read, but so full of exactly what my family has needed from God's Word, right now. I think, for me, it's been a hard read because Solomon seems a bit pessimistic. That's not my personality. I am "Ms. Let's always look at the good in everything." That point of view works for me. Positive, positive, positive! However, I do understand why he felt this way.
"The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow." ~ Ecclesiastes 1:18
Solomon was the wisest man. He asked God for wisdom, and God granted his request. But truly wisdom can bring grief. The more we know, the harder life seems. Have you ever been enlightened with information you wished you had not received? There are just some things I don't want to know about. Wisdom can become overwhelming. I think that is what set Solomon's tone. However, he learned much and with that, he wanted to share what he knew.
I want to share a few verses that spoke to me through last week's verses. Our family has been offered a big opportunity but with it comes a BIG decision. As we have made our decision on this opportunity God has used many of these verses to speak to us.
"So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from Him? God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please Him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who pleases Him. This too, is meaningless - like chasing the wind." ~ Ecclesiastes 2:24-26
"Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God's purpose is that people should fear Him." ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11-14
"It is better to be a poor but wise youth than an old and foolish king who refuses all advice." ~ Ecclesiastes 4:13
"It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it." ~ Ecclesiastes 5:5
"And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and to accept your lot in life - this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past." ~ Ecclesiastes 5:19-20
How did God speak to you, this week? Share your thoughts and prayers in the comments!
Here is this week's reading plan:
Monday - Ecclesiastes 6
Tuesday - Ecclesiastes 7
Wednesday - Ecclesiastes 8
Thursday - Ecclesiastes 9
Friday - Ecclesiastes 10
Keep reading God's Word!
Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!
It feels so good to be back in the swing of a "normal" routine! As we begin our new year, I am sure most of us have goals we want to accomplish this year, and I hope one of them is to draw closer to our Almighty God. That's why I'm here: to encourage each of you and to hold myself accountable to purposefully fill each day with God and His Word. I am so glad that you have come to join me in reading the Bible and strengthening our relationship with Jesus, by spending time each day with Him. Today, we begin our winter study and I am so excited to jump into Scripture and hear all that God has for us. We will begin in Ecclesiastes and then finish up with I & II Corinthians.
For those of you who may be new to Redeeming Elegance, our concept is quite simple. We read through the Bible one book at a time, reading one chapter a day. Each Monday I will post our weekly reading plan for Monday - Friday, this way we have the weekend to catch up if life happens and we miss a day or two. During the week I may post a recap of what we read, and this year I also hope to post weekly or bi-weekly; an encouragement piece. Check back here through the week for new posts or simply join the RSS feed on the sidebar to receive notice of new posts. I want this to be a safe and encouraging place for us to read through Scripture together, so please comment on how God speaks to you through His Word or leave a prayer request in the comments so that we can lift each other up in prayer. Lastly, please share this with all the ladies you know. Every single one of us, can only benefit from reading God's Word every day. In fact, God calls us to do it. Spending daily time with God, listening to Him and talking to Him will strengthen our faith, mold our attitudes into gratitude and overflow the joy and love He has placed within us. Let's come together and encourage one another to draw closer to Him.
So, without further delay, here is this week's reading plan:
Monday - Ecclesiastes 1
Tuesday - Ecclesiastes 2
Wednesday - Ecclesiastes 3
Thursday - Ecclesiastes 4
Friday - Ecclesiastes 5
I'm praying for each of you and I am so excited to be studying God's Word with you!
Keep reading, Sweet Sisters!
Good morning, Sweet Sisters!
Can you believe that Christmas is now over? I hope that each of you had a wonderful Christmas filled with family, love, laughter, and Jesus. I also hope that you enjoyed reading through the true meaning of Christmas with me, this month. Without Jesus, there would be no Christmas celebration. He truly is the reason for the season. I pray that each of our hearts and minds have drawn closer to God as we have purposed to focus on Him this year.
As we draw close to the end of another year, may our hearts be focused on spending time with God each day and striving to be obedient to His call on our lives. I'm praying for each of you as we embark on another new year: for health, joy and that your hearts will be overflowing with love. Enjoy each moment, soak up your family and draw closer to God.
Our winter study will begin on Monday, January 9th. We will be reading through Ecclesiastes and I & II Corinthians. I am looking forward to jumping back into the Word and reading through it, chapter by chapter. Make plans to join us now and feel free to pass this on to the ladies you know. As always, our studies are meant to encourage and support you in reading the Bible each day individually, but they are also great for small group Bible study as well.
I also want to share with you a new series of posts coming this year. Our daily reading of the Bible will continue, as that is the purpose of Redeeming Elegance, however, the Lord is nudging me to add a little more. After much prayer and a whole lot of time to think about it, my sweet hubby and I know that our first ministry, is our family. If we don't get things right with our own family, inside our own four walls, we will never be effective in ministry anywhere else. So, as we strive to grow stronger, closer and more faithful with our own family this year, we want to encourage others to do the same. What will that look like for this site? Each week I hope to post on family life from my personal experience and my daily life as a christian wife and mom. If you don't have children or you are not married, please don't go anywhere. Our primary focus will still be supporting every woman in her daily walk with God, I just feel that I am supposed to share a boost of encouragement as a wife and mom here, too.
Please note: Our goal as a family, is to live life according to God's Word. Every bit of it! Even the Scriptures that some deem old fashioned or no longer culturally acceptable. We are not perfect people and we fail at this Every, Single, Day. But it is our goal to do our very best at trying to be obedient to God and His Word. My prayer is that ALL words shared here, will reflect that.
I am so excited to see what God has in store for us this new year as we study His Word daily, share our hearts with Him continually and desire to grow closer to our Almighty God!
"Jesus told him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.'" ~ John 14:6
Powerful words ladies! Jesus is the way, truth and life. Amen.
Keep Reading God's Word!
"All who heard the shepherds story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them." ~ Luke 2:18-20
I can only imagine the things that were going through Mary's mind. Everything God had promised had happened. she was now holding her baby, God's Son. The Bible doesn't tell us what words Mary spoke during these moments. We don't know what conversation ensued between she and Joseph and even between them and the shepherds, but we do not what she did with her thoughts: she kept them in her heart. Things she would never forget. Things she would think about often. Moments that would become precious, loving memories for years to come.
I want to do the same. I don't want the "feeling" of Christmas to just last through December. I want the miracle of Jesus' birth and the gift of His salvation to be a part of my life each and every day. I want the blessings that God has bestowed upon me and the grace and mercy He has given me to be a part of who I am. I want to ponder on these things and think about them often. How about you?
My Heavenly Father, Help me remember ALL You have done. What You have done for me, what You have done for the world. May I ponder on these things and keep them in my heart always. May my life, my words, my actions be a reflection of who You are and Your love for ALL. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
Keep reading God's Word!
"When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, 'Let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.' they hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child." ~ Luke 2:15-17
When something exciting happens to us, we want to tell everyone! We want others to share in our excitement and joy. What is more exciting than Jesus and His love for us? Why is it so hard for us to share Him with everyone we know? Jesus is the reason for my joy, I don't want to keep that a secret, I want others to have it!
Heavenly Father, I want to share You, Your Son and Your love with everyone I know. Help me to be bold when it comes to telling others about You. Let others see You in me. In my words, my thoughts, my actions and my deeds. May Your name be glorified in all that I do. I love You too, Lord! In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
Tell someone about Jesus today!
"'And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.' Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others- the armies of heaven- praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.'" ~ Luke 2:12-14
Praise! Pure worship to God Almighty for sending His Son, Jesus, to earth to save ALL people from their sins. The angels worshiped Him. We believers should be worshiping God with our whole hearts, minds and souls. All we have, all we have to look forward to, is because of Him. Let's worship Him together this Christmas season.
Almighty God, I love You, I adore You! You are worthy of all praise, all glory and all worship. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, amen.
Worship Him today!
"That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guiding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them,. "Don't be afraid!' he said. 'I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior - yes, the Messiah, the Lord- has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!'" ~ Luke 2:8-11
God sent his angels to proclaim the birth of Jesus. He could have sent them to everyone: to the rich, the prominent, those the world deemed important, but instead, he sent them to lowly shepherds. The shepherds were afraid, of course, but they could not deny that the angels had been sent by God. "The radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them." They were surrounded by God's glory! Can you imagine? What a beautiful picture!
The angels were sent to share Jesus with the shepherds. Who are we supposed to share Jesus with this season? Have you proclaimed Jesus' first coming? Have you shared Jesus- His birth, His life, His resurrection- with everyone you encounter? Can they see Jesus in you?
Almighty God, I am so grateful that You sent Jesus for ALL people. The weak and strong, the poor and rich. ALL of us. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ Your son. Help me to share Jesus with everyone You put in my path. May they sense Your presence and see Jesus in my life. In the sweet name of Jesus I pray, amen.
Let others see Jesus in you this Christmas season!
"And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." ~ Luke 2:6-7 (KJV)
There are quite a few things that stand out to me in these verses, but the most prominent one, is this: "there was no room for them." I understand the logical reasoning of this. There were many people traveling to register for the census. I'm sure most cities, at that time, were full and there wasn't room for everyone who came through. This was no surprise to the Lord, He knew and planned for this to happen. Jesus didn't come into this world with a throne, palace and riches like many Jews were expecting of the Messiah. No, the Messiah came as a humble baby boy born into the home of a carpenter and upon birth was laid in a feeding trough. Physically, there was no room for this family in Bethlehem that night. The world wasn't expecting Jesus that night, so they didn't move over to make Him welcome. That makes me wonder, how many of us today aren't expecting Jesus, so we don't make Him welcome in our lives? Do we get so busy and so absorbed in our own lives, that we forget all about Him? Do we make room for Jesus in our homes, our families, our lives? Do we allow Him the place He deserves in our lives, or do we put other things and people before Him? Where do our priorities lie?
Heavenly Father, forgive me for putting other things before You. Forgive me, Lord, for not making room for You in my every day life. I want my priorities to be right. I want You to be at the top of all my lists and I want my life to reflect that. I love you too, Lord. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
How about you?
Have you made room for Jesus in your life?
Keep reading God's Word!
"At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David's ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancee who was now obviously pregnant." ~ Luke 2:1-5
God is always at work. He is in control of every situation. He either causes things to happen or allows them to happen. It's never a coincidence or luck. All of life is under God's hand. Prophecy told us Jesus would be born in Bethlehem and that he would be from King David's line, and here we see that prophecy beginning to unfold. Don't think for a minute that the census was just a coincidence, on the contrary, it was all apart of God's plan.
Almighty God, I am so thankful that You are always in control. Nothing comes to us without first going through You. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. "
Hi! I'm Andrea, wife to my handsome hubby, homeschooling mama to my 5 amazing blessings (with one more on the way), and daughter of the King of kings. I am so glad you have stopped by my little piece of the web. My prayer is that the Lord will use this blog to encourage you in your personal, daily walk with Christ.