Bible Resources for Children in Your Home (Back to Basics)

In our series on developing spiritual disciplines, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite children’s Bibles and teaching resources.

I am a sucker for children’s Bibles. However, not all are created equal. I’m no expert on all children’s biblical materials, but as a teacher and mother, I have some criteria for choosing quality resources for my children. I’m usually looking for resources from authors and sources whose views on theology I trust. I like children’s materials that are not dumbed-down, even though their audience is children. I like biblically accurate stories in a children’s Bible, not stories that have been overly shortened leaving out important theology. Beautiful illustrations are important to me, too. I have 4 children ages 8 and under, and we have a number of materials that we use or have used to teach the Bible and biblical doctrines. I am hoping that if you don’t already have some good books to teach the Bible to your children, maybe these ideas will be of help. Of course there is no substitute for the actual word of God. These are just additional resources for you.  And if you have some really good resources you’d like to share, please do so in the comments!


The Jesus Storybook Bible

The Jesus Storybook Bible is my favorite children’s Bible.  Every story shows how God is always pointing us to Jesus. It’s wonderfully illustrated, with sound theology and engaging retellings of the stories throughout the Bible. In fact, I’ve been known to read selections from this Bible in some of my adult classes, because it’s such a well-written book.


The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden

Affectionately called “The Snake Crusher,” this book uses brightly colored, geometric graphics as it takes the reader through ten chapters chronicling the highlights of the Bible. It ends with the Snake Crusher returning to wipe away the bad and restore the good. Isn’t that the wonderful truth of God’s word?!



The Garden the Curtain and the Cross

This is a short book with bright, lively illustrations explaining why Jesus died and came back to life. Using the phrase “Keep Out!” to describe man’s separation from God due to sin, the author beautifully explains the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection so that man can be restored to God.


Leading Little Ones to God

This book is an “oldie” but a goody.  Using short readings, it teaches children basic biblical doctrines like the trinity, the omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence of God, angels, sin, the Law, forgiveness of sin through Jesus, etc.  We homeschool and used this as a Bible curriculum last year, but it would be perfect for family devotionals or for dinnertime readings where parents want to disciple their children. I used it with a 4 and 7-year-old, but it could be used for children much older, as well.


The Ology- Ancient Truths Ever New

The Ology Music CD

This one I haven’t actually used yet, but have read through and find it looks to be a wonderful resource to teach Bible doctrines and basic catechism.  It has short readings, and lots of scripture paired with beautiful illustrations. This, too, would be a great book to use for parents seeking to disciple children with short lessons at meal-times or bed time. It has a partner CD you can order with children’s songs that correspond to the book to help expand understanding and remember the material.

And finally, check out Egermeier’s Bible Story Book.  I haven’t personally read this one, but a friend suggested it when she found out I was writing this post. I trust her judgment and she’s raised some amazing children, so I will definitely be checking into this one as well!

Do you have favorite Children’s Bible resources that you’ve used? Leave a comment for the rest of us! And stay tuned for a coming post about memorizing scripture with children!


But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Luke 18:16 




Sola Scriptura: Romans 8

No dialog. No frills. No personal annotations. Simply truths from Romans 8 which can guide us through this path of life. Pray, read, and allow God to speak to your heart.

  • There is now no condemnation in Christ.
  • The law of the Spirit of Life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
  • We do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
  • The mind set on the flesh is death but on the Spirit is Life and Peace.
  • Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
  • All who are being led by the Spirit, these are the sons of God.
  • You are not slaves to fear, you are adopted daughters of God.
  • Our present sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come.
  • The Spirit intercedes for us when we don’t know what to pray.
  • All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
  • If God is for us who can be against us?! (Rhetorical Question! Answer: no one!)
  • What can separate us from the love of Christ?! (Rhetorical Question! Answer: nothing!)
  • We are more than conquerors in Christ. I am. You are.

Bible Gateway – Romans 8

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Back to Basics: God’s Word

I’ve got my steamy cup of coffee with Peppermint Mocha creamer, so grab you a cuppa and let’s get going again…

So have you been meeting with God each day? Have you found your time and place that works for you? Are you getting into the routine, a routine as common as family dinner around the table at 6:00 or getting up for work at 5:30? I hope so! Have you found a Bible version you enjoy reading or studying in?

Last week Michele shared some great logistics and organization tips on Bible study with you. Check it out here if you missed it. Later we will have some more articles on Bible study from our other writers sharing how they handle Bible study. But for today, I want to talk more heart stuff, once again with a focus on Bible study.

I remember vividly my mom & dad sitting down every night during my childhood and doing their “Daily Bible Reading.” In those days Sunday morning lesson books had recommended scriptures to read for each day of the week. I honestly can’t remember a single night not seeing them sitting at the kitchen table, each reading their individual Bibles, as I kissed them goodnight and headed off to bed. What a great heritage I had and I didn’t even realize that as a child!

A photo by Ben White. with a heritage like that and having a compliant personality I started to read my Bible daily as soon as I accepted Christ at age eight. Now I didn’t understand much of it. I usually just read one or two verses. But I was learning to feed myself spiritually. Just like a little messy baby reaching for the baby food spoon or trying to feed himself Cheerios the first time, I didn’t have great success, but I was on the path to grow and learn. I missed days. I took notes in my diary on what I read. I was able to check the box of Bible reading and was making those foundational moves to be what my child eyes saw a Christian to be.

In 3rd grade I had Mrs. Mamie Latham as my Sunday School teacher. She was a godly woman with a heart for scripture memory! She gave us treats every Sunday if we memorized a new verse. I got a treat nearly every Sunday (but we won’t talk about my struggle even today with treats!) God was working into me a foundation of scripture for my life. Many of these verses I remember today.

In my teens I started reading more scripture and understanding it more. I began to see how God’s Word could be applied in my everyday life. I was very self-focused. I searched out scripture verses to help me out when I was discouraged or fearful or in need in any other way. My Bible reading was mostly about what was in it for me. But as Isaiah 55:10-11 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtells us “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” God was working a purpose in me even when I was reading His Word for self gain.

In college, older godly friends of mine began to disciple me through Navigator Bible studies. They challenged me to study the Bible deeply and memorize scripture. The “Design for Discipleship” series dug into foundational truths of scripture that built in me a knowledge of what His Word said about God and sin and man and life. During this time I was very rigid and legalistic. I either mentally berated myself for missing my quiet time or felt very sanctimonious that I was meeting with the Lord every day.

During my 20s, I began longing to really know God. I’d grown up with religion and I loved God, but during this time I began a real relationship with Him. My quiet time became something I desired to do, not just something I “should” do. I wanted to read all of His word, and to know Him like I saw more mature believers knowing HIm, and to become all He wanted me to be. I wanted Him to be my friend and to see Him move in my life.

As I grew up and married and had kids, I was invited by another young mom to a Precepts Bible study in the home of a more mature woman. I learned how to study His Word deeply, turning to research on the Greek and Hebrew words to bring scripture to life! I learned Bible history, word studies, and all sorts of “academic” means of learning about God. I got quite proud of my Biblical knowledge and though I couldn’t see myself this way at the time, I was judgmental, condescending, and a know-it-all. But God was patient with me. Trials came and the academics couldn’t get me through. I turned my heart back to having a relationship with Him.

pexels-photo-27633Over the next decade or so I grew steadily, reading His Word and journaling and praying fairly consistently, just as I had seen my parents. I went through trials and found Him faithful. And enough! I worked through insecurity and fears and character issues. His word was alive and active in me. I began to hear Him speak through His Word to specific situations. I learned to love myself “warts and all” because He does. It seemed certain verses jumped off the page or were in bold print at just the time I needed to read them. My daily Bible reading schedule astounded me that God could speak so specifically through verses that had “randomly” been scheduled months ago as the “verse of that day.”

And now I find myself an older woman.

Now I am sharing what I’ve learned. I’m still learning. Still being stretched. Still being rebuked. Still being comforted. Still discovering new things in His Word. It never ends! So take my word for this, at whatever stage you find yourself in reading God’s Word, it will not return void. It will achieve what He wants in your life, even if you are hit and miss in meeting with Him. Even if you are reading it for selfish or legalistic motives. God’s Word is alive and active in our lives. But as with many things, we may not notice the small day-to-day changes it has caused until we reflect back on who we were a year or two or ten ago!

So hang in there. READ HIS WORD! It is His love letter, instruction book, recipe book, secret message, and rare treasure in our lives. It is your bread for the problems of today and your seed that will bear much fruit in the future if you read it. It is truth. Cling to His promises for your day. I challenge you to not be like me, don’t be sporadic and undisciplined and miss out on the wealth of what God has to show you. There’s grace for that if you are, but it’s not the Best thing. Be like a Bible leader I look up to who has read the entire Bible every year since she was a teen, and she’s now in her 50’s! Oh the wisdom and joy and depth of relationship with the Father!


Prepare a Feast (Back to Basics)

When I was a newlywed, I was a disaster in the kitchen. Couldn’t boil an egg, couldn’t bake a cake, couldn’t whip up mashed potatoes kind of disaster. Growing up I lived with a wonderful grandmother who enjoyed cooking, but I was too foolish and preoccupied to learn. As a new wife, our growing stack of take out menus only served to feed my frustration about my lack of culinary skill. Ironically, my first job was in the editorial department of a cooking magazine. It was a perfect place to study cooking, to find resources, and to ask questions. I was determined to figure out this cooking thing. Slowly, I began to learn the basics. Once I gained some confidence, I moved on to learn more advanced techniques. I’m certainly no Rachel Ray, but I am continually learning the skills I need to make a pretty yummy meal—all on my own. And while making a home cooked meal takes more time and attention, the results are undeniably more satisfying.

When it comes to Bible Study, many of us have the same problem I had in the kitchen. We never learned the skills necessary to study the Bible on our own. We become content with grabbing something from the drive through or just ordering something off the take out menu. We get fed, yes, but we’re constantly dependent on someone else to do the preparing and cooking. We appreciate the end result, but since we didn’t help prepare the food, the satisfaction is superficial and fleeting, and it can be costly. As followers of Christ, we need to learn how to feast on the Word of God, not just eat from a table someone else has prepared. There are delicacies God created for you alone to enjoy; food that nourishes your soul in a way nothing else can.

So how do we learn how to feast of the Word of God?
If you’re brand new to Bible study, or you’ve spent far too long eating from someone else’s table, here are a few tips to help you inventory your spiritual “kitchen” as you learn to prepare your own feast.

Keep it simple.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYour first attempts in the kitchen shouldn’t involve a four course gourmet meal. It takes time and practice to gain confidence as a cook. It’s the same with Bible study, but getting started isn’t as intimidating as it seems. In fact, Bible study is often best if you start simply.

First, pray. Ask the Lord to lead your mind, your heart, your spirit.

Second, listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Your first attempts may seem overwhelming or unproductive (just like my first attempt at roasting a chicken), but be diligent. Over time you’ll become more comfortable starting out with just the Word and the Spirit.

Be Sure You Have the Necessities.

spices-flavorings-seasoning-foodJust like it’s important to have your pantry stocked with the necessities, it’s vital you have the essentials for studying the Word. Unlike the pantry, the essentials for Bible study are few—just two things really–a Bible and a journal (and your favorite pen, of course). If you’re overwhelmed with the choices available, here are some helps for choosing a Bible that is the most beneficial for you.

Pick a translation: There are many translations of the Bible available—which can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming. If you were to rank them on a scale of closest to the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts, the King James Version would be closest, with paraphrases of the Biblical text, like The Message, on the other end of the spectrum. Since the language of the King James version is antiquated, an easier-to-understand, but closer to original translation text like the English Standard Version (ESV) or the New International Version (NIV) is a great choice for Bible Study.

Study Bible or no Study Bible? Study Bibles typically have additional text that includes commentary on scripture. While these Bibles are good resources, it keeps you in the habit of depending on someone else’s interpretation of a passage of scripture. It’s a comfort and help to have instant access to delving deeper in a passage, but the goal is to learn how to discover truth on your own. Study Bibles are useful, but for your main study, use a commentary-free Bible.

Why keep a journal? There will be some days God reveals an amazing insight. There will be days you discover a new connection or revelation. There will be days you wonder why a verse or chapter is even included in the scripture text. No matter what you learn or what you’re pondering, write it down. Recording your thoughts and what you’re learning may lead you to a new discovery down the road, or it may provide some much-needed encouragement and exhortation as you continue to learn and grow.

Don’t Be Afraid to Use New Tools.

pexels-photo-211760Every cook knows having good tools makes preparing a meal much easier, but sometimes the tools can be a bit intimidating. It’s the same with Bible Study. Though using them well may take time and practice, having the right tools turns Bible Study into a great adventure in discovery.

Concordance. A concordance can help in understanding the nuances of language in the Bible. You can take any verse and look up the original translation in Hebrew or Greek. The translation gives more specific and precise definitions to the words used in the English text. This can help tremendously in gaining deeper understanding of a verse or passage. You can also use a concordance to discover where a specific word is used in other places in scripture, which helps in finding connections and giving a richer understanding.

Commentary. An excellent commentary is an essential Bible study tool. But it should only be used after you have spent ample time wading through a passage. Be cautious in choosing a Bible commentary. There are great overall commentaries by a variety of authors, like Moody Bible Commentary, or commentaries by specific authors, like Matthew Henry or Warren Wiersbe, available. Ask your pastor or a Bible study teacher who they use most often.

Bible Dictionary. A Bible dictionary will help give more insight on some of the practical details of the Bible. Say you’re unsure about the preparation of the drink offering or looking for some historical insight on Herod the Great. A Bible dictionary will offer needed details to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Bible Atlas. So much of what happens in the Bible has to do with place. When I discovered the Garden of Gethsemane was in the shadow of Herod’s temple, the anguish of Christ in the garden before his trial and execution was even more powerful. And when I discovered how close the Israelites were to the Promised Land as they wandered in the desert those 40 years, I took away a much deeper spiritual principle from the text.

Be Sure to Share

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the best things about cooking is finding a new recipe and sharing it with friends. It’s the same with Bible Study. Whether it’s a formal Bible study or simply getting together with a group of friends, it is essential to have a place to pour out your heart. Growing with a group provides accountability and iron sharpening, and you learn much more as you listen to what God is teaching others. We were made for relationship and studying God’s Word together is a beautiful way to grow in knowledge and understanding of the Word, and a wonderful place to practice the truths you’re learning.

One of my favorite Bible study teachers Jen Wilkins says, “The heart can’t love what the mind doesn’t know.” In our relationship with God, it is so important that we get to know Him. That we develop our own deep, abiding communion with Him. The Bible is His gift to us. It is His love letter to us. It is His invitation to taste and see that the Lord is good. Too long I depended on what other’s learned about God. I sat at their table and ate of their delights. And it never satisfied my soul. When I learned to step in the kitchen and prepare my own table with the Lord, I found the morsels God gives are sweet and filling. Pulling up a seat and feasting on the Word of God truly does satisfy the soul like nothing else.

“How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life, in your light do we see light.” Psalm 36:7-9


A Gift

So a new year is here. Are you a resolution writer? Do you do the customary list of things you wish to accomplish for the coming months? I must confess, I am not! I have in the past and would be so defeated in the first few days when I had missed the mark!!! I am a day by day goal setter (if that is even a thing!!!) Satan has a way of paralyzing us when we do not feel like we have accomplished “enough.” I am writing this today to challenge you to let go in 2017 and trust HIM daily to carry you through, give you direction and hold your heart to His plan.

One of my favorite songs by Chris Rice says this “Every day is a journal page, every man holds a quill and ink. There’s plenty of room for writing in, all you ask and believe and think. Will you clock-pocket-watch-gold-valuable-39817compose a curse or will today bring you blessing.” When God opens our eyes each morning and we have a chance to lift up or tear down. Life or death. Blessing or cursing. Twenty-four – 24 hours – no more no less. Money or fame cannot buy you more time. This sweet song goes on to say “Teach us to count the days, teach us to make the days count. Lead us in better ways cause somehow our souls’ forgot Life Means So Much.” 

These words are as much for the writer as the reader!! GOD brings us to the very moment where we have a choice to walk boldly in His plan or be held captive by what we can see and what seems to hold us. God gave His only Son that you and I could live and breathe and share this good news with people in need and without hope.

So, the choice is yours and mine my friend! God breathes life into your soul. The day is yours!! Life is precious and what a gift!!


Not Enough Time?

Do you know what the scariest word to me is?


I know. Laugh all you want, point your fingers, make fun of me. My brother makes me aware every day that I’m ridiculous. But sometimes this fear keeps me up at night. It scares me because I feel like just the name of the word owns me. There’s either not enough time or too much of it. There’s no in between. But lately, I’ve been living in the “not enough time” camp. Just looking at me weekly schedule stresses me out. During the Christmas season, I was 100% sure that I would have to make an appointment with my cardiologist. And don’t get me wrong: all of the things on my calendar were good things. I was jus A LOT of good things. My schedule is filled with discipleship groups, Bible studies, and time with family and friends. And that’s great! But sometimes, even too much of a good thing can be bad for you. About 4 years ago my doctor told me that I had developed a chocolate allergy. I was shocked, even though the previous day I had been downing about two bowls of chocolate ice cream. He laughed at my puzzled face and said, “You know Morgan, chocolate isn’t a bad thing. But highly concentrated amounts eaten within frequent periods of time can result in a developed allergy.” I looked at him confused, because let’s be real, that’s a lot of big words in one little sentence. He had summed it up pretty easily. Even good things can be bad for you if you have too much.

Even good things can be bad for you if you have too much.


I looked past all of my chocolate longings and dreams of myself lying in a chocolate fountain and started looking at my own life. And I started to notice something. I was attending all of these events on my schedule, but I wasn’t fully there. I was exhausted,fashion-person-woman-girl drained, cranky, and worn slap out emotionally, physically, and spiritually. And then I got to the point where I didn’t want to do anything except take a nap and watch Hallmark movies. (To be honest that’s still what I want to do all day.) Exhaustion was my newly developed allergy.

And then someone asked me something that has stuck with me since, “Morgan, you lead a lot of things for other ladies, but what do you do for YOU?” I kind of laughed and was like, Wait what do you mean? Isn’t that selfish? Shouldn’t I want to do things for others?

But the more I thought about her question I started to become convicted, because I am very busy, but am I using that time and my personal time to grow closer to Jesus? Because even in my overbooked schedule, I still try my very best to have time for me. But what does that look like? I’d be lying if I told you I usually spend my down time reading the Word. Usually it looks like me collapsing on the couch and turning on a movie faster than you can say the word lazy. Which is not bad, but it’s not the best.

My mom told me once that discernment is not “knowing the difference between good and bad”. It’s knowing the difference between what’s good and what’s best. So I’ve looked at everything in my life and put it to this test: Is this good or is this best? And I’m just going to warn you, that’s super hard. Saying “No” to that movie with some friends might look like saying “Yes” to a night spent at home reading the Word and spending time with our Jesus. Saying “No” to that day spent shopping may be a “Yes” to a day of Bible study with some of your friends.

Discernment is knowing the difference between what’s good and what’s best.

I’m done with the days of my schedule owning me. I’m done with this stupid competition of who’s busier than whom. No more is “time” in control of my life. HE is in control of my life and my time in this week and on this earth. I’ve made the decision to put Him back in control and put Morgan Ramsey in the passenger seat. But it all starts with a decision. You have to come to the end of yourself, the end of your schedule, the end of your time, and put Jesus where He rightly belongs: In the driver’s seat of your heart and the controller of you time, temporal and eternal.


Back to Basics: Quiet Time

In my early twenties and fresh out of college, I was blessed to stumble upon a treasure of a book, Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman by Anne Ortlund. Anne became my mentor. I have longed for years since then to find a woman I knew to mentor me, but what the Lord finally showed me was that this woman, her writings, were the guide God put in my hands along with His word and a few other books, to grow me up. I’ve re-read the book several times. I find the key concepts of Anne’s writing are so fundamental to my beliefs that I frequently teach them as I mentor young women today.
pexels-photo-65045So, if you are like I was and can’t seem to find that flesh-and-blood mentor to have a cup of coffee and chat with, then grab a cup right now – I’ll take Green Mountain breakfast blend with one Truvia pack and 2 teaspoons of peppermint creamer – and join me for our first mentoring session!

While there are many areas of the spiritual life that need our attention, the 4 main ones we will focus on and their importance are clearly shown in The Wheel Illustration.
This illustration shows us the fundamentals of a well-rounded Christian life: Prayer & The Word – the ways we interact with God, and Witnessing & Fellowship – the ways we interact with people. If any one of these spokes is not being tended to or if Christ is not at the center of everything we do, we risk living an out of balance, wobbly life as we roll through our days here on earth; traveling with a flat tire so to speak.
The prime spiritual discipline that is the air our spirit breathes is a personal Quiet Time with God each day (built on Prayer and The Word). No matter your age, your spiritual growth and health is dependent upon this discipline. Your spiritual life will suffocate without daily time alone with your Father.
The Set Up.
  1. Have a set place. (Mine is a cushy love seat in our living room.)
  2. Have a set time. (30+/- minutes before you normally have to get up works well.)
  3. Have the materials you need. (Listed in next paragraph)
  4. Be consistent. (Commit to do this every day for a month and your time will be firmly established and easier to stick with.)
So how do you go about it? Simple. Grab your Bible, a pen, and a notebook. That’s all you need! God has promised to give His Spirit as your teacher (John 14:26).
Resting in the fact that a member of the Holy Trinity will be teaching you, this is
The Process.
  1. Pray. Pray praising God, thanking Him, confessing sins, asking forgiveness, and interceding for others. Most importantly Pray for God to open the eyes of your heart to understand what He is teaching you through His written Word. (Phil.4:6-7)
  2. Read a portion of scripture. 
    1. Get yourself on a Bible reading plan. Look over the options in the link. If you’re new to this, one or two verses a day may seem to be all you can take in without being overwhelmed. So you might want to start slowly cruising through the book of John or Philippians a few verses at a time.
    2. Read with purpose. Don’t just read the words to check this off your list. Read trying to absorb what the scripture is saying. Ask yourself the 5 W’s and an H – Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. Leave your reading time with the attitude that you want to be able to tell a friend about it later that afternoon.
  3. Meditate on it listening for the truth God is teaching you. This may involve praying over portions. It may mean you read back through the passage very slowly, stopping every time you are curious and contemplating what the deeper meaning is. It may mean repeating a single verse of the passage over and over to begin to memorize it. Or you may personalize the scripture by putting your own name in it or turning it into a prayer. You may want to read the Word emphasizing different words to see a deeper meaning. Or read it looking for Biblical concepts or patterns and repetitions in the passage.
  4. Journal your thoughts and prayers. Even if your time is limited as you scurry off to work, take your notebook and take a moment to journal one take away from the scripture. Maybe it’s a promise in scripture you want to cling to in the issues you are facing. Maybe it’s a command you realize you need to obey to please God. Whatever it is, jot it down. Then follow up with a written prayer to end your quiet time. It can be brief. But personally, I have found these prayers to be very revealing and healing. As I pray writing it out seeking God’s heart I often write truth I’d never realized before, blessings the Lord speaks into my heart, wisdom that crystalizes into a clear thought, or even tender loving words or words of reproof to myself. When we open a conversation with Him in prayer, God speaks back if we will just listen!
  5. One process of Bible study is called Inductive Bible study. (Check out the link. More on this in another post.) Inductive reasoning is reasoning that derives general principles from specific observations. So inductive Bible Study hinges on deriving general life principles through diligently observing His Word, praying, and listening to what God quietly speaks to your spirit.
Thanks for the coffee! I loved our first mentoring session. So now that you know how to have an effective quiet time, I guess I’ll end with the Nike slogan “Just do it.” Blessings!

Holy Oatmeal

One of my favorite authors often refers to the pot of oatmeal cooking on her stovetop during the early morning hours as her family prepares for their busy day running a farm. The way she describes the scene, the sounds of the low bubbling and the nurturing way she stirs in preparation of serving her family, has always drawn me to think that oatmeal is simply wonderful. Without a doubt, oatmeal must be the breakfast of wonderful people. I want to be one of those wonderful people.

I’ve heard that oatmeal is healthy too. Exactly.

Pondering this beautiful scene, I set out to create my own wonderful-ness this morning. I cooked oatmeal on my stovetop. I could literally sense the anticipation in my mouth, and my heart. This was going to be life-changing.

holy-oatmealI carefully followed the directions on the side of the canister. The boiling and bubbling began. I decided to add a little butter. Then, I added a little brown sugar. After one little bite, I decided it needed a little – lot – more butter… and maybe a pinch – large pinch – or two – more of brown sugar. Oh it looked so pretty! I scooped some into my new big soup mug. Took a little bite… Then I thought maybe it needed a little vanilla… or perhaps some mini chocolate chips.

Are you following me here…?

After an exorbitant amount of butter, brown sugar, and more than several sprinkles of mini chocolate chips, I dove into a large spoonful.

Then, I decided that oatmeal is just NOT for me.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I like the idea of oatmeal. I like the idea of the warm bubbly nutritious good-for-your-heart-health breakfast.

But I don’t really…actually want to eat it… I just want a picture of it posted to my Instagram account, with my Bible in the background.

In his letter, the apostle Peter wrote these words: As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)

I so sincerely want to conduct myself in a holy manner. Correction: I like the idea of conducting myself in a holy manner. Because when I’m NOT hungry and tired, I really want to BE holy. When it’s NOT too late for the kids to still be awake, I really want to BE holy, to conduct myself in obedience. Not to mention when someone does NOT pull out in front of me and does NOT begin driving so very slowly in order to purposely ruin my life, I’m really thinking about BEING holy in my conduct. However, when I’m rested and healthy and cared for and my car is shiny fresh out of the carwash, I am especially in tune with holy conduct…

Really… I mean really?Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset

Let me first say that I have been made holy, been made righteous by the precious blood of the Lamb; but walking worthy and being “holy in my conduct” is something I would prefer with butter, brown sugar, and mini chocolate chips on top.

Peter says to be as “obedient children” and to be holy in my conduct. He never mentions sweet and easy living.

I was made new in Christ for many things like precious freedom and sweet fellowship, but also obedience and holy living. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I desire to look like My Father, to conduct myself in a way that causes others to see Jesus Christ; therefore I’m called to a standard of living that is beyond my former desires.

I’m just glad Peter didn’t require oatmeal.


As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16

Happy New Year!

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making away in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

pexels-photo-26339As I write, it is October 28th. Gearing up for Halloween weekend here – church fall festival, costumes and candy. But since we plan this blog months ahead, I am catapulted into 2017.

What will the year hold for each of us? Will it be “The Best Year Ever!”? “The One That Nearly Did Me In”? Or just another year? There will be definite scheduled things you see coming now: You may graduate. Celebrate your child’s first birthday. Retire. Go on the mission field. Move to a new city. Get married….  And then there will be the unexpected things: Will you fall in love? Get transferred? Break up with the boyfriend? Bury a parent? Get your dream job? Experience serious illness? None of us know.

Life is a wild ride! Ups and downs, turbulence and smooth sailing. So are you up for the adventure? Or are you clinging to the status quo with white knuckles just hoping nothing very bad comes your way? Is there a way we can be prepared for these unexpected troubles that come our way? You know there is! I wouldn’t ask a question like that unless I was about to give you my wise answer! 😉

The way to be prepared for whatever comes our way, is to know and follow closely The Way, Jesus Christ.

Some of our goals here at Priceless blog that you can read on our “About” page are:

We hope to INSPIRE women to desire a deeper relationship with their Father God, to grow in the grace and knowledge of their Savior Jesus Christ, and to live a Spirit-filled life.

We commit to CHALLENGE women to study the Word of God, pray in faith, walk obediently as Christ-followers, and love and serve others around them just as Christ did.

We long to ENCOURAGE women as they daily experience the good times and even the mundane, but also the difficult times: the obstacles, the tragic, or the unknowns in life.

Hopefully, all our articles help women come to a deeper realtionship with the Lord. But in an effort to be intentional, instructional, and organized in this help, and in order to help you face the coming year ahead “clothed in strength and dignity,” we are trying something new over the next couple of months. Next Monday we will begin a discipleship series called Back to the Basics. It will consist of a series of articles that come out every other Monday on the foundational disciplines of walking with the Lord. It is for every age and every stage of life. We’ll cover topics like having a quiet time, reading the Bible, prayer and journaling, just to name a few. These topics are great for new believers and young Christians, but will also hopefully inspire the veteran Christian women. Also, we ask that you mature women would chime in on the replies and share tips and wisdom you have learned in your walk with Christ.

Following some spiritual disciplines in our lives will do several beneficial things for us on the road of life this year. First, our relationship with Christ will grow and flourish in ways that bless us deeply whatever our circumstances. As we come to know and love Him more through Bible study and prayer, we come to trust Him more, to understand His ways more, and to fear the future less. As our faith grows, we trust that we have a redeemer, a refuge, a defender, a guide, a savior, a healer, and a lover of our soul that carries us through every situation we encounter in life.

Second, we will develop habits that are good for our spiritual life. Having that organized quiet time, time in the word, prayer, etc. will carry us through the rough waters. We won’t wake up the morning after a crisis freaking out. We will wake up and go to our chair where we meet with God each day and spend time with Him, because that is our routine. And our hearts will receive peace and direction and wisdom for the issues of the day. That’s not to say that everything will be rosy; it’s to say that the God of all Hope has your back in every situation.

Third, we will change. We will become new. At salvation we are made a new creature. But the change does not end there. God is in the business of remaking us continually. All those self-help books get us nowhere in the long run. But a close and dynamic relationship with Christ rubs off those rough edges, sweeps out the hidden dirt, hammers out the dings, and shines up our tarnished places almost without us realizing it. His transforming work in our heart through the washing of His Word will cause us to become someone different, better.

Let me give you a guarantee. Walk faithfully following Christ and sticking with the spiritual disciplines presented to you through this series, and you will look back in 5 years (probably in only 1 year!) and say, “Wow! I can’t believe that was me back then. Look how He has changed me.” To re-word a Broadway lyric from Wicked, “I can say that I’ve been changed for the better. Because I knew Him, I have been changed for good!”

So on our journey this year, let’s seek Him daily. Let’s grow! Let’s live abundantly, faithfully! Let us not fear the future, but walk faithfully.

We ask that mature women would chime in on the replies and share tips and wisdom you have learned in your walk with Christ.