Happy Thanksgiving from Your Priceless Friends!

Thanksgiving Day is not an easy day for everyone. As you wake up or sit down to eat or lay in bed seeking relief, our prayer here at Priceless is that you see how very much you have to be thankful for. When we are chronically ill, caught up in a difficult situation, at odds in a relationship, fearful over what-ifs, or lonely, we find ourselves struggling to be thankful and often, only able to see the darkness.

Things we can each be thankful for…

…another day of life

…warm sunshine and cool breezes

…Jesus dying on the cross for our sin and shame

…clothes to wear

…beautiful music or art

…medical care nearby

…food to eat – even if it’s not fancy or exactly what we want

…God’s precious unconditional love for us

As you collapse into a recliner after a busy day, find at least one thing in your day for which you are thankful, or choose something from the list above. Dwell on it for a few minutes and express your gratefulness to God. May you find joy in your grateful moment.

At the Pace of the Children

by guest contributor Katie Faris (Re-blogged with permission. Check out her page and blog.)

On a recent family road trip, we stopped at least once an hour. No exaggeration. By the fifth potty stop for the same child, it was all I could do to hold my tongue as we walked to the restroom. I felt impatience filling me like a balloon, and I was about to burst.

I can’t even tell you which rest stop it was or what state we were in, but the Lord reminded me of this verse tucked into Genesis, “…I will lead on slowly…at the pace of the children” (Gen 33:14). Jacob’s words slow me down every time.

At the pace of the children…

When my son can’t find his shoe and everyone else is in the car.

When my daughter takes twice as long to eat her lunch as the rest of her siblings.

When my two-year-old decides to potty-train, something I didn’t write on the agenda for the first week of school.

When one child takes longer to learn to read than other siblings.

When a sleepy toddler needs to be carried halfway through a family walk.

Whenever I feel like a child is slowing me down; whenever my plans or time schedule are interrupted; whenever my children move slower than I prefer, I remember—

At the pace of the children.

Isaiah says that God is like a shepherd who will “gently lead those that are with young.” God is gentle, displaying great forbearance and patience with us.

And these truths deflate that balloon inside of me, the one so close to bursting. So much more is at stake on this parenting journey than reaching our destination at a certain time.

How I think about, speak to, treat, and behave when my child’s bladder is full matters. Will I display love, patience, forbearance, and kindness? Or disdain, impatience, rudeness, and angry words?

Will I treat my children as I’ve been treated? Will I remember my Savior’s patience with me? Will I build margin into our life together?

What will my children remember from our road trip? What will they remember from their childhood?

After our bags are unpacked and the car is unloaded, I stop my husband and thank him. I thank him for leading us home at the pace of the children. And I thank God for being patient with me.

*This article first appeared on the Loving My Children blog. To read more of my words, like/follow Loving My Children and follow me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/katietfaris. -Katie Faris

Check out Katie’s books, studies and motherhood resources!

Your View of the World

How do you see the world? Do you see all your life as happenstance? Or do you see the world as created and ruled over by God? Do you look at each person you interact with as a unique and loved being? Do you realize that you, and they, are here for a purpose? Do you get in a situation and feel like you don’t know what truth even is any more? Do you wake up each morning and face the day based on the Bible or the latest news or social media issue? Do you understand that we have a real enemy in the spiritual realm, or does the Devil seem like a superstition to you?

How you react to each of these questions reveals your world view. A world view can be secular or religious, faulty or true, helpful or harmful. It matters how you see the world.

What has shaped your view of the world? The family who raised you contributed to your world view. So does your church, school, or friend group. Society as well as the books you consume or movies and shows you watch also impact your perspective of the world. Living life in a sinful world impacts the way we see the world as well. We can become jaded, our faith can be whittled away, and we can find ourselves in the middle of a sea of doubt.

What are we to do? We need to first see if our view of the world is true. Is it based on truth? 

Do you personally have a biblical worldview? The following questions from the Barna Group research will help you see if you do. Think about and answer in your own heart the following questions. Try not to give a rote Sunday school answer, but examine your heart and evaluate what you truly believe in your heart of hearts.

  1. Do absolute moral truths exist?
  2. Is absolute truth defined by the Bible?
  3. Did Jesus Christ live a sinless life?
  4. Is God the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe, and does He still rule it today?
  5. Is salvation a gift from God that cannot be earned?
  6. Is Satan real?
  7. Does a Christian have a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people?
  8. Is the Bible accurate in all of its teachings?

A Biblical worldview is based on the infallible Word of God. When you believe there is an absolute moral truth and that the Bible is entirely true, then you allow it to be the foundation of everything you say and do. The only foundation worthy to build a world view on is the word of God, the Bible. It is our only source of truth.

But according to Barna Researchers, only 14% of all American adults read their Bibles daily. The rest of them/us, the 86%, the majority by a long shot, go spiritually hungry those days they are not in God’s word. Where are you in this data? Where are you today? Have you gone off to your day’s challenges spiritually nourished for what the day may hold? Or are you starving yourself spiritually?

Making It Home: What is a Home?

What is a home anyway? Is it the house? Is it the people who live in it? No, I guess that’s the family. Maybe it’s the atmosphere within a family’s house. Or maybe it’s your community – you know how when you are driving back from a vacation there is a point you get to where someone in the car says “It’s good to be home.” Perhaps it’s your people, even beyond blood relatives. When you are with them it just feels like home. But what is that feeling?

In the book of Ruth, the idea of home had several slightly different meanings. In chapter 1 verse 6, home was Naomi’s country and people. In verse 8 it was Ruth’s “family home,” the household she grew up in. In verse 9 home indicated marriage and family. By chapter 3 verse 1, Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, are back in Naomi’s hometown, and she implies that Ruth’s home would be a place she could be provided for, find protection, and the ruins of her old life could be redeemed. Finally, Chapter 4 verse 11 shows Boaz’ home as his household, but also as a place of hope and possibility where love can come and children will be born.

Whatever your heart definition of home is, let us remember what home is not. It is not your physical house however big or small, fancy or rundown, quaint or sprawling that may be. It is not your belongings. It is not stuff to be acquired in a building. It is not made by other people, it springs from our own heart. It is not the sum of all our past successes and failings, nor is it a list of all you’ve done. It’s not the mess of dirty dishes and laundry, nor is it the pristine perfection of the magazine photo. Home is what we create.

How like our loving God to allow us as His image-bearers to also create as He created! So as you create your home, know that it starts in your heart. A heart full of peace, joy and love can only come from a relationship with Jesus. Otherwise our hearts will be discontent, searching for something better, and longing for more. First Timothy 6:6 says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” This is where home is born, in a godly heart full of contentment because it rests in Him.

God’s Word is Puposeful

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. Isaiah 55:10-11 NIV

Don’t you love this extended metaphor comparing Gods Word to the precipitation that falls on the earth?

It is given to us by Father God through the prophet Isaiah, and communicates so many truths in 2 short verses.

1. Like rain or snow, Gods Word is sent down from Heaven. His Word is as much a part of His provision for us as the daily rain!

2. What does rain do? It waters the earth. God’s Word waters our parched souls. Cleansing rain and refreshing joy come through His Scriptures.

3. Rain and snow not only water the earth, but they give growth. I’ve never seen it, but scientists tell us that a barren, scorched desert can burst into bloom after a quenching rain. Our souls also blossom and prepare to be fruitful when drenched with God’s Holy Word.

4. Plants do not bud and flourish just to be colorful; they bud to bear fruit and be useful. They have a purpose that is begun by the rain. God’s Word is the rain that causes our lives to bear fruit unto righteousness.

5. That flourishing plant yields 2 things: seed for the sower ands bread for the eater. In other words, The rain of God’s Word causes fruit in our lives that provides sustenance for our immediate, daily needs (bread) and provision for our future needs (seed to plant and harvest, time and again).

6. God’s Word will accomplish what He desires.

7. God’s Word in our lives, homes, churches, communities, and nation will achieve the purpose He sent it for.

We trust God for rain that sustains the earth. Trust His Word for truth that sustains your soul.

Umbrellas

Life can be hard. Storms batter us. The burning heat of the demands of life drain us. But umbrellas protect us from the storms and the blazing sun.

Today for your encouragement we share some scripture “umbrellas” that will offer shelter in the storm and reprieve from the scorching heat we find ourselves in.

“Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ ” Isaiah 30:20-21

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7

“My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber” Psalm 121:2-3

“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:10-12

“I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands.” Psalm 31:14-15

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.” Psalm 37:3-5

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:2-3

“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34

“We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in You.” Psalm 33:20-22

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:31-32

“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” Isaiah 64:4

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” Psalm 37:7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ” Philippians 4:6-8

What does your umbrella look like? Does it protect from the heat and the storm? Is it a big umbrella or a small one? Does it provide shade to friends and family? To random strangers? Seek shelter under the umbrella of scripture!

Keep the Home Fires Burning

I recently ordered my fall scented hand soaps from the Bath & Body sale. I love to get seasonal fragrances, especially at this time of year. When I opened the Amazon box, I sniffed all the scents I had ordered. Mmmm! One of my favorites that I love to buy is Sweater Weather. It makes me think of the smell of smoke and vanilla. Although it is still late summer and school has just started, I am ready for fall. I’m ready for Friday night football games, autumn leaves, a crisp chill in the air, and a fire in the fireplace.

What is it about a fire in the fireplace? It warms not only the hands, but the heart, while its glow illumines the entire room in the best possible light – people can see, yet the imperfections are softened in the golden hues of the fire. A fire not only warms and glows, it creates an atmosphere. It sets the stage for comfortable conversations with family and friends and draws one in for a cozy evening of steaming mugs, soft blankets, and quiet reflection.

At the end of winter a few years back I lamented how few times we’d enjoyed a fire that season. It was a busy time of young adult kids growing up and moving on, a time that took us away from the fireplace more often than not. As I contemplated it I knew we had lost some things that would never be within our grasp again. I was sad. As I examined my heart I realized that I, too often, let life carry me along, only to look in the rearview mirror and see wonderful things along the roadside that I never stopped to enjoy. I determined that I would be more intentional to keep the home fires burning and to slow down my pace and spend more of the fleeting moments of life with those I cherish.

How are you doing at keeping the fires burning at home? Do you, too, find yourself in a meeting, at a store, running between commitments, kid’s activities and such, yet longing to be in loungewear by the fire with some of your favorite people?

This year has been hard. The unknowns, virus outbreaks, bleak newscasts, masks and vaccines all set nerves on edge and created an atmosphere where depression and fear could grow. But it has also given us a hidden gift – the gift of home. Lockdowns, while hard on the economy and psyche, have kept us home and given us an opportunity if we will make use of it.

What if we get those home fires burning again? What if we gather around the fireplace and spend some time conversing, laughing, savoring the moments of togetherness with those dear to our heart? What if we use those moments as gifts from God to strengthen our families and our children’s faith?

In Old Testament times God gave the Israelites the following instructions:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

I can almost see them sitting around their campfires in the wilderness waiting to enter the Promised Land, sharing the stories of Joseph, Abraham and Jacob, discussing the Great Flood and how God protected Noah, reminiscing with their children and asking their neighbors about where they were and what happened at their house when the plagues came in Egypt. My mind’s eye can see the flickering flames and dying embers as they shared stories to strengthen their faith and build that faith into their descendants just as God commanded.

And so it is with us. Gathering together around those mysterious flickering flames with our children allows time for those deep conversations, for unexpected moments that will bear fruit for years to come. What if we gather ’round the fireplace rather than the TV, communicating our memories, our convictions and what Jesus has done in our lives? And what if we focus on the hearth rather than the handheld devices allowing our focus to be inner contemplation and sharing wisdom rather than being bombarded with constant folly? And what if we look into our children’s faces and hearts and really see them and listen to them and show them our love and God’s gracious love in these quiet times? What a difference could keeping the home fires burning, both physciallly and spiritually, make in their hearts a year or two or a decade from now?

All the difference. It will make all the difference.

Find a way to reignite your relationships and share your spiritual life. Be intentional. Be creative. Let the home fires burn strong.

Ideas to keep the fires burning with people you love:

~ Listen to music around the fire. Relax. Soak in the moment. Dance.

~ Play a conversation game like the “Ungame” or “Do You Really Know Your Family?”

~ Read a book together. Then talk about it. The Bible, The Westing Game, or The Chronicles of Narnia.

~ Listen! To the fire. To each other. To hurts and joys.

~ Pray together. Prayer bonds our hearts together, as we each grow closer to God we will grow closer to each other.

~ Unplug, sit in the floor, sip cocoa, and make S’mores! Even if you have to use the fireplace on the TV and not toast your marshmallows.

Love Prodigally!

Welcome Home!

Aren’t these some of the best words ever?

The soldier coming back from deployment. The hospitalized Covid patient returning to her home and life from the grip of death. The wayward child. The faraway family member back where they belong. We welcome these and others like them with open arms. We put out the yard signs or banners. We meet them at the airport or pick them up at the hospital. We spruce up the home, put on fresh linens, cook their favorite meals, and stock their favorite snack or soda. Is there a celebration more joyful than a welcome home?

Scripture relates to us the story of the one we call “The Prodigal Son.” You remember the story. The arrogant younger son asks dad for his inheritance, pockets the money, and heads out to have a wildly good time far away from home. He apparently parties, buys stuff for people to buy friends, and has a grand ole time until the money runs out. In desperation he then tucks his tail and heads back home to dad a humbled young man. From this story people tend to assume that prodigal means rebellious or wayward. Actually, it means wastefully extravagant. The young man is referred to as a prodigal because he goes away and frivolously spends his father’s money recklessly.

How many of us could be labeled a prodigal with this definition? I know I sure could at Christmas time when I’m buying for kids and grandkids. On a routine basis we need to be aware of this tendency and probably scale back a bit on spending, shopping, home decorating or whatever the area is where we struggle with overspending. For me, book stores are on my dangerous list, and I am definitely a prodigal book buyer. I have more books in my shelf and on my Kindle than I will probably ever read right now, yet that doesn’t stop me from adding new ones.

But there is another part of the definition for prodigal: having or giving something on a lavish scale. This part of the definition is seen in our Prodigal Son story in another character, the Father. Do you recall what he does? He waits and watches the whole time the son is gone. Then he welcomes the rebel home with open arms, gifts, and a huge shindig. He has already given the younger son his inheritance, but then the father spends out of the money that is left in order to welcome the son with a lavish banquet and gifts to accept him back home.

I remember reading Timothy Keller’s book Prodigal God and being bowled over with this other slant on prodigal-ness. In it Keller talks about God being prodigal. God is represented by the father in our story. The story demonstrates the generosity and abundant mercy and forgiveness of God who loves on a lavish scale. Our Father forgave our riotous living and gave us the most extravagant gift of all time in His son Jesus. He provides and protects and blesses us undeserving humans beyond what we can imagine. And He will one day welcome us home to the ultimate reception of all time!

This part of the story brings up another thought. Are we prodigal in our giving? With our love? With kindness? With generosity? With helpfulness? Are we living big, lavish lives for the good of those we live with and come in contact with? Are we lavishly spreading acceptance, gratitude, the goodness of God and His glory as we travel through life each day?

I think the image of Pigpen from Charlie Brown certainly paints a picture for us here. Are we going through our moments and days leaving a dust trail of grace, mercy, forgiveness, unconditional love and all those traits of Our Father that set Him apart and draw others to Him? Like Pigpen covered in dirt, are we so covered in God’s characteristics that people identify us by that trail of grace?

As we seek to “be imitators of God as dearly loved children,” it is time we start imitating His prodigal ways of loving and giving. I challenge myself and you today, if there is a situation where it is in your power to bless, then do it! And do it lavishly, extremely extravagantly, and unexpectedly. As we walk around in this world being a light for the Lord, what better way to shine brightly than to stand out as a generous giver, a lavish lover, an extravagantly kindhearted, magnanimous, tender, merciful, forgiving reflection of our Prodigal God!

Refinishing Cabinets and Hearts

Making It Home Series

by guest author Rachael Armitt Davis 

My kitchen cabinets need to be refinished….and so does my heart, apparently. You see, refinishing the cabinets in the kitchen and bath has been on our to-do list for over a year, but it’s not yet in the budget.

The home AC went out, the car AC went out, we had to replace the washer and dryer…there’s always something, right? So these ol’ cabinets have gotten pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. But last week, someone was in my home, and mentioned that boy do I need to update my kitchen cabinets….and counters. She showed me pictures for ideas, and while I know she had the best of intentions, all of a sudden, as I looked at those renovated kitchens, I began to see my home as less-than. Not up to par. Honestly, it’s gotten shabbier by the day, in my eyes.

And just like that, discontentment sets in.

I “need” this and this and this, and instead of my heart being focused on praying for all that’s going on in my world today, or loving my family and friends well, or anything that would bring God glory, my mind is whirling with projects and budgets and potential debt. They say “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and have you ever heard a truer thing? When I compare my kitchen cabinets, or my husband, or my children, or my parenting skills, or my job, or my church, or my friendships, or my vehicle, or my purse collection, or WHATEVER….there’s always going to be someone who has it “better,” who is doing it “better.” And just like that, my joy is sucked down into the vortex of “I wish” or “if only” or “when this happens, I will finally be happy.”

It’s a slippery slope, and today, I’m going to wipe down those shabby, beat-up cabinets and choose joy. I’m going to remember why those cabinets are so rough:

… we’ve cooked and eaten a million meals in this kitchen, my beautiful little family and I

… we’ve had water fights with the kitchen sprayer, laughing until our sides hurt, water dripping down to the floor

… we’ve welcomed thousands of people into our home, and they’ve stood over these cabinets to wash their hands before sharing a meal with us

… my children have banged a step stool into those cabinets hundreds of times, wanting to play in the sink or help mommy cook or just see what’s happening

… our children and our youth and our college students and our friends have all jumped up on the counters to sit and talk with us, banging their shoes onto the cabinet doors as they tell us about their day

Tens of thousands of precious moments have led to cabinets that really must be refinished soon. But for now, I will remember those moments and choose joy. And it’s really not about the cabinets at all, is it? It’s much more about my heart.

Making It Home: Decorating for Dummies

I got the writing gene. I got the talking gene. I got the teaching gene. I got the love people gene. I did NOT get the decorating gene, nor the gardening gene, nor the artistic eye gene. I really have very few skills that a girl raised in the shadow of Southern Living magazine should have. I am not the girly girl who knows how to throw a luncheon for other Southern girls; I’m more a meet-me-at-Panera kind of lunch with friends girl. Despite what I lack, I do desire a warm welcoming home when someone stops by, one with decorations and an atmosphere that will make them feel relaxed and at home even amid the dust bunnies and clutter.

So with that disclaimer here are my tried and true decorating tips for dummies.

  1. Let your walls and shelves be adorned with scripture. As 20-something, fresh out of college newlyweds we moved to a new town and joined a new church. I learned this tip at our first Sunday school social. The other young woman’s house was their first purchased home. God had allowed them to acquire it through a miraculous string of events. To honor the Father for His good gift to them she had determined to put a scripture verse on every wall of her home. And she did. It was such an encouraging home to go to, I can only imagine living there every day! Every direction you turned you were face to face with God’s Word.
  2. Purchase fresh flowers for your table. I learned this tip years ago at a women’s conference from Edith Schaeffer (wife of Francis Schaeffer – the noted pastor, theologian, and philosopher who founded L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland). As a young family with babies coming I felt I didn’t have the extra money to do this. But I made a way in the budget as often as I could. I learned that the older flowers at the grocery store got discounted and would still last a week if you knew which bundle to pick. I didn’t at that time, but by simple observation I’ve figured out which kinds of flowers last. I also take a small sprig of the bunch I buy and place them in a short, narrow vase in my guest bathroom.
  3. Use a few frames to rotate recent photos to be put on display. When my husband took a photography class just for fun at the local university, the instructor had them buy three 8×10 frames to hang on the walls around the house. He told them that the only way their eye for a photo would improve was through practice taking the pictures. They were to look over all their photos once a month, pick out their 3 favorites, have them printed, and display them in the frame. Each month they would swap those out for 3 new favorites. The frames should be simple so as not to distract from the photo, so any Dollar Store frame will work.
  4. Frame kids artwork for decorations in their rooms. Similar to the last idea, use brightly colored empty frames to display what the kids have drawn and rotate these pictures frequently as well. An 11×14 would probably work better for kids since you may have some of their pictures done on larger construction paper. If you get the large frame with a mat included it can work for 8×10 or 11×14 size works of art.
  5. Learn to sew a straight line. It is so easy to make simple curtains or pillows with fabric that matches your style, mood, or season, if you can just sew straight lines. You can easily make rectangular panels for curtains and squares for throw pillows. No pattern needed unless you want to go that extra mile. Check out yard sales for a used sewing machine.

Our homes do not have to be perfect. Our decorations do not have to be expensive. We do not have to have special skills to add beauty and warmth to the homes we are making. First Peter 3:3-5 (NIV) talks about how we present ourselves in dress and hairstyle, but I believe the principles apply to our houses as well. It says, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves.” Likewise, our homes don’t need to be full of expensive adornments.

Acts 4:13 describes Peter and John as “unschooled, ordinary men” and tells us that the people they spoke with “were astonished and .. took note that these men had been with Jesus.” I long for that to be said of me, not only as I teach God’s Word, but even as people come into my home. Let us not worry over the state of our homes, let’s make them cheery and warm and spend more time in God’s Word and prayer so that when others visit us they will say, “She is an ordinary woman just like me, but I can tell that she has been with Jesus.”