Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A Gentle Answer

By: Melissa Baker

It seems like just about every day, I am tempted to lose my temper.  When the kids are fighting, or things aren't going my way, sometimes I just want to scream or have an attitude. It's so easy to forget to be gentle. It's easy to forget to be kind and to not have a bad attitude. How we react to something or someone, will determine the environment and attitude around us AND within us. The Bible tells us many times about the importance being gentle and kind to one another. As a parent, when I yell or get angry, that rubs off on my kids and they become angry in return. The atmosphere then becomes chaotic and stressful. But if I remain calm, they stay calm and happy. If I talk to someone at church or work with an angry attitude, they might take offense and return the attitude. But if I am kind and gentle, its very likely that they will be also.  It's very interesting how as human beings, we kind of mirror each other, even in the smallest ways. That is why it's so important to remember to be gentle in the way we speak and act to each other. In a world full of hate, we need to create a kind and gentle atmosphere so others will mirror our behavior and it will spread to everyone else.

gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. 
Proverbs 15:1 

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

Just imagine for a second, that the way you talk to your kids or spouse, is the way God talks to you. Would you be happy with God talking to you the way you talk to others? Or would you be saddened or upset? We should always strive to treat others the way we want to be treated. I don't want someone constantly having an attitude with me or being harsh in the words they say. So I encourage you, pay attention to the way you interact with one another. Are we causing those around us to stumble and become angry, or are we spreading the love of Jesus in our words, actions AND attitudes. Remember to be gentle today to those around you. You just might be blessed by it in return!

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be
ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate,
and always to be gentle toward everyone.

Titus 3:1-2

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Holiness: Set Apart for God

By: Melissa Baker

Holiness. What does being holy really mean? And how do we go about becoming holy? Fortunately for us, Jesus gives us a pretty good idea of what living out holiness all boils down to. 

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me."
Matthew 16:24 NIV 

There are three things that Jesus tells His followers to do:

First, He says Deny yourself. If you are wanting to live a holier life, then you have to realize that this world is not all about you. I know, it's sometimes hard to wrap our minds around that one. But I think what Jesus means here is not just giving up soda pop or a taking a week off of social media or games on your phone. Jesus means the radical change that lets the will of God flow through you. And that if God wants to move through you, then you are not going to try to stop Him. It means that at every moment, you are letting God lead you in doing the most for Him.

Second, Jesus says to pick up your cross daily.  This means that just as we give in to the things God wants for our lives, we are also giving up the things that hold us back from Him. Like those little sins that keep coming up. Like those thoughts that we have that tell us we aren't good enough or that belittle ourselves. Like the dreams we have that we will make something of ourselves, instead of something of Him. This one is probably the hardest one to do for many people. We don't like to be told what to do, but if we are going to live a life for Jesus,  then we have to play by His rules. 

Third, He says to follow Me. Being holy is not easy; it is not something for the weak or faint of heart. You will have to deal with people who will be totally against everything that you do, everything that you stand for, and everything that you are in Christ. You will face the devil, who wants nothing more than to see you not just fail, but to see you fall on your face and refuse to stand back up and fight. You will have to fight against your own selfish thoughts, ways and desires. We must follow Him at all costs! But Jesus has already showed us that it can be done! 

"I have told you all of this so that you can have peace in me. Here on Earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."
John 16:33 NLT

You can overcome this world too! Jesus has set the example for us to follow. God himself has come down from Heaven to personally show us how to live a holy life, and He promises to help us through the many trials that we will face. So what does holy living look like for us? What does denying yourself, picking up your cross daily and following Jesus look like in our lives? When we look at what Jesus said in Matthew 16:24, being holy in following Jesus all comes down to one word: Choices.
In order to be holy we have to make choices. Sometimes choices can be silly and sometimes choices can be fun, but Jesus requires that we make choices that are much more serious and challenging than, say for instance, a bad haircut. All three of the things that Jesus said for us to do in Matthew 16:24 mean nothing if we don't choose to do them!

You can either serve God and deny yourself the position of first place in your life, OR you can choose to do it all just for yourself. 
You can either take up your own cross and put away the things that hold you back from God, OR you can set your cross down and decide to let your own thoughts and desires run your life. 
You can follow Jesus, OR you can follow the ways of the world, the things that look good, smell good and taste good, but in the end lead to unhappiness. 

Ultimately , holiness is all about making the choices that bring you closer to God. You can be as close to God as you choose to be, but the closer you are to God, the more fulfillment and joy you will experience in your life. Let's choose to be holy.  Let's choose to follow Jesus even when it's hard. He is there to help us every step of the way, because He has been through it all before. God calls Christians to live holy lives, not just for themselves, but to be a light for the entire world to know Him and be holy as well.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Whole Heart Album by Passion Music- GIVEAWAY!

By: Melissa Baker

I am so excited to share with you about the Whole Heart album by Passion Music! The songs on this album are truly amazing and inspirational. I have been listening to these songs for about a week straight, and I just can’t seem to get enough! Some of my favorite songs on this album include Wreckless Love, Great Are You Lord and All My Hope. Each song is different and unique it its own way. This album really prepares your heart and soul for worship! If you are looking for a great worship album, look no further!

WHOLE HEART by Passion Music

About The Album:

• Info about Passion: http://passionmusic.com/story/ 
• “Rooted out of the Passion movement, we are committed to leading people towards renewed intimacy with God and fresh encounters of worship. Passion is more than music. More than events. Passion is a generation living for His name.”
• WHOLE HEART is the new live album from Passion—captured at Passion Conference 2018 in Atlanta, GA.

• Passion Conference 2018 was a beautiful worship experience, and the live album captures each powerful moment, allowing those who were not in attendance to experience it.

• Featuring Passion Artists: Kristian StanfillMelodieMalone, Sean Curran, Matt Redman, Crowder.

If you would like to purchase this album, click the link below:
• http://capcmg.me/PassionWholeHeart(This will be updated and active on 2/23 when the digital album release
Rooted out of the Passion movement, Passion music is committed to leading people towards renewed intimacy with God and fresh encounters of worship. You can listen to Passion music at http://capcmg.me/PassionSpotify

Here is a list of the songs and artists that are included on this album:

01. Whole Heart (feat. Kristian Stanfill)
02. Almighty God (feat. Sean Curran)
03. God, You’re So Good (feat. Kristian Stanfill & Melodie Malone)
04. Reckless Love (feat. Melodie Malone)
05. Heaven (feat. Sean Curran)
06. More Like Jesus (feat. Kristian Stanfill)
07. Hallelujah, Our God Reigns (feat. Brett Younker)
08. Ghost (feat. Crowder)
09. Ever Almighty (feat. Melodie Malone)
10. Great Are You Lord (feat. Matt Redman)
11. All My Hope (feat. Crowder & Tauren Wells)

And now for the giveaway!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject  to eligibility verification.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer

By: Melissa Baker

I have recently had the opportunity to read Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer by Jeannie Blackmer. This is such a great book. It is primarily focused on the book of Mathew. Each section of the book contains a story, followed by personal response and reflection with scriptures, and a space to write your own reflection or prayer. This book really reminds me that the people in the Bible that talked to Jesus really are just like us. They were human. They had troubles just like we do. And that really gave me new insights in my personal Bible reading and prayer life. I enjoyed reading all of the stories, most of which are well known and important stories. I also loved reading the personal responses after each story. It goes into depth and explains each story while putting a brand new perspective on the story and the people in them. The reflection section has several scriptures relating to the story, which gives the reader the opportunity to further study and dig deeper into what was just read. And lastly the observations section asks you a question about your own thoughts or observations about the story and ends in a prayer. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be closer to Jesus and who may even need a new perspective on prayer. I know I am always trying to get a new perspective on things, prayer being one of them. This book really does give you a fresh perspective on prayer!

About the Author:
Jeannie Blackmer is the author of MomSense: A Common Sense Guide to Confident Mothering and Boy-sterous Living: Celebrating Your Loud and Rowdy Life with Sons, and co author of Where Women Walked: Powerful True Stories of Women’s Perseverance and God’s Provision. Her articles have been published in Guideposts, Today’s Christian Woman, Thriving Family, MomSense and more. She is also a frequent guest blogger on several Christian Women’s blogs. 
Jeannie earned her bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in journalism from the University of Colorado in Boulder. She is married to Zane and they have three adult sons who, for now, all reside in Boulder CO. 

About the Book:
Sometimes it’s easier to pour our hearts out to someone we can see in front of us- our inability to physically see Jesus can make us feel far from him. We often wish that we could see him face to face as we pray.
Talking to Jesus helps us bridge that gap. Based on well known accounts of Jesus taken from the New Testament, this book shows that the people who met Jesus had the same worries, hopes, and questions that we have today. Through this collection of biblical encounters, we can take a fresh look at conversations between Jesus and those who believed that he could help them. The heartfelt requests of these people show Jesus’s love for everyone, from the earliest believers who spoke with him in person to modern believers who pray to him today. 
Talking to Jesus reminds us that we can talk to Jesus anywhere, anytime about anything, because he is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Back To The Basics

By: Melissa Baker

As we start this new year, I am reminded of something we should all be aware of. In the middle of our busy lives, we forget sometimes that it is supposed to be all about God. We have work, church, our kids, our husbands, extra-curricular activities etc, and we make our lives all about us. It is so easy to get distracted by everything we have going on, that we forget to put our focus on God. The very first sentence in the Bible said that God was the beginning. He was the thing that started this life, the solar system, the universe and everything inside of it. God created Heaven and Earth, and we sometimes forget that.  We try so hard to define what life is all about when it is all about God, and it will always be about God. 

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
  Genesis‬ ‭1:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God is the beginning and the end. He is the maker of all of us. God still sits on the throne. And it is up to us to acknowledge that and let Him take control. I have read that one of the best ways to understand something, is to go back to the basics. The basic foundation of our lives is God.  Sometimes we let life get the best of us, and slowly we start drifting away from God, and before we know it, we don’t even know Him anymore. So let’s start this new year off right! We need to make this life about the one who it is supposed to be about. Reading our Bible and praying to God daily is so important. We need to make God the focus and foundation of our lives, even more so than He already is. Let’s get back to the basics. Let’s go back to God!

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
Revelation‬ ‭22:13‬ ‭NIV

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Let the Children Come Sample Tract Pack

My husbands family has been in the children's ministry for years. My mother in law had been in children's ministry for over 30 years before becoming lead pastor, and my sister in law has been in the ministry for many years as well. I have found that the items in the "Let the Children Come sample pack" would be excellent for sharing the gospel with kids, and a wonderful tool for children's ministry. Each sample pack comes with 10 gospel tracts and evangelism tools. These would be great items to use in Sunday school classes, VBS, or any other childrens events for that matter. These are great outreach products to reach the community and I think kids would enjoy these products and share them with their friends. If you are involved in children's ministry or know someone who is, I would highly recommend checking out the Let the Children Come Sample Tract Pack!

About the Let the Children Come Sample Tract Pack:
Let The Little Children Come aims to provide effective gospel tracts and evangelism tools and resources for children. It is the hope that these tools and resources will help you in conveying the powerful gospel message to children. The gospel tracts are all specially designed to capture and hold the attention of children, while not distracting them from the core message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

If you would like to purchase the sample pack, you may do so Here.

Here are the individual tracts inside the sampler pack (clickable links):

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

Family Honor Plate and Let's Talk Table Tyme Discussion Cards

By: Melissa Baker

I have recently had a chance to create a masterpiece with my children! It was such a wonderful bonding experience to decorate and spend time with one another. May I introduce to you the Family Honor Plate. This plate has the fruits of the spirit written in the center. On the outside, is where you can get creative. Get your kids and spouse involved in decorating this important family centerpiece. The Family Honor Plate is a symbol of what your family stands for and helps as a reminder to have good character. The plate comes with paint, paint brushes, 8 paint pots, 7 discussion starters, and a plate stand.

I would also like to introduce you to the "Let's Talk Table Tyme Discussion Cards". This is a great tool for getting to know one another on a different level and getting simple conversations started. It's an amazing ice breaker and tool as a parent, to get more than one word answers from our kids. It's fun to hear everyone's answers and you can even learn a thing or two about your loved ones. The discussion cards come binded on a spiral ring, with a stand, so you can place them in the middle of your dinner table and read from them. Or you can pass it around to take turns getting those conversations started!
About the plate:

The virtues are listed in the center of the plate for mom and dad to use as their anchor, their moral compass to guide them in how they need to show up for and to their children.  This is how our children learn what character (Christ's Character) is, what it looks like, what it feels like. Our children are watching us and learning from us. 

Look for the good choices and attitude your kids/spouse are making and showing throughout the day. Track it back to the virtues and character it shows.

Turn dinnertime into a celebration when you catch someone making good choices and showing good character and present their meal on the FAMILY HONOR PLATE.  This is when you:
·      Talk about the choices they made and the virtues and character that it showed (Be specific).
·      Talk about how they made everyone involved feel and the impact they had on people and how that is POWERFUL and BEAUTIFUL.

About the cards:
Every question is followed up with "Why?" to take everyone's answers to a deeper more intimate level.  That's where the magic is and the real conversation starts. So now when even a simple question such as..."What is your favorite dessert?" for example, rather than someone answering "Apple Pie" and then moving on to the next person, the whole family gets to walk down memory lane because it reminds them of Grandma Smith who always made apple pies with them when they came to visit." Her house always smelled of fresh baked pies and she gave the best hugs when we walked in the door." Communication is the key to connecting, building and maintaining healthy relationships.  When we are raise our children to be confident in their ability to communicate with others and get their point across, situations are less stressful and they have better outcomes.

 Learn how to do it and watch a video that walks you through it Here.

Watch another video from the owner Michelle Here.

Find out more about Michelle (https://honorplate.com/pages/about-us)

If you would like to purchase these items for your family and knock out those Christmas lists, check out the Online Store. These are great Christmas gifts, as well as amazing tools for your own family!