Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Slow Fade

By: Melissa Baker

There is an old children's song that says "be careful little eyes what you see, oh be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down in love, oh be careful little eyes what you see." The song goes on to say little ears, little hands, little feet, etc. It may sound silly, but we as adults, need to listen to that song often, as a reminder that we need to be careful what we let in. The world is constantly trying to get into our mind, heart and spirit. If we are not careful, little by little, the world will make its way in completely and consume our whole being. We will slowly fade into what the world wants us to be instead of what God wants us to be. We will slowly be filled up with worldly things instead of Godly things. We will slowly be filled with hate, anger, resentment, and bitterness. It will be a slow fade.

But as we look back at our lives, we will see how this slow fade took place, little by little. For instance, you get busy so you skip your daily Bible reading. You wake up late and forget to pray before starting your day. You go throughout your day, not even thinking of God, let alone thanking him for your blessings. Before you know it, you will realize just how much you have been missing out on your time with God. Putting busy schedules, activities, sleep and other things before spending time with God, is a disaster waiting to happen. It's easy to skip a day here or there, but before you know it, you haven't read your Bible all week. Then that becomes all month. It's a slow fade.

Or how about our bad habits or not so great choices, that lead to addiction. You tell yourself, it will be ok, I'll just do it once. Then that one time turns into a couple times. Then it becomes a full blown addiction and you didn't even realize it. The enemy now has a hold on you. And you are stuck! That one bad choice, that one look, that one drink, led to the biggest mistake of your life that may cost you everything. Everytime you partake in this addiction, you don't realize how much of your life it consumes. It's a slow fade.

Casting Crowns has a song called "Slow Fade". It is mostly dealing with marriage issues, but it really paints the picture of how a christian can easily fade away into the world. If we are not careful, we will not only live IN the world, but we will become OF the world. We will drown ourselves in our own sin! We have to be intentional about protecting what comes in our minds, hearts and bodies. Our bodies are the Lord's temple, and we should treat it as such. The Holy Spirit has to have a pleasant and Godly place to live inside of us. So I encourage you, take a look at your life. Take a look at your activities, hobbies, etc. and be aware of what or who you let in, to prevent another slow fade.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Courageous Women of the Bible- Review and Giveaway

By: Melissa Baker

Have you ever wondered how you can make a difference as a woman? Or how you can be more courageous and bold in your faith? If so, I would highly recommend you dive right in to "Courageous Women of the Bible" by Latan Roland Murphy. I really enjoyed reading about courageous women of the Bible. This book is well written and incredibly encouraging, no matter what your situation or circumstance is. Each chapter talks about a woman of the Bible that was chosen as one of the courageous women, that the author wanted us to learn from. There are scriptures and quotes throughout each chapter.  At the end of each chapter, there is a section called "Courage Quest" where we as readers, are asked a few questions for us to ponder and look at our own lives and evaluate. At the very end of the book, there is a journal chapter. This is really a nice touch and a helpful tool.  This book as been really refreshing and eye opening for me. I really enjoyed learning about each lady the author spoke about, and how I could relate to them. I am inspired and ready to live a life of confidence and freedom!

About the Book:

Whether you're facing struggles with singleness, the mounting challenges of marriage and motherhood, health issues, a financial crisis--God has equipped you to walk in freedom and confidence as you abide in Him, strengthened by His power and provision. Through the stories of eleven brave women of the Bible who made faith-filled choices that positioned them for success, LaTan Roland Murphy exhorts, encourages, and empowers women of all ages. With warmth and wit, she illustrates how you, like Deborah, Jael, Mary, and others, can look beyond your circumstances and lay hold of the courage needed to 

· draw closer to Jesus when facing illness, isolation, or rejection;
· live and give generously, even amid financial hardship; and
· step out into faithful, fearless living as a wife, mother, friend or coworker--no matter the season of life or what lies ahead.

Thought-provoking study questions and an interactive journaling section will help take you even deeper in your quest for a more courageous, confident life, either on your own or with a group.

LaTan Roland Murphy is an award-winning author and speaker with writing featured in WHOAwomen magazine. She is the author of Becoming a Woman of Interior Elegance and coauthor of God's Provision in Tough Times. She is also the founder of The Colors of His Love Women's Conference. She and her husband, Joe, have three adult children and two delightful grandchildren. They live in Raleigh, North Carolina. Please visit her website at www.latanmurphy.com.

And now for the giveaway!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review. This is my honest opinion and these words are my own. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Fruit of the Spirit

By: Melissa Baker

Love- God loves each and every one of us so very much! Because God loves us, we need to love others as well.  1 John 4:7-11

Joy- True joy comes from God. You can experience true joy regardless of your situation. The Joy of the Lord is our strength! Psalm 28:7

Peace- We have true peace when we have a relationship with Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Patience- This is one area that can sometimes be the most challenging to demonstrate. however we must try our best to have patience. Colossians 3:12-15

Kindness- The importance of kindness is something we are taught when we are kids, but we sometimes forget just how important it really is to be kind. Jesus showed kindness to all people, so shouldn't we? Ephesians 4:32

Goodness- God created this world and everything in it. God wants us to experience the goodness of his creation. Let's slow down and experience God's goodness around us, and seek only the good things. Amos 5:14-15

Faithfulness- Everybody wants faithful people in our lives that will be there for us and that we can count on. Let's chose to be the kind of faithful person that we would want in our own lives. God is always faithful! And we can always count on Him! 1 Corinthians 1:9

Gentleness- Jesus was a great example of gentleness. Gentleness is something that is actually quite powerful and is the thing that can attract the most people to Jesus. In a world full of harshness, lets remember to be gentle. Philippians 4:5

Self Control- This can really be a struggle for a lot of people. Self control allows us to take over our actions and thoughts instead of just acting on our feelings alone. Proverbs 25:28

'But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There
is no law against these things!'
Galatians 5:22-23

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Lies Moms Believe- Review and Giveaway!

By: Melissa Baker

Motherhood. It's tough. It's overwhelming. It's exhausting. Sometimes you feel like you aren't good enough. Or you aren't a good mom. The world tells you that you should parent a certain way, and if you don't you are a failure.  As we face our daily struggles in this motherhood journey, Satan can throw many lies at us. And we can start to believe them. It's during these times that we need to seek God and read what the Bible tells us to be true. We have to combat those lies that the enemy so carefully puts in our heads. In Rebekah Hargraves book "Lies Moms Believe", she tackles 32 of the most common lies that moms begin to believe. From believing "I have to be a perfect mom", to "mothering is not important", she gets to the bottom of these lies and exposes them as the lies they are according to the Gospel. The book is broken down into five areas that Satan likes to attack and lie to us about in our mothering. It touches on lies about the work of motherhood, lies about how God views us as moms, lies about ourselves (which to me is a BIG one), lies about our children and lies about our parenting choices. This book has really helped and has encouraged me in my mothering journey. I have three boys, and staying encouraged can be tough, especially when your little ones can be as stubborn as they come. But with the help of this book, I have more passion as a mother, a little more patience and definitely more joy than I had before. If you are in need of encouragement as a mother, or just a simple confidence boost, I would highly recommend this book!

There is also the "Lies Moms Believe: The Companion Bible Study" that goes along with the book and digs deeper into the Word of God to help us understand and apply everything we have read to our lives. It breaks down each lie from the book, and has the scriptures for us to read. There are a few study questions that are accompanied with each lie and a prayer at the end of each lie we study about. At the very end of each section, there is a "memorize the word" scripture that we are to memorize, which will help us combat those lies when Satan tries to taunt us. This would be perfect for a Bible study at church with several other moms, or is just as great studying on your own. I would highly recommend the book as well as the study guide to mothers of any stage, weather you have newborns or grown adult kids. There is encouragement and truth for every mother!

About the Book:

As moms, we have voices coming at us from all directions on a daily basis – voices from the culture, the church, the parenting “experts”, our own parents, and others. And you know what the real kicker is? The voices all vary in what they are telling us is true! As if this weren’t confusing enough, add to it the fact that we are daily bombarded by lies from our old enemy, Satan, as well, and we are left with an overwhelming cesspool of deception. But take heart, mama. There is good news! We are not left to our own devices in motherhood, desperately trying to sift through all the voices on our own. God, in His infinite mercy and grace, has provided us with unchanging truth in His Word that is able to combat each and every lie that could ever be thrown at us. We need only to study the Scriptures, seeking to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”. That is the heart behind Lies Moms Believe. In this book, Rebekah seeks to show you once and for all that the Gospel is not simply Good News for your eternity. It is Good News for the here and now as well, and is relevant and applicable to each and every lie and struggle you face in motherhood. With warmth, transparency, and an unwavering passion for truth, Rebekah addresses 32 of the most common lies moms believe today about the importance of motherhood, children, the role of a mom, and more. Tackling such lies as: “I am to find my identity and ultimate fulfillment in motherhood”, “Mothering is unimportant work”, and “I have to be a perfect mom”, she shows how God’s Word applies to all the lies out there, whether practical or spiritual. You will come away inspired, encouraged, and motivated as never before to live out your days as a mother with passion, joy, purpose, and freedom. As Jesus told us in John 8:32, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

And Now for the giveaway!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.