The Grievousness of Sin, the Freedom of Repentance

By: Amy Catalina

21266eo8xu5vw2fIf we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.    1 John 1:9

When someone first comes to faith in Christ, she acknowledges that she is a sinner in need of a savior.  She agrees with God that “all have sinned” and that on her own she is doomed to death.  Perhaps the time leading up to that moment was checkered with sordid, shameful sin.  Or, perhaps, a lifetime of “clean living” was finally revealed by the Holy Spirit as the filthy rags that self-righteousness is in the sight of God.

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The Formula Debate

By: Heather Patenaude @heatherarnel 

Similac-FormulaRecently a friend had to add formula to her 9 month olds diet because he wasn’t putting on weight like she had hoped. She shared privately how embarrassed she was to put that can of formula on the convayer belt at the grocery store. Thoughts of pride, mingled with fear of man, “What will people think?” blended.

Another friend chimed in that nursing her 4 month old had become an ordeal and they switched to all bottles, at a conference this new mom received a very insensitive comment from someone who didn’t know the full story!

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Surprised by Praying Kids

By Miriam Walsh

prayer When the boys were little we each prayed out loud in the car on the way to their schools in the mornings. I loved hearing them talk to God. It gave me insights to them I wouldn’t have had any other way. They shared things during that time that they never would have said directly to me. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.

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Holy30 ~ Romans 12:2

By: Shannon Popkin

cream-floral-design-powerpoint-backgrounds (1)Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

When I was in college, I was very interested in God’s input on the Biggies. Things like:

Whom should I marry?

                What major should I choose?

                What should I do after college?

 

I would pray and journal, and look for ‘signs’ from God, like when the cute football player in my chemistry class walked me to my dorm after class.

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Holy30 ~ Ephesians 5:18

By: Shannon Popkin

cream-floral-design-powerpoint-backgrounds (1)Ephesians 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.

It’s not hard to tell if a woman is drunk.

She’s uninhibited, and speaks her mind.

She takes uncharacteristic risks, and doesn’t fret about consequences or what others think.

She does things that she would never, otherwise, do.

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Holy30~ 1 Corinthians 2:2

By: Erin Davis

cream-floral-design-powerpoint-backgrounds (1)“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” 1 Corinthians 2:2.

There are all kinds of little g gospels. These are messages we preach to ourselves citing the (false) reasons that God will surely love and accept us.

There’s the gospel of association. “I’m a Christian because I was raised in a Christian home.”

There’s the gospel of achievement. “God loves me because I do so much for Him.”

There’s the gospel of comparison. “I am holy because I’m not as messed up as she is.”

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Holy30 – 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

What is Holy30?

By: Heidi Jo Fulk

cream-floral-design-powerpoint-backgrounds (1)I Thessalonians 5:23-24—May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. (NIV)

These are my #1 weapon verses.  I memorized these two verses about eight years ago when I was desperately seeking to renew my mind and thoughts.  I knew I needed to “take every thought captive to obey Christ”, so every time I was tempted or a sinful thought or image would come into my mind, I would say these two verses.  Out loud, in my head—whatever I needed to do.  Still do.  Sometimes over and over like scrubbing a crusty pan with a scouring pad until those thoughts are gone.  Captive.

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Holy30 ~ Lamentations 3:25

By Miriam Walsh

cream-floral-design-powerpoint-backgrounds (1) Lamentations 3:25 “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.”

The troops were getting restless. Boys have some innate inclination that makes them extra wiggly and mischievous in a mall setting with rounds of clothing as far as their little eyes can see. I asked my younger son, who was 4 at the time, to please wait patiently while I tried to find the right size. He agreed. Moments later I heard him singing a song he had just composed. “How’s your bottom? How’s your bottom? How’s your bottom today?!” Now that’s waiting creatively.  We still are joking about it ten years later.

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Holy30 ~ Psalms 16:8

By: Heather Patenaude

cream-floral-design-powerpoint-backgrounds (1)I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Ps. 16:8

An unexpected diagnosis, a rebellious teen, the deep hurt of a close friend, rejection of a family member, the sudden loss of someone close, a church division over the scandal of one of its leaders, long term health issue, or the breakdown of your marriage are the harsh reality for many of us.

The question isn’t if we’ll experience heartache in life, the question is how will we respond?

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Holy30 ~ Psalms 63:1

By: Julie Paulsen

cream-floral-design-powerpoint-backgrounds (1)Ps 63:1 Oh God, You are my God, I shall seek you earnestly, My soul thirsts for You

Is this a “thirsty” season of life for you?  Are you a dehydrated Mom looking for a quiet moment to think, or for all your children to nap simultaneously?  Are you thirsty for meaningful conversation with your husband or maybe a simple meal with no milk or food on the floor?

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Holy30 ~ Philippians 1:6

By: Shannon Popkin

cream-floral-design-powerpoint-backgrounds (1)Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

I wonder if Sarah, Abraham’s wife, experienced new devastation at that certain time each month. The new show of blood must have served as monthly evidence that once again, her body had not produced the baby she longed for. For at least one more month, the family line that was to bless the whole world was not yet a reality. And she and Abraham were just two aging people with big unfulfilled dreams.

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Holy30 – Philippians 4:8

What is Holy30?

By: Kimberly Wagner

cream-floral-design-powerpoint-backgrounds (1)When I was fourteen my pastor introduced me to a radical concept. It was radical for me because I was what you might call a television junkie. I loved all those shows that people now call “vintage.” Growing up, my typical day was filled with several hours vegging in front of the T.V.

Things changed when my pastor issued a challenge to me one day. He challenged me to use Philippians 4:8 as my guide for what I filled my head with. He challenged me to place my music, television programs, books, magazines, and even my conversations, through the grid of Philippians 4:8 and see if they fit the criteria of things that would help me grow in my relationship with Christ. If Internet would’ve been around back then I’m sure he would’ve thrown that into the mix.

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Holy30 ~ Psalms 46:10 (Bonus Saturday post!)

By: Amy Catilina

cream-floral-design-powerpoint-backgrounds (1)Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10a

The words “be still and know that I am God” appear at the end of a Psalm that has recounted God’s mighty deeds in the midst of chaos, strife, disaster, and warfare.  To be still is quite the opposite of our natural tendencies; we are far more inclined to fret, panic, and get busy doing something.

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