6 Why We Can’t Afford To Not Check In With God First

I’d read the story of Samson to my daughter many times before, but recently as I read her the part about Delilah incessantly pestering  Samson to know the secret of his strength, something struck me. Naturally Delilah wore Sampson down by all her nagging until he could take it no longer and finally he told her what make him so strong. But what struck me during this bedtime Bible story, that I had never noticed before was this:
We love The Golden Children's Bible. (It covers more stories than any other children's Bible I know of and rather than a retelling of Bible stories, these stories are straight scripture.)
I said to my daughter, 
“Look here, Delilah is pestering Samson over and over to know what makes him so strong. She wants to know what would make him as weak as any other man. Three times he gives her phony reasons for what would make him weak, like being tied up with new ropes. (Judges 16:6-9) Then each time Delilah does that very thing to him. (the third time while he slept.) Each time Delilah cries out in fake surprise, “Samson! The Philistines are among us!” To which the Philistines appear, and begin attacking Sampson thinking he has become weak. Clearly there is a pattern forming here.”
 What amazed me was when Delilah was pestering Samson to know the true source of his strength, after attempting to subdue him three times and set him up to be attacked by the Philistines,  she wears Samson down by her nagging so much  that he finally just volunteers  what makes him so strong  and how he could be made weak as any other man. I said to my little girl “What if Samson had first checked in with God, before telling Delilah his secret? What if he had first asked God, “Why does Delilah keep pestering me about this? Why is she so interested? Should I tell her what makes me so strong and what would make me weak? Can I trust her? Lord, what would you have me to say and do in this situation?“ 

0 Fear: No Longer Afraid

While taking Inductive Bible Study at Calvary Chapel Bible College, one thing I learned was to pay close attention to the times that God repeats Himself on a matter, because when He does it is our signal to pay attention and listen up. It is no coincidence then if you add up all the times God says:
  • “Do not fear” 
  • “Do not worry” 
  • “Fear not” 
  • "Do not be afraid”
that there are 365 occurrences throughout Scripture—one command to not fear for every day of the year. Clearly this is an area that the Lord wants us to have victory in, yet He knows how much easier it is for us to be anxious for everything rather than “be anxious for nothing.” (Philippians 4:8) The fact that the Lord had to repeat Himself 365 times telling us not to fear, shows how quickly people are prone to become afraid.

If fear is something that grips you for one reason or another, and you long to be set free from the bondage of fear, I highly recommend Rose Publishing’s 96-page mini book Fear:No Longer Afraid by June Hunt. This mini book is one from June’s Hope for the Heart series. In this immensely helpful book, June discusses types of fear, normal fear vs. abnormal fear, causes of fear and what to do when you’re afraid so you can “move from fear to faith.”

What especially impressed me was how she brilliantly weaved the story of Gideon throughout the pages of this mini book, making this book a joy to read. All throughout her book, I could see how Gideon’s story had so much to teach about fear and overcoming it—in ways I had never noticed before. On more than one occasion I found myself saying “Wow!” Who knew Gideon’s story had so much to teach about fear?

I highly recommend this mini book for individuals, as well as small groups. This book would prove helpful for anyone who desires to overcome fear in their life—whether it is a single fear you are dealing with or you find yourself regularly worrying and  in bondage to fear, this book will prove to be both a blessing and a helpful read. God bless you richly as you seek to overcome  fear in your life, so you may be faithful to obey Jesus’s words to “Fear not, only believe.” (Mark 5:36)

Disclaimer: I received this advanced reader copy free from Rose Publishing as part of their review program for bloggers. I was not asked to write a positive review, but simply, an honest one. 

Questions for you:  What would be made possible if you overcame a fear you are currently struggling with? Have you read any of the mini books by June Hunt?


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12 My Plan for Memorizing John 15 (and a free printable!)

These next couple of weeks, I’ve been gearing up to memorize John 15 with the amazing community of believers at Do Not Depart.  I’m so excited! if you’d like to join the fun, I encourage you to sign up. This will be at a pace of 1-2 verses a week, which is very doable. (and such a blessing!)

I hope you’ll join us!

Having memorized several passages with the great ladies at Do Not Depart, I know first-hand what a blessing it is to memorize a passage with a group of sisters in Christ who are committed to Hiding God’s Word in their hearts. I encourage you to join us! The accountability and fellowship along the way are priceless! You will be inspired, encouraged, and strengthened both by the verses we’ll memorize as well as by the other godly women who are dedicated to hide John 15 in their hearts these next several weeks.

8 How I Began Memorizing Scripture

Today I'm sharing my story at Janet's blog about how I got started memorizing Scripture. Janet Pope is the one who inspired me to really start  memorizing Scripture. Her book, His Word in My Heart, and her blog on memorizing Scripture, both continue to be great sources of inspiration and information in my Scripture memory journey.

If you'd like to get started in memorizing Scripture or already have been for some time now, I highly recommend her blog and book. You will be blessed wherever you are on your journey to hide His Word in your heart.

6 Why Memorize Scripture During Summer Vacation?

Because since September my five year old has been habitually memorizing and reciting two verses a week for her Awanas leader, now that Awanas is on break until Fall, I don't want my daughter to stop this all-important habit of hiding God's Word in her heart simply because its summer vacation.

While I understand the countless volunteers who serve at Awanas throughout the school year deserve, and probably need, a time of refreshment during the summer months, I want my daughter to understand while we are on break over the summer from school and Awanas, we never go on break from the Word of God. (Joshua 1:8) But as always, we keep on reading the Word, we keep on discussing the Word, and we keep on memorizing the Word. The Bible, and the benefits of memorizing it, is far too valuable for us to not memorize it during these next seventeen weeks until Awanas starts up again in September.

16 4 Reasons I Love Memorizing Scripture with my Little Girl

Some of the sweetest times with my five-year-old girl each week are when we memorize Scripture together. Since I have been helping her learn her weekly memory verses for Awana, we have had the best time learning new verses and practicing them til we have a solid knowledge of the verse. Here are four reasons why I love memorizing Scripture with my little girl.

1. I'm memorizing verses that I wouldn't have otherwise. Not because I don't love these verses, but because my Scripture memory goal for 2014 is to memorize Philippians. I'm almost done with chapter one! :) For me, memorizing three verses of Philippians each week is plenty. As I've coached my little girl to memorize her weekly Awana verses,  I've been blessed that  those verses have become hidden in my heart too, because I wouldn't have otherwise attempted to memorize these on top of my Philippians verses.

12 How to Make Learning New Memory Verses Easier

I’ve always believed I could never memorize more than a verse or two a week, tops. However, the Lord has stretched my average memory to memorize Scripture beyond what I ever thought was possible. Currently my mind is savoring the truths and promises from:

1. My daughters 2-3 weekly Awana verses that I teach her and review with her daily in various fun ways. 
It’s so true you can’t teach what you don’t know and to help my daughter learn her verses and make sure she’s got the words right, I have to know them myself.  So I consider it even more important that I learn her verses, so I know that I’m teaching her right and can catch any mistakes and help make the necessary adjustments. However, I never want memorizing Scripture to be tedious or overwhelming to my daughter. So  I try to make it as fun as possible. Lately, our favorite ways have been drawing pictures of the verse on her whiteboard and then pointing to key  parts of the picture as we take turns trying to say the verse with visuals only. Then when we can just about say a verse, we’ve been having fun gathering all her stuffed animals and having them “take turns” saying her verses through the various voices she and I do for her animals. By the end of the week she and I have practiced her verses countless times, in various fun ways, so that the verses are not just hidden in her heart, but mine as well. 

2 Gaining a Hopeful Spirit

My least favorite promise in the Bible is when Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble...” (John 16:33) During Jesus’ sermon on the mount, we see this trouble comes on a daily basis when Jesus instructs those listening (and us!) not to worry about tomorrow. Why? Because “Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Those who believe in Jesus are not immune from trouble. In Psalm 34:19 the first half of the verse promises, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous…” I see this truth illustrated every week in my ladies Bible study group when we share prayer requests. Whether you and I are feeling weary from an ongoing trial, discouraged that the news rarely has a happy story to report, or disappointed by the way things have turned out, without hope, we will continue to feel this way.

In her encouraging pamphlet, Gaining a Hopeful Spirit, Joni Eareckson Tada shows how anyone can have hope even “when all hope seems gone.” Having gone through an enormous trial herself since 1967 when a diving accident left her a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, Joni knows first-hand how important hope is and how discouraging life can be without it. Through this 14-page pamphlet, Joni offers hope to anyone feeling discouraged, disappointed, etc. by comforting those with the comfort she has been given. (2 Cor. 1:4) In addition, she equips readers so that they can pass on hope to someone who is despairing. 

10 Great Christian Kid Shows For At Home and On-The-Go

Recently, I got a three month subscription to Club JellyTelly, which I had never heard of, but has now become my new favorite site for children's Christian shows. JellyTelly was developed by VeggieTales and What’s In the Bible? creator, Phil Vischer. How did I never hear of this until now?

While some of our favorite shows are here like Pahappahooey Island, What's in the Bible?, and Jesus Storybook Bible, there are also a ton of shows we've never heard of that are becoming new favorites like GiGi Gods Little Princess and The Pond. In addition to kids shows, JellyTelly also offers games, printable coloring pages, and crafts. Such a deal for only $5.00 a month!

14 How to Break Down Long Memory Verses for Easier Memorization

Years ago when I memorized Isaiah 53, one of the things that surprised me, as I began, was how many words were packed into each verse. Every verse looked like a miniature paragraph. I didn’t know how I was possibly going to keep it all straight and remember it all.

That’s when the Lord led me to structure those memory verses to make them easier to memorize. A Precepts class on Structuring taught me all I needed to know to break down these extra-long verses so I could make better sense of them by recognizing their natural flow of thought. Structuring was just the tool I needed to make memorizing Isaiah 53 so much more doable—making the memorizing process so much more enjoyable. If you do not have a Precept class near you to teach you structuring, to find out how easy and effective this method is check out my post on structuring.