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It’s not the gingerbread houses or cookies or special meals that will have the most impact on your family. It is the attitude of your heart. It is them seeing the Gospel lived out in your day to day life – even in the midst of busy seasons.

As the busy Christmas season is upon us we can find ourselves all wrapped up (literally wrapping too) in planning, cooking, cleaning, shopping, decorating, ministry activities and a multitude of other tasks that seem to come about during the Christmas season in addition to just the normal activities of life that we are dealing with.

I can lose focus and need to continue to pray to the Lord to remind me to have the heart of Mary and not get caught up with the attitude of Martha in all that needs to be done. I’m a very task focused person, and it’s how my mind works so I need to be intentional and prayerful to not miss the wonder of the Christmas season.

The Christmas season can be a time – a reminder to us to refocus - to again to think deeply about the realities of who Jesus is and what He has done for us.

Scripture & Resources:

Luke 1:28-29

Luke 2:19

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Philippians 2:14

Matthew 1

Luke 2

Isaiah 7

Isaiah 9

Micah 5

Matthew 25:40

Come Let Us Adore Him by Paul Tripp

Good News of Great Joy at Desiring God

Ever Thine Home

10 Questions to Ask at a Christmas Gathering

Jesus Unmasked by Todd Friel

Wretched.org

Answers in Genesis Christmas Cards

14 Simple Outreach Ideas with an Eternal Focus

Remember When Tractat Living Waters

Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper

ESV Giveaway Bibles

 

Related Resources:

Celebrating Advent: Looking Back and Looking Forward

10 Simple & Practical Hostess Gifts

Christ-Focused Gift Guide for the Whole Family

Christ-Focused Christmas Gift Guide 2017

Podcast Ep 11: Serving with a Mary Heart in a Martha Season

14 Simple Outreach Ideas with an Eternal Focus

Find the Show Notes for this episode at ThankfulHomemaker.com

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November 28, 2018

EP 48: Cultivating Gentleness

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We live in a world where it can be quick to pass judgments instead of seeing the best in others. We can find ourselves expressing our opinions harshly when we differ from one another.

Watching debates between Christians online when there is a disagreement makes me cringe a bit when I see the responses towards one another not gentle and kind. Disagreement is inevitable, but there is a way as believers that God’s Word lays out for us what that should look like.

There is the reality of being hurt by the words of others and instead of taking the way of meekness, we take the route of defending our rights.

Bringing it closer to home, how are your responses to those you are closest? What does a gentle spirit look like in the context of your marriage or with your children?

Scriptures & References:

1 Peter 3:4

Matthew 5:5

Romans 8:28

Isaiah 41:17

Matthew 21:5

Matthew 11:29

Ephesians 4:29

Philippians 4:5

1 Peter 3:15

James 1:5

James 3:17

Cultivating a Gentle Spirit @Thankful Homemaker

What Does it Mean to Be Poor in Spirit? @Got Questions

Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by D. Martin Lloyd Jones

For the complete Show Notes head to ThankfulHomemaker.com

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How can we as believers "put on" an attitude of love in our homes? What does it look like to "put off" sinful responses and attitudes and "put on" God-honoring attitudes? I'm hoping today to encourage you that as believers we can "put on" attitudes and behaviors that are God-honoring. If we are in Christ, He has equipped us to do so through His presence within us and through our intake of God's truth.

We're working through Ephesians 4:22-24 together today:

22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

We have a new nature when we receive Christ and are born again – we become a totally different individual – we’re now a citizen of heaven

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation the old has gone the new has come.

~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

The apostle Paul reminds us throughout his epistles that we have a new nature. It affects our mind, heart, knowledge, wisdom, love, desires and every aspect of our being. According to God’s Word, we are new – transformed.

As believers, we now have a new nature. Our behavior is now able to match our new nature because Christ is in us. We are risen with Christ, and we should now behave in accordance with who we are.

 

Scripture & Resources:

Ephesians 4:22-24

Acts 7:58

Romans 3:12

1 Peter 2:1

Acts 12:21

Colossians 3:9-11

Philippians 2:12

2 Corinthians 5:17

Ephesians 4:1

Philippians 4:8

Galatians 5:22-23

Ephesians 5:2

1 Timothy 4:7-8

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

1 John 5:3

Martha Peace's "Put On, Put Off" Study

The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul

The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace

Putting on an Attitude of Love in Your Home

Podcast Ep. 15: Prioritizing God's Word When Life is Busy

For the full Show Notes visit ThankfulHomemaker.com

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On this podcast episode of Thankful Homemaker, we're talking about how our tongues can get us into so much trouble. We tend to have many words. Many times we're not careful with our words and say things that are slanderous, or gossip or sadly at times even malicious. This should not be for women who love the Lord and are loved and known by Him. Let's encourage each other today to speak words that glorify and honor the Lord.

Scripture References & Other Resources Mentioned:

Colossians 4:6

Proverbs 141:3

James 3:2

James 3:8

James 3:9-10

Ephesians 4:31

Matthew 18:15

Galatians 6:1

Ephesians 4:32

Proverbs 10:19

Proverbs 31:26

Ephesians 4:29

Matthew 12:34

Colossians 3:15-17

James Online Bible Study by Jen Wilkin

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I know as women we can get caught in our to-do lists and forget to give thanks in and through all things – even in the gift of preparing to serve others with the hope of pointing them to the One who we truly have all things to be thankful for!

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

My hope today is to simplify your holiday planning a bit. 

So you’re getting this two weeks before Thanksgiving with the hopes it will be a help with maybe getting a bit more organized than you have in past years and also starting to think about how you can focus your day on the Lord.

I want you to be able to keep your family's and your focus on Christ and not get caught up in all the things on your seemingly long to do list. Thanksgiving should be a time of feasting on the abundant grace of God. 

I'm sharing below my simple planning for one of my favorite family traditions to celebrate together along with some bits of help at the end to keep the focus of the meal on Christ and Who we are truly giving thanks to. My hope always is to spark ideas in ways you can make much of Christ during your time together.

“Take a little time to make ordinary things extraordinary.”

~ Emilie Barnes 

For Complete Show Notes visit ThankfulHomemaker.com 

Scripture & Resources:

Colossians 3:15

Psalm 100

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Simple Planning Guide for a Stress-Free and Christ-Focused Thanksgiving Dinner-@Thankful Homemaker

Our Simple Thanksgiving Traditions- @Thankful Homemaker

Weekend Coffee Break {Thanksgiving Edition}- Some helpful links & resources - @Thankful Homemaker

Chocolate Pie Recipe- in this post

Pioneer Woman's Mashed Potatoes

For Other Recipes Mentioned check out this post.

Getting Ready for Company Fast- @Thankful Homemaker

Podcast Episode 7: Getting Ready for Company Fast

Valley of Vision Prayer

History of Thanksgiving- @Got Questions

Conversation Starters

Ever Thine Home - What are you thankful for? Printable

The Valley of Vision: Book of Puritan Prayers by Arthur Bennett

Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember by Barbara Rainey

Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas

Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Revive Our Hearts 30 Day Gratitude Challenge

Thanksgiving Pinterest Board - many more ideas, recipes, and coloring sheet links for kids

Thankfulness to God is a recognition that God in His goodness and faithfulness has provided for us and cared for us, both physically and spiritually. It is a recognition that we are totally dependent upon Him; that all that we are and have comes from God.

~ Jerry Bridges

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Self Discipline is essential to spiritual growth and it is useful in our lives in so many ways. Living lives that are disciplined means saying, “yes” to God in every area of our lives.

Jesus is our ultimate example of what it looks like to live a disciplined life. He chose both dependence and obedience to His Father. As Christians, we too are called to dependence and obedience to our Father.

Self-discipline is primary to our spiritual growth. In 1 Timothy 4:7 We are called to discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness. It means to exercise control over one’s self. It’s the ability to keep ourselves under control.

 

My Practical List:

  1. Spend time with the Lord daily
  2. Take care of the tasks that are most difficult early in the day.
  3. Make sure you finish what you start.
  4. Take the time to get organized - one room at a time.
  5. Learn to deny yourself.

Scripture References & Other Resources Mentioned:

1 Timothy 4:7

Galatians 5:22-23

John 15

1 Peter 1:13

Ephesians 4:14

1 Corinthians 7:22

Matthew 6:24

Matthew 11:30

Romans 6:22

Ephesians 2:8-10

Ephesians 5:15-16

Ecclesiastes 3

1 Corinthians 10:31

Discipline: The Glad Surrender by Elisabeth Elliot

Find all the Show Notes & Resources mentioned at ThankfulHomemaker.com

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On today’s Encore Episode, we’re going to talk about our cell phone use and discuss whether we master our cell phones or do they master us. This podcast was on my mind because of two recent posts at Tim Challies blog on the use of our phones. I recently read the book, 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing Youby Tony Reinke and it was a challenging read.

I’m going to share with you some of what I took from that book to get us started, some thoughts on Tim Challies posting about him going back to a “dumb phone” and as we close today some questions for us to ponder from a quiz Tim Challies posted online called Are You Addicted to Your Phone? At the close, I share some ways I desire to make changes with the use of my phone in my life. 

"We check our smartphones about 81,500 times each year, or once every 4.3 minutes of our waking lives."

~ Tony Reinke

I'm working on a series on marriage for the podcast in the future, and I hope to get my husband on the podcast with me so we can do a few together.I’d love you all to “meet” him. I love listening to him and learning from him. The Lord has given him much wisdom and truly being around him makes me want to be more like Jesus, so I’m thankful to get to have him share here with you all.

 

 

Scripture & Resources:

2 Corinthians 3:18

12 Ways Your Phone is Changing Youby Tony Reinke

Are You Addicted to Your Phone? (Take a Quiz to Find Out)- @Challies

I Want to Buy Your Cheapest Phone- @Challies

12 Steps to Living Smartphone Smart- @Tony Reinke at Lifeway

Don't Waste Your Mornings- @Thankful Homemaker

Podcast Ep. 6: What Does Self-Discipline Look Like in Our Homes

More Resources from Tony Reinke:

12 Tips for Parenting in the Digital Age- @Desiring God

Why We Should Escape Social Media (And Why We Don't)- @Desiring God

Know When to Walk Away (A Twelve-Step Digital Detox)- @Desiring God

Going Deep on Our Smartphone and Social Media Habits- @Desiring God

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The hope on today's episode of contentment is to remind us today how rich we are in Christ and that we will find our satisfaction in Him and Him alone.

I want to open with the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians:

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

~ Philippians 4:11-12

As I've been meditating on Philippians 4:11-12 on contentment I'm reminded that there isn't a program where we can automatically be contented people. No 5 Steps to Contentment or Learn to be Content Retreat Weekend. Contentment in our walk as believers is learned, just as Paul learned it, so do we as we walk this walk with the Lord. It does not come naturally to us. We know deep down the secret to contentment is to keep our eyes on the Lord in every situation. It's when we take our eyes off Him is when we fall into this sin.

“So what does contentment mean? It is an inner sense of rest or peace that comes from being right with God and knowing that He is in control of all that happens to us.”

~ Steven J. Cole

I've noticed there aren't many books on Christian contentment and a classic is one by Jeremiah Burroughs called The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. The title made me pause and think how well he defined contentment as a rarity even in our life as believers. It is a rarity, and usually, we walk in a spirit of discontentedness.

“Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”

~ Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

Show Notes:

“We have here an account of Paul's learning, not that which he got at the feet of Gamaliel, but that which he got at the feet of Christ.”   ~ Matthew Henry

“These are both hard lessons to learn; I do not know which is the more difficult of the two. Probably it is easier to know how to go down than to know how to go up. How many Christians have I seen grandly glorifying God in sickness and poverty when they have come down in the world; and ah! How often have I seen other Christians dishonoring God when they have grown rich, or when they have risen to a position of influence among their fellow-men! These two lessons grace alone can fully teach us.”      ~ Charles Spurgeon

The excerpt below from Lydia Brownback's book, Contentment: A Godly Woman's Adornment:

“Contentment won't be found in changing the things we don't like about our lives, which is what the author of Hebrews is telling us.

In his words, we find why contentment is possible, even when we lack our heart's desires.  We can be content with our lives exactly as they are today because God has promised he is always with us.  Our problem really isn't that we need something we don't have; our problem is that we don't find God to be enough for us.  Many of us can't even comprehend how God can meet us in our empty places and satisfy us fully.  We are open to the idea, but we just don't see how it's possible.

Sometimes we get a wrong idea about how God satisfies us.  He doesn't come to us on our terms, taking the role of a surrogate for the things or relationships we lack.  He comes in place of those things, giving us something even better.  The whole reason we can't resonate with the words of Hebrews 13:5  is that we are bound up in the things of this life and our desires for them.  If we would just look away from those, we would find that God delights to fill up our empty places with joy, peace, guidance, love security and communion with him through his Spirit.  Once we get a taste of that we find that it is no second-best consolation prize.  We will find it to be better, richer, fuller than any earthy relationship or material blessing.

We can find this for ourselves by guarding against focusing overly much on what this world offers.  We can–and should–certainly enjoy the material things God gives us, but only if we hold them loosely.  It is the love of this world's blessings, the focus on getting them, that is the problem, not the blessings themselves.

We don't need anything more than what we have right now, today, in order to be content.  The Bible says so; therefore it must be true.  The choice is ours.”

Scripture & Resources:

Philippians 4:11-12

Philippians 4:13

1 Corinthians 15:10

Hebrews 13:5

Matthew 6:33

Learning Contentment

Practical Steps to Overcome Self-Pity

The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs

Contentment: A Godly Woman's Adornment by Lydia Brownback

A Surprising Ingredient in Christian Contentment- @Desiring God

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God’s Word reminds us:

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

~ John 15:5

“apart from me you can do nothing” is a continual reminder that I am utterly dependent on the Lord to do anything. There are many things I can do without dependence on Christ, but the reality is I have achieved “nothing” in God’s sight.

This is so true in the raising of our children.

Our children are a gift from the Lord, a heritage, a reward (Psalm 127:3) and they are ever so precious to the Lord and us.  Caring for our children is an immeasurable responsibility but one as believers we are not left alone in or to fend for ourselves.  We can cry out to the One who created all things and is the only One who can redeem them.

I have learned over the years that I am helplessly dependent on the Lord. I can’t parent on my own. I can’t do anything on my own. As parents, we can’t change the hearts of our children. Only the Lord can change their hearts.

This truth should continually bring us to our knees in prayer, but many times we find ourselves thinking we can do this on our own. As a parent of now adult children, I can share that these are the more difficult years of life as the decisions and the difficulties they face are much more challenging than when they were young.

Show Notes:

“It didn’t take me long to realize that I did my best parenting by prayer. I began to speak less to the kids and more to God. It was actually quite relaxing.”  ~ Paul Miller, A Praying Life

God does a much better job of being God than I do.

Children are fully dependent on parents for everything. As we get older, we become more and more independent. We need to be reminded to go back to living as dependent children. Living as a dependent child to the Lord in the everyday moments of life is the best example we can give to our children.

The prayer below is from Setting Their Hope In God: Biblical Intercession for Your Children page 193

“Eternal God,

Let my precious children rejoice in the Word, through whom all things were made.  May they seek life only in Him.

Praise be to Your name for causing them to receive Him and believe on His name, for giving them the right to become Your children.  Open their eyes to the glory of the Word, the glory of Your only Son, full of grace and truth.  From His fullness let them receive grace upon grace–the grace and truth that come through Jesus Christ.  Help them to do what is true and come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been carried out in You.

Help them not to judge by appearances, but instead to judge with right judgment.  And when they thirst, let them go to Christ and drink.  Let them follow closely after Him always, so that they will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.  Make them abide in His Word as true disciples so that they may know the truth and be set free by it (John 1 & 8) .”

Related Link: Podcast EP 20: The Blessing of Loving Our Children

“I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.” ~Martin Luther

Related Link: Podcast EP 43: Hope for Imperfect Parents

“What makes a heart upright and what makes prayers pleasing to God is a felt awareness of our tremendous need for mercy.”  ~John Piper

“Prayer is bringing your helplessness to Jesus.”  ~ Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life

Scripture & Resources:

John 15:5

Philippians 4:6-7

Romans 8:28

John 5:19

John 5:30

Luke 5:16

Matthew 18:3

Mark 10:14-15

Luke 10:21

Praying God's Word Over Our Children

Podcast Ep 23: Seasons of Waiting

A Praying Life: Connecting With God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller

Setting Their Hope in God: Biblical Intercession for Your Children by Andrew Case

Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney

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Today's podcast episode is a topic we probably don’t find ourselves talking about with others because it can be a bit uncomfortable but it’s one I know we all deal with —it’s addressing our sins of jealousy and envy.

It just seems no matter where we are in life we can always find ourselves sinfully comparing ourselves to others. I would think at my age and life stage this would be over, but sadly it's not. How often do I find myself in my head comparing the circumstances of my life to others – too many!

Even though it may be just in my head, it's still a sin, and it may seem subtle, but it's not – all sin is an offense against God and one we must continue to do battle with.

When we find ourselves dealing with jealousy comparing ourselves to others or envious of others, it's like we're saying to God that we're not satisfied with what He's given us.

“If we are to successfully combat the temptations to envy and jealousy, we must mentally bring God into the picture. We must remind ourselves that He determines not only what abilities we have but also the degree of those abilities and the blessing He will bestow on their use.”  ~ Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins

Show Notes:

Jerry Bridges, in Respectable Sins, a book I most highly recommended you read, describes jealousy of “intolerance of rivalry.” He shares there are legitimate times to express jealousy, like when someone is trying to win your spouse away from you. Our God declares Himself to be a jealous God (Exodus 20:5). Our jealousy becomes sinful when we become afraid someone is going to be more successful or honored over us. King Saul's jealousy over David (Saul has struck down his thousands and David his ten thousand – 1 Samuel 18:7) is an example of Saul's jealousy over David because honor was given to David and not him. At that moment he saw him as a rival and jealousy took root.

Envy is defined by Jerry Bridges as:

“the painful and oftentimes resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by someone else. Sometimes we want that same advantage, leading to the further sin of covetousness. And sometimes we resent the other person having something we don't have. But we don't just envy people in general. Usually, there are two conditions that tempt us to envy. First, we tend to envy those with whom we most closely identify. Second, we tend to envy in them the areas we value most.”

Scriptures & Resources:

Exodus 20:5

1 Samuel 18:7

Romans 1:29-33

Galatians 5:19-21

Psalm 103:10

Philippians 4:12

Hebrews 13:5

Romans12:2

Romans 12:5

Romans 12:10

Philippians 4:11-12

Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges

Messy Beautiful Friendship: Finding and Nurturing Deep and Lasting Relationships by Christine Hoover

Visit ThankfulHomemaker.com for the complete show notes.

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