Spiritual journaling is a way to slow our lives down and ponder deeply over the events of the day. In my life journaling has helped me to grow spiritually by discerning my thoughts and motives. It has shown me areas where I need to give thanks and praise to the Lord. My journaling time has reminded me of situations or people I need to be in prayer for.

Journaling is an excellent time for me to see areas of weakness and set spiritual goals and not always just spiritual but other areas of my life that need some help too. Maybe I need to be better disciplined in my internet habits, or my homekeeping or some of my relationships may need time and attention. This is a good time to evaluate all areas of my life.

God’s Word doesn’t specifically talk about journaling it is a spiritual discipline that many saints over the years have benefitted from and I think of how we have profited by the journals of the saints of the past. I think of the journals like the diary of David Brainerd by Jonathan Edwards, or George Mueller’s autobiography or Jim Elliot’s journal put together by Elisabeth Elliot. These are treasures we have of how the Lord worked in and through their lives. 

You can find all podcasts on the Spiritual Disciplines in this series here. The two books I'm utilizing the most for the series are Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life and Habits of Grace

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Prayer is simply talking to God. As believers, we have access to God the Father through our relationship with Jesus Christ. Prayer reminds us we are dependent on God for every aspect of our lives and we grow in that relationship by communing with Him in prayer. Donald Whitney reminds us in regards to the spiritual disciplines that prayer is second only to Bible intake in the order of importance.

Prayer is not demanding but we are coming before the Lord with open hands to what He knows is best for us. 

You can find all podcasts on the Spiritual Disciplines in this series here. The two books I'm utilizing the most for the series are Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life and Habits of Grace

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We're continuing in a series on the Spiritual Disciplines and today's episode is on Bible Study. We're going to talk about the benefits, explain some basic Bible study methods, share some resources to help you get started digging into the Word.

Jerry Bridges says in regard to God’s Word - "Reading gives us breadth, but study gives us depth."

*I stated in the podcast the next episode in the Spiritual Disciplines series will be on prayer, and it will be up on Tuesday, April 23rd instead of April 22nd. 

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We all want to grow in our walk as Christians. We've talked about how often we read God’s Word close the book and forget what we’ve read. We can blame our memories or our intelligence or our age, but the reality is it has more to do with our method than our abilities. Today's podcast episode is going to address areas that are important to our growth as believers: Meditation on God's Word and Scripture Memory. 

God desires us all to grow in the grace and knowledge of His Word, so we are all capable and equipped as believers by the work of Spirit of God in us.

We talked in our last episode on bible reading that we need to read the Word and hear the Word preached but just doing those two things doesn't always guarantee we will remember or be able to apply what we read. So then we briefly touched on meditating on the Word because this is where growth starts to come about.

Donald Whitney described it as:

“While hearing and reading plant the seed of Scripture into the soil of our souls, other disciplines are the water and sun God uses to bring the growth and fruit of Christlikeness in our lives.”

When we talk about meditation, please don’t get the image of a yoga class or some other kind of New Age practice. What the world describes as meditation is not what Christian meditation is. Again we are not emptying our minds, but in Christian meditation, we are filling our mind with God and His truth. 

Donald Whitney gives us a good definition:

"Let’s define meditation as deep thinking on the truths and spiritual realities revealed in Scripture, or upon life from a scriptural perspective, for the purposes of understanding, application, and prayer." 

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We are continuing in a series here at the podcast on the Spiritual Disciplines. On today's episode, we are going to discuss the importance of reading God's Word along with some practical helps to implement it into our days.

We have a God that we can know and meet with and because of that, we should meet with God on a regular daily basis.

My hope is by the end of the podcast today that we would all see and understand why we need to do this as those who are born again - first off if we’re in Christ God is our Father, and we are His children. I want to spend time with my Heavenly Father. I desire to know Him more because as I do that I get a clearer understanding of who I am in light of Him and it changes my perspective of the world as I begin to see all of life and the world through His perspective. This only comes about as I spend time with Him in worship, in fellowship and in the reading of His Word—which is the topic today. 

I can only come before God because of Jesus—He is the mediator between God and sinful man. If we’re in Christ, we have access to the Father, and we can meet with Him and know Him because of Jesus. 

Hebrews 4:16 tells us  - Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 

John 17:17 tells sanctify them in truth - your word is truth. Jesus is praying for our sanctification the process of being made more and more into Christlikeness. It’s to be like Jesus. He is asking the Father to do this by the truth. What is truth? God’s Word is truth. We are sanctified by truth - God’s Word is truth, so we are sanctified by the Word of God. I could just stop here because that’s a pretty good reason enough for us to be in the Word on a regular daily basis. 

If you haven't listened to the first one in this series you can do that here - EP 52 Introduction to the Spiritual Disciplines

Show Notes:

Philippians 4:8 Questions to Help You Meditate on the Word:

-What is true about this, or what truth does it exemplify?

-What is honorable about this?

-What is just or right about this?

-What is pure about this, or how does it exemplify purity?

-What is lovely about this?

-What is commendable about this?

-What is excellent about this (that excels others of this kind)?

-What is praiseworthy about this?

~ Above Questions taken from Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life

Hebrews 4:16

John 17:17

2 Peter 1:20-21

2 Timothy 3:16

Galatians 1:12

2 Peter 3:15-16

Matthew 4:4

Nehemiah 8:1-4

1 Timothy 4:13

Luke 11:28

1 Timothy 4:7

Matthew 19:4

Mark 12:10

Philippians 4:8

Seeking Whatever is Good(Review of All That's Good by Hannah Anderson)

EP 52: Introduction to the Spiritual Disciplines

Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines by David Mathis

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney

Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Minds by Jen Wilkin

What is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti M. Anyabwile

Listen Up! A Practical Guide to Listening to Sermons by Christopher Ash

The Daily Bible (NIV) Chronological by F. LaGard Smith

ESV Daily Reading Bible by Crossway

Reading Plan App 

Infographic: You Have More Time for Bible Reading than You Think

Develop a Daily Bible Reading Habit - Find Bible Reading plan options in this post

Robert Murray M'Cheyne Bible Reading Plan

Elisabeth Elliot on Hints for a Quiet Time

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

Women's Hope Podcast

YouVersion Bible App

Thankful Homemaker Facebook Group

Find the full show notes at the blog here - ThankfulHomemaker.com

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We're starting a new series here at the podcast on the spiritual disciplines. Today's episode is introducing us to what they are and the vital role they play in our sanctification as believers.

In this series, we’re going to talk about why we need to practice them and share practical biblical ways how we as followers of Jesus Christ can pursue Christlikeness through these means of grace. 

The means of grace or spiritual disciplines (Bible intake, prayer, and fellowship the three main areas and we’ll work through each of them more each episode) are ways the Holy Spirit conforms us more and more into the image of Christ. 

I have two primary resources in addition to scripture that I'm utilizing in this series, and they are Donald Whitney's book called, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life and Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines by David Mathis. I encourage you if you want to dig a bit deeper to grab a copy of both or one of these as we work through them together. 

Spiritual Disciplines we hope to cover in this series: Bible reading, Bible Study, Meditation, Prayer, Fasting, Evangelism, Journaling, Fellowship and Service. 

Show Notes:

Romans 8:28

1 John 3:2

1 Peter 1:16

1 Timothy 4:7-8

John 14:6

Acts 2:42

Romans 8:29

Philippians 1:6

Philippians 3:8

John 17:3

Colossians 1:9-11

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney

Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines by David Mathis

Simplify Your Spiritual Life: Spiritual Disciplines for the Overwhelmed by Donald Whitney

The Disciplines of the Christian Life by Eric Liddell

Holy Helps for a Godly Life by Richard Rogers

Podcast EP 6: What Does Self-Discipline Look Like in Our Homes @Thankful Homemaker

The Center for Biblical Spirituality- Donald Whitney's Website (tons of helpful resources to dig into)

What are the Spiritual Disciplines @Desiring God

What are the Spiritual Disciplines @Got Questions

Thankful Homemaker Facebook Group

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How many times do we give thanks to the Lord for the ministry He has given us at home. Are we thankful for the mundane everyday moments or are we are only thankful when we think we are doing “great” things for the Lord?

We live in God's home. He owns it. He has gifted it to us and given us the job of stewardship over it. He's put us in charge, and we are responsible to Him.

As believers, it should make us work harder, and we shouldn't desire to escape from work or difficult situations because we know they are all with a purpose and we also know we are equipped to meet these situations in Christ.

Mundane tasks are what make up most of our days. Everything matters —all of life is sacred. Once we’re in Christ there is no separation of secular or sacred. Every moment is a holy moment that God has ordained.

Do we think biblically about our time and what we see as these seemingly mundane tasks? We don’t see many photos on social media of people folding laundry or washing dishes—there’s no special medals or awards for these tasks. This is where we need to continually ask the Lord to gives us a mindset of remembering that the mundane matters. It's in these moments that He is growing us in holiness. 

Show Notes:

Marriage Series at Thankful Homemaker

G3 Conference

Cultivating a Heart for Missions in Your Family

Titus 2:3-5

Colossians 3:23

Colossians 3:17

1 Corinthians 10:31

Romans 12:1-2

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, Wife of Charles H. Spurgeon by Ray Rhodes Jr. 

Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home by Gloria Furman

Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands by Paul Tripp 

Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother by Carolyn Mahaney

Thankful Homemaker Facebook Group

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I'm re-sharing a previous episode I need to re-listen to this time of year. I'm praying it will be an encouragement to you today.

We are already nearing Christmas Eve and plans that I had to bake or buy or clean haven’t all been finished.  There are gifts I wanted to purchase or send that didn’t happen.  There are cookies I wanted to bake that I didn’t get too and areas I wanted to tidy at home that I didn’t even get close to doing. But I want to share with you today reminders that I’m talking to myself about what I am choosing. I’m hoping to help us keep our focus on the main thing this Christmas season.

You can read the full podcast here, but my hope is you will sit with me for just a few minutes of your day and listen in to the podcast and let me pour into you a bit.

Christmas Posts:

Podcast EP 50: Lessons from the Life of Mary

Christ-Focused Gift Guide for the Whole Family

Christmas Love, 1 Corinthians Style

Podcast EP 9: Christ-Focused Christmas Celebration Ideas

Thoughts to Ponder as You Celebrate Christmas

Find the full show notes at the blog here - ThankfulHomemaker.com

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Every Christmas season I look forward to reading the account of the birth of Christ in Luke together as a family on Christmas morning. I'm amazed at Mary's faith.  What must have gone through her mind when Gabriel approached her?  How did she process the news that she and Joseph were to raise the Son of God?  What depths of sorrow did she endure while watching her Son die a horrific death on a cross?  There are many lessons we can learn from Mary’s life, but I want to share just ten today.

Show Notes:

1.  Mary knew God's Word. (Luke 1:54-55)

2.  Mary was filled with the Spirit. (Luke 1:35)

3. Mary said "yes" to God's plan for her life. (Luke 1:38)

4.  Mary was quiet before the Lord and meditated on all He had done in her life. (Luke 2:19, Luke 2:51)

5.  Mary turned to Jesus for help when she had a problem to be solved. (John 2:3-5)

6.  Mary was a woman of worship.(Luke 1:46-47)

7.  Mary trusted in the Lord and waited on the His timing. (Matthew 1:19-20)

8.  Mary was a chosen vessel of the Lord. (Luke 1:30-31)

9.  Mary was a faithful servant. (John 19:25)

10. Mary knew Jesus was dying on the cross for her sins. (Luke 2:34-35)

Scripture & Resources:

Luke 2:19

Matthew 7:21

Romans 8:9-10

John MacArthur Study Bible

Mary of Nazareth@Revive Our Hearts

Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur

My Soul Magnifies the Lord: Meditations on the Meaning of Christmas by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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Related Posts:

10 Lessons from the Life of Mary

Christmas Love, 1 Corinthians 13 Style

Podcast EP 9: Christ-Focused Christmas Celebration Ideas

Our Simple Family Christmas Traditions

Thoughts to Ponder as You Celebrate Christmas

How to Avoid the Comparison Trap this Christmas Season

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

Find the full show notes at the blog here - ThankfulHomemaker.com

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Many times in my walk as a believer I have heard and read the term "abide in Christ" and didn't have a full understanding of what that meant. I know abide means to remain in, and I pictured it as a state of resting in Christ. Studying through John 15 has been a help to me in grasping fully what our Lord meant as he walked and talked with His disciples on the way to the Garden of Gethsemane.

Picture this; our Lord had just left the Upper Room in John 13 & 14 where He and the disciples shared a Passover meal together. During their time together in the Upper Room Jesus washed the disciple's feet and He dismissed Judas who would betray him (John 13). Now in John 15, they are headed in the darkness of the night to the Garden of Gethsemane.

Jesus's timing in giving this teaching to his disciples was needed as they were going to face hard times ahead and this lesson is relevant to us today as we meet difficult days. So let's learn together what it looks like to abide in Christ, be a real disciple and bear fruit for our Lord. I'm working through  John 15:1-11 today. 

 

Scripture & Resources:

John 13

John 14

John 15:1-11

Galatians 5:22-23

Isaiah 53:3

1 Peter 1:8

Abiding in Christ: Becoming Like Christ through an Abiding Relationship with Him by Paul Chappell

John 15 Study Doorposts Blog

What Does it Mean to Abide in Christ?

Christmas Posts:

Christ-Focused Gift Guide for the Whole Family

Christmas Love, 1 Corinthians Style

Podcast EP 9: Christ-Focused Christmas Celebration Ideas

Thoughts to Ponder as You Celebrate Christmas

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

Find the full show notes at the blog here - ThankfulHomemaker.com

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