Shop Fair Trade this Christmas

Today's guest post is written by author Sarah Donegan. She shares with us her heart for helping the poor and supporting Fair Trade.

During this holiday season, how do you and your family plan on helping or supporting the families around you that are struggling to provide for their families?

Shop Fair Trade this Christmas

How do we get so off course with Christmas? We start with good intentions, but end up completely focused on the wrong things. Between Christmas parties, shopping, and planning where we will be on the big day, the big picture gets lost in the minutiae.

Since we will probably not cut out gift giving, why not give gifts that make a difference?

Proverbs 19:17 says, “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward them for what they have done.”

Psalm 41:1 says, “Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.”

Introducing the PRAISE Bible Study Method : FREE Printable

Do you think she silenced the room? I imagine some sat in disbelief, perhaps others in confusion and yet, I'm sure, every lady there must have been challenged by her words. 

I was challenged, by my Pastor's wife, as she shared a story about a speaker at a ministers wives conference she had recently attended. The speaker stood up and boldly announced that none of them believed in God's word and were Bible illiterate. 

Woah! What!?! I asked myself, "could I be Bible illiterate, too?"

I would have loved to have been there! I'm tired of wimpy, hollow women's conferences, bible studies and sermons. 

I want more. I want deeper. I want Jesus!

The cure for Bible Illiteracy

A cure for Bible illiteracy. Tips on how to study the Bible. How to read the Bible.

When It's Hard to Share Your Table with Difficult Family Members

Sometimes, holidays are hard. Surrounded by our closest family and friends. When disagreements arise, words are flung like ammo in a mud ball fight with little consideration to whom we are speaking to. Leaving everyone covered in dirt and dealing with the mess. The tongue is a weapon we take for granted. With the closeness of family and even with friends, we let down our shield and respect. Our words and self-control are loosened, and on occasion, feelings are left crumbled on the floor. Hurt. If we are not careful, bitterness will start growing within our hearts.

This will be our first Thanksgiving in Mexico!  Of course, the locals do not celebrate Thanksgiving like we do in the states, but that will not stop me from observing the Holiday as best I can.

We are having our Thanksgiving Dinner with our Pastor's, both speak English and Spanish, are from the states, and homeschool their kids!! There will be turkey and pumpkin pie, however, I was unable to find hashbrowns for a hashbrown casserole. Yet, it will be a memorial Thanksgiving!!

Thinking back on past Thanksgiving's with my family and friends, my heart swells with gratitude. Not because I had a perfect life, family and friends, but because each person and moment is a gift from God. These gifts should be looked at with an open heart of gratitude.

I'm thankful for the ones that have sat at my table, yes, even the difficult ones.

How to deal with family during the holidays. Tips on dealing with hateful family members.

The Fast-Food Version of the Bible: Christian Meme's

Rushing, frantic really, late for dropping the kids of at daycare.  Fighting traffic. Finally making it to work. Purse, keys, cup of her favorite coffee and briefcase loaded in her arms. Rummaging through her belongings, trying to find her ID card so she can clock in. She barely makes it with 5 seconds to spare. Clocking in, hands full, thoughts and heart overwhelmed.  
Trying to gather her thoughts before she really puts herself into a productive mode, she reaches for her smartphone. 

Her social media newsfeeds are loaded with all her favorite Christian authors, speakers, and bloggers. She enjoys all the encouraging scripture verses they share every day. Scrolling through, she finds one or two that she can relate to or that is "needed" for today. Logging out, switching her phone to vibrate, she works hard to conquer her day. 

Finishing her shift, fighting traffic, picking the kids up at school, rushing home to make dinner and then off to the kid's soccer games. Never stopping. No quiet time to pray and read the bible for herself. Her overwhelmed schedule just won't allow it. 

Only relying on Christian Meme's to get your bible reading time in.
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Fighting for Faith and Hope: Free Printable Scripture Cards

A woman, ashamed and desperate for healing, stood just outside the crowd. Broken, frantic, financially exhausted and alone. 

Surrounded by a large crowd, He walked through her town. Whispers and rumors of these miraculous healings that He could perform spread like wild-fire in an open prairie.  

I imagine, she felt like all the other doctors and medicine could not heal her so how could this newcomer possibly do any better, but she had to try. She had nothing left to hope for. This man named Jesus and the stories of His healing power fanned a flame of hope inside her to try, once more. 

Twelve years of seeking with no cure in sight.  Her bank account stood empty. She had to cling to this hope. She had to see if Jesus could heal her. Determined, she pressed in.

She pressed through the crowd. Pushing her way in. Jesus was surrounded by many, everyone stepping closer to Him, to hear, to touch and to see what He was all about. She pushed through. 

The woman with an issue of blood. God heals.

Thirsty: How to Stay Refreshed

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Pass me a drink of cold water. It is dusty here. Dry, desert land surrounds me. I want to be refreshed. To be filled with the living water that only comes from Christ. To dwell in the promise land. Freedom from this storm in life, the overwhelming schedule, and the onslaught of negative thoughts. 


Making Discoveries: Trusting in God

Should we talk about the elephant in the room? We could just look around awkwardly, still sipping our hot tea.  Admiring our pretty tea cup or taking in the morning sunlit view.  Ignoring the obvious. Alright, I'll start...let's tackle the elephant.

I have trust issues. There I said it. And sojourner.....I struggled to discover this truth.

"You do not trust me." God whispered to my heart. "Who me? I trust you.", I nonchalantly replied. Then I looked away to take another sip of my warm tea.  

This morning I had that conversation with God while I was on the roof of my tiny apartment in Mexico; about to hang clothes out to dry, but I wanted to finish enjoying my hot tea and the gorgeous hillside view first.

God grabs my attention with His breathtaking creation around me. The treeless mountains and hillside, just on the other side, drew me in with its beauty. Now done with my tea and looking past my clothes that are drying on the line; I gazed longingly at the mountain view.  The words Taste and See that the Lord is Good echoed within me.

The fear of the Lord and trusting in God go hand in hand.
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