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Friday, February 15, 2019

Running from God's Calling (Jonah Bible Study by Priscilla Shirer)

Image Credit:  Free-Photos - Public Domain Image via Pixabay
Our second week in our Bible study on Jonah by Priscilla Shirer focuses on running from God's calling.  Here are a few highlights from the week:

Delayed obedience is disobedience.
There is no gray area in obeying God's will either, you know.  When God speaks or allows you to see His hand, giving you the opportunity to participate in His purposes, you don't have an array of options to choose from on how you will respond.  It's clear-cut, plain and simple . . . black and white.  You can either choose to obey or choose to disobey.  No neutral ground.  Choosing to "do nothing" is really a decision to delay obedience - and the word for delayed obedience?  Disobedience. - Priscilla Shirer

Something else Priscilla brought to my attention this week is how easy it is to get away with disobedience when it is internal.  It's not as easy to disobey when others can see our calling and can see our response.  When we "run away" in our hearts where others can't see open disobedience, it is easier for us to justify our actions and pretend that we are living in obedience.

Sometimes we justify our response to run away or ignore a calling because it seems to be in direct conflict with an area in our lives where we have pledged our worldly allegiance.  This is when we must ask ourselves whether our true allegiance lies with God or with something else.
A way to determine where our allegiance lies is to consider how we respond to a divine intervention.  Will we go with God even when He is calling us to our Nineveh, even if Nineveh goes against everything we thought we'd be doing?  Sometimes heeding divine intervention requires breaking with that to which we have pledged our allegiance. - Priscilla Shirer
Stepping further and further away from God's calling on our lives only takes us further and further from him.  In the same way that a lie ends up entangling us in another lie and another and another, so running from God's calling takes us further and further away from His blessing on our lives.
The decisions you are making today will impact your tomorrows.  How you choose to respond to God's leading right now will determine how your future unfolds.  Every "David" will end up in a web of deception.   Every prodigal will find himself in a pigsty, and every "Jonah" will look up and see storm clouds gathering.  It's only a matter of time. - Priscilla Shirer
It is interesting how we can be asleep spiritually in the middle of a storm and not even realize it (like Jonah on the ship) until we are awakened by a storm.  Thank God for the storm.

We can make a big mess out of our lives, but there is good news.  God can take our mess and make something beautiful from it.  Our lives might not have been what God had originally intended, but God can take the messed up, broken pieces and put them together into a beautiful tapestry that will bless others.  It is never too late to step back into the realm of obedience and allow God to use you in mighty ways. 
God's good at taking our messes, our leftovers, and doing something good with them.  Parts of all of our lives we'd just as soon forget, yet in the hands of a Master, our mess can become the greatest miracle of all.  He has a way of chopping, dicing, and reconfiguring the parts that we thought were of no use.  He's got a knack for pouring on His Spirit and sprinkling on a bit of grace and mercy.  Then, voila!  Fresh out of the oven of a trial or two, there's something delicious from you life that you never thought possible. - Priscilla Shirer
 You can get Jonah:  Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer here.
This item is available here.
 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Abundant Family Living Newsletter - February 8, 2019

Good Friday Evening! I hope everyone has had a wonderful week.  Here's the latest from Abundant Family Living.

Check out some of my latest blog posts.  Then, check out a couple of posts from the archives - from way back when my original blog started.  We have new title releases from Usborne Books that your kids will love.  I only featured two in this newsletter, but you can find all of those here.  Finally, there are some great Valentine's Day specials from my affiliates. 

The Latest on the Blog

I know it's almost February but it is soooo cold outside.  Here in North Georgia, the weather is as unpredictable as it gets.  One day, we're breaking out our warmest winter clothes and the next day, we're pulling out our shorts and t-shirts.  I remember one year way back, we had an ice storm.  The next day, my mother and I were laying out in the sun in swimsuits while we watched the ice melt off the house.  It was late March.  (Please don't lay in the sun.  My skin cancer scar is now a daily reminder to be smarter.)

Anyway, the brutal cold reminds me of some of our Polar Bear books.  Let's take a quick look at those because I know your kids will love them.  Then, scroll on down and find several great polar bear activities to enrich the reading experience for your kids. [Read more here.]

Life Interruptions Don't Always Make Sense



Life interruptions don't always make sense.  Sometimes the things we feel God is calling us to do make no sense to us at all.  If it doesn't make sense, then I don't want to do it.  I'd much rather stay in a place that makes sense - a place where I'm comfortable.

Jonah faced a situation that made no sense.  He was being asked to leave his homeland where he had been comfortable.  He was being asked to give up everything he had always known to travel to a far away land that inhabited his enemies - a corrupt land.  He had been perfectly happy and comfortable fulfilling his God-given role right where he was.  Why would God call him to give all that up for such a corrupt people?  It made no sense. [Read more here.]

Are You in the Right Place?

Christ must do something in me before He can do something through me.  I can never embrace a greater vision until I am in the right place spiritually.

I like my places of comfort.  I'm a pretty shy person so stepping out of my comfort zone is not easy for me to do.  If you're like me, it's easy to stay in one place in life too long.  It's easy to get used to a regular routine, staying just comfortable enough to be comfortable where I am.   Jesus said, "Go deeper."
When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” - Luke 5:4
When we resolve to "go deeper" in obedience to God - to reach out beyond our comfort zone, obedience yields amazing results. [Read more here.]

 From the Archives


https://www.abundant-family-living.com/2009/01/chocolate-cobbler-recipe.html#.W8uOVvZRfIU

https://www.abundant-family-living.com/2009/02/volcanoes-by-stephanie-turnbull-usborne.html#.W8uOgfZRfIU

New Titles from Usborne Books


https://g4796.myubam.com/p/7363/100-things-to-know-about-numbers-computers-coding-ir
An eye-catching information book filled with one hundred interesting facts to learn about numbers, computers and coding.

https://g4796.myubam.com/p/7358/big-book-of-abc

Take a whistle-stop tour through the alphabet from amazing aardvarks, big brown bears and crazy cats, via dancing ducks, invisible imps and naughty narwhals to yawning yaks and zooming zeppelins.

You'll find Usborne Books current customer specials here.  You can purchase 1 customer special item with every $40 you spend.

  Affiliate Specials

https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1319153&u=960378&m=32333&urllink=&afftrack=

Surprise your little valentine with hands-on activities delivered every month from Little Passports! Save 15% from now until 8/14 with code LOVE.  

Sale Details:
Sale: Save 15% on ANY subscription
Sale Valid: through 2/14
Promo Code: LOVE

This promotion is valid online only at www.littlepassports.com. To redeem enter code LOVE at checkout. 15% discount is valid on new subscription products only and cannot be combined with any other offers and/or applied retroactively to previously placed orders. Offer applies only to the first month on a Monthly Plan. Offer not valid on non-subscription items. Offer excludes shipping and taxes. Offer valid from February 8, 2019 at 12:00AM EST to February 14, 2019 at 11:59PM EST.


https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1289675&u=960378&m=40843&urllink=&afftrack=

Celebrate the Month of Love with 30% off Green Kid Crafts 

You can now take 30% off the first month of a Junior Discovery Box STEAM Subscription (ages 2-4) or a Discovery Box STEAM Subscription (ages 5-10+). Green Kid Crafts' award-winning Discovery Boxes pack a lot of fun and learning into convenient and affordable packages. Each monthly box contains up to 6 STEAM Science and Art Kits including a free 12-page kids magazine and bonus extension activities. Sibling add-on options are available, too! Offer expires midnight February, 18, 2019. Go here to start shopping!

https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1316603&u=960378&m=54395&urllink=&afftrack=

What Is This Month's Theme For Groovy Lab in a Box?

Keep On Turning: Engineering Design Challenge - A Lesson in Hydropower : You live near a river where a lot of trash accumulates when it rains. Inside your Groovy Lab in a Box are the materials to design and build a river trash collecting machine. Can you collect and deposit trash into a dumpster using only your Groovy Lab in a Box materials?!

Emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)

Extended learning through our exclusive online portal

For children ages 8 and up

 

https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1316603&u=960378&m=54395&urllink=&afftrack= 

As always, the "Keep On Turning" box will have a groovy Lab Notebook where your kids can read about the investigations and Engineering Design Challenge. Plus, all subscribers get access to the Beyond...in a Box web portal for additional groovy learning and STEM fun.

Be sure to start your subscription today so you can receive your "Keep On Turning" box before it ships the end of February.




Dayspring has NEW Studio 71 Cards!  Check them out here.

Check out the Dayspring Sale:







Monday, February 4, 2019

Life Interruptions Don't Always Make Sense

Image Credit:  Ben White - Public Domain Image via Freely Photos
The following is a short summary of week one of our ladies' Bible study, Jonah:  Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer.

Life interruptions don't always make sense.  Sometimes the things we feel God is calling us to do make no sense to us at all.  If it doesn't make sense, then I don't want to do it.  I'd much rather stay in a place that makes sense - a place where I'm comfortable.

Jonah faced a situation that made no sense.  He was being asked to leave his homeland where he had been comfortable.  He was being asked to give up everything he had always known to travel to a far away land that inhabited his enemies - a corrupt land.  He had been perfectly happy and comfortable fulfilling his God-given role right where he was.  Why would God call him to give all that up for such a corrupt people?  It made no sense. 
In our journeys with God, we will likely come across our personal Ninevehs.  For some, this might actually be a place; for others, Nineveh is a task or a relationship and just the mention of that mission or person sends us into an emotional tailspin.  We'd just rather not go.  And, like Jonah, we can point to many reasons that would keep us at home. - Priscilla Shirer
However, we are not to trust our own heart.
The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick.  Who can understand it?  - Jeremiah 17:9
 Here are several key points I took away from this first week:

1.  A life interrupted by a holy God is a privilege.

2.  When God calls us and allows us to see His hand in our lives, we have to realize the significance of being asked to participate in His divine purpose and plan for His kingdom. It is a high honor.
He's purposefully given you the high honor of being the one He deemed suited for a task that has Heavenly implications - a task of divine partnership that will yield magnificent results for you and for His kingdom. - Priscilla Shirer
 3.  It was not until Jonah received a life interruption that he developed a life story that made a stamp on history.  A life interruption offers us an opportunity to write a life story of eternal significance.
Make sure your life writes a story worth reading. - Priscilla Shirer
4.  A life interruption will make us question our sincerity about our willingness to yield to God's will.

5.  It is not our legacy or lack of legacy that makes us significant.  What makes us significant is our willingness to obey.

6.  God's call on our lives do not always make sense but those who respond in obedience will enjoy the benefit of God's protection.

In order to benefit from the entire Bible study, I encourage you to complete the study with a group either at your church in a home with friends.   The leader kit below includes the DVDs and all the materials you'll need to complete the study.

You'll find all my posts about this Bible study here.

This item is available here.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Are You in the Right Place?


Our pastor is continuing his series titled Christ in Every Place.  Today's sermon was titled "Are You in the Right Place?  The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon.

Image Credit:  Ben White - Public Domain Image via Freely Photos

Our scripture passage is Luke 5:1-11.
Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” 11 When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him. - Luke 5:1-11

Are You in the Right Place? 

 You are invited to watch the entire sermon here.
Every Place - Are You In The Right Place? from Christ Place Church on Vimeo.


Christ must do something in me before He can do something through me.  I can never embrace a greater vision until I am in the right place spiritually.
 
I like my places of comfort.  I'm a pretty shy person so stepping out of my comfort zone is not easy for me to do.  If you're like me, it's easy to stay in one place in life too long.  It's easy to get used to a regular routine, staying just comfortable enough to be comfortable where I am.   Jesus said, "Go deeper."
When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” - Luke 5:4
When we resolve to "go deeper" in obedience to God - to reach out beyond our comfort zone, obedience yields amazing results.

When Peter, James, and John responded in obedience and went into deeper waters, they caught so much fish that their nets began to break and their boat began to sink.
When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. - Luke 5:6-7

When we respond in obedience to go into the right places, then we will "catch men."
And so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” - Luke 5:10
Then, they left everything and followed Jesus.
When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him. - Luke 5:11
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. - Luke 19:10
 Ask Jesus:  Am I in the right place spiritually?

 1.  Jesus invites us to join His mission.  

(Does this sound familiar?  This is the theme from our current ladies' Bible study.)

Jesus can do ministry alone but He doesn't.  He invites us to participate in His perfect plan.

 2.  Jesus uses our places to show us "our place."

If we are believers, then we all have a ministry of some sort.  Jesus meets us where we are.

3.  He calls us from out of our safe places into places of trust, obedience, and risks.

We catch bigger fish (more fish) by going into deeper waters.

God blesses us in places of obedience.

4.  Jesus brings us into places we never anticipated and it is awesome.

5.  Jesus wants us to get to the place where we are more like Him.

2019 Challenge

In order to help get us into "deeper waters," our pastor is encouraging us to focus on 5 people/families in 2019.  Do you know 5 people - 5 families - who don't know Jesus?  Perhaps you cn focus on them this year.  Build relationships with them.  Share Jesus with them.

I'd love to hear how you are "going deeper" this year.  If you feel comfortable doing so, encourage our blog community by sharing your stories in the comments below.

You'll find all my posts about this Bible study series here.

 

Friday, February 1, 2019

A Life Interrupted is a Life That is Privileged

I'm a planner.  I plan most things out in advance.  I don't plan ahead for everything in my life but once I have a plan in place, I get all out of sorts if something interferes with my plan.  If something comes along and interrupts my plan, everything seems to fall apart.   This makes life interruptions harder for me to manage, but I've started looking at life interruptions in a different way.  Our new ladies' Bible study is on the book of Jonah.  Through this study, Priscilla Shirer is teaching us how to navigate a life interrupted.  She is helping us see that a life interrupted is a life that is privileged.

Image Credit:  Brian Mann - Public Domain Image via Freely Photos

The very first verse in this study hits the nail on the head, so to speak.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. - Isaiah 55:8
I like to think that I have a plan for the year or maybe for the next 10 years . . . or 50.  I have it all thought out, but my thoughts are not God's thoughts and my ways are not His ways.

Jonah's life was interrupted.  God had a plan for Jonah and it was not the plan Jonah had anticipated.  Jonah ran from what God told him to do and it landed him in a heap of trouble - right into the belly of big fish.  

I've felt like Jonah lately.  Several months ago, almost a whole year now, my life was interrupted.  It's a bit of a long story but to make it short, I became ill and lost my business.  I had a plan to work my business a few more years and then implement another plan . . . but my thoughts were not God's thoughts and my ways were not His ways.  I was a life interrupted but I did not see it as a privilege at first.

In Jonah's case, he was told to go to a place called Nineveh.  Nineveh was a terrible place.  The people were brutal and violent.  Nineveh was a place of hopelessness and Jonah didn't want to go.  

You can read the full story of Jonah here, but to summarize the ending for you (sorry for the spoiler alert), Jonah eventually obeyed God and Nineveh saw a great revival.  

In the introduction, Priscilla said a few things that caught my attention.  

1.  One of the greatest revivals in history occurred because one man (ONE) responded in obedience.  

2.  God doesn't NEED me to accomplish His perfect plan.  It is a privilege to be called - to be favored enough by God to be asked to participate in His plan and purpose for all eternity.  WOW.  I never thought of it that way.  What a privilege!

God is showing me the direction he wants me to go from here.  It's not happening as fast as I would prefer but again, my thoughts are not His thoughts and my ways are not His ways. 

3.   The interrupted life is the cure for the search for significance.  

After I became ill and lost my business, I had no idea what to do.  I had no idea what my calling was.  However, since that time I have been able to serve others in ways I never could have accomplished otherwise.  He is opening doors of opportunity for me that never could have happened had He not interrupted my plan.  I am in awe of the things in which He is inviting me to participate. I am finding a sense of purpose again.  I still don't know all that He is working out but watching it all unfold and knowing He is orchestrating a beautiful thing out of what I first saw as a major inconvenience has been a beautiful experience.  

I am looking forward to the rest of this study, Jonah:  Navigating a Life Interupted by Priscilla Shirer.  I hope you'll stick around and allow me to show you what I learn because there is more!  I will be sharing short summaries about how I can apply these truths to my life while supporting the work Priscilla does through her ministry.

You'll find all my posts about this Bible study series here

In order to benefit from all this study has to offer under the direction of Priscilla Shirer, you'll need to either attend a full study group session at your church or another location.  If this option is not available for you, you can purchase the entire study, complete with all the DVDs below.


This item is available here.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Polar Bear Books and Activities for Kids


Image Credit:  Usborne Books and More

I know it's almost February but it is soooo cold outside.  Here in North Georgia, the weather is as unpredictable as it gets.  One day, we're breaking out our warmest winter clothes and the next day, we're pulling out our shorts and t-shirts.  I remember one year way back, we had an ice storm.  The next day, my mother and I were laying out in the sun in swimsuits while we watched the ice melt off the house.  It was late March.  (Please don't lay in the sun.  My skin cancer scar is now a daily reminder to be smarter.)

Anyway, the brutal cold reminds me of some of our Polar Bear books.  Let's take a quick look at those because I know your kids will love them.  Then, scroll on down and find several great polar bear activities to enrich the reading experience for your kids.

Polar Bear Books and Activities

 

That's Not My Polar Bear


This delightful series of board books is aimed at the very young child. Bright pictures and touchy-feely patches are designed to develop sensory and language awareness.

Age9 mo and up
Size6 1/2 x 6 1/2
Pages10
SeriesTouchy-Feely Board Books
AuthorWatt, Fiona

Bears 


What do bears eat? Where do they live? Can they swim? In this book you’ll find the answers and lots more about the fascinating world of bears.  

Age5-7 years
Size6 1/8 x 8 3/8
Pages32
SeriesBeginners
AuthorEmma Helbrough

These activity books are full of fun facts, quizzes, word searches, mazes, lots of tips from Bear Grylls, and more than 60 stickers!

Age8+
Size8 1/2 x 11
Pages32pp + stickers
SeriesBear Grylls Activity
AuthorBear Grylls

 Bear Grylls Complete Collection (7)

 


You’re given a magical compass and suddenly you’re no longer at outdoor camp but in an amazing place in the world – with Bear Grylls as your guide! 

Age7-10 years
Size5 x 7 3/4
Pages128 each
SeriesBear Grylls Adventures
AuthorBear Grylls

 

Polar Bear Activities to Enhance the Reading Experience

 

Build paper bag bear caves.  (Story Time Toys)

Build a Popsicle stick polar bear. (Glued to My Crafts)

Paint polar bears with puffy paint.  (Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten)

Download an arctic animals fun pack.  (1+1+1=1)

Practice writing skills with this polar bear writing craft.  (Miss Giraffe's Class)

Make arctic slime.  (Little Bins for Little Hands)

Make marshmallow polar bears.  (Mrs. Karle's Sight and Sound Reading)

Polar Bear Facts with Free Printable (Itsy Bitsy Fun)

Make a polar bear with newspaper.  (i heart Crafty things)

Learn why polar bears are white.  (Raising Lifelong Learners)

Enjoy this adorable polar bear paw snack.  (Thrifty Jinxy)

Make a paper plate polar bear. (Simply Today Life)

Make a peek-a-boo polar bear.  (10 Minutes of Quality Time)

Make and enjoy polar bear graham cracker squares. (The Simple Parent)

Learn how polar bears keep warm with this science experiment.  (The Pinay Homeschooler)

Color these free polar bear coloring pages.  (Fun for Little Ones)

Make polar bear story telling crowns.  (Books and Giggles)

Make a moving polar bear cub.  (Kids Craft Room)

Learn how blubber insulates polar bears with this great STEM project. (Preschool Powol Packets)

Have lots of fun with this mixed media polar bear craft.  (Where Imagination Grows)

Follow my Polar Bear Activities for Kids Pinterest board for many more ideas for polar bear activities and crafts.
 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Christ in Every Place (Christ in Every Place Series)

This morning, our pastor shared his vision for our church community.  His new sermon series is titled Christ Place in Every Place.  We will be talking about the places where Jesus went.  Our church is about following the example of Christ.  My pastor's message applies to all Jesus-followers.  As born again believers, we should all be in the mindset of sharing Jesus with others.  Jesus lives in us so wherever we go as believers, He goes with us.

Image Credit:  Hugues de Buyer Mimeure - Public Domain Image via Freely Photos

 Christ in Every Place


You are invited to watch and listen to my pastor's entire sermon here.

Our focal passage for today is Luke:14-20.

Luke was a doctor.  He cared about people and wanted to meet their needs.  Our church is a caring place.  We care about our community.  As Jesus-followers, we should care about our communities.  Jesus stepped into people's lives.  

The Public Ministry of Jesus

And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. 15 And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.
16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
Notice verse 20.  All eyes were fixed on Jesus.  It is important for us to keep our eyes on Jesus.

Jesus read from the book of Isaiah.  He read from Isaiah 61:2.  This verse would have been very familiar to the people of Jesus' day so they would have recognized immediately the phrase that Jesus left off . . . "and the day of vengeance of our God."  Remember, this was the day Jesus chose to proclaim his ministry and Jesus was filled with grace.  He wasn't indicating that He didn't believe the whole of the Old Testament Scriptures.  He was telling the people that He came to save, redeem, and rescue.  He came to love and heal.  Jesus was filled with grace and truth.  He knew how to balance the two.  We are to live by His example.

Look at verses 18 and 19 above.  Jesus came for:

the poor in Spirit
the blind
the bound
the broken-hearted
the oppressed

Do you see yourself in verses 18 and 19?  I know that I see myself in those verses.  Jesus came for me and Jesus came for you.

Look at those verses again.  Do you feel what Jesus felt?  Once you have received grace, do you want to give it to others?  Do you want other people to experience the grace that you have experienced?

Are you about what Jesus was about?

Jesus ministered to others in every place He went.  He fulfilled His mission, but He invited His disciples to join Him in His mission. 
Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. - Luke 10:1
Jesus sent other ahead of Him.  He sent disciples ahead to all the places He planned to visit.

If we are disciples of Jesus, then we are to take Jesus into all the places we go - the places we work, learn, and play.

We are also to love others the way Jesus loves them and listen to them the way Jesus listened to them.
What if, for one day, Jesus were to become you?  What if, for 24 hours, Jesus wakes up in your bed, walks in your shoes, lives in your house, and assumes your schedule?  Your boss becomes His boss.  Your friends become His friends.  Your pains become His pains with one exception - nothing about your life changes.  Your health doesn't change.  Your circumstances don't change.  Your schedule isn't altered.  Your problems are not solved.  Only one change occurs - Jesus lives your life with His heart.  Your heart gets the day off and your heart is led by the heart of Christ.  His priorities govern your actions.  His passions drive your decisions.  His love directs your behavior.  Would others around you notice a change?  - Max Lucado
If we take Jesus into every place we go, the world will notice big changes.  We need to pray for God to extend our borders of ministry as Jabez did.
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain.” 10 Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested. - 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
This item is available here.

Jesus said we are to do things as He did.
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. - John 14:12
 God can keep on doing what He has done.
Anything God has ever done, He can do now.   Anything God has done anywhere, He can do here.  Anything God has done in and through anyone, He can do through you. - A.W. Tozer
6 out of 10 people in my community do not know Jesus.  Perhaps the statistics in your community are similar . . . or worse.  We are to take life into lifeless places.  We must carry the love of Jesus where there is no love.  No place should be off limits.  There are no boundaries because Jesus is not bound.

We need to reach out to others with the contagious joy that we know in Christ Jesus.

Are you wondering how you can receive into your heart this Jesus we so eagerly share?  Please allow me to share more with you here.

*Note:  The day after attending this sermon, I started attending a new ladies' Bible study.  We are studying Jonah:  Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer.  God had a vision for Nineveh just like we have a vision for our community and hopefully you have a vision for your community.  I am so encouraged by the parallelism of these two messages.  You'll find my first post bout this Bible study here.

God invited Jonah to participate in His plan and purpose for Nineveh which would impact eternity.  God is inviting me to participate in His plan and purpose for my community.  Is God inviting you to participate in His plan and purpose for your community?  What a privilege to be invited into God's plan and purpose!

How will you respond?  How will you take Jesus into every place in your community?

I'd love to hear your stories!  Please come back and use the comment section below to share with us all that God is doing in your places.

You'll find all my posts in this Bible study series here.