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Your daily dose of true beauty advice… When my paralysis finally began to sink in, when I realized it was permanent, I felt like my life had come to a dead end. I had absolutely no strength to fight off that … Continue reading

A Minute for Mommy

Elyse Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson When God calls our children to come to him, even if we haven’t gotten it all right, even if we’ve trained little Pharisees or have a house full of prodigals, nothing is impossible for him. … Continue reading

A Minute for Mommy

Rachel Jankovic

As you deal with your children, deal with yourself always and first. This is what it looks like to walk with God, as a mother.

God treats us with great kindness as we fail daily. He takes the long view of our sin—knowing that every time we fail and repent, we grow in our walk with Him. It is easy for us to accept this, because our sins are, well, ours.

But our children sin against us, annoy us, and mess up our stuff. we want to hold it against them, complain about them (if only to ourselves), and feel put upon by their sin. We have a much harder time accepting that every failure from them is a wonderful opportunity for repentance and growth and not an opportunity to exact penance.

(Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches, p. 14)

About A Minute for Mommy… 

Even though busy moms don’t have much time to read, we still need biblical encouragement as much anyone. That’s what A Minute for Mommy posts are all about, sharing Godly wisdom from solid teachers that you can read in right around a minute or less. 

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Just about everywhere we turn, someone is talking about love. In fact, it may very well be the most popular thing in our culture — we just love to talk about love, yet never before has love been more exploited, nor has it ever been more distorted. Love has become a meaningless word. And instead of standing firm in love, many Christians have been duped by the world’s definition of love, which proclaims self rather than sacrifice.

According to the world, we love in order to be loved. According to the Word, we love because God first loved us. Whereas the world falls in love, God’s people are established in love. The love that we possess, however, is not a fleeting whim that comes and goes with every mood and circumstance; rather, it is a love that is beyond ourselves. Our love, true love, has meaning, meaning that cannot be stripped away by any thing, any one, or any feeling. Our love cannot be shaken because it is grounded not in self but in sacrifice.

Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). In His once-for-all sacrifice, Jesus Christ demonstrated true love, the true love of God. By this great demonstration of love, love has been defined, and no worldly deception can seduce it. 

~Burk Parsons in “Love is in the Air

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Worry is a failure to understand God’s priority, [Luke 12] verses 22 and 23. “He said to His disciples, ‘For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life as to what you shall eat nor for your body as to what you shall put on, for life is more than food and the body more than clothing.’”

Now here’s the point: God didn’t create you just to survive. God didn’t create you just to have you eat and wear clothes so that you can make it. God did not create you to fulfill some physical goal, or objective, or purpose or design.

Your life is far more than eating. Your life is far more than clothing. You must understand the divine priority…if you belong to God and you are in His Kingdom, He has a plan and a purpose for your life. That’s the reason you live. And as long as God has a plan for your life, He will feed you and clothe you until the plan is complete. So what is there to worry about?

There is really no place for worry and no place for fear, and no place for anxiety if you understand that the priority with God is far more than just surviving, it’s far more than making it through the winter, it’s far more than getting at least one or two meals a day, far more than that.

God’s purpose in giving you life, God’s purpose in giving you a body is not material, it’s not physical, and it’s not earthly, it is immaterial, spiritual and heavenly. We were made for His glory.

We were made to serve His glory, to serve His purpose, to honor Him, to bring attention to Him, to proclaim the gospel, to live out Christ and the power of the Spirit in the world. And as long as that’s the divine priority…for us, He will sustain us to the end of His purpose.

~John MacArthur inAnxiety-Free Living, Part 2

Photo: OBMonkey

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God’s continuing presence is a shield against overwhelming temptation. Any time Satan wants to get to a believer, he has to go through God. First Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able endure it.”

God is present personally and individually with every believer to defend him against temptation he can’t handle.

That God is present everywhere ought to motivate us to obey Him more carefully. When we sin, whether it is a sin of thought or a sin of words or a sin of actions, it is done in the presence of God. Psalm 90 is a prayer of Moses, and in verse 8, Moses acknowledges the implications of God’s omnipresence with regard to our sin: “You have placed our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of your presence.”

In other words, when we sin, it is as if we ascended beyond the clouds, came into the throne room of God, walked up to the foot of the throne of God and committed the sin right before His face. That is a sobering thought.

~John MacArthur in Worship: The Ultimate Priority

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Is it true that God is love to me as a Christian? And does the love of God mean all that has been said? If so, certain questions arise.

Why do I ever grumble and show discontent and resentment at the circumstances in which God has placed me?

Why am I ever distrustful, fearful, or depressed?

Why do I ever allow myself to grow cool, formal and halfhearted in the service of the God who loves me so?

Why do I ever allow my loyalties to be divided, so that God has not all my heart?

John wrote that “God is love” in order to make an ethical point, “Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 Jn 4:11). Could an observer learn from the quality and degree of love that I show to others–my wife? my husband? my family? my neighbors? people at church? people at work? –anything at all about the greatness of God’s love to me?

Meditate upon these things. Examine yourself.

~J.I. Packer in Knowing God

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What comes to mind when I say the word “father”?

…If you’ve been wounded by a father or another man that you’ve trusted, you may find it hard to trust God. Can I tell you that God is unlike any man you’ve ever known? Even the best earthly father is only a pale reflection of Him.

We need to look to the Scripture for an accurate picture of God. In God’s Word we see a heavenly Father who’s compassionate, merciful, and tender toward His children; a Father who loves to give good gifts to His children; a Father who disciplines His children, but never rejects them.

Regardless of what kind of earthly father you may have had, if you’re a child of God, you have a heavenly Father who loves you dearly and can be totally trusted.

~Nancy Leigh DeMoss inJust Like My Father

Photo: OBMonkey

No Child Left Behind

Don’t you love the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing something you’ve started? Cleaning out your email inbox, submitting a final paper, folding the last piece of clean laundry, crossing the stage to take your diploma in hand—something just feels so right about reaching the finish line of any project.

The problem for me is, I don’t get that feeling nearly as often as I would like. My house could easily double as a museum for unfinished projects. If you were to come over for a tour, you’d find partially read books, half-completed paintings, unassembled craft projects, and a wide assortment of other good intentions gone bad.

The Frustrating Reality

Believe me, if I could blame my lack of follow-through on anything outside of myself, I probably would, but I know the truth—I am the only reason that after two years, that autumn wreath is still in pieces in a bag in the closet instead of ready to hang on my front door.

If my distractibility and lack of discipline only affected my attempts at seasonal decorating, then things wouldn’t be all that bad. What’s really discouraging to me is thinking about all of the unfinished business in my spiritual life. After all these years of following Christ, shouldn’t I be further along in my pursuit of holiness? 

Sometimes in the midst of struggles with particular sins or sin patterns, I can’t help feeling like I’ve made just about as much progress in my sanctification as I have with that bag of wreath parts in the closet.

The Reassuring Promise

In those moments, I’m encouraged to remember that God is the polar opposite of me. He knows how to get things done.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

God’s good intentions always result in finished products. When Paul says in this verse that God “will perfect” His good work, he means God will accomplish, complete thoroughly, and bring what He began in us at the moment of salvation to a successful finish.

What a promise! Although our progress on earth is slow, intermittent, and sometimes difficult to identify, we, like Paul, can have confidence that God never begins something He won’t eventually bring to completion.

He is at work in us, and by His grace is providing us with the power to join Him in that work (Phil. 2:12-13). According to Scripture, the reason God saves us is to make us like His Son (Rom. 8:29). We can rest assured that in the end, no child of His will be left behind.

The Completed Picture

Do you know Christ as your Savior? If so, be encouraged that what is now incomplete in your life will one day be brought to perfection. Praise the Lord, He always gets the job done!

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him
(1 John 3:2) 

Image: Billy Alexander

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While writing a book on holiness, I began to pray this prayer:

Oh God,
Show me more of Your holiness.
Show me more of my sinfulness.
Help me to hate sin and to love righteousness as You do.
And make me holy as You are holy.

God answered that prayer by starting to expose sin in my heart—things like not controlling my tongue, my appetite, or my spending habits, and loving myself more than I love others. The more we see God’s holiness, the more we’ll be grieved by sin.

First Corinthians 15:34 says, “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin.” God can awaken a new love for righteousness in your heart. Could I challenge you to pray a prayer like that for the next thirty days? Ask God to give you a deeper conviction of sin and to show you more of His holiness.

~Nancy Leigh DeMoss in “Seeing God’s Holiness

Photo: OBMonkey

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Remember that the mind is the watchman of the soul, commanded to judge and determine whether something is good and pleasing to God, so the affections can long for it and the will can choose it. If the mind fails to identify a sin as evil, wicked, vile, and bitter, the affections will not be safe from clinging to it, nor the will from giving consent. 

This is one side of the castle wall, the first line of defense: to keep in mind that every sin is a forsaking of God (Jeremiah 2:19), to never forget the polluting, corrupting, defiling power of sin—to be shaken to the core by how much God loathes sin.

When Paul said Christ’s love compelled him (2 Corinthians 5:14), he described the other side of this first defense: the mind must stay fixed on God, especially on his grace and goodness toward us. His love propels, fuels, drives us to obey. It is the fountain of our obedience, and our highest motive to finding out what pleases the Lord and doing it.

In order to walk before God, this is the mind’s first duty: to know and hold on to the evil of sin and the love of God.

~Kris Lundgaard in The Enemy Within

Photo: OBMonkey

Trusting Our Father’s Driving

“For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust,
O LORD, from my youth.”

Psalm 71:5

Comforting and convicting words from J.I. Packer…

“Do not worry about your life,” says the Lord, “what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear” (Mt 6:25). But, says someone, this is not realistic; how can I help worrying, when I face this, and this, and this? To which Jesus’ reply is: Your faith is too small. Have you forgotten that God is your Father? “Look at the birds of the air; …your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (v. 26). If God cares for the birds, whose Father he is not, is it not plain that he will certainly care for you, whose Father he is?

The point is put positively in verses 31-33: “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ …Your heavenly Father knows that you need [these things]. But seek first his [your Father's] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

“We might have a crash,” said the small girl anxiously, as the family car threaded its way through traffic. “Trust Daddy; he’s a good driver,” said Mommy. The young lady was reassured, and she relaxed at once. Do you trust your heavenly Father like that? If not, why not?

Such trust is vital; it is in truth the mainspring of the life of faith, which without it becomes a life of at least partial belief.

[Knowing God, p. 213; emphasis added]

Although we may not know what’s ahead, we do know our Father, and
that is enough.

Photo: Denise Docherty

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When I used to ride horses, I had a special relationship with my thoroughbred named Auggie. Because I fed him, brushed him, and exercised him, he knew me and trusted my judgment when I guided him through fences in the show ring. It was the joy of his heart to do my will because he trusted my wisdom.

Well, First Peter chapter 4 says, “…those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” To commit ourselves to our Creator is to trust Him; to do good is to obey Him.

Trust and obey! Oh, that we would be like a simple horse and trust the wisdom of the one holding the reins in our lives. If we’d only take the time to really know our Master (like my horse knew me), we’d trust Him and obey Him more easily, more faithfully.

Join me in yielding to the One who holds the reins. 

~Joni Eareckson Tada in “Trust and Obey

Photo: OBMonkey