Resources

http://www.Christianbook.com ~ buy a Bible! I recommend the ESV. 

http://www.9marks.org ~ to find a good solid Bible based expository church 

Bible Apps: Tecarta Bible App or YouVersion Bible App 

BlueLetterBible.org or the App or Strong’s Concordance is excellent to have on hand to look up original text words. 

Seasons Winter Edition

Screen Shot 2018-12-31 at 6.23.42 PMThe Winter Edition of the Seasons Prayer Journal and Calendar is here! The outside features a beautiful frosty leaf and the inside has fun line art drawings of pine cones and evergreens. This Journal is large at 8.5×11 inches (letter size) and is over 180 pages long. It will take your through a Prayer journey of 12 weeks with guided prayer prompts, daily Bible verses, weekly sermon notes, and monthly and weekly calendars. Get organized and more disciplined in your prayer life this year with the Seasons Prayer Journal and Calendar Winter Edition!

To see all the journals available for this season, click on each link.

PURPLE JOURNAL
12 Week 8.5×11 inch Purple Journal with floral inside: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792690711

WINTER LIGHT BLUE JOURNAL
12 Week 8.5×11 inch Light Blue Journal with winter pine inside:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792936168

BLUE JOURNAL
12 Week 8.5×11 inch Blue Journal with winter pine inside:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792804318

GREEN JOURNAL
12 Week 8.5×11 inch Green Journal with simple design inside:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792674759

PINK JOURNAL
12 Week 8.5×11 inch Pink Journal with floral inside: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792749317

TEAL JOURNAL
12 Week 8.5×11 inch Teal Journal with floral inside:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792747608

8 WEEK MINI PURPLE JOURNAL
8 Week 9×6 inch Purple Journal with floral inside: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792701896

8 WEEK MINI BLUE
8 Week 9×6 inch Blue Journal with winter pine inside:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792934955

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FreeJournal

Seasons Prayer JournalThe Seasons Prayer Journal is designed to help you connect with God on a daily basis. It includes a guided daily prayer log along with a daily Bible verse. At the beginning of the journal there is a space to write in your month-at-a-glance calendar and at the beginning of each week there is a week-at-a-glance page. At the end of each week there is a spot for weekly reflections and a spread to take your Sunday sermon notes. This journal is something that is to become a daily companion. You may purchase a hard copy of one of the 8 different designs on Amazon (see below) or you may print off a copy for yourself.

I desire that everyone be able to use this journal. If you are unable to afford the $8 or $10 version on Amazon, please download this free copy as my gift to you. It is only for you to print one copy. Please do not print multiple copies or transfer your copy to another person. It should never be reproduced in multiples. If you have friends who are unable to afford the hard copy of the journal, please direct them to this website. www.holyjustlove.com/2018/12/31/freejournal

Before you download your free copy, I ask that you consider making a tax-deductable donation to the missions ministry of Christ Community Church, my home church. We are building a missions program in Japan and you may know I have a heart for Japan as my husband is Japanese. Even if you only have $1 to donate, it will be very helpful!
Donate Here: https://www.ccclh.org/give

Here is the download link to the Journal. If you would rather get a hard copy, there are 8 different versions to choose from. See below.
Free Download Click Here
https://tinyurl.com/y98jk9wx

To see all the journals available for this season, click on each link.

PURPLE JOURNAL
12 Week 8.5×11 inch Purple Journal with floral inside: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792690711

WINTER LIGHT BLUE JOURNAL
12 Week 8.5×11 inch Light Blue Journal with winter pine inside:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792936168

BLUE JOURNAL
12 Week 8.5×11 inch Blue Journal with winter pine inside:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792804318

GREEN JOURNAL
12 Week 8.5×11 inch Green Journal with simple design inside:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792674759

PINK JOURNAL
12 Week 8.5×11 inch Pink Journal with floral inside: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792749317

TEAL JOURNAL
12 Week 8.5×11 inch Teal Journal with floral inside:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792747608

8 WEEK MINI PURPLE JOURNAL
8 Week 9×6 inch Purple Journal with floral inside: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792701896

8 WEEK MINI BLUE
8 Week 9×6 inch Blue Journal with winter pine inside:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792934955

 


12 Week Prayer Journals.

  • Guided Prayer Journal
  • Daily Bible Verses based on a weekly topic (ESV)
  • Monthly at-a-glance Calendar
  • Weekly at-a-glance Calendar
  • Weekly Sermon Notes
  • End of Season Reflections

 

 

Promises from Above

Seasons Prayer JournalGod’s promises are everywhere in His word. Some are promises for specific people, some for an entire nation, some for His children (you and me), and even some for the entire world, through His amazing common grace. The verses we will look at this week are promises from all over scripture. Make sure to consider the context of each verse. To whom was it written to and why? Is there a universal truth to the passage? How it could apply to you today? Store these promises in your heart. Write them on your mind through memorization and repetition. Call on them when you need help on the battlefield. God is always ready with his armor. Tell God how big your problems are, but always remember to tell your problems how big your God is!

Look up one verse per day this week and prayerfully consider how you should respond to it.

Day 1: Jeremiah 29:11

Day 2: 1 John 1:7

Day 3: Romans 8:28

Day 4: Proverbs 3:5-6

Day 5: 1 Corinthians 10:13

Day 6: 1 John 1:9

Day 7: Matthew 6:33

Listening to the Word

Seasons Prayer JournalWhile we often think of prayer as a way for us to speak to God, we must remember that the Bible is how God speaks to us. During your time this week prayerfully consider how you listen to God’s word through daily Bible reading, memorizing scripture, and digging deeper into a single verse or passage. Use the below verses, one day at a time, to help you consider how important the Word of God is. Look it up in your own Bible. Write it down in the space provided. The verse is always there for you in the English Standard Version (ESV). Meditate on those verses. Chew on them a bit. Mull them over in your mind. Print them out on a card and put it somewhere you will see it throughout the day. Consider putting a notification alert on your phone a few times during the day as a verse reminder.

Day 1: 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Day 2: Joshua 1:8

Day 3: Psalm 119:11

Day 4: Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Day 5: Hebrews 4:12

Day 6: Hebrews 4:16

Day 7: 1 John 5:14-15

The Role of the Wife, The Role of the WOMAN

Our culture has gotten exceedingly smart, but on one topic it seems we have become confused. I realize my stance is not a popular one and I realize I am in the minority, but please consider the Truth of the matter. Women, if you are desiring to live a Biblical life, then I encourage you to shut out what our culture is saying we need to be. When the Fall happened, one of the struggles God gave Eve was that her desire would be for her husband. This has often been established to mean that we as women will struggle with wanting to BE LIKE our husbands: take on the authority role in the home, work a full-time job, and have our husbands take on more culturally acceptable roles such as helping with the kids and household duties. These are things our husbands are to do, meaning, THEY are to be the authority, THEY are to work the land (have a job that supports the family) and THEY are to desire US to be in charge of the household duties and kids.

OK, so how could this be possibly incorrect? A further look at the understanding of  women desiring after our husbands, could also mean that we would not only want to be like our husbands but we would also desire his approval. We would subconsciously make an idol of our husband! The confusion digs its heals in deeper when we look at how society wants us to “lean in” and partner in our roles. That our roles are somehow fluid and you as a human can do whatever you want as long as your partner is on board.

To my women friends out there who are tired, overwhelmed, depressed, and utterly beat down by your life at the moment, I challenge you to take a good look at your lifestyle. Have you bought into society’s view of womanhood? If you say no, you are a Christian and feel you are living as He asks but still find yourself beat down, are you focusing on the things God has asked you to focus on? Are you focusing on HIM? Are you doing the things he has called you to do or are you trying to please everyone else around you, such as your husband and your kids? Have you made an idol of them!?

I encourage you to read Proverbs 31 today. She was a strong woman! Respected! She even worked and purchased land. She was SMART! But take a look at her priorities. It is often said comparison is never a good thing, but in the case of the Proverbs 31 woman, I feel a lot more of us would do well to model our own life after hers. Those who know me, know I am an over-achiever. Before I was saved, I was exactly what society told me to be. I was good at it! I was terribly lost and terribly unhappy on the inside. Once Jesus got a hold of me, things drastically changed. Go back to basics, sister. Honor God! Honor your husband by being the beautiful creature God made you to be… a WOMAN! Value and uphold your differences and embrace them.

Should we as Christians celebrate Ash Wednesday or the season of Lent?

While it has become a popular thing to celebrate among Evangelical Christians, Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Season is not something we should be too keen on celebrating. Most do not know that it is a medieval ascetic practice. An ascetic practice is when we try to discipline our body by putting major restrictions on it in order to achieve a higher spiritual state. With Lent, we are to fast for 40 days, or as it has changed in modern times, give up something that may be hard to give up. Lent in it’s original context as given by the Catholic church calls for very specific areas of asceticism.  (CCC § 2043) The fourth precept — “You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church” — ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts.”

While I am not saying to practice Lent is a major sin, you need to see what the New Testament says concerning how we should proceed. It is important to weigh any and all “church tradition” against scripture and hold fast to scripture far and above what man tells us to do. What I am calling for is a “take back” of what it means to “take out” Satan in an area of our lives. There are things that the world has bastardized and I feel strongly about redeeming things when necessary. This may be an instance of redemption of terms. Let’s take a look at what God says:

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. (1 Timothy 4:1-5)

The Bible also states:

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. (Colossians 2:16–23

Taking back Lent really only means we are considering the original intent of why a group of men decided to ask their congregation to practice this in the first place. We must also consider these passages:

for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:8)

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:27)

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

CONSIDER THIS: Jesus came and lived among us as a man. Think about that for longer than a second or two. Would the President of the United States ever decide to go live in the slums of New York? Or would the Queen of England give up her comforts in the Royal Palace to live with the servants? NEVER! But God did just that. He gave up everything, EVERYTHING, to live a life we could never live and die the death we deserve. This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. Not every Christian group observes this season, but this year I am encouraging you to look at what it means and why so many people “give up” something for the Lent Season (40 days leading up to Easter, technically 46 counting Sundays). People give up things for various reasons based on self-denial, penance, fasting, reducing sin, etc., etc. I often hear of people giving up things like chocolate, favorite foods, sugar, alcohol, procrastination, lying, gossip, road rage, and all sorts of other “things” that tend to spike sin or give us pleasure. While I suppose these are good ideas I’d like to look at some ideas that may be a better consideration to bring you closer to God.

As I mentioned, Jesus came and gave up everything. Satan tried to tempt him over 40 days with all sorts of things. He is the great deceiver. For us Christians he is no longer the great deceiver, but is most definitely the great distracter. He has figured out how to get us distracted from our work, distracted from our first love, distracted from serving God only. What is your distraction? TV? Facebook? Instagram? Strava? Sports? iPad Games? General Cell Phone Use? What takes your time? Look at your days and your week. You sleep 8 hours, you work 8 hours or are a full time mom, you do other life things like commute, eat, shower for about 2-4 hours. What do you do for the other 4-6 hours a day? Only you can answer the item that is a thorn in your side at this moment. What is your distraction? What do you tend to get sucked into? OK, do you have it? Write it down right now. Stop reading and write it down. (PAUSE)

I challenge you to give that up now. Don’t consider it a Lent activity, but commit to break the hold Satan has on you in this area. But don’t just give it up and replace it with something else. Replace it with time with God in prayer, reading His Word, serving or in outreach. If you are giving up a large chunk of time, like 3 hours a day of TV, then break it up. Read your Bible for an hour a day, read a book about theology, and pray more. If this is too large to handle, then take the 3 hours and give half to God. Watch TV for only an hour and a half, and spend the other time with God. Same with athletic training. If you still need to train, consider taking a portion of that time and giving it to God. Figure out something that is doable but that is still a sacrifice to you. It should not be easy. Then do it! Constantly remind yourself of all the things Jesus gave up for all of us. If you are brave, I encourage you to comment below with the item that you want to give up. The benefit is that we will all be praying specifically for you to stay strong. Let’s do this together and honor God in our sacrifice. Let’s not allow Satan to win his war on the saints of distraction warfare. Place God first! Resolve today to become a better ambassador, a stronger believer, a more faithful Christian.

White Space and the Imaginary Trophy Case

I’ve chosen to live my life with a lot of white space. I see my friends rushing around like crazy people always busy busy busy. The idol of the American Soccer Mom is her family’s imaginary trophy case. Trophies such as: How many after school activities can my kids participate in? How many meaningful classes and programs can I fit into my life to show the world I have purpose? Forget keeping up with the Joneses, I want to be the Joneses. This seems like the battle cry, or rather exhausted sob, of practically everyone I know. Depression is rampant, child medication is necessary, and anxiety over a self-conceived world that is spinning dangerously close to the edge seems the norm these days.

I’ll have none of that, thank you very much. I’ll take lazy mornings reading and praying. Days spent in my most comfortable clothing working in a career that I’d do for free if I could. Enjoying long bike rides and talks with my best friend and husband. The ability to be home to emphatically greet my child as he rushes in the door from school to give me a big hug. Afternoons spent hearing about the happenings of the day and being read a night time story by my 8 year old. Being available to my community. Going to bed when I choose and sleeping like a baby without any stress of the days to come because I’m free. 

All this is because I look at all the white space in my calendar as a gift. That space is precious. It affords me peace. It allows me time to be able to help someone in need. Living counter to what culture has dictated I should be doing, allows me to do the things I want to be doing. Give yourself a little more white space this season. Look at every “yes” you want to commit to and reconsider it. Is it your best yes? Edit your life. Ruthlessly cut out the things that are not your best yes and fill up your calendar with as much white space as possible. Pruning can be painful, but the beautiful growth that occurs afterward is worth it!

Misguided Passion and Zeal

I can be overly zealous about things; seriously passionate. Why is it that being passionate about other religious traditions or our careers is acceptable, yet being a complete sold out Jesus freak is not? Paul writes about his own misguided passion and zeal to the Galatians in verse 1:14 when he talks about his former desire to uphold his ingrained education and tradition. He states, “And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers.”

The Galatians were being reprimanded by Paul because they were turning back to their old customs. They were living in bondage again to the Hebrew customs rather than living free under the grace they obtained through the gospel. Paul needed to tell his story rather than just point the finger. Sometimes it is very helpful to others to understand we understand what they are going through because we went through it ourselves. The passion and zeal is not bad, but where it is directed may be. Today, anything done with passion surrounding the true gospel is risky, even within some church groups.

My jealousy for Jesus in a group setting of other “Christians” has been asked to be tempered several times. Perhaps it could cause someone to stumble or perhaps it upsets the “come enjoy our casual church” feel they are trying to promote. Some Christians are looked at like fanatics, lunatics, and freaks, but people who are passionate about any other religion or thing on this earth are praised as driven, passionate, and are applauded for their efforts. The temporary ruler of this world has only one desire and goal, to get us to turn from Christ and turn to anything and everything that is a false hope or false pursuits in hopes of never allowing anyone to see the Truth. Be on guard, Christian, in every situation, and keep your eye trained on the One who is Truth.

My Obsession

How often do we become obsessed with something, someone, or some purpose in our lives? We become highly convicted that it is right; we are right. We hustle and chase after a big dream only to find out that, in reality, we are chasing after the wind. We may not figure this out on this side of heaven, but our hope should be, as Christians, that the Holy Spirit inside would reveal when an obsession becomes an idol. The obsessions in our lives are the very things that have the potential power to take our eyes off of what is truly important. 

Paul was obsessed with keeping to his Hebrew scholarly convictions until Christ revealed otherwise. Paul needed to remind the Galatians how fervent his dedication to Judaism was and how he was wrong. Admitting when you are wrong is a big thing in Christianity. He needed to lead by example just as Jesus did. In Galatians 1:13 Paul writes, “For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it.”

I can relate to Paul. I am so super opinionated and sometimes violently uphold my position. I am so enamored with Christ that all I care about is his glory. I say that with a bit of trepidation because that is how I would like to see myself but my spirit knows I fumble every day. That is the beauty of sanctification. I try to be bold for Jesus. I want to violently destroy the works of Satan. I also need to admit when my fleshly desire to be right gets in the way of the gospel message. 

Father help me to be an excellent ambassador for you. Help me to help others see You; to see You in your magnitude. Lord you are everything and I am nothing. I am your slave — your fully sold-out-to-you slave. I want to be excellently obsessed about you, for you.