Walking with Christ & Sitting Among Friends Blog Party #39


When I started Sitting Among Friends, I had this idea of friends sitting together and talking about Jesus (one of my favorite things to do).

We would learn from each other and encourage and strengthen one another to walk closer with Him. These last two weeks have been a great opportunity for friends to gather and do just that.

One thing I hope you take away from this is our time with God can look very different, the key factor is showing up and laying our hearts at His feet.

This week, I have more amazing Bible reading and study tips from these lovely ladies. I am sure you will love reading them as much as I did. 

Let me know in the comments if there are any study tips that you may be incorporating or ones you already do that we may not have mentioned.
If you missed tips and encouragement from my friends last week you can read it here. E Enjoy!

My time in God's Word is what keeps me afloat. When that time suffers, I begin to sink. I've needed to be creative at times because the seasons of life change and as we transition into new ones, old habits no longer worked. Although I do love to have a few minutes of prayer or time reading the Bible when I first wake up, it is a difficult feat for me because I am not a morning person. At all! I think it's so important to keep God's Word woven into the fabric of our days. Not as an isolated event, but as something we get bits and pieces of all day long. Whether it's worship music in my ear buds, a Biblically based podcast in my car, or curled up in my comfy chair with Bible in hand, His truth and hope hold my thoughts captive. 

Most mornings, with coffee, I begin with Boa’s Face To Face - scripture written in the first person - and journal/pray through the scriptures listed by the day. They cover 3 months so I begin all over again every 3 months. Always fresh. I highlight things to blog or write about later, and categorize by topics - H for hospitality, C for Creator God - or whatever God is laying on my heart.

It’s a beautemous habit, oil for my spirit, water for my heart, instruction for my mind, conviction for my waywardness, and connection for my relationship with God who made us for that very thing.

It’s usually around 7 am in my green quiet time chair in the front room. 
Get a retreat in a basket ready so you can pick up your quiet time supplies and move on a dime when your room doesn’t work any particular day: include what you need: Kleenex, pen, paper, journal, Bibles, devo books, notecards, and a list pad for your to do list - our to do’s interrupt us - so write it down, and leave it for later.

Without it, I don’t have much to give anyone else. Ministry is spillage. That means I need to fill up on a regular basis.

I rarely use a radio in the car because when I’m alone I use it for communing with God about my day. Of course, it’s hard for those for little kids - it’s even harder to get up earlier than little people. So give yourself a pass, but when alone, go to God first, even for 5 minutes. 

Wow, I'm so happy to weigh in on this topic because my quiet time with God and the truth He brings to my heart through His Word are the only reason why I would ever consider blogging or teaching, because my own wisdom is pretty thin under the best of circumstances, so here are my thoughts, and I hope they are helpful.  

My time in the Word has changed over the years in respond to changes in my family. Before children, I kept my Bible, notebook, and any reference materials in a lovely basket -- with a shawl and all my special pens, so it was a cozy thing that I loved.  This worked very well until my first child became mobile. 

During the toddler years, I found that I could keep an eye on all four boys if I stationed myself at the dining room table where I could see and hear all.  Although I missed the quiet intimacy of early mornings, I felt (and still feel) that my mornings need to be kept free for interacting with my husband before he leaves for work.  What I have received from that "sacrifice" has been the gift of modeling for my children the truth that time in the Word is a regular part of my day. 

Homeschooling four boys, I learned to keep a bag packed with everything I needed to read, study, and review Scripture memory, so the min-van became my "Tabernacle" -- it moved, right?  I can meet with the Lord as I wait for a piano lesson or sit in the Middle School parking lot during a rehearsal.  

Planning for flexibility has made all the difference for me, and has made it possible for God's Truth to be both center and circumference for me.

I spend time in the word whenever it is the quietest in my house. I find that if I try to read the Bible while my kids are up and about, I just get frustrated because of interruptions and in turn get upset with them. I try to get up early while all are sleeping or wait until they are in bed. Sometimes I will let them watch a show so I can retreat to my bedroom to read.

I absolutely love spending time in the word because I feel so alive; I feel like it is what I was meant to do. The more time I spend with Him, the more I long for it. It truly is the joy of my life. 

I usually study the Bible in my bedroom, probably because it is my own quiet place of solitude. I've become used to it, and now it is just my favorite place. Just heading there to do my devotions is uplifting to me.

My time with God is absolutely essential. It renews my mind each day so that I can live the way he wants me to live. It gives me purpose and sets my mind toward heavenly things instead of earthly ones. It is so easy to get caught up in worldly values, and God's word shows me that only He matters. Studying His word also gives me a peace that the world can't give; it relieves my anxieties because I remember I can trust in Him. Sitting in His presence is the greatest blessing to me.


A tip for quiet time: Sometimes I'm not sure exactly where to start reading in my Bible, so in those cases I normally turn to the Psalms. Every time I read in that book, I am amazed by who God is, and most often I can relate to the struggles that the author is having. I love the pure honesty of the Psalms. I see the greatness of God and how we are free to bring all of our thoughts to him, no matter what they are.

Please encourage a friend today by sharing this page with them! 

You can also join me on one of my social media sites where we can connect throughout the week. 
Facebook 


Google+

"Featured Friend" Will Be on Hold for Two Weeks! Please Visit One of the Friends that shared with us today or one of the friends on the linkup below!
While you're here, sit down with some of my friends.

WOW! I know Summer is busy so I thank you all for coming here and for the 85 Amazing posts. This party has been wonderful and it is thanks to you, friends, who link-up with us and those who stop by and read and SHARE! Thank you!

You all are amazing writers who share DIY's, Recipes, Photos, Giveaways, Homeschool and Family and Faith. Many of you have amazing journeys of faith and I praise the Lord we are able to connect here!


There are easy share buttons to your left or at the bottom of each post (mobile) and after you link-up. Thanks for sharing! 

Thanks! From all of us at  #SittingAmongFriends
*** I am no longer pinning to Pinterest, but you are welcome to join me on Pinterest and Pin to Our Sitting Among Friends Blog Party Board where I will be happy to re-pin posts to my other boards. ***








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Time for Loving Our Lord! & Sitting Among Friends Blog Party #38

I just have to say, I have some really amazing blogger friends. If you have not had the opportunity to visit their sites during the weekly linkup, find your way down this page and check out some of their posts.

I have had the pleasure to be in the presence of people who love the Lord and are passionate about sharing Jesus with as many people as they can.

Last week, I asked them to help me out with this post. 

In fact ,I had such a great response from them, we will get to enjoy more next week. I don’t want you to miss any of their responses.

If you missed my post last week titled, “Are You Too Busy”, you can read it here. 

Last week’s post stemmed these thoughts. We come before the Lord in so many ways. We sometimes feel the pressure to “get it right”.  What are real people doing for their Bible Study?

They have answered those questions here and I am thrilled to share their hearts with you here. We are talking real moms, real women of faith with a real passion for loving the Lord.

You will find great tips and honest hearts. I am sure you will be blessed by their responses. I know I certainly have.

To relieve some pressure right away, there are many ways to come before the Lord and spend time with Him. The key is a willing heart. 

We have to remember, God desires us. He desires our hearts. He wants a relationship with us. He created us to be in community with Him.

If you don’t know where to start, start there. A willing heart ready to be in communion with Christ.

Now sharing their heart and passion for the Word, here are some dear women to share their walk in the Word with you.


About a dozen years ago, our family went through a crisis. My Bible became a lifeline. I read through from Genesis to Revelation in just a few months. God used His Word to carry me through that difficult time and gave me a passion for spending time with Him. I continue to grab my Bible and prayer journal each morning and enjoy the blessing of His strength and indescribable peace. 


I know my time with Him has certainly changed as seasons have changed.
My heart is to align my thoughts with God's and allow His grace to fill and overflow through me so I bookend my day with His Word. Reading a chapter first thing sets the course for my day, and reading The One Year Bible helps me sleep at night. I dive deeper with the First 5 app and the Life Application Bible, which have both helped me apply God's Word to my every day.


I have carved out a specific time in my day for Bible study and prayer. It is not an obligation to me at all, Jaime. Over time, it has become my pleasure and delight. It's often the best part of my day.
I know that many young wives and moms struggle to make this time, but I just wonder if they would carve out that time like they do for their children's sports activities or showering each day--non-negotiables to be sure!--would they in time come to experience it as I do? I just think they don't realize it is possible.


I love getting up before everyone else in the house. 
Coffee first.

Then, notebook, Bible, pen, and a few moments looking up just one verse each morning. I'm going through my concordance and studying one word/concept each week.

This week's word - "Encouragement."

Next, I spend a little time in a Bible study book. Working through "Lord, I Want to Know You.” Finally, I spend time praying in the prayer closet. Love to have this solo time with just me and Jesus.


I really value my devotional time since it helps me be grounded and prepared for each day.  

Ideally, my time in the Word happens early in the morning (about 5:00 a.m.) before my husband and children get up. It's my time to be alone with God before the pressures of the day creep in. I use the phrase "first things first" to remind me that my time with God should come before anything else. Of course, life happens and I'm not always as consistent as I'd like but I long for those times to simply be renewed by His spirit. Without time with my Father, I'm like that grass blowing in the wind, tossed back and forth. But I love how God continues to call me back close to His side, because He knows how much I need to be strengthened by Him. 


Every morning I study something biblically related. Often it is Oswald Chambers, but also includes a quote a day book, UBC daily devotional, Jesus Calling and others. I try to study a Bible study even when I am not in a group. I just finished Lord, Only You Can Change Me, an excellent study by Kay Arthur. I am starting Daniel by Laura Davis next.

It's the only way to properly start my day. I have been getting up early since I asked God to wake me up. I never set an alarm.


You must make it a discipline - something you have to do each day - otherwise it is very easy to get taken away and not do it. I try to not let social media and email interfere with this time. But it doesn’t always work. I need more discipline in this area.

Please encourage a friend today by sharing this page with them! 

You can also join me on one of my social media sites where we can connect throughout the week. 
Facebook 


Google+

Featured Friend Will Be on Hold for Two Weeks! Please Visit One of the Friends that shared with us today or one of the friends on the linkup below!
While you're here, sit down with some of my friends.

WOW! I know Summer is busy so I thank you all for coming here and for the 81 Amazing posts. This party has been wonderful and it is thanks to you, friends, who link-up with us and those who stop by and read and SHARE! Thank you!

You all are amazing writers who share DIY's, Recipes, Photos, Giveaways, Homeschool and Family and Faith. Many of you have amazing journeys of faith and I praise the Lord we are able to connect here! 

Friends are here to encourage and challenge us in our walk of life, so enjoy!

There are easy share buttons to your left or at the bottom of each post (mobile) and after you link-up. Thanks for sharing! 

Thanks! From all of us at  #SittingAmongFriends
*** I am no longer pinning to Pinterest, but you are welcome to join me on Pinterest and Pin to Our Sitting Among Friends Blog Party Board where I will be happy to re-pin posts to my other boards. ***




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Are We Too Busy? and Sitting Among Friends Blog Party #37

When life gets busy we have to ask ourselves, “Are we too busy that we aren’t able to fit God into our day?”

I am a night owl. I start working at night and before I know it the clock it telling me it is two or three in the morning. 

I have three littles at home. Time to write and really focus enough to write anything worth reading cannot happen when I have distractions.

The same goes for my time in God’s Word. I have to be able to pull away and give Him my attention.

That looks different for many people and that’s okay.

For instance, for me, my phone is not a distraction, because it is not a smart data feeding me phone. But for some that may be a distracting us. If it is buzzing every time you get a message or notification, you may need to turn it off.

The truth is, if we have the feeling we are too busy to spend time with God, as believers, we are too busy.

I mean real time where we sit at His feet, read and listen to His Word and concentrate on Him alone. If we are too busy for that we have to be careful because we are right where the Satan wants us to be.

Distracted from seeing the truth of God’s Word. The truth to walk and live by.

How do we keep from falling into that trap? We need to know the truth.
So He said to the Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."       John 8:31-32 (BSB)

Jesus was telling the Jews (and us) who believed in Him, if you want to be free, free from slavery to sin and death, you have to know the truth. The truth is found in His Word.

You may be saying, I am a believer, I am not a slave to sin. We also know that it is easy to fall back into that life, that life is a life we know. It is a life that may have comforted us. It may continue to comfort us because it is familiar.

The life of busy and distracted. That life keeps us from the truth. It keeps us from The Word.

It keeps us from listening to the Word of Life, which is Christ Jesus.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

John tells us in his first verse. That Jesus is THE WORD. We don’t want to be kept from Him.

We so often find ourselves busy because we have a need and hunger for our time to be filled.

We also see in John 6:35 Jesus answered, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst.
As Believers, we know we want to or should want to hunger and thirst for Christ. How do we feed that hunger? Jesus answers by saying eating the bread that He has for us.


His Word.

His Truth.



Bible time may look different for many people. Again, that is okay.

Comment below and let us know what that time looks like for you. Morning, afternoon, or evening. I have even heard some moms say they go into the bathroom because it is the only place they are not sought after. 

Maybe you don’t have a designated time, yet. That is okay. Let us know what a picture of time looks like for you and let us know you want someone to encourage you with that time. I will write you on my prayer list and pray with you that time will be free.

Please encourage a friend today by sharing this page with them! 

You can also join me on one of my social media sites where we can connect throughout the week. 
Facebook 

Google+


I am going to be sharing a Featured Friend, weekly! I love that so many of you come and share with us every week and I would love to highlight your work! The friend that I have chosen this week is...

 my friend, Ifeoma Samuels. She is my featured friend and writes at Purposeful and Meaningful. She is guest blogger this week and shares with us Prayer for the Discouraged Heart. She has written a new book Overcome Failure: Get Back on Your Feet! 

Stop by and read her post Prayer for a Discouraged Heart and Leave Us a comment for a chance to win one of two copies of Ifeoma's Ebook! 

While you're here, sit down with some of my friends.

WOW! I know Summer is busy so I thank you all for coming here and for the 81 Amazing posts. This party has been wonderful and it is thanks to you, friends, who link-up with us and those who stop by and read and SHARE! Thank you!

You all are amazing writers who share DIY's, Recipes, Photos, Giveaways, Homeschool and Family and Faith. Many of you have amazing journeys of faith and I praise the Lord we are able to connect here! 


Friends are here to encourage and challenge us in our walk of life, so enjoy!

There are easy share buttons to your left or at the bottom of each post (mobile) and after you link-up. Thanks for sharing! 

Thanks! From all of us at  #SittingAmongFriends
*** I am no longer pinning to Pinterest, but you are welcome to join me on Pinterest and Pin to Our Sitting Among Friends Blog Party Board where I will be happy to re-pin posts to my other boards. ***









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Prayer for the Discouraged Heart

Prayer for the Discouraged Heart
One of the many defining moments in life are those filled with exciting glide into the next page of our season. 
We step in with so much grace and expectations.

At this times we have the vivid picture of what we want for this next season. We hang the picture frame on the wall of our heart.

Well… hopeful everything would flow seamlessly, only to hit a little snag called disappointment. Maybe another and yet another and you are discouraged!

Usually, we plunge right into this next phase of life hoping to ride the waves like we have always done but we fail to realize 'these waves' may not be familiar.
Trying to replicate our past ride with them becomes unsuccessful because it’s not the same.

No two phases in life are the same. 

Not even for familiar circumstances!

It is a safe bet to say discouragement comes in all forms at any stage of life.
Maybe you have come to that crossroad to choose whether or not to move forward.
Maybe things aren’t going as your heart had longed for.
Are you discouraged at the recent turn of events?

I know how hard it can be to pray when you reach this crossroad.

Whether we are surrounded by a dozen of life snaps,
Or past wounds that don't want to go away,
Or a pain that reminds us of our fragility,
Or you sit in the waiting room of life
Or you have imprints from scars that can’t be hidden,
There is hope even in that discouragement you are faced with.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 
2 Corinthians 4:8-10
There is hope in Christ Jesus. Every part of the gospel reminds us of the Hope we have in Him no matter what phase of life we find ourselves.
Hope that can’t be shaken by what the world throws at us.
The ultimate hope that is in Christ which we receive by His Grace and set free by the Power that resides in the Name of Jesus.

Everything we are faced with drives us to His perfect plan for us.
When I reach that desperate crossroads, I want to hide away from all of it Then I remember that… my safe haven is in the Name of the Lord.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it and is safe. 
Proverbs 18:10
Sometimes these disappointments make you feel like you have failed. In my New Book "Overcome Failure; Get Back On Your Feet", I share more about how to overcome these lies and build trust in God.

Silently as you sit or lie on your couch, perhaps sip coffee alongside, take a deep breath and pray with all your heart.

Dear Lord, I am thankful for the power in the name of Jesus. I am grateful that you are my safety at this time. You are my help, my shield, and my hope. Nothing will ever take me away from your secret place nor sweep me from your loving arms in Jesus Name. Refresh my heart dear Lord with your peace and restore, revive and replenish my confidence in you through your Word in Jesus Name. I overcome every discouragement I face in Jesus name. Amen

Author Bio
Ifeoma Samuel, happily married to her sweetheart Obiora Samuel, is an author, a blogger and an occasional Speaker. She enjoys using her writings to share everyday life stories about God’s immense love. Her book “My 30 Days Journey To a Fulfilled Life” and her latest book “Overcome Failure; Get Back on Your Feet” both available on Amazon. You can find her writing regularly over at her blog Purposeful and Meaningful or visit on FacebookPinterest or Youtube.


photoDr. Ifeoma Samuel
Author and Blogger, Purposeful and Meaningful 
feyen2000@gmail.com || http://purposefulandmeaningful.blogspot.com.ng/ || Florida Hills, JHB, South Africa

To win an ebook copy (I have two to give away) of Ifeoma's Book Overcome Failure: Get Back on Your Feet, comment below and share with us a failure you have overcome or are working on overcoming or a favorite verse you have held onto to help you be victorious in Christ. 

We Are Victorious! and Sitting Among Friends Blog Party #36

I had asked my oldest son to take a bike ride with me. He was eager to go until we began the trek and he realized that the route we were taking required him to go up a hill to get home.

Where we live, no matter what route we take, we have to go uphill to get back home. It is a three to four block steep climb.

Immediately, he tried to make an alternate plan. Riding just a short distance or down the street and back. The fact that he had gone this way before didn’t help at all. He had felt defeated before we even began.

I told him he could go home and go a different time. His heart was telling him to go, but the road ahead was hard and exhausting.

I understand. I have been in his position many times in my life.

I know with my Christian walk and ministry I have faced the same issues. As a Christian, I am sure you know this journey all too well.

There have been times, I thought following Jesus was supposed to be easy. As long as I was doing what I thought Christ had called me to do, there should have been a free pass or an express lane.

The exact opposite of that has been true. In the past, every time I would begin a new bible study, it seemed my house would fall apart.

I would wonder, am I not doing what God has called me to do? I am going out and ministering to women and here I am, I can’t keep my own life together. I am a mess. And the doubt of getting up the hill began to settle in.

Friends, that is a lie that the enemy wants you to believe. You do not have to be perfect to serve Christ. Paul tells us in Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  

Our perfection is being made through Christ. It is being made through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The battles of the road ahead and the steep inclines can cause us to waiver and retreat if we are not careful. If we try to take the safe road and not the route that is going to make us stronger, we will not learn to persevere and see the victories we have in Christ. 
  
But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus--the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. Acts 20:24

Our task it to tell others the Good News of the Gospel. So on that day that we meet Him face to face, we can rejoice in the race we have finished because of the wonderful grace God has granted us.

I am often reminded when I hear someone, including myself, grumble about the difficulties of the Christian walk of this verse from Matthew.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24
Christ understood that denying of ourselves or turning from our selfish ways had to be the hardest thing we could do because that is exactly what He has called us to do to follow Him. 

Being a Christian was never intended to be easy. It was an uphill climb. It was to be a trek to the finish that made us work harder and become stronger.  

Feeling stuck at the bottom of the hill?

Don’t lose heart! Now is the time to rejoice! Matthew also tells us: But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:13

Climb that hill. Take those steps. Do the tasks you have been called to do until that day…

Victory, my friends, is Ours!  
Who we are in Christ, is Victorious!

We can know where the road leads. We can know that in Christ Jesus we are being made complete. Someday, in all of our fullness, this road will be the one that leads us home!

Hallelujah!  

I am so glad you are here today.


If you are not sure about your salvation in Christ, please contact me. I would love to have this chat with you.  Don’t wait another day. I want you to know the victory and hope that you can have in Jesus!

Please encourage a friend today by sharing this page with them! 

You can also join me on one of my social media sites where we can connect throughout the week. Facebook 
Google+

*New To Sitting Among Friends Blog Party*
I am glad to call you, friend! Here is a badge you are welcome to post on your site!


I am going to be sharing a Featured Friend, weekly! I love that so many of you come and share with us every week and I would love to highlight your work! The friend that I have chosen this week is...

(Oh My Goodness, I just realized I left this blank, that's what I get for working until 3 am.) Without further ado...My friend this week is Michelle from Grammie Time. I love visiting Michelle's space because she shares with us her authentic heart. Each week she hosts Party and My Place and I am glad to introduce her to you here. Michelle, I am glad you are here and look forward to your visits every week!




While you're here, sit down with some of my friends.

WOW! I know Summer is busy so I thank you all for coming here and for the 83 Amazing posts. This party has been wonderful and it is thanks to you, friends, who link-up with us and those who stop by and read and SHARE! Thank you!

You all are amazing writers who share DIY's, Recipes, Photos, Giveaways, Homeschool and Family and Faith. Many of you have amazing journeys of faith and I praise the Lord we are able to connect here! 


Friends are here to encourage and challenge us in our walk of life, so enjoy!

There are easy share buttons to your left or at the bottom of each post (mobile) and after you link-up. Thanks for sharing! 

Thanks! From all of us at  #SittingAmongFriends
***As of last week, I am no longer pinning to Pinterest, but you are welcome to join me on Pinterest and Pin to Our Sitting Among Friends Blog Party Board where I will be happy to re-pin posts to my other boards. If you missed last weeks email with the details let me know and I can resend it to you. ***










Subscribe to Sitting Among Friends Blog Party Updates. 

Yes, Sign Me Up!

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Be Still

Be Still
Be Still My Friends! You can rest assure that God is in Control.

For Sharing...

Seeking God

Hope In Him Alone!

Hope In Him Alone!
Thank You, Lord, for deciding who I am!

Seek Him First! Today's Bible Reading

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

It is of utmost importance that you know that Christ died for you. He died for all sinners so that our relationship with Him could be restored.

Because of His sacrifice on the cross we can have peace. Are you seeking more peace today? Peace of the soul can only be given through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ.

I hope that you, too, know the saving grace of an amazing God.
If you have questions about how to know more you can email me at youresewtrendy@gmail.com

2 Timothy 1:7

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