Start your son off with a blessing. Here is my list for beautiful biblical baby boy names and their meanings.
The joy of naming a baby is unlike any other. It’s a special season as you and your partner search for the perfect name for your new baby.
There is a beauty in blessing your child with a biblical name. The search for the perfect name is a very personal one, but I’m assuming if you’re reading this, you’re interested in some biblical baby boy names for your little man. Here are some tips before we get started.
Tips for Naming
Consider if any family members should be honored
For names that are loved by one spouse and not by the other, consider using it as a middle name instead.
Consider if the name will be shortened (example: Jeremiah = Jerry or Jeremy) and whether you want or like that
You may want to consider omitting the names of exes
Say names in full, out loud to hear how it sounds.
Choosing a name can be fun, but it can also lead to disagreements, especially if you are passionate about a name. Maybe there is a name you picked out years ago, but your partner doesn’t like it. That can be a tough pill to swallow. Therefore, I suggest praying before each naming brainstorm. Give your partner permission to veto names they truly dislike.
Lastly, picking a name is a very special event in having a child. Your child’s name will follow him all of his life and may even be passed down. I hope that you enjoy the process of naming your little. Finally, here is the best advice, I can give. Lots of people, family included, will have an opinion about the name you choose. But their opinion doesn’t matter. That’s between you and the child’s father. Don’t let anyone’s comments bother you or rob you of joy.
Biblical Baby Boy Names
Here is my favorite list of biblical baby boy names with the meanings in parenthesis.
Aaron (high mountain, exalted)
Abraham (father of many)
Adam(man, to make)
Barnabas(son of the prophet)
Bartholomew(son of Talmai)
Benjamin(son of the right hand)
Daniel(God is my judge)
Eleazar (my God has helped)
Elijah(My God is Yahweh)
Elisha(My God is my salvation)
Emmanuel(God is with us)
Ethan(solid, enduring, firm)
Ezekiel(God will strengthen)
Gabriel(God is my strong man)
Jadon (he will judge)
Jehoshaphat(Yahweh has judged)
Jehu (Yahweh is he)
Jeremiah(Yahweh will exalt)
Joel(Yahweh is God)
John(Yahweh is gracious)
Jonathan(Yahweh has given)
Joseph (He will add)
Joshua(Yahweh is salvation)
Lazarus(my god has helped)
Levi (joined, attached)
Luke (light giving)
Matthew(gift of Yahweh)
Mark(the Roman God of Mars, warrior)
Micah(who is like Yahweh)
Michael(who is like Yahweh)
Mordecai(servant of Marduk)
Nathanael(he has given)
Noah (rest, repose)
Paul (Small, humble)
Philip(friend of horses)
Raphael (to heal)
Rueben(behold, a son)
Reuel(friend of god)
Samuel(god has heard)
Saul(asked for, prayed for)
Silas (forest, wood)
Simon(he has heard)
Timothy(to honor God)
Titus(title of honor)
Tobias(Yahweh is good)
Uriah(Yahweh is my light)
Uzziah(my power is Yahweh)
Before you go
Don’t forget to PIN this list for later. Before you go, be sure to grab my Baby Registry Checklist. It comes with a FREE printable to get your registry started. Also, in the comments below, I’d love to hear what names you love and why.
Not everything requires our comment or opinion. Let’s take a look at how the bible instructs us. Please join me for May’s scripture reading: When to be quiet.
I have a major problem keeping my mouth shut. My mouth has placed me in trouble more times than I care to admit.
I overstep boundaries. I give my opinion where none is needed. I’ve been sanctimonious, arrogant, and rebellious. Cantankerous, venomous words have escaped my lips. I have a problem keeping my mouth shut. The truth is, most people struggle with this. We tend to think too highly of our own opinions.
This month, we’re going to take a look at scripture to guide us when to speak and when to bite our tongue.
Never Quiet the Gospel
First, let’s take a moment and look at when the bible commands us to speak up. As Christians, we are called to bring darkness into light by spreading the Gospel.
To Defend Our Faith
“but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.” – 1 Peter 3:15-16
To Proclaim the Gospel
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” – Romans 1:16
To Lovingly Correct Other Christians
“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” – Galatians 6:1
To Repair a Hurt or Disagreement
“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. -Matthew 18:15
For Praise & Thanksgiving
“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.” – Hebrews 13:15
To Expose Darkness Including Apostasy
“Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;” – Ephesians 5:8
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” – Romans 10:9
How To Speak Up
When we are instructed to speak up, it should always be with love. This includes any admonishment. Once corrected, we should be quick to extend the mercy of God.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
Thank you for joining me this month for Scripture Reading: When to Be Quiet. I know correction isn’t always easy to hear, but it’s important in our walk with Christ. Please and take a moment and read some of my other Scripture Readings like Depression & Grief.In the comments below, I’d love to hear how I can pray for you.
Disappointment in life can actually make you question God’s goodness. I have some words of encouragement and advice on how to handle disappointment with God.
As I write this, I am in the midst of disappointment. Not only are we currently losing, but we didn’t get the job we desperately wanted. We wanted it so bad we could taste it and it seemed like the perfect fit. We prayed so much about it too. So at times of deep disappointment it’s natural for us to ask, “God, what are you doing?”
Our Response to Disappointment
Disappointment is always easy to explain away when it isn’t you. We’re quick to tell a friend that everything will work out. We use phrases like “it’s in God’s time” or “it just wasn’t in God’s plan.” It all sounds good when it isn’t us. But how do we handle disappointment with God when we don’t get our way?
Typically, with a knee jerk reaction. We may think God didn’t hear our prayers. Similarly, we may feel that our prayers don’t matter to God. We want to know why God didn’t give us what we asked for. The truth is sometimes we may never know, but more often than not, I’ve looked back at my life and have been grateful for many prayers that God didn’t answer my way. One thing I do know is that God always answers prayers. It just might not be the response we’re looking for. First, let’s take a look at God’s responses when the answer isn’t yes.
Your request is sinful or may lead you into sin
It may not be good for you – regardless of it’s appearance
It may not be the right time
God is still moving the “chess pieces” and not yet finished with your story
He needs you to learn, grow, or do something first
I have something better
There is something better He wants to give you
I often equivocate God’s timing to a chess game. There are many moving pieces. There are obstacles. Each strategic move brings you closer to your goal. Sometimes it takes several moves to get into an advantageous position. When you don’t see your prayer being answered, you may wonder if God is moving at all. Throughout my life, I’ve learned that while I was waiting, God was busy moving all the pieces of my life for the best possible outcome to my prayer. When I didn’t see God moving – He was actually moving the most…behind the scenes.
How to Handle Disappointment with God
Disappointment comes from an expectation not being met. Read that again. An expectation. Could it be we feel entitled?
The Story of Job
Let’s take a look at the book of Job. The devil requests to tempt Job and God sets the parameters. The first tragedies don’t cause Job to curse the Lord. Therefore, Satan tells God it’s only because he was not allowed to hurt Job directly. So again, God redraws the parameters saying Satan can hurt him, but can’t take his life. Consequently, he is tortured by sores and boils. Job wants answers. Chapter after chapter Job complains, grumbles, and accuses – demanding answers from the Lord. By chapter 38, God has had enough. THEN THE LORD SPOKE TO JOB OUT OF A STORM.”
God is angry and He has a question or two for Job.
“Where were you when I laid the Earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!” (Job 38: 4-5) God is making a point. You know nothing. I know everything. God continues for two chapters announcing His glory, then waits for Job’s reply. Job is speechless. “I am unworthy. How can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.” (Job 40: 4)
Job has no answers. He’s been humbled and the best thing He can do in a moment like that is to put his hand over his mouth and shut up!
I’m not insisting we don’t grieve. Grieving is important to process loss. However, take a lesson instead from the Psalms. It’s okay to tell God your confused, disappointed, even angry. But those lamentations should immediately be followed by praise and vows of trust. Keep faith that God knows everything – including what is best for you and He hasn’t forgotten about your needs.
One of the best ways to ward off disappointment is to be grateful for what you already have. If you are complaining, you aren’t giving thanks. God has already given you many things and He has helped you thus far. As disappointed as you might be, try to focus on the blessings in your life.
I know what I’m saying in this post isn’t vogue. Lots of modern churches would have you believe that God is chummy with you and they focus on messages of prosperity. But let’s take a lesson from Job. God is not a peer. He is holy (set apart) and we should practice reverence. Additionally, while occasional messages of prosperity are uplifting, it shouldn’t be our Christian focus. God is not a genie in a lamp here to grant us wishes. I just think sometimes we forget, He does not exist to do our bidding; we exist to do His. Be encouraged that God wants what is good for us (even if it isn’t what we think it is) and He will bless us. If you need proof of that, count your blessings.
Encourage Yourself in God’s Goodness
When we feel disappointed by God, you may question God’s goodness. In those dark moments, remind yourself of God’s character. This is how to handle disappointment with God.
God is often described as just in scripture. I find amazing peace in knowing God is just! Not only is He just, but scripture says He “loves justice.” Justice is all about making what is wrong, right. No one can mistreat you, no one can take something away from you without God later making it right. He promises to payback what was wrong. Knowing this should curb feelings of disappointment or unfairness.
“Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love,” (Micah 7:18) To be merciful is to extend grace when none is deserved. It means He pardons us, is slow to anger, and does not stay angry. Knowing that God is merciful tells us there are no grudges held against us. God is not spiteful. Take comfort that God is not “punishing you” by not answering your prayer the way you desire.
Holy / Righteous
To be holy literally translates to “separate.” God is separate from us in the sense that there is no evil in his character. Simply put, God is good…all the time. He is separated from sin and the sinful world. He does not participate in sin. Therefore, knowing that He has no evil in him tells us His intentions are good for us and we can trust him.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus came into this world as a baby? Why not come at the age of 30, just in time to start his ministry? Ask yourself, why put up with sickness, temptation, betrayals, and bad days? Why weep over the death of Lazarus when he knew he’d raise him from death only minutes later? So you would know He is compassionate. He understands your pain. God knows what troubles you. He’s been there. He sympathizes with your problems. Knowing that He is compassionate and that he has gone out of his way to show you, should bring you comfort.
Rich In Love
God’s character is loving. It’s a love we can’t even comprehend. But let’s start with the fact that He couldn’t be separated from us and therefore sent His son down to pay the price for our sin. (seeJohn 3:16)
Take a moment and read my earlier post Identity in Christ. Stop and see yourself through the eyes of God. Read what He has to say about you and how much He loves you. Once you remind yourself about how good God is and how much He loves you, it’s hard to feel disappointed for long.
Find the Fruit in Your Wilderness
For Christians there is purpose to our suffering. Everything, including our trials should bring us closer to God. How often do we become complacent when things are smooth and easy? Hardship reminds us we can’t stray too far from God because we need him.
Furthermore, everything is orchestrated to further God’s kingdom and proclaim His glory. If you remain steadfast and hope in the Lord during your troubles, you also become a witness for the Kingdom – a living example of the divine grace that passes all understanding. That strength in the time of adversity invites non-believers to desire the strength only God can provide and thereby the church.
Spread the gospel. When necessary, use words.
We are ambassadors of Christ. Remember…God is in the business of divine self-promotion.
Grateful For “Unanswered” Prayers
When I look back over the course of my life, I’m grateful for prayers to which God said no. Ultimately, what he gave me was far better. In fact, some things were so good, I never could have even imagined asking for it. Time and time again he has proven to me to just trust him and let him work out my problems for me. God’s ultimate solutions don’t disappoint.
If you feel this message has helped you, save it for later by bookmarking or pinning it. Share it with a friend who needs it. I pray the Holy Spirit speaks to you and comforts you.
If you are struggling with how to handle disappointment with God, leave a prayer request in the comments below. I’d love to pray for you.
Maybe you’ve watched the hit Christian movie “War Room” based on the book “Fervent.” Today, I’m going to show you how to make a war binder – a mini war room from which to pray.
A Travel Notebook Cover
Art Supplies (stickers, markers, highlighters, etc)
A travelers notebook is a long notebook. It is typically a thin book and contains blank, lined, graph, or dot grid pages. A travelers notebook cover is just a cover designed to hold anywhere from one to six notebooks. Inside the cover are bands that hold the books in place like a spine. Travelers notebook covers can be found at Michaels craft store. However, I wanted something more personal. So I had someone make one for me on Etsy. It has a sewn cover and I chose an anchor theme because of all the sea and water references in scripture, but you choose whatever resonates with you. I’ve provided a few links below, but you can find them at other places both online and at craft stores.
War Binder Subjects
Honestly, this is totally up to you. This is how you personalize it and make it your own. Your war binder should reflect your personal relationship with Christ. But to give you idea of what sections you can create, I’m going to show you what I do. Hopefully it will spark your creativity. I have six books:
Scripture (memory verses, important scriptures, devotionals)
Miscellaneous (anything that doesn’t fit in the above categories)
The inside pages are where the magic happens. The photo below is a page from my Book Notes notebook. I’m always reading and it’s here that I write down the main takeaways. You decorate it as little or as much as you want. Don’t worry if you aren’t artistic, there are lots of ways to fake that (more on that in a minute). I got these notebooks from May Designs.
As you can see below, I’ve written down my sermon notes. These are really helpful as I try to implement what I learned on Sunday, throughout the week. Personally, I like to scribble notes in church and then come home and organize my thoughts in the war binder. Remember, no one is going to see your war binder unless you want them to. Make sure to make it your own instead of copying others. Making a war binder is all about inspiration.
My scripture notebook is where I keep memory verses I want to remember. I turn to these during rough times or during my prayer for praise. Personally, I prefer to decorate the pages with something the scripture inspires within me. I did this page with colored pencils, but you can use any art supplies you want to decorate your pages, if that’s the way you want your war binder to look. Remember this is YOUR war binder. It doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s.
If you aren’t artistic there are other options. You can decorate with stickers and washi tape. Illustrated faith has lots of accessories like stickers and die cuts for those who don’t want to draw or need inspiration to get started. Washi tape is a Japanese masking tape. It is very colorful and comes in a variety of patters, colors and widths. It can immediately brighten up a page. Use it for creating borders and columns. You can cut it into shapes, ribbons and flags. Get creative!
Prayer & Gratitude
In my prayer book, I have my gratitude on the opposite prayer page. Some people dedicate a separate book for gratitude. It’s up to you. Personally, I love writing down my blessings and answered prayers in my war binder and thanking God for them before I ask for more. Again, do what feels comfortable to you. I love writing down answered prayers. When I feel like God isn’t moving in my life, I open this up and look at all He has given me and how he has answered me so many times before. If you aren’t sure where to begin, read my Gratitude Journal Prompts.
Finally, I keep a miscellaneous notebook for anything that doesn’t quite fit in some of my other notebooks. These might include prayer cards that someone gives me, devotionals, book lists and other types of things.
War Binder Support
Lastly, if you need additional inspiration, Facebook is a great place to look. The main war binder group has over 35,000 members. There is also a sister prayer group and pen pal group.
In closing, I hope I’ve help you get started with your war binder. I’d love to hear what you put in yours in the comments below.
Overcome depression, sorrow, and grief with these powerful scriptures. Speak truth into your life with the Holy living word of God. Join me for April Scripture Reading: Depression and Grief
A Season of Sadness
I live with depression. I know well the feeling of complete hopelessness. Depression and grief has a way of stopping time. The moment can feel endless. You may find it hard to believe that situations or feelings will ever change or improve. I promise you friend, it will. It’s a season – and seasons don’t last. Read what the book of Ecclesiastes (3:1-8) says:
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.
Depression, sorrow, grief is for an appointed time. We have seasons of abundance and seasons of loss. I love what the Psalmist says: “Weeping may endure the night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) The good news is this: this season of your life is temporary. One day, it won’t hurt like this. One day this will be over. God will bring you out of the pit (Psalm 103:4).
A Time to Cry
When calamity strikes, it is our nature to wonder why. We want answers, no – we demand them. Our humanness wants explanations in order to process loss. But sometimes there are no answers. There are no reasons, at least not earthly ones.
In times like these, we must remember that all things that happen in our lives are designed to draw us closer to Him. And our trials? What about our hurt, pain and suffering? Yes, that too. He wants us to fervently seek Him. Secondly, our weakness, our tears, our hardships all exist to magnify His glory. In order to be our Savior, we must first need saving. See what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians:
That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10
Not convinced? Read what the Psalmist writes in 50:15:
“Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”
Simply put, God uses our pain to show non-believers how He saves.
Maybe you are struggling with a loved one who has passed on. I encourage you to comfort yourself with the living word of God. He has promised that we will be reunited with those we love. We will see them again. Therefore, death is not the end.
I have learned that grief comes in waves. Like the ebb and flow of an ocean, grief subsides allowing you to catch your breath for a moment, then it seems to overcome you again all at once. One minute you think you’re doing better. Then a reminder or a memory will surface and the thought of having to live the rest of your life without them seems unbearable.
Perhaps it is not the physical death of a person you are grieving, but the death of something else. Your dream, health, a job, a friendship, a marriage. Maybe you are so overcome by disappointment you can’t see a happy future. There is one. He has promised it.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Battling Feelings of Grief
Remember Who God Is
I count at least 20 times in scripture where God and Jesus are described as compassionate. Paul writes in Hebrews, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” Jesus understands our suffering. He empathizes with us. He is compassionate towards our troubles.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
The character of God is unchanging. “I am the Lord. I change not.” (Malachi 3:6). Everything is subject to change except for God. Read that again. God does not change. Therefore neither do His promises. I love an easily overlooked verse in Psalm 11. “When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (v. 3). In other words, when the floor beneath you gives way, what should we do? The answer can be found in the next verse. “The Lord is in His holy temple. The Lord sits on his throne in Heaven.” This declaration reminds us: when all that is good falls apart, God is still in control. He is still on his throne. He is not shaken by our troubles. God does not change.
Put Your Hope In God
The Psalms are a wonderful comfort in times of trouble. The Psalms demonstrate the cry of someone in need of help and refuge. They echo our troubled hearts. They also model how we should pray (adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication). But Psalm 42 also describes what we should do when we are sorrowful and disturbed.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
The Psalmist tells us to put our hope in the Lord. Hope is the happy anticipation of good. It is the belief that God is a good God and He has good things in store for us (Jer 29:11) . We get hope by praising God in the midst of our sorrow and by comforting ourselves with His promises.
Give Up Your Ashes
One of my favorite verses in the bible is Isaiah 61:3. It is the messianic prophesy of why Christ came and died for us. This lone scripture has brought me so much peace when I’ve been overcome with depression and grief. Here is the truth:
to provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, a mantle of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” “Then people will call them “Oaks of Righteousness”, “The Planting of the LORD”, in order to display his splendor.
Beauty instead of ashes. Ashes represent what is left over after something has burned away. The leftovers. The broken pieces. But here is the rub. An exchange has to take place. Note that scripture says, “instead of.” Some translations say “for.” You must give your ashes to God. Give Him the brokenness and remains. Give Him the ashes and He’ll give you restoration.
Another way to pull ourselves out of sadness is to try and get the focus off ourselves and on our creator. You can do this by praising God through thanksgiving. It is hard to be downtrodden when you are remembering all the good God has already done for you. This is why Paul says to “set your mind on the higher things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Thank you for joining me for April Scripture Reading: Depression & Grief. In the comments below, I’d love to hear how I can pray for you. In case you missed it, see also March Scripture Reading: Fear & Anxiety.
Anxiety and fear are two emotions constantly clawing their way into our minds. Battle those negative feelings with March Scripture Reading: Anxiety & Fear
There is something unique about fear, anxiety, and worry. It creates in us spiritual amnesia. We forget about all the times God has rescued us in the past. We fail to remember that God has worked out our problems again and again. Fear creates spiritual amnesia. In other words, we forget how good God really is! But don’t think you’re alone. The apostles went through it too.
Jesus Calms The Storm
I love the book Fearless by Max Lucado. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. The first chapter uses a bible story we all know very well – Jesus calming the storm. The story can be found in three of the four gospels. Each one says Jesus is asleep in the boat and stays asleep even as a great storm arises. Why is he asleep? Because He’s in control of it! Our “storms” don’t scare Him. Furthermore, there is something unique in the gospel of Mark. As waves crash into the boat, the apostles cry out in fear.
“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
As Lucado points out, these men have been traveling with Jesus for years. By this time, they have seen Him cast out demons and heal the blind. He has raised Lazarus from the dead and fed a crowd of 5,000 with just a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread. And yet, as soon as they were fearful, the spiritual amnesia sets in. It’s like they totally forget that He is Lord. They don’t ask Him to calm the storm. Instead, they question his character. “Don’t you care if we drown?” And don’t we do the same? When fear overtakes us, don’t we forget that He is Lord and in control of it all?
Our Small Prayers
The truth is, we limit God with our prayers. Allow me to share something deeply personal. My husband and I are currently going through a season of anxiety and fear. In August, my husband will be losing his job. His employer is closing down his office. Currently, we are scrambling to find an engineering job, but in particular one that will not uproot us from my hometown.
So I began praying, asking God to send us something here that would match his salary. After a few weeks of praying, God revealed truth to me. – one that I had forgotten. I was limiting God by my prayer. I’m not saying we shouldn’t ask God for what we specifically want, but we limit God when we do so.
You Do Not Have, Because You Do Not Ask
Read what the apostle Paul writes :
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Boldly! Some translations say “confidently.” To be confident means with no doubt. That is the first point I want to make – that we can confidently go directly to God and ask for help and be assured that He will indeed help us.
But wait, it gets better. One of my favorite verses in the bible is Ephesians 3:20. This verse is why I say we limit God with our prayer. Ephesians 3:20 is why we should pray “Your will be done, Lord.” Here is the truth:Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,”
That’s right. God can do more for you than you can possibly imagine. Even better, He wants to! And if you don’t believe me, read John 10:10: A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
This doesn’t just mean in heaven. Eternity has already started, my friend. His will is the best for you! It’s bigger and better than you can imagine. When you get scared or anxious, don’t run away. Instead, run to God and listen to Him comfort you in these scriptures.
Scripture Reading Anxiety & Fear
This month, I’d love for you to join me in scripture reading, anxiety and fear. I pray these verses bring your peace and remember that God loves you, He is in control and wants the best for you.
Please give a warm welcome to guest blogger, Jessica Schweikardt. Jessica’s blog, Forever and Evie, focuses on the highs and lows of motherhood and the things less talked about. Please be sure to follow her on social media and like her Facebook page. In this post, she guides us through covering our kids in prayer.
As parents we all want to raise good people to leave for this planet. If you’re like me then you are a little bit scared that you’re doing it all wrong and you’re going to mess them up forever and whose idea was it to put these precious kids in your care anyway??
Well the answer is simple, God did. God gave you these little ones to raise and mold into kind and caring adults. He has entrusted them to you that you might bring them up in His word and teach them about His love. This is no simple task, especially in this day and age when this world is just waiting to pull our kids down with its dark weight. I, for one, know that I need help. I can’t do this alone, and even though my husband and I share the exact same goals for what we would love our children to become, we know that we are fighting against a force that we just do not have the power to battle without the help of the one who created everything.
Covering Our Kids in Prayer
So, I pray. I pray for my kids every single day. I pray for things that we are currently dealing with, situations that may arise in the future, and I pray that a love for God is sparked in my children and that they always seek to know and please Him. I pray against sickness, heartache, and anything that might be bring harm or pain to my children’s lives. I pray for their future spouses, future children, and for their future careers. I pray for next week, next month, next year. That my kids continue to grow up strong and healthy, and that they continue to learn and try new things.
Some of my prayers come from within my own head, and things I think about when they come up, but I also get a lot of my prayers from a couple books written by Aaron and Jennifer Smith. I highly recommend them. A few years back my husband and I started a 30 day prayer challenge, also written by the couple. So when I heard that they had written prayer books geared towards parents who want to pray over their children, I quickly snatched them up.
These books have a prayer for each day, for 31 days, as well as challenges and spaces to write down prayers of your own or any thoughts/gratitudes you might have. My plan is to use these books over and over throughout the years while adding in my own thoughts and prayers and I know that God is listening to my prayers for my children, and if it is His will, that He may bless us with all that we ask of Him.
Some things I pray for that we currently face:
That both of my children continue to grow and develop and that I gain the wisdom to guide them through new life skills
That illness does not touch them this flu season, and if it does that I have great knowledge and discernment when taking caring care of them.
For my sharp tongue when I get frustrated or run out of patience. That I am always correcting and disciplining out of love, not anger. (I fail at this way more than I would like to admit)
That I am quick to apologize when I am wrong and that my children are quick to forgive my mistakes now and the many in the future I will surely make.
That I can step out of the way more often, and let my daughter learn by trying things on her own.
Prayers For Their Future
That my son is respectable and upstanding, that he seeks and loves God, also seeking his council when starting a family of his own and values his wife and children above all humans or possessions.
That my children are quick to forgive family/friends but also capable of standing their ground and speaking out for themselves or any injustice they may see.
That the anxiety that I face every day not be passed on to them but rather they first seek Jesus and his peace in every situation, and not worry about the outcomes.
That my daughter knows how valuable she is and that any man who is worthy of her, that seeks her attention, will first seek after and love God more.
That my son is respectable and upstanding. That he seeks and loves God, also seeking his council when starting a family of his own and values his wife and children above all humans or possessions.
That both of my children bring up their own kids in the word of God, and they pray these things over and over again for their children, just as I have done. (And will continue to do for my grand babies as well!)
That both of my children know the value of hard work and dedication. That they work hard to provide a good life for themselves, not expecting anything to be handed to them.
That my kids are kind and loving, sweet and caring individuals that love others and will pray for and help anyone they can. That they are never intentionally mean to someone, or try to belittle or bring anyone down. That they are always uplifting and always a source of joy to others.
These are just a few examples of the prayers that have been/will be said for my children. It is so important to cover them with prayer, and speak life into them. I highly recommend the books 31 Prayers for my Son, and 31 Prayers for my Daughter by Aaron and Jennifer Smith. The prayers are more specific and more encompassing, and can be used over and over throughout the years, as I plan to do!
Love and kindness, go hand-in-hand. Love should be the primary quality of a Christian. Connect with God and other people through my February Scripture Reading: Love & Kindness
Love is a remarkable thing. The world is moved by love. Love is the motivator that causes a man to fight in combat for his country or a woman to give up her life for her child. Love caused God to become a man and lay his life down for our salvation. Today, we are going to talk about love & kindness.
What Love Is
Scripture, in the Greek text, has three words to describe love. Eros, phileo, and agape (pronounced ah-ga-pay). Eros is used to describe romantic love. Phileo is friendly or brotherly love. While agape is the great love – the unconditional love. Agape is the kind of love God has for his children and the kind of love we are called to show to one another. Why does Christ command us to love? Because he knows people can be “unlovable,” at least according to the world’s standards. Scripture touches on it so much, because God knew it would be a daily struggle.
Kindness is just an extension of love. I like to think of kindness as “love in action.” Kindness is patience, mercy, and tenderness. When we choose to be kind, we are willing to endure things and people in patience. We choose to extend mercy, even when it is undeserved. Furthermore, kindness means choosing to be tender instead of callous.
God’s Call to Love
Don’t be mistaken. Love isn’t a feeling; it’s a choice. It’s easy to love someone who loves you back. We all love those who are good to us. That is not what God means in his commandment. The real measure of love is when there is little or no motivation to do so. Some people are hard to love. Then there will be times in life when someone you love hurts you and you will be tempted to stop loving them. Above all, we are called as Christians to emulate God’s unstoppable love (Rom 8:38-39).
You see, God loves us even at our worst- even when we are bearing our teeth, gnashing at everything around us. When we are at rock bottom, He loves us. When we have failed over and over again, He loves us. He is kind to us (patient, merciful and tender).
So how do we love like Christ? First, we must understand we are incapable of perfect, unconditional love. To be clear, we are incapable in our own flesh. We do it, by calling upon the Holy Spirit and thereby abiding in the love of Christ. Therefore, the more time we spend in the presence of Christ, the greater the works of Christ through us.
Join me this February, to discover what to Lord has to say to us about Love and Kindness.
Whether you are doing well or struggling in your marriage, everyone could do with a little fine tuning! Here are 10 Books that will strengthen your marriage.
How Books Helped Strengthen Our Marriage
Let’s be honest, marriage is really hard work! One of the things I’ve learned in marriage is that you have to be deliberate about growing together. Additionally, if you have kids or a busy work schedule, you really need to prioritize intimacy. To clarify, intimacy doesn’t just mean sex either. Intimacy starts as an emotional connection. In fact, if you don’t have an emotional connection, it’s harder to be intimate physically – at least for many women.
One of the things my husband and I have always done is to read together. It doesn’t take a lot of time, just a couple of pages at night before we go to sleep. Believe it or not, it actually does work! One of us reads aloud and the other listens. For whatever reason, it is very different from the same ole’ staring at the tv screen.
Today, I’m sharing several books that help us work through hard times and understand each other better. Here are 10 books that will strengthen your marriage. These books, with the exception of one, is Christian themed. In a future post, I’ll provide secular titles we read.
The Love Dare, Alex & Stephen Kendrick
This is by far one of the best books I’ve ever read. If you are struggling to love your spouse, if you are running out of reasons to keep giving them chances, you need this book. This 40 day devotional teaches you how to lead your heart back to loving your spouse. Based on 1 Corinthians, the book guides you through a daily instruction on love, providing principles and scripture to contemplate and pray. Then it provides you with a daily challenge and encourages some journaling for self-discovery. I can’t tell you how many times this book has helped me. I’ve even used it with another family member, other than my spouse. My copy is worn and I’ve probably bought 5 or six copies for other people whose marriages were crumbling.
The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman
This classic book was really pivotal in learning how to love my spouse. If you feel like there are a lot of unmet needs in your marriage, this book is for you. Most of the time, it is simply a disconnect between you and your spouse. This book describes the five ways people show love. It also explains that people generally show love in the way they like to be loved. For example, maybe your spouse need gifts to feel appreciated. Gifts mean nothing to you, so you never think of giving them. Meanwhile, your spouse begins to feel you don’t care because you “never think of them.” This book teaches you and your spouse how to figure out what it is you need to feel loved and how to meet your spouses needs.
Toxic In-laws, Susan Forword, Phd.
If you’re struggling with invasive, overbearing or controlling in-laws, this is a great book to read. And let me be clear – this book isn’t just great for in-laws. To clarify, this book is written from a psychological perspective instead of Christian one, but I never found it’s advice at odds with my Christian beliefs.
Using real life examples, the author illustrates the main types of toxic parents and carefully outlines their qualities tactics, including guilt and emotional blackmail. It then provides sound, practical advice on how to keep peace, set boundaries and protect your marriage.
The Peacemaker, Ken Sande
This is a must-have book on your bookshelf. If there is anything I’ve learned in life it’s that conflict is unavoidable. Most people tend to fight back or run away, but there are healthy ways to deal with conflict. There is a presumption that any sort of conflict is bad. This book provides biblical principles for navigating conflict and controlling emotions. It provides real solutions for how to be a peacemaker and more importantly – how to act as your own mediator even when emotions are high.
Red Hot Monogamy, Bill & Pam Farrel
This was a fun read. My husband and I actually read it together overnight. This book it based in scripture and uses the Song of Solomon to demonstrate that God wants you to have passionate sex with your spouse. That’s right! Christian sex is supposed to be steamy, fun, and intense. This great book by Bill and Pam Ferrel show you how to get in the right mindset to keep those embers burning!
The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, by Shelia Wray Gregoire
Piggybacking on Red Hot Monogamy, this book teaches you hot to ditch shallow, mechanical sex and trade it in for steamy sheets! I might describe this as Cosmopolitan without the raunchiness! This entertaining book describes the differences in how men and women approach sex and how to find your rhythm and connection as a couple – in particular once the newness wears away. Married for 20 years, the author gives real life examples on how to keep your love life flirtatious, fun, and sexy.
From Anger to Intimacy: How Forgiveness Can Transform Your Marriage, Dr. Gary Smalley
If you are married, you will get hurt. It’s a fact. You can’t spend a lifetime with someone and never get hurt. We are human and we will fail each other. If you are stuck in a place of unforgiveness with your spouse, I recommend this book. This book provides biblical techniques for both recognizing and processing anger and resentment. This book cuts strait to the heart and will stretch you to challenge yourself to move forward and start loving your spouse again.
Love & Respect, Dr. Emerson Eggerich
As you may already know, men and women view love differently. Men actually need respect. For them, that equates to love. This book was actually recommended by our pastor and we really enjoyed reading it. When we get into the “crazy cycle” as this book calls it, I stop and recalibrate how I’m responding and reacting to my husband. I’m not sure I would have really been aware of my behavior if I hadn’t read this book. The same goes for my husband. Similar to The 5 Love Languages, it defines the different needs of men and women and what we can do to give our spouse what they need. Why would we want to do that? Because we respond to love with more love! It’s human nature. Instead of spinning out of control in our own selfishness, learn how to stay in a healthy love/respect cycle with your spouse.
Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas
This book, different from the others is more on the philosophical side, even existential. It considers a deeper reason for marriage and how it is a tool of the Lord to teach us and challenge us to become holy. Sacred marriage calls us seek out holier lives together as a couple and this book provides practical tools and advice to do that.
Wired For Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain, Dr. William M. Struthers
This was a very interesting read. If you are struggling with pornography invading your marriage and you have a partner willing to start healing, I highly recommend reading this together. This was the best combination of both religious / spiritual perspective but also psychological and neurobiological effects of pornography addiction and how to combat it. Written by a professor of Psychology, the read itself is a bit academic, but he combines spiritual principles that will help you and your partner.
The post 10 Books That Will Strengthen Your Marriage, first appeared on My Beautiful Mess
Are you struggling with self-esteem and confidence? Maybe you are disappointed in yourself or struggling to forgive yourself. In those moments, it helps to remember who God says you are.This year, I’ll be offering a monthly scripture reading plan. Join me for the January Scripture Reading Plan: Identity In Christ
Today, I’m sharing something close to my heart – our identity in Christ. I wish I could say that 2018 had been kind to me, but honestly it was a hard year. First, I had a complicated pregnancy, followed by a hard birth and my son’s club foot treatments. Secondly, I’ve had severe postpartum depression. Lastly, I experienced a toxic friendship which ultimately left me without friends or my beloved mom’s support group.
Harsh words were exchanged and sadly, the situation made me question every aspect of my personality, my qualities, and my identity. In those moments, we can believe the enemy’s lies or we can choose to remember our identity in Christ.
Losing Our Identity
It is very easy to get caught up in what the world thinks about you. Our image and reputation becomes important to us starting as children. It’s formed by assumptions, accusations, criticism, popularity, and rejection. Soon, it becomes our inner voice and how we see ourselves. It’s the ground work for insecurity, negative self-talk, and low self-esteem.
Maybe a parent or teacher didn’t think much of us. Those words have a way of haunting us even years afterwards. But here is the good news. Our non-Christian identity is not our true identity.
The world is quick to label us. For example, the world says I’m a woman. I’m a minority. I’m middle class. The world has called me a “know-it-all,” fat, an overachiever, and condescending. According to the world, I’m not normal because I have bi-polar. The world will say I don’t measure up and that I’m unworthy of love and acceptance. Maybe you have heard similar things. But your identity in Christ is far from what the world thinks.
God’s Unstoppable Love For Us
The beauty about our identity in Christ is that it is not dependent upon our accomplishments or failures. The love and acceptance we have in Christ is not dependent upon us or our deeds. It is freely given by a loving and perfect God.
It’s hard to remember, especially when we don’t have the love of the world. After all, if people can’t love us as we are, how can a perfect God? He sees everything I do. He watches me when I’m haughty and self-righteous. He knows when my tongue goes from surly to downright venomous.
Thankfully, God does not love as people love. His love is unconditional. He loves us even when fail to measure up. Mankind revokes grace and mercy when we repeatedly fail. But His grace is new every day (Lam 3:22-23).
Certainly, I have asked if God truly loves me at my worst. Isn’t that what we all want to know? How much does God love us and does He love us when we fail at everything we touch? When Paul asks, “can anything separate us from the love of Christ,” haven’t we all wondered that?
The apostle Paul professes in Romans 8:38-39 (NLT):
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Enemy’s Voice
People are going to say mean, hate-filled things to us and over us. We will never be able to stop people from doing that, but the enemy will try use it against us. He knows how insecure we can be and therefore, he will remind us of every fault, mistake and flaw to keep us trapped in a web of self-loathing. He wants us paralyzed, convinced we are unloved.
It’s almost embarrassing to say, but I was there. Over the last several months those words haunted me every day. I truly felt hated – like I was the worst person alive and I just wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out. That’s just what the devil is hoping for too.
The enemy wants to steal your joy, kill your confidence and destroy your spirit. He wants you broken, confused, defeated, desperate and exhausted. Christ however, wants to give you goodness and give it in abundance. If you doubt that for one second, read John 10:10:
The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that they may have life and have it to the fullest.
God has good plans for us (Jer 29:11). To clarify, this does not mean we never experience hardships or cruelty from others. It means those things no longer have power over us.
Remember this – no matter what someone calls you, no matter what someone says you are – God says different!
Who God Says You Are
Finding these scriptures was a fun exercise, because honestly, I could have done this for a year! The more I read, the more excited I get.
God says you are:
Anointed (1 John 2:27)
His child (1 John 3:1-2)
Accepted (Rm 15:7)
Included (Eph 1:13)
Forgiven (1 John 1:9)
Justified (Rm 3:24)
Adopted (Eph 1:5)
Blessed when you come and go (Deut 28:6)
An oak of righteousness (Is 61:3)
Marked with His Seal (Eph 1:13)
Chosen (1 Pet 2:9)
Fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13)
Worth dying for (Rm 5:8)
A conqueror (Rm 8:37)
A soldier in the army of Christ (2 Tim 2:3-4)
Ordained and Sanctified (Jeremiah1:5)
A citizen of heaven (Phil 3:20)
Appointed (John 15:16)
His heir (Eph 1:11)
Free (Heb 9:15)
A priest (or Priestess) (1 Pet 2:5)
Redeemed (Is 44:22 / Ps 111:9)
Precious (Is 43:4)
A Saint (Eph 2:19)
An Ambassador (2 Cor 5:18-30
Without blemish (Col 1:22)
A temple of the Holy Spirit (1 For 6:19-20)
Reconciled (Eph 2:8-9)
Feel better? Me too.
Though my mother and father forsake me, the Lord will take me in. (Psalm 27:10)
The post January Scripture Reading: Identity in Christ first appeared on My Beautiful Mess
Join me in February for Love and KindnessScripture Reading. In the meantime, learn more about making wellness a priority in the post 30 Day Wellness Challenge