So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. Psalm 63: 2-3
As we grow in our relationship with you, may we be able to confidently proclaim, "Your steadfast love is better than life!" Pull us into this amazing love O God. Hold us tenderly and speak to us kindly. Help us to believe every word you say. Amen.
On January 1st, I started listening to Genesis chapter 1 with the goal being to follow along the storyline of the whole bible throughout 2022. In doing so, I'm also trying to have a "take-away" each day.
When I got to the encounter between the serpent and Eve (with Adam too) in Genesis 3, I asked this question to myself:
"Who are you going to listen to?"
Just like Adam and Eve, we have one of two options.
One, we can listen to our Maker, who is the God that created everything good and perfect and beautiful. He is in all and through all. He is the author of light and life and love. He is all wise and knows the inner workings of each one of us. He is holy. He is glorious. And amazingly, he offers his glory to us!
Or two, we can listen to the enemy of our Maker. In Genesis 3, he is the serpent in the garden who is more crafty than any other beast of the field. Elsewhere in the bible he is referred to as the deceiver, the accuser, and the father of lies. He lied to Adam and Eve back then and he lies to us every day. He twists God's truth. He tempts us with lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16).
Sadly, Adam and Eve pushed away God's clear direction and gave into the serpent's deceiving words, and therefore, we have this ongoing wrestle today.
But the good news is this, our Savior Jesus has come! We have his living word and we have his abiding Spirit!
With the Helper, we can wisely discern and powerfully overcome the tactics of our enemy.
In 2022, how about we choose to be in the word of God?
His word will guide and direct us. His word will help decipher truth from lies. His word is our greatest weapon as we walk in this fallen world.
Who am I going to listen to this year? Who are you going to listen to?
Each one of us has one of two options.
Maker of heaven and earth, God of glory, Holy One, Author of Love, Giver of Life, help us to listen to YOU!
Over this final week of 2021, a thought has come to my mind more than once. I've asked myself, (or maybe the Lord has asked me):
"Chris, what are you going to do to help push back the darkness in 2022?"
This is a good question for all who claim Christ as Lord and Savior; for he has called each of us to be his Light bearers.
Here is one place that I am excited to share the Good News:
A wonderful ministry called Girls Living for God wants to use a bible study I wrote called Picture Scripture. This seven-week study uncovers seven biblical images in order to teach and encourage its readers in God's word. In this case, the participants will be teenage girls. The word of God is the beacon of light in their culture's darkness and my prayer is that these young ladies would learn it, trust it, and cling to it not only in their younger years, but all their lives.
Will you join me in this endeavor?
If you would like to make a year end donation to help fund this project please do so at this link: http://GL4G.com/partner
Once on the donation site, check these boxes: "Dedicate this gift" and then "Picture Scripture"
Thank you in advance and with sincere gratefulness.
Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. Psalm 145:4
Today, in this festive time of the year, the cornucopia is often the choice item that makes its way onto the center of our kitchen or dining room tables. This decorative piece symbolizes both "abundance" as well as a "bountiful harvest", which then leads to much gratitude as we count our many blessings.
With this visual in mind, I couldn't help but compare it to an on-line devotional series that I am currently reading, (see www.soulsistersministry.com). Over the past month, many women have willingly shared why they have been "Thankful in All Circumstances" this year. To say this series has been powerful is an understatement. Just like the differing harvest fruits and vegetables that are attractively placed in a cornucopia, these unique posts have become a beautiful collection of living testimonies bound together in the love of Christ.
Here are some of the fruits on display:
Acknowledging that age brings wisdom
Recognizing the little things, the daily things
Believing that God keeps his promises
Experiencing the love of Jesus in extreme sadness
Receiving forgiveness in a relationship
Recognizing we are made in God's image
Choosing to embrace all of life's moments
Choosing life and birthing redemption
Rejoicing in a God-given relationship
Giving thanks for answered prayers, both small and big
Choosing a thankful heart no matter the trial
Celebrating healing of body and soul
Choosing to grow in difficult times
Resting in God's plan, past, present, and future.
These Soul Sisters of mine have made my intangible Thanksgiving centerpiece become very real and alive in my heart. What a bountiful display of blessing upon blessing! (And the series is not over yet!) If I were to add to this cornucopia of thankful hearts, I would have to say my fruit would be entitled:
What about you? What are you thankful for this year? What has God done for you in even a difficult circumstance? Take a moment before the Lord and ask him to reveal one thing to you and then thank him for it. Allow this blessing to be the seed of gratitude that has the potential to bear much fruit; may each one of us be full to overflowing with an array of colorful praise.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving... For the Lord is a great God... Psalm 95:2-3
Forty Day Journey of Prayer is a devotional that helps guide the reader into a daily conversation with God. Each day begins with a focused-Bible verse or passage and then is followed by insights pertaining to it. Journal lines are provided to write out prayer requests and personal thoughts. As one commits to reading God's word and praying in this way for forty days, his/her relationship with the Lord will then be marked with both sweetness and strength.
Forty Day Journey of Peace is a devotional that takes the reader on a quest to find out what brings God's peace. It is divided into three sections: peace with God, peace within, and peace with others. Each day focuses on a selected Bible passage so the reader can discover and apply new insights. Further Scripture references and journal lines are provided to enhance and deepen the participant's journey of peace.
What if a secret to having a life-long marriage was to simply start out with healthy habits between husband and wife from the the very beginning? Or, what wisdom can a wife in her tenth or twentieth year of marriage gain as a refresher in her relationship with her husband? Chris Baxter's Twenty-five Years, Twenty-five Lessons: Letters to a Bride from a Seasoned Wife is a beautiful gift book written for wives of all ages. Within the106 pages of this decorative coffee table book are twenty-five valuable lessons that Chris learned throughout her marriage. Some of the subjects discussed are: putting on love, resolving conflict, laughing often, having a healthy hobby, and prayer. These Scripture-based lessons are written in letter-form to a specific young bride which easily engages the reader on a personal level. The twenty-five lessons are accompanied with lovely watercolor wreaths, luring the reader's eyes from one page to the next. This book is both beautiful in form, and magnificent in Words.