What is God’s purpose for your life and how to find it

The search for God’s purpose for our lives can be a long and difficult process. The Bible is a guidebook that can help us along the way. It can assist us in the steps we need to take to obey and honour God through the way we live our life. Let’s take some time and see God’s purpose for your life and how to find it.

How to Find God’s will for your life 

As a Christian, my desire is to know God and His will for my life. 

The best place to start is by reading the Bible. It is God’s direct word to us. In it, He tells us who we are, how to get saved, and how to live a life that will glorify Him. 

To learn more about finding God’s will, read the blog post 9 things you should do to know God’s will

A picture of 3 women sitting on a couch with smiles on their faces. under the picture are the words,  God's purpose for your life and how to find it. www.onedeterminedlife.com

God’s purpose for your life

Even though I have known God for so long, there are still some things that I am working out and some questions that I ask God.

One question that I have found myself asking repeatedly is: what will you have me do and God, what’s next?

So maybe you are wondering about something similar. Maybe you have made the decision to follow Christ and you are wondering what to do next.

Today I want us to discover God’s purpose for your life. There is the specific will of God and the general will of God. Since I can’t know everyone who reads this blog, I can’t speak to the specific will of God in your life, but I can share  3 things that Jesus wants every Christian to do.

1. God’s purpose for your life: Love the Lord

The First thing God wants from us is to love Him and to love others.

Luke 10:27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbour as yourself.’ ”

Jesus wants us to Love Him—with every single part of ourselves—heart, soul, strength, and mind – that means that every single part of us needs to be loving Him.

When we Love God- it spills into our lives and helps us do the next part of the verse- Love your neighbour as yourself.

People like to take care of themselves. We feed, cloth, and bathe ourselves. We also don’t cause ourselves pain or hurt. We don’t call each other names. We keep the best for ourselves.

Since these are some of the ways we love ourselves, then loving others means giving people food, water, and clothing. It means that we share with them our toys, house, food, etc.

Take some time to think about the things you do to love others and love the Lord. When we love people like ourselves, we give them a small picture of how much God loves them.

2. God’s purpose for your life: Tell Others about Him

The second thing that God wants us to do is to share all this awesome news that we have.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20

This verse makes it clear that we need to share with others Who God is and what He has done.

Some ways we can tell others about God:
  • Tell people what you know about God—this week we have learned so much about God—so when you go home and your parents ask you what you learned- it’s a perfect opportunity to tell them what you learned about God.
  • Invite them to places and events that share who God is- bible study, church, church events, dinner with other Christians 
  • Become a missionary– tell people about God on a full-time basis at home or in another part of the world. There are many opportunities all over the world to share about God.

 

3. God’s purpose for your life: Remember Him

The third thing that Jesus wants us to do is to remember Him.

 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

In the old testament, the people of Israel had a short memory of God’s power. God had led them out of Egypt and showed his power through the plagues. But as soon as the Israelites faced a new barrier, they complained and asked why The Lord was doing this. 

As a child, I was so confused about how the Israelites could see God’s miraculous power one day, and wonder where He was the other. But, as I grew up, there have been many times I have forgotten who God is and what He could do. I let the circumstances doubt my salvation and God’s love for me. 

Because we are so apt to forget Him, He tells us we need to remember Him. He wants us to remember that He died, that He rose again, and that He is coming back one day.

Many churches will have a service once a week that is called The Lord’s supper. This is where people can share about who God is and what He has done and remind each other about His goodness. Other churches pass the bread and wine once a week or once a month.

Why is it important to remember Christ?

As mentioned earlier, if we forget who God is and what He has done then we might become worried, and afraid.

But, when we remember God – who He is and what He has done- then we will have joy, peace, security, hope, and so on. When we remember what God has done, it gives us confidence that He can do it again.

When our oldest daughter was 2 years old, my husband lost his job. At the time we were worried and afraid—so we turned to God and trusted that He would provide for us and He did—so when my husband lost his job again a few years later—we knew God would provide for us again because we remembered He had provided for us the first time.

When we trust God during hard times and see Him work- it’s easier to trust Him with the smaller things- so it’s important to remember all the ways God loves you and provides for you. It helps build a strong foundation of trusting God.

Our lives are a gift from God. How will you live yours?

Do you want more help to know God’s purpose for your life? 

I just shared with you 3 things God wants every Christian to do. This is a great first step in knowing God’s purpose for your life. But maybe you are already doing those things and you are ready to know more. 

Well, I have something that can help. The Grow in Trust Course is a 3-day virtual event to help Christian women stop feeling lost and discover God’s plan for their lives so they can be free to love God and pursue His will. Click here to learn more. 

14 Lies we believe about reading The Bible

Even though I grew up in a Christian home, starting to read The Bible on my own felt intimidating. It looked so big and I told myself that I could never read the whole thing. The Devil wants nothing else than for people to NOT read The Bible. His biggest tool is making us believe lies about the Bible. So, today, I want to share with you 14 lies we believe about reading The Bible, and some facts to prove they are lies.

14 Lies we believe about reading The Bible

1. It’s too hard to understand:

There are many Bible versions out there and some are harder to understand. Like the King James Version. It uses words we don’t know and are not used to.

But, there are other versions out there that are very easy to read and understand.

We have been reading The New King James Bible to our children since they were young, and they can understand many of the verses and the large themes in The Bible.

2. I don’t have time to read it

The truth is that nobody has time for Bible study unless they make the decision to do so. You are not a victim of your situation, despite what the world would have you believe. The pace of our lives is much more under our control than we may be aware of. And we never have too much time for the things that are most important to us. NEVER!

Make a weekly commitment to Bible study and choose a time each day to work toward your study objectives as a way to overcome this lie. However, be careful that your weekly commitment doesn’t exceed what you can finish in a single sitting. 

A picture of a person sitting in a field with a blanket over their lap and a closed Bible in their hands. Above the picture are the words, 14 lies we beleive about reading The Bible. www.onedeterminedlife.com

3. The Bible isn’t true

this is a lie that we see everywhere we look. But, when we take a look at who is saying that, we realize that it’s coming from people who have not read and studied God’s word.

I have a whole video and blog post that shares proof The Bible IS the word of God and that it IS TRUE!  

4. You already know it, so don’t read it.

I have read The Bible many times. Each time I read it, I find a new truth, or it speaks to me in a different way. Passages I think I know, I go back too and realize I missed a detail. Or time and experience give me a new perspective on truths I know.

The Lord is so large and deep and endless. The Bible is just the tip of the iceberg. We will be spending eternity learning about God, who He is and so much more! 

A picture of a table that has a laptop, cup, and blanket. Over that image are the words The Lord is so large and deep and endless. The Bible is just the tip of the iceberg. Anne Markey, www.onedeterminedlife.com

5. It’s boring. So don’t read it.

I thought this when I was young. I would listen to the Bible being read to me and feel so bored. But, as an adult, I see how scripture is knit together and how the whole book covers themes and truths.

I also have many years of proof behind me- my experience tells me God’s word is alive and that The Lord brings me exactly what I need to hear when I need to hear it regardless of what passage I’m reading in His word. 

6. I’m not smart enough for Bible study

Ladies, this is a big one for us. The enemy doesn’t fight fairly, and he enjoys giving us a false sense of security. And using lies like this one to keep us imprisoned in a spiritual wasteland is one of his most successful tactics! We need to develop the skill of Bible study. Time and practice are necessary.

And I don’t think we’ll ever fully comprehend everything we read in the Bible. Because doing so would imply that we are able to fully appreciate God’s glory. Never read the Bible on your own to overcome this lie. Find some reliable believers to read The Bible with you through.

Find people you trust to ask questions. For me, it’s my dad. He has read so many books and has studied so much! I can trust his answer to any of my spiritual questions.

 

7. You need to understand Greek and Hebrew to know what it really means.

It’s easy to believe we need to understand Greek and Hebrew to know what The Bible says. This lie then makes us think we shouldn’t bother reading it.

I’m sure knowing the ancient texts helps in certain contexts as we know that some things just don’t translate.

For example: Greek has at least 4 different words for love when we only have 1. In that instance, it’s helpful to go back to the Greeks.

But, we live in a world where translators have done the work for us! They have translated it so we can understand it. 

8. It’s contradictory.

So don’t read it.” The truth is the opposite. Many people who search scripture to fund proof of contradictions step away without understanding the opposite.

There is nothing in scripture that contradicts itself. It all works together so beautifully- it’s a masterpiece. 

A blue and yellow background with text that says, There is nothing in scripture that contradicts itself. It all works together so beautifully- it’s a masterpiece. Anne Markey, www.onedeterminedlife.com

9. The Bible isn’t relevant to my life

The Bible was written many years ago, it’s a big, confusing book, and occasionally the stories seem so archaic. Although we must all overcome these challenges, the Bible remains relevant in spite of them. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, and for training in righteousness,” according to 2 Timothy 3:16.

Because of this, we can be sure that the Bible has a lot to say about living in the twenty-first century. You won’t like this, but here’s how to defeat this lie. However, in my experience, the only means of dispelling this lie. 

10. Experts disagree on what it means.

So, don’t read it.” The Christian church, no matter what denomination, agrees with 90 percent of the Scripture message. Or even more.

11. The Bible is outdated

Not for our modern times. So, don’t read it. I find it quite the opposite. In Songs of Solomon, there is a verse that says nothing is new under the sun. And it’s true.

There is nothing going on in the world today that has not accrued before. The Lord, knowing this, wrote The Bible to be relevant to any person during any age they live in. I find so much wisdom for me and my family in navigating this uncertain world.  

The Bible is extremely practical. I’ve written a few blog posts that share so much practical wisdom that has lasted the test of time.

12. The Bible is just a bunch of rules

So, don’t read it.” The Old Testament does hold a bunch of laws. But when you look at those laws, it was to keep the Israelites clean, healthy and in good relationships.

There is so much wisdom in some of those laws. The New Testament also tells us that we need to law, to show us how much we can’t follow it on our own and how sinful we really are.

That we ALL need a saviour. The Law actually points us to Christ as He is the only one who lived a perfect life. 

13. No one with intelligence reads the Bible anymore

Only religious fundamentalists and extremists. So, don’t read it.” Some of the smartest people on the planet–including scientists and professors and philosophers read and love the Holy Bible. And they are some of the sanest people on the planet.

14. I don’t need to study The Bible

I don’t know if anyone else finds this lie difficult, but I certainly do! My entire life has been spent as a Christian. I’ve been in the church for more than 35 years. I’ve read the Bible cover to cover several times, and worked in ministry most of my life. I’m fine! I don’t require a daily schedule for Bible study.

This lie has its roots in self-sufficiency and pride, two vices I personally struggle with quite a bit. The issue is that we were not made to live independently, but rather in constant reliance on our Creator.

Do we ever really outgrow the need to spend regular time in the Bible? Never. I find myself so much more emotionally “unstable” when I don’t read my Bible often. 

I know that Bible study can be intimidating. I also know that you may feel you don’t have the time, or you don’t know where to start. I get it. 

That is why I am so excited to invite you to The Faith in Action Conference.

The Faith in Action Conference

The Faith in Action Conference is a FREE 4-day virtual event to help Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive Bible study of Mathew 5-7 & James.

The conference is all about helping Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive into Bible study.

16 speakers over 4 days will help you discover how to live out your faith by looking at Mathew chapters 5-7 & James. These chapters are filled with practical advice for us. Everything from how to treat one another, to marriage advice.

Click here to register for your FREE ticket today!

7 Myths about Studying The Bible

Do you have myths about studying The Bible? As a Christian who grew up in a Christian home, I often take The Bible for granted. I have a hard time accepting that people may not believe The Bible is the word of God and are intimidated by what they hear about The Bible and studying The Bible. Continue to read as I dispel 7 myths about studying The Bible.

7 Myths about Studying The Bible

1. You need special tools to study The Bible. 

There are many Bible study tools out there that make Bible study easier. But, they are NOT needed to study The Bible.

All you need is The Bible and the help of The Holy Spirit. A pen and paper are handy to write things down, but they are not necessary. 

2. Only Pastors and leaders should study The Bible

Spiritual leaders SHOULD study The Bible because they are teachers and examples to others. You should not teach what you don’t know. 

But, all Christians should learn how to study The Bible. 

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Acts 17:11

Spiritual leaders are just people. They sometimes make mistakes.

It is our responsibility to test what a preacher says against scripture. We can’t do that if we are not spending time in God’s word ourselves. 

A picture of a couple sitting a table together whith a Bible open in between them. Above The picture are the words, 7 myths about studying The Bible, www.onedeterminedlife.com

3. Group Bible studies are not necessary 

We can sometimes assume we can study the Bible on our own. We might believe that we don’t need to study the Bible with others because there are so many materials (both print and online) readily available to us.

Reading the Bible in a group has many benefits! 

The insight and wisdom of other believers, however, is one of the primary ways that God utilizes the Bible in our life, and it is lost when we exclusively study the Bible on our own.

Because the Bible can be complex and layered, there are truths we can overlook while studying it on our own.

When we study the Bible with others, it helps us see more of it than we would if we were studying it alone.

Being in the Word together is one of the many advantages of assembling with God’s people. When Paul instructs Timothy,

“Until I arrive, commit yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, and to teaching,” he emphasizes this.

1 Tim. 4:13

We should seek out chances to spend time with other believers studying the Bible, whether that be in a small group, adult education class, or some other setting, in addition to giving great attention to the Word being preached on Sunday mornings.

If that sounds like something you want to do, check out The Christian Growth Hub.

4. Bible study takes a lot of time.

Most of us have busy schedules that are full. We feel pressure from difrent commitments that fight for our time and attention. This includes family, work, education, church, and relationships, and others.

Because we believe it takes a large amount of time to study the Bible, it might feel like one more item we don’t have time to for.

Most of us have access to more time than we think. Take into account how much time many of us spend using our phones, checking social media, or watching TV. 

If we really don’t have time to study the Bible, God’s Spirit is still able to use even short periods of time (even as little as 10-15 minutes) to help us understand who God is.

5. You require a difficult procedure.

Some methods for learning the Bible involve a lot of steps and are quite intricate and difficult. These techniques can be beneficial for exploring the depths of Scripture.

However, it is not necessary to be that way. Jesus provided us with instructions on what to concentrate on when reading the Bible. He answered when asked what the Bible’s greatest commandment was:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Matt. 22:37–39

According to Jesus, everything in Scripture in some way relates to loving God or loving our neighbour. So one very simple method for studying the Bible is asking good questions that help us to see the very things that God wants us to see in Scripture.

There are simple Bible study methods you can use to dig into scripture. Start with those and see how it changes what you know of scripture and how you approach it.

6. Bible reading is the same as Bible study

Reading The Bible and studying it is quite different. They are both useful, but are used for different functions and are used in different contexts.

You can read this blog post to learn more about the differences. 

7. The New Testament is more important than the Old Testament. 

The Old Testament is 3/4 of the Bible. The Old Testament is the major context for understanding the New Testament. New Tribes missions, a missionary organization. Once the missionaries have learned the language and trust in a village they start giving Bible Lessons. They start in Genesis. The Old Testament holds so many truths that give us a good understanding of what then happens in the New Testament. 

I know there are many myths about reading the Bible. I also know that you may want to learn more and get some amazing Bible teaching.

That is why I am so excited to invite you to The Faith in Action Conference.

The Faith in Action Conference

The Faith in Action Conference is a FREE 4-day virtual event to help Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive Bible study of Mathew 5-7 & James.

The conference is all about helping Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive into Bible study.

16 speakers over 4 days will help you discover how to live out your faith by looking at Mathew chapters 5-7 & James. These chapters are filled with practical advice for us. Everything from how to treat one another, to marriage advice.

Click here to register for your FREE ticket today!

What does it mean to live for The Glory of God?

Are you looking for ways to live for the glory of God? In this episode, I talk to Gina Habig about how to glorify God in our daily lives. Gina shares her journey of realizing that following rules and striving to please God through our own efforts aren’t enough, and how the Holy Spirit empowers us to live a life that pleases Him. Discover how to overcome “religion guilt” and focus on pointing people to Christ and His example. Stick with me as I share practical ways to serve and love others in a way that points to God’s glory.

What does it mean to live for The Glory of God?

Are you looking for guidance on how to live a life that glorifies God? In this podcast episode, Anne Markey and Gina Habig share their personal experiences and insights on how to live for the glory of God.

In this episode, we talk about:

– How to avoid guilt and shame caused by not following rules and laws

– How to teach kids about having a personal relationship with God

– The importance of understanding the full gospel and having faith in it.

Hi and welcome back to the Christian Minute podcast. My name is Anne Markey and I am joined today by a guest. Her name is Gina Habig. Welcome to the show.

Meet Gina

Tell me about your background and how you first came to know God.
I remember at age 4, coming to my mom and asking her to pray with me. I don’t think I really understood the gospel till I was 30 years old.

So 26 years later, I felt like I finally understood that Jesus didn’t just give me a ticket to heaven, he gave me a new life, a new desire to want to serve him.

I think a huge piece of that was not understanding The Holy Spirit and how He empowers me to live a life that pleases God.

Instead, what I thought is, I got the ticket to heaven, and I’m not going to hell. However, I have to work really hard and kill myself to please God. Not that I could earn salvation, but more of never wanting to feel like I was on God’s bad side.

I saw him as an angry parent. I think that corresponded with my upbringing.

I was brought up in a very strict Baptist home where it was very much rule-based and everything was centred around the church and their culture. And so I thought I had to constantly continue to earn my way to God’s happiness. But I didn’t see it anymore. I didn’t really see it as I was earning salvation.

The Role of Guilt in Christian Living

I think when you’re younger, you really try to follow all those rules. But then you realize you feel guilty because you can’t follow all the rules.

Nowhere in the scripture does it say we actually have to read our Bible every day. The Bible tells us to meditate on scripture and tells us how good it is for us to do.

But, when we’re not measuring up, I think the devil does a really good job of making us feel guilty and telling us we’re horrible Christians, God doesn’t want you like all these things.

And so it’s this mix of The church conversation, but also the devil taking advantage of those things and like keeping us down and guilty and ashamed and all those things.

A picture of a women in a flower field with her face pointing to the scky. She has a large smile on her face and her hands reach towards the sky. Under the picture are the words, What does it mean to live for the glory of God? www.onedeterminedlfie.com

Pointing people to Christ

The piece we could mention is the picture of being pointed to Christ as being the one who did it all.

When people would sit down with me and go over Colossians 3, they would skip chapters one and two, which tells me who Christ is.

They would just tell me, stop sitting, stop doing this. But how do I do that in my own strength? I can’t.

And so that’s the I think a big piece of it is- are we pointing that person to Christ, or are we pointing them to more obedience and laws?

The downfall of toxic purity culture

I’ve seen exactly what you’re talking about because I think about the purity culture in the nineties. It was exactly this. It was very rule-based. It was very demoralizing and none of it was pointing us to Christ.

It was all very much teaching us that if you do one thing, then you’re completely ruined. It was just a really bad framing of this conversation.

And I find like one of the things I’ve noticed lately is it has shifted. These days, I see so many people talking about why it’s bad to have sex outside of marriage. Pointing it back to Christ and sharing that the church is a symbol of the bride and the groom.

We never gave me the God piece. You just told me that it was bad and that it would ruin me.

And so I think, when we’re telling our kids, we have to give them that God piece.

Otherwise, I think you missed that personalization.

As a mom, I’m trying to be a lot more conscientious about sharing why and how something they do has an effect on their relationship with God. Asking, how does God fit into this scenario?

What does Glorying The Lord mean?

When I think of glorifying the Lord, I think the first thing is defining glory.

Glory is not something that can be added, it’s something that already is. And that’s what the Bible teaches about God’s glory, is that it’s inherent to him. So things like His reputation, and being reverent to Him.

In Isaiah 6:1-4 when the heavenly creatures are saying holy is the Lord God Almighty, the whole Earth is full of his glory. Well, why did they not say holy is the Lord God Almighty, the whole earth is full of His Holiness? Why do they not say that? Well, because they were describing what glory really was, and it’s the purity, it’s the majesty of who God is.

God has to be connected to uplifting who He is. And I think the first thing that we do is understand the full gospel and believe in the full gospel.

Then of course repentance, and then continuing faith.

And then lastly, it goes into practice things like loving others and depending on God and trusting in Him.

Glorifying in The Lord’s discipline

When we glorify in The Lord’s discipline we become more like Him.

This is what The Lord says in Romans 8:28-30. He is going to be bringing us to full glorification by making us into the image of God. But that doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

And even if we look at the life of Christ, we see that He learned obedience. Jesus had to learn how to walk in the way even though he was 100 % God and also 100 % man, he still had to fulfill all righteousness by living a life that we could never live.

He was the model of what it meant to glorify God and we look to his life to see how it’s demonstrated.

But I think a lot of times it becomes more of a performance. And I think this is dependent on the motive of the person.

Our motives matter

Some of that could be like it’s glorifying if we serve in the church, it’s glorifying to help the poor, it’s glorifying to discipline our all that’s glorifying.

But what is the motivation?

I can look good and people can go, oh look at so and so is a good Christian mother?

No, if it’s not pointing to God, it’s not glorifying him.

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.

Psalm 19:1-2

The heavens declare God’s glory- it points people back to God, not itself.

We are to shine the spotlight on the person of God because He is already full of glory. So we’re not adding to his glory. We can’t. But we can lift up his glory, or at least like, point towards his glory and also, focus on his glory instead of ourselves, our works, our abilities and all those things.

Steps to shifting our thoughts and actions to glorying God

I’m not going to mention who this is because I don’t recommend this author. But I will say, I read a book that was very good and very biblical. I needed to be confronted that nothing I could do could ever please God in the same way that Christ please God.

And so the book basically contrasted what God says is good and what you think is good. And that blew me away because that confronted me at the core of my problem.

I needed to realize that Christ’s work was not only good enough to get me to heaven but was good enough for me to rest him and to stop running this hamster wheel.

So my twenties were just this hamster wheel of running around looking for this Bible study, going to this conference, thinking there’s a special secret I have not found. And there was. It just was the gospel.

The spirit led me that long so that I can have something to share with someone else.

I got married very young and just thought all my problems would go away since I met a completely different, like my husband’s upbringing.

He saw more of the gospel and I saw more of the loss. And he’s five years older than me, so he’s not much older than me. You just happen to see something a little something different, which was great because God used that to teach me to get me to realize, I needed to be in the word and I need to stop seeking some kind of special answer.

God redeems lost time

Even though you got saved, younger and didn’t really make it personal until your thirties. That time in between can feel like lost time.

But what I love is that the Lord still redeemed it.

To Him, it’s not lost time because you’re using it to encourage other people and put the spotlight back on Him.

I think sometimes we can get trapped in this idea of like, I’ve lost all this time. I haven’t made the most of my time and have that guilt.

Whereas in realizing that I’m not perfect, I may have some lost time, but God can still redeem that time and use it for his glory.

And I always think that that’s amazing.

When we think of the children of Israel and how much time they lost, how much of their story do we learn from because of that?

So God can use all these things for His glory because of who He is. And all we have to do is shift that mindset.

Is it sad that I lost that time?

Sure! But I don’t need to sit in that sadness. I can use it to encourage other people.

The Lord can use our husbands to help us grow

I think the Lord has an amazing way of using marriage in our spouses to show us different pieces of himself.

My husband grew up in a non-Christian home. And the organizations that he got saved through were very much relationship-based and had a different way of looking at things.

And so learning from each other in our marriage and figuring out how we take both sides of what we learned now and apply it to the way we raise our children and the priorities that we have in our life.

1 Year Bible reading plan

The purpose of the law

When you understand the gospel, you’re no longer enslaved to the law. The law kills. And so in Christ, the law is still important.

But the law is our schoolmaster. It is to instruct us.

It is not to kill us and the Israelites.

They were to see through the law that they needed a saviour.

That was the whole purpose of the law.

That’s, where the Pharisees went wrong. They kept thinking the more laws I do, the more spiritual I am.

And God is saying, no. The law is to show you can never keep my law perfectly. This is to show you how holy I am. And how much you need me to save you completely.

And that’s what the prophets kept telling them. But they still didn’t get it.

It’s all about coming right back to the gospel, coming right back to who God is, His character and how that shapes the way we think about our relationship with Him, and other Christians.

I think we can have this impact by sharing more about who God is and bringing it back to Scripture.

When you understand the gospel, you’re no longer enslaved to the law. The law kills. And so in Christ, the law is still important.

But the law is our schoolmaster. It is to instruct us.

4 steps you can take to live for the glory of God

Step 1: Get to Know God

The first thing is- if you don’t know the gospel you don’t know Christ.

That would be the first step is to get to know who your saviour is because you can’t live if you don’t know who He is and what He has done for you.

So that’s the first thing. Read the book of John maybe. And I would read it in conjunction with one of the Synoptic Gospels because then you can see more of the movements of Christ’s life because we know John is evangelistic, so you see it pointing to the Saviour and then the other gospels.

You see more of the everyday life of Christ and how his ministry actually was carried out.

Step 2: Find a mentor

The second step I think would be to get with a mentor. Find someone in your church that can walk you through the steps of what it means to be a Christian through the example of their life and through the scripture.

I think sometimes we focus too much on books and there are some great books that I’d recommend, but make sure it’s Bible based and it’s expositional to scripture.

Step 3: Spend time with God regularly

Find a time- in your day, and your week when you can be in God’s word.

There’s no law about you must do it at a certain time of day. Find a time in the day that works for you.

I know for one of my friends when all her kids are napping is the time she does it. And they all go down and she goes in the word, and that’s like clockwork to her. But she’s made it a priority because she knows she can’t live without it.

So find that time.

You don’t have to make it difficult. You don’t need to read three or four chapters a day. Start slow and don’t go past the point that you can’t understand anymore.

And I’m a big believer in reading through scripture if you haven’t done it and start in Genesis and just go and get a commentary if you need it or get a study Bible if you get stuck in Leviticus because we all get stuck there and then study.

What I mean by the study is to pick a book and go verse by verse. Very slowly and go over and over and over until you get it. That’s how I think the practice starts.

And then the spirit is going to lead you.

1 Year Bible reading plan

A simple tip to start reading God’s word

One of the things that I did at a camp growing up, was have morning staff devotions. And one of my favourite things was reading the same book every morning for a week.

And so you’re reading the entire book of Galatians every day for like 7 days.

And then all you’re doing is just talking about the different things that just popped out.

And then you start seeing connections and you start seeing how the word of God is alive and moving because, on day two and three and four and five, you see new things even though you’ve already read this book like 4 different times.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be just super simple. It doesn’t have to be an hour, 2 hours, or 10 minutes. It can be one minute, 2 minutes, or 3 minutes.

It’s about the quality of time with God, not the quantity.

It’s an active choice to continue to learn more and seek more.

Step 4: do everything for God

Make sure what you’re doing is connected to Christ. I’ll give one example because I say this example a lot.

So let’s say you have a neighbour and she needs help. She is a widow. She needs you to help her clean her house.

So if you’re going to clean her house, but it’s not connected to Christ, meaning you’re just doing it to say I did my Christian duty or to feel better or to think you’re more holy, then you got a problem.

That’s kind of the test that I always kind of ask myself, okay, why am I doing this?

Am I doing this for my praise? Or am I doing this for the praise of God?

And so I’m very careful when I get involved in things. I don’t go out to church and get involved in 40 things because those things might be good, but they’re not. If I’m not doing it to point the person or the people who are going to receive that to Christ, I’m not living for the glory of God.

It’s not on your list of things to do

When we’re doing those things, glorifying God will become more like it’ll just happen because we’re seeking the Lord.

I don’t think we need to necessarily add one more task. Thinking- now I have to glorify the Lord.

Glorifying the Lord happens naturally when we’re spending time with Him and doing the things He’s called us to do.

When we do that, then glorifying the Lord is just a really amazing byproduct of those things.

How to connect with Gina

Share with us where people can connect more with you, and how they can find you and get to know you more.

My goal is to help women to study the Bible and to connect it to the context of the gospel in Christ.

You can connect with me on my blog, and Instagram.

I’ve been taking Bible classes, and now I want to give the information to people so they don’t sit there with four or five books and go, I don’t know where I’m going.

If that’s something that’s interesting to you and please reach out to me.

My website is also standing on foundations.

7 Age-Appropriate Ways to Explain Prayer to Children

Teaching children about prayer is a beautiful opportunity to introduce them to the concept of talking to God, seeking guidance, expressing gratitude, and finding comfort in Him. Here are 7 age-appropriate ways to explain prayer to children. 

7 Age-Appropriate Ways to Explain Prayer to Children

1. Talking to God

Help your children understand that prayer is like having a conversation with God, just like talking to a dear friend or a loving parent.

Encourage them to share their thoughts, feelings, and concerns with Him, knowing that God listens and cares about every detail of their lives.

2. Seeking Guidance

Explain to your children that prayer is a way to seek God’s guidance and wisdom.

Teach them that they can ask God for help when facing difficult decisions or when they need guidance on how to handle specific situations. Encourage them to pray for clarity and direction.

A picture of a young boy with his head down and his hands claspt together in prayer. Above the image are the words 7 age-appropriate ways to explain prayer to children

3. Expressing Gratitude

Teach your children to express gratitude through prayer.

Help them recognize the blessings in their lives and encourage them to thank God for His love, provision, and the people and things they appreciate. Encourage them to cultivate a heart of gratitude through prayer.

4. Finding Comfort

Explain to your children that prayer is a source of comfort and reassurance.

Let them know that when they feel sad, scared, or worried, they can turn to God in prayer and find peace in His presence. Assure them that God is always there to listen, comfort, and provide strength.

5. Simple Prayers: 

Encourage your children to pray using simple and age-appropriate language.

Teach them that prayers can be as simple as saying, “Thank you, God,” or “Help me, God,” or “I love you, God.”

Emphasize that God values their sincere and heartfelt prayers, no matter how simple or short.

6. Pray Together

Create opportunities for your family to pray together. Praying as a family helps children see the importance of prayer in their daily lives.

You can have designated prayer times, such as before meals or bedtime, or incorporate prayer into your daily routines.

Encourage your children to take turns leading prayers, allowing them to express their thoughts and feelings to God.

A picture of 2 children with their eyes shut and their hands together. They are both praying. Next to the pictre are the following words,  Encourage your children to take turns leading prayers, allowing them to express their thoughts and feelings to God.

7. Model Prayer

Be a role model by praying in front of your children.

Let them observe your own conversations with God, witnessing how you seek His guidance, express gratitude, and find comfort.

When children see prayer as a natural part of their parents’ lives, it becomes more accessible and meaningful to them.

Conclusion

Remember, explaining the significance of prayer to children takes time and patience. 

Each child may understand and embrace prayer differently, so adapt your explanations to their age and developmental level. 

Through your loving guidance and nurturing, you can help your children cultivate a lifelong relationship with God through prayer, enabling them to experience His love, guidance, and comfort in their lives.

In the comments below, share your favourite way to explain prayer to children. 

7 simple steps to Create a Habit of Family Prayer

One of the most powerful ways to foster this connection with God is through the practice of family prayer. In this post, I will share with you 7 simple steps to create a habit of family prayer in your home. From setting a dedicated time and space to involving every family member, we will explore the essential elements needed to create a meaningful and consistent prayer routine.

7 simple steps to create a habit of family prayer

1. Choose a Consistent Time

Select a time that works best for your family, whether it’s in the morning, during mealtime, or before bedtime.

Consistency is key in forming a habit, so aim for a time when everyone can gather together without distractions.

In our family, we pray together after dinner. Then, we also pray with our children before bed.

2. Find a Quiet Space

Designate a quiet and peaceful spot in your home where you can gather as a family for prayer. It could be a corner in the living room, a cozy nook, or even a space outdoors where you can connect with God’s creation.

For our family, we pray together at the dinner table. It’s not comfortable, but it’s in the same spot every day. It’s also a great way to not lose any children in the transition from dinner to prayer time.

A picture of a group of people holding hands in a circle. In the middle of the circle is an open Bible. Above the picture are the words, 7 simple stpes to create a habit of family prayer. www.onedeterminedlife.com

3. Set Realistic Goals

Start small and set achievable goals for your prayer time.

Begin with a few minutes of focused prayer, gradually increasing the duration as your family becomes more comfortable with the routine.

Some Goals can include:
  • Praying together once a day
  • Praying for a specific amount of time- I would start with a short time and build up
  • Having multiple people pray each time
  • Praying for other people
  • Making sure to add thanksgiving in your prayer time

4. Engage Everyone

Encourage each family member to participate in prayer. Share personal prayer requests, express gratitude, and pray for one another.

Engaging children by asking them to share their own prayers can foster their spiritual growth and deepen their connection with God.

5. Utilize Prayer Resources

Explore prayer resources such as prayer journals, devotionals, or guided prayer apps that can provide structure and inspiration for your family’s prayer time.

These tools can help guide your conversations with God and make the experience more meaningful.

In our family, we don’t use any resources. We just pray for the things on our minds and for people who we feel we want to pray for.

A picture of a couple hands folded in prayer over a Bible. Next to the image are these words, Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays." 
- Soren Kierkegaard

6. Be Flexible

Understand that life can get busy, and schedules may change.

Be flexible in adapting your prayer routine to fit the demands of each season.

Remember, what matters most is the genuine intention to connect with God as a family.

In our family, not every night works to pray together. Sometimes I have to work, or we don’t have a lot of time between dinner and the next activity. We want to pray as often as we can, but we are also mindful that we don’t want it to become forced or something we just do.

7. Make it Interactive

Incorporate different prayer practices to keep your family engaged. It could be singing worship songs, reading scripture together, or even incorporating creative activities like drawing or writing prayers.

One thing we do is ask our children what they want to pray for and then encourage them to pray. If they don’t want to share, that’s ok- but this way they feel included in the prayer time.

Conclusion

By setting aside dedicated time for prayer and establishing a routine that works for your family’s schedule, you create space for God to work in your lives.

As you start praying as a family, remember that it is not just a task to be checked off but a beautiful opportunity to commune with God as a family, share your joys and concerns, and seek His guidance together.

May your commitment to family prayer bring unity, peace, and blessings that overflow into every aspect of your lives.

Embrace this practice, and watch as your family grows closer to God, experiences His presence, and witnesses the transformative power of prayer.

In the comments below, share your best tips to create a habit of family prayer.

30 powerful Bible verses about building a Christian home

As parents, we strive to create a loving, nurturing, and God-centered environment for our families. Building a Christian home is not just about the physical structure but also about establishing a strong foundation of faith, love, and biblical values. In this post, I share with you 30 powerful Bible verses about building a Christian home.

These verses cover a wide range of topics, including love, obedience, wisdom, unity, and the importance of passing down faith to the next generation.

Feel free to explore these verses and discover how they can inspire and guide us in creating a home that reflects the heart of God.

30 powerful Bible verses about building a Christian home

1. Joshua 24:15 – But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

2. Proverbs 24:3-4 – By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding, it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

3. Psalm 127:1 – Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.

4. Ephesians 5:25 – Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

5. Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.

6. Colossians 3:18-20 – Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

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7. Psalm 128:1 – Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.

8. Proverbs 14:1 – The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands, the foolish one tears hers down.

9. 1 Peter 4:8-9 – Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

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10. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 – These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

11. Psalm 101:2 – I will be careful to lead a blameless life—when will you come to me? I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart.

12. Hebrews 3:4 – For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.

A verse card that says this, But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

13. Proverbs 11:29 – Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.

14. Psalm 133:1 – How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

15. 1 Corinthians 16:14 – Do everything in love.

a verse card that says, Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.

16. Proverbs 24:27 – Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.”

17. Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

18. Psalm 34:11 – Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

A verse card taht says Psalm 133:1 How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!

19. Colossians 3:13 – Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

20. Proverbs 15:17 – Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.

21. Matthew 7:24 – Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

A verse card that says, Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.

22. Proverbs 24:27 – Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.

23. Romans 12:10 – Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

24. Psalm 103:17-18 – But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

A verse card that says Psalm 103:17-18 But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

25. Proverbs 31:26 – She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

26. Ephesians 6:1-3 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise—that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.

27. Psalm 128:3 – Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.

A verse card that says Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.

28. Titus 2:4-5 – Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

29. Proverbs 1:8-9 -Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.

30. Psalm 145:4- One generation shall commend your works to another and shall declare your mighty acts.

These Bible verses highlight the importance of building a Christian home, emphasizing aspects such as love, obedience, wisdom, unity, and the fear of the Lord.

They serve as reminders of the values and principles that can guide families in their pursuit of a Christ-centered household.

5 Practical Tips for Teaching Scripture to Kids

Are you ready to unlock the power of Scripture in your children’s lives? Look no further, this blog post is here to guide you. I’ll be sharing five practical tips for teaching scripture to kids. From making Bible study a cherished part of your routine to engaging in meaningful conversations that relate God’s Word to their world, we’ve got you covered. Continue to read to help you share 5 Practical Tips for Teaching Scripture to Kids.

**This blog post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more details.**

5 Practical Tips for Teaching Scripture to Kids

1. Make Bible Study a regular part of your routine

It’s important to make Bible study a regular and enjoyable part of our family routine.

Making Bible study a regular part of your family routine is a wonderful way to strengthen your faith together.

7 simple tips to help you get started:
  • Choose a specific time that works best for your family, whether it’s in the morning, after dinner, or before bedtime. Make it consistent, so everyone knows when to gather.
  • Find a cozy spot where you can all sit comfortably, like the living room or dining table.
  • Next, pick a Bible version that is easy to understand, especially if you have younger children.
  • Read a short passage or story each time, and encourage everyone to take turns reading aloud.
  • Discuss what you’ve read, ask questions, and share your thoughts.
  • Make it interactive and engaging
  • Don’t forget to pray together, thanking God for His Word and asking for His guidance.

By making Bible study a regular part of your routine, you’ll deepen your family’s faith and grow closer to each other and to God.

2. Explain the passage you read 

When reading the Bible with our children, it’s helpful to explain the context and background of the passages.

This can bring the stories to life and help them connect with the characters and events. Encourage their curiosity and ask open-ended questions to spark meaningful discussions.

This allows them to express their thoughts, share their insights, and develop a deeper understanding of the Scriptures.

5 questions parents can ask kids about any bible verse they read
  • What is the main message or story in this Bible verse?
  • How do you think this verse applies to our lives today?
  • Can you identify any important lessons or values that we can learn from this verse?
  • Is there a particular character in the Bible verse that you find interesting or inspiring? Why?
  • How can we live out the teachings in this verse in our daily lives?

A picture of a girl smilling with her index finger pointing up. Above the picture are the words, 5 practicle tips for teaching scripture to kids. www.onedeterminedlife.com

3. Relate God’s word to their lives:

As parents, we can also relate the lessons from the Bible to their everyday lives. 

This helps them see how the principles and values found in Scripture can be applied to their relationships, choices, and challenges. 

Start by identifying relevant situations or experiences in their lives where biblical principles can be applied.

For example:

If your children are facing a challenge at school, discuss how the story of David and Goliath teaches us about courage and trusting in God’s strength.

Use age-appropriate language and examples to make it relatable.

Encourage open discussions and ask your children how they think God’s word can guide them in making choices or handling difficult emotions. Help them see the practicality and relevance of Scripture in their everyday lives.

By relating God’s word to their experiences, you’ll instill a deep understanding of faith and equip them with a solid foundation for navigating life’s challenges with God’s guidance.

4. Encourage them to memorize scripture

Beyond reading and studying Scripture, encourage your children to memorize key verses.

This will help them hide God’s Word in their hearts and carry it with them throughout their lives.

Start by choosing short and meaningful verses that are easy to understand.

5 verses you can start with
  • “God is love.” – 1 John 4:8
  • “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” – Proverbs 3:5
  • “Be kind to one another.” – Ephesians 4:32
  • “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” – Luke 6:31

Once you pick a verse, you can write them on colourful index cards or create a verse-of-the-week display in their room.

You can make it a family affair by memorizing the verses together and reciting them regularly.

Create fun games, crafts, or challenges to make memorization enjoyable, like turning it into a friendly competition or using a song or rhythm to help them remember.

Celebrate their progress and offer small rewards or praise to motivate them.

Help them understand the meaning behind the verses and discuss how they can apply them in their lives.

By making Scripture memorization a positive and interactive experience, you’ll help your children build a strong foundation of faith and equip them with God’s words to guide them throughout their lives.

An infographic that shows the 5 practical tips for teaching scripture to kids. www.onedeterminedlife.com

5. Have an ongoing conversation

Lastly, let’s remember that teaching and talking about Scripture is not a one-time event but an ongoing conversation.

Look for opportunities throughout the day to bring up biblical principles or share relevant stories from the Bible. This helps our children see that faith is not limited to a specific time or place but is woven into the fabric of our everyday lives.

Conclusion

By teaching and talking about Scripture with our children in a way that is engaging, relevant, and relatable, we equip them with a strong foundation of God’s truth. We guide them to develop a personal relationship with Jesus and understand the depth of His love and grace. 

Together, let’s embark on this exciting adventure of exploring God’s Word with our children and watch as their hearts are transformed by its life-giving message.

In the comments below, share your best Tips for Teaching Scripture to Kids.

4 Biblical principles we can teach our teenagers

In the fast-paced and ever-evolving world we live in, guiding teenagers on the path of moral principles and values can be both challenging and crucial. How can we effectively teach them the timeless wisdom of the Bible while equipping them with the knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions? 

Join me as I speak to Natasha and we shed light on the art of biblical principles we can teach our teenagers. 

In this episode, we highlight the importance of setting healthy boundaries and consequences for teenagers. We stress the need to go beyond teaching isolated Bible verses and focus on their practical application in daily life. 

By helping our teens understand the reasons behind good choices and the consequences of poor decisions, we empower them to navigate the complexities of the modern world. 

Stick around as we share how we can equip ourselves with the tools to build a solid Biblical foundation in the lives of our teens, empowering them to make choices rooted in love, guided by God’s word.

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The episode at a Glance

[00:02:45] Teaching kids about healthy boundaries and consequences, emphasizing the principle of love as the ultimate law.

[00:07:10] Teach children to love and protect by planting flowers and nurturing them to maturity. 

[00:09:38] Teaching children the truth of God’s word, and the dangers of making up rules based on feelings.

[00:14:05] Embracing boundaries can lead to freedom and enjoyment without worry.

[00:16:00] Teaching children about following Christ and being part of God’s family through everyday experiences and actions. 

[00:20:07] Teaching children to prioritize God and make wise choices.

[00:22:52] Biblical principles on sex education.

4 Biblical principles we can teach our teenagers

1. Principle of Love

Our kids get hurt and we don’t want to see our kids hurt. That is hard, we don’t want to see them get hurt, so we step in.

But, that is not always useful. We need to help our kids understand that they have choices, but they also have consequences.

Anything we do, we should do out of love. The ultimate principle is love. Because God says to love and Lord God with all your soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbour as yourself.

Putting God first

Since God loves us so much, we want to love God first. So this is our first order. So everything we choose to do in life is based on God’s principles.

If we don’t have that, how do we make choices in our life?

The first thing we have to do is explain what the principle of love means to our teenagers.

This principle protects and takes care of ourselves, and helps us grow to full maturity in all areas of life.

Love is not an emotion, it’s an action.

So if God says to love the Lord your God, all your hearts, all minds strengthen you as yourself, this is the first, biggest command.

Can we command an emotion?

How I asked my kids this or how do you teach your kids this day? You will go to school today and you will enjoy it. You can command your children to go to school, but you can’t command them to enjoy it.

We can’t command an emotion. So we get to choose to love ourselves.

Teach your children to love themselves

When we understand God’s principle of love, and that we can choose to love ourselves, it helps us in many areas.

We can use this principle when it comes to teaching our children about peer pressure and protecting themselves from STDs, unplanned pregnancies, alcohol, drugs, and everything else.

We do this by asking them if they are loving themselves.

Because when they are busy with other teenagers that are smoking, do you think somebody that smokes cares about their lungs? So if they don’t care about their own lungs, why do they care about yours?

That’s why God says to love your neighbour as yourself.

So we need to be clear as ourselves, meaning it’s first God, then you, and then your neighbour.

So if you don’t protect your lungs, you want to protect your friends.

So when you teach our kids this principle, we need to show them or that child loving himself, then we need to go out and teach them to encourage their friends to love themselves as well.

When your teenager comes home and tells you about friends that are doing certain things, you can ask: Do you think they love themselves? You can also ask: are they protecting themselves or do they make choices to keep themselves safe? Are they applying the principle of love?

We are encouraging our children to put things in proper order. It’s ok to love your friends, but first, you need to love God, then you need to love yourself, and then you can love your friends.

2. Principle that God’s word is true

We all know that knowledge is power. But, we can’t just read Bible verses and recite Bible verses. We need to apply that knowledge.

We can’t just teach our children the principles, we need to teach them why this principle is important.

If we don’t tell our kids the truth, they’re going to Google it. And they will find the answers.

But we need to teach our children that God’s word is true and it’s the standard to build everything else on.

When we follow Christ, the word doesn’t change. It’s the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. God is always the same. Even if the world is changing, God never does.

God’s love is like Gravity

One way I explain God’s love to people is by sharing with them the rules of gravity. The laws of gravity never change regardless of how you feel, where you are, or what is going on around you.

We can’t change the law of gravity, it’s a force outside of us.

The laws of gravity don’t change.

As parents, we may not understand exactly what our kids are going through because the world has changed so drastically since we were growing up.

But we can help our children focus on God and who He is, and the way He wants us to live our lives.

His laws and His character never change. So we don’t need to understand every single issue but when we know God, we can teach our children who God is, then that helps them apply God’s truth to the experiences they have.

3. God’s boundaries

God’s presence and His laws help us feel safe.

There have been studies done about boundaries. One of them included kids playing in a schoolyard that was fenced. The kids were able to see what was just over the face.

Over the fence was a big natural environment with big trees and stuff. So they took down the fence to give the kids a bigger area to play in.

Once they took down the fence, they found that the kids started to play closer to the building rather than further out. Because the boundary made them feel safe and they instinctively wanted to feel safe.

This study shows us that even if we think we have freedom, it isn’t free.

The safety of God’s boundary makes us free and then we are able to play and ve joy in our life.

So we can teach our children about God’s boundaries so that they embrace that safety that God gives us.

4. We are part of God’s Family

This principle is easiest to explain with a story.

We get to go to heaven because we are the children of God. God opens the door because He knows us.

How do we explain this to children?

When you go play outside with your friends and you go home and knock on the door and your dad opened the door. When he sees you, will he open the door? How will he know you?

You have his surname and your dad knows your name and we do things a certain way in our family. Because of this, your dad will open the door.

When a stranger knocks on your dad’s door, will he just open it and say come in? No?

Our kids need to understand that when we are part of God’s family, we do things a certain way because this is what our family does.

We serve God in everything we do and what we have in this life is enjoying all the benefits of being part of God’s family.

What we do reflects on our family and God, so we have to watch what we do, and how we act so our good actions reflect well on The Lord.

Our faith is a relationship with our Savior. It’s not just a few actual stuff that we do, it’s known by our actions, but because we love our Savior.

About Natasja

The Ultimate Secret to Raising well-balanced teens

Natasja is an experienced counsellor and coach. Throughout her career, she has specialized in working with children, adolescents, and families. She has developed expertise in teen-parent conflict resolution, especially in the context of healthy sexuality.

Her expertise is helping families cope with day-to-day challenges and discover answers by looking at life through the lens of simplicity.

Natasja works as a Family Counsellor in South Africa, registered as Advanced Religious Professional in Christian Pastoral Counselling.

Through her private practice, Natasja Visser Counselling Centre, Natasja developed, Let’s EXplain coaching program. The program assists parents and teenagers with practical guidance to navigate through a risky world filled with sexual imagery and sexual exploitations.

Check out her blog!  |  Connect on Youtube  Connect on Facebook

Resources: 

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A pciture of a teenage girl facing the camera. She has long blond hair and is smilling. Under the picture are the words, 4 Biblical principles we can teach our teenagers.
A picture of Anne Markey with a dark blue background. Above Anne's picture are the words, The Christian minute Podacast, 4 Biblica; principles we can teach our teenagers.

How faith in God provides hope and comfort during hard times

In this episode of The Christian Minute podcast, host Anne Markey sits down with Colleen Faul, a remarkable woman who has faced the challenges of raising a child with special needs.

Colleen shares her background as a missionary with Net Ministries and her current role as a stay-at-home wife and mother of two toddlers.

Together, we discuss the importance of sharing each other’s burdens and how faith in God can provide hope and comfort during difficult times.

As we delve into Colleen’s personal journey, we discuss the struggles of raising a child with infantile spasms and tuber sclerosis complex, both rare conditions that have caused health issues and developmental delays. 

Whether you’re facing your own challenges or simply seeking inspiration, this episode offers uplifting and inspiring messages for listeners to take away.

Don’t miss this opportunity to gain valuable insight from Colleen’s journey and the power of faith in overcoming adversity.

Listen to The Episode

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Download the episode transcript here.

Episode At A Glance:

Time stamps

00:00:00- Reflections on Faith and Life Journeys

  • 00:08:02- Parenting a Child with Special Needs
  • 00:10:11- The Unexpected Diagnosis of a Child’s Neurological Disorder
  • 00:13:51- Heading: Infantile Spasms Diagnosis: A Mother’s Story
  • 00:19:23- Grieving the Loss of a Future
  • 00:23:33- Detaching from Materialism and Finding Comfort in God’s Love
  • 00:33:41- Accepting a Child’s Autism Diagnosis
  • 00:39:57- Parenting a Child with ADHD and Dyslexia
  • 00:41:51- Parenting Special Needs Children and Finding Strength in Faith
  • 00:48:46- God’s Love and Acceptance of Special Needs
  • 00:51:21-  Practicality of the Christian Faith in Today’s World

Connecting through Pain: The Importance of Sharing Our Struggles

Collen’s experience with her daughter Grace, who has rare genetic diseases, infantile spasms, and tuber sclerosis complex, shows how hard it is for parents of children with disabilities.

Grace’s health problems and slow growth have had a big effect on Collen and her family, who have had to show a lot of strength and resilience as a result.

People are often discouraged by social rules from talking about their problems and pain, especially on social media, where people usually only talk about the good things in their lives. It can be hard to talk about our problems and burdens, but as Anne says, it’s important to do so if we want to connect with other people and get help.

As Christians, we are told to share each other’s problems. By doing this, we can help each other get through life’s hard times. Collen’s willingness to tell her story lets others learn about and understand the problems that families of kids with disabilities go through.

A picture of Anne Markey next to a quote from the blog post that says, The Bible instructs us to share each other's burden, but in reality, it can be challenging to do so. This is because our culture has fostered a mindset of pretending that everything is okay even when we are struggling with significant issues. For instance, your child's health problems might be causing you a lot of distress. I hope that through our conversation, we can inspire others to support one another, no matter what they may be going through.

The Healing Power of Vulnerability: Opening Up to Others  

We all have to deal with pain, sadness, and hard times in life. We all have times when we feel overwhelmed and lost. It could be because of a bad breakup, a job loss, a family problem, or a personal issue. It can be hard to find hope and healing on our own in these times.

That’s why it’s important to have a group of people who care about us and can help us through hard times.

[00:11:12] “I think we need to be intentional about finding people to share our burdens with and then intentionally creating a space where they feel comfortable sharing their burdens with us”

This is a fact. Just having people around us isn’t enough.

We need to go out of our way to find people we can trust who are willing to listen and help. And once we find these people, we need to make sure they feel safe and welcome so they can talk to us about their problems.

Having a group of people who can help you feel better is very important.

[00:13:24] “It’s important to find those people who can pray for you and with you.”

Whether you are religious or not, it can be very helpful to have people who can help you with your spiritual life. Knowing that someone is praying for you and thinking about you can give you a lot of strength and comfort.

It’s also important to realise that healing and hope come when we’re willing to be vulnerable and share our problems with others.

[00:14:33] “I think that’s where we can start to find hope and healing is when we’re able to acknowledge what’s going on and then share it with someone else and let them be with us in that”

When we talk about our problems with other people, we make room for kindness, understanding, and empathy. We let other people join us on our journey and offer their help and support.

A picture of Anne Markey next to a quote that says, It's not that the struggles are any less, but I think that we're able to find the hope and the joy in the midst of those struggles when we can share them with other people.

Navigating a Life-Altering Diagnosis for Your Child 

We all have to deal with pain, sadness, and hard times in life. We all have times when we feel overwhelmed and lost. It could be because of a bad breakup, a job loss, a family problem, or a personal issue. It can be hard to find hope and healing on our own in these times.

That’s why it’s important to have a group of people who care about us and can help us through hard times.

[00:11:12] “I think we need to be intentional about finding people to share our burdens with and then intentionally creating a space where they feel comfortable sharing their burdens with us”

This is a fact. Just having people around us isn’t enough.

We need to go out of our way to find people we can trust who are willing to listen and help. And once we find these people, we need to make sure they feel safe and welcome so they can talk to us about their problems.

Having a group of people who can help you feel better is very important.

[00:13:24] “It’s important to find those people who can pray for you and with you.”

Whether you are religious or not, it can be very helpful to have people who can help you with your spiritual life. Knowing that someone is praying for you and thinking about you can give you a lot of strength and comfort.

It’s also important to realise that healing and hope come when we’re willing to be vulnerable and share our problems with others.

[00:14:33] “I think that’s where we can start to find hope and healing is when we’re able to acknowledge what’s going on and then share it with someone else and let them be with us in that”

When we talk about our problems with other people, we make room for kindness, understanding, and empathy. We let other people join us on our journey and offer their help and support.

Reframing Expectations: Life With A Neurodiverse Child 

When a parent hears the words, “Your daughter has infantile spasms,” their world can come crashing down. The fear, uncertainty, and grief that follows can be overwhelming. That’s what happened to me when my daughter was diagnosed with this rare form of epilepsy.

[00:05:18] “It was a scary time,”

I remember thinking as I sat in the doctor’s office, trying to make sense of what was happening. My mind raced with questions and concerns. Would my daughter be okay? Would she ever be able to live a normal life? What did this mean for our family’s future?

As we started taking care of our daughter with special needs, it became clear that she wouldn’t have the life I thought she would have. We had to deal with things I didn’t expect, like medical treatments and therapies, as well as the daily struggles of living with a child who was behind in growth.

Parents of children with neurodiversity know that even simple jobs can be hard. Even simple things like brushing hair, getting dressed, or eating a meal can cause stress and worry. It’s the weight of knowing that they’re different and having trouble and that you can’t do much about it, plus the fact that they’re not reaching the regular milestones.

[00:20:29] “I really did go through a grieving process, not necessarily grieving a death, but grieving a life that I didn’t get to live,”

I recall remember as I struggled to come to terms with my daughter’s diagnosis. I was mourning the loss of a dream, the dream of having a “typical” family and a “typical” life.

It’s a weight that is difficult to put into words, but one that is all too familiar to parents of children with special needs.

I also thought about the future, and how my daughter’s condition might affect it.

[00:22:54] “I may not get to have grandkids by her,” I remember thinking as I watched her struggle.

It’s a thought that still brings tears to my eyes, but one that has also taught me to cherish every moment that we have together.

“There were all of these things I didn’t know. I was clinging to…” I thought, as I searched for answers and support.

[00:23:26] I found solace in connecting with other parents of children with special needs, who understood what I was going through and could offer advice and support.

A picture of Colleen Faul next to a quote that says,   Through it all, I have learned that while life may not always turn out the way we expect, it can still be beautiful.

My daughter may face challenges, but she has also taught me more about love, resilience, and strength than I ever thought possible. 

I am grateful for every moment that we have together, and I am proud to be her mom.

Embracing The Journey: Learning To Love Your Child For Who They Are 

Parents don’t find it easy to let go of the idea of a “typical” child. It can be especially hard if the child has a disease like autism.

“detaching myself from the idea that my daughter was going to be a neurotypical child…I held out hope for that for a while, and then as time went by…put one more nail in the coffin of, no, she’s not going to be typical neurotypical.”

I held on to this idea for a while but finally realised that her daughter would not be like other kids her age.

It’s hard for a mother to accept that her daughter has a genetic disorder.

 “I had been praying for a miracle ever since we learned about all this. I’ve just been praying, god, please heal my daughter. Please heal her. But God answered: I’m not going to fix your daughter. I have given you a daughter that you were not expecting, but she is a gift.”

The Lord creates each of our children, and we need to stop seeing them as broken, but as gifts.

A picture of Colleen Faul next to a quote that says, The only one who's going to suffer by seeing the difference is me. And I can either allow myself to suffer from it or just love her the way she is.

As hard it is for me to raise a daughter who has autism. At first, it was stressful and I didn’t know what to do, but I’m glad I had the chance to learn and grow because of it.

I have been able to find inner strengths and traits I didn’t know I had.

“I’m just really grateful for the experience of all of it because it’s shown me the strength that I have, that I never would have had to use if I hadn’t gone through this. And I think I’m a better person for it. I know I’m a better person for it.”

This has given me the confidence and strength to deal with tough situations.

By facing and getting through these problems, I’ve become a better person. I’ve learned to look at the world differently and enjoy the small things in life.

When we face problems, they can help us find strengths and skills we didn’t know we had. It can also teach us important things about ourselves and the world around us. In the end, the problems we face can make us better people if we use them to learn and grow.

A picture of Anne Markey next to a quote from the blog post that says, We're not guaranteed anything in life, you know? The only thing we're guaranteed is that we're going to die. We don't know when that's going to happen, and we don't know how it's going to happen...So why not just embrace the journey and love the people that we're with and just be grateful for the time that we have with them?

Where Can Parents Go?

When I think about the Lord, I think about my kids and how they snuggle up to me. I just picture myself climbing into The Lord’s lap and resting there.

I know why my kids come to me for that, and I come to the Lord for the same thing.

God calls us to come to Him like that – Dad, Abba Father means Daddy. He’s calling us to His lap, so that we can tell Him all the things that are hurting us and making us worried.

As parents, I really have no power to change much about my kids’ scenarios, but just knowing that God does, gives us access to the one person who can change things.”

About Collen

A picture of Colleen Faul

Colleen Keefe Faul is the author of God’s Precious Gift: A Special Needs Child. At 6 months old, Colleen’s daughter, Grace,  was diagnosed with Infantile Spasms and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex.

The experience pulled Colleen deeper into her faith, where she found consolation in the form of creativity. She was inspired to write a faith-based children’s book for the special needs community that was as much for the parents as it was for the children.

Her mission is to help members of the special needs community, their loved ones, and their caretakers find peace in God’s Will.

Check out her book!  |  Connect on Instagram  Connect on Facebook

Resources: 

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Finding Freedom from Fear: A Spiritual Guide to Managing Anxiety

Are you someone who experiences anxiety from time to time? Or perhaps you know someone who struggles with clinical anxiety? If so, you won’t want to miss this episode, where I talk with Mel Kistner, a counsellor who has helped people with anxiety for years. Join the conversation as we talk about managing anxiety.

A Spiritual and Emotional Guide to Managing Anxiety

In this episode:
  • Mel shares her journey from art school to counselling and how she found her passion for helping people overcome their anxiety. 
  • We dive deep into the difference between normal anxiety and clinical anxiety, and the treatments available for each.  
  • We cover the importance of a holistic approach to managing anxiety that incorporates physical, emotional, and spiritual elements.  
  • We also explore the different methods of treatment for managing anxiety, from cognitive behavioural therapy to medication, and when they are most effective. 

If you’re ready to learn more about managing anxiety, continue listening – you have found the right place.

You can watch the interview here, listen to the podcast above, or read the blog post below.

  • Connect with Mel on her website here
  • Grab our FREE Anxiety Verse Guide here

So many times as Christians, we don’t know really how to talk about anxiety and we don’t know how to help people. So I love that that’s your mission and that’s what you’re doing. But I’d love to talk about it because I think this is what a lot of people don’t necessarily understand, is the difference between a normal level of anxiety and clinical anxiety.

Exploring the Difference between Normal Anxiety and Clinical Anxiety

The difference between them is a continuum.

How I view it is this: We have anything from concerns to then, you know, fears, worries, then anxiety that we might experience day-to-day or during, you know, stressful times in our lives, stress because we definitely live in a stressful culture.

And then getting into clinical anxiety, the major difference here is how it affects your functioning. So how it affects your functioning with your family, friends and with your work?

When it starts impacting things that you want to do but can’t do because you can’t control the anxiety or stop it and then gets more into clinical where we see the medical symptoms as well.

This means your anxiety is taking over and becoming more and more prevalent with you know issues, breathing issues, sleeping issues, really being able to kind of slow down thoughts and then looking to see if there is something in the brain chemistry that needs to be addressed.

We can ask: Are there medications, nutritional things, or vitamin imbalances?

So when we look at the clinical, we’re really looking at how much is this affecting your everyday life. And I think that then it becomes just an all-around approach where we can involve counsellors, maybe a medical practitioner whether natural or traditional and then also looking at the spiritual.

Clinical Anxiety and It’s Impact on Everyday Life

One of the things that I’ve noticed is when I first married my husband, we didn’t know he had a general anxiety disorder. And so anytime he would talk to me about his anxiety, I’d be like, oh, well, I feel anxious about that too, and I’m fine.

But it was the way in which it affected our daily lives that were different and how we processed anxiety.

I can process things and move on. And for my husband, it would affect his sleep and his thought process and, you know, like, ignite some fears.

And so I love that you just made that distinction that there are some normal levels of anxiety that we all have in that’s normal. But then there are things you can’t even process because of the anxiety and it affects different parts of our lives.

A picture of a woman sitting on a couch with her head looking down. Below the image are the words, A spiritual and emotional guide to managing anxiety.

Holistic Approaches to Managing Anxiety

Maybe we can go into a little bit more specific with some of those tools and resources that can help with everyday anxiety or all the way up to clinical anxiety.

I talk about kind of flipping the focus, especially as a Christian. When I was in a Christian private practice, even I saw that the main part of the therapy and focus is on emotions and thoughts. And then there was a little bit of focus on our bodies, our nutrition and then a tiny bit on the spiritual even in Christian counselling.

I feel like we need to flip that around and make sure that we’re grounded in truth. So that when we are able to look at our thoughts and the lies that maybe we’re believing we have truth to go to and look at our identity in Christ and then our bodies.

We can look at sleep, nutrition, deep breathing, and muscle relaxation and then address any chemical imbalances that need to be and then.

Being able to learn traditional cognitive behavioural approaches on really retraining the thoughts and it, kind of praying through those things and deepening our walk with God as we step out and trust him despite our emotions.

Knowing that God promises to be with us and says do not fear, do not worry.

And so we can look at that.

The Danger in Christian Circles

But I think there’s a danger. Especially in the Christian world just pray about it, just trust God.

God made our bodies in such an awesome way to fight off danger when needed. But when that system gets triggered all the time in our brain chemistry, then we can kind of get stuck there and need help physically coming down into that rest and homeostasis versus staying in fight or flight.

And that’s where those physical interventions are really helpful to get us to a place where then we can look at, you know, what our where’s our thinking? Maybe going off of the truth?

I love that you look at anxiety holistically. I think sometimes- whether it’s the Christian community or the medical community- we just look at the medical or just spiritual or just physical. And I love that you’ve incorporated just all the different ways that they all impact our anxiety and how we deal with it.

Fighting anxiety with the truth

I love that you said the first thing we can do is: when we’re facing a moment of anxiety, if it’s just normal anxiety, we can fight that with the truth. But when it’s clinical anxiety, it’s like we need either medication or practice to get back into like calm to then go to the remembering truth.

The power of deep breathing

When we are experiencing a typical level of anxiety, deep breathing practices are really helpful to get our bodies kind of calmed down because we all have physical responses to fear and anxiety.

So a lot of times it’s doing some of those simple things. But if you just tell someone with clinical anxiety to keep doing deep breathing, it’s not going to be effective. And they need help to get there.

The research is that cognitive behavioural therapy, traditional therapy, and medication are about the same in efficacy.

But sometimes people need medication to be able to get to be at a place where their thoughts can stop racing enough to be able to learn those new skills and how to retrain their minds and renew their minds.

I mean, God says it’s possible, the renewing of our minds. And that’s for sure.

Taking one step at a time

We have lots of anxiety in this house and that’s exactly what we’ve seen. My oldest daughter has some pretty severe anxiety and for her, she goes from trigger to panic with zero space in between. She goes from trigger to panic with no gap between the trigger and her response.

And so we tried kind of doing cognitive behaviour therapy and that to kind of make the gap larger. But it wasn’t helping. And so we did turn to medication, which then made that gap a lot bigger.

So then we were able to do some cognitive behaviour therapy with her. And so she was able to learn those skills because her body was at rest.

And so I love that you share that sometimes like you need to take care of your physical and, you know, mental state to just bring you to that rest so that you can learn these skills because yeah, we can’t learn new things. Then we’re in panic mode.

Sometimes we’ve seen this in our family and even with myself like sometimes it’s natural things like when you’re B12 gets really out of whack that can you know affect your mental processing. Your folate supports your mental processing as well. Your gut health also has a big impact.

The effect our gut has on anxiety

They’ve done a lot of research. Harvard has a huge study out there on gut health and anxiety and then. You know, female hormones and so all of those things getting in balance and figuring out, hey, do I have something out of balance?

Looking at all angles to figure out what may be causing you to experience more anxiety than typical.

It’s really hard when you’re in the middle of that panic to think rationally about those things because the prefrontal cortex is our logic and our reasoning. We’re not using that part of the brain when we’re in clinical anxiety or in panic. You’re using the amygdala and other areas of the brain.

Pro Tip: It is so helpful when we have friends or family members that can say: You know what, it seems like maybe your body’s off a little bit and can kind of direct us. I know that that’s helped me.

That was helpful for me and I’ve seen that in family and with clients that I worked with of being able to talk to someone else in their life and get some feedback too.

When you are having more panic than you are used to or you’re getting more upset than you are used to — when you’re in the moment you don’t really notice it.

The trigger seems really real and you are completely convinced that you know really negative outcome is going to happen.

And so sometimes it takes the support of people in our lives if we, if we have them, if not, you know, a counsellor or a mentor can be helpful to kind of like points in the right direction when our bodies need intervention.

There are certain things that help manage anxiety

There are certain things we can change in our habits that may help with anxiety. With anxiety and mental health, that’s going to look different for everybody.

And So what works for me and you might not work for your child or your husband or your friend or whatever that is.

What’s helped us is having some really good close family friends that are walking a similar journey. And so we get to talk about how are you handling this situation or like oh what medication help for you or like what was the first step that you took.

I’ve really trained my brain to see like yellow flags and orange flags and red flags and my kids and seeing when something isn’t leading us in a healthy way.

We notice triggers and try to learn how to reduce those triggers.Can we like can we change that trigger, can we make this a little bit less. That takes time and practice and just intention which is sometimes really hard to do.

Practice & time

Yeah, it does take practice. And I would tell that to clients all the time. You wouldn’t show up for a piano concert with no practice.

And so our bodies can create that muscle memory with deep breathing exercises with.

Muscle relaxation, which is guiding people through those muscle groups and slowly tightening and releasing, and visualization.

What happens over time is that then when you’re in a anxiety producing situation and you start your deep breathing, your body recalls it.

The power of Deep Breathing

They’ve done this study with heart patients. Their blood pressure was able to decrease when they practice muscle relaxation and deep breathing.

And so our bodies are really powerful that way.

When kids are triggered or they’re upset and you tell someone to take a deep breath, usually, the reaction is well, that’s not going to change this mom.

Deep breathing doesn’t change my circumstances but it does affect the brain centers that are in fight or flight . As soon as we are going into deep breathing it can activate those hormones which help our bodies calm and get back into a rest state.

So it does really work and help it doesn’t change the circumstances.

Mixing the Spiritual & the medical for healing

I think especially as believers, when we’re praying about something that’s maybe for years, like maybe we’re praying for a job or praying for a loved one or praying for healing, and we don’t see that.

When we can stand on the truth of the word of God and continue to praise God in the midst of it, He brings peace that passes all understanding right?

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

All the physical and the medical and those things that we look at, we also have access to the God of the universe who split the seas, who can heal us instantly.

And so it’s kind of both together.

It’s looking at these things, learning practical skills but remembering that we can have peace. Even when our circumstances don’t change.

And that’s what I want people to hear, that the Holy Spirit can bring you peace and joy even when your prayers aren’t being answered.

And those things that you might be worried about don’t change. And it’s as we draw closer to him in praise and reading the word, that the Holy Spirit is ushered in with those gifts of the spirit.

The Lord brings us peace reguardless on the circumstance

I think that’s so important the know that the circumstance may not change, but God has a plan for it. In that circumstance, He can bring peace.

I know that for myself I’ve trained my brain to go straight to prayer. And so when I feel panicked, I’ve trained my thoughts to go, OK Lord, help me to calm down, you know, give me the courage to process this feeling right now.

I think what’s hard is there’s a connection between anxiety and mental health and your spiritual walk with the Lord.

What I’ve seen is that when my husband is in panic mode, he doesn’t necessarily feel the Lord or really see him in his life because they’re still connected.

So we may not see The Lord. You may still feel panic, but that feeling doesn’t change the fact that you know the Lord. He is with us. That’s the truth that we can remind ourselves even if we don’t feel like He is there.

Using Scripture through our anxiety

The practice of reading scripture out loud or and having it on a note card, having a verse that maybe God brings you or is really helpful with anxiety.

I have a free PDF download called 10 Bible verses for Christians with anxiety and how to use them and how to stop negative spirals.

I have a worksheet in there with some of these tips.

Spiritual Weapons agains Anxiety

Verses for Anxiety

How to take truth out of scripture and use that to train your automatic thoughts in a different direction.

Just saying scripture out loud, or praying outloud can help. Even if we don’t feel like it because in those moments,I don’t feel like praying. I don’t feel like writing scripture.

We nee to do the things that are going to get you towards healing, even if you don’t feel like it.

So go outside and walk for five minutes and then come back, even if you don’t feel like it.

When we read Scripture out loud, we usher that truth in and the word tells us that the battle isn’t against flesh and blood but of powers and principalities and forces of this world work.

We have these spiritual weapons as well to use and to notice if we have a spirit of depression, or a spirit of anxiety kind of hanging over me.

I can take authority over that in the spiritual realm even when my emotions aren’t catching up.

Using the Power of The Holy Spirit

I think as Christians, too, it’s acknowledging that we may need medication and we need, we may need counselling and we may need to change our diet, all those things.

Ultimately, we have the Holy Spirit and the God of the universe to help us, to train our brains and to show us which truths to focus on.

Accessing all those tools and knowledge that they all exist and that the balance is going to look different for everybody.

For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’

Isaiah 41:13

This is the God of the universe saying-I’m going to hold your hand like a parent does to a little child when they’re scared. God is going to walk with you through your fear and anxiety and He is going to help you.

God doesn’t want us to run away from Him when we are scared. He wants us to run to Him. He wants to hold your hands and walk you through this.

God is a good Father

That image I often think of the Lord is seeing Him as a Father. ABBA father mens Daddy daddy.

It’s so just thinking about my kids and how they interact with my husband. That’s the type of relationship the Lord wants with us.

It’s a reminder that sometimes that anxiety and that depression, we do feel alone, but God is right there and He is happy to hold our hand through it and to be with us.

The devil’s favourite tool agains us

I always find is encouraging because I think that’s one of the most powerful lies the devil wants to tell us – that we are alone and the Lord is far away.

And that’s just not the truth.

That is one of the enemies’ favourite tools is to isolate. To keep us alone.

To help us fight agains those lies, we can write down our thoughts and get the truth out and not letting the enemy trip us up with all these lies.

We need to get those lies out and compare them with the truth. A more rational statement.

We can ask: what does God say about me? What do I really believe? And who do I really want to be?

And when we write those things down, we take the power away from the enemy of keeping us isolated with all of that.

Knowing what is happening to us

A lot of it comes from the knowledge of what is happening to us.

I know for myself I’ve got on this journey this year discovering I have ADHD and one of the symptoms is intrusive thoughts.

I think before knwoing this, I’d have a lot of intrusive thoughts and I would feel guilty about them and it starts that whole cycle.

But now that I know these thoughts are related to my brain chemistry. So I can label those and say that they are an intrusive thought. And then I can reshift my focus.

And so even just the power to know what’s happening in my brain, to know that those things don’t identify me.

I have the power to then shift has been really helpful for me. I can change those things.

It might take time and it might take support and all those things, but that change is possible.

Don’t depend on your understanding

Recognizing some of those things and realizing we’re not alone.

I work with people looking at cognitive distortions and recognizing black-and-white thinking or catastrophizing, or should statements.

I see that a lot with moms and like, I should do this and I should do that.

But when we can recognize that that’s what’s happening, we learn about them. Then when we recognize them, we can address them.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

When we’re leaning on our own understanding of things, it can get us to worry and fear because we don’t see how this circumstance can resolve.

But God works beyond what we can see. He works in ways we can’t even ask or imagine.

And so when we get into prayer, in the midst of those moments, we can shift our perspective and start viewing things from a Kingdom perspective.

Psychology in The Bible

When I read Scripture, I see so much of Psycology.

We like to tell people to stop worrying, but that doesn’t help anybody.

When you look at Scripture, it doesn’t just say stop worrying, it tells us what to do.

It says instead of worying- Pray. Instead of worrying, give thanks.

There have been studies that show how telling people to stop doesn’t work. You need to replace the “bad” action, and the “bad” thought with something else.

Prepare yourself

We’ve talked a lot about replacing the lies with truth, and labelling what is happening in your brain so you know which weapon to use.

We don’t give enough emphasis on those things, but those are just so powerful.

Our family has really benefited from acknowledging what our thoughts are coming from. Instead of it leading to more anxiety or fear or guilt- we can decide to stop thinking about it and to think about something else and it’s just so helpful.

It’s important to prepare our minds with the verses we will use, or the technique that will help us calm down.

Knowing what are the weapons that God’s given us and how we are going to use them to help us move out of anxiety.

The Power of giving thanks

The Bible tells us how important it is to give thanks.

We see that all over the Psalms of just crying out your emotions, but I will yet praise him.

They’ve done studies on prayer and worship and praise. These studies show how these activate different centers in the brain that actually release hormones that help our mood change and our anxiety decrease. They activate centers that want us to connect with other people.

God designed our brains. There’s a reason He’s telling us to praise and to pray.

In counseling they recommend meditation, mindfulness, gratitude. We know these are all forms of prayer.

But God knew this because it changes our brain chemistry, so it’s just awesome.

God did create our minds this way and He gives us those tools.

So when God tells us to be grateful, to pray, and to praise, it’s not belittling the situation. He is telling us that these are the tools He has given you to help shift our focus towards Him.

It’s not putting us down. It’s actually like lifting us up and giving us what we need to then live our lives the way the Lord wants us to.

The brain is so complex. Scientists are still trying to figure out all the connections between anxiety and our bodies. But God created us.

When we can focus on those things that He wants us to do, we need to choos to return to Him and to live how He’s calling us to do.

Let’s summarize

  • acknowledging that there’s a normal level of anxiety that we all process and then there’s clinical anxiety and knowing kind of the difference there.
  • The process to bring ourselves down into the calm space and practicing what’s going to help us calm down before we’re in a panic.

5 simple things you can do to experience peace

We live in a troubled world, and it’s easy to get distracted by all the unrest and injustices of the world. But when we do that, we rob ourselves of the peace we can experience. Today, I want to take a few minutes and share with you 5 simple things you can do to experience peace from The Prince of peace- The Lord Jesus Christ.

My husband and I have been married for 15 years and we have 3 kids. In that time, 3 out of 5 people in our house are getting support because of a high level of anxiety.

Needless to say, we are well-versed in feeling anxious, stressed and worried. 

My husband and I have been married for 15 years and we have 3 kids. In that time, 3 out of 5 people in our house are getting support because of a high level of anxiety.

Now when I say support, I mean either medication or counselling or both. And I’m not just talking about everyday anxieties. I’m talking about extreme anxiety that actually inhibits people’s lives. 

Needless to say, we have a lot of experience with feelings of anxiety, stress, worry, and a bunch more. 

When our kids act out due to their anxiety, we encourage them to use calm-down routines and work on finding triggers for their anxiety. 

Those things can take a lot of time, but it’s not everything we can do. 

We also encourage our kids to refocus their thoughts on The Lord and take time to thank Him for who He is and what He has done for them. 

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

The Bible tells us we are going to face hard times. Just because we are Christians, it doesn’t mean we are exempt from facing trials. 

Since we know we are going to face trials, I want to share with you some practical things we can do to have peace regardless of what goes on around us. 

One of the things I love to do is teach people to turn to scripture for answers. The Bible is extremely practical and tells us exactly what we can do to gain peace. 

I want to spend a few minutes sharing practical things we can do, or stay away from to gain peace. 

5 simple things you can do to experience peace

1. Accept The Lord as saviour

The first thing we need to do is accept The Lord as our saviour. To experience true peace, we must be saved.

True peace doesn’t come from ourselves, doesn’t come from the world around us. It comes from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5: 1-2 

Our salvation gives us access to God- He is the source of all peace. 

We are enemies with God, and so we’re not close to God. And so we’re not going to feel peace when we’re separated from him. But when we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as a Lord and personal saviour, we suddenly gain a relationship with the Lord.

But then we get access into his presence and so the King of peace himself, then his presence and who he is is what gives us peace.

Not only that, but once we’re saved, our salvation guarantees us eternity with him. So that means that regardless of what’s happening in their lives, we can know it’s not going to last forever and that one day I will be with God in heaven, with him for eternity.

I don’t know about you, but when my life is going crazy and things just keep happening and things feel really stressful, one of the ways my heart gets encouraged is to think about God’s timing and how certain seasons can feel really long and really hard.

The Bible tells us that those hard seasons pale in comparison to the glory and the Majesty of God and heaven. And so thinking about these things not only encourages me but gives me peace, knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that one day I will experience that eternal peace in heaven with God. 

2. End your day focused on Christ

For some reason, nighttime is when most of us feel the most unrest and anxiety. That is because we have time to think about all the things that may go wrong, worry about the future and so on.

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 4:8

One way we can keep that unrest at bay is to end our day thinking about The Lord. By refocusing our thoughts on him, we can have a much better perspective on everything and lay down all our anxieties on someone who can actually change things.

Refocusing our thoughts from all our worries and turning our thoughts to Jesus, helps us put our trust in Him. It helps us shift the burden we are carrying from our shoulders unto His, and realize that we may not have the power to change what’s happening around us, but God does.

So instead of trying to do all those things on our own, when we take it from our shoulders to his, it’s like taking that burden off. It’s saying, OK, you know what, I can’t worry about this anymore. I cannot solve this problem. I’m going to go to the person who can solve this problem give it to him and say, OK, I trust you. And that act of trust and submission and just unloading gives us so much peace.

Trusting God

My middle daughter is 10 years old, and she really loves knowing exactly what’s gonna happen. You know, from morning until the night she needs a schedule.

When she doesn’t know what’s happening next, she feels really, really anxious. And so she tries to rush the schedule or she’s always asking me what’s happening next, what’s happening next, what’s happening next.

It’s gotten so bad that in some instances I have to take her face and point it towards mine and say: Hey! Worrying about what happens next isn’t your job. That’s my job. I know the schedule. I know what we’re doing first. I know what we’re doing next. So don’t worry about it. I’ve got this.

As I’m having those conversations with my daughter, I can’t help but relate it to my relationship with the Lord.

Sometimes I go to the Lord. I say, what are you doing? I thought we were doing this, this, this and this. And I want to do all these things. And The Lord looks at me and says: I know what’s coming down the road. Trust me, I’ve got it.

And so handing him over that control, which really wasn’t mine, to begin with, God is in complete control of anything, suddenly shifts that burden off of me and to the Lord.

Action step:

So I want you just to take a minute and to think about some burdens that you are carrying or things that you’re worried about. And say. Is that my job to worry about this or is this something I can give to the Lord?

99.999 % of the time it’s not your burden to carry. And even if it is, the Lord says you don’t have to carry alone. Bring your burdens to me. I want to carry them for you, or I want to give you the strength for you to carry them yourself. So let’s not end our day feeling anxious and worried.

Let’s end our days thinking about the Lord and giving him our burdens in our worry. And I promise you that peace will come.

A picture of a woman, her eyes closed, looking like she is full of peace. Above the picture are the words, 5 simple things you can do to experience peace.  New post, www.onedeterminedlife.com

3. Pursue Peace

One of the things I get caught up in is perceived or actual injustice. There is nothing else that gets me so riled up.

It’s even come to the point that sometimes, my husband and I will be laying in bed and he’ll say, I’m not sure if I need to tell you now or later, because if I do, you’re probably going to be bothered by it and you won’t be able to sleep.

But I wish he wouldn’t even say that because then my mind gets curious and I want to know what’s the thing? And so I beg him to tell me. And then he tells me, and guess what happens? I get fired up. And then I have the hardest time falling asleep because I don’t want those injustices to continue.

I want to find a solution to the problem and get it done. And these events really bother me, and they weigh on me. I really noticed this during COVID.

I got caught up in all the different opinions of what was happening with COVID regulations and what we weren’t allowed to do, and vaccines are no vaccine.

And I’m sure this happened with you and your family or your church, but suddenly you had two very different camps and they were in opposition to each other. And so I was in a particular camp, and any time I thought about the other camp- I would just get frustrated and think: what are they thinking? That is so completely and utterly ridiculous.

And the frustration would rise in me and I would just feed into it. I’d read the news stories, and I’d read the comments. I was very tempted to post on social media a million times trying to “be like, no, we got to”correct” the other side.

There is a better way

But there’s a better way. What I noticed is that those actions were not in pursuit of peace. They were in pursuit of being right or showing that they know more than this person or that person and the divide just got bigger and bigger and bigger.

The Lord was so gracious to me and showed me that I was getting angry at your brother and sister in Christ. You know what? They may be wrong. I may be wrong, but the Lord wants us to pursue peace, not unrest.

And so when we fight with one another when we fight with other Christians- that’s just bringing more unrest. And so the Lord encourages us to say, I don’t want you to go after those things that bring up arguments.

These types of divisions bring nothing but unrest. 

Scripture tells us that there is a better way. The Bible is full of verses that encourage us to stay away from these types of arguments.  

We are called to seek peace and pursue it. But too often we pursue being right and put it above our relationship with God and other Christians. 

Learning to drop issues

We’ve got three kids and they fight about everything, and sometimes they’ll come to us and they’ll just start telling us all the things that they’re fighting about.

And one of the things I start thinking and telling them is this is not worth an argument, just let it go. And then I think ohh you know what? That is also something I need to tell myself.

How many times do I get upset about something that just gets me fired up and not at peace at all? That is not worth the energy or the argument.

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 34:14

Growing up in my family, we argued a lot. And so when I got married, my husband does not like confrontation. And so suddenly there was no argument and I hardly knew what to do with myself.

Sometimes I would try to like poke him just to start an argument and he just would not bite. And so one day I was feeling like I needed an like a fight. And he asks me why don’t you just call your sister? So I called my sister and I forget what in the world happened, but we ended up in a big argument.

At the end of the phone call, we were both like, thanks, I needed that.

The reason why that was so fulfilling was that I had just known this pattern of just fighting. And my husband just showed me a new way.

Pursuing peace, pursuing relationships, and dropping arguments that are just not worth it, is so much better for me, for my mind, for our home, and for just so many different things.

But I have to choose not to let things bother me.

I need to choose to say, I’m not going to think about that. I’m not going to go down the rabbit hole. I’m not going to get into that argument.

If people want to start an argument with me, I need to be the bigger person and not taking the bait. I’m going to let it go. And then later, if it’s still really bothering me, I can wrestle that out with the Lord, but I’m not to take these different things and then go to war with other Christians.

To have true peace, we must pursue it. 

 I want you just to take a minute and to think about the things that are making you upset right now and to say. Is this an argument that I can just drop? Is it really worth getting this upset over?

I don’t know what it is that you’re thinking about right now. I know there are a ton of different scenarios, and for some of you, there are going to be fights you need to face.

But then most of the time, that argument is only going to lead to worse things down the road.

It’s not going to lead me to good relationships. It’s only gonna bring me more trials or more hard things, and so just pursuing peace is actually better in the long run for everybody.

4. Listen to The Lord

To experience true peace, we must learn to listen to The Lord and what He has to say.

I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants— but let them not turn to folly.

Psalm 85:8

The world is full of noise and people telling us what we should do, think and act. Every single one of us has an opinion on what is right. 

We have mini-computers in our pockets that we scroll through news or social media. We’ve got a bazillion different people telling us different messages coming from all different directions.

It’s really easy to start listening to those voices and to believe that they are right. It’s really easy to get caught up in all of it and to actually lose focus because we get strung along over here.

The Bible tells us we can be in the world, and we can be hearing those things, but The Lord wants you to listen to Him.

We have access to the God of the universe and he wants a relationship with us. He wants to speak to us through his word and through, you know, other Christians and fellowship.

But we need to take the time to choose to listen to the right voices.

Testing what we hear

My daughter came home from school one day and she was telling me how her social studies teacher studied the Bible, and she had her degree in religion.

The teacher shared an opinion with my daughter. And my daughter was convinced that her professor was right.

She thought her teacher must be right because she knew more about the Bible than my daughter does and my daughter knows a lot about Scripture.

This teacher also has a degree in religion, so she must be right.

I tried to explain to my daughter that just because somebody knows Scripture or has a degree in religion does not mean that their opinion is the right one.

Because in most cases it’s really easy to take anything we hear from the scripture and to shift its meaning or to make it say what we want to hear.

And then we only join groups that agree with us so that our point of view continues to be validated, regardless if it’s biblical or not.

And so my daughter now thinks that I’m completely wrong. But I was just trying to explain to her that it’s easy to get caught up in people’s opinions because then, you know, they tell us, well, I know this because I’m an expert, and so you have to believe me.

Why we need to test what we hear

When we don’t compare those things to what we read in Scripture, then there’s no guarantee to know that anyone is actually telling the truth.

We always need to compare what people say with God’s word.

This wisdom and practice takes time.

I’ve been a Christian for 35 years. And I’m still learning to get the noise out of my brain and to hone in on the Lord himself.

It takes time to know what Scripture says, and it takes time to be able to discern the voice of the Lord so that we can hear it above every other things.

But not only that, but then we need to choose to listen to his voice.

Choose to listen to The Lord’s voice

So we have to learn what The Lord sounds like, and then we have to choose to listen to it above everything else.

But it doesn’t end there. Once you know what The Lord’s voice sounds like, now that we’ve heard Him speak to us, we need to go ahead and obey Him and do what The Lord calls us to do.

And so I encourage you to take some time and to think what are all the things that I’m watching, listening to, hearing, and thinking that are not from the Lord?

And then think about how you can drown out those voices so that you can focus on the Lord and His voice and what He wants you to do.

And like I said, that’s a process and it takes time. So I don’t want you to feel discouraged that you, you know, don’t get it right or whatever.

This is just something that I want to encourage you just to be continuing doing.

Always challenge what you think you know. Always challenge yourself and your thoughts and what you believe and challenge it with the truth, which is Scripture itself. So drown out the noises and instead of listening to all those things around you, focus in and listen to the Lord.

5. Love the Word of God

To end our time together, I want to share one more practical thing we can do to gain peace. That is to LOVE the word of God.

The Bible tells us that spending time in God’s word brings us peace. 

The Bible tells us that spending time with the Lord in his word will bring us peace.

Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

Psalm 119:165

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in scripture and it’s all about the word of God and encourages us to love it and enjoy it. This verse uses the word law, but this word is referring to the word of God. 

Psalm 119 is a poem and has 26 sections I believe. Each section is a stanza that expresses and tells people and saying how they love your word and is talking about loving the word of God and the benefits of loving the word of God.

And so this entire chapter is about encouraging us to not only read God’s word but to love it and to want to spend time with it.

So if you’re not loving the word of God and you’re not longing to be in it, instead of feeling discouraged, I encourage you to bring that to the Lord and say I want to love your word. Please give me that longing so that I can spend time with it.

And I know that when I’ve done that, the Lord has either shifted my perspective or He’s helped me make that time to really spend time with him.

And then when I’m studying the word of God for myself and I can find those gold little Nuggets that are really, truly encouraging to me.

Then I start loving spending time with the Lord because I know that if I keep digging, I’m going to find more treasure. So when we love the word of God, then we want to spend more time with him.

And then when we do that, we learn more about him.

And anytime we’re focusing on the Lord and not ourselves and not the other voices around us, we’re only going to gain more peace. And this is the number one thing you can do to gain peace.

The Source of Lasting Peace

So if you’ve forgotten everything else, I want you to remember one thing if you’re feeling anxious or unrest or you’re lacking that peace, and you want more of it—-

I encourage you to spend time with the Lord Jesus Christ. And you can do that through scripture reading, prayer, and lots of other ways.

But that is how you’re going to gain peace just to spend time with God, learn who he is, and learn his perspective on things.

So that you’re not getting as anxious about different things and you’re learning to trust him with all of those worries.

So I want you to know that regardless of what’s happening in your world right now, you can find peace.

Our peace is in the Lord Jesus Christ. He has conquered death and gives us everything we need to find peace in him and have a relationship with him.

So I encourage you today just to take a moment and spend time with the Lord and go to the source of peace so that you can experience it.

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