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Prayer

Keep Asking, Seeking, and Knocking

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Have you stopped praying? Maybe you didn’t get what you wanted, or you don’t see the point in prayer. It’s time to start praying again.

God loves His children. So much so, that He delights in answering our prayers. We are to ask, seek, and knock. This is one of my favorite passages of scripture in the New Testament. I have worn out this page in my Bible since I have read this time, and time again. The message is powerful, and true.

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:7-12, NIV 

Jesus spoke these words as part of The Sermon on the Mount. He said a lot in this awe inspiring sermon, and these few verses are just one part of it. 

Prayer is important. Jesus tells us to pray. These three steps of asking, seeking, and knocking are different aspects of praying to God. 

Ask humbly and confidently.

Seek with a hunger and a desire for God’s will.

Knock with expectancy and fervency,

We are not knocking on a wall. We are knocking on a door, God’s door. That door is meant to open for His children. 

Do you ever feel like you are pounding on a brick wall when you are praying? You are knocking on a door. “To the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” 

“His doors are meant to open: they were made on purpose for entrance; and so the blessed gospel of God is made on purpose for you to enter into life and peace. It would be of no use to knock at a wall, but you may wisely knock at a door, for it is arranged for opening.”  -Charles Spurgeon

How much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 

God loves to give good gifts to us. Even more than that, He loves to give beyond what we have asked of Him. God loves to bless His children. How amazing is God! More amazing than anyone or anything. He is perfect, Holy God.

When my children are hungry, and ask me for something to eat, of course I am going to give it to them. I am an imperfect, sinful person and I like to give good things to my children. Yet God, who is perfect, will give us more than just a piece of bread. Sometimes it is just the bread, the basic necessities, and sometimes it’s a whole lot more. 

Needs and desires are an opportunity for us to come to the Father. To lay all our requests at His feet with expectation of an answer. The answer may not be immediate, or may not be what we want. When we release our desires to the Father we are giving Him full control over the outcome. God only does what is good for us, so we can trust our prayers in His mighty, sovereign hands. God is God, and I am not. 

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

I love how this passage ends with Jesus reminding us to treat others the way we want to be treated. It takes the focus off of us and our needs. We are to put others above ourselves. We do not treat others the way they treat us, we treat others the way we want to be treated. The only way we can live out “The Golden Rule” is by asking, seeking, and knocking. We can’t be seeking God, and asking Him for help, and then treat others terribly. 

God is available to His children 24/7. His door is ready to be opened for those who knock.

There are blessings with your name on them from God. Keep asking, seeking, and knocking!

Love you all,

Meghan 

Please leave me your prayer requests. I’d love to pray for you!

Family

Happy Birthday Mom, I Miss You

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On this day, October 19, in the year 1943, my mom came into the world. Dorothea Louise Tanyer was the last of three children for Luther and Elizabeth, and their only daughter. She was born into poverty with both her parents working so they could scrape by. This adorable picture of my mom is one of the very few from when she was a toddler. Little Dorothea had blonde hair and bright blue eyes. She was tiny and feisty.

Mom had to fight most of her life. The first house she lived in growing up had an outhouse. Weekly baths were taken in an old metal tub. The cleanest person took the first bath, and the dirtiest person took the last one in the same water. Grandma made my mom’s clothes and cooked meals from scratch. Grandpa always had a garden. They always had a dog too. I have countless pictures of my mom with many different family dogs over the years. That must have fueled my mom’s love for animals.

My mom never had real toys as a child. She always wanted a baby doll, yet never got one. She told me of one birthday where she actually got a present, but was so disappointed to open the gift only to find a Howdy Doody doll. That was it. That was her one childhood toy and she didn’t even like it. (Look up Howdy Doody if you don’t know who that is.)

Little Dorothea was a very sick child. Back in those days the doctor would come to your house. The doctor came to my grandparent’s house many times over the years. Mom would get pneumonia and various serious illnesses over and over again. She slept in her crib until she was almost 8 or 9. My grandparents couldn’t afford a bed so they had to make do. Thank God my mom was small. For a while she didn’t have a bedroom, just a space in a hallway with a small bed.

My grandfather was an alcoholic and got into trouble at some of the local bars. Mom would be sent as a young girl to go fetch grandpa from the bar and bring him home. Yet my mom loved her dad. Mom loved both her parents and she never said a coarse word about them over the years. My mom really did honor her mother and father. All the stories Mom shared about her mom made me believe that grandma was a saint. I guess she was to some extent for putting up with my grandpa.

Those formative years created a resilient spirit in my mom. She would always bounce back from whatever sickness, or heartache, or trial she experienced. She made a choice to fight. The circumstance was not going to define her, or stop her. The root of Mom’s resilliance was her faith.

After coming to Christ in her late 30’s her life and view radically changed. I know Jesus because my mom introduced me to Him. She was so excited about her new found faith in Christ that she shared it everywhere she went. Worship music was being blared on eight- tracks. (Look up eight-tracks if you don’t know what that is.) And those songs were going into my head and heart. I can vividly remember listening to The Boone Sisters and singing along. (Look up The Boone Sisters if that sounds weird to you.)

Mom’s first Bible study was the book of Acts and she loved it! For the first time in her life the Bible was alive. She met Jesus in that Bible study. Jesus carried my beautiful mom through many hard years. Mom is at peace now. She went home to Jesus on December 31, 2019. No more diseases, or suffering, or pain. Mom had many good years too, and many good things in her life. I am grateful to know of her hard upbringing, and what she overcame. Mom still inspires me today.

Today I honor you, Mom. Happy birthday. I miss you! I love you always, and I’ll see ya soon.

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

Guest Post

Raising Empowered Kids

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Please welcome fellow author and blogger Jessie Mattis. She is a homeschool mom of three and has a passion for encouraging kids to pursue God. This passion shows up in her Middle Grade Christian book Power Up. I read this wonderful book last year and I highly recommend it. Jessie is currently working on a historical fiction novel. I can’t wait to read it.

We connected as authors and Christians, now I call her friend. I have joked that we should do a book tour together. I can dream. Maybe one day. Jessie blessed us with a fantastic article on practical ways we can lead our kids to follow God. Enjoy this wonderful encouragement. Thank you Jessie!

RAISING EMPOWERED KIDS

Sometimes, it seems, kids don’t get the credit they deserve. As parents and caregivers, we don’t always understand the capabilities and potential of our children, bubbling under the surface, just waiting for guidance and encouragement to rise to the occasion. 

Did you know that 70% of Christians chose to follow Jesus when they were between the ages of four and fourteen? Seventy percent! That means the ages of 4-14 are pretty crucial for our kiddos.

Not that we need more pressure as parents. Parenting is hard and we’re doing our best, right? But even as busy as we are, I’m hard-pressed to think of anything more important than leading our kids to Jesus while they’re young. 

Kids who follow Jesus are not only capable, but empowered through the Holy Spirit. Like adults, they can:

  • Speak to God
  • Hear from God
  • Pray for others
  • Use the gifts and leading of the Spirit in various ways

It’s incredible to see kids living boldly in this empowerment. When my youngest daughter was just a toddler, she had (and still has) deep compassion for those around her. If one of her big siblings hurt themselves (which was all.the.time.), it wasn’t uncommon for her to reach her chubby little hand out and pray a simple, Dear God, please help my brother/sister feel better. 

Of course there are no guarantees, and every child has free will (hello daughter of mine who just gave all her dolls ‘baths’ in a bowl and ended up with soaked carpet…oops), but there are a couple simple things we can do to inspire our kids while they’re still fairly moldable. (And thankfully there are bucketloads of grace for those whose kids are older now, and still plenty of time and opportunity for us to model Jesus for them!) 

Let’s explore three basic ways we can lead our kids closer to the living God.

1. Model what walking with God looks like. Children do as they’re shown, not always as they’re told. Unfortunately, lots of churches, parents, and teachers are doing far more telling than showing. Focusing solely on Bible stories and facts (which are incredibly important, don’t get me wrong) misses a big piece of the puzzle. Relationship.

Kids need both—to learn about God, and to be shown how to live alongside an active God. Understandably, this type of teaching doesn’t always come naturally to adults. We’re all at different places on our spiritual journey, but what our kids need most is to see us living as if we believe God is not only real, but also truly good, and involved.

Obviously we can’t lead someone down a path we’ve never traveled. If you follow God but find it difficult to believe he’s truly good and involved in our daily lives, it may be time to explore your understanding of who God is, so that you’ll be able to effectively lead your child toward him.

2. Surround them with Godly community. Good or bad, kids pick up the habits of those around them. Be aware of who they’re surrounded by. Be intentional to involve them in Christian groups, classes, or events. If they’re still young enough, guide them toward Godly friends. Being proactive about their community while they’re young will have lifelong payoffs.

3. Pray. Sometimes prayer is seen as a last resort, but that should be the furthest thing from the truth. Pray for your children and those around the world to meet, know, and experience God. Pray that the Holy Spirit fills them with his presence and power, so that they can live boldly for him every day. Don’t doubt that your prayers have power. God can’t wait to hear from you.

No matter how long a parent has been following God or how well they feel they’re modeling Jesus for their kids, supplementation can be a game-changer, too. Do you remember reading any certain book during your grade-school years that left a mark on you? I do. One in particular stuck with me and inspired me. I want that for my kids, and for yours. Books have a way of encouraging us on levels parents and teachers can’t reach.

That said, I want to quickly recommend a book for anyone age eight and up. Power Up is a novel that demonstrates to children that following God and listening to the Holy Spirit aren’t just for adults—these things are accessible to everyone, regardless of age, and it’s an adventure, not a bore! Power Up shows kids what it looks like to be filled with hope and to live a naturally supernatural life empowered by the Holy Spirit. This book might just be one of the next right steps for you or your child in coming into a fuller understanding of God’s power and goodness. That was my prayer as I wrote it and remains so today.

Show the kids in your life there’s more to following God than showing up for church on Sundays. There’s a living, breathing God who wants to show us his goodness and empower us to dish out his love and encouragement to the world around us. Don’t let those fertile years between ages four and fourteen slip away, and don’t forget how capable and hungry for spiritual truths our kids are. Be intentional. And don’t forget to rest in the grace and comfort of our awesome God in the process. 

Thanks so much for reading, and I would love to connect with you before you go! Just head over to https://www.jessiemattis.com/ where you can find my blog, connect through social media, and download a free printable of my top ten favorite inspirational quotes! Or shoot me an email at jessie@jessiemattis.com. Thanks again and I hope to hear from you soon!

power up cover with award seal

Holy Spirit, Obedience

It’s Time to Clean House

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As a young adult I was idealistic. I naively believed I was doing just fine as a Christian. I was saved from Hell, free from the grip of sin, and I had Jesus. I knew God loved me and I loved Him. That’s all I needed. Life was good. Cue the record scratch…..

My perfect world started to fray. I was being confronted with thoughts about my past. 

God showed me a house, much like this adorable tin house. Perfect, with flower boxes and charming green shutters. Beautiful on the outside. He took me on a tour inside the pretty little house. It looked pristine as we walked through each room. But something caught my eye. The hall closet was bulging. I opened the door and a whole bunch of stuff spilled out. Dusty boxes and old coats fell to the floor. 

God, what is all of this?

It’s all the stuff we are going to clear out and get rid of. It’s the old habits and patterns that you have kept. They need to go.

Wait a minute Lord. I am doing just fine. I’ve got Jesus and that’s all I need. Let’s put all of this back. We can deal with it another time.

God opened the boxes and gently placed items on the floor. They weren’t pretty all lined up. I saw anger, hurt, and fear.

Here’s the reality, God loves us too much to let us stay as we are. Getting saved is only the beginning. Praise God for saving us from death, and sin, and Hell. Salvation is one hundred percent worth daily praises to Jesus and our Heavenly Father. 

After we are saved, a whole new journey begins with Jesus Christ.

God’s purpose is to make us like Jesus.

The fancy Christian word for this journey is sanctification. It sounds so intimidating. All it means is being set apart for God’s purposes. Sanctification comes from the Greek word hagiasmos, meaning holiness or separation. 

They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

John 17:16-17, NIV 

Jesus prayed those words. Once we are in Christ, we are separated from the world just like Him. Jesus was without sin, and we are not. Though we are saved from sin because of Jesus’ precious blood, we can still sin. The difference now is we do not want to sin, and we have conviction of our sin. We are on a holiness journey in this sanctification process.

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 

Romans 8:29, NASB 

God’s plan from the beginning was to conform us into the image of His son, Jesus. Our example of how to live and how to be in this world is Jesus. He was and is perfect. Though we will never arrive at perfection on this side of eternity, God will not allow us to stay as we were before we met Christ. Holiness is the goal through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. 

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 

2 Corinthians 3:18, NASB 

The Holy Spirit is driving us on God’s path to holiness. The exciting part is we get a little more freedom each time we go through those closets hidden with our bad habits. The attic might be filled to the brim with pain and hurt, but God will sit with you as each box is opened, and clear things out to make you and I more and more like Christ.

Don’t you want to be like Jesus? There is no one like Him. Jesus is the Savior to the world. And God loves us so much that He wants us to be more like His precious Son. And that is good news! Think of the best person you know. They are flawed, and sinful, and will let you down. Jesus is perfect, loving, and will never let you down. God is making each Believer into the image of Jesus. That’s incredible.

So yes, let’s surrender to this whole sanctification process. It is not easy to deal with our stuff, and issues, sin, and all of our ugliness. But God, who is merciful and loving will not let us stay like that. We are set apart for God’s purposes. Amen

Is there a closet that needs cleaned out in your life? Maybe you have a garage full of pain and heartache that you have refused to open up to the Father. Today, make a choice to surrender it all to Him. God will lovingly help you clean out those dark spaces. 

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20, NIV

Love you all,

Meghan 

If you need prayer leave your request on my contact page.

P.S. The perfect tin dollhouse was my mother-in-law’s when she was a little girl. I now have it along with all the tiny furniture and people. I may have set it up a time or two. 

Sources

https://biblehub.com/greek/38.htm

Uncategorized

Two Christians & a Jew

Please check out this brand new podcast called, Two Christians & a Jew. One of the Christian’s is fellow blogger, Jennifer Brown Jones. Jennifer is a Professor of Old Testament with a PhD in Christian Theology. She is smart, and very down to Earth. The co-hosts are wonderful as well. One is a Christian and the other is an Orthodox Jew. If you are like me, and want to learn more about Hebrew scripture from a fresh new perspective go to the link and give their first podcast a listen. It’s honest, interesting, and very informative. You just might learn something new.

Life Beyond #Blessed

The last six months have been crazy at our house. I’m guessing you feel the same way.

Life during Covid with an autistic son who lost his structure while dealing with surging hormones has meant that I’ve had to re-prioritize and re-balance almost everything. Blogging was something that had to be set aside for awhile, but I’ve missed you.

As things began to settle a bit when school started up part-time in August, I started thinking about writing again. Honestly, though, I didn’t know what to say. I felt empty. Tired. I simply didn’t feel like I had anything left to give anyone. But God . . .

In this season, I’ve avoided social media. For some “unknown” reason, though, one day out of the blue I decided to check Twitter. It was the first time in months. As I scrolled, I saw some friends having a conversation about…

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