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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Finding Love in Leviticus

Congratulations, friends! We have reached the end of Week 1 in the book of Leviticus. Finding love in Leviticus is something that I thought I would never experience. But here's why I have a new excitement about and appreciation for the book Leviticus...

It points to the greatest love story ever told about the Greatest Love of the world...Jesus Christ!

 

Leviticus points to the love of Jesus


Finding Love in Leviticus - Jesus - has drawn me into the chapters about ceremonial and civil laws and digging into commentaries to find out how each relates and points to the sinless life of Jesus. He was sacrificed so that we could have forgiveness for our sins and cleansing through His shed blood. We can receive this forgiveness and cleansing for our sins when we believe in and stand on His finished work on the cross. If you have not accepted Jesus into your heart and life, I would love to talk more with you about how you can come to know Him as your personal Savior! Simply leave me your email in the comments below and I will contact you.

I hope you'll join me for Week 2 in Leviticus! Be sure to check back here at Grace-Filled-Moments throughout the week for more Blogging Through the Bible posts about my time in Leviticus.

Here is our reading plan for Week 2 that begins on Monday, April 27:

Leviticus Reading Plan

I hope you'll read along with me as we continue our walk through the book of Leviticus with the Good Morning Girls!

Walking in His Grace, 
Laurie



Blogging Through the Bible with Good Morning Girls


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Growing a Garden of Prayer

Growing a garden of prayer in your life is a beautiful and lasting way to commune with God. It's not about spouting off a list of things you'd like to have God give you, but rather a way to align your heart with the heart of God.

Prayer Life


Just like anything else in our Christian walk, this is an important lesson we have to learn as we continue to walk faithfully with God.

One of the best ways to ensure that you are praying in the will of God for your life is to pray God's Word back to Him. There are many promises contained in the Bible that we can stand on as children of God. Just like the design I create for my raised garden bed each Spring before I plant my seeds, I have the design necessary for my prayer life right in the pages of the Holy Bible.

Growing a garden of prayer requires that I prepare my heart each time I enter into my prayer closet. Today I'm over at Worshipful Living sharing about cultivating a heart for prayer. Please join me there now.

Walking in His Grace, 
Laurie
 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Don't Lose Your Saltiness! (Leviticus 2)

In the past 5 months, I've had to cut a lot of salt from my daily intake due to my problems with high blood pressure. My doctor insisted that I lower my salt intake so I've made changes to the items I buy at the grocery store and how I cook at home. I enjoy cooking anyway, so I'm having fun cooking with fresh ingredients including fresh vegetables.

Salt in a Christian's Life


Today in Leviticus chapter 2, I was reminded about the goodness of salt in a Christian's life. Yes, salt can be good in our lives as disciples of Jesus! Don't lose your saltiness while you walk the path God has called you to in this life.

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot." -Matthew 5:13 NIV

As disciples of Jesus, we are the salt of this earth. What does this mean?

Well, let's look at 4 characteristics of salt and then apply those to our lives as disciples of Jesus.


4 Characteristics of Salt and What These Mean to Our Christian Life

  1. Salt can melt ice.
  2. Salt makes you thirsty.
  3. Salt preserves food.
  4. Salt is pure.

In Leviticus chapter 2, God instructed that salt was to be included with the grain offering that was brought as a sacrifice to the tabernacle altar. The grain offering points to Jesus, the Bread of Life (John 6:32). The fact that salt had to be included with the grain offering points to the pure life of Jesus Christ. When I walk in fellowship with Jesus, feasting on His Word, learning and growing from the pure life that He lived while He walked this earth, I add spiritual saltiness to my life that is needed to reach others for Christ.

When we walk in close fellowship with Jesus by reading daily in His Word and by communing with Him in prayer, we become salty to a world that is rotting with sin. We can help lead others to the Bread of Life so they can preserve their life with the eternal life available through the shed blood of Jesus.

When we love as Jesus loved, our saltiness melts harden hearts that become receptive to the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

When we let our saltiness guide the way we live our lives, we make others thirsty for the joy and freedom in Christ that we experience.

Another ingredient that was required to be poured on or mixed in with the grain offering was oil which was a picture of the Holy Spirit. Friends, we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us as disciples of Jesus. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are able to live set apart from the world, living the salty lives that Jesus calls us to live in Matthew 5:13.

Don't lose your saltiness, friends! Keep yourself in the Word, our daily bread from Jesus. Keep yourself in fellowship with God through prayer and pray His Word back to Him for the needs in your life. Pray that the saltiness of your life will create a hunger and a thirst in the lives of those around you who have yet to call on the name of Jesus for forgiveness of their sins. This is the prayer of my life and I hope it is your prayer as well, sweet friend!



I'm Blogging through the Bible with the Good Morning Girls. You can find all my posts in this series listed under the Blogging Through the Bible tab at the top of this page.

We are in the book of Leviticus for the next six weeks. I hope you'll join us as we learn to be set apart for God. Feel free to share in the comments below what you are learning from our time in Leviticus!


Leviticus Reading Plan


Here is my SOAK for today:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Scripture: Leviticus 2

Observations: Chapter 2 details the grain offering, the 2nd of the 5 sacrifices that the Israelites could take to the tabernacle altar in Leviticus. It was not presented alone, but with one of the sacrifices that involved the s
hedding of blood.

The grain offering could be presented in one of these 5 forms: fine flour, oven baked cakes, cakes baked in a pan, cakes baked on a griddle, or roasted heads of new grain that were crushed. Only a portion of this grain offering was used by the officiating priest. This portion was consumed in the fire, and the rest of the grain offering went to the priests to be eaten by them.

The incense used in the burning of the memorial portion of the grain offering was frankincense. The frankincense represented prayer (Ps. 141:2; Rev. 5:8) and is a reminder of the petition in the Lord’s Prayer, “give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11). 

 
The flour represents his perfect character in word and in the way He lived his life. Leaven was associated with sin and therefore could not be included in the grain offering because Jesus was without sin. The oil that had to be poured on or mixed with the grain offering represents the Holy Spirit. The salt that had to be included speaks of the purity of our Lord’s character. Jesus compares Himself to a grain of wheat in John 12:23-25. We know also how He was crushed and suffered on the cross as He gave His perfect live in sacrifice so that He could save us from our sins.

Application: The grain offering points to the life of Jesus. The fact that the grain offering had to be presented along with one of the other sacrifices that involved the shedding of blood reminds us that our hard work will never be able to purchase us our salvation or earn us the blessing of God, for as Hebrews 9:22 states, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness”.

Jesus is our Bread of Life (John 6:32)! He is the Perfect One who nourishes my soul as I worship Him and study His Word.

Kneel: Heavenly Father, I praise You and thank You for the precious life of Jesus. He who was without sin became sin on my behalf for the forgiveness of my sins – thank You, Jesus! Thank You for Your shed blood that covers me and allows me access to the throne of God. You were the perfect sacrifice, Jesus. You are the bread of my life. I love to feast on Your Word – it fills every need of my life. Help me to give time in Your Word priority in my life. In the life-changing name of Jesus I pray. Amen!



Walking in His Grace, 
Laurie


Blogging Through the Bible with Good Morning Girls


Monday, April 20, 2015

Finding Jesus in Leviticus

Welcome back to our study with the Good Morning Girls as we read through the Bible one chapter a day - for as long as it takes us! We just finished up the book of Matthew the week after Easter, and now following our spring break we are diving into Leviticus.

The Sacrifices of Leviticus


Yes, this is going to be a challenging book, but please stick with me through this time! Finding Jesus in Leviticus is what makes this time we are about to share together so very exciting to me!

And how appropriate, I think, that we are reading Leviticus after having just finished celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. It was His sacrifice on the cross that makes final atonement for all of our sins! Just before Jesus died on the cross he said, "It is finished!"


The Sacrifices of Leviticus

There are five sacrifices that we are going to learn about in this week's reading of Leviticus. Each sacrifice foreshadows the life and death of Jesus.

Ken Baugh states the following about these five sacrifices in the introduction of Warren Wiersbe's "Be Holy: Becoming Set Apart for God":

The burnt offering symbolizes Jesus' offering of Himself to the Father as the spotless Lamb of God. The grain offering points to Jesus' life, with the flour representing His perfect character in word and deed. The fellowship offering symbolizes the peace we have with God through Christ (Colossians 1:20). The sin offering explains Jesus' death on the cross, when He took the place of every sinner who would ever believe. Finally, the guilt offering points to Jesus' payment for our sins against others.

I invite you to walk with me for the next six weeks through the pages of the book of Leviticus. Here is our reading plan for this week.

Leviticus Reading Plan



Here is my SOAK for today:



Monday, April 20, 2015

Scripture: Leviticus 1

Observations: Here in chapter 1 we learn about the “Burnt Offering” – the first of six offerings that could be brought to the tabernacle altar. The burnt offering was brought by worshippers when they wanted to express their devotion and dedication to God. Specific instructions were given by God and could not be altered or varied in any way. The sacrifice had to be a male animal from their personal herd or flock; or their sacrifice could be a bird. The worshipper would bring the sacrifice to the door of the tabernacle and the priest would examine it to make sure it was without blemish.

The worshipper was to lay his hand on the sacrifice (Lev. 1:4) from the herd or flock which symbolized two things: 1) the offerer’s identification with the sacrifice and 2) the transferring of something to the sacrifice. The worshipper, in the laying on of his hands, symbolically transferred his sin and guilt to the animal who was dying in place of the sinner. In this way, the burnt offering made atonement for the worshipper.

The phrases “before the Lord” and “unto the Lord” are repeated 7 times in this chapter. This is significant in that it shows the transaction taking place at the altar was between the worshipper and the Lord.

Application: We are to give ourselves completely to the Lord. We can’t pick and choose the parts of our lives that we will surrender to Him – He desires to be Lord of all. We are blessed because our relationship is a personal one-on-one relationship with the Lord.

Jesus was our sacrifice “without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19). He gave Himself on our behalf in total dedication to God (John 10:17; Romans 5:19; Hebrews 10:10).

The righteousness of Jesus Christ is transferred to us when we accept his atoning sacrifice on the cross. (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:22)

Kneel: Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus to identify with man. Jesus, you were the offerer and the sacrifice – I am in awe of Your love as I think about this truth. You offered Yourself as the perfect sacrifice and willingly took on all the sins of this world. You willingly bled and died on the cross to make atonement for our sins. Such amazing love! Thank You for Your righteousness that covers me now as a child of God. Help me to live my life in complete submission to You, being wholly committed and dedicated to the holy life that You are calling me to live. Walk with me through the book of Leviticus and give me eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying. In the powerful, life-giving name of Jesus I pray. Amen!



Will you be joining me in reading the book of Leviticus? Let me know in the comments!



Walking in His Grace, 
Laurie




Blogging Through the Bible with Good Morning Girls

Monday, April 13, 2015

It's Okay To Say No

Are there times in your life when you feel like you have to do it ALL? As women, we have a lot on our plates, don't we? I don't know about you, but for me it can be very hard sometimes to say no.

I Cannot Do It All


I've been thinking a lot about this lately as other opportunities have presented themselves to me at this time in my life that I have had to say no to simply because I have come to the realization that I cannot do it all.

I repeat...

I cannot do it all.


Sweet Blessings of My Life

There have been a couple of wonderful things happen in my life this past month.

  • I became a grandma on March 13 to a precious baby boy.
  • I took on a babysitting job for my Pastor and his wife.

I had the sweet pleasure of helping my daughter during the first two weeks of my grandson's life until she developed a comfortable routine with him. This meant spending the night with her and getting up every 2-3 hours with her when she breastfed. I helped with diaper changes, cleaning the kitchen - anything that my daughter needed. We had lots of great moma/daughter time together at night watching one of our favorite shows, Gilmore Girls, on Netflix. During the daytime, when her husband was home from work, I would go back to my home with my son and husband. I would do my Bible study with Good Morning Girls, my blogging VA responsibilities for the next day, homeschool my son, clean the house if needed (my husband kept up this area so that thankfully it did not overtake me), fix supper, eat with my husband and son, and then head back over to my daughter's house in the evening. It was a precious time as well as an exhausting time.

Also during this time, I began a babysitting job for my Pastor and his wife. So add this to what you already read above in my daily schedule of life. {wink!}

After 2 weeks, as hard as it was for me, I decided it was time to let my daughter venture off on her own at night with her new mommy duties. I felt sure she would be fine and could handle everything without me. But I reassured her I would be there in a moment's notice if she needed me. I encouraged her in how well she had been doing with her sweet baby and the confidence I had in her that she would do fine. I'm thankful to say she did beautifully without me. I'm so proud of her!


It's Okay To Say No

I learned a very valuable lesson during this time that I had to admit to myself and to my daughter. I can't remember the situation, but there was a moment during that 2-week period that I was with her that she was in tears and commented to me, "I don't know how you do it all." I guess the mommy weariness had taken its toll on my precious daughter to bring these words out of her mouth.

Her words shocked me.

This is not the image I want to give my daughter of me. Because the truth is...

I cannot do it all.

I repeat...

I cannot do it all.

I quickly told her the shocking truth about her mother - yes, me - I cannot do it all...

...and I reassured her that she would be able to do what God was calling her to do because His strength would be working through her weaknesses.

My sweet friends, His strength will work through your weaknesses too. He does the same for me.

God has taught me when I am weak, He is strong. I love how Paul reminds us of this beautiful truth in 2 Corinthians 12:9-11:

But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses...For when I am weak, then I am strong.

So I will gladly admit to my daughter, and to you, that I cannot do it all. For that's when the power of God rests on me. I want His power in my life, don't you friends! I want His power in my daughter's life too.

When you realize and admit that you cannot do it all something freeing happens. Not only does Christ's power rest on your life, but you become more discerning with your time. You realize that it's okay to say no to some things that beckon for your time.

I know because just last week after much prayer I decided to say no to a temporary job with our local Annual Furniture Market that is happening this week. I worked last Fall as a Registrar, and they wanted me to come back for this Spring Market. I graciously denied their offer because I'm not afraid anymore to say...

I cannot do it all.

How about you? Do you find it hard to say no or have you come to the realization that you cannot do it all and that it's okay to say no to some things?



Walking in His Grace, 
Laurie



Monday, March 30, 2015

Win a FREE Family Registration to the 2015 NCHE Conference!

Can you feel the excitement?! It's almost time for the 2015 NCHE Thrive Conference! Homeschoolers here in North Carolina are gearing up for another great homeschool conference taking place May 21-23 at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, NC.

I've lost count of how many conferences I've attended, but I CAN tell you that every year I leave feeling that it was the best conference EVER!

I'm sure this year will be just the same!

2015 NCHE Thrive Conference


Here is some information from NCHE about this year's conference:

The NCHE annual conference serves as a celebration of the multi-faceted face of home education in North Carolina. This year we introduce a new name for our conference: Thrive! The NCHE Homeschool Conference. This new name reflects the goal of the NCHE conference and mirrors the NCHE mission "NCHE has a vision for flourishing families and thriving generations in which people remain passionate, curious and actively engaged in their faith and in their learning..."


Our mission is to:


  • Equip and encourage homeschooling families through an abundance of outstanding speakers and workshops
  • Connect homeschoolers with quality curriculum resources through our extensive vendor hall
  • Celebrate our teens and alums through special workshops, fun activities, fellowship, the talent showcase and our state-wide graduation
  • Encourage our leaders with a special luncheon and a workshop just for them

2015 NCHE Conference Featured Speakers

I am so excited about the line-up of conference featured speakers! Here's a peek at who I'm especially excited to hear speak at this year's conference. These ladies have made a meaningful impact on my life as a homeschooling mom!

Debra Bell, Ph.D., is the best-selling author of the award-winning Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling, Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens and the Ultimate Planners for moms, teens and students. Writers-in-Residence: A Writing-Focused Language Arts Program and Readers-in-Residence: A Literacy Program will be released in 2015, along with a companion website.

Debra will be sharing the following:
Twenty-first Century Homeschooling: What Leaders Need to Know; Eight Reasons Kids Learn Best at Home; Education by Design: Understanding God's Blueprint for Your Child; Cultivating a Love for Learning in Our Homes; The Six Traits of Great Writing; and Developing Motivation and Interest in Kids of All Ages



Elyse M. Fitzpatrick is a retreat and conference speaker and is the director of Women Helping Women Ministries. She has authored numerous books, including Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus (co-authored with her daughter Jessica Thompson) and Found in Him: The Joy of the Incarnation and Our Union with Christ. She will be speaking with her daughter Jessica Thompson.

Jessica Thompson speaks at women’s conferences and other events. She is the author of a devotional book for families, Exploring Grace Together. Jessica has a bachelor’s degree in theology. She and her husband have three children ranging in age from elementary school to high school.

Here's what Elyse and Jessica will be sharing: 
What Makes "Christian" Parenting Christian?; How to Raise a True Believer Instead of a Pharisee; Good Parenting In, Good Kids Out; and Practical Help for Christian Parents

Read about the other wonderful 2015 Conference Featured Speakers here.



Here are more links to all the exciting happenings of the 2015 NCHE Thrive Conference!









Sounds fabulous, doesn't it?! Are you planning on coming to the 2015 NCHE Conference? I'm excited to be on the 2015 NCHE Bloggers Team again this year! I'll see you there!



2015 NCHE Conference Blogger



Would you like to win a FREE Family Registration to the 2015 NCHE Conference? Thanks to the NCHE Board, I am giving away one FREE Family Registration! WooHoo!! Simply enter below using the Rafflecopter widget.


a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Your 2015 NCHE Conference Blogger, 
Laurie
 







 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Review and Giveaway

I'm excited to bring this review and giveaway to you today for the newest member of the Dial Boutique Collection Hand Soap line from Dial! Introducing the new Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap!

Dial has done a wonderful job in bringing luxury to my daily hand washing experience with this premium formula that has gentle micro-scrubbers that cleanses deeply while moisturizing and smoothing my hands. It's a deep cleansing hand soap that is safe for my whole family.

Purex Insider Review and Giveaway


Boutique Collection Hand Soap Facts

  • Vibrant scents
  • Refreshing moisture
  • Gentle micro-scrubbers
  • Deep cleansing formula

The deep cleansing formula of the Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub (and all of the hand soaps included in the Boutique Collection) give me clean, healthy hands and skin because of the moisturizing formulas that have skin conditioners which hydrate my skin and visibly improves the dryness of my hands. This winter was rough on my skin, but I have seen a visible improvement during my review of Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub. My hands feel smooth and refreshed with every hand wash!

I love the completely new bottle and design of the Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub! It looks so pretty sitting on top of my bathroom sink.

I'm excited to share my love of Dial Hand Soap by hosting a giveaway of a coupon for a FREE bottle of Dial Complete Omega Moisture Foaming Hand Wash. Simply enter by using the Rafflecopter widget below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Your Purex Insider, 
Laurie



*Disclosure: The Dial brand provided me with a sample of Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.