Your Faith Affects Your Family: Elisabeth

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This week’s book club chapter from “Your Faith Affects Your Family” is on Elisabeth, mother of John the Baptist. While I’m enjoying the book club,  I really feel as if the author missed the mark on this chapter. It focused on her righteousness, but I think it should have focused more on her character. This was a woman that was “stricken in years”. She was a lady that was probably either beyond child baring years or right on the cusp. Yet she and her husband remained faithful to the Lord. What amazes me is that her husband, Zacharias, was also faithful to the Lord and he still led his family spiritually despite not being able to have children- which in those days was a pretty big deal because people thought you were cursed or had lost favor with God. BUT– Deuteronomy tells us in chapter 7, verse 14 that “Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.” There are exceptions to this because it’s the pleasure of God to make himself known and magnify his power in conception by any person. And God allows trials in people’s lives to help them grow. No amount of obedience can bring immunity. Yet they still cared more about the Lord thought of them than man. We can see evidence of that in Luke 1:6, “And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.”

Yet, we are still shown man’s weakness when Zacharias saw an angel standing on the right side of the altar in Luke 1:13, “But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for they prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.” Zacharias was a man of God, but still only a man. He has human weakness. God gave us His word because it excites faith as we meditate on it. (Romans 10:17). Even real believers are apt to dishonor God by unbelief. God took Zacharia’s voice, yes, but He was also gracious and gave Zacharias a sign to help him believe! And after he had been told that his wife will conceive (by an angel of the Lord no less!!) he still continued to work. What dedication to the Lord’s work! What contentment! Could you have continued to work after all that? I don’t know if I could have!

Then we get to Elisabeth. She’s cool as a cucumber during this entire ordeal. She’s pregnant, her husband can’t talk, and here comes her younger cousin Mary– also with child. We are told in Luke 1: 41 that  she was “filled with the Holy Ghost” and her baby leaped in her womb when Mary greeted her. Here is where I see her character: in Luke 1:42-45, Elisabeth loudly proclaims what a blessed woman Mary was to be the mother of her Lord. While she knew she had been honored by God, she recognizes Mary had been infinitely more honored. What humility! What self-abasement! Elisabeth waited an entire lifetime to have a baby and her cousin “steals her thunder”. She could have easily been ugly, rude, or distant, but instead she is filled with joy at the news! This part speaks to me in such a personal way. Having lost a baby late term only to be surrounded by friends that are expecting only weeks from my original due date is a very real, very hard thing to endure. It’s a struggle daily to be filled with the spirit the way Elisabeth was and feel joy for my friends. But God does not always give according to our asking, but according to the riches of his grace. Dear friend: the Lord hasn’t forgotten you or me. Don’t chafe and fret under the burden. Keep faithfully living for Him and remain patient. God is a God of the impossible.

So then Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

~Romans 10:17

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DIY Tract Holder/Folder

I came across a pin the other day after looking up “tract holder” on Pinterest. Guess who has tract holders galore on Pinterest?? Jehovah Witnesses!! Guess who had ZERO tract holders?? Christians! I was shocked! Not to be outdone, I made my own using a template for making journals. I added some paint using stencils and there you have it– a gospel tract holder!!WP_20150724_016 I can easily keep it in my purse or in my Bible for easy access during soul winning or when I’m out and about. It will be perfect when Reformers Unanimous starts in September as well!

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You can even hole punch them and keep them in a binder or small planner!

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Vintage Sheaffer NO NONSENSE Fountain Pen

WP_20150724_024I’ve been scribbing lately with a vintage Sheaffer fountain pen. It’s from the 1980’s-90’s with a green plastic body, screw top, medium steel nib and a Pilot cartridge (purple ink).  It’s light weight yet wide and my pen preference is girth and this pen has girth! It’s also not a pain to put the cap on the end when I write. Because I’m not using the right cartridge for the pen, the ink is coming out faster than it should, so the nib writes a bit broader than normal. I just really like the pen, so instead of waiting until I can buy another Sheaffer convertor, I’m enjoying the pen now.

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Here’s one for sale on eBay. Not by me, but it’s in nicer condition that mine. Mine is rusted around the ring a bit– which is one of the reasons why I like it so much!

Happy scribbing!

Vintage 1945 Book of Common Prayer

WP_20150710_004I picked up a vintage copy of The Book of Common Prayer at Half Price Books for only a dollar! It’s in decent condition (pages are still in tact and the spine is pretty strong). While I’m no longer an Episcopalian, I love the liturgy and the prayers. I’m not a fan of the 1979 BCP, so this find was perfect– it uses the old language and believe me, there’s a HUGE difference!

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Nevertheless I LIVE: Living Freely in a Bound World

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It’s here! It’s finally becoming a reality! Reformers Unanimous will open its doors to the public on September 25, 2015! My heart feels like it is going to burst out of my chest and my mind is going to explode with all of the knowledge I’m cramming into it. I just finished reading, studying, and outlining the first chapter of Steve Currington’s book “Nevertheless I LIVE”. It’s the core curriculum for RU and it’s paired with the “It’s Personal: Daily Journal” and the challenge book. I’m a n00b, so I’m on the first book: Overcomer. WP_20150724_002 The little book on the bottom is “Recovery Without Relapse” and it’s going to be the curriculum for the RU Sunday School class. That one was written by Dr. George T Crabb, D.O. and Mr. Ben Burks. Mr. Burks was one of our trainers when we went to Rockford, Illinois for training in the RU program.

What’s great about Reformer’s Unanimous is that you don’t have to be addicted to just drugs and alcohol to go through the program. It can be any stronghold in your life. Food, anger, covetousness, envy, or any other area in your Christian walk that could use some beefing up. It’s also a WONDERFRUL discipleship program!!

The first chapter: One Way, One Truth, One Life, Once to Die is such truth that it took my breath away! I’ve never understood what it meant to “draw near to the Lord” or to “walk with Him” or to “have fellowship with Him”. Sure, I read my Bible and I pray and I am an active member in the church, but to be completely immersed in Him was something in which I had no clue. Until I lost a baby at 21 weeks. It was a precipice in my Christian walk. It was go forward or give it up. I felt like if I didn’t completely surround myself in Him, if I didn’t completely saturate my life with Jesus Christ I was going to, as they say, lose my faith. I read the Bible, I prayed, I listened to sermons 24/7, I fasted, I attended church as often as the doors were open– I made sure that every minute that ticked by I was surrounded by Christ. Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (KJV) Chapter one sums this verse up by stating that if we believe in ourselves to do something that only God can do for us, we will stumble and eventually be destroyed through our self-centered efforts. How true! There was no way I was going to survive that miscarriage without Jesus Christ. Sure, I would have physically survived. It wasn’t going to kill me, but I would have been a shell of a person. I can proudly use the loss of my baby for His glory. Do I get discouraged? Sure. Do I have thoughts creep in on me that make me doubt, get angry, or sin? YES! But I continue to faithfully give this burden to Him. And that’s what RU is about. Giving our sin, our stronghold, our addiction to Jesus Christ because He is the only one that can overcome. Chapter one gives us the formula for success: believe on Jesus + continue in His Word + be His disciple + know theTruth = FREEDOM. WP_20150724_005

“Freedom from addiction is NOT freedom from drugs and alcohol; it is not freedom from pornography; and it is not freedom from smoking, television, or the love of money. Freedom from addiction is being out from under the control of this world and under the control of Jesus. Freedom is control. It is not what controls you that separates freedom from bondage, it is WHO controls you that separates freedom from bondage. That is God’s honest Truth.” ~Steve Currington, NIL, p. 30

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JetPens.com Chibi Mini Nib

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I bought this pen because it was $2.95 on this here website, because it was see through, because it was yellow, and because it had “chibi” in the title. However, it’s a fun little pen to scrib with. It does not come with a convertor, but it did come with a cartridge of ink that is decent in size and does well on cheap paper. They do sell a convertor for it.  The nib is mini, as advertised. I have a hard time writing with it sans cap, so I think it’s best to secure it to the butt of the pen unless you have teeny tiny hands. I don’t. Obviously.

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WP_20150706_029See, here I am holding it and you can see how small it is. It’s a fun pen. I like the reactions I get when I write with it– totally worth the not quite three bucks it cost me. WP_20150706_030

Scripture Caddy

Also known as a “prayer caddy”, I’m calling this one a “scripture caddy” because I am using it for much more than prayers. Since our house is filled to the brim with books, my husband suggested I find somewhere else to house my prayer cards, bibles, mother’s topical bible, and journal. What better than an awesome pink caddy I found at Target for two bucks last year on clearance.

WP_20150709_004I cart it around with me pretty much everywhere I go in the morning. With getting breakfast ready and my kids dressed and making sure my husband has everything he needs to start his day, the caddy is a handy (and efficient) way to make sure I get my time in with the Lord.

Here you can see my pencils, pens, and highlighters. I use a small blue KJV lay flat Bible. The red and clear plastic box is filled with categorized prayer cards: Family, Clergy/Church, Church Family, Missionaries, Govt/Authority. Every prayer seems to fit neatly into these categories. I also have a vintage Mother’s Topical Bible – KJV version that is a helpful source of encouragement.

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WP_20150709_007I keep my special pens, pencils, highlighters, and Crayola Twistables in a pencil bag for when I am highlighting my Bible. Next to my Bible is a set of notecards on a ring that have scripture printed on them that I am meditating on or trying to memorize. I picked up the notecard book at the dollar store and it’s got a cute plastic front and back cover that closes with an elastic band that’s attached to the back. Perfect for throwing it in my purse!

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There you have it: my secret weapon to battling the laundry list of excuses of why I can’t read and study my Bible on a daily and consistent basis.

Jinhao 599 Metal Fountain Pen — PINK — Medium Nib <3

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I ordered this beauty on JetPens. They’re currently my favorite pen/paper/stationary store on the interwebs. Amazon can’t even beat their prices. Free shipping if you spend over $25, but it’s a measly $5 if you don’t. This pen is as pretty in real life as it is in the picture! See!! Oh, man, I really enjoy writing with Jinhao pens. I was given a vintage Jinhao and absolutely loved the weight of it in my hand. It is a cigar style pen while this one is a bit thinner, but every bit as heavy. It’s labeled as having a medium nib, but it’s a bit on the finer side. I loaded this one up with Parker blue ink in Sapphire.

WP_20150706_031I’ve been using it on different varieties of paper since getting it this afternoon, and it writes well– even on cheapy dollar store paper. It’s got great ink distribution that’s very even. Another thing I love about Jinhao pens is that they come with convertors. I don’t like having to order the convertor separate, ahem, Pilot, ahem. The beveled edges make it easy to grip. The oversized metal clip on the cap ensures it won’t get lost in the bottom of my purse.

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It really is this pretty IRL!

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I think I have a new favorite!

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“Medium” nib on the finer side.

That nib, tho!

New Journals for Sale in my Etsy Shop!

WP_20150706_010 I posted new journals over in my Etsy shop Scribs & Nibs. Each journal is hand sewn premium cardstock filled with vintage and salvaged papers! They are fountain pen friendly. I’m currently scribbing with a vintage Pelikan 120. Some journals have lined paper and some are filled with sketch paper. They’re small enough to fit in a pocket or a purse for easy transport!

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Ladies Book Club: Your Faith Affects Your Family

“Your Faith Affects Your Family” by Ruth Ann LarklyWP_20150705_001

Every other Thursday, my church Heritage Baptist Church has a ladies book club and we are reading a book titled “Your Faith Affects Your Family”. It’s a bubby read and lively written. I’m really enjoying the book, and especially enjoying the fellowship! This week’s chapter was on perception. During this two week period I am striving to increase my testimony of perception. I’ll admit, it’s something that I think I have, but when it comes down to it, I really don’t. Most of the time my perception is clouded by judgment because I’m very cut and dry, black and white.

The author wrote about hospitality. In this chapter we read about Elisha and the Shunamite woman and that she perceived Elisha needed the ministry of hospitality. (2 Kings 4: 8-37) We can show hospitality in many ways and in many simple ways. However, many of us fall into the trap of making excuses for why we can’t. I’m guilty of “we can’t afford it” and “my house is a mess”. What lies! Really, it’s because I am an introvert and struggle with social anxiety. I feel like I am an awkward person and social situations make me extremely nervous. We as Christians are commanded to show others hospitality. It’s not about us, but about Christ. Our goal in hospitality should not be to impress our guests, but to express our love- the love of Christ. If you’re like me you have to push those thoughts from your mind and you have to form new ideals based on what is biblical. A woman in our book club made a wonderful study help for us and it’s been such a blessing to me as I reflect on what I’ve read. I asked her if I could share it and she informed me that she got most of her information from this helpful website. WP_20150705_005

I am also working on an area of perception. I chose to work on my husband’s needs. He’s such a laid back man that he never (literally) tells me what he needs. He’s so easy going that if plans change or something deviates from the course he just goes with the flow. But he needs things. He needs support, love, encouragement, and at times he needs me to get stuff done that he can’t do. He rarely asks anything of me, but I know he needs things from me. By being more perceptive I can better serve and help him do what God has called him to do.

  • James 1:5 tells me “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
  • Proverbs 2: 2-5 advises “So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou sleekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.”
  • And finally, 1 Peter 4: 9 commands me “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.”

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