"We are committed to helping you grow in grace-filled, daily discipline! The habit of a Quiet Time looks different in every season, and we hope that these articles will encourage you to just keep going by the grace of Jesus!"

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October 14, 2021

Jehovah Jireh – No Matter, He IS Enough

Drawing on the Father’s love in the midst of emotional struggle 

By: Christi Grimm 

I swallowed hard, fighting back tears. I was there for a follow-up appointment, but you would have thought I had been given a death sentence.  I couldn’t control the overwhelming sadness and the tears began flowing.  On the other side of the room, sat a kind, older woman.  She showed me empathy and handed me a tissue.   
There was no major reason I should have been experiencing this kind of sadness. Sometimes middle-aged hormones do crazy things – I have officially entered a weird season!  It’s like pregnancy without the end result. Depression isn’t something I have typically struggled with, so the last couple of months have thrown me for a loop. I will be abundantly grateful to be on the other side of this valley.   

How do you worship when you feel so lost? When the sadness overwhelms? How do you hear from the Lord when the emotion seems to crowd out His Voice?  How do you absorb His Word when your mind is so foggy you can’t remember the last sentence you read?  How do you raise your arms in praise when you can’t seem to see in vibrant color, but only in drab, muted colors?  How do you show God your love for Him when your passion seems to have all but left you? What then? 

It is easy to praise, to worship, to raise our arms in thanksgiving, to live in awe, to have passion, to give love, and to listen and obey His Voice when your mind and body are clear.  But what to do when you are middle-aged and struggling; you are young and pregnant; you are a confused teenager; or you are grieving a loss? What then? 

Worship anyway. 

Read anyway. 

Give thanks for His creation anyway. 

Raise your arms in praise anyway. 

Jehovah Jireh (The Lord who will provide) is worthy of my sacrifice.   

He is worthy of my sacrifice of worship to Him even when my worship may be accompanied by tears and a cracking voice. 

He is worthy of my sacrifice of sitting at His feet and reading His Word, even if it means I have to repeatedly read one verse because I do not have a clear mind at the moment. 

He is worthy of my sacrifice of thanksgiving even if His creation doesn’t excite me right now and the colors are muted. 

He is worthy of my sacrifice of lifting my arms in praise even if it means I am not lifting them with passionate overflow in my spirit. 

But in all of this, if all I can do is “show up” right now, He will even receive that!   

He receives our feeble attempts at coming to Him and He provides.  He provides relief, perspective, another day, and steadiness. He is Jehovah Jireh:  The God who Provides. 

God’s Love for me is not based on how much I can do for Him. His Love for me is settled, it is provided – no matter what my hormones may be doing inside of me!  I can never be MORE loved by my Savior and I can never be LESS loved by my Savior!  This brings me great confidence, immense trust, and enormous faith in the midst of not feeling myself.   

I KNOW He will provide for my needs- all of them.  He will provide a way through the valley to the other side.  He will provide ideas of solving the problem.  He will provide the right professionals to help.  He will provide any and everything we could ever need, think, or imagine!  He is my Provider and He is your Provider!  Lean on Him, no matter your current state, for He IS enough! 


Christi is a fifth generation Florida girl who loves the sand, the sea, and the sunshine! When she is not busy mothering her 6 children, she enjoys her garden, traveling, experiencing new cultures, and indulging in warm chocolate chip cookies while reading a good book or journaling. Christi is passionate about bringing women alongside her into a life of freedom in Christ, and does so by leading Beauty for Ashes Women’s Retreats. 

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October 12, 2021

Connecting with God

Three questions to ask yourself when you feel like you’re not connecting with God. 

By: Erica Hunt 

Spending time with God can be a deeply enriching experience, but there are seasons where it does not feel so enlightening. There are times in our Christian walk when we can feel really disconnected with God, even as we consistently keep up the spiritual practices that are supposed to deepen our relationship with Christ. We can feel let down when we make an effort to come to the Lord and spend time with Him and only feel as if He did not reciprocate the gesture. 

A sense of dissatisfaction can be a good thing, if it shows that we desire a deeper connection. Taking time to evaluate our hearts will help us wade through the disappointing days when we feel disconnected from God. Here are three questions to ask yourself: 

What do I mean when I say, “I do not feel connected with God?” 

What do you actually mean by ‘connection’? Anytime you come to the Lord by reading his Word or spending time with Him in prayer is connection. How that connection makes you FEEL is going to be different almost every time. Do you mean that He did not make His presence known? Or that you did not feel emotionally connected? Were you expecting an audible voice or visions? Do you feel that He did not fulfill His “end of the deal” in some way? Take the time to be honest with yourself and with God and determine what exactly you are looking to get out of your quiet time. 

Am I setting aside enough time to develop a meaningful connection? 

This question can be tricky, because even our small moments, given sacrificially, can be pleasing to the Lord. But if you are spending moments in the Word, and feeling unsatisfied, it may be because you are not allowing enough time for a deep meaningful connection. Just as in any relationship, if we want to connect with someone, we spend time with them. Not a few minutes here and there, but good quality time over a cup of coffee or a shared activity. It’s the same with our heavenly Father. Finding some quality alone time with the Lord, may help deepen that connection. 

Have I asked Him to connect with me? 

Have you spent time in prayer preparing your heart for an encounter with God? Have you asked Him to reveal Himself to you in a deeper way? Have you asked Him to connect to your heart in a way that you can understand?  
God is God; He can move mountains, part seas, hold the sun still, and answer you when you call out to Him. Sometimes, we have to be patient for His answer, but, until He does, we keep asking. Be persistent! God is not ignoring you. In Matthew, Jesus tells His disciples to “Ask, and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who ask receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Mathew 7:7-8) As disciples we too, are commanded to pursue the Lord in this way. 

Be encouraged that God does want to connect and have a relationship with His people; so much so that He pursued, served, and died for us! But, as in any relationship, a rich relationship with Jesus involves our wanting, prioritizing, and seeking time with Him. Evaluate your heart, set apart regular times to spend with the Lord, ask Him to show up for you. Do not be discouraged if feelings don’t change right away. Our feelings do not change God’s love for us, or His desire to connect with us. 


Erica grew up on the South Dakota prairie, along the Missouri River. Growing up her parents introduced her to Jesus and taught her to walk in His way. She keeps busy teaching 7th and 8th grade students who keep her laughing and humble. Along with her love of the land she enjoys traveling, learning fun facts and historical information, and is always up for coffee, ice cream and a good conversation with friends. She and her husband, Justin, have been married just over a year and live in eastern South Dakota.

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October 7, 2021

In-House Disciples

 The do’s and don’ts of encouraging quiet time in the lives of our children. 

By: Vanessa Bonilla 

Disciple-making is a lot of work. Disciple-making under your own roof can feel impossible. I have found that one of the best ways to evaluate how I may be helping or hindering my children is by asking the hard questions. This time of questioning is a time to speak without reservation; my goal is to allow them the opportunity to get certain things off their chest, without the fear of disappointing me. 

I recently talked with my two teenage daughters about their quiet time habits. I asked what I have done to help develop and encourage this habit and how I might have hurt the consistency of their time with Jesus. It was quite an enlightening conversation. I was reminded of how completely different my daughters are from one another and was given many ideas in how to help them. The following list of Do’s and Don’ts are from that conversation.

Do 

  • Establish a designated TIME and PLACE – Both daughters said that although at first an assigned daily quiet time seemed like a chore, my oldest said that she eventually started to experience the benefit of consistent time in God’s presence. 
  • Explain the REASON for quiet time – My younger daughter said she needed to know the “why?” Why do I have to do this? Why daily? What’s the benefit? 

I didn’t realize that, although I have spoken about this many times before, I had never taken the time to explain the reasons for daily time with Jesus with her specifically. 

  • Assure them that there is NO WRONG WAY to come to Christ – My younger daughter felt that she was doing quiet time wrong, because it didn’t look like mine, or her sisters, or her brothers. She felt that something was missing and that it was her fault. 
  • Give gentle REMINDERS – With school starting and the pressures that come with that, they found it very hard to keep the time set for them on a daily basis. They asked for gentle, grace-filled, reminders to usher them back on course. 
  • Provide them with TOOLS – It wasn’t until this talk that I became aware that I hadn’t even thought of getting them their own Quiet Time Companion; markers; highlighters; a helpful book; or a nice, new, exciting Bible. I was more inclined to do it for a friend then with my own in-house disciples. 

Don’t 

  • Ask what they got out of it – It was tempting to ask them “how’d it go”, or “what did you learn”, unfortunately asking such questions encourages a transactional encounter. My older daughter was beginning to feel like if she hadn’t “learned” something, being at His feet wasn’t enough. 
  • Leave them to find their own way – The word says to train up a child in the way they should go. I made the mistake of believing they didn’t need me to help them navigate quiet time since it’s a personal experience. However, helping them establish a quiet time is an opportunity to bond over the things of God and to engage with my girls as sisters in Christ.   
  • Give up on them – When I’m at the end of my own rope the last thing I want to do is deal with teen emotions. I don’t want to deal with the pulling close and pushing away, the highs and lows, and the confusion of finding their own identity, it’s so much sometimes. Nevertheless quitting is not an option. 

At the end of my child’s day it won’t matter if I taught them all the knowledge this world has to offer. It won’t matter if I taught them how to be the best in every sport they’ve shown interest in. It won’t matter if I’ve given them every item they’ve ever desired. If I don’t show them how worth it is to love the Lord with all of their heart, all their soul, all their strength and all their mind everything else will be meaningless. 

May the Lord direct you as you engage with your children, mentees, or friends. May our goal always be to share about Christ’s majestic, magnificent, unconditional, everlasting love and how being in communion with Him will always be the best thing we could ever do. 


Vanessa is the daughter of a Pastor, baby of six and a homeschooling mom of five. Married to her wonderful husband of eight years, they serve in their local church together. She loves fresh fruit, nights by the fire pit, and time with friends and family. Vanessa has watched God do amazing things in her life. Assaulted at a young age, teen mom and the survivor of an abusive marriage left her life in pieces. Today she stands restored and uses the testimony of brokenness to help build others and encourage women to discover the fullness of a relationship with God.

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September 27, 2021

Looking for Grace

Quiet Time in Suffering 

By: Jordan Sparnroft 

How do you have a quiet time when you’re struggling just to get out of bed and even brushing your teeth is a struggle?  Quiet time in suffering is not going look like the images you see on your favorite Christian influencer’s Instagram. It probably won’t have the cozy blanket, soft lighting, hot cup of coffee, beautiful prayer journal, leather-bound Bible and sun rising perfectly in the background. 

When I was losing a parent to cancer, experiencing two miscarriages in a row, and facing a serious diagnosis for my new baby, I had not established a quiet time routine and the Quiet Time Companion didn’t exist. I was spending time with God but it definitely wasn’t an image you would want to see scrolling through Instagram. Instead of being wrapped in a cozy warm quilt, I was smothered under a blanket of grief and the only words I could utter were: ‘Why?’ and ‘Jesus.’ 

When you’re struggling to do life’s most basic tasks, prayer does not come easy. Just uttering the name of ‘Jesus’ is enough. Yet, there are some means of grace that are especially fitting for us and our quiet time during seasons of suffering.  
 
Suffering is a prime opportunity to let the body of Christ do what it was meant to do: bear each other’s burdens. In the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus was wrestling with the immense suffering ahead of Him, He called upon His friends to come and pray with Him.  In your suffering, reach out to your people who love Jesus. Don’t just ask them to pray for you but request that they pray with you. Ask them to text you Bible verses proclaiming Who God is and that remind you of His promises. 

Play worship music and lots of it! Even when you don’t feel like it. It takes the focus off of you and puts it back on Christ. Put on the Dwell app and have the Psalms read over you while you sleep. 

God often speaks to us the most in the midst of suffering. However, we easily miss it if we’re not careful. Ask Him to open your eyes and your heart to His grace. It’s easy to lose sight of Him in the midst of chaos. Looking for His grace allows us to see. This form of worship and thankfulness breathes life into your darkest moments. Look for His grace in every small thing. Thank Him for DoorDash, modern medicine, a hug from a dear friend, the Facebook group of people who are navigating the same waters of grief, a kind smile from a stranger, a hot shower, a nap, etc. The little things are the big things. When you look back on your suffering, these are the moments you will remember seeing God most clearly. 

A quiet time is as necessary in sorrow, trial, and pain as it is as it is on our good days (if not more so!). It’s just going to look very different. When – by God’s grace – you are able to have that ‘Instagram snap shot’ kind of quiet time, frantically write it all down: everything you’re going through. Don’t hold back, God can handle it. Document your anger, your questions, your confusion, your sadness, and anxiety. When I look back at those tear-stained pages, they’re my most cherished prayers. I remember that as I wrote them, God felt so far away; but when I look back on those entries, His love and mercy are written all over them and I feel Him closer than ever before. 

Psalm 51:15-17 

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; 

you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; 

a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 

Applications for quiet time in suffering: 

1) Don’t expect your quiet time to look picture perfect. 

2) Depend on other believers! 

3) Worship. 

4) Look for the grace God is showing you and say thanks. 

5) Honestly pour out your heart to God; He can handle it! 


Jordan grew up on a farm located in a small town in Virginia. She married her NY native husband 8 years ago. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Jordan was a professional mental health therapist. Apart from raising her 2.5 year old daughter with a complex medical diagnosis, Jordan also teaches English to kids in China online. Through numerous trials involving grief and loss she endured in her 20s, Jordan fell more in love with Jesus and realizes her need for Him everyday. Her passion for studying God’s word and knowing Him more deeply grows with each passing day.

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September 23, 2021

That I May Know Him

The Secret to Successfully Memorizing Scripture

By: Katie Stone 

I grew up memorizing scripture but truthfully, I didn’t enjoy it. Memorizing was something I did because I was encouraged to by my parents and Sunday school teachers. 

When I was around 17, I stumbled across a YouTube video of Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth quoting scripture from memory. For over thirty minutes, I watched and listened in awe, not of her recitation skills, but of God. Quoting prophesy and New Testament fulfillment of the life of Jesus Christ, she magnified the Lord through the declaration of His word. It was beautiful, powerful, and captivating. In that half hour, I became convinced that my experience of memorizing scripture fell short of what God intended His word to do in the life of a person who hides it in their heart. Those thirty minutes were a taste of joy that left me starving for more. 

Nancy didn’t just recite words; it was obvious that she loved the Author of those words. She believed those words and was passionate about them because He spoke them. 

That YouTube video led me to listen to an interview with Janet Pope, author of His Word in My Heart, a woman who has memorized dozens of chapters of the Bible. What impacted me the most from the interview—and what has continued to spur me on to memorize scripture—was her secret to successful memorizing: 

Janet Pope said, “Why have I been so successful at memorizing scripture? It’s because I have a higher goal than just to memorize the Bible. That’s not my goal. My goal is to know God and to walk closely with Him.” 

In this article, I won’t dive into methods and techniques. My goal is simply to set before you a vision of the joy and blessing of hiding God’s word in your heart. I pray that the same hunger for God that Nancy’s 30-minute recitation stirred in my soul will be awakened in yours. 

Motivated by love 

As with everything in the Christian life, our motive for memorizing the Bible impacts our experience. We are to obey the Lord out of love, not out of duty. Many of us know this. However, we come up with a multitude of reasons to memorize besides simple love and desire for Christ. 

We start memorizing in order to fight sin, to guard our minds from false teaching, to know our Bible better, to become equipped to share the gospel, or for comfort during trials. We soon realize that memorizing scripture doesn’t always work to accomplish these purposes. The Pharisees knew the law and prophets inside and out and still crucified their Messiah. 

A man named Richard Wurmbrandt, who spent 14 years in prison in Communist Russia, explains why this happens. When asked which Bible verse helped and strengthened him during his years in prison he answered, 

“NO Bible verse was of any help… Bible verses alone are not meant to help.”

We knew Psalm 23 – “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want…though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” When you pass through suffering you realize that it was never meant by God that Psalm 23 should strengthen you. It is the Lord who can strengthen you, not the Psalm which speaks of Him so doing. It is not enough to have the Psalm. You must have the One about whom the Psalm speaks. We also knew the verse: “My grace is sufficient for thee.” But the verse is not sufficient. It is the Grace which is sufficient and not the verse. 

Holy words are only the means to arrive at the reality expressed by them.

If you are united with the Reality, the Lord Almighty, evil loses its power over you; it cannot break the Lord Almighty. If you only have the words of the Lord Almighty you can be very easily broken.1” 

Memorizing scripture can never win the fight against sin. It cannot comfort us in our trials. It cannot protect us from false teaching. It cannot make us effective evangelists. 

What it can do is lead us to Christ. It is Christ alone has defeated sin and enables us to overcome. It is Christ alone who comforts us in our trails, who leads us into truth, who gives us the boldness and wisdom to be an effective witness. 

Memorizing the entire Bible is utterly worthless and powerless if it doesn’t lead you to Jesus. 

As Paul said, “[I was] a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee…concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him…that I may know Him.” (Phil 3:5-10) 

Holy words are only the means to arrive at the reality expressed by them. 

The reality is Jesus: the Word of God made flesh. The words of the Bible are the means of knowing Christ. 

This is the first and primary reason we memorize scripture. When we meditate on the Word of God we are meditating on the God of the Word. He will reveal Himself to us as we seek Him through His Word. 

Memorizing scripture is also a way to spend time with Jesus; similar to talking with a friend over coffee. When we memorize His word and respond to it in prayer and praise, we are spending time talking with God. 

Blessed is the man who delights in the law of the Lord 

Psalm 1 says, “blessed is the man who…[delights] in the law of the Lord and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its’ fruit in its’ season. Whose leaf also shall not whither and whatever he does shall prosper.” 

This is a blessing declared and promised by God who cannot lie. While we do not memorize to get God’s blessings, God has promised that He will bless those who meditate on His Word day and night. When we search for Him with all our heart we will find Him and when we get Jesus, He gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness. All things that pertain to life and godliness can only be found in Christ, not apart from Him. 

Do you want to know Jesus intimately? Do you long for rich fellowship with Christ throughout your day? Meditate on His Word. Behold His majesty and goodness. Think upon His marvelous works. 

“Let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17) 

Resources: 

For additional resources on memorizing scripture I encourage you to visit the links below: 


Katie lives in a big city near the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Which means she loves a trendy coffee shop as much as the smell of campfire and pine. She currently works as a graphic designer/social media manager/content creator but is most happy while leading worship and discipling younger girls. At 16, Jesus transformed her quiet time from 10 minutes of duty into her favorite part of the day and ever since, Katie has had a passion to encourage and equip others to get into God’s word for the purpose and joy of knowing Jesus.

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September 21, 2021

Remembering the Sabbath

The Importance of Weekly Rest

By: Christi Grimm 

I have recently come to the end of an extremely busy season.  From May 1st through August 22nd I was traveling much more than I was home.  This is no exaggeration!  Each time I traveled it was wonderful and I feel incredibly blessed that my husband has been able to provide for my children, for others, and for myself in this way.  However, just because a person is enjoying themselves, it does not necessarily mean they are at rest – physically or spiritually.  Although I was regularly spending time with Jesus – reading the Word, connecting with Him as I enjoyed His creation, and in community with other believers – I found myself physically and spiritually tired.  As the busy season of travel came to a close, I could not wait to set aside a day to just BE with my Savior; an entire day where I planned nothing outside of resting in His presence! It couldn’t come quick enough! 

The third commandment given to us in the book of Exodus is this: “You and your family are to remember the Sabbath Day; set it apart, and keep it holy. You have six days to do all your work, but the seventh day is to be different; it is the Sabbath of the Eternal your God.  Keep it holy by not doing any work…” It goes on to say, “For the Eternal made the heavens above, the earth below, the seas, and all the creatures in them in six days.  Then, on the seventh day, He rested.” (Exodus 20:8-11, The Voice) 

I find it interesting that God would think so highly of the Sabbath that He would give this command just behind (1) Putting Him first and (2) Do not misuse His Name.  Why is it that this weekly Holy-day (holiday) is so frequently forgotten?  This has to be the most underrated holiday known to man!  Why do we not hold this special time as sacred?  I believe Satan has used busyness to cause us to forget how important it is to have quiet time with Jesus through the Sabbath.   

If I were Satan and I wanted to truly destroy God’s people, I would rid them of the Sabbath.  I would cause them to believe productivity is more important than rest.  I would cause them to idolize their accomplishments.  In this way, the people would fall! They would be too exhausted to read the Word, too exhausted to listen for His Voice, too exhausted to carry out the mission He has given them. The people would begin to believe they don’t have time to rest- there is too much to be done. 

The reality is that we don’t have time NOT to rest. If we are to be soldiers in a heavenly kingdom, we had better rest up for the battle that comes weekly. We win the battle on the Sabbath!  Because it is in our preparation (our rest) that He refills us with the strength we will need to persevere in the week ahead. He refreshes, He renews, He restores. And so much of this is done on the Holy and Sacred Sabbath. 

I want to challenge you to observe this Holy-Day.  Set aside (significant) time to simply BE with Jesus.  Say no to the busyness for just one day!  The laundry will still be there, the dust waiting for you to clean. Yet the Sabbath will slip away. Week after week it beckons to us, sitting in the corner waiting for us to accept its invitation. Instead, we accept the invitation from the call of dirty clothing. We can afford a bit of dirty clothes.  We cannot afford to show up for battle exhausted. Remember the Sabbath, keep it Holy. 

Ideas for The Sabbath 

  1. Have coffee/tea outside and just be in His presence. 
  1. Play Worship music and take a bath. 
  1. Take a nap!  (Yes, this is ok and even good!) 
  1. If you enjoy baking and it feels restful, make a dessert you enjoy. 
  1. Pull out the art supplies you have been wanting to use and talk to Jesus as you do it. 
  1. Take a walk in the woods. 
  1. Sit in nature and listen to the sounds of His creation.  Read a Psalm aloud! 
  1. Read a story about a long-ago Christ-follower. 
  1. If you enjoy exercise, and it relaxes you, then go sweat a little. 
  1. Watch an episode of The Chosen and then read the correlating scripture. 

Christi is a fifth generation Florida girl who loves the sand, the sea, and the sunshine! When she is not busy mothering her 6 children, she enjoys her garden, traveling, experiencing new cultures, and indulging in warm chocolate chip cookies while reading a good book or journaling. Christi is passionate about bringing women alongside her into a life of freedom in Christ, and does so by leading Beauty for Ashes Women’s Retreats. 

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September 14, 2021

Content in all Circumstances

Finding contentment in Christ.

By: Elisabeth Victoria Adams

We all struggle with discontentment. It creeps into our lives when scrolling Instagram, watching TV, or fellowshipping at Church. It begins with comparing, which leads to jealousy and dissatisfaction with the life God has given us. Discontentment begins to develop when we long for something God has not ordained. My pastor once said, “Complaining or grumbling is the overflow of a heart filled with discontentment, and the deeper problem of a discontent heart is that it is filled with habitual self-love and self-worship.” The issue is not our circumstances but our desires. What we desire is an overflow of our hearts. We see in the book of Ecclesiastes that we will never be satisfied with what we have. We will always be left longing for more until we find Christ.


Contentment is rooted in a thankful heart, and a thankful heart is developed by being content. In Philippians 4, Paul tells us that he has learned the secret to being content with much and with little—it is trusting Christ! He says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 NASB). We often miss the focus of this verse. Paul is not saying he has superpowers or that Jesus is his “good-luck charm.” No, far greater than that, Paul is proclaiming that he can endure all things because Christ is the one who strengthens him. No matter what is happening, we can always be thankful because of Jesus and what He accomplished for us on the cross. Jesus Christ is the one who sustains us and keeps us going. We can be thankful for trials because they conform us to Christ and teach us to depend on Him.


Paul also says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV). We learn contentment the best through our weakness and suffering because we learn to rely on Christ. His grace is sufficient! Those who are in Christ do not need anything else. Sometimes God strips away everything else so that we will focus on Him.


A Christian can be content in the worst situation because Jesus is worth more than anything in the world. Jesus satisfies the deepest longings of our souls. Ultimately, we will never be fully satisfied until we find our joy and identity in Jesus. We will always be left empty and searching until we come to Jesus. Jesus is more than enough. He satisfies the deepest longings of our soul. Is this not a reason to be thankful?! When discontentment and grumbling start creeping into our thoughts, we need to start thinking about Jesus.


Like joy, thankfulness is not just a feeling; it is a mindset and an attitude of the heart. In order to develop this mindset, we must think about Christ and count our blessings. Like any habit, thankfulness takes time and practice. A great way to start is by writing a thankful list or starting a gratitude journal. I suggest starting a journal to write five things for which you are thankful. Counting your blessings is the perfect way to counter-act discontentment. “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good” (Psalm 107:1 ESV). Another way to practice contentment is by serving others. Have you ever noticed that your problems begin to fade into the background whenever you start thinking about others? It brings us joy and happiness to help others.


Often, we are discontent because we have the wrong focus. Another practical way to fight discontentment is to stop complaining, drop to your knees, and turn your thoughts to Christ. We must transition from a “me-mindset” to a “God-mindset.” When we stop focusing on ourselves and start focusing on Christ, our whole perspective changes, and we find joy and satisfaction in Him.


Throughout Scripture, God instructs us to be content and satisfied with the life He has given us (Hebrews 13:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV). Do not be so consumed longing for the future that you miss the present with all God’s blessings. Contentment comes when we learn to enjoy the little blessings in life and be satisfied with all that God is for us in Christ. So, live in the moment, practice thankfulness, and find your satisfaction in Christ alone!


Elisabeth Adams is pursuing a Biblical studies degree from Liberty University and lives with her family near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She loves the Lord and desires to share her passion for Christ through creativity and writing. She is an artist and displays her artwork through Instagram and Etsy. She longs to grow her walk with the Lord and encourages other women to do the same, all for the glory of God. 

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August 19, 2021

3 Ways to Live Out “Thy Will Be Done”

By: Grace McCready

May and June were really hard months for me. I felt incredibly discouraged because I wasn’t able to find a job right after my college graduation in early May. For approximately eight weeks, I was unemployed. And that was hard.

I crammed my resume with as many work experiences, volunteer experiences, and relevant skills as possible. I applied to so many jobs that I lost track. I showed up to interview after interview with bright eyes and an eager smile.

But God kept closing doors.

God values hard work and perseverance, I thought angrily. So why is my hard work and perseverance being punished? When will He finally open a door for me?

I was technically offered a job or two during these months, but I turned them down for different reasons. I knew that they wouldn’t be a good fit for me. But I wondered what job would be a good fit for me.

God knew.

On July 1st, I got a phone call from a government contractor that wanted to hire me. I was thrilled! The pay and benefits package definitely excited me, and I started within a week of the call.

Just when I had been ready to give up, God worked. I should’ve trusted Him all along.

“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’” (Matthew 6:9-13 NASB)

Although you’ve probably heard or read this passage before, I wanted to include it as a reminder. When God is opening and closing doors in your path, it’s crucial to value His will over your own. There are many ways to do that practically, but here are just a few:

1. Wait.

If God closed a door that you wanted Him to open, it’s not wise to force the door open so that you can charge through. He doesn’t close doors on a whim; there’s always a reason. I know that the idea of waiting may be daunting, but God will equip you with what you need for the season of waiting ahead of you. Don’t be afraid to wait because waiting may be God’s will for your life right now.

2. Listen.

When submitting to God’s will, it’s helpful to gain perspective and insight from other Christians who love you and care about you. While I was searching for a job after I graduated from college, my parents encouraged me to be patient and not to settle for something that I hated. Of course, I knew that getting my dream job right out of college was unrealistic. But because my parents encouraged me to find a relatively enjoyable job, I knew that I could find a job that I still liked. And God provided that after a period of waiting.  

3. Persevere.

As much as you want to give up the fight, please press on. I know you may not feel like continuing to do the right thing. I definitely didn’t feel like continuing to apply for jobs or show up for interviews. But perseverance isn’t about our feelings; it’s about pressing on in spite of our emotions, questions, and doubts.

Living out the prayer “Thy will be done” is challenging for even the most seasoned Christians. Until we go to be with God in heaven, we’ll always struggle to put His will above our own. But His will, though it may be very different from ours, is always better.


Grace McCready is a recent college grad who studied business administration and communications. She enjoys writing, spending time with her family, and hanging out with friends. Her passion is for young women to live transparently and thrive during their single years. She blogs about the Christian life at Tizzie’s Tidbits of Truth.

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July 27, 2021

Summer Slumps

By: Erica Hunt

Like most teachers, I thoroughly love and enjoy my summer break. Just a few short weeks ago I was dreaming of the summer mornings when I could sit in the sun, enjoy rest, and, of course, spend more time in God’s Word instead of squeezing it in before the start of the busy day. I thought I would have so much time in the summer to read, reflect, pray, and prepare. Now that summer is here, I do have time, so much time! But these things are not happening.

I’ve noticed that with the slower pace of my schedule has come a gradual tapering of my focus and the time I spend in the Word. During the school year, I was diligent to start my day reading a couple of chapters, drinking my coffee, then spend a few sleepy moments of reflecting over the day before dashing to get out the door on time. But now that I essentially have more time during my day to spend in the Word, I don’t.

I have not totally neglected my Bible reading. I get to my quiet time eventually and start with good intentions, but often get distracted by other things, like the plans I have for the day or things I remember suddenly to do or grabbing my phone to connect with a friend. Thoughts of cleaning my house or taking care of my garden grab my attention and suddenly, I’m off and away.

Evidently, the excuse of “not having enough time” turned out to be, just that. An excuse. Why is it that often when we do have the time to spend in the Word, we still do not actually do it? I mean, we can talk about our human nature and spiritual warfare, which all factor into our battle for spiritual growth. But really, what is the deal? I would say that I love God and do want to spend time with him. I do want to know the Bible and spend time reading it. I know the utter importance of fighting for friends, family, and my daily needs in prayer. So then why don’t I? Why do I catch myself making mental lists and staring out of the window rather than in prayer or reading?

And if the lack of focused motivation is not enough to wrestle with, there are always the guilty feelings that bombard me when I realize I am not enjoying God’s Word, or I missed a day, or I scroll through my phone instead of praying…again. I fought for those moments with the Lord during the school year, prioritizing them over many other things. The laxity of summer brought the gift of time to my devotional life, but it seems that the lack of time was not my enemy, but my lack of self-discipline. The rest that a change in routine has brought in my life has been good, but I cannot let it usurp my time with the Lord.

I was encouraged by a little section in Psalm 119:25-32. The writer acknowledges he is struggling to be obedient to God’s commands. This paraphrase from the Message really resonated with my heart because I could relate to the disparity of my failure. It says:

I’m feeling terrible—I couldn’t feel worse!
Get me on my feet again. You promised, remember?
When I told my story, you responded;
train me well in your deep wisdom.
Help me understand these things inside and out
so I can ponder your miracle-wonders.
My sad life’s dilapidated, a falling-down barn;
build me up again by your Word.
Barricade the road that goes Nowhere;
grace me with your clear revelation.
I choose the true road to Somewhere,
I post your road signs at every curve and corner.
I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me;
God, don’t let me down!
I’ll run the course you lay out for me
if you’ll just show me how.

It is a comfort to know that the writer had days of struggle too. He was frustrated, tired, and looking for direction. Yet, in spite of these feelings, he reminds himself of the truth of God’s Word. He is open about his frustrations (and perhaps even a little dramatic) but he takes them to God. He is committed to following God and asks Him for understanding and wisdom. He posts reminders to himself and “grasps and clings” to the pieces of truth of who God is in his life. He acknowledges the need for God’s help in order to do all of this.

There will be periods in our lives where we will have to fight to have our time with the Lord.  We are not going to “feel like” getting into the Word all of the time. Just like sometimes we do not feel like making that meeting or going to church but have to overcome our current feelings and do what we need to do. Even if we are not feeling the desire to meet with God, that does not mean that He does not want us to come to him. The Lord desires for us to know him intimately, like a good friend. We often forget that in as much as quiet time is for our spiritual growth, it is ultimately for God. We do it for him, so that he may be glorified in our lives. The blessing of the gifts he gives, love, joy, peace, are all byproducts of his presence in our lives.

Soon, these slow summer days will suddenly speed up, I want to be ready and prepared when the busy days come. I want to be expectant when God shows me something. So even for right now, when it is a battle in my heart to spend the time with the Lord, I will continue to come to Jesus in order to know him better. I will continue to ask for wisdom, and not waste the time he has given. I will commit to running the course before me, praying that He will show me how.


Erica grew up on the South Dakota prairie, along the Missouri River. Growing up her parents introduced her to Jesus and taught her to walk in His way. She keeps busy teaching 7th and 8th grade students who keep her laughing and humble. Along with her love of the land she enjoys traveling, learning fun facts and historical information, and is always up for coffee, ice cream and a good conversation with friends. She and her husband, Justin, have been married just over a year and live in eastern South Dakota.

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July 13, 2021

Fasting

By: Jordan Sparnroft

You know when you’ve been eating a lot of processed foods and sugar and you can start to tell that your body is beginning to yell “Stop!”? Your body uses various means to share this message: fatigue, tighter-fitting-pants, feeling thirsty all the time, puffy face, acne breakouts, depressed moods, etc. Lately, I’ve been feeling like my soul has been giving me similar signals.

Intermittent fasting seems to be a common denominator in most up and coming diet plans. The research is astounding at how good it can be for our bodies. Depriving ourselves of food for 12-16 hours seems to stabilize our blood sugar and hormones, repair damaged cells, prevent disease, aid in weight loss, reduce inflammation, and improve brain function.

I’ve been noticing my soul giving me warning signs that I’ve been feeding it junk for too long.  I’m quick to be impatient, judgemental, selfish, and prideful. My conversations are full of gossip and complaining. My thoughts are dark, angry and self-absorbed. My soul has been bearing bad fruit and my flesh is becoming increasingly stronger than my spirit.
Just like I know when it’s time to detox my body from all the junk I’ve been feeding it, I know when it’s time to detox my soul.

God has been showing me that fasting and listening expectantly for/to His voice are lost arts. Neither have been a regular part of my relationship with God. I recently heard my pastor say that if you want to give your prayer life a boost, add fasting to the mix. When I then saw how often fasting is mentioned in the Bible in conjunction with waiting expectantly for God, and it became evident to me that this is important in following Christ. If Jesus was fasting and seeking His father expectantly, we should too.

Our hearts and minds get so polluted with self, noise from social media, TV, podcasts, ‘To Do’ lists, coveting and comparison that we have little to no room in our brains for God’s voice. Fasting and stillness before Him is an avenue God has given us to starve those parts of our flesh so that we might better hear and recognize His voice.

Because of all the noise, pollution, and clutter in my mind and heart, I’m starting to forget what it sounds like for Him to speak to me. I need to make room for His voice over the voices of others. I want to know what He is calling me to and my next steps of obedience. I want my heart to flow with love for others more than my self interest. I want to stop turning a blind eye of complacency toward my sin and begin grieving it as I should. I want the words of my mouth to pour out love, grace, and humility more than gossip, complaining, and comparison. I want to hear His voice and receive the dreams and visions of who and how He wants me to love each day.

Just like I need food to fill my belly with the nutrients and energy I need to survive, I need Jesus more. I need Him to fill my heart with the fruits of His Spirit so that I can love Him and others the way He has called me to.

Isaiah 58 tells us both why we should fast and all the blessings that result from fasting. He tells us that we will be more generous, humble, joyful, stronger in our relationship with God, break free from the strongholds of sin, see others break free from sin etc. I encourage you to read Isaiah 58 for yourself. It is encouraging to read the promises of God and how He blesses us and those around us when we fast in humility.

When we fast it should be Spirit led and ask God for His motives for asking us to fast. There are some things we should ask ourselves and of God before we fast:

Why?

  • What do You (Jesus) want to do in me during this time? Expose and heal sin? Show my next step of obedience? Reveal a dream or vision you have for me? Pray for something or someone very specific?
  • Make sure your ‘why’ is not out of spiritual pride or the desire to be seen by others or the lie of trying to earn the favor from God that you already have. Jesus warns against this in Matthew 6:16-18.

What scripture(s) do You want me to meditate on?

When and How long?

  • It doesn’t have to be anything intense, even if it’s just one meal a week or one day a week. Whatever you feel God is asking of you.
  • (*Disclaimer-you should ALWAYS consult with a doctor especially if you have medical issues before going on an extended fast*)
  • I would encourage you to start small, fast from social media, a TV show, caffeine, sugar etc.
    Instead of reaching for the remote and a snack after dinner and the kids are asleep, reach for your Bible and pray. Instead of grabbing that cup of coffee on the way to work and listening to a podcast, maybe just drink water and pray during your commute.

I’ve never fasted from food up until recently. There was one time I fasted from social media on Sundays to pray for someone specific. I had no idea what I was doing or anything about fasting other than it meant abstaining from food or something. I would delete all social media apps on Sunday and every time I went to pick up my phone to mindlessly scroll, I put the phone down and prayed for this person. Guess what? God moved. Even though I knew absolutely nothing about fasting, God still used what little I knew and honored my obedience and through that I also noticed a change in me. He changed my heart toward this person. He made me sympathetic toward them and gave me perspective into this person’s heart so that I could love them better.

As you fast, spend some of that time just listening to God. I was recently given the challenge to be still for 5 minutes a day before God and just listen for Him. Use the journaling or prayer space in your Quiet Time Companion to jot down what you hear him saying. It can be ANYTHING, even if you write down, “I didn’t hear anything.” Keep at it. Let’s see what God says and does in our time of fasting and listening for his voice expectantly. God is so gracious and He will teach us as we exercise this spiritual discipline.


Jordan grew up on a farm located in a small town in Virginia. She married her NY native husband 8 years ago. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Jordan was a professional mental health therapist. Apart from raising her 2.5 year old daughter with a complex medical diagnosis, Jordan also teaches English to kids in China online. Through numerous trials involving grief and loss she endured in her 20s, Jordan fell more in love with Jesus and realizes her need for Him everyday. Her passion for studying God’s word and knowing Him more deeply grows with each passing day.

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