Thursday, March 24, 2016

Happy Easter!

Dearest Friends, as we head into this precious weekend of remembering Christ's extravagant work on the cross to save us, may you be blessed with the knowledge that Christ is risen, draw comfort in the truth that our sufferings are temporary, and rejoice in the miraculous hope of a risen Lord! 

Happy Easter sweet friends!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Staying Motivated

Sometimes going back to everyday life after all the excitement of the holidays is challenging. The newness of 2016 is over and now it's back to school, back to everyday chores, and back to normal life. I used to try to start out every year with ideas of what I wanted to accomplish. Hoping to work harder, to get more done, to be a better person. But after a while the newness wears off, life gets busy and soon I don’t feel like using energy to do my best, even in the little things. The other day I read that about 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions and that only 8% of people actually keep them. I guess a lot of people have the same problem!

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. God has given us in His word everything we need for “life and godliness” and the scriptures mention over and over how to live a fruitful life.  Here are a few verses that I have come to love that encourage me to strive to do my best.

Do it in Christ - “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in Him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5) We can do nothing apart from Him. We can have good intentions and good ideas. But if we really want to make a difference it has to be in Him. Spending time in His word and in prayer is a vital part of our relationship with Christ.

Do it for God’s glory - "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31) My life is not my own and when I am doing things for God’s glory it gives me a special desire to do my best.

Do it Joyfully - "The Joy of the Lord is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10)  Whatever you set your hands to do, do it in joy! Joy can only be taken away if our focus is in the wrong place. Knowing what God has done for me through Jesus Christ gives a peace and joy that really does give strength to carry on even when I’m tired. 

Do it Willingly - “Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…For I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you.” (Matt 20:26-28, John 13:15) A lot of doors are opened just by being willing to serve others. I’ve read books about missionaries and heard so many stories of people that had a huge impact for the gospel by serving those around them.

Do it Faithfully - “The one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much.” (Luke 16:10) It might seem that the tasks are little and insignificant, but maybe God is using them to prepare us for something greater. Be faithful in all things!

My prayer for all of us is...
 “That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and long-suffering with joy.” Colossians 1:10-11

We here at Grace Engaged have been so blessed by Hannah's blog contributions and the entire Wissmann Family's love and devotion to the Lord. If you would like to connect with them, view their schedule of concerts, or purchase their music (which we highly recommend), you can connect with them at their website, on instagram, or on their Facebook page. Thank you Hannah for your beautiful blog post contributions this year! You are a blessing!! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Monthly Scripture Memory Program: March (Hebrews 13:9)

As we shared in September, one of the heartbeats of Grace Engaged is the scripture memory program that we hope y'all will join in with each month! Each school year we will be picking one "theme" to look at in scripture and for the 2015-2016 school year we have chosen "grace" as our theme. For the month of September we memorized a portion of 2 Corinthians 8:7 and for October we memorized a portion of Ephesians 2:8. For November we memorized Hebrews 4:16 and for December we memorized John 1:14 and in January we memorized I Peter 4:10. For the month of March we are memorizing a portion of Hebrews 13:9 that states; "Your strength comes from God's Grace". 

One of the things that we are passionate about here at Grace Engaged is encouraging ladies to know that we have a Savior who not only loves us big and beautifully but one who is fully involved and present in our lives and pours out His lavish love on us each day.

These past two months things have been quiet around the website and here on the blog. We appreciate your patience as several of our team members (and myself included) have been dealt some difficult life circumstances, including deaths in the family, illness, difficult relationship issues, and several other personal issues. In the midst of all of these circumstances we are seeing more than ever the wonderful blessing of grace in our lives. We see how our strength for the daily battles and issues that we face are able to be faced because of the Lord's strength. In our brokenness we are driven to the Lord and to His faithful and loving grace. 

As we celebrate Easter this month we are beyond grateful for the Lord's grace in our lives. We are praying for you dear friends and we appreciate the way that you have lovingly understood our struggles these past two months.

Happy March friends! May you be encouraged as you memorize this verse and may we all see the beautiful grace of God in our lives in fresh ways in the days ahead!