The ULTIMATE Guide to Using Biblehub.com

 

The ULTIMATE Guide to Using Biblehub.com In Your Bible Study-3

Have you ever heard of Biblehub.com? I mentioned it in last week’s post on my favorite Bible study tools, but this week I wanted to expand on all the awesomeness this website has to offer! If you’ve ever wondered how to do an in-depth word study, topical study, or read Biblical commentaries when you don’t have a huge library at your disposal – this post is for you!

They explain their mission clearly on the Bible hub website:

Our mission is best summarized as follows:

1) Increase the visibility and accessibility of the Scriptures online.

2) Provide free access to Bible study tools in many languages.

3) Promote the Gospel of Christ through the learning, study and application of God’s word.

Now that sounds like a worthwhile mission to me!

So, grab your Bible, your notebook, and some pens and pencils. Then, open up a browser window and head on over to biblehub.com and let’s get started!

1. Navigate to a passage

Lets start out with something simple – finding a passage!

Biblehub Tutorial

To find a passage, you can use the drop down menus at the top of the page, but the easiest thing to do is just type what you are looking for into the search box in the top middle of the screen. Hit enter/return and you’ll be brought to…

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… your passage!

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Now, you can use the blue arrows on the side of the passage name or the circles on the outermost sides of the page to navigate to the previous and next chapters.

 

2. Search for key words

You can also use the search bar to search for key words, names, places, etc.

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Just type in the word(s) you want to search for and it will pop up with a list of verses!

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3. Find parallel verses and cross references

There are a few ways to find the page with this information…

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The first way is to type in the exact verse that you want to look up, both chapter and verse. If you just put the chapter number this will not work, it will take you to the page that shows you the full chapter.

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That will bring you right to this page! Again, you can use the blue arrows to navigate forward and backward through the passage. However, before we get into all the goodies located here, lets look at a few more ways to find it.

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For the second way, maybe you want to view the parallel versions of the whole chapter. This time, type the chapter you are looking for in the search bar and it will bring you to this familiar page. Next, click on the word “parallel” in the second (white) menu bar.

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It will assume that you want to see verse one, so to get back to the whole chapter, click the chapter link in the breadcrumb trail in the upper left corner.

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Voila! You can now read the whole chapter in different versions side by side.

Okay, lets look at one more way…

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For this third way, perhaps you have a general idea of where the verse is, but you don’t know the exact reference. First, search for the book and chapter in the search bar. Use the blue arrows to navigate around if you didn’t get to the chapter you were thinking of. Then, scan through the chapter until you find the verse you were looking for. To see the parallel verses, click on the blue number at the beginning of the verse.

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Yay! We are back here once again! Lets have a look around…

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Over to the left we have a nice long list of parallel verses.

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To the right you’ll find the verse in context. If you start scrolling down right below it you will see a list of cross references.

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If you continue to scroll down, underneath the cross references you will find the “Treasury of Scripture” which will break the verse down and find more related verses. These two sections are so handy to have when studying the Bible!

 

4. Do a word study

If you’ve always heard about the awesome practice of doing a word study but was never quite sure how to go about it – this section is for you! Biblehub.com makes it super easy to do an in depth word study.

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First, use the search bar to navigate to the verse that has the word you’d like to study.

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Like previously, there are multiple ways you can go about this, but this way is my favorite. Once, you’ve got your verse, click on the word “lexicon” in the white menu bar.

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Clicking that will pop you over to this handy little chart. It has the verse broken down along with the Greek (or Hebrew), the transliteration (aka the way we would spell the Greek word with our alphabet),  link to Strong’s, and a brief definition and origin. If you scroll down you will find a little more info at the bottom as well.

Next, you are going to want to find your chosen word in the verse and click on the blue Strong’s number in the fourth column.

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That will bring you to this lovely page! There is a lot of information here that you can explore, but I’ll highlight a couple of my favorite things.

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Over on the left side of the page you will find word definitions from different sources. My favorite is the HELPS Word-studies. It gives an in-depth explanation of the word in a way that is usually pretty simple to understand.

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Over on the right side of the page is a concordance listing. Here, you can find other verses that use the same word in the original language. This can be of great help to further understand the meaning that the author was intending when he used that word.

 

5. Use a concordance to do a topical study

Studying the Bible chapter by chapter, verse by verse is often the best way to really dig into the text. However, it can also be fruitful to do a topical study. When you take a topic like “love” or “justice” and follow it through the whole Bible your understanding can greatly increase.

There are a couple ways you can begin your topical study. One easy way is to enter the topic you are studying in the search bar, like we did in tutorial #3, bringing up a list of verses with that word in them. However, if you are looking for more information, try scrolling down to the “bible study tools” section.

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Once you are there, click on “concordance.” (“Topical” will get you the same place)

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Then, enter your topic in the “concordance search” box.

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That will bring you to the “topical search” page where it will break your topic down into sub-categories. Scroll through and click what you would like.

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That will bring you to this page which is full of info! You’ll find entries from dictionaries and encyclopedias, information on the original languages, books from their library, thesaurus and concordance entries, and a lit of subtopics and related topics. Whew! All that info right at your fingertips!

 

6. Access commentaries

Alright, now let’s look at some ways to access the many commentaries you can find on bible hub!

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First, there is a drop down menu on the top of the page that lists the commentaries and some different topics you can explore.

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For a more complete list of their commentary options, scroll down to the “bible study tools” section and click on “commentary.”

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That will bring you to this awesome “Bible Commentaries” page. If you scroll down you will find over 50 commentaries broken down into various categories and by book of the Bible.

Okay – let’s look at one more way to get to the commentaries. This time for if you are looking for commentary on a specific passage.

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Enter the passage you are looking for into the search bar on the main page. Then, click on the “comment” button in the white menu bar.

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That will bring up a list of all the commentaries they have starting with the first verse in that passage. Use the blue arrows on the left and right of the page to navigate forward and backward in the passage.

 

7. Chapter Outline

Sometimes it can be really helpful to have an overview of the chapter you are studying. Here is a quick way to find one!

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Using the search bar, search for the passage you want to outline. Then, on the bottom blue menu bar, find the little bitty outline icon (it looks like three rows of a dot followed by a line) and give it a click.

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Then, you’ll get a page with lists of the people and places and an outline of the passage. Everything is conveniently a clickable link, so you can easily find more information on the different topics.

 

8. Atlases

Using atlases to actually be able to see where the people and stories you are reading about are taking place can be very helpful. Let’s look at two ways to find some!

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On the main page, scroll down to the “bible study tools” section and click “atlas.”

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Type a name, location, or key word in the “atlas search” box. (I searched for “Moses”)

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Scroll through the results that pop up to find what you are needing…

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…and you’ll get a page with a nice map, plus a bunch of other helpful info!

Here’s one other quick way to get to an atlas…

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For this, just enter your passage into the search bar and right to the left you will see a couple related maps pop up! Click on any of them to bring up the page with all the additional information.

9. Parallel Gospels

If you’ve never used a parallel gospel, it is pretty neat! It takes the accounts in the gospels, arranges them in chronological order, and lines them up so you can see the same stories side by side. It’s especially helpful when you are studying a passage in one of the gospels and you want to see the same account from the other gospel writers.

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Just scroll down on the main page to the “Bible Study Tools” section and click on “Par Gospels.”

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That will bring you to this page. If you scroll down…

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…you will find the chronological list of the contents of the gospels.  Click on the topic you are looking for…

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…and it will bring up a page with the passages in any of the gospels they are found in!

10. Bible history timeline, Library of Christian works, Weights and Measures and More!

There is lots more to explore on Bible hub, but here’s a last few quick things!

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This timeline comes in handy! Especially when you are trying to sort out the order of events in the Old Testament. If you click on “timeline” under “Bible Study Tools” it will take you to a complete timeline of the Bible.

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huge resource they have is their library of Christian works! From the early church fathers, to Bible studies, to church history, and much more! Just click on “library” in the “Bible Study Tools” section to see the whole collection.

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I thought this was a neat feature – a list of weights, measures, etc. It’s a handy list for any unfamiliar unit of measure that you may run across in your studying.

Well, that’s all I have! There is definitely more you can discover on Bible hub, but hopefully that will get you started! Do you want to see more Bible study tutorials? Just let me know what you need in the comments below!

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Ready for an Old Testament Adventure?

 

 

 

My Favorite Bible Study Tools: 5 Simple Things to Help You Dig into the Text

My Favorite Bible Study Tools_ 5 Simple Things to Help You Dig into the Text

As Summer begins to come to a close and the new rhythms and routines of Fall come near, I am realizing that I have done a terrible job with personal Bible study over the last few months. So, as I prepare to get myself back in gear and (re)start some good habits, I want to share with you my favorite Bible study tools! They are nothing terribly groundbreaking, but they do a great job of helping you really dig into your Bible.

Here they are…

#1 A simple notebook

What kind doesn’t really matter. It could be a plain composition notebook, a journal, a sketchbook, or whatever. It just needs to provide a place to write down notes, prayers, verses and quotes, doodles, and whatever else you can think of jotting down.

#2 Colored pencils

I like using colored pencils over pens to write in my Bible or notebook because they are not quite as permanent. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the color bleeding through to the other side of your page. I just recently bought this Sargent set for my son as a step up from Crayola. They are really nice and I think I’m going to have to swipe them for my Bible study. 🙂

#3 Commentaries, word studies, Bible atlas, concordance, etc

While we do have quite a few commentaries and the like, I’m going to be honest, they don’t leave the shelf all too often. That is because my absolute favorite resource for studying the Bible is found in a super convenient place – online!

I love biblehub.com for pretty much anything you could need for studying the Bible. Commentaries, word studies, maps, concordance, different translations, devotionals – they have it all!

If you are looking to take your Bible study up a notch, I highly recommend giving this website a try.

#4 The Bible

Of course! Can’t have a Bible study without one of these important little books. 😉 For the longest time I used an NIV Bible until it was finally falling apart like crazy and I bought a new one. I had seen how popular Bible journaling was and I loved the journaling Bibles. So, I decided to buy an ESV Journaling Bible. I love it!

I’m definitely not one of those super amazing artistic Bible journalers, but I love having extra space for making little doodles or writing notes.

#5 A Bible Study Guide

Now, I definitely don’t think a devotional or Bible study guide is at all necessary to have a great personal Bible study. However, it can be helpful to have a plan and a little help as you dig into the text. Right now my personal favorite Bible study devotional is the “Journal and Doodle Through the Bible” series by Kari Denker. If you are looking for something new and fun that will also dig you deep into the text – look no further. Go grab her free Ephesians study right now! (I also reviewed Kari’s studies right here.)

Well, those are some of my favorite tools for studying the Bible. Are you getting ready to start a new study this fall? What are some of your favorite tools?

 

Affiliate links included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Steadfast Family.

7 FREE resources to start building a steadfast marriage today!

Are you looking for some great resources to help build your steadfast marriage? I always enjoy finding ideas and guides for building up my marriage, so today I wanted to share some that I’ve found recently. I’m excited to dig into some of these materials and I know you will be blessed by them too! And the best part is that they are all FREE!

7 FREE resources to start building a steadfast marriage today!

1. Intentional Conversations with Your Spouse {The Guide} by Your Intentional Family

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An intentional conversation is a dialogue between you and your spouse that will help open the flood gates of communication and uncover any issues that need to be addressed in your marriage.”

Are you looking for something to help start some meaningful conversations between you and your spouse? Check out this awesome resource from the Dutton’s at Your Intentional Family.

2. 40 Prayers to Pray Over Your Husband

More and more I am learning that real change and growth truly begins on your knees. I love this list of wonderful prayers to pray over your husband from Kaylene Yoder.

3. 30 Day Prayer Challenge for Your Husband

Here’s another great marriage prayer guide from ibelieve.com. On their site they describe the challenge:

Here’s how the challenge works. Every day for the next 30 days, you will pray in a specific way for your husband. Some days there will also be an opportunity for you to read a related article, or watch a short video. Other days you’ll be encouraged to journal or write down your thoughts about a particular marriage related prompt. Every day will also have at least one verse for you to study and pray over your husband.

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4. 36 Tips to Bring Sexy Back to Your Marriage by Sheila Gregoire

Need some Christian tips for how to spice up your marriage? Sheila never disappoints! You can read her blog post on the topic and then sign up for her newsletter at the bottom of the post to receive the whole (free) ebook!

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5. Simply One In Marriage

This is a neat website for marriage building that has a blog, couple’s Bible studies, ideas for fun things to do as a couple, and more! They have a whole list of free resources that are great for building your marriage.

6. Marriage Retreat Printable Guide from Embracing a Simpler Life  

Have you ever taken time away from the hustle and bustle of life to intentionally plan and dream what you want your marriage to look like? I think that sounds like a marvelous idea! Even if you can’t get away during this season of your life I bet this printable would still be able to guide you and your spouse in some great conversations.

7. Creating a Marriage Purpose Statement from Embracing a Simpler Life

Another great resource from Embracing a Simpler Life. I have never thought of making a marriage purpose statement, but that might be something we need to get on soon! She also has a great printable – 90 Date Night Questions!

 

What marriage resources have you found recently?

Our Preschool (PK4) Plan 2016-2017

Four Year Old Preschool Plan

Read last year’s Preschool 101 series here!

Last week I realized I should probably start figuring out some plans for the upcoming school year. As I was working on the plans, I mentioned to K some of the things I was thinking of, to which his reply was “I want to do school now!” So, long story short, we started school this week!

It’s a little early, but K is eager and ready, so I decided to go ahead and get started!

A couple disclaimers:

#1 This says PK4, but he is really doing K4 work. I debated back and forth whether or not to call this “kindergarten” but in the end decided to wait until next year to tell him he was officially a “kindergartener.” For us, the label doesn’t really matter anyway, he will always do whatever level he is at, no matter what “official” grade he is in currently.

#2 We are planning on a classical education/Charlotte Mason combo (with some other philosophies thrown in here and there), so that is what we are preparing for and working towards. Right now, that means keeping lessons short (10-15 minutes) in the Charlotte Mason style. It also means beginning to train the brain for a rigorous education by starting memorization and laying the foundation in math and phonics.

#3 A lot of the things I wrote last year (here and here) still apply. Our “official” lessons are only a small part of the learning atmosphere and will continue to be for quite some time I’m sure!

Now, on to what we’re doing…

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THE ESSENTIALS

Bible

After breakfast, Bible time is first on the agenda. I am currently still working on our Fall Bible study and I’m really excited to share it with you – so keep an eye out for that! 🙂

Reading

K has been reading simple phonetic words for a little over a year now and we have been dabbling on and off with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons for about that long as well. The goal this year is to consistently work through the book, hopefully finishing it. After that, we will probably take a break from formal phonics lessons for a while and just read.

Teach Your Child to Read is our core for phonics, but I also have some other things for K to work on as he has the interest. The first is Explode the Code Book 1, a phonics workbook. He’s also been reading the BOB books and anything else we can find on his reading level. Finally, we’ve been keeping track of the sight words he learns by writing them on paper train cars and posting them on the wall on his “sight word train.”

Under this category is also our read-alouds, something that I want to try and do a lot more of this year! After we finish Bible time, we like to snuggle on the couch while we do reading lessons and some read-alouds.

Math

loves math. I can already tell he has his daddy’s brain for numbers. We’re taking it slow to master the basics, but we’re doing math every day this year.

K is continuing to work through his math program from last year, MEP math (reception level). Although it still stumps his sometimes, it is getting a little easy so we are trying to work through it a little faster this year, about two lessons a week.

I wasn’t planning on adding anything more for math besides using manipulatives, lots of counting, and some math games, but his exuberance for math led me to rethink that plan.

My mom had given me the first two sets of Math-u-See, but I hadn’t planned on using it until at least next year. However, I brought the set of books downstairs to look over and gave K the placement test. He passed with flying colors! So, we are slowly slowly working through the Alpha level of that too.

Writing

At four years old, K is actually pretty good at writing since it is something he naturally took up on his own. Up until this point though he has just written freely, sprawling his words across the page. So, this year he is beginning to learn to write on lined paper. He still needs to work on his pencil grasp, so we are moving really slow.

He isn’t doing any formal penmanship program, instead he writes along with his other subjects. He’ll write a couple words out of the verses we are memorizing or in his science notebook, there is some writing practice in his Explode the Code workbook, and of course he still writes freely throughout the day when inspiration strikes.

4 Year Old Preschool

THE EXTRAS

Spanish

Learning Spanish together as a family is a big goal of ours… that we have thus far failed miserably at! So, we are back at it again this year. No formal program yet, just Spanish songs on youtube (we love Calico Spanish!), the Duolingo app, and learning some basic words and phrases.

Science

With science we are sticking with inquiry/project based learning. K shows interest in a topic, we load up on library books, and together we come up with projects and activities to do. So far, his interests span far and wide, so we haven’t landed on something specific to study first.

We will definitely be working in a lot of nature study as well. Another hand me down I have from my mom is the Christian Liberty Nature Readers set. I started reading book one to K during read aloud time and to my surprise it is one of his favorite books to listen to!

Art

Not a day goes by without some type of drawing or art project going on in our house! Even little J loves to scribble with markers! K has full access (with permission) to all the art supplies so he does a lot of creating.

Recently we have discovered Art for Kids Hub and he has been loving following along with all the drawing tutorials.

Everything Else!

There is so much more to do and learn, and I’m sure we will do a lot of dabbling here and there. We will stick to basics of reading, math, and a little writing – whatever else we take a fancy to is just icing on the cake!

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If I could go back and give advice to my engaged self… (#4 of 4)

If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self...

My little sister is getting married this Summer and it has got me thinking back to when I was preparing for my own wedding seven years ago. The excitement and the unknowns of it all. The first couple years of figuring out what marriage is all about.

The truth is, we’re still figuring out what this thing called marriage is all about, but if I could go back in time and share with my young(er) self my advice after seven years of marriage, I think I’d share four main things.

Today, I’d like to share the forth and final thing.

The trials you face will be some of the best things that happen-4

#4 Keep having fun together!

One of the best ways to feel connected is to have a good laugh together. It’s so easy fall into the routines and responsibilities of life and forget to make time to have a little fun. I’ve definitely noticed that our marriage feels strongest when we are laughing and being goofy together.

Here’s three simple ways to make it happen…

#1 Make time to just hang out

It seems simple, but it can be so easy in the busyness of life to let the days go by without making time to spend together. When my husband and I just hang out together, no matter what we are doing, we connect a lot through laughter and having fun together.

I will tell you this, these little people that call you mom and dad require a lot of your time and attention. Do what you’ve gotta do, get creative, but find time to be together, be intentional and have fun. We try to make use of the small pockets of time we do have – after the kids go to bed, in the car on the way to run errands, working around the house together, etc. You can’t have fun together if you’re never intentional about actually being together!

#2 Be silly together

I think one of the best things about marriage is that you have someone you can just be 100% you with. You can relax, let down your guard, and just be downright goofy.

Maybe it’s just the kids keeping us young, but we’ve got a lot of silliness going on in this house. Dancing to loud music, making weird faces, watching funny television shows, laughing with the kids, and yes, even some bathroom humor (lets face it, I’m outnumbered by boys!). My husband is great at this – he is one of the goofiest people I know. There’s good feelings all around when the whole family is laughing.

#3 When things go crazy – you’ve gotta laugh

A few months ago we took the whole family to one of our favorite pizza places for dinner. It is definitely fancy for a pizza joint, but the food is delicious so we had to stop when we were in town for a visit.

On the way there K, our four year old, starting complaining of a belly ache. We didn’t think much of it, because this is a common complaint for him, usually ending up being nothing. We figured he was probably just hungry.

As we got to the restaurant, settled into our table, and started making our orders it became more and more obvious that K was really not feeling well. We suffered through appetizers as K began to make more and more of a fuss. (Never mind you, one year old J was also pulling his usual restaurant shenanigans.)

I took K out to the car and he fell asleep, only to wake back up and continue his (loud) lamenting. After a brief argument over whether this was really a serious ailment or if he was just milking it, I finally insisted we get the rest of the food to go.

Then…as my husband finishes up our order and communicates to the waiter that we need our food to go… K vomits all over him.

The waiter took it all in stride (thank goodness we were seated outside!), we cleaned up a bit, and made our way home.

It was terrible. But in the end – all we could do was laugh. Because it was stressful and huge bummer, but it was also ridiculous. So, instead of continuing the tension and frustration, we just had to laugh.

Let’s face it, life can be absolutely crazy. There are a lot of good days, but there are also a lot of rough days too. Whether it’s just the busyness of life, or you are treading through difficult waters, sometimes a little fun and a good laugh goes a long way towards brightening your outlook on life.

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self-4

How do you bring laugher, silliness, and fun into your marriage?

 

If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self… (#3 of 4)

If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self...

My little sister is getting married this Summer and it has got me thinking back to when I was preparing for my own wedding seven years ago. The excitement and the unknowns of it all. The first couple years of figuring out what marriage is all about.

The truth is, we’re still figuring out what this thing called marriage is all about, but if I could go back in time and share with my young(er) self my advice after seven years of marriage, I think I’d share four main things.

Today, I’d like to share the third thing.

 The trials you face will be some of the best things that happen-3

#3 The trials you face will be some of the best things that happen to you.

I covered this a little bit under my second post of this series, but I think it bears digging into further.

You are going to go through some tough stuff. However, you’re not going to want to change a thing. Here’s three reasons why…

#1 It will force you to lean on each other

Going through these difficulties will really spur you on to develop a mindset of tackling problems together. This mindset will continue to help build and strengthen your marriage when you face problems both big and small later on down the road.

With the right attitude, the problems you face will do an amazing job of bringing you closer together. Sometimes one of you may have to do more of the heavy lifting, and sometimes there might be tension to wade through, but if you stick together you’ll make it through.

One more added benefit to this is that, in the future, when you are struggling with the big decisions of life, you will know that whatever path you take you will be able to make it through it if you’re in it together.

#2 It will build your character

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4

I hate to break it to you, but at the age of 21 you still have a lot of growing up to do. Just like our muscles don’t grow stronger when they aren’t used, that maturing is not going to happen unless your character is put to the test.

Both you and your husband will be stretched and molded by God through all these trials. Seven years later you will still be learning and growing every day, but by the grace of God, you will be much further along than when you started.

#3 It will draw you closer to God

Much like you must rely on each other to get through your struggles, you must even more so rely on God. You will learn that there are hurts and trials that only the Lord can be the strength to get you through.

Your faith and love for Him will be refined through the trials you face. He will truly become your Rock during these times.

Not only this, but looking back over your life, you will be able to greater realize God’s perfect plan for your life. So many things will not go the way you would have planned. Though you may grieve the loss of some of these plans, the joy brought from God’s will for your life will far outweigh that.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. – Proverbs 16:9

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self-3

What lessons have you learned through the trials in your life and marriage?

Stay tuned next week for the final installment in this series!

If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self… (#2 of 4)

If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self...

My little sister is getting married this Summer and it has got me thinking back to when I was preparing for my own wedding seven years ago. The excitement and the unknowns of it all. The first couple years of figuring out what marriage is all about.

The truth is, we’re still figuring out what this thing called marriage is all about, but if I could go back in time and share with my young(er) self my advice after seven years of marriage, I think I’d share four main things.

Today, I’d like to share the second thing.

Your attitude will affect more than you know

#2 Your attitude will affect more than you know

As a single person, your life has pretty much revolved around you. I don’t say that to mean you are a selfish, egotistical, brat – just that, especially the last three years, the main person your attitude and outlook on life has affected is you. 

Now that you are getting married, that’s about to change. 

Your attitude will affect not only how you see things, it will affect your husband, and someday your children. In the last seven years of marriage I’ve found that attitude is everything. Especially in these three areas…

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self

#1 Your Attitude in the Bedroom

I’m just going to come right out and say it – this area of marriage is going to be a lot easier for your husband than it is for you. I don’t know why, but this seems to be a common occurrence in marriage.

Your attitude can make or break this important aspect of your marriage. So, learn and grow and keep an open mind. I promise that the times that you decided to have a good attitude about it made marriage as a whole just that much better.

(If you are having difficulty in this area, I highly recommend the site To Love, Honor, and Vacuum)

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self

#2 Your Attitude when Facing Difficulties in Life

You are going to go through a lot in your first few years of marriage. Lots of moving, lots of craziness, and lots of busyness. There will be hardships and sickness, and yet also new life.

There will be some very hard moments.

The most important thing you can do is have the attitude of using these times to grow closer to God and closer to your husband.

Put away the “woe is me” attitude and tackle these problems together. Cling to God to be your strength. Do this and you will find that God used these times to refine your individual character and grow your marriage bond even stronger.

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self

#3 Your Attitude when Going about the Day to Day

You’d think that it would be these big trials of life that would cause the most stress on your marriage. However, you’ll come to see that’s not necessarily true.

Sometimes it’s easier to rally together to tackle the big problems. You know you’ll need to depend on each other, so that helps to drive you together. It’s when you have seemingly clear skies ahead that you’ll see you need to be on the lookout for problematic attitudes.

The day to day, mundane activities of normal life. The laundry, the dishes, the vacuuming, and did I mention the laundry? It’s when you settle into the comfortable routines of life and stop intentionally building your relationship. It’s in these ruts that we can so easily develop destructive thought patterns…

Why doesn’t he see I need help?

If he really cared I wouldn’t have to ask him not to do that.

I’m too tired for that.

I think I’d rather just do my own thing.

It’s these day to day attitudes that creep in without much fanfare that you have to watch out for. They can easily build resentment and distance in a marriage. Not to mention they don’t actually do anything to solve any real problems that might be there.

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self-2

Sometimes it may seem hard to change your attitude, especially when things are in a rough patch. However, I assure you, with God’s help, you can do it. I leave you with this admonishment…

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

 

If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self… (#1 of 4)

If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self...

My little sister is getting married this Summer and it has got me thinking back to when I was preparing for my own wedding seven years ago. The excitement and the unknowns of it all. The first couple years of figuring out what marriage is all about.

The truth is, we’re still figuring out what this thing called marriage is all about, but if I could go back in time and share with my young(er) self my advice after seven years of marriage, I think I’d tell myself four main things.

Today, I’d like to share the first thing…

#1He will mess up - forgive and love him anyway

#1 He will mess up – forgive and love him anyway

Have you ever heard this quote?

“A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”
― Robert Quillen

It’s true. Really true. You may think you’ve gotten to experience what it means to have to forgive your husband-to-be, but you’ve only just begun sweetheart.

You know the common saying, “nobody’s perfect”? Well, I’m going to tell you right now – that’s the understatement of the year.

Yes, no one is perfect. However, the truth is, it’s more than just not being “perfect”. We are all fallen sinners. We bring to our marriages baggage from the past, mixed motivations, sinful attitudes, and selfish actions.

Your husband is going to hurt your feelings. He is going to frustrate you. He is going to make stupid mistakes.

You think you realize this, but the truth is you won’t really see how your husband’s sin affects your life until you are in the daily trenches of doing life together as a married couple. 

Just like you have your own sin habits and struggles that you may never fully shake this side of heaven, your husband will too.

When you remind him for the 100th time to please stop doing that thing you hate, and when he comes to you apologizing once again for that thing that’s much more serious, your response must be one of love and forgiveness.

 

Responding with Love and Forgiveness

Why must you respond with forgiveness? Well, the first and most important reason is because God first forgave you. 

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:13

In Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus tells the parable of the unforgiving servant. In this parable a servant owed a great debt to the king and was to be sold into slavery because he could not pay his debt. He begged the king to have patience and give him time to pay back this debt.

The king had mercy on the servant and forgave his debt, setting him free. 

However, when the servant left, he found another servant who owed him just a small amount and, when he could not pay, the servant had him thrown in prison.

When the king found out he was not too happy. This is how the parable closes…

Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
-Matthew 18:32-35

Yikes.

Bottom line – when you think of how much God has forgiven you, it makes it a lot easier to keep on forgiving your husband.

Forgiveness keeps you humble

Speaking of the sin you have been forgiven of, having to remember this and forgive your husband is going to keep you a lot more humble.

It’ll be really easy to forget about your own sin when you see your husband’s. You don’t want to go down that path.

Forgiving your husband will help to guard you against becoming like the Pharisee who prayed while pointing a finger at the “sinner” and exalting himself.

The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
Luke 18:11

If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self...

Forgiveness brings freedom

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Lewis B. Smedes

When you hold onto your anger and your grudges instead of letting them go in forgiveness, it’s like locking yourself in jail.

When you forgive it brings freedom.

Freedom to love without wondering if he “deserves it.” Freedom to have fun and be joyful instead of being stuck with a hard heart. It gives you freedom to learn and grow alongside your spouse, moving closer together instead of farther apart.

When Jesus said that in this world we would have troubles (John 16:33), our marriages were not immune from that. However, you need to learn early on that these problems don’t have to take the wheel of your marriage.

Yes, address the problems and the sin. Yes, attack them together. Then, put those problems on the back burner and be free to love each other again – lack of perfection and all.

What advice would you give to your newlywed self?

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self

A Heart for Service Begins in the Home: 3 Areas of Service I Want to Instill in My Children

heart for serving 1

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness. -Philippians 2:5-7

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul describes Christ as taking the very nature of a servant.

The King and Creator of the entire universe came to us as a lowly, humble servant.

Repeatedly through the Bible we are called to think of others before ourselves and to act in service to one another.

It can be tempting (at least for me) to think of serving as being these big, grand acts, like being a missionary overseas, pastoring a church, feeding the homeless, making BIG sacrifices to serve in BIG ways.

While these are most definitely amazing things, the small, daily acts of service mean just as much – routinely putting others before yourself, the ability to find joy in bringing another joy, being humble and lifting others up.

Although there are many ways to serve, there are three main areas of service I want to instill in my children as they grow up in our family.

Continue reading my contributor post over at Intentional By Grace

A Heart For Serving Begins in the Home

 

Case of the Mixed Up Timeline (New ADVENTURE DEVOTIONAL for kids eBook!)

It’s here! It’s here! 

I have been working on this project on and off for the last year and a half. Writing, testing, editing, designing, and editing some more! I wanted to make sure it was the best it could be for you and your kids.

What Is It?

The International Bible Investigators
Case of the Mixed Up Timeline

IBI Case of the Mixed Up Timeline

If you joined us for the Summer Search for God last summer, then you have already been introduced to an adventure devotional.

I created the concept of an “Adventure Devotional” because most people, especially young ones, learn best through experiences. It is the things that we do, touch, taste, and feel that really stick in our memories. My goal with adventure devotionals is to bring God’s Word off the page and into life experiences that will stick with your children for years to come. The Case of the Mixed Up Timeline is no exception.

So what is it all about?

In this devotional, a villain named “Dr. H” has traveled back in time and destroyed the Timeline of Biblical Heroes. As a special agent, your child must travel back in time to complete the case files and set the timeline straight once again.

Each Biblical Hero has an incomplete case file and your child must solve the clues to discover the information on each Hero’s story. They then use that information to put the timeline back in order. Each case file also contains a “mission” – a hands on activity to further experience the story.

Untitled design-3

Included in the eBook is the following:

  • Parent introduction
  • Log book cover page and special agent badge printable
  • Letter to “new recruits”
  • 10+ pages of printable images needed to complete the cases
  • Printable timeline
  • 23 “case files”
  • Parent files with answers, activity ideas, devotionals, and Scripture references.

 

Ready for an Old Testament Adventure?

What Will My Child Gain From This Study?

The Case of the Mixed Up Timeline will provide your child with an overview of 23 of the main stories of the Old Testament. He or she will get to learn about and experience these stories in a unique, hands on way.

Not only that, but the parent files contain everything you need to further the discussion of these stories, bringing about a deeper understanding and personal connection. 

How Do I Purchase This Awesome Devotional?

Easy! Just pop over to the shop and in just a few moments you can start printing it out! And if you act quick, as a launch week special, you can get the entire adventure devotional for 50% off! That’s only $5!

Launch Week SALE

That means for only $5 you can get all the printables, 23 devotional “case files”, and the parent files. But grab it now, because this sale is for launch week only!

Buy it now!

launch week sale copy