Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

Wanna Join Me?

A dear friend of mine, Sarah, has teamed up with Katie Ferrell of Dashing Dish for a 30 day Fit SPIRIT challenge and I’m taking it!  Wanna join me?

It’s easy-peasy and uber rewarding – what’s not to love?

The challenge will be based on the SOAP method of bible reading.  SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer.

From Sarah:

Using SOAP as your guide to bible reading is a powerful way to make the Word of God come alive in your everyday life. It is especially helpful if you’re new to studying Gods word and need a place to start!

Before you begin, I highly recommend getting out a good old fashioned pen and paper to write out your SOAP. I promise you it will have infinitely more power than simply reading through the steps! And, as always before spending time in God’s word, I recommend praying! Ask Him to reveal himself to YOU on a personal level and to give you clear discernment to recognize His voice!

How does it work?

1.) Scripture: To begin you choose a scripture. We have provided a daily scripture calendar to guide you, but don’t feel limited by these suggestions. Let the Holy Spirit guide you if there is a verse He has for you each day! First, read the scripture verse. Because it’s kept short you can really study the verse. I would suggest re-reading it, using bible study apps to read it in several translations, look up the meaning of words to really gain understanding of their meaning. This is your time to really understand the verse.

2.) Observation: What did you observe about the scripture that struck you. This can be one sentence or a whole book.

3.) Application: How can you apply the observation so that it affects your life today? What is God revealing to you? How can you make His word alive and applicable through that scripture verse today?

4.) Prayer: Write out a prayer to God based on what you just learned and ask him to help you apply this truth in your life.


There’s a downloadable calendar with pre-selected Scriptures you can use but don’t be afraid to the let the Holy Spirit be your guide; just get in the Word!

You can find out more about Sarah’s heart and the group challenge here:

Who’s in??  Let me know!  Get out your journals and a good pen and let’s get more spiritually fit together!



Random Rambles

It’s Wednesday…and it’s felt a bit like a Monday.  Sawyer had Cubbie bear for the week and I needed to print pictures for his adventure journal.  Lo and behold, of the seven ink cartridges in our printer, light magenta was out so it refused to print a thing!  Is it just me or does it sound like the printer needs to learn how to compromise a little??

I saved the pics to my flash drive and loaded everybody up so we could go print them in town.  As I was buckling Wryder in his car seat I realized I didn’t have my keys, even though I had just locked the house door.  No biggie, I’ll get the spare key.  Oh.  Wait.  The spare is on my keyring because I lost the original.  *ahem*

I called Wrex and he told me the best place to break into the house (which I shall not divulge here).  I got in and went to grab my keys which I knew were on the kitchen table…but they weren’t there now.  I looked EVERYWHERE.  Trashcan…toy room…mud room…car…called Wrex to see if he had them…confirmed with Sawyer they were on the table.  At this point, I knew Wryder must have been the culprit.

I finally told the Lord that I had no idea where else to look and I asked for His help – novel idea!  I went back inside and I felt like I was supposed to put a bag of tortilla chips back in the pantry that Wryder had drug out (seriously, what is this kid’s deal with corn chips today??) and as I did, I thought they might be in there!  I looked where we keep the chips and saw nothing.  Just as I was about to shut the door, I saw a little glint by a bag of potatoes – my keys!

He cares, even about my keys…


So, back to Cubbie.  He go to spend the week with us and I had one happy girl on my hands!

He's home!

He’s home!

Cubbie even got to travel to Denver with us for the weekend and we made a stop at Krispy Kreme’s so he and the kiddos could watch them make the doughnuts!

Frying some doughnuts!

Frying some doughnuts!

Are they cute or what?

Are they cute or what?

When we got home, we had three day old baby chicks that they had to check out!  Cubbie even got to hold a couple!

Cubbie and his chicks

Cubbie and his chicks

Sawyer's favorite - Marshmallow Gravy

Sawyer’s favorite chick – Marshmallow Gravy

These two had a lot of fun together.  I’m sure she’s not ready to let him go but it’s time for another adventure with one of her classmates.


Our time in Denver was so special.  We got to spend some good time with the bestie and her family – always a good time!  The kids love playing with Baby Eva.



Eva's cheese!

Eva’s cheese!

My faves!

My faves!

It’s so fun to watch my kids play with my bestie’s kids.  It’s one of those things you kind of dream about and then when you get to watch it come to fruition, it’s a sweet, sweet thing.

We got to spend some time with the bestie’s extended family…which is our extended family.  Sawyer’s Cubbie’s lesson this past week was about how the Lord gives us family that aren’t always blood, and that’s exactly what these people are.  We may not be flesh of their flesh, but we are definitely family of the heart and soul and spirit.

He has been so faithful to do this for us…for me.  When everyone is scattered across the country and some homes have been broken, He’s been so faithful to fill those gaps with some of the most important people in my life.  I’m forever grateful…

Friday night, we celebrated family birthdays with them and it was just such a warm, familiar time.  Sitting around the living room as the evening wore on, I just sat there observing the circle of people around me and thinking, “I want this.  I love this.  THIS is family.”

There’s trust and respect and genuine affection…there’s easy smiles and belly laughs and warmth…I just wanted to freeze that moment for all time.

The grandkids organized a talent show of sorts and about four people in, Sawyer wanted to get up and dance for everyone.  While this is something she would do at our house for Wrex and I, our little introvert wouldn’t do that everywhere.  I LOVED that she felt safe enough to do so there; it was so telling.

Seriously, it was a good night.


I’ve been reading in Isaiah lately (one of my FAVORITE FAVORITE books) and this morning’s passage was so beautiful.

It was from Isaiah 65 and He talks about the new heaven and the new earth.  It says, “The former things will not be remembered,  nor will they come to mind.”

“Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days,or an old man who does not live out his years;”

“They will not labor in vain, nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them.”

I guess I had never read those verses before?? OR maybe they haven’t meant as much as they do these days. 

SOOOOOOOO often my heart longs for heaven.  Usually, it’s a selfish, please-rescue-us-from-the-madness-and-injustice-of-this-world kind of thing.  I’m not really ready to go without my family…I guess I’m just ready for Him to come and this new reign to begin.  And I think that’s a good place to keep my heart sometimes.  Not on this world…on Him and His heavenly kingdom…but it’s not always easy.

There will be a day…when all you’ve gone through…will be no more.  No more tears…no more suffering…no more heartache…no more bitterness…no more hurt…no more what ifs…no more…

Until then, I will attempt to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus…the author and finisher of my faith.


In case you missed it on Facebook this morning, my sweet boy was up to his usual food scavenging shenanigans.

I had just finished cleaning up from breakfast (in which he had two scrambled eggs with cheese, a piece of toast and a cup of milk) and sat down to help Sawyer with Cubbies when he came in munching on a taco shell.  What?!

I have no idea how he even got in the pantry, rummaged around and got one out of the box…or why he thought he was still hungry.

Regardless, how could you be mad at this sweet face?




Much Rejoicing

About a month ago, I felt like my Bible time with the kids had waned a bit and I woke up one morning just thinking/praying that I’d like to just find something to teach them some basic biblical truths.  I got online and searched for pre-school type devotionals and the Lord led me to one called Truth for KidsExactly what I was looking for, yes?

Now, some of it’s a little cheesy and the graphics are a little outdated and I’ve found a few spelling/grammatical errors, but the meat seems to be right on the money.  Every morning at breakfast, we’ve been studying these basic biblical truths and learning scripture and it has been a blessing to me, too.

A couple of days ago, we learned about how the Lord makes us a new creation once we choose to confess our sins and follow Him.  The little devotional talked about how in our sin, we’re like an ugly old caterpillar but when we accept Jesus to be the Lord of our lives, He transforms us into a beautiful butterfly.

At lunch yesterday, Sawyer was putting her dishes in the dishwasher and she started to say, “That ugly old…” and she caught herself.  I said, “Good catch, sugar.  We don’t say ugly.”

In the next second, we both thought of the caterpillar and we said, “Except for that caterpillar.”  I told her that in that instance, it was definitely ok to use ugly, because that is exactly how our sin is.  She said, “Yeah, I want to tell brother about the caterpillar.  And I want to ask Jesus into my heart.”   

I told her we could do it right then and there!  (I think I might have gotten a little too excited *ahem* because her shyness took over and she took a while finishing at the dishwasher…then she wanted her blanket…then she decided she just wanted to play).  I wasn’t going to force her into that decision so I just told her that whenever she was ready, Jesus was ready for her.

She came back about five minutes later and said, “I’m ready to ask Jesus into my heart.”

So we did!  We prayed together.  She said she was a sinner and that Jesus died on the cross.  She said she wanted Jesus to live in her heart and be in charge.  Then she said, “But I’m not going to change my mind.”

I asked, “Change your mind about what, sweetie?”  She said, “About being married and being a mom.  He can live in my heart, but I still want to stay here with you guys!”

She has been sooooooo concerned about that lately and I think she thinks the two are connected somehow; if Jesus is in your heart then you are/become a wife and mom.  How sweet is that?  We talked that through and she felt a lot better about it…even though we prayed about it again upstairs.  :)

I am such a joyful, proud momma this morning.  I am boasting in Christ, because every good thing about her comes from Him – of that I have no doubt.  She is leaps and bounds ahead of me in this life and I’m glad she is!  It will serve her well…

Thank you, Lord, that you give us the free will to choose you! 

Thank you that you forgive our sins as far as the east is from the west! 

Thank you that you want to be in relationship with us from a very early age. 

Thank you for what you’ve done in Sawyer.

Sweet girl, you will never regret this decision – I promise you that.  Your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and no one or no thing can revoke that.  I pray that satan does not steal the joy of your salvation and daddy and I join forces with you to push away his nasty attempts to distract and restrain you.  This is the beginning of a beautiful journey and I pray that you follow close to Him all the days of your life.  I pray that you call upon the riches of the Holy Spirit in you to guide your every thought and word and action.  Go take the Kingdom by storm, sweet girl! We are so proud of the wonderful little sweetie you are; you bless us!

Sweet Sawyer, seconds after asking Jesus into her heart...

Sweet Sawyer, seconds after asking Jesus into her heart…

*****If any of you reading this have questions about following Christ or confessing sin or what He did on the cross, please don’t hesitate to shoot me a message or comment and I’ll be glad to help answer those.  It’s a life changing decision to be an heir with Christ…one you won’t regret!*****

Random Rambles

Well hello, September.  What did you do with August?? 


Tonight is the kickoff BBQ for Cubbies!  There’s a little someone around here that’s awfully excited.

Cutest Cubbie I know!

Cutest Cubbie I know!

She’s been going through her book from last year and teaching Wryder the verses.  I love this program and how it fosters a love for the Word of God.


We started “back to school” yesterday.

Makin' A's...

Makin’ A’s…

Last year, I did a preschool curriculum with Sawyer that I’ll continue this year.  This girl loves to learn; has since she was a little tyke.  (She knew all of her shapes, including a trapezoid before she was two!)  We don’t go at it hard and we only do four days a week, but it’s amazing what you can accomplish in an hour.


Wryder has recently discovered he might actually like books…which is good, because we have a few. :)

Who doesn't love to read?!

Who doesn’t love to read?!

We are doing some serious rejoicing over here!

He’s on the go all the time and sometimes we force him to sit with us and read a little book, but it’s definitely not his favorite thing.  He came across a farm book and it’s spurred his interest, praise the Lord!

He loves to stand in front of the book shelves and point and say “book, book.” We’ll get him a book and he’ll take it to his little desk and read.  Seriously?  It’s adorable.

Tractor in hand, still...

Tractor in hand, still…


Wrex’s paternal grandparents recently celebrated their 60th anniversary.

On their wedding day...

On their wedding day…

How incredibly cool is that?!  The family is hosting a party for them later this month because THAT is worth celebrating, yes?!

If you know and love the Phipps’, please join us!


We’ve been soaking up these last lingering days of summer as they get noticeably shorter.

Sorting imaginary cows...

Sorting imaginary cows…

Digging with spoons...

Digging with spoons…

Dads make trampolines more fun...

Dads make trampolines more fun…


These little sweeties are growing like weeds!

Brenhem and Berwick

Brenhem and Berwick

I can’t wait to get my snuggle on with them in a couple of weeks.  Seriously, how cute are they?!


I better get a move on…I’ve got little fingers to paint and lessons to teach and lunch to make and hair to do.  All in a day’s work for a momma…and I love it!

Random Rambles

It’s overcast and cool out; my soul is begging for fall!  This has been such a mild summer and I have very little tan left on my arms and legs…might as well call it and hide them under sweaters and jeans, right?!  Come on, fall…


Wryder’s namesake and great-grandpa is turning 85 this year and I have the distinct honor of providing decor for the grand event!  I’ve got about 10 projects half done and quite a few *ahem* that I have yet to embark upon.  For some reason, this overcast weather makes me uber-productive, so I’m hoping to take advantage of that today.  I’ve already got these bad boys in the dishwasher…

A few spoons

A few spoons

Stay tuned for a DIY this week!  Maybe that will REALLY make me get it done this week…


Our church cleaned out their library and had tables of free books for us to peruse this past Sunday.  For bibliophiles, it was hard not to take them all, but we decided upon these:

Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories

Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories

These are the sweetest little stories that discuss character and wise choices and how the Lord would prefer us to live.  They’ve been a fun edition to our daily readings and we highly recommend them if you can get your hands on a set!


I missed my kiddos terribly while I was at jury duty last week so we’ve tried to make up for lost play time with LOTS of playtime.  I must say, I have the cutest playmates of anyone around.

My little party planner

My little party planner

This girl throws quite the party and this little guest sure makes them fun!



It warms my heart how well they get along.  I’m sure those feelings for each other might change and evolve as the years go on but I hope they only intensify amorously.  It’s so cute to see them interact together and greet each other in the morning and give random hugs and pull each other close to sit…



I wish I could say this attentive shot was during our family devotions…but I was letting them watch “Let it Go.”  *ahem*  Maybe I should start theatrically singing all of our Bible lessons…


I don’t know about your kids, but Sawyer is a lover of rocks!  Every parking lot/driveway/restaurant/farm/house/business/ we visit, she finds at least one to add to her “collection.”  Wrex was cleaning out his pickup last night and found a stash under her seat.  He brought them in and she put them in a little baggie and showed them to us and said, “These are so I can remember all the places I’ve been.”

It was completely cute and completely heart melting.  We talked to her about how incredibly Biblical that was.  Over and over in the Old Testament, stones are placed at significant places of significant happenings so that when people saw them, they would remember what transpired there…they would remember the faithfulness of God and what He did.

That’s sort of what this blog is; a giant rock of remembrance for me and my family.  He has done so much for us and I don’t want them to forget where all of this good comes from.

I don’t think I’ll be forgetting her and her rocks anytime soon.


If you’re not familiar with Angie Smith, you should be!  She has quite the story, the best red hair, an adorable self-deprecation and I swear she’s my sister from another mister…or something.  Her latest book, Chasing God, is on sale today for $0.99 (Kindle edition) at Amazon.  I haven’t read it yet but if it’s anything like her others, it will be worth the buck.  Bought and downloaded!  


All right, I better hop to it!  The coffee cup is empty, the play tent is set up and the natives are growing restless; time to camp and then create!  Enjoy this cozy day!



Life in the Light

We fell in love with this place at dusk and it’s still my favorite time of day here…



While we were out doing chores tonight, Wrex called me into the hen house.  We’ve had a momma sitting on eggs for a while now and he decided to check in on her.  We have some roosters so there was a good possibility that she would hatch some chicks.

We got out the cell phone flashlight to take a peak…

Is anybody home?!

Is anybody home?!

We found a pleasant, awe-inspiring surprise!

See the baby?

See the baby?

How awesome is that?!  We could even see him/her moving around inside that amniotic goodness.

Isn't it cute?!

Isn’t it cute?!

I so clearly see the hand of the Lord IN His creation.  Tonight was no exception…

Thankful to live in rural America…

Thankful to be surrounded by life…

Thankful He reveals Himself to us…

Random Rambles

It’s 6:45 on Friday morning and I’m sitting in bed, blogging and eating a banana.  Apparently, the letter of the day is ‘B.’  I kid, I kid.

I mowed and burned tumbleweeds yesterday and my sinuses are paying for it today.  Ugh.  Wrexy left for work around 5:30 and I was up popping Advil, allergy medicine and Sudafed.  At this point, I think I might survive the day.


We’ve been working on our basement this week.  Our house is 100 years old (no really, it is) and we have an outside storm cellar/crawl space that we’ve been wanting to get situated for a while now.  You know that I’m hoping that the severe weather season is a mild one, but in case we do have to spend extended time down there, it would be nice to have a clean, clutter-free space.  Wrexy framed in a room, installed a door, put up new lights, and we’ve been shop vac-ing 100 year old dirt for days.  It’s gone a lot faster than I thought it would and we’re about done!


Sawyer has recently taken a liking to “chip tacos,” also known as crunchy tacos.  (She likes mexican food of about any kind, especially chips and salsa – girl after my own heart!!)  We cooked some up for lunch yesterday and I made some pinto beans to go in/with them.  I put her beans in the bottom of her taco and as she was eating her taco from the top down, she noticed them in there.

Sawyer: “Oh, look – beans!”

Stef: “Yeah…it’s like a little bean family in a canoe!”

She played/ate her little canoe (what was left of her taco shell for a while) and then I hear…

Sawyer: “There goes momma!”

I look up to see what she’s talking about…and it’s the beans!  She grabs two more and says, “Come on, dad, let’s go together!”  And another and says, “Wait for me guys!”

She was totally giving life to the bean family and it tickled me to no end!  She’s a funny girl!


While mowing yesterday, it was a little breezy.  Every time I headed north, I found myself huddled down in my sweatshirt and when I turned south, I reveled in the soaking warmth of the sunshine.  I found myself saying, “I just want to face the sun…”  And boy, do I.  I want to live a life facing the SON; I want to keep my eyes fixed on Him.  I don’t want to be shaken or moved or distracted or pulled elsewhere…I don’t want the world to speak to my soul louder than Him.  I want all Him, all the time…..


Wryder is such a funny little guy.  He really does bring us so much joy!  He is into everything and it is so fun to watch his mind work and explore and figure things out.

The other day, he had it in his head that this cat was real.

Look at those eyes...

Look at those eyes…

You could just see it in his eyes!  He finally finished up lunch and I let him touch it and he was shocked…and a little pleased.  We definitely have another animal lover on our hands.




He got several toy trucks for his birthday and he loves to play with them, of course.  I found this construction vest at a garage sale this weekend and I think he looks adorable in it!

What a sweetie!

What a sweetie!

He had so much fun dumping legos…until about 12:45 and then he was ready for nap!

Please let me in!

Please let me in!



Sawyer was, and is, a fantastic sleeper but Wryder takes the cake!  Kid naps for 4-5 hours a day and sleeps 13 at night – woooooo hoooooo!  (I know, I know…I should never complain about being tired…but I am…and I do…)


Today is “fun Friday” but I really have no (firm) idea what we’re gonna do to make it “fun.”  I suppose we better start with breakfast…I hear little bodies a stirring.

Happy Friday!



Until Next Year, Cubbie Bear

 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.     Deuteronomy 6:6-9

I am a lover of Jesus and believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God.  It is completely whole, lacking nothing, and it is the foundation for which my family and I base our life and make decisions.  As followers of Christ, we have chosen to stake our lives and our futures on the fact that we believe in Him and His word and we receive His gift of salvation…not because of anything we’ve done (or will do) but because of His graciousness.

In so doing, I’m also in love with His Word (which is also Him).  A Bible teacher once told us that “time IN the word was time WITH the Word.”  It’s timeless and true and it’s pages overflow with the love and wisdom and grace and mercy and justice of Jesus.

Sawyer loves to “read” her Bible and it delights my soul!  She’ll sit and repeat stories and lessons she knows to me or Wryder or to herself.  Sometimes they get a little discombobulated but that’s ok…I have no doubt that the Lord is delighted with her love for His word.

We’re big fans of the Awana programs and Sawyer’s been a member of Cubbies this year.  Last night, she had her Cubbies award ceremony and it was so heartwarming to see so many kids who have taken the time to go through these programs and hide the Lord’s word in their hearts.  Some of these kids come from non-Christian homes and some from homes where parents don’t have the most intimate relationship with the Lord, yet they work to memorize Scripture together.  It’s a beautiful thing…

Getting her Appleseed award!

Getting her Appleseed award!

These leaders and teachers take time every week to help these kiddos grow in their relationships with the Lord by helping them learn Scripture and apply it to their lives.

With her leader, Ms. Rochelle...

With her leader, Ms. Rochelle…

Goo Goo is definitely leaving a legacy of the fear of the Lord with her family...

With Goo Goo, who is definitely leaving a legacy of the fear of the Lord with her family…

Cubbies has been a huge blessing to our family and I pray that if you are in area that has an Awana club that you would sign your children up!

One last hug until next year...

One last hug until next year…

Sweet Sawyer, I pray your love for the Word and your love for Jesus never waiver…that your thirst for His truth would never be quenched.  I am so incredibly proud of all you’ve accomplished and learned this year.  You inspire me to dig deeper and memorize more.  I love you, sweet pea!

Easter Advent: Sunday

He is RISEN, friends!  He carried our sin and our shame and our death to the cross and the grave and it is no more!  He is so worthy of our love and our allegiance.  I pray you have had a blessed Easter Sunday worshiping our Savior together!


Easter Advent: Saturday

Busy days and bad internet connections have made me a bad blogger.  Forgive me.  Regardless, I pray your Easter weekend has been full of Jesus and full of those you love and who love you back!

Buried in a Tomb

Read: Verses in activity below or Matthew 27:57-66    Mark 15:33-47    Luke 23:50-56

Do: Make resurrection rolls!

Ingredients: Supplies:
1 cup pecans Ziploc bag
1 tsp. vinegar wooden spoon
3 egg whites wax paper
pinch of salt cookie sheet
1 cup sugar tape

Preheat oven to 300oF (this is important to do before you start the mixing).

Place pecans in Ziploc bag and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break them into small pieces.  Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Romans soldiers.
Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into a mixing bowl.
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink.
Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life.  Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.
Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.
Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read Luke 23:27.

So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.
Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet.
Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid.
Read Matthew 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.
Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed.
Read Matthew 27:65-66.

Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnightJesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.
Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! He is risen!
On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Read Matthew 28:1-9.

Pray: Thank you for bringing hope to the world!  Thank you for loving us!  We worship you!

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