HWIOH: 1 Peter Challenge - We Did It!!

*Drum roll please* We’d like to thank all those who have been a part of our “His Word in Our Hearts: 1 Peter Challenge” throughout this past year! :D We made it!! What an amazing journey it has been, hiding God’s Word in our hearts, working each week to memorize the verses, and learning from our weekly topics here on the blog.

We’d like to thank our participants:

1. Miss Rachel
2. Miss Julia
3. Rachelle Rea
4. Sarah H.
5. Nela @ “ Beloved Star”
6. Rose H.
7. Melinda
8. Annie Joy
9. Hannah Louise @ ‘ Reflections of Hannah Louise’
10. Esther
11. Lucy
12. Jessica P.
13. Grace
14. Faith Grubb
15. Abby Y.
16. Katherine
17. Emily Rachelle
18. Maria Elisabeth
19. Lucy S.
20. Joanne Bischof
21. Rachel Diane
22. Christina B.
23. Emily Grace
24. Esther

Ladies, it’s been such a pleasure and we pray that the Lord greatly used this challenge in your lives this year. Whether you memorized all or only some of the verses, God promises to use all that we learn and hide in our hearts to create change and growth in our walk with Him every day. :) 

To be honest: While I had plans to memorize all 5 chapters, I was only able to memorize a little over 1-1/2 of those chapters. There were circumstances that arose this year, and yes there were days I was not faithful in working on my verses. I could beat myself up about it but you know what…God’s not a task master! Did you memorize one verse…two…a chapter, or even all the verses in First Peter? That’s wonderful! Sure, those of us who didn’t complete all the goals we had at the beginning of the year may need to work a little harder at our dedication in sticking to our goals (*wink*), but God says His Word won’t return to us as void (Isaiah 55:10-11) - He’ll use it! Every bit of it! :D

Ladies, the purpose of this challenge this year was not so we could say, “Look what I can do!” No, it’s so that by hiding God’s Word in our hearts, we can know better the character and will of the Lord and His purposes for us. 

I may not have memorized all the verses, but I certainly learned a lot this year and I bet you did as well! :D God’s been helping me to apply all that I’ve memorized and He’ll continue to use those verses throughout my lifetime to teach me many more things. I’ve also learned to be patient with myself, knowing that God’s still working in me and changing me. I’m not perfect, and I don’t always meet my goals as I’d like to, but God has a purpose in all things and understands my failings and guides me back when I lose my way. He’ll do the same for you!

We’re not here to just quote scriptures to each other, but to put into practice all that we have learned through the Bible this year. 

So whether you’ve memorized a lot or a little this year, make it your goal to apply all that you’ve already learned. Keep going and memorizing! Don’t stop here! I plan and hope to continue memorizing through the remainder of First Peter into next year…you can too, or you can pick another book or other scriptures and dedicate yourself to hiding even more of God’s precious Word in your heart. :)

It’s been an adventure, and we have so much more planned for next year here on the blog! Each year is another one in which to be excited about the journey of life God has each of us on as we learn and grow in the Lord individually and together. :) We’re so glad each of you, our sister’s in the Lord, are on this journey with us!

May the Lord bless and keep you and guide you in the year ahead!

Love in Christ,
~Miss Rachel {And the MOHL Ladies}~

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A Petition For Peace

Written by Miss Rachel

“Peace, Peace, 
My Saviour gives me peace
When I’m crushed by the weight of my soul
His precious hand will guide me
And He will safely hide me
In the shelter of His loving arms

Peace, Peace,
How I love His perfect peace
As I trust Him I’ve no need to fear
In my Father’s hands I can rest
For He knows what is best for me
Peace, He gives me peace.”
{“Peace” Christy Galkin}

The holiday’s are here, rushing here and rushing there. So many things to see and do!

In the midst of all the chaos, Jesus whispers “peace” to me.

“Peace? What is that?”, I say as I brush it aside. “I’m busy, I have so much left to do!”

But it’s not just during the holiday’s He cries for our attention, for aren’t we always being distracted by some thing or other that takes our focus from Him? :(

Why is it only at Christmas we remember… “Oh yeah, there’s this little thing called peace“?

Peace comes when we shut the world out - just stop listening to it - and listen to that still, quiet voice of the Lord!

I’d like to challenge you the next few days (make it go as long or as short as you’d like):

Turn off the loud music. Turn off the tv. Don’t read any fiction. Don’t spend time on social networking sites like pinterest, facebook, and twitter. Get away from it all for a time and instead, spend some more time with God!

Read that devotional book you’ve been meaning to get around to…spend time with your family playing a game for a change…really take time to enjoy the moment. Choose and memorize a verse or two and/or take time to dig deeply into God’s Word. Spend time in prayer - how often do we speed through a list of requests and not take that time of “communion” with Him? :(

We won’t get today back again so we need to make wise choices that will please our King and use our day for His glory and our good!

 I admit I don’t do it enough. I’m constantly filling my mind with to-do lists and entertainment.

How much of it is really important when compared to eternity…if we’re honest.

I don’t want to be so filled with the world and it’s philosophies that I’ve forgotten what God’s told me to do.

I don’t want to be so filled with the world’s noise that I become weary and burdened down with a load I was not meant to carry.

I like the way the Message Bible puts this verse as I tried to get a new look at it’s meaning…

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” {Matthew 11:28-30 MSG}

To me that sounds like a vacation! ;) Isn’t that why we take vacations - to get away from all the noise? It’s like God’s saying every time you spend time with Me, I’ll give you some of that peace and rest you’ve been longing for.

When His peace fills our hearts, He gives us the strength to face a new day with confidence (confidence in Him!) and without fear or burdens. He teaches us how to rest.

Are you willing to stop listening to the noise? 
Will you join me in seeking that peace?


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Peace? Where?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

Peace often seems so elusive, especially during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. We sing the songs about peace, but we feel anything but peaceful. The songs and ornaments seem to taunt us us with their false promises of a relaxing season.  Is there any way to reclaim that peace this time of year?

One of my favorite stories about piece is one my dad told me a long time ago. It all started with an art contest where artists were asked to paint peace. Many scenes of serene beaches, misty woods, and clear pools were shown to the judges. The winning picture shocked many people because, at first glance, peaceful was far from describing it.

The painting was of a roaring waterfall where the water fell many stories down a churning pool. Jagged rocks sick out of the pool and the surrounding landscape is full of slippery rocks grass beaten down by the never ending torrent of water. One thing stands out though; a tree, growing out of the side of a cliff. One of its branches hands over the churning pool, and on this branch, if you look closely is a nest with a mother bird sitting on her eggs. In the midst of all the churning, roaring waters, despite the danger of hanging high in the air, and even with the constant dripping of water, the mother sits on her nest.

The painting is a wonderful illustration of what peace truly is. It isn’t a lack of chaos but rather the knowledge that, in the midst of everything, God is in control and has not left you. It isn’t about what is going on around you, it is about what is going on inside of you.

You may feel right now overwhelmed with all the things on your to-do list, take a moment to think about what God has already accomplished. Are you feeling crushed by life’s circumstances? Remember that Christ was also a man who knew suffering and will never give you more than you can handle. Do you feel like you are hanging on by a thread? Be still and know that God is with you always, even when he seems far away.

I pray that this Christmas, no matter what is going on in your life, you will know the peace that surpasses all understanding.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 NIV

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives

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Unlikely Tools

written by Rachelle

“After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel.” 
Judges 3:31 (NIV)

Shamgar’s story is told in just one succinct verse, yet his incredible feat shines from the pages of Scripture as a testimony to what God can do with a willing heart. I count Shamgar as one of God’s unlikely heroes because the odds screamed that he could not possibly survive the battle, much less win it.

Yet that is exactly what he did.

Shamgar’s name means “sword,” but he didn’t strike down six hundred of Israel’s worst enemies with such a sophisticated tool.

Instead, he accomplished this stunning act of valor with a humble, crude oxgoad, sort of a shepherd’s staff for cattle. During Shamgar’s lifetime, the nation of Israel suffered the cruel control of its enemies. Thus, their fighting men weren’t allowed to possess weapons. No sword was available for Shamgar, this man named Sword.

So he used what he had.

Just as God used this unlikely man to bring about victory for His chosen people, He wants to use you, as unlikely or unsuitable or unprepared as you may feel, to bring glory to His name. 

All that is required is a willing heart.

What unlikely tool has God given you? Could God want you to wield your paintbrush, your pen, your smile, or your ability to teach against insurmountable odds?

1 Peter 4:10-11, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.” (NIV)

Take up your oxgoad today and face your Philistines, trusting that the God who has called you to the battle will infuse your unlikely tool with His strength and power. Remember Shamgar and how he stood fast. 

If a guy named Sword can use an oxgoad to save his people, you can triumph at the task the Lord is asking of you!
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I Am Not Ashamed, I’ll Take a Stand

Written by Miss Rachel

“I have set the Lord always before me. 
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” 
{Psalm 16:8}
Have you ever had a time in your life where you had to make a hard choice?

…A time where you’d have to choose between right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, what you believe vs. what someone else believes.

Perhaps it was something more like a decision of whether it’s okay to read a certain book or watch a certain movie…

Life is so full of choices isn’t it? Some are easy to make, such as what your favorite ice cream is (cookies and cream!), but then there are those other choices that are much, much harder to know how to handle.

I can remember times I’ve had to take a stand for my beliefs even amongst Christians. I felt God told me to take a certain path, but I didn’t want anyone else to really know because I knew that I’d be ridiculed and debated with those choices. I’m sure many of you already know - it’s not easy choosing to be different in this world. :)

And, it’s not always easy to see the correct path in front of us is it? Often times we come to that fork in the road…both paths may look right, but only one way will be the the right path for YOU, dear girl. The choice is yours, not someone else’s. So listen to what God’s will is for your own life. Still, it is a comfort to know even if we make a wrong decision, His will still prevails (Proverbs 19:21 ESV; Proverbs 16:9 ESV)

I don’t know about you, but for me one of the hardest parts is the fear that enters into my heart: fear of losing a friend, or offending someone, or the fear of being rejected. And of course there is always a chance that someone may get angry with you because they disagree with you. I want to do the right thing, but those fears often make it difficult to take a stand and speak up when I feel the Holy Spirit prick my heart.

This verse encourages us to set those fears and doubts aside and to put our trust in One who places those convictions in our hearts and guides us along the way. We never face life’s challenges on our own, dear girls. :)

Daniel didn’t face the lions by himself - God was there.

Esther didn’t stand in front of the King on her own - God was with her.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego took a stand when King Nebbuchadnezzar told them to bow before his idol of gold or be thrown into a furnace filled with a blazing fire. “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us…but if not, be it known…that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou has set up.” (Daniel 3:17) - God already had a plan in mind. Oh yes, He was there, too.

Each stood up for something they believed in, never backing down, even in the face of the most perilous danger to their lives.

I think we all want to be like that and have that kind of faith and courage. Little do we realize  - it all begins with one little choice to do the right thing. It may not seem like a big deal, but to God, each decision, whether to do ill or good, is a big thing because our choices flow from the feelings of our hearts. If our heart desires to follow God in all things, our choices will then be good ones.

“Does it make sense to pray for guidance about the future if we are not obeying in the thing that lies before us today? How many momentous events in Scripture depended on one person’s seemingly small act of obedience! Rest assured: Do what God tells you to do now, and, depend upon it, you will be shown what to do next.”Elisabeth Elliot

So make those wise decisions to love the friend that hurt you, talk to the girl in the corner, lend a helping hand, read God’s Word each day, and follow the path He’s laid out for you…never backing down or turning in fear from what others will say. Take those small steps in faith, and when the bigger challenges come, it will be all the easier to stand. God will give you the courage you need to face the giants of tomorrow.

“And so the battle rages with choices every day.
Will we search the Word of God or toss the truth away?
Let us hold onto His promises and sing the higher call,
Listening for the victory cry, 
Giving Him our all.
Stand for truth though you’re standing all alone.
Stand for truth, God will help to make you strong
Run with courage in the fight
Walk in faith and not by sight.
Stand for truth!
Stand for truth!”
{“Stand for Truth” by The Wissman Family}

May He guide and help each of us to stand for truth no matter how difficult it may be.


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Is God Your GPS?

written by Rachelle

It never happens when I’m driving home. Leafy canopies give way to long fields either green with growth or glittering golden-brown during the fall and winter. The sun beats down in summer. Or winter’s wind rushes past the trees during the cold months. And I drive, knowing the long winding route by heart, almost certain my truck does, too.

No, it never happens then.

It happens when I’m driving someplace new. Like when I’m heading inland to see a friend for the first time, driving to one of Carolina’s many beaches, one I’ve never driven to before. Or at the yearly staff meeting for all of the branches of the YMCA in town, when we’re meeting at the biggest branch, the one I only go to once a year. And in the year since I’ve been, I’ve forgotten the way.

So I pull out the GPS system, hook it up, plug it in, and sit hunched over the steering wheel, watching, waiting.

Is this my turn? Right here!?

Have you ever gone somewhere you’ve never been before? And driven there yourself? With a GPS? Isn’t it amazing how the right turn can look like so like the wrong one? Whether trees act as a barrier to clear vision, the road is muddy, or the sign is unclear, it’s so easy to second-guess yourself and decide, Nah, that can’t possibly be it…

And then there are the times you’re sure and there’s a sign in the driveway that reads, “Your GPS has misled you. Such-and-such is actually located 2.3 miles up the mountain. This is a private residence.”

{True story, by the way.}

I love going to new places. The adventure of anticipating new sights, sounds, and people can make me giddy with excitement. I really like driving new places, as well. I’ve always liked car trips, but, well, being in control is a whole new experience.

The one thing I don’t like?

The uncertainty.

It can be scary to watch the signs whiz past as I strain to see the names of the streets and find the one where I’m going next. The GPS is supposed to make it easy, people, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like it! I’m sure I would be even more afraid if I were relying on only my fingernail on a map!

And, oh, the anxiety that starts churning in my stomach when I make a wrong turn…or even worse, miss the right one!

I got to thinking about the similarities between road trips to new places and life in general one afternoon when I was trusting the GPS to get me where I needed to go. Wait, isn’t this just like my trust in God? Am I not supposed to follow His direction just like I follow the voice coming from this machine?

Why, yes, in fact, I am.

Do I always? I’d be lying if I said I did.
Sometimes it’s so much easier to try to figure out my own way, forge my own path, and find the right road all on my lonesome. 
But is it easier, really? When I find myself in a dark alley…or worse, a dead end, all alone, scared, with no clue where to go?

Remember, if you’re headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns! ~ Allison Bottke

No, trusting God from the get-go is actually the safer route, even when surrender feels like the hardest thing on earth.

“Bring Me all your feelings, even the ones you wish you didn’t have…Blazing missiles of fear fly at you day and night…Use your shield of faith to extinguish those flaming arrows…Bring your anxieties out into the Light of My Presence, where we can deal with them together. Concentrate on trusting Me, and fearfulness will gradually lose its foothold within you.” Sarah Young, Jesus Calling 

Sometimes it’s even easier to stay home than to venture out onto the path at all…yet He calls us all to “go” somewhere, whether it be our inbox to send a message to a friend we haven’t talked to in a while… to the back of our church where a new person is sitting alone… Costa Rica.

“If there be any reserve in my giving to Him who so loved that He gave His Dearest for me; if there be a secret “but” in my prayer, “Anything but that, Lord,” then I know nothing of Calvary love.” Amy Carmichael, If

Is God your GPS today? Are you trusting Him to lead you…or do you need to turn around?

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Choosing Faith Over Fear

Today, I Will choose to live by 


By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” - Hebrews 11:7

I found it interesting that this verse in the “Faith Hall of Fame”, as Hebrews 11 is sometimes referred to, mentions that Noah was afraid AND had faith at the same time. But also notice…He *still* had faith enough to obey what God told him to do! ;)

Maybe you’ve had times like that when your fears and faith are intermingled. I know I have many times. And that’s okay! Just remember that God is still Sovereign, obey Him when He tells you to take that leap of faith, and He’ll “work all things together for good”. Don’t listen to those fears and doubts telling you otherwise. :) God always has a plan - we just have to trust Him and follow through.


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Casting Out Fear, Worry, and Doubt

Written by Miss Rachel

Today, instead of posting a video at the end of my post as I normally might do, I would like you all to listen to this beautiful song before we begin, which was the inspiration for this post. In fact, why not listen to it as you read on… :)
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 
{1 Peter 5:7}


Fear builds up inside of me. Fear chokes the happiness from my life. This world is filled with so many dangers…life is filled with so many changes, moment by moment. There are always new challenges to face each new day. 
 Peter instructs us to cast {To throw, fling or send; to drive from, by force…} all our cares…our worries, fears, sorrows and pains, and burdens…throw them away from us. Why? Because if we don’t all those fears and burdens will overwhelm us and we will lose our focus on how great and mighty our God is.
Why do we cast them on Christ?  
 Because that’s the only way to find peace.

(all images via Pinterest)

You have to let go of fear or it will consume you. Worry and fear takes away all your joy in Christ. You lose your focus on Him and what’s important and instead focus on the gloom and hopelessness of this world. This kind of attitude often leads to depression. We become discouraged because we’ve chosen to think on the fears and “what if’s” of life instead of the surety of our Rock - our Saviour.

Fear is a lack of trust in God. Simple as that.

I myself have battled with this many times: fear of growing up, fear of graduating and the big “unknown” of adulthood, fear of the future and what God may have for me, fear of new changes and new experiences, (fear of spiders! Yikes!)…fear of more trials yet for me to go through, fear of being alone. This year I was afraid when I learned I’d developed carpal tunnel syndrome and I wondered…would I be in this kind of pain the rest of my life? Would I need surgery? Just last month my sister and I went on the biggest adventure of our lives…alone! :O I was so scared to get on that plane…would we crash? Would our family be safe while we were gone? What if something happens? And no sooner did we get back home but then we were greeted with a hurricane - me and regular thunder storms don’t get along well, so you can imagine my feelings of near panic in this instance. :P

If I let myself, these fears will have me hiding under my covers never to be seen again! Yet God tells me one thing in the midst of my worrying:
He is in control.

It comes down to a choice.

To choose to believe that God is greater than your trial and circumstances. Choose to trust that God will be there with you and make you capable of handling anything that happens in the future, because He’s holding tomorrow in His hands. A choice to decide to take each thought of worry and fear captive in your mind and pop it like a balloon - *don’t* linger on thinking about it and the “what if’s”! It’s a day-by-day decision to focus on true thoughts…that you can trust your future, past, and present to Him who has everything in the palm of His loving hands. :)

“I chose to draw near to God and think on His love for me and His promises to care for me. I chose to love Him with all my mind by attempting to keep my thoughts within His prescribed boundary of today and of what was true and real….I was not to speculate on my future because God wasn’t asking me to handle my life all at once.” - Elizabeth George

We won’t always be on top of the mountain and there *will* be times of very real fear in our lives. Each time those thoughts and feelings rise it’s important to remember HE has our lives in His faithful hands {remember we studied about His faithfulness last month!}. It’s a comfort to know that He will always be with us. :)
When we’re overwhelmed with all we must do, all that is going on in our lives at this very moment… all we have to do is come to sit at His feet once more. (Matthew 11:28-29)

When we’re afraid of the future, uncertain of what lies ahead… we can remember that He goes before us, He knows our future path that we will take…nothing surprises God! :D (Matthew 6:34; Isaiah 52:12)

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear…” 
 {1 John 4:18 (ESV)}

Love, God’s love, knowing Him more…that’s what gets rid of fear in our hearts!! 

 You cannot be afraid if you remember the God who saves, the God who is risen, the God who provides, the God who sees….

Are you God’s child? Then know that He loves you!

Are you saved by His grace? Accept it!

Are you trusting that He holds your life in the palm of His hand…that He will lovingly guide you through each thorny path, across every stormy ocean, and through any and all trials that may come into your life?


My sister, if you are feeling weak, frail, and tired of carrying those burdens of fear and worry…cast them aside today. Cast them at the feet of Jesus and rest, knowing that He’s right here with you…and He will go before you.

I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight.” 
{Isaiah 45:2}
Always in His Keeping,
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"Who is the Greatest?"

Written by Miss Rachel

I just love working the ladies of this blog. Each girl has her own gifts and talents she brings to the group. And yet sometimes you know what? It can be hard, too, to have so many lovely talented girls all together like this. We each have our own opinions and idea’s of how things should go and we don’t always agree right away. For instance, this summer we had to create a title for the summer giveaway’s we hosted. Coming up with a name is hard work and with 7 different girls who all have to agree it can get quite difficult to come up with a creative title. But we made it work! ;)

The temptation is to have “my way” in everything. I like things to be prim and proper and make sense while some of my other dear friends here enjoy fun catchy titles. Nothing wrong in that! But something my sister said to me stopped me in my tracks. “You don’t always have to have things your way, you know, Rachel.” Ouch. And she was 100% right!

I realized it was that ugly sinful pride again. A superior attitude had slithered it’s way into my heart until I thought my way was the better choice. It comes down to pride. Pride in myself and my abilities. It’s not bad to have pride in accomplishments *if* we use them to bless and encourage others and not to lord them over each other. But if we let those talents seem as if they surpass the talents and gifts of another sister in the Lord, *that* is when it turns into a sinful pride.

As I pondered my sinful pride I remembered another group of friends who had some issues with this very same thing.

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Matthew 18:1)

Who is the greatest. That was their question. Jesus, where do we stand..who is ranked higher in your eyes…who is the best?

Normally we’d automatically think, “How selfish can you be?” but in reality…aren’t there times we think the same as they? In reality…isn’t that what I was doing when I thought my way was the best way to go? As if I had some superior intelligence about these matters either because I am the oldest or the wisest or the one who just knows these things better. *cough* Um, I don’t think so!

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very natureGod, 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.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross.” - Philippians 2:3-8

How do we grow to be more humble? Not by striving and trying not to be prideful…that gets you nowhere. The only way to be more humble is by keeping in mind the humbleness of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was a king, yet He became a servant. He was the Son of God, yet chose to be the son of man. He could have taken His kingdom, but He chose a crown of thorns instead of a crown of gold. He was humble so that we might become children of God. He thought more of us…than He did for Himself. Can we do no less than our dear saviour?

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is thinking more of others.” Rick Warren

Our job is not to spend time tearing each other down with our prideful attitudes but in reaching out in love and *encouraging* one another, accepting our differences, and embracing the joys of working together to bring glory to the Lord! :)

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, 
and he shall lift you up.” 
- James 4:10

Always in His Keeping,
~Miss Rachel~

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Two Sets of Keys and Setting Free

written by Rachelle

I sit here this morning and type keys and work words and string sentences. I tweet things and share FB smiles and grin at pins. Then I turn away and clasp keys (of a different sort) and ride the miles and run the errands.
I belt out the songs blasting over the radio, full of hope and reminders of grace. Grace forgotten. Hope not clung to at all yet today.
This morning I woke up ungrateful. I didn’t want to admit it then and I surely don’t like admitting it now, but it’s true.
And isn’t truth supposed to set free? (John 8:32) The Savior said so.
I feel anything but free. And I so desperately want to be free. Free from the thoughts that choke and the feelings that suffocate and the awareness that this summer, glorious summer, has spun me into His arms… and yet today I resist. 

Why do I resist? Why would I ever resist?
But I do. I admit it. Sometimes I tell myself I’m too tired to put knees to floor and say the Savior’s name. Other times I don’t even think about it, don’t tell myself anything, except that I must answer emails and wash the truck and when, oh, heavens, when was the last time I journaled/dusted/organized the bookshelf?
The excuses all sound the same after a while and so do the heart-longings, the pangs inside that say I’ve closed myself off to love. Maybe not all kinds of love. Maybe I still get down on the floor and play with the puppies. Maybe I still get tears in my eyes when a little one looks up at me.
But those loves all lead to The Love.
So who am I to push it away, to push Him away? Who am I to say no and turn aside and put other things in front, in first place? Who am I? Who do I think I am that I know what’s best for my soul, more than the One who made me, made my soul, and knows its hurts far better than I do?
Such foolishness. Such complete and utter foolishness.
The awareness hits and the truth stings, but it does set free. It does. Truly.
The Soul-Healer waits and prays and opens His arms and at last, at last, I run into them and burrow deep and sob hard and say how sorry I am, how wrong I’ve been. Then I start the list, the count of blessings rained down, and I see the traces of His fingerprints in everything I did today. All the ways He sought me, all the ways He said grace and hope and love.

God's love
Despite my deaf ears.
Despite my turned-away eyes.
Despite it all. Despite everything, He whispered grace and hope and love. And I love Him for it. For being Who He is. For being so faithful.
And it wrenches my heart but I’m so grateful for the two sets of keys-the ones for typing, the ones for driving-that can mean running away and can also mean running to. 
How has He pursued you today? 
Are you running to or running away?

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