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Living in Faith, Scripture verses, What I've Learned Lately

Showing God to the world: 12 Bible verses to remember

When my employer directed us to begin working from home in March 2020, we had no idea how long it would last or what would happen along the way. There have been struggles and frustrations during this time at home and at work, but there have been lots of positive things, too. I have loved this time at home with family, have loved not dealing with my usual commute, and have loved getting back to some things that had fallen by the wayside — like writing.

12 Bible verses about showing God to the worldBut my department will start going back to the office in a few weeks, and I’ve been in a bit of a funk because of it. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy my job and I work with great people. But I’ve gotten spoiled by the relaxed world of working from home in t-shirts and no makeup.

God reminded me a few days ago that even though I might not look forward to some aspects of returning to the office, I still have plenty to be thankful for. Things like:

  • Having a job to return to (and that didn’t change during this crazy time)
  • Still being able to work from home routinely, probably two days a week (which wasn’t the case before 2020)
  • Building memories with my family while we’ve been home together so much
  • Growing in my faith and trying to trust God more when things felt so uncertain

And then God reminded me of one big reason why I don’t need to always work from home and be mostly  surrounded by my church friends:

I need to be out in the world if the world is going to see God in me.

And isn’t that part of the point?

Our job as Christians is to show God to everyone around us through what we say, what we do — and what we don’t say or do. That means each day I go into the office, I have the chance to show God to my coworkers whether they realize it or not. And as fabulous as technology might be, it’s not a substitute for working side-by-side with someone and getting to know who they are and what they represent.

With that in mind, here are 12 Bible verses that help us remember that we’re not meant to keep God to ourselves. We’re meant to show others what it means to have Him in our lives.

12 verses about telling people about God

  1. I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. (Psalm 40:10)
  2. My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone. (Psalm 71:15-16)
  3. “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” (Matthew 5:13)
  4. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19)
  5. And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. (Mark 16:15)
  6. “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him. (Luke 8:39)
  7. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
  8. I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)
  9. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
  10. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6)
  11. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)
  12. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1)
  13. We constantly face changes at home, at work, and everywhere we go. But wherever we are and whatever is happening around us, we can show what it means to love and follow God.

Share with us: How do you share God with the people around you every day? If you’ve returned to work or school after being at home for months, what made that shift easier? Or, do you have other favorite verses about sharing God with the world? Leave a comment to encourage the rest of us!

PS: On a writing-related note, I was the guest devotion writer this week at Inkspirations Online, a website for Christian writers. Here’s where you can read “Growing through critique.”


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Book Love, Christian fiction

Book reviews: A Dance in Donegal, The Paris Betrayal, and Bookshop by the Sea

Hi, everyone. A few weeks ago I introduced you to another website I launched earlier this year: Clean Fiction Book Reviews. In case you haven’t hopped over there yet, here are links to the latest reviews I’ve posted. I hope you’ll stop by and subscribe if you enjoy getting the scoop on books across different genres.

A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer DreibelA Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel

Genre: Historical romance

Moira moved to Ireland to begin a teaching career — and get some answers about her mother’s past. That wasn’t all she found.

Rich details that help life in Ireland during that era come alive; lovable characters who teach lessons about faith, trust, and family even in the simplest of lives. This is Deibel’s debut novel and she’s an author to watch if you enjoy historical romance, especially stories set in Europe rather than the U.S.

 

The Paris Betrayal by James R HannibalThe Paris Betrayal by James R. Hannibal

Genre: Thriller

When everything — and everyone — you’ve counted on is gone, where do you turn? Especially when you’re a spy?

Constant twists and turns that take the reader from Italy to Paris to the U.S. and kept me guessing until the end. Super refreshing to read a thriller that was a fantastic, well-written story without the graphic language and scenes that can be so prevalent in this genre. Hannibal’s military background takes the realism to the next level. 

 

Bookshop by the Sea by Denise HunterBookshop by the Sea by Denise Hunter

Genre: Contemporary romance

An approaching hurricane, a stranded ex-boyfriend and a bookshop scheduled to open in a few weeks. What could possibly go wrong?

Fun, lighthearted, second-chance romance with characters who grew a lot but stayed believable. This was the perfect beach read while we were out of town and I can see myself reading it again when I’m in the mood for a pick-me-up book. Denise Hunter is the queen of heartwarming, small-town love stories.

What are you reading lately? I’m always looking for new books and authors to try. Leave a note in the comments to share.

Book Love, Christian non-fiction, Writing life

Happy book birthday to Work from Home Moms’ Devotions to Go

During one of my many clean-out sessions of the past year, I stopped for a few minutes to flip through a little book I haven’t paid much attention to in a long time: Work from Home Moms’ Devotions to Go. It’s my first devotional book, the one that allowed me the privilege of saying I’m a published book author.

Work from home moms devotions to goIt also turns 15 this year, which is a bit crazy to wrap my mind around. To celebrate, I’d like to share the story of how being a work-from-home mom led to a book.

I began working from home when our son was about five months old. It wasn’t under the most ideal circumstances; I’d learned a few weeks after returning to work from maternity leave that positions currently held by four people would be consolidated into a single role. To make a long story short, I wasn’t the person chosen to continue in that role.

I had handled a few freelance writing or editing projects over the years and my husband and I had talked about how great it would be if I could find enough freelance work to stay at home once we started a family.

As much as I liked the idea, I have to be honest: I would have never had the nerve to leave my job and try full-time freelancing.

God knew that and put me in the position to try. And He blessed me with work all the years I was at home.

A while after my work-from-home journey began, God nudged me in another direction I would have never imagined.

I had looked in bookstores and online for a devotional book written for moms who worked from home. I even called stores and asked them to search their systems for such a book. No one found anything.

The longer I searched, the more frustrated I became. Working from home wasn’t as common as now, but it also wasn’t unheard of. Surely there was a devotional book for women juggling families, work and everything else under the same roof.

My answer came as I mulled it over once again while rocking our son to sleep for his nap.

Write it yourself.

Three simple words that rang as loudly in my mind as if someone had spoken them beside me.

Whoa. Where did that come from?

Again: Write it yourself.

I’d never had such a thing happen. Lord, if that’s you …

The thought latched on and I continued to pray about it while doing other things as our son napped. By the time he woke and we were getting ready for a walk around the neighborhood, my prayer had shifted to, “OK, Lord, I’ll do this if you want but I don’t know what to write.”

Because God is God (and because for some reason this was His plan), He answered my puny challenge. Ideas for devotions related to being a work-from-home mom popped in my mind so quickly during our walk I could hardly keep them straight.

I scribbled down as many as I could remember when we got back home. More than 30 ideas filled the page.

And that was the day that led to Work from Home Moms’ Devotions to Go. It was a long process full of ups and downs, starts and stops, that eventually led to a publishing home with Extreme Diva Media. I had the chance to meet and work with amazing women including our publisher Jean Ann Duckworth and fellow authors Marilyn Nutter, Sherry Cummins, and Shelley Galbreath.

God was so good to turn my personal desire for a devotional book into something that others might enjoy. Even all these years later, I only know of one other devotional book written for moms who work from home – and it’s written by a woman I connected with during this process who endorsed it.

Many parents have learned to simultaneously balance work, home, and family during the past year. If you know someone who might like reading Work from Home Moms’ Devotions to Go, it’s still available in print (through me or some used book sites) and as an eBook.

Thanks for humoring my trip down memory lane. It’s reminded me anew how God can use all of us, even when we have no clue what we’re doing or where we’re going.

What nudges have you felt from God that might have led to unexpected places? Leave a comment and I’ll enter you into a drawing to win an autographed copy for yourself.


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God sightings, Scripture verses, What I've Learned Lately

Stepping (or floating) away from the rest of the world

getting away from the rest of the world

When was the last time you got away from the world for a while, just stepped away and enjoyed the peace and quiet without checking your phone every few minutes?

My husband and I spent several hours Sunday afternoon doing something we haven’t done together in years: fishing. And when I say years, I mean I can’t remember fishing together since before we were married (and we celebrated #31 in April!).

He’s gone with friends and has taken our kids over the years and has even fished in creeks or the surf when we’ve gone places. But just the two of us in a boat together? Not since our dating days.

Our church is currently sharing a pastor with another congregation, which means our service is over by 10 a.m. Afterwards, I picked up lunch while my husband got the boat ready and we headed to one of the local reservoirs.

It was a gorgeous afternoon, sunny and calm with a sky so blue it looked Photo Shopped. We heard lots of frogs on the bank and I could count on one hand the number of other boats we saw or cars we heard.

Lovely time away from all the other “things” — absolutely lovely.

Lots of things have changed for us as we’ve adjusted to life as empty nesters in the past year. Our schedules have shifted and we’re finding ways to fill the hours (nights, weekends) that used to be focused on the kids and their things (not that we ever regret those days — it’s what makes parenting parenting). It’s nice to find new things to do together or get back to some things we enjoyed years ago.

Stepping away from the rest of the world and its busyness can be tough to do, but it’s vital for us physically, mentally and spiritually. We need time away by ourselves and time away with those closest to us.

Jesus got away – so we can, too.

After all, if Jesus could take time away from the world in the midst of His ministry, who am I to think I don’t need a break myself? Sometimes Jesus got away by Himself (such as in Matthew 12:22-23, Mark 1:35) and sometimes He took a few of His closest disciples with Him (such as in Mark 14:32-42).

In both situations, Jesus set the example and sent an important message: it’s okay to step away from the world to relax and recharge. No guilt necessary. 😊

I think it’s also important to pay attention to when Jesus carved out these getaway times. They often were after something monumental had happened, when He needed focused prayer time, or when He was on the brink of a decision or change.

Sound familiar? Those are the times when I need to step away, too – and maybe the same is true for you.

When you realize that time is needed, how do you recharge? Sometimes I go somewhere by myself, such as the Monastery of the Holy Spirit that’s not too far from our home. Other times it’s nice to go with someone. I’m glad I said “yes” to fishing on Sunday and “no” to the other things I could have done. Because guess what? Those other things still got done later.

Plus, I started the week in a better frame of mind after getting away for a while. I hope you make time to step away from the busyness in your world this week, too. What will you try?

 

Dear Lord, our days are so full of things to do, things to plan, things that fill our minds and keep us busy, busy, busy. Help us slow down. Help us step away to rejuvenate ourselves and to reconnect with You and the people we love. Because when we slow down, we’ll see You. When we see You, we’ll be changed. And that’s what we want. Amen.


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