Monday, March 5

IBLP Seminar- God's Reward for Scriptural Disciplines

For those of you who haven't heard: the IBLP seminars (and a lot of other great videos) are now available to stream online.

The website is
The fee is $9 a month, or if you can pay $99 for a whole year.

This is such an incredible blessing to be able to access these great seminars and videos anytime we want, for a really small price- NEVER having to leave our house!
If you have never been through any of these seminars: I urge you to check it out! The Scriptural truths shared by Mr. Gothard have made a huge impact on my personal walk with the Lord, and my entire family. If you've been through them, but it's been awhile: I encourage you to do it again.
Each time I go through one of these seminars, I'm at a different place in life, and I am always challenged by the new things God reveals to me about myself and His Word.

Nick and I just started going through the Advanced Seminar today.
***just a tip: if you want to do a seminar from start to finish, I've found the easiest way to access the videos is type in the search box: "advanced seminar session 1" and it will come up.***
We'll be doing the sessions slowly. (He has to listen to the audio on his iPhone while driving & on breaks at work.) Here are a few notes on the session today and some things God has been dealing with me about:

God's Reward for Scriptural Disciplines

-Daily Bible Reading
(growth) 1 Peter 2:2
(purity) Psalm 119:11
(success) Psalm 1:2-3
(answered prayer) John 15:7
(health & discernment) Isaiah 58
(power) James 5:16
-Early Rising
(productivity) Psalm 57:8, 63:1
-Reading Revelation
(blessing) Rev. 1:3
(eternal fruit) Proverbs 11:30

There are many promises in Scripture. God delights in honoring His own Word. He simply wants us to take Him up on it and try it out. The list above are just some of the principles He's laid out for us and the rewards of following them. Nick and I have started some new things lately in our home and it feels so great to see the fruits of those things. But while Mr. Gothard read and explained this list in the session today, I not only recognized the things we WERE doing; I was painfully reminded of all the things we NEED to be doing!

With the intention of hopefully helping someone, and allowing all of you to hold me accountable... I'd like to share with you my successes and failings with this list of Scriptural principles.

-Daily Bible Reading
If you asked a mother, "How often do you feed your new baby?" and she answered, "Oh, about once a weeks or so..." You would obviously be appalled. I think God created our natural bodies to need food multiple times a day for a purpose. I think it's a parallel to our spiritual lives. We should be DAILY, and CONTINUALLY feeding on God's Word. When we do, the spiritual growth is apparent. I can completely tell a difference in my day when I do my devotion vs. when I skip it.
So, here's a small tip for you mothers out there: Me and Nick like to do our family prayer and Bible reading together and the breakfast table every morning... but sometimes it doesn't happen. If we oversleep a little or he has to go in earlier, I tend to just skip it altogether. God convicted me of this recently. It's better to do our morning "wisdom search" separately than not at all!

So- here's what I do. If Nick is already gone, I still (pray first) then read OUT LOUD the Proverbs (number of the day) and at least 1 Psalm. I let the kids eat while I'm reading and if Ben finishes before I'm done, I let him stay in his seat and color. (I tell him to draw words he hears me say.) I feel this discipline is not only great for their self control, but also trains them to sit quietly through church. Not to mention they are hearing the Word of God frequently at a young age. By the time they can actually understand what it means and read along, it won't be a new concept to them or a boring exercise.

This is something we JUST started. I told Nick, "Honey, I used to memorize Scripture ALL THE TIME when I was in school, but have really slacked off since finishing my studies." So we decided to keep each other accountable and make if a "couple's exercise". We pick a verse or passage each week, write it out on a flashcard, stick it to the front of the fridge and ask each other to quote it at the end of each day. First we just picked a random verse in Eph. Then we did "Roman's road" (the verses you need to know to lead someone to Christ), and next we're gonna do fruits of the spirit, the beatitudes... etc. Some verses we learned as kids are coming back to us rather quickly. But each night we quote the entire list of what we've worked on thus far so we won't forget them again.

***I recently made Benjamin a Scripture Memory book. (I looked for one to buy, but couldn't find the right thing so...I just wrote the verses down, drew pictures for them and stapled the pages together.) I noticed he had a great memory when he started quoting some of his favorite books to me... so I figured it was time to put it to good use. :) I made up hand signals to the Scriptures so it's more fun for him and we say the reference at the beginning and the end of the verse.***

It kinda goes without saying that if you're working on Scipture memory, you'll probably end up meditating on those verses. But, of course, I can easily fall into just memorizing something mechanically... so I do try to take time and really say the words... think about them... and pray them. Actually, sometimes I even sing them. There are so many praise songs written verbatim from the Psalms. The Maranatha singers do a lot of them. Check them out on Pandora. :)

*By the way, at the end of my devotion with the kids each morning: we end with songs- usually Sunday school songs with hand signals that are fun for them.

Well, I'm sure it's clear to all that I need to work on applying these things I'm reading, memorizing, & meditating on in Scripture. But, I must say, it is MUCH easier to apply these things when they are on your mind CONSTANTLY!!

I have really slacked in this area the past few years. I've used pregnancy and nursing as an excuse a lot... but truthfully, it will not hurt for me to skip at least 1 meal now and then. There are also other forms of fasting that I've felt convicted to start lately. Namely, television. My kids only watch clean, educational "good" programming & videos. But, it can still be on WAY too much if I'm not very careful. I have found that having the TV on all the time creates discontent in children. (i.e. if it's not on, they become bored quickly.) Fasting a day or a week here and there is something I am going to start doing regularly to keep us in check.

Sometimes a light bulb goes off in my brain while experiencing a delay or "boring" duty. "You could be using this time to pray," I feel the Lord say to me.
I just experienced this last night while standing by my baby's crib. She had been a little distraught, so I was standing where she could see me while she drifted off to sleep. Standing there with nothing to do, driving down the road with no other adults to talk to, or sitting beside my toddlers bed when he's having a rough night... those are all really good times to pray.

I do practice giving, but I need to do more- and not just when it's convenient for me.

-Early Rising
Definitely need help on this one! "Early Rising" for us wouldn't be the same as most people due to our different schedule... but I know going to bed earlier and waking up earlier encourages a more productive day. I can always see the difference when we're up an hour before we "feel like getting up". Punctuality (one of the 49 character qualities Mr. Gothard talks about) is related to this one. I have completely lost my punctuality since having children and God is really dealing with me to work on this.

-Reading Revelation
Not something I expected to be on this list, but Rev 1:3 says, "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand."
I tend to gravitate more to other books of the Bible- ones that I can understand. :) But, there is spiritual blessing promised to those who read this book. I haven't read it in it's entirety in a long time, but I'm going to start this week.

This has been such a strong conviction for me personally for awhile now. It's a scary thing to really initiate a conversation about the Lord with someone if you've never done it. I'm trying to start small and work up my courage: like saying "God Bless" or making reference to how good God is when I having small talk with a stranger. I really need prayer in this area because I KNOW I am not yet making disciples like Christ called me to do.

Just last night me and Nick had a conversation about reaching out more to our neighbors. The Lord layed it on both our minds the same day that we could be doing more to get to know our neighbors and witness to them. Nick was like, "I know we've been taught that everyone is our neighbor... but if we aren't willing to befriend our physical neighbors that live right next to us... that's pretty bad!" I agreed, saying that God was dealing with me on that very issue. I admit, I don't even know all the names of the people in our cul de sac. Being a better neighbor is on our "to-do" list. Inviting them over when we have a game night with friends, bringing over some homemade baked goods to get to know them.... that's the plan. :)

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