Finding Easter

There are many traditional Scripture passages that are used at Easter to tell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Passages from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John the Beloved. Each is a beautiful passage full of meaning and passion.

For this Easter week, however, I would like to share the story of Easter from 1 Corinthians 13, commonly known as The Love Chapter. Because the entirety of Scripture is a means of pointing the nation of Israel and Gentiles like you and me to Jesus, the story of Easter can be found in many places. Let’s see how beautifully it fits into this famous passage.

 

Finding Easter in 1 Corinthians 13

 

 

1 Corinthians 13:

4 ~ Love is patient ~ In the fullness of time, and not one moment before, God sent Jesus to earth on a mission. Had I been God, my patience would have been exhausted about two minutes after Eve bit into the fruit. Not God! God’s love was and is patient, not wanting anyone to perish. He could have ditched all two of his creations and started over at that point, but He did not.

4 ~ Love is kind ~ All throughout His ministry there were times when Jesus could have chosen the un-kind way ~ The Pharisees who certainly deserved no kindness, the multitudes pulling at Him, the lame, the blind, the sick, and the lost demanding His attention. Yet, He was always kind. He was kind to the woman caught in adultery. He was kind to Judas, for heaven’s sake. He was kind to Judas the entire three years of His earthly ministry. Jesus is kind to you and me.

4 ~ Love does not boast; it is not arrogant ~ He was the SON. OF. GOD. for pity sake!! He had every right to be boastful. There had never been anyone like Him. He was royalty of the highest order, yet He took the attitude of a servant. He was beaten and stripped naked by men whom He had created. He was crucified like a common criminal. He could have pulled rank, but He did not.

5 ~ Love is not rude; it does not insist on its own way ~ Jesus said that He did nothing of His own accord. He did only what the Father instructed Him to do. You and I (probably more I than you) would have gone into control freak mode and decided that I had a better way to redeem humanity. Better yet, I would have decided that humans were not worth the price. Yet, Jesus never did. He was always obedient to the Father.

7 ~ Love bears all things ~ Jesus bore every stinkin’ sin that I have ever committed on Himself as He hung on that cross. Every hateful word I have spoken, every sexual sin I committed, every greedy desire, every prideful attitude, every lie I have ever told. Jesus bore it all because of love.

7 ~ Love endures all things ~ Not only did He endure having all the sins of all the people in the world heaped upon Him, Jesus endured being separated from His Father. The turning away of the Father, while Jesus hung on the cross, was the ultimate rejection. It was the worst break-up in history, and Jesus knew it would happen. He endured it anyway.

7 ~ Love hopes all things ~ Hope. The hope of the resurrection that would, once and for all, defeat eternal death for all who would believe in Jesus. The hope of heaven. The hope of restoration. The hope of purity and holiness for anyone and everyone who will believe. Hope for you. Hope for me.

8 ~ Love never ends ~ The love that Jesus displayed on the cross is a love that never ends. It is a love that offers eternal life to all who will believe. It is a love that heals and restores and elevates and renews. That same love will bring us forth from the grave one day, clothed in holiness and purity. That is the love in which we will be enveloped for all eternity…..if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior and the payment for our sin.

Love is…..Easter. Love is…..Jesus. Do you know Jesus today?

SDG/FCA!

This post contains affiliate links.

One way you can share the message of Easter is by sponsoring a child through Compassion International’s Child Sponsorship Program. There is a child who shares your birthday who needs to hear about Jesus. Would you say ‘yes’ to sponsorship today?

 

More of God: A Distracted Woman’s Guide to More Meaningful Quiet Times

Hello, my friends! I hope this finds you well and enjoying Jesus every day.

Today I have the opportunity to introduce you to a woman I began following on social media a few years ago when she and her family were living in the Middle East. I found Betsy’s life there to be a beautiful testimony of God’s presence and light in a land that is dark to the gospel.

 

More of God Book

 

Recently, Betsy de Cruz published her first book entitled More of God: A Distracted Woman’s Guide to More Meaningful Quiet Times and I wanted to give her the opportunity to share a bit about her life and her book with you. Seriously, what is not to love about that title?! Here is an interview I did recently with her. I hope you find her to be as engaging and winsome as I do.

Leah: Many of my readers may never have been introduced to you before. What do you want them to know about you?

Betsy: I am a basket-case woman who is not rocking the church lady thing, but I’ve discovered that spending 15 or 20 minutes with God in the morning helps me stay closer to Jesus for the rest of the day.

I’ve been battling distraction for 30 years as I juggle ministry and writing, with raising two children. I walk around with 25 tabs open in my brain. I work on 13 projects at the same time and forget what I’m doing. I’m that woman who looks straight at you when we meet but can’t remember your name 10 seconds later. (I’m sorry!)

Our family recently moved to Austin, TX after 16 years in the Middle East, and my husband and I are new empty nesters.

Leah: What is the back story behind your book?

Betsy: I wrote More of God because my struggle with distraction and overwhelm affects my spiritual life. Even on good days, I can’t pray for more than two minutes without going off on a tangent, and when I try to read the Bible, sometimes my brain goes on a trip to Hawaii. (I suspect I’m not alone.)

I want women to know they are not “less spiritual” if they lose focus when they try to read Scripture or remember the Lord’s presence during the day. Our busy schedules, anxious thoughts, and even our phones distract us, yet we can all learn to open small windows to let more of God into our day and experience more of His presence and power in our lives.

Leah: Share with us a bit about your book and why people should read it. 

Betsy: I wrote this book to help other distracted women find enjoyable and meaningful ways to spend time with God and learn to draw near to Jesus throughout the day.

More of God, is a book that will help readers hear God’s voice when they read Scripture, grow stronger prayer lives, and walk with Jesus all day long. One small step at a time.

Leah: Where can we find your book?

Betsy: You can find More of God on Amazon in both Kindle and prin

t formats.

I also have a special gift to give to your readers who purchase my book. (Whoo-hoo!!!) If you send your receipt to [email protected] and mention, Leah Adams, I’ll send you “Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus,” a 9-Day Bible study on Jesus in the book of Hebrews.

Leah: Wow! Thank you for that freebie for my readers! How my friends find you on social media?

Betsy: The best place to find me on social media is at FaithSpillingOver.com. I share Bible study and prayer tips for distracted women as well as encouragement for faith and family. Subscribers to my blog also receive a free Bible study.

Leah: What final thoughts do you want to share with my readers?

Betsy: Quiet time is a topic that makes many of us feel guilty. If we can’t spend an hour a day, fill out our Bible study page, or make it through our prayer list without getting sidetracked, we think God isn’t pleased. We’ve tried plenty of times and failed.

Yet God loves even our smallest offerings. Remember the widow who offered the two copper coins? Jesus valued her offering because she put in all she had to live on (Mark 12:41-44). In the same way, I believe Jesus rejoices when the mother of a newborn and twin toddlers spends five minutes reading His Word or lifts up a desperate prayer as she straps her kids into the mini-van. He looks at our hearts, not our schedules.

I hope More of God will bring new freedom and renewal to women’s hearts.

 

Leah: Betsy, thank you so much for being with me today. It has been a pleasure. Friends, be sure and see the freebie that Betsy is offering to any of my readers who purchase a copy of More of God.

Betsy’s Bio:

Betsy de Cruz writes and speaks to encourage busy, distracted women to get God’s Word in, so they can live their faith out. Her book More of God is a Distracted Woman’s Guide to More Meaningful Quiet Times. She wrote it to help women take small steps to invite more of God’s presence and power into their lives and find creative ways to enjoy spending time with Him. You can find More of God on Amazon. Connect with Betsy online at FaithSpillingOver.com, where she shares Bible study and prayer tips, as well as encouragement for faith and family.

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

SDG/FCA!

Thursday Thoughts ~ 3.21.19

Do you have a word or phrase that you use often?

I do, yet I did not even realize how often it came out of my mouth until one day my husband commented that this phrase might be my personal motto. Wow! He was right! This phrase is one I return to time and again because it anchors me and boosts my faith in Jesus.

I know I have shared it with you in the past, but I wanted to offer it as today’s Thursday Thought. I pray it is a blessing to you today.

I’m Going to Peru with Compassion and I Would Love Your Prayers

As you know if you have been part of my tribe for long, I am an Ambassador for Compassion International. This means that I have the opportunity to share about Compassion’s Child Sponsorship program with individuals and groups all over the country. I love being able to do this! It hits my sweet spot smack in the middle because I get to speak and I get to be part of finding sponsors for children living in poverty. (At the end of this post there is a link for YOU to click over and sponsor a child.)

 

I Am Going to Peru Would You Pray

 

Compassion gives their speakers and artists an opportunity to go to the countries where Compassion operates and see the work being done there with children and families in poverty. I am crazy excited to have the opportunity and privilege to travel with Compassion to Peru April 22 through 27.

While my sponsored girls are not in Peru, I am still so eager to meet the Peruvian children at the child development center(s) we will visit. I am hoping to be able to look into their eyes and tell them how much Jesus loves them. I want to communicate how important they are to their sponsors, to me, and to Jesus. Being able to see how they are being taught to love Jesus and His Word, and how they are having their basic necessities provided through Compassion sponsors will be a huge blessing to my heart. I want to meet the Jesus-following mentors who pour into the lives of these children.

 

Compassion Banner

 

This chick has been in ministry long enough to know that when work is done or people go to minister in Jesus’ name Satan becomes a hot mess of anger and hatred. He tries his best to stop the work, to discourage the workers, to interfere with plane schedules and luggage arrival and tummies and noses. I also know that Jesus has Satan’s number and that ole’ devil cannot do anything without the permission of the Father. The good news is that the prayers of God’s people can make a difference.

If you have a mind to pray for me and the team with which I will travel in the week prior to and during the trip (April 15-27) it would be a blessing to my heart. I will communicate specific prayer needs to my prayer team via email, so if you feel led to be part of my prayer team for this trip, please email me at [email protected]. If you do not feel the leading of the Lord, or if you do not feel you can make this commitment right now it is perfectly fine. We will still be friends.

I will be posting more about the trip, especially in the days and weeks following it, so stay tuned.

SDG/FCA!!

If you are interested in sponsoring a child through Compassion, please go HERE to see the faces of beautiful children who are eagerly waiting for someone to sponsor them. You may not be able to change the whole world, but YOU, friend, can change the world for ONE CHILD! Release a child from poverty in Jesus’ name today.

This post contains affiliate links.

Do You Have a Teen Girl in Your Life? Giveaway!

Do you have a teen girl in your life? If you answered, “YES”, I know you will want to meet my friend, Melanie Redd. Melanie is an encourager, prayer warrior, and a woman who loves Jesus. She is also the author of a brand new devotional book for teen girls entitled, Live in Light.

 

 

I have read some of Melanie’s book and it is good, y’all. I’m so eager for you to meet Melanie, so here is the interview I did with her.

Meet Melanie!

Leah: I may have readers who have not had the pleasure of ‘meeting’ you online. What would you like for my readers to know about you? Please introduce yourself to them.

Melanie: It’s pretty simple: I’m a woman on a mission to offer hope and encouragement to others. Raised in the south, I speak with a twang, very polite words, and a great big smile.

My husband and I have been in full-time ministry for over 20 years now. He’s a professor and a minister; I’m a writer, blogger, and speaker. We have two young adult kids and a very hyper Australian Shepherd puppy— all living under the same roof.

 

Melanie Redd

 

Leah: What occupies your free time? Hobbies, interests

Melanie: I love to laugh, talk for hours with good friends, and enjoy great food.

In addition, I spend a lot of time on the move – riding a bike in Spin Class, walking as many miles as I can, lifting weights, and trying to stay active. My husband and I love to hike and explore the woods as often as we can. We also love to try new restaurants and cook out on the grill.

Additionally, I’m involved in a couple of local Bible studies and leading the women’s ministry at my church. Each Monday night, I teach a class of future pastor’s wives called, “Leading Women to the Heart of God.”

Leah: What are some items on your bucket list?

Melanie: I’d love to travel more in the next few years. We’ve just finished paying for our kids to go to college. We’d like to get out and explore the world now – even if it’s just across some state lines!

A few ministry bucket list items – write and publish more books, speak as God opens the doors, launch a radio show, and maybe even launch a TV show. (We will see!)

Leah: How did you develop an interest in writing and when did you begin writing seriously?

As a child, I loved to write. English, creative writing, and penmanship were always where I excelled. My 3rdgrade teacher was one who especially encouraged me to write.

In college, I majored in education with a minor in English. My best subjects were those that required essays and long papers. Writing always came easy for me. (Melanie, you and I might be sisters separated at birth!!)

As a young adult, I was contacted by Lifeway to write Sunday school curriculum and materials. For over 10 years, I wrote with Lifeway. Then, a few years ago, I published my first book and started a blog. Five books later, and I am still having a blast typing out words!

Leah: Every book has a back story. What is the back story behind your book? What was the impetus for you to write this book?

Melanie: As a seventh grader, I was approached by an older girl in my church about spending weekly time one-on-one learning what it meant to walk with Jesus personally. Each week we met to talk about things like having a quiet time, prayer, reading the Bible, and living for the Lord. Then, in 9th grade, I attended a summer camp where God really got a hold of my heart. I completely surrendered my life to Him and began an incredible adventure walking with Him.

And, after all of these years, I’ve never gotten over it! 

What happened in my teen years affected and influenced the trajectory of my life for good. So, when asked to write a devotional book for teen girls encouraging them to walk with God, I jumped at the opportunity.

Leah: Share with us a bit about your book.

Melanie: Live in Light is a very easy-to-read and practical devotional that any girl can pick up and enjoy. There are 150 short devotions, complete with a Bible verse, a story or example, a Bible truth, and a challenge for the day.

The book can be read alone or shared as a part of family devotions. Mothers and daughters are choosing to read the book together. Even grandmothers and granddaughters are taking this adventure together.

Leah: Why should someone read your book? What does it offer them personally?

Melanie: I believe this little volume extends an invitation to girls to draw close to the Light – Jesus Christ. In a day when our girls are being pulled in every direction, my prayer is that the few moments teen girls spend reading each morning will make an impact.

We are praying that God will get the attention and the hearts of girls around the globe and create in them a thirst for the things of God.

Further, the book is written for teens to use quickly each day—maximizing their time. In just 5-10 minutes, they will be given scripture, hope, instruction, and ideas. It’s written to them, for them, about them, and with them in mind.

Leah: How can my readers find you? Blog? Social media?

Melanie: I’d love to connect with your readers on social media.

I’m on these channels:

Facebook

Twitter

Linked In

Instagram

Pinterest

Leah: When and will your book be available to the public?

Melanie: The book will be available on April 8. However, you can pre-order a copy on Amazon HERE.

Leah: What final thoughts would you like to share with my readers?

Melanie: Thank you for taking the time to read about my life and this new devotional for teen girls. I’m blessed and honored that you did. And, may I encourage you with this truth today – God adores you and has an amazing plan for your life. No matter where you are, what you are dealing with, or what you have just been through—He cares for you.

One of my favorite verses comes from Zephaniah 3:17. I’d love to share it as I close:

“For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

 

GIVEAWAY! I am giving away a copy of Melanie’s book over on my Instagram page. If you are on IG and want to win a copy of this wonderful devo for teen girls, click over to my IG page, follow me if you do not already, and enter to win.

SDG/FCA!

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