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Feb 04 2013

God’s Faithfulness through our Stories…Week 3 Blessing Journal Guide

Devotion

Everyone loves a good story!

Our family LOVES stories!  Reading aloud is a huge part of our days…and the source of some very, very treasured memories from over the years.  Michael still talks with me about how Daddy used to snuggle up on the couch with him and read to him.

The kids look forward to story time each day…so much so that one of the reasons we chose our homeschooling curriculum was because it utilizes so many amazing books in its approach to reading.

We read for pleasure…we all look forward to our nightly story time when I read to my family from one of our favorite mystery series!  I always smile when the chapter comes to a close and they beg for just one more chapter, PLEASE!!!!

There are so many, many amazing stories out there that hold our attention and embed themselves in our minds and hearts as memories and we can tell you when we heard it, who read it or told it to us…and what the story was about.  These memories become important parts of our learning and our family history…our story.

Our God knew and knows the power of a story told well.

The Bible is filled with amazing stories!  Powerful, life and history changing stories of our faith!

Way back in the days of God’s people who we read about in the Old Testament…these writers…these storytellers…were important people in their communities.  It wasn’t possible for just anyone to have a personal copy of the Scriptures like we do today.  The stories that these people shared with such passion were the testimonies of the love and power…the faithfulness of God to His people.

Remembering what God had done before…how He had created them…blessed them…rescued them…taken care of them…is what got them through the hard times of their days.  Remembering the promises of God…the promise of a hope and a future.  The promises that the Messiah would come!

All of these faith stories were soaked in and told and retold by the storytellers…by the families…passed down through the generations.

They trusted God because He always kept His Word to them…He always kept His promises…and they knew this because they could think back on the stories of what had happened before…and because of those faith stories, passed down and celebrated.  They didn’t just tell the stories…they knew them to be true.

At the end of 2012, God reminded me of a very special passage, right when I needed it.

16 I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters,
making a dry path through the sea.
17 I called forth the mighty army of Egypt
with all its chariots and horses.
I drew them beneath the waves, and they drowned,
their lives snuffed out like a smoldering candlewick.

18 “But forget all that—
it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
19 For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
20 The wild animals in the fields will thank me,
the jackals and owls, too,
for giving them water in the desert.
Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland
so my chosen people can be refreshed.  Isaiah 43:16-20 NLT

It spoke to me so much that it has become my life passage for 2013…to look back and remind me of God’s faithfulness and promises when I am in the middle of a tough day and don’t see how I can go on…I can remember when He rescued them from slavery in Egypt and brought them to the promised land.  The faith stories that are recorded in our Bibles aren’t just for them…the are for us…to help us to hear, know and believe the truth that God has for each one of us.

Sharing the faith stories from our history found in the Old and New Testaments is so important because they belong to us just as much as they did to the people they were written about and by.  Our family loves reading these Faith stories together and talking about what they mean and how incredible God was and is.

I love hearing Josh and Michael get excited about something we read together from the Bible or something they read on their own or together.  Even our four year old can tell you about things he remembers Daddy reading to us from the Bible or something I have shared with them from it or even his brother or sister has shared with him in our family devotions or Bible studies.  He listens.  He remembers.  And now he is even retelling the stories of our faith while he plays.  Each one in their own way.

Something I have always known but that has become even more real to me over the past seven months or so, is just how powerful sharing our own testimonies…our personal faith stories can be.

I am humbled and awed at how powerfully God is working through my testimony of how God rescued Josh, Michael and I from the fatal car accident on July 15th…and how amazing the testimony of my husband, Will, being rescued by God when the Lord took him home to heaven during that same accident has touched the hearts and lives of strangers I meet in the communities we visit, the medical team that took care of us, our families, our friends, and so many, many people on-line as they hear the many stories of God’s faithfulness in the miracles that He did in taking care of every detail of our rescue and recovery.

Each one of us is given a testimony of God’s faithfulness.  Think about it for a moment.

God has been with you through your own trials and helped you in so many ways in your life.  It doesn’t have to be something as huge as what we went through, but I am also aware of the seemingly small ways He cares for our needs every single day.  And He does the same for you.

God is helping me understand, we need to realize that He has given each one of us a story to share…our own Good News of God’s grace and blessing in our own lives and when we step out of our comfort zones and share those personal faith stories with someone else, they are touched with what God can do in their own lives too.

So this week we are going to reflect on our Faith Stories from Scripture and our own lives…testimonies of God’s Faithfulness.

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Week 3 Journaling Guide for Adults

Day 1– Scripture is FULL of incredible faith stories that tell of God’s faithfulness to His people.  Take some time today to read some of these testimonies of God’s faithfulness and find one that speaks to your heart and reminds you that God will be faithful to you as well.  Write it down in your journal on Day 1 of Week 3.  You can do this using a creative form or just write it down so you can go back and read it when you need to remember.  Also take a moment and write a key verse from the passage on an index card and post it somewhere in your house where you will see it and be reminded of God’s faithfulness throughout the day.

Day 2– Take some time to re-read your Scripture from Day 1.  Then write about a time in your life, not necessarily from this week, in which you could see God taking care of you or your family.  If you like to scrap-book, feel free to add a picture or two you may have from that time.  Take a moment to thank God for how He has taken care of you in the past and tell Him you know He is always faithful.

Day 3– Take some time to read your Scripture from Day 1.  Think about this week.  List three ways the Lord has blessed you through His Word, something you read, someone who helped you, or listened to you, or something that happened this week.  Thank God for how He was faithful to care for you through these three ways.

Day 4– Take some time to read your Scripture from Day 1.  Take some time to pray and talk with God.  If you are struggling to see how He is being faithful in your life, tell Him.  Open your heart and tell Him what you are struggling with.  Ask Him to help you slow down and really see how He is acting in your life in ways you may not even realize.  Write down anything that came to your mind as you prayed today.

Day 5– Take some time to read your Scripture from Day 1.  Today is Action day.  While I realize that sometimes it is hard to step out of your comfort zone and share how God has been faithful in your life…think about it this way…if the people who wrote the faith stories of God’s people who were compiled into our Scriptures never spoke up and shared those testimonies of God’s faithfulness…where would be we today?  Find someone in your life, your husband, boyfriend, friends, parents, or your children or someone God brings into your path today and ask God to lead you as to one of your stories of God’s faithfulness in your life that you could share with them that might encourage them in their own journey.  And take the time to listen to them…what they share is part of their story too.  Take a few moments to write down how this went and what happened.

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Week 3 Journaling Guide for Children

Day 1– Scripture is FULL of incredible faith stories that tell of God’s faithfulness to His people.  Take some time today to read some of these testimonies of God’s faithfulness with your mom or dad and find one that speaks to your heart and reminds you that God will be faithful to you as well.  Write it down in your journal on Day 1 of Week 3.  You can do this using a creative form or just write it down so you can go back and read it when you need to remember.  Also take a moment and write a key verse from the passage on an index card and post it somewhere in your house where you will see it and be reminded of God’s faithfulness throughout the day or have your parent help you to do this.

Day 2– Take some time to re-read your Scripture from Day 1.  Then write about a time in your life, not necessarily from this week, in which you could see God taking care of you or your family.  If you like to scrap-book, feel free to add a picture or two you may have from that time.  Take a moment to thank God for how He has taken care of you in the past and tell Him you know He is always faithful.

Day 3– Take some time to read your Scripture from Day 1.  Think about this week.  List three ways the Lord has blessed you through His Word, something you read, someone who helped you, or listened to you, or something that happened this week.  Thank God for how He was faithful to care for you through these three ways.

Day 4– Take some time to read your Scripture from Day 1.  Take some time to pray and talk with God.  If you are struggling to see how He is being faithful in your life, tell Him.  Open your heart and tell Him what you are struggling with.  Ask Him to help you slow down and really see how He is acting in your life in ways you may not even realize.  Write down anything that came to your mind as you prayed today.

Day 5– Take some time to read your Scripture from Day 1.  Today is Action day.  While I realize that sometimes it is hard to step out of your comfort zone and share how God has been faithful in your life…think about it this way…if the people who wrote the faith stories of God’s people who were compiled into our Scriptures never spoke up and shared those testimonies of God’s faithfulness…where would be we today?  Find someone in your life, your friends, parents, or your brother or sister or someone God brings into your path today and ask God to lead you as to one of your stories of God’s faithfulness in your life that you could share with them that might encourage them in their life.  And take the time to listen to them…what they share is part of their story too.  Take a few moments to write down how this went and what happened.

Will you join me?

If you are still looking for a group of people to encourage you, share with or help keep you motivated in this Blessing Journal Challenge, I have a Blessing Journal Challenge Facebook group that you can join!  This is for ladies only and is a closed group so the only people to see what you share will be the people in the group.  Just click in the link “Mary Joy’s Blessing Journal Challenge Group” and ask to be included.  I will be happy to add you.

I would love to hear your thoughts on God’s faithfulness…your stories of faith if you would like to share with me in the comments here!  Each of your comments makes my day!

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Sitting at the feet of Jesus with so much to learn,

Mary Joy

And be sure to check out Marriage Mondays with Gina Marie for encouragement in your marriage as she shares from her own marriage journey!

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About the author

Mary Joy

I am a broken daughter of God and a work in progress. I am passionate about encouraging women to embrace God's grace and faithfulness as I discover and share His faithfulness, grace and even joy in the messiness of my journey as a widowed (less than 2 yrs), homeschooling mom with a missionary's heart. I am in awe of how God fills me up and carries me through each day. My Heavenly Father leads me as I continue to parent and home school my two recovering and very active boys and encourage my beautiful teenage step-daughter (long distance) during her first year in of college. In every moment I see incredible evidence of God's healing love, grace and faithfulness. I am so blessed to be the creator, manager, and an author of Unwrapping His Grace as I lean on my Savior to lead us in this special web-ministry.

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