Money Saving Mom Sale Get 4 Courses only $4 Each!

Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom has four of her courses on sale for a GREAT price!   Now through Thursday, you can get them for $4 each!  After Thursday, these four courses will be retired meaning they will no longer be available to purchase.  You will receive lifetime access to the courses you purchase.  Please click the banners below for details about the courses, and if you would like to purchase the courses.   This is such a wonderful deal for these excellent courses!


 

 

 

 

(This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase by clicking through my links, I will be compensated at no cost to you. Threads of Encouragement uses affiliate links and ads to help support this site.)

The One Who Crowns the Year

Let me begin by wishing everyone a happy new year!   God is good and He has blessed me and my family in so many ways in 2019.  I’m excited to see Him at work in 2020!   Psalm 65 is a joyful Psalm of thanksgiving for God’s provision and salvation!  Here the Psalmist shares of the goodness of God.   Verse 11 says You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.” Friends, it’s my prayer that you know the God who “crowns the year”.  It is He who has provided for our salvation.   Verse 3 states Iniquities prevail against me;  As for our transgressions, You will provide atonement for them.”  First and foremost, God has provided for the forgiveness of our sins through giving His son, Jesus, who paid the penalty for our sin.   Secondly, Psalm 65 attests to how God provides for us even through the hard times we may experience!   As we begin this new year, may we stand in awe of God, be joyful, and be encouraged by His goodness and provisions in our lives.  

Old Man’s Rubble

I had the opportunity this past week to serve at Shelby Mission Camp once again.   I always enjoy going to Shelby Mission Camp.   David and Janet Brown who operate Shelby Mission Camp are great hosts!  We were only able to stay one night this trip, but God blessed with a great day of serving as we went out to work on reparing a room at a ladies’ home that was damaged from a major roof leak.   Another group before us had already re-roofed the house.   Our job was to tear out the old ceiling and insulation, and install new sheetrock ceiling and insulation.  As you can imagine tearing out the old ceiling and insulation created quit a mess.   Old moldy, mildewed sheetrock, insulation, and alot of DUST lay around us.  A big pile of rubble surrounded us!   As we began, to carry out and sweep out all of that rubble, a song from my teenage years came to mind.  Old Man’s Rubble  was wrote and sung by Amy Grant, and also sung by The Imperials.   The song lyrics asks Are you living in an old man’s rubble; Are you listenin’ to the father of lies; Are you walking’ with unnecessary burdens; Are you trying to take them upon yourself; If you are then you’re living in bondage; And you know that’s bad for your spiritual health; And are you trying to live by your emotions; Are you puttin’ your faith in what you feel and see; Then you’re living just to satisfy your passions; And you better be careful, ’cause you’re being deceived; Are you living in an old man’s rubble; Are you listenin’ to the father of lies; If you are then you’re headed for trouble; If you listen too long, you’ll eventually die.”  

2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.   As the song lyrics continue they proclaim the wonderful truth of 2 Corinthians 5:17 “If you’re living as a new creation; If you’re listening to the Father of light; Then you’re living in a mighty fortress; And you’re gonna’ be clothed in power and might.   

It’s my prayer today that you are living as a new creation- that you are listening to the Father of Light, and not living in an old man’s rubble full of dispair, lies and bondage!   If you are, come to Jesus today!  He stands ready to rescue you from an old man’s rubble!

 

The Daily Grace Co. Fall Sale

 

You will not want to miss this massive clearance sale at The Daily Grace Co. It is the perfect time to stock up on Bible Studies or some new Scripture resources, grab the new Advent study before it is sold out (they are going quickly!), or get a head start on your Christmas shopping with these amazing prices!

 

 

(This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase by clicking through my links, I will be compensated at no cost to you. Threads of Encouragement uses affiliate links and ads to help support this site.)

Giveaway Time!

In my last post I shared about a wonderful new book, Beholding and Becoming The Art of Everyday worship by Ruth Chou Simons.   Last week Beholding and Becoming hit #8 on The Wall Street Journal Bestsellers List for Nonfiction.   Here are a few more glimpses into this beautiful, but oh so encouraging, challenging, inspiring book about beholding God in our everyday lives, and how through beholding Him we become more like Him.

Christmas is just right around the corner, and Beholding and Becoming The Art of Everyday Worship would make wonderful Christmas gifts.   If you would like to grab a copy for yourself or for gifts- here is a link to purhase a copy or copies for 43% off right now.

Enter the Giveaway for a chance to win a copy of your own!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Entrants must live in the continental U.S.

(This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase by clicking through my links, I will be compensated at no cost to you. Threads of Encouragement uses affiliate links and ads to help support this site.)

Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship

Today, I want to share a wonderful, beautiful new book that releases tomorrow!   The book Beholding and Becoming, by Ruth Chou Simons, has quickly become a favorite of mine!   Ruth is Christ Follower, an artist, a mother of six boys ages 6-17, and wife to Troy.   Beholding and Becoming is full of Ruth’s beautiful artwork,  but even more important, is the the message of Beholding and Becoming!   Beholding Christ in the everyday mundane tasks, and becoming more like Christ, is the focal point of this encouraging book.

A few of my favorite quotes…

We’ve been given so much to look at, but we are missing the art of beholding.  We are so captivated by our technology and all that it puts before our eyes that we overlook the ways that God displays His glory through creation, relationships, and our ordinary circumstances in the day to day.  We look for dramatic ways to experience God, but His presence and transforming work in our lives happen minute by minute.”

“A day is no random cluster of time.  It is ordained and sacred, even when it feels ordinary.”

Sometimes I think we forget that one of the most loving things we can do as parents is to love our children with the full truth of the gospel–not a watered -down story, a feel-good pep talk, or a behavior-manipulating gospel of self-help.  That’s not the good news.  Jesus loved and saved us while we were His enemies, paid the price to pluck us out of slavery, and made us welcome in His presence–this is the gospel.    When we speak of this amazing grace in the ordinary routines of our days, we take the good news of the gospel with us to car lines, dinner prep, laundry, and even errands during rush hour–which may as well be the ends of the earth.  

If you hurry today, you can pre-order Beholding and Becoming, and receive the pre-order bonuses.   You can receive pre-order bonuses when you order one book, three books, five or ten books.   By the way, Beholding and Becoming would make great Christmas gifts!   The pre-order bonues for just one book are:

  • 8×10 “We Become What We Behold” printable
  • Behind-the-scenes interview with Ruth
  • Exclusive GraceLaced.com discount code

Here’s an order link for Beholding and Becoming for 50% off!   Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship

 

My early release review on Goodreads:

Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship by Ruth Chou Simons
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beholding and Becoming, by Ruth Chou Simmons is a treasure trove of beautiful artwork by Ruth; along with solid Biblical wisdom, guidance, truth, and encouragement for the ordinary, everyday living we all encounter. Through this relevant book, Ruth encourages us with what “beholding and becoming looks like for those who long to become like Christ”, and invites us to be “transformed, one everyday moment at a time. Particularly encouraging to me, is her wisdom on “doing the next thing”, and how “we have reason to rejoice in the gift of another day.”
I highly recommend Beholding and Becoming if you are looking for Biblical encouragement beautifully shared for everyday living!

View all my reviews

 

(This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase by clicking through my links, I will be compensated at no cost to you. Threads of Encouragement uses affiliate links and ads to help support this site.)

My Recent Ecuador Trip

 

Chapel at Camp Chacauco

I have been a little quiet here on the blog this past month due to my trip to Ecuador.   I left on my 11th trip to Ecuador the first of August for 8 days.    After several months of preparation and fundraising, 12 of us headed out in anticipation of what God would do during our time there.   We had been focusing on Ephesians 3:20 –  “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”  I want to share that God really did more than we could have imagined or asked!   He blessed in so many ways!  God’s presence was so evident even in the smallest details of our trip.    From the smoothest travel this year driving, and in and out of the airports, to guiding us through some health issues that some of our team experienced;  God’s Hand of mercy and grace just seemed to be upon us in a powerful way.   We were blessed to hand out Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes again this year, we led Vacation Bible School in the sweet community of Apatug again this year, and we were able to help some at Camp Chacauco where we stay.   We spent time with our missionary Steve Thompson, and the camp staff all of whom we have come to dearly love!   We’ve also made great friends from Texas over the past 4 years who we love!  The following verse in Ephesians 3 says “to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  (vs. 21).   I would just like to say “to Him be glory!

Now for the picture overload…

Our first day in Ecuador with the city of Quito behind me.

Ecuador is a beautiful country with beautiful flowers.

 

beautiful waterfalls

rainbows

and of course, volcanos… This is the Tungurahua Volcano located very close to Camp Chacauco.

lots of farming – here, onions as far as you can see.

and quite possibly the biggest carrots in the world!

 

The following pictures are related to the different ministry opportunities of our trip.

Sunday morning worship in Ambato

 

Distribution of Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes in a community with no Christian influence.

Diana presenting the Gospel to the children receiving shoeboxes.


 

One of my favorite pictures from our trip -the oppportunity to share the Gospel that the

distribution of OCC Shoeboxes provides!

We had the opportunity to visit the seminary at Camp Chacauco.  We have seen this seminary grow from the foundation up over the past 11 years.   Although there is still some work to be done on the building and grounds, it is now a functioning seminary!   Our missionary, Steve Thompson who designed the building, is standing in front in the picture.  PESCA stands for Proyecto Evangelistico y Social Cubriendo la Amazonia (Evangelistic and Social Project Covering the Amazon Jungle.)

Steve sharing more about the seminary inside one of the conference rooms.

 

Sweet Jessica who handles all things administrative at the seminary.

 

One of the beautiful doors coming into the Seminary from the lower level.

 

Some of the work at the camp included the girls helping clean and organize the pharmacy,  and the boys pouring concrete for a retaining wall.   Pictured above is Emma from our group, whose nursing skills helped greatly with organizing of the pharmacy!

Andrea preparing some first aid bags to go to the jungle camp the following week.

Vacation Bible School in Apatug – We love the community of Apatug, and have been going there for several years.

the sweet children of Apatug

Spinners we made from repurposed cd’s!  They make wonderful spinners!

We have seen these girls grow up!

Craft time!

 

Two Betsys – One from our group (left), teaching the Bible lesson, and Betsabe (right) from Ecuador, translating.  We had the blessing of working with Betsabe last year and this year both!

 

The last day of VBS, our lesson was on Jesus washing the disciples’ feet.  We were blessed to have around 300 pairs of socks to take with us this year, and following the lesson we washed the children’s feet and placed the new socks on their feet.   This was one of the most special and meaningful times I have experienced in 11 years of going on “mission” to Ecuador.

 

Group picture last day of VBS.

 

When you have the opportunity and blessing to enter into partnership over several years , special friendships and “family” are the result.  Pictured below are a few:

Mauricio- my adopted son!

Mauricio’s Mom – Mariana

Our dear friends – Esteban (not pictured), Diana & son, Pablito

 

Susana –  she has been such a sweet blessing over the years!

A dear friend from Texas, Stacy!

New friends, Iveth & Lissette!

 

And our dear missionaries Steve & Carol Thompson (Carol was in the states with her mom).   Steve sharing Biblical wisdom and encouragement with our group, and just the way He invests in our group during our time in Ecuador is one of the greatest blessings of our partnership!

 

 

Good and Perfect Gifts

 

Good and perfect gifts from The Father:

His Word

love

sunrises

sunsets

smiles of children

flowers

blue skies

family

homes

food

pets

friends

music

colors

laughter

health

grace

rest

waterfalls

night sky full of stars

jobs

transportation

church

walks

seashells

electricity

worship

rain

chocolate

books

light

Just a few of God’s good and perfect gifts He blesses us with daily!

Take a few moments to think about some of the good and perfect gifts God has blessed you with!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will You Sponsor a Child?

 

One of the joys I have been priviledged to experience over the past six years is sponsoring a child through Compassion International.

Leading mission trips to Ecuador for my church for the past several years, I had the opportunity to see Compassion at work in a Compassion Center located at a church where we helped conduct a Vacation Bible School in 2013.   I was impressed to say the least.   At this center, the children were fed a nutritious meal each day.   These meals smelled wonderful, and I’m sure were a blessing to these kids!    Upon coming back home, I felt led to sponsor a child from Ecuador.

Child sponsorship has been a blessing for me.   During the past six years I was able to meet my child twice while on my annual mission trip to Ecuador.   I’ve been able to volunteer with Compassion through Compassion Sunday, and at events like concerts as a table volunteer helping to recruit new sponsors.  I have recently joined a group of Compassion Bloggers, and we have a goal this month (7 days of June left!) of 50 children being sponsored!   Would you help us reach this goal?

You might ask – “How does sponsoring help a child?   First and most important, they are taught about Jesus through a relationship with a local church (Compassion Centers).  Sponsored children receive LOVE,  health care and supplements to help with malnutrition, education,  and recreation-   Here are the specific benefits:

  • The opportunity to receive an education:In some cases, this means providing the cost of school fees, clothing and supplies. In other cases, it means providing tutoring, help with homework, encouragement and, if necessary, participation in a literacy program outside the classroom. Your sponsorship will allow one special child to stay in school longer if formal schooling is an option and get the most out of his or her education.
  • The opportunity to be healthy:The health of the child you sponsor will be monitored and care will be provided as needed. Children are taught about hygiene and how to maintain personal health. In addition, and according to their needs, many of the children we assist receive supplementary food.
  • The opportunity to develop self-confidence and social skills:The child you sponsor will be part of a church-based program where Christian adults offer love, guidance, personal attention, guided recreation and safety.
  • The opportunity to hear the gospel and learn about Jesus:Most important, your sponsorship provides the child you sponsor with regular Bible training and encouragement through a local church committed to Christ and the children in its community.

Children can be sponsored through Compassion for $38 monthly.   One of the wonderful things about sponsoring a child is writing your child letters, and receiving letters from your child!   Would you like to share the love of Jesus with someone?   Through writing letters, you can share what Jesus has and is doing in your life with the child.   You can encourage them with Bible verses, and letting them know that you care specifically about them.   Just sharing your life with them makes a huge difference in their lives!

Please prayfully consider sponsoring a child today!   Here’s the link again if you feel led to sponsor!    I would love to hear from you if you decide to sponsor a child.   Email me or comment below.   Thank you for considering this opportunity to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus!  Below are some pictures from 2013, where we taught VBS at the church with the Compassion Center that first began my sponorship journey.

Threads of Encouragement – Looking for the “Big” Turtle

 

Design by Red Gremlin Design

 

Our theme verse this year for our mission trip to Ecuador is Ephesians 3:20.  Several months back, I heard a devotion from Habakkuk 1:5  “Look among the nations and watch—Be utterly astounded!  For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you.  In verses 1-4, the prophet Habakkuk is questioning God’s judgements, and verse 5 is God’s answer.   When I heard this verse it reminded me of Ephesians 3:20, Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.  

A couple of weeks ago I was taking my Grandaughter, Gracie to school when I saw a big turtle in the road.  Not far from our home, there are a couple of good size ponds beside the road, and the turtle was in the road beside the ponds.  So I stopped in the road (not much traffic on our road), and was trying to show Gracie the turtle.   However, Gracie just couldn’t seem to see the “big” turtle.   She kept saying “I don’t see it”.   I even opened the sliding door so she could see from her car seat easily, and she still said “I can’t see it”.    See, I think Gracie was looking for a small turtle, and overlooking the “big” turtle while looking for a small one.   Isn’t that so much like us to be looking for the ordinary things God might do, or ways we think God might work, or  people we think God might work through.   So many times God works in ways we can’t imagine.   More often than not, we don’t even ask Him to work in “big” ways because we limit His works to what we think possible.   Folks let’s be “utterly astounded” by what our Awesome God wants to do in our lives, through our lives, others lives, and for some of us, a mission trip to Ecuador.   Let’s not only be looking around for the small ordinary works, but let’s look for those “immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine” works our God has to show us.     Why? –you might ask– to give Him glory!  To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Ephesians 3:21.

Gracie did finally see the “big” turtle!