28-Day Prayer Guide for Women

1.21.2017 | No comments

Over the next 28-days, I pray that you will be able to draw closer to the Lord in the spiritual discipline of prayer.   I pray that you would commit to pouring out your heart to him and commit to listening to his precious Word.

Grab a journal, a pen, and your bible, and with a willing heart sit down before the Father in the stillness and write out your requests to him.  It might be a struggle at first, but stick with it. It doesn’t have to be fancy or eloquent. We have a Father in Heaven who hears and listens, and he delights in us.

  • There is no right or wrong way to begin writing down your prayers. You may have had a diary when you were younger. The premise is the same, except you are writing to holy Jesus, not a lifeless, emotionless journal.
  • There is no right or wrong length of prayer. Some days you may write a few lines, while other days may take a page or two. It’s your time with the Lord, an intimate fellowship that is an open line of communication between you both. You make your requests, but you also listen.
  • Prayer asserts our dependence on God. We are helpless. We are not in control. We need to pour out our hearts to the one who has rescued us and holds the universe together. We need to tap into that rich love and that incredible power.
  • Prayer is your lifeline to the Father. You may find that writing your prayers done will help you stayed focused. You may be a doodler and draw in the margins. You may find that the first few days are awkward. And that is all okay. God does not think you sound stupid or wordy or weird or whiney, he just wants to hear you. Don’t neglect this spiritual discipline. Commit to being with him.

You can download the 28-day prayer guide by clicking on the graphic below. 

Have a question? 
Ask me in the comments below. 

We are not Self-Sufficient

1.18.2017 | No comments

Why do we treat dependence as such a negative thing, and celebrate every aspect of independence?  I am reading the book "None Like Him" by Jen Wilkin, and she talks about the unique self-sufficiency of God among other unparalleled attributes of our God.

When I think of self-sufficiency in my own life, I automatically think of that as a good thing, a celebrated thing by society, and something on which I can instantly pride myself.  However, God is truly the only self-sufficient One.  We are finite, created beings, and severely limited by our needs.  Our needs drive us to action, sometimes that's a good thing and many times that can be a bad thing.

For me, I get a kick on being able to do it all.  I selfishly love that people might think, "Wow, she's got it going on."  But the truth is, I don't; and I'm not sure I have really ever fooled anyone except myself.  Certainly I have never fooled God.  I often times pride myself on being able to do most things without asking for help, but it leaves me drained and overwhelmed.  That festers into an unpleasant demeanor and a bitter spirit.  I definitely do not have it going on.
I simply can't do everything by myself, and neither were you.  We weren't created to be.

"We are not needy because of sin, we are needy by divine design."
None Like Him, page 63

And finally, I am okay with that reality.  Are you?

We were created to be dependent on the One who created us and on other believers.  Only God, the uncreated One; the One who has always been, is incapable of being dependent on anything he creates.

It would be like me saying because I painted a picture, I need it to complete me or help me survive in some fashion.  It would be like me saying that the picture is free to do what it pleases: it can hang itself on the wall, it can choose the frame it wants to be put in to, it can copy itself, it can choose its own value.  That's insane, or is it?  Of course that picture would need me to do those things for it.

Same is true for God. We need Him, but he certainly needs us not.  He created us for his good pleasure, but not to sustain him or fill some need.  He is already self-sustaining, self-sufficient.  It is who he has always been, and will always be.

God created us.  We are God's picture.

Maybe a hard and challenging pill to swallow for a finite, created being like us to try and understand the creation of the infinite, uncreated Father.  But let that cause you to fall into a deeper worship of God, the one who created you for his pleasure, who delights in you.
"The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him.
Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for 'In him we live and move and have our being;' as even some of your own poets have said,  'For we are indeed his offspring'."
Acts 17:24-28

Jen provides a self-evaluation if you think you may be attempting a self-sufficient life without dependence on Christ or fellow believers:
  • Prayerlessness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Anger in trial
  • Lack of conviction of personal sin
  • Avoidance of Christian community
  • Concealment
  • Lack of accountability
  • Lack of humility
  • Exhaustion

So basically if I check myself with this list, I've been living in self-sufficient sin.  Time to repent and seek the Lord.  This is causing me to worship my self-sufficient, self-sustaining, all-knowing Creator even more.

To combat some of these areas, I have created a 28-day prayer guide that I will be walking through in February.  If you are interested in downloading it, you will be able to do that on Saturday right here on the blog.

Where are you at in the battle of self-sufficiency?

Note: I am in no way affiliated with any links, authors, companies.  I do not get paid for any clicks, likes, or shares.  

Day 13 Idolatry + Day 14 Journaling

1.13.2017 | No comments

Today's scripture:
1 Chronicles 16:8-36

When you read the title of today's devotional, a few things might have run through your head.  Upon thinking about idols, you may have thought about the popular TV show American Idol.  Maybe you thought about the carved statues in East Asian religions.  Or perhaps you thought of your celebrity role model.  Regardless, you have a pretty good understanding of what idols can be and may be in your life.

After reading the passage in the Bible however, you might think that titling today "Idolatry" was odd.  True, this is song of thanksgiving from David. However, I think it is really important to note that David understood his place before God.  He knew God, and most importantly, he was known by God.

David refused to worship anything or anyone but the Lord.  In this song of praise, David shows so much adoration to our heavenly Father.  We can learn a lot from that.

When we have a grateful heart toward the Lord that pours out praise and adoration and thanksgiving, it enables us to have a proper posture before the Lord.  We cannot serve two masters as we looked at last week in Matthew (Day 3).  That means we cannot worship both God and something or someone else.  When you are ascribing glory to the Lord, thanking him for your salvation, remembering his great works, trembling before his throne, and seeking him continually; there is no place for worshipping a lowercase-g god.

Idolatry is the act of worshiping some thing instead of the one true God.  Anything is capable of becoming a god in our lives: marriage, money, children, cars, body-image, time, social media, food. 

Verse 11 holds the keep for us.
"Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually."
The Lord promises he will be found if you earnestly seek him (Matthew 7:7).

However, as it says in Psalm 115 (please please don't neglect this passage in your 'New Bloom' devotional), when we forgo the glory of Christ and glorify the man-made, the finite, we become as is our idol: worthless and useless, absolutely dead.

Worship the one true capital-g God.  He is worthy of our praise.  He never ends. He is not man-made. He is living. He sees.  He speaks.  He hears. And he is our empathetic Savior.  Abandon your idols, hold fast to Christ.

What tends to becomes an idol in your life? 

Do you lead a life of gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord?

Day 14 is designed to let you reflect on this past week of scripture readings and questions. Revisit a verse that really stuck out to you.  Jot down a phrase with which you really connected.  Scribble a prayer of gratitude or repentance.  Ask Christ to give you a desire for more of him. However you choose to do use your quiet time, stay focused on your time with the Lord.


More from New Bloom:

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, likes or dislikes about the New Bloom devotional, I would love to hear your thoughts.  Leave a comment below and I will respond.  Thank you so much for taking this 2-week journey with me.  It has truly been an exciting adventure and I hope you grew in your walk with the Lord as much as I have.  I hope you have been encouraged in Christ these past 14 days.  

Day 12 My First Love

1.12.2017 | No comments

Today's passages:

Revelation 2:2-7

Do you remember when you first surrendered your life to Christ?  The sweet wooing process of the Lord drawing you out of darkness and into his marvelous light.  Do you remember with what eagerness you dove into the bible to consume his Word?

It doesn't matter if you were saved when you were 6-years-old at Vacation Bible School or you were drug through the trenches before crying out to Christ later in life, you were dead in your sin but God in his great mercy opened your eyes to his wonderful salvation.  That is a beautiful picture.

You can read the messy but beautiful story of the Lord drawing me out of darkness here.

Nic Dampier Photography - March 8, 2014 - Starkville, MS

However, as we get more comfortable in our relationship with Christ, as with a significant other, we stop investing as much time with that person.  We might get lazy with intentionality.  We stop pursuing moments together and start figuring out what we can get from the relationship.  Unfortunately, those same principles can paralyze our walk with Christ.

Return to your first Love, the only Love that will never depart or fail.

Listen to I Am They's "From the Day" and return to your first Love.  Find a list of more suggested songs at the end of the New Bloom devotional.

More from the New Bloom devotional:

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6+7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10Day 11

Share your redemption story in the comments below.  We could all be encouraged by your testimony.

Day 11 Shhhhh.....

1.11.2017 | No comments

The average woman speaks nearly 20,000 words a day.  That's more than 13,000 additional words than the average man speaks each day.  And with the use of social media and the ease of hitting the "SEND" button, there are countless other words exchanged each day.  How are we using those words and what do those words say about who we are?

Today's scriptures:

Ephesians 4:29-32
Ephesians 5:4
Colossians 3:5-8
Philippians 4:8-9
James 1:26
Ecclesiastes 10:12-14

Clearly the Lord designed man and woman distinctly different in a myriad of ways, it just so happens that talking may be one of the most obvious differences character trait differences.  Sure, we all know men on the chatty side and women on the silent side, but this is talking about the majority of the population, regardless of religious affiliation.

So does this mean that we just need to put tape over our mouth and keep quiet for the rest of our lives?  Well, if your words are damaging to those around you then, yeah, maybe.  But no, there is something more edifying and God-glorifying.  God has shaped us quite uniquely as women, and we have an incredible opportunity to use those 20,000 words a day (or more) to influence and build others up.

When we use our words to tear down, to slander, to promote self, to curse others, it reveals a heart problem.
"For out of the heart the mouth speaks."
Matthew 12:34b
A sinful heart produces sinful words.  Sinful words are not attractive, not appealing, and definitely not appetizing for those receiving.  We are reminded in James 3 that our tongue is set on fire by hell itself.  We can begin by confessing how our words have been anything but God-glorifying and ask Christ to renew the words that are on our lips.
"Guard your heart above all else, for it effects everything you do."
Proverbs 4:23 (NLT, 97)
Christ is the only one who can soften our hearts of stone.  Instead of using our speech (and texts and tweets and posts) for temporary worldly gain, we can exchange them for eternal glory.  Philippians 4:8-9 says that we can think about everything that is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise.  When we fill our hearts with these things, our speech begins to reshape.

Take a minute to listen to Bethel's "Ever Be."

As a follower of Christ, we are to look like Christ and when our conversations with coworkers, and tweets about politics, and group text messages with friends sound no different than non-believers, we literally waste the blood of Christ that he mercifully poured out for us on the cross.  Let the praises of Christ and a God-glorifying, positive message be on your lips at all times.  Walk (and talk your 20,000 words) in a manner worthy of your calling as Ephesians 4:1 describes.


If you haven't downloaded the New Bloom devotional, you can do so by clicking the logo.

More from New Bloom devotional:

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

Day 6+7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10

Day 10 Be Different

1.10.2017 | No comments

Today's scripture from the New Bloom devotional:

1 John 1-3

I am 27 years old and I literally just realized that the phrase "law abiding citizen" and "please abide by the rules" use the same word "abide" uttered throughout scripture, specifically 1 John.  Talk about a lightbulb moment.  To abide by the rules means to follow the guidelines set before you.  It means to stay within the confines of set boundaries. Likewise, abiding in Christ means to follow Christ's example, to remain in his teachings and commandments.

If you are like me, two words that may have jumped out at you more than any other words were "sin" and "abide."  These two words couldn't be more opposite.

In chapter 3 you see the phrases "practice of sinning" and "keep on sinning" repeated a number of times.  If you remember from Day 3 Freedom, we touched on this point.  I don't mean to simplify a sin struggle or distort the reality of habitual sin because I have been there and I know how binding it can be; however, scripture is clear that the love of sin does not rule in a believer's heart.  A heart surrendered to Christ cannot occupy both Christ and the love of darkness.  This is particularly challenging to me, and I don't want to seem like I have it "all together" in this life, so please don't read the following words as if I am on a pedestal.  It's just my wish to grow closer to Christ.

If you are walking in a state of habitual sin, it is impossible to walk in the light.  These are not my words, they're God's.  As a struggling 21-year-old college student living in habitual darkness and trying to walk in the light, it was evident that I was leading a double-life completely inconsistent with scripture.  I was living in rebellion, numb to the consequences of my sin, and far from the presence of Christ.  I knew who could rescue me from sin, yet I didn't truly want to be rescued.  I loved the darkness.  There is a distinct differences between being okay with your sin and hating it.  You can read more of that process here.

I am walking, living proof that darkness and light cannot coexist in one's heart; but I am also living proof that Jesus Christ is a merciful Savior who is ready and willing to forgive a penitent heart.
"Little children, let no one deceive you.  Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous."
-1 John 3:7
We will continue to sin in this world, but we need to ask ourselves if sin is the defining characteristic in our life.  Is our life outlined by habitually rebelling against what Christ commands?

If you don't know, ask yourself these questions:
  • Is there something in my life that I know is sinful, but I don't want to give it up?
  • Is there something that I keep going back to in order to be satisfied?
  • Is there something that brings initial gratification, but leaves me completely broken?
  • Is there something I know is wrong to do, but I do it anyway because I know Christ will forgive me later?
If so, you may be like 21-year-old me.  Trying to live a double-life, a fake-life.  It's time to be different, be made new in Christ. Christ is ready and willing to forgive your past, and give you a bright tomorrow.  Will you turn away from a lifestyle of habitual sin and turn toward to a life of righteousness in Christ?


Here is Sovereign Grace's "All I Have Is Christ."  This is a great song to listen to with today's devotional.  Check out more suggested songs in the back of your devotional.

What stuck out to you in the 3 chapters we read in 1 John?

What was your favorite verse from these passages?

More from New Bloom devotional:

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