Monday, February 29, 2016

Life Pillars - Angie Tingle

Something that I wish I had started at a young age is to pay attention to

  Life Pillars!

These pillars are the “load bearing walls” as we build our “home,” our life, on the rock of Jesus Christ.  
(Matthew 7:24-27)  

The storms of life will come.  And, when they do, be found standing by your God!  He wants you to be found standing and so He says that these “pillars” represent His greatest commandment for us.
(Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 22:37-39)

HEART PILLAR:  Where is your treasure? - Keep eternity in your eyesight when walking into the day.  Jesus reminds us to keep eternity as the focus of our heart, because where our heart (emotion) is attached that place will become the focus of our thoughts and then our actions will follow. (Matthew 6:19-21)  Remembering this helps me to pause when responding to circumstances and to people.

SOUL PILLAR:  Walk with God – Have a personal, intimate, daily walk with the Lord. Memorizing His Word, thinking about it (meditating on it), and reading it.  This is your “plum line” for Truth in life.  This pillar keeps God in His rightful place and helps us recognize idols that might try to take root in our lives. 

MIND PILLAR: Take every thought captive – It is so important to take every thought captive to obey Jesus Christ.  (2 Corinthians 10:5) We are told what to think about and we are told to practice.  (Philippians 4:8-9)  This helps to keep the lies from Satan out of our brains. 

MIGHT PILLAR: Exercise, food, work and rest – This pillar represents, for me, physically caring for myself on purpose.  (This becomes more important as you get older!!) This pillar begins with eating right, getting enough sleep at night, and exercise during the day.  When I do this, I always seem to be able to respond to life circumstances better!  (I can get grumpy when I am overly tired or hungry!!)  Rest includes choosing to be still & allowing time for play – stepping away from the regular grind of life, reading a book, enjoying the great outdoors, journaling, taking a trip to a beautiful place, or whatever you come up with alone or with others!

It makes my heart smile to think of you setting your own pillars in place 
as you build your house on the rock of Jesus Christ!  
Love God.  Love others.

Love always,

Angie tingle

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Why Obey? - Lisa Clark

“Because I said so.” 

Have you ever said these 4 words? Bet you have.  Me, too.  Guilty.

For heaven’s sake, it’s a commandment from the Lord! “Honor your father and your mother!” (Exodus 20:12)

But better yet, taking time with our children to explain that the true blessings from the Lord are in the obedience.  There is no condemnation in obedience, no guilt, just freedom. 

Proverbs 97:11-12 – “Light is sown for the righteous and strewn along their pathway, and joy for the upright in heart (the irrepressible joy which comes from consciousness of His favor and protection).  Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness. “

Instead of saying, “Because I said so.”   Maybe we could say something like this…"do you like to see where you’re going?”... “Yes”... “Then if you want to walk in light, you must live a righteous, upright life.  God will show you the way as you are obedient to Him (and us).”

There are many passages in God’s word that deal with obedience and the blessings that result from His directive.  Man’s sin nature will always be bent towards self.  Always.  We must be CONSUMED with His presence and leading to take the road less traveled through obedience.  Daily consumption.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

All In Devotional by Stacy Davis - God is Righteous

Family Fun Icebreaker: What is something that you think that you do really well?

Question: What is God’s Character?

Today’s Big Idea: God is Righteous
Another characteristic of God that does not change is His righteousness. God always does the right thing. God does not lie; He is always truthful. God is honorable, and He does not cheat. God does not steal or bully. The list can go on and on. God is always morally right. He is our example, leading us to live the right way. The opposite of the right way is sin. In the Bible, God creates a set of moral values that He names “the Law.” God explains that any opposition of His moral values is called “sin.” So, anytime you oppose God, you sin. God’s goal for you is to live the right lifestyle that He defines for you in the Holy Bible. Both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are full of valuable information that illustrates the right, or moral, way to live life.

Talk with God: Read the scripture aloud.
For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face. Psalm 11:7 NIV

Walk with God:
 Read aloud and discuss.
God helps you understand the right way to live your life through his guidance in scripture. Scripture defines a right lifestyle from a sinful lifestyle. Therefore, you need to spend time reading the Holy Bible to understand the morally right way to live. Jesus, God’s Son, summarizes the Law by saying that you are to love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:29-31). The Ten Commandments, found in Exodus 20, is a list He provides for you through His Word on living right. There are many other passages throughout the Holy Bible that define the right way to live as opposed to the sinful way to live. For an easy place to start, spend time daily reading a few verses in either Psalms or Proverbs. These books give you examples of right or wrong lifestyle choices.

Discuss with your family:
 Can you list all ten of the Ten Commandments? What would be the benefit for you in knowing and following God’s right lifestyle?

Prayer suggestion: Pray for God to help you understand His right lifestyle.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

All In Devotional by Stacy Davis - God is Holy

Family Fun Icebreaker: Do you have something that you consider special, important, or dear to you? What is it?

Question: What is God’s Character?

Today’s Big Idea: God is Holy
This post focuses on the character of God. Certain words describe Him well and “holiness” is one of those words. The “Holiness of God” means that God is set apart. He is worthy of reverence because of His purity and His deity. God is so important he deserves special respect. The Bible tells you to talk about Him with respect, setting aside time for Him because of who He is. God is very holy. In fact, He is so holy that the Bible mentions His holiness three times in verses Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8; the angelic beings say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory”(Isaiah 6:3 NIV). God is far above anything in all of creation in holiness. He is our leader, and we are to strive to be holy as He is.

Talk with God:
 Read the scriptures aloud.
And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah 6:3 NIV
Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, Almighty – the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” Revelation 4:8 NLT
As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him. 2 Samuel 22:31 NIV

Walk with God: Read aloud and discuss.
In a world where disrespect is common, it can be hard to understand holiness and the expectation of respect that comes with such reverence. God wants you to be respectful to Him. Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Christians, God’s people, are spiritually pure because Jesus’ sacrifice cleanses them of sin. As a Christian, God sets you apart as blameless and pure because you believe in Him. Purity reflects holiness, and your choice to trust Him allows you to be holy with Him right now. The desire to be respectful to God comes with this purity of heart He gives to you.

Discuss with your family:
 What does it mean to be pure in heart? Why is it valuable to have a friend in God, who is holy and pure?

Prayer suggestion:
 Pray for God’s help for your purity.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Waiting on Something Good? - Terrie Chevaillier

For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. Psalm 84:11

Are you waiting on something right now for yourself or one of your children?  If so, take comfort and heart in this verse. 

Right now, our family is waiting to hear back on a college application for one of our children.  Psalm 84:11 was our “go to” verse when our oldest son was waiting to hear back on acceptance to his college of choice.

At times, I would start to doubt myself and how I should have encouraged better study habits or perhaps planned and paid for more tutoring for the entrance exams.  In the waiting, I had to boss my feelings and look at this truth.  I had to say out loud to myself, “If it would be a good thing for him to get into this college, the Lord promises to not withhold it.”

Even though we didn’t do everything right, His grace covered a multitude of his and my failures as we took them to the cross and asked Him to cover those areas with His grace and forgiveness. His failures as a student and mine as a parent.  I am thankful to share that he got in and it was a great thing for him and he has since graduated and is working in a job he enjoys.  Even after graduation, this continues to be a “go to” verse that I pray for him and I see God’s faithfulness amidst a life with successes and setbacks or failures.

Today I pray this verse for my other son, but same season and reason of waiting!  Either way- we know it will be good.  That is what He promises!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

5 Creative and Affordable Valentine's Date Ideas - Natalie Reed

Yep, it’s Valentine’s Day. The holiday created by Hallmark and Hershey’s designed to pressure people into spending too much money, in order to create a special and memorable Valentine’s date.
But there’s no need to break the bank. Here’s my list of Five Affordable and Creative Valentine’s DateIdeas to help you save some cash, but still deliver an unforgettable time with your special someone….

1. Record a love song for your Valentine with the cool app, Songify. Just speak into your smartphone, and Songify will turn your words into a song, with a melody and reprise. Head over to theiTunes Store and download it for just $2.99.

2. Go on a Grocery Store Dash! I created a fun list of advertising slogans for the food items you’ll need to create a special meal. Download and print it here, then send your loved one on a race through the grocery store using only the listed advertising slogans to find and gather all the ingredients needed to prepare a romantic dinner. You’ll be able to avoid all the craziness and expense of eating out on Valentine’s Day, plus enjoy a nice, affordable meal at home with a fun, creative twist!

3. Find your inner child. Hit the local roller rink, playground or soccer field and challenge your Valentine to some friendly competition and childhood fun. Find out who can cross the monkey bars fastest, skate backwards or make a goal from the furthest distance. Wherever you decide to go, the two of you will have fun coming up with ideas for the challenges.

4. Create your own custom photo scavenger hunt with the FREE Klikaklu app.  It uses your phone’s GPS, camera, and advanced image matching technology to help you create your very own hunt. You can retrace all the memorable places you’ve visited with your Valentine, like your favorite coffee shop, where you first met or just a romantic hangout spot!

5. Get Red all over! Head to a thrift store where each of you are given a designated amount of time and money to split up and find the most extreme Valentine’s outfit.  You can even decide on a particular theme (i.e. 80’s high school dance, dress like a child, gaudy, vintage, etc.). And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, wear your “brand new” outfits to dinner at a local restaurant and enjoy all the attention and double-takes you’ll receive!

Monday, February 8, 2016

All In Devotional by Stacy Davis - God is Sufficient

Family Fun Icebreaker: How has the person to your left helped you?

Question: How is God Unique?

Today’s Big Idea: God is Sufficient
God is Sufficient; He truly is all that you need, which makes Him unique. In the past few weeks, I have written about how God has always existed (eternal). He is in complete control (sovereign). He is all-powerful (omnipotent). He is everywhere (omnipresent). He is all-knowing (omniscient). All of these qualities make God all you need (sufficient)! God shares in scripture that everything that proceeds out of His mouth is what man needs to live (Matthew 4:4); scripture is God’s Words written down by men appointed by God. Therefore, the wisdom God passes on to you in scripture contains the guidance from Him to help you live life and fully equip you to spiritually thrive in this world.

Talk with God: Read the scriptures aloud.
All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NISB
He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3 NASB

Walk with God: Read aloud and discuss.
God is aware that you need food, water, and shelter. He provides the earth and everything on it to help mankind. God also gives us an instruction manual for life—the Holy Bible. Just like any set of instructions, the Bible cannot help you very much if you don’t pick it up and read it.

Discuss with your family: Will you commit to spend more time reading God’s Word? What are some valuable things that you have already learned from God’s Word?

Prayer suggestion: Pray for God to help you see His provisions.

I will be praying for you!

Stacy A. Davis, Author
Sky Ranch Family Devotionals, from the book All In
© 2015 Stacy A. Davis, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

All In Devotional by Stacy Davis - God is Omniscient

Family Fun Icebreaker: What is your favorite wise saying?

Question: How is God Unique?

Today’s Big Idea: God is Omniscient
God is unique because He is omniscient, which means that God knows the past, present and future at the same time. The smartest person in the world is very limited in knowledge compared to God. God’s ability to see far is beyond anything you can imagine or understand. God’s knowledge is vast and personal. He knows everything, from how to create a galaxy to the details of you and your life. He knows your thoughts and the words you are going to say before you have formed them on your tongue. He knows when you move, where you go, or the expression on your face. He also knows the best plan for your life. He is not limited by or bound to time like you are. Sometimes, when life suddenly changes direction, God leads you on a different path because His infinite wisdom allows Him to see the big picture.

Talk with God: Read the scriptures aloud.
"You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD." Psalm 139:2-4 NLT
"He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!" Psalm 147:4-5 NLT
"Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything." 1 John 3:19-20 NLT

Walk with God: Read aloud and discuss.
It can be both intimidating and comforting to be in a relationship with someone as smart as God. There is no point in lying to God, which removes the pressure of perfection. God loves you despite your wrongdoing. He still desires a relationship with you, even though He knows the truth of your actions.

Discuss with your family: How is it helpful to have a relationship with
someone that you will never be able to lie to?

Prayer suggestion: Pray for God’s help to trust His wisdom.

I will be praying for you!

Monday, February 1, 2016

A "Taste" of Sky Ranch Ute Trail - Tori Miller and Angie Tingle

If we can’t actually be at Sky Ranch Ute Trail Family Camp in Colorado right now enjoying the opportunity to be free from the usual daily responsibilities lets, bring just a “taste” of it into our homes.

Thank you Angie for getting the staff, counselors and each family member at camp hooked on your incredible “Ute Trail Granola”…it is the perfect start to anyone’s day, a healthy snack, or can satisfy a sweet tooth.

So, until we can all be back at the most life changing experience, where we build deep family bonds, and strengthen our spiritual walks…lets eat…


Angie’s Ute Trail Granola

6 cups of oats
4 cups of nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, and/or pecans)
2 cups raisins
2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup REAL (Grade B) maple syrup
1 teaspoon REAL vanilla

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, and nuts.

In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, and vanilla. Combine both mixtures and spread onto large Jelly roll pan.

Cook for 1 hour stirring every 20 minutes to achieve an even color.

Remove from oven and add raisins and cranberries. Cool then transfer into a airtight container.

Can last up to 6 weeks.

“…and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” Acts 2:46

Tori Miller
SkyMom’s Ministry Director

Photos curtesy of Kyndall Miller J