Reply – Friday
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— by Chancie Chancie
Today was a great day !! A little late getting started but I did make it to work ! I love the spring time ! In the morning, I wake up to birds sing outside my window. What a great way to wake up! Then, our morning starts. Now, I shall not tell a story ! At our house in the morning, it gets a little loud. I'm so thankful I live in the country and my nieghbor is family ! The boys are pretty much on rountine and you just wake them up. I LOVE my boys !!! The drama starts along with the noise when my darling twin daughter, Gracie (everybody says we are just alike) floats around the house with not a care on her mind. You think I'm joking ? I have to stay on her with every task and it gets crazy! What I don't understand is I'm a person of rountine, all my kids know our rountine. We had the same rountine for quite sometime! But for some reason, Gracie acts as though she has no idea what we are suppose to do and we have all morning to do it. I do have to laugh about it because I'm sure my mom went through the same thing with me and my husband (look up at my 2nd sentence) is now dealing with it! My defense is I'm older and I make sure everyone is taken care of before I let myself get distracted with the laundry, bed making and the dishes. I made it to work and was very productive in the morning time. I LOVE fridays !! Not just because it's the last day of the work week but because it is so relaxing at work. At our office we are like family, 80% is family and the other 20% is basically family. We don't have the drama between co-workers that you find at some offices and if someone is troubled by something, we all are! We will do whatever to help the next person out. We even talk about religion!
My office mate and I usually stay at our desk until it's time to go home. We bring our lunches and eat at our desk. We find it more distracting for us if we go out for lunch and come back to work. For some reason we aren't as motivated if we leave our desk for too long. Today was a perfect example !! Now don't get me wrong, we work our fingers to the bones and get our work done before we will even consider going anywhere for lunch. Today we went and did a little shopping and it was FUN !! We even top it off with drive thru at Zaxby's! Yum ! I've been on a life style change (a diet is what it really is) since my office mate had her baby! So, needless to say, Zaxby's was great !! And, I even cheated tonight at Burger King ! This afternoon Jon, me and our kids went with my mom, my 3 nieces and nephew to Burger King. My mom was going to take my 3 yr old twin nieces, 2 yr old nephew and my older niece to Mellow Mushroom. I told her that there was not anything mellow when you take 3 kids, 3 and under to Mellow Mushroom !! If you go out to eat with little kids, take them to a place where they get worn out from playing and you get to enjoy a hot meal and actually have an adult conversation. So, I was including in her field trip to Burger King along with my WONDERFUL husband and kids. It wasn't bad!! We got some stares because of the 9 kids but it was fun. Afterwards, we went to see my grandma at the hospital. This time we brought 9 kids, 14 yr old, 12 yr old, 10 yr old, 7 yr old (this is where it gets tricky) 3 yr old twins, 1 set of 2 yr old twins along with another 2 yr old. We were afraid we were going to get kicked out of the hospital because of the number of kids! The kids were great. Grandma was excited to see all those kids. We got some pictures. She seems to be doing good. She had a rough day yesterday but today seemed better or she was better when we got there. As we were leaving, we joked with the nurse at the nurses station that if he saw any kids wondering around just give us a call but we think we have them all !!
I wanted to start this blog with what I had bought Jon last night at Lifeway. Thursday after Gracie's soccer practice, she and I went to the Christian book store to get a picture Jon had picked out that he wanted to hang in his office. It's a picture of the Spiritual Armour of God. Jon has been doing a Bible men's Bible study on the Spiritual Armour of God at our church for going 36 weeks with just taken a few weeks off between each book.

The Spiritual Armour Of God is the Helment of Salvation, Breastplate of Righteousness, Belt of Truth, Gospel Shoes, Shield of Faith and the Sword of the Spirit.
The Helment of Salvation is basically getting your head right. Jon told me not to put that but I thought it was direct and straight to the point.  And, I understood that the first time he said it :) . Now, I'll follow it up with what the Bible and Jon's Bible study says.
Helment of Salvation: Picture the Helment of Salvation you received when Christ saved you. I try to picture what a hat does for your head. It protects it.  
Point 1- Thank God that you are his child and for your Salvation. 1 John 4:4 states: You, dear children, are from God and have over come them because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (I can't stop there) 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and not the spirit of falsehood.
This is so true! I have always been fearful that I wouldn't know if someone was telling me the truth when it came to the Bible cause I didn't know it the way others do. I thought I might believe something and it be so far from the truth and I'd miss out on the glory of God. Back in January, my mom, Jon and Jon's brother and wife went skiing. On the day before we were to fly back home, we visited another religion's temple. It was a VERY beautiful place. I loved the pictures and all the people were so nice. Then, we looked around their visitors center. It was the first time I really felt confident in what I knew and believed to be true.
Point 2 - Praise God for eternal life.  
Point 3 -Claim the mind of Christ. If you are anything like me, half the time I have a hard time claiming my own mind much less Christ mind! 1 Corinthians 2:16 states "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ. You recieved it when you were saved. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 states: 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguements and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
When I was saved, I started looking at the world and my life differently. And, to be honest it was very scary. I didn't want to move because I was afraid I'd move in a way that I'd sin against God. I felt bad if I bought something that I really didn't need. I was basically taking every little thing and making into something bigger than it really was ! Taking on the mind of Christ and battling the world the way God wants us to is an ongoing battle. God knows we aren't perfect. God knows we are going to sin even before we know it. If you are waiting to be perfect before you accept Christ or before you get Baptized or even before you join a church Honey, you'll never get there! Stop making it a hard struggle for yourself. God did not intended it that way. He is the only perfect you will ever know. The way we have the mind of Christ is being in his word through Church, Bible studies and Fellowship. That's also the way we battle the world as well.
The Breastplate of Righteousness: I had to reread this to understand what it meant. This is what I think he is saying: That because of what Jesus has done for us by taking on all of our sins and by dying on the cross, we can have righteouness by following the points listed below:  
Point 1 - ask God to search your heart to reveal any wicked ways in it. Psalms 139: 23-24 states:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive ways in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
After asking God to search your heart and reveal any wicked ways,
Point 2 - Confess any sins. 1 John 1:9 states: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  
Point 3 - Claim Christ's righteousness to cover your sins. The righteousness of God in you is what matters, not your shortcomings.  No one is too lost to save; there are only those too good to save. In the Bible, those who thought themselves most righteous were the ones condemned by our Lord as wicked and unrighteous. 2 Corinthians 5:21 states: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Sin was placed on Jesus to save us from our ownselves. That takes me back to the song I told you about earlier in the week. "The Hands that Healed Nations stretched out on a tree took the nails for me"
Keep the Breastplate firmly fastened in place with Christlike Character and righteous living.

The Belt of Truth: After receiving the mind of Christ and living as an upright character with righteous living, we fasten it with the Belt of truth. The truth means integrity (honesty, truthfullness or accuracy of one's actions) and moral uprightness (strong morals). The belt should remind you to do the following points:
Point 1 Be true to not only yourself but to God when you pray or fight a spiritual Battle.
Point 2 Stand firm in the truth. Point 3 Emotions !!! Control your emotions. Is that possible ? Of course it is with the right medication. Just joking! This a struggle for me at times. I was put on Lexapro a while back for depression and anxiety. I have been off of it for nearly a year now. I am not recomended this to anyone else but I decided that it wasn't for me. I turned it over to God to take care of. Through God, I was able to see that it's not just me going through the depression and anxiety, everyone around me had some sort of depression and anxiety at times. And, if I stay in the word and do my devotionals, God makes me a better person. With God's help, I have learn to control my emotions. I'm not perfect and I do slip as we all do but I quickly bounce back with God's help. James 4:3 states: "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." I like this verse because I can relate to it so much. My kids think I crazy when I tell them to do something for me, they get upset and I tell them, 'Never mind. If you aren't going to do it with your whole heart, I'd rather do it myself.' God can see your heart. He knows your motives which are guided by your emotions. That's why it's so important to guided your emotions by truth rather than by the flesh or Satin. The Bible talks about the area that the Belt of Truth covers as inward parts which referrs to the place where feelings reside. The belt helps you to control your emotions and not compromise because of our feelings.

The Gospel Shoes: After receiving the mind of Christ and living as an upright character with righteous living and fastening it with the Belt of truth, we put on our shoes for battle. Jon's devoltional says that it's the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace which means you are prepared for battle. I had to go through the mind change, changing my way of living, learn to control my emotions with God in my heart before I could get really ready for the battle and open up my ears and eyes to hear and see the Lord Jesus Christ. Let the gospel of peace remind you to do the following daily:
Point 1 Be prepared and pray that God will get you prepared for any possibility.
Point 2 Share the gospel. Pray that God will prepare you to witness for him. Point 3 Intercede for the lost. Paul prayed for the lost. 1 Timothy 2 1-4  states:  I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--2  for kings and all those in aurthority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

The Shield of Faith: After receiving the mind of Christ and living as an upright character with righteous living and fastening it with the Belt of truth, we put on our shoes for battle and hold the Shield of Faith in your left hand.
Jon's devotional describes it best: The Roman shield was a long. oblong piece of wood. When the enemy's arrows hit it, they were buried in the wood and extinguished. Picture the arrows of the enemies
are aimed at you, hit them head on with the Shield of Faith. Let the Shield of Faith remind you to:
1- Claim the victory. 1 John 5:4 states: for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
2- Advance in faith. James 2: 14-17 states: What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes or daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
3- Quech all the fiery darts of the wicked. Mark 11:24 states: Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 states: And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone forgive him, so that your father in Heaven may forgive you your sins. (spoken by Jesus)
The Sword of the Spirit. After receiving the mind of Christ and living as an upright character with righteous living and fastening it with the Belt of truth, we put on our shoes for battle and hold the Shield of Faith in our left hand and the Word of God in your right hand. You are ready to roll into battle ! The word here refers to God's speaking to you about specific situations. I don't know about you but most of the time I'm second guessing that he really said that or is it just my own selfish ways trying to convince me I'm suppose to do that. This blog is a perfect example. I'm still not quite sure but something in me is telling me to continue. Let the sword in your hands tell you to:
1- Grasp the word. Hebrew 4:12 states: For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. An idea that I  find is neat is that you can use it no matter whether the enemy acknowledges that it is God' Word.
2- Let the Holy Spirit use the Word because it is his Sword.
3- This one is cool ! Pray on the basis of the Word. This is where you will hear God's will for you and to help you know what to pray for and do. John 16: 13-15 states: But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
In Matthew 4:1-10, Jesus prayed and fasted for 40 days. After 40 days, Jesus' need for food was understandably intense. Satan uses this intense hunger to tempt Jesus to "prove" his power and significance.
Temptation often results from our own intense needs or selfish desires. However, we can win the battle through the Spiritual Armour of God. Don't you want to be prepared for battle by receiving the mind of Christ and living as an upright character with righteous living and fastening it with the Belt of truth, putting on your shoes for battle and hold the Shield of Faith in your left hand and the Word of God in your right hand ?

Have a Great Day !
 I used the Bible (NIV) & The Disciple's Victory for my references