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May Scripture Challenge and a Giveaway!

It has been so exciting to see how many of you are excited to participate in the May Scripture Challenge! I have decided to do a little giveaway to thank everyone for participating in the challenge. When I thought about what I wanted to giveaway, I didn’t have to think too hard. I have been using my sweet friend Val’s prayer journal for about a month now, and I adore it.

DSC_1231Photo from valmariepaper.com

It has helped me so much to make my prayer life a priority and to write down the things that are on my heart. I try really hard to add anyone to my journal that I tell that I will be praying for. I love the different sections that it has to prompt prayer requests such as  praying for the world, our nation, our loves, our friends, Those who have hurt us, and ourselves. It also has a page to record answered prayer and a place to write Scripture. I am giving this away because it is something that I love, and something that has helped me a ton!

There are a few ways that you can enter!

Like my brand new Facebook page!

Follow me on instagram!

You will also get another entry for every time that you tag  your time in Scripture with #lampandlight on Facebook or instagram! That will add up to be a lot of entries, and is another great encouragement to stay in Scripture.

If you need a refresher on the May Scripture Challenge, you can read that post here.

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Sabine Galvan

Very excited to join in the fun…both here and with Him each day :)

Caitie Sheppard

I’ve already started being more faithful in journaling my devotions…it’s helping! Thanks for the challenge and I’m super excited about the giveaway. Even if I don’t win, I’d like info on where I can get my own? ;) Love and miss you!!!

Jennifer Clark

I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog last week, just in time for the challenge too! Journaling has been on my heart a lot lately so this challenge will help me make it a habit!

Bailey Jean Robert

Love the new Facebook page! You have a like from me and my blog :) And I simply adore following you on Instagram, friend. Such an encouragement.

Kelly A. Kantola

Follower on Instagram already!

Beth Hardinger

I’m looking forward to starting this challenge on Thursday!

Kathryn Smith

You are such an encourager, Kristin! Thank you for sharing your life so openly & honestly here in this space. Since I’ve been following you, you’ve encouraged me to be more open about my faith on social media as well. And now this giveaway! Another incredible way you’re encouraging your sisters to grown in their walk with the Lord through their pray life. Thank the Lord for your heart!

I am so excited to do this may scripture challenge! My prayer journal just arrived in the mail!

Melissa McMurchy

so excited to join in on this!!

Susie HoneyBee Henry-Searight

Excited to see God revealed in the next 31 days!

Jessica Chavez

SO excited to be part of this! xoxo

Amy Scarborough

Id love to win the prayer journal! Can’t wait to receive your journal! I’ve been reading a proverbs everyday and also following the she reads truth nehemiah study! So inspired by you thanks for sharing your life with all of us !

Why Theology Matters

I hope that I didn’t lose you with the title. Theology isn’t the most popular topic these days, but it is important.

Theology is the study of God. Our personal theology is what we believe about God.

A lot of people view theology as something that is very academic and only for those in seminary, or pursuing a Phd. Theology is for everyone though. Because Theology is what we believe about God, everyone has a theology, it just may not be well thought out, or based on Scripture as it should be.

Theology matters because what we believe about God, affects what we do.

If our theology tells us that God is good, we can trust Him in times of suffering.

If our theology tells us that God is all knowing or omniscient, we can trust that He sees so much more then we can see.

Our theology should be the basis for which we judge cultural issues, not what is popular, or what we feel.

When we read the Bible, we should be reading to learn God’s Word. Over and over in Scripture we are commanded to study God’s Word, and yet many Christians only interaction with God’s Word is from Sunday sermons or inspirational reading that hardly mentions Scripture. How can we be prepared to face the trials that will undoubtedly come in this life if we are not in God’s Word? God does not command us to be in His Word to have one more thing to check off of our to do list, but so that we will be prepared to face this life.

Shortly after we lost Sophia we met with one of Jeremy’s professors to talk things through a bit. He encouraged us a lot, but he said one thing that has stuck with us both. He said, “Let your theology dictate your grieving.” We have had to remind ourselves of that in the past months, and I have realized that we should use that mindset about everything in life. What we believe about God should be the basis for everything we do.

Let your theology dictate who your friends are.

Let your theology dictate how you spend your money.

Let your theology dictate how you raise your children.

Let your theology dictate how you feel.

So as you go through this week, and have to make decisions, let what you believe about God dictate what you do, what you say, and how you feel. Commit to getting into God’s Word and learning more about who God is, and how He desires us to live.

Bible-47

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Great post, Kristin! Have you read the book Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris? If not, I think you’d love it!

Maxine B. Gonzalez

I highlight scripture too! Thanks for your post here! HIS word is truth but the only way you know this is by being IN it!

Ashli Brown

Great Word!!!!

Jennifer Gable Poncavage

It all comes back to who our God is and how well we know him What do I know about my God? There is an excellent book about getting to know who God is by Mardi Collier that I read several years ago that led me to journal and categorize verses about who God is and what he is like as I read through the Bible. SO helpful!

Amanda Jameson

LOVED reading this. SO, SO, SO good! “Let your theology dictate your _____.” What a great thing to think upon and challenge myself with.

Kathryn Smith

Have you heard of Deeply Rooted Magazine? Check them out here –> http://deeplyrootedmag.com
They are a publication focused on worshipping God through marriage and motherhood, and they just came out with their first issue! They have a great opening article also about theology and why it’s important to our growth in our Christian faith. You should check it out!

Daniel Devine

I agree Kristen. Everything we are and will become stems from our thoughts about God, even if those thoughts are that he doesn’t exist! Well said.

Getting Through the Dry Seasons

A few days ago on Facebook a friend asked the question of a group of women what they did when they had a dry spot in their walk with God. She asked the group of women what they do to get close to the heart of Jesus, to pull out of the dry patches of life and take hold of the Savior. I gave a few answers on her post, because I have been in that spot, and then continued to think on it for the past few days.

When I read her post it reminded me of 1 Samuel 30. In this chapter, David is facing one of the hardest times in His life. He is in a foreign city, running for his life, and now he returns home from battle to find his family missing. Verse 4 says that he and the people wept until they had no more power to weep. But then comes verse 6:

 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

I am always so encouraged when I read this passage to realize that in the midst of one of the hardest seasons of David’s life he encouraged or strengthened himself in the Lord. What a reminder that in the hardest times in life that we must turn to the Lord and to His Word for strength to face what lies ahead. I don’t mean to spoil the story for you…but I am going too. God came through for David, He was reunited with his family, and God restored all that the enemy had taken.

But there is another thing that is important to see. At the end of the book of 1 Samuel when David faced this situation, it seemed like one of the lowest points in David’s life. Everything he had hoped and dreamed for seemed to be lost. God’s calling and purpose for His life seemed so far off, but there was something that David didn’t know. When the page turns, and 2 Samuel begins David is anointed king. The greatest part of his life was ahead, and he would see God use him in powerful ways, but first he had to face hardship and learn to turn to God in his trials and sufferings.

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So what can you do to be like David and encourage yourself in the Lord, and turn to Him when you are facing a dry season.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Read Scripture. Sometimes in a dry season in life we don’t “feel” like reading Scripture, read it anyway. These seasons in life and just one of many reasons that we need to make reading Scripture a habit and part of our daily lives, so that when hard times come, we run to Scripture because it is the only thing that we know how to do.
  • Get some accountability. I think it is so beneficial to have some people that are going to keep you accountable to be in God’s Word. If you would like to join us for our May Scripture Challenge and have lots of women to be accountable with check out this post.
  • Listent to worship music. When I am having a bad day, listening to great music and being reminded of how great our God is helps me get out of my funk. If you would like to check out my favorite songs on my Spotify playlist you can see it here.
  • Listen to sermons online.  I listen to a lot of sermons online. It is a great way to get God’s Word in you while you are busy around the house, or in the car. There are lots to choose from online. I like listening to Matt Chandler from The Village Church.
  • Pray. It seems like a no brainer in a way, but it is one that we forget to do. When you are having a hard time getting in the Word, tell the Lord. Ask Him for help. He is there, He will listen, and He will help.

I would love to hear what helps you get out of a dry patch as well. What music or sermons do you like to listen too, or what what passages have encouraged you?

 

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Rachel Stephens

Awww. So encouraging to know that others get dry patches, too. A lot of times, I just want to pretend I’m strong in my walk with the Lord…maybe more people do that than I realize. Well, I’m joining the May challenge. I’m going to look for some ideas on what to study. ;-) Thanks, Friend!

Caitie Sheppard

Thanks, Kristin! I’m not in this season right now, but I have been in the past and this advice is so practical! I do REALLY well with lists… ;)

[…] this point you can either let it sit for 5 minutes and run some more dry patches. You can screw on the wire brush attachment and make a few passes. Note, with the bursh, go ALL the […]

[…] laugh – because God also created places where you have a storm of natural messes….” Getting Through the Dry Seasons: “I am always so encouraged when I read this passage to realize that in the midst of one of […]

31 Days of Scripture Challenge

A couple of days ago I threw out the idea on instagram and Facebook asking who would be interested in participating in a 31 day Scripture challenge in the month of May. I got a ton of response, and I am so excited to start the challenge next week. I would love if you would join in the challenge as well. There is something amazing about community seeking the Lord together.

The Challenge:

  • Read scripture every day in the month of May.
  • Share a photo on instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #lampandlight so that we can encourage each other on the journey and inspire others to make Scripture a priority.

How to get ready:

  • Decide what you are going to read. I recommend choosing a book of the Bible and starting at the beginning, but if you are already in a reading plan or going through a study you don’t need to choose something else.
  • Prepare your heart. Ask God to encourage your heart throughout the month of May, and instill in you a love and desire for God’s Word.
  • Ask a friend to join you. I will be here to cheer you on, and will be checking out the hashtag often, but it would be great to ask a friend or a few to try to commit with you so that you can encourage each other.
  • If you aren’t sure how to study Scripture, you can read this post about how I do it.
  • Share the image below on Facebook or instagram and ask friends to join in.
  • You can also share it on Pinterest using the Pinterest button at the bottom of the post.scripturechallenge

I am so excited to see old and new friends participate in this challenge, because I know that Scripture is powerful. We have a few days until the challenge starts officially, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start today. Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment here or on instagram, or by using the contact page above to send me an email.

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Harriet Langshaw

So expectant for this! Thank you!

Judy Perez

Sounds good to me

Kyla Robbins

Looking forward to the challenge!

dawn

Kristin, thanks so much for including us in this challenge. I do read scripture daily for different bible studies and just because I love to read it. Not sure if I will use this challenge for my bible studies or maybe pick a new chapter new to me and dive in.
This image is beautiful by the way!

Lawrence-Jessica Greathouse

Excited about joining the challenge and what The Lord has in store for me!

Caitie Sheppard

I’m in! So excited to have so many accountability partners…excited for what the Lord will teach me in the month of May! Thanks, Kristin! I love you!

I love this idea, definitely going to do it. :) Love the accountability factor in it as well. :)

Ruth Lowe

Thank you, Kristen…I’m planning to join you in this challenge because I need to do it! Friends, won’t you join me/us? It’s going to be the best part of my day!

[…] She is encouraging everyone for the month of May to be in the Word 31 days. You can read about it here. […]

[…] will be joining Kristin Schmucker during the month of May for a “31 Days of Scripture Challenge” on instagram. #lampandlight #31daysofScripture […]

Melissa Boyd

I looking forward to joining in Kristin. It will help to be in His word daily. Excited!!!

Castalia Minaya

Thank you so much. I will start this challenge. Very excited. Thanks!

[…] thought, “Geez, Kat you need to start using this!!!”. AND, to make things even better, this challenge is starting at the same time. As I said, my individual Bible time is really lacking, so being […]

I am excited to participate in the May challenge. Moved to GA almost16 months ago after remarrying. Havent found the home church yet that we feel God is leading us too but have been praying for Gods leading. Hoping this study will help me remain focused so I can hear Gods calling.

Happy May Day! So thankful for you and Val’s challenges to spend more time in prayer and scripture! I am digging deeper into Proverbs this month. I like to re-read it every now and then on the months with 31 days. I am thankful for your encouragement and example! I pray you are blessed through your time in scripture and prayer!

Tara Hogan Lancaster

Just now read about the challenge. I’m late starting but looking forward to beginning tomorrow.

[…] few weeks at the moment I’m going through Revelations, doing #lampandlight challenge; see Kristennicoleblog.com for more info or to join […]

Karol Heinen

Hi, I was looking for this scripture challenge, I know I’m way late but I’d like to know where I can find the info on it if I could!? Thank you, Karol!

The Next Chapter

For the past several months we have been thinking and praying about the next step in our lives. We have known for a little while now, but we were waiting for the perfect time to make this announcement. We are moving!

It was back in May of last year while on a road trip (we always have our best conversations on road trips) that we started talking about what was next. We knew that Jeremy was nearing the end of his time in Seminary, and we both just sensed God moving us, and telling us that it was time to enter the ministry. Seminary has been a 5 year journey where we completed one Masters degree together and Jeremy has been working on his second. It has been a season of preparation that we are so grateful for. We have learned so much and been taught and mentored by some amazing believers. But, as we talked on that long car ride we both expressed that we individually felt that God was showing us that it was almost time to move on to the next chapter.

It was an exciting conversation, but we didn’t really know what it meant. We left the conversation saying that we would continue to pray about it, and be in Scripture, and we would look for the Lord to open doors. Over the next few months we continued to pray and talk things over periodically. We saw some opportunities for ministry positions and even started pursuing a few of them, but in the end…we didn’t sense God leading to any of them.

Rewind to the months shortly after we got married almost five years ago, and our hearts have been led towards church planting in an area of the country without many churches. God placed a strong burden in Jeremy’s heart for this shortly after we got married and he felt the call to pastor. I grew up in the northeast, in an area where there are not many churches at all, and for a good part of my life my family drove an hour to church. Jeremy grew up in a highly churched area and then we lived in the South so he was shocked to realize how few churches are in some parts of the country. When we first got married we knew that church planting was the long term goal, but we did not know when it would be, or where it would be.

thegospelisourpurpose

October is when we started talking more about the “when” as we realized that Jeremy was almost finished with his degree.  During a random phone call with my parents they mentioned the fact that they did not have a church to attend, and for some reason after that conversation we started thinking about the possibility of moving back to Pennsylvania, where I am from to plant a church. It was kind of funny that the place that had opened Jeremy’s eyes to the need for churches in the United States was one of the only places we had never really considered when thinking about where we would plant a church. We began praying and talking about it a lot and even asked for prayer from some godly counsel.

Over the next few months God continued to open doors, and we soon found ourselves telling our families that we felt that this was the direction that God was leading. One of the doors that was opened was with a man that came through Jeremy’s school that works for NAMB (North American Mission Board) specifically in Pennsylvania. Jeremy listened to him speak, and even got a flyer that he handed out that listed some towns that needed churches in PA. Jeremy was disappointed when all the towns were over an hour from where we were looking at, but decided to talk to him anyway. When Jeremy mentioned the name of the city that we had been praying about the man started to cry,and told Jeremy that he had been praying about that exact town for over a year. He asked Jeremy to come with him over to his briefcase and handed Jeremy a CD of over 70 pages of demographic information about the tiny town of Pottsville, Pennsylvania that we thought no one knew about. We asked God to make things clear, and He has done just that, in so many ways.

When will we be moving?

We will be moving in the middle of August, after Jeremy finishes his summer classes. Jeremy will finish his remaining eight credits online this fall and he will graduate in December.

Will we still be shooting weddings?

Yes. We have a few weddings that we will be flying back to DFW to shoot, and we will continue to book a limited number of weddings in TX, because we have family and friends here. Our Associate Photographers, Michele + Hope, will continue shooting weddings in DFW as they already previously have. We will also begin booking weddings in Pennsylvania, though we are not sure yet how many weddings we will take on each year.

Can you take our family pictures before you move?

Though we usually only do family sessions once a year, we will be taking a limited number of family sessions before we move because we know that many have shown interest in this. We will also be returning in the fall to do mini sessions. If you are interested in a session feel free to email us for details so we can get it scheduled.

When will the church start?

We are not 100% sure. We will begin leading a Bible study and focus on evangelism and discipleship, and wait for God’s timing in showing us when that first service should be.

The truth is, leaving is bittersweet. We are so excited about where God is moving us, but there are people here in TX that we will miss. Some of the sweetest moments of our lives have happened here in TX. Both of our sweet daughters were born here, and one went to Jesus while we were here. But, the truth is that we know that this world is not our home, Heaven is. And because Heaven is our home, the gospel is our purpose, and we feel blessed that God has chosen us to make the gospel known.

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Hooray!! And you know, Pennsylvania is a lot closer to Boston:)!

Very happy to hear that God is making things clear for you two. Elizabeth and I have been through several transitions (jobs and locations) since we’ve been married, and God has always been faithful! I completely understand the bittersweet feeling, but I believe you’ll be leaving something great to go to something even better–that’s how God works :) We’ll pray for your family.

Your passion and love for the Gospel is always so encouraging. Thank you for sharing.

Kristin, your blog has been such a blessing to me and I will be praying for your family and your move to PA! I would love to hug you before you leave!

Kinzie Marie Harvell

We are going to cover you guys in prayer. So proud to have met you and call you friends. Love your hearts and ability to always trust in God.

Jamie K! Photography

I’ll be praying for you guys! :)

Lara Casey

I am so inspired by you and excited for what God has in store!

Emily Beth

This brought tears to my eyes as I will miss sweet Stella! But I am so proud of you guys and will be lifting y’all up in prayer as you make preparations and plans. May He guide each step! <3

Kristin Ungerecht

That’s so amazing, Kristin!

Amanda Jameson

Jeremy and Kristin, praise the Lord! So thankful to read this and see the ways you are following the Lord in faith and obedience. What an exciting new adventure for your sweet family and ultimately to bring glory to our Savior. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”Isaiah 52:7

Karen Stott

This just makes my heart so happy for you all. I laid here crying reading it. It’s so wonderful when God makes things so clear and I’m so excited to see how He continues to use you!

Ashli Brown

BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!

Rachel Nordgren

Kristin! This is amazing news! I am in awe of your earnest desire to follow the Lord, and so excited to follow your journey as you and your husband plant a church! Be blessed, friend!!!

Bethany McDonnell

Such an exciting step in your lives! Ministry is great!

Ciera Chante Knabe

So awesome and super excited for you guys! <3

Barb Thomas

I am so sorry and sad for you and all the family and friends you are going to be taking a vacation from I say vacation because it sounds like you have quite a few trips planned to go back there and all are certainly welcome to come here too..I do not want to sound selfish but I am soo happy that you will be coming to our area, our home, Your Home..I love to read your thoughts and writings and enjoyed what Jeremy had said during Sophia’s service and can’t wait til you are up and running here.Thoughts and Prayers to everyone involved.

Jari Butler

Hey!! I am a new follower of your blog. I follow you on IG and I love your blog!! So encouraging!! I am praying for you and your family for this new phase in life. I pray that where God leads you, he will give you the strength to handle it all!!

Jeanette Rowley-Photography

Kristen I am so happy for you and so proud of you for listening to God and following him where he is leading! Stop in Greenville PA on your way and say hello =D

We will miss you guys tons!! Excited for you too!

dawn

I’m so excited over your news! What a blessing you will be in this new community. You are such an inspiration to me, your strong faith encourages mine.
Thrilled that you will be moving close to me, I live in NE Ohio. Will keep you and family in my prayers and for more doors to open and for an easy move later on.

Jill Johnston Blue

I am so excited for you both. How wonderful it is when we follow the Lord’s leading and do what He made us to do. He Made Jeremy and Kristin to do just this thing – plant a church in an unchurched area. And because He made you to do this, He will equip you with all you need. When you arrive and you wonder sometimes if you made the right decision, just know that feeling that way is very human. However, never let those doubts take root – always take them captive and cast them out. Then rely on the fact that God never calls you to do something that He doesn’t equip you to do. Now, my experience has been that his equipping is sometimes just as I need it not months ahead of time like I would prefer. No, just when I need something He provides it. You two will be such a blessing to Pottsville and, in turn, God will cause Pottsville to be a blessing to you both. God bless you as your make this transition.