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He is More Than Enough study begins Sunday, March 12!

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He Is More Than Enough: the updated version has released and it is BEAUTIFUL! Full color and perfect bound, this study on the book of Hebrews is packed full of truth. It will connect the dots between the Old and New Testaments, and set the stage for the dispensation of grace that we live in today!

 

This study is perfect as we come into the Easter and Lent season. We would love for you to join us in walking through the book of Hebrews and learning who Jesus is! Hop over to the Lamp and Light Facebook page to join the discussion! We will begin this study on Sunday, March 12. You can also follow along with the Lamp and Light community on Instagram for daily inspiration as we explore the book of Hebrews.

 

You can get a copy of this devotional here. We have also added the new He is More Than Enough study to our Bible Study Collection, which means you can save a bundle… when you bundle! You can see what studies are included in the collection here.

 

We are so thankful for the privilege to study God’s Word alongside you!

 

In Christ,

The Daily Grace Team

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Chasing the Winter Blues Away

Happy Saturday, friends!

Today started out quiet and rainy, and now it is nothing but sunshine and gusty wind! I am easily affected by the weather, and being cooped inside more than usual in the winter can made me sad. I drink a lot of hot cocoa and take more baths in order to embrace the season and fill my happy tank. Since we are still in the throws of colder weather, I wanted to share some tips today for how to cope with the cold!

For years, I have been on the lookout for products that keep my feet from being calloused and scratchy. (I must be barefoot too much.) I’ve tried pedicures, pumice stones, all manner of lotions… and nothing seemed to work… for long anyway. For Christmas, my husband got me this amazing foot cream and I have never seen anything like it. I don’t even have to use it every single night. I’m so pleased with the results. I also use their healthy hands cream and am thrilled with it. The creams aren’t greasy and they don’t have a scent that burns if I get any of it in my eyes. Another product I like for dry skin is this organic healing balm from Target. It is a little greasier but makes my skin feel so soft. This has also worked for my daughter’s diaper rashes.

My lips can get so dry in the winter, especially if I have sinus issues and find myself breathing out of my mouth more than usual. A few years ago, a friend gave me some Carmex and introduced me to its healing powers! It is my favorite lip balm. For some reason, I tend to get addicted to chapsticks easily. Carmex isn’t like that! Once in the morning does the trick. Also, it kind of doubles as a lip gloss because it is so shiny! I put it on over my lipstick sometimes. Another benefit that is perhaps even better than the lip function…. I call this our miracle tube. I am forever getting paper cuts and skin abrasions of every kind. This heals those up within 12 hours. When my daughter was a baby, she scratched her face constantly. I would just put a dab of this on the scratch and it would heal it up in a matter of hours. I love it so much that I have 3 tubes in the house and one in her backpack. You never know when you’re going to need it!

A friend of mine took me to get a pedicure back in the summer. She chose a glitter polish, which truthfully isn’t really my thing. But what I did notice was that her pedicure lasted much longer than mine. So when someone gifted me a clear polish with red glitter in it, I decided to give it a try. (I’m one of those weirdos who still shaves her legs and paints her toes in the winter even though no one sees them.) What I have noticed is that the polish tends to stay on longer with the glitter overlay. I don’t know why it stays on longer, but it is much more difficult to get off with nail polish remover. Disclaimer: this works best if you do several coats of a good quality polish and then do a top coat over the glitter. Disclaimer #2: if you are OCD, glitter polish might drive you crazy. Its does not apply the glitter evenly on your nails. I haven’t tried this, but I bet you could use a full-on colored glitter polish and get similar long-lasting results.

We are quickly approaching the spring cleaning epidemic. I know why people wait until they can open the windows and air things out to do this, but I prefer to do the majority of my deep cleaning in the winter, when it’s too cold to be outside. (Come spring, I’ll be outside!) I also get a little stir-crazy being home more than usual and constantly reminded of my undone projects and dirty house. My mentor gave me a book for my birthday last year called Having a Martha Home the Mary Way: 31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul. Each day has a inspirational “Mary minute”, in which you meditate on a verse, refocus your priorities, and spend some time planning. Then, you have one or two “Martha projects” to do each day. This is perfect for the legalist in me. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by ALL the things, I can just focus on that one thing and that’s all I have to do. (If I’m feeling eager and have time, I may do two projects a day.) This holds me accountable to slowly but surely accomplishing things, and most importantly, keeping me positive about what I’m accomplishing instead of negative about all that is yet to be done. I love that it starts with the Mary side of me, which is often the side that is won over to Martha’s ways. It reminds me that even though I’d love nothing more than to have a house sparkling from top to bottom, I need to remember what my priorities are… what my husband and daughter need that day, what commitments I’ve made that I need to keep, and how I can look past the things I want to see the people I can serve.

I absolutely am counting down the days until beach weather. (I may or may not already have a few bags packed.) I love keeping a few reminders around the house of the ocean, because it is my happy place. Kristin sent me this beautiful print early on when her shop was just launching. I treasure it so much and look at it every day in my bathroom. It’s such a gorgeous reminder to give thanks in everything, even the things that cause us discomfort and pain. If we can allow our frustrations and trials in life to slam us into Jesus, then there is nothing that we can’t give thanks for in this life. He is the ultimate prize. This print is still available and it’s on SALE right now! Go grab your own copy.

Hoping this adds some sunshine to your weekend!

 

Cara Cobble Trantham is a freelance writer whose passion is to encourage women of all ages to draw closer to the Lord. She lives in Greeneville, Tennessee, with her husband and one-year-old daughter. She loves to send cards in magazine envelopes, counsel ladies over sugar and cream (with a little bit of coffee), and read a good book at the beach. Her bucket list includes eating pizza in Chicago, staying at a bed and breakfast in Savannah, and following a recipe without leaving out an ingredient.

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From Pain to Hope

Happy Monday, friends! I wanted to hop on the blog today and tell you about something I discovered a few weeks ago that has really helped my mind stay focused during church!

Do you ever find your mind wandering to lunch plans, the week ahead, and Susie’s new haircut during the sermon? I have always been a notetaker, but recently, my pastor hasn’t had an outline or even a fill-in-the-blank section on the back of the bulletin. It’s left me a little susceptible to the day-dreaming. (We can all be honest here, right?)

I took my prayer journal with me to church one Sunday in January, thinking I could pray and meditate on my verse for the day during announcements. I read over the prayer requests in the bulletin and transferred them to my journal also… because, usually, the bulletin gets lost or chucked as soon as we get to our house.

I was so glad I did this. I didn’t know the title of the message, but I was wading through some deep-seeded pain at the time, and this sermon brought me back to the Word and reminded me of God’s goodness despite the hurt I was facing. As Christians, our pain should always be a catalyst that draws us close to the Lord. Maybe you have some tender wounds that you are trying to avoid. Maybe they’re getting you down and taking you to an unhealthy place. If that’s you today, let you soul bathe in this truth today:

 My soul continually remembers it
    and is bowed down within me.
 But this I call to mind,
    and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”

Lamentations 3:20-24

As the pastor began the sermon, I felt convicted about some things. I wrote those in the confession section. As he brought out passages that left me feeling overwhelmed with gratitude, I wrote those in the praise section. As people came to my mind (I wish my brother could be here– this sermon would be good for him!) (and other such atrocities that we think during church instead of self-reflecting), I wrote them in the prayer request section. I jotted down names to pray for in light of the sermon or passage. And, as the sermon closed with personal application questions, I wrote these in the make me more like You section.

As an example, I’ll share what a page in my prayer journal looked like following the sermon. (You can listen to the sermon From Pain to Hope on Lamentations 3.)

praise: Thankful for hope! Thank You, Jesus, that Your mercies are new every morning. Thank You for loving me unceasingly, with my bad breath and bedhead and bad attitude. Thank You that Your affection for me is not dependent on my performances. You love me! Period.

confession: I often feel without hope. I often feel like collapse is happening around me. I’m sorry that I allow my security to be in the state of my house, or the behavior of my child or husband. I’m sorry that You have seen me lose hope and cave to depression and forget Your goodness.

make me more like You: Shift my hope to YOU ALONE. Take my eyes from my disappointments or to-do list or failuures. Root my hope in You– because YOU ARE GOOD. Even though I am not. Help me release the ineffective hopes and methods that don’t deliver. May You be “the only Thing on my plate.”

Obviously, there are a million ways you could take notes on Sunday morning. There are lots of resources out there that are specifically created to take sermon notes and study a passage of Scripture (find my favorite here and here). But, if you can’t afford to have a different journal for each thing, OR if you like to have everything all in one place, this is a good option!

Do ya’ll have any other ideas for how to keep your mind focused during sermons and teaching? Comment below and share your tips with us!

 

IMG_4383Cara Cobble Trantham is a freelance writer whose passion is to encourage women of all ages to draw closer to the Lord. She lives in Greeneville, Tennessee, with her husband and one-year-old daughter. She loves to send cards in magazine envelopes, counsel ladies over sugar and cream (with a little bit of coffee), and read a good book at the beach. Her bucket list includes eating pizza in Chicago, staying at a bed and breakfast in Savannah, and following a recipe without leaving out an ingredient.

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How God Redeemed My Mornings

redeemedmornings-graphicAbout a year before my daughter Eden was born, I began doing the large majority of my ministry in the mornings. (And by ministry, I mean serving the Bride of Christ and in turn, being ministered to.) (I love how those two go hand in hand.)  I had someone over for breakfast before work about once a week. I met people at our local coffeeshop to talk and pray. Thankfully, I didn’t have to be at work until closer to 9, and that gave me an hour and half or so to meet up with people. I found myself getting up earlier and earlier each day to be ready for the day and not rushing around at the last minute.

And as that cranked up, I started getting cranky. Not because of the ministry, but because of the time crunch it put on my day. I started lamenting that my morning routine was taking too long.

There were all of these things that I wanted to do on a consistent, daily basis, and there just was not enough time to do it. The morning seemed like the best time for me to do my devotions, to exercise, take a shower, wash my hair, pluck my eyebrows, floss my teeth, lotion up, take my vitamins, eat a healthy breakfast and pack a healthy lunch, start dinner in the crockpot, and leave my house in decent order as I walked out the door.

Are you exhausted yet?

So while it seemed like a vain prayer at the time, I asked the Lord to maximize my time in the mornings. I wanted to get as much stuff done while my husband Brandon was at work so that when we were both home that evening, we could spend time together and I wouldn’t feel the need to be running around finishing the routine I didn’t get to in the morning. I also didn’t want to be consumed with myself, and it seemed like the more time I spent on myself, the more I thought about myself. I didn’t like being that person. So I began asking the Lord to somehow make the morning longer, and/or to rearrange my priorities so that I could focus on what mattered.

I had no idea how He would answer.

It started innocently. My aunt came to visit and I complimented her on her beautifully curled hair. She told me it had been that way for over a week.

My first thought was, “That is disgusting.” Followed by, “Wow. How can I get in on THAT??”

So she told me about dry shampoo, and I didn’t believe her. But I was intrigued.

I wanted to go a week without washing my hair, but let’s be realistic. Some days, I almost felt like I needed to wash it twice. My hair is so oily and would get limp and stringy quickly.

But I decided to give it a whirl. I went to Sally’s and bought some fancy dry shampoo, and it got me through the day. No one else noticed my hair being different but me. It turned out that the first month would be a psychological battle of deciding that I really looked fine. I learned that it wasn’t all about me and no one was critiquing my hair on a scale of 1 to 10 every day.

I started small, just trying to beat my last record and go a little longer without shampooing. At first, I counted the hours and days until I could wash it again.

Somewhere along the line, I heard about cornstarch and baby powder. Those are what really did the trick for me. Had I had those at my disposal at the beginning, I may not have fought as much of a psychological battle as I did. The powder would actually absorb the oil and give me more volume on top.  The perks were numerous. My hair had extra volume. I used less shampoo. My hair fell out less. My hair grew faster. It kept curl and color longer. In fact, shortly thereafter, I got red highlights, the red lasted two months, and the next time I got my hair highlighted, I STILL had red streaks from the year before.

The biggest perk was the hour (plus) of washing, drying, and styling in the morning that I gained.

I found a recipe on Pinterest for DIY baking soda shampoo. It also did wonders for me. It includes a vinegar rinse, and that smell was less than awesome. But rinsing my hair in it with cold water closed my hair follicles and added shine. I seemed to be able to go longer when I wasn’t using chemicals to strip my hair of oil with my cheap 99 cent shampoo.

I write this post not to brag or encourage you to be obsessed with your hair, but to encourage you to talk to God about the little things. He cares about time management, and He loves to answer in creative ways. Put Him to the test and see for yourself!

Some battles I still have to choose. My eyebrows don’t always get plucked and my nails aren’t always polished perfectly. (And you know what? No one seems to notice but me!) But I was able to start having coffee dates in the morning and inviting people over for breakfast without sacrificing my time in the Word or exercise. If you make Him a priority and make the Gospel a non-negotiable item in your day, He will make good on His promise to add all these things to you.

These days, I have to think hard about when I washed my hair last. But I CAN tell you the last time I had coffee with someone who needed to hear truth– and who spoke truth to me in return. I can tell you the last time I had someone over for pancakes and blueberries. I can tell you the last time I spent an hour in the Word soaking up God’s promises.

And I would much rather remember those things.

 

 

Cara Cobble Trantham is a freelance writer whose passion is to encourage women of all ages to draw closer to the Lord. She lives in Greeneville, Tennessee, with her husband and one-year-old daughter. She loves to send cards in magazine envelopes, counsel ladies over sugar and cream (with a little bit of coffee), and read a good book at the beach. Her bucket list includes eating pizza in Chicago, staying at a bed and breakfast in Savannah, and following a recipe without leaving out an ingredient.

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Perfect In All of Your Ways

The Christian life often has the reputation of being a happy-go-lucky existence. Everything goes right and all the endings are happy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The Bible actually shows us the opposite… that following Jesus is hard. There are trials and enemies and temptations and suffering. The message that the Gospel proclaims is this: The Christian life is far from easy, but Jesus is worth it. 

You see, anyone can follow a God who promises safety and ease and comfort. Anyone can follow someone like this when everything is going well. But it’s in the tough times, when the onlookers see us heartbroken and still faithful to our God, that they see the message of the Gospel. He remains faithful, no matter what. Discomfort and tragedy doesn’t mean He loves us less, just as prosperity doesn’t mean He loves us more. It is not for us to understand. It is only for us to believe.

But in this we can trust: all things are working for His glory. He is good, regardless of circumstances. We cannot see His bigger purpose, but we can trust that He will keep His promise to be faithful to us. I’m not sure how, but He loves us with a constant, unchanging love.

The first time I heard the song “Good, Good Father,” I immediately bathed my fears and guilt in its truth:

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whispers
Of love in the dead of night.
And You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone.

You’re a good, good Father.
It’s Who You are, it’s Who You are, it’s Who You are,
And I’m loved by You.
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am…

This love so undeniable I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable I can hardly think
And You call me deeper still
And You call me deeper still
And you call me deeper still into love, love, love

You are perfect in all of Your ways to us.

Three years ago today, my dear friends Jeremy and Kristin lost their sweet Sophia at 37 weeks along. And I promise you that singing that line–“you’re a good, good Father”– is not something they do lightly. They know it deep down in their soul, because they have felt Him every step of the way. He became even more real to them when they rested in the “I-don’t-understand” and whispered, “I will trust you anyway.”

God has turned so much of my own mourning into joy. It’s my favorite thing about Him.

 

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He is PERFECT in all of His ways to us.

“Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” Psalm 116:7
“But let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:24

“This God—His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those Who take refuge in Him.” Psalm 18:30, 2 Samuel 22:31

 

Cara Cobble Trantham is a freelance writer whose passion is to encourage women of all ages to draw closer to the Lord. She lives in Greeneville, Tennessee, with her husband and one-year-old daughter. She loves to send cards in magazine envelopes, counsel ladies over sugar and cream (with a little bit of coffee), and read a good book at the beach. Her bucket list includes eating pizza in Chicago, staying at a bed and breakfast in Savannah, and following a recipe without leaving out an ingredient.

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