Featured Posts from the RUBY blog
Bible Study: Book of Esther Tags: bible study book of esther carol peterson

One of our favorite authors, Carol Peterson, has written several Bible study books on women in the Bible. One of her Bible studies is on the Book of Esther, and she is graciously sharing those lessons with us in the coming weeks. We would love to include you in our weekly Bible study lessons! Please visit our Bible study group for updates and details.

“Turnips, Mustard and A Little Bit Of Faith” by Michelle Lazurek Tags: turnips mustard and a little bit of faith by mi turnips mustard and a little bit of faith faith mustard lazurek by michelle lazurek michelle
 
I love turnips.
I know, weird.
I remember the first time I ate turnips. It was Thanksgiving and my grandmother religiously made them as part of our Thanksgiving feast. She passed on her love of turnips to me. Ever since then, I’ve had to have them every year at my Thanksgiving.

I just bought a bag of turnips to make for supper. Opening the bag, I pulled out what from the outside seemed like a large turnip, only to find it was as small as a lemon! It was so small I couldn’t even cut into it. Thankfully, the rest of the bag contained usable turnips. Still small in size, they were large enough to be used.

Jesus was able to use small things as well, even our faith. Mark 4:31 says, “And who should we say how shall we picture the kingdom of God or by what parable shall we present it? It’s like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up, and becomes all of the larger plants and forms large branches so that the birds of the air nest in its shade.”

Sometimes things that seem so small and unusable are still useful to God. He can take what we have and grow it, as long as our hearts are in the right place. Even people with the smallest faith can have the largest impact for the Kingdom.

Lord, take our small faith and multiply so that it will grow up to make a large impact for the Kingdom.

Michelle Lazurek is a member of the Ruby Blogger Team. You can connect with her at Michelle Lazurek and read more of her inspirational posts.
"Beauty from Pain" by Stacy Lee Flury Tags: parenting christian parenting teens in crisis stacy lee flur

As parents of teens in crisis, all we see is pain.  That pain is evident through our teen’s struggles and hurts, through their mental illness, disorders, and addictions.  We also see that same pain directed towards us through the avenues of their behavior.   It is often very difficult to handle and we get emotionally and mentally weak and tired of the battle.  It’s seems as if hope is too far away for us to have.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth

comparing with the

glory that is to be revealed to us.

Romans 8:18

The good news is that God already knows the end result from your teen’s pain.  No matter how bad or agonizing the situation is, or how devastating the circumstances are, God is BIGGER than those things.  I never thought I would see beauty from my teen’s many crises.  For five struggling years of depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts and attempts, body issues, identity problems, dealing with the occult, generational problems, drug overdose, and more…God took all of those things and changed them around for HIS glory.  I prayed and cried many times for the pain to stop… for our teen…for us.

God in His faithfulness proved to me that by calling out to Him, He does answer in His timing.  He IS and ALWAYS will be the author of my teen’s life.

Slowly, through prayer and seeking God’s wisdom and guidance, we started to see changes in our teen’s heart, mind, and spirit.  Holding onto the Word of God, praying the scriptures, laying our teen at His feet because our teen belonged to the Lord, the metamorphosis began.  And so it will be for your teen or young adult too.  God loves you and looks to heal your broken family.  Nothing is impossible to HIM!

Stacy Lee Flury

Stacy Lee Flury is a member of the Ruby Blogger Team and she blogs at Anchor of Promise, a support and educational blog for parents with hurting and troubled teens.

“What’s on Your Mind?” by Toni Samuels Tags: what’s on your mind by toni samuels what’s on your mind mind toni samuels by toni samuels

“What’s on your mind?” If you’ve ever asked that question to your boyfriend or husband, you’re familiar with the look of panic, bewilderment or anguish that can spread over a man’s face.

It’s probably one of their least favorite questions, right up there with, “Honey, do you think we should stop and ask for directions?”

But I have to admit that it’s not a question I like to ask myself either, because often I’m quite shocked by what’s there.

Anger … doubt … worry … fear – these intruders have all plopped themselves down on the couch in my mind from time to time and tried to make themselves right at home.

Just the other day, as I reviewed my list of 2016 goals, I felt a sense of despair start to creep up on me.

What if I don’t save and invest the amount of money that I’ve targeted? What if I don’t reach my goal weight this year? How will I feel if I don’t complete and submit my book proposal by the end of spring? Why is it so difficult for me to meet a nice guy, when So-and-So seems to have no problem?

And on and on it went.

As I fell deeper into that line of thinking, I noticed that I felt worse and worse. A dull headache. Apathy. Procrastination. The blahs.

That’s when I knew it was time to redirect my thoughts.

One of the biggest areas in counseling today, both Christian and secular, is called cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps people learn not to simply let their thoughts guide them, but also to change their thoughts from negative to positive.

Our thoughts and our ability to direct them are tremendously powerful. This isn’t a new idea, though.

A great deal of how we feel, what we accomplish and how we invest our lives is supported by some ancient words of wisdom:

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things …  And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8, 9b, NIV)

As I elevated my thoughts, my energy level and sense of expectancy rose as well.

So, have I mastered this yet? No exactly. But I’m making progress. And whenever I think about where I am on my “Goals for the Year” list, I ask God to help me clear out the clutter of any negative thoughts.

Is anyone else up for some mental “spring cleaning” so we can fully live out God’s purpose for us with “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16)?

Toni Samuels is a contributor to the Ruby for Women magazine.

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