Free eBook “40 Days of Focus on Godly Living”

Most of us don’t have an hour for a Bible Time every morning much less 30 minutes.  So here is my new 40 Day devotional, featuring a Bible verse every day with questions for deeper study.  Each Bible time will take about 10 minutes including answering questions and prayer.  So get your Bible Time Journal out before you start your day.

Select the link to download your copy of 40 Days of Focus on Godly Living.  Please leave a comment in the section below and be on the lookout for my next book in the series “40 Days of Focus on Prayer”

FREE eBook 5×8

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All eBooks, Prayer Journals, covers, and contents, including formatting created by April Teesdale

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Natural Bridge Virginia

Natural Bridge Virginia is located between Lexington VA and Roanoke VA in the Shenandoah Valley and is only 15 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway.  This is where I met my husband, then fiance 3 months before the wedding date to give him my engagement ring so he could have the jeweler make a wedding band to match.

(He lived in PA and I lived in NC until we got married)

If you ever get a chance to visit, I recommend you take the full tour including going into the caves (which depends on the time of year if they are open)

Of course, I had to get a picture of him. Even though I knew he would be putting that ring back on my finger with a commitment of forever, I didn’t like that I was giving it back to him, so often I would tell him, “You will have to fight me for this ring” and he would just laugh.

 

Photography by April Teesdale 2017 Natural Bridge VA

How To Pray For Others

When someone is going through a hard time, or a problem or just a situation where they just need a little help and you tell them you will pray for them do you actually do it? I think sometimes we say we will pray for them and we think that is enough just to say it, as though God heard us mention we will do it and that is enough. In reality, we need to pray for each other specifically.  

When we are having our daily prayer, It’s not enough to just mention the person and keep going.  For example: “and dear God I pray for Suzie and her situation, and God bless Anita and her family,” and so on. And we move on. I think sometimes we just don’t know what to say for that person in our prayers, maybe we don’t know the entire situation or who all is involved and honestly, we don’t need to know everything, it’s not our business. But what is our business is standing in the gap for a friend, helping them by taking their problems before the Almighty King.  If someone is asking for prayer they are saying, ~I can’t do this alone. They are asking for help and they are asking you.

The thing is you may not know if they are having financial difficulty, problems with their kids, maybe they are trying to get a better job, maybe there is tension with their spouse or they received news about a medical situation that isn’t going well.  These are things that you cannot fix but these are things that you can pray for.

I find that praying for wisdom for my friend usually starts the ball rolling in my prayers. If you don’t know what to say in your prayers, start by asking God to give your friend wisdom. This may seem like a simple prayer and it is, but it is powerful.  The Bible tells us in

James 1:5 if any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

God gives generously isn’t that wonderful! Pray for God to give your friend wisdom to know how to handle and get through their situation pray for them to have a godly response to things that are happening to them.  Ask God to show them what they need to do, to lead them down the right path and pray for God’s will to be done in their life.

Now if you know a little about the situation then pray on a deeper level.  If you know she is having money problems, pray God will give your friend wisdom and that she will be open to creating a budget, pray for mindfulness and self-control.  These are not times to say, “I claim it, I believe it!” and let it go, no. If your friend is having a problem with their children/child pray for the child’s heart, pray for love and understanding and by all means pray for your friend as a parent.  Just because we are adults doesn’t mean we are always right. Pray for wisdom and even a renewed relationship and above all pray for God’s will to be done.

I love it when people ask me to pray for them.  I use to be afraid because I didn’t want to ask, “what do I pray for?”  I didn’t want to be noisy, but it occurred to me that they just needed prayer and it helped me to develop this system.  I knew where they worked, or what type of work they did and if they had children or a parent living with them that needed care so right there I had a lot to pray for.  Just because I didn’t know the exact problem, didn’t mean I couldn’t be specific in my prayers.

When my mom was alive and someone asked her to pray for them she would say, “do you have 2 minutes to pray right now?”  Sometimes the person was busy and just couldn’t stop, and the answer was no, but many times the answer was yes.  If this is something you chose to do, choose your time wisely you could be in the parking lot after church, or just before church service or riding around doing your errands together or on the phone with them.  Asking them to pray now, shows how much you care about your friend and your eagerness to help them.

When someone asks you to pray for them, do it. We all have 24 hours in a day and I say this because we shouldn’t be praying once a day.  The Bible tells us in

I Thessalonians 5:17 to pray continuously or pray without ceasing.  

So at some point during your day chose a time to pray for your friend specifically. In the morning during your Bible time, maybe you pray for your family and success for their day and specific prayers for each of them.  Then on your car ride to work you pray for your coworkers or your friend specifically. There are times during the day when we are alone even going to the bathroom, or taking a lunch break or walking back to work from our car, or on your ride home and even while you cook and with your children before bed.  My point is you have available times to pray for that friend before you see or hear from them again. If you said you would pray for them don’t be mediocre like I use to be, it is a wonderful thing to bring your friend before God and stand in the gap for their needs.

Amen.

 

photography by April Teesdale

First Doll of the SweetPea Sisters

57188841743__b34f888b-57f9-4405-81c8-d7077d69b780Some of you remember the first doll I made at the end of last year (2018) well I made another one and it’s even better.  I made this doll for my niece Madison who is 6 years old and loves dolls. I included 3 crocheted shawls and three skirts. Her favorite colors are pink and purple and green.

I used the same pattern as last time The Pepper Doll from crazylittleprojects.com but I changed some things. Instead of using yarn for the hair, or the pattern suggested felt or flannel, I used fleece and made braided buns on each side of her head and hand stitched it on. I also added lips and embroidered them.  The doll in the pattern has no mouth.  As for the skirt, I wanted it to have more detail and be better quality so I added a decorative topstitch and created a ruffle above the waistline. Instead of a crocheted cowl, I crocheted 3 shawls with cute little pompoms. I will definitely be making more of these dolls for the little girls popping up in my life.  I wanted to show off my skills so here is the end result.

img_9847img_9849img_9846

Esther: For Such a Time as This

Today I want to talk about the book of Esther and how we can relate it to our lives.

Esther was raised by her cousin Mordecai, he was basically her foster parent. Esther was one of the many young virgins brought to the king and placed under the care of Hegai who was in charge of the harem of virgins.  There each young woman went through 1 year of beauty treatments before one night to audition for the King to be queen.

Now in the Book of the Law, fornication was a sin just like premarital sex, but here was Esther a Jew and this was her life.

Mordecai her foster parent would walk back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.  During this time, Mordecai uncovered a plot to kill the king and Esther reported it, giving credit to Mordecai.  Haman an honored official, despised Mordecai and plotted to kill all the Jews because they would not bow and honor him.  Mordecai sent word to Esther to go before the king and beg for mercy.  But Esther knew that appearing before the king was almost surely a death sentence.  No one must come before the king unless they are summoned and she sent this word back to Mordecai.

What we hear next is profound.  Mordecai send word back to Esther,

Ch4 v13-14    Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape.  For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

These words spurred Esther on and they should encourage you.  Because even though there was sin in Esther’s life, (premarital sex) God still used her, and he used her situation.

It doesn’t matter what you are going through in your life, it doesn’t matter if you are in a bad place because just like God told the Israelites in the book of Jeremiah when they were enslaved in Babylon, “For I know the Plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you” God can still use you.

What does matter is how will you react in the midst of the storm?  For the Israelites, there were false prophets who told the people “God will deliver us and he will bring us home” But God told his people, no, it will be 80 years before you can return home, and that meant none of them would be alive to see it.

BUT GOD….. yes I love those two words, But God told his people he had a plan for their lives and they were to give their daughters to be married to the Babylonians and to prosper the Babylonians and in doing so, God would prosper them.  In the same manner, Esther obeyed to save the Jews.  God used her to save his people and because she obeyed, God allowed her to prosper.

God can use any situation, good or bad, how encouraging!  If you are in a situation you see no way out of, maybe you are supposed to be there at this time in your life no matter how it came to be.  Pray for deliverance, pray for wisdom and guidance but most of all pray for God to use you right where you are.  You may want to be out of this situation but God may have a better way out that doesn’t involve just you, God always has a bigger plan.  Now, whether he reveals his side of the plan or not, does not matter.  Again what matters is how you handle it.

To God be the Glory!  Amen!!

Photography In SattleTree, NC by Donnie Locklear III

 

Should You Continue to Ask For Blessings When You Are Already Blessed

Recently I have noticed that I have been hesitant to ask God to bless me. I feel that I am so blessed with the life that he has given me, that it would be selfish for me to ask him to continue to bless me.

I know God is my father and he wants to bless me, he wants me to live the best life possible. So I prayed about this and the Holy Spirit lead me to Matthew 25:14-30 and I was dumbfounded. I almost began to cry. Here is the passage:

The Parable of the Bags of Gold

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

“‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has, will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have, will be taken from them, And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

This is what I learned

How dare I be so selfish! Wow. I am acting like the servant who hid the bag of gold, afraid to invest it, afraid to use it.

God has given me a wonderful life, and as I look around I have been able to bless so many others, just because I’ve been blessed. God has used me to help others. He has blessed me so that others may be blessed.

When I don’t ask for my blessings I’m robbing others of their blessings.

I use to support a certain Bible College every month by giving $10 to help with whatever was needed. All the professors are Missionaries and live off donations. Their mission right now is to train others to preach, teach, or just learn more about God and his word. I know $10 isn’t much but it was all I could give, and it was really on my heart to give to this school.

Since God has blessed me with this amazing wonderful life, I’m now able to give so much more. And it’s not because of me, it is all God! I’m bragging on God here not me. This is all because of God.

If I had not asked God to bless me, I wouldn’t be able to bless others. I have been the servant who hid my masters gold. How shameful of me. I have decided to take the gold my Father has given me and invest it wisely in others. I have decided to ask for blessings each morning this year so others may be blessed by God though me.

Can you image? If God blesses me and Ai bless 5 others…. there will be 6 more people thanking and praising God instead of one.

God is so good to me. I am so thankful that he has revealed this to me.

There are so many ways to bless others. Sometimes just a smile can turn someone’s day around. My neighbor use to cut my grass for no reason except that he was out cutting his own and wanted to help me. (I was a single mom of 3 then). A friend of mine gave me a huge mound of collards once just because God blessed her with a bountiful garden. (Picture below)

Don’t ever stop asking God to bless you. He wants to use you to help others. Maybe he blessed you with a talent and you see a way to use it to bless others.

Don’t hold on to your blessings and do nothing. Don’t continue to accumulate things. Start sharing your blessings. Use your time wisely. When God sees how willing you are to bless and help others he will bless you even more. I am a walking talking example.

ASK FOR YOUR BLESSINGS!

To God be the glory!

Other verses to look at

Matthew 7:7-8  (NIV) “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

2019 Is For Me: What My Focus Will Be in 2019

Hi everyone I don’t do New Year Resolutions mainly because I don’t remember them or I chose them ‘on the fly’.

Last year (or last month rather, December) I thought about things I wanted to focus on for 2019 so I think I’m ready to share them, there’s only 2 but they are big for me.

Today is January 4 and my oldest child turned 26 today. Last year (2018) my middle child got married, was discharged from the Navy and started a new career across the country, my other son (husband’s son) just had a baby and my youngest child is having a baby this month. I have gone through so many changes the last few years (I’ll post a link to that timeline at the end of this post.) I have not been able to prepare and process the way I should and I find myself going over the way things should have gone. This post starts with Focus on the future.

  • Focus on the future. This means Prepare. If you have a goal, you must prepare to meet that goal. If you don’t prepare, it’s not a goal, it’s a dream. (I’ll post my goal spreadsheets/ worksheets for you to download soon, so check back)
  • Forgive and Forget the past and from now on.
  • This is long because it’s my problem area. Like I said earlier so much has happened to me in a short amount of time that I’ve hardly been able to process it all. Good and bad. But it’s those bad moments that linger in our head.
  • People have wronged me, tricked me, stole, lied you name it it’s happened. Some things that happened were accidents and some were people who made big mistakes at my expense. (You can read it here God Opens Doors, And Closes Them) sometimes I lay awake thinking how I should’ve corrected that or what should I have done instead. I am fooling myself. I can’t change it, it was years ago, but I can choose to forgive and forget. God tells us in
  • Matthew 6:14-15 ‘For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
  • I had to ask myself, ‘do I really want to go to Hell because I didn’t want to forgive someone?’ Ummmmm NO! So what happens when God doesn’t forgive us?
  • Ephesians 4:31-32 tells us ‘Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’
  • Guess HOW God forgives us? Psalm 103:12 tells us that he casts our sins
  • ‘as far as the east is from the west
  • In other words, once they are forgiven they are forgotten. He loves us and gives us so many chances to get it right.
  • Sometimes I bring things up from the past to remind others of their short comings, I think it’s something we’ve all done. The problem is it makes them feel bad. It’s called a ‘guilt trip’. I use to be good at it, but as you get older, you realize how childish it is and it’s not godly. Actually it’s far from it. Some people will say, ‘well I need time to forgive and forget’. Think about it… how long does it take God to forgive and forget your sins? As soon as you ask, that’s how long.
  • We are called to be like Him, even though we will never be. We are called to be godly.
  • Once you forgive and forget you will sleep better, be happier and be at peace.
  • My Journey to forgive and forget transgressions started a while back, but I need to master it. I know with God’s help I will be able to forgive and forget past grievances and will help me spot them quickly and squash them in the future.

    What is your word for this year or what do you want to change? Leave it in the comments below and let me know you liked about this post.

    My Life Changing Moments in a Short Amount of Time

    God Opens Doors, And Closes Them

  • One of my previous employers hired 2 women with the same first and last name, me and someone else.
  • After I left that job and began working for the state, while the other person continued on where she was. While I was at my new Job, the other person was fired and actually did 2 years of federal time. When I left the state job I applied for a position at The sheriffs office. They called my old job for my work history and Human Resources didn’t verify my social security number. She simply heard the name and remembered the other lady had been fired.
  • I was out of work for 6 months unable to get a job. It wasn’t until I started calling all the offices where I had applied and asked why they changed their mind about hiring me. Each one told me the same story, they were told I had been fired from a previous employer for embezzlement.
  • Devastated!!!!
  • I ask God to open doors and put me where he wanted me because everywhere I wanted to work closed their door in my face. My degree was in Criminal Justice and I applied everywhere!!
  • My last resort was a Temp agency who placed me with
  • The Native American Bible College and they did a correct background check. After 3 months the Bible College hired me. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog you know they played a big part in my life, and still do.
  • My Life Changing Moments in a Short Amount of Time

    My family has gone through many changes and just about all of them were good. I thank God for everything that has happened in my life but this timeline is special.

    2014

    • Started working at Native American Bible College
    • Met my future husband and that year decided to date long distance to see if we were compatible. He lived in Pennsylvania and I lived in North Carolina
    • I Moved into a new house, better house for my family

    2015

    • Broke my finger
    • Took a motorcycle trip across the country with Dan for 3 weeks. From PA, to NC then to New Mexico and up to The Grand Canyon, Tetons, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park https://youtu.be/oT3ax6NlG00

    2016

    • My daughter graduated high school
    • My son graduated college
    • My daughter joined the Navy and went to boot camp several states away. (First time away from home)
    • I got engaged
    • My fiancé bought me a brand new car because I needed one
    • Our home land in NC flooded and we couldn’t live in our home for weeks.
    • My daughter was baptized

    2017

    • My son moved out to begin his new life at the beach, he was 24 at the time and my oldest child.
    • My youngest daughter graduated high school and got a promotion at work
    • I got married at the Bible College
    • Took the week after we got married to pack up my home to move in with my new husband
    • Moved in with my husband in Pennsylvania
    • Went on a 3 week honeymoon the month after we got married. We went back out west, this time we flew, First Class and rented a car while out there instead of taking the bike. He drove while I took pictures.
    • Only married 6 months, we spent our first Christmas as a married couple
    • Found out we were going to be grandparents

    2018

    • My daughter got married
    • I published my first book. A free eBook 40 Days of Focus on Godly Living
    • Finished the first draft of my first fiction book about my people the Lumbee.
    • Published several journals on Amazon
    • Started a blog reviewing books and movies here The Reviewers View
    • Started my second book ’40 Days of Focus on Prayer’
    • Read 85 books (This is a big deal for me! All novels, look me up / friend me on Goodreads)
    • Made a goal to read 100 books in 2019
    • Had our 1year wedding anniversary
    • Had our first grandchild
    • Found out we’re going to be grandparents again

    I am So Blessed! It just keeps getting better, all because I stepped out of the way and let God control my life. He is Lord if my life, so why was I in control? Why was I being god of my own life?

    I always had amazing plans for my life and I was accomplishing them, thinking it was because God was on my side. But I should’ve been on His side. I began to realized I was controlling my own life and God let me.

    I thank God he didn’t allow me to destroy myself before I got wise.

    When I let go of the control over my life and surrendered, God gave me the life he had planned for me and it is beyond my wildest dreams. I just hate that it took me so long, but we all have things to go through so God can prepare us to live the life he has planned for us.

    It’s not over God is still blessing me.

    Finished Doll Day 6

    Good morning, I realize I could have finished this a lot sooner especially if I didn’t dedicate only an hour or so a day to this project. But I’d like to announce my doll has clothes so this makes her complete. Yea!!

    I may do a tutorial on this but I would like to thank Karly from Paisley Roots for her Pepper Doll Pattern on Crazy Little Projects. In the end, just about everything I did in this project came from her Pattern. I looked at many things for her neck, like a cape, or bonnet. I went back to Karly’s project because it would be the fastest to complete. Get her Pattern Here So I crocheted a scarf that only took 5 minutes. A cape would have to be hemmed and doing it be hand takes a while.

    Now that I’m done and she has clothes. I can concentrate on accessories an more clothes. I’ll make more dolls for all the little girls popping up in my life. (But my Own Pattern) and maybe I’ll make a tutorial and video it for YouTube including some do’s and don’ts. I hope you enjoyed this ride-a-long.

    Have a blessed New Year

    See what my doll looked like each day

    Day 1

    Day 2

    Day 3

    Day 4

    Day 5