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I wrote last month about building our lives on the rock of God's word and my current method of Bible study. Today, I wanted to share a few things that are encouraging my "quiet times." 

As always, I don't aim to be prescriptive in advocating a certain method of study or prayer. In fact, the term "quiet time" for me has so often been associated with my sense of failure and inadequacy, that I'm very hesitant to even use it. Quiet time. Time with God. Devotions. Whatever you call it, I've pretty much struggled to be consistent with them all. You could call me a "quiet time dropout."

And likely I will continue to battle my flesh and my propensity to forget my God and His goodness. I will continue to repent of my distractibility and my lack of fervency in prayer.

Here are a few things that have helped me recently and might encourage you:

1. Reading through a book of the Bible and meditating on a short passage each week, asking God what He would say to me (as described here previously). I underline and take some simple notes, sometimes I just sit there and think about the passage.

2. Reading a Psalm each day. The Psalms teach me to look up and cry out in whatever circumstances I find myself.

3. Letting God lead my praying. For so long, I felt like that if I couldn't pray for everything and everyone in my life (Missionaries! Relatives that don't know Jesus! Future spouses for my kids! Church family! Pastors! Our country's leaders! Ahh!), that I was failing, so more often than not, I would just give up and not pray at all. It felt too overwhelming. But (shocker!), I may be just overcomplicating what should be a conversation with Jesus. Why should I expect to always lead that conversation?

I still write down lists of things to pray for, but I'm attempting to let God lead me to what and who I should pray for each day. Richard Foster, in his book Celebration of Discipline, introduced me to this idea.

4. Praying the Word. I try to pray what I read when applicable. Last night in my reading in 1 Corinthians 5:8, I read about how believers celebrate Christ, the Passover lamb with the "unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." I prayed that my church family would be people of sincerity and truth as we celebrate Jesus.

5. Praying prayers of other believers. I have been using a collection of Puritan prayers called The Valley of Vision (on my resources page and mentioned here also) this year. They've helped lead me to deeper confession and faith in Christ's work. I feel like each one tears me down and then builds me back up in Christ.

6. Keeping a simple routine. I try not to fill my quiet time with too many resources. I'm also finding value in the consistency of meeting together, just as I do in the simple weekly meetings of our church family small groups. I don't do my quiet time every night; some nights I'm too tired or sometimes I'm just plain distracted.

6. Doing my quiet times at night. There, I said it (and all the night owls rejoiced). I have finally accepted that I am not a morning person, and my evenings are just much quieter and peaceful.

I want to note, as my friend Katie says, that this time is not the whole of my relationship with God. It deepens it and fills me in a way only Jesus can, but my whole day is an opportunity to "seek His presence continually" (Psalm 105:4). Nor are my "quiet times" the basis of my relationship with God--only faith in the finished work of Christ is that. Guilt-motivated quiet times just don't work friends. Grace-motivated quiet times with your loving Father--yes.

As our pastor has been saying this summer, "Grace is opposed to earning, not effort." Isn't that good news?

What encourages you to spend time in the Word and prayer, friend?


*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!



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Encouragement from a quiet time dropout

Bible coloring page Philippians 4:5

Sometimes a confluence of messages and events press upon me, like trickling mountain streams that together form a rushing river. I'll try to explain these streams I find converging today.

The events in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend weigh heavy on me, not just because the city is only a skip over the mountain from us, but also because I care about racial reconciliation in this country, especially our role as Christians in this work of God's will being done "on earth as it is in heaven." I'm deeply disturbed by the ideology of hate and racial superiority on clear display by the organizers and participants of last weekend's rally.

I told my daughters about Charlottesville and what Neo-Nazis believe, and my oldest responded, "Not that again!" Last year's overview of World War II is still fresh in our minds.

(If you'd like some ideas about how to talk to your kids about race and Charlottesville, JellyTelly shared a great collection of resources HERE. I appreciated this one, and I've also written about the topic here. I also appreciate the writer Trillia Newbell, who speaks wisely and graciously about race. You can read her writing here and here.)

Yes, my daughters, "again." The serpent is old, but not senile. He is a good recycler and repackager of lies. He himself is on the side of no one but his own, the side of destruction and death (John 10:10).

If the serpent is the author of hate-fueled movements of this kind (think the Khmer Rouge, Rwandan genocide, and the Holocaust) then the battle is a spiritual one not to be defeated with insults or shame tactics or matching hate with hate. I feel we may end up like the disciples when they tried to cast a demon out of a boy it had been tormenting since childhood:  
"And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him [Jesus] privately, 'Why could we not cast it out?' And he said to them, 'This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.'" (Mark 9:28-29 ESV)
One stream.

On Sunday, our pastor taught through Philippians 4. We read ""Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand" (Philippians 4:5 ESV). "Reasonableness" (in the Greek the adjective epieikēs used as a noun in this verse) is also translated moderation (as in the KJV), forbearance, and gentleness. As an adjective it is translated gentle, patient, suitable, equitable, fair, mild. According to Vine's Expository Dictionary of the New Testament, it is "in contrast to contentiousness."

Another stream.

Reading through the book of Matthew with my kids, we came to this passage where Jesus quotes Isaiah's prophecy about the Messiah:
"Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope."" (Matthew 12:18-21 ESV)
Jesus is the King who is "gentle and lowly in heart" (Matthew 11:29), who, without quarreling or even extinguishing a smoldering wick, brings "justice to victory."

Another stream.

All that brings me back to this: what do believers like homebody, homeschooling, church member me do in the face of this evil? What does it look like to imitate my Jesus who is completely gentle and non-bruised-reed-breaking in this contentious culture of mine?

One more stream:

Eric Metaxas's Dietrich Bonhoeffer biography (listed on my resources page) was one of my summer reads. As I read, I had the eerie feeling that Bonhoeffer's story and the larger story of German Christians was important for us today. Germany was home to Martin Luther, the reformation, and thus Lutheranism. Anyone grow up singing "A Mighty Fortress is our God"? It was written by Luther in German! It seems an unlikely place to have birthed the horror of the Holocaust.

The Nazi party needed the church's support to move ahead politically, but at the same time they hated the gentleness of Jesus and the call to lay day one's life and rights for the sake of Jesus and the good of others and the Gospel. They considered that aspect of Christianity un-German. In the end, they didn't need the church's approval so much as they needed the church to remain divided and inactive in their opposition to Nazi party's political plots and thinly veiled (for a time) violence. Many in the church compromised Gospel truth for political expediency and security. 

If we can learn anything from the German church, it is that the Church must not be afraid or slow to act against oppression and injustice.  Fear of doing the wrong thing kept many German Christians from doing anything, which then left them with only impossible choices once evil had secured power.

I don't pretend to have a prescription for how believers should respond today, but maybe our calling hasn't changed, our calling to:

1. Be the Church united, not just individuals. 

2. Pray and resist anxiety (Philippians 4:6).

3. Stand up for the oppressed and promote justice.
 "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8 ESV)
4. Preach the Gospel in every season. 
"Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching." (2 Timothy 4:2 ESV) 
5. Do everything in the Spirit and power of Jesus, in gentleness and respect because we see ourselves as the chief sinners (saved by grace alone) who have often neglected kindness, justice, and humility.
"But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." (1Peter 3:14-15 ESV)
Please know I'm not trying to pick sides politically; I only want to see the bride of Christ act like her Savior, Jesus. I want Jesus to known and honored with our gentle and respectful lives, not reviled because of our unreasonableness and contentiousness. I want to see the church fearless, because we are the ones who have the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11).

Today's printable Bible verse coloring page is from Philippians 4:5 (in English, Spanish, and a blank version for adding another language). You can download your page by clicking on the images below!*



PRAYING the Word
Jesus, may we your church body be known for our gentleness and respect towards all men. May we honor you as Lord and always be prepared to speak the Gospel. Forgive us for being known for anything else. Forgive us for letting fear keep us from acting in faith. Use us as salt and light in our decaying and dark world. Make us a city on a hill, not a candle snuffed under a basket. 

QUESTIONS to consider:
1. Are you known for your gentleness and respect for others? 
2. How might you better reflect the nearness of your Savior? 
3. How might God be calling you, as a member of the body of Christ, to act as salt and light in our culture?


*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!



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Hate, old lies, and the gentleness of Jesus + Philippians 4:5 coloring page


Hi friends!

On a whim, the kids and I decided to jump right in and start school this week. It's feels good to be back in a familiar rhythm. We're studying the first part of American history this year (starting with the native peoples of the Americas using Sonlight Core D), and I'm excited to see what we'll learn. We've made a few small adjustments in organization and scheduling from last year that seem to be helping.

Having the toddler a whole year older than last year (crazy how that happens) has made a big difference. We were able to buy some used Thomas the Tank Engine tracks and toys for him to play with during school in the morning. Unlike last year, he has been pretty content to play while we do school in the morning. We finish up later while he naps.

Well, enough about the inner-workings of our homeschool! This week, I pulled together some mostly-free resources for you to use as tools to encourage your kiddos and their teachers as you kick off another school year! Here they are:

A. "Be strong and courageous" coloring page. 

B. Six encouraging black and white Scripture cards (free)

C. Three printable teacher appreciation cards (free)

D. 25 Printable lunchbox notes (free)

E. 4 Blank printable notecards (free)

F. Printable love notes and a second set HERE

G. Anxious Heart set from my shop. I love this one for little (and big) worriers to memorize! This one about their identity in Christ would be great as well.

H. 8 hand-drawn lunchbox notes (free)

I. Printable Rainbow thank you card. Why wait until the end of the school year to thank your child's teacher? You know he or she has already poured many hours thinking and planning for your child's year. Drop him a note telling him how you appreciate him and how you're praying for him this year.

If you're interested in any printables from my Etsy shop, make sure to sign up for my newsletter (below) or follow me on social media for news about a big sale next week! 


*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!



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Encouragement for back-to-school printable round-up


It's a new month and time for new screensaver art! This is the truth that I've been pausing on for a while.
"The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. "For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ." (1Corinthians 2:14-16 ESV)
If we belong to Christ, we are no longer "natural" people. Bickering, resentment, and looking out for numero uno is natural. Selfless love, forgiveness, and humility are the work of the Spirit.

Anxiety, frenzied work, and a lack of self-control are natural. Peace, rest, and self-control are fruits of the Spirit at work.
"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)
In honest self-evaluation, I still live much like a natural woman, which, despite Aretha Franklin's classic anthem, for a Christian, is not our calling.

When I am in the grips of anxiety, a decision I have to make, or a situation of tension, God has been reminding me that I am not on my own. I am not a natural woman. I have the mind of Christ.

And that in itself, is a witness to God's great grace toward this still-fleshly woman.

To get the image, right click on the image below, save, and then set as your device's lock or home screen.

*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!



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The Mind of Christ Screensaver

 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it." (Matthew 7:24-27 ESV)

I just finished the Bonhoeffer biography I told you about last time. It was weighty, sobering, heart-breaking, and hope-giving. There are many treasures I took away from reading it, but one simple idea was the way Bonhoeffer taught his seminary students to read the Bible. They were so accustomed to dissecting each verse, theorizing and debating, looking up the Greek and Hebrew, that they were inept at actually knowing how to hear from God through His Word! So he made them meditate on a single passage each week and barred them from doing any formal research. They were to simply ask what God had to say to them in His Word. This proved very difficult and frustrating for some students, but in the end fruitful. It was a practice many of them would carry throughout their lives, and one that sustained Bonhoeffer in dark days.

I find that I am so prone to wander spiritually, so quick to seek joy elsewhere, so easily discouraged, that more than anything else, I need to hear daily from Jesus. Like the little Wemmick in Max Lucado's (You are Special) children's book who cares so much about the kind of dots others stick to Him, I need to come daily to my Maker. I need to hear His will. I need to confess my sin and know His grace. I need Him to lead me to be holy as He is holy. 

I am trying a Bonhoeffer-inspired approach to Scripture these days: reading a passage and then asking the Lord what He wants me to meditate on for the week.

Two weeks ago I came to this passage:
"And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." (1Corinthians 2:1-5 ESV)

I prayed over the idea that Paul "decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucifed." Since my main discipleship ministry is in my home to my children, what would it look like for a mom to not come to her children with "lofty speech or wisdom," but with single-minded focus on the cross of Christ? What does it look like for me to demonstrate and show the Spirit's power, so that my children's faith "might not rest on the wisdom of men but in the power of God"? What does this mean for me as a blogger, artist, and sister in Christ?

One thing I do know is that I don't have to be superwoman who has all the answers. That in itself won't convince anyone of God's greatness. Paul, the great missionary himself, came in "weakness and in fear and much trembling." 

Last week, I honed in on the verse, "'For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?' But we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16). This week, I think it's "you are still of the flesh" (1 Corinthians 3:3). God has handed me precious treasures from His Word, worthy of the time to handle and examine and cherish.

My purpose here is not to advocate for any particular method of Scripture study, but only to encourage you to seek Jesus in His Word, to listen, and then to build your life on those words--whatever the particular method you're using at the moment. It doesn't have to be complicated and overwhelming, and can be as simple as reading a few verses each week and asking God what He wants to say to you through them. 

Then, God can make us like this verse below, despite the storms, the pounding rain, the floods (which will surely come):
Today's printable Bible verse coloring page is from Matthew 7:24. You can download your page HERE in Spanish or HERE in English or by clicking on the images below!*

And for the first time, I'm sharing a version of the coloring page with no words HERE (or click  the image below). I've heard from several readers from around the world who speak languages other than English and Spanish, and are looking for Bible artwork they can use. If you add your own language lettering to this page, will you share it with me at mary@marydeandraws.com or on Instagram or Facebook? I'd love to see! 




*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!



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A life on the rock + Matthew 7:24 Bible coloring page in English and Spanish


I recently discovered the Gospel Taboo blog and read this article that captures a marriage lesson I see God pressing in on me recently. Kendra Dahl, the author, had an alarm set on her phone that said, "nourished and cherished by Jesus" that would go off before her husband was to arrive home. This was to remind her that only Jesus could fully nourish and cherish her the way Ephesians 5:29 describes. Knowing this set her free to love her husband and set him free from expectations he could never fully meet.
"In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Indeed, no one ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church." Ephesians 5:28-29
I love Kendra's idea, so I made this month's screensaver to remind you and me of this truth. To get the image, just right click on the image below, save, and then set as your device's lock or home screen.



*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the file. Thank you!!



If you like this, you can get these posts in your inbox by signing up HERE

Nourished and Cherished by Jesus Screensaver


(The Amazon links in this post are affiliate links,* which means that if you purchase something using them, I get a small portion of the sale. It's a small way you can support the blog, but only if you'd like!)

Okay, I know it's not technically summer yet (see previous post), but . . . HAPPY SUMMER!!!

I am feeling so much better this week and settling into the groove of summer. I am reading Anne Brontë's (of the Brontë sisters) The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and am ambitiously looking forward to reading Eric Metaxas's biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and maybe David McCullough's John Adams biography (partly because we are studying the first half of American history next school year). Which one will I start first, and which will I finish, only time will tell. I'm also absorbing a ton of wisdom and encouragement from Paul Tripp's Parenting.

I got the chance to attend the HEAV (Virginia Homeschool) Convention in Richmond, VA this past weekend with my friend Katie. Every year I've gone has been encouraging for me as an educator and a parent. There's also a HUGE used curriculum sale and all kinds of fun homeschool vendors, in addition to the fun of being in Richmond with my friend talking, missing exits, and gushing over good food. It helps me to remember there is more to me than just "mommy," although I love and cherish that role. Have I mentioned how supportive my husband is? I came home to lots of mommy-missing kids, a clean house, and Thai food!

My girls are currently reading a lot of library books, mostly books with sparkly covers about magical animal adventurers. To be accurate, one is reading, and the other is mostly browsing and slowly, painfully, emerging as a real reader, which is amazing to witness.

The girls are also often listening to Jonathan Park during their daily rest time (we bought an online subscription for their birthday present). Here's a little trick that works for our us during rest time: I stream audio stories on my phone and give them a Bluetooth speaker (I got this one for Christmas) to listen to in the other room. I'm not comfortable with them having access to my phone or another tablet when I'm not in the room, so this is a simple solution.

As a church, we are taking a break from our regular community groups and doing some fun, member-created groups for the summer. Some friends and I are hosting two coloring nights where we'll get together over some snacks and tea or coffee and chat while we color my Bible coloring pages. This would be a fun and easy way to connect with friends over the summer! Besides all the freebie coloring pages on the blog, this set in the shop has a lot of fun coloring pages perfect for a ladies' night.

And speaking of coloring pages, I have a new one for you that I made a while ago, but just haven't gotten around to sharing yet!

We generally think that looking back is not a healthy way to move forward, but when recounting God's faithfulness, looking back can be crucial to our hope and confidence.

When looking back, we can see with clarity how God never abandoned us. The "recount" of His "wonderful deeds" fills us with hope that in the future, we will again look back and see the same faithfulness written all over the days we're currently living. I'm not convinced we'll look back and understand all the elements of our story, but I am confident we will see God's presence.

I know that in some seasons, it's hard to get our tired and worn hearts to begin the recount. Like a slow and weighted train, we feel immovable. Today, let's start at the cross, and the costly sacrifice on our behalf, planned before the world was spoken into existence, when He chose us in Him (Ephesians 1:4; Revelation 13:8). Despite our fluctuating feelings, our whole hearts can, like that slow-starting train, begin to move forward in faith.

Today's printable Bible verse coloring page is from Psalm 9:1. You can download your page HERE in Spanish or HERE in English, or by clicking on the image below!*

Spanish Bible verse coloring page

*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!

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The recount + Psalm 9:1 Printable Bible Coloring Page in English and Spanish


We kicked off our summer this week, although my daughter is insistent (under her daddy's tutelage) that we can't call it summer until precisely June 21. I see it more of a fluid kind of thing, but we shall agree to disagree. 

I was expecting a feeling of freedom as the weight of educating my children was lifted (formally) for a season, but I wasn't expecting a kind of heaviness of spirit to settle in these last few days. Is it my old traveling companion, Depression, come to walk with me for a while again? Or maybe it's the sudden loss of structure to our days that has thrown me off. 

I'm prone to jump to conclusions and blame when I feel uncomfortable like this. If I had a different vocation, I'd be happier. 

Then the Holy Spirit reminds. Remember how that's His role (see previous post)?

He reminds me that my weaknesses would follow me whatever the situation. He reminds me that my weaknesses are under His faithful care and providence. That He is faithful to keep me tucked under His wing when I'd rather be soaring independent. That He is faithful to keep me just slightly crippled, so I don't trip up on my ever-bubbling pride (see Psalm 91:4 and 2 Corinthians 12;7-8).

He reminds me that instead of being ashamed of my weaknesses, I can boast in them because they become the venue for His supply (2 Corinthians 12:9).

I am reminded of God's patience with me, and His call for me to wait patiently for Him. His work is never hurried, but never too slow. A slow season where each hour feels burdensome and difficult can be a rich season of walking with Him.

(Card from the "Words of Life #2" printable set in the shop here)
A less productive season can be a season of letting the soil rest and grow rich in minerals for the next season of planting and harvesting.

God is faithful in His afflictions, we know that.
"I know, O LORD, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me." Psalm 119:75
I read this C.S. Lewis recently: "“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”

I don't know what this season hold for me. I may find tomorrow is lighter!

For today, I'm sharing this little screensaver from Psalm 68:19 to remind you that God's presence and love for you are DAILY. To get the image, just right click on the image below, save, and then set as your device's lock or home screen.






**I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the file. Thank you!!



If you like this, you can get these posts in your inbox by signing up HERE

He bears us up + Psalm 68:19 Phone Screensaver

"Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David." (Isaiah 55:2-3 ESV)

Do you ever imagine what it would be like to have been a friend of the in-the-flesh Jesus? What kind of conversations would you have? How would He make you laugh? How would He comfort and encourage you?

Jesus said something interesting things to his disciples about His presence:

"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you." (John 16:7 ESV)

However, the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything. He will remind you of everything that I have ever told you.” (John 14:26 ESV)

If I’m understanding Jesus’ meaning, then being in a relationship with Jesus is not something just left to the imagination. It’s a real possibility. In fact, it’s been God’s desire since He created us.

Jesus says that what we believers have (post-incarnation, resurrection and ascension) is better that what the disciples had.

I think many of us (me included), settle for an outward check-list Christianity that is nothing like the living, breathing relationship the Bible describes and that believers through the ages have experienced. The idea of living life in God's presence seems mystical and strange.

I started reading The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer (free Kindle book HERE) and these quotes jumped out at me:

“That type of Christianity which happens now to be the vogue knows this Presence only in theory. It fails to stress the Christian's privilege of present realization. According to its teachings we are in the Presence of God positionally, and nothing is said about the need to experience that Presence actually.” A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

“The modern scientist has lost God amid the wonders of His world; we Christians are in real danger of losing God amid the wonders of His Word. We have almost forgotten that God is a Person and, as such, can be cultivated as any person can. It is inherent in personality to be able to know other personalities, but full knowledge of one personality by another cannot be achieved in one encounter. It is only after long and loving mental intercourse that the full possibilities of both can be explored.” A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

We believers are in a relationship with a God who desires to know and be known, who communicates, who has thoughts and desires, and with whom we can cultivate a real relationship with time and growing communication, knowledge, and experience.

I’m trying to pray a simple prayer these days as I try to cultivate this relationship that God is patiently calling me to. I’m asking “Jesus, what do you want me to hear right now?” as I navigate my days.

When I’ve hit the discouragement and exhaustion of mothering.
When I feel unsure of what to do next.
When I’m feeling discouraged about my work.
When I’m presented with a need or opportunity that I'm not sure is mine.
When I feel anxiety mounting.

It’s hard for me to pause and turn to Jesus. I’m naturally more of a wheel-spinner, keep-myself-distracted kind of person. In truth, my flesh is yet rebellious and resistant.

Can you imagine being so dependent on the voice of God, your “Helper,” that it would seem impossible to navigate life without Him? That idea is so backwards to our culture, isn't it? Yet it's the call of our God.

I am trying to communicate this with my children as well. Post sibling blow-up yesterday, we sat down and asked these questions:

“What would Jesus say to you if He were sitting here on the couch with us?
“How do we know what Jesus would say to us?”  Well, God gave us two things. He gave us a book of His words (how practical of Him!), and He gave us the Holy Spirit to remind us of everything Jesus said.

(Full disclosure: I was telling my husband over dinner about this great conversation we had, and the girls could recall ZERO details. He was so impressed. We’ll keep talking about this one “as we walk along” as Deuteronomy 11:19 says.)

Today I’m sharing a Bible verse coloring page of John 14:26, which will be part of a complete redo of my Good News printable set. It’s made up of my favorite Scriptures that highlight the story of God’s redemption from Genesis to Revelation, and will include full-color Scripture cards and black and white coloring pages and will also come in Spanish!!

This set is by no means exhaustive in explaining the Gospel story, but I hope it will be a helpful tool. I’m finishing up putting the files together and illustrating a few more Scriptures and then I’ll list them in the shop (and send out an update if you’re subscribed to my newsletter!).

You can download the printable coloring page* in Spanish HERE and in English HERE or click on the images below.



Scripture is from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!



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The Helper + John 14:26 Bible Coloring Page (English and Spanish)


Hi friends! Today I'm guest-posting "10 ways to be another mom's cheerleader" over at the JellyTelly blog HERE. You can also head there to download these encouraging Scripture verse cards! I hope you enjoy the post!

I was in the middle of a battle of wills with a child of mine. (This is the same child who responded to my observation, “You are being particularly difficult this morning,” with: “I don’t speak Spanish.”)

My dear friend and neighbor came over in the middle of this struggle, and I sighed and said, “Please just tell me I’m not a terrible mom.”

She looked and me and said with confidence, “You are a fantastic mom, and I think you’re doing a great job!”

Sniff.

Don’t we all need a cheerleader friend like that?

Read the rest HERE!

*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!



If you like this, you can get these posts in your inbox by signing up HERE

Ten ways to be another mom's cheerleader + Psalm 103:9 printable Bible verse cards