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(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!!



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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!!



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



Our pastor shared this video with us recently. I watched it last night and just had to share it with you. The thirty-plus minute video chronicles a pastor's journey to understand what it means to live at God's speed, a speed that allows us to know and be known (I've pondered this idea before HERE).

The pastor argues that when we run all the time, "we miss things," and that learning to live in the Spirit often means slowing our steps down to match His.

I'm challenged by this today. Isn't that every heart's cry, to know and be known? And isn't that what Jesus did in His earthly life? He called people by name. He lived His life out among relatives and friends in a small area of a small country.

Isn't that the call of a disciple-maker? That was the Apostle Paul's view of ministry:
"So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us." 1 Thessalonians 2:8
Maybe we can't live like people do in small-town Scotland (watch the video), because God has placed us in the age and country where we are for His purposes. But what does it look like to keep in step with the Spirit in this age of ours, I'm wondering?

I'm trying something new today and sharing with you an image you can use as a screensaver or lock screen on your phone (if you're fancy like that). I hope it might serve as a reminder to bring your steps in pace with the Spirit today.

To get the image, just right click on the image below, save, and then set it as your device's lock screen 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!!



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God's pace + Galatians 5:25 Screensaver


I can't think on much of anything more astounding than the sovereignty and patience of God in completing His plan for us.

"It is finished" was the final cry of Jesus on the cross as He surrendered up His human spirit.

Every prophecy was fulfilled.

A perfectly righteous life lived.

Every sin paid for.

The great enemies (Satan, death, and sin) defeated.

The veil (symbolic and physical) separating God and man torn (Matthew 27:50-51).

If "it is finished," where does that leave you and me?
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Rom 8:1 ESV)
"And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him." (Colossians 2:13-15 ESV) 
"Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful." (Hebrews 10:19-23 ESV)
"But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code." (Rom 7:6 ESV)
I could go on and on, recounting all that is ours in Christ.
"For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:16-17 ESV)
Today's printable Bible verse coloring page is from John 19:30. You can download your page HERE in English or HERE in Spanish or by clicking on the image below!*




PRAYING the Word
Jesus, I want to grab hold of the joy that is mine in the work you finished on the cross. My heart can be so cold to glorious things. Forgive me. Thank you that I can draw near to you in full assurance of faith. Help me to serve you in the "new way of the Spirit," because you met the law's demands for me. 

QUESTIONS to consider:
1. What did Jesus purchase on the cross for you that you find most comforting today?
2. What did Jesus purchase on the cross for us that might be good news for someone else today?


*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!!


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.



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It is finished + John 19:30 Easter Bible Verse Coloring Page (English + Spanish)

Matthew 27:46 and Isaiah 53 printable


I don't have a lot to write about today's art. It's enough just to meditate on these words of Jesus and the prophet Isaiah.

Jesus was forsaken by the Father for us, so that we would never have to taste forsakenness. 
The Father turned His back on the Son as He bore our sins, an unimaginable disruption in the Trinity, so that God would never turn His back on us and our sins.


Meditate on these words when you feel unloved. 

Meditate on these words when you wonder if Jesus would still have you come to Him in your state. 

Meditate on these words when you find life dissatisfying

My prayer is that this would lead you to worship Him, no matter your circumstances today. Like this song says, "Now my soul cries out Hallelujah."




You can download today's Bible verse coloring page is from Matthew 27:46 and Isaiah 53:3-4 HERE or by clicking on the image below.*
Matthew 27:46 and Isaiah 53 printable
*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

Forsaken for me + Matthew 27:46 and Isaiah 53:3-4 coloring page

"Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 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 55:1-3 ESV)

You know what I am confident that Jesus has to say to you right now?

Come.

That's what I hear Him speaking to my heart these days, and it's the message all over Scripture.

Creator God walks through the garden in the cool of the day, a garden now spoiled for His creatures by their own rebellion. God comes walking, and His creatures hide, thinking their nakedness and rebellious hearts are hidden from His sight (Genesis 3:8-9).

We are hiders, aren't we? We are fearful of His presence and His glory. We are wary of the light because "men love darkness" and light exposes our evil hearts (John 3:19).

I myself have every excuse for not coming:

My prayer life is a wreck. And what devotional life? Where do I even start?
Come. Let’s talk. Learn from me.

My life is chaos. If it would just calm down, then I could come. 
Come. 
Come poor and needy.
Come weak and wavering.
Come failing and distracted.
Come thirsty and hungry.

God can't possibly speak into this situation. Surely, He can't be what I need right now.
Come to me. Find rest in ME (Matthew 11:28-29). I am the bread of life. I am the living water. I have the words of life that you need.

Even in his dying hours on the cross, the hours that paid our debt and set us free, Jesus was still saying, "Come."
"One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."" (Luke 23:39-43 ESV)

Two men next to my Jesus. One hid from his own sins and hurled hate. One admitted his need and came to Jesus for saving. 

Jesus did not equivocate or lecture in response to the asking. Jesus does not withhold Himself from those who ask:
"For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:8-11 ESV)
"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16 ESV)
We can draw near to God with boldness and confidence because we know the greatness of the Savior and the finality of His work. Any hesitancy to draw near to God is on our part, not His.
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20 ESV)
The deceiver crafts intricate and deceiving lies tailored to our weaknesses to keep us from coming to Jesus. Father, reveal the truth to our hearts through your Spirit. 

Oh that we would know the breadth of God’s love for us. I love how this song captures this.



The thief crucified on Jesus' side could have thought of every excuse not to come to Jesus—too little, too late, too shameful, too much pain. But he humbled himself and simply came, and was taken in for eternity. 
"Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen." (Jude 1:24-25 ESV)
"The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price." (Rev 22:17 ESV)
Today's printable Bible verse coloring page is from some of these final words of Jesus on the cross in Luke 23:42-43. You can download your page HERE in English  or HERE in Spanish or by clicking on the images below.*



PRAYING the Word
Jesus, you are "the water of life without price." Ruin us for anything but your yourself. May we have "strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that [we] may be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:18-19 ESV). Thank you, thank you, that you are always knocking on our wayward and stubborn hearts, always saying come. Glorious Jesus, we love you. 

QUESTIONS to consider:
1. What lies keep you from coming to Jesus?
2. What truth does the pattern of Scripture have to say to you?



Other printables you could use for Lent/Good Friday/Easter:
THE MANDATUM NOVUM + LOVE ONE ANOTHER COLORING PAGE (for Maundy Thursday)
EASTER SCRIPTURE PRINTABLE COLORING ACTIVITY PAGE (Isaiah 53:6)

*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

Come + Luke 23:42-43 Bible coloring page (English + Spanish)


Hey friends! My last set of printable love notes got a lot of good feedback, so I thought I'd draw up a new set for you!

Make sure to share these with your teacher and mommy friends!

To get your printables, just go HERE or click the image below!


*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

Printable Love Notes 2

Bible printable coloring page
I'm turning 39 (wow!) this Saturday and yet it's my very first time observing the season of Lent. I grew up in a Baptist-ish tradition. My dad was a Southern Baptist pastor who joined the Navy as a chaplain. We attended some Southern Baptist churches growing up, but because we were often part of military chapels, my upbringing was rather ecumenical: "The hanging of the greens," advent candles, stations of the cross, dunkings, sprinklings, wafers, and loaves of bread--a denominational potluck. I even got to be in a Gospel choir at one chapel (and never could quite sway in the right rhythm).

But somehow Lent, and most of the traditions of the church calendar, never seemed important to me. Although my church now is by no means traditional, in recent years we've come to see the value of orienting our year around the rhythms of some of the church calendar.  Even as a mother, I know the power of simple routines and daily rhythms in the lives of my children (just visit our home when the children and I have missed our daily rest time!).

We have been observing the Advent season the last few years, and now this year, we're preparing for Easter with a season of Lent. If Lent is new to you too, it's a tradition of observing a season of repentance, prayer, and fasting in the 40 days (not counting the Sundays) from Ash Wednesday to resurrection Sunday.

What better preparation for celebrating God's grace poured out than to first take a look at the "sin that so easily entangles" that necessitates that grace in the first place (Hebrews 12:1)? 

As a church, we have been asking ourselves what God would have us to die to, so that we can experience more of the treasure that is Jesus and the life that He offers.
"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:8 ESV)
I won't share here what I'm "giving up" for Lent, but I will share the questions I have been asking myself that led to those choices: 
  • What do I reach for when I feel needy?
  • What fills my mind and keeps me from being self-controlled, sober-minded, and prayerful? (See 1 Peter 4:7)
  • What keeps me out of the Word? What am I "eating" instead of the "words of life" from the "bread of life" (John 6:35; John 6:68)?
  • What gives me a little boost of joy, but is short-lived, causing me to have to go back for more. (For example: checking the mirror, social media scrolling, eating, shopping, gossipping, boasting in myself, controlling my environment, working for the attention of others, planning my future.)
  • What motivates my reaching for these things? Am I looking to feel important? Distracted? Validated? Entertained? How am I trying to fill a need that only Jesus can fill?
My pastor posed the question this way: where in my life is the most chaos and brokenness? That is likely an area where dying needs to happen.
We desperately need to hear from God about these matters. Only the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, can peel back the complicated layers of our thoughts and intentions.
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)
There is a principle at work in the Scriptures and seen in our Savior's life: there is no life without a dying. To have the life God intends for me, something in me must die. 
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." (John 12:24-25 ESV)
Any season can be a season of dying and resurrection, but sometimes it helps to have something, like Lent, on the calendar to remind our idol-prone hearts. I know I have needed it.

Whether you observe Lent this season or not, I know that Jesus longs to give you abundant life, but it first requires you to be willing to follow Him into death. I'm praying you would let Him lead you there today.

Jesus has gone before you. He is trustworthy, and His grace makes following Him possible.

And that's good news!

Today's printable Bible verse coloring page is from John 12:24-25a. You can download your page HERE or by clicking on the image below.*


Bible coloring page

PRAYING the Word
Jesus, without even realizing it, I am entangled again in sin. I have run after things that are rubbish compared to the surpassing worth of knowing You. Give me a heart that knows that true value of things, and a distaste for the empty things the world offers. Show me the things in me that need to die. May I have confidence in your great mercy and hope in your steadfast love. Prepare my heart to celebrate the resurrection this year.

*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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My first lent + John 12:24-25a Bible Coloring Page