Yes Jesus Can!

Many are looking for independence and something more than what they have in this life.  More help, more love, more understanding,  more truth, more to live for, etc.  People are suffering in pain and sorrow.  They need a light to lead their path. Jesus is the answer to help and healing for eveyone.  

"Jesus is the only One who can save people.
No one else in the world is able to save us.”Acts 4:12 (NCV) 

Many songs acknowledge that  YES - Jesus can help - Jesus can heal.  Not only can He, but He will!  

Below are a few example songs from various genre.  If you know of others, please let us know via comments on this post,

Twelve Minutes with God

Feeling alone or abandoned?  Wondering how you can possibly survive with all the evil around today?  Are you thinking nothing can be done to improve your situation? 

It is time to reprogram your brain and renew your spirit.  How? Consider spending at least twelve minutes each day with God in prayer.  Forget the persistent "God knows" excuses for not praying - how I feel, what I need, when things are bad, where i need to go, who can help, why we need Him.  He wants you to talk to Him!  So ask for what you need, give God praise, trust Him, listen for His voice, and feel God's love.

Forget the excuse of "I don't have time to pray" - everyone has time to do something they value.  Do you value God?  Jesus believed prayer was important, you should too!  A relationship with God means more than time spent sitting in church or reading a devotional and then meditating on it.  Prayer is real communication with God and it leads to real spiritual growth.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, 
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, 
whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." 
- Philippians 4:6-8 (NIV) 

“It has been found that 12 minutes of daily focused prayer over an 8 week period can change the brain to such an extent that it can be measured on a brain scan. This type of prayer increases activity in brain areas associated with social interaction compassion and sensitivity to others. It also increases frontal lobe activity as focus and intentionality increase." - Dr. Caroline Leaf, neuroscience PhD  + author of Switch On Your Brain and books on stress.  For more about how prayer changes the brain and body, visit Renewing All Things blog.

Personally, I have been doing this for a few months and am amazed at how much it has improved my attitude about things and increased my faith.  I walk daily for exercise and I spend the first 12-15 minutes of my walk praying and praising God.  I try not to ask for anything, instead I  use the time to acknowledge who He is and what He means to me.  I feel reassured that my awesome God has got this, He will take care of everything, He holds me and those I care about safely in his strong but loving hands.  Nothing is impossible for my God!  Indeed no thing is too small for Him to care about or too big for Him to conquer!

Do your best and God will do the rest

My pastor has explained to us there are three steps we must take to reduce our stress and find happiness with our own little successes in life.  These steps can easily be summed up with "Do your best and God will do the rest."  The first step is what can humanly be done, the other two steps rely on what God can do.  

1 - Do what you can do.
2 - Give God what you CANNOT do.
3 - Trust God no matter what.

"I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power." - Philippians 4:12-13 (TLB)

A different perspective (via Gospel 24/7 blog using other Bible scriptures) is to flip the order of the steps by letting God do what He will first and that reduces your stress and allows you to rest upon Him.  Get into God's Word and see what He leads you to do! 

Where Is Your Promised Land?

In the music video "Promised Land" by Toby Mac, you see a man experiencing a hard life on this earth yet he understands that this world is not all there is for him.  This world seems to be falling apart before our eyes.  Evil is everywhere taking away freedoms and human rights.  It is important to remember this earth is not our true home,  There is a better place promised to those that follow Jesus.  

Do you know where it is?  Are you looking forward to that promised land?  

Jesus answered, “My kingdom doesn't belong to this world. If it did, 
my followers would have fought to keep me from being handed over to our leaders.
No, my kingdom doesn't belong to this world. - John 18:36 (CEV)

Do you have your reservation set? Are you headed down the right path to get there?

"There are many rooms in my Father's house;
I wouldn't tell you this, unless it was true.
I am going there to prepare a place for each of you." - John 14:2 (CEV)

Starting Daily Bible Reading with Easy Plan Options

Many Christians make New Year's resolutions to read more of the Bible each day.  Some even resolve to read the entire Bible in a year!  This is not as impossible of a goal as it may seem.  All that is required is a simple plan and the dedication to complete it.  Most of the plans listed below start with day/week one, which means you can start them at any time during the year.  However other plans, and some types of Bible studies or devotionals, may require you read specific passages on certain calendar dates. 

For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. - Psalm 33:4

Free downloadable/printable daily plans 

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, 
ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. - John 15:7 (KJV)

Free downloadable/printable weekly plans 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. - Psalm 119:105 (KJV)

Other types of reading plans 

  • If the whole Bible seems like too much for you, you might want to start by reading only the New Testament in 3 months or Old Testament over a year.  
  • If you are a new Christian just wanting to get started, you might want to try a monthly or topical reading plan suggestion from Bible Study Printables or Kingdom Bloggers
  • If you are a mature Christian wanting a more in-depth Bible study themes, check out the plans on Bible Study Together.
  • If English is not your primary language, which most of the above plans are, check out for readings in additional languages or by preferred Bible translation

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: 
but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
 - Isaiah 40:8 (KJV)

As noted at the beginning of this post, most of the plans listed above start with day/week one, which means you can start them at any time during the year.  Even if the plan starts in a specific month, just start with the month that you are in and you still work back throughout the year.  So you can start any month!  You do not have to wait until January to begin your daily Bible reading plan. 

Feel free to suggest other Bible reading plans and links in the comments.  Please include why you are suggesting the plan so readers can decide if it is something they want to look at. 

Song for the Hurting to Find Joy in Christ - A New Christmas Song

Many Christians,  and non-believers too, struggle to be happy over the holidays.  They may feel unworthy to celebrate or even know Christ as their savior.  With the physical loneliness, emotional strain, and spiritual separation that COVID shutdowns caused in fellowship and church attendance: many still find it hard to raise their voices in traditional joyous carols like "O Come Let Us Adore Him."  Thus the story of a new song written in 2020 "O Come, All You Unfaithful" to bring comfort and spiritual healing to those in despair and experiencing feelings of hopelessness.  The newer song emphasizes that Jesus was born for the salivation of all - He died on the cross for all sinners.  Remember, that Christ still lives. loves, and forgives today!

And He <Jesus Christ> is the propitiation for our sins: 
and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. - 1 John 2:2

The lyrics for the song are in the music video below.  The song is from Heaven Has Come Christmas CD via Sovereign Grace Music.  The story link above contains the official video plus links to other resources for worship leaders, Christian musicians and singers.

Good Books and Videos for Children

If you are looking for great book ideas for children to give as gifts for a holiday or birthday, below are a few good options for kids who enjoy reading.  These teaching books feature values for children and make them aware of the impact of what they say or do may have on their lives or those of others.  Many of the books listed below are part of a series, so you may buy one book or a collection to get a young reader started.  Also, many have been featured in cartoons or popular movies.  If the child you are shopping for has not realized the joy of reading yet, you may consider buying a video option instead.  

"Start children off on the way they should go, 
and even when they are old they will not turn from it." - Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) 

  • Bernstein Bears classic series by the Bernsteins for ages 3-8 featuring good citizenship and manners. 
  • Christian book bundles from Puppy Dogs and Ice Cream with titles for age ranges up to 8.   Also offers special 2022 season pricing on Christmas bundle.
  • Christian Heroes biographical series by the Benges featuring Christian service examples for teens.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia classic fantasy series by C.S. Lewis for ages 8 and up emphasizing good over evil. 
  • Freedom Island Saga series of Christian-themed storybooks via Brave Books publishing.  Books are by various authors, most titles for up to age 10. Their website contains Real Reviews by Real People for parents, since newer books are not available elsewhere.  Discounts available for book-of-the-month club, email sign-up, or new book promotions.  An extra for the kids is a Resource page where parents may print coloring pages to go along with parts of the stories.  NOTE: Book "As We Grow" was #1 Best Seller on 12/31/2022 per Top 10 Books via @top10bs on Twitter.  
  • God Gave Us storybook series by Lisa Tawn Bergren for ages  3-7. 
  • Heroes of Liberty biographical history subscription, a gift that keeps giving over several months  for ages 6-12, books by various authors/editors.  While on their website, check out their blog and the media reports.  You may also want to review the articles by AMAC or JNS.
  • Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle classic funny fiction series by Betty MacDonald for turning bad behaviors to good, ages 5-12.
  • Mr Pickle Goes to Pickle Island (only in e-book) for ages 5-12 or for teens The God Bless Girl by Shirley Fine Lee.
  • The Story of Christmas and The Story of Easter plus many other Bible-based stories or history books by Patricia A. Pingry starting age-group is toddler and going through pre-teen,  depending on title. 
  • The Sugar Creek Gang adventure series by Paul Hutchens with an emphasis on faith-building for ages 9-12.
  • Tuttle Twins adventure series by Connor Boyack with age ranges 5-11 original, young teens, and toddler too! 
  • Veggie Tales animation series of Christianity-based stories for ages 3 and up.

For a list of children's Bibles, devotionals, and more story books, check out The Best Christian Children’s Books Teaching Biblical Values on A Mother Far From Home blog.  If your child is into mysteries, check out Giving Children’s Adventure Book Series on Organize This with Style blog for a list of classic detective books.

Blog readers, we welcome your Christian children's book suggestions in the comments of this blog post.  You may also want to check out our list of books for moms and dads too.  Thanks!