Thursday, February 7, 2019

A, B, C's For Successful Christian Living & A Sweet Birthday Dessert

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12

My biggest goals here at Homespun Devotions are to encourage you in your walk with Jesus and to say only what He wants to be said.  Today, I felt led to compile a list of Biblical, practical A,B,C's that will hopefully give you a boost in your Christian journey.  As I was writing this post, I asked Kevin and Zach the question, "What do you think are some of the most important things we need to do in order to live a successful Christian life?"  They gave me some amazing answers, and I incorporated them throughout this post.  There are no words to ever express the deep love and gratitude in my heart for my dear husband and son.  They are, without a doubt, two of the most Godly people I know.  I love them with more love than my heart could ever hold.  Thank You, Jesus for answering my many prayers and blessing me with two beyond-precious people to walk through life with, and thank you, dear Kevin and Zach for your continual help, support, encouragement, and love.
And, thank you, dear readers, for reading!  You are such loyal, kind people, and I love and appreciate you from the bottom of my heart.  Many of you have become such dear friends, and it is such a blessing to walk this Christian/blogging journey with you.  If you have never reached out to let me know you read these posts, I would absolutely love to hear from you!  Sometimes blogging feels like a one-way street.  Encouragement is a two-way street, so why not leave me a comment today and introduce yourself?

And, now for those A,B,C's, along with two accompanying Scriptures for each letter!

Ask God for what you need.
"Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."
John 16:24 (ESV)
"If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it."
John 14:14 (KJV)
Be who you say you are.
"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good."
Romans 12:9 (NASB)
"My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth."
I John 3:18 (KJV)
Cast your cares on Jesus.
"Casting all your care on Him; for He cares for you."
I Peter 5:7 (American KJV)
"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV)
Don't worry.
"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:34 (NASB)
"Worry is a heavy burden, but a kind word always brings cheer."
Proverbs 12:25 (CEV)
Encourage everyone.
"But encourage one another every day, while it is called today, so that not one of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."
Hebrews 3:13 (Berean Literal Bible)
"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." 
I Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)
Forget the past.
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:13,14 (KJV)
"And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
Luke 9:62 (KJV)
Give bountifully, freely, and wholeheartedly.
"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
Luke 6:38 (KJV)
"He answered and said unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise."
Luke 3:11 (KJV)
Hold fast to the faith without compromise.
"Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."
2 Timothy 1:13 (KJV)
"Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip."
Hebrews 2:1 (KJV)
Intercede, and stand in the gap for others & our nation.
"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."
I Timothy 2:2 (KJV)
"And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none."
 Ezekiel 22:30 (KJV)
Jesus first, always, in all things.
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Matthew 6:33 (KJV)
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."
Colossians 3:1-3 (KJV)
Kindness matters.
"Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)
"A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself."
Proverbs 11:17 (ESV)
Laugh often—it's so good for you.
"A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones."
Proverbs 17:22 (American KJV)
"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting.
Job 8:21 (ESV)
Meet faithfully to worship with other Christians.
"And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near."
Hebrews 10:25 (New Living Translation)
"Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens! Praise Him for His mighty deeds; praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp! Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with strings and pipe! Praise Him with sounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!"
 Psalm 150:1-6 (ESV)
Notice your blessings and what God is doing for you.
"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits."
Psalm 103:2 (KJV)
"I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips."
Psalm 34:1 (CSB)
Open your heart and hands to those in need.
"Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward them for what they have done."
Proverbs 19:17 (NIV)
"But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his heart of compassion from him, how dwells the love of God in him?"
I John 3:17 (King James 2000 Bible)
Pray faithfully and continually.
"Pray without ceasing."
I Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)
"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41 (KJV)
Quit doing the things Jesus wouldn't.
"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor."
Ephesians 5:1,2 (KJV)
"As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
I Peter 1:14-16 (ESV)
Read God's Word.
"Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15 (American KJV)
"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."
Joshua 1:8 (KJV)
Speak life.
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."
Proverbs 18:21 (American KJV)
"For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned."
Matthew 12:37 (King James 2000 Bible)
Trust God with all your heart for all things.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding."
Proverbs 3:5 (American KJV)
"Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass."
Psalm 37:5 (KJV)
Unite with other believers.
"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."
Ephesians 4:3 (NIV)
"I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment." 
I Corinthians 1:10 (ESV)
Volunteer your time, gifts, and full availability to God.
"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many."
 Matthew 20:28 (KJV)
"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."
I John 3:16 (KJV) 
Wait for God's timing.
"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."
Psalm 27:14 (KJV)
"Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth."
Psalm 37:7,9 (KJV)
Xerxes, the King, required that no one enter his throne room without an invitation.  The great news is God has already extended a perpetual invitation to His throne to us!
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
Hebrews 4:16 (KJV)\
"All that the Father giveth me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out."
John 6:37 (KJV)
Yield to God's will in every part of your life.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Romans 12:1,2 (KJV)
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." I Corinthians 6:19-20 (KJV)
Zeal is important. Keep it alive.
"Do not let your zeal subside; keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord."
 Romans 12:11 (Berean Study Bible)
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
Galatians 6:9 (KJV)

On another note—
We are celebrating my dear husband's birthday, and I wanted to share what I made for him.
We talked about getting a Dairy Queen ice cream cake, like Zach chose for his birthday back in December. Then we talked about me making him a huge, homemade-from-scratch chocolate chip cookie. I've been so sick for several weeks, and I am not able to do much without having to sit down every few minutes, so my kind, thoughtful, ever-concerned husband decided he didn't want me to attempt something totally from scratch. SO, he mentioned that he would like cupcakes made from a cake mix, so we decided on that. I wanted to add my own something special to them, so this is what I did.

I started with this store-bought cake mix and store-bought icing.

Helpful hint😀 I always add 2 Tbsp. of mayonnaise to store-bought cake mixes to make them more moist.

Then, after I baked, cooled, and frosted the cupcakes, Zach crushed three Butterfinger bars for me,
and I placed some on top of each cupcake. Then, I put a Hershey's chocolate kiss in the middle of each one.

And, here they are!

In the background, on the left, you can see the most adorable coffee pod display case my sweet niece, Kristen, sent to us for Christmas. Is this the cutest, neatest thing you have ever seen?

To take the photo below, I temporarily moved it over beside the corner shelf my dear Daddy made for Kevin and me years ago. We display our collection of white pitchers on it. I love the simplicity of a white pitcher sitting on a white doily!

Kristen's gift pairs perfectly with the tin coffee sign I received when I participated in
Stephanie's Ornament Exchange in December.  I just LOVE it!

I felt so bad that I didn't get to do a special post to link with Stephanie's Reveal Party, but we were gone for several weeks and weren't home for me to open the package and take pictures. Here's a picture of everything that was in the box.

Aren't these primitive Christmas ornaments so charming?

In closing, I am including a few songs that are encouraging us right now.  I hope they do the same for you!  I don't know what you are going through, but everybody's going through something.

Everybody's Going Through Something ~ Karen Peck & New River

This life is full of trials and tribulation, just like Jesus said.  Whatever you are going through, remember this.  Everything is better with Jesus.  I just want to remind you that He is going through your pain WITH you.  He will never leave you, and He is always on your side.  It is safe to put your trust in Him.  Maybe you've prayed for many years over something, only to find that your situation hasn't changed at all.  Keep trusting for your breakthrough.  Maybe you just haven't seen it yet.

Haven't Seen It Yet ~ Danney Gokey

God has never failed us yet.  We've seen Him move mountains SO many times, and I believe we'll see Him do it again!

Do It Again ~ Elevation Worship

The God of the hills and valleys is with you, my friend.  Through all of life's changes, He remains steadfast, faithful, and the same.

Keep putting one foot in front of the other, and keep moving forward.  God isn't finished with you yet.  You still have work to do.  Hold on.  Lift up your head.  He'll get you through this.

Lastly, the song below is the cry of my inmost soul.

God bless each one of you, and may His presence be especially near to you in this very moment.


  1. Wow, Cheryl, coming up with the A, B, Cs of living the Christian life was a lot of work, but I'm sure it was a labor of love for you. Thanks for the inspirational reminders today.
    May God continue to bless and keep you!

    1. Yes, I surely love delving into the Word of God, and this post was a pleasure. God bless you abundantly, my friend!

  2. Happy birthday to your husband! He shares his day with my 15 year old daughter, Natalie. I'm heading to Trader Joe's soon for their cake mix which is amazing (tastes like homemade!). She says she wanted cupcakes for her birthday instead of cake. Funny, right? And as I've actually been pretty sick for the past few days a cake mix is perfect!

    It would be amazing to have your A B C's done in some sort of art work which could then be sold to your readers. (I'll be your first customer!)

    Blessings to you and your family today!!!

    1. Oh, thank you so much for the happy birthday greetings to Kevin! Happy Birthday to Natalie, too! I am so sorry to hear that you have been so sick and trust the Lord has touched you by now. That is something how we had so many similarities with the birthdays, both of them wanting cupcakes, and both of us being sick! Thank you so much for your sweet words, and that would be nice to have them done in artwork. Unfortunately, I am pretty art-challenged! LOL! I could probably come up with something if I really had time to devote to it. But, it was such a nice and kind thought on your part! Many blessings to you and your family, too, Sue!

  3. Cheryl, You come through again and again..I don't know how you have so much wisdom to share on line.The ABC's were awsome..Good food to feast on..The cupcakes looked so good I was about to reach in and help myself and tell Kevin to turn his head a moment..Happy Birthday Kevin!! The songs I needed so bad..It is good to be reminded of HOPE!! I am still real sick and I am sure many others are also..Was 2 weeks today since I got sick..I am so weak I can not do anything..You are blessed with a Precious Godly Family and what a boost that is..I walk alone here..It makes the trip home a bit rougher but Jesus has been so good to Me..I can only walk when He is holding my hand..Again you have another Heaven sent blog that will reach many..Thanks for your labor of love for God and Us..All 3 of you have a wonderful blessed evening and hope you get well soon also..Love Loads,Elaine

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I am sorry you are still sick and trust Jesus will lay His healing hand upon you soon. Thank you for the birthday greetings for Kevin! Wish there were a way you could have reached in and grabbed a cupcake for real! May the Lord bless you and keep you and heal your body and make you whole. I am continuing to pray for you. Sending much love to you today, my friend. :)

  4. GREAT indeed Cheryl to walk in the Light of His word. We all need to learn our ABCs its good to be reminded. I agree re blogging being lonely at times so yes encouragement that the words are read is a blessing indeed. Hugs in prayer dear sis.
    Shaz in Oz.x

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, Shaz! Sending hugs back to you and hopes for a wonderful week ahead, my friend!

  5. Such an encouraging post, Cheryl! I love your A, B, C's!

    Your cupcakes are amazing! What a great idea of making them extra special! I also love your k-cup holder and all your special gifts. What a blessing!

    I hope you're feeling better and I'm praying for you, my friend.

    Blessings - Julie

    1. Thank you ever so much, my friend. You will never know how much I appreciate your faithful friendship and prayers and support. I got your sweet email and will write you back soon. Sending much love and gratitude your way today and trusting you are feeling well!

  6. This was an absolutely amazing post! When you mentioned commenting in this post, it convicted me. How many times do I read one of your beautiful posts or listen to a song by incredible artists like Danny Gokey or Unspoken and never stop and spend a few seconds to write a comment and relate how blessed I was by them!
    I absolutely LOVE every one of these A,B,C,s. I just pray I can live by them!
    And coming from someone who had the pleasure of experiencing them, (quickly devouring them whole) I can tell you that these sweet treats are AMAZING.
    Thanks for all you do for us, even when you're feeling so rough. I'm so grateful for you! God Bless you abundantly!

    1. Oh, dear Zach! You melt your mama's heart time after time. You are so much more precious to me than I could ever put into words, and I thank God from the bottom of my heart for you. Love you with more love than my heart could ever hold, and God bless you abundantly too and always, dear son!

  7. First of all, Cheryl, I loved reading about your gratefulness in God providing Kevin and Zach in your life. That was so beautiful! I also loved reading your ABC's for successful Christian living. What wonderful thoughts and wisdom you've shared with us. I'd like to add one more on the Don't Worry: Luke 12:25 "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?" This is sooooo hard sometimes to do, but the message is so true!
    The cupcakes looked so tasty and your shelf with the white pitchers and doilies looked so pretty. Your gifts from the exchange were just lovely and so special. God Bless You, my friend!

    1. Dear Kitty, thank you so much for adding that precious verse. That is so hard to do, but you are so right, the message is so true. Thank you for your kind, sweet words and for always being such a faithful supporter and blessing to me. Many blessings back to you and much love!

  8. Dear Cheryl,
    Thank you so very much for your gathering here of beautiful Scriptures, words, and songs! I shared one of those songs with friends who are in a difficult season, and they were so blessed. And what a great gift to share these thoughts that your husband and son joined in with also. Truly God is so good to allow us to encourage each other within our own families. I am praying still, for you and your family--I have appreciated your dear prayers so much! You are a precious friend and inspiration. Hugs and love to you!

    1. Oh, Bettie! That just touched my heart so much to know your friend was blessed, and I am SO grateful for your steadfast encouragement and support and kind words. Your prayers are appreciated more than I could ever express, and I continue to pray for you, too, dear friend. You are a precious friend to me, too, and I thank God for you. Many hugs and much love back to you today with hope that you are feeling better.

  9. Happy Saturday Cheryl! I can’t even begin to imagine how much time it took for you to write this post. Those ABC’s are wonderful. And a very, very happy belated birthday to Kevin! The cupcakes you made him look absolutely delicious and I thank you for the hint about the mayonnaise. I will have to remember that for future cakes. The cupcakes look delicious and your display is lovely. This song you chose for us are wonderful too. I listen to “Everybody’s going through something” quite often. It’s a good reminder to not focus so much on ourselves. I would like to thank you for the beautiful card you sent me for my birthday. I hope you are on the mend and are feeling much more like yourself today. You will be in my prayers. Many blessings, Betsy

    1. Thank you so much for your precious words, dear Betsy! And thank you for the birthday greetings for Kevin! You are so welcome for the card, and I do trust you had a wonderful birthday, my friend. Thank you ever so much for your many prayers for my family and me, and I want you to know that I continue to pray for you, too. I so hope you are feeling better and send many hugs and blessings and much love back to you today!

  10. Such a beautifully written post Cheryl, how much love and devotion to the Word you shared as you took beautiful scriptures and shared deep truths from the Word about how to live for the Lord! Truly a list to print out, hold onto and turn to! Such beautiful music you have shared here too, so many encouraging songs to lift up the heart to continue on pressing into Jesus! How wonderful to be in His presence, and to feel His sweet spirit flood into our soul... we are so blessed to know Him, and the last song is my cry too, I'm listening to it as I type this message.. just give me Jesus! He is all we need! Love you sweet friend, and am so thankful for your heart of love for the Lord, and for the beautiful messages HE gives you to share here :) Blessings and hugs across the miles!

  11. Hi Sweet Friend! I just LOVE my visits here! I'm not as quick to get here, but I always make sure I eventually do. Life is just soo hectic here of late. But God... He knew I needed to see this post EXACTLY tonight and EXACTLY at this moment.

    I had just finished walking around inside my house talking to God and meditating on what He had showed me this afternoon. The very first verse you shared above, John 16:24, lept off the page at me and caused me to exclaim and brought a huge smile to my face. It illuminated further what the Lord was showing me this afternoon! Your faithfulness to share encouragement from God's Word ALWAYS ministers to me in profound ways.

    This was such a wonderful post full of so much wisdom. And yes, you are indeed blessed to have Kevin and Zach. :-)

    I'm so sorry to hear you have been sick. I will be lifting you up to the Great Physician. Those cupcakes looked AMAZING! Well done!

    Oh it was sooo good to visit here today! You are such a blessing to me. Sending much love,