Meaningful Verses to Light the Path

Do you have a life verse or verse of the year from 2022? Maybe something that spoke to you deeply at an important time in your life? Here are some of mine.

Josh & I have claimed this one since we got engaged on December 19, 1995: “The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” Psalm 126:3

On my 18th birthday, I embraced this one, kind of as a mandate for my life:

“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;

Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.

Cease to do evil,

Learn to do good;

Seek justice,

Rebuke the oppressor;

Defend the fatherless,

Plead for the widow.

“Come now, and let us reason together,”

Says the Lord,

“Though your sins are like scarlet,

They shall be as white as snow;

Though they are red like crimson,

They shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient,

You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel,

You shall be devoured by the sword”;

For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

When I was called to missions, instead of college, after finishing high school, this was my verse:

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”

When I first opened my heart and life to God at age 15 this verse stirred my soul:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:7-8

What verses will you take into the New Year with you?

In the coming days and weeks, look for posts here on the blog entitled, “Understanding Sarah” which will include diary and journal excerpts from these precious, early days.

Holiday School!

Christmas with the Browns, 2018

Here are some lovely ideas from a chat we had on the topic of Holiday School last December:

-Holiday School is a break from the “normal” rhythm of school to enjoy the holiday season

-Can be all of December, Thanksgiving-the new year, a couple weeks before the holiday, or the 12 days of Christmas (Dec 25- Jan

6)

-There’s no wrong way to do Holiday School- just take time to enjoy time w/ your family and enjoy this special season

-Time to enjoy holiday-related activities like cooking, baking, making decorations and gifts (great handicraft time!), learning to play or sing a carol or hymn, make wrapping paper, help write and address the family cards, play games and make puzzles, listen to music, create art, watch holiday movies, etc

-Enjoy holiday activity books like hidden pictures, holiday-theme word searches, crossword puzzles, and lots of coloring pages

-Work on holiday-based words in whatever foreign language your kids are studying

-Try to learn a carol or hymn in another language

-Lots of families read a book per day

-Some families keep the “core subjects” or do one main journal per day and lots of extra fun holiday activities

-Do Holiday theme copywork, recitation, and dictation

– Learn about how places around the world celebrate

-Learn about other winter holidays besides what you practice

-Dive into some of the legends of the season

-Memorize a different version of the Christmas story in the Bible each year

-Memorize a passage of a famous book

-Create a holiday play

-Let your kids script a play of Christmas Carol, The Night Before Christmas, or the 12 Days of Christmas song

-Also a great time to relax and refresh after a busy year

-All ages can enjoy Holiday School. Tap into what your kids are interested in and see where it leads

-Some families choose to do a special unit study around the holidays too

-Teens are often really tired by the end of the year and may need extra time to just REST

Enjoy this little video of our family Christmas caroling in Italy, a decade ago! Merry Christmas!

Special Media Event: Celebrating with Anna!

A special media announcement just went live! Anna’s musical, His Story, will be opening at Grandscape in Dallas Fort Worth area, and tickets are now available–click here! Opening night is May 18th! This will be a 360-degree theatrical production performed in a beautiful 1,300-seat Italian show tent on the grounds. They are expecting 10,000+ unique visitors each week, so get your tickets now! Special rates available for groups of 12+. Learn more by emailing groups@hisstorythemusical.com or by calling the toll free number (855) HISSTORY / (855) 447-7867.

Read more about the musical here. Here is a link to the live event from Grandscape. Hear Anna share some thoughts about her inspiration and beautifully sing portions from the score, Bruce Lazarus and Willie and Korie Robertson (Producers) share some background and thoughts, see the stunning performance location, hear Richard Boyer, (Mayor of The Colony) and Kronda Thimesch (Texas State Rep), Jeff Calhoun (Director) and Jeff Lind (President of Grandscape) share some supportive words. Let’s celebrate with Anna!

From the His Story: The Musical website:

Anna started writing His Story, The Musical at the age of 16 while on a mission to Africa. A dyslexic, unable to read or write before 9 years old, homeschooled, Anna focused instead on the arts before writing her first songs at 15. As a social-media-savvy Gen Z, she sees a chance to reach her generation with the timeless story of light and hope. Anna is an author and illustrator of over a dozen educational books, some bestsellers, for children, especially kids with Dyslexia and teens with their passions and career goals. Anna currently lives in Dallas and travels often doing research for writing projects, which include several new musicals.

Our company “The Thinking Tree, LLC” produced the original concept album of His Story the Musical, and is now co-producer of the theatrical performance.

Shop Anna’s Books:

A Mother’s Calling

I’m at a cafe today

Flipping through the pages

Of a journal I filled

When Anna was seven

I read the prayers

Of a discouraged mother

Who had hope

That someday

This little girl would read and write

But most of all,

I poured out my heart

That I could be devoted

to preparing Anna

To serve and follow God

In the calling He had for her

Not my plan

But His.

March 2, 2008 (Anna age seven)

Oh Lord I come to you and pray that Anna’s heart would be so fervent for you. Open her eyes to see you, give her ears to hear. Let her be hungry for your word and thirsty for more of your presence.

Help me to be full of wisdom to show her your path. Help me to teach her what YOU want her to know.

Help her to read very well soon.

I will trust you to show me how to help her. Give her a strong desire to learn. Let her mind be strong to grasp the things that will help her to be fluent in her reading. Let her develop a great love for reading even now.

Help me to devote myself to prepare her to serve and follow you in the calling that you have for her.

In Jesus name, Amen.

————-

As I read my prayer from 15 years ago I remember feeling God impressing upon me to NOT raise her to reflect the teaching of the current culture or the standardized path that so many were pressuring me to take. I saw an anointing upon her, and I felt so strongly not to try to conform to the ways of the world in raising her, to block out the well-meaning voices of concerned relatives and friends because this child was chosen to do things in this world that a person with a standardized education could never have the time or creativity to do. “Let her be an artist,” God spoke to my heart. “Let her major in the Arts now”, my heart demanded.

If there were two things I knew about my call to raise Anna, they were: Empower her in creativity and plant the most beautiful seeds of Art and God’s word into the garden of her heart. It was obvious that she was an artist and a storyteller and she assured me that she didn’t need to learn to read to become an artist. I assured her that God would not have put the Bible in written form if He wasn’t going to give her the power to read it.

The Arts, Travel, History of Fashion, and the Bible became her entire curriculum throughout her homeschooling years from age 6 to 15. At 15 she wanted to add singing and songwriting to the plan and I hired Christine Dente to be her coach. At age 17 she completed the writing of an audio musical about the life of Jesus. It was her senior project, bringing forth all of her learning from her childhood. That year I didn’t require any other schoolwork — “Just write your musical” — and she did!

Learn what has become of her talents, her hunger for God’s word, her thirst for His presence and her devotion to serve Jesus and follow His calling to reveal His heart to this world… see how He answered the prayers of a discouraged mother who sought God’s will and not the world’s for one little girl. Anna’s faith is beautiful, free, passionate, and alive. She is a bright light in the darkness and brings me so much joy.

HisStoryTheMusical.com

Anna today.

My Morning Meeting

I have a meeting coming up with a very powerful and influential person. And He’s taking requests from anyone seeking His assistance.

Yes, this morning, I’ll be spending an entire hour with the King of Kings, the One who created the universe, and I’ll be bringing to Him all the cares of this world, all my dreams, ideas, struggles, heartaches and gratitude. We will be talking about His plans for the future of this City, State, County and Planet I call home.

He’s asked me to get a few things done for Him, but I think He invites me to these frequent meetings because He has come to see me as a treasured daughter, rather than just a business partner. It’s not all about His power and authority, it’s a lot about His compassion and love as well. He has a beautiful dream for the world, and was so happy to share that dream with me.

He’s asked me to take on the role of Ambassador, representing His Kingdom of Heaven, during my stay on Earth. Such an honor!

I’ll be getting my resources, instructions and an “all-access pass” to all the specific locations that He would like to send me to, so I can take care of some business for Him here and there.

He has some pretty big ideas, and is getting ready to launch a few new projects that are going to transform the culture. He is also unveiling His newest production, and has given me an insight into what’s happening behind the scenes.

It’s been such an honor to be invited into the Throne Room of the Creator, and I’m just so humbled to have His ear. He always listens so well and never hesitates to tell me what’s on His mind.

What’s been really great lately is how He has been introducing me to some of His team members and is letting me study along side some of His best instructors as I get ready for my next assignment.

He let me know that I am always welcome to bring friends with me when I visit. I can also bring requests from any of my friends and loved ones who don’t have time or courage to show up in person. But He keeps reminding me that I need to let me fellow humans know that His office is open, yet so few come! He is expecting your company soon. He had an open door policy, just walk in with Jesus and you are good to go. Once you have a seat, He will tell you all about His plans! So exciting!

If you have any requests, I’m happy to present them next time I go for a visit. But just remember, you don’t need me to bring your requests to the King… but if a lot of us are asking about a matter and a few of us agree on things that need to be done on Earth, He’s really supportive!

I’m not exactly sure why He is so faithful to answer our petitions and attend to our cries… I think it’s because when it really comes down to it, He’s so much more than a King. He’s a loving, caring, and protective Daddy, who wants to have a strong relationship with His children. He just loves us.

The Faces–Not Just the Feast or Festivities

Thanksgiving 2017

It’s so very easy to get wrapped up in all the shopping, menus, and special trappings of the holiday season. Let’s look for new, creative ways to make memories and love others this year.

The holidays can be hard for some, particularly those who have suffered a loss. If you have someone who needs to know that they are loved, get our Little Book of Letters from Your Friends for them and pass it around to all their friends and family.

If you have a friend who is moving, in the hospital, expecting a new baby, going through a trial, or suffering from loss – they need to know that they are loved and remembered. You and your mutual friends can fill this little book with letters, verses, poems, prayers and affirmations. How wonderful it would be to open up this little book while experiencing a lonely moment, in the waiting room or on a plane.

This book can also be used as a book of celebration and courage! If someone you love is celebrating an important event, like a graduation, or moving to a new place, this book can become a wonderful keepsake full of encouragement and celebration. If someone you love is having a birthday, fill this book with blessings for the new year!

What could be more special than a book of letters from the ones you love? Think about the people in your life who need to be remembered or celebrated. Light up their lives with a little book of letters. This book will become a priceless treasure.

Sometimes we need to give a gift that reminds our loved ones of how precious they are. In a digital world, sometimes we need to put our love on paper.

Pick up some colored pencils and gel pens to give along with this book. This book has some beautiful coloring pages that can bring peace and joy to your friend during quiet moments.

This is the perfect gift for anyone whose love language is “Words of Affirmation” or “Gifts”.

40 Days of Prayer Focus

My daily prayer requests, you can join me in these prayers for the next 40 days.

Sunday: FAITH in the world. Prayer for Spiritual Leaders, Missionaries, Christian Influencers, Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists, Churches, and for many young people to be called to serve faithfully and have opportunities to become faithful leaders. Blessing, wisdom, power, anointing, fresh filling of God’s Spirit, healing, gifting, purity, cleansing, repentance, truth, focus, and deep humility among those who serve.

Monday: Education/Culture of Childhood: Leaders in Education, Education Reform, Homeschooling movement, Schools, Universities, Student Outreach, Child Development, Ministries that reach children, adoption, orphans, child trafficking, poverty, modern child slavery, children struggling with health, cancer, hospitalized, and for more children to be raised in homes full of grace, peace and love. Blessings, strength, peace, wisdom, revelation, open doors and encouragement for those faithfully serving children in truth and love.

Tuesday: Arts & Entertainment: Jesus Followers to become leaders in the Media, Arts & Entertainment, Music, Film, Social Media, Local, National and International touching lives through the Arts. For Leaders of Arts & Entertainment to be come Jesus Followers and transform their work into a message that brings glory to God. For those faithfully seeking Jesus and His Heart in this field to be blessed with open doors and to be protected from pride, lies, temptation and evil.

Wednesday: Science & Medicine: God’s wisdom, mercy, understanding and faith to be upon leaders in the field of Science, Research, Medicine, Healing. For Spirit led, Biblically sound, faith-filled men and women to become local, national and international leaders in these fields. For blessing upon good, honest, generous and wise leaders who know truth and already serve in this field that they would have the loudest voices and the greatest respect.

Thursday: Family: Families and multigenerational blessing upon the homes in our community, state, nation and world. Beauty for ashes, reconciliation, healing of relationships, strong marriages, faithful holy fathers, joyful mothers, teens who follow Jesus with their hearts, minds, bodies, souls and spirits and love others as they love themselves. Anointing on grandparents to pour God’s wisdom, live, beauty, forgiveness experience, and care into the lives of their children and grandchildren and to have open doors to do so. Young men and women to be faithful to Jesus in their relationships and for phones to become useful tools, and not little gods in their lives, for new marriages built on the rock, new babies, new mentors, open wombs, and healing for infertility, for many successful adoptions, for children to be free from trafficking and foster care to be placed in living families. For kids and teens and family members with deep trauma, abuse and addictions yo be set free and filled with peace. For my children to become leaders in the nations influencing the world through missions, faith, entertainment, music, science, family, government, education, public service, prayer, relationships and revival.

Friday: Community and Public Service: Lands, Nations, Governments, Military, Public Service, Community Leadership, War, Elections, Civil Unrest, Government Leaders, Branches of Government, Laws, Politics and the News industry that tells the stories. Freedom for those in prison unjustly. Just Judges. Truth in leadership. A deep awakening to truth, justice, wisdom, humility, and Faith in the leadership of the nations, states, cities and towns. For leaders to become like Jesus, to know Him, to have revelations of truth, and seek Him first and seek His ways, for those who follow Jesus to rise up and lead nations, states, cities, and towns.

Saturday: Revival: Revival of faith, worship, prayer, repentance, spiritual gifts, humility, holiness, eternal vision and the glory of God upon our homes, churches, neighborhoods, towns, cities, states, nations and most of all our individual hearts. Your Kingdom Come, Your Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven! Come quickly Lord Jesus! Amen

Sukkah from last year’s Fall Feast of Tabernacles

Praying for Your Family, Your Country…the World

Over these years Josh and I have traveled to several countries. During our time in each one we would feel called to sing and pray over the land and the people. These books each represent the counties we have traveled to and have committed to intercede for. The Lord had called us, His Bride, His Children, to pray for all the nations, and this is just one little idea for how to do it. Creating a book of prayer and blessings for each place we pray for.

I feel so strongly that these prayers are heard and answered and God is working in the world through the release of our prayers, supplications, decrees, songs and words of blessings over land and people.

God has given the earth to humans, it is ours to care for, protect, and nurture like a garden. Humanity fails and blames God.

But… in fervent prayer for the lands, the nations, the people, the governments, the church, the religious leaders, the sick, the bound, the suffering ones, the lost… we bring forth blessing, light, deliverance, power and healing on earth.

“The heavens belong to the Lord but the EARTH He has given to the children of men.” Psalm 115:16

I want so much to be a good and faithful servant and leader in all the authority God has given me… over my family, and over these places in the Earth where I have a calling and where I have authority to bring the blessings of the Kingdom of God down to Earth. Through prayer God releases power. Power of angel armies, power to bless, power to heal, power to bring deliverance and salvation! Prayer brings light into the darkness.

If you say you are part of God’s family, I just want to encourage you to take your authority in prayer and supplication over your family and over the land you have walked upon to pray… “Your Kingdom Come! Your Will Be Done, on Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Being an active member of the Kingdom of God is a great honor, joy, blessing and a great responsibility. To whom much is given, much is required. Don’t squander your role in your family or your role in God’s family.