The Best Children’s Bibles!

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So let me just start off by saying (just in case someone doesn’t know) that I am a Mama bear♥ Yes, I have FIVE kids and if the Lord is willing I would love to have many more. I know that true motherhood isn’t really valued in these last and evil days, but it is truly an honor and a blessing to be called to raise up babies in the fear and admonition of the Lord. But anyways (because that’s another post for another day), I just wanted to share what bibles I use to teach my children in addition to teaching them by being, of course.

So we use the New Living Translation (NLT) whenever we do group bible studies. And we use these New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) Adventure Bibles that I just bought for everyday reading. Now we have to be VERY careful with some translations (or paraphrases!) of the bible because many are watered down in order to be palatable for the world. But I have been reading this version lately in my own quiet time and I’m telling you that it’s legit. Its even helped inspire a few of my latest posts!

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Here’s a look inside!

Also, if you have babies and/or toddlers don’t worry, I do too. I found a “Beginner’s bible” that sticks to the scriptures. And this is something that the kids can read to each other (or you can do like I do and just read it to them in place of silly bedtime stories!).

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So I hope that you check these versions out. Let me know if you are curious about what versions I like to read and study with myself.

Much love,

Brandi Collins

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P.s I purchased these bibles from Hobby Lobby (and from Amazon) for around $10 each!

The Danger in Judging others

 “Do not judge and criticize and condemn [others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge], so that you will not be judged [unfairly]. For just as you[hypocritically] judge others [when you are sinful and unrepentant], so will you be judged; and in accordance with your standard of measure[used to pass out judgment], judgment will be measured to you. Why do you look at the [insignificant] speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice and acknowledge the [egregious] log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me get the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite (play-actor, pretender), first get the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Do not give that which is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, for they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:1-6, AMP)

Now let me just start off by saying that there is a difference between judging and discerning. Judging is forming an unjust opinion, or verdict concerning someone and their business (life). Judging is NOT identifying (or recognizing) who or what someone truly is or isn’t. That is discernment. And according to the bible, we have to “judge” (in that sense) people by their fruit lest we be deceived too. There are MANY false prophets and teachers and converts and Jesus’.. So we better start measuring people (including ourselves!) up to the scriptures. And if you are genuinely doing this, then you know that it’s not fun coming to a sober conclusion that someone you love (or admire) is not of God. It’s heartbreaking. Especially when they are offended by your concerns and/or reject your rebuke.

We are living in those (end!) times when people are no longer able to endure sound doctrine. These people, who don’t want to be “judged” are obviously living (and loving!) lies.

Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” (2 Timothy 4:2-4, NLT)

So don’t apologize for standing on the Word of God. Judging just has such a bad wrap because most people (and I’m guilty of this myself!) are going around slandering and condemning folks for sins that they themselves are still committing. And this is SO dangerous because God is no respecter of persons. Just as disgusted (or as irritated) as you are about someone else’s sin (that you’re also dealing with), God is the One who is truly offended (by BOTH of you who haven’t come to repentance!). And we who are judging hypocritically, are even worst without excuse because our attitudes toward the person (and their sin) testifies against us. It not only proves that we know what we’re both doing wrong, but it proves that we are in an even worst state than they are. Because if we actually believe that we are better off than them to condemn, then we are self righteous and blinded by our own sin. And this is exactly what Jesus was talking about in Matthew chapter 7. It’s not that we can’t acknowledge or rebuke other people’s sin (because we’re encouraged too). It’s just that we have to make sure that we’re spiritually mature and are walking upright ourselves. The whole point is to help each other out before we get judged FOR REAL by God. So, I hope that this clarifies some things. Let me know if you have any questions 🙂

Much love,

Brandi Collins

♥♥ Here’s some more scriptures to consider:

(Romans 2:1-21, NLT) You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism. When the Gentiles sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it. For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight. Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life. You who call yourselves Jews are relying on God’s law, and you boast about your special relationship with him. You know what he wants; you know what is right because you have been taught his law. You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness. You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that God’s law gives you complete knowledge and truth. Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples? You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. No wonder the Scriptures say, ‘The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.’ “

(Galatians 6:1, NLT) “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”

Bible reading: Galatians

Hey guys 🙂 I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start! So this morning I read Galatians on the bible reading page of the blog and I also wanted to share the video on the home page because this letter is very informative. Today, people who aren’t even Jewish are going back and attempting to keep the law of Moses. If you aren’t careful, and deeply rooted in the Scriptures you could be blown away by this wind of the whole Hebrew roots movement (which is a false doctrine). So, if you’ve ever wondered (because I know I have!) what you should or shouldn’t be doing (or observing!) in Christ, join me because Galatians is a good place to start. Much love and prayers!

Your sister, Brandi

♥♥ Click here for more read along videos like this this one

Abusing Grace and Once saved always saved

Well first of all, let me just start off by saying that we can not abuse grace. We are either continuously maturing in the Lord and being sanctified or we are deceived. And like the apostle Paul, I would not have you to be ignorant concerning these things. So I want to talk a little bit about Grace and how it doesn’t just “cover” sin but it cures it.

In Romans, we learn that the freedom of God’s grace doesn’t allow us to be lawless but frees us from the bondage of sin to be servants (or workers) of God and righteousness (aka DOING or should I say living out good works).

  For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone.Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him.When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous livingBecause of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 5:17-6:23)

You see, people who love the world and their sin more than they love Jesus want to believe that grace excuses sin but it doesn’t. We are not saved by grace alone. We are save by grace THROUGH FAITH, which produces fruits of repentance and holiness (living separate from this world and set apart for God.)

 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

And the whole point Paul was trying to make (and MADE for those of us who aren’t trying to justify sin and weaknesses which we’ll talk about in a minute) was that we can’t  be proud because we’re overcoming sin and living (and thinking!) right because we didn’t (and couldn’t) quicken ourselves. God changed us! Therefore all glory belongs to Him. And this, my friends is the power of the resurrection. We WERE dead in our sin (remember the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life). So for those of you who claim to be in Christ but are still comfortable with sin and in living a worldly lifestyle, you may have a form of godliness but you are denying the power thereof. From such TURN AWAY (2 Timothy 3:5)!

Now concerning our sinful natures, yes, we are susceptible to this world. Paul said that no good thing dwelt in his flesh but the difference (between him and these hyper grace believers) is that he knew sin would hinder him in serving the Lord and ultimately cause him to go to hell (be “a cast away”). He didn’t want to remain that way. He tried to pray his thorn away but God assured him that even in that, His GRACE WAS SUFFICIENT. We too have serious issues and unpleasant circumstances that get the best of us but in Christ we have the power to bring those things into subjection and walk in righteousness (continuously doing what is good and right).

Nothing excuses sin and God does NOT tolerate it. If you are truly struggling with something then either your will is behind it or you haven’t been truly born again. Trust me, I’ve had to come to terms with both! So I hope you consider what I’m saying. Let go of all traditions of men (and doctrines of devils!). There’s no such thing as once saved always saved, we have to ABIDE in the HOLY Spirit we’ve been given.

With nothing but love, Brandi

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:11-14)

Amen♥♥