Wednesday, May 25, 2016

An Open Letter to Chewbacca Mom

Dear Mrs. Payne,

My name is Tai Bender. I am a Christian wife and mom, a worship leader and artist. I run an etsy shop and blog for a living. And I am your sister.

Like thousands of other delighted facebook readers, I clicked your video and laughed until I cried. I shared with my husband and he kept asking if I was sure your name was Candace because he was convinced I could have made that video myself. We have many similarities, you and I...similar expressions, body type and love of Chewbacca (best Star Wars character ever). We share a similar sense of humor, laugh, and tendency to clap at ourselves. I even heard you are a Bible Journaler and we were already facebook friends because of the Bible Journaling community.

These shared qualities certainly make us awesome; but above all, as I was watching your video and before you got so many wonderful opportunities to share your story, I knew that you must be a Christian. I have never met you or heard of you but that sort of joy doesnt come from the world. Your video isn't just a feel good giggle from a happy mom. You radiate the true joy of Jesus.

As Christians we learn to recognize our tribe. It is easy to see the fruit. Today I was broadcasting on my periscope channel and the discussion turned to "Chewbacca Mom". I mentioned that I wasn't sure but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Chewbacca Mom were a Christian and many said you were and that you had been sharing Jesus in your adventures. When I completed my Bible Journaling broadcast I sat down to say a prayer for you. I prayed for you to be blessed as you share the joy of the gospel. I shed a few tears of delight as I praised God knowing that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. I am proud to call you a Sister in Christ! SHINE ON, CANDACE!!

❤ Tai

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Romans Chapter 6 Bible Journaling - Set Free!!

Hi Friends! Today I am reading over Romans Chapter 6 and dwelling on freedom. The true freedom that only comes through Christ! The Grace of God is pouring out! Come and drink! 

Romans 6

1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Slaves to Righteousness

15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselvesto anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin,have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I decided to just share the whole chapter above. There isn't a lot to add to Paul's poetic writing. Free! We are so FREE! Free because if we are crucified with Christ then we are raised with Christ. Free because in our resurrection we are no longer slaves to sin. Free because without the penalty for our sin we are SET FREE with the FREE gift of God - eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord!!

I wanted to document this freedom in my Journaling Bible. I am using my Interleaved edition Bible here with a blank page between each page of text. I went all out with embellishments and watercolors! I have included a complete list of resources for you below!

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