Posted in Faith, parenting

Finding God In A Sugar Scrub

Life has been pretty busy for my family and me over the past few weeks. Our young adult group was in charge of our Pre-mother’s Day brunch that we had earlier this month.

I was in charge of logistics, praise and worship, the gifts ( did I say it was a busy week) and I was also in charge of giving a word of encouragement for the brunch.

Even though I’m used to speaking at church and church events. I didn’t feel particularly qualified to talk about motherhood to any of these women.

I’ve been a mom for a little over 8 years. Most of the women who would be at the brunch either had children older than my own, grown children or were grandmothers.

What could I possibly say to these women? What could I tell them that they didn’t already know? How could I encourage them?

I looked for scriptures on motherhood. I read about various mothers in the bible. Still, nothing resonated with me. God wasn’t leading me down any of these avenues.

What he did lead me to was one of the gifts I had made for the brunch, a jar of sugar scrub.

Finding Inspiration in the Ordinary

The theme for the brunch was, “A Time of Refreshing”. So I went with a spa gift theme. I looked on Pinterest and found several DIY recipes for sugar scrubs and shower steamers.

It’s amazing how God can take something so ordinary and show you basic biblical truths. It reminds me of the following scripture:

…but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong…

1 Corinthians 1:27

As I pondered over what to say the Lord kept bringing me back to the scrub I had made.

If any of you have ever made one before you know that it’s made of 3 simple ingredients: sugar(or salt), oil, and fragrance. You mix it all together and put it in a jar.

But how was this supposed to encourage these mothers that had seen the ups and downs of motherhood that I had yet to face?

A Mother’s Job

Before I can share with you what He taught me about the sugar scrub. You have to understand one of the core duties of a mother.

One of the primary jobs of a mother or as parents, in general, is to teach our children.

Before our kids start school they are already learning from us the ins and outs of life outside the womb.

They are watching and taking in everything we say and do.

We are out child’s first teacher.

As a Christian mom, one of our biggest duties is to pass on our faith to our children and grandchildren.

Paul in his letter to Timothy says,” I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well (2 Tim 1:5, ESV).

However, we cannot pass on our faith if we are not reading and studying the word of God.

As Christians, the word of God should be our main source of information even when it comes to parenting.

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of the God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Tim 3:16-17

So what does this have to do with that sugar scrub? Well, this is what the Lord showed me.

1.The jar

Before you make your scrub you have to have something to put it in. Most of the time a glass airtight jar is used to hold everything.

The Lord showed me that the jar is just like our bibles. It holds everything that we need to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. However, just like the jar that holds the scrub, it won’t do us any good if we don’t:

  1. Open up the jar
  2. Apply the contents of the jar

2.The Sugar

Jar of Sugar

A body scrub can be made using sugar or salt. Despite what you use they are both put into the scrub to be used as an abrasive for our skin.

The abrasiveness of the scrub depends on what type of sugar or salt you are using. This helps to remove loose dead skin from our bodies.

The word of God is like the sugar it gently removes the sin(s) that plague our lives and keep us separated from Him.

I say gently, but sometimes the word of God is not so gentle. As mentioned in the scripture above the word can be used for rebuke and correction.

How many of us like to be rebuked and corrected by other people let alone being convicted and corrected by the word of God?!

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

But it is good and necessary for us to be able to live a life of righteousness before the Lord.

3. The Oil

Bottle of Olive Oil

The job of the oil in the scrub is to carry the sugar, comfort and nourish the newly exposed skin, and to soften those hard areas that weren’t removed by the scrub.

You can use coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, etc to make your scrub.

Depending on what type of oil you use will determine the benefits it provides for your skin.

In the Bible, the oil often represents the holy spirit and the anointing of God. The job of the holy spirit is to comfort, guide, convict and lead us on our Christian journey.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance…

John 14:26

Just like the oil in the scrub is carries the word to the places in our heart that need it the most. It help bring the word of God back to our remembrance so that we may be strengthened and encouraged.

4. The Fragrance

Young Living Essential Oils

The purpose of the fragrance is to provide aromatheapy for the user.

This is usually accomplished with the use of essential oils that help promote the health and well being of the individual.

DIY body scrubs usually contain a mix of essential oils that are used to give the scrub a pleasing fragrance in addition to the health benefits that those specific oils are reported to have.

Depending on the fragrance it can help relax, energize or enhance your ability to focus.

The fragrance represents the presence of God that draws us to him. It is in his presence that we find peace, strength, fullness of joy, physical and mental healing, forgiveness, and love.

In short, the sugar scrub is just like the word of God it’s rough and abrasive because its job is to remove the dead weight or sin that keeps clinging to our life.

The oil represents the holy spirit that comes in and restores and softens those places that the word has exposed.

The fragrance represents the presence of God that draws us into him so that he can provide us with therapy for our weary souls.

Reasons Why We Don’t Use the “Scrub”

The gospel of Christ is simple and straight forward just like the ingredients for the sugar scrub.

However, just like the scrub if we don’t use it we won’t repeat any of its benefits.

There are 4 reasons why people won’t use the scrub(word of God):

  1. We don’t like the way it smells. The word of God can be a stench in our nostrils because it points out our sin, which pushes us away from Christ. Or maybe the way the gospel is presented turns us off.
  2. We believe that the scrub is to abrasive for our sensitive skin. There are many aspects of the Christian faith that people find hard to accept. Topics like the bibles position on homosexuality, abortion, etc can cause people to pull away from the faith or ignore those parts of the bible all together.
  3. We feel that the scrub is too oily. We won’t take the time to rub it in and let it penetrate our skin. Often when the word of God offends or convicts us we run away instead of letting the holy spirit do his job.
  4. Finally, we won’t use the scrub because we set it somewhere and forget about it. We don’t make the bible and the study of the word of God a priority in our lives. Our bibles sit in our homes dusty and unused except for on Sundays or during a midweek bible service.

And as parents, we need to get into the “scrub” so that we can be the godly examples that our children and the world need us to be.

That won’t happen if we are not reading our word daily and applying it to our lives.

More importantly, our children will not think that it’s important. If it’s not important to us, then it won’ t be important to them.

We need to ensure that we are passing on our faith to our children through our actions and deeds as women of Christ.

That is the legacy that we are called to leave behind.

Even though this post is written for mothers it can be applied to both mothers and fathers. If you don’t know how to read or study your bible you can read this post on ways to study your bible.

Final Thoughts

I know it may seem crazy, but God really can use the things that we use in our every day lives to speak biblical truths. We just have to pay attention to the lessons He is trying to teach us.

Jesus often used these kinds of object lessons with his disciples and when he was teaching the multitudes that followed him.

I wasn’t expecting to learn anything biblical from making a DIY sugar scrub for a mother’s day event. But I did.

Have you ever learned something about God from the world around you? Have you ever heard an object lesson that taught you a biblical truth? If so share it with me.

I’d love to hear how God has taught you something using simple objects.

If you enjoyed this post please don’t forget to like and share it.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Faith, Lifestyle

You Can Study The Bible With These 5 Easy and Effective Acronyms

Only 14% of adults in the US read their Bible daily.

American Bible Society, March 2018

In a recent study performed by the American Bible Society, it was reported that only 14% of adults in the US read their Bible daily (March 2018).

As a Christian I find this number to be quite alarming. It is apparent that many of us are not reading the word of God as we should, let alone studying it.

Can I be real with you for a moment?

Reading the Bible, let alone studying it, can feel a bit intimidating, especially if you are a new believer or you don’t know how to study.

After all the bible is made of 66 books divided into two sections the Old and New Testament.

The Old Testament consists of books of history, poetry, and prophecy, while the New Testament consists of the Gospels, Letters, and 1 book of prophecy.

Where does one even start? Do you just open the bible and just start reading whatever page you land on? (If you’re a new Christian I recommend starting in the book of John.)

Then you have to decide what version/translation of the bible you want to read: NIV, KJV, ESV, NLT, HSBC…It can all be a bit much.

Once again if you’re a new Christian I would recommend an NIV, NLT, or ESV Bible.

Luckily for us, there are a whole host of Bible apps that you can use for free that will let you read different versions of the bible.

So that part shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.

But wait… isn’t it the Pastors job to teach us what’s in the bible on Sunday mornings?

So why do I need to even read or study the bible outside of Sunday morning service?

I’m glad you asked!

3 Reasons Why You Should Study Your Bible

Photo by Wendy van Zyl on Pexels.com

1. God Commands Us Too

Yes, it is the pastor’s job to share the word of God with the congregation, but it is also the job of the congregation to study the word of God on their own.

In Deuteronomy 11:18-20, ”You shall, therefore, lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates…”

Note that it doesn’t say the Pastor is to do these things it specifically says, ”you”.

So as you can see we are commanded by God to study his word so that it becomes a part of our hearts and gets ingrained in our souls. That way we can share it with all that we come into contact with.

2. The Word Shows Us How We Should Live

When I was younger our pastors often referred to the Bible as our Basic, Instruction, Before, Leaving, Earth (BIBLE).

The bible has everything that a Christian need to live a life holy and acceptable to God.

2 Timothy 2:16-17 says” All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

The Bible contains information on how we are to handle our finances, our relationships with our children, spouses, and neighbors, what to do when others treat us poorly, etc.

Whatever you need can be found in the word of God.

3. It Will Change Your Life

In my opinion, this is the most important part of why you should study your bible. If you are struggling with sin, bitterness, unforgiveness, reading and studying the word of God will slowly begin to erode all of that stuff away.

Romans 12:2 says,” Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

The key part of this verse is the renewing of your mind. If we want to see real change in our lives we have to change the way we do things.

You can’t keep doing the same things over and over again and expect different results.

When you constantly study the word of God and are in a relationship with Christ it will slowly (and sometimes quickly) change the way you think about and see the world around you.

How can the word of God change you? Simply put the Word of God is not just a book that you read.

It’s not just words on a page that don’t apply to your life and everyday situation.

Hebrew 4:12 states,” For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Another interesting finding from the study done by the American Bible Society (March 2018) showed that people who studied their bible regularly:

  • Showed more loving behavior towards others,
  • Were more generous with their time, energy or financial resources,
  • And were more willing to engage in their faith

Reading the Word of God regularly is an important part of our Christian walk with God.

Now that we know why it’s important for us to read and study our bible let’s look at a few helpful acronyms that will help you study.

5 Easy Acronyms That Will Help You Effectively Study The Bible

In general studying, the Bible falls into 3 main categories: topical (word) study, chapter study, and character study.

Topical studies focus on a specific topic or concepts such as love, marriage, parenting, tithing, etc. When doing topical studies it is important for you to study these terms in context.

During a chapter study, you pick a specific chapter in the bible to study. Some popular chapters are Psalm 23, 1 Corinthians 13, Daniel 3, and Hebrews 11. These chapters can be studied in one setting, but are best studied in small sections or multiple study sessions.

Character studies are some of my favorite studies because I get to learn more about some of my favorite Bible characters like Samson, David, Paul, Esther, Ruth and of course Jesus.

Bible Journaling is an effective way to study the bible no matter what type of study you are doing. You don’t need anything fancy to use as your bible journal.

A simple spiral or composition notebook will work just fine.

Even though all of these methods are slightly different they all have the same basic backbone: choosing a scripture, chapter, topic etc, writing down your observations and some form of personal interpretation.

All 5 of these acronyms have already been covered in great detail by other bloggers.

Instead of rehashing what’s already been done I have provided a brief overview of each acronym and provided the link to the original blog post if you would like more information.

Without further ado here are the 5 easy acronyms that you can use to study the Bible.

1.SOAP

SOAP stands for S-scripture, O-observe, A-application, P- prayer.

I believe the SOAP method is currently the most popular acronym. Whenever I am on pinterest I always see pins for this study method.

2.WORD

WORD stands for W-write, O-observation, R-relevant, D-declare.

The WORD method does not simply end with prayer, but as part of the prayer you declare the applicable parts of the scripture over your life, which I thought was pretty neat.

3.APPLE

APPLE stands for A-attributes of God, P-promises of God, P-principles for life, L- lesson learned, E- example to follow.

The APPLE method is excellent for studying the Psalms. Unlike, the other methods this one has you look for the attributes of God and his promises.

This kind of study can be useful for learning scriptures on healing, finances, God’s provision, or doing a study on the Character of God.

4.REST

REST stands for R-read, E-engage, S-savor, T-Take charge.

The REST method is best for topical bible studies. For example if you wanted to learn about forgiveness, tithing, baptism, love, etc.

This one doesn’t have an observation section, but instead directs you to meditate(S-savor) on the scripture or passage that you’ve read. Once you’ve meditated you write down what you believe God is speaking to you through the scripture (T-Take Charge).

5.SALT(Y)

SALT(Y) stands for S-supplication, A-absorb, L-learn, T- Thanksgiving, Y-you.

This study method begins with prayer (S) and ends with giving God thanks(T). I like that you can add the Y, which causes you to examine how the verse applies to your life.

If you’re crunched for time this bible study would work well, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a more in depth bible study.

Final Thoughts

Taking time out of your busy day to read your Bible is an important part of any Christians day. Spending time in the word of God is essential to our growth as Christians and can radically change our lives if we let it.

While studying the Bible can seem intimidating it doesn’t have to be. Using any one of the 5 acronyms above can greatly enhance our time spent studying the bible.

Have you tried any of the acronyms above to study the bible? Maybe I’ve missed one or you know of another method. Please feel free to share it in the comments section.

Thanks for reading.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro