Philippians 4:13


Paul was in prison for the sake of the gospel . . . again.

His enemies, the enemies of Christ, must have really hated Paul.

When they threw him in jail, he kept preaching the gospel and his jail-mates and even prison guards came to know the Lord!

When they threatened his life, he said things like, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. “ Philippians 1:21

When he wrote to the church in Philippi, he told them that his imprisonment had turned out for the greater progress of the gospel and that others were trusting in the Lord and speaking the gospel with more boldness and without fear…as a result of his imprisonment.

Isn’t that opposite from what we would think? Instead of hearing of Paul in prison and hiding in their homes, they were more strengthened and bold to share the gospel also. Instead of Paul hiding or being more discreet in sharing about his life in Christ, when his life was threatened Paul preached on. He lived with the reality that his home was in heaven and so to take his life was better for him because he would be with Christ. To live here on earth was better for them because he would press on in making disciples without fear.

It’s in this context that we find a favorite verse in the American church…. “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Paul says that he has learned to be content in every situation…prison or not, having abundance or suffering need, prosperity or poverty…BECAUSE Christ is the one who strengthens him.

That really makes this verse live in a whole new way, doesn’t it?

What situation are you in that is a consistent platform for discontentment and complaining? Meditating on all that you wish you had but don’t…whether that is stuff, things, people, or circumstances?

Currently I am not facing imprisonment or death for the sake of the gospel but what deaths to myself do I need to be dying to daily so that Christ may be manifest in me?

Sometimes it’s the little things that get us…the year and a half I had two children under two with only a bathroom sink in which to hand wash all of my dishes, the season of longing for a husband, a child, a house, a different home, a new car (one that worked), internet that didn’t cut out every couple of minutes, etc…

Oftentimes those small things (in light of eternity) can be a platform for complaining and discontentment.

Instead they can be situations in which Christ forms His character in our lives while no one else is watching. Situations where we learn, like Paul, the secret of contentment.

1 Timothy 6:6 says that godliness when accompanied by contentment is great gain.

What area of your life do you need Him to grow your heart to a place of contentment? You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!

I want to please the Lord in the places of my heart where no one sees but Him. I want Him to grow me and for my attitudes to reflect His work and grace in my heart. I want to learn the secret of contentment and to say, with Paul, that “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” so that in the little mundane things of life or in the big situations of life, I may walk in the grace that is lavished upon us in Jesus and be a sweet aroma of His grace.

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain and I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.

A Mother’s Day Tribute & Prayer



Mother’s Day is a special day. And a hard day.

It’s hard when you’re mother is not around to celebrate. Or your arms are empty but longing for the child you’ve prayed for or for the child you’ve lost. It’s lonely when your children are far away. These things are never far from my heart when I think about the word “mother.” And I especially think of them on Mother’s Day. So for those of you reading this with a fresh pain in your heart, for those of you reading this with an old pain that is always present…I think of you and pray for you especially on this day.


My own precious mother, now 9 times a “Mimi” (with #’s 10-11 on the way), is among the most precious of women. She loves Jesus with everything she has and, because of that, His love fuels all that she does and is inseparable from who she is. From who HE has made her as He has forms His life in her. It’s so beautiful. So challenging. So refreshing. Such a gift of grace to me, to all of her children and grandchildren, and to countless others. I could go on and on about this woman who has been the number one woman who has shaped my life…but I won’t. Maybe one day…over a cup of tea.


For now, I want to share a song with you by Keith and Kristyn Getty. You may not have heard of them but you have probably heard their song, “In Christ Alone.” Kristyn sings a beautiful prayer over her daughter.


It’s a prayer my mother sang and lived long before the song was written. It’s a song I sing. A prayer I pray.

And so, on this Mother’s Day, as a tribute to a woman who has lived this for me, and as a prayer of the kind of mother I pray to be, I share this song with you. The words are below as well as a link to youtube where you can hear it (I highly recommend this option!). I pray that it’s a blessing to you.


“A Mother’s Prayer”

Before you close your eyes to sleep
I have a promise still to keep
As I hold you in my arms
I pray your little frame grows strong
And that faith takes hope while you are young
This is my prayer for you

Hold my hand, I’ll teach you the way to go
Through the joys, through the years
The journey of these years
May you trust Him till the end
May you trust Him in the end

This world is not as it should be
But the Savior opens eyes to see
All that’s beautiful and true
Oh may His light fill all you are
And the jewel of wisdom crown your heart
This is my prayer for you

Hold my hand, I’ll teach you the way to go
Through the joys, through the tears
The journey of these years
He is with us till the end
He is faithful till the end

You’ll travel where my arms won’t reach
As the road will rise and lead your feet
On a journey of your own
May my mistakes not hinder you
But His grace remain and guide you through
This is my prayer for you

Take His hand and go where He calls you to
And whatever comes, seek Him
With all your heart
This will be my prayer for you

Father hear my ceaseless prayer
Oh keep her in your care


You can listen to it here: “A Mother’s Prayer” by Keith & Kristyn Getty 


Happy Mother’s Day!


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New Scripture print and Spotlight Verse: Mark 10:29-30

My brother and his family moved to Vermont at the end of February. Why Vermont, you ask? Great question. The Lord had been stirring in Ben and Kayla’s hearts to reach the unreached for a while. Years ago, Ben thought maybe that would lead him to India one day. Instead God led them to reach the unreached in this country….in Vermont. Did you know that Vermont is one of the least “churched” states in our country, with less than 3% even considered “churched.” Annnd, as we know, “churched” does not equal Christ-followers.
And so our very tight-knit family had our fair share of tears as we said goodbye and sent them off. We’ve all had our share of adventures and times living across the country or on different continents, but the seasons always seemed to be a little shorter and travel pre-kids was much easier and much cheaper. A remote place in Vermont with limited phone and internet coverage and expensive plane tickets (when you have to buy them for the whole fam!) or LOOOONG road trips, with babies growing up far too quickly and cousins missing each other…well, it makes the distance feel very distant.
Here are a few pics…
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(These two we call the “twin cousins”. Born just 13 days apart. Best friends.)

But it’s all worth it. Jesus is always worth it.
My husband and I prayed passionately about Vermont…and the Lord called us to Chattanooga, TN to under-shepherd a local body here. What is He calling you to? Whatever it is, Jesus is worth it.
One day in passing, Ben mentioned wanting this verse framed. We surprised them and gave it to them as a going away present. I asked Ben to share a little with you all today…see his thoughts on Vermont below.

Mark10print(bens)Will you pause long enough to feel the weight of this passage?
Romans 10:13-15
“13 For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Unless the Spirit of God opens the eyes of our hearts, we will keep living our lives for ourselves. One of the beautiful implications of this passage is that it is the privilege and responsibility of all who know Jesus to make Jesus known. If you pause to pray through this truth, you will begin to feel the weight of it. It is a calling on your life.
All of us have one life. One. And we will spend it on whatever we treasure most.
Oh that God would awaken us to the glory of the risen Christ and to the role of all His people in the expansion of His kingdom! We have a desperate need to see the Lord high and lifted up in all of His glory like Isaiah. Only then will we answer Christ’s call to go for Him to make disciples with a resounding “Here am I, Lord, send me!” (Matt. 28:18-20; Is. 6:8).
It was revelation of the worth and the glory of Christ and His call on us to make disciples that stirred our little family of four to leave a steady job, family, friends, and the comforts of our hometown to plant Rivertown Church in Brattleboro, VT.
Why Vermont?
About 3 years ago, we found out that New England is the least churched region of our country, with only 1-3% of the roughly 14.5 million population even attending evangelical churches.
 All six New England states are in the top 10 least religious states in the country, and it’s estimated that 31% of the New England population has never attended a religious service of any kind. The least religious state in the country, by a long shot? Vermont.
While God showcased the power of the gospel in New England in the First and Second Great Awakenings, the region of the country that first received the gospel has now grown cold to God’s message of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
But Jesus is worthy of their worship. He loves these people, and He desires that they repent and believe the glorious news of the gospel, that in Jesus they can be reconciled to the Father because Jesus took their punishment for them. He rose from the grave to give them His victory and His life.
That amazing news is why we left our job, home, family, and friends. We left it all to make Jesus known in Vermont, because His glory is worth it. This promise has been like a bedrock for us as we respond to our Father’s call on us to make disciples in New England:
Mark 10:29-30
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
The call to leave family for the sake of the gospel was only a practical outworking in our experience of the reality that, when we decided to follow Jesus, we forsook everything else. We have been praying that God would use our move within the borders of our country to awaken our brothers and sisters to opportunities for mission and discipleship around them. Are you living as a missionary and as a disciple-maker where you are?
The mission of our lives and of Rivertown Church is to be disciples who make disciples of Jesus, for the glory of God and the joy of all peoples. Please pray for grace to be and make disciples well. Please pray for open doors of opportunity to make Jesus known in Brattleboro and throughout Vermont, for disciples to be made, for godly leaders to be raised up, for churches to be planted, and for the gospel and the kingdom of God to spread throughout this region.
Let’s sacrifice everything to make Jesus known. He has promised He is worth it!
– Ben Whittinghill
(If you’d like to receive updates on how to pray for this new and growing church in Vermont, respond below with your e-mail address or contact me privately. )
To purchase this or other prints, visit our etsy shop.



Hey friends!

What a joyous week to celebrate the LIFE that we have in Jesus. I hope you have been enjoying this season of Lent as much as we have!

We now have 11×14’s in our etsy shop as well as some NEW PRINTS!

Enter our giveaway here for a free 11×14 print:


Also, as a gift to you and your Easter decor, we are giving away a free 4×6 Easter printable!


Sign up to receive e-mail updates to the blog and then we will send the printable to the e-mail address you enter!


He is risen!



Spotlight Verse: Romans 12:2 BE TRANSFORMED

Romans 12:2
“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable, and perfect.”
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At lunchtime I was on the kitchen floor picking up half a box of broken spaghetti noodles that fell while I was trying to wrestle them into the pot. The baby on my hip had been trying to test out the boiling water and my juggling skills didn’t include saving the noodles. I put the baby down, screaming, and was greeted with the sounds of two more screaming children. My 5-year-old was hollering from her room doubling as her jail cell for some misdemeanor: “I’m not your daughter anymore!” The three-year-old decided she needed to get in on the action and came stomping in the kitchen screaming as loud as she could that I was a “bad mommy.” Ironically, the kids’ CD in the background started playing “Behold, I come quickly” from Revelation 20:7. Yes, how did that CD read my thoughts???

You’ve been there too. It may not have looked like this, but the stress and the lies indeed constantly manifest themselves to our weary hearts.

It’s not just days like this, but everyday, yes every minute, that you and I need to be reminded that yes, Christ is coming quickly, that sin will be no more, that relationships will be forever fixed, that He will reign perfectly in my mind and I will cease striving against myself and this broken world. But, how to have that perspective now, in the midst of the scattered noodles that seem to mirror my life? A life that perpetually feels like a pile of pick up sticks that can never find their home in the box? I feel now, more than ever, I’ve been longing for perspective, for His perspective. And thankfully, He’s given us His perspective-it’s spelled out very clearly in His Word.
Be transformed. It’s the Greek metamorphoō, a word we readily recognize when we think of caterpillars and butterflies. That caterpillar doesn’t do the transforming-he just lies still and waits for God to re-make him.
By the renewing of your mind-that’s where perspective happens. Our minds get clouded all day long, clouded by the world’s way of thinking. Clouding by our own way of thinking. Clouded by our idols that give us a temporary joy while we falsely believe they are more worthy than lasting and true joy. Clouded by fears from what we see and read. Clouded by other perspectives that we think we should adopt, even people that are trying to follow Christ.
But the Word-it’s like Windex over our clouded windows to heaven! It opens our minds and washes them with God’s perspective. It’s like resetting your computer. Or your phone. The reset button clears everything up and puts all the gears in working order so they can function as they ought to.
A few weeks back, I stumbled into the living room, exhausted from being up all night with the baby. I managed to make a cup of coffee and sat down, hoping it would pour some life into me. My 5-year-old burst onto the scene, up much too early for anyone’s good. She asked me what I was doing and I told her I really needed to be reading my Bible to clean up my perspective for the day, but I was too tired right now and was just trying to wake up. I mechanically started explaining why I really needed to read and how it makes me more patient and able to love her better, etc.
Mid-sentence, she darted from the room-so much for my early morning lesson. I have to admit I was a little offended at her rudeness-I mean, I had some real nuggets of truth that I was hoping to impart! She ran back shortly and placed an open Bible on my lap, demanding that I read it to her; she understood better than I did that morning. Despite my talk, it was only my actions that would have an impact on my perspective.  We need the Word to function, to be transformed, to renew our minds, and lastly, to prove what the will of God is.
To prove: one Bible dictionary I read said the word means to test, examine, scrutinize to see whether a thing is genuine or not. It’s like looking intently at metals to see whether they are genuine gold or just fool’s gold. And then once you’ve examined it, you’ve recognized it as genuine and have approved it and deemed it worthy. Ah, yes, scrutinize His Word, look intently into it, and the end result is that we declare Him to be ultimately trustworthy.
His will is to be proved, to be found the right way, the way sufficient for you to live, and the way of wisdom. His way is perfect (Psalm 18:30), but only by spending sufficient time in Scripture can we say that. When we pore through the pages of Scripture and wrestle with those who went before us in the faith, we have to agree. Yes, His will is good, acceptable, and perfect.
Reset your gears today…renew your mind…be transformed. 
Grateful for you, our co-laborers in the faith,
Get the print here: Lamplights Etsy Shop

One generation shall praise Your works to another…Psalm 145:4


The past two weeks have been beyond full. They’ve been full not only with the mundane but with some mile-markers of life. As I try to do frequently but don’t do as much as I should, I’ve been meditating on the past faithfulness of the Lord in my life and in my families’ life. It reminds me that His faithfulness will continue in the present and in the future.


Psalm 22:30-31 says, “It will be told of the Lord to the coming generation. They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born that He has performed it.”


Remembering His past faithfulness strengthens me in the present. I want to teach my children and the one in my womb yet to be born. I desire to teach them not only Bible stories but also the character and ways of God. I want to model dependency on Him, trust in Him, surrender to Him. I want to teach them what He HAS done in the Word and what He has done in our lives. I pray that Jesus is irresistible to them.


I will never forget what a dear friend and mentor of mine told her own earthly father just before she went to meet her Heavenly Father….”Dad, you have always shown me the love and character of Jesus. It was such an easy decision to love and follow Him.  If Jesus is anything like you, how could I not love Him? ” (slightly paraphrased) Her father taught her and modeled the way. He understands the exchanged life…that the Christian life is about Christ’s life IN Him. And his daughter caught that in a profound way. She loved and followed Jesus with everything she had.


I want my kids to be able to say that. I want them to fall in love with Jesus as they watch me love Jesus, to follow Him and obey Him because they watch our example….but faith must become their own. I pray we are a pivotal part of that process, that we declare the Lord’s faithfulness and that the next generation will trust and worship Him with everything.


My precious girl turned 4 last week. I prayed and cried to the Lord for this little one and He gave me the most precious gift in her. He also gave us her name…Caris Loving. Caris is the New Testament Greek for grace. She is a reminder of the Lord’s grace to us in so many ways and we pray that she will love the Lord her God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength and love her neighbor as herself. She is the most vivacious, energetic, loving, tenacious, silly, talkative little girl. She loves to read, to imagine, to pretend, to learn. She literally talks every second of the day (even when she’s by herself) and sometimes even while she is sleeping. She wants real answers and asks good questions and it’s such a privilege to shepherd her little heart…even on the challenging days. I’m so thankful for my precious bundle of energy and the joy of being her mother.


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My brother and his family also moved to Vermont to spread the gospel and church-plant. It was a radical move for these southerners and a big event for our tight-knit family as we launched them to a place 1100 miles away. For the sake of the gospel, it’s so worth it…for the prayers of the generations past who knew the Lord, to share with the generations present, and for the sake of the future generations…that the people in every place would come to know that He is the Lord and would worship Him because He is worthy…it’s so worth it. More to come on this soon.

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“O God, You have taught me from my youth, And I still declare Your wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come. For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You?” Psalm 71:17-19

Slavery, Rescue, and Wellspring Living


Did you know that there are more slaves worldwide than ever before?

Did you know that MANY women and children are forced into prostitution and the sex-trafficking industry is booming?

Did you know that large sporting events are huge money-makers for these pimps?

Last year in my city– Atlanta, GA — some awesome ministries rallied together in what is called the Enditmovement. People from all over the city, country, and even world gave toward this movement and prayed toward this end. Ministries hit the streets to bring awareness to those who had gathered for the Super Bowl. Christians prayed. Police were amped up and had a plan to implement. I never heard reports of their success stories last year, although I know there were many. AND the Enditmovement continues on. 

This year, as the queso heated and the pizza delivery guys ran ragged, many were oblivious to what ELSE goes on at the Superbowl. (I was oblivious until last year!)

But many prayed. Many fought. Many were on the front lines of rescue. 

I can’t tell you how joyful my heart felt today as I read the news report saying that over 45 pimps had been arrested in New York and that SIXTEEN CHILDREN (as young as 13) had been rescued. Several had been reported missing in the last year. 

Thanks be to God! 

You can read more here.

There are ministries fully devoted to the rescue and restoration of these very girls. Children who have been exploited and trafficked. One of these is Wellspring Living. If you remember, we gave 10%+ of all proceeds from our Scripture prints this fall. This money helped to fund a new home for rescued girls, a home where they will be loved and have medical attention, counseling, education, and most of all, a home where we pray they will find HOPE in Jesus and the true healing that only He can give. 

If you bought a Scripture print from Lamplights this fall, thank you. Thank you for treasuring God’s Word and thank you for partnering with us to support ministries that are on front lines fighting for the forgotten and exploited.

Thank you for partnering with us. We have reason to rejoice. We have great reason to be more fervent in prayer.

For the “least of these”…



Spotlight Verse: Revelation 21:5



Revelation 21:5

“And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’”

Every word of God is faithful and true. What comfort. We don’t have to hope blindly. We don’t have to have faith in faith. We don’t have to wish upon a star.

We can, with certainty, have a confident hope, a tested trust, a sincere faith in THE ONE who is FAITHFUL. The ONE who only speaks the truth. The One who IS the way, the TRUTH, and the life. Jesus. The Alpha & Omega; the beginning and the end. He knows because He was and is and will always be.  Because He created all things and because, in the end, Jesus is coming again and will restore all things.

We have faith because we trust in Him and in His Word. We have hope because He who promises is faithful.

And He says that one day, He will make all things new! The previous verse, verse 4, says, “ and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

My friend, for the believer in Jesus, this is truth.

Does this encourage your heart today?

In this new year with new resolutions (or perhaps already failed ones), I know some people feel a weight of discouragement. A weight of a situation or relationship you long to be different. A weight of “why even try”?

In Jesus, though, there is always HOPE. There is always a reason to “try,” to persevere, to pray that He makes you more like Himself in 2014 and that by 2015 you think, talk, walk, look, love, live more like Jesus that you did in 2013. Always we must press on to know Him and know that He who began the good work in you will carry it out unto completion in the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” Philippians 3:20-21

Sunday a nursery worker was laughing telling me about how a child told her that Jesus was coming to pick him up one day. I loved it because I knew that parent must be teaching their child that yes, Jesus is coming again. He is “picking up” His children and on that day, He will make all things new. What a glorious day that will be.


Until then:

1)   Let’s live in the reality of the HOPE that is ours in Jesus and press on to know Him.

2)   Let’s be faithful to share this hope with others…to actively seek to reconcile others to Christ, to make disciples wherever we are and wherever we go.

3)   Let’s be prayerful to see Christ’s work in making all things new (in small part) today…to see NEW LIFE spring up in the hearts of those around us, to see broken relationships restored, to see lives healed, to see prisoners set free, to live HIS life today.

I was personally overwhelmingly blessed to see some new things God has done and is doing in some relationships over the holidays. I’m not at liberty to share the details here but there are times in your life where you have prayed and prayed and cried out to the Lord….and then you watch (sometimes years later) the Lord do what only He can do. You watch Him restore broken places and broken people and heal hearts and wounds and do a beautiful, immeasurably more work. And it makes me cry with joy at His mercy and grace and gives me just a glimpse of what we will one day see in full when He who sits on the throne has made all things new.

Praise Him!

Praying the reality of His life in us is ours in 2014.



If you want to buy this print for yourself or someone else, or just want to peruse the rest of our prints, check out our etsy shop here:

A little update

Hey guys!

You may have wondered where we were, why I haven’t posted in a month (yikes) or you may not have missed us because your life has been as crazy as ours. 🙂 We’ve been very live on etsy but our blog has been a bit lacking to say the least.

Here’s a little glimpse into what’s been going on.

In the past month or so…

            – My husband started a new job as the Pastor of Discipleship at a church in Chattanooga, TN.

            – We bought a house and moved to Tennessee.

            – We left all of our friends and family and are trying to make some new friends, learn a new place, new church, new home, new city, new doctors, stores, etc…

           – We have traveled and celebrated the holidays with both sides of the family all while trying to get semi-settled in.

           – We announced to our families that we are expecting again!

            – I have felt so sick that I could hardly think 99% of the time while doing the above said things but so joyously thankful at the reason I feel so horrible!

And so now that I am 12 weeks (praise Jesus) and feeling sick only 75% of the time, I will attempt to do better.

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and beginning to this new year and pray this blog may encourage you in your walk with Jesus throughout the year.

New devo will be up soon!

New prints will be released soon!

More sizes to come soon!

There are lots of exciting things ahead. 🙂 If you’d like to, sign up for blog updates and please do tell a friend.


Looking unto Jesus,


Here’s our little announcement pic in front of our new home…


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Hey friends!

As a thank you and a little Christmas gift for you, we are offering a giveaway today! TWO winners will receive a $25 gift certificate to our etsy shop. Go to our FB page to enter: Click on the GIVEAWAY tab and then you will see where to enter. You can enter up to 5 times! Please feel free to spread the word!


Because of Jesus,

Elizabeth & Sara