I’m in New York for a few days visiting my folks and the little house where I grew up. I’ve noticed one thing that for some reason never stood out to me before. There are value phrases and bible verses all over the place…hanging on the walls in picture frames and plaques, covering the refrigerator with magnets and two-sided tape, embroidered into pillows and blankets, and etched into throw rugs and bath towels. They are all over the place speaking messages of hope, faith and love into your soul almost without you knowing it.
Here are a few of the phrases I’ve noticed:
- All things are possible with God.
- Ultima Cena De Jesus.
- Welcome Friends.
- Laughter in your Home. Love in your Heart. Joy in your Heart. Celebrate Each day.
- Jesus never fails.
- God bless our Home.
- A wise teacher makes learning a joy.
- God said it, I believe it, that settles it!
- The kiss of the sun for pardon; the song of the birds for mirth; you’re nearer God’s heart in a garden, than anywhere else on earth.
- The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. – Psalm 28:7
- Home: Where your heart begins.
- Home sweet Home.
- Fruit of the Spirit…Live by the Spirit…Love, Joy, Peace, Patience Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.
- May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us.
- Live Well. Love Much. Laugh Often.
- Our family is a circle of strength and love. With every birth and every union, the circle grows. Every joy shared adds more love. Every crisis faced together makes the circle stronger.
- Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in face you are doing. – I Thess. 5:11
- Some people come into our lives and go quickly…some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same.
- Each of you should look not only to our own interests but also to the interests of others. – Phil. 2:4
- We think God’s love rises and falls with our performance. I doesn’t…He loves you for whose you are…You are God’s child. – Max Lucado
- The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord…though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down. –Psalm 37: 23, 24
- Amazing Grace how sweet the sound…
- Grant me patience…but HURRY!
- Nana’s Kitchen…where memories are made and Grandkids are spoiled. Open 24 hours.
- God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things that I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
- My grace is sufficient for thee; my strength is made perfect in weakness. - 2 Cor. 12:9
- I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6
- Life is like a blanket of snow. Be careful how you walk on it for every step will show.
- Give your kid and inch and he’ll think he’s the ruler.
- It takes a long time to grow old friends.
- God’s love cannot be measured.
- I can be calm and free from care on any shore, since I know God is there.
- Jesus loves you and so do I.
- As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. – Joshua 24:15
- Be still and know that He is Lord.
- I know the plans I have for you…plans to give you hope and a future. – Jer. 29:11
- You are part of God’s plan and purpose.
- Count your blessings.
- Give thanks.
- Trust in the Lord with all thine heart.
- And now abideth faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
- Praise the Lord!
- Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. – Psalm 51:10
- This is the day the Lord hath made…rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24
- May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love and may you be able to understand how long..how wide..how deep…how high…his love really is and to experience this love for yourselves…and so at last you will be filled up with God Himself.
- Faithful friends.
- In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.
- His compassions fail not. Great is Thy faithfulness. – Lam. 2:22, 23
- We can always count on each other’s friendship.
I think I’ll stop right there. As I made my way around my little childhood home, these phrases and verses and quotes packed the place. As Toby Mac says in his song, “Love is in the house and the house is packed, so much so I leave the back door cracked.” Paintings, afghans, doilies, crafts, pictures, puzzles, plaques, place mats, welcome mats, door hangers, cards, jewelry, antiques, handwritten notes on corkboard, country-style kitchen memorabilia, Christian bookstore paraphernalia, work carvings, stained-glass ornaments, pillow covers, home-made quilts, bedroom decorations, fancy frames with verses in calligraphy, crafts made by children in Sunday School, old church bulletin covers, “quote of the day” bathroom calendars, hats, table clothes and books, cut out magazine articles, notes written in the margins of bibles, encouragement written in the front of gifted books, pick-me-up sticky notes, entryway invitations plastered in the porch to set people’s hearts at ease, crosses nailed to the barn outside illuminated with Christmas lights year round exalting the cross, dashboard note-cards, Christian radio playing in the background with soothing music and the smell of fresh boiling corn on the cob wafting into the dining room, Bible Trivia games stacked among family night board game, commentaries and parenting books and Christian inspiration books line their bookshelves, family picture albums filled with mom’s commentary are stacked in corners and crevices to be picked up and perused by curious hearts. I could go on and on.
The message is clear in this house, this is God’s house, this is where His heart is celebrated and commemorated. This is where his mind and dreams are the high calling and craving. This is a place where Jesus’ thoughts on life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness prevail.
Back in the day, I barely recognized these things consciously, but unconsciously (or subconsciously) I was drinking in these surrounding like a little sponge setting my dials and wiring my “mother board”. Foundation was being laid all around me.
I noticed on thing. There is not one crucifix in this house. At first, this seems so unchristian, un-American really. But I think it’s because our home focused on the resurrection of Christ more than the crucifixion of Christ. He was still alive and we lived like it. My parents didn’t follow a dead God with a dead heart. They followed the living God and focused on living their faith as a result.
It might seem old fashioned, over-the-top, or just plain goofy, but these visitations to the old stomping grounds opened my eyes to the little things that I feel are being lost bit by bit with every year in Christianity. One of those things being homes saturated with little messages or hope and life and faith and encouragement everywhere you look. A house that becomes a living museum of the gospel…Good News filling every room you’re in, everywhere you turn.
I want to begin to fill my home with this kind of truth. May our walls drip with words of truth serving to nourish th