Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Blessings

June has flown by. This month has been about preparation for our newest little one and it has kept us busy. God has blessed us so much and taught us a lot as we wait for our babe. Here are some of the ways we have been blessed.

  1. Having a Mama's Day Out to prep for birth
  2. Being able to get a really relaxing massage
  3. Really yummy sandwich at Panera
  4. Time to pray and read in preparation to give birth
  5. Getting on the launch team for The Quiet Fight Among Women
  6. Nice cool weather
  7. Good conversation at Playgroup
  8. Really talking with Jim
  9. Ruby Tuesday's for dinner
  10. Good doctor's appointment
  11. Really good morning at home
  12. Starting individual reading time
  13. Having an afternoon to work on things
  14. Going to our summer playgroup
  15. Getting info for co-op in the fall
  16. talking with Ashley
  17. Long rest time
  18. Getting some editing started
  19. Doing unit 1 in The Quiet Fight Among Women
  20. Talking through things I need to do with Jim
  21. Finishing major house cleaning
  22. Mostly done with organizing
  23. Sam walking!
  24. Dinner with the Wilburn's, Pate's and Tyler
  25. Kids playing well together
  26. Learning about hypocrisy
  27. Getting a new bunk bed for free
  28. Introducing Jim and the kids to "Split Infinity"
  29. Relaxing Day
  30. Fraps
  31. Panera sandwich
  32. Starting Jamey's summer catch up plans
  33. Reading Psalm 127 and 128
  34. Running ahead of schedule
  35. Jamey reading his Bible
  36. Unit 2 in The Quiet Fight Among Women
  37. Scones to go with eggs and shakes for breakfast
  38. God giving us His word and Himself, He is faithful
  39. Lillian helping the boys get dressed
  40. The pool being open so I can do water aerobics!
  41. Monkey Wrench
  42. Sleeping until 9 am!
  43. Reading with the boys
  44. Good doctor appointment
  45. Pizza for dinner
  46. Nice family evening
  47. Getting packed for our overnight away
  48. Sleeping until 8!
  49. Getting my hair trimmed at a salon!
  50. Becca getting home earlier than expected
  51. Going away with Jim for the night
  52. Having a really nice 11th anniversary!
  53. Getting "Mom's Nigh Out"
  54. Talking with Jim
  55. Exploring Half Priced Books
  56. Melting Pot for dinner
  57. Contractions!
  58. Celebrating a friend's birthday
  59. Connecting with people
  60. Hanging out
  61. Contracting all day
  62. Talking to Kimberly
  63. Jamey praying for the Baby to come
  64. Great sermon on sexuality
  65. The Whole house napping!!!!!
  66. Good conversation
  67. Teaching our kids about prayer
  68. Jim leading in teaching our kids about prayer
  69. Walking Jamey and Lillian to VBS
  70. Reading a chapter in Narnia
  71. Water Aerobics
  72. God loving me and walking with me
  73. Connecting at CG
  74. Salad for dinner
  75. Good conversation with Jim
  76. Being 1 cm dilated
  77. Jim talking to his Mom!!!!!
  78. Nice date night
  79. Working on better communication together
  80. Getting Jamey and Lillian to VBS with all 5 kids in toe
  81. Getting some editing done
  82. Running into the Wilburn's and Stember's
  83. Good time with the Lord
  84. God reminding me of who He is and His deep love for me
  85. Getting schedules and budget worked out
  86. Editing
  87. Writing Group!
  88. Seeing Claire before she leaves
  89. Learning about formatting for Kindle
  90. Spending some time with Ashley
  91. Quiet evening at home
  92. Learning more about Jesus and what I believe
  93. Everyone taking a nap
  94. Jim getting to talk to his dad and brother
  95. Playdate at Kimberly's! 
  96. Kids playing well together
  97. Pierce helping with Sam
  98. Meeting Dawn to catch up and pray
  99. Getting to playgroup
  100. Ice cold showers
  101. Time to rest
  102. Water Aerobics
  103. Being prayed for
  104. Lindsay being able to pick me up
  105. Ice Cream sundaes and brownies
  106. Talking about our doubts and struggles
  107. Getting some catch up work done with Jamey
  108. Being 3 cm dilated!
  109. Weird Al concert with Jim
  110. Lots of laughing
  111. Going to the zoo as a family
  112. Seeing Lego statues
  113. Water Aerobics
  114. Catching up with people
  115. Doing Unit 3 of The Quiet Fight Among Women
  116. God teaching me how to let Him be God in the waiting
  117. Pizza for dinner
  118. Time to meet with Jessica
  119. Parents getting to Louisville safely
  120. Talking with Becca
  121. Productive afternoon
  122. Welcoming Nehemiah Ezra to our family!
  123. Jamey praying to be obedient and respectful
  124. Praying together as a family
  125. God's timing
  126. Fast delivery
  127. Everyone getting to come meet Nehemiah
  128. Getting 6 hours of sleep 
  129. Nehemiah sleeping for 6 hours
  130. Napping throughout the day
  131. Nehemiah eating well
  132. Watching HGTV
  133. Lots of good movies available to watch
  134. Good food
  135. Being able to sleep 5 hours
  136. Our pediatrician helping get some stuff figured out
  137. Really good hospital photographer
  138. Getting to bring Nehemiah home
  139. Napping
  140. Nehemiah being a good eater
  141. Watching Jim comfort Reuben
  142. Opportunities to love on our children
  143. Having extra hands
  144. God's continuous love for our family
  145. Becoming a family of 8

June Evaluation 2015

Due to circumstances this past year, I'm not really changing my goals. Some will go that are not top priority, but I'm keeping the ones that fit with the overarching goal of having a God-centered life and the things I see Him leading me to right now. So thus far this is how it goes:

  • Spend at least 10 minutes praying daily- Yes, I'm working more directed prayer into my day
  • Spend at least 10 minutes reading and reflecting on the Bible daily- Yes! 
  • Memorize verses with the kids - Not doing real well with this right now, a little hear and there
  • Memorize Scripture- Not much
  • Go out for a date once a week- Yes
  • Go on a night away once this year- Yes we went away for our anniversary!
  • Read 3 books together this year- Prioritized what we want to read together
  • Discuss plan weekly on Sunday Saturday afternoon- Doing much better with this on Saturdays and have begun making weekly schedules.
  • Spend 30 minutes of one on one time with each child every week- still need to work on this
  • Go to playgroup each Tuesday- I think we made it to all of them for at least a little while
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year- Have gotten caught up and well on my way to doing this
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook- Finally went through some of the stuff and looked at what I need to do with what I already have, nothing additional
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule- getting better but still have room for improvement
  • Keep up with my calendar- Much improvement and continual scheduling
  • Being fully present when with my family- Getting better at this, but still struggling
  • Continue sending out Prayer List- Yes
  • Read a book a month for myself- Finished "Screwtape Letters" and "The Communist Manifesto"
  • Journal 5 days a week- Yes! God has really been giving me opportunity to do this in the morning
  • Write (books) 3 days a week- Worked on some notes for a non-fiction book that is in the works 
  • Edit novel to prepare for publishing and research publishing options- Got started on my second rounds of edits and met with a friend to discuss Kindle formatting. Excited to see how this goes!
  • Finish Rosetta Stone Russian level 1 - Have not worked on this
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- Yes!
  • Blog 3 days a week- That was my average this month! 
  • Go to water aerobics once a week- The pool is open and I have been going regularly again!
  • Maintain weight until birth- Maintained well this month!
  • Lose weight after giving birth- 
Where did June go? This month has been crazy prepping for baby, cleaning, doing some extra school work with Jamey, working on The Quiet Fight Among Women launch team, learning daily what God has for me to do and wrestling with emotions and feelings in everything! God has been very gracious to our family this month and has taught me a lot. I'm still working to finish my novel and to keep going with Childbirth Conversations posts when I can. It's been such a busy month, but by God's grace I have been able to keep the important things first much of the time and He has graciously corrected me when I'm way off base. God is so good.

How was June for your goals?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Nehemiah Ezra

The day our family has been waiting for for the past 9 months finally came today! We welcomed our 6th baby into our family, Nehemiah Ezra. It has been a challenging year, but in the middle of it all, God has chosen to bless our family once again.

By God's grace, my birth story is quite short for my 6th, though the waiting process was not. God has done a lot of work in my heart as I waited and prepared for another child. This month in particular has held much of that. I had my Mama's day out the 1st of June, which was wonderful. As soon as it was completed, I was ready for him to be born. Not long after this we found out my dad would be having eye surgery July 7 and we really needed our boy to come by the week before so my parents could come meet him. So we prayed and I did what I could to attempt to make myself go into labor. Nothing would happen.

Yesterday my parents came up for a friend's baptism, and less than 12 hours later my labor started. God always has a plan and is always in control, even when we don't know what His plan is or understand what it is He is doing. This is what God has been teaching me throughout this pregnancy.

We went to bed last night with our plans for the next day in order. Jim and I prayed and went to sleep. At 2:30 am I woke up just feeling icky and needing to pee. After this I had a contraction. I laid back down, because I have had contractions off and on for weeks with nothing happening. I dozed a little, but the contractions continued and I could not get back to sleep. I battled to sleep for 2 hours, but I was also getting hungry. At 4:30 I decided to get up and go into the living room to pray and read some of the Psalms I have been reflecting on lately.

Contractions were every 5 minutes, but I was able to nap for 30 to 45 minutes, which was nice. At 5:30 I was starving, so I ate a protein bar just to have something in my stomach. Just before 6 am my oldest came into the living room and my contractions changed becoming much stronger and coming every 2-3 minutes. At 6:15, Jim came in and I told him that I was in labor. At that point I was still not sure about when I wanted to go to the hospital, but we started moving in that direction. I took a shower and during the shower it became clear that I was moving into a more active status. I called my doctor on call and we decided I should probably head to the hospital since it is my 6th baby.

We arrived at the hospital right around 7 am and got checked it. I was already 6 cm with a bulging bag of water. I had to have a saline lock (the absolute worst part of giving birth). Once it was placed they took me over to my delivery room. They got me situated and made sure our baby sounded good on the monitor and then let be.

I moved very quickly. About 8 am my water broke on its own. We told the nurse and she told me I was 9 cm so I could not fully push yet. I looked at Jim and said, "I need to have a baby." 20 minutes later, he was born!

I had prayed frequently that my labor would be quick, and God graciously granted this to me.

At 8:20 am on June 28th, Nehemiah entered this world outside the womb. He weighed in at 8 lbs 7 oz and was 20 inches long.

This is the first time we found out ahead of time what the gender of our baby is, so we were ready with a name. Nehemiah Ezra means God is my comforter and helper. This is who our God is and now we have a daily reminder of how much God has comforted us and helped us throughout our life as this precious boy, made in God's image, is a part of our life.

Father, thank You for giving Nehemiah to our family. Please save him by your grace and teach him that You are the great comforter and helper. You are all that he needs!

We are so excited to begin our life as a family of 8!

Friday, June 26, 2015

In The Wating

My 6th baby is due on Tuesday, so I am in the waiting game as I wonder when my new little one will make his appearance. I am hot. I am sweaty. I am tired in every sense of the word. I feel a little bit of pressure due to some family circumstance that have come up and try not to dwell on that, knowing that God's perfect timing is best. And yet, I am still tired from juggling all this. I say I believe this but functionally am acting as though it all is on me.

Today I prayed as I read Psalm 146 and was reminded again about praising and worshiping God in all circumstances. I pray constantly for God to put me into labor, yet I have forgotten to stop and praise Him and worship Him as my God and Creator, the Creator of my child, the Giver of all life. I am functionally living as if I am God.

No wonder I am so tired!!!!!

So this morning I spent some time praising God and asking Him to fill me with His Spirit. And I feel better. I have been able to do things that my fatigue excuse did not allow for and to care for my children a little better. Don't get me wrong, it's still been challenging and I have yelled, I have cried, I have wanted to lock myself in my room and let the kids duke it out for themselves. But now I can better hear that still small voice as I seek patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control and love. I can say God help me and I praise You for making me.

In this, though, I'm still fighting the bargaining flesh, the part of me that says, OK God I've done this, now it's time to go into labor. I don't want this either. And so I turn again to say, thank You God for giving me Your Spirit so that I can do what is right. Give me the desire to do what I need to, no matter what happens.

Waiting in hard. But how God has drawn me to Him during this time of waiting. My God is so amazing!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Are You (Jesus) the Only Way?

This is our next question in Sojourn's series, "Questioning Jesus", and it was such a good reminder of the Truth of God's word as well as helping to know how to state what I believe. Pastor Daniel used 3 passages to highlight each of the points.

John 1:1-4

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [a]He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men."

Author of Creation
We see in this passage that Jesus has always been and was with God the Father when the world was created. This means Jesus is the Author of creation and as the author, He has authority. He is co-creator with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is the source of all life and sustains all life.
Jesus is what holds the universe together. He is the particle that scientists are looking for in understanding how the universe operates.
Because He is author, we must give God the right to be God.

John 14:5-6

"Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.""

Path to Salvation
Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He clearly says I am THE way, not a way. He had many opportunities to correct those who wanted to kill Him for claiming to be God, but He did not. He readily admitted that He is God and that He is the only way to be saved.
We are not left alone, but Jesus draws near to His people and pursues us as the Way to salvation.
His life, death and resurrection have done the work for us and we no longer must strive to save ourselves. Our salvation is secured in Jesus. We must accept this Truth in order to become like Jesus.
Yes it is narrow, but life and reality is narrow.

John 20:25-29

"So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
26 [e]After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been [f]shut, and stood in their midst and said,Peace be with you.” 27 Then He said to Thomas, Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”"

Lord and God
We know this to be true because Jesus makes much of Himself throughout Scripture. Some references for this are: John 5:16-18, 8:56-59, 10:30-33, 14:1,6,7,9,11,21,23
We must regularly ask ourselves, Do I functionally live and demonstrate that Jesus is the only way?
We need to be comfortable with our doubts, questions and unbelief so that we can ask question and be able to deal with other people's questions when they have them. Jesus as Lord and God draws near to us in our doubts and questions and allows us to ask them.

We need to tell others about Jesus and teach them the Truth. There is an urgency because it is a matter of life now and life for eternity.

Do you share your faith? Where do you doubt Jesus?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Communist Manifesto

I have been wanting to read this book for quite some time and finally read it as my 6th book in the Back to the Classics Challenge as my Nonfiction Classic. If I'd realized how short it actually was, I would have read it a long time ago, but thankfully I had it to read now.

It was very interesting to read and I enjoyed it in a lot of ways. I find their view of society very interesting and in some ways agree with them, while in others I completely disagree. What I found most interesting is there ideals are very religious in nature and yet they reject religion and embrace atheism, expecting people to live in an ideal manner without the help of any outside power. As a Christian I can say this is impossible, which makes all of their manifesto pointless.

Since it is a short read, I would say read it as it is an interesting aspect of history and culture.

3 stars.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Quiet Fight Among Women - What I Have Learned Thus Far

I have been working through this course and it is more than I could have asked for. In the past couple of years God has really opened my eyes to my judgmental attitude and how much I compare myself to others, keeping me from doing some of the things He has for me to do. Last week I shared a preview of Unit Two with three of my favorite quotes from those videos. I have battled so much to be who God has created me to be and in turn have struggled to let other women be who God created them to be. In the first video of Unit Three of "The Quiet Fight Among Women", Angie says,

" If we cannot see ourselves the way God sees us, we cannot see our Sisters the way God sees them either." 

This spoke right to my heart. God has given me a lot of grace to be very self aware, but I have struggled to really see myself the way God sees me. Do you struggle with this? It is so easy to compare myself with others and tell myself I'm not as good at doing this or that and therefore I should not do it. I really struggled with this in writing. It took years for me to gain confidence to share my work with others and still struggle with letting people in. This is just one example as there are many in my life, but one of the ones that God has helped me in greatly the last couple of years.

"Comparing causes us to miss the best parts of ourselves and others."

How true this is. When I compare I find myself not wanting to act or judging so much that I feel like I am superior in some way. Both are sin and equally wrong. I want to see the best in my Sisters, not those things that I think are a problem or those things that cause me feel inferior. God has made us differently to work together and this is what we need. This is how we are the Body of Christ; every member functioning in her role.

So how do we do this? How do we stop the comparison trap? How do we see ourselves the way God sees us so that we can be ourselves and let our Sisters be themselves? 

Only by grace! We need Jesus. When we feel tempted to compare we need to pray and then pray some more. Pray that God would open our eyes to how He has made us. Pray that we would not sin by judging, falling into pride, coveting, etc. Pray to see others and ourselves through God's eyes. Pray for contentment. Pray that we would use our gifts and talents for God's Kingdom and glory and for the building up of the church.

How has the comparison trap caught you? How have you seen God work to break the comparison trap in your life?

If you are interested in being a leader, there is now a group leader kit available.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Isn't Your Church Sexually Repressive?

This is the next question in Sojourns "Questioning Jesus" series that Pastor Daniel covered looking at John 8:1-12.

I am thankful that Pastor Daniel started by telling us that God is pro sex. He is the One that created it as we see in Genesis 1:26-28 and 2:24-25. He designed it for the pleasure of married couples and to procreate. In Ephesians 5:30-32 we see that for Christians sex is far more than this and there is something mysterious that happens in sex and sexuality that we cannot fully comprehend.

John 8:1-12

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down andbegan to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees *brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they *said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, [a]Lord.” And Jesus said, I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

Sexual Suppression  vv 1-6
Often times this comes from those that view the law as the end all be all, often times, legalists. Many people want to live the way they want to live and do not want to be in the light. So those that see the law as the end and follow it to the letter make them feel better. When we follow the law we feel as if we are in the position to judge. We put up rules and seek out those who break them so we can catch them and expose them.

Many Christians who are legalists have a lot of weird things going on sexually, because of how they view the law. When we see others in this sin we have a tendency to accuse or excuse. Which do you do?

Sexual Redemption vv 6-12
Jesus did not excuse and did not accuse, but He told the woman to leave her life of sin.
Jesus is the light and He exposes the darkness of sin. Psalm 90:8
We need to constantly be talking about sexuality in community, so that we can keep ourselves in the light. We need to stop acting like we have it all together. There is a problem in this world  and it begins with me.
Jesus says, "Neither do I condemn you". Jesus took our sin and shame and punishment on Himself. We need that to sink into our hearts and minds. We continuously grow in this and deal with our past. He takes our humiliating shame and turns it into liberating freedom.

Jesus brings redemption so that we can live as He created us.

Friday, June 12, 2015

11th Anniversary

11 years ago I said "I Do" to God's most precious gift to me. We were young with stars in our eyes and everything was perfect. 11 years later we are in the middle of real life and each year God has taught me more about loving Jim the way God loves me. This year is no exception.

This year God has taught me that love does not quit just because things are hard. Love does not quit just because you are hurting. There is no excuse for giving into selfishness, no matter what the other is doing. He has taught me that love is often caught and love never returns void. Love is sacrificial and is ready to offer your best even when you don't want to. Love grows as you give of yourself to God and others and wanes when you are selfish and prideful.

Life is far from perfect. Each day has its own challenges as we face this fallen world together. We are learning to trust God is all things. We are learning to seek God and His will for our family together. We are learning together that God knows what He is doing, even when we do not understand His plans, and that it is for His glory and our good. God is God and we are not. His path is the best path for us.

It's hard to believe it has been 11 years, and I pray that we have many more to come so that we can continue to grow together in God and in love.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Roman Diary

This book was part of our Core B curriculum through Sonlight. It was a very short read that follows Iliona's as she becomes a slave in Rome and what that her life looks like. There are some challenging parts as you see life from a slave's perspective, but it is appropriate for kids. It gives a little glimpse into the Roman empire and how it works as well. My kids really seemed to enjoy it and I enjoyed reading it to them.

4 stars for this short read.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Unit Two Preview: The Quiet Fight Among Women

I completed unit two of The Quiet Fight Among Women yesterday and it could not have been more timely. It is exactly where God has been helping me see my sin and how I want to go deeper with many women, not just one or two. It also reminded me to live the life God has given me to live.

3 Quotes that stood out to me:

"Just because your lifestyle choice might offend someone else does not mean you need to apologize for it or stop living it."

"We are in a dangerous place spiritually when we cannot allow others to live differently than we do or to speak into our lives to call out sin."

"If we take personal offense to the exposure of sin in our lives, it could be because we unknowingly allow sin to contribute to our identity, to define us."

Will you join me in this journey to break the quiet fight?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Isn't Your Church Full of Hypocrites?

This is the question Pastor Daniel tackled at Sojourn this week. I am so thankful for it. It was so helpful to hear what a hypocrite is and what that means for us who follow Jesus. We looked at Matthew 23:1-39. (Yes, it's a long passage, but so important.)

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for theybroaden their [a]phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. Theylove the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues,and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 Do not be called [b]leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. 
 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven [c]from [d]people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 [[e]Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.]
15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one [f]proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of [g]hell as yourselves.
16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the [h]temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the [i]temple is obligated.’ 17 You fools and blind men! Which is [j]more important, the gold or the [k]temple that sanctified the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the [l]offering on it, he is obligated.’ 19 You blind men, which is [m]more important, the [n]offering, or the altar that sanctifies the [o]offering?20 Therefore, [p]whoever swears by the altar, swears both by [q]the altar and by everything on it. 21 And [r]whoever swears by the [s]temple, swears both by[t]the temple and by Him who dwells within it. 22 And [u]whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.
23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and [v]cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full [w]of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.
27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are [x]sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how [y]will you escape the [z]sentence of [aa]hell?

34 Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the [ab]temple and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39 For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

Hypocrisy Defined vv 3-5
Hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing another, living a life of outward deeds for men to see but in their hearts do not follow their teaching.
A hypocrite trusts in a persona or in pretending instead of trusting in God. They are driven by shame,

Hypocrisy Displayed vv 13-28
In these verses Jesus shows how the Pharisees lived by the letter of the law, while neglecting the heart of it. Hypocrisy denigrates the law of God, putting emphasis on actions instead of loving God and loving others with all of our being.
Hypocrisy not only hurts ourselves with our hidden sin, it hurts others and damages the witness of Christ in our lives.
When we live in hypocrisy we are trying to manage God, our lives, our jobs, our homes, etc, instead of dealing with the reality of these things.

So how do we live a life apart from hypocrisy? It's a heart matter

Hypocrisy Defeated vv 29-39
God is the only One who can make our hearts clean and show us how to live a life of honesty and humility so that others can see who we really are.
Isaiah 50:6-8 shows us that Jesus was humble so that we could learn to be humble. He took our shame so that we can live free of shame.
Jesus split the curtain so we no longer have to perform.
We are only right and strong when we realize we are weak and wrong!
It is all about God being right, not us. The Gospel Works and we need to put our trust in Jesus. We were designed to live in light of the Gospel without shame. This makes us better spouses, workers, parents, creators, etc.

Are you living a life in light of the Gospel or are you a hypocrite? Let's learn to be real with each other and be who God created us to be together.