Tatum’s Translation

Who else loves the footnotes in your bible?  Anytime I stumble over a line that doesn’t make sense or a term I don’t know the definition of, the footnotes are there to give me an explanation of what I just read. I thought it would be a fun idea for me to create my own version of footnotes for the last section of Romans 12. I have notes from different sections of the bible that I have studied in the last five or so years. It is so interesting to go back and look at my summaries and compare the differences in my thoughts from then to now. I thinks it awesome how God grows and matures us as Christians. My discernment of God’s word has grown so much from the baby like understanding I had in the beginning. I think it will be interesting to go back in a few years and read these blogs to see how I’ve grown in wisdom and understanding, and what things still ring true. So here it goes, my first attempt at a “Tatum’s Translation” Bible commentary. (I’ll type my words in blue) . I hope you enjoy.

Romans 12:9-21 NIV

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

You can’t fake it, love for real.  Pray to be more like Jesus- the one who loved perfectly. Hate the Devil and all of his dirty schemes. Cling to good. Cling to God. Hold on for dear life to His promises and to His goodness. Look for His light everywhere and when you find it soak it all in. Devote yourself to loving others. Focus more on the needs of those around you than your own. Be humble and praise others freely.

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Don’t half-(you know what) your way through life, be tenacious in your quest to serve the Lord. Hustle! Let the hope of the Lord’s promises be your joy. When times are hard be patient and keep your eyes on the Lord. Draw near to God by staying in constant prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. That means give them your time, your prayers, and your money— don’t just talk about it. Care for others, invite them over, feed them, learn more about them, find out if they know Jesus. If they don’t know God it’s your job to teach them through your words and actions.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.

Be kind to everyone, even the people who aren’t nice to you. Bless the bully’s. This is easier said than done, but be loving even when it’s hard. Your light shines bright for Jesus when you are able to bless and love people in difficult situations. Celebrate with the happy; cry with the brokenhearted. Do everything in your power to get along with everyone around you. Don’t be a problem starter; be a peacekeeper. 

Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Don’t be “too good” for anyone. Be friends with everyone around you. Jesus was friends with the outcasts; you should be too. Two wrongs don’t make a right. If someone hurts you do not try to hurt them back. Always find a way to do the right things because you never know who is watching and learning from you. You are a reflection of the God you serve. Go to Him for strength to rise above conflict. Do whatever you can to live at peace with everyone. 

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Revenge is not your job. Leave that part up to God. Love your enemy and care for them. Think of how much it confuses the Devil when you trade love for hate. That is a victory in itself. God will take care of the rest. Fight evil with good. 

That is the end of the breakdown of Romans 12. Did you enjoy my favorite chapter? If I had only one chapter of the bible to use as a manual for how to live my life, Romans 12  is what I would chose. I may not have a future in bible commentary, but I sure enjoyed pretending. I hope you all have a wonderful first week of May. We are buckling down for what I hope is the last snow storm of the season. Check out the adorable picture below of my girls and their cousins Vivian and Max that was taken at the Berry Branding this past weekend.

God Bless you all,


Christian, Faith, Uncategorized

I am a Body Part.

Breakdown of Romans 12 Part 2:

Photo Credit: Hadley Nave- Ragged Top Photography

Happy Easter week my friends. I am feeling especially excited this year because my oldest daughter, Gracie Jo, is really starting to understand the Easter story. We made resurrection eggs, in my MOPS group, that each hold an item that represents a different part of the story. JoJo loves taking them out one-by-one and explaining their meanings. I can’t describe the joy that comes from seeing your child begin forming a love for her savior. It is amazing to watch. Ella ate the crackers that were in the Egg that represented “the body of Christ”. So there is that too… Love her just as much!!

Let’s begin our breakdown by reading the second section of Romans 12.

For by the grace given me I say to everyone of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve;  if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously, if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.  Romans 12: 3-8

I enjoy this section of Romans 12 because I think it is fun get introspective every once and a while. Coming to the realization that I am a unique individual with a “one of a kind” set of gifts given to me by the creator of the universe is a pretty big deal. Don’t worry I didn’t skip that first line that instructs me not to not “think more highly of myself than I ought.” I will make sure it is with sober judgement that I consider the things God has and has not created within me. Just for a second though, I will celebrate the fact that He took the time to make me an individual “part” who fits perfectly into the intricate “body” of believers. He thought me through. I FIT. We all FIT. We belong to each other and with each other we are complete and fully equipped. There is no problem or circumstance we as believers can not come together to solve. GLORY TO GOD.

God has given each one of us a measure of faith to fulfill the plans he has prepared for each of us to do. Since this faith is given to us by God, and is not something we have built up on our own we have no room to boast or become self righteous. Generally, my problem is not having a self righteous or boastful attitude, but I am more worried that I don’t have what it takes to fulfill my purpose. This verse can easily be flipped to show that  we can depend on God to give us exactly what we need to complete the tasks he has prepared for us. Just as we are not to think too highly of ourselves, we should not think to low of ourselves because God is our foundation and our strength and he is in control. He will doll out the exact measurement of faith we need, therefore we will never come out short if we put our trust in him.

Just as each part of the body has a different role to keep the body working properly, we each have a different and equally important role in the body of Christ. I am going to list a few examples of what my gifts in case you need a little help in discovering what yours are. I’ll also throw in a few things I have learned through experience are not my gifts, maybe they fit you better than me?

  • Forgiving quickly: ever since I was a little girl I have never been able to “hold a mad” as my mom would say. I can’t stand being angry with someone. I am usually the one who says sorry first. This used to drive me crazy, but now I have come to appreciate this gift.
  • Compassion- feeling the emotions and needs of others has always come easy for me.
  • Connecting: I describe myself as an outgoing introvert. One thing that I love to do is make connections with strangers. I love being a greeter at church. It is so fun to find ways to compliment people as they walk in and see a smile light up their face.
  • Serving: I am a helper and a caregiver. If there is something I can do to pitch in I am on it. God has given me a strong desire to help children in need and young mothers.

Here are a few things that I have found out are not my gifts:

  • speaking in tongues- there was a time I was led to believe that if you do not receive the gift of tongues you were not fully saved. I prayed and prayed that Holy Spirit would manifest in me through speaking in tongues so I would know I had the spirit. It never happened. I now know the important truth that the Spirit of God is present in me even if it doesn’t materialize in an outward form.
  • public speaking- not my strong suit. sweaty palms, cracky voice, no memorization skills, black hole….just not my thing.
  • hospitality- I know some women who really shine at this. I am more of a “let’s meet at Texas Roadhouse so we don’t have to do dishes”, or a “I’ll grab a fruit tray from the store instead of making a quiche, kind of girl.”

I think it is also important to realize that God will mature us as we grow in Him and what may not be a gift when we are baby Christians can become a gift later on. I love the saying, “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” God has given us all different gifts and the different measures of faith to be able to use each gift in unique ways. I would love if my readers would message me with what gifts they have been given and the ways they are using them.

I hope you have a blessed Easter as you celebrate the sacrifice Christ made for you and for me. He is risen, the war has been won!

With love,