Those People

looking out the window

Have you ever stared across the room and wondered why you couldn’t be more like “those people”? Sometimes we get inside our own head and stir up emotions that we cannot seem to shake. I say this with raw honesty. Nearly 10 years ago, I was at the lowest, darkest point in my life. I still remember it like it was yesterday.

I can remember feeling like it was impossible to be ‘normal’. There was a time in my life when I was so broken, so lost, so empty…all I could do was breathe from second to second. I was so filled with shame, remorse, sadness, and emptiness, that I wanted it all to go away. My mind would not shut off. I contemplated ending my life. I used alcohol to numb the deep emotional brokenness. I turned away from God, my family, from everyone and everything. I reclused into…

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Loving Others

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Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

I heard a really good sermon last night on love. It was a reminder of how we should love our neighbor, how we should love ourselves, and how if we loved our neighbor we would care where they ended up when they died. Truly it was a wonderful reminder to witness to others and to bring your friends and loved ones to church and let God permeate their hearts. I appreciated the sermon and I needed it.

This sermon also reminded me of how Jesus showed love to those in scripture and how we can use that example in the way we approach others. What I find interesting, is when Jesus approached sinners (such as the women at the well, the woman caught in adultery) He did it with compassion and truth. He told the women at the well that he possessed “living water” which if she drank it she would never thirst again. Then He told her to get her husband of which she said she didn’t have a husband. He then told her the truth of her life – He knew she had five husbands and the one she was with wasn’t her husband – Read John 4  for the full story.

What I want to point out here is Jesus first gave this woman respect even though in this time in history, Jews didn’t speak to the Samaritans. They were considered unclean. They were part Jew and part Gentile. In fact, in those days a Jew would take the long way around so as not to even step foot in Samaria. Yet, here is our Savior, God’s son, a Jew talking with a Samaritan woman and giving her respect.

Second, Jesus witnessed to the woman of who He was and what He was there to offer her. He was there to offer her “living water” that only He could provide. He was there to offer her eternal life. He didn’t care who she was or where she was from – He loved her just for who she was right then and where she was spiritually. He knew the only way to change the heart is through Himself. He offered her LIFE!

Lastly, He exposed her sin. When He asked her to go get her husband and she said she didn’t have one. He told her she had five husbands and the one she was currently with wasn’t her husband. He didn’t beat around the bush – He exposed her sin. We, as Christians, must understand that the exposure of sin is not a hateful act. It is an act of love. HOWEVER, we aren’t very good judges of this practice but what we are is equipped with God’s word to show the unsaved how they are lost, why they are lost, and that they are in need of a Savior – Romans road is a wonderful way to lead an unsaved person to Christ. We are not only made to share this but it is every Christian’s calling to share the good news! We expose sin, like Jesus did, using His Word.

Please join me in Part 2 when we look at how Jesus loved those who should have known who He was. Those who professed to know who God was, yet treated others unlovingly.

Till then….

Nothing Matters but Jesus

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

My friend directed me to an article she had read and thought it was awesome and wanted me to read it to see what I thought (I recommend reading it (https://www.raystedman.org/new-testament/acts/handling-dissension). Needless to say, when I finished this article I was moved. I believe the part that made me break down was this:

All we need to do is get the truth out to people. The Bible is the truth, it is the way things really are. We are living in a world ruled by illusion and fantasy where people are confused, disturbed, and upset. They feel that there is nothing certain, nothing to be trusted. Everything is a phantasmagoric cloud of uncertainty and illusion. They do not know where to turn or what to believe. The truth hits with wonderful impact upon such minds. There is an immediate awareness, as there was in Jesus’ days on Earth, that what is being said is right. There is a ring of truth conveyed. As the word of truth abounds, disciples multiply because men and women are drawn to the truth. They want to know what is right and what is real, what is honest, what is genuine.

All that is important – all that truly matters is Christ and Him crucified! Paul said:

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:1-2

There is nothing but Christ. The answer to anything is Christ. We are so imperfect and yet He chooses us to tell others of Him. Praise the Lord! What a humbling truth.

Everything in this world is ruled by our thoughts, our feelings, and what we think is right. Yet scripture tells us:

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

In all our ways we should acknowledge Him – the answer is Christ!

Truth is, I have made choices and decisions without prayer, without forethought; I have just went rough shot at what “I” thought was right. When I have done this, usually, it hasn’t turned out well. I have hurt others, I’ve not followed the Lord’s leading – I leaned unto my own understanding.

BUT GOD! He restored me after much prayer and repentance! He is such a good God who allows us to stroll down our own way so that we learn. I have learned that when I am being attacked, or when I’ve made the wrong decision and things are going badly to look at what I need to do (if anything) and to learn what I need to learn as I’m going through that valley moment.

Every experience is an opportunity for growth. Whether what you are going through is something you directly created or caused or something with which you were not directly involved. When you are feeling attacked by the enemy, allow yourself a moment to rest in Jesus, pray, and to ask Him to show you what you need to learn from this experience. I believe we stay in those valley moments until we learn what He wants us to learn.

I guess what I’ve learned is this – “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

I love y’all!

If you don’t know who Jesus is and you want to know more, go here. If you need prayer go here and myself and a group of Godly women will keep you in prayer.

Shine Your Light and Be Silent

Be silent — be still.

That is what I’m hearing from the Lord now. Anyone who truly knows me knows how I am about being silent when I feel like “I” need to say something or “I” need to make something better. However, there are things in our lives that do not get better when we get involved.

This video has spoken volumes to me today. I hope that if God has told you to be silent and you just don’t understand why….this video will give you the answer you are seeking. It sure helped me!

Learning in the Valley

Photo by Caleb George on Unsplash

I felt like giving up today. Just giving up on Ministry. I was convinced that I’m not cut out for this kind of work of the Lord. I can plan things and I love watching lives change because of something we decided to do. But today….satan has been really attacking and I’m feeling VERY unqualified.

The truth is, I am unqualified. If it was not for the Lord I would never be able to do anything and especially not ministry. So I sit here trying to take my own advise and figure out exactly what I’m suppose to learn about this experience. What does God want me to “get” out of this valley moment (and yes Satan….it is a moment….I’ve won already!).

1.) Everyone should have a voice and everyone matters. However, the ONLY voice I should be listening to is God’s voice.

Matthew 6:33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

2.) Pray before you do ANYTHING. I can look back at the times I’ve sought the Lord’s leading and those times when I did not. The times I prayed worked out SO MUCH better.

Jeremiah 33:3. Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

3.) Even the most seasoned Christian can make mistakes – choose the wrong way and hurt others unintentionally. Conversely, the milk drinking Christian can give some of the best advice. It ain’t about us….its about Jesus and listening when He speaks no matter who He speaks through.

Ephesians 2:10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Bottom line friends, I need to get my happy self back into the word, praying, fasting, and seeking the Lord in all I do. I need to be compassionate to others and really listen to their concerns but at the end of the day, my decisions need to be based on the Lord’s word and His leading — even when its hard and even when I feel like giving up.

Pray for me. Love y’all.

 

Falling off the Wagon

Photo by Pengsheng Guo on Unsplash

I was on Weight Watchers for over a year and lost almost 70lbs. I had a good ways to go but things were looking good. Then it happened….life. I was laid off my job, Weight Watchers changed to a different program (of which most liked but I didn’t like the change) and then the dreaded holiday season full of yummy sweets and carbohydrates. Now, here I sit knowing I’ve gained some of my weight back and feeling bad physically as well as mentally.

Thank God for my husband! He was also complaining about all the eating and gaining he has done in the past few months and we have both decided we are going to purge our kitchen of all bad things during the New Year. We have decided to go on the same eating plan (low carb/low sugar) because we both have noticed the difference in how we feel when we eat properly. To be honest, I’m both looking forward to the change and concerned.

You see, I’m addicted to sugar (as are most Americans). The idea of cutting all this out of my diet (sugar through sweets and through carbs) is a bit concerning. I guess the only thing that scares me is my attitude. I tend to get a bit grumpy when I first go through the withdrawals. If you have ever been addicted to something and then quit, you know what I’m talking about. With both my husband and I doing it at the same time, living in our home together might be a bit challenging. Please pray for us….seriously!

This all gets me thinking – what does scripture say about gluttony and imbalance? Why do we find it so easy to over do it but so hard to strike a balance?

The author from plainsimplefaith.com defined gluttony below and it is one of the best examples I’ve seen.

“Gluttony, in short, is the sin of idolizing pleasure (cf. 1 Cor. 10:14).The prodigal son (Luke 15:11-24), who wasted his inheritance on sinful pleasure, was guilty of gluttony. The college student who lives for frat parties, thinking that drinking and hooking up is the definition of happiness, is guilty of gluttony. The successful businessman who has sold his soul pursuing more power is guilty of gluttony. The mom who binge-watches soap operas and devours sleazy books of the 50 Shades of Grey variety is guilty of gluttony.”

So I’ve come to realize something. When I go for those sweets and those carbs because they are good and they put a smile on my face for the moment and then I keep going back for that same “feeling” I get, this is not only gluttony but it is simply idolizing pleasure. Oh how often I do this! Not just with food but with many things.

I often times choose my comfort over what is needful. There are times I would much rather sit in front of my TV and binge watch Big Bang Theory than sit down with the Word of God and study. There has been countless times I’ve chose to read a cheesy romance novel than to read the Word of God. I sit on my rear end and worship at the feet of my comfort.

For the New Year, I believe I’m going to be all in on crucifying my flesh and feeding my spirit (Galatians 5:24). Not only with what I put in my mouth but also what I put in my head. I don’t want to be guilty of “playing” Christian and not truly living out my Christian faith.

So who’s with me? What do you say sisters….lets crucify the flesh and feed the spirit together!

Love y’all and have a spiritually prosperous New Year!

Confessions of a Former Cop-out Christian

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Photo by Clark Tibbs

I believe when we reveal some of our downfalls and how we overcame them, we have the opportunity to thank God for seeing us through and help others in the same place we once were (and sometimes I visit from time to time). My intention for this post is not to make other Christians feel inadequate – it is meant to let you know I’ve been where you are and how I got out.

First, let me explain my meaning of a “cop-out” Christian. A cop-out Christian is that person who never or rarely takes advantage of service opportunities. It’s the Christian that avoids committing to anything outside of going to church on Sundays and even that is a struggle. It’s that Christian who believes the quieter they are, the less people they connect with and the less commitments to church they make the better off they are. I was this Christian.

This attitude is NOT Biblical. It is not the way we are suppose to live.

Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.  John 13:3-17

We are to do as Jesus did – serve one another. We aren’t suppose to live a life doing only the things that are convenient. We are suppose to sacrifice for the Lord and others.

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.Matthew 25:40

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow meLuke 9:23

It took me a LONG TIME to get this through my head. I knew I should be doing more yet I was allowing others to benefit from service while I sat so comfortable in my home. What I was really doing was denying myself the opportunity to worship through service. Worse than that, I was a cop-out Christian. I was living in sin and didn’t even realize it.

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
James 4:17

So how do you get out of this cycle? Pray for guidance, deny yourself and do something! Commit yourself to something. Start out small and work your way up. Keep your word and do what you say your going to do. You will find the rewards far outweigh the sacrifice.

 

If  you want to know more about Jesus and how He can change your life, click here. Additionally, there is a team of Godly women who want to pray for you and whatever situation you find yourself in. If you need prayer click here.