Deliverance

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Photo by Hanneke Laaning

For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 
Romans 7:19

How many of you find yourself in the same place Paul found himself when he wrote this in Romans? It is the battle between the sin nature and the new man we became when we accepted Christ. Paul said:

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Romans 7:24

How I understand just how Paul was feeling when he wrote the above scripture. I felt this way yesterday when something I’ve struggled with for a long time reared its ugly head. OH WRETCHED WOMAN THAT I AM!

Let me expose something most Christians won’t admit, hide, or refuse to believe.
There are Christians out there who struggle with things like:

  • Addiction to Porn
  • Addiction to Prescription Medication
  • Addiction to Illegal Drugs
  • Addiction to Alcohol
  • Sexual Sins
  • Love of Money

Yes these are people who truly love Jesus but they struggle. Their new man wants to do the right thing, but the sin nature comes out to play and they find it hard to resist. I was reading a question/answer area on Focus on the Family and this comment was made by the one answering the question about willful sin after salvation:

“And the first thing we want to say is that every Christian in the world wrestles with sin every single day of his or her life.”
https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-q-and-a/faith/willful-sin-after-salvation-and-eternal-security

We are in a war. We ALL are struggling at one point or another. We all are fighting battles big and small. Furthermore, if you are studying to show thyself approved (2 Timothy 2:15), I know satan is hitting hard and often. There have been times when satan snuck up on me with something I struggle with and before I knew it, there I was in a place of sin and feeling exposed and wretched.

However, there is good news – Jesus can and will deliver us!

First, He delivered us from sin when He saved our souls.

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:16-18, 23

Then, through the Holy Spirit, He guides us on our path.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:13-15

Lastly, as we walk with Him, he delivers us from those sins that stop us in our tracks.

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations… 2 Peter 2:9

I write all of this to bring hope to those in bondage; those of you who continue to struggle with the same thing over and over. Jesus came to the earth, died a cruel death, rose from the grave, and sits on the right hand of the Father making intercession for us so that we can have eternal life and find deliverance from sin. Every Christian struggles with something. Don’t sit in silence with your problem but share it with a trusted Christian friend. Ask for prayer. Let others bear your burden with you (Galatians 6:2).

If you need prayer, please feel free to click here and leave me a message. Myself and others will pray for your need. We will seek deliverance for you through prayer. If you haven’t accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, please click here and watch the video. Consider Jesus – He loves you more than you will ever know.

Where Did the Time Go?

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Photo by Seth Macey

I don’t know about you, but I have said a million times, “I just can’t find the time.” Now that I have a ton of time on my hands (I’m laid off), I find I waste time. I can watch a movie or read a book and before I know it, three hours have passed me by and I haven’t washed a dish or did laundry. Plus, I can get a little lazy (housekeeping is not my favorite).

Then I start thinking about when I was working and how a lot of this stuff still got done. Sure I had to do it on my day off or at night but it was done. My husband has never gone without clean clothes or his coffee in the morning. I found the time to do the things I needed to do.

And there it is – what I “needed” to do.  I would find time to do those tangible things; the things that someone would notice, however I was letting my spiritual life sit on the back burner. After all, who would notice? I know all the key things to say and to do so no one really knows I have – not left my first love – but I’m certainly not paying much attention to Him. I was drying up.

Then there are the workaholics. You know who you are. You think if you don’t do it, it just won’t get done. You bring your work home, you go to work early and you just can’t seem to find the time for anything else. When are you feeding your spiritual self?  You are missed by God and by those who aren’t benefiting from you being present.

For the moms out there, I believe you need that spiritual break most of all. Take advantage of grandma and grandpa who will take the kids for an hour or so and take time getting close to the Lord. Your kids need you to do that. It not only is a time of quiet, but its a time for you to feed yourself so that you can feed your children.

I know this seems a bit rough. Trust me, I’m sharing this because I have an issue with time management and spiritual balance. I know I can NOT be the only one with this issue. After all, this blog is about getting real about our struggles.

Remember, the Lord is a God of balance. WE NEED to find a balance in our lives.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to week, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

We need to take back our time!

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.  Ephesians 5:15-17

If you look up the Greek word for “redeeming” it is exagoranzo which means to recover from the power of another. That’s right ladies, the enemy wants to keep you busy doing all sorts of other things but the Word tells us to not be fools but be wise and take back the time!

Finally, let’s remember this scripture. In fact, hide it in our hearts and say it often:  

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

Ladies, together lets treat our time like we treat our tithes. Lets give God our first fruits of time. The rest will be added unto us! Love you all!

A Mother’s Testimony

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BY MEGAN SMEDLEY

At age five, when my teacher asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up, I said a mommy. Over time, that desire came and went in accordance to the level of orneriness of the children I was around. However, I never wanted kids more than in the moment I was told that children would not be a possibility for me.

At that time, I was a virgin. Kids weren’t exactly on my radar at that moment, but I am one of those people who always wants what she can’t have. You see, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome when I was 15, but was never really informed of what my body was going through each time a cyst bursted. When I was told that the scarring to my Fallopian tubes was too extensive for an egg to pass through, I was devastated.

Fast forward two or so years later, and I was in a very serious relationship with the man who is now my husband. About six months into our relationship, I felt the need to inform him of the possibility that I would never be able to have children. His support came immediately. He said things like, “There are all kinds of babies in the world who need homes” and “I love you no matter what.” I married him in 2014, and we agreed that we wouldn’t even think about babies until I finished my Master’s Degree, which I completed last May.

We immediately started trying. Month after month passed, and no luck. Each time my period came was like a slap in the face…a reminder that I may never have any children. I was broken.

Then one night, I was covering an event, (I spent almost two years working as a reporter for the local newspaper), and I was about to interview the keynote speaker. Her name was Carol Everett, and she was speaking to guests of a pregnancy center’s annual fundraising event. Carol had spent a large portion of her life working in the pro-choice industry. She worked six years in an abortion clinic and was part of 35,000 abortions. In 1983, she gave her life to Christ and now uses her experience and faith to help women who are dealing with crisis pregnancies. Her story is truly inspiring.

Once I finished my interview, she looked me deep in the eyes, and asked me if she could ask me a personal question. She asked me if my husband and I were trying to have a baby. I said yes, and then she asked if she could pray with me. She took my hands and asked God to open my womb and bless me with a child. By the end of her prayer, I was crying. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

That was November of last year. On December 2, we found out we were pregnant. I fully believe in the power of prayer, and believe that because of Carol’s fervency, we were blessed with our little one, who is expected to arrive in August.

Philippians 4:6- Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Megan Smedley is a wife and soon-to-be mother. With her first born due in August,  life has shifted from a focus on working and housekeeping to an emphasis on learning how to be the best mother she can be. Although her child is not here yet, she says she plans to be a very hands-on mom, while teaching her son to be respectful and engaged in what is going on around him.

 

True or False – All Christians are Hypocrites

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “all those Christians who go to church are really hypocrites!” How many times have you heard Christians and hypocrites in the same sentence. Maybe even you have said that before you became a Christian – or after.

Confession Time – I can remember saying that about a Christian man I used to work with and that was only 5 years ago. Not my finest hour looking back.

I guess you are wondering, “What has brought Candie to this topic,” well, I was studying for our Women’s Meeting and while I was researching a topic, I came across this verse:

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
James 1:27

david-monje-381293-unsplashThis verse got me thinking so I marked it down on my little notepad to look at the next day (today) and to write about it in my blog. I had NO idea what I was going to write or which way God was going to take it – all I knew was this was the verse. Today as I was revisiting the James I pulled out my phone to an app where I can see the Greek words and definitions in order to get a fuller understanding. Let me share with you what I found.

When the book of James was written, the people who were most taken advantage of andgabby-orcutt-98870-unsplash the ones who were most vulnerable in society were the widows and the orphans. In the beginning of this verse it says, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction…” In today’s society, those who are most taken advantage of and vulnerable is quite larger than just the orphan and the widow.

Then I asked myself this question:

When was the last time you showed charity to someone who was hurting? When was the last time you gave of yourself and your time for someone else other than your child or your husband? When was the last time you showed sacrificial love to someone else such as a stranger or an acquaintance?

OUCH!  

I have been there for my sisters – praying for them when they were in need. I have listened to their heartaches and their hurts and offered advise (if I were experienced in the subject) and prayer but I can’t say that I’ve shown sacrificial love to someone I’m not intimately attached to in some way. Sure I give to missions but throwing a few bucks in the mission box at church is NOT sacrificial love.

Then I moved on to the next part of the verse, “…and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” What does it mean to keep yourself unspotted from the world? We have to live in this world, buy from a store, go to work each day – the world around us affects us. How can we keep from being influenced by a world where available information is as close as the phone in your hand? Or as close as the app on your phone (social media)? How can we not allow our environment to move us?

When you look at the Greek word for unspotted it is aspilos (pronounced as-pee-los). It means to be free from vice both physically and morally and free from blame. To put it in a way we can understand:

“…and to keep himself free from blame and to be free from all vices of this world both physically and morally.”

Now I ask myself these questions:

When was the last time you allowed the things of this world affect you to the extent that you were rude to someone else for no reason? When was the last time you allowed your flesh to rise up in a way that harmed either yourself or someone else (like that extra couple chicken nuggets you didn’t need Candie)? When was the last time you allowed your tongue to say things that were not uplifting to another person? 

Oh boy…another OUCH!

Now the question is, do I want my worship to be undefiled before God? Do I want it to be pure and honest? If I do then I need to remember what James 1:27 says. It is the definition of pure worship. If I’m worshiping the Lord and I’m not doing it this way, does it make me a hypocrite?

Examine yourself and answer that question.

True or False?

Stand for Something – a post for all my young Christian sisters

rochelle-brown-501488-unsplashAt the ripe old age of 14, I accepted Christ as my savior. I attended a Christian school and my parents were Christians; I lived in a Christian bubble. Being a Christian was pretty much what everyone around me was doing, so it was easier to live the life outwardly. Then I graduated high school and my parents divorced. Life hit me square in the face. Since I had been sheltered (my parents just protected me — I get that now), all I wanted to do was experience all the things that most teenagers do in their high school years. I wanted to party and drink and smoke weed (yes to those who only know me like I am now — I was a big pot head back in the day). If someone would have tried to tie me down to a particular belief system back in my twenties, I would have said to each his/her own. If I were to be completely honest, I was ashamed to tell people what I believed in my heart. I was afraid of being judged and rejected by my peers.  So instead, I did all the things that were deemed acceptable at the time.

“It is easier to fall for anything than to stand for something.”
1927 July 29, Athens Messenger, Sermonograms, Quote Page 8, Column 7, Athens, Ohio. (NewspaperArchive)

And boy did I ever fall for all the lies.

  • Deciding to abort your child is your choice and it won’t affect you later. (I’ve never had an abortion but I supported friends who decided to have one).
  • Being agnostic was okay – at least they believed in a higher power of some kind.
  • Dipping my finger into paganism was okay and made me feel powerful.
  • Filling my head full of images/videos/sounds that are full of negativity and lies doesn’t effect what I believe.
  • A lifestyle of drinking and smoking pot wouldn’t affect my life down the road.
  • I couldn’t live the life that God wanted me to live.

Now that I’ve come back to the Lord, there are a few things I REALLY understand:

  • Aborting your child is not only murder (which is bad enough), but it is physically and mentally hard on the mother. Isaiah 49:15, Psalms 139:13-16
  • There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ. Any other way is a lie. John 14:6
  • Satan will give you ideas and tell you things to make something seem okay; things that make you feel empowered.  It’s temporary and always empty. Genesis 3:1-6, Psalm 38:3-4
  • Junk in – Junk out Deuteronomy 8:3, 2 Peter 1:4
  • I wasted so much of my life not being present. I also missed spending precious time with my family. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20Psalm 90:12
  • God equips us to live a life that is pleasing to Him. God makes the impossible possible. Matthew 19:26

It’s true – hindsight is always 20/20 and a little wisdom from the Lord doesn’t hurt either. I guess looking back now what really upsets me is all the people I could have led toward Jesus and all the work I could have done as a young person for the Kingdom of God. I can’t believe I let the lies rule my life but I did. I guess the good thing that has come out of it is an understanding of what other young Christians might be going through. I pray I have the opportunity to witness to a young Christian when times get tough and the temptation to fall away is great.

I never want to be in this situation – EVER:

“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38

I am so glad that now I stand for Jesus and through the discernment He gives me, I no longer fall for anything.