Who are you pleasing?

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Photo by Austin Chan

After reading a great Christian novel (And the Shofar blew by Francine Rivers), having a very serious conversation with my daughter, and seeing a post on Facebook, it got me thinking – Who are we pleasing?

So many times I see women going out of their way to please others for different reasons. Maybe because they don’t want to be seen as mean or rude, maybe they are worried about how they look to other mothers/friends/coworkers/family, or it could be they think by not pleasing that person they will not be liked. The truth is, its all vanity. It’s sometimes selfish and it isn’t who we are supposed to be pleasing.

Now let’s get this straight pleasing does not equal giving. You can be a giver and not a pleaser. You can be a pleaser and it may look like giving but the agenda is something totally different. These things are not like each other. Also, pleasing is not loving someone (unless it lifts them higher in the Christian walk – more about that below). In fact, it can be totally the opposite of that and border on enabling depending on the situation.

My question to you is this – would you want someone to feel as if they have to please you to make you happy or would you rather they give out of love for you?

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

As I was reading for this post, I had the above scripture in mind. So I started looking at other areas in scripture where it talks about pleasing man and I found this one.

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. Romans 15:1-2

So now I had to back up and think – should we sometimes please people? What is this verse meaning? As I went on in the chapter to get a better understanding of what is being talked about I read this:

For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 15:3-6

The word pleased in this verse is talking more about doing something for the good; it is for the lifting up in their Christian growth. If you notice in verse 2 it says, “for his good to edification.” It doesn’t mean to please someone no matter what the cost, it means to please them so they grow in the Lord. Most of the time the pleasing I see from myself and others is NOT for the Christian growth of others.

Truth is sometimes I please so that I don’t have to deal with watching someone suffer. It is actually selfish. I see they have a need and instead of praying about whether I should meet that need or not I just jump in with both feet so that I can make them happy. Sometimes it doesn’t turn out so well. I wanted to please them so that I didn’t have to watch them go through a storm that God had intended them to go through for their good.

I have seen others be people pleasers to build up their self-esteem and worth. If they please everyone they meet by liking what they like and doing what they do, then they will have friends who speak highly of them. We should NEVER be looking to man for our self worth. People aren’t perfect – we are all broken – and we let each other down. Don’t look to people pleasing as a way to build up your self-esteem and worth. It is a recipe for disaster. Our worth comes from the Lord. He said we are fearfully and WONDERFULLY made. He died on the cross because He loved us. We don’t need people to tell us what we are worth and we shouldn’t be pleasing others for this reason.

Maybe you are one of these people that everyone comes to because you are the “fixer.” Consider this –  stop and pray about whether you should be the one doing this. People (and most not meaning to) will depend on you to take care of all the bumps in the road for them. I see this a lot with parents. I see this a lot in me. Before you fix, pray for guidance on how far you should go. Maybe you aren’t meant to do anything. Maybe you are. We can’t always make everyone happy (including our children). Sometimes watching someone go through a difficult time for us fixers is just as much for us as it is for them. It reminds us that we can’t fix everything and we need to go to our Father who can.

We can’t make every “boo boo” all better, but we can watch God do a fantastic work in the lives of our loved ones.

Look at the reason why you’re pleasin’.

 

If you need prayer, please click here. We have a group of Godly women who would love to join you in prayer. If you don’t know Jesus and would like to know how He can change your life, click here.

Comedy Video Friday with Michael Jr.

While I was searching today for the video to put up for Video Friday, I had the idea that I wanted to find a video about being committed to ministry. To be honest, my thoughts have been on this subject matter on and off for awhile.

God had a different plan.

What I didn’t know is I needed to laugh. I needed to feel happiness and not to be so serious. This video is pretty funny – I hope you enjoy it.

Be Careful with Your Heart

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Photo by Giulia Bertelli

BY SERENA SMITH & CANDIE BALDRIDGE

A Christian husband is priceless. The best thing is the Godly council they provide, especially in affairs of the heart. When you are in ministry or just in the world as a Christian, there are many times we can get hurt by people. Maybe they mean to do us harm, maybe they have no clue they have hurt us – but it happens. In these cases, it is so nice to have a Godly husband to go to and receive wise instruction.

In today’s world, finding a Christian sister you really bond with is rare. It’s unfortunate to have to say but true (there we go – keeping it real!). I know that both myself & Serena can tell you that finding a trustworthy friend you can pour your heart out to is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. When we finally find someone who we mesh with easily, we can start to share ourselves and our lives with this person far before we know their character. This can be a recipe for disaster.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.  Proverbs 4:23

This verse doesn’t mean we should put a wall up and not allow anyone into our lives, it means we should have discernment on who we allow to know our lives and those with which we are just friendly. How do we get this discernment? How do we know when someone is trustworthy enough to know our lives?

For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 5:13-14

One answer – READ THE BIBLE! You will not be able to discern good from evil if you aren’t studying the word of God.

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15

We can not hear God when we aren’t hearing His word.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:17

We must read his word to have the discernment we need to choose Godly people in our lives. The only way to attain any of this is to know God through His word. The true bonds will just happen as we focus on God and our spirit connects with another’s spirit. Remember, friendship is a gift and we shouldn’t be so quick to give it away.

In addition, let’s not discount prayer. When you meet someone for the first time and you are really connecting with this person – pray. Pray that God gives you what you need to know if this person means good for you, is there to teach you something, or means evil for you and you shouldn’t give them fuel for the fire.

Lastly, always remember, the one friend we can rely on to understand and to not bring us harm is Jesus. Put your focus on Him and on His word and you will have the discernment to know good from evil and the faith to trust God in the process.

 

Serena Smith is a pastor’s wife, mother, and a grandmother. She has been a Christian for 31 years and likes to share her faith with others. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time cooking for her family, taking walks with her sweetheart, and playing with her 4 beautiful grandchildren.

If you have a prayer request, we have a group of Godly women who would love to pray for you. Click here to share your request. If you would like to know more about Jesus and how he has changed the lives of others and can do the same for you, click here.

Let’s Get Real About Works

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Photo by Maaike Nienhuis

When I became a mom my daughter was 7 years old. Confused? Let’s just say that she came into my life when she was 7 years old and I was not even ready but God had a plan. When she was 8 years old, she told me, “Mom we need to celebrate God,” that changed EVERYTHING. I came back to the Lord and started being a regular member of the local Christian church.

I was one of those church members who was the last one to come in and the first one out the door and in the car heading home. I really didn’t want to be connected because that would require me to do “work” and I didn’t want the responsibility. I figured, I was going to church and reading the word (sporadically) so that should be enough. It sure was more than I was doing a year ago. I liked flying under the radar. Again, God had another plan.

During the next 3 years after I came back to the Lord, I joined a small group (I know…a miracle) and I learned a lot – much more than I ever did in 4 years of Christian school (let me make clear that was not their fault, it was me). During this 3 year period, I and especially my daughter was put through a lot of tragedy. I won’t go into it but let’s just say it totally changed me. I wasn’t as trusting as I was (and I wasn’t all that trusting then). The idea of getting stuck into doing the work of the Lord was WAY OFF the radar now. I didn’t trust people but I trusted the Lord. I could depend on Him but not on people.

Fast forward to today. I decided the only way I would be held responsible to study the Word of the Lord consistently and do the work He has commanded us to do as followers of Jesus I would have to get “stuck in” to something. I was in the Missions Ministry in church with my husband but it was easy. My husband shared the responsibility so I really wasn’t doing a whole lot. I wasn’t in a ministry where others depended on me. I always avoided that. Partly because I didn’t want to let others down but more so, I didn’t trust others all that much. I knew getting into a ministry where people depended on me or where I was required to really connect would be uncomfortable. Truthfully, I would have to be vulnerable – connection requires vulnerability – and the idea of putting myself out there to be hurt was scary.

I can remember one day talking to the Lord and I said, I need to learn to make connections with other women, Lord we need an organized Women’s ministry. Immediately, I mean it wasn’t a second after I had the word ministry out of my mouth the Lord said, “then why don’t you start it.” YIKES! ME?!?! I sat with that for a long time until finally I submitted to the Lord, talked to my pastor, and now here I am part of a leadership team who organized a ministry. I love it. I love our women! It isn’t always easy, but it is ALWAYS worth it. In our Sunday School class, I’ve seen lives change. People who were hesitant on leading prayer now volunteer. It is AWESOME to watch God make an impact on others. I’ve seen others open up during our women’s meetings even though I knew it wasn’t easy for them. I’ve seen women take the lead and teach during a meeting. IT IS SOOOO COOL! God is so good and boy does He know way more than I do!

The reason I’m sharing this with you is that I’m seeing a weariness in our church. If I’m seeing it there I know its probably a problem churchwide. It has been said that 10% of the church members do 100% of the work. This is sad. We are ALL CALLED to do the work of the Lord on a continual basis. After all, isn’t being a Christian about serving others? Nowhere in scripture do I see where we are to be self-serving. If it’s there, let me know. It is time for more than 10% to stand up and do what they have been called to do.

 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  James 2:17-18

To the 10% I leave you with this verse:

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

 

Love y’all!

 

Video Friday – Lecrae

As I was looking for a video for today, I had one thing in mind that I was looking for – a talk about listening. This has been on my mind since a conversation I had with my husband about listening (yes ladies, I had that discussion with my husband and he actually listened!). Anyhow, this video really isn’t what I was looking for but it was something I needed to hear (thank you Lord!).

I am getting ready to start a new job. To be honest, since being off for a couple months I have enjoyed the extra time with the Lord and I don’t want that to end. I even asked the Lord if it were possible for me to be able to go part time instead of full time because I didn’t want to stop doing those things I had more time for – making video’s, blogging, spending time with Him, oh yeah, and cleaning my house!

Then I come across this video. Truth is, I don’t have to separate the sacred from the secular. I’m born again, I take Jesus where ever I go. Watch this video. Although it is geared toward college age students, I promise you will get something out of it. I sure did.

 

Lecrae is a Christian hip-hop artist. His music has reached so many people for Christ. In fact, you will find part of his testimony in the video I have on here to learn about who Christ is and what He can do in a broken life (Click here for that video). 

If you need prayer, please let us know by clicking here and contacting us. We would love to pray for you, your family, or your situation. 

Did they forget who Jesus is?

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Photo by David Beale

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life. Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:4-6

From as far back as I can remember, my mother taught me to pray at night. I can remember the prayer:

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. God bless Mommy & Daddy & everybody. Amen”

My parents at this time in my life weren’t saved (at least I know my dad wasn’t). When my father received salvation, we went to church whenever it was open. From the time I was 14 till the time my parents split up when I was 17, I was either in church or I was going to a Christian School. I was being “trained up” in the ways of the Lord.

When I graduated, I left the church but sadder than leaving church, I left the hope I had attained in Jesus behind. Not that I “lost” my salvation – I knew Jesus. I just left all I THOUGHT He stood for.

In my twenties my parents had front row seats to watch me marry the wrong man, smoke marijuana, drink,  go from job to job, and struggle financially because of my decisions. They got to watch their little girl who had so much promise fail. Not just fail a little, as we all do, but fail in an epic way. After all, I’m not sure I ever did anything half way – well anything bad that is.

I guess I’m telling you all of this to give you hope. If you are the parent of a child who has grown up knowing who Jesus is, and he/she has left – DO NOT LOSE HOPE. Keep praying. I can remember during my days while I sat in my backslidden state, how I could feel the prayers of my father. In fact, there was one day when I called him up and asked him to stop praying for me. I couldn’t take it and I hadn’t been to church in ages, I hadn’t prayed for a long time, and my relationship with Jesus was non-existent. The spirit inside, was pleading with me to come back to my first love. The praying was working and not only that, it gave my father hope.

When God said in scripture, “When he is old, he will not depart from it,” I take that as a promise. If you taught your child the ways of the Lord and they have departed from them, keep praying and hanging on to this promise. They will come back and they do remember. Trust me, they feel your prayers.

 

Trust God.

 

 

If you need prayers, we have a team of Jesus lovin’ women who would love to pray for you, for your child, your husband, or whatever need you have. Contact us here.  If you don’t know Jesus but would like to know more about my Savior, watch this video.

 

We are the Light of the World

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Photo by Andreas Kind

I am very hesitant in writing this post. Mainly because it is what I’ve been seeing on social media and other blogs and I don’t want anyone to think I’m pointing them out BUT I can not let this go. Mainly because I promised myself that if God gave the subject I would talk about it. After all, this blog is about being real isn’t it?

I usually (I don’t want to say always because there may come a day I forget to) pray before I post because I want what I post to be anointed by God and not to be just me. So if I’ve posted this it is because it has flowed freely and wasn’t incredibly hard to write; but I digress.

I have seen and heard so much about, “I don’t go to church because of the hypocritical, “so called” Christian people that attend,” or I hear, “I am tired of them judging others when the Bible says not to judge,” or my favorite, “Church people act like they are better than everyone else and I don’t have time for that.”  I’ll give you this much, you may be right in some instances but to group everyone in one category simply based on your perspective is not only wrong, but makes you just as bad.

Do I think there are hypocrites in churches – yep. Do I think there are judgmental people in churches – yep. Do I think that some Christians act like they are better than anyone else – yep. Do I think this is a reason to stay home on a Sunday and not find a body of believers to worship with…..ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:23-25

If you are concerned about the hypocrite thing – I suggest we look at ourselves and judge ourselves based on the word of God. Are we hypocrites? Do we do hypocritical things? If so, are we not hypocrites ourselves when we point out other’s hypocritical ways? I think the best thing to do is the following:

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Philippians 2:12-15

Let’s talk about the judging thing. This is always a very touchy subject. Are we as Christians suppose to judge others? To be honest, I understand the way we are to use judgement but explaining it is difficult. I got this from gotquestions.org and it explains it pretty well. You can look up the scripture they provide.

Believers are warned against judging others unfairly or unrighteously, but Jesus commends “right judgment” (John 7:24, ESV). We are to be discerning (Colossians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). We are to preach the whole counsel of God, including the Bible’s teaching on sin (Acts 20:27; 2 Timothy 4:2). We are to gently confront erring brothers or sisters in Christ (Galatians 6:1). We are to practice church discipline (Matthew 18:15–17). We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). 

https://www.gotquestions.org/do-not-judge.html

Bottom line – we are to call sin if it’s sin in the Bible. We aren’t to say sin is okay so that we seem tolerant. However, you can’t expect an unsaved person to act as if they are saved.  This is our opportunity to be the light in their dark world. This is our chance to love them in a way that is different from the world. I don’t care if they are gay, straight, bi-sexual, drug addict, adulterer…it doesn’t matter. We are called to love them and be a light. Period.

So what do we do when another Christian tells us we are judging when we call out sin? Send them to the source – scripture. Let God fight those battles.

Now what about the idea that “church people” act as if they are better than everyone else. There is some truth to this statement; “church people” do act like they are better but CHRIST followers should not! How did Christ live? How did he treat the sinner? How did he treat the woman caught in the act of adultery when they wanted to stone her? He reminded her accusers of their own sin and told them that if they were without sin to go ahead and cast the stone at her. They all put their stones down and left. THEN He told the woman to “go and sin no more.” Would church people do that or would church people had casted those stones just so they can “purify” their environment once again?

Be a Christ Follower.

I know this post seems a bit all over the place and I tried to tackle a lot of subjects at one time but after all the social media and blog posts I’ve been reading I just really felt led to tackle the main ones I’ve been seeing.

Finally, let me end with this – I’ve probably been guilty at one or two of these things. I’m no where near perfect; none of us are. That is why we need Jesus. I guess all I can end with is be true to the word of God as best you can, don’t judge others without discernment, and be a Christ follower. Be peculiar, love God, love people, and be the kind of Christian that attracts others to Jesus.

If you need prayer, myself and a bunch of wonderful Godly women would love to pray for you. Just contact us here. If you are wondering about why I follow this man named Jesus, watch this video – it could change your life!