Video Friday – Hey Busy Mom, this one is for You!

I found this video while I was looking for something about making time for God. I loved how she explains different ways we can spend time with God. Our devotion time can be creative and different. As long as we are getting some time in to get filled up – it doesn’t matter how its done only that it gets done.

This was geared toward busy moms but can be applied to anyone who finds themselves with limited time because of busy schedules. Enjoy!

Video Friday – Ravi Zacharius

I have always loved listening to Ravi Zacharius. He requires for one to REALLY listen. He is incredibly educated and in order to keep up, you have to pay attention. I like that.

This video is a Q&A for answering some of the objections to the Christian Faith. I’m sure if you have witnessed to anyone, you may have become stumped with a question that was asked. This may help. Get your pen and paper out and take notes or save this video and go through it. I hope you enjoy it as I have.

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.

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!

Be Approachable

 

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Photo by Kevin Laminto

I find it amazing how God brings to me the subjects that I blog. I read something or hear something and its as if a light goes off. It isn’t just once, its several times which leads me to believe it’s a God thing and I need to study on the subject matter.

The idea of being approachable has been in and out of my head for quite some time. Social media fuels the fire of approachability (as it fuels many fires – some not so great).

Our culture has encouraged women to fight for who they are and to do whatever it takes to have their voices heard. To some degree, I agree with being heard. Lord knows, I love being heard — really heard. I want people to believe I’m strong and capable of doing anything anyone else, regardless of their gender, can do. However, this “girl power” mentality has morphed into something I can NOT stand behind. It has made women unapproachable, unkind, hard hearted, and bitter. The saddest part – a lot of these women are Christians.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  Galatians 5:19-21

The girl power culture of today is a manifestation of the flesh; it is of the world and not of God. Look at some of these things in the above verse that pertains to our subject (and remember I’m talking to my Christian sisters).

  • Fornication – There is an idea that a woman can, without any consequence, have relations with anyone she wants married or unmarried.
  • Uncleanness – Purity is looked at today as “old fashioned.”
  • Lasciviousness – Where I see this most is the shamelessness. The idea that, “I have the right to do or say whatever I want because that is just who I am.”
  • Hatred
  • Variance – Look on social media, people are causing strife all over the place and a great many of those are women – Christian women.
  • Emulation – Trying to get ahead no matter who gets in the way and allowing jealousy to be the fuel.
  • Wrath – An unquenchable anger. You see this all through social media. There are Christian women who are angry about EVERYTHING and their light is so dim.
  • Strife – To put oneself before anyone else no matter the cost.
  • Seditions – Causing division among one another.
  • Envyings – Jealousy can cause so much division among sisters.

I know this seems raw and tough to hear and to see – especially if you are guilty of one or more of these things. I know just by looking each one of these up, I have seen how I’ve been like this at one time or another. Trust me ladies, I am not innocent of never doing any of these since I was saved but that doesn’t mean at any time I should be proud to have them in my life.

Now back to our subject at hand – approachability. If you have any of these manifestations of the flesh as seen above, how can you be someone that others want to approach? As Christian women, our desire should be to do the will of the Lord. We are ambassadors of Christ. That means, we represent Christ on earth. Many times, we are his mouth piece. How can we be when people fear approaching us? How can we be approachable when we put on social media that we are a malicious woman? None of these attributes foster approachability. In contrast, they feed division and inaccessibility.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Galatians 5:22-25

I love how God leaves the good stuff till last! I just didn’t think it was right to say, here is what we shouldn’t be without finishing it off correctly. These are the attributes that a Christian woman (or man for that matter) should exude.

  • Love – This is the type of love that God has toward man (agape). We can never love exactly as God does but if we are trying to, I guarantee you will be doing a fine job!
  • Joy – This is a woman who rejoices in the Lord and with her sisters. You can see it even before she even opens her mouth.
  • Peace – No drama for your momma with this woman. She wants people to be at ease around her and the environment around her is tranquil. People feel safe around her.
  • Longsuffering – This woman has endurance with others. She sees everyone has struggles and is patient with her sisters.
  • Gentleness – Kind is how you would describe this woman. You know when you go to her for help, she will never bring you down. She will always be a soft place to land.
  • Goodness – Here in the south, they would say this woman has a good turn. She is pleasant to be around. You know she is always going to treat you fairly.
  • Faith – This woman seeks the truth, finds it, and lives it out. She loves Jesus and believes in the power she has in Him.
  • Meekness – This woman has a humble spirit. She knows her strength comes from the Lord. She is gentle with others and with herself.
  • Temperance – Again, God left the good stuff for last. SELF CONTROL! This woman realizes she has a “natural man” that can come out to play and when he does, nothing good comes of it. She understands she must put her flesh under the authority of Jesus Christ. She doesn’t use terms like, “that is just how I am,” as an excuse for bad behavior. When the old man comes out to play she quickly pushes him away and then asks God for forgiveness of her sin.

All these characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit are approachable characteristics. These are the things that attract people to want to talk to us and more than that, it is what attracts them to Jesus.

Be approachable ladies; it isn’t weakness. It is what makes us strong in the Lord and brings others to Him. Love you all!

If you need prayer, please click here and we would be happy to pray for you. If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior and friend, click here to see why you need Him in your life.

Forgiveness & Redemption

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Photo by Zulmaury Saavedra

I finally watched I can only imagine. What a fantastic movie (make sure you have plenty of tissues ladies, its a tear jerker)! It got me thinking about forgiveness and redemption. How one plays off the other in our Christian lives.

THE example is Christ; how he purchased us, paid the price for our sins, and redeemed us from a life of bondage to sin. All we have to do is believe He is the Christ – The Son of the Living God and confess with our mouth and POW – We are forgiven and born again! It is such an awesome gift. I wonder how forgiveness and redemption look from person to person. I know we can forgive someone but can we redeem them?

Now don’t get me wrong. I know that we can’t forgive someone else of their sins and pay their debt like Jesus did – I want to make that perfectly clear. No man can do that.

None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: Psalms 49:7

But can we forgive someone for something, and then redeem them? First to understand this question, let’s look at the definition of redemption.

Finding its context in the social, legal, and religious customs of the ancient world, the metaphor of redemption includes the ideas of loosing from a bond, setting free from captivity or slavery, buying back something lost or sold, exchanging something in one’s possession for something possessed by another, and ransoming.
From Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

So what can this look like from one person to another? Here is a scenario:

Two friends get in a serious argument. It seems one of the friends (we will call her Sally) promised her friend (we will call her Jane) that she would come to her child’s graduation. Jane and Sally had been friends ever since they met in church and their children were elementary school age. Jane’s daughter was the valedictorian of her class and was giving a speech and her daughter really wanted Sally to be there. Something came up and Sally got sidetracked and forgot to go. Jane’s daughter was crushed and as a result Jane was furious with Sally.
After their big blow out, Jane refused to talk to Sally. She withheld her friendship and her counsel that Sally had depended on for so long. Sally did all she could to regain the friendship; she apologized, she sent flowers, she sent texts and emails all to no avail. Finally, Sally had an idea that she would send her a hand written, heartfelt letter telling Jane what she meant to her and how she missed their talks. This softened Jane’s heart and she called her, they had a long talk, and Jane forgave her.
Today Sally and Jane talk everyday as if nothing ever happened.

Is this story just a story of forgiveness, or is it also of redemption? Personally, I think it’s both. Jane held her and Sally’s friendship hostage. She required a “ransom” to gain it back. Sally paid that ransom with her heartfelt letter and as a result, Jane forgave her. Through that letter, Sally redeemed the friendship. She broke the bonds of bitterness by pouring out her heart. In return, Jane offered forgiveness.

As Christians, we talk all the time about living our lives like Jesus (or at least try really hard). We look at His life and we model ours accordingly. Jesus is our redeemer; He forgave our sins and redeemed us – He broke us from our chains! In a small way, isn’t that what happened with Jane and Sally’s relationship?

If you are withholding forgiveness and a friendship with someone because they did you wrong – you need to fix it. Even if they were wrong; talk about it and get it fixed. We are called to forgive one another as Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:31-32). Redeem the friendship through forgiveness.

Now is the time.