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!

He Hath Shewed thee, O Man, what is Good…

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

First, I want to apologize for not being here as frequently as I usually am. I started a new job this week and trying to get back in the swing of things after being on unemployment has been a little harder than expected. However, I decided the only way we have time is to make time for God. Our flesh will always find an excuse while our spirit is crying out for time with our God. So I prayed for direction, ignored the flesh to try and get one more thing done that can wait, and here I am and SO GLAD to be here with y’all again.

For the past week, on and off, I have been meditating on a passage of scripture I’m sure many of you are familiar with:

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?  Micah 6:8

I have been thinking about what this means and do I do this. Let’s break it down.

Do justly – The best way I know how to describe how justly is used in the scripture is to use other scriptures as a definition. Romans 13:7 says, “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to who custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” Colossians 4:1 says, “Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.”

Love mercy – Love in this scripture is the Hebrew word ahabah; its the affectionate love that God has for His people. Mercy means kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. We should love these things like God loves His children. When I think of the word ahabah, I think about the kind of love I have for my daughter. When I just want to grab her up and just squeeze her so tight and kiss her all over her face. That kind of love that always wants to hold on tight. We should hold tight to kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. We should always want to extend these to others even in those moments when it feels like they don’t deserve it – ESPECIALLY in those moments.

Walk humbly with thy God – I read scripture after scripture in regards to humility and the best explanation I found on what this means is from the Nelson KJV Commentary. It says, “…to walk humbly with thy God necessitates having a right attitude toward God and a determination to walk in continuous fellowship with Him. This verse once again puts things in proper perspective; for the external, outward dimension is inextricably tied to the internal.” In other words, what is in our heart is what will show on the outside. We need to remember He is God and we are not. The Israelites needed to be reminded of that even though they knew it in times past. We need to be reminded to allow God to lead our lives, to repent when needed, and to walk HUMBLY with our God.

I’m so glad I had a chance to spend some time with this verse and share it with you. It is chocked full of good stuff! To be honest, it can’t get any easier. Do right by others, treat others with kindness and be faithful to your word and more importantly to God, and allow God to lead you and keep a right attitude toward Him.

Love y’all. Please keep me in your prayers as I navigate my way through this new job and pray I will always make time for God and His word – and of course for y’all as well!

 

If you are wondering about Christ and how He can change your life, click here. If you need prayer, there are a bunch of Godly women who would love to pray for you – click here and leave your prayer request.

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.

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!

 

God or His Stuff

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Photo by Jean-Pierre Brungs

BY SHARON MABRY

I must confess when I started my relationship with the Lord 11 years ago I was deeply in love with Him. As years went by slowly and unknowingly my attraction became more focused on His stuff and what He could do for me rather than on He, Himself, the Creator of the universe.

My world began to shake three years ago when my mother died from metastatic breast cancer. If anyone had faith for a healing it was her. If anyone prayed earnestly with supplication for a miracle it was me. And then she died; and I was angry. Where was the God who hears and answers prayer?

My anger was fueled a couple months later when, after seven years of infertility I became pregnant only to have a miscarriage. I felt like a pawn in a game and my feelings didn’t matter. He didn’t heal my mother and He gave me a child only to take it away. Although I got pregnant again right away and have two precious little boys now I was still angry that I had to experience that hurt. I pictured God on His throne sitting in a cloud of injustice, laughing at the devastating heartache He had created in me. I sincerely thought about walking away from Him at that point, but I knew in my heart, that His heart towards me was good. I would tell myself to remember the heart of God was good, even though I couldn’t see His hand.

I started looking for answers. Why didn’t God heal anymore? Why did the God of today look so different from the God of the Bible? I thought that everyone got their healing because they had faith as a mustard seed, that they really had this immense joy all the time because the answer was always yes. I found out sometimes the answer is no.
I had opportunity to talk with my pastor one day after service just a few months ago and got real with him and asked why he thought we don’t see the miracles today like they did in the Bible. His answer, “I think in that time people were following after Jesus more than they were praying for comfort.” I instantly had a peace that I hadn’t had for a long time.

That is what I’d been doing. I’d been praying unknowingly with the wrong motive, I’d been praying for my comfort. I wanted my mother to live so I wouldn’t have to experience the hurt of loosing her. I had finally gotten peace about not having children only to experience a miscarriage, never mind I got pregnant again and had a precious little boy. I had been acting as though I was entitled to never feel hurt, to have all my prayers answered because I was a child of the most High, because I was ‘someone’. I wouldn’t listen to the Lord, so He, in all His love had to forcefully remove me from my high horse; and it hurt. He loved me enough to say no so that I could get back in right standing before Him.

I got back into the Word, I had to find out who did God say He was. I went to the gospels to look at the life of Jesus as he demonstrated the Heart of God to the people here. In Luke 5:17-25 a man with palsy was lowered through a roof by friends for a healing and Jesus forgave his sins. He didn’t heal him at first although that was what was sought after. Jesus healed him to prove to the Pharisees that He had power upon earth to forgive sins. Jesus took care of what was most important first, not this man’s ability to walk, but to have his sins forgiven so that he could live in freedom. This man got both, but sometimes the healing doesn’t come. Sometimes all we get is freedom, and that’s okay because after all, isn’t that the best part? My mother wasn’t healed, and I experienced heartache, but she was set free, why should I grieve for that? She got the best part.

Then I read in Mark 6:45-55 that Jesus sent his disciples to cross the sea while He went alone to a mountain to pray. Jesus had just fed the multitude with five loaves of bread and two fish, then we pick up in verse 48:

And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed them by.”

Stop there. Jesus saw they were in trouble, they were doing something He told them to do, and He was going to walk by! Seven years of infertility, fours years into it I finally get peace just to have a miscarriage three years later. I was toiling in that boat and you were walking by. Why? In verse 51-52:

“…and he went up unto them into the ship; and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.”

Maybe, my heart had hardened…maybe I’d become entitled, maybe because I unknowingly had fallen in love with your stuff, maybe because I needed to spend an evening at sea toiling with the winds to remind me that it is only when God steps into the boat, into my situation with His Grace that the winds become calm. My heavenly Father loved me enough to send me out onto the troubled sea so that I would give him opportunity to step into my boat so that when I come to the other side I can say, that I know Him. Verse 54:

“And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him,”

I’ve recently learned, that sometimes the answer is no, that it is good for me to experience life and all the hurts that it has to offer. That God is not my self-help genie to protect me from all things uncomfortable, but that He is my Father and He loves me, and He wants to mold me into the best individual possible so that I can contribute in this life and not just consume. That means sometimes the healing won’t come, and the night will be spent toiling, but when the fourth watch has come, He will step into my situation and the winds will cease, and I will know Him even more because the storm is what brought Him into my boat.

 

After a childhood of abuse, the Lord delivered Sharon Mabry from a life of alcohol and drug abuse as well as self-mutilation. Sharon is a walking testimony to the power of grace and love through Jesus Christ. She joyfully serves the Lord as she stays home to raise her children.