What’s Your Identity?

dawn-190055__340I try to live my life to the best of my ability. I could sit in my room and be angry because of different situations I have had growing up. I could blame my failures on my parents. I could blame so many things on the continuous rejection and hatred I feel from my own Mother, but I don’t. I won’t allow myself to play a victim. I won’t allow my children to see me as anything but their Mother who knows her value in life.

I know so many people who have had difficult lives. I think in some ways, most of us have had difficulties in life. What kind of people do you find yourself identifying with? Our history shapes us and our culture helps shape us, but does it define us? When you open your mouth, what comes out?

summit-cross-225578__340I have so much respect and awe in people who live as overcomers. They may have been abused growing up, but they don’t live in their past. They live in the identity they know they have in Christ. When I see a man who didn’t have a father, and he chooses to live his life as a man of God who strives to be the best father he can be, I have so much respect for him. When I see somebody who is fighting such sickness or disease, yet they live their life giving Glory to God and don’t make their sickness their identity, I am in awe. These people understand their identity is not in sickness or being fatherless or being abused.

What is difficult, is listening to somebody who can only talk about their problems. There is more talk about problems than solutions today. The enemy wants us to get stuck in our own problems. We need to recognize this and we need to close our mouths. The enemy knows us so well and he knows what it takes to take our focus off God and put it right back on ourselves.

1 Peter 2:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

Imagine how much we could change the world if we turned our focus away from ourselves. We are a a chosen generation; a royal priesthood. Let us live like this and help others understand that their hope is in Jesus and not in this world.

Silent Treatment

secret-379428__180Truthfully, I am feeling a little bit overwhelmed this semester in college. Okay, really overwhelmed! I really like things to be clear; black and white. I don’t like grey areas. I don’t like confusion. I want the professors to tell me what to do and less difficult ways for me to figure out how to do it than what they are. I feel like some of those professors are sitting at home twirling their mustaches (or hair for the ladies) and maniacally laughing at me. I have been doing group assignments and I don’t know that we are helping each other much at all. We have one teacher that is completely unavailable and we don’t even know if she knows what is going on. Nobody has even  heard from her more than three weeks into the class! This final semester is our test. Have we learned enough and can we use our knowledge to step into the business world?

My answer right now is, “What have I learned?” Are these teachers tricking me? Is this all a conspiracy? We all feel lost in my group assignments. We all feel frustrated and we all feel like the professors are working more against us than for us.

I am so thankful that God isn’t that way. He doesn’t try to trick us and He has clear guidelines for us to find our way. If that isn’t quite enough for that moment, He is always available for a chat. God is always speaking to us.

“God does not ignore us or try to give us the silent treatment. God is a good, caring, and loving God.”

He is a jealous God. This means that He wants our attention all the time. He wants our focus to be on Him. He wants to remind us in so many different ways of His love for us. He wants to bless us.

telephone-1055044__180Spend time with God. When you spend time with somebody, you begin to recognize their voice more and more each time you talk with them. It’s the same way with God. The more time we spend with Him, the more we recognize His voice. He loves us and He loves us to talk with Him. We don’t need to be constantly making demands on Him. His word [Bible] tells us that He will take care of us. He wants us to get to know Him and converse with Him. He wants to hear us worship Him and tell Him how much we love Him. He is worthy of this.

Get to know Him. Thank Him for all He has blessed you with. Even when we feel like we are struggling through some difficult times, He is still worthy to be praised. Always be thankful. No matter what you may be going through, Jesus gave it all for us on that cross. Thank Him!

 

$4.3 Million Baby!

Abe L 28284320The internet tells us so many things. I can google pretty much anything and get information from one end of the spectrum to the other. I see so much stuff on Facebook and social media sites that gets my angst up, yet I need to do the smart thing and research it. It’s so easy to like something because we have an already formed opinion about it. When I see something bad about Hilary Clinton and her campaign, I automatically believe it must be true, because I believe she lies without thought, and is responsible for the death of American citizens. What I cannot do though, is automatically believe it. Politicians lie. They lie about each other as well as themselves. Republicans twist things, Democrats twist things. In their minds they believe it’s for the greater good. I think the best policy is to do your research on all candidates whether you read good or bad things. Why do so many people believe things at face value?

Power ball

I believe too many of us have become lazy. We want everybody else to do the work for us. We would rather believe something, good or bad, than to do a little bit of research. Take for instance this Power ball Lottery; there is the meme going around on how everybody gets $4.3 million dollars if somebody would just share it with all Americans. In fact, it may work out to $4.33 and that is before taxes! It’s so important to look into things and study it out.

It works the same way with our Christian walk. Maybe this blog is all for me, but I know I have had times where my main Bible reading is when the Pastor has me open up my Bible to a specific scripture during a church service. I can’t wonder why I have struggled throughout the week when I haven’t even opened up my Bible to study and do my research.

We need to turn to our Bibles more often than Google!

I’ll be honest, I love Google. Google has grown so immensely, that it has actually been added as an English language word. Google helps me cook. Google helps me with my education. Google helped let me know that I was truly in labor with one of my sons. Google even helps me find specific scriptures for some of my blogs. Google helps me with a lot of things, but it does not give me life.

Hebrews 4:12 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Word of God is refreshing to my soul. It is powerful and strong. The Bible tells us the truth; always. There is no need for fact checking with the Word of God. As you read it, you grow in faith.

2 Corinthians 5:7 New King James Version (NKJV)

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

We walk by faith when it comes to the Word of God, but don’t be naive and believe that everything and anything is the truth outside of the Bible. Study your Bible. Understand when things line up with the Word of God and when things do not. Always be humble and always be in the Word of God. His Word will never let you down!

 

You Sank My Battleship!

My Dad is here for Christmas which is very exciting because we didn’t think it would truly happen this year. My boys were elated to wake up and see that Grandpa was here for the holidays. They love all their Grandparents so much, as do I.

sea-79630__180

I sit here listening to my boys and their Grandpa yelling out F2, G4, F4, and other points. They are playing Battleship. Oh how sweet it feels to sink your opponent’s battleship!

Isn’t our life at times like playing battleship with the enemy? The Bible gives us the directions on how to ‘play the game’ and there will be those who don’t need the directions and would rather wing it, and there will be those who memorize every word and try follow it exactly. Honestly, there have been times when I think I’m just gonna wing it. I think I know how this works and I think I know what to do. There are other times when I know I cannot go one more step without God’s word to guide me. You would think I would learn that I am truly nothing without God!

One of the problems with this is that at times we feel the enemy is actually giving us a break, so we put away the directions and begin to relax. We go days without getting into the word, and those days begin to turn into weeks and months. The enemy is not giving us a break! He has found what he needs to do to get you off balance. You see, the word not only gives us direction and guidelines, it gives us encouragement; it gives us hope; it gives us life. We cannot merely turn to God when we are in need of help. We turn to God because we have a relationship with Him. We have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior and we want to spend time with Him.

open-book-981405__180Don’t let the enemy sink all your battleships in one single move. Keep your focus on God and stay in His word at all times. We need to keep sharp and focused. We need to literally breathe His word into our lives.

Ephesians 6:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

So how do we increase our faith??

Romans 10:17 New King James Version (NKJV)

17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Keep in His word and your faith will grow. It is not you and I against the enemy, we have God on our side, and God has already won the battle!

Rise Up With Hope and Finish This Race

Being wholeheartedly devoted to Jesus can be a difficult road. Well, it is a difficult road. I believe that is why God tells us to ‘finish the race’ we started. When we start a race, we are sprinting and so excited and we feel like we have the energy to go forever. I used to run long distance in High School and I have been trying to get back to running again. You would think I would remember the whole pace yourself thing from all those years running, but no, this Mama is going to sprint those first couple of blocks and then stop and wonder why I only went .15 miles on my running app! There is a maturity that comes with a seasoned runner. You understand where you need to pick up your pace and you understand when you need to conserve your energy in that moment. You don’t always know what kind of terrain is coming around the next corner and if you aren’t paying attention, you could hurt yourself.

I think you could say similar things in your Christian walk. When we first get saved, we are so excited and we are probably running like a child again. We are leaping over obstacles in our way without a care in the world. We want to tell everybody about Jesus and what He has done for us. This is not a bad thing right away. As we move along this path of life though, we gain a maturity in our walk with Christ; at least we are supposed to. The Bible talks about going through valleys and low times in our life where we may feel alone but God is always with us. Sometimes we can’t see anything through the density of the troubles that are in front of us, but as we read the Bible and spend our time with God in prayer and worship, He always guides us. Spending time with Him matures us. We eventually see that obstacle in front of us and automatically know exactly what we need to do to get past this.

If you have walked with God for any amount of time, you know what I am trying to talk about here. If you feel like you still don’t know what to do when difficulties arise, you need to search your heart and find out why you haven’t matured. We all have times when we need some help along the way. Those long races are filled with people handing out water and at times an energy bar or something to help you finish the race. The church that you are called to is filled with those people. They are ready to hand you what you need in those times of difficulty. My concern here is that you may have never been one of those people who helps others in their times of need. Are you so lacking in maturity and growth that you can barely get through the day or week without the thought of giving up? God calls us to a place of maturity. There are times we rest in Him, but we never give up. We wait with hope. Search your hearts and be honest with yourself and God. He sees your heart and we can hide nothing from Him. Maybe you just don’t want to help people. That is immaturity. Maybe you don’t know how to help people. Step out in faith! I am not always the best communicator in certain situations, but I trust God will guide me so that I can help the person I am talking to. When I spend time with Him, He gives me the endurance I need to finish the race and to help others along the way. You can do this! Don’t give up because you don’t know what is around the corner; it could be your breakthrough moment!

Isaiah 40:31

“Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the LORD will be renewed. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and won’t become weary. They will walk and won’t grow tired.”

Progressing Into What??

Today as I was reading Deuteronomy, I came across this scripture.

Deuteronomy 4:2 “Do not add to what I command you and do no subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.”

God’s word is enough. We don’t need to add to it. We cannot subtract from it. So why do we see so many churches revising their church guidelines? Why do we hear so many religious people saying they have evolved in their thinking? Well, that is not scriptural or Godly. God doesn’t change His mind. He knows the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning. He stays the same through the ages.

So many people argue that the Bible was written for so many years ago and surely God has progressed with the times! No, you just took God off His throne and put Him in your own little box and told Him how it is. God doesn’t sit on His throne and think, boy did I screw that up making a woman for Adam; or even making them have their own gender! He doesn’t look upon us and see how Satan has corrupted too many minds and brought perversion into mainstream society as a norm and think that the ‘student has surpassed the master’!

When we say that the Bible is an old book and the world has changed. Yes the world has changed, and the Bible may have been inspired to be written a long time ago for us, but it doesn’t take away the power that God’s word brings us. In Deuteronomy, His word says not to add or subtract from it. Man can attempt to change governmental laws all they want, but they will never ever change God’s laws. The Bible is filled with answers, and power, and encouragement. The Bible tells us to watch out for the enemy who comes to steal, kill, and destroy us. If you believe that gender is fluid and sex is between whatever man, woman, or thing you want it to be, then you don’t know Him. You don’t know God and you have lost all fear of the Lord. What you have gained is the fear of man and the fear of rejection. You won’t be standing before a group of your peers on Judgement Day. You won’t be able to tell God that ‘love is love’ or that the world is evolving. Yes, God is a merciful and gracious God, but He is a just and jealous God.

If you believe that the world is evolving and it’s just better to go with the flow, then you have rejected the Holy love of God and replaced it with the unholy darkness of the enemy of God. God does not change. He gave us a choice to choose Him, but He will not make us choose Him.

Lord, today I choose You. I choose to follow Your commands and to not add or subtract from them. I repent for ever listening or obeying the enemy when I felt it was the right thing to do to compromise. God I know one day every knee shall bow and ever tongue will confess that You along are God. I thank you for Your grace and mercy on my life and I will continue to worship only You; My KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS.

Here I Am…..Maybe…

I have been going through a process in the last few years trying to figure out what is good for my body and what isn’t. I know some things are just plain bad for me, and I try not to eat or drink them, but sometimes, there is a grey area. What may work for another person to lose weight, may not work for you. I feel frustrated at times when I feel like I have just starved myself for the last couple of weeks only to see the scale move up instead of down. I get confused when I don’t even try and I end up losing a couple of pounds, then think I’ve caught on to something, only to gain 5 more. This is my body….and sometimes it’s a little hard to love. After having 5 babies through 5 invasive surgeries, my body is fighting back. I try to eat well and exercise, but I fight sinus problems all the time and I begin to feel overwhelmed. At this point in time, everybody knows exactly what I am doing wrong and what I should and should not do. Believe me people; I’ve tried it ALL! All I can do at this point is take care of myself by eating healthy and exercising.

But what about that other part of me? What about my spirit-man? I have no scale in my bathroom that measures how I have been treating it. Do I feed it enough? So many times we only look at our flesh. I only look at my body and forget to look at my spirit. Is it thriving? It’s easy to say, ‘I’ll read more tomorrow, or I’ll pray more tomorrow’, when nobody can see my spirit. I don’t walk down the street and have some lady stop me and wonder what my secret is. Nobody says, “Boy, somebody has been reading their Bible lately!” I can feel it. I know YOU can feel it too. Just like when we fill our physical body with unhealthy ‘garbage’ food and feel horrible the rest of the day, this is what happens to our spirits when we treat it the same way. Our spirit needs to be nourished with prayer and fasting and spending time in the word of God; spending time with God.

I may be only speaking to myself here, but my spirit is malnourished. Today is the day that I decide what I want my spirit to look like. Do I want to be a warrior for Christ, who knows and understands His scriptures, or do I want to just get by on what I learned as a kid in Sunday School? Today is the day I change. Today is the day I repent for my lack of spiritual nourishment, because one day when God is calling on me, I want to stand in full armor and say, “Here I am God, use me!”

Where is the Fear of the LORD?

Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

My husband and I were talking about this just today. What has happened to the fear of the Lord? I can’t say that I have complete understanding of every scripture in the Bible, but I feel like I understand this scripture in my own way. I would love any sort of feedback from all of you if you have anything to add to this!

Now I talked about fear a couple of days ago and I pointed out that we are to no longer have fear; that Jesus took it up on the cross with Him and we are freed from it, but this ‘fear of the Lord’ is a different fear. This fear is in reference to utmost respect and love and reverence toward Him that we are in absolute awe of Him. This fear is complete abandonment of our former sinful lives and nature, and trying to live our lives Christ-like. Christ loves us; all of us, unconditionally, but He will never change His mind about sin.

When we look at the news and the world around us, the world wants us to see ‘progress’. When you read your Bible, does it say something anywhere about one day in the future, how God will throw out all His laws and commandments because society has progressed so far that we just don’t need them; we don’t need HIM? I know mine doesn’t say that!

I believe many in the church who have compromised their morals and lifestyles in the name of progress have lost that fear. I believe we live in a ‘God will forgive me’ society that lacks repentance. I can’t say that I am sinless. I struggle with things often, but I will forever bind His word to my heart. I will learn even more so, to fear my God because He is a Worthy and Holy God. I think we humanize God and try to make Him like us so we can understand Him better. I know I have found myself in the past doing this. I would ask myself, “How does God forgive so quickly and easily?” Well, because He is God!

God gave us a will so we can choose Him. I will choose Jesus over immorality in the name of progress every day. I encourage you today, get to know Him. Spend time with Him.

Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty. Who was, and is, and is to come!

The Bible

The bible. What comes to your mind when you see it or think about it? How many people think about rules and laws when they think about the bible? It is true. The bible gives us commandments to follow and laws to learn and prayers to pray. It helps us understand morals and ways to correctly behave. One quality that often gets overlooked is the love that flows like a rushing river. It weaves through each word and paragraph and many times, when you don’t expect it, it takes your breath away.

The bible is a book that I’m not sure I’ll ever completely understand. Admittedly, I struggle through parts of the Old Testament. I know each part is there for a purpose and it teaches us and fills us with more and more understanding of who God is. The New Testament shows me how God actually sent His own Son to Earth through the virgin Mary. Jesus lived and walked among us and went through struggles just like we do. Jesus lived a perfect life. God sacrificed His own Son so that we may live. That is love! It is so easy for a parent to say that they would die for their own child, but would you die for somebody that doesn’t like you, or hates you. Jesus did! He didn’t die for some of us. He died for each and every one of us. It is finished!

As imperfect beings and merely humans, we cannot always see what God sees. We see Job as a man who lost so much. God knew Job’s heart. God knew that Job would never deny Him. We look at this book of Job and see a man who lost everything. Job is a book about God’s love. Yes, Job went through difficult times; we all do. God knew that Job would not falter and Job ended up having a greater life than he did before his trials. God was showing our enemy, Satan, that Job understood that this life was not about him, it was about God. Our life is not about us. Our ministry is not about us. Everything is about God.

The bible is a love story. I don’t even like that word; story. It’s God’s whispers into our inner most being telling us how much He loves us. In the beginning, with Genesis, He loved us. In the end, in judgement and Revelation, He loves us. Our purpose in this life is to show Him how much we love Him. How much time do we spend with Him? How many people do we tell about Him? How do others see you? Do they see frustration, bitterness, envy, pride, hatred, anger, or anything not of God?

When we fill our hearts and lives with His love through our personal relationship with Him and learning to understand Him more through the bible, we are able to speak the way He speaks; with love. Love is not compromising what the world wants us to compromise. I will never believe abortion is right, or that homosexuality is right, or that divorce is okay. The world has tried to turn love into lust and instant gratification. God is love and Proverbs is filled with scriptures that help us live in this world and know which paths to take. Love is not an emotion, but I can feel it. When my husband loves me and meets my needs and desires, I can feel it. When my sons hug me and squeeze me as tight as they can, I can feel their love. Just because I cannot physically feel God’s arms around me, does not mean that I can’t indescribably feel His Spirit inside me filling my heart with His love.

His love and mercy and grace are all around us. If you want to feel His presence, all you have to do is ask. Ask Him into your heart and begin to feel His love. He loves YOU!

Romans 10:9 NKJV

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

‘Til Death

I love being married. It can be very difficult, yet very rewarding. My husband and I are opposite in so many ways it can be a challenge for each of us. One thing we are not opposite in is our belief in marriage. Marriage between one man and one woman; as God intended. We are both saddened by the constant news about divorce and how rampant it is; even in our own families. We believe that divorce is not an option. We hear people talk about how the Bible tells us the reasons that we can get divorced. The Bible talks about how people’s hearts were hardened so they got divorced. The Bible is not a how to get divorced handbook. ‘Til death do us part is a covenant between you, your spouse, and God. To me, ’til death is pretty cut and dried. We are married until death parts us.

I am thankful for God’s grace and mercy. I believe God’s grace covers a multitude of sins, including divorce. He loves us no matter what; no matter how good we are; no matter how bad we are. He loves us…plain and simple. I love my husband; no matter how good he is, no matter how bad he is. I love him. He loves me; no matter how good I am, no matter how bad I am. Love is not an emotion. Love is not that high you get in a new relationship. Love is commitment. God is love. God hates divorce. Divorce is selfish. I know these are probably not popular words, but as Christians, followers of Christ, we seemed to have merged the path less traveled to the widest path available. We make excuses why we should be allowed to divorce our spouse. Some of these excuses are completely legitimate….as to why we should get into counseling.

People don’t just fall out of love with each other. They make choices to stop loving and remaining committed to each other. Instead of finding excuses where you can get a divorce, find excuses on why you should stay committed to each other. Start with your vows. Those are powerful words; in sickness and health, rich or poor, ’til death do us part…etc etc. Instead of naming all the reasons why your spouse is wrong or finding all their faults, start with yourself. Be honest with yourself and name your own faults. Find ways to work on yourself and go before the throne of God and find a way to begin again. Give yourself to your spouse and make your marriage about them, and not yourself. Marriage is a gift. Don’t squander it.