Tuesday, October 27, 2015

His Great Love




Will you love me if I make you mad?

Will I do something?

Will I say something?

Our love with friends can feel conditional.

But God says HE will not be moved in His love for us

His love is secure. We can't make him so mad He would leave us. He promises to always stay.(Deuteronomy 31:6)

This love I've come to know that I'm absolutely sure about is because of the trials I've endured.

Because He allowed me to go through hard battles, I am secure of His great love for me.

He walked through the battles with me.

He stayed. And He showed me that I was never alone, even when I raged against Him & questioned Him.

If you are looking for a love that will never leave you, that will unconditionally accept you as you are, He's whom you have been looking for.

God was, is, and forever will be The One who is crazy for you.

You are unconditionally and completely loved by God.

No exceptions.




Linking up with:Soli deo Gloria, #TellHisStory, Three Word Wed, Coffee For Your Heart, Thought-Provoking Thursday

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

God Wants You Free (even if you don't know what from)



I went to Houston last April unsure of what to expect. I only knew I didn't want fear of the unknowns to hold me back from a trip of a lifetime. It was a chance to meet 10 ladies I only knew from pixels on a screen.

These were women that showed me that friendship through the interweb was possible and real.

Women who encouraged me and prayed for me even though they had never met me in real life.

However, this was also the time I was going through a very dark period in my life due to my health.

I pushed through a lot of darkness (mentally and literally)to make that 4 hour road trip. Leaving at dawn, with no light outside, I weaved my way through Dallas morning traffic (if you've ever been to Dallas you know how horrible the traffic there is day and night, GAH!).

I prayed a lot for God to give me strength and enough joy so that I could come off as friendly and not a kill-joy. I really wanted this group to like me. I was stepping out of my comfort zone, as we all were.

All self-proclaimed introverts with the exception of a two or three,  we needed each other and were so grateful for the ways God brought us all together in a way that only He can.

There was a lot of laughter, food (oh my the food!), talking, and praying.

But what I didn't expect was to awake the first morning there and have Gindi pull me aside and say in her quiet time that morning God placed me in her mind as she read a verse in Isaiah 61:1-3.

It says:
"The spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor."
I was too full of meds to cry (I was on anti-anxiety and anti-depressants) so my emotions were zombie-like. But in my head I knew God was speaking, I just didn't know how or why. And Why that verse? 

It's one He's led me to time and time again since I had started writing.

It took some time, but I think I have it figured out.

I mistakenly thought at first He sent me to that verse for me to continue to write about my past and all my yucky mistakes so that they would help someone else. You know, set them free. The other people who are trapped in a prison of guilt, condemnation, unforgiveness.

But nope.

He wanted to set me free.

He started peeling back layers and revealing unforgiveness I had towards people in my past and present who have hurt me. The root of bitterness had started to grow without me realizing it.

I hadn't fully forgiven myself for being the girl that allowed a boy to mistreat her. For getting pregnant out of wedlock.

I hadn't fully forgiven others.

God showed me I was still nursing old wounds and not allowing Him to heal them. Everything I knew about forgiveness didn't apply to the people that had hurt me.

God was showing me areas in my life that was keeping me back from the freedom He wanted me to experience. He wanted this captive to be set free.

And He wants it for you too!

Anger, guilt, unforgiveness will always keep us tied to the past and never allow us to fully appreciate and live in the present.

Since then I've been working on forgiveness and trusting God more. And He's been healing my heart and putting all the broken pieces back together.

If any of this sounds familiar, ask God to help set you free, there's nothing more He'd rather do...even if you don't know what from.





Linking up with: Soli deo Gloria, #TellHisStory, Coffee For Your Heart, Thought-Provoking Thursday

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Why I Don't Participate in Boycotts

You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Galatians 5: 13-15)
____________________________________________________
As christians we try to do well. We really do. It's just sometimes we get it all wrong.

Take boycotts for instance.

We take the stance of We will show them! We will Boycott!

What will we show them exactly?


If you take a look at the past christian boycotts i.e. Disney, Starbucks, certain TV shows, what did it accomplish?

Nothing.

Well, I guess if you consider christians looking foolish, it did accomplish that. Can't you just see Jesus in Heaven shaking his head? I can.

And I know you can see non-christians rolling their eyes and saying,"Here they go again."

We've become known for more of what we are against than what we are for. And this has to change.





People will know we are Christians by the way we love. (John 13:35)

Love, grace, and mercy should be our battle cry. (Tweet This!)

Instead the world knows and hates us by our lack of love and judgement.

Boycotting stores and people that disagree with us is not the way for non-believers to know Jesus.  

We are to be in this world not of it, and that looks differently for all of us. Do I think we should not support corporations that are doing evil in this world? Absolutely. I don't support companies that give to planned parenthood, or contribute to the porn industry.
These are my personal convictions.
However, our personal choices should not be forced onto someone else. In a perfect world our government and schools would have Jesus at the forefront. We wouldn't have to deal with other opposing religions or lack of. But this is not our world. Until then, we are called to love.

We don't have to agree with views different than ours. But we do have to respect and love the heck out of people that are different than us.

When an institution like the church tells its congregants to boycott for Jesus, this rubs me the wrong way. Jesus doesn't need our help. Sometimes we need to get out of His way and let Him work.

The ways of Jesus gets overshadowed by our pride and anger. We feel righteous in our anger, I know, I've been there. I've boycotted places that didn't say Merry Christmas. I wasn't going to let the world take my Christ out of Christmas! I didn't go to Starbucks for a long time because of who they donate money to.

And then I was convicted that this was not something I should do. Jesus didn't boycott people who didn't know Him. He went to them, ate with them, drank with them. That's what we should do too.

That's why I don't participate in boycotts. If I feel led by the Holy Spirit in me to not support a company then I won't, but you won't find me doing so out of guilt induced by other people. I feel there are better ways to love my neighbors than declaring what I am against.
"Let everyone see you are considerate in all you do." (Philippians 4:5)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."(Matthew 5:43-48)
If we only show love and kindness to those who think like us, act like us, worship like us, then how are we different than anyone else in this world?


Linking up with: RaRa LinkUp, Soli deo Gloria, #TellHisStory, Coffee For Your Heart, Thought-Provoking Thursday

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Being A Christian Means I've Died To MY Rights



It's my life, I have the right to do what I want...

Famous last words, eh?

Right to love who I want.

Right to my body.

Right to wave flags, bear arms.

Rights Rights Rights

We all have them.

We get all caught up in making sure we have don't lose our rights, we lose sight of one important factor.

The only right we have is to love well. Period.

All others have died with Christ.

We technically have all the rights and freedoms of the world. And most people do live as they please.

Even Christians.

But biblically? The Bible says just because we can do something doesn't mean it's good for us.
All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.(1 Corinthians 10:23,24)
As Christians we are called to live different lives than those who don't know Christ. (Tweet This!)
"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;" (Romans 12:10)
We don't have the right to ignore those that are suffering and in need because of our preconceived notions of those from different countries. Or be worried we won't have enough for ourselves if we give to others.

We are called to lay down our rights and love others with a radical love that will bring people to their knees before God.

We have a choice, we always have a choice. We get to give unmerited grace because it has been given to us by God.

Easier said than done, no?

I don't want to make a choice based on fear, politics, or religion. I want to listen to the spirit God has given me and do what He has called me to do. I know this isn't easy. But the ways of God aren't.(<==Click to Tweet)

I believe each time we decide to show favor to another person by dying to our right to be right it gets easier and easier.

Next time you are tempted to claim your right to something, think about if it is in the best interest of your neighbor. Think about the pride that God said would become our downfall if we didn't repent of it.

Humble is the way of Jesus and it should be our way too.

Do you see some rights you lay claim to that need to be laid down?


Linking with my girls: Coffee for Your Heart, RaRa Linkup#TellHisStory, Soli deo Gloria, and Thought-Provoking Thursday

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