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I am a blog contributor over at A Pinch of Faith, twice a month, so I thought I would share a little teaser….

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” ~Colossians 3:1.

What is holding you back? The Lord wants us to grow closer to Him. Just because you were saved does not mean that is as close as He ever wants you to get. The angels are rejoicing when you praise His name but is that all the closer you are to become? Every person has the ability to learn more about Him because in our lifetime we will never learn everything. So, what is holding you back?

To read more please see me here.

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

I am a blog contributor over at A Pinch of Faith, twice a month, so I thought I would share a little teaser….

“The Lord is my light and my salvation. Should I fear anyone? The Lord is a fortress protecting my life. Should I be frightened of anything?” Psalm 27:1

Why do people fear so much? I know it is a humanistic behavior but not one encouraged by God. The Bible actually has 365 verses that tell us not to worry/fear of anything. Kind of ironic that there are 365 days in a year and He chose to remind us not worry or fear that many times as well. He chose to cover every day of the year with an encouragement of His presence. 

I used to be a person who feared everything. I was afraid to be alone in my home, afraid to walk to my car in the dark, and afraid to go to places known for violence. Why? Was my fear going to save me from being harmed? No. Was my fear or worry going to prevent someone from making a choice that may alter both of our lives? No. So, what is the point?

To read more please see me here.

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

“Dear friends, if God loved us this way, we also ought to love each other.  No one has ever seen God.  If we love each other, God remains in us and his love is made perfect in us” I John 4:11-12.

Confession time: this verse is one of my weakest moments with the Lord.

Over the years all sorts of people have displayed gratitude towards me for loving everyone; quick meaning, I am not a prejudice person.  One reason why I enjoy living in New Mexico is the abundance of diversity.  I feel so incredibly comfortable in a place where everyone is different, it makes me feel less awkward.

So, although I love everyone, I don’t really love everyone.

I have a hard time loving my enemies.  Not that I really have enemies but there have been plenty of people who have wronged me in one way or another.  Once that happens I am less than loving.  In fact, if truth be told, I am down right nasty and mean, purposely trying to hurt them as much as they have hurt me or at least on the defensive towards their words.

One such episode occurred only a few days back.  My husband and I are in the process of working our way through the foster/adoption procedure to adopt a boy and potentially foster kids who need to feel loved.  Well, the state workers became annoyed with us because we “ask too many questions” and decided to move us a little lower down the list.

I snapped and the Mama Bear in me came out exhibiting pointy teeth and sharp claws.  I wanted to tear them apart.  Instead of demonstrating love for them or freely giving grace, I was on the defense ready to argue at anything they threw in my direction.  I was anything but Christ-like.

My heart ached but not because they hurt my feelings but because it felt as though I had another miscarriage; lost the hope of another son.  I ached because I let the Lord down; I could have been gracious but instead I delivered hate.

To say the least, I do not like the state system but disliking something is no excuse for spewing out hatred.  I am meant to be the illustrated version of God people see and if I behave as I did that day what example am I being!

Praise the Lord for forgiveness because I have definitely needed it more often than not.

I pray this verse pops into my head whenever I come in contact with someone who rubs me the wrong way so I can right my attitude towards Christ.

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16
Back in September, of last year, my husband and I joined a church plant team because of some encouragement from friends.  At first we were skeptical and a little stand-offish since we weren’t real sure what to expect.
Our family has gone through some tough things with churches.  I fully understand that even Christians make mistakes because we are all sinners, by nature, but boy did we see our fair share of mistakes.  We were ignored during our grieving of miscarriages, misused, emotionally abused, gossiped about, accused of wrong-doings, and avoided; not all from the same church.
We were becoming discouraged and needless to say we felt defeated and trampled on.  What is wrong with people?  We are all one church, called by God to worship Him and love others while bringing the message of salvation to all the world.  How hard is that?
Ever since I can remember I have been in a church of one denomination or another and I am deeply saddened by saying this but not one of those churches felt as though the majority of their people were “spirit-led.”
What does spirit-led mean?  It means that you let God lead your life.  If you have a problem, a fork in the road, or just wondering about something, you ask God and here is the kicker, you wait on His answer.
This should be a no brainer, not one person or their problems should fall through the cracks.  Churches, find people within your congregation who are dedicated to a ministry and empower them to give it everything they’ve got.  If someone is new have a member follow-up with them so they know they and their problems matter.
When you are spirit-led the Lord speaks to you and through you.
For the first time I am finally in a church family that is spirit-led.  I see it in the way we treat each other and new people.  I see it in how we worship and how we pray.  I see it in how we serve and how we completely desire to be in a relationship with the Lord.
I have heard many people complain about wanting to just relax on Sundays or state that they don’t need to be in church which should be looked at differently.  Those who listen to the word of the Lord know that church worship helps relax them from the stress of the week.  The deeper we go with Him, the easier it is to hear the whisper of His still small voice that will lead us.
I am thankful to God for allowing me to be a part of a community that is spirit-led.
Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)
“Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.” Luke 17:3
Confession time, I judge others.  There I said it and I am not really sure there is anything wrong with that but let me explain why.
The Lord tells us not to judge, lest we be judged and of course I agree with that, however, I do not agree with the world’s view of judgement.  Another version of this verse is: “Watch yourselves! If your brother or sister sins, warn them to stop. If they change their hearts and lives, forgive them.”  The words brother/sister are not meant to be biological sibling but instead sibling in Christ.  The word judgement or to judge is interpreted differently within today’s society, even some Christians, as it was described by Christ. 
As a fellow Christ follower I should be holding my siblings accountable for their actions and they should be doing the same for me.  The outside world and even some who call themselves Christians call this judgement but it is not the judgement Christ was referring to.  Because I love my sisters and brothers in Christ I want them to be reconciled with the Lord and sometimes that means, because they may not see it themselves, I need to address an issue or behavior they are having.  It is my desire that their relationship with Christ grows and nothing, no amount of sin, stands in their way of that relationship.  I would hope my sisters or brothers do the same for me.
When Christ said not to judge, lest we be judged, He was referring to non-believers.  He will handle their sin, we (Christians) do not need to point it out to them.  That does not mean that we cannot preach about sin, giving examples from a Biblical standpoint but to point it out directly to a non-believer will not reconcile them to Christ because they haven’t yet experienced a relationship with Him that needs to be reconciled.  So our job isn’t to judge them but to love them like Jesus and sharing the “Good News” of eternal life through salvation.  He will judge their sin as well as ours but we can alert fellow believers of the actions we see them taking, moving them away from God, so that it draws them closer to Him.  I don’t want to get to Heaven only to wait to experience it while Christ asks me why I did not ask for forgiveness of this sin or that, so I am grateful for those who help reconcile me to Him when I have strayed.
Since I did start this post with “confession time” I will admit that I, too, have “judged” others in a non-loving way without the desire to reconcile anyone to Christ.  This is my sin to which I have occasionally had to ask for forgiveness from the person and from God.  Because I am human, with a sinful nature, there have been times when I have thought to myself things like: that lady should not be wearing clothes that make things hang out, they must be abusive parents, all she does is shop all day even though she complains about not having any money, etc.  These are such hateful things to be thinking and although it doesn’t happen often, it can still happen when my heart and head are not aligned with Christ.  I have actually apologized to people about things they had no idea occurred, talk about humiliating, but my heart is convicted every time because I desire the Lord and He desires me.
This specific post came about because recently there has been a lot of talk over the media regarding a famous person who made a choice that was not aligned with God.  My niece, Kristi, chose to stand up for what she believed in and got some backlash because of it.  I am so proud of her for voicing her opinion in a loving way.  I do not believe she was being judgemental just sharing her heart in regards to what the Bible says about this particular behavior.  She was attempting to reconcile her “Christian” friends, who thought this media issue was okay but was not aligned with the Bible, to see a little clearer so that they may be on the same page as God.  Some told her she needed to respect the person’s decision and not treat them any different as those who they wanted to be like.  That is not Biblical.  I am so proud of her for loving God enough to take a stand; she is getting closer to being a proverbs 31 woman.
Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

*This post contains affiliate link*

“You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.” Isaiah 62:3

Hello my beautiful readers.  I am back.  It feels like an eternity since I last posted, even though it has only been a few months.  I have been extremely busy with a surprise for you all.  Over the last year I have been writing a semi-biographical book about sexual abuse.

It started out as a novel because I was trying to make it look like it was just a work of fiction, even though it truly wasn’t.  I would get stuck in moments of writing because I wanted to go one way and the Lord wanted me to go another.  When I finally got towards the end of the story and was ready to share it with some Beta Readers I was confronted by a few people about what my goal with it would be.

I was still clinging to the idea of making it a novel but they pointed out that I needed to make it less personal, so I took it to the feet of Jesus.  “Lord, what do you want me to do with this?  I am not sure I am ready to admit all of this about myself to the world.  I will do as you say, whatever direction that takes me.”

Then my mentor, after reading the rough copy of my manuscript, told me to turn it into a study guide in an effort to help others recover from sexual abuse.  I received a resounding YES from the Lord and completed the final touches in record-breaking time.  When everything else seemed to lag on and I wasn’t sure why it was taking so long it was as if God just needed me to remember to follow His lead.

It has been a labor of love and heartache for me to relive my emotional past but I pray it helps ladies who have, will, or know someone suffering from sexual abuse, in need of restoration, to find peace and healing.  You can order it directly from Amazon by clicking this affiliate link “Not Just Somebody’s Daughter.”

You are beautiful in His eyes and I pray, in your reading the book, that you discover the royal diadem He believes you to be.

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

 

“A fool vents all of his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.”  Proverbs 29:11

Forward or direct would be a kind way of explaining who I am.  I have had a handful of people tell me over the years that they take offense to my way of addressing issues.  This is clearly an area of struggle for me because I know what my heart feels but what comes out of my mouth creates tension in others; completely not my intent but intent doesn’t always matter.

I have come to discover that people want things sugar-coated, even if I don’t.  Just as some people take offense when things are said too directly, I take offense when people dance around a subject with me.  For me, when I sugar coat things I feel as though I am not being honest and I love honesty.  So if I have a problem with someone and I sugar coat the telling of said problem it feels as though I am lying.  The same could be said when someone sugar coats things they need to address with me; I feel as though they are lying not telling the whole truth.

For many years I have felt that this was the way God made me and if someone doesn’t like it then oh well for them but I understand that is the wrong attitude to have.  Yes it is the way God made me, with the purpose of having places in my life to grow from.  If I was made perfect I would never need His guidance in my life.  Some people struggle with problems of being giving or loving, I happen to struggle, at this moment, with gentleness.  This isn’t the first Fruit of the Spirit He has addressed in my life and I am sure it won’t be the last.

I have to start looking at the situations as though I am trying to protect God’s other children from harm.  He wants me to hold back my feelings so they do not get hurt as I have.  That is totally understandable.  Since I view my sugar-coating as lying but Proverbs 29:11 states otherwise, I guess that means I am reading more into it that He is.

Here is to another fruit I must learn to swallow and enjoy.

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

 

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