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Finding His Faith Midst the World!

Train a child up in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6

I have only one child and he is my pride and joy. My life is so full with him in it and I am delighted that he is becoming his own man. He is 15, with 16 approaching quickly, and desiring to assert his independence more so now than ever before.

I have been divorced for over 13 years, and though I have a great relationship with his father and we keep our son as the central focus, I am still a single mom without a dad in the house! My son has been brought up in church with me and has just recently proclaimed that he does not want to go to church anymore. The reasons are varied, and I have been praying greatly about this as there is a delicate balance to encouraging him to go to church, thus continuing to build his foundation in Christ, and to making him go to church, which would cause bitterness and resentment about church and create fights weekly in our home. Yes, I am the mom, and yes, I can “make” him go, but that does not foster his faith and his journey; it merely sets the stage for warfare in our home. After much prayer, God has made it abundantly clear that my son is NOT mine, he is GOD’S! In that one resonating statement, God is asking me to let go, and let him lead my son, which I will admit is hard. This is not hard because of my lack of trust in God, but because I know the journey will be hard, painful, and difficult for me to watch. After all, who wants to see their only child, or any child suffer in order to find a deep and meaningful relationship with God?

With all that said, herein lies my struggle: how do I continue to build on the foundation that has been built thus far without appearing critical and nagging, but at the same time holding true to my convictions and Scripture?

For example, just today, I came home from church and he was watching a show called “The League” which I must say leaves little to be desired and leaves nothing to the imagination. I sat, watched with him and then began a discussion about pornography, as that was blatantly displayed in this episode both visibly and verbally. I reminded him that it was inappropriate to watch this show as it promotes porn. His response, “How is it promoting porn?” My statement back to him was that by showing pornography and making it a normal part of these people’s lives (both married and single), the show was promoting it, saying it is okay for men and women to watch and discuss pornography. He then stated that it was something normal guys do. My response was that in the real world, a normal guy, a gentleman and Godly man would not find pornography normal, but in the show it makes it appear thus, to which he responded that he was done discussing it and going to go work out. So here I sit, wondering how to walk the line of showing him God and reminding him of God’s expectations in scripture to becoming a nagging, hypocritical, holier than thou mom (not that I see myself that way, but that is quickly becoming my son’s perception!)

I am reaching out to you all as brothers and sisters in Christ to find out what has and has not worked for you and your family when it comes to raising a child up in the way he or she should go. I know every child encounters a battle within to find his or her own faith, and I know that battle is different for everyone and can occur at varied times in life for each person. My son is there now, and I want, no, I desire with a great passion for him to grow and blossom in his walk with God and to become the man God created him to be. With the world screaming that what was once wrong (morally and Biblically speaking) is now right, I am finding myself in the midst of his battle, in the middle of the battle for my son’s soul!

I am really curious and would like some thoughts from my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! Prayers are also welcomed as I know the power of prayer can availeth much! Encouraging personal testimonies, things that have and haven’t worked when reaching your teen. Anything will help!

Yours sincerely! With love and blessings from a God that I know can work ALL things for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose!

Toby Will – Wake Up Call to Christian Living

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There are just some times when a sermon resonates and shoots right to the heart! Today was one of those sermons for me–a call to WaKE Up and stay FoCUsEd on scripture rather than the circumstances surrounding. I have been struggling in the desert of my walk with God recently and just doing surface prayers and daily devotions, but not really SinKIng into the WORD and mEdiTAtiNG on it in a way that I can walk away completely fed and spiritually renewed.

Our guest pastor today, Toby Will, brought my heart and mind back to the core of Christian living–actively, passionately seeking a deeper, meaningful relationship with my Lord and Savior and being a light in a sea of darkness. Since it struck me so strongly today, I decided to post Toby’s message for anyone else who wants to have their FIrE ReGNitEd. One caveat…it is not a feel good, light-hearted message, but rather a convicting, God breathed message to draw you back to the fundamentals of your walk with the Lord.

May it bless you as richly as it has blessed me! All my love ❤

Click the image below to hear the sermon
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Holding You – Matt Hammitt

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

Life can often be confusing, painful, and filled with chaos, but there is hope, peace, and healing that comes from the One who is always holding you through it all! Even when you are in your darkest hour, God is there. When the pain of life leaves your pillow soaked with tears, God is there. God never leaves you. He will always be there to hold you through the harshest storms of this life. Let go and let Him bring you rest and peace!

All my love ❤

Yes or No?!?

But above all, my brothers, do not swear,
either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath,
but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no,
so that you may not fall under condemnation.
~ James 5:12 ~

yes-no-signs

I have been attempting to get my prayer and study life back in order after the chaos of last year. You know, there are just times when I struggle with both, feeling that I am wandering in the desert, but none the less, God beckons me to his side time and time again!!

In the Bible study I am attending on Wednesday evenings, I am reading Danny Silk’s book titled “Keep Your Love Light On”.  I have just finished the first chapter and am already convicted! Thus far we are discussing the difference between powerless and powerful people–not as the world defines power, but as scripture defines power–and how both dynamics impact relationships we are in.

We were discussing the attributes of both types of people, but the powerful one resonated with me. The powerful person is one who chooses to manage and take responsibility for his or her life. A powerful person does not blame others, or play a victim role, in life. A powerful person chooses to love unconditionally, for his or her love does not hinge on that love being returned, or on what the other person says or does. The powerful person creates a safe place to know others and for others to know him or her. The final thought that struck home with me tonight was that powerful people choose yes or no.  There is no I’ll try, I have to, or I can’t.  There is either YES or NO. Simple right?!? Aha, but there must be a balance, therefore it is not always so simple–or so I thought until tonight (had one of those aha moments!)

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I tend to be a “YES” person in life for a variety of reasons, one of which being that I like to help people. I like to be around others, lifting them up, encouraging them, and helping them in a myriad of ways, from moving to playing to counseling to just listening. However, saying yes all the time is not always internally felt. There are times I am tired, have other obligations, or just don’t feel like being there, but somehow, I still say YES. In James 5:12, we are told “…let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no…” If I say YES, but my heart or mind or body is screaming NO, then I am not in sync with what God is calling me to do. I become a walking contradiction!

So the epiphany for me tonight (and please don’t laugh)! I actually have to say NO sometimes. A powerful person is able to choose to say no because he or she needs time to rest, meditate, and enjoy life. When I say YES to everyone, I find myself stretched thin and of little help to anyone…including myself! When I say YES to everything, I don’t have the much-needed time to spend with God, learning and growing in my knowledge, understanding, and relationship with Him and His Word. When I say YES to everybody, I have to admit, I become bitter or resentful because sometimes I just want to say NO, but I don’t. When I say YES to everyone, I end up drained and empty.

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I am just now really learning to say NO because I cannot be everywhere, with everyone, at every moment. It just isn’t possible. So, as I practice becoming and building the skills necessary to be a powerful person as scripture defines, I have some choices to make:

1. Quality time over quantity of time!!
2. Meaningful and deep relations with others over empty and shallow ones!
3. Lingering, intimate time with God over rushed moments here and there!

Ah, so much to learn and so far to go on this journey to becoming Christ like, and so very excited to see where God leads me!

Praying that you too will be true to your heart, to the calling of God, and to building a deeper, more intimate, stronger relationship with God. Take time each day to devote to Him, saying NO to the things that interfere. As the Psalmist says in Psalm 139:23-24:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.

Let the Lord reveal the things in life you need to let go of, the things you need to say NO to, and let Him lead you to the things you need to say YES to.  All my love and may your week be blessed to overflowing ❤

Shine!

“You are the light of the world.
A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket,
but on the lampstand,
and it gives light to all who are in the house.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
~ Matthew 5:14-16

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God designed us all to be beacons of light that emanate his love, grace, forgiveness, and beauty to the world. When life throws us hardships, chaos, disappointment, sorrow, trials, tribulations, heartache, and an endless supply of curve balls, often we sink inside the ‘basket’ where no one can see us. In my journey, I have had my share of trials, tribulations, heartache and pain, and at times I lost my desire to shine, but somewhere deep within, God always tugs at my heart and mind, whispering to my soul, and reminding me that it is in the most difficult of times that my light shines the brightest. It is in the moments where I want to run and hide, avoiding the world, that I have to step out on faith, step out on God’s promise to bring me good and not bad, to bring me a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). For when I step out of my pain and trust what God is doing, then the light of the Lord shines brighter than the full moon on the darkest of nights. God is love. God is hope. God is joy. God is peace.

So, even when life knocks you down and throws punches where it hurts the most, remember in that moment that you can be the beacon of God in the lives of those around you. Don’t be a shrinking violet, be the stunning sunflower: stand tall, look to the heavens for help, and stay firmly rooted in the Lord. He has always seen me through, and in this difficult trial filled with confusion and heartache, I know he will yet again!! I also know he will see you through the tough circumstances and tribulations of your life, bringing you to a place of beautiful peace and never-ending joy….a place where you will be the brightest light for all around to see the glory of God!

God bless and keep you and may you be the lighthouse to others through your storm.

All my love ❤

Guide Me!

It is in the moments of chaos and uncertainty that I am reminded that my life is not my own. I surrendered my life to God years ago, yet I continually try to hold tight to it, trying to go down paths that are not mine to claim. As the Lord continues to orchestrate events in my life, I have come to realize that more and more in one way, shape or form, he is guiding my footsteps in the path he designed for me. Though I have fear and doubt, though I don’t always understand his ways, though I cannot see clearly what he is doing in my life, I shall continue to place my trust in the Lord and the knowledge that he has great plans for me and for my son. Remember to let go and let God, cause he will never let you down. All my love and blessings ❤

Wandering

Wow! How life can sometimes chew you up and spit you out! When we wander the field of our minds, we can often get stuck there, feeling as if hope is a fairytale spun by those with the “perfect” life. But in reality, there is no perfect life. Life is filled with ups and downs, chaos and peace, beauty and ugliness, joy and sorrow. Life has unexpected storms that can knock us down and keep us down for the count. But we are so richly blessed that we have a God who, despite the feelings and emotions, reminds us He is with us!! We have a God that holds us tight in our wanderings and for that I am ever so thankful….for even when I don’t feel it, I know He is there, somewhere!

“I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away,
bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick;
but I will destroy the fat and the strong,
and feed them in judgment.”
~ Ezekiel 34:16

Wandering

Anger erodes my thoughts
Directed aimlessly in the dark
There’s nowhere to turn
I am lost in uncertainty
Deception is everywhere
Victim to my emotions
My heart is broken
My soul lays shattered and torn
A vault sealed against further hurt
Yet it surrounds me
Making me face its fury
I am weak
I am tired
Faith and hope are fading
Peace is nonexistent
Lord bless me amidst the wandering

The More I Seek

The more I seek, the more I find!  The farther I fall, the deeper I dive into you O Lord!  The harder life hits, the more I seek you!  Be my vision, be my guide, be my all in this world dear Lord.  May I thirst for you, hunger for you, strive to be like you.  Though I may fall short, though I may sin, though I am weak and restless….may my heart and soul always long for you.  May your passion well up and shine brighter than the noon day sun.  I will praise you O Lord in all things, especially amidst the pain and turmoil of this life!

O Lord!

faithcoffeeandbluejeans.blogspot.com

faithcoffeeandbluejeans.blogspot.com

There are so many times amidst my journey through this life that I struggle with right and wrong. I know the right thing to do, I know the Godly choices to make, I know the pure path I must walk, but that does not mean I don’t stumble and fall into sin and temptation. I strive to be the righteous woman God so deserves me to be, and created me to be, but there are times when the fleshly desires consume, and the battle is momentarily lost. However, I praise God even when I fall! For His love is never-ending. His grace and mercy are new every morning. His forgiveness is deeper than I can comprehend. Even when I knowingly stagger into the sins of the flesh, I am ever so thankful that He rescues me, reminds me I am chosen and loved, sets my feet on the path of righteousness, and fills my heart with a renewed hope and strength. It is my ongoing prayer that God will continue to reveal my weaknesses to me that I may become strong through Him!

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
~ Psalm 139:23 ~

Oh, Lord I thank you for every breath that You give me. Each one is a reminder that I am loved, created for a purpose, and have much more to do before my time in this foreign land is done. I pray that you will search my heart, see the evil within, and purge me Lord of those things unpleasing to you. I want to walk a holy and righteous life that reflects only YOU, but if I am real and honest, I must admit it is a daily struggle. Give me your strength oh Lord and help me to be the woman you designed me to be. Be my shield against the temptations Satan brings my way, and help me to stand strong in your word and your ways. When I stumble or fall Lord, convict my heart, heal my wounded soul, and bring me back to the path you designed just for me. I thank you that you never leave me, never forsake me, and always love me. I praise you for your never-ending forgiveness and merciful grace. Be with me Lord in all I do, giving me courage and discernment always. With my heart I surrender all!

Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me!
~ Psalm 23:4 ~

johnlund.com

johnlund.com

O Lord!

Illuminate the darkness within
Strengthen weaknesses known and unknown
Guide me O Lord

Bind my broken heart
Heal my battered soul
Restore me O Lord

Prepare me for all that is to come
Set my feet on holy ground
Protect me O Lord

Lift up my eyes to the heavens
Show me the way everlasting
Revive me O Lord

Because?

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ,
set your hearts on things above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things above,
not on earthly things.
~ Colossians 3:1-3 ~

Because?

Crucified with Christ
It is not I that live
But Christ in me

Why then do I struggle so
Why does the flesh take hold

I am a child of God
Bought with the life of Christ
With inheritance in the Lord’s Kingdom

Why then do I do what I don’t want to do
Why don’t I do what I need to do

I set my mind on things above
Focus my heart on heavenly things
Pray for strength to resist the temptations

Why then can’t I give up the ways of the world
Why can’t I stand strong

Living by faith in the Son of God
The One who gave His life for me
He lives in my heart and soul

Why then Oh Lord is the struggle so deep
Why do I succumb