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Journey in Relationships

I have found myself exceedingly blessed with a wonderful Godly man with which I am spending time getting to know and we are growing in our walk with God both independently and together. However, though we are both Christians and want to please the Lord and bring him honor and glory in our relationship, life has a way of challenging that mentality. The journey to purity is never easy, but always worth it! I was blessed to be reminded of this song and wanted to share it. No matter what trials, temptations, or tribulations we may face, if we fix our eyes on the Lord, all things will work out for our good!

May you be blessed and remember that “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13. This does not mean that we can bear the temptation in our own strength and might, but rather through strength in Christ we can stand and walk in obedience to God (Phil. 4:13).

Blessing and love to you all ❤

Perfectly Imperfect ~Pretty Lies by Veridia

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
so that you may prove what is the good, well pleasing, and perfect will of God. ~ Romans 12:2

As we approach New Years Day, it is common to make New Years resolutions. The only problem is that many, if not all, of the resolutions that are made by the majority of people deal with the external being–Losing weight, eating right, working out, getting outdoors more frequently, etc. These are focusing on the outside…the looks, the appearance, the body image. They are temporary, and who determines when you have lost enough weight, whether you are eating right, or if you are getting outdoors enough? When is enough good enough? Who sets the bar? Resolutions to improve the external shell are wonderful, don’t get me wrong! However, if it is society telling you to lose weight, eat right, exercise more, than your resolutions will not succeed for societal views of perfection can never truly be achieved (hence the reason why resolutions typically fail)! After all, if we were able to be “perfect” then why the need to airbrush/Photoshop ads? Why would we need to starve ourselves or exercise till we break if perfection could be obtained?

Instead of focusing on the outside this year, take some time to devote to the inside…the heart, the mind, the soul. The goal of life it not to be perfect, for we are “perfectly imperfect” beings! The goal of life is to be perfected through the blood of Christ, who was born and died for you! The only way to change the outside, is to first change the inside. You were created by God on purpose for a purpose and your body is not yours…despite how you may feel! It is the Lord’s. If you focus your energy on God, his commands, his love for you, his sacrifice for you, his never-ending grace towards you, and his endless mercy, then you will see that you are perfectly imperfect, which is just how it should be! It is in our imperfections that we are able to see our need for God. If we were perfect we wouldn’t need him!! When you accept that you are imperfect, you can accept who you are, where you are, and how you look and feel about yourself. When God is at the center, the external becomes a part of the journey. However, if the external is at the center, you will never be happy because there is always someone prettier, handsomer, richer, smarter, more athletic, and on and on it goes. You will never find happiness or true joy if you try to reach the illusion of perfection!

Perfectly imperfect 2

So, rather than focusing on the external this year, shift your center to the internal. Find your peace with God and with whom he created you to be. Find peace with all of you–your looks, your job, your family, your life. No matter how imperfect, you are in God’s hands and he will work all things out for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose—that is YOU! Believe me, I know hard times and how hard it is to see yourself as beautiful when life tells you otherwise!! Remember, you are “PERFECTLY IMPERFECT” and that is breathtakingly BEAUTIFUL!!!

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~ Ephesians 2:10

For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future. ~ Jeremiah 29:11

And we know that God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose. ~ Romans 8:28

May you pray more, dive into scriptural truths, and spend some time listening to God’s still small voice midst the noisy chaos of life! I assure you that when you do, you will find true joy in who you are, no matter the circumstances.

All my love and blessings for a wonderful, fabulous, enriching new year! ❤

The Mess and the Masterpiece

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There are times when the church and those within its walls are considered to be hypocrites, which turns many off to the church experience. The reality is that every human being in existence is a hypocrite, whether they acknowledge it or not (only Christ walked the line of pure truth and never came close to being hypocritical).  There is one standard we tend to set for ourselves, while we often hold a higher standard for others. There have been moments where someone has promised something that went undelivered. There have been times where a parent has told a child not to something they consider inappropriate, only to turn around and do the very same thing they just told their child not to do. There are times where people lie, whether a little white lie or bold-faced lie, it is still a lie and not a true representation of what we think or feel. There are moments where we all lose our temper, saying things that can be hurtful out of anger or pain when we know better. I think you get my drift. People screw up. We make messes in our life, and at times the lives of others, whether on purpose or accident. We all make mistakes and we all walk the line of being a hypocrite each day that we have life and breath in our bodies. I have been labeled a hypocrite at times for a variety of reasons, some good and accurate, others out of anger or frustration when someone does not like what I have to say.

The purpose of church is not to create perfect people, it is to help broken people find healing and hope in their Creator! The purpose of church is not to point out faults, but to meet you where you are, and bring forgiveness and love! The purpose of church is not to clean up life’s messes for you and make it all better, but to point you in the direction of the One True God who can come alongside of you and lead you out of them, creating a stronger, more faithful, loving, and compassionate person!

Today’s sermon, titled “The Mess and the Masterpiece” speak to this beautifully, so I figured I would share it with you. May it bless you as it did me.

All my love ❤

Run the Race! ~ Lauren Daigle (Trust In You)

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31

As I continually embark on life’s journey, there are always hills and mountains that hinder me. There are valleys that bring me low and rivers so wide I feel I will drown if I even attempt to move! Each and every day brings challenges that are beyond my control and most assuredly, well beyond my strength! I know that scripture says that God does not give me more than I can handle, but truth is he does that all the time (1 Corinthians 10:13). However, he never gives me anything I can’t handle with HIM at my side.

There are mountains I can’t climb, but He carries me over them every time. There are rivers I will certainly drown in if I try to swim across, but He sends His boat to carry me across. There are valleys that bring me to a state of despair, but He continually encourages me, reminding me that He is on the other side waiting with open arms! There are temptations that my flesh desires greatly, but as always, He is there whispering words of love and grace, opening a door for my escape.

God is so good, and as I look back on my life and where the journey has taken me and brought me, I consistently see where God’s hand has steadied me and provided the rock on which I stand. He has guided me, strengthened me, encouraged me, and loved me through it all. He never promised life would be easy, but He promised to be with me through it all (Matthew 28:20, Deuteronomy 31:6-8).

“Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered,
each to his own home, and to leave Me alone;
and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you have tribulation, but take courage;
I have overcome the world.”
John 16:32-33

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not despairing;
persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed;
2 Corinthians 4:8-9

God is good, always has been, always will be! Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, and in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5, Isaiah 26:4, Psalm 62:8).

Strength of My Heart

If then you were raised with Christ,
seek those things which are above
where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on things above,
not on things on earth.
~ Colossians 3:1-2

Strength of My Heart

The nightmares continue
Streams of attacks from Satan to deter
Seeking to destroy
To take my eyes off the prize
Trying to overwhelm me with the here and now
Stealing hope and joy
Opening illusions before me that I will fail
Persecution comes like a crushing wave
Yet tied to God I remain
I refuse to let go
To give up the peace for which I have fought so hard
Lord, focus my mind and heart on things to come
Looking forward to what God has in store
Satan has no power or control here
Earth has nothing I desire besides You oh Lord
My flesh and my heart may fail
But God is the strength of my heart
My portion forever

How God Works in Your Life

A couple of Sundays ago pastor did a sermon on how God works in your life. It really stuck with me and as the weeks have progressed, and I feel compelled to share what God has put on my heart. God is a just and wonderful God who can work all things for the good of those he loves and calls according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Even in the darkest of days and the worst of nights, his loving hand is behind the scenes tirelessly working to bring good in your life. You may not see it, you certainly won’t feel it, but God is always with you, through every storm and fire.

God fulfills his promises…every single one…be it the good and the bad. God brings encouragement, love, guidance, wisdom, and peace, but he also brings judgment, conviction, and vengeance. When you are walking in the light of his love, you tend to feel his presence so greatly, feeling blessed, joyous even. However, when sin is done to you or you are walking in sin, you often feel like God has abandoned you, left you to your own devices. There is a bit of truth to that, but his word still stands true. Let me explain. If you are living in sin, God cannot be in that sin with you as he can take no part in sin. There is a rift between God and human when we sin; a curtain between you and the perfect, holy God of the universe. With that said, there is still hope, as even in your sin, God is faithful to continue to draw you near to him, to seek you out, and bang on the door of your heart with conviction and judgment. Scripture states that he will never leave you nor forsake you, and that though we are all sinners, he still sent his son that we might have atonement and restoration.

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
~ Deuteronomy 31:8

But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood,
we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
~ Romans 5:8-9

Know that no matter your life circumstance, no matter the path you are walking at this very moment, no mater where your journey has taken you, God is always watching, knowing all that is going on and working to fulfill his promises to you. Remember, when you are rebellious and living in sin, God will provide consequences to draw you back to his throne of grace and mercy and when you are obedient to his call you will find peace, joy, and hope.

Life has a way of beating up even the strongest person, and this is a constant reminder that we live in a sin filled world where pain, hurt, and destruction come at each and every person daily. Again, you may create some of this pain and destruction yourself or it may be done to you. Either way, God is taking the opportunity for Satan to sift your life like wheat. Take comfort in knowing you are not alone in the sifting!!

One of the most infamous people in scripture that were sifted by Satan was Job. Job’s servants were murdered, his herds of animals destroyed, his children killed, his house collapsed, his health taken from him. Job was stripped of everything that made him who he was. He lost all comforts. He lost all his provision. He lost his health. Yet still he chose to praise the Lord, saying “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” ~ Job 1:21. His wife left him, his friends accused him of sinning in some way to bring such great destruction on himself. Yet, even then, Job did not blame God, but rather stated: “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” ~ Job 2:10b

Through his darkest of times, through the hardest struggles of his life, in the time of loneliness, God was still with Job, orchestrating blessings for his child. Though all was taken from Job with the Lord’s permission, he was blessed twice over what he had originally. He was prosperous again, he had silver and gold, more livestock than he had in the beginning, and numerous sons and daughters. His cup was filled to overflowing. Out of misery, pain, heartache, hardships, destruction, and fear, God brought good back to Job, making his life better than it was previously.

Peter also was sifted by Satan, and forewarned that it was coming by Christ himself. Christ told him that he would deny Christ three times and Peter indeed did just that (Luke 22:31-34, 54-62). Despite his failure, Peter moved on to become one of the foundation stones in the creation of the early church. God used his failure, this sifting of Satan, to reveal to Peter that he was not as strong as he thought, which enabled him to surrender and find freedom through the power of Christ to build the church.

So though God is sifting you, know that he is shaking up your security to help you examine your life and realign with God’s purpose for you. Sifting also reveals to you what you are made of. When your life hits bumps in the road and chaos or destruction ensues, your weaknesses and strengths come to the surface. Your fears and anxieties that hold you back are brought to light. Your insecurities and the darkness that lies in the heart are shown. God does his best work in your life when you are free from the frailties of the flesh! When you are holding onto the very things that draw you away from God, you will never find restoration and freedom in your life. Therefore, God allows you to be sifted, for you to fall, for others to bring sin into your life. For it is in those times that he brings meaning to who you are, depth of understanding to your heart, freedom to live unhindered, and deep cleansing from all that holds you back from the good things he has planned for you.

Know my friends that God loves you as you are but he won’t let you stay that way, for he is always refining, renewing, and making you more like Christ in all things. He will repair what is broken, but you must remember that sometimes to heal you must hurt. Just as without stitches, an open wound will cause you to bleed to death, but the stitches hurt, so too when God heals the wounds of the heart, soul, and mind, he must stitch them, which brings pain for a moment, but health for a lifetime.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for
and certain of what we do not see.
~ Hebrews 11:1

For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord
Plans to bring you good and not harm
Plans to bring you hope and a future.
~ Jeremiah 29:11

Have confidence through life’s trials, knowing God is working all things for your good. He will bring healing, restoration, and peace beyond understanding. Trust in him and have faith that He loves you more than you can ever comprehend. He is faithful and will enable all the pain, trials, and devastation of life to make you stronger, healthier, and wiser than you were in the past.

May the peace of God shine upon you and his love remind you that he is with you always. God bless and keep you and may you endure the hardships of life, knowing there are good and better things to come!

In Christ’s love ❤

Let’s Play Ball

Life is a constant war, a game if you will, where the players are not of this world. We are but rookies in this game of life, and must learn to rely on something stronger than ourselves to make it through. I cannot avoid Satan’s snares, the temptations of the flesh, without the strength of the Lord! For the Lord is my strength and my refuge in times of help…He is my shield and my sword…my light and my all. With that said….

Let’s Play Ball

Fighting battles everyday
Knowing Satan wants to play
Here I stand, a player in the first inning
Aware the battle is just beginning
1 strike
2 strikes
3 strikes
I am out
Walking away filled with doubt
2 innings
3 innings
4 innings down
The scoreboard shows I am losing ground
Satan swings
He hits
He scores
The game is not lost, more is in store
God is pitching now
1 strike
2 strikes
3 strikes
Temptation does not succeed
Upon my heart it will not feed
5 innings
6 innings
7 inning stretch
God’s encouraging, loving arms outstretched
8 innings in and the game is tied
The battle rages on inside
The ninth inning is here
Satan scores a homerun
Though the battle for my soul is not done
My final at bat
I hit
I miss
Strike 1
Strike 2
I pray, I seek, I focus on what is true
Satan pitches
With bated breath I stand
Ball meets bat, praying for a grand slam
I run, and run
Avoiding Satan’s snare
Only to be tagged out
And thus find myself in despair
Yet still the game is not done
The bases are loaded
Christ is at bat
First swing out the door
A homerun is scored
Thus the scoreboard stands…
Satan – 3
Christ – 4
The battle lay in God’s hands
Not of my own ability could I win
Only with God’s strength can I beat sin