A message to the single Christian ladies out there

When I was eleven years old I felt the hand of God in a way that I would guess isn’t common. I remember that while other girls were writing “I love Joe ” ( or whatever name), I was writing “I love Jesus”. I wanted more than anything to serve him and really loved hearing from missionaries and reading their stories.  Then one day I met Bill.  
He was different than the other guys I’d known. He seemed genuinely to care about me. He was fun to hang out with and he was willing to go to church. One day, it was clear to me that Bill was never going to take church seriously. He was there for me, not for  God.  I knew the time has come to end it, missions dating should not be a thing, I knew this.  

I tried, really… And I knew it was the right thing to do, but when he said he loved me and would do anything to make it work. I let myself believe the lie. That I could have both. Missions work and Bill.  That evening, without realizing it fully I chose him over God. 

We were married a year and a half later and shortly there after he started going to church less and less.  Then one day, he said “I’m done with this nonsense, I tried to believe. I wanted to believe, but I just don’t”. That was over twenty years ago and except on rare occasion he has never gone back. 

I have lived with regret and resentment fit all these years. Marriage is a.covenant,i can’t walk away. Time travel has not been invented so I can’t go back and choose  God when I should have. All I can do is release my dreams to God and know that the story is still unfolding, that no life is beyond redemption. 

I say all of this to make this point, If you are married to an unbeliever, hold fast. He can be won by your silent witness.  If; however, you are still single and seeking  God’s will and you are dating an unbeliever run away! Hold fast to God.  Put him first, choose him send he will put the man of His choosing in your life. 

Walking away after you are emotionally attached is hard. Dating can not and should not be a mission field.  Dating should be finding a life partner that will put God first. When God is first everything else will fall into place. I didn’t follow this advice and have lived to have regret. I am ever thankful for the redeeming power of God’s love. 

To Dance with the Lord

Reflecthim's Weblog

All of life is a dance and my partner is Jesus. I must learn to be sensitive to His guidance, to be aware of His moving. If I remember during our time together each morning to lean in close, to inhale deeply the fragrance of His love and Mercy, then His fragrance will linger on me. It will refresh the souls of those around me as they catch the scent. Like a familiar cologne they may not fully recognize for what it is, it should be reminiscent of a home they have not yet known.

Through out the day my mind goes back to our moments shared in the morning and my heart is refreshed as I whisper to myself a reminder that he is closer than the air I breathe, that His throne room is in my heart. Like one of those automated air fresheners, he restores my soul…

View original post 337 more words

Rejoice in the Lord!

In this life there will always be hard things. We will have less than perfect relationships, jobs, finances… you get it, because your life isn’t perfect either. Sometimes, our circumstances can seem so big, that we just can’t see anything else. It is in these times, right now as a matter of fact, that I remember, Paul wrote these words from prison. Not fairly warm well fed American prison, but from a prison under Roman rule. A prison during and era and in a society that was arguably one of the cruelest societies ever.

My joy doesn’t come from the things of this world and I am thankful for that. As much as I love my husband, my children, my extended family I would be remiss to allow them to be the source of my joy. AS fallible humans they will let me down. Just as I too will let them down. Jesus; however, will never let me down. My finances may be insufficient to pay all my bills, but the grace of our great God will never be insufficient. This is the source of peace that passes understanding. In the midst of the storm, I am joyful, because I know that the promise was never to pull me out of my circumstances, but to love me through them. Sometimes, he calms the wind and the waves, but other times He walks me through. I am thankful today for who God is and that he is in control no matter where I am. If I will stop and listen, he will guide me through.

He will guide you through too! Draw close to him. Listen to his voice, he will keep you on the narrow path.

34They did not destroy the peoples, As the LORD commanded them, 35But they mingled with the nations And learned their practices, 36And served their idols, Which became a snare to them. 37They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, 38And shed innocent blood, The blood of their sons and their daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with the blood. 39Thus they became unclean in their practices, And played the harlot in their deeds. 40Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against His people And He abhorred His inheritance. 41Then He gave them into the hand of the nations, And those who hated them ruled over them. 42Their enemies also oppressed them, And they were subdued under their power. 43Many times He would deliver them; They, however, were rebellious in their counsel, And so sank down in their iniquity. 44Nevertheless He looked upon their distress When He heard their cry; 45And He remembered His covenant for their sake, And relented according to the greatness of His loving kindness. 46He also made them objects of compassion In the presence of all their captors. 47Save us, O LORD our God, And gather us from among the nations, To give thanks to Your holy name And glory in Your praise. 48Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, From everlasting even to everlasting. And let all the people say, “Amen.” Praise the LORD!

How ironic that I should pick up this scripture today. I am struggling with very real issues that stem from allowing the world to sneak in the back door. You let one little seemingly harmless thing into your life and next thing you know all his friends are throwing a proverbial party right there in your living room. Suddenly, you find yourself out of control being carried by a force that has become much bigger than you wondering “how did we get here?” If you have sin in your life, no matter how small you must eradicate it. You must war with your flesh and get rid of all that is not directly of God.

As we fight to rid ourselves of the “old man”, it is helpful to turn our eyes on how we can be blessing to those around us. While it is imperative that we examine our own hearts, we lose the point if we spend too much time focusing on ourselves. Our holiness is all about our relationship with Him, our relationship with Him is all about relating to others and fulfilling the great commission that all man would become followers of Christ.

There is a precarious balance between loving the world and being part of it. We are told in the Bible that Jesus spent his time with liars and thieves. It was them that he showed love to. The religious sects were the ones that he was hard on. The ones that he called “white washed tombs”. We must be the love of God, exude his fragrance to the world around us and that does mean going where people are; however, it does not mean to do what they are doing. For example, I have been known to go to the local bar and hang out with and talk to some of the people there; however, while I am there I do not participate in lascivious or drunken behavior. It seems as though I should mention that I do not, nor have I ever had, an issue with alcohol. If I had ever had such an issue, I wouldn’t be tempting myself in that way. It also seems pertinent to mention that I don’t “Lord it over them” that I am not getting drunk or doing other things that would sully my testimony. If I act like I am somehow better than others they are not going to like or want to be around me. My purpose in hanging out there though has been served multiple times, because I am seen as the “religious” one, they come to me when tragedy strikes.

In my humble opinion, the key to balancing loving hte people of the world and not being part of the world is being others focused. That is to say, not thinking about what I am or am not doing, but about being interested in the lives of other people. Reaching them where they are for the gospel first requires that we are walking the talk so to speak and living holy lives. It also requires that we spend time letting people know that we care about them as people. It is an insult to think that someone who does not know me, would have any of the answers to my life problems. Jesus is always the answer, but our goal in sharing with them it to clear the way for them to see their own personal need for Jesus and most of the time, this is a process that takes time. Just like the process that each of us who already know Jesus as our personal saviour is in becoming the person He intended us to be.

God does not want us to be happy

Recently,during a conversation about the sanctity of marriage, it was suggested that if one partner were not happy that it would be ok with God for them to pack up and leave, because God wants them to be happy. This caused me to think about it. If God loves us, would He wants us to do something that is clearly against His word, simply because “it makes us happy”. of Our mere happiness I dare say, is not God’s main objective toward us. I believe we are called to first be holy and that God will provide an abundance of joy that overflows from living first for Him.

Didn’t Jesus say that if your eyes causes you to sin to pluck it out, because it is better to enter heaven disabled than to succumb to sin? I think this applies to all of things in this world that are not holy, but we do them because they make us happy. Happiness is fleeting. Only the joy of the Lord can last. The joy of the Lord is my strength when times are hard and happiness evades me.

Focus first on loving God with all of your heart, soul, and strength and then all these things will be added until you. Thank you, Lord that you are my joy and that this joy is sustainable even through the storms of life.

Grace

Today is my twenty-first wedding anniversary. Days like this cause me to look back at where we have come from. I am ever thankful to my God that I am not who I was, although, admittedly being no where near where I would like to be. God has been gracious to help me grow, He has been good to me in never letting go even when I fall and I often do. Don’t we all?

As I ponder the great grace of our God, I find myself saddened by the lack of grace in His people and unfortunately, I must include myself in this. I admit that I have fallen into the trap of following the rules and telling others to “come be good like me”, feeling proud that I had followed so many of God’s rules; however, God is not a God of rules and regulations. He is a God of relationship. Please do not take this to mean that we owe God anything less than our best, anything less than to strive to be holy as He is holy. What I do mean, is that we are all in different places and we need to give others a little bit of grace in our imperfections (not our blatant sin), and a lot of space to learn and grow as we come along side in love and pray for each other.

I hear a lot about doctrinal purity and getting it right, but what frightens me is that we will be overly focused on knowing about God and not on knowing Him. A day will come when many will hear “depart, I never knew you”. Get into the word, acknowledge where are in life, and take the hand of God and walk with Him. He will guide you into a pure and holy life one step at a time.

We must also exhort our brothers to do the same and lovingly understand that my walk is not your walk. Pray for one another and spend as much time as you can sitting at the feet of our Savior.

There are moments when I look at the insurmountable task it would require to see any real change in this world and I feel so small, so insignificant. Watching the news can be depressing. Our government is out of control, our people love iniquity and hate life, what is good is being called bad and bad is being called good, the whole world seems upside down. In these moments, I consider that I am but one person and wonder “what can I do?”. Then I remember who I am and who God is.

Ecclesiastes 5:2 – 2 [a] Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.

Romans 12:3 – 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

2 Corinthians 4:1-6 – Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 — 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; …

I am not enough. I can not do the job. We together probably can’t but, we are not fighting against men, we are fighting a spiritual battle and the great God of all is on our side. He is bigger than our enemies, this is a battle of spiritual warfare, not a physical one. I know that my God is able and I am so thankful that he gives me the strength to do my part and I can rely on him to do the rest. As Lecrae says in his song background, “I throw the dice to trust you, you cause the dice to land”

When the task ahead of us seems insurmountable, we need only do our part, as God has commanded us and then remember the rest is up to God. Most of the battles the life brings us to will be won as we spend time on our knees before God.