i may differ than most when i say trials are welcomed in my life. here’s why, i know the Lord is doing a work in me when they occur and He’s molding me into more of the woman He’s designed me to be. more times than i’d like to admit, i fail but that’s exactly how we learn! i like to believe, He is “trial-ing” me because He thinks i’m ready. and if i fail, it just means i’ve got more to learn!
thank you Lord for picking on me!
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
going to church can be a sore subject for a lot of reasons. some don’t like organized religion, others may feel like it’s not for them or the people are too judgey. still others say it’s boring or not relevant or they just have better things to do. and some have rightfully so been hurt by the church. for me, although there could be some validity to one or all of these (or an array of other excuses,) i go because i expect the Spirit to show up! i go expecting to get something, whether it’s a kind word from a friend or a slamming sermon or music that hits you right where you need it, He is there in the midst of it all. is it always a home run every week? no, but when you go expecting Him to move, He never disappoints!
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
truth be told, some days i just don’t want to move. i’m so tired. beaten down by the every day things while still trying to deal with the fringe that seems to constantly cover me.
i was woken up out of a sound sleep the other night with 3 words ringing in my ear. no significance to me but i was not able to go back to sleep until i wrestled with them for a little bit … “shaken not stirred” … hmmm … this is what i came up with:
sometimes i think i am shaken. everything jumbled, harshly mixed up, no order, choppy. comes with a headache and a wondering of what goes where, nothing is in order, nothing makes sense.
on the other hand, i am stirred. smoothly mixed, with purpose and with an Instrument not under my control. designed to be mixed and smoothed out, for Him. everything blended into one while the whirling takes place. no headache but dizzy from the ride.
He has a purpose for everything. i will gladly choose to be stirred not shaken, any day!
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:13
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, Ephesians 1:11
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Let Him In
you want raw…here’s raw: I compromise who I am because I want something so badly. sometimes my actions contradict the person I claim to be. please don’t get me wrong, I am a woman of faith, who clings to my Father in all circumstances and always finds refuge under His wings! I know beyond the shadow of a doubt He guides and protects me and loves me with an undying love! and ultimately I only want His will in my life! but with all that said, I’m human. and I will never claim to be more than that. I’m so so glad my salvation isn’t dependent on me, but His grace and love for me!
friends, don’t want something so badly that you compromise who God made you to be!
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 3:23 NIV
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
Ephesians 2:8 NIV
I’m a ‘tell it like it is’ girl. I wear my emotions on my sleeve, even if it makes me look like a putz. there are great advantages to having this strength, like you know you’ll always get 100% from me, you’ll never have to guess what I’m feeling (because, by golly, I’m going to tell you) and you can count on what I’m saying to be brutally honest. but quite frankly this gets me into trouble sometimes. thankfully I serve a God who nudges me to work on the areas in my life that need improvement.
more and more I believe He’s working on this in me. I need to separate the emotional from the realistic. and stop seizing every moment I feel I should. so although I am the silhouette in this picture, there is a time for everything and everything has its place!
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV
sometimes it’s simple to point out your priorities. things like God, your family, your job, yourself! but other times, not so much. look at where you spend your time and you’ll see what’s most important to you. does what you do reflect what you say your priorities are?
most likely, where you spend your time isn’t “bad” but if it distracts from your priorities, so much so as they are neglected, then take a look! don’t get caught up in thinking that something or someone deserves your time until God has revealed the path to be taken.
you’ll always find time for what’s important. make sure your priorities are worthy of your time.
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV
I am so grieved every time I hear or read of an LGBT individual who is being persecuted for who they are. whether it’s by words or actions the damage being done is long lasting and takes an emotional toll that no one, not even the one being bashed, can describe. the worst part is most of the bashing comes from individuals who claim to have the love of God inside them.
the God I serve IS LOVE! and the last time I checked it is only because of His grace we can call ourselves saved. period.
show His love! … anything else confuses the gospel of Christ!
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Ephesians 2:4-5 NIV
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Psalm 86:5 NIV
something I learned very early on in life: whoever gossips to you will also gossip of you. oh how true this is!
I will be the first to admit, I have spoken ill of others when they’ve wronged me, most of us probably have. but just because we may think we have good reason, does not make it right. make an effort, not an excuse!
when you fall victim to whispers of harsh words it doesn’t feel so great does it? if the person you are speaking of were to walk in and you have to stop speaking, chances are you should not be saying what you’re saying!
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29 NIV
If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…
do you ever care so much about something that words escape you when praying about it/them? it happens for me. maybe it’s because I don’t trust myself to pray the correct words or fear of praying about it from an incorrect perspective or I don’t know if I can make a difference or I just feel like I’m praying the same thing over and over. whatever the reason, I still know prayer is extremely important!
I hold steadfastly to the knowledge that the Spirit intercedes on my behalf but now I also write out my prayers. my main area of concern, my kids! I take scripture and personalize it to them. this blows the door off prayer. you can be as general or specific as you’d like.
take for instance Ephesians 3:16-19, one of my prayers looks like this:
I pray that out of Your glorious riches You strengthen them with power through Your Spirit in their being. so that You dwell in their hearts… I pray that they grasp how wide and long and high and deep Your love is. and to know Your love that surpasses knowledge- that they may be filled to measure [and beyond] of all Your fullness!
the possibilities are endless!
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
Romans 8:26 NLT
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV
God’s grace is so massive! to try to explain it would not do it justice. over and over again we put our foot in our mouth or we make decisions that weren’t the best for us or someone else involved. or better yet, we move in a direction we know we shouldn’t. bottom line: we sin. and the beauty of it all is He’s got us covered. waiting for us to look to Him instead. He cleans up our messes, sometimes without us even having to ask. and in all cases, He works it for our own good – if we would just allow Him.
to begin to understand how, and more importantly why, He does we must first understand we cannot mistake His grace for acceptance of the wrongs we’ve committed!
The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, (Romans 5:20 NIV)
may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, (Ephesians 3:18 NIV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)