No More Guilt, No More Shame

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Thinking about our past failures a lot of times can cause us to hang our head in shame. It can cause us to cringe and maybe even hide if a certain topic is brought up. Paul had a lot to be ashamed about after becoming a follower of Christ. He persecuted Christians with confidence and a smile. He hunted them down and made sure of their torture or execution. If you read any of his letters he doesn’t hide those sins though. He is very open about his past sins and how vile he was, even calling himself chief among sinners. He took the chance to praise the Father for His mercy anytime he talked about his past. He didn’t let the shame bury him, instead he turned it into a message.

So if Paul can do that, can’t we? Instead of running from our past sins, we can own up to them and praise the Father for His mercy and grace. Of course, we can be discreet to protect others we may have sinned against, but we can boast on how merciful the Father was to us. Satan wants nothing more than for us to hide our sin and run from it. He wants to hold it over our heads and make us feel shameful. He knows the power in sins being brought to light and how it can help others.

Paul shared his mess to further God’s message.

Maybe that’s another reason Paul spoke of his past sins so freely. Maybe he knew there were others who had murdered and lived a life of wickedness. He may have been showing them that there was hope for them. If Paul, of all men, could be redeemed and forgiven, then couldn’t they? He was so confident of Jesus’ death on the cross and the blood that was shed. He knew he was a changed man because of mercy extended to him. So may be he wanted others to know that he was once where they found themselves.

Too often I think non-believers look at us and feel inferior. We share the good in our lives and we leave out the bad we have done. They feel as if they could never be who we are and they stay in bondage. Like I said, we can be discreet, but we don’t have to hide our past failures.

You never know when the Father will use your past to change someone’s present. Boast on the Father’s mercy and how He redeemed you from who you once were, giving hope to those around you.

Father, thank You for never giving up on us. You saw something good when we saw something worthless. You want to use our past to reach others. Help us to allow You to use our past for Your glory. We don’t have to hide in shame, though we aren’t proud of our past we can show others that there is hope. We don’t glory in our sin, but we glory in Your redemption and mercy. Help us to fight the feeling of guilt and worthlessness. You reached out to us so we could be a vessel of honor and a city on a hill. So do Your work in others through our failures and bring them to your redeeming love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

I Timothy 1:15-16

 

 

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Growing Pains

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Being a parent can be so taxing. We spend most of our young adult to middle age life training and teaching our little ones. In my mind most days seem to really drag by, but in reality it’s zooming by so quickly. Don’t do this, do that, stop hitting, stop calling names, and the list goes on. Those are frequent sayings in our home. Then there comes the times where we have to do things that our children may not understand. Things that may be hard for them, but we know they are beneficial for them.

Have you been there? The responsibility we have as parents can be overwhelming. Times where you have to make decisions and you know what you need to do, but you know it’s going to be hard for the children. Whether it’s transferring them to a different school, changing the sport they play, or putting an end to friendships that are harmful, it’s never easy to do. We can see the big picture that our precious children cannot see and they’re not always meant to see.

This makes me think of how God is with us, as His children. Oh there are many things He does for me that I don’t like, but it’s for my best. It will benefit me much more than where I’m currently at, spiritually speaking. I fight Him sometimes and I get angry at Him. I just don’t understand why things have to happen and it’s because I can’t see the whole picture. Just like our children don’t see what we’re doing, as parents, is for their good.

He lets us go through growing pains to refine us and benefit us.

God loves us way too much to leave us how we currently are in our walk with Him. He sees what will help us grow and what we will be when we grow in certain areas. It’s amazing how much He loves us really. I pray I can remember this more often than I have in the past. It’s so easy to forget He sees the big picture and He knows what needs to happen to help us in life.

If you and your child (or multiple children) are going through growing pains, just hold on. Pray, seek the Father, and seek guidance. He is there for you and I encourage you to step back, take a deep breath, and then tell God to do what He knows is best.

Lord, thank You for loving us too much to leave us as we are currently. Oh how wonderful You are! Thank You for loving our children also. Help us to parent through Your strength. Parenting can be stressful and overwhelming at times, but help us to follow Your lead. Help us to cling to Your Word and Your promises when we go through the valley. May we see that in the valley there is water and green grass. Your Word will nourish us and strengthen us so we may grow into the woman and parent You desire. May we never forget that. In Jesus name, Amen.


 

As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

Psalm 17:15

Heaven Over My Shoulder

I’m so happy to have Tricia sharing on the blog today! I hope you enjoy her heart!


 

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Growing up, I knew my grandfather loved me. I have wonderful memories of things we did together. Sometimes he gave me pony rides on his knee. Other times we sat side-by-side on the couch, cracking walnuts together. (I ate more than I put into the bowl!) Sometimes when we drove to town he’d let me sit on his lap and I’d steer his truck. I was a Papa’s girl, without a doubt.

Papa was eighty-two years old when the diagnosis of bladder cancer came. He told us he’d had a good life, and he didn’t want to go through chemo treatments. Instead, he and my grandma moved in with our family, and I helped care for him during his last months on earth.

… A few days before he died, my grandfather glimpsed heaven and gave a full report. I was out of the room, but my grandmother sat by his side. She was singing and praying when my grandfather interrupted her.

“Dear, do you smell that?” he asked. “It’s the most wonderful aroma.”

Then he pointed outside the window. “Look at those birds. Have you ever seen such beautiful birds?” As he stared ahead, Papa’s eyebrows lifted and he peered closer. “Oh, do you see that lion? If I were an artist I would love to paint that lion.”

Then the image of the lion apparently faded and a new vision appeared. With this one, Papa lifted his hands and started weeping, praising and worshiping Jesus. My grandma rushed to get me, and soon we were worshiping with him. Only afterward did my grandfather explain what he had seen. As he stared at the tree outside the bedroom window, the tree transformed into a cross and he witnessed Jesus hanging from it. Then Jesus, in all His glory, stepped forward and stretched out His arms to my grandfather.

My grandfather’s experience reminded me of Revelation 5:5: “But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, ‘Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals’” (NLT).

During his last conscious moments, Papa blew a kiss at me and waved. I will always cherish that memory. It was his final good-bye.

Walking with my grandfather as he transitioned from earthly to eternal life showed me how thin the veil is between heaven and earth. When death stopped at our home, eternity ripped open, allowing a saint to step into the place his Savior had been preparing for him.

My grandfather was great in my eyes, but to the world he was no one important. One of eleven children, he was raised on a farm in Kansas, and his family moved to California during the Dust Bowl. He served in World War II, married a shy waitress, and raised three girls. He worked in a door factory until he retired, and then he tended a small garden behind his mobile home. He became a Christian later in life and lived a simple faith. But according to his Savior, a simple faith was all that was needed.

Jesus gives us an eternity with Him in exchange for a submissive heart that dares to trust and believe His life, death, and resurrection make us right before God.

Papa probably made millions of decisions throughout his life, but when it came down to that chilly day in March, as he breathed his last breath, only one of those decisions mattered—he had chosen Jesus to be his Lord.

 


 

An excerpt from Walk It Out: The Radical Result of Living God’s Word One Step At a Time

To read Tricia’s blog, you can go here. To find out more about Tricia’s book Walk It Out you can follow this link.

From Missions to Motherhood- Walking It Out

I’m very honored to be writing over at Tricia Goyer’s site. If you’ve not read her stuff before, you’ll be in for a treat when you do. Hop on over and be encouraged!

 

Mother with child cooking together

Mom. It’s never a title I longed for. My future plans didn’t include children, three energetic boys to be exact (9, 7, 6). But God… Continue reading here.

 

A Little Break

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Writing is a passion and a therapy for me. For me to be able to speak encouragement and truth into others lives just makes me feel so good.

With that being said, I will break for the month of September from posting.

I’m sure I’ll still be handing writing stuff, but unless the Father leads otherwise I won’t be posting until mid October, God willing. We are preparing for Fall feasts and continuing school so I need to focus on those for now. I will have a guest post here or there that I’ve already committed too. Thanks for all the likes, shares, and taking time to read my writing. I really appreciate it!

I pray you all have a great month and keep digging into His Word!

 

Love Is Not a Feeling

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I’ve come to realize (through the Holy Spirit) that I let feelings dictate me a lot, more than I thought. If I’m not feeling it, I certainly don’t pretend. There are some days that I just don’t want to get out of the bed for prayer and study time. Yet, I wipe the sleepy out of my eyes and I get up. I crack open His Word because it’s the only thing that doesn’t change. I may not always be feeling it, but I am learning that sometimes I have to just do it. I have to keep pressing and pushing on no matter what I feel.

It’s not about if I feel redeemed or if I feel like praying, it’s about what is best for me.

Why do we let feelings dictate us? If things are going great and we feel awesome, then we act awesome. If things aren’t going great and we feel discouraged, we often act depressed. We hear a lot in the secular world that if you’re not feeling it, don’t fake it. On the other hand we also hear in the realm of Christianity that sometimes we have to set feelings aside and act as if we are feeling it. It’s a war within our souls and we must fight it. We should pray desperately for His Spirit to invade us and for His will to be done in our life. We should ask that He will help me keep His instructions and ways at the forefront of our mind.

Love is not a feeling, it’s loyalty. Our Savior may not have felt like leaving the riches of heaven. He may not have felt like enduring the beating, mockery, and scorning, but he didn’t let ‘not feeling it’ stop him. He did what he did because of loyalty and commitment. He was committed to pleasing His Father and making a way for redemption. We have to be committed to the loyalty we vowed to our Father, our husbands, and our children. That feeling will not always be there, but we have to remember to press on.

Keep loving,

keep praying,

and keep guiding.

If we go on feelings our whole lives, we will waver and not stand strong. If we’re rooted in His love and His Word, we can stand in the toughest of times. He never changes. We can be confident in His love for us and in the stability which He brings in our lives. Let it be what pushes you through the motions and into being loyal.

Father, we thank You for loyalty. You sent Your Son because You are loyal. Thank You for not changing your mind when it hurt so bad. Thank You Jesus that you didn’t go on a feeling. You were loyal to us and bled on that cross. May we be loyal in our relationships. Help us to stay committed no matter what. Help us to push feelings aside and do what we know is right. There will be times in life where we may not feel anything good, but that’s okay. We trust that You are guiding us and we want to push through. We want to stay committed to those in our lives as You do us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

II Corinthians 12:9

Word-Filled Wednesday

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I look at all the evil that is going on in the world, our nation as well, and it breaks my heart. It’s changed from just 5 years ago. I can think back when I was in high school almost 15 years ago and life was much more happy. The world didn’t seem as bad as it does now. With all that is going on today in the world, we need some comfort and hope. Events of today can really drag you down and fill your mind with sadness. In our study of Psalm 119 a few years back I was encouraged and reminded. Reminded what the Father gives us.

The Father gave us His words, testimonies, and acts of might, mercy, and love to encourage us. His acts and testimonies will always lift us up. They will revive us and restore our minds back to hope. What a wonderful Father we have! He doesn’t have to scream back at evil, His voice alone causes mountains to tremble. God doesn’t want us to be depressed by events in our life, nation, or our world. He wants us to be aware and repent, but we don’t have to feel defeated. His words and speech can give us hope and comfort us in our time of affliction as the psalmist says.

When life is depressing and discouraging, we can turn to His words in the scriptures.

When events scream despair, our God simply says hope.

When others scorn our decision to follow God and His Law (Word, instruction), we can rest in Him.

We can know that He will bless us and guide us no matter what. We have one God, Yahweh, and that’s who we should seek refuge in and worship. Run to Rock of our salvation. Seek Him every day and follow His instructions. They bring us life and hope. He is our only hope.

Father, thank You for the words You’ve given us to live by! Oh what a God we serve! You are mighty and strong! You are our shelter and strong tower. May we hope in Your words and instructions for life. May we not forsake You or Your words, precepts, and statues. Help us to turn to you when we’re discouraged and afflicted. May we meditate on Your Word so we won’t turn away from it. May we be a light to the nations, a light in this dark place. Help us to obey You no matter what. Thank You for Your strength in these wicked day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Dealing With Disappointments

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I remember as a kid how important it was to please my parents, especially the older I became. Since I was human, I was bound to disappoint. Now that I have kids I try to remember how I felt. Messing up is a part of life unfortunately because of our sin nature, so trying to keep that in mind can help us when our kids disappoint us.

I often think of how the Father deals with us when we’ve failed Him. Thankfully, He doesn’t kick us out on our heads after the first mess up. He is waiting for our repentance and confessions so He can teach us and grow us. What’s your first response when your child messes up?

When a glass of milk is spilled, how do you respond?

When unkind words come darting from that angel face, what do you do?

When a sinful decision leads to shame and heartache, do you love or demean?

Our first response, most of the time, is to blow up if we’ll be real with ourselves. We may yell, say hurtful things, or give the look. I know when our boys mess up I feel like a failure and I wonder is that how the Father feels? I have to say I don’t think He does. He sees our sinfulness and longs to help us.

He corrects us with love and mercy.  He is there to forgive us if we ask and to show us a better way. He isn’t sitting there just waiting for us to mess up. He loves us and longs to see us make good choices. We have to be that way with our children. They can absolutely get in the way it seems, but they aren’t in the way. Sure we have to stop what we’re doing to deal with the situation or issues, but that’s how they learn.

Even when He forgives us, that doesn’t always mean that consequences are gone, but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t love us. He has to grow us just like our children. We can learn how to deal with our feelings when our kids disappoint by how the Father deals with us.

So the next time you want to loose it over a mess up, try to go to the Father in prayer first. Ask Him to help you cope with your feelings so you can respond appropriately. Our words can do damage if we’re not careful. Just remember how merciful He is towards you and extend that to your children.

Father, thank You for being a merciful Father. Help us to learn from Your example as we parent our children. Disappointments will come and we need You to help us deal with our children in a way that pleases You. Help us to watch our words and actions. We want our children to learn from their mistakes. They will learn to relate to You by relating to us, so give us the words to speak and to deal justly with them. Draw them closer to You after each mistake and empower them to leave that mistake behind. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

May Your faithful love comfort me as You promised Your servant.

Psalm 119:76

 

 

 

 

What Mirror Are You Looking In?

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While getting ready one morning, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me about about appearance. I love make-up and curling irons. I’m a girly girl at heart. So when the Holy Spirit began to bring thoughts to my mind, I began to wonder… What if we spent half the time in the mirror of God’s Word, as we do in the physical mirror? We pay so much attention to our face, body, and hair. As wives, it should be a desire to become who the Father wants us to be though. We should think about our hearts, the inward man, and not just the outward. How much time do we really spend on that?

What if we intently looked into the Word of God and let it change us?

What if we were so particular about our actions, words, and obedience to the Word?

What if our focus was inward beauty and not outward?

I think our marriages would look a lot different. The Word of God that reveals His character is our mirror. It will show us the imperfections, the sins, and the ugliness of ourselves. It is to be our guide for life. As wives, what is more beautiful than a soul that is gentle, loving, patient, and kind? That is what God wants us to focus on. Our goal as wives isn’t too just become beautiful on the outside, but to become beautiful inwardly.  That’s what the Father desires of us. He wants us to mature and grow in His likeness. There’s nothing wrong with beautifying ourselves, but that isn’t what really makes us beautiful. Our actions and words define beauty to the Father and to those humble ones around us.

If we value our physical beauty over our spiritual beauty, we need to stop and re-evaluate things.

Our society pushes physical beauty. We’re bombarded with perfecting our bodies, but it’s good for us to not let that become our focus. Our society seems look down on those who don’t keep up with the latest trends and try the latest work outs. Those who are not slim and trim are looked at shamefully. Even those who are not “pretty” to look upon are rejected. We have to remember what the Father desires of us as wives and what He looks at. He cares much more about how we treat others, how we handle disruptions, and how we love our families than how outwardly beautiful we are.  He wants our inner man to be beautiful. That comes through prayer, studying His Word, and then applying it. What God says is important is direct opposite of what the world says.

We are to follow His example and desire an inward beauty that He desires. With His Spirit in us, we can strive to walk in the godliness He has called us too.

Kind. Loving. Gentle. Merciful. Patient. That’s what He desires. That’s real beauty to Him.

Lord, help us to be women of conviction, women of Your righteousness. May we seek to have a beautiful spirit and not just a beautiful face. Let our souls desire to bring peace, love, joy, goodness, and gentleness to those around us. Help us to be merciful and loving towards our husband. We want to become the wife that You desire us to be. Help us to have a desire to spend more time looking in Your mirror than our own. Give us the strength to not conform to the world’s standards of beauty, but to be transformed by Your Word to what You say is beautiful. Those who bring peace and good tidings are those You say are beautiful. Draw us  nearer to Your heart, Father. In Jesus Name, Amen.


 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

Proverbs 31:30

Standing Tall

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A few weeks back we had a heavy downpour of rain in a short amount of time. It sounded so loud as it hit the roof and porches of our home. When I woke up the next morning, I looked off our back porch and saw a sad sight. One of our biggest tomato plants had given way during the storm, but a few of the smaller ones were standing tall. It was a moment of sadness due to all our hard work, but I immediately thought about the parable of the man who built on solid ground.

Life will bring sorrow and heartache. It’s going to bring some tough seasons for all of us. There’s no getting around that, but we can weather the storms of little better if our foundation is solid. Our foundation isn’t us, but our belief system. A belief in man or possessions will leave us broken just like the tomato plant. Humans are fallible and possessions are destroyed, but there is One who we can put all our belief in.

Whatever we believe in gives us perspective, wisdom, strength, and hope.

We need a solid foundation built on the Father and His ways. He’s the only One who can give us strength to stand tall through the storms of life. Our roots have to be dug deep in His words. To be grounded in His words we have to meditate on them, study them, and then apply them. Plants can’t grow their roots in midair, just like we can’t believe in nothing. There has to be something for our roots to grab onto just like the plants need soil.

The Father wants to see us grow stronger with each storm we face. He will give us strength to go through each storm and He knows we will gain wisdom and discernment with each one.

So what’s your foundation look like? Examine your heart and make sure the foundation is Yahweh. He’s the only sure foundation to stand on.

Father, thank You for being a foundation we can build upon. You are the only sure foundation. You’re unchangeable and unmovable. May we remember there is none like You and when we build on You we won’t be moved. We want to be able to weather the storms of life. Give us strength to grow through each circumstance. We want our roots to be deep in Your word. Help us to not place our hope in man or possession, but to place all our hope in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Matthew 7:24