Ways To Set An Atmosphere Of Worship In Your Home

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When you are in Christ, it should be second nature to worship Him. We don’t have to let the weight of the world pull us away from His presence! A good thing is that the Lord is not evasive! When we praise Him, he comes near to us. We don’t have to jump through hoops to enjoy His presence. He is a good Father and He wants us to enjoy Him. Here are some ways to set an atmosphere of worship in your home, whether you are alone or the whole family is around.

Praise Music/Instrumentals

Sometimes, a good Christian / Gospel song is all you need to invite the presence of the Lord. It can get you in the mood to worship Him and can set the tone for a day well spent. Find out what kind of praise music you like best. Gospel, contemporary Christian music, choir music, soft worship music, or instrumentals. I like them all, for different occasions. Some of my favorite artists are Jonathan McReynolds, Marvin Sapp, Tasha Cobbs, Kierra Sheard, Toby Mac, Casting Crowns, Grace Williams, and Julie True.  Lately, I have been putting on instrumental music that I’ve found on YouTube when I pray or read my Bible. For instrumentals, I always go to the Channels Kyle Lovett, and Dappy T Keys.

Read The Bible Aloud

The Word of God is always going to be a way to invite the Lord into your home and set an atmosphere of worship. Either you can sit alone and read aloud or invite your family to listen to you. Or take turns reading! Have a Bible study! Or you can turn on a recording of the Bible being read. There are tons of those on YouTube. Also, a really great recording of the whole Bible that my husband and I have been enjoying for years is The Bible Experience. It’s an audio collection of the bible read with background effects that made each scene come alive. You can find it here on Amazon:

Clean House

You may be thinking to yourself, “What?! Clean house?!” Well for me, whenever I clean my house, I always put a song or a sermon on and pray as I clean. I think to myself, “What if Jesus knocked on my door? Would I be embarrassed to let Him in?” I don’t want that answer to be yes, so when I clean my house, I feel like I’m inviting the Lord in. It is sort of an act of inviting Him in, for me. As I sweep, mop, pick up and declutter, fold laundry and wipe off surfaces, I always feel the Lord is proud of me for taking care of my home and making room for Him. Lighting candles or burning wax melts always adds an extra touch.

Be still and Quiet

For so many of us, especially us moms, this is hard to achieve. I have to fight for quietness and stillness in my home! But I value it, so I do fight for it! Having prayer time or Bible reading time usually has to be first thing in the morning or late at night. Sometimes, if the kids are quietly playing or engrossed in a good TV show, I can put my headphones on and read my Bible. This has been my trick lately. I have yet to get some noise-canceling headphones, but they are on my Amazon wish list! Here’s a pair I have my eyes on:

Join A Prayer Line

There are a lot of these going on. A prayer line is basically a group of believers joining together virtually by phone or online to pray and worship together. Check with your church and see if there’s one going on. Mine has one weekly. Or go on YouTube and search’ live Christian prayer’. A couple of channels I know of that have live prayer sessions are Bro Mike Man Of God and International House of Prayer. There are also some really good prayer, worship and Bible study groups on FB. Just search for them and you’ll find them!

This is my best advice for creating an atmosphere of worship in your home. You may feel stressed, but you CAN have peace in Christ! You CAN have joy in Christ! The Lord does not want us to feel hurried and anxious. Come to Him with all of your worries, because He cares for you. When you worship Him, you are taking your eyes off of the problem at hand and giving it to the Lord, who wants to take care of it for you. God bless you! Let me know how you are incorporating this advice into your daily routine!

 

 

One Truth The Enemy Doesn’t Want You To Know

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So many people have identity crises. It’s really sad to look at the world and see the confusion that goes on in the hearts of humankind. If you were raised with parents who are believers and they taught you the truth of the Word of God and your identity in Christ, you have an advantage. But the enemy is crafty. He will get a lie into your mind in any way he can.

The news, social media, TV, the radio, school, ungodly friends. All of these are gateways for the lies of the enemy to enter your life. Even if you were raised in the church and your parents kept you from the world as much as they possibly could, the enemy will lie to you and make it seem like you missed out on a lot of fun. In truth, the Lord’s way is the best way to live because holiness is the way our creator intended for us to live.

The truth I want to talk about that the enemy doesn’t want you to know? You are made in the image of God. He is our creator and He made us to be like Him in order to bring Him glory! So many don’t believe that basic fact and they are suffering greatly. Some are aware, some are unaware that there is a greater truth that they have not grasped.

God loves each and every one of us more than we realize and if we know Him, there will forever be more of His love to discover. If you don’t know Him, you are missing out on a great truth. God is love and you are fearfully and wonderfully created in His image! This is such a great implication that if we can just grasp this truth, a lot of our problems will be quelled because the enemy won’t be able to penetrate our minds with the lies he has crafted to deceive us.

There are a few ways the enemy wants to distort the fact that God made us in His image.

Plastic Surgery and Body Modification

When we don’t know the love of God and the fact that we were made in His image, it is easy for anyone of us to lose confidence in ourselves stemming from insecurity. This can result in wanting to look different. Now, some people take a drastic approach to changing the way they look. All sorts of plastic surgeries are possible and people take advantage of those possibilities. Nose jobs, liposuction, breast implants, and butt implants. I’ve seen documentaries of a few different people who got thousands of dollars in plastic surgery to look just like someone else they admired. That is just so sad because if you only knew Him! If you only knew Jesus and His purpose for your life, you’d have such joy!

Then some people get hooked on tattoos and piercings that change their entire look. I believe these actions are demonic because the Lord did not make you to look like someone or something else! I’ve seen people go so far as to have their whole bodies tattooed, piercings all over their face or skull. I’ve even seen a man get his tongue split and his eyes tattooed black so he could be a so called human snake. I shake my head at this because these extremes are such a huge perversion and they sadden the heart of my Savior.

Sexual Perversion

I could write a whole other post just on this topic and maybe I will in the future. The LGBTQ community has really grown in the last decade and in the past couple of years especially, the agenda the enemy has placed in their hands is rampant.  There are men dressing as women and women dressing as men, and trying to teach our children that this is okay. Then we’ve got some so convinced that they were born to be the opposite sex that they go through a sex change and hormone therapy. It doesn’t matter if one gets the sex change and takes hormones, still, they are the gender the Lord created them to be. It’s so sad because I have even seen a couple of people who had sex reassignment surgery then came to the knowledge of Christ and wished with all their hearts that they never would’ve gotten the surgery. I know that there is repentance for those people, but there really is no repair for the way they abused their bodies.

Mental Illness

Now, this needs to be a whole ‘nother post too and I will write one in the near future, Lord willing. Medically, we are told that mental illness is a chemical imbalance in the brain and I am not trying in any way to condemn anyone with a mental illness. I take medication myself. But I am learning so much about generational curses and demonic oppression. The Lord can heal any mental illness, instantaneously, or gradually. The reason why I am bringing this up is that mental illness is in our minds and the war against the enemy is in our minds. Some develop PTSD from trauma, some people develop bipolar disorder or schizophrenia and are told that it runs in their family. Most people with mental illnesses go to therapy at some point in their lives and they work through negative thoughts and things that happened to them or words that were spoken over them in their lives. In whatever state, our minds can be transformed by the renewing of our minds according to the Word of God!

If you are struggling with any of these problems or anything else related to your identity, I advise you to get a Bible, make it your best friend, and ask questions. Ask to get an answer,  not to debate. Humbly accept what the Word of God says about who God is and who He created you to be. Get to know our Savior, Jesus Christ! As always, if you have any questions, email me or contact me on any of my social media accounts. I am willing to help lead you to the Lord. Remember, you are greatly loved and anyone can overcome the enemy by the blood of Jesus Christ through Salvation and the power of the Holy Spirit!

The truth is that in Christ you are:

Forgiven

Chosen

Fearfully and wonderfully made

Royalty

A priest

An heir to the kingdom of God

Holy

Righteous

 

A great resource that I highly recommend that talks about spiritual warfare and demonic oppression in great depth is a book by John Eckhardt called Deliverance and Spiritual Warfare Manual: A Comprehensive Guide To Living Free. You can purchase it here on Amazon:

The Mighty Prophet Of The Lord Preparing The Way For The Messiah

History has a pattern and some things repeat themselves. But one thing I know is that if the Bible says it, it will happen!

In the Bible, the book of Malachi says that the Lord will send the prophet Elijah before the day of the Lord. I am telling you that there is a prophet here on earth right now leading a ministry of repentance and holiness, preparing the way for Jesus to come back for the church! He is that prophet the book of Malachi spoke of!

Dr. David Owuor is a prophet whose ministry is primarily in Kenya. For years, he’s traveled the world, preaching repentance in different countries. Since coronavirus, he’s stayed in Kenya, holding services. This is the most powerful ministry on the face of the earth and the Lord has shown Himself mighty through this man.

There have been thousands of healings come from this man speaking the Word of God over people in the name of Jesus. Numerous people have been healed from blindness, deafness, even AIDS! People crippled from birth have gotten up and walked, no longer needing their wheelchairs. One of the most shocking healings I’ve seen was a little girl who had leprosy, healed by the power of words spoken over her by this man of God! Here is a video showing this miracle:

Honestly, I hesitate to tell people about this ministry, but the Lord wouldn’t let me get the idea out of my mind ’til I wrote this post. I’d like as many people as possible to know about this ministry. It has helped me, as well as my family to buckle down, live in repentance, and work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Ultimately, it’s up to you to see the value of following this ministry. I’ve been following this man for years and have never seen him ask for money. So, what’s he doing it for? Why are all of these healings happening and why are so many people from different religions turning to Jesus? Isn’t this the type of revival the church has prayed for?

Another thing Prophet Owuor has displayed in this ministry are hundreds of prophecies fulfilled. He’s prophesied earthquakes, diseases, and other seemingly ‘natural’ occurrences that have happened just the way he said they would. He even prophesied the discovery of a diamond planet, the Zika virus, and yup, COVID-19. Here are a few videos I’ll share with you:

 

So, another thing, Dr. David Owour is actually a doctor. Before he began this ministry for the Lord, he went to school in Israel, as well as in the U.S. He had plans for his life, but the Lord spoke to him of the ministry that would follow. Actually, he ran. He didn’t want to do what God wanted him to do. But the Lord kept giving him visions until he obeyed and started preaching. Here, I’ll share a video of some of his testimony:

 

Just like before Jesus came to earth the first time, to be born as a baby, the Lord sent John The Baptist to prepare the way for His ministry. Many followed John the Baptist, waiting for Jesus to show up on the scene. Now, we are waiting for the Lord Jesus to return and rapture his church, and there is another forerunner. Dr. Owuor is the two witnesses spoken of in the book of Revelation! He has proclaimed it himself and others have testified that they see two men when they look at him, not one. A film director went to one of his meetings to prove him false and instead, she believed in his testimony because the Lord opened her eyes and showed her!

I know this man is not God, but he was sent by God to show signs and wonders to bring many to repentance and prepare the Church of Christ for His coming! If I were you, I’d want to find out for myself, is this man for real? Is this someone I should be listening to? The Bible says we will know them by their fruits. For the past eight years, I have been following this ministry and I have seen many videos of healing, heard many teachings on holiness, righteousness, and repentance, seen many prophecies from his mouth fulfilled over time and there’s nothing to doubt. There’s been no reason for me not to believe him.

I know the Lord wanted me to share this ministry with you, so here you go.

Dr. Owuor website: https://www.jesusislordradio.org/

Dr. Owuor radio station: https://www.jesusislordradio.info/

Dr. Owuor YouTube channel: Repent and Prepare The Way

He comes on live on YouTube Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, usually around 11 AM or 12 PM. He stays on for several hours.

 

I pray the Lord will open your eyes of understanding and show you the truth. In the name of Jesus!

5 Ways To Get Your Joy Back

Links are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase through one of my links, I will get a small commission, but you will pay the same price. All opinions/statements are my own.

Difficult situations in life can deplete us of joy, thus draining us of the strength we need to live. If you’ve lived much of life, it’s likely that you’ve been through something or a number of things that caused you to question. “Why?”

As children, the most simple things can bring us joy. A book read to us by an enthusiastic parent, teacher, or librarian. A toy gifted to you on your birthday that you hold close for the next few years. A snowman made with your siblings on the first snowfall of Winter. The simplest things fill a child with joy.

As we age, we take on responsibilities that sap us of the joy of the simple things. We learn lessons that make life real, and hard. We grow into an understanding that has us realizing that we have to take care of ourselves. Life can be hard!

We as humans have resiliency. We’ve all got the ability to recover from any broken situation. We have our own will to live, we’ve got physical resources around us to draw purpose from, we’ve got a community to draw strength from.

No matter who you are and what your background is, I’m pretty sure you’ve got someone praying for you. It may even be someone who doesn’t know you.

I want to go back to the fact that you have your own will to live. Each of us has inside of us, the will to live and survive whatever situation we’re in. I want to give you some help with that. Maybe you haven’t been taught how to take care of yourself first, or you’re so confused or distraught that you don’t even know where to start. Take baby steps. Create habits that will last the length of your life and help you to get your joy back now.

 

Create a quiet time.

A quiet time is a time out from daily routine. Time to spend with yourself, reflect, and do something that will connect you with your creator. Some get up early to have quiet time, some stay up late, some carve out time in the middle of the day. Whatever works for you is best. Take this time to plan your schedule, pray, write, read your Bible. The Lord will guide you in this and speak to you as you seek His face. Intimacy with the Lord is created in quiet time. Clarity of mind is created in quiet time.

Here are a couple of devotionals that can help you create intimacy with the Lord and give you direction during your quiet time:

 

Listen to music. And worship!

Sometimes we focus too much on ourselves. When you go through things, it’s hard not to think about what’s happening around us and some have the tendency to internalize pain or stress. Taking the focus off yourself and focusing on the One who has everything in control will relieve stress and bring joy back into your heart. Choose some good Christian worship music and sing the lyrics in your car. Or at your desk. Or in the bath! Or even gather your kids and dance and sing songs to the Lord in the living room! Praise the Lord for who He is and for how good He is. It’s nice to have headphones when you want to worship in private, or don’t want to disturb someone else.

Here are a couple of good options for headphones:

 
Keep a journal.

This can also be a part of your quiet time. Or it can be something that you do right before bed, at lunchtime at work, or whenever is best for you. It’s not necessary to write in a journal every day. You can make a point of doing it every few days, once per week, or even just once per month. Write any thoughts or feelings. Write out prayers and Bible verses. Write poetry. Or write out what you’re grateful for. Keeping a journal is great for reflection, dumping negative thoughts, or just for expressing yourself. It’s also great for writing prayers if you’d rather not pray out loud at times.

Here are a couple of great choices for journals:

 

Develop a talent.

Some of us know what we’re good at all of our life. You may be a singer, a writer, a track star. a musician, a basketballer or a painter. Sometimes we don’t develop a talent ’til later in life when we try something new. If you are not sure what you’re good at, take a class or buy some materials that will help you develop a talent you want to develop. If you want to paint or draw, go to the arts and crafts section at a store, pick out some supplies, and experiment. Do it a lot! The more you draw, or play your instrument, or dance; whatever skill or talent you choose, the better you will get and the more joy you will receive from that outlet.

Do something helpful for someone in need.

There’s always someone who needs attention and love or help and isn’t getting it. This is also about getting the attention off of yourself. Helping someone in need will bring joy to your heart because we were created for community, and we all need love. Knowing that you did something for someone else who can’t repay you, or maybe someone who just didn’t know how to ask will make you feel better about your own life.

These are just five simple, but vital ways to get joy back into your heart. Joy doesn’t;t have to be external. True, lasting joy comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. No matter what goes o in your life, having the Lod by your side through it all will sustain you. Also, healthy habits based on Biblical principles can create stability. If you have any habits that have kept joy in your heart through hard times, let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

Tips for New Moms During Baby’s First Christmas

Tips for New Moms During Baby’s First Christmas

This is a guest post from Rachel Burns at

https://top-mom.com/

Author’s bio:

Rachel Burns is an experienced copywriter and photographer with a design diploma. She works with startups, entrepreneurs, bloggers and companies from around the world. In addition to writing articles and promotional materials, she enjoys hiking, reading, cooking and spending time with her family.

Description: As holidays are getting closer, you find yourself panicking a bit about organizing your first Christmas with your bundle of joy?! Don’t worry – this is something that happens to all new parents! There are plenty of tips for the best first baby Christmas that can help you get some ideas on how to survive the holiday season!

 

Before we have kids, many of us imagine that holidays with children will be perfectly splendid. Take Christmas, for example, – we usually have these movie type images in our minds of us and our partner, baby, one or two dogs, and a cat, gathered around the tree and presents. Or, enjoying a scrumptious homemade Christmas breakfast, all dressed in the same pajamas or sweaters.

But, in reality, when you do become a parent, you understand that things are not all that simple. Planning holidays with a baby has its challenges in general, and this year even more because of COVID – 19

 

For example, it is likely that because of the travel restrictions your parents still didn’t meet their grandchild. They can be thus very persistent in the idea that you visit them with your 5 months old but you might feel that it is not the safest moment for something like that. Or you want to go, but then you feel that you need extra precautions and preparation so everybody can enjoy the holidays in the best and safest way. Of course, these are just some of the plethora of potential scenarios. However, we don’t want to say that a baby’s first Christmas cannot be magical in its way. But, you need to adjust your expectations and advise your loved ones to do the same.

Now if you find yourself a bit anxious about planning your first holidays with the little one, we are here to tell you that you are not alone. Many parents went through the exact same stress, even without the pandemic. They have lots of advice about a myriad of things from what essential best baby items are, to baby Christmas ideas.

 

Tips for First Baby Christmas

Make a Plan

Even in these crazy times, it is possible to do it, believe it or not. Long before the holidays, you know that your little one will be there for Christmas and how old she or he will be. Therefore, plan whether you want to stay at home or go visit your or your partner’s parents or relatives. One recommendation that many parents have with us is to avoid traveling with a baby that is younger than 3 months. They are still fragile and can easily catch a cold or something and you would for sure rather enjoy and relax than deal with a sick newborn. Besides that, all the rush and crowds can be stressful for a young baby. On the other hand, if a child is a bit older, then you can plan a trip and even have a lot of fun.

Think About Gifts

But do keep in mind that babies don’t have wishes when it comes to gifts, because they are still too young to understand them. Therefore when you are shopping for baby Christmas gifts try to resist the temptation to buy every single toy or baby Christmas dress that you see. The thing with babies up to twelve months old is that they are more attracted by the wrapping paper than by the gift itself, so maybe put more thought into that. You can only buy one toy and wrap it up and that would be enough. It is also necessary to know that babies will be more curious about paper and boxes than opening more gifts. Even when they get older, it still doesn’t make much sense buying them a ton of things because they are more focused on playing than on anything else. That is why you need to think carefully about what kind and how many gifts you want for your child and send a list to parents, relatives, etc.

First Decoration

 

When it comes to baby Christmas photography ideas one thing that for sure can be memorable is to make a baby photo frame that you can use as an ornament for the tree. What is cool about this kind of photo/decoration is that you can keep it for years. If you are creative you can make a cute baby girl or baby boy Christmas outfit and take a photo while she or he is wearing it.

Create a New Tradition

You were probably hoping that this whole mess will be over by now and that it will be possible to spend holidays as you usually do, with the necessary adjustments for the baby. However, it seems that until we have the vaccine, things will be pretty stressful, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy holidays as much as possible. There isn’t a better time to start doing something different than the first baby Christmas. Indeed the baby is too young to participate in it, but you can still have a lot of fun. For example, you can make up your own baby Christmas songs, wear the same Christmas outfit, create baby Christmas games, etc.

Bring Santa to Your Home

Although it doesn’t mean anything to the little one, you are probably thrilled about the idea of taking a first baby photo with Santa. But, going to the mall with a baby doesn’t sound so appealing this winter, considering that COVID – 19 storm doesn’t seem to be calming down. However, this shouldn’t mean that you can’t get your much-desired photograph. Instead of going to see Santa in the shopping mall, you can invite him to come for Christmas dinner and make as many photos as you want.

 

Final Word

Here we are at the end of our text about how to spend your first baby Christmas. We believe that the most essential thing is to know that nothing needs to be perfect. There are a lot of challenges when you have a child in general, and this year in particular. Therefore there is no need to stress about trivial things – enjoy this time with your kid and have fun as much as possible! How are you planning to spend the holidays this year?

 

Ways To Make The Most Of Christmas This Year

For many of us, Christmas may look different this year. A lot of families gather together and have large gatherings and dinner parties. This year, some may not. Some families are intentionally making changes to their Christmas celebrations in meaningful ways.

Because this year has been so challenging in different ways for all of us, I believe that those of who celebrate Christmas should make it special. By special, I don’t mean extravagant with a lot of toys for the kids and huge parties, but it is important now, more than ever to be intentional about the meaning of this holiday.

Here, I am going to share some ideas of how to make Christmas this year meaningful, and acknowledge that Jesus is the reason for this holiday.

  1. Incorporate prayer into Christmas day.

My husband and I have always made sure that we had family prayer time before opening gifts. We love the Lord, and He is the foundation of our home. Being that Jesus’ birth is the reason we celebrate Christmas, we make sure that we give thanks for salvation, family, and gifts before we even open anything.

2. Create a new tradition.

Something that we are doing differently this year is putting up a cross. My husband made a cross earlier this year to carry around town when he evangelizes. He ended up giving it to one of his friends but will make another one. We may still put up a tree, but we want an actual cross in our house to remind us of why Jesus came to earth. Another suggestion for a new family tradition you could incorporate is to pick a game that you all can play together after the gifts are opened and everyone has settled down. For some, you may all just go your own way after gifts are opened, but make sure you are all spending quality time with each other as well.

3. Send out Christmas cards.

This one is sort of obvious and something that a lot of people do anyway, but I have never done it and will be doing it this year. Just to acknowledge those who are in your life, but may not see all of the time is probably even more important this year because a lot of us have not been spending much time with family members this year anyway because of Covid.

4. Make a cake for Jesus.

I know a lot of families who do this every year. My family has only done it once, but if you want to honor the Lord in a new way this year that you never have, make a cake and sing happy birthday to acknowledge the actual reason why you are celebrating Christmas.

5. Volunteer at a soup kitchen before, on, or after Christmas.

Some people do this all of the time, but it is something you can choose to do during this time of the year. And even get your kids involved to teach them to be servants of the Lord and love people.

6. Make gift bags for the homeless or an orphanage.

This idea does not have to be expensive. Most of the essentials that homeless people need can be found at Dollar Tree. I’d include things like socks, hand sanitizer, and lotion, nail clippers, sanitary pads for women, toothbrushes, and toothpaste as well as facial tissues.

7.Do something to intentionally share Jesus with your unsaved family members.

This is something I want to do, but have not thought of what yet. I really want to send everyone a Bible, but am sure most would not even read them. Pray, and ask the Lord what to do!

There are so many ways to center Christmas around Jesus, spend time with your loved ones, and enjoy yourselves. These are just a few suggestions, but get creative and challenge yourself to do something you’ve never done before.

8. Have your kids pick a gift for each other.

That way, they are giving to each other, instead of all of the gifts coming from Mom and Dad.

God bless you all in the mighty name of Jesus, and I pray that you have a great end of the year 2020!

 

Amazing Love Movie Review

I watched a movie several years ago that told the story of Hosea from the Bible and made it relatable. It stuck in my heart, and I kept telling my husband about it. We just watched it together for the first time last weekend. The movie is called Amazing Love: The Story of Hosea.

In the Bible, the story of Hosea tells of a prophet who was called by the Lord to speak openly to the people of Israel, a message from God. The message was warning them that they were in idolatry (worship of other gods, or loving other things more than the Lord) and they needed to repent or judgment would be brought on them. Biblically, the Lord called Hosea to marry a woman who was a harlot. She was unfaithful to him and had relationships with other men. When she’d get pregnant, each time, the Lord instructed Hosea to name the babies names that mirrored his wife’s unfaithfulness to him.

The point of the Lord asking Hosea to marry an adulterous woman and take her back time and time again when she was unfaithful to him was to mirror His own relationship with the people He loves as the apple of his eye: Israel. Time and time again, Israel turned their backs on God after He provided for them and showed His glory to them in the most amazing ways. But their hearts turned from Him in unbelief and idolatry, choosing instead to worship wooden idols that had no power.

As modern-day people, how many times do we doubt the Lord and choose other loves over His call to intimacy and obedience? Even those of us who love Jesus and have a relationship with Him may ignore His voice from time to time when we want to give our flesh some leeway and do what we feel is best instead of doing what we know in our hearts is the right thing to do.

In the movie, Amazing Love, a girl named Ashley has a troubled life and has turned to a rebellious nature. Her mother jumps from one boyfriend to another and never spends any time with her daughter. Ashley has no guidance but the example of her mother using men for their money. She becomes spoiled and vain, just concerned about her looks and what she can get from people. Her grandmother tries to get her into a church youth group, but Ashley refuses to go for a while.

Finally, Ashley agrees to go on a camping trip with the youth group. Only a few kids go on the trip. One other girl and 3 boys. The hosts of the trip are a young married couple. The girl in the group doesn’t get along with Ashley and keeps telling the boys that she’s stuck up, only likes boys who can get her nice things, and is nothing like the rest of them.  One boy in the group truly has the heart of God and sees that Ashley is hurting and needs a friend.

The first night of the two-night camping trip, the male camp counselor asks each teen what their favorite book of the Bible is. After each of them tells what their favorite book is, they go to their tents and have some alone time. Two of the boys go ahead and read their favorite books of the Bible to brush up on them. The next night, the camp counselor tells the story of Hosea. The scenes of the movie go back and forth from the story of Hosea, showing His life as a prophet, as well as his wife’s wanderings, back to the campfire where the story is being told and the teens are asking questions.

As the counselor tells the story, the heart of the girl who doesn’t like Ashley starts to soften. The next day, she approaches Ashley and offers to help with her luggage as they pack up to go home. Ashley asks if she can sit with her in the van and she agrees.

To me, the way the movie related the story of Hosea to our lives today was very simple but well told. The Lord is faithful and He gives us chance after chance after chance to make things right with Him. When we ignore His voice and do what we want, we come back to Him asking for forgiveness and He happily takes us back into His arms every time.

The Lord is so good, and pretty much every day, we fail Him. But because of His faithfulness to bring us salvation, He offered His Son, Jesus to die on the cross for us and we now have a constant intercessor in Him. When we go to the Father in the name of Jesus, we have access, in prayer, to the throne of God to receive whatever we ask for, according to His will. He is a good Father and only wants the best for us!

I highly recommend this movie, Amazing Love. It’s a great family movie, a good movie to watch alone or even for date night!

Oh, and please go read the book of Hosea when you get a good half hour to an hour alone 🙂

 

Marriage: The Two Shall Become One

  The Bible says, at the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.

So what happens in the ‘becoming’?

On your wedding day, your spouse and yourself become one, physically and spiritually. When you stand before the Lord and whoever else is in attendance, and say your vows, you then become united as one. Yes, you both still have your own individual needs that you need to communicate to each and learn how to fulfill one for the other. But as a whole, your bodies, your emotions, your finances… your household starts to mold together and become one unit.

That being said, I believe that now, more than ever, the armor of God is important to the husband and the wife, individually. The devil hates marriage. When two come together in a marriage covenant according to the Word of God, your relationship resembles Christ and the Church; The Word says, For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.  Don’t think that the forces of evil won’t come against your household! Divorce is almost as common in the church as in the world, and that is a sad fact.  For I hate divorce, says the Lord.

The enemy of your soul will do whatever he can to separate yourself and your spouse. Make sure that both of you are submitting to the Holy Spirit, in the study of the Word, united in prayer and working out your salvation with fear and trembling. I felt so strongly to put the picture of husband and wife as one, as well as the Spiritual Warfare pieces in there. But I digress.

In the days following your marriage, anything can happen. Just as at any other point in time. You can either be celebrating together in bliss, or you can be arguing. It’s up to both spouses to decide. Most, I’d say, are celebrating. In the coming months and years, you will go through things together: Loss of job, new job, going to school, graduating from school, car trouble, new car, joining your bank account, family members getting sick, losing a family member, getting pregnant, the birth of a child, parenting… And the list goes on and on.

Through everything, you two need to work through each circumstance together and work to grow toward each other, rather than apart. It’s so easy to grow apart, but marriage is a relationship and there must be an effort invested on both husband and wife’s part to find out what the others’ needs are, then learn how to meet those needs. Neither partner should be unfulfilled in the marriage.

I believe that everyone is going to go through trials of lack of emotional, sexual or financial needs being met, as well as lack of attention or whatever else the trial may be; When things like this happen, you need to go to God in prayer, then go to the Word in submission. If you are not fulfilling your part in the marriage, it will be harder for your partner to fulfill his or hers. Also, if your spouse is not supplying what you need in the relationship, you need to turn to the Lord for fulfillment, rather than an outside source. Trust the Lord to bring correction in your spouse’s life and watch Him show Himself strong! A lot of the time, you will find that the Lord needs to correct you before correcting your partner!

In all reality, marriage is a beautiful thing. To have a partner in life to grow with, to share your heart with, to hold at night, and to forever hold dear in your heart truly is a gift from the Lord. Just as marriage is a gift, it also is an ongoing ministry. To fulfill your mate’s desires, to pray for them, to be there for them through good and bad, through sickness and in health, parenting children… everything, up until the day one or both of you dies. It should be enjoyed! You should find delight in seeking to please your loved one and help them achieve great things in the Kingdom of God!

To all who have read, I pray blessings over your marriage. If you are single, I pray blessings over you as you wait for the one who the Lord has for you!

I believe I will have upcoming posts about marriage, as the Lord leads! In the meantime, enjoy whatever season you are in. If you are married, rededicate your heart to your spouse. If you are single, delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart!

 

 

Give Jesus Your Heart: Find Peace And Rest

I waited outside of Pizza Hut. Everyone in town that night was there and they didn’t have what we wanted to order. So, we waited. My daughter had to use the bathroom and it was going to be at least a half-hour before we got home. So while the whole family was in the van, waiting for pizza, I took my daughter inside to use the bathroom. As I stood there waiting for her, I habitually reached inside my pocket and found a piece of paper. Curiously, I read it and found a Bible passage. Peace I leave with you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

I wrote a post, previously about how I am not afraid of Coronavirus (see: Why I Am Not Afraid During This Coronavirus Pandemic). Please go read that post if you haven’t already. After I posted that, I started to feel like people may think me cocky or arrogant for saying the things I said. Then I rethought it and I didn’t feel bad about it. I’d be scared right now, with everything going on if it weren’t for Jesus in my life. That was the whole point of the post.

Which brings me back to the meaning of that Bible passage. The Lord wants each of us to find our peace in Him. I don’t even remember what I was expressing anxiety about that night, but the Lord gave me a reminder that when I take my mind off of the problems in the world and turn to Him, that I can have that assurance of peace and rest that no one else can give. We all need it. We all need Him: The Prince of Peace. Jesus.

It is His pleasure to give you His peace: But the price is giving up the world and all the things of it. If you’re living in an ungodly way, you will be disconnected from fellowship with the Father and you’ve given up rights to the peace Jesus promised when He said, “the peace I give is a gift the world can not give.”  So many people don’t want to be Christians because they don’t want to be bound by rules or they think God is a hard taskmaster who inflicts punishment on His people for the slightest inkling of sin. I say those people have never been led to the cross.

Once one gets a revelation that the God of the universe came to earth in humility to be born as a baby, die and go to hell in my place and rise again so that I don’t have to experience everlasting punishment, he or she has been shown the mercy of the cross and the beauty of the broken Savior who is now risen, victorious over sin and death.

As believers, we are called to live in the light and show unbelievers the Way. Yes, we make mistakes. But each act of unwillful sin has been paid for and the Lord is not hanging that stuff over our heads, angry at us. When I am reminded of this (and I must be often), I am time after time, in awe of Jesus. And I have that peace in my heart that surpasses all understanding.

Am I anxiety-free every day? No (I wish!). Am I stress-free every day? Do all of my plans go as I want to? No. Am I happy every single day? No. But I know who holds the world (and me) in His hands. I know that He will never leave or forsake me. And I trust Him.

Bitter Or Grateful: Your Choice

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they were afraid he would retaliate against them. So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father commanded us before he died, saying, ‘You are to say to Joseph, “I beg you, please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin.” ’ Now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers went and fell down before him. But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? Vengeance is His, not mine! As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present outcome, that many people would be kept alive.

  • Paraphrase from the book of Genesis

We see that Joseph was in a position to choose punishment for his brothers, who greatly hurt him in one of the most awful ways. When his brothers sold him into slavery, Joseph went through many years of suffering. But the Lord turned what was meant for evil into great blessings! Instead of being bitter toward his brothers and enslaving them or killing them, he forgave them and was able to bless them with the abundance that the Lord gave him.

There are many ways we can be hurt in this life. Some things that hurt you may not even bother me. Every situation is different for each person because we all have different personalities. But we also all have a choice. In Joseph’s situation, most would say he had the right to do whatever he wanted to with his brothers, who were now at his mercy. He asked them, “Am I in the place of God?”

Sometimes, when we are hurt or don’t agree with someone, we’ve got to understand that the Lord is the judge between you and me. Just as your brother or sister is not perfect in every way, you are not perfect in every way. We live in a fallen world, full of sin and have relationships with imperfect people. The ruler of this world is Satan, who influences people to hurt one another. As a Christian, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can walk in love. But still no one is perfect at communication and love in any relationship. We pray for the Lord’s will to be done, for His kingdom to come, but flaws stick out sometimes.

Pray and let the Lord be the judge!

For the horses of Pharaoh went with his war-chariots and his charioteers into the sea, and the Lord brought back the waters of the sea on them, but the sons of Israel walked on dry land in the middle of the sea.
Then Miriam took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her with timbrels and dancing. Miriam answered them,“Sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously and is highly exalted;The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.” Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went into the Wilderness. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water… The water may have been like that of the Dead Sea, which has such a high salt content that it is bitter, and the natural reaction when attempting to sample it is to spit it out immediately… The people grumbled at Moses… There the Lord made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there God tests His people to see if they are learning from past experiences and growing in spiritual maturity. He tested them, saying, “If you will diligently listen and pay attention to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and listen to His commandments, and keep all His precepts and statutes, then I will not put on you any of the diseases which I have put on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”
– Paraphrased from the book of Exodus
In this passage from Exodus, we see that Miriam praised the Lord greatly, in song after the Lord delivered the Israelites. But as soon as they got a little further into the wilderness and encountered another problem, they complained. The water was bitter and they couldn’t drink it. Instead of praying, they complained. The Lord heard them and had Moses intercede for them.
We must learn to give thanks for the goodness the Lord has instilled in our lives, instead of looking for every little fault. Instead of complaining, pray and be grateful for every way the Lord has blessed you!
When others hurt us, pray for them, forgive, and keep it moving. If we don’t like something, don’t be bitter or ungrateful, but ask the Lord for change! But know that the change He does may not be in your situation, but in your own heart.
May the Lord bless you and keep you all the days of your life, and may you always dwell in His house! I pray this word has blessed you, Sister, Brother. In the name of Jesus!
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