Month: May 2019 (Page 1 of 2)

Praying Against Pride

None of us is perfect. We all have something to work on. Areas to improve in. It can be easy to judge and pass blame. Especially when we don’t understand why others do the things they do. Pride can settle in and harden your heart. This is why it’s so important to humble yourself before God does the humbling for you, showing you that you are no better than anyone else. I can be guilty, at times. That’s why I’m grateful that I have the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to remind me of how much I need grace just as much as the next person. I know I’m very blessed. Sometimes I have more than at other times. I try to be one who seeks the Lord just as much in my times of plenty as in my times of lack. I’m currently reading a book that tells true stories of Christian women being heavily persecuted for the Gospel and these stories are infusing my own faith in Christ. They also bring my heart to repentance because compared to a lot of Christians in persecuted countries, my life is easy. I can go to church without having to hide it, or being questioned by the police. I live comfortably enough, and have a loving, supportive family. I can live out my faith without being tortured mercilessly, or killed. I am free to openly share my faith and the love of Christ and instead, sometimes I withhold it from others. So I go to the Lord, and ask Him to work on my heart because this makes me feel ashamed. I am no better than anyone else, and I needed saving when I was lost, just like the next person. So I repent and the Lord mercifully works in my heart when I come to Him because He is good. I am not, but He is. So I trust that He will see to completion the work He started in me.

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From Toddler To Big Boy

Reese came out smaller than I imagined him to be. My first baby, I really didn’t know what he was going to look like. He had long, skinny legs and I had to go out and get him some newborn pants that fit him. Barely any of the stuff I had for him fit. When he got older, around the time most kids talk, I started to get concerned. At 2 years old, he was only saying a couple of words. When he was about 2 1/2, I took a parenting class. At the end of the class, there was a community fair with different childhood services for children and I saw a table offering speech therapy for children. I asked them how I could get my son started, and right away, someone started coming once a week into the house to spend an hour with him. I learned so much from those lessons. Being a first time parent, I was a little clueless, to be honest. I took the leading from my husband on a lot of parenting stuff, but Reese was getting to the age that he needed more. The speech therapy classes helped him immensely, but they also helped me learn how to interact with him and teach him on my own. From little, Reese has always been a fast learner, and very inquisitive.

When Reese was around 3 1/2 years old.

From between 1 to 4 years old, he didn’t like watching shows that didn’t teach. His favorite things to watch were ABC videos, nursery rhyme videos, and videos that taught colors and shapes. So he knew all that stuff very early. He also loved Legos and would build castles and different structures pretty much every day. I remember when he was around 3 years old and we were sitting on the porch together. Every time, he saw an SUV, he’d point it out to me and say, “SUV.” I didn’t know where he got it from, but my guess was that he learned it from his car videos on YouTube. After he didn’t qualify for speech therapy in the home anymore, Reese started a communication and play class once per week that he got to take the school bus to… Which I was very excited about, because he continued to get services and was privileged to ride a school bus every Monday, which he loved. That continued until he was 4 years old and started Pre K. My heart! Just looking back on it all and how far my little boy has come, I can say that I am a proud mama!… Though he is a fast learner, Reese took a long time to potty train. It was like a nightmare lol.

Some of Reese’s favorite things are school, cars, corn dogs and pizza, Spongebob and video games. He is learning to read and is becoming a very good reader. He’s always telling me what signs say. In the house, and when we’re out and about (currently trying to get him to actually like reading books. This will be another goal for him over this summer!) As I write this, Reese is finishing up Kindergarten and I set a goal for him: To be able to tie his shoes before he starts first grade. So he’ll learn that over the summer. Some things I, as his mama want to stop doing over the summer is not to get upset so easily and yell at him when he does or doesn’t do something I expect of him. Reese is a really good boy. He’s very intelligent, obedient (for the most part), modest, funny, quiet, and loving. He’s my little helper, doesn’t mind doing things for me and he’s a sensitive boy. I pray the Lord continues to lead my husband and I in parenting him. I have high hopes for him, and I pray for his future, daily. He’s been prayed over, taught how to pray, and taught and read the Word of God since he was in the womb, and I believe that He will be a follower of Jesus Christ at a young age. A mighty force for the kingdom of the Lord. I can’t and won’t force him to serve the Lord, but I declare this over his life!

Reese with his puppy.
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Christians Don’t Have Fun?

When I was growing up in a very strict church, I thought that I was missing out on everything that normal kids were allowed to do. No pants, no makeup, no hair dye or hair cuts. No open toe shoes, no dancing, no jewelry, no movie theaters. I wasn’t allowed to do any of these things and I equated having no fun with who God is. Religion and rules are not God. Yes, according to the Bible there are Godly standards a Christian should live up to. But no matter what we do, we can not earn salvation and acceptance into God’s family. Accepting Jesus Christ’s work on the cross, repenting of your sins and choosing to live God’s way is what will earn you Salvation. In the Bible, the religious leaders were angry with Jesus because He showed love and compassion to people, and in their eyes, defied the ancient religious laws. Jesus said, ”
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” – Matthew 5:17. And in Romans 13:8, Paul wrote,
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” Now, we can not make up our own description of love based on our feelings and what we want. That’s lawlessness. But God is love and He tells us what love is in His word, the Bible. One thing love isn’t, is harsh human made restrictions that it’s hard for a person to live up to. Christians can have fun! In my opinion (from my own experience) Christians can have more fun than someone who is not a follower of Jesus. Reason being, when you know who made you, who He made you to be and that you are loved and accepted beyond what you see, you are free in Christ! Following Jesus is not boring and restricting. Yes, there are things you learn not to do as a follower of Christ, because you want to please the Lord, and you love Him. The closer you get to God, the less you will desire the things this world has to offer that don’t please God, have absolutely no eternal value and are actually detrimental to your soul… A little more about specifics of fun, if you will. First, Romans 14:1-2 says
“Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.” So some things for some people may be sin, according to what they believe, between them and the Lord. But if doing it in love and for the Glory of God, some things are okay. Do I think dancing is wrong? No. David and others in the Bible danced, praising God. And I know that
“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.” – James 1:17 Do I think that movie theaters, wine, jewelry, makeup and pants on women are all a sin? No. But you let those things be between you and the Lord and what your faith is like. A lot of good things have been perverted by the enemy of our souls and we should not partake in those perversions. Paul said,
“You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.” 1 Corinthians 10:23.

I said that all that about the law, love and truth to make some points. But when I am with my husband and kids, I have fun. When I go shopping, I have fun. When I go to church (Yes!) I have fun. When I go on a long drive, I have fun. When I go to a party, I have fun. When I make plans for the future with my husband, I’m having fun. When I go on a vacation, I have fun. I love God, and I want to please Him, and I enjoy the life He blessed me with.

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Ways I Connect With God

Praying. I don’t have a set prayer schedule. I tell the Lord thank you, when I wake up in the morning and whatever I’m feeling that morning. Then I pray throughout the day: How I feel, and about situations that come up. Then before I go to bed, I make sure I sit in quiet and thank Him for all I have, pray for those close to me and for whoever and whatever comes to mind.

Reading My Bible. I don’t read my Bible every day. I used to, and want to get back into it. I mostly stay in other books / devotionals. But when I do open my Bible (currently making my way through the Old Testament), I make sure I’m not distracted, I get out my pen and highlighters and take notes in my Bible study journal.

Listening to sermons. When I have time to just sit down, I want to listen to something. And I try to choose a sermon over music or just any other YouTube channel that I am subscribed to. And when I want to learn more about a particular scripture, I will look up a sermon on it. Or if I am struggling spiritually, I’ll look up a sermon pertaining to what I’m going through.

Going to church. Most of the time, I go to church every Sunday. In some seasons of my life, I don’t. Like, lately I have been working or just want to rest (I am on my third trimester of pregnancy!) But when I don’t go for a while, I miss it. Hearing the sermon, worshiping with other believers and just enjoying the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and the saints is really good for my soul. I also think it’s important to make relationships with other believers and form a community in the body of Christ.

Daily Devotions. I have been reading a lot of them lately. Sometimes I think I need to focus on just one, but lately it’s been working for me to do several. But when I find a topic that I need in my current state in life, I try to focus on devotions that center around that topic. I use the Youversion Bible app as well as devotional books that I have in my house.

Teaching my kids about Him. I believe ministering to my kids helps me to connect with God too. When I pray with them, or when I read their Bible with them, I am instilling truth into them and at the same time, reminding myself what is important. Because I need to learn, know and be reminded of the same things I teach them. I also teach them how to treat people, be obedient and how to respond to certain situations and the Lord speaks to me as I talk with them.

 

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Praying For My Husband

The Lord delivered me from negativity. As I’ve gotten closer to Him, he’s changed my heart. Naturally, I am a complainer. I still have tendencies here and there to be critical, but I hate being like that and I pray against it. I used to complain about my husband. To the Lord, and sometimes to other people. He’s always been good to me, but we went through some things and at first, my initial inclination was to go to someone close to me who would listen. I had to be taught. I believe complaining and negativity can negate prayer. You can’t mix Godliness with the works of the enemy. I remember when I had my turn around. I was going through a difficult season, spiritually, and was not happy in my marriage. I won’t get into why, I don’t think that’s important for this post. The turnaround was when I watched the movie War Room. I know there’s a book, but I haven’t read it… If you haven’t seen it, please go watch it! When I watched the movie, it ministered to me personally in a very profound way. I immediately started my own prayer space, based on the room she built in the movie. I don’t have an extra room, so I cleared out the middle of my bedroom and put a little rug there. My husband works nights, so when he would leave for work, first I’d put my son to bed with worship music on, praying him to sleep. Then I’d get on my prayer carpet with my Bible, a notebook and some worship music and pray the scriptures over my husband and our family. Over every situation that was going on. I did that for months and I had a spiritual breakthrough. Mainly, the Lord worked in my heart. I had somewhat of a hard heart because of what was going on and I needed the Lord to change not only the situation, but me first. I didn’t want to give up my marriage. That would be letting the enemy win and I wanted victory, in the name of Jesus. After I watched War Room and started my own, I picked up a book that my sister had sent me and had been sitting in my house for months. The Power Of A Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. It has guided prayers, specifically for your husband based on the Word of God. Now, I’ve gone through that book twice, and will be picking it up again soon. These are good tools: The movie and the book, but I also pray from my heart, specific prayers for my husband. For the Lord to give him the desires of his heart. For the health of his whole body. For the Lord to protect his life. For him to always be led by the Spirit of God… and so much more. I don’t love him perfectly. I try, and I pray about that too. To be a better wife to him. I am the closest person to him, so I see what he needs, physically and spiritually, but I don’t know him better than the Lord does. So I pray that he seeks the Lord to find Him… And I believe that a big part of praying for my husband is to have a heart that is pure before the Lord. To love and respect my husband to the best of my ability; and beyond, with the leading of the Holy Spirit. The enemy hates you and your husband. It makes him seethe to see a prosperous Godly marriage. The best thing you can do for your husband is to keep him covered in prayer!

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Jesus Loved Martha Too

I think I’m more like her than Mary, sometimes. Martha, I mean: In the passage chronicling the two sisters in Luke. Martha was a get ‘er done type, concerned with the house being taken care of and dinner being made. In contrast, Mary was at Jesus’ feet in adoration, soaking Him up.

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a]Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:38 – 42 (NIV) I’d like to be more like Mary. I mean, I spend time with the Lord on a daily basis; but I am always wishing I did have more time. To pray. To sit in silence and hear his voice. To soak up His words. I often find myself worrying about the house not being clean enough. Or what the kids are doing, or not doing. Or, “do I have enough time to cook today?” In this passage in Luke, Jesus told Martha that her sister chose the better thing. To spend time with Him. Not to say that getting things done is not important. The Lord knows how messy our houses are. And that we need to eat, and work and take care of the kids. But He also wants us to rely on Him for the strength to take care of the things that need to be done, and to put Him first in everything. Everyone has different personalities. And each personality has its own flaws. Each of is uniquely made and uniquely loved. Martha was probably more organized and in her rush to get things done, she neglected to spend time with Jesus. In my comparison to her, I’m not saying I’m OCD or the most organized person. Lord knows I wish I were. But when things are not done and I am left to take care of it, I worry. Ideally, I’d just be able to drop everything every moment I needed to take a few minutes or an hour with the Lord and get things done when I had the time. For most of us, we don’t have that time freedom. And the Lord knows that. Does that make Him love us any less? No. Maybe for us, it means we just need to be more concious of how we’re spending any free time we do have. Maybe more disciplined to spend less time on social media. Or to get up a little earlier. Go to bed a little later. Even to forfeit time with friends to go to church or have personal Bible study time instead. All in all, no matter what we do, we can not earn the love God has for us. And we can not earn a place in Heaven, through works. The finished work of the cross earned us eternity with the Lord. He is enough, and His grace is sufficient for our weaknesses.

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A Letter To My Sins

Well, where do I start with you? First off, let me say that I know you are already defeated by my Savior. He told me. 1.”…I have overcome the world!” Because of that, I know that 2.”… He who started a good work in me will see it to completion!” So starting from the stance of victory, let me tell you, sin; that you are already defeated because I will fight you ’til the day I go to see Jesus. 3.”The one who endures to the end will be saved.”… But you do get on my nerves. When I pray for days and weeks about you, and can’t seem to shake you, I trust that my Lord is working in my heart and burning you out of my spirit. And I will keep praying. I want to be right in the eyes of my Father. You know what, I am right in His eyes. Because the blood of His son, Jesus cleansed me once and for all. And the Holy Spirit within me is changing me. He is my Seal. He was given to me as a promise 4.”til the day of redemption!” And that day will come. So until then, I will fight, not only for my own soul, but for my family, fellow believers around the World and for humanity as a whole. Not only in prayer, but in the way I live my life; Resisting you ’til my last breath. Envy, wrath, resentment, laziness and gossip: I know I am not perfect, and occasionally I may take part in you for a moment. But I go in repentance to my Father, who forgives me through His son and I can be sure that because of my relationship with Him that I am free. Free from the hold you once had on me. Delivered from being your slave. You do not own me anymore. I write this letter to shed light on your schemes and to shame your advances on my life. You can not have my soul. The blood of Jesus is against you! Knowing this, you try to get at my weaknesses, but 5.”greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world,” and 6.”no weapon formed against me shall prosper.” I know that I am weak. I know I’m not perfect. So I rely on Jesus every day because 7.”His grace is sufficient for those weaknesses!” Lastly, I know you won’t give up. But know this: My confidence is in the One who is 8.”able to keep me from falling.” Goodbye, sin. I will no longer stay with you. My place is with my Savior.

Scripture references (in quotes): 1. John 16:33 2. Philippians 1:6 3. Matthew 24:13 4. Ephesians 4:30 5. 1 John 4:4 6. Isaiah 54:17 7. 2 Corinthians 12:9 8. Jude 1:24

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From Low Self Esteem To Confidence In Christ

“I am a new creation In Christ.” This is just one of the scriptures I used to quote when I first became a Christian. For a long time, It just sounded good. I believed it, but it wasn’t something that felt like it was apart of me. Having a true encounter with Christ that led me to accepting Him as Lord and savior gave me faith in His Word. So I believed what He said about me, but I still had no confidence. Growing up, and even into adulthood, I had confidence issues and low self esteem that resulted in me getting less from life. A lot less than if I had believed in myself. Even after I accepted Christ, I had low confidence. But He began to change me. Slowly. 7 years later, I am still that new creation! But I have visibly changed my attitude, my behavior and habits. Oh, I’m far from perfect. But I have developed a stronger relationship with my creator and I know who I am. I remember a foolish prayer I prayed, earnestly when I was a baby Christian; “Lord, make me perfect right away.” I didn’t realize, at the time that it was foolish. But I earnestly prayed that prayer because I was so aware of my sinful self, in the shadow of His holiness. Though I had been forgiven, I felt dirty. For months. I thank God that I was so aware, though I went through a lot of soul wrestling during that time, because I prayed and sought the Lord like I never had in my life. And that was just the beginning of my journey with Him. 7 years later, I still feel like I’m at the beginning of my journey with the Lord, but have made some leeway. I thank God that for the miracles He has done in my heart, in my family and in my life in general… I remember being scared of everything, growing up. I was sheltered, I had a fear of the world outside of home, church and school. And oh, I hated school. That was where all of the kids were who had been exposed to the outside world. I was painfully shy, self-concious, and just fearful. Always one of the “outcasts”, I guess you could say I was one of the weird kids. ‘Cause I didn’t fit into any of the cliques. Not only did I have these problems, but I also started to have emotional problems as a teen, and my bipolar disorder showed up. I can truly say, I don’t know where I would be without the Lord. Today, I still seek to build my confidence in Him even more! But I see Him with my heart and I don’t ever want to let Him go. I know I have a ways to go. I’m only in my mid 30’s, so I have my life ahead of me! “He has made everything beautiful in its time. – He has also set eternity in the human heart; Yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11.

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Musings Of A Stepmom

“Don’t take it personally. It’s not about you.” That’s what I’m trying to tell myself now. But it’s not that easy. When my step daughters don’t listen to me, I take it more personally than when my bio kids don’t listen. In my head, it’s because they just don’t care, rather than it being a parenting fault on my part. When I first became a step mom, I did everything I knew how to do for my oldest step daughter. Though I had never been a parent and made a lot of mistakes with her, I put my heart out there big time. And it hurt, big time. Now, with my youngest step daughter, she’s grown with me. We’ve developed a relationship naturally. I’ve known her since she was two, but I only get to see her about 4 days out of a month. So there’s not much time to be an influence on her. But still, I get frustrated when every time I see her, she has to be told the same things: “Put your dirty clothes in the laundry, not on the floor,” “Throw your trash in the garbage.” and “Please clean up after yourself.” I mean, I don’t expect anyone to be perfect, I’d just like to be respected in my house. So, what to do as someone who’s Mom, but not really? I guess I’m still figuring it out. First and foremost, I must be an example of a godly woman who loves and serves Jesus. So, I figure if I start there as a foundation, I can’t fail. Even when I make mistakes, I am still growing in Christ, therefore, whether they listen to me or not, I did my part. To some who are not step mothers, you may be saying to yourself, “Well, that sounds like any mother to me.” Uh, it’s not the same. Reason being, I have less control and authority than if they were my own. So, I pray for the Lord to help me let that go too. Before I got married, I saw life turning out differently. I never planned on being a step mom, LOL! To be quite honest, I didn’t have much of a plan for my life! But God did! I am happy now, and I thank the Lord. And the “happiness” I have is actually a joy that comes from my relationship with the Lord. Oh, he has blessed me! He’s brought me and my family a long, long way. But in my mind, I know anything can happen in life. But as long as I submit my ways to the Lord, He will have my back, whatever may happen. And I can keep that joy, because He will sustain it. So, living as an example of a godly mother, wife, and servant is possible for me. Something I strive for every day. I pray blessings and life, and health, over my step daughters. If they glean nothing else from me, may they know me as someone who loved God and grew with Him. And may they learn the love of Jesus.

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5 Books Every Christian Should Read

 

 

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In this YouTube video, I talk about 5 books every Christian should read. Watch the video, and I will list them here as well.

  1. Daily With The King by W. Glyn Evans: This is one of my favorite Christian devotional books. I’ve gone through the whole thing one whole time and I go back to it here and there. There’s really good insight from the author. I’ve found that these devotions have really challenged my faith. I sent it to my mom too. This is one of my favorite Christian books to read.

 

2. The Divine Romance by Gene Edwards: This book is an allegorical depiction of God’s plan of redemption of the human race and for Jesus to have his bride. It starts from before creation, depicting the whole story of the Bible. The Divine Romance is on my list of top Christian books to read that I think a lot of Christians probably haven’t heard of.

 

3. Lead Me, Holy Spirit by Stormie Omartian: I have not read this book yet. I want and got it from my local library because it’s been highly recommended to me for a while now.

 

4. Without Rival by Lisa Bevere: This book teaches you to really know your unique worth in Christ and how to stop comparing yourself with others. Before I even finished it, I put it on a list I have of my top Christian books to read because not only did it have me engrossed, but it challenged my faith. I borrowed it from my public library but I may buy it and add it to my own library.

5. The Bait of Satan by John Bevere: This book talks about offense, how it worms its way into our hearts, and how to avoid it. Probably my most highly recommended on this list. Because we have a million ways to become offended and carry grudges throughout our lives, it’s vitally important to know how to let things go that hurt us.

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