Friday, October 24, 2014

Five Facts About Me


I really enjoy reading posts that let me know the blogger a bit better.  So here are five facts about me that you may not know.  :)

1.}  During the week, my alarm goes off at 5:30am.  I love waking up before anyone else in my home and having quiet time.  I am an early bird for sure!

2.}  I really enjoy doing laundry and have set days that I get to do it.  I am not sure why I love it so much.  Maybe it's the sense of accomplishment?  Or maybe I'm just a weirdo! :)

3.}  I have tried numerous shampoos and conditioners over the years and I have FINALLY found the ones!  My hair has never looked more healthy and I have had lots of good hair days.  My true loves are Redken All Soft shampoo and conditioner.

4.}  I love, love, love almond butter.  If it weren't for the calories, I could eat a whole jar in one sitting.  {Oops...I think I'm drooling!!}  I have a tablespoon on Ezekiel toast each morning and never grow tired of it.

5.}  My favorite city is New York City.  Ahh....just typing it makes me smile!!  I love the sights, the busy, the restaurants, the subway, the people, the shows, the shopping....I could go on and on!! :)

And my P.S. is .... I enjoy laughing and finding funnies in my day.  I get a kick out of making my husband laugh, especially when he's trying to fall asleep.  Is that mischievous of me?? ;)

I hope you all feel like you know me a bit better now-
xoxo



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Phew...It's not about us



I have people in my life that just aren't very nice.  One minute they are friendly, and the next minute they are ouchy.  I refer to them in this way because when I walk away from them, I feel like I've been kicked...by a big angry horse.


Can you relate??


Unfortunately, I can't extinguish these people from my life.  My family and I would have to move far, far away. 


Does anyone come to mind as you read this?  It's not a nice warm fuzzy feeling, is it?


When I think about these people, I can get grumpy.  My mood can literally be affected. 


I've been thinking about this a great deal lately.  My husband and I were talking about it the other night and discussing how people that are mean, passive aggressive, and selfish make those around them feel so dirty.  The people on the receiving end can walk away feeling so wounded and frustrated. 


We also discussed that the people are just not joyful people. How truly sad-


A dear friend and I got onto the subject today and really dug deep into it.  We decided that those people, and people like them, aren't really being mean to us.  Their hearts are suffocating in pain.  Nobody chooses to be mean.  They become that way because they have held on to hurts, insecurities, worth issues, traumas, etc. 


So often, people {me included!} look in a mirror rather than looking at the other person.  We feel the rejection and the sting and take it personally.  We focus on how it makes us feel rather than how the other person feels.


I am not saying we should ever allow ourselves to be treated badly.  I fully believe we should take up for ourselves.  Often times, that means stepping away from the situation.  If we must be around the person, we can excuse ourselves to a different area. 


As my friend and I were talking, I felt a big weight being lifted off of my shoulders.  While it doesn't feel nice to be around mean or passive aggressive people, it is not about ME or YOU.  It is totally about the people acting out.  It is about their feelings of pain, unworthiness, loneliness, etc.


This totally changed the game for me.  Yes, I have heard this many, many, many times before.  However, I had let my heart forget.  I held up a mirror and only recognized my hurts.  Shame on me.


When I consider the pain that weighs hearts down, it makes me ache for the people that often cause me to want to kick a wall.  My focus has changed and I can now realize that they need a good dose of Jesus.  They need to be reminded {or shown for the first time} that they are loved by a King.  He longs to carry their burdens and fill their hearts with His love.  He longs to show them the freedom that comes with His worth, not the world's hurts.


So....I am committing to pray for my ouchies.  The next time I have an ugly thought about them or cringe when I see them, I will immediately go to God.  I will pray for them to experience His peace and redemption.  I will pray that they fully trust in Him to take their hurts and live lives that honor Him.


I'm certain - because I'm human - that I will not be perfect at this.  Thankfully, Jesus doesn't want perfection.  He wants effort and He wants my heart to be focused on Him.  May He convict me every time my thoughts are negative and inwardly focused.



Monday, October 20, 2014

Scripture Study Printables-Week Two





{To print this memory card, click here}

Our Scripture study this week is John 10:10.  I believe this verse is so important, especially with all of the scary things going on in our world and country.  Satan would love nothing more than to get us in such a tizzy that we fail to look to Jesus.  Jesus has promised us a life of abundance when we place our eyes and hearts on Him.

Jesus guarantees His loves a life full of abundance when we rid our hearts of lies and walk fully with Him.  I'm excited to see what God does to our hearts this week as we gather at His throne and become more confident of the lives He longs for us to have.

Won't you join me this week in memorizing this verse and integrating it fully in to our lives?  Oh the joy that comes from studying God's Word!

The printable study sheet involves a series of heart questions that will cause you to rid your heart of the thief's lies and grab fully on to the life Jesus desires for you.

{To print the worksheet, click here}

I hope you have started a folder for the worksheets so that you can easily refer to them.  Remember to keep the memory verse printable with you at all times.  The more you repeat it, the faster it will attach itself to your heart and mind.

Praying for all you to feel Christ's abundance this week.

In love-








Thursday, October 16, 2014

Standing up for Jesus


Something has been weighing on my heart so heavily lately but I haven't spoken or written much about it.  Honestly, I was afraid of offending people.  I pray each morning for Jesus to break my heart for what breaks His and I can tell you with confidence that He certainly has.

I have decided to take a stand for Jesus.  I am choosing to stand firm in my faith and my love for Him.  It's time to care more about offending Him than offending people. 

My stand is against the practice of homosexuality.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God's kingdom?  Do not be deceived:  No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God's kingdom.

That's a pretty hefty list of sins, don't you think?

If you read through them, you will only find one that society celebrates and tells us we should tolerate.

In all of the sins listed I have only heard of parades, flags, Disney days, etc. for homosexuality. 

The definition of tolerance is "a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one's own" {www.dictionary.reference.com}

I have searched and searched the Bible and cannot find one single Scripture that tells me to have a permissive attitude towards a sin.  In all honesty, I don't think we are suppose to be ok with sin.  Doesn't that take away from Jesus dying for us?  Isn't it a slap in His face to sweep sin under the rug and tell Him to chill out about it? 

{Click here to read an article from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association about tolerance.}

I have, however, found numerous Scriptures that instruct me to love EVERYBODY. God has given me a heart filled with love for people.  If you know me personally, then you know I speak the truth.  I am the kind of person who will compliment (not flatter), help, and love all over someone regardless of color, socioeconomic class, etc.  In no way whatsoever am I calling for a rise up against people.  I am calling for a rise up against sin.  Those are two totally separate things.

Honestly, I completely believe those who call themselves Christians should be loving all over people who identify with homosexuality.  Aren't we suppose to be living lives that mirror Jesus?  We are suppose to be stepping out in society sharing His love with ALL people.  When we throw hate, we turn people away from Jesus. 

Recently I was asked, "You are a sinner.  Don't you want people to be tolerant of you?"  My answer was a definite NO.  I don't want people to be tolerant of my sins.  I want people to speak to me in love.  Love is not always fluffy and feel good.  Love is about truth and wanting what is best for a person.  If I am walking in sin, I want those around me to talk with me about it.  If I get mad, then the nasty sin of pride has reared it's ugly head.

I live in Houston, Texas and our mayor is openly gay.  In the past week, she has called for various pastors around our city to hand over any sermon notes/sermons that speak out against homosexuality or her.  If they do not, she will hold them in contempt of court.  {You can read about it here.}  Thankfully the pastors are not hiding behind closed doors, they are standing up knowing Jesus is right with them.  One in particular said that he has been called to speak the truths of Scripture, not cower to intimidation.  Good for him.

So-
I'm standing up for Jesus and calling for prayer for those who are living in homosexuality.  As  Christians, it is time to get back to openly and honestly serving and loving Jesus.  We have to stand firm in our faith and our belief in the Scriptures.  If we truly believe the Bible is the Word of God, then we have to take Him at His word.  We can't treat the Bible like trail mix and pick and choose what feels good to us. 

Stand firm in love for Jesus and all people.  Are you willing to love Jesus and people enough to speak truths and not hide behind political correctness? 





How sure are you??








{To print this card, click here}
Are you confident that Jesus loves you?


Beyond a shadow of a doubt sure?


Lately I have heard more than a few people state that it is easy to pray for others, but when it comes to praying for themselves it is awkward and just doesn't feel right.


When I first heard people stating their trouble, I was troubled.  You see, I talk to Jesus all of the time.  I certainly don't think I'm better in any way-please hear me say that.  My heart aches for anyone who feels unworthy to be transparent with Jesus.


I began to ponder this because it was so heavy on my heart.  What causes someone to doubt their worth so much that he/she feels so uncomfortable asking his/her Maker for guidance, help, or just a shoulder to cry on?


What traumas have hearts received that have caused them to hide from the One who sees their beauty, potential, and worth?


I know exactly what traumas - they are called life.  Life can be paired with rejections, harsh words, loneliness, betrayals, etc.  These things lead straight to feelings of unworthiness.


We begin to walk with less spring in our step and put on protective gear.  We may smile and appear to have it all together, but our insides are crumbling. 


I can write all of this because this used to be me.  I can identify with feelings of great unworthiness and loneliness.  I can relate to feeling like Jesus doesn't see me with my head hung low and tears streaming down my face.


We believe the lie - You aren't worthy.  We buy into the if only statements.
  • If only I were a size_____.
  • If only my parents would have loved me.
  • If only I hadn't repeated the same sin over and over.
  • If only I didn't fall to sexual sin when I was younger.
  • If only my marriage hadn't ended in divorce.
  • If only I were able to have children.
  • If only my spouse loved me.
  • If only my spouse wouldn't have had an affair.
  • If only I hadn't lost my job.
I could keep this list going and going, but you get the picture.


So here's the thing -
God does NOT see us the way we see us.  He sees a beautiful person whom He planned before He created the world.  He loves you with a heart bigger than our human minds can imagine.  He turns His back on sin, but please hear me when I say -HE DOESN'T TURN OFF HIS LOVE.


Below I have listed Scriptures for you to think upon, pray upon, and store in your heart as truths.  If you struggle with your worth, please copy these and speak them over yourself often.  Jesus gives you His words to wash you in His love.  Take them in and become what they promise.


Isaiah 43:1 - Do not fear, I have redeemed you, I have called you by name; You are Mine.

Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us {you}.

Zephaniah 3:17 - The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in His love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.

Psalm 46:5 - God is within her; she will not be toppled-


Hebrews 4:15-16 - For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.

Lastly, I heard something from a Beth Moore teaching session that has changed my heart towards God's love for me.  She stated that when she talks to Jesus, she no longer says, "I love you" to Him.  She now says, "I love you too" because He first loved her.  Isn't that beautiful??  It has changed the way I know He sees me.  It confirms to me that He does love me. 


Look around at all He has placed before you and know that He did it just for YOU.


Sending you all my love through this post-
xoxo

Monday, October 13, 2014

Printable Scripture Study-Week One

If you read my post earlier today, you saw that I am starting a Scripture study on my blog.  Each Monday I will provide a worksheet to help in the memorization of a particular verse.  You can click here to see that post.  I'm pretty excited about it!! :)


Click here to get the printable worksheet for week one. 


Here is what it looks like:

Scripture Study Printable-Week One

I think it is so important to study and memorize Scripture.  It helps us grow in our relationship with Christ.  Also, as we experience life, various Scriptures that we've attached to our hearts will come to mind.  They help us celebrate joys, encourage others, and walk through valleys. Scriptures have become so precious to me.


I want to share my love of Scriptures and provide a worksheet each Monday to help in the memorization and study of God's Word.  The worksheet will provide a Scripture and a series of questions so you can dig deeper into your heart and application of the verse.  I would suggest that you create a notebook so you can easily refer to the worksheets. I will also provide a printable with just the verse on it so you can keep it with you at all times. You can practice reciting the Scripture throughout the day until it has attached itself to memory.


The more we dig into God's Word and crave to know Him deeper, the more blessed our hearts are.  I am excited to begin this journey and I pray that our hearts move towards Him every week.


****I was so determined to get this posted today, yet I am having a ton of trouble trying to figure out how to turn it into a printable for you guys.  If you'll bear with me, I promise to get it right.  For this week, you will have to copy and paste it and then print it.  I apologize for the trouble, but I am beyond anxious to get this started!****





Scripture Study

{WEEK ONE}

Philippians 1:27 – Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Write it…

 

Pray it…{Ask Jesus to give you wisdom to live for Him completely.  Confess that you want Him to convict your heart of things in your life that aren’t worthy of Him.}

 

What ways can you apply this Scripture to your life?

 

What does it mean to live a life worthy of Jesus?

 

What things do you need to get rid of in order to fully live in a manner worthy of Jesus?

 

****END OF WEEK****

How did you feel Jesus speaking to you this week in regards to this verse?

 

This verse is meant to bring freedom, not condemnation.  As you move to a new week, continue to grow in freedom and walk in joy with Christ.

 

Write it from memory…

 

Write out a prayer…