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What If

What if I believed that I mattered

Instead of walking around like my heart is shattered

What if I believed in my success

Instead of always believing  I am a mess

What if I held my head up high

Instead of hanging it low and shy

What if I believed I was whole

Instead of in believing that I need to remain burrowed like a mole

What if  I walked into the light

Instead of staying behind in fright

What if I choose to trust

Instead of thinking hesitation is a must

What if I believe I am freeImage

Instead of endlessly searching for a missing key

Focus ~one word for 2013

Have you made your new years resolutions yet? I 100E6162didn’t make any this year ! In lieu  of my usual New Years resolutions , I have chosen a word for 2013.  The word I chose is Focus.  Dictionary.com defines focus as :a central point, as of attraction, attention, or activity.  I define focus  as a large challenge in my daily life.  Focus has evaded me for a long time. Focus is one of my personal Goliath’s that I am going to conquer within 2013. Do you have a word for 2013? Feel free to share your word so that we may encourage and pray for one another!

Rest in Christ alone

I have a confession to make. My confession is that I struggle with people pleasing. As the chains of  bondage are lifted, I realize that I cannot please God and man. Through unfortunate circumstances, someone I care deeply about is no longer speaking to me for the time being. I am not sure when she will decide that she wishes to speak with me again. The knowledge of this tears my heart into shreds.  Through my prayers and tears  Jesus has whispered softly in my ear to rest in him alone. He says that my validation, self-worth and value all come through him and him alone.

I will continue to pray for my relationship with my dear loved one. Although now I realize its not Gods plan to put so much into being validated by man. Jesus will never let me down. He will never refuse to speak with me . His love will not be withheld because of something that I did or did not do. I cannot earn his love. No matter what I do, he will be by my side , because he loves me unconditionally without strings attached. It’s foolish to expect this from human relations. Putting unrealistic expectations on our human relationships result in heartbreak.  Please don’t misunderstand, it’s not that I am giving up on my relationships with everyone.  I have  taken a step back and realized that relationships are not the deciding factor in my identity. Jesus is my creator and my all. My hope lies in him alone. He is my redeemer, friend and so much more.

I am excited to turn this page in my faith. The realization that my identity lies in Jesus alone  is freeing beyond my wildest dreams.  My aha moment has changed my heart. It still hurts to not speak with my loved one but I know that all things work together for the good of Christ. My prayer is for my loved one and I to reconcile with a stronger bond than ever. What the future of the circumstance holds I don’t know . Above all things I do know that I am a princess of a king. My Daddy Jesus is the prince of peace and my faith rests in him.

Legalism by Hannah Simmons part two

The first kind of legalism is where the law of God is kept in order to attain salvation.  This is a heresy, a completely false doctrine. According to the following Scriptures: Romans 3:28, 4:5, and Galatians 2:21, we are not able to attain salvation by our keeping the law. Therefore, to try to gain salvation through one’s efforts is a false teaching.  It is so bad that those who hold to it cannot be Christians since it would deny salvation by grace through faith.

The second form of legalism is where a person tries to keep or maintain his salvation by keeping the law. This is also a false doctrine.  We receive our salvation by faith (Eph. 2:8-9), not by our ability to be good because no one does good (Rom. 3:10-12).  As Rom. 3:28, 4:5, and Gal. 2:21 clearly show, we are justified by faith, not by faith and works.  Furthermore, there are strict warnings about attempting to keep the law in order to maintain salvation:  Gal. 3:10, “For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.’”  And James 2:10, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”  So, if a person is seeking to be either saved by his works (Law) or maintain his salvation by his works (Law), then he is under obligation to keep all of it, and if he does not then he is guilty before God.  Furthermore, consider Jesus’ words in Matt. 7:22-23, “Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in thy name? and in thy name cast out devils? and in thy name perform many wonderful works?’ 23 “And then I will profess to them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’”  Christ condemned those that appealed to their actions for their salvation.  So it should be obvious that we do not keep our salvation by our efforts.

The last kind of legalism, where a Christian keeps certain laws and regards other Christians who do not keep his level of holiness with contempt, is a frequent problem in the church. Now, it is important to understand that all Christians are to abstain from fornication, pornography, adultery, stealing, lying, etc.  Christians do have a right to judge the spirituality of other Christians in the areas where the Bible clearly speaks.  However, in the debatable areas we need to tread carefully, and this is where legalism is more difficult to define.  Rom. 14:1-12 says that we are not to judge our brothers on debatable issues.  One person may eat certain kinds of foods where another would not.  One person might worship on a particular day where another might not.  We are told to let “every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Rom. 14:5).  As long as our freedom does not violate the Scriptures, then everything should be all right.

Guest blogger- talking about legalism part one

Legalism Morality and the Law

God is a god of law. Indeed, law is essential to human civilization. Those who live their lives  under obedience to God posses great esteem even love for the law. In the book of Psalms David stated repeatedly that he loved Gods’ laws. (Psalms 119:47,48,97,113,119,127,159,163,165,167).  He expressed  “delight” in Gods laws. ( Psalm 119:16,24,35,47,70,77,92,143,174 even insisting “I long for they precepts”. Paul decried those who lack love of the truth (2 Thessalonians  2:10).  It should be noted that each society that has disdained law or recklessly enjoined laws that have conflicted with Gods laws, that nation experiences social  chaos , destruction and eventual collapse.  However now conformity to law and doctrine  is now considered “legalism”.  Christianity suffer from the same lack of authority as liberal society does for law.  Once homosexuality was condemned in accordance to the bible, now  homosexuals are being installed as church leaders.  The simple  worship practices set in the New Testament  are exchanged for  practices that cater to the fleshly desires  of the worshipper- from communion for pets to the praise teams  and rock and roll music (Miller, 2008).

Lets examine what the proper definition of legalism is.  True legalism is excessive and improper use of the law.  Legalism can take many forms.  First is where a person attempts to keep the law in order to attain  salvation.   The second is where a person keeps the law in order to maintain salvation.  Third  is when a Christian  criticizes another Christian for not  observing certain codes of conduct that he  believes needs to be kept.

 

Christian Olympics

Last week I had the  pleasure of beta testing the first annual Christian Olympics, along with an amazing group of Christian women.  A fun faith-based organization called Love Life Wellness  is organizing these special events .  Its easy free and fun to join.  Everything  will be  played  on-line through facebook and an adorable website named  Mindbloom . The fast paced hectic schedules  that most women have leave little time to coordinate time for fun and friendship. The Christian Olympics has done the planning of these Special events.  All that is required of you is attending on-line within the comfort of your own home or wherever is best for you.

One of my favorite parts of the Special events is the encouragement that is given abundantly. While nurturing existing friendships you also have the opportunity to start new friendships  with other women , who are metaphorically running this race  to seek Jesus.  For where two or three are gathered in my name , there I am with them (Matthew 18:2o Niv).

Nutrition, relationship and faith are all three main components in the special events.  I know that making huge changes usually causes me to crash and burn.  During the Christian Olympics  small improvements will be made.  I find I can stick to smaller steps much easier than huge steps .

God calls us outside our comfort zones to live boldly for him.  The fun special events help  creatively push you outside your comfort zone . I almost forgot to mention there are  ten  really awesome prizes. Also there is  a 48 hour online contest two days before  the Special events begin.

For more details be sure to visit http://bit.ly/FacebookChristianOlympics

Disclosure: I received a free preview of The Christian Olympics to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.
 

Ten things I am thankful for

10. Sunshine

9. peaches

8. fresh drinking water

7. airconditioning

6. books

5. social media

4. babies

3.my daughter

2.my husband

1. Jesus

I felt like I needed a blog post about things I am thankful for . Although many things can go wrong ,there is always alot of things to be thankful for!

 

The fall

It was Thursday which meant that is was the day I would talk to my biblical counselor.  I always look forward to my conversations with her.  She allows the Holy-spirit to lead our sessions.  It was nearing nine am I briefly went into the office to turn my laptop on ,as I always do every morning.  With one misstep I could feel my littlest toe stuck smack dab in the middle of my daughters little people car wash toy. With slight panic and without thinking I yelled I’m stuck.  My loving daughter ran to my aid.

I told her don’t move the toy, I’m stuck.  After a few moments I was able to dislodge my toe. The next thing I knew was I had fallen with great force flat onto my back. My breathing was laboured.  The phone rang my daughter handed it to me. Thankfully it was my counselor whom I’m sure didn’t know what to think, as I took a minute to even be able to utter anything out of my mouth.

The majority of our call was spent calming me down from my traumatic fall.  For the rest of the day I rested.  A week later my pain level was worsening.  That is when I decided a trip to the doctor was necessary.  After having x-rays it was confirmed , I  have a  compression fracture to the lumbar vertebrae of my spine.  The doctor told me he was referring me to a spine doctor in a nearby town.

My fall made me realize how fast life can change in a split second . Things that I normally wouldn’t even have to think twice about doing, have now became a struggle!  Although the fall was painful, I know and trust that all things work together for the good of those who follow Jesus!  I don’t believe that my loving Jesus made me fall.  Yet I do believe he let me fall.  He didn’t let me fall to be mean.  I feel he like any other parent needed my attention.  I like many children was simply not listening to him.  Excuses were abundant in my life.  With many of the excuses being not relevant right now in my life Jesus has my attention.  No longer is accomplishment of daily things a road block . I have to rest in who I am in him.

Most of my life has been spent measuring my worth by my accomplishments.  I had to be taken to a place where I could be  still, to see his mighty love for me. A love  that doesn’t depend on a clean house or organized cabinets.  My journey has taken an unexpected turn.  Despite  the various challenges present with my spine injury, I’m excited to see what Jesus reveals to me during this season of stillness in my life!

Conquering perfectionism

Last Thursday I fell and sustained a compression fracture to my spine. My DR gave me strict orders to not bend, lift or pick up anything off the floor.   Rewind to earlier in the week as I was reading a friends blog on the subject of you guessed it , perfectionism.  I had enthusiastically announced in the comments that I was looking forward to conquering perfectionism along with her!

Shortly after commenting on the post , my life went back to normal.  Life was sailing along smoothly . Routine was settling in I was staying caught up on doing my dishes and laundry. The usual daily complaints were made about how little time I had and how much-needed to always be done!  Out of nowhere came the fall that changed my perspective on numerous things , including my issues with perfectionism.

My motto used to be  If I cant do it myself I am a failure . The motto was mainly set aside for the purposes of house work and household management!   I have had to rely on my husband to do dishes, laundry and cooking.  All things which are prevented by my injury.  I am very grateful for my husband and daughter who have had great servants hearts towards me.  I am the one who has had to let go of the fact that dishes will lay in the sink long after a meal. No worries we are now using paper plates.

Before my injury, I thought that if the house was not perfect shape then nothing else could be done until it was! As you may have guessed, I didn’t participate in many fun things! My perfectionism was holding me back in all areas of my life. My days are now spent resting and spending time with my daughter and husband. My plans are to make relationship over perfectionism my priority! My days are spent resting in the presence of our saviour, who was begging for my heart before. He was crowded out by business and perfectionism.  Daily I’m learning to make Jesus and my family priority over organization and housework!

 

Conversation with Jesus

Stand  in awe and amazement at me. Gain reverence for me . You are lacking the deep desire and longing  for me.  Seek me with all your heart and you shall find me.

I don’t want crumbs of your day.  Nor do I want the leftovers of your day.  I want your first fruits of the day.  Stop looking to others.

I am more than enough. My child I will not beg you.  I know you feel the tug of the Holy spirit.

Listen to the gentle whisperings that it pours into your heart and soul.  Be still let me fill you with  my love.  So that we may know each other deeper each moment.

Stop filling your day with so much busyness of your mind.  Focus on one matter at a time.  Dont be idle in your day.  Idleness breeds discontentment, Which in turn gives birth to sin !

Set your focus on me , without straying to the left or right.  Narrow is the path.  Stay on the path.  You will not be led astray.  I will lead you where many will attempt to go and few will enter.

We are not to conform to the likeness of this world.  I give you a free will. There are two choices, Me or the world?  The world which will waste away in to nothing,or eternity which is beautiful beyond comprehension!