Posted in God's Lessons, My Abba Father, Pinterest

Following After Jesus Christ Only

As Christians, it is our desire to follow hard after Jesus Christ, isn’t it? That’s our main desire; to be more like Jesus. To be Holy as He is Holy. And that desire should reflect into every part of our lives. We should want that when people look at us, or hear us, or hear about us, they see Jesus. They see our love for Him and Him alone.

But what is pulling us away? What is causing our eyes not to see? Is it a book genre that isn’t as clean as it should be? Is it a TV show we don’t want to give up? Is it a person that intrigues us, but we know isn’t God-honouring? Is it a band we’re following after that is less than modest and Christ-like?Let us examine our hearts and find what’s truly being reflected. Myself included.

Today I want to focus on modesty, and  some bands that have my heart grieved. I won’t name names, but they are there. I see them, and I don’t see Christ. I see them leading so many astray – causing so many young people to want to become just like them, in how they act, in how they play their music, and how they dress. It is easy to be blinded by the glitter and glam. We all do it – we all fall prey to some deceiving situation. But we must be on our guard, and we must bring everything, no matter how much we live it and love it and don’t even think of it as being wrong, to the foot of the Cross.

How we present ourselves on the outside often shows what is inside. It is often a good indicator of where hearts are at.  Modesty is a big debate out there, and everyone’s perception of it is vastly different. But it can all be summed up in a few things:

Does is draw attention to us or does it point to Jesus?

Are we dressing to please ourselves and fellow man, or Jesus?

Does it cover ourselves, or reveal?

We ultimately should dress to impress Jesus alone. To glorify Him in our body. Maybe that doesn’t mean wearing skirts for you, but it should mean covering yourself appropriately. If our dress causes others, especially men, to gawk at us (and not in a good way), perhaps we should change. I have heard of quite a few young men that find modest apparel more eye-drawing, in a good way, than they do with the immodest low-cuts and short skirts/tight pants. It’s a statement, modesty is. And if you’re going to wear the tight, short, revealing clothing, you’re making a statement – even if you think it’s harmless and you’re just doing it for fun. That’s not how it comes across to the world. Again, I say, you’re making a statement, and if it’s not pointing to Jesus, it’s not a good one.

And it’s hard, because the Christian bands we look up to are not representing this in their clothing. They are dressing to look ‘cool’ to the crowd. But that’s not our goal. It is not our goal to be like the world. But to be like Him who created the world.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30

Let the world see LESS of us, and MORE of Him. In every aspect of our lives. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:17

 

Another topic that has my heart greatly saddened is how so often, we turn a blind eye to darkness and call it good. We watch things, and follow things, and read things, that aren’t of the light, but we make excuses. Why? Because we want what pleases us. I am including myself in this. For me, the stumbling block, the gray line, is books. I love books. I love reading. And sometimes the books I like contain things that aren’t really godly – they aren’t usually blatantly bad, but they sometimes slip the radar. And sometimes I don’t want to face it, because I like the books. For others, it may be TV shows and movies. For instance, the huge thing today is zombies, vampires, all the movies and shows that condone killing one another, etc. As much as we don’t want to admit it, there is nothing godly about that. They are fully evil. Not of God, but of Satan to pull us away from Him. My parents always say “garbage in, garbage out”, and the truth of it is that the Bible says not to set anything evil before our eyes. Not just some things, but all things. And we try to justify by saying it’s not that bad, or everyone else is watching it, but we are not to be like everyone else. We are to be set apart.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:2

One thing that defines us as a Christian is not always what we are willing to do for Christ, but what we are willing to give up for Him. To lay down our life and will, to please and honour our Lord. Because He’s worth it all. Right? If we have a hard time deciding what is right and wrong to watch, read, follow, let’s try to think of it this way: Would you honestly sit down with Jesus and watch this particular show, or read this particular book, or follow this particular person with Jesus watching right beside us?

He gives us grace (praise God!), but He also gives us discernment. “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” – Romans 6:15  

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” Romans 6:1-2

 

So let us bring everything that we love, and live, and bring it to the light of Jesus – let His light penetrate all and give us a clear picture of His glory so that we may honour Him.

 

"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14

Posted in God's Lessons, My Abba Father, Spiritual beliefs

Numbing the Pain – it won’t do.

 

 

 

["With the songs on <i>Cathedrals<\/i>, Tenth Avenue North encourages us to get off our self-made islands of isolation, to break the chains of shame that have kept us there and to find communion with God and each other. Tenth Avenue North encourages us to realize God's spirit doesn't dwell in buildings, He dwells in us - for we are His cathedrals. <br><br><b>Track Listing:<\/b><br>\r\nNo Man Is An Island\r\n<br>Stars In The Night\r\n<br>Iesu, Dulcis Memoria (feat. Audrey Assad)\r\n<br>Cathedrals\r\n<br>I Need You, I Love You, I Want You\r\n<br>The Spark\r\n<br>Heaven\u2019s Sound\r\n<br>Stay\r\n<br>We Won\u2019t Numb The Pain\/Fire\r\n<br>Closer\r\n<br>All The Earth Is Holy Ground\r\n"] $9.99

(click above image to go listen to the song, and continue reading – below lyrics are some thoughts!)

“We won’t numb the pain” – Tenth Avenue North

We’re taking paths of least resistance
And never feel our soul’s persistence
Turn on the radio
We don’t wanna know
Keep on running in cruise control

We were never meant to live like this
So much has happened and too easy to miss, yeah
Cheap thrills, social media thrills, use sex like a drug and we can’t keep still

Distracted, distracted
Keep ourselves so distracted
We want more

We won’t numb the pain
Hands reaching to the sky
Hearts ready for the fire
Eyes open till we die

We won’t numb the pain
Slow down inside your life
Stand still against the tide
Keep fighting for the silence
We won’t numb the pain

I talk influence and being strategic
But all I’m feeling is narcissistic
Use recognition, but the adrenaline won’t stop long enough to hear this conviction

We were never meant to live like this
Stand up for anything and be dismissed
We don’t want it real, we keep it trivial
Objectified sex it gives a greater feel

We won’t numb the pain
Hands reaching to the sky
Hearts ready for the fire
Eyes open till we die

We won’t numb the pain
Slow down inside your life
Stand still against the tide
Keep fighting for the silence
We won’t numb the pain

We want the cure, not a medication
We’re gonna deal with it now
We want the cure, not a medication
We’re gonna deal with it now

We won’t numb the pain
Hands reaching to the sky
Hearts ready for the fire
Eyes open till we die

We won’t numb the pain
Slow down inside your life
Stand still against the tide
Keep fighting for the silence
We won’t numb the pain

Gonna feel my,
Gonna feel my,
Gonna feel my heart now

Let me get a taste of your sweetness
Give me one glimpse of your lovely light
Lord, be my joy and treasure
My delight

Let me have a sense of your presence
May I trust your mercy all my life
I just wanna be a fire burning in the night

Fire, fire, fire, fire
Fire in my heart, fire in my soul
May the fire of your love burn away control
Satisfy my heart, cause I don’t wanna steal
Or give in to my lust just to feel

Fire, fire, fire, fire

 

Change your heart

 

I like this song a great deal, but it I just realised how close to home it hits as I try to hide from pain. Sure, I face quite a bit of physical pain daily, but that is not what I fear. It’s the emotional and heart-hurting pain that I fear. It’s the letting go and letting God – I don’t want to get hurt. So I numb the pain, even as I sing this song.

What if God doesn’t want me to numb the pain? What if He wants me to experience it, so I can grow from it, heal from it, and seek Him more? I think that is the truth. But it’s scary.

What kind of pain are you afraid of? Admit and reveal it to God. It’s what I’m working on too. Thankfully, we have a God who does not judge or condemn – He helps us and strengthens us. He knows what we’re feeling and what we’re facing before we even understand it ourselves.

“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” – John 3:17

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

He is your God. He is my God, and He will help you. He will help me. Because He loves us greatly. He will help us identify this pain we fear, and He will help us face is – help us conquer it, because through Jesus, we are more than conquerors! ”

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” – Romans 8:37

Hallelujah. :)

This post turned out a lot different than I first thought, but I will leave it here. May He fill the rest of this post with His words!

 

 

Huh, funny. I didn't mean to click on this but then read it and found it's good timing. :)

 

Posted in My Abba Father, Pinterest, Spiritual beliefs, Writing

Uniquely You

 

..

 

I read something on a pin recently (Not the above image), and while I did not agree with all of it, there was something that stuck out to me and that was in not becoming someone you’re not just so can keep or please the other person interested in you.

Now, this can be in reference to a friend or a romantic relationship. And I think it is sometimes far too easy for us girls to be forged into someone else because we like them and want them to like us. We like what they like – their interests become our own. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it becomes dangerous when we feel we must *change* to be of any interest to the other person, and I don’t think that is right – in our eyes, or in God’s.

You see, God made us unique individuals – and yes we know this, but I think we need to be reminded of it because we can sometimes forget among the hustle and bustle of daily life. We weren’t created to become someone else – we can be *compatible* to someone else, but that is not becoming them.

I am going to pretend for a moment that I have a boyfriend (:D) to give an example.

My boyfriend’s name is Bob. I really like Bob – I might even love him. But I’m worried that I am not enough for him. I’m not feminine enough like Cindy, I’m not strong/tough enough like Sally. I’m just *me*. But is that enough? Without hardly thinking, I start to compare myself to the Cindy’s and Sally’s of the world. And I try to be like them so that Bob will like me more. Because he may only like someone like Cindy, or someone like Sally. I have to become like them for me to “hold up” in Bob’s eyes. Soon, I begin to think that Bob’s a jerk because he only likes *those* kind of perfect girls, and I struggle with the fact that I *know* I can never become that – I know I can never be perfect. So it’s Bob’s fault, right? Because he can’t just be interested in me, can he?

Well, now I’m putting my preconceived notions onto Bob and he has no idea what’s happened.

Maybe he would be more compatible with Cindy, or Sally, but that’s not a fault of mine, is it? No. You see, here is my point: God will bring us the right person. Someone who won’t want us to change from us being ourselves. Our “job” is to just be who God created us to be – beautifully and uniquely us – and glorify Him as we serve Him. Our ultimate purpose on this earth is to love and serve Him – He will take care of all the rest as He loves and teaches us.

I don’t need to change to have Bob love me. Sally doesn’t need to change to have someone love her. Cindy doesn’t need to change to have someone love her. We have a Greater One who loves and cherishes us and joys in us especially when we are exactly as He created us. If Bob is who God has planned for me, then Bob will love me not who/what I am trying to be like. Just me. And that will be more than enough, and the same goes for me of him.

 

And He won't let any man cut in unless God has chosen him.

 

 

Thank you indulging me in my example and pretend boyfriend – it helped me to get my point across. I do well when I think in examples. =)

So yes, please remember: You can only be you. God’s unique and peculiar treasure. You are enough. He will orchestrate your whole life if you let Him, and He will bring your future to pass. Trust Him in everything.

And be uniquely…you.

 

.

Hehe, I like these birdies.

Posted in My Abba Father, Spiritual beliefs

Heartfelt

Let’s have a heart-to-heart conversation. Be honest.

I want my words to mean so much. When I write a post, I want it to be worth something. To help someone, to make sense, to be deeply touching. And maybe that’s why there are so few heartfelt posts on here…because it’s hard to be honest. It is hard not to want my words just right. I don’t always know how to share what is really in my heart – the struggles I go against daily. How do you be honest on a blog?

Sometimes I just want to squeeze by and use a couple of pins and quotes from Pinterest – because that’d be the easy way out. No words are needed, so why try? But a pin, or even a quote, isn’t personal. It’s not me sitting down and bearing my heart to you.

So, let’s try to be real, not try to get the words just right – what do we struggle with?

For me…? Many things. I want to be a perfect Christian. Sometimes I just want to leap off the boat. Whether that means walking on water, or just ditching it all. I’ve wanted to do both, truly.

There are times when my faith is a huge struggle, I won’t lie. I look inward and I cry. Because sometimes I do not feel whole. I feel down-right broken.

Most of my struggles are emotional/spiritual, but I have physical trials thrown in too. Don’t we all?

But what do you want to read? My struggle against sensory integration, my doubts, my fears, or how I triumphed? But I don’t always feel like I do triumph. Sometimes I don’t feel like I ever will.

Yet God whispers, “Hold Fast, My child, hold fast. I will yet deliver thee,” Those words made me cry. They are so personal. He whispered them to me. Hold Fast.

And then I heard a song I’ve heard before, but the lyrics stuck and it continues to play over in my head:

“When the waves are taking you under, hold on just a little bit longer, believe me, this is going to make you stronger….the pain ain’t gonna last forever, things can only get better…believe me this is gonna make you stronger…’Cause if He started this work in your life He will be faithful to complete it, if only you believe it, He knows how much it hurts and I’m sure that He’s gonna help you get through this” (Mandisa’s “Stronger”)

So though I war against things, though I battle, He calls me to hold fast, hold on. He is working an even greater work – in me, in all of us. He is burning the impurities out of us all and making us more and more into His glorious image of beauty and holiness. Endure, Hold Fast. These are my words that He whispers over and over to my worn heart.

“And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin” – Isaiah 1:25

“But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me I shall come forth as gold.” – Job 23:10

   A bruised reed shall He not break.

2 Corinthians 12:9   Exodus 14:14

Posted in God's Lessons, My Abba Father, Pinterest favourites, Writing

Extra’s for “My Heart Knew” short story

I thought I would also share just a few things that reminded me of the short story I just posted – “My Heart Knew” – and also how God used it to teach me. He likes to do that, and I like it when He does it, too. :)

First, here are some pins (all from Pinterest) that are like the story:

For my short story I wrote...

Adelaide maybe wouldn’t have been wearing this exact mask to the ball, but I thought it was lovely looking.

Not an exact resemblance, but I think it kind of show the bright excitement in her eyes. (I don’t know who drew this picture, but it is lovely, and if by chance the artist of it is reading this, please let me know so I can credit you!)

 

By burdge bug!

This also reminds me of her a lot. (Done by BurgeBug on Pinterest)

 

Maybe her, but not quite him, at least in my mind. :) (Again: I don’t know who drew this picture, but it is lovely, and if by chance the artist of it is reading this, please let me know so I can credit you!)

 

So, my husband realized (and verified) this is not a Shakespeare quote (smartypants!), but I love it just the same.

 

As for what God taught me through this short story…read on.

Around the time that I wrote “My Heart Knew”, I was debating whether or not to get a Kindle Fire. I had saved up birthday money and some Christmas money, and had enough to buy one….but I was afraid of making the wrong choice. Doubts flew through my head, “What if God doesn’t want me getting a Kindle and I waste my money?” “What if I spend the money, get a Kindle and then find it hurts my eyes?” etc.

So anyway, I was thinking on it a lot. I didn’t want to make the wrong choice and have God be angry at me. But I wanted a Kindle Fire – it would make reading a few ecopies so much easier than on my laptop. I tried praying about it, but then I was afraid of not hearing correctly. Mum was talking with me, and she said, “Remember the short story you just wrote? Adelaide trusted that the Lord would bring good to her – and that she would know it. And that, no matter what, He would be glorified through it.”

Trust. Trust that He has everything in the palms of His hands, and He does only want good for me – whatever that may mean. If it meant that He would find me the perfect Kindle, or if He would have me wait – whatever He chose, it would be good. Adelaide prayed that God’s will would be done no matter what, and in everything that He would be glorified – she would rest joyfully in that knowledge alone. And God proceeded to show me the same thing. He gave me ultimate peace – whether I got a Kindle Fire or not.

God’s not out to give us the worst or punish us, or withhold things that we want from us. Everything He does for us is good. He has reasons why He does what He does. And He does it because He loves us, and goes on loving us. Such a valuable and important reminder!!

(P.S. God did provide the perfect Kindle Fire within my price range – almost immediately after I surrendered it to Him! And I love it. :)

 

Posted in Book reviews, Books, God's Lessons, My Abba Father, Spiritual beliefs

Book Review: “Ransomed” by Elizabeth Ender

http://www.amazon.com/Ransomed-Elizabeth-Ender/dp/0988461498

“Ransomed” by Elizabeth Ender, illustrated by Louie Roybal

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

About the book:

“Both of them have promised to protect me. My lord is not here. The stranger is. One said I would die if I left; the other says I cannot live unless I go…and to go with one means to forsake the other. Do I stay or do I go? This is my choice.”
“A luminous allegory of true love and redemption. ~ Regina Doman, author of the Fairy Tale Novels
“Ransomed is a beautiful allegory reminding us of God’s redemption and unfailing love. When we read this story in our Bright Lights group, the girls enjoyed it so much!” ~ Sarah Mally, author of Before You Meet Prince Charming
“This story is a beautiful and clever analogy of Christ’s love. It’s totally worth the read.” ~ Jill Williamson, author of the Blood of Kings trilogy
“Ransomed is an incredible allegory of salvation, forgiveness, and love that touches the heart and feeds the soul, growing richer with every reading.”~ Jessica Greyson, author of Annabeth’s War

My Thoughts:

Oh my goodness! This book is a gem, I am not kidding you. Going into this short read, I thought it’d be good and all, but I was in fact blown away by it. Priceless, truly. The story is amazing, and the underlying truth spectacular.

The way Miss Ender wrote of our redemption through Jesus Christ, in such an easy to read, highly riveting work of fiction is amazing. And Jesus’ message, told so clear through this book, is more than amazing to be reminded of again and again. Such Biblical truth to “Ransomed”, it was beyond delightful.
This is a book that can bring you to tears in such a short of amount of time – I loved it sincerly.
The writing was very well-done, and flowed  superbly. The illustrating (done by Louie Royball) was also remarkable and added good depth to the book.

What more can I say than that it was fantastically spectacular and deeply heart touching? This book will sit on my favourites shelf for a long, long time. :)

Thank you so much, Miss Ender, for sending me this complmentary copy for me to review. I was, and am very impressed with “Ransomed”. :)

Posted in God's Lessons, My Abba Father, Spiritual beliefs, Videos

Needing Him – Because He is Good.

Him

What comes to mind when you read those words? I need Him? And by ‘Him’ I mean, Jesus.

I think of the song by Matt Maher – “Oh I need You, Oh I need You. Every hour I need You” etc. and originally it made me think that I need Jesus for every-day living; for help, for strength, etc. Which is true. We do desperately need Him for those things – for everything. Because without Him, we can do literally nothing.

Now, God so graciously taught me something more. Another step. He showed me that I need Him because otherwise I would be going to hell. I’m serious. Without Him saving me, without Him choosing me, I would be dead already. Maybe not physically, but definitely spiritually. I would be walking on the road to hell.

Though it should be common knowledge, it had not sunk into me before now. Yes, I knew it. But I didn’t know it. God has a way of bringing that about, though. And it is wholly by His choice. Without Him, I’d be nothing – without Him I AM nothing, but with Him I have a future. And a hope. And I know it is nothing of what I’ve done. Because I’ve done nothing good. Anything good is because of Him.

There is a song, and I think mayhaps I have posted it here before a long time ago, but it played throughout my head after God gave me the realization that He is saving me – that it is His choice to save me, because He is good. The part of the song that I heard says this, “If there’s anything good, anything that’s good in me – well it must be You!”

And here’s a verse to correlate with this, to affirm His promises:

Deuteronomy 7: 6-9 (emphasis mine)
“For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;”

I love those verses. I think they are beautiful. Because it shows that the Lord chose us – not because of anything we did or do (‘not because ye were more in number of any people’) but because He loves us! It is His choice completely.

I can’t tell you how much that revelation meant to me – means to me. It was such a relief, knowing it isn’t up to me, yet He still loves me anyway.

God is good. And I need Him.