Passion is what drives me. I love Jesus. Knowing He loved me first and He is the only reason I am here. I love my family and want to make them proud. I want to provide for them. They make me want to be better…..every single day. My other interests come from a place of wanting to take more control of my health…..to learn natural ways of dealing with life’s little hiccups. To be able to share this with people so that they too can benefit and help those around them.
It is never too late to learn better ways of taking care of the people you love. It’s never too late to change bad habits. Today is the day to look at the way you have been “treating” yourself and what you have been treating yourself with and say, “YOU KNOW WHAT!?! MAYBE THERE IS ANOTHER WAY! A BETTER WAY! A MORE HEALTHY WAY!” I use the phrase “baby steps” quite often because it takes time to change 30+ years of bad habits. For every unhealthy thing you stop putting in your body, on your body, or in your mind you are taking the right steps and being an example for those around you. Especially those little eyes that are always, always watching you. How will they know to do any different if we don’t show them?
In response to a blog prompt titled “Solitude” my mind immediately went to my time at a women’s retreat at Pine Lake Camp in Eldora, Iowa. While I wasn’t alone the whole time I had many moments of Sweet Solitude. Which just happens to be exactly what I needed at that point in time.
An early morning walk around the lake was just what this busy mom and daycare provider was longing for. Rarely do I have complete quiet or total aloneness:)
Ahhhhh! Only in Iowa can corn, grass, blue sky, and clouds look so beautiful! Of course I’m partial because this is my home.
Total silence……just me and a kayak….I go back here over and over in my mind when life gets too loud and claustrophobic.
I did meet these two. They did not want to be friends and were quite happy when I turned about and headed the other direction.
Thankfully even when I’m utterly alone…..I know I’m not.
You will never find the perfect church full of perfect people. We are easy to forgive our family and close friends whom we love. Why? Oh why then do we seem to expect perfection and give less grace to our church family? I know it was rainbows and sunshine when you first walked through those doors. I know you felt as if you had found the one church in the whole world that was full of people who felt the same way you did about everything. Never would your opinions clash or feathers ruffle each other’s. Much like falling in love even the little annoyances seemed cute.
*It’s so obvious to me, now at this point in my life, how our humanness gets in the way of God’s work for us.
Maybe it’s because of the bad taste I had in my mouth for years after I left my childhood church. I held a grudge so strong that the mere mention of its name would send me into a rant of all the wrongs they had done me. How they made me feel inadequate or judged. How it was there fault I had fallen away from my faith. I wrote off all church. I said things like “you don’t have to go to a building on Sundays to worship God” and the all popular “I am not going to join a church full of hypocrites.” Ahhhhh the devil smiles at that one. Using the truth of what church is to keep people away. That is what he does though. A little truth and a little twist to cover the big fat lie that he sells to make you feel better about you neglecting fellowship with other believers. What does he whisper to you……
*The music isn’t upbeat enough.
*The music is too upbeat.
*The pastor doesn’t preach enough of this that or the other or preaches too much of this that or the other.
*Too much attention to this or not enough attention on that.
*Not enough young people or too many young people or too many old people.
Have I hit one yet?
*How about too missional…not missional enough.
I could go on and on. Why? Because I’m human too and so incredibly flawed that I can even understand these excuses. I may have used them…..I have heard them and I just want to go on record to say that there is no perfect church, perfect pastor, perfect congregation of people who are all on fire and ready to serve 100% at the same time. You say “duh stupid lady that’s obvious.” Well is it? Really? If you claim to be a christian then get your backside into a church. Not because I say but because God does. (Hebrews 10:25, Matthew 18:20,Colossians 3:16, Acts 2:42,etc) No its not about just being in the building on Sundays. I highly doubt, however, that if you are not there on Sundays you are there any other day of the week……and if you aren’t accountable to anyone about how your faith walk is going….or growing then are you really spending daily time with Jesus? I’m guilty! For sure and it’s so easy and yet I fail again and again. The farther away I get from my church (like missing Sundays) the more I forget to pray……the more I forget to open my Bible…..the more the world consumes me and the more the devil uses these excuses to try to get me to stay away. I know what his plan is ultimately…..to keep me from walking in the Holy Spirit and off the path God has set for me. Hey I’m saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and that can’t be taken from me. What can be taken from me are the blessings and beautiful experiences of living a life totally sold out and on fire for Jesus. What shall we say then…….stay away from the church because we may have to serve….we may have to deal with differing views of how things should be done, spent, handled, etc.? Don’t blame people for the lack of warm fuzzies you feel when you have only warmed a pew for a few Sundays here and there. In many cases it all starts with that church building……that leader or Sunday school teacher…..that sermon that stabbed you right in the heart! I spent too many years out of fellowship and I know for a fact that without it I quickly slide down a slippery slope. The church to a believer is like AA to the alcoholic. You don’t always want to go but you NEED to. Skip the excuses and find your church family and once you have found them don’t give up on them when the “honeymoon” phase fades away. All wonderful relationships take work, honesty, love and forgiveness. ❤
Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man. –Dwight L. Moody
Wow do I get caught up in nothing. The day to day yuck that literally fills my mind and grabs my attention away from where it should be. I love my social media but much like all those things I enjoy I tend to let it engulf me. I give it power over my thoughts and actions. Where should my focus really be? What should I be pursuing and mentally exhausting myself over? More importantly if all of a sudden I found myself face to face with my Redeemer would I be embarrassed and sorrowful over the things of this world that I let take most of my time? Thinking about that moment makes me uncomfortable to say the least. It’s like sitting in church under a Holy Spirit filled sermon and every fiber of your being wants to disappear……It’s those moments when you feel your sin has exposed itself like a scarlet letter. Blazing red on your forehead for all to see. We hear it over and over……you cant straddle the fence….you can’t be in communication with God while wallowing in the mud of this world and at some point in our christian walk it becomes crystal clear. We have only one job, one subject matter that should consume our day in and day out, one God to please. Everything else will fall into place if we just live the way He has told us to live, flee the things He tells us to flee, love those He tells us to love and seek after Him with our whole heart, mind and soul continually in study and prayer. These verses filled me with a realization this morning that truly nothing matters except for doing the will of my Heavenly Father. My joys should be His joys, my desires, His desires, and my hope only in Him. Where I am at any given moment should be exactly where He has placed me……and how would I know if I am in the right place unless I have spoken with Him, opened my heart to Him and only Him and ridden myself of all the other empty and pointless things that war for my attention and do this every single day.
Jesus Testifies to the Churches
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.
“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.”
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.
And the Spirit and the bride say “Come!”. And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
Questions I am asking myself and praying about….
Are you a thirsty christian? When you think of Christ’s coming do you exclaim “Come!” Or would you rather have more time here? What are your desires and do they seem like desires God would have for you? Are you working for worldly reward or heavenly reward?
The most important decision you will ever make in your life is what you will do with Jesus. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans3:23)None of us can stand blameless. For the wages (consequences) of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23) You cannot be “good” enough to get to heaven. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8&9)
You do not get a second chance after your last breath in this world and you do not want to be left on this earth to face the tribulation. You were created by a God that loves you so much He sent His only Son to die in Your place(John3:16) and yes you have a choice to make. By ignoring God and/or refusing to search for answers in His word you have made your decision. There is no saying “but God I didn’t know!” There are many who believe they are “ok” and think they will be accepted into heaven. If you have never met Jesus I’m sorry to tell you that your faith is empty. All works and religion with no substance….no truth. It is all in God’s word. You only need to open it. Begin your journey by reading the gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Ask God to show you the truth. Out of love I am asking everyone that reads this to take a few minutes out of your life and read these scriptures with an open heart to let God speak to you. It doesn’t matter if you have never stepped foot in a church or if you have never uttered a prayer. “Ask, and it will be given to you; see, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For EVERYONE who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7&8)
Truly you have Everything to lose or Everything to gain.
“Not everyone who says to me , ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. MANY will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And I will declare to them, ‘ I NEVER KNEW YOU; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS!’ (Matthew 7:22-23)
Don’t go another day having made the choice to do nothing with Jesus. Put aside what denomination you were raised under…..put aside anyone who called themselves a Christian but then did something horrible to you. Forget about what any human has told you and read God’s word.
Simple. Pure. Truth.