Challenging Others Without Harassing Them — It’s a Learned Skill

After reading a few of my blog posts, you might fall under the impression that I just love controversy and look for it at every turn. What would it be like to meet me in real life? Would I constantly be badgering you to change your mind about birth control, modesty, headcovering, etc.? Would I be so irritating you might be tempted to flee for your life? Here’s a look at the real me, and what I’ve learned about how to get along with people . . . without bashing them over the head with the Bible. Continue reading

What I Wish I Would Have Known as a Younger Woman

It’s so easy to see it in other people’s lives: the foolish, naïve, senseless choices they make that will inevitably lead them down the path to destruction. But when I was an eighteen-year-old tasting independence for the first time, I couldn’t see past the immediate — and I didn’t want to.

If I could go back and have a heart-to-heart with my younger self, here are the insider’s-tips I would share: Continue reading

A Dream on Fire

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When I first began to dream about my life, I imagined all sorts of daring scenarios. I envisioned myself as a heroine daring to live life on the edge for the sake of the truth. I saw myself at the forefront of the battle to turn hearts back to God: challenging, calling forth, aflame with passion and filled with the Spirit of God. Those dreams were like stars–bright pin-pricks of light in the dark unknown. I held them close to my heart and entrusted them to no one but God alone, Who was the only person who truly knew me. Eventually, I grew up and became “realistic.” The hot glitter of stars faded into a shimmery dust brushed up into the corners of my heart; still warm, but neglected.

I get the feeling, as I look into other people’s eyes, that maybe some of them neglected their dreams, too. Maybe they never even had them. And that is something that, while they might be able to accept it for themselves, I am not okay with for myself.

Dreams can change, and that’s alright; they can be rearranged into new patterns, fresh designs. But, they must never be left to smolder in the corners. I wonder what would happen if we left them there too long–would they burn out, go cold as if they had never existed in the first place? Would they then return to the One Who had made them, crackly-new and unused? What a waste, to have the chance to do something incredible with your life, and instead, to borrow other people’s mediocre dreams, to live as copies of them, and not ever give yourself the chance to see what a dream on fire might mean.

Choosing Joy, Rejecting Negativity

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One thing I’m learning is that joy isn’t necessarily something that comes to you–it’s a choice that you make.

My house can be a hectic place with six children; we live in small quarters, and we only have one car in working condition. When I feel up to my ears in stress, I can’t just run away to Starbucks. And I can’t get depressed, either. Depression is a luxury that only those without small, helpless children can indulge. It lurks at times, but I push it back, and in the process, God is showing me some awesome insights that I would like to share with you! Continue reading

God’s Respect Toward Us

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So great is God’s respect and love for us that He lets us make our own choices. He gives us the freedom to manage our own lives, whether for the better . . . or for the worse. Certainly He could keep us from making those foolish and hurtful decisions that cause destruction to ours and other’s lives, and He sometimes does; but He often doesn’t. Continue reading

What God Hates

It’s so easy to lie to ourselves. When we are in a tough situation, our feelings deceive us into accepting the “easiest” solution. We become prone to listen to bad advice, evil counsel. And that, coming sometimes even from our fellow Christians. This self-deception can happen in many–any–area of our lives, but today let’s look at divorce. Continue reading

With His Help

“Jesus didn’t carry you 80% of the way to drop you off close to the finish line and say, ‘Run–and you’d better hurry: hell’s right behind you!’ And neither did Jesus carry you 99.9% of the way to drop you off right in front of the finish line and say, ‘Jump!’ No, Jesus carried you all the way across that finish line, and He dropped you off on the other side. The work’s been done; your salvation has been accomplished 100% by Jesus, and all that you needed to do was believe.”

Isn’t that awesome? Our pastor last Sunday continued a series on Galatians we’re working through, and this was one of the points he made.

I know there’s controversy over whether “once saved, always saved” is biblical. Continue reading

Finding

It’s hard to overcome the guilt for past mistakes when we still have to see the people that we’ve hurt. When they haven’t overcome the past. Their very presence is a constant, painful reminder of wrongs that haven’t been righted. That can’t be. We can’t go back with an eraser and make it all go away. Memories haunt, bitterness clings, depression lurks. Continue reading

IT strikes again

It’s almost a choking sensation. It grabs me by the throat and nearly cuts off my air supply. I look upwards for help, but God seems impossibly far away. Nobody else is around. I focus my energy on one breath at a time. In, one, two. Out, one, two. Maybe I can get through this. Continue reading

No Looking Back

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Our street and new neighborhood

When we first moved into our new home, I really disliked living here. I kept looking back to what we had left, and felt sorry for myself. It was hard to move from a site-built home with a full-size garage, three large bedrooms and two baths, into a double-wide manufactured home with very little storage space, and with three tiny bedrooms and two baths, one of which isn’t fully functional. Continue reading

“For we walk by faith,” but I like to see where I’m going!

As I’m embarking on a new path in my life, the phrase, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7), takes on fresh meaning. All the unknowns can be almost terrifying. I’m a walking jumble of nerves. What if this-es, and what if thats continuously crowd my mind, and I begin to doubt if God really cares to get involved in our situation. Does He see what we’re going through? Does He care? Will He deign to reach down and help us out, and give us the things that we need? Or will He let us wander? Will He allow us to suffer want? Will He listen to our prayers?

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JE-HO-VAH is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3-4).

I can either let myself fall into the worry trap, or I can give my cares to the Lord, who says,

“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil [trouble] thereof” (Matthew 6:31-34).

Our heavenly Father knows our needs. He will add unto us the things that we require, as we act out our obedience to Him in our daily lives. Don’t worry! He’s a F-A-T-H-E-R to us, a Dad; very rarely does a child worry about whether his dad will provide three square meals a day for him, or whether he will have a bed to sleep in at night, or clothes to wear (at least that’s rare for most of us here in the USA). No, a child simply trusts that his needs will be taken care of by his parents. He doesn’t take the burden upon himself, because it’s not his to take; he just rests in the knowledge that all will be well.

With God as our Father, we can rest in the knowledge that all will be well, too. Walking by faith means that I trust in God’s plan for our family, even though my vision is limited to just today. I can’t see into the future; I don’t know how all of this will turn out. But God does. What if something bad happens? It could, right? God will take care of it. It won’t be without a purpose. Prayer. Prayer lifted up in the Name of Jesus Christ, asking God for wisdom and help, is that sure link to receiving what we need. Faith that through Jesus, God hears us, and will take care of all our needs.

**What about you, is there something that you’re dealing with right now, that has been a challenge to you, even given you a bit of a scare? How have you dealt with the situation? Have you found any verses from the Bible that have helped you? Has God come through for you in a special way, that you’d like to share with us? I look forward to reading your response!**

My Faith Journey, Segment II: Tears of Sorrow

(This is Segment II of My Faith Journey. If you haven’t yet read the first part, you can look at it here.)

As a young woman struggling to discover myself, I made a lot of mistakes. Not only that, but I fell into disgrace as I became involved in sins that I should have stayed far away from.

When I was about eight years old, I remember accepting Jesus as my Savior, and saying the “Sinner’s Prayer.” And I really meant it. My heart longed for Jesus; to know Him better, and to be pleasing to Him.

Ten years later, I turned my back on the Lord, and denied that I knew Him. Continue reading

My Faith Journey, Segment I: Stumbling Blocks

I believe that the Scriptures (the Christian Bible) are the inspired words of God, without error (in the original manuscripts), and meant to be binding upon all people, in all times. I have based my entire worldview, and life, upon the teachings of the Bible. Whenever I have questions about anything, I go to the Bible first, to find my answers. Not everybody believes the Bible to be the word of God, or at least do not see it as the only word that God has given us. Continue reading

Brave Enough for Thanksgiving?

“Every Friday, I am fasting and praying as thanksgiving to the Lord and also praying for you who are helping me and my family.”

The woman who said this had been cruelly beaten and raped twice by her Muslim employer in Pakistan. Her husband had suffered two strokes and had to stop working. Two of her children had been killed in an accident, and she had been struggling to find care for her mentally challenged daughter. What did she have to be thankful for? Continue reading