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Does My Light Shine? Does Your Light Shine?

You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Matthew 5:14-16

I had a moment of sadness and guilt the other day at work. I was talking with a co-worker and he said something to me that really caused me to cringe. He said that he had no idea I was religious! He had no idea I was a Christian. I was talking to him about a book I was planning on buying called “Winning the War in Your Mind” by one of my favorite authors, Craig Groeschel. I was explaining how he is a pastor in Oklahoma who started Life Church and was a part of creating the YouVersion Bible App.

My co-worker’s remarks has bothered me so much since then. I’m obviously not being a light at my job, though I thought I was. Does anyone know I’m a follower of Jesus?

Does anyone know that YOU are a follower of Jesus? We are called to be a light in this world. To share the Gospel to a world who desperately needs Christ in their life. Are we being that light? It’s like that song sung as a child in Sunday School: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine…..”

Or are we hiding our light because we’re afraid. We’re afraid of losing our job. We’re afraid of offending someone (and Lord knows that’s a possibility in today’s world.) We’re afraid of not knowing what to say.

Don’t hide your testimony or be ashamed to take your Bible to work. Don’t be afraid to pray over your lunch at school. Let others know that you love the Lord Jesus.

Adrian Rogers, “Bright Lights in a Dark World”https://www.lightsource.com/ministry/love-worth-finding/articles/bright-lights-in-a-dark-world-.

The light of the world we share is Jesus. As they see glimpses of Him and His truth, they are drawn to Him.

Barbara Harper, https://barbaraleeharper.com/

I want the world to see Jesus in me.

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Love God, Love People

‘Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. ‘

Romans 12:9-12 NLT

On my Facebook and Instagram “stories” I post a verse (or verses) of the day. Today’s verse comes from Romans 12:9-12.

We are called to love others as Christ love us. There is a song by Josh Wilson that I have on repeat every day. It’s called Self Less. We need to stop thinking of ourselves and focus on loving others.

Self Less

It ain’t about thinking less of myself, just thinking of myself less

They say humility doesn’t come easily
And I find that to be true
I’ve got a lot of pride, yeah me, myself and I
Still got some growing up to do

Cause if I want to find the very best life
I’ve got to learn to die to myself
There’s freedom to be found
When I stop and look around
And think about someone else

Ain’t about thinking less of myself, just thinking of myself less
Ain’t about thinking less of myself, just thinking of myself less
If I want to live like Jesus, got to learn to love like he does
Ain’t about thinking less of myself, just thinking of myself less, self less

This ain’t a song about
Beating myself down
See I am living under grace
For God so loved
The world so much
That I am free to do the same

And if I want to find the very best life
I’ve got to learn to die to myself
There’s freedom to be found
When I stop and look around
And think about someone else

Ain’t about thinking less of myself, just thinking of myself less
Ain’t about thinking less of myself, just thinking of myself less
If I want to live like Jesus, got to learn to love like he does
Ain’t about thinking less of myself, just thinking of myself less, self less

Love God, love people
Its so hard and so simple
Love God, love people
Its so hard and so simple

It ain’t about thinking less of myself, come on

Ain’t about thinking less of myself, just thinking of myself less
Ain’t about thinking less of myself, just thinking of myself less
If I want to live like Jesus, got to learn to love like he does
Ain’t about thinking less of myself, just thinking of myself less, self less

Ain’t about thinking less of myself, just thinking of myself less
Ain’t about thinking less of myself, just thinking of myself less
If I want to live like Jesus, got to learn to love like he does
Ain’t about thinking less of myself, just thinking of myself less, self less

I absolutely LOVE this song! It’s a reminder to truly love others not just pretend we love them. Like Paul says in Romans 12, we must love each other with genuine affection. Can that be hard? Yes, of course. Some people just make it so hard to love. However, when we give it to God, He will give us the strength and ability to love them.

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Taste and See

The 40-Day Sugar Fast : Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation (Paperback)

Yesterday I started reading The 40 Day Sugar Fast by Wendy Speake.

Today I’ve already failed. I have realized how addicted I am to sugar. I have such a sweet tooth and today I just lost control. My will power is pretty much non existent.

I’m learning though. I’m slowly….emphasis on the word slowly realizing that I need to turn to God in these weeks that I’m doing this fast (and at all times!) He alone can satisfy the hunger in my soul. He alone is my strength to say no. He alone is my Encourager. He is my Comforter (I will turn to him instead of comfort food.) He is my Rock. (I will lean on Him)

I know I’m going to have rough days. I know I will have the urge to turn to sugar. But with each day of this fast I know that my addiction to sugar will slowly ease up. Why? Because I’ll be turning to the only One who can satisfy my hunger.

Taste and see that the Lord is good
 blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
    for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

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Who’s Your One?

Discipleship. What does it even mean?

19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT)

The church I attend is called Mission Church. God’s Message. Our Mission. I started attending Mission in February of 2020 but then COVID hit and we watched online for awhile until we were able to meet again with limitations.

I recently made a decision to not let my 77 year old mother go until she was vaccinated. So we’ve been watching the sermons online. Our pastor, Josh, is such a great preacher. Today’s sermon was on discipleship. Actually, the verses above is our mission. To reach and teach others to become disciples.

What is Discipleship?

Discipleship is about following Christ and making new disciples. It’s about being invested in following the Great Commission that Jesus set before us. We as Christians are called to make more disciples, to build relationships with others and teach them the Word of God  and what it says.

Discipleship is about growing in the Lord and having a close relationship with Him all the while teaching others how to have the same type of relationship.

Discipleship is about carrying on the ministry of Jesus Christ.

The Cost of Discipleship

Jesus tells us plainly that by following Him we will meet opposition. We will be hated. Laughed at. Ridiculed. Mocked.

Following Jesus by making disciples isn’t difficult to understand, but it can be very costly. By sharing His teachings, we are often rejected along with His message.

Francis Chan, “Muliply: Disciples Making Disciples”

I am reading a book called Above All by J.D Greear. He is the pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. In Chapter 3, titled Gospel Mission, he says this, “Disciple making is, after all, the key component of Jesus’ Great Commission and it ought to be the standard by which we judge every ministry in the church.”

The Great Commission is not merely to go to the ends of the earth preaching the Gospel…..but to make disciples—to build people like themselves who were so constrained by the commission of Christ that they not only followed his way but led others to as well.

Robert Coleman, “The Master Plan of Evangelism.

Greear tells us that “making disciples is the primary calling of the church. Our Mission. Our Purpose.”

“Discipleship simply means doing the everyday stuff of your life with other people while walking toward Jesus, step by step, day by day, meal by meal, conversation by conversation.”

Another quote by Greear really spoke to me. “Think about the burdens that you are carrying right now. How many of them are actually the burdens of others?”

Wow. It’s eye opening. How many of us are living our lives without ever telling a soul about Jesus. How many of us are ignoring the hurting and the lost? Do we even care?

Or are we too involved with ourselves? Discipleship means stepping out of our comfort zone and reaching others.

Will it be hard at first? Absolutely. Will it be worth it? Totally.

At the end of the chapter Greear mentions that at his church the congregation was asked to identify ONE person they could pray for and seek to bring to Christ over the year.

Just ONE.

“Who’s your one?”

Posted in christian living, christianity

Are You All In?

“These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.”

Mark 7:6b

“No one is so miserable as the poor person who maintains the appearance of wealth.” Charles Spurgeon

I am going to be vulnerable with you all for a moment. Sometimes I struggle with whether or not I’m being hypocritical when I write blog posts about faith in the Lord or when I post things on my IG.

Do my actions in the real world reflect my actions online? I’ve been doing some digging on this subject and decided to write about it.

Definition of a hypocrite:

 1: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion.
2: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

Question: Have you ever felt like sometimes you could be a hypocrite when it comes to your relationship with the Lord?

I have felt like that once or twice. I get to thinking about this blog and things I post on social media and wonder if I’m being a hypocrite sometimes. Do my actions outside my blogging world and my social media world show that I am a follower of Christ?

Basically, do I practice what I preach? (or blog/post) Do I reflect Jesus when I come face to face with unbelievers. Or do I try to “fit in” with them? Do I have one foot in, one foot out? We can’t ride the fence though. We are either all in or all out. Otherwise, when we face Jesus…and we all will…what is He going to say to you? Will He tell you “Well done my good and faithful servant? Or will He tell you, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”

That passage of Scripture, found in Matthew 7:21-23 has always scared me a little. It makes one truly think about their standing with the Lord. One can’t be a Christian AND a hypocrite. It’s an oxymoron.

I found this website called BibleReasons.com where you can look up any subject and it pulls Scripture related to that subject. This is what I found regarding hypocrisy:

“Are there religious hypocrites out there who try to appear holy and smarter than everyone else but are filled with hypocrisy and wickedness. Of course, but there are also people who seek to do God’s will above everything else. Sometimes people are just immature believers.”

“Hypocrites talk about Jesus, pray etc…but their hearts are not cooperating. Many people know the Bible front and back but they are not living the life that they recite to others.”

This quote below is how I finally realized that my fears of hypocrisy are not real. After I read it I felt confident that I am not a hypocrite. Another quote I came across says “the fact that you’re wrestling with doubts and fears about your standing with God leads us to think that you can’t be guilty of rejecting Christ. If you were, you wouldn’t be worried about it” Awhile back I struggled with the thought that I had rejected Christ, that I had committed the unforgivable sin.

Hypocrites may have remorse over their sins but they never change. There is a difference between worldly and godly sorrow. Godly sorrow leads to repentance.. With worldly sorrow you are only sad that you got caught.

BibleReasons.com

I was talking to a fellow blogger about my feelings of hypocrisy and she was very helpful. She suggested that what I could be was experiencing condemnation. All Christians go through it. We realize and see where we fall short. We realize our need for a Savior. It’s a good reminder of why we need to cling to Christ and His Word.

There are a lot of people in the world today who claim to be Christians yet their lives do not reflect Jesus. They are “Christian” in name only. They don’t read their Bible, they attend church two times a year (Christmas and Easter), their prayer life is non-existent. It’s these very people who we need to be witnessing to. We need to be concerned with their eternal future! Because one day the Lord Jesus IS coming back and if you’re not right with the Lord, you will hear these words, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” (shudders)

Christian in Name Only, also called a cultural Christian nominal Christian or more often, a liberal Christian, is someone who professes to be a Christian in public but has a considerable lack of knowledge about the basic tenets of one’s professed faith, often “knowing” it only from what is half-remembered from Sunday school or from pop-cultural osmosis. To put it another way, a Christian in name only is someone who “would call himself a Christian, or be so regarded by others, but who has no authentic commitment to Christ based on personal faith.”

https://www.conservapedia.com/Christian_In_Name_Only


The world says that they don’t go to church or believe in God because all Christians are hypocrites. No, all Christians are sinners, just like the world. “The church is a hospital for sinners. Romans 3:23 tells us that “we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Some more quotes I found to be useful:

  1. Don’t let your lips and your lives preach two different messages.
  2. Your most powerful testimony is how you treat others after the church service is over.
    And this last quote really got to me…..
  3. What a heartbreak it would be to live an “almost” Christian life then “almost” get into Heaven.

(I do believe I’m going to have to make this into two blog posts. There is so much to learn about hypocrisy and “almost Christians”.)

I’m going all in
Head first to the deep end
I hear You calling
And this time the fear won’t win
I’m going, I’m going all in
I’m all in, I’m all in All in
I’m all in, I’m all in
I believe that one day I will see Your kingdom come And I wanna hear You say, “Welcome home My child, well done”
So, I step to the edge and I take a deep breath

Matthew West, All In

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What God Has Been Teaching Me Lately

I am not the most patient person, not gonna lie. However, lately I seem to be getting better at it.

This weight loss journey is going to take some time. And I have to remember that. This weight didn’t come on overnight (though it feels like it, lol) and it’s not going to come off overnight. (though I wish it would!) I can’t get discouraged. I must be patient. (I’m learning, I’m learning!)

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9 (ESV)

I am 2lbs lighter today! It’s a start! And as I continue to do what is good for my body and really focus, I can and I WILL lose this weight. And who is on my side? Christ, of course! He knows that I am going to struggle a little harder since my meds cause weight gain. (not using that as an excuse though) And the Lord is going to be on my side, cheering me on and never letting me go.

 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

2 Corinthians 4:16-19

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24 (NLT)

It’s all about perseverance. I can’t get discouraged when the scale reading is not what I was expecting. I’ll have those days, I know this. I just move on to the next day and start over. This weight will come off. I’m determined. Like Lysa Terkeurst says in Made to Crave, “I have to see the purpose of my struggle as something more than wearing smaller sizes and getting compliments from others…it has to be about something more than me.” Yes it does. And God is the answer for it. Lysa also mentions that “the more dependent we become on God’s strength, the less enamored we are with other choices.”

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Quotes from Made to Crave

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?….therefore honor God with your body

1 Corinthians 6:19

The ultimate goal of this journey isn’t about making me a smaller sized person but rather making me crave Jesus and His truths as the ultimate filler of my heart.

Lysa Terkeurst

As I’ve come to realize that I truly need to lose weight, I am reminded of a quote: “I didn’t put the weight on overnight and I won’t lose it overnight. This is going to be a long journey to lose the amount of weight I’ve decided on.

I’m not on a diet. I’m on a journey with Jesus to learn the fine art of self discipline for the purpose of holiness.

Lysa Terkeurst

My self discipline is pretty much non existent when it comes to food. I have no willpower when it comes to certain foods, including chocolate. Chocolate is my weakness. According to Dr. Floyd Chilton, “Willpower alone is not enough to bring about this change. Start by realizing that you cannot do this alone.”
I have indeed realized I cannot do this on my own. Only Christ can help me lose this weight.

I have to see the purpose of my struggle as something more than wearing smaller sizes and getting compliments from others…it has to be something more than me.

Lysa Terkeurst

It shouldn’t be just to look good and get compliments from others.

The struggle to say NO may be painful in the moment but it is working out something magnificent within us.

Lysa Terkeurst

Yes I want to lose weight. But this journey is so much more than just that. It really is about learning to tell myself NO and learning to make wiser choices daily.

Lysa Terkeurst

God doesn’t just command us to have a healthy perspective on food, He also provides the help to achieve it.

Lysa Terkeurst

I can’t make this journey with Christ by my side, encouraging me to just keep going. When I struggle (and I know there will be a LOT of struggling in the very beginning, lol) He’s there. When I fall, He picks me up. Without Him, I honestly believe I would just keep failing in my attempts to lose this weight.

Don’t buy into what the scale says or doesn’t say. Trust the effort you are putting into getting healthy. And keep going!

Lysa Terkeurst.

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

This was the 2nd or 3rd time I’ve read this book but it just didn’t click with me. Now that I have read it with more focus, more determination…I’m ready to go. 🙂

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Romans 12:2

 And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.[b]2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2

I have recently started posting Verse of the Day on my IG page. (Check it out, Leigh Stone (@leighs1983) •

Today’s verse is a verse that I feel is beneficial to read while I begin my weight loss journey. In these two verses, I am reminded that my body is a temple and I should be taking care of it. The Lord also reminds me that I need to NOT copy or compare myself to others. I must change the way I think.

Satan is going to try his level best to get me to feel discouraged when I weigh my self and discover it’s not coming down like I would like it to. I know I’ll have my days where the struggle is truly real but I can’t let that get to me. I must rely on the Lord and spend time in prayer.

Please pray for me as I embark on this journey to lose weight. I know I’ve asked in the past but I can feel that this time is going to stick because I’ve got the Lord on my side and He will remind me of his promises to always be there with me.

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3 Things God Is Teaching Me In Singleness — Girls Grace & Truth

Singleness. A word that can have a lot of connotations associated with it–both positive and negative. I’ll be honest: my young adulthood looks a bit different than I had hoped or anticipated. I’ve hit that age where my friends and peers are getting into relationships, engaged, and married. It’s super exciting and fun to celebrate […]

3 Things God Is Teaching Me In Singleness — Girls Grace & Truth