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Agree to Disagree

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

Romans 14:19

As believers, we aren’t always going to agree on everything. And that’s why we should just “agree to disagree” sometimes when the issue at hand is leading nowhere.

It is with a heavy heart that I write this. For I have decided to leave Prevail Church. I will not go into details as to why but realize this, this decision did not come lightly. After careful consideration and prayer and digging into God’s Word, leaving is the decision I have ultimately made.

So for the next several weeks/months I will be visiting other churches in the area to find one that I feel God is leading me to.

I am leaving peaceably. I have no ill will towards any person at Prevail. This was just a decision that had to be made.

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Special Prayer Request

I need all you prayer warriors out there to please pray for me right now. There is a lot of drama going on with my church and it’s really breaking my heart. It’s literally tearing blood relatives apart.

I just don’t know how much more of this I can take! It hurts. So bad.

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, grace, Jesus, life, love

Salvation is Free But…..

…Being a Disciple Costs Everything…AND HE IS WORTH IT!

Then He said to the crowd, “if any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily and follow me.

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.

Luke 9:23-24 (NLT)

What does “take up your cross daily” even mean?

To me, I think it means taking all the burdens you bear and giving it to Jesus. It means walking with Him through the good times AND the bad. When temptations come our way, we hold them up to Jesus and keep our focus on Him alone.

We are called to give up our selfish ways and look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. God wants us to deny our own life and desires and pursue HIS life and desires.

To be a disciple of Jesus, we must learn that this world has nothing to offer us. No matter how pretty or shiny the thing the world tries to offer us we must refuse it and keep our focus on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore since we are surrounded by such a huge crowed of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)

A Call To Listen to God

Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refuse to listen to Moses the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from Heaven!

Hebrews 12:25 (NLT)

Being a disciple of Christ means listening to Christ when He speaks to us. By rejecting Him, we’re rejecting his love, his grace. We’re rejecting eternity with Him.

But by listening to Him, by accepting His love and grace we have a kingdom waiting for us that cannot be taken away.

Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshipping Him with holy fear and awe.

Hebrews 12:28 (NLT)

Our Eternal Home

You guys! This world is NOT our home. If you know Jesus as your personal Savior, you have so much to look forward to when Christ comes back. This worldly home is temporal. Our eternal home is with the One who created us, the one who loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us so that we wouldn’t have to die in our sins! Because of His great love for us, because of the gift of salvation…we are free!

For this world is not our permanent home, we are looking forward to a home yet to come.

Hebrews 13:14 (NLT)

 

 

Posted in christian living, redemption

Counterfeit or Real?

I just came across a blog post from Jon Wood at DailyPS entitled “How to Make Counterfeit and Quivering Christians” and it really got me to thinking about my life and my salvation experience.

I grew up in church. I did the whole church thing. I participated in Bible competitions, memorized tons of Scripture and was convinced I was a Christian. I mean, c’mon, I KNEW a lot about God. Or so I thought.

When I was a senior in high school I fell into a deep and severe depression. I went from being an honor student with a 3.7 GPA to barely hanging on enough to graduate. I hated life. I lost a ton of weight. I wanted to die. And on December 27, 2000 I was checked into a psychiatric hospital because I started cutting. I just wanted to end it all.

I got the help I needed and was put on medication. I went back to school and made an attempt to raise my GPA and by the end of the year I had raised it back to 2.9. I was a tenth of a point from a 3.0. I graduated June 13, 2001.

I started attending a local community college and then transferred to a Bible College in Tennessee after a year.

All this time I was still convinced I was a Christian.

Then I came home for spring break. My church had an evangelist come and speak and it was during this sermon that I realized my life had been nothing but a lie. The evangelist’s words spoke to me like none other. He made a statement that has stuck with me ever since. He said, “You can be 99% sure (of your salvation) but you’re still 100% lost.

It was right then and there that I knew I was a counterfeit. I grew up following the rules, I memorized Scripture. I had all the head knowledge but my heart wasn’t right. I gave my life to Christ on March 16, 2003. I became a new creation!

2 Corinthians 5:17: “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is GONE; a NEW life has begun!”

Now, of course, life hasn’t been perfect since then. I’ve messed up and I’ve slipped up and I’ve tried to give up. But I found my way back each time. I’m a sinner! I’m going to slip up. I’m going to make mistakes. But God pulls me back in with his love for me. He loves me too much to let me go.

And I love Him too much to let HIM go.

Are you a counterfeit Christian or are you real?

 

 

Posted in bible verses, christian living, Uncategorized

Keep Producing Fruit

Yes, I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and wihthers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want and it will be granted. When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

John 15:8 (NLT)

Bearing much fruit is not optional for a Christian. It is the calling of every Christian. It is the result of being obedient to the Word of God.

We are called to live in a way that pleases the Lord, in a way that keeps us walking with the Lord and keeps us living by His Word. By His commandments.

So how do we do this? How do we “abide” in Him?

When the words of Jesus abide and have power in my heart and mind such that I obey them by the power of the Spirit, then the fruit of the Spirit, the virtues of Jesus, will also come forth in my life.

-Vern Nicolette, What Does It Mean to Bear Much Fruit? 

Vance K Jackson tells us to: “Stay on your post. Stay on your guard….stay focused. Keep producing. God prunes those who continue to produce.”

We are to be obedient. We are to stay grounded. Stay in God’s Word. Walk with the Lord.

So how can I bear fruit? The fruit of the Spirit can only come forth in me by the power of the Spirit. No amount of self-effort will bear spiritual fruit. It requires a total surrender of my self-will to God so that I can obey Jesus’ words in the daily situations of life, in order for the fruit of the Spirit to come forth instead of my own nature. Such a total surrender occurs when Jesus is my first love, and reigns in my heart and mind. Then it is His will—His Word—that is done in my life, and not my own will. Then the bearing of fruit—the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of obeying Jesus’ words—will come forth quite naturally.

Vern Nicolette, What Does It Mean To Bear Much Fruit?

John 15:10, “When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Fathers commandments and remain in His love.” (NLT)

John 15:12: “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” (NLT)

I’m currently reading “Everybody, Always” by Bob Goff and it’s really good. In this book, Goff is telling us that we need to love everybody and we need to love them always. Yes, even the difficult people in our lives. By loving everybody, we are obeying God’s commandment! I haven’t gotten far in the book but already I have come to realize that loving others, while hard at times, is something I need to focus on.

It’s something we ALL need to focus on.

Keep on producing that fruit!

 

 

Posted in depression, disability, Faith, fibromyalgia, life, mental disorders, peace

Strength of My Heart

Psalm 73:26 is one of my favorite verses. It says,

My health my fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. (NLT)

No matter what the doctors diagnose me with in the future, no matter what they’ve already diagnosed me with…it doesn’t matter because GOD remains a constant in my life. Like the verse says, He is MINE forever! I never have to worry about Him leaving me. I never have to worry about Him forsaking me. He is mine forever!

I had another MRI of my head on Monday. (Praise God I got through it…well,  with some help from Lorazepam, LOL. No matter how many MRIs I have, the claustrophobia NEVER goes away!) Anyways, my new endocrinologist is checking to see if my pituitary tumor has returned. My prolactin levels indicate that it possibly has.

If it has, it has and we will work together to come up with the right treatment plan. These type of tumors are usually benign and will shrink with medication. It CAN be removed and I’ve been thinking about asking my doctor if that’s a plan we might come to. This type of surgery will require them to remove it……wait for it….through my nose! It’s much less invasive, obviously, than having brain surgery.

Most likely, we’ll try to treat it with medication but if it doesn’t shrink then surgery could be an option.

I’m not worried. God has me in His hands. He is allowing these health issues to keep me humble, to keep my eyes trained on Him, to remind me to lean on Him through it all. Can He heal me completely? Absolutely! But like Paul, I think this is my “thorn in the flesh,” And I’m fine with that now. I didn’t used to be. There were times in the past that I would just cry out to Him…begging Him to make me whole, begging Him to heal me.

One day I WILL be made whole! It may not be here on earth but oh…when I see Jesus face to face….that will be glory!

The Lord is the strength of my heart. He is Jehovah Rapha (the Lord who heals)

 

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, love

Waiting and Witnessing

Revelation 22:7 says:

Look I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book! (NLT)

“People get ready!
Jesus is coming!
Soon we’ll be going home.”

–Crystal Lewis (song “People Get Ready…”)

I have so many family and friends who are lost. Who need the Lord in their life. They are blind to the fact that they are in need of Him. And it breaks my heart.

Yes, it breaks my heart but am I doing anything about it? Am I lovingly witnessing to these people often? Is my light shining for them to see?

I should want to see these people come to know the Lord! Where they spend eternity is crucial!

We should be on fire for the Lord, spreading his Gospel!  There are countless souls who have never even heard the Good News. That needs to change.

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone TELLS them?

Romans 10:14 (NLT)

We must TELL them about Christ! We must be witnesses!

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth!

Acts 1:8 (NLT)

We don’t know the exact hour Jesus will return but He IS coming! And we must be right with the Lord.

You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.

Matthew 24:44

Let’s all be ready and waiting….and witnessing!

 

Posted in anger, bipolar, bitterness, books

Everybody Always

So a friend from church loaned me a book called “Everybody Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People.” by Bob Goff. I’m really excited to read this because woo boy do I have difficult people in my life, as I’m sure we all do.

I haven’t started it yet but will be either tonight or tomorrow.

What happens when we give away love like we’re made of it?

In his entertaining and inspiring follow-up to the New York Times bestselling phenomenon Love Does, Bob Goff takes readers on a journey into the secret of living without fear, constraint, or worry. The path toward the liberated existence we all long for is found in a truth as simple to say as it is hard to do: love people, even the difficult ones, without distinction and without limits.

Driven by Bob’s trademark storytelling, Everybody, Always reveals the lessons Bob learned–often the hard way–about what it means to love without inhibition, insecurity, or restriction. From finding the right friends to discovering the upside of failure, Everybody, Always points the way to embodying love by doing the unexpected, the intimidating, the seemingly impossible. Whether losing his shoes while skydiving solo or befriending a Ugandan witch doctor, Bob steps into life with a no-limits embrace of others that is as infectious as it is extraordinarily ordinary. Everybody, Always reveals how we can do the same.

Have any of y’all read it? What did you think?

I need prayers lifted for my 15 year old nephew. He is so addicted to his Xbox and this stupid game called Fortnite. He gets so worked up when something goes wrong in the game and will slam his controller down and rant and rave. He sits in front of the screen for hours at a time. Guys, please pray for his spiritual life. He got saved 2 years ago at camp but is definitely not living the life he should be. He lets this game get to him and misses church because he was up too late playing. He didn’t go to bed until 4:30 this morning because he was playing the stupid game.

Pray for ME that I don’t lose my mind trying not let this get to ME! I have a really bad habit of letting things get under my skin.

Sounds like I need to get off here and start reading this book! LOL.

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Reblog: Church Direction: Will of Man or Will of God?

LOVE this post! Powerful and definitely worth the read! Gives you a lot to think about!

Honest Thoughts from a Pastor

The direction of the church is a sensitive topic. If 100 people attend, you have at least 100 different opinions about how the church should function. Should it have pews or chairs? Stained glass? Contemporary, traditional, or blended music? Sunday School or small groups? Then comes the bigger schism – should the direction be set by committees, the congregation at large, or the pastor? I can already sense the steam rising with some of you who are reading this. While God should be setting the direction for His people to follow, this is not always the case.

This post is sparked by a church that recently exercised its will over God’s. The church has a history of heartless tradition funded by old money. After years of a pastor who pacified the people, it voted to be ushered into a new era. With lip service, they vocalized their desire for change…

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Love Forgives

Today is Valentine’s Day or as I like to call it, “Singles Awareness Day.” LOL. Today just reminds us singles that we are in fact….single.

Honestly though? It doesn’t really bother me anymore. If God has someone for me, He will send him at the right time.

No, what I want to talk about is my attitude as of this very moment. I’m struggling tonight, I really am. My temper is short and I’m about to blow a gasket (okay, a little dramatic) on certain people. These two people know how to get under my skin. I’m annoyed, I’m irritated, I’m ticked off.

***15 minutes later***

I have calmed down. Ugh, I hate it when I get riled up that way. Being bipolar is aggravating. My moods are up and down, up and down.

ANYWAY, so I was scrolling through YouVersion looking for another plan and I typed in “love” in the search bar and the FIRST PLAN TO POP UP WAS TITLED “LOVE FORGIVES”

*hangs head*

“Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. (1 Corinthians 13:5, CEV)

Y’ALL!!!

Love isn’t quick tempered…love isn’t quick tempered…love isn’t quick tempered.  I sure showed evidence of my short temper tonight.

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude…” (1 Corinthians 13:4 NLT)

Love is patient….love is patient…love is patient. I’ve GOT to learn this patience thing. Maybe one day….soon. 

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:7, NLT)

Hope you all had a great day!! 🙂