Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, forgiveness, godliness, Jesus, life

Always Be Ready

If you are familiar with the YouVersion app, you’ll know that they have different mini devotional plans you can follow. Currently I am reading the plan by Skip Heitzig called “What’s Next? Revelation Series” that takes me through the book of Revelation.

(Going through this plan has also made me want to reread the Left Behind series. So I’ve started book 1 once again. )

While we don’t know the day or the hour that the rapture will occur, (Matthew 24:36)  it’s something I like to imagine will happen in my lifetime. (Though I’m probably wrong….) I would love to be alive when that trumpet sounds!

It’s like the lyrics from the song “Fly Away” by FFH says,

Okay you win, you caught me day dreaming again
About our sudden evacuation
Okay I give in, I can’t help but wondering
But it seems I can’t get enough information
Curiosity has got a hold of me
Tell me how it’s gonna be-when
One day I’ll see you coming back for me
And all together we’ll fly away yeah
One day I’ll hear that trumpet loud and clear
And all together we’ll fly away
Oh how I long for the day
When we’ll fly away
I can’t WAIT for the day when we get to meet our Savior face to face!

Matthew 24:44 tells us to be ready!

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

In 1 Thessalonians 4 (NLT) we read that the Lord will come down from Heaven with a commanding shout!

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God. First the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.

Our lives here on earth are temporary! Our citizenship, our permanent dwelling place will be in Heaven, with the Lord God Almighty!

Paul tells us this in Philippians 3:20-21 (NLT)

But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

Always be ready for Christ’s return! It will happen in a “twinkling of an eye!”

But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52(NLT)

Are you ready?

Posted in anxiety, bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, grace

Present Troubles

I’ve been struggling lately.

My health, my finances, etc.

But I came across several verses in 2 Corinthians 4 that reminded me that our present troubles will not last very long.  In verses 8-9 we read:

We are pressed on every side by troubles but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down but we are not destroyed.

Then further down in verses 16-18 we are told,

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.

It’s so easy to feel sorry for ourselves, to have pity parties when things get rough. But God’s Word tells us that one day all our troubles will be gone. We will be forever in His presence where everything is perfect.

Also, in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Paul reminds us that God’s grace is all we need.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Can God take away my health struggles? Absolutely! Will He? I don’t know. But what I do know is this: His grace is all I need.

His grace is all YOU need.

 

Posted in christian living, christianity, Faith

Temporary Excitement vs. Eternal Excitement

Well, you win some you lose some, I suppose. But we SHOULD have won! We were up by as many as 13 points and we blew it in overtime. Duke won on a buzzer beater. *big sigh*

I did some  yelling at the refs as if they could hear me. I got so excited when it looked like we had the game in our reach. But nope. Duke stormed back and won by TWO points.

Losing this game got me to thinking though. I was so excited when I thought we would win this game but do I act as excited doing things for the Lord? I mean, while this game was very exciting..how much do I get excited when someone comes to know the Lord?

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with being excited over a sports game. However, when a person puts it over being excited for the Lord there is a problem.

Ephesians 3:19-20 says

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (NLT)

Think about those verses for a moment. Experiencing the love of Christ? That should excite us!

Philippians 3:20-21tells us,

But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly awaiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. (NLT)

Citizens of heaven! Yes please! We definitely should be excited about that! Knowing that my weak, worn down bodies will be made whole again? YES!!!

Truth be told, sometimes we don’t act eager that the Lord will be returning one day. We don’t live our lives as if He could show up any instant! We are too busy worrying about earthly things.

About trivial things. Things that don’t matter. And yes, I’m including myself in this. I, too, worry about things that won’t matter one day.

But it clearly says in Matthew 6:33-34,

Seek the Kingdom of God about all esle, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will bring it’s own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. (NLT)

Seeing people come to know the Lord? Knowing that Christ loves us dearly? Knowing that one day we will see the Lord face to face? These are things that should definitely excite us!

I want my excitement to be eternal, how about you?

I want to spend eternity with the one who loved me enough to die for me.

Posted in anger, anxiety, bitterness, christian living, christianity, church, Faith, forgiveness, grace, money, peace

Heartbreaking

So in my last post I talked about how Prevail Church was being taken to court by former members, saying they are due the money that comes from the sale of the building we once met in. These people LEFT when they decided they didn’t like the direction Jonathan was taking the church. (although they were a part of the unanimous decision to sell the church building and relaunch as a new church. )

Well, the hearing was this past Tuesday and it was….awful to say the least. How these people can do this and still claim to be a Christian is beyond me. I sat and watched in disbelief as Jonathan was basically attacked on the stand by their lawyer.

My anger rose and my heart rate was 116 as I sat there, tears streaming down my face. A couple of times I glanced over at their side and just shook my head. It’s so heartbreaking that these people are doing this.

It says in the Bible, in 1 Corinthians 6 that we are to avoid lawsuits with other believers.

When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers!

I Cor 6:1

Further down in verse 6-7 it says,

I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues?

But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers!

What was the result of the hearing? Well, unfortunately it has been decided for this whole nonsense to be taken to trial.

You know what’s really sad about all this? The fact that there are unbelievers watching this unfold. People we could be leading to the Lord who are no doubt not wanting anything to do with Jesus because His people are fighting over something as trivial as money.

My heart is breaking as I type this. It’s not fair what they are doing and it’s not biblical. I think the best thing at this point is to just split the money in half. Give them half and we take the other half and just go our separate ways. It’s clear they aren’t going to back down any time soon.

OH how my heart hurts. The way they are treating Pastor Jonathan is just downright cruel.

I’ve been struggling with my feelings since this whole mess began. I struggle with my attitude towards them. I struggle with wanting to tell them off. But that wouldn’t be very Christ-like. I don’t want to repay evil for evil. (Romans 12 tells us not to) I don’t want to hate them. Honestly, I don’t. It’s just so hard right now.

I’ve been digging into the Scriptures to find verses on bitterness, anger and forgiveness these past several days.

*side note* Because I suffer from bipolar disorder, sometimes it’s harder for me to let go of things. I am in no way trying to make excuses, however. Please don’t get me wrong. I am praying to God about my attitude and reading His Word daily.

It says in Romans 12:9-10

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.

Then a little bit further, in verse 18,

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone

That’s what needs to happen. We need to peaceably come to a resolution. And while right now it’s seems really really hard to love these people, the Bible says we should and that’s all that matters.

So y’all….please please continue to pray for this situation that it can be resolved quickly and peaceably.

Posted in bitterness, christian living, church, Faith, godliness, grace, Uncategorized

Be Civil Minded

23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

2 Timothy 2:23-24

I have so many thoughts racing through my mind right now. I’m struggling with fits of anger over a situation and I want so badly to open my mouth and voice my thoughts but I know I shouldn’t.

For those of you who have read my posts over the past year you know that I am a part of Prevail Church, formerly Hyde Park Free Will Baptist.  Our pastor, Jonathan, was unanimously voted in to be our new pastor. However, once Jonathan started making changes, many members became upset and left the church.

We had to find another location for our church unfortunately because the building we were meeting in started deteriorating and the roof had so many leaks and repairs that it would cost more to fix it up than it was worth. So the building was put up for sale.

Well now, these former members are taking us to court over the sale of the building. They believe the money should go to them. They are actually trying to “reform” Hyde Park.

*takes a deep breath* THEY LEFT THE CHURCH!

You guys, this whole mess has me heartbroken. I grew up in this church.

Tomorrow there is a hearing at 2pm. It’s a public hearing so all are welcome. My mom and I will be there to support Prevail and Jonathan. If you don’t mind, say a little prayer that God’s will is done and that we can all remain civil around one another.

 

Posted in christian living

Spiritual Warfare

Satan has been on the war path in my life as of recently. He saw a particular weakness and took full advantage of it, using it to bring me down and to quit spending time with the Lord.

I wasn’t prepared to fight him. I wasn’t prepared to push him away. He probably thought to himself that he was going to win. I mean, let’s face it…he has been successful in getting me to stop doing my devotions, from spending time with the Lord. But at the very last minute, I recognized my absolute need for God and have jumped off the path Satan had started to pave for me and hopped back into my walk with the Lord.

Guess what Satan? NOT TODAY! My GOD is SO MUCH BIGGER THAN YOU AND ALL YOUR TACTICS! My God rescued me from the pit of depression I was about to fall into.

This is what Satan does! He sees that weakness in us and uses it to try and destroy us. He whispers to us that we don’t matter and to just give up.

As I type this, the song Our God by Christ Tomlin came on. I love this song! And it’s so fitting for this post!

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God

God IS greater. He’s bigger than any problem we go through.

How do we fight Satan? With the Armor of God!

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breast plate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people

Posted in book review, books, christian living, christianity, Faith, Jesus

A Fan or a Follower?

Kyle Idleman, pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky has written several books that I absolutely love. The very first book I ever purchased of his is “Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus.” In this book, Idleman discusses the difference between being a fan of Jesus and a follower of Jesus. Here’s the synopsis

Are you a fan or a follower? The dictionary defines a fan as “an enthusiastic admirer.” Fans want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires sacrifice. Fans may be fine with repeating a prayer, attending church on the weekend, and slapping a Jesus fish on their bumpers. But is that really the extent of the relationship Jesus wants? Jesus was never interested in having admirers. It’s not fans he is looking for. Not a Fan challenges you to consider what it really means to call yourself a Christian. With a direct frankness that you’re not likely to hear in Sunday school class, Kyle invites you to take an honest look at your relationship with Jesus. His call to follow may seem radical to us, but Jesus desires it for every believer.

I’ve read this book several times and get something new from it each time. Some quotes from the book include:

The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren’t actually interested in following Christ. They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits but not so close that it requires anything from them.

Ouch. Idleman doesn’t mind stepping on toes, does he? But hey it’s the truth! There are plenty of so called Christians who want to experience the good things Jesus has to offer and that’s it. Following Jesus? No way. It’s too hard. Too much to ask.

Jesus doesn’t expect followers to be perfect but he does call them to be authentic.

No one is perfect. We live in a fallen world. The second Eve took that bite, perfection was something humans would never achieve. However, Jesus does expect authenticity from us.  We are called to be real, to be legitimate.

It’s much easier to talk about following Jesus when you are making general statements rather than specific commitments.

Easier said than done, right? It’s so much easier to SAY you’ll follow Jesus. Actually committing to Him? A lot harder…but it’s what Jesus expects of us. To commit.

I highly recommend this book. You’ll get your toes stepped on, definitely. But the book really makes you think.

 

Posted in blogging, christian living, godliness

Digital Missionaries

**This post was previously published in 2017 as “Being Jesus Online” and I thought I’d tweak it a little and add some more thoughts.**

So yesterday in the mail I received some booklets I had requested from the Discovery Series on various topics. (They’re FREE!)

One of them was: Being Jesus Online, Biblical Wisdom for a Wired World.

The topics discussed in this particular booklet were:

  • What Would Jesus Tweet?
  • The Heart of the Matter
  • Turning on the Right Filters
  • Clicking Share

I’m just going to discuss a couple of them but this topic was very eye-opening and really made me think about the things I post online. Is what I’m posting bringing glory to the Lord? Or are my words tearing someone down?

In “What Would Jesus Tweet”, the author shares his thoughts on whether Jesus would have a social media account in today’s age. What would He share? What would He tweet? How would He relate to His “friends” and “followers” and to those who disagreed with Him?

This thinking, in turn, led to thoughts about his own personal tweets, posts and comments. According to Dennis Moles, the author, “If Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God then shouldn’t His actions and attitudes serve as a guide and example for every area of my life–even my use of social media?”

In “Turning on the Right Filters” Moles makes a good point by saying that “not all moments that can be shared should be shared.” Some thoughts should just be left off social media and kept to ourselves. 

As followers of Christ, we must represent Him in everything we say and do…and whatever we share online. Whether we remember it or not, “we are always representing Jesus.” Moles reminds us that just like the first disciples “we have been sent out into the world to spread God’s message of hope and life…and “because the world sees our lives and doesn’t just hear our words it is our responsibility to think twice before hitting send.”

Moles goes on to say that representing Jesus in digital space is “difficult” “What may be common sense, self-evident, funny or helpful to us, may be frightening, rude, offensive, or confusing to someone else.”

This booklet was really helpful and really opened my eyes. If you want to check this one out and read up on other topics visit the Discovery Series site.


As Christian bloggers we are digital missionaries. We have the opportunity to spread the Gospel to the other side of the world all while sitting behind a computer screen.

What we say and do on social media has the opportunity to either build someone up or tear someone down. How can we show Christ to the world if we are tearing someone down? Be careful what you say on social media. 

I Corinthians 10:31 says “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

 

Posted in christian living, christianity, Jesus

The Cost of Discipleship

Discipleship

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)

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”

Jesus tells us we must pick up our own cross and follow him daily. Not just when we feel like it. Not just when the time is right. But daily. As in, all the time. every single day.

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


Update on Landen

Sadly, Landen went peacefully to be with Jesus earlier this evening. Please pray for his family during this time.

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith

I Will Rise

I Will Rise When He Calls My Name!
Hey y’all, I hope your Sunday is going well! Church was amazing this morning. We had a great message, a wonderful time of prayer and an awesome praise and worship time.
I don’t know if you’ve heard of the song, I Will Rise by Chris Tomlin but it is AMAZING! Please take some time to go check it out!
The lyrics are powerful and so very true!
There is a line that I love, “And my faith shall be my eyes”–Oh, how wonderful will it be to wake up in heaven one day! To see our Lord and Savior face to face!
One day there will be no more sorrow, no more pain! I long for this day, as I know any chronic pain sufferer would.

We Will Have New Bodies (Praise the Lord!!!)

2 Corinthians 5:1-10 says:

For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

No More Sorrow

In Revelation 21:4, we read that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
I’m so excited for heaven, aren’t you? There will be nothing but singing and praising and worshiping the Lord!!

I Will Rise

(Verse 2)
There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
(Chorus)
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise