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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?”

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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
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Made To Crave

I stepped onto the scale the other day and nearly lost it when I saw my results. There’s no way! It’s lying. I can’t weigh that much! But as I stepped off the scale, I was forced to face reality. Yes, I indeed weighed this much and it is no one’s fault but my own. (and the 4 meds I take that cause weight gain.)

I guess the last time I read “Made to Crave” I wasn’t paying attention. Well, it’s to reread it again! This time I’ll pay closer attention and will take notes.

Poor food choices are sabotaging my body, my mental energy and even my spirit. Food has become like a drug.

Lysa Terkeurst

I obviously wasn’t motivated to lose the weight the first time around. But something is different this time. That number I saw on the scale has really scared me. Like, really. I’m at risk several health issues, including diabetes (which runs in the family), heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.
I need to take a lot better care of myself. This time, I’m including God. He alone is the only One who can help me truly feel good about myself.

I didn’t include God the first time. Oh, I thought I had. I read the book, didn’t I? I prayed, right? But my heart wasn’t truly in it now that I’ve had time to think about it.

I’m addicted. Sugar is my drug of choice, so to speak. I just “have” to have chocolate. I just “have” to have sweets. Brownies, cookies, you name it. I’m attracted to sweets. Oh and soda. That’s another downfall of mine. Soda. I’m a Coke kind of girl, I love it. I have recently switched to Coke Zero, no sugar, no calories. But the one thing I need to start doing? Drinking water. Lots and lots of water. Problem is I can’t seem to drink a lot. I make excuses for why I don’t drink water like I should. “Oh, I can’t eat pizza and drink water along with it. It just doesn’t taste good. I “need” that glorious taste of soda.

We want the results but have no desire to put in the work required.

Lysa Terkeurst

Ain’t that the truth? We want to look good, we want to feel good when around others who can stuff their faces and not gain a pound. (Seriously, that isn’t fair! lol) We have this tendency to compare ourselves to others but we have to stop doing that. It’s only going to make us feel worse. We have to have the desire to lose the weight, without comparing ourselves to others.

Nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only One capable of satisfying them.

Lysa Terkeurst

I’m on chapter 8 of the book and this time I’m getting so much more than I did the last time. And why? Because I’m including God in it this time. I was wanting to lose weight just so I looked good. But I’ve got to change that mindset and realize that God loves me, weight and all. He knows I want to lose the weight and He’s trying to tell me that with His help I can overcome my struggles.

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

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.

Lysa Terkeurst

Another thing that is different this time is that I have an accountability partner. She would like to lose weight as well and so we are going to check in with each other 1-2 times a week and also pray for one another that we would stay focused on losing the amount of weight we’ve decided on.

Galatians 6:9 tells us this: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.