His Word is Truth

Good morning, fellow mortals!

How is life going for you? I’m glad you stopped by my blog and pray you are encouraged and challenged—especially by this post.

I wanted to take some time to address a crucially important topic today.

2 Timothy 2:22-26

22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

His Word

God’s Word.

Truth.

Who is the lord of your life?

As Christians, who do we follow?

What defines right and wrong for us?

What shapes our ideals and convictions more—the culture or the Bible?

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Dear friends, I’d like to present a question: Are you a fan of Jesus Christ? Or a follower of Jesus Christ?

1 John 2:5

But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

Fan or follower?

Let’s face a hard truth. You cannot be enraptured by the world, believing their “truths” and living their lies, and walking the way you feel is right … and still know God. Even if you’re a big fan of Jesus.

Christians are followers of Christ.

So, are you a Christian? Do you know what it means to follow someone? This doesn’t mean listening to the Christian radio, raising your hands in church, and wearing an “I love Jesus” T-shirt (though those aren’t bad things!) … it means imitating Jesus Christ. Walking in the ways He showed us.

Letting Him live through us.

Galatians 2:20

20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

John 13:13-17

13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Ephesians 5:2

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

John 14:21

21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

How do you know how Jesus lived? You read His Word. Read your Bible. Immerse yourself in its truths.

Who do you think knows better? Your college professor or the Creator of the universe? Hollywood or the Author of love? The culture or the Maker? Media or the God of justice? That brilliant author you’re reading by or the Beginning and the End? You or the Lord of Lords?

1 Timothy 6:3-5

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.

If you truly believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and your Savior, then you must believe that the Bible is absolute truth! You cannot take away or add to the Word of God without mocking, discrediting, disbelieving, or making God out to be a liar.

1 Timothy 6:20-21

20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge— 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.

If we want to love God, we need to obey His Word! We need to be reading the Bible regularly and dwelling on its words. The Bible needs to be our road map. Our instruction manual. Our guide. Our absolute. Our truth.

John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

We can’t rely on our feelings, our media, or our family and friends to determine truth for us. We must go to God and His Word which He gave us!

2 Timothy 3:13-15

13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

There are people and resources in this world that can help us understand or recognize truth, but we must always have the Bible as our foundation and line everything up against what it says.

John 14:23

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

Listen. It is by grace that we are saved, through faith in Jesus Christ! Trusting that He is God’s Son and that His blood sacrifice paid our debt is what brings us into right standing with God and promises us eternal life.

Ephesians 2:8-9

 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Romans 10:9-13

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

But don’t cry out to God and then just go on with your old way of life. There is an Enemy prowling out there who seeks to kill and destroy. You need to know God and obey His Word. Because it is all too easy to get sucked into Satan’s lies.

1 Peter 5:8

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

John 10:10

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Examine your heart. Do you follow Jesus Christ? Do you believe His Word is truth?

If you do believe that the Bible is truth, do you spend more time immersing yourself in truth or in lies?

What do you spend more time listening to? Christian songs that have truth in their lyrics? Or secular music that feeds you lies, mocks God’s design, and glorifies sin and self?

What about what you read?

What you watch?

Philippians 4:7-9

the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

What kind of people do you hang out with most?

1 Corinthians 15:33

33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

What kind of talk do you engage in?

Ephesians 4:29

29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

You’re only making it harder on yourself when you love loving the world instead of drawing nearer to God by surrounding yourself with His words, His truth, His people, His beauty.

Not everything is beneficial. Do yourself a favor and throw off some weights that are hindering you from running the race effectively.

1 Corinthians 10:23

23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

Hebrews 12:1-2

let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Going back to the main point … His Word is truth. If you believe in Him, you must believe this. And then you must fight for it. Put your faith in Him for He is worthy of your trust.

Isaiah 55:6-9

Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Be serious about this. Be serious about your claims of Christianity, and faith, and truth. GOD IS LOVE, but HE IS ALSO HOLY. He is gracious, compassionate, and full of tender mercies. But, just the same, He will not be mocked.

Proverbs 1:20-23

20 Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
21 She cries out in the chief concourses,
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:
22 “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
23 Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

He is God. You are not.

This is a beautiful thing when you place your heart in the hands of the one true King and let Him lead you. ❤

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.

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Finding Joy in the Lover of My Soul

Happy Valentine’s Day, darling readers! I thought I’d talk about that today since I missed posting on the actual day.

Lover of My Soul(picture found on pixabay.com)

So, how are you feeling? I know the day celebrating love can be hard for some people. Maybe you’re going through a rough time in your marriage. Maybe you’re in a season of singleness.

I, myself, have no “special someone” in my life at this time. But I quite enjoyed Valentine’s Day this year. 😀 It was fantastically beautiful.

The days before Valentine’s Day were good ones for me. Sunday, my family and I went to Bible study at our dear friend’s house, as usual. I got some laughing in, which is always fabulous. I don’t have anyone in my age group at this particular Bible study, but I enjoy doing a study and chatting with the moms, and also hanging out with my seventeen-year-old sister and her friends. So that’s lovely. *feels joyful just thinking about it*

Proverbs 17:22

22 A merry heart does good, like medicine,

Monday, a friend’s children were over at my family’s house for the morning/afternoon. I went to a doctor appointment, and then stopped at the library. Back at home, I did some housework, then worked on a blog post for a few hours.

Tuesday, we did wood! My dad split while most of the rest of us stacked. I wore my “work pants” which are splattered in paint and such from hours of remodeling work on the house last summer. They quickly became splattered in mud. Friends, it was a sunny day, but very muddy. My boots kept getting stuck, and I had to wrench them out of almost ankle-deep mud time and time again, haha. My gloves were also soaked in mud. Stacking wood is … interesting. Trying to find just the right place for each piece of wood, fitting it together like a puzzle. About the time that the pile of wood was reaching my height, I started feeling tired and it was taking a bit of effort to heave wood into place, haha. But it was then that I needed to go inside and get ready to drive my sister somewhere.

wood-1884339_1920(found on pixabay.com)

My sister and I spent an hour or so at this friend’s house … me writing and minding my own business while my sister and Mom’s friend talked about photography and editing tips.

Wednesday, February 14th, I attended a Valentine’s Day party with my mom and siblings. I just went along because … you know. Family and friends! I very much enjoyed visiting with some of the moms there. Good fellowship. They encourage me. ❤

I worked on blog stuff, cleaned, and made a gluten-free chocolate cherry pudding cake! I enjoyed a special supper with my parents and siblings, and wrote down things I love/admire about each person.

I went outside with some of my younger siblings and my seventeen-year-old sister, fifteen-year-old sister, eleven-year-old sister, and I danced and sang in the cool night air. I felt so free and joyful, and belonging to the Lover of my soul! ❤

KODAK Digital Still Camera

I am happy loving on family and friends right now. Yes, sometimes I do feel moments of deep longing … for romantic love, for marriage, for a man who’s my best friend. But, I think I’m finally learning to be content where God has me. To embrace the path He’s leading me on. Is my desire for love, for closeness, for romance, for a lifelong relationship gone? By no means! Being a wife and mother is still one of my deepest dreams. I still am intentional about studying marriage from a Biblical perspective, and praying for & writing letters to my future husband.

To be honest, I think that’s helped!

First, cultivating a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Being closer to Him—feeling His love and Presence—, experiencing the sweetness of prolonged prayer time has filled up a lot of my lonely heart. The more important my relationship with Him becomes to me, the more fulfilled I am as I open my heart and He draws me nearer.

When I immerse myself in the truth that I am chosen and loved by Him—complete in Him—it heals a part of me that feels I’m not chosen and wanted by an earthly man.

1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

2 Corinthians 6:18

18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”

Psalm 62:5-8

My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God.

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.

I am part of Jesus Christ’s eternal Bride. How amazing and beautiful is that? My dear sisters and brothers who feel “single”, “alone”, and “unwanted” are your identity, dwell on that for a while. You belong. He is by your side. You are chosen.

Ephesians 5:25-27 & 32

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Psalm 34:4-5

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.

Ephesians 2:10

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Isaiah 49:16

16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;

Isaiah 62:5

And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So shall your God rejoice over you.

Beloved.

Beloved.

Beloved.

If you belong to Christ, know that you are His beloved.

rose-2417334_1920(found on pixabay.com)

The next thing that helps me is fellowship and community. Just feeling like I have a place where I very much belong, even as an unmarried, adult woman. Connecting deeply. Sharing. Giving of yourself. Having a purpose. Being mentored. Conversation. Laughter.

Ephesians 5:1-2

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Thirdly, as I mentioned above, writing letters to and praying for my future husband is helpful. Perhaps it helps me keep from getting “boy crazy”. It gives me something to focus on and pour my desire for marriage into.

When I came to a place where I did not want to get married unless the man enhanced my relationship with the Lord—unless he is desiring to and actively pursuing Christ, and his deepest prayer for me is that I grow closer to Christ—writing letters and praying started becoming a lot more purposeful and joyful. If I am to marry, he will truly be a man God chose for me. If I am to marry, God sees that man even now, and so I want to pray for him. And I smile at the thought of him reading the letters, knowing I was thinking of him even now. Waiting for him. Truly waiting.

face-to-face-3141317_1920(found on pixabay.com)

So, press into the Lord, even as He’s pursuing you! Find a community to be deeply a part of. And write to your future husband, if you want! Maybe it’ll help you be content waiting for him, rather than getting distracted by every cute boy who happens across your path.

Seriously, being “single” is so much better than having someone when you know he isn’t God’s will for you. You have freedom to passionately run after Jesus Christ and the path He’s set before you, instead of struggling more than necessary because you’re walking a path He hasn’t give you peace about.

John 15:15

15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

cherry-blossom-1260646_1920(found on pixabay.com)

I finished off Valentine’s Day by having heart talks with my sister. Then I sat in the living room—the whole house quiet as my family slept—and wrote a letter to help me work through emotions and feelings from years ago. The letter will probably never be mailed. But writing it brought peace to my heart. And then I went off to bed and slept restfully.

February 15th, I wrote a letter to my future husband. And then I wrote to my beloved Lord. ❤ It ended up being a rough day, in some ways, but God carried me through. Praise Him!

Psalm 71:1-3 , 5-6 , & 22-24

In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
Let me never be put to shame.
Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape;
Incline Your ear to me, and save me.
Be my strong refuge,
To which I may resort continually;
You have given the commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress.

For You are my hope, O Lord GOD;
You are my trust from my youth.
By You I have been upheld from birth;
You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb.
My praise shall be continually of You.

22 Also with the lute I will praise You—
And Your faithfulness, O my God!
To You I will sing with the harp,
O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You,
And my soul, which You have redeemed.
24 My tongue also shall talk of Your righteousness all the day long;
For they are confounded,
For they are brought to shame
Who seek my hurt.

Oh, and I started a Bible study! Pray for me, that God will work in and through me! And pray for the wonderful young people who are part of the study. I’m excited to seek the Lord together with them! 🙂

Lady Grace ❤

1 Corinthians 13:12-13

12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Paths and Provisions

Good morning, beautiful readers!

I’m going to share a little bit of my heart with you today. To be honest, this isn’t the easiest thing to share. It’s something that’s caused me no small amount of shame, anxiety, insecurity, and troubled thoughts. But it’s been on my mind a lot lately … so I thought perhaps it was God prompting me to share.

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

This post is going to be about work, money, jobs, independence, responsibility, and trusting God to provide. That sort of thing.

paths and provisions(picture found on pixabay.com)

I never was very career-minded. In fact, I tend to be a dreamer – I believe it’s part of my personality as an INFJ. From a young age, I loved reading and writing—all things books, really—and by ten-years-old, decided that I wanted to be a published author when I grew up. So I pursued writing. I wrote all the time. I filled up numerous journals and notebooks, and even took to typing out my stories and thoughts on the computer. I had stacks and stacks of handwritten stories and many documents saved onto the computer.

I did some babysitting here and there once I turned twelve. At around fifteen-years-old, I got a sort-of summer nanny job. Once I week I took care of a little baby (perhaps six months old?) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

baby-623417_1920(found on pixabay.com)

It was around that time that my mom, my siblings, and I started cleaning our church once a week. We did that for a couple years.

At sixteen, I got my first “real” job. It was at Dairy Queen. They needed good workers, someone from my youth group recommended me, and so I was like, “Sure, why not? It’s probably a good time to start working part-time.” I hadn’t been actively searching for a job, but I was eager enough to accept the position.

Working at a fast-food restaurant turned out to be a rather intimidating experience for shy, insecure, introverted, teenage me. My voice was always too soft, even though I felt like I was shouting. All the details I was expected to learn overwhelmed me (though I actually caught on quickly enough). I felt uncomfortable wearing the required black slacks and stuffing my thick, waist-length hair up beneath a baseball cap. But, I did learn some things! And for that, I am thankful. It wasn’t horrible, but it was very stressful for me. Three mornings a week I skipped breakfast (because my stomach hurt from anxiety/stress) and hurried off to work. Around lunch time, I would start feeling tired and dragging, so I’d reluctantly drink a glass of soda (I’m kind of a health nut, so I disliked the idea of drinking a sugary drink three times a week!). Then I’d get home, probably eat a late lunch, and sit down and put my feet up because my legs and feet ached so badly. And then do some schoolwork.

I cleaned bathrooms (which caused some serious anxiety for my germ-freak self, especially at that time, ha!), spilled a strawberry sundae on my shirt when I was carrying two full trays into the dining area, fumbled through drive-through duty for the first time when the manager abruptly put the headset on me, and messed up a few times as I went through the general learning process of doing something new. I blushed and stuttered when boys flirted with me now and then. I got yelled at and grumbled at a few times, and my super-sensitive self blinked back tears and was sure my manager and the restaurant owner rather resented me.

Perhaps everyone feels this way, but my first job was really stressful for me! Not because it was actually so horrible, but because every little thing seemed magnified and overwhelming in my mind.

I only worked there about three and half months before turning in my notice so I could go live in my “home state” (place I was born) with my relatives for a month, and then just put all my focus back on school work and writing.

coffee-2306471_1920(found on pixabay.com)

So really … that was my only official job.

My family moved out of state the next year (2014). About a year later, July of 2015 (I think), I moved back for a couple months with my older brother. Then moved back in with my family. Then the next year, April 2016, my older brother and I drove to my “home state” and I ended up staying there for 9-ish months.

I’d planned to stay permanently, but just wasn’t really finding my place there. And I missed my family. Especially when some of my six younger siblings would write me letters saying how much they missed me, and how I was the best big sister, and how they wished I would come home. It nearly wrenched my heart out, haha! My anxiety had already worsened in the last couple years of moving around, but that year it was pretty bad and I also struggled with some depression. It definitely wasn’t all bad, though! My aunt & uncle, grandparents, and cousins loved on me, and I got to meet new people and experience neat things. But when my older brother and I flew back home in January 2017 for a late family Christmas, I ended up staying. My parents bought my brother and I plane tickets out there for my mom’s Christmas present (*smiles*), but they never bought me a return ticket like they said they would, so I’ll just blame it on that, haha. Summer of 2017 was spent, almost to the very last hour, remodeling the house my parents bought and everything having to do with that.

Anyway. Since my brief time at Dairy Queen, I’ve written up a resume, filled out many applications, gone to multiple interviews, and almost got at least three different jobs (two of them were at libraries! *smiles*). For various reasons, I didn’t end up getting them.

And now I’m here. Twenty-one. No job. No car. Unsure of where my path is winding.

Luke 12:6-7

“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

I did buy a car while I was living in my “home state”. But it was not fit to drive the many miles home, so I have it no longer. And I’ve been blessed with many babysitting and cleaning jobs during my “unemployed” years!

Nevertheless, I feel this sense of shame and this feeling that I’m wrong. I feel both “behind” in life, and trapped because I didn’t get started at the “right time”. Sometimes it feels like I’m struggling to keep my head above the waves of doubt, fear, and a lack of confidence.

…I never gave much thought to jobs and careers. (Though I did take a couple college classes in my last year of high school.) I was too busy thinking other deep thoughts (haha). I did expect to get a job. But I’m a dreamer, and my head and heart were filled with ideas and plans and passions for writing novels, starting blogs, doing Bible studies, connecting deeply with people, touching lives, and impacting the world. Not to mention, I’d always expected to get married young. My mom had. My grandmother had. My great-grandmother had. Most of my friends and cousins got married between the ages of eighteen to twenty-one-years-old.

flower-3122500_1920(found on pixabay.com)

So in all my plans and ponderings, I’d seen myself being married at eighteen or nineteen. At least by twenty-one! (Ha!) I saw myself loving and serving my husband and raising children with him to know the Lord. I saw myself running my household—cooking, cleaning, baking, homeschooling, etc.—and writing stories as an adored hobby. And sharing my book collection with other avid readers. To this day, I still often picture myself doing these things, and also keeping up this blog and opening up my home to people – making meals for friends and starting Bible studies for teens and single adults. I dream of joyfully keeping a home and ministering to people from it.

Proverbs 12:4

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,

Proverbs 31:10-13, 15, 17, 20-22, & 24-31

10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.

And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.

17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.

20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Titus 2:4-5

that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands,

1 Corinthians 11:3

But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

That’s obviously not to be. Not right now, anyway. I’m in a different season of life right now. And I struggle to figure it out! I don’t believe my dreams were bad or wrong, and I still have hope for them! But right now, I have to find out how to live as I should as a Christian, unmarried adult woman in America.

Psalm 84:3-5

Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You. Selah

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.

 

Should I have done things differently? Should I have stifled my dreams? Should I have tried harder to find jobs? Not moved around so much (as an adult, that is. I didn’t have much of a choice when my family moved!)?

I don’t know. People make me feel like I should have, like I did something wrong. Like I’m lazy and irresponsible and immature.

And it’s hard. It’s hard to think of people thinking badly of me. It causes all sorts of anxiety. (Yes, I struggle with insecurity, being a people-pleaser, and a lack of confidence. You probably know that if you’ve read this blog! I’m not trying to whine, just be honest. And I’m learning! God is teaching me to find my confidence in Him.)

Have I done things wrong? Yes. Am I imperfect? Without a doubt. Have I not managed my time wisely some years? Absolutely. Could I have done things differently? Probably so.

But I did what I did.

That’s what happened.

That’s how life went.

And God used all those years to teach and grow me, and do things in my life and the lives of those around me.

It’s not wasted.

Even if I made mistakes and messed things up and took forever to learn certain lessons … He was with me even then. He was working in my life.

The past is the past.

I can’t change it.

It may or may not have put me “behind” in this life as I learn more of what it means to live as an adult.

But, do I trust God? Do I trust Him to provide me with a job, and a car, and a ministry, and everything I need in His timing?

Philippians 4:19

19 And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Do I trust that He is able, even if I haven’t been technically employed for a long while? Do I trust that He can redeem past mistakes and errors?

Joel 2:25-27

25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.

Do I trust that He can use, is using, me now, even while I don’t have a job?

Philippians 4:10-13

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Do I trust Him, even when people talk negatively about me?

Even when people make me feel worthless and stupid?

Make me feel like I’m unwanted and not belonging anywhere?

They don’t know my story. That don’t know the anxiety and depression and other health issues I’ve dealt with, and how that’s hindered me. They don’t know my heart. They don’t know that I desire and I’m trying to love and serve God and people in the ways I know best! They don’t know how I strive to fill my days with some sort of purpose … cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, helping out with the children, seeking God in prayer and His Word, helping a little with teaching school, and writing these blog posts. Driving the older kids places. Editing my stories. Grocery shopping. Organizing and sorting through things. Trying to encourage people and start being a mentor-of-sorts to my younger sisters.

Psalm 84:10-12

10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.

12 Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

 

I have’t always done well. I haven’t always strove to have a helpful and serving attitude toward my family. I haven’t always been thankful. I haven’t always tried my best and done everything as unto the Lord.

I know there are people who deal with anxiety, depression, different health issues, and all sorts of things and still have done better than me in life. They’ve had their steady job for years. They have a car. They have a house. They know where they’re going in life.

I’m not trying to justify everything about myself, and my life, and my choices. I think I tend to try to paint everything in as positive a light as possible, perhaps because I hope there will be someone out there who believes in me. I list out all these things and ramble on so, maybe because I’m trying to convince myself that I’m okay.

poppy-3137588_1920(found on pixabay.com)

That I haven’t ruined my life. That I’m not a failure.

But I can’t find that confidence in other people. And I certainly can’t find it in myself.

2 Corinthians 10:7

Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s.

I must find it in God.

I can only find it in God.

Because, you know what? Loved by Him is my identity. And He is worthy of my trust. He is so able to work everything out for His glory and my good. He can redeem my past mistakes. He is still working on me, and He does not forsake me. Sometimes I look back and think, “Oh my, I’m making this ever a process!” But He is ever faithful! Sanctification is a process! ❤

Romans 8:8

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

And I am an individual person with my own, unique story. I need to stop comparing. Stop trying to measure up. Stop trying to take everything into my hands and think I have to control and take care of it all.

2 Corinthians 9:8

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

My faithful Provider is taking care of me.

Do I deserve it? Of course not. But He chose me. He wants me. He delights in me. Because I’m His daughter now. And I need to hold onto faith that He will lead me on the path that He has for me and provide for me along the way. I need to grow in faith that He will give me His strength to take the steps needed, even when I’m anxious, tired, not feeling well, or worried I’ll lose my purpose and not be impacting people for His kingdom if I work at a fast-food restaurant serving people unhealthy food, (haha, I seriously worry about this all the time. I have the INFJ personality, and I try to find purpose and meaning in EVERYTHING. It can be exhausting, yes.)

So, He can do ANYTHING! He can do things beyond my wildest dreams and hopes! He uses MY WEAKNESS to display HIS STRENGTH. He has been pursuing me and taking care of me since the beginning of my life – since before!

Ephesians 3:20-21

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Psalm 139:13-16

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

I trust Him.

My friends, I am so imperfect! But my God is so perfect. Look to Him, not me. And I hope, if you can relate to me in this, that this post was an encouragement to you and blessed your heart. God loves you, precious soul. He’s taking care of you. You can trust Him with your life. Every detail. Surrender your plans and let Him lead.

2 Corinthians 9:10-15

10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, 13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, 14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Much love,

Lady Grace ❤

Philippians 4:1

Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

 

the journey

Hello, lovely readers! How are you doing this fine Saturday?

It’s actually Friday right now, as I write this. I just sat down with a snack and my laptop after a morning/afternoon of “weekly cleaning”. I have a bit of an idea for the topic of this post, but I’m not entirely sure what all I’m going to write. We’ll see how this goes. I’m trying to stay on my blogging schedule! 😉

flower-3139424_1920(picture found on pixabay.com)

So, I’m a writer. Thus, it might not surprise you that I journal my prayers. I haven’t always done this, but I started my first prayer journal at around eleven or twelve-years-old. Journaling my prayers was sporadic from there on out. In the year of 2014, February 25th to be exact, I started writing down my prayers in a new journal—a pretty blue one that I received from a cousin for my seventeenth birthday. That was a year of a lot of seeking on my part.

Jeremiah 29:13

13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I set you apart;

This song pretty much sums up the passion burning in my heart:

“I know that I am far from perfect
But through You the cross still says I’m worth it
So take this beating in my heart and
Come and finish what You started
When they see me, let them see You
‘Cause I just wanna be different,”

But anyway. For a span of a couple months, I wrote and wrote and wrote in that journal. I prayed for a more intimate walk with Jesus Christ. I prayed for my friends and acquaintances at youth group and Bible study. I prayed a lot for my brothers in Christ that year—I think because one of my friends had a heart to see them grow into men of God and that influenced me. I prayed for singers I knew of who were going through personal loss. I prayed for my family. I prayed for authors I loved. I prayed for friends who were entering romantic relationships. I prayed for growth and blessing in my parent’s marriage. I prayed for deepened faith. I prayed for healing and I prayed for forgiveness. I prayed for my grandma who’d lost beloved family members. I prayed for boys I was interested in. I prayed for my future husband. I prayed for the strength to surrender my deep desire for marriage and babies. I prayed about my story, Silver Rose, asking for God’s guidance and wisdom concerning that—for His will to be done and glory be brought to Him!

DSC_0053(My blue prayer journal!)

I don’t recall why, but I stopped writing down my prayers in that blue journal for awhile. 2015 and 2016 were kind of rough years for me. I went through some depression and feeling lost. I started writing in a different journal (which I’d received as a graduation gift from some dear friends), and recorded my prayers there periodically.

At the end of 2017, I picked up my blue journal again, which was a little over halfway filled. I’ve started writing down my prayers again often, and it’s been a joy! It helps me keep focused on praying and it truly is a sweet time with the Lord.

Psalm 84:1-4

How lovely is Your tabernacle,
Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You.

Psalm 63:1

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.

So, all that to say, I finished my blue prayer journal! It’s all filled up with prayers from my heart! (And also a few letters to my future husband). It’s certainly a treasure to me.

Sometimes I read through it from the beginning and marvel at the prayers that God answered! The places He’s grown me. The ways He has spoken to my heart.

20151010_125038_HDR(2015)

I relate still, so much, with the seventeen-year-old me.

Blue Prayer Journal: February 25th, 2014

I want to be set-apart for You, Lord. I want a relationship with You that is beyond any human relationship. I want to shine for You wherever I go. I want to know without a doubt that I can run to You when my heart is broken. I want my life to brim with meaning – I want to live in obedience and love with abandon.

However, life has a way of pulling me down. Satan has a way of whispering lie after lie into my ears in vicious attack. I get weary of a “every-day-is-the-same” life. I get weary. I don’t want to try anymore.

But, Lord, I do believe there’s something greater. And that’s why I’ve started this prayer journal, and have been trying recently to read my Bible more. I’m striving for a life in the center of Your will, Lord, so I plead that You will give me the strength, because I certainly can’t do it on my own!

Yes, I relate to her. But I also see how different I am from the me then. Different in subtle ways, that I might not realize at a brief thought. But as read through my prayers then, I realize …

My God has been so faithful to me.

He has answered my prayers. –My heart’s desire to know Him more. He has grown me and drawn me nearer to Him!

John 10:10

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

God has carried me through years of overwhelming anxiety. The days when I thought for sure my mom and siblings had gotten in a car accident because they were a few minutes late. The nights where I tried to stifle the gut-wrenching sobs that came from a place of unexplainable grief and fear squeezing my soul. The frightening hours of questioning everything I knew. The long, intense moments of drowning in a mistrust of God. The feeling of yawning emptiness inside. The disappearance of my passions, my desires, my excitement for life, my hope. The fear of death, the fear of disease, the fear of the unknown, the fear of not being wanted.

I feared the end of this life, but I was too scared to live.

Anxiety/depression is still a very real struggle for me. Some days I battle it all day. But I fight. Because I know my God fights for me. Because I know the victory is His, and I am His. So the victory is mine.

2 Thessalonians 3:3

But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

10491171_506556402807978_2598662001276211571_n(The year of 2014 shortly before my family moved. I painted my little sister’s toes and mine the same sparkly pink. *grins*)

My friends, I have found my hope again. As I deal with anxiety/depression, it’s becoming more and more natural to turn to God – my Protector – right away. And even though I’m still trying to find physical healing and get help for this mental struggle, I do find victory! I don’t know how to explain it.

God didn’t take the struggle away. But I feel He’s stepped right into the midst of it. When I surrender and open up my heart to Him, it’s like He lovingly says, “I’m right here, daughter. I have you. No matter what happens, you are going to be alright.”

Psalm 43:5

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

Oh, He is good!

So, so faithful. It was just a week or two ago that I felt like I was within the clutches of despair bordering on terror. So I started praying. And as I prayed God’s truth over myself and reminded myself of all that I am in Him, tears welled up in my eyes and the sweetness of it swept over me. Peace descended on me.

I am His.

His daughter. His princess. His bride. And no one can take that away from me. He chose me. No one can take His love from me. No one can take me from Him. I am loved. I am secure.

Isaiah 54:4

For your Maker is your husband,
The Lord of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth.

Isaiah 62:5

And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So shall your God rejoice over you.

I’m not perfect. In fact, I’m so imperfect that sometimes it terrifies me! But then I have to remind myself that I’m His and secure in Him. And He is growing me … what a beautiful thing! He is completing the work He began in me. In my weakness, HE IS STRONG.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Reading through my prayer journal shows me God’s hand in my life. It encourages me when I doubt that I have changed/grown.

And it reminds me that God doesn’t see time as we do. Sometimes I look back and feel as though I’ve wasted my whole life. I’ve done nothing. I’ve been nothing. I’ve not impacted or made a difference for anyone. It’s all meaningless.

But all those years God was pursuing me. Working on me. Helping me through my struggles. Preparing me! Who knows … perhaps for amazing things He yet has in store for this earthly life of mine.

KODAK Digital Still Camera(Me and baby brother in 2014)

DSC_0210(2016)

Perhaps I’ll have the beautiful role of a wife and mother someday! Maybe I’ll get to publish my fantasy novel, and other stories. Perhaps I’ll get more followers on my blogs or Youtube channel and it can be my main ministry.

And right now I have the chance to touch the lives of my siblings and parents! And friends. I can take small steps to start mentoring younger sisters in the faith. I’m thinking about starting a small Bible study for older teens.

And I’m excited. Whatever God wants to do in and through me, I have faith that He can do it! Daily, I’m striving to surrender my passions, dreams, gifts, hopes, desires, ideas, and personality – myself! – to Him.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Ephesians 2:10

1For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

I want my life to make much of His holy and good Name.

And so I seek Him and wait in expectation. ❤

Blue Prayer Journal: February 8th, 2018

Gracious Father, to end this prayer journal, I want to first thank You for how far You’ve brought me since I started it! I still struggle, but I can see how You’ve grown me and assured me of Your love … and that is beautiful. ❤ I love You, Lord! Show me how to love You, and Your people, well!

Now it’s your turn! After that rather lengthily amount of rambling about my journal (I’m impressed if you made it through!), I’d like to hear your thoughts.

HAVE YOU EVER USED A PRAYER JOURNAL?

WHAT ARE SOME WAYS GOD HAS WORKED IN YOUR LIFE?

DO YOU KNOW THAT GOD CAN STEP INTO THE MIDST OF YOUR BIGGEST STRUGGLES AND FEARS, AND USE YOUR PASSIONS AND GIFTS FOR HIS KINGDOM? ❤

Pages of My Journal: A Letter to My Future Husband

A letter to my future husband

Dear Future Husband,

I want to see you through God’s eyes. I was doing my devotional, and today’s happened to be talking about marriage. At the end, it had a challenge: commit to praying that you can see your spouse through God’s eyes. I thought: Maybe I can do that now. Perhaps I can pray, over and over, that I’ll be able to see you as God sees you. That as soon as I meet you, I will see a child of God. The Lord’s adopted son. A human being with a priceless, precious soul. A potential friend with hurts, struggles, hopes and dreams that maybe I can speak to.

If God sees fit to bless me with a spouse, a husband, you … then I want to treat you as a gift. I want to start cultivating a heart, right now, that is thankful for you, that esteems you, that cherishes you.

I hope and pray that you will be, in every sense of the phrase, my best friend. That we not only have a firm and solid foundation of brother and sister in Christ, but we also have the committed and dear foundation of true friendship. That romance can blossom from that, and we will always stick by each other.

I think this is something I worry about. Perhaps because, in some marriages, it seems that after the infatuation fades, the husband and wife are more enemies than friends. Competing, comparing, and keeping score. I don’t want that. It’s a worrisome thought.

But I trust my Lord, Jesus Christ. I trust my perfect Father. I know He’s working on my heart, and yours. I know He has a good and beautiful path for us. And I know that a romance with Him is what truly sustains. No matter what, I will follow Him. ❤

Yours faithfully

Proverbs 31:10-12

10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

Proverbs 12:4

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,

Psalm 139:23-24

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Pages of My Journal: Psalm One Prayer

Psalm One Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for this day, and Your loving care of me – and all Your children! Thank You that we can come to You without hesitance, at any moment.

O Lord, help me to be the joyous woman who delights in Your instruction. I pray that You would teach me to mediate on it always! My good Father, make me like a tree planted beside streams of water. Have Your way in my life; work out Your beautiful plan for me, that as I abide in You, I bear fruit in whatever season of life You lead me to! Don’t let my soul and spirit wither, and my heart fail, but may I find Your strength even in my overwhelming weakness. May Your will be done, O Lord, and may I prosper in all that I do in Your name, for Your glory. Lead me and show me what You would have my life look like. How to use my gifts, talents, passions, and personality for Your glory and for Your honor. You made me and You know me, Father. Lead me on the path that You prepared for me, please.

Keep me far from wickedness and evil. Lord, don’t let their glamour entice me. Keep me rooted in Your word – help me to hide it in my heart. Help me, O gracious Father, to not just flee sin, but pursue purity.

I am Yours. You clothe me in righteousness. Watch over my way and keep me near. Help me not to falter, but open my heart to Your plan.

All this I ask and pray in the precious and holy name of Jesus Christ,

Amen.

Psalm 1:1-6

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
    Nor stands in the path of sinners,
    Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Life, Anxiety, & Reading 1 Corinthians

Hello, dear friends! Once again, I’m on a bad posting schedule. I am on vacation right now, so I suppose I have a right to take a break from blogging this time. Perhaps? 😉

I’ve been having a lovely time, and thankful for the small but beautiful ways I’m seeing God’s hand in my life during this trip. Been praying a lot … and it’s been a comfort as I strive to just follow where God leads. Let go. Hold on. Push myself. Just be. Try to step into His plan for my day, and try to see blessing and opportunity where I might be tempted to see only trial and burden.

life(found on pixabay.com)

I admit, I have had a few days where I’ve given into disappointment and despair, and not had the best attitude. Today was one of those days. I was struggling with anxiety and just feeling kind of tired out of life.

Okay. Where’s the purpose? What’s the big picture? I can’t see what’s going on, so therefore I assume nothing’s going on. I don’t want to try anymore, Lord.

But it’s then when we need to renew our minds with God’s Word and prayer, right? Pressing into Him, and also having fellowship with other believers. And finding some way to serve.

Sometimes nothing helps anxiety, and you just have to kind of ride it out. But today wasn’t so bad, I suppose. Tonight I’m actually starting to perk up and life feels okay. 🙂

I’m currently reading through 1 Corinthians, so I thought I would share some verses that stuck out to me. To do something purposeful tonight, you know. And I’ll schedule this post for tomorrow, so I’m actually following my supposed blogging schedule for Lady Grace, haha. Tuesdays and Saturdays, it’s supposed to be!

Anyway. Without further ado …

1 Corinthians 1:22-25

22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Corinthians 3:5-7

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

1 Corinthians 3:11

11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:21-23

21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. 23 And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

1 Corinthians 6:12-13

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 8:8-9

But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.

But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.

1 Corinthians 10:12-13

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:23-26

23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.

25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake; 26 for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.”

1 Corinthians 10:31

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 11:11-12

11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.

I got the idea from someone to meditate, throughout the whole day, on one verse you read. So I picked 1 Corinthians 10:31. And I think I’m going to make a point to meditate on it the rest of this vacation. “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

What a good reminder. What a way to find purpose and joy in each day and moment – even in the trials. Do all for His glory, my dear readers! ❤

Practicing Purity & Pursuing Righteousness in Romantic Relationships

How does one pursue purity and righteousness in a relationship?

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Even though if you read my relationship status it would say “single”, I’ve gleaned some insight and wisdom over the years on romance, dating, and marriage. By pursuing God and studying this particular topic through Christian Living books, sermons, and speakers—plus deep thought and discussion—I’ve perhaps gained some knowledge, and I want to share my ideas with you! I would love to converse with you in the comments below and hear your experiences and thoughts.

One thing I’ve learned: each relationship looks different! There are no perfect steps and cut-and-dry answers.

But as we strive to honor God in all areas of our lives, what are some ways we can intentionally practice the purity and righteousness He calls us to as His children?

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:1-6)

So here are some thoughts:

Meeting.

Wanting marriage is a God-given desire. While we need stay focused on our First Love and be careful not to get obsessed with “finding the one” or make marriage/a relationship an idol … desiring and seeking marriage is perfectly okay!

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2:18)

22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord. (Proverbs 18:22)

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)

I think it’s a beautiful and Biblical thing to connect with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and have meaningful friendships. God created us for community and relationships! So get involved. Meet men and women your own age – and of all ages!

If you find someone you’re interested in, make an effort to spend time with them. Get to know them in a group setting. Seek friendship first … show interest without flirting! Oftentimes, flirting can be shallow and self-focused – so check yourself. Strive to see this person through God’s eyes. They are a human created in God’s image; a beloved child of the King, with a heart worth really knowing! (Here is a letter I wrote to my future husband with these thoughts in mind.)

Pursuit.

Dear fellow women, wait for a man who will pursue you with godly intention and genuine attraction and interest in you. –Who you are as a person and your heart.

Take your time, know your mind, and let him win your heart. Don’t feel pressured to act or be a certain way. You don’t owe a single thing to the man who’s pursuing you. This is a trial period where you each get to know one another, deepen your friendship, and seek out each other’s hearts with the possibility of marriage in mind. You do not belong to him. He does not belong to you. The purpose of an intentional relationship should be to really get to know one another and find out if you want to marry. If, at any point, you realize the answer is “no”, end the relationship without delay. Be honest. Don’t lead them on.

In a man’s pursuit of you, I think it’s so important that he ask for your dad’s (or spiritual father’s) blessing. Involve your parents, mentors, and other family and friends who care about you and are invested in your life. I think it’s a beautiful thing when men and women involve wise people as they contemplate a relationship. Take steps to honor each other instead of just rushing into a relationship with only fun and pleasure in mind.

Men, you’re pursuing a woman, not a relationship.

Women, you’re responding to a man, not a potential fulfillment of all your hopes and dreams.

Take time to truly care about them.

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Friendship.

Be careful to use this dating/courtship time as an opportunity to deepen your friendship, rather than get all romantic too fast or too deeply. I’ve heard so many times that once you introduce physical touch into the relationship, your ability to really get to know one another seriously dwindles. Perhaps this is why many couples wake up six months to a year after their wedding day and wonder, “Do I really even know this person – my spouse?”

Besides that, remember, you do not belong to each other yet. So be careful of thinking that you have a right to any and all romantic touches, gestures, and talk.

I believe we should establish a solid foundation as brother and sister in Christ and focus on pursuing a deep, enjoyable, real friendship in dating/courting relationships.

Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2)

Honor that young woman as your sister, men. Treat her with gentleness and care, and much respect!

Girls, treat him as an esteemed friend rather than spending all your time stressing over what to wear, flirting, jealousy, and posting a thousand and one pictures of you two snuggling on Instagram.

You don’t belong to each other yet. Maybe not ever.

Boundaries.

Establish boundaries right away. Realize your values, and stick to them. Pray about convictions you feel God is giving you. Study Scriptures that speak on the topic of sexual purity. As I mentioned above, honor each other as brothers and sisters and pursue an authentic friendship first and foremost. Relationships aren’t all about holding hands and cuddling.

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16)

Concerning romance and physical touch, my basic thoughts always went something like this: I’ll meet this wonderful guy and we’ll become the best of friends. After a few months of courting, we’ll hold hands. Maybe after about a year, we’ll get married! And I’ll probably save my first kiss for my wedding day.

Well, yes. Every relationship is unique! So you can’t really plan out your future relationship perfectly – everything all black and white.

But I do think it’s important to ponder, pray, and contemplate. What do you stand for, and how would you like to proceed if a man shows interest?

Men, how are you going to go about things if you find a woman you want to pursue? Have you thought about how to best honor God in this area? How to best honor a girl you want to date?

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)

What are your boundaries? Do you have any? I firmly believe that men and women seeking to have a godly relationship should have solid convictions and boundaries. Not something like, “Well, I might save my first kiss for my wedding day … that kinda sounds like a good idea …”

No. Figure out where you need to draw the line, and make some firm boundaries for yourself. If you don’t have convictions, you’re bound to go where you never set out to go. And be certain to honor the boundaries of the person you’re in a relationship with!

20 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:20-23)

Lust is not part of a healthy, God-honoring relationship. Seek the Lord. Guard your heart. Take every thought captive. Watch your actions. If you start to lust, know that you’ve stepped into forbidden territory.

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8)

20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7:20-22)

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

Besides avoiding sexual compromise, I think we need to set boundaries to protect each other emotionally.

I, and perhaps most women, need to feel secure, emotionally connected, and trustful before I would be open to a man’s affectionate touch. I see holding hands, kissing, hugging, etc. as an expression of a love already deep. Not a way to “feel in love”.

And we, as women, need to know we’re being pursued for who we are – our hearts. Not our bodies, not our looks, not what we can give.

Men, pursue patiently, gently, and selflessly. A woman doesn’t owe you anything and you don’t have any right to her body, emotions, heart, etc. If you pursue her in a godly way and honorably win her heart in time, she’ll give you what is right to give you—in God’s eyes and for her personally—in each season.

I now hold to a conviction to save my first kiss for my husband. I want to honor him even now – and more importantly, honor God. So I’m intentionally learning, and reading, and practicing, and doing what I can to be ultra cautious and honorable in the areas of sexuality. Even if I never marry, I want to live purely before the Lord. If marriage is in my future, I want to save my body, romantic touches, and such for my husband, because he is the only man who has the right to them. And because I want to give him such a gift.

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12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. (1 Corinthians 6:12-13)

10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:10-12)

This is not to say that I’ve been perfect in the area of sexual purity. Maintaining God’s standard of purity can be a battle, especially if you don’t know what you’re up against and aren’t seeking God in this area, and all areas, of your life! We’ve all made mistakes, entertained the world’s ideals, and fallen into sin.

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:19-25)

But today is a new day. Though our sins are grave, our mighty God is faithful in forgiveness, mercy, compassion, and grace! You can turn from sexual impurity and walk in forgiveness and newness. Today you can choose to start honoring God in your love life and with your sexuality. Today you can commit to reserve your body and heart for your spouse only. Today, dear sisters and brothers in Christ, pray for a passion for God’s Word and His good design!

22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”

25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him. (Lamentations 3:22-25)

 

If you want to study more about God’s design for your sexuality, relationships, marriage, romance, and sex, here are some books I recommend:

Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment by Shannon Ethridge (I’m assuming Every Man’s Battle would be helpful to men in the same way.)

Sex and the Single Girl by Dr. Juli Slattery

Savoring Single by Shelley Black

12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Pray. Serve. Be.

So, make friends, have fun, hang out, get to know people! Go wherever God calls you and do all that He gave you a passion and heart to do. Find a like-minded community of believers and serve together, work together, play together, laugh together, grow together …

But be serious about relationships and marriage. Give it some thought. And pray! Bring God into every aspect of your life. Tell Him about your struggles and concerns. Bring the person you’re interested in to Him in prayer. Tell Him about your desires for marriage. Ask for His leading. For wisdom, guidance, and clarity. He is faithful to write beautiful stories for those who follow Him and seek His face constantly.

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:1-4)

Be in prayer and surround yourself with good friends and mentors. Whether single or in a relationship, now is always the right time to learn more about God’s design and beautiful plan for purity, relationships, marriage, and the like!

How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
10 With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.

15 I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.
16 I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word. (Psalm 119:9-11 & 15-16)

Pray for your future spouse. Pray for your future marriage. If you’re dating/courting, always be praying for you and the person you’re in a relationship with! I cannot stress enough the power and beauty of prayer. ❤

As you practice purity and pursue righteousness in your relationship, remember to enjoy this season! Laugh. Talk. Go on exciting adventures. Serve together. Pray. Rejoice. Count your blessings. Love being friends and being together! Even as you act intentionally in this, trust God to guide you each step of the way, and just be.

~ Lady Grace ~

Do I want to know God?

Who is God?

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Do you know Him? Or do you prefer not to know Him, so you don’t have to feel any discomfort over shocking Old Testament happenings and radical commands from the New Testament?

Is your god God? Or is he a benevolent, prayer-answering, rather un-god-like figure who fits quite neatly into your compartmentalized life in which your religion is but one, tidy, unrelated compartment?

The fact is, God is kind. And He does answer prayers. But He is also very much God. He created the universe and He created you, and He does not have to answer to you or do things as you dictate.

How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,
And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light. (Psalm 36:7-9)

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:16)

14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (1 John 5:14)

20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” (Romans 9:20)

It seems to me that a lot of people like to claim God. One woman thanks God for her boyfriend (who is not a Christian and has led her into sin) and another talks about how God blessed her with the baby she prayed for in His perfect timing while she’s unapologetically living in sin. Sin that God declared was sin and was off-limits for His followers.

It is never for me to condemn someone’s soul. But I only have to briefly glance at these people’s lives to see that what they’re saying does not match up with what they’re doing. One cannot follow God and still live blatantly in sin. God hates sin. And as His adopted children, sin should be our burden.

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14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:14-20)

So I have to wonder. Do these people even have any idea who God is? Some claim to know Him and to follow Jesus Christ, but have they let Him be God in their lives? Have they let themselves truly know Him?

Imagine that these people, indeed, are not true believers. That they have not believed in Jesus Christ, trusted Him to save them from their sins, and surrendered their lives to Him.

Imagine that on the last day, they declare: “Lord, we publicly thanked You on Facebook! We prayed to You for a baby and gave the credit to You in front of our fans and followers! We started going to church after watching Heaven is for Real!”

And what if God tells them: “Depart from me. I don’t know you.”

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

What are they going to say in response? “Um … well … I guess I didn’t really know You, either. In fact, I didn’t really want to know You—the real You, not just the You that fit into my “religion compartment”; my fire insurance, my guilt-easer, my feel-good fix when I start getting uncertain and depressed—because I didn’t want to stop living the way I was living. I was afraid of what You might ask me to give up. I didn’t trust You and believe You were who You said You were. I didn’t believe You really loved me. I didn’t believe You were good.”

So I made up my own god. One that let me be in control. One that didn’t care how sinfully and selfishly I lived. One who always gave me what I wanted. One that didn’t tell me what to do or how to live. One that I didn’t have to trust, or surrender to, or give up control to, or follow.

I was worried there really might a possibility of hell. I wanted to go to heaven when I died. I wanted only warm, fuzzy, feel-goods from my god figure. I didn’t want to completely disappoint my family. I wanted my prayers answered and the desires of my heart given to me.

But I didn’t want You.

But God is God. And if you try to change Him in order to fit Him into how you want your life to be, you’re only creating a false idol, and you do not know God.

How we, in our frail, pathetic, human arrogance think we can do what we want, run our lives, dictate who God is and what He does and then think He will honor that—when He is the one who breathed everything that exists into motion; when He is the one who thought us up and knit us together in our mother’s womb—is the epitome of foolishness.

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. (1 John 2:3-6)

What a horrifying stench our pride must be to the one and only God. The Creator of Heaven and Earth. The King of kings and Lord of lords.

Our pride, though. Not us.

I don’t believe that our scent disgusts God.

I am not perfect. I am a sinner. I fail again and again. I am even guilty of the things I mentioned above – trying to fit God into my limited comfort zone. Avoiding passages of Scripture I can’t understand.

But still, I have been saved. And I do not say in despair: “How deplorable I must be to God.” But I say: “I am a child of the King. I am God’s princess.” Because of His love; His mercy and grace. Because of Jesus Christ. Because I have accepted His sacrifice and gift, and He is teaching me to walk His path.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)

Listen, friends, this post may be a warning, but it is not a condemnation. God, as all He truly is, loved us while we were yet dead in our sins. Before we trusted Jesus Christ.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:4-10)

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

If you realize you’ve been guilty of not surrendering to God, not trusting that He’s good, not believing in Him and in His Word, you should not run away no matter what shame you feel. You should run to God.

He can turn your shame into a testimony.

Your sorrow into joy. Your doubt into faith.

Humble your heart before Him. Be honest with Him. The time for pretensions, and faking, and fear, and ignorance, and trying to manipulate everything into your version of how life should be is long past over.

Try praying: God, create in me a desire for You. Give me the strength to surrender everything to You. Help me to trust that You are good. Teach my heart to know Your unconditional love for me. Show me how to love You. Reveal Yourself to me and help me to live up to the term “Christian” by actually following Christ!

No matter the consequences, the sacrifices, the discomfort, the humility—no matter the mountains of questions I don’t have answers to and the many things I can’t understand.

I want to know You.

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And simply trust Him.

Instead of shutting my Bible when I come across a passage or verse I don’t understand, I’ve learned to talk honestly with God. “Lord, I don’t understand this. It seems like a hard teaching to me. But, You are God and I am not. Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts, and Your ways are higher than my ways.”

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Learn to be okay with not knowing everything. Not understanding all. Not being in control. Let God be God.

Because He is.

I also learned to speak truth over myself. To meditate on His love. To pray daily and deeply. To ask God to show me how to love Him! To give me faith. To help me trust. To make my heart’s desire for Him. To give me a hunger for His Word. A heart for the people of the world – all created in His image! A passion for His design.

Lord, help me to delight in You! In Your words. In spending time with You. In talking to You.

Surrender to Him, friends! He is God, beyond what we can imagine and comprehend! He is love. He is holy. He is able. He is forgiving. He is compassionate. He is merciful and gracious. He is the giver of good gifts!

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:8-11)

(That reminds me of a Youtube video I watched by Joseph Solomon that was very inspiring. Watch it below.)

Anyway.

Do you want to know God?

Surrender to Him and seek Him with all your heart. Stop searching for what you want, and search for Him.

13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

Oh, Joyous Christmas Day

Merry Christmas, dear people! Oh, how I pray that you are filled with God’s love, joy, and peace this day and always! This is a joyous celebration—a light has dawned on our darkness!

Merry Christmas

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:2 & 6)

I celebrate Christmas because …

Why not dedicate a day to pondering and celebrating the birth of the Light of the world?

Pretty lights and gifts and candle-lit services and decorated trees and sweet family time can all point to the greater meaning of Christmas.

Some people choose to celebrate this day in a worldly, perhaps even pagan, way. Some people choose not to celebrate. But as for me, I believe that every day is the Lord’s. And I have the freedom to celebrate and make merry and rejoice in Him … just as I may on any day.

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.
For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters. (Psalm 24:1-2)

And just because pagans celebrate pagan things on this day, doesn’t mean that I can’t celebrate Christ on Christmas! If He is the almighty, powerful Creator and Lord of the universe, then all belongs to Him. Even Christmas Day. I don’t think we have to be afraid of the pagan traditions that happen on certain days … we can overcome that evil by celebrating good and right. Because all was made by Him and for Him.

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)

16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (Colossians 1:16-17)

So whether you celebrate Christmas, eat chocolate cake, go to a dance, work a job, attend a church service, clean your house, read a book, prepare food, wear a pretty dress, write a blog post … DO IT ALL FOR THE GLORY OF GOD. Every day, every moment, every happening is an opportunity to make much of His name. It’s all about the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

30 But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:30-31)

In the book of Acts, Apostle Paul takes a saying used by pagan poets, and uses it, instead, to speak of the one true God! Indeed, I believe that all the world – words, days, all food, and the starry hosts – belong to God and can be used for His honor and glory.

22 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:

TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.

Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:22-31)

We should delight in Jesus Christ every day! Christmas is just one more opportunity to make much of His holy name. I can say: Today is the day I reflect on my incredible Savior’s birth. His awesome life. His death—sacrifice. His resurrection. This day, I specially dwell on and celebrate the day my Hope was born and my salvation made possible. This day I rejoice in the fact that the Lover of my soul chose to descend to earth, be born of a virgin named Mary, live a perfect life, and shed His blood for my sake. Oh, what a beautiful, powerful reason to celebrate.

So, I celebrate.

Dear readers, may you grow in His love and breathe in His grace each and every day! Blessings to you!

Lady Grace ❤

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation. (Luke 1:46-50)

41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:41-45)

And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. (Luke 2:9-20)