Friday, April 29, 2011

My testimony in Christ Jesus my Lord

I can remember waking up one day and realizing that my life was completely off course and I needed Christ to completely take every aspect of my existence into His loving and protective hands. There’s not a day that goes by in my life since I was about 10 years old that I do not remember completely believing that there was a God and that His son Jesus died on the cross for me. But I can truthfully say that I never truly understood the sacrifice that was made, the grace that was poured out until this moment of realization two years ago.

I’ve never kept quiet about the past that Brian and I came from. The idea of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ had no effect on either of our lives. Brian was agnostic/atheist, depended on the day, and I truly believed in God but bore no fruit or understanding of true faithful salvation. We lived our lives the way we wanted and just hoped we “were doing a good job”. Comparing ourselves against the world, we seemed to have things somewhat under control. But, comparing ourselves to this sinful world, wouldn’t we always come up in some manner of “okay”?

My life started unraveling at the young age of 9. I look back now and wonder, how could I not see Him standing right there beside me? How could I not feel His presence and why did I not call out to Him? How could I have thought at such a young age that I could handle this world? The abuse started and my world completely became a spiraling out of control roller coaster. There were years that I was able to hide my pain, years that I was able to “put on a happy face”. But, inside, something was dying, something was taking over me and I became like a void of space.

My family wore kid gloves with me, always tip toeing around what happened to me. Why wouldn’t they? It wasn’t common that you hear that a family member was abused, who really knew what to say? But, the kid gloves enabled me to continue in this spiral downward spiral and I never really understood what happened to me and I blamed myself every day. My high school years were just as tomultous because I lived a silent war zone at home with a domineering and controlling step father, and my way of escape was to throw myself into a “first love” take over your life kind of relationship. My life continued unraveling all the way through my college years. I engaged in everything I could to try and erase my past. I wanted to forget the hurt of my childhood abuse, numb the pain of a “mental breakdown” which had me hospitalized for 2 days. I wanted to do everything I could to forget everything that the last 10 years of my life consisted of. I never once turned to God and said, “Please take this life from me”. I thought I could handle it on my own. In doing so, I subjected myself to a situation that led to more hurt, date rape, and thus led me further from Christ. I engaged in everything from drugs, to sexual immorality, lies and destruction. I couldn’t understand why he “allowed” these things to keep happening to me. I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t “saving me”. But the truth was, He was saving me the whole time, I was just to fleshly to accept His saving grace.

I hurt so many people along my path, pushed too many friends out of my life with my destructive life style. I just couldn’t seem to be a “normal” person. I loathed myself and in some way I think I wanted to push people away because I didn’t want anyone to see how lonely and depressed I would get any given day. It wasn’t until I met my blessing of a husband did I finally allow God to take control of my life and lead me in an upright fashion.

I met Brian in college, he was in his last year, I had dropped out 2nd semester of my junior year. His life was equally just as much of a mess and he tried to hide it just as I did. We tried to hide together, which brought us closer to one another because we tried to comfort one another. I told him about my sordid, immoral past and he didn’t run for the hills. He told me about his “perfect life” or at least the perfect life that he tried to live for his parents and then revealed how truly miserable he was in every aspect of his life.

We fell in love so quickly, and it was almost intoxicating in a way. I knew almost immediately that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. We were engaged after 6 months, pregnant after 1 year and married at 1 ½ years. It all happened very quickly. We wanted nothing more than to start our family together and we didn’t want to wait and do things the traditional way. We were told that we would have serious problems conceiving children because of various health problems I had incurred, and we just couldn’t live with this reality. We did what Sarah did with Abraham and Hagar—we took our lives into our own hands and tried walking by ourselves. We soon learned that God is the ONLY one in control of our life and He is the only one capable of leading us in an upright manner.

We had no problem conceiving and now we were pregnant out of marriage, 6 months away from our wedding date. We still saw nothing wrong with our life. We saw only that we were in love and wanted to start our family, our way, and never looked at our sinful existence. It wasn’t until we had everything stable that we had worked towards shattered. Brian lost his job at a prestigious Civil Engineering firm and everything changed for us.

After Brian lost his stable, well-paying job, we struggled so immensely there were times when I wasn’t sure how we would survive. There were times when I felt lost again, in need of something. I still wouldn’t call out to God. I still believed that I could handle my life on my own and needed no help from the God that I believed had let me down through my whole life.

But, I always loved Brian with my whole heart and never questioned that we would somehow find a way. We started going to church because something inside of us said that we would find comfort there. I felt void of something but didn’t know what I was missing.

After attending church for a few weeks our lives drastically began changing. The Bible became something more than just a book you read at church and was lifted to a love story written from God to believers. Our church opened up their arms and their hearts to us and wrapped us in a fortress of believers.

I began writing and talking to the Lord on a more personal level. I began speaking with Him through my day, having conversations with Him as if He were standing in front of me. It wasn’t long before our entire lives revolved trying to worship the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord changed my life in ways that at times I have a hard time expressing. He has always blessed me with the ability to write well and I found so much solace in the beginning writing and working my feelings out. I realized quickly that this was a gift that He had bestowed on me and that yearning quickly became a passion. There isn’t a day that goes by now that I do not long to sit and write the words that He has given me, to tell the world of all that He brought me from. My desire in life is not longer to live “the American dream”. I do not worry about owning the perfect home, making my career outside of our home, buying new plasma tv’s or the newest “cool gadget”. My longing each moment is for Christ to shine out of my life and be a light in this very dark and dreary world. I yearn to place my lamp on a lampstand and shout to the world that the power of Jesus Christ and the redeeming love of that cross saved me from a life full of sin and pain.

Every moment for almost three years Brian and I have dedicated to walking with Christ, bearing good fruit, and loving Jesus with our whole hearts.

I fall down, often and I fall hard sometimes. But when I get up I get up only because of His grace and His mercy and I am so thankful for it.

There’s a lot that I would have done differently in my life had I truly known Christ, but I didn’t truly know Him even though I thought I did. I thought for so many years that since I had accepted His death on the cross that anything I did could be forgiven and I could just live my life however I wanted. I soon realized that this was not true salvation and I rededicated my life to Christ and I can only hope to allow Him to mold me into the image of His son. The love that was poured out on that cross is the most powerful and all-consuming love there is. Without that love and mercy we would never have had the chance to enter the kingdom of the risen King.

Thank you Father God for the love that you freely give me and for the mercy that you so richly give to each and every sinner in this fallen world. You are my Lord and I long to bring glory to your kingdom, never allowing this world to make me feel embarrassed of the tumultuous life I came from because it brought me to my knees, and I will stay there in complete awe of you until I gaze upon thee face one day.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Friday, April 22, 2011

Was it so good?

Good Friday, the day of the Lord's crucifixion. The day that He carried His own cross to Calvary, enduring various torturous method's along His path. But, what is so good? Was His traumatic death, His humiliation, good? Was it good to spend each day of His life ridiculed, loathed by the very ones He came to save? The question shouldn't be is "good Friday" good, but was Jesus good? And the answer is unequivocally, YES.

He was born of a virgin, fulfilled the prophecy given in the garden, referenced throughout the OT numerous times. He is the ultimate commander, leader, the Savior of ALL MEN. All men have the chance to come to Him, know Him intimately, faithfully follow Him. And those that consider themselves of "the elect", that have already accepted Christ as their Savior, we are called to place our lights on lampstands and shine His light on this world.

We are to be His feet, the ones that dangled on that wood; His hands, the ones that were nailed to that wood. We are to spread His word in any way we can. We are to be His disciples, the members of His very body. We are a unified person, no longer individuals living in our own sinful existence.

Jesus is the only way to Heaven, the only way to the Father. He is the only one that can redeem our sinful lives and count us as clean, spotless. He entered this world and lived as a mere man, enduring this sinful world for US. He didn't have to, we don't deserve it, but He submitted to the will of His Father and He shed His blood for the redemption of us all. It's something that should tear our very souls out. It's something we should be willing to give up our life for, because if He can do it, we can do it. His sacrifice is the epitome of GOOD.

"Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

Thursday, April 14, 2011


On the radio this morning after dropping Jordon off at school I heard this song, and it spoke directly to my soul. There are so many times that people wonder why they are going through hard times, why the blessings are not showered upon them. There are so many days when we just pray and pray and pray and feel like nothing is being answered.

It's taken me a really long time to understand that blessings come in many forms. As a human, and a woman, I want things my way and immediately. I don't want to wait, I don't want to question whether something is done. I just want the assurance that it was done my way and the "right way".

That is some serious selfishness. Who am I to say what is right? Who am I as a mere mortal to say what the creator of all the universe should give me? Has He provided abundantly for all of His creation? Oh yes he has ….

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:25-34

There are times when He answers our prayers in ways that we were not expecting. Sometimes the pain we are feeling is the answer, the tears that come with that pain. Sometimes we hope for a sunny day and it’s pouring outside, never looking at the fact that the rain has a purpose, a purpose in HIS plan. Life does NOT revolve around us or our needs. It revolves around Him and His plan for our life. When we submit ourselves to the potter, He molds our every thought & action. He blesses us in innumerable ways, we simply need to see the blessing from Him and not question whether He’s doing something….HE ALWAYS IS.

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home,
It's not our home

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise -- Laura Story, Blessings

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I am a new Creation

Accepting ourselves as a new creation is one of the hardest things to do as a new Christian I think. At least for me it has been. So often I think of my past, the mistakes that I've made, the people that I've hurt. Too often I allow my flesh to control my thoughts instead of learning to let my thoughts, actions and soul be led by the Spirit.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! -- 2 Corinthians 5:17

We cannot deny who we used to be, We cannot deny what anyone can say about us. We were sinners just as we are now, but the difference now is that we live by the Spirit and not the flesh and thus are new creations.

I could never have imagined all that the Lord would do in my life, all that I would be willing to sacrifice to walk with Him. I also never could have imagined the persecution I would receive, the people that would cut themselves off from me simply because I found the love of the only pure and just creature ever created, Christ.

Far too long I allowed myself to be consumed by the incessant need to prove myself to people, to keep those close to me. I've learned through His grace and His mercy that persecution will come, it has to come. The same world that persecutes me, hung our Savior for absolutely no reason. They mocked Him, ridiculed Him, hung Him from a tree. I am one of those nails that went into His wrists, yet He loved me enough to allow Himself to hang there. And because of that Love, because of that blood, I am willing to give up anything here. I am willing to set aside my fleshly desires to obtain an eternity worshiping the King.

I am a new creation, a new new woman reborn because of the love of the Savior. I long to worship Him, yearn to serve Him.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Full Armor Of God

Full Armor of God
During my devotional this morning I read Ephesians 6:10-18--The Whole Armor of God as it is called in my Bible. These verses have been ringing loud in my head for a few days now, and I have wanted to sit and write something however my carnal self just wouldn't sit and take the time to relish in His word--I put my flesh aside today and would like to share with you how these verses spoke to me.

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your free with the preparation of the gospel of peace, above all, taking the shield of faith which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints."

Wow, if only we as His children would do this more often! We are absolutely in a spiritual war each and every day, every moment! It's not a war against "flesh and blood" but against the powers within, the powers that are all around us--Satan's powers and his demons powers. We often become so focused on the "wars" throughout the ages, throughout the countries and we pay no attention to the wars that are within us as His people. The apostle Paul makes it abundantly clear that we absolutely must wage spiritual warfare.

As His followers, we are called to "gird our waist with the truth"--we must commit our emotions to the believe the truth. We often knowlngly allow ourselves to belive a lie because of fear or self pity. Believers must hold a commitment to the truth regardless of what the reprecussions may be.

We must "put on the breastplate of righteousness"--this is the place where the soul resides. The heart must be kept pure and righteous because sin gives foothold to the enemy. Confession and forgiveness on the basis of the blood that Christ shed will cleanse our heart.

We must "shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace"--proper shoes enable the feet to go from place to place. We as believers must do the Father's business, which is to spread the gospel of peace and reconciliation. This mission will help keep us head in the right direction.

We must "take the shield of faith"--The Wicked One is the "accuser of our brethren" (Rev 12:10) and will send his fiery darts to instill doubts, fear, guilt and shame. Faith acts as an invisible shield that will deflect false accusations.

We must "take the helmet of salvation"--A helmet protects the head from harm; the brain and the thoughts. Assurance of salvation is a mighty defense against doubt and insecurity and the kinds of works bred by them.

We must "take the sword of the spirit"---The Word of God, the only offensive weapon in this armor, was used by the Lord Jesus against Satan and should be used by us as well. The living Word is powerful, effective, instructive and THE TRUTH.

and Finally we must PRAY ALWAYS!!! Prayer opens channels from us to God. In the midst of battles, we must keep in constant communication with our leader for direction and encouragement.