Weakness is a Strength

It is okay to be weak, actually, it is good! Weakness is seen as something that must be weaned out if this world. God’s measure of weakness and strength is much different than our measure of it here on earth. We see that many people struggle with letting go of control and admitting they need God’s strength to fill where they are weak. But in the Bible, God constantly shows us that weakness is necessary. Understanding our weakness and being fully dependent, is what faith in God is all about. Weakness is a strength.

but those who trust in the Lord
will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not become weary,
they will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31).

We must understand that we simply can not live this life alone, we can not go through all of these battles alone. “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.” (John 15:5). Without God, we can do nothing, with God ALL things are possible. This is especially true in difficult times. Unexplainable strength can be found in us when we give our weakness to God. When we are able to say, “I have nothing left” or “I don’t want to do this without you,” your strength changes, your heart changes and your joy changes… even if the circumstances don’t change.

To have an awesome relationship with God we must learn to be dependent on Him. The Bible gives us a great metaphor for this by suggesting for us to be childlike. What does this mean? It does not mean to be childlike in maturity or wisdom, it means to be childlike in dependency. Children depend on their parents for their daily needs and wants. This is how we are to go about our relationship with God. Truly I tell you,” he said, “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mathew 18:3). If we try to provide our own daily needs and wants every day, we will get worn down extremely fast. So rely on him for everything! Depending on God will lead you to that place of immeasurably more hope and joy; it will lead you to immeasurably more peace and comfort. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Isaiah 40:29). Freedom is found through dependence on Him.

So, how do we depend on Him? We let go of control! He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;…” (Psalms 46:10). Be still and understand that we have beyond less control of our lives than God. We forget the past, ignore the present and focus too much on planning a future that may or may not turn out. God knows every second of our past, present, and future. When we accept our limits and give it all to God we stop just surviving and start thriving. “… I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10b). 

It is not about our strength, it’s about God’s strength. Where we are limited, He is limitless. Where we are weak, He is strong.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

 

 

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The Keys to Curing an Anxious Heart

Happy Friday everyone! I want to end this week with some positive vibes. As we all know anxiety is inevitable in this world of ours. God knew this as a fact, which is why He gave us so many verses about anxiety, worry and fear. Our God is called the “comforter” for many reasons, the main one being that He can be the ultimate comfort to your anxious heart. I have personally experienced the comfort that these verses provide. I, and I bet many of you, could almost say that worrying is a habit. But being able to live by the truths I am about to share with you below, has created peace inside of me that gets me through anxious moments in my life.

Before we get into it, I want to teach/remind you where fear comes from. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (1 Timothy 1:7). God did not design fear for us, fear is the work of Satan. In my opinion it is probably his “best act.” We all experience fear, worry and anxiety in many ways about almost everything under the sun. I know this sounds scary, but it is actually great news! Why? because we know that God has already won the ultimate war against Satan. So fear is not forever, and it can be resisted. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7). The devil has no real power compared to our God and Savior. Just as the devil will flee, so will fear. They only have power over us if we let them!

Now you may be asking, “How the heck do we resist fear?” God gives us a very simple answer in Philippians 4:6. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Do not be anxious about anything, instead pray about everything. His answer to resisting fear is to pray. When we hand our fears to God, we are letting go of control. Letting go of control of fear, is the equivalent to letting go of fear’s control over you. When I am feeling overwhelmed and anxious I like to ask myself, “Have I prayed about this situation as much as I have been worrying about it?” The answer is usually a no. As soon as I cast my cares onto him everything seems to fall into place. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7).

Now let’s talk about some preventive care; or not having anxiety in the first place. This is one of the hardest tasks anyone could ever do. We as humans hate letting go of control of our lives. We are infamous for having fear of the unknown. We like to know what is coming next; we like to have schedules and plans. Unfortunately, that is not how life works most of the time (cue anxiety).

What we must understand is that God is in control of our lives no matter how hectic it may seem. Recently in one of the sermons at church we learned a really great metaphor for God when we are going through fearful times. Think back to when you were little and getting a shot was the scariest thing that could possibly happen to you. You were sitting there, in the doctors office, on a giant piece of crunchy paper. A nurse with cartoon characters on her shirt comes in smiling at you, while holding the biggest needle you’ve ever seen, up to your arm. You just don’t understand why your parents are forcing you through this awful pain. As a child we don’t understand that the shot that we are receiving is for our own good, it is to help us in the future, it is so we can live healthy and happy lives away from certain diseases. Well God is our father, he is much like a father would be in this situation. We are the child, who just doesn’t understand why this pain is supposed to help. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11).

God knows our paths and He has a plan for us. He knows our past, present and future. We do not have the understanding that He has. So when we go through certain trials in life, we must try to remember that God knows exactly what He is doing. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” (Proverbs 3:5). If you start to feel anxious cling to Gods promises. “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” (Proverbs 31:25). We were not made to fear, we were made to be strong and courageous, we were made to have complete faith in God’s plan and we were made to welcome the unknown of the future! 

P.S. Feel free to save the image attached to this blog, just in case you need some emergency bible verses! 🙂

 

 

5 Ways to Keep God at the Center of Your Relationship

Hey everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Today I want to give out a few tips that I have learned, to make sure that God is at the center of your relationship. Having God at the center of your relationship is vital to a lasting, happy, healthy relationship. In my opinion without God, relationships can be easily broken, filled with jealously, filled with anger, with a constant focus on past mistakes and much more. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5).” For apart from God we can do nothing, but with God all things are possible both individually and in your relationship. With God in the center, it seems to be so much easier to forgive, love and put the other above yourself.

The first tip is probably the most important: put God first in your own life. I know this is something that we may hear often, but putting God first is a very real way to living a joyful life. When we are putting God first we are telling Him that we are not the controllers of our lives, we are not the gods of our lives, and no matter how hard we may act like we have it all together, we need Him. God created you, He loves you and He controls the outcome. To not put Him first seems illogical right? By putting God first, we are also handing Him our relationships. The best thing about handing a relationship over to God, by putting Him first, is the wisdom He gives you. He is able to provide healing to a broken relationship, continue to add joy and excitement in dull relationships, and sometimes He saves us from toxic relationships because He has someone so much better in mind. This only happens as long as you put Him first.

The closer we move toward God the closer we move toward each other. 

The second tip is to pray for each other and pray for your relationship. Prayer is such an important aspect to any relationship. Praying for someone else is so powerful! Prayer works, prayer is real, God hears and answers every single prayer. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us (1 John 5:14).” So praying for your significant other and your relationship is so important, we must not look over it. We know what our loved ones are going through probably better than anyone else, if we don’t pray for them, do you think anyone else is? Even praying something as simple as: “Lord ___ is having a rough day today use me to give him/her comfort.” Or even prayers to thank God for the awesome characteristics of your relationship.

The third tip is to pray with each other. To many this may seem uncomfortable to pray with your significant others, but it is such a blessing to be able to do this. Trust me, the first time Ryan and I ever prayed together we were so awkward, we were embarrassed to say the wrong thing, or embarrassed to not say anything at all. Over time it became natural. Now it is so important for our relationship together and us as individuals. God says, “For when two or three gather in my name, there I am with them (Mathew 18:20).” This verse has held true in my experiences, when Ryan and I pray together God’s presence is strong.

Four, read the bible together. Reading the bible is so important in our daily lives to getting to know God and His heart. Reading the bible together helps both of us to not only learn more about God, but we get to learn more about each other, each time. One thing Ryan and I started doing was looking up 30 day bible studies on Pinterest. We take out time each day and read the verses that are suggested for that day. We read it to ourselves and write down anything we notice, think or feel about the verse. After this we both share what we wrote and discuss it. This has made a huge impact on our relationship, in making us not only put God at the center but it has also helped us get tremendously closer to each other. Another awesome thing about doing a bible study with another person is how much more you learn. So when we share what we learned, I have observed there is always something Ryan noticed that I didn’t notice, or there is always a perspective that He had that I had not thought about. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a light on my path (Psalm 119:105).”

The last and fifth tip is to embrace God’s attitude when it comes to forgiveness. We make mistakes everyday and if you have accepted Jesus as your savior, you have been forgiven each time for those mistakes because of the tremendous love He has for us. God has new mercy every single morning for us. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).” Many times in our relationships we do the complete opposite of this. It is so easy to say to someone that you forgive them, but then the next fight you have you pull up the past that you said you had already forgiven them for. This type of grudge hurts a relationship into its core. This means 1. bringing up the past never ends well and 2. that you are holding on to something deep inside yourself that is still hurting you. Human nature is to make mistakes, with God these mistakes can be few but they still happen. When we say we forgive, we need to truly forgive, let it go, wipe the slate clean. God does this for us everyday, so we can try to forgive in our relationships too.

Those are five tips that I have learned to help keep God right in the center of my relationship. I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone with some of these and use them in your relationship. Write them down somewhere to remind you, practice and see God work wonders in your lives together!

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Corinthians 4-7).”

As always I appreciate everyone of you for reading this! Please subscribe to my email list to get these posts sent directly to your email!! 🙂

 

 

My College Experience

Hey everyone, I am so excited to announce that I graduated!

This is not a story about my education though, it is about my experience through college and how God was there holding my hand through each step. I also want to share some tips I learned from my college career, that I wish I would have known or applied to my life sooner.

So, I’ll start at the beginning… I have never known what I wanted to be or what I wanted to do. I always thought it was so unnecessary for someone to have to choose and hold onto one subject for the rest of their life. During my senior year of high school, while I was applying to colleges, it was thrown into my face too many times to count that I had to choose a career choice. I even went to a professional who is supposed to tell you what you should or could do, but his answer was just as broad as mine. So finally at the very end of summer going into college I decided to try nursing. I thought, “maybe if I go for something specific and get in I will end up liking it.” So I went through my first year of pre-nursing prerequisites and got into nursing school. I was so excited… I thought, “this is it, this is obviously my path!” Unfortunately, I knew something was wrong the very first day in the very first class. The professor stood at the front of the class and said, “alright, I want everyone to go around the room and say why they want to become a nurse.” I thought, “well this should be easy,” but as everyone went around the room my mind was blank, I had absolutely no clue why I wanted to be a nurse… as I was panicking about my answer it became my turn to talk. I looked up, paused, and took a mixture of the answers I had already heard such as: “I am a caretaker, I love the medical field, this is my calling.” Though I felt like my heart couldn’t have been in any of those answers. Knowing that getting into nursing school was such an amazing opportunity, I ignored my first day and continued through nursing school for a year. I was miserable, I knew that I didn’t want to be a nurse.

There I was again back to square one; I had no idea what I wanted to do. So towards the end of that semester of nursing school, I searched through different majors that had a lot of the same prerequisites. I found Health Information Management, I thought, “yea this could be good, healthcare without the direct care.” So I went through the tedious process of switching majors. I spent a lot of hours and summer classes trying to catch up so that I could still graduate on time. At first it seemed fine, it seemed like a field I could tolerate. To no surprise I got to the end of my junior year to find out that not only was I starting to think this was not the right choice, but they were adding to the curriculum. So, I would have to attend an extra semester or two. At this point, I already knew that I didn’t want to do Health Information Management anymore, I especially didn’t want to have to extend my school career even longer for it.

So, I called my advisor, embarrassed and concerned. I asked her if I had any other options without having to add semesters. She said that there was one option I could choose. She explained that I could graduate a semester early with a Bachelors degree in General Studies of math and science and pursue a Sociology Minor. I reluctantly took this offer, remembering all of the bad thoughts and awkward silences that followed when someone said they were a General Studies major. I was embarrassed to switch my major again, I was embarrassed to major in General Studies and I was embarrassed to be a senior in college who didn’t have a single clue what to do with my life.

Then something changed, I found that switching my major to General Studies was the best thing that could have ever happened to me, because I was able to find out who I was without someone telling me who society wanted me to be. During this time I also realized one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. This was that I did not include God in my decision making process throughout college. Though I didn’t try to include Him, He stayed by me. It was clear to see that I was tangled up in a mess of expectations of this world. Throughout my college career God slowly untangled me into the spot where I am now, perfectly happy to be me.

Through my last semester of college, as a General Studies major, God showed me so many things that I want to share with you in hope that you will apply them to your lives.

  1. Your strengths are not necessarily what you are good at, they are what gives you energy and life. Strengths that drain your energy are not strengths at all.
  2. Weaknesses are just strengths waiting to be noticed. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
  3. Curiosity creates passions and passions create values. Stay curious, be a life-long learner, do not stop trying new things! The things that you value most in life should be your compass to what you want to define yourself as or what you want your life to be like.
  4. IT IS OKAY TO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. Schools should be encouraging us to find out who we are, not who we want to work for.
  5. Its okay to not answer with a job title when someone asked you what you do. If you want to define yourself by something else, go ahead! If you want to define yourself as sister, golf player, follower of Jesus, or even just say I do too many things to choose one, that is perfectly fine because God doesn’t define you as the career you do.
  6. Most importantly, Put God first. When I stopped worrying, started praying and put my focus on finding Him, I found myself and my purpose.

So, I hope my experience and advice can help some of you to take steps toward being happy with who you are! Comment below and let me know what you think!

Why “Immeasurably More”

So, some of you may be wondering where the “Daily Dose of Christ” went…well it is still here! This is the same blog with the same posts and the same mission. I just wanted to change the identity of my website to something more personal and meaningful to my life and my relationship with God. Which is why the domain name or URL is now ephesians320.org and the website title is “Immeasurably More.”

Ephesians 3:20 is my all time favorite verse and it has been ever since I was saved. Ephesians 3:20 says, “now to Him, who is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine.” That’s where the title “Immeasurably More” comes from. I know it seems like such a simple verse, but when you really think about the definition of immeasurably more, it changes shape! Immeasurably more means it cannot be measured; it is literally too large, too much or too great to measure. Think about it, the amount of blood cells in your body can be measured, the height of mountains can be measured, the depths of the seas can be measured, even the size of the earth can be measured, but the amount of what God can and will do for us cannot be measured!

This verse is something I hold in my heart for good times and bad; for when I feel everything falling into place, and when I feel like I have absolutely no control. When I read this verse I hear God telling me that His plan is much greater than my plan. He will do so much more than I could even think of asking for. Ephesians 3:20 also tells me that when my prayers aren’t answered, something better is coming along. It truly makes me feel encircled by His love and protection.

Having the opportunity to start writing this blog, and even having one single person read it, is immeasurably more than all I could have asked for or imagined. I never pictured myself doing something like this, but He lead me here and this is now my favorite thing to do! I feel I have been called to write for God and write for people.

So, I changed my website identity to represent a very important part of my identity through Jesus Christ. I encourage you to find a verse or multiple verses that you can hang on to during the good and bad times, a verse that describes your relationship with God, or a verse that just brings peace to your soul. God sent His word to us for the very purpose of guidance and comfort.

Thank you guys so much for reading! I appreciate every one of you!

Pray More Worry Less!

Prayer is one of the most fascinating and amazing parts of being a follower of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, I think that many people see prayer as a task and not as a privilege. Honestly, I used to feel that same way about prayer. I would say a prayer before I went to bed every night, just to be able to check it off my mental to do list. I realized though that I was treating prayer as if I was following a religion, and not following faith. I was not following the freedom that God has given me. So, I soon started praying multiple times daily, I prayed not as a task but with my full heart. From then on, I noticed what a blessing seeing prayer as an opportunity could be.

Prayer is power… how you might ask? We must realize that when we are praying we are literally standing or kneeling before God… the God of the whole universe! Not only are we standing before Him, we are able to speak to Him. The best part is that we don’t have to get permission to speak to Him, He is constantly listening and constantly waiting for your voice. What an honor it is to get to talk to the Lord of all. “The Lord is near all who call out to him, all who call out to him with integrity.” (Psalms 145:18). Come close to Him and He will come close to you, prayer is the best way to reach Him!

He not only hears our prayers, but He answers them too. “I took my troubles to the Lord, I cried out to Him and He answered my prayer.” (Psalms 120:1). We must understand that He ALWAYS answers every single prayer. It is just that the prayer may not be answered in the way you planned it too. God answers every prayer and sometimes it is simply a no, but there is meaning behind that no. God does not shut doors without opening others. It is true that when He says to be patient or when He says no, He has something else planned. His plans are much greater than our own. “As the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9). His understanding of us and our lives is much deeper than we could imagine.

Prayers do not necessarily have to be a cry for help… prayer can just be a happy everyday conversation with God. Simply talk to him… If you notice a beautiful sky on your way to work, let Him know that He makes such amazing things. If you see someone racing down the highway texting and driving pray for them to get to their destination safely. You can even just tell Him about how your day is going, good or bad. “Seek the Lord and His Strength; seek His face always.” (1 Chronicles 16:11). He is just waiting to hear you. Talking to Him and reading His word is how we are able to get to know Him and in turn how we get to know ourselves.

Pray without holding back who you are. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). He knows everything about you, so you can not hide anything from Him. He knows what is truly in your heart and He knows your needs. “…because your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him.” (Mathew 6:8). 

Now I know many times it is difficult to stop and pray, many times we think we are just too busy to pray. I want to offer you this theory, maybe its not our lack of time that causes us not to pray; maybe it is the lack of prayer that causes us to feel like we don’t have enough time. “Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything.” (Philippians 4:6). Maybe if we could just take the time in our busy schedules to stop and pray, the day wouldn’t feel so busy anymore.

Prayer eliminates anxiety; it puts your responsibilities and your worries in someone else’s hands. Not just anyones hands, the hands of God… The one who controls the outcome. So, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone Happy Thanksgiving!

I don’t know about you, but I love this one day that it is socially acceptable to stuff your face until you can’t move. On Thanksgiving I am thinking about the turkey, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and then the black Friday deals. So, I often forget what today is really about. I think we all know that today is a day for being thankful but it is also a day to give.

I’m sure this is a busy morning and afternoon for many, but I want you to take time to stop right now and meditate upon what you are truly thankful for. If you want to write it down that is even better! When you are listing these items, I want you to dig deeper than family and friends. Think about some of the things that you probably have never thanked God for that you would be miserable without. Things such as a bed to sleep in at night, clean water to drink everyday, being able to get up and walk into a kitchen where you have coffee and breakfast; thank Him for the ability to have the option to choose what you want to eat, thank Him for freedom, thank Him for the ability to be able to openly go to church and to openly pray. When you start to think about the little things that fill up your day it is so easy to be thankful.

God not only asks us to be thankful but He asks us to be thankful in all circumstances. “Give thanks in every situation because this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Being thankful for the good things in your life is pretty easy, but being thankful for the challenges is a bit harder, but it can be a huge blessing. I’m sure you’ve heard someone sometime in your life say “its all in the mindset” and guys it really is. We see this practiced all throughout the bible. Jesus’s closest disciples, the people that God chose to do huge deeds for the kingdom of Heaven had big road blocks, they had pain and struggle but they saw these challenges as part of the plan, they knew that what they had done for Heaven was worth it and in the end they will be rewarded immeasurably more than they could imagine. So now think of some of the challenges in your life… I bet without some of those challenges you wouldn’t be where you are today, I bet you wouldn’t have gained the skills or knowledge you have today, I bet that person that is in your life now wasn’t there before that challenge, and maybe even your faith wasn’t there before that challenge.

Now to the second part of Thanksgiving, the giving. The past sermon at my church pointed something out to me that I had never thought of before. Giving is a result of being thankful and being thankful is also a result of giving. This cycle is an absolutely wonderful way to live life. “Generous people will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25. I love this verse because it reminds us that we get to give, we don’t have to give but we get to give. I am talking about giving not only money but giving time, giving patience, giving love, giving forgiveness. When it comes to money we also must remember that our earthly treasures we try so tightly to hold on to will have no meaning in the end, but the money and time we give will build up as our treasures in Heaven, our real home. “Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17. We should be thankful to give to others.

On Black Friday my family likes to go downtown to shop, during this time there are many homeless and needy people on the city streets. I want to encourage you and motivate you to give to everyone you see while you are shopping. Just give what you can, maybe you can even buy a couple of hot coffees and pass them out to people. Whatever you can and are able to do try to do it. “In everything I have shown you that, by working hard, we must help the weak. In this way we remember the Lord Jesus’ words: It is more blessed to give than receive.” Acts 20:35. Now we’re about to get real.. there are a lot of people who are probably looking at their screen thinking “but some of those people aren’t really homeless” or “some of those people won’t use my money for the right things.” I need to tell you that it does not matter one single bit. It is not our job to decide who is worthy of our money. God simply asked us to give, end of story. If you are giving with a generous heart and for the glory of God it will be worth it. So give without requirements because Jesus freely gave His life for you. He knew that every single one of us would still sin, He knew that many of us wouldn’t even believe in Him but He still gave. “You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed.” Ephesians 2:8.

“All these things are for your benefit. As grace increases to benefit more and more people, it will cause gratitude to increase, which results in God’s glory.” 2 Corinthians 4:15. So today remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving, remember that even a small act of kindness can change someone’s world.

We Know How the Story Ends

Recently, it has been easy to see that there is a war going on in our nation and around the globe. The pain, the brokenness, the hatred, and the violence that I am discussing is not being caused by a war between flesh and blood. This war is a war that has been going on ever since sin blanketed the earth and entered into human nature… it is called spiritual warfare.

Spiritual warfare is the battle between good and evil, the fights between angels and demons and the constant devouring of the earth and the people on it by Satan himself. I know this sounds scary and maybe you don’t even want to believe it, but it is true. Yes, Christianity and a relationship with Jesus do bring joy and they do bring hope, but being a Christian does not mean that you or people around you will have a pain free life. It doesn’t simply remove bad things from happening. This is because Satan knows who is threatening him. He knows the people who are making a difference for the kingdom of God, so he wants to make them turn away from God. He does this by putting doubts inside of our head, distracting us with sin, or many other difficulties leaving us lost and afraid. 1 Peter 5:8-9 says, “Be clearheaded. Keep Alert. Your accuser, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith. Do so in the knowledge that your fellow believers are enduring the same suffering throughout the world.” 

But the good news is that by having Jesus in your life and in your heart, you are able to be free from the pain of fear because you have hope. This hope is in the fact that this world is so temporary, but God and Heaven are forever. If you are saved and you truly trust that your home is in Heaven, Satan cannot touch you. So be a warrior of grace and truth, arm yourself with the shield of God. Tell EVERYONE about Jesus and show EVERYONE love! The only way to fix a broken nation and broken people is through Jesus Christ. For darkness cannot resist light… so be the light.

And guess what guys! No matter how many cheap shots evil tries to take upon this earth you must know that SATAN HAS ALREADY LOST THE WAR. God has won and all of His people are going to go home to Heaven, where the bible says there will be no more pain and no more tears. Revelation 12:9 and 12 say, “So the great dragon who was thrown down. The old snake, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, was thrown down to earth; and his angels were thrown down with him.” “Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them. But oh! The horror for the earth and sea! The devil has come down to you with great rage, for he knows that his days are numbered.” His days are numbered… Evil will not be forever.

It ends with Jesus, that is a promise that we can all hold on to through times of trouble. Jesus says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. (Revelation 22:13)

“Yes, I am coming soon.” (Revelation 22:20)

There is Only One You

Happy November 1st!!

I don’t know about you guys but there are many times when I need to be reminded of my purpose and my uniqueness. I think that many times we get so caught up in earthly matters and routine living that we truly forget our specific paths that God has laid out for us and the specific spiritual gifts we are to use to follow through with our mission of making disciples and following Christ. As mentioned in my last post we are all equal as humans, but we are all unique in a very purposeful way.

Did you know that God thoughtfully and intentionally designed every cell in your body to be unique to you. In Psalms 139:13 it says God, “you are the one who created my innermost parts, you knit me together while I was still in my mothers whom.” This is such an amazing representation of what we know about the formation of babies today! Knitting implies a woven pattern, today we know that our DNA strands are woven together. He is so aware of your uniqueness that He even knows the number of hairs on your head.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk with Him.” Ephesian 2:10. Humans as a whole are His workmanship, but as you know craftsmen make nothing in bulk. Each item, even if it is the same type of item, is unique in multiple different ways. This is how God feels about us. He chipped, carved and pressed to design who we are on the outside and inside. Just so you know, God doesn’t make mistakes.. you are you on purpose. He also assigned each one of us spiritual gifts that we are able to use to support His kingdom. “We have different gifts that are consistent with God’s grace that has been given to us…” Romans 12:6. So do not go around thinking that someones strengths are better than your strengths, because that is not true. God gave you abilities that He knows you can use better than others could. Be the real you and spend your time using your gifts not trying to gain someone else’s.

Society has a tendency to push people in the trending direction, but God does not want you to follow these “idols.” This includes your neighbor who seems to have it all together or the social media star who “has the perfect body.” God wants the real you, and honestly societies opinion of you means absolutely nothing. “Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.” Galatians 1:10. Trying to be like someone else is pointless and time consuming. You can admire another persons life and beauty without questioning your own, because you are right where God wants you to be and you are exactly who God made you to be. 

I want to encourage you to really remember who you are and know that the God of the whole universe created you. The God who created, sunsets and snowflakes, the God who created mountains and oceans, created YOU to be exactly who you are and loves you immeasurably more than you could ask or imagine. If you are struggling to know who you are or what your gifts are simply pray and ask, He will answer because God specializes in you

 

My Journey

Alright everyone, I want to tell you guys about my specific journey as a follower of Christ. I want to describe what point I am at today and and how I got here!

All throughout my life I considered myself a Christian. When someone would ask me if I believed in God I said yes, when someone asked me if I believed in Jesus I would say yes. The problem here was that I did not apply any meaning into these very shaky beliefs of mine. I did not pray, I did not read my bible, I only went to church on Christmas and Easter, I did not have a personal relationship with God and I did not understand the depth and love behind Jesus dying on the cross. In this state I did not give a second thought about Heaven or Hell. I simply was what a lot of people are today, Christian by label but not a follower of Christ.

So now you may be asking… what lead me into actually believing with my full heart and soul that God is the creator of the universe, that He is a living and loving God, and that He sent out savior Jesus Christ down to the earth to die for our sins so we could have a personal relationship with Him. Well, it all started when my fiance, who was my boyfriend for about 4 months or so at the time, randomly asked me, “Do you know if you’re going Heaven?” I was so taken back, I immediately said yes, I am going to Heaven. He continued to ask, “So if you died at this very moment you are certain you would be in Heaven?” I was still dumbfounded and saying yes on autopilot from the last question.

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This is my amazing fiance Ryan!

From there we basically dropped the subject, but when I got home the question literally burned into my head and my heart. No matter what I did I could not let it go. I was having an interesting and frustrating conversation with my mind. Only now do I realize that the Abby in my mind arguing with me was the Holy Spirit speaking to me. So the conversation went like this.

Abby’s Mind: Are you going to Heaven?

Outside Abby: Why wouldn’t I be, I believe in God?

Abby’s Mind: Do you actually believe in the things you say you do?

Outside Abby: Well of course!.. Maybe not… I don’t know…

So within the next couple weeks I did a lot of research, I listened to a lot of people who knew and loved God, prayed a lot and I was able to give my full heart to Jesus!!!

But wait, it doesn’t stop there.. As this new baby Christian I was ready to conquer the world and tell everyone about Jesus. The thing is, telling the world about Jesus is actually pretty difficult, especially at that state of not knowing anything other than your own story. So I started to wear down and got to a point of occasional bible reading, occasional praying, occasional church.

Gladly, this blog post does not end here.

Slowly God wiggled his way out of the box I was keeping him in and tore my heart apart with full loving Glory. That is when I realized the problem. I was so excited to tell the world about Jesus but I didn’t have a true personal relationship with Him yet. So like any other relationship in your life, to get closer to God you must talk with Him and hangout more with Him. Just like any other new relationship it was strange at first and honestly difficult to come up with things to talk about. I would pray and say a couple of words, maybe a sentence or two and be done or I would read a bible verse a day but no more. Through this I started to realize who He truly was, I started to feel His presence, and I started to feel His love. Now when I talk to Him I find it hard to fit everything I want to say to Him in because HE IS SO GOOD! I am still not where I want to be and I am far far far from perfect! I am a sinner and God knows that, but He loves me so much and He loves you so much!

That is my story as a Christian, my hope is that you would try to find that personal relationship with Him, because it is unlike any other you will ever experience. He is always waiting and always listening.

“Do you know if you’re going to Heaven?”