A wife, yet lonely 

Today my heart is for the lonely wife. The one who is seen and not heard. Who has become misunderstood and feels isolated. Unsafe. Unloved. My Spirit prays for YOU. I leave these words in hopes that you will know that you are SEEN & HEARD, LOVED, SECURE & SAFE. NOT FORGOTTEN OR OVER LOOKED. 

But now, thus says the Lord , your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. “For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place. “Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life. “Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west.

Isaiah 43:1‭-‬5 NASB

Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.

Isaiah 54:4‭-‬5 NASB

I leave these with you in hopes they bring you comfort in knowing you are deeply loved by your Heavenly Husband. He guards you, guides you, hears you, keeps you safe. 

And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.”

Luke 1:45 NAS

~ Be Blessed 

Advertisements

Another side to consider

Today I’m going to talk about things that aren’t 🍑. 

But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.”
Luke 9:60

What does this mean to you? I mean really read it. “Allow the dead to bury their own“. Is Jesus talking about actual dead people burying other dead people? Of course not because that not possible. He’s speaking about spiritually dead people burying their own. 

So then let’s consider this for a moment.

 A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

 (Hmm but there’s no way he could be talking about spiritually because that’s never the case, right?)

But in my opinion she is happier if she remains as she is; and I think that I also have the Spirit of God. 

1 Corinthians 7:39‭-‬40 

I just threw that last part in there because well I agree with his opinion as well. 

This next part is where you’ll probably disagree with me, if you haven’t already and that’s OK. I’m still going to share this because I know there are women (&men) out there bound to dead husband’s (&wives) and fear leaving them due to the backlash of their “church” community. The condemnation they will receive. Guess they haven’t read Romans 8:1.

 If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.   

When you are married to a spiritually dead spouse they do not posses the Spirit of Christ and are continually used by Satan to get you to sin, you need to consider this passage. 

Now I’m not one who picks and chooses and I don’t think it’s coincidence that the very next passage is about “divorce”. 

“It was said, ‘Whoever  sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce;  but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 5:30‭-‬32 NASB

unchaste

[uhn-cheyst]

adjective

  1. not chaste; not virtuous; not pure:an unchaste woman.

  2. characterized by sexual suggestiveness, transgression, or excess; lascivious; bawdy:

Now these are physical terms. A human can’t spiritually be unchaste can they? 

Well let’s talk through this. When we become united with our spouse the two become ONE and this is through marriage. When we become ONE with Christ this is through marriage with Him, yes? So then if our spouse has become ONE with the Spirit of Satan, then why wouldn’t this mean the same thing? Our human/carnal mind keeps us from seeing Jesus’s words as Spirit. But we have to be careful because Jesus is the one who said: But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 4:23‭-‬24 NASB

Like I stated earlier I’m writing this because I know many are struggling to listen to what they know they are being led to do because of everything man has taught on how God views divorce. And it’s good that they are considering how God views it because we should NEVER take divorce lightly, but we need to see how HE considers it and not how man has taught it. 

There will always be physical consequences when a man and woman divorce but it is not an unforgivable sin. Sometimes we need to make sure we wrestle through the Scriptures asking God to give us wisdom, asking Him to silence all flesh so we can hear His voice. He is a God of LOVE and will guide you to the answer that He is speaking to you daily. 

To anyone this speaks to I leave you with this. 

Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth. “For the Lord has called you, Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,” Says your God.

Isaiah 54:4‭-‬6 NASB

Sharing is caring 

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;  but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Luke 22:31‭-‬32 NASB

I was given this text days ago and wasn’t sure the message He wanted me to share behind it until just now. 

Last night I felt led to share some of the trials that my husband and I are currently (see here) in. As I was writing I knew this would bless others as well as honor God with what He’s doing in our lives. 

God is good. Always. He is working ALL things for GOOD, for those who love Him and are called for His purpose (paraphrase Romans 8:28). 

My marriage has absolutely been through a season of sifting and after reading about how they sifted wheat in the old days I couldn’t be more positive that this passage is genuinely what we’ve been going through. And if I am to be His Light and Shine His love to others lost in the darkness then I’ve got to get real when I’m knee deep in the muck and mire. 

Not in anger or pain but in gratitude that no matter what this flesh tries to bind me to my eyes and heart are always going to refocus and get back on my God. And because of that I TRUST in HIM and HIS promises. So I share. I share so others lost in the muck see that they too can find their hope in Christ, even though it seems they may have failed Him. 

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 5:16 NASB

If you are currently in the muck know that I have prayed for you to focus your eyes back on your Father. Focus your heart back on Him who Loves you. 

God is Good. Always. Trust Him. You have not been forsaken. 

He listens to me 

​I love the Lord , because He hears My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.

Psalms 116:1‭-‬2 NASB

It was so easy for me to fall in love with God. He listens to me. He would answer my broken cries in ways that were so personal and direct that I couldn’t deny His Presence in my life. 

As the youngest child, and the only girl. I lived an internal life growing up. No one quite understanding who I was or taking the time to hear what I had to say. 

As a teenager I was an overly emotional kid. And this only grew my internal struggle. As a young wife and mother in a relationship that started on so many troubled levels. I always strived to be accepted and heard that I again lost my voice. 

As I came to the Lord I knew deep down that I desired for my children and other women to be HEARD. 

For me it’s the most painful scars I have. One that I guard fiercly. 

Not being heard. 

It provokes my flesh like no other within my current marriage. 

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:11‭-‬12 NASB 

Although my mind knows our battles are the devils schemes, and he is not a gentlemen and will use this pain as a weapon to destroy, it makes my ache no less painful. 

My scars are REAL. My pain is REAL. And my battle needs to be real as well. By knowing how the devil is using my pain as a weapon helps to arm me with the TRUTH of this pain. Its my flesh. And my flesh will always be hostile towards God. So when the enemy can get me to focus on myself and my pain then he steals my joy. Like John 10:10 says He will. 

So what do we do in times like this? Just act as if nothing’s happened? No. Denying it makes it grow. Face it. Make your spouse aware that they’re being used by the enemy to hurt you. Pray that your spouse begins to guard himself and his words by seeking God. Period. That’s how you defeat this enemy is by seeking God. Apologies are good, but if your anything like me your rather action be the apology as words can be empty when not followed up with action. 

Then you get your heart into God’s hands and embrace the TRUTH that He listens to you and He loves you completely, as you are His bride. 

For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.

Isaiah 54:5 NASB

After you’ve both allowed God to speak to your hearts then come together and let God guide your conversations. Always Seek God. 

Your husband is your Maker….

image

‘For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.” Isaiah 54:5

I’ve quoted this a lot these past few weeks. Especially when talking about the relationship between me and my husband. (pictured above)

There is a quote that one of my friends sent me years ago, before I ever fell in love with God. It says: “A woman must be so lost in God that any man must go through Him in order to find her.” This quote really changed me and my heart over the years. Today I send this same quote to my single girl friends, in hope they will see the TRUTH that lies within.

When Chadd an I were first married we were both on fire for the Lord. Then life began to snatch away the Word and put out our fire. I resented my husband and our relationship. As time went on God began to slowly reveal to me that I was in fact the problem, not Chadd. I put too much pressure on him, I expected too much from him as my husband and the father of my children. Eventually everything broke and I learned that my husband is in fact my Maker.

When I no longer put the expectation on Chadd to fill me, I was able to find fulfillment from the ONLY one capable of filling me, God. Then Chadd was able to add to the ‘overflow’ and I was able to love him exactly where he was. Which this caused him to become the man that I have yearned for all along.

This past weekend I realized just how much I truly love this man. He was away for a mens retreat and I missed him terribly. I also realized while he was away that I haven’t allowed myself to really love him. I’ve kept him at a distance, afraid that he would disappoint me. And last night when we were laying in bed, guess what happened….I felt disappointed. I became angry and hurt. What does this mean? Well it means that I didn’t get what I wanted. James 4:1,2 tell us that we quarrel because we do not get what we want. So when I begin to argue with my husband, Holy Spirit reminds me of this and I begin to allow Wisdom to bring me understanding. As Proverbs 8 describes Wisdom to be a woman, she is very gentle in the way she reminds me that I am not here to be served but to serve, and my husband in the flesh is not here to serve me but to serve others. We are a unit yes, but ultimately we are here to help bring the Kingdom of God here, not to fulfill our fleshly desires.

Ladies, I want to first pray for you. Ask that God pour out the Holy Spirit within your hearts and allow Wisdom and Understanding to come to you as it has me, gently and lovingly. God knows what we need and He does lavish us with love and affection, sometimes through a song, a friend, a book. But when the time comes He will lavish us with the fleshly love we desire. I believe it’s up to us to continue to seek God first and allow the love that others give us to be an overflow.

Remember, our Maker is our Husband.

Have you settled for less?

If I knew back then what I know now I would never have gotten married. Don’t get me wrong I know my children and all that God has done in my past is part of my purpose. But to be able to devote my entire life to God…..sigh bliss. I will raise my children to be Kingdom focused and I am praying for their spouse to also be Kingdom focused. I will prepare them to seek out Gods calling on their life and to know the importance of being yoked with another that has the same calling. Marriage is a gift. And I know that a married couple equally yoked working for God will advance the kingdom in fierce ways, that many single people can’t. A chord of 3 cannot be broken. Marriage shows beautifully what it’s like to be yoked with Christ. If done properly.

Jesus died to bring me to God. A man is to love a woman as Christ loved the church. To love someone so much you devote your entire life preparing, building up, and then binding that relationship with the sacrificial love. When our order within a marriage is off…eventually the kingdom you’ve created will break. Its can run pretty well for awhile, but everything not done the way God intended will break. And the true purpose for the union will not be reached. I think of how Paul said to Timothy finish the race. I’m envisioning this couple running around the course in three legged race. At times when they are in sync with God’s design your unable to determine whose leg is in control of the third, (which one has dominant controls) then there’s the other couple. The dominate one is easy to see bc they’re carrying the other….until they’re unable to anymore and then they need to rest. Which means they stop the race collect their strength and then begin again. Can they advance Gods kingdom absolutely God’s word will not return void. So finishing the race still earns them a ribbon for participation. But they forfeit any prizes associated with the winners who placed in the race.

Which marriage represents yours? Are you running the race with excellence?  Or have you settled to just finish satisfied with the ribbon? 

~sometimes I just gotta write~

Take {2} on my testimony

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. God’s had me in a growing moment, and had I written two days ago I would’ve told you that I was positive He was disappointed in my behavior. And maybe He was, what He wasn’t disappointed in was my heart. I say this cautiously because I don’t want to be boastful. The reason I feel He has been pleased with my heart is because of the blessings He has poured out on me these last two days. There is nothing like thinking God is upset with you to have Him pour out LOVE on you like there’s no tomorrow. Love in ways that ONLY GOD could know your heart would respond to. Friends I pray that YOU experience that Presence of the Lord so intensely that you will never doubt how much God LOVES YOU!

Tonight I was blessed to give my testimony at the church that I had recently left. Talk about a HUGE personal blessing. See this is the HOME where He placed me to pour out His Spirit on me. He watered me through these people, and I still feel strange not being there at times. But I know God is doing something within our family that we wouldn’t have had done if we stayed.

Anyway, tonight I spoke about my life before Christ for the first time (in front of a group). Then I spoke about my life after Christ. I have to tell you that the response I felt was gratitude, for my authenticity. The Presence of God is with me as I write these words and I want you to know that I am so thankful that I lived every moment of my life the way I did. God has already gone ahead of me and prepared everything in advance. All I have to do is show up. He will do the rest.

Two hours before I was supposed to leave I found out that I needed to ADD 10 minutes to what I had already prepared. Wanted to share what God placed on my heart to share, and if you’ve read the post titled “My foundation is set” then you’ve read the life after Christ. If you’re interested here is some of the life before.

First memory I have was when I was 5, my Uncle came tearing around a corner almost running over me, my brothers, uncle, and grandmother one terrifying morning. I know it was morning because I had to continue to go to school that day, of course being told not to speak of what happened. This was the family code that I’m sure many of you had also. As the years went on I kept other secrets. Like being sexually involved with other kids, being molested by a family member, being hated and bullied in school. Having the entire girls bathroom written about me, teachers even joining in on the cruelty. I kept it all in. Never speaking about it…only writing in my journals.

Eventually all these secrets became too much, the loneliness I felt was more than my young heart could take and at the age of 12 I began trying to find ways to end my life. This continued for 3 years until I almost succeeded. I’ll never forget this day. It was unlike any other I could remember….it was perfect. I laughed continually with my best friends, got along with my parents, and felt an inner peace I hadn’t in years. As the sun was going down I had said this is it. This is how I want it all to end. SO I kissed my parents goodnight went in and got the prescribed sleeping pills I had stolen from my dad and began taking them. By the 10th one I started gagging. I can still remember the taste of the sweet tea mixing with the pills.

I don’t know why I chose to lay down and watch the last few minutes of Coach on tv, but I do know that it saved my life. Instantly I passed out and woke up 3 days later in the hospital. My leg had been somehow jammed down in the couch and I lost circulation for so long I was unable to walk properly for a few weeks. Today, I am positive that my guardian Angel made sure I would stay put on that couch so my mother and father would see me when they woke up before work.

Anyway, something shifted in me that day that I woke up. I knew there was a reason I had lived…again I don’t know how I know this, I just did. I wish I could tell you that I gave my life to Jesus at 15 and spent that last 20 years serving Him. Unfortunately, I wasn’t raised in a home where Jesus was ever mentioned unless it someone was cursing. I drudged through the next few years of high school, living up the rumors others started about me at 15. I desperately tried to fill that hole inside of me with boys, drugs, cutting, anger, anything that would give me some kind of “fix”.

After high school I met my first husband and fell deep into the club scene. He sold drugs, I danced to pay for our habit, and this continued until I was 21 and our roommate was robbed at gunpoint. We decided it was time to quit the drugs and move on with our lives. I had no problem quitting the drugs, considering I was old enough to drink. Still dancing I quickly became an alcoholic. Eventually Matt and I were married and started a family. I stopped dancing for a few years, then money was tight and we decided I would dance during his off season, which happened to be a dancers season. It seemed perfect….in hindsight I see it was perfect…for the enemy. He was able to convince us that it was beneficial for me to use my body to make money. All along destroying the trust in my marriage, and continuing to destroy myself worth. As you can imagine this marriage eventually failed.

 I had met a man online, and never felt so completely in love in my life. He too was married and felt the love instantly also. Friends, this is the first time I had been deceived by Satan disguised as light. All the years of me dancing half naked drunk for men I never once was ever tempted to cheat on my husband. This relationship was formed ironically through my husband’s online gaming. The emotional affair quickly developed and there was nothing stopping us. We had never felt a love so pure and honest in our lives. The affair occurred in 2003 lasted only a few months, he lived in TN and we both agreed we couldn’t take our children from their parents. Matt asked me to come home and try and work things out, we planned for our son. And two months after he was born in 2005 Matt said he was unable to forgive me and ended our marriage.

I was devastated and did the only thing I knew to do….lost the baby weight and went back to dancing. And drinking…heavily. I couldn’t bear to see anyone I knew so I drove each night from Ocoee to Melbourne to work. Then at 3am completely drunk I would drive home. On September 26, 2006 God intervened and I ended up in a ditch after hitting a guard rail and being side swiped by a truck. Ended up in 33rd with a DUI and a LONG road to recovery. Court ordered to attend AA, but knew I desperately needed it. I tried to stay sober. Admitted I was an alcoholic and truly wanted to be free from the need to drink. I only lasted 3 months. I told myself I could control it, maintain my drinking as long as I stayed at home or only drank beer when I went out. If anyone in here has ever tried to maintain drinking you know how well this worked.

My daughter was attending Pre-K at a church and we attended often. The love this pastor gave me and my children, even after finding out I danced and had a dui was like nothing I knew before. He began tending to the soil that was so battered.

On April 30, 2009 as I was driving home from dropping my kids at their dads, I had my usual debate with God about me drinking. Only this time I heard the truth. He asked why do you have to drink? I replied I deserve it….and right then I knew that was a lie. The radio began playing Sissy’s song and I heard within my Spirit “You’re going to lose them if you do this” THEM being my kids. And that was the moment of deliverance for me. I was baptized on July 29th. Married to my husband on December 7. 2009 and have been surrending my life over to Jesus daily ever since.

For the last 5 years I have heard and said over and over again to women who were hurting and broken hearted. “You need Jesus. Cry out to Jesus. Give it to Jesus.” Can I tell you something that I have struggled with for the last 5 years since surrendering my life over to this Jesus? I had no idea who He was. I mean I had head knowledge of who He was, and I had even experienced the power of Christ within my life. But I didn’t KNOW Him, or know HOW to know Him anymore than I already did. Or most importantly….. how to destroy the lies I knew about Him. So today I want to share with you the lies that kept me from fully believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and the way Satan used this to almost steal my Identity.

Jesus is First Our Lord and Savior. This many of you know. So did I. I was even baptized into this Truth….but still I doubted in this man that was also God. I was unprepared in the basics of WHO Jesus is and HOW He is Man and God. Jesus was placed in Mary’s womb by the Holy Spirit.  Matthew 1:18-25 gives the account to this, but still my mind couldn’t wrap around this. Even though I KNOW the Bible is true, something inside of me said”c’mon this is CRAZY, what if she cheated on Joseph and got pregnant.” That something inside of me is the voice of lies, aka the devil, satan, our enemy. God finally squashed this lie earlier this year, after 5 years of living for Him He opened my eyes and ears and said. “Crystal, you believe that I created this entire universe by the power of my Words, but you don’t think I can place a child inside of a woman?”  And that was it, lie destroyed with the Truth.  

Another lie that kept me from believing that Jesus is the Son of God was his baptism.   What was KEY for me to seal the truth about Jesus being fully man and fully God was what God says about sin. See the voice of lies that I listened to said “well Jesus was baptized so who knows if He actually sinned since we don’t know anything about Him”  Here’s the thing though, Jesus had to live a sinless life under the law in order to become a sacrifice blameless and pure and fulfill the law. God cannot dwell within a man when there is SIN in Him. And in Matthew 3:16 it says “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.” Jesus then became FULLY GOD, He had lived a life of obedience to The Father and because He was blameless without sin, God then gave His FULL AUTHORITY to Jesus, making Him The Christ, The Anointed One, The Messiah. No sacrifice was needed for Jesus because there was no sin in Him. God would not have given Jesus FULL authority had there been any sin within Him.

When we are baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ we also are forgiven for ALL of our sins, which allows GODs Holy Spirit, the Christ to now DWELL IN US. Making US as Jesus ONE WITH THE FATHER. But… this is only through the blood of Jesus Christ, which He shed for us on the cross.

These were two lies that lingered within my mind and because they were left unchecked I was led into a terrifying trap.

In 2 Timothy 3, Paul talks about the Godlessness in the Last Days. In Verses 1-5 Paul gives some pretty harsh characteristics about these “godless” people but I want to focus on Verse 5 “having a form of godliness but denying it’s POWER. Have nothing to do with them.”

Having a form of godliness but denying its POWER. Friends, we have the POWER OF GOD in us. We are One with God as Jesus, but Jesus had attained the FULL AUTHORITY of God, which we do not. We are given authority through Jesus Christ, according to our Faith. This isn’t taught to often in churches today, and I needed to know what was going on inside of me. And this is where and why I believe I had been led astray so easily.  

Two years ago I left this book and went to other teachings, not having my foot on solid ground and opened my mind up to Satan big time. Jesus says in John 10:1  “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.” Then in 7 He says “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep” Jesus is our foundation…we have to KNOW WHO HE IS BEFORE our foundation for our spiritual houses will ever be stable. Before the Helmet of our salvation will ever work.

 

 

Satan comes disguised as Light and lies to us. He lied to me for years with the Word of God about who Jesus was. I had to study and study and pray and study more to learn about what was going on inside of me. But every time I would get close, I would break. Why? Because I did NOT FULLY believe without a doubt that Jesus was the Son of God. That Jesus is God. Eventually, I stopped seeking for only my Spirit to be taught and needed to continue in Truth.

See other philosophies teach about The Christ, which so far everything that I have read agrees with scripture. But they leave out who JESUS is. There is a saying that God has been playing in my mind over and over and it says “ The best lies are 99% true” They focus on the Spirit of God, the Christ. Which was leading me away from the foundation of my Eternal Life, Jesus.

James 3 talks about two kinds of Wisdom one is from God, and one is from the devil. Friends, I am standing before you today, having been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Being baptized by The Holy Spirit, and confess to you that I had been given wisdom from the devil. Lies used by the Word of God to tell me that Jesus and Elijah were the beasts in revelations. That Psalm 146 talks about how when Jesus died and came back to life his plans were thwarted that He chose the Devil and we were all now being deceived. For two years I have wrestled with this lie inside of me, as I imagine as Jacob wrestled with the Spirit of God. Only I thought I was wrestling with the devil. Because I did not have my foundation in place, this lie had kept me bound up in fear of being a child of the devil. These lies friends are lies that creep in and steal our identity In Christ. I was blind to the truth that I was in prison, simply because I couldn’t believe.

When I first began studying the Word I was also in a Christian College and I remember asking my professor about Matthew 3:11 which says “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” I asked him what it meant by “fire” He was unable to tell me.

 

Today I believe I have a little bit of understanding as to what this “fire” is. Continuing it says: “His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” In the parable of the weeds in Matthew 13:24-30 Jesus talks about how the enemy planted “weeds” among good soil. And in verse 28 the servants ask “Do you want us to go and pull them up?” He says “No” Let them both grow together when the harvest comes first collect the weeds and burn them up, then gather the wheat and bring them in my barn,”

When we are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ we are made new, God now sees us through Jesus. Blameless. Then Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit, The Spirit of Truth which judges us. The Fire that He also baptizes us with is to refine us from the impurities, the LIES that we have come to believe, even if we don’t realize it.

It has taken 5 years for this “fire” to refine me from the lies that kept me from knowing Who Jesus Christ is. Until I knew who He was, I couldn’t believe who he says I am…and without knowing who I am in Christ…I was lost. Today I stand before you covered by the Blood of Jesus Christ, my eyes are open and I am no longer blind to the truth that I AM UNFORSAKEN. I HAVE BEEN REDEEMED. There is POWER in ME & YOU claim it… in His name. Real Freedom is in Jesus Christ!

The truth says in Acts 2:38,39 “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call. — if you’re in this room and you have not been baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ then God is now calling YOU. Will you listen?

Apologizing When You’ve Done Nothing Wrong

This has blessed me and my tattered heart. May her words heal you also.

Written by: Laura Polk

“Apologizing does not always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.”—Positive Outlooks

It’s not about me. It’s not about me. It’s not about me.

I repeated the mantra in my head over and over again. I set it to a tune. I hummed it in my mind. But it still wasn’t sinking in. It felt like it was about me. In fact, it felt like I was under attack. Being falsely accused of something I didn’t do.

But, it didn’t matter.

It’s not about me. It’s not about me. It’s not about me.

It wasn’t about me. There was a larger story at play. The one of my family, especially my children, suffering the consequences of an argument that I didn’t start, and couldn’t seem to end. It had gone on for years, and my attempts to get anyone to even acknowledge my viewpoint, were futile.

David struggled with this as well. In Psalm 69, he calls out to God in the midst of his accusers:

“Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me. I am forced to restore what I did not steal.”

He was forced to restore what he did not steal. Accused of things he did not do.

Relationships are messy. And Jesus clearly understood. In fact, he specifically instructed us on what to do should we find ourselves in a disagreement with others. In Matthew 5:23-24, He said:

“This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.”

I love how this doesn’t specify who is at fault. To God, who is at fault is not the question. It is about making things right, regardless of who is at fault. It doesn’t mean that we are taking the blame, but instead, taking the initiative to live in peace with that person. I know—it seems impossible. But, as believers, we are called to a higher standard. Called to love others as we would like to be loved—not as we are loved. A much different thing.

The truth is, there is an art to disagreeing. And, like most art, it’s not always easy to understand at first glance. The meaning, and the methods used, may not be clear in the beginning.

When it’s time to apologize:

The relationship with the other person is one that has lifelong potential, such as a family member, spouse, or long-time friend, and you value the relationship in spite of the disagreement.
You have approached them in love, and been refused.
You have tried to find a common ground, willing to give in, and been refused.
When you approach the person who has offended you, there is a rehashing of what happened—as if it just happened—instead of a willingness to find resolution.
The matter is affecting other people who were not part of the original disagreement.
You avoid gatherings where the person might be.
You have prayed about the situation and don’t feel the need to create a permanent boundary (you should not compromise in situations that involve physical or mental abuse of any kind).
You feel certain that if you apologize, the matter will end.
How to get your mind around apologizing when you’ve done nothing wrong:

You can show regret for the feelings the other person has incurred as a result of the situation without taking blame for the situation itself. This assumes that you did not intend to hurt feelings, or that the original action was intended for good and had unforeseen consequences for which you were not responsible. When doing this, make sure that you apologize with no caveats. Instead of “I’m sorry if you were offended by something I said” (putting the reaction back on them), say something like “I’m sorry for the way I’ve treated you” (putting the responsibility on you).
Decide what you are apologizing for, and state it plainly. An open-ended apology that makes you feel exposed to accepting something you did not do, will not end the disagreement. More than likely, it will cause bitterness that may escalate it. Instead, you can show grace to the person who offended you, and apologize for the part you played in the situation that followed the offense (such as: isolation from that person, bad feelings towards that person, etc.)
Don’t dwell on the truth. In many cases, the truth will lie between you, the offender, and God alone. In long standing disputes, the truth doesn’t matter as much as the separation it has caused.
Don’t make excuses for the person who caused the offense. Instead, offer mercy, knowing that you are freeing yourself as much as you are freeing them. They don’t have to answer to you for their actions, but you do have to answer to God.
Agree not to discuss it again. When both parties have been hurt, and an agreement of wrongdoing cannot be settled, it is best to let the situation go. In order to move forward, both parties need to agree that it is forgiven, and that it is best not to discuss it for the sake of the relationship.
In long standing disagreements, it’s not really about who is right or wrong, but who is willing to listen to the other person, and show understanding toward them. Most people don’t want conflict between themselves and others, but pride keeps them from admitting wrongdoing. Often, the person who suffered the mistreatment will be the one who is forced to end the argument with no apology from the other side. Showing grace and mercy to another who has offended you is not only an incredible gift to that person, but a living testimony of how your Savior would treat you. And, that alone, sisters, is enough to break the silence.

Article taken from LauraPolk.org

~sometimes I just gotta write~

“What lessons have you learned that needs to be maturely rewritten?”

“What lessons have you learned that needs to be maturely rewritten?”

This question was left at the end of a devotional. It’s a question that I hope to answer several more times over my lifetime. Today the lesson I want to rewrite is the lesson about my second marriage. Until 13 days ago I would’ve told you that my current marriage, which is the second for both my husband as well, was not Gods original plan for him and I. That our lives reflected the consequences of our sinful life before Christ. Today, I will say that this is partially true. Him and I have suffered from our choices made before and after committing our lives to Christ. But we are not Gods backup plan. We are the original plan created by God, and FOR God. Every moment of our lives has been planned from before we were ever born. God knew the day I’d be born, and the day I will die. This brings me such comfort when life seems to be falling apart around me. He is IN ALL.

God is not a God that makes mistakes. He is an all knowing, all powerful, and always present God. He created the Universe by the power within His Words. God created Adam out of the dirt of the Earth, and Jesus from His Spirit. Which of those two would you consider the original plan? Right, Jesus. He may be the second man, but He is NOT the second plan.

And neither are my husband and I. God has given me confidence in this which is why I am correcting my previous belief. Gods ways are higher than ours, and our human minds will never be able to comprehend His full design. We could go back and forth on different beliefs based on Scripture and personal experience. I’m not writing this to create a debate.

The reason I’m writing this is because God has opened my eyes to something I once saw differently. As I’m continually being transformed to reflect the image of Christ I realize how many people around me are secretly broken inside. Trying to live life as everyone else around them, but dying inside because no one else seems to have as many problems as them. I myself am one of those people…and for years I have suffered alone, ashamed, and condemned when I tried to reach out. That is NOT how Jesus treated those he came in contact with. Christ died so we ALL would be ONE with the Father and Him. He came for the broken sinner. Which is ALL of us. Not one single person walking this planet is without sin. Christ lived a life of obedience, humility and LOVE. Each of us is given a purpose to fulfill while we are here. I don’t want to claim to know all the answers, what I do know is what God has done within my life, and I will tell you without question that not one single moment in my life has been without God. He knew every ounce of pain and suffering I would experience and allowed it to happen. He had, and has a purpose for all of it. So I can be used to lead His children to His Son. In this season I believe He wants me to do that by being authentic about who I am and how He is and has been working within my life.