Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"Dinner with Friends"

This is a picture of me and two friends I met last night at "Dinner with Friends." The last few times I have been asked to serve at an event I have been so torn. There have inevitably been issues that have come up that made me want to cancel, but I am so glad I didn't last night. 

My friend puts on a "Dinner with Friends" night, where she and her friends invite women from shelters in the Memphis area to come and enjoy a beautiful meal. She showers them with gifts and makes them feel incredibly loved. 

Last night, I met these two ladies and others. Some of the ladies I met told me they had been prostitutes, some drug addicts, and one had just come out of sex trafficking. 

The theme for the night was "A Clean Slate." The message was: God's grace covers all; there is nothing you can do or that has been done to you that could make God not love you. After the message, I was able to lead the women in "Amazing Grace." It was a moment I'll never forget. It ministered to me in the depths of my soul. 

It's astounding when I think about how God must see my life. Someone asks me to serve, but God sees the whole picture. He knows in me serving, he can give me the precise encouragement I need for that day in that season. 

This morning I am thankful for the new friends I made last night. I am that for a God who sees into the deepest parts of my heart and provides just what I need. I'm thankful for a God who saved me to serve Him and who continually washes His unending grace over my life. 

"Amazing Grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I'm found
Was blind but now I see.

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God my savior has ransomed me
And like a flood
His mercy reigns
Unending love
Amazing Grace." 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Sin & the Solution

“Many seem zealous against, sin, when they are any way hurt by it, but have no concern for the glory of God, nor any dislike of sin as sin. Many seem enemies to sin in others, while they indulge it in themselves. Saul will drive the devil out of his kingdom, yet harbors him in his heart by envy and malice.” Matthew Henry

How many times do I hate sin in other people- the sin hurts me and frustrates my day, but do not hate my own sin?

In 1 Samuel 28: 3, it says Saul hated the sins of his people- their worshipping mediums and spirits and he even went as far as to drive the idol worship out of the land. However, at the same time, he didn’t hate his own sin. He was still terribly jealous of David and wanted to kill him out of his envy. 

“What is the solution to such a dilemma? Hating others sin while being oblivious or not hating my own?” I believe there are two solutions: 

1)   Not focusing on other people’s sins. 

If someone sins against me, I can go to them and confront them and try to makes things right, but if their sin is none of my business; I need to stay out of it. I must guard against judging others just like it says in the verse below. 

Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 
Matthew 7:1-2

2)  Constantly asking the Lord to search my heart for sin, and living in Christ’s freedom freedom from sin. 

Whenever I see sin in someone else that frustrates me, I can ask God to show me my own sin. This takes the focus off pointing fingers and puts it on my life and my heart today.

Sometimes I feel like Paul in the veers below*. I don’t want to sin but I do. I hate it that I do, but feel almost helpless to stop. Thankfully there is an answer to all of this! He says in verse 25, it’s Jesus Christ! It’s not about hating myself for sinning because that’s self consuming. It’s about being genuinely sorry for my sin and sinful attitudes. It’s about remembering Christ always gives me an escape when I am confronted with sin (1 Cor 10:13**) and it’s about choosing repentance, freedom, and forgiveness in Christ. It’s about living Spirit filled, abiding in Him, doing my best every moment to be pleasing in His sight and concerned with His glory. 

Today I’m thankful, I can rest in the fact that Jesus can take care of other people’s sin; He can handle it; I don’t need to. I can also rest in that Jesus has the power not only to show me my sin but to help me to hate it. Jesus Christ can help me turn from sin and help me to live free. 

**“17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.”
Romans 7 (message)

*1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Best Dressed

Growing up I used to watch the Miss America pageants and imagine myself walking down the runway wearing the most beautiful gowns with trains that flowed over the floor and gave me the illusion of floating.

Glamour, spotlights, grandeur… I loved watching the award shows like the Oscars or the Emmys and whenever the tv host handed the mic to a celebrity they would ask the same question: Who are you wearing?

With responses like Valentino, Prada, Armani… I marveledat the intricate detail and handmade gowns and suits that graced the red carpet. Only one thing stays in my mind…those beautiful garments will never be worn again. So much careful thought, designing and planning went into each of these dresses by the designer. They are worn by the celebrity, danced in, perhaps even spilled on and never thought about again. 

There is a designer who makes attire that is available to every single one of us that not only sparkles in it’s glorious magnificence, but also empowers us to be the best version of ourselves, makeup and hairdo aside. That outfit is the Armor of God! 

The armor covers all of us, the helmet, the breastplate, the belt, shoes and shield protect us from the schemes that satan puts in our way to distract and destroy us. It also offers us a weapon, the Sword of the spirit, to counter the attacks and gain ground using the Word of God to pierce through the various forms of darkness the devil uses to prohibit us from reaching our full potential.

When you pray on each piece of the armor everyday, it is hard to not imagine yourself as a confident, fearless woman of God. You can handle anything that comes your way that day. Work, family, friend, church obligations are tackled with ease in knowing that you are not alone and the God of angel armies walks with you every step of the way.

I think sometimes as Christians we forget how powerful we are when we are equipped with the proper attire. With the knowledge of the armor being strapped on, we can become the bold, courageous, fearless women of God we were intended to be. 

So the next time you hear the question: Who are you wearing? You can rest easy in knowing that you are wearing a God-breathed and inspired design- The Armor of God! Don’t leave home without it!

Dive deeper into each piece of the Armor and understand how to battle an all too common epidemic among women today: depression and anxiety, in Michelle Moore’s book, Arm Yourself: Equipping Ourselves with the Armor of God, available online wherever books are sold. 



Michelle Moore is described as real, engaging, and practical. She is the author of Arm Yourself: Equipping Ourselves with the Armor of God which she self published the fall of 2014. She is also the creator of the blog, My Heart’s Song, which is endorsed by Family Christian Store and posts a weekly devotion, as well as offering books, concerts, movies and music reviews and giveaways. She has a passion for women in helping them to navigate through the negative stigma of mental illness. Michelle is also a down to earth speaker that is able to break down biblical principles and relate them to the modern day woman.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thankful Tuesday- My Rock

I love you, Lord;
    you are my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
    my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
    and my place of safety.
I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
    and he saved me from my enemies.
Psalm 18:1-3

Ever been in a place in life where everything feels shaky? I have! I personally hate change. I could do the same thing every day for the rest of my life and be perfectly content! Sometimes when change comes, my mind is thrown into a state of worry or panic. I start questioning everything and everybody. I seem to lose my footing. 

This is not what the Lord wants for me. I don't have to like change, but I can be confident in the fact that God's got it; He knows, and He will always be constant for me. 

I love this passage from Psalm 18. God is:

My Strength- the one who makes me firm, resolute, hardens me to prevail*

My Rock-my security*

My Fortress-a place that has been fortified as to protect from attack*

My Shield- the one who defends me, covers me, and surrounds me*

and because He is and because He does...

He is "Worthy to Be Praised!"

No matter what change I am experiencing, I don't have to panic. I can rely on Him, who is constant, my never changing Rock and for that today, I am thankful!

*from StudyLight.Org

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Birthday Memories

Today is Annabelle's 7th birthday! I couldn't help but think of all of her birthday's past. We adore birthdays! These pictures make my heart smile! 
1st Birthday
2nd Birthday
3rd Birthday
4th Birthday
5th Birthday
6th Birthday
7th Birthday