Thursday, November 21, 2013

Free Indeed

A dear friend of mine shared a video on Facebook today. She knew I would love it. She mentioned me in the comments so I would see it. I am so thankful that she did. This video is from the I Am Second ministry. It is about my favorite family-the Robertsons. Yes, those Robertsons from Duck Dynasty. I love this family and the way God is using them to represent Him and to spread the Gospel message. This family is not perfect-they never claimed to be. They are real, authentic, genuine. They have a past, but they know Who holds the future. Please watch this video when you have time. It piggybacks my last post about the "prodigal parade." God uses them, He uses me and He can use you. No matter what your past. He died for YOU because He loved you so much! God is first, I am second! 

Click this link to take you to the video:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Prodigal Parade

I have been listening to the My Hope: Songs Inspired by the Message and Mission of Billy Graham. The whole CD is incredible because of the message of hope and truth it contains-the truth that leads to eternal life. One song has resonated with me more than the others and I find myself listening to it more often. It is the song "So Loved" sung by Matthew West. I would like to share it with you.

(If you receive this through email, please view the video on my blog. Thank you!)

You see I was part of the prodigal parade West is singing about. I was the child who grew up in church, went to Christian schools for 16 years and could tell you lots of different Bible stories. I wasn't a perfect child or teenager and I did not make the best decisions in high school. However, I truly wanted to live for God and please Him. I went to Cedarville University for college and it changed my life. I met some incredible women-my forever friends-, learned how to become a teacher (my life long dream since 3rd grade) and grew in my walk with God. May 2005, graduation came and many of my friends were engaged and getting married in the next few months- including two of my very best friends/roommates. I was a part of both weddings, which were a week apart and I hopped from Ohio one weekend to Indiana the next to celebrate the marriages of two truly beautiful, Godly women who had chosen their forever loves. 

And me? I was single throughout college, but I wanted what my friends had. And that is where my choices went downhill very quickly. I believed the lies Satan whispered into my ear day and night- you're not good enough, you're not beautiful, you're too fat, there is something wrong with you, you will always be alone, you're relationship with God isn't strong, no one wants you. You get the picture. So I decided to take matters into my own hands. As the song says, "In my life, I've failed and fallen, I've drifted far and wide, I have wandered from my calling, I've believed that devil's lies..." 

After graduation, I waitressed at the restaurant I had worked at since I was 16. When my hours increased, a guy started giving me the attention I so desperately desired. He was not a Christian, had no desire for anything related to God and knew the words to say to keep me by his side. You see this guy was a user. He used me for what he could get-from my wallet, from my body, from my heart. I gave up everything I believed in thinking I could have the love I so desperately thought I needed to be happy. Instead, what I found was anxiety, depression, 80-hour workweeks to pay the bills (mine and his) and a hot/cold relationship that broke my heart. 

And then it happened. I got the call from him that he was arrested again. I had already bailed him out once before ($500 later) and he had lied to me again about what he was doing that night. I couldn't do it anymore. I hung up on him and called home crying, in the middle of a panic attack. My mom sent my brother to pick me up from my apartment and bring me home. Home to my family that did not agree with my decisions, but always welcomed and loved me. Home to God and a relationship with Him that I had never known. Home to the only One who could love me the way I so desperately wanted. 

God redeemed me again that night. He forgave me for my sins, washed me white as snow. He was right where I had left Him. He had always been faithful. I was unfaithful, but He accepted me back with His mercy, grace and amazing love. God has taught me over these last few years that He is the only one who can satisfy me. He created me, my heart. He knows my every thought, yet never lets go. 

I'm still single. Almost 31. And yes I still long for a husband and family one day. My desire has changed though. Before it was about finding satisfaction and happiness from my husband. Only God can do that and does each and every day. Now it is about praying for the man that will serve God beside me, lead me and my children in the Truth. My desire is that together we can do more for God than apart. This life is not about me, my own desires and needs. It all points back to Him. It all goes back to the God who loved us so much that He sent his one and only Son to die for me, for you, for the world. 

Linking with Inspire Me Monday

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I Believe...

I love having Mondays off! (last Monday the 11th) :) Especially when there are no doctor appointments to go to, no big errands to run, no pressing, urgent matters to attend to. A day of pure rest and relaxation...??? Well if you are anything like me, then you know that rest and relaxation does not come easily. My brain does not turn off. I cannot turn the volume down. I have a restlessness that easily comes over me. 

The only way I can truly rest and relax is when my mind is stayed on Jesus. When Dr. Dixon was the president of Cedarville University my freshman and sophomore years of college, he would sometimes start chapel off with the song, "I woke up this morning with my mind, with my mind, stayed on Jesus. (Repeat 3x) Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!" Those simple words have never left me. 

Today I bought the album My Hope: Songs Inspired by the Message and Mission of Billy Graham. The first song is by the Newsboys titled "We Believe." The words to the chorus are:

We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit 
And He's given us new life
We believe in the crucifixion
We believe He conquered death 
We believe in the resurrection
And He's coming back again

Joy and peace washed over me. Yes, I believe! I believe in God the Father, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in the Holy Spirit, that He's given me new life, I believe in the crucifixion, I believe He conquered death, I believe in the resurrection and that He's coming back again. I believe! I would like to share the whole song with you below. I hope it encourages you and gives you true rest and relaxation in Him. He is coming back again! 

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Monday, November 11, 2013


Truth. One small word, but it can be very powerful. The truth has the power to heal, to hurt, to enlighten, to set free. The word gospel means "good news." The Gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ. In the Bible, the Gospel is contained in the first four books of the New Testament-Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These books tell the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The Gospel is THE Truth. The truth that will set you free. The truth that will give you reason and purpose. The truth that will give you forgiveness for your sins, unending grace, continuous mercy and everlasting life. The price has already been paid. Jesus was the sacrifice. Why? Because God loves each and every one of us so much that He gave us His Son. His only Son. For who? Every.single.person. 

God tells us in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."

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

John 8:31-32 says "So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free."

Billy Graham's 95th birthday was Thursday. This great evangelist has shared a final message with America. Billy Graham has been sharing this Truth most of his life. Mr. Graham believes the people of America can still hope, can still turn to God, can still be saved no matter what the situation or circumstances in life, past or present. Please watch this powerful message of the only truth that will matter at the end of your life. These twenty eight minutes could change your life- that is how powerful the Truth was, is and forever will be. The truth will set you free! 

Linking with Inspire Me Monday and Titus 2 Women

Friday, November 1, 2013

Chronic Thankfulness???

Have you ever heard those two words together before? I know I sure haven't. However, that is exactly what God brought to my mind as I lay in bed after a long week at school. I was thinking about the pain running through my body and the fatigue and weakness in my joints and muscles and then I thought about the words "chronic pain" and how depressing and negative that sounded. Then the words "chronic thankfulness" popped into my head and I knew these words could only be from my heavenly Father. It all started this morning while I was eating my cinnamon Chex cereal and reading today's devotional from The Quiet Place by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Here is the first half:

Sacrifice. The one word constantly repeated in this text. I can choose to sacrifice peace, contentment, freedom, grace and joy...OR I can choose the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Will it be easy? No. Will it come naturally? No. Will I have to do it alone? No. God has promised me in Hebrews 13:5 "...I will never leave you nor forsake you." The devotional does not end there. 

Life is not perfect. We live in a fallen world, we are born with a sin nature, BUT there is redemption. I have been redeemed. God sacrificed His only Son to die for me. Why? Because He loved me so much-much, much more than any person could ever love me. I am His beloved. Despite everything else going on that might be viewed by me or the world as negative- 30, single, autoimmune diseases, living at home, etc.- God is still in control and always has been. He is orchestrating every event of my life to bring Him glory. Jesus never promised it would be simple, cushy, effortless or painless. He told his disciples repeatedly that they would be persecuted, rejected and ridiculed for His name. Matthew 16:24-25 says, "Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it."" 

So back to "chronic thankfulness." Through the Holy Spirit, I would like to be able to daily thank God for this season of life that requires me to draw nearer to Him each day, to boast in my weakness and to be able to proclaim that it was only through His power and His grace that brought me through each day. God is more than enough and for that truth alone I am forever grateful.