Community: The Time’s Now

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Friends and readers,

I have a wee little announcement to make. For a long time, I have talked about the need for community. The passion for companionship with like-minded followers of Jesus Christ – is something that can drive many of us. It can influence our decisions and lead the way in our lives.

For my own life, I have felt the intense longing for companionship and seen how this longing can drive me the wrong direction if I am not careful. Even so, I have seen how we treat “needing community/companionship” as though something is terribly wrong with us.

The Bible teaches us about the truth. In the Gospel, we see humans with a sinful nature come to know they need Jesus Christ. In learning about our need for a Savior, we learn also about our need for His beloved Church.

We need one another.

We aren’t capable to live our Christian life on our own. We need our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, those who are experiencing the Gospel and His powerful transformation.

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we were made for community. And so, I am pursuing a new avenue in connection with this blog.

With that said, my announcement: I have made an online small group for my blog readers and myself to draw near to Jesus together, pray together, search the Scriptures together, and stay encouraged despite circumstances – together!

I want to invite you into a closed Facebook small group. Only God knows the outcome of such a step in faith. But, willfully I come and invite you all to join me too in our online small group. Don’t worry about the “what if’s” or “possibly not keeping up”. I invite you to come and join me. Let’s “do life” together, and just enjoy Jesus Christ – our Savior!

On Monday, we begin a four week Bible study on the book of Philippians. As someone who struggles in her quiet time, I invite you to join me as we dive into Scripture at our own pace and support one another in our walk with the Lord.

In Him,

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Soul Tied {Inspiring Women}

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Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

Yesterday I underwent a medical test, and my body shared its unwellness with me and others. While the outcome of my test is unknown, I am reminded of the eternal hope found in our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” (John 4:28-29, NLT)

The hope of Jesus Christ remains strong, despite our earthly circumstances. Friends, we can become women who are made complete in Jesus Christ.

This Woman

Jesus spoke with a woman, known only by her past sins. Jesus offered her the same gift He offers to us – eternal hope, forgiveness of our sins, and an identity of being His!

We know. . . God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people (1 Thess. 1:4).

Jesus met her in the unlikely place. As she searched for drinking water, her soul finally found what it was searching for: Jesus Christ, the One who cleanses us and redefines our identity – based on who He is.

She didn’t know what {or who} was waiting for her, as she went to the well. This heavy hearted woman went to the well at noon time, which was an ideal time to gather water without the presence and chatter of other women. She knew the glances well, because everyone knew she was a woman with a scandalous past.

This precious woman left behind her past, as her satisfied soul lept for joy and entered an exclusive relationship with Jesus.

From this moment on, she would stop running from others. She would quit forcing her eyes to look no further than the sandals on her feet. Instead of hiding away like an embarrassment to God and others, she did something quite different:

She became a woman whose heart was found in Jesus, her Savior, and told others about the God they had to come and see for themselves.

We have our own past, but remember Jesus can use these moments and bring glory to the Father. While I don’t know your story, I know our Lord. He can bring a testimony out of our mess, and fill it with His eternal hope.

During my test, all I could do is pray in the presence of distractions and remember “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. . . to Him we belong. . . They are weak, but He is strong.”.

Remember, friends. Souls tied to King Jesus can leap for joy and have a desire to tell others about Him. How can we tie our souls to His?

Let us spend time in prayer and worship.

In Christ,

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Fearing Bad News (Summer ’17)

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Tonight’s verse is written out to meet me where I am. This is not to exclude the men who stumble upon my little blog. Remember: God wants to meet each of us where we are.


[She] does not fear bad news; [She] confidently trusts the Lord to care for [her]. [She is] confident and fearless and can face [her] foes triumphantly (Ps. 112:7-8, NLT).

In our lives, we will face difficult days. All of us will, no exemption allowed. We will face difficult days, even more so as people who want to follow our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Gospel of John (ch. 14-15), I am reminded of this message: Because I follow Jesus Christ, I can expect difficult days. Also, I can experience the Holy Spirit and His peace in every season of life.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:15-17, ESV)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (vv. 27).”

This is why I can experience difficult days, yet not fear those same difficult days (or worse days). Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord, is the One with whom we have allowed our souls to be intertwined with. It is none other than King Jesus. We have allowed Jesus Christ, the King of the world, to enter our souls and to be one with.

For the follower of Jesus Christ, we have joined ourselves with our Creator in an unbreakable bond that lasts for eternity.

I have chosen to follow Jesus Christ, and allow Him into the deepest parts of my life. Although life is unpredictable, I can rest in knowing He doesn’t change. Although my health and relationships may greatly change from one season to the next, my God never changes His mind about me. He has chosen me to be His very own!

What have I to fear? I have Jesus Christ on my side. He is standing with me, giving me the strength to fight my Goliath’s.

While I may battle anxiety and fear, I have nothing to fear with God on my stand. Through this special relationship, I know Him and that He continues to hold me close through life’s difficulties.

This world may shake me to my core, but it cannot take away my faith in Jesus Christ. My foundation in Jesus Christ is essential. When I allow my life to be built upon Jesus Christ, I will be never find myself in “the wrong place” like I will – when I allow my choices and relationships to be built upon my own heart’s desires that often lead me astray.

In Christ’s grace I stand,

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Through Him we also have access by faith into this [remarkable state of] grace in which we [firmly and safely and securely] stand (Rom. 5:2a, AMP).

Seeking God in Difficulties {Summer ’17}

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In Psalm 70, we are reminded of our need to seek God – especially in the midst of the most difficult things.

God, hurry to rescue me. Lord, hurry to help me! (Ps. 70:1, CSB)

Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need (Heb. 4:16).

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have been gifted with this incredible relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Where we can boldly come to His throne, and receive all the help we could ever need.

Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; let those who love your salvation continually say, “God is great!” I am oppressed and needy; hurry to me, God. You are my help and my deliverer; Lord, do not delay (Ps. 70:4-5).

The outcome of seeking our Lord Jesus in the midst of hard times is – life changing. God can give us a joy like nothing we could ever experience. The secret to joy isn’t necessarily in the removal of bad circumstances. It is found in spending time in God’s presence and trusting Him no matter the outcome. Now God could change our situations, but He might choose to change our hearts and walk us through the difficulties of life.

Friends, let’s bring our needs before our gracious God. We boldly come and share with God all we are going through.

This is a message I need for myself, because life can get hard. While I might force myself to carry the full weight of the burden, I will progress at a much slower pace than if I had accepted King Jesus’ help.

Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30).

God wants to be involved in our lives. He doesn’t want to be merely an observer, but He wants to be actively involved in our lives. While it can seem like our “normal” to go at it alone, it is not part of the way we have been called toward.

Some believe we have to make our own prayers come true. Basically we need to lean not on God, but ourselves.

Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us of our need to allow God to be the sufficiency we need. God is God for a very good reason. Our strength cannot begin to compare with our great God’s!

As we walk with Jesus, we are invited to lay down our old ways and allow our great God to show us His love, grace, and power!

Friend, I have absolutely no idea what you are personally going through. What I do know is – the God I serve. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the debt for our sin. He came and endured the most unimaginable pain, so we can have a relationship with our heavenly Father. A relationship, where we are His friend versus His enemy.

 

Facing All Conditions {VOTD}

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Today’s Scripture is the YouVersion‘s Verse of the Day –

I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me (Phil. 4:13, GNT).

This Scripture declares that – my circumstances aren’t too much for God to handle. If we were sitting face-to-face in a “bare your true heart” setting, I would have to ‘fess up that I feel overwhelmed by my circumstances.

Weight of Circumstances

. . . And, I am absolutely tired of feeling this way. I am weary in my mountain of circumstances, and ready for “almost any” vacation to spend a few days away. The only problem with the “need-a-vacation” way of thinking is – the eventual return to life as it is now. It doesn’t solve my problems.

As I write and think of my own circumstances weighing me down, I read a message from a former professor regarding a dear friend’s life-giving praise report of being cancer free. Like in hers, God is working mightily in many people’s lives – including mine. 

Focus

Though this life may seem long, I know it isn’t as long as we’d like to believe. Our lives are described as “no longer than the width of my hand. . . just a moment to [God]; at best, each of us is but a breath (Ps. 39:5, NLT).”

My focus needs to be on eternity. If my focus is found glancing around at my temporary life, then, obviously discouragement will surely find me.

As human beings, we need to focus on our Eternal God who is our Creator and the One in whom we find our purpose in life. God is the One who will supply us with life, guidance, and strength.

The “break” we need when life gets difficult isn’t found in a few days “away from it all,” but found in Jesus Christ. Our needed supernatural strength comes only from our Lord God.

Where Do We Turn?

I look to the hills! Where will I find help? It will come from the Lord, who created heaven and earth (Ps. 121:1-2, CEV).

We can seek answers in things, other than the Lord. Just because we have that freedom, it doesn’t mean they will meet our desperate needs. The psalmist is in active pursuit of real help. The pursuit is a deliberate one, and so should ours.

“How are we choosing to make Jesus Christ our Helpmate?” He is the One who will give us the answers we need, as we draw near and ask. He will either give us the answers or give us His peace along with contentment in the waiting.

Application

To whomever is reading this: Let’s draw near to the Lord our God and depend upon His strength.

This Scripture (Phil. 3:13) doesn’t guarantee that the conditions will subside. It says, we will have the strength to face all conditions. Choose today to –

  1. Focus on our great God and the power He holds in His hand.
  2. Realize He is the One Thing we need more than anything else. This relationship of trust through Jesus Christ is based on what God has done for us.