Community: The Time’s Now

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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The Sanctification Process

Ohhh my friends, I have missed you all so much!!! While I am still on my break, or Sabbath if you will, I wanted to just take a few moments to write you all.

This time away is needed, yet difficult. While difficult, this is the season of life where I will reap the greatest of spiritual blessings.

It is a time of deepening the relationship I have with my heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ – my Savior – the One who rescues me and keeps me safe regardless of my outward circumstances.

My Own Testimony

Today, I have been thinking on a transformative piece of Scripture from the book of Titus. I wanted to share just a bit of that with you all.

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient; we were misled by others and became slaves to many evil pleasures and wicked desires. Our lives were full of resentment and envy. We hated others and they hated us.

But when the time came for the kindness and love of God our Savior to appear, then he saved us—not because we were good enough to be saved but because of his kindness and pity—by washing away our sins and giving us the new joy of the indwelling Holy Spirit. . .

In this passage, I am reminded of the amazing change I am given through our Rescuer Jesus the Christ. The Lord has taken me so far from the person I used to be. It has been a long journey. But, it is one declaring His glory, goodness, and power.

As I think back over my life, I can honestly say I was the “Poster Girl” for Titus 3:3b – where it says:

“We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.”

I don’t know the specifics of how the Lord did it, but I do know He absolutely did a mighty work – taking me from this person with much hate and anger

. . . to someone who is learning she has been handpicked and profoundly loved by the God of the universe. Which changes everything for my life.

Solely God’s Work

As I continue to walk with my Jesus – with our Savior Jesus, I am able to surrender more and more of me to my gracious Father so my soul has room for the eternally good gifts of God!

This is God’s work, and nothing we can claim as our own. He is working out everything for His ultimate good – and showing me the abundant life He wants to give His people. And it all starts with drawing near to our King Jesus Christ!

He is very generous and able to transform our entire lives – as we make the choice to follow Jesus for ourselves and see what He has in store for our lives. He has a beautiful life in store for us, but the key is willfully seeking to know Jesus Christ for ourselves.

Blog Sabbath-ing

Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me (John 15:4).

And as I think on these truths, this time of Sabbath makes the most sense. This is a season of deepening the relationship I have with God through His Son Jesus Christ. This is a season of meeting and walking with Jesus for myself. This is a season of being sanctified and even “pruned” for His glory.

God is doing so much in this season of my life. While the time away is difficult, it has eternal purposes. I just need to keep remembering the undeniable sacredness of this time with Jesus.

If lacking in the blogging department means a more intimate relationship with Jesus without distractions, then, it is forever worth it. As I focus on intimacy with Christ, I am being amazingly changed!

The difficulties of taking this time away, are eased by knowing the good eternal work our Lord Jesus is doing inside of me. As I learn to enjoy this time, He is preparing me for whatever the future has in store.

Forever His,

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Keeping Promises {Inspiring Women}

Starting Monday, July 24, the Facebook page for Gracefully Overcoming will begin reading and studying Psalm 119.

(Psst: This blog post is part of our series – Inspiring Women using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries.)

Psalm 119:1 reminds us of the truth that God’s people are called blessed (happy, fortunate, favored) when we enter a relationship with our risen Lord Jesus Christ and follow in His ways.

How happy (or blessed) are those whose way is blameless, who walk according to the Lord’s instruction! (CSB)

The Blameless

The blameless walk with personal integrity. As we consider and walk in an exclusive relationship with our heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ, let us continue to think about how we live. Let us remember Ephesians 5, where we are reminded to follow the example of our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Exemplary

In Psalm 15, we are given specific examples of living in a blameless way.

O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does. . . (Ps. 15:1-2a, ESV).

It is within this specific Psalm, where we find out what one who wholeheartedly follows the Lord does. For the “Inspiring Women” series, we are pointed to verse 4.

Let’s create our working definition for the “blameless” believer. It is a person who clings to and follows Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord over their life, and strives to allow God to be proclaimed in the private and public aspect of their life.

in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; who swears to his own hurt and does not change (ESV).

Friends, sisters, the life of inspiring others is seen as we hold to what we know about our risen Lord Jesus Christ and the life – to which we have been called.

The Transformation Life

While we are a work in progress until Christ’s return (see Phil. 1:6), let us strive to allow God to define what is right and wrong. Our moral compass isn’t determined by society or how likable the girl down the street is. Even when we are pressured to compromise, we need to hold onto what God says is right and wrong.

May we “keep [our] promises even when it hurts (NLT).”

Let’s choose today to remain faithful to our risen Lord, and remember His Word stands as absolute truth. Even if everyone is against the Bible and God’s truth, it has not changed. It will still be true and be our instructions for how to live.

Friends, our best way to inspire – comes from honoring what is right in God’s own eyes and exposing the lies we are confronted with.

Our risen Lord Jesus Christ – is what matters. It is the Bible and our own faith in Christ, that determines how we live. Let’s be Jesus girls who choose to trust and diligently obey Him, because we know He is worthy!

In Christ,

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Fearing Bad News (Summer ’17)

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).

Kids’ Visual Study Bible (BookLook)

Visual BibleMy friends, the greatest gift we can give to our kids is – the Word of God.

As we sit and share our hearts for Jesus, we are giving them a special gift. Let’s present Jesus to them through our words and a Bible of their very own. Something that will help them learn about our great God and His love for them.

The Treasure –

The NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible: Explore the Story of the Bible—People, Places, and History is an amazing Bible. One of my favorite aspect of this Bible is – the fact that it is a study Bible. In the margins, we can find insight we might otherwise miss. Plus: This Bible is colorful; this is where we find beautiful photographs woven into the Bible – which reminds us of God’s handiwork. There are over 700 photographs in this special Bible!

This is a special gift, which will allow our children to open the wonder of God’s Word – and discover who He is – for themselves. The goal of this Bible is to present our Lord Jesus Christ and His truths to the children in our lives.

My Concluding Thoughts –

I absolutely love this Bible. I am looking forward to reading it with my niece, but also to have for myself. The study notes, in particular, are a needed thing, because sometimes we just need a little (or a lot) of help learning to understand what God is teaching us through His Word – the Bible. God will definitely use this Bible to encourage many, to keep drawing near to Him.

Friends, I am excited about the possibilities. This Bible with added features can help our children become closer to the Lord. I am thankful for this Bible and the opportunity to review it. I am so excited to see how the NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible will encourage my niece in her own relationship with the Lord.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through BookLook’s blogger review program, in exchange for a honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.