Tag: Relationships

Honest in Community {Inspiring Women}

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.

I don’t even know where to start. Perhaps, you can relate. I wholeheartedly believe in the truth we will look at today. I firmly believe we, as the Church, need to be honest with one another. So this is what I attempt to do, but it doesn’t always work out the way I hoped. This, I know. Why do I keep doing it? I wholeheartedly believe in trusting my Lord Jesus and obeying what He teaches us in His Word. Today, our truth is found in Ephesians 4:25 –

Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves (TLB).

We are the family of God, Church. Yet for some compelling reason, we are busy fiddling with less important things that overshadow our priority for His Church – our spiritual family. Shouldn’t expressing honesty within our spiritual family be a given? I love this translation of the Scripture. When we don’t obey God in this, we are hurting ourselves. We need to love one another, and use our honesty as a way to do this.

We are urged to draw near to God in James 4:8. There is a lot of distance between church family members. It’s rare to see an Act 2 friendship, where there is gut-wrenching honesty and closeness. This closeness, this community, is no stranger to my blog posts. As you all know, this community is one I crave. But, it will not exist – unless we begin to express honesty in our conversations with one another.

I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given – to simply be honest. While honesty brings a multitude of emotions, which is no easy task to handle, it is better than the option of running away. We have been given such a precious gift in our relationships with one another. Let’s take the time to cherish the Christian community we have been given.

As Ecclesiastes reminds us, we desperately need one another. We don’t know how fierce of a battle someone is facing, unless they share. I have been doing loads of “sharing” on Facebook. While I may not get “likes” or “comments,” I firmly believe I am doing my part in sharing honesty like this one –

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I am obeying God. What others do with the content of sheer honesty is up to them, but I am joyfully, gratefully, and sorrowfully giving this over to God and being honest in how well (or unwell) I am doing – with my Summer. I am absolutely resolving to honor God, by sharing. I am not going to lie and pretend things are all sunshine and roses, unless (of course) they are.

When we share our honesty with one another, as the Church, we are giving God ample room to work in and through us. If we want to see God’s power in action, it is time to put away the lies and hurting ourselves by doing so.

In Christ,

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Offering Peace Like Jesus {Inspiring Women}

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

Don’t quarrel with anyone. Be at peace with everyone, just as much as possible (Romans 12:18; TLB).

Peace is one of the amazing qualities of an inspiring woman. She can live at peace with those around her, and even offer this gift in difficult relationships.

We can be tempted to believe we have every reason to be angry versus peaceable, especially if we follow the world’s principles for relationships, but God shows us a different and better way. Come, let’s learn the better way!

Defining Peace

In Matthew 5, we are taught a lot about our need for peace with God and others. What is our definition of peace?  Peace is harmonious and free of rage. While we cannot control how others respond to us, we can choose to respond with the gift of peace.

There are times in our relationships, where people purposely set out to push our buttons. They know how to bring out the worst in us, but Jesus Christ is far greater than these moments. As a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, our way of working through relationship difficulties can be different – when we choose obedience and allow Christ to step into our messes.

Loving the Unlovable

In Matthew 5:43-48, we are taught to love like Jesus. Even called to love people who truly hate us. This can only be explained by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were once enemies of God, and now are called His beloved – His friends and those who are dearly loved by the King of Kings. Because God’s love knows no bounds. He went great limits to declare His love!

God sent His Son Jesus Christ to take our punishment, and show us His sheer grace. Our relationship with Him is restored, which is something we can seek in earthly relationships too. God can help us!

If we think loving others doesn’t make sense, how does it look to know you are deeply loved by God regardless of what you have done? He has come to rescue you and to be with you. Come to Jesus, friend!

His Peacemakers

We can become peacemakers, who act like their Abba Daddy! Our great God is the One who enables us to seek peace in our difficult relationships. Others might not respond as we hope, but God is glorified through it. Not only is He glorified, He blesses us for choosing His way.

God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God (Mt. 5:9, NLT).

In our peace-giving, we can become closer to our heavenly Father and see how much He has endured for our sake. May we take on the opportunity to deepen our faith in Jesus Christ and influence others through how we cultivate peace.

The One Goal to Keep {Inspiring Women}

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.

I bring before you all a special verse for Christian women. This is the verse. It can spark excitement in our hearts, but it can also scare some of us. This is a place, where we can learn to live out our faith in Jesus Christ and allow our sister-relationships to become a greater priority.

These older women must train the younger women to live quietly, to love their husbands and their children, and to be sensible and clean minded, spending their time in their own homes, being kind and obedient to their husbands so that the Christian faith can’t be spoken against by those who know them (Titus 2:4-5, TLB).

Community: Friend or Foe?

I love this passage of Scripture, but sometimes I don’t. My heart chases after deep Christian community, and sometimes it can be difficult to find. Being with my brethren is what my heart wants. In Christian community, we grow leaps and bounds and build lasting relationships. This is why we are urged to seek out godly friendships with other women.

Even if this pursuit takes a little time (or a long time) for fruition, it will be well worth the wait.

Worth Fighting For!

However difficult this pursuit for Christ-like relationships with other women, I feel like this is worthy of fighting for!

When we live out this Scripture in our daily lives, we are placing our trust in Jesus Christ and choosing His way of life over our own. These kind of relationships require vulnerability, feeling uncomfortable, and accountability. But, this is the place of being loved beyond measure, and our faith in Jesus Christ is tested/matures too.

Finding Our Willingness

Now “older woman” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be 80 years old, but I wholeheartedly believe they have a wealth of spiritual treasures to pass onto the next generation. Women of all ages would greatly benefit from these distinctive relationships. We just need to be willing to obey God, as we come alongside someone else in the faith.

Far too often, we have stepped aside and ignored this Scripture – to avoid “interfering in another’s life”. Truth be told: We need for another woman, who is following Jesus, to come alongside us and lovingly interfere. We need to grow in our willingness to allow  (even invite) another to step into our lives. 

Speaking as a younger woman, but older than some, I know my need to be –

(1) Taught how to apply my faith in Jesus Christ to specific situations

(2) Reminded of biblical truths

(3) Prayed over

(4) Given Encouragement

 

Let’s cling to the truths of Titus 2. We won’t be able to live it out perfectly, so if you feel like you are failing – take heart, you aren’t alone. But, let’s remember the grace of our great God and focus on obey God in living this thing out – no matter what it looks like.

Psalm 1 {Summer ’17}

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely (Ps. 1:1-2, TLB).

In this Psalm, we are reminded that we can either: spend our time with the wrong kind of people or center our lives around God’s Word. The difference between the two – is life changing.

Oh, the joys of those who . . . delight in doing everything God wants them.

We are given the opportunity to be excited about the Word of God. We can open our Bibles, and hear directly from God day or night. We can find excitement in our lives, through our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We don’t have to turn to sin or the wrong kind of friends, in order to feel soul satisfied.

More than anything else, God wants to show us how much happier we would be – if we sat at His feet and let His Words transform our lives (and even our circumstances).

Meeting with God brings prosperity. It isn’t about choosing friends with the right connections. If we want things to go well in our lives, we need to seek after the Lord. Let’s take this Summer, to read the Bible and take our cues from God. He has soo much to share with us, as we come and bring all that we are – to Him.

Our relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, is the most important one we have. Our great God has chosen to make His dwelling place with us, out of shear love and desire to be with us. While things arise making it difficult to meet with the Lord, we can still make that choice to be with Him. It may look totally different from one day to the next. But, this is a choice we will not regret.

Being with Jesus leaves us changed men and women. Remember what is said about the Apostles in Acts? People knew they had been with Jesus. Their lives were completely changed, because they spent time with Jesus. May the same be true for us too!

[Those who devote themselves to God and His Word] are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper (vv. 3).

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13, NIV).

Just a reminder: Our Psalms study is kicking off in the Facebook group. Don’t be shy, just hop on over and join us – as we read through the Psalms this Summer! {Also note: I am in the process of updating my blog, to merge the chronological//psalms blog with this one}

In Christ,

Signature

The Generous Giver

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!

As we enter into this conversation about how to be women of influence, women who share Jesus’ love and power through their lives, we are reminded today that we will be made rich.

You will be made rich in everything so that your generosity will spill over in every direction. Through us your generosity is at work inspiring praise and thanksgiving to God (2 Cor. 9:11, VOICE).

God is powerful, my friends. He is pouring out His generosity into our lives. He is allowing His generous love to infiltrate our relationships, serving opportunities, and many precious {yet impactful} moments. On a daily basis, God is working in and through us.

While our Lord Jesus is influencing and changing us by His Holy Spirit, He is enabling us to be generous and influence the lives of others.

Just as we have been radically changed, because God has placed someone in our path, our great God is giving us those same kind of opportunities – and He will provide whatever is needed for that moment.

A truth many of us (myself included) need to hear, because truthfully I don’t feel like I have all too much to give. I have little to give in money and energy, but desire to influence lives.

This reminds me that it is about our relationship with Jesus Christ. This allows us to influence others’ lives. God is the One who makes me rich, and will provide my needs. God is making us rich, even when we don’t see it. He is paving the way for us to follow Him in obedience. If He asks us to do something, He will provide all we need.

He is the One who will fill us up, so we have the energy and words to serve others – thus influencing others for His Kingdom’s sake. Too often, we try to serve others without meeting our own needs.

The women who make the most influence, are often those who make the most out of what they have. It’s not that they have much money, time, or other resources to give. It’s that these women are rich in their willingness to love God and others, and know God will meet their needs.

We need to remember our transformation. This is the place, where we sit at Jesus’ feet – in Bible study and fellowship with our great God. As we sit with Him, we are being changed from the inside-out. As we are changed and walk in our new identity, others are changed too.

 God is able to make it up to you by giving you everything you need and more so that there will not only be enough for your own needs but plenty left over to give joyfully to others (2 Cor. 9:8, TLB).