Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"The Serpent Decieved Me, and I Ate"

Then the Lord God looked at the woman and said “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The Serpent Decived me, and I ate” Genesis 3:13
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end. Lamentations 3:22

I don’t know about you, but I fell off the old ‘health horse’ over the Holidays. And by fall off, I mean as I was voluntarily stepping down to take a break, my foot slipped and I fell headfirst bumping my head and completely forgetting who I was. Most of you know (as I don’t try to hide it) that food is a struggle with me, one that I have learned is not so much a struggle about food, but about the control food has over me. The way it has the ability to make me feel less than I am, the way that I desire it more than anything- more than being skinny or healthy, but more importantly, more than God. And God desires that I never feel controlled by anything other than Him, and that I never feel less than who He made me to be. I know I am called to live a life of glorifying God with what I put into my body, but there is a very chubby fleshy side to me that tends to get the best of me from time-to-time. One that I am learning to over-come daily through Christ’s strength.

But for a month and a half- from my November birthday right on thru New Years, I didn’t. I knew I would be starting a 40 day ‘clean eating fast’ on Jan 1st, so I allowed myself to feast and celebrate and indulge in whatever my heart desired. It was fun at first, but by Christmas I didn’t like the way I felt or looked. And a few days into my fast, when I finally worked up the nerve to hop on the scale, I was disgusted. Twelve pounds. I can’t even believe I’m announcing that number for all the world to see, but one thing I know for sure is God wants no pride nor shame in this servant of his, so I’m just keepin’ it real. Twelve whole pounds. Here I had been just 5 pounds away from my goal weight and goal size, 5 pounds from Victory, and I had just laid it all down and walked away. And it wasn’t just my own health I walked away from, in the busy-ness of the season, I had walked away from God. During the time of year that I was supposed to be celebrating God the most, I felt farther from Him than I had in a long time. I had become a 'Sunday morning Christian', church was where my Christian walk started and ended. And I’m not made to be a ‘Sunday morning’ Christian. I’m too needy for that- I’m a minute-by-minute, sometimes secondly, be with me always type Jesus girl. But there I was- my prayer life was pitiful, my Bible was dusty, and I was wearing my muffin top like a reproach.

There was a part of me that was relieved though- I had done this Christian thing long enough to know that when I feel spiritually dry, it’s not because my well has run dry- it’s because I haven’t been drinking of the water. God was only a prayer away! Or was it? I fought to get my prayer life back for almost a week- praying even when I didn’t feel like praying, reading my Bible without much passion, and I just couldn’t feel God on me the way I had before I had “gone and done-it”. Even though it had been a few days of turning my heart, soul, mind and mouth back to God, I still saw an over-indulged ‘puffy’ girl when I looked in the mirror. Someone who was not yet worthy of the anointing she once had. And I believed that lie, thinking maybe once the weight was gone I would feel worthy again… But I was desperate for his touch, and I couldn't wait that long in my spiritually dead state.

And then I heard God whisper so sweetly to me- ‘Hey you, come here you.” and I burst into tears. All at once his love flooded me. I was reminded that I was his workmanship- his piece of art. That I was wonderfully and beautifully made, and He saw no number on the scale when he looked at me. He only saw my heart- if it’s either aligned with him, or it’s not (and when it’s not, it tends to fall into the food trap too easy). I realized that the MINUTE I turned back to God, repented and surrendered it back to Him-to live, eat, and breath His way- that the weight was as good as gone in His eyes. I can’t explain the beauty of how I felt, but I felt worthy and beautiful and so completely consumed with God. I know that I will have to suffer the consequences of the bad choices I made over the Holidays and work hard to allign my scale with my mindset again, but if anything it will be a lesson learned not only in self-control, but in my self-worth and God’s grace. You see, the devil wants nothing more than to keep us in a heap of self-condemnation. He doesn't care if our head 'knows' we are forgiven, if our hearts haven't accepted that forgiveness and turned away, then he wins. His easiest target is to use what we do to our selves, our insecurities and failrues, to keep us in bondage and feeling unworthy and out of touch with God.

So please, if you are struggling to take this year’s Holiday weight off, or last year’s weight as well (or struggling with any sort of sin you feel entangled in), please know you're not alone, and it’s possible to over come. Accept God’s forgiveness of the unhealthy choices you have made. And accept that once you turn your heart back to Him, it's as good as accomplished in His eyes, and start trying to see yourself the way God sees you. You can’t change the past, you can only change today. And if you fall down again tomorrow, his Grace will be sufficient then too. Because really, failure is not falling down, failure is refusing to get back up. So take His hand, and let Him help you up.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

First Down

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entagles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not about motherhood. It’s not even about women. It’s actually about football…and people.

You see, the thing about us Christians is; we are people. And the thing about people is, we all got our issues, we all have our baggage and our trials and temptations; and despite our best efforts to overcome these, we all fall from time to time. And this is where football comes in…

My husband and I were recently given tickets to a K-State football game so we could celebrate his birthday doing one of his favorite things. He loves the game and I love him, so we both very happily left our kids behind with grandma and grandpa for a day of football. It’s not that I don’t enjoy sports- it’s all just foreign to me. I grew up in a home with all women so aside from Super Bowl Sunday (which I thought was all about the food and commercials until I became a bride), sports has never been a part of my life. Needless to say, I also know very little about the game- and I have yet to read through my “Football for Dummies” book that my groom got me for our first Christmas together (I got him a “Gift Giving for Dummies” book the following year in case you were wondering)… so bear with me here.

So, despite the fact that I had little to no clue what was actually happening during the game, I did my best to follow along and fill my hubbies lil’ love tank that day. And of course, my ever-wandering mind got the best of me. I was so startled by the fact that everyone cheered and whooped and hollered when their very own team got tackled. There I was, disappointed that the poor guy didn’t make it but a few yards, never the less all the way down the field for a touchdown, and everyone around me is clapping in excitement. I had to ask my husband (in a very small whisper, as not to embarrass him) if I was correct in my observation. Indeed I was, first down, second down, third down… every time the guy with the ball ran his little heart out to get that ball down the field- but only succeeded a few years before he got taken down- all his fans cheered. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it.

You see, I’m naturally someone who is hard herself. I don’t like excuses and I expect a lot out of myself- I expect a touchdown, every play. And yet, that rarely- no, that never- happens. And it struck me- that’s it. That’s exactly what our Christian life is about. It’s about the first-downs. We are so hard on ourselves when we fumble, fall, or get flat-out-knocked-off our feet by the opposing team. We get angry at ourselves that we let ourselves be vulnerable to sin again, and we question whether or not it’s worth it to get up again and try for a second-down. And that’s when we have to cheer each other on- not because we fell, but because we are that much closer to a winning play. In fact, we need the encouragement on those first downs even more than on the touchdowns- right in the middle of the hard stuff. Every first down… we need to remind ourselves that the game ain’t over yet. Get back up, get the ball, and try again, and again. Each time, learning a little more about the defensive strategy, their moves, their tactics, and our own weaknesses, so hopefully we will successfully complete the play the next time.

So wherever you find yourself today- I hope you are encouraged in knowing that the Saints up in Heaven are cheering you on, every first down you get. Because you made it that much further, that much closer to a touch down- to winning the game. To Victory. And I pray you have some Saints on earth to cheer you on down here too- I’m so overwhelmingly thankful that I do. And God isn’t surprised or even disappointed or angry when you get side-swiped by the opposing team. In fact, I believe that He will let you fall over, and over, and over again- until he has worn you into a place of utter desperation and dependence on him and him alone, and he is able to chisel out whatever lie and deceit that keeps us falling time and time again, and then we can allow Him to meet those needs, and we allow Him to deliver us. Because, I'm convinced that God is not so much concerned with removing the sin in our life, as he is concerned with getting out whatever lie is causing us to sin. He is a God who looks not upon our outward apperance or actions, but upon the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)

And sometimes, God even allows for it to look like the other team might win. He allows them possession of the ball so we can work on our defensive strategy a little bit, doesn’t He? But don’t worry- the game has already been won. But you still gotta play. Because my dear sister- the game doesn’t end at salvation, it starts at salvation. We’ve only just begun.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

To Trick or Treat and Eat the Meat?

Growing up for me, Halloween was always a fun time. My mom always had the house decked out with spooky (not gory) decorations, we dressed up as witches and vampires and ghosts, and we went Trick-or-Treating with all the neighborhood kids. It wasn’t until I had my own walk with God, and a family of my own, that I realized that Halloween is a touchy subject amongst many Christians, and one that causes many debates. And after our first year in public schools, and feeling bombarded with skeletons, witches, scary costumes, and all things creepy; I get it.

I have not felt so convicted as to completely pull my kids out of Halloween activities all together. I try to let them participate, without really ‘celebrating’ the Holiday. I focus on the fall, pumpkin aspects, we hang out at church functions instead of Trick-or-Treating, and I urge my kids to stay away from anything creepy or scary, that is intended to put a spirit of fear in us, because (among many other Biblical reasons their 6 year old brains don’t understand) God does not want our little hearts to be full of fear. I usually trade in their creepy party favors for generic party favors from the dollar store, and I will always monitor their costume choices strictly.

But I’m not here to urge you to sway one way or another. I’m not writing to convict you on whether or not you should celebrate Halloween, or if you should just innocently celebrate Fall, or if you should just turn your lights off and not celebrate at all…or maybe leave your lights on, and pass out Smarties with a note that says “Smarties know that God loves them!” and hand them a church flier (food for thought!). I’m here to do the exact opposite, actually. I am here to do what God came to do- extend my fellow mom-sista’s some Grace.

The Bible is very clear on some things, and very un-clear on others. I for one, tend to think God left some secondary issues to be decided, so that we could practice patience and kindness and Grace with one another as we waded through this mess of a world, leaning on our own personal convictions and relationship with God. And your relationship is different than my relationship. And you know what? As Romans 14 states, your (secondary) convictions may even be different than my (secondary) convictions….
“ Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

So, other than what is black and white in the Bible, I am not going to tell you what is sin and what is not. I will tell you, however, one thing I know for sure is a sin… if God convicts you to do or not do something, and you ignore his prompting. And judging others, God is pretty clear about that in the Bible too. There is a way to lovingly express your views and opinions to other Christians if you have an accountability relationship… but that is done in “as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thess. 2:11-12.

So this Halloween, let’s stop arguing about what we think Jesus would do, and let’s start doing what we know he did. He loved, he accepted, he forgave, and he served. And his Grace is sufficient to fill in all the gaps.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Have a 'God' Day!

Look at me, I am blogging again and that can only mean one thing- school is back in session! Over half my kids are back in full day school, and I have a little bit more breathing room again (until 3:20pm that is, then things go nuts around here!). Now that we are finally back in the full swing of all things school around here, I thought it appropraite to write a back-to-school blog.

Every Monday, I try to anoint my 1st grade foreheads with anointing oil for the week. They think it's silly and it smells funny, but they usually remind me if I forget...planting seeds. I try to pray everyday at the breakfast table, or in the car on the way to school. They usually wiggle and keep their eyes open, and pretend to not be listening, but they usually remind me to pray if I forget...planting seeds. And the last thing I say to my kids, as I drop them off at those big, heavy, metal double doors that lead into their day is "have a GOD day!" They may not quite understand how to make that happen, but they hear their mama explain it to them constantly...planting seeds.

Some may wonder why I don't cheerfully wave and say "Have a good day, honey!" But really, they can't control how their day goes. There are 101 outside environemental forces that can affect whether or not they have a good day. They could trip over a shoe lace and skin their knee, forget their sack lunch on soft taco day, get made fun of on the playground, leave their library book in the car and have to come home and do homework. I am fully aware as I drop them off at school everyday that they could be facing a stinky-rotten-no-good-day ahead of them. But I want them to know, that no matter what happens, they can still have a God day. I want them to focus on pleasing God rather than pleasing their flesh. And I want them to know that God is with them even when things are bad (and they will get bad!). I want them to understand that life won't always be good; but their days can always be God's. I want them to understand that instead of reacting to what is going on around them, they have the choice to respond in a Godly manner. To take their moment-by-moment emotions to God, and learn how to replace those with the peace that passes all understanding. To seek God in all circumstances, even the bad ones. I want them to understand that we have no promise of an easy life, but we do have a promise that God will ALWAYS be with us.

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze
Isiah 43:2

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Amazing Grace

God gave me just a little more insight and understanding of His GRACE this week, and I have noticed a lot of other mothers beating themselves up latey, so I thought it timely to share…

I attend a women’s prayer meeting on Monday nights, and this past Monday, after spewing out my long list of failures that had occurred in a mere 24 hours, I packed my junk up, hit my knees, and gave it to God in prayer. As I sat there asking for forgiveness I realized a lot of these things were issues I had been tripping over my entire Christian walk. Same stuff, different day. While I had come so far in who I was as a Christian, wife, and mother, I clearly had so much left undone. God, you really have your work cut out for you here.

I sat there and became so disappointed in myself for stumbling again. I was tired of failing God, and I was certain that God was tired of being failed-tired of forgiving me once again. I was literally trying to talk God out of loving me, trying to explain to him that I was a lost cause. I wondered if it was time for me to just give up once and for all…

In that moment God poured an overwhelming realization of how much He loves me. And I, in my flaws, failures, and flesh, felt so completely loved by God. Yet so completely unworthy of his love and his patience that I came undone. Tears streamed down my face as I tried to understand why God would not only forgive me once again, but love me this much. And then use me, despite all of my failures.

And while God doesn’t intend for us to fully comprehend his ways, he answered my questions with on simply marvelous word: “GRACE”.

I wanted to beat myself up for not being strong enough to overcome my sins once and for all, but I realized that even when I don’t feel as though God’s strength is working to perfect my shortcomings, I can be sure that his Grace is at work to forgive them. His Grace is working. It always works, and His Grace is enough. And that is how we are made strong through our weakness. If I were perfect I would have no need for his Grace- I would have no need for Him, and his Grace is one of the best things about Him. While it is not my desire to purposefully go out and sin against the God who loves me; at times my temper will get the best of me, my attitude will need adjusting, or my flesh will cave to temptations and I will find myself face flat in failures asking God to continue his good work in me, forgive me of my sins and make me a little more like him today than I was yesterday. And the God of Grace will, without fail, look upon my heart that is broken from my failures and be glad for another opportunity to pour is Grace out on me.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fight Like a (Jesus) Girl!

I was asked to give the devotion at our Mother's Day brunch this past weekend... I wanted to share what I feel like the Lord lead me to speak on, as it has been a theme in my life recently. I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me!

First off, I would like to say (for those of you who might be speculating)… that I am FULLY aware that I was not asked to do this because I am the best mother in the room. I’m not even up here because I’m one of the best moms in this room. So you can relax, I’m not going to feed you lots of parenting advice. But if any of you have any-see me after, I could most definitely use some!
No, it is most definitely not because I have mastered the art of motherhood- far from it. In fact, I think the reason I am up here is because I am so bad at it. I’m bad at everything really- just ask God. I am so awful (in and of myself) that someone had to die for me to be looked up on as having anything good in me at all. His name was Jesus. And I love that man with every fiber of my being. And I fail him often. And I admit those failures; in my mother hood and in my life. And where I am weak I am finding that God is made stronger; a little stronger every day. And he is so awesome in my life that I can’t help but testify about it. That is why I am up here.
Mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunts… I want to share with you something that God has shown me over and over and over again in the past few weeks: we gotta fight like a girl, like Jesus girls. God’s word tells you that He has a plan for your life; He has a peace, and a joy and a hope that goes beyond anything we can imagine. But if you believe in a very REAL God then you also must believe in a very real devil. And ladies; he is real. He is persistent and sneaky and always near. He desires to keep us under his thumb- paralyzed in our defeat and unable to do anything of value for the Kingdom of God. We must fight like Jesus Girls against the devil. Ephesians 6 tells us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age.
You see, we aren’t fighting against people (did you hear me on that? We are not fighting against people- so you can stop your arguing and your emotional battles and attacks against others) we are fighting against sin in and around our life. More often than not we are fighting the way those things around use have the ability to make us feel different from the way God intended us to feel . Fearful, anxious, angry, stressed, defeated… without Joy.
When I agreed to speak I did so having an old post from my blog in mind, but praying that God would give me a new word. What he did was give me a day- a very bad day. Not that my circumstances were bad, but whether our bad attitudes are caused by environmental or hormonal factors ( and I have been breastfeeding and pregnant for the past 3.5 years, I KNOW what hormones are ladies!) …the remedy is the same, and his name is Jesus! I was fighting for my joy that day. Literally, I ended up fighting with the devil for my joy, because I felt overwhelmed and stressed and mad, and sorry for myself- and I knew from God’s word that is NOT how a Jesus girl is supposed to feel. The devil was feeding me a bunch of lies, and lies can only be fought with Truth (God’s Truth), so I fought back.
My home is set up so you can walk a full circle from entry way, living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, and back to the entry way again. And walk circles I did… yelling at the devil the entire time (yes, I am aware that makes me sound crazy- but after 5 kids I am already past that!). While that sounds odd to some of you, but we just finished a Bible study by Beth Moore where we acknowledged and practiced that there is power and authority in our SPOKEN words, more so than your silent ones (because, among many other reasons, the devil can hear what you say- but he can’t read your mind). And you know what? It worked. I hashed it out with the devil and won! He was lying to me. I spoke with authority boldly declaring that You, devil had NO PLACE HERE. God’s Word told me that as his precious daughter I was to be filled with his joy… and whether or not I ‘felt’ it at the moment, it was in me and has been since the day I gave my heart to Jesus. That is His truth for my life, and no lie of defeat and weakness could change that. It didn’t take long before my mind came to terms with the spirit within me, and I was able to walk in my Joy.
Besides acting like a crazy woman and literally speaking ‘fighting words’ to the devil, how else do you fight for your joy? There is a more ‘proper’ way to fight…but you still gotta fight. Ephesians 6 goes on to tell us that some of the weapons we fight with are the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit (which is the Word of God) and that we are to be praying always...I’m going to submit to you that the more time you spend in God’s Word and in fellowship (prayer) with God, the more joyful you will be. But trust me, as a working mother of 5 little ones with a busy, busy schedule- you also gotta fight for your prayer time.

I remember when I first entered Christianity as a mother and my sister and I were certain, just certain that there was a clause somewhere in the Bible strictly for mothers, something that waived us of needing to spend time studying, praying, and serving God. There is, after all, unending dishes, laundry, messes, meals to cook, sleepless nights, work and commitments… we are needed and stretched and demanded in every different direction as mothers- surely God would understand if he would take a back seat to ‘life’. And while God longs for you to spend time with him, to some extend he does understand when we have nothing left to give him but the crumbs of our time… he does. Let me explain: I am reminded of the story of the widow in Mark 12: 41-44 Jesus watched as wealthy people tossed lots of money into the offering plate. A long came a poor widow, with nothing but two cents to give, and Jesus called to his disciples and said: “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
My point is, that Jesus longs for a deep, intimate relationship with you- and this ONLY comes by stopping and giving God the time he deserves. You aren’t going to grow in your walk with God if you aren’t giving him this time either, and you should be in the habit of regularly giving time to God. But sometimes life gets in the way; kids get sick, sleep gets lost, plans get ruined, and you find yourself with nothing to give God but the crumbs of a day gone all wrong. But just like the widow who had so little to give, it blesses God when you; tired weary worn out momma, sacrifice what little time (or sleep) you have to spend a little with him, even more so than someone who can gives Jesus their time out of an abundance. My heart aches when I come to the lord in that way begging him to“bless these measly crumbs of my time- but oh, how I long to give you more!” And I’m so thankful he will take and use whatever we are able to give Him!
Now please hear me on this; this is NOT a cop-out for mothers to spend less time in prayer… God sees your heart and if it longs to fellowship with him or not. He knows why and how often you are shuffling him aside out of pure laziness or being spread too thin. Can I just say that if we are to lay our life down for Christ…sometimes as a mother, sometimes laying your life down for Christ means letting the laundry go, the dishes go, the messes go, the Pinterest projects go, so you can STOP and pray, and read God’s Word and serve others. Sometimes you have to honor God by stopping the chaos and running to Him. Let go of what the world expects of you (or of what you expect of yourself) to give God of your time, for without it all else will fail anyways. Now that, is how you fight like a Jesus girl for your prayer time.
Fight for your joy, fight for your prayer time, and last but not least, I want to encourage you to fight for your family. You must fight for your marriage. Fight for your children. Fight for your brothers and sisters in Christ and those lost loved ones. How do you do this?
Mainly, you spend time in prayer (again, you gotta fight for that time to fight for your family!). If we truly believed how powerful our prayer is, we would spend more time in prayer begging God to protect our family, to save souls of loved ones, and to meet the needs of those we love. When we see others around us living in defeat who have lost the ‘fight’ in them, the most powerful thing we can do is to put on our boxing gloves and fight for them with our prayers. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. We are either in a season to desperately need prayer from others, or we are in a season to be praying someone OUT of that season of desperation. You cannot claim to in neither.
You must also fight for your family by guarding your family. Guard your marriage; don’t think you are immune to worldy influences and sin in your marriage just because you married a Christian…if you married a human- you are not. Don’t ignore or neglect your spouse simply because he doesn’t ‘need’ you in the same way everyone else around you needs you. Take the time and energy to invest in your marriage (I’m not going to go into ways that you can ‘invest’ in your marriage, but as a business major I can assure you that ‘investing’ in your marriage is the most fun kind of investing you can do!) And pray for each other, pray that God will keep your hearts soft for one another, pray that he will guard your eyes and hearts and keep them pure for one another. Fighting for your marriage may mean that you keep your mouth shut at times, or it may mean that you fill your man with encouraging words rather than criticism. Fighting for your marriage means keeping Christ in the center of your marriage; and this does not necessarily mean that it is a mutual agreement between both husband and wife. Keeping Christ in the center of your marriage is a personal decision to act Godly in your marriage, even if your spouse does not. Use your shield of faith to believe that God can and will deliver on that obedience 1 Corinthians 7:16 from the NLT says : Don't you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? Be a testimony of God’s love to your spouse.
And lastly, fight for your children. When they are little this may mean that you guard them from the world. I have tried to instill in my children at their young age that they simply aren’t going to get to do all the things their friends get to do. I tell them that you, my children, are different; you have a calling from Jesus to be holy and set-apart and that means you might feel different from your friends or feel left out. The sooner they learn this, the better. I honestly can’t tell you what it might look like to fight for your teens… because I’m not there yet. But I imagine it means guarding them and shielding them from the rest of the world too. It’s hard as the mother to follow your convictions on this. It makes you look crazy and over bearing to other parents, and it’s not always fun to deal with disappointed kids, but battles aren’t mean to be fun, they are meant to be won.
I also know that fighting for our children means you set a Godly example of fighting for your own faith, and openly and constantly talking and expressing God’s love and work in your life. Lead by example, showing them your heart and letting them be active in your walk with God until they are mature enough to have their own. And don’t give up. As Christians we have things in the Bible that we can claim as truth; God longs that non should perish… so we know that he desires to see our children and our families healed and saved. So persevere, keep praying and fighting- you may not see the fruit of your fight in your life time but what God has started he has promised to finish!

I would like to close with a verse I saw just as I finished writing this devotion. It reads: Praise be to the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1. Sisters, he has given us the tools for victory, but sometimes we don’t’ have the victory because we aren’t willing to fight the battle. Be willing to FIGHT, like a JESUS GIRL!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Scotch Guarded by Grace

Moms know a lot about stains. And spills. And tears. And dirt. But so does God. Before I was a 'Jesus Girl' God saw me as someone wearing dirty ol' rags covered with stains and tears and dirt; it was as if I was trying my hardest to look dressed up for the world but I didn't even own anything other than torn, stained, & painted on play clothes. I was filthy. And then one day for some reason he reached down his big ol'arm from Heaven and offered to take my tattered, worn down rags and exchange them for brand-spanking-first-day-of school-type stark white clothes. My Daddy bought me a brand new outfit; paid for in full by his very own son, Jesus. And the beauty of it was I hadn't done anything to earn it! How awesome is that: I didn't have to do anything but recieve these beautiful new washed-white as snow clothes! Now come on thrify moms, THAT is a bargain!

For many of you, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. Anyone that has come to accept Jesus as their savior knows that his blood has washed away all our sins, he has made us white as snow. But recently God gave me a revelation; he didn't just wash away my sins and make me white as snow, he scotch-guarded me! Okay, now I know that sounds corny, but stick with me here. I think sometimes Christians think that every time we sin, the same thing happens to our snow-white robe that happened to our once cream carpeting that was beautiful and spotless b.k. (before kids); it starts looking dingy to God. He must look on us as 'less' now, we have failed. We are no longer worthy, and it's even worse to sin after salvation because we know better. But that is wrong. God's word tells us that there is NOTHING we can do to un-do what the cross did for us. There is nothing that can make God see us as anything other than his beautiful, precious, white-as snow child. My salvation is scotch-guarded by Grace.

Now please hear me on this, and hear me loud and clear. If you had saved for months and finally gotten rid of your hand-me-down plaid sofa and bought yourself a beautiful new white couch, you would do everything in your power to keep it clean. Even if you had it scotch-gaurded against spills, I would bet that you wouldn't offer your 2 year old a glass of grape juice on that couch. No, you know how much that couch cost, and you know it's not worth the risk. The same is true with us; if you really and truley know and appreciate the cost that Jesus paid for your stark-white robe, you would do anything in your power to keep it clean; anything in your power to keep yourself from intentionally sinning. But we are human; we sin. We make mistakes, we say things we shouldn't say, lose our temper, and think thoughts that we hope nobody will ever know. Unintentional spur-of the moment, my flesh got the better of me type sin. And that's where his Scotch-Guard comes in handy. That's where we find our freedom in Christ, where Grace abounds.