Frustration against other Christians.

The title of this blog may already sound self-righteous to some and maybe to an extent there is a hint of some self-righteousness, but let me explain my heart. When I get mad at other Christians who knowingly and willingly and carelessly give into sin and act like it’s “no big deal”, that concerns me. Yes, let’s examine the plank in my eye. I know I have sin and my sin is a constant battle, but it bothers me. It saddens my heart to know how sinful I am and when I learn from my mistakes… I make them again. I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite right now because like I said, my heart is not there and I’m not judging these other Christians… but my heart breaks for them. 

My favorite verse of all time is James 1:22-25Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

We remember that we’re Christians at church on Sundays, at Bible studies throughout the week, around Christian friends, or even family members. That light switch can be easily be turned off when we fit God in a box and only use Him as needed, especially in certain crisis’. Our faith needs to speak for itself… James 2:14-18 says “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

It goes back to the James 1 Scripture I gave, we deceive ourselves so easily. Sadly, I don’t think some Christians realize they are being deceived and that this deception comes from Satan. The fact they have no clue either shows a hardened heart or they’ve given into the lie that God is satisfied with their sin, therefore abusing His grace. Satan likes it when we pat ourselves on the back after feeling convicted at church, but where’s the action accompanied by that conviction? 

Sin always comes back as a reflection of a SELFISH heart. We act like we’red owed something when in fact we’re owed NOTHING. God doesn’t need to give or do anything for you. Pardon my language, but if you’re a little butt-hurt because something doesn’t go your way… get over yourself. God is working at something deeper in your heart and life and if you can’t face that, you need to realize you are better with God than without Him. We act like such babies sometimes. 

I just needed to vent because a simple Facebook status would not suffice… plus I feel that here I have a larger audience who cares for my opinion on these things. Am I the only one who gets frustrated at this stuff? Let me reiterate the fact I know I am just as messed up, we all need accountability. I’m not saying I’m a better person or Christian because my works mean nothing to Jesus – He paid it all on the cross and I cannot add to that or earn it. 

Christians who can’t be bothered.

There are seasons for everything and apparently in this season of my life, I’m not meant to have any actual friends. I won’t mention any names here, but I just had a girl who I tried to disciple and be friends with, delete me recently. I was like “Wha…?” I didn’t do anything and besides being confused, I was a bit p’d off. People have seriously taught me one important lesson and that’s that they come and go. Being now 24-years-old and married, friends are hard to come by these days. My interaction with people is rare unless someone new comes to church. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for a quantity of friends, just quality ones, but right now I have 0 friends I hang out with. The few people I actually get along with live out-of-state, so it’s not like I  can hang out with them. I do my fair share of asking people “Want to go do this?!” and that’s when I start getting excuses or flat-out ignored.

I’m just wondering when did Christians or supposed ‘Christians’ start closing themselves off and decided their ‘comfort zone’ was their best place to stay? What makes me mad is people who find a group of friends they grow comfortable with and then ignore the world around them. I’ve seen this in churches and it’s not cute and definitely not Christ-like. Churches are either divided or they don’t make contact with the other members. If I sound cynical, it’s because I am. I realize I need to get off my high-horse because I have sin too… but if we’re doing something that completely negates the Gospel, like not practicing discipleship… what are we doing with our Christian lives?!

Complacency is not something that the Lord honors. You can pat yourself on the back all day long about how much you’ve grown in the Lord, but if you’re not actually passing that onto other people and LOVING them… then you might be that noisy gong the Bible speaks of in 1 Corinthians 13:1 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (NIV)

Like I was telling my sister tonight, some people’s sin annoys me. The church should be about unity, breaking bread. I could easily blame the world and say “Oh technology makes things less personal and people are more closed-off because of it…” But sin takes a deeper root, it’s in the hearts. Technology is just a distraction or wall built up to be passive about our sin. Seriously, when is the last time you looked at your heart? Or are you too busy checking Facebook to know?

 

Stress and trusting in God.

Pray More

I talked to my sister not long ago about this and how we say we have faith, but our attitudes express otherwise. You can pray every day, read your Bible, and say “Yes Jesus, I trust Your will for my life!” but then when you come back to reality you start snapping at people. Whenever I start being mean and having an ‘attitude’ it’s because I’m stressed out and worried about a million things. It’s like being in a constant state of being ‘unnerved’. At this point of my mindset, my faith is circumstantial because if something rubs me the wrong way I’m going to fly off my wagon (whatever that means LOL! – I was born in a country household).

I will admit I can be a bit OCD about things, if even one or two things are out-of-place in the house, I need to clean them, right then, right now. The same thing applies when I have a to-do list. In the next few weeks I have so much stuff going on and all I can think of “Is everything going to be okay?” I get anxious about it. I think where I’m trying to get healthy, now adding a bunch of dental work on top of that, and now doing a million things at my church, I feel overwhelmed. If I’m being honest, my stress, although it’s a sin in and of itself, turns into an even bigger sin. I start nitpicking at things and I’m not content. I have to constantly apologize for things, just ask my husband and he will tell you. I don’t like being like that and I don’t know about you, but I feel alone when things start piling up. That I need to ‘carry this burden’. I can’t expect anyone else to help. I’m so quick to do my freak out dance that I forget I have God who helps me carry those burdens. I’m not meant to do it on my own. I also need to realize that I need to go to my husband more often because when I told him the things laying on my heart yesterday I just wept on his shoulder. He reassured me everything was going to be okay and I believed him. God’s Word reassures us that everything is going to be okay too and we need to believe that as well. We need to take God’s Word for face value.

No wonder some of us have anxiety, we try handling things that are out of our control. I caught myself yesterday just needing to take a break and breathe. I could feel my chest getting tightened up it was that bad. I wonder how many times I’m going to have to learn this lesson from God. Trust me girlfriend or you guys out there, when you think you’ve got your walk with God under control and you have it down to a T, you don’t. Our faith can be shaken, but let’s not be moved. At the end of the day, all we have is the Savior. When everything falls apart, when everyone fails you, God will still be on His throne in His perfect righteousness. We have to stop looking down and at our situations and look up – our hope should be in heaven. If you feel like you’re playing ‘catch up’ in life, you’re not the only one. I’m there too and I feel like I’m always behind in this world that is always moving forward.

It just dawned on me now that when I had told my sister I had been stressing, she reminded me my worth was in Christ. I thought to myself at the time… “Okay, well what does that have to do with stress?” It has everything to do with it, because the things we stress out about is the things we usually find our worth or value in. We find success in these things going well, whether it’s a relationship or job, we worry about the status – where is it going? We go back to being circumstantial. If you lose your job, if they cut your hours back, if your relationship is failing, if you have no friends, if you don’t know what you want to do with your life, it’s okay. You know why? Because our worth isn’t in those things. Those things change. I’m preaching to myself here and I’m crying as I type this because I always need to be reminded of these truths.

If you need prayer for anything, please comment below. I will leave this blog with a prayer that whoever reads this will find hope again if that’s what you needed today. May God bless you for His glory and remember to trust in Him.

Learning to be content while single

falone

I feel like I could go on and on about this topic because people between the ages of 16-30 think if they’re not in a serious relationship or married in their early years, they’re going to die alone. I get that people experience loneliness, trust me, I’ve been there. However, if you’ve been single for a certain period of time, instead of complaining, learn to be content in this season of your life. There’s a time and place for everything and nothing ever seems to satisfy us unless we “have it now!”.

Especially speaking to my Christians out there, why do you ignore the promises of God in Philippians 4:12-13, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” And what about Philippians 2:14 “Do all things without complaining…”? The best thing about our relationship with God is leaning on His strength and His Spirit to live the life we could not live in our own efforts. Our flesh constantly opposes the things of God, we seek to live for ourselves. We lean on our understanding of things when yet again Scripture says… Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Don’t trust your heart (because it’s your flesh) and don’t trust your circumstances (because they constantly change), trust in God.

It makes sense that if you were in need and someone offered you help, you would take it right? If you sat there crying and complaining the entire time and ignored that help, of course you’re going to feel miserable. In fact, you look flat-out silly. God offers us help, but if we reject that then we won’t experience that contentment His Spirit has to offer. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” – Galatians 5:22. If we pray and we ask in faith for peace and patience, do you not think God will give it to you? Galatians 2:20 says we’ve been crucified with Christ and it’s His Spirit that lives in us. We have the Holy Spirit. Do you realize the implications of what that means? Seriously, take a minute to fathom the fact that God chooses to dwell in you as His holy temple. We miss so many opportunities in life to grow and gain wisdom because we grumble through our storms until things get better and we’re ‘happy’ again.

Do you realize what that’s saying about us? About you? That your happiness is circumstantial. “I’ll be happy if I have…. this!” What about when you have that first argument? What about when that person lets you down? Your walk with God should be your strong foundation for everything, even down to the worry you have in an actual relationship wondering if he/she is cheating on you or lusting after others. I was reading in the book of John today and Jesus was telling the Pharisees that He had the power to lay down His own life and take it up again. If our God can conquer death, why do we doubt that He can give us joy? Why do we doubt that He won’t provide for us? Maybe your faith needs some growing. Maybe you need to be reminded how powerful our God is because the last time I checked, He can do anything. Don’t limit God to earthly things.

Pray for contentment. Pray to have a bigger faith. Be honest with God. You can’t expect the desire to come upon you one morning, we need to be intentional about our walk with God.

Losing weight.

Strong

Before I start explaining myself, I’ll just re-post my Facebook status from this morning: “I’m not in any way bragging on myself, but my thyroid condition caused me to gain 30 lbs in like 2 years. Since being on medication last year I had dropped 10lbs, since I got my blood tests back I’ve been eating healthier and with some light walking, I’m 8 ounces a way from losing another 10 and its only been 2 months. So as of last year I’ve lost 20lbs. It may not seem like a lot to some people, but it means a lot to me. I’m doing it the slow healthy way, trying to make a lifestyle change and not “diet”. I want this to last and to most importantly make me healthier. I could care less about being skinny, I’ve got a wonderful husband who loves me and The Lord who thinks I’m beautiful no matter what. My worth is not in numbers on a scale or what my pants size is. Praying for humbleness ❤ . Thank you God!!”

If you’ve ever struggled with weight, whether it’s due to a health issue or that’s just always how it’s always been for you, I’ve been on both sides. I grew up always struggling with my weight until I got into high school, then I lost it all. I was by no means “skinny” but I was at my smallest weight and being 5’10 tall helped too. I considered myself average, but my teenage insecure self would pick apart her looks. I look back now and wonder why I was never content with myself. Maybe it’s because when you’re in high school you’re constantly around girls to compare yourself to. Now that I’m married and have the Lord, I loved myself more than ever even at my highest weight. I was content for the most part, that was until it effected my health. Thyroids can already work a wonder on your health, but the weight it brought with it didn’t help either. Two months ago after I got my test results back from my blood work I had that harsh realization that something needed to change.

Losing weight is not just a physical thing, but a mental one as well. It’s not easy. Quite frankly it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do because I’m having to reprogram my mind to know what’s a healthy portion. I’ve lost almost 10 lbs on my own besides what the medication has already helped with, but I still have a long way to go. I told myself when I lose 25lbs I’m going to purchase my first Coach purse. Then after I lose another 25 I want to get all new clothes and hopefully plan to have children. It’s going to be a process, I didn’t put on the weight overnight and it won’t go away overnight either.

Some of the things I’ve done so far to lose weight:

– Drink only water (it was hard at first but now the desire to have other things is gone)

– If I have a craving, then I’ll eat it or drink it. My doctor said the worst thing you can do is deprive yourself because you’ll resent eating better.

– Walk at least 1-3 days a week for 25 minutes to 30 minutes

– Eating Cheerios for breakfast (the multi-grain is my favorite)

– Eating only whole-wheat or multi-grain bread

– Staying away from fried foods (esp. french fries, fried chicken)

– Trying to not eat things with more than 30% fat calories

– Actually portioning my food

– Eating more fruits and vegetables, especially at buffets

– Take vitamins (which we should all do because in all of our diets, we’re not getting enough vitamins like we should be)

^^ Every little bit helps. I’m sure I’ll be adding to the list over time, I still haven’t given up my mayonnaise lol. That will be a hard one, I’ve tried the reduced fat and it’s sickening to me. Either way, you don’t have to deprive yourself to be healthier. If you put your mind to something and pray about it, you can do it. I definitely give glory to God because I couldn’t do this in my own strength. So thank you Lord!

Things I’m loving as of lately: Beauty Products

Products I'm loving

Here lately I haven’t been buying a whole lot of makeup just because I’ve obtained so much and I actually like a lot of the things I have in my ‘makeup routine’. I know for some girls and even women, the drugstore or your Sephora can be over-whelming. It’s like “Where do I begin!?” Hopefully some of my favorites will inspire you to check some of these products out. I will list the price of everything below and where you can get it.

photo 1

What? Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

Cost: $2.99 – $5.00 (Depends where you get it)

Where Can I get it? Drugstore Online, Walgreens, Dollar General, Amazon

I like to use this masque about every two weeks to really cleanse my pores. Masques like this usually break my face out, but this one has been very kind to my skin so far. It’s a mint green clay that is supposed to clear your face of impurities, shrink enlarged pores, dry up acne pimples, and rinse away blackheads. When I first used this, the cooling effect of the clay felt like my face was burning and on fire — but in a good way haha. I find it to be refreshing now that I’m getting use to it. Prepare to look like SheHulk.

 

 

 

——————————————————————–

photo 2

What? EOS Lip Balm in Sweet Mint

Cost: $3.49

Where can I get it? Walmart, Target, Drugstores, Drugstore Online

I feel like I have this mint theme going on, but I seriously love this lip balm out of all of the flavors EOS has. These balms are 100% natural, 95% organic, and they have shea butter and vitamin E. This has a light-weight formula and the taste is very pleasant, it’s just a tad sweet but nothing overwhelming. I find sweet mint to be very moisturizing and it makes my lips feel so soft. Every since I’ve been using this, I haven’t had to scrub my lips as often with those ‘sugar scrubs’. I have a blog on that by the way if you’d like to check it out. Just click here!!!

 

 

 

——————————————————————-

photo 3

What? Benefit Erase Paste in Medium

Cost? $26.00

Where do I get it? Sephora, Ulta, Amazon

The flash isn’t doing my pictures much justice, but this is an extremely peachy concealer that can cover dark circles like a dream. The dark circles underneath my eyes are hereditary and this stuff makes them vanish. This has a thick texture so you only need a little to get the job done. I like to pat it underneath my eye with my index or ring finger, then blend the rest of it out by stippling it with my foundation brush. This is on the pricey side, but so worth it! You get just a little over 4 grams of product.

TIP: If you can’t fathom spending that kind of money, Pixi makeup (which is sold at Target stores and online) has an eye brightening concealer in ‘brightening peach’ that is an exact dupe for the erase paste in the color light.

 

——————————————————————-

photo 4

What? Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

Cost: $6.99

Where can I get it? Walmart, Walgreens, Target, Cherry Culture

I love peach blushes, especially to blend in with my contour/bronzer. It makes your face look naturally flushed and glowy. If you’re scared of blush and you’re not one who thinks you can ‘pull it off’, seriously, purchase this as your first blush. It’s natural but very buildable. It has a satin finish meaning it has very finely milled shimmers in it, however it’s very subtle and it will not enlarge your pores like some sparkly blushes can do. It’s silky texture makes it easy to blend and work with.

 

 

——————————————————————

photo 5

What? Urban Decay Smoked Palette – Barlust

Cost: $49.00

Where can I get it? Sephora, Ulta, Urban Decay

Not all brown eye shadows are alike and this one is ahhhmazzzzzing! It has a slight purply-red undertone to it and I love it! It looks gorgeous especially on blue eyes because of the warm undertones in this color. If you have a Sephora or Ulta near by, go swatch this color in the store. Urban Decay is hands down my favorite eye shadows because they’re long-lasting, easy to blend, and extremely pigmented (meaning you do not need to dig your brushes in them). A little goes a long way and the price may take you back a bit, but trust me, you’re buying quality.

I hope you enjoyed this blog! If you have any questions please comment below :]!!

My thoughts as of lately.

God's grace

I’m sure everyone is getting tired of hearing about the Paula Deen situation, but it quite frankly stirs an anger in me because this world doesn’t know how to give grace. Despite where you lean on the situation, if you screwed up would you want people to forgive you? At the end of the day, people can kiss my b-u-t-t if they don’t like what I have to say. I don’t live my life to please anyone, nor do I need to explain myself, lime light or not. We’re accountable before God, not man. A big difference between man and God is that God can look at our deepest darkest more horrible sins and still forgive us. Man  on the other hand will knit-pick the heck out of the tiniest things and magnify them and hold them over our heads. Big difference. God>Man. Just saying.

Moving on… :).

On the bright side of things, I’ve been in my Bible again reading the book of John. I had to watch myself the other day because I tried to speed through my readings to make up for lost times. That’s a big no-no because after I read it I was like… “What did I just read…? O_o” If you’re just trying to read to cross it off your list, then your heart is in the wrong place. Soak it all in, even if that means only reading a little bit a day.

Well, I’m going to go relive my childhood through watching The Little Rascals on ABC Family :]. Have a blessed night everyone and don’t forget to tell people you love them.

– Ashley

Youtube.

Is it just me or is the YouTube beauty community getting a bit cliché? It seems like anyone with a camera has a beauty channel, granted the number of subscribers are different for each ‘guru’ or ‘beauty lover’. There’s so many opinions out there these days on products and it’s hard to limit it to whom you can trust.

Besides the fact that the guru community is overwhelming by its numbers, so is the fact that 99.9% are sponsored by companies. The sad thing is, most of the girls that have signed up in the last year to start making videos are only looking to get sponsored so they can get free products. Great motive isn’t it? Doesn’t hurt anyone right? Wrong! It hurts the people who watch you who are sincerely looking for beauty advice. They see how successful people can get and think they can do it too by saying “OH-EM-GEEEE” “I LOVE THIS BECAUSE IT’S JUST AWESOME”. (Ahahahaha) The quality of their videos will show for itself that they don’t have a clue, so it’s easy to dismiss their channel all together. On the other hand, there are some popular gurus out there that I’ve stopped watching – simply because they seem so full of it.

Does anyone else think that companies take advantage of these girls and the viewers? They know a majority of the viewers will believe what these girls say so they can sell their products. You can tell too when a company is sending their products out because the girls will all start talking about the company around the same time frame. Just a bit of advice, hold onto your money until the fame dies down. Products will get so much hype and then the true thoughts come out about them after they’ve actually used it for some time. Products will definitely work different from each person to the next, but still. Buying everything that’s new, shiny, sparkly will make you broke lol – PRIORITIES ladies!

If you’re having a hard time finding ladies or gentlemen you can trust, here are my top trustworthy beauty experts (no particular order):

1 – Kandee Johnson: http://www.youtube.com/user/kandeejohnson

Kandee has a bubbly and uplifting personality that will warm your heart. She always makes me smile because she’s always so positive and embraces unique things – whether it’s in a person or her style. She’s also a Christian who loves Jesus, so that makes her a billion times cool! hehe

2 – Marlena MakeupGeekTV: http://www.youtube.com/user/MakeupGeekTV

I can relate to Marlena in so many ways because most of her life she was a ‘bigger girl’. Even though that’s not a struggle for her anymore since she’s lost the weight, a girl’s heart never changes on how she looks at herself. She’s humble and an amazing makeup artist. She gives amazing directions on how to apply makeup. 

3 – Wayne gossmakeupartist: http://www.youtube.com/user/gossmakeupartist

Wayne is the most honest person I’ve seen on YouTube, he tells it like it is and I love it! He always makes me laugh when he posts videos about the truth of some products or companies. He is straight to the point and he simplifies makeup to where anyone can understand it and feel confident doing it. 

4 – Samantha Schuerman: http://www.youtube.com/user/samanthaschuerman

Samantha is extremely laid back, like the girl next door. What you see is what you get – she’s far from fake. I love her sense of humor because she’s so random. I can’t stand listening to most people ramble on, but I could listen to her for hours lol. I really wish her channel would get more recognition. She does the most amazing eye looks!

5 – Cora vintageortacky: http://www.youtube.com/user/vintageortacky

Cora knows how to rock out makeup, her looks are flawless! I love her edgy style and how she’s not afraid to wear pinks and purples in her hair – it’s who she is. She’s very easy to listen to and she gives great recommendations on products.

6 – Emily Beauty Broadcast: http://www.youtube.com/user/emilynoel83

Emily is by far the most professional guru out there. She can tell you about a product from top to bottom, the girl does her research and doesn’t leave any information out. Even though she has a lot of high-end makeup, she shows the same love to drugstore makeup so she really keeps it affordable for those who are on a budget. 

Misconceptions about Christianity.

BACKGROUND: After a series of nightmares and endless tossing and turning, I woke up this morning feeling like I had been hit by a train. I felt awful so I put the heating pad in the microwave, took 3 IB profen, and started to pick up around the house. That last part has to sound crazy to most people and it did for me too, at least this morning because I had the intentions of hugging the recliner while I wallowed in my pain. After picking up around the kitchen I turned on the television thinking “okay I’ve done some stuff, so I’ll sit down after I hear the microwave go off.” Yeah, about that… that didn’t happen either haha. I kept making my way around the house, slowly feeling the headache go away, and then heard the local news saying the Pope decided to resign.

If you’ve been in the faith long enough, one of the things that should have came into your mind is the book of Revelation/ End Times/ Rapture/ Anti-Christ/ False Prophet/ Prophecies. Whenever it comes to strong authorities or leadership in this world, I can’t help but believe those will be the people who will be responsible for helping God’s prophecies come alive. It usually only takes one topic as such to get this girl’s mind going. Shortly after I received a message from my sister asking me about the book I had been reading, Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples by Francis Chan, the wheels started to turn more. Everything in my thought process this morning kept going back to God. Inevitably I think about people who aren’t saved when I get on this one track mind.

I decided there was way too much on my mind this morning to make a Facebook status out of it, one that would probably get over looked any ways. At least my thoughts have a few cents more value on here. The reason I’m writing this blog…. *drum roll please*… if you read the title, yes, it’s about misconceptions about Christianity. Don’t ask me how I got there, I just did haha. When I come to to these random thought processes I honestly think it’s the Lord trying to get something across through me. You may beg to differ, but with God anything is possible.

The few misconceptions that stood out to me were:

1.) Jesus Christ – in the words of C.S. Lewis, He is either a “Liar, lunatic, or Lord.”
I don’t think there are enough people in this world who take the time to actually ponder about who Jesus is. Most people lean on the thought that he was a good prophet. When people say this, it leads me to think they have never read the actual Word of God – The Holy Bible – KJV  (Kings James Version) – NKJV (New King James Version) – ESV (English Standard Version) – NIV (New International Version). John 14:6 says that Jesus is the ONLY way to God. He died a criminals death on a cross to take the burden of our sins – to make us acceptable before God. Can someone really say a good prophet would do this? A liar? A lunatic? Christ did not die in vain. He took the punishment we deserve and He is currently sitting at the right throne of God in heaven, He is a Sovereign God who deserves our never-ending praise and devotion. That is who Jesus Christ is.

2.) Grace – the definition or what comes to mind when you hear this word. 

Before being saved, when someone said the word ‘grace’ it made me think of people who dance ballet ‘with grace’. Something peaceful, serene, slow, light handed. Dictionary.com even defines this term first as…

  •  grace [greys]  noun, verb, graced, grac·ing. noun “elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action: We watched her skate with effortless grace across the ice. Synonyms: attractiveness, charm, gracefulness, comeliness, ease. Antonyms: stiffness, ugliness, awkwardness, clumsiness; klutziness.”

Some people may even think of it as the thing you say before you eat dinner. However, the grace that God gives is free unmerited favor. Meaning it is a gift, not anything we can earn or deserve. It means we are forgiven because Christ has taken our place. The best example of grace is how we constantly spit in God’s face, but His grace makes Him long-suffering and ultimately puts up with us. Again, not because we deserve it… but because He is God. It’s non-existent in our society to give others grace because we’re more prone to be bitter, vengeful, unforgiving, hateful, etc.

3.) Sin – Don’t do this and don’t do that. Hello legalisticcc!

This is actually addressed in Scripture and it’s called hypocrisy. The biggest people back then to make up these lists of dos and don’t were called Pharisees. These people were super-religious and thought they were holier than thou. They did everything right in their eyes and even in the public eye. They would even go to lengths of making sure people knew they were fasting because their appearance would be dreadful (fasting would usually show on their faces). These exact same ‘religious’ people nailed Christ to the cross. They accused him of blaspheming God and summoning demons. Christianity is more than the 10 commandments, it’s about our hearts. Do we think we’re fooling God with our works? No, of course not. Some people think they can abuse the grace of God yet proclaim Him on Sundays and call themselves “Christian”. Sin is not just about doing bad things, it’s also about not doing good things. When we’re given wisdom by God, we’re even more accountable because we know better. Sin is a heart thing.
4.) Church – Money scandals and hypocrites?

I find it sad that a lot of people blame bad churches for being the reason why they don’t attend. You wouldn’t believe the excuses I’ve heard, especially when it comes to tithing. “Ohhh churches are just after my money.” I can see where a few bad news stories might make one apprehensive, but the real reason is that they just don’t want to go or they just don’t want to tithe. Churches aren’t just the building and they aren’t perfect. The church is the body of Christ and it’s made up of believers imperfect believers. Another excuse that people use is that people are hypocrites within the church. I’ve heard Matt Chandler preach on this and his response to that was “Yeah and you’re one of them.” We’ve got way too much time on our hands to be nit-picking the church. If you find yourself in drama at church, examine your heart. Have you been going for God or the social aspects of it? And if you care so much about what other people are saying, are you letting that outshine the truth of God’s Word? God’s opinion is the only one that matters. As believers we are to live above reproach. Humble ourselves. Forgive others always – no matter how bad. Rebuke in love. And pray about it.

This blog isn’t directed towards atheists, I’ve read way too many discussion boards from Ray Comfort’s blogs and posts to know they have “read the Bible front to back” “researched Science” or what have you. They think they have it all figured out and there’s no talking to them because any kind of truth you give them, they want proof. The fact is, one of us is right and one of us is wrong. We can’t both be right. I believe in the God of the Holy Bible. Please do not make excuses when it comes to God. We’re never promised tomorrow and that ‘proof’ you need will cost you your soul. I’d rather people not wait till judgment day to figure this out. If you have any questions or comments, please list that below and I will be glad to talk to you. God loves you my friend!!!

Your worth.

In a world flooded with advertisements, music, newspapers, television, movies, radio, what have you… we’re constantly being told what a person of any kind of worth looks like. Popularity, wealth, success, relationships, friendships, beauty – these are all things that define us by the world on the radar of worth. Striving to be all of these can wear a person out, not just physically but emotionally. Who can be all of these things or even one of them? What about times in our life where we have nothing going for us? What are we worth? When depression seeps in we either pull the trigger, develop an addiction to a drug, or become a hoarder.

You get my point. We run from our feelings by tapping into other things that consume our time. Why is it that we let things that CONSTANTLY change in our lives define who we are as a person? Or what about our happiness? Sounds circumstantial. You can only muster up ‘looking on the bright side of things’ for so long till you start to question things. For the woman who hasn’t found a man yet, will you be happy when you get married? What about when things start to suck and he disappoints you because he’s human? Someone might say that’s time for a divorce, but to me, that’s just another way of running from a problem that’s a lot deeper.

I love the fact that people are now standing up for their weaknesses and flaws. Examples: It’s okay to NOT be a size 2; having a disease doesn’t define one’s strength. Those are good things to realize and bring awareness to. But what about things that are not so good? I feel like people take this and go 10 steps deeper and start taking perversity and justifying it. Having an identity crisis means it’s okay for a man to start wearing women’s clothing. Maybe you don’t feel like anyone relates to you, so you marry a chicken. The Bible even talks about how we trade wisdom for foolishness.

Dude read Romans 1, it tells us how mankind became corrupted verse 1:25 says They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” This isn’t a gay bashing blog, it’s about a deeper problem. Our sin. Before I get too off track, the point I’m trying to make is that we take the weird or flawed things about ourselves and use them to boost our ego. We’re taking the lemons from this life and making lemonade. That can be a good thing but also deadly. You could either be sipping something sweet or poison. See we can either be self-centered morbidly or be arrogant and think the sun shines out of our butts. Either way we’re constantly putting the focus back on ourselves.

I love seeing the beauty in things and in people, but don’t be the type of person to worship it. True beauty comes from knowing who you are in the Creator. That your worth and foundation for happiness and purpose in this life is based on the cross where Jesus died. That’s where all of God’s wrath and love poured out all at the same time. Bottom line, this world brings attention to flaws and can either make you arrogant or completely insecure. When you get the focus off yourself and look at your flaws for what they are and your strengths… you see them in a different light. I see grace and an area to grow when God exposes my weaknesses to me. I don’t want to run from my problems anymore. I have a God that is willing to carry me through them. He knows we can’t do it on our own.

Don’t be so prideful to think that if God really loved you, He would accept the way you are and you wouldn’t have to change. Coming to Christ means denying yourself. People paint Christianity as God being okay with our sin, that He requires little or no committment from us, that God is only there to make us happy. If you read in the New Testament, Paul was constantly in prison. Are you telling me he missed the picture? Following Jesus is not easy, but best believe if He calls on your heart to come in a relationship, that you answer knowing it won’t be easy. I can’t see my life without Christ and the reward of knowing Him in those dark moments of my life make it worth it. I use to be alone in my troubles, but now that I’m saved I have a Savior who shares in my suffering and gives me strength to live for Him. You can’t abuse His grace, live how you want, repent, and have the cycle start over. What kind of relationship is that?

God is such a loving God, the verse on my phone the other day was Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you…”

Where has your focus been?