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. 

20 things you can do to add a little joy into your life.

dino This isn’t going to be my typical lengthy blog where I rant and rant… I feel like there’s so many bad days, bad things, bad people, bad pains, just flat out bad crap that can get to us. There’s little things that always make me feel good and make me realize life isn’t so bad (despite all the stuff going on). I’m going to list some things that make me happy, they’re simple, but effective. Feel free to comment below the things that make you happy. Hopefully some of these things will inspire you in some way.

1.) Getting a manicure or pedicure. Changing up the color of your polish can make a girl feel good. I love me some glitter!

2.) Shaving your legs, well shaving everything! lol Release the beast.

3.) Facial, exfoliate and wear a good clay mask that will shrink those pores (my favorite one is the Mint Julep by Queen Helene).

4.) Move around the furniture in your room or house. It makes the space feel new!

5.) Go through all of your clothes, even the undies and toss aside the things you don’t wear anymore. If it’s just sitting there, it can either be gifted or donated. Either way, it gives you an excuse to go out and buy more stuff right? lol

6.) Now go through all of your makeup. You probably have products that have been sitting around foreverrr and they need to be thrown away or re-gift them to a friend. Again, this will give you the excuse to buy more makeup.

7.) Listen to music that brings back memories, so for me that would be anything from middle school to high school. *currently listening to the Mandy Moore station on Pandora*

8.) Wash your makeup brushes. I don’t do this enough, but when I do, I feel so accomplished.

9.) Always try new body washes, I hate having to use the same products over and over again.  I need new because it’s exciting. Switch up the scents or brands. Same goes with perfume, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotion, body sprays, etc.

10.) A good chick flick. I typically don’t watch these kind of movies because it’s not my thing… but once in awhile when the husband is at work I’ll go in total girl mode and cry my eyes out to something or repeatedly shout “AWWWW!”

11.) Buy new bed sheets. You don’t need to redecorate your whole room, just a simple change of your comforter can set a different mood for your room.

12.) Re-purpose a piece of clothing, if there’s a shirt you don’t wear much, experiment and cut it into something new. YouTube has a ton of tutorials on transforming t-shirts.

13.) Don’t buy new purses, if you’re someone who keeps your old purses, recycle through them. They’ve always felt brand new to me when I re-worn them.

14.) Selfies. Yes, people bash the idea of them… but playing around your camera phone when you feel dolled up isn’t a bad thing. If it’s funny or cute, post it. Think of it as a mini photo-shoot.

15.) Get some sun. Lay out for 15 – 30 minutes with some SPF. I always feel thinner if I have a little color on my skin.

16.) Trim your hair or your bangs. Cutting off those dead ends makes your hair feel and look healthier.

17.) Light a candle.

18.) Wear a piece of jewelry you don’t normally wear. For me that would be a cute toe ring, they make me feel so decorated haha.

19.) Read a good book and finish it. All too often we start books and never finish them. Accomplishment is the best feeling ever and learning a thing or two never hurt either.

20.) And last but not least, my most favorite thing to unwind with and the most simple is… a nice hot shower. There’s nothing more relaxing than to feel clean and to smell good.

Not so bold and unashamed of the Gospel.

A lot of Christians, including myself, like to quote Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” We wholeheartedly believe this and this may be true for us to a certain extent, but we have to remember who these words were coming from at the time. Paul, the author of Romans and of many books in the Bible proclaimed the Gospel in a hostile time. To be baptized and to say Jesus was God was a one way ticket to prison or execution. Living in America we can’t quite grasp the severity of proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Savior because there is no persecution other than being told we’re bigoted and judgmental. Paul writes these words while he is in prison, believed to have been waist high in human waste. The state of his living was not good, but this man meant his words. He lived these words out, hence the horrible conditions he was in.

My pastor this morning emphasized the importance of the Gospel, the Word of God, it has power. It saves and changes lives and it is by hearing the Word that people open their eyes to the reality of their sin. Wearing crosses whether tattooed or by jewelry, going to church, or wearing t-shirts that say we “<3 God” doesn’t hold any power like the Word can. People need to hear the Word of God, Jesus was the Word and we think just by living for God that people can read us. Yes, we are a light separated from this dark world, but because we are the light we need to shine truth on God’s Word. People are in darkness and on their way to hell because we’re too afraid to speak up. We want the approval of man to the point we neglect Jesus’s lasts words and mission to go make more disciples. Will we offend people? Yes. Will we annoy them? Yes. Will we push certain people away from us? Yes. Could we lose our friends? Yes. The things that will happen to us on this earth don’t even compare to what these people will suffer for eternity – separation from God.

Francis Chan’s book Multiply touches base with the fact that Christians will walk away from church services with conviction and almost pat themselves on the back for feeling bad. It’s like that’s what we’re looking for, when we leave church are we moved with emotion? It seems like that’s our only goal. We should be moved to action, we should be out there getting our hands dirty. Satan has us where he wants us, complacent Christians who feel conviction, but do nothing about it. We’re not a threat to Satan. I don’t know about you, but when I get up in the morning I want Satan to be like “Oh no, there’s that woman of God!” I want him to feel threatened.

With my uncle being laid up in ICU after heart surgery, practically on his death bed, my dad has raised hands held high in prayer over my uncle. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but this was in front of working nurses, people who are trying to help on my uncle get back to health. I have been so moved by my father’s faith and him being unashamed in public prayer. I feel so ashamed of myself, Jesus is risen and I’m afraid to proclaim that to people? Do I read my Bible every day and pray? Yes. To the world’s standards my walk with God is good, but I know that is far from the truth. I need to trust in Jesus despite my circumstances and walk out in faith knowing that His Word, when preached, will not return void.

We all have seasons Jesus needs to walk us through and I’m not telling you to look for sin, but if you’ve been complacent… ask the Lord to challenge you and break you of the things you’re putting your trust in.

^^ Please take the time to watch this video by Kari Jobe called “Forever”. It is such a beautiful song! So much truth.

A good cry.

Never underestimate the power of a good cry. I don’t know about you, but if I’m having a bad day or a bad week I can sense an emotional breakdown rearing it’s ugly head. Don’t get me wrong… I think they have a beautiful ending of relief, it’s just intense. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. With sore eyes and a stuffy nose, I write this at 1 in the morning and just having had poured my heart out to God.

I don’t know where I would be without my faith in Jesus Christ. He is my rock and my shelter that I take refuge in. I get so upset about the things going on in my life (health wise) but I know deep down it’s all a part of His plan. A plan I have very little hope in seeing sometimes. His ways are not our ways. I don’t want to be so hung up on earthly things that I neglect the eternal and my mission while I’m here on this earth.

God knows the frailty of our human bodies and spirits, He gets it. He doesn’t want us to suck it up and suppress our feelings. “Oh I have Jesus so I should be happy no matter what!” I don’t think so. God is glorified when we give up our control, when we let our face get red and ugly from sobbing so many tears. I see opportunity in being broken, I see how God is using his chisel to chip back the pieces of myself that cling to things other than Him for comfort or for happiness.

Are you ashamed of the Gospel?

I’ve been praying for people’s salvation more than lately and asking God for wisdom in sharing Himself to others. As Christians we need to love others when sharing the Gospel, but we need to be honest in that love. If I’m beating around the bush about God and not being honest about hell, then I’m acting ashamed and afraid of their reaction. We can tell people that Jesus loves them night and day, but if we’re ignoring the reality of their sin and where it’s leading them… we’re only preaching prosperity Gospel. The realization that we sin and fall short of the glory of God should make us fall flat face to the ground in grief. It’s ONLY when knowing we’re a sinner that we need God’s grace. It’s not just accepting His love, it’s knowing you are eternally depraved yet unconditionally forgiven. 

We try saying we’re not ashamed of the Gospel, but aren’t we when we care more about other people’s opinions? People in this world are always first to preach their ‘passions’ and ‘beliefs’ on us, but Christians get put down for it and we’re not allowed to? We need to stop letting the World dictate who the church is and listen to what God says about His church. Amen?! I’m preaching to myself here.

“Be still and know that I am God…” – Psalm 46:10

 

Here lately my mind has just been bombarded with health issues and doctor appointments, but days like today make me feel renewed. I’m guilty for not never going outdoors much, but I’m taking advantage of the gazebo my dad just bought for the backyard and sitting under it most times doing nothing. Today I’m with my laptop while the wind tousles my bangs in front of my face trying to glare into the already hard-to-see-computer screen. It’s peaceful out here. Any time I look out into nature, the sky, trees, the sound of birds chirping… it just takes me back to an appreciation of God’s creation. He’s so big and so thoughtful about everything He created, everything has its own function in life. It’s the harmony of it all that makes it so beautiful. Our God is a God of details, this God knows the number of hairs on our head (even when it’s thinning). He tells the wind where to blow, isn’t that amazing? Nothing surprises God.

Sometimes we wonder how God can help our chaotic lives, but if He can keep the world in motion, I’m pretty sure He has us when the doctor tells us bad news or no news at all – meaning more doctor appointments and money if the pain is still there. 

I’m supposed to be getting ready right now because I have a long day ahead of me, but I just wanted to write this blog real quick to encourage people who never take quiet time to themselves. Be alone. Be quiet. Be still. Make time to pray and clear your head of the junk you’ve been thinking about all week. Don’t wait until you’ve had a nervous breakdown to be alone in your room crying with your face to the floor. Do we need those times? Yes, once in awhile, but if you find yourself doing it more often than not… Be still and know He is God :)!

On a lighter note, I want to share a picture that made me laugh today. I hope it makes you LOL too hehe… ❤

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Hey girl, there’s freedom in Christ.

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I thought I’d share my Facebook status with you this morning since it’s a bit lengthy and blog worthy haha… I hope this encourages someone today.

Sometimes being realistic about things makes you cynical. As a Christian woman I want to focus on the truth or ‘what’s really real’ because there’s a ‘justice’ there. While trying to look through this lens of ‘truth’ I tend to ignore the lens of grace, God’s grace. His grace is sufficient in ALL things and in ALL people.

I don’t even know if this makes any sense, but I woke up this morning with a hateful attitude and I didn’t feel like keeping that attitude with me all day… so I took time to pray. It’s SOOOO easy to stare at someone else’s sin and ignore our own. Judging people by our own scale of righteousness only condemns us, not them.

I think this post is more towards women this morning and me just wanting to encourage you that your opinions of something or someone is NOT worth it if it makes you a prisoner to being miserable. Before I was saved, if I got mad about something I took pride in being a B word. In fact, I’d call myself that quite often because I felt empowered not to deal with anyone’s crap. However… we’re kidding ourselves because the B word mentality is just us building up a wall to not get hurt by anyone in this world. The thing is we do care about things more than we’ll admit to. We have a lot of emotions and quite frankly don’t know the first thing about handling them. Whether you’re a Christian or not, I just want to remind you there is FREEDOM in Christ. He takes those thoughts we don’t know what to do with and renews them so we can see things from God’s perspective. When we look through the lenses of grace and love, we’re not defeated or weakened, we’re doing the hard thing that NO ONE wants to do.

Seriously, we’ve all been here and maybe some of us are here today.