“If I could tell ladies one thing…” Words from your brothers

Dear Sisters,

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Personally, I’m single and will be spending my Valentine’s Day wearing a red dress, gong to dinner and a movie with my fantastic girlfriends, and enjoying an excuse to wear red lipstick. While I don’t have a man in my life in a romantic way, I am blessed beyond belief to have a dad and brothers who treat me better than I deserve, love me unconditionally and are the best valentines a girl could ask for.

Instead of sharing my words today, I thought it would be encouraging to let you in on what your Christian brothers have to say to you. I received input from over 30 incredibly Godly men, ranging from older married men, engaged, dating and single. To say that I was blown away by these men is an understatement. I am truly honored to know these men and have them share their hearts. I presented the following question to the…

 

“If I could tell ladies one thing…”

 

Now I know that’s a general question, but I meant for it to be open-ended to allow the guys to have freedom in answering with whatever they felt most passionate about sharing with you.

Ladies are in for a treat! My prayer is that this serves as an encouragement to you. Remember, above all else, today and every day to meditate on the great love the Father has displayed by choosing you, sending His son to atone for your sins, and loving you with a steadfast love!

ladies Continue reading

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Hope Deferred…

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This week, millions of Americans will gather around the table, fill their bellies with way too much turkey and pie, then settle into an afternoon of enjoying one anther’s company, watching football and sneaking in a nap. I’ll be headed home to North Carolina the tomorrow and am fully planning on enjoying every moment with my family. As much as I treasure the holiday season, this specific week stings my heart. You see, it was this week almost four years ago that a major event happened in my life that changed my life. I remember every detail as if it were yesterday.

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The time a homeless man showed me Jesus!

The title of this post might seem paradoxical.

Shouldn’t I be the one showing Jesus to a homeless man? Isn’t that what I’m called to do?

 

Allow me to explain the exchange that happened last night. My heart was blessed and I want to share it with you, in hopes that it might encourage your walk with the Lord.

 

I was leaving the crisis pregnancy center where I have been training to be a counselor. (That is another story for another time, but let me just tell you, I don’t think I’ll ever leave that building with dry eyes.) My friend and I were taking the metro home, and as we were walking down, a homeless man asked us for some money in order to get a metro card.

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We stopped and chatted with him for a few minutes. He told us that he wanted to get to the local homeless shelter to get a bath and spend the night in a warm building instead of sleeping on the sidewalk in the freezing cold weather. I happily put some money on a metro card for him, and started to walk away. The man started talking about how he hoped the shelter still had some food left, because he was hungry. (At this point, it was about 10:00 pm, and highly unlikely that they would still be serving dinner.)

 

Let me pause in my story….

Ever since arriving in D.C., I have been struggling with how I should properly respond to the homeless. They are literally everywhere. I probably pass at least 8-10 between my office building and the metro station. It is literally impossible for me to help them all. I am a single woman supporting herself in a large city. I’ve gotten so overwhelmed, because I know that I can’t help them all. As a result, I haven’t done anything. A famous quote from the beloved Mother Teresa has been swirling around in my mind recently…..

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Resume story…

 

The Holy Spirit urged me to offer to buy him dinner. I asked if we could provide dinner for him, and he immediately answered a resounding, “yes”. My friend, and I headed up the escalator with our new friend. He told us that his name was Charles. On our way to get food, the conversation centered around him currently looking for a job. The conversation seemed to take a natural turn towards spiritual matters. I asked him very bluntly if he knew Christ as his personal savior. He immediately got a huge grin on his face and said, “Yes, yes I sure do”.

 

We stopped in a local pizza joint and he ordered himself a pizza. While we were waiting, he shared about his relationship with the Lord. The restaurant was empty except for the staff, and while we were talking, I noticed that the staff was intensely listening to our discussion.

Wow, this man knew his Bible inside out. He shared one spiritual truth after another. One thing that he spoke about was how we as Christians have a duty to show Christ to the world by our actions. Obviously, we are saved by faith alone, but how will the world know that we belong to God if we never show them HIS love.

 

One thing that Charles said that will stick with me for a long time is this:

 

“We can’t out give God!”

 

I’ve heard this cliche saying before, but coming from a homeless man, who told me how he has sought to give out of the little he has and how God has continued to bless him. Now that is powerful! You would expect a homeless man who literally has hardly any earthly possessions to hold onto what he has with clinched fists. Instead, this man has chosen to give thanks and see how God multiplies. He has chosen to trust God.

 

I don’t understand the circumstances that lead to homelessness. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even know why Charles was homeless. All I know is the Lord asked me to buy him dinner and have a conversation with him.

 

What resulted was Charles, my brother in the Lord encouraging my faith. He showed me Jesus. He reminded me that I can trust God with everything – my finances, my relationships, my job, my love life, my past, my future, my time, my resources, etc.

 

Don’t get me wrong, just because I give, doesn’t mean that God is going to immediately bless me with material resources. I am not an advocate of the prosperity gospel, in fact, I think that is heresy! What I am advocating for is the truth in these verses:

 

 

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,you did it to me.’” – Matthew 25:40

 

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6

 

My Jesus paid for my salvation in full on the cross of Calvary. He shed his innocent blood for the satisfaction of the wrath that I was deserving. Because I have been given everything, I want to seek to give everything. Who am I to be stingy with my time, talent or treasure.

 

Beloved, I urge you, slow down, take a few moments to notice those around you who might need someone to talk to, a hot meal, a word of encouragement, or most importantly, who need Jesus!

 

The fact is, you might be the only representation of Jesus that someone ever sees! How do we represent God if we brush people off, act like we are more important or can’t be bothered! No one is perfect, and we have grace to fail, however I desperately want to show Christ to a dying and hurting world!

Will you join me?

 

 

“A man there was, and they called him mad; the more he

gave, the more he had.”

– John Bunyan

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October Joy Project

Boy do I have a treat for you! I have been so excited to share a project that I’ve been doing this month with you. First, let me say that this idea is not original, several of my friends have done this, and I borrowed the idea!

I struggled a little bit in September with loneliness, fear and a host of other emotions that weren’t completely honoring to the Lord. God gently showed me that I was griping and complaining. Oh, how often He has to correct me.

For the month of October, I decided to focus on the “small joys” in life. Every day, I wrote down something that brought me joy. I want to avoid using the word, “happy”, because happiness is circumstantial. However, I believe that you can find joy and be thankful in any situation!

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

 


It has been such a delight to being my day with eager expectation to see what kind of joys the day will bring. Sure, there have been days when tears have fallen, but I have chosen to find joy. This is also a good way to keep track of my days; I do journal, but not every day. I definitely plan on continuing this “project” every month, and sharing it with you. If you would like to participate, I would love to know the things that are bringing you joy!

October…

1

I attended a reception in DC for Liberty students and alum. While I was there, I had the privilege of meeting Shannon Bream, an anchor on Fox News, but more important to me, Shannon was my commencement speaker. I didn’t get to met her at graduation, because things were crazy backstage. When I spoke with her at the reception, I mentioned to her that we shared a stage – her as the keynote speaker, and me presenting the Senior Class Gift. She said that she thought I looked familiar! It was great getting to chat for about half an hour!

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2

An acquaintance from Liberty is spending a few months working in DC. While I didn’t know her very well at Liberty, we reconnected in DC and have had dinner together several times. We had an incredible, raw and honest conversation over dinner. It was refreshing to sit down with a sister in Christ, admit our shortcomings and failures, and spur one another on to the Cross.

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On this day, a lady tried to ram her car into the barricades outside the White House, and then there was a car chase that ended at the Capitol and the lady was eventually killed. For whatever reason, this event scared me senseless. As I watched the news all afternoon (probably not the best idea!), my heart was overcome with fear. The White House is a block from my office in DC, and the fact that it happened so close scared me. After everything died down, I walked over to the White House and sat on a park bench and sobbed. The joy that I found on that day was the people who called me to make sure that I was okay. Knowing that people cared about me, and wanted to check on me, literally meant the world to me.

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4

Since I was still physically shaken up from the events of the day before, and some other personal life events, I decided to take the morning off from work in order to get some extra sleep. It was such a delight to sleep in and have a slow morning before heading into work. It’s the small things

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I spent the night with my friend Lauren. She was invited to a wedding last minute, and asked if I would like to join her! Not knowing a single person at the wedding besides her, I tagged along to “wedding crash”. The wedding took place outside, and we were able to get some gorgeous pictures! Even though I didn’t know anyone, I still managed to have a blast!

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Our porch has to be my favorite thing about my home. We have twinkle lights around the top, a futon and a space heater to keep my toes toasty warm. I spent the evening outside with my Bible and journal, sipping coffee by candlelight. Literally the perfect evening!

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I received a random encouraging facebook message from an acquaintance. It was so sweet and my heart welcomed the words of kindness!

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I was asked out on a date by a guy on the metro. Obviously, I choose not to go, because I didn’t know if he was a Christian, and I’m typically not the type of girl to go out with people that I don’t know at all. Nevertheless, it was flattering!

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This song by Shane & Shane –

 

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I went to a discussion on Religious Liberties put on by the ERLC and the Manhattan Declaration. The discussion was fantastic and I would love to see more discussions such as this one held. I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Russel Moore. He wrote the book, Adopted for Life and has two adopted Russian boys!

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Cleaning my home! This might sound silly, but I love having a clean home, and today, I was in the mood to clean! I rolled up my sleeves, put on some fun tunes and got to work!

…the results were a spotless house!

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Spending the day at home!

Sometimes you just need a day at home with absolutely nothing on the agenda! That was today, and it was good!

13

My heart got overwhelmed at a discussion at church. I cried and texted my roommates saying that my heart hurt. My sweet roommate came to pick me up from the metro (it’s about a 10-15 minute walk home), listened while I poured out my heart. It was good to have a friend take care of my heart!

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Columbus Day! I had the privilege of going on a day trip to West Virginia with a group of people from my church. The group was smaller – just me and three others. We had the most edifying conversations, and it was so encouraging to my heart. To be honest, I’m not used to people going as deep as we did, and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed them asking thought-provoking questions and actually caring about the answers

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group trip to WV

 

15

While I was grocery shopping, I had the best hour long conversation with my little brother! So thankful for this handsome guy…

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I had the privilege of having dinner with a girl who’s about 5 years younger than me from my church. This girl intentionally reached out to me, so we met up at my favorite restaurant in DC – District Taco (If you ever visit me in DC, don’t worry, I’ll take you there! They might know me by name!)

17

On my way to work, I was sitting next to a guy on the metro who was reading the book of Revelation in his Bible. I tapped him on the shoulder and commented to him that it was encouraging to see someone else reading their Bible. We ended up having the best conversation and he encouraged me in my walk.

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After work, I headed down to Liberty (my Alma-mater!) with a few friends! I spent the evening with one of my old roommates who is currently serving as an RD. It was SO good and refreshing to see friends from school!

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My friend Bethany and I spent the day together. It was so relaxing. We visited one of my favorite coffee shops, read books, and enjoyed one another’s company!

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On the drive back to Liberty, we put on hymns and as the miles passed, we praised God at the top of our lungs!

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21

I am getting involved with the local crisis pregnancy center, and after training, one of my roommates who’s doing the training with me and I stayed and talked with a lady for over two and a half hours! The Lord gave us a new friend and a wonderful sister in Christ!

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Finished up a project that I was asked to write and submitted it – Can’t tell you about it yet! You’ll have to wait until later in November :)

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Unfortunately, some idiot named Chelsea dropped her phone today and it was unresponsive :( After briefly mourning the fact that my phone died, I headed to the nearest Verizon and purchased a new phone. Thankfully, I was able to get a good deal on a phone!

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Today has two things that made me smile! :)

1) The Charlotte Observer ran a letter to the editor that I submitted on the effects of ObamaCare to young adults in North Carolina!

Check it out!

2) While I was at Liberty, I had the privilege of serving as the Senior Class President. For the Senior Class Gift, I planned and put together a Pro-Life Emphasis Week in order to inform and inspire students on how to be pro-life, not only in word but also in deed. The Senior Class at Liberty raised over $25,000 to donate to the Liberty Godparent Home, whose purpose is to provide girls a place to stay while they are pregnant. I received an update that they had purchased a much needed van with the money. Tears were brought to my eyes when I saw this picture and realized how BIG our God is. I am just an instrument in God’s hands, and my life goal is to bring Him glory!

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25

I met my future mother-in-law! Hee hee! Just kidding! But I did have the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Pam Tebow – Tim Tebow’s mom. I have started volunteering at the local crisis pregnancy center, and attended a benefit dinner for the center. Mrs. Tebow was the keynote speaker. I wasn’t aware, but when she was pregnant with Tim, the doctors recommended that she abort him. Obviously she chose life and now has an incredible platform to speak on the issues of life. She was such a gem of a lady!

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Some dear sisters and friends in Christ….

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26

Ben Rector Concert.

My friend Lauren and I had the best evening. 

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Tyrone Wells and Ben Rector performed an EXCELLENT show! Here are some snapshots from the show!

Tyrone Wells….

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Ben Rector…

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27

I went to dinner after Sunday evening church with a group of people that attend the church. The conversation turned to unsaved friends/family members that I have, and the group ended up surrounding me and praying over those in my life who aren’t saved.

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Today was a really rough day, and I cried on more than one occasion This song helped me to keep my eyes focused on the Lord. I’m on a Shane and Shane kick right now if you haven’t noticed!

 

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Leaning into the promises of God.

Once again, the past few days were hard, and I had to meditate much on the promises of God.

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The fall leaves.

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Happy Reformation Day!

I left work early and headed to Union Station to catch a train. Winston-Salem, North Carolina – aka HOME was my final destination! My plan was to go surprise my Mom for her birthday!!

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I hope ya’ll enjoyed this post! I had a blast putting it together! Stay tuned for November’s joys! 

Raw Thoughts On Forgiveness…

I am choosing not to go into great detail into the events and circumstances surrounding the topic I’m addressing today for two reasons. 1) It would take way too long to explain. 2) Not that I mind sharing, but the details aren’t absolutely necessary to the discussion. (If you care about the details, feel free to ask. I would love to share how the Lord is working specifically. Feel free to e-mail me at chelseacpatterson@gmail.com )

Forgiveness.

To be quite honest, this isn’t a topic that I have given much thought to until this past year. In the past, if someone hurt me, it was usually unintentional or was something that could be resolved quickly and relatively pain free.

There is someone in my life very close to me who has hurt me deeply over the past 12 months. Last night, some words were said that cut me to the core. I had an “ugly cry” (if you aren’t familiar with what that is, ask any girl, she’ll know!) You see, in the moment that the words were spoken, I choose to believe them.

You aren’t worth anything.

You aren’t worth getting to know.

Those words hurt.

I cried.

I entertained the thought that maybe, just maybe those words were correct and accurate.

Maybe I am too much trouble to invest in.

Maybe I am too complex and aren’t worth time.

Maybe…just maybe…

NO CHELSEA!

Snap out of it. I shook with sobs as I poured out my heart to my mom about how much those words hurt.

You see, at that moment, my head could acknowledge that those words were lies, but it was obvious from the tears falling down my cheeks that my heart was choosing to believe them.

Words are my love language, and I am the type of person that takes a lot of things personally. (Sometimes – in this case, it is not a good thing.)

I’m not going to lie. I threw myself a pretty big pity party this morning, complete with waltzing into work with red eyes and a bad attitude. I was polite to my co-workers, but inwardly I was fighting to take the thoughts swirling around me head captive and submit them to Christ.

“It’s just not fair God! I have done literally everything I know to do to show love to this person. Yet they still are hurting me.”

And so I began my day…

Once in my office, I grabbed my Bible and started reading Ephesians, and stumbled upon the following verses:

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away form you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32

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Well…that was convicting.

I came before my Father and expressed how hard it was to choose to forgive.

Darling,

You are acting selfishly. Why would you choose to wallow in self-pity and believe those lies? Don’t you know that I defeated the devil’s control over you and your mind on the Cross? Hand it over to me. Allow me to bring justice to bear. You can choose to dwell on those lies, or you can choose to allow me to stand between you and those hurtful words.

Beloved, as hard as it is, I am making the conscious decision to allow the Lord to teach me forgiveness. This person hasn’t asked for my forgiveness, offered up an apology or uttered the words, “I’m sorry.”

However, I can make the decision not to take offense at the words and hurt thrown my way.

Yes, it hurts, but I can choose by God’s grace not to allow it to destroy me. I can choose to be kind, I can choose to keep my heart soft and tender, and most importantly, I can choose forgiveness, because Christ has modeled perfect forgiveness for me on the cross.

I will be exploring and grasping the depth of Christ’s forgiveness of me and my sins for the rest of my life. Ah, what beauty!

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”

– C.S. Lewis

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Dear One, I do not profess to have it all together, far too often I am before the throne of my Father with tears falling down my cheeks begging for His grace, unending love and mercy and incidence in my life.

But I am choosing to remember that Christ showed me the ultimate forgiveness. He lived a sinless life, was crucified and raised to life. Why? To satisfy the wrath that I was deserving of. To pay the payment on my behalf. To offer me ultimate forgiveness.

I have chosen to accept Him as my Lord and Savior. As I result, I choose to obey His command to forgive as Christ forgave me. It is hard and it hurts, but praise Him that I don’t have to do it alone. I have the Holy Spirit living inside me who is helping me.

I choose to love. I choose to forgive.

Forgive

Suffering – For God’s glory and our good

Suffering is inevitable.

 

Turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper and you will be bombarded with discouraging news. Everyone will experience some kind of trial or suffering in their lifetime. This guarantee of suffering exists for two reasons, first because the world is fallen and infected with sin. Because sin entering the world, suffering exists. The second reason is because as a follower of Christ, we will experience suffering because the call to follow Him is a call to die. Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” –Matthew 16:24 Why does Christ give this difficult task to His followers?  In his last hours on earth, why did he reiterate the certainty of suffering in a Christian’s life by stating that “In the world you will have tribulation.” (John 16:33) It would be an impossible task if that phrase is all we have recorded in our Bibles, however in the very next breath, Christ gives the ultimate encouragement when he says, “But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

 

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Dear One, whatever kind of suffering you are experiencing, take heart because you have a Savior who has overcome the world. The One who died for you experienced the ultimate suffering by leaving His heavily throne and stepping into human flesh to ultimately die on your behalf for your sins. Because He has suffered, you have the greatest example of how to suffer well. When Christ suffered death on a cross, His suffering lead to eternal life for the ones who choose to call Him Lord and Savior. 

 

Suffering as a Christian has two purposes – God’s glory and our good.

 

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When we respond to suffering in such a way that shows the unbelieving world that Christ is more glorious and precious to us than our suffering, it shows who and what our true treasure is. By placing our ultimate hope in Christ and not the temporary things that are causing our hearts pain, God receives the glory.

 

“My body is sick with cancer, the paycheck didn’t quite cover everything this month, I have an unsaved family member, that phone call changed everything”  – the list can go on and on. The question begs to be asked, “how can suffering possibly be for my good?”

 

Suffering as a Christian serves several purposes for our ultimate good. First, suffering sanctifies and purifies us like nothing else can. When earthly pleasures, things and people are stripped out of our lives, it is revealing of where we have mistakenly placed our hope. Suffering draws us closer to Christ, because we don’t have the worldly comforts to rely on. Christ desperately longs for us to fix our eyes upon Him, and not the things the world tries to romance our souls with.

 

Beloved, my charge to you is not to waste your suffering. Instead of throwing yourself a pity party (although I have thrown and attended several grand ones for myself), seek the Lord’s voice speaking in your suffering.

 

“Do you trust Me?”

 

How often does the Creator of the universe whisper those words into our souls? Often, our first reaction to suffering is frustration, fear or anxiety. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is the following:

 

“When you cannot see the hand of God, you can always trust His heart!”

 

When your heart is breaking, and your world is falling apart, when all around you, it seems like there is nothing but death, tragedy and heartache, take heart! Remind yourself that your God, your Father, your Lord has overcome the world! Trust in His character. Remember that God loves His children and that He is ultimately good. Do not forget these truths for they are your lifeblood in times of suffering .

 

Regardless of your present…

 

Circumstances or crisis,

Pressures or pain,

Suffering or sorrow,

Failures or frustrations,

Danger or disease,

Memories or misery,

Temptations or trials,

Problems or persecutions,

Burdens or brokenness…

 

Your situation is temporary compared to eternity!

 

In the closing chapters of the final book of the Bible, God makes a beautiful declaration to His children.

 

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3)

 

 

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If this present world was all there was and there was no Savior in which to place our hope, we should be pitied, but that is not the case! This world is not our home, we are merely passing through. As you evaluate the current pain in your own life or in the world right now, meditate on these questions:

 

What is the Lord teaching you about Himself?

How can you use your suffering for His glory?

 

Contentment

In the past, when people talked about contentment, I used to get so annoyed and aggravated. Usually I would roll my eyes, paste on a smile and show insincere interest! Horrible I know, but hey, at least I’m being honest!

 

As bad as this is to admit, I’ve always equated contentment as something that is dull, uninteresting and undesirable. I want to be the girl who’s adventurous, full of life, charismatic, and joyful! Until now, I could not reconcile how being content, while maintaining the liveliness in my spirit could go hand in hand.

 

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The Lord is currently wrecking my life and my perspective on contentment. Gear up, because I’ll probably be talking about this topic for awhile on this blog!

 

I’m currently reading a book entitled, “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow and it’s a must-read!  I don’t say that often or lightly, but it is teaching me how to have accurate and Biblical contentment. It is not cheesy or repetitive; instead it is filled with deep, though-provoking wisdom and advice! Pick up a copy here – you won’t be sorry!

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After my honest introduction on my thoughts on contentment, allow me to share some thoughts I’m processing through from the first chapter!

 

What we are on the inside, what we continually think about, eventually shows in our words, actions, and even our countenances.

Allow that to sink in.

 

You are what you think about! Whether that’s the outfit you’re going to wear tomorrow, what the latest news station is discussing, or what the Lord is saying to you. What you fill your mind with, is eventually who you become!

 

I don’t know about you, but I want to be someone who’s vision is clear, because I have an eternal perspective! The word perspective means, “Looking through; seeing clearly; the capacity to view things in their true relation of relative importance.” Therefore an eternal perspective is God’s way of seeing!

 

In the book, Linda shares rules for contentment. After reading this and meditating on it for a few days, I’ve written it and put it up by my desk at work and in the front of my bible!

 

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I’ve begun to be more aware of these things in my life. Let’s just say that I have a long way to go!

 

Beloved, I’m sharing these thoughts from my heart for two reasons! First, because I want you all to know that I am not perfect! (But you already knew that!) Second, hopefully my struggles along the road of sanctification will encourage you. We are all doing this messy thing called “life” together, and we should be cheering one another on!

 

I am not there yet, but oh how I despertly want to be a woman who has a peace that is separate from my circumstances. With my eyes fixed upon eternity, I want to always rest in the fact that my tomorrow’s belong to God! When my tomorrows are nestled in God’s strong arms, then I can be free to live today!

 

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Will you join me on this journey? I am learning that contentment, true contentment is one of the greatest things I can possess. It is the farthest thing from boring! It actually frees me to live the life God intended me to live – fully alive!

 

As I share my thoughts on my struggles and victories, I encourage you to rally together and pursue contentment with me! Please let me know where you are on the journey! Let’s be the brothers and sisters we ought to one another!!

 

“Contentment is essentially a matter of accepting from God’s hand what He sends because we know that He is good and therefore it is good.”

-J.I. Packer

Heart of the issue?

“I’m pro-life”

“I’m against gay marriage”

“I’m a republican”

“I’m a southern baptist”

Do any of these things sound familiar? There are all phrases I’ve uttered at some point over the past year. While they are all true, I’ve been challenged to begin changing my philosophy! Anyone that knows me knows that I love politics! I can hold my weight in a discussion on why I think Obamacare is bad, why I believe abortion is wrong, the proper role of government, etc.

It’s crucial to be able to know what you believe and why, but I believe something is missing! While Christians must stand up for things such as the sanctity of human life and the sanctity of marriage, if standing up for those “issues” is all we do –

we have failed!

You see, if we as Christians merely run around trying to change the social and political culture of our world, we are missing the call of God! The Lord never called us to  governmental reform! That sounds like a bold statement doesn’t it! And you might initially disagree with me! Allow me to flesh out that thesis and hopefully you’ll see what I mean when I say that I don’t believe that we are “called” to that kind of reform!

What America needs isn’t a different president, a more conservative media, or a new set of laws…

….what America needs is Jesus!

We can make all the laws and changes that we want to, but ultimately that isn’t where the hope for America lies!

Dear one, as Christians, we have the greatest gift imaginable and we should be pointing others to Christ! I’ve fallen into the trap of allowing myself to be defined for the things I stand for and against, instead of being solely definitely by the fact that without Christ I am headed straight for hell, but with Him, all of my sins are forgiven and Christ has lavished me with grace upon grace!

Instead of running around trying to reform government or society, we should be meeting people where they are! If a young girl is pregnant and is considering an abortion, that is the perfect time for us to step into her life, show her Christ’s love and offer her real hope! Until we begin to care about people as more than a project or statistic, our nation will never change! We must realize that people’s hearts are dead without Christ, and they are going to act in a sinful way because it’s their nature

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16

Here is the question I pose to you:

How are you being the light those around you?

Dear Christian, we are called to offer people hope in Christ! We are the light! When people begin to see and savor Christ as the most glorious treasure, social and government reform will happen as a natural result!

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Godly look at body image

Let’s talk about body image!

To be honest, I’ve avoided publishing this post for awhile because it’s hard to be vulnerable about topics like this sometimes. But the Lord has taught me a lot in this area, and I know I’m not the only one that’s ever struggled with body image, so hopefully what I’ve learned will encourage you!

As a woman, I long to be beautiful – inside and out. I used to be ashamed for wanting to be beautiful, and would try to ignore those feelings – until the Lord brought me to Genesis. Eve was the first woman created, and she was completely perfect for two reasons. First, because she was created in God’s image, and therefore had intrinsic worth and value, and second because there was no sin in her yet.

Oh how gloriously beautiful she must have been! Can you just image Adam, who had been hanging out with the animals, waking up to find her – the finale of God’s creation!

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Women were originally created to be beautiful, because it says something about God’s character! Even though men and women are created equal, they have different roles, and they reflect different parts of God’s characteristics. Men reflect God’s strength and power, while women reflect God’s tenderness and beauty.

But something happened…

man sinned…

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As a result, woman’s beauty was distorted. Don’t get me wrong, women are still beautiful and created in God’s image, but now, women’s desire to be beautiful often becomes an idol and something they chase after more than the Lord.

Take a walk in your local drugstore and you’ll see aisle after aisle of products promising women that they can have…

“Flawless skin”

“Sexy hair”

“Plump lips”

“Sultry eyes”

“Alluring cheeks”

The list goes on and on.

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I’m going to be honest, I’ve struggled with insecurity. There have been times when I’ve walked into a room, and the very first thing I want to do is go hide in a corner because I feel like the plainest, most unattractive woman in the room. There have been times where I’ll compare myself physically to other women, and measure myself against an unrealistic standard.

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Recently, one of my younger sisters told me that she wasn’t happy with how she looked. I sat down with her and told her that it makes God unhappy when she says that she’s not beautiful, because she’s created in Him image, and she’s insulting Him when she complains about how she looks!

Beloved, when I stand in front of the mirror and rattle off to the Lord about how I wish He had created me with thicker hair, longer legs and higher cheek bones – I am offending my dear Savior, because I am criticizing His handiwork! He fashioned me exactly how He wanted me to be. My appearance, my personality, my story – all of it is perfectly and uniquely and lovingly designed by my Father!

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As I’ve been asking Him to give me confidence knowing that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I will be praying for my fellow sisters in Christ! Please always remember…

Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart!

Enjoy the beauty that God has given you – it’s a reflection of Him!

But don’t ever get sucked into thinking that outward beauty is all there is. Character is what matters and what will last!

I am a woman resolved to seeking the Lord with all of my heart, mind and soul. While I do mess up, while I do struggle and fall, while I do need daily grace – I know to whom I belong!

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The Lord will be faithful!

This time next week, I will be an alumni of Liberty University! It is strange to think about the fact that my time as an undergrad have come to an end. I’m not going to lie, the fact that I’ll be graduating in less than a week and have no clue what my future plans are is a bit overwhelming. I’ve called my mom countless times crying because I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going to work, or what my future holds. One of the things I appreciate the most about my mom is she doesn’t allow me to throw myself a pity party for very long. She’ll listen while I pour out my heart, and then challenge me to put things into perspective. Something that she has reminded me constantly is the Lord’s faithfulness.

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Beloved, my God is not going to stop being faithful to me when I walk across a graduation stage. He has never forsaken me, yet here I am questioning His goodness and faithfulness. Oh how quickly I forget who He truly is. When I pause and reflect on the character of my God, I am reminded that…

He is my strength.
He is my anchor.
He is my constant.
He is my sure foundation.

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The word faithful means…

“True to one’s word, promises, vows, etc. Steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant; reliable.”

This accurately describes our Heavenly Father. Dear One, I don’t know where life finds you as you read these words. Maybe you’re in the same boat as I am, where your future in uncertain, or maybe you just need to remind yourself who the Lord is. I encourage you to press in and seek the Lord’s character and His promises. Over the past semester, I have come to the Lord countless times and reminded Him of His promises. Remember, God never makes a promise that is too good to be true. If He said it in His word, He will uphold it. Search out those promises and pray them!

Recently I was reading the devotional, Come Away My Beloved and read these words

“You need never fear whether I will be faithful to you, for if I have never failed anyone else, why would I fail you? You have an innumerable company of spectators cheering you from the ramparts of heaven, reminding you of what I did for them and encouraging you that the struggle is not in vain; it will soon end in victory for you also – if you endure faithfully.”

Go grab your Bible and read Hebrews 11. (Known as the “faith” chapter) After I read that in my devotion, I went and read Hebrews 11, and my mind was blown. God’s character stands not only in my own life, but also in the lives of millions of other people. I pray that you will join with me in declaring that our God is great in His faithfulness!

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Give this song a listen!!

Great Is Thy Faithfulness