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Encouragement for today. A good reminder of His faithfulness.

Joel Nobis

15725371_927756993992517_1793406397_o.jpgSometimes the pain feels like a thousand pieces of glass just shattered their way into your body leaving you numb.

Sometimes the sadness feels like a dark gloom that seems to last for an eternity. Everyday with no promise of sunshine breaking through.

Sometimes the heartache feels like every good thing you ever had was slowly ripped away from you and you had to stand there and watch it all happen.

Sometimes the trials seem too overwhelming. Like an ocean wave that brings you under. Only it feels like you’ll never come back to the surface.

Sometimes the sorrow is so real you’ve cried more tears than you thought was ever possible, and they just keep coming.

Sometimes the doubt seems like a chain on your neck. Ripping you back into its endless abyss every time that you try and run towards the smallest glimpse of hope.

Yes, sometimes you…

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Armor Bearer’s, We Are

Recently my sister and I had a conversation about the armor of God (referenced below) and how sometimes we get into such a deep trial of life that we can’t seem to find our sword (the spiritual weapon of warfare utilized by the tongue to cut the lies of our soul’s enemy). All the Scriptures we need to strengthen us seem to abandon us. It’s like there’s a dark cloud all around us and not only can we not find our way, but finding our sword is out of the question. I am thankful for the times God speaks directly to me through a sermon, a song, or in my time reading the Word. As I’ve learned from Priscilla Shirer in her Armor Of God study, it’s the times when a verse or word jumps out at you as if it was made just for you in that moment; it’s then that God is giving you a sword for your trial. That verse that jumped off the page at you is now a sword placed in your sheath. Draw it as needed.
But then there’s times when it seems none of that happens and for days we feel lost. This story of Saul and David (referenced below) reminds me of what Jen and I were talking about. It’s in those times that we need each other. In the times when I can’t find my sword, I need an armor bearer. As David was for Saul, I need my sisters to come beside me and pick up my sword (which they see so clearly) and hand it back to me. I need them to play their lyre so my torment will cease for a while. I need to be able to call them and know they are going to remind me of who I am in Christ and show me again just how big His plans are for me. Because as you walk closely with your sisters and brothers, you start to see just how big God’s plans are for them. You start to know exactly what verses they’ll need in the moments they need it most. You start to know exactly what to pray for them and how to pray it. And that’s what God wants us to do for each other.
So let us not be afraid to reach out to our close friends in our time of need, no matter how ashamed or burdensome we feel we are. Those feelings are lies the enemy whispers in our ear in order to stop us from building an army against him. The less people fighting with us, the greater chance he has at defeating us; or so he thinks. And may we never be afraid to call someone we know is struggling for fear we are incapable of helping. If we are willing, God will use us. In those moments may we remember that it’s only in our weakness that we can truly see how strong God is. Sometimes just our reaching out is enough encouragement for that person to keep fighting.
Anytime we are not struggling, someone else is, so if we are not bearing arms for ourselves at the moment, we should be bearing arms for someone else.
Oh how grateful I am for my close-knit sisters who know me so well. Who know my shameful weaknesses, yet don’t shame me. Who know my fears and know just how to encourage me. And I am so grateful God has enabled me to be their armor bearer when they need it. That He has empowered me with the words to say to encourage them and show them just how strong they are even though they feel weak.
These connections in our sisterly bond make us that much stronger against the enemy of our soul. Fighting him alone can be so much work sometimes. But fighting him with our little army, that’s automatic victory!

“Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him. And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.” So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.” One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him.” Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.” And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul. And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.” And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.”
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭16:14-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.”
Ephesians 6:10-20 ESV


(I read this over and realized it will probably offend all of the people who normally read my blog…so just don’t…there’s no advice this time and nothing about God (although I am still very much a Christ follower), just a little venting)
I am angrier than I have ever been in my life! It’s the moments in life that are just plain and boring, and you see nothing extreme coming your way, that your life gets hit with a size 5 tornado and, without warning, completely changed and turned upside down. What the f*ck!!! I can’t believe I just said that…is that me?? hmm, yes!! I did, and it felt damn good!!! I have never been someone to use curse words. I have always been a rule follower. I have always been such a damn goody two shoes (is that how you spell that?)…see? I’m even worried that I didn’t spell that right. AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I am just so tired and warn out! I am angry and pissed off! I am hurt and undone. I am confused and so lost. I never thought my life would be so twisted. And the worst part is I can’t stand to be around anyone because I just feel like bursting out in tears. I have to hide it all inside of me and it just f*cking sucks!!!!!!!!!!!
Well what do ya know, that made me feel a little better.
And if anyone does read this that I know, don’t ask me what’s wrong, I won’t tell you (I guess it’s pretty obvious that I don’t care if I offend anyone)
If I don’t know you, well then it probably doesn’t matter.

Tithing your time? How silly! (via Eliteinchrist’s Blog)

I read this an love how honest it is! He really hits the nail on the head here…a good read for the church.

I dare say unequivocally that the concept of Christianity seems completely lost to many and rather than look to God to gain more insight, they make up their own doctrines as they go along. Where is it written in the bible that you can give a portion of your time to God. Who told you your time was yours to apportion as you wish in the first place? During the biblical times people were allowed to keep slaves.  And once bought, a slave became the pr … Read More

via Eliteinchrist's Blog

A New Law…sort of (Part 1)

I was reading Ephesians chapter 2 last night, as part of my “Bible in a year” reading, and I had a little revelation at verse 15. But just for context I’ll type out verse 14 -16 from the New Living Translation.
14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
Earlier in the evening, before reading this passage, my friends and I were talking about the Bible and my one friend mentioned how Christ came to fulfill the law. I’ve always heard people say that, but I never really thought about what it meant. When I read verse 15, I remembered hearing what my friend said and it finally made sense. Christ ended the system of law with its commandments (all the law that was written before He came) through all His teachings and then by dying and rising from the dead. Simply put, He fulfilled the law.
Since Christ fulfilled the law, we no longer have to try to fulfill the law ourselves. Meaning, we no longer have to sacrifice a clean animal unto the Lord for the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus was symbolically the lamb that was slain for all our sins eternally. We simply have to ask for forgiveness and it will be given to us.
Secondly, because Jesus fulfilled the law, he created new (sort of) commands through all His teachings here on earth (which is what verse 15 is saying). Therefore I truly don’t believe we are bound to the old laws, specifically, to the Ten Commandments anymore….if we do everything Christ asked us to do, and live by Him, we will indeed follow all the Ten Commandments and many of the other Old Testament (OT) laws without being religious about it. The people of the OT followed the laws because they had to and sacrificing an animal was a ritual for them. I believe Christ came to change that. Jesus pursues every single one of us and desires a relationship with us, not a ritualized relationship, how awesome is that?
I feel similar with tithing (and any other specific law in the OT). Jesus doesn’t speak about tithing, rather he asks us to give to those in need, and to bless even our enemies…I think this far exceeds the giving of 10% to the storehouse and is less religious. When we tithe, many of us are guilty of tithing for the wrong reasons…”the Bible tells me to so I will, even though I want to keep it”….or, “God will honor my giving to the church, I’m giving to get blessed in return”. Giving is only meant to be done with no expectations of a return, it’s simply because of the joy of blessing someone else. And when Jesus asks us to give to those who need, it is easier to do so “unreligiously”, if you will. Although unreservedly, not so much; and I know this too. I know that either way can be done with corrupt motivations, but I personally would like to see a need and give to it (knowing it could lead to salvation for someone) then give to the same cause my whole life.
Ok, so I wrote this blog about a month ago because I wanted to do more research. So if you disagree with it, read Part 2. I did more research and changed my view.

Can you hear it?

“Well it’s about time!” is all I can think as I start typing. At the age of 14 I decided to start going at it with pen and paper and ever since I have realized that I LOVE to write. Whether it be poem, essay, story, or song, it seems to be a part of my core being. On the talented end of the stick, not so sure I’m as great as I think I am, because we all probably think of our work (in what it is we love to do) as great, but I’m hoping at least one person can get something from the blogs I write. And hopefully I can get something back from them.

As for the point of all this? Well, I’ve finally realized that I’ve seemed to learn a lot in these 5 years of marriage. I am young and have much to learn, but with what I know and what I am learning there’s an endless possibilities list to choose from in writing these blogs. My main focus? God. From there I can pretty much discuss anything and it should get interesting.

Lately my life has been all about hearing God’s voice. I mean, I’m no professional at it, but have any of us really acquired the perfect skill in doing this very thing? I’m thinking that we all hear Him wrong at somepoint, or we at least choose to do the wrong thing. Either way, none of us have “arrived”. Quite the encouraging statement there, for me. But through selling our home, moving to an aparment, then a home, through trial after trial in trying to raise 2 little ones, through trying start a computer business out of our home, through helping a new church plant get started, through going to school part time, and through just being a woman, I’d say I have really come far. My husband, Dave, and I have always tried to wait for God to speak to us in all these areas and do what it is the Lord wants us to do. “What is your will, Lord?”, or “Please guide us on this new journey, Lord”, or “We just don’t know what to do anymore, Lord, we need your help!” are all things we’ve prayed many times! We’ve often times tried to make it through something on our own, and then finally when things are going wrong and we just can’t take it anymore, we call on God for help. The sad truth for all of us, but God is so good! He shows us His love as a father when at that moment changes our perspective on the situation and gives us peace. I never feel though that He is angry with me for not calling on Him in the first place. I always feel his grace and the lifting of my burden.

One important thing I’ve realized, is if we’re going to hear God’s voice, we need to close our lips and listen. I like to talk, so this tends to be a hard one for me, but when I really focus and seek the Lord in my prayer time, He shows me how to listen and tells me when to be silent. The more I do it, the easier it seems to get.

Lately the struggle for my family is with our finances, a common struggle with many of us I’m sure. We’re in our new home just under a year now and it sure is a rough one because with a new home also comes a new mortgage. In these winter months it sure is enough to settle in some depression, which leads to a mommy and wife who tends to be quite a bit more frustrated. After a couple of weeks, I finally realized about two weeks ago that I need to lift this burden up to the Lord and listen to what He wants to tell me about it. I really needed His peace. So I was sitting in church during a time of prayer, worship, and listening….and I just felt in my spirit that all the Lord wants from me is my devotion to Him everyday. Just setting aside some time for him everyday, which I had been struggling with doing in the past. If I do this, He will take care of our financial burdens and everythign else that is weighing on this family. What a weight lifted off my shoulders! It’s two weeks later and I am still free of any depression and overall frustration!

It’s so neat how sometimes we need to hear God’s voice in a situation where we need to make a decision, and sometimes we need to hear God’s voice tell us we’re going the wrong way, and then sometimes we just need to hear his voice say “I love you and I’m holding you in the palm of my hand”. His voice is always there, all we have to do is wait and listen. At the right time, He will speak to us. I have learned this through the past 5 years of my life, and am finally catching on…and oh how I am excited to hear more and more of the voice of my father.

May we hold fast to this promise…
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.