Think Twice

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Happy Birthday, Dad!

The loss is still there but the memories are forever. It will be three years this July that Dad entered the gates of Heaven. To us it was unexpected and sudden; to God it was planned. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints” (Psalm 116:15).

At times, it seems like yesterday while other days I can hardly believe it’s been 3 years.

Today, Dad is celebrating his 67th year (earthly speaking) in Heaven, yet we know God is not bound by time, but we remember.

I cannot help but think of how crucial it is that we make our time on Earth count for Christ. We don’t know when out last breath will be; knowing such knowledge should put a spur in our saddle. But why doesn’t it?

  • Life gets busy.
  • Life can get stressful.
  • Life can be sad.
  • Life gets filled.
  • Life can be influenced.

As a child of God we must continually remind ourselves that this too shall pass…life is a vapor (James 4:14). The older I get the more that realization becomes more evident. But should it take “getting older” to realize this?

Whatever age you are, make today count for Christ not self!

We assume tomorrow is promised, but reality is we hold no power over a day, week, month or year.

In this present moment — the right now — that is what we have. You are living it right now, but you have no guarantees of the next…we only think we do. Moments past, those are what we had.

Love God to the fullest; love others to the fullest…for it just may be your last. There are no guarantees of next or later. Only God knows the appointed time.

It was on a night like tonight we received that phone call, one second Dad was here the next he was walking on streets of gold with his Savior. Sometimes there are no warnings, just gone. Don’t wait!

The time is right now…

  • Serve God now!
  • Tell Him you love Him.
  • Show Him you love Him through your obedience, sacrifice, service, devotion, commitment, faithfulness and love.
  • Tell your loved ones, you love them!
  • Don’t wait to make things right…confront if needed now.
  • Repent if needed now.
  • Tell them you forgive them now.
  • Once you are gone it is too late.
  • Once they are gone you will be too late and will hold that burden…wishing you had.

Tomorrow may never happen and you’ll be to late, don’t make that mistake!

Make your relationships right regardless if the other party wants to or not. You be obedient before God. You do what is right before God and leave the results up to Him. You can forgive someone regardless if they own it or not. You be free.

It may be the hardest thing you ever do, but as living proof…it is worth every shacking knee, every teardrop, every fear of confronting. God’s way is the best way. Obedience to God brings no regret. Praise God, I have no regrets. You can too! I am abundantly confident, in Christ, you can. You are empowered. The question is, will you take that step of obedience in faith believing God’s way is the best way?

Today, I rejoice in my Dad, relish in his love for me, remember our relationship freely without regret. I look forward to that glorious day in Heaven when I see Him again. Where I can hug him once more, walk side-by-side together on streets of gold and tell him once again, “Dad, I LOVE YOU!!”

This is my Dad!

I am free to love. I am heaven-blessed. Friend, I pray you are too?

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Backsliding 101

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Psalm 103:17

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Are you Distracted?

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

The Prayer Hand

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Are You Practicing?

How’s your prayer life?

The only way to grow in it is to start.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Church Member Beware!

Words have meaning. And if church members start articulating words consistently, those words begin to reflect the priorities and passions of the church.

I (Rainer) wrote a little book (I Will) on statements church members make that can move a church toward Great Commission and Great Commandment greatness. But there are some sentences that can prove harmful, even deadly, to a congregation. Here are seven of the most deadly statements:

  1. “I like our church just the way it is.” When you begin to hear this statement expressed among church members, you can be certain there is no Great Commission heartbeat. We should never want our church to stay just like it is; we should be constantly seeking to reach new people with the gospel.
  2. “My pastor doesn’t visit me enough.” There are so many things wrong with this statement. First, it reflects a ministry where there is expectation that the pastor is to do most of the ministry, instead of equipping others to do the work of ministry. Second, it reflects a dependence and self-centered ministry on the part of church members.
  3. “I always vote ‘no’ just to keep the leadership in check.” This person is the disrupter I described in an earlier post. He or she really wants the focus on self. Attention seeking and self-focus are characteristics of this person. They are toxic to churches.
  4. “I just can’t worship with our style of music.” The worship wars aren’t over. These church members could never be missionaries because their indigenous people group probably wouldn’t be singing hymns from the hymnals. There is no sense of worship with these church members; they are all about their own preferences and desires.
  5. “People know where our church is if they want to come.” This statement reflects deadly ecclesiology and deadly missiology. It assumes that the church is a place; and it assumes that the Great Commission is, “Y’all come.”
  6. “I love you pastor, but…” This statement reflects a church member who is both deceitful and deadly. He or she tells leaders they love them, but puts a metaphorical knife in their backs at the first opportunity. These members tear churches apart.
  7. “I pay my tithes here, so I deserve…” This church member sees his or her offerings as conditional. So, in a real sense, they aren’t offerings as much as they are country club dues. They will continue to pay their way as long as they get their way.

To be clear, most church members do not make these statements nor do they reflect these attitudes.

But healthier church members should and must speak up when they hear other members making such destructive statements.

Otherwise, the naysayers, cartels, critics and bullies will have their way in the church. And the church will soon cease being the church.

This article originally appeared here.


Dear Brother and Sister in Christ,

I came across this article last Tuesday, saved it and read it Thursday and was like “yes!”.

Thom made some spot-on points in his article. Believe it or not, sadly, he is right on many accounts. My family and I have seen first hand both the healthy church and the unhealthy church throughout our ministry travels.

What breaks my heart most is seeing the church who has made the decision to not listen because they ‘think’ they know it all yet their church is dying or already dead. Their methods are not working yet they will not listen to the Word of God and ignore those who have God-given tools that could help them. Their hearts are hardened. Their ears are closed. Pride has taken center stage and Christ is tarnished.

Truthfully, it makes me sick.

Christ’s church is not ours to toy with nor is it a place to inflicted others with our own personal vendetta. Church is to be done God’s way. Period. Not our way. God’s church is not Burger King! It ought never to be.

This may not be your church scenario, for that you can praise God for but don’t get prideful. It slips in the back door and Satan uses it with all his might.

  • Don’t go there church! GUARD God’s church and please only Him. Some things come by only fasting and prayer. Seek God first above all. Bring glory to God.
  • Don’t go there believer! GUARD your heart! Don’t get in the way. Serve, adore the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but say no to your pride and bitterness.

There is comfort in all this.

  • GOD builds His church, not us.

God is bigger than our sinful souls, even believers. God will build His church, but God is not pleased with rebellion towards or in His church.

It’s God’s church, to be conducted, organized, fulfilled, given, taught, obeyed and lived out God’s way.

Following God’s blueprint for church is perfect because God is perfect. When we don’t, we distrust God’s plan. We then sit on the throne — we tell God that we know what is best.

Trust God. Trust His Word. God knows what He is doing.

Little side note —

1) YOUR PASTOR: He is a saved by grace human being. Not all pastors are created equal, but we are warned in Scripture how to treat our Pastor.

If you have had an unfortunate situation via church remember not all pastors or churches are the same, but before God we are all to be actively obeying God and His Word.

  • Are you harboring bitterness?
  • Do you need to forgive someone?
  • Have you rejected God’s plan for His church and people?
  • Have you ceased ‘assembling yourselves’ together?

If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, get your grievances or offenses dealt with biblically. You never go wrong following God. When we don’t we find ourselves in sin and our relationship with God is hindered. God will hold us accountable whether we kept His Word and obeyed it or not.

Biblically confront those you need to and leave the results up to God. When you don’t, you are the one who losses in the end, not them.

If your pastor seeks God first over all else, obeys God above man, follows and fulfills God’s instructions — follow his leadership. God has given you a special gift in Him. He is rare. He is God’s Shepherd to you. When you follow his leadership you will be blessed as a church because God is at the helm, not a man.

2) EACH OTHER: Lift one another up to godliness. We are to be walking, living in Christlikeness…display it, give it, show it, fulfill God’s blueprint.

Let’s glorify God together — in and outside the four walls we call church and may others come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

What are Children?

  • How do you view or see your children? Are they a nuisance, a bother, an irritation? Do you find them “cramping” your style or getting in the way of what you want to do?

Take the time to stop and listen and evaluate yourself speaking to your children? What do you sound like? What tone or words are you using?

  • Psalm 127:3 says that children are an heritage from the Lord, a God-gift. They are a blessing to you as a father and mother; a “fruit of your womb”.

When is the last time you praised God for your children? When is the last time your child or children heard you thank God for them? If you can not remember, start today.

  • Are you praying for your blessings?
  • Do your children know that they are loved, cared for, prayed for, liked? If not, start today! You might need to start with asking for their forgiveness first. They desire and deserve your love, care, time, and prayers.

Remember, YOUR children are yours! They are a heritage, a God-given blessing given specifically to you from God.

Treasure your gift(s).

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Busy? Busy? Busy?

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Let!

Are you letting the Word indwell you?

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Run Believer, Run!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Blessed in the Man

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

How’s Your Walk?

Your heavenly Father has equipped you.

  • Don’t short change God.
  • Don’t short change yourself.

You are already complete in Christ as His child. Walk in faith, my friend! God is with those who call upon Him, who seek Him, who obey Him.

  • You are never alone with Christ.
  • You never go wrong obeying God, never.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

An Example: David {Psalm 142}

I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice I made my supplication unto the Lord.
2 I poured out my complaint before Him; I declared to Him my trouble.
3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path. In the way where I walk, they have laid a snare for me.
4 I looked on my right and noticed, but there was no one who would care for me; there is no refuge for me; no one cares for my soul.
5 I cried unto You, O Lord; I said, “You are my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.”
6 Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than me.
7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Your name; the righteous shall surround me, for You shall deal bountifully with me.

Psalm 142 [mev]


Have you ever been ‘low’?
Sure, we all have those occasional moments where ‘low’ is present, but I am not talking about that kind of ‘low’.

I mean really low…where emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually your spirit groans from its depths, so beyond yourself, that you find yourself numbed? When spiritual warfare found your doorstep, took its grip and released its ammunition at you.

David found himself at his core; and it was just overwhelming.

I have felt like David in time past. As I read David’s words they fly off the pages of Scripture and I find my soul pricked. I hear his cry. I feel his pain, sorrow, discouragement, isolation, loneliness, and agonizing soul; I have lived his prayer cries.

How about you?

  • Maybe you have experienced the very things David speaks of, or maybe you will in the future.
  • Maybe you are experiencing these very soul–cries right now.

My friend, like David, you have hope. That hope is found only in Jesus Christ. David poured out his soul before God. He laid it all down on the table. He was honest with himself. He was honest with God.

  • David didn’t hold back.
  • God didn’t hold back.

God heard every word David spoke, even the silent ones. God hears your every word.

David did something else.
Something that, at times, we forget to do ourselves because we end up allowing “it” to become bigger than God himself.

1. David recognized who God was — David knew God was God. Sounds simple, yet our actions do display whether we live like He is or not. David knew God had him in the palm of His hand. Nothing could change God, not even his circumstance.
2. David recognized who he was before God. Even though David was anointed king, David knew his place before a righteous and holy God. This is not self degradation, but rather placing oneself under ones authority; in this case, God’s. David believed God without reservation. To submit to God brought salvation, hope, and empowerment. He was safe, loved, and provided for; he was more than conquerors.
3. David recognized who his enemies were. David kept his eyes on God so that the opposition, people, or circumstances he found himself in didn’t look bigger than his God was. He knew his flesh would fail, but not with God by his side.
4. David recognized that in the end, God’s glory was the end prize. Giving praise, rightful recognition to God was his place, was God’s place. David believed God was good! God could never be anything but good.

Though David was hunted by men, wanted as an fugitive by King Saul, and was a king in waiting, David saw God as King of Kings and Lord of Lords who was a lover of his soul.

1. God loved David.
2. God cared for David.
3. God fought for David.
4. God provided for David.
5. God lead David.
6. God blessed David.

God changes not.

1. God loves you.
2. God cares for you.
3. God fights for you.
4. God provides for you.
5. God leads you.
6. God blesses you.

This psalm is not the only psalm we find David pouring out his soul to God. We read other psalms where David cried out to God or when David was filled with praise, adoration, thanksgiving, and worship. His visual encounters displayed only one link…GOD!

🎯 David believed God regardless what his circumstance or situation looked like. God was always good.

🎯 David trusted God regardless what his circumstance or situation looked like because God could never violate himself.

🎯 David committed himself to God regardless of what his circumstance or situation was or would become because God was faithful.

How are you being changed?

1. Do you find yourself drawing closer to God? Growing in godliness through faith because you believe in the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13)?
2. Or do you find yourself being lured away by the weight or temptation of your situation? Is your life consumed by “it” rather than being sheltered, saved and provided for by the very One who could?

  • Change will happen.
  • What will your change look like?

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}


© Colleen M. Woodruff and In Christ I am SHE; http://www.inchristiamshe.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Colleen M. Woodruff and/or In Christ I am SHE and/or http://www.inchristiamshe.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

You are Wonderful!

You are wonderfully and fearfully (gloriously) made by the Creator Himself. God did it. Do you believe it?

  • Your praise indicates (reveals) what your heart and mind believe about God and His Word.
  • Are you praising? –Because you are!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

His > Me

“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” Galatians 3:26.

Becoming a true believer of Jesus Christ, we enjoy great privileges; this is not because of what we have done but rather what He has done.

Accepting Christ Jesus as our Saviour (recognizing who He is and who I am before Him), relying on Him alone for justification and salvation, forgiveness of sins, redemption and restoration we become His son or daughter.

It is important to note that faith without works is dead. At the same
token works without faith is dead as well. If any man have not the Spirit of Christ indwelling him, that person is not Christ’s. There is no middle ground…you either have Him or you don’t.

  • Baptism is an outward expression of an inward change. It is an act of obedience, love, thanksgiving, a proclamation, a profession that says, “I am His.”
  • Baptism is an act of putting-on Christ. The active action of obedience according to the Gospel; not an outward imitation, but of new birth, an entire human change. We are new creatures! Old things are passed away, BEHOLD! ALL things become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).

God makes His own heirs. Let’s reread that — God makes His own heirs…heirs to His throne. One that we don’t deserve, one that we have no royal claim too…yet He makes us princes and princesses. Real, eternal royalty.

God provides, cares, sustains, loves, guides, corrects, and strengthens His own. God never leaves His own. God cannot violate Himself, therefore, what God says, stands forever. Rest assured, whether one believes or not, God will do what He says.
Our new mission, goal, passion, love, devotion, desire turns from self to Christ. The things of this life become trifle. Be sure what you seek after are things above, not things on the earth (Colossians 3:2).

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

His Voice

  • Do you know His voice?
  • I mean, can you hear the Savior calling? Do you know your Saviour’s voice?

There are no age limits to listening.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

How We Walk

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}