Duct Tape vs Nails

  • “But God demonstrated His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8.
  • “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;” I Peter 3:18.
  •  “Yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach” Colossians 1:22.
  • “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living” Romans 14:9.
  • “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” I John 3:16.
  • “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” I Peter 1:18-19.
  • “For even the Son of Man did not come to be saved, but to serve, and to give His life a ranson for many” Mark 10:45
  • “He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification” Romans 4:25.
  • “I am the good Shepherd; the good Shepherd lays down His life for  the sheep. Even the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep” John 10:11,15.
  • “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” Romans 5:6,10.
  • “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again in their behalf” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.
  • “Who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him” I Thessalonians 5:10.

In these 16 verses alone they just my the goosebumps! Seeing the love of the Father and the Son for mankind…for me, for you…I am overwhelmed. I am humbled yet incredibly encouraged that He loves me so. He loves you that much!!!

There are numberous passages beyond these that we could quote, yet in these 16 verses alone we see clearly see who God is, His physical acts of love upon mankind along with His love for mankind. His Son’s love, display, physical death and resurrection, submission to the will of the Father, beyond discription of outward and inward love for both us and his Father. What a display of example to us.

Together, we could literally spend hours filling pages full of God, His attributes or character. We could fill blog posts of the Words of God proclaiming how Scripture is compacted with living displays of vibrant, consistent, unchangeable, unwavering, unshakable, demonstrations of God’s love for mankind from time past, this present day, and in the future to come showing our immense need for thee Savior. 

Sadly, in the midst of all this knowledge (yes, I am talking to believers here), we often fail to live in the land of belief, trust, and simply put “not quiet sure God’s got this” mindset that lives out ‘self is better than God’. Oh, we would never say this outwardly but we live, make decisions, act, think, and like it. You may disagree with me, but this leans me to one thought. One question.

  • Take some time to evaluate and take inventory of yourself–what do you do or don’t do, how do you live or not live your saved-by-grace-heaven-God-given-bound earthly life here on Earth, what comes out of your mouth or not, what is it you choose to dwell on or not dwell on, how you spend your time, look in your check book, how much do you love God and display that love to Him.
  • Now honesty answer this question: WHO is sitting on the throne of your life? Two cannot reign at the same time. It is either YOU or GOD. So, how is it? WHO is in control? The duct tape or the nails?

We read, hear sermons, maybe even teach a class, sing in choir or lead the choir, yet still doubt the God in whom took the nails for us. We doubt that God can’t and I am better able. We choose the duct tape. We deny the power of those nails and choose our handy-dandy self-duct tape to fix our life’s problems when all we need, who we need, is given to us within the pages of Truth, God’s Word.

Sure, real duct tape has its purpose in real life; we would never think of using duct tape to build a house. Thus we should never metaphorically replace Christ’s nails with our own self-induced duct tape and count it stronger or more reliable than Christ’s nails…NEVER!

How are you building sister or brother in Christ?

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

Does Your Breath Count?

Measuring this earthly-life in God’s scope of eternity will change your here and now for all your eternity to come. 

  • How do you chose to give out your given-breath? Are you selfish in it’s usage or are you without borders in praise to the One who gave it to you in the first place, because you know without Him you would have no breath?
  • We only know right now…the next second is unknown and not promised.
  • Make now count & enjoy your Lord!

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

Who is God to You?

  • We hear.
  • We see.
  • We experience.
  • We choose.
  • We decide.
  • We deny.
  • We accept.
  • We. 

    Maybe, just maybe, if we chose to put ourself aside for just one moment to stop presupposing we knew who or what God is, but rather came before Him & His Word with simple child-like-wide-open unbias eyes, untainted heart, and unskewed minds….maybe, just maybe, we would grasp His understanding of who and what HE IS for who and what HE SAYS HE IS, not what we think He is

    It would be then, that we would begin to understand the attributes of God. It would be then, that we would begin to hear, to see, to experience, to choose, to decide, to deny, to accept, to know God for God…prehaps like the very first time you met.

    • Revelation 2:4-5

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

    Psalm 147:1-6

    Thank you Lord for this encouragement, hope, strength, renewal, and empowerment. Thank you for being for us, with us, and indwelling us. Praise ye the LORD! PRAISE THE LORD! Praise, praise ye the LORD! 

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

    Church…we ARE Plan A there is no Plan B

    3 Simple Reasons why Church is God’s Plan A.

    Here are three simple reasons why “church” is GOD’S plan A and there is no plan B in God’s book. Why we must stop kicking and screaming and questioning God’s plan. It is He that is in change. It is HIS salvation gift to us. It is His death that paid the price…NOT OURS!

    1. Church is plan A because God tells us NOT to forsake the gathering of ourselves together as believers. This is one of those hot buttons of the day and yes, I am going to talk about it! First, I’d like to say that I am truly sorry if you have been hurt, offended, or even abused in any form by the church as a whole. This is WRONG!! This is not pleasing, honoring, or glorifying to the Lord nor is it not His plan for His church.

    But may I ask you a question? Have you ever bought something from a store, like meat, and got home to find out that it was bad? Did it stop you from buying meat for the rest of your life? 

    Have you ever had food poisoning from a restaurant? Did that stop you from ever eating out again? Most likely NOT! 

    SO…why is it when something “bad” at church happens we lump them all together and vow the mother of all vows that ALL Christians are hypocrites, ALL churches are filled with liars, cheaters, hypocrites, and rotten filthy sinners and we are never going back. 

    I want to stop right here. I understand, I know I talk with ladies who have physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually been abused by family members, unbelievers as well as believers. None are right. None should have happened (mine included), but we live in a sin-filled world and we have a choice. Yes, we have a choice even in the midst of our greatest pain, sorrow and trial. Will I use this situation to grow closer to my Heavenly Father or will I take it and grow bitter by the the day.

    So often, I see “church” used as an excuse and see bitterness grow by the day and the choice to live in disobedience to God spiral from that one choice! 

    The bitterness will take you farther than you ever excepted to go. 

    Regardless of what enters of life, we are accountable before Christ. When we use people as an excuses to not obey Christ, we justify our own actions and guilt to make ourselves feel better. 

    I have another question to ask you. I am assuming you got over your food poisoning or got over that purchase of “bad meat.” If I opened your refrigerator door, I would find it full or at least part-way full and would come to find out that you have feasted on many meals “outside” of your home. You didn’t grow bitter at the “bad” meat. You didn’t call the store a hypocrite. You didn’t hold a grudge. You didn’t allow bitterness, people, or excuses from stopping you from shopping or eating, did you??!!

    So why the double standard? Using people, excuses, our own bitterness and unforgiveness to NOT obey God is sin. If you are a child of God, you are part of plan A…you are not doing your part. You are needed, but you are choicing to missing out on God’s plan A. 

    Because Matthew 18 wasn’t practiced like it should have been when the offense happened, sadly, you are hurting yourself, the church, fellow believers, unbelievers, and you are hurting the cause of Christ…for what “bad meat?” That didn’t stop you before!

    Reconcile that “bad meat” even if the other party doesn’t want too! Make it right before God on YOUR end!! Go and confront that offense! Seek and be ye reconciled. Forgive.

    I speak from experience! I have “abuse” in my background. What kind I will not speak of at this time, but believe me when I tell you, I know! I know what I feels like, how it hurts, the anger, bitterness, the confusion, the spiral effects. But I also know the healing power of God in ones heart and life. I know the comfort and release of walking in obedience to the Father and it is worth it all! I would do it a thousand times over!

    It is one of the hardest things you will ever do, but it is one of the most spirit-freeing (bondage releasing) God+you experience you will ever do, because when you walk in trust and obedience, God blesses! You NEVER go wrong walking in obedience to Christ….NEVER!

    Hebrews 10:25

    2. The very second you accepted Christ as your personal Savior, He gave you at least one spiritual gift, at least one. You may have more! Do you know your spiritual gift or gifts? Do you know God wants that gift or gifts to be used? Yeppers, you guessed it! For Him, for His Glory in His Church! 

    I hear the question already, can you use your God-given gift in other places? Sure! But the primary place is where He wants, within His Church. Again, this is not our plan or trying to make our plan work…this is God’s plan. We either obey and do or not!

    I Peter 4:10-11

    3. Church is Plan A because it is the only plan! We are to be proclaiming, mouthpieces, ambassadors, of what and who God is and what He has done for us to everyone soul we come in contact with. To fail to accomplish the great commission is to live in disobedience to Christ. 

    Matthew 28:18-20

    • The bottom line is this: God’s Word is clear. The choice is in your hands…your heart.
    • How will you choose to walk before the very God who gave you your eternal life? 

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

    Excuses, excuses: validation or not?

    Confession time here…tiredness leads to stress for me. They are not a good combo. Over the years, by God’s grace, it is something both learned and to be aware of.

    I don’t know about you, but for us, life is full. A good kind of full, but nevertheless, full. Truly, God is good; that goodness is not our right, but a gift graciously given to us by God to His children.

    God never promised pain-free or mountaintop-highs.

    In all our blessings, opportunities, trials, and testings, honestly, we get tired; sometimes utterly exhausted.

    Without Christ, our attitude of choice becomes unChrist-like, doesn’t it?

    Tiredness (for me stress must be added to this statement) gives us no right, no authority, no excuse to act, live, speak, or think carnally. None! 

    Ouch! 

    You will find no Scripture verse that gives the license to walk flesh-like while claiming Christ regardless of your weakness.

    A question we could ask ourselves is this: “Am I living in the flesh or the Spirit right now?” 

    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the list of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that we cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law…and they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” Galatians 5:16-25.

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

    “Looking like” & “Being One” are not the Same in God’s Eyes.

    Have you ever ordered something on-line expecting it to be one size, only to be disheartened when it arrived? Have you believed the marketers’ promises of special amazing features, only to get half of them functional? Has there been a time when you purchased something that looked really good from the outside, only to be disappointed with the results?

    Left unto ourselves, that’s what can happen to us spiritually. You and I may produce plenty of leaves. We might look like flourishing plants! But there may not be much fruit on our branches.

    What might be keeping us from our blooming potential? Jesus addresses another key component for developing a fruit-bearing life in John 15. Maybe you and I are in need of a good cleanse.

    Extra leaves and stems consume the nutrients and resources needed for fruit-bearing. One way the Vinedresser cleanses the branches is to strip the life-sucking extras in the spring that drain nutrients from producing fruit. Note, this is His regular activity. You and I repeatedly find ourselves in need of a good spring cleaning. Although we have nothing to do with it, I find it helpful to acknowledge this reality by inviting God to do His work in me.

    I’m not discerning enough on my own to become more like Jesus, recognizing what is hindering fruit-production versus what is necessary for growth. But I can pray for a willingness to cooperate with anything and everything that lines up with Scripture. I might ask myself:

    • What seems to spike up onto the calendar appearing urgent and overcoming the important?
    • ‎To what establishments is my money spent? Are they God-honoring – or do I spend money just like everyone else?
    • ‎Do my possessions look like the pile at my neighbor’s, who is NOT aiming to bloom for Christ; or is there a distinct contrast between us?
    • ‎Are my actions God-honoring to those around me? Or am I stuck in the same emotional rut I found myself one, two or five years ago?

    The key here is this: it’s not enough just to look good. Looking like a fruitful branch is not the same as being one. We need the supernatural touch of the Vinedresser.

    John 15:1-11
    “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”

    May we be receptive and open to receive whatever cleaning the Father sees fit to do in our lives so that we will become more and more fruitful from the inside out.

    Excerpts taken from: She Yearns by Cheri Strange Increase Your Bloom Ability

    Is the Solution to: Try Harder or Let Him In? What does God say?

    img_20171013_103839_998000-339584810.png

    “You have to stop loving and pursuing Christ in order to sin” –there is a fear in writing or saying such words. A fear not in physically writing them or saying them for they are true; rather a fear that a hearer will only listen to their own evoking fears and guilt thus not seeing God’s love for them; therefore, not instilling a fire of love to begin within the them because they love God.

    Actions that are driven by fear and guilt are not an antidote to lukewarm, selfish, comfortable living–it is LOVE!

    Our relationship with Christ should never be out of duty, obligation, or slavery, but rather craved from a genuine desired love for God. We need only look no further than the cross– where God demonstrated His love for us that while we were YET sinners; Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)! God’s love hasn’t changed.

    When we love we are free!

    • Galatians 5:13-14
    • Psalm 63:1-5
    • Loving God and loving people –isn’t that what it is all about?!

    Lukewarm living and claiming Christ’s name simultaneously is utterly disgusting to God–when we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that it isn’t very fulfilling or joyful to us, either, but the solution isn’t to TRY harder, fail, and then make bigger promises, only to fail again.

    It does no good to “muster up” more love for God, or to will yourself to love Him more. When loving God becomes obligation, one of many things we have to do, we end up focusing even more on ourselves.

    So what do you do? The answer lies in letting God change you! He wants to change you, He died so that we could change!

    • Remember His counsel to the lukewarm church in Laodicea? “HERE I AM! I STAND AT THE DOOR AND KNOCK. IF ANYONE HEARS MY VOICE AND OPENS THE DOOR, I WILL COME IN AND EAT WITH HIM, AND HE WITH ME” (Rev. 3:20).
    • His counsel wasn’t to “try harder,” but RATHER LET HIM IN!!! 
    • James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and HE WILL come near to you.”
    • Jesus died on that cross to save us from the bondage of SIN; not just save us from hell. 
    • John 10:10 “I (Jesus) have come that you may have LIFE — FULL abundant life!” He was talking about this lifetime.
    • I NEED GOD TO HELP ME LOVE GOD and if I need His help to love Him it would stand to reason I need Him to love others: who are perfectly fault-filled…like you and I.
    • excerpts taken from Crazy Love by Francis Chan
    • further comments written by Colleen Woodruff

     

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

    Naps: biblical or not? 

    This was just to great not to share. I saw this on a friend’s Facebook page today and I died laughing. Oh how good laughter is to the soul {Proverbs 17:22}. 

    See…NAPS ARE BIBLICAL! Aren’t we to be putting-on Christ? 🤗

    Hope you have a smile on your face! Have a blessed day friend,

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

    the strength to obey

    Obedience.

    This word means many things to different people: for some it is a scary or dirty word, while others totally disregard it in any form, while others struggle with it but do sincerely try. 

    Obedience isn’t to be feared if it is given, asked, taken, followed, submitted too under the guidelines of Scripture. Obedience is one of the foundational virtues that Jesus forms in those he calls. He gives us the strength to obey as we make the choice to obey.

    Obedience is one of the chief ways we demonstrate our love for God. Not singing Christian songs. Not going to church services. Not having quiet times. Not taking mission trips or doing loving things for others. Yes, yes, yes, all of these are fabulous things — you should be singing to your Lord for that is one way you can give Him worship. You should be active in your local church, for that is where you use your God-given talent(s). You should be having daily quiet time alone with your Lord, for without that time with Him how will you grow? Taking missions trips will change your life forever (spiritually and mentally for you see more than yourself, your needs, your world, and you see God, his people and souls that need Him! We should be loving others — to our brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as loving souls so much that we tell them about our incredible Savior so that they may know Him too! But do you hear what Jesus said: 

    “If you love me, keep my commands” 

    (John 14:15).

    Don’t you see? If you love HIM first and foremost all those other things fall into place. (the list above for just a few small examples)

    “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added into you” (Matt. 6:33).

    Our list isn’t finished yet…

    There are some who have choose to accept, believe, and trust wholeheartedly what biblical obedience is, what it looks like, and how it is to be asked and given. Not because they are super spiritual but because they have chosen before God that despite what their flesh tells them, despite what they were falsely taught (unknowingly and knowing), how they feel, or what has happened to them in the past, God’s way is the best way. God knows what He is talking about, God is God, therefore, I will obey Him and trust in His Words. 

    Obedience to Him brings freedom.

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

    Rethinking 

    Hank isn’t changing. He is a cranky guy. He has been cranky his whole life, and not just about church. He does not effectively know how to love his wife, his children cannot relate to him, and He has no joy. He’s been going to church his whole life — 60 years and nobody is surprised. Nobody in the church is surprised that he stays cranky year after year. No one is particularly bothered by it. It is as if we expect it — that’s just Hank. Nobody is expecting him to be more like Jesus year after year. Yet the Bible does expect it. The writer of Hebrews offers the following challenge: 

    “You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures. You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food. And a person who is living on milk isn’t very far along in the Christian Life and doesn’t know much about doing what is right” Hebrews 5:12-13 NLT

    The Greek term used in the New Testament for disciple is ‘mathetes’, which simply means “learner.” 

    As Bill Hull has written, the wrong question for the church is: How many people are present? The right question is: What are these people like? 

    After people become Christians, the goal is for them not only to learn how to live like Christ, but to actually live like Christ. This involves nothing less than radical life change. If this is not happening, then discipleship is not happening, and rethinking must take place.

    Excerpt taken from Rethinking the Church by James Emery White [pg 66-67]

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

    Do you know your Jesus?