Light & Truth: It’s Real!

There are many situations that present themselves in this life that leave us in doubt or wonder, even scared to step forward, but in God’s gracious love, once again, He displays His love through His Word and shows us who He is; Light and Truth; always and forever leaving us knowing His truest intent and plan. There is no darkness, ill will, selfishness, or deceit in God himself, but rather light, truth, life, honest well-intention which is for our best. This also includes those times when we don’t understand His wise and loving plan, but it doesn’t change Him; His way is perfect because He is perfect! Truly, this is of great comfort.

Today, take time to delight in God.

  • Thank Him for being Him, for being the Light that breaks through all darkness and the Truth in the midst of great confusion.
  • Thank Him for His wise instructions to you…and take time to stop. Listen. As a human child we all go through the learning process of obedience, submission, and following instructions, but we forget it doesn’t stop there, it continues our whole life through in God’s eyes! If our obedience, submission, or instruction isn’t from and towards God, it is to and for someone (self included) or something else. We all submit, the question is to who or what? We be wise to evaluate?

God loves you.

  • How much do you love God?
  • Can God see or experience your love, your praise, your thanks, your devotion towards Himself?
  • Does He know how much you love Him?
  • If not, why not child of God?*

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


*Friend, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. I’d love to share with you how you can know Him. This link will take you to a page called Eternity. If you have any questions, I’d love to chat with you. Here’s the link: https://inchristiamshe.com/eternity/. Praying for you, Colleen

How do Your Lips Move?

Psalm 130

“Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is lovingkindness, and with Him is abundant redemption. And He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.


You cannot walk in holiness and lie or should we say, you cannot habitually live a lifestyle of lying and claim holiness.

God wants Truth.

God knows the heart of man, but we do well to examine our own heart before Him.

Lest I be unclear, people (those saved or unsaved) do not get away with lying lips or heart. God will deal with the deceitful and lying lips.

Walking in God’s Truth is a demonstration of our love, our commitment to God. Guard against lying lips.

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

Power of the Thought

Our thoughts matter.

  • I’ve been doing much thought-searching lately. The deeper the dig goes, the more Scripture that is unfolded, the more revealing the revelation becomes…our thoughts are incredibly powerful.
  • Sure, most of us would agree, this is no new grand discovery. But do we stop ourselves and take the time to think of the repercussions of even one thought we allow ourselves to dwell upon? Oh, those ‘good’ ones are easy, but what about the ‘wrong’ ones we let slip out and then we justify by saying things like “We are having a bad day” or “I’m tired or stressed out right now.” Does this stand before our righteous and holy God? You know what excuses you use.

What we think, no, what we choose to dwell on will determine what we become. This is not “think happy thoughts and happy things will happen” but rather the holding captive thoughts that are toxic in form {ungodly} rather than focusing {which is a personal choice} our thoughts on God’s Truth and choosing to cling onto God’s Truth then live those Truths out which produce God-honoring-pleasing thoughts.

  • Today, why not begin to replace your toxic, sinful thoughts with the only Truth that can set you truly free and bring true freedom (John 8:32).
  • What toxic thoughts negativity affect your life and relationships?
  • Choose to replace them with God’s Truth – it’s worth it!

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

Reblogging 11.02.18 from the original post dated July 12, 2017; Colleen Woodruff; inchristiamshe.com

Truth About a Lie

“We lie not only when we contradict the truth, but also when we mislead someone’s thinking. We lie when we pretend things are fine, when in reality we are angry or unhappy. We lie when we hide a problem with drinking or Internet pornography or other sin, making excuses and throwing up smokescreens that cover our tracks.

We even lie to ourselves when we make something bad look acceptable, or even desirable….Our culture is adept at using the power of language to mislead and warp perceptions. We call teacher-student sexual relations “affairs” instead of abuse of power. We call the brutal killing of a woman “a crime of passion” as the perpetrator sobs, “I loved her so much.” Language is twisted to make our actions look less heinous, more acceptable. But the Bible warns us, “What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).

Lying is one of the most destructive things we can do when we’re confronted about something we’ve done wrong (Proverbs 26:18-19,28). I have witnessed marriage after marriage crumble because the person who has been challenged will not come clean through humble confession of the whole truth.”

  • The Emotionally Destructive Relationship by Leslie Vernick, page 34

My friends, regardless if you are married or single, young or old, a believer in Jesus Christ for decades or for just a few months — lies present in your relationships {whether you are the liar or you are being lied too} will bring destruction to all involved. Sin affects more than just yourself! The truth always comes out. To lie is to sin!

“A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin” (Proverbs 26:28).

“As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbor, and saith, Am not I in sport?” (Proverbs 26:18-19)

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

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

Reblogging 10.31.18 from the original post dated June 13, 2017; Colleen Woodruff; inchristiamshe.com

 

 

Victory {or} Defeat

We are in a battle. The battle of the unseen. The battle of the world around us. The battle of the world within us. The battle is real and therefore understanding that battle, well…is half the battle. No pun intended.

Once you have accepted Christ as your personal Savior and believed what He did on the cross was for you (His death, burial, and resurrection) and you confessed with your mouth, asked God to forgive you of your sins, cleanse you and be your Lord and Savior — you became a new creature that very second (Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:13; 1 John 5:11; 2 Cor. 5:17).

Hinds sight 20/20, we know that we didn’t fully understand everything, did we, and rightfully so for truthfully that is normal and okay for God Himself knew our hearts. But our relationship with God doesn’t start and stop on the day we accepted His salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. That day marked the beginning of our new life in Christ. That was the beginning of God’s first day of restoration with the love of His life…YOU! Yes, God’s love, His sending His Son to redeem mankind and restore us to Himself was for every human being, but do you realize it was for YOU! The day you became a child of God, Heaven was rejoicing, God did cartwheels (OK maybe not…But do you get how excited He was about YOU?) there were happy tears of joy and all because His love for you is beyond our comprehension. If you were the only person on earth…He would have died for only you that is how much He loves you (Luke 15:7; John 3:16; 1 John 5:13; Rom. 5:8).

Somewhere along the line, throughout the years our salvation: this incredible redemptive love for personal us gets lost in the midst of the happenings of life (whether good or hard if we are not careful). Oh, we are still God’s daughter for we can not lose our salvation, but take a little hear and some there we become distracted by godless things, we grow spirit-complacent, we allow life’s curveballs to draw us away instead of towards Him, we allow the hurts and wounds to be written in stone and our blessings written in dust (if we aren’t careful) I know the list could go on for your mind is already filling in the blanks (John 10:28-29).

But God — (all the while we journey this life) God hasn’t changed one iota. All the while He is longing to carry us and walk along with us for His love is still the same as the day he created Adam and Eve. His love is still the same as He was on the cross. His love is still the same as the day you accepted His gift of salvation. His love is still the same the day you choose to be bitter instead of better. His love is still the same when you choose to lean on Him for strength rather than yourself. His love is still the same when that someone special entered into eternity. His love is still the same whether or not you reject or accept because He has never ceased to love you (Heb. 13:8; Jer. 31:3; 2 Thess. 2:16).
The battle is very real! Psalm 27:13 is such a precious verse to me personally because on a specific day in time past my family and I had a choice to make — God (better) or self (bitter and believe the devil’s lies about God). That day in the midst of enormous grief from the loss of our third child, I choose to believe in the goodness of God in the land of this living I was in. For God was still good, as hard as it was to walk through that valley (Jer. 17:7).

Sunday was a marker day in history for our family. Eight years later much has happened in heart, life and the growth of our family. My little love that is not seen by any but is my heart fills my memory and I have the scars to prove it. I would have rather loved upon and nurtured our little love, but through God’s grace and comforting arms I can stand and say that I rejoice in my salvation and the hope of Jesus Christ for one sweet day we shall see each other again all because of Christ!! And that brings comfort to my heart (Titus 1:2; Titus 3:7; 1 John 2:25).

Life many times doesn’t go as planned, but that doesn’t make it wrong or make God the author of “my life is messed up now.” We are warriors in our King’s army. We serve under His command and must train for the battle. We can’t afford to take one step without putting on the full armor of God; we can’t afford to take one step without immersing our souls in His Word daily; we can’t afford to take one step without feasting in meditation on His Scriptures; we can’t afford to take one step without walking in willful obedience to our God. We can’t. For to not put on the armor is to forgo His power in our lives. It means settling for our own human limitations and weaknesses when we have His supernatural limitless strength at our access (Psalm 62:5; Eph. 6).

Sounds super silly to take our limited self over God’s limitless being, but so often we do because we step into battle with a defeatist perspective? We say things like, “Why even try?” or “It will never happen anyway.” and all sorts of other comments. Friends, what if we approached every battle (hardship, challenge, uncertainty, suffering) knowing the outcome is victory! Knowing that at the end — you win! Because that is our life in Christ. In CHRIST we are CONQUERORS. We don’t fight the daily battles wondering if we’ll defeat the foe. We are already victors! Christ won on our behalf! Our actions display our belief in this!

As children of God, we understand we have this spiritual armor of God and we are free to use it or not. We understand through Jesus Christ we can march boldly into battle with confidence knowing the outcome is victory. But we have a choice — reject or accept. Oh friends, allow God to demonstrate His mighty deeds in your life and experience God’s power and glory in a way you’ve never imagined for His love for you desires too.

My fellow warriors are you in? (Rom. 8:37) When most of us hear the word “desperate,” we wouldn’t put the word “warrior” in the same sentence. Surely, a warrior isn’t desperate, right? Remembering this world is not our home we are just passing through (John 18:36; Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 2:17-22; I Peter 1:1). There is a vast opposition between the world’s viewpoints and God’s ways. God will often allow us or lead us to a place of desperation (did God not lead His people into the desert?) so that He can show us His might in our lives (Jer. 33:3; Eph. 6:19-20).

You see, we’ve never been strong. It’s always been God manifesting His strength in us. When we are willing to let God be the mighty One then desperate becomes a powerful word (2 Cor. 12:10; Psalm 51:10; Col. 3:2; Jer. 33:3; Matt. 7:7-8; Isaiah 41:10). “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…” (Eph. 2:10). Choose Him. You already have the victory. Stand firm my friends, stand firm.

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

Reblogging 10.25.2018 from the original post dated January 31, 2017; Colleen Woodruff: inchristiamshe.com

 

 

 

Blindness Remedy

  • I came across this today and it stopped me in my tracks. Such blindness doesn’t happen over night. It is a progression of “no’s” (rejections of God’s tug on our hearts to do or not do), a decision made against the One we call, our Lord and Savior.
  • This is a warning to all of us who call Jesus, Lord.
    • To be careful.
    • To be wise.
    • Be vigilant because our advisory, the devil, is roaming this world seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
  • Not to fear, Christ has a remedy as well:
    • Be cross-centered minded.
    • Be Christ-focused in every deed and word.
    • Be God-centered in this life, period.
    • To put on Christlikeness because we love Him so.
    • Colossians 3:17; Ephesians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 11:1; John 15:9-11; 1 Peter 2:21; Matthew 6:33.

Sin is sin. There is no getting around that. May today we choose Christ above everything. And tomorrow, choose all over again! And again. And again, until you and I see our Savior’s face in glory!

Til He comes again, have a blessed Christ-filled day, my friends!

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

Remember G.R.I.E.F.

Grief has many faces.

Our first response, if asked, “what brings on grief?”many of us would respond with the answer ‘the death of a loved one or the loss of a friend.’ These answers most definitely cause the cycle of grief in one’s life, but did you know that grief can be caused by other situations or circumstances?

Other forms:

  • Moving — it has been said that 3 close moves equal 1 death.
  • Change — this form comes in many different scenarios.
  • Rejection — by family, friends or self (lies, deceit)
  • Sorrow — the grief so deep no words can describe.
  • Loss — loss comes in different forms as well, not just death.

We have seen, gone through and have recently done through such heartaches, and I would like to share something the Lord has been teaching me through the pain and healing.

Remember in Grief:

G God is good! – even in your darkest hour. God is good because He is unchanging, therefore, His goodness never ceases. He is working for your best good; it is the truest display and most deepest act of love there is, for it never ends. The life you may know right now may not “feel” like it nor “seem” like it, but there is never a time when God cannot be faithful to you, cannot love you, cannot comfort you, for He always has your best interest in mind. Blessed are you who keep Him first and love Him with a pure whole heart. So, in the crash course of hardness, when you reach that beyond ability of difficulty or simply just can’t, or don’t understand – make that choice to believe in the goodness of the Lord in that land of the living, for He loves you beyond measure and has never left you—NEVER!

R Refresh yourself! – There is only one source, the Word of God that can and will refresh your soul. At first, in your time of grief, it may seem “unfulfilling” or you may find your mind not comprehending (this is normal) but be constant – keep to the Word of God for this is what your soul truly needs above all things! The Word of God is where you will find comfort, strength, healing, where you will find the ability to accomplish and endure anything that will come because God is with you—it is your life line. Make the choice to immerse your heart, your soul, your mind in the Word of God every hour if you have too. To choose Christ in your grief is a choose that you will never regret, it is a choice that is literally out of this world –but one that you must decide to choose. Trust His words for that is the only thing that is unchanging around you…He is unchangeable.

I I am not alone! –Isolation is deadly. This is key to remember, but please do not confuse the difference between isolation and solitude. We are desperately in need of daily personal time of “solitude” with God. This is a fact. This personal “solitude” time with God is a personal time to feast on His Word, to spend time on our knees personally before God, hiding God’s Word in our hearts, this is all good, this is not what we are talking about here.

Isolation is not solitude. Do not allow others to wall you off from the “rest of the world” nor allow yourself to be brought into the path of “seclusion”—this include: yourself, the family of God, destructive relationship companions, and from those who truly love you—this is not physically healthy to your body nor is it spiritually healing to your soul. Isolation kills! You are never, ever alone regardless of the why you may “feel.” Our Lord said to us, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” and that was a promise –and if you didn’t know, God never breaks His promises! God is unchangeable. He has never broken a promise, therefore, He is not going to start with you! We were not created to be isolationist.

E Equipped in Jesus Christ! –Upon the day of your salvation you were immediately indwelled by the Holy Spirit. He is alive and well within you—He is willing, eager, ready and waiting to be listened too. You are resourced, powered, equipped because of Christ in you! You are enabled, but the Father will not grow you against your will. You have to choose! Daily choose to live in the Spirit, tap into that source God has enabled you with, His strength, and hold on and don’t let go. Do not doubt. You are complete in Him!

F Future is coming! —Yes, it will come! Regardless of how you “feel” today, joy does come in the morning. Whatever holds today—how life around is perceived (remember, perception is not always right, including ours) or even the truest reality and intensity of life; remember who holds the future. God is God and we are not! God holds the future, God sees our whole life, we only see now. We have been given a life-mission. Our purpose is not without hope, not without direction, not without purpose. Our hope is founded, it is sure in Christ (when we know Him as Savior), thus firmly rooted in the unchangeable Great I AM! Submission is not our enemy, trusting the future-holder (God) is where life begins, trust is not a bad wrong when it is linked to God. When God is sitting on the throne of our life it relieves our man-made stress and worries of life—for He is in His rightful place and we in ours! Joy will come in the morning. Trust His voice.

My friend, remember G.R.I.E.F.

  • Whatever your grief may be: perhaps the loss of a loved one (family or friend) or maybe it is finding yourself like Job where life’s circumstances aren’t looking so swell around you (by the way—major life events: like moving, change in job, etc. are included in one’s grief/sorrow/loss). G.R.I.E.F. is for everyone.

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

*Copyrights for G.R.I.E.F. belong to Colleen Woodruff @ http://www.inchristiamshe.com

Kintsukuroi

You ask, what is Kintsukuroi?

Gold filled pot

The Japanese art of Kintsugi, or Kintsukuroi, repairs broken pottery with seams of gold or silver. This repairs the brokenness in a way that makes the object even more beautiful than it was prior to being broken.

The Process:

  • This first healing spot is always near the base, which is the strongest piece left after being broken.
  • Just like the ancient Japanese ceramic repair tradition, we carefully stand the largest broken piece in sand. Piece by piece we mend the ceramic and allow to dry. This time consuming process is critical and necessary for proper binding.
  • After all the pieces are in place, we accentuate the cracks and smooth them out. The final step is to fill the seams with gold flaked paint. Just like the human race, no two are alike.

What a symbolism of what Christ sees in us. What Christ can do in us…if we are only, but willing.

  • The pottery doesn’t fight back. It doesn’t reject its maker or handler, it simply allows. Allows itself to go through the process of time, pain, and rebuilding.
  • The pottery is actively conforming, be handled, shaped, filled into its usability.

Like the broken or cracked pottery, it is when we surrender “our pieces” to God then He can take our pieces, center us, put us together (ever so gently), then fill us in with Himself (His Word, which is purest gold) to be more beautiful than we began. The end results are more glorious than we can imagine.

  • How humbly shocking this thought is: God loves us that much; loves us much that He, Himself, will handle us personally –every detail.

My friend, are you grasping onto pieces of your life that only God should be holding? Caring for? Healing? Rebuilding? Filling in with Himself (gold)?

  • Let Him have them.
  • However “your pieces” came to become part of you, those pieces don’t scare God. His love for you hasn’t changed. God cares about your soul…you!
  • Allowing God to have “your pieces” fulfills His ability to complete His masterpiece in you! No one else can fulfill it, only you can! That’s the beauty…Christ in You. He is the only true filler.
  • As a child of God, you have a God-mission that only you can complete. Will you let Him create? Will you complete your mission?
  • You can through Him! Don’t allow “pieces” to stop you.
  • Allow Him to fill you and come forth as gold.

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

What’s in Your Cup?

This analogy was what I needed to hear today. Hope it is for you too…


You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere.

Why did you spill the coffee? “Because someone bumped into me, of course!”

Wrong.

You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup.

spilled coffee pic

Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.

*Whatever is inside the cup, is what will spill out.*

  • Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you will come out. It’s easy to fake it, until you get rattled.

*So we have to ask ourselves… “what’s in my cup?”

  • When life gets tough, what spills over?
    • Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility?
    • Or anger, bitterness, harsh words and reactions?

You choose! 


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

Rise Up & Build

This morning as I sit here in my room, Bible open and my heart stirred from reading Nehemiah chapter 2, I hear little ones in the background singing and preparing for the day. Songs of praise to the Lord come from the shower, humming from another room, and snoring from the youngest ones bed. My heart is filled with joy as I hear these sounds. I think of the day that is ahead of us. There is much to do and we will be busy, but before that all begins I want my heart to be ready.

What a guy Nehemiah was. First captive, then cup bearer to the king, then his heart in deep distress over his beloved Jerusalem. Not for himself but for what it represented to the world about Almighty God — and that was to much for Nehemiah to handle for one day the king asked why he looked so sad. Nehemiah told him. God had already softened Nehemiah’s kings heart to hear and see the deep anguish he had for his city and for his God. The king freely and openly provides passage for him to go, provides supplies and with an agreement — “I’ll see you when you’re done.”

Nehemiah journeys to Jerusalem. In Nehemiah 2:18, he gives thanks to God and his earthly king he serves for all that has been done. With an alreadied spent time in prayer, time alone with God seeking Him, and time in preparation, it was time for Jerusalem’s walls to be reborn, time for his God’s reputation to be fixed, reestablished amongst the lands. He could not help himself but to give praise to his God and his earthly king and the men around him arose and said to Nehemiah, “Let us rise up and build.”

What a accomplishment to just even be there. To think a servant, a captive to a foreign king and to be given such freedom to “go back home” and rebuild.

Nehemiah’s focus was singular. Yes, the walls of Jerusalem were in ruins; yes, the city could not defend itself; yes, the city was a disgrace to the name of God and a laughing stock to the countries around her — the reputation of God’s name must be restored. The redemption of glorify of God’s name was more precious to Nehemiah than anything. God must be glorified.

“Let us rise up and build.”

What do we “build” today?

Or maybe…is there something we need to “re-build” today?

As I hear these little ones preparing for their new day, it draws my mind and heart to think, “What do I build?” In Proverbs a wise women builds up her house, but the foolish one tears it down (14:1).

I think of churches who have chosen to be lukewarm or even cold and are OK with it. Complacency is the norm. The idea of God is “when I have time” and the world sees and laughs. In Revelation it says that God “will spit us out” (3:16) those who choose to live accordingly. This is not building. This is not rising up.

I think of marriages who do not honor God’s plan written in Scripture and find it to be OK (Gen. 2:24; Prov. 5: 18-19; Eph. 5: 22-33 just to list a few). When we obey and follow God’s plan what a glorious marriage it becomes — the two becoming beautifully intertwined as one. When God’s plan for marriage is NOT followed the world mocks for there is no difference between a marriage with Christ or without Christ; this not be.

I think of families who tear each other apart in word and deed yet claim Christ (Eph. 4:32; Eph. 4:29-31; and so many more verses on our speech; Look them up!) Psalm 127:3-5 tells us how children are a blessing, an inheritance from the Lord…when our quiver is full — Oh the joy! What gifts from above! Treasure your family for when we don’t the world sees and laughs for we are no different. If Christ be in us, our speech, lives, actions should be different!

Instead of squabbling, bickering, arguing, fighting, lying, sowing discord, instead of disobedience God’s Word and choosing to live a lukewarm or cold Christian life, instead of churches giving their Shepherd, God’s man, whom you called to Shepherd and lead you a hard time–follow his God-leading, follow and obey God instead and watch the Lord do great things!

All the while we focus on the sinful issues of others or focus solely on ourself, there are lost souls who are dieing — and once dead — will spend eternity in the lake of fire, separation from God forever, because we were to self absorb and self centered as individuals and as churches. This ought not to be! We have lost our God-mission!

We fail at church, marriages, family and individuals because we have missed the mark — the mark of the focus of ONE! It is that simple!

  • If God is not our first and foremost number one focus in this life then we have grown God-complacent.
  • Nehemiah was not such a man. He was truly God-focused.

Our prayers should be “Lord break my heart for what breaks yours!” instead of sitting on the throne of our life.

  • Want to succeed? Be like Nehemiah, BE GOD-FOCUSED in every area of life! It is really that simply. Our actions is where the rubber meets the road…we have a choice!
  • To choose GOD FIRST above all else is the best option with the best results. (I Cor. 10:31)

It is not to late to build or rebuild!


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

01/2017•revised and reposted on 09/2018 Colleen Woodruff•In Christ I am SHE

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.}

the Yoke of Christ

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” Matthew 11:28-30.

Have a blessed Christ-filled weekend.

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

Dozing Church…”zzzzzzz”

photo_20171027_0107151040650495.png

[excerpts from Causes of a Dozing Church | A.W. Tozer]

What is the present condition of the evangelical church? The bulk of Christians are asleep. I do not mean that the bulk of Christians who come to evangelical churches are not converted, because if I meant that I would say they were dead and never had been born again. But I say they are asleep. It is possible to be morally asleep yet mentally, intellectually, physically and theologically alert.

The present condition is that we are asleep. These sleeping Christians do two things that God must grieve over. One is that they control church affairs. We are democratic, and if we do not like a pastor we give him the bounce or pray that he will get another call. Then when the time comes we vote in whom we want and vote out whom we do not want. Church people control church affairs because they are intellectually, mentally and physically awake, but they may be morally and spiritually asleep. That is, they are so far down in the rut that they do not see up.

Many people who are asleep control church affairs. It gets into whole conferences. Representatives will meet at the expense of the local church people. They will read minutes and pass resolutions, but they are asleep. You know they are asleep by the way they talk as soon as the benediction is pronounced and they have adjourned. You know they are asleep by their conduct, the things they are interested in or lack interest in, yet they control church affairs.

The second thing sleeping Christians do is set the standards for new Christians. When you bring in a newly converted Christian, he or she automatically takes on the coloration, general mood and temperature of the solemn seats around him or her. Pretty soon he or she is where they are, and once again there are no good examples of the Christian life.


  • Revelation 3:14-16 says, “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” 
  • Matthew 7:16-17 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.” (also see verses 20-25; 16:24; 10:38).
  • Isaiah 29:13 ” Then the Lord said, Because this people draw near with their words, and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverance for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,”
  • Titus 1:16 “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”
  • 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?”
  • Huge warnings for us to look at ourselves–daily heart checks in order

 

 

Thy Will Be Done: You are God & I am Not

Thy will be done. Though I may never understand why my broken heart is apart of your plan; though my mind and heart may not agree; though my circumstances around me may scream otherwise; though my flesh may fail me and my spirit challenged beyond words, may my heart, soul, mind, thoughts, actions pray…THY WILL be done for YOU are GOD and I am NOT!



THY WILL

written by: Hillary Scott; The Scott Family

(1) I’m so confused
I know I heard you loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don’t wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of your plan
When I try to pray
All I’ve got is hurt and these four words

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done

(2) I know you’re good
But this don’t feel good right now
And I know you think Of things,
I could never think about, It’s hard to count it all joy, Distracted by the noise, Just trying to make sense, Of all your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that you’re God
And I am not
So…
Thy will be done, Thy will be done, Thy will be done

(Refrain) Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will…

I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Goodness you have in store
I know you hear me
I know you see me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Good news you have in store

So, thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord

Songwriters: BERNIE HERMS, HILLARY SCOTT, EMILY LYNN WEISBAND© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

Serving Leftovers to a Holy God

Crazy Love written by Francis Chan (excerpt from chapter five pages 83-88)

“…now we are going to look at scriptural examples of poor responses to God’s gift of love. Before you discount or ignore what I am about to say, read these passages objectively, without preconceived opinions staunchly in place. My examination of lukewarm Christians in chapter 4 was by no means exhaustive. However, it did serve as a call to examine your heart in light of the points I listed. As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there’s no such thing. To put it plainly, churchgoers who are “lukewarm” are not Christians. We will not see them in heaven.

In Revelation 3:15-18, Jesus says,

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.”

This passage is where our modern understanding of lukewarm comes from. Jesus is saying to the church that because they are lukewarm, He is going to spit them out of His mouth. There is no gentle rendering of the word spit in Greek. This is the only time it is used in the New Testament, and it connotes gagging, hurling, retching. Many people read this passage and assume Jesus is speaking to saved people. Why?

When you read this passage, do you naturally conclude that to be “spit” out of Jesus’ mouth means you’re part of His kingdom? When you read the words “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked,” do you think that He’s describing saints? When He counsels them to “buy white clothes to wear” in order to cover their “shameful nakedness,” does it sound like advice for those already saved? I thought people who were saved were already made white and clothed by Christ’s blood.

…so I’ve spent the past few days reading the Gospels. Rather than examining a verse and dissecting it, I chose to peruse one gospel in each sitting. Furthermore, I attempted to do so from the perspective of a twelve-year-old who knew nothing about Jesus. I wanted to rediscover what reasonable conclusions a person would come to while objectively reading the Gospels for the first time. In other words, I read the Bible as if I’d never read it before.

My conclusion? Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. The thought of a person calling himself a “Christian” without being a devoted follower of Christ is absurd. But please don’t take my word for it. Read it yourself.

For years I struggled with the parable of the soils. I wanted to know if the person representing the rocky soil is saved, even though he has no root. I then wondered about the thorny soil: Is this person saved since he does have root?

I doubt if people even considered these questions back in Jesus’ day! Is this idea of the non-fruit-bearing Christian something that we have concocted in order to make Christianity “easier”? So we can follow our own course while still calling ourselves followers of Christ? So we can join the Marines, so to speak, without having to do all the work?

Jesus’ intention in this parable was to compare the only good soil to the ones that were not legitimate alternatives. To Him, there was one option for a true believer.

Let’s face it. We’re willing to make changes in our lives only if we think it affects our salvation. This is why I have so many people ask me questions like, Can I divorce my wife and still go to heaven? Do I have to be baptized to be saved? Am I a Christian even though I’m having sex with my girlfriend? If I commit suicide, can I still go to heaven? If I’m ashamed to talk about Christ, is He really going to deny knowing me?

To me, these questions are tragic because they reveal much about the state of our hearts. They demonstrate that our concern is more about going to heaven than loving the King. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15). And our question quickly becomes even more unthinkable: Can I go to heaven without truly and faithfully loving Jesus? 

I don’t see anywhere in Scripture how the answer to that question could be yes. 

James 2:19 says, “You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” God doesn’t just want us to have good theology; He wants us to know and love Him. First John 2:3-4 tells us, “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”  Call me crazy, but I think those verses mean that the person who claims to know God but doesn’t obey His commands is a liar and that the truth really isn’t in him.  In Matthew 16:24-25, Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save is life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” And in Luke 14:33, He says, “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”

Some people claim that we can be Christians without necessarily becoming disciples. I wonder, then, why the last thing Jesus told us was to go into the world, making disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that He commanded?

You’ll notice that He didn’t add, “But hey, if that’s too much to ask, tell them to just become Christians—you know, the people who get to go to heaven without having to commit to anything.”

Pray. Then read the Gospels for yourself. Put this book down and pick up your Bible. My prayer for you is that you’ll understand the Scriptures not as I see them, but as God intends them.


I do not want true believers to doubt their salvation as they read this book. In the midst of our failed attempts at loving Jesus, His grace covers us. Each of us has lukewarm elements and practices in our life; therein lies the senseless, extravagant grace of it all. …His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3). His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). I’m not saying that when you mess up, it means you were never really a genuine Christian in the first place. If that were true, no one could follow Christ.

The distinction is perfection (which none will attain on this earth) and a posture of obedience and surrender, where a person perpetually moves toward Christ. To call someone a Christian simply because he does some Christian-y things is giving false comfort to the unsaved. But to declare anyone who sins “unsaved” is to deny the reality and truth of God’s grace.

From other references in Scripture (Colossians 2:1; 4:13, 15-16), the church at Laodicea appears to have been a healthy and legitimate church. But something happened. By the time Revelation was written, about twenty-five years after the letter to the Colossians, the Laodiceans’ hearts apparently didn’t belong to God—despite the fact that they were still active as a church. Their church was prospering, and they didn’t seem to be experiencing any persecution. They were comfortable and proud.

end of quoting from book…




Dear friend,

My heart has been ever so challenged and extremely rebuked by these few pages. To be lukewarm brings no glory, no honor, no pleasure to God, but clearly demonstrates where the love of my heart truly lives. 

We know that one cannot lose their salvation – once a child of God always a child of God, but just because one claims Christ doesn’t mean they are His. Scripture clearly states that “you will know them by their fruit” (Matthew 7:16-20). This doesn’t give you nor I the authority to cast judgement upon one another, but rather to cast the judgement upon ourselves—to take our own blinding, humongous, pride-centered-filled beam out of our own eye, first and foremost, before we even attempt trying to take out the speck that is in our brother’s eye (Matthew 7:3-5).

  • So rebuked, yes!
  • Challenged, yes!
  • Warned, yes!
    • Am I lukewarm?
    • Am I cold?
    • Am I hot?

When you ask yourself these same questions, you know the answers, as do I.  The question is what are you and I going to do about it?

  • What does my heart look like–is it filled with gratitude to my Savior or filled with pride because I somehow I think I am entitled to His grace.
  • My actions speak my hearts motives!

We only have but one life to live; it is either all mine or all His.

Blessings to you dear friends. May we be a sweet smelling savor into the nostrils of God and hear, ‘well done’!

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

 

 

“Where is Your Faith?”

Have you ever been fearful?

The kind of fearful that grabs the very core of your being so hard that you found yourself paralyzed which in return begins a series of after-effects that causes you to doubt your faith?

As a believer in Jesus Christ there tends to be a taboo, if you will – I like to call it a lack of honesty to self and with others, where one doesn’t discuss or share such matters. Sadly, we place more importance on what other’s think, what we think,, rather than being consumed with God thinks.

Please do not miss understand me, too live by faith and not by sight, trust and obey our gracious and glorious God, and live out our faith without waver is truly this girls desire, but more importantly God’s desire for each one of us. God in His mercy is so incredibly good to us for we do not deserve His mercies. We are consumed by His goodness, but let’s be finite honest here:

Have you not been fear-gripped to your soul in the midst of a storm?

You, I, and others (whether owned up to it or not) have at one point had their faith challenged or stretched to new levels; their faith wavered to some extent; struggled during a trial where we might have asked, “Lord what are you doing?” or may have even uttered the word, “Why” (yes, I wrote it!) because we don’t understand yet truly want too. God knows you better than you know you. God knows me better than I know me.

Let’s live in the land of God-Truth over façade.  

When you live in an area that is prone to horrific weather, you built safeguards. Your home is built on a firm foundation, and you have a plan. It is just the standard of life and no one questions your motives in planning, organizing or building. The risk is possible. The storm may come. You take action. You prepare. Your life, the life of your family depends on it.

I have been God-challenged yet extremely God-rebuked in the area of my personal foundation building on/in my Savior. Over the past year and a half, my foundation has been shakened, challenged to measures I knew not of, confused, fearful, doubtful, scary, yet it has seen the hand of God rebuild in me foundations on Christ through His conferring and solidifying wondering working power. I know it sounds crazy, it has been a whirlwind that has not been easy.

(pause moment) As a family, we look back and could tell you numerous ways how we have seen the very hand of God work miracles in our lives through His blessings, trials, and testing’s that truthfully make our heads spin (to God’s glory!!), but this storm…ummm, this storm has rocked my boat in more ways than I ever before.

Our Christ foundation is one that stands the test of time for He IS faithful. It is one that is built firmly on the Word of God for His Word is Truth and will not lead nor direct in any wrong way – He is trustworthy. God hasn’t changed.

As we have been in this lengthy storm, I have questioned my soul’s preparation. It is so easy to spit the words out in the good times that we trust God; it is so easy to trust and thank God when we get what we want, but when the desires of your heart turn to hope that is sickened, despaired, sorrow-filled, and there ‘seems’ to be no end in sight of relief, that stirs your soul in ways that are hard to swallow sometime. But should that change our trust and thanks to God? Should it look different? Should it be given differently? No, it shouldn’t. He is still the same God!

I think back to before this storm began and wonder, “Did I safeguard?” knowing full well that storms will come.

  • Do we spiritually plan?
  • Do we spiritually strategies, seek, and prepare for that storm like we would if we lived in “that” part of the country?

It is inevitable, the storms of life will come. It is easy to say that you are unshakable when all is well.

Maybe you are in one, just like I am!

So, what do we do?

  • In Luke 8, Jesus said, “Let’s go over to the other side.” So, Jesus is out on a boat with His disciples on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus decides to take a nap – some R & R time from one side to the next. Suddenly, without warning, a huge storm takes over the sea, water begins to fill their boat. The threat, within each disciple fear begins to take hold for the storm is pulling them under and sinking their boat. Remember what Jesus is doing? Napping. I find this so interesting. Here Jesus is at complete peace while the disciples are in complete fear for their lives – a storm to test their faith.

There were no meteorologists warning them of a storm, and frankly, were there any warning signs in the sky that day that the disciples saw to prepare them before setting sail? I don’t think so, we are talking about experienced fishermen on a lake that they knew all too well!

In 2004, my husband and I had the incredible privilege to go to Israel. The trip of a lifetime and one I would take again in a heartbeat. One of those days we were there we got to sail on a boat across the Sea of Galilee, the very same place where Jesus and His disciples sailed. The same sea that Jesus calmed (very humbling!). Before sailing on the Sea of Galilee, I had my ideas of what the Sea of Galilee looked like but to my surprise it is quite small. You can see from one side to the other.

This confirms, this storm really did catch these men off guard because they wouldn’t have sailed out had it been bad weather.

“Where’s your faith?”, Jesus asked them when they woke him up trembling with fear. Ouch! I don’t know about you, but this grips the core of my heart!

  • We too are often asked this very question by our Lord, “Where’s your faith?”.
  • Have you not heard Him whispered this very phrase in your ear and heart?

We walk this life – no, we all too often own this life as if it were our own. We enjoy the countless God-blessings He gives (we don’t reject those), then question God when a storm comes. When that “BAM” hits. Out of nowhere something rips into our faith – something that rips our faith away or challenges it to levels we never knew existed –and we say, “Lord, I cannot handle this!” “Is this a dream…am I in the twilight zone?” “Rescue me, Lord!” and Jesus replies, “Where’s your faith?”.

Where is my faith when this storm hit?

  • I haven’t prepared.

  • I didn’t prepare.

Are you thinking – wow, where is the love of God in all this? Colleen, you are being too harsh on yourself. No, my friend, it is not about me, none of this is about me. This is the hand of God working in this soul’s heart showing me that I am so SO incapable without Him and HE IS GOD!

{{{the story isn’t finished}}}

God’s love is woven before, in, and through each storm we have gone through, are going through, and will ever go through as His child – Jeremiah 31:3; Matthew 28:20.

Luke 8 (NASB).

[22] Now on one of those (love this – one of those days…) days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out (no questions asked; no worries). [23] But as they were sailing along He (Jesus) fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake (Sea of Galilee), and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. [24] They (the disciples) came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He (Jesus) got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm (that same power, that same authority – is the same yesterday, today and FOREVER!). [25] And He (Jesus) said to them, “Where is your faith?” They (the disciples) were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”

There is only one way through the storm of life:

  • Standing firm the Word of God – His Word is Truth!

  • Standing firm in the beautiful Truth that Christ has already conquered them all – the victory is already won!

  • We can stand fearless in our storms even when we humanly ‘feel’ like we are unable because of Christ in us!

What a comfort!

  • There is a decision that must be made on the part of each individual – I will stand firm of the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD alone or I will not!

  • The same Jesus that calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee is the SAME Jesus! That same power, that same authority is the same yesterday (for the disciples), today (for us) and forever (for all)!

where is your faith

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

 

 

Truth about a Lie

“We lie not only when we contradict the truth, but also when we mislead someone’s thinking. We lie when we pretend things are fine, when in reality we are angry or unhappy. We lie when we hide a problem with drinking or Internet pornography or other sin, making excuses and throwing up smokescreens that cover our tracks.

We even lie to ourselves when we make something bad look acceptable, or even desirable….Our culture is adept at using the power of language to mislead and warp perceptions. We call teacher-student sexual relations “affairs” instead of abuse of power. We call the brutal killing of a woman “a crime of passion” as the perpetrator sobs, “I loved her so much.” Language is twisted to make our actions look less heinous, more acceptable. But the Bible warns us, “What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).

Lying is one of the most destructive things we can do when we’re confronted about something we’ve done wrong (Proverbs 26:18-19,28). I have witnessed marriage after marriage crumble because the person who has been challenged will not come clean through humble confession of the whole truth.”

  • The Emotionally Destructive Relationship by Leslie Vernick, page 34

My friends, regardless if you are married or single, young or old, a believer in Jesus Christ for decades or for just a few months — lies present in your relationships {whether you are the liar or you are being lied too} will bring destruction to all involved. Sin affects more than just yourself! The truth always comes out. To lie is to sin!

“A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin” (Proverbs 26:28).

“As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?” (Proverbs 26:18-19)

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).