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Saturday, July 16, 2016

No Matter What You Think, You Are Clean.


I'm noticing that a lot of us have something in common...we don't think we are enough. While we may not say it aloud, we think God may be able to forgive HER, but I bet she hasn't done half the awful things I've done!

"The Lord called me before I was born. He named me while I was in my mother’s womb." ~ Isaiah 49:1
God knew you and every single decision, mistake and rebellious act you would commit before you were more than a twinkle in your daddy's eye. God made you to be exactly what and who you are. God doesn't make mistakes. Let me say that one more time; GOD DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES! You were created and put here for a reason, His reason. What that reason is will be between you and God, but trust that God has a plan for you.

 "Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged."~John 19:1

God stands outside of time and sees everything that has, is or ever will happen. He knew that Jesus would be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. That Jesus, a sweet and precious soul, a man who never sinned, who never hurt a single living thing but only helped the hurting would be tortured, made fun of, plotted against by jealous 'religious' leaders, and finally left alone to die the most horrible death of those times; death by crucifixion.
But first, He was arrested and beaten, betrayed by His disciples, and then flogged. What is flogging? Well, the Hebrew word for flogged is 'mastigo√≥', which means 'flog, scourge, the victim being strapped to a pole or frame; chastise. The word 'scourge' means, a whip or lash, especially for the infliction of punishment or torture.

Did you catch that word torture at the end of the meaning for scourge?  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, a man who never did anything but live in peace and help people was tortured. Here is the meaning of the word 'torture' "the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty."


In the case of Jesus, I believe it was for sheer cruelty. They wanted Him to say that He was NOT the Messiah, that He couldn't and wouldn't change the way people lived and believed. Jesus, however, cannot lie. He didn't give them what they wanted, so they tortured Him. Jesus' blood flowed freely that day. This beautiful example of humanity who never hurt but only healed. He actually SAW people and loved them anyway.It flowed for those who were responsible for His death, for those who mocked Him and plotted against Him. His blood flowed for those who cursed Him, beat Him and spit on Him. He actually SAW people and loved them anyway. It flowed for you and for me.  And, girly, He sees you. He sees the tears you cry and catches every single one. He hears your prayers and feels your frustration at the fact that you got it wrong...for the millionth time. He can hear your heart break when you fight with your husband or when you worry about your children. He KNOWS you and He loves you. Our human condition can't comprehend this sort of love because we are incapable of it. The closest we might get is the love we feel for our children, but even that is an imperfect love.


"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."~ John 16:33
Jesus wants you to have peace in the midst of your problems because He has already overcome every single problem you are experiencing. He goes before you into every situation and He loves you more than you could ever possibly imagine or comprehend.
 The devil knows that if we continue to believe we are 'too horrible to be forgiven', not only are we saying that Jesus' death was not enough, but we are also allowing the devil to win. How it must break God's heart to see His children fall victim to the devil who controls our thoughts with lies straight from hell. The devil knows that if all of us women began to believe in the power of Jesus' blood to wash us whiter than snow, and we began to move as one body for Christ, we would be completely unstoppable!

So, what do you say ladies? Do you realize you ARE worthy? After all that Jesus went through to save you from eternal damnation, do you feel loved? Cared for? Cherished? I do! Leave a comment below and tell me how YOU feel about all that has been done by Jesus to get you to this point in your life. Sit down when you have a few minutes alone, pick up your Bible and read about the crucifixion of Christ, then get your prayer journal and worship the God who loved us enough to send His only Son to die for us, tell Him how much you love Him and ask Him to grow your faith to such proportions that the devil is afraid to even look in your direction. I hope you all have a wonderful night!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Do You Love Your Enemies?!

Just the other day, I saw someone who tried her hardest to mess up my life several years ago. I thought I was over it, had forgiven her because, after all, I prayed for my heart to let go of the hate I felt for her. Yes, I said "HATE". I had an extreme hate for her. It's a long story, but she almost destroyed my future marriage and my life all because she was just a bored individual who had nothing better to do.
I was doing my evening Bible reading yesterday and the Word convicted me. I hadn't forgiven her so much as just quit thinking about it. I read two verses that brought her instantly to my mind.


"Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer"
Romans 12:12 


"If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head."
Romans 12:18-20

I'm reading the book 5 Minutes in the Bible for Women by Emilie Barnes. The goal of this book is to help the reader develop the habit of reading their Bible first thing in the morning. In section 2, titled 'Get More From Your Bible Reading', Mrs. Barnes lists 8 questions to ask ourselves that will help us understand whatever book we of the Bible we are reading. The one that grabbed my attention was #5, 'What command is there to obey? The Bible doesn't give "maybes" or "suggestions". The writers are usually direct in delivering God's message.' (page 11).
The Bible DOES say in 2 Timothy 3: 16-17,
 "All Scripture is god-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Learning to let go of the hate we hold in our hearts is definitely a 'good work', and the verses I read did rebuke me. Forgetting is not forgiving. I need to pray persistently for God to help me let go of this hate because it is poison to our souls. It will harden our hearts by degrees until we don't know how to let go of the hate. 

We have been offered grace and, as a child of God, I am commanded to also extend that grace to others. Not just those I like, but especially to those who have tried to hurt me. 

Yes, this woman tried to harm me. Yes, she tried her level best to keep God's plan from coming to fruition. Guess what? God's plan for my life was written long before this woman ever existed. My life was planned with care by a loving Father Who knew what I would need at this specific time. He also knew that she would be lonely and bored and jealous of my life and try to cause trouble for me. He took care of it long before either of us knew it would happen. When I think of it in those terms, it's so much easier to forgive her. She wanted what God intended for me but she didn't get it. God has a plan for her life if she is His child. I sincerely hope that she is because if she isn't, God's vengeance is much greater than mine could ever be.
Do you have hate in your heart right now for someone who tried to cause you or someone you love harm? Pray about it, give it to your Father Who loves you and wants your heart to be free. If it takes praying every day for the next however long, continue in prayer.

I hope that this post helps someone who needs to forgive someone else. God forgave us, so we must forgive others. Show the person you can't seem to forgive, God. Give them grace and pray for them. You aren't doing it for the person, but for God. We are human and hate is a human emotion, a fleshly emotion. Isn't that what our lives as God's children are about? Learning to let go of the fleshly desires?
Let me know what you are fighting with right now in the comments below.

Friday, March 25, 2016

On This Day, This Good Friday.

You know, I've always wondered why this day should be called "Good" Friday. This is the day that our Savior was crucified. Jesus was the sweetest, most patient, compassionate, empathetic and humble man this world has ever seen or will ever see until He appears in the clouds to call His people home. He helped so many people, He taught so many people, He had mercy on so many people. Even today, over 2,000 years later, He still is and does these things. I know He is constantly working on teaching me.
I read the stories of how Jesus healed the leper and my heart just breaks at the pure sweetness of that man named Jesus. I mean think about it, really think about it. A leper lived outside of regular society and wasn't allowed to do the normal things everyone else did. They were never touched and rarely looked at. One day, Jesus sees this leper and He touches him and makes him clean, healed ... instantly! Did you catch the part where I said Jesus TOUCHED the leper?  Every time I think about that story I wonder how long it had been since that poor man had felt any touch at all from another human being and for the first person in who knows how long that touched him to be JESUS CHRIST?! My heart just hurts (in a good way). I wonder if that leper man could feel the Holiness rolling in waves off of the Son of God. I wonder if he could feel the love of Jesus' heart, hear the angels in heaven singing? Did Jesus smile at the man and tell him that he was created for such as time as that? So that by being healed, he could bring glory to God?
Then I wonder where that same man, no longer a leper made to live on the outskirts of society was when Jesus was being tried and unjustly accused. Or the woman that was healed from her issue of blood? Or the mother that Jesus felt so saddened for that He brought her son back from the dead so she wouldn't be alone? Where were all those people and what were they doing on "Good" Friday when Jesus, beaten and bloodied, weak and thirsty and tired and dirty, was dragging that huge cross to Golgotha? Since their lives had been touched in such a manner by this beautiful man, did they feel His courage and sense of purpose?


On this day, this "Good" Friday, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Lamb of God, the Lion of Judah, was in so much pain! He had been whipped until His back was a raw and bloodied mess, beaten until He was unrecognizable, weak as a newborn kitten ... and still He resolutely faced Golgotha and yet more pain. His life giving and compassionate and merciful and beautiful hands were nailed to the cross. Then His feet, feet that had traveled so very many miles seeking to do good, to show mercy and teach compassion were nailed to the cross. Then the cross was lifted high into the air and He was left to just hang, in the beating sun while His accusers hovered like vultures, while the Devil paced and waited for his victory. Every. Single. Time those nails were pounded, those fists punched Him, those feet kicked Him was for YOU and for ME. Every.Single.Time He was spat upon, made fun of, hated and accused was for YOU and for ME. Every. Single. Time we choose to do the wrong thing and be angry instead of showing mercy, hang on to anger instead of forgiving, those nails were pounded in a little more.
On this day, this "Good" Friday, we were saved by this beautiful Man. We were given life and mercy and forgiveness and grace at the foot of that old rugged cross so that we wouldn't have to face what He went through. He took our punishment on Himself. A pure and blameless soul took on the ENTIRE WORLDS ugliness so that we would have a chance to gain mercy and have a relationship with our Father God. So I guess this day, this "Good" Friday really is a good day for me, a sinner. A day to help me remember that my hope is in Jesus Christ Who, on Easter Sunday, overcame the grave, fought death and won!!!
I hope that you all have a very happy and blessed Easter. I hope that in the middle of Easter egg hunts and candy eating, you can remember to look up and say "Thank You Jesus! Thank you for my HOPE! I love You to the moon and back again!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I Don't Have a Clue What Advent Actually Is!

You read that correctly, I haven't the foggiest notion what Advent is. According to Justin Holcomb on christianity.com, Advent is a season of the liturgical year. I have no idea what that is either! The Advent season is supposed to help us slow our roll and anticipate the coming of Christmas. It is supposed to help us remember what the TRUE reason for Christmas is. During Advent, many people make decorations and light candles and do an Advent devotional to help them draw closer to Jesus. Advent lasts for the four Sundays that lead up to Christmas. On that day the new Christian year begins and there is the celebration of Christmastide, which lasts for twelve days (from Christmas Eve until Epiphany on January 6. According to Mr. Holcomb, "Advent begins on the Sunday that falls between November 27th and December 3rd each year."
While I may find a calendar to help me understand the liturgical year at some point, this year my main focus is on quieting my mind and drawing closer to Jesus as Christmas comes closer. I have decided to do a devotional (or two) this year and then learn everything else throughout the coming year so that I can celebrate Advent the way it is meant to be celebrated next year. I have found two devotionals that I love and I plan to do one in the morning and one at night.

The first devotional is called 'Quieting Your Heart for the Holidays' and was written by Darlene Schacht of Time Warp Wife. There are week at a glance printouts, questions that you can print out and answer to help you really apply the Scriptures to your life and hide them in your heart, printable Bible verse cards and, of course, the printable study guide. There is also the journal that you can purchase from amazon.com and you can also check out on at the link above.
The second devotional is from billygraham.org. I have always loved Mr. Graham because he was such a passionate man when it came to God's Word but he was also compassionate and passionate about people's souls. He just seemed like such a precious and loving man who was burning with the urgency to see everyone he could reach be saved. Just click the link above and fill out the form and then you will be taken to the download page where you can download and print it out.
I hope that this is the year that makes a difference in my life as well as in yours. Christmas isn't about the presents under the tree, it's about the Presence of God in our homes and lives. It's not about Santa, it's about Jesus, the one true gift. It's about remembering that we have eternal life because over two thousand years ago, a sweet, precious little baby boy was born to take on the sins of the world and to offer us hope, grace, mercy and a future.

Also, don't forget that the 2016 Cornerstone Confessions Planner is on sale for $10.00 from now until Cyber Monday (November 30th). After that it goes back to the normal price of $15.00. You can read my post about this planner that has it all here. I absolutely love mine and can't say enough good things about it. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Please remember to keep the Lord at the top of your list of things to be thankful for because every good thing comes from Him.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Why I Chose to Leave All of My Previous Posts on For God's Daughters

I received an email earlier from someone who came across For God's Daughters through an internet search and they decided to go through several of the posts, which are mostly book reviews. Some of the reviews are of books in the Horror category and they contain adult situations. The individual asked why I didn't at least go through and delete those reviews.
I didn't go through and delete them because, in most cases, the author found me and asked me to review their book and I was and am extremely honored that they would trust me to do that. Also, I don't want For God's Daughters to seem completely perfect. Truthfully, I had considered deleting some of the reviews, but then it hit me. I am a growing Christian. Every single day, there is something a little different about how I think or what I feel comfortable with reading/watching/doing. Why shouldn't my blog be the same way? Sort of like a reflection of my personal growth.
I like that idea, that people can go back to my older posts and say, "Wow! What a difference she has made on this blog." Just because I am growing spiritually doesn't mean that I don't still like a good horror story, especially the kind that scares you silly if you're reading it in the middle of the night with all the lights out!
I want this blog to be a place where women can find encouragement, spiritual resources and good reads. I'm pretty sure it will be a while before I have any free resources to give away here but I will do contests so you have a chance to win some great books by authors like Suzie Eller, Priscilla Shirer, Elizabeth George, Stormie Omartian and many other wise women. I will also be posting to links to other blogs that DO offer free resources or that have some really wise posts that I think you might be interested in.
I hope I have explained my decision to keep my old posts here in a way that you can understand and that it doesn't keep you from visiting. Hopefully you find things here to help you out and you can discuss things with me that will help me out (particularly on impatience and short tempers because I have both aplenty!)
Thank you for reading and please leave a comment!

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