Sunday, June 17, 2012

Who am I Christ

So I have ha a reoccurring message in my life lately. It's this idea that God has a great plan for me and yet I feel stuck in my sin and feel inadequate to move forward. Yeah, my first thought is I know how I supposed to feel and probably be, but down in my heart I know that I am insecure, and think I am not good enough to be used by God. So here are my thoughts and some thing I an working through.

Let's begin with feeling that the sin in my life makes me feel like I not good enough. My heart is pure, but I feel like Paul when he writes:
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. (Romans 7:15 ESV)
I hate that I am fearful, have anxiety, choose not to share my faith, bitter, I gossip, I judge, and the list could go on and on. I am praying that I can honestly repent of my sins and know that God does not see my sin.

So, who am I in Christ. Well, the bible says I am daughter of the King. I am fearfully and wonderfully made For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:13, 14 ESV)
This is something that I am discovering. God has given me
Gifts and abilities. I need to pray and seek what the specifics are and how to use them in my life.

The last thing, I want to remember where I came from, so I am reminded of his grace and blessings in my life. I was depressed girl who absolutely hated life. I was a selfish girl, who thought life was all about her. I wanted everything to be laid out for me.
I think about points is my life where God blessed me and protected me. In high school I wanted to drop out, for no reason, and actually I did (that's a story for another day). Anyways he protected me and I ended up back in school, graduating magna cum lade with honors. I am now a college graduate. This is not me. I'm the first in my immediate family to do this. I could be an alcoholic. It runs in my family and I dabbled in it, but God has showed me that road leads to nothing but anger and bitterness. I also was lost and just living life with no purpose and no direction. Holding on to the fact I knew about God; however, had no relationship with him.
He has placed people in my life that love on me, put up with my shenanigans, mentor me, tell me how it is. God is good and it is only by his grace that I am here. My struggles and failures are my past, and I am moving forward, choosing to leave the past.
Mandy
Ps I'm trying to get Emily to do a post .

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Vous2012

"I'm not where I need to be, but look where I came from." Chad Veach

Wow! How the last year has changed so much. God has changed my heart and blessed me so much. In the same sense, I have failed God over and over. This is my life's battle, my heart it pure and wanting to please God, yet I fail him over and over. I'm brought back to my knees asking for forgiveness and change.
So I went to a conference in Miami this weekend with a Young Adult group called Radius. We were a group of 16, representing 9 different churches in our local areas, but we all love God and want to see our community reached for God. This was my second year to attend this conference. My first time was filled with anxiety and being uncomfortable because it was different. I sat a lot of the times thinking about how it was different and not focusing on why I was there and worshipping God. I mean how silly am
I, we are all worshipping God. So this year I allowed my self to worship and focused on why I was there.
So, the reason for the post. My reflections on what God is showing me is my life. I have tons of inadequacies and insecurities in my life, but in that I also have confidence and know God has gifted me. I need to stop looking at my flaws because there are crippling and make me fearful to do Gods work. If I have faith, and remember that God loves me and is proud of me then as long as I am doing what he is called me to do, I am in a good place. God is smiling at me.
I really dislike message about fathers. It makes me sad, and reminds me of what I do not have. Judah Smith gave us a message about Gods acceptance and Approval. He spoke of his father, and how he was his biggest fan, and his smile was so big. I can relate, my dad loved me so much, he was always proud. Even when I failed and disobeyed, he would correct me, but he never rehashed the past. We moved forward and always reminded me how loved and beautiful I was. God sees me that way too, he doesn't love my sin, but he loves me. Judah tied this together and spoke how we can't comprehend Gods smile on our lives, if we have a faith in him. Many times we look at our sin, junk, and failures. We fell unaccepted and unapproved by God. He used the story in the gospels of the unclean woman, she touched Jesus' hem, but was scared to look him in the face because she was unclean and felt unworthy. Jesus insisted that she see him. We are unclean people, but God always wants to look at us and his smile is so big. I am so encouraged by this message, because it reminds me of what I am called to do. Mandy

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lady of Patience

Lady of Patience
                This chapter opens up with a story that is very similar to Emily and mines situation. Two college roommates have a deep desire to be married, but also wait for God’s timing. In the end God blessed them both with who they feel God had for them. Ruth was a lady of patience because she knew that God was not bound by circumstance. She took one day at a time, and built a companionship with her heavenly father.  
                Fear is a huge reason why people do not wait. I have to say that this is one of my reasons for being impatient. I have a fear that I am going to be lonely and single forever. Right now I am pretty content with the fact that I am in the prime time of my life where I can go and go whatever, but the idea of doing this for many years scares me a little.  I have a deep desire to be married, and I stand of the promise that God gives you the desires of your heart, but now I just have to wait patiently.
                There are many consequences that can happen when we become impatient and do not wait on God’s best. There is marrying a non-believer, which is the example that I had in my life,  my father never went to church, and was supportive of the family in doing that, but as I get older and understand more about marriage and biblical marriage, I look at my parents marriage and know that God has better in store for me. With that said, my father did become saved when I was older, but never really had the opportunity to lead his family in a biblical way. Being married to a nonbeliever leads to an unhappy married, because the non believer has no spiritual depth, and will have different convictions than you. The next statement is a great reminder to me in being patient fir God’s best. I am not waiting for a husband, but choosing a father.
                Waiting is the name of the game. We are called to be patient, and wait for God’s best. I know God know my desires and I rest in that. I will pray for me and my future spouse. Knowing that marriage is not a fairy tale, but real life, and it is hard.  I need to be content in that, “The Lord, my maker, my husband. Only he can meet my deepest needs of my heart. No man can even come through for me fully. Only he can. He is what I long for. Only God is enough.” This is my prayer.
Mandy's Toughts

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lady of Conviction


Lady of Conviction
The goal is to finish this book before we go to camp; Emily has posted her last two chapters, and I am determined to finish today (since we are leaving tomorrow).  In the opener of this chapter there is a poem written by a bride to her groom. In the poem she writes some powerful statements that are prayers for my own life. She writes:
So, one evening I prayed “God, just as you put Adam to sleep until the perfect one for him, he was ready to meet; so put me and my desires to sleep until I am too ready to know the one you have chosen for me.”
From that time forward God gave me peace. And although others came into my God protected my and spared me from more strife. Then when God knew that in His hands I had placed my heart, He brought you into my life and I was history from the start.

Then the question is asked, “Is this unrealistic for the modern women?” They discuss being a proverbs 31 woman, and end the section with explaining that being a lady of conviction, God has the best in hand for those who seek him. In the story of Ruth, Ruth waited for God’s best, which was Boaz. She married and “pillar of strength”, and was blessed by bearing a son Obed who would be in the lineage of Christ. This is a great biblical example of how Ruth experienced God’s overwhelming goodness.
Damaged good is the title of the next section in this chapter. Ungodly cycles can be broken in a family. Ruth broke the cycle by realizing that she was not a damage good, and chose new standards and making wise choices that honored God.  I am reminded in this section that no matter your upbringing, or your past, if you have accepted Christ you have been forgiven, and have to break through the lies of “I’m not good enough,” and break the ungodly influences. Your destiny is not left to fate, but is the product of wise choices.  
Becoming a lady of conviction, we have to go back to the basics. The definition of a conviction is a standard that serves as a springboard for our decisions. I am learning to find my standards in biblical truth, and not worldly standards. 
Mandy's Thoughts

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lady of Patience

The beginning of this chapter starts with a story of two roommates who were long-time friends.  HAH! Same scenario at my and Mandy's house.These girls had bridesmaids dresses overflowing from their closets from weddings of many friends...the girls were still there and were holding out for the man that God had for each of them. "I want 'Great is Thy Faithfulness' to be playing as I walk down the aisle," one of the girls added. God demonstrated his faithfulness to these girls who chose to wait for His best, He provided them husbands. They witnessed God's faithfulness in marriage as in singleness because they waited on His perfect timing for their future.

After reading this study, I have realized I so want to be a woman like Ruth! While Ruth was in her singleness she devoted her time on developing companionship with her heavenly Father, and was content to let God bring her a husband if that is what He saw fit. She used the wait to become the woman God wanted her to be. At the end of her personal preparation God provided her with a Husband, Boaz (Ruth 4:13).

Why is waiting so hard?
STATISTICS:
-White college educated women born in the mid-50's who are still single at 30 have a 20% chance of marrying.
-By the age of 35, the odds drop to 5%
-40 yr. olds are more likely to be killed by a terrorist than the tiny 2.6% probability of tying the knot!
**These pressures often provoke single women to take more initiative rather than patiently wait for God's best.

Consequences of Impatience
-Divorce
-Emotional separation
-Damage to children involved in the relationship
-Lonliness
*God did NOT intended a woman to live like this

Do not settle. Do not marry a man who is an unbeliever (Joshua 23:12-14 & II Corinthians6:14-15). Don't even date a man who is an unbeliever. In our society, do we ever marry anyone we don't date?? Remember, every date is a potential mate.
**You arr not just marrying a husband, but choosing a father for your children**

Developing Patience
"Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness" (Ps. 37:3)
"Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him" (Ps. 37:7)
I never really thought of it this way until I read this chapter but we as women, are not the only ones who need the days of waiting in order to be perfected for a future life-mate. All though we may think we are "ready" to be married God may still be working on our future husband's spiritual maturity to be a proper spiritual leader.  God does not leave us waiting any longer than necessary, His timing is perfect...and isn't it amazing?!

In our time of singleness ladies, plan activities! Go out to eat, or to the movies. Become involved with children, young people, or senior adults. There are so many things we can do to serve the kingdom of God and keep from being impatient.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lady of Conviction

Damaged Goods
There was a story of a girl in this chapter who did not grow up with Godly morals who meets her future husband who was saved at a young age. She felt as if she could never measure up to his standards, seeing that he followed God and she did not. 
*Ungodly cycles can be broken.  Your destiny is not something that is left to chance or fate:it is the product of wise choices.

Destiny-Chance or Choice?
You cannot make good choices without proper, biblical convictions.  Don't carelessly leave your dating/relating standards to chance.
How wise have your decisions been in the past in regard to relating to and dating men? 
You cannot make good choices without proper, biblical convictions. Don't carelessly leave your dating/relating standards to chance.

Standard-Bearer
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing, and perfect will (Romans 12:2).
I can say it is definitely a challenge to not conform to the world's standards as a Christan sometimes. In the beauty industry there is a lot of gossip and a lot of making  your image. In beauty school I was the ONLY Christian out of my 40 classmates! I had to take a stance right then and there and figure out the type of person I was going to represent. I stayed true to my morals, and made lots of friends-they knew I was a Christian, I would go out with them, and they knew where my morals stood. But oh my, I had lots of questions thrown at me-my FAVORITE was the fact that I'm still a virgin at my age amazed them. I knew that God put me in this industry for a reason and that was to be set apart. I was put here to share what I believed and to let others see something different.
*Facing such opposition from the people you love is not easy, but the Lord will give you the grace to refuse to compromise.


Do you carry God's standards for dating in your heart?
Make a list of the specific qualities you would like when looking for Mr. Right:
OK-to be open and honest here is my list:
-Jesus is #1 in his life Mark 12:30
-Ministry minded 1 Cor. 4:2
-Motivator Romans 10:14
-Sensitive spirit to the needs of others Ephesians 4:32
-Understands the responsibility of a husband to his wife Eph. 5:25-31
-Man of prayer Col.4:2
-Family man (maintains proper relationships) Hebrews 12:14
-Loyal Romans 2:9-1
-Adventurous
*Ladies & gents for that mater, do yourselves a favor and know what your standards are before you jump into a relationship. I love this little saying in this chapter, "EVERY DATE IS A POTENTIAL MATE." Avoid dating someone who does not fit your standards, and if they are not great in all your standards-at least make sure they are growing.

A man of God is one who works toward being conformed to the character of Christ.
"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23).
 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lady of Contentment


Lady of Contentment
            Becoming a lady of contentment understands what suffering is. The book defines suffering as, “Having what you do not want and wanting what you do not have.” I had to read this statement a couple of times to really understand what this means. When it comes to being single, I see myself wanting a husband, yet right now I am single.  
            In the next section she discusses the torture of desire. She discusses the mystery of contentment, and how often it seems to escape the understanding of a single woman. This next statement is a great self reminder that I cannot become dissatisfied in my life assignment, but that I need to lay down my discontent and my burden of wanting things on my terms.  I feel lately that God has been bringing up being patient and being content in waiting. Over the last week I have had conversations with people, I have read in my quiet time about patience, and even heard a sermon on patience. I am beginning to think that God is trying to get my attention. In my life, I have always been a person who has plans and goals. I do not like to change, and love schedules. So in my mind, I think the next step for me is getting married. I am graduating college, and I feel that I am ready. God, on the other hand, has different plans. This would not be the first time that God plans were different from mine, but based on his promises to me, I know his plans are better, and I am resting in that.  I need to look at waiting not as a curse, but understand that I am waiting on God’s best.
            Ruth chapter 3 is the story of Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor. Ruth goes to Boaz because he is a candidate for being their kinsman- redeemer according to the levirate law in Deuteronomy 25:5-10. The story continues that Boaz will be her kinsmen-redeemer and Ruth returns home to Naomi. After returning Ruth explains that he agreed, but Naomi reaction to this was not one of excitement, but rather of great advice. She told Ruth to wait. Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.” Ruth 3:18. There is that word again “WAIT,” I am reminded again of what waiting is. Waiting is not to cause suffering, but prevent it.
            The next section is on the mystery of contentment. She makes statement like, “Whether married or single, in prison or shopping at the mall, the key to you enjoying the moment is you inner contentment.” “Lack of contentment wants life on your terms.” The story of Paul is a great example of being content. In his letter to the Philippians, which he wrote when he was imprisoned in a dark, damp dungeon, he writes,” I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13) We need to learn that true content comes through Christ, and is something that is learned.  Learning contentment is becoming completely dependent on Jesus in the good and bad.
Mandy's Thoughts