Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Living for The Day ~ Even through My Brokenness ♥

In my brokenness, I am blessed to have My God close to my heart.  For the bible says in Psalm 34:18, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." 

I choose to seek His path and at times there is pain and difficulties that goes along with being obedient to Him. I'm beginning to view it as growing pains, like when we heal from a broken bone or another type of bodily injury.  For that part of our body to become strong again, we have to experience the pain of growth and healing. I believe in time my pain will serve a purpose.  Not a purpose designed for me but for Christ.

Last weekend my church concluded a two part monologue series about judgement day called, "The Bema" which is a fictional dramatic production inspired by the biblical principle in II Corinthians 5:10; "That we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due to him for the things done while in the body."  You can read more about The Bema at Bible. org - The Doctrine of Rewards: The Judgment Seat (Bema) of Christ.  This monologue shed light on the choice's I've been made in my lifetime.  But more so, the choice's that I'm making now.  The monologue concluded with these words in prayer, "Lord, this day forward, I vow to stop living for today, but to live for the day!"

My choices do matter, especially the way I choose to live my life which has been gifted to me.  The poor choices, those that go against God's commands will have consequences.  I can not blame anyone for my choices for I alone am responsible for each one of them, as I've made them on my own free will.

When I choose to make the right choices, the hard choices, the ones that go against what society views as acceptable, it may be very difficult, it may cause hurt and my heart may break in the process, but the end reward, the eternal reward far outweighs my temporary happiness, satisfaction or appeasement to others.

What I've come to understand is that so often we choose a temporary fix over our eternal blessings.  These temporary things and fixes will not have any substance in eternity; and those temporary things and fixes are just that, "temporary."  The satisfaction we attain only lasts for the moment, for a short time, and as time passes that feeling of satisfaction will fade like everything else that lacks substance.  This temporary way of life becomes and endless cycle of insanity.

My journey will continue until I am called home to my Creator, my Father, my God.  He is a loving one, even during times of hardship.  I've had to deal with tragic events in my life, several losses, a ton of hurt and many heartaches.  Today I see how each of those experiences are serving a purpose in my life. Things and quick fixes are temporary, many that have caused much of my pain. I must keep my focus on the eternal; and that is Christ.  My eyes are fixed on the long term, not what can make me feel satisfied for the moment.

I no longer choose a temporary life, but choose a life that an eternal one.  I no longer choose to live for today, I choose to live for "THE DAY." 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Let God's Standards be Your Standards

Seeking God is to seek his presence in our life.

It's engaging in Christlike relationships, and modeling his behavior.  It's a life filled with integrity. Lives in which the standards we live by are equal to the standards God commands us to live by.  Our ultimate display of love to him is to be obedient and follow his commands.  As we may not do it perfectly,through his grace and forgiveness we will be restored through repentance,asking for forgiveness and transforming; do not keep the old behaviors.

Learning to accept his love we tell ourselves we are worthy of authentic love.  The type of love that is written in 1 Corinthians 13 verse 4-7:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts,always hopes, always perseveres."

This last week has been a challenge for me personally as I had to choose the standard of life I wanted to follow. I also had to open my eyes to the clear signs that I've been seeking from God.  As difficult as it is to sometimes to follow His plan, in my obedience, He has given me peace.  I also know that He can now do his GREAT work in and through me.  He will use this experience  to bring my heart closer to His and to show me what He desires me to set my eyes upon.

The other night I was sitting at dinner with friends, and I made the following comment, "I just want a husband whose heart is as passionate for Christ as mine. They don't have to want to be as involved as me or anything. I'd be okay with that."  My friends mother's response was, "Well, why shouldn't he be?"

Later, leaving that conversation it became clear that I should not settle for less than what is commanded of me?  God should be first. Above anyone or anything that brings us pleasure, our eyes should be fixed on his master plan for us. He should be the purpose of our entire life.  Her comment made me realize that when I begin to lower my standards for myself, I also begin to lower my standards for what God wants for me.  What happens is we begin to seek our own desires.  We want things to happen on our time, in our comfort zone, and in our control.  

The other day I came across the following article.  It truly describes what a man of God looks like. It is a standard that I will not deter from.  God wants the best for me, and in return so should I.  Our hearts desire should be the same as His. I am worthy of this type of man because this type of man is created by God. ♥

Seven marks of a godly man - Chris Reynolds 
Men, it is never too late to stand up and be counted as one of the faithful in the Kingdom of God.

It should always be our goal to be a loving father and a faithful husband. In the Old Testament book of Job, Job, the author and the subject of the book,gives us seven characteristics of a godly man in chapter 31.

James Dobson said, "The western world stands at a crossroads in its history. It is my opinion that our very survival as a people will depend upon the presence, or absence, of masculine leadership in millions of homes. I believe, with everything within me, that fathers/husbands hold the keys to the preservation of the family."

Job is a man, who blessed the name of God in the mountains and the valleys of his life. He blessed God when he had plenty and he blessed God when he had nothing. Job did not waiver in his commitment to God.

From the life of Job, we learn that a godly man guards his morality(vs.1-4/9-12). A godly man keeps his behavior in check. He allows himself to be accountable for his actions. He reserves his sexuality for his marriage relationship. He does not give himself over to a lustful mind or visual satisfaction. A godly man models for his children the pattern of a man who is strong but pure.

From the life of Job, we learn a godly man protects his integrity (vs. 6-8). A godly man knows the value of his integrity before God, his wife, his family and his church. A man of integrity can be trusted in his words and actions.

From the life of Job, we learn that a godly man is involved in his community(vs.13-23/31-32). A godly man models the tender heart of Christ. A godly man understands that he has a responsibility to model Christ to his neighbors. One man said, "He hears the cries of the sick and visits them, feels the hunger of the starving and feeds them, sees the nakedness of the poor and clothes them. A godly man sees those who are imprisoned by addiction and seeks to free them."

From the life of Job, we learn that a godly man concerns himself with spiritual things (vs. 24 -28). I love the phrase, "A godly man never forgets who he is, whose he is, or where the meaning and power for life come from."

In the life of a godly man, his foundation is God.

Dr. Stew Webber, in his book, "Tender Warriors," writes:"Fathers and husbands need to learn faithfulness. Stand by your promises.Never, never let go no matter what. When marriage isn't fun, stay with it. When parenting is over your head, stay with it. When work is crushing your spirit,don't let it beat you. When the local church is overcome with pettiness, stay faithful, stay by it. When your children let you down, pick them up. When your wife goes through a six-month mood swing, live with it and be faithful to her... Be a man. Be faithful."

From the life of Job, we learn that a godly man controls his emotions (vs.29-30). A short emotional tirade can do a lifetime of damage. A godly man learns his triggers and learns to discipline his responses to situations.Emotions left unchecked will destroy a man's life and home.

From the life of Job, we learn that a godly man is not afraid of accountability(vs. 33-34). My friend, Eric Thomas, recently wrote, "Cracks in our character unattended create catastrophe in our conduct. So, I'm headed to my men's small group!" A godly man never denies that he is a sinner and in need of a Savior. He owns up to his brokenness. Proverbs 28:13 says: "He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy."

From the life of Job, we learn that a godly man is a faithful steward (vs.38-40). A godly man sees that everything in his life belongs to God, and he is only the manager. He realizes that the day will come when he will give an account of his management.

Job faced adversity and remained faithful to God. God blessed his faithfulness and He will bless yours. Take your family to church this Sunday!

My path to healing is keeping my eyes fixed upon God's love. It's knowing he will never fail me.  It's believing that God will reward me for my faithfulness and obedience. It's the hope that in His perfect timing and if it's His will for me, He will bring me my Godly man, one with the character of "Job". 

I will continue this race with my eyes fixed on the ultimate reward, not the rewards of this world but that of eternity.  I will continue running regardless of how smooth or bumpy the path may get.  Each experience is growth, and in my growth I get closer and closer to Christ

Dear God,

No matter what happens,

Give me the heart that is willing to obey You

 whatever  the cost may be.

Love, Me ♥

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Legacy of a Life Filled of Integrity

Sometimes the choices we make in life have severe consequences on us.  What can be even worse about some of those choices, is how they make effect others who are a part of our life.  Depending on where that other person is in their life, it could have a deep and lasting effect on them.

When we choose to say things without thinking of the consequences of our speech, we can cause a deep emotional hurt to others.  When we choose pride over humility we exalt ourselves above others.  The choice to say things that lack the whole truth can have a damaging effects on our authenticity, credibility and integrity. This will tarnish relationships quickly. Soon you may find that you no longer have genuine relationships, but relationships that become simply put, "FAKE". All of these will have severe consequences on a person's most important value - INTEGRITY.  Because integrity encompasses everything of who our true character is made of.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
Consequences of our Negative Words
Words cut like a knife. We are not made of steel. We feel the blow as it cut into us, wounds us and even possibly internally bleeds us.  How deep the blow, the amount of pain we endure, how much and long we bleed is all dependent on how equipped we are to deal with such an attack.  And sometimes regardless of how prepared we may be, we may be so blindsided by it that we are sure to feel the hit and have lasting effects of it.

Words are like using a permanent marker on a wall. Even if you try to erase it, you can still faintly see what was written.  If you try to cross it out, you know it is still there.  If you try to white it out, it still remains underneath.  If you try to delete it, it truly will never be deleted from memory. So let's try to remember that the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Do not think you are better than you really are.  Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Romans 12: 3
Consequences of Pride
Pride makes us God.  We were made in God's image, but that doesn't mean we are God, nor will we ever be. God is God.  I never truly understood this until I read a book about Humility. When we give into the rah-rah of personal accomplishments, desire personal praises of our accomplishments from others, put ourselves above the care and kindness of others we fall into Pride.

Once you exalt yourself in that manner, you may be humbled.  And when that happens, others will not see you in the same light they once did.  You loose parts of your integrity along the path of Pride.

Romans 12:3 says, "Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Do not think you are better than you really are.  Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us."   

This is a great reminder that we must view one another as equals.  No one man is better or less than the other.  When we give into pride and begin exalting ourselves, we find it easy to point out the flaws of others, to compare where we think we are better or less than the next person, and to judge others because we see our way of doing things as the only and correct way of doing things.

There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:  Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19
Consequences of the Lack of Truth, Half Truths or Exaggeration
Isn't the foundation of any relationship honesty and truth - "Telling the Truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help us God?"  How many times have you shared a story and exaggerated the truth? Maybe you added a few details to liven up the story?  Perhaps you added or subtracted some numbers to give better results? Or perhaps you omitted a few details to avoid dealing with the consequences of the situation at hand.  There is one word for this - LYING.  

If  this practice is continued, it will most likely become a habit. A habit you may not even realize you have developed.  I love the following quote I read by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Sow a thought and you reap an action;
Sow an act and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit and you reap a character;

Sow a character and you reap a destiny.”

Lies begin with thinking about how you can twist the truth to get the outcome you desire. We sometimes lie, tell half truths or exaggerate because we are insecure. We think if we lie about the circumstances of a situation that person will be more accepting toward us.  We may lie because we think it may be the only way to be loved.  We lie because we are prideful, feel shameful, embarrassed and so on.

Can you see the negative outcome of each trait? Sooner or later you may even begin to believe your own lies.  Worse, is that the lack of truth, half truths or exaggeration will flow into other parts of your life and will become your life.  When challenged about the validity of your speech, you may become argumentative and disagree completely because you've convinced yourself that you are always being truthful. Your frustration will come from the fact that you really believe what you are saying is true, when in actuality, it is just another character flaw you acquired.

Consequently, you will begin lose authenticity, creditability, and integrity in the eyes of others. Those who may not know you probably will not be able to notice this, but those who are close to you are surely to see your true character in a moment of weakness.

Therefore, be truthful in all you do.  Learn to speak the truth in love and without sin. My favorite scripture about truth is written in John 8:32, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." With freedom comes a sense of calm and peace.  When you practice truth, you will find that you have both in your life.

“Integrity is keeping a commitment even after circumstances have changed.”  ~ David Jeremiah 
Consequences of Lost Integrity
  •  Integrity is speaking the truth intentionally and wholly.
  • Integrity never cheats, steals, circumvents or pilfers.
  • Integrity keeps it's word - you follow through, you are faithful, you do what you say.
  • Integrity lives by principles. You stand up for your beliefs regardless of the outcome.
  • Integrity is a person who is humble, dignified, and wise.

Anything that goes against the above list compromises your integrity.  And the consequences of lost integrity is to be known as a liar, thief, cheat, hypocrite, inconsistent, unreliable, undependable, dishonest and unethical person.

Soon you may find yourself doing things to "look good" and this becomes more important than being honest. When you make promises, you may follow through in the short term, but long term stability can not be guaranteed.  You will find yourself in competition with others and taking care of your needs which soon become more important than others.  Instead of just being "good" at something you may begin to feel the need to be "perfect" at something.

Without integerity you may never feel complete, content, satisfied, happy with yourself, relationships or life all together.

Integrity is your true character, it is the real you. It's doing what you say, when no one's looking.  It's sticking to your commitment even after circumstances have changed.  It's going against the persuasion of others and standing firm in your beliefs even if it causes tension. It is the solid set of values and principles you live by. Integrity will display your character that will shine so brilliantly that people will see the authenticity, credibility, and truth in your life.

A life filled with integrity is a fully lived life.  Leave a legacy of a Life Filled of Integrity 

Character Flaws covered by Grace

Each person who exists today is flawed or one day will be. Unfortunately, our list becomes longer over the years.  This weekend I was reminded of some of  my flaws.  I will be honest, initially hearing someone point out those flaws can be very painful, especially when it's done in an attacking manner, without love. BUT - for the first time ever, I was okay with knowing that I am flawed and own those flaws. Why? How?
Because my flaws do not define who I am.  They are not who I am! 

My character flaws certainly do surface now and then and when they do I do a much better job today at recognizing and dealing with them.  Those flaws are covered by the grace of Jesus Christ.  He doesn't judge me as others may when I have feelings of insecurity, jealousy, anger, fear or whatever lenghty flaws that are on my list.  He knew that one day I would struggle with these flaws far before I knew they would even be a part of my life. He knew those flaws would cause me to sin.  And because he died on the cross for me, I am blessed to be given the opportunity to receive his grace, love and forgiveness.

With God, there are no coincidences.  I know he allows events in our life that we can handle and events that are timed in his perfect plan for our lives. About a week and a half prior to this weekend, I had just finished Step 6 of my Life Recovery Program which is, "We became entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character."  One of the exercises we had to do in this step was to list the defects we had previously came up with in steps 4 and 5.  Next, I had to look at those defects to see what they have done for me, and against me, reflect on my list, take time to grieve, feeling the loss of both the positive and negatives of each effect. After I was done, I ripped up the list and began a new transformation with giving them to God.  I've begun this transformation by sharing with others when I felt insecure, jealous, angry or fearful.  In that, I began living a life filled with truth leaving less room for falsity to reside.

I am far from perfect and I will never achieve perfection in this lifetime.  But I can do my best to speak the truth in love; be accountable when I fall short; make a genuine effort to transform my life so that I do not repeat poor habits and behaviors which lead to sin; and make a sincere and honest apology to the people I've wronged.  If they are people who are continuously a part of my life, changes in my behavior and actions will display the sincerity and honesty in that apology.

I am flawed.  I always will be. I accept it. It does not define who I am. And I find peace in knowing that my character flaws are covered by the grace of God

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Everyone needs a little inspiration through transformation ♥

Below is from my FitForChrist blog.  Enjoy. Share. Transform!