#VOD: 1 John 4:1

“Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.”

(1 John 4:1 NLT)

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This truth is so vital and so needed in the world. There are a ton of people that blindly listen to what people say without checking for truth in it. I get that in some cases people turn to experts because they are great in that area, BUT a person who is a true expert can point towards the facts and reasoning behind what they are saying.

There are some people who are AMAZING speakers and know how to work a person in a conversation… A good example would be an absolutely incredible sales person! They can talk you into thinking that it is a great purchase, that it will make your life better, blah blah blah… What’s sad is that people listen to “sales” people when it comes to spiritual things as well…

There are a few friends that I meet with on a regular basis just to do life with and see how things are going. Whenever it gets to the point where I give any sort of Godly advice I always preface it with encouraging them to go to God themselves, to turn to the Bible, to pray and find the answers for themselves. I feel that it is only my job to help point someone in the right direction, but they need to move towards that direction on their own!

There have been multiple times where I have taken people’s advice, considered it, compared it to scriptures and my personal convictions on what the Bible says and ended up not taking their advice… Does that make me rude? No. I respectfully considered the advice and did my own searching…

There has been a NUMEROUS amount of times where I have been given advice that is biblically sound, and I have taken it and done my best to live by it… The point is, that we must seek after God our self. So many people just want to hear what the pastor has to say, listen to a sermon, or a podcast but never seek God on their own. They never open their own Bible and talk with God… You have full access to God. Why wouldn’t you want to fall deeper in love with the God who sent His Son to die a terrible death for you? All because He didn’t want heaven without you…

Love wins fam…. Grace wins.

 

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#VOD: Ephesians 4:26


“And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry…
” (Ephesians 4:26)

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So often we hold onto things MUCH longer then we need to, and for some odd reason we refuse to let it go. Often times pride is the main culperate there…

But seriously, why is it that when we get angry we tend to desperarely hold onto the offense. Honestly, I know we all have those people in our lives that are still upset over something that someone did to them days, weeks, months and even YEARS ago. They walk around constantly upset, angry, bitter, LOOKING for reason to get angry. Right?!

It’s so heart breaking when you come across someone that is SO angry with people and life that they are constantly misreable. What’s even worse is that when they hold onto that anger it causes them to sin. Whether that be bitterness, porn, over eating, etc… At times the thing that is causing us the most sin in our lives in un-dealt with anger. Anger that we have been holding onto from someone who has hurt or offended us.

Trust me. I’ve been that person. That was hurt on an incredibly deep level by someone I cared about and trusted! I held onto the offense for a long time and was just bitter, rude, or closed off towards that person and many other people. Holding onto that anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, etc… only caused me more sin and heart ache in life.

When I truly let go, forgave them, let that anger subside, and decided that I wasn’t going to waste another day being angry with other people. I cannot control them, I cannot control what happens to me, BUT I can control myself. I can control my thought life, my ability to let go and let God do what only God can do…

Lay it down fam. Lay it down…

Love wins fam… Grace wins.

#VOD: Psalm 119:2

“Joyful are those who obey his laws
    and search for him with all their hearts.”

(Psalm 119:2 NLT)

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This verse is so applicable to my day. Today had so much going on that it forced me out of my comfort zone and typically would have stressed me out a bit. It took effort for me to continually search for God throughout my day… But you know what; there is immense joy in my exhaustion at the moment. It makes absolutely perfect sense that this verse was the verse I was to meditate and study on this morning…

The truth is; I was only able to study and meditate on this verse for about 10-15 mins before I got pulled away. I thought about doing a post based off of just the 10-15 minutes I spent on this verse this morning, but I went back to my convictions with these verses. The Lord was very clear when He put it on my heart to spend at least 30 minutes studying & meditating on the VOD before I post it.

He wants me to truly understand these verses. He wants me to truly seek Him in understanding. He wants me to rely on His wisdom and not my own wit. There are plenty of eloquent speakers and dudes with Doctorate degrees that can outspeak and out theology me from the dome… BUT one thing that I have very proud of is my ability to just seek Him. My ability to just ask Him what needs to be said. My ability to SEARCH FOR HIM… There is no greater joy than to love Him with all we have…

Even in the midst of a busy day, do you seek Him? Really… Do you?

#VOD: 2 Corinthians 5:15

“And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (2 Corinthians 5:15 NIV)

I didn’t plan on posting the #VOD today because I have my little ones this weekend, but they are currently taking a nap and this verse clearly spoke to me today. 

I’ve had a very long life when it comes to struggles in my life & unfortunately there have been people that knew about these struggles and they use them as weapons of condemnation. Today I came across one of these people and the judgement came on STRONG. The sad part is that this person hasn’t had a conversation with me for years, but tried to cast stones at me and my life. 

Long story short, because of the healing & growth in my own life I was able to handle this situation much better. Typically I would get upset and try to convince this person that they are wrong and blah blah blah. My indentity use to be rooted in people’s opinion of me. Whether they were true or not, I just wanted to be liked

This verse tells us that we must stop living for ourselves. In the conversation with this person I had to deny myself and try to love on them to the best of my ability. I forced myself to understand that they are hurting as well. I removed myself and my selfish ambitions from the equation and asked God to help me extend the love & grace that I did not have. 

You see life won’t be easy. It will be a struggle at times. It will be hard from time to time, BUT we must remember to deny ourselves. We cannot live for ourselves. No no no. We are called to live like Christ and extend the same love & grace we have been given…
Love wins ya’ll… Grace wins….

Mask off

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Masks are a thing of wonder and beauty in some ways… Great deception can come from people who constantly live under a mask and I am not just referring towards bad things, but even towards deceiving those around them that they are “okay” when they aren’t.

I have been doing a lot of thinking and meditating on the idea of masks and how people hide behind them. What I love about this picture is that the mask can go two ways. It’s not always that people are hiding behind hideous masks, but sometimes hideous people are hiding behind pretty faces. Even more so, that sometimes the person who puts off being tough, scary & even intimidating can be the biggest teddy bear in the world.

Sometimes the nicest and sweetest people have the darkest intentions. Unfortunately, for most of us, we have had to learn that the hard way. Trusting in people only to find out their true colors after the fact. There have been a few occasions over the last few years that I can vividly remember being disappointed in myself when I “feel” for someone hiding behind a mask.

The point of this post is not to talk bad or good about masks, it’s about the plague in our society of people who never took the mask off. The plague in our world to where we never take the time to truly get to know the person behind the mask. You see, there is a certain level of vulnerability to comes from taking off the mask. An even BIGGER plague is those who claim to have their mask off, but in reality there “transparency” is all a part of their mask….

In the world we live in, it is so very important to take the extra time & effort to seek the person behind the mask. Work for it. This world is full of spoiled brats, especially in America. So many people are nice and sweet to those that they are getting benefits from, but the moment they are no longer being pleased by that person they throw tantrums. Whether that be online, through friends, through mutual friends, etc… Regardless of the method of the tantrum, it only ends up causing more damage. It only ends up putting on a different mask.

Eventually, the mask will come off. The ugly will be revealed. The beauty will be revealed. The longer we all keep these masks on, the more damaging it becomes. Eventually, our mask can even become our reality. We can forget who we are because we have spent so much of our life trying to put a different mask on for different people…

Take the mask off…. It’s not worth it. Be you. Be who God needs you to be.
Stop worrying about others and worry about yourself.

This world would be a much better place without all the fakeness that is around. This world is so worried about an appearance that people focus more on how others perceive them over how they perceive their self. Even worse, that the perception of others become their perception of themselves.

IT will be scary. I’ve been there before. Sometimes it seems like keeping our masks on is the only way for us to be safe. There has been times where I have been seen without my mask on and someone has taken it for granted. They use it as a weapon for gossip and slander. There are also people in my life that have shown me the beauty behind the mask. That it’s not necessary to walk around with a mask to please those around me. People will talk bad about you regardless of what you do. There will always be a critic.

How would this world be if we stopped trying to hide and show our true selves? If we took the masks off? If we stopped trying SO HARD to convince other people that we are something we aren’t and put that same effort into trying to be the person we are trying to fool others into thinking we are?

#VOD: Matthew 18:20

 “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”

(Matthew 18:20 NLT)

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VOD

 

 

I love this verse. It’s so anti-religion that I cannot even begin to explain it! If I were to sum it up, I would simply say that this is the perfect verse to explain that “church” is not a building. That church is not just a building where you gather together and sing songs, hear a message and leave. No no no…

God is everywhere. When we are doing things that align with God’s heart, in Jesus’ name… Goodness, there is power. There is power in that place. Whether that be a home, a gym, your car, wherever… This verse does not point towards the need for more church buildings, but for a community.

This verse expresses to beautifully the importance of being surrounded by faithful friends who believe. When we surround ourselves with other people who love God just as much as we do it creates so much power & potential. Even Jesus Himself walked around with a core group of people. Jesus & His disciples just did life together.

I challenge you all to find a group of friends…Even if it’s just two or three.
Find them, and commit to living life with them. Explore together, praise together, pray together & make an impact together. This verse is proof that the Lord will be with you…

Love wins fam… Grace wins…

RE: Let’s talk about porn

Earlier today my friend Liz Layne posted a wonderful blog titled: “Let’s talk about porn

Please take the time to go check it out. There is SO much good that can come from it…

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I went ahead and shared it on my Facebook because of the need for awareness when it comes to this topic.

For some odd reason, it seems to be an unspoken topic within the world. As if it’s not supposed to be talked about. Which is exactly what the enemy wants.  Satan wants the condemnation and shame to overwhelm people to the point of keeping it a complete secret. If he can convince us that we have to keep it to ourselves we will continually fall into a deeper and deeper pit of despair with porn.

Truth is, it only gets worse after your first exposure. I saw my first porn video when I was 8 years old and ever since that moment I can remember YEARS of struggling with it. The worst part was that no one knew about it. No one knew what I was doing behind closed doors and no one knew the damage that was being done to me.

The damage that was being done was completely self-inflicted. I spent over 10 years watching porn on a regular basis to the point of it seems completely normal to me. It led to a lot of self-confidence issues and a ton of insecurities within myself. Not only physical insecurities but self-confidence issues in general because it seemed to me like only super hot dudes would get the super hot girls. What made it even worse was that my gauge for a woman was purely physical. 

After 12 years of not knowing God, I finally gave my life over to Christ at the age of 20. What seemed to be a normal thing to me, quickly became my biggest “thorn.” What I mean by that is that it came to my realization that watching porn was not normal or healthy. Thus sending me into a spiral of struggle, condemnation and even MORE shame.

I’m not going to go into great detail on this, but this is a plea to all the parents out there… Please protect your children. There are locks, apps, and countless resources out there to help educate and protect your children.

Message me, comment, email, whatever… Just please educate yourself and your children on the dangers involved. I was 8 years old with no clue and it plagued me for over a decade (and still does from time to time).

Don’t allow yourself to think your kid is too “innocent” because that may be true, but satan wants nothing more than to steal that innocence away from them…