Women who had plans for abortions left the conference with changed hearts and a child to nurture. Women who carried the guilt or embarrassment of previous situations of abuse left with freedom. Women who had no hope when they walked into that building left with a future in Christ. At the end of the day, I was in tears just thinking about how much God cares about us and how all it takes is one moment of submission to have your life changed forever.

Jesse

Recently we have been challenging our church body to reach out to our city. Blush came to Columbus and not only ministered to our people but  invited and picked up women all around the city of Columbus.  Blush showed us the needs of not only our church, but the city. They went above and beyond venturing out in the snow storm to give transportation to the women in shelters and rehabs. We were extremely blessed to host the Blush Network and would do it again and again.

Life Church Gahanna

“Through events like the Freedom Found conference, Miles reminds women of what she herself was reminded of by God: His love and grace are sufficient to cover all unrighteousness.” To Read more of the story from Liberty University click here.

Liberty ChampionLiberty UniversityLiberty University - The Liberty Champion

Autumn Miles’ life is evidence of a God who redeems and a Truth that will set people free.

Harmony DustFounder of Treasures and Author of Scars and Stilettos
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The Idol of Co-dependency

“Do not worship any other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.” (Exodus 34:4 NLT)

We have been best friends for 10 years and we have been through a whole lot together. Broken families, failed classes and moving to Virginia together, the only other place we have ever lived. In my eyes she could do no wrong; but the lord is Jealous for us! All of us! So 10 years into our friendship a bomb dropped and we let each other down. We broke each other’s hearts because we held each other so high only to come crashing down.

This generation has made codependency in a friendship a good thing, I wish this were something that only the world practiced, but this has infiltrated the church. It parades itself as a best friendship. Although friendship is something the Lord wants us to have, it is not something that we are to idolize, nor are we to idolize our friends. This generation however has exalted a best friendship to basically marriage status. With videos telling us “you’re my best friend; if I am dying you are dying too, there’s no choice”. We need to direct our eyes to the Lord, He is the only one we can totally lean on and give it all to. He is the only one that can guide us.

At first glance, one may wonder, “What is the big deal? We are best friends,” codependency, however, is such a bad thing because it takes our eyes off the Lord and puts our dependency on something else where it doesn’t belong. Best friends are great and they can be a great resource that the Lord has blessed us with, but we have to make sure that we are never looking to them more than we are looking to God.

As we read in Exodus, the Lord is jealous for us. He wants to hear about our day and our struggles and bring all our worries to Him.

So no matter how much we think we can depend on a friend or significant other, they will fail us; and believing that they never will is a lie.

The truth, however, is that a boyfriend, best friend or even husband cannot fill that void. That place where we are all empty is meant for Jesus. He is the only one who can fill us and will never let us run dry. His mercies are new every morning and He is the only one that sees us this way.

-Jennie E.

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Bearing Fruitful Branches

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” –John 15:2

Something I have been learning lately is that the Lord is constantly pruning me. After reading John 15:2 one day, I thought to myself, “I want to be even more fruitful, but why do I feel like I’m stuck? What do I need to change?”

The answer was simple. I needed to get rid of my branches that stopped bearing fruit. Like the Word says, the Lord cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit. Working in a ministry minded environment though, it’s easy to think that I am always bearing fruit, so I didn’t see the branches I needed to give up to the Lord.

That’s when the Lord started to show me the branches I needed to give up to Him. Anytime I got annoyed at my sister and lashed out in anger, Jesus tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Let me cut off that branch of anger.” Anytime I had a judgmental thought or even started thinking too highly of myself, Jesus would tug on my heart and say, ”There is another branch you need to let me cut.”

I was full of branches that weren’t bearing fruit! It was time for me to allow Jesus to work on my branches. This is the part where the Word of God gets really good! The Word goes on to say that every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes so that I can be even more fruitful! Once I was willing to let go of the bad branches that I was holding onto, He was able to prune my good branches so that I could be even more fruitful.

A pastor from my church once said, “I want to look so much like Jesus that when people look at me, they see Him.” When we allow Jesus to cut off the branches that aren’t bearing fruit and prune the ones that are bearing fruit, we start to look more and more like Him to the people around us.

My question to you is what branches are you holding onto? What branch is Jesus urging you to give to Him so He can cut off the bad branches and prune the good ones? Don’t you want to look so much like Jesus that the people around you can see a reflection of Him in you?

Start asking God where in your life your branches need to be cut and allow God to prune the branches that are already bearing fruit so you can be even more fruitful for Him.

-Abigail Trent

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Your Identity in Christ

It happens to all of us. That moment when you step back and realize that this life goes by really fast. You feel like before you know it, it will be over. “Is 2015 really three-fourths of the way over already? How did that happen?” Last night I was eating dinner with my family and looked at my younger brother who just turned 11 and thought, “I remember when I was 11… It felt like yesterday!” As the waves of memories and nostalgia hit me I started thinking, “I’m 20 now and what do I have to show for my life? There’s so much more I want to do and so much I want to see! What if I run out of time to do everything?” I was sharing my thoughts with a godly friend of mine and after I began to settle down from my “mid-college-crisis” he helped me remember some important things: What is most important to me? Having a good time?—that’s selfish. Having a life that others look at and think, “Wow, she sure is cool!”—that’s prideful. Your life is an idol if having a noteworthy, fun or comfortable life is what matters most to you. The problem isn’t having goals, ambitions or things you desire to do. The problem is when you cannot be satisfied unless you can reach those goals. When we surrender our desires to Jesus we’re saying, “God, this is what I want, but I want You more so even if it never happens, You are still good and I still love you.” Dear friend, your identity is not being a beautiful person, it’s not being a smart person, and it’s not being a creative person or a talented person or the best player on your sports team. Some (or even all) of these things may be true ABOUT you, but they are not who you ARE. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” As a Christian, your identity is in Christ and Christ alone! You are His beloved child and you have nothing more to prove. I know I constantly need to be reminded of this, but when I start to grasp the meaning of it, a huge flood of peace washes over me. I am not defined by my past. I am not defined by how good of a person I am. I am not defined by my accomplishments. Jesus loves me and you just as we are. It has NOTHING to do about what we do an EVEYTHING to do with what He did!

Do you know what this means?

We can live fearless.

 

~Karinna Johnston

 

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