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God’s Plan > My Plan

 Great things never came out of comfort zones. 

This is a quote that I have heard repeatedly within the last couple years, and for some reason, it has really stuck with me. I have been crawling my way out of my many comfort zones for the last several years and to be honest, it is downright scary sometimes. There is a passage within the book of Isaiah that I have always clung to and it is in chapter 41:10-13.

            “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

            I have clung to this passage for several years because of the peace that it has brought when worry, doubt, anxiety, and fear have consumed me in various circumstances. I have recently graduated college, but I can recall my sophomore year so clearly. Having already changed my major twice by the fall semester, I was beginning to feel the pressure of getting my life together. People always tell you college is the best years of your life, but at that point I was beginning to wonder what the heck I was doing. So as I sat in my education major classes and felt absolutely no passion for the work I was doing, I knew I needed to change my major (yet again). I felt like I was going through a quarter life crisis–people have those right? I began combing the degree completion plans to see if anything really fit me. I dreaded to tell my parents because after all, they were paying for me to get a degree in something. I didnt want them to think I was wasting their hard earned dollars. I began to pray, and pray, and pray. I begged for answers because I honestly just wanted to know the direction the Lord wanted me to go.

            It was uncomfortable. The not knowing what I was doing and the struggle of wondering whether I should stick it out haunted me. Throughout the process of praying and waiting on the Lord for the next step, I realized that the only reason I truly wanted to teach was because I thought there was security in it. I thought that at least when I would graduate I would know exactly what job I was looking for. Crawling out of this comfort zone was difficult. I had to let go of my idea of job security and embrace the Lords right hand in this season of my life and allow him to show me the path He wanted for me, not the one I was trying to force.

            From a young age, I had loved art. I enjoyed arts and crafts at camp and I liked doodling and drawing. While I never took many art classes in school I took one in high my senior year and loved it. I never considered a degree in the arts because I did not think one could make a decent living out of it. Looking back now, I see how foolish I was to put God in a box. I stepped out of the comfort zone of the major I felt was correct and into the unknown major of Graphic Design. My family was a little skeptical at first, especially since this was my third major. I cant say I blamed them, but I felt the Lords presence over the whole circumstance. It was scary to step into a brand new degree plan and start all over. It was scary to step into something that I felt no real security in. That being said, it was comforting to know I had stepped into something that I felt the Lords hand all over. Just as the Lord says in end of that passage, Do not fear; I will help you He helped me in the same way.

            That was two years ago. I had never used a Mac computer, and didnt even know how to turn it on in my first class. I had no idea about photography, or hand lettering, or what the Adobe programs were. All I knew was that the Lord had put me in this degree program and wanted me there. Now as a recent college graduate with a degree in Graphic Design and job that uses those skills I am grateful. I am grateful for the Lords provision. I am grateful for his prodding to step out of a comfort zone and into the unknown because it didnt just change my degree path, it change my life.

 

-Molly Hitch

 

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Find Rest in Your Advocate

“You’re really limiting yourself.”

“Why don’t you have a job yet?”

“Your sister has a job, how come you won’t get one?”

“You want to be a women’s what?!”

“Why’d your parents get you the car? What do you even use it for?”

“You’ll never get a job.”

“Why did you pick a religious school?”

“You could be doing so much better.”

These are just a few things that I have heard from my extended family over the past three years. Even as I write this I have tears falling because I never have and I never will feel good enough for them as long as they do not know Jesus and His saving grace. It takes mental preparation and a lot of prayer to approach any holiday dinners and I always walk out weary and bruised. This past Easter dinner was no different, but the Lord revealed something so sweet to me…

Let me back up for a moment, I have spent the past few months praying mighty and bold prayers on the behalf of my extended family. They have been heavy on my heart and there has not been a day in the past few weeks that I have not been burdened by their lost souls. I have prayed for them daily and I have asked many close friends to pray for them as well. I say this, not to boast, but to share that I went into Easter dinner believing that I was going to see a drastic change in how they spoke to me and in their attitude towards Jesus. I went in believing that my consistent prayers would be what saved them and not Jesus himself. This was not something I even knew that I was doing until I walked out of Easter dinner more bruised, weary, lost, and confused than I had ever been. There was no drastic change. I was still berated for my choice to go to a Christian college and to pursue women’s ministry. I was criticized for not having a job while I was in school. I was still asked what exactly it was I was doing with my life. I was even told to reconsider an internship opportunity I have this summer because it was in a church. As my family left dinner and we walked to the car, I was already in a full-fledged argument with God in my head.

“God, I prayed for change. I had others pray for change. I want them to know you! Why would you let them keep speaking to me like that?!”

It was if I could hear God say, “Beloved, Do you trust me?”

“God, of course I trust you! I’ve pledged my whole life to serve you! Don’t you see, I want them to trust you?”

“Beloved, do you trust me?”

As we drove home and I was in tears my loving and God-fearing parents offered unconditional love and encouragement. (God sure blessed me when He gave me them; I’d be a hot mess without them.) Despite all the encouragement they offered, my spirit was battling discouragement. I was wrestling with the question “Beloved, do you trust me?”  As I sat that Easter night in my living room I felt like God was finishing the question. “Beloved, do you trust me to be your advocate?”

What a beautiful and joy filled question to hear. I was reminded that I have an advocate. I had just spent the morning in church celebrating His triumph over death and sin in the greatest act of advocacy my soul could ever find! I have spent years chasing after the approval of my family. I have made them my goal. God humbled me that night and ushered in the sweet rest that I needed. My pride was standing in the way of my advocate. I have no words to offer them, no prayer so mighty that it can save them. I have nothing to offer them, but the work Christ is doing in my own life. I have nothing to offer them, but love. Not even my own love, but by Christ loving through me. I could not love them in my own strength. I have nothing to offer them, but the Gospel. I do not need to defend myself to them. They won’t understand. They don’t know Jesus yet.

I’m still praying for them and I will pray for them until they accept Jesus and then I will get to pray with them. Oh what a glorious day that will be! What I pray you will get out of this, my sweet friend, is this: You have an advocate for your soul! You have someone who loves you unconditionally. You have someone whose heart breaks when you face injustice. You have someone who longs to have you home with Him. You have Jesus. While you may be used to the injustices around you, HE is not okay with them. You have an advocate. He will defend you. Trust Him. Pursue Him. Make Him your priority and your goal. Others will see the difference in you and be drawn to Him. Do not let the enemy convince you that it is your job to prove Christ to the world. You need to show the world Christ and He will prove Himself to them. My heart is with you, my friend. Find rest in your advocate.

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” -1 John 2:1

 

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A Day in the Life of Junior High Me

I was thirteen, in seventh grade, and felt a sense that I just didn’t belong. My hair was breaking off. I had just hit puberty, and had acne like CRAZY! My self-esteem was so low it was sickening. I hated myself. I hated the way I looked, and I was taking it out on everyone; especially the ones who loved me, my parents.

No one wanted to be my friend. A boyfriend? Ha! Please! Forget about that.

I just wanted someone, other than my parents. to love me, but no one did. WHY?!

In March of 2003, I couldn’t take it anymore. I wasn’t getting along with my parents. I couldn’t find peace at home or school. So, one night after a big argument with my mom and dad, I went to my room and closed the door, hoping to never have to open it again. In one of the corners of my room laid a picture that had fallen, and its broken glass. I picked up the longest piece and put it to my wrist. I wanted to bleed out. I wanted  to feel the pain, because I was sure it didn’t feel as bad as what I was going through. At the time, I was wearing a gold cross around my neck that had been given to me by my mother.

Moments before I made the first cut, the necklace fell from my neck, in front of me onto the carpet. I remember, at first, staring at it, and then beginning to weep. That’s when I knew I needed Christ.

Once aware of this, I went to my mother, asking to go to church. We were invited to a church by a friend of my mother.  Soon, we were going to church every Sunday, and I got involved with the youth ministry. During one of our youth plays, an invitation was given, and I presented an outpour to God telling him that with Him is where I wanted to be. With that, I gave my life to Christ.

Since accepting Christ, I would be lying if I said that life has been a cakewalk. Dealing with our sin nature is never an easy task, but my journey towards spiritual growth has been awesome.

I must admit that I have slowed a lot of my own progress because I wanted to do my own thing, or got myself distracted over someone or something that had no relevance in my life.

One of the things that I love about God, though, is that He never makes you start over, but simply presses play from where you left off.

I dedicate this blog to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for bringing me so far. As I fight back tears writing this, I know that you’re not done with me, and have so much more in store for years to come.

—Day M.

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Why, God? Trust in Tragedy

Your best friend just found out she has cancer and has a year left to live.

You broke up with your boyfriend because you found out he was cheating on you.

You see news about ISIS and watch innocent children die.

Your parents are fighting and might get a divorce.

You hear about how abortion has wiped out a whole generation.

There is worry about Ebola spreading.

You are barely scraping by with finances and just found out that you got laid off.

You see tsunamis and earthquakes demolish whole countries and flatten towns.

You hear about shootings in schools.

You are struggling with keeping your grades up.

Other people make fun of you and you start to question if you are worthy of love.

There’s sickness, death, abuse, broken relationships, infidelity, crime, sorrows, regrets, injuries, discontentment and heartache.

How can a loving God let all of this happen?

There is no simple answer to this question. It’s hard for us to understand sometimes why God lets certain things happen. One thing we must not forget is that this world is NOT our home. Jesus is coming to restore the brokenness and there will be a day when there are no more tears or pain—only joy! God’s plan is perfect and He is always good. It is our job to TRUST  IN HIM alone—even when our circumstances get tough because He is orchestrating every detail of our lives for His glory. He, alone, can see the big picture.

Andy Rau, author and blogger for Biblegateway.com explains it perfectly:

“So when tragedy strikes, as it will; when suffering comes, as it will; when you’re wrestling with pain, as you will – and when you make the choice to run into His arms, here’s what you’re going to discover: you’ll find peace to deal with the present, you’ll find courage to deal with your future, and you’ll find the incredible promise of eternal life in heaven.”

So, we can decide whether to turn bitter or turn to the God of peace for comfort and courage. Our suffering will pale in comparison to what God has in store for His children!

Psalm 46:1-3:

“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.”

–Karinna J.

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Freak.

The one word I hated most in this world – the foulest word to me. It’s funny how one word can change your life and how you view yourself. Wanna know why I hated that word? I’ll tell you.

 

I have trichotilomania, a condition to where I pull out my hair, just like how people bite their nails until they bleed; but I just go bald. One day in second grade, I went to school with a head full of hair, and then came home with bald spots, no eyelashes, no eyebrows, and patches on my arms of missing hair. Stress is not something that just haunts adults, it’s something that creeps in and takes hold of the young and old alike. Since then, I was called a freak. Hence the reason I hated that word for so long. I started to believe what they said; I believed I was a freak. I believed I was stupid because I had ADD and ADHD. I believed something was wrong with me. Until a year ago, I hadn’t realized how beautiful and unique I actually was.

 

God was the one who finally made me realize that I was beautiful. I opened up my Bible and saw this one day.

 

Isaiah 40:26 “Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.”

 

And God asked me, “If I made these exactly the way I wanted them to be, how come you don’t see yourself the way I do? I made you exactly the way I wanted!” And it made me realize, that all this time, I was trying to change something that was already beautifully perfect in the eyes of God. He created us all as original masterpieces of art! We are his art, and He is the Artist. We are exactly the way He wanted us to be. We are the starry hosts – each one with our own unique beauty, and not one of us is alike.

 

So, beautiful star, how do you see yourself? Are you a masterpiece or are you still a damaged canvas? Because I know exactly what you are; the only thing is that you’ve got to see it too.

 

– Emily Sumner

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You Can’t Just Eat Bread

I’m at a point in my life in which hearing the word “busy” makes me want to vomit. We use this word over and over again as an (often justifiable) excuse for why we can’t add one more thing to our already full plate in a buffet-style world, that offers opportunity after opportunity.

Before I start sounding too cynical, let me say that I am so blessed to live in a country & city that offers so many opportunities. I am obsessed with culture and experiences, and I pray for adventure almost every day. My concern, however, is that we pile on these ”sweet” one-time experiences and, in turn, sacrifice essential nutrients (spiritually speaking) that will sustain us.

Straight-up: DO NOT sacrifice quality time with the Lord for anything. Anything.

For me, the past couple of weeks have been jam-packed with “stuff”—good stuff. I’ve started my first “big girl” job, met up with friends I haven’t seen in months, continued to lead my Blush social media team, met some awesome new friends, and gone on some really cool adventures. My days start early & end late. When I got home, “vegging out” was my source of relaxation— mindlessly watching “that” tv show or scrolling through my Twitter feed.

[Insert song about having the “Time of My Life” here. ] Only, not really.

I say “not really” because I know that over these past couple of weeks, I’ve missed out. Missing was the quality one-on-one time that the Lord and I developed over the past couple of years. No, I did not forsake His word completely, but my quiet time became more of a check-off of my to-do list, as opposed to the re-charging my soul desperately needed. He is the ultimate source of relaxation & re-charging.

Thankfully, God got my attention, in a way that only He could, and communicated to me in an incredibly clear way: “You can’t do this without Me.”

Do what, exactly? I was still living & breathing, going to work every day & meeting up with friends, when I could. What the Lord was referring to was not surviving but THRIVING in the plan that He has for me.

You see, I have God-sized dreams. Dreams of being the creative mind behind a Christian nonprofit, of speaking to & mentoring women through this ministry, of being the author of a book for which I already have a concept, and of being the wife of a man dedicated to ministry —that one is kinda scary, but I’m up for it ;). The thing about God-sized dreams, though, is that they require God working through us to accomplish them.

How could these dreams possibly come to fruition, though, without us spending quality time with Him? This is more of a rhetorical question, but I’ll go ahead & answer it— they can’t –not to the full potential of His prosperity.

I don’t care if your spiritual gifts are Faith or Wisdom, if you’ve been told every Bible story ever written as a child, or if your mom & dad are Superchristians #1 & #2— to THRIVE in the God-given plan for your life, daily time in the Word must be your foundation.

Even if you’ve already read a passage, the Lord illuminates new insights or applications every time. The Bible is not a one-time read. Don’t let Satan trick you with these apathetic excuses.

The same words that the Lord uses to exhort the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8:3, I hope, will challenge us today…go read it in context, and be amazed at how much applies to our culture today:

“And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of theLord.”

I’m embarrassed that I can blog about this experience from a first-hand perspective—that I went two weeks without have a quality re-charge. I have a feeling, though, I’m not alone. So maybe me admitting to you, person I may have never met before, that I slipped up will spare someone else. There’s so much to learn from someone else’s experiences.

My challenge to you? Don’t just eat bread. Don’t just survive to make it through your day at work, go to the next party, or read “just enough” to not feel guilty. You were intended to THRIVE in this life—so do it. I promise, you’ll enjoy the process.

-Deana Dennis

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True Perfection

The world is full of people who can’t stand the thought of settling. These people are the perfectionists – those sometimes-uptight, goal-oriented, competitive overachievers who simply won’t be satisfied until perfection is attained. I’ll admit that I often reflect the characteristics of a perfectionist and unfortunately, my perfectionism infiltrates every part of my life. I honestly just always want things to be absolutely perfect!

Why? Because I HATE…I LOATHE the idea of having regrets. If I don’t do something perfectly, I will indefinitely have regrets about whatever it is.

What does perfect look like though? The dictionary definition of perfection is “having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics.”

How often do I pray for these “perfect” things? How often do I pray for things that fit my idea of desirable or required in order to forgo any regrets? I pray for perfect roommates, a perfect job, and a perfect future. Still, the fact of the matter is that what my “perfect” looks like and what God’s “perfect” looks like are often completely opposite. Why is that?! Because I am not God. The “desirable elements, qualities, and characteristics” of my present and my future can only be defined by God Himself.

Psalm 18:30 says that God’s way is perfect. In other words, No matter what tomorrow looks like, it is perfectly perfect because it is God’s way, not mine. My ways and ideas of what the future should look like are flawed and imperfect. His ways are flawless. Put your regrets to rest and rest in His perfectionism.

-Morgan

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God’s Not Google: Coping with The Unknown

The Information Age.  Generation iY. The Google Generation. We exist in a period of time where instant gratification is available at the click of a mouse.   Recently, I’ve started to suspect that this lack of “waiting” in our lives has been decaying our patience and robbing our peace.

That actor’s name on the tip of your tongue but you just can’t remember?  Dying to know who wrote that song on the radio? Saw a cute top on Pinterest and want it en route to your front door ASAP? We have grown accustomed to finding what we want, and finding it now. We rarely have to live with the unknown, and I think many of us are finding it more and more difficult to be okay with letting things go.  Next time you pull out your phone to Google something, try putting it away and reminding yourself what it’s like to be okay with not knowing.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll be startled at how uneasy it makes you feel.   Have we really become so incapable of coping with “the unknown”? Numerous studies have shown that internet use is correlated with increased impatience and anxiety.  Take a look at this infographic:

 

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If this is in the way we go about our business, surely it affects our spirituality. Have we grown more impatient with God? Have we grown too anxious with “the unknowns” in life? Do we expect God to be our Google search, yielding instant and gratifying results? Waiting is inherent in faith. Without it, there would be no ripening of spiritual fruit. Do not fear the unknown. God IS “Knowing”. Know Him, and you will know Life itself. He wants to answer your prayers, but His blessings are to see you bear fruit. Kingdom-affirming, heart-filling, juices-dripping-down-your-hands-when-you-bite-it fruit. A seed needs time to sprout. It needs time to breach the soil, soak in the sunlight, and push its roots firmly into the earth. It needs time to heal from the storm, recover from the drought, and fight off the weeds. It needs time to bloom and blossom and push forth fruit from its limbs.  That fruit needs time to ripen to perfection. Only then can it be enjoyed in its purest and most nourishing form.

Isaiah 40:31 “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Psalm 27:13-14 “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 33:20-22 “Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.”

Psalm 130:5-6 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.”

Take notice this week of your posture towards God in regards to His plan for you. Contemplate the unknowns in your life. In light of the provision and omnipotence of the One to whom you belong…are the unknowns really that intimidating? Whatever stages of growth your fruits are in, if you continue to walk in Him, you can rest assured that He is steadfastly nurturing them into a rich and satisfying harvest.

 

-Heather N

 

 

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4 Ways to Know What to Do with Your Life

Right now, I am sitting in a Barnes and Noble Starbucks drinking a Skinny Caramel Macchiato. I am supposed to be doing homework, but like usual my mind is elsewhere.

I am thinking back to my 17-year-old self. Every high school senior stresses about the two big questions they get asked starting sophomore year.

“What college are you going to?”

“What’s your major gonna be?”

My answers to those questions were,

“Liberty University” and “Graphic Design.”

When I think about those answers now, I laugh. God has a way of changing your plans.

Now that a few years have gone by, those same kids that are now in college are asking themselves,

“Did I pick the right major?”

“How much debt am I going to be in?”

“Where do I go after I graduate?”

I am thinking about some of my friends and where they are at in their lives. One of my friends just got married, one wants to change her major to women’s ministry, one is graduating nursing school next month, and one has about ten ideas and can’t seem to choose one.

So here is the big question…WHAT IS GOD’S WILL FOR MY LIFE?!?!

In all honesty, I could write a book about this. Girls come to me all the time asking this question. So below are four things to be able to help you when you come to this fork in the road.

  1. God’s plan is better than yours.

In fall 2012 I went for a job interview. I was so excited when they called me in for one. This job was up my alley, and was exactly where my focus was. I ended up not getting the job. I was very upset. One week later a job that was one hundred times better contacted me and I have been at this company since. This job paid more, was more flexible and was a company I thought I could never get into. God knew exactly what He was doing.

Isaiah 55:8 says, “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.”

I can promise you that the plan God has for you is so much bigger, better, and crazier than your wildest dreams! Surrender whatever plan you have and lay it down to God.

  1. Be smart.

You do not have to know what every day for the next year holds. Take the next best step. God does not want you to be in debt. You need to make decisions that are financially smart. If you are struggling with finances, God will supply, but you may have to change your lifestyle. Also, just because it is a good thing, does not mean you have to pounce on it right away. Only move forward when God has made it absolutely clear that is what He has for you.

  1. Pray and Wait

Prayer is the single most important thing you need for discerning God’s will.

Psalm 5:3 says, “In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” Prayer will CHANGE your life! Christians sometimes forget just how powerful it is! You have a direct line to your creator. Prayer is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible. Pray for wisdom! Pray bodly! Pray expectantly! Pray for big things! Pray for answers! Prayer should be a continual conversation between you and God.

  1. Dream

Even my mom says she doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. Dreaming is a lost art form in today’s culture. When deciding God’s will for your life don’t accept an insignificant life. When you honestly hand it all over to Him, the impossible become possible with Jesus.

Luke 18:27 says, “Jesus replied, ‘What is impossible with man is possible with God.'”

-Katie

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Tick, Tock, Throw It All Off: Anger

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

This passage is very familiar among Christian circles & has always been a favorite of mine. I tended to focus on the end part, for it shows that Jesus gave His life for us so that we could live life the way it was intended, the way He designed it to be, fellowshipping w/ Him–so Christians should be the most joyful people in the world. This summer, however, my attention was brought to the beginning of the verse.

The thief comes ONLY to steal, and kill and destroy.

Well that’s depressing.

You see, Satan longs for us to fail..he wants nothing more than to see us spiritually stagnant & to misrepresent Christ in a way that makes people think, “And WHY would I want to be a Christian?!”

Just how does he steal, kill & destroy,though? Obviously, this plan of attack takes on many forms, but I believe that a HUGE way he trips us up is by stealing our TIME. Lemme explain…bitterness & anger disable us from being the most effective for the Lord, whether we hold on to it for a minute, days, months, or several years–for that span of time we simply aren’t able to fully live up to the person that God has designed us to be, because we’re focused on our anger rather than our God.

This can be pretty hard to swallow, especially when we’ve been legitimately wronged. PLEASE realize that I’m not at all suggesting that we should never be angry about an injustice done to us. I know many people who have gone through unimaginable horrors; my heart truly breaks for their circumstances & I would NEVER condemn them for their anger. I’m also not saying that we should become emotional doormats, allowing people to manipulate us because we never get angry. Scripture is very clear that there’s a time for mourning, grief, & anger. I believe, though, that after that time period, we have a choice to make: will we learn from this experience and allow it to draw us closer to the Lord? OR will we become bitter?

At this point in my blogs, I’d usually find some cheesy song lyric to tie in to the point I’m trying to make… something about how we only have one life to live or something…but I’m gonna skip that 😉

It really is true though: we only have one short time span on the earth, & how we live our lives on a daily basis determines how we’ll live it out long-term. The days we spend dwelling on that awful remark _____ made to us, how unfair it was that ______ happened, etc. rob us of living that abundant life that Christ gave His life for so that we might enjoy it….and we’ll never get that time back.

How should knowing this affect the way we live? Quite simply, we HAVE to become good forgivers.

I’ve often thought: But ______ deserves it; he/she deserves me being mad at them.  I’ve learned that we have to be very careful about this, because GOD is our Judge….PRAISE Him that we don’t always get what we deserve, because NONE of us deserve to have a relationship w/ Him; it’s only by His gift of salvation that we’re able to! I’ve also realized that anger hurts me a lot more than it hurts the other person– sure, _______ may be upset that you’re angry w/ them, but it’s you who’s taken too much time out of your day to miserably dwell on that annoying circumstance.

We’ve gotta realize that this kind of anger handicaps us from living our Christian lives to the fullest. Let’s face it: when we’re annoyed or angry, our mindset is typically never anything close to: “Lord, use me today.”

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,” Ephesians 4:26 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” Hebrews 12:1

 “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak,  slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19

…that last passage just gets me: we’re COMMANDED to be slow to anger, why? because we KNOW that anger doesn’t do anything good or righteous for us.

As I write this blog, I’m reminded of SEVERAL times that I’ve failed in the anger department , but I’m determined to not allow the devil to win in this area of my life anymore… sure, I’ll still get angry, but I want to be a woman of short accounts. A woman who joyfully lives out each & every day that the Lord gives me.

Let’s be a people who throw off the anger/annoying things in life that so easily entangle us, so that we can run the race marked out for us: to have an awesome personal relationship w/ Christ & to tell others about that relationship so that they can have it too!

 

-Deana