Limitless Life…Week 2

Week 2 of my bible study and this week my blog is about a very special place, picture and people. One of our options for this week was:

SNAP IT ~ God desires to be our friend, and longs for us to be in fellowship with Him and fellow believers. We’d love to see a pic of 1) you in fellowship with your community; or 2) your quiet time with God showing your fellowship with Him. –

I chose to show a picture of both. Although I am not in the picture (I took it) I was still fellowshipping with my community. This is my youth group.

 

Every year we take them on a hike to Crowders Mtn. in Gastonia NC and we have a small lesson for them and then they have about 30 minutes of quit time just to spread out and find a place for them to just sit with God and marinate on the word. After we have done that we always go to this spot you see in the picture and take a group picture like this. Many times out kids just stand in aw of the beauty they see as do I. This place is so grand and it shows how God has His hand it everything. In this moment we can see Gods creation as a big picture.

We like to show them this because so many times when we are in our everyday life we can miss God in the little things because many times we only think about Him in the big things. But when we are up there and see how grand this is we like to show them that God sees this in us. We like to tell them that God see us as this grand masterpiece that He has created. Sometimes they get it and sometimes they don’t but I know they have a new since of belonging once we leave this spot. We always do this right before school starts that way it helps them get into the mind set that God sees me as a masterpiece and I don’t have to worry about how others see me.

Friends I hope that as you looked at this picture, that you didn’t just see the youth standing there, or how grand it must be to stand there in person but I hope you see that God sees you as His grand work of art.

 

 

 

 

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SNAP IT: A BIG God

ImageThis photo is of my husband and myself in FL last year.

One of my challenges was to “Share on your blog a photo or word art that you have created that testifies of God’s greatness.” –

I use this photo of my husband and I because we have been through so much in our marriage that it was only God who brought us from where we were. Through out the first 9 years of our marriage I cheated on him yet he stayed with me. He prayed to God to save our marriage day after day even though we were not “Christians”. Neither of us were born again believers but because of his background with Christian school and church he knew that only God could save our marriage.

On 09-09-09 my husband and I walked hand in hand down the isle and asked Jesus into our hearts and lives to save us and make us new again. He did and now almost 5 years later we are more in love then we were when we married almost 13 years ago.

God has given me a new since of love for my husband, a new respect for who he is, and a new image of myself with my husband.

I share this because of how Great our God is.

 

 

 

 

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Family

I have recently been faced with a challenge by someone in my family. I have had my Christian character questioned. I have been told that I believe I am better than everyone else. I have had a lot of words thrown at me that are not true. So to that I am writing this.
I am a Christian who has and will choose Jesus over anything and anyone. He is the one who was there for me when no one else would or could. He is the one who brought me out of the darkness of adultery, drunkenness, drugs, suicide, mental captivity, illusions, and so much more. He is the only one who ever could do that. For that I am truly grateful and I own my life to Him. No matter what anyone else says or thinks I have surrendered my life to Him.

Now with that being said I do not expect those of you who are not in my shoes to understand. I do not expect you to be happy with my choice or even agree with it.
I do however want to explain a few things to you. First off Jesus is my number one no matter what. Second My husband comes before everyone else and then my children. When I married my husband (yes we were living in sin but that is our past not our future) I chose to obey God’s word when He tells us in Genesis 2:24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Although this speaks to the husband I believe we take and should take it both ways.
While I understand this is only one verse in the Bible I have to also look at Matthew 19:5-6  and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” This was spoken by Jesus himself when He was in Judea speaking to the Pharisees about divorce. He wanted to recall what God had told man in the beginning.
Now what is meant by this? Well this means we are to leave our mothers and fathers. We are to support our spouse and (in my case) obey or summit to my husband. This means that I am no longer under the idea “I have to listen to mommy and daddy” because I live my own life and create my own family.

Jesus told us 1 Corinthians 13: 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. Now that I have been married for 13 years, have a soon to be teenage girl and a 9 year old boy I believe I need to put away my child like behavior. With that I mean, I now must put everything aside and take care of my own family. I don’t not follow commands that way a child should follow commands. Take for instants the 5th commandment which says “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. according to Exodus 20:12. I believe while I was under the financially authority of my parents this commandment meant something much different. It meant that I must listen to what they wanted for my life as long as if did not go outside of the word of God. (While growing up in my household nothing was inside the word of God.) Anyway, now that I am married, a mother of my own and supporting my own children I believe this means that I shift my energy more to obeying and honoring my Heavenly Father.
As I looked up the word honor I found that it means many different things such as “high respect” or “a privilege” it even means to “regard with great respect” and lastly I found that it means to “fulfill (an obligation) or keep (an agreement). I believe as an adult I do need to continue to honor my parents but they too need to honor me as a follow adult. They need to understand that there will be choices and decisions I must make that they may not like or understand.
I also believe that when I made a life style change many people were not on board with my new life and that is ok but with this new life comes new things that I feel I must do. If you don’t like it nor understand it then that is fine but do not come to me and make me out to be someone I am not. They are many things that I can no longer do and being around certain behavior is also something that I cannot do. Solomon told us in Proverbs 16:17 The highway of the upright avoids evil; those who guard their ways preserve their lives. So there are things I must avoid to stay on the path God has planned for me.

In Philippians chapter 2 verse 3 I am also instructed to Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, While many believe this means I must come to their beckon call or jump when they say jump or even drop everything to please them, to me this means I am not to think of myself as better than anyone else. Not the president, the Pastors, my boss, the owner of a company, a movie star, my brother, my sister, my husband, my children, a rock star, a homeless man, a cab driver, a waitress, a janitor, a prisoner, or a king. I am a child of God because HE created me (Genesis 1:27). He breathed breath into me (Genesis 2:7), He formed me (Jeremiah 1:5)He is the only one who is above anyone else.

I love ALL my family but I will not compromise for no one, I will not bend my believes nor will I allow you or anyone else to still by joy. John 10:10 says The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. So I say satan get thee behind me because I am God’s and you cannot have me.

Temple

 

“13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”[a]

18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.”

In the above passage we see that Jesus was foretelling the future of His own fate but to me that is not the biggest part of this passage. In verses 14 and 15 we see where many people were found selling all kinds of different things in the “temple” for money and for some reason this stands out to me.

When I take a step back and read everything again I see in verse 19 Jesus is explaining that if this temple is destroyed then He will raises it again in 3 days and then we see in 21 it is told that the temple Jesus was talking about in 19 was His body not the physical building that was spoke about in 14.

Then why does verse 14 and 15 stand out to me, well it’s because as I look back at my old life and what it took for Jesus to get my attention, I can see that in order for Jesus to get my attention He had to come and make a whip out of cords, and drive all I ever knew out of God’s “temple” or in other words my mind, body and soul.

He had to take my focuses from me only seeing what I wanted and what I thought I deserved to what God had planned for my Life. He had to come and flip all my plans upside down for me to see who He is.

That Sunday that Joey and I walked into CWC we knew something was going to be different. And guess what…3 days later boy we were right. Three days after Jesus made His way into my life I died to my old self and rose in Christ.  I was no longer the same as I was before. It changed everything in my life from the way I would dress and talk to the things I would watch on t.v and the music I would listen to.

After I asked Jesus into my heart I had many fears that it was not real or I was just faking it but now I understand that through the blood and the cross “It is Finished” and I don’t have to be afraid. Although I died to my old self, Jesus is the one who paid the cost when he was hung on the cross for me. I now have no fear of ever turning back to who I use to be.

Dear Father, please give the one reading this peace of mind about where they stand with you. Allow them to feel your arms wrapping around them. Show them that you have done all the hard work and its our time to believe in you, trust your abilities and spread your word.  Its in Jesus name I pray Amen. 

NAME

 

 

What’s in a name?

 

Identity, worth, placement?

 

As I’m sitting here at my desk I hear chatter from across the hall and I try not to overhear what is being said but sometimes it’s impossible.

 

My company is going through this major shift and a few of my co-workers will be moved to another part of the building into another program. With that being said, one of these co-workers has many different jobs that she performs that none of us know how to do because we have not been trained on.

 

Well the conversation I overheard was about who will perform those duties once she is placed elsewhere.

To make a long story short, I heard my name brought up and then I heard very light whispering and the fact that I was “only a temp”  was brought up, so of course that meant that I was not capable of doing those duties.

 

This had me on fire. My temper went so high I knew others could see the steam coming out of my ears.  So I did want any of us would, I complained to someone else. In fact 2 other people.  I did not feel as if they should just wrote me off like that. I deserve to be treated like I know how to do my job and any other job that they can teach me. But no “I’m just a temp”

 

So as my mind was filled with all these things that I believed was said in the conversation, I started to feel down and as if I wanted to cry. I felt worthless, like I didn’t have a place at my job, like I was invisible, like my ability was being questioned and like I didn’t have a name other than “the temp”.

 

Thank you Jesus that I had to leave work early that day because I was so hot I felt like I was going to blow up at someone.

As I got into the car the radio was on and the song “The Only Name” by Big Daddy Weave came on. As soon as they started to sing I felt the Holy Spirit start to speak to me.

 

He said “My child, why worry about what others said about your abilities or your name, or anything they want to call you? It’s my abilities that they need to see not yours and it’s my name not yours that needs to be shown. I gave you your abilities to be placed in this job that I have prepared for you, trust me and deny yourself.”

 

WOW, what a word he gave me.

 

Luke 9:23 says Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,[a] and follow Me.

 

At that moment I realized that it doesn’t matter how anyone else sees me because they do not need to see me anyway. Luke tells us what Jesus has instructed the people of His time to do to be true followers but you see friends, Jesus is the same today as He was yesterday and even as He was when He walked this earth as a man. I must deny myself if I am truly a follower of Jesus.  I do not deserve this job but He gave it to me and prepared it specialty for me.

 

In this song one line says “The only One Whose favor I seek” Now the One mentioned in this song should be Jesus but on this day I realized that I wanted the favor of my co-workers and not Only of Jesus.

 

So today I seek to please no one but Jesus. I seek to have His name known not my own. I seek to deny myself and follow Jesus.

Dear Jesus, I pray today for not only me but all who are reading this to have peace in knowing that Yours is the ONLY name we should seek not our own. I pray that we seek favor from you and you alone. In your wonderful name I pray. Amen.

Expectation

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As a wife I have some expectation of my husband as any women would. Also, I’m sure my husband has some expectations of my as well. But what I have found out is that I have very high expectations of my husband. Let me show you why.

Here are the top 5 expectations I have:

1-      I expect that he can read my mind.

2-      I expect that he can just hear my voice and know when I’m in pain.

3-      I expect that he should put me first above all else.

4-      I expect him to be able to say just one word and take all my hurt away.

5-      I expect him to put his “needs” aside because I don’t feel good.

 

When all the while I am expecting him to hold me when I need that touch, carry me when life is just too much, love me when I don’t even love myself and save me when I screw everything up. 

In other words expect him to be my Jesus.

I look to my husband as some god that I have placed on a pedal stool. I have made him to be someone he cannot be. I ask way too much of him and when he cannot deliver I become disappointed in him as if he could ever live up to my expectations anyway.

Deep down I know he cannot be nor do what I need from Jesus yet I still place him in Jesus spot as if he could. I get mad at him when his “needs” come up because I am in pain and he “should know this” because you know… I never said a word.

I find myself seeking my husband over Jesus.

I find myself looking to him for all the answers.

I find myself seeking his approval

I have found myself so lost because he cannot give me what I need….without Jesus.

My favorite verse is Matthew 6:33

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

I find myself taking the word his out and replacing it with Joey.  I become so discombobulated with life because I have not put Jesus first. I have done what Matthew has instructed up to do.

Ladies, I’m talking to me as well, we must find ourselves in Jesus before we find ourselves in our husbands arms because if we don’t than we may find that we no longer have a marriage that is honoring to God our heavenly father.

 

Dear Father above, I pray special for everyone reading this today. I pray that they are filled with some much joy from your words you have given me. I pray that they not only find this of great help but also that they apply it to their own marriage. Father help give us the power to turn our lives over to you, the strength to give up the control and the wisdom to know when we are looking to our husbands for that affirmation that only you are able to provide. Father I asked all this in Jesus name. Amen.

 

Identity Crisis

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For many years I hated to be called Joey’s wife. I hated not having my own identity.

“I’m not just his wife…I’m my own person, a photographer, a women who is not owned by any man.”

This is what kept shouting over and over again in my thoughts. Every time someone noticed me they saw me as Joey’s wife and I despised it.

This label festered in me and grew like the roots of weeds wrapping around the foundation of someone’s home and ripping it apart.

Whatever I did I could not erase this title I have been given.

But why was I so angry at this title?

Many women would love the chance to be loved by such a hardworking man yet I couldn’t run far enough away from it.

My selfishness pushed me away from him and into another’s arms.

During this time in my life I did not know who Jesus was. I knew that He came and died for me but I thought this whole “saved thing” was about rules that I had to follow. I mean I was a good person and as long as my good outweighed my bad no matter how bad it was, then I knew I was getting in to heaven you know.

So I believed that I was my own boss and no one especially my husband was going to tell me what I could and could not do or be.

Because this was my philosophy, I found myself having nervous break downs, tangled in lies, engulfed by my own sin that I blamed him for.

I did not realize that my mind was telling me things that were not real. My mind was so twisted by all my sin, I began to live what some may call an alternate reality.

I began to see things that were not real. I began to justify what I was doing because I knew; I just knew he was doing the same thing but worst.

But then something crazy happened. Joey and I asked Jesus into our hearts and I became NEW.

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”  Revelation 21:5

New is right. I no longer hated being Joey’s wife. In fact, I now introduce myself as Joey’s wife when we are together. I get goose bumps when someone refers to me as Joey’s wife because I want everyone to know that I am his.

God tells us in the beginning

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:24, NIV

So when Joey and I married than we became ONE. So I no longer have an identity on my own. My identity is Joey’s wife and his is Jennifer’s husband. But most importantly we are God’s children.

John tells us that when we ask Jesus into our hearts then He lives in us. Well if He lives in me than shouldn’t I been seen as He has made me?

 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. John 14:20

Are you having in identity crisis? If so I encourage you to take a step back and look at who you are in Christ. Or better yet look at where Christ lives in your life.

Does He live in you, with you, around you or maybe once in a while near you?