Dying to Live

I sent this pic to Paul on Tuesday after a four hour non-stop cluster feeding session with our newest son, Jude, (#boymom 😊) who officially entered our Father’s world on September 21st, 2020. Because of some issues at birth (which I will share at a later date when I am able to sit down and write the birth story), we had to unexpectedly stay an extra night in the hospital. So Paul headed home to be with our older two boys and relieve my mom who needed to be at work the next day. I am so thankful to have had the care received at a hospital this time around (my last delivery with my middle son was at a birth center and it was supposed to be for this pregnancy/delivery too, but they dropped my insurance when I was around 12 weeks pregnant…but nothing is coincidence with God) for a number of reasons I will share later, but I am happy we are finally now home. My heart is full. 

Yet, at the same time, these last several days have been filled with much struggle and difficulty, and I find myself having a lot of flashbacks of my experience as a first-time mom almost exactly six years ago

This is the second time we have brought a new life into the world at the turn of Fall…Paul and I’s favorite season. It’s when we began dating so it holds a very special place in our heart. But with the turn of this particular season, I also have memories of some dark and heavy times in my life as well.

It is rather mind-blowing to me that not only were Isaiah (our oldest) and Jude born around the same time of year (just about 2.5 weeks a part), they have strikingly similar facial features, and what is even more obvious to me is their similar temperament. 

To be completely honest, Isaiah was not an easy baby. Frankly, he was not a very happy baby. I felt like I was failing as a mom because he was constantly upset and uncomfortable. I had trouble soothing him with things that normally worked and when he got upset…he got REALLY upset. Once he cried so hard in the car that he popped blood vessels in his eyes. He also barely slept either during the day or at night…unless I was holding him. (His struggle with sleep actually lasted until he was about 2.5 years old and on and off for another year after that).

It didn’t take long for me to realize that because of a traumatic birth experience, severe sleep deprivation, and my history of struggle with anxiety and depression, I was not handling any of it very well.

But because of my severe lack of understanding of the sovereignty of God and horrendous Word of Faith beliefs, I never told a soul, not even admit it to myself that I was struggling. You just don’t do that because once you say it, it becomes reality (**Cough** Law of Attraction **Cough**Cough*). There’s power in your words…power to speak life and death, I was taught. This, of course, is taking Proverbs 18:21 out of context (and not even quoting the whole verse) to mean we can create every outcome in life with our words.

Friends, that is not what that verse means, but that’s another topic for another time. 

And how could I forget to stand upon my “life verse” in times of struggle… “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Taking Philippians 4:13 out of context to mean that I am unstoppable…a super human if you will… because “I am a Christian! I am a child of God…I am more than a conqueror in Christ! I am to walk victoriously in all areas of my life! I am blessed and highly favored! When Jesus died of the cross, He took away ALL sin, sickness, and disease! I am healed and whole. Nothing missing, nothing broken. Anxiety and depression are just attacks from Satan and he has no authority in my life…I bind this anxiety and depression in the name of Jesus! I am not weak!” 

But the thing is… I am weak!

I know to admit that now probably more than ever because of these last (almost) six years of motherhood.

This particular passage of scripture in 2 Corinthians has carried me through so many dark nights of the soul, and I find myself clinging to its truth in my current season:

“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NASB

Not only have I learned to admit my weaknesses so that I can boast in the strength and grace of Christ, I have learned a whole new level of dying to self as I lean into the high (demanding) calling of motherhood. 

This morning as baby Jude stirred for a feeding and my body feeling the ache of the aftermath of my third natural childbirth and only 2.5 hours of sleep as I write this, I read these comforting and timely words in an email from Well-Watered Women:

“When the mornings begin to cool and the leaves start to change, so does my heart. The heat of summer is passing, and any sign of a chill in the air causes my heart to soar and my tummy to crave a nice cup of coffee. The changing of the season brings new life to my soul and my home—but at the same time, it ushers in death.

Once-green leaves begin to turn colorful hues before falling to the ground and losing all signs of life. The leaves that previously shaded us from the sun become a crumpled heap we step on. This necessary death brings about new life in the world as well as in our souls.

Death brings new life for believers as well. Death to self brings life in the Spirit (Romans 8:9–11). Death to sin brings life in Christ (Romans 6:6–8). Jesus offers us the invitation to die to ourselves in order to embrace true life in him (Luke 9:23). This year, let the changing of the seasons be a physical reminder of the importance and beauty of death in the Christian life. Death is not the end for the follower of Jesus; it’s the segway to new life in him.

May we die to live. May we lose to gain him—and him alone—as we remember that in the changing of the seasons, he never changes. His truths never fail and they never grow stale. They never falter or become less vital. Rather, his Word sustains us when every leaf falls and the cold of winter comes. His grace gives us hope and enjoyment in every season.”  

Gretchen Saffles

What a powerful reminder of who our God is…never changing even when the seasons change!

So I will end with this…

As we enter this Fall season, and I enter a new season of motherhood that brings me to my knees in the middle of the night and causes me to die to myself a little more each day, I fix my eyes on Jesus and boast of my weakness and my great need for the Lord. 

Jesus’ grace is sufficient today and in every season. 

“This year, let the changing of the seasons be a physical reminder of the importance and beauty of death in the Christian life. Death is not the end for the follower of Jesus; it’s the segway to new life in Him. May we die to live.”

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

I Was That Girl

I was only 12 years old when I began giving myself away, piece by piece.  First it was pornography and cybersex; then it slowly moved toward physical sexual encounters. I continued this behavior for a whole decade of my life, until I was about 22.

For most of my youth, I never felt my dad loved me. He was an on-again-off-again alcoholic, and I know it was that missing piece in my life that made me long for genuine love and acceptance.  And as I grew up, I constantly pursued approval and attention from boys.

I dealt with rejection, depression, anxiety and a giant void in my heart I didn’t know how to fill.  I quickly became ensnared by alcohol abuse and did many dangerous things that only served to create glue-strong attachments to other people — things like an adulterous relationship with a married man and countless one-night stands with random men I followed home from the bar.

Filling the Void

In college, my love for theater and acting became my means of escaping my desire to be truly accepted. I tried to find fulfillment in the fantasy relationships I had with others on stage and attempted to make real off stage. But my pride caused me to fall in love with myself, trying to satisfy the emptiness that refused to be filled.

I knew John 3:16 by heart, but I didn’t fully understand it. I knew Jesus died so that I may be forgiven and restored back to the Father, but I just couldn’t shake the religious upbringing that taught me only about a vengeful, angry God who would smite me down if I were not perfect.

I still felt like I had to work for forgiveness and acceptance. And love. That performance-driven mentality affected all areas of my life. No matter how hard I tried to be perfect, I never felt good enough.

I reached a point where I stopped trying and just lived. I made plans to run away to Los Angeles. I would be an actress and prove to the world my worth, talent, beauty and charm. But, one Sunday morning, only a couple months after I graduated from college, my eyes were truly opened to my selfish and sinful existence.

I hadn’t been to church in years, but one morning I went with my mom and sister. During the worship service, I began to experience this deep conviction that I was living a reckless and selfish life and that I had been running away from God. It was my prodigal son moment…I came to my senses and the end of myself (Luke 15). Immediately, I knew I needed to repent and start running toward Him, back into the Father’s arms. In that moment, I realized where I truly belonged. Right there, with hands lifted in worship, and tears streaming down my face, I repented of my pride and rebellion; I told God that I didn’t want to live this life on my own anymore, and that I wanted to surrender to His plan.

Faith at a Crossroad

As I began to loosen my grip on my plans for my life one finger at a time, God began showing me that His plans were so much better than my own. I finally laid down my prideful desires to become an actress in Los Angeles and committed to truly follow Jesus, wherever that led, for the first time in my life.

But only a few short months after this change began in my heart, I received some traumatic news- someone murdered my father outside of a strip club. His lifestyle landed him in the wrong crowd, and it tragically cost him his life.

That’s when my faith reached a crossroad.

I could either believe Jesus was my solid rock, my firm foundation, or allow my father’s murder to completely shake me and destroy me. God gave me the strength to believe. At my father’s funeral, I read one of his favorite poems, “Footprints in the Sand,” and I told my family to trust in Jesus; He would be the One to carry us through this tragedy.

Total Healing

Since my father’s passing, I have not stopped running toward God. I find refuge in His presence, and I ask daily for help to walk in His will. I try my best to make it a priority to study His Word, and spend time in worship and prayer, but only by His grace am I able to do that.

God has completely healed me, delivered me, transformed me and overwhelmed me with His great love. He is the Father I always wanted — the One who will never leave me or reject me.

I don’t work for forgiveness anymore; now I fully receive His grace and forgiveness. I know I have been forgiven of so much, and I long to be so filled with God’s love that it pours out of me to everyone I meet. I want others to know they can never outrun His love. I know I sure tried that, and I learned that no one can ever be too far gone for God to fulfill His purpose in me.

I speak from experience when I say nothing in this world will ever be able to satisfy like God’s love does. Now I get it: Nothing can ever separate us from Him. Nothing. We don’t have to work for His love or prove ourselves worthy of it. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

I once struggled to find my identity in Christ, and I know I’m not the only one. But let me tell you, the greatest position you will ever stand in is being a child of God.

I once struggled to find my identity in Christ, and I know I’m not the only one. But let me tell you, the greatest position you will ever stand in is being a child of God.


“I Was That Girl” was first featured in Shattered Magazine (Fall 2015 issue, print edition).

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Waiting for the One with the One

In December 2019, my husband and I celebrated ten years of marriage. We spent a few nights in New York City for our special 10 year wedding anniversary trip. Since we have two young children, it was the first time we had been away alone in three and a half years. It was much needed to be sure! Our time together brought back so many memories of when we first met, and I loved every minute of it.

As I reflected on the last ten years with the man God gave me, I enjoyed reminiscing of the special time in my life when I found “the One”…

…Or really when “the One” found me, since it all occurred around the same time frame.

With a theater degree in my back pocket, and the blueprint of my move to LA before my eyes, I most definitely wasn’t looking for my husband back then or even cared if he ever found me.

Because bitter disappointments were around every corner, I tried to drown out any desire of marriage with as many distractions as possible: parties, one-night stands, over-involvement in extracurricular activities and clubs, and the most of important of them all, my career plans as an actress in Los Angeles.

That all came to a screeching halt when I came face to face with my true destiny—the realization that I was a daughter of the King of Kings and He was not going to allow this prodigal to run away from Him any longer.

Broken, full of pride, and desperately lonely, He found me in my mess.

I left all of the distractions behind and began to surrender my entire life to the Lord, seeking His face and eager to truly know Him in a deeper way than I ever had before. The longer I spent time with God in times of prayer, worship, reading His Word, and fellowshipping with other believers at church, I began to fully understand the depths of God’s great love for me and that satisfied my soul more than . 

I think so many have been hurt and disappointed in relationships and the cares of life like I was. It wasn’t until I began to wholeheartedly focus on my relationship with Christ that I began to see that His view for marriage was much greater than just two people coming together and pledging their love for one another. Marriage points us to Christ and His love for us.

If we don’t have a clear understanding of who Jesus is to us and how He gave His life up for us, our perception of our future mate and marriage is going to be extremely out of focus.

The apostle Paul explains to husbands and wives in Ephesians 5:22-33 exactly how marriage reflects Christ’s sacrificial love for us.

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself, for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

NKJV

This passage of scripture paints a beautiful picture of who God believes we should wait for when it comes to entering a lasting marriage relationship. Marriage here on earth is God’s way of showing us how much Jesus loves His Church and how much The Father loves the world. The love shown between a husband and wife is a direct reflection of God’s love for them.

Are you truly accepting that love? Is it penetrating the very depths of our soul or is it just head knowledge?

Are you embracing God’s limitless, unconditional love or are you chasing after all other pleasures and empty relationships wondering if you are going to find love and happiness?

If you are running after all of the cares of this world, then I urge you to stop. Stop, and wait. Not alone, but with “the One.” Seeking after truly knowing “the One.” The One who created marriage and the One who says that you are treasured and loved in His eyes above all. He knows what He’s doing.

Because “the One” created you and your “one.”

So enjoy the wait with Him.

Looking back on ten wonderfully beautiful years of marriage, I’m so glad that I did.

Tagged : / / / / /

The Pitfalls of Comparison

A few weeks ago, I was in prayer and was having a difficult time letting some thoughts go regarding the direction of my life. The enemy seems to flood your life with so many distractions that will cloud your mind, bring confusion, and cause you to question God or grow bitter towards others (and God) and mess with your love walk. 

For me, because of the way I was raised and also the environment I spent a majority of my life in (theater/acting/performance), I was so used to looking at other people’s lives and measuring my life with theirs, whether to make myself feel better or give myself a goal to work towards.

If you do not read the Word of God, this is how most people make decisions in life. They say, “Well, that’s how so-and-so did it so that seems like a good plan.” Or “So-and-so is just so successful in life and seems to have everything they want. I will just follow what they did so I can have that kind of happiness and have those nice clothes, car, job, house, spouse, etc.” Ultimately, if you follow this way of living, you grow resentful towards others and envy starts to grow in your heart.

Envy will cause you to look for reasons why you deserve what someone has.

But the problem with that mentality is this: comparison and envy give birth to ungratefulness and bitterness not just towards other people, but most importantly, towards God.

The moment you take that step into comparing your life with someone else’s is the moment you will find yourself in a deep, empty pit surrounded by pride, selfishness, bitterness, and envy. 

The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom on how we are to live our life and avoid such pitfalls, as these things. Let’s take a look at one of these pitfalls, envy.

“A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.”

Proverbs 14: 30 (KJV)

The word “sound” in Hebrew is marpe, which means healing, remedy, calmness, wholesome, and yielding.

You can forget about living in peace or feeling complete or whole if you enter into the land of envy or covetousness.

Comparison that leads to envy has been a trap of the enemy since creation. The motive behind Adam and Eve’s disobedience was comparison, which lead to covetousness, which lead to pride, which lead to selfishness, which lead to ungratefulness for what God had already provided (all rooted in fear).

Are you in fear?

Then you are not in faith, believing God at His Word and fully trusting Him.

Anything that is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).

When we compare ourselves with another, we are saying we would do a better job planning out our lives than our Creator, the sovereign Most High, acting like Satan who fell and caused Adam and Eve to fall.

Whoa, that is a dangerous place to be!

We are all guilty of comparing our lives to someone else’s life at one point or another. The only way out is to repent and renew your mind with the Word of God. Keep your eyes on Jesus and His Word. Cling to Him, abide in Him, and you will remain full of His love, joy, and peace- the only things that will bring true fulfillment. You won’t want anything else than what He has for you; His promises for you will be more than enough.

You will begin to trust God with all of your heart and lean on His understanding, not your own. When we do that, He will direct our paths and He will never lead us astray.

Take some time and right down ten things you are thankful for. Gratefulness will fill your heart with joy and leave no room for comparison.

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / / /

Life Upon the Rock

Eight years. It has been eight years ago today.

Eight years ago, my life drastically changed with a tragedy I only knew of through movies and TV; I never thought it would happen to me.

Eight years ago, I clung to my Jesus tighter than I ever had in my whole life.

Eight years ago, I learned to stand firmly on Jesus Christ, my firm foundation and solid Rock.

Eight years ago, my dad’s life was taken from him in the most brutal and horrific way.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about my dad and the wonderful memories we shared. Although we had struggles in our relationship, I choose to embrace the good. I miss him very much.

I share this story to offer the hope that Jesus Christ has given me. No matter what storm you are facing or what tragedy you have experienced, Jesus is and always will be there for you. He is forever faithful. Stand up on Him. Stand upon the Rock.

The following is an excerpt from my book, Yielded in His Hands: Becoming a Vessel for God’s Glory:

One Sunday night, our pastor was talking about using your life to impact others’ lives for God. Towards the end of the service, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to my heart, Why do you want to be an actress? Who are you going to help by pursuing a career in acting? Those questions were a part of a major turning point in the direction of my life. I was deeply convicted.

As I drove home, I poured out my heavy heart to Paul over the phone. I told him that I didn’t think I was supposed to move to LA at all to pursue a career in acting. “Praise God!” he said. He had been praying that God would speak to me about this because he never wanted to move to the west coast. He didn’t want to be the reason I made the decision to stay; he wanted me to hear it from the Lord instead. He wanted to raise our family in the church he grew up in and be close to our families. He was so blessed to know this dream would come true. Although I felt a weight lift from my chest, I was terrified because I had built my life upon what I had wanted and planned, not what God had planned for me. I had a plan, and it was all laid out. Now everything was completely unknown to me. God had already established my steps before the foundation of the world. This was my first attempt at walking in them and surrendering my will. I believe this was the moment I decided to stop living my life on shifting sand and plant my feet firmly on solid ground because I was trusting in God’s word and not my own understanding.

The next morning, I went to work and tried to wrap my mind around what I had just decided for my future. It didn’t make sense, but I knew it was right. Trusting God will never make sense to our human minds, but that’s because God’s thoughts and ways are not our thoughts or our ways. God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). During nap-time, I sat down to journal my thoughts.

Suddenly, my mom called me and told me that there was a family emergency and that it involved my dad. She did not discuss any details, but told me that I needed to come home from work immediately. I called the father of the boy I cared for and explained to him I needed to go home as soon as possible, even though I had no idea what had happened to my dad. A part of me wondered if he had been in some kind of accident involving drinking and driving; it had happened before. I knew that I needed to stay calm and not let fear overtake me. I prayed the whole way home and asked God to give me His peace.

I rushed home, and looked for anyone from my family, but no one was around. I ran up to my room trying to figure out who to call. Worry and fear gripped my heart, as thoughts of what actually happened circled my mind. I immediately started to have a panic attack and fell to the floor crying and hyperventilating. Within a few minutes, my aunt, step-dad, and Paul were surrounding me trying to calm me down. I wanted to know where my mom was and why she wasn’t there. “What is going on,” I cried out.

My aunt then uttered the words, “Honey, your dad has been killed. Someone shot him in the head and killed him. His body was dragged across the street to an abandoned building and the building was set on fire. They identified his body this morning by the metal plate in his pelvis.” My mind couldn’t comprehend what I had just heard. The phone conversation he and I had just a couple weeks prior to this ended in him hanging up on me. I never got to say good-bye or tell him that I loved him. I immediately went into shock and couldn’t stop shaking or crying.

My mom was at the police station with my brother, my grandma and aunt (my dad’s mom and sister) identifying his wallet and other belongings the police had found at the scene of the crime. This couldn’t be happening. This isn’t real. This sounded like something out of a movie or a forensic science TV show, not my life. There isn’t much I remember about that day, except being surrounded by my loving boyfriend, family, and my old pastor and church family from high school. God’s love held me and carried me through it all, I know. Because of God’s amazing grace, I was able to plan my dad’s funeral and endure the days following.

I was never very close to my dad’s side of the family because of the divorce between my mom and dad, but during this time, we needed to be. Many of his siblings had no idea the kind of lifestyle he was living and wondered how I was able to handle my grief. I gave them two reasons: the man that died was not my father (a bit dramatic and extreme, yes, but the devil had truly deceived him and had overtaken his soul) and of course, the strongest reason I could endure this dark time in my life was because of my faith in Jesus Christ. At the funeral service, which was held in the church I grew up in, I read one of my dad’s favorite poems, “Footprints in the Sand”and declared from the pulpit that Jesus is the only One who could carry us through this tragedy. And He did.

Thanksgiving that year held a different meaning for me as I realized how thankful I was for my life, even though I had suffered and struggled greatly through it. Through the tragic event of my dad’s death, I saw how fragile life was. God’s mighty love shined through all of that darkness and reminded me that He would never leave me nor forsake me, and He would give me strength to overcome any obstacle or tragedy, such as the murder of my dad. The devil tried all he could to knock me down and take me out, but there I was, standing on Christ, my solid Rock.

“He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

Psalm 40:2b, NIV

Tagged : / / / / /

Don’t Follow Your Heart, Follow God!

For many years, I allowed my emotions control the way I walked through life and made decisions. If something felt right, I did it. If something didn’t feel right, I avoided it. Needless to say, I surrounded myself with people and situations that satisfied me and filled my feel-good tank. I eventually decided to study theatre and dance in college and made plans to move halfway across the country to Los Angeles. I was going to become a famous actress in Hollywood.

This fleshly behavior sounds a lot like the way a majority of people live their life, especially those who are unsaved.

But I considered myself a born-again Christian, and I received so much advice from other Christians to continue to pursue my dreams.

They told me to follow my heart. “Do what makes YOU happy!” 

But there was a problem…my heart was wreaking havoc on my life!

My anxiety was still there. Depression was always lurking, and my relationships were a mess!

My heart’s desires were leading me into more pain and deeper into sin because I was constantly allowing my feelings to be the guide of everything in my life…

…until one day, the Father intervened. 

My eyes were opened to my selfishness, spiritual depravity, and unhealthy addiction to my emotions. I repented for always living for myself and the Holy Spirit helped me to die to myself daily, and I began to seek the Lord with everything in me by spending time in His Word and attending church regularly.

Ultimately, I learned what it meant to submit my will and seek God’s will for my life, trusting that He would be faithful to direct my path.

One of the first verses that I memorized was Proverbs 3:5-6 that helped me during a time I needed to make a big life decision- if I was going to move to LA or not.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV

We must trust God to be our guide, not our heart, as culture may tell us, or even what makes logical sense sometimes to our minds. If we have embraced Jesus as our Savior and the Lord of our life, the Father has given us His Holy Spirit to lead the way.

If we are putting our trust in everything or anyone, but the Lord, we will constantly be disappointed and lead astray and into sin. We must trust in the Lord with all of our heart, which should never be filled with more of this world than God’s Word.

It is our job to make sure that we are guarding our heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23) to protect ourselves from deceit and only allow the Truth of God’s Word to be sown in it and take root.

I’m so thankful that during that time in my life while I was faced with a major decision, I kept my heart full of God’s Word, which helped me lean upon Him for wisdom on what to do. One month after deciding that it may not be God’s will for me to move to Los Angeles, I was introduced to my now-husband and the rest is His story.

My advice to you, beloved one, is do not follow your heart. Follow God instead. He knows what you need more than you do. Trust Him with your entire heart and He will mold it to look more like His. 

Are there things in your life that you are trying to control?  Are you allowing your emotions or other people to influence your life decisions and behaviors?

Perhaps it would help you make a list of decisions, worries, concerns and bring them to the Lord in prayer, especially as we enter this new year. Beginning 2020 leaning upon the Lord and trusting Him is a great place to start every day new day and every new year. His ways and directions are perfect and He will never lead you astray.

Tagged : / / / / / / / / /

Longing for the whole Truth!

Today, I’m simply here to just write.

Vent, I guess you could say…

…gracefully vent.

*Sigh*

I’m going through something right now. Actually, my husband and I are both going through something right now.

Little by little, we have been placed in situations of surrender and letting go of things we were holding onto for security and comfort and learning how to fully trust God alone.

The house.

The furniture.

The freedom of being a stay-at-home mom to then take on a side job to help out some friends.

And now our place of Sunday worship.

Over the last several months, everything that has been the foundation of our faith has been challenged, and we are left unlearning a lot of things once again. We are searching out the scriptures to discover why we believe what we believe. And what we have discovered is that we don’t believe, or agree with, much of what we have been taught.

Needless to say, it’s been challenging…

…especially for my husband, Paul, since he sat under the same teaching for 20 plus years of his life (almost 25), and after we left the church he grew up at in 2010, we were led to a church whose pastor also sat under that very same teaching for years.

When you hear the same teaching for 20 plus years of your life and you trust your pastor more than God, you embrace what you are being told as truth.

And sometimes as the only truth.

But there’s a problem with that- we need to find truth in the Word of God alone and not necessarily an interpretation of what you are being told is truth. It becomes a danger because we never line up what is being said from the pulpit with what the Word of God really says. We should trust the Holy Spirit to be our teacher. We cannot just embrace everything that proceeds out of the pastor’s mouth because, honestly, he should know more than us, right?

Sadly, this happens more often than not in the churches of America. Many people do not read their Bible, and we put all the responsibility on the pastor to feed us, teach us, guide us. His job is to definitely help us learn, but most importantly, encourage us and equip us to go home and study out what we just heard. He was never supposed to walk out our walk with God for us.

A scripture taken out of context and twisted to fit our methods, principles, main points, and often, our fleshly desires, has been genetically modified, my friends. #SayNoToGMO

We can’t just embrace everything we hear from people. It must line up with the totality of God’s Word, what is called the whole counsel of God. Not just one scripture…the WHOLE THING! Much of what is heard on a Sunday morning is out of context. We have experienced this first hand, and the Lord had to reveal it to us the more we studied out His Word for ourselves!

I don’t write all of this as a jab at any pastor or man/woman of God in particular, I’m just simply expressing where we are in our walk. We have been disappointed countless times by numerous teachers of God’s Word, whether those we have sat under, or those we have listened to through the information super-highway.

We aren’t giving up on the Church. Although we are disappointed, we aren’t surprised. The Word of God explains to us that this is going to happen in the Last Days. And clearly, we are in the Last Days!

My husband is responsible for our family. I am responsible for my own heart and what my son hears and has sown into his heart until he is old enough to guard his own heart.

Above all, we must always judge what we are hearing, even if it is coming from the pulpit.

Don’t allow people to tell you that you are not supposed to judge…

…that’s a real popular topic among believers and non-believers alike.

Jesus tells us:

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

John 7:24, NKJV

What is “righteous judgment?”

“Judgment” in Greek in this particular verse means “the concept of determining the correctness of a matter.”

Use the word of God to discern what is false and what is unrighteous (Hebrews 4:12).

“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”

1 Timothy 6:3-5, ESV

Let the Word of God light your way, every single step. The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth and peace.

I’m holding onto the Word, who is also Jesus, the Word made flesh! He’s our only hope in these times of testing and times of deception we all face!

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / / / / /