September 15, 2014

Six years later

Align with Him.  Six years ago I sat in front of my computer and stared at the screen.  I needed a name.  An address for a blog.  I had no clue.  What was a blog anyway?  What was the purpose?  

Six years later I realize God knew what He was doing when I typed out those three words. He could not have given me a better web address.  As I write I am in awe of His sovereignty.  He knew where my life was headed and where I would be years later.  He knew the relevance of align with him.

I am often stunned at the way in which God uses our lives.  The way in which He has used mine.Too many times my life has been out of sync with His will for my life.  Out of alignment. Yet here I am.  For some reason, He has chosen to allow me to partner with Him to share my part of His story.  

I have learned to handle my responsibility with great care.  I would be stupid not to be wise.  The God of the universe is allowing me to share His love, His story with others.  He wants to use me.  How could I choose recklessness with that  kind of responsibility?

He has a plan for all of His children.  Patiently He waits for us to say yes.  Waits for us to choose His way and not our own.  We all have a story worth telling.  What’s your story?

April 14, 2014

Beautiful Scars

Instead, credit God with your new situation: you are united with Jesus the Anointed.  He is God’s wisdom for us and more. He is our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

1 Corinthians 1:30

The look of concern that formed across the delicate face of my six year old as she looked at me sent my heart racing. Clearly something she saw she found disturbing. What had me perplexed was why it was she was looking at me. Suddenly her tiny thin lips began to form the words, asking, “mommy who stabbed you there?”  WHAT?  I was dumbfounded.  What did her eyes see that I did not? Immediately it hit me, my C-section scar.  

Funny the scars we carry each representing different stories in life.  Some of my scars remind me of happy and beautiful times while others stir emotions of extreme pain. But what about those scars that reside deep within us?  The ones that are not visible to anyone else and pierce deep within our hearts.  Those are the scars that we carry from broken and extremely painful pasts.  Each of these scars either comes from the self inflicted wounds that we created by our own choices or mistakes while the others were delivered by the hand of someone else.  No matter how these scars were received they each still serve as a painful reminder of tremendous hurt. Each one we carry represents a story, a story that we should embrace and not something we hide.  They are our opportunity to share the transformation of healing that took place within us.  

My scars are my reminder of healing.  They are old wounds that have been mended and healed by the power of Christ in my life, serving as a message of hope.  Over the years I have learned to be thankful for the scars I have received, reminding me of the work God has done in my life, the struggles He has carried me through and the way in which He has healed the deep wounds of my life. My scars have become my treasures, my testimony to share with others in great hopes that their scars may find healing too!

March 26, 2014

The Battle Belongs to the Lord

The Battle Belongs to the Lord

In heavenly armor we'll enter the land,
The battle belongs to the Lord.
No weapon that's fashioned against us will stand,
The battle belongs to the Lord.

And we sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord,
We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.

When the power of darkness comes in like a flood,
The battle belongs to the Lord.
He'll raise up a standard, the power of His blood,
The battle belongs to the Lord.

When Your enemy presses in hard, do not fear,
The battle belongs to the Lord.
Take courage, my friend, your redemption is near,
The battle belongs to the Lord.

©1985, Fairhill Music
Words and Music by Jamie Owens-Collins

When I was younger, I had the great privilege of attending a non-denominational church for a couple of years. They were some of the greatest moments of my pre-teen years as it was during those years that I understood and felt the presence of God for the first time.

One of my favorite songs was "The Battle Belongs to the Lord". Whenever I was down or scared, I would find myself singing it over and over for comfort. Even today, I find myself doing the same thing and it brings me great strength and comfort.

As I read the story of David and Goliath I am reminded of how when God is on our side, it does not matter how big the giant may be because the battle ultimately belongs to Him.
The following is such a powerful passage and speaks volumes to the trust that we can have in God when we are going through hard times.

"David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands."
1 Samuel 17:45-47

Whenever I read this passage, I get goose bumps. There is such power and conviction behind that statement. How awesome did David feel to stand against such a giant and not be afraid? To know that he could stand strong in his faith in God and know that he would prevail? God does not expect us to stand around, do nothing, and think that He will do all the work but He does want us to know that His will and truth will always prevail because the battle is His.

February 26, 2014

Giving not getting

So I began posting last week the importance of wives submitting to our husbands.  It is always interesting to see how people respond to that topic.  Typically is not a pretty discussion because most women want to argue their way out of having to do it. However, the Bible is very clear as to our responsibility in regards to being wives but it also addresses the responsibility of the husband as well.

So let's take a look at what Ephesians says about the role of our husbands.
Husbands go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church-a love marked by giving not getting.  Christ's love makes the church whole.  His words evoke her beauty.  Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness.  And that is how husbands ought to love their wives.

Ephesians 5:22-28, The Message

God has a perfect plan for marriage. His perfect design presents to the world a beautiful picture of Christ’s love and sets the ultimate example for us to follow.  When lived out according to His design, it works.  However we as humans can really screw it up.  Marriages constantly fail but not because God's design doesn't work.  Instead because we choose to follow our own path which typically does not turn out well.

So let's look at biblical headship according to God's truth.  First and foremost I want to say that in my understanding of scripture these things do not work for those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Biblical submission and headship work and are lived out because of the work the Holy Spirit does within us.

Quick recap from Ephesians where wives are first instructed to submit to our husbands. Ladies when we hear the word submission we sometimes hear weak and powerless.  That word does not mean our husbands are to be the dictators of our home. It does not mean that he is to impose his will upon our lives.  Instead it means trusting our husbands to lead our homes as they walk in step with God’s will for their lives and family.  Submission is an attitude of being responsive, receptive and agreeable toward our husbands which demonstrates what is fitting and appropriate in God’s created order for us as wives. (Colossians 3:18)  It is not always easy because we may not always agree with their choices but it relieves the burden in our lives to provide and protect allowing us to care for our families. As we grant our husbands room to lead, it allows their faith in Christ to grow.

What does it mean for our husbands to lead?  Scripture says that our husbands are to love us as Christ loves His church (Ephesians 5:25).  Let’s start there.  What does the love of Christ look like to us?  Jesus was a servant. He was full of grace and mercy.  He put the needs of others before Himself.  He was a living sacrifice.  He gave up His own life for ours.  The love of Jesus is a selfless love.  It is unconditional and full of sacrifice.  Jesus came to this world to serve, not to be served. (Luke 22:26)

Headship is not a husband’s right to command and control his wife but instead it is a responsibility to love his wife like Christ.  It is about being willing to lay down one’s life for the good of others.  Headship is not given to enlarge a man’s ego but instead build up his family. It becomes his responsibility to sacrificially love his wife.  It is like the verse says, “a love marked by giving not getting.”

So the next question becomes what does this look like when your spouse is an unbeliever or does not have a solid walk with Christ?  This can get tricky but it is important to know that first and foremost, we wives are to submit to Christ.  We ultimately allow the Holy Spirit to lead and we submit to His righteous ways.  We as wives are not called to submit to sin, abuse or mistreatment of any kind.  We have been given a brain to discern truth and the strength to stand for what we know to be right.  Ladies, God did not create us to be our husband’s doormat and so if you find yourself in a situation where abuse or mistreatment of any kind is taking place, that is not God’s plan and should be addressed so that proper counsel can be attained for the family. Again, it is not in God’s plan for any man to abuse his wife or his children and a wife should not submit to this kind of behavior.

With that said, biblical headship is a beautiful reflection of Christ and His love for His bride, the church.  When lived out in our homes, the selflessness, sacrifice and servanthood of our husband’s love for us becomes a true picture of Christ’s love.