Life

New Year – 2018

I usually pray about the upcoming year the day after Christmas, and the Lord lays something about the new year on my heart. It always varies, but He always gives me something. Last year He laid it on my heart that it would be a year of hope and fulfillment. And was it ever! I was filled with hope of having a baby, a promise not yet fulfilled. On January 8th, 2017, just 8 days into the year God said was a year of hope and fulfillment, we found out I was pregnant. In September, our beautiful first born baby was born. God fulfilled many other promises in 2017.

“And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God” Deuteronomy 28:2

This year, I believe God has put it in my heart that it is a year of increase and blessings! Not just in the financial realm, but in every area of life. I am excited to be overtaken by the blessings of God! I am excited to grow in my relationships and see them blessed. I am excited to see how God uses me and my family to be a blessing to others this year as well.

I wish you and your family a very happy new year full of the blessing of the Lord!

– Ashley

Life · Spiritual Things

Nothing Is Impossible With God

“Lord, why does this seem so impossible?” These were the words I found myself asking God in my quiet time. There are things that just seem impossible. And maybe they are. Maybe in this world and in the natural things are impossible. There’s a limit to what can and cannot be done.

“Nothing’s impossible for Me.” , answered the Lord in a gentle voice. I was reminded that I serve a God who knows no bounds. He is limitless. He is not tied to the natural realm. I serve a God who can do anything. A supernatural God who creates universes with just His words. Isn’t it marvelous to just think about? When you look around and see what the words of God can create, it’s breathtaking. This is probably why God told Abraham to look up at the stars and try to count them… to remind Abraham who He was and what He can do.

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God is so patient with us. He is not in a hurry. He doesn’t mind meeting us where we’re at. He is loving towards us and wants only the best for us. There may be waiting involved, but the promise is so much greater than the wait. The waiting is just our preparation time. It’s true what they say… preparation time is never wasted time. I’m learning to take this preparation time and just enjoy it. This is all part of the journey.

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” – Matthew 6:27 (ESV)

I can worry and fuss all I want, but it hasn’t changed anything yet! All of my fears, anxiety, and stress won’t do anything but make the waiting that much harder. When I just lean back and enjoy God… that’s when things feel different. True, the situation doesn’t change, but our perspective sure does. When I’m just thankful and rejoicing in the Lord is when the waiting doesn’t hurt. And it’s easier to trust God, let go, and let Him.

Next time you start to think your situation is hopeless and impossible, look up! Look up at the stars and be reminded of who your God is. Look up and remember that you serve a God who can do all things, and nothing is too hard for Him.

Life · Spiritual Things

Positive Thinking

 

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What we meditate on, or think about, matters. Where our focus is can magnify problems, or magnify the Lord. If it’s not positive, don’t think it. If it’s not positive, don’t speak it. If it’s not positive, don’t see it. If it’s not positive, don’t listen to it. We have the choice to choose what we think about. Even when everything in the natural looks negative, we can determine what we think about. We can think about all things happening in this world, or we can think about what the Bible says. 

Lord, today I choose to meditate on Your Word. I choose to take my thoughts captive and magnify You. I choose to believe Your Word and the things You’ve spoken to my heart no matter what the physical circumstances look like. Today I choose You. Today I choose to be thankful. Amen.

Spiritual Things

What Is A Strong Woman?

It seems every time I browse the internet, TV, or any form of social media, I come across some form of feminism. Whether it’s a young woman venting on Facebook about her “belittling” moment at a home improvement store when the male employee asked her if she needed help carrying anything, or a news article about a teenager whose prom “dress” (I hesitate to use the word “dress” seen it was a sheer piece of fabric with jewels barely covering a few private parts) was inspired by Beyonce, or TV ad about equality, or women walking around naked holding up signs regarding their agenda. Whatever the case may be… I just have to wonder how we got to this conclusion. All of this because we as women are “strong”. Really? That’s how we’re defining strength now?

Is a strong woman really someone who has a chip on her shoulder? Is a strong woman really someone who mocks other women for being thankful to the gentleman who opened and held the door for her? Is a strong woman really someone who laughs at the little bit of chivalry left in this world? Is a strong woman someone who looks down on the stay-at-home mom? I mean…really? This is what we consider “strong women”?

It’s so sad to think young women look up to people like Beyonce and Kim Kardashian. It’s so sad that our culture has made them role models. When did classy become prudish? When did confidence correlate into nakedness? Why do girls have to become sex symbols in order to become strong, empowered women? And then complain when that’s all men see them as. (Okay, I’m getting off topic now). Since when did chivalry become belittling?

Well, the Bible says that a virtuous wife is worth way more than rubies. She works hard, serves, brings honor to her husband, has wisdom, and is kind. “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30

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The definition of strong is: Able to withstand great force or pressure.

Just that worldly definition alone should tell us that today’s definition of a strong woman is completely wrong. These women who are caving into the pressures of today’s obsession with sex and equality are weak. It’s women who can withstand the pressure from culture who are strong. The women who refuse to lower their standards because the world says you must be a prude and lack confidence in yourself if you don’t sleep around and barely clothe yourself. NO! True confidence in yourself will only help you say no to this culture. Because you know you’re worth so much more. You know the skin you’re told to bare is a treasure that should be concealed. You know you are more valuable than being a sex symbol.

I know it’s hard. I’ve been there. I was the girl who started buying into the lies this culture tells us. We have to be stick thin, half or almost naked, and seen as a sex object just to show we’re confident. These are pressures. These are those great forces we have to withstand. And we can withstand them by seeking God. When we seek Him, and allow Him to show us our worth in Him, we can withstand anything. We are called to be over comers. We are more than conquerors through Christ!

So, in short, we need to know who we are in Christ in order to be strong women. We need to look unto Christ and get our value from Him. This is how we become strong women!

 

Spiritual Things

The Free Gift

For the wages of sin is

We have been given a beautiful gift… life. Jesus Christ paid the price we could never pay. He took a punish He did not deserve and died willingly. Our sins cost us death, but God stepped in and took our place to give us His. We have done nothing, nor could we ever do anything to deserve this wonderful gift we’ve been given. It is not by our own doing, but by His. Stop looking at your own deeds, good or bad, and start looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). No amount of good that you do will ever add to what has been done for you through His blood. And no amount of bad that you’ve done, or will do, will ever take away from His love for you. Eternal life is a free gift just waiting to be opened. So, open it today!

Spiritual Things

God Is Not Creating Your Problems – Part II

Since my latest post, “God Is Not Creating Your Problems” I’ve received a lot of comments. Some positive, some negative, some indifferent and some very emotional. First of all I want to say that I in no way am intending to hurt feelings. I’m also not trying to force my point of view on anyone, or trying to debate people. At the end of the day, if you believe and accept Jesus, you’re going to Heaven. Period. I just believe the Body of Christ is largely missing out on some wonderful things God provided for us through the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I also believe we’re greatly misunderstanding the nature of God and His Word.

God Is Not Creating Your Problems as well as this post, are not intended for anything other than expressing a different point of view. It’s for those looking for answers that they can’t find. It is not for debating or “making” anyone agree with me. I just want to answer some of the questions that came up because of this post. I said in my original post to please study this all out for yourself. Do not just take my word for it. Take what I say and find out if it all lines up with the Word for yourself.

“…He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Mark 4:9

 

These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.”  Acts 11-12

 

What about the sovereignty of God?
God turned over a lot of that power to man in the garden of Eden. In Genesis 1:26-28, God gave mankind dominion over the earth, and all things in the earth. Dominion means sovereignty. So, God turned that sovereignty over to man, essentially limiting Himself. Again in Psalm 115:16, we see that earth belongs to man. God gave us His word when He gave man dominion, and according to Psalm 89:34, He will not go back on His word.

Man also was given free will and God will not override the will of man. That would make God unjust.

 

What about Job?

Job did not have a covenant with God. Satan had total authority of Job whereas God did not. Also, if you read in Job 42, God tells him that he spoke wrongly of Him (vs. 7), but instead of cursing Job, or putting more hardship on him, God blessed Job! In verse 10-12 it says that God restored all that was lost to Job and blessed him in his latter days more than his beginning! That’s without a covenant, so now that we have an even better covenant (Hebrews 8:6) God is most definitely not afflicting us with hardship, grief or loss. Colossians 1:12-13 says, “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” There’s been a change. If by the cross of Jesus we’ve been moved out of darkness, then that means darkness must not be of not of God.

If God was allowing bad things to happen to us, then we would be wrong to ever go to the doctor. We would be wrong to ever fight against temptation since God must be bringing into our lives for our betterment. We would be wrong to protect our children from harm if God is trying to show them something. Could you imagine watching your child run into the street in front of a car and just sitting by so they learn to not do it again? Could you imagine injecting your child with a disease so that they learn to trust in God? Could you imagine your own mom or dad allowing someone to rape you so that you learn to forgive others?

Acts 10:38 says that Jesus went about healing ALL that were oppressed by the DEVIL. I said this in my original post, but I’m going to repeat it… if God’s will for us is to sometimes go through bad things in order to allow something better to come of it, then Jesus was totally going against God’s will. Jesus never afflicted pain, grief, or refused to heal someone. “And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”  Matthew 8:2-3.

The only time Jesus did not heal someone or work miracles was due to someone(s) unbelief (Matthew 13:58). So, it’s God’s will for all to be healed, delivered from the devil, darkness, etc., however, our own unbelief can hinder it from happening.

 

Romans 5:6-11, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” Verse 9 says that we have been saved from wrath and verse 10 says we’re no longer enemies, but reconciled and saved.

James 1:13-18, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”

Acts 26:18, “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

Luke 9:56, “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”

I believe with all my heart that God has only good intentions for us and that He would never do anything to cause us harm. He is a good father. Good fathers don’t abuse their children. I know sometimes we find peace in believing that God is doing something good in the midst of all the pain, but it’s so much sweeter to recognize that Jesus already won the battle for us and that we have the victory. We can stand up and believe His Word and rest in His peace and goodness. The peace I have knowing that God is not afflicting me, but instead helping me walk out the victory is much greater than believing God would allow it to happen for something good to out of it.

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Spiritual Things

God Is Not Creating Your Problems

God is not against you. He doesn’t want you to struggle through life just barely making it. He doesn’t want you to learn the hard way, and He certainly isn’t creating your problems to teach you something.

I think my most hated phrase is, “God must be trying to teach me something.” Yes, God wants to teach us things, but He doesn’t need or want to teach us a lesson by hurting us. I think we can all agree that it is a bad idea to stick your finger in the light socket, right? So, tell next time your child starts to stick their finger in that socket, let them. Let them do it because it will definitely teach them to never do it again. Let them hurt themselves in order to make them stronger. That’s stupid, right? Of course it is! You love your child too much to allow something like that to happen to them. God loves you too much to allow something bad to happen to you just so you learn something from it.

Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! ” – Matthew 7:9-11

“Good gifts”, not evil or harmful things. Gifts are good things, not evil.  God wants to give you good gifts and only good gifts. God is not allowing you to get cancer in order to teach you to trust Him. God is not allowing you to live in poverty because He wants to teach you how to be thankful. God is not allowing you to have miscarriages so your marriage will grow stronger. God is not allowing, or choosing for people to die before their time because He has bigger plans, or needs them in Heaven. (Side note here… What? God needs someone in Heaven more than here on earth? People don’t need to hear the Gospel in Heaven, there aren’t people perishing in Heaven, there aren’t people who need to know God loves them in Heaven. God need us here on earth way more than He needs us in Heaven.) God is not allowing bad things to happen to you because it builds character.

 God is not creating your problems. We live in a fallen world that has not be saved/redeemed yet. Satan is still the god of this world and blinding people’s minds (II Cor. 4:4). Satan is still lying and trying to steal, kill and destroy us. My Bible says in John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Sin is still in this world. Also, we still have free-will. God gave us free-will and the ability to think and choose for ourselves. Truth be told, we are most likely creating our problems more than anyone or anything else. We probably shouldn’t even give Satan credit for some of the bad things that happen to us. If you sleep around with anyone you want/ choose, and then contract a STD… that’s most definitely not God’s fault, and it’s not even really Satan fault. It’s your fault. Neither God, nor even Satan was forcing you to live that way. And God isn’t punishing you either. Jesus took all of our punishment on the cross, and then He took it to the grave (Romans 3:21-31)! STDs are a consequence of that sort of lifestyle. Our actions have consequences that aren’t always good.

If this was all really God’s will or plan, why did we never see Jesus allow people to continue to be sick? Jesus is the perfect representation of God the Father (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus must have been going against God’s will by going about doing good and healing all (Acts 10:38). If you want to know what God is like, you need to read through the Gospels and see what Jesus was about. Jesus healed all who came to Him in faith. The only people Jesus never healed were the people who couldn’t believe it (Mark 6:5-6).

So, what are you believing? Are you believing lies? Are you unable to believe God can help you without it involving struggle? Are you perishing for a lack of knowledge? Please ask yourself these questions, pray about it and ask God to show you the truth. Study this out for yourself. Don’t just take my word for it, seek the truth for yourself.
“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:31-32