One day last week a thought came to mind about how so many say they want Christ in their life, but they are just not ready. I was sitting at my sewing machine thinking about this and I remembered how Jesus asked God that if it was His will, to keep Him from having to be tortured and crucified. Two days later I made a graphic and posted it to a few of our social media pages.
In my dream, a group of us were sitting in a front yard and I felt that we were at home. That we all lived there. I was surrounded by family, friends, and people I don’t know. But in my dream, we were all family.
The yard had a fence and a gate. A few of us looked out and noticed other friends and family that we knew wandering around the neighborhood. They were dazed and lost, almost like they were sleep walking. Eventually all of us in the yard started calling each of them by name and shouting:
“Come home! Come home! You’ll be safe!”
Many heard us, woke up, and came running in the gate for a happy reunion while some continued wandering.
I woke up excited, but concerned.
Remember being a kid and playing outside? When it began to get dark, the porch light would turn on and everyone knew it was time to go home. I still remember the sound of my Grandma’s voice when she would call out my name. “Angela! It’s time to come home! Come on, it’s getting dark out!”
The times are getting dark, we all know that. The “porch light” is going to light up any minute, and it will be time to go to our Heavenly home. (I CAN’T WAIT!)
How many of our loved ones are too busy to realize that it is getting dark and almost time to go home? We need to start getting their attention!
Why aren’t we trying harder? Are we too busy to care about the souls that need Christ?
I want to challenge every Christian to call or message someone they know that needs Jesus. Reach out to them. Ask them how they are doing, if they have given any thought to God lately. Remind them just how much He loves them. See if they want to meet up to talk or come to church with you. Don’t make a laundry list of their sins and tell them how wrong they are. Love the lost more than the enemy hates them. Just shine the light of Jesus in to their life.
Some people just need that little reminder and will come running right back in. Others may not be as eager to listen. Keep praying for them and being a friend to them, don’t just shut them out.
With everything going on in the world, it is too easy to just give up and say that no one wants to listen. We need to keep fighting the good fight and bring in the lost! Wake them up and ask them to come home!
It’s Friday night. The boys and Molly have built a fort in our living room. Molly has since gone to bed, but the boys are watching a movie and will sleep in here all night… Most likely they will fall asleep on separate sides of the room, but will end up at some point snuggled up to each other because that is what they do. Bobby, my husband, is sitting on the other side of the couch from me. What he’s doing on his computer is beyond me, but he looks relaxed. Earlier today I was able to purchase the plane tickets for my 2 older children to visit this Summer.
To not feel loved at this moment would be impossible. I’m surrounded by a family that loves me and will see more that do soon.
In my life, I have loved many. Friends, family, children, and most of all my husband, to name a few. I have laughed, cried, and literally peed my pants over emotions brought on by those that I love. When it comes to love, I am definitely wealthy. I may not have a lot of money, assets, or possessions. But love? I have an abundance!
Unfortunately, I have learned one thing about all of these people: They are human. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying anything bad about any of them. My point is that they are going to fail me, no matter how much they don’t want to hurt me. There are those that I love that don’t feel the same about me. There have been some in the past that have outright betrayed me regardless of how much I loved them. There are even those that may not realize they are hurting me at the time, or may let me down with actions that may not seem to them hurts others. It’s human nature; We change our minds, hearts, and feelings all the time. Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to the human heart.
You know what’s amazing? The only love that I can 100% truly count on? One love that will never fail me, or you?
The love of Jesus.
It was the first love I ever learned about in the form of song. First Jesus Loves Me and then Jesus Loves The Little Children. The only love I felt while crying alone in the middle of the night, cold and helpless without anyone to turn to and unsure of where my next meal would come from. The love that held me close and let me know He was there through each and every one of my painful miscarriages. The love that has told me so many times “You can do this! Follow My lead!” when others said “What are you thinking?”
The ONLY love that is guaranteed. The only love that resulted in the forgiveness of every sin I’ve ever committed. The only love that can heal my illness. The only love that can help me to be the woman of God I desire to be. The ONLY love that will never fail me.
This love will never end, and is everlasting. Jesus won’t change His mind tomorrow. Nor can He “fake” his affection for me, as anything He says is made truth. His love does not play favorites, and it doesn’t get moody. His love stands beside me as I laugh, and holds me when all feels hopeless and I’m sure I can not possibly go on.
His love never fails.
I can love my husband all the live long day, and I know that Bobby will always be by my side. He is the closest thing possible to the man I prayed for as a little girl in my bedroom playing with my dolls. Our story is truly that which fairy tales are based on. However… My husband has and will fail me. He would never EVER intentionally hurt me. But he’s human as am I.
My parents may see me as their little girl. I can make them beam with pride. (And believe me, I can make them hide in shame, too!) They can do all they can to make me happy and feel loved by them. But their love will never be able to fulfill me the way the love of Jesus can.
Children are the greatest blessing from the Lord. But being a child myself, I know that my children are not required to love me. They may grow up and feel very differently about life than I do. They are going to let me down at some point. And that is okay, I will always love them.
I have been so blessed with many family members and friends. But not one of them will love me in a way that is able to whisper “all is okay” after I’ve lost a pregnancy or have received word about a loved ones death.
Only Jesus, only the love of God is everlasting. Jesus was my first love, after all.
By the way, have you met Jesus? His love is pretty awesome, if you haven’t caught on by now.
Romans 8:38-39 KJV:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Recently, I was reading the book of Job. When I got to the last chapter, which I had read several times before, something new struck me. I just love when that happens! As I was reading the end of Job’s journey, I was reminded of Jonah. I know, I know…..You’re wondering how in the world I could think about Jonah while studying about Job, but I couldn’t help but compare the end of their stories.
In reading the book of Jonah (a story familiar to most of us), you’ll find that God had called Jonah to travel to Nineveh- a nation full of wickedness- and preach repentance. After a bout of disobedience and unusual consequences to his disobedience (he was swallowed by a large fish!), Jonah reluctantly did as God required. He headed to Nineveh and preached the word that God had sent him to deliver. The results were amazing! The people repented and turned to God! However, that isn’t the end of the story. Instead of rejoicing over an entire nation turning to God, Jonah was displeased at the mercy God showed the to the people of Nineveh, a people he had no personal connection to. He sat down, sulking and pouting, and had to learn one more lesson from the Lord. (Jonah 4:1-11)
In the fleshly sense, if anyone had the right to be angry about God’s mercy toward others, it was certainly not Jonah. It was Job. Chapter after chapter he endured accusations of wickedness and rebuke from his three closest “friends.” In a time when they should’ve been comforting their friend, they questioned his word and integrity. Job definitely could’ve taken things personally. In the end, God talked to these so-called friends of Job and called them out on their wrong judgments. He then gave them direction on how to get redemption. God also instructed Job to pray for them in order for their redemption to come.
How many times have we stopped to pray for those who have hurt us, accused us, wronged us, etc? Job could’ve turned his back on those friends in a heartbeat, but instead, he did exactly what God instructed him to do…he prayed for his friends. When this occurred, all of Job’s losses were restored and he got double for his trouble! (Job 42:7-10)
Jonah’s negative attitude caused him to sit angry and miserable, begging for death. Job, on the other hand, found blessings in praying for those who caused him hurt. We as Christians are called to respond just as Job…Luke 6:28 says, “bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes people can be mean and hateful. But guess what… There is power in our response, and there is power in our prayer. We can either walk in tremendous blessing as Job did, or we can be miserable like Jonah. A happy and joyous life depends on our response!
The back-to-school season is exciting for some and scary for others. Some kids are “naturally” friendly when it comes to introducing themselves to others. For some kids, not so much. It can be overly mortifying for the ones whom are shy or so called backwards. If you have a child who tends to be outgoing, instill into them to be friendly to those who need their attention.
In today’s society, children can be mean. Bullying has become the norm in most schools. Especially if you don’t have the right clothes, the right last name, or play that certain sport.
One instance that sticks out in my mind, took place a few years ago, when my oldest daughter was in 3rd grade. I was subbing on this day and was having cafeteria duty at breakfast time. I watched as Josie and several of her classmates were sitting down, some talking and some eating. Another boy from their grade had just got his breakfast tray and sat down to join them. To my dismay, I watched in brokenness, as every child got up from that table and moved to another one because they didn’t want him to sit with them. All except my daughter, Josie. I watched in proud amazement as Josie got up with her tray and went to sit down right next to the boy. That was a moment I will never forget and was so glad that I had the opportunity to watch it from afar.
So as your child or children are preparing to go back to school, prepare them to show love and friendship to everyone that they come across. Not only the students but teachers and support staff as well. They may be the only way that some children get to see God and His ways.
I know that sometimes the grass always seems greener on the other side, but there’s nothing wrong with dull grass. I mean, come on, the one with greener grass probably has a lot more, uh hum, “fertilizer”…
Just because someone seems put together well, doesn’t mean that they everything right. They could be totally broke and hiding it. Their marriage could be on the rocks. Their child could have a drug problem. They could be suffering from spousal abuse.
There are a lot of people out there who are really great at pretending. I know, I’ve been there. You don’t want anyone to know that you have eternal struggles and that sometimes you don’t know how to handle them. Most women hide it and never share it. But I’ve come to the conclusion, that if more women would talk about and share their daily struggles, we just may find that it’s a normal part of life. That women face a whole lot of difficulties, simply due to the fact that we are women. We have issues such as PMS, low serotonin levels, thyroid trouble, estrogen trouble, hormones, etc…
We are not alone. And God isn’t going to make us suffer alone either. He gives us friends, family, and sisters in Christ to help take the load off.
So if your struggling with life, being a mother, wife, or a woman in general, know that we at Sticky Hands are here for you and are willing to talk to you and pray with you. You have a friend in us! 🙂
A little while back, I discovered a fun little blog. Inspiring, easy to relate to, informative, fun, and with a sewing theme! Seams Inspired quickly became one of my favorite blogs. Before long, Larri was here commenting on our posts, and just like that I had made a new friend.
One day, Larri posted a picture of her mug rug. It had little gnomes all over it and was just adorable! I commented on her post that I had never heard of a mug rug and that I loved the fabric… Next thing you know I’m being asked for my address so she could make me one of my own and send it to me.
Now, let me explain to you how God was in this. Because as simple as it all seems to just accept a gift from a new friend this was really a lesson for me.
Recently, I was hurt deeply. I felt as though someone was trying to “buy” my friendship. It got to the point that with every gift I felt more obligated, and trust me the gifts were frequent. I eventually dreaded accepting anything, and the friendship ended for quite a few reasons.
After this, I felt awkward accepting anything from anyone. I felt pressured as though if someone gave me a gift, I owed them something more than a thank you or simple gift in return. Even a birthday gift from my husband made me feel as though I was in an emotional debt.
My new friend didn’t know anything about this. She just wanted to simply bless me with a little something to brighten my mornings. Why should I steal her blessing because of my lame attitude towards gifts that I simply needed to get over?
With prayer, I was able to trust God and email her my address. With even more prayer, I try to not feel indebted every time I see my mug rug. And through grace, I have found forgiveness from the Lord for taking for granted the fact that there are people out there who understand the true meaning of the gift God gives us in friendship, and want nothing more than that. The give and take, the pulling together, the caring, the laughs, and the tears. The good and the bad without criticism or judgement.
Just writing this post was one more step towards healing…
What about you? Have you ever had trouble with something so simple that you felt silly? Did you get past it?
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Psalm 150:6 NKJV
How often do you find yourself breathing? Yeah, that’s what I thought. All the time, right? At least I hope… 😉 But how can breathing be a calling? Well, remember how I’ve mentioned before about being the only Bible some may ever read? I’m talking about your every day actions. The things you do without even realizing it. The words that come out of your mouth. The way you come across to others. Being human…
Sure, we all slip up from time to time. I know I certainly do. But in every action, word, thought, & breath I must remember “I never know who is watching. I would hate to cause someone else to stumble. I must be careful, because I never know… I would rather my existence LEAD someone to the Father than to cause them to run away from him.”
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, they may see your good works and your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16 NKJV
I need to be set apart. Different. Unique from the world. I have to take into account that if I act just like those who are not following Jesus, they will not see the appeal in following him. They won’t see that living the straight and narrow can bring on a happy life also… with many rewards. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Do good. Speak well. Be positive. Give all glory to God. These are phrases I tell myself to remind me.
When we start to “blend” and not let His light shine, we are causing harm to not only ourselves, but others. For example, our speech. What does it say about our heart if we are saying all the same things they are in the world?
34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.36But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:34-37 NKJV
So basically, If I walk around saying the same things that those who do not follow Christ are, how am I any different? If my heart is the same as theirs, what do they see to make them want to follow Jesus? Not much! This is so important, and something that all should take into account. If we talk like them, act like them, think like them… WE ARE THEM. And by doing this, we are not only hurting them, but ourselves… and most importantly, the One who loves us more than anyone. God is not happy when we don’t do as he says. We should never intentionally give anyone any reason to tear us down.
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
Now, all that being said, we should not judge either. For that, I recommend reading the entire chapter of Matthew 7. SO important. Who wants to be a Christian when they are constantly condemned and preached at? Show LOVE! (And I certainly hope this blog post doesn’t come across as preachy either…)
Just follow your convictions, let your light shine, and do your best. Witness when possible. God will not only bless you, but also someone else!
DISCIPLINE2 obsolete:instruction3: a field of study6: a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity
1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.2 A good man obtains favor from the Lord, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.3 A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous cannot be moved. Proverbs 12:1-3 NKJV
It’s really easy to get an idea of what we would LIKE for our legacy to be. Living that legacy, well, that can be another story, right? Just like everything else in parenting, easier said than done.
So how can we set those examples before our children and others?
Well, first of all, we must strive daily to NOT be a “Do as I say, not as I do” parent. Telling our children to live one way while we live another is obviously not the way to achieve a Godly legacy.
Second, if we want our children to grow up and have meaningful relationships we must show them that by our example also. Being a true friend, a loving wife, a good daughter, etc are all ways for them to learn how to interact with others on their own. If we talk trash behind others backs, hold grudges, allow our husbands to put us down or abuse us emotionally or physically, disrespect our husbands, and argue consistently with our families then our children will believe that these actions are acceptable. Plain and simple. When your kids are grown and they shine in their relationships, I guarantee someone is going to say “They must have had a really fantastic mother.” Seriously.
I have to remind myself of these things EVERY day. I am human, and sometimes I have to stop myself and say “Hey! Don’t be a hypocrite! Little eyes are watching you, as are those of others who expect you to be what you say, a Christian. Shape up!”
Thankfully, with diligent prayer and discipline, we can do our best and bring up our children to know the Lord and live his ways… I’m going to try my hardest. Will you?
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 NKJV