Tag Archive God

ByEmily

Lonely But Not Alone

The older I get, the more I realize that by the world’s standards, I am a lonely person. See, I’ve never been like everyone else my age. Most women my age are graduating college, starting their dream jobs, hitting the club with their besties (of the moment), dating around trying to find the perfect guy, going on spur of the moment road trips, etc. Me? I am a 25 year old stay at home mother of 2, married to our church’s assistant pastor for 7 years now. And I love my life!

 

Lonely But Not Alone - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven - RaisingStickyHands.com

 

When it comes to friends, mine consist of fellow church members. When it comes to outings/events/dates, mine normally consists of grocery shopping and youth rallies. I used to have several people I thought were friends, but I quickly learned that in following the road God had for me, I wasn’t good enough to hang out with. I learned that when the lifestyle you live convicts the lifestyle lived by someone else, they are more than likely going to distance themselves from you.

 

Sometimes when I see other people with “normal” lives hanging out and having fun, going shopping together/having lunch/movie nights or whatever it may be, I find myself feeling a little sad. I’ll feel a small twinge of longing, thinking it would be nice to have a friendship like that. Then I remember one of my favorite quotes-

 

Don’t let comparison steal your joy!

 

I have to remind myself of that quite often. Especially when I remember that God has called me to be set apart. My 25 year old lifestyle is different for a reason. I’ve chosen to follow God’s path and that means He is my best friend! That is not to say that I can’t have friends or do this or do that. It just means that I have to be careful. I can’t act like everyone else or do what everyone else does. It means there are some places I can’t go. It means that I may not have a friend that I can confide every little detail with, except for God. Yet, I can lean on Him. I can depend on Him. I can know that when I choose to stand up for what is right, He’s still going to be there right beside me.

 

There’s another quote that I’ve also found to ring true that goes something like, “When it comes to friends, I’d rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies.” I’ve never been the most popular and to the world, being a Christian isn’t the most popular choice. That’s why I’m thankful that I am in the world, not of it. I know that despite how things are here on earth, I have much more to look forward to. And when I come to the end of my earthly days and see my God face to face, I don’t want to be known for how popular I was or how many friends I had. I want to be known for how many lives I pointed to Jesus.

 

The world sees me as a loser, simply because I am a Christian. The Lord sees me as His royal child, in a foreign land on my journey home. - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven - Raisingstickyhands.com

 

Yes, there are times that I feel lonely, but that is a trick of the enemy. I am never alone! My God will never leave me nor forsake me. He is always there for me. I’m so glad that regardless of my not so normal 25 year old living, it might seem lonely, but I am never alone.

 

How about you? Do you ever feel lonely in your walk with God? As I said, it is only truly lonely by the world’s standards. Please know that you are never alone as long as you live for God. Not to mention, we at Sticky Hands are here for you, as well!! Can we pray for you in any way? We’d love for you to comment and please feel free to email me at emily@raisingstickyhands.com.

ByAngie

Starting The Year Off Right – Goals, Resolutions, Spontaneity, & The Will Of God

I’m sure everywhere you turn lately you are seeing & hearing the words “resolutions”, “goals”, “plans”, and other similar phrases.

Like me, you may have issues with resolutions but not goals or plans. Maybe you do like resolutions and they actually work for you. Perhaps you are also like me and really don’t find them any different, but just try to make yourself feel better by calling them goals and plans instead of resolutions. 😉 (My opinion is a checklist by any other name is still a checklist, no matter what label you put on it. )

 

Starting The Year Off Right

There is nothing wrong with grabbing the opportunity by the tail and starting off fresh to break habits, create new routines, and change things for the better. The key is to stick with it, fight for it, and to just flat-out make it happen. There’s also nothing wrong with just living spontaneously, as long as it is in the Will of God. (Does that make sense? Because it makes sense to me…) For myself, I need to make some changes. I’m out of shape, out of routine, and tired of falling behind. I’ll share more about this next week, but I’m starving for some organization and need a plan. Desperately.

Over the month of January, a few of us here at Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven will be sharing with you some things that God has laid on our hearts for 2014. Some of these posts will be our personal goals, others a vision we have for our communities, the church, and families. We also hope to help you start on the right foot by suggesting some scriptures, tips, products, and services that can help you along the way.

2014 is full of so much promise and hope. Before we know it, we’ll be asking where it went. So let’s do our best to make it count for God. James 4:14 tells us that life ” is even a vapor”, and that we are arrogant should we assume that we are guaranteed tomorrow… So don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do for God today. (Preaching to myself here, people. Not gonna lie. But I’ll get into that more in the coming weeks.) With or without that list for the year in hand, the only way to be is in the Will of the Lord. (Still preaching to myself…)

 

Starting The Year Off Right - Goals, Resolutions, Spontaneity, & The Will Of God - <a href=James 4:13-17" src="http://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/James-4-13-17.jpg" width="400" height="533" srcset="http://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/James-4-13-17.jpg 400w, http://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/James-4-13-17-225x300.jpg 225w" sizes="(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px" />

We are also going to be changing a few things here on our blog. Not major massive changes, but some things will be going and other things coming. Let us know what you’d like to see more of, less of, and what you just really don’t want to hear about anymore. 😉

Now, what about you? Do you think all of the oohs and aahs that goes with January 1st are worth it, or a waste of time? Have you sat down with a checklist, planner, pen, and coffee, or does the idea of just flying through the year by the seat of your pants excite you? We’d love to hear about it, especially since we’re all split down the middle. 😉

ByJudye

Is Being A Christian Boring?

I decided years ago to do something that demonstrates faith- for faith with no effort is no faith at all for me.

The Creator’s love compels us to do what we never thought we could do, and accomplish what we never dreamed of doing. He has taken me to places I never thought I would go and meet people I never dreamed I would meet.

I have humbly found myself seated me at the same table with professors, doctors and scientists & dined at the table of a humble family in the rainforest of Africa.

He has taken me through danger in foreign countries and seen me through trials in the wear & tear of everyday living.

 

Life is never boring when you're walking with a King.

 

If you think being a Christian is boring, you should sit & listen to a few of the “seasoned Believers” . I have lived an incredible life and not one day with HIM has been boring. I am so thankful for His mercy and grace bestowed upon me – for I am not perfect. On the quiet days & years, I take the time to rest up & prepare for the next adventure.

Life is never boring when you’re walking with a King.

ByKaren

Memories…

The following lyrics were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, otherwise known as part of the Beatles, in 1965. Though I’ve changed the word “lovers” to “loved ones” and made the “you” a personal standpoint to mean God/Christ, the words can still have a great meaning.

In My Life

“There are places I remember all my life, though some have changed. Some forever, not for better, some have gone, and some remain.

All these places have their moments of loved ones and friends I still can recall. Some are dead and some are living, and in my life, I’ve loved them all.

And with all these friends and loved ones, there is no one compares with You. And these mem’ries lose their meaning when I think of love as something new.

And I know I’ll never lose affection for people and things that went before. I know I’ll often stop and think about them. In my life, I’ve loved You more.”

My mind is always flooded with memories. The things that most people would never remember, I have stored in the back files of my mind. This is not always a blessing, believe me. Sometimes, there are several things that I wish I could forget.

Sometimes, an image of a person will come to my mind, but not just that image, but anything that person has ever done towards me, whether it be good or bad, will come flooding back also. If it happened to be an offense that I have already forgiven, I definitely don’t want that brought back to my remembrance.

I know that I don’t want my past sin/offenses remembered and held against me at any given moment.

Thank God, that when we repent, He cast our sins as far as the East is from the West! Never to be remembered again.

 

Memories... Photo By Karen Wilds

 

Not all memories are meant to be bad or dreadful. God allows us to have wonderful memories. Memories of the loved ones who have gone on already and the time that we got to spend with them. Memories aroused by scents around us or a familiar sight.

We come into contact with all kinds of people throughout life. Sometimes, we learn from them, while at other times, we are teaching them. Our main goal is to ALWAYS love them. Yes, they will disappoint us and we will disappoint them, but such is life. We must correct the wrong, ask for forgiveness, LOVE, and move on.

But, I want to be able to tell God, since He knows our hearts, “… in my life, I’ve loved YOU more!”

ByAngie

God Is In Control

I wasn’t planning on blogging tonight. However, being that the United States Government has now shut down, I notice some are panicking and concerned about the future of our nation.

 

Understanding your worry, I see where you are coming from. Normally I would be glued to the news and freaking out when these types of things happen. Not this time though, I prayed earlier today that God give me peace. That is when I remembered: God is in control, after all. So why should I be worried?

 

Worried about the headlines? STOP!!! God is in control.

 

So why worry about what is printed on the headlines  and what the news anchors say? He is the one who commands the wind, sea, waves, and more. He breathes life into newborn babies every day. He even still heals people like me, undeserving and wretched, so that they might live. He provides for all of us in more ways than we will probably ever realize. Most of all, He offers us grace and forgiveness, forgetting every single wrong thing we’ve ever done in addition to eternal life.

 

Jesus said it best Himself in Matthew 6:31-34:

31“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

 

So regardless of what today brings, be glad. Remember that God’s got this, and pray for the employees that will not receive their paychecks along with their families until this situation is is figured out.

 

Don’t worry. God’s got this.

 

What scripture do you turn to when you are feeling overwhelmed?

ByKaren

Ticket To Nineveh

Has God been calling you to do something and you are running away from it faster than a cat with it’s tail on fire?

Well, as most of you know, Jonah had to stop running eventually. When God told him to go to Nineveh, Jonah was like, “no way, no Sir, no how!” He even turned and went the opposite direction to put as much space between him and his destiny as he possibly could. No matter where he went though, he could not escape the calling of God Almighty.

 

God is calling - How will you answer - Will you be like Jonah or answer the call to Nineveh

Because of his disobedience, he had to be thrown overboard from the ship to Tarshish. He didn’t realize beforehand that the decisions that he was making, had a great effect on those he was in company with or those around him. His decision to disobey God caused the boat to sway to and fro in a rage. The other men on the boat were scared and knew that this kind of rage could only come from God.

God had already had the “big fish” prepared to swallow Jonah up. Can you imagine being in the actually belly of a fish? With all the stomach acids and inner parts? You know that it couldn’t have smelled very well. He wasn’t just there for one day either, but 3 days and nights!

This gave him plenty of time to think, pray, and humble himself before God. After those 3 days, he was vomited up onto dry land, and from there, Jonah went on to Nineveh as he was supposed to in the first place, which led to a mighty work of God in that city.

Do you realize that if you’re not walking in His calling, you are pulling against Him? Your decision affects those around you. You could be the only Bible that other people read. There may be someone around you that doesn’t know Jesus and YOU are the one that is supposed to be a witness to them.

If God is calling you to something, which ticket are you going to purchase? One to Tarshish or one to Nineveh?

ByEmily

Positive And Purposed

Do you have goals? Dreams? I’m gonna go ahead and guess that if you answered no, then you lied. 😉 God has chosen goals and dreams for you, as well. And if you truly love Him, your goals/dreams match up with His. They translate into what is your destiny….your purpose. That’s right, our lives are purposed.

 

Goals

 

In our everyday lives, we have a tendency to operate in a Negative Nelly attitude. We want what we want when we want it and refuse to accept any other option. And when we know that we know God’s plans for us, we get an even uglier attitude as we hear the word ‘wait.’ It’s like we’ve taken the role as an actor in the J. G. Wentworth commercials, screaming at God, “IT’S MY DREAM AND I WANT IT TO MANIFEST NOW!”

I know we’ve all been there. Yes, I tend to write from experience. Still waiting for the soul mate God is preparing just for you? Yep. So in the mean time you plan to help Him out by joining internet dating sites. Called to be a Sunday School teacher, but it’s not your time yet? Yep. So impatiently you huff away from the church you’re in to rush into a position at another church. Or maybe you have a special gift or calling, but right now, your job is to scrub the toilets. Instead of gracefully scrubbing, you scrub with a spiteful attitude muttering things like, “I don’t know why I have to keep doing this while Sis. So-n-so gets to be in the choir. I sing better than her anyway.”

 

Photo Credit WP Tan

Photo Credit WP Tan

 

There are many other scenarios that we all usually handle the same way….we know what we want and the Negative Nelly in us can’t help but murmur and complain about the wait. Did you ever stop to think that your negative attitude is hindering your purpose? Maybe Sis. So-n-so has done her time scrubbing toilets and did so joyfully, anticipating the better things she knew were in store. Maybe Mr. Right is ready and patiently waiting for you, but your attitude is standing in the way. Often times we even barge into something too early and operate prematurely, getting in over our heads.

Yes, we may know what God’s purpose is for us, but we ought to have a positive attitude at all times. Even when we are having to scrub toilets, even when we’ve been waiting and waiting and it’s time to hurry up and wait some more—whatever the case, we must keep a positive attitude. Our attitudes should reflect the loving God who called us to our purpose in the first place. Even when it’s not happening according to our timing.

 

Negative Postive

 

I’ll leave you with this— attitudes are contagious. Are you spreading around a good one or a bad one? Negative Nellies pull down those around them, draining themselves and others of joy and strength. Positive Pollies lift up and encourage people, dancing in puddles and looking for the rainbows in the midst of the storm. As Christians, we must choose to remain positive and purposed at all times. Who knows? Our destiny may be right around the corner.

ByKaren

Pursuing His Attention: A Lesson From My Cat

Every time I sit down, the cat will NOT stay out of my face. She’s constantly THERE. Rubbing her head on me, pawing at me, will NOT leave me alone.

Psst... This isn't really Liza Jane. It's a photo I took at the zoo a few months back.

Psst… This isn’t really Liza Jane. It’s a photo I took at the zoo a few months back.

 

It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, she’s going to try to be my first priority.Just absolutely aggravating at times when I’m actually doing something that matters.

It got me thinking though… What if we pursued God’s love and affection the way that Liza Jane tries to pursue mine? What if we stayed in His face, saying, “Here I am! I’m here to love on You and adore You! I want You to wrap me in Your arms and just let me cry Abba!” Oh, what joy He might feel at the overwhelming adoration that He would be receiving! Any love and praise that He receives from His children is welcomed. At any time! We were created to worship Him in spirit and in truth.

I challenge you to find some face to Face time with God. I know that I could use more.

ByAngie

E Is For Everlasting Love

GE DIGITAL CAMERAIt’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.

EverlastingI 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.

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.
Oh, psst… D was going to be for “Down Time”. Oops! Silly blog was attacked. Bah… But to chronicle my “Down Time” you may enjoy the following photos from my weekend in Palm Springs, CA earlier this month:
For the first time in my adult life, I had a TAN!

For the first time in my adult life, I had a TAN!

Don’t forget to head over to Ben & Me to see all the other fantastic posts by others who are also Blogging Through The Alphabet!

Blogging Through the Alphabet

ByEmily

One Thing Remains ~ Song Of The Week!

2012 is out, over and done. Enter 2013. As I reflect on last year, I realize it was filled with both good and bad. Thankfully, the good is what jumps out to me the most. I’m sure that everything in 2013 will not be perfect, but I plan to enjoy it as much as possible. I have the choice to focus and zero in on everything amazing and not dwell on the negative. We all have that choice.

No matter what happened in the year 2012, one thing remained true. And no matter what happens in this new year of 2013, that one thing will still remain true. God’s love never fails, it never gives up, and it will never run out on me or you. I am so thankful for that remarkable love that He has for us. No other love will ever be able to compare!

One Thing Remains
Jesus Culture

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing remains
One thing remains

Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me x3

On and one and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never ever have to be afraid
One thing remains

In death and in life I’m confident and covered by the power of your great love
My debt is paid there’s nothing that can separate my heart from your great love