Honest in Community {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

I don’t even know where to start. Perhaps, you can relate. I wholeheartedly believe in the truth we will look at today. I firmly believe we, as the Church, need to be honest with one another. So this is what I attempt to do, but it doesn’t always work out the way I hoped. This, I know. Why do I keep doing it? I wholeheartedly believe in trusting my Lord Jesus and obeying what He teaches us in His Word. Today, our truth is found in Ephesians 4:25 –

Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves (TLB).

We are the family of God, Church. Yet for some compelling reason, we are busy fiddling with less important things that overshadow our priority for His Church – our spiritual family. Shouldn’t expressing honesty within our spiritual family be a given? I love this translation of the Scripture. When we don’t obey God in this, we are hurting ourselves. We need to love one another, and use our honesty as a way to do this.

We are urged to draw near to God in James 4:8. There is a lot of distance between church family members. It’s rare to see an Act 2 friendship, where there is gut-wrenching honesty and closeness. This closeness, this community, is no stranger to my blog posts. As you all know, this community is one I crave. But, it will not exist – unless we begin to express honesty in our conversations with one another.

I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given – to simply be honest. While honesty brings a multitude of emotions, which is no easy task to handle, it is better than the option of running away. We have been given such a precious gift in our relationships with one another. Let’s take the time to cherish the Christian community we have been given.

As Ecclesiastes reminds us, we desperately need one another. We don’t know how fierce of a battle someone is facing, unless they share. I have been doing loads of “sharing” on Facebook. While I may not get “likes” or “comments,” I firmly believe I am doing my part in sharing honesty like this one –

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I am obeying God. What others do with the content of sheer honesty is up to them, but I am joyfully, gratefully, and sorrowfully giving this over to God and being honest in how well (or unwell) I am doing – with my Summer. I am absolutely resolving to honor God, by sharing. I am not going to lie and pretend things are all sunshine and roses, unless (of course) they are.

When we share our honesty with one another, as the Church, we are giving God ample room to work in and through us. If we want to see God’s power in action, it is time to put away the lies and hurting ourselves by doing so.

In Christ,

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Rising Above Temptations {{Trials Tuesday}}

((Friends, don’t forget to ‘tune in’ this Saturday – as we kick off our online Bible study right here on Gracefully Overcoming))

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Temptations are a fact of life, and affect the best of us. Often times, we don’t want to face this truth that – temptations are real. Temptations are, indeed, very real. Even the best people faced temptations. This is why we can face our temptations head-on, versus pretending like they are not there (hello Stacey, understand this!).

Temptations We Face

As we sit with our friend, James, I want us to remember that…

While temptations are part of the human experience, it does not mean we have to give into them.

Because, they are destructive.

Because, there is a way out! (see 1 Cor. 10:13)

Through Jesus Christ, we can rise up and conquer the deadliest of temptations.

Before we can rise up and conquer temptations, though, we have to be willing to do something.

We have to admit that we are one who struggles with sin. And, realize how temptations affect us (leading us to death).

Does anyone else find it peculiar that the craving thing we face, promises life, but in fact brings death?

That thing you crave, is not going to deliver its promise of life or satisfaction. Thanks be to the Lord Jesus Christ, He will satisfy and bring life!

Grab Your Bible, Friends!

I invite you to join me, as we take a closer look at James 1:13-15. Read the selected passage, and then join me back here – so we can sit and talk.

What temptation are you facing right now?

We often think of sexual temptation when we hear the word “temptation” thrown around. But, temptations come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Money, relationships, and keeping a busy schedule are just a few temptations we might face.

Craving

In Ephesians 2:1-3, we are reminded that, before Christ, we chased after everything we craved.

If there is anything we know, it’s temptation. We experience it every day. From the moment you get up out of bed, temptation will find you… especially if you are a follower of Jesus Christ.

We need to get honest right now, with whatever temptation we are facing; see it for what it is. We need to let these words of truth be sown into our spirit right now.

Lessons From James

Temptations are…

1… real.

2… not of God.

3… coming from our own desires.

4… dragging us away from Jesus, our loving Savior, and the things of God.

5… gonna destroy us (and others), if we do not put them in their proper place.

Call to Action

Today, I want us to do something – as we look this temptation in the face. Whatever your struggle may be right now, look it in the face and see it for what it is.

“_________ does not honor God. It does not bring me closer to God. Whatever it is promising to do for me, is a lie. I am going to choose to trust Jesus to help me with this.”

Our desires, if not subdued, will carry us away from God. Our desires will try to get us to compromise, in order to soothe whatever the longing is for. They will seem subtitle and like they aren’t a big deal. But, they are.

How can you confront the lies of your current temptation, and accepting the truth of God and His Word?

Five Minute Friday – Celebrate

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Minute Friday! This week’s theme is “celebrate”. To learn more about Five Minute Friday, please visit Kate’s blog for more details… Each week, a community of bloggers come together with the common goal is to spend five unedited minutes to write on a topic (although if I am in a groove like today, I spend a bit more than 5 minutes).

I have something to celebrate.

God is reviving my heart in so many exciting ways. It’s just so amazing to see what happens, as I lead a more obedient life. Not that I was disobedient, per se. When you have a laptop and WiFi in your possession, it can be easy to allow your walk with God to become more distracted than we might realize.

We have these great ways to use technology to help us grow closer to God.

But sometimes, it just doesn’t turn out that way – as expected.

Motives are good, but the outcome –  not so good.

My Celebration!

If you follow my blog regularly, you might remember last week – I said yes to letting go of my “main” Facebook. This is the Facebook where all my friends, old contacts, family, etc are. It’s filled with people. But, here’s the thing: I have realized I don’t actually talk to any. No deep connections are being made. People haven’t felt a desperate need to contact me.

The God-Send!

I don’t even miss it.

What-so-ever.

I don’t miss it.

When I left that Facebook (okay, technically I signed out for 2 out of 3 devices), I felt relief. It felt like a job. “I have to be on there” or the famous “someone might need me.” Okay, it has been 2 weeks. Nobody on there actually “needs” me. That would be a lie. A big lie.

So, it’s time to celebrate.

God is revealing brand new truths to me, that I have longtime missed – as I studied His Word. He is reviving my spirit. He is calming my spirit. He is weeding out the bad, and flooding my soul with really-good-and-life-changing things.

The Connection Thing

It took removing myself from my “main” Facebook to understand the spiritual. To understand truth. To begin to trust (really-trust, not self-deceiving-kind-of-trust) God. God is working, and giving me knowledge, understanding, and wisdom about my trials. And, I am just so grateful!

Reflection

What do you have to celebrate? Share with me.

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“Combating the Lies of Satan” – BookLook

Combating the Lies of SatanCombating the Lies of Satan is by Shirley White. White holds a master’s degree, ministry license, and has been a born-again believer (and student of God’s Word) for over thirty years. She continues to use her insight and experiences with God to write this book.

Summary: In her book, White makes the point that Mordecai’s claim to Esther (4:14) is the same one made to us – we were made for such a time as this: to stand against the lies of society. While society may say something is right, we need to pinpoint it back to God and the Bible – to know the truth if something is right or wrong, true or false. Certain lies are spread like wildfire in our culture, and we need to put them out with the Word of God. We need to return to honoring God with our lives, and this is what White seeks to do through Combating the Lies of Satan.

My Review: This book review presented a problem I don’t think I have had before. I just couldn’t get into the book. There wasn’t an exact reason for it. I struggled to maintain a focus with this book. So to be truthful, it would not be fair to give a positive or negative review. I simply didn’t get far enough in reading this book by Shirley. She expresses a great amount of depth about the truth, to help her readers understand, and puts thought behind the ideas she writes concerning, which is great…. but I cannot, for sure, say it is well-worth the resources (time, money, energy, etc) to read. She does share one truth I want to close with, which is the truth that every lie of Satan has one purpose alone – which is to detour us from ‘the life and plans God has for [us].’

For more on Shirley White, visit her YouTube channel.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through BookLook’s blogger review program, in exchange for a honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

The Lies of My Spirit

My battle against my sinful self is intensely real. I wouldn’t mind a less real battle, to be honest. This morning, I let my foolish mouth slip. Ordinarily, at home, not that bad – right? Might be true if a window wasn’t open… I am always speaking when I should stay quiet. When I do speak, in an instant – I know I shouldn’t. In an instant, I think of how much better God would be better off without me.

In an instant, … Those lies can overtake my spirit quicker than quick sand. The lies of unworthiness. The lies of who I am not. The lies my spirit so often falls for, and tries to use in effort to deceive me.

These are the horrors of my sinful self. The me that fights His Spirit and truth. The Mark 5 picture of me.

When I surrender all I am not, to Him.
The change can begin.
In that moment, I can find grace.
If I allow myself to go there…
If I allow myself the chance to just believe what I know to be true.

Quit fighting God.
Surrender whatever you have.
Even if all you have to give sounds like this:

“Dear God, my life is so unbelievably screwed up right now. All I have is these tiny broken pieces that have been shattered repeatedly Dear God, help me. Save me. Heal me. Minister to me… I am too broken. I just need You to help me. I’ve got nothing left… Just foolishness and brokenness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”