I’m Not a Good Christian

I was thinking of how often we use the term : “good Christian“. It’s become so cliche. “She’s a good Christian woman”. “He’s a good Christian”.

Are they even authentically a Christian?

Is there a good Christian? Is there a bad Christian? One implies the other. (Honestly, the term Christian is used incorrectly at times as well.)

There are different levels of spiritual maturity. There are saved and unsaved people, real and fake in regards to people. (“Good”unsaved. “Good” saved. )

Obviously there are different levels of wisdom. Hello. I’m not Rev. Billy Graham. I guess if I had to call someone a good Christian then he would be one of my top picks. But what I’m getting at is the worn out term “good Christian“. Again. I use it too. Not judging.

I don’t know about you, but I do know about me.

I’m not a good Christian. I’m a woman with a real relationship with THE Real GOD. He is good.

I am nothing. Zero. Nada. Without God. Only because of The Holy Spirit within am I empowered. Nothing without Jesus. I’m a wretched woman without my God. He is good.

Jesus in me is good!

for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭13‬ NIV)

Me. I’m just a woman who is pursuing holiness and chasing after who God is calling me to be. Christ-like. That’s who and what HE is calling me to be.

Some days I want to hide. Some days I want to just be normal. Or what I want to think normal is. Or maybe “disobedient” is a better word. But some days I want to blend in. Without that constant urge to do more. Because it can be tiring. It can be hard. It can be doggone exhausting mentally. Does that make me a bad Christian? No.

But God.

There’s that BUT GOD again.

He whispers ever so gently. Softly. He holds my hand. He reminds me that HE is good and HE is faithful. HE gives me strength. HE gives me courage and HE makes me want to be brave DAUNTLESS.

He says to not grow weary in doing good. HE says that he’s not finished with me yet. I’m reminded of who HE is and who I am because of HIM.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. (‭Galatians‬ ‭6‬:‭9‬ NLT)

Not a good Christian. But a real Christian. A Jesus loving, needy of my Savior, redeemed, unfinished Christian.

Maybe a better way of saying it is that I’m an authentic follower of Christ that is pursuing goodness. Pursuing holiness. Pursuing God.

for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (‭1 Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭16‬ NIV)

And the best part is that Jesus loves me. He loves me flaws and all. He loves me in spite of me. And HE can’t love me anymore tomorrow than HE already loves me today. His love isn’t performance based. He loves me and because of that love I’m sure of one thing. All that matters is what my Father God knows and thinks of me. He knows my heart.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭13‬:‭8‬ NIV)

Those who are authentic believers and followers of Christ should be on a journey of pursuing holiness and pursuing righteousness. The only thing we should compare our goodness to is to God. His is the standard of goodness.

A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. (‭Luke‬ ‭18‬:‭18-19‬ NIV)

Just remember that if you are an authentic follower of Christ, you are unfinished. A work in progress. And so am I. Better than I was yesterday (sometimes). Hopefully closer to who HE wants me to be tomorrow. Growing. Always growing. Not becoming stagnant. Following in the footsteps of my Savior.

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (‭Philippians‬ ‭1‬:‭6‬ NIV)

Until Next Time.

Pursuing HIM,

Heather

{ Linking up with Faith Filled Friday }

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Tuned Out and Tuned In

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Quiet. Unsettling. Different. I like it.

One week into the social media break and it’s funny how it came after my 31 Days of Being Present in Real Life series. The one that I purposely did NOT complete. Yeah. God does have a sense of humor.

So, here I am. Learning things about myself. Listening so much more to God. The noise is tuned out much better now. More “spiritual whitespace”. And while I am on that subject, I read a book by Bonnie Gray called Finding Spiritual Whitespace a few weeks ago. AH-MAZING. She is a beautiful soul, I can tell by her comments and sweet replies to my comments..It’s so neat how this internet works isn’t it? You can reach through the world-wide web and virtually meet people..but, I am digressing. That book was written from the depths of her soul. She writes so poetically and beautiful and from her heart.


 

I am learning what my version of “spiritual whitespace” looks like in comparison to God’s idea for me. I do want GOD. I want HIM more than the way I used to make time for HIM. I want GOD more than that mindless scrolling through a newsfeed that really  isn’t “news”. I want GOD more than likes or comments or replies or fame or fortune or knowing what everybody is doing. I want GOD more than I want me and more than my idea of wanting God looks like. Then and only then can I be completely at peace.

A soul one with GOD, with nothing in between, is a soul at peace. 

I am learning that obedience truly does lead to blessing. Even when obedience means cutting away some good things in your life. Even when it means removing for a short time something that isn’t necessarily a “bad” thing..just a distracting thing. Because GOD said so.

I am learning that even though I do have a good time of study in the Bible and a quiet time every morning, that God still requires more.

Because my idea of what is enough really isn’t enough at all.


 

I can look back over the past year or so and see where God is working and moving in my life and the life of my family and I am so excited to see what is next! Maybe a little scared too if I am honest. Maybe anxious is a better word. I just feel it in my bones and I am ready and I can’t wait to see what all God shows me and speaks to me through this time with HIM. Sweet time with my Savior and Lord. Tuned in to HIM.

I believe when GOD speaks we better listen. When GOD commands we had better obey. And that….

When GOD whispers, if the noise is too loud, I can’t hear HIM.

 


 RELEVANT SCRIPTURE

James 1:22 (NLT) ~ But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

Romans 2:13 (NLT) ~ For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight.


 REFLECTION

~ Is it too loud for me to be able to even hear God? Too much noise?

~ Do I really WANT GOD or just my idea of what wanting God looks like?

~ Am I willing to focus more on God than on other stuff?

~ Is God calling me to fast anything in order to hear HIM more clearly?


 

Until Next Time,

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Welcome To My Monday Morning

(One of my favorite verses. I even wear it daily on a bracelet I had made.)
Romans 12:12 ~ Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

As I start my day, I am so blessed to look at this Thankful Tree on my kitchen table and see the leaves of thanks that my family has hung on the limbs. Now… When I first woke up this Monday morning, I wasn’t so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. It takes me a few minutes or so to wake up.

Nevertheless …..
Truly a beautiful and refreshing sight to see gratitude in even the smallest things. Makes me want to leave it up all year long. Definitely a tradition that I plan to keep going for years to come.

Traditions are something that I’ve been mulling over for a little while now. For those who are new here, my Daddy died April 1st of this year. Yeah. Man.. Seems surreal to even type that sentence out. We are all still grieving and going through the motions and emotions. Don’t even know what Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years will look like this year.. Except.. Different.

For my mother, it’s even harder. As her daughter, it’s so hard to watch her suffer and being that God gifted me with highly sensitive empathy, I feel the emotions around me times 10. I am a fixer. A doer. Tell me what to do and I’ll try my best to make it better. But, this is something that I can’t make better. For her. For me. For my children or my siblings.

We are all different. Grieving different. And that is OK!

For those of you who have lost a parent or husband or wife, and if you were extremely close to that loved one, you know what I’m saying.

So back to the traditions. Honestly, I don’t know what it will look like. I just know that I want to bring glory to God even in the midst of grief. I know my family has been held in HIS arms for the past 7 months. There’s no doubt that my God has sustained us.

I don’t know how people who don’t know Jesus personally survive.

I know I’m not alone. I know we are not the first family to have been through these kind of hard times.
I know.

I ask you to pray for us. Especially momma. I also ask for ideas and advice on how you may have coped during the holidays while grieving. Seriously.. Share. It may help more people than you know.

Before I go, I want to say a special Thank You to those who have reached out when it wasn’t convenient. To those who have shared their hearts with me about their losses and offered prayer and support. Thank you to those who have encouraged me and been there through it all. You may not even realize that you did anything at all. But you have. Thank you for the prayers most of all.

We know where Daddy is.. So we have peace and comfort and hope. But… Anyone who knows the loss that we feel knows that the grief comes in waves and so if you see someone who is sad or has tears in their eyes or even who is laughing and smiling, know that there is NO TIME LIMIT for grief. There really is no end point honestly. Those who have told you that it ends or goes away.. They either had a different relationship with their lost loved one or they just don’t know what to say. It’s ok. Listen to your heart. I’m listening to mine.

Until Next Time,

Heather

P.S. I am not on social media right now. Sometimes you hear a still small voice during your morning quiet time and you know you must be obedient. I’ll only be on my photography page to post for clients as needed. If anyone needs to reach me you can comment here on the blog, text or call me, email me, or visit 😉 .

I also want to recommend a book that someone I highly admire wrote. I just know that we would be great friends if we lived in the same town! She speaks boldly. She writes her heart out. She doesn’t pussyfoot around. She is Lisa Whittle and the book is : I WANT GOD.
I received the book probably six weeks ago but GOD.. Yes, God knew when exactly I needed to read it. It challenged me and convicted me to seek HIM even more than I already do. Which led to breaking away from social media. My blog will still post to it but I will not be on to check comments, etc. If you want to comment.. Comment here. Love you all! ~HD

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The Harvest IS Plentiful

I don’t know about you, but for me, normally when I can’t stand the place I am visiting, I don’t ever want to go back.

Like ever.

For those who don’t know, my family went on a mission trip to New Orleans this summer. People warned me of the smells, and even the fluids that were commonly found on the sidewalks. They warned me of the darkness that seemed to hang over you like a cloud. They hinted at the free-spirited living. The smells didn’t bother me as much as I thought. And I have a sensitive smeller. No, it was the sights that broke my heart.

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From the countless homeless people to the small children roaming the streets, things were different just a few hours away from home sweet home. It didn’t take going thousands of miles away or even crossing oceans to do mission work. I didn’t even have to learn another language. Well, maybe I did. Maybe the new language was to See The Unseen with different eyes. Hearing their stories. Taking time to care. Hold a hand. Say a prayer. Give out a water bottle and a snack. Maybe that is a language. A love language.

Matthew 25:35 (NIV) ~ For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.

Matthew 25:40 (NIV) ~ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

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Our team worked together so well. It was a God thing. He definitely put us together. It was a beautiful experience. One that forever changed me. The person that doesn’t need people around. The person that tends to be a loner. The introvert. I learned that community is so very vital. When one falls down…the other helps him up. You know that verse. It is so true.

Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NLT) ~ If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

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They say that once you go on a mission trip that you get the fever to keep going back. After a solid week of staying in a room with our team of girls and then a whole lot of girls that we did not know, and sharing 2 showers with them and their hair, I was ready to get home. I know that sounds spoiled. Remember my sensitive nose? Smells? Let’s just say Praise Jesus that my buddy had one of those laundry detergent pods. I slept with it on the middle bunk one night. Somebody above me from the other group drank too much water or something before bed, and that’s all I’m gonna say about that. Praise Jesus for detergent pods and smell good thingamajiggers.

I was so blessed by every single experience that God allowed on the NOLA recon team UNSEEN trip. Yes, even the yucky ones taught me something. Come on, if Jesus traveled from place to place and slept wherever he had to, so could I for one single week. At least we had a bed. Some of the UNSEEN slept on the concrete. Every single night. When I was tempted to complain, I quickly reminded myself of this. So spoiled and so blessed. I don’t deserve anything I have. That woman, that mother, she could very easily be me.

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Then there was Bourbon Street. The Midnight Outreach through The Dream Center reaches out to the women who work in the strip clubs, and the owners and bouncers as well. Whew. Only a few of us went on this mission. Let me clarify that our team stayed out of the clubs, but what we saw on the street was plenty. I only lasted through the orientation and about 30 minutes on the street. At first I felt like a quitter. But then, I accepted that I was obedient to go and I was obedient to bow out when God led me to leave.

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I saw what he wanted me to see. No more. No less. I saw women who had to get all drugged up and drunk to even be able to work. I saw families walking through the street with small children. Children exposed to nudity, sexual innuendo, alcohol, and all of the people who support it. I saw a young boy playing a drum on the sidewalk..on BOURBON Street. Where was his momma? Maybe across the street working in one of the clubs. Maybe standing half naked in the window as if she were for sale. Wait, she was. There were the men working the doors and trying to entice people to come in to their business. There was the man coming out of the strip club and the dancer coming out after him, clearly completely strung out. She would have to be I’m sure of it. She’s a person. With feelings.

Forever changed.

My eyes were opened. I saw the teenage girls talking to the bouncer and then walking in to the strip club. Were they runaways? Were they looking for a job? Did they know that they were about to be forever changed by their choices?

I’m not a crier by nature. I tend to hold it in. Cry in private. Act tough in public.

My tears came like floodwaters escaping through a breached dam. I couldn’t contain the emotions welling up within me. I can only explain it like this: The Holy Spirit within was broken…Jesus in me..I felt what HE must feel when seeing sin. Complete and utter grief. I know what grief feels like. I recently lost my Daddy. These were tears of grief. Heartache for those girls and women. Heartache for the people who treated other people like merchandise. MERCHANDISE! It shouldn’t be so.

Story after story I could share with you. God blessed me so much by allowing me to be a part of that trip. As much as I was ready to get home to Georgia, and even though I told my husband and friends that I had no desire to ever and I mean EVER go back to NOLA, guess what I miss? I miss NOLA. I miss being on that mission trip. Even though I had to wear flip flops in the shower and sleep with a smell good thingy, I miss it.

I don’t know where God will call my family to serve next. We are going to be obedient though. Obedience truly leads to blessing. I can’t wait to serve wherever HE leads us to serve.

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The harvest is plentiful and the workers are few… I promise you, the HARVEST IS PLENTIFUL. Every act of service is important. Don’t think that you can’t do anything because of age or a handicap or even because of finances. Can you pray? That is mission work too!

Matthew 9:37 (NIV) ~ Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”

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The mission field is not just overseas. The mission field is in your home, your work, your school, your neighborhood. If you can’t go out of town, don’t use that as an excuse to not serve. Everyone who is a child of God, an authentic believer and follower of CHRIST, is called to serve. I pray that I never forget those whom I met and the stories that I heard while on the New Orleans trip. Even though the stories aren’t always beautiful, there is beauty in remembering the stories.

I leave you with a few questions:

1~ Is there something that I am ignoring and that I need to be obedient to God and respond about in regards to serving?

2~ Is there sin in my life that I need to come clean about? Do I have a relationship with Jesus?

3~ Am I being faithful to God with the gifts that HE has blessed me with? Am I hoarding my talents instead of using them to SHINE Jesus?

4~ Am I expecting everyone else to serve while I sit on the sidelines and cheer?

{If I can pray for you about any of the above questions, please feel free to respond. I would love to pray for you and help you or guide you to someone who can help you.}

Until Next Time,

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Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Quit Believing Lies

Let me just jump right on in and say: WE HAVE to QUIT believing the LIES that WE tell ourselves!

 

Oh, you don’t lie to yourself? Really? You just lied.

 

“I’m NOT GOOD ENOUGH”.

“They’ll think I’m stupid.”

“UNWORTHY”

“I’m just a ….. (you fill in the blank.)”

“There’s already a book, blog, song, poem, business like that.”

“I don’t know as much as he/she appears to know.”

 

Those are just a few of the lies we tell ourselves.

 

Good grief. Why do we do it? It’s like our own little pity party.

 

Here’s a thought. When we make excuses like those above, or tell ourselves those lies, we give ourselves an EXCUSE to DO NOTHING.

 

Ouch.

 

NO MORE EXCUSES.

 

See, the GOD who made us IS ABLE.

AND HE IS ABLE TO DO MUCH MORE THAN WE CAN IMAGINE!

If you truly have a relationship with God, then HE is at work IN YOU.

NO MORE EXCUSES.

 

I am the queen of  believing those lies above. I get these BIG DREAMS and even feel like I am called to DO SOMETHING, and then I listen to the lies and even BELIEVE them. Then I say to myself (yes, I quite often have complete conversations in my head with myself. No I am not crazy) : “That author, blogger, speaker, person already did that and mine wouldn’t be half as good.” Now, just who do I think I am?

It is not about ME!  When we believe the lies and listen to the lies then we are not Believing who HE is and who we are IN HIM. 

Can I get an AMEN?! You too?

 

A dream is just a dream without a plan, so I’ve heard.

Words are just words without action. Am I right?

 

Maybe, just maybe, it is a lack of faith that holds us back. We can say we have faith all day long, but when the rubber meets the road, do we really believe TRUTH? Or do we tend to fall back into the trap of believing LIES.

Lies.

God IS ABLE. He made each one of us with PURPOSE and for a PURPOSE.

What might you be NOT DOING for GOD ?

Are you like me and think that because there is “already something like that out there” that yours isn’t necessary ?

LIES.

What if because of my obedience, your obedience, just ONE life was changed ?

 

Ephesians 3:20 ~ Now to HIM who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to HIS power that is at work within us

 

Until Next Time,

 

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YOU TALKING TO ME ?

Psalm 18:31,32 (NLT) ~ For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect.

 

I have to be honest. Sometimes I really do find myself talking back to The Holy Spirit. When I feel there is something way out of my league that HE is calling me to do. I really do say.. in my head.. “You talking to me?”

{As if HE would get me confused with someone else. Not possible. HE is GOD.}

The truth is, I don’t feel comfortable doing every single thing that I am prompted to do. That’s where HE comes in. If HE calls then I can obey or disobey.

I can shrink back in fear, and I have been guilty of this, or I can rest in the fact that HE is who equips anyone who HE calls. If it was ME…then it wouldn’t be HE.

 

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) ~  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

 

Me…messes up.

Me…gets scared. Really scared. Like, terrified.

Me…wants to sit back and just do my thing..quietly.

BUT.

HE…asks me (and you) to obey.

HE… says “I’ve got this and you are just my tool of choice for this task.”

HE…equips those who HE calls.

 

All of that being said, God has really been working on me lately.

It began back in about April of this year. He pulled me back from leading a women’s bible study for a time. Something that I love doing and still miss! He taught me about getting my priorities in the right order. GOD, My husband, My children, and THEN everyone else. He led me to work on me and the areas that I needed to surrender to HIM.

I obeyed. Not knowing why..just that I HAD to. I waited somewhat patiently for an answer to several questions. I waited some more. Still digging deep into HIS WORD.

Then, HE began opening doors that I never knew would really ever be opened. Doors that scare me. Doors that HE wants opened. Read that again. DOORS that HE wants opened.

There are things that God will call us to do in our lives. If we aren’t listening, we won’t hear HIM. If we aren’t seeking HIM we will miss it. If we are TOO BUSY even with the good stuff, we may miss it. If we say no then we will miss out and at the same time be disobedient. (If you’ve never read some of the history in the Old Testament, you should..you’ll see how disobedience worked out for them.)

It’s really amazing to me how even the Bible studies that I was led to do during this time of alone time are just what I needed. I am currently doing one that has to do with discerning HIS voice. Imagine that! 🙂

God has led certain people into my path who have been obedient to HIM as well. They have spoken truth and wisdom into my life. All because of obedience and answering HIS prompting.

I have lots more to share with you in the days to come, when it is the right time. I am so excited and nervous and scared…but I know that by being obedient to GOD, I am doing what is right and pleasing in HIS sight. That is what matters. 🙂 {AND, I’m reciting 2 Timothy 1:7 over and over in my mind.}

Do I think I am capable on my own to do anything that HE asks me to do? DEFINITELY NOT. That is awesome though! Because of that FACT, HE gets ALL of the glory! 

As I close, I would like to ask you some questions. Questions that are between you and GOD.

Are you intentionally seeking HIS will for you and your family, or are you intentionally not seeking it because it scares you ? (Hey, that is a valid question..)

Are you ignoring HIS voice, or are you making time to hear it ? (it takes intentionality)

Just know that if you find yourself asking, “You talking to me?” , that there is a good chance that HE is. However, to be completely sure, know that HIS voice matches HIS WORD.

 

 

Until next time,

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Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

For the Whole World To See

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One dog is sitting practically on my head. One is on my legs. The computer in my lap…Chili in the crock pot. The sound of the water running into the aquarium beside me.

There are to-do lists. Places to be. Schedules to keep.

But first, a message to share.

The messages that I share with y’all come to me at the strangest times and places. I’m sure that my other “writer” friends can relate. Especially when it comes to sharing the message that God lays on my heart to share. Sometimes I put it off due to the fact that it seems strange to me. That’s just how it is. I don’t even know why I am writing on a certain topic sometimes…other than the fact that I JUST HAVE TO.

You may not like what I’m sharing today. That’s okay. I don’t write for the approval of man..I only write for God. So, I offer no apologies today. I do love you all though and that’s another reason that I choose to share the hard truths.

I was getting dressed yesterday and this title pops in my head: “FOR THE WHOLE WORLD TO SEE” , Then little details and thoughts start emerging.

Like…..

~ Does your (my) appearance on Social Media match your  (my) appearance in person ?

(and I’m not talking about our profile pictures)

~ Do you (I) talk BIG on FB or Twitter or wherever else, and sit in a corner talking to nobody in public ?

~ Do you (I)  profess Jesus all over the Social Networks and project another image in other settings ?

~ Does your (my) walk match your (my) talk or text or tweet or post ?

~ Do you (I)  wear your (my)  “Christian” t-shirt in public and act like the devil at home ?

~ Do you (I) wear your (my) “Christian” t-shirt in public and put the word “Christian” to shame ?

~ Do you (I) post Bible verses online but never really open your Bible to study it and read it and learn?

Just some thoughts. For all of us to soak on…marinate in. Just being real. Because it MATTERS.

We are the only BIBLES that some people ever read. (Yes, that is someone else’s quote)

It matters how we represent our Jesus.

My pastor said something that really struck me last week during the message. He said that we have really messed up the word: CHRISTIAN. It basically means nothing anymore.

See there are people that say “I’m a CHRISTIAN” and yet they really aren’t. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian. The fact that your parents made you go your whole life doesn’t  make you a Christian. Doing good things doesn’t make you a Christian. Knowing about Jesus doesn’t make you a Christian. Wearing a Christian t-shirt doesn’t make you a Christian. Posting bible verses doesn’t make you a Christian.

So, what makes you a Christian? I mean a REAL AUTHENTIC TRUE FOLLOWER OF CHRIST?

JESUS.

Jesus is what makes you a CHRISTIAN. Knowing HIM and HIM knowing you. It takes FAITH. It takes surrender. It takes admitting that you are a sinner and that you NEED HIM. It takes faith and believing that Jesus is the Son of God. It takes confessing Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

John 3:16,17 (NIV) ~ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

It’s simple. Yet we make it hard.

Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean you are all done. It is a daily surrender and choice to FOLLOW God. To learn and study and read The Word. It’s vital that those of us who ARE Christians disciple new Christians or Christians that are not as mature in their walk as they could be. It’s vital that we serve like Jesus.

It takes water for a seed to grow.

Hebrews 5:13,14 (NIV) ~ Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But the solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

CONSTANT USE.

Let’s get to watering! Let’s be real and be willing to make sure that our walk is matching our “talk”. It matters. People are watching. Big people and Little people. 

Now, I did not say that we have to be “PERFECT”…I just mean that we have to stop pretending that we are. ( I’ll be the first person to tell you that “I AM NOT PERFECT” and “I FAIL DAILY”… I mean…even writing this post is hard for me..because I know that I am not perfect.)

Leaving you with these two verses…

James 2:17 (NIV) ~ In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

1 John 3:18 (NIV) ~ Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Until Next Time…Seeking to Shine,

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Not So Excellent At Times

 

 

Just Right For Him
Just Right For Him

Recently, I completed a bible study on a book called, The Excellent Wife. Martha Peace is the author. This book was very convicting and challenging at times. There were even days when I wanted to throw it out the door. (haha) Why? Because…SELF didn’t feel like being that EXCELLENT on that day. But…God would nudge me and convict me and lovingly prod me to KEEP ON.

It’s not always easy to look at yourself..I mean, REALLY look at who you are. The Excellent Wife was filled with Scripture to back up the truths that I was learning about myself..and who God is calling me to be. Not so fun to admit at times. Very necessary though.

I began to see that I needed to make some changes. Change isn’t always welcomed. Some people are terrified of change. Change is so very necessary in order to grow and mature. I guess since I love a good adventure, I was a little bit more welcoming with this new change that God was stirring deep within me. To look at my priorities. To be sure that my husband truly was FIRST in my life. Not second. First. Well, after God, of course. 🙂

 

Genesis 2:18 ~ Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”

 

I really began to notice areas that I needed to change and improve in order to be in God’s will for my life. God wants me to be my husband’s helper suitable, or “just right for him”. To support him. To love him. To put his needs first. To respect him.

 

Please..don’t close the blog post yet… I know this sounds like a lot. BUT guess what..basically, all it boils down to is being selfLESS.

 

Period. Loving your neighbor as you love yourself. YES, you really do love yourself…even if you don’t always like yourself. How do I know this? Because..we all make sure that we are comfortable..right? Maybe not all the time..but when we aren’t..we aren’t very happy are we? Our husband or wife is our closest neighbor. That means we should treat them as good or better than we treat our other friends. This hit a nerve with me as well.

 

James 2:8 ~ Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

 

I realized that after I finished studying and reading this convicting book that I still have a long way to go. I am persevering, keeping on, striving to be that EXCELLENT WIFE. I cling to the promise that “HE’S not finished with me yet!” I can’t do this on my own. Thank goodness, I don’t have to.

 

Philippians 1:6 ~ And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

 

By the way, I never actually threw the book out. (hahaha) 🙂 In fact, I am about to start another one by Martha Peace. It’s called “Tying the Knot Tighter: Because Marriage Lasts A Lifetime.”

Putting things in the right order requires discipline and perseverance and lots of seeking after God. It’s HIS will that I want to be in.

 

Proverbs 3:6 ~ Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

 

If you know that your priorities are out of whack..I encourage you to seek God. Seek His Word. Ask yourself if there are some changes that you need to make in order to put God first and center..then your husband or wife, if you are married. Of course. if you have children they definitely come next. Then, everything else will fall into place. This isn’t to say that you won’t have resistance from some…because change isn’t always readily accepted.

 

How are we to spiritually grow and mature in our walk with Jesus if we never change?  Change is necessary. Change is vital. If we never change, then we never grow. If we never grow and mature, then we are like a stagnant pond. Ever seen one of those? They aren’t real pretty. They aren’t healthy at all. 

Thank you for sticking with me through this hard and possibly convicting post. I pray that you are challenged to look deep within. Sometimes the problems in our relationships are because of our selfish desires and our unwillingness to change. (I know that not all problems are caused by this..but some are) It won’t always be easy. But it is so worth it. Don’t try to do it on your own. Only with God’s help is it possible. Expect setbacks. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Know that some days you won’t feel like being selfLESS. Those are the times when you say, “God..I need you to create in me a desire to be obedient to you.” He already knows. Whatever you do…don’t give up on trying to be the person God has called you to be and what HE has called you to do. (bring GOD glory in everything)  {Don’t throw the book out..hahaha :D}

 

1 Corinthians 10:31 ~ So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

 

Even when you don’t feel like you are so excellent at times..keep trying.

 

Until Next Time,

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Thankful Thursdays ~ October 11th

It’s funny, since starting these Thursday posts, I seem to be more aware of things and people who I am thankful for. Gifts and blessings from God that I am more aware of. I look forward to these Thursday posts. To get to share with all of you..and read your comments about what you are thankful for.

It blesses my heart..

If it blesses MY heart, then just IMAGINE how thankfulness blesses God’s heart.

 

   Psalm 95:2 (NIV) ~ Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

 

 1)  I am so very thankful that I was able to be a part of our local Christ Makes Winners Rally at my church last night. We worshiped HIM with music, song, a phenomenal speaker and prayer.  It was awesome! So many kids from our community, coming together before the BIG football game (LOWNDES versus VALDOSTA) …putting their focus on GOD first..coming together as friends instead of rivals. A tradition that was started 32 years ago by VHS Coach, Nick Hyder. To show them that JESUS makes us ALL winners.

 

 

 

 2)  When we were driving out of our neighborhood this morning..as we rounded the corner, God had a GORGEOUS sky waiting ahead. As I stopped at the stop sign before leaving our neighborhood, my daughter and I both snapped a picture. Breathtaking. I’m always in AWE of God when I see the skies that he creates.

 

 

 3)  I am so thankful for the gift that God gives to those who are published authors..for HIS glory. I recently (this week) began reading Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. Awesome…

 

 

As always, I could just go on and on..God’s blessings are so abundant.

Sometimes, all it takes is to stop and reflect. Slow down and notice the little things and THEN, thank HIM for them.

 

 

   Romans 11:36 (NIV) ~ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

   Ephesians 3:20,21 (NIV) ~ Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

 

 

   NOW...it’s your turn. Share with us… 3 things that you are thankful for this week.  As I’ve said before…you can comment on this post, on FB, or on Twitter..  Please share with us…

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{ or my website..here.. heatherdawkins.com }

 

         Thankful for YOU,

 

When You Go

We stood outside. Taking pictures with our cell phones before we went in to eat at the busy restaurant. Out of the corner of our eyes, we saw him. Long, scruffy looking beard. Hat on and carrying some plastic bags. Talking to random people in the parking lot. We assumed he just wanted money. We headed on inside. Pshh..none of us had any extra money..

Then, I looked out of the glass door and saw what he had in his hand. He was selling handmade crosses. Immediately I stood up and said: “I have to go out there. I have to take him this money and buy a cross.”

There’s more to it than that..

About 2 years earlier, my husband met a man who wandered around making these same crosses. He met him at our local flea market. He sat down, struck up a conversation with this man and heard a man witness about Jesus.

So, I just thought that maybe this was the same man. Had to be. So, that is what drew me to him. Or, I should say..That is what GOD used to draw me to him.

I walked straight up to him. Looked him in the eye and told him that I wanted to buy one of his crosses. He looked at me, kind of shocked and said: “Well, ok..if you want one then I’m gonna make you one.”

We sat down opposite of each other on these concrete benches. We began what turned into a 20-30 minute conversation. He shared some about himself. I asked him where he was from. He shared about his family, a momma that had just died. He said: “Mommy died.” I didn’t make him tell me these things. He just needed someone to talk to.

I was still curious as to if he was the same man who my husband had met. He had to be. So I asked him if he had worked the flea market. His reply: “No, there’s no money there.”

Okay…. Alright God, evidently You made me come out here to talk to this man. AND, You made me feel comfortable first! Wow.

So, the rest of the crew had joined me by now. They listened as we talked. There were lots of people sitting outside. I’m sure they were watching and listening. Honestly, I didn’t even notice anyone else. For those few minutes, it was just us and that lonely man..talking. Talking about God, this man’s life, and some more about God. I asked him if he had a relationship with Jesus. He said he was saved at age 11. I believe him.

I asked him to tell me the story behind the crosses. He shared a little, and then said that he already knew that I was a believer. He asked me if I knew how he knew..to which I just looked in his eyes and said..“well, it’s like with you..I looked in your eyes..they told your story and then I saw it in your actions..” he just shook his head “YES”.

I offered him my Bible..I had one in the car. No matter how many times I offered, he refused it. He said he couldn’t see it good..he needed reading glasses. I offered to get him some from Dollar Tree.. he said that he had plenty of money.. See, this man was NOT asking for money.

Man, CONVICTED. As soon as we walked inside earlier, God had convicted me of turning away & I praise HIM for the fact that HE made me go back outside and seek this man. This man who could have been dangerous. We didn’t know. We were doing what most women SHOULD do when they are alone. Avoiding possible danger. BUT, see..God convicted me and then, God used something that would make me feel safe to get me back out there. He used a cross made of palms and cedar…A symbol of HIMSELF. HOW AWESOME IS OUR GOD??!!

When he finished with the cross,I asked him if I could pray with and for him. He just smiled and said: “SURE, as long as you let me pray for you when you get done.” Talk about blessed! I began to pray, the kids there with us..and he said, “HANDS! Hands!” So, we all sat there, holding hands with this man and praying. I prayed and then he prayed. People all around. Maybe, just maybe..more than one life was changed that night.

We learned to never judge a book by its rough draft or cover. We received the blessings from being obedient and just getting up and going when God says to GO!

Was that man put there that night for us to learn from him? Were we put there that night to be a blessing to our new friend? Were we (myself, and those with me and our new friend) put there that night to be a witness to those that were watching? Because, trust me..they HAD to be looking and listening..and wondering if I was completely nuts. 🙂

I honestly don’t know the answer. I’m okay with that.I left that place a better person for having met Butch.

He just so happened to wait for us to eat so that he could tell me another piece of info about the moment that he got saved. He said that when he went down to that altar, that his “Mommy” screamed so loud. He said that he had never heard her scream..because his Daddy wouldn’t allow it. We told him goodbye..He asked us to keep praying for him. He wanted to stay on the right track. I promised him that I would hang that cross in my house and pray for him by name every time I saw it. He was completely shocked that I remembered his name. For those of you who know me well..you are probably shocked too! 🙂

All I know for sure is that God used something that he knew would make me feel safe and HE got my behind up and out of that door. I may never know the why..but I do know that all of us were impacted by it. Just remember that when you obey God and just GO, there will be blessings for all involved.

He said that the Bible was in his heart. I still pray he gets a copy that will fit in his pocket so he can pull it out and just soak in God’s Word. Here is the one verse that Butch quoted for me..

Isaiah 1:18 ~ “Come now let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

Forever Changed,

P.S. I know for a fact that he wasn’t the same man.. I took video of part of our conversation so that I could share it with my husband later..He confirmed that it was NOT the same man. 🙂

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The cross on the left is the one that our new friend made.. The cross on the right is the one that Spencer brought home from his new friend..