The Comparison Trap

  

 The Comparison Trap is just that… A trap. A trap that leads to feelings of worthlessness, envy, bitterness, and discontentment. It steals our joy.

“Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!” ~
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬



Comparing themselves to each other… Hmmm. Sound familiar?
How often do we find ourselves in this comparison trap?

We compare hairstyles. We compare relationships. We compare outfits. We compare how “busy” we are.(and that’s another message for another day). We compare occupations. We compare houses. We compare waist sizes. We compare cars. We compare how educated we assume someone else to be. We compare compare compare.
Then we feel worthless because we assume that we aren’t as good as… 

Theodore Roosevelt said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Did you get what was at the end of the passage of scripture?

“How Ignorant!”
(You know, the opposite of wise.)



The only thing we should compare ourselves to is Jesus! He is the standard of which we should measure ourselves to. Not each other. 
Comparison causes assumptions and assumptions are usually wrong anyways. Am I right?
You’ll miss the blessings and beauty in “today” if you are wasting it comparing yourself to others.
The question we need to be asking ourselves is “Am I measuring up to the standards God has for me?” And “Am I representing Christ well?” Not… “Am I as good at ____ as ____ is?”
Every minute.. Every hour that we are given is to be used to bring glory to God. That’s our job .. If you will.. As Christians. And if we are wasting away our minutes comparing ourselves to others then we aren’t focusing on bringing glory to God.. Because we are focused on me, myself, and I… The wrong trinity. 
It’s a daily.. Minute by minute choice. Choose to focus on God or focus on me.. Me… Me.. Or even on what ____ has that we think we need too.
Hey. I’m guilty. I’m not pointing fingers. I’m guilty. It’s thrown in our faces even more so because of social media and all the “perfect photos” Nobody posts the real ones or they rarely do… You know.. The ones where you were all just rolling your eyes at each other or saying through clenched teeth “I said SMILE dadgummit!” 

Guilty.
Comparing ourselves to other people is just plain silly. You never know what’s behind a smile. You don’t know the pain that another woman may mask with a smile. You don’t know the hurt that she may hide really well. That “perfect” person (you assume) is a person. Not Jesus. Some people hide their pain really well. Others wear their emotions on their sleeves.. Nobody has it all together and nobody is perfect.

Steven Furtick said: “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our ‘behind the scenes’ with everyone else’s highlight reel.”



Everybody… Everybody… Has struggles. I think you’d all agree. So why waste our time trying to and wishing to be like other imperfect people?
The only ONE we should try to be like is Jesus Christ.
Think about it like this…. 

If you see an iceberg, you only see about 10% of it. The other 90% is below the surface. 
Same with us.

The thing is… If we are so busy comparing and assuming, then loving each other is more than likely going to be way down low on our lists. And if you are a child of God.. An authentic follower of Christ, you are called to LOVE. And love deeply.

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” ~1 Peter‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬



Deep means… Deep. Not surface. Not fake. But deep. Real. Invested. Deep love is not easy. It takes work. And it’s only possible because of The Holy Spirit that indwells believers.

Because let’s be real… My love for others can sometimes be based on my emotions at the time. What about yours? 

“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” ~‭‭John‬ ‭15:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬



Who else besides me is so thankful that God’s love is not based on emotions?? In fact HE loves you no more today than he loved you yesterday and he will not love you any more tomorrow than HE does right now. It says in the bible “how wide how deep is his love for us” and that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever. 

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” ~ Hebrews‬ ‭13:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬


His love never changes!!!! 
So… If you are a Christian then you are supposed to be aiming to be like Christ. Not like the woman or man next to you no matter how fabulous she/he  is. She’s not Jesus. He’s not Jesus. You are not Jesus. Aren’t you so glad??!! 

Let’s all commit to saying no to comparison. Comparison leads to envy and bitterness and let’s face it.. That’s no good.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” ~Ephesians‬ ‭4:31-32‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Let’s commit to building one another up instead. To throw out assumptions (like so and so has it all together).. Because she doesn’t. None of us do. That’s why we need Jesus. And we do need him. Every second of every day. He is love, truth, joy, peace, life.. He is the only ONE that we should aim to please and bring glory to. HE is the only one who will never let us down.

And I’m so THANKFUL that He loves me all the time. Even when I’m not very loveable. His love for me and for you is just the most beautiful thing. It’s GRACE. It’s amazing. I don’t deserve it. But it’s mine. His love… And that’s how we are called to live. A life that reflects that love. Not a life wasted on envy or assumptions that accompany comparison. 

“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.” ~Ephesians‬ ‭4:1-4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Sometimes as women, we have a hard time letting down our walls and allowing ourselves to be loved. It has to stop. We have to stop comparing ourselves and thinking that everyone else must be thinking something “bad” about “me”. 

It’s a TRAP. A trap that the enemy,Satan, wants us to be in. Because we can’t possibly love each other if we don’t even love ourselves. God loves you. Don’t forget that. He made you for a purpose and on purpose. You were not an accident. He made you and he doesn’t make junk. 
We need each other. We do. 

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” ~Ecclesiastes‬ ‭4:9-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬



Maybe just maybe if we stopped assuming and stopped comparing ..and take off the masks (masks of perfection) .. We would see that we aren’t so different from one another.

Rest in that love that Our Heavenly Father so freely gives. He loves you so much. So much that he gave his one and only son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. That’s love. That’s ours. If you know Jesus as Lord and Savior then you don’t have to do this life alone and you don’t have to rely on your own strength to do anything.

Focus on reflecting Jesus to this world that so desperately needs him and his love.. Don’t fall into the trap that will cloud your ability to shine. 

So… Remember the part of 2 Corinthians 10:12 where it says that they were comparing themselves to each other and how ignorant that was…

Remember that it’s a trap. A trap that keeps you in bondage. And you aren’t called to live in bondage. You are a child of The Most High. You are redeemed and you are set free… To walk in abundant life.. To break the chains that hold you back. To turn and go towards living a life that brings glory to God. A life that SHINES Jesus in everything. Walk in that freedom. With his help you can. Only with his help is it possible. And when those thoughts pop up that cause us to fall into that trap, take them captive. (See 2 Corinthians 10:5)

It’s time to do business. It’s time to check ourselves. Are you sick of feeling weighed down by these feelings of “I’m not as good as”? Do you need to stop focusing on others and start focusing on Jesus? Are you harboring feelings of bitterness or envy or jealousy or resentment? Do you need to let it go? Do you need to ask God to forgive you for anything that’s causing a wall of separation between you and Him? Do you know Jesus as Lord and Savior? If not I’m available to walk you through it. If you do know him, is it time to start walking in freedom and stop measuring yourself up to other people?  It is time. 

I leave you with this last little excerpt about Comparison that I found. It’s written by Joyce Meyers (YouVersion Devotional)


Comparison says to God, “I want to limit your work in my life to this and nothing else. I just want to be like this other person.” But God has an individual plan for each of us. His plan for you is greater than you could possibly imagine. Stop looking at His plans for others so you can walk in the plans He has for you and receive the blessings they bring. 




Blessings.. Shine On,

Heather 

 

The Beauty In Different

 

It’s sad to say, but it’s true.. Too often Christians are known for what we are against.. Not for what we are for. Not all of us.. Not all of the time.. But a lot of the time.

Sometimes people are turned off by the church in general. And hear me when I say that THE CHURCH is not the building. Sometimes it’s because they feel judged by those in the church. Other times it’s because of a past incident in the church where they were treated like an outcast. An outcast. Cast out.. think about it. We, as Authentic Followers of Christ Jesus should not cast someone away just because they are different.

We are called to love like Jesus. Is it always easy? I think you know the answer to that. It is only possible if we let Jesus love through us.

I love my church. One of the reasons I love it is because it is diverse. Diversity is beautiful.. Diversity is a gift.

God made each one of us unique. He didn’t mass produce us in a cookie cutter mold.

 

We are all different. My different is ok. Your different is ok. And the person who walks in and loves Jesus with all their heart and soul and mind but looks different from me or you is OK. Read the above quote again. The one about cookies. 😉

 

Just because someone looks the part on the outside does not.. I repeat does not mean that their heart looks the part.

 

God looks at the heart. Man looks at outward appearances more often than at the heart.

 

Take time to see the beauty in different.

 

If we are authentic Christians then we are called to love like Jesus. Without conditions placed on our love.

 

 

Love God, Love People, Shine JESUS.

 

That is what you will see in my bio on my social media pages, that is what I strive to live daily. It is my anthem. My life’s mission. When I write my book, I am pretty sure that my anthem above will be the subtitle. It is what we are called to do.

Jesus is about relationship not religion. Love not law. Sure, we have standards to live up to. As Christians we should look like Christ to others. On the inside and on the outside reflecting JESUS to the world. Our bodies are HIS temple if we are HIS. Reflecting Jesus to the person in line behind us, to the cashier, to the waiter, to the Physician, to the hard to love people, to every single person in our path. We should reflect God in all that we say and do.

It is all about the heart. I keep thinking of that catchy commercial. The one that says “What’s in YOUR wallet?” You know the one I am referring to? An insurance commercial. Well I keep hearing.. “What’s in YOUR heart?”  

 

WHAT’S IN YOUR HEART?

 

Love or Hate?

Un-forgiveness or a sweet spirit?

Bitterness?

Mercy?

Grace?

Anger?

A Judgemental Spirit?

Malice?

Joy?

Kindness?

Jesus?

 

What is in our heart comes out through our actions and words.

 

But the good news is….GRACE.

 

Oh I need that GRACE because the truth is that I have had all the above in my heart at times. The good and the bad. I need that GRACE that God so freely pours out on me every single day. I need to be pouring out that same grace in turn to others. You do too. We all do. Oh that GRACE. It is so beautiful.

 


 

Judging others because they are a different skin color, have tattoos, have piercings, don’t have tattoos, don’t have piercings, listen to rock christian instead of old hymns, listen to old hymns instead of contemporary christian music. Maybe it is even judging others because they are quiet and reserved or loud and outgoing.. Maybe it is judging someone because of their choice of education or vocation..The list goes on and on. It is not our job to judge. Can we lovingly in a grace laced way speak biblical truth into someone’s life? Sure, if our motives are pure and we have prayed about it and are prompted by The Holy Spirit to do so. It is about the heart.

Love like Jesus.

Don’t assume.

Take time to love.

Heal not hurt.

Look at ourselves before we look at others.

Check our motives.

Keep it shut.

Love not wound.

Heart check time again.

Grace Time. 

Oh that beautiful GRACE.


REFLECTION

~ What’s in my heart?

~ Do I need to declutter and purge some junk that I have been hoarding in my heart?

~ Am I being judgmental and if I am, do I need to rid myself of that way of thinking?

~ Do I truly love others the way that God has commanded me to love?

~ Do I have a relationship with Jesus?

~ Do I look like a Christian on the outside but need to clean up the inside?

~ Do I make others feel welcome in my church or community or place of work or home?

~ Do I shine Jesus?

 


RELEVANT SCRIPTURE

Proverbs 4:23 ~ Above all else guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.

1 Samuel 16:7b ~ The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

Psalm 51:10 ~ Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Matthew 7:2 ~ For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

 

 

 

Until Next Time,

banner[1] (3)

 

 

IMG_0520

Picture Perfect

Can I speak bluntly for a moment?

Women need to stop wearing masks and stop assuming that everyone else has it all together. We need to be real and transparent and share the good the bad and the ugly. (No, I don’t mean to rant or tell all.. Face it, nobody wants to hear it all) I’m saying share the real you, not just the “highlight reel” or the “photoshopped version”. And we also need to quit comparing what we assume others are to how we think of ourselves.

None of us are perfect. None of us have it all together. Just because we have a great photo that looks like we do..doesn’t mean it’s real. Or maybe it is at that moment. What about after? Is it always picture perfect?

And I’m not saying that a great photoshopped photo is bad! Trust me.. I love them. I’m just saying that if we want to reach other women for Christ, then we might need to let them see that we don’t have it all together all of the time either.

How can one relate to someone that pretends to be perfect? Nobody is perfect. Nobody has it all together. Why do women,especially, believe the lies that we tell ourselves? Why do we compare our wrong thoughts about ourselves to what we assume to be real about another woman?

What if instead of assuming, and comparing, and being prideful, that we were real?

It is a pride issue ladies.

Call it what it is.

You can’t pull a weed from the top and expect it not to grow back. You have to dig deep and pull the weed out at the root.

And I’m not saying that we should vomit negativity. I’m saying that we need to deal with ourselves. Deep digging. Get real with the root. Take off the masks. Stop assuming. Quit comparing. Walk in faith.

Walk in belief.

The belief that God is enough and that he doesn’t make junk.

The belief that not every other woman has it all together.

Yet, if they do have it more together, then what is their secret?

I’ll tell you the secret. It’s found in Philippians. The secret to contentment is belief and faith in Jesus.

Paul found the secret to being content.

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13 NLT)

The truth is that we are all dealing with our own insecurities. Yet, we don’t have to be in bondage to those insecurities. God doesn’t talk to us the way we talk to ourselves. Why do we?!

Faith is the secret.

Faith that Jesus is enough. That Jesus provides all that we need and at just the right time.

And honestly, we as women, need each other.

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

Maybe, just maybe, if we would stop assuming and take off the masks, we would see that we are not all that different.

To me picture perfect is showing the real you.

The real you (or ME) that messes up. Fails daily. That Desperately needs Jesus every single second of every day.

Love,

Heather

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,

 

banner[1] (3)

Not Good

~ Short and Sweet Simple Truths ~

I had my mouth set on it. A NEW hot chicken salad casserole. I went to the grocery store (which I don’t love doing), and prepared it. I’m telling ya…it looked and smelled so good! Shoot, I got the recipe from a “trusted” site..a pretty famous chef. What could go wrong?

We sat down for supper. Our youngest had already taken a bite and she sat there with a smirk on her face. I automatically respond with: “Let me guess..you don’t like it. Well, guess what? If you don’t like this, YOU can fix yourself something.” My husband backed me up…except he was even more strict.. He said: “No, you won’t get so much as a bowl of cereal.”

AND then….. The moment of truth. We prayed. Our youngest still smirking. Then my husband and I both took a bite at the same time. Oh My Word. What in the world was that strange…distinct taste. Almonds? Too many almonds maybe? Maybe too much cheese? Needless to say, little sister got a bowl of chicken noodle soup. It was HORRIBLE. It was a waste of our money and my time. It was NOT good.

Never trust that just because it looks good and smells good and sounds like it would be good..that it is good.

I can’t help but relate this to SIN.

It looks good sometimes. It may even smell good. Shoot, it might even taste good. BUT, it isn’t good.

It wastes our time. It tricks us. It entices us. Even looks easy and harmless sometimes.

But the aftertaste … Oh boy that aftertaste… It’s NOT GOOD.

Ephesians 6:11 (NIV) ~ Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Blessings my friends!
Heather 🙂

Following THEM or Following HIM

by: Heather Dawkins
 (future home of CrossPointe)

We all make choices. Many choices in our lifetime. Every choice has a consequence. Every choice matters.

Thank goodness, our God is a God of second chances..and third chances….

I’ll be honest. My choices didn’t always bring my Jesus glory. I made that choice though.

I wasted precious time as a teen. Thinking that I had to fit in. Feeling like I never did. Making wrong choices just so that I would feel comfortable. All the while, professing to be a Christian.

Sometimes my life looked like it should. Sometimes it didn’t. That’s NOT okay.

I let my lack of confidence..rule me.

I let the world influence me. My focus was on me instead of on God…where it needed to be. Nobody is to blame, except ME.

Things  haven’t changed that much in 20 something years. (as far as feeling like you have to fit in goes)  I know that kids today still struggle with feeling like they just don’t fit in. Feeling UNCOMFORTABLE around the “crowd”. AND..making bad choices because of that.

TO YOU,  I SAY:  It is better to NOT fit in. It is BEST to STAND OUT and STAND FIRM in JESUS.

You may never get another chance. We aren’t guaranteed our next breath.

It was ONLY after I truly SURRENDERED to HIM, that I began to feel comfortable in MY SKIN.

So many times..people think that SURRENDER is a bad thing. As if  it takes away your FREEDOM.

When in fact, it is the OPPOSITE.

With SURRENDER, there is TRUE FREEDOM. A peace that surpasses ALL understanding.

We all have a choice. FOLLOW HIM or FOLLOW THEM.

Matthew 16:24 (NIV) ~ Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself  and take up his cross and follow me.”

NOW, I love not fitting in with what the WORLD thinks that I should look like, be like, act like, or desire.

The BIBLE tells us that we are NOT to look like the WORLD. Authentic Christians CAN’T look like they did before. Authentic Christians will have a “before and after picture”.
James 4:4 (NIV) ~ You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 

I’m just so very thankful that my JESUS loved me even when I didn’t bring HIM glory. I’m so thankful that I took that step that made all the difference..when I said,   “I surrender, God..I cannot do this on my own..I want to glorify YOU..and I am so sorry for the times when I failed you. I will follow you no matter the cost, because the relationship with YOU outweighs everything else.”

Sure, I am STILL a work in progress. HE is not finished with me YET.

Philippians 1:6 ~ 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.

Will you take that step? The step to TRUE FREEDOM? Stand firm and STAND OUT. It’s really the best feeling in the world.

Romans 12:2 (NIV) ~ Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.  

(Maybe you have already taken that step. That is WONDERFUL! Maybe this post will help you in helping someone else then.)

 

           Until Next Time,

Come a long way…

So…lately, a certain word keeps popping up. Like all the time. In my quiet time. In my “digging deeper” study time in HIS Word. In life in general.

Have you ever had this happen? You probably have. Do you try to ignore it..just a little bit? I know that I do sometimes. Why? Because, that means I can put off making a change.

Well, I’m sure you are wondering what the “word” is.

Drum roll please: OBEDIENCE

This word is popping up everywhere. Making me question myself and search to see what I need to change so that I can be completely obedient to God.

Obedience doesn’t always come naturally. To be even more blatantly honest, it hardly ever comes natural. Who doesn’t want it “my way”.. ? Who wants to be obedient when it’s hard? Who wants to ruffle feathers (that’s a southern slang).. 🙂 ?

I’ve been studying a lot in the Old Testament lately. It kills me when people say that the Old Testament is boring, etc.. Even though I once didn’t think it was really interesting. Then, I began really reading it. Really studying it. Really “getting” it. Folks, there ain’t (yes, I said “ain’t”) nothing boring about the OT!

In my studying, I’ve come across a ton of things that have to do with obedience and disobedience.
Point blank, OBEDIENCE to God leads to blessing and DISOBEDIENCE to God leads to desolation, despair, and turmoil. From Genesis to Jeremiah… (because that’s where I’m at with my “reading through the whole Bible” plan right now) there is true story after story of God’s grace and mercy and patience. AND story after story of the people just completely choosing sin and refusing to repent and turn to God.

I can’t help but think of the world we live in today in comparison to ancient times that were before Christ! I can’t help but think of myself..and the times that I have let HIM down. I can’t help but think of this one word: OBEDIENCE.

Verse after verse in HIS WORD is referring to being obedient to God. In everything. Not just the big things. Not just the things that seem do-able. But. In. Everything.

So, after putting off writing for a few weeks, I picked up my iPad and said “Here goes”. I know that this blog is not “mine”… It’s His. I must write.

So, after putting off the hard questions that I must ask myself… I began to look within. I asked myself.. What is it that I need to do or not do in order to be completely obedient to HIM? AND… Why is it so hard sometimes?

The answer to the second question is: It’s hard to be completely OBEDIENT if I am being selfish in ANY area of my life. Just being real with y’all. Obedience isn’t just about saying “Yes sir and Yes mam”.

Obedience is about being completely… COMPLETELY… willing. No matter the cost. No matter the sacrifice.

Don’t get me wrong, I have come a long way. I’ve got a long way to go still, though. How about you? If you have ever read one of my posts, you know that I will ask you questions and make you think. So, how about it? Maybe “obedience” isn’t your word. Maybe another word keeps popping up for you. But, let’s stick with my word. Is there any area in your life that could be better if you were more obedient to God?

God didn’t “play” when it came to disobedience back in the Old Testament times. God never changes. He is always the same. So what makes you (and me) think that He feels any different about obedience today?

In the book of Jeremiah, Jerusalem was destroyed because of sin. (see Jeremiah 39)

Take a look at 2 Chronicles 31:20,21… You’ll see why Hezekiah prospered.

Just look in the book of Isaiah…glance there and see… all of the times God warned the people.

Then.. Take a look at Deuteronomy. Especially chapter 28.

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 (NIV)~ See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse – the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.

What do you see in these books of the Bible? Do you see the truths that I see? Obedience is a must for those of us who profess to be authentic followers of Christ!

Striving to be obedient!

UNTIL NEXT TIME,

HEATHER 🙂

It’s ALL About Love

 

 

Well, it has taken me a bit longer to process these thoughts and truths that have been jumping around in my head. I know that I have shared before, that I take this “writing” or “blogging” thing very serious. AND…Sometimes…that means just waiting and being still. Waiting for God. I have learned patience through this almost year that I have been sharing here on “Simple Truths”. I’ve learned that I am on HIS timeline…not mine.

I have learned that I am at peace when I am patient for HIS time.

I don’t want to mess this up. I don’t ever want these posts to be about ME. Oh no..not at all..I only want to shine for HIM. When I say I want to shine…I mean that HE IS LIGHT and I want to reflect HIM and HIM alone.

It has been a week ago today that I left to go on a retreat for women. We went away for two nights and oh how God touched me at the core of my soul. HIS presence was known. HIS words were spoken through many women (message, prayer, song, testimonies, sharing, etc..)  because of their obedience to HIM. It’s not always easy being truly obedient…because it really does take you out of your comfort zone. This I know. From experience. BUT…..oh at the blessings and complete joy that is felt when you are obedient. Blessings…not just for the other people…but for you as well.

I saw chains loosed last weekend…and chains are still being loosed because of the TRUTH that was spoken to us. GOD”S WORD is TRUTH dear friends. It IS HEALING for the soul.

 

Most importantly though…GOD’S WORD reflects HIS LOVE for US!! Friends…hear me when I say this…God LOVES YOU! He loves every single one of us!

We have got to start reflecting that LOVE. That TRUTH.

 

1 Peter 4:8 (NIV) ~ Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

 Deeply…it says. Not surface. Not fake. BUT….DEEPLY.

God’s LOVE….the love of Savior Jesus….covers our sins.

If you ARE a true follower/believer, you are CALLED to LOVE. DEEPLY.

I am called to love deeply. Do I always? No… Sometimes…the love that I show and you too (if you are being honest), is love that may be dependent on my emotions at the moment.

I am called to love deeply….not just when I feel like it. Not just when everything is “hunky-dory” (pardon the “old” phrase).

I am SO VERY THANKFUL that God loves me ALL the time. In fact, it still blows my mind sometimes that HIS love NEVER CHANGES. Seriously, you should do a search on your Bible app or in the dictionary and concordance in your actual Bible on the phrase “His love”. It’s awesome!

 

John 15:12~ My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

We don’t love in this way out of our own ability to do so. NO…that isn’t even possible. IF and WHEN we LOVE in the way God commands us to love, it’s because God is loving the other person through us. IT’S HIM.

 

1 John 4:19~ We love because he first loved us.

 

   I am so thankful for all the LOVE that was shown this past weekend at the retreat. Women sometimes have a hard time letting down our walls..and letting ourselves be loved. It has to STOP. We have to stop comparing ourselves and thinking that everybody else must be thinking something “bad” about “me”. It’s a trap. A trap that the enemy wants us to be in. BECAUSE..we can’t possibly love each other if we don’t even love ourselves. GOD LOVES YOU.

I LOVE THESE WOMEN!!!

 

It’s okay to recognize areas that you have fault…but give those faults and bad habits…bondage..to  GOD (repent and change). THEN and only THEN can you move on. When I say move on..I mean, STOP letting your past mistakes define you. Allow God to love you and in turn reflect that same love to everyone you meet.

 

1 John 4:8~ Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

It is ALL about LOVE. Isn’t that what we all want anyways?

I’ve got lots more on my mind and heart that I plan on sharing in regards to how my heart was touched during this time away. So, I’ll share again with you soon.

 

 

Until Next Time,

 

Looking For The Good

Ephesians 6:10,11 (NIV) ~ Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

I was thinking about some times in my own life when things didn’t go as planned. {<– link to previous post} There have been lots and lots of times like that for me.

There was the time that I smoked us out of the house… It is never a good idea to boil baby bottle nipples on the stove to sterilize them…and then leave the house.. You get the picture. (I am showing my age..I know..) Was it an inconvenience? Yes..we had a 2 1/2 year old and a 3 week old baby. I would call having to move out of our home for a couple of weeks pretty inconvenient. The flip side, we were blessed to be able to stay with my husband’s parents, and they are always such a blessing to me! I also got my house cleaned from top to bottom! Pretty awesome if you ask me! A clean home after having a new baby..that’s a treat!

There was the time that our dishwasher leaked and ruined our kitchen floor. Praise the Lord for that! We were blessed to have insurance that took care of getting nice flooring in our home.

There was the time that our entire ceiling fell in our sunroom and water dripped through every light, the ceiling fan and other random places in our den. I do believe that I used every towel and every single pot and container that we had in the house to catch the water. We had to move everything out of those two rooms..and FAST! It all got handled though. We had enough containers and towels. It was a definite inconvenience at the time..but we survived! Nobody was hurt.. it was an inconvenience for sure..but everything turned out fine.

I won’t bore you with anymore of my stories today. 🙂 Believe me when I say that there are plenty more I could share though. (Some comical..some not so comical and some more serious than the ones I shared)

I simply want to share the fact that.. Yes, life is filled with inconveniences. However, it’s how you handle those inconveniences that matters. Looking for the good in them.. Or focusing on the negative… Choose to put on the full armor of God today.

I will leave you with one of my very favorite verses from the Bible.

Romans 8:28 (NIV) ~ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Until Next Time,

A Life Of Comparison

Galatians 6:4, 5 (NIV) ~ Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.

How often do we find ourselves comparing things? We compare prices. We compare clothes. We compare homes. We compare families. We compare churches. We compare body shapes and sizes. We compare personal tastes. We compare hairstyles. We compare cars. We basically live a life of comparison…if we are honest with ourselves.

The scripture above tells us..that we are only to compare ourselves to Christ Jesus. He is the only One who we should strive to be like. I am not saying that we shouldn’t have role models..or look up to those who are called to lead. We need to just be sure that we are seeking wise counsel and Godly wisdom..not worldly wisdom.

Proverbs 2:6 ~ For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

2 Corinthians 10:12,13 ~ We do not dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you.

The question we need to be asking ourselves is, “Am I measuring up to the standards God has for me?” Another question is, “Am I representing Christ well?” Not..”am I as good at that as ____ is?”

As I wrote about in my last post , every minute..every hour is meant to be used to glorify Christ! Not Heather…not you either. If we are wasting our minutes away comparing ourselves to others, our focus is not where it needs to be. With our focus on God..our life should look different. Every single thing should point to God.

It is a daily..minute by minute…CHOICE. Choose to focus on God..or on me..me..me. Or even on what ____ has that we think we need too.

We have all heard the saying about the grass being greener on the other side. Comparing ourselves to other people is just plain silly. You never know what is really behind the smile or the sad face. Some hide their pain and imperfections really well. Others wear their feelings on their sleeves. Everybody..everybody..has struggles. So why would we waste our time trying to be like other imperfect people.

The ONLY ONE who we should try to be like is Jesus Christ.

How does my life (or your life) compare to the life that Jesus is calling me (or you) to live?

I want to measure up to God’s standards..not man’s standards. I want to “live a life worthy of the calling.” ( Ephesians 4:1)

UNTIL NEXT TIME,