liveHislove – Bigger than Josh Duggar

I must admit that I was recently disappointed and heart-broken. It may sound silly, but I had begun to think of the Duggars like members of my own family. For almost a decade, my husband and I had tuned into their show on a weekly basis. It was refreshing to watch a TV show that focused on traditional Christian beliefs. They were flourishing and I was secretly envious of their tightly knit, God-centered family where kids were respectful and the family worked together as a team. When the first round of Josh Duggar news broke I was furious with the media who immediately pounced on my “distant relatives” :-). It was easy for me personally to look past the sins of Josh’s past. He was a teenager, had received counsel, was married and now had a thriving family of his own. But then the bombshell of his Ashley Madison accounts and infidelity were revealed.  As an ambassador of our faith, was he making us look like hypocrites? My first thought was, yes. The more I ponder this question, however, the more I realize that he is not alone in personal struggle. Every single one of us struggles with our own sin. Jesus is the only sinless human to ever walk this earth. Isn’t that why we need him in our lives in the first place? We need to realize as Christians that our churches are full of sinners. It should be the job of the church to equip us with the spiritual tools that we need to fight off the enemy and his sin.

1 Peter 5_8-9 ESV _ 57 helpful votes Helpful

A recent article by Debra Fileta brings up several valid points from this situation, most of which are much bigger than the Josh Duggar indiscretions . She mentions that churches need to move away from “motivational preaching” and toward application preaching. We need to be better equipped on how to abstain from the sins of this world that can rock our marriages and our families.  I urge you to pray for Josh and his family as they work through the aftermath of his sin. I also urge you to pray for our nation, who should worry less about offending each other, and worry more about not offending God.

Here is a link to Debra’s article that was recently posted in www.relevantmagazine.com:

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/current/5-things-we-can-learn-ashley-madison-scandal

-Remember to liveHislove,

Missy

Daily prayer of guidance ~ liveHis love Ministry

Lord,

Please help me to see others without the glasses of discrimination. Help me to see everyone as a child of yours. Help me to not judge others, but instead love them for their unique set of gifts and skill sets. I pray this for each of us; that we would approach others with an accepting heart and that our first reaction would be one of love and not judgement.

Lord, I pray this for my fellow readers, that we would be mindful of all those we come in contact with, either online or in-person. We each are walking a different journey, some of us are in a valley today and others on the mountain. God, please meet us wherever we are!

Lord, help us see otherswithout-2

-Remember to liveHislove,

Missy

Super pumped for protein!

Today we received yet another donation for our #BlessingBlitzforHomelessness and my son is super pumped (as displayed in the photo below!) Monday, July 20th, is our day to assemble packets. So far we have 3 families joining us and we are well on our way to having more than enough supplies. I am very humbled by the generosity of others and hope my children will be able to appreciate, through this journey, that not everyone is as fortunate as we are. I pray that they would become adults with hearts that are overflowing with love for everyone. I pray that their hearts would be color-blind, nonjudgemental and fully trusting to the one that created them. Thanks for joining us on our journey!

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Is the bible really for me?

B-I-B-L-E

Thee. Thou. Art. These are all words that make me want to run in the opposite direction. I feel like I’m in the middle of high school English class about to study something that will make me want to poke my eyes out.

Growing up and even into early adulthood I thought that this jargon was what mostly filled the bible. Along with that, I thought that the principles taught in the bible were vague and non-applicable to me in this current era. Little did I know that I was completely WRONG!

I grew up in a Christian household and we attended church periodically. I knew the basic principles of the bible:  God created mankind, Noah built an ark, Jesus died on the cross and my sin was forgiven. My grandfather was a retired preacher, so I learned a few things here and there from him. The few times that I did pick up the bible I was quickly discouraged because I didn’t understand what I was reading. Too many words that sounded like a Shakespearian play and that did not interest me.

I have been a regular attendee of church for most of my adult life now and I have definitely changed my views. I must admit that reading some simplistic books about the bible, like my children’s study bibles have helped me the most. They are short and to the point, allowing me to get a better overall picture of the bible. I still have a massive amount to learn, but I am making progress.

A few years ago I did a Beth Moore study that focused on the book of James. James is believed to have been written by Jesus’s half-brother. It is a short book, comparative to other books of the bible. What struck me about the book of James is the massive amounts of real-life applications that are contained in it. Here are a few:

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…Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (hello conviction:-) )

James 1:19

Guess that applies to me when I quickly lash out at someone with my road rage.

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Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. 

James 2:12-13

Do not judge, but be merciful. That one has been weighing heavy on my heart this week. Repeat after me: do not judge, do not judge, be merciful, be merciful. May take me a few thousand repeats to get this to sink in!

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…Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 

James 4:4

You mean I shouldn’t start a blog about 1,000 reasons why I love the Kardashians? Or maybe my self-centered ideology is a worldly inspired view-point?

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My point is that the bible was relevant then, now and will continue to be until the book of Revelation is fulfilled. I don’t know how many times I have been reading in my bible and thought “wow, that really applies to me!”. I urge you to give it a try. If you are intimidated by all of the thees, thous and arts, don’t be.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started on your bible reading journey:

1. There are many different versions of the bible available and most don’t contain Shakespearian sounding text. www.biblegateway.com for example lists at least 30 different versions for you to try (for free!). Try a few and see which version is most comfortable to you.

2. Don’t be too proud to start at a basic level. Check out the kids section at the bookstore or library for some quick reads that will give you an overview of the bible before you really dig in deep. If you have kiddos, read it together and create lasting memories.

3. Watch a movie about the bible. I am a very visual person. If I can picture what Peter looks like when I am reading, it helps me to remember the verses more effectively. NBC currently has “The Bible A.D.” series on Sunday evenings. Check it out!

God loves you and wants a close relationship.  Bathe your heart and mind in His word.  It is a book for me and you. It’s our handbook for a life lived for Christ.

-Remember to liveHislove,

Missy

Wanna change your heart? Give.

Giving does just as much for the heart of the giver as it does the receiver.  Check out this little angel on Earth, Josiah Duncan…..

-Remember to liveHislove,

Missy

Thankful Thursday: Proud to be an American

Dear God,

Thank you for allowing me to live in a country where my religious freedoms are not only allowed, but celebrated. I pray today for all those in other nations who are not so fortunate. Others live in places where pronouncing you are a Christian could lead to execution. I pray for all those who persecute Christians, or any other religion, to put their faith in Jesus Christ. God wishes to have a relationship with each of us that he created in His image.

In His name,

Amen

But I say to you, Love your enemies and

Friday Feature: Never stop praying

I want you to meet my new friend, Donna. I want you to meet her because her story is both ordinary and extraordinary. Ordinary in the fact that she’s just like you and me-she prays, she has hope for her future and she is an imperfect child of God. She is also extraordinary and here is why…..

Donna and Scott dated for 2 years before getting married. Donna was raised in a household that regularly attended church and her family was full of preachers and believers. Scott, on the other hand, belonged to a church denomination that believed in Jesus solely as a “good person” from the bible and not at the Lamb of God. Regardless of their religious differences, Scott attended church with Donna through their courtship and well into their married years.

Early on in their marriage, Donna began to pray that her husband’s heart would be opened to the word of God and for him to be baptized. The years passed. They made several moves due to Scott’s job and they had a daughter.

And she prayed for her husband

Donna was diagnosed with cancer. Scott mentioned that he couldn’t believe how well she dealt with the diagnosis. She told him that her faith made it possible. He stopped going to church.

And she prayed for her husband

Tragically, their daughter, who had endured many surgeries and health problems, passed away. Donna felt more alone than ever  and longed for the comforting arms of her husband. He wasn’t there for her. As if losing a child wasn’t enough, Donna discovered that Scott was having an emotional affair with another woman.

And she prayed for her husband

At the breaking point and unable to take anymore emotional pain, Donna filed for divorce. One afternoon while Scott was filling out the divorce papers that he had been served, the dialogue started to open up. They decided to give it one last shot and go to marriage counseling. Scott also returned to church.

And she prayed for her husband

The counseling continued and they finally began to understand each other emotionally and trust began to rebuild in their relationship.

And she prayed for her husband

It was Easter Sunday. Donna and Scott headed to church just like any other Sunday. But it wasn’t any ordinary Sunday. At the end of the service, the pastor made an open invitation for anyone wanting to be baptized to come forward. Scott leaned over to Donna, kissed her cheek, said “I love you” and walked to the front of the church to the baptismal pool. According to Donna, that was the most joyous day in her whole life. Scott is a changed man. Before he leaves for work, he kisses her and tells her that he loves her. He even sends her “I love you” texts. That never happened before.

Donna never gave up praying for her husband; even in the hopeless moments she grasped at her faith and to a loving God. Several times during our conversation Donna mentioned the book “Jesus Calling” and paraphrased a passage from the book: “He uses our situations, both good and bad, as an opportunity to draw us closer to Him” For that, she is thankful.

virtuous woman

Dear friends, if you are feeling discouraged in your marriage, know that God walks with you no matter your circumstance. He’s with you during your tears, fears and failures. He’s with us always. Thank you God for Donna and her willingness to share her sorrows and triumphs in order to encourage others to find the strength to keep praying. There is power in prayer my friends.

Which direction should we go?

My relationship with God is constantly changing and I think that’s the way it should be. Sure, he’s my best friend, but I long for our relationship to be an even deeper one. But should our relationship remain strictly a vertical one? By that, I mean should it just be between Him and I alone?

Today, I pray that God would give me the strength and wisdom to take our relationship from a vertical one to a horizontal one. I pray that he would give you and I the words to share his gospel with the masses and move beyond our relationship of just 2. Have I really done my job on Earth if I haven’t told at least one person of His great love? The news of his saving grace should be so overwhelming and life changing that I can’t stop telling people about it. What if that one conversation I have with the lady in the check out line behind me who casually strikes up a conversation with me results in her accepting Jesus Christ? Lord, I pray today that you would empower us to be life changers and difference makers in the lives of others. I want to take your love horizontal. It’s more that just about me and you. It’s about all mankind.

The ocean stirsthe heart, inspiresthe-3

-Remember to liveHislove,

Missy