Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Part I The Pursuit of God

I apologize for taking so long in getting back to blogging.  Spring is in the air and along comes Spring Cleaning!  I started last month but since I have to take it easy, it takes longer than usual.  Needless to say I should be done soon so now am taking some time to get back.

"A Woman After God's Own Heart" is divided up into 3 Parts.  Some of the chapters are lengthly and divided into subparts so may take more than one day for me to write down my "review" for each chapter.  Please bear with me and I hope you will be blessed as you read this as I have been blessed (again) from reading this book (again).

Chapter 1:  A Heart Devoted to God
"But one thing is needful:
and Mary hath chosen that good part,
which shall not be taken away from her."
~Luke 10:42

A.  A Change of Heart

In I Cor. 5:7 it says "For we walk by faith not by sight"
How much easier is it to trust what we see instead of what we don't see; it IS much harder to trust what we don't see.  That's why we need to adjust our perspective to match God's view of life; which includes the past, present and future.  We need to keep in mind that God knows all things and have the faith to trust that he wants what is best for us.
We should live every day to count now and for eternity; choose to live every day for God; our sole desire.
  • Love Him
  • Worship Him
  • Walk with Him
  • Serve Him
  • Look forward to being with Him in eternity
Psalm 37:4 says "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
If our perspective matches God's view of life than our desires will be what God would have us to desire.
  • What am I doing to become a woman He wants me to be
  • Give God ALL of my heart and devotion
  • Make Him #1 in all things--the highest priority
No matter how little we think our tasks/responsibilities we do/have in our daily life, it ALL counts if we face it with our heart devoted to God.
I've learned that it's a choice whether I do so or not.  It's a choice NOT to make my choices by what has happened or is happening in my life but by what God wants in my life.
It's MY choice whether or not I'm going to see things from God's perspective and have the faith that he knows what is best for me--no matter what it is. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

First Steps

My granddaughter (Nevaeh) took her first steps not to long ago.  She is still unsure of herself so she'll take a few steps, gets unsure then "falls" back down.  She had also come to find (since she doesn't have the confidence yet) that it's faster and easier to just give up and go back to crawling.

Isn't that true with our Christian Walk at times?  We've accepted Christ as our Saviour.  Now we want to learn everything we can as fast as we can but if we aren't careful we can fall because we're unsure (don't have the confidence/understanding) and can end up giving up.  And if we aren't careful to really learn what God wants us to, to grasp it, we can go back to the "old" because it's so much easier.

We ALL need to take the time to learn by taking each step at a time.  It doesn't matter how long a person's been saved, they still need to take one step at a time and be careful as Satan is still out there to put a "blindfold" on anyone so he can trick us into not learning anything that will draw us closer to God in our Chrstian Walk; or to "pick up" something again that we had "let go" or even to not "let go" something that we need to get rid of or even haven't gotten taken care of in our sinful lives.  It doesn't matter how long a person's been saved or how much a person knows about God, there is still much more to learn about God and his ways if one has the desires to do so.

Many times when some first gets saved, they think they are "safe" from everything; how UNTRUE that is.  Just because a person has accepted Christ as their Saviour doesn't mean they are "protected" to not fall.  God gave each and every one of us a free will and that means we have choices we have to make all the time.  Whether or not that will be good or bad choices is up to us.  That's why it is so important to be in his Word daily as well as pray daily.  Many times, too, a person may think that since they've been saved so many years and knows many things, is able to answer many questions that they don't have to be in God's Word as much or to pray as much but that is SO wrong.  There are still many things we ALL don't know no matter how much we may think we already know.   As we go to His Word, we should go with expecting God to show us something and he will.  The same thing we should do when we go to church.  The message that is preached may have nothing to do what is going on in your life but if we go with a heart that EXPECTS something from God, I guarantee that He WILL give/show you something.  I know this because He's done it EVERY TIME for me and I know He will for others too.

Don't let pride get in the way of preventing you to get back up again after falling.  We have a merciful God who is waiting with open arms to continue to teach/show everyone what it is he wants us to learn/know.

I think I've said it before; remember that the day that a person accepts Christ as their personal Saviour is the first step for each of us to be a person after God's own heart.

I know I've said I would tell my thoughts of what I've learned from the first chapter but after praying and asking God to lead me in what I should say, I felt lead to say this instead.

Friday, March 19, 2010

You're invited to take a trip

I'm sorry I haven't been diligent in posting my "review" as when I said I would but I've had a couple of "bad days" and not feeling well on top of that.  For those that are reading my blog, I hope that you will understand and be patient with me.

While reading (a fiction book, no less!) I came across a verse: 
"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." ~Jeremiah 29:13

I got to thinking that before anyone can be a person after God's own heart that they must find him and see their need for him as their personal Saviour for themselves FIRST.
I mean how can anyone be a woman (person) after God's own heart if we don't KNOW him; meaning, have come to the point that we realize we are sinners and believe what he did for us on the cross, then to accept him as our Saviour so that we may have life eternal with him in heaven.  I don't mean to just know it in our heads but to believe in our hearts of the need of him and accept it.
I came to the conclusion that before I can actually start telling y'all about what I have learned/my "review", that first I should take you on a "trip" down the Roman's Road (there may be some "detours" but basically it all leads to the same "destination").  If you haven't been "down this road" and "finish the trip" completely, I pray that you realize your need to do so.  Since I am making this simple, if you have any questions, please email me personally and I will answer.

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. ~Romans 3:10
....there is none that doeth good, no not one. ~Romans 3:12b
None of us is "good".  Not a single one of us.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" ~Romans 3:23
ALL-That's every single one of us that has been born into this world.
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."~Romans 5:5
He gave us a way "out".  Please contine on and I'll tell you more.

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." ~Romans 6:23
Wages = death (being separated from God forever) in hell  Accepting God's gift = eternal life in heaven

"For God so loved the world, that he GAVE his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him (Jesus) should not perish but have everlasting life."~John 3:16
"But God commendeth (proved) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." ~Romans 5:8
To show how he loves us; he first gave, then died.

To have God's gift is to just accept his Son as our Saviour.
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:  if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." ~Revelation 3:20
"And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hat not life." ~I John 5:11-12

It's easy to accept his gift of eternal life so you won't have to pay if you don't.
"That if thou shalt CONFESS with thy MOUTH the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELIEVE in thine HEART that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
"For whosover shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." ~Romans 10:9, 10, 13

Each and every one of us need to do this in order to receive his gift of eternal life.  If you haven't already and this is what you want to do, you may say a prayer something like this:
Dear Lord, I confess that I am a guilty sinner and that I need to be saved.  I believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay my sin debt.  Please forgive my sins, come into my heart, and save my soul.

Just remember that it's NOT the words that save you.  It's the confession AND the believing that does.  If you JUST SAY the words (without truly confessing and believing), just thinking that you'll be "safe" now, then you aren't/will not be saved.
Also, you CAN'T say this "prayer" for any one else, whether living or dead.  EACH and EVERY person need to do this for themselves.
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." ~John 3:36

The wonderful thing is that once you've accept His free gift is that you NEVER have to do it again, IF you truly confessed and believe.
"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." ~I John 5:13

I do have a passion for all to know Christ as their Personal Saviour so if I seem to come across "strong" then it's because I want every one to know their need for Him because I know what is in store for them if they don't and I don't want any one to have to go through that (in hell) for eternity.  
My prayer is that whoever reads this, that haven't already, will realize their need for Christ.

By the way, I'm usually not on the computer on the weekends so I probably won't be adding to my blog again until next week.  Besides, it'll give you a chance to think and ponder about whether or not you are truly saved.  Don't make the same mistake I did; thinking I was already saved.  I was trusting in someone else's word that I was when I wasn't.  It still bring tears to my eyes to think that if I never, FINALLY, admitted that I wasn't saved and was trusting someone's else's word instead of trusting Christ as my Saviour MYSELF (you can read my testimony if you haven't already).  Don't wait until it's too late as I could have.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Outer Beauty/Inner Beauty

I went to get my nails done yesterday (acrylic fill-ins).  As I was getting them done, I got to thinking; yikes I can think?!  LOL  I had two thoughts about the Christian's Walk:

Those of you who don't know about acrylic nails, basically fill-ins are what they "say"; as the nails grow, the grown out natural nails needs to have the acrylic filled in.

1) As we GROW in our Christian Walk, it's as if our eyes are open to more and more things.  Once we were blind and now we see that there are things that we shouldn't have in our lives; ex. movies, music, books, etc.  As we get rid of these things, we ought to replace
(fill in) it with godly things, ex. replace the "worldly" music with godly music.  If we do replace these "worldly" things with godly things, it is so much easier not to have the "worldly" things enter back into our life once again--it's easier to not let it or permit it to.

After the fill-ins I got them painted (french tip manicure).  If I want to continue to have my nails look nice I have to be deligent to go back to have the fill-ins done.  It is recommended to go every 2 weeks.  Why can I "get away" for not going that often?  Because I "know how" to keep them looking nice myself because I've learned how to do nails years ago when I was in Cosmotology school but I still can't do them "completely on my own" to make them looking good so I still need to go in to get them done.

2)  As in the Christian Walk, we want to be able to stay close to God, get closer, learn more, etc. (as I want my nails to stay nice).  As we grow we realize our need to go to church to hear his Word being taught so we can learn what God wants to teach us.  We don't go often (just Sundays & Wednesdays); so how do we stay on the right "road" of the Christian walk since we don't go to church often? By reading the Bible and praying daily (which also draw us closer to God).

Again, remember that even though we have the "know how" that we must be deligent in reading the Bible and praying daily OURSELVES in order to help stay in our walk (comparing to my nails staying nice) we also need to be deligent in going to church (an Independant Fundamental Baptist Church, KJV Bible).

I hope I said this for you to understand what I "saw" when I was getting my nails done.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

So much to grasp...

I have decide to post my "review" comments of  "A Woman After God's Own Heart" by chapter as there is so much to grasp that I had remembered that it wouldn't do the book justice if I just did one simple review of the book as a whole.  As I reread this book I am learning something I didn't "see" the first time I've read it.  Isn't it so true with reading and searching the Bible?  I can read the same thing over and over again and yet if I go expecting God to show/reveal what He wants to teach me, He is always faithful to do so.
I also want to make sure that the comments I post of what I've learned is what God would have me to share; that it won't be something I just say is true but because it's what God says is true.  Because of that, it'll probably take me 2-3 days or more for each chapter before posting my thoughs and comments.
I should have the first chapter tomorrow or Friday.  Whatever I say, I'd encourage you to still search His Word for yourself and see what God says and not just to take my word on what I've learned. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Woman After God's own Heart

I read this book (by Elizabeth George) recently and am now reviewing it and thought I'd put my thoughts on my blog.  There are chapters on how as a woman, wife, or mother, can pursue God's priorities with our husbands, children, in our home, in our walk with God and in our ministry.  We can find a life as a woman after God's own heart.

"A Word of Welcome"

In the Bible, I Samuel 13:14 it says about David "the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart".  It's amazing that with all of David's "mistakes" and wrong doings that God still considered David as a man after his own heart.  It just goes to show that we don't have to be "perfect" to be a person after God's heart. After all, David had a husband killed so he could have his wife for his own.  He wasn't the greatest parent.  He didn't always consult God before taking action (how many of us are guilty of this?  I know I am).  Now if  "the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart" like a man like David with all of his "mistakes"--it's obvious he wasn't perfect--who's to say that we can't try our best to be a woman after God's own heart.

For to do so is something we cannot do without desiring (wanting) to or without God's help.  Some of these chapters do refer to being a wife and mother but I do believe that they still can help a woman that isn't married or have children that do desire to be a woman after God's own heart.

I hope you will join me as I tell you about my journey on learning about what I learned how I can be a woman after God's own heart.  As I review this book I will just be writing down my own thoughts, comments and what I had learned.  Don't take my word on what I say but to find it for yourself what God says in his Word.

Again, don't hesitate to let me know what you think if you have any comments of your own.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A friend once said:
"Friendship is like a rose, you have to go through some thorns to get to the beauty of it".

How true that is; especially with "close friends".  You know the ones:
The ones you can call any time--no matter the time--and they'll be ready to listen or help any way they are able.
The ones you can disagree with, with tiny or great things and their opinion won't change on the friendship between the two of you.
The ones you can tell about your beliefs and it won't change the friendship either.
The ones you can talk to about your hurts and they'll sit and listen.
The ones that can talk about when you see one or the other doing something to make them "fall" and even though it's not wanted to be heard or like what is heard we'll still listen and take heed to the "warning" or reproof.
The ones that you can make mistakes with, whether it's done in words or actions, they'll love you the same.
Through it all, the mistakes can actually make the friendship stronger instead of no longer--IF it's true friendship, there's no pride in us over hurts or mistakes to the others or if we accept that they or us aren't perfect.
I'm sure that you can think of many other/more things that could be said about the relationship of close/true friends.

As I made this short list on friends, I can't help but think of my own relationship with my dear Lord as this short list "applies" with it as well as:  How I may have to "go through some thorns to get to the beauty of it" and it just makes me stronger, grow more, learn more as well as make my relationship with Him even sweeter.

As we go from "Peak to Peak" as a recent guest speaker (Bro. Chris Chaney from Lighthouse Baptist Church in San Diego, CA) preached; it's when you go through those valleys to get to the next peak that makes a christian stronger and closer to the Lord" [paraphrasing what I've already "heard and learned" but the reminder to hear again is always a great encouragement that we should be blessed to have to go through the valleys].  Also he pointed out that as we go through the valley it may also be a time to help someone else going through the same "valley" and it ends up helping the two that is going through it together.

I remember the long ago best friend that said this (comparing friendship with the rose) how when she told me she was going through "?" just to find out, I was going through the same thing.  How much easier it was to get through it when there was someone else going through the same thing and it had just made our friendship stronger.  Too bad through the years, after we got separated because of our lives going in different directions, that it wouldn't be remembered that even though new (and much different) "thorns" came up that the beauty couldn't/wouldn't be remembered that was had in the past was still there.

Isn't it wonderful that God never does or will turn away no matter how often we may make mistakes, stray or want to turn away during the hard times.  He is always faithful.

It was a wonderful message.  It's posted on our church's website if you'd like to hear it for yourself.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Testimony

I'll try not to make this too long but some know that once I get on a roll I can go on and on and on and....
As far back as I can remember I was sent to church via the church's bus.  When I was in the 6th grade, I went forward during invitation at the end of the preaching to get saved (wanting Christ as my Personal Saviour).  I was told by a sweet lady that I had already done so with my older sister when I was younger and did not need to do so again (which I had no memory of doing so).  When I was in the 9th grade, I had the need to go forward again but the same person reassured me that I had already done so and that maybe I just needed to be baptized so I did so.  After that I became involved with the bus ministry, nursery, helping out with the toddlers and teaching Junior Church.  I enjoyed all very much as I loved "working" with children.

I graduated from high school in 1983 and shortly afterwards from Cosmetology school (I was attending while in high school).  Exactly one year after I graduated Randy & I got married (yep, that's exactly one year as I got married on the same day I graduated...what are the odds of that!).  Randy was in the Air Force and was stationed at Homestead Air Force Base in Florida.  We attended South Dade Baptist Church (I think that was the name of the church, it was so long ago...Belinda if you're reading this, you can correct me if I'm wrong).  We weren't real faithful at attending church as before we married; it was hard to go from a small church to such a big one (maybe preparing us for the church we are attending now???)  Randy then got transfered to Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska.

Since I worked at the Beauty Shop on base in Florida, I again got a job at the Beauty Shop on Eielson AFB.  God started to bless us with children (five in all from 1985-1992--yes "stair step kids"--I think that's how the saying goes).  We visited churches when we first got to Alaska but still was not happy...I think our problem was that we kept comparing them to church "back home".  At that time we didn't realize that all churches are not the same and should be looking at the church's beliefs and the truths that they are preaching (from KJV of course and a Fundamental Independent Church).  By this time we had Andrew and Christine was born; found out that Randy's mom was coming up just after Christine was born.  We knew then that we HAD to find a church.  One of my "regulars" at the Beauty Shop had been telling us about North Pole Bible Baptist Church and had been trying to get us to visit.  That is how we "found" the church we decided to make "our church home".  We were living in Salcha then (about 25 miles from Eielson AFB and 30-35miles away from church) so it was convenient that it was closer than the church we attend now.  Shortly afterwards, I was expecting Kyle so made the decision that it was time for me to stay home; then Amanda & Amy came 

By the way, we did join North Pole Bible Baptist Church (sad to say they are no more).  I became involved with teaching children as well as helping out with the nursery, during our time there, we both learned much.  We also became involved with the AWANA ministry (we actually had the "privilege" to take it completely in our hands the last couple of years we attended church there--Randy the commander and I the secretary as well as being leaders for some of the classes) and I helped with the Ladies Ministries.  Like I said, I learned much and served God, being involved in anything that was needed to be done (I believe that is why God gave me--yes gave me--my health problems as I was doing too much and He had to get my attention to stop and this was the only way to get my attention cause now that I do too much I have a relaspe).

I have to mention that during this time at NPBBC  I had my doubts of my salvation come up many times but every time it did I'd remember what this sweet lady had told me.  Besides, now I had learned so much, was serving God, knew answers, witnessing to others and even leading some to accept Christ as their Saviour themselves.  I was teaching others about things of God--both children and Ladies.  I knew the "walk and talk", I looked like a Christian so I must be saved!  Was I ever wrong!!!

Things started happening at NPBBC and Randy felt it was time for us to leave and go elsewhere (we had the blessing and understanding of the pastor and his wife to do so when we talked to them about it).  I can't tell you how my heart was broken and how much I cried.  The Pastor and his family was family (and still are) and one of our dearest friends (especially Liana to me).  God lead us to Bible Baptist Church in Fairbanks--such a large church compared to NPBBC.  I had to stop myself, as before long ago, to stop comparing churches.  Many times I had to remember why I go to church--for God to reveal/teach me what He wanted me to learn.  At the beginning, I tried to "jump in" and get involved in things and guess what, I had a relaspe (a bad seizure).  I don't know how she heard but Liana (they had moved to Arkansas) called and gave me a lecture of "doing it again" and I needed to stop.

Today I can't praise God enough for bringing us to BBC.  I may not be involved in anything as I was at NPBBC but there are five GREAT things that happened.  I thought that all of my kids were saved.  We homeschool and I thought that they had but Andrew Kyle, Amanda & Amy came to face that they weren't and accepted Christ as their Saviour.  Yes, that's four, what's the fifth one?

In August of 2006, Pastor Duffet (our pastor) brought a message using the parable of the tares and wheat in Matthew 13 and compared it to those in the church:  People may look like they are saved, act like they are, talk like they are (speaking of the tares--know the walk and talk the talk) among people that actually are (the wheat).  It was a powerful message.  I realized then that I was depending on what this sweet lady told me for my salvation instead of trusting Christ as my Saviour for MYSELF!  It makes me wonder if that's why I was involved in so many things in our previous church.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed doing so, learned so much and taught others.  I still can't believe that God still taught me so much and used me to help others even though I wasn't saved myself!  But that Sunday I realized that I wasn't saved!  Ephesians 2:8-9  "came to life"~ "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT of works, let any man should boast."  I turned towards Randy and told him that I needed to be saved and he went with me.  The couple that took us to the Eagles Wing; I had helped with her in VBT (Vacation Bible Time in the summer and she was with me when I lead girls to be saved), she said you know all the answers and know what to do... I prayed and told God I wanted to accept him as my Personal Saviour for MYSELF and NOT depend on someone else's word that I had already done so.  Now when Pastor asks during invitation if we knew we were 100% sure we are saved, I can say YES, YES, YES!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A short intro

The reason for starting this blog? My desire is to be an encouragement to other ladies. I am hoping that I can do it through this. At the previous church we attended, I'd put together a monthly "newsletter" of sorts for the ladies. I have been told that it was an encouragement to them. I had thought of seeing about doing something like that at the church we attend now but it is so much larger than before, that I thought it would be overwhelming to do so.  I've prayed about it for many, many months on what I could "do" as far as a ministry and God put this on my heart--to blog. That way I can just let the ladies I know know about it and that maybe, by word of mouth, those that are interested can just read my blog. Also that way, if whoever isn't interested, they don't have to read it or if they are interested then are free to do so. This way it won't be a waste of time, paper, etc. for anyone. It would be easier on me too--not so stressful or overwhelming--since I need to be careful because of my health.
This is the first time I've done a blog and as you can see, I am still getting this set up. I don't even have a picture of me on yet! My daughter in law says I need to update my picture on my facebook page too but I haven't done that either. I will post post more of myself soon.
As time goes on, I'd appreciate all comments, insights, etc. My goal is to be an encouragement and I want this to bring all glory to God too.

Connie Lynn
(I'm using my middle name, mainly because my daughter in law's name is Connie Wilson too)