Category Archives: Moment of Truth

The key to a deeper relationship with Christ

The key to a deeper relationship with Christ is more simple than we choose to believe. We tend to make God out to be entirely complex and confusing. He is our God and there are aspects that we simply can’t understand…but there are aspects such as choosing to spend time with our Almighty Creator, the One who Is and Is Yet to Come by reading our Bible on a daily basis that will grow us beyond belief.

Check it out:

10348294_446942575445597_319024458891398056_nNow go sit quietly and choose to spend time with the One who matters most.

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Have Your Kids Walked Away From God?

How many kids are leaving home after high school and walking away from their “faith?”

These questions are important but there is a harsh reality to these questions as well. We all long for our families to be all out for God, live a life for Christ, walk with Christ and to pursue Him with all that we are. There will come a time in every one of our lives when we are faced with the question: “What do I believe?”. The question poses a response of self reflection and self purpose. Do we feel we have a purpose worth living for in this life and if so, what does it entail? Secondly, what we have been taught, whether from faith or lack of faith, does that define who I am?

Thanks to behavioralhealthhub.com

Thanks to behavioralhealthhub.com

We all have experienced on some level or another raising kids in a Christian home or being raised in one yourself. Or perhaps you have nothing to do with God and have simply watched a close friend partake in either scenario. In either case, we all have a picture of what it looks like whether good or bad. The problem with a “church going family” is that our lives often do not reflect the work of God. We can do all the right things and say all the right things but are your actions living proof of what you say you believe?

Are kids attending youth group because it’s fun and exciting or because they are becoming equipped with the Word of the Lord? Are we shipping our kids off to church camp in hopes to straighten them out? Are we going to church because we long to hear the Lord’s teaching and be in community with those around us, or do we go in hopes that someone else hears the message without applying the message to ourselves. Or–maybe we attend church because we believe it is the right thing to do but what teaching do we carry with us throughout the week?

Ephesians 4: 11-12 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”

Here’s my personal opinion. Although I am not a psychologist, having experienced life and working with kids on many different levels, I’ve come to realize there are two extremely challenging times in a persons life. These two events in a child’s life will begin to define who they are based off how they respond and what they choose to partake in, but we as the parents have the responsibility to properly equip them.

The first defining moment; middle school. We all know middle school is the dreaded age any man, woman, or child would long to run away from. Puberty, squeaky voices, tall girls, short boys, pimples, acceptance, bullying, popularity, fashion, etc. These are all extremely weighty for a middle school child. These are the critical years of losing ones innocence and beginning to enter the stage of awareness. I do not mean losing innocence in a sexual connotation although that is the route our society travels (this is a whole different topic of discussion). I mean innocence in the realm of simply an innocent child becoming aware of their surroundings and beginning to enter adulthood. For example, what used to be an exciting time to kiss mommy and daddy is now a humiliating event. Boys caring about their hairstyle, girls wanting to wear makeup. Kids begging for a cellphone, email account and connecting on social media, the list goes on. Things that once were not of importance in your family now takes the lead of every dinner conversation. The continuation of innocence long to stay forever with our children, must flee at some point or another due to the fall of man. They will and are growing up. They will begin to experience pain in this life that you as their parent can no longer protect them from. The sadness sets in as your child experiences their first real heartache in this life. The awareness has officially set in and children begin to lose their sense of innocence.

Secondly, college brings about a trying time in a young adults life as well. Leaving home at the ripe age of 18 is like sending your 2 year old off to church camp. They are entirely too young and uneducated on how to survive in this world on their own. They are still babies. Take a look around at church and pick out the 17 year old standing two rows in front of you. They will be graduating next year. Do they look old enough? Do they have a handle on life and how to survive in this big world we call society? Are they capable of handling finances and living alone? It’s a pressure cooker out there. Expectations are high and money does not fall from the sky. Our kids take off from home with some “idea” of what life is all about but hold very little “real” knowledge on what to expect. Are they equipped?

Thanks to abpworldgroup.com

Thanks to
abpworldgroup.com

This is a scary reality but more scary is our children drowning in our society. Their lost souls seeking acceptance from anyone and anything. We can teach your kids all we want and give them all the knowledge in the world, but they will have to choose what they believe themselves when push comes to shove. Sorority houses, parties, drugs, alcohol, sex, relationships worth investing in– the list goes on. I’m sure all of us have those stories that come from our college days and with hindsight would change many events. Our troubled years tend to be figuring out who we are and what we believe about this world. What is our survival mechanism. Sometimes we pull out of the haze and other times we are stuck in those years for a long time, simply lost.

Our kids need solid teaching, solid family foundation and solid biblical teaching. Our churches need to equip our students to learn how to walk the life of Christ; they need guidance not entertainment. They need tough love and acceptance. They need a safe haven and open communication. These kids need to know how to survive in this world without living at home. They need protection but Truth. They need love. They need guidance along with experience. They need Christ as the focal point of their being. We need to stop sugar coating life and equip these children.

It all starts in the home. We can pray that our churches provide great the accountability for our children but it begins and ends in our home. Life is not easy, but Christ will and has overcome this world. We need to stop with the mediocrity and be outright for Christ and Him alone. Children need to see us live out Christ in our home, families and relationships. They need to see us actively living the Narrow path rather than speak on it. They follow our example not our words.

I found this article and was actually quite amused by it. Not because I think it’s poorly written but because I think it gets back to the basics. (Read here)

Moment of Truth: Lets get back to the basics. Equip our children. Pray for our children and their tender hearts to be malleable for Christ’s teaching and guiding. Let’s live out the powerful teaching God has impressed on our hearts. Live a life that is extraordinary, not following the path of this ordinary life. Be an example to your children.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. 

Do The Next Right Thing

Though life provides many bumps and challenges and most often within relationships—do the next right thing. What does that look like? Where is God calling YOU?

Marriages crumble every day, Children abandoned, love forgotten…

Take a look back in life—-

Do you find yourself utterly in love with your spouse longing to be close to them every minute of the day? Feeling you can’t get enough of them? Yearning for their arrival home after work? Loving the excitement it brings to the home while you chase them around vacuuming up wet grass they brought in from watering the lawn on your newly mopped floor? Or daily cleaning up their dirty dishes from their lunchbox and oh the butterflies this brings to your soul. How about participating in half watched movies while you get the kids to sleep and make lunch for the following day? Finally you get a moment to sit on the couch and oversee him massage his feet for ten minutes not even realizing it– and then he scoots in to snuggle so close and romantically. Do not all of these mannerisms create a deep love that you simply cannot get enough of? Almost as if it’s a new-found relationship and you get that tingly feeling from head to toe being in their presence while butterflies swarm throughout your tummy. 

Most of you probably laugh at my ridiculousness wondering why I would say such a thing. You probably are saying to yourself “these things drive me crazy!” Let me ask you– didn’t we used to be that way? Didn’t we love our dating relationship and ignore all the odd things about them? We simply yearned to be in their presence no matter what we were doing with them, we wanted to be near them. We loved their quirks; they made us laugh. We never picked up on the feet fetish they had. The Xbox played all the time. Or the lack of cleaning up after themselves. These things were pushed to the wayside but now, now that you’re married, boy does this take on a whole new meaning.

Being married brings on a world of uncertainty. Sometimes we feel we’ve hit a brick wall and become stagnant in our marriage. Sometimes we take steps back and allow every little thing to destroy our marriage. And sometimes, we choose to fight the battle and fall in love with our spouse over and over again.

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So how do we put up with the annoyances? The reality is we longed for this previously and need to get back to embracing our spouse for who they are and what we hold together in our families. I’ve learned to laugh at these ideas that swarm throughout my head. I find that if I focus on the nuisance of constantly cleaning up his dishes from lunch the previous day, I will go batty. But when I focus on the reality that my husband is home after work spending time with the family, providing for the family, playing with the children and lastly, making God a priority– then I step back and realize– I have a lot to be thankful for.

Don’t lose hope, we all go through terrible times in life asking God why we were dealt these particular cards. I’m not stating that life is easy, but when you have a solid foundation with Christ and your husband pursues the same; God will bless that. I am speaking from experience but I am no expert. As many of you know, my husband and I have had three years of never-ending trials. We felt as if we were in the furnace being scorched from every angle; every hair on our head completely singed but somehow we were still alive. We’ve been there, and still are not out of the furnace completely. But, God has brought us further away from the fire, feeling the heat but not being completely doused in the flames. We are on a path of healing and redemption.

When you are faced with the fire the little annoyances in marriage or family become extremely piddly as your skin is enveloped in the flames. Your focus begins to change; you will either allow your heart to soften and soak in the opportunity to learn, OR you will become bitter and angry focusing on the what-ifs rather than the what-now. Often our shattered dreams bring about a deep yearning for God’s perfect dreams for our lives. Taking the focus off ourselves and allowing him to ignite a fire that goes beyond what we could have imagined. Shattered dreams bring change in our souls; let the change be glorifying to God and not push you away. 

My challenge to you is what my challenge to myself the past three years has been. It sounds simple and almost unhelpful, but the reality is when you are in the fire, you need something small to grasp onto. You do not need a 5-step program to get you where you want to be futuristically. You need help to get you one step closer from dying in the fire. Sometimes we do not realize the intensity of the fire our friends and family face. We are not expected to understand, but need to come along with compassion, prayer and support.

Each fire has different degrees. Some fires, the furnace is full-blown fired up and scorching anything within miles away, destroying homes, friendships, families, relationships, finances, health etc. you name it. But even in the midst of all that, my challenge for all of you is to “Do the next right thing.”

Doing the next right thing becomes doable. It takes your mind off figuring it all out. In all reality we know we can’t figure anything out yet we still try. What we need is God, and time on our side to fulfill His desires not ours. God already has it planned out the way it’s supposed to be, not the way we think it should go. If we keep our focus on how we want our trials to look, we will only stay that much longer in the fire, rather than submitting to Christ’s will for our lives.

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Moment Of Truth: The the path may be bumpy. The fence may be walked. But the truth still remains: we can always choose to do the next right thing. Whether you messed up big time or not, Christ calls us to move ahead, choosing to walk the long and narrow path; the path that leads to Life. Keep your eyes on things ahead and not on things behind.

There is grace for all.

Take the challenge– Do The Next Right Thing! 

Pride Wreaks Havoc

Pride wreaks havoc on your own life and those around you. Are you drawing people near or pushing people away. Do you have good solid relationships or shaky, rocky acquaintances?

Our pride as humans is out of control. Anger and pride are our own worst enemies. We do not know how to love the unlovable and how to do the impossible. We are better than everyone and it’s always someone else’s fault, cutting you off in traffic or always someone else’s pride; never your own.

The person that is freed, is the one who can lay down their pride no matter the cost, no matter the outcome and no matter if you get a positive response. We all want to feel wanted and when we are hurt our pride steps in and says they aren’t worth it anyway.

What a sad way to live. What a sad mentality. What a sad outlook on life. We are so quick to place the blame and make it someone else’s fault to make ourselves look better, be the lucky one or simply portray ourselves as “above it all.”

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But why? You gain nothing from pride but a bitter heart, resentment to the world and an unhappy self. Striving for something that will never please you but will only take you further down the rabbit hole.

I’ve seen pride take over peoples lives and literally hold them hostage. Are you headed down this path? Are you aware of your “Achilles heel” and what will always trip you up?

Moment of Truth: Be aware of your weakness, strive against it, seek to become a humble woman of Christ rather than portraying yourself to be above others. Set aside “Christianity” and live Biblically.

Thought of the Day

“Forgiveness is not a feeling but a decision to release that person to Christ.”

Need I say more? I shouldn’t’ have to but due to our innate human quality of pride and bitterness, it is always a good reminder to forgive your neighbor and love with Christ’s love. It’s easy to get caught up in our own little world feeling justified for the life we live.

forgivenessI realized yesterday when talking with my husband that life can be full of promises and you can have the world at your fingertips, but what does it matter when you choose to dwell on the past and not move ahead? Sometimes we get so caught up in the mundane of life that we forget the blessings we are currently holding and the blessings taking place today, tomorrow and the next.

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Life is a blessing! Embrace it and do not let your blessings be overlooked by worthless concern. Sometimes our worries are so small but the shadow is so enlarged we lose focus.

Read more at: Forgiveness Breeds Bitterness or Forgiveness 

Thought of the day

We all know trials and tribulations are to bring about perseverance which brings about faith, but what about the simple reality that in the midst of the trail you are pleading with Christ to change your circumstances. “Please remove me from the situation and lets move on with life.” Maybe there’s more that needs to be learned….

Sometimes I plead with the Lord to “PLEASE, please change my circumstances!” Frustration sets in due to my continual prayer and seeking the Lord for wisdom yet my trials still remain afloat. I can hold it together pretty well, but when things tend to fly off the handle, I can feel the anger build up within me. “Why God?”  as I beg for my devotion to begin to change the current mess I am in.

Realizing that God’s time frame is utterly different than mine, I have to remind myself why I beleive in God and His promises. Well– God’s promises never fail while mine often do. Looking back, God has always proven to be faithful. God has taught me many lessons in the midst of trial. God is there even in pain. God always provides a way out of sin. God wants the best for me and God loves me. When I repeat God’s promises, I can refocus my thoughts more positively. If I simply let the negative feelings reside, then I will continue to remain in the mess I am with no hope. I’ve found as I’ve gone through a lot of trials the past few years of life, that God can still bring hope and peace even when the situation remains the same or even gets worse.

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This often resembles the moments I feel alone and afraid….lost in the desert with nowhere to turn. God’s path still lays straight ahead paving the way for hope.

That is faith in and of itself. Recognizing the things God is providing while in the midst of pain and agony; hope! I have heard it said many times and yet today for some reason, it was as if I heard it for the first time: When God does not change our circumstances, He is trying to change our heart.

How profound is that? It’s definitely not a new concept and often a piece of advice I give dear friends. Hmm, this must be God reminding me to practice what I preach! :) It was such perfect timing to hear this as I was once again reminded that God has not forgot about me when I often feel I am drowning.

Moment of Truth: Let Truth be your guide, not your mind! Truth often speaks entirely different than our own minds.

Thought of the day

Hebrews 12:11 NIV

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

You often hear life is worth more than you’ve been living but why aren’t you living it now? Why aren’t we striving for the importance of life to only have today soon become yesterday and a memory of the past. Soon your life has passed and nothing greater was accomplished. We always talk of the future and never make the future the present. More often than not, we let our future dreams keep us from achieving them; let your dreams become reality.

My son will soon be 2 and I am having a really hard time with it. It’s crazy how much I love the little bugger but can’t seem to understand how life literally passes by. I feel it was just yesterday that I bore this little child and now my baby is officially gone, he’s become a little man. I’ve struggled with time passing by and wishing I had another one on the way. I want a little sibling for my son beyond what words can describe. I always wanted a large family and I always wanted them closer in age. This was important to me as my sisters and I are three years apart and I always felt that was too far apart. We were just enough apart that we never hung out together, never had the same friends and simply didn’t get along until now. If given the opportunity I wanted to change that for my son. Well here we are and that simply is not possible as of today due to the simple fact that I am not pregnant and my son will be 2 in three weeks.

He is a blessing!

He is a blessing!

This is a part of life I have had to accept. It has not been easy but that’s usually typical in life. The things we want most, usually happen in a completely different way than we had wished. Accepting this part of my life is actually a really big deal to me because I know my desires of my heart but I also find it more important to take this opportunity to learn through the present just as the verse above stated. This is my reality right now and I need to embrace it. There are things in life I wish I didn’t have to go through, wish I could change but than I look back and am thankful for the heartache as it was in incredible teaching moment for me. I hope to gain that in this particular scenario as well.

So, with that in mind, I long to be “trained” from Christ through the hardship of my circumstances and one day have utter peace from these worries I carry so dear. I know the Lord hears my cry and I know He feels my pain, but as of now, the peace has not followed. I trust it will come, I trust my life in the hands of the One who created me!

Though my burdens may seem minor to some, it’s not to me. We all have such burdens that carry extreme weight that others simply can’t understand. That is okay! We all have desires of the heart we long to fulfill and when they aren’t fulfilled or look different than others, we tend to feel inadequate or insecure.

Through pain and sorrow we all carry burdens in our backpack. We tend to weigh them down so much that soon we are stuck with a heavy load we simply can’t carry. Join me in releasing our burdens to Christ and let Him carry them for us.

Read the verse once more:

Hebrews 12:11 NIV

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Let us choose to learn from every opportunity that comes our way. Don’t miss out by the distractions that fill our minds but release our minds to the One who knows our deepest desires! Let Him give you peace.

Moment of Truth: Don’t worry about failure, worry about the many times you miss the opportunity to try.

Thought of the Day

My son as every parent says, does nothing wrong. :) Okay that isn’t where I am going with this, but my son does not hit his friends and does not show aggression in a physical manner. But for some reason the other day he decided to partake in this action. The children I am watching stay from about 8 am to 5-5:30 pm. While their mom was at our house to pick the kids up Cooper decided to get upset and take a big whack to the little boys head and let out a large scream. Sharing has been a very tough thing to learn lately. He has done a fabulous job considering he does this three full days a week. When this incident took place I was mortified! I did not want his mom to think this happens all day long while she is at work because it doesn’t. Cooper does not hit…….. until now.

Two days ago the same occurrence proceeded to happen before my very eyes. Same situation, mom had just walked in the door and was chit-chatting and all of a sudden, the toy helicopter landed abruptly upon this little boys head. I was mortified yet again. I couldn’t fathom what had just happened and let alone while his mom was here for the second time. Again, this does NOT happen all day long but how do you explain this while she has visually seen this take place two times now?!

As the night proceeded I began to contemplate the scenario. I’ve begin to believe that by the end of the day Cooper is simply done sharing his toys and is ready for them to leave.  He has to share all day long and is constantly being nagged by me to share his toys. He’s young, doesn’t have siblings and for the first time has regular friends here playing with HIS toys. I think this could be our culprit; he just wants his toys back. It’s the end of the day, friends are leaving and hungry bellies and tired eyes begin to take place. Poor little guy!

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Moment of Truth: I’m glad Cooper does not hit on a regular basis but WHY does it have to occur when his mom is around!? The ugly moments you wish no one saw making you feel like a poor parent. “He is really a good kid” you think to yourself wishing that that was the side she saw as well.

He Doesn’t Really Care

I think we often forget to show our love to our spouse in the midst of daily routine. We tend to question the love our spouse holds for us or whether they still feel the way they did on our wedding day.
Many questions arise when fights occur, distractions hit, chaos of life takes over and your marriage begins to suffer. The immediate response: “He doesn’t really care!” If he cared, he would clean up after himself. If he cared he wouldn’t leave his dishes in the sink forcing me to come behind him and pick them up. If he cared, he would help out more with the kids. If he cared, he would know I need a break. If he cared, he would…..
He doesn't really care

Unfortunately, the statements are endless. If you have ever seen the movie Fireproof you would know that in the beginning their marriage is already crumbled and the effort and desire to try and make it work is gone. Someone has to step up to the plate and show that their marriage is worth fighting for. The husband in this case does so. He begins by doing something small for her everyday and while she doesn’t notice it or thinks he’s doing it to prove a point, he begins to get angry and wants to give up again. This is how marriage and relationships work IF you quit trying and focus on the negative. He continued to push through and take responsibility that loves isn’t doing something to get something back. This is something we all tend to agree on but when you continually are showing up every day with something small for your spouse and it goes unnoticed, I too would start to get upset.

So here we are, “fighting” for your marriage and all we can conclude at the end of the day is “he doesn’t really care.”

I read this the other day and thought it was a good reminder that should be shared with all. If you yourself are feeling that He doesn’t really care, keep reading!

“What if I said to you Jesus doesn’t care?? I bet your first response would be, “How could you even say something like that?”
It seems one of the biggest complaints we hear from spouses is that NO ONE cares!! I hear wives daily say,”no one in my family cares what I do for them.”
We sat across from a husband recently as he gently poured out his heart to us and said that he was certain that there was no way his wife cared what went on in his day..she just complained. He’d love to talk to her about “stuff”…but she was too busy pointing out what she did and he didn’t notice!
Think of 5 things that your spouse did yesterday…just 5 things…went to work..changed a diaper..made dinner… I’m not going to think of them for you… You can do it.Now..do you have them..they don’t have to be big…those were 5 things you didn’t have to do…they may be things you’ve done or do..but yesterday your spouse did them! They did those 5 things because they care…Call them, text then, thank them, go home and hug them.You need to be reminded of something…Even when it seems our spouses don’t care..they DO! We need to tell each other that…Jesus wanted it that way! WHY?
Because HE cared! He wants us to have loving marriages! He cares about every detail!
Can you think of 5 things Jesus did to show us how very much He cared? I’ll help you with this one…
He left His comfortable home in heaven and came to earth as a man.
He died on a cross for our sins.
He chose YOU!
He called you by name!
He forgave us of every one of our sins..we just have to ask!
He cares very much!! He doesn’t care that we may have messed up..He wants us to take that to Him and let Him bury it…But Oh He cares!

Next time you think no-one cares….think about leaving your comfortable home..put on a thousand pound back-pack and try to imagine that you had some pretty serious injuries on your hands and feet, and take a walk around the block…Could you do it??

Remember how very much He cares..He gave you that perfect spouse you get to go home to today!!”
Mike and Laurie (Sunday School Teachers)

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Thought of the Day

I read this today and I felt like I got punched in the stomach. What a sad reality that our security is so wrapped up in this world. Our motivation, encouragement, excitement, goals, dreams, family and much more are all dependent on the worlds acceptance of us.

Thought of the day

Read this and rethink what really matters!!!

Do not search for security in the world you inhabit. You tend to make mental checklists of things you need to to do in order to gain control of your life. If only you could check everything off your list, you could relax and be at peace. But the more you work to accomplish that goal, the more things crop up on your list. The harder you try, the more frustrated you become.

There is a better way to find security in this life. Instead of scrutinizing your checklist, focus your attention on My Presence with you. This continual contact with Me will keep you in My Peace. Moreover, I will help you sort out what is important and what is not, what needs to be done now and what does not. Fix your eyes not on what is seen (your circumstances), but on what is unseen (My Presence).

Sarah Young- May 6

Moment of Truth: Do not let the world be your motivation, let Christ!