It Matters Whom You Marry

THE CHRISTIAN PUNDIT

My husband and I were once with a youth group. There were three kids sitting across from us at a meal: two guys and a girl. The one guy was a computer geek with glasses. The other one was a college student with slightly cooler hair and no glasses. The girl was obviously with him. But while the computer geek was busy serving everyone at the meal, clearing plates and garbage, the college student got angry with the girl for a small accident and poured red juice over her leather jacket and white shirt. She picked the wrong guy, and the juice didn’t seem to change her mind. She is in for some grief if that relationship continues and especially if it leads to marriage.

So to all the young, unmarried Christian girls out there, listen up: who you marry matters.

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18 Things Women Shouldn’t Have To Justify

Thought Catalog

1. Putting themselves first. When Barbara Walters asked Michelle Obama if it were selfish that she openly makes herself her first priority she responded: “No, no, it’s practical…. a lot of times we just slip pretty low on our own priority list because we’re so busy caring for everyone else. And one of the things that I want to model for my girls is investing in themselves as much as they invest in others.”

2. How little or much they’re eating, especially if it’s “unhealthy.” You can eat a big lunch without having to say “I haven’t eaten anything all day” or have some delicious ass nachos without saying “I totally deserve this, I was so good this week, I’ll start the diet again tomorrow.” More importantly, you shouldn’t have to always be interrogated with “that’s all you’re having?” or “you’re going to eat all that?!”

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Sincerely, One of Many Girls Who Care

Be Malleable

Are you a boy?

I’m sorry.

Not sorry that you’re a boy… That’s awesome.

I’m sorry that you see hundreds of advertisements every week showing half-dressed women.

I’m sorry every time you go to the beach or your neighborhood pool you can’t look in any direction without seeing a girl basically in her underwear.

Or that you can’t scroll through Instagram on “women crush wednesdays” or any day for that matter without an airbrushed girl in a thong staring you down.

Or that your buddy showed you that one magazine when you were 9 and you’ve never forgotten that moment because that was the first time you first saw a completely naked woman.

When I think about the guys in my life who are striving to live with a pure and Godly mindset, it honestly breaks my heart that they’re surrounded with so much temptation.

I think about my 22…

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I will wait for you

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(Poem by Janette you can find her spoken word video on YouTube)

So it seemed,
that it was cool,
for everyone to be in a relationship but me.

So I took matters into my own hands
and… ended up with him.
him, who displayed the characteristics of a
cheater, a liar, an abuser, and a thief.

So why was I surprised when he broke into my heart?
I called 911, but I was cardiac-arrested for
aiding and abetting,
’cause it was me who let him in,
claiming we were “just friends.”

It was already decided for me by the first date that
even if he wasn’t,
I was gonna make him “the One.”

You know… I was tired of being alone,
and I simply made up in my mind,
that it was about that time
so I decided to drag him along for the ride,
’cause I was always the bridesmaid and never the bride.

A virgin in the physical,
but mentally just a grown woman on the corner in heat,
who was tired of the wait,
so I was gonna make him “the One.”

he had a… form of Godliness,
but not much.

But, but, hey, hey, I can change him,
so I’ll take him, I mean he’s close…
enough.

Ready to sell my aorta for a quarter,
not knowing the value of it’s used to be. 
Arteries so clogged with my will,
it blocked His will from flowing through me.
So, I thank Christ that His blood pressure gave this heart an attack,
that flatlined my obscured vision, put me flat on my back.

Through my ignorance, He saw,
so through my sternum He sawed & cracked open my chest
to transplant Psalms 51:10,
a new heart
& a renewed right spirit within.
So now, I fully understand,
better yet, I thoroughly comprehend,
how much I need to wait
for You.

See,
the bad thing is
that I knew he wasn’t you from the beginning.
’cause in the beginning was the Word
and he didn’t even sound or shine like Your Son

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,
and all he could whisper was
sweet,
empty
nothings–
which meantnothing!

he couldn’t even have prayed when I needed him to,
asking him to fast would be absurd,
so, forget about being cleansed & washed with water through the Word.

But I know you,
you are already praying for me.
Even never having met me,
let me assure you,
I will wait
for you.

I will no longer date,
socialize or communicate with carbon copies of you

to appease my boredom
or to quench my thirsty desire I have for attention
 and short-lived compliments from ‘sorta kindas.’

You know, he ‘sorta kinda’ right, but ‘sorta kinda’ wrong?
His first name: Luke,
his last name: Warm.

Aye,
I won’t settle for false companionship.
I won’t lay in the embrace of his arms,
attempting to find some closeness,
but never feeling so far, far apart
’cause, I just wanna be held.
♫ ‘Cause all I gotta do is say♫
“No!”

No more ‘almost sessions’ of
‘almost coming close’
passing winks & buying drinks,
and ♫I’ma,
I’ma,
I’ma flirt!♫
Who flirts with the ideology of,
“Can you just tell me how much I can get away with & still be saved?”

No more.

I’ll stay in my bed,
alone,
and write poems,
about how I will wait for You.

he won’t even come close,
our fingers won’t even interlock,
we won’t even exchange breath,
’cause I have thoughts that I’ve ‘saved as’ in a file that God has only equipped you to open.

I will no longer get weighted down,
from so-called friends & family talks,
about the concern for my biological clock
when I serve the Author of Time.
Who is not subject to time,
but I’m subject to Him.
He has the ability to stop, fast-forward, pause, or rewind at any given time.
So,
if we could role play,
you would be Abraham & I would be Sarah,
or you can be Isaac & I can be Rebecca–a servant’s answered prayer.
I am
bone of your bone,
flesh of your flesh,
made up of your rib, Adam.

And once we meet,
like electrons, I will be bound to your nucleus,
completely indivisible
atom.

We even speak the same math:
1 + 1 + 1 = 3,
which really equals 1 if you add Him.

We were all created in His image,
but you have the ability to reflect, project & even detect
the Son.
If I were to explain what you look like,
you would have to look like a star–
a sun of the Son.
I would gain energy simply from the light that you shine on me.
I would need you in order to complete my photosynthesis.
I await your revelation, but once again from the genesis,
I will wait for you.

And I will know you
because when you speak,
I will be reminded of Solomon’s wisdom,
your ability to lead will remind me of Moses,
your faith will remind me of Abraham,
your confidence in God’s Word will remind me of Daniel,
your inspiration will remind me of Paul,
your heart for God will remind me of David,
your attention to detail will remind me of Noah,
your integrity will remind me of Joseph,
and your ability to abandon your own will, will remind me of the disciples,
but your ability to love selflessly & unconditionally will remind me of Christ.
But I won’t need to identify you by any special Matthews
or any special marks,
’cause His Word will be tatted all over your heart.

And you will know me,
and you will find me,
where
the boldness of Esther
meets the warm closeness of Ruth,
where the hospitality of Lydia
is aligned with the submission of Mary,
which is engulfed in the tears of a praying Hannah.
I will be the one,
drenched in Proverbs 31,
waiting for you.

But to my Father,
my Father who has known me before I was birthed into this earth,
only if You should see fit.

I desire Your will above mine.
So even if you call me to a life of singleness,
my heart is content with You–the One who was sent.
You are the greatest love story ever told,
the greatest love ever known.
You are forever my judge & I’m forever Your witness,
and I pray that I’m always found on a mission about my Father’s business.

I will always be Yours,
and I will always wait for You, Lord.
More than the watchmen wait for the morning,
more than the watchmen wait for the morning,
I will wait.

Grace for the New Year

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photo: Madrid, Spain

It all started with good intentions. Those New Year’s resolutions… that bulleted list you slaved over for a week to construct. So why haven’t you lost the weight yet? I thought you were going to cut out that toxic person? What in the world happened?

Maybe you’re like me and you start January off on fire. Then something happens. All of the sudden you don’t have time to finish that intense reading list you made for yourself. You really just miss that toxic person. Maybe that snickers just looks better than that salad. I don’t know how long your personal resolutions last. You may very well finish that bulky “must read” list you made for yourself. (Go you!)

Listen I’m all about a good list, I really am. I’m not bashing your goals. I think it’s great that we as people see the need to change. I think it’s great that we set goals for ourselves. My observation is this: We start our resolutions only to find ourselves one day behind. We think wow what happened? Instead of forgiving ourselves and continuing with our goals, we just abandon them. Too far gone right? I’ve already missed a month. I had cheese fries for lunch. I texted him back… said I wouldn’t, but I did. Maybe next year?

This just happens to be a parallel to what I struggle with most as a Christian. I can’t forgive myself and it keeps me from the best relationship I have. I’m on fire one day and then something happens. I look back and think: When is the last time I prayed? Followed by thoughts of unworthiness and shame. God can forgive me, but I can’t forgive myself. It keeps me hung where I am. Repentance is not hard for me, forgiving myself is.

In 2012 my “Joyful Repentance” article was published in the December issue of Christian Woman Magazine. It’s funny how I picked it up and read it, still needing to hear those exact things I had written a year ago. I’m interrupting this blog post to share a summarized version of this article with you.

            Joyful Repentance

“Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, oh Lord, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and renew a right spirit within me.” These words from Psalm 51:10-12 have been put to music and form the basis of a favorite hymn.

Be open about your failures. As humans, we like to make excuses by trying to defend or justify our sins. Real repentance requires that we come to God with a raw openness. We should try taking David’s example. When David confessed his sins in Psalm 32, he opened and poured out his heart to God. It is true that real repentance will reveal our brokenness. God wants that from us,  we often try to be all and to do all, but we should be able to say, “God, I need you!” We aren’t perfect; we need God’s help.  He desires for us to come to Him and accept His love.

Flee from the temptation. What good would it be to express our regrets to God without fleeing from the things that caused them in the first place? Letting sin linger in our lives will cause us to be unhappy. Only by recognizing the sin and turning away from it with God’s help can we truly find the joy we are seeking.

Seek God’s transformation. Lewis F. Korns, said it simply: “Genuine repentance must bear the seal of a corrected life.” Matthew 3:8 teaches that we must produce fruit worthy of repentance. Real repentance is proved be the way we live.

Just do it. Make it more about transformation than talk. When we realize the sin in our life, we should immediately look to correct it not just talk about the changes that our needed. God wants to see us change. Set necessary goals, and conquer them! Great joy can be found in accomplishing the goals you set for yourself.

When you read Psalm 51:10-12 or sing those words, find joy in the forgiveness that is available to you, Find joy in knowing that God is not keeping score. When he forgives, He forgets. Then forgive yourself as well. Do not down yourself for past mistakes; rather, strive to do better.

 Henry Ward Beecher said it well: “When we have heartily repented of a wrong, we should let all the waves of forgetfulness roll over it, and go forward unburdened to meet the future.”

Don’t let the burden of your past sins interfere with the brightness of your future. Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgression from us.” So practice real repentance, and live every day with a clean slate! God is willing to help and forgive us as often as we need. But we must be willing to turn away from sin and seek Him!

As you set your physical and spiritual resolutions this year I hope you stick with them. I hope that if you have any “2013 sins” haunting you that you take those to God. He will forgive you but do not, DO NOT forget to forgive yourself.

Set ya some 2014 goals, stick with them… forget them and then remember them. Whether you forget to eat that salad or forget to talk to God. Realize it and fix it. Just please stop feeling so guilty. Darling, you can do it! If anyone can, it’s you. God didn’t give us Philippians 4:13 so that we could just paint it on walls and recite it before athletic games. He gave it to us to encourage us. You really can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. I hope you know that, I hope you believe it.

I know close to nothing. But I believe in these things.

hannah brencher.

I have to have it all figured out.

It started off as a rumor and then it became the game changer. That’s what I think at least.

Somewhere, somehow, this myth rumbled into  a rumor and this rumor tumbled onto the lips of a lot of us: I have to figure everything out.

I have to know where I am going. I have to know what will happen next. I have to know the direction. The 5-year plan. The next left-hand turn. The Big What’s Next. 

I’m 25. I know close to nothing. But I believe in these things.

-hb.

 

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Know that this stage in your life, this very moment, will be the one that other people point out one day and say, “Oh, I knew close to nothing and I survived.” So there’s that.  You don’t have to know everything. You don’t even have to know…

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Cool Your Jets and Embrace Your Role

A Girl Like Me

Boundaries in dating?
That’s really difficult to say.
Search the Bible.
It’s completely devoid of dating advice.
Why?
Well, because people didn’t date in Bible times.
They did a little something called “arranged marriages.”
I know, petrifying right?
Yeah, I used to think so too,
until I thought about how many people bring baggage and pain into marriage
because of their past dating relationships.
One thing you can say about arranged marriages,
you don’t usually have to figure out “how far is too far?” in your friendships.
Kind of wish I had gone that route with my wife.
I mean, do you know anyone who says,
“Man, I really wish I had hooked up with more people before I got married.
I feel like I really missed out?”
Of course not.
And you know, if you think about it,
don’t you think that on some level, dating is cultivating a…

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