Saturday, October 31, 2015
Monday, October 26, 2015
Hi friends! Today I am continuing with my guest post series on the blog, and I have another awesome new friend of mine on the blog today. She has the sweetest heart and her passion for the Lord is seriously inspiring. You HAVE to go check out her page! ! Everyone meet Jen from www.thejenweaver.com
Jen Weaver is a wife, a mom and lover of Jesus living in North Texas! She’s also a communicator, both in the written word, teaching and preaching. Married to her best friend Jared, she's passionate about helping people achieve freedom and fullness in everyday life. You’ll find her blogging at thejenweaver.com or connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
I love unique things. Clothes with a different edge. Home décor you wouldn’t find just anywhere—like my teal walls and hanging succulent garden—and monogramed jewelry. In a world of mass-produced products and template emails, I relish the hunt for hole-in-the-wall gems, screaming deals, and unexpected gifts.
And then there’s love.
Everyone wants love, right? The gooey goodness of romance. Steadfast safety of sacrificial consideration. Someone who will always be there when you need them. Talking with God as I rocked my son to sleep the other night (yep, God talks to me, that was a learning process!) my heart broke with this beautiful thought:
I am love, personalized.
There’s nothing generic about my care for Dillon. Sure, he needs all the typical baby things like milk, diaper changes, sleep, and affection. But my love is catered to who he is. It couldn’t be more custom if each activity came with a monogramed towel. I know that my baby doesn’t care if his milk is cold but that he has a favorite pacifier. My arms feel safer to him than a babysitter’s, and he thinks my silly faces are the most hilarious thing ever.
We live love. Personalized.
As we sat there, the two of us curled up in our rocking chair, I started thinking about how I am a personalized expression of love for the people in my life. Sometimes in grand gestures, but more often, I get to show love in small ways. The intimate consideration of clean laundry. Knowing how my closest friend is feeling by the look on her face. Recognizing a need before it’s verbalized, picking their favorite restaurant without asking, or knowing my man likes ice but no lemon in his water.
Receive love, personalized.
I’ve been a Christian for almost 25 years. This whole time I’ve known that God loves us—
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son …” (John 3:16, NIV).
We’re not lumped in to the total of all human existence to receive group salvation. His love is personal. He’s numbered the hairs on our head (Luke 12:7), and knew our names before we were born (Jeremiah 1:5).
God spoke the world into being. By His words He created day and night, land and ocean, birds and wild animals (Genesis 1). But when it came to us, speaking our creation was too impersonal. God formed man and breathed His breath into Adam’s lungs, then crafted woman from Adam’s rib (Genesis 2).
The Lord thinks of us often (Psalm 139:17-18) and plans good things for our future (Jeremiah 29:11). He longs to carry us close to His heart (Isaiah 40:11) and to fill our lives with good things (James 1:17).
These aren’t generic thoughts and random presents. They’re personalized demonstrations of love from a personal God.
When you walked to the mailbox today and noticed the beauty of tree branches blowing in the wind—that was a gift for you. When you forgot your lunch on the counter and a friend offered to take you out to eat, a sign of God’s provision. When you woke up late and somehow traffic was light enough for you to get to work on time. The Sunday sermon that spoke to your heart. This simple little blog post that you’re reading right now.
“… your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” (Matthew 6:8, NLV).
God’s love for you is personalized.
Today I’m encouraged to receive God’s love. To pay attention to the little ways He showers me with His affection, and to celebrate the small yet hugely significant ways I get to live as love personalized for those around me.
I hope you’re encouraged to do the same. :)
Thanks Jen! Go check out her awesome blog at www.thejenweaver.com
Social media contact:
Social media contact:
Facebook: The Jen Weaver
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Hi friends! Today I have a very special new friend of mine on the blog today. Isn't it crazy how you can meet so many awesome people through this virtual space? I love it! Everyone meet Lori from The Novel Endeavor!
Lori is a wife, mom, introvert, and lover of all things books. Her and her husband Chris have worked with college students and traveled throughout the world as missionaries with Cru for the last eight years. About a year ago, they welcomed home their spunky baby girl, Aliana, through adoption. Lori says that Aliana has brought such joy and laughter to their home and has also taught them a lot about herself and her faith in the process! She enjoys reading and writing (always with a warm cup of coffee) and is passionate about adoption and pursuing Jesus above all else.
Lori's post today is titled: "My Flesh Dwells Secure." Take it away Lori! It is an honor to have you on the blog today :)
Security. So much is wrapped up in that one word that we use so often. As humans, security is a high value for us; we want security in our finances, jobs, relationships, and in our physical safety. But, there’s also a desire for security in our identity, who we are. This might not always be easily observed, but just think about the opposite – all those insecurities that nag at the back of our minds. They voice themselves in questions that run on an infinite loop in our heads…
Am I doing a good enough job?
Will they even like me?
Do these jeans look tight on me?
Is all my hard work worth it?
Will anyone even read this blog post?
Okay, maybe that last question was mine, but I think you know what I’m talking about!
Recently, I have been meditating on Psalm 16 and, let me tell you, it’s one that you could dwell on for days. It’s that good. But these are the verses that have really stuck in my mind:
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
What does it mean to “set the Lord always” before us? It means that we let him lead us; we surrender our control, insecurities, and demands to follow him. Let’s be real, this isn’t easy. But there are a myriad of benefits waiting when we take that step to yield to his ways, his wisdom, and his plans. God’s plans, while not always first on our priority list, are actually the ones that are the best for us; he loves his children and sets apart good things for them.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
God holds our plans and our futures, but that shouldn’t be a scary thing. In vv. 5-6, we see that he has given us good things, and desires to continue to do so.
Even more than plans and futures, he gives us the security that seems to evade us day to day; he continues to affirm our identity when we are setting earthly things before us rather than him. Verse 8 says that we “shall not be shaken.” When we are led by God, we will not be tossed about by the whims and words of the world around us. We are grounded in something much stronger. Verse 9 says that our hearts will be “glad” and our whole beings will “rejoice”! Joy and gladness are two characteristics of a very satisfied and contented soul, a soul that is affirmed and safe in the leadership of its Creator.
And, finally, our “flesh also dwells secure” (v. 9). I just physically let out an exhausted sigh of relief! How freeing is it to be able to rest because you feel secure and safe? It is possible, but it takes the conscious act of surrendering to our natural tendencies every day.
But, guess what? God has given us a generous portion and a beautiful inheritance AND abundantly more! He has given us his son, Jesus. His son. And through Jesus, he has blessed us with our justification (right standing before him) based on his works, not ours. Believe me, Jesus’s works, and everything else about him, are perfect; ours aren’t just in case you were wondering! So we can have even greater security, more abundant joy, and a radiant gladness about us just because we have Jesus, the greatest gift of all.
Check out the lavishness of God’s love to us shown through Jesus:
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
These verses are astounding! I am a sinner, born and raised, and I stand before the Lord perfectly loved and lavished upon by him. [Insert spiritual yummy here.]
There is nothing in the world, no religion, food, drug, or relationship, which can bring security and love like our God can. God has demonstrated his love and commitment to us by sending Jesus, his perfect son, to die in order that we might live. He has already shown us that he is trustworthy to follow, so let’s “set the Lord always before [us]” so that we can rest secure.
Connect with Lori on social media below!!!!!!
Facebook: The Novel Endeavor
Please go check out her awesome blog too!!!!
Facebook: The Novel Endeavor
Please go check out her awesome blog too!!!!
Thursday, October 1, 2015
I hope that everyone is having a good day so far. I cannot believe that today is officially October 1st!
This has honestly been a really interesting phase of life for me. After finishing graduate school in June, I am still in the process of looking for a career type of job. I am hoping to find a job at the local University in town, in the field of communication. I have applied to many many jobs, and I am still waiting to hear back from a big chunk of them. I'm content, but at times I struggle and question with wondering what is NEXT. I really feel like God is calling to keep pursuing youth ministry where I live, which is a big reason why I have decided to stay where I am. If you think of me, could you please pray that God would open career doors of opportunity for me? Thank you :)
Anyways, Today I wanted to talk to you guys about the one thing that I truly hate: EVILNESS. aka SATAN himself.
"Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for He guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hands of the wicked." Psalm 97:10
This probably isn't any news to you guys, that we HAVE an enemy. However, before I was a Christian, I didn't acknowledge the enemy, or his presence in my life. I didn't realize that Satan had one goal for my life: To destroy it. I didn't realize that he wanted to convince me that life was meant for living for myself, and not Jesus. I didn't realize that he was seeking to continuously lead me away from understanding my true value in Christ by convincing me that I could find my purpose in boys/relationships, other people, sex, money, alcohol, and more.
And that is why forever convinced was started. To lead people closer to Jesus. To let them know that they are LOVED. For them to know that the God of the universe wants an authentic relationship with them. I don't want Satan to have power over anyone's life any longer. My hope and goal is for everyone coming across this blog who doesn't know Christ to submit to Jesus, so that way they will be free from the power of evil in their lives.
I love you guys!
Follow me on social media!
Facebook: Forever Convinced