10 Years of Sanctification

This April will be a special one. It will mark 10 years that I have been following Christ.

I truly can’t believe this anniversary has come so soon. That fateful day feels like just yesterday.

Many of my anniversary posts are just a recounting of my testimony, and while those are great, this time, I’d like to do something a little different.

Because while God opened my eyes to His glory and Lordship on April 25, 2010, I am not the same person I was in 2010, 2011, 2012, and so forth.

God gave me some kind of spirit of discernment early on in my walk (I never like prosperity gospel preachers and, back then, I really couldn’t explain why, but something [the Holy Spirit] told me to be weary of their teaching), but that same gift and zeal for sound doctrine was abused for a few years as I bullied brothers and sisters in the faith for not holding to the doctrines ol’ important me thought were most important.

I thought I was strong and able to “handle difficulty”, but I didn’t realize just how powerless I was until I was thrown into a barrage crazy trials some years ago. And yet, during some of the darkest times of my life (as a believer), I realized I wasn’t nearly as hopeless as I had been during an earlier trial in my life (one that happened before I was truly saved).

And those trials humbled me. I began to realize some of those Christians I disagreed with understood the love of God better than my own “clique” did. I began to realize it is okay to disagree on certain things. We are a family. Family will never agree on everything, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are all brothers and sisters.

10 years is quite a vantage point.

From here, I can look back at things I asked of God and say “I am so thankful You didn’t answer my prayers the way I wanted You to”.

It’s encouraging. And humbling.

My pastor recently said “I am not where I want to be, but thank God I am not who I used to be” and I couldn’t agree.

10 years ago, I thought I’d be this well learned theologian. I thought I’d written a book, be some kind of teacher, etc.

But 10 years ago, I was also too zealous for John Calvin and wasn’t zealous enough for Jesus Christ.

Am I still reformed? You bet.

Do I still think TULIP is the most accurate interpretation of scripture? Yup.

Am I still Cessationist? Well…I don’t really know. I’m beginning to lean Continuist, but I don’t really understand how the gifts work for the modern day church.

And that’s okay to say I don’t have all of the answers.

I do have one answer though: the Word of God is living and active, inerrant, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and is the foundation for all of our lives.

As long as it doesn’t contradict something clearly laid out in scripture, we can have some friendly debates on things, but let’s remember that our unity is more important to God than getting to say we won an argument.

“Nobody has ever been argued into the Kingdom, but many people have been loved there.” – Chad Moore

Grace & Peace Saints,

Christina

Fulfill Your Ministry

One of my favorite Matt Chandler clips is the one where he talks about Mark Driscoll.

Chances are, most people nowadays don’t know who Mark Driscoll was. If you do, that’s awesome. But if you don’t, he used to be the pastor of Mars Hill Church. He was also the founder of the Acts 29 Network (which Matt Chandler now leads, ironically.)

Any who, if you do know Driscoll, you also know he had a pretty aggressive way of preaching (which I won’t get into now because it’s besides the point).

Well, in this clip, Matt Chandler is coaching pastors and, in essence, he tells pastors that, though Mark Driscoll is very good at what He does and God uses it, we are not all called to be Driscoll.

We can not emulate him and expect the same results because God didn’t call us to be Driscoll.

God calls us to be ourselves. 

We aren’t called to fulfill Driscoll’s ministry. We’re call to fulfill OUR ministry.

God has shaped you specifically for a specific purpose. Though it may be tempting to look at “success stories” and want to emulate them, the truth of the matter is that what worked for Matt Chandler, Beth Moore, John Piper, etc, may not work for you.

You’re not called to fulfill their ministry.

You’re called to fulfill YOUR ministry.

Your ministry may be at home, with macaroni and cheese covered fingers. And yes, do I know it gets tiring changing diapers and trying to constantly entertain children, but it may be where God is calling you for this season. 

Your ministry may be at that job you don’t like, surrounded by those people who always gossip about their sins around the water cooler. Sure, you can’t wait to get out, but maybe, you’re called to be the light in a dark place. You’re called to point one of God’s future saints to the light. 

Your ministry may be in a not-so-great marriage. We’re not meant to divorce one another at the first offense. Maybe God called you to a marriage that starts a little hard, but as time passes, you grow from the trials and your love becomes an example of God’s power and healing.

(And don’t read what I am NOT saying. I’m saying that, for some, the trials serve to strengthen a marriage. I am not saying not to divorce an abusive spouse. Just throwing that disclaimer out there).

Simply put, we are all called to different ministries.

Fulfill YOUR ministry.

What Is Your Witness?

A friend of mine and I were recently talking about work and she told me a story about her former boss that I would never forget. Let’s call my friend “Nicole” (to protect her identity).

Nicole worked as a secretary at a large firm. Now, Nicole’s boss claimed to be a Christian. He went to church (and drank of out of the church’s coffee cup every morning), had pastors as clients, and had bible verses hung up in his office. From what Nicole saw of him her first couple of days there, he was, in fact, a believer.

But his WITNESS didn’t match his WORDS.

See, people were scared of Nicole’s boss. He screamed at the secretaries that didn’t work to his liking (too slow, too many errors, moving things around the office, etc). He often yelled curses at them too. He was often in an angry mood. He was so bad that one of the paralegals at his firm quit, on the spot, after he berated her in front of the others in the office.

No, his witness didn’t match his words at all.

After hearing this story, I began to reflect on my own life. Do MY words match my witness?

Surely, I don’t go around cursing at people at work (or in general), but do I do things that endanger the validity of my witness?

What about the time that I didn’t give that homeless man something to eat?

Or what about the time I lost my patience with one of my kids in public?

What is my witness?

Now, I’m not saying that if you’ve messed up and “sinned” in public that you’re not a believer. We will struggle with sin until the day we die, so none of us will attain perfection on this side of eternity. We will all mess up in one way or another. Perhaps we’re short with our spouses or quick to snap at our kids one day. We haven’t suddenly “lost our salvation” because we snapped at our kid for refusing to pick up their room.

What I am saying is this; PEOPLE ARE WATCHING.

You may be the only Bible some people read. 

We live as ambassadors for Christ, representing Him everywhere we go; School, work, hobbies, among family, among friends, etc. Everywhere we are, there are people who do not know Jesus watching us and attaching our actions to Jesus.

What we do and say reflects on Christ and, when we act wrongfully, we give the wrong witness with our words.

And again, I’m not saying “do your best to never mess up so people think Jesus is awesome”. That’s unrealistic. We all mess up.

What matters is what you do WHEN you mess up. How does your witness speak to the ones you have wronged?

When you wrong someone (kid, spouse, friend, etc), do you pridefully stand your ground or do you humble yourself and seek forgiveness for not loving them the way Jesus loves you? 

What is your witness? 

The Road Is Narrow

Yesterday, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I came across an article about Michael and Lisa Gungor. Honestly, I probably would have scrolled passed it had one word not been in the preview; Atheist.

Surely, “atheist” and “Christian artist” typically don’t go together, so I clicked the link and decided to see why this publication chose to use that word. They used it because that is what he considers himself now; an atheist.

This isn’t a blog post bashing Gungor (by all means, please spend time in prayer for him and his wife and pray that God opens their hearts and eyes to Himself once again). What this post serves as is a sobering realization that no one is safe from falling away from God.

I don’t mean to say that salvation is dependent on us or that we can lose it (because I think both of those are false), but what I do want to point out is (1) we are never in a “safe zone” with our faith and (2) there is no leader, celebrity, etc that is immune from sin.

To be honest, it hurt to see that someone like Michael Gungor had turned away from the faith. Someone who wrote songs like “Beautiful Things” and “Dry Bones” now would renounce those very words (based on my understanding of a few of his tweets and an article from his wife, but nonetheless).

It a sobering thought; any one of us could easily head down a slippery slope that could take us away from Christ and bring us to believe lies.

Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14

As much as we may look up to Christian artists, pastors, teachers, etc, we need to realize that, at the end of the day, they are human beings with their own struggles and temptations. They are far from perfect, just as we are. They need community, the church, and most importantly Jesus Christ, just as much as we do.

I’ve often thought about those I started my Christian journey with. For those who don’t know, I had a blog on Tumblr and joined a community of fairly well-known Christian bloggers (within our own little community, of course). We were all young, restless, and reformed, ready to lead “the resurgence” in our own cities and spearhead this giant “revival” of sorts.

Many of those people have fallen away from the faith. Some have joined strange sects (that the reformed community would call heretical). Others just lost their passion for the Word of God.

Early in my walk with Christ, I met a group of college students who were passionate about the Word of God. I thought “surely”, these will be my life long friends who I stand with side by side to preach Christ to the world (or, at least, the city of Miami).

Some of those have also fallen away, lost interest, claimed heretical doctrines, etc.

And yet, some others have fallen into sin and fallen away from ministry (which is part of my husband and I’s story, if you didn’t already know that).

The road is narrow.

Man, pray for your leaders. Pray for those “celebrity pastors” that you listen to (Matt Chandler, John Piper, etc). Pray for the artists you enjoy music from. Road life is hard and the temptations are plenty. Pray for those you admire in the faith. Pray that your church stays away from false doctrines. Pray, pray, & pray, because only God has the power to keep a person. We get to contribute by praying, serving, loving, etc, but only God can keep a heart in His hands. Only God can change a heart to begin with.

May God keep us all until the very end so that we may hear those words, “well done, good and faithful servant”.

 

 

 

Fear Is A Liar

“Fear, he is a liar.
He will take your breath.
Stop you in your steps.
Fear, he is a liar.
He will rob your rest.
Steal your happiness.
Cast your fear in the fire,
‘Cause fear, he is a liar.” 

Have you ever felt afraid?

Maybe you were afraid for you life. Maybe you felt anxious, your palms sweating and your lungs short of breath.

Maybe it wasn’t such a “dramatic” moment, so to speak. Maybe you were afraid of what others would think of you. Maybe you were scared that nobody liked you and you were alone in this world.

Let me drag that fear into the light and say FEAR IS A LIAR.

Our feelings are real, but fear twists our perception and distorts the truth. It lies to us, shames us, and deceives us into making the situation 10X worse than what it is.

I remember the first time I heard that song I quoted earlier on the radio. It was as if God Himself wrote that song and sent it to the radio with a note attached that read “one of my daughters currently feels scared and anxious. Play this right now“.

At the time, I was feeling scared. The devil had whispered a lie in my ear and I took the bait. I was driving in my car, a million thoughts racing through my head, but when this song played, it’s as if God had said, “Daughter, none of that is true. You’ve been lied to. Just trust Me.” And He was right. It was a lie. Fear had taken something small and distorted it, robbing me of my peace and joy (If even for just a moment).

Today, I was looking at old pictures of myself and I realized something. (I’m about to get really transparent, so bear with me). See, I bought the lie that I was somehow unlikable. I truly believed, for years, that people just didn’t like me and never truly would. I believed that lie as recent as a few hours ago. People liked everyone but me, and because of that, I retreated. I didn’t go to events with friends, I spoke very little around people I didn’t trust fully, and despite being an extrovert who needs interaction with others, at the first sign of rejection, I completely abandoned friendships (for fear of them outright rejecting me first).

The fear of rejection had completely crippled me. 

But the pictures I found told a very different tale than the one I had chosen to accept as reality.

Here were a ton of pictures with groups of people. Tons of events I had been invited to, that I showed up to, had been documented. Things I had completely forgotten about. I was a bit saddened that I had chosen to hide these pictures in the first place, but it also brought me joy to know that it was a LIE that I was completely unlikable.

Had some people rejected me because I “fell” and wasn’t a “good Christian” anymore? I’m sure some did. Had some people stopped talking to me because I no longer had anything to offer them? Maybe. Do I think some people tried to rekindle a friendship with me after years of pretending I don’t exist because I was suddenly married to “Lawren” and it would benefit them? I think so.

But even so, it was not as prevelent as I thought. A small percentage of my “friends” were like that. Most weren’t.

I had been lied to, but the revelation of the truth felt like FREEDOM.

What lies have you been believing brothers and sisters? Where has the enemy managed to warp your worldview and steal your joy? We have FREEDOM! Look behind you! Your chains have been BROKEN! Fear can no longer hold you captive; neither can shame, sin, doubt, etc! Nothing can cancel out the cross!

Brothers and sisters! Read these verses from the very Word of God and take a breath from the fresh air of freedom!

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” – John 14:27

I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!” – John 16:33

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” – Psalm 34:4

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1

Confess your fears and rip them of their power over you.

Lay your fears down at the cross.

Choose freedom today.

Grace & Peace,
Christina

I Should’ve Been A Lawyer

Anyone who knows me well knows that my life long dream was to be a lawyer.

In 5th grade, I told my classroom’s DARE officer about this dream and, in response, he gave me an outdated version of his rule book (which I actually read a few times). In middle school, I joined drama to work on my presentation and work on hiding my nervousness when I “performed”. In high school, I joined a debate team and competed in the Student Congress category to try to sharpen my on-the-spot debate skills. And when I went to college, I pursued a Political Science [PoliSci] degree on a pre-law track in the hopes to finally start working on my dream.

I should’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree.
I should’ve attended FIU Law and graduated from that too.
I should’ve moved to an apartment in Brickell.
I should be working on getting my last name on the company sign and becoming a partner.

I should’ve been a lawyer.

I wanted be a lawyer, but God didn’t choose to write my story that way. 

I know I just wrote a whole post about not looking at the past, but the death of this dream actually demonstrates an important point; God knows what is best for us, even if we may not think so.

See, I’ve worked at law firms; three, in fact (two big ones and one boutique one). At my first firm, I realized quickly that this dream wasn’t what I thought it was. I did my job (and then some), but the entire time, I couldn’t help but feel I was “working for the bad guys” (we primarily did Insurance Defense law, which basically means we were the attorneys for big companies doing their best not to pay people what was owed to them). I hated it. I had borderline panic attacks thinking about working for the rest of my life for people who were (legally) cheating other people and doing them wrong.

The two other law firms I worked for weren’t as heavily into Insurance Defense as the first one was, but something still didn’t sit right with me. I remember having a conversation with one of the associates at my second firm. He asked me what I wanted to do with my life (he had rightfully assumed I didn’t want to stay a receptionist/administrative assistant for my entire life) and I answered by summing up much of what I have written here.

And I will never forget his response for as long as I live; “The fact that you can see ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ in this field means you are too good to be a lawyer“.

I realized something that day. It was not that I was “too good to be a lawyer” (we are all depraved and fall short of the glory of God), but I did realize that one of God’s gifts to me was a burden for justice in this world.

It’s what makes my heart race and my fist clench when I see someone treating another human being as “less than”. It’s why small comments made by Christians who “don’t quite understand grace” make me clench my teeth and can set me off (just read this post called “Grace & The Unplanned Pregnancy” to see that play out). It’s what fills me with anger when yet another black life is taken at the hand of racist men and all Christians choose to say in response is “well, all lives matter, you know!”. It’s what frustrates me when I try to show others where they could improve on social issues, but all I get in response is “you’re a demon worshipping liberal” (or some less dramatic form of that). It’s what makes me sob when I see families being torn apart because of fear-driven policy, yet others are focused on the fact that they entered illegally. It’s that feeling, the only time when I get legitimately angry at someone or something. It’s a fire deep in my soul.

And that fire that burns for justice has been there all along.

It’s what drew me to law in the first place. Through it, I believed I could change people’s lives for the better. Truth is, were I to pursue law now, maybe I still could. Maybe I could become an immigration attorney or a defense attorney and help people. Maybe I could do Intellectual Property law. Maybe I could do Corporate law and help different ministries and non-profits.

Maybe…but I still think God didn’t chose to write my story that way. 

Maybe He allowed me to do badly at school so that I wouldn’t waste 7-9 years of my life seeking a career I would end up hating. Maybe, he allowed me to hold a low-risk job at a law firm to give me just enough of a taste to know I wouldn’t like it. Maybe, just maybe, all of that training I did to be a better lawyer was meant for something else entirely (like apologetics, which I also love) and I was never meant to step foot inside of a courtroom.

No, God didn’t choose to write my story that way.

I don’t have all the answers. I don’t do all the things I should. There are plenty of protests that I wanted to attend, but didn’t. There are ideas I’ve had (like one for a Christian political roundtable show) that I didn’t try to bring into fruition. Trust me, I may say I have an intense desire for justice in this world, but I also fail all the time at doing anything to bring change. I’ve stayed silent when someone made a racist comment for fear of losing my job (that person had the power to fire me on the spot). I’ve failed to write/call senators, etc. There are times when I did speak up, but there are also times when I haven’t. I have been guilty, more than once, of swinging too far to the other side and not acting Christlike towards brothers and sisters in the faith for their political beliefs.

And I don’t know exactly how any of the gifts God has given me fit into the bigger picture…but maybe, just maybe, it’s not for me to know just yet.

I should’ve been a lawyer, but I’m not…and praise God for that. 

Grace & Peace,

Christina

My Favorite Study Bible: The ESV MacArthur Study Bible

(The following post contains affliate links). 

When I was first saved, I didn’t know many other brothers and sisters in the faith. Because of this, I ended up walking into the nearest Christian book store and buying whatever I could find (which led to me reading some “questionable” things, to say the least).

Because of this, one thing I never want to stop doing on my blog is recommending theologically solid resources that will help you grow in your faith. So, without further ado, I present to you my favorite Bible study reference tool:

The ESV MacArthur Study Bible.

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I can not recommend this study Bible enough. It is my number one go-to resource for questions I have about scripture. While I will admit that I don’t agree 100% with John MacArthur (or any teacher, for that matter), he is an incredibly gifted Bible teacher. Every time I set out to read a chapter a day of scripture, I include a quick reading through that chapter’s commentary.

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Using an extremely detailed, verse-by-verse approach, John MacArthur breaks down just about each and every verse, giving full context and history details within the commentary. For those who don’t know, he is a pastor that is famous in the Reformed community for his expository preaching.

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You can also find maps and charts throughout the Study Bible. The one above charts out the miracles of Jesus and where you can find them specifically mentioned in the Gospels.

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You can also find maps in the back of the Bible visually depicting a variety of resources. Pictured below is a map of the twelve tribes of Israel.

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As I mentioned earlier, it is my go-to resource when I want to dig deeper into a specific passage or chapter. If I have a question and want to know the full context of something said, I usually pull out this Bible. I would recommend it for everyone and anyone looking to dig a little deeper into scripture (which should be all of us).

Not fond of the ESV? John MacArthur has a version of this Bible in NKJV and in NASB, if you’d prefer those translations.

As time goes by, I’ll be recommending more of my favorite resources for those interested!

Grace & Peace!

Lysa TerKeurst & Divorce

Divorce is never easy. 

Though I haven’t been through one, I am the child of divorced parents. Being that my parents divorced when I was a teenager, I have this odd upbringing of knowing what a “normal” family is supposed to look like, then suddenly having that taken away from me. I am no stranger to the negative consequences of divorce and, being a Christian and someone who passionately believes in Biblical Inerrancy, I don’t think God approves of most divorces.

That said, there are instances when God allows divorce and, if a brother or sister in the faith chooses divorce because of that specific instance, we can not call them a sinner or question why they “didn’t try harder”.

That’s not only unbiblical, but it’s a sin to treat our brothers and sisters callously. The Bible doesn’t say “all divorces are wrong”, but what it DOES say (in Romans 12:15) is to “mourn with those who mourn” (also translated “weep with those who weep“).

Which brings me to Lysa TerKeurst. 

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine commented on a Facebook post. I won’t call out the blog writer, so let’s just call their post “My Opinion On Divorce and Affairs“. After seeing my friend say he was disgusted by the blog, curiosity led me to read it for myself. What I found was mishandling of the Word of God and a shaming of a sister in Christ already going through a tough time.

And though the author may (or may not) deny that their blog post was about Lysa TerKeurst, it was most undeniably about a woman in her same situation. I will let you read Lysa’s blog for yourself, but to make a long story short, she is getting a divorce after dealing with her husband’s continuous affairs and substance abuse. She tried everything you’re supposed to try; prayer, counseling, couples intensives, therapy, etc. But her husband refused to repent and continued to sin, so she chose divorce.

She didn’t immediately divorce him (though, according to the Word of God, she had every right to). She tried to make it work, but she can only do so much if he refuses to change. Him not changing now exposes herself and her children not only to diseases, but to accidental exposure of substance abuse (and even possibly pornography, if that was a factor, which it usually is, but let’s not assume anything).

And once again, the Word of God allows her the right to divorce. 

Why then would the writer of the “My Opinion on Divorce and Affairs” blog ignore their biblical instruction to “mourn with those who mourn” and, instead, choose to assume she didn’t sleep with him enough, or she didn’t submit to him enough, or that she was too critical of him? Why, instead of offering words of kindness and compassion to a sister who is already going through so much, did she instead choose to anonymously refer to Lysa’s situation and criticize her by saying she hates that the women in these situations” fail to say anything they did to tear down their marriage,” (and that’s a real quote).

[Fact check: Most of the time, when one spouse brings sexual addiction into the marriage, the other spouse had NOTHING to do with that. It is an addiction that usually starts sometime in the teen years and had NOTHING to do with how available a spouse is or not. I’m not saying Lysa never did anything wrong. We’re all human and we all mess up. But Lysa, if you ever read this, that is NOT your fault. AT ALL.].

I’m not going to tear this blog writer apart. When I read things like this, I am tempted to (consider them literary temple tables, if you will), but I won’t. I would be no better than her, making assumptions about people I know nothing about. I will, instead, pray for her heart to be softened to the needs of Christian brothers and sisters.

And again, I don’t always agree with divorce. Even John Piper says that marriages can be saved after infidelity and, if you’re in that situation, you should try to save it. But given that Jesus HIMSELF said “I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another commits adultery,” (Matthew 19:9, emphasis mine),  and given that I don’t believe Jesus ever contradicted Himself (especially within a couple of sentences) I will take His words literally. 

Lastly, I want to speak to Lysa (and every woman who ever finds herself in Lysa’s spot):

Lysa,
What you are currently going through is a trial of incredible pain and anguish. First and foremost, I pray for sisters in the faith to surround you and be able to lift your head on days when even that much will seem too hard. I pray for sisters who will truly “weep with those who weep”, who will stand by you, encourage you, and wash you with the love of Christ. At the end of the day, true solace only comes from Christ, but He does bless us with brothers and sisters in the faith who tangibly demonstrate His love in our lives. And I pray for this over and over for you.

I pray God restores your husband and breaks him from this sin cycle. I believe restoration is possible. I believe full healing is possible. But as Matt Chandler says, “God can, I believe God will, but even if God doesn’t.” I believe God can bring restoration. I believe God WILL bring restoration. But even if He doesn’t, He is still good.

Lysa, do not listen to ill-informed blog writers who choose sinful criticism over their command to weep with you. Many women are praying for you and your family. You are not a tool to be used to garner page views. You are a human being, a woman loved and cherished by Jesus Christ, a woman made in the very image of God.

God bless you and your ministry and may He not only be glorified in this chaos, but may many come to know Him through your transparency and continued service with Proverbs 31.

Grace & Peace to all.

What To Expect When You’re Expecting

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Julie, I expected a lot to be different. I understood that a baby meant a lot of changes. I knew we (my husband and I) would have a lot less space in the house as her swings, playmate, crib, etc moved in, that we would have this tiny new human that relies solely on us for everything, and that I was responsible for teaching her about Jesus and what it meant to be a child of God.

I knew everything was about to change, but to be honest, one truth didn’t quite hit me until my second daughter, Janeen, was about half a year old. No one really told me this one thing; When you become a mother, there are things you will have to give up in order to raise your kids the way God intends.

It sounds like common sense, but hear me out.

For my entire life, even pre-Jesus, I was a writer. I was even voted “Most Likely to Become an Author” in high school. Everyone knew me as a writer. It was my identity. I also love speaking and teaching. After I became a Christian, I made numerous blogs about Christian Living. I had time to serve at church in multiple ministries, be part of small groups that hung out until 1AM, and even had time to go out with friends and spread the Gospel to Miami.

Fast forward to my family living in Phoenix with one more daughter added to the mix nd things are so different. We have a great church that we love, but I don’t have the time I used to. I can’t serve in multiple ministries. Who will watch my kids while I do so? I can’t hang out at a small group until 1 AM. My kids get cranky after 9PM or so. I can’t just go out late at night and evangelize in downtown Phoenix. The kids can’t tag along (they get cranky at 9PM, remember?) and my husband is busy enough (having a full-time job and doing music).

When I decided to rebrand my blog as “The Glass House Gospel”, I told myself that I would get more serious about my blog, which meant posting every other day and promoting on social media. I had even started making graphics on Instagram and posting them every morning to promote my blog.

But I had to stop myself. Sure, I was being successful at blogging…but what was paying the cost of all my attention going towards my blog?

It was my kids.

God really had to do a work in my heart. I adore my kids, but it was hard letting go of working on my dream to “be a famous writer” in exchange for focusing on teaching my kids while they are little. There will be a time when they are in school when I can focus more attention on things like writing a book or making blog posts. But for today, in this season, the time is simply not there. And even though I believe the ability to write came from God to glorify Him, this isn’t the season for me to really focus on that. The truth is, in this season where my kids are little and my husband is really busy, there just isn’t time to do everything. Something will have to give.

No one really sat me down and explained this to me.

Mothers (and soon-to-be mothers), can we just be honest? Motherhood is hard. It really challenges you. As your kid grows and enters different stages of development, the challenges also get harder. There may be things you truly enjoy that may have to take a backseat for a while. Just keep in mind that it is just a season. Our little ones are only so little for so long. Enjoy them while you can, praise God for them, and raise them to know and love Christ as best as you can, praying for His grace and mercy along the way. The time may come when you can pick up that ministry that you love doing again, but for today, your most important disciples are pulling on your leg and asking for another cookie.

 

Untouchable

 

WE ARE UNTOUCHABLE. 

As Christians, there isn’t a thing anyone can do to mess up the plan of God. Because of that, we are UNTOUCHABLE until God calls us home. We have no reason to fear accidents, bombs, terrorists, diseases, attacks, and ultimately death. If God has a purpose to accomplish through us, and that work is not yet done, we are untouchable.

God WILL accomplish His purpose through us, no matter what happens. There is nothing we can do to mess that up. There is nothing anyone else can do to us to mess that up either. Nothing in Hell or on Earth has the ability to one-up the Lord, the Creator of everything that has ever existed.

Matt Chandler once put it this way in a sermon: “Nobody dies early…I am untouchable until it’s time“.

Because we are untouchable:

  1. We know that this life is temporary and that our true citizenship is in Heaven. Our lives are not about amassing wealth or creating as safe a living space as possible. Our hope is not in how much a dollar is worth or how powerful we are. Untouchable Christians know that their purpose on Earth goes beyond themselves. Our purpose is to bring glory to God, which sometimes means entering spaces completely devoid of Him in order to shine His light into the darkness.
  2. We don’t have to fear death. As Matt Chandler said, nobody dies early. This doesn’t mean you should test God by jumping off of a cliff to see if He saves you (though, there are many powerful testimonies of people who genuinely wanted to end their lives and God didn’t allow it). This means that death is not something we need to fear. As Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). If we live, then we live for Christ. If we were to die, it would be gain to be with our Creator. Untouchable Christians believe this and know, because they are living sacrifices for Christ, death only comes once God allows it to be so.
  3. We can look at “less than desirable” circumstances and see them as instruments of mercy and grace. For some, death isn’t what strikes fear in their heart; it’s being alive. We live in a depraved world, surrounded by the consequences of sin. Everyone is broken in one way or another. Some are more broken than others. Some have gone through traumatic events in their lives, events that replay over and over in their minds. For those who have considered taking their own life, I am not minimizing what you have been through. I’ve been there where you may find yourself today. I understand fully what it feels like to dread waking up tomorrow. What I am saying is this: God can use the darkest moments in your life and turn them into your greatest ministry. Untouchable Christians know that God allows things into our lives for reasons we may never know, but ultimately, we can be confident that He will not only be our comfort for those dark moments, but He will use those things to help us minister to others in similar situations.

Hear me out here: Your Lord, Jesus Christ, calms the winds and the waves. He heals the sick. He gives sight to the blind. He drives out demons by speaking to them.  He brings the dead to life, both physically and spiritually.

He spoke every single atom into existence. He wired your brain to be able to interpret letters into language. He gives your lungs permission to breathe their next breath. He controls the thermostat on Earth, making it the PERFECT temperature (one degree off and we would perish). He is the ring leader that controls the “circle of life” around you. The plants turn light into food because He made it so. They create the oxygen that is vital to you because tells them to.

Listen to me: 
YOU ARE UNTOUCHABLE UNTIL HE CALLS YOU HOME. 

Grace & Peace