Thursday, July 27, 2017

Pursuing God's Glory Continued...

I wish I could say that my divine revelation brought me joy over night, that because of my new mission, I was instantly joyous, but that isn't the case. The pursuit of God and His glory is just that, a pursuit.


pur·suit

noun



  • 1.the action of following or pursuing someone or something:"the cat crouched in the grass in pursuit of a bird"synonyms:striving towardquest after/forsearch for, ...

Pursuit is the action of following someone or something. Thus, it is constant. The pursuit of joy is the constant pursuit of Christ. They are one path. 

So what does it mean to pursue God's glory? It means to constantly seek Him. Constantly seek His word. Constantly seek to live Christ-like. It isn't enough to find God, receive salvation and then go on with your life. When you finally earn the love of another, do you stop trying? Aren't we supposed to maintenance our relationships, our marriages? Our relationship with God requires maintenance, it requires a pursuit of His likeness, of His glory. 

What is His glory?

His glory is all around us. It is in creation. It is revealed in Genesis when He created the heavens and the earth. It is revealed in His offering of salvation to a wicked people. The sun, the moon, how they know when to rise and fall. The sea, how it knows to brush against the shore so as to not wash it away. The cry of a newborn child after being birthed from its mother's womb. The persistent faithful prayer of a mother who refuses to lose her child to the world. The kneeling of an once sinner at a tear soaked alter. The plea of a burdened pastor for his flock. The compassion of God's people for a suffering world. The sincere prayer of an unknowing child. A praising church in a time of drought. Each of these acts of servitude and faithfulness reveal God's glory. 

Moses is the perfect example of a man's pursuit for God's glory. He desired to see God's glory desperately, and wouldn't take no for an answer.

"And he said beseech thee, shew me thy glory" (Exodus 33:18). "And the lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin..." (Exodus 34:6-7). 

Moses, being mundane as you and I, could not physically see God as He is, therefore God revealed His glory through His divine character. His glory is His mercy, His grace, His compassion and faithfulness, His justice and long suffering. God could have shown Moses His power and might, but instead He showed him his love. God showed him His glory by showing him His character. God's glory is revealed through His sincere love, through His perfect, unfailing, impartial character.    

So how do we live for God's glory? We follow in His likeness. We too must possess these glorious characteristics mentioned above. Man was made in God's image, therefore we must project His glory, His love and mercy. But we are only human, you say...how are we supposed to show mercy when no mercy is given? How do we show love to those who portray us? How are we to remain faithful when we have endured so much pain and suffering? How can we forgive without an apology? These thoughts are driven by revenge, bitterness, and malice. Not by God. These thoughts are driven by our need for joy in man. We look to family, friends, spouses, acquaintances to bring us joy, but the truth is, they are only human, and humans are imperfect. Man causes pain, even when they don't mean to. Man brings sadness, even when it is unintended. Man brings disappointment, even it is accidental. 

Moses didn't look to the people surrounding him for joy, and he definitely didn't find God's glory in man. No, he relentlessly pursued God's glory in God himself, and when God's glory was revealed, it was written all over Moses. Those very people who we so often look to for happiness, saw God's presence in Moses. God never intended for us to look to others for the kind of love only He can give. When we pursue God and His glory, His presence, His sacred character, lives within us. His mercy, love, grace, justice, long suffering, all radiate off of us for the entire world to see. His character will live through us, and that, Christ living through you, that will bring you joy. 

"The deepest and most enduring happiness is found only in God. Not from God, but in God." 
- John Piper

Don't pursue God for what He can give you, pursue Him for what He is to you. Relentlessly pursuing a God whom you have already found is the greatest love story you will ever live. Begin your love story now. Rekindle the fire that once burned inside of you and flourish in your constant pursuit of God's glory. 

-M




Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pursuing God's Glory

"It was not always plain to me that pursuing God's glory would be virtually the same as pursuing my joy. Now I see that millions of people waste their lives because they think these paths are two and not one." - John Piper

As I laid in bed last night crying I decided scrolling through Facebook may hold the key to my happiness (kidding...but seriously though), little did I know I would come across a post that may actually change my life. The post included the above quote. I loved the quote as soon as I read it, but was left puzzled. What exactly is God's glory, and how do we pursue it? 

You're probably wondering why I was crying. Let me fill everyone in since it has been over a year since I last posted!

As y'all know I was a full-time college student, naturally that is extremely overwhelming, so I found very little time to write. Recently however, actually exactly 10 days ago, I graduated with a degree in psychology: Christian counseling from Liberty University!! I am beyond excited to finally be finished, I mean that was my goal right? To finish? Well yes, and I am sincerely relieved, but I'm left wondering where to go from here? What's next?

Maybe I'm still in shock and this is like PTSD, or maybe I'm truly lost with no direction now. This is how I have felt since July 9th when I closed the final chapter of my very very long book called life. No, life isn't over, but that part of it is. A part I spent years writing. A part that took up all of my time, money, and sanity. There is no doubt in my mind that God lead me straight to that college, to that degree, so why does it feel like it had no purpose?

As I read that quote last night I realized that I didn't know what it meant to pursue God's glory. Of course I live my life for God daily, but are my dreams and His purpose for me the same? Am I chasing my own definition of joy? For so long I have put off working for the Lord saying I didn't have time because of school. "As soon as I finish school, Lord, I'm all yours." Sure I served him through it all, but did I completely consume myself in servitude? No. I put my own personal pursuits before God, and that is where the problem lies. That is why I am left joyless upon accomplishing something I thought was so important that God had to take the backseat. I didn't earn a college degree for God's glory, I earned it for the glory of myself and those around me. I wanted to be praised for my hard work. I wanted the approval of those who pushed me to do it and believed I couldn't. And where are those people now? Going about their everyday lives as if nothing had happened. For this, for my spiritual immaturity, I am left feeling as if I hadn't accomplished a thing. I am left empty.

So, as I proceeded to lay in bed and cry, I read the quote over and over again, "it was not always clear to me that pursuing God's glory would be virtually the same as pursuing my joy." Wow. It obviously wasn't clear to me at all. I know joy comes from the Lord, in fact, I ask Him for it often, but what I wasn't grasping was the fact that joy isn't merely given, it is received. It is received when we finally realize that pursuing GOD'S glory and OUR joy are ONE path. When we desire nothing else but to serve and please God, there will we find joy. There will we find accomplishment.

"To have found God and still pursue Him is the soul's paradox of love." - A. W. Tozer   

To be continued...

Blessings,

M.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Do modesty and summer go together?

As a full-time mother, wife, and student, I have found very little time for extracurricular activities, (such as blogging), and I deeply apologize for my absence. However, with the presence of summer approaching ever so quickly, I have found many posts circulating Pinterest regarding "modesty," and have really felt led to touch on the subject.

As the temperatures rise, so does the subject of "appropriate swimwear."  

Many people either disregard the topic all together, or just simply tiptoe around the answer as to avoid confrontation.

As much as I would love to please everyone, it is our jobs as Christians to spread the gospel. The full gospel. In truth.

So, here it is goes, the question of the hour (or season, rather), "is it okay for a Christian woman to wear a bikini?"

I have heard many answers to this question, all from Christian women. While some answer "no", many have various answers including: "yes, as long as it is not for vain reasons," "yes, because it is the most comfortable option for heat and water," "yes, because after struggling with my body image for so long I am now choosing to embrace my image and be proud," "yes, because I am pregnant and it is too hot to cover my belly," "yes, because I want to tan my entire body," "yes, because it is the most practical option."

Notice that no one ever said "yes, because I know that God doesn't mind," "yes, because the scriptures don't tell me I can't."

If your answer is "yes, because it is the most comfortable or practical option," ponder this thought, what if your daughter chose to wear short shorts and a top revealing her stomach to an outside event because it was "hot" outside and she simply felt that this was the coolest and most comfortable option? Is this deemed appropriate? If not, what makes wearing a bikini appropriate? Because you're sitting beside a body of water?

When I find myself facing these kinds of moral and spiritual dilemmas, and there is no black and white answer in scripture, I ask myself, "if God were standing in front of me at this very moment, would I be ashamed?"

When this topic is addressed from a Christian stand point, the answer is usually always "it is a matter of personal conviction."

And maybe it is, but let me share a few scriptures with you.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

What? Know ye that your body is the body of the temple of the Holy Ghost which is on you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

These scriptures tell us that not only are our bodies God's temple, but that our bodies are to glorify Him. Another words, YOU, inside and OUT, are supposed to represent God. If you are in a bikini just like everyone else, how would you stand out as a Christian?

You wouldn't.

1 Timothy 2:9 says for "women" to "adorn themselves in modest apparel."

Is a bikini modest? Be honest with yourself.

Mathew 5:28 says "whosever looketh on a women to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." I understand this is on men if they choose to commit this act, and that a man will lust over a woman who is fully clothed as well, and while we aren't responsible for another mans sin, I personally do not wish to knowingly contribute to another persons sin, and a man is more likely to lust over a woman who is half naked rather than modestly covered.

It was Eve who convinced Adam to disobey God, let's choose not to be an Eve.

Instead of justifying your choice by saying it is only because of convenience, study God's word and seek His guidance on the matter, let Him give you the answer.

If you knew that God was going to be at the pool or beach that you were attending, would you still wear a bikini? Or anything immodest for that matter?

Remember, Hebrews 4:13 says that there is nothing or no one hidden from the sight of God. "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth..." 2 Chronicles 16:9.

God sees us whether he is standing in front of us, or just simply looking down upon us from Heaven.

How would you dress if you walked everyday with God?

-M








Friday, March 4, 2016

The Power of Prayer.

Hello my lovely followers! I hope you have all had a good week. PTL it's almost the weekend! 

It has been a week here at the homestead. The devil has thrown one curve ball after another, trying his hardest to destroy my friends and family. From physical warfare to spiritual warfare, we've seen it or been through it lately. And while I would love to sit and complain about all of the havoc the devil has reeked this week, I refuse to give him anymore credit. I refuse to let him rule. I refuse to stand on the side lines while the adversary tries to bring my loved ones down. God is stronger than any forces that the devil tries to destroy them with.

How many scriptures are in the Bible about faith? How many times does the Lord say "ask," "pray," "seek me?" 

Countless. 

Remember, there is power in prayer. 

"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." -Mathew 21:22

 
My pastor referenced a mulberry tree last Sunday, and it brought a message to mind that I have heard before, that I am now going to share with you. It has brought me strength through times that my faith was  running low, and I hope it will do the same for you. 

In Chronicles 14:8-17, we learn of the prosperity of King David, as well as the power of prayer. 

Before King David decided to stand up against the Philistines, he sought God's will; before he fought them, he sought God's protection, and God delivered him. 

The Philistines attacked a second time, and once again, David turned to the Lord for direction, only this time, God sent the king to the mulberry trees. Instead of smiting the Philistines right then and there, he sends King David to wait patiently under the tops of the trees.

God told him, when you hear a sound in the tops of the trees, go forth. Go forth to smite the Philistines. 

"And it shall be, when thou hear a sound of going in (the noise of marching) the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt go out to battle: for God is gone forth before thee to smite the host of the Philistines." 

Now, you're probably wondering the significance of the mulberry trees. Let me explain. 

One, the Hebrew meaning of mulberry is "weeping." King David was a man of prayer, it is significant that he wait under a weeping tree. God sent him to his weeping place, a place of prayer. 

Secondly, Mulberry tree leaves do not make a rustling sound when the wind blows through them, which is why, if you look up the interpretation of this verse, you will find that skeptics believe it couldn't have really been a mulberry tree.

But if you serve the same God I serve, than you know, He is mighty enough to shake the tops of the mulberry trees. You know, He is powerful enough to make the  leaves whistle that heavenly marching sound, and send it echoing through the air. 

 When David heard the sound in the tops of the mulberry trees, he did as God commanded, and God brought him victory. 

The moral of the story is that: "a man is no greater than his prayer." 

We will not overcome the battles of life without prayer. 

Do you need a physical healing? Ask God. 

Do you need a spiritual healing? Ask God. 

Has your child gone astray and you don't know what to do? Seek God

Is your life full of turmoil and you're at your breaking point? Pray. 

A King, with all of the resources in the land, humbled himself before God, sought his will, and won the victory. 

"Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." -Mark 11:24

A friend shared that scripture with me today, just when I thought I couldn't breath another prayer, God reminded me of the power it brings.


Lord, please strengthen our faith. When we are fighting life's battles and lose our way, please help us to remember the strength you offer. If a mighty king can humble himself and ask for help, I surely can. Lord, you said ask, and ye shall receive. Here I am lord, asking, please deliver my loved ones from their affliction. Please bring our lost loved ones out of the depths of hell, and deliver them from their sins. Save them God, and put a wall of protection around them keeping them from evil. Lord, you're the ultimate healer. God, let your healing power flow down and touch us like only you can. Heal our bodies, minds, and souls, please Lord. Amen.

Do you have a place of weeping?

-M












Thursday, March 3, 2016

Dreamer. Doer. Writer. is now Instagram!

Dreamer. Doer. Writer. can now be found on Instgram under @dreamer_doer_writer! Give me a follow to stay updated on new posts, learn more about Dreamer. Doer. Writer., and see more into my life and what I love! 


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Noah's Ark: Genesis 5-8.

Good morning my lovely followers!

I don't know what your weekend consisted of, but mine was full of mid-terms, family and church gatherings, broke down vehicles, laundry, and much much more! So, if you had a busy weekend, like myself, you spent all day yesterday getting caught up on your Bible reading. 

This week, we are going to continue in the book of Genesis. I left off at chapter 4, so I am going to discuss chapters 5-8 with you this morning. 

Let's get started! 

Chapter 5: 

•This chapter consists of a second geneology, the first being in Chapter 4. It is a list of the ten descendants of Adam, to Noah. 

•It is as follows: Adam - Seth - Enos - Cainan - Mahalaleel - Jared - Enoch - Methuselah - Lamech - Noah 

•Note: In versus 22 and 24 it says, "And Enoch walked with God:" the phrase "walked with God" is only used for Enoch and Noah (6:9) here. If you look up the biblical meaning of "walk," you'll find it isn't just being used for its literal sense, to actually walk on foot, but it represents a way of life, or behavior. To say he "walked with God" is saying he lived a life that served God. 

Chapter 6 

•This chapter begins with the corruption of the earth, and with God warning Noah of his intent to destroy it. 

6:1-4
•men began to multiply on earth 
•sons of God (angels) took the daughters of men (humans) for wives and had children, thus "giants were on the earth in those days"

6:5-7
•God saw that man was wicked - including their hearts
•It grieved God that he had made and he decided he must destroy man and the animals he had created 

Note: Twice it says "and it repented the lord" that he had made man, "it repenteth me that I have made them." - The earths evil was so great, that God wish he hadn't created man or animal alike.

6:8-9
•Noah, (one of the two men who walked with God) found grace in God's eyes

6:11-13
•Flesh had corrupted the earth
•God told Noah he was going to destroy all flesh with the earth

6:14-16
•God instructs Noah to build an ark and even how to build it

6:17-22
•God says he is going to bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh - everything in the earth will die
•God allows Noah, his family, and two of every animal, male and female, to enter the ark to live

Note: Verse 18, "But with thee will I establish my covenant ;" this is the first time "covenant" is used
Covenant: a contract, or a binding promise
God is giving his word to Noah that he will protect him and his family

Chapter 7

7:1
•God found Noah righteous - why he was chosen to live in the ark
God

7:4
•It will rain for 40 days and 40 nights - killing everything on the earth

7:13
•Noah, his wife, his three sons, their wives, and two of every animal entered the ark

7:19-24
•The water grew and covered all the earth, including the mountains
•All flesh that moved upon the earth died
•Only Noah and they that were with him in the ark remained alive

Chapter 8

8:1-5
•God remembered Noah and everything that was with him in the ark
•God stopped the rain and the water began to decrease
•The ark rested on Mount Ararat

8:6-14
•On the 40th day, Noah sent out a dove to see if the water on the earth was gone
•The dove returned - the water was still on the earth
•Noah waited seven days and sent forth the dove yet again
•That evening, the dove returned with an olive leaf, the water was no longer on the earth
•Noah waited another seven days, let the dove out once more, and when the dove did not return, Noah opened the ark, and the land was dry.

8:15-19
•God allowed Noah, his family, and all the living things from the ark to enter out upon the earth, and to multiply the earth.

8:20-22
•Noah built an altar unto the Lord, where he took of every clean beast and fowl, and sacrificed them unto the Lord.
•The Lord was grateful, and said unto himself, that he would not again curse the ground for man's sake.

 The end.

Of the first 8 chapters anyways. Only 42 more to go!

What did we learn?

We learned of the descendants of Adam, all the way down to Noah. We learned of the flood, what caused the flood, and who survived the flood. We also learned of when the flood ended, and how life was, again, brought to the earth.

Lesson: Noah found grace in the eye's of the lord, and because Noah obeyed God, he lived. 



"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:"
Ephesians 2:8

Tomorrow, we will read of God's covenant, the shame of Noah, and the failure of man. (Maybe more!

-M











 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Starting in Genesis.

Good morning! If you read my post yesterday, than you know we are reading through the Bible starting in the first book, Genesis. Most of us have probably already read the book of Genesis, but I am OCD and want to start at the beginning. I will provide my notes for you along the way and hope you will join in!

I understand reading all 66 books of the Bible is a hard task to tackle, but if we do it together, make it fun, and hold each other accountable, it will bring so much joy to our lives. Not to mention, we will have a better understanding of God's word, and our walk with Him will be closer than ever!

Materials needed:
  • Bible - I use the KJV, I understand some prefer other versions as the KJV can be difficult to understand, however, I personally want my understanding to come from God, not man's interpretation. (This is just my personal opinion, I am not saying there is a right and a wrong here.)
  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Highlighters
Let's begin!

What does Genesis mean? It means "beginnings" of course!  (You probably could have guessed that, huh?!)

Genesis is the book of beginnings. We learn the beginning of creation, the fall of man, the first sin, murder, death, the first time fear was felt, establishing of the nations, and salvation...(to name a few).

First though, let's start in the first 4 chapters.

Yesterday, I read chapters 1-4. As I am reading, I like to take notes summarizing the scriptures, as well as record my understanding of them, but please study how you feel most comfortable.

Here's what I have:

Genesis 1:1-19
  • God created the earth
Genesis 1:20-22
  • God created the sea creatures, as well as the flying creatures
Genesis 1:24-25
  • God created the animals of the earth - living creatures: cattle, creeping thing, beast
Genesis 1:26-30
  • God created man - in his image
  • He gave them dominion over everything on earth
  • He commanded them to be fruitful and to multiply (have babies!)
Chapter 2

Genesis 2:2-3
  • God rested from his work on the 7th day and made this day holy
Genesis 2:4-25
  • These next scriptures are not chronological like the previous chapter but are more of an elaboration of creation
Genesis 2:7
  • This verse is an elaboration of 1:27 when God created man
  • God made man from the dust of the ground and breathed life into him - he became a living soul
Genesis 2:8-14
  • God created the Garden of Eden
Genesis 2:15-17
  • God placed the man he had created in the Garden of Eden, and forbid him to eat from the tree of knowledge
Genesis 2:18-20
  • God did not want Adam (man) to be alone
  • God gave Adam the living creatures and Adam named them - Adam was still alone however
Genesis 2:21-25
  • God created a women for Adam - formed from his rib
  • 24: the beginning of marriage
Chapter 3

In this chapter we see the first sin, as well as the fall, and curse, of man.

Genesis 3:1-6
  • Satan (the serpent) tempts Eve (women) to eat from the forbidden tree of knowledge
  • Eve eats from the tree and convinces Adam to eat as well
Genesis 3:7-13
  • Adam and Eve's eyes were open - they now saw good and evil
  • God confronts them - they hide in fear
  • Note: verse 10: this is the first time fear is mentioned in the Bible "and I was afraid"
  • 9-10: God questions them of their actions, expecting them to take personal responsibility, however, we see pride in their answers. Eve places the blame on the serpent - Adam says: "the women who thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree" - Adam is not only blaming Eve, but blaming God as well.
Genesis 3:15
  • This is a hard one! What is your interpretation of this verse?
  • The verse before this, God is cursing the serpent - and he is still speaking to the serpent here
  • What does enmity mean? Hatred.
Genesis 3:16-19
  • For what Eve has done, women will now experience suffering during childbirth
  • Husbands shall rule over their wives
  • The land Adam once had dominion over will now bring him suffering as he tries to control it
  • 19: We understand man must now die - just as man was made from dust, to the dust man will return
Genesis 3:22-24
  • We understand now that man is no longer in union with God - because of sin
Chapter 4

The first sons of Adam and Eve, as well as the first murder

Genesis 4:1-5
  • Eve bares two sons: Cain and Abel
  • Cain, the eldest son, was a "tiller" of the ground (farmer), who brought fruit offerings unto God, but did not find respect in God's eyes
  • Abel, the youngest, was a shepherd who also brought offerings to God, and God respected his offerings
  • Why does God respect Abel's offerings but not Cain's? Perhaps because Abel is offering something greater. He offers God the first born and fattest of his flock, this would cost him greatly, but he wants to give God his best. Cain, however, only offers God fruit, which isn't described as being the first or the best.
  • This angered Cain
Genesis 4:8
  • The first murder takes place in this scripture
  • Cain slew (murdered) his brother, Abel
Genesis 4:10-16
  • God curses Cain as a wonderer and fugitive of the earth
  • Another curse to a man because of sin
Genesis  4:17-22
  • These scriptures reveal Cain having a son, Enoch, and begin the history of Cain's descendants
Genesis 4:25-26
  • Adam and Eve bare another son, Seth
  • 25: Note: could this verse be referring to verse 15 of chapter 3? "For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew."   
Summary: We now have learned the beginning of the earth, fear, and pride, as well as the creation of man, the first sin, the fall of man, the curse of man, and the first murder. Side note: we also now understand why childbirth is so awful...thanks Eve!

We have learned of Adam and Eve, their two sons, Cain and Abel, Cain's wife, his son Enoch, as well as a long list of descendants of Cain. We also learned at the end of chapter 4 that Adam and Eve bore another son, Seth.

Yay! We have successfully made it through the first 4 chapters of the Bible! (Insert happy dance here!)

This is just the beginning...literally.

Tonight, let's try to tackle a few of the next chapters and meet here for another discussion tomorrow!

Remember, "The Bible is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions."

I want to be a witness of God's love, but how can I do that if I do not know his word?

-M