How to Keep Your Torch Burning Bright for Christ.


After indulging in food in a manner that crossed the clearly marked line between pleasure and gluttony, again. I was a little dumbfounded and overwhelmed with this habitual, willful sin in my life. I was dumbfounded because I’ve had moments when I was able to walk away from abusing food. I also was overwhelmed because here it was again, and I was tired of repenting for this same sin. Afterward, my behavior mirrored those of my ancestors in the garden of Eden. I hid and then I tried to fix my nakedness. I dug around some of my favorite Christian resources, seeking to find something on this topic. I found this blog post on Desiring God. The author wanted to encourage young Christians in their walk with the Lord. I’m not exactly a young Christian, but I am a wobbly infant in Christ (less than a year and a half). The author points at something I never considered in overcoming temptation and fighting sins. He says, “sin is conquered by bigger loves, not by bigger muscles.” All this time I’ve been praying for self-control when according to the author I need to love God more than I love sin”.

That one thought started the ball to rolling in my mind.Had my love for the Lord gone cold? Was this gluttony or idolatry? Was I trying to serve two masters at once; my appetite and God? In my defiance to honor God with food, had I made the choice which of the two I would serve?

I can still remember those first few months after Christ, the eagerness, and excitement. I remember those hours I spent reading the Bible. How every verse evoked sheer unbelief. I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with all the new discoveries. I discovered that I was deeply loved. I discovered I was chosen and appointed. I discover that my life had real meaning and purpose. And that somehow I was really precious to God. It was a time marked by many changes in my life, from depression to joy. A life of futility to a life upheld by God’s eternal purposes.

Somehow I’ve lost my way along the way. Which led to me placing my affections on food, and inwardly feeling like God had arrested my life instead of redeeming it.

My weak flame for Christ had made a domino effect in my life. From my church attendance to personal worship, even down to my time in the Word. I’m sure that it even affected my personal relationships. Seeing the dangers hidden in possessing a low burning fire for God, I felt compelled to make a list.

How to Keep Your Torch Burning Bright for Christ

1.Prayer

We can do nothing apart from God. We need to confess our lack of devotion so He can heal us. We need God to remind us what stirs up our love for Him. And also what has the ability to diminish our love for Him. What extinguishes our desire for Him may be improperly positioned friendships or relationships. The content we watch on TV or the Internet. Sports. The music we listen to may also be the culprit. While none of these things are inherently evil, we are counseled to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23).

2.Remembering the Things You Did Before

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Rev 2:5)

It sounds pretty simple, but this was the advice our Lord gave to the church in Ephesus. The problem wasn’t in the activities of the church in Ephesus, but that they had ceased doing them. What have you ceased doing? Do it again!

3. The Bible

I couldn’t compile this without the word of God. Scriptures are of essential importance because they focus our mind completely on the Lord. We are so often busy and so easily distracted, that God doesn’t become our sole focus. In the Bible we learn more about who God is, correcting our often incorrect thinking of God. We set our eyes on His promises. And too like Moses God allows His glory to pass before our very eyes. It’s only when our minds are on Him, that we find perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).

4. Worship

Nothing re-aligns our affections more than worship. In worship, we loudly sing, “Lord I give You the praise, not the gifts You’ve given me.” The truth is we are wired to sing praises and to worship, but if not unto God then onto who? Worship keeps the King on the throne of our hearts. Yet, beloved let us not chase our feelings in worship. We don’t worship to match the last experience we had with God, we worship Him because He is worthy. It’s often through worship that we are reminded of His eternal worthiness. We become aware that out of all the things the Lord has wrought for us, we get to worship Him.

5. The Cross

How often do we forget about what Christ suffered for us? At the cross is where we found Him, we shouldn’t hope to leave there. Pity parties and self-righteousness both loses their grip when we see Him who could rightly partake in pity. When we see Him who is truly righteous, alone. We are reminded at the cross of the great love that we are loved with. It’s only then that we can muster up love and offer it to our Savior.

Saints, take fresh courage. Mourn for your sin and confess them to God, and believe you are forgiven. Remind yourself that Jesus Christ died for this sin as well, and love Him even more. Stand in awe of the mercy and steadfast love of the Lord. Thank God that you have a love that will not let you go. For the sake of suffering Servant, enjoy God. Jesus decreased from glory to humanity, from heaven to earth. He dwelled in the womb of a woman and was born completely helpless so that He could help us. He grew up in obscurity and surely didn’t live a lavish life. He wasn’t arrested, flogged, and hung for you to believe that you are not forgiven. Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Luke 10:27), and fight to set your heart on things above and not on the perishing things below (Colossians 3:2).

Please, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter. And, stop by my shop and pick up some cute tees. Thank you for checking my little square of the Internet, be sure to follow and like. Thanks for reading and supporting my blog. I pray that it edifies you and glorifies God.

My Favorite Apps +Links

 

It’s been on my mind and heart for the past week to share a list of Bible study resources, apps and podcasts alike. There are a lot of dark alleys on the Intenet, but there are also amazing and edifying resources for Christians. I’ve been saved for well over a year, and this is just a small compilation of my go-to resources, blogs, and mobile applications. I pray that it will help you and on your journey to grow in your love and knowledge of God.

Must-Have Apps

  • Holy Bible (YouVersion) -This application offers many modern translations, free devotionals and the ability to take notes and makes it easy to share the word of God on any social platform.
  • Blue Letter Bible iPhone|Android– This application is best for when you desire to study the Word and not just read it. BLB includes commentaries (text and audio), dictionaries, and makes it easy to look up words in Hebrew or Greek.
  • Logos iPhone|Android -Another app that is designed for intense Bible study. This application also has a desktop companion app that is even more extensive. When you are seeking to dive yet even deeper this the app for you. While the app can be a bit overwhelming it is also rewarding.
  • CC&RC iPhone|Android– It was until recently that I’ve learned about catechisms and creeds of the early Church. A catechism is a summary of Christian principles in the form of questions and answers. The questions are answered based on Scriptures. A creed is a statement or confession the old Church would recite to state their beliefs.
  • Whole Magazine iPhone|Android– This app is geared towards women of all ages. It contains daily devotionals, and also contains edifying blog post. The drive behind this website/ app is to give women a desire to know sound doctrine and theology (the study of God).
  • Revive Our Hearts– is an app that includes the blog posts and the amazing podcast. This app always has something new to read or listen to.
  • SermonAudio– This app is exactly what it sounds like, an app to listen/watch to various sermons from Pastors all around the world. You can peruse the huge collections by topics and even down to the exact Bible verse. (I believe that most of these sermons teach sound doctrine, yet we all should be using discernment. That means opening your Bible and making sure that what is be preached is the word of God.

 

Favorite Bible Study Resources:

This list includes links to help supplement our knowledge of God.

Favorite Blogs:

Were you familiar with the links I’ve shared? What are some of your own personal favorites that didn’t make me list? ||Please, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter. And, stop by my shop and pick up some cute tees. Thank you for checking my little square of the Internet, be sure to follow and like. Thanks for reading and supporting my blog. I pray that it edifies you and glorifies God.

 

You Don’t Have to Earn God’s Love

Today, I had a very difficult day. I ended my night, or should I say early morning weeping into a pillow. My eyes are swollen and heavy as I write this. Somehow, I’ve ended up in a place I’ve visited before. This place of self-righteousness, and feeling a need to earn the love of God. It sounds silly, I know. It’s amazing how our brokenness and the familiarity of issues we’ve had with people, shows up in our fellowship with God.I guess I’ve had a past of wanting to be liked by people so badly, that I often put on shows. Also, I’ve dealt with feeling like the kindness of people hung over my head. I’ve always hated the feeling of “being a burden” to anyone. I would have to quickly return their kindness, to feel at ease. So, I guess if this brokenness had not shown up in my relationship with God, it would’ve never been fully brought to my attention.

I love when words flow and compliment one another, but I’d prefer that my blog would be authentic.In my mind when I’m accomplishing the list of Christian duties, then I’m bringing God glory. When indeed it’s when I’m aware of my own weaknesses and I’m completely humbled that I can too bring Him glory.

I say these things to say that you, you reading this are loved by God. There is nothing you could’ve done to earn His love, nor is there anything you can do that will make Him stop loving you. He chose in His Son before the light overcame the darkness, God has been loving you for such a long time. He’s got such awesome plan for your life.That old sin that you’re clinging to, God has something better to give you. Your weaknesses and shortcomings don’t dismay Him nor can it remove His devotion. When the Father looks at you, He sees His Son. Yet, He does see you and loves you completely. Yes, you are a mess, but God still loves you. I don’t know what you’ve been through or what you’ve experienced, but you don’t have to EARN God’s love. God’s love is pre-existing and sovereign. His love is not fickle or feeble. No matter how much or little you’ve studied, or prayed He loves you just the same. You are loved by God. You are deeply loved by God.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that you would remove this manmade equation from our hearts. This action plus that action does not equal Your love. Lord, remind us that it’s through Your Son’s actions that we are reconciled with you. Lord, save us from self-righteousness. It wrecks any hope of us enjoying You. It literally takes Your most deserved praise out of our mouths. Lord, let us accept our weaknesses and not resent them. Let us do things from our hearts and not from seeking to earn your love. God, let us strive for holiness with all of our might. And, when we make bad choices may we not believe in Satan’s lies. Lord, show us how to rejoice in suffering and in failing. Lord, we don’t want to be in this place again. Lastly, Lord fills us and make us whole. We love you. I say this prayer in Jesus name, Amen.

Please, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter. And, stop by my shop and pick up some cute tees. Thank you for checking my little square of the Internet, be sure to follow and like. Thanks.

Singleness and Seeking

There was an intense period in my life where marriage became an idol in my heart. I was new-er in the faith, and I was slapped in the face with a desire for marriage. I had never experienced anything like it before I got saved. I wasn’t hardly aware that it became an idol, but it became an excuse for my discontentment. I couldn’t go on social media without pouting. It was a serious issue. And, to add insult to injury I wasn’t guarding my heart. I would see a man and think ‘Lord, is this, my husband?’ It was exhausting, thankfully God showed me the idol I’d made of marriage.

This began the process of realizing that a man and a ring could not fix any of my heart issues. God revealed to me that this exceeded far past marriage, I wanted love and approval. And, that was a heart issue, one that only He could fix. I soon realized how silly it all was, here it is I have Love, and yet it wasn’t enough. I have God’s approval, and yet it wasn’t enough. I wanted something “tangible”, something that could be applauded by the world I live in. God also had me informed by godly couples who were transparent about the fact that marriage is hard. Those butterflies in your stomach and that new love feeling eventually blows over. One couple even called marriage, ‘the cross’. Eek. That marriage shows us our selfishness, and for it to work we must die to ourselves.

I realized I had some very unrealistic expectations about marriage. I’m sure that is the reason why most marriages fail today. I believe we as women we expect men to be our Prince Charming. God had to reveal to me that what my Savior did on the cross for me, would always be unmatched. That only Jesus saves and satisfies. And, the expectations that I expected from a man (made from dust), were not realistic.

And, recently the Holy Spirit had whispered to me, “pray for your husband”. And, I was in shock. By God’s grace, I had removed marriage from God’s throne, and I was sure that praying for some man I didn’t know would lead me to right back where I was. The first few times I prayed for him, I could not call him ‘my husband’. It just seemed weird. I prayed that God would keep my mind and heart occupied before He sent me my husband. I was afraid of going back to that place of pouting and sulking.

And, because God is faithful I hadn’t experienced those feelings yet again. Until tonight, and it came out of nowhere. Well, Satan had been planting seeds today (as always) and I think I wasn’t capturing those thoughts as quickly as I should have. So, later on, while I’m trying to read my Bible. A picture enters my mind of a woman I follow on social media who had very recently gotten engaged. And, boy did Satan taunt me with it. The tears came out of nowhere. I thought my prayers were making me miss the future husband I haven’t even met. I even thought God was stirring me up to love and miss this man I hadn’t yet met. I’m not even sure what I believe.

But, I know that what I need is for God to continue conforming me to the image of His Son. I know I need to find my identity and worth in Christ, alone. I know I ain’t ready to be nobody’s wife, yet. I know I need to keep my eyes on Jesus and be present in my life. I need to continue to pray for my husband and our future marriage. It will be hard, but it will honor God. I also need to trust in God’s wisdom and know His timing is perfect.

So, I just wanted to encourage you that God is faithful. And, we need to stay in the Potter’s hands so He can make us all He intended us to be.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that we would seek the fountain of living waters. I pray that we would seek you with all of our hearts and might. I pray that when we feel lonely, we’ll sit at your feet God. When we want to belong, we’ll think about our adoption as your children. I pray that we will always seek you first God. I pray that we won’t count on anyone but You to make us feel valid. Lord, may we cling to you, and may you hold uphold us with a willing spirit. God, let your love and acceptance be enough. I pray that we would speak your Words to our seeking hearts. Lord, we know only You can make us whole. There is no one but Jesus who saves. We thank you for His blood today. We say this prayer in Jesus name, Amen.

Please, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter. And, stop by my shop and pick up some cute tees. Thank you for checking my little square of the Internet, be sure to follow and like. Thanks.

Grace


“On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat.”‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭1:4-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I was going to make this blog about Hannah and her godly traits. But, as I was journaling and inwardly rolling my eyes because of Penninah. I was reminded of grace.

I read these stories in the Bible, and I bring myself into context. I would be Hannah, and I imagine Penninah to be some popular girl in school; who I secretly admired, but yet openly was rejected by. So, I found myself inwardly doing what Hannah wouldn’t do at that table, every year. Then, the Holy Spirit tapped me on my shoulder and whispered ‘grace’.

Penninah was an unloved woman, it (v.5) doesn’t read that Elkanah loved Hannah more than Penninah; it reads ‘he loved her’. So, we can assume that though he had two wives, his love was devout and not divided.

I’m sure that much like Leah (Gen 29:32), Penninah assumed that having multiple sons and daughters would make Elkanah divide his devotion. But, to no avail. The Holy Spirit had to remind me that there are two hurting women at that table. Hannah had her husband’s love but wanted a child. Penninah had the children but wanted the love of her husband.

And, while Penninah was no angel, and did what was unpleasing in the sight of the Lord; she too was a woman troubled in spirit. Penninah should have followed Hannah and poured her soul out to the Lord. Instead, she looked forward to inflicting her hurt on another woman.

Prayer: Lord, may we be people who show grace towards the hurting who in return hurt us. May we as your vessels empty ourselves at your feet. Lord, we thank you that you are a God who hears unheard prayers. We thank you that we can always come to you, and in the solace of your Presence will you change our countenance. I thank you for loving the accused and the accuser.I pray that as you are making us into the image of your own Son, we will love like He does. I pray that we wouldn’t hold on to old wounds but allow you to heal them. For we know there is still balm in Gilead. I say this prayer in Jesus name. Amen

You Are Not Alone

 

I think where Satan can be triumphant, is when we believe that we are alone. When we think we are the only one being buffeted.(2 Cor 12:7) When we believe that we’re the only child of God, going through hardships. When he convinces us we are the only disciple counting the cost.

As if somehow, God is doing excellent things (engagements, babies, graduation, books, speaking engagements, etc..) in the lives of every saint- except you. The enemy really wants you to doubt God’s goodness! Or that we aren’t good enough to be used by Him.

You are not alone! I just experienced an attack that resulted in tears. I was on my knees pouring my heart out to God, telling Him all the lies I believed. And, how I feel that I know too much Scripture; to be here, feeling defeated yet again. How I should be able to defeat him, with the Word. Yet, I find myself not casting his lies down. Nor do I compare them with the truth.

God reminded me that I don’t need to sit and believe his lies, but I could call out for Him. I could run and hide in his pavilion.

God is breaking me down- I was (BC) so hell-bent on being self-sufficient. This desire stems from me losing half of my intermediate family (Mom +Bro). Since it’s just me and my Dad; and he’s not in good health. I felt that I would be alone and that I would have to know how to handle things on my own. Although I thought I was over this, it’s shown up again.

But, let me assure you; this Christian life isn’t easy. But, I know that it’s worth it. I know we have the ability to see anyone (who just happens to be wearing clean clothes) and think, ‘their life is probably better than mines’. Well, that’s a lie. And, it robs us of our God-given joy. We are all a mess! We are a mess God chose to set His heart on. We are a mess that is awakened with new mercies and we are covered by His grace.

You are not alone! This is hard stuff, pursuing holiness in a wicked world.You are not alone! Leaving behind what the world taught you, to cling to God’s word as the only truth. You are not alone! Sometimes..just sometimes you miss your old self and your old life. You are not alone! You’ve thought about quitting this ‘Jesus-stuff’. You are not alone! 

So, be of good courage, my brother or sister. God has not forsaken you, and He doesn’t have the ability to. You are in good hands, and you are so loved. Think about it! God will do whatever is necessary, for you to spend eternity with Him. You are so valuable, and the body of Christ needs you. Be prayerful, rely on Jesus, and He will lead you from everlasting to everlasting.

Let’s be transparent in the comments. What was a really hard part of this month for you- concerning your walk with Christ? Please, share & like. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter. And, pick up a cool tee from my SHOP. Thank You.

 

Walking by Faith (& my shop)

Having an online shop was something I never thought I would do. And, while is not uncommon it’s something that never crossed my mind. Until the Holy Spirit suggested it to me. I was fearful and doubting who would even be interested in buying something I sold. But eventually, I made up my mind that God was more than trustworthy. And, that He knows what’s best for me.This is the beginning of me walking by faith, and not by sight.

This is a huge thing for me, it’s the first fruit of my communion with God. This is really happening! This shop is also God’s way of answering one of my prayers. God is so faithful. I feel so humbled by this opportunity.

…’I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.” Isaiah 46:11 (ESV)

I also want to encourage anyone who’s been afraid when God’s revealed a part of his purpose for your life. Do it! Write that book, article, song or screenplay. Open that company, charity, or school. If God told you to do it, know that He will do it! Trust Him!

I want to first thank you for the likes and follows on my previous posts, it means so much to me. I would really appreciate your support in this endeavor. Check out my shop in your free time.

I love you, but God loves you more!

The Thing About Idols + 6 Clues You May Be Dealing with Idolatry.


Idol: a picture or an object that is worshiped as a god.

“You shall not make idols for yourselves or erect an image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured stone in your land to bow down to it, for I am the Lord your God.”  Leviticus 26:1 ESV

The Israelites made idols NOT because of their disbelief in God, but because of pride and control. After all, God had delivered them from oppression in Egypt and performed many great things in their sight. Yet they continually formed gods who would only secure war victories and riches; and who had no disapproval about their decisions or choices. The silence of their gods approved of their reckless lives.

The Israelites knew God, but had no control, or hopes of manipulating  God; so they formed gods. Gods that weren’t so seemingly hard to please; gods that couldn’t chide, discipline or CORRECT them. Gods that inwardly they could boast they formed. It all points to pride. So, they could boast of their own riches, victories, and give no one else the glory. That is why God hates pride. Pride gives self-glory; and robs God of the glory, and credit He is due.

Even today we make idols, but unlike Biblical times; our idols aren’t wooden statues, but live in our hearts. An idol is something that in your mind or heart de-thrones the living King. The thing about idols is that the shift from a desire to an idol is quite a sneaky one. Sometimes our desire turned idol, is not in essence unholy. But, the focus we give it, is.To the extent that we ignore all that God does for us, to focus on the one thing He hasn’t yet done. The other thing about idols is it can be dangerous; if we aren’t awakened and recommit ourselves back to God.

So here are 5 clues that you may be harboring an idol: 

1.When you experience ingratitude for an extent of time.

Now we all go through a spell of ingratitude, for whatever reasons. But in this example, this sort of ungratefulness is actual disappointment in God. And, sometimes bursts of anger or resentment.

2.When your mind is filled with same thoughts of wanting, daily.

When you can only think about how much you want this one thing. What life will be like when you have this one thing? Why isn’t God giving me this one thing?

3. When your conversations with God or prayers are based on one topic.

Sometimes certain urgent situations require constant communication. However, in this example, you can’t shut up about this one thing. Over, and over harping on an endless loop.

4.When your faith dwindles because God hasn’t given you this one thing.

You began to think God hasn’t given you this one thing because He isn’t able. Not, because it’s an idol. Or, not because your focus on it is unhealthy.

5.When you want that one thing more than you want God.

Before all you wanted was to develop a closer relationship with God. Your desires were all correctly aligned with God in mind. Nowadays, God’s a little further away.Because, your heart isn’t set on Him, anymore.

6. When our natural inclinations to praise and worship aren’t towards God.

This one thing takes all your time, attention, and fills your mind. You now worship that one thing. In your heart, you lift it up and behold it.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 ESV

Conclusion

If any of these clues rang true for you; go in prayer, and ask God to reveal it to you. I went through a spell of making marriage an idol. I thought about it all the time. I dealt with lots of discontentment issues because of it. I told God ‘He was enough for me’, but in reality, He wasn’t. I wanted validation from a man. I wanted a prince charming to rescue me while ignoring my Savior. After tears and prayers, God worked it out for me. And, I know He will do the same for you.

I love you, but God loves you more!