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Category: Christianity (page 1 of 2)

You Are Complete in Him

The spirit of fear is a nasty thing to contend with. It can creep up, whisper lies into your ear and convince you of something that hasn’t even happened yet, leaving you curled up in a little ball, holding your head, shaking and squeezing your eyes shut in an attempt to block it all out.

If you’ve ever dealt with fear and anxiety, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Ever since meeting my wonderful husband, God has been taking me on an incredible journey to reveal who I am in Him and what it means to truly live as a daughter of the Most High. During that process, He’s brought to light how much of a hold fear had on me and how I needed to be set free of it in order to fully imitate Christ’s lifestyle.

Fear and worry used to be a big thing in my life. Whenever events or situations came up, my first response would be to worry about all the “what ifs.” What if they don’t like me? What if this sickness turns into a horrible disease? What if our plans don’t work out? What if I never get married? What if I fail at being a Christian?

And the list goes on and on.

The spirit of fear is something the devil traps us with, making us think that it’s part of who we are and something we just have to deal with for the rest of our lives. But what many of us don’t realize is the complete freedom that is waiting for us in Christ! All we have to do is take hold of it and believe in His goodness and grace. As Dan Mohler said in his “School of Kingdom Living” series:

Don’t take to heart what the devil throws at you,
for you have already been delivered! It’s not who you are!

You don’t have to listen to the lies. Why? Romans 8:1 puts it plainly:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,
who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)

As long as we have God on our side, we can stand firm in our faith and turn to the One who saves whenever we feel another bout of fear coming on. Now, I’m not saying it’s gonna be easy. I struggled for three consecutive months to rid my life of fear and anxiety – crying out to God, leaning on my husband, curling up in a ball just wishing the world would leave me alone.

But once you come to a realization of what it means to live as a child of the Most High God, it becomes easier to reject the lies that the devil throws at you. “Once you’ve submitted to God, you’ve already resisted the devil. There’s no need to tire yourself out by fighting” (Dan Mohler). It’s all about having the mindset of Christ and continually being refreshed by the Spirit.

How do you accomplish that? Through communion and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Spend time in the Word. Pray. Talk with God and wait for Him to respond. “The key to resisting the devil and making him flee is to build yourself up in God” (Dan Mohler)

 “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
and you are complete in Him,
who is the head of all principality and power.”
(Col. 2:9-10)

You are loved by the Creator of all things. Praise Him in the dark times and He will set you free!

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Righteous Identity Through Godly Reality

Many times we have trouble fully grasping the potential we have as sons and daughters of the Most High God. If you haven’t been taught about what it means to stand firm in your identity and to operate in the Spirit on a daily basis, then coming to a complete understanding of who we are in Christ can be a tough step to take.

Let’s start by reading the first part of Colossians 1:21, where we see a brief description of who we were before accepting Christ :

“And you, who one were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works,”

Not a pretty picture, right? But thankfully doesn’t stop there. Let’s read the rest of the verse:

“…yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death,
to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.

So, what does this mean for us as followers of Christ?

Well, for one thing, we don’t have to give in to the lies that the devil keeps whispering in our ear. As Dan Mohler said in his “School of Kingdom Living” series, “Don’t take to heart what the devil is throwing at you, for you’ve already been delivered.” The minute you decided to believe in Christ, your old, sinful self died and you took on a new identity (Christ’s). This means that you’re “above reproach” in God’s eyes, so whenever the devil tries his tricks, all you have to do is stand firm in the reality of your identity and turn your focus toward heaven.

I’m not saying it’s easy the first time, but the more you practice praising Jesus and thanking Him amidst your low points, the easier it gets to focus on Him and not the situation.

The next part of understanding what it means to be “holy, blameless and above reproach” is to operate in our “righteous identity through godly reality” (Dan Mohler). Since we are completely made new in Christ,  we have ability to see the world through His eyes and make a difference. All we have to do is ask Him to show us. By opening your heart and mind to what the Spirit has to say or listening to those nudges to pray for people, you’re starting to take a step toward operating within the spiritual realm.

What it really all comes down to is knowing who you are in Christ. Don’t give into the lies; stand firm in the reality that you are a “new creation,” “holy, blameless and above reproach!”

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Realizing Our Identity in Christ

“Love has been perfected among us in this:
that we may have boldness in the day of judgement;
because as He is, so are we in this world.”
(1 John 4:17)

Read that last line one more time – “…because as He is, so are we in this world.”

Now take a moment to really think about it. If you still don’t fully comprehend it, that’s just fine. It took me over a year to figure out what that part of the verse meant in my life and, to tell you the truth, I’m still getting revelations about it.

It all comes down to your identity. Do you really understand who you are in Christ? What being a son and daughter of the Most High God means for your life? Dan Mohler, a pastor known for his enthusiasm and unashamed passion for Christ, has a series on YouTube called “School of Kingdom Living.” It details who we are in Christ and how a realization of that identity can completely change our lives.

One of his points is that Christians tend to base their potential in Christ off of what they feel. If they don’t feel super spiritual one day or if they’ve stumbled in some way the next, then it’s as if they’ve fallen to the bottom of the slippery slope and have to crawl their way back up to the top. That’s not the way it is at all, according to Mohler:

“He did not die to expose that you’re sinners.
He died to remove sins and to expose that you’re sons!”
(Dan Mohler)

It’s not like we have to earn a certain number of points in order to perform miracles in the Spirit or to hear from God. He sees you as a completely new creation and is ready to reveal Himself to you in this moment.   All you have to do is confess or declare that it’s not you that stumbled and thank God that the old you is dead and gone. Praise Him for making you a brand new creation and step into the revelation that Christ is still within you. There’s no way you could ever lose your sonship.

Overall, it’s an understanding of love that opens our hearts and minds to this revelation. By believing that “love has been perfected among us in this…” we realize who we are in Christ. Through that, we can live by what we believe and manifest that in the world around us. So don’t get down on yourself about how you may have messed up or how far you have to go to obtain that level of righteousness.

Receive and accept the identity that has been granted to you today through Christ!

 

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Re-Igniting the Fire of Passionate Worship

What would you do if you caught a glimpse of the throne room of God? Dance for joy? Gawk in awe? Fall flat on your face out of respect and fear? Sadly, these aren’t the responses of many Christians who participate in worship. Whether it’s singing in church on Sunday morning or gathered with a group of believers on a week night, worship is supposed to bring you into the presence of the Most High God. Yet most times our “worship” can seem like just another song that happens to be on the agenda. If our focus and our heart aren’t in the right place, what was meant to be a special time in the throne room of our Heavenly Father can easily turn into a less-than-meaningful experience.

Worship requires a certain level of intentionality, passion and focus. So, how do you achieve this? Spend time in His Word! No, I don’t mean just anywhere in the Scriptures. Seek out passages that talk directly about His glory. For example, this past week, my small group read through Ezekiel 1, where he describes the vision he had of the glory of God:

“… a whirlwind… a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself;
and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber.”
(1:4)

“… within it came the likeness of four creatures…
Each one had four faces and each one had four wings…

each had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side,
each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had a face of an eagle.”
(1:5-6, 10)

“The likeness of the firmament above the heads of the living creatures
was the color of an awesome crystal,

stretched out over their heads… and above the firmament over their heads
was the likeness of a throne,

in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness
with the appearance of a man high above it.”
(1:22, 26)

“…and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were,
the appearance of fire with brightness all around.
Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day,
so was the appearance of the brightness all around it.
This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of God.”
(1:27-28)

Just take a moment to picture all of that. Read through those portions again if you have to. It’s pretty amazing, right?

DSCN1310-2Once you obtain a revelation of how awesome our God is, the intentionality, passion and focus of worship should happen naturally. I find that reading and picturing passages like the one in Ezekiel help me to focus on God’s glory during a time of worship. I mean, it’s super difficult to be nonchalant in worship while picturing something as wonderful as the throne room and majesty of God.

Worship was meant to be a tangible experience for every believer. It shouldn’t become a routine. It shouldn’t be obligatory. Worship should be a time of expressing your love and awe of who God is. It’s an intimate time with your Creator who loved you enough to give up His own Son in order to secure your redemption. Don’t waste a moment of it.

“To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father,
to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
(Rev. 1:6)

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Bask in the Presence

“He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, bending beneath the weigh of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of this afflictions eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful
You are and how great Your affections are for me.” 

“How He Loves Us” is one of my absolute favorite worship songs and it’s recently become my life goal… to realize just how much God loves me! Have you ever taken a moment to just meditate on how vast and how deep that love must be?

Let me tell you, it’s something worth contemplating 🙂

Ever since marriage, God has been opening my eyes and heart to the meaning of pursuing a love that never fails and what is actually possible when we live our lives in complete dependence on Him.

 

DSCN7908I recently joined the worship team at my church as a second female vocalist. Over the last few months, we have done two outreach events at different parks (one in Easton, PA, and the other in Quakertown, PA) and He has shown up every time. We just did the outreach in Quakertown this evening and I was told before we started that God was going to speak to me during our worship time. Of course that got me all excited and, sure enough, about halfway through singing I hear this voice in my head that said, “I love you, My child.”

Woah.

I grinned and kept right on singing, just losing myself in the worship and not worrying about the people who might be watching (which is a new thing for me, because a few months back, I would be super nervous about singing in front of people).

Then I heard this: “Just bask in My presence. Pursue me and I will do things that are beyond your wildest dreams.”

Imagine the tears of joy that welled up when the next song was “How He Loves Us:”

“And we are His portion and He is our prize, drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
if His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking. And heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss
and my heart turns violently inside of my chest.”

When God speaks, it’s not always a clear voice. He’s spoken to me in so many different ways – creation, His Word, a thought, books, photos, people – and this was just a crystal clear thought that came outta nowhere and stuck in my mind. I’ve been asking God to reveal Himself to me in new ways each day and He has! In Matthew 7:7-8 it says:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives and him who seeks finds and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

It’s that simple. All we have to do is ask.

God loves us. We are His special, chosen people who He wants to bless (1 Peter 2:9). During the short time that I’ve been on the worship team, He has opened my eyes to the true meaning of worship and how freeing it can be. It doesn’t have to be a routine, gotta-get-it right-every-time type of thing. Yes, you have to be good stewards of your talents and practice, but don’t get so caught up on the technicalities that you lose sight of the reason you’re up there.

As the author of Hebrews said in chapter 13:

“Therefore, by Him, let us continuously offer the sacrifice of praise to God,
that is, the fruit of your lips, giving thanks to His name.” (vs. 15)

Make it a daily practice to bask in His presence and in His Word. Pursue your Heavenly Father and He will come running to meet you! Once you realize or remember the joy and wonder of being in constant praise and adoration of our Savior, you’ll never want to stop 🙂

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But first… praise!

God has a knack for blowing me away with how awesome He is!

Ok, so a couple weeks ago, I was reading the story of Jehoshaphat, which can be found in 2 Chronicles 20.

Jerusalem was surrounded by a mass of enemies – the Moabites, Ammonites and others – and the situation was looking pretty grim. It seemed like there was no way the Israelite army could win this battle. So their king, Jehoshaphat, did the most logical thing… he stood in the house of the Lord before the entire assembly of Jerusalem and declared:

“O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations,
and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?
… If disaster comes upon us – sword, judgement, pestilence or famine – we will stand before this temple
and in Your presence… and cry out to You in our affliction and You will hear and save.” (vs. 6, 9)

Uhh, what? Even if they starve, are tortured or killed, they would still stand before their God, assured that He would save them? Why did the king say this?

“For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us;
nor do we know what to do,
but our eyes are upon You.” (vs. 12)

Ah, there it is.

King Jehoshaphat realized there was no way they could defeat the enemy on their own power. The only thing that could possibly save them in some way was their God – our God of today – who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and never forsakes His people or His promises (Deuteronomy 31:6).

So how did they prepare for this impossible battle?

The king’s pep talk can be found in verse 17: “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them for the Lord is with you.”

Wait a minute. They won’t need to fight? How can the king be certain of this?

Ohh, just you wait. It gets better 🙂

Ok, so far we know where Jehoshaphat stood and that he was completely depending on God for this victory, but how in the world was He going to carry out this amazing rescue without losing a single Israelite?

Well, the king’s next move was to bow before the Lord and worship Him, with the Levites and others standing “to praise the Lord God of Israel with voices loud and high” (vs. 19). Then he encouraged them to “believe in the Lord your God and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper” (vs. 20b)…

… and then appointed more singers to praise the Lord.

Hold on. More singing? Uhh, didn’t they have at least three massive armies outside their gates waiting to completely destroy them?

“Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon,
Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated…
so when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude;
and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped” (vs. 22, 24).

DSCN1805Salvation happened immediately! See? Right when they BEGAN to sing – not during, not an hour or two after, but when they first started! – God swept in and ambushed the enemy.

Yikes! I can’t even begin to imagine what it must’ve been like for the armies outside the walls. Maybe they could hear the praises and singing coming from the city and were scoffing at the people inside. Maybe they were partying and drinking, celebrating their coming victory a little early. Who knows?

All we do know is that when Judah came out of the city the next day, they saw fields filled with dead bodies, possibly the embers of multiple fires still burning and ragged tents and flags blowing in the gentle breeze.

And get this: it took them 3 days to cart away the loot from all the camps.

Three days!! Talk about abundant blessings from God 🙂

“Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat in front  of them,
to go back to Jerusalem with joy, for the Lord had made them rejoice over their enemies…
Then the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around” (vs. 27, 30).

Why do we fear? Seriously, if our God can take care of multitudes of soldiers whose end goal was to take out Judah completely, then why do we fear in today’s society? We already know where we’re going when we leave this earth and we have the assurance of God’s promises and faithfulness during our life here.

And did you catch that last part?

“God gave him rest all around”

That is the epitome of Matthew 11:28: “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

Don’t stress about what’s coming up in life. Praise Him first. In all things, praise! And He will give you rest 🙂

(didn’t I tell you my God is pretty awesome?)

 

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We have the mind of Christ! (1 Corinthians 2:16)

Whether you’re new to Christianity or believed in Christ at a young age, you’re bound to hear that fact more than once.

But what does it mean?

Granted, it will be different for everyone. I’ve struggled with this verse off and on throughout my walk with Christ and still have yet to come to a full conclusion of what it means for me.

How can we, as humans, have the mind capacity of the Creator? There’s so much about God that we don’t completely understand yet, so how can we understand or comprehend the mysteries and knowledge of Him?

In 2 Peter 1:2-4, it says “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature…”

The first part of that verse is easy to grasp. Peter is blessing the people receiving the letter in the knowledge of God and of Jesus (which is kind of like blessing them in the name of God). But then it goes on to say that through the knowledge of Him, we may be partakers of the divine nature.

What all does that encompass? When you think about your “nature,” what comes to mind?

Your soul, thoughts, feelings, personality, creativity… the very essence that makes you you, right?

Take a moment and realize what that means for us as believers.

Mind blowing, I know… and it gets better:

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1)

It is by faith, and faith alone, that we have a part in God’s nature. There’s nothing that we can do to earn it. We were made in His image (Genesis 1:26-27), so He pretty much imprinted Himself on our souls and being “partakers of the divine nature” and “having the mind of Christ” is a part of following Jesus.

DSCN2500

Getting access to all that knowledge doesn’t happen automatically when we believe, but we’re given a key. Once we realize that we have the key to the mind and knowledge of God and claim it for ourselves (fully believe it), that’s when things start happening:

Colossians 2:2-3 gives us a glimpse of what we could experience once we start seeking to know to mind of God and take ownership of our right to the divine nature: “… that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Wow…

I mean, as believers, this passage says that we have the right to seek after the mysteries and knowledge of God! Too many of us don’t take advantage of it and miss an entire aspect of our faith. God wants to reveal more of Himself to us, His beloved creation, and He’s waiting for His followers to actively start seeking after the divine nature that is rightfully ours.

Like I said, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this and figure out what it means for me. But I’m working on talking with God more frequently and asking Him direct questions instead of wondering quietly to myself. Diving into His Word and discovering new meanings behind well-known passages has been one of the immediate benefits.

The Holy Spirit will be faithful and will open your mind to more of who God is. Strive toward Him. Claim your divine inheritance. Don’t get stuck in the lie that God won’t reveal things to us because we’re mere human beings.

Remember:

We have the mind of Christ!

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The Most Beautiful Poem in the Bible

Last Sunday, our pastor challenged us to take some time to read through Song of Solomon, to get a feel for the passionate love within marriage that depicts God’s love for the church.

OK, that sounds easy enough: read through the passionate love poem written by Solomon for his new bride and see how it parallels the love that our Creator has for those who seek and follow Him.

So I started reading it out loud during my morning devotions… and I was completely caught off guard.

It took a couple minutes to get the feel of the New King James way of talking, but soon I was able to read at an easy, comfortable pace.

Tasting each word as it rolled off my tongue and speculating on the various phrases and stanzas, a wonderful, crazy thing happened: I found myself lost in the beauty of the Word of God.

Song of Solomon is one of the most beautifully written poems in the Bible. Seriously, have you ever read the entirety of the book or heard it read out loud? I’m not talking the PG-rated portions, but the entire thing, beginning to end. Have you ever experienced what it’s like to hear those words of love and passion so boldly proclaimed, without shame?

As a teenager and a young adult, before marriage, whenever I skimmed through this book, it almost always set me daydreaming about the man I would marry. Would he look at me the way this man looks at his bride? Will he tell me over and over again how beautiful I am?

Now, as a married woman, there’s a completely different perspective and a whole new appreciation for the words of love written out in this book. What seemed like overkill or complete nonsense back then now make a little more sense.

Love – true love – can be that passionate.

It can get to a point where you just have to keep repeating the same phrases over and over again because you’re too giddy to think of anything new to say that describes your love for the other person, the longing for your husband the minute he leaves the house is a real thing (yes, I enjoy having the house to myself at times, but it’s always nice to have him near by) and the way his eyes light up when I walk into the room makes me feel like a princess.

And then I came across these verses:

Set me as a seal upon your heart, 
As a seal upon your arm;
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy as cruel as the grave;
Its flames are flames of fire,
A most vehement flame.
 
Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor can the floods drown it.
 
(8:6-7a)

Wow…

Just take a moment and read that again.

“Set me as a seal…”

When I think of a seal, I think of something permanent, of claiming ownership and saying, “This is mine, no one else can have it.” While that may sound very possessive, I like knowing that my husband has chosen me to be his and his alone. He wouldn’t like it if I started checking out other guys or if other guys started hitting on me whenever we’re out somewhere… and the same goes for me. He’s my man and that’s the way it’s supposed to be in a committed relationship 🙂

“For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy as cruel as the grave…
 
Many waters cannot quench love…”

It’s very hard to break up true love. Especially when it’s a cord of three strands (with God as the third strand).. then nothing will be able to touch it!

This all reminds me of the song “Oh, How He Loves Us” by the David Crowder Band, where it says:

“He is jealous for me, 
Love like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy,
When all of a sudden, 
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful you are
And how great Your affections are for me.
 
Oh, how He loves us!”
If you asked me what I got from all this, I would tell you that God is love. He is the definition of love and the passion He has for His creation to draw near to him and to have a lasting, eternal relationship with us is more than our mere words can express.

It makes me want to soar through the air, bask in the sun, dance in the fields, sing at the top of my lungs, feel the rain on my face and just celebrate being alive and loved by my amazing, wonderful Savior.

So, my question for you is… what are you waiting for?

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On the brink of adventure!

All my life I have been dreaming of my prince charming – that dashing young man who, when our eyes meet across the room, falls madly in love with me, sweeps me off my feet and carries me off to his castle where we live happily ever after.

Crazy right?

But seriously, what girl doesn’t wonder what her future husband looks like, what he did that day, what he’s thinking about? Will he be handsome? Will his eyes be blue, brown or hazel? What will we do? How the heck will we find enough things to talk about?

And now, in just a few days, on Dec. 28, 2014, I’ll be walking down the aisle toward the man of my dreams. I still almost can’t quite believe it. He matches everything on my “Mr. Right” list and is so much more than I could ever imagine or ask for.

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Photo courtesy of Gina Meyers Photography

He’s a strong believer in Christ and is actively growing in his relationship with our heavenly Father, he is kind, caring, fun, has a sense of humor, puts my needs in front of his own, does whatever he can to make me smile, enjoys spending time with my family and friends, welcomed me into his entire life (work, friends, family – there isn’t an area in his life that I’m not privy to) and the list goes on!

You know all those Bible study books (such as “Every Young Woman’s Battle,” “Captivated” and “Lady in Waiting”) that have that chapter about waiting for Mr. Right? How we, as maturing women of God, shouldn’t have to go out and find ourselves a man, that he will come into our lives at the right time. No need to worry, right?

It took me until age 23 to figure out what that means.

At first, I thought it meant that if I lived each day in expectation that I might meet my future husband, putting a little extra work into my appearance and greeting everyone with a smile, the right guy would find me irresistible and ask me out on the spot.

Right?

Nope!

While that was all well and good, the joy wasn’t real.

Living in expectation of something that wasn’t fully guaranteed took a toll on my emotions, leaving me exhausted and grumpy. I started thinking I wasn’t pretty enough or that I wasn’t a good enough Christian to deserve “the right guy.” Thoughts were running through my head every day as I watched my friends enter into relationship, get married and start families of their own.

Why didn’t I have that special someone in my life? All I’ve ever wanted was to be married to a great Christian guy, grow in Christ and raise a family together. What’s so wrong with that and why the heck was it taking so long to find my future husband?

In reality, if we want to become all that God has planned for us to be, to live our lives as the women of God that we are, we can’t live each day wondering when and if we will ever meet our future husband. Like I said before, it gets tiring and disappointing.

To be naturally filled with the joy of the Lord each day, we have to shift our focus from us to God and actively invest in a relationship with our heavenly Father.

When you start focusing on Christ, your whole perspective changes. You start seeing people through Christ’s eyes and your heart begins to overflow with love for others. Your smile will be genuine and your life will begin to fill with joy.

Not the joy that comes from having a super cute guy glance your way, but the joy that comes from an awesome love relationship with the Lord of all!

The kind of joy that makes the little things (a cup of coffee, sunlight, the chirping of birds in the trees, a smile, a chocolate bar, etc.) seem like big things…

… that makes the fact that you’re single fade to the background…

… that makes the sun shine just a little brighter…

… because if you think about it, you’re in an amazing love relationship with the Creator of the universe! And He loves to shower you with blessings that bring a smile to your face…

… and that is more than enough to make your joy complete without too much effort or wear and tear on your emotions 🙂

Trust me – lay down your worry about never marrying and becoming a nun at the throne of grace and leave it there! Walk away from it with your head held high, a smile on your face and the joy of the Lord in your heart….

… and start running full speed toward Jesus Christ. He’ll welcome you with open arms!

And who knows? Your prince charming may be just waiting around the corner…

… mine was 😉

So, dear friends, this will be the last time that I sign off as Ms. Anna Tielmann… because the next time I post, I”ll be known as…

… Mrs. Charles Crossan!!!!!

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Angels watching over me

After spending a lovely evening of cooking dinner, writing thank-you notes, going for a walk and watching a movie with my fiance, something completely unexpected happened.”

I had been driving on I-78 for about 10 minutes, singing along to Hunter Hayes’ “Wanted,” when I rounded a corner and an unusual movement caught my eye. Next thing I know, my little Suzuki is right on top of the big momma deer that happened to be in my lane..

THUD

… my hood crumples and she goes flying straight up into the air, right over my car and the car behind me, smacking onto the pavement on the side of the road. I manage to steer off to the side of the highway, smoke swirling out of my now-exposed engine and windshield wipers going like crazy (in my shock, I smacked everything around the steering wheel trying to find the turn signal so I could safely exit my lane, thus turning on the wipers full blast).

20141111_081131The girl who was driving behind me didn’t have a scratch on her car and she stopped to make sure I was ok. She left and the realization of what had just happened began to set in, triggering a mini freakout. I called my fiance and he dropped what he was doing to meet me (did I mention how awesome he is?). The necessary calls were then made to the police, AAA and my Dad and we had my car towed away while my wonderful fiance gave me a ride home.

In hindsight, I believe that my car was surrounded by angels that night.

I mean, what else could’ve kept that deer from coming through the windshield (causing even more damage or even critically injuring me)? It had started to roll up my car’s hood and then suddenly shot high in the air; high enough to get over 2 cars and land way off on the side of the road (out of the way of oncoming traffic).

The only explanation I have is God’s angels! The Bible states:

“Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” 
Heb. 1:14
 
” For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.  
In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” 
Psalm 91:11-12
 
“The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” 
Psalm 34:7

While I haven’t personally seen a healing happen before my eyes or had one of those incredible visions from God, I have had angelic experiences throughout my entire life (angels kept me quiet and occupied while Mom dealt with a fish tank disaster – I was just under a year old; there have been car crashes that could’ve ended really badly; hiding my keys on me so I would be a couple minutes late, missing the multi-vehicle accident; and more).

All I can say is that God must have something big planned for my life, someone He wants me to impact personally, something He wants me to do to further His kingdom. It’s the same for all of us! He is faithful in His promises and will never leave us nor forsake us. When he says that He will send His angels to guard us, it’s not a lie. We are surrounded by His protection day in and day out.

Trust Him. He won’t let you down.

I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 
Matthew 28: 20
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