Archive | October, 2014

And We Know…

26 Oct

Romans 8: 28-30:

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

 And guess what. You have been called. Yes, you. The former drug abuser, backslider, and the rejected one. You have purpose. I wish I could tell you what your purpose is but only God can do that. He is the one who created and individualized the plan just for you. And guess what…the plan is perfect, purposeful and amazing.

9What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived. The things God has prepared for those who love him. 10These are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.”

I truly believe it. Even when I feel stuck and my life is not moving at the pace I imagined. I always look back at that scripture. I want you to stop right now and take a look around at your surroundings. What you see and whatever is going on, it’s all temporary, whether it’s good or bad. Our life is ever changing and God is NEVER stagnant. He is always working on your behalf.

4He who watches over you will not slumber.

After reading Arizona’s previous post, I called and ask her if she was ok. As I was reading, I couldn’t help but laugh because I could see all her animated facial expressions as she was writing. (I’m pretty sure her keyboard was saying “ouch, I didn’t do it”) I believe she had what we call a “aha” moment. We’ve all had them. When it all just clicks, you just wake up and think “What in the world happen here?” or “It’s time to move forward.” I met that silly girl, 5 years ago at church. I believe without a shadow of a doubt God ordained us to meet.

When we realize that God is with us in every step of our lives, it gives us assurance. Through all the pain, hurt, success, rejection and acceptance, he is there telling us that there is purpose in each season of our life. If we just quiet ourselves and listen. He’s there telling us….

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Don’t settle.

Christine K.

Users and Accusers

22 Oct

“You’ve been played and I think you know it…but I used you, used like a stepping stone…” Those are the lyrics to a hip-hop song from the 90’s. I don’t really remember much else from the song but those lyrics resonated with me today.  It’s fitting for what I’m about to write.

I’m going to blatantly honest and vulnerable in this post. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been different; more introspective. Something was bothering me, but I couldn’t quite figure it out. This morning, it finally clicked. I’ve been fighting with the sting of betrayal. I’ve been betrayed before. Friends have told secrets, boyfriends have cheated and people have stolen money. This time it’s different. I couldn’t brush this off.

The sting from my recent betrayals is different because it came from Christians. Not just any Christians but the ones that I trusted and supported the most. I shared my secrets, exposed my vulnerabilities and told them my dreams. These people mentored me, came to my home, travelled with me and served in ministry with me. I spend countless hours volunteering in their ministries. I supported their dreams. I attended their ministry functions, bought tickets, cleaned, taught, hauled trash, listened, encouraged…I did whatever was needed.  I changed my schedule and cancelled plans to support them. I considered them friends, but they weren’t. These same “friends” now question my integrity, doubt my spiritual gifting and accuse me of being a “fake Christian”.  Smiles, hugs and phone calls have been replaced with frowns, stares and silence. I’ve served my purpose in their lives and I’ve been cast aside.

I should be sad, but I’m not. No way. Y’all don’t know Arizona! I’m an optimist. I feel like my life has been redirected. I spent so much time helping my “users” build their dreams that I forgot about mine. I stopped nurturing my gifts. For a moment, I stopped living. My “accusers” will have plenty to talk about. This chick is living her life to the fullest. I’m living the life that God has designed for me. I’m using the gifts and creativity that He has given me. I’m NOT going to spend my life supporting and mourning over “accusers” and “users”.  And I will not apologize for being me.

Unapologetically,

Arizona R

I Am Before I Was…

12 Oct

I am a child of God….

Before I was wife. I was a child of God.

Before I was teacher. I was a child of God.

Before I was usher. I was a child of God.

Before I was a deacon. I was a child of God.

Before I was preacher. I was a child of God.

Before I was a choir member. I was a child of God.

Let’s not identify and honor ourselves with titles that will not get you into heaven. Christians, let’s be proud of the best title and embrace our only identity, we freely inherited through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

I AM A CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH GOD and because I am his child, I get the awesome opportunity to serve in my ordained area of gifting through his grace. (In my Forrest Gump voice….”And that’s all I have to say about that”)

~Christine K.

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Arizona Speaks…(finally)

6 Oct

It’s Not That Complicated…

Have you ever tried to explain Christianity? The first time that I tried to explain it, I FAILED MISERABLY.  A thousand scriptures and inspirational quotes flooded my mind. I eagerly babbled off some jargon that probably sounded more like a motivational speech than an explanation of my spiritual beliefs. I walked away with a sinking feeling; I didn’t know what Christianity was.

I had reduced Christianity to a ritual. I attended Sunday service, paid tithes and volunteered in ministry…therefore I was a Christian. And oh yeah, I stopped partying and made new Christian friends.  I changed my style of dress and met with fellow believers to discuss Jesus over lattes. I also learned to talk like a Christian. I swapped curse words for Christian clichés (Amen, Praise God and  Thank You Jesus were my favorites).  Needless to say, after a few months of this I was unfashionable, bored, miserable, and empty.

It was time to reevaluate some things. After an exhausting weekend of volunteering, I came home and collapsed on my bed. I dramatically screamed, “God, Is this as good as it gets?” Yes, I had a real Jack Nicholson moment. But it was a valid question. If Christianity is so wonderful, then why was I empty?  I wish I could say that I heard the voice of God in that moment. Nope, didn’t happen. But I came to a realization, I didn’t understand my salvation and I definitely didn’t get Christianity. On this desperate day, I began my search for the truth.

My journey has been interesting. There have been ups and down, but this is the nature of life. I can firmly say that I have an understanding of salvation. It’s no longer a conglomeration of inspirational quotes and random scriptures. Salvation is simply the gift that changed my life.

Arizona R.

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