How quick are we to curse? Pretty quickly if you ask me. It’s as natural to us as breathing. How quick are we to not notice the words that come out of our mouths? We speak before we think, that’s a given. In today’s society, it has become the norm to speak fouly, to say profanities, and speak negatively. I’m guilty of this myself. I decided to write about this because it came to my attention of how insignificant we might view this. I mean, it’s something so small compared to all the other countless ways we could be doing wrong. But God takes into account all the BIG and SMALL things we do throughout our lives. At work, I notice how easily it is for kids to curse at each other. I hear the young girls referring to each other as “bi*****”. It’s normal for them to say “Hey bi***, how was your weekend?”. When did this ever become the norm? The worst part is, that if you don’t play along to words like that, you’re considered to be boring and a goodie-to-shoes. How sad that the norm to God is the un-norm to society. I wonder if we realize that through our words, we will be judged. I wonder if we realize that through our words, we are creating or destroying our harvest. I say ‘we’ because I’m including myself. As I write here, I am also learning. I am not preaching as if I know everything but instead just simply sharing what was placed in my path. Last night as I read Matthew 12, I came across these verses
“I tell you that people will have to answer on judgement day for every useless word they speak. By your words you will be either judged innocent or condemned as guilty”
While I am referring more to cursing, I still believe that spreading rumors or negatively speaking about someone or ourselves could be considered “useless words”. We reap what we sow. The more we curse, the more we create a foul character. The more we speak negatively about others or ourselves, the more we destroy our good nature. I realize how simple of a subject this is and that there are more important things out there to focus on but something as simple as this has the power to create or destroy. It has the power to create our character or destroy our character. Will we have dignity in how we talk? Will we have dignity in how we refer to each other and acknowledge each other? Our words are a gateway to our characters. I know these behaviors have become normal to us so stopping them all together almost seems impossible. At some point throughout the day, our old habits will come out without our approval. We are quick to act and quick to speak. But I believe that if we become aware of this subject, then we will be able to stop ourselves one action and one word at a time.
“Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God in the day of visitation”
1 Peter 2:12
Have a lovely day everyone, may you honor the one that loves you with your words!
I realized how popular of a topic “being a newbie Christian” is. I appreciate all the positive feedback everyone gave me on my first post about it. With that being said, I felt that I should add a part two to this topic. So here we are on “It’s hard being a newbie Christian part 2”.
You messed up? No way….me too!!!
Something that came to mind the past couple of days is how easy it is for us to fall off the deep end. It’s like we took 1 step forward in the right direction and then a 100 steps back in the wrong direction. No matter what it may be that tempts you to go back into your old ways, you know as well as I do, how discouraging it could be to get back up and continue down the right path. Personally I feel like a hypocrite, trying so hard to be good and act gracefully but here I am getting angry because the person driving in front of me is going too slow and I’m going to be late to work. I pray and sing songs about being patient but when the time comes to act on what I practice, I’m tempted to do the total opposite. Just the other day I experienced anger and lack of patiences, two things that I have been praying for God to help me overcome. Needless to say that I didn’t act in a Godly manner and instead of asking Him for forgiveness, I laid in bed that night and said “I’m sorry. I don’t know why I even bother trying so hard when in the end, I always mess up. I’m ashamed and I know the right thing to do is to get up from this situation and to continue praying to you but I just don’t want too. I’m a hypocrite. I messed up. Let me just continue down this path because that’s all I’m good at”. Overly dramatic and harsh right? Yeah…I know. See here is the thing, instead of trying to overcome those thoughts, emotions, and overall ungraceful manner, I believed that in that moment I didn’t have what it took to continue my relationship with Jesus that I had been working so hard for. I felt that it was just easier to give in to temptation and to continue to behave with anger and lack of patiences. Why would I bother trying anyways? Clearly all my hard work was for nothing because I thought I kept regressing. I say ‘I thought’ because I’m almost certain that was not what God thought. He wants me to continue working as hard as I have for our relationship. For all I know, He is proud of my small steps of victory but I doubted myself. How often do we lose control of situations? Our own emotions? We lack self-control because we are human. And I want to point out…don’t be fooled by all those people that look like they have self-control over temptation in their lives. Chances are it took them a lot of trial and error to learn to have self-control in certain aspects of theirs lives and I’m almost certain there is still something they haven’t learned to overcome. Speaking from the perspective of a 24 year old that is just beginning to live life, I know that while I might have self-control over saying ‘no’ to drugs, I lack the self-control to not be so quick to get angry. Everyday we are tempted in some way, and at times we might even give in to that temptation. Like I said before, we are human. But when that does happen, it is important to repent, get back up on your feet with you’re head held up high and continue to follow the one that believes in you despite all you’re defects.
“but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name”
1 Peter 4:16
We messed up….so what now?
There isn’t a single human being that can say that they have never fallen into temptation. You, me, the person next to us, are going to come across sin. Does that make it okay to sin? Heck no! We are to overcome sin one step at a time. If you push yourself to run before you can walk, you are going to fall. It is okay, to do the right thing, one day at a time. Next time you are driving and someone cuts you off, try breathing in and saying “I will have self-control to remain calm. Maybe that person is having a bad day and they need Jesus. So let me show them a bit of Jesus’s light through my patiences”. I know, easier said than done. But remember…..ONE step at a time. All those little steps will begin to add up over the days, months, years, etc. Just because you messed up, doesn’t mean that God now hates you. He loves you and always will. If He seeks those that want nothing to do with Him, then imagine how He will continue to seek you. YOU that does want something to do with Him. No mess up will ever be too big compared to the massive amount of love and forgiveness He has for you through Jesus. Do not throw away a life-long relationship over mistakes that you believe are too shameful to ever allow Him to love you. You messed up? Well keep on trying! Tomorrow will be a brand new day full of His mercy. A brand new opportunity to continue to grow with Him. Do not give up.
“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”
2 Chronicles 15:7
Remember this next time you think you messed up badly…
Little by little, step by step, one day at a time. For all of us that are starting off or believe that we don’t have what it takes, just relax. Just because you began your walk with Jesus, or maybe have very little time walking with Him, it doesn’t mean you can’t overcome your temptations. This is how it all begins. Failure. Trial and error.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it”
1 Corinthians 10:13
Remain faithful to Him. Set small goals daily that you can achieve against temptation. And no matter where you stand in your relationship with Jesus, newbie or not, remember He loves and forgives you.
Friday. The day everyone looks forward after a long work week. It’s the end of the stress and the beginning of the weekend. We all have different reasons to be stressed out at work but we must remember that through enough faith, we will have the grace to overcome anything thrown our way. I work with kids and to be more specific, I work with middle school students. The age group from 11 years old to 14 years old. If there is anyone else that works with this age group or is parents to one, then you know it ain’t easy. Attitudes are flying around left and right, there is still immaturity to deal with, and emotions are from one end of the spectrum to the other. It can be extremely overwhelming to anyone. I’ve had to keep an open mind to be able to understand each and every single one of my 130 kids. Every day I am responsible for each of those kids and on average my stress levels are through the roof. I leave work and I feel like I want to take a vacation for the next year or two. It’s rough, and while I don’t have it all down packed, I am learning to get through my days as gracefully as possible. I am trusting that my faith is going to give me grace.
Oh the stressssss! It’s agonizing…..
Stress, our number one killer. It can take on many different forms in our lives. From our work, to our families, friends, kids, our partners, bad circumstances, you name it. There is never a day where stress doesn’t appear in our lives. Even on those days “off”, you are probably still thinking of the million of things you must get back too after your vacation. It is always there buzzing around like a mosquito waiting to strike. Once it does strike, we are left with an unbearable itch and we can never truly ignore it. We scratch at it, try to put some anti-itch cream on it, but the truth is that the better option is to just not touch it. It takes some very strong will power to not scratch a mosquito bite. How can you ignore it right? It makes you feel extremely uncomfortable and in the end we get so overwhelmed with that bite. Right now you’re probably asking yourself, “what is this girl talking about? How does stress and a mosquito bite even correlate to each other?”. Okay, so just like mosquito bites, our stress does have ointment and that ointment is Jesus. When we scratch our bites, we irritate them and potentially make ourselves bleed which leads to a scar in the future. You’ve probably heard your mommas say over and over again “don’t touch it!” and you tell your mom, “mom it’s terrible. I have too. I need it to stop!”. And so, you end up making it worse. Like I said earlier, it takes will power. It takes will power to allow Jesus to handle our stress. Why can’t we simply have the willpower to pray to Him and tell Him that He is in control of the situation? It makes us uncomfortable that we can’t find a solution right away and in having that mindset we make it worse.
”Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light”
He tells us to go to him with our worries, with what is overwhelming us and that He will take care of them. We are always going to have stress throughout our lives, just as we are always going to get bites from mosquitoes. It’s inevitable. Instead of looking for a way for stress to stop, we need to look for a better way on how we view it and handle it.
A humble attitude? Where can I find one?
I love sharing my personal experience that have guided me to seek out Jesus. I believe it’s important to write/talk about them with others because I’m not a robot just reciting something I learned from a textbook. So here is what happened to me. Yesterday…I snapped…and I am not happy about it in the slightest. I was hungry, tired, annoyed, etc. I lost my patients over something that I should’ve been able to handle more humbly. I was on the phone with my boyfriend and the signal was terrible, instead of understanding and being patient, I got annoyed that he wasn’t listening to me and gave him attitude. I believed he wasn’t listening but it was the signals fault, not his. I felt terrible about it later but in the moment I just felt overwhelmed beyond means. I hadn’t told him that I had had a stressful day and was starving. Poor him right? Not even an hour after that happened, my mom called me and asked about dinner arrangements and I just didn’t want anything to do with it. I wanted to be alone and just handle my attitude by cooling off. So instead of talking to her, I dismissed the conversation by being dry. My poor mom right? Both victims of my stress. Both victims of me thinking I could handle it on my own. I knew what was wrong but I couldn’t find a way to get over this overwhelming feeling I was having. (Here is the correlation of the mosquito bites. It just wasn’t going away) Lately whenever I’ve been faced with a difficult situation in my life, I have turned to devotionals. I mentioned in my previous post that I personally feel like a newbie Christian, so I can’t exactly pull out verses from my head for every predicament I find myself in. Devotionals are amazing in my opinion. There is literally one for any situation in life. Every feeling, every emotion, can be covered if we look for one.
Stress can be a good thing? What…..
Yes, stress can actually be a good thing. Our brains see stress as a threat that can be damaging to us. With this view point we can keep ourselves from danger, motivate ourselves to make better decisions, and help us to make necessary changes for our own good. Stressed because you aren’t getting enough sleep? Minimize the amount of things you do before going to bed. I have a long list of things I read before going to bed and I don’t allow myself to go to bed before reading my devotionals or reading the Bible. And while all those things are important and great, God does want us to rest. He doesn’t want us to be overwhelmed, worried, or anxious. Try viewing stress as a danger indicator telling us to make healthier decision. Upon reading my devotional and asking God to help me, here are three things I gathered:
1). Don’t let stress run your life
Allow it to guide you instead. Make better decisions for your health. Both mental health or physical health. Sleep more, take out toxic people from your life, find a healthier way to go about your circumstance. Don’t let it simply cloud your judgement. God can clarify your stress if you ask him.
2). Release Control
Just like a mosquito bite, leave it alone. Don’t overthink it, don’t get overwhelmed. Just breathe and let God take ahold of your stress. I promise you won’t regret it!
3). Ask for wisdom
It’s important to always see every scenario in a positive manner. How can stress teach you something? Maybe it’s how to handle a situation better. Or maybe it’s to learn to trust God more. At the end of the day, stop trying to handle everything on your own. Just as I tried to do yesterday and epically failed at it. Take hold of the one that wants to take hold of your burdens.
”But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask”
In my previous post, I talked about how I grew up in a catholic home. I mentioned how difficult it was to make the transition to Christianity. Over the past few days since I started this blog, a thought has kept creeping up in my mind. “Being a newbie Christian is tough”. I began blogging with the intention of sharing my walk with Christ. I believe it is important to let others like me, know that they aren’t alone in freshly starting off their walk with Jesus. I say this because I know how terrifying it can seem when you look around at so many other Christians that have probably been in ministry for years. They seem so well put together. It’s intimidating and it can make one feel like we won’t ever know as much as them. But I’m here to tell anyone that might, or is currently experiencing these thoughts: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
So what difference could we possibly make for the growth of the Harvest?
A big concern of mine has always been on how can I make a difference. What more could I potentially add that someone more experienced hasn’t already done or said. I don’t know about you, but when that thought comes to my head, I can’t help but feel unbelievably small. I go to church, watch Joyce Meyer conferences, and read christian blogs by other devoted christians. I can’t count the number of times I have wished to have the knowledge and courage to preach the word of God as they all have. It is because of people like them, that we come across Jesus’s love. They spread the word by acting as messengers. How awesome is that? God has his own army and we can all join. We can all make a difference. We might come across ONE person, be a blessing to their day, and guess what happens next? Jesus’s love radiates from us, which then radiates onto that person you blessed, which later radiates onto the next person they bless. It is really that simple. It is an ever growing domino effect. Our body is a vessel that carries God’s spirit and our job is to be so filled with his love and grace that we glow with his goodness.
‘Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves? You have been bought and paid for, so honor God with your body’.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
This is what I’ve learned….there are so many people out there that need to hear the word of God. It could be family members living in your own house or it could be a complete stranger living across the world from you. We don’t realize how easily we can make a difference to someones day. There might be a bunch of people out there, doing the exact same thing you would like to do right now. They are helping others in ways that you have only imagined to help but we ‘newbie christians’ don’t have to watch from the sidelines. It might be scary because who would possibly listen to us when just the other day we were sinning? But see thats the beauty about God. He forgave us and gave us the grace to overcome our old behaviors. He wants us to show others how he saved us. So yes, you might be new in your walk with Jesus but just remember that at the end of the day, it is all about growing the Harvest.
‘Then he said to his disciples, ‘The size of the harvest is bigger than you can imagine, but there are few workers. Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for his harvest’.
Will you be his worker?
Jesus himself said that there were only a few workers. He wants us to follow him and lead by example. You might feel insignificant compared to all the other more experienced preachers but just remember that we were given the power to help others. Each one of us was placed on this earth with a calling. We are our happiest, most alive, and most like ourselves when we fully activate our calling. If in this moment or in any future moment of your life, you feel a calling to talk about the word, do it! Even us newbies can get in on the action of changing someones life. There is nothing difficult about God, we just need to spread his goodness onto others. So ask yourself “Am I ready to be his worker in this harvest?”
I grew up in a catholic home where my parents would probably take me to church twice a month. It wasn’t until I was 19 years old that I stepped foot in a Christian church and boy was I in for a shock. If you’ve gone to both, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. I believed at that point that I still had to follow religious rules so my relationship with Jesus never fully developed. I had heard all this talk about God wanting to be my friend and have an intimate relationship with me but I thought it was all mumbo jumbo because that wasn’t what I was taught. By the time I was 21 I started dating someone that was an atheist. My family was horrified but since I didn’t have a solid foundation with God, I basically didn’t know any better. Roughly 2 years passed and my belief in God was nearly nonexistent. I never realized how strong of an influence someone could be to my life till that moment. I grew up believing that there was a God…and now I was faced with questioning everything, all because one person said I was wrong to believe. I was looked down upon and instead of staying strong to my faith, I became a coward. Needless to say that that relationship was not healthy in the slightest and I suffered a lot.
Fast forward to where I seeked God again.
I’ve heard a bunch of testimonies of where people have amazing breakthroughs and it just seems like the hand of God was placed on them in a tremendous way. For a while I was upset and felt that there was something wrong with me because that’s not how it happened for me. As I mentioned, I suffered a lot with the past relationship I was in. I got so use to arguing that it became the norm for me. If I didn’t argue with someone I felt like things weren’t right. Can I just say how terrible of a mindset that is…good Lord did I need a wake up call. I began to date a man that I knew since elementary school. Some how while he was deployed in Kuwait, we ended up talking to each other via social media. Mind you, I hadn’t seen nor spoken to him since we were in 5th grade. When God wants something or someone in your path, he will make it happen! One thing I learned…no matter how amazing a guy could be, the relationship won’t go anywhere if you, yourself don’t put your part to be as equally amazing. I would get upset for the dumbest of things and to be completely honest, sometimes I still do. But I’m working on it, I promise! I remember one night where we argued and it was my fault (boy will he be happy to hear me admit that). After we hung up the phone, I cried and cried some more. I kept asking myself what was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I be like any other normal 24 year old girl and get her act together? All I remember is that I began to pray. Something so simple. Something I should’ve been doing before. Something that has since then changed my life and my relationship.
The breakthrough isn’t always a miraculous show.
So that is it. That is all it took. I have since then been seeking God and his word. I’m amazed everyday by his promises and his need to just have an open relationship with me. I thank him everyday for opening up my eyes and heart to what I needed. I now get thirsty just to read his word, or listen to his music, or to simply be in his presence at one of his many houses. “The very fact you desire God is an indication he already desires you and has made a way to be reconciled”. I was genuinely in aw when I read that line from ‘Friends of sinners’ by Rich Wilkerson, Jr. The fact that I wanted to seek him, meant he was already seeking me despite the fact that for almost two years I questioned him and flat out gave up on him. I wanted to share this because if you’re anything like me, and think that the only way to come back and seek God is through some tremendous breakthrough, then I’m here to tell you that you are wrong. God blesses us in big and small ways. And sometimes, the smallest steps are what lead to you’re overall victory. I’d like to think that I was placed in all these situations so I could truly understand Gods love and what it is to truly follow him wholeheartedly. We could never appreciate all the good in our lives if we don’t understand how ‘bad’ the bad can really be.