We live our lives the way most of America wouldn't understand. If you took away the technology we use for our business, you might be shocked by the simplicity of our home. We do have televisions, and the reality is they're rarely on. We don't have cable or even Netflix. We listen to the radio, a local Christian station, The Joy FM, and when we watch T.V. it's a lot of Bible-inspired shows or well-screened kid/family-friendly shows.
We spend a lot of time with Jesus. We read the bible, do devotionals and we pray. We spend a lot of time outside, taking care of our garden, our chickens, our little bit of land. We build, we design, we craft, and work and play and enjoy life. We are building a strong and faith-filled life for our family, and it's a life most people can't even imagine, but they should imagine it. They should want it. They should seek it out...it's going back to a simpler time and way of life, and it gives perspective.
While the rest of America is out there running around like chickens with their heads cut off we are working to build a life dependant on God and not on this world. We don't want the many distractions that the world as to offer. We don't want them for us, or our children. We home school to teach our children the rich history of America, about God, and the other fundamental things they will need to know for life. Our plan includes making our children God dependant, and not victims to the world around them.
What is a "simple life"? It's going back to the basics, going back to our roots. Jesus and family and doing things for ourselves. Not counting on others as much as we've been programmed to in the last 30 years. It's slowing things down and focusing on the important things in life, and that means teaching our children how to get to the next life. Eternity matters y'all...teach your children that fact before you let them spend hours and hours soaked into a video game that undermines good values.
Listen, I'm not on here to preach, but I think we need to rethink this "progressive" stance so many have taken. We can make progress without destroying the foundation of the world. If you follow me, and you support this blog, our business, and our Facebook page, this isn't any news for you. You know how I feel, and where we stand, but I think people are feeling kind of lost and they don't know how to turn back time and stop what has been put in motion.
We haven't always limited tech with our kids or lived more self-sustaining. It all starts with a change. Start somewhere and get your focus where it needs to be (JESUS). If your children are young, they'll fall in line easily...some of the greatest humans in history didn't have a cell phone at all, let alone as a child. Let your kids be kids, and be involved in the process of their young lives. Create a FAMILY/GOD culture in your home, and stand up for what you believe. Do all these things to simplify your life and watch everything start to change for the good in your home.
If this struck something in you, and you have questions and would like to learn more about how to live a more simple life and lead your family to the Lord, reach out. We're here to talk to you! Until the next blog, you can find me doing something creative on our Facebook Page or hanging out in our Private VIP Group, CLUB CHARM. Come join us! Share this blog with a friend whom you think will benefit, and give us a like!
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple Psalm 19:7
Until we meet again...love and prayers!
We celebrate our birthdays as being another year older, and we are, since our last birthday. In reality, we're only one day older than the day before, and there's a lot of hype around that number.
My oldest son told me yesterday that I was three years away from really old. Clearly, he can say that he's only 29, but boy does he have a lot to experience and learn.
When you're young, everyone who's older than you by 10 or more years seems really old. I can remember considering 30 old, and then I turned 30. It wasn't a fun week leading up to that birthday, but the day I turned 30 wasn't a big deal. I had hyped it up to the point of feeling physically sick, and then it happened and all the world didn't collapse.
After 30 I really didn't think much about my age. When I turned 40 I celebrated. I embraced 40 with open arms. It seemed like a badge of honor more than anything. I didn't have grandbabies yet, but I was only a couple of years away from that milestone at that point. I had my last baby right before I turned 40, so I guess I felt kind of young in away.
Seven years later I look at my life and I'm kind of wondering how I got from there to here. I'm 3 years from 50 and I don't feel a day over 35. I know I'm a grandma, and my oldest son is going to hit the BIG 3-0 next year, but it just all seems so impossible. Surely I couldn't really be middle-aged already? It just kind of all sneaks up on you and before you know it you are your grandparents' age.
Our lives are but a vapor in the wind. Life passes away quickly, and when we find ourselves at the end of our lives, what will it all be for? I pray you were living for Jesus because then it actually will have meant something. It will mean something to those you leave behind, and it will mean you'll spend your eternity in heaven. That's a big deal folks!
You see, eternity isn't short, it's forever. Literally, it never ends, and that is hard to wrap our minds around, and still, it's so. Every soul that was ever created will spend their eternity somewhere, and they get to choose. Where do you choose?
I know I'm preaching, and I'm sorry for those who don't like it, but it needs to be said. There were many years of my life I was running from the Lord and living for Satan (even if I didn't realize that part until later.) Those wasted years sometimes haunt me, oh but God. He has reminded me more than a few times that even in my messed up past, He has a purpose, He created purpose and He's continuing to work it together for my good and the good of those who love Him.
When I think about how quickly life passes us by, and how most of us don't really appreciate many of the years we are given, I just want to run up to every young person and grab them and shake them and scream at the top of my lungs..."DON'T WAIT!" "DON'T RUN FROM HIM, RUN TO HIM!!!" "IT'S ALL ABOUT JESUS!!!!" Of course, you can't really do that, people would think you're crazy, and here's a little news flash for you, if you're living your life full-on for Jesus, they probably already do think that if they're not saved. Let them think it! Your eternity literally henges on your mindset. I have said it more than once, and I'll keep right on saying it. What occupies your mind, controls your life. Let it be JESUS!
If you're getting older, and you aren't really sure how you got from there to here, pause for a second and put it all into perspective. If you're not already, start pressing HARD into the Father. Live the life He has called you to live. Share the Gospel with others. Take as many people with you as you can to heaven. He actually told us, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 19-20. Soooo, what are y'all waiting for? Use the precious time you have to lead others to HIM. He is the reason, and really there's nothing else. If you think there's anything else that matters as much, you've been deceived by the enemy.
Praying y'all find this encouraging today, and that you pass it on. Until tomorrow, be blessed.
Y'all life is crazy. One minute your floating along all fine and dandy, and the next you can find yourself in the middle of some chaos you not only wasn't looking for but you definitely don't want! That's how this world works. The circumstances we are often thrown into can be earth-shattering, and really shake you up, but that's not the only thing that can shake you up.
What if you're on a path you recognize, you enjoy, you might even love. You have a plan in front of you and you're staying on track, but suddenly something happens. Maybe your actions or even your inaction cause it inadvertently, or maybe someone else is to blame. No matter the reason, you find yourself suddenly in unfamiliar and perhaps uncomfortable territory, so what do you do? What do YOU do?
This has happened to me more times than I'd care to say, and when the waters get rough, and you don't know where to turn, I sure hope you're turning to the only one who can straighten it all out for you. His name is Jesus.
If you're feeling lost, deserted, looking for answers and nowhere to turn to, girl, don't you know it's always been Him? It's always gonna be Him. He has all the answers; He is standing in the gap for you. When the whole world falls apart, and you can't get your footing. I'm talking about when you've been swept off your feet, but not in a good way, call His name. Weep at His feet, listen to His voice, let Him lead you, allow Him to comfort you and don't you dare look away. Don't look to the left or the right, but look straight on at Jesus and REMAIN in Him because that's what's gonna get you through as a victor on the other side of your problems. That's what's going to change everything for you in your circumstance.
John 15:7 tells us "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." This doesn't mean God is like our personal genie, granting us wishes, it means if you eat, breathe and sleep the word. If you love Jesus, you follow Him and you OBEY Him, when a time of crisis comes calling (and it will) He is going to be there to pull you out of the miry clay. He will not fail, He will not falter. No matter what you're going through, He already knows, He has all the answers and He cares for you.
Girls, I know I'm not giving you any new news when I tell you, life often does not go as planned, but when we find ourselves amid troubled waters, look up, reach for Him because He will be there to pull you out of that mess. Believe it, know it, own it, and live it. Jesus is life. If you don't realize that, pause and ponder all this universe, and know God, the creator, made it all, and He created you. He's there for you, night or day and He'll never leave your side.
"The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. " Deuteronomy 31:8
I encourage you today, if you're going through some stuff, keep on going, with Jesus. He's got you, and even when it doesn't go as planned, you're gonna make it through. Until tomorrow, have a wonderful Wednesday and be blessed.
Look around y'all. I'm sure you know someone, or you are someone that has had a marriage that is falling apart. I've been that person. I've been the person with a marriage that was shaky from day one, and I hadn't a clue how to fix it. I see it all the time, young folks getting married, no plan, no foundation, no clue. Young people (and old) just signing on the dotted line, the two becoming one, but in name only. They're not following the Lord they're following a path to destruction.
How do we teach people that marriage is life-long, and there is no out? How can we give the young a better understanding of Christ's idea of marriage? First and foremost we need to model what a Christ-like marriage looks like, but let's back up for a moment. How do we, ourselves get to a place of a Christ-like marriage? For some of us, myself included, we find Jesus, he changes our lives and we begin to seek His will in our lives, in every way, and that leads to Christ dictating things in our marriage, and not the world.
When Christ is dictating your life, and your marriage, you might not have a perfect marriage, (okay, actually you're not going to have a perfect marriage, so there's that part.) You will, however, have a marriage that you won't want an escape from, a partner that is your best friend, and you'll both be closer to each other and the Lord.
You see y'all, putting Jesus first is paramount. It's the utmost important thing in your life for your whole life. Your eternity henges on it, and so does your marriage. I'm going to say something that's not going to get many praises. If you're living with someone, you shouldn't be, and you shouldn't marry them until you've lived apart for a substantial time, gotten your life in line with scripture, accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and had extensive pre-marital counseling, both alone and with your significant other. If you want a marriage that not only survives but thrives, these things are a MUST. If you don't do it, you're literally rolling the dice and betting on a future that is as unstable as the foundation it's built on.
The only foundation to build a life on and marriage on is the rock of Jesus Christ.
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27 ESV
If you build on anything besides Jesus, expect trouble, turmoil, and problems that you can't weather. Expect a broken home and broken marriage, because the world shows us every single day, it will likely happen, but Jesus has a different plan, a better plan. A good marriage starts with self and lining yourself with Jesus. If both partners do that first, the marriage might not be a daily walk in the park, but it will be solid, and it will weather the storm, Jesus will make sure of it.
Jesus is the rock. Jesus is the foundation. Jesus is over and above everything. If you want a rock-solid marriage, Jesus better be over you and your spouse. It's best if that happens before you're married, but if you're already married seek Him today, make Him Lord and Savior over your life, and watch Him change it all for His Glory!!!!!
I pray this is an encouragement to you today as I encourage you to seek the Lord in all things, but especially your relationships. The world doesn't have a good marital track record, don't let the world dictate your marriage. Don't fall victim to Satan and his lies. His mission is to kill, steal, and destroy. He loves tearing marriages apart, and he'll tear yours apart, just like he tore mine apart before I knew Jesus. Put on the full armor of God and protect your marriage and your life from the evil one. Teach your children what a strong relationship with Jesus is and what a good marriage looks like, because of Him. Doing that will have generational impact for years to come.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today, and if you enjoyed it, or if it touched you, please leave a comment, send me a message, share this or give it a like. Your feedback is most appreciated. I also want to encourage you today, if you're struggling in your marriage reach out to us. My husband and I would be happy to speak to you regarding Jesus, and how He can change your marriage and your life.
Until we talk again, I am praying for you!
In our home, we do things differently than many families do. We do things differently than many "Christian" families do, but we don't take the fun out of things for our kids, let me explain. Y'all know, because I've talked about it many times, Jesus is FIRST here, He just is. We strive daily to live in a manner that is reflective of our heart and hopefully that's teaching our children the real important things in life. First and foremost, Jesus is greater than EVERYTHING.
We recently celebrated Easter as I know y'all did, and we, including our children, understand full well what the meaning of Easter is. We are in awe of a God, loving us so much that He sent His only son to die on a cross for the sins of the world; not His sins, but the very sins of people who would never love Him. That's love y'all.
We celebrated all He did for us on the day He died and also on the day He rose. We talked about it, we read scripture, we watched some Bible shows, and we spent time reinforcing in our children the importance of all that occurred, teaching them that our very faith henges on the death and resurrection.
What does all that mean though and what doesn't it mean. Well here's the 411. It means that we relish in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We understand His gift to us, and we are grateful, so grateful for a God who loves us that much. We put Him first, we celebrate Him and on Easter, as much or more than any day of the year, we remember His sacrifice on that cross so that we may live in eternity with Him forevermore.
Here's what it doesn't mean. It doesn't mean our kids can't have fun, and can't be kids. It doesn't mean that I don't decorate with bunnies and eggs a little bit too. It doesn't mean we are separating ourselves so much from the world that we forbid the children to enjoy candy or an egg hunt. While, yes, we do want separation from the world because the bible tells us distinctly we are set apart, we do not want that fact to seem like a punishment to our children, because it's not, it's a glorious appointment of God, and it should be celebrated.
2 for you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession. -Deuteronomy 14:2
The world offers us nothing for eternity, and if we stay in the world, we will surely be separated from God for all eternity. When we give our lives to Jesus, that changes. Giving your life to Jesus, and keeping your fence mended doesn't mean your children can't be children and hunt eggs on Easter, it means you need to do your job of teaching them that the eggs are fun, but Jesus is the reason.
I hope this gave you some things to think about, in how you're teaching your children and grandchildren, and how you're molding them to know that it doesn't have to be a straight-laced face all the time. There is fun to be had, and that doesn't have to impede on Jesus or your faith. Let children be little and have fun, teaching them all the while that Jesus is Lord and Savior of their lives, and that He, and nothing else, is the most important thing in this world and beyond.
Until we talk again! Thanks for reading, sharing, and liking! Together we can spread the gospel one day at a time. <3
It's Sunday! But it's not just any Sunday, It's THE Sunday. It's the Sunday that changed everything, forever, even before we were born. It changed it even if you don't know Him, and even if you don't have a clue what I'm talking about. THIS Sunday changed eternity. That's powerful stuff y'all. But wait, how exactly did things change? What is she talking about you might be asking yourself? Well, let me tell you.
Do you believe in God? Do you believe Jesus is the son of God? If you believe those things, you must also believe that Jesus was born of a virgin birth, and he died on a cross about 2000 years ago. He died, and 3 days later, just as Jesus said He would, He arose from the grave, victorious as He had conquered death.
Matthew 12:40, "For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
Jesus dying on the cross, and rising again means something very significant. If He died and rose again, then He has defeated death, and if He has defeated death, we too can defeat death. We are no longer separated from God for eternity if we accept Jesus Christ and His sacrifice and we follow Him. If Jesus was just a man and wasn't fully God also, none of His life would matter, none of what He said or did would matter, but we know He is Lord and Savior, we know He did die on that cross, and He rose on the third day. This is our hope. For that hope today I am so grateful.
Maybe you're saying to me right now, but Jen, how do you know that? How can you be sure? First and foremost it is spelled out in the Bible by four distinct accounts in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and we have details, and we have accounts that are extremely similar, but not exactly the same, reflecting truth, but more than that, the Holy Spirit, who is in me, directs, leads and guides me on what I read in the bible. If I believe the Bible at all, I have to believe it is 100% truth.
The Christian faith falls apart without the resurrection. Our entire faith hinges on it, because if Jesus didn't step out of that tomb, nothing else He said or did matter. Oh but folks, He did, and because He defeated death, so will we someday if we are following Him. I'm so excited today. Today is a day to rejoice, and to reflect on what Jesus did for you and for me and why He did it. I will rejoice that my Lord and Savior lives, and He's coming again.
With times being what they are now, and people, especially those who aren't Christians, living in fear and with anxiety over the state of our country and our world, there is no better time to rejoice, and to share the hope you have in Jesus. He's in control, He's coming again, and in Him, we find perfect peace that passes all understanding. It's an exciting time to be alive and to be a follower of the King.
I want to encourage you today, if you're a Christian, share your faith, not fear over the state of the world. Share with nonbelievers what is getting you through this troubling time. Share what Jesus did for you, and also what He did for them. Tell them about not just your personal faith, but tell them WHY you have that faith. All of it, every bit of it hinges on the Resurrection. Share with them how He conquered the grave and how He's coming again. That's real, it's not a fairytale, and it's not just words. Paul knew it, the disciples knew it, and I know it too. If you know it, share it. Share it with people who don't know, because their eternity depends on knowing it!
I hope this was an encouragement to you today on Resurrection Sunday, but I hope you'll be sharing about the resurrection all year through. People need to know who He was, who He is, what He did, why He did it, and How He saved us all by walking out of the grave, and they need to know He's coming soon!
Be blessed today and always, and thanks for joining me here. If you enjoyed this please share it with a friend, give it a like and leave me a comment.
Y'all we're living in a world where stuff matters, and when I say stuff matters, I mean, people care a whole heck of a lot what car their driving, what house they're living in, what name brand tag is on the clothing they're wearing, and some people care about what you're wearing too. How many of y'all know I ain't got time for all that mess? Well, I don't. There might have been a time that I did care, but that time has come and gone a long time ago; here's why guys.
Y'all, when I'm worried about what someone else has, and what I don't have I'm not doing any good to anyone, especially myself. Satan wants us to envy others and what they have, but all that does is give us horrible feelings, it ends friendships and it doesn't put us any closer to happiness. Happiness doesn't come from things, if it did, we'd live in a much happier world. If we aren't content with the things we already have, what makes us think having more or having something better will make that happen for us? That's just foolishness, still, we live in a world where people strive to "keep up with the Jone's", and they do it in high style and big fashion. All that "stuff" is nothing but a big distraction from the Lord. Satan knows that which is why everywhere you look distractions abound, and temptation lingers. This sinful world is full of all the stuff that looks shiny, and pretty and amazing until you find yourself wrapped up in it so deep you can't find your way out. He'll present a whole lot of "squirrels" in your path that's for sure. So how do we stay focused on the important things, and how do we maintain distance from distractions in this world?
The first thing we need to do is to look to God's word for direction away from all the distractions. Titus 3:3-7 tells us: 3 "At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."
God promised us eternal life, it says so in Titus: 1:2 "...in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began..." That promise comes with some strings though. Not every person will enter the gates of heaven, and I promise you Satan is working overtime in this world to distract you from getting there. If he can keep you distracted, he can keep you in chains, and he could keep you in chains eternally.
When the distractions don't entice you, and you're not following others, you might not be the most popular kid on the block, that's true. John 15:19 tells us: 19 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." We are further told in Romans 12:2 not to conform to the world. If you don't do what they're doing, they're gonna hate you. You won't be in that "in" crowd, and we are often convinced we must be in that crowd.
You see folks, God knew all that would be out there for Satan to use to tempt us. Just as Satan tried even to tempt Jesus, he will try to tempt you. He will look at your desires, then present you with something nearly irresistible. He knows what your shortcomings are, and this is why I implore you to keep your fence mended and keep your eyes on Jesus and off of all the distractions of this world. It's not things that matter, it's people, it's not how much money is in your bank account, or what neighborhood you live in, it's what's in your heart, and how you live your life. If Jesus is in your heart, and you're living life for Him, He's got you! Don't let anyone convince you otherwise.
Don't get wrapped up in keeping up with other people. Don't live your life to please others, and don't ever believe that THINGS can fill the emptiness you feel inside. Only Jesus fills that hole, I promise you that. So if you're feeling empty today, less than, and second best, and you have been trying to keep up with the Jones' for the longest time and you're exhausted; rest. He will hold you and all you have to do is be. Redirect your energy to the one who holds the stars, and the one who will hold and carry you. Don't let Satan distract you with shiny objects anymore. Hang onto the hem of His garment, and don't let go!
I hope this was an encouragement to you today. No matter where you're at in life, no matter what season you're walking through, stop looking left and looking right, keep your eyes on Jesus, and off of the many distractions and live a life of purpose for the King of Kings. We are in the world, but we aren't supposed to be of the world. Don't fill your mind, your heart and your life with things, fill yourself with JESUS.
Until we talk again, have a wonderful day and if you enjoyed this please "spread the charm" to your friends. A like or a comment is always welcome too!
There's not much I consider a lost cause. I can upcycle almost anything. From an old chicken coop to wall art, to dressers and dollar tree finds, it's my mission to make it better, newer, more beautiful and lovely. We live in a society where things are so disposable, and I really just dislike that so much. I hate being wasteful, and so I try not to be.
My thoughts on this subject may come from a place of not having. As a young adult, I remember struggling to have the necessities, and so every little thing became a treasure to me. I was always so thankful for whatever I had, and I didn't want to waste, in fact, I wanted to make whatever I had the best it could be. So when I did a dumpster dive in college and found an old dresser, I was so excited. It was what is called a "gentleman's dresser" from many years ago. Someone had just dumped it a long side the dumpster, and I snatched that thing right up! I loved that dresser so much, but eventually, I did sell it before moving to Florida. I loved that dresser and used it for almost 20 years though. Someone else's trash became my treasure and over the years so many times that has been the case.
Today it's not for a lack of money that I will take trash and make it a treasure, it's out of my desire to create and not be wasteful. We were recently given an old chicken coop by friends. They had also been given this coop, and when it started to break down from wood rot, they decided it wasn't worth fixing, and so they offered it to us if we wanted to fix it. I jumped at the opportunity, and so we took it, and my husband has nearly completely rescued it. We're just needing to put roofing on the new roof he put on it, and it will get some paint, and we'll have another coop that cost little, and will be an awesome addition for our girls. I do that a lot. I take what others didn't see potential in, or what they didn't want to mess with, and I create something amazing. I am thankful to God for the gift of seeing more than what's on the surface. Some people just don't have vision for that.
When I bought my first home many years ago it was the same thing. I wanted a five-bedroom home, but I didn't have the money to buy one. I was living in Indiana at the time, and there are basements there (you know, those things that are non-existent in Florida). I looked at so many homes, and then I found the one I ended up buying. It had three bedrooms, but it had a full, dry, clean basement and I saw the potential for a family room, and two more bedrooms, and we made it happen once we bought the home. I was able to get a five-bedroom home out of a three-bedroom home and at the cost of the smaller home as well. That's not me, that's God's vision. The vision He has granted me to see things for more than they are. To see them for what they can be. I am so grateful.
Even when it comes to us, God doesn't see us for what we are, He sees us for what we can be. He knows we can be so much more, and He longs to take us to that place. Even after He saves you, there is much work to be done. I am a work in progress because God sees so much more in me than is visible on the surface, and He sees what I can be if I'm following Him and in His will. It's the place I long most to be.
When you pray today, thank God for always seeing the best in you, and for guiding you to be that better person. He makes us beautiful, He makes us everything we are not without Him. He's no respecter of persons, He'll do it for every one of us. So I encourage you today...see the beauty in all things, if you're a crafter, or an upcycler, (or if you want to be) look at things with new eyes, and salvage what others think has no value, but also know that God is doing that in you, and in me, and be thankful for it today.
Until we talk again, thanks for taking time out of your day to read my blog, and if you're not following That Farm Charm on Social Media, I encourage you to do so. We're on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. If you wouldn't mind sharing this blog ("spreading the charm") that would be so appreciated. Also, leave me a comment below, I love getting comments! You can also give it a "like" if you liked it! God bless you and yours!
Y’all it was a day let me tell ya. It started off with attacks of the enemy, and it ended with my back in a bind. I might have slightly lost my faith in humanity, thankfully my faith in God is stronger than ever, and it's that faith on which I rely.
The country as a whole, the world even, is going through an awful lot right now. People are scared, they’re lost, they're losing sleep over their worries. Well, let me introduce you to my life, and a man named Jesus.
In 2009 Kenny and I brought our son, Cash, home from the hospital after a bumpy start to his little life. He was born only two weeks early, but he had lung issues right away and spent his first four days in NICU struggling to breathe. I had never had a sick newborn before (Cash is #5 out of 7). It was difficult in those few days, but when we brought him home, healthy, I put it behind me and got on with life.
Cash would end up being in the hospital another 8 times in his first two years of life (admitted more than 3 days and up to 30 days at a time) He would subsequently be at the ER and the doctor's office so many times I lost count. Lung infection after lung infection, pneumonia, skin infections, ear infections, a bone infection, sepsis. You name it, that poor little guy got it. It was nothing for us to have to take him to the ER, for one thing, only to have him pick up something else while there. He was a sick little boy.
In the weeks after his second birthday, he was hospitalized after having a tonsillectomy because he had developed three separate infections, one of which ended up taking his left lung. It literally liquified his lung and the lung drained out a chest tube that had been placed in his side. These were dark days. I was 8 months pregnant, and a hot mess most of the time. Cash was hospitalized three hours from our home, and I stayed with him the entire time while Kenny was home and working. It was difficult, and it was character building. It was our wilderness, and that season in our lives was just plain difficult on so many levels.
When he was finally well enough to come home after losing his lung, it was a whole new world for us. He was soon diagnosed with a Primary Immune Deficiency, and that brought it's own set of new challenges as we learned to navigate the world of germs, but the diagnosis also helped our son to live a healthier life because we knew what we were up against and that Cash wasn't like every other child. He was healthier than he'd ever been after diagnosis. He still had infections, and a few hospital stays, but taking a daily antibiotic prophylactically, and taking precautions for him, we were able to keep infections to a minimum.
By the time we moved to Florida four years ago Cash was holding his own, and the warm weather here only helped. We had always been told a warmer climate may make a world of difference as he had the most illnesses in the fall/winter/early spring months. Since moving to Florida Cash has had no hospital stays, and only a few minor infections. We have truly been blessed. We believe Cash could be healed, as we fully know God has the power to do that, but I say he is healed cautiously only because so many kids who have Primary Immune Deficiencies have months and even years of good health, and then relapse. We take every day one day at a time with Cash, and we're truly thankful for every good health day he has. We believe the Lord has His hand on Cash, and that Cash has a mighty Godly purpose on this earth.
Enter stage left, COVID-19. Everyone is freaking out a bit, and we're just over here trying to decide how to best keep our immune-compromised son safe. It's funny, I had almost forgotten the urgency of keeping him safe until all this happened, and then this virus wisped in and changed all our lives and rocked our little piece of the world. We are fortunate to already be homeschooling, so we didn't have to worry about school, but with the numbers increasing rapidly of diagnosed cases, and Florida being number 4 in the number of cases in an individual state, we aren't taking chances with Cash. He has not left our home in over a week now, neither have our other kids. I have left only a few times for necessities, and errands. Kenny has continued to go to school on the weekdays. We are very aware that one of us could bring something back to Cash, so we are trying to minimize that possibility.
Y'all I do not want to minimize the God factor here. This virus is a big deal, but my God is a bigger deal. We have faith, but we have common sense too, That's why we are limiting contacts and keeping to ourselves (social distancing) to protect our son. So when I came against the enemy this morning and it rocked my faith in humans for a hot minute, let me tell you, God reminded me pretty quickly of all the blessings in my life, and how my faith in Him has carried me through some pretty rough stuff. My faith is stronger today than it's ever been. This virus crisis doesn't scare me. Am I going to be smart, of course, but I'm not scared because I know who holds the future.
I guess I'm writing all this to say Jesus is King, God is in control and if I'm not scared, you shouldn't be either. We have someone in our home who falls into that the demographic of people who really need to be concerned about this thing, and still, we're not scared. Fear is of the devil, and we will not be shaken by a devil who has no power over us. Yes, my faith in God is strong, and that's the faith that I rely on.
I encourage you today y'all, don't bend to the fear of Satan, but instead lean into the strength and the power of Jesus, and know He is in control, and He's got you. Use your brain, be smart, but trust in Him always. I hope y'all have a wonderful and blessed day and I will talk to you again tomorrow! Please leave me a like or a comment if you enjoyed this blog and share it with your friends so I can be an encouragement to them as well.
One of the hardest things for some when they become a Christian is to distinguish between that mandate to "love thy neighbor" and "liking" people. I'll be honest when I was a young Christian I had some real difficulty with understanding if I was "doing it right". Falling in love with Jesus, for me, didn't automatically mean I fell in love with everyone else. I did start to love people in the way Jesus did, praying for their salvation, and witnessing to them about the Gospel, but there were still people that I just didn't care for. These people weren't large in number, but if I'm being honest, it was a few. I fundamentally loved them. I didn't, however, want to be friends with them, or even particularly like them. This gave me great guilt. I struggled almost daily with not liking some people. Over time, and through prayer with the Lord, I realized this was the enemy in disguise. He was using my own humanity against me.
Y'all, I don't want to get into a theological debate here because that's not what this post is about, it's really just about guilt and how Satan uses guilt to control us. If he can keep your mind busy with worry, shame, and guilt, he can effectively take you out of play and make you ineffective in the kingdom. He clearly knows what he's doing, how to do it, and he does it well. Protection from that can only come from one place, Jesus Christ. Because we know that Jesus is the word, being in our bibles is the protection we need from Satan's trickery.
When you have guilt, that is not a feeling of God. God doesn't guilt you, He doesn't have to. The Holy Spirit will convict you if you're in the wrong, and if you're praying regularly, you'll feel and understand conviction right away, but there's more to it and we need to understand that.
Guilt is not from the Holy Spirit, but from Satan. Because guilt and conviction often seem so similar, Satan relies on our own confusion and uncertainty to tear us away from Christ and separate ourselves from His love. Satan is hoping we will embrace guilt, regret, and shame. He wants our emotions to take control so that we are paying more attention to them than we are to the truth of God. If we start listening to emotions and not the truth of God we may feel we are no good, and that we will do the same thing again and nobody is going to forgive us for our mistakes.
Guilt says we are responsible for saving ourselves, and that because we can’t do it, we have no hope. Grace says Jesus has done all that we cannot, and that He is the salvation and hope for all.
Conviction is something actually very different. John 16:8 says, “And when the Holy Spirit comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” Conviction is a two-stage process: The Holy Spirit shows you your sin, and He shows you how to turn from it and walk instead in righteousness. No one likes to be reminded of how imperfect they are, so conviction isn't pleasant, but the more we see how undeserving we are, the more grateful we are to our Savior for loving us anyway. So conviction, as unpleasant as it is, is a healthy step to grow closer to God.
The Holy Spirit exposes sin in our lives, not to guilt or shame us, but to change us. You can, therefore, be assured that if you're feeling guilt over sinful behavior, that is not of God, but of Satan. Shame says that because I am flawed, I am unacceptable. Grace says that though I am flawed, I am loved. Don't feel guilty for things you've done, instead repent and find healing and forgiveness in Jesus.
It's been a few years y'all. I'm a Christian on a much deeper level than I was a decade ago. I have come a long way, and I love all people, but in fact, there are moments when I meet someone and we just don't jive. It doesn't mean I don't love them with the love of the Lord, it means, we aren't very compatible, and they're not my favorite. In fact, they're not close to my favorite, and I may really not care for them one bit, however it doesn't keep me from loving them, praying for them, and being kind to them. It also no longer guilts me to feel this way because I have exposed the enemy and his plan through scripture and prayer.
I believe Ephesians 6: 10-18 says it best, 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
God couldn't have made things any more clear. Wrap yourself in His word; in Him. He is the only thing that will keep you guilt free and accepting of conviction that will change you to more reflect the glory of God. If you're struggling with guilt today, break free of the chains the enemy is trying to bind you up in. If you're a child of God you don't have any reason to feel guilt, and if you're not, surrender to Him in walk in the light of Jesus. He is our strength, He is light, He is everything.
I hope you were encouraged by today's blog, and I hope you'll share it with your friends if you enjoyed it. Leave me a comment, and a like if you don't mind and we'll talk again tomorrow! Thanks for being here.
Hi I'm Jen, and I'm so glad you're here. I have a passion for Jesus, my family, and connecting with a more simple way of life. I love to write, and enjoy many creative avenues. I look forward to sharing so much with y'all so come back often!
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