Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Friend and Savior?
Many of you know that I was not raised in a Christian home. Aside from attending a few church services with friends, I knew very little about Jesus until I was eighteen years old.
After getting pregnant at seventeen and delivering a child at eighteen, I desired to offer our daughter a more stable and loving life. I remember the day so clearly. As I sat on the floor of our small basement apartment, listening to Amy Grant, the love of Jesus filled the room where I was sitting. His acceptance of me and all my mistakes was overwhelming.
In the stillness of that moment, I surrendered everything to Him.
No, I was not in a church service.
No, a pastor did not lead me in the sinner’s prayer.
Yes, all of that is beneficial and good, but Jesus is everywhere, searching for those who are lost.
That was ME!
I was lost, afraid, and dreaming of a life far better than I was living. As tears flowed down my face, the love of my heavenly Father began to saturate my heart with peace.
Ahhh...isn’t that what you need today? Could you use a good dose of REAL PEACE?
I dare you! Yes, I said, “I dare you to try JESUS.” I can testify that He has never forsaken me even once in 25 years and I have never turned my back on Him. He is my best friend, the One on whom I can constantly depend. Like a true shepherd, He has led me into the blessed life: one of acceptance, joy, peace, love and true contentment.
Do not confuse Him with RELIGION. He wants to have a RELATIONSHIP with you.
If you have never accepted Him into your life, you can right now.
There in your living room, or wherever you may be, as you’re reading this from your phone or computer you can utter these words from your heart:
“Jesus, I need you. I want you in my life. I surrender everything to you, my past and my failures. I believe that YOU died on the cross just for ME and You rose from the grave as triumphant King. Come into my life this day and set me free.”
If you prayed this prayer and you desire to speak to someone about your experience, privately INBOX me or leave a comment under this Blog. You will never regret this decision.
It was a humbling thirty days! Some years ago, God was teaching me the power of contentment, and He challenged me not to purchase ANYTHING for myself for an entire month. Now, I know what you’re thinking...Something like, “I haven’t bought anything for myself in years!”
But, He meant NOT ONE THING! Those were the days of wearing my hair in a clasp. One day, my only clasp decided to break. I was on my way to Walmart when I heard Him say, “I said, NOT ONE THING!”
That same month just happened to be the month I was invited to sing with our church choir at Regional Camp Meeting. I had lost about twenty pounds and was in desperate need of a new black dress. I reasoned that since I was singing at a Christian function then surely God wanted me to have a new dress. I mean, after all, I must look my best as I represent Christ? Right? That still small voice echoed once more, “NOT ONE THING.”
My attempt was obstructed as I drove into the gas station parking lot to purchase gum and mints...Yep, you guessed it. I heard, “NOT ONE THING” once again.
This may sound like an amusing story to you, but it was certainly sacrificial learning the concept of contentment. The flesh wants and then wants for more!
So often, we estimate the value of our lives according to the number of items we possess and we set out on an endless pursuit of trying to satisfy our true heart’s desires with meaningless materialistic “things”. Somehow, I would have felt better about myself had I been able to purchase the new dress for Camp Meeting. Perhaps then, I would have appeared more “put together” to others. However, God wanted me to understand that my true value and joy in life would be found in Him and not in my appearance or the items I possess or the stature He ever allowed me to stand in.
Our mindset is often that we will possess true contentment as soon as we get ----. (You fill in the blank) The truth is that it takes just as much control to be content in plenty as it does in lack because
Contentment is a Mindset
There is something powerful about being satisfied in your current state. Even now, I can say, I have lived in a camper and I have lived in my dream home. I have been in want and I have been in plenty. I have been surrounded by friends and I have walked many roads alone. I have been the focus of attention and also the forgotten one. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, and because of this powerful principle, life is stable and steady.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
Contentment does not mean that we never set goals for our lives or that we never dream a bigger dream. It is simply the power of quiet confidence and trust on display to the world, screaming “I refuse to be defined by anything other than my wholeness found in Christ.”
“Be content in what you have; Rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
Steve and I are blessed to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary in the coming week. In 1988, we stood before God, family and friends to declare our love and commitment to one another at the tender ages of 17 and 18. A fulfilling life has been sandwiched between then and now! Today, my heart and soul echoes those vows to my sweetheart more loudly and deeply than ever before.
This summer, while visiting with friends, we enjoyed Biblical conversation concerning marriage. One friend proclaimed that he loved God first and then his wife. To which, Steve humbly added, “I believe my love for my wife actually reveals my love for Christ.” His statement was meek, yet profound and brought to mind Ephesians 5:25-28 which lovingly states, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. Husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”
I am certain that if I were to ask, Steve would never desire any public praise for his role as a godly husband. However, in a world where much dishonor is shown to spouses, I want to honor and commend him for his expressions of love toward me over the past 25 years. His love truly is a reflection of Christ’s love for me.
"Your love for me has never wavered. Thank you for loving on purpose, showing expressions in many ways...sometimes audibly...sometimes in the unspoken expression of a touch or a deep look from those brown eyes. You always make me feel like your beautiful bride.
Your provision for us is steady. I have never encountered anyone with a stronger work ethic than you, my sweet husband. Other than our family get-a-ways and vacations, I can count on one hand the number of days you have missed from work in our 25 years together. You are noble, honest, full of integrity and perseverance. By God’s grace, our household has never been in want.
Your mercy and forgiveness have often been exemplified toward me. Becoming a wife at seventeen, there was much growing up still left to do...I was mouthy and headstrong! Many times, I have needed your mercy and forgiveness for my unthoughtful words...and then there was that time when I wrecked our new car three times in a single day! (Yes, that really DID happen! ) I am a woman of imperfection, but I am bonded to a man of forgiveness and mercy.
Thank you for being a faithful teacher and guide in our home. You lead by example. Patience defines you. You learned much from both your best friend “Papa” and life experiences and we are beneficiaries of your gained wisdom.
I adore how interested you are in ME...diligently observing my likes and dislikes over the years...making all my dreams come true. Because of your care and interest, our marriage has continued to grow and expand. We enjoy one another’s company. Our laughter is great medicine.
Is there a more loving exhorter? Your trust fuels my purpose and provides strength, comfort, advice, and affirmation for the journey. Although you are the head of Repairing the Breach Ministries, you are quite content and comfortable to stand in the shadows and willingly and sacrificially supply funding for my vision.
We are a team and I could not ask for a better man to share life with. You are my king and because of your love I sit in the seat of a blessed queen! I cannot wait for the next 25 years. Truly the best is yet to come. I love you ‘til I draw my last breath. Happy 25th Anniversary, my love."