Thursday, October 1, 2015

Life like a teacup

I feel particularly blessed to have this tea cup and saucer, which belongs to a set of China.
No elaborate design. Just a simple leaf pattern on each piece, surrounded by a blue-gray rim, with gold edging.
But to me, it's beautiful.
Because this set belonged to my MamaDoll. When she was moving to an Assisted Living Center, they had an estate sale for everything at her house. I had wanted another set of China that was well worn, and even missing some pieces. I just wanted it because it belonged to MamaDoll. I was sentimentally attached to it, and didn't even think to ask for the other set.
I did not get the set I wanted.
Instead, this set that is barely used, and still has all the pieces, is the one that didn't sell at the estate sale, and I "inherited" this set.
I see this as a great blessing. I would have been happy with what was worn, chipped, and broken. But God gave me something much better. God gave me something beautiful and complete.

God gives good things to His children.

As I was thinking through this fact this morning, I realized all of life is like this. Especially when it comes to marriage.

Often, we are willing to settle for what is less than the best. We are willing to settle for what is used and broken. We don't always think to ask for what is best, and we don't always want to wait for it either.

I remember being disappointed when I did not receive the set that I wanted, but I never realized I would receive an even more beautiful set, which I had to wait for, and with which I was surprised.

How often are we willing to settle for less than God's best, and not willing to wait? Whether it is in who we will marry, where we live, the job we have, or anything else in life, we need to be willing to wait for God's very best.

Don't settle for less. Why would we want any less than God's absolute best?

God has taught me this important lesson this year in a hard way, as I was wanting something that I know now was not His best for me. Instead, I will have to wait until God gives me something more beautiful than I can imagine.

Because my Father gives good gifts to His children.....

....I will wait.

Will you be willing to wait for God's very best?

Because of Jesus' Blood,
Faith Christine
Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:10

Friday, June 19, 2015

Balancing Mercy and Truth

"Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Psalm 85:10
"For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." Psalm 100:5
"For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds." Psalm 108:4
"Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart." Proverbs 3:3
"Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy." Proverbs 20:28
Mercy and Truth. Two important characteristics of God, and components for sharing the Gospel.
I think it is time that this subject be addressed. I'm not the expert by any means, nor the authority. God and His Word should be our only authority on any subject.
I am seeing this problem so much amongst Christians, and it even appears in my own life in daily affairs. But the biggest area I see this problem arise is in the area of sharing the Gospel.


The Problem: Balancing Mercy and Truth

I know a lot of passionate soul winners, who are desirous to share the truth of God's Word and His glorious Gospel with everyone. And that is just fantastic! We need more people who are truly passionate and desirous to share the only Hope that this world has through Jesus Christ!
But here is the underlying problem that I see in a lot of passionate soul winners. No love. No mercy. They focus so much on the truth of the Gospel, and God's righteousness, that they forget to bring in His love and mercy.
What does this look like? "Repent. You know you are a sinner." "You are suppressing the truth of God in your heart." "Why are you rejecting God?"
There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these phrases in witnessing. But where is the love in those phrases? What about "For God so LOVED the world..." Not "For God is so righteous compared to the world that He gave His only begotten Son..." No! Why did God send His Son? First and foremost BECAUSE of His LOVE for us!
I hear so many Christians passionately preaching the truth of God's righteousness, and the need to repent. But I don't hear those same Christians preaching about why we even have the option of living eternally in the presence of God.
Now, before I go any further, I will say this. You can go too far to the other side, and say that "God is all love! You can sin all you want, because God will forgive you." Yes, God will forgive you, but grace and God's love are never a license to sin.
Remember --- "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Romans 6:1-2

There needs to be a balance!

First, in each of the verses quoted at the top, mercy and truth are mentioned together. Where do unbelievers get all the impressions that Christians are a bunch of haters? Well, I hate to say this, but I think a lot of times it is from Christians themselves! Some Christians just get so passionate about preaching God's righteousness, that they almost come across as sounding argumentative, and maybe even a little hateful, even though they are not intending to come across that way.
Second, in all of those verses, mercy is always mentioned BEFORE truth. So maybe this is how it should be in our approach in witnessing.
Let's show the world that we are different by our love, and then show them the truth that we possess. Instead of pointing out there sin, and always talking about God's righteousness, we need to start balancing the truth with mercy and love.
So how do we do that? First, show the unbeliever a loving person, who is patient and kind in conversations, especially when presenting the Gospel. Show them a warm smile, a friendly personality. Show them Christ's love, before you show them their sin.
Then when you are speaking the truth of the Gospel to them, they will be more receptive when you are loving, and not argumentative. You should still be firm in what you believe, but do so in a gentle manner.
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" 1 Peter 3:15
What does this look like?
--- God loves you so much! Do you know how much He loves you?
--- He sent His only Son to die for you!
--- Why did His Son have to die?
--- God is a Holy and Righteous God. That means He is completely perfect. Without any sin.
--- Because God is Holy and Righteous, He cannot allow any sin in His presence.
--- But because God loves you SO much, He has provided a way for you to become holy, because He wants you to spend eternity in HIS PRESENCE and not separated from His Presence.
--- Christ died, because He wanted to pay the price for your sin (Romans 6:23).
--- All you have to do to become holy is to accept the price Christ has paid for you, and to repent from your sins and turn to Christ.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, please do not forget to show one of the most important aspects of who God is. His Love. If it were not for God's love, He would not have sent His Son to die for us, BECAUSE of His righteousness.
I know this has been long, but I pray it has been worth the time you took to read it, because this has burdened my heart for some time now. I pray that each of you, my brothers and sisters, will shine forth the love of Christ in your lives, so that unbelievers will want the truth that we have because of the love that we have.
Because of Jesus' Blood,
Faith Christine
Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:10



Monday, May 11, 2015

He Restoreth My Soul

Psalm 23:3 "He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake."
This verse is especially true to my heart right now. I am seeing the Lord at work in my life more now than ever. I'm on an upward climb. I am so unworthy of this work in my life, but He is so gracious to me in doing this work! I keep pouring out my heart in gratitude to Him who is not letting me go, is not leaving me alone.

Why would God choose to work in a life such as mine? When there are so many people around me who are falling away from the Lord, why does He choose not only to keep me from falling away, but also to draw me ever close to Himself? There is nothing in me that merits such favor! But that is God's incredible grace!

God is restoring my soul. He is working to perfect my mind, will, and emotions.

My mind, by enabling me first to think joy and peace filled thoughts, instead of complain when things don't go quite as I think they ought. He is enabling me to "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." This has been such a struggle for me, but God is not letting go. He continues to pry, and peel my flesh away layer by layer, as a person would peel an onion.

My will, as He continues to show me that what I desire for my life in the flesh is completely different than His plans for me. He has finally brought me to a place where I can fully rest in His perfect plan. Even so much so that I can be joyful when plans are disrupted, like with my flight to Ohio on 3-13-15. Flight was delayed by about 2 1/2 hours, for various technical reasons. But instead of complaining, I found that my first thoughts were those of joy and peace, knowing that God was in control of the whole situation. I didn't worry even once, or even think to complain. I know that is all God's work in my heart. This has greatly been influenced by studying the journey of the children of Israel, and seeing how often God punished them for complaining. I am to just "follow the Cloud" wherever it leads. I should not move unless It is moving. God will direct me in His timing. Meanwhile I am to submit myself to Him, and follow His will on how life is supposed to be lived. This has also been greatly influenced in my life by the lives of George Muller and Nick Vujicic. Both of them purposed to find joy in their situations, and to lean fully on God. This is what I now truly desire in my heart.
My emotions, why not fully under control, are more controlled than in times past. I am rarely given to the emotion of anger. And when those emotions would be stirred within me, the Holy Spirit gently reminds me that "A soft answer turneth away wrath." The times that gentle reminder of the Holy Spirit has saved me from speaking harsh words are more than can be numbered. This is still an area to be refined and perfected in my life, but God is doing a marvelous work in me.

Yes, truly. He has and is in the process of restoring my soul. My heart continues to ask, "Why me, Lord?"
"Why, you ask? For My Name's sake." This is His loving, gracious, and gentle reply. He does not do it for me. He knows how unworthy I am of such love. He does it for Himself. So that He can obtain glory from my life. This is why I am here. To bring glory to a wonderful and mighty God, whose Name is to be praised above all other names.

All glory be to my Shepherd who lovingly restores my soul, and who leads me in the path of righteousness for His name's sake!
I pray this was a blessing to you. God bless you, my brother and my sister!

Because of Jesus' Blood,
Faith Christine
Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:10

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Every Christian Woman Should Marry a FAITHFUL Man

Recently, I read this article on the 10 types of men that a Christian women should never marry. It hit the nail on the head, and clearly defining the types of men a Christian woman should not marry. Marriage, aside from asking Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life, is one of life's most important decisions, and will either "make or break" a person. So we must choose carefully when selecting a life partner. Ladies, I definitely recommend reading this article! And Gentlemen, try to avoid being that type of a man. I'm grateful for a father and older brother who give wise counsel and insight into the true character of the men around me, and who will help to filter out the guys that I would never want to marry.

But what kind of man should a woman be looking for? This article is mostly intended for my fellow single ladies, who are holding out for God's best in their life. But, if you are a man, and reading this blog post, then I exhort you to live to be this kind of a man.

My Dad recently gave me a list of characteristics that he will look for in any possible suitors in the future. They are easy for me to remember, and watch for myself, because the acronym of the character qualities is FAITHFUL.
They are:

If you are interested in knowing more about each of these qualities, I will now elaborate.


How does he handle his money? Does he just spend it without a thought of what he is spending it on? A frugal man will be cautious with how he spends his money. This does not mean that he does not spend his money on fun things, but rather that he carefully allots each dollar. He is wise with his money, and spends with the future in mind, rather than throwing his money away for the pleasures currently at hand.


The dictionary definition of Attentive is: Assiduously attending to the comfort or wishes of others; very polite or courteous. This kind of a man is thoughtful, kind, gallant, and chivalrous. He notices the small details in a conversation. He notices when others are in need of something, and finds some way to aid in fulfilling that need. This is the man that opens doors for ladies. You know he is paying attention to a conversation if in a later conversation, he mentions something you previously said.
When you are talking, he is focused on you, will make eye contact, and does not look every which way while you are talking. This is an attentive man.


This man is diligent in all his work, and does all he can to earn a living. This does not mean that it would be wrong for the wife to work. But if the man is sitting at home, playing video games, and not out trying to find some job, ANY job, he is not industrious. This man would be content to stay at home and let his wife work and be the bread-winner.
1 Timothy 5:8 says, "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." This is not the kind of man you should want to marry. Marry an industrious man.


This one is huge ladies! Marry a man who is open to receiving teaching from God's Word. If he thinks that he "knows it all," watch out. This is a pride issue (which we'll talk over more in the next point), and means that he will never be open to your point of view. If someone points out a blind spot, or a character flaw, in his life, he should be willing to learn from this, and use it as a means of the Lord teaching him. This man will be seeking counsel from godly mentors, and will constantly search God's Word to learn more about how to live the Christian life.


Yes, everyone will struggle with pride at times, as pride is the root cause of just about every sin. But there is a difference between a humble Christian, who being human struggles with pride and admits His struggle before God, and a man who is just full of himself. If a man thinks that he knows everything, and thinks of himself as better than others, run the other direction! This is not the kind of man you want to marry. Also, avoid the extreme opposite, the man with false humility. This man puts himself down so that he can gain attention for himself, and have others say good things about him.
Instead, find a man who knows that he is nothing in and of himself. Find a man who sincerely praises God for everything in his life. He sees himself as low importance, and Christ as the greatest importance.


This man has a goal in mind, and he is focused on achieving it. He does not wander from one kind of job to the next, but rather uses each job as a preparation for his ultimate goal. When he sets his mind on something, he strives for that goal.
I want to take a minute to brag on my dad and older brother, Richard. They are some of the most focused men I have met. They know what their end goal is, and they strive to reach that goal. I am privileged to have such great men in my family. :)


Really, a man who is humble will not be selfish. But an unselfish man will think of others' needs before his own. He will be looking for ways to serve others. He is willing and interested in putting the needs of others before his own needs.


Not much needs to be said for this one. But does the man love you unconditionally? Or does he love you only when you do something for him? (which would be selfish) What are his reasons for loving others? Does he love others despite how they may treat him? How does he respond under criticism? Does he continue to love them, or does he lash out irrationally?

A man with these characteristics is truly a FAITHFUL man, and following Christ wholly.

So now that I have laid out these characteristics to look for in a husband, let me say a few things.

First, ladies, if you want to marry someone like this, then he will be looking for a wife with these same character qualities. Work on developing these own characteristics in your life!

Second, you will never find a man who fulfills all these things perfectly. The only perfect man to ever walk the face of this earth is Jesus. Don't expect perfection, because then you will NEVER get married. Instead, look for a man who is striving towards these character traits in his life. He will never follow them perfectly, but he will be striving through the strength of Jesus to follow Him wholly. I do not expect a husband who is perfect, because then he would expect me to be perfect, and I am far from ever obtaining perfection. But these character traits, or lack thereof, are easily seen a man upon better acquaintance.

Third, to the men out there who may happen to read this blog post, I want to encourage you to live to be this kind of a man. No, you will never obtain perfection, as no woman will ever obtain perfection. Christ is the only sinless human. But yield your life to Jesus Christ, and seek to follow him and develop these character traits in your life. My hope is that this will not discourage you, but rather give you encouragement as to the kind of man that Christ wants you to be.

It all boils down to this: Find a man who seeks to put Christ first, others second, and self last in all his ways. Seek this, become this. Follow Christ wholly. Live for Him and Him alone!

I pray that these words may be an encouragement to at least one reader, and that Christ can use it to make a difference in your life!

Praying blessings over you, dear reader! Go with Jesus!
Because of Jesus' Blood and by His Grace,
Faith Christine
Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:10

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflections on 2014

So at the end of the year, I'm sure everyone is thinking about their year, and reflecting on the things that happened. And I'm sure that every single blog out there has a "Reflections on 2014" post, and so I thought, "Why not write one myself?"
So what makes this post different than the others? nothing at all. Just a reflection on the things that God taught me this year, and the things He did in my life this year.

This year was a pretty significant year in my life. Such an event filled year for me. Probably the most significant year in my life to date. So what happened in my year to make it so significant?

This year, I finished my college education. Now to me...that is a pretty big deal. After 3 years of hard work, $12,000, lots of tears, prayer, frustration, and stress, I finished my last test for college on August 19th, and then officially graduated on December 12th. I now officially posses my Bachelor of Arts in Music!

God taught me some very important lessons this year. The biggest thing I learned was...


Yes, you read that right, weakness. Learning to be weak was the most important lesson that I learned this year. I learned that whenever I try to do something in my own strength, I completely and utterly fail. So God taught me this year that I need to empty myself of any of my own strength, and be completely weak in my flesh. I need to become completely weak in my flesh, and I need to ask Him for His strength to fill me.
The verse I have been meditating upon lately is 2 Corinthians 12:9, "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

God's grace has been beyond sufficient for me this last year. His strength has been made perfect in me so many times this year. Through the many hours of studying, working on research papers, agonizing over my Form & Analysis homework, and testing out of 42 hours of college credit in 10 weeks, God has made His grace sufficient throughout it all!

There is so much more I could write about this year, about how much God has taught me, but that would fill a whole book. In fact, I did fill a large journal worth of prayers, thoughts, and lessons learned this year. Just a few of this year's events included a lot of time spent on school, attending Creation training conferences, turning 21, attending my very first night at Medieval Times, receiving the best gift of a piano from my parents, and running a studio of 25 students.

Just even listing those few things, I'm sure you can tell it's been a great year for me. So as I count out the last few minutes of 2014, I'm counting my blessings, and looking forward with great anticipation to what 2015 has to offer! I'm not going to try and plan out my year, because if there is anything I've learned, it's that I can't make a plan for myself, because things never happen the way I think they might happen.

I'm looking forward to 2015, because I know that it will be a year full of many surprises, as I travel a new road. Blessings be upon you this next year! Go with God in the new year!

Happy 2015!!!

Because of Jesus' Blood,
Faith Christine
Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:10

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