Saturday, June 30, 2012

Reflections on 2011

I wrote this post on December 30, 2011. These are my reflections for last year.

As I look back on this last year, I see that a lot has happened. A lot of big things for me. So much has happened to me, but I will just name a few highlights.
First off, I graduated from high school in May. That was a big hurdle jumped in my life.
Second, I got my driver's license, and turned 18 this summer. Which that meant a lot of extra responsibility. Now I can go anywhere I need to go, and if I have any personal trips to take, that means paying for the gas for the trip. It's been awesome "having my wings" (as my sister-in-law puts it). I've been able to do a lot of things since this summer that I wouldn't have been able to do, if I had no license. My sister and I took a trip to Tyler Texas in July by OURSELVES. I've also taken trips to the other side of Dallas, and then the other side of Fort Worth, by myself. So, that has been a major change for me. I think it has also been a huge help to my mom though. There have been many times when we needed something from the grocery store, and she was not available to go get it, so I ran the errand myself. Me having my driver's license has definitely been a help in the family.
Third, I got my first real job this past summer. I worked three months for iX3 technology, which a father in our church graciously gave me that job. I learned a lot in that job, both mentally, and spiritually. I had the opportunity of working with some people who were very gracious and patient with me, and took plenty of time to explain things to me. God taught me patience through this job, both what it looks like, and how to practice it.
Fourth, I started college. I am working through Thomas Edison State College, to get my Bachelor's degree in Music. God has used this time to teach me to trust Him more, and to trust Him completely for the finances, and I am happy to say that this whole next semester is provided for. So far, I have been able to pay for my schooling on my own, which is partly due to my job this summer. This past semester was a little stressful trying to map out my college plan, and there were some tears shed over it, but my parents were very patient with me, especially my mom, who sat with me when I was crying from being stressed over this. But, after giving it all to God's most capable hands, and trusting Him to lead me, that removed a tremendous amount of stress from my life. I have had a lot of worry about where the money would come from, but God told me to stop worrying, and to start trusting. I did, and I have not been lacking for funds yet. Praise the Lord for His goodness to me! This last semester went a little bit slower than I wanted it to, but I'm still on track. I have finished 18 hours of schooling, and by the beginning of summer, I hope to have finished the rest of my 60 hours of basics.
My spiritual life has changed dramatically this last year. And I don't say that to be prideful, but to give thanks to God and show how amazing He is. There are a couple of things that have really worked in my spiritual life changing to what it is now.
First, I started journaling. Back in March, I started journaling my devotional times, and I was inspired to do so by my sister Grace. That changed my devotional life dramatically, because it seemed like God was waiting for me to sit down with a pen and paper before He started revealing things to me from His Word. I am at the end of my third journal, and plan on finishing that journal tomorrow, and starting a new one at the beginning of the new year. I definitely encourage everyone who reads this to consider journaling their devotionals. I also started journaling different prayers, and it has been amazing to go back and look at my journals, and see the way that God has answered those prayers.
Second, God moved on my heart back in May to share something with my father, and he helped me to clear this problem up in my life, and once this thing was removed, I felt a heavy burden lifted from my life. It was after that that my spiritual life started to really grow.
Third, God brought some people into my life this past summer who really showed me what it is like to love Jesus. I felt so small by their love for the Lord, and wondered why my love for the Lord was not greater. Some of these people had not known Jesus as long as I had, but their love for Jesus far surpassed my love for Jesus. After seeing their love, it made me strive to love Jesus greater. I also saw their great love for reading God's Word, and their desire to learn more and more about Jesus. This made me feel so small, and start to wonder why I did not have this same desire. I prayed and asked God to give me this desire for His Word. Ever since this summer, my devotional time has become more and more precious to me, like I can't get enough. My prayer time has been tremendous, and I can really talk to God, and hear Him speak to me through His Word. If I go a day without praying or seeking God's Word, I feel like I have starved myself. I know my love for Jesus, and God's Word is not near where it should be, nor do I ever think it will reach what it should be, but I pray every day that God will make my love for Him to abound more and more.
Fourth, back in April, I asked God to put some young ladies into my life that I could mentor, and influence for Him. God put two young ladies into my life this summer, who have been a great encouragement to me, and have shown me where my heart lies, and where I believe God is calling me.
Fifth, I went to family camp back in October, and heard Mark Cahill speak, and he gave me a new passion for winning souls for Christ. I have sinced ordered his books, and tracts, and have had opportunities to witness to some people. I have found myself striking up conversations with complete strangers, which is not something I normally do. A week ago, I ran to the grocery store to get something, and struck up a conversation with the check out lady. I asked her what she was doing for Christmas, and she told me that she had to work. I told her that I was sorry that she had to work on such a wonderful day, but that I hoped she had a very Merry Christmas. After she finished checking me out, I handed her a tract, and said "This is for you. Merry Christmas." She had a look of delight on her face that some stranger would give her a Christmas gift. I felt so incredibly happy after handing her the tract, that I practically skipped out of the store. Jesus commands us to "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." I pray that I will be better at fulfilling this command this next year than I was this past year. I don't come across many unsaved people, living at home, and doing school from home, but I pray that God will bring lost people across my path this next year who are looking for the truth.
Again, I don't say any of this to make y'all say, "Look at Faith, she's some great spiritual person." Because I'm not. I want this to be an encouragement to everyone who reads this to live their lives for Christ, and to win souls like we are commanded to do. Remove the things from your life that may be hindering you from having that wonderful and sweet fellowship with Jesus. If something has become more important to you than Jesus, you should remove it from your life. We can even allow good things to become idols in my life. I also encourage you all to get Mark Cahill's book "One thing you can't do in heaven", read it, and start winning souls for the kingdom.
If you are reading this, and you are not a follower of Jesus Christ, I plead with you now to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. "For God so loved the World, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16. All you have to do is accept the gift that God offers so freely, the gift of eternal life. "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." All you have to do is repent and turn away from your sins, and accept the free gift that God has given. If you would like to know more, please comment below, or order Mark Cahill's book "One Heartbeat Away". It goes into great detail explaining that there is a God, and that the Bible is true, and why we need to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We are not going to get to heaven by our good works. The Bible says so multiple times. So if you are trying to get there by your works, you are only going to fail. So I plead with you to believe on Jesus, who shed His own blood for us, who payed the penalty for our sins, that we might have eternal life, and spend an eternity glorifying God.
Well, this has been a rather lengthy blog post, but this was a good year! I'm looking forward to seeing what God is going to do in the next year of my life! Go with God in this new year, and may God make your love for Him more abundant with each passing day.

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

Friday, June 29, 2012

Counting Blessings: #2

Blessing #2:
Family reading time. Occasionally my father will read to us from books, while we sit around and crochet, or draw. Sometimes it will be an old book. Like one written in the 1800's, called "Uncle Ben". It was my great-grandfather's book that my mother inherited when he died. My father also reads books to us on soul-winning, or other good Christian living book. It is somethign that I will always remember as a special time, and something that I plan to do with my children when I have them. It's so special for a Dad to read aloud to his kids, and for any Dads out there, I would definitely encourage you to take the time to do that for your kids! Anyway, it is such a blessing to me when our family gathers together to read, and that my father takes that time out of his busy life to do that with us. I'd rather us read together any day, than watch a movie.
So, there is another blessing in my life. Have a blessed day! Stay strong in Jesus!

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

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Magnifying Christ

I was reading Philippians 1, and I got a lot out of that chapter. But verses 20-21 stuck out to me in a way that it had never stuck out at me before.
"According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
Especially the phrase "Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death."
Christ shall be often do I put myself on display, instead of putting Christ on display?
Christ shall be magnified in my body...when people look at me, do they see Christ?
This caused me to question myself. When I dress in the morning, am I causing Christ to be magnified by the way I dress and the way I look? After all, my body is the temple of the Lord, so should I not look like it? In my conversations with others, am I causing Christ to be magnified? In the music that I listen to, am I causing Christ to be magnified? Christ must be magnified in everything I do! Do the motives of my heart magnify Christ? Do I strive to make Christ magnified in every area of my life?
So, I leave you this challenge. When you get dressed in the morning, and especially for going to church, is it in a way that would most glorify and magnify the name of Jesus? After all, when we go to church, we are there to worship Jesus. Does He not deserve your very best? Does your appearance represent Christ, and magnify Him? You are the ambassador for Christ, so you should look like one! When you are listening to music to drown out noise in the house while you work or do school, is it music that would magnify the name of Jesus? Or does it magnify yourself, and your flesh? When you go to church to worship, are you just there to impress others, or to truly worship and magnify the name of Jesus? Do you strive to do everything in your life to bring glory and honor to the name of Jesus, and to magnify Him?
I know I definitely do not always strive to magnify Christ in everything I do, and that is wrong, and I crave His forgiveness for not doing so. I hope that this was as challenging to you as it was to me! God bless you all! Stay strong in Jesus! He's got you in His hands!

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

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Live at Peace

This post from my previous blog dates September 18, 2011:

As I was doing an in-depth study/memorizing Romans 12, this verse really struck me.
"If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peacebly with all men." (Verse 18)
My first thought was, "Okay, God wants us to do everything possible to be at peace with those around us." But, as I analysed it more and more, the phrase "as much as lieth in you" stuck out to me. I thought on it, then it hit me! Jesus lies within me! I have all the power of God lying in me! So what God is saying is that with every bit of strength that we have within us, which as Christians we have the strength of Jesus Christ, we are to live at peace with those around us. Isn't that amazing?! God gives us infinite strength to leave at peace! We just need to seek that strength that lies within us!
Romans 12 goes on to talk about not revenging ourselves, but rather repaying good for evil. This has to do with living at peace with all men. It's not easy to let go of our anger at others, and let go of our so-called right to avenge ourselves. But we are told to live at peace, and we are told to seek that peace from within us, where Christ dwells.
Well, that is my thought for today! I hope it was a blessing and challenge to you, as it was to me! God bless your weekend, and may we all strive to live at peace with all men, using the strength of Jesus Christ that lies within us!

Have a blessed day! Stay strong in Jesus! He's got you! His death covers everything!

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

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Graduates Response

Here is another old post from my previous blog. It is my Graduate's Response that I would have given at my high school graduation (which was May 14th, 2011). I was too choked up at the time to give an address, so I wrote this a week later.

As some of you know, I graduated this last Saturday from high school, and also had my senior music recital. Well, I found out the day before my graduation that I was supposed to give a graduate's response after my dad had finished speaking. So, I planned some things out in my head, but never really had time to sit down and really plan something. I was prepared to say some things, but after my dad had finished talking, I was so choked up, I couldn't say anything. I take after my mother in that area. I can get up in front of people and play, but when it comes to talking, I just can't do it without crying. Especially if it is something like saying thank you to people. So I thought that today I would type up my thoughts of what I was going to say, plus some more things that I thought of saying.
In the last 12 years, I have learned so much, academically speaking, and spiritually. I have grown from being a little girl of 6, to being a young lady of nearly 18. In all of my 12 years of home schooling, what has been the most important thing that my parents have taught me? They have taught me to love the Lord. They have taught me that the Lord should always be first in my life, and that life is not worth living without the Lord ruling your life. May 14th, 2011 was not only my graduation date, but it was also the 12th anniversary of having asked the Lord into my heart. I can say without any doubt in my heart that that was the best decision I have ever made. But the second most important thing I have ever done was deciding to live my life wholly for Christ when I was 14 years old. Yes, I lived for the Lord before then, I did read my Bible, but there were moments when I backslid, and I did feel like reading God's Word was a chore. My dad could usually tell when I did not read my Bible, because I would have terrible struggles with anger that day. He would ask me, "Have you read your Bible today?" and I would answer "no". He would tell me to go read my Bible, but I didn't have a real passon for it. It was something I did because my dad told me to. From about the age of 10-14, my Bible reading was irregular. In August of 2007, I attended the "Journey to the Heart" through ATI. I went thinking in the back of my mind, "Oh, this will be something good to add to my checklist of good Christian things that I have done". I was excited about it though, because I would be spending three weeks with my sister Melody, who was working with IBLP ministries at the time. On the journey to the heart, we had a lot of quiet time of seeking the Lord. They encouraged us to memorize Scripture, and to really just pour out our hearts to Christ, and talk to Him about everything. One day towards the end of the retreat, which was in Michigan, they had us all go on a 5-mile prayer walk. At the time I was memorizing Psalm 27. I started out just quoting that passage. But as the time went on, I started just talking to God, and then started to pour out my heart to Him. I don't know exactly what happened, but that prayer walk is what changed my faith. After that walk, the Lord started to become more dear to me. I started to want to spend time reading God's Word, and not just doing it as a chore. When I came home from the retreat, my dad said he saw a major change in my attitude. I was more loving towards my siblings, and spent more and more time reading God's Word.
Within the last two years, Scripture memory has become a real joy for me. Before then, I did memorize Scripture in AWANA, and completed the 8th grade level of AWANA. But I don't think that my full motivation for memorizing was always doing it because I wanted to grow closer in my walk with the Lord. My main motivation was probably being able to "pass" a section, and ultimately finish the AWANA book, so I could get the trophy. Within the last two years, but especially within the last 8 months, I have had such a hunger for memorizing God's Word. Let me tell you, there is nothing more important that you could ever do! It has drawn me so close to Christ, to the point where He is my dear friend, and I want to do things to please Him. It has made me fall so deeply in love with my Lord! He is definitely my dearest friend, and the one I run to when my heart is heavy and burdened. Memorizing Scripture has also enable me to think and decide things more clearly. This last year especially I have been seeking the will of God for the next step in my life, mainly college. Memorizing Scripture has made His will clear to me. The more I started to memorize, the more I wanted to do it. I guess you can say that I started to get addicted (but that's okay, right?). God has also been teaching me a LOT about depending on His source of strength, and not on my own. He has also been teaching me in many ways to be patient, and to trust in Him, and His perfect plan for my life. I know He has a perfect plan for my life, and I can see part of what that is, and that excites me!
Now, I tell all this, not so that you can think that I am the perfect Christian, because I am far from being perfect. Just ask my siblings. They would no better than anyone. I say all of this in hopes that it will encourage you to surrender your life to Christ, to "give your bodies as a living sacrifice". I hope all of this will encourage you to start memorizing Scripture, which I can honestly say is the best thing I have done, and the most important thing that I have learned, in all of my home schooling years.
I'd like to thank all of you who were there at my graduation to support me. It meant more to me than words could ever express. I'd like to thank my parents, who have put up with this strong willed child for nearly 18 years, and have helped me in placing my strong will under the Lord's control. They have supported me in everything I did, and corrected me in the wrong that I have done. Aside from the Lord, they are the main reason that I am who I am today. For that, I sincerely thank them, and I love them so much! I'd like to say thank you to my siblings, who have put up with me as a strong willed sibling, who did very often growing up want to get her own way. They have been my best friends, and I wouldn't want any other siblings to replace them. They are such a blessing in my life! I am thankful for the "new" siblings that God has given me, as they have married into my family. They are also such a blessing in my life! I am very thankful to my grandparents for leaving such a godly heritage for me. I am thankful for all of my dear friends who have supported me, and encouraged me throughout the year. You all mean so much to me!
I look forward to what God has planned for my future, and excited to see what He will do in my life, and how He will use me. My theme verse for my life is, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20.

Have a blessed week! Stay strong in Jesus!!

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

Monday, June 25, 2012

Taking Life for Granted

This post dates February 28, 2011:

As Christians in America, I think that we tend to take things in life for granted too often. In fact, I think that we have made a habit of doing so. Last night on the way home from my grandparents' house, driving down 360 S, we came to a sudden stop. In the middle lane, there was a car stopped with its emergency lights blinking. On the side of the highway, there was a hummer. So, from what I saw, I assume that the car had rear ended the hummer. The hummer had no damage done to it, but the car was smashed up in the front, and there was glass on the road, which I had to drive around. About another mile down the road, there was a police car and a fire engine, then we saw another vehicle that had had a terrible accident. The part of the vehicle that we saw was completely crunched. It was awful. As I continued driving down the road, I thought to myself, "I think that we often take God's protection for granted. That could have been us." I was telling my dad my observation before going to bed last night, and he said that when people have wrecks, they often ask God why he did not protect them. They never think of all the other times that God did protect them, and gave them safe car rides. Or if they do have a wreck, how God protected it from being any worse, or from anyone being seriously injured. Even if someone is seriously injured, that person did not die, and even if they were to die, if they were a Christian, then they are just better protected from the harm of this world then they ever will be. So, when you think of it that way, God's hand of protection will never leave His children. He may cause something to happen to us to chasten us when we have turned aside from following Him, or he may just cause something to happen to us to show His glory through our lives. And if that is the case, you should feel very humbled that God would choose to reveal His glory in you.
I think that another thing that we take for granted in America is the Bible. A thought came to me this last weekend, that I would really like to share with y’all. I was remembering part of a book I had read before called Safely Home by Randy Alcorn (if you haven’t read it, it should definitely be a book on your list to read!). It’s about persecuted Christians in China. A lot of the information is true, but he does change things around a bit, and of course changes names to protect the innocent. But, it was an eye opening book for me on what is actually happening to Christians in China. Anyways, I was remembering that when one of the men was in prison because he was preaching the Word of God, that he could not have a Bible, but because he had memorized so much of God’s Word, he was able to write out what he had memorized, and read that, and share it with others in the prison. Then the thought came to me. What if someday, God called me to be a missionary somewhere, and my Bible was taken away from me, and I too was thrown in prison to suffer for Christ? The only Bible I would have would be the Bible that I had memorized. This thought has given me a renewed passion for memorizing God’s Word. Just think about it for yourself. If your Bible was taken away from you, the only Bible you would have would be the Scripture that you had stored in your heart. Just think about how precious it is. Here in America, we have Bibles everywhere! I mean, I myself own a pocket Bible, a small New Testament, a bigger Bible, a Bible on my phone, and goodness sakes, there are multiple websites out there for the Bible. I can even go down to Dollar Tree and purchase the whole Bible for the small price of $1. In fact, right now in my room, I have a sack of 10 New Testaments ready to hand out to people. But it isn’t the same on the other side of the world. People are paying high prices just to get one Bible, that the whole church shares. People are paying their lives to smuggle in Bibles. They treat their Bible so sacred, and are willing to give their lives for it, and try to memorize as much as possible, so when they have to pass the Bible along to another person, they can still have God’s Word with them. I am not saying that we don’t treat our Bibles sacredly, but are we willing to give our lives for the sake of having a Bible? Are we willing to hide as much as we can into our hearts, so if our Bible is ever taken from us (God forbid), we still have God’s Word with us in our hearts?
Well, here are just some thoughts that I have been thinking on this last weekend. I hope it has been a reminder to you to not take the seemingly "small" things in life for granted.
"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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

Saturday, June 23, 2012

In and Out of Season

This post dates February 26, 2011:

This last Sunday, my grandfather (who is the pastor of our church) asked a young man in our church, who has surrendered to preach the Word of God, if he believed in being ready "in and out of season" to bring a message from God's Word. He answered my grandfather that he most certainly did. My dad (who is the Administrative Pastor) being sick that Sunday was not able bring the message that afternoon, so my grandfather asked this young man to do so. He brought an excellent message from Judges chapter 1, talking about the importance of conquering even the small sins in our life.
Well, back to my original thought for this post. I am not a preacher (nor will I ever be, because I strongly believe that God forbids such things as women preachers in the Bible), so asked myself a question. Since I am not a preacher, how can I be ready "in and out of season"? Does this just apply to preachers? Or can it apply to all Christians? This is a thought I had been meditating on this week. Well, I got part of my answer. Today, my mother was supposed to accompany our next-door-neighbor on her flute solo for the high school UIL solo/ensemble competition. As my mother was practicing with our neighbor on Friday afternoon, she discovered that her time was not in the afternoon, as my mother had believed it to be, but that it was in the morning. My mother had already planned her day around this, and was going to have a meeting with some relatives of ours to discuss our upcoming family reunion this morning. My mother went next door to see if they could possibly contact the band director, and change her time. They did, but were unable to contact him. Then suddenly, my mother had a thought! "My daughter Faith can play for you tomorrow." Well, after discussing this a little more, my mother came home, and called me downstairs to the family room. "Faith," she said, "with all of that time spent practicing the piano, and those lessons that you have, and with your piano accompanying experience...I volunteered you to play for Tori tomorrow morning. She is going to be here in 10 minutes to go over her flute solo with you." A little panicked, I raced to the piano to look at the piece, and was relieved to see that the piano part was learnable. With the 10 or so minutes that I had, I quickly learned the piece, thanks to the grace of God. I was able to go with our neighbor to play for her this morning, and my mom could have her meeting with our relatives.
After arriving home, it seemed as if God was saying, "See Faith, you wanted to know how you can be ready in and out of season, and this is one of the ways that I have planned for you". God gifted each and every one of us with individual and unique talents, and He expects us to use them for His glory, and to serve Him, whenever we are needed. So there is just a little more of a look into my life this week. I am so looking forward to seeing what God has in store for next week, and especially tomorrow as we worship in His House tomorrow. God be with you all!

Have a blessed week! Stay strong in Jesus! He's got you in His hands! His death covers everything!

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

Friday, June 22, 2012

Counting My Blessings: #1

Something that I have been thinking about doing recently is listing the blessings that the Lord has given me. Everybody knows the old song, "Count your many blessings, name them one by one." Well, I have decided that I am going to start naming my blessings. Who knows how high I will go. My plan is to take at least five minutes every Friday to write about a new blessing. We'll see how well this goes!
So, here it goes. Blessing #1:
My Bible. I am so thankful to live where I can freely own a Bible. If you read my post, "Taking life for granted", I talked about how we tend to take the small things in life, like our Bible, for granted. I am so thankful that God worked through the lives of 40+ men, over a span of 1500 years, so He could perfectly and completely give us His inspired Word. I find something new in my Bible every time I read it, and as I am growing more into an adult, I find more and more things to apply to my life. I also find a new way that God loves me whenever I read His Word. Just think how precious your Bible is. It is the very words of God Himself!

Have a wonderful week! Stay strong in Jesus! He's got you! His death covers everything!

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

An Angel to Watch over me?

I am getting rid of one of my blogs, but there are a couple of posts from that blog that I would like to save, so I am going to post them here. If they are tagged "archives" then they are from the previous blog.
This post dates February 24, 2011:

In FBI (Faith Bible Institute [taught by Pastor John Yates]), Pastor Yates was teaching in the book of Psalms, and he was talking about how we each have angels to watch over us. He told a story of how he was at his job (he did not say what the job was) and that a couple of tons of equipment fell his direction, and everybody saw him fly back 40 feet. Everybody was afraid that he was hit, and that is what caused him to fly back. They were sure that he was dead. Pastor Yates did not get touched by the equipment, but somehow from a squatting position, he was able to do a 40-foot back-flip, and thus avoid being crushed. Amazing, huh? He said that he had never done a back-flip before, nonetheless a 40-foot back-flip. He is positive that he had an angel watching over him. But this is not the whole story. There was a man on the other side of the equipment that fell, but he was trapped in his space, with not much room to move. Why did the equipment not fall his direction, and fall the direction where there was a 40-foot space? An angel was watching over him too. God really does take care of his own children.
Just within the last week, I have had three near-accidents while driving, where in all cases, it would not have been my fault if it happened. The first two times, a driver tried to merge into my lane right as I was passing them. Both times, I was going 60 miles an hour, and I was driving a 15-passenger van. There was no way that I could have stopped! Thankfully, I knew exactly where the horn was located on my steering wheel. The third time, I was exiting onto I-20 W, and started to slow down to take the exit, and this truck cuts across the median, right pass me. Thankfully I saw him, and managed to slow down so there was no collision. (Why can't drivers learn to be a little more patient with people who like to abide by the law?) After ranting and raving about the little incident, my mother said, "Well, I guess that we just had an angel watching out for us". Do you realize how many safe car trips you have? It is because God is faithful to watch over His children that you have all of those safe car trips. In FBI last night, Pastor Yates was talking about counting your blessings. Maybe it could be hard for you, but did you realize that every time that you take a breath, that is a blessing? So, every time that you have a safe car ride, be sure to thank God for it, and to add it to your blessings. Especially with the way that people are driving today...

Have a blessed day! Stay strong in Jesus!!

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

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Purity 101

Recently, I have had several young ladies talking to me about what it means to be pure. I mean, yes you can save sex for marriage, not date until God brings the right person, but is that enough? I started thinking about what Purity means to me, and what I do to keep myself pure. I knew that I did those things, but then I started thinking about why I did those things. What does the Bible have to say about the things I do to keep myself pure?
As I am asking myself these questions, God continues to bring Scripture to my attention that helps to place my conviction on a solid foundation, rather than just saying "I don't do that" or "I do this"..."just because". "Just because" does not seem to be a good enough answer for some people. What ground do you have to stand on to support what you do? That is something I have been doing lately. Re-evaluating every single one of my convictions, and seeing what the Bible has to say about them.
I am going to do a couple of blog posts about what I do to keep myself completely pure, and the Scriptures that God has shown me to strengthen my conviction. I know that most people who read this will probably not agree with what I have to say, and that is fine. Each and every person needs to come to their own personal conviction about any subject. I just want to share what the Lord has shown me, in hopes to get you to also re-evaluate your convictions and standards.

#1: Physical Touch

This has been quite a big discussion among my single girlfriends and I. What is okay between yourself and a guy friend (not someone that you intend to marry)? Is it okay to give them a casual side hug? Is it okay to put your arm around their waist for pictures? What is okay?
As for me, I refrain from any physical contact with a young man. I don't want to give a young man (especially a young man who is not going to be my husband) any wrong thoughts about me. And yes, even a side hug sometimes could cause a guy to have a wrong thought for a split-second. So as for me, I don't hug guys, hold hands with them, anything of the sort. Yes, I have shaken hands with a young man when first introduced, but that is as far as it ever goes. The first young man I ever intend on a hugging is my husband.

I was reading 1 Corinthians 7 this last week, and God gave me a few verses to help strengthen my convictions.

v. 1 "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman."

I looked up the words "to touch" in the Greek, and it refers to such handling of an object as to exert a modifying influence upon it or upon oneself. Could also mean touching for the purpose of manipulating.
So to me, if I were to hug or touch a young man in such a way that would cause him to have a wrong thought, or that would cause me to have a feeling I'm not supposed to have about that young man, this is not right. I do not want to be the cause of my brother in Christ stumbling.

v. 4 "The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife."

A main reason to remain completely pure is because I don't have power over my own body. It belongs to my future husband. And until I know who that man is, and that man is my husband, I have to save it completely for him. Just think about it. Would you want your future spouse going around and hugging people of the opposite gender? Girls, would you want your future husband to be having wrong thoughts about another girl? Then don't do that to other girls' future husbands. If you want your future spouse to save themselves completely for you, then you need to save yourselves completely for them.

Here is another passage to consider from 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7.

"For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness."

We are to treat our bodies as vessels of honor. We are to be separate, pure, consecrated. Girls, you are like a beautiful rose. You are precious, and you are worth waiting for, and it is completely worth saving all of your body. We are not to treat our bodies like those who do not know God. We are not to defraud our brothers/sisters in Christ, because the Lord will avenge them. God has called us to be different from the world. He has called us to be holy.

I think the rest of it comes down to these two verses.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

Our body is not our own. Christ shed His blood to purchase us. Our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost! Examine your actions towards your brother/sister in Christ, and think about if your motives are completely pure, your thoughts are pure when doing that thing, and if it is something that the temple of Christ should do. If they do cause your brother/sister in Christ to have a wrong thought, or cause you to have a feeling you should not have, then you should refrain from those actions.
I am not by any means trying to shove any of my beliefs on anyone, but I just wanted to give you something to consider. Ultimately, whatever you do, you have to do it out of love for your brothers/sisters in Christ, and because you love Jesus. That is most important thing. Remaining pure because you love Jesus, and want to honor Him! For me, since I do not know what a young man is going to think, I just will refrain from giving a guy a hug. Period. I want to save all that I am completely for my future husband. And if I never get married, then I have left my body completely pure, un-scarred, holy, sacred, all for Jesus Christ, which should be our ultimate goal.
Well, there was my first, and rather lengthy post on purity. I'd love hear any of your thoughts on what the Lord has shown you. Have a blessed week! Stay strong in Jesus! He's got you! His death covers everything!

Because of His blood,
Faith Christine
Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:10