Defeat The Self-Serving Attitude

The Servant King Sets The Example

The Servant King Sets The Example

Jesus wants us to let go of our self-serving ways and serve others. Often times so many of our relationships and friendships end because we count all the ways someone has not met our expectations or what we wished they had done differently FOR us. What we don’t see is perhaps the other side of things.

There is ALWAYS 3 Sides

There is ALWAYS 3 Sides

When disagreements come about we can pretty much bank on the fact that each party involved feels let down in one way or another BY the other. What would happen if on a moment to moment basis we took offense and even contempt out of the equation and instead replaced those feelings with servitude and humility? Truly serving our loved ones & enemies in ways we would love to be treated ourselves. We can also take this a step further and treat them better than we would treat ourselves. As the word of God says, “No greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) Jesus Christ did this for us.

In John 15, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet.

In John 15, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet.

Jesus is King of Kings yet He came to serve us so that we may learn by His example. He served to the point of giving His life as ransom for many. This is so easy to write yet I must admit I have not served those around me well. So many times I chose to worry more about what was important to me, justifying my actions, rather than putting myself in the other person’s shoes to see what mattered most to them. If we’re honest with ourselves, how many of us can truly call ourselves servants of Christ? Our we striving to serve all those around us as Jesus Christ himself would have?

A dear friend shared this tidbit with me. Imagine a scenario where any of these thoughts pop into your head: “I really wish he cooked me my favorite meal!” or “I would really love it if my coworker could help me complete my tasks when they are not as busy.” When these thoughts pop up they are an opportunity for you to rise and serve them in these very same ways you desire to be served. Think about your thoughts and evaluate your side. Are you doing any of those things for your spouse, for your friend, for your co-worker? Maybe you are and that’s great, but are you doing them with expectations to recieve the same in return? What if we served others for the sheer enjoyment of serving them in love? This is what I believe it means to serve like Christ, in love, without expecting anything back.

 

Sincerely,

4rm Party Girl To Praying Woman

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” ~Galatians 5:13 

 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” ~Colossians 3:23-24

“And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” ~Mark 9:35 

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New Year, Same God.

Will You Let Him?

Will You Let Him?

There’s no denying that the thought of a new year can be exciting. It’s a time when people start setting new goals or reset the goals they could not reach last go around. I myself have a lot of aspirations and goals I have set for myself, my family and my walk with God. But I can’t help but think what makes January 1st any different from the past 365 days?

Sure things have changed and by the grace of God 2014 has proved to be a beautiful, growing experience for my family and I. However one thing has always remained the same. God is who He has always been. He is the same loving, gracious, forgiving and wise God he was last January 1st and He’s going to be the same tomorrow. Throughout my years God has never changed but He has changed me and is continuing to change me.

When God enters your heart for the first time He changes you. Everything that once seems so important like having the latest car, the nicest house and even how everyone perceives you loses its appeal. I like nice things like the next person but it no longer motivates me in this world. Instead He has become my motivation. He motivates me to be the best me I can be according to HIS standards and no one else’s. He has turned my goals from the physical to the spiritual. And for once in my life I want to be intentional through it all. So I am finally nipping this procrastination bug in the bud! Here are my goals for 2015. Please feel free to share what your goals will be for 2015 and how you believe God will show up in your life. God bless my brothers and sisters.

These are just a few to name.

Goals for 2015:

1.) I want to spend more time making memories with my family. No television, no technology. Just us, the breath God gave us and the beauty being in each other’s company.

2.) I would like to meet fellow bloggers who inspire me and those who follow my blog so that we can fellowship, pray and connect on a real level.

3.) Find ways to reach out into the community and help those who are lost find their worth and love in Jesus Christ. I want to be the hands and feet of my savior for others who do not know Him yet.

4.) I want to be intentional with my writing so that others see it is by the grace of God I have words to share.

5.) And last but not least I want to join and remain in the body of Christ by finding my family’s home church. No church is perfect but I’ve come to realize we belong to the body of Christ and each one of us are gifted with a purpose to be fulfilled in the body just as each part of our physical body serves a purpose. I want to serve my purpose for others through God.

 

happy new yr

Happy New Years My Brothers & Sisters and may our goals align with God’s will,

4rm Party Girl To Praying Woman

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. ~Proverbs 16:9

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~Jeremiah 29:11
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. ~Hebrews 13:8

Tis the Season, But what’s your Reason?

I love everything that Christmas truly stands for. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our savior. It is about Him, all He has done for us and continues to do for us. He is not only the reason for the season, He is the reason for existing. Unfortunately in this day and age it seems that some are trying to turn this significant celebration of the birth of Christ into a commercialized, material-driven “Holiday”. Jesus was not sent to us in the form of man in order to save us from our sin just so that 2,000 years later our trees could be jam packed with presents.

 

A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

I see people left and right getting into piles of debt just so that they can keep up with materialistic expectations that our kids have. What makes it worse is that they are learning these ways from us! I am not saying that gifts are bad and we should not buy anything for our kids at all. What I am trying to say is let’s start digging deeper into the true meaning of why we celebrate and let that pour over into our kids. We need to show our kids that even if we didn’t have a cent to buy them any toys we should be filled with joy because our savior is enough. Through His example we can show them ways to be kind to others in love and everything else Jesus Christ encompasses, in various ways, and not only during Christmas.

"The Best Things In Life Are Not Things."

“The Best Things In Life Are Not Things.”

 

Meet Janessa!! I said Cheese and I am guessing she thought she was going to eat cheese because she began praying.

Meet Janessa!! I said Cheese and I am guessing she thought she was going to eat cheese because she began praying.

My daughter is a bit over 2 years old but she is already so smart and absorbs information all around her. The things she remembers and knows astonishes me on a daily basis.

I want to start a tradition with her this year. I plan on having a present for Jesus Christ for His birthday so that I can explain to her why we are celebrating. My idea is to find a manger or have one made (my cousin works wonders with wood), have it wrapped so when she opens it she can see the scene of His birth. Then I will read to her the story of how our savior came to this world and as she is listening I will show her each and every person in the nativity scene so she can visually comprehend as well.

 

Be Intentional!

Be Intentional!

I believe we must be intentional when we are showing our kids who God is and why He so mercifully and graciously sent us a savior when we were least deserving. I want this tradition to carry out threw our lives and fill our years with joy. Perhaps Janessa will want to do the same when she has a child of her own one day. (One day far, far away lol)

I encourage you all, if you haven’t already, to start traditions with your families that encompass the values and beliefs that matter the most in this world. If you have a tradition like this or any other I would love to hear all about them. I pray you all have a wonderful and Merry Christmas this year enjoying what truly matters. God bless my brothers and sisters.

Sincerely,

4rm Party Girl To Praying Woman

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” ~ Hebrews 13:5

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” ~Luke 12:15

Can we earn Grace?

Grace is a gift from God that we can never earn.

This past weekend I had a girlfriend meet me at my house so we could go out for the day and enjoy some much needed girl time. As women we know our everyday busy lives can definitely make one grow weary. It’s so refreshing to step away from the day to day needs by hanging out with friends with similar demands and let go for a few hours to just enjoy each other’s company. So my friend came over and I met her and our other friend at the door with my then almost 2 year old Janessa.

It Ain't Easy Being Cheesy...(Yup, I Totally Went There!)

It Ain’t Easy Being Cheesy…(Yup, I Totally Went There!)

Janessa had just stuffed her face with cheetos right before I heard the doorbell. So here I am at the door with a cheese covered two-year old standing right next to me. The ladies come in and the first thing my daughter does is raise her hands as high as possible to one of my friends with a huge smile on her face. She motions her hands to be picked up. My friend being the loving, motherly woman she is could not resist such an invitation and I am sure you can guess what happened next. By the time my daughter left her arms there were cheese trails all over the front of my friends white shirt. As my friend was trying to rub away the orange cheese I apologized over and over but she smiled my sorry’s away which left me relieved. What she said next however, really gave me an “oh wow” moment.

jesus loves you

She realized that she was willing to pick up a really dirty toddler no matter the mess because she really loved her. She told me if anyone in public asked her where the mess came from she would answer, “Janessa loved on me!” Then she told me it reminded her of God’s love towards herself. When she came to God she was dirty, filthy and full of sin and here was God with His pure white garments. God saw her looking up as dirty as can be with a big smile and raised hands out reaching for HIM to grab her. She motioned out for him to pick her up and HE couldn’t resist but to reach back.

God loves each one of us and asks that we come to him sins and all. HE tells us to come as we are because no matter what we may have done in the past God is the God of love, forgiveness and mercy. HE sent His ONE AND ONLY son to die so that we can live. This means that when we accept Jesus, who paid the ultimate price for our debt, we too can be cloth in pure white garments as our Father in heaven. He will wipe the slate clean on the dirtiest stains of your past. Paul said I am the worst sinner there is yet God saved him so that we may know that no sin in comparison could ever be beyond the reach of God’s grace. We do not deserve grace but that is what’s so beautiful about God’s love and mercy. Grace is a gift that we can never earn but is given to us through faith in Jesus. What a beautiful “Oh wow” moment this was.

Sincerely,
4rm Partygirl to Praying Woman

 

Ephesians 2:4-5
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in sin, it is by grace you have been saved.

 

Forgiveness through Faith can Save Marriages!

Forgiveness

I’ve dealt with a lot of forgiveness issues from my past and present as I’m sure many you have. Whether I am having trouble forgiving myself, a stranger or someone close to me one thing remains the same. I am a prisoner of my own lack of forgiveness. As some of you following my blog may know I’ve had a few marital problems and they mostly stem from lack of forgiveness. I can also safely say I haven’t taken a lot of responsibility for my part in what I like to refer to as what seemed to be a smorgasbord of problems between the two of us.

Through my ongoing study of God’s word, other blogs involving Christian wives and their roles, for example “Unveiled Wife” which I definitely recommend, and related articles I have realized something. What looked to be the downfall of my marriage actually is turning out to be what is saving not only my marriage itself but restoring a very broken relationship my husband and I had with our Savior!

Let me explain. When my husband and I entered our marriage we were completely oblivious to the roles our Father had set forth for us thousands of years ago. Needless to say we were trying to build our foundation on sand and it was not long before we began to crumble. We were sliding down that very slippery path of destruction that leads to the dead end of marriage called divorce. I lost almost all hope and in my mind there was no going back. I had held on to so much hurt and score keeping that I didn’t know which way was up. Yet there on my path lied such a battle of conflict.

On my path there were all these voices telling me that I didn’t deserve this pain, I was an independent woman, and that I was still young so I could move on easily. Voices telling me that if I forgave for whatever wrongdoing that I felt had been done against me then I was somehow admitting defeat. My anger was consuming me. I was letting this anger control me so that I wouldn’t forgive. I didn’t want to forgive. I had a choice to make. I finally started asking for God to softened my heart because I knew my heart had grew so cold.

All these confusing voices in my head were not coming from the Lord. God is not the author of confusion and we need to let that sink in our brains and let God take over. As my Pastor said best, “Our newness in Christ should begin and take place in our homes first!”

So I prayed and prayed and God gave me an entirely new path. This path is paved with beautiful, unconditional, forgiving love that only God himself can show us. I had been holding on to grudges yet rejoicing in all the forgiveness my Lord could give me the instant I accepted HIM as my Lord and Savior.

To Forgive The Undeserving Is To Show Grace…

I had been told by many to pray for the ones who hurt me as well as myself. So I prayed. I prayed for his heart and I prayed for my heart and I strived for sincerity. It did not happen in my timing but in HIS timing I finally saw hope entering back into my mind and heart.

Slowly my anger melted away like snow melting off the sun kissed pedals of a flower on the first day of Spring. God loves marriage. He does not want to see his children divorcing. Where there is a will, there is a way and if you don’t have that will pray for the Lord to restore that will in you. I am here telling you that I’ve seen the brink of divorce but it doesn’t have to end there!

Do you remember when you were on fire for the Lord? You went shouting on every mountain top that you love Jesus and you’re not ashamed to tell it to anyone willing to hear you. Then maybe after a few months or years your fire starts to dwindle down. You may still go to Church but you just don’t witness like you use to or feel the Holy Spirit every time you pray. Same things happen to people who are married. The love is new and exciting in the beginning but may become comfortable or casual after a while.

If that sounds like you then I encourage you to re-evaluate your relationship with your savior and see what you can do to improve your servant’s heart for the Lord every day. We should strive to implement this intentional behavior in our marriages as well. If we cannot stay committed to someone we can touch, feel, see and love physically as well as benefit from physically than how is the Lord to trust that we can stay committed to our relationship with him? This is why I believe the Lord holds marriage so close to HIS heart.

Pray daily my friends and seek Christian counseling from older married members of your church, your pastor, and most importantly your bible! React in love, patience and forgiveness. If you or your spouse are full of anger look to your Word. Do what the word asks and pray every day for God to guide you through. Remember faith as small as a mustard can move mountains! My husband and I are moving our mountain together by the grace of God. You can too!

Sincerely,
4rm Partygirl to Praying Woman

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. ~Ephesians 4:32

 

HIS Sheep

-His-sheep-hear-His-voice

When the image of ourselves comes to mind what does that image look like? Some of us may be more confident than others and the image that comes to their mind may be the image of someone who is strong, beautiful, courageous, smart or whatever the case may be. Others might have more insecurities and see themselves as weak, plain, small and so forth. We can be all these things yet none of them at the same time. Romans chapter 8:36 “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” Who do you think made you the way you are? We were made to be overcomers and the Lord made us that way. He put the desire in us to be more. We are sheep for the slaughter but we have a Good Shepherd and that Shepherd is Jesus Christ our Lord. Just as a shepherd protects his defenseless sheep against the wolves Jesus protects us against the evils that the Devil plots against us on a daily basis. We are smack dab in the middle of SPIRITUAL WARFARE and most people do not even realize this. The wolf(Devil) is a very tricky creature. I’m sure you are familiar with the expression “Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.” This statement has the devil’s handy work written all over it. How many stories do we hear or read about the devil coming to people and telling them straight forward “I am the Devil and I want your soul so please commit this sin so that you may burn in Hell and be mine for all eternity?” Even an atheist would think twice before making that deal. Of course the devil will use lies and tricks to win our souls because he knows he would lose otherwise. He will disguise himself as seemingly harmless things that may start out innocent but the Devil knows better. He knows great evil can begin from good intentions. As the sheep for slaughter we must know what is at stake here. God has placed us with weapons to fight evil and it is up to us to accept Jesus Christ and rise to the challenge. We must challenge our pride, our way of thinking, our self-centeredness and realize this war is much bigger than you and I. This is a war we must fight to Glorify God! We must bare our own crosses in this life because Jesus is the only way.

“The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law nor can it do so.” Romans 8:7. This verse rings home for me, not only now that I have begun my spiritual journey and seem to run into a lot of retaliation but because before I was saved I myself acted out in the same manner. I remember the perpetual cliché “Don’t judge me!” shouting from my lips to those who would testify to me. Now having begun my studies of the Word I realize how ignorant that statement truly is. Don’t judge me?! Jesus did say “do not judge, or you too will be judged” and on the other hand we are also told to beware of evildoers and false prophets and to avoid those who practice all kinds of evil. How are we to distinguish who these people are if we do not make some kind of judgment about what they are doing? Believers of Christ are always being depicted as judgmental people when we speak out against sinful activity yet how can we separate ourselves from the sinful ways of the flesh if we do not exercise a sort of righteous judgment with careful discernment? We must judge the sin and know it is a matter of right from wrong. Sin has been judged by our Almighty God himself and left here on Earth in our Bibles as plain as day for us to implement. Jesus told us not to judge hypocritically. Meaning I can’t sit here and tell all my friends and loved ones that the Lord wants us to keep a sober mind and then go home and drink a bottle of liquor in secrecy. It is our Christian duty to LOVINGLY and RESPECTFULLY confront another believer who is sinning. This is not judging but rather pointing out the truth with love. A sinner is never without hope. We give hope with the ultimate goal of bringing repentance in the other person and restoration to the fellowship. Here’s a little nugget passed on to me by a beautiful Christian soul. She defined the word hypocrite to me not as someone who has done in the past what they are telling you NOT to do now. A hypocrite is someone who will tell you not to behave one way when they themselves are doing that very thing they are instructing you not to do and see no fault in themselves for doing so. As stated before we all fall but a true Christian will feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit, repent and truly strive to never make that same mistake again. Hypocrites will only make excuses as to why they did it and continue their destructive behavior without a second thought. I have in more or less words been called this because of my spotted past. I’ve learned from my mistakes and continue to learn from them and only wish to spare others from having to learn the hard way as I did. In this day in age hypocrite is viewed as more unacceptable than some of the worst curse words out there. Even murderers and such characters hate to be called hypocrites. They’ll say things like “Oh I may be a murderer but at least I’m not a hypocrite!” Imagine that. Nevertheless sin is sin. We must all strive to be more understanding and loving of each other instead of fighting over our differences.

God hates sin and to love God would be to hate sin as well. This brings me to my next and final point for the day, I promise.
The second perpetual cliché I hear spoken against Christians today, “I thought you were supposed to be a Christian?” or “I thought you were a Christian now; perfect?) along with being called a hypocrite. It is true that as Christians we are held to higher spiritual standards because we are fully aware of the spiritual warfare going on around us and yes the bible is considered my “How To” survival kit, my dearest possession. The bible holds all I need to know about life and how to develop my relationship with my Savior but let me be clear. I will stumble. I will fall. I will make mistakes and most importantly I will get back up, repent and ask God for forgiveness and strength to not fall as easily next time. Being Christian does not mean that I all of a sudden have all the answers or that one day if I pray enough or read enough that I will be perfect. Being a Christian means I know I am weak but my GOD is oh SO STRONG! I urge those of you who hold on to your fleshly desires as I myself fight the temptations of this world every day, to STOP playing church! If you do not fully commit to the Lord’s commands then how do you expect to fight the wolves at bay? We will surely be devoured and leave our children defenseless if we do not use our God given weapons to fight the flesh and the devil all in one. If God be for us then who dare be against us? God deserves your whole heart, will you give it to him?

Sincerely,
4rm Partygirl to Praying Woman

“I have a message in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Psalm 36:1

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5.

How I “lost” everything…

 

As stated in my “About” post my childhood was needless to say very rocky. With my mother batteling her demons along with trying to raise two daughters, we moved from home to home and stepdad to stepdad. Now they weren’t all bad memories. When my mother was stable in her mindset and off of the drugs she was the best mother a child could ask for and had the biggest heart. She would give her last dollar so that someone else would not go withoout. Those are the memories I intend to hold near and dear to my heart but we cannot forget the mistakes of the past for they make us who we are today.
Later in my young adult life my mother was still batteling everything forementioned and sadly to say bouncing from relative’s home to relative’s home. By the age of 22 I had decided it would be best for her to come stay with me. I have many regrets in my life and painful mistakes that I am just now learning to forgive myself for. One of these mistakes was being too involved in my own world of parties, clubs and drinking to realize my mother was swirling right back into depression. The telltale signs were there but I was blind and naive. The hardest thing I have ever had to do was kick out my own mother who had turned back to drugs while staying in my home. I could not stand for it. 22 years later I refused to be her handicap. Little did I know the next time I saw her she would be dying.
I get a call from an unknown number and it is my mother pleading for me to pick her up and take her to the hospital because the people she had paid all her disablility money to for that month knew she was dying and did not want her there! After everything was said and done this was still my mother. I rushed to her side and took her to St. Joseph’s Hospital where the Dr. proceeded to tell me she only had a month to live and there was nothing he could do. She died two days later, in my bedroom all alone. When I tell you all time stopped, it literally did. I had family all spread out. My brother in El Paso, my sister in Florida and my father in Puerto Rico.

Your Testimony could be what brings another to salvation...

Your Testimony Could Save Help A Soul…

 

 

Here I was 22, alone and on top of my mother’s lifeless body for 4 hours straight! Screaming, crying, pleading to God for just one more day! Those longest 4 hours of my life felt as if it were 4 minutes! Never had I ever felt pain in that way. My mother was in heaven in no more pain which I NOW thank God for everyday!
You know that saying when it rains it pours? Well I went through a tropical hurricane of events. Within the same month as my mother’s passing I was robbed of everything I had worked so hard for by the one person I let stay with me. We had worked together and she lost her sister a few months prior and I knew she could not be alone in this time. So I trusted her, or thought I could at least. I’m not friends with this person anymore but I forgive her now for what she did to me in my most vulnerable time. I am not here to judge anyone because I have made my fair share of mistakes and I have too wronged people.I also got fired from a waitressing position, my car broke down and was towed away with out anyway of getting it back. Since I had no job, no money, no possesions I too lost my apartment where I saw my mother take her last breathe.
I had nothing. Nothing but a brother and father who cared enough about me to take me in but that’s a post for another day.The reason I am so forthgiving with my story is because I know we all hit rock bottom in one way or another. I turned to more drinking and more parties because I had no idea how else to handle this pain. I wanted to be blame the world and at the time had no idea what I believed in. A couple years later I meet my husband, we get married and rock bottom gets a 2nd visit from me.
God saved me, my marriage ,(<<< read more about how faith saved my marriage) and my family. Now I have a loving husband, like minded people around me that I love dearly and a 9 month old daughter that depends on me to be a strong example of a Godly woman along with my renewed faith in the lord. This is my journey to share to all women after God’s heart. The path will not always be wrapped in a neat lil red bow but with God by our sides there is nothing to fear!

If you have not already accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then please do NOT wait another second. He wants you to come as you are and become a new creation in HIM. God’s love and salvation is waiting to give you the gift of saving grace through HIS son Jesus Christ. I pray for each and every one of you be lifted in His almight name, Amen.

Sincerely,
4rm Partygirl to Praying woman