Abortion: The Church’s Role

3 Feb

Abortion is not the problem. Acts of sin and heinous crimes are never the problem.

What we see on the human level are all the side effects of one simple problem: Rejection of Jesus Christ. From that simple rejection stems lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life: the three categories in which all human sins fall.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

Satan is not yet bound. He roams the earth, seeking whom he may devour. He, once a highest ranking angel, was lifted up in his own pride, fell from Heaven to become the prince of the power of the air forever on a mission to kill, steal, and destroy.

If God is for us, then Satan is against us. What God creates in holiness, Satan tarnishes with perversion. He cheapens the valuable, he diminishes the wonderful.

Satan priced immortal souls at the low cost of personal comfort, though the comfort of Christ was not even considered when He shed his own blood to redeem them.

Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that… Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;” Matthew 27:3,4,9

If Satan can convince the world that human souls have no value, then he will successfully kill the entire message of the Gospel.

God loves us. He came to seek and save those who are lost. His message is so opposite to Satan’s message of death and destruction. God, in His just power, has every right and reason to snuff us out from the face of the earth. Yet, he has chosen adoption. He saw us for what we were and loved us anyway. Enough so, that He sent his one and only Son to be our redeemer, to bring us in as heirs together, to save us from eternal damnation.

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,” Ephesians 5:25

“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

“But God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

How can Christians fight this spiritual battle? How do we show the world that they have value in God?

  • Pray for a burden for you to see humans as lost souls on their way to eternal Hell.
  • Pray for the Lost so they may come to know Christ.
  • Witness and boldly proclaim salvation of the Lord to anyone who will listen. (at the store, the restaurant, on the bus, plain, train..etc) By disobeying a direct command of the great commission, we inadvertently proclaim that the Gospel is a lie. If Christians don’t care enough to share Eternal Life, then who will?
  • Acknowledge the Giver of Life who chooses which conceived body will inherit a soul. A child of either rape, immorality, or holy matrimony is a child given by the very Creator of the world. Christians who place varying levels of value on life based on how it began are on dangerous ground. For we are all conceived in sin, regardless.
  • Give value to others’ souls by your actions. Help the homeless, care for the sick, the widowed, the fatherless. Be a servant to all as Jesus himself was a servant to us. This is pure religion (James 1:27)
  • Live your own life as unto the Lord. Keep yourself unspotted from the world. Be obedient to God. Do what he asks of you. For then, in your obedience, can you be a clean vessel of the Gospel, a shining light in a dark and lost world.

Our Motivation to Abound

30 Nov

Motivation to Abound.jpgPsalm 119:57-60

The theme of our church this year is “Abounding”. Our pastor chose this idea in hopes of encouraging us as Christians to grow in every area of our spiritual lives. Looking at the way our world is continuing to abound in sin, our theme couldn’t have been more appropriate.

We know why we should abound in spiritual growth. We know it’s important to grow, or else we will fall stagnate, which can lead to many problems down the road.

It’s always easy to know the right thing to do and why we should do it; but true growth won’t happen until we have the right motives to back up our actions.

For me, at times, I can get caught up in the pride of working in the ministry. For example, “Oh look how many hours I’ve put into this church project! I’m so tired, but Glory to God right?”

Or maybe it’s, “I’ve been awake with my children since 2 AM, but I made it to church on time!”.

That’s not always my motive, of course, but I am a human with pride issues. But sometimes the motives to do the right thing aren’t so much self-centered as they are just about fulfilling an obligation.

“Ugh, I must get this house clean or I’ll have a grumpy family.”  “I need to hurry up and make a nutritious meal for these kids or they won’t stop yelling at me!”

We’ve all been there. Doing the right things for the wrong reasons. But do you think God appreciates those moments? Probably not. I mean, I love the moment my two year old decides to finally pick up her toys, but I would be much more appreciative if she did it happily and without complaint.

We know the problem of impure motives. God won’t bless pride, obligation, and most likely doesn’t care for anything done for any other reason besides love for Him.

So HOW are we to keep our motives in check?

Understand thar God is our Portion — He Is Enough (Psalm 119:57)

He is all we need. We dont need approval from others, recognition for our accomplishments, or even love or respect from others to make us truly fulfilled. God’s love is everything.

We were His motivation to die on the Cross. How could we have any other motivation than Him?

We Entreat His Favor — Seek Him Out (Psalm 119:58)

We were created with a void that can only be filled by the Love of God. So when you know what you need, you seek it out. You need vitamins to be healthy. We eat nutritious foods to fulfill that need. Thirsty? You seek out water. Do you love chocolate? You stop at nothing to get to your secret stash.

You get the idea. Our natural response as Christians should be to seek out God, because we know He is our everything.

Learn and understand your calling (Psalm 119:59)

What does God have you here for? What is your purpose every day? Why does he keep you alive?

My purpose at this point in my life is to raise Godly Christian soldiers for the next generation. It doesn’t seem like I am accomplishing this goal on a daily basis, but when I put my role into perspective, it eases the burden.

I can’t tell you your purpose. You have to spend time in prayer and ask God to show you. Because when you know your role, you know your tasks at hand. You know what you’re going to need to do.

Go and Obey (Psalm 119:60)

This is pretty simple. He that knows to do good and does it not, to him it is a sin.

When we know our purpose and how to carry it out, there is no excuse not to do it. Verse 60 says “I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.”

This is where the “abounding” will begin; with obedience.

You can’t truly grow spiritually until your motives are pure. Because if we strive for vainglory, we will reap our earthly rewards yet miss out on the heavenly.

So let’s “Abound” together this year. Not for your Pastor, or even because of peer pressure, but because God is enough, we love Him, and we want others to come to the saving knowledge of His Salvation!


People of the Cross

15 Feb

People of the Cross


An insult, a name, a calling,
An honor, a symbol, a praise,
A people of weakness, fanatics,
Messengers, religious, or slaves?

The calling of Christ’s blood redeemed us.
His sacrifice sealed sin in the grave.
His arms stretched over the framework
And were studded by guilt and with shame.

He loved me. He loves me and gave me
An escape from my fiery wage.
From eternal damnation, he saved me!
He gave me the freedom to say,

“God, in my filth and my weakness,
In my guilt and my pain, and my flaws,
You see me through Jesus’s life Blood
As your child, safe once and for all.”

A distinction, a privilege, a tribute,
A glory, a praise, a cause,
A people reclaimed, grateful,
An honor to be “People of the Cross”.

God Doesn’t Need to be Appeased

8 Oct

I grew up believing when I sinned, God was angry with me because I was a bad child. I believed he would look down on me in disappointment and judge me for my wrong doing. If I wanted to make him happy again, I would need to repent my sins. Repenting meant I no longer was a disappointment. I had to follow rules and man-made regulations to appease God; to keep his judgement away from me.

Honestly, who wants a relationship like that?

God created marriage to be the greatest reflection of the intimate relationship He wants to have with us. So then, would I want my spouse to treat me in a way that I must always appease him for fear of disappointment? That’s no relationship. That’s a dictatorship.

God doesn’t want to be a dictator; he wants to be intimately wrapped in and around my heart, guiding me into sweet, heavenly perfection.

My sin disappoints him, not just because I wrong Him, but because He knows sin will hurt me. He isn’t out to get me, he is out to help me.

Does this negate any reason for God to punish me? No.

He wants ultimate perfection for me. I chose to become His child, therefore, I choose to obey and follow his leading. If I deliberately disobey His will for me, I deserve punishment. If I’m going down a dangerous path, I need to be redirected.

That still sounds kinda scary. Why would anyone choose to be a part of a religion where God makes you do something you don’t want to do?

Because I’d rather live in freedom forever from eternal death than in bondage of satan in fiery hell. That’s why.IMG_0998

Ultimately, choosing to follow God will lead to pure joy and eternal utopia which are just awesome bonuses when compared to the intimate and holy relationship I get to have with my very Creator.

My Creator loved me enough, a filthy sinner, to adopt me into His family as His own.

I’m justified from my wickedness, just as if I’d never sinned before.

My life was paid for with the life of Jesus Christ.
My life.
Who would die for my life?

You see how much love God has for us?

He hurts when we sin because he knows we will hurt. He sees the entire picture.

I want to live righteously, not to appease a wrathful God, but because I’m in love with Him. I do it all for Him. I will sacrifice for Him.

No sin nor fleshly pleasure I choose to avoid while on this earth do I consider a real sacrifice anyway. After all, I’m not the one who redeemed from prison a death-deserving, rotten human with my blood.

When we cease to serve God out of love, it is then should we reexamine our personal relationship with Him.


Ramblings of a Poet Has Been Published!

21 Aug

One of my articles was picked up by Keep The Heart e-magazine!

This Christian ladies magazine is a brand new publication. The article was found in their 3rd of 4 issues to be published this year.

Because it is so new, it is currently only an online magazine, but the author has an incredible offer!  If you subscribe now, you will only pay $8 for the whole year’s subscription!

That means, you will get the 3 past issues and the last one this coming November.

I sincerely urge you to subscribe! This magazine has deep, “meaty”, spiritual articles that keep my spirit full. I always learn at least ONE thing! Take advantage of such an amazing offer 🙂 Buy it for friends and family members you think would benefit from such a publication.

The more subscribers, the more magazines Mrs. Francie Taylor can produce!

The Positive Effect

23 Jul


The Positive Effect

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 

In our media-frenzied, social networking world today, hearts are open and vulnerable to the satanic attack of “depression”. I’m not talking about the real, chemically imbalanced disease that can affect some people, but more of an attitude that has plagued  millions.

Hollywood encourages us to turn within ourselves to find and release our “positive energy”. Psychologists force us to trudge through past hurts for a second chance to “fix” them.

God, however, offered us the entire Bible from which to draw refreshing encouragement — a bottomless well of promise and hope.

At one point in our lives we can all look back and see a time where we would have labeled ourselves as “depressed” or “unhappy”. Something in our life did not turn out the way we had hoped, or we experienced a great loss. Someone may have hurt us or we made a decision of regret. No matter the source of our pain, we had to make a single choice: to focus on the negative or focus on the positive.

It’s no secret that happy people are generally positive people. Most believe optimistic attitudes are a byproduct of one’s internal happiness, but that couldn’t be any more backwards. Happy people must consciously and continuously make the choice to be positive. Nothing in life will go our way 100% of the time. How we first respond to trials will mostly determine our attitudes about the situation. Choose to focus on the positive.

Why is choosing the positive outlook always so difficult? Well, pain hurts and our natural response is not a good reaction. Take the time to grieve, but don’t let it consume you. Choosing to let go and be happy doesn’t diminish any hurt or loss, but it will certainly make it more bearable and you will have a clear mind. Put your trust in the strength of the Holy Spirit and He will give you the power you need to move on.

Choosing to let go and be happy doesn’t diminish any hurt or loss

A few days after my 20th birthday, on Father‘s Day, my grandfather passed away. He and I were incredibly close, as he was with all of his grandchildren. He was the glue that held our families together; a tremendous leader who loved us all unconditionally. His passing hurt us deeply and, as a family, we were no longer a unit.

Death in any situation is never easy and it can destroy those left behind. If I had not had the power of the Holy Spirit within me to keep me focused on the good part of his life, I wouldn’t have ever moved on. I had to focus on the fact that he was rejoicing in Heaven with the God he loved so much. He was running those golden streets no longer in pain. Though it was not immediate, eventually I was able to let go.

I didn’t let go of him or his memory, but I let go of the hurt attached to him.

 “Oh give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34

God loves us so much he sent his Son to die for our sins. If He was willing to make that sacrifice for our eternal souls, don’t you think He cares about us while we are here on earth? Satan knows if he can keep us unhappy and focused on the negative, we will be rendered useless for the work of God. We won’t desire that wonderful relationship with our Creator. Satan will convince us that happiness will never be attainable. He will keep us miserable in the darkness.

Don’t be an easy target. I read the back of the Bible, and we know that Satan loses. I want to be on the winning side. It isn’t always easy, but a happy spirit is a choice we must make every day. Practice focusing on the good and experience the joy the “positive effect” will bring to your life.

How to Be a Good Dad

15 Jun

Dad and Fiona

Written by my own father, Rick Varnum

More about the author at the end

When I sit down to write a Father’s Day sermon, I’m torn between either preaching to the sons and daughters and how they should honor their father, or preaching directly to dads. When I was younger, it was much easier to preach to the children than to fathers simply because I felt I didn’t have a vast amount of experience as a dad. I was sure the older men would look at me and smirk, knowing that one day I’d see things differently.

But now that I’m old and have raised (yes, I know the word is “reared,” but nobody uses that word so get over it) my share of children, I look back and realize that I should have preached more to dads. The Biblical message to dads is pretty clear cut, and I don’t need a lot of space. God commands us to be good dads, and though I do see quite a few good dads out there, I’m saddened by how many men stink at Fatherhood.

Let’s be honest. This is a short piece about how to be a good dad, and we all know what we would like to see in a man who has that title. Here, let’s list a few:

We’d all like to see dads spend more time with their children, live moral lives, be good providers, be good role models, and be more responsible. I’m not going to harp on these because these are the easy ones. If a father can’t do the things that come naturally even to an unsaved man, how is he going to do the difficult stuff?

When my first child was born, no one had to tell me to be more responsible. As a matter of fact, a huge sense of Fatherhood came over me when I saw that mean old nurse trying to brush my newborn daughter’s hair, making my little girl cry.

At that moment I realized two things: 1) I was a Father, responsible for that little baby, and 2) that nurse unknowingly brushed elbows with death.

Most dads, whether a Christian or not, would, without hesitation, run into a burning house to rescue one of his children. Most of us would gladly give our lives to help a son or a daughter. I guess what I’m saying is, these natural manifestations of Fatherhood don’t really define us as a good dad.

So, what makes a good dad? Here it is: A good dad is a godly dad.

That’s basically it.

It’s a choice that needs to be made. It’s neither a natural phenomena, nor is it an inherited disposition. When you look closely at a man, and see him for who he is, you realize that the things that define him are really about the choices he has made, and, more importantly, the choices he is making right now. Is he gracious? Is he a slob? Is he kind? Is he thankless? Is he a good father?

When I’m dead and everyone’s sitting around talking about me, what is it that I want them to say about me? What do you want others to say about you? Whatever they talk about, unless it’s about how bald you were, it will probably be about your choices in life.

I want to be a godly dad. That means I have to make the choice to take God’s Word and to saturate my children in it.

Do we take the Bible and read it to our kids? (I know, a kid is baby goat, but look, you’re really getting on my nerves) Do we live it before them? Do our children (happy now?) see us make godly choices based on the Word of God?

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

Dads, we are called to make the right choice. We are called by God Himself to take the Word of God and to represent it to our children. We are to see that they know it and they are to see that we live it.

So far, you may have failed in this. You may very well be a bad dad. This can change. Repent and make the choice to live life such that when you’re dead and everyone is talking about you, they’ll say, “He was a man of God. He was a good dad.”

Rick Varnum, a father to 9 daughters ranging in age from 6 to 25  years old, now lives in Montana as Pastor of Wibaux Bible Church. He successfully taught us the importance of working hard, keeping oil in our cars, a neatly mowed lawn, and fishing with weights instead of bobbers.

He is the example of a godly dad. He never lets us make mistakes without first giving us fair warning. He is giving, he is kind, he is humble. He always provided everything we ever needed, worked hard and never let us quit.

He is a man of God, and most certainly, a good dad.

Measure of Faith: Part 1

6 Jun

Measure of Faith Part 1

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

For we walk by faith, not by sight: 2 Corinthians 5:7

Back in 1 Samuel 7-8, the Israelites were asking for a king despite God’s assurance that He would take care of them. God never intended for His children to have an earthly king to reign over them. He wanted to be all that they needed. He just wanted them to trust Him and have a little faith. But we remember the story of Saul eventually being chosen as a king anyway, despite God’s warnings. He knew the troubles they would face when they put their faith in the hands of an imperfect man.

Their need for a king was the culmination of a deeper issue: a lack of faith in the power of God.

Why They Lost their Faith

It was a time of peace.

The Philistines had just restored Israel’s cities which they had previously taken over. There was a time of peace in the land and Samuel judged the country. He would travel from city to city to oversee them for a time. There were no troubles for the Israelites.

When all is quiet in our lives, we can often lose focus on the fact that we do need God. Adversity, as painful as it may be, often brings us closer to God because that is when we realize we are nothing without Him. Having a peaceful time in your life is a blessing! But don’t let yourself become too relaxed to the point where you forget that in any moment, a storm may arise. We need God always.

The failure of men.

Once Samuel felt he was too old to continue judging the people properly, he appointed younger men to do the job. These men were no longer following God. They did that which was right in their own eyes. This caused insecurity in the hearts of the people prompting them to ask Samuel to appoint a king. They needed that stability.

When we put our trust in the hands of men, we will always be disappointed. I have seen too many churches crumble after the sin of their Pastor. Maybe the Pastor didn’t even purposefully sin, but said something that hurt someones feelings. Many people today leave church and ultimately leave God because of the wickedness of someone else. Men are not perfect, but God is. Keep your eyes on Him and you will never be led astray.

Lack of faith shows when:

We no longer feel secure.

The Israelites looked at other countries with their kings and leaders and felt an overwhelming sense of insecurity and instability. They knew that if they were to be attacked again, their failing judges might not be strong enough to make a good decision. They wanted a steady leader to constantly assure them that he was watching over them. They wanted to trust in a man they could see instead of the power that God so many times before revealed to them.

The entire Christian life is based on Faith. If we can’t trust God enough to take care of us in our daily needs and trials, how can we accept that He will save us from eternal Hell?

“For we walk by faith, not by sight:” 2 Corinthians 5:7

We seek to fill our lives with stability.

Along with a king, the Israelites knew they would need to set up a kingdom with rules and guidelines. They looked to Samuel to provide them with a stable leader despite the negative side effects.

1 Samuel 8:12 “And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. 13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. 14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. 15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. 16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. 18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day. 19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;”

How often do we look to fill our lives with stability? This can come in the form of possessions, close friends, big purchases like buying a home, car..etc; anything we feel we can rely on. Possessions take money and often times, we can get into debt just to have peace of mind. We become a slave to that debt which in turn causes other unnecessary problems. We rely on men’s opinions instead of listening to the God who created us. We fill our hearts and minds with everything except what we so desperately need.

We look for affirmation from the world.

I imagine the Israelites felt a little peer pressure from other countries to have a “standard” king. Who would ever let their country be run by a God in whom only a few believed? Can you imagine today’s society being run without a leader? I can’t say that I blame them for wanting a king.

Because we lack that stable assurance from God, we have to turn to the world’s standards — are we making enough money, do we have what we need, am I being the right kind of person..etc. All these worries run through our minds when really we just need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. It’s ok if I don’t have the seemingly “needed” possessions the world tells me I do. God is in control of everything I have or don’t have.

He promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us. He asked, if He is willing to take care of a fallen sparrow, how much more, then, will He take care of us?

Take a look into your own life. Do you see areas where you are lacking faith? In the next half of this post, I will show you simple steps to maintain your faith, and rebuild it if you are found wanting.

Stay tuned for Measure of Faith: Part 2 — By Faith & Not by Sight

Cultivating Peace

23 May

Cultivating Peace JPEG

These past weeks’ events have been a huge reminder to me that Christians can have that blessed peace amidst troubles.

A member of our church recently lost his wife, leaving him to care for 2 young children. Another member lost her granddaughter, and yet another precious lady lost a dear friend.

As I watch these Christians survive this devastation, I cannot be anything but grateful that God has obviously given them peace. They are hurting, tremendously and undoubtedly, but they know God is in control. They have the comfort of God’s hands holding them as they cry.

If you are breathing, no doubt you have experienced a trial. God will grant peace when you need it, but if your life is not where it should be spiritually, don’t expect it. He outlines very clearly that we can always have peace in the good times and the bad.

I’m not saying that we must work for our blessings, but I understand that the condition of our spiritual hearts can often get in the way of them. Think of it in relation to your children. You always love them and want to give them everything you can. But sometimes, when they act in sin, you cannot give them blessings until you teach them in the way they should go.

How then, can we be sure our hearts are open to the blessing of Peace when we need it most? Philippians 4:4-6,9

Rejoice in the Lord always (verse 4)
We all know this one. “In everything give thanks. Rejoice even when it hurts.” You’ve heard it! But have you done it?

It is incredibly difficult to do when everything in you screams for you to sit down and wallow in the pain. It’s hard to rejoice when the blows of agony take away your breath. We can’t do it…alone.

In the simplest verse, Christ gives the command. He does not give stipulations or exceptions; simply, rejoice. In the same chapter He shows us that we can do ALL things through Christ. (verse 13)

The word “always” is interpreted to mean “every ‘when’ “. Even when…it hurts. Even when..you don’t want to. Even when…(you fill in the blank)

Let your moderation be known (verse 5)
A Christian’s behavior should exude Godliness — sweetness, meek, yielded. Not ostentatious or overbearing; not reaching to the extremes. (bigotry, hatefulness, tolerance of sin..etc)

The second half of that verse says “The Lord is at hand”. How will you want to be found when Christ returns?

Will you be a positive representation of Christ? Are you acting as He would act? Is Christ pleased or displeased?

Let your name be well-spoken among friends and strangers. Your influence rides on your testimony.

Be careful for nothing (verse 6)
In other words, don’t worry.

Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, but empties today if its strength.

Worry and fear tell God you don’t trust Him. Satan knows if he can distract you with worry, you can’t be productive and you will not move forward out of your battle. Set your eyes on the Creator, your Heavenly Father, and REJOICE that He holds your life (and every detail) in His hands.

Do what you know (verse 9a )
As my Pastor put it, “Spiritual failure is not a lack of knowledge but a matter of the heart.”

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17

You, as a Christian, know what you should do. We have the map of Truth yet we travel through life never consulting it, walking completely blind.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105

As I mentioned in last week’s post “Uprooted”, if we can’t follow God in the day-to-day, basic instructions, how will we follow Him during a huge storm? Study to show yourself approved — learn God’s truth and follow it.

You will have Peace — Verses 7 and 9b

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. …and the God of peace shall be with you.”

The Christian life is all about Faith. Faith to rejoice through the tears. Faith to trust His leading when you can’t see. Faith to follow His Words. Faith He will give a peace that passeth all understanding.

Aren’t the promises of God sweet?


17 May

Plant root systemimage by stockarch – stockarch.com

It’s the culmination of hard work, long nights, and ridiculous caffeine addictions. Students everywhere meticulously preparing for the day they hear their name called to receive their long-awaited reward. It’s graduation time!

Anyone who has graduated remembers the marked feeling of satisfaction as they realized they were finished. Well-wishers congratulate you with gifts and sweet notes of praise. Your parents embarrass you with tears and recall all-too-personal memories of you as a baby. And then it happens. The inevitable, always dreaded,

“What will you do now?”

High schoolers avoid answering because they aren’t always 100% certain. College students generally have some form of a plan, but most often are stricken with fears of failure and insecurity.

With so many options available today, it is easy to become overwhelmed. For Christian students, we’re always concerned with “finding God’s perfect will”. And you’ve heard it preached before: “Stay faithful in the day-to-day and God will show you the path to take.”

This concept is true, and also another blog post for later.

But when you have discovered God’s will for your career path, it can still be daunting.

That first leap of faith feels like trying to step over the grand canyon…with a blindfold…in torrential wind…and there’s no safety net.

Take it from someone who moved across the country with only 1 days notice. I had already registered to be a student at a Bible college in Tennessee.  I had a job waiting only for me to arrive and start working. I had a dorm room and roommates I was excited to meet. My bags were packed and in the car. All I had to do was simply drive the 4 hours to the college campus.

And God said, “Nope. Changing your plans.”

Super long story short, God decided, within 24 hours, to remove Chris and I from the backwoods of the deep South to the middle of the absolute desert: Lancaster, California.

It really is an amazing story of God’s perfect leading. I will eventually tell it another time, but the moral that we had to learn was: No matter what you’re doing, where you are, or what time of day (or night), be prepared to be uprooted.

God doesn’t uproot us to get a good laugh at our expense. He truly loves us and wants the complete and perfectly best scenario for our lives. Sometimes, though, moving us is necessary.

Naturally when I say “uprooted” we think plants. Plants hate being ripped out of their cozy flower beds and shoved into a wide open space outside in the cold. They get temperamental and, I believe, wilt out of spite. But it’s good for them!

Did you know that dividing and transplanting flowers in the fall time will help them to multiply and flourish in the spring?

Same with you, graduates. God has allowed to you complete your years of traditional schooling and is going to be moving you somewhere into the unknown. You will be in a new environment and it will be tempting to “wilt”.

Psalm 56:3 “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.”

Don’t fear change. The honest truth? It will hurt and it will be difficult. But never make life decisions based on what feels good. If you know God wants you to move away from home to a new city, state, or even a new country, do it! No one has ever died from change. There is no more peaceful, safer place than being in the center of God’s will.

Be thankful God loves you enough to do whatever it takes to make you grow stronger. Be flexible to to His direction.

And you know what? Chris and I survived the cross country adventure. We ended up exactly where we were needed most. Yes, I hated to leave my family, but I wouldn’t trade in God’s will to avoid homesickness.

The day after we submitted to God’s surprise change of direction, we actually did end up crossing the Grand Canyon 🙂

chris holly grand canyon

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