Friday, September 16, 2011


"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

Romans 12:1-2

Renewing is a verb, something that is taking place and in action. Paul tells us in this verse that we are to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind". This is not something that takes place once after salvation, it is ongoing. We are to constantly be renewing our minds. Why?

When we do not renew our minds we will start to think like the world around us. A Christ follower is supposed to act, think, and just be different. Our actions develop from our mind. We do what we think. We say what we think (most of the time). When you feed your mind with things of this world and allow that thought process to begin then your actions will start conforming to the pattern of the world. It relates a lot with your physical life. When you are trying to train your body to run a race, you are not going to feed yourself pizza, chips, soda, alcohol, candy, or do any kind of drug or smoke. No, you will feed yourself lots of water, fresh fruit and veggies, and protein. These things will allow your body to run right so that you can run the race that you have physically prepared for.

This is the exact same thing with our spiritual bodies. Spiritually we need to be feeding our soul the Word of God, words of wisdom, having fellowship with other believers, music that is uplifting, and media that brings us up, not puts us down.

I am not saying that eating junk food is a sin or watching T.V. and listening to "non-christian" music is evil. What I am saying is that whatever you are constantly feeding yourself that will be your result.

From personal experience, if you read my previous blog then you know that I strayed for a while and did things "on my own". I can honestly tell you that the reason I had a hard heart was from not hanging around spiritually uplifting people, feeding myself the lies of my culture (that I had to be a size 0, white teeth, high maintenance, and brand name clothes), I had to be in a relationship to feel complete, listening to artist that were singing everything that was not Biblical but excusing it because they were "creative" and not allowing myself that one on one time with God. The result, a hard heart toward God for who I had become. The results from that partying and pushing myself further away from wanting what God had for me.

My mind was conformed to this world. Yes, I am a Christ follower and was at that time, but I was not renewing my mind. I was not allowing that to be a verb, I was letting it be a past action which does not work when you are stuck in a world that screams the opposite of what God says in His word.

I want this blog to encourage you to realize that yes, we are surrounded by a culture that wants us to do everything but live for what is right. However, if we renew our minds daily with what the TRUE Word of God tells us, then we will begin to see that line that should be drawn and start running the race that we were supposed to start at the moment of salvation.

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good an acceptable and perfect will of God."

Romans 12:2

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Standing for God when everyone around you is falling for something else...

As I searched the meaning of "stand" I found one line that makes my point in this blog. It stated, "To undergo or submit." Submit, to give over or yield to the power or authority of another. Interesting.

Not too long ago I found myself in a position when my closest friends were falling for everything that the world had to offer, but it didn't feel right if I were to give in.

I am not going to lie; I have done some awful things while claiming to be a Christ follower. I fell into what the world had to offer and did not want to leave. It was fun, for a while. I felt accepted, approved, "in", cool, or whatever word you would use to describe this feeling, I felt like I finally had it all. Now, how was I going to keep this all without having to be thought of as an unbeliever? I wanted to so bad to continue in my sin, because it was fun but I didn’t want to be known as a hypocrite. I was running away from what God had called me to.

When I was seventeen I realized that God was calling me to ministry, whether it's full time or part time, I knew that God wanted me to follow Him and give my plans over to His will. I was on fire, I couldn’t have thought of anything better than to follow my Maker and complete any task that He had at hand for me. It made me feel cool. Spring of 2010 I found myself in a place that I never thought I would be...but looking back, I see where it all added up; my heart. I was bitter and angry at the church, at God, at my parents, at my life. I hated myself. I wanted to be anyone else. I hated who God made me into, where I had allowed myself to get physically, academically, financially, and socially. Angry. Angry, but I didn't know it...I thought that everything was fine. I started giving into things that I had never thought I would give into. As I participated in what seemed to be innocent at the time, I didn't realize what a grip it had on my life.

I stepped down from a position of ministry I had that year; I decided to move off campus where I knew I could get away with what I was doing. I was wrapping up my hidden purpose with what seemed to be a "good idea." I had convinced myself that moving off campus would be cheaper and that I could do more my senior year, that all around it would just be better. So I decided to live with a married couple. (Worst decision of my life, let me tell you) This couple allowed me and another girl to live with them...starting off, everything was great. I did my thing, they did theirs...little did I know that God was using this to teach me a lesson. I got more involved and went further than I had planned. I found myself wanting to live this way and kept finding every excuse to get away from God and ministry without actually getting away from God and ministry...ask me why I thought that would work…I have no idea.

So, while I thought all was grand, God knew otherwise. Not too long before thanksgiving my roommates were talking about moving, but I didn't take them seriously. Little did I know they were very serious. They moved out giving me a two week notice, my other roommate had already found a place to move too and was able to pay rent for two apartments, I couldn't. With the hours I worked and what I made an hour I was not able to afford paying rent twice for two I had the decision to move out (which wasn't possible) or find roommates. I prayed so hard that God would bring someone but everyone that came to see the place decided to go elsewhere. I was stranded and had nowhere to go. I could not afford the apartment alone and decided to leave. I had a family friend that was local who took me in for a month. I lived on her hardwood floor, out of a suitcase, sleeping on a leaky air mattress while starting my last semester of College, not ideal.

While all of this was going on I knew God was doing something.

God will discipline His children.

I was about to graduate with a religion degree as a woman, not something that promised me a job after graduation. So I prayed. I prayed hard that God would allow me to get a Job.

I moved out of my family friend’s house and lived with another family that was 20 minutes away from campus. This meant that I had to be very careful with my money. Due to the fact that I was paying them rent and paying out the wazoo for gas. I had not social life. I went to class, went to work, and went "home".

After Valentine’s Day I decided to fast. I knew that I had to do something and I wasn't sure what it was. So I prayed. I prayed hard. Seminary had always been what I wanted to do after finishing my undergrad degree. However, after attending Liberty University residentially for four years...there was no way I could afford another two years residentially for seminary. But, when God calls you...He calls you, right? While I was fasting I knew that Seminary was what I needed to do, but how? Rumor had it that a job with Liberty University Online would pay for schooling. So I prayed, again. Little did I know that I was living with a family where the dad worked with LUO for over 20 years, God works wonders, ladies and gentlemen.

Needless to say a little over a month and a half later I was offered a position to work with Liberty University Online as an Admissions Consultant. They wanted me to start the Monday after graduation. God's funny, isn't he.

The want I had to live a certain way left. I did fall every now and then finding those desires trying to come back. Sadly my friends did not change, they continued to live that way and that was/is their decision, but not mine.

Recently I have found myself standing. Doing what I should have done months ago. I should have stood my ground, submitting to what the Word of God says, obey my Master because I am His slave. I decided that I was going to live life the way that I wanted, and God allowed me to. I am not upset with God for not stopping what has happened, because He has used it, for His glory. God loved me enough to allow me to use my free will and do what I wanted to do, but because He owns me and loves me He pulled me back. He wanted me to do what He had planned for my life.

When someone surrenders their life to Christ they are giving Him their all. Their all. Christ bought us with a price if we accept His offer then we become His slave. We are to obey His commandments, which are not there to harm us but to help us.

After what God has brought me through and thankfully it wasn't as drastic as it could have been, I never want to go back. I now realize that I am to serve Him with everything I have and to let Him guide me, lead me, and own me. He is my Master and I am His slave.