Peace Challenge

Greetings my dear sisters in Christ! Today is a lovely spring day and I am blessed to be alive.
 “Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk: for I lift up my soul unto thee” Psalms 143:8
I’ve been blessed by this verse today. . .I’m to trust in Jesus’ loving kindness and He is kind! So often I mistake the loving God we serve as a God who wants to squish me for every wrong doing. But no, God is a kind and loving Father who has provided me the way to trust Him and to walk in His ways. His grace is sufficient for me! Praise God!

So my purpose for this post? I took up the Peace challenge given by Jenna at Feminine Farmgirl. I had been visiting Jenna’s blog and had noticed that she was giving challenges for girls to practice different godly virtues and I was so blessed and excited! So when March’s challenge was given I signed up with high hopes of attaining the peace of God. Unfortunatly, I must say that I did not follow this challenge faithfully. There were days when at night I would think- “Oh no! The day is done and I have not even thought of the peace challenge!” I often forgot to seek the peace of the Lord and tried to fix the problems I faced in my own strength. I have much to learn, but I thank Jesus for His patience with me! So here is my report of the peace of God in my last month and how this challenge has personally helped me.

This month has gone by so quickly. . .tests have loomed over my head, bedroom floor issues have moved Daddy and Momma out of their room and into mine (I am thankful they can use it. . .I tell them their renting from me! :), I’ve been making my bed in the living room, and I have been dealing with many struggles in my Christian walk. To put it simply–this month was not a month of natural peace for me! But I am thankful for Jenna’s challenge because it reminded me that I can seek the peace of God. Jesus wants to give me peace
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim. 1:7 What a lovely verse. . .God has given us sound minds. When I first became a Christian I strongly struggled with the fear of becoming insane, ( I know that sounds strange) but I was very afraid! Jesus showed me this verse and comforted me in that He wants and has given me a sound mind. He does not want me to be afraid, but to trust in Him and that leads to a sound mind. God is so good!

I had applied to College of the Ozarks (a Christian school three hours away that has a work program which allows students to be debt free). I was very excited and felt like I was going to be accepted (I had applied one time before and was rejected). The long-awaited day came when my supposed confirmation letter arrived in the mail. But, for some reason, God chose for me to remain at home. I struggled greatly with this. . .I had such high hopes and had been dreaming about the day I would be able to quickly pursue my education (with the blessing of my parents). I went into my room and remembering the peace challenge wrote in my journal and tried to give my trouble to the Lord. I found this very difficult and can say that I did not lay it all before the Lord,. . .but by looking up a few verses and showing the Lord my problem I was able to see that God had a plan. And he still does. I must say that lately I’ve been struggling with a feministic point-of-view (I’m ashamed to say). For the last five years I have wanted nothing else, but to marry (if God allowed me), have children, raise my children as a keeper of the home, and to walk in the grace of my Lord. But lately I have fallen in the trap of feminism, and it is a trap so contrary to God’s will. Since God did not allow me to attend College of the Ozarks He has been slowly changing my views of having a career, marriage, and godly womanhood away from the world and back to Him. (I bless Him because He is answering my prayer in that I knew I needed Him to change my view of womanhood). I say all of this because it was an instance where I needed the peace of God. God is still working on me–teaching me that His way is best and that He will never leave me nor forsake me. I have much to learn, but I feel like the peace challenge helped me focus on the Lord instead of my problems! Plus, I would like to join the April challenge which for the first week of April is self-control and dress. If you would like to join too you can find the details at Feminine Farmgirl. I’m excited!
May the Lord bless your day today dear sisters. Seek Him because He will give peace!
With love,

God’s Work in a Heart

                                           Dear Sisters in Christ,
Greetings! My heart so happy and glad! A few minutes ago I opened a letter from a dear friend and sister in Christ who has been going through many difficulties. . .one is being in jail. I must say however, that her testamony shows that Jesus is real, living, kind, and good. She is growing and through these tough times she is seeing God’s mercy. Praise the Lord! And through this God has been blessing me because I am privileged to see her grow and walk in the Lord. He is so merciful and good! Also, I have seen God’s mercy and faithfulness in  how He is using me. I have been afraid and worried that I would write something that would hurt feelings when Momma told me that I must speak the truth. For me speaking in love is somewhat easy, but speaking the frank and real truth. . .how difficult it is! So to combine the two- love and truth- was a challenge. But, I praise God that He helped my dear friend see my love for her. How good He is!

I would also like to use this post to encourage jail ministry. “Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” Matthew 25:36 This is a subjest very near to my heart. Those in prison need our prayers and love. Please do not misunderstand me- wisdom is very crucial here. Listen to your parents and obey their desires for you. For example, I would visit with every person in jail pitying them and their problems, but Dad has wisly reminded me that most people in jail are there for a reason and that all my love and compassion will not change their heart. Because I look through rose-colored glasses I would take in every homeless person, but Daddy reminds me that that their are dangers and I must be wise. I am very thankful for his advice. In my case, I already knew this person before she entered jail; I was not contacting a stranger, something that could be dangerous and unwise. So again, please ask for and obey your parent’s direction. With that said, I do think it is the Christian’s responisbility to encourage the hurting, imprisoned, hungry, and unloved. There are many ways to do this, but single ladies can do one certain thing that is crucial- pray. Pray that those in jail may seek the Lord, repent of their sins, and use their time wisely. God can use a Christian in jail just as He can a Christian in church. He is able!

As you may have seen I’m very excited about this. I am greatly encouraged by God’s faithfulness. He is living!
May the Lord bless your day today! With lots of love,

A Lovely Poem by Annie Flint 1919

God hath not promised skies always blue
Flower strewn pathways, all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labour, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing kindness, undying love.

God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptations, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.

But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labour, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing kindness, undying love.

God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
Never a river turbid and deep.

But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labour, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing kindness, undying love

-“God Has Not Promised” a poem by Annie Johnson Flint 1919

O What Joy That Fills My Soul- The story of a clean conscience

Dear sisters in Christ,
 Greetings on a bright and beautiful Missouri day! I hope your day is as beautiful as mine. Well, I have some very good news. I am rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness in leading me in forgiveness and repentance. I’ve had some struggles (and am still dealing with them) in different areas in my life. My heart has been misleading me and I have fallen head first into different areas of sin and rebellion to my Lord- being discontent with my life right now, covetousness, rebellion to my parents (in subtle hidden ways), being unsubmissive, vainity, love of self, and a judgmental heart. Praise the Lord He shows mercy to those who call on Him! I know that many if not all of these areas gained strongholds in my heart and so it will be a battle to overcome them, but  “because greater is he that is in you [me], than he that is in the world” I can have victory through Jesus my LORD! 1 John 4:4. As you can tell I’m very excited.

I just want to encourage every girl to maintain a pure and clean conscience before the Lord. We must remember that He is holy and requires us to be so as well. I hope to continue “in well doing” and apply my heart to godly things. Here are a few good things I can do, we all can do, to continue and press on in the Lord.

~ Learn to love the LORD with all our heart. I can do this by finding joy in His will- things like obeying my parents, loving my siblings, being modest inside and out, controlling what I see and hear, speaking only good and pure things, watching what my mind thinks on, and offering my life as a living sacrifice. These things seem so simple, but they really require an effort on our parts. Good works do not always come natural to us. Find practical ways to improve in the good works God desires of us!

~ Have a daily quiet time and prayer time. Oh the joy that comes from having a quiet time! I’ve neglected this many times and have learned that it does not pay off. Something I’ve learned is to make your quiet time your own. Enjoy it. I’ve been trying to read at least one chapter from the Old and New Testament each day and then I write down any lessons I’ve learned. . .this has helped really soak in what I read. I’ve really enjoyed this and look forward to pressing on! 🙂

~ Think on good things. Oh the difficulties that plague me when I choose to think on ungodly things! Let’s remember that we are not our own and that God requires us to be clean in the heart. He alone can see our  impure thoughts (sin) and it grieves Him dear sisters! Let’s remember Philippians 4:8 which says,
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

These are just a few things that I know I can improve on. God has given us such an important opportunity and privilege in serving Him. Let’s do it with all our hearts dear sisters!!

God bless you as you press on!
 With love,

“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 2 Tim. 4:18

Authentic Virtue post #3- The Trials of Life and the King Who Helped Me Overcome Them.

Dear sisters in Christ,
Greetings from a sister full of joy! I want to encourage you all who are going through a difficult time, a valley, in their spiritual and physical life. I have been battling many valleys lately, since the beginning of December and I haven’t been victorious. But, I praise my Lord and Saviour who has seen me through!! While I’m dissapointed over my failures I see that God has worked them out for my good!

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Roms. 8:28

Praise His name! I wanted to put three “valleys” which I have struggled with as of late and show you how the Lord has been there the whole time and the wonderful goodness He has to give!

Valley number 1: My Momma has been away. My Momma, who is part-time in the Air Guard, has been on a trip for a couple weeks. With her being gone I have been feeling very lonely…she is my best friend, my closest confidant. And with her being away I have been feeling anxious and depressed. Jesus has shown me that those feelings of anxiousness and emptiness are simply signs of Him needed to fill a hole in my life. But I was using my mom! And humans, no matter how dear to us, can never fill the hole in our lives. Only Jesus can! It’s like building my life upon the sand….a foolish choice because when the rain falls I will as well. ~Matt. 7:21-29

The sweetness of valley number 1 is that God helped me realize that He is enough to make me happy, to fill my heart! Besides that, He is the father of the fatherless [motherless] ~Psalms 68:5. I believe He becomes that Father even if my earthly father or mother is only temporarly away! He is that good! He is also the friend of the friendless. God is so good and if we were to only trust Him, He will fill us with joy, peace, and happiness.

So after this trial I simply want to bless and encourage my Mommy. I miss you, but Jesus can fill my heart and I hope you had a wonderful trip. And to my family at home, thank you for being there and being my friends. May I be a faithful and good servant, daughter, and sister to you all! I’m so thankful for my wonderful family!

Valley number 2: With moving away from Alaska it has been somewhat difficult to find and make friends. In the last several weeks, this has made me struggle alot with being blue or sad. Jesus again showed me that only He can fill my heart whether I have friends or not! Once again, He is the Friend of the friendless. The biggest point the Lord graciously showed me is that His ways and timing is perfect ~Ps. 18:30. It is He who has moved us here and woe be to me to grumble or complain ~Ps. 28:5. In His timing He will bring friends. Perhaps during this time He wants me to concentrate on learning to lean on and trust in Him, or maybe He wants me to use this time to allow Him to fill my heart entirely with Him ?! I don’t know! But I do know that His ways are perfect and He has only good planned for me

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”Jer. 29:11.

Valley number 3: This valley is similar to valley number 2. It is the valley of needing fellowship. We have found a Bible beliving church (praise the Lord!) and have been visiting there. But I have found it difficult to go through my days without close, truly like-minded fellowship. This has led to my being sad, upset, and anxious. But this is not what Jesus has intended for me! He has promised me peace and joy! So were is all of this joy and peace? I have been throwing it away for the sake of a pity-party and cheap thrills. Jesus wants me to be satisfied in Him and Him alone. When I realize that even large amounts of good, godly fellowship can’t bring me true happiness and that only Jesus can satisfy my hearts deepest longings, I begin to find joy and happiness. The lesson Jesus showed me is that, once again, He is enough. Jesus knows my deepest need and in His timing and way He will fill it. He is a good friend and will not leave us alone and anxious; instead He will give us peace and contentment when we finally rest in Him. He is so good!

“O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” Ps. 18:9