January 30, 2021
Good afternoon everybody! I pray that you all had a fantastic last week of January and are looking forward to a fresh start when you wake up in the morning. I wanted to start this week by sharing a question I have asked many times this week. Why? Why does God place us in hard situations? Why do we have to face things that seem impossible? I have been asking myself, asking God this question every single day this week. I feel as if it’s just one bit of bad news after the other. Is it ever going to end? I was watching TV last night when a commercial came on reminding me to “Be Still”. I don’t know about you all but stilling myself before the Lord is something really difficult for me. I don’t know if it is because my mind is in one million different places or if it is just that I cannot focus. However, when I saw this commercial, I immediately turned off the TV and laid in my bed asking God again; why? As I laid there looking at my ceiling, it was as if God approached me and reminded exactly why we had to face these trials.
I want you to take a second to think about the trials you have faced in the past. Small or big, we have all gone through things that have brought us down or been discouraging. Now, ask yourself, “where would you be today if wasn’t for those learning curves?” If you really think about it, we would not be who we are today without the past just as it has happened. I am a perfect example of this. During the midst of my struggling. While I was impatient at CHOA or residential at my treatment facility it felt as if I was never going to overcome my ED. Yet, look at where I am now. Encouraging and helping others struggling with different mental health issues. I say all of this to remind you that no matter what you are facing, there is a reason for it. God has a plan that we cannot yet see. However we must trust that his plan is flawless and is all going to work out for the better in the end. I pray that you would all remember this as we go into February of 2021. We are all in this together and God is right by your side. Lay all else aside and focus on Him. He will bring you through the fire just as He has every other hard time you have gone through. I love you all so much and promise to get back on the disciple lessons next week. Stay strong and remember that I am always here for you if you need anything. Also, send in the B3 box forms please!!!!
January 24, 2021
Happy Sunday! I hope you have all had a good week of trying to be a better disciple of our Lord. I feel like I kind of slacked this past week because after about Wednesday I stopped reminding myself each morning of what I needed to do each morning n order r to achieve my goal of being a better disciple. However, I know that today is the start of a new week which means a fresh start. This week I kind of wanted to build on this idea of being a better disciple. Where last week we discussed what it meant to be a true devoted disciple and what we needed to do in our lives to get there. This week I want to talk about what doing these things will look like in our lives. So, turn with me too Philippians 2 : 5-7. I really want you to focus in on the last part of verse 7. It says that Jesus "emptied himself, by taking the form of a bond servant." This might seem a little confusing because I know it did for me the first time reading it. Accentually, God is saying that Jesus did not view himself as better or greater than anyone else on this earth ( although he was) He looked and treated himself as if he was any other sinner living like we live today. He didn't give himself special treatment or allow himself to slack off because of his holiness. Instead he used this gift he was given to reach out to more sinners like you and me. A story in the Bible that totally amazes me is John 13. When right before the Passover, Jesus decided to get on his own hands and knees and wash the feet of his disciples. Thinking about this, ask yourself, who do you know that would wash your feet? Back in the Bible times, this was a job for the "lowly", yet Jesus put down the thought of embarrassment and judgement and did it anyways. This is just a small example of how our Lord was willing to lay down his social ranking for us. Now read John 10:18. This verse sums up the frequently asked question; why? Why did Jesus do this and who told him to do so? According to verse 18, Jesus "laid it down of his own accord". No-one told him to do these things, no one begged him to wash there feet. No one asked him to come down to this sinful earth. Jesus could have simply remained in the flawless, glorious kingdom of heaven yet he decided to come and be with us. He was very intentional, it was his choice to come and he counted the cost. He laid aside his equality with God and was born in our likeness. Jesus was his own event, humble and obedient. He put himself on this earth with a goal to seek, save, and serve. We too as sinners need to be purposeful and intentional when living for Christ. If we want to make disciples of our Savior, we mist empty ourselves of our own "self ambition" and just as Philippians 2:3 states, "see others as more significant than ourself"We must give up our lives and be willing and ready to be inconvenienced and stretched for His glory.
I hope todays lesson will build on this idea of being a disciple of the Lord. I challenge you this week to hop back on that goal from last week. Push harder than last and really focus on what you need to do in order to be intentional. I love you all so much and please know I am always here for you. Please continue to fill out B3 box forms and I can't wait for next weeks update.
January 16, 2021
Good morning! I pray that you all have had a great week and are looking forward to a new one ahead. I don't know about you but this week seemed to drag on and on. It has made me exhausted, I don't know if it has been the weather or what but I have been dragging. Anyways, this week I have really been struggling on what to write about. Then I came across a passage that gave me an idea. Do y'all ever find yourself wondering what a true disciple is? I mean yes we know that there were 12 of them that we practically the hands and feet of Jesus back in the Biblical times but, what does God mean when He says that we are to make more disciples of Jesus Christ?
So, let's talk about what exactly is a true devoted disciple of the Lord? First I want you to read the Great Commission with me. Turn your bibles to Matthew 28 : 19-20. Christ says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." Now we know that a true disciple observes and imitates the teachings of Jesus. When Jesus spoke the words of the Great Commission, He is encouraging us to go out and find/teach more people about Him and what He has done. However, before we can go out and tell others how to act, we must also be abiding in God's word. Does this mean that we must be flawless? Absolutely not, we are all sinners and have all fallen short but, we can do things to be better examples of God. In John 8:31 Jesus said, "You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.".
What next? Well we must produce something for the Lord. A true disciple will not only abide but also bear fruit for the Lord. In order to do this we must be telling others and showing His love in our lives. John 15:5 God says, "I am the vine, you are the branches." God is the main source of this "fruit" however we are the connections as to how seeds are spread. We must go out and share his love with others with the end goal of bearing fruit for Him.
Now we know that in order to become a true disciple for the Lord Jesus Christ we must observe, abide, and bear fruit. If we are doing all three of these things, it leads us to my last point which is knowing the a disciple is recognizable. If you truly are devoted to become a follower and disciple of the Lord, you're not going to fit in with this sinful world we live in today. For example, in Acts 4:13, all of the people watching John and Peter could see something different about them two. It states that the others, "recognized that they had been with Jesus." Knowing and accepting Christ into your life is a game changer. Im not here to say that we will become perfect angels however there is supposed to be something different, something noticeable about those abiding in Christ. This is just a small amount of what it really means to be a disciple.
I challenge you to think about and maybe write down some ways you can better your relationship with the Lord and ultimately become a better disciple for Him. I love you all so much and pray that you have a fantastic week. Let me know if I can do anything for anyone and also, a perfect way to "bear fruit for the lord" could be by sending a BBB Box to someone in need.
January 2, 2021
Well, that was crazy but let's just say; It's official 2021 here we are. Does it feel different to you? I mean what a year it has been with everything going on. Is it just me or do you feel like this year has been totally unpredictable? I mean just think, this time last year nobody expected to be quarantined or even expected the virus to leave China, but just look at that, 30 days later and we were put into quarantine and masks became a part of our everyday outfits. And now; 365 days later and we are still living in this "simulation". However Romans 15:13 puts truth into my mind making me remember that there is a reason for these times and we won't be in them forever. Romans 15:13 states, "May the God of hope fill you with peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." We as believers of the one real God have the ability to find and store this hope God gives each and every one of us. Knowing this I trust that change is coming, God has a purpose for everything. Every second of every day has a motive set by our Lord and we must be okay with that. As you have probably heard many many times, God is the only one who can see the big picture, we only see a tiny spec. So I encourage you to find some of this hope within yourself as well. I know that currently things aren't always looking positive but just know that God has a plan and it is going to be worth it in the end.
With all of the anxiety and unknown of the upcoming year, while don't we all make a New Years resolution to help focus our minds on something other than Coronavirus. Maybe yours is too better your relationship with the Lord or maybe it is to take more time focusing on others. Whatever your goal is, I want to remind you that in order to achieve this goal, we must act upon it. For example, if your goal is to spend more time outside of social media, don't expect it to happen without putting forth effort and pushing yourself to put down the technology. I don't know if it is just me but I make a resolution every year. However, I'm not going to lie, it last for about the three months then I usually give up or forget about it. Last year my goal was read a chapter of the Bible every morning. I have to give it to myself, I stuck with this goal up until about the middle of March then, well, I started to slack. "I'll catch up tomorrow" "Im super tired" "If I wait I can get an extra five minutes of sleep." I told myself all these things which allowed me to fall off of my schedule and eventually I just gave up. Looking back I hate that I gave up so quickly. I say this to say that we cannot expect our end "prize" to come easy. The whole point of a resolution is to work hard in order to better yourself or someone else. We must give it all we've got. So I ask you again, what's your 2021 resolution?
I just wanted to take a second to thank each and every one of you for staying diligent and coming back to read my updates every week. It means so much to me when the notification comes across my phone that someone new came on. I want you all to realize that this would not be possible without all of your encouragement, donations, and just overall feedback. If you haven't already, I ask that you share my website with someone you know. I'm really trying to continue to get the word out and reach as many people as possible. Everyone has someone they know who could use a little bit of encouragement so I challenge you to fill out a B3 box form for them. Allow them to anonymously feel the love and support of someone who cares about them. I pray that you all have a fantastic week and please know I am open and willing to help you with anything you may need. I love you all so much and I can't wait for you to come back next week!