The Good Little Church Girl

“Your just the good little church girl!”  I’ve been called this more times than I can count.  This label was slapped on me throughout most of my adolescence and has seemed to find me again here in my early 30’s.  However this time it doesn’t bother me like it did when I was younger.  Sticks and stones, I guess.

Like all labels though, sometimes whats behind them isn’t whats being advertised on the outside.  We are very talented, don’t you think?  We can live so recklessly but put up a good front to those that we want to impress.  I find it so interesting when tragedy strikes or news of someones untimely mistakes break and you begin to look at the family albums or think back to better times and hear comments like “she looked so happy”, “she seemed so happy”.   We hide our hurt and our shame for fear of being exposed.  We don’t want to be vulnerable or weak.  We go to great measures to hide our secrets.  We live in a society that says we have to deal, we have to cope or suck it up!  So before we know it, we don’t have to have someone come along and label us, we label ourselves.

I can’t imagine anyone would have looked at me and dared to call me the “Good Little Church Girl” had they seen me sitting in the waiting room of an Abortion Clinic almost nine years ago.  That hot July day that I woke up with my whole heart intact and after visiting that clinic and buying into one of the biggest lies our society is selling women today, I went to sleep that night as I have every night since, with part of my heart missing.

I thought that by choosing to terminate that life inside of me that I was fixing my mistake, I wasn’t.  I thought nobody would ever find out and I thought I could keep it a secret.  I thought I was strong enough to cope.  I wasn’t.  I believed that I could deal with it all by myself.  I couldn’t.  This “Good Little Church Girl” chose to make a huge mistake.

It’s taken me many years to get over the many labels that I’ve placed on myself.  It’s taken years for me to accept the forgiveness that is available through the blood of Christ if only we will come to Him.  It’s taken years for me to forgive me, but I have.

Father, I’m so thankful that while we were sinners you died for us.  Thank you for eternal life.  Heaven, a place where I know I will see my baby one day.  Thank you for loving me when I couldn’t love me.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

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Published in: on November 30, 2009 at 2:05 pm  Comments (4)  

Don’t Waste Your Christmas…

This article was written by the Pastor of Discipleship at our church William Futrell.  It is a great reminder of what Christmas is really about.

During the Christmas season, it is so easy to get wrapped up in stuff that doesn’t really matter.  Presents are good, but of course they are not the point.  Family time is better, but Christmas isn’t even about time with family.  Church musicals, activities, and parties are great as well, but Christmas isn’t about that either.
If you don’t want to waste your Christmas this year, then this year focus on what is best.  Let the reality of Christmas penetrate your heart and effect how you see the season.  So what is it all about?  Christmas is about the one true and living God showing His love for humanity by refusing to let us continue in open rebellion against Him.  Christmas is about the one true and living God actually doing something about our sin.  You see, the one true and living God made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of man, and being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a Cross.  He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.  He has shown His love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, He died for us and if we confess our sin He is faithful to forgive us of our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  This is the reality of Christmas.
If we focus on this truth and make it our heart’s desire, this Christmas season will not be wasted because it will cause us to feel a deep affection for our Savior with Christ being the preeminent focus in all that we do.  I also know that it won’t be wasted because as we focus on the One who has saved us, we will recognize the lostness of those around us.  When we truly recognize this, the character of Christ will be displayed through our lives by our refusal to just sit back and do nothing.  When we focus on the reality of Christmas, we will make this not a season of giving gifts, but it will become a season of sharing our Savior.

Don’t waste this Christmas.  Focus on the reality of what we celebrate.  Let the character of Christ compel us to share the greatest message to those who need to hear it!!!


Published in: on November 30, 2009 at 12:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Seize The Moment To Be…Thankful.

This Thanksgiving for many families will be very different.  Many will sit around the table and talk about the economy, job losses, H1n1, etc.  With the chaos around us it’s hard to shut out all of the worlds loud chattering and come back to the heart of what really matters sometimes and just be grateful.

Whatever happened to the days of having dinner and then sitting as a family together, whether it be in a family room or on a front porch somewhere and just reflect quietly?  While I’m afraid those days have long since passed, I do sense there is still a cry from deep within us for such simplicity again.  An aching inside each of us that wants us to seize the moment to be thankful.  Could it be that the cry is from our thirsty souls longing for us to call out to the Giver of all good things and give thanks?

What are you really thankful for?  Is it your home?  Job?  Family?  Car?  Health?  Things?  What about gifts?  Are you thankful when you receive a gift?  In our humanness we tend to measure gifts on a scale based on their grandness.  However 2000 years ago, we were given the grandest of gifts, salvation.  2 Corinthians 9:15 says it’s an “indescribable” gift. (“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”)  Have you opened that gift yet?  I’m so thankful I have and I’m most inclined to agree with Paul’s writing here.  No words could ever describe the price that was paid for this gift.

This Thanksgiving would you give thanks for Jesus?  As you sit down to your dinner with your family and friends take a few moments and give thanks to the LORD, the Giver, for those that sit at that table, there in body or in spirit.  Take time alone to spend with the LORD and reflect quietly on your many, many blessings.

Psalm 106:1 “Praise the LORD! Oh, Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!

Heavenly Father, I praise You that You are the Giver.  Thank you for Jesus and the salvation gift that He gave more than 2000 years ago.  Thank you for family, for friends, for health and the happiness that is wrapped up in all of these.  Thank you for your love and your goodness.  Help us LORD to be mindful of all our blessings and to remember that we are rich, even if all we have is the air in our lungs, we are rich.  Thank you LORD for giving us this moment to call upon your name and be thankful.  Amen.

Published in: on November 24, 2009 at 10:50 am  Comments (3)  

The Heart Of Compassion

I was overcome with bitterness, anger and resentment.  I’ve tried my hardest to love this person, to deal with them in the best christian manner that I know how.  I’ve reached out at times when most people would have slammed the door, then other times I’ve been the one to slam the door, admittingly.  Over the past year, I’ve prayed fervently for God to do a great work in this persons life.  They have so much to live for.  But it seems as though my prayers have just not quite made it passed the ceiling.  While I know thats not true, God has heard them, it’s just not time yet.  For whatever reason, it’s just not His time yet.

As I said above, I’ve recently found myself at my wits end with this person, I’ve been hurt and stressed out over situations involving them.  I’ve found myself asking the Lord “Why?  Why do you let this person live their life this way?  Why don’t you do something to get their attention?  They get to live and do and act however they want and with what seems to be without any consequences whatsoever!?”  With a huff, I went on about my housework and about ten minutes later I felt a strong urge to sit down and open God’s word.  As I sat down on the sofa, I asked the Lord what He wanted me to read.  I immediately felt a small voice say to me “compassion”.

I went to the general index of my bible and looked up compassion and wrote down all the scriptures that it referenced.  I went to each of those scriptures.  The first scripture was Psalms 86:15 says “But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth”.  The second scripture was Matthew 9:36 which says “But when He (Jesus) saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd”.

I must admit after reading these two verses alone, I was convicted.  While yes, this person has hurt me, they’ve hurt my family and done us wrong but I’m guilty too because I’ve not been as compassionate as I should be.  Compassion is something that must be practiced.  It must be perfected.  Forgiveness and Compassion go hand in hand. 

I’ll be the first to admit, it’s one of the hardest things in the world to do!  To have compassion on folks who’ve done you wrong, to forgive those who’ve hurt you, who’ve hurt your children.  Jesus tell us in Luke Chapter 6 starting in verse 32 to love our enemies, do good to those that hate us and to do it and EXPECT NOTHING IN RETURN and our reward will be great and we will be sons and (daughters) of the Most High.  Jesus goes on to tell us that He is kind and merciful to the evil and unthankful.

I so long to be just like Jesus, period.  In pursuing this I know I must press on in forgiveness and loving those who wrong me, even those that I don’t think are so deserving of it.  Bottomline is, it doesn’t matter what Renae thinks, what matters is what God thinks and he thought enough of mankind to send a Shepherd to herd the sheep (us).  That shepherd could be described as having a heart full of compassion, forgiveness, mercy, those are just a few, a very few of the things that I can list when I begin to describe my Lord.  What word comes to mind when you think of Him?  I encourage you to praise Him for his compassion and mercy on you today.

Heavenly Father, you are my Shepherd.  Thank you for leading me out of a life of darkness and into a life thats filled with your love and compassion.  Thank you for your never ending mercy.  Forgive me for falling short in showing others this compassion and forgiveness.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Published in: on November 4, 2009 at 5:21 pm  Comments (3)  
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