Hope Nuggets for Single Girls

Don’t wait for a guy to complete you. No imperfect human can. But the perfect Son of God promises He will fulfill you. Why wait for tomorrow when it isn’t promised to you? Seek Jesus today and discover that life-transforming truth. 

Don’t wait for a guy to come into your life. Pursue Jesus right now and discover how much more amazing He is than any and every guy you’ll ever meet.

Do you wish you were in a loving romantic relationship, getting to know and fall in love with a guy? Well you can do that right now. Open your bible and get to know and fall in love with the perfect guy, Jesus. 

These may sound cliche, but they really shouldn’t. Seriously, who is better than Jesus? Who is more loving, kind, compassionate, incredible, powerful, gentle, and wise? What guy really compares to Jesus? If you’re unsure, then you don’t know Jesus like you think you do. If He hasn’t captivated your heart yet, if He isn’t enough for you, you likely don’t know Him well and thus aren’t experiencing Him very much and not living out this incredible reality that HE IS REAL AND WORDS CAN’T DESCRIBE HOW EPIC HE IS!

But the good news is you don’t have to travel anywhere to meet up with Him. You don’t have to schedule an appointment, ask Him to make time for you. All you have to do is talk to Him, ASK Him to show Himself to you, to help you know Him, and then open up your Bible and seek Him out. Read about Him. See what He said and did. I promise He will impress you like no other guy on this planet ever can. He is worth giving lots of attention to. I pray instead of fixing your eyes on that hot guy from that show you love, or daydreaming about that swoon-worthy character from that book, you look to the REAL-DEAL who offers Himself to you, free of charge, 24/7.

blog_love_natasha

All the AMAZING things the Bible can do for your heart, mind, and soul

Hey, ladies (and the few following gent’s)! I’m currently digging into Psalm 119–thee longest chapter in the Bible–and it’s all about the Word of God; what it does and why we need it, and my goodness, there’s SO MUCH TREASURE HERE, PEOPLE!

So, here’s some of the better-than-pirate-treasure this ancient, supernaturally inspired text does for us:

1.) It cleanses our hearts (Psalm 119:9)

2.) Helps us not to sin (Psalm 119:11)

3.) Revives us (Psalm 119:25)

4.) Counsels us (Psalm 119:24)

5.) Strengthens us (Psalm 119:28)

6.) Gives us understanding (Psalm 119:99-100)

7.) Give us answers for our enemies (Psalm 119:42)

8.) Gives us hope (Psalm 119:49)

9.) Gives us comfort (Psalm 119:50, 52)

10.) Teaches us good judgement and knowledge (Psalm 119:66)

11.) Gives us life (Psalm 119:50)

12.) Makes us wiser than our enemies (Psalm 119:98)

13.) Gives us direction/sheds light on the steps and paths we should take (Psalm 119:105)

14.) Gives us peace (Psalm 119:165)

Want a purer heart? Want to sin less? Need revival? Need counsel? Need strength? Need understanding? Need a defense against haters? Need hope? Need comfort? Need good judgment? Need knowledge? Need life? Need more wisdom? Need direction? Need peace? Pick up your bible, and find all you need in Him.

blog_love_natasha

Do You Hold the Same Views of the Bible that Jesus does?

Would Jesus say this to you?

“Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:29‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In this same discussion, Jesus referenced the Scriptures to the religious people He was speaking to four times. Every answer He gave them for their questions, He used the Scriptures. He also validated that they indeed are divinely inspired when, in the same conversation He declared:

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”-Matthew 22:37-40

And when He said:

“Then why does David, speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit, call the Messiah ‘my Lord’? For David said, ‘The LORD said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:43-44‬ ‭NLT‬‬

He vouched for the men who wrote the Old Testament by declaring them as prophets, and validated David’s Psalms by saying David spoke under the inspiration of the Spirit. These same Psalms also say:

“The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:160‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Jesus never quoted famous, popular, well-educated, rabbis. He never used anyone else’s words when teaching, only His own and the Scriptures. Therefore, when a teacher in a religious movement, such as Joseph Smith or Catholic leaders’ writings and teachings are upheld as on the same divinely inspired and authoritative level as Scripture, it is because of the very example of Jesus that I balk and adamantly disagree.

That a person or group of individuals’ extra biblical writings and doctrines are as or more authoritative than the Bible is probably the most dangerous false teaching that has wrecked many people’s faith in the Scriptures and because of all of these additional teachings, many “believers” and so-called Christians are utterly confused, at odds, and in disagreement. Only those who are in agreement that Scripture is the only source for divinely inspired truth are the most united and bearing the most fruit, that is, love and true conversions as evidenced by the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5) produced in their life.

I am not saying all protestants have it right–there are many sects under the umbrella of Protestant that are in error because they belittle/water-down/avoid truths in the Bible and uphold a popular man’s teachings with the same or even more authority. And there are many who claim to be non-denominational, but are actually apart of the Emerging Church heresy that discourages people from being fully confident in the Scriptures and has them disbelieving that it can be clearly understood and so again, their popular teachers’ doctrines are held in higher esteem than the Bible and many of their congregants don’t revere Scripture or care to read it much and they live their lives in opposition to what it clearly teaches, indulging in premarital sex, wild parties, drunkenness, homosexuality, immodesty, lewdness, etc.

If you’re a professing follower of Christ, I solemnly ask you to reflect on how you view the Bible. Is there another teacher(s) whose teaching you regard as just as authoritative? Do you share the same views of Scripture Jesus has? What would He say to you about your views and knowledge of the Bible?

blog_love_natasha

What Is the Emerging Church and are you unwittingly apart of one?

I had been attending a very popular multi-campus church in Georgia whose leader is Andy Stanley. When I told this to two older Christian women who I trust and love, the reaction was the same in a nutshell: “Be careful, Andy’s emergent.”

At the time, I didn’t know what that meant so I decided to do some research. I googled “Andy Stanley emergent” and got a better taste for what this whole Emerging Church thing is, but didn’t really grasp it in clear and simple terms until this morning.

Apparently, many Emerging Church leaders identify with “post-modernism,” another term I didn’t know much about until this morning:

“Modernism was a bad philosophy. Post-modernism is another bad philosophy. But in both cases, they assault the Scripture. Modernism made reason, human reason, the king. Reason was supreme in modernism. Thomas Payne, The Age of Reason, The Enlightenment…the Renaissance. Out of that came the worship of the human mind and the mind trumps God. Now, mystery trumps the Bible. The human mind trumps the Bible in modernism, mystery trumps the Bible in post-modernism. It is at the foundation an unwillingness to accept the clear teaching of Scripture…God holds us responsible for a right understanding of Scripture. We are liable before God for what we do with a true and right understanding of Scripture.

“These people, like the liberals, deny the clear teaching of Scripture. And I’m convinced that the reason they deny it is not because it can’t be understood, not because it’s unclear, but because they don’t like what it clearly says. And that takes you back to John 3, “Men love darkness rather than light.” The light is there, they hate the light, they run from the light. The issue is not that Scripture is not clear, it is crystal clear…

So I think the motive behind this whole Emerging Church thing, whether it’s a conscious or unconscious motive, is discomfort over what the Bible really says, whether it’s about the gospel or whether it’s about sin, virtue…they don’t like it and so the out is…Well, it’s not clear. This is just another way to set the Bible aside…”-John MacArthur

In a radio show, John goes even more in-depth on this topic, and I’ll just add one more snippet of the conversation because I think it’s powerful:

“What is so interesting about this movement is the Emerging Church sanctifies the culture. The Emerging church sanctifies the post-modern culture as if it is legitimate and says, ‘if we’re going to reach these people, we’ve got to become like these people.’ That’s never been the biblical way…never. The Bible does not change. It’s not a chameleon; it doesn’t shift and change and adapt to culture. It confronts culture. It confronts an aboriginal culture. It confronts an ancient culture. It confronts a modern culture. It confronts every trend with fixed unchanging truth in every situation. And the Emerging Church not only is unwilling to believe the clear statement of Scripture, but it’s unwilling to take the clear statement of Scripture and confront the culture. It wants to let the culture define what Christianity should be.”

To hear the whole talk visit Grace To You.

So the Emerging Church, often subtly, downplays the Bible and strips it of its superiority and authority. Using the excuse that it cannot possibly be understood, they make allowance for sins that the Bible clearly condemns, and makes God a more “accepting” God, which truly, the Emergents just want their churches to be more widely accepted because the bigger the building, the more seats it can fill, and the more seats it can fill, the more money they can make.

And also, simply put, they want to enjoy sinning without the guilt trip. They want to watch porn, or fornicate, or cheat on their spouses, or indulge in greed without being judged by a Holy God for it.

Sounds a lot like the folks the Apostle Paul warned about:

“And some people even slander us by claiming that we say, “The more we sin, the better it is!” Those who say such things deserve to be condemned.”-Romans 3:8 NLT

“And what value was there in fighting wild beasts—those people of Ephesus —if there will be no resurrection from the dead? And if there is no resurrection, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!” Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.”-1 Corinthians 15:32-34 NLT

So are you apart of an Emerging Church? I think one of the clearest indicators is their avoidance on agreeing with Scripture’s clear stances on topics such as sex before marriage or living together before marriage (i.e. fornication), homosexuality, transgenderism, and abortion. Since these are big hot-topics in our day, many Emerging Church leaders will cower away from stating what the Bible says about these things and make some excuse for, or evade the topics altogether. Why? Because they’re more concerned with keeping those large numbers/pew sitters than they are about teaching the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth at the cost of possibly becoming attacked, fined, imprisoned, or impoverished. They love their money and comfort more than they love Jesus and others.

Because at the end of the day, the old saying is often true, “The truth hurts,” or as the Bible puts it, “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”-Proverbs 27:6 NLT

I’m gonna tell someone what I know and am 100% convinced of is unadulterated, divinely inspired truth. If I genuinely believe this incredibly prophetic, historically accurate, scientifically sound, ancient written record of how God revealed Himself to man and what He has to say to us, and I love Him more than I do my own reputation and relationships with others besides Him, then I’ll tell them what it says because I am genuinely concerned for the consequences they’ll face if they don’t know and believe these divine, eternal truths.

Many people have wrong desires: they’re married but they’re desiring to have sex with another person. Just because they have that desire,  albeit it can be deemed a natural one, doesn’t make that desire justifiable or good. The same is true for premarital sex and homosexuality. Just because someone has the desire to be with someone of the same sex doesn’t mean that behavior is justifiable.

A lot of people enjoy wrong desires; indulge in adulterous relationships, in drugs, in premarital sex and homosexual relationships, but it doesn’t mean that it’s right or good in the sight of God. And who on this earth has the authority or revelation to determine what God deems good and what He deems evil? God Himself! But how do we know which God is the true God and which teachings accurately reflect His opinions and commands???

I say, with 100% confidence, there is no other book in all the history of mankind, in all the millions of documents ever written, as prophetically accurate as the Bible, and as geographically, historically, and scientifically sound as the Bible. Even secular expert scribes agree: no ancient work holds more manuscript authority than the Bible, which simply means it is a completely reliable ancient record; what it says now is what it said thousands of years ago.

And again, no book or prophet comes an INKLING as close to as incredibly accurately prophetic as Jesus Christ and the Old and New Testament prophecies. If someone were to research the thousands of prophecies fulfilled in history that the Bible prophesied centuries and even millennia before the events occurred, they’d probably begin to doubt their doubts and start to hold the Bible in a much higher light than its religious peers. There’s no getting around it unless you avoid it.

So, are you apart of a church who downplays the Bible or reinterprets, or condemns its clear stances on sin? And if so, do you agree with your leaders that the Bible can’t be understood and that truth is thus subjective?

Who is right? The prophetically proven Bible, or these smart sounding, passionate men who’ve existed for fifty years or less on this earth and have never prophesied anything that came true to perfect detail?

I hope this makes you think and take stock as to the pastors you’re listening to and consider if they uphold the Bible as the ultimate truth, or downplay it as an ancient book that is only partially relevant now. Because, as the historically accurate ancient record holds, God has once said about mankind:

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.”-Hosea 4:6

 

With sincere love and concern,

Natasha

Why you shouldn’t be modest

I remember walking through the mall in my teen years, rocking a pair of skin-tight Brazilian jeans (they were so the thing back then)—a pair I wore specifically because I believed they accentuated my assets, i.e., made my bottom look bigger.

So here I am, in my baby-blue Brazilian, skin-squeezin’ jeans and a spaghetti strap top and I’m pretty sure I was clackin’ around in heels, and this group of dudes begin yelling lewd comments at me across the mall for everyone in the vicinity to hear.

I got so upset, cussed at ‘em, flipped ‘em off, the whole nine. But never once did I recall the fact that I wore those jeans for the sake of appearing more desirable. I wanted the attention, but I guess I expected it to come across in a more respectful manner.

Thing is, I quite plainly, was dressed in a way that shouted sex object, yet I didn’t want to be treated like a sex object. I wanted to be pleasing to the sight of some men, as long as their pleasure was displayed in a manner I approved of.

I now understand that most single or unmarried men (or even married ones!) don’t look at women who are dressed super sexy and think: I better be low-key about all the lustful thoughts she’s inciting. The way they see it is you’re asking for the attention, so they’re gonna give it to you. And more specifically, they’re thinking along the lines of; this chick is asking to be f***ed. 

Forgive the vulgarity, but I’m just being real. Have you ever heard men talk to each other when no women are around? Well, I have. A lot. I edit weddings. The videographer, who is a man, goes into the groom’s hotel room or wherever he’s getting ready and records him and his groomsmen as they get dressed. The stuff they say about the bride and about women is so disgusting and degrading that I often have to mute the audio entirely and sometimes wish I could leave in those parts so the bride sees how much her groom respects her in front of his boys. The things I hear make my blood boil and skin crawl. But the truth of the matter is that all of these brides lived with the guy beforehand. In other words, they already were sleeping with him. So frankly, men simply don’t respect a woman who sleeps with them before marriage. Period. He can act like he does, but there’s someone he boasting to about your body and sexcapades.

Have you experienced this kind of lewd attention before? Were you wearing super short-shorts, a midriff top, showing off cleavage or your belly? Lots of skin, lots of skin-tight-leave-hardly-any-room-for-the-imagination attire will incite and inflame a man’s lust. There’s no way to get around it unless he closes his eyes or avoids you or tries super-duper hard to only look at your face, even though his peripherals can see everything else. Even married men. Very few will try to look away, while others will be picturing you naked on top of them.

Now, if you’re truly fine with this, that’s your prerogative. However, if it makes you uncomfortable and you’d like a lot more respect, then take it from me, think twice about what you put on. And no, I’m not being legalistic. I’m not gonna sit here and list a bunch of non-Kosher clothes to wear because at the end of the day, most of us women aren’t stupid. We know what sexy looks like and some of us like how it feels. So the clothes you have that you deem sexy are the red flag raisers you should reconsider. And covering up doesn’t equate frumpy and dumpy. You can keep it covered and keep it classy. You can be modest and still like what you’re wearing.

And if you’re a Christian like me, then remember: you don’t just choose modesty because it’s a New Testament command (see 1 Timothy 2:9-10, 1 Peter 3:1-4), but we do so for a love for God and others. We want to please God. Sensuality, lustfulness, selfishness, all of that displeases Him. If we truly grasp all that God the Father did for us when He sent His Son to this earth to love and die for us, we won’t have a problem covering up some or reconsidering our wardrobe to ensure it’s honorable to Him. He wants us to “not only look out for our own interests, but for the interests of others as well.” That means if you choosing your clothing more wisely will help some fellow Christian brothers not to stumble, then you’ve just pleased God with that unselfish and considerate decision.

At the end of the day, I’m not modest for legalism or man’s sake, but for Christ’s sake, and for a love for Him and others. I also want to be a good example for women, because I love you, too. 🙂

Did this resonate with you? Feel free to share your thoughts in a comment.

blog_love_natasha

Wives: Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands

Have you ever taken matters into your own hands? When you just think you know the right thing to do and are sick of waiting for your husband to do it, so you push him aside (or maybe secretly side-step him), and take the reins?

It usually doesn’t end well, does it?

I’m reminded of Sara and Abraham way back in Genesis.

Abraham receives a promise from God that he will have a son and his ancestors will be as numerous as the stars and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through his seed.

Being Abraham’s wife, naturally, Sara is apart of that promise. She is to be the mother of this great nation–so to speak–and even though she’s well past child-birthing years, she’s supposed to get pregnant.

Time goes by. A lot of it. Years worth. And hey, Sara begins to doubt. I don’t blame her. I’ve been there. I am there. So what does she decide to do?

Take matters into her own hands.

She tells hubby he should just sleep with her maidservant and then that child will become this special son that God promised He would give several years back. Abraham heeds his wife’s sensible and logical, not-prayed-about or God-given opinion and advice and they both suffer for it.

Maidservant gets pregnant. Sara gets jealous and angry and regretful. God shows up and is basically like, that’s not how this is going to work, and it was not what I promised you guys. I told you, Sara, that YOU’D be the one to conceive, but you didn’t wait patiently and instead, took matters into your own hands, so now here’s the consequences of your faithless actions: a son will be born to the maidservant and he will always be against his brother and will become a great nation who always wars against their brethren. By the way, God is so supremely good and just and faithful, He eventually did fulfill His promise to Abraham and Sara, and she gave birth to a son in her super old age of nearly 100.

But Sara had to wait. And so do we, sisters.

I was tempted to take matters into my own hands today. And to a degree, I did. Hubby didn’t heed, though he did do some digging on it, and I’m thankful he didn’t. Because my advice was driven from frustration and doubt, not from prayerful confirmation from God. And who knows what the outcome could’ve been. In my discouragement, I was tempted again to take matters into my own hands, but I asked for prayer, and went to the Word of God and read Romans 8 out loud. And it worked. Uttering the correlating promises of God helped me to stop fretting and to just “let go and let God.”

I remember another circumstance where Abraham was definitely wrong, but this time, Sara didn’t take the reins. She submitted even to her husband’s wrongness by allowing him to lie about their relationship to the pharaoh so he wouldn’t kill Abraham, and he let the man take Sara into his palace where his plan was to sleep with her. Can you flipping believe it? I know, it upsets me, too, ladies. But, just as Sara had made a mistake in her frustration, Abraham made a mistake in his fear, but guess what? God still kept His promise and in this situation, He stepped in like a protective husband should, and protected Sara supernaturally, and then caused Pharaoh to hurry them out with no punishment and tons of provisions. And guess whose name went down in the “Faith hall of Fame” thousands of years later penned by the Apostle Paul? Sara. What a legacy for all her ancestors and daughters to follow.

So you know what, I wanna be like Sara in that second situation. I don’t wanna take matters into my own hands to the harm of my whole family. I want to shut up, trust God, and wait patiently for HIM to act. Because He will, at the perfect time.

Do you know it’s also true for you?

blog_love_natasha

The Good Lesson My Hellish New Year Reminded Me Of

My New Year started off quite hellish. Never mind the fact that obnoxious fireworks blared through the night well past midnight while me and my family and two children under three, tried to sleep and our terrified dog couldn’t control her bladder.

Then, when I finally get out of bed in the morning, baby number two is crying and screaming, and hubby and me are failing miserably at consoling him. So I decide to give our tantrum/tired/sick one-day-away-from-one-year-old a container of hot cocoa powder to play with. He drops it. It spills. Good, high quality, brand new, unopened, never-before-tasted organic hot cocoa powder is now in a huge heap on the floor, and soon, baby boy is cranky pants again. I salvage less than half of the goods, and once he’s calm, I decide to make some hot cocoa for big-brother-not-yet-three-years-old. I ask him to drink it at the table, thinking that’s more spill-safe, but I was wrong. He knocks it over and it spills everywhere; on the table, on the floor, on the walls. But it gets better. As I’m cleaning yet another mess, baby number two is nearby. The thought crosses my mind that he must not get to the spilled hot cocoa on the floor. He’s what I thought was a good distance away, but like flipping Flash, he’s suddenly on all fours, crawling in the chocolatey liquid and then splats, face-planting into the stuff. He flops over and is screaming while wallowing in it. And now big brother is crying himself to sleep, resisting a nap, about to wake up his already sleeping baby brother.

Well, that’s how our New Year began. It was an unusually rough morning and afternoon. But me and hubby both came to the same conclusion; it’s a reminder that we are in a spiritual war.

There’s a serious battle raging in the heavenly realms and we, my friends, are the center of it. We are the goal, we are the prize for either side, and both want us. God wants to rescue us, Satan wants to destroy us and the battle is vicious, and bloody, and cruel, and in fact, way worse than a supremely stressful morning and afternoon with two toddlers.

I was giving Satan a foothold with my anger. With big brother pestering little brother and all the messes I had to clean while being myself sleep deprived among other things, I was definitely upset. And one blow after another, I wasn’t the most graceful. However, before the chocolate attack, I closed the bedroom door and prayed. I asked God for forgiveness and repented for my angry attitude and impatience. And right after that, the cocoa powder and liquid form of it spills everywhere and baby has a tantrum. I know it was a test. And I did better, thanks to the Holy Spirit. But we don’t always see frustrating circumstances as tests that grow us, that burn away the sinfulness and the ungodliness in our lives and refine us into something more beautiful. We just think about how annoying the problems are and stay there.

I don’t know how your New Years played out, but I do know this, no matter how good, or bad, we Christians have an enemy lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce or fire flaming arrows. We are always hated, even though we are also always loved. But God is on our side, and He gives us weapons to combat this vile villain. We aren’t helpless victims. We aren’t weak. But we can be ignorant. And it’s our ignorance that leads us to defeat.

Before the second stress wave hit, I took up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word–rhema–of God. It’s literally the “utterance” of God’s word. I proclaimed out loud the truth that God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. It helped me overcome the first battle, but then in the midst of the second, did I take up the rhema, the sword of truth to combat the onslaught? Nope. Instead, I declared my own angry words: “This is a test!” I repeated that phrase several times and a few different ways, but I did not declare the truth of God’s word, like how Jesus did in Luke 4 when the devil was trying to tempt him. Did Jesus come up with his own clever phrases, or declare his opinion about what he thought was going on? Nope. He simply quoted–out loud–the Scripture. Whatever divinely inspired truth applied, He spoke it and immediately after each time, that lie was cut down and the devil moved on to another one until after the third strike, he retreated altogether “until another opportune time.”

I’m just learning and putting to practice this weapon we’ve been given in Ephesians 6. I obviously still forget to wield it at times, but when I remember, I win, and the devil flees.

So that’s my encouragement to you. Start off the New Year with this resolution:

I won’t gripe my way through battles anymore, but I’ll fight through them, using the only effective and efficient and most powerful weapon I’ve been given: the rhema “spoken word” of God.

This New Year, fight on, soldier. Fight on.