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.

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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.

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Are you acceptable to God?

“I am a special messenger from Christ Jesus to you Gentiles. I bring you the Good News so that I might present you as an acceptable offering to God, made holy by the Holy Spirit.”-Romans 15:16 NLT

That’s a heavy thought, isn’t it? Or maybe for you it isn’t because you’ve been told that God just accepts us exactly the way we are and we don’t need to change who we are for Him. This is partially true. When we first come to Jesus, He takes us as we are. But after we come to Him and put our faith in Him and then receive His Holy Spirit in our hearts as a result, we are supposed to be made Holy by that same Spirit so that we can be “an acceptable offering to God.”

It reminds me of another similar New Testament verse:

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”-Romans 12:1-2 NLT

So as Christians, we can be in a place of being unacceptable in His sight. And here’s how:

The word “holy” means to be set apart. In Romans 12:1-2, after it speaks of being acceptable, it goes on to let you know what would make you unacceptable: copying the behavior and customs of the world. Think about a super popular message the secular world gives: be yourself, be who you are, define yourself. This custom is actually in staunch opposition to the Bible, which says God will make us a new creation and change the way we think. It also says to leave our old lives behind and to “put on Christ” to walk in this new way of life He has given us.

Here’s the amazing thing: God doesn’t expect us to change ourselves–that’s HIS job–the Holy Spirit’s job, and that’s one of the main reasons He gives Him to us and sends Him to live in our hearts after our genuine confession of faith in Christ’s sacrifice and bodily resurrection.

I can’t change myself. Before I gave my heart to God, I tried. And failed. But after the Holy Spirit filled my heart, change started happening, and quickly! It was incredible. Suddenly, I had this voracious appetite for the Bible; I wanted more Christian friends; I loved going to church services and talking about God; I stopped cussing, stopped using God’s name vainly, became nicer to my mom, and here I am almost nine years later, and change still happens all the time! I’ve gone from immodest to modest, sexually impure to chaste; super impatient to less impatient lol; sympathetic to genuinely compassionate; defying my husband to respectfully listening to and applying his counsel and desires; the list goes on. And it’s a process! The Holy Spirit is STILL changing me, and the Bible promises:

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”-Philippians 1:6 NLT

So yes, you can be a Christian who is copying the ways of this world and may not even know you’re being unacceptable to God. That’s why knowing what He expects and desires is so important, why getting familiar with the Bible (I always advise starting in the New Testament) is so crucial. God forbid you be in a place where you’re practicing sins that can actually separate you from God eternally! But how would you know unless you get to know what those sins are?

God is so patient and merciful. The fact that you’re still alive means He’s not done with you yet and you still have a chance to open up your bible and get to know “His will for you which is good, pleasing, and perfect.”

Start today!

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?

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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

Don’t let exhaustion make you believe you’re depressed.

I’ve been in a funk. But wait, a little backstory first. I’m usually a bubbly, joyful, passion-infused Cubana (like this).

I strike up convos with perfect strangers without feeling the least bit awkward. I’m energized by going out and being around people. I’m smiley, love  making others smile and laugh, and I make friends easily.

But not so much lately. I’ve been discouraged, irritable, and extra impatient. I hadn’t even the drive to turn up my worship music in the morning and sing to the Lord which I have done daily for at least eight years. And Jesus is my greatest passion and joy. I love and enjoy Him more than anything or anyone. So not spending that time delighting myself in Him is also very out of my norm.

Well, my recently turned one-year-old still wakes up every night at least twice, once at best. In addition to the times I get up to use the restroom, I’m waking up at least three times a night every night, and stubbornly going to bed around or after midnight each night, and then typically getting awakened around 8:30am the latest. Now in retrospect, that’s pretty bad. We need supposedly at least six hours of uninterrupted rest which I never get. After a while, that bad sleep will wear you down (plus I’m hormonal).

But last night, I went to bed around 10:30am, and Braven only woke once, and I didn’t get awoken as early as usual. And I feel so refreshed and more like my usual, happier self.

Sometimes, we just need to rest.

I’m reminded of Elijah the prophet. He was in a pretty bad mood and feeling quite low and down about life at one point:

“Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.””
‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭19:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

He was afraid and just wanted to be away from everyone. He was on the run and very weary. But God told him to eat and drink. And then he was strengthened and continued on. He brought this complaint to God and God spoke the truth to him, the reality of the situation, because in Elijah’s weariness and crankiness, he wasn’t seeing clearly. He felt alone and thought all was lost, but actually:

“[Elijah] replied again, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram. Then anoint Jehu grandson of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet. Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha! Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!””
‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭19:14-18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The reality, the truth was that Elijah wasn’t alone. He was tired and weary, and certainly downcast by all the bad things happening around and to him.

So not that physical rest is the be all, end all, but it definitely helps us to stop, rejuvenate, and most of all, get alone with God so we can hear and be refreshed by the truth.

Whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, we can often misinterpret the reality of our situation and just be totally discouraged by it. But God knows the truth of the matter and when we just rest and bring our cares to Him, He is faithful to revive us every time.

But getting to that place is a fight. It’s sometimes an uphill battle, especially when you’re sleep deprived. Elijah traveled in that wilderness all day and was drained, but when he was able to get alone with God, his attitude changed and he was able to snap out of his funk.

My prayer and hope for you today is that if you’re drained and feeling down, get some rest and take time to hear from God in His word and in prayer. He’s always near to us, but sometimes, we’re running past or all around Him rather than to Him, and we are burned out. Jesus said:

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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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.