November 21, 2014

About Christi Wilson

Founder of GCH. She lives in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.
Christi is the wife to her wonderful husband Gary, mom/step-mom to her four amazing kids, and grandmother to ten gorgeous Grandchildren.

A Farewell Message …

In the summer of 2011, the Lord spoke to my heart about a world-wide ministry, and how I would be involved in that.  I had no idea the who’s, what’s, or how’s…but by May 5, 2012, Girlfriends Coffee Hour was birthed.  It has been an amazing journey since then.  I would never in a million years have dreamed that God would bless this ministry as much as He has!  I am honored to have been a part of it.

As many of you know, as of October 31st, 2013, I will be stepping down as the leader of Girlfriends Coffee Hour.  This has not been an easy decision to make, but one that I have no doubt in my mind that God is calling me to do.  I never thought I would have as much peace about leaving GCH as I do, but I also know that when God is in the middle of decision making, what He has called you to do will bring nothing but peace!

In the beginning of this year, my husband, Gary, and I got involved in a program called Safe Families for Children.  This program offers temporary shelter for families who are in need or going through a crisis in their lives.  The families are placed in Safe Families homes for a short period of time in order to allow the parents to do what needs to be done on their end.  Gary and I were introduced to our first two little boys in February of this year.  Those two little ones were a JOY to have around!  They only needed to be with us for 3 weeks, but during those 3 weeks, we fell in love…not only with the boys, but with the Safe Families program as well.

Within a short time, I accepted the role as County Coordinator for the county that I live in through Safe Families.  My duties include networking with local churches, and other resources in our county, as well as bringing Jefferson County together with families in need.  The work I do in our county promotes the Safe Families for Children program, and helps to find more homes within our county for these little ones to be placed, so they have a safe home and a warm bed, while mom and/or dad are working out the details on their end to get the kids back as soon as possible.  This program is not associated with any kind of child welfare and no courts are involved.  The beauty of it all is that it brings Biblical hospitality back to the churches, where it belongs!  I LOVE THAT!

I am so blessed to not only be able to bring children into my own home, but it’s such a blessing to see more churches get involved with programs like Safe Families for Children!

A few short months ago, we brought a third child into our home.  What a doll!  She is simply adorable, and we have fallen so much in love with her!  She has the most beautiful spirit, and the most amazing curly hair!  It’s beautiful!  Her smile lights up any room that she walks into, and her giggle…oh. my. word!!  It just blesses my socks off each time I hear it!!  (Needless to say, I try to find all kinds of ways to make her giggle!!)  LOL

Just a few short weeks ago, I was asked to come on board with Safe Families as a Family Coach.  In this position, I will work with other SFFC homes who have had children placed with them.  I am so excited about this position!  Being a caseworker for Safe Families has been one of my secret desires, and the Lord answered the call for me!

So, as you can see, I have a very good reason for needing to step down from Girlfriends Coffee Hour.  In stepping down, I needed to find a replacement, and that didn’t take long at all.  God already had this all worked out for me!  I prayed.  He answered.  I asked.  She agreed.  And today I am happy to tell you that our Prayer Ministry Leader, Coleen Hayden, who has also worked very closely with me for many months now, has graciously accepted the offer to become the new Owner/Leader of Girlfriends Coffee Hour.

As you can see from Coleen’s blogs each week, she certainly has a heart for the Lord, and her love for GCH is just as strong as mine has been.  So to me, it was a given who my replacement should  be.  I’m so blessed in knowing that someone who loves GCH just as much as I do will be taking my place!  I know without a doubt that Coleen will do an amazing job in this position!!  I can’t thank her enough for her dedication and loyalty to this ministry!!  I love you, Coleen, and your heart for God!!!  You are one amazing woman of God, and I am blessed beyond blessed to call you not only FRIEND, but my sister-in-Christ, as well.

When God Calls

With that, I will close by saying this:  Never ever doubt that God can use YOU!  If He calls you to it, He truly will see you through it!  He will equip you in every way possible.  He will lead you, and guide you, and be there for you…. Every step of the way!!  If He can do this with a simple housewife from Southeast Wisconsin, He can do it with YOU, too!!

Thank you all so very much for allowing me the opportunity to come into your homes each week to share the Word of God with you!  I pray that God will continue to bless you through this ministry.  I ask you to pray for this ministry, and for Coleen, and the Leadership Team, as they all transition through this.  You mean the world to me…but YOU mean even MORE to Him!!

As Coleen always says each week … God loves you…and I do, too!

Farewell my Friends…. 

Christi Wilson

How To Make a Home Management Binder

Home Management Binder …also known as a Household Binder.  The first question you may have is, “What Is It?

This is where I keep things that are important to me; things that help me manage my home more effeciently. My Command Center, so to speak. In this binder, I keep things such as:

  • Schedule
  • Meal Planner
  • Recipes
  • Cleaning Schedule
  • Kid’s Stuff
  • Contacts
  • Blog Schedule
  • To-Do / Projects

Binder1
For this project, you will need the following items:

3-ring Notebook – 3-inch
Sheet Protectors
8 Divider Sheets
8 Index Dividers

Directions:

You will begin by inserting your dividers into your notebook, and attaching the index labels. You will label each of your index tabs with the categories listed above.

Then you will begin adding in your inserts. I’ve listed several below, with links to take you to the free downloads, in some cases.

The first thing you will see when you open my binder is the Homemakers Creed, and a lot of other marriage or family-oriented inserts found on Darlene Schacht’s website (Time Warp Wife). Click on the link above to be taken to this awesome FREE printable!! You will find a lot of the inserts in my binder are from Darlene’s website.  Just click here: www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com and click on the Freebies tab.

The freebies I have downloaded from Darlene’s site, and have added into my binder are:

  • Homemakers Creed
  • The Proverbs 31 Woman
  • The Ultimate Marriage Vow
  • Marriage Manifesto
  • Mommy Manifesto

SCHEDULE
The next thing you will see is the first section of my binder: Daily Planning Goals and Calendars. I find my calendar printable, again from Darlene’s website. Click on the link above to download your free calendar printable. This particular calendar from her site is awesome! Each monthly calendar includes the calendar, a To-Do list, Hope-To-Do List, Prayer Requests, Reminders, Thinking Ahead, Bible Reading, Groceries, People to Call. I love these calendars!!! You will also find my Birthday calendar. This calendar lists the birthdays of all family members.

MENUS
In this section of my binder, you will find:

  • Grocery List
  • Meal Planner
  • Coupon Pocket
  • Freezer Inventory
  • Pantry Inventory
  • Freezer Storage Cheat Sheet
  • Produce Buying Guide
  • Internal Cooking Temperature Cheat Sheet

RECIPES
This is where I store printed recipes that I love!

HOME CLEANING ROUTINE
In this section of my binder, you will find:

  • 60 Uses for Baking Soda
  • Daily Housekeeping Schedule (time warp wife)
  • Weekly Chores for Life (time warp wife)
  • My Zone Cleaning Schedule from FlyLady.com

If you haven’t tried FlyLady.com yet, give it a try! Each week, you are given a zone in your home to clean. She gives you a complete list of what to accomplish in each of those zones. Pretty cool stuff!

Binder2

KIDS
In this section of my binder, you will find:

Quick References for Kids

  • House Rules
  • Chores Chart for my kids
  • School District Directory
  • School Lunch Menu for each month
  • School Calendar – I tore this calendar apart so I could put each month in a sheet protector. Since it is the calendar for our school district, I went through each month and highlighted our school’s events for the whole year, including PTO meetings, holidays, spring break, early dismissal, and so on.
  • Classroom Handbook from our daughter’s teacher
  • Birthday List of each student in class

I have also included things for my own personal use that will help me pray for and encourage kids that come through our home through the Safe Families For Children organization, as well as my own kids and grandkids!

  • 31 Ways to Inspire Your Children
  • 31 Ways to Pray for Your Children
  • 31 Prayer Card for Your Children (time warp wife)

CONTACT LIST
In this section of my binder, you will find:

  • Contact List from my husband’s work
  • Medical Staff & Provider Directory for our community
  • Ultimate Contact Sheet that lists the numbers for grandparents, doctor, dentist, hospital, pharmacy, school, coaches/teachers, vet, housekeeper, insurance agent, miscellaneous. I downloaded this document from SimpleOrganizedLiving.com

BLOG
In this section of my binder, you will find information for my personal blog:

  • Monthly Blog Schedule
  • Weekly Blog Schedule – breaks my month down into Ideas/Projects, To-Do’s, Weekly Statistics, Bloggers to Encourage. It’s always a good idea to find bloggers to encourage. Blogging can be a pretty lonely job sometimes!! :-)
  • Website Log-ins sheet
  • HTML Codes Cheat Sheet

TO DO / PROJECTS
In this section, you will find nothing but notebook paper. I use this section for things like vacation to-do’s, home projects, holiday/birthday shopping ideas, and more.

*****

I hope you have enjoyed a sneak peek into my Home Management Binder, and a little bit into my own personal life! I think having a good system like this is important, as it can help us stay organized and focused on the things that need to be done. I always feel good at the end of the day when I can look back at my list and see the items that have been checked off! I can go to sleep feeling quite an accomplishment has been achieved! A very good feeling!

Blessings,

Christi

________________________

If you would like more housekeeping, home organization tips, recipes, and more from Christi’s personal blog, visit her at:

www.ChristiWilson.blogspot.com

How To Put Together a Prayer Journal

Each day, we hear many different prayer requests; some of them are not even spoken out loud, but they are seen.  How is it possible to keep track of all of these requests when there are so many of them!  We have our spouse, self, kids, marriage, finances, grandchildren, outside family members, friends, community/church leaders, government officials, and our Country, that we should be praying over every day.

I have been on the lookout for the perfect Prayer Journal, and I think I have finally found something that will work for me.  I want to share it with you today; PLUS, you will get FREE downloads at the end of this blog!!  I hope you will utilize these free downloads and then let me know how this journal works for you!

PJ1

My Prayer Journal Cover

Items Needed:

3-ring Notebook (what’s called a View Binder)

Sheet Protectors (at least 10)

College-lined Notebook Paper

Washi-Tape, if you want to decorate your cover and/or pages

Index tabs

Directions:

1. Print out the free downloads found below

2. Insert each printout into a sheet protector

3. Attach an index tab onto the sheet protector for each category (listed below)

4. Insert sheet protectors into the 3-ring notebook in the following order:

  • Worship — this section is to be used for praising and worshiping God for who He is in your life!  I’ve also printed out a list of the names of God so when I need to pray for provision, or healing, I can pray to Jehovah Jireh, or Jehovah Raphe, and so on.
  • Confess — this section is to be used for any kind of confession you need to make.  1 John 1:9 says that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.”  This is so important to confess our sins, so He is able to forgive us, and then cleanse us of all that unrighteousness, so that we are then in right-standing with Him, again!  :-)
  • Thanks — this section is for thanking God for anything you can think of that you are thankful for, i.e., your spouse, kids, marriage, health, family, job, provisions, church, freedom to worship Him, and so on.
  • Calendar – here you will add all 12 months of the year.  Then you will add in any birthdays or anniversaries of family and friends.  Then you will go to this calendar each day, to see who you will be praying for on a specific day.  For anniversaries, I pray over the marriage of that friend or family member.  I will also list specific days for prayer requests such as friends/family doctor visits, surgeries and so on, so I can be praying over them on that particular day.
  • Daily –  MONDAY: Family – spouse, self, kids, marriage, jobs, ministries, and each of my ten grandchildren!  TUESDAY: My Christian Friends.  WEDNESDAY: Non-Christian friends, that they might find Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and any other needs that they may have.  THURSDAY: Girlfriends Coffee Hour Leaders / Members / Ministry, and my Church Leaders – Pastors, Deacons, Board of Elders, and so on.  FRIDAY: our country, President, government officials, local community officials.
  • Apply – this section is to reflect my quiet time w/God and how I am going to apply to my life the things that I heard God speaking to me that morning.  I think it is truly necessary to not only have that quiet time, but to meditate on the “how” of what God is saying to you!
  • Journal – this section reflects any devotions, poems, sermons, radio or online messages that have spoken to you, or anything else you would like to journal in regards to your spiritual walk.
  • Favorite Scriptures – here I list all of the Scriptures that have spoken to me over the years.
  • Worship Songs – this section I use for praise and worship songs that I have found on YouTube, or sung in church, that spoke to my heart.  I want to remember these songs, so when I need to spend some personal time with Him, or want to praise Him or worship Him in song, I can come to this section to find the songs that fit the need I have for that day.  I LOVE this section!!

Since I use a full size notebook, I don’t carry this with me throughout the day; but I do carry a small notebook.  That way I can write down the requests as I go through my day, and then enter them into my prayer journal at the end of the day.  Everything is kept in one place—nice, neat, and tidy…just the way I like it!!

To download your FREE Prayer Journal sheets, just click on the links below.  Save them to your computer, and then print them out when you are ready to put together your very own Prayer Journal.  Again, once you start using this system, I would love to hear back from you to see how you are doing with it!

PrayerJournalCollage

A peek into the inside of my Prayer Journal

God’s blessings on your day!

Christi 

__________________________

FREE Downloads

To download each page, click on the link, save the page to your computer.  To print a 5.5″ x 8.5″ cover page for the smaller 3-ring notebooks, just set your printer to print 2 per page.  You will have an extra cover page, but you could also use the extra pages to create a prayer journal for a friend as a gift! :)

Apply Page

Calendar Page

Confess Page

Daily Page

Favorite Scriptures Page

Journal Cover Page

Journal Page

Thanks Page

Worship Songs Page

Worship Page

Esther: The Beauty of Courageous Submission — COMING SOON!

Esther_Sept3rd

 

 

COMING SOON!

To Register for this upcoming online Bible study, click on the REGISTER tab at the top of the page.  Once you complete the registration, and download your FREE copy of the Esther Bible study, you will be added to our private Facebook study group.*  If you do not have a Facebook account, please download the book and visit our website for your daily lesson.

*You must send a friend request to www.Facebook.com/GCH.Admin in order to be added to this study group.

On September 2nd, we will provide a brief introduction to the book of Esther.  Our actual Bible study will begin on September 3rd, 2013.

We hope you will join us!!

 

 

 

 

Cinnamon Baked Apple Chips

If you are looking for a healthy snack that is easy to make, this is it!  Anything with cinnamon satisfies my taste buds!  That’s why this recipe really appealed to me!  It’s great for you, and for the kids; plus it is just so easy to make!!  Make a few ahead of time and keep in a Tupperware-type storage container.

For this recipe, I am referencing ingredients for just one serving.  You will use one small Gala apple for each person that you are serving.

 

Cinnamon Baked Apple Chips

Ingredients:

1 Gala Apple, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon Splenda

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
  • Spray a cookie sheet with Olive Oil Cooking Spray.
  • Place sliced apples on the cookie sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon and splenda.
  • Bake in 225 degree oven for 1 hour.
  • Remove from oven, and place sliced apples on a cooling rack for 20 minutes.

ENJOY!!

 

Cinnamon Apple Chips

“I Am” Chapter 2 – Day 3: People Around Us Will See God

Perspective.

That word just grabbed hold of me during my reading of this section and it is just rattling around in my brain incessantly.  How we view our life circumstances and, more importantly, how we react to those situations and struggles will either reflect God’s saving power in our lives or show that we do not truly trust what He has done for us.

It is not easy to walk through this life. It can seem downright impossible sometimes. There are multitudes of things to worry about. It is difficult to see an unbeliever reaping what seems to be every earthly reward while you are suffering through heartbreak and distress. Why is this person getting everything they want or need and you are hurting so much you can barely get through the day? Doesn’t God care? Doesn’t He see?

Yes, He cares. Yes, He sees.

Girlfriends, no earthly reward will ever compare to the ultimate reward we have in Jesus Christ. There is nothing in this world that will ever compare to Him. No matter what goodies your neighbor gets, what new gadget your best friend has, or how much money they make, the only reward worth fighting for is the relationship you have with your Lord and Savior. Nothing is more important. Nothing.

How do you react when someone gets an earthly reward that you coveted? Now consider it from God’s perspective. Does your reaction, internally and externally, reflect the Lord’s power working in your life? Does it show that you fully trust Him with every decision, every moment, even if it does not go your way?

One of God’s many promises is to provide us with safety and security when we acknowledge His lordship over our lives. What is your vision of safety and security? God’s plan for you may make you very uncomfortable. It may pull you out of your comfort zone. It may not make you FEEL very secure at all. But, when God is fully in control of your life and you allow Him to lead you in the path He wants you to go, your relationship with Him deepensYour trust in Him increases. You trust in His protection and in His sovereignty.  You know that His plans for you are perfect and without fault.

Ladies, the Lord is calling you by name to walk the path He has set before you. It may only take a change in perspective to see the bountiful blessings He wants to pour out on your life.

*****

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father,

We come before You today asking  for Your divine help. Our perspective on certain situations and decisions may be very clouded. Lord, please open our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds to Your guidance. Let us be open to a change of thought. Help us to see things from Your view and to focus on You instead of the situation that is plaguing us. We know it is difficult to walk this life, Lord, and we can only do it with You right by our side. Guide us, Lord, and give us eyes to see You and ears to hear from You. In Jesus’ Name we pray.

Amen

“I Am” Chapter 1 – Day 3: Suffering Savior

David is a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). Although he made many mistakes and suffered the consequences, he had a real, intimate relationship with His Lord. His writings in the Psalms are raw and beautiful. They have, and will continue to, spoken to the hearts of those who read them. The Psalms reveal the humanness that we all feel – the pain, anguish, defeat, weariness, longing, sorrow and fear. They also show that despite those negative emotions, David continued to give thanks and praise to His God. He found joy in the Lord, in following the path set before him. I actually look to David as someone to model in this regard. Yes, he made some terrible, regrettable mistakes (me, too!), but his heartfelt prayers to His Lord are sincere and genuine. He laid all of his emotions at the feet of God, baring his heart and soul. Do you notice that many of his Psalms begin with anguish but end with praise and thanksgiving toward the Almighty? Through the process of praying and telling God his needs, his attitude is transformed from sorrowful to thankful. I think that is pretty incredible.

David anguished over being scorned and despised, poor and needy, insulted and lonely. He suffered and was in pain. Do you think any of those apply to Jesus? He was mocked, ridiculed, unfairly judged, harshly criticized, and unjustly punished. And this is the Savior of the World! His own people did not believe He was the promised Messiah!

As we read through the Psalms, we find prophecy of our suffering Savior, our Messiah, Jesus Christ. These messianic psalms were written hundreds of years prior to Jesus’ birth! The Great I AM knew that His begotten Son would be the Savior of the world. Every detail throughout the entire Old Testament all leads up to the revelation of Jesus and the fulfilled prophecies in the New Testament. Can you find examples of prophecy in the Psalms and corresponding fulfillment in the New Testament?

Savior_OpenArms

Sometimes we may have a difficult time relating to Jesus. We may have an inaccurate view of who He is based on our past or on preconceived ideas. We may see Him as this thundercloud waiting to strike us down if we do something wrong. Girlfriends, I just want you to know one very important thing as we begin this study – Jesus is and always will be LOVE. Satan will do anything in his evil power to make you think negative things about Jesus. That is the enemy’s job. Jesus loves every single one of us with an all-consuming love. That is why He came to earth as a human, suffered and died a sinner’s death. It was out of LOVE for us. He wants to know you. He wants to walk through life with you. There is not one situation in your life that He does not know about and want to help you with. He may not change your circumstance, but He just might change YOU.

Our suffering Savior is waiting for you with open arms. Are you ready to take the journey with Him?

God Bless You!

Jennifer

*****

Let’s Pray

Father God, thank You for the Psalms. They are filled with so much raw emotion that we can relate to on a very deep level. They help us through so many circumstances that we face in our lives, giving us hope and comfort and peace to take one more step forward when we just want to give up. We know, Lord, that You divinely orchestrated this entire world and every single one of us that live in it. Reveal Your power and love to each one of us today, Father. Give us the strength we need to fight off the enemy’s attacks. In Your Son’s Name we pray.

Amen

 

I AM Free to Run … (Part 3 of 3)

 

The Lord Is

So far, in this mini-series, we’ve talked about falling into temptation; worshipping idols; and what things in our life is taking precedence over the priority list.  Today, I want to talk about how to get back on track when we have fallen into the temptation of worshipping the idols in our lives, and allowing things to take the place of our priorities instead of God.

How do we get back on track and stay there?

  1. Identify what is causing you to get off track.

Have you sat down and made a list of the things that are getting in the way of you having your quiet time each morning, or quality time with your family, or building a better marriage or relationship with your kids?  If not, I would highly encourage you to do so.  Be real with yourself.  Be honest.

Identify the areas that are showing up over and over again.  Is it too much time on Facebook?  Is it spending money frivolously?  Is work taking up so much of your time you have nothing to give your family?  What about television?  Is it taking up so much of your time that there is no room for communication in your home anymore?

These are all areas that I had to take a good hard look at in my own life!  I know you can probably relate to some of these things yourself.

As I said in #1 above, we have to identify what is causing us to get off track first.

After we have discovered the “what”, it’s time to discover the why.

2. Identify the “why.”

Let’s take television as an example.   Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why am I watching television?
    1. Is it for entertainment?
    2. Is it because I am bored?
    3. Is it because there is nothing else to do?
    4. Is it because I just need some down time?

For myself, I work at home.  Until we started taking children into our home from Safe Families for Children, I was home alone most of the daytime hours when my husband would work days.  When he worked nights, I was home most of the time alone, because he was either sleeping or working.  So I found myself trying to drown out the silence!  I needed the noise because otherwise, it was just too quiet!  (Now that we have kids in the house, trust me, the silence is no longer an issue!)  :-)

But again, I have to go back to why the silence was bothering me.  The only thing I could come up with is that the silence represented me being alone.  I don’t like to be alone.  Yes, there are days where being alone is nice, but when it happens a lot, I don’t like it.  I would start to find myself getting bored, or lonely, so I would turn on the television for “company”.  Sounds weird, huh?  To put it in deeper context:  I was trying to fill a void in my life.

3.  Identify the “how.”

What happens when we try to fill a void with something other than Jesus?  What happens when we cave into our fleshly desires?  What happens when we don’t listen to the Holy Spirit prodding us to read the Word, or take a walk, or call a friend, or or or….???  We take our eyes off of Jesus, and we begin to sink, like Peter did in Matthew 14:28-30:

“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be you, bid me come to you on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” 

When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, and began to look at the storm around him, fear crept in, and he began to sink.  That’s what happens with us, too, when we take our eyes off of Jesus; the boredom, loneliness, worry, stress, fear, all begin to creep in, along with many other things!  As we talked about in Tuesday and Wednesday’s blogs, we have to keep our eyes focused on JESUS at all times, or we will fall into temptation!

Now that we have identified the triggers, let’s talk about HOW to get out of temptation.  We’ve already indentified one way: Keep our eyes focused on JESUS.  We are guaranteed a way out of temptation if we keep our eyes on Jesus.  Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 10:13, and see what God promises us here:

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 

First we see that there is NO temptation that is able to take us over.  Why? Because God promises that He will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear.  He didn’t say we would never be tempted, or that we would never have fleshly desires, but He did say that He would provide a way out of these temptations when they did come!  Praise God!!  That is a promise that God has made to us!  Amen!

So the first thing we need to do is ASK the Lord for a way out of this temptation.  Asking means we need to communicate our weakness (John 15:5) to Him first, and then ask (2 Timothy 2:22) for His help.  Then since we already know that we are unable to get away from this temptation in our own power, we need to depend on GOD and His power!  Our flesh is weak!  But God is able to do anything, even the things that we think are simply impossible!

His way is always the best escape, or exit door, we can find!!  John 10:9:  “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved…”   God will rescue us, if we trust Him!  (2 Peter 2:9)

We also need to remember that we cannot do this in our own strength!  Our flesh will always fail!  (Colossians 2:21-23) It is only inHis strength that we are able to do ALL things!

Escaping temptation is our duty as a Christian.  We have to start by identifying the “what,” followed by the “why,” then proceeding with the “how.”  We have to trust that God will always provide a way out of our temptationno matter what it is, and no matter how strong it is!  We need to keep our eyes focused on Him.  Cling to Him.  Surrender to Him.  Run to Him.  Never trust the flesh.  Always trust the Holy Spirit.

This concludes my series on “I AM Free to Run.”  I hope you have enjoyed it.  I hope you were able to gain something from this series.

My prayer for you is that you will always seek God, in the good times and bad; in the easy times and tough!  He is always there for you, no matter what your circumstances are, or how big they are!

Always remember, there is NOTHING impossible for God!

Always In His Love,

Christi

Happy 4th of July!!!

God Bless America

Words and music by Irving Berlin
© Copyright 1938, 1939 by Irving Berlin
© Copyright Renewed 1965, 1966 by Irving Berlin
© Copyright Assigned to the Trustees of the God Bless America Fund
International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved.
Used by Permission

“While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer. “

God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

____________________________________

Take time out today to enjoy the freedoms
that we have been given as a
Citizen of the United States of America.

 

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

I AM Free to Run … (Part 2 of 3)

1 Corinthians 10: 6-7, 13-14

These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.  The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.  So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols.

Last night was another breakthrough in my media fast.  I went back to 1 Corinthians to review some of the Scriptures my pastor used in his sermon Sunday.  I want to talk about two things that kept revealing itself to me in the Scriptures above:

 

Idolatry – What is it? 

Idols – What are they?

 

Let’s start with idolatry first.

What is idolatry? 

The dictionary defines idolatry as:

    : the worship of a physical object as a god 

    : immoderate attachment or devotion to something

God instructs us in of 1 Corinthians 10:7 to not be idolaters, correct?   If so, we then need to ask ourselves if there are any idols in our life.  We need to start first by finding out what the word IDOL means.

The dictionary defines the word IDOL as:

idol

 noun \ˈī-dəl\

: a representation or symbol of an object of worship

 : a false god

I want to focus on the definition of “an object of worship”.  What does that mean to you?  The word worship means to praise something or someone; to honor; to put above.

In today’s world, there are many things that we worship, or idolize, that we may not even be aware of.  I’m talking about the things in our lives that we are “attached” to, can’t live without, we have to have every day, and so on.  These are things that if someone were to take them away from us we would not be happy at all!  These are things that we have become so attached to that they have become a part of our daily life without us even realizing it.  They are things that we think so highly of that sometimes nothing else matters and we get angry if anything comes in the way of us enjoying these things. Does anything come to mind when I say that?

Let’s take a look at some of the things that I am talking about and see if you recognize any of them:

  • Television
  • Money
  • Soap Operas
  • Romance Novels
  • Video / Computer Games
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol

And let’s not forget the ever popular Social Media:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

Do any of these things mentioned above take a high priority in your life?  Ask yourself this question:  “If someone were to take any of these things out of my life, would it make me happy?”  If you answered NO to that question, then most likely this thing(s) are an idol in your life.

For me, I can see several things on that list:  Television, Money, Social Media, Games.  During this media fast that I am currently doing, I found out that taking away my Facebook or Pinterest is really a hard thing!  I really never realized how much I am on Facebook, and/or the reasons WHY I am on Facebook, until this fast!

Some of the reasons I like Facebook:

  • A way of connecting with family & friends (not a bad thing)
  • It’s a way to kill time
  • It’s a way to fill the void in my life
  • It’s a way to beat the loneliness

I have had to seriously look at the reasons why I was spending so much time on Facebook.  Was what I was doing on Facebook productive?  Most times, not.  It was just a way of killing time, or beating the boredom, or filling the loneliness.  Yes, I head up a Women’s Ministry where most of what I do is on Facebook, but I’m talking about the things outside of what I do in this ministry.  I was using Facebook to fill those voids in my life, when I actually should have been turning to the Lord!  Yes, I could hear God’s voice in the background asking for time with Him, but did I give it to Him?  Not always.  In fact, if I am going to be honest about all this, not a lot of the time!  I hate admitting that, but it’s the truth!  I was putting Facebook above God.  I was worshipping an idola false God was getting my worship instead of where my worship should have been going!

Can you see yourself in any of this?  I know I am not the only one.  If I were to come to your home and tell you that I was going to remove all of your televisions in your home for 30 days, how would you, and your family, react?  Would you panic?  Would you begin to get nervous?  Would you fight me to keep your televisions?  If so, your televisions are an idol in your home, and in your own life!

If I were to come to your home and tell you that I was only going to give you just enough money to pay your bills, buy groceries and gas, and a $25/week allowance, how would you feel?  Would you begin to panic?  Would you freak out wondering how you were going to buy all of those other things that you so desperately wanted, and just had to have?  I see another idol in your life!   Believe me, I am preaching to the choir here, too, Sister!!  I’m seeing these things in my own life, as well!  But I want to show you what the Lord has been teaching me about this, so that YOU can walk away from the idols, as well.

I’m not saying I am an expert in this area because this is all brand new to me, sort of.  I’ve known about all this stuff for many years, but to be honest, I’ve never really put them into practice.  I’ve just begun to realize how much of an idol certain things are in my life!  So I’m walking this journey along with you!  I just want to share what the Lord has laid on my heart, so you can begin to meditate on these things, too!

Matt6_24

I looked up the word mammon to get its true meaning.  It means: riches or material wealth.  But, I also looked at some synonyms of the word mammon.  This is what I found:

  • Possessions
  • Money
  • Gold
  • Almighty Dollar
  • Graven image
  • Idol

There’s that word again!!  Did you see it?  IDOL …  We just can’t get away from it, can we?

In verse 13 of 1 Corinthians 10, we are told that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able; that He will provide a way out.

Then in verse 14, we are told to flee idolatry.

If God is telling us to flee idolatry, and that He will provide a way out, we need to take Him at His word, and realize that it CAN be done! He isn’t going to tell us to do something if there isn’t a way to do it!  When I finally come to the decision that I am ready to remove the idols in my life, He will provide a way for me to handle the voids in my life!.  I need to trust that when I am struggling, all I need to do is pray and He will provide a way out.

I can choose to walk by the flesh and cave into these cravings for the idols in my life; or I can choose to walk by the Spirit and allow the Holy Spirit to guide me.  The choice really is mine!

Ask yourself the same questions I’ve had to ask myself:  Is God really a priority in my life?  

I’ll be back Friday to finish up this quick series.  Until then, enjoy your 4th of July Holiday!

In His Love,

Christi