At a young age we are taught to be kind and respect one another despite differences. There are so many characteristics that set us all apart, such as: personality traits, morals, values, skin color, hair color, eye color, height, weight etc. We are all made uniquely and bring something special to the world.
There are times where we fail at respecting one another, especially when an individual is impolite or hurts our feeling. During those moments I like to reflect on the word and focus on verses where, love, is displayed. As humans we may fall short, but we can always get back up and try to better our interactions.
Currently, we are living in unprecedented times and can easily allow our hearts to be hardened towards one another. However, below you will find scriptures that reminds us, what love is and how we can respond to others with adoration.
Love your neighbor as thyself. There is no commandment greater than this. -Mark 12:31
Love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. -1 Peter 4:8
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good. -Romans 12:9
My command is this, love each other as I have loved you. – John 15:12
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. -Romans 12:10
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or a sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. -1 John 4:20
Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law. -Romans 13:10
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. -Hebrews 13:1-2
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. -1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; -Mathew 5:44
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. -Galatians 22-23
The definition of dating can be defined various ways which is dependent upon each individual. For most, it is enjoying the company of an individual that you are interested in knowing in a deeper level. That can include dinner dates, painting, visiting a nice museum or art gallery, but that list can go on and on.
However, when you are dating as a Christian, there are different standards that one should consider. Below you will find a list of tips for dating as a Christian.
1. Boundaries- As a devote Christian, the word teaches us to flee temptation. We all know that if you play with fire you will get burned. So as you are dating, it is important to put up strict boundaries so that you two will not fall into temptation. These limitations can consist of: inviting a third party along for your dates, hanging out in public vs. home, church hugs (side hugs).
2. Purpose- Dating as a Christian is intentional therefore, most call it courtship. When you are dating/courting you should have an end goal of marriage. If either party is not ready for marriage then it’s best to remain friends.
3. God- God is at the center of your relationship. You both should be pushing one another toward Christ and not away from Him.
4. Family & friends- Family and friends involvement is vital when dating because individuals act differently in certain environments. It is good to see how your significant other behaves around others. Also, it is important to gain insight about your partner from family and friends. Sometimes they can see something, from the outside looking in, that you may have overlooked (whether positive or negative)
5. Wise counsel- Seeking wise counsel like pre-marital counseling opens a level of communication and challenges your thought process on this journey towards marriage. Thought provoking questions and discussions can give insight into one another and can help your future marriage be successful.
6. Emotion control- As you’re dating it is important to keep your emotions under control and really understand your partner. At times, we can allow our vision to get cloudy but it is important to have a clear outlook on the individual that you’re dating. This also ties into number one, boundaries. When physical lines are crossed people typically begin to excuse or justify negative behaviors. Without physical contact (aside from hugs, holding hands) you are able to view the individuals actions sharply.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). When you extend your faith you are believing that certain events will transpire, despite, what you see. For example, job promotion, healing, or new car etc. At times, faith, begins to subside during the, “between stage”. The between stage, is when you are waiting to get from point A to B. You want that job promotion and you killed the interview, but, the company decided to go with someone else. Therefore, you remain at point A and discouragement sets in because you know it is time for you to move to higher levels. During this middle phase, is when your faith gets truly tested but do not lose hope!
Lets look at biblical stories where faith is tested:
-Sarah could not bear children, but was told that she would conceive a child, during old age. It took faith to believe that she would have a baby in her nineties. (Genesis)
Abraham- He had to offer up his son, as a sacrifice, as a test of his faith. (Genesis)
Noah- The world had become so evil so the Lord told Noah to build an Ark with two of every animal and only his wife, sons, and daughter in laws, would be saved. Noah had faith and did everything that the Lord commanded. (Genesis)
Joseph and Mary- Mary a virgin, pregnant with child. The lord told Joseph that Mary bore Christ and gave instructions on what to do after Jesus was born. Joseph and Mary followed what the Lord said. (Mathew)
Moses- He delivered thousands from Egypt and traveled to the promise land. Moses took heed to the steps that the Lord spoke. (Exodus)
Woman with the issue of blood- She had been bleeding for 12 years but her faith made her whole, by touching the hem of Jesus’s garment. (Mathew)
Job- The Lord allowed Satan, access to Job. Job lost everything but he still had reverence and served God.
Regardless of the time frame or emotional turbulence that possibly ensued, the word of the Lord came to fruition. I am sure there was doubt that arose, during the waiting period. Yet, If HE said it, it will come to pass!
You may be in a season where your faith is being tested. You are waiting for that promise to come, but you are getting tired. I just want to encourage and remind you that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forevermore-Hebrew 13:8. Just like the promises manifested in the stories above, YOURS, is on the way.
I challenge you to read Hebrews 11 and analyze, how faith, orchestrated the lives of many.
Apply the verses from the bible over your life:
-By faith I can trust God
-By faith I understand that the world was framed by God
-By faith I can be confident with gods promises despite circumstances or consequences
-By faith I will run with endurance the race that is set before me by looking unto Jesus
-By faith I am healed
If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there and it will move”- Mathew 17:20
We walk by faith and not by sight.- 2 Corinthian 5:7
Many of us have been in a relationship, which did not turn out as expected. You fantasized that your partner is “The ONE”, and you both will build a life together. Then one day, that dream comes crashing down and a break-up occurs. Both parties endure agony, however, the dumpee tends to feel more anguish. With most break-ups comes the sorrow and grief of letting go of that special person. Some of the greatest lessons I learned, happened during the grieving process of a past relationship. Below, I list FOUR top pointers you should not do after a breakup.
1. Keep your heart open to Christ.
As the dumpee, whew I sure made the mistake of turning my back away from God! I was super upset that God allowed this to happen. I felt like he did not have my back but had my now ex’s side. Especially since the ex quickly moved on, into a new relationship, which seemed to be going great (yes I am guilty for social media stalking lol…you’ve done it before too). It wasn’t until I saw this quote on social media, “Do not hold God responsible for what a person does to you.”Wow that spoke deeply to my soul during my heartache. I realized that my anger towards God actually kept me bound to the pain because it pushed me further away from Christ. Once I noticed my ill feelings towards Christ, I had to vent it to him. I simply prayed “God I am upset with you, I feel like you do not have my back” I went on and expressed all of the emotions on my heart. Afterwards, I felt a little lighter but I definitely was not healed. This was the first step to my heart being restored.
“God is near the to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit”- Psalm 34:18
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”- Psalm 147:3
He will not leave you nor forsake you”- Hebrew 13:5
2. Protect yourself from the deception.
After the breakup, many questions resonated within my mind. What is wrong with me? Was I not pretty enough? Was she more saved than I? Maybe I was too much, too demanding, not caring enough, too caring, immature, if God cared he would not allow me to be heartbroken, how is God supposedly protecting me etc.. So many questions and statements circulated on a continual basis that, at times, I could not even process my thoughts. That mental battlefield sent me to a place of feeling inadequate. The rejection made me feel inferior and lowered my self esteem. Little did I know, I began to morph myself into a different woman because I thought if I dressed like her, changed my personality, I could be a good fit for him. I was right where the enemy wanted me to be, tangled in his cobweb of lies. During moments of vulnerability, that is when the enemy is most at lurk. You have to be on guard at all times protecting yourself from the deception and untruth. You have to fight back and cast down the negative thoughts.
“The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy”-John 10:10.
“You are fearfully and wonderfully made”- Psalm 139:14
“Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”- 1 Peter 5:8
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” -2 Corinthians 10:4-5
3. Focus on Yourself
I wasted numerous days, even months trying to determine the cause of the breakup or trying to figure out how to get that ex back. What a waste of time! I became aware that I needed to shift gears and put that attention on myself. When I did that, God began revealing places in my heart that needed to be fixed. The focus went from him to me. I stopped caring about his life and more about mine. I wanted to progress and transform into the woman that God had created me to be. God opened my eyes regarding other areas like my career, purpose, friendships and more. When I stopped aiming my attention on my pain, I was able to heal and see the plans God had for me.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”- Jeremiah 29:11
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”-Psalm 9:9
Set your mind on things above, not earthly things.” Colossians 3:2
4. Use Time Wisely
This point correlates with step three. During the moments of concentrating on the reasons “WHY”, I wasted so much time, that I will never get back. I truly, regretted all the valuable time I gave up, as I was grieving the heartbreak. Now don’t get me wrong, grief is natural, but mine was extended to the point it was, unhealthy. Those moments I spent sulking in pity could have been a time of true healing, which I delayed. I have forgiven myself for spending so many days engulfed in sadness. Experience is one of the best teachers and I am now grateful for this struggle. There is a blessing in every lesson. I learned to not wallow in the situation, if it does not turn out the way you intended. The heartbreak happened, it hurts, but open your heart to healing immediately.
“Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”- Mathew 6:27
Making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”- Ephesians 5:16-17
Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”-James 4:7
Now, this is not a recipe that will immediately eliminate all pain. Everyone experiences healing at different stages and it depends on the individual. I hope that you can take away a pointer or two from my past mistakes. One thing I know for sure is if God can heal me, he can do the same for you!
PS: What are some pointers you would give someone, post break up? Leave your advice in the comments below
One of the most anticipated times of the year is, Christmas. The season of giving, joy and spending time with your family. It just makes individuals feel so loving and warm inside. However, that is not the case for everyone.
There are some people who dread this occasion for various reasons:
-Some individuals may be away from their family and are experiencing loneliness.
-This time of year allows one to reflect over the year and be reminded of the negative events that transpired. For example, a called off engagement, break up, loss of job, or something else.
-Buying gifts, can cause the serious “buh humbug” feeling. People feel like they let others down because they cannot purchase presents, due to their finances.
Whatever the case may be, we have to be sensitive to the fact that everyone does not have the same feelings regarding holidays.
If you happen to be the individual that is having a rough time during this Christmas, I want to encourage you to find the joy within it.
If you are away from your family, try surrounding yourself with friends. Hang out with their family for the holidays. Of course there is nothing like being around your own loved ones, but it can sure lighten your mood.
Indulge in something you enjoy. Finish that book, take that class you wanted, or volunteer at a local shelter…etc.
In continuation from number two, give to others. Contributing to another persons life can definitely transfer you energy from gloom to joy. There is something about pouring into others that just will heighten your day.
Most importantly, focus on Christ. He is the only one that can fill your voids.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” Mathew 5:4
“Come to me, all you who labor and are heaven laden, and I will give you rest.” Mathew 11:28
“The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4
I hope the tips above bring you immediate comfort during this time. Remember, we are all in this journey together!
I just want you to know, HANG ON. I understand that times can be difficult, and you feel like giving up. However, hold on tight! Life is similar to a rollercoaster and there will be highs, lows, turns and twists. Yet, when the hard situations arise, do not lose hope and faith.
You may never understand why certain trials are tossed your way, but you can persevere. James 1:2-4 states, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Through it all, you will overcome and be better than you were before.
So, I encourage you to push beyond your circumstance. Continue to depend on God and know that he truly cares for you. You will come out of this season stronger than ever and will not be defeated. GOD’S GOT YOU!
I stated in my previous blog, Israel Trip (part 1), that this gem will show adventures that transpired over my 10 day trip. It was difficult to choose highlights out of the hundreds of pictures and memories that I have. Please note, that this is not nearly, all of the places I visited. I literally only touch the surface with how impactful Israel is and the many destinations and history that is within the country. However, to keep this blog at a decent length, I was able to narrow it down to the top features, I know you wanted to see. You will be going on a journey viewing Israel, through my lens. I hope you enjoy!
FYI: Explanations are under the pictures 🙂
Capharnaum, the hometown of Jesus. We visited his home that he lived in during his central Galilean Ministry.
We were able to view the tombs where Jesus was “possibly” buried in. Many scholars believe this particular image is where he was buried because the bible says, “As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side and they were alarmed” -Mark 16. The way tombs were made during that era, you would walk in and the body would be laying right in front of you. However, in this situation, you had to turn to the right just as it stated in the bible. HE IS NOT DEAD, FOR HE IS RISEN!
This is another “possible” tomb that Jesus’s body was laid in. This particular burial site was cut out of the mountain side and placed inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, for viewing. The line to examine the inside, would have been a 2 hour wait.
Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, this particular site is the traditional place where the cross was placed as Jesus was crucified.
Baptism sites on the Jordan River. This was not the actual place where Jesus was baptized because it is no longer conducive for individuals to be in. However, we all got the opportunity to be baptized in the Jordan River just as he was.
The Mount of Beatitudes, is a hill in Israel where Jesus is believed to have delivered the sermon ( Mathew 5-7 and Luke 6). It is accepted that Jesus was standing at the bottom of the hill and the spectators sitting where I am in the picture. Now the question is, how did the thousands of individuals hear his voice? At a certain point in the day, the winds would blow which would carry Jesus’s voice to the top of the hill. Pretty amazing, right?
Cruised the Sea of Galilea, which was a beautiful site. We had a moment of quiet time with various worship songs playing in the background. This was actually day 3 of our journey and was extremely endearing. During this reflections time, I felt like I was finally able to take everything in. With our day starting at 6am and ending around 9/10pm, it was nice to just silence your mind and evaluate this once in a lifetime experience. I was reminded of Peter having to trust God, and walk on the water to him. Once he began doubting, he started to sink. As I was reminiscing on that verse, I could sense God saying, “Just as Peter had faith, I want you to continue to trust that I have your life in control.” WOW! Amen God!
We explored the port where Jonah fled from God.
This is the place where Peter restored the life of Tabitha and stayed with Simon the Tanner
Mt. Precipice the site where Jesus was rejected which was described in Luke 4:29-30. The people of Nazareth did not accept Jesus as the Messiah. Therefore they tried to push him off the mountain side. However, “he passed through the midst of them and went away”.
Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Jesus wept as his disciples slept. Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” ….”My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” “My father if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me, Yet as I will, but as you will” Then he returned to see the disciples and found them sleeping. ” Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” Mathew 26:36-46.
Tabgha, the site of Peter’s Primacy (John Chapter 21) Multiplication of Loaves and Fish and the calling of the disciples.
Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, is the most holy place accessible to the Jewish people because of the Muslim control of the Temple Mount. The plaza is was created as an area for prayer in which thousands of people gather. Many write their prayers on a piece of paper and leave it in the cracks of the wall.
Just floating around in the Dead Sea
Valley of Communities, living memorial to the Holocaust. We were all deeply moved as our tour guide shared personal stories of what his family members suffered through during this traumatic time. We also toured the Historical museum, The Children’s Memorial, and The Hall of remembrance. Our history books only grasp the surface of this horrific event. Let us always shine light and remember the Holocaust.
Golan Heights, rocky plateau that straddles the border of Syria and Israel.
We went to the Gaza Border and the neighborhoods surrounding. The houses are required to be built with bomb shelters. The dragon that you see in the picture is actually a bomb shelter, on a local playground. Teachers educate children, as little as 3, with a song that describes what to do before and after they hear a siren. The lyrics, “Shake, shake, shake”, stood out to me most. The song tells the kids to shake because they have to check if they are missing any limbs. If so, the blood will scatter all over. Therefore, they can quickly get help from bystanders. It is definitely disturbing to hear about the beautiful individuals that have to endure these terrible events. Let’s continue to pray for Israel.
Standing on Mt. Olives viewing the Temple Mount.
Peace to the Middle East.
You made it through the brief voyage. Thanks for coming along! Have you ever been to Israel? Leave comments below and tell me what you think! Remember, we are in this journey together!
Fall or autumn, is the transitional period between summer and winter. The leaves start changing colors and plummet off of the trees. The temperature begins to drop and fashion begins to shift from tank tops to sweaters. Your favorite seasonal drinks hit the shelves and Starbucks.
Though fall is a season within a year, you can equate it to your personal life. Sometimes, you enter into a period where one loses friendships, relationships, jobs, etc.. It may seem like God has been removing everything from your life and you cannot comprehend the change. Letting go of people and opportunities that you desire, is difficult. However, it is important for your growth.
Leaves may die and whither but in spring, new flowers bloom. Allow God to rid your life of old conditions and provide his best. This juncture may bring extreme discomfort because it is not your familiar. Yet, in order to get to the next level, you must let go of some baggage.
During this fall season, be open to the transition that God is taken you through.
“Out with the old in with the new.”
If that friend stops hanging with you, understand it is for your growth. God may be tugging at your heart, to release an entity, that is keeping you bound. If so, listen to that warning. You are headed to higher heights and dead weight will hold you back.
Instead of fighting this shift, let’s welcome this term with anticipation. The blessings that will sprout forth, by obeying God, will not be in vain. You can trust that he knows the best pathway for you. The man that created you, heaven and earth, will not fail you!
There will come a time in your life when it feels like you are stagnant. It may seem like everyone is progressing and accomplishing their dreams, while you are at a stand still. You feel STUCK! There can be numerous reasons to why you are having this experience. Continue reading “STUCK”→
If you have not watched the documentary, What the Health, I highly recommend you to do so. It discusses how processed food effects the body. It is a life changing documentary and many individuals make drastic changes in their diet, after watching it. What we eat is very vital to our health. However, what about the products we put on our bodies or medicine we consume? Continue reading “What the Health”→