May 31, 2013

Our hope in Jesus [Guest post by Jessica]

Welcome Jessica from Forever Convinced. She's an inspirational college student with some wonderful encouragement to share with us.

My relationship with Jesus has brought me confidence, wholeness, passion, hope, and many more wonderful things. Two years ago though I was a completely different person. If you would have mentioned the fact that Jesus actually wanted a relationship with me, I would have laughed at you and silently thought to myself that I was too much of a bad person for Jesus. {You can read more about my testimony here}

Jesus came for the perfect people, right? Nope. Jesus came for the broken-hearted. The depressed. The lost. The hopeless. The ones doing some of the worst things you could possibly imagine. The ones who hated Him, and then came to love Him once they understood how wonderfully amazing He is.

“I did not come to invite good people. I came to invite sinners.” - Mark 2:17

Friends, whatever type of pain and misery some of you may have experienced, I promise you that there is a God in heaven who loves you and wants to show you His love for you in the most intimate way possible. Yes, I'm talking a real, honest, straight-up amazing relationship with the God of the Universe. The joy you once held tight CAN come back—the answer is in Jesus alone. Find freedom for your soul in the fact that your identity isn't in anyone or anything other than Jesus.

I’m just a normal gal, who is majorly in need of Jesus’s grace every day. I am anything but perfect. I have ugly moments. I say things I am not proud of and that I would not want to re-live or bring up again in conversation. Now that I have Jesus in my life He chooses to forget the mistakes that I make every day, all I have to do is ask for His forgiveness. He is willing to work with my imperfections {there are many} and turn them into His renewed masterpiece. Now that I seek Jesus for hope instead of my own self, there is a new light in me. Jesus gives me the peace that no person or object on this planet could ever give me. I am forever in awe of the One who gave it all.

“Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; 
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.”
Psalm 34:5 

I love you guys! Come by my blog sometime and let's get to know each other, I love new friends!

May 27, 2013

The Pursuit of Perfection

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. - Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG) 

I've had a lot of broken friendships in the past few years. In that time, I would wonder what was wrong with me. I blamed the other person. I didn't forgive easily. I look back on those times and am grateful for the experiences that made me grow in my faith and strengthened my soul. I learned that in those relationships, I was searching for perfection. If I found a flaw, I was extremely disappointed. I was putting all my trust in the relationships and not in Jesus. I was on the pursuit of perfection.

I had an unrealistic expectation in my friendships. This quote from Rebecca St. James’ book What is he Thinking? explains this:

“I think all my problems will go away, my loneliness will go away, 
and all of my fears, anxieties and issues will disappear.”

That statement when written out seems so silly! Whether you're searching for perfection in a friend, family or a dating relationship you will never feel fulfilled by those people. God made us to long for a perfect relationship in hopes that we turn to Jesus. He is the only true source of perfection. He will never leave us, he will hold us by the hand, and he will comfort us in our time of need.

He never fails us.

You may not be searching for perfection in relationships. Maybe you look for perfection in your appearance, your personality, or your self-worth. It is important not to compare yourself to others. You were made flawless by God.

Maybe you think you've already found perfection through your faith. Or maybe you've just given up on perfection altogether. Whatever path you find yourself walking down remember that we can feel perfection in Jesus Christ.

Take some time to evaluate your life and see where you may be wrongfully pursuing perfection.

Jesus, keep us humble to realize our brokenness. Be our perfect friend who will never leave us. Let us remember not to compare ourselves to others but to find our worth in You. Help me to work on letting go of pursuing perfection in __________. Amen.

May 25, 2013

Take Heart [Guest Post by Marcy]

Marcy from No Maybe Baby has some encouraging words about healing. She is a nurse, wife and mom to three adopted children. Read along with us.

Have you ever read or heard the story about the woman who touched Jesus' robes as He walked by (Matthew 9:20)? This woman had been suffering for 12 years with an affliction that made her "unclean" in the eyes of those of her time. What we know was that she had been bleeding, and I can guess I know what her condition was. I'm pretty sure I've lived it. This woman, because of her illness, was pretty much an outcast. Lord knows I've lived that! I mean, all of us girls who haven't been able to join the mommy club or have done so in unconventional ways, know what it's like to be cast out from our friends, family or society-even when they may not do it intentionally. At any rate, this woman had faith, and she believed that Jesus was the Christ, and so firmly believed in who He was, that she was sure if she just touched him, grasped a piece of his robes as He walked by, that she would be healed. Her faith could move some mountains. I can just hear what she had to have been saying in her head. 

"If I can just touch Him. If I could just reach a thread of his robe. If I could just feel the cloth between my fingers, His grace might heal me."

And though He walked through a crowd of people, and had hundreds of hands, legs, arms touching Him, He felt her grasp. He noticed her slight touch at the hem of His clothing, because her faith was so strong and unwavering. He turned to her and said "Daughter, take heart. Your faith has healed you." And she was healed. 

Oh, what words. What hope and relief she must have felt at that moment. And what love. Daughter, take heart. Can you imagine? Can you imagine what that must have felt like? To know that you had been healed, that all the suffering was ending. To know the strength of His love and ability to make all the pain go away? What a feeling, and what a hope. We don't know what happened to the woman after she left, but I can imagine it was a joyful day and celebration! She would no longer be considered an outcast of her home and society. I bet she ran all the way home, a smile to light the world on her face! And I bet she spread the word to her family and friends. 

I hoped and prayed to be like that woman for so long. If I believe enough.I would think. If my faith is strong enough. If I pray for it hard enough, I'll be healed. I imagine I would have been just like that woman, I wish I knew her name. Sad isn't it, that such a picture of faith is placed in history as only words and actions on a page, and no name? I know I would have thought and felt the same thing as she did. If I could only touch His robe.  

But that's not how it worked for me. I wasn't healed, as the woman in the crowd was. And I have wondered if it was because my faith wasn't strong enough. If I didn't do enough or try enough or pray hard enough. But I've learned that that isn't how it works. I've said before that sometimes we pray for things, and the answer is no. Sometimes it doesn't matter how strong our faith is, the answer is still no. Why? Well, isn't that the question. I know the plan is greater than I can fathom. I can think of reasons why, but those are only consolations on a good day. But what I do know, is that regardless of my faith, I am still a daughter of the kingdom. Regardless of how much I pray, I am still a favorite of the King, and His love for me isn't measured by the health of my body or the success of my hopes. Because of this, I can take heart, because He loves me. 

So take heart, girls. Know that your pain or heartache isn't a manifestation of your faith, or lack thereof. Know that He can create miracles where none seems possible. But most of all, know that He loves you. 

May 12, 2013

How to Better Connect Blogging with Your Faith

Today our lives are connected by all that we share with others online. From Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs, Websites, Pinterest…and the list goes on. These outlets are used to reach thousands of friends, readers and google searchers…social media it is a powerful tool. As a Christian blogger and small business owner, I constantly need to remember to focus my energy in a way that is consistently positive and always being the light in the darkness. I have to make a conscious effort to ask myself: Is what I am posting glorifying God? Is it bringing someone closer to Him? Do my morals come out in what people read about my life? Am I being a positive influence? Will people see the work God has done in my heart through the things I write and say?

Here are 5 ways to constantly keep God as the focus of your blog. I can guarantee if you do so, your blog will continue to grow in amazing and beautiful ways.

1) Mention His Name

Mentioning God in your blog posts and in your comments is a great way to show your faith and love for Him. Bloggers typically share personal life moments and things that have been either joyful or difficult. We can consciously remember to mention how God helped get us through.

2) Connect with Other Christian Bloggers

One of the best ways to continually keep a Christ-centered blog is to follow other blogs that encourage and promote this way of thinking.  We need to remember that what we look to for inspiration shapes our mind, heart and lives. Surround yourself with positive messages and Christ-centered bloggers.  Become a contributor to this blog and find other Christian Bloggers to connect with! Do an add swap with us and help us promote Christ through blogging!

3).  Tell Your Story
Sharing bits and pieces about your journey in faith can be encouraging and a great way to bring God into your blog. Make it part of your about me and let people see your struggles and victories and how God played a part in it. This is a beautiful and humble way to let your readers learn more about you and also see that they too can have a loving relationship with Christ.

4).  Be Modest

Nowadays so many women are baring more skin than the web can handle. Fashion is a beautiful way to express ones self but it should always be something that focuses on ones natural beauty and love for God. Make sure that your fashion posts are showing your feminine side but also express your tasteful ability to be in style and in line with your morals.

5.) Prayer

Prayer is powerful. Perhaps your blog post has a personal prayer at the end of it? Or, maybe you pray in silence before and/or after each post. Prayer helps us to put our hearts in the right place and gather our energy and courage through our relationship with Him. Pray for your blog, pray for the opportunities to continue to connect with other Christian women via your blog, or perhaps inspire anther to become closer to Him. Pray for wisdom and a students heart as you continue to learn from others who may be at a different stage in their faith than you.

Our prayer for you and ourselves:

“Dear God, please help us as Christian bloggers to continue to keep you as the focus of what we do. We are constantly bombarded with information online that overlooks you. We want to glorify you in all that we do and in turn we know you will bless our lives beyond measure. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.” 

May 8, 2013

We want to hear from you!

What do you want to read about? We are searching for some inspiration on what to post about and would love to hear what you're interested in reading.

Also, thanks to all who have offered to guest post! We have an overwhelming amount of wonderful ideas from inspiring women. We are working hard to get through all the responses and will contact you soon if we haven't already. Stay tuned for more great words from your fellow Christian Women Bloggers!