Have you ever wondered about someone’s story? Someone’s background, upbringing, trials, successes? It’s so easy to sum people up when we meet them, but deep down we know there’s more.
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I was 5 years old and sitting in my LDS (Latter Day Saint, or, Mormon) Primary class for children, singing “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam,” wondering why Jesus would want me to be a piece of the sky.
I was 8 years old when I was baptized into the Mormon religion. I remember stepping down into the warm baptismal font in my neck-to-ankle white suit knowing my sins were about to be wiped away. My last thoughts were, “Wait, I’m not ready. I wish I could sin more, and THEN be forgiven.”
On my 10th birthday, we had a family pizza party. I didn’t wear shoes the entire day as I played outside in the green Spring grass. Dad gave me a black “Coleman” sleeping bag and a “MagLight” flashligh. Always one for emergency-preparedness (including everything from cold Colorado temperatures to bear attacks to Y2K) it was an awesome gift. (To this day I favor the MagLight brand over any other flashlight.)
I was 12 years old and snuck into the Youth Dances held in the gymnasium of the Mormon church I attended. The appropriate age for a dance attendee was 14, but I snuck in with my sister (who was 17).
I was 14 when I house-sat for a friend and got drunk for the first time. I walked home with my “boyfriend” and kept repeating that I thought I was going to die.
I was 16 when my sister went to college and I snuck into more dances. My mom and I ate Twizzlers and listened to Backstreet Boys on the way home from visiting my sister at Southern Utah University.
I was 17 and on top of the world. I was on the high school swim team, had a college scholarship waiting for me, had a cute boyfriend, and was a rock solid believer of the Mormon religion. I attended early morning Seminary classes and was very active in my church functions.
I was 18 when I converted my aforementioned cute boyfriend to Mormonism.
I was 19 when I knew something was missing for me- spiritually speaking. I withdrew, (most of my rebellion happened around age 14) and stopped believing in the Mormon church.
I was 21 when I partied like a “normal” (worldly) college student.
I was never raped, hit, or shockingly hurt, but I was lucky, on many occasions.
I was 22 when a coworker told me about a Christian radio station she listened to during the day for encouragement. I looked at her weird, but knew something was different about her.
I was 22 when I saw a woman in the shaving cream aisle of Wal-Mart wearing a cross necklace. I thought to myself, “I want that. I want to be so bold for God, that people see me and know me as one of his.”
I was 22 when I moved away from my college town and took my dream job in Arizona.
I was 23 when I started attending a Baptist church every now and then. One day, the Pastor was preaching so hard, his fake front tooth fell out! This was truly my first introduction to a non-Mormon church. The people were friendly, the food was good (Baptists are known for that) and the friendship was genuine.
I was 24 when I asked Jesus Christ to be my personal Savior and I gave my life to him. It was September 12th, and I was sitting on my bed. I had met with my pastor many times to ask many questions. I had previously submitted my paperwork to the Mormon church requesting they destroy my record of membership (a requirement in order to leave the church.) On September 10th, I received confirmation that my request had been completed.
I discovered that what was “missing” for me was a true relationship with Jesus Christ. More than following a religion (Mormon or otherwise,) it was about the personal relationship.
I got on my knees, resting my elbows on my bed and prayed the prayer and read the Bible verses my pastor gave me. Nothing happened. Lightning didn’t strike. In fact, my condo was eerily quiet. I called a friend from my Baptist church and asked her if I did it right.
She told me it wasn’t a matter of right and wrong, but it was an act of submission to the Lord. She said that in time, and with exercise in my faith, that I would start to feel new.
September 13th I woke up and felt new. I was not ashamed! (Romans 1:16) I wanted to shout from the rooftops that I was now a believer of Christ.
That day I left for a work trip to Tucson, where I was able to find a church to attend. I worshipped like never before, since I was a new believer, and knew no one. The praise and worship was very moving. I knew I had made the right choice to give my life to Christ. I knew I was never going to be the same again.
A must see video. Please see the YouTube page for proper specs. (Truth is I have had nothing to do with the production of this video!)
I will say that I believe we should all be fighting false-religion, not necessarily religion itself. This video is not aimed at anyone particular person or religion, just a mind-opening perspective of the church.
Powerful; I dare you to pass it on.
Now that he’s napping, I have a little break to blog. Sounds like I’m talking about a newborn or a puppy, but I’m talking about my husband. You see, when we have a day off together and are both awake, I give my attention to him. Blogging takes the back burner, and I’m totally ok with that.
Well not entirely. I kept seeing the daunting “W” WordPress icon on my phone, and avoided it like I avoid my brother-in-law’s ham, pickles, mustard, and ketchup sandwiches. I knew that if I checked my stats, I would not find any actual viewing statistics, pushing me farther away from committing to write.
Sort of like while being anti-diet, (I don’t suggest it) when you know you haven’t been good, but avoid the scale anyway. The results don’t change depending on whether or not you check the scale. Put down the brownie, and go for a run.
Why haven’t I been blogging? Common FAQ’s:
Have I been on vacation? Nope.
Did a serious event happen to distract me? Nope.
Did I forget to pay the internet bill? Nope.
Was I hospitalized for malaria? Nope.
I’ve just been avoiding it, and spending my time doing other things, which brings me to this thought: “We do what we love.” Or, more accurately, “We make time for what we love.”
If you claim you love God (and this goes for me, too) are you spending enough time with him? He’s waiting for you. Don’t complain that the kids keep you busy, soccer practice is a 45 minute drive, you need to grocery shop, or finish a project on the to-do list.
Make time for what you love.
Make time for God.
God always makes time for you.
There’s a clock radio at my work desk, tuned into my local K-Love radio station. I don’t ever move the dial and I enjoy keeping K-Love on throughout the day to uplift my soul and my spirit.
In our new house, our computer room is downstairs, leaving no music source upstairs. I’m a big proponent of having music on while I get ready, put away laundry, organize the closet, etc.
I searched on a local yard-sale website for anyone giving away a free clock radio, but only had one offer- the person didn’t drive and invited me to his/her home to pick it up-…um…no….
Last night I was shopping and found a nice clock radio on sale! I used my “mad money” spending card (on our budget, my husband and I allow ourselves a very small amount of free spending/no questions asked money) and the price of the radio was six dollars. Woohoo!
I got home and plugged in the radio, anticipating streaming K-Love through the upstairs of my house. When I turned on the radio, it was on a Christian station I didn’t recognize (probably because I only listen to K-Love or my iPod). I’ll be darned, I could not find K-Love on the radio. My signal at work is rather weak, so I knew that the one at home could be similar.
I said out loud “God wants me to listen to K-Love more than the enemy does. I have power over the enemy. God, show me K-Love right now,” and he did. He answered that prayer immediately. I heard the recognizable “Positive, encouraging, K-Love” signature tune faintly, exactly where my dial was. The signal was weak, and as soon as I turned the dial, I couldn’t find K-Love again. I tuned back into the other Christian station, and felt satisfied that God wanted me to keep the radio right there. The radio was, after all, already tuned to it when I bought it.
What I discovered is that the other station is American Family Radio, and is more of a talk-radio station. I think God wants me to learn the bible stories better, and learn of Jesus Christ as a person, a man, and his earthly life. I can learn the word at church and from American Family Radio, and then I can praise the Lord by listening to K-Love in my car and at work. It gives me the full spectrum.
God was bossy, but he has my best interest in mind.
Have a blessed day.
I have good news. I’M IRISH! So pinch me if you want, but you might get a return punch in the face. Kidding, kidding.
Today is 3/17, and I’ve decided to find a bible verse that coordinates with the date. I might continue this, I might not. They might be in sequence some dates, and not in sequence other dates.
Today is a very important date (3/17) because there is a very important verse I’d like to share with you. The Christian world puts a lot of emphasis on John 3:16, which I shared yesterday. The next verse deserves more emphasis, if you ask me.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
Salvation comes through Jesus alone. If you have not asked him to be your personal savior, and committed your life to him, there’s no better day than today. I’ve written a post here about confessing Jesus as your savior. If you don’t click the link, you can read an excerpt below.
To give proper credit, the following is an excerpt from http://www.christianmilitarywives.com. But you don’t need to be a woman, a wife, or have any connection to the military to read and do this. If you have never asked God to be the personal savior of your life, to walk with you so you can live in his image, now is the perfect time!
The Bible says there is only one way to Heaven
Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”(John 14:6) KJV
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”(Ephesians 2:8-9)
Trust Jesus Christ today! Here’s what you must do:
- Admit you are a sinner.“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”(Romans 3:23)“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”(Romans 5:12)“If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”(1 John 1:10)
- Be willing to turn from sin (repent).Jesus said: “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”(Luke 13:5)“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:”(Acts 17:30)
- Believe that Jesus Christ died for you, was buried, and rose from the dead.“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”(John 3:16)“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners. Christ died for us.”(Romans 5:8)“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”(Romans 10:9)
- Through prayer, invite Jesus into your life to become your personal Savior.“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”(Romans 10:10)“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”(Romans 10:13)
What to pray:
Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Savior.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”(John 1:12)
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”(2 Corinthians 5:17)
That’s it! Wasn’t it easy? Don’t worry if you have a “That’s it?” moment, with time and faith, you will feel all of God’s goodness. You have been forgiven for your old life, for your sins. You are saved to dance with the angels some day. In Christ there is no death. But there is eternal life.
This week I’m honored to introduce as a guest writer, a woman whom I know personally.
Aimie Ingalls is a 26-year-old wife and mother of two little boys. She grew up in a Christian home in St. Louis, and was saved and filled with the Holy Spirit at a very young age. She attended church regularly as a child and teen, and loves fun things like watching TV with her husband, laughing, wearing sweatpants, reading, swimming, and getting manicures and pedicures.
Aimie has always loved God, but wasn’t always in love with him. We’ve all heard that in the dating world, right?
This is Aimie’s story about how she truly fell in love with God, and the battle scars she earned in the process.
By Aimie Ingalls
Our God is a miracle worker; just have faith. “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 – Let us come boldly! Go boldly before your King. God promises health to his people, he promises healing. Do not give up. I didn’t give up when I was pregnant with my oldest son, Connor, and he is alive today because of it.
When I was 27 weeks pregnant I went to see my OB because I felt uncomfortable. My OB referred me to a specialist at P/SL Hospital in Denver because she saw something strange on the ultrasound. The doctors at P/SL discovered a CCAM (Congenital Cystic Adenomatoid Malformation) in Connor’s right lung. The CCAM was displacing his good lung tissue and his heart causing him to swell. According to doctors, Connor had less than a 50% chance of being born alive. I was put on bed rest for 6 weeks and I underwent 7 in womb surgeries to drain the CCAM. During that time I was told over and over by doctors that my son was gravely ill and that there was a very slim chance of survival for him.
I felt like I was being slapped in the face every single day by the enemy. I spent a long time feeling sorry for myself and blaming myself for what was happening with my baby. I questioned God and repeatedly asked him, “Why me?” I was angry, sad, depressed, scared, and disgusted with my situation. But I made a decision to trust God and to put all of my hope in him. I knew that I had no other choice.
I prayed God’s word over my son all day, every day. I spoke life over him. I praised God for the healing that I believed we would receive. Before every in-womb surgery I believed that the CCAM would be gone and I thanked God for Connor’s immediate healing. The CCAM came back every single time. Instead of losing faith and being angry with God I CHOSE to praise him. I CHOSE to praise God in my storm because he was still God no matter what. He was still in control. My faith was tested but I would not let go of God, I would not stop believing. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
My family and I wrote out Bible verses on construction paper and hung them around my hospital room; I had KLOVE (a Christian radio station) playing 24 hours a day in my room because God inhabits the praises of his people; I spoke OUT LOUD in faith “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21, and confessed God’s promises of life and health for my son; I would not allow ANY negativity to be spoken in my room; I anointed my room and spiritually cleaned it proclaiming that only God was allowed in my room and that anything that was not of him had to leave in Jesus name; I filled up on God’s written word because it is a mighty weapon; I prayed for God to strengthen my faith “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7; I asked God to forgive me of anything that would keep my son from receiving his miracle, and I did not back down; I asked God for a miracle and I kept pressing in no matter what I saw with my eyes or heard with my ears.
I kept acting on my faith. “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. “James 5:15 – The prayer offered in FAITH. Have faith and you get what you ask for!!!!
Against all odds my Connor was born 6 weeks premature on January 9, 2008. The doctors warned us that Connor would not cry after delivery but he cried, PRAISE GOD! But we were not out of the woods yet. The CCAM in Connor’s lung tissue was drained right after birth and Connor was rushed to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). Not long after he was delivered, a surgeon came to my room asking for consent to perform surgery. She told us that Connor was not stable and the CCAM needed to be removed immediately. She also informed us that the odds of him surviving surgery were very bad but she would do her best. As she spoke she was shaking. My husband signed the consent papers and she left.
Once again we turned to God. We began to pray out loud in the spirit and tell the enemy that Connor was a child of God, that he could not have him, and that Connor was healed. We called on God again and believed that Connor would live through the surgery. Only a few minutes later the surgeon returned, and with good news! The CCAM disappeared!!! They did an ultrasound of Connor’s chest to determine where they would need to operate and they couldn’t find the CCAM; and better yet, Connor stabilized! Our God is SOOO AWESOME!!! Three days later the CCAM was back but this time Connor was stable enough for surgery. He became the first baby to undergo a laparoscopic lung surgery. They removed 2/3 of his right lung and he spent 1 month in the NICU.
During that month my family and I prayed over him, anointed him with oil, and continued to speak in faith. I used to anoint Psalm 145 in my Bible and read it over and over and over to Connor. God watched over his word to perform it, his word did not and never will return void. Connor came home on February 8, 2008; such an incredible gift from God! The doctors said that Connor would be on oxygen for 1 year and Connor came off of oxygen just shy of 3 months old! We were told that Connor may always have just 1/3 of a right lung but at 1-year-old Connor was discharged from his lung surgeon’s care because his lung re-grew! Today he has 2 whole, fully functional, HEALTHY lungs!!! Connor is a miracle!! God is not a respecter of persons and you can get your miracle too!
Do not give up! Never stop hoping in God and having faith in his word. Let all men be liars; do not cling to the words of the doctors but to the written word of the living God. Insert your name into scripture. Claim God’s promises for yourself and your loved ones. Claim this promise from the Bible: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 Continue to praise God for healing ESPECIALLY when you do not see it! Fight the good fight of faith clothed in the full armor of God; you will prevail because God is FOR YOU!
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:10-18
God bless you.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can. I want you to try something.
Tonight, when it is dark in your house, turn out the light in your bedroom. Sit on the edge of your bed with your feet on the ground, hands on your lap. Take a moment to decompress from the day and breathe deeply. (Ok, that’s not part of this exercise, but it was still probably good for you to do.)
Take your hands, and cup them together so that you can fit a marble or something else small inside your palms.
Now, think for a moment about all the darkness in which you are surrounded. Darkness is lurking within darkness surrounding you. Let me explain. You are in a dark room. In your hands, you hold more darkness. In the boxes under your bed, there’s darkness. At the bottom of the hamper, there’s darkness.
Sitting on your bed, take a lighter or match, and light it. Notice how the light floods through the darkness, wiping it out. Such a small amount of light travels so far, and erases the darkness, putting it to shame.
If a small lighter or match could put off so much light, imagine the magnitude of the light of Christ. In the presence of God, there will be no darkness in the palms of your hands cupped together. There will be no darkness under the bed, in a box, in a hamper, in a corner. There will be nothing but truth and freedom.
Surround yourself with light. The light of Christ, the word of Christ, positive relationships, positive activities. Remember, garbage in is garbage out. Positivity in is positivity out. Darkness in is darkness out. Light in is light out.
Genesis 1:4 says, “God saw that the light [he created] was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.” (NIV) We know that good and bad are opposites. God said in this verse, that “light is good,” which means that darkness is bad. The contrast between light and darkness (good and evil) is so important that it’s the fourth thing in the Bible that God tells us.
Take time the next few days, and really concentrate on how much darkness might be in your life. This is not to imply that you are evil or bad, but there are always things consuming our time and attention that do not glorify God.