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.
I am so intrigued by anointing. Here is a story of the power associated with anointing something in God’s name:
Anointing with oil can be used for healing, for power over the enemy, for protection, and more. Anything can be anointed. A person, a house, a bicycle, clothing, a weapon of protection, or even an animal. I’ve learned recently that the type of oil doesn’t matter, but that faith is the most important component. Remember the spiritual gifts test? My top answer (meaning my actual spiritual gift from God) is faith.
A few weeks after moving, I anointed our new home. I prayed over the oil, asking God to recognize my intentions to anoint our home and dedicate it to him. I opened all the windows and doors, and spoke God’s word over each room, door frame, and window sill. I commanded in the name of Jesus that any spirit of the enemy or thing that is not of God is not allowed in my house, and must leave. As I stood at the top of the stairs, saying those words, the front door slammed shut.
What a difference the anointing has made! Instead of feeling like we are surrounded by walls and emptiness, we feel surrounded by God. It’s his dwelling place. Our house is now a home.
A few nights ago, I was drifting off to sleep, and I felt strongly compelled to go anoint my husband’s car. “But Goooddddd, I’m sleepy,” I thought, the way a child would whine to his mother. I felt again (very strongly) that I needed to go anoint his car. So at 11:00 p.m., I went downstairs to get the oil, and went outside. I grabbed the trash bag along the way, so I could put it in the outside bin, proving to my new neighbors I’m not entirely crazy.
The next morning, I told my husband I anointed and prayed over his car for him. He thanked me, we kissed goodbye, and we went about our days.
After my husband returned home from work, he came straight over to me, and said, “Honey, you won’t believe what happened today. I was the first car at a stoplight, and the arrow turned green. I felt something tell me to ‘stop,’ and to wait a few more seconds. As I did that, not one, not two, THREE cars ran their already red light. I know that whatever you did to my car protected me.”
What if I had not listened to God when he was bossing me around to get out of my comfy bed and anoint my husband’s car? What if I rolled over and went to sleep, disobeying my father in heaven, who knows what’s best for me? It brings tears to my eyes, and a lump in my throat to think that if I had disobeyed God, my husband could very well have been hurt.
God, thank you so much for being bossy.
May you all listen closely and tune into him, so you hear the whispers of his love, blessings, and protection for you.
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Read another story about God being bossy here.
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 took an online test to determine which spiritual gifts I’ve been given. You can access the test here, but please read on.
Jesus has given each of his children gifts to help carry out his work. Some of us are given gifts in teaching, others in listening. Some are given the gift of faith, others knowledge, or intercession, or healing.
You probably already have an idea of what your gifts are from God. You might already be believing and behaving in ways that align with some of the gifts you’ve been given. It would be best to pray and ask God to make you in tune with God so that you may learn of your gifts, and that you may be open to opportunities that come solely from God.
Pray for the ability to act in ways that bring praise and glory to God alone, that his will be done, and not our own. Speak in faith and thank God for things that he will do for you at a future time. Faith comes from hearing, and is put into action by speaking. Expect blessings. Do not just hope and wish. Expect, and they will come!
Alright. Now it’s time to take the test. There are actually two tests. One is for those of you who have been Christian for at least a few years, and have some knowledge of the church. The other test is for newer Christians, or younger Christians.
I’ve printed my results out and have them in my purse. Soon they will make it to my bible. A friend suggested I wouldn’t be surprised by the outcome of the test, but she was mistaken. The strongest spiritual gift I’ve been given came as a surprise to me. Reading my results powered my faith. It was a two-way blessing.
Praying over you, that you may use your spiritual gifts from God to complete his will, and harvest the field.
To God be the glory.
“He has saved us and called us to a holy life– not because of anything we have done, but because of his own purpose and grace.”
2 Timothy 1:9
I like the word “purpose”. It means there’s something bigger; a reason for life. It also shows that he blesses us purely through love.
What blessings do you recognize now, that at first didn’t seem to be blessings? What are your thoughts?
The year 2009 was an interesting year for me. I say “interesting” in a positive way, though I also want it to be a thought-provoking “interesting”.
I grew and changed exponentially that year. Change is constant, and I realize that people change a lot every year, but 2009 was simply my best year ever, thanks to the changes made in my life.
It started with a relatively new job (actually, the job starting in late 2008) in a new city and state, in which I knew no one. I loved the fresh start, and loved where I lived in Arizona. Driving along the cool, sandy desert calmed me. And I found the cactus to look quite humorous. Even more importantly, I loved my job. I mean it! I was a college recruiter for a community college. I spent my days traveling around the state, teaching high school students how to move forward in life by going to college. I previously worked in law enforcement, where I constantly saw people slip farther and farther backwards, instead of progressing in life. Being a college recruiter was a refreshing change for me.
During the beginning of 2009, I was still finding my way around the city, still making my name known at the college, and I began taking on my own responsibilities at work. I also started my search to look for God.
I was raised in a religious family, but I didn’t believe what I was taught, and therefore believed in nothing for about five and a half years. I wish now that I could take back those five and a half years, but they led me to the exactly where I needed to be.
In the middle of the year, my job shifted a bit, and I was on top of the world, so to speak. I put in long hours and skipped lunches, and lost track of how long I’d been working. By the summer time, I could do the job with my eyes closed. While school was out for the summer, I spent my days designing new recruitment ideas, and writing publications. Did I say I loved my job? Because I really did.
My God quest continued, and I accepted Jesus into my heart as my personal savior exactly one year and one day after I drove down the lone two-way highway and had my photo taken under the “Welcome to Arizona” sign. The single best moment of the entire year, and my entire life, was when I became Christian. Right after that, I met an ambitious, courageous, funny, creative, loving (and very, very handsome) man, who I became engaged to a few months later.
Finding God was like searching for water in a desert. Quite fitting, since I lived in Arizona. I felt complete, whole, and born-again. I drank and drank and drank from the fountain of eternal life. I can’t explain how I felt, except that I finally knew I had met God. Once I became Christian, I was on top of the world again, but it was nothing like loving my job. It far surpassed that.
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The year 2010 began with my husband and I saying “I do” on a frigid day in Atlanta. Because we were preparing to move to Japan, I hadn’t yet quit my job. I was to work until our paperwork was complete, the cars were sold, and the dog was quarantined. Then I would sell my belongings and move across the ocean. Suddenly those plans were interrupted, when my husband found out that his orders had been changed to North Carolina. By that point, I had already quit my job and sold my belongings, so I packed my little life in my suitcases, (which meant begging the baggage ticket guy at the airport to waive the fee for my 53 pound bag) and
moved flew across the U.S. to our new home. Everything was so surreal to me. I remember driving to visit my parents in the mountains one last time before I flew to North Carolina. My mom helped me pack my suitcases, offering a shoulder rub to me when I sat down, stunned, that I had already made so many drastic changes, and was about to embark on even more. I cherish those extra moments with my mom that night. I held her courage in my heart, until I could find my own again.
Here we are, in the start of 2011, and I have to say that the single best moment of 2009 was my acceptance of God as my savior; the beginning of a relationship with him. The single best moment of 2010 was my wedding day.
Alas, it’s January, 2011 and it’s goal-setting time. How can I top 2009 and 2010? Those two years simply cannot be outdone. The year 2011 could be my healthiest year ever. I could get into the best shape of my life. Some time this year, we will most likely wind up moving to another state. Moving is a pretty big thing, but I doubt that the single best moment of 2011 is going to be somewhere in that yellow Penske moving truck. Maybe my husband and I will become homeowners, and the best moment will be turning the keys in the door of our new home. Or what if we get a second dog this year! I’ve always wanted a bulldog.
I’ve got it! I am going to refrain from trying to plan the best moment of 2011, and allow for it to happen naturally. Yes, I quite like that idea.