Forever Faithful by Bombi

 

 

 

I can still remember hearing my mom talking to one of her friends over a cup of coffee, “God is faithful,” as she breaks down the latest way He has shown it to her. It’s one thing to hear it growing up having your parents give it to you during their parenting teaching moments, and it’s another to learn it in life for your own self.

I’m pushing 40 and I’m telling you, God is faithful. I’ve had jobs come and go. Friends come and go. People come and go. Promise keepers come and go, and the one thing that is steady as steady can be, is God’s faithfulness.  What continues to blow my mind is the way He shows His faithfulness. How the reality of His faithfulness sideswipes me when I need it most. It’s moments like drudging through the hard times of single motherhood wondering how I’m going to get through it all and receiving God’s provision through the people He provided (including my amazing husband). Or saying “goodbye for now” to my dad as he’s breathing his last breath knowing I will be with him again one day. Or witnessing the reconciliation of family members when there’s been a massive wedge for years between them.

It’s the sunshine after the rain and the calm after the storm. It’s food on my table and shelter over my head. It’s the air in my lungs, or the fact that I don’t have to make my own heart beat, He’s doing that for me. It’s everything and anything that comes to me redeemed or good. It’s all His faithfulness. He’s showing it and showing off in glorious ways that tells me “You see that, I’m here and I’m never leaving. I’m always going to take the best care of you. I’ll always keep my word. I don’t care what he or she or they did to you or said about you, I am your God I am your Father and that will never ever change, that’s a promise.”

Then there is the ultimate and my most favorite way that He’s shown Himself faithful. Those low moments when my faith has plummeted and I’m acting like I’m denying His presence in my life. When I’m faltering and wavering and feeling like I’m undeserving of His grace and mercy. Those are the times I see Him shining even brighter, so bright it blinds out my self-pity and brings me back to Him. Because even in the moments when I’m letting Him down, He’s just being who is His, forever faithful. And when I realize yet again that He is faithful, I am changed.

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.”

2 Timothy 2:13 ESV

 

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Fruit Inspectors by Trish

 

 

Have you ever attempted to eat an apple and after you carefully selected what looked the best, bit into what was rotten and decayed on the inside? Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were confused by a person’s character? They spoke of being one way but the walk didn’t match the talk or the appearance didn’t match the core of what was on the inside?

As believers it is not our place to judge a person because only God knows the intent of the heart. However, we do have the responsibility and ability to inspect the fruit that is coming from one’s life.

In other words, you can tell by the actions demonstrated and words spoken from one’s life if they are bearing good fruit or not. We then have the responsibility to guard our hearts and distance ourselves from what is toxic to our spiritual health and personal growth. We don’t stop loving but we maintain boundaries that say, “I love you and will pray for your but I value the person God made me to be.”

Matthew 7:16-18 New Living Translation

“You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.”

We are taught that what comes out of one’s mouth reflects what is in the heart. What one speaks of is evidence of the type of fruit they produce. If lies, deceit and slander are what are spoken, that is fruit from a root in that person’s heart. An apple is only the fruit from a seed that was once hidden and buried. In time, that seed grew and became a visible, tangible thing.

A bad tree cannot produce good fruit. Before making a character assumption of someone’s life watch him or her. What is the fruit they produce in their life? Do they have a track record of maintaining healthy relationships? Are they respected for their character? Are they known for being agents of unity or do they disrupt peace and cause chaos and confusion?

We are to be women of wisdom and virtue and we are to bear good fruit! Our fruit is the proof that we are connected to God and we allow Him to work through us. Something that has great worth and value does not have to announce itself as such it just is.

Ladies, rest in who your God is and just “be.” Spend time in His Word, learn of His ways and let the seeds of His love produce good fruit in your life!

 

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The Secret About Your Strength by Kenika

African American woman in street wear walking out of an elevator.

Think back to the last time you said, “I can’t take this anymore,” “I give up,” or simply felt the urge to walk away.  Now think about the dozens of times you’ve probably said that in previous years.  Would you like to know something I’ve discovered that is so powerful? You never gave up.  You never quit. You never walked away.  No matter how close you were to the proverbial edge, you didn’t plummet over it.  That means you are stronger than you think you are.

Even in your weakest moments, you still managed to overcome. At the height of your emotions, you were capable enough to maintain.  I’ve personally felt guilty and weak in quitting moments.  It took the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit to show me the mystery treasure buried within the obstacles I was facing.  I’m still here.  I’m still believing God for His plans for my life, I haven’t run out of juice and I’m continuing in this race with everything I’ve got.  We are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for.  Not with strength of our own of course, but the strength we possess via the One we carry inside of us.  Jesus is great, and Jesus is living in us making us great.  He is strong, He is mighty, He is confident and we can pull from the deepest reservoir of power the universe will ever know.

You are stronger than you think.  I’m not saying that to be redundant, I’m saying it so that it sinks in.  You can do this, because you’ve already done it before.  The last time you thought you were going to lose it, you didn’t, you made it, and you will make it again.  Trouble is a much a guarantee as paying taxes to the U.S. government this season!  But instead of bracing yourself for disaster, remind yourself to be strong. As strong as you were the last time you faced something similar.  With Jesus Christ, the Greatest Overcomer of all time, you are an overcomer whether you feel like it or not. Draw from the strength that resides in the depths of who you are.  You won’t break, you won’t be destroyed, you will continue on and you will make it!

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Not Measuring Up by Sonya

 

 

I am in this season of life that I feel like I am not measuring up to what a great mom or a great wife should be. I fail everyday either saying or doing the wrong things. I know we are our worst critics of ourselves, and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Each day I pray that I will not make the same mistakes and be the best that God wants me to be. But then that next day comes, and I fall flat on my face, and wonder how am I going to change or will I ever measure up to so and so and be that super mom or wife? The more I struggle with it and battle in my mind, the more the enemy will feed lies to me saying I am not a good enough mom and wife. I am left feeling empty and lonely thinking questions like, “Will my kids turn out good?” or , “Did I mess up too bad?” or, “What will others think?”

The question I need to ask is, “Am I measuring up to the world’s expectations or God’s expectations?” As I think about this question I recall Eve’s story in Genesis and how God had given her everything and all that a woman desires such as beauty, security, purpose and a confidence in who she was until the serpent came along and whispered lies from Satan to doubt God and herself. Then Eve took the forbidden fruit thinking it would make her like God and here it left her unfulfilled. This story is so true of our own lives where we try to prove who we are, but looking to the wrong sources and not seeking God through it. If we keep going down that path then we will never feel fulfilled and will always strive for something that will leave us empty inside.

That emptiness inside made me cry out to God and realize that it will never be enough if I put unrealistic expectations on myself or compare to others. Even Paul talks about it in 2 Corinthians 10:12 and warns us, “measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, are not wise.” Amen. This is not wise and I shouldn’t keep carrying a measuring stick around anymore. Through this I am learning to find my confidence in Christ and let Him define who I am. God accepts me and loves me where I am at and I don’t have to prove a thing because I am secure in Him, a child of the Most High. Ephesians 1:3-8, “ I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.” 2 Corinthians 3:4, “ We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ.”  Understand your confidence comes from Christ and nowhere else, “I am confident God will complete the good work He started in me,” Philippians 1:6.  Let His good work flow through us and focus on who we are in Christ then we can thank God for His provision and purpose for our lives. Are we ready to put that measuring stick away and not try to measure up or compare anymore? Ladies I think it is time to start following God’s ruler today!

 

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