Part 1: Too Incredible to Deny

Just for the record as you read this post, I’m not referring to our foreign exchange student we hosted a few years ago. I’m a youth leader so I have a lot of interaction with jr high and high school kids and this post is in reference to one of the many.

I visited with a young girl who’d been in the United States temporarily. I asked her about her time here and if she’d enjoyed coming to church while she was here (something which was a new experience for her).

Her response: “I do like it, but I don’t believe.”

Me: “Really? Like you don’t believe in God?!”

Her: “No, I don’t.”

Me: (without any hesitation whatsoever, because I lack patience) “So what do you do??!! What do you do when you hurt, when you fear, when you worry, when the bottom drops out?! Where do you place your hope?”

She hesitated thoughtfully… but didn’t have an answer.

Our conversation was soon interrupted, but I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to look for another opportunity to visit with this out going girl before she returned to her homeland; so a few days later I was picking her up from school, grabbing soda pops from a little family-owned coffee shop, and then heading to a beautifully landscaped, wide-spread park—where we proceeded to walk and talk…

She knew ahead of time that the purpose of us meeting was to talk to Jesus, but I didn’t want to freak her out either, but even more so, I didn’t want to miss my chance.

(We’ll call her Vera from here on out for the sake of privacy and mainly because my husband and I wished we would’ve named our youngest daughter that;)

So at what I felt was the right moment I finally said, “You know Vera, I’ve been thinking about how you said you didn’t believe in God and honestly I don’t want to be forceful at all, it’s just that as a Christian I’m called to be obedient to God and ALL I want out of life is to see people saved. I just don’t want to see you unsaved, that’s all.”

I also explained how if this whole God-thing is made up then when we die that’s it, we’re done, when our life is over no big deal, no loss for anyone!!—BUT on the other hand if the believer is right and God does in fact exist, and He is who He says He is, (which is what I believe) then those who have chosen to believe end up in Heaven one day and the unbelievers are consigned to the fires of Hell. (the fiery Lake of burning sulfur, according to Revelation 21:8)

To which she replied, “I’m just having trouble understanding how people got here, how the earth populated, how there’s so many languages, and I just don’t think that it could be this way by itself.”

Yes!!!! She’s on the right track, I thought to myself…because people and the beauty of mountains, oceans, sunrises and sunsets are entirely too amazing to be here by random chance or accident. It’s all too incredible to deny that an awesome Creator is in control of it all. It takes a Perfect Creator to come up with the blessings of life and beauty…I could tell the wheels were turning and she’d been doing some thinking. She wanted to know more about creation…

 

With her being from a different country, I kept my answers very short and simple so I wouldn’t risk being misunderstood. I pointed her to the first book of the Bible (Genesis) where a lot of her confusion could be answered from a Biblical (creation) perspective. She remained attentive and respectful of our conversation.

We walked and talked…a lot.

I returned her to her host family later that day and wondered if our conversation left an impact on her heart.

A few weeks later on a Sunday morning at church that same spunky young lady excitedly approached me. This time she held in her hands something that has the power to forever and dramatically change one’s life….the Word of Life, the answer to worries, fear, forgiveness and salvation, the call to live boldly and free from bondage.

“I got my first Bible!!!!” she proclaimed enthusiastically.

The church had gifted Bibles to the graduating students and she now had her first and very own. I saw the joy in her eyes and heard the passion in her voice as we chatted about it…

A pretty incredible moment…too incredible to deny. The seed was planted, watering was done…now it’s up to her to remain obedient so God can do the growing..

(PART 2 TO FOLLOW)

 

Applicable verses:

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. John 17:17

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15

 

Blogger Recognition Award

Recently a fellow blogging friend sent me a notification that she’d selected me for a Blogging Recognition Award.

This blogging friend is Tina from God’s Kid Speaks. Check her blog out at http://godskidspeaks.wordpress.com/

She’s a fantastic writer with great insight, tons of wisdom, and a plethora of encouragement, and she had received the same award herself a few days before!

Thanks so much Tina for nominating me, this was a first for me also and I truly appreciate it!

I love that this award came at this time because my husband and I just attended an awards banquet a few weeks ago for the company he works for. Each of the employees were recognized and awarded for their number of years of commitment to the company. It was neat to meet and spend time with the CEO of this very successful company, to watch his humble presence and mannerism was absolutely remarkable! So the idea of awards was already fresh in mind from that.

It got me thinking of God’s humble attitude with us and how He longs to award us in Heaven one day.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10

Blogging Recognition Award: How it works?

Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog. Write a post to show your award. Give a brief story of how your blog started. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers. Select fellow bloggers for this award. Let each nominee know you’ve nominated them and leave a link to your post.

How my blog got started:

I’ve been writing since I was a young teenager. I always kept diaries as a teen but when I read over them in my late teen years I destroyed them because I thought they were ridiculous. I wrote (some) during college in one of my English classes after the death of my dad and that was such a stress reliever.

Then I took a looong break from writing and in 2013 when I allowed Jesus to fully grab my attention I picked up a notebook and pen and began writing again—mostly quotes, or different ways God spoke to me. I remember being in Haiti a few years ago with a best friend of mine and I journaled a lot while I was there because I wanted to hold the moment captive, it was such a sweet impressionable time. Anyway my friend and her family would joke, “Alicia, are you writing a book while you’re here?”….but I couldn’t help it, I just had to write about the experience of being in Haiti. Sometimes pictures just can’t capture a moment the way words have the capability to do so and that was definitely one of those times.

Over the past few years I’ve been reading devotions from Proverbs 31 ministry, which are emailed to me every week day and I just loved these women’s style of writing and I learned from it and sort of adopted it. When some of my writings resembled devotion type styles like theirs I decided I wanted to be able to share with others how God had and is working in my life. My only goal through this blog is to point others to Christ, that’s it. I just want to see people saved, that’s all. 

Writing has been a huge element in understanding myself better and for that I praise the only One who deserves credit. As long as God continues to prod at my heart to write, I’ll do so! When God uses my writings to speak something to you I hope you glorify Him:) FYI I pray a quick prayer over each post before hitting publish, that God would use it to reach people…For His Purpose.

Two pieces of advice for fellow bloggers:

  1. Be Real. If it’s something you can’t see yourself saying to someone in a conversation then you probably shouldn’t be writing it. Just simply write what’s on your heart, people love and are drawn to genuine character. When someone can relate to what you’ve shared in your writing, relationships have the opportunity to grow.
  1. Get active. And in an ever crazed world of athletic emphasis and health nuts, I’m not referring to sports! What I am suggesting is that you seek out fellow bloggers who share the same interests as you, follow one another’s blog and from there encourage and build one another up by hitting the like button and commenting on posts.

Now I’d love to nominate other bloggers whose words have encouraged and inspired me along the way.

It’s not necessary to repost your nomination, if you would rather not that’s totally fine. If so just follow the Instructions above. Regardless I want to recognize you for the purpose of my blog and how you’ve inspired me through the comments you’ve left on my blog or something you’ve written on your own blog. Thanks so much, keep “write” on with your amazing blogging adventure!

https://plantedbylivingwater.wordpress.com

https://eyesofabeliever.blog/

https://becominghistapestry.com

https://miraclesformalachi.com

https://thesarahgriffithblog.com

https://heatherroo.com

https://fracturedfaithblog.com

https://thegoodnewsfamily.com

Also again thanks Tina for the nomination and I’d send it right back at ya because I love and agree 100 percent with everything you blog!!

http://godskidspeaks.wordpress.com

 

Part 3: Remembering My Dad (lessons and spiritual growth)

That was nearly twenty years ago; I can still feel the sting of the pain even now…Goodness I miss my dad…

*This is part 3 of a 3 part series- links to parts 1 and 2 are located at the bottom of this post

Growing up I took for granted the idea of family time and commitment. We had many fun times, but I failed to place much value on our years together while they were occurring.

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Winter of 1999-a few months after my dad’s motorcycle accident

I’ve managed to mentally revisit and collect the moments we spent together and I hold on to those precious memories now.

I can also identify our number one struggle as well. We believed in God, but we were far from a relationship with Jesus, therefore our family-dynamic suffered in following Christian morals, which led to lenient parenting. Often times I was absent—drinking and partying with friends. House rules and expectations were shallow for me; late nights and a selfish mentality were abundant. Mistakes and poor choices were high as I ran wild.

It wasn’t until I was married with three young children and in my mid-twenties that I recognized the hurt and brokenness in me. I thought I could fix it on my own and I tried for the next five years.

I watched as my mother, meanwhile, had found healing over my father’s death by seeking Christ. I remember relying heavily on her for wisdom during that trying period and she pointed me to Jesus every time.

And then one day I finally submitted… Continue reading “Part 3: Remembering My Dad (lessons and spiritual growth)”

Beyond THE CROSS…what does it mean to you?

We see them displayed in homes, dangling from necklaces, even situated high on hilltops…1522589831367-1350205782

THE CROSS—some with intricate detail, others with simple yet solemn features15225900410202099456184

Recorded in Genesis 3, we learn where Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the fruit in the Garden of Eden…

Thus sin irrefutably began and has been an ongoing consequence ever since.

As a result, in the Old Testament times God required animal sacrifices, the shedding of blood, which provided an evanescent covering over sins. (Leviticus 4)

The sinner could then receive and experience temporary forgiveness, making the person right with God. However this was a repeat process, because the animal could never purify one’s conscience from sinful deeds the way Jesus’ blood would be able to. Hebrews 10:11-12

But why Blood? Continue reading “Beyond THE CROSS…what does it mean to you?”

It Starts With a Seed

1521722526173-294873206During my freshman year of college I was given an assignment in my Expository Writing class. We were to write a descriptive essay—I had lost my father to a car accident just one year prior and had been coping by writing poems and journal entries…so this time I chose to write specifically regarding the car accident.

I would describe the accident in detail. I felt like I needed to, in order to process the reality and maybe to help push through the flashbacks. I needed the whole thing to just make sense in my mind.

I completed the assignment, handed it in, and went on to receive an ‘A’. I felt very connected to that writing, but eventually it was physically misplaced. Throughout the years, the absence of that paper has caused me some distress.

Now ever since I was a teen I’ve been storing collectibles, pictures, and memorabilia in a cedar chest my parents bought me for my sixteenth birthday.

Last year I rummaged through that large wooden box as I have many other times, only this time I came across a folder that hadn’t been opened for years. I peered inside and much to my surprise I came across writings—journal entries from that college Expository Writing class.

Continue reading “It Starts With a Seed”

Hope in Jesus Equals Peace…& learning from an old woman’s misery…

For years now I’ve worked at a nursing home where I doll-up ladies and trim men’s hair one day out of the week. Most of these men and women will complete their last years of life here so it gives me such an opportunity to analyze my outlook on life as I build relationships with this elderly generation and learn about and from their lives.

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I’ll always remember one of my ladies who had her hair “fixed” weekly by me, she always seemed to be in a positive state of mind…until I’d seat her in the salon chair…anyone with a “cosmetology degree” knows that with that degree comes more than just hair— somewhere hidden in that name must include: counselor.

This woman would desperately pour out her heart to me. She would agonize over what a lousy mother she had been, how she had experienced an unfair marriage, put in overtime hours while her children were raised by grandparents… Continue reading “Hope in Jesus Equals Peace…& learning from an old woman’s misery…”