God

Love on Me a Little Longer

Journal entry: Today I needed Jesus to sing over me. He wanted something different from me this morning; not to read or pray. But to stay in this moment and allow Him to sit with me.

Because He's in love with me.

I woke up Friday feeling the pressure that lingered from the day before. The to-do list of all that's happening around me and needed my attention. I needed to focus on one project that demanded my focus so I cleared my schedule to do so. I planned my day so that I could be intentional and free of chaos running from here to there. But there was still a feeling of a deadline looming.

I knew I needed Jesus.

So I cuddled up in my favorite chair, popped in my headphones and grabbed my favorite devotional. I thought, "I'll do this for about 15 minutes so that I get some 'quiet time' in with Jesus and that will help me recalibrate. I started to go through the motions until a song came on that I had heard before but never really listened to the words. I paused for a reason I do not know and put down the book as the words grabbed my attention and stopped me right in my tracks.

As I listened, my hands went up and I began to do the ugly cry as the song penetrated my soul.

Then I hear You say

You don't have to do a thing

Simply be with me and

Let those things go

They can wait another minute

Wait this moment

Is too sweet

Please stay here with me

And love on Me a little longer

'Cause I'm in love with you.

(Bethel Music, "A Little Longer")

Then silence.

I hurried to find the song on iTunes so I could play it over and over again and just sit, wait. The moment was too sweet for it to be over after a four-minute song. I wanted to linger. I knew the words were just for me this morning.

Then, the ugly cry. Again.

I couldn't help but to feel Him singing those sweet words over me and telling me that I didn't need to do anything. There was no prayer, no song, no dance, no deadline I needed to bring to Him. All I needed to do was sit with Him as he sang over me.

It was tender. Sweet. Soft.

He's in love with me and wanted to love on me a little longer.

Hear the song here.

Zephaniah 3:17
The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

 

Gather Her || 11.17.16

add-heading-3 

Fashion + Faith + Friends

..whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Enjoy an evening with women just like you who want to explore their faith and love all things fashion
11.17.16
6:30 – 8:30 pm

SpaSocial
720 O’Connor Dr., Round Rock, TX 78689
FREE for all women!
RSVP on facebook

If you believe in the mission, we do accept donations! Click Here to donate.

At Gather Her, you will:
~ Find refuge in a lovely environment.
~ Create authentic, pure relationships through girl talk time after each message.
~ Hear truth through our monthly guest speakers.
~ Meet women who are real, fun, and authentic who love to laugh during our mix & mingle time!
~ Learn how to take care of yourself as an Ambassador of Christ through our monthly fashion partner.

Light Bites & Wine provided + Photo Booth + Real Girl Talk

#IamCreatedWoman
#Purpose
#LegacyBuilder

pool-lounge
SpaSocial

Created Woman: Equip & empower women to be who they are created to be inside & out.

A Shiny New Life

 

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.”

Ephesians 5:8 {NKJV}

   When I read God’s Word, I normally reach for my two favorite Bibles at home, my tiffany blue colored Bible that my sweet husband gave me and my ginormous (is that a word?) study Bible. This week, I was prompted to change up my routine and search for another Bible in the house to use. I knew that God was calling me to locate my pink one, my very first Bible from almost 15 years ago. Embarrassingly, I found it collecting dust in my closet. I didn’t know why I needed to grab that specific one since I had two other perfectly good Bibles at reach on my nightstand, but it all made sense to me once I had that book back in my hands.

   Holding that pink Bible again was like holding a pink newborn baby in my arms. I instantly began to feel all the good feels from that time when I was young and passionately in love with the new life in front of me! I was never going to be the same, in a good way, after experiencing Christ’s love for me.

   After those reminiscing thoughts, a verse from my pink Bible caught my attention as I opened it.  How appropriate this verse was at that moment.  

“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  2 Corinthians 4:6

   Yes, life was shiny and new for me when I first became a Christian.   My quiet time with God was turning out to be a special reminder of his love for me!  Before I began to think that morning was all about me, the Holy Spirit led me to a sobering thought that there are other hearts in the world that God wants to be shiny and new, too.   Instantly, certain people came to mind for me to pray for at that moment.  With 2 Corinthians 4:6 on my mind, I prayed Jesus light over their hearts.  Only the light of Jesus has the power to save hearts!

   The Book of Acts has one of the most remarkable heart conversion stories. Saul (popularly known as Paul in the New Testament) was an enemy of the Lord when he was stopped on his journey to Damascus.

“As he (Saul) neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.” Acts 9:3 {NKJV}

   The Bible goes on to add that Saul was blinded for three days upon experiencing this light, which was identified as Christ through the conversation shared between Saul and this light. Once Jesus had Saul’s sight restored, Saul’s heart and life changed forever. Saul was no longer persecuting Christians, but leading them in the movement to preach the Gospel to the nations.

   Saul’s story is just one of a million stories of heart restorations that happened over time. Every human heart needs Jesus today as it did over 2000 years ago.  I want to share the following song that I think sweetly encapsulates today's message.  Yes, it is widely known as a children's song, but it really speaks to every heart of a believer, including mine.  Would you sing this with me today?

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

Father, thank you for sending your light to this world, your Son, Jesus.  Our hearts were once dark, but now they are shiny and new!  Thank you for your rescue!  May Christ shine bright through us so that others, who do not know you, will take notice and desire you, too.  Save those hearts that do.  We love you, Father.  In Jesus name, Amen.  

  • Has the light of Christ rescued your heart?  If so, meditate on that memory of when and how that happened.  If not, you can invite Jesus to become Lord and Savior over your heart right now!
  • Who needs Jesus' light over their heart right now?  If anyone comes to mind, this is the time to stop and pray for that person(s).  
  • If a believer, does life still feel shiny for you?  If not, invite Jesus to operate on any hurt that your heart has received lately.  

 "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light."   Genesis 1:3, NIV

 “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.”   John 8:12, The Message Bible 

Can you picture me without reducing me?

So to whom will you compare me, the Incomparable? Can you picture me without reducing me?  Isaiah 46:5 The Message

God, through the prophet Isaiah is challenging us - I dare you to compare me! There is no comparison. I blow the scale out of the water. You have no reference point for just how big, how powerful, how amazing I Am.

Can you picture God without reducing him? I’m not sure I can. My imagination is capped by the limited reality of my experience.  But I’ll give it my best shot.

Imagine God placing the stars in the sky, calling them by name, shaping the constellations and deciding that the universe would never stop expanding, new stars would continue to be born at a rate of 150 billion per year. The sheer scope of our sky is a small reflection of the mind-boggling creativity of God, not to mention his knack for beauty.

God created man and woman wanting fellowship and community, but already having a plan in place for when it all fell apart - knowing that the seed of the woman, Jesus, was the lamb slain from the creation of the world. Revelation 13:8 God is a strategic planner.

God is also incredibly patient.  Waiting through about four thousand years from creation to the birth of Jesus and four hundred years of silence for the perfect moment to initiate his redemption plan.  Through the expanse of time he never lost hope, knowing his dream for restoration would be initiated at the exact, appointed time. Galatians 4:4

The Easter season reminds of God’s tireless endurance and his willingness to suffer. It tilts my scales for sure to think that an excruciating death was all part of the plan, part of the dream, endurance motivated and carried by joy.  Hebrews 12:2

In my scale tipping thoughts of this incomparable God, one thought crushes the scale completely. You and I are made in the image of this God. For real! Did you catch that? We are made in his image, created to reflect his nature and reveal his character.

Can you imagine your life in the hands of this God without reducing you?

Sometimes I pray too much!

Sometimes I pray too much. Yep, it’s true! I pray and keep asking for the when and how only to delay what I can do today. I’m the first one to yell and get aggravated when I see people sit on the side lines yet, I’m the very one at times sitting and thinking I’m doing good by praying, but the reality is, I’m just sitting.

God wants to work through us and if we just keep praying about something and think we are not hearing, it’s probably because He’s waiting for us to take the first step.

Let me catch you up to speed:

Two years ago I adopted the mantra from the circle maker devotional, “Work like it depends on you and pray like it depends on God.” It struck a cord with me because of the scripture in James 2:26, “Faith without works is nothing.”

Last year, I prayed over and over for clarity for Created Woman as well as other areas in my life.

What does that all look like today? Well, I’m happy to say there has been a lot of clarity, which feels like freedom! The journey God has taken the CW Family on the last few months has been one to write about (which I will) and there has been these three revelations.

Who We Are

Who We Serve

How We Serve Her

With that clarity has come a lot of celebration and a lot of revelation: The revelation that there is work to be done! Work that is hard. Work that requires a lot of effort, mental energy, and team building.

Then earlier this week as I was re-reading one of my favorite devotionals and it came up again that I pray too much. With that, I had to write down these thoughts: (Time to journal!)

Get up! You know now the work ahead of you and I’ve given you clarity. So go do it and stop procrastinating through prayer, emails, social media, and lunch dates. Get up and go do it!

Ouch! That was strong and I knew I had once again started sitting and praying about the how and dreaming about the one day.

You see, recently I’ve come to the realization that my own strengths are also my weaknesses. Through trainings called Strength Finder, my top two are:

  1. Input: Research through books and talking to experts
  2. Futuristic: Vision of the future and how to cast vision

Yes, those are great strengths just like the strengths you have. But what I had to realize is that my strengths can get in the way! I can sometimes research so much that I never get started because I don’t think I know enough, yet. I can see the future so much that I forget about the here and now and the work that needs to be done now so I can get to the future.

So, for as much good things my strengths bring me, they also keep me sitting, dreaming, and researching. Well, not today. I’m up after a good spanking and I’m going.

I’ve got enough information for what I need to do now and I need to get to work.

Now, if that’s not clarity, I don’t know what is!

What strengths do you have and how do you think those same strengths get in the way? Are you working like it depends on you and praying like it depends on God?

Is it time to “Go” and start doing the plan that God has laid out for you?

Don’t know your strengths? Get them! It’s worth the $15 to learn who you are and what environments you work well in. Click HERE to find out your strenghts

Then, share your strengths with us and how you are using them for the purpose God has put in you!

PREVIOUS JOURNAL ENTRIES

"Do You Frustrate the Grace of God?"

When you were a kid, did you ever play “Let’s Pretend?” I did! Some of the most exciting days of my childhood were spent with my best friend pretending we were in a faraway place, away from the countryside of our small southern town.

So, I invite you today to pretend you are in a faraway place. I have even it picked out for you, so I can make the points I wish to make. (You get to choose next time we play pretend.)

Here goes. Pretend you are standing on the banks of The Jordan River back in the days of Joshua and Caleb. You watch as the water parts and Joshua and Caleb, along with a new generation of Israelites, walk across on dry land into their long awaited Promise Land.

You are standing there, watching the scene unfold before you, but then you notice that everyone gets very quiet. “What is going on?” Then you realize that Joshua is getting instructions from God, telling them a couple of things they must do before moving forward. (Joshua 4-5)

Let’s lend an ear.

Build a Memorial Monument with Stones: “Take 12 men from each of the 12 tribes of Israel and build a monument with stones. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What is this monument for,’ you can tell them it is to remind you that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the ark of the covenant went across. The monument will be a permanent reminder to the people of Israel of this amazing miracle.”

Circumcise Every Male: “During the forty years you spent wandering in the desert, you stopped practicing the sign of the covenant I made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As your sons were born during the wilderness wanderings, my people failed to honor their covenant obligations. Don’t try to move forward in disobedience until every male is circumcised!"

Okay, our pretend game is over and now we must face the reality of how this scene is significant to us today.

I believe it goes without saying that if we had to place a big stone in our backyard every time we encountered God’s faithfulness to us, the monument would surpass the size of Mount Rushmore. When times are rough with new trials, and we want to cry out, “God, where are you,” all we would have to do is look at the stones in our backyard and remember His faithfulness to us in times past; they push us forward, rather than feeling defeated.

But, yikes! What about that circumcision He was talking about? We know in our world today, circumcision means out heart. May I just put it to you bluntly and say: “We must get the sin out of our life before we try to move forward in disobedience.”

Sin is not something we like to talk about, is it? We prefer instead to talk more about God’s love, and how we’re just going to stand on the promises of His faithfulness to us, regardless of our lifestyles. Then we expect God to shower His blessings on us. We don’t think that God would actually withhold His goodness just because of how we live. After all, nobody is perfect, right?

The late David Berheimer, my pastor for over 25 years, drove a point home to me one Sunday morning as it applies to the circumcision of my heart from Paul’s writings in Galatians 2:21:

I do not frustrate the grace of God

He pointed out that grace refers to the unmerited favor of God to bless us. It was by grace that Jesus paid our sin debt by dying in our place. It is by grace that he helps us through the storms of life. But he pointed out that when Paul said, “I do not frustrate the grace of God,” he was indicating that there are ways to stop or nullify and keep the grace of God from working in my life

 The question is:

"How can I stop God’s grace from working in my life?”

 First of all, it is important to understand some of the things that do not frustrate God’s grace. A partial list might include: scars from past hurts, poor choices that have messed us up. These only intensify God’s grace.

Some things that frustrate the grace of God and nullifies it might include:

  • walking too far away from Jesus
  • neglecting His word
  • trying to be good in our own strength
  • sins of the flesh that God has repeatedly convicted us of, yet we fail to confess it and turn from it such as: unforgiveness in our hearts, unrighteous anger - things that have become a pattern in our lives.

So, my question to you today is:

"Do you frustrate the grace of God?"

"Is there sin in your life that God has gently asked you to get rid of

time and time again?"

 I encourage you today to: “Stop right here, and circumcise your heart before going forward. Only then can you become what He desires for you to be from the Inside Out! Only then can you be free to pursue your dreams and passions and go forward.

I wouldn’t ask you to do anything I haven’t been doing. Oh yeah, the whole month of January has been spent in my “War Room” with God circumcising my heart.

Eat Healthy and Exercise as a Way to Honor God

Have you ever been frustrated in years past because you cannot seem to stay motivated long enough to consistently exercise and eat healthy? Do you feel like you have the discipline for a short time, but then fall back into old habits and quit caring because it feels useless. As we begin the New Year by setting new goals, here is a new perspective that I believe can keep you on track.

How might things change for if you decided to eat healthy and exercise as a way to honor God?

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, there is no doubt that there are things in your life you have decided to give to Him such as your finances, time, resources, marriage, children, work, etc. Why then, as women, do we sometimes try and take on the battle of our health and fitness within our own strength, discipline and power?

Here are a couple of common scenarios.

1. You have good intentions to get up in the morning to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise, but you cannot seem to find the motivation or desire to do it consistently.

2. You have had a stressful day, tired and frustrated and you think you have earned the right to over indulge with “comfort foods”. Do either of those sound familiar?

How do you think you may might handle the situation different, if you paused and asked yourself, “what is the best way I could honor and bring worship to God with body right now?”

1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever, you do, do all to the Glory of God.”

Last week, Adrienne challenged us in her blog to ask if the health and goals we are setting is a way to bring honor to self or the Lord. I have to be honest; I have not always had it right. My motives to eat healthy and be fit have not always been pure and frankly, somewhat selfish. However, I have discovered my motivation is stronger when I take out the “me” factor and do it as unto the Lord as a blessing to Him. God wants us to worship Him with what with our body. Deciding not to over indulge, eat out of emotions and taking time to care for your body through physical activity can bring Him honor.

Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through HIM who strengthens me.”

God does now want or expect us to “try” harder on our own. He will give us strength to face the big things and the small things. Our health is just as important to Him as it is to us. Why not ask Him for strength that is not of our own.

I do believe this year can be different. If you would like to learn how to eat healthy as a way to Honor God, I would love for you to join me in my free telephone seminar, Thursday January 21, 2016 at 12:00pm -12:45pm Central time.

During our time, I will share,

• How to make healthy eating a part of your lifestyle in place of yo-yo dieting.

• How to manage triggers such as time and emotions that can lead to overeating.

• How to honor God in all you do including your time and food.

To reserve your spot, email crystal@yourfitnessdesigner.com or text 409-550-7606. Let 2016 start off with the right heart and attitude to make healthy living a part of your lifestyle by eating healthy and exercising as a way to honor God

God is Good All The Time

 

“So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31 [NIV]

 

When God created the world, He chose man to be made in His image, not animals, nature, or anything else. Now, just meditate on that for a moment. I mean there is no greater honor on creation than for humankind to be modeled after the one and only true God. So why did God create us in this special and unique way? It’s because we were created to glorify Him.

God needs us to glorify Him? No, He was glorious before creation and will always be glorious alone. I believe what the Bible means is that we are a display of His glory. Our actions should reflect that God is good, all the time. It does seem like an impossible standard to live by, but thankfully we have Christ to show us how.

Jesus’ life was neither peaceful nor comfortable. Yet, He displayed God’s glory in all that he did by the way He lived, spoke, and treated everyone. His life left a glorious imprint on many in His path. Many who encountered Christ became changed beings; from being broken hearted to becoming restored. A restored heart is a beautiful display of God’s glory!

Do we have what it takes to live like Christ? Yes.

  • First, we must believe that God is good, all the time. It’s tempting to believe that God’s glory doesn't exist when life gets hard. However, we can’t tell others about His goodness if we don’t believe it ourselves. We can have victory over any unbelief we have by reading His Word daily.  His words are a constant reminder to us that He is good all the time.
  • We must experience His glory. God’s greatest commandment is to love Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind.  As we grow in obedience to this commandment so does our love towards God.  This is how we experience God’s glory. Then are we able to see and recognize what was always in front of us, that God’s goodness never leaves or forsakes us.
  • We share God’s goodness to others. It’s impossible for me to keep anything good to myself, especially with something trivial as a good bargain at a store. If I can bless someone to save a few dollars on something then I believe I’ve done something nice or good. However, it's a more meaningful blessing to others when my life glorifies God through all seasons of my life like the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

 

Lord, you are worthy to be praised in our lives, all the time.  Remind us of your constant glory in our lives when we are blind to see it.  Thank you for creating us in your image, and allowing us the privilege to be your vessel of faith, hope, and love to others.  We love you.  Amen. 

 

  • Is my prayer life more about requests or reflection on Him?
  • Does my life point others to God?
  • Do I seek opportunities to share God’s goodness with others? If not, how can I?

 

“Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1 [NIV]

“This to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:8 [NIV]  

Your Dreams Are Not Just About You

 

You are a dreamer! Yes, you are. You may have lost sight of your dreams or let them go for a while, but no matter what season of life you are in, you are a dreamer. You were made that way!

God created you with desires, needs and wants. He created you to pursue those desires. He says in His word that, as you draw close to Him, He will fulfill the desires in your heart.

But, we stuff them away, forget about them, secretly hiding them in our thoughts. We feel selfish and believe our dreams, our desires, would only get in the way of others. But, in the process, we lose our sense of value, worth and purpose, leaving us feeling empty, longing for the day when ‘one day’ becomes ‘today.’ And along the way, we begin to lose our connection with the very One who has given us those dreams because we’ve stopped pursuing Him in the same way.

Longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12)

What if I told you that your dream is actually not about you? Would you believe me?

Now, what if I told you that the dreams and desires you have down deep inside that make your heart thump harder every time you think about them are actually God-given dreams. He is just waiting for you to pursue them. He is just waiting for you to take the first step because your dream is actually not about you, but about your purpose. He created you uniquely, so that you could build a legacy that will leave an imprint for generations to come. What if?

Got your attention?

Think about this: God has commanded us all to “Go into the world and make disciples.” I believe your dream is ‘the how’ of doing this. It may be building a building, raising a family, starting a ministry, taking care of the elderly or speaking out at work right from your cubical. Whatever that thing is that makes your heart go pitter-patter is the very reason God created you!

For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

When we start to believe the lie that our dreams are selfish, we ultimately begin to feel as if we have no purpose and ultimately live in disobedience to the very reason God gave us breath. It’s a downward spiral that brings death to our spirit and actually neglects the very people in our circle whose lives we were originally trying not to make uncomfortable by pursuing our dreams. You lose, and so do they.

So don’t stop dreaming or continue to believe the lie that your dream is selfish. Instead, start pursuing your dreams by taking one dream step today. Because your dream is not just about you, but about reaching a generation for Christ, one dream step at a time.

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s Purpose that will prevail.
(Proverbs 19:21)

Tell us in the comments below, what dream has God planted in your heart and stay tuned for how to discover your purpose, your dream in the weeks to follow.

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Get to know more about Heather on her instagram @heatherfrierson75