Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"Beloved, He's loved you first." - Kelly Minter #WhatLoveIs

 


Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Truth lays down the path on which God calls us to walk." - Kelly Minter‪#‎WhatLoveIs‬

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I am excited to share with you the link to my Facebook page with Kelly Minter's newest short video clip introducing a little bit more about her brand-new study out November 1st called What Love Is. I hope you will all join us on this journey, as loving each other better is something we can always improve upon! #WhatLoveIs

Kelly Minter New Study: What Love Is

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God's children." - 1 John 3:1 #WhatLoveIs 


As part of Kelly Minter's Social Media Launch Team, I am honored to be able to share these images to promote and encourage involvement in her brand-new upcoming study, which will be available on November 1st! It's going to be a wonderful experience!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

ACCOUNTABILITY, IN ALL THINGS

Accountability, a word that we don't hear very often, and an action that we strive to follow even less. Sometimes by accident, sometimes by oversight, sometimes because we are just too overwhelmed in busyness with everything we have said yes to. However, accountability is crucial to living a Christlike life. It is crucial in keeping commitments, having your walk match your talk, and making sure that we are not stretching ourselves too thin. Contrary to what many may think, accountability includes calendars, alarm clocks, reminders, schedules, lists, and verbal promises. Many people think accountability is just following up with someone real quick, telling them you did what you said you were going to do. That is wonderful, but it goes so much deeper than that. Accountability is one of the strongest foundations you can have in your faith, your relationships, your work, and your study habits.

So, who should we be accountable to? How do we decide who gets what piece of us and how we can please everybody and do everything that we want to do and have signed up to do in this life? Well, the answer to that is that we don't need to please everybody. We should be focused on pleasing God. Through God we receive his mercy and grace which pleases us and brings us joy. Then, by us enjoying our life and being consistently accountable, it can help others in their walk to see the blessings and receive their own pleasure of having a life of accountability. Let's walk-through what Scripture says about a few places we need to be accountable in our lives. We will briefly cover the following: 1) God, 2) ourselves, 3) our spouse/family members, and 4) our church community.

Accountability To God-contrary to what many believe, God does not ask us to put him first (He asks that we put the Kingdom first and look to Him in all we do). We should strive for that, and it pleases him, but what he genuinely wants us to do is put him as the solid center in our lives. Because if we take this stance, then we will automatically put him at the forefront of our thoughts, actions, and decisions. This is how we maintain a solid foundation, and allow others to see Christ in us. Romans 14:12 tells us: "So then, each one of us will give an account to God." Now, if that is who has the final say on how we spend eternity, does it not make sense to put Him and His Will and Purpose at the center of everything we do, and do we not owe Him accountability in all things? For it is because of God that we have all things, and it is God we have to answer to.

Accountability To Ourselves-we need to be sure we are searching our own hearts for motive and goodness. We should serve others and walk in God's Way out of joy and gratitude, not duty or grumbling. WE need to examine our hearts and our minds and pay close attention to be sure that our talk matches our walk. What we do and say shows what is really important to us, and what is really important to us ends up being what/who we are accountable to. Are we walking in God's Will, allowing our hearts to be filled with His desires, and obeying Him in everything we do? Or are we allowing people, objects, and goals to be the focus of our desires, thereby linking our accountability and worth to the things of this world? We are reminded in Matthew 7:6 that our accountability shows our character: "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." If we are accountable to ourselves, we can be sure to remain straight on our path and not wander from God's plan for our lives. Otherwise, lack of accountability to the Almighty One, can lead to the lions of this world devouring us whole.

Accountability to Our Spouse/Family-we are told in Proverbs 27:17: "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another". This was not just meant in the sense of man alone. It is meant in the sense of partnerships and relationships. When two people come together with a godly foundation as their rock, they complement each other in a way as to make the other better and lift them up in their strengths, and support them in their weaknesses. Our spouse, children, and family members can challenge and inspire us. Through this, ideas and knowledge can be combined and sharpened, thereby benefiting both parties in the relationship. Whether it be a partner or spouse, child or family member, or even a friend or co-worker. When we look at others as a helper to us and not competition, we will become accountable to them in a way that we desire to serve them and grow them, not a way that we desire to comet with or compare ourselves to them. That is healthy accountability.

Accountability To Church Community-the church body is designed to work together, just as our feet and hands do. We are not meant to be separate entities, but instead the Bible urges that we gather in fellowship often and not be isolated from one another. There is strength in numbers, especially when those numbers are filled with Christ followers! So we must be accountable to each other in service and in working together to live out God's Purposes for each of our lives, and God's Purposes for His Kingdom. In 1 Corinthians 12:12, we are told: "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ." So when we individually lack accountability and follow-through, it also affects others throughout the body of Christ, even if we cannot see it or do not realize it. God is the only one who sees all, but He has given us instruction that we need to have accountability towards each other in order to work as one unit, thereby being able to fulfill His Works. We need to search for ways to function in communion with other believers, and this will help keep them accountable to the body of Christ as well. We are the Church, and we need to each do our part.

There are countless areas in our life where we should strive for solid accountability, but I believe if we focus on these four specific areas, it will set the stage for consistent accountability in all other facets of our lives. If we remain strong in Christ, we remain trustworthy and in servitude to ourselves, our family, and friends and do our part to make the church community work as a single body...we will experience full success is accountability!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hello, Beautiful Readers

I am so sorry for my absence this past 6 weeks. I have taken some time to pray and be led by the Lord as to my blog, ministry, and what lies ahead. And as always, He Speaks! I am so grateful for a relationship with Jesus that allows me to speak directly with the Father.

I have a new series of blogs on different topics that I will be doing, as well as leading a Bible study that I would love to welcome you to be a part of! I will be co-leading with Women's Bible Cafe in our upcoming study of Jeremiah. For the link to sign up for the study, or for more details, you may find us at the following link: Women's Bible Cafe . I will be leading a group that meets online at 9am Monday mornings, and also one that meets online at 4:30am on Wednesdays. But there are also several other groups with wonderful and blessed leaders that you can choose from. We have groups every day of the week, and our study will begin on October 20th!

 If you have any questions at all regarding that, please feel free to leave a comment below, or text me at 530-314-9109, or email me at mylifeinchrist2012@gmail.com . Be sure to check back tomorrow for my newest blog post which is focused on "Accountability"! You are all a blessing and an encouragement to me!

 Blessings, and I appreciate each and every one of you!
~Debbie~

Saturday, August 16, 2014

What We Think, What God Knows

I have been working from home for about seven years now. It's a blessing, and a curse in a way. But for several years, I have had my heart set on a career in law-enforcement. I've gone to college and obtained my associates in psychology, and I am currently finishing up my bachelors in business administration with a minor in criminal justice. Every class that I've taken towards criminal justice exuded such a passion in me and such excitement. I just love the field and I love what it stands for. So naturally, my thinking has been that my dream would be to have a career in that industry. So for years I have studied, researched, applied for positions. Well, just about a week ago I finally got the call! An interview for a position in our county law-enforcement office, in the probation department, no less. Dream job!
 
The big day came, I was dressed in my best, fully confident because I know I was more than qualified for the job, and I knew with the passionate love I have for the field that I was the perfect candidate. I went in there, checked in, and sat there – ready for the interview of my life. This was it, this was going to change my whole life if I got this job! However, it only took a few minutes of sitting there waiting for them to call me for the Holy Spirit to start speaking to me. I heard, "Okay, this is what you thought you've always wanted. This is what you been working towards. This is your dream, right? Here is step one to the life that you think you truly want." I looked around, the place was dirty, it's smelled not so great, it had a very cold aura to it, and some less than desirable characters came in and out as I was sitting there. Now, of course, this is a probation office and this was all to be expected and were things that I have had knowledge of for quite some time, in how these things work and what you have to experience and deal with on a daily basis in a job like this. 
 
But I sat there taking everything in and realizing that this wouldn't just be a job, this would be a lifelong career and this would be one of the centers of my life. I would be at this job more than I would be with my children, I would be at this job more than I would be with my church or my fellow believers, I would be at this job more than I would be at my home practically. What kind of changes would that invoke in me, in my lifestyle, in my actions and deeds? So I needed to take it all in and instead of the dreamy episodes of Cops, Lockup Raw, or Jail that I am so intrigued by, I had to take in the reality for a moment of how it might change me, might change my life, might change my love of the field.
 
The interview went great and I walked out of there feeling good about it, still excited, but not quite as certain. The drive home left a lot of time for thought and it all comes back to this: we always think we know what we want, we can be dead set on it for weeks, months, or years. We can strive, stay up endless nights working hard towards our goal, in the end to only realize that it was never God's plan but our own. When it is our own plan it will never satisfy us, it will never fulfill us, it will never give us all of the beautiful illusions and circumstances that we have always pictured would be tied with that specific thing or position. Because if it is outside of God's will, if if it is something we are doing because it is our own passion and our own desire and we are controlling what we want and striving to make it happen ourselves – it will never be the right thing to do. 
 
It was a hard pill to swallow that for several years while still following Christ, I was trying to control my outcome as far as where I would end up in a career, what I would be doing, the kind of money I would be making, and whom I would be serving. The thing is, only God can see far down the line. He can see what happens to us, what will make us happy, and what will spiral us downward. When we don't get something we want, or we get something we think we want and it's not all it's cracked up to be, I'm learning that it may not just be God saving us FOR something better, but maybe saving us FROM something much worse. Perhaps I would be miserable in that workplace, perhaps I would experience a hostile environment or people and situations that made me fearful. Perhaps I would develop a distaste for law-enforcement after seeing it from the inside, perhaps it would put out the fire of the passion I have for that industry. And whether I work in that field or not, I don't ever want to lose a passion for how I see our officers, sheriffs, patrolmen, prison guards, etc. I hold them in high esteem and I want to continue doing that.
 
So that evening as I came to my room and engaged in a time of thinking – I gave everything over to God, and told Him I would be happy to follow Him wherever He led me. Whichever path He chose, I was content that it would be the right one. I released anything that I wanted for me, any plans I have made for my life, any control I still had in my own grasp. I laid it all at the foot of the cross and allowed Christ to bear my burdens and make my decisions for me. You see, just a few days before this interview took place I was awarded a second job working at home. Only a couple of days after the interview took place, I was awarded additional hours from both my first and my second to home jobs. And at the same time one of my clients let other people go, and I was solely in charge of the department now. 
 
God was giving me job security in what I already had. God was adding additional income where I was lacking. My view had been that I had to have a government job, a long-term brick-and-mortar career in order to have enough money to provide for my children, benefits to make things a little easier, and retirement to secure my future as I age. What God showed me was that I will be okay no matter which way it turns out. He ensured that I had the opportunity to chase my dream, and then get a reality check. He also provided the opportunity for me to open my eyes and see that the work I already have would provide for my family in abundance, if only I would embrace them and work at them joyfully, as we are supposed to do as if doing all things for the Lord. So instead of a cushy 40 hour a week job at a government agency with amazing benefits, retirement plan, and a fancy title – I was now finding myself quite peaceful, with an attitude of great gratitude and humbleness, and very joyful at the idea of staying right where I'm at. Working from home. It may be twice as many hours, no benefits, and no retirement plan - but then again, not all benefits come in monetary form. 
 
I would be able to continue to be with my children 24/7, I would get to continue to have my own flexible schedule to take off when and how I need in order to attend Bible study groups, school events, and ministry conferences. With the double income from working over 75 hours a week, I can save my own money towards retirement, I can afford my own benefits, and I can secure the future I desire without punching a time clock for a government or corporation. I can punch a time clock for the Lord, for my kids, and for myself. See, the Bible tells us we are not to ask for our lives to be easier and without struggle, but instead are supposed to ask to simply be equipped with the strength and perseverance to walk through our trials and hard seasons victoriously. 
 
I can now look around and see the blessings that are already in abundance around me. I can see I already have the perfect life, though it comes with much longer hours and much harder work…I don't think I'd have it any other way right now. My children are still young, there is so much I don't want to miss. Is this law-enforcement job the opportunity of a lifetime? I'm a mother, I'm a child of God - to me, those are the opportunities of a lifetime! So I'm choosing the long and narrow road of perseverance and trust in Jesus Christ, not the wide and easy path of financial gain and worldly recognition. Storing up treasures for Heaven, is there anything better?