Mom, You Matter!

Has anyone ever told you that you were unworthy, not enough, or that you didn’t matter?

I’m sure more often than not, you have been told either one of these; whether it be from a family member, a friend, or even a teacher. However, there is one person who whispers in our ears and if we aren’t careful, we listen to what he says and that is none other than the devil.

The devil would like nothing more for mothers than to see them fail at what they’ve been given. 

Moms have such a great influence whether they believe it to or not and whether they admit it or not. I mean, can you imagine a world without moms? I can’t, because that is impossible!

Mothers have a role that play a big part in the puzzle that we call Life. Without them, life would definitely be incomplete and be missing that one vital piece.

Now, there may be a few men reading this who play the role as both mother and father in the lives of their children. Please don’t shut me out.

From someone like me who was raised by a Father the majority of my life, I can honestly tell you that YOU MATTER! If you ever feel like you’re alone, remember that you are not. God is there to help you and guide you!

Psalm 16:11 says, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

Sure, you may not be able to meet the same needs as a Mother would, but if single-parenting is what God has put your way, all you can do is make the best with what you have.

Being raised by my dad for almost 20 years before my Mom came into the picture physically, did not result in the worst life ever for me. In fact, I am the person I am today because of the trials that God allowed me to face and the choices I made.

I admit that there were times when I questioned God because all my friends had a mom they could confide in, talk to whenever they were going through a girl-problem, or walk them down the aisle, Was it right for me to do that? NO. Was it human? YES.

And that is exactly what we are, Moms. 

WE ARE HUMAN. We make mistakes. We fail everyday and a lot of times, we become discontent with how we look. Now, don’t get me wrong. If you can better yourself, I’m all for you. But what I mean is, we tend to compare ourselves with other moms. We see how they seem to “have-it-all” together and here we are, barely “having it!”

“Although the pictures we see on Social Media can be worth a thousand words, many times, they don’t show ALL THE WORDS.” J.Cabal

A mom can have a smile on and the world can think she’s the happiest person but in reality, she can be struggling with something.

A mom can seem like she has the best job ever when in reality she’s barely making ends meet.

A mom can look like she has the “perfect life” with the “perfect family” but who are we kidding? There is no such thing!

We all have been given different lives but one thing we have in common is motherhood or parenthood.

The Bible says in Luke 12:48b, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required:” 

We can all agree that being a mom is a great blessing if not the greatest, which means that it is considered “MUCH.” And according to that verse, when much is given, much is required.

I don’t mean to put a lot of pressure but I’m just quoting the Bible.

GOD REQUIRES A LOT FROM US. You can take that as something to encourage you to be a better mom or you can ignore it and reap the results of YOUR PARENTING, without Biblical wisdom or guidance.

If God has given us such an important role, then that must mean one thing: WE MATTER!

MOMS, WE MATTER! We are more important than we sometimes believe. Your words matter and your actions matter! How you say something and when you say something matters! How you treat your spouse and how you talk to your spouse matters!

Your love, care, support, prayers, advice, and time matter! So…

Love unconditionally! 

Care Sincerely! 

Support Consistently! 

Pray Fervently! 

Advise when Necessary! 

And Give of your Time Willingly! 

I’ll end with this. God can easily do anything. He doesn’t NEED us but He wants to USE us for the sole purpose of bringing glory to His name! To be used of God is a privilege, not an obligation, which is why we have a choice. We can choose to let Him lead us or we can choose to be led by something or someone else. Whatever we choose, don’t forget, our choice will affect our children because WE MATTER and WHAT WE DO MATTERS!

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A Spiritual Spring Cleaning

A Spiritual Spring Cleaning

As humans, we’re all guilty of complaining or murmuring every once in a while. We even complain about not having anything to wear when we have a closet full of clothes. We murmur about how we can’t find anything to eat when our refrigerators and freezers are packed with food. We covet the new gadget our friend has because ours is an older version.

You see the real problem is not the complaining or murmuring; It’s a lack of gratitude towards God.

I remember when I was in the 1st or 2nd grade, my grandma was my main guardian since my dad was in the Navy and out at sea for 6 months. We lived in a 1-bedroom apartment, along with several other relatives. I don’t remember much, but I do remember lying to my grandma about a field trip I had. I knew that she would not allow me (or at least I assumed) to go on that trip (it was a swimming trip). So what I did was I packed my backpack with extra clothes. Every weekday, she would walk from our apartment to my school which was about 10 minutes. Since I knew that we would be arriving 20 minutes before school ended, I planned it out so I had enough time to change into the same clothes I wore when she dropped me off in the morning.

Nobody taught me to lie. It’s just in my sinful nature. In spite of my wrongdoing, I am grateful for a gracious and merciful God.

The Bible gives a list of things that God hates. Now, hate is not a “crime” if you are hating on things that break God’s heart. No doubt, as the Creator and Maker of this universe, He has the right to hate whatever would draw us away from Him.

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Spring is here and we all could do some spring cleaning. As much as we may need to clean out our homes, offices, or whatever else, we tend to forget or neglect a Spiritual Cleansing.

Rather than focusing on having clean homes,  let’s start having clean hearts. 

And here is how you can start today: Proverbs 6:16-19

  1. Get rid of your pride. We all have it and sometimes it can take its toll and make us into someone we will eventually regret being or cause us to do things that will disappoint. At the middle or center of the word PRIDE,  is the letter “i.” How incredible is it that the whole agenda of the the person with pride is centered around one thing – themselves? In addition, NOBODY likes or enjoys the company of those that are prideful. Proverbs 16:18, Psalm 101:5,
  2. Stop lying. Whether you’re a young adult or an older adult reading this, we all need to be reminded that there is no such thing as a little white lie. A lie is a lie and God hates lying. Proverbs 12:19, 22, Proverbs 19:9,
  3. Stop shedding innocent blood. I am against abortion, simply because the Bible says it’s murder. There could be reason after reason as to why someone would commit abortion but it does not mean it’s right.  “Wrong is wrong even if everyone else is doing it and right is right even if no one else is doing it.”  I could go on talking about this topic but I’ll just leave it at that. Exodus 20:13
  4. Stop planning wicked things. Whatsoever a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Before someone does something wicked, they think about something wicked. Actions are a result of a desire instilled in someone’s mind and heart. Proverbs 1:16, Psalm 36:4,
  5. Start being wise. King Solomon is the wisest man that ever lived. However, he still did some foolish things. Many of us jump into something, before getting counsel or taking deep consideration. We become so quick to run to mischief and end up hurting ourselves and sometimes, those closest to us. Proverbs 12:15, James 1:5, Proverbs 16:9
  6. Stop being a false witness, speaking lies. Many times, people twist the meaning of somethings. Some use the phrase, “Please pray for so & so… or Have you heard”
    only to open up a can of worms. In reality, we don’t mean well when we say this; rather we are wanting to start the game of Telephone. This game can start off by having two teams or groups. Each group forms a line. The leader then whispers a phrase to the first person in line and that person is to repeat whatever the he/she heard to the next person and so on… The only catch is you are only allowed to say “the phrase” one time. The first of last person in each group to say the correct phrase wins. The point of this game is what you hear is not always the truth and when stuff gets spread, it becomes gossip and what was mentioned in the beginning becomes twisted, many times, far from the truth. Proverbs 16:28, James 1:26, Proverbs 20:19, Exodus 23:1
  7. Stop sowing discord among brethren.  I have heard that the only army that shoots down itself is the Christian army. As sad as that sounds, there’s some truth to that. How often do Christians criticize, discourage, or gossip about other Christians? It happens way too much in Christian circles and it ought not to. How is the world, (the unsaved) supposed to want to have what we have if we don’t act & live what we “preach?” Romans 16:17-18, James 4:11

So whether you’re the person with the cleanest home or the the person that is constantly trying to clean your house but stuff shows up out of nowhere, we could all use a Spring Cleansing of our Hearts during this season and we can start by applying this list.

 

 

11 Misconceptions of Full- Time Christian Ministry Workers

I didn’t have the privilege of growing up in a Christian home but I did have the privilege of attending a Christian school the last two years of high school. I have friends who are now in full-time Christian Ministry and others who are working at secular jobs. Over my “official” years of being in Christian Ministry, I have been constantly reminded of a few things.

I. I am reminded that surrendering your life to serve the Lord isn’t a burden, but a blessing. Yes, there are burdens that you will carry as a minister of Christ but the blessings He pours far outweigh any of those burdens.

II. Being called to serve the Lord takes faith. You are trusting that if you surrender to God’s call for your life,the Lord will provide the needs of you and your family.

11 MISCONCEPTIONS of Full-Time Ministry Workers:

      1. Since he/she works at the church, teaches at a private school, preaches at Christian camps or cleans the toilets at church, he must be “more-called” than someone who isn’t working in either of those areas.

No Christian is “more-called” than another Christian. God calls us to do different things and calls us, not according to who we are or what we are capable of doing, but according to HIS OWN PURPOSE, which he established BEFORE the world began.

Matthew 22:14 |1 Corinthians 1:26 | Philippians 1:6 | 2 Timothy 1:9

      2. Since you work in a Christian environment, everyone will be Christ-like ALL.THE.TIME.

NOPE! It’s best if everyone in your work environment is a Christian but sadly, even in Christian workplaces, there are unsaved employees or staff members. Your job is TO STILL BE Salt & Light. Someone once told me, “One of the easiest places to backslide is in a Christian workplace or environment.”  

Matthew 5:16

      3.  Since you work at the church and are getting paid for it, you should be part of most, if not all the ministries & no one else should lead those ministries except those on staff.

TOTALLY FALSE! I’ll be honest, I hate that mentality. As staff members of a church or Christian organization, our job is to assist the Pastor or Leader. Yes, we should SET THE EXAMPLE and be involved in the ministries provided but to DO ALL OF THEM or LIMIT THE LEADERS OF THOSE MINISTRIES to ONLY Staff members is unhealthy and absolutely ridiculous.

       4.   Since you are an employee at the church, you should be present EVERY. SINGLE. TIME the church doors are open. 

I remember trying to convince myself when I first started growing as a new Christian that I would be at church any time and every time the church doors were open… Although that isn’t necessarily bad, we can use that as our reason for serving… to make sure that we are “seen” any time and every time something is going on at church. If we aren’t careful, we become “PERFORMANCE” Christians rather than “WORSHIPPING” Christians.  We end up doing things for people rather than serving to worship God. 

Although church is great place to fellowship with other Believers, we should go to church for the main purpose of Worshipping God, not fellowshipping with others.

      5. Since you are a “Full-Time” Christian minister/worker, you must read your Bible all the time and live a consecrated life; or what others may consider, “not knowing how to have fun.”

Being a Christian doesn’t mean that you are NO LONGER Human. You are very much human! In fact, as a Christian, you have more to wrestle with… you are in constant battles with your flesh and the Spirit that now lives in you as a child of God.

There will be times when you will forget or fail to prioritize reading your Bible or praying.

There will be times when you will say things that you wish you would have never said.

There will be times when you give in to your flesh rather than being led by the Holy Spirit.

BUT, a Child of God doesn’t give up…

If you missed reading your Bible or praying one day, get back up and start again.

If you haven’t been in church in so long, get back up and start going again. (Don’t worry about what others may say)

And who ever said that Christians don’t know how to have fun??!??

We have the most fun! Sure, we may not be out there at the bars every weekend, and we are so glad we aren’t! Because who would want to party all night and wake up the next morning trying to remember what happened or “who” happened? Definitely, not me!

      6. Since you “get paid” to serve the Lord, you should be the one that’s faithful in giving your tithes and offerings. 

God did not just command those in Christian Ministry to be faithful in giving their Tithes and Offerings. He has called every  Christian to give. I mean if you read the verses after each of these verses, you would be crazy not to want to give back to God. After all, every thing we have is His.

Proverbs 3:9  | Malachi 3:8 |   Malachi 3:10  | Proverbs 3:9

        7. Since you have surrendered your life to serve the Lord, your kids will be upright and perfect and CANNOT or “ARE NOT ALLOWED” to make mistakes and be kids.

Puh-lease!!! Kids will be kids. For the longest time, I had these high expectations of anyone that was a Pastor’s Kid, Missionary’s Kid, or Kids with Parents in Full-Time Ministry. But I’ve come to realize that just because someone is a Pastor’s kid doesn’t make them more of saint than someone who isn’t a Pastor’s kid. Sure, we will have our expectations but we shouldn’t be surprised if “that” child acts just any other child.

       8. Since you work at church, your life is much more easier than the person who is working at a secular job, doing their best to be “Salt & Light.”

I’ve worked at both secular and ministry jobs. Being at a secular job takes a lot of courage because every day, you are bombarded with things of this world; temptations, curiosity, lust, etc. However, being at a ministry job still requires you to stand up when other “Christians” don’t necessarily act or talk like Christians; There are temptations many Full-Time Ministry Workers face and sadly sometimes, they are similar to what those at secular jobs face.

      9. Since you work in “full-time” Christian Ministry, you have “in” on all the drama and gossip that’s going around.

As much as many believe that, it’s not true to every Christian Ministry. In fact, many Ministry Workers would prefer not to know a lot of stuff, simply because it’s another “burden” they will have to carry. So, no! We don’t know all the drama and gossip in the church and as much as our “nosy”-selves may want to know, we really don’t want to have a part.

    10. Since you work in full-time Christian Ministry, you are more honored and preferred by visiting preachers than the person who just got off work and is sitting, trying to fight their sleep. 

Not true! Sometimes, visiting preachers may remember the names of those that are Ministry Workers easily because they can associate them with a title, such as Mr. D. Harriss – Youth Pastor. But that doesn’t mean that they are more appreciated than some faithful laymen who comes service after service, despite their busy work schedule. In fact, in my opinion, they have a deeper appreciation for those who work secular jobs and are still faithful!

11. Since you are in full-time Christian Ministry, you have more time to get stuff done and can easily serve the Lord.

Honestly, everyone has the same amount time – twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Sure, doing stuff at the church is part of our “job” but that doesn’t mean that we have more time or an easier time to serve the Lord. Sometimes, working at a church is harder than it looks or sounds. There’s a constant reminder to be flexible, be available, and meet expectations on top of your regular life as a parent, spouse, or friend. So going back to the first misconception about Ministry Workers being “more called,” remember, before the world began, God already knew what your purpose was; what your calling was.

This post is in no way a means of comparing Full-Time Christian Ministry Workers and those working at Secular Jobs. It is not meant to put one “higher” than the other but to have a better understanding and to set things straight. Sometimes, what you think and assume isn’t really the truth.

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These are just 11 Misconceptions. I am positive that there are more but if you are a Full-Time Christian Worker, no matter what some one expects from you, remember, you are REALLY, TRULY serving the Lord, not people. (But you must still show your good works to people, so that they may see Christ in you).

If you are a Christian who isn’t in Full-Time Christian Ministry, I hope you have a better understanding and different view of those who are in Full-Time Christian Ministry. Just like you, they are just trying to serve the Lord. They are just doing it differently. Sure, it may include their paycheck but it is God who called them. They could’ve easily fulfilled another calling but the highest calling is whatever God called you to do, whether it be in Ministry or at a Secular Job. 

“Behold, I will do a new thing…”

No doubt, many either stayed up to RING IN THE NEW YEAR or slept FROM ALL THE FUN CHEER!

But one thing is for sure, if you are reading this, you made it into 2017! Congrats! I’m sure 2016 had its shares of good & bad and ups & downs, and 2017 will probably be the same to a point. We don’t know a lot of what 2017 may hold, but as Christians, we shouldn’t fret because we already know who holds tomorrow! (Praise Jesus!)

I’m sure there are millions and even billions out there who have set “NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS.” I, for one, didn’t necessarily make resolutions but instead set goals with a game plan. I’m sure that not all of my “plans” will go as I want them to this year but someone wise once said,

“He who aims at nothing hits it every time.” 

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I should at least try, right?

How silly would it be for someone to go to war without a game plan?

I’d say, ridiculous!

But yet, as Christians, we carelessly go to war EVERYDAY without THEE GAME PLAN – The Word of God and if you read the Bible, you will find that in this Book, there is the ARMOUR of God.

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Now, going back to that quote… I’m sure with the NEW YEAR, many wanted to have some “Spiritual Encouragement” and therefore attended church on Sunday. After all, what better way to start 2017 than by going to God’s House, right? But sadly, that won’t be “A REGULAR THING.” I don’t mean to be negative but I’ve seen it year after year…

Today, Church is viewed as “an obligation” rather than “a privilege.” It has become more of a gathering place of friends to fellowship rather than a place to worship the Living God. It has become a place for entertainment rather than a place of exalting the One, True God. Rather than it being a safe-haven for the hurt, it becomes a secret-place of gossip.

With 2017 already here,  let’s strive to make it different from 2016. Let’s make it better. Let’s include the ONE who gave it to us, God.

So I ask you, “How was your 1st day of 2017?” Maybe you ended 2016 believing in your heart that you wouldn’t do certain things or say certain things, but there you were already saying something that wasn’t honest, just, pure, lovely, or of good report. Well, friend, I’m here to tell you that tomorrow can be different. It can be better with God’s help.

Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold, I will do a NEW THING; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

No matter how your 2016 went, if you know Jesus as your Saviour, you can have confidence. You can accomplish what you never thought you could. You can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth you. (Philippians 4:13)

Don’t be discouraged by whatever happened or didn’t happen in 2016.

Today is a NEW DAY and 2017 is a NEW YEAR!

a-new-thing

Don’t be so caught up on LAST YEAR that you miss out on the NEW OPPORTUNITIES, NEW PRIVILEGES, and NEW BLESSINGS that God has in store for you TODAY & THIS YEAR!

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Who is excited for a BREAK?

At around this time of the year, people can either feel motivated to finish strong or get fed up with everything and everyone that they are READY for a break. Today was one of those days for me when I was just ready for it to be Thanksgiving and Christmas Break combined!

Christian-Life, Wife-Life, Mommy-Life, Work-Life, Blogger-Life, 

LIFE. LIFE. LIFE.

Who’s with me? I’m sure I’m not alone in this “Time for a Break” Stage.

Life does that to you sometimes, you know.  It gets the best of you or the worse of you. It’ll knock you down or pick you up.  But that’s life. But YOUR life doesn’t have to be the worse! It can still be awesome in spite of all the craziness that is going on at your job, your home, your workplace, and YES – IN THIS WORLD!

You see, so many people live their lives as if it’s a misery or a nightmare to wake up from. But LIFE is a gift; that’s why we have to live it in the present. Stop looking at your past mistakes or past victories. Don’t be so focused on the what 10 years could look like from now that you fail to focus on living in the “NOW.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t set goals for how you want your life to be in 10 years – Please do set goals. But what I do mean is, don’t get caught up about doing things FOR THE FUTURE that you neglect doings things RIGHT NOW, in the PRESENT…. because after all, what you do in the present greatly affects your future. 

This is just a short post to ENCOURAGE you to keep going. Finish this year strong. Regardless of all the problems going on in our world, we can all agree that we are all blessed! Don’t take your BLESSINGS for granted. Rather, use your blessings to MOTIVATE you to KEEP ON KEEPING ON. 

Galatians 6:9  

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

By God’s Grace,

judylynn