There's Always a Trade

God created a garden. In it He placed Adam and Eve, He told them to name the animals, tend to the garden and to be fruitful and multiply. He gave all of what the garden brought forth as food except for one tree. He told them, "don't eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17)." I'm sure almost all of humankind has heard at least something of what happened next. Satan deceived Eve, who took fruit from this forbidden tree and ate of it then gave to Adam who was with her. Death entered into the world in that moment. No, Adam and Eve didn't die right then and there but they did die. There's also something very notable that happened here besides just disobeying God, they obeyed Satan. They changed masters. They traded in life for death. Health for sickness. Trust for doubt. A life of toil and pain was taken upon them and they traded in a life of continual communion with God.

A life of toil and pain was taken upon them and they traded in a life of continual communion with God.

How many times do we do the same thing? We look at a situation and we get to make a choice in how we are going to react. Do we react with anger or understanding? With mercy or cruelty? In every decision we make, we are making a trade for what master we are going to serve. Are we going to obey God and offer peace and forgiveness to someone who has wronged us or are we going to serve Satan and go his way in acting in fear, retribution and hate? Isn't that CRAZY? Think about it? You're serving one master at all times. You're either walking with God or following after the ways of this world and who is master of this world? Satan. It makes you think when you flip off that person who just cut you off in traffic or that little white lie you made up to save yourself in front of your boss. I'm so guilty of walking in this, but I've learned the hard way and I've realized that I want to serve God. I want my life to glorify Him in all that I do. Yes, we're gonna mess up and make mistakes. God has grace for us that is sufficient for anything we may do. Mistakes aren't sins. Sins are you what you willingly do. Sin is trading in God's best for Satan's worse. You make the choice to sin and still God will forgive you.

Sin is trading in God’s best for Satan’s worse.

Back to Adam and Eve at the beginning. God knew that they were going to sin. He knew that His creation was going to trade masters. He had a plan and His name is Jesus. From when God formed the foundations of this world, He had a redemptive plan to save all of mankind in letting His only Son be sacrificed so this world could again have the choice to choose life instead of death. It takes one choice. Choose Jesus or choose Satan. It's as simple as that. Believe in what Jesus did on the cross and that it was payment for the sin in your life. Sin always cost something and Jesus died for all sin in the past, present and future for all mankind. He did it because God wanted us back. He's not a cruel master, but a gentle and loving Daddy who sees us in the distance walking back to Him. We're beat up, filled with shame and embarrassed of where we've been. We've traded in our inheritance for the temporal luxuries of this world, but we're ready to come home. God sees us, tells His servants to get the party started, His child has come home! He grabs His most luxurious robe that He drapes over our filthy shoulders. He wraps His arms around us and holds up close laying kisses upon our forehead and cheeks. He speaks words of love and forgiveness and places beautiful signet rings on our hands that signify that we are His children.

Adam and Eve may have messed it up in the beginning but Jesus made it right again. He couldn't stand living without you, so He died to save you. Get over your pride. Give away your shame and trade it for unconditional love that only God can give you. Sin is fun for a season, but it will always lead to death. Death to your spirit, to your relationships and ultimately to your life. God is always waiting and will never turn you away.

I'd love to help you realize how much God loves you if you would like to reach out to me just write me at coopedupcowboyswife@yahoo.com.

Much love,

Candace

Country Wife, Country Life

I will always somewhat live a country life being a country wife! The other day while talking to a dear friend I realized how far I have come in learning who I really am! I know that sounds silly, but honestly we can sometimes get caught in all the things that we think we are, that we are actually not. Last August we sold our house and our land as most of you know. We listed it on the market, sold it within 6 days and had a week to find where we were going when the time came to pack up! Then throughout those weeks we sold almost every livestock animal we had, catahoula cow working dog and hound dogs. Within that year I sold my horse that I had since I was in high school and my son decided he wanted to sell his horse soon. God told us to sell our truck and we traded it for .... Drum roll... A mini van, yes a mini van! Each thing we sold was a piece taken away from me that left me thinking, that was a part of my identity. I had allowed some of those possessions to get in the way of my true identity, one that o had lost through different things and eventually ended up in a depression because of it. All along, God had been there showing me that He was my identity, not these things! The last couple of years, God has continued to show me who I am and who He has called me to be. Although, there has been time I have left my mind open to the "once was me", and allowed the enemy to question myself of who I am. After slamming and I mean slamming the door to those thoughts, I realized it's easy to let our mind slip into the past and into everything else that's going on around you. I started to think, "why am I doing this blog?" I am not a cowgirl anymore. I don't live on a ranch or even have chickens. I have two dogs and live on a couple acres rented closer into town. Now, that's nonsense to think that. As I told this to my friend, the words I heard back for an obvious revelation that I know better to think these things. What was said was, "it doesn't matter who you are, where you live, what you do, how you do it as the world thinks!" "God doesn't put you in a box and the gospel is more than just being a cowgirl or living on a ranch or owning a horse, a chicken, or even a cow!" "His word travels no matter who you are and there is importance in that, not in the way that I am either country or not country!" So, as I say this, I say it from the heart that I may never live on. Farm, a ranch or even an acreage... own a livestock animal or ride a horse. I will always somewhat live a country lifestyle and be a country wife at heart. But, the most important thing about it all, is that wherever I live, whatever I do, I'll do it with the most utmost respect, honor and integrity, honoring the most amazing man I know, Jesus! 

Till next time,  

Kirste !  

Country Wife, Country Life

I will always somewhat live a country life being a country wife! The other day while talking to a dear friend I realized how far I have come in learning who I really am! I know that sounds silly, but honestly we can sometimes get caught in all the things that we think we are, that we are actually not. Last August we sold our house and our land as most of you know. We listed it on the market, sold it within 6 days and had a week to find where we were going when the time came to pack up! Then throughout those weeks we sold almost every livestock animal we had, catahoula cow working dogs and hound dogs. Within that year I sold my horse that I had since I was in high school and my son decided he wanted to sell his horse as well. God told us to sell our truck and we traded it for .... drum roll... a mini van, yes a mini van! Each thing we sold was a piece taken away from me that left me thinking, "was that a part of my identity?" I had allowed some of those possessions to get in the way of my true identity, one that I had lost through different things and eventually ended up in a depression because of it. All along, God had been there showing me that He was my identity, not these things! The last couple of years, God has continued to show me who I am and who He has called me to be. Although, there has been times that I have left my mind open to the "once was me", and allowed the enemy in for me to question myself of who I am. After slamming, and I mean slamming the door to those thoughts, I realized it's easy to let our mind slip into the past and into everything else that's going on around us. I started to think, "why am I doing this blog?" I am not a cowgirl anymore. I don't live on a ranch or even have chickens. I have two dogs and live on a couple acres rented closer into town. Now, that's nonsense to think that. As I told this to my friend, the words I heard back was obvious revelation that I knew better not to think these things. What was said was, "it doesn't matter who you are, where you live, what you do, how you do it as the world thinks!" "God doesn't put you in a box and the gospel is more than just being a cowgirl or living on a ranch or owning a horse, a chicken, or even a cow!" "His word travels no matter who you are and there is importance in that and not in the way that I am either country or not country!" I may never live on a farm, a ranch or even an acreage. I may never own a livestock animal or ride a horse again, but I will always somewhat live a country lifestyle and be a country wife at heart. The most important thing about it all is that wherever I live, whatever I do, I'll do it with the utmost respect, honor and integrity honoring the most amazing man I know, Jesus! 

Till next time,  

Kirste !  

Hold Fast

Wow, it feels like forever since I've gotten to share my heart here on the blog. My life has been anything short of calm and easy. In the last month we've lost two grandparent's. My mom's dad (papa) went to be with the Lord on August 28th, then Kody's mom's mother (Grammy) passed away one month and one day later. So it's been a little rough. God is so good to us in these times because with both of our loved ones we got to spend some special time with them just before they passed. For that I am so thankful. These two people helped shaped both me and Kody into who we are today and they will be greatly missed!

My papa and Odessa Rose.

My papa and Odessa Rose.

Kody's grammy, Sara Lee.

Kody's grammy, Sara Lee.

My four year old, Sheridan keeps asking the question, "how do people go to heaven?" I love that she's so inquisitive when it comes to knowing the things of God. She really wants to know. It's not some off the wall question to her, you can tell she's really putting some thought into it. She's got the answer down now that you have to believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again and that He did it so we could have life here and then in heaven with Him after we die. I love it!

Other happenings around the ranch happen to be wrapped up in a little buckskin pony that Nana Dena (Kody's mom) gifted Sheridan. His name is Ziggy and he is Sheridan's best friend, besides Odessa of course! She has to say hi to him every time we drive in or out of our driveway. She has to feed him and clean his pen everyday, mom can't help! He's not aloud to get disciplined by mom, because he didn't do anything wrong (I don't let her or him get away with this one, haha!) I love how horses teach kids responsibility and confidence. I mean if you can get a stubborn pony away from patch a grass all on your own, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!

Sheridan and her new pony, Ziggy!

Sheridan and her new pony, Ziggy!

Onto this weekend, I have the grand pleasure of having my beautiful friend, LeAnn Hart out to our church, Northern Colorado Cowboy Church to speak with our ladies on Saturday. If you can make it, doors open at 8:30 am! Then she'll be speaking to everyone at our Saturday night service at 6 pm. All are welcome!! I know I can hardly contain my excitement, I know lives will be changed by the words God has given her!!

Finally, I just wanted to let you in on what God has been speaking to my heart. If you've read any of my posts about my testimony, you know that I grew up in a religion that was just that, religion. It wasn't relationship. I've always struggled with seeing and treating God like my friend and my daddy because I was raised to believe he was this all powerful, far of Being that only cared about how good I could be and what I could do for Him. I'm really just starting to grasp how much He loves and cherishes me. How just like my own earthly daddy, He would drop anything to come and sit and hold me when I'm sad, laugh with me when I'm joyful and push me to go further and farther than what I can see possible. I was just reading in Deuteronomy 11 about following God's law it reads, "For if you carefully keep all my commandments which I command you to do-to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him." When the Bible says "hold fast to Him" it indicates a very close and intimate relationship. It's the same verb used for the relationship between a husband and wife. Holding fast to Him means that I put this relationship as a top priority, that I let Him into the deepest parts of me and that I share my life with Him, just as I do my husband. The coolest part is that God has the power to heal me, make me whole and to restore me!

So with that, all I can say is hold fast to God and never let go!

Much love,

Candace

Changing Of Seasons

I thought this would be appropriate to write with last Thursday beginning our fall season here in the beautiful Rocky Mountain state of Colorado. As fall arrives here in Colorado you honestly never know the type of weather that we will get. But, here recently we have noticed the more brisk mornings and evenings each day. One thing that fall always brings is the change of color around here. The trees start turning colors from green to yellow, orange and red and it's beautiful! Take a look of this picture my husband just took in the mountains while hunting!  

For our family, fall has a lot of meaning! Fall means we are finishing up our outside things and starting to settle into the house earlier in the evenings. It means cozying up by the fire place and snuggling together as a family. Fall means packing up the summer clothes and bringing out the sweaters, plaid and the knit stocking caps! A warm cup of lemon water, peppermint tea or a cup of joe is even more admirable during these cooler mornings! With all of this, is a change! 

But, how many of us go through different season changes through out each year? I'm not talking about the weather changes of spring, summer, fall and winter, but the season in which God has placed us in. So many times throughout the year or years God will change the season that we are in. Sometimes we look at this differently depending which season we are in. Some seasons are short lived. Some are long and hard, but through it all God is faithful. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." If you continue to read on down through verse 22 it explains in each season what lies ahead. No matter what season you are in right now, just remember God's got it and God's got you. Hold tight to the promises that God has for you in each season and really press into God during those times. Habakkuk 2:3, "For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end-it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay." 

Today I am praying that just as we embrace the physical seasons of the year, that you would too, embrace the season that God has you in right now. If it's a hard season, press in. There will be a time when it turns around and just when you think you are at the edge and about ready to fall off, you will be raised into that next season from God. And, if you are in a lighter season, then still press in and seek God for what He has next for you. In 2 Timothy 4:2 it talks about being ready in season and out of season. So, whatever season you're in right now, remember to press in, press through and trust Gods faithfulness through it. 

-Kirste

Child-like Faith

My girls are 2 and 4, they're free-spirited & strong willed little things. Our days mostly consist of playing princesses, riding horses and playing in the backyard, but lately they've taken a whole new interest in sitting down and reading the Bible. Sheridan, my 4 year old, is asking some pretty deep questions, like why did Jesus have to die on a cross? Why were they so mean to him (talking about the people who killed Jesus)? What is heaven, why is God up there? 

She really makes me stop and ask God how He would want to answer these questions. I know that I can always give her the elementary answer for example, "He died so that we could live in Heaven with Him when we die." But I really want for her to know that He did die for that, but He also died so that we could truly live in Him, we could be free from fear, free from the strongholds of the world we live in now, and that we have the authority and power to pull heaven down to earth.

So what's the best way to convey this to her? Live it out, speak it out all the time, listen to Holy Spirit filled worship music and not hold back answers that I deem to mature for her. She blows me away with information that she comprehends and retains everyday. I'm finding out that giving her a challenge is the best way for her to learn.

How easy it is for us to go about our day as believers who know God's promises and His Word, but to not let it challenge us? Matthew 18:3 says, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." It's okay to ask questions, to want to dig in deeper to get the true meaning of words in the Bible. God wants to give us fresh revelation, but I know that He also requires us to do some of the work as well.

It’s okay to ask questions, to want to dig in deeper to get the true meaning of words in the Bible. God wants to give us fresh revelation, but I know that He also requires us to do some of the work as well.

I just want to ask, what would it be like to return to how we were like when we were kids, first learning the true meaning of what Jesus did on the cross? Think about that, pray about it and the next opportunity you get to speak to a new believer or a child about Jesus give them something to chew on and go deep with!

Much love,

Candace

 

That Little Piece Of Your Self-Identity

So, this last week was a huge change in my life. HUGE! Okay, so Traycen started Kindergarten. To some of you you're probably like, "really, wow!" But to me, this was a big deal. Not only is my baby, but my only child now going to school. That meant he wouldn't be my side kick Monday through Friday each week, even though it's only half days, but still! Tuesday August 23 came up fast and ready or not, there it was staring me in the face. I walked him in and he had told me that I couldn't stay because I would cry. Well he was correct. I walked into the chapel because I wanted to see all of what they did and how they did it. They started to play the worship song God Is On The Move. If you have not heard it, it's an amazing song about how God is moving in mighty ways and truly ministers to my heart. I took one look at that little boy and those kids singing that song and teared up, about ready to lose it. I had to dismiss myself discretly from the chapel to go rub my eyes and make it look like I wasn't indeed going to burst into tears. I managed to get it together and go back in to finish the song. Shortly after I realized the time had come for me to leave to go to some meetings. I left the school quietly and got in my car to drive. As I was driving I had this weird peace in me. I started praying and asking God, "what is that?" Clearly God told me.... "you know that little piece of self-identity that you find in your child? You need to give that to me!" Ouch or amen. It was at that point that I realized I had somewhat been putting a piece of my own self worth/identity in my child. How easily this can happen I thought. It's so easy to put our identities in material possessions and things of this world, but I didn't even consider I was doing that with my beloved child. It was honestly a great reminder to me that God is my all in all. Even though I love my child so much he can't even be in that place in my self identity. My identity first and foremost needs to be in Christ. Just as this was a good reminder for me, it can be one for you too. We can easily try placing other things in front of God to find our identity in them. But, when they are gone then what happens? If we are setting our purpose to fulfill who God called us to be as our identity in Him, then we know who we are. Romans 5:17 says, I glory in Him!" We are called, chosen, righteous, beautiful, daughters of the most High God! 

-Kirste

What I'm Diving Into

I can't express enough how much I love summer and usually I don't wish for it to ever end, but this summer has been so crazy and busy. I'm almost looking forward to fall and winter just because it means my little family won't be running so much. With that in mind, I have so many books that I've been looking forward to read when my life has slowed down!

One that I can't wait to get my hands on is Lisa Bevere's new book "Without Rival." This book is about breaking the bonds of competition and comparison that so many of us women have with each other. This ultimately leads us into separation from an intimacy with God because we push away from Him when we don't feel worthy of His love because we don't love ourselves. In this book, the review says that she addresses the argument that says women are unfit, gullible and easily deceived. The enemy would love for us to turn on ourselves and others to keep us in bondage and limit us from walking in how God truly created us to be. I hope to start this next week with some other women in my church!

Another one that I've been trying to read, but I really want to sit down and really get into is a book by my fave author, Kris Vallotton "The Supernatural Ways of Royalty." I have been soaking all of the words of this book in each week because everything is so heavy, but so good. Kris gives revelation to knowing your true identity in Christ, how God sees us and how He wants to give us so much because we share in Christ's inheritance since we are children of God. I can't get enough of it!!

Lastly, the leadership in my church will be starting "Honor's Reward" by John Bevere. I've actually read this book many years ago, but I definitely could use a refresher. I just know when I did read it, it rocked my world. I made a post a while back about honoring other women, giving preference to others and not just living to make ourselves look good and this book gave me so many principles into writing that post.

Have any of you read any great books this summer that I need to add to my list?

Candace

 

 

A Godly Perspective

Perspective- a way of regarding something, a point of view!  

We tend to think that our perspective is the only one that matters sometimes. To say the least, we've gotten that wrong. In Philippians 2:5 it says, "Your attitude should be the same that Jesus Christ had." For all of us, we sometimes face the fact that we lose our perspective. We lose our insight and the direction we're going and become overwhelmed, under balanced and end up a "hot mess." Thankfully this can only be temporary when we have an amazing God and amazing set of friends around to help remind us of this. There is an importance of friends and fellowship! When we get together with friends, our temporary loss of perspective becomes regained. The negative attitude we once had about something goes away and a fresh, positive attitude is instilled by our friends. They help us to refocus and regain where we opened the door to mad chaos! Our friends help us to prioritize again and to find the peace within that only Jesus brings. Those are the things that my friends do for me. Each of them are so different, but so helpful in many ways in my life. I honestly don't know where I would be without them:) 

Today I encourage you to regain a new perspective. Ask Jesus where you've been having "stinking thinking" and allowed chaos and discontentment into your heart and into your life. I encourage you to set yourself around people who love you, friends that will encourage you and help you out along your path! It's so easy to sit back and disengage, but God is calling you to be confident in who you are and to trust the people that He has placed around you!  

Have a blessed day !!!  

{Kirste} 

Marriage-His Design

Join us today as we welcome Amy Schild to talk about marriage. Amy and her husband, Mark, head up the marriage ministry at our church. It's a blessing to have her!

Marriage:  There are so many things I can say about marriage, so I will try to keep this short and sweet.

Did you know marriage was God's idea and He designed it?  So therefore, God knows what a marriage needs to thrive. So, let's go to the beginning.

God created man and made women from Adam's rib. God did not make women from Adam's head, feet, chest or back.  He didn't want woman to be above, under, ahead or behind man.  He wanted woman to be right next to their man! Pretty cool!

God did not make women from Adam’s head, feet, chest or back. He didn’t want woman to be above, under, ahead or behind man. He wanted woman to be right next to their man

Then in Genesis 2:24, A man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined with his wife and they shall become one flesh. We become ONE! Stop and really think about that. That is powerful. When you have God, your spouse, and you. That is a three strand cord and not quickly broken. (Ecc. 4:9-12) Numerous times in the Bible it says, "Two are better than one. They have good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. and if two lie down together, they will keep warm. Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken."

Our "oneness" bonded together by a Holy covenant (God's design). People confuse covenant with contract. Contract is the way the world view's marriage and a contract is so easily broken/voided. Contracts do not have God in the center of them.

People confuse covenant with contract. Contract is the way the world view’s marriage and a contract is so easily broken/voided. Contracts do not have God in the center of them.

When a person has a good relationship with God (vertical) than we can have a good relationships with each other (horizontal). God is ALL about relationships. The marriage covenant is the MOST pivotal relationship that represents the church. 

 People say marriage is hard work.  Yes, it takes work, but I think, now this is me.....once you get all the worldly stuff and junk out of your marriage and totally understand God's idea of marriage, I think it comes easy to please your spouse and speak their love language.  Oh yes, God gave us our very own "love language."  Think of your marriage as a beautiful garden. If you see a weed, pull it right away. Get rid of it no matter what it is.  If you don't pull those weeds, they will choke the life out of your garden and all you have left is bad weeds where nothing can survive. The weeds represent worldly stuff.

Marriage is a beautiful and most wonderful gift the Lord has given us. Let's cherish it!    

 

For it was not unto my ear you whispered,

      but unto my heart.

For it was not my lips you kissed,

      but my soul.

 

(author unknown).

 

My husband (Mark) and I are here for anyone who needs to talk.

God bless you all and Thank you Lord for all your blessings.

 

Amy Schild. 

Learn Some Manners

I once read that arrogance is not thinking more highly of yourself but thinking less of others. Many people in my generation were raised to believe that if you work hard you win, if you get there first you'll get the new iPhone before anyone else and if you make a mistake it's okay to sweep it under the rug and act like it never happened. I agree that if you work hard you'll be successful but it shouldn't be at someone else's expense. Just because you're running late doesn't mean you should let the door slam on a mom carrying a car seat with her baby and a toddler holding her hand (I've been that person)! If you're riding the bus and it's been a hard day, it's still not okay to make that old man stand while you sit and stare at your phone. Get of your butt and learn some manners!

I say all this, because I'm tired of seeing the division in our country that has been caused by a little lie that the devil has perpetuated since the beginning of time. "You are a nothing, a nameless powerless person and the only way that you can get power and find your identity is by taking it and throwing someone else under the bus." It started in the Garden with Adam and Eve. The devil in serpent-form, came to Eve and explained to her that she had no real power, even though she was completely clothed in God's glory, she was a nothing. God was the one that had all the power and the Almighty had just put little old her on the planet to make babies and help with the animals. If she really wanted some power she should eat from the tree of Good and Evil that God said not to. The reason God had said not to was because then her eyes would be open and she would be like God and He didn't want that!

So Eve ate and then blamed it on the snake. Adam, who was right by her side, ate as well and blamed it on Eve. I'm sure you get the picture and I'm sure you've heard the rest of the story. All mankind has suffered because of that first sin. The funny thing is that Eve was like God already, she had so much power because she was made in the image and likeness of God! He gave her all power and authority on the earth and she had an amazing identity in God. She didn't need to wear clothes because she was completely wrapped by God's glory. The devil knew this and he deceived her into thinking that she was nothing. She handed over her authority to him when she ate the fruit and God's glory was taken away and she was truly naked.

This has been the devil's "Method of Operation" from the beginning. Tell humans how pathetic and powerless they are and if they believe it they'll do all the terrible things for him and he really doesn't have to lift a finger. How do you think humans started owning other humans? They believed the lie that they were powerless so if could throw someone else underneath their feet they would feel power. This led to racism. This led to people being tortured and murdered because of the color of their skin. It led to war and brothers fighting against brothers. Which led to one race not being able to drink from the same drinking fountain as another. Which led to riots, murders and now our country is a country divided all because no one knows that they have power and a true identity in Jesus Christ. If you don't teach your children who they are in Christ, that they have power, that their words have power, they'll listen to the lies of the devil and they'll do whatever it takes to try and get some power. I'll reiterate what arrogance is, it's not thinking more highly of yourself, it's thinking less of others. It's false power. You're not actually getting power, you're trying to steal it from others. James 4:6 says, "He opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." You walk in all God's grace when you are humble. My interpretation of humility is knowing you're true identity and at the same time you put others before yourself.

I think this can be taught from about the first year of a child's life. You teach them "please and thank you." You teach them to share. When they're older, they should always give up their seat to an elder. Hold the door, grab the heavy object that someone's struggling with, help the person who dropped something. These things need to be taught because human nature has been conditioned throughout generations to believe that, "I'm more important than you simply because I feel like if I help you out, I lose my power." Here's the thing, if you can lose it, it wasn't true power and it wasn't your true identity, but you can decide to give it away. God made us in His image and likeness, key word: MADE. It's who we are, it's our being. It can't be changed or lost because it's who we are, but we can walk in denial of that power and give it to the enemy. You can believe the lies of the devil and what the world says you are or you can learn who you are in Christ. You see over 2,000 years ago a God's own son poured out His blood on a cross, He was sinless yet He died a criminal's death. He did this so He could take back the authority and power that the devil thought he had stolen forever.

You learn who you are in Christ when you read God's Word. 1 Peter 2:9 reads, "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." All those words in this scripture: CHOSEN, ROYAL, HOLY, SPECIAL...they describe who we are in Christ. Believing those words that describe who we are can take us from a powerless mentality to a powerful mindset that knows our true identity and the power that we possess. It enables us to walk in love, giving preference to others and to serve God with our whole hearts.

What if this country could be unified because people finally found out their true identity? In this they could walk in power and love. Lifting up others and honoring those in authority. They wouldn't leave their children and they would be responsible for their mistakes. I encourage you to pray for this, seek it out yourself and read God's Word.

Walk in love!

Candace

For Your Family

Joshua 24:15 "But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."

As our son Traycen grows up, and other children along the way, we want them to know and recognize that prayer and worship is more than just a "Sunday" thing. Worship defined in the dictionary is to honor with extravagant love and extreme submission (Webster's Dictionary,1828). The bible says in 1 Timothy 4:12, "Be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." Being more than just a Sunday morning worshipper means prioritizing and being an example to our kids of where we place God in our lives. The priority we place on who God is in our lives is a priority, a must. We need to be teaching this to our children from a young age so that they know the importance of daily having a relationship with Christ, not just when we go to church or feel impressed to. Our kids are constantly watching what we do. Are we being examples to them by making Him priority in praying and worshipping Him? If we create Him as a priority and as a lifestyle, our kids will learn the expression of the beauty of holiness and extravagant love that we have by being in constant love with prayer, worship and Him! 

Praying that God opens your eyes for you to see where you're placing Him. You can't be too busy to spend time with God. Seek Him, ask Him where your other priorities need to be lined up and make Him "number one."

 

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Kirste  

God Makes Us All Different!

I love that so many woman are really stepping out to share on the blog. Whether it is a devotional or a Brave story, these woman are truly inspirational. God created each of us differently and wouldn't want us any other way. The passions God put in my heart and my character are going to be different than what someone else's looks like. But, we are all created in His image, wonderfully and perfectly made! I know you will enjoy reading what Breanne has for you all today. This girl is truly a beauty and her heart and passion for all she does is astounding. She has the most bubbly personality and it's just contagious! Thanks Breann!

Let me start out saying I'm not perfect. I sin daily, and repent often. But, my "salvation story" or testimony is not like most you hear. I got saved when I was 8. I grew up in a Christian home with wonderful supportive parents. Did I make mistakes, of course, but did I ever loose faith, no! I listened to all sorts of testimonies about these radical changes in people's lives once they came to God, and to be perfectly honest, I felt like I needed to go wild to experience Him. Luckily God had a different plan. He knew I was on the verge of something when He brought me Josh. I meet my husband when I was 14 years old and he was my voice of reason. Off and on over the next 5 years I struggled with my identity in Christ. All of these testimonies were so profound and mine was nothing compared to theirs. Then one day at a Cafe in Huston, Texas I broke down. I couldn't take it any more I wanted to know what was wrong with me, why had I always felt left out because I made the right decisions? A person should not feel less holy because they didn't give into temptation, but that is exactly how I felt. Why did I feel like I needed to sin to experience Gods grace? Thankfully, God had me right where I needed to be at the Women's retreat. The next morning the Pastor got up and gave a life changing sermon for me. It was on having never lost faith, never running away from God. He started talking about the prodigal son, except this time from the point of view of the son who never left. He went on to explain how the son who stayed felt betrayed and jealous because the son who left got his inheritance and upon his return got a huge welcome home party, while the faithful son got nothing, or so he thought. But, he went on to explain that the faithful son would be rewarded in the end for never leaving, never turning his back on his father. That was me, the daughter who never left, who has struggled through her walk, who had sinned, but kept her eyes on God. Do I still struggle with my testimony, yes because it's not great, it's simple, but it's mine! Out of all of this I have learned that no matter how big or small you think your "salvation story" is it doesn't matter, it's yours! God will make sure to show you that it too has significance! So for all you believers out there who felt like me, please know that God will reward you for fighting the good fight and never loosing faith. For those of you who have one of those amazing coming to God stories please keep sharing. We need to realize that we are all different parts of this body. My story, my life, should not be like anyone else's because God did not create me to be like someone else. He created me in His image to be me, and He loves me!

My story, my life, should not be like anyone else’s because God did not create me to be like someone else. He created me in His image to be me, and He loves me!
Breann, her husband Josh and beautiful little girl!

Breann, her husband Josh and beautiful little girl!

-Breann

Talking To Yourself

I've been reading a little book called, "What to Say When You talk to Yourself" by Shad Helmstetter. In this book he talks about how our subconscious mind is like a computer, it has a program in it that tells it what to do. That program is wrote by us. We are the ultimate authors of what our subconscious mind thinks about and ultimately this is what we are telling ourselves throughout the day. We can write in good things to tell ourselves like, "I am so smart. I excel at math." Or we can write in bad things, "I am such an idiot. I can't ever do anything right!" It can also be programmed by what we believe others think of us, "Candace, you are such a mess. You're room is a mess, you never can keep it clean." What our subconscious mind starts to believe is that I am a mess and I will never be able to keep my room clean. These words are so powerful and they can steer our lives in so many different directions. Did you ever hear from someone when you were young that you didn't have any rhythm, even though you desperately wanted to play guitar, you gave it up because you believed those words? These words are able to change the course of our lives if we choose to believe them.


In the book, the author talks about getting rid of that old program of thinking. He goes into visualizing that you are taking those words and physically giving them back to whomever gave them to you. Whether it be your parents, siblings, teachers, friends or bosses. I even like to envision that these are lies of the enemy as well. He's the author of lies and confusion and would want nothing more then to let us continue on a destructive path because we have chosen to believe what he says about us over what God says about us.

After you give away those lies, you have to replace it with the words that will edify you, lift you up and lead you on the path will give you abundant life. This book isn't exactly a Christian book, so I took it into my own hands to look up what God says about me to rewrite my subconscious program. I was thinking that I can think all day on good positive thoughts that will help to change my program, but why not look up what God says about me, because His plan is way better than whatever I could come up with.

Here's just a few that I wrote down and even voice recorded them on my phone so I can listen to them when I'm getting ready in the morning (I did change the wording to read in "first person":

  • I follow the example of the Lord, who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and loving-kindness. Psalm 103:8
  • I speak soft answers that turn away wrath, not grievous words that stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1
  • Now I must get rid of all these things: anger, passion and hateful things. No insults or obscene talk must ever come from my lips. Colossians 3:8
  • I am strong, courageous and firm; I fear not and am not in terror; for it is the Lord my God who goes with me; He will not fail me or forsake me. Deuteronomy 31:6 

These powerful words from the Bible are able to change things in a person's life if we can believe them. It takes diligence, time and intentionality to change someone's beliefs that will change habits, that will change lives. I'm also more aware of how I talk to my kids. Instead of saying something like, "Sheridan, why are you always fighting with your sister?" I could say, "Sheridan I know that you love your sister and that you can be very kind to her. She loves to learn from you and play with you." It's amazing how her countenance changes when she's being shown who she really is and not getting the negative words spoken over her. I'm challenging myself to really be intentional with calling out the good in my kids instead of the negative. Yes, I will still discipline them and they will know that they've made a wrong decision, but their wrong decisions are just that, decisions. It's not who they are!

God has made us as His own special people. He has great and amazing plans to prosper us and give us an abundant life. We have to believe and take Him at His Word that He has only good plans for us and not to devalue ourselves by believing what the enemy or other people have to say about us.

I pray that we can all come to this knowledge!

Here's to an amazing journey of knowing more of God everyday and remember that we are created in His image!

Candace