Set Apart: Through It All by Raychel Davison

Set Apart: Through It All by Raychel Davison

When I was first asked to share my testimony I was thinking, “Oh man, what should I even say..?” I’m not going to lie ya’ll, I was kind of dreading if it ever came time for me to be asked. I was sitting in my car and had just gotten back from my lunch break and immediately God interceded and said, “You have plenty to share and I’m only asking for a snippet to encourage the women of your church family.” This is a bit long, so bear with me, ladies!

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Set Apart: Why Wait? by Meghan Gates

Set Apart: Why Wait? by Meghan Gates

The act of physical intimacy – and I’m not just talking about sex – is intended for marriage because that is the closest relationship we can have on earth.  Sex functions within a marriage, and functions extremely well!  When we misuse sex (outside of marriage), it is dysfunctional.  Our spirit gets confused because we are participating in an act with someone that isn’t our spouse.  Our spirit wants to become one with the other person’s spirit because that is what sex was designed for.  But the spirits can’t mesh because the individuals are not married. Sex outside of marriage can never become one and sex was designed to create one flesh from two people.  This causes loneliness, confusion, distress, shame, and a conflict that arises within our spirits. 

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Set Apart: "Commun"-ication by Candace Lostroh

Set Apart: "Commun"-ication by Candace Lostroh

I bring all of this up because the Devil has not changed his message. Yes, he may change up how he brings it about, his methods, but the true message of his deception has not changed and that is that God is holding out on us. He doesn't want us to have fun. He wants us to remain brainless, go through the motions, bow down and worship every day for the rest of our miserable lives. If he was truly a good and loving God he would make this world perfect. Nothing would go wrong, bad things wouldn't happen and all of us would be rich, healthy and happy. You see if he can keep us in this thinking that only if we'll keep practicing our "religion" of showing up and doing all the things we keep doing because maybe just maybe God will give us some blessings, we miss what God has already given us....and that's his Son, Jesus and what his work on the cross did for all mankind.

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Set Apart: Redeem by Meghan Gates

Set Apart: Redeem by Meghan Gates

I finally found my fulfillment in Christ instead of men.  I became content by myself and stopped dating altogether.  I started writing letters to my future husband again.  I started fervently praying for my future husband.  When the men came knocking, I would simply turn them away and refuse to even entertain a dinner date because I was in a fully committed relationship with God. 

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Stop, Look and Listen

A couple weeks ago we had a beautiful snow fall. Church got cancelled and Kody asked our girls if they'd like to go call in coyotes. Of course my little adventure lovers were screaming in agreement because this would be a first for them.

We got them dressed in snow pants, coats, hats and gloves. I told Kody I wish we had more neutral colors for them to wear besides they're pink and turquoise coats, but he reminded me that coyotes don't see color.

"Oh, yes, then they should be good!"

Notice Odessa's Nerf gun!!

Notice Odessa's Nerf gun!!

I don't think he really planned to actually call anything in, this was more of a learning experience for the girls. So the pressure was off, thankfully.

Locked and loaded they headed off to find a spot along a creek in the pasture.

Ready to roll...

Ready to roll...

Kody explained to me that both girls had a hard time making it to their spot because they kept tripping over frozen cow patties that were hidden by the fresh snow. He said every time he looked back to make sure they were getting along alright one would be recovering from her fall or one would be flat on her stomach. Darn cow patties! Not to mention that it was still snowing and the wind was starting to pick up. My tough cowgirls!

So finally they found their spot and sat and waited. Sat and listened. I'm sure if you know any 3 and 5 year old little girls, sitting still and being quiet is excruciatingly hard! They literally cannot sit still for more than a moment.

My patient husband was teaching them a life lesson in this instant.

Stop...stop the motion, the busyness, the chatter in your head and quiet your spirit. When you do this there's something that happens. You may be conscious of your breathing, the beat of your heart and you will even be able to feel what parts of your body are tense.

Look...look for what God is trying to show you. It may be a flashing light up sign that helps you make a wise choice when faced with a decision or more than likely it' something very subtle. God loves to use His creation to speak to His creation. Sunrises and sunsets are something that always speak to me. As well as my horses and cattle.

Listen...listen for God to speak to you. My Pastor says this usually is a thought or words that come into your mind that sound way smarter and deeper than anything you could come up with yourself. Let those words wash over you. Meditate and focus on them.

Learning to take time to do this everyday I promise you will open your heart up to hearing from God on a more intimate level. A place in the Bible that Jesus spoke on this Stop, Look and Listen was in the Garden of Gethsemane. In Matthew 26:38, Jesus said, "My heart is overwhelmed and crushed with grief. It feels as though I'm dying. Stay here and keep watch with me." Jesus was wanting His disciples to be praying, to be listening and to keep watching not for the betrayer and his men to come and haul off Jesus to prison but to be listening to what the Father's heart was in this solemn, consecrated time. Jesus was preparing His mind and body to take on the sin of the whole world. To be separated from His Father for the first time ever because He would have to go to the pit of hell first before He was resurrected. At the same time, these men who had spent every day of the last 3 years with Jesus would turn their backs on Him. They would be persecuted and run. They may have been spared of this if they would've followed Jesus's orders to stay awake, listen and pray.

Be careful to take time each day to do this...especially when things are going good. This will help sustain you when things go wrong, when persecution comes and you're left all alone. You'll be peaceful in knowing that you're hearing Papa, you've been sitting still long enough to see His love and hear His heart.

The Brave Hunters

The Brave Hunters

Much love,

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife

 

When the Dust Settles

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"What are the people saying about me, the Son of Man? Who do you believe I am?"

They answered, "Some are convinced you are John the Baptizer, others say you are Elijah reincarnated, or Jeremiah, or one of the prophets."

"But you --who do you say that I am?" Jesus asked.

Simon Peter spoke up and said, "You are the Anointed One, the Son of the Living God!"

Matthew 16:13-16 The Passion Translation

I grew up in a semi-religious home. We went to church every Sunday, not out of wanting to go to learn but going because it was expected of us. I learned to put on a face, to sing the songs out of repetition, to kneel because everyone was doing it and to recite the prayers out of thoughtless action. I don't blame my parents at all for this traditional experience, this is exactly what their childhood looked like as well as my grandmother's and I would even say it was like that back in Ireland for my great-grandparent's on my mother's side. I would even go as far to say that this set me up for going with the crowd in school, not thinking for myself when it came to standing up for what I believed was right when peer pressure made me choose what was right and what was cool. This mindset was centered around what everyone else was doing and saying instead of my relationship with God.

When I was around 16 years old, a boy whom I had known through youth rodeo for years asked me to Cowboy Prom. To say my heart fluttered was an understatement. You see in rodeo I got to be myself. All of the kids there were just like me, we all loved rodeo, the western way of life and especially just being different than so many of the kids we had to go to school with. So to begin a relationship with someone who knew me for me was something my heart really cherished.

IDENTITY! It’s what every person wants and what every person absolutely needs! Without it you are a dead man walking, because without it you never truly live.

Back to the heart fluttering, this boy was different than those whom I had dated before. He asked me questions about me. What did I believe in? What did I want to do with my life? He asked me these questions because he had a strong calling on his life that stemmed from a true relationship with Jesus. I was drawn to him not only because he was very cute and made me laugh, but because he had something that I wanted...True Identity. He stood up for what he knew was right and wasn't swayed by popular opinion. When I talked about my religion and the things we did because it's what we've always did, he asked me why. I didn't know why! He asked where it was in the Bible and I didn't know where it was in the Bible because I had never read it myself! I had no revelation knowledge like Peter did of who Jesus was! I knew about him, I knew he died and was resurrected, but I didn't truly know that He did that for me! That I didn't have to live a life in chains trying to be perfect, trying to fit the mold of popular opinion or walk a life of man-made tradition! This boy's questions sent my life into a tailspin into finding out who God was and who I was in Him. IDENTITY! It's what every person wants and what every person absolutely needs! Without it you are a dead man walking, because without it you never truly live.

Let's go back to Matthew 16. After Peter pronounced who Jesus was to him ...

Jesus replied, "You are favored and privelaged Simeon, son of Jonah! For you didn't discover this on your own, but my Father in heaven has supernaturally revealed it to you. I give you the name Peter, a stone. And this truth of who I am will be the bedrock foundation on which I will build my church--my legislative assembly, and the power of death will not be able to overpower it! I will give you the keys of heaven's kingdom realm to forbid on earth that which is forbidden in heaven, and to release on earth that which is released in heaven."

When you feel rejected, torn down and left alone by this broken world, ONLY Jesus is the solid rock that you can stand on.

Jesus called out who Peter truly was! Peter had heard God's whisper of who Jesus was, this is the same way it is for all believers. We can't find out who Jesus is for us by hearing it from anyone else, but from God. And when that happens, Jesus says, "Yes, now I can show you who you are! You are a pebble (this is what Peter means) and I am the Rock that you are now a part of! IDENTITY! Once Peter got a hold of who Jesus was, this allowed Jesus to reveal Peter's identity in Him. There's such a difference in knowing about Jesus (head knowledge) and knowing who Jesus is and what He did for you (heart knowledge.) To really get to this point you have to spend time with Him, that's what Peter had done. You have to listen to what He's speaking to your heart. This can happen through His words in the Bible but by also being still and asking Him to speak to you. Learn His character, read the parables that He spoke about and study them out in context. They're so powerful. I've recently been reading The Passion Translation Bible and it has opened up the scriptures to me in a whole new light. When life is tough, and you're being pulled in a hundred directions. When you feel rejected, torn down and left alone by this broken world, ONLY Jesus is the solid rock that you can stand on. When the dust settles who will you be? Will you be that person who swayed by opinions of man? Or will you stand strong because you have revelation heart knowledge of a God who is good, who came down to earth and took on every failure of every person to die for them so that they could truly live. I say now is the time to get this straightened out in your heart. Don't wait for tomorrow because NOW is the perfect time.

On a side note: That boy...well I ended up marrying him. To all of my single friends, the person you're interested in, dating or engaged to should draw you closer to Jesus, not draw you away. Being one flesh with my Kody has not only brought me closer to my Savior but taught me how good God really is. Hold out for the right one!!

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In the Sheepfold

Vulnerable confession here: I'm guilty of telling others to get out of their comfort zone, be brave and go on an adventure with God when I'm not exactly doing the same. It's not that I've never done these things but as of right now, I'd don't feel like I'm doing it all.

There's so many thoughts in my head of things I want to do with God. Places I want to go, people I want to serve, goals I want to achieve, but in this season God has me home here on the ranch, serving in my amazing church and raising my incredible daughters.

Make the most of it, but don’t despise those things that you may think are small.

My Pastors have told me preach what you know. This is what I know, everyday of your life is important in the Kingdom of God. Make the most of it, but don't despise those things that you may think are small.

I love the story of King David. He was just a young shepherd boy when the Prophet Samuel anointed him to be King of Israel, but it would be years before he would step into his kingship. In the meantime, before he was even recognized by his people, he was in the fields with his father's sheep. Moving them from pasture to pasture, water hole to water hole. It was a pretty monotonous life, with the rare thrill of killing a bear or lion that were trying to kill his sheep. What do you think he was thinking during those days after he was anointed? "Aren't I supposed to be king already? Shouldn't I be living in the palace?" The Bible doesn't tell us, but I do know one thing, he was obedient wherever he was. God hadn't told him to move and he didn't. Do you see how God was preparing him even in this season, in the sheepfold? 1 Samuel 17 tells us that God was with him when he killed the lion and bears. David became strong and courageous in those times to which would become a great help to him in his fight with Goliath and his years of war in the future. He learned to lean into God when he got discouraged in his current position in life. This would aid him in his times of running from King Saul who set out to kill him later on. As well as he learned to be sensitive to the heart of the Father. 

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There's no doubt that God built King David up in these times of quietness in the field. My favorite part is that David learned to solely rely on God, not on his father, not on his brothers, he was completely alone for most of the time out there in the fields for a shepherd lives a very isolate life. So when this "uncircumcised Philistine" defied the Armies of the Living God he boldly proclaimed what he knew best, with God I can NOT fail and this man will be just like those bears and lions after I'm done with him. It wasn't a prideful statement, it was just the truth that he had in his heart. Numerous heroes in the Bible had times of waiting I'll name just a few: Abraham, Joseph, Moses and our Savior, Jesus. He waited 33 years!

In this time of waiting I'm also reminded of a seed that's been planted. It doesn't produce a harvest in one day, but with nourishment and time it grows and produces an abundance as well as seed for the next season. God is so good in how He doesn't disrupt the seed, time and harvest process.

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So wherever you are, whatever you're doing in your life, pay attention to what God is teaching you in these times. Are you currently working a minimum wage job that you dislike? Learn to show up early, put in 110%, find ways to do your job better and just wait for God to promote you or move you somewhere else...but be patient. Are you living in a place that doesn't allow you to serve in the capacity that you'd like? Find somewhere to serve even if it's in something you're not particularly fond of. Why? Because He can't trust you with big things if He can't trust you with the small. Remember, it's time to grow in the sheepfold so you can be ready for your role as being a leader to this world. God wants you to be the light like a city on the hill, but it always starts with a small spark to set the world on fire!!

Candace

 

Unchartered Territory

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I'm so guilty of getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Many times I'm running the kids from place to place, running to business or church meetings and trying to pick up and clean my house that most of the time I don't even get to sit down all day long. This busyness starts to take a toll on my body, my mind and my relationships. Where we live is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The Rocky Mountains are less then an hour drive away. We live on rolling hills next to creeks and towering cotton woods and here I am living this fast-paced life that doesn't allow for me to always enjoy what I've been blessed with. So I've made it my mission for each day to get out and enjoy God's creation, even if it's a trip to the barn.

The other night I was doing just that, it was late and cool. The skies were covered in clouds making it very dark. There was a light breeze blowing and something just told me to stop. I looked over to the west. In that direction is Ft. Collins, a bustling city that lights up the night sky. But to the east it's basically bare. Most everyone who lives to the east of us are farmers or ranchers and their yard lights are not visible from our house. When I studied this view I heard so clearly from Holy Spirit..."I'm taking you to uncharted territories." When I hear from Holy Spirit it's usually such solid confirmation of what has already been stirring in my heart. Do you ever have that same feeling? It's like God says, "You know that feeling you've been having, well here you go. I'm here to help you with it and it's from Me." It's so cool!

I think back to Joshua in Joshua 1. God was telling him to cross over the Jordan and take possession of the Promise Land. "Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses." Joshua 1:3. God was telling Joshua to take new territory. This was a dangerous mission because of the people who currently lived there, but this was also an exciting time for God's people. Being slaves in Eqypt for 400 years and wandering in the desert for 40 years after that, these people had not had a true home. Something that was theirs. God told them over and over (8 to be exact!) just in this first chapter to be brave and have courage when they were ready to go. He told them to step out, be bold and don't worry because He would be with them wherever they went. They couldn't fail. I've always loved the question, "What would you do with your life if you couldn't fail?" Would you start that business that you've always dreamed about? Would you write that book that's been on your heart to write? Would you quit your job and go on that mission to India that's been pulling on your spirit? Ask yourself that question, because most likely God has put it inside of your heart and remember, if it's new territory and He's leading you to take it, you can't fail! He's with you wherever you go!!

For me, I'm still letting all of this "new territory" stuff rattle around in my heart. But I know for one thing, my inspiration to write and share what God has been showing me has never been stronger. I have such huge desires to let out all that God has poured out in me through the written word. I remember reading C.S. Lewis the first time, it was actually the Narnia series when I was a kid, "You would not have called to me, unless I had been calling to you." This was Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis really understood the heart of our Father and he conveyed that through the characters in his books. That's what I hope to do, I want to be so entrenched in my Father's love that my writing comes out the way that makes that love tangible to every person reading it.

God is always talking to us, but are we listening? His voice may come through a thought that you know wasn't from you, from a song on the radio or through the Bible. But don't limit God to those mediums, He's so much bigger than that. Just get your heart right, get outside away from technology and your phone and just be there. He wants to take you places you've only dreamed of. Fall in love with His character, learn who He is and how BIG His love is for you.

Candace

 

What if you only focused on what God thought of you?

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Hello strangers!! It's been a minute for me here on the old blog, okay maybe more like months!! I don't like calling my life crazy or busy because I think that's what the devil likes us to use as an excuse, but I wholeheartedly believe that are lives definitely go through seasons. There are seasons of waiting and being still with God (think of David waiting and hiding out in the caves, just waiting until it was his time to step into kingship.) There are times of standing and hanging on to the promise that you have from God. Then there are times of moving and grooving. I love what my Pastor says, "This is where you're taking NEW territory!" You're stepping out and going to a new place that you've never been before (think of Abraham, Ruth and Esther!) I say this because I feel like I've gone through all of three of these seasons in the last few months and am currently on the move with God. He's pouring into me but at the same time He's asking me to step out, try new things and to go further and deeper with Him then I have ever gone before (I'll share that all with you soon!)

Writing has always been a way for me to get my ideas out and it's such a creative outlet for me. It takes practice though! When you're not actually doing it everyday, you get to where it's a lot of work and that's where I was. Kirste and I started Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife over 3 years ago and I plan to keep at it because I know God has blessed me with the gift of words and has given me the platform of this blog. But as most bloggers I'm sure can attest, it gets to be a job sometimes. You wonder if people are reading what you're writing. If it's material that people actually care about and if you're just wasting your time. I brought this to God because I wanted to know if it was something I needed to lay down and walk away from for good. God gently let me know He's got stuff to say and that I'm not writing for others but for Him. Let my words be for Him. That I would focus on Him and His thoughts towards me and the love He has for His people and I would share that with you.

So here's my question to you: What would you do if you only knew how God felt about you and not anyone else's opinion?

Would you step and do something brave and bold because you know how much God loves you and believes in you? (Talking to that stranger in the grocery line and asking them if you can pray for them?)

Would go places that you've never been before? (What about that college Bible retreat where you won't know anyone?)

Or

What if you simply just lay down all of your fears and barriers that are holding you back and just say, "God, what do you think of me? Use me and tell me what do next?"

God is an adventurer, an artist, a writer, an inventor, a communicator and so on. Pretty much any cool job you can think of, God is that. The best part is that we are made in His image, so that means He put all of that in us! And you know what? The enemy hates it! Satan can't create, he can't give life and he can't even come up with new ways of trying to screw with God's most precious creation (Us!) So he's going to do his best at deceiving you and feeding you the lie that you are not good enough.

You're best tools for dealing with these lies are reading God's Word and learning what His promises are so that when you're fed a lie you can recognize it right away and nail it to the cross!

So my encouragement for you is to get quiet with God. Ask Him what His promises are for you. You may not hear anything right away. His answer might come through a song you hear in your car as you drive, from the friend who calls you later that day, or when you sit down to read your Bible. I remember when I got to ask this question I was at women's conference. I had the privilege of getting to pray with an amazing prayer warrior and she just started speaking out promises that God was pointing out to her. Scriptures that backed up those promises came next. Then it seemed like everywhere I looked there was confirmation of those words spoken in songs I heard, books I was reading and podcasts I'd listen to. So, just ask!

I hope you have  a beautiful day!

Much love,

Candace

 

 

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

Forever Faithful

 "Just think- you don't need a thing, you've got it all! All God's gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started on this spiritual adventure, shared with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will NEVER give up on you. Never forget that!" -1 Corinthians 1:7-9 {Message Bible} I love how the message bible puts this scripture! Every time that you think of God, think of His love for you. Think of where you have been and where you've come from and take that as testimony and keep on moving forward! He is right alongside you to help you grow in your walk with Him, never leaving your side. When you question, where are you God? Listen to that still small voice because He will always answer, "I am right here!" #godsonmyside #alwaysthere #lookingahead #heneverfailsme #foreverfaithful #coopedupcowboyswives #today❤#trust2017 #vision2017

What "By Faith" are you standing on?

Hebrews 11:1 says, "What is faith? It's the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. By faith, we understand that the entire universe was formed at Gods command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen." You could say that stretched across my walk with Christ that He has shown me various times where I have needed more faith to stand in the promises that He had for me. Christ has definitely grown my heart in faith by making me recognize that faith is complete trust in Him, without question! 

Many people define faith differently, but my definition of faith comes directly from the source in the bible, in Hebrews, as stated above. As I was reading in Hebrews this morning I felt inclined to look back into where God had me leaning on faith and trusting in Him times before. As I continued on reading, these words "by faith" stuck out on the pages that I read. By faith...what does that mean? By what faith do we have that we trust in God and trust that He's got it, He's already taken care of it and that we need to hold onto the promise that He has for us in that. 

This morning I was so encouraged by reading about the "by faith's" that are in the word. For example, the by faith of Sarah and Abraham. Abraham and Sarah were both very old. Sarah was also barren. Despite these two things, together Abraham and Sarah stood on the promise that God was going to give them a child, and He did. Abraham had held onto the promise that God had showed him, by faith. As I was reading this, I thought, "this is relevant to my life." After losing a baby back in 2014, just being honest I will say that, I lost a lot of my faith. Although I never blamed God I allowed the enemy to steal from me in my thoughts, my peace and my heart. I soon began to come back to realize what the enemy was doing and shut it off. That is when I opened my heart back up to allow God to start to restore my faith! God had never left my side, but I been allowing the enemy to veer me off from sitting in my father's lap. After waiting and trying to conceive another baby, my faith was lingering but with my husbands faith and God's promise, I was able to stand on the "by faith" that God had for us. We stood on the "by faith" that God had promised us another child. NOT a replacement child for the one we had lost, but yet another baby that we could call "ours!" A baby from God that we could raise up in relationship with Christ. Having stood on our "by faith", we will be welcoming yet another baby girl into our family in just a couple short weeks because of His promise to us and us standing on His word, by faith! 

This leads me to another amazing "by faith". In Exodus 14:15 it says, "Then the Lord said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Use your shepherd's staff- hold it out over the water, and a path will open up before you through the sea. Then all the people of Israel will walk through on dry ground." God was wanting Moses to have faith that He, God would part the sea for them. The Lord wanted to rescue Israel from the Egyptians that day. Hebrews 11:29, "By faith, the people of Israel went right through the red sea as though they were on dry ground. But, when the egyptians followed, they drowned." Think about this. By Moses's faith, God opened up an entire path through the water that blew all night and turned the seabed into dry land. If Moses had not lead the people of Israel, "by faith", they may have not made it across.

What an AMAZING God we have that gives us a promise to hold onto something and then proves it. We, as Christ followers need to be listen to God and what He's telling us and, "by faith" stand on the promise. Today, allow the Lord to be your strength and your song because, HE IS YOUR VICTORY. 

-Kirste

 

Gods Provision

Sometimes we sit there and we think, "is God gonna do something?" We sit there waiting in expectancy. But, not an expectancy from God. Instead, we place our expectancy on waiting for someone else to emotionally take us somewhere to "feel" God and to "see" what He's gonna do. Now we all have done it before and I am as guilty as anyone else for doing it, but we can't do that anymore! It is NOT someone else's responsibility to create a spiritual response in us. It is our own responsibility! 

A while back leading worship I looked out at all the beautiful people that God had placed there and knew God wanted to show His people this. Our Pastor had spoke it just how God had given it to me. He said, "Gods provision is right in front of us, and ALL we need to do is PICK IT UP!" 

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:19

Sounds easy enough right? Don't be stagnant where you are, but continually reach out. We are responsible for our relationships with Christ, no one else. So, what are we doing about it? Stand up, reach out, walk forward into the goodness that God has for us! His provision is right there for us but we need to be obedient in what He's showing us! He wants every part of us, not just half! Pray, read and seek out what God has for you. I love this quote from John Ortberg Jr. It says, “The goal of prayer is to live all of my life and speak all of my words in the joyful awareness of the presence of God. Prayer becomes real when we grasp the reality and goodness of God's constant presence with 'the real me.' Jesus lived his everyday life in conscious awareness of his Father.”

Praying and encouraging you to live a life full of prayer, discernment from the Holy Spirit and the truth of Gods word. Remember, His provision is right in front of us...all we need to do is, pick it up!

-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 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