Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Heart of a True Princess

At the center of every girl’s existence lies the heart of a true princess. We all grow up wishing that we were Cinderella or Jasmine or one of the many other Disney princesses we girls watched growing up. My daughter’s favorite, I think, was Ariel from the Disney movie The Little Mermaid. We all dream of the handsome prince finding us and rescuing us from the black knight or the wicked dragon who has stolen us away from our family and home to hide us in a dark cave or deep dungeon.

I have always had a desire to be Cinderella. To be heard by the “fairy godmother,” dressed in the most beautiful gown at the ball, and to be the most beautiful girl in the eyes of my “Prince Charming.” He would sweep me off my feet and carry me away in our coach to live happily ever after in a castle in the sky. I know I’m a romantic; but a hopeful one, not hopeless!

Even little boys long to be the hero, to rescue the Princess from the fierce dragon, the black knight, or maybe save her from the “Dread Pirate, Roberts.” Or they may want to be cowboys, taking cows to market and rescuing travelers on the trail to new destinations. Or maybe the mountain man, saving the village from the attack of wild animals. Men and boys all have the desire to be a savior and protector, of sorts, to the princess of their choosing.

And yet there those who always want to play the evil villain, dark knight, pirate, etc. who steals away the beautiful princess.

OK, so where is all this romanticizing going?

Let me explain. I feel the reason we girls have the desire – born within us – to be rescued by Prince Charming is more because of our desire to be reunited to the King of Kings, than our being caught up in the fairy tales that we grew up with. I know that most of us have heard the message we were each born with a God-shaped hole in our hearts that only HE can fill, and yet we are always trying to fill it with everything and everybody else.

It isn’t until we find Jesus that we can find this truth for ourselves. But instead of searching for Him, we run after the latest fad, be it the hippest rock star, movie idol or whatever your “flavor of the month” may be. Yet none of these things are truly meeting the needs of our hearts, we aren’t being fulfilled. So we turn to romance novels or the “Soaps” to live in a more “adult” fantasy than that of the fairytale princesses of our youth.

But God created us to be true princesses, to live in His kingdom forever. He put that heart of a princess into each and every one of us even before we were born. He also put the heart of a protector into each little boy. God built them to be the protectors of their families. To provide for the needs of their households; to give their very lives for them, just as Jesus gave up His life for His Bride – the church.

Jesus gave each of us the knowledge of Him and His kingdom in this simplistic way because He wanted each of us – men and women, boys and girls – to meet His Son, Jesus. To become a part of the “Bride of Christ.”

You see Jesus is THE Prince of Peace, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And we, as children of Adam are separated from Him because of original sin and because of our own sins, as well. The longing we hold deep within us to become a princess should lead us straight into His arms. Should bring us to a place of repentance, seeking to be forgiven for all the sins of our past, so that we can live with Him forever in His Heavenly Kingdom. That kingdom began 2000+ years ago when He walked the earth among men and bought Salvation by giving His life for each and every one of us by shedding His blood on the cross.

I like the way John 3: 16-21 in the KJV says it; ‘For God so loved the world, that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent NOT His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.’

What a beautiful love story this truly is! The Prince came from the Eternal Kingdom to reconcile the outcast to the King and Kingdom life by giving up His life for them. He then came back to life and betrothed Himself to those He died to save. How utterly romantic.

The Appearance of a True Princess

While we are on the subject of Princesses and our Prince, we should take a look at how the Daughter of The King should behave.

While I was speaking to God one morning in my quiet time, He reminded me of what my physical and spiritual appearance should always be … a reflection of who I am in Jesus. He also said that I have been seeing myself as a defeated daughter and not a True Princess. He showed me that I saw myself without my royal crown, in a tattered dress and robe, hair falling out of its do and covered in a cloud of dust and dirt … How very UN-princess like.

Then He showed me a glimpse of what I should look like when I am in right standing, upholding my proper position, in Him and His Kingdom. So what SHOULD a True Princess look like?

We have all seen the fairytales that have beautiful princesses dressed in royal attire etc. We have also watched the British Royals in their various celebrations all dressed “to the nines.” As a daughter of The King, we must always be aware of our appearance, our outward AND our spiritual appearance, before God and mankind. We MUST represent Him in the right way. So how best to "dress for success" in God's Kingdom?"

First of all, we need to dress in clothes that do not hide our God-given gender … Women should dress and look like women. And men should dress and look like men. As a Princess, we always want to dress to fit our station in the Kingdom. We should always wear clean clothing that looks nice on us. Whether we prefer to wear jeans and T-shirts or ball gowns, the clothes should be neat and tidy, without holes and as free of stains as possible. In the US today, men and women can wear just about anything they choose; women wear pants as often as dresses, yet they can still dress to show they are feminine no matter their choices.

As regarding our spiritual appearance, 1 Peter 3:3, NIV says; Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Peter wasn't telling us that we CAN'T wear jewelry, fancy hairdo's, makeup, etc. What he is saying that we should find our beauty inwardly and accentuate it outwardly and in modest attire.

Peter also implied that we need to protect our spiritual man by clothing it in the Holy Armor that Paul outlines in Ephesians 6:10-20: 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

In other passages, Paul tells us to pray without ceasing. It is this continuous prayer that is a part of our spiritual defense system; a part of our Holy Armor. With it, we attack spiritual battlefields by enlisting the help of God and His angelic beings.

Take a look at the prayer requests that Paul has listed here for the Ephesians to pray for him. They are the same things we should be praying for all of our Christian Brothers and Sisters; strength, wisdom, guidance, discernment, boldness and words to share the gospel with others. Be sure to also include any special or specific needs of those brothers and sisters that you know personally. Our prayers are a part of their defenses too; just as are their prayers for us.

So clothe yourselves in Christ’s mind and protect yourself with His Holy Armor and ALWAYS look like the True Princess you are!

Now, we princesses can truly belong to Prince Charming, Jesus! And so can all those princes – heroes or otherwise – we knew as children. Though some days we couldn’t tell the dark knights from the good guys. Or which young ladies were princesses and which evil witches. He always knew which of us would give our lives over to His keeping and be a part of His Bride and His Kingdom forever.

Even if you have not lived a life worthy of His Bride, He still wants you to come, repent, and start anew in His Kingdom. In fact, a wise person once told me, as long as a person draws breath, there is a chance for them to be a part of the Kingdom of God.

Not sure if you belong to the Kingdom? Are you still breathing? Want to assure your place in the Kingdom, walking beside THE Prince????

We all have to start in the same place…. at the foot of His cross…. before we can walk the streets of gold in The Kingdom of God.


You can write your thoughts in your journal or in the comments section below.
·        Is Jesus your ‘Prince Charming?’

·        Why or why not?
Just ask Him right now to forgive you of your sin. Repent and determine to live your life to please Him, alone. Ask Him to come live in your heart forever!

·        What do you need to change to put Him in His proper place?

·        He is waiting for you to ask Him in.  You can do so now in prayer, you can write your prayers in your journal and/or place them in the comments section below:

Dear Lord:

Friday, November 4, 2016

Activities for Growth - Clearer Thinking

Distinguishing Between the Rational and Irrational

We all need to learn the difference between our rational and irrational thoughts and beliefs. We all have many thoughts throughout our day. Though we make no front brain decisions on our thoughts being rational or irrational, we automatically make that decision in the back of our mind every time a thought enters our mind. Our previous interpersonal interactions form the basis on which these decisions are made.

In this assignment, you will be listing 25 of your irrational beliefs, ideas that you have held for at least the last 10 years, and their corresponding truths or rational ideas. At least 10 of these MUST be about love, romance, and sexual intimacy. Placing this list in your journal is a great idea for you will be able to look back and see where you have come from when you begin making progress in this arena.

Take a page – or pages – in your journal, divide it into two columns; with the irrational thoughts in one column and their rational ideas in the other.


Irrational Thought: If we love each other, then we should be together.
Rational/Truthful Response: Being “In Love” isn’t enough for a healthy relationship. Much more is needed for relationship strength, growth … to build success.

Irrational Thought: I’m a loser. I’ll never amount to anything more.
Rational/Truthful Response: It is my choices that decide if / how I reach my goals. I may just be my own worst enemy.

Making Changes:

How does writing down my beliefs and their corresponding truths help me to make changes in my life?

By writing down these thoughts and the truth side by side, we are confronting the very ideals that have lead us to these behaviors we are now working to change within us. Thus we will begin forming new attitudes and behaviors, new ideas, which will help us to better conform to the image of Christ – the perfected individual – that we all long to become.

Time to Complete:

This project should be completed within a two week period. As you will need time for planning and critical thinking about your assumptions with regard to your sexual behavior and personal relationships. Take up to another week for writing down your thoughts out clearly and concisely. The maximum time for this assignment is three weeks. After you have written this chart in your journal take the time to discuss it with your mentor. They will be able to help you see things you might not think about in your healing process.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

P. E. A. R. L. s

On The Heavenly Highway to Purity

As I was preparing to write rules for dating for Christian Ladies’, I was reminded of the verse in Proverbs 31:10, which says: “Who can find a virtuous woman?  For her worth is far above rubies.”  Then I thought, many of us more resemble a pearl – or P. E. A. R. L.

A pearl starts its existence as a grain of sand that has gotten inside of an oyster, or another mollusk, and irritated its lining. This irritation causes the oyster to coat that sand with layer upon layer of nacre — also called ‘mother-of-pearl’, the mineral substance that fashions the oysters’ shells. This mineral compound makes a gem of great beauty and much monetary value from an inconsequential and irritating grain of sand.

 Ladies, we have caused many people to be irritated, just like that tiny bit of sand has the oyster.  But our irritations have more in common with the layers of an onion. As we grow in Christ, God is constantly peeling away our many smelly layers of sin and impurity.  So I came up with an acronym for all of us who are traveling this road toward purity.  We are to be true P.E.A.R.L.s:  Pure and Exciting, but Always a Real Lady.  As such we are traveling the Heavenly Highway to Purity in Jesus.

We P.E.A.R.L.s need to act very differently than women of the world would when we are seeking to meet and marry the man God has created us to be “an helpmeet” for.  So this chapter is an outline for us to follow as we search for that special someone … or not, depending on God’s call on your life.


As P.E.A.R.L.s we need to be modest in our language and actions, but most importantly in the way that we dress.  The reasons for this are very clear and spelled out for us in God’s word.  I Timothy 2:9-10, the Message Bible says: “I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.”

God wasn’t telling ladies not to dress nicely.  No, this command is much more pointed; He is telling Godly ladies not to dress provocatively.  Not to wear their skirts and slacks so tight or short as to leave little or nothing to a man’s imagination.  Not to wear our blouses so low as to expose our cleavage for them to drool over.  This is with very good reason; it is because when we dress as women of the world dress we are inviting men, and more importantly our Christian brothers, to participate in the sin of adultery with their eyes.  But more than that, our invitation to men into this sin makes us a participant with them in that sin.

We can see this participation in Matthew 5:27-28, the New English Translation: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  These are strong words, but very true. 

As Godly ladies, we are to treat every man – even single men, especially our Christian brothers – as though they are some else’s husband; for in essence they really are.  We don’t want women that work with our husbands to flaunt their bodies in front of him, so why would we do so to another woman’s husband?

A man may look after a woman who is dressed provocatively in lust for a moment.  He may even comment to his buddies that he “would like to have some of that,” as she walks by.  But she is not the one he would choose to “bring home to Mama!”  She is not the woman chosen as a lifetime helpmeet.  A lady who dresses modestly leaves men guessing as to what she is all about.  She is one of life’s great mysteries that he must discover the meaning of.  Let me give you an example we all can relate to ...

During the Christmas season, we have ample opportunity to watch children in the stores telling their parents I want this toy or that game.  When Christmas finally arrives, and the presents all are set out under the tree, there is great anticipation as they wait to unwrap them. I have seen my own children, during the days before Christmas, looking under the tree for their gifts.  There were a few times that a gift or two was too large or oddly shaped to be wrapped.  They would be just there under the tree, with the others, though unwrapped.  Every single time this happened my children were the most interested in the gifts they had to unwrap than in those which were “undressed,” so to speak.  There was no challenge, nothing to dream for, to long after when the gift was not wrapped in pretty paper and ribbons . . . It is the same with a woman who dresses provocatively, she has left nothing a mystery for men to wonder after.


As P.E.A.R.L.s we must exude a Godly air of confidence.  This confidence must pour forth from every inch of your being and must be highlighted in godly purity and holiness. 

The Bible says in 1 Peter 1:15-16 NIV; “As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, ‘I am holy; you be holy.’”

  • This Godly Attitude will be in your smile, not just on you lip, but also in the smiling sparkle of your eyes. 
  • It will be in the way you give a slight pause between sentences during a conversation; never babbling on out of nervousness. 
  • It will be in the way you listen very attentively when someone speaks.
  • It will be in the very way you breathe; slow and sure of yourself.
  • It will be in your posture – you will stand straight and tall.
  • It will be in your every step, walking briskly with your head held high and your shoulders back, but with an air of purity and God’s Holy Spirit as your grounding force.

Our attitude should never be one of smugness or of a “holier than thou-ness” or feeling we better than others.  No we are to exude an air of His holiness, as if He was and is the very air that we breathe; the very life source of our being.  Our attitude is that we are servants … servants of God and of each other.  Following the very example of Jesus:

“Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God. So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron …

“. . . Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene. So now you’re clean. But not every one of you.” (He knew who was betraying him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you.”) After he had finished washing their feet, he took his robe, put it back on, and went back to his place at the table.

“Then he said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life. John 13: 4, 5, 12-17 MSG.

 So as P.E.A.R.L.s we are to be:

·       Modest [in word, deed and apparel], confident, holy, servants of the living God, Jesus.
·       We are to be His examples in this world all of our days, ministering to the needs of those in our families, church bodies and communities in the various jobs and duties He has placed us in. 

God has placed a calling on each one of us; He has given us each a job to do within the body of Christ.  This job may be in the church as teachers, youth ministers, etc. It may be in our communities as civic leaders, teachers, typists, medical positions or whatever field you are currently working.  Every job – every position – is a ministry to Jesus; a calling to His service and you, and as P.E.A.R.L.s, should be His willing and obedient servants wherever He has called you to be.  Not every missionary is called to a foreign field, in fact most of us are called minister for Jesus right in the cities and towns where we live and work every day.  Just like the old saying, ‘bloom and grow where you are planted!’  This is exactly what Jesus has called us as P.E.A.R.L.s to do; line upon line, precept upon precept; as is stated in Isaiah 28:13

Your past relationships and other failures are insignificant, so leave them at home in your closet.  Remember, you are a P.E.A.R.L.!  Don’t beg or act desperate. Only date men who want to be with you. Trust God and His abundant goodness.  Don’t chase anyone and never settle.

*Check out the Activities for Growth - Clearer Thinking post*


  1. What does being a P.E.A.R.L. mean to you? 
  2. What do you need to change to be a P.E.A.R.L.?


You can’t make these changes alone.  Ask Him to make them in you and record your prayers in your journal.

Dear Lord:

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Journey to the Heights

Now that we have an idea where we are on this path, we have a “jumping off point.”  When the pioneers came across the Oregon Trail they had a meeting spot where the wagon trains met together to prepare for their journey across the mostly uncharted wilderness to reach their western destination.  In like manner, we now have a place where we can meet Jesus and prepare for our journey to the high places of the Spirit.  Each person’s road will be specific to their needs, their maturity in Spirit and their personal “jumping off point” in Jesus.  I won’t presume to tell you where or how to begin, only Jesus can tell you this.  Spending concentrated time in prayer for your jumping off point would be a good idea as we begin our journey.  So record your thoughts and prayers in your journal, and below in the comments, as I start sharing with you the things I have studied in His Word that has led me along the pathway to the higher ground.

Let’s Get Started!

 Lord I, ___________________, ask that you show me a picture of the beginning of my journey to the heights.  What does my Jumping off point look like to you? 

I give this journey into Your keeping.  I know that together we will climb the mountain passes to the higher ground you are calling me to.  Thank You for the desire to follow You into the Heights.  Amen.

As we begin this trip, I am recalling a verse in Psalms 18:33 NIV:  
“He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.”

Jesus enables us to stand firmly on the higher ground by changing our “feet” to something better able to stand on the slopes and among the rocky crags we will encounter on the journey, i.e. “the feet of a deer.” As our Good Shepherd, Jesus jumps up and down the slopes constantly so His feet are accustomed to the heights, but ours are not.  Thus our need for Him to transform them as the Psalmist has stated that He does.

Our feet are our “sure foundation” in Jesus and His word.  II Tim 2:15 says: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  It is by our learning the word of God and hiding it in our hearts that we strengthen our foundation and have our feet changed into the “feet of a deer” and can mount the high places with Him with ease.

I know many of us do not have our “feet of a deer” yet, not to worry, as we begin our travel our “feet” will strengthen and become our sure foundation as we ascend to the heights with Jesus.

The start of our ascent should be to strive for Purity: a desiring for the Heights and for becoming P.E.A.R.L.S. All of the aspects and responsibilities of being P.E.A.R.L.S. will be discussed in great detail in our next section. But I would like for us to reflect on what we think Purity would look like to Jesus as well as what we think purity should look like in us.


·       What does purity look like to you?

·       What do you think purity looks like to Jesus?

·       Are you willing to allow Him to make you a woman of purity?

Now, let Jesus start this transformation in you.  Give it all to Him. I have started writing a prayer here that you should copy and complete in your journal.

Dear Lord:

I am Your daughter, a true Princess of Your Kingdom. Make me into the Lady You have created me to be. I give you my ...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Are We Truly Forgiving?

A Story about Forgiveness

Matthew 18:21-35, the Message Bible:
At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?”
Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.
“The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.
“The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.
“The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’
“The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.
“The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”

Are we truly forgiving? Do we treats others the way God would have us to, or is it just lip service? God has been dealing with me lately about true forgiveness.  So I am going to share with you what He has been showing me.

Now I know some of you, after building your life history, are saying, “What! Me…forgive him?  But, Leigh, you don’t know what I’ve been through.  Why, just yesterday he___________________.  How can I possibly forgive him for all of that!!!” 

And yet this is exactly what we need to do to be healed of the pain we have suffered and released from the bonds of slavery that have chained us in this valley of despair we have resided in for so long.  I long to break free!  Don’t you?  

Also, you need to know the truth of forgiving those who have abused and mistreated you. Forgiveness isn’t for the person, or persons, who have wronged us.  Oh, it is important that they know they are forgivable, by us and by God, but, it is for our spiritual growth that we must learn to forgive.  For we must be willing to drop our baggage at the side of the road before we can begin our journey into the heights.  So have faith in Him, cut your anchor chain and watch where He will lead you as you learn to trust Jesus and follow Him upon the mountains, up to the high places.

Jesus is our example of how we are to forgive.  While He was dying on the Cross He uttered this famous prayer; ‘…Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing…’ Luke 23:34 NIV

By this, He was forgiving the Jewish leaders, the Roman government, soldiers, and the people caught up in the crowd watching. By this, He brought salvation to all men, including those who murdered Him. By this, He also forgave us before we were even a thought in our parent's hearts.  We, too, are sinners guilty of putting Him to death.
If you were the only person created by the Master, He still would have chosen to die in your place on Calvary. To endure every pain He felt in His body and in His spirit as a result of your sin and separation from Him – and in His death, His separation from God.  And He still would have chosen to forgive you all your sins.
Forgiveness, like love, is a choice. It is an action and we have a part in that action. We must lay aside our hurt and pain to allow God to bring us through them.  It can be a very slow process and you won’t “feel” like forgiving at first.  But we have to start with a choice – our own personal choice – to forgive our offenders and abusers.

That all important choice needs to be followed quickly – very quickly – by our words; thought, spoken and written. Yes, ALL Three!

I remember when I was homeschooling my children, my son had the hardest time learning many things.  But we had a county appointed teacher who came to our house once a month to check our progress.  I shared with him the struggles we were having.  He told me something I have never forgotten.  “Learning,” he said, “is done differently by each person.  Some can read a process one time and can do it almost instantly.  Others need to involve more sections of their brain to truly grasp many concepts, even those deemed simple concepts by many educators.  So you should use as many of the five senses as possible to assist them in the learning process.”  As we are “learning” forgiveness we will need to see, speak, hear and feel – by writing – this process of learning to forgive.

While making the choice to forgive, mentally add names and faces to this choice to make it more real in your heart.  Speak your list – OUT LOUD – to Jesus.  Write the details of the hurts and pain you experienced, and that you have made a choice to be forgiving to everyone for ALL the things you have suffered.  And don’t forget to add your name to your list.  Yes, your name. Believe it or not, you are harboring guilt and unforgiveness against yourself for allowing others to hurt you.

Your choices may not make an immediate change within you.  You may have to repeat this task often; sometimes daily, other times moment-by-moment. 
Matt. 6:12-15 in the NIV says…Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, you’re heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your heavenly Father will not forgive your sins.

God gives us the choice to forgive. But, if we choose not to forgive, He, in turn, chooses not to forgive us. Our unforgiveness comes with a very heavy penalty. We can't scale the heights with Jesus, or enter into His Holiest of Holies – the very throne room of the fullness of God's presence – unless we learn forgiveness.  We would be stagnant in our spiritual lives; not filled with the springs of living water. Totally missing out on the ‘abundant’ life He has promised us.

Matt. 5:23-24 says: ‘Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar. And there rememberest that thy brother has aught against thee; leave thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.’

The Message Bible says it this way: “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.

The Lord says if we think that our brother is holding something against us, we are to go to that brother and work things out before we offer our gift to God. Our gifts to God are our purity of heart and thoughts.

Matt 5:8 says; ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’

It is our worship and praise that draws us into the very presence of God.  I feel this place of praise and worship allows us to “see God” here on earth before we get to see Him face to face.  But, if we can’t give Him our gifts, how can He dwell fully in our beings ... in our very hearts? For God inhabits, He lives within, the praises of His people.

Forgiveness is the very basis of our salvation. Without God's forgiveness, we would also be outside of His Kingdom.  Zechariah prophesied of John the Baptist in Luke 1:76, 77. In the NIV it reads:  ‘And you, my child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way for Him, to give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.’

Zechariah was telling his family and friends that salvation would come through God's forgiveness and that John the Baptist would lead the way to Jesus, who would bring that forgiveness to us all. So if salvation is through forgiveness, and we are to follow Christ's example, how can we not forgive? It is a must!

Now that we have made the choice to forgive and used most of our senses to confirm our choice, it is time to put actions to our choice, and to our words.  Saying "I forgive you, '' isn't enough. We must follow through with the actions and attitudes of heart that agree with our words.  We must act toward that person – or persons – as if forgiveness is in full bloom in our hearts. Our feelings may be calling us “liar” or “hypocrite.”  But our feelings are wrong.  They are Satan’s tools to sabotage our choice to forgive, to keep us distracted and in bondage to our fear, hurts, and pain. Our actions will show that we are serious in our forgiveness, even if our "feelings'' aren't in agreement. If we trust God and walk out our acts of forgiveness, our feelings will follow. Then we will be in complete agreement – body, soul, and spirit - in our forgiveness.

This is a time of solidifying the forgiveness that started in our hearts as a choice.  Forgiveness and the subsequent reconciliation are designed to give us freedom to worship God in wholeness, causing us to grow in our faith toward Him.  And to be released from the baggage we have carried around with us for so long; cuddling, and hugging them because they were so familiar and “felt safe.”

Forgiveness doesn't mean everything that has been done to us is OK and can be done to us all over again. Nor are we to put ourselves back into bondage to the person or persons who have hurt us. We are called to reconciliation, not to a revolving door to the abuses of others.  It is time to lighten our load and allow us to leave our burdens at Jesus' feet.  That is where they belong, anyway. Picking up that hurt and pain day after day is not only choosing to hurt ourselves again and again; it is hindering our walk with God. We can't grow in our faith if we are all filled up with unforgiveness, hurt, and pain; for there is no room left in our hearts for more of the Holy Spirit.

I've been working on letting go of the unforgiveness, hurt, and pain in my life.  I’ve been praying for the people in my past who have been a part of causing it. Asking God to teach them the truth and the way of salvation, and praying for blessings on them and their families. This has released me from the bondage of carrying around all that hate and bitterness I had been storing up inside. Now, I actually feel a lot lighter of spirit, clearer of mind and not so tied up in knots throughout my body.

This isn’t easy and doesn’t happen overnight.  Satan will be standing right around the corner waiting to trip us up in this new choice we have made.  We will need landmarks, tangible mile markers as evidence to hold onto and be able to look back at, to remember the promises of God and the progress we have made.  Keeping a journal is one way to mark our progress.  Jotting down your thoughts and prayers, or a bit of poetry & verse given by God’s inspiration.  Or writing in the margins of your Bible beside verses He gives to encourage and lift you up.

Isa 53:5, 6 says; But, He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and by His stripes we are healed…and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquities of us all.

If He has done this for us, He has done the same for them, too.

At the onset of this chapter, I quoted a passage from Matt 18 where Peter asks our Lord how many times we are to forgive.  In verse 22 he answered, “…I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.”  Sometimes it will take seventy times seven.  But, if we can learn to forgive 70x7 – 490 times – then why not 491, or 492, or even 1000.  This is the whole point Jesus was making.

Satan will try to goad us into renouncing our new commitment to learning true forgiveness.  Be strong!  Stand by your choice to learn forgiveness.  Pray often calling upon the name of Jesus in the tough times.  Psalm 118:14 says; ‘The Lord is my strength and my song, and is become my salvation.’

Forgiveness is more than a feeling, it is a choice we must make before the feeling can start to form within us.  Jesus said in Matthew 6:14-15 “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive men not their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Since forgiveness starts with a choice, now is a good time - and your journal a great place - to record your choice to forgive and to receive the forgiveness of others; God's and your offenders/abusers. 

Father, I choose to forgive: 

Help me forgive myself for: 

Lord, if there be anything I can learn from these feelings of pain and suffering ... teach me now.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Activities for Growth - Life History


In this section, there will be several activities that we are going to complete to help us overcome our sinful nature. I would like you to complete these activities as you proceed through the lessons we are learning and not leave them all to complete after you have finished. By doing them throughout you will learn new tools for overcoming and making make changes in your heart and mind … even your very soul.

I also suggest that you play contemplative Christian music while you work on these activities. I find that music that is calming to your spirit, focuses your mind on the Lord and still allows you to think on the assignment helps me to get the most out of my projects. So find some music that puts you in a thoughtful frame of mind to listen to as you work through these activities.

Life History

Before beginning any life changes you should always take a look at where you have been and set goals to help you along the path to where you are going. So before we start looking for ways to conquer your sinful behavior(s), let’s take a walk down memory lane – your memories and those of your family and friends, too – let’s see if we can find changes in our thoughts and actions that may have been the impetus for our sinful ways.

Your Personal Time Line

Starting with your very beginning, the day you were born, write down at least two events or incidents that happened to you – or in your family – for each year of your life that caused you joy/happiness and that have caused you hurt/sorrow/anger. This activity should not be drawn out indefinitely, so work on getting as much info into your family history as you can in two weeks but aim for completion in about a week.
As I said, you don’t have to rely on your own memories. Draw from your parents, siblings and other family members as well as family friends for incidents and events in your family history during your lifetime.

What Should This Activity Look Like

We will want a large piece of poster board to draw out our timelines. On our graph, we will plot each year of our lives from birth to the present. For each year of your life, you will plot out two positives and two negative events/incidents listing when and where they occurred and a paragraph that summarizes any changes – for the better or the worse – that came from each of the events shown on our graphs.

While we are learning about our beginnings, we will want to write our history into our journals along with any changes in mood or behavior afterward that we believe may have started because of it. Your poster board will be the map of your history and your journal will hold its key.  Making this detailed record in our journals will help us later when we are sharing our thoughts on this history with our mentors later.

Sharing Your History

When we share our personal history with our mentors/advisors/counselors, they will help us to see things in it that aren’t clear to us at the moment. They will also have insight into how the events/incidents that we perceive as negative on us can have a positive impact on us now as well.


Now that we have written our life’s history, let’s take a few moments to make a few notes on what we have learned from it.
  1. What events or incidents in your life can you see that may have impacted your choice to deviate from God’s plan for sexual purity? 
  2. Why?
  3. How can you use these negative incidents into positives?

Prayer for Today

Writing your prayers down makes them more real. It gives them a permanence. So record your prayers on this activity in your journal/notebook.

Dear Lord,

Help me to use all things in my life – both positive and negative – to bring You glory. 

Help me …

Following Jesus Into The Heights

Though the cherry trees don’t blossom
    and the strawberries don’t ripen,
Though the apples are worm-eaten
    and the wheat fields stunted,
Though the sheep pens are sheepless
    and the cattle barns empty,
I’m singing joyful praise to God.
    I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God.
Counting on God’s Rule to prevail,
    I take heart and gain strength.
I run like a deer.
    I feel like I’m king of the mountain!
Habakkuk 3:17-19, the Message Bible

I had never looked at being single as a “gift” before I started working on this project.  I do feel that it can be a time of learning to trust Jesus in more, different and much deeper ways.  By developing such a close bond with Him that we are willing to do all that He may ask of us, it is an opportunity to truly “fall head over heels” in Love with our Savior and Lord.  This should be our first step on the journey we are about to take.

This time of growth is necessary before we will be ready for any new relationships, including but not limited to the spouse that God may be preparing for you.  Let’s make good use of this time so that we can learn all that we can retain and become the image of Jesus that He has called us to be.

This will also be a time of healing from the pain and damage done to our emotions and our spirits’ from the past relationships we have all had. In this way, we will be prepared for the relationship of a lifetime.  That most important relationship should be with Jesus first and foremost. And if He should bless us with a mate, then with the spouse He has chosen to share the rest of our lives will be the second most important relationship we have.

Where and how do we begin this new journey?  Let’s start by taking inventory* of the hurts and pain we are carrying in our hearts and minds.  We need to know where we are before we can start this, or any, journey.  I feel that you should have a notebook with you as we travel through this time together so that we can make a record of how far we have progressed along this new path.  It will be a valuable asset for assessing what things we need to change in our lives, what we can build on, what needs to be added and what He will need to cut away.

It is also a great way to record your progress along the way.  It will be important to share these milestones with your spiritual mentor or Women’s Pastor.  And believe me, you will want to do this at various times throughout our journey together.

Taking Inventory*

Taking inventory is a very personal matter that you may want to keep a record of in a journal or notebook; this is so that you can reflect on the growth made as we travel through this time of healing.  At the end of each chapter, there will be space to add your thoughts in the comments section.  There will also be questions to cause deeper reflection of the things we discuss along the pathway on our journey to the heights with Jesus.

As you make this inventory, take the time to look over the relationships of your past and take stock of the hurts you have caused, and the hurts you have suffered.  You will want to have time to seek forgiveness from God and those who have been wronged for the hurts you have caused.

This is also a time to give forgiveness to those who have caused you pain, in person if possible or by letter, if they don’t live close by or if you have any qualms about meeting them in person.

If you were publicly wronged, it should be a public forgiveness; if privately wronged, then a private meeting is the way to go.   If they have passed on you can also write a letter, seal it in an envelope and place it with your important documents. Or you may burn it afterward as a sacrifice to God. This will enable the forgiveness to be released within your being.

Jesus said in Mark 11:25, 26 that if we have aught (lit. nothing, this means if we think there may be something between us and a brother or sister) we should leave our gift – offering or sacrifice – at the altar and be reconciled with them so that God will, in turn, forgive us our sins. But if we are unforgiving God, too, will be unforgiving of our sins.

We all need to walk through this time of reviewing the hurts in our lives, for it is a time of healing.  A time of learning to trust Jesus to mend those painful wounds in our lives and in the lives of those whom we have hurt.


For the first two and a half years after I became single again, I was so wounded from my past relationships that I didn’t think I would ever, and I meant EVER want to be in a relationship with a man again, let alone get married.  “Marriage”, to me, had become a “four-letter-word.”  But after finding out what true relationship is all about – and receiving a lot of counseling, I have decided that if this is God’s plan for me, I would like to try it again …though His way this time.  And in that respect, I would be doing it right. 

In this time of healing and waiting upon the Lord, God wants to draw us closer in our relationship with Him. HE wants to draw us into deeper truths and show us the life, the true calling He has placed on each of our lives.  Here, I am reminded of what Aslan kept saying at the end of C. S. Lewis’ book, “The Last Battle”, “Further in and Higher up.”   He wants each of us to move further into His Kingdom and Higher up into His lap so that we can heal and grow; thus falling deeper and deeper in love with Him each and every day of our lives. To do this, we must find freedom from the bondage of our hurts – and the pain of our unforgiveness – before we can loose ourselves into the total oneness with Jesus that He is calling us to.

If you are new to the path of forgiveness, no worries, God is able to instruct you in the right ways to seek the forgiveness of others and to give forgiveness to those whom you have wronged.  When I was learning to be forgiving and to accept forgiveness, I spent time in concentrated prayer for those I had wronged and those who I felt had wronged me; sometimes fasting, other times I would not refrain from eating and drinking.

I also made time with my spiritual mentor – who was our Women’s Pastor – so that we could work through all the emotions I went through as a result of learning to walk the pathway of forgiveness. This was very complex and draining time for me, so again I encourage you to have a spiritual mentor available to assist you in this new area of learning.  Your mentor should be someone you can trust implicitly with any and every secret, for by the end of your healing there should be no secrets between you and her of any kind.  Also, as they will be privy to these former secrets, they should be of the same gender and more spiritually mature than you.  I would not suggest you take your best girlfriend as your confidant, as it may leave you open to another type of pain in later days. 

Both my mentor and I kept notes (journals) of the things I was learning and my progress along the path. I recorded my feelings and insights, songs of praise and scripture verses that were helpful to me during this journey.  They are reminders of my learning process and fill me with renewed joy as I review them, as I am sure they will be to you. 

There will be times you may want to share the entries you have recorded in this volume with her – or have a separate journal – or section of your journal – to record those things you specifically choose to share.

Later in your walk, as you grow into maturity, you may want to share your journey with someone else who is traveling that pathway you had formerly trod. She will be comforted to know that someone she is acquainted with has walked this path before her and survived.


At this point in each chapter, I will add questions for your reflection. You may want to add these and your answers to them to your journal so that you can look back and see how much you have grown toward maturity in Jesus.

Your Prayers:

In your journal you may want to write your specific prayer requests out as letters to the Lord so that you have a record of what you have asked God for during this journey. If you would like, you may share them in the comments here too, and I – and others who join us in The Way – will add your requests to our prayers, too.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Single Again ... This Time Waiting on the Lord

I had always thought that having a man in my life was that which would “fulfill” me in Jesus. So at those times in my life when I haven’t had a mate I went out looking for “the one” to fill that role in my life.

Many years, and many relationships, later, had left me unfulfilled both emotionally and spiritually in this area of my life. But here I am going to begin a dialogue on how a Christian woman of any age who finds herself either single or single again can truly be fulfilled in all areas of their life. Fulfillment doesn’t come from having another person to share your life. It comes from knowing your place in the family of God and living your life according to His plan. And I believe it is a part of God’s plan for most of us to be happily married, but to partners of His choosing.

So many are the mistakes of our youth, especially when we haven’t chosen to follow Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Although I grew up in a Christian family and went to church each time the door was open, I was not a true believer until just after my 25th birthday. Also, my parents had no training in the Biblical Courtship model with which to “train up” their children. So when it came to relationships with the opposite sex we were not well educated and pretty much left to our own defenses.

I also had no one I felt I could trust to confide in, nor did I feel the need to confide in anyone where matters of the heart were concerned. I was an Adult, so I knew it all. At least I thought I did. So when it came to men, and a lot of other decisions in my life, I made very poor choices. I “fell in Love” and married three men who were abusive in a number of ways. And although I am not an advocate of divorce, I felt I had God’s permission to divorce each of the men for reasons that are not a part of this discussion, so I will not discuss them here. Maybe that is a topic for a dialogue at a later date.

I had always thought I believed in marriage being once and for all time. Now I know I have the belief and conviction that marriage is to be a once in a lifetime event. And when God blesses me with the mate He has chosen for me it will be just that in my life.

Genesis 2:24 says; “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

The Bible also says that God hates divorce, and if we are committed to following
His path for our lives we shouldn’t have this word in our vocabulary, let alone practice it. Moses did allow the Israelites to write a bill of divorcement for certain offenses, but not as a general practice. And it was never God’s plan.

I know we have all made mistakes, and if we have repented (turned our backs on them and totally changed direction and our way of doing things). Then God says we are new creatures. As new creatures we have new beginning and can learn new ways of doing things. This new way of finding the right life mate, husband or wife, is what I am proposing to share with you in our time together. So let’s dig in and get on with it.

First I want you to find a mentor of the same sex to share this journey with, someone who is both wise and understanding. Someone more mature in their walk with Jesus than you are at present, whom you feel is further down the path you are about to travel. They should have a solid Christ-based marriage. This person will be your spiritual partner through this new Journey, and quite possibly throughout the rest of your life. So choose wisely and well.

They should be a person of leadership who is solidly grounded in the Word and to whom you will not be afraid to “spill you guts” on any and every subject, and I do mean every, subject. This is because you will need to talk at length through much of what we are going to share in this journey … and quite possible to God’s choosing the right mate for you.

I think this is a sound Biblical practice due to the words of Peter in 1 Peter 5:5, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”

And Titus 2:3-8 NIV (words in parenthesis mine, added for clarity), “Likewise teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine (or other substances), but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home. To be kind, and to be subject (submissive, not sub-servient) to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God. Similarly, encourage the younger men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”

I truly feel that this training and teaching should happen in our pre-teens and most certainly by our early twenties. However some of us have missed out on it either due to lack of Godly examples or because of our own acts of willfulness. Whatever the case, these reasons have no bearing on the fact that we can and should learn these things now. So I am going to share with you what God has been sharing with me in the last few years.

Before we continue, I’d like to share some scripture verses that have gotten me through the many struggles of this new life in Jesus:

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.

This waiting is a twofold waiting. It is not just waiting for God to do something in you. It is a simultaneous waiting for God and waiting on God. This waiting on God is performing acts of service, of ministry, in His name for the benefit of others. This can be an actual job in the church or just meeting the needs of those in your family or church body by donating your time to them. Cooking a meal, watching their children, etc. The ministry possibilities are endless. And having an active ministry can be a valuable part of following God’s plan for Him choosing our life marriage partner.

The other passage is in Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me.”

God has planned our lives in their entirety from before the world was created. He has good plans for each of us. But we have to earnestly seek His face. Seeking a holy life in Jesus, committed to being submitted to His “will” and “plan” for you is the place where a lifelong marriage commitment starts. You must first be seeking to follow “hard after” Him and take that close walk with Him into your future relationship with your friend who will ultimately become that lifelong mate. We must learn to be content in our relationship with Jesus. Seeking to always draw nearer to Him in order to learn how to relate in our possible, future marriage relationship. Standing on the Higher Ground with Jesus is the only place to start. And as we follow Him Higher and Higher still, He can direct us to the perfect mate He has chosen for us or that perfect ministry of Serving In Singleness!

So, if you have blown it in past relationships or marriages and now find yourself single again, God still has the perfect plan for the rest of your life. If you are in need of repentance, you can fall on your face before God right where you are and confess your sins to Him, ask for His forgiveness and make a change in your heart, mind and life to live from today forward according to His plan for you.

Now if you are ready to begin this journey to the rest of your life, I want to share something I feel is crucial for you to understand before we begin. If you are to walk alongside a man as his partner for the rest of your life, Jesus has chosen the “perfect mate” for you. He knew everything about your life before it began and chose the right husband for you from the beginning of time. I think scripture bears this “perfect mate” theory out in the story of Rebekah and Isaac in Genesis 24:12-21. This is where Abraham’s servant went to Abraham’s hometown to find a wife for Isaac. He was standing outside of town at the well praying that God direct him to “the girl.” This passage says God answered his prayer before he finished praying.

Even if your mistakes have taken you through wrong relationships because you weren’t taught, or didn’t learn, how to find God’s perfect mate it is not too late. There is still time to learn and to follow the tried and proven method to live a married life abundantly full of the “Joy of the Lord.” And while I won’t promise you “happily ever after,” I will say you can have a marriage “made in heaven” instead of being “made in Taiwan.”

Again, if you are married presently this dialogue is not for you. It is strictly intended to help single women to find God’s perfect will for their lives and the way to finding a lifelong marriage partner, if that be His will. So if you are married, you should look to your pastor for counseling on how to make the partner you have “the one.” There is much you still can do to correct what may be wrong in your marriage without divorcing.
Look to God and Godly counsel to help you begin down the road to a more blissful marriage.

But for the rest of us single ladies, please stay tuned for what lies ahead on this journey to finding His perfect will, and if it is His plan,“the mate of God’s choosing” in your life and in mine.


Here I will pose a few questions to ponder and talk over with your spiritual mentor. Those of you with no godly women close by whom you trust implicitly, you can answer your questions below in the comments section.

I also feel that you should each keep a notebook or journal for writing down these questions and their answers. And to record your thoughts and prayers as we travel this path together. Keeping a journal will also help you to recount your thoughts with your mentor when you share these with her.

ALL are welcome to share their thoughts and prayers here, too. I will deny no one, unless they refuse to give their name. Anonymous comments will not be published.

  1. Do you know God’s plan for your life?
  2. Are you waiting on God’s perfect mate for you?
  3. What does this mate look like to you, now, at this moment in your Christian Walk?
  4. How does the image of God’s chosen mate for you differ from the men you have chosen in your past?
  5. Begin now to let God do your choosing; whether it is for a mate and marriage, or for a life of serving Him in your singleness. Give these decisions over to the Lord right now in prayer.

Dear Lord …