Christian

It’s Time to Fight Back!

Have you wondered lately, “What is wrong with me? Why am I so discouraged and depressed?

If so, you could be under attack by spiritual forces of evil! The apostle Paul wrote about it in the book of Ephesians. He said,

“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.” Ephesians 6:10-12

Recently, a friend said to me, “I think I’m under the attack of the devil.”

I thought, “I think I am, too!”

Thinking about how we both had really geared up our efforts to be obedient to God’s will in our lives, I realized that Satan wasn’t taking it lying down! He was trying to discourage us both! He was trying to steal the Word and wear us down.

He was putting negative thoughts in our minds! Remember: Satan is the Accuser. (Revelation 12:10) He is also the Father of Lies. (John 8:44) He will attack your thoughts. Jesus said,

“Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word …” Mark 4:15

Did the devil attack Jesus? Yes, he did. Did Jesus fight back? Yes, he did. Did the devil finally give up and leave him alone? Yes, he did!

After fasting forty days and forty nights, (Jesus) was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Mathew 4: 3-4

Three times the devil tempted Jesus, and every time Jesus quoted the Word of God to him. That’s how Jesus fought back! Ephesians 6:17 tells us that the sword of the Spirit (our powerful weapon) is the is the Word of God. Jesus fought the devil’s schemes with the word of God. We can, too!

Let us praise and thank the Father, in prayer, for all the promises that contradict the discouragement and lies that come from Satan. 

It is written, the fruit of the Spirit is  love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

Jesus has promised that if I remain in His love, my joy will be complete. (John 15:11)

It is written “God gives us endurance and encouragement.” (Romans 15:5)

By your grace, you have given us eternal encouragement and hope. (2 Thessalonians 2:16)

It is written, when I am weak, then I am strong because your power is made perfect in weakness! (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

I thank you, Father, because you are able to make all grace abound to me, so that in all things at all times, I will have all that I need, and I will abound in every good work! (2 Corinthians 9:8)

I can do everything through him who gives me strength! (Philippians 4:13)

WOW! I feel better already! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! The Bible is full of encouragement and love for you and for me!

With Love,

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

Practical Ways to Relieve Stress in Today’s World

With the world fighting a pandemic and people cooped up in their homes, we need practical ways to relieve stress and boost our health.

Did you know that LAUGHTER has emotional and physical health benefits? It relieves stress, improves your mood, eases anxiety, and more!

I tend to be very serious and analytical, but I am learning more and more how important it is to laugh every day. At the end, I will share some of the sources I go to when I need to laugh. 

First, check out these research findings from Harvard Medical School and HealthGuide.Org.

Physical health benefits of laughter:

  • Boosts immunity
  • Lowers stress hormones
  • Decreases pain
  • Relaxes your muscles
  • Prevents heart disease

Mental health benefits of laughter:

  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Eases anxiety and tension
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Strengthens resilience

The Bible says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” Proverbs 17:22 KJV

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, …” Galatians 5:22

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them’.” Psalm 126:2

Laugh a Little!   

  • If you’re a teacher, like me, or a parent, you will laugh out loud at Elementary School Principal Gerry Brooks. Click here to visit his YouTube channel.
  • Jeff Rab
  • This TV show makes me LOL: Everybody Loves Raymond 
  • You can laugh while you learn God’s Word with Bible Teacher Beth Moore. This is one of my favorites. 

I pray that your day be filled with laughter and joy. If you have a go-to source of laughter, please share!

With Love, 

Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

Christian

Worry Is Like a Rocking Chair

Corrie Ten Boom was a prisoner and survivor of Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. If anyone ever had an excuse to worry, it was her. Corrie, her sister, and their elderly father were whisked from their home and sent to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp, “the deepest hell that man can create”¹ because they were caught hiding Jews during WWII. Following are some quotes on worry from Corrie.

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. It does not enable us to escape evil. It makes us unfit to face evil when it comes. It is the interest you pay on trouble before it comes.”

“Worry is like a rocking chair; it keeps you busy but does not bring you farther.”

Corrie Ten Boom’s book, The Hiding Place, had a profound effect on me as a young adult. Her faith and trust in Jesus Christ will encourage you through any trial you may find yourself in today.

Corrie lived her life, before and after Ravensbruck, serving the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].” Philippians 4:6-7 AMP

So many times, people say, “I’m a worrier. I worry about everybody.” It’s as if they think it’s a badge of honor. It’s not! To worry means we are not trusting God. To please God, we must have faith. We must trust Him.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 NIV

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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1The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom

Christian

A Verse For Today, 12/26/19

“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23 AMPC

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

His Grace Is Greater Than All My Doubts

My heart is overflowing with a beautiful thought! I will write a lovely poem to the King, for I am as full of words as the speediest writer pouring out his story.” Psalm 45:1 TLB

 God's grace is greater than all my doubts.
 Only He can drive them out.
 I pray for what I cannot see
 And trust the One who set me free. 

 I fall before the throne of grace
 Boldly asking for a place
 That quiets all my hurts and fears
 That this world brings with all its tears. 

 What promise shall we not believe?
 He gave His life upon a tree
 That you and I would always know
 The greatest love He could bestow. 

 So doubt I tell you, "You must go!"
 I turn to Him, because He knows
 The secrets bound inside my soul.
 There's nothing that He does not know. 

 My Savior calls me by my name.
 He takes my hand and heals my shame.
 He says to me, "I understand.
 I know the pain this life demands." 

"Come to me and make your plea
Nothing is too hard for me.
Come to me and you will know
The peace and love that heals your soul."

Jesus said, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

What’s In Your Heart?

Over the last few months, I’ve thought a lot about what I look at and listen to. For example, television, music, news, talk shows, Facebook, etc. How does it all affect me? How does it influence my thinking and my attitudes?

 The Bible says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 NIV

What does that mean exactly? I decided to dig in.

A wellspring is the source of a spring or abundant supply. OK. Above all else, I should guard my heart because it is a spring of abundant supply of something called “life”. Hmmm. I still didn’t get it, so I dug in more. I found some clues.

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” NLT

So, how well I guard my heart determines the course of my life. Well, that’s certainly been true enough (and sometimes in a bad way).

“. . .  out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

My mouth reveals what’s in my heart. Can’t argue with that, either.

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Sometimes we think God only looks at our actions, but what he really examines is our heart. Well, that’s certainly something we should think about! That tells me that no matter how many good works I perform, He is still going to look at my heart.

“. . .  the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.” (1 Chronicles 28: 9

He knows me better than I know myself.

If I’m to guard my heart, I must be careful what I allow to influence me. After years of being a “news junkie”, I rarely even look at the news anymore. Honestly, it doesn’t do anything positive for my attitude. However, I’ve learned that the more I listen to and sing Christian music, the closer I feel to God.

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4

“Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life. I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.” Psalm 146: 1-2

My heart is the spring that nourishes my life. Is that spring sparkling clean or is it  polluted by  the things of this world? Well, I guess that depends on how well I guard my heart.

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

Abundant Life is Relationship With God

I have a very specific reason for writing this post. A friend wrote to me and said she didn’t understand why God had not answered her desperate prayer. This post is for her.

Teach me about your love
the gift that's from above.
When sorrow fills my heart,
your comfort alone can part
the sea of pain.
You lead me on dry ground
to the Promise Land.
In this life, you will provide
the manna and the quail.
That nourishes my soul
until I see
the Promise Land.

” . . . as for me, I trust in the Lord.
 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
    for you saw my affliction
    and knew the anguish of my soul.” Psalm 31:6-7

“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.“Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV

“Every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” refers to spiritual food. It is your relationship with God through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, who teaches us all things.

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

Abundant life is relationship with God. It is knowing the Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe, the King of King and Lord of Lords. It is being able to talk to Him at any time and in any place. It is the privilege of saying, “My Father” and knowing He is listening intently. It is for now and forever.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 NIV

A relationship with God should never be trivialized. Nothing can compare to such a glorious blessing, certainly not things (cars, houses, etc.). Our God is not Amazon.com. He isn’t here to be our Cosmic Santa Claus. Jesus didn’t sacrifice His life in order for us to prosper materially here on Earth. He didn’t have to die to accomplish that. He died to give us eternal life through a right relationship with the Living God which will last forever. May we know the true gift of God.

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” 1 Peter 3:18 NIV

“You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
  Psalm 73:24-25 NIV

Sometimes, God does not do things the way we want. Why? We may never know while here on Earth. But many times, we understand later, even years later. God is more interested in our character development than in giving us a cushy life here on Earth. We must trust Him.

I had a friend once who was desperate to save his marriage. He was convinced that by going to church and “believing” God, by having enough faith, God would save his marriage. He gave it his all.

But God did not save his marriage. No matter how hard he tried to “just have faith”, it didn’t happen.

Guess what happened to him? He left the church and was never seen again. From his perspective, God and faith didn’t work. That’s because he saw God and faith as a way to get what he wanted. He didn’t understand the true gift of God.

Do you see the disillusionment this can bring and why it causes people to abandon their faith in God? And this is the point! Truth is vital. That’s why we must be like the Bereans, who . . .

“received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11

Jesus said, We must “worship God in Spirit and in truth”. As you read the familiar passage below about the Samaritan woman, I want you to notice four things.

  1. Jesus reveals to her the “gift of God”. (v. 10)
  2. She thinks Jesus is talking about natural things, but he is talking about spiritual things. (v.11)
  3. Jesus shows her the superiority of a spiritual gift compared to a natural gift. (v.13-14)
  4. Jesus reveals to her the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. (v.23-24)

“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a]) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” John 4 NIV

Lord, Help us to study your Word daily and love the Truth. Help us to appreciate our relationship with you and to understand your love.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 KJV

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

GPS to the Small Door

Imagine you are sitting in church, listening to your pastor’s message, and he says,

“By the way, a lot of people around here aren’t going to Heaven!” [Everybody perks up and starts to pay attention.]

He continues, “The door to heaven is pretty small. So, many people are going to go through the wrong door. In fact, only a few people will find the right door, only a few.”

[The people are thinking, “What? Is that really true?”

He continues, “You better make sure you are studying your Bible or you won’t find the small door. Instead, you’ll follow the crowd through the big door. Some of you tend to do what sounds good, instead of carefully studying your Bible.” [People start to fidget because they don’t have time to read their Bibles. They’re really busy.]

“Now that big door is not only the wrong door, it is the door that, once opened, will take you down a big, wide road that looks like a good road, but it isn’t! It leads to devastation and disaster!” [This isn’t what the people want to hear. They think he is too negative.]

He ends by saying, “Make sure you find the small door. Like I said, study your Bible. It is the GPS to the small door.”

Will the people start studying their Bibles or will they dismiss the pastor’s warning?

Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14  

That is an intriguing statement, made by our Lord Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus and the Apostles gave us many warnings in the New Testament. We would do well to know what they are. We mustn’t only read and study the promises. We must read and study all of God’s Word.

Do you know what God’s warnings are?  (Several are listed in my post, “Don’t Follow the Crowd”.)

With Love, 

Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

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Christian

My Life Is In God’s Hands

What if someone died in your place? By all accounts, you should have died, but someone else died instead. Would you live your life differently? Would you begin to live your life with purpose? Would you stop living for yourself?

On September 11, 2001, Pilot Steve Scheibner was packed and ready to fly out of Boston on American Airlines Flight 11 to Los Angeles.  But at the last minute, another pilot, First Officer Thomas McGuinness, was assigned the flight instead.

Imagine the emotional impact on Scheibner when he realized that the plane he should have been flying, had just flown into the World Trade Center’s North Tower. Had God spared his life?

The Bible says our lives are not our own. Consider these Scriptures.

Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own;

    it is not for them to direct their steps.”  Jeremiah 10:23,

“But I trust in you, Lord I say, “You are my God.”

My times are in your hands…” Psalm 31:14 & 15

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart,

  but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

If you ever survived something that you know you shouldn’t have survived, you may feel the same way as Steve Scheibner. You may understand that you are here because God has more for you to do.

There were other passengers who missed flight 11 that day. Some changed their plans at the last minute. Others just didn’t get to the airport in time. Were they forever changed? Did they find their purpose?

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

When we stand before our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, may we hear these coveted words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Matthew 25:23

Jesus taught the Scribes and Pharisees at length, but they were so tightly bound to their own selfish will that they refused the truth. Read the passage below. The reaction of the Pharisees is chilling!

Matthew 21:23 – 22:45

What is required to be a “good and faithful servant”? It is a heart that is surrendered to God’s will and to Truth.

This is Steve Scheibner’s testimony:

With Love, 

Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

Where Has God Asked You to Love?

My job (and ministry) is in a middle school. You know, where kids know how to push your buttons and are exercising their desire to rebel against authority.

Maybe God hasn’t put anyone “hard to love” in your life, but I bet He has. I only know that what God has asked me to to do isn’t easy and even though I am willing – I keep failing over and over.

What is our mission?

It is to love!

Sometimes I wonder why He has called me to love those “not easy to love”. I’m not good at it! I lose my temper. I get angry. I lecture. I utter those horrible teacher words, “I’m done!”

The kind of love God expects us to show to others is not a feeling. It is an action. It can be very hard to show agape love. Where is your mission field? Do you sometimes find it difficult to show love to people there?

Over 20 years ago, God showed me something that I will never forget. At the time, I was very involved in women’s ministry, but I became increasingly disturbed by some of the teaching in my church. I asked God to show me where my focus should be.

I asked Him to show me the main idea of the New Testament. I felt like my focus was on the wrong things. In desperation, I read the New Testament through three times in a row.

In a notebook, I kept track of how often various subjects were discussed, such as hope, faith, prosperity, love, spiritual warfare, etc.

I discovered that love was the most frequently taught subject by far! There was no doubt about it. God was showing me, through my crisis, that love, agape love, was very important to Him and my focus should be there.

I began an in depth study on agape love, looking for every Biblical reference. I studied Greek and Hebrew definitions. I wrote. I read. I studied.“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV

I can’t do it in my own strength. God must do it through me. Every day, I must pray for God’s power to dwell in me. Once we realize that we can’t do it ourselves, we have passed Lesson 1.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 (NIV)

Lesson 2: Let our day begin with prayer. “Father, Show the Savior’s love through me today. Teach me to love.” And pray for them. Ask God to help you see the good things about them, not just what they do wrong.

Lesson 3: Study God’s Word about love and be changed. Start with I Corinthians 13. Meditate on it. Study it. How does it apply to my life?

“Love is patient.”  I Corinthians 13:4a

(I don’t know about you, but I need to meditate on these 3 words for at least a week!)

The Greek word for patient is makrothumeo. It means “slow to anger”.

“Being slow to anger does not mean that one does not care, but rather that he has his emotions under control.” (Detzler)

Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22)

According to Vine’s Bible Dictionary, “Patience is that quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate.”

Webster defines patience as “enduring … trouble with composure and without complaining; refusing to be provoked …”

Note: I wrote this posta long time ago, but I find myself once again needing His strength and His grace to do the very thing He has asked me to do – love those God has put in my path – and show them God’s unconditional love.

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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