God Is Light Bible journaling #tbt

Throwback Thursday to this Bible journaling page I did for the memory verse of the week for the Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS of “I Am Loved” by Wendy Blight. 💡

Living Proof Live with Beth Moore #fbf

In 2013, I got to see Beth Moore live at a Living Proof Live event in Charleston, WV. During the conference, she read the following poem, which showed up in my memories today and wanted to share.

Grace is an inflated raft that can submerge to the floor of a sea to save you.

 Grace is the silver thread that stitches up the shreds of mangled souls.

 Grace is the eye that finds us where it refuses, there, to leave us.

 Grace calls the waitress to the table and sits her down to wash her feet.

 Grace sees underneath the manhole on a street of self-destruction.

 Grace is the air to draw a breath in the belly of a whale.

 Grace is the courage to stand in the shamed wake of a frightful falling.

 Grace is the only fire hot enough to burn down a living hell.

 Grace waits with healing in His wings when we’re too mad to pray.

 Grace is the gravity that pulls us from depravity.

 Grace races us to the Throne when we make haste to repent and always outruns us.

 Grace treats us like we already are what we fear we’ll never become.

 Grace is the doorpost dripping red when the angel of death grips the knob.

 Grace is the stamp that says Ransomed on a life that screams Ruined.

 Grace sets a table before me in the presence of my enemy even when my enemy is me.

 Grace is the cloak that covers the naked and the palm that drops the rock.

 Grace is divine power burgeoning in the absence of all strength.

 Grace proves God true and every self-made man a liar for the sake of his own soul.

 Grace is the power to do what we cannot do for the Name of Christ to go where it has not been.

Grace is a room of a thousand mirrors, all reflecting the face of Christ.

Grace is…

The eye popping

Knee dropping

Earth quaking

Pride breaking

Dark stabbing

Heart grabbing

Friend mending

Mind bending

Lame walking

Mute talking

Slave freeing

Devil fleeing

Death tolling

Stone rolling

Veil tearing

Glory flaring

Chin lifting

Sin sifting

Dirt bleaching

World reaching

Past covering

Spirit hovering

Child defending

Happy ending

Heaven glancing

Feet dancing…

Power of the Cross.

Jesus Christ, Grace Incarnate.

Copyright 2013 Beth Moore

The above was taken from the following link https://blog.lproof.org/2013/09/grace.html

There is also a simulcast recap from the event that can be viewed here https://blog.lproof.org/2013/09/living-proof-live-charleston-west-virginia-simulcast-recap.html

My Testimony: From addict to free

I apologize in advance for the length.

This post is for the Proverbs 31 online Bible studies blog hop. We are currently studying, Limitless Life by Derwin Gray. For this week’s blog hop, I’ve chosen to share my testimony of going from addict to free that corresponds with Chapter 2 of the book.

I actually have 2 testimonies of going from addict to free.

The 1st is my addiction to cigarettes. I had been a smoker for about 17 years. I started when I was 20 & ended up officially quitting in 2011, after several failed attempts. I had gotten sick with a bad case of bronchitis and the last thing I wanted to do was smoke. It took about 2 weeks for me to get over the coughing & being sick, but it was enough to get me started on my road to quitting smoking. By God’s grace, I am proud to say that I have been smoke free for 3 years now & I think it’s been one of the best things that I have done for my overall health and well-being.

My 2nd testimony of being set free is a little bit more personal for me & the fact that I am able to write & share this with you today is only because of the work that God has done in my life. Especially since I dealt with this addiction in silence for about the same time that I started smoking. It was one that has caused a lot of shame, guilt & fear – which was an addiction to pornography. For many years I carried this addiction that no one knew about & I was too ashamed to admit. But through God’s grace & mercy, He made a way for me to be open & honest with some people through my church & I am now set free of my addiction.

My addiction started when I was in my teens and my parents were going through a separation. I had been snooping one day & came across some of my dad’s adult magazines & ended up sneaking them up to my room. By the time I had graduated high school, my parents had divorced and even though I was a Christian by this time – I accepted Christ at 15 – I was devastated. Instead of turning to God for comfort and help during this time, I kind of went through this rebellious stage. I was looking toward others to find my worth and security.

My porn addiction escalated when I got into a relationship with a guy I had met at a bar where my coworkers and I went for karaoke & several months later, I moved in with him. His roommate had a huge porn collection that my ex & would sometimes borrow videos to watch when he wasn’t home. Over the years that we were together – which was 8 – we ended up using porn to “enhance” our relationship.

Several months after we broke up, I had been working for a company of over 1000 people & I started dating a guy who worked on the same floor as I did. We went out for almost a year & broke up after I started attending & joined a local church with my mom. While we were together, we would visit adult stores because he knew about my previous relationship & how we used to watch movies together. This was my last relationship I’ve had. I’ve been single for almost 10 years now, but I also thank God for this season of singleness.

I ended up attending this church for 5 years until I felt that it was time for me to move on to another church. The church I had been attending is considered to some a legalistic type of church. So while I was a member, I learned a lot about God, but didn’t really have a strong knowledge of his love for me. I always felt that I wasn’t good enough or that I wasn’t doing enough for Him. So, after I left that one, I took some time off and about 6 months later, I started attending a spirit-filled non-denominational church. Four months after that, I ended up joining that one & becoming a member.

During this time of singleness & church attendance, I spent time growing my relationship with God through prayer & bible study, however, I still continued struggling with my addiction to pornography in which no one knew about, except God. I kept going through the sin-confess-sin-confess cycle for years until last year when I told God I was finally done & something needed to change.

For many years I had been so embarrassed, ashamed, guilty and fearful of my addiction. It almost seemed taboo for a woman to struggle with this type of addiction. And even if they did, it wasn’t something that was talked about in the open. At least where I came from. But God, in his grace & mercy, answered my prayer & made a way for me to be open & honest about my addiction with some trusted Christians that I had already been seeing for prayer and counseling.

I was nervous about contacting my prayer counselor & spilling my guts about something that I had never spoke a word to anyone about, except anonymously online to strangers. But I was shocked & relieved when I received a response from her thanking me for my honesty. She was so gracious & didn’t judge me. We set up an appointment for me to meet with her & 2 other ladies for counseling & an anointed prayer session. After the appointment was over, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I was also able to share my freedom with a lady I had met with later to set up getting re-baptized that weekend at church – I was baptized once when I joined that church after my relationship ended.

Afterwards, I had set up weekly meetings & bible studies for several months to keep myself accountable, but to be completely honest, I really didn’t need it, other than to help grow my relationship with God. The reason I say this is because I truly believe that once I was open & honest with several people about my addiction & then getting re-baptized, I think it helped fortify my freedom.

This was back in July of last year & I am happy to say that I am completely free of my addiction. I have not had any urges to look at a movie or magazine of adult nature. And if I do come across something like that now, I just shut it off or walk away from it because it no longer serves a purpose in my life.

I feel like I have been given a fresh start in life & I know that God has a plan & purpose for my life. I do hope that I will eventually end up getting married one day, but this time, I am going to do it God’s way. I am also going to cherish this time that I have as a single person & use it serve God the best way I know how, especially when opportunities like this one open up for me to share my story with others.

Made to Crave, week 2, 1 Peter 5:7

My goal for this study was to concentrate on drawing closer to God through quiet time, bible study & prayer, more so than the food aspect & the way I crave other things instead of spending time with Him. So, I’m continuing this week to do the bible verse mapping and sharing what I’ve learned from our verse for the week.

1 Peter 5:7-8 (NIV)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

(I made the above graphic with @visualpoetry. An app I found for the iPhone.) 

I love how after I read Chapter 4 on Sunday & seeing the verse for the week that I actually had to put it into practice. Without going into too much details, I will share that back in Oct of ’12, I was given a promise from God and that it was only here recently within the last few months that I started to see manifestations of it starting to come to pass. However, this week, I guess in a moment of vulnerability the enemy came in & started to plant some doubts in my mind to get me discouraged & give up.

This was on Sunday night,and by Monday morning as I was getting ready for work, I heard in my spirit “things are not always as they seem. The enemy wants to steal your joy and your peace, don’t let him.” Then later that afternoon, he reminded me again, “do not give up.”

I love how the word for this week is “determination”. I think it’s perfect for what I am going through right now & how the Lord reminded me not to give up. It’s so easy to do sometimes when we “feel” like things are not going as we planned. We let our guard down for one moment and the enemy decides to step in and plant seeds of doubt & discouragement, then we are tempted to give up trying – whatever it may be.

Not to give the enemy more credit than he deserves, but it’s sad that he knows us better than we know ourselves, especially during times of weakness and vulnerability. He’s studied us for a long time and knows exactly what buttons to push to get us to question God. Just like he did with Eve. That is why I had to include the rest of the verse above.

I wrote the following prayer poem on Monday while I was reflecting on this verse &  going through my moment of doubt & questioning.

Lord when temptations come & life feels out of control
Remind me to look to you, the Lover of my soul
You know me better than I know myself
It is only in you that I will find my rest
The enemy prowls around seeking someone to devour
I need to be on my guard, each and every hour
He wants to kill, steal and destroy the hope I find in you
But I know that with you by my side, i will get my breakthrough
You are my shelter & fortress, in you I can stand
You hold my very life in the palm of your hand
You care for me deeply, because I am your daughter
Bought by the blood of your son & cleansed by the water
I love you Lord because you first loved me
and in your arms I’ll always be
safe and secure no need to fret
Because your have not failed me yet.