Christian Communicators, Christian Mentors, College age women, Millenials, Moms, Parents, Public Speaking, Stay at Home Moms, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized, women, Women in Ministry, Women's Ministries, Writers

Seeking True Identity…

Y’all ~ I am so excited to let you know that I wrote a guest blog for the Loved + Blessed Ministry!  They are an incredible ministry with a heart to help women live encouraged.

I would love for you to go check them out ~ https://lovedandblessed.com/

You can find them on Instagram @lovedblessedbox and all other social media platforms (facebook, twitter, pinterest, and youtube.

….and in the process you can find the rest of my blog ~ https://lovedandblessed.com/blogs

Here’s an excerpt…

In every super-hero movie out there, there is a moment where they have to choose to keep their identity secret or live out loud in the world with everyone knowing who they are.

I love the ending scene of the first Iron Man movie where Tony Stark’s character is being prepped for a live TV interview about the goings-on at one of his factories. The city has seen what Iron Man can do and how he is risking his life to save those who cannot save themselves from certain disaster. Tony’s handlers have given him set of note cards with the instructions to simply read the explanation they created and end the interview.

But here’s what I love.

Tony Stark’s character stands there, looking at everyone, and calmly says, “I am Iron Man.”

Of course, everyone freaks out but he has chosen to own his identity and live it out loud for all the world to see.

Okay, so this is a movie plot and things work out just how they are supposed to because it’s entertainment. It’s not real life. We are living in real life and we grapple with our identity all the time.

My heart breaks for this younger generation who is fighting so hard to find their identity.

Wading through the endless sea of social media, they are bombarded by the “unreality” of the perfect post. They are tied into how many “likes” their post receives and if it doesn’t get enough, they deem that post insignificant and usually end up removing it.

The comparison game is off the charts as well.

Constantly caught up in the tidal wave of who has what and when and how much; whether that be money, a large social media following, a significant other, or a fantastic wardrobe. There is always something they are wanting to have. Something they believe that will make their life better, give them meaning in a personal way, and bring them the identity they are so desperately searching for.”

 

We all need encouragement in our lives. We are all seeking true identity. The best place to find it is in the embrace of Jesus. And He gives us one of the best jobs we can have in this life of ours…we get to be the arms of Jesus when we come alongside one another, and bring love, grace, and joy with us.

Blessings,

René

Seeking Identity

 

Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Public Speaking, Stay at Home Moms, Teachers, Uncategorized, Women's Ministries, Writers

My Anniversary Video…

Hello friends!

I’m so excited to share with you my first video!  It’s been an amazing year of posting blogs on wordpress, and having the privilege of sharing God’s Word with you.  Thank you for all the support and encouragement you have sent to me through the past year.  I’m really looking forward to seeing where God takes me in the next year ~ and you get to come along for the ride!

Here’s the link to the video (via youtube) so I hope you enjoy!  Feel free to share with your friends and family too!!

Blessings,

René

 

Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Women's Ministries

Eve didn’t have Social Media…

In this day and age, in the year 2016, we have so many outlets by which to compare ourselves.  Each generation that has come before us, have also had their levels of comparison, but aspects continue being added all the time.  There are a bunch of areas I could delve into today, but I’m going to stick with the one I know the most intimately…comparison of self.

{Although I’m writing today’s blog from a woman’s perspective, I know that there are some great guys out there that read it too….so if you want to continue reading, I would like to encourage you to take a portion of this and share it with your wife or girlfriend, or even your mom or sister.  What a blessing it will be for them to hear compliments from a man they love.}

When I was thinking about this topic, it occurred to me that the most perfectly created woman of the world was Eve…the first woman.  She was fashioned by a loving God who chose characteristics of His own to give this woman everything she needed. Eve was made for Adam; not to serve him but to be a helpmate to him; to be a support and comfort; to be a friend and a lover.  The first woman literally had everything!  A husband that was perfect for her, a garden to tend & be nourished by, beauty beyond anything that had been created yet, and best of all, she could walk alongside the God of the Universe and had conversations with Him whenever she wanted.  Who needs a cup of coffee in the morning when you can get to hang out with the Lord!

Yet…that wasn’t enough for Eve…

Genesis 2:18 is a beautiful statement and I want to share it two different versions so you can truly grasp the joy God had in creating woman:

“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.” (HCSB)

“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (ESV)

We are a complement and a fit helper to our husband.  I don’t want to turn this into an argument, but I do wholeheartedly believe that the man is the head of the household (if you are married) and as a wife, I am called to be a support…not subservient, but not overbearing either.  I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my almost 26 years of marriage where I have not honored the God-given position in our marriage that God has intended.  But oh the joy that enters our household when I am working alongside my husband!  We have a true partnership, but the buck stops with him.

If you are a single woman, or a single mom with kids at home…let me be clear that you are not lacking!  God will give you the strength and resources to fulfill the call that He has on your life as well.  He will also give you men in your life who will be able to come alongside you when you have moments of need ~ please do not believe the lies of this world that says you don’t need a man.  You are missing out on the blessing that God intended to be a partner between men and women!

But let’s get back to the ever so fun topic of self-comparison….

Reading further into the chapters in Genesis, we see a very short story of Eve’s life in the Garden of Eden. Just before Eve was created, we see in Genesis 2:15-17 it says, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”  It was after these verses, that God made every living creature and Adam named them all; and then seeing that there wasn’t a partner suitable for Adam, God created Eve.  All was good and all was beautiful and all was as God intended.  And just a few verses later, we read the opening verse in Chapter 3 of Genesis, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.  He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

What???  Studying these verses made me realize two things:

  1. The commandment not to eat of the tree of knowledge was given to Adam.  It was his responsibility to convey this instruction to the woman God created for him.
  2. What in the world happened between the good life for Adam and Eve, being fruitful and walking with God…to Eve chatting it up with a serpent and getting pulled in to the trap of the enemies lies.

{and one more thing…do you ever think about how God had the serpent talking…hello world of ‘Narnia’….seriously, I do wonder about that part of how Adam was able to give all the animals names was because he was able to talk with them and find out what they liked…I hope I didn’t lose any of you here…just where my mind wanders sometimes.}

Okay, so here we have Eve alone in the garden and she’s talking with the serpent.  He seems to have asked her just one question, and it very quickly turned into a downward spiral. In the midst of that, I wonder if Eve was trying to prove how well she knew what God said by adding more emphasis to the story. Genesis 3:3 has Eve saying, “but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'”  God never said anything about touching the fruit, only eating the fruit.

The serpent continued on, goading her to twist her thinking.  The serpent used Eve against herself….making her doubt that she was indeed a perfect creation.

The serpent didn’t have to show her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and every other commercial on tv showing people having a “better” life than she had.  All he did was make her question herself.  He made her doubt her identity as a woman created by God.  He spoke to her instead of to Adam (who was incidentally standing right next to Eve when this whole debacle occurred…Gen. 3:6) giving her a misguided sense of authority.  Don’t get me wrong, Adam and Eve were completely together in this journey of disobedience.  They were equal partners in this deception.

What is it in us that were are tempted to compare ourselves to others?  To compare our life to the “what if” life we think is out there that we are somehow missing out on?  That’s where we as women struggle so much.  Some more than others, some days more than others, but we all struggle with remembering our identity…our God-given, God-created identity.

We. Are. Enough.

Genesis 1:27-28 declares, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that does on the earth.” 

God gave us everything that we need! We are created in HIS OWN IMAGE!  God is the Creator of the Universe, so if there is nothing lacking in Him, there is nothing lacking in us that cannot be made whole through having life in Christ.

We do not need to compare ourselves to anyone.  We need to get out of our own heads and stop believing the lies from the serpent (satan) because when we do, we miss out on the blessing God intends to daily give us. Genesis 1:31a says, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”  

There you have it my friend….you are very good and God is pleased with you!  Look to Him and trust in your identity in Him!

Blessings,

René

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Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Women's Ministries

Potholes of Negativity

I would venture to say that wherever you live, you have traveled down a road or two that has potholes.  Some roads are simply riddled with what seems like a million of little ones, and some road have “gigantor” size potholes….I mean like you feel like you left half of your engine in the road when you hit it!  If the roads you travel are ones that you encounter every day, you learn to navigate away from the big ones, and well, you just deal with the little ones.

Have you ever spent time with someone who is constantly complaining?  They are looking for advice, but never follow it? Someone who “stirs the pot” and brings up things that don’t really have any relation to anything you are discussing, but brings it up anyway?  Someone who is basically attracted to the potholes of negativity?  Or perhaps the more difficult question…have you ever been that “someone?”  Ouch!  I know I have..and it’s a struggle to stay positive sometimes.  But it’s so worth the effort.

I’m gonna cut to the chase real quick here ~ the Lord has no patience for negativity.  You can read just about any part of the Old Testament and find out the severe penalties that people (or tribes) had to suffer due to their negative attitude of unbelief.  When the Lord told them to do something, or to go to a certain place, they needed to be obedient…not participate in the fear or doubting hearts of a few.

Take a peek into chapter 14 of Numbers (verses 36-38), “So the men Moses sent to scout out the land, and who returned and incited the entire community to complain about him by spreading a negative report about the land— those men who spread the negative report about the land were struck down by the Lord. Only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh remained alive of those men who went to scout out the land.” (emphasis mine)

In the previous verses in Numbers 14, you can read the larger account of why those men lost their lives and why Joshua and Caleb’s lives were saved.  To boil it down, the men who died chose to not obey the Lord’s commands and denied God the opportunity to show the Israelite’s of that time, how truly powerful He was.  God had told them that He was giving them the lands of Canaan.  He promised them that HE would fight for them and that in all the battles Israel would fight, they would win every single one…that the 12 tribes would inherit the lands as promised.

But.

Fear.

Fear of the unknown.  Fear of uncharted lands.  Fear of strange people groups.  Fear of failure.  All of that fear turned to negativity.

Those men that riled up the people (and practically got Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb stoned to death) to such a degree, there was no other way for the Lord to take care of the situation, except by putting those men to death.  Their own negativity was so deep, not only did those select men lose their lives, future generations were affected.  Forty years worth of future generations.  FORTY!!  Long enough for the negativity and fear to leave the people so that the tribes who eventually entered the Promised Lands of Canaan, entered with trusting hearts.  Hearts that were focused on what the Lord says and able to hear God’s call on their life and move forward to live out the promises He’s given.

Thankfully, because of what Christ did on the cross for us and for the immense love He has for us, we are not under that same Old Testament law.  It does not mean that we are free to do and say what we like simply because we want to say it.  We are covered with God’s grace and mercy, and must conduct ourselves in such a way.  But there are those days when we stumble…when we hit one of those “potholes of negativity.”

Possibly, you’ve been on your road of those little potholes for so long that you don’t realize that you are bouncing along, and uncomfortably so.  It’s so easy to complain.  Complaining and stirring that proverbial pot actually takes very little effort.  It’s that moment when you should heed the warning my mother used to tell me,

“Just because that thought came into your mind, it doesn’t mean that it should come out of your mouth!”

Yep…you know what I mean…the off-handed remark to another mom in car-line about your kids’ teacher…the snarky comment to your co-worker about your boss…the veiled “prayer request” to a friend about another friend at church…your own dismay as you look in the mirror as you get ready to go to that party.  I’m sure you can think of many more examples of the kind of negative thinking which breed unhealthy actions.

HOWEVER….Today is the beautiful day my friend that you can get off that road!

Today, you can decide that you want to lift  your eyes and focus on what the heart of God wants for you.  How the Lord desires to share in sweet fellowship with you.  Will  you let Him fill in those potholes with the truth of His Word?  With the truth of who you are in Him?  Here’s a few verses to get you started on a smoother, more joyful path.

Romans 5:6-11, For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment,Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life! And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have now received this reconciliation through Him.(emphasis mine)

Romans 15:4-6, For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures. Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement allow you to live in harmony with one another, according to the command of Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with a united mind and voice.”

I Peter 1:3-4, Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.”

Ephesians 2:8-10,For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”

These verses are just a small taste of how good the Lord is and how much He loves us!  I encourage you today to check out more, as you dig deep into God’s word to find the treasures of His everlasting promises of our true identity in Him!

Oops! I almost forgot to mention again about those huge potholes that catch us off guard.  You know, those moments you have when life seems to be going pretty well and then out of nowhere ~ we forget to drive around the pothole that we see coming, and go head first!  Sometimes we are just rattled a bit and sometimes we pop a tire and careen out of control.

Having a relationship with Lord on a daily basis will help us to see those potholes BEFORE they arrive.  Oh, and they WILL arrive my friend!  But it’s how we deal with them.  God’s precious Word can assist us in navigating away from (or at least around) the people or situations that would at times cause us to lose control.  We do not have to be controlled by the potholes ~ we have a Lord and Savior we can ask each day (okay…some days I know its moment by moment!) to fill in those treacherous potholes with the truth of His Word…and He will do it!  One of the tremendous benefits of allowing God to fill in those potholes, is that we can share with others who are struggling with the same issues, and in doing so, we help them along in their journey with the Lord as He fills in theirs!  It’s a win-win situation for sure!!

So go now….and start paving a new path…one that is filled with God’s grace and mercy; and with the knowledge that you have been created for great things in the Kingdom of God!

Blessings,

René

Romans 15 verses 5 and 6