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God's Girls
My testimony.

Ok, well… I felt like I should share this. I don’t know why, but this is my testimony. It’s nothing dramatic, like I was an alcoholic, or anything, but it’s my reality. And God uses every testimony, whether it’s “dramatic” or not.

I was a PK. A preachers kid, with three older sisters. I was raised Christian, Pentecostal to be exact, and I hated it. It was way too outgoing for my personality, and everyone always told us, “you guys are perfectly behaved.” And everyone always told me, and Becki, that we needed to act more like our sisters. And as I grew up I got sick of being told to be more like Jolene and Chrissy, and sick of church. I knew the right answers to the questions people would ask, I knew how to act in front of other people. I knew how to fake pray for people, I spent most of my “praying time” begging for it to end. I never felt God’s presence, and honestly I doubted His existence. If I couldn’t feel Him, or see Him, how could He possibly be real?

At the age of 16 I went to a Christian festival, Creation, and went to wait at Main Stage to see TobyMac. Before him we saw Bob Lenz and Tenth Avenue North. Tenth Avenue North blessed me, their music made me actually enjoy church and worship again. But, Bob Lenz, the speaker, was talking about how people do things, like act or dress a certain way, because they want to be loved! And that’s when it hit me.

Everything I’d done in my life was because I didn’t want people to not like me. Bob Lenz went on to say how the only way you can find love is if you know God. Because God is love. He is it, gives it, has it. He’s all the love we need and crave! That night I really gave my heart to God, wholly and honestly to Him. And ever since I’ve been in love with love. All that it is… all that He is! I love to study Him. Reading the bible, praying, talking about Him. And through being in love with God, I’ve discovered myself. Everyone always says they need to “find themselves”, but the easiest way to do that is to find the one that created you, loves you, gave you life, and a purpose. All that you are was created for hope, joy, peace, strength, and love! All of which is found in Christ! Stop searching for love in worldly things. Find love in the source…. God.

Elder Brother Mentality.

Hey guys! It’s been a while since we’ve posted and recently I’ve missed posting so I thought today was a good day to post, :).

Now, yesterday my pastor preached about the “Elder Brother Mentality” and getting OUT of it. If you’re unsure of what the “Elder Brother Mentality” is, read Luke 15:11-32. And he was saying how there are four things that make the EBM, as we’ll call it.

1. Aggressive striving and hyper religious activity.

2. Competing for acceptance and affirmation.

3. Feeling we are not favored leads to resentment.

4. Elder brother mentality leads to a critical, judgemental attitude.

_

Now, I don’t know if you all have ever felt like this. But I feel like I do this. And as my pastor was talking it felt like he was telling it to me. Like, have you ever heard a sermon and just had it punch you in the face? It was for me. God doesn’t make mistakes and He was serious in talking about this. I’m still trying to get this EBM to go away. It’s hard, because certain people have me feeling like I’m not as good as others. And honestly, I feel like I’m entitled to murmur and complain about those people. I feel entitled to saying how they need to learn how I feel. But you know what? We’re not entitled to that. God doesn’t say, “Yeah, it’s ok, you’re human. Grumble, complain…. go ahead.” No, what does He say? “Do all things without murmurings and reasonings,” (Philippians 2:14). So, why do I continue to murmur and complain and make myself feel ok about all of this? I need to stop allowing myself to compare me and my life to other people. “Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others.” (Galatians 6:4).

I’m stubborn, and stupid, sometimes. And I’m still learning with all of you, how to get rid of the EBM. It’s going to take time, but I will get passed this. I will. Because God is helping me to overcome this mentality of not being good enough. He makes me good enough, because of His love. I don’t need to depend on other people’s thoughts of me, or my own thoughts of myself. Because I know God’s thoughts of me are higher than my thoughts, His was are higher than my ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

So, this new month we’re coming into, I challenge you to break away from the EBM thoughts, and actions. Try seeing yourself how God sees you, beautiful, wonderful, strong, happy, hopeful, and most of all, loving!

God Bless,

      xxxx   Mary

You hold my world in Your hands

So I haven’t written in a while, but in my defense, I don’t like to just write just so you have something to read. I’d rather write when God has placed something important on my heart and I know someone will get something from it.

I woke up today with the song “Healer” by Kari Jobe on repeat in my head. But not even the part about God being the Healer. But the part where it says

"Nothing is impossible for You, You hold my world in Your hands."

So, maybe it’s just me but when something gets stuck in my head I try to figure out what the meaning of this being stuck there is. I mean sometimes there is no meaning and it’s just a stupid catchy song like “Call Me Maybe” or “Best Song Ever”.

But than it hit me. I have been struggling recently with my job. It’s sucking the life out of me. Like really and truly I am so stressed over it, hate my hours, and quite frankly if it wasn’t for the kids that I get to witness to on the daily I would be quitting right about now. But than this song pops in my head and just this line and I’m getting it.

Guys, hear me out here. I know that sometimes this whole religion thing can get weird. That you seem like a crazy freak because you’re talking to someone who nobody else can see. But I’ve had it. I’ve had enough of living life afraid of what people think of me. What people think of religion. Do you realize that their not getting you into Heaven? I want to give my all to God. I want to trust that He has my world in His hands. He has everything under control. This life is just there to live out now and do it for Him.

Sincerely,

Chrissy

Do good

 

Ok.. so basically this small post is going completely off of a bible verse that I saw and it made me think, so I’m going to share the verse, and my thoughts.

So first the verse:

If you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” do that.-Luke 6:33

This verse says so much. Start with the beginning, “If you do good to those who are good to you”. This verse starts with the fact that a good portion of the world works in the rule, “if someone is nice to you, you’re nice to them, if their mean, be mean”. That’s not how it should be at all. As Christians we should “do good” to everyone, not just the people who are good to us but the people who maybe are not so nice to us. Like if someone curses you out the correct response would not be to curse them out right back. We are called to live like Jesus, do you think Jesus cursed people out? No. Jesus showed love! We are called to show love to the restless, the hopeless, the sinners, the hurting, the dying, the cruel, the possessed, everyone!

Now.. last part, “What credit is that to you? Even “sinners” do that.” Basically this is saying, if you only do good to those who are good to you its getting you nothing. Even people who we judge and automatically label a “sinner” do that. I mean realistically we’re all sinners! Even if we aren’t necessarily in sin right now, we all make mistakes. We are all sinners and will be until we are brought to Heaven and made perfect. We need to be the light to a increasigly dark world! And we need to show love to everyone! Not just the “Christians” but to everyone!

 

Love in Christ,

Becki

give God everything

Ok… its honesty time for me. I was brought to this realisation a few days ago but I, being stubborn, didn’t want to listen. If I spent half as much time as I do dreaming of my future husband and my future marriage, with God I wouldn’t be concerned with who I’m marrying. You see I focus so much time and energy on my future that I never stop to think about what I could do now.

I spend 90% of my day, like most girls. Dreaming about what my future husband will be like. What my future will be like. What my children will be like. Yet how much time do I spend of my day asking God what I can do to get closer to him that day? Probably like.. 1% if I’m being honest. I realize that yes, dreaming about the man God has for me is perfectly ok… but I need to stop putting my future husband before God. Because until I focus on God, I won’t ever get close enough to God to hear his voice when he says, “this is the man I have for you”. If I focused on God for the 90% of my day, I would trust Him enough to rest in him. And wait patiently for the man he has for me.

You know how kids ask their parents for something(I.e. candy, toys, sleepovers etc.) And the parent says, “not yet/now”. And the kids usually bug the parents until the day when the parents either cave or deny the child of that until they learn patience? We get like that sometimes. We want something so badly from God and all God is saying is, “not yet”, or “in a little while”. We need to learn patience with God. He has a plan. I have learned, he will give me the man that I was made to walk through life with in His time, not mine. But until I get closer to him, I won’t be able to properly love a husband. Because until I know God, I don’t know love.


Jeremiah 29:13 “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

Love,
Becki

Come and Break Me Down

So, since Creation North East 2013 is quickly approaching, I thought I’d talk a little about my experience last year.

Before Creation NE 2012, I didn’t seriously want to be at church other than for my friends. God didn’t seem real or worth it to me at that time. And then we were all excited for Creation, well… I was fake excited. I mean, 4 days of “church” didn’t sound fun to me. But then when we got there and we went to the first concert (Shonlock!), it was so much fun. And then that night we saw Tenth Avenue North (My favorite band) and TobyMac. During TAN’s set, Mike Donehey, the lead singer said something that’s stuck with me since.

He said, “I have a 2 year old daughter, and when she comes over to me and she puts her hands up, I know she wants me to pick her up and hold her. So when people raise their hands its not necessarily a sign of surrender, it’s just us, children of God, wanting our Father to pick us up and hold us.”

Now, a few songs after he said this they played the song, “Break Me Down” (I’ll link it down the bottom). He said, “I just had you all pray the scariest prayer ever.” And it didn’t make sense to me when he said it, but then when I got home I looked up then lyrics. The chorus says,

"I’m Yours, tonight
I’m Yours so You can break me down
Break through these walls I hide behind
I’m Yours, tonight
Come and break me down
Won’t you break me.”

And that song has stuck with me since then. It seriously is one of the scariest prayers ever. Telling God to break you of everything that holds you back from Him. Everything that keeps you from having serious relationship with Him.

And right then and there I asked God to forgive me for ignoring Him, and just going through the motions of this relationship that I wanted, but never had. And now as we get ready for Creation (which is 24 days away!), I’m excited to see what God does this year.


Song & Verse :::

Break Me Down - Tenth Avenue North
http://www.youtube.com/index?&desktop_uri=%2F#/watch?v=TUlKDHbIkR8

Psalm 51:17
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God


God Bless,
Xxxxx Mary

Love & dating

Alright, I realized this week that in todays society dating as a teenager is the way to be cool. But something I never understood is why people think I’m weird for being 18 and having never gone on a date, never wanted to go on a date, don’t intend to date for a while. So, I thought I’d talk a little bit about dating and love today.

In my opinion, and observation, the number reason most teenagers date is because they don’t want to be alone. They want to feel loved, special, and cared for. And all of those things are ok to want, but most teenagers don’t date with the intent of marriage. And for me, when I start dating, I’ll be dating to find my husband. Because in my opinion when you start dating you’re saying you’re ready to take care of another human being, worrying about their needs and wants before your own. I pray all the time that dating for me will be easy and that any man that I meet will be kind and I won’t end up hurt from a relationship. But, dating is serious. Because it not only uses your emotions, but the guys emotions (even if he says he’s a man so he doesn’t have emotions…).

Now, on top of the dating topic, the topic of love has to be in here. Yesterday my pastor preached about honor, and honor also exists in marriage and relationships. There was a quote he mentioned that just made so much sense.

"[In being in relationship] with someone, I will see good and bad, positive and negative, I can choose to see ones nakedness, mock it, and judge their entire life based on their worst day or I can choose through grace and love to protect my eyes and their honor by covering their nakedness with grace, mercy and love!" - David Thomas

I always say love is a choice and this quote kind of emphasized what I mean. You can see people for everything wrong they’ve done, or you can choose to ignore those things and love them. When you get married you choose to ignore those couple things that bother you, because you’re choosing to love that person for the rest of your life. And choose to accept him for all of the things he hates, or is bad at, because you love him. Just like he chooses to accept those things you hate about yourself, or those things you’re bad at, because he loves you. God chooses to love us even though we constantly spit on him, and sin. He could easily just tell us we aren’t worth it, but He makes us worth it! When you accept Christ, He clothes you in righteousness.

So, I guess to wrap up this whole post, my point is… don’t date unless you’re ready for it. And love is a choice, so choose to love people!

Song & verse :::

Lead Me - Sanctus Real
http://www.youtube.com/index?&desktop_uri=%2F#/watch?v=yLr6G8Xy5uc

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 ESV

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


God Bless,

Xxxxx Mary

"If you’re out there looking for love come on home"

Ok just a small thing I have been kept awake tonight to write. Some of our churches are looking at things wrong. Before you freak out and think I’m crazy, here’s what I mean by that.

As a church we can’t expect people to come to church and be perfect. Realistically its not going to happen. There is not one person who can say they are perfect. When people come to church from wherever they are in life, we can’t turn them away because they are sinners. We are all sinners! If a man came into your church and they looked crazy would you go say hi? Or would you sit in your seat and just assume someone else would go say hi to them. Most people come to church because they are looking for love or hope and if no one says anything to them that may discourage them from the entire idea of God. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying run over to every person that walks in. I’m simply saying this. People out in the world are broken, weak, worn, and hungry and they’re looking for that love. They’re looking for hope. They are looking for a simple reassurance that someone cares about them. And if we don’t step out and tell them someone cares, then who will? I’m not saying this for just you guys, this is totally for me too. I find myself freaking out when I have to meet new people. I panic and its really not even worth it. Like seriously, how hard is it to say, “no matter what you’re dealing with right now, God loves you and he wants the best for you”.

I figured this out about myself tonight. I have the faith of a giant but the boldness of my grandma’s cat(which if you know her, she’s scared of her own shadow). When something happens I’m the first person to say, “trust God! He provides all your needs!” Which isn’t a bad thing, but if someone put me in front of four people and said “pick one to talk to about God.” I would be the first one hiding behind a plant and staying silent. Why is that? I have no idea, but I’m personally sick of knowing this amazing God, and knowing what He can do and staying silent about it. God is amazing and I’m sick of being scared of people. I’m sick of this fear that I’ve acquired. I will get over this fear because “God has not given you a spirit of fear, but power, love and a sound mind”(2 Timothy 1:7).

That is my thoughts for tonight.
God loves you, no matter what!
Becki

http://www.youtube.com/index?&desktop_uri=%2F#/watch?v=HckfM3Q6n6c - Come On Home by OBB

I’m coming back to the heart of worship.

Hey guys. So, I don’t know about all of you, but I’ve had countless people tell me to “follow my heart”. But, what’s confusing me is that in the bible it says that the heart is deceitful. (Jeremiah 17:9) So, if the heart is deceitful, should we really follow it? I, just like you, was confused. But, here’s what I’m learning.

Your heart WAS deceitful. When you accept Jesus as your savior, He makes your heart new! In Ephesians it says, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24). He takes our old-self, our deceitful heart and its desires and gives us a NEW attitude to make us more Christ-like. He gives us new desires, and a direction for our life.

So, is following your heart wrong? Not if you have a heart for God. A heart that longs to serve Him, and longs to know Him. I know that all I want in my heart right now is to learn anything possible about my creator. I desire a deeper more meaningful relationship with God. And yes, eventually one day I long to get married and have a family, but for now all I long for is God. I long for a heart of worship, and a heart of admiration. I hope that you all also long to know God better than you do now. You’ll never know everything, but do your part to know Him, and have a relationship.

Now, I know this was a short post but I just thought I should post about this, because I was confused about it and I thought maybe someone else was wondering the same!

Song & Verse ::::

Heart of worship - Matt Redman

http://www.youtube.com/#/watch?v=P-Zp586pvZg&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DP-Zp586pvZg


Acts 15:9

He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.


God Bless,

xxxxx Mary

Grace/Love/Forgiveness

Ok so since Easter is Sunday, me and my sisters watched The Passion Of The Christ. First if you haven’t seen it, you should watch it, its good though some moments are made “too Hollywood” as my dad says. And secondly, showed me how undeserving of grace and love we are. Honestly if I was Jesus, I don’t think I would’ve went through getting beaten, getting a crown of thorns shoved in my head, or getting hung on a cross to save a whole nation of people who mocked, spit on, and tortured me. Grace and love are things we totally don’t deserve.


When it comes to grace we’ve become selfish and greedy. We are given grace on a daily basis, we are free to mess up and screw up and still go to Jesus and ask forgiveness and He forgives us with His grace. Yet, when someone messes up and asks our forgiveness we feel like we can dictate who we want to extend our grace to. Like we have the right to stand in front of someone who did the exact same thing we did and say, “no you did blank and thats too bad a sin for my grace to ever cover”. We don’t.


It reminds me of the story in Matthew 18:23-30 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold. was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.” But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.” Jesus told this story to basically say forgiveness is important.


We dictate who we show grace to yet we think at all times Jesus should show us grace, because we deserve it. But that other person who did something, that terrible something that in our brains is unforgivable, doesn’t deserve our grace or forgiveness. But news flash! We don’t deserve Jesus’ grace. None of us do! We sin daily, not one of us is perfect and can say “I don’t sin at all” because the only one who can say, “I don’t sin” is the one who is without sin. Jesus. Yes some of us “behave better” than others, but realistically I (an 18 year old girl, who goes to church every Sunday and Wednesday, doesn’t curse, smoke, or drink) am just as undeserving of Gods grace than the man who spends every Sunday in a bar, drinking until his eyes blur. We are all undeserving of grace, but this is where love comes in, we are loved enough that God has extended his grace and forgiveness to us. We have no reason to not take the love, grace and forgiveness we are shown daily and give it out.


We as Christians are called to be Christ-like, so if God is love, and Christ is God, we should be showing love, extending grace, and forgiving people who hurt, mock or hate us. I don’t care what anyone has done, nothing is too bad that you can’t forgive another person. God loves us so much even though we spend everyday mocking him, hurting him, denying him, hating him, and sinning against him. And we don’t realize how much that means, at all.


Take a second and picture this for a second:
You spend every second of your day thinking of other people, helping them, healing them, feeding them, clothing them, and loving them despite anything they’ve ever done. You go into a nation and every person in that nation lays a palm down on the ground the donkey your riding is going to walk on, and sings songs to you, and cheers for your arrival. Then not even eight days later those same people who you just spent a week healing and helping, have you standing in front of the ruler of your nation and are telling him to kill you. To hang you on a cross by putting nails in your hands and feel and leaving you there to die, after being beaten with whips and wood, and having a crown of thorns shoved into your already bruised and broken head. You know that by doing this you are going to save all of humanity if they accept the gift of salvation. Yet, do any of these people around you seem worthy? No. They just beat you, spit on you, mocked you, and are now nailing you to a cross to hang on until your death. But you still allow this to happen. Why? Because, seeing just one of your children spend the rest of their lives condemned to hell is worse than getting mocked, spit on, beaten or hanging on a cross a thousand times.


God loved you enough to do that. He sent his ONLY son to earth, to be mocked, spit on, beaten, and hung so that every single one of us had the option of choosing eternity in Heaven with Him or eternity in hell with satan. Yes it most likely broke His heart to watch Jesus go through that but He knew what was coming out of it. Out of that horrible scene, our lives have been saved if we accept it.


We should choose to live a life of love, grace and forgiveness because that is what has been given to us.

Live Loved!
Becki


Matthew 18:21-22 - “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”.”