Why Christians Should or Should Not Pursue Their Dreams

dreams...

Certainly, God is in the business of making things fall into place as they should. However, the way they fall into place is often based on the condition and motives of our heart.

As an artist, one who writes, acts, sings and directs, it is easy to think I have what at first glance may seem to be “good” intentions. But we have to have genuine faith in Christ, not in ourselves, if we are going to first please Him and be used by Him for what really matters.

As a Christian and an artist, I can sometimes get off focus and start concentrating on and pursuing worldly desires, not Christ’s desires. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with desiring to provide for your family. In fact, it is a godly desire, since God too delights in providing for our physical needs. However, it is certainly a lesser need and one that should ALWAYS take third place in the life of a Christian.

When Jesus was weakened by hunger, and His disciples left Him to sit and rest at a well while they searched for and pursued their physical needs (food), Christ pursued God’s greatest desire first. He chose to draw a broken and sinful woman to Himself, extend His forgiveness and salvation to her, and transform her life with the power of His love. When His disciples returned, still focused on their physical need for food, this is the lesson Jesus taught:

“Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for *eternal life*, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.””
‭‭John‬ ‭4:33-38‬ ‭

Beyond a doubt, Jesus was more concerned with the eternal souls of a lost village than with His need to eat. Too often we are primarily concerned with how we are going to pay the bills than how we are going to bring souls to Christ.

Our gifts were not essentially given to us in order to earn income. Sure, God can use them to provide financially, but again, that is always third place. First thing we are commanded to do with the gifts God gives us—with all that we are—is to love Him, to seek to please Him. Next, it is to serve others for the purpose of edifying them in love. Lastly, it is to earn income to physically provide for our loved ones and others in need. When those priorities are shifted, we are missing the mark, we are not doing God’s will.

My prayer, my plea, is for every Christian artist out there to just stop and examine your heart and really discover the primary reason for why you are doing what you are doing. If it is first to promote yourself in order to provide for your physical needs, remember that is not supposed to be the primary desire and thus, repentance will be necessary.

Repentance is a change of mind. It is when you agree with God totally and then choose to obey Him. The amazing and beautiful thing about our Lord is that He is faithful to forgive when we repent, and He then pours out His Spirit and gives us all we need in order to accomplish His good desires to save souls and transform them with His love.

As Christians, we mustn’t seek our dreams first unless of course those “dreams” are truly and primarily the goals of Jesus: sharing the gospel and making disciples. In fact, I genuinely dislike the whole, “Pursue your dreams,” and, “believe in yourself,” phrases. 100% of the time, these phrases are encouraging you to put yourself first and to trust in yourself to do what you want to do. Let’s face it, that’s exactly what satan taught Eve, and continues to preach to this day. Jesus, on the other hand, says deny yourself, believe in Him, love others, and put yourself last!

Many self-proclaiming Christians tragically buy into the self-serving dream-pursuit message, and don’t even realize they’re serving themselves instead of Christ; they’re building up themselves, instead of bearing fruit for His kingdom, i.e., bringing souls to Him and/or strengthening the hearts of those who are already His. As a parent, that is certainly something I want to be mindful of.

As much as I love Arrow, I cannot support or enable him to pursue selfish desires. When he’s an adult, if he chooses that route for himself, I will pray for him, but I will not cheer him on. I pray his gifts and his life are always offered up as a sacrifice to God first and foremost. I pray he loves and fears Jesus first and I pray my husband and myself model that example for him for as long as we live. May my goal always be to love the one who loved me first, to give everything to the one who gave everything for me. To live for the one who died for me that I may truly live forever with Him. And I pray the same for you, beloved.

My Gay Cousin Asked Me To Write This

A few months ago, my homosexual cousin asked me to write a blog about this. At the time, he and his then-boyfriend were attending gay services with a homosexual pastor. My cousin felt that it was wrong, but said the opposing views had him confused. He wanted to know what the bible really says about homosexuality. So cousin, the following bible verses are all from the New Testament, after Jesus died on the cross and resurrected.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. (‭Romans‬ ‭1‬:‭26-28‬ ESV)

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭6‬:‭9-10‬ ESV)

We know that the law is not meant for a righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and irreverent, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral and homosexuals, for kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching based on the glorious gospel of the blessed God … (‭1 Timothy‬ ‭1‬:‭9-11‬ HCSB)

In the same way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them committed sexual immorality and practiced perversions, just as angels did, and serve as an example by undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. (‭Jude‬ ‭1‬:‭7‬ HCSB)

Homosexuality is a sin, and when Jesus died on the cross and then resurrected from the grave, He defeated all sin.

The bible teaches that those who are “born again,” who deny themselves—their feelings and opinions—and choose to follow Jesus, these people receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is Christ’s very Spirit. He sends Himself in Spirit form into your heart. When His Spirit is united with your heart, your desires naturally begin to change. 500 years before Jesus promised He would send the Holy Spirit to believers after His resurrection, God told His people through His prophet Ezekiel:

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (‭Ezekiel‬ ‭36‬:‭26-27‬ ESV)

And in the book of Jeremiah, God says:

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭32‬:‭27‬ ESV)

Whether it’s drug addiction, pornography addiction, depression, premarital sex, money addiction, prostitution, compulsive lying, stealing; whatever your sin is, God’s Spirit is stronger. His love is greater. His fiery passion for you pinned Him to a cross and kept Him dead for three days. His love for us rose Him from the grave. His love for us crucified all of our sin. The bible says the sins of the world, the iniquity of us all, was laid upon Him. He died for it, but then conquered it when He rose again. He sends the same Spirit that resurrected Him from death into our hearts. Christ Himself lives in us, giving us the power to likewise crucify our sin and overcome it, raising us to new life. That is why I know people who once struggled with homosexuality and now are completely delivered from it. Jesus changed their heart, because He’s powerful enough to. His love conquers our sin, it consumes it and incinerates it.

In Christ, there is no desire we cannot defeat. Our sinfulness is not stronger and never will be stronger than His Spirit. If we simply surrender those desires to Him and just focus on knowing and loving Him, He takes care of our sins. We’ll look back and see we no longer want what we once wanted. We are free to walk in the good works God created us to walk in. We are free to know our true selves: a son or daughter of God, cherished and loved, made for eternal glory.

Anyone can be set free to be who God made them to be. It’s just up to us to decide if we want Him or our sin. Forgiveness or condemnation. Light or darkness. Freedom or chains. Life or death. Heaven or hell.

Precious cousin, I pray you choose Life, I pray you choose Love, I pray you choose Jesus.

Jesus, Please Cast The Demons Out Of Bruce Jenner

Bruce Jenner has had a demonic spirit lying to him since his youth, and many transgender men and women have been unknowingly experiencing the same satanic deception.

We see two-year-olds claiming to be the opposite sex. The world sees this and exclaims it must be their true identity if they begin feeling this way at such a young age. But if they knew the bible, they would know that parents would often bring their children to Jesus so He could cast out the demons that were possessing them:

Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came and kept crying out, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly tormented by a demon.” Yet He did not say a word to her. So His disciples approached Him and urged Him, “Send her away because she cries out after us.” He replied, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came, knelt before Him, and said, “Lord, help me! ” He answered, “It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table! ” Then Jesus replied to her, “Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want.” And from that moment her daughter was cured. (‭Matthew‬ ‭15‬:‭22-28‬ HCSB)

There are more accounts of demon-possessed children in the New Testament whom Jesus delivered, and the prophet Jeremiah also wrote:

The Lord said, “It is because they abandoned My instruction that I set in front of them and did not obey My voice or walk according to it. Instead, they followed the stubbornness of their hearts and followed after the Baals as their fathers taught them.” (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭9‬:‭13-14‬ HCSB)

Bruce Jenner is unknowingly calling Jesus a liar, for Jesus said God’s Word will never pass away. God does not change His mind. His Word is fixed. He would not deem cross-dressing an abomination and yet cause one of His creations to be confused about his gender. Satan, however, is the author of confusion, and the father of all lies. He always attacks God’s Word. It was his very first assault on mankind in order to deceive and destroy them and it worked (see Genesis‬ ‭3‬:‭1-6).

“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah‬ ‭17‬:‭9‬ NKJV)

After Adam took his heart from God’s hands and trusted it over God’s Word, he passed that sinful nature on to the rest of humanity who would come after him. So before we surrender our hearts to Jesus, they are deceitful and desperately wicked. But praise God He promises:

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. (‭Ezekiel‬ ‭36‬:‭26-27‬ NKJV)

When Jesus lived in a prone-to-sin human body yet never sinned once, He defeated sin’s power. When He died on that cross 2,000 years ago and then rose again, He conquered the curse of sin and death, and offers that victory to anyone who changes their minds and chooses to agree with God’s Word, to trust it, even over their own feelings. And He promises:

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (‭John‬ ‭8‬:‭31-32‬ NKJV)

I pray that Bruce Jenner finds a Holy Spirit-filled Christian, who knows the truth about what He’s suffering, and prays for those demons to come out of him. Then I pray he asks Jesus to take over his heart, and begins renewing his mind through God’s word—the bible— so he will know the truth, and be set free from this bondage, able to have joy in his identity as a man of God, reflecting the glory of the God-man, Jesus Christ, whom he was designed after and created for. Then Bruce, and every transgender who also surrenders to Jesus, will discover their true identity and experience everlasting peace and joy.

Christians Are Called To Be Superheroes

A few days ago, someone I knew from middle school shot himself in the head. Twenty-five years old. Last week, another twenty-five year old that I knew from high school overdosed.

We as Christians can get so distracted from the greater reality: we are in a spiritual war. Depression, anxiety, pornography, sex trafficking, rape, all satanically influenced. People’s souls are being brutally fought for in the spiritual realm and we are seeing it plain as day in the physical realm. Our best friends, co-workers, and family are on what Jesus called the path of destruction. My generation, the Millennials, are so lost.

Christian, there’s walking dead people all around us, and you’re concerned about career? You’re concerned about becoming rich? You’re concerned about getting a wife or husband? Worse yet, you’re enjoying the short-lived pleasures of sin and walking like the dead, absolutely useless to God who desperately wants to rescue them and died to rescue you—not just from hell but from the bondage of sin! You’ve been set free yet you’re living like you aren’t.

We are the superheroes of our world. In our community, God has specifically placed us as watchmen. Even greater is our mission than the superheroes we watch in films. They merely save the physical body. We are called to save the eternal soul! There’s a great villain who is destroying lives, wreaking havoc on the ignorant, and we are the only ones who stand in his way.

Are we fighting him? Are we winning? Or are we foolishly following him instead of God by staying in our sin while souls perish all around us?

We don’t wear costumes, but we wear the light of Christ. Is He being seen in you? Do those around you and those who encounter you know you’re a superhero, know that you’re a Christian? Are you walking in His power so you can save them?

Time is so short. We don’t know who the devil will take out next, but we know this great villain does not sleep, he does not relent. Only those who give their hearts to Christ can withstand and overcome him. That is why we must take our training seriously. Lives literally depend on it.

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Going To Church Doesn’t Mean You’re Saved

There’s been many times where I’ve asked someone if they knew Jesus and his or her response was, “My dad is a pastor,” or “Yeah, I go to church,” or “I was raised going to church.” But I was not asking them if they regularly attended a corporate Christian service at a building, or if their parents knew Jesus. I asked if they knew Him.

“Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew‬ ‭3‬:‭8-10‬ NKJV)

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”-(‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭21-23‬)

It is a tragic thing when people assume the sum of christianity is going to a weekly church service. This is not only tragic because they’re utterly missing out on the incredible reality of knowing Jesus personally and experiencing Him daily and having His love completely transform you into who you were created to be and leading you into your destiny through the power of the Holy Spirit, but they’re on the path to destruction, not realizing Jesus isn’t going to allow people into heaven on the basis of their church attendance but on whether or not they truly knew Him, had given their heart to Him and loved Him not in word, but in deed and truth.

That word for “know” is the same word the bible uses when speaking of a husband and wife becoming one through sexual intimacy. It’s the deepest and most intimate level of knowing, and that is what God desires for us. He didn’t send His Son from heaven to live here and teach and walk among us and heal us for three years just so we can think He’s cool and go on with our lives. He wanted to reveal Himself to us, to have us know beyond a doubt what He’s about: love.

He taught us that He’s a loving Father who desires to reveal Himself to us, to adopt us as His own, to heal us, to transform us, to teach us, to use us to bless others and bring them into His family, to redeem us, to set us free.

When someone really knows Jesus, it’s evident in that their life is completely changed. They aren’t the same person. You see the transformation. And that’s my prayer for all those who think they are a Christian, but don’t really know Christ, and for those who have knowingly rejected Him. May you come to know and experience the amazing love, forgiveness, and transformation that I’ve known and experienced for the past six years. Not just so your life on this earth is incredible, but so that you can be saved from yourself and from the chains of satan and go to heaven.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭6‬)

Do Those Who Commit Suicide Go To Heaven?

This is a touchy subject, but I believe it needs to be addressed. My mom told me a pastor had said he firmly believed someone he knew, who committed suicide, was beyond a doubt in heaven. I challenged this notion, pointing to scriptures that talk about the hope we have as believers. If we are so hopeless in this life, do we really believe the bible? Do we trust God’s word which says He never leaves us, nor forsakes us, and that we can come to Him with our burdens and anxieties and He will gives us rest, peace, and joy?

If one does not believe Christ is stronger than our depression, we do not have true faith. There’s a verse that says our bodies are His temple and if anyone destroys this temple, God will destroy him. I happened to read this passage in 1 Peter, which I believe strongly goes against the idea that suicide is forgivable and you’re able to instantly be free from the trials of this life and enter into the joys of heaven while the rest of your brethren on earth continue suffering. This is an extremely dangerous false doctrine that encourages Christians to kill themselves because if they do, they’ll be with Christ. Not so:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a *living hope* through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are *kept by the power of God through faith* for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you *greatly rejoice*, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that *the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ*, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, *you rejoice with joy inexpressible* and full of glory, receiving the *end of your faith*—the salvation of your souls.” (I Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭3-9‬ NKJV)

“And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are *if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end*.” (Hebrews‬ ‭3‬:‭5-6‬)

Notice that true Christians have joy inexpressible; even during various grievous trials they don’t give up. In fact, the trials are actually testing the genuineness of their faith! But if one gives up during these trials, they do not have true faith and thus, they cannot please God and enter heaven after committing suicide. But if through the suffering, they continue rejoicing, trusting their Redeemer is going to resurrect them one day, then they receive the end of their faith; the salvation of their souls.

If you have a loved one who committed suicide, I feel for you. But that was his or her decision, and know that God in His mercy and love reaches out to all mankind and accepts anyone who will genuinely believe the drastic measures He went through to save them: sending His only Son to die on a cross in their place. Everyone has a chance to receive Christ. He is not exclusive to any people group or caste system. He loves us all, but we have free will. If one chooses to reject His love, it is unfortunate, but that is on them. We can only pray, preach the gospel, and share Christ’s love with others and hope they turn to Him. We all want our loved ones in heaven, but unfortunately, many people reject Christ until their last breath, and rejecting Him means no access to heaven. This is why we must take our walk with Christ so seriously: souls are perishing all around us: our parents, our siblings, our cousins, aunts and uncles, friends. We have to speak the truth in love and keep praying for their eyes to be opened to the love we have experienced that they might turn from their sins and accept the only One who can cleanse and save them.

“Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.” (‭I Peter‬ ‭4‬:‭1-2, 12-13, 16-19‬ NKJV)

“For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness— by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (I Peter‬ ‭2‬:‭20-25‬ NKJV)

“And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”(‭Hebrews‬ ‭6‬:‭11-12‬ NKJV)

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” (‭I Peter‬ ‭5‬:‭8-10‬ NKJV)

What Giving Birth Taught Me About God

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Giving birth was the most painful, yet beautiful experience of my life (besides my wedding night). God granted all my prayers: that I’d have our baby at the birth center, my husband would be there through it all, that I’d have a Christian midwife, that she’d be available for my birth, that baby would come before his due date, that I would have the pretty sea-themed room, that I’d have a speedy labor—but one He denied: a pain-free delivery.

Six hours is definitely a short labor, especially for a first time mom, but with diarrhea speeding up contractions, coupled with vomiting, I was definitely in serious pain and quite weak by the time it was time to push. And O, did I have to push. It took an hour for our 9lb 1oz, 22 inch long baby boy to enter the world, and with each failed attempt, I grew more and more discouraged. In my mind, I begged God to let him come out already. I was so tired, so discouraged, just wanting the pain and pushing to end already. It took five different birthing positions and several tries. I asked God why He was doing this to me. The baby’s head had been crowning for some time and I was beat. But God’s grace was sufficient for me, and His strength was made perfect in my weakness. Finally, on February 19th at 1:21am, Arrow Jotham Sapienza made it through the birth canal and into my arms.

A day or two after I gave birth, before entering my time of praise and prayer, I read/prayed this passage over myself and Jonathan:

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭3‬:‭14-19‬ NKJV)

I began my intimate time with the Father by thanking Him, and as I was thanking Him, these words flowed from my heart:

Father, I thank You for the pain. I thank You for the opportunity to be conformed to Your suffering.

I confessed that though that was six hours of intermittent agony, Christ suffered far worse for more than nine hours (and the pain was consistent). During my labor, I was just focused on me; my suffering, but Christ was looking forward to the joy set before Him. He was focused on the Father and on saving us. His love for God and for mankind was what kept Him going.

God answered my Ephesians prayer, and He used my temporary suffering to teach me a beautiful and invaluable lesson: a greater understanding of His love.

My pain was nothing compared to His, but to get a tiny taste of what it was like is an honor and a privilege because now I grasp just a little more how great Christ’s love really is.

My prayer is that God willing, next time around I’ll be thinking of the joy set before me: a child that will be dedicated to God, my gift to Him for all He’s done for me, rather than focusing on myself. [Yes, I plan on going all-natural again at the birthing center. I absolutely love that place! They love you and baby and treat the birthing process like it’s something sacred. And giving birth is. God said the purpose of marriage is to produce godly offspring].

I don’t know what you’re suffering through, but may you likewise come to this place:

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (‭James‬ ‭1‬:‭2-5‬ NKJV)

May our understanding of God’s love continue to grow so that we can become complete in Him.

Praying for you,

Natasha

I’m 8 Days Away From My Due Date

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I’m set to deliver me and sir Jonathan’s first child on February 21st. If I write all the ways God has provided, and all the prayers He’s answered, this post would be at least 10,000 words long. But here are some:

-Jonathan got a second job for a Christian ministry
-I didn’t have morning sickness
-We got blessed with three baby showers
-We have all the essentials; strollers, car seat, bassinet, baby clothes, diapers, baby wipes to last months, pediatrician who’s five minutes away
-All the nursery wants/needs have been gifted to us; changing table, crib (eventually), crib mattress, lamp, crib mobile, sheets, the cute forest animal-themed decorations we wanted
-We haven’t paid for anything for baby out of pocket, not even my prenatal visits
-We got blessed with a new, quality brand-name mattress (ours has been marked in several places by two different dogs and was causing me pain)
-We were working toward getting out of debt and had $500 left that we owed Jonathan’s dad and then randomly received an unexpected check for $500 in the mail. We’re now debt-free
-Jonathan was approved for not one, but six weeks off paid from his higher paying, longer-hours job to bond with baby

God truly is our provider. He has certainly blessed us incredibly and answered so many prayers. I’m blown away by His love and provision, and by His great care for His daughter and son. All the details He paid attention to, even giving unnecessary blessings. He has fiercely protected me and the baby from enemy attacks, and though I’ve become extra clumsy thanks to the increase in hormones, I haven’t fallen once in my entire pregnancy. Every time I stumbled (which was often), His angels caught me.

I just wanted to encourage you all to pray about everything that concerns you, casting your anxieties on Him because He truly does care for you—practically beyond comprehension.

It’s so vital for us to grasp the depth of His love for us and how much we do not deserve it. As we pray for that revelation, we will be compelled to truly surrender all to Him, to live for Him and obey Him because we genuinely love Him and are so grateful for all He has graciously done for us.

I pray a greater understanding of Christ’s love and worthiness to be worshipped is revealed to you that you may offer up your life—the life He’s loaned to you—for nothing but His glory.

Grace and love to you,

Natasha

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Abortion And The Human Heart

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As I pondered how in the world human beings can support abortion, this verse flooded my mind:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah‬ ‭17‬:‭9‬)

Apart from having Christ reign in our hearts through His Holy Spirit, they are desperately wicked. The passionate cries of pro-choicers is a living example of that fact. These women chant and rave, yell and swear for the right to murder a poor, helpless child as he grows tenderly inside his mother’s womb.

I saw a video of an ultrasound displaying a live abortion to a baby at 12 weeks (when most abortions are committed), and his heart began racing and he literally started jolting in an effort to move away from the sharp steel tools stabbing at his amniotic sac. When the tools penetrated and began dismembering the child, his mouth opened like a silent scream! Limb by limb, he was scrambled to bits like an egg with only a floating head remaining which the abortionist used a clamping device to remove from the mother.

I read one article where a pregnant abortionist confessed that as she pulled off the baby’s leg she was killing, her own baby kicked for the first time.

To know you are brutally murdering a helpless child, but still justify it is an astounding testimony to how depraved the human heart is without Christ’s love living within it and transforming it.

I pray that more and more women and men as well recognize their desperate need for a Savior. That in God’s holy eyes we are all wicked and need the blood of His Son to be cleansed and forgiven. No one is even close to good enough for heaven, only Christ Jesus Himself was worthy. He did not know sin, yet became sin for us and died in our place. His crucifixion is what we deserved. But in His incredible love, He paid the price for our punishment. And what does God require? We forsake our evil ways and thoughts and choose to surrender to His Son, who loved us and gave Himself for us so we can be forgiven and receive eternal life.

Why anyone would reject this vital offer is because of the verse I shared: our hearts are deceitful and wicked. Whoever rejects Christ has deceived themselves into thinking they do not need Him. And for you, I pray God’s mercy and revelation that your blinded eyes may be opened to His truth so you can be set free from the devil’s chains that are binding you.

With love,

Natasha

I’m A Christian, But I Don’t Want To Be “Just” A Wife And Mother

My sister in Christ who is in a relationship and preparing for marriage shared something with me this morning that the Lord is working on in her, and it’s worth sharing.

She and her boyfriend are taking premarital classes with a pastor and are in the Love and Respect phase. Sir Jonathan and I likewise read Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ book (Love and Respect) together during our premarital days. It really opens your eyes to how women need love and men need respect and how to give and communicate those essential actions.

So her boyfriend ends up telling her one day: “The way you’re speaking to me is disrespectful.” She goes to the Lord about it, and He tells her: “Imagine he was Jesus. Would you speak to him the same way?”

This poignant question definitely convicted her. I thought it was such a fine lesson from the Holy Spirit that all women of God should contemplate when speaking to others, especially the opposite sex.

“Don’t be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”-Romans 12:2

In America, there is an ever-increasing feminist agenda that is ironically becoming more and more hostile to the essence of womanhood and especially hostile toward men.

To think this pervasive mindset that saturates the media has no affect on us Christian women whatsoever is to be naive at best, and prideful at worst. But there’s another message that on the surface seems innocent, but is a worldly concept—not a Christ-like one—and that is this whole, “Chase your dreams,” notion. When this notion is not submitted to Christ, it can also tie into that hostile feminist attitude and manifest itself in disrespect.

I’ve seen this time and again with my precious sisters in Christ, and I’ve experienced it too. They desire marriage and children, a godly desire that is engrained in every woman’s DNA no matter how much they try to suppress it, but there’s a competing desire, one that can very well be ungodly.

A lot of Christian women think they need their own ministry or career. They have dreams of using this ministry to make disciples. But when that dream becomes “threatened” by marriage and children, they can get defensive and disrespectful to their male counterpart.

I’m not saying every dream we christian women have is a worldly desire. The dream can very well be from God, but we must be open to His timing. I RARELY see women under forty running a ministry. Most of the time, they’re wives who have already raised their children, and are now freed up to team with their husbands to start a ministry.

God can give you a dream like He gave Joseph, but not fulfill that dream until years and years of preparation and dying to yourself. And if we are not willing to lay that dream down for the sake of serving others, namely, our husband and children, that’s pride and it is dishonoring to God. His Word teaches us in Philippians 2:4 to not only look out for our own interests, but that of others as well, and Christ said in order to be great we must become least of all and servant of all.

The proverbs 31 woman sold clothes and fields, earning a profit, but her first obligation was to her husband and children and that’s really what she was highly praised for—caring for her family and household. But the feminist movement devalues stay-at-home mothers and exalts busy, unmarried, career women. There’s an exaltation of self, and a message that putting your dreams on hold to serve your husband and children is degrading when in reality, it’s extremely Christ-like and fruitful.

There’s no higher calling than making disciples for Jesus. A mother’s role is so critical to building God’s kingdom He makes sure the Word emphasizes her role over and over; Malachi 2:15, Titus 2:4-5, Proverbs 31:27-29, Psalm 127:3.

My prayer is that you would see with God’s eyes, not our society’s; that your mind would be transformed, not conformed to the pattern of the world. Feminism is an exaltation of self, it is not a Christ-like movement of serving others. It’s all about self—my wants, my dreams, me, me, me, and it has become so demonic it is now the biggest vehicle for promoting the murder of innocent babies in their mothers’ womb.

Please keep reading God’s Word. Let Him teach you and give you discernment. Be willing to put your dreams on hold for the greater good of your husband and children. Putting others before yourself is very pleasing to the Lord, submitting to your husband, raising your children to be godly, that is what He desires most because that—marriage—is what exemplifies His relationship with us most. And it is also a great tool God uses to equip us for ministry. If we as Christian women can die to ourselves and serve our husband and children, we can die to ourselves and better serve other women we desire to minister to in the future.

Lastly, let us not forget marriage and child-rearing ARE ministries—extremely important ones. When you study God’s Word, you see just how much He values this ministry. As women, we have incredible worth and purpose, and it’s not for the reasons the world perpetuates.

May you discover the beauty and honor in being a woman who walks in her Heavenly Father’s will.

Grace and peace to you,

Natasha