Archive | June, 2016

Sing O Barren One

26 Jun

Isaiah 54:1 ESV “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the LORD.

Story of couple adopting

I saw the above video posted on Facebook. The first time I saw it was yesterday. Yet, I didn’t pause to watch it. I scrolled right passed it. 

Someone else posted the same video again. Once again, I went passed it. I never paused to listen and watch.

Here I am again, I see this video posted again. I thought I better watch it. After all, there are no coincidences with God. I finally watched and listened to this video. Now, I know why it kept coming across my path.

Like this couple, God gave me a promise. One day; in my daily reading, I read Isaiah 54. It’s my favorite chapter in the Bible. Isaiah is my favorite book too. Anyway, verse 1 was really brought out to me by God. 

I asked myself, “How can a barren woman have more children than a woman that can have children?!” I do know the birds and the bees. I just needed to be patient because God was going to show me the meaning of this verse to me.

In in His infinite wisdom, God strated teaching me about being a spiritual parent. My definition of a spiritual parent is a Godly woman or man that spiritually mentors a child, desires to be used by God in a child’s life, or they pray for a child to become spiritually disciplined.

I have worked with children at church. I loved it, too. Try getting the attention of 4 year olds to have their Bible lesson before they play. It can be very challenging. 

I really didn’t get the true definition of Isaiah 54:1 and being a spiritual parent until last year. A year ago is when I started doing the gift bags for R3. I had no earthly idea what I was doing. I didn’t know what these girls needed. So, God led me to get personal hygiene items. Needless to say, I went “crazy” with my first set of bags. I was so excited that I didn’t want to leave anything out and the bags I got were too big. Yet, God made it all work.

Let me tell you something else. I’ve never even shared this with Tina Tatum. Her and her husband started R3. It’s called the “Pink Bag Ministry.” Guess what?! Pink is my favorite color. As if God couldn’t make it anymore awesome than that. We do 12 bags every month. I thought, “Wow; the number of disciples!!” GOD IS SO AWESOME!!!!

One day, I was going to see my mother n law. Out of the blue, God spoke to me. God told me, “Christina, these girls that these bags go out to every month…they are your spiritual daughters.” It finally clicked. Tracy and I were being spiritual parents without realizing it. I called Tracy up and told him what God told me about the girls. I said, “Tracy, these are our daughters.”

Since that moment, my whole outlook has changed. I look at each girl as our daughter. I know what I’m looking for and where to find it. I try my best to add something extra special to each bag such as a small stuffed animal, last month I got some earrings for $1 @ Walmart, rubber bracelets, keychain flashlight, etc. 

I try to be mindful to pray as I am doing the gift bags. I line the bags up along the wall in our home. I tell Tracy, “The bags are ready for our daughters.” I try to be mindful to ask God to bless each girl that receives a bag. It’s like I’ve told my momma many times. We don’t do this to get a blessing. It’s not about us. IT’S ABOUT SHOWING THESE GIRLS THE LOVE OF JESUS!!!! Now, that’s a blessing!!!!

Now, that I’ve learned the meaning of being a spiritual parent, God is about to embark us on our journey to foster to adopt. I know that God has been preparing me to be the type of Godly mother I have longed to be: spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I know there will be obstacles along the way. I just have to remember that I serve a God that is there even in the obstacles. I am excited and afraid; all at once. 

This promise of Isaiah 54:1 still rings true to me today. Our children are already numerous; 12 girls x 12 months=144. We are already blessed with 144 daughters. How awesome is that?!

We just ask that you keep us in prayer along this journey. God already has a child/children picked out for us. Excited to see what God will do through this process. 

The Affects of a Fatherless Home

23 Jun

When I was about 15 or 16 years old, my parents got divorced. My daddy came home one night and told my momma he didn’t want to be married anymore. Two weeks later, he was living with another woman. 

I’m sure their divorce was bound to happen sooner or later. They didn’t have a happy marriage. People that have a happy marriage don’t go back and forth as much as they did.

Anyway, I guess my daddy thought since he divorced my momma, that he divorced us (me & my 2 younger siblings) too. He didn’t come around too much once he moved in with this other lady.

See, this was the only daddy I had ever known. He and my momma got married when I was about 4. He raised me until my parents got divorced. 

After the divorce, I was kind of like a “free range” teenager. I pretty much could do whatever I wanted. My parents were too wrapped up in themselves to notice what was going on with all of us.

Needless to say, I went wild. When I was 17, I started drinking. I lost my virginity. I started smoking. I done mini thins, pot, and huffing. I lived with a boyfriend for about 6 months. I started being promiscuous, too.

Having a father in the home is very important. Children need both parents in the home. Children need a mother and a father. This has been God’s design for the home.

Divorce is too easy. It used to be the only reason a spouse could leave was adultery or abuse. Now, all a divorce decree has to state is “irrecosiliable differences.” 

Here are some statistics about fatherless homes from Restoration Project:

  • 43% of children live without their fathers 
  • 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
  • 80% of rapists are motivated by displaced anger from a fatherless home
  • 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father
  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
  • 85% of children who exhibit behavioral diseases come from fatherless homes
  • 90% of adolescent repeat arsonists live with only their mother
  • 71% of high school drop outs come from fatherless homes
  • 75% of adolescent patients in chemical Abuse centers come from fatherless homes
  • 85% of youth in prison grew up in fatherless homes
  • Fatherless boys and girls are twice as likely to drop out of high school; twice as likely to end up in jail; four times more likely need help for emotional or behavioral problems.
  • A big percentage of girls in sex trafficking come from a fatherless home. 
  • TRAFFICKING EXISTS BECAUSE MEN HAVE FAILED TO FATHER.

I know I’m going to make some of you mad with what I’m about to say. I can not lie. A home does need a father and a mother; not two men or two women. These statistics should be an eye opener for all of us. A home without a father does hurt the children.

We also need men to step up and be Godly fathers. We need men to be a Godly example to our children. We need fathers to show teach boys how to treat girls; to treat them with respect; that NO MEANS NO. We need fathers to show girls they deserve to be treated with the upmost respect. We need fathers to show girls they deserve the best man out there; not to settle for what they can get. Fathers need to teach their daughters they are beautiful; no matter what anyone says. 

Having a father within the home is very important. We don’t need men that just want to play the role of a part time father. We need men that will step up and accept the responsibility of raising a child; no matter if it’s theirs or not. 

Fathers; don’t make another generation suffer the consequences of a fatherless home. Pray for our fathers. Pray for mentors to fatherless children.

When Your Husband Is a Picture of Jesus

14 Jun

This blog is dedicated to my husband, Tracy Blaney. I want him to to know that I love and appreciate him. I am realizing more and more just how entailed his job outside the home is. God has certainly been teaching me some things the last couple of months.

Like most little girls, I watched Cinderella, Snow White, and all the other Disney cartoons about the princesses that would get saved by their “Prince Charming.” Of course, as I got older, I realized that it was just a fairly tale. I thought there is no way a man can love a woman this much. There is no way that a man would go this much out of his way for a woman that he loves.

As I sit here and write this, I see how wrong I was. I see how I let the things that happened between my parents obscure my picture of what marriage looked like. I see how I let things that my daddy done affect my opinion and expectations of men.

See, I don’t remember being taught about Jesus and His love. I know someone had to teach me something. As a little girl, I remember times when I cried and prayed for someone to come and save me. I prayed for someone to come and take me away. I prayed for my “real” daddy to come and get me.

Since I didn’t know about Jesus and His love, I didn’t know how and still don’t know how to love myself. I didn’t know that Jesus loved me enough to die for me. I didn’t know that Jesus went through pain and suffering for me; until I was a teenager.

I did learn a little about Jesus’ love during my teen years. Yet, I still didn’t learn what I needed to know. I sat on a church pew every time the doors were opened, but a lot I heard from a preacher was hell, fire and brimstone. I don’t remember a lot of talk about Jesus’ love. I don’t remember a lot of sermons about how much Jesus loved me. I remember sermons that talked about backsliding and 7 more demons. Like I said, “A lot of hell, fire, and brimstone preaching.”

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that kind of preaching. As I am learning in Celebrate Recovery, there needs to be a balance. Preachers shouldn’t take for granted that every person in a church has been saved all of their lives and understand the love of Jesus. Yes, I know that I will never fully understand the love of Jesus. There’s no way my little mind or yours can even try to comprehend Jesus’ love. It still would have been nice to see a different side to Jesus; especially during my teen years.

Anyway, I will tell the story of me and Tracy. Two weeks before I met Tracy, I stood outside one night, and I asked God to send me a good man. I wanted a man that would treat me good and not an alcoholic.

Needless to say, I didn’t think God heard my prayer. I was so lost and far from God. After all, I had been taught that God didn’t hear a sinner’s prayer(s). So, I didn’t think that God would answer my prayer. I figured I have nothing else to lose; why not pray. I didn’t know.

Well, lo and behold, two weeks later I met Tracy. We had what I would call a whirlwind romance. Three days later he asked me marry him. Eight months later we were married.

Boy, have we come a long way since then?!?! I have seen God work miracles over and over again in our marriage, our home, and our business. It has taken a lot of hard work on both of our parts.All I know is that someone was praying for us. We would have never made it without God and prayer, too.

See, Tracy and I pulled apart at a time when we should have pulled together. The death of his daddy hit both of us like a ton of bricks. We were both dealing with it in our own way. Tracy was driven into the business while I was driven by depression. He spent more time away from home while I isolated at home.

God finally woke both of us up later that year. We decided that something had to change. Both of us decided that we were going to both have to give a 100% to make our marriage work. We were going to have to do this on a daily basis. Not only that, but Jesus was going to have to be our foundation and the go to for our problems. 

Fast forward to today, God is still in the miracle working business. Outside of Jesus, Tracy is my best friend. We talk about anything and everything. We laugh and we cry together. We hope and dream together.

Tracy has forgiven me, loved me, been with me every step of the way of some very deep healing the last 2 years. He has been there when a lot of other men would have left. It was like he said, “Jesus forgive her because I know that she doesn’t want to be like that. ” 

I am not going to lie. I am going to say something that is very hard for me to say. I’m sure some of you will be surprised. I am going to honestly say that I have abused my husband: physically, mentally, and emotionally. There are no excuses. Yet, he stayed.

I have cursed him, told him that I hated him and a lot of other things. I have told him to find another woman. I told him that I didn’t deserve him. I went back to smoking and drinking. I would see just how much I could drink at one time. We would go to Texas Roadhouse and I would order 3 margaritas with 3 shots of tequila. Yet, he didn’t leave.

Jesus loves no matter what. My husband has loved me no matter what. Jesus forgives no matter what. My husband has forgiven no matter what. Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us no matter what. Tracy has never left me, either. No matter how bad it got; he has been right here.

In the last 2 weeks, God has shown me how I take Tracy for granted. I have been doing some things for the business that he usually does. I had to be sure a tire was replaced on one of the trucks. I had to be sure a couple of the trucks made it to the shop. I went with him on Sunday so we could take two trucks at the same time to get an oil change. We had to get something done on another truck yesterday. I had to call and have a truck towed this morning.

Tracy has been having to drive due to a driver shortage within our company. So, I’ve been having to do things that I don’t normally do. I’ve been telling my friends that I’ve been doing “Tracy’s job.” I never knew the extent of what all Tracy does until the last couple of weeks.

Long story short, you know what?!?! I found my prince charming. In fact, I have two. Jesus is my Prince of Peace and Tracy is my prince. I never knew what I was praying when I was a little girl. I have had someone come save me. Jesus has saved me. Jesus was nice enough to give me my husband; who is the best husband in the whole world.

I almost forgot to add something. Tracy has been trying his best to make sure that I am able to be home as much as possible. He knows that I am trying to do everything I can to work on myself; so I can be a better wife. He does everything he can to be sure that I am home for CR (Celebrate Recovery) step studies on Wednesday nights, OAGW (Overcoming Abuse God’s Way support group) on Thursday nights, and CR meetings on Friday nights. He really goes out of his way. Tracy, you just don’t know how much I appreciate you doing that for me.

I love you Tracy Blaney. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for loving Jesus and loving me. I really do appreciate you.

 

Are You Lukewarm?

4 Jun

“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”‭‭Revelation‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭ESV

Merriam Webster dictionary defines lukewarm as having no conviction. The Macmillian dictionary defines lukewarm as not hot or cold enough to be enjoyable. A synonym of lukewarm is indifferent.

I rather be hot or cold instead of being lukewarm. I’d have to say that being lukewarm is like riding the fence. You’re trying to be in both worlds; God’s and Satan’s. 

I’d have to say. In the past, I’ve been lukewarm. I wasn’t hot or cold. I was in the middle. Thank God that He didn’t spit me out of His mouth.

The following statements describe a lukewarm Christian.

“The Journey” Ron Moore via one place.com
Now, I am pretty certain that you don’t want Jesus say that you make Him want to spit you out of His mouth. So, let me give you a description of what a lukewarm Christian looks like. It’s just between you and me (and God, of course), so evaluate your spiritual life against these characteristics of spiritual lukewarmness. Ready?

1. You seldom read the Word of God outside of church.

2. Your prayers can be best described as “emergency flares” rather than open and consistent communication with God.

3. Corporate worship is optional. You mix it in when it doesn’t interfere with anything else.

4. Corporate worship is social and strategic. It’s a place to see friends, share your frustrations about politics, and maybe even schedule a business meeting or two.

5. Your “Religion” is more about form and tradition than it is about a relationship with the living God.

6. You can be described as a “Creastor.” You are there for the Christmas Eve and Easter services, but that’s about it.

7. You say that you are a Christian, but it has little or no impact on the way you live.

Being a lukewarm Christian is contrary to God’s character. 

I challenge you to answer these questions. Even if you answer any of these with a “yes,” I would suggest you take your spiritual temperature. Ask God to search you. 

I can’t stress enough about asking God to search the innermost parts of your heart, soul, and mind. I can’t stress the importance of being willing enough to let God search the deep, dark, hidden parts of your heart, mind, and soul. God won’t overwhelm us with more than we can handle. He knows where we are in our spiritual journey. 

Also, God won’t do what we don’t ask Him to do. Like, I have learned, sometimes we HAVE to take the first step. GOD WILL NOT FORCE US TO DO ANYTHING!!!!

As Christians we need to get out of our lukewarm, mediocre Christianity. We all need to dig beyond the surface. God doesn’t want to scratch the surface in our lives. He wants us to be willing to dig deep. He wants us to let Him dig deep. Unless we are willing for Him to dig deep into the hidden places of our heart, soul, and mind, we will stay a lukewarm, mediocre Christian. Remember, the Bible says that if we are lukewarm, God will spit us out. 

“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

Revelation 3:16 ESV

Check your temperature or chance God spitting you out.