Marriage: Becoming One Part One

It seems like that it was yesterday when I donned a white gown and was a princess for just one day. I remember gliding down the aisle of my home church with my dad by my side as the music from the Shire fluttered in the background. At the end of the aisle stood not only my maid of honors and groomsmen, but my prince clad in a creme colored suit with a purple vest. He was smiling and taking in the moment as much as I was.

It was the day my husband and I became one.

My husband had been searching for many years to find a woman that would become his companion. For too long, he had been alone, wondering if that would ever happen.

Then I came into his life and stole his heart.

In the Bible, Adam was another man who was alone without a companion. He was the first man created by God. Adam was not born from a woman, but was created from the dust on the ground, so there was no woman for him (at the time). God had created all sorts of creatures, allowing Adam to name them. But Adam found no companionship with any of them.

That didn’t stop God at all. He didn’t want Adam to be alone, so He put Adam in a deep sleep. Then he took one of Adam’s ribs and created a woman that was later called Eve.

And the two became one. Eve became Adam’s helper in all things.

When my husband and I got married, we became one. We correlate things together and its very rare that we do things on our own. We work together as a team. We do dishes together. We cook together. We go shopping together. We make decisions together. That’s the beauty of marriage.

Granted, I do have my alone time, but most of the time, my husband is not far away. Let me tell you, it isn’t long before I want to be with my husband again.

When God created marriage, he made it to be that the man and woman would be one. Too many times I have seen many couples struggle because of the mentality that they are married, but they can do things on their own. They make big decisions without consulting the other spouse which ends up in big fights. That is very unhealthy in the long run.

I do want to be honest, it was a little hard for me and my husband to correlate together when we first got married. Both of us were set in our ways on certain things. It was like we were two different radio announcers from two different radio channels that spoke different languages. We had to overcome those barriers in order to communicate to each other. Now, it’s like we both are Jedi’s and can read each other’s minds. That’s the whole part of becoming one in marriage.

I want to challenge you today to think about your relationship with your significant other. If you are single, you can most certainly take this advice and apply it for later. It will help you in the long run. But my challenge to you is to think about your relationship. Are you living with a different agenda from your significant other? Are you living with the “it’s about me” mentality? I challenge you to sit down with your significant other and discuss area’s that need to be adjusted. Challenge yourselves to work more at being one in marriage in regards to the mind. Being one in mind is more important than being two minds and alone.

Gateway to Purpose

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Gateway to Heaven

There is a little space of heaven in the South Fork area in Wyoming that my husband once took me to. It’s one of the few places that tourists don’t ever venture to, so when wanting some inspiration for my art, we journeyed there one summer day with my husband all geared up for his photoshoot (he’s my model now since we’ve been married). Being raised in Wyoming, I had never heard of this place. To be truthful, I have never been through all of Yellowstone National Park either. Anyway, my husband had been raised in the South Fork area, so it made him really excited to take me to this one place.

This one place is part of one of the mountain ranges in the South Fork. On one of the mountain walls that you can literally climb up to, there is a hole in the wal. When you look through that hole, you get a view of the mountain ranges of Wyoming. Below the mountain ranges is a winding river that is surrounded by a forest of pine and green grass. This view is all framed by this hole in the mountain wall. One picture can’t grasp the full scenery versus being there is person peeking through this hole up close.

I’m not going to give you the real name of the place, but I call it the gateway to heaven.

To this day, my mind always goes back to that one spot, especially when I yearn to be outside. When I think of that place, I think of God and when he created the earth.

The story of creation is found in chapter one of Genesis. In six days, God created the universe, the earth and all of its inhabitants. It’s interesting how orderly he did it too. First he created light. Second, he creates the atmosphere and the skies. Then he creates the land and vegetation. Then he creates the sun, moon, and stars. Then he creates the fish and the birds. Finally, he creates animals and humans on the sixth day.

God was so orderly and specific when he went through this whole creation process. And as I continually think of the view on South Fork that day, I couldn’t help but think how everything was purposefully made. The mountain ranges, the trees, the river, the hole in that mountain wall…God made them on purpose. Even Heart Mountain, another mountain that is in the same county, with its backward geological features (just do a Google search of Heart Mountain and you’ll understand my point) was made on purpose.

You see, when I was in my old self that lived with hatred and insecurities, I thought I was the biggest mistake in the world. I had heard people saying that I was a joke to society when I was a teenager, and you know what, I believed them. There were days I wished I wasn’t born and I would seriously tell God that.

When I came to know Jesus, I was told that I was wrong. Jesus, through his sacrifice on the cross, told me that I wasn’t a mistake. If I was a mistake, Jesus would never have come on this world and died on the cross for me. He saw something in me that I couldn’t see. He saw a greater purpose within me. He saw me as God’s child too.

Jesus saw the same things in you too. It doesn’t matter what background you were raised in. It doesn’t matter what your parents, teachers, siblings, or anyone else said about you. It doesn’t matter what you think of yourself. It doesn’t matter what addiction you’ve fallen into. You are not a mistake. It says in Psalm 139: 14- “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.”

We are fearfully and wonderfully made. And Jesus knew that too when he came here on this world. Yes, we live with sin in our blood, but God saw more beyond that. He loves you and me and everyone in this world because we are His. Nothing can ever change that.

Maybe you are living in a time where you wonder why you were ever born. Maybe some curses were spoken over you. I can’t list everything, but maybe you are under the bondage of Satan. Today is the day where you can be freed from those bondages. The key to that freedom is Jesus Christ. He came on this world out of the love of His Father in heaven, died on the cross, and was raised from the dead for you. Through His blood we are freed from all sin. He loves you and wants you to be free. All you have to do is confess your sins, confess that Jesus is Lord and Savior, believe, and you’ll be free. That’s it. No questions asked. You will be freed from Satan’s bondage immediately and filled with the love of Jesus.

This my brother and sister, is the gateway to purpose and love.

The Pedigree of a King

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Have any of you ever tried finding your ancestry? It’s an interesting and heart opening experience as you find out where your roots started and to see the steps your ancestors took in raising the next generation.

Genealogies can be frustrating too.

I remember as a brand new Christian sitting and reading the Bible. In particular, I remember when I would come across those wonderful genealogies. I would take one look at the passage and skip over it with the thought of  how useless these genealogies were.

Then there was a professor from a University in Missouri that came and visited our church.  He was an old friend of our pastor who specialized in teaching the meaning  behind missions. Let’s just say this guy emphasized on how important genealogies were in the Bible, especially in the context of reaching out to nations and peoples. Being the only college student attending his conferences those days, he looked over at me and challenged me to take a highlighter and go through the whole Bible and highlight whenever it referenced to nations and peoples…including in the genealogies sections.

Challenge accepted, and now my Bible has a wonderful color of yellow throughout it’s pages, including the genealogies sections.

Through my journey of loving myself, I decided to look at the genealogy of the man who loved us enough that he died for us…Jesus. There are two areas in the Bible where Jesus’ genealogy is listed, Matthew chapter 1: 1-16 and Luke chapter 3: 23-38. Now the ancestry listed is actually Joseph’s line, which was a Jewish custom in those times. We all know that Joseph wasn’t Jesus’ father, but he was the legal father. The reason they use Joseph’s line is in order to trace Jesus’ roots back to David and Abraham, who the promised Messiah was to come from.

Jesus’ line had some extraordinary men and women within his pedigree, but look deep down, you can also see some interesting matches. David was a great king and a man after Gods heart. But David also had his dark side which included adultery and murder. However, God chose someone with a blood line that came from David and Bathsheba (the woman that he committed adultery with).

David had repented of his sin of adultery and murder. That’s where we get our wonderful Psalm 51 from is that crucial part in his life.

Even though David had committed a terrible sin. Even though he had a mistake. God still used him. He didn’t kick David when he was down. He forgave and loved David all the more and still kept his promise of the Messiah coming from his line.

This concept is the same with us. We may have made mistakes in our lives. We may have been down and full of horrors, but He still loves us. Even though I had hated myself and lived with jealousy, God still came to me and loved me. He even has given me a purpose and a mission through His love. He has accepted me as His child. I have a pedigree of a heavenly king.

He has a purpose for you too.

No matter where you have come from or what you have been through, lay that before the cross and accept His loving arms. Live in His love. It’s the start of your God given purpose that will lead you to many more journeys, which in turn will lead to an eternity of peace and more love. You will be His child and will have the bloodline of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I like the idea of being a princess. How about you?

Journey

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This is my latest artwork that I have been diligently working on for the past month. Even though it isn’t finish yet, I wanted to share it from the bottom of my heart as God has been urging me to. I wanted you to look and feel the anguish and the pain of the woman as she is being tortured with the poisons that plague many in this world today.

Sadly, many women and young girls are plagued with the idea of hating themselves and are swarmed with the materialistic ideas that sit on the magazine racks day after day. Sex appeal, photoshop, body weight, fashion, money, fame/popularity are common things on women’s minds instead of loving themselves and embracing what God gave them when He created them in the womb.

How do I know?

I walked on that road as a teenager. Not many know my testimony because I was ashamed to tell it. I’m not afraid anymore.

Here we go. I hated myself for many many years. I hated my body and my existence. I believed I was a mistake. I looked at the ideals in the spotlight and loathed myself. In order to feel happy, I would do things to get approval, but it wasn’t my class mates I wouldn’t seek approval of. It was adults. However, no matter what I did, I was never truly happy. My jealousy of others grew along with my hatred for myself.

I never did drugs or things that were illegal. In fact, I was considered a goody goody in school. However, my good actions didn’t matter, especially to me.

Then I met Jesus as I sat on a recliner in my grandmothers home. He came to me through a preacher on TV saying that He loved me no matter what. I didn’t have to do all these acts to prove myself to Him. He loved me and He wanted my heart.

That was so freeing.

On June of 2010, I started my relationship with Christ. With that relationship began a journey of loving myself as Christ loved me. It was a journey of seeing myself as God intended me to see. It involved setting aside the worthless idols of this world and leaning on the One who matters the most. Things got better in my life as I started to change my focus and attitude.

I’ve only had one hiccup.

In 2012, I got into a relationship with someone who was very abusive, manipulative, and a constant player. By the end of our relationship I had given up on counting how many women he had been messing around with.

Even though I had ended the relationship, I went away broken…again. I told myself I wouldn’t go back to old habits, but it was hard when you had the voice of the abusive man telling you that everything was your fault and comparing you to other women.

Anyway, as I moved on to my next relationship (with the man who would become my husband), I told God to cover up the problem instead of healing. Big mistake. I thank God everyday for this man God gave me, because I started to buckle under the hurt. Finally, I snapped and sat before God crying for help and healing.

Long story short, He healed me. In the process of healing, He has put a journey on my heart to understand His love. In turn, it’s given me a burden to show others His love fir them.

He loves me. He loves you. He wants to heal you.

Do you want to take that journey?

Shaking the Olive Tree

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Let me tell you, one of my favorite things I love to eat is olives. If I can place olives on any dish, I would do it. I’ll put it with tacos, pizza, salads…you name it. I just love olives.

I apologize for grossing anyone out. And you are probably wondering why I would be talking about olives, but hear me out.

Did you know that olives and it’s oil was a big thing back in Jerusalem?

I kinda did, but I really didn’t have an in-depth idea on the connection with olives and Jerusalem until I started reading Perry Stone’s book, The Code of the Holy Spirit.

Just to sum it up, practically olives were used mostly for their oil and would go through various pressings. The first pressing would usually go for the oil to light the menorah and so on and so forth. It was interesting to find out that when olives would grow, they had to stay in the tree in order for them to be used. Then when it was time to harvest them, they would take a stick and beat/shake the branches and let the olives fall into the basket. Afterwards they would place the olive in an olive press where a massive round wooden circle would press onto the olive to release this oil. The olive could be pressed about four times to get as much oil in it.

However, I had to love what Perry wrote about the believer in relation to the olive branch that struck me. As believers, we are told to remain in the vine (John 15:4-7). Away from the vine we can do nothing just as a fallen olive is no use at harvest. What really is striking is the shaking of the olive branch. As believers, we will encounter shakings in our lives and we wonder why. Well, like the olive when it goes to be used, we have to be shaken in order for God to use us.

I’m not saying that all bad things are good and we have to be sincere, especially around others who have been through horrible times. What I’m saying is that when things get tough, it allows us to grow closer in our relationship with Christ. We learn to lean on him and rely on him to do the greater work in the situation. We can turn our situations around for God’s use.

Years ago, when I was going through an abusive relationship, I wouldn’t have believed that God could use a broken woman like me. However, that isn’t true. The more I walk with Christ, the more he uses my situation to help others.

The same promise is for you. Maybe you are going through some kind of shaking in your life. Hang on and rely on Jesus because He is going to use you in your shakings for His kingdom. Let your anointing flow through you that He has placed within you. Just like how the olive oil is useful in Israel (and the present) is, so is our use in God’s kingdom.

I want to give credit to Perry Stone for his book, “The Code of the Holy Spirit.” If you haven’t read it, you should check it out. It’s a great read.

Move The World

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What would we be like if we tapped into all that God had planned for us to be? What if we let down our fear of man and what the world thinks and stood for all that God wanted us to stand for? What if we stood on the authority that Christ came on this world to give back to us? What would we be like?

The pastor’s wife posed those questions (not word for word mind you) to us on our Thursday night bible study.

Those questions did hit me because, even though I had developed faith over the years, I still wondered if I really had a purpose. In my head I was pondering, “What does God have for me? Look where I’m at. Do you have plans for me because of my lack of faith at the moment? Look at my past God. I’m not like the rest of the women in this group….”

The words kept poisoning my head. I tried to shut them up, but the words of doubt crouched within my head like an annoying roommate that needs to leave.

The next day, I opened my Bible in hopes to quiet the words of doubt. In my daily reading was bookmarked Jeremiah 29. I sighed, wondering what doom God had Jeremiah prophecy to the naughty Israelite’s.

However, there was no doom. There was a message for me in verse 11.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, ” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”

Those words at that moment stirred a hope within me. In my heart I could hear God saying over and over, “I have a plan for you. These plans are to prosper you. I don’t want to harm you. I don’t want you to worry. I don’t want you to suffer. I want you to have hope and a future. Trust me.”

I didn’t have time to doubt at the moment. All I could say was, “Ok. I trust you. I’m going to trust you. I’m going to let you work through me and guide me, even if my situation looks scary.”

What about you? Do you think there is no plan for you at all because of circumstances? Those thoughts are wrong. God doesn’t care where you come from, your background, or where you are at. He has a future for you. He wants to work through you. All you have to do is trust him and surrender.

Through our trust in Him will we find hope. It’s a hope that will turn to a faith that will move mountains. As posed through the questions at the beginning, we can do so much when we live in hope and faith in God. When we trust Him to guide us, he will lead us to something for the greater good of His glory.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to fear the worries of the world anymore. Instead, I want to do something that people think that superman can only do.

I want to move the world with my faith.