Rebecca Duvall

Home » Posts tagged 'God’s grace'

Tag Archives: God’s grace

God’s Grace

3 grace heartGod’s grace is a powerful thing. Many people have no idea what God’s grace is or simply don’t believe it’s something they could possibly need. I use to be one of those people.

I use to have a hard time seeing beyond myself to the world around me, because I was so busy. It was always about getting something done, never about loving, or even seeing, the people around me.

Receiving God’s grace means receiving something that is not deserved. Eternal life in heaven with God is offered to everyone through His Son Jesus, but we don’t deserve it because we are sinners. Everyone is loved by God equally, but at the same time, we are all sinners. The punishment for sin is death, eternal death.

Jesus conquered sin through His crucifixion on the cross and resurrection. Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world. If you choose to believe this is true and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, believing he saved you from sin, then you will be forgiven of your sins, past and present. You will receive eternal life in heaven, not death, with God when you pass from this life.

3 grace Eph2 8-9

Since I’ve chosen to believe and accept Jesus, my perspective in life has changed. It hasn’t changed because of anything I’ve done, it’s changed because God has changed my heart. He has helped me see the people in my life, not the tasks or circumstances of my life. I’m thankful for the grace offered to me by God through His Son Jesus.

My prayer for us today ~ Lord Jesus, thank you for giving of your life so that I may be forgiven of my sins to receive eternal life in heaven. I pray for opportunities to share God’s grace with others, Amen.

Speak

speakHave you ever left a Sunday service, a lecture or time with a friend felling uplifted and encouraged by the words spoken? I definitely have, many times. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings are my favorite (aside from the daily time I get to spend with my crazy but loving family). Sunday I get to worship God with my church family and hear about God’s word. Monday’s (unfortunately not every Monday) I get to hang out with Mops/Momsnext moms and enjoy coffee, food and fun. Tuesday and Thursday mornings I have the privilege of studying Gods Word with wonderful women from all around. Whenever I get a chance in between, I’m blessed to have coffee, lunch or ice cream with one of the wonderfully fabulous women God has placed in my life. So, I think it’s safe to say; I’m continually uplifted and encouraged. This post isn’t about the days I’m surrounded by love and encouragement. It’s about the hours or days I’m alone in my head. I use to be alone in my head a lot! What I mean by ‘alone in my head’ is when I continually try to figure a situation out, repeat a situation over and over again because it didn’t go the way I thought it should, or run all the different ways a situation will play out, and not in a good way. ‘Alone in my head’ is when I think someone thinks something negative about me because of something I said or did.

Alone in my head = Keeping thoughts and/or feelings to myself because of worry and/or fear

Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon me and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. ~ Matthew 11:28-30

Yoked to Jesus A few years back I heard Lysa TerKeurst speak about her book Unglued. The message I walked away with that day was, in the moment you feel you’re about to explode from your current circumstances you should take a second and call upon Jesus by saying His name in your head. This could change your focus on Him as well as invite Him into the situation. She suggested doing that could completely change the out come. Back then, when I often felt like I was about to explode and wanted to run, but couldn’t, was from the tape running in my head.

I decided to try Lysa’s suggestion and call upon Jesus. First, I simply focused on Him, not knowing what to say or how to stop the tape in my head. Soon after, I would be doing something else, having completely forgotten about the negative thoughts I was freaking out about. Later, I began to find the words to express to others how I was feeling or what I thought about something. I have to admit, it was scary at first, telling others about my feelings or what I thought. Especially when it wasn’t what everyone else thought. I was afraid I would be rejected or replaced if I didn’t like or do what everyone else wanted.

I used to avoid conflict like the plague. Now I face it head on, trusting God put me there and will get me through it. Jesus does indeed make my burden’s easy and light. My heart aches for those who keep their thoughts and feelings in their head. They don’t belong alone in our heads. They’re meant to be shared with others so they’ll know how to encourage and help us.

Recently, I’ve heard arguments start because of hurt feelings that weren’t expressed but kept in their heads. Then the hurt feelings grew and bitterness crept in. Not to far behind came anger. I’ve also heard of people assuming others didn’t like them because someone reacted differently than what was expected. This usually brings on feelings of rejection. I sometimes struggle with seeing friends post about going out with others. I get sad because I wasn’t invited. Then I realize I don’t invite everyone I know every time I get together with friends. We would never get any work done if we were always inviting everyone to everything!

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. ~ Proverbs 12:25

I know it’s difficult to talk about our feelings, especially when we’re talking about what makes us sad, angry, scared or hurt, but it’s important to share what’s going on in our head with the people in our lives. When we share, I think it’s important we do it respectfully with love and grace. Call upon Jesus and He will help you get the words out of your head and speak!

Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. ~ Ephesians 4:29

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the encouragement you give through the people in our lives. Lord, I pray you help us speak truth to one another in a loving respectful way that is pleasing to You, Amen.

In His Way

holding bookAbout three years ago I heard the gentle whisper of God saying He wanted me to share with others my struggles. He wanted me to write how He helped me overcome my trials as I walked through them. At first, I laughed and blew it off. Yes, I use to do that when God first asked me to do something I’ve never done before. Especially if it’s something I’ve never even considered doing. Then as He usually does, He continued to remind me what He wanted me to do, until I sat down and talked to Him about it.

My excuses not to write my story were endless.

  • I’m not good at writing
  • I don’t know proper grammar to write a book
  • I don’t know what to write about
  • Who cares about my life and what I’m going through
  • I don’t have time to write
  • I don’t know the first thing about writing a book

As I gave God all of my excuses, which I thought were pretty good ones, He continued to tell me what I was to do. Once I finally decided to try, not because I wanted to, but because I wanted to show God how I couldn’t, He either put people in my path, or directed me to people, who would help and encourage me to write.

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. ~ Hebrews 13:20-21

It’s been an amazing three years! I feel blessed by the many wonderful people God has brought alongside me to complete the task of writing my story. Actually, it’s not just my story. It’s a story about family, marriage and coming to faith. So it’s my family’s story, written in my perspective. Below is the brief description of the book, which you’ll find on the back cover of, ‘In His Way’.

Throughout much of my married life, I lived under the illusion that I had it all together – it was everyone else that needed fixing. Several years into my second marriage my husband, a Deputy Sheriff, became a workaholic and was never home. Meanwhile, I became a volunteeraholic, too busy to face the fact that we had become two strangers under one roof, raising three kids.

God revealed Himself to me through the different women I volunteered with. As my heart slowly opened to God’s presence, my marriage came crashing down around me. As I cried out for God’s help, I discovered my husband’s affair. I found myself surrounded by faithful people who gave me the strength to face the problems in my marriage and the tools needed to begin fixing it.

Over the next four years, my husband’s health deteriorated and he was forced to retire. Through this God continually showed me I was In His Way and then, when He knew He had my attention, He would proceed to show me how to do things In His Way. In the end, what God told me to do, saved my husband’s life, and our marriage. What was broken is now fixed by the grace and love of God.

I wrote this book for God and now I give it to Him, trusting it will be read by everyone He wishes to read it. My hope is that it helps others understand the love God has for them. I hope it turns people to God and the beautiful life He has planned for them. I hope it helps others get out of God’s way so they too can do things In His Way.

My book is now available on Amazon in paperback and ebook (Kindle). If you choose to read it, I would appreciate it if you would leave a review on Amazon. Even if you don’t like it. I just ask that you ask yourself how you would feel if someone wrote that about you before leaving your comment. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the encouragement and enabling You give us to step out and be all You know we can be. I pray we each take time to be quiet and still so we can hear Your gentle whisper, Amen

In His Way

How God Helped Me

MackMoorePic 2It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Mack Moore, a young man who struggles daily to live according to God’s wishes, not the worlds. Today he’s sharing with us how he has chosen to save himself for marriage and the difficulties he encounters. I find his honesty and openness refreshing.

Jesus has helped me in different ways in many areas of my life. To start with, He has saved me from hell and guided me through depression. The Holy Spirit has also given me the strength to remain a virgin until I get married. What I want to briefly discuss now is how Christ has helped me overcome porn addiction.

Yes, God has helped me overcome porn addiction. I am shameful and embarrassed to admit I have this problem, but hopefully I can help someone who is dealing with this issue. I will spare you readers all the disturbing details of my struggle with porn addiction. What I am ashamed about the most is, I originally didn’t see that there was anything wrong. I was unable to see it was a problem and it affected my relationship with Jesus and those closest to me. I was blinded by Satan into thinking it was okay.

Porn addiction is just like drug addiction, or gambling addiction, or any kind of addiction. Addictions of all types have a negative effect on the person and those closest to that person. Spiritually, it strains a person’s relationship with Christ if they are saved. In other words it hinders a persons spiritual growth. They are carnal-minded, instead of being spiritual-minded which is what Father God wants us to be. Believers of Jesus are called to be witnesses for Him. If we are struggling with any kind of addictions and/or sins, we become carnal-minded and are poor witnesses for Christ. This is what the devil wants.

As for unsaved people, addictions hinder them from seeing that they are lost and in need of Jesus (The Savior). This too is what the devil wants. Note: remember my fellow Christians we are dealing with spiritual warfare and we have to always have the armor of God to protect us from the schemes of Satan (Ephesians 6:10-18). Of course I couldn’t see that because I was so blinded by lust, a sin. I will be honest; porn addiction includes all sexual sins. It all started with lust and lead to some serious problems.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. ~ Ephesians 6:10-18

 My addiction started at the age of 13 when I started watching some porn tapes my dad had hidden. Although I was young I was old enough to know better, so no one blame my dad please. I take full responsibility. I viewed it anyway and that was a big mistake on my part. Like a drug addict, I felt I had to watch it everyday. I was like a drug addict seeking a daily fix. This was sad and pathetic indeed. For years this was a problem that I did not realize was there, just like any addict.

Several years ago, Jesus opened my eyes to how I had been living. I threw away or gave away the porn I had bought. Nowadays, I consider myself a recovering addict. I try to take it one day at a time. Unfortunately, like any addict, I’ve had relapses, too many to count. It’s been awhile since the last relapse and I pray it stays that way. I pray and fast to Jesus constantly asking for strength to overcome and let go of lust. My eyes see more clearly now thanks to God.

I hate that I ever started to view porn in the first place. Not only did it strain my relationship with God, it left me with a distorted view of women and sex. I used to have the mentality that it was ok to have sex before marriage even though fornication is a sin. It was only in recent years that God showed me a passage like Proverbs 5:15-23 where it talks about sex being enjoyed, by a married couple only. I am thankful to God that He has helped me to see that my way of thinking was not like a child of God. Now I intend to stay a virgin until I am married, and hopefully my marriage will be an example to others of what God intends for marriage to be.

Before I close, I want to say that the Bible calls for us to renew our minds daily through Bible reading and prayer. Why is that? The devil wants us to be so carnal-minded that we don’t witness to the unsaved. Lucifer wants the unsaved to stay unsaved so they can join him in hell. Allow me to break it down like this: God calls His children to be like Abraham, not Lot. Thank you for reading my story and I hope this will encourage someone to not make the same mistakes I did. Jesus wants to have personal relationships with each and every person alive today. May God bless all who read this.

Mack Moore has written two books, Cordell’s Poems of Spiritual Inspiration and Tough Lessons from the Bible. He writes to share the love of Jesus and hopes to encourage others by sharing how God has worked in his life. You can find out more about Mack and his books at http://www.amazon.com/Mack-Moore/e/B00I8ZK6CQ.

MackMoorePoemsCover 2MackMooreLessonsCover 2

 

Terrified!

playdateWhen my kids were little their play dates included the parents and were planned by the parents.  It seemed to be what everyone did.  It was nice because the kids were kept busy and tired each other out while the adults had a relaxing conversation.  Then as the kids got older it changed to one parent dropping a kid off at another kid’s house.  The kids still kept each other busy, but the parent whose house they were at no longer had someone to sit and relax with.  The parent who dropped off had time away from their child.  To make things fair, you usually traded back and forth where the kids played.  This was also planned by the parents.

As the kids got even older it was suddenly “mom, can Laura come over for a sleepover?” or “mom, can I go to Laura’s house for a sleepover?” There were suddenly no parents communicating.  All communicating was between the kids.  I found myself being told when, where and who by my child.  At first it was with families I already knew, but then my children would meet new friends and I didn’t know their parents. My first reaction was to talk to a parent first.  Talking to a parent meant I had their contact number and was sure they were ok with the arrangement.  I didn’t want to drop my child off somewhere they weren’t expected.

I’ve been surprised over the years how many parents have brought their kids to our house without meeting or talking to us.  Has this become the new norm for the older kids, Junior High to High School?  The parents just drop the kids off where ever they ask to go without checking things out first?  I realize they are getting older and becoming more independent, but it seems too laid back for me.  However, I am guilty of not always checking in with the parents of the other child or children.   hanging out with friends

Lately my daughter always wants to hang out (mall, movies, park, etc.) with a friend at some point during the weekend.  This is completely understandable.  I didn’t want to stay home and hang out with my parents when I was a teenager either. Since she can’t drive yet I’m the chauffer to and from.   Sometimes working this around our schedule can be difficult.

Since I’m not always able to communicate with the parents of the other child, I communicate with my daughter while she is out with her friend.  We have a plan where/when we will meet and discuss what she will be doing while away.  I usually text her a few times while she is away also.  I’ve even asked her to send me a picture a few times.  Does that make me an over protective mother who doesn’t seem to trust her daughter?!

Last week my daughter wanted to meet her friend at the movie theater.  Not the one in town, the one a town over.  We didn’t have any other plans and it wasn’t too late so I agreed.  My daughter had been spending a lot of time with this friend and I did chat with the mom once at a school function.

While I was driving her to the movies I was told her friends brother, who is a year older, would be there too.  Her friend wasn’t allowed to go out without her big brother.  It was reassuring to hear her friends parents were protective of who her daughter was with.   We pulled up at the theater the same time as her friend.  Before I drove off I told her I would be out front when the movie got out.

I arrived back at the movie theater about 15 minutes before the movie was out.  I played games on my phone while I waited.  The next thing I knew, it was 15 minutes past the time she was expected to get out.  I thought maybe the movie started late or the previews ran late.  No big deal.  I was irritated because I wanted to go home and get in my jammies.  I continued to wait.  I noticed a lot of people exiting the theater, as if a movie had just let out, but still no sign of my daughter.  It’s now about 30 minutes past the time she should have come out.  I’m now starting to worry.  Then I remembered she always calls once she’s out of the theater.  What if her phone died?  She’s been having problems with it.  She couldn’t see me where I was, so I decided to pull up in the front in the drop off zone.  I thought for sure she would be standing there waiting for me.  Still no sign of my daughter.  I tried several times to call and text her, but no response. frightened

My heart started racing and I began to panic.  Terrifying things started racing through my mind.  What if someone kidnapped her?  What if it wasn’t her friend that pulled up when we did and I left her standing alone?  What if someone convinced her to walk off with them? What if they didn’t go to the movie and were in a car accident going to wherever they were going?  My head was spinning.

Should I go in the theater?  What would I say?  What would I do if the movie got out and she wasn’t there?  Should I check all the theaters?  How would I do that?  I finally thought to call my husband.  He used to be a Police Officer and will know what to do.  I told my husband what was going on and he said he would head my way.   I realized I had her friend’s cell number in my phone from the other day when my daughter’s phone stopped working.  I tried calling and texting, but didn’t receive a response.  A few times I started to get out of the car to go into the theater, but had an overwhelming feeling I needed to continue waiting.

At this point it had almost been an hour since I expected to pick up my daughter. It felt like a lifetime.  I decided to call my husband to see what he thought we should do and make sure he was still coming.  His plan was for us to check the theater first.  While I was talking to him I got a text.  It was my daughter!  She said the movie just got out.  What?!  How was that possible?  I checked and double checked the time the movie was to get out.  I quickly told my husband and said we would see him at home soon.

I couldn’t take my eyes off the front of the theater waiting for my daughter to walk out the doors.  She finally appeared!  I could see her through the glass doors in the lobby.  I watched her walk out and to the car.  When she got in the car one part of me wanted to grab her and hug her, while the other part wanted to start screaming at her.

When I asked her where she had been she said “in watching the movie”.  I told her that was impossible because the movie was supposed to get out at 9:30 and it was now 10:30.  I didn’t understand how a movie could run an hour behind.  She calmly looked at me and said “oh, her mom wouldn’t let her see the movie we planned to see because it was rated R. So we saw a different movie and it just got out.”  I no longer want to hug my daughter!

As I began feeling angry and frustrated with my daughter for her lack of communicating, I was convicted.  It was time to be thankful not angry.  My anger and frustration turned to praising and thanking God for my daughter.  In a shaky voice and tears rolling down my face I explained to my daughter why I was so terrified.  She said she was sorry and didn’t realize there was a difference in how long the two movies were.  We sat in silence for most of the ride home.

The older my children get the harder parenting seems to be.  It makes me wonder how God feels when I change the plans for my life without consulting Him.  Thankfully he is oh so patient, kind and loving.  He treats us with grace and mercy each and every day even though we don’t deserve it.

My prayer for us today ~ Lord, I thank you for the patience and love we receive from you every day.  I pray we treat those around us with the same patience and love, Amen.

1 Chronicles 16 34

%d bloggers like this: