He’s Been Gracious to Me

My heart has been hurt, torn and bruised

Low have I gotten, destroyed by sin

Black and grey painted my eyes

But you came and saved me from that

For He’s been gracious to me

Suffering anguish so I can be free

Dying a cruel death upon Calvary

Oh, He’s been gracious to me

Dead I had felt for weeks on end

Not wanting to read your word and feeling complete dread

Forsaken, ashamed, and at my end

But you came and saved me from that

For He’s been gracious to me

Suffering anguish so I can be free

Dying a cruel death upon Calvary

Oh, He’s be gracious to me

No more aches, sorrows and pains

No more sin, death and darkness

No more running away

He can find you, He can save you! (x2)

Oh, He’s been gracious to me

I am freed from sin for eternity

Death cannot hold me down

My heart is healed and mended

Because You have been gracious to me

Lord you have been gracious to me (x3)

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I Don’t Look Like the Model Christian

“Why does she dress that way?”

“Is there something wrong with her?”

“Is she even a Christian?”

Clothing, make up, and jewelry are objects of this world. Handmade by humans with there own faults and their own ideas. But what does clothing have to do with this post, this mere form of words? Its about the way you portray yourself to others and how you glorify God through those pieces of fabric. But, I must confess, I don’t dress like the model Christian. I don’t wear dresses, skirts and dress shirts. My fashion is edgy, dark and mysterious. One look at the clothing I wear, and any Christian brother or sister would think I don’t follow Christ. That is false, because I love my Savior very much, no matter what clothing I wear.

Model Christians these days dress all fancy, wear the most expensive clothing and wear expensive jewelry. The Christians I am around don’t really care for that, they only care where your heart is, where your walk is with Jesus. My edgy clothing, is just fashion, a way to express myself towards others around me. It can also scares some people away from time to time. But being a model Christian is exhausting, acting like you’re holier than everyone is pathetic, and down right fallacy. Any Christian that walks upon this earth struggle each an everyday, and they hid it under money, fashion and fake smiles. You’re fashion, make up and or jewelry cannot hide your sin, your struggles and your hurt from God. All it does is buries it more and more each day you put it on.

So, ask yourself when you put on clothes for work, church or outings, “Am I glorifying God with this? Do my clothes make someone stumble?” Model Christians wear so much clothing to hide, conceal and fake their lives. We as Christian shouldn’t have to hide our sin being a facade. Why should I do that? I rather stand out among the crowd, bite my thumb at the standards, and proclaim my Jesus in a way that I can be comfortable and theological.

Christians should be able to be who they want to be under what the Scriptures say and the Ten Commandments without feeling like their going to suffocate. I dress the way I do, not because I am a rebel but because that’s who I am. I don’t look like a model Christian, I don’t act like normal fancy Christians. Don’t be fake, don’t be that model Christian you’d see in God’s Not Dead films or on stock photos you’d find on Google. Be the way you are, express your faith the way that makes you comfortable, and proclaim Jesus even if people hate you.

“I find Him[Jesus] bringing swords into marriages, bringing swords into business relationships, bringing swords into certain church groups; swords into society gatherings. When His name is brought, there is a sword that is brought and a sword penetrates, it demands a response; either I surrender or I fight.” -Chuck Swindoll on John 8:12-30

We must always be prepared to fight when faced with adversity; being ready to defend our faith and our personality as whole. So, don’t be the model Christian, be yourself, be what God designed you to be and not what people make you out to be.

Family Matters

I grew up with a great family. Extended, church and current family. But my childhood memories always goes back to when my brothers and I were with my grandparents. When I was a child, I lived in Coral Springs, Florida with my parents, Josh and Nick. I was probably five or six years old, Josh was three and Nick was two. Though we were young, the three of us could never forget how much fun we’d had visiting our grandparents everyday. My grandparents lived in this nice suburban home at the time, that was backed up to a canal with iguanas, muscovy ducks and canal fish that lived in it. When you walked into the house, the hallway opened up to this huge open room; first room you saw was the living room that was connected to the dinning room. The ceiling was extremely high and very hard to ever get a balloon back down from it. Trust me, I know.

In the next room was the living room. This room was where I would watch old movies with my grandma, as I help her snap green beans or eat popcorn. The couch sat up against the wall, and the TV stand was on the other side of the room with two bookshelves on each side. On these bookshelves were pictures of all my extended family members that I did or didn’t know at the time. Some of my Uncle Wayne, some of my Aunt Dee as a child in high-school and some were of my parents. Next to the living room was the kitchen, with the coolest bar that light up with green lights. In the kitchen there was this wooden table with four chairs that went around it. Every morning when I or one of my brothers would wake up, there be my grandpa reading his paper and eating a bagel or two with his favorite cream cheese or butter. It was a peaceful sight to see him eating and calmed down before the busy day started.

The kitchen is where all my grandma’s greatest and not so greatest meals were prepared at. She use to make shelled mac and cheese for us, salmon and of course…lima beans. But even still we ate everything she made for us, because if we didn’t; then, we’d sit there all night until we finished our food. In the next few rooms was my grandpa’s office, another bathroom and the guest bedroom where my Aunt lived before she married her husband Dave. My grandpa’s office is where I spent most of my time, because I loved being around my grandpa. He would tell me about his favorite classic muscle cars, goof around with me as I played on the computer and have me sit on his lap while I drew on his desk papers. This is how and why I love muscle cars so much, is because of my grandpa’s influence on me.

Across the hallway from the guest bedroom was Pop Pop’s room, when he was alive at the time. I never went in there, so I don’t fully remember what it looked like. All I remember was Pop had a daily routine and that’s probably where I got that idea to do one myself. Next to Pop Pop’s room was my grandparent’s room. If you ever wanted to know how neat and tidy my grandpa was before he got sick, just look at his side of the room. Everything was organized, dust-free and stacked neatly; even his side of the bathroom was clean all the time. My grandma’s side was neat as well, but it didn’t top grandpa’s neatness.

Back then, being with my grandparents wasn’t so bad, because I was a child. Unfortunately, my grandpa was a heavy drinker and he did yell all the time when he was drunk, but I forgive him for that. I forgive my grandma for things she did to me an my brothers as well. Like making us sit and watch TBN with her in the mornings or spanking us with wooden spoons. Our childhood was great with them. We fished in the canal, we hunted for knolls in the open patio and shed and went grocery shopping to Publix. All these memories of this house and my grandparents will never leave me, even if and when my grandpa passes. My brothers and I will always remember the times we spent with them in Coral Springs, and how we grew up with them. I honestly want that time back, so I can see my grandpa and grandma happy again, before everyone passed away and before we moved away.

It’s hard being fourteen hours away and not being able to hug your grandpa and grandma; sit down and tell them all the things they missed over the years and how much they you missed them being in your life. Now, your grandpa is very sick, and only has a certain amount of time to live until he passes. Our grandpa may of not been the greatest person, but I and my brothers learned a lot from him. If only God could turn back time, and I could be in his office again playing on that computer, or rough housing with my brothers in the second living room. Just anything to bring back my grandpa again would be nice. But alas, time has passed away from those great memories, and I am now twenty-two years old, Josh is twenty and Nick is seventeen. We’re not the children that spent time with our grandparents anymore, we’re all grown-up and live in a different state and lives.

Josh and I got to see our grandpa and grandma two weeks ago, but I fear that isn’t enough since my grandparents have been out of our lives for so long. They forgot who we were, and what we do with our lives now. Same goes with my aunt and my uncle. We’ve been away from them, disconnected from them, that they forgot us. Being with all of them for just a week didn’t really help; I wanted more time to being with my family. But, we had other obligations back home to deal with. So, I hope, one day, we can all go to Florida and be with my family before it’s too late. Because I don’t want to waste time to be with my family ever again.

Damaged are the Damaged, while the Fixed are the Fixed

We all have those people in our lives that grew close to us; then, turn around and trample on our friendships, our relationships and our loyalty. These people pretended that they wanted you, but turned around and spat in your face. They tell you that they’re committed to anything, respect your religion, and adore your family, but speak evil against you behind your back.

These people are damaged, damaging to your spirit, your walk of faith. Everyone once in a while they appear just to clear the air with you, and then they just disappear again cursing your name. But what they curse is not just your name and the person behind it, but everything else in between. God says you must fix your eyes upon Him, and less on the things that damage you.

Get rid of the people that harm you, let go, escape their grasp. If you remove them from your lives then your life will be better. If you focus on Christ; look to Him, then your life will be better. No longer should you feel the weight of their lives on your shoulders; because that’s what causes you to feel distressed, burdened and sorrowful. These damaged people, these broken people never cared for you, nor did they want to be around you.

These people rather be around people who are like them, damaged, broken and corrupt. They seek out others that are them, and pursue to be just like them. That’s why I urge those who are in a group of friends that don’t appreciate you, cause drama, and associate themselves with damaged people. Leave them. Don’t look back.

The reason Jesus disliked the Pharisees, because they were damaged and lured His people away from Him. The reason Moses and God were mad at Aaron, because he lead the Hebrews away from God. God ends up dealing with those who causes others to stumble, or damage them.

“You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.” Matthew 12:34-36

So as much as we want to end those damaging people’s lives, its not our place. All we can do is pray that they seek God, or turn from their wicked ways. You can still love them and respect them as Christ instructs us to do so, but being around them will only cause you to stumble.

Remember who your real friends are… Not the ones who damage you. Damaged are the damaged, while the fixed are the fixed.

The true friends will stay forever

Through past experiences, having friends has been extremely hard for me and my siblings. Sometimes they leave and then come back; while in other times they leave and never return. There are friends out there that promise to stay forever until the end of time, but that’s not how it usually works. God places people in our lives for a reason, a reason no one can truly understand without God revealing it to us. If you have friends who leave, let them leave. If you have friends who stay, then do your best to keep them around. Friends will leave, but its the true ones that will stay by your side forever.

I’ve come to realize who my true friends are, and who aren’t. Its not the ones who lie to my face, its not the ones who ignore me, and its not the ones who spread hate about me. Its the ones who care for me, stay by my side and help me grow in Christ. Friends in Christ, or just friends in general. Not everyone is gonna be there when you fall, and not everyone is going to care. But its the ones who stay forever that understand their worth in all of this. It takes a lot to be a friend, to walk in someone else’s shoes, but if you just stick around maybe you’ll see how hard it truly is for some people.

Causing drama, and making people feel bad isn’t what real true friends do. All it does it makes you look like the villain, and less like the hero. A friends purpose is to be there for them, not tearing them down, not lying to them and certainly not blocking them out. But I guess that’s what happens when friends you’ve know for years decide its okay to destroy each other for the pleasure of one individual. Surrounding yourself with the wrong people hurts not only yourself but others as well. That is why I, and my brothers have decided to take a step back from the people who loved us and cared for us, until they grow up and figure out which people aren’t faking to be their friends; then, see who are the real ones that stay forever.

God has blessed not only myself, but my brothers, my sister and my parents with great friends over the past few months and year Its those people that choose to stay by you, help you grow in Christ and want to truly know you as a whole. This isn’t a call out post or asking you to be better, I am just vocalizing that true friends stick around and non-true friends disappear into the abyss. So, if you want myself or my other family members as your friends, then take the initiative to interact with them and not ignore them and disappear. Because that’s what true friends do. I am done with the fake friends, and the friends bee your friends for a certain amount of years and then cling to others because they’re ‘good people’. But guess what, you won’t gain friends like that, just followers and minions.

So, trust me when I say, if your a true friend you’ll stick around forever. But if you’re not, well then; I guess where not friends anymore. Abandon me and my siblings if you will, but I am not gonna be your friend if you decide to spit hatred and evil in my face. Because, that not what true friends do, nor that’s not what Christians do.

 

To the Guys {Men}

Listen gentlemen, and listen well. I don’t like fakers. Guys who act all nice and sweet to you, then turn against you with a flip of a coin. I would like a guy who is respectful, willing to listen to me, a Christian and loves my family. I’m done with guys disappearing on me, and lying to me. I’m done trying to put myself out there but getting nothing but creepy men who only want young woman as objects. God didn’t prepare my heart for the creepy ones, He prepared me for the faithful ones.

Though I work in a place where there are creepy men, but every once in a while I get half decent men that are kind, gentle and somewhat trustworthy. But then again, those men can turn out to be creepy too. So, to the men out there, stop being a creeper! Women of God don’t want men hitting on them because of what they look like; you should be hitting on them because of their passion for Christ and His church. Trust me it makes a difference when you’re a real believer in Christ and find a nice girl you want to start a relationship with. Because being fake doesn’t get you anywhere, it only gets your phone number deleted and blocked forever.

In future, if you approach me, and are not ready to start a courtship (not dating), meet my family, walk with Christ, and follow the rules; then, think twice before asking for my number or asking me out. Because my father watches over me and guess what? He has a gun, an alibi and pigs that he isn’t afraid to use on any guy wanting to poach on his daughter.

Get it off my chest

I’m not beautiful

I’m not strong

I’m not amazing

I’m not always sure

Then there was you

A man above it all

You died for me

Save me from my pain

A victim of heresy

But you showed them The Way

I grew up clinging to your words

Voicing them like a song bird

Now I am strong

Now I am beautiful

Now I am amazing

Still not always sure

Get this off my chest

Project it to the lost

God’s grace save us

Not works at all

No more scratching to save it all

No more death to end it all

A cross rose from Golgotha

You just need to learn to crawl

Get this off my chest

Project it to the lost

God’s grace save us

Not works at all

Now I am beautiful

Now I am strong

Now I am amazing

But still not sure

Does He still love me

While I suffer and die

Even in the valley of the shadow

Death cannot take me

He leads us not into temptation

He gathers up our fears

Nails them to the cross

And brings us to tears

Get this off my chest

Project it to the lost

God’s grace save us

Not works at all

Now I am beautiful

Now I am strong

Now I am amazing

God has made me sure enough.