All posts by courtnye

Be angry …

It seems that in today’s world of reality shows filled with fights and arguments giving full vent to your anger is something to be praised.  But if you are a child and follower of the most high then you believe otherwise. Unfortunately, allowing anger to rule your spirit many times breaks trust, ruins relationships and worse case scenario can end a life.

In my life, I have grown to the point where the desire to know what the word of God says about issues when they present themselves is of the utmost importance, especially if they are destructive and detrimental.  When I was younger, I got angry quickly and since I was prone to holding things in, it was wrathful when I did get angry because I exploded.  While Anger is a natural human response to an emotion, giving full vent to our anger dictates a level of immaturity and lack of self-control.  The bible tells us to ‘be angry and do not sin’.  Sinning in anger or giving full vent to our anger (wrath) can have repercussions in both the physical and spiritual realm.  James tells us that the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God, so we already see that anger is unproductive and even counterproductive to our walks as children of God.

Here are three other things the bible say’s about how wrath or giving full vent to your anger affects you and those around you!  There are also good reflective journaling questions you can answer for yourself.  Many times we have ‘a ha’ moments when writing things down and quietly thinking about our inner workings, so give it a try!

  1. Makes you a fool:  Basically, if you give full vent to your anger you are acting like a fool.  That’s kind of harsh right?  But if you think about it, it’s true!  I can remember the times when I blew my top,  screaming, cursing and throwing things basically made me look a little crazy.  On top of that once I had time to calm down and look back on the mess I’d made, I usually feel quite foolish. (Proverbs 29:11 & Ecclesiastes 7:9).  Unfortunately, while you may be apologetic and truly repentant many times people won’t forgive easily or may continue to throw it in your face for years to come. (I talk a little about how to deal with someone that won’t let your past stay in the past.)  Have you ever been in a situation where you just ‘went off’ and felt horrible about it later?  Why do you think this happened, what in your past made this particular situation one where wrath was your response? How do you think you can prevent this from occurring in the future? 
  2. Makes you a troublemaker: According to Galatians 5, fits of anger is a fruit of the flesh and we know that it produces unrighteousness, but it also produces dissension and chaos.  Proverbs 29:22 tells us that a man of wrath stirs up strife and one given to anger causes much transgression and Proverbs 15:1 says that a harsh word stirs up anger.  I don’t know about you, but when in an argument with someone, especially a significant other, I used to fight as dirty as they come verbally.  This usually did not deescalate the argument, but created more anger between us.  I’ve always said that anger is something you can catch if you allow it into your spirit, it can spread and soon both people are on a horrible path to wrath!  Can you think of a time when your words have stirred up anger recently?  How could you have spoken in love and gentleness to prevent this from happening (go over the scenario in your head with a different reaction and guess how the other person may have reacted differently)? How in your life has wrath been contagious?  Can you remember  a time when you attempted to keep your cool, but allowed the anger of someone else to take you out of that mindset?  What could you have done to prevent ‘catching wrath’?
  3. A horrible friend: The bible says that you shouldn’t make friends with someone given to anger or a wrathful person.  But this bible verse speaks to the fact that a someone quick to anger usually pushes people away, either out of fear, lack of tolerance for the behavior or uncertainty because they never know what will set you off.  But what if you are a spouse or parent and given to wrath, separating yourself from your family long-term is usually not a viable option.  I would start with being as open and honest as possible and let them know that you are attempting to be better (I talk a little bit about how to deal with that here). I myself have noticed where my tendency to fly off the handle has caused friends to look at me differently and many times those relationships have not been fully mended.  People often distance themselves from dangerous things that have a tendency to hurt or feel unpleasant, in this case it would be your anger.  Have you noticed your anger coming between you and those that you love, family relationships, friendships, partnerships etc.?   How can you go to them now, laying all pride aside and be open and honest?  Write a letter (even a paragraph) letting them know how you feel as this may be an easy way to get the conversation started.
  4. Distant from God: The bible is pretty harsh on those that give full vent to their anger and it’s possibly because it is one sin that can so easily creep in and tear relationships apart if not kept in check.  If you are prone to giving full vent to your anger not only are you considered a fool and troublemaker, but you are distancing yourself from God through sin.  Those that are given to fits of anger are lumped together with those that practice sexual immorality, idolatry and orgies!  Wrath is that serious to God and we can not inherit the kingdom of and since it is a sin to give full vent to your anger as it cuts us off from God (Galatians 5:20).  I challenge you to read a proverb a day and highlight what it says about anger, it is full of wisdom!

There is much to be said in the bible about anger, just read through the book of Proverbs!  But ultimately it leads to strife and death if given to wrath.  Read here on ways to control your anger and keep those feelings in check when they arise.

God Bless on your journey to wholeness!

Court

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3 things that happen when you become a Jesus Freak…

I can remember when I first truly started on my path of what it looks like to live for God.  I begun carrying my bible everywhere, talking about God A LOT in general conversations and studying as much as I could.

Once, while talking to a friend about God and my new journey, she abruptly interrupted me and told me that, it was nice, ‘but just don’t become one of those Jesus Freaks’!  At the time I was slightly taken a back because unfortunately, I had grown into a woman that thoroughly enjoyed people pleasing and shied away from rocking any boats.  And if I were to look like a Jesus Freak that would be akin to capsizing the entire ship!  Besides, who wanted to be seen as an odd ball?  So, unless I encountered someone that had a passion for God, I stopped talking about Him as much with others in fact I usually didn’t even bring up my beliefs.

Fast forward to today when recently, for whatever reason I noticed that I have become increasingly bold in my expression for Jesus and my walk.  I think that unabashadness comes with age, maturity and growing in relationship with Him.  In His word we are called to speak of him boldly and without fear.  In fact in Revelations cowards are grouped in with murderers, idolators and sexually immoral people who will be thrown into hell.  Now, this girl loves hot weather, but spending an eternity swimming in a fiery lake of burning sulfur is in no way appealing to me.

In today’s society, it seems okay to be obsessed with fashion, fitness, and entertainers, but if you bring up God or Jesus too much you’re labeled a freak.  Fortunately for growth, I have learned to embrace the fact that I don’t look like the world and am resembling it less and less everyday!  There are life shifts and events that have occurred as I walk out this journey and these are three major ones that you may notice as well!

1. Success Shift: When we begin to dig into what God wants our lives to look like our entire view of successful living shifts.  Success becomes increasingly God focused and less goal focused.  God tells us that His followers are not to look like the world because friendship with the world is enmity with Him (James 4:4).  Nor are we to be conformed to (Romans 12:2) or love the world and if we do, the love of the Father is not in us and 1 John 5:19 tells us why!   If we are consistently consuming God’s word instead of things of this world (television, radio etc) we can begin to acquire a taste for the things God desires of our lives and less of what this world dangles in our faces as the carrot of success.  We have the desire to stop running the rat race and run towards the things of our Father, to stop living for the lies of ‘success’ in this world and the success of eternal life with God.

2. Loneliness:  As we grow closer to God we may find ourselves alone and slowly cut off from relationships that do not serve the purposes God has set forth for our lives.  Although it can be a lonely space, it is a great one!  As you begin to realize a couple of things and understand how fulfilling this space of solitude can be.  You learn that you are not alone and that God is calling you into deeper fellowship with Him.   In Psalm 4:3 we learn that The Lord sets apart the godly for himself and Deuteronomy 14:2 tells us that He set’s apart those that are Holy.  As much as we would like to hurriedly get out of the situation of being alone it is often best to sit and spend that time with God.  There is nothing wrong with asking Him for godly friendships or relationships at this time, but there is nothing like getting to know Him in this time of quiet and solitude.

3. Persecution:  We are all aware that there are people dying for their beliefs everyday, but many of us are fortunate enough to have the ability to enter churches and bible studies without the fear of death.  Our persecution may not inflict as much damage, but can come in the form of people criticizing you and your beliefs or ostracizing you because no one wants to hear about the God you serve.  And guess what this is okay,  Jesus was persecuted and tells us that all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12).  The bible tells us that the persecuted will be blessed and that we are to pray for our persecutors.

So, next time someone calls you a Jesus Freak simply say thank you and pray for them!  You never know it may be just the thing that will bring them a little closer to God.

God bless,

Court

Enough…

This morning I woke up to the question, is God enough? The question lingered in my mind as I shifted from the grogginess of sleep to a new day, is God enough? It traveled with me through the day as I ran errands, visited family and planned my next day, is God enough?

You see earlier this year, my father died. It literally broke me and was the hardest thing I have experienced in this life and honestly at that time, God did not seem like enough. I was angry with God for not healing him, for not producing some miraculous cure for Lewy Body Dementia or not letting the doctor come in and announce she had diagnosed him wrong and he actually had something that could easily be cured with a pill. But none of that occurred, and when I picked up the phone on January 2nd to a nurse telling me that my father had ‘expired’ I didn’t feel like God was there nor nearly enough to quench the pain and anger I felt.

Since then I have done a lot of searching, a lot of praying and a lot of questioning. I miss my father so much, I still cry almost every day when I think of him but his death ultimately drew me closer to God as I leaned in Him for strength. I don’t think anyone can ever answer the question is God enough until they have been through a situation where they don’t feel like He is, because that is where faith comes into play. Difficult times will always test our faith even if for a brief moment.

If you lose your job tomorrow, lose your home, lose your child, spouse, sibling or parent, get diagnosed with a debilitating illness or just simply lose hope, will God be enough?

It’s not an easily answered question and it still roams around in my head as I type this but I can only pray that I have the faith to always believe that He is and I pray the same for you.

and without faith it is impossible to please God – Hebrews 11:6

God bless

Court

Sacrificial Living

When I think of the word sacrifice so many definitions & meanings can be given. But, when I read about being a living sacrifice in the bible that honestly was something that took a while for me to process. As a self professed control freak, letting go & letting God was more frightening than calming & that is only because of my perspective. Allowing God to take the lead was not an easy thing to do (at least for me it wasn’t) & it’s something that I will have to do as an ongoing life process, probably a daily process! This is mainly because I only focused on what I wanted for my life, because I was fearful that God didn’t desire to give me the perfect cookie cutter life that I had mapped out in my head. The thought of not seeing my dreams & goals come to fruition made me grip them tighter & it was a struggle handing them over to God. I had been Lord over my life, not God & I hadn’t been doing a great job at it.

The bible tells us that He who loses his life finds it, this may not make sense in our natural world, but I knew that I had to rely on & trust God to give Him my life.

When you think about the options of keeping your life or giving it away, both will probably scare you. In keeping your life we are not following the will of God & in giving it away we are not following the will of our flesh, but the question is who/what are you going let lead you? Your flesh or God? For me, the choice was clear.

God wants to use our lives in this world, but He can’t if we are not willing to allow Him to lead us. I’m eager to see where He takes me!

How is God calling you to be a living sacrifice?

Just Keep Going

Last night, I asked God what He wanted me to read. I got a text immediately after & it had something to do w/a woman in her 90’s so of course I thought of Sarah. I reread the story of Abraham/Sarah & noticed something I had glossed over before. Although Abraham was a man of faith & righteousness he still asked questions of God. But guess what God listened to Abraham’s questions & still covered & blessed him! As someone who has allowed fear & frustration to cloud her faith at times it is a sigh of relief to know that God can & will still bless & protect me, even when I question. However, I think a great difference between myself & Abraham is that he was going to do what God wanted regardless of the answer or lack there of. He questioned in faith while still obeying Gods will for his life. I know for me it has been a difficult road to obey & keep my faith strong when I felt he wasn’t listening or had left me in the wilderness, I would get frustrated & upset with Him, stop reading my bible & pretty much give up. My commitment to Him has been full of ups & downs due to my inconsistency. So, if you’re anything like me I’m praying for you to just give your life to Him & obey (it’s His love language) even when you can’t hear His voice or think He has left you in the wilderness, He hasn’t. Draw near to Him, He will draw near to you & no matter what just keep going

Choose Happy

So often we are taught that we must struggle to get ahead, that we must sacrifice joy for success or put our own happiness on the back burner to get ahead and in some cases the struggle is real but in all cases we can still choose happiness above all. If we believe that happiness is beyond our reach, no matter what our current state or situation then it will always be elusive. Today, Im choosing to focus on being happy at all costs, even while going through difficult times. There is too much pain & suffering inflicted on us simply because we exist so we must remain vigilant in seeking out the joys in life…Happiness is right there waiting for you, just choose. #lifeisshort #choosehappy 
God Bless,

Court

Marriage & Sunshine

I always had this expectation of when I got married that I would no doubt be the light in my husbands life. I realize that he will go through so much in life & have to deal with the darkness of this world that I wouldnt want him to have to come home & deal with more of the same. Although arguments & miscommunication occur, overall I want our ups to far outweigh our downs & as a wife it’s part of my job to ensure that they do! I hope to be the one that brightens his day & brings him joy in life, now Im just waiting for God to bring him my way! ☺ #neversettle
God Bless,

Court

Life, perseverance & yoga

IMG_9486Droplets of sweat dripped steadily down my face & onto the black mat before me. How long is she going to make us hold this pose?  I grimaced as I struggled to stay in an uttanasana, in otherwords I was bent over attempting to touch my nose to my knees quite unsuccessfully.  The instructor continued speaking in her soft voice, which at the beginning of class I had found to be quite soothing; But after 45 minutes had become more of an annoyace than an assurance.  I didnt want to hear about softening my body to flow with the movements or how my breathing should bring me into a state of knowing.  Can we please just shavasana already I screamed in my head!  I was wobbly, unbalanced, my breathing was more of a deep pant refusing to coincide with any movements & Im quite sure I resembled a new born calf trying to hold poses that in my mind my body was never meant to attempt. My hands, feet, legs & arms all felt like they were on fire & I had no idea you could be so sore from yoga!  The embarrassment of gathering my belongings & limping out of the room was becoming less of a deterrent by the minute.

The thing is, I had put myself through this torture, I had paid $15 to participate in hot yoga & be tortured for an hour and fifteen minutes.  I berated myself, knowing that the word hot preceding anything would probably feel slightly like a dialed down hell.  Also, since the class was 15 minutes longer than most I should have opted for something that was appropriate for a woman that hadnt laid eyes on a yoga mat in over a year except to toss it into the trunk of her car.

When we finally reached my favorite pose, shavasana, I melted slowly onto my mat with a deep satisfied exhale & closed my eyes.   The room was silent aside from the steady beat of low music & periodic snores of a man that was obviously more spent than I had been, but my mind was blaring.  Thoughts flooded my mind & I eventually settled on thinking of how this class was much like my life.  You see, I have this vision of being a super bendy, impromptu split doing, yoga guru but In order to reach my goal I have to make the practice of perseverance in adversity a way of life.  I struggled through the pain of lotus position & wanted to stop at navasana but I eventually came to the realization that I had to push through or refuse to grow.

The urge to bypass the painful parts of growth in leui of quick relief is a universal human trait.  We want to be strong enough to hold ourselves up in an awe inspiring hand stand dont want to do the work to strengthen our arms.   We run from the hard work that will catapult us to the next level, seek refugee in partying or dead end dating instead of identifying the cause of & working through lonliness, or we put off tedious tasks opting for the much more pleaurable lure of procrastination.  I believe that we have so many options that can pull us away from the focus of our daily ‘practices’.  The pull of distraction & ease of giving up is something that can easily deter or delay success.  But if you keep your thoughts on your end goal, eventually you will get there.  You may be tired, sweaty & sore but you will arrive!

As we exited the class the instructor stopped me as the new girl in class & told me cheerfully that she hoped to see me again in class & guess what she did!

Love you lots & much success in all you endeavors!

Court

Prayer for my husband…

Last year I came across a website that presented the idea of a thirty day husband prayer challenge.  The thing was these women werent praying for the husbands they current had but for their husbands to be.  They were praying for fiances, boyfriends and in some cases men who had yet to enter their lives!  My storyline fell in line with the latter group of women as my husband was no where in sight (or at least my sight line).  

As I prayed for this man that I would one day call husband (in my case hubby),  I found myself starting to fervently intercede for other relationships, marriages that were successful & falling apart and my single friends.  I learned that prayer doesn’t abide by our timeline nor sightlines.  Prayers abide by God’s timeline and our faith as we speak those things that are not as though they were! 

You may ask if Ive gotten married since I started praying for my husband to be?  Nope lol!   I have started dating someone but have also learned that it’s not about that at all.  It’s about my connection and belief in God to provide what I need, when I need.  And for my husband to be becoming that intercessor and prayer warrior on his behalf, even if he isnt’t yet physically present! 

Here’s a link to one of my favorite YouTube personalities speaking on praying for your future husband! 

What’s your prayer for your husband or hubby to be?  Please share in the comments!

God bless

CJ ☺

Lost…

There are times when we feel lost in life.  Lost in the shuffle, the mental and phyical clutter, constant noise or just in our own personal jail of a continous loop of thoughts.  But how do we break free?  I think the first part of this answer lies in determining where our bondage truly lies, by getting real with what motivates our everyday lives.

I’m starting this year by asking myself a question that will allow me to live from the most honest part of my being:  What is most important to me and how can I serve from this place?  Every morning and every night.

If I am honest, the answer to this question may not always align with what I claim to verbally hold in high regard,my connection with God, my integrity and family.  There are days when I may find that what was most important to me was not being free from the noise of this world but indulging it by remaining in the rat race,  focusing on the accumulation of more things or participaing in actions that dont represent the best part of me.  I will have to forgive myself, restart and move on the next day.  But Im certain that it will cause a concious shift that serves to align me with my higher self.

I dont think anyone is truly lost, we are just closed off to truth, the answer is always there if we ask with an open heart.

Photo:zengrowth.com

CJ