Wolves & Sheep

Sometimes when dating we find ourselves entangled in wrong relationships which can lead to the creation of unholy soul ties and unnecessary heart ache. (you can read more about soul ties here). Many times we trust what we see and hear with our worldly senses and ignore God’s voice or our spiritual senses. A wolf in sheep’s clothing can seem to have it all together a nice home, car, be a tithing member of a church and be able to spout bible verses like he himself wrote a couple chapters But as we all know even the devil has biblical knowledge and just because he is able to quote the bible like the back of his hand does not mean he is a man of God. Many people can speak or hear the good word and never put into action the things they know or even have the desire to truly walk the walk.
Here are some questions to ask when you are trying to figure out if you’re dating a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What are his actions showing you? Does he truly value your walk with God or does he do things that poke fun at your devotion to God? Is he truly exhibiting Christ like characteristics and attempting to abide in Christ? Does he say he understands your desire to wait until marriage to have sex but then constantly pressure you about it? Does he say you all will pray or attend church together but never follow through? Does he understand the true consequences of sin (Romans 6:22, James 1:15)? Does he know that sexual immorality is the only sin we commit against our own bodies (1 Corinthians 6:18) and that sin creates a rift or separates you from the most high God (Isaiah 59:2). James 4:22 (NIV) says that anyone then who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. Would you want to date someone that ultimately brings you further from Christ, someone that will draw you closer to the world and not to God? God said we have a choice to make and it is either Him or the world (1John 2:15 and James 4:4) choose wisely!

Also in all things we must make sure that our hearts our in alignment with what God would want, so make sure you are upholding your standards and conducting yourself as a woman of God. Pit your character and qualities against the questions asked above as well to make sure you are not causing your brother in Christ to fall.

Happy Courting,
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Unequally Yoked – Part 2: My story

I can remember going out on a few dates with this guy that was tall, dark and F-I-N-E! He seemed to have his life together financially, had two cars a house and he loved animals as much as I did. We had a bunch of things in common, our love of travel, adventure sports and skating to say the least. When we were out people would compliment us and tell us we made a cute couple and every time I would go out with him I would wonder if this could be it, could he be the one! But let’s pump the brakes here, because two things did bother me about him: 1. He drank a lot in my view and 2. Although he was Christian he had no desire to grow in his walk with God. I would say things to myself like well, I have to accept people where they are and you never know sometime in the future his desire to know God may begin to grow. But no matter how much I tried to rationalize it, I knew that we were not equally yoked at this point in time of life. I wanted someone that was crazy about God, recognized His importance in their lives and would passionately pursue Him.
The night he asked me if I wanted to take our relationship further and become exclusive, I had visions of us going to church together, praying and studying together, but in real life he didn’t even want to attend bible study with me! This ladies, is where we sometimes allow ourselves to view things the way we want them as opposed to as they really are or think we can by some magical power change this man into who we want. It isn’t fair to him and it rarely works out for us! But there I was, about to delve into another relationship that I knew would leave me unfulfilled, unhappy and once again able to claim the not so prestigious perpetual girlfriend title. I knew in my heart that our relationship would look great from the outside but on the inside I would never be satisfied. My cousin that had met and liked him thought I was crazy when I stated that I wouldn’t keep seeing him in that capacity. Although he was raised in a religious house hold he wasn’t concerned with growing closer to God at this time and that would always be a problem from me. If I became yoked with him there was the possibility of me moving further and further away from Christ and my goal was just the opposite. Now it is possible that I could have drawn him closer to God, which would be the best scenario, but am I going to bet my future on the possibility of something happening that he didn’t desire at the time? And I say my future because I do not date just to date, I date with the purpose and intention of marriage.
In the end, we still text every now and then to catch up, but I know nothing more will come of our relationship at least right now and I’m fine with that because I know that I want a husband that will push me closer to Christ. This is in no way an insult to him, because we all move closer to God in our own timing. But I would like to date and eventually marry a man that knows what it means to be the godly leader of a house hold and practices the biblical principles of a marriage. Someone that I won’t have to fight off every two seconds because they don’t understand the impact of fornication or moving outside of God’s will (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). A man that will be able to minister to our family and wash me with the word of God. (Ephesians 5:25-27 & 1 Corinthians 13:4-7). It will be impossible for him to do that if he doesn’t know God or have that desire for relationship with Him. Sometimes even when we don’t want to, we just have to keep it moving and know that as long as we walk with God, He will illuminate our paths as we do (Psalm 119:105).
Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 6:14 – Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
Here’s to a purposeFULL life!
Court

Unequally yoked – part 1: breaking it down…

It is found in 2 Corinthians 6:14 that we are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Let’s take a minute and break this verse down with a brief look at the definitions (Webster) so we can gain a clearer understanding of what this really means. ‘The phrase “unequally yoked together” is the translation of just one Greek word, heterozugeo, which is a compound word that means, “to yoke up differently; to associate discordantly; unequally yoke together.” It is used but this one time in the Bible.’ (bible-truths.com)

-unequally: not like or not the same. Badly balanced or matched
-yoke: to become joined or linked
-unbelievers: a person who does not believe something; especially : a person who does not believe in a particular religious faith
-fellowship:common; the relationship of people who share interests or feelings

So, looking at the definitions we can determine that we are not to be linked to people or have intimate relatioinships with those who do not believe in God.

In my opinion, I believe being unequally yoked does not only apply to being bonded to atheist or nonchristians, but also those that don’t have a passion pr a mind for Christ. Here is an article that breaks it down a little further.

Enough Reality (why I ditched reality tv)…

My girlfriend looked at me like I had two heads the day I told her I stopped watching Real Housewives of Atlanta. ‘What is wrong with you?’ She asked deeply concerned almost as if I had just announced I had an incurable illness. “Nothing, it just got to be too much for me” I shrugged and went on to briefly explain the reasons I had ditched reality tv. Now, I must confess, I was a reality television addict! From the Kardashians to any real housewife from any state, I watched them all. Most nights I was plopped in front of the television and if not you better believe my DVR was set to capture all the action. Seeing the fights and arguments then dishing about them on Facebook or the phone with friends that shared my love of drama was a highlight of my evening. I knew I used television as a way of escaping the monotony of my own life. It provided a false sense of excitement that was lacking in my own everyday. I also knew I had to stop using tv as a crutch, so about three years ago I stopped cold turkey. At that point in my life I was going through a difficult time, I had lost my job and had to move back in with my father. Getting lost in reality tv made me forget that I felt like a failure in life if even for a brief moment. I had two degrees and somehow still found myself curled up on a couch night after night. Although I was grateful to have a place to lay my head, it was a devastating blow to my ego.

Honesty, I can’t tell you exactly what happened or what switched but one day I just didn’t have the desire, I couldn’t stomach the arguments and it was sickening to see grown women (and men) act like a bunch of catty schoolgirls for ratings. This is no dis to anyone who watches this type of programming, but I personally had had enough. It was at this time that I started watching more Christian centered shows, I watched a lot of Daystar and other stations geared toward spirituality. Also, since I wasn’t working it gave me plenty of time to delve deeper into my in my bible study and relationship with God. I learned a lot about how what you see and hear affects your inner spirit. In Psalms, David states that he would set no wicked thing before his eyes (Psalms 101:3). I’m not saying the women on these shows are wicked, because who am I to judge their hearts? But I will say that some of their actions are not those that I would want to take in on a consistent basis. And they definitely aren’t anything I would emulate, although I must admit I did and probably still will have my moments as God makes progress with me. But for audiences that are easily tricked into thinking that the eye rolling, popping off at the mouth, tell it like it is no matter who they hurt women they see on television are people to fashion your life after, I would challenge them to read Proverbs 31 and Titus 2:5, portraits of biblical women.

In proverbs 21:19 (NIV), it says it is better to dwell in the wilderness than to live with a quarrelsome and nagging wife, seriously the wilderness ya’ll! I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to waste watching argumentative women, I value my girlfriends and if they acted that way I would definitely have to love them from a distance! There is nothing that I can learn or gather from those shows except how to be quarrelsome and that is the opposite of what I want to become so anything not within the focus of where I’m headed had to go. I truly believe that just as you should guard your heart, your eyes and ears should be guarded as well especially since the eye is the light of the body (Matth 6:22). If we are truly living to keep our bodies healthy we must also include that which we hear and see because it truly does affect us. Although I do listen to secular music I try to draw the line at lascivious music. Music can definitely affect our moods, it can help put us in a state of worship or a state of lust. Here is a link to a research article in science daily that discusses music and mood changes. Simply put, everything we do is about choices and in most situations we can choose what we put into our bodies. Will it be something that helps us grow or keeps us stagnant, the choice is always ours.
Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Here’s to a purposeFULL life
Court

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Single and patient…

I was speaking to a friend today and she was filling me in on her marriage woes. Without getting to deep into anyone else’s business, it’s a fairly new marriage and they are more unhappy than not with each other as they attempt this life long journey of growth together. In the midst of her complaining about him, I found myself express, “OMG, I am so glad that I’m not married!” Now, In hindsight, I realize that was a little selfish as many of my friends use me as a sounding board and I would never want to make any of them feel alienated. Secondly, I should have stated that I am so glad that I’m not unhappily married as we can speak life or death over our situations and lives (Proverbs 18:21). But it even shocked me when I felt it come over me, because I truly meant it with everything in me. This was a new feeling as I had been so focused on wanting a relationship that I had rarely taken the time to thank God for saving me from the wrong unions! I have no desire to deal with the drama, arguing and pain that comes along with a union to the wrong person (not saying that was my friends situation at all). I came to the conclusion that I would be much happier single and at peace than married and constantly at war. My relationships in the past have been full of drama, abuse and pain, although there were definitely good aspects to each I could have done without the negative parts. Granted, the negativity was because God was not the head of our unions and partially a result of my insecurities and actions which I can now take accountability for. But as God instills in me the patience to wait on His best I grow more and more overjoyed in the fact that I haven’t made the mistake of marrying the wrong man. Or on the flip side that I haven’t scared off my Adam because my heart wasn’t prepared for a union that would glorify God.

Because I am currently doing a bible study on self control, I was reading about the Stanford marshmallow experiment. This experiment was done many years ago by a psychologist Walter Mischel. In the experiment, children were offered a choice between one small marshmallow immediately or two marshmallows if they could wait and practice delayed gratification. In follow up studies the researchers showed that the children that were able to wait longer tended to have better life outcomes. I know that with living in such a now centered society the thought of practicing patience and delayed gratification may seem archaic; But what if God wants to give us as many marshmallows as we want and were settling for one measly marshmallow because we can’t control our own desires of immediate indulgence. What if God has His best for us, but because we simply won’t wait for His timing we forfeit it all because of impatience or we have to wait even longer like the Israelites out in the wilderness for forty years on a journey that should have taken them 11 days! (Deuteronomy 1:2) As children of God how long must we go around this same mountain of singleness because of complaining, wrong thinking, frustration or impatience? And I say we because I include myself and need reminders every now and then as well! If we practice patience in this one area of our lives I believe it will also enrich other aspects of our lives and be well worth it in the end.

One huge perk of singleness is the time allowed to renew your spirit, ready your heart for a partner and grow in God, so take advantage of it. We can rest assured and be at peace because we know that if God placed the desire of marriage in our hearts, he will fulfill that longing, exceedingly and abundantly beyond what we can probably even imagine as long as we believe and do not ask outside of his will (Mark 21:22 & James 4:3). We can rest in the fact that our life long partners are either being prepared for us or waiting on us to grow ourselves up enough to have a thriving marriage truly made in heaven! So what are you waiting for? Get to work!!!
Here’s to a purposeFULL life!
Court

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Single and lonely (part 2)…

Six ways to combat the feeling of loneliness…
1. Learn to depend on Him: Don’t call that friend, turn on the television or go to the mall to make yourself feel better or be around people. If you try to numb, ignore or tune out your loneliness it will most likely still be there after you get off the phone, the TV show is over or you finish shopping. Instead, work it out with just you and God, pick up your bible or read your bible verses that you wrote out for times like these.
2. Have an attitude of gratitude: I know that this is quite cliché, but it works wonders! When you focus on the things that are right in your life you don’t have much time to focus on what’s wrong. The majority of the time you will realize you are more blessed than not. Even though you may not have a significant other at this time, there may be other people that God has placed in your life to love on, so be grateful for them!
3. Get it out: Allow yourself to feel the frustration of loneliness, cry, write about your feelings and pray to God about your situation, then get quite before Him and listen for a response. Give your loneliness to God; He knows how to heal your brokenness.
4. Adjust your focus: God tells us to focus on things eternal and not seen (2Corinthinans 4:18), in the long run those are the things that will prove to be important. Instead of focusing on us and what our flesh wants in the right here and now, focus on why God may have you in this situation to benefit the kingdom. Could it be to have time to help others, volunteer, start or help in a ministry, write a book or just to become a better you?
5. Think of the alternative: In my times of loneliness I think of what my life could have been like had God given me my hearts desires in the past when I wasn’t ready. For me, I could have married my first boyfriend but I’m quite sure it would have been a horrible marriage. Think of the ways God has saved you and what He kept you from instead of focusing on what you believe He may be withholding. He wants you happy and you deserve the best, His best. Hopefully, you believe that’s worth the wait.
6. Feelings are fickle: Realize that what you feel is just a feeling and most feelings are fickle. Usually, most feelings soon leave for another. You won’t feel this way for the rest of your life, maybe even the rest of day. Rely on what you know to be truth, that God is not a man that he will not lie and that he fulfills His promises (Numbers 23:19). Know that this too shall pass.

I truly hope this helps someone in their time of loneliness!
Here’s to a purposeFULL life
Court

Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

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But He giveth more grace…

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