Second is not the Best

Firist is the worst, second is the best.

Where did this phrase come from exactly?  Was it made up when a little boy came running home crying because he got second place instead of first, so his mother lovingly told him it is all ok because first is actually the worst and second is the best?  I honestly have no idea.  I repeated this several times growing up, each time never really giving it much thought.

Now, today it comes to mind again.  Our pastor at church started a series tonight called, Happily Ever After.  I am sure by the name alone you know what this series is about.  Just in case you are not sure it is about marriage.  Tonight he talked about a concept that I truly never thought about.  But let’s think about it together…We all look for the ONE.  Whether we are a single guy or a single gal we believe and look for the ONE that we are meant to be with forever.  As our pastor put it, he wishes one day he would hear I am looking for my number TWO.  You see what he is saying is GOD will always be the ONE.  There will never be anyone to fill that space in our lives planned perfectly for God to fill.  When it comes time to marry, that person will never be the ONE, he/ she will be our SECOND.  In this case, first would most certainly not be the worst, it would be the best, and second would simply be second best!

As the sermon went on, something HIT me.  It was like God himself was speaking to my heart and I had to quickly jot down what He was opening my mind to…”All along I have been thinking what my future husband can/could, will/ would do for me and be for me…SO WRONG, I need to be thinking about what He wants to do and does do for and with God alongside of me”. 

This was such an awesome realization for me, thank you Jesus! 

So often as I pray for my husband I decide to make list of qualities or characteristics that I would desire in Him.  As I am praying about these I come to the conclusion that the only thing I truly need and can ask from my husband is that he has and is pursuing a relationship with God.  But then I think…I really need a specific list.  I need more than that.  So I decide to think about the things I think I need from a husband one day.  I decide I need someone who is understanding because of my past.  I think I need someone who will have an abundance of love not just for me but for God and others.  I think I need someone who will have a desire to serve God alongside of me.  I think I need someone who will love my love for writing and support that desire of mine.  With all of this thinking I have realized I have been thinking the wrong things. I am thinking of what this man will be for me, when God is already all of those things for me NOW. This man will not replace God in my life. God is already and always will be everything I need. No more thinking about what my husband will be for me is allowed. From this day forward I VOW to only think what my husband will be for GOD. I can better pray for him, because I am praying for God’s desires in Him. I am realizing I do not need to think of the ways that this man can be a blessing to me, I need to be praying for the ways this man is and will be a blessing to God!

I am so thankful for this realization. I am so thankful for MY GOD. He is all I need and more than enough. He is the Best One for me! I am thankful for the husband He will give me one day. The husband that will be second best:)

Advertisements

Love Letters From God–Trust Him Always

Today is another week of my series, Love Letters From God over at Girlfriends Coffee Hour.  This ministry is one that God has placed in my life for a very special reason.  Not only am I able to share my heart and writings but I am able to enjoy fellowship with ladies from all over the world with the same heart and passion for our Lord and Savior.  We are studying Captivating right now.  It is never too late to join.  If you would like to join any or all of the studies and a dellowship group, just click the “Sign Up Here” button after you finish reading my blog post for the day!  Thanks for reading and I pray that God touches your heart as you read what HE has prepared for you to read today!!

Much Love, Diane

http://girlfriendscoffeehour.com/2013/01/26/7979/#comment-5321

Say what you mean

I would never do that!

How many times have you heard someone say this?  How many times have you said this? 

I was thinking about this sentence today.  Thinking mainly that this sentence should never be allowed to be said! 

I think of it this way: we think we are so good and so in control of our actions that we compare ourselves wrongly to someone else.  Someone else does something so disgusting or terrible to us or to someone we love or to a complete stranger.  We insist we would never do that thing.  We are too good.  We are too much better than that person.  I am guilty of this by the way.  I have spoken the words, I would never do that-and every time I do, I get this funny feeling inside.  I am thankful for this funny feeling.  This funny feeling reminds me of something very, very important.

This feeling FORCES ME TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT I DO.  Then there is that guilt that comes along with taking a good look at what you see in the mirror and realizing the things you do are no better and sometimes worse than the thing that you would never do.  

This is where judging comes into play.  People are so quick to judge.  Is it really that hard for people to look inward first, before they speak of someone outside of themselves?

I know this has been hard for me to do sometimes.  I am a really good quiet judger.  I keep my judgments to myself.  BUT, that does not make it anymore right in fact it makes it worse.  God knows our thoughts just as much as our actual spoken words.  We may think others will never know what we are thinking….but do we forget God knows?  We say one thing…mean another, and think a complete different one!  How confusing. 

I want to say one thing mean that thing and think the same thing!  I want all of this to line up with God’s love. 

We judge because we put ourselves on a pedestal.  The only person I will ever put on a pedestal in my life is God himself.  I am leaving all of the judging up to Him.  He judges perfectly.  I am not called to judge anyone. 

The next time I hear or speak the words…I would never do that-I am going to take a hard look at what I do and pray that God renews a right spirit within me:)

I pray this makes you pray the same!

Human Trafficking Awareness Day!

I did not know there was a day for such an important awareness until this morning as I was driving to work. I heard them mention it on the radio. A little over a year ago I was not too sure what human trafficking was. Today, I am more sure but not 100%. There are so many terrible things I hear, see, learn about such an evil crime. I desire to learn more not to say I know all about human trafficking, but so I can be more aware about WHAT I AM FIGHTING FOR EACH DAY AS I PRAY FOR SWEET VICTIMS OF SUCH A HANUS CRIME.

I was in the shower one morning- a hot shower with amazing water pressure. I dry off with soft pink towels. I have the luxury of having a beautiful home where I can pick out any outfit I can imagine and comb through my clean hair in my own bathroom. I get ready for my day having so much. It was this particular day though that my heart was breaking for the little ones I pray for over in India who have so little. They do not have the luxuries I have. They do not even have running water. Yet, I know they are full of joy. They have so little and still smile; I have so much and find it hard some days to put a smile on my face. They seemingly have no opportunities to get out of the trap they are in and into a future filled with hope, but they are indeed hopeful! Are you wondering how this is possible?

I think about my future. Honestly, the possibilities are endless. I can do whatever I want. Nothing is tying me down. Anything at all I want to do, I can make my reality. These girls do not have that luxury. No matter what they dream their reality is still the same. They do not have opportunities, but they do have a SAFE PLACE. They have Jesus and a chance for hope in their future at last! Jesus is our only hope; nothing else can come close to the hope and joy these little ones have in Jesus every day. You can have that same hope too.

Sometimes I get discouraged about my life. But, as I sit here and think about what those girls are going through I cannot help but want to slap my own self in the face for getting discouraged while sweet little children of God are desperate for a future in which they are not just another body worth lots of dollar bills, but rather a future in which they are filled with hope, and making a reality the things they dream of and long for. I pray they long for God. He is the only thing that will make their dreams come true. Ours too.

There is no doubt that God’s heart breaks along with mine when we learn about another child being sold. Another boy being trained to sell those girls. There is power in prayer. There is a battle to be fought and we know where victory lies…on the cross. Jesus has overcome. This world may bring temporary discomfort and horror, but eternity in Heaven with our AMAZING SAVIOR will be more than worth the wait. So why is it my wait is not even comparable to the wait of the sweet ones I pray for each day? Why do I get to live out my joyous days in a beautiful environment and they have to suffer through dangerous, horrendous conditions? Why do I get to have opportunity after opportunity for an amazing life, be put in front of my face day after day while these precious children have to fight with everything they have to stay in a safe place day after day? What am I doing with my opportunity? Why is it I pout about my easy wait when there are young lives suffering through such a tough wait for the Lord?

I realized in the shower that day that I NEED to fight these girls battles right alongside of them. My God has fought for me. He has saved me from Satan’s vicious attempts to destroy my life. I owe HIM EVERYTHING. I know God has placed this desire in my heart that day in the shower to fight for these girls. I owe it to them to do the most I can for them, simply because I can. I am free to pray for them, I am free to help others become aware of what is going on…possibly right outside their door. You see these girls do not need to be in India, or a brothel, they can be in an apartment with a man who found an ad for a girl on craigslist or meets young girls at places formed right in our own towns.

Most of all, I am free to invest in the lives of these young, beautiful girls. I desire to invest so much time in prayer for them that God works through my prayers and that they become devoted followers of Jesus Christ. God can change this crime through us. He can get rid of it completely. Nothing is impossible with Him. What are you going to do? Are you going to google human trafficking and see what comes up? Are you going to take advantage of your easy waiting process and make the most of each opportunity you receive? Are you going to fight this battle alongside of me?

I honestly have NO IDEA who reads this blog. I pray you do. I pray so many people see this and HAVE TO DO SOMETHING. I pray that every reader decides boldly to stand up for what is wrong…and desire to let God change that wrong into SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL:)

Resources:

It happens right here in Pittsburgh…

http://wesa.fm/2012/04/26/sex-trafficking-growing-problem-pittsburgh-region

What you can do to fight…

http://www.state.gov/j/tip/id/help/index.htm

Love Letters from God

http://girlfriendscoffeehour.com/2013/01/05/love-letters-from-god/

Today I share over at Girlfriends Coffee Hour. The singles ministry over there has become very near and dear to my heart.

I start a brand new series today called Love Letters from God. Go on over and read all about it.

I pray God speaks to your heart through our writings.

Love, Me

verses that changed my life in 2012

I was so excited for 2012 last year!  It was the first year I was completely free from my tormenting past.  It was the first year I was fully embracing my relationship with the most important person in my life, Jesus.  I guess I was expecting so much from ME.  My expectations for myself proved to be a disastrous failure.  However, the expectations of my GOD proved to sustain me through the year.  He showed me every single one through the quiet moments I shared with Him, reading the Bible or just praying.  I learned that when my expectations fail–and they usually always will (unless those expectations are in line with God’s plan) God shines his hope, joy, and love through it all. 

One thing 2012 was for me was a waiting period, 2013 may be the same way, but I am learning to fully trust God while waiting for something to happen–something to fulfill those expectations.  One thing I am taking into 2013 with me is words spoken by my grandmother that make my heart smile SO BIG “As you wait, you can be guaranteed of one thing, God’s blessings will be far greater than your expectations”.  That’s it–the something I am waiting for to fulfill my expectations is the promise that God will bless me far more than I am capable of imagining.  Thank you Jesus!

Honestly, the thing I am most excited about in 2013 is continuing the reading plan I have in my Chronological Bible.  I have never read through the whole Bible before and that is just what I am going to do in 2013.  I pray that I do not lose this excitement and determination.  I have my grandmother to inspire me through this, she reads the entire Bible EACH YEAR!  I am striving to be doing the same thing each year!  Thank you Jesus for blessing me with an absolutely amazing, God fearing, beautiful grandmother.

Below are some verses that have impacted me a great deal throughout the year.  Either as I read them, I cried because they touched me that much, or I smiled because they comforted me that much, or they made me instantly praise God because they filled me with joy that much, or they made me sit down and take a look at my life and strive to get rid of all of the yuckiness it sometimes becomes. 

Proverbs 18:10 The Lord is a strong-tower, the righteous run into Him and are safe.

when I first read this verse, I cried.  I started the year out with this verse.  When I read it all I thought was thank you so much Jesus that I am safe all because of you.  For a girl who had lived most of her life in fear, this was just the verse I needed to begin a year empty of fear and full of the Lord.

John 10:10  The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, I have come so that they may have life and have it abundantly. 

My sweet sweet sister shared this verse with me.  Explaining it to me you could just picture the excitement in her heart.  She said she wanted this to be her life verse.  This has become my life verse as well.  Satan wants to destroy us so badly, but he cannot.  Just because we are not in Heaven yet, doesn’t mean we cant live out the life God intended us to live!

2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ

I almost forgot that at the beginning of 2012 I really struggled with this.  I forgot because that is just how far the Lord has brought me in this struggle in a year’s time.  It was nice to have one of my sisters struggling with the same thing as me.  We were a great encouragement for one another.  My thoughts used to drive me insane, now I have really embraced holding each thought captive and living an obedient life to Christ not only through my actions but also through my thoughts.

Psalm 62: 5-8 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.  Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. 

I have come to love this passage so incredibly much.  I first found it while I was brainstorming ideas for a women’s singles online bible study group.  I find myself going back to this verse, a lot.  This past year I most definitely have been learning to trust God all of the time.  It was so easy for me to trust him in the hard times of my life.  But this past year, I did not have any real deep struggles to work through (thank you Jesus).  That is what made it so hard for me to trust God.  Here I was living day by day wanting something more, wanting something huge, trusting that God would make something happen like what I wanted was a hard concept to grasp.  Months would pass and still nothing like what I pictured had happened, trust became more difficult.  Then I found this verse.  Trust in the Lord at ALL TIMES.  Not just when times are bad, but when they are good too.  I have learned to trust God when he promises me His blessings will be better than what I may want to happen.  I have learned to trust that these little moments he gave me throughout 2012 are the BIG THING I was annticipating, they just came in little doses.   

Revelation 12:11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony

Thank You Jesus for overcoming satan by your blood that was shed.  Thank you for letting me overcome my past by giving me the strength and courage to share my testimony with others, giving all of the glory to you alone.

Psalm 73:28 But for me it is good to be near God.  I have made the soverign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

As much tragedy as this country has faced this year; from the death of courageous soldiers fighting for our country to little innocent children being taken from this world all too soon, it is hard to find the good.  It is hard to think why, how, what is going on in this world?  I have learned and continue to trust that even in the most hopeless–most definitely not good situations, it is GOOD TO BE NEAR GOD.  That is a promise my life surely depends on.  Things may happen to me or loved ones or perfect strangers, but one thing remains in these bad moments–God is good and for me, it is ALWAYS GOOD TO BE NEAR TO HIM.