Aug
11

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Guest Post: Sarah Ott Deyton + God’s Love, God’s Word!

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One of the deep burdens in my life is the journey of learning to rely on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit first and foremost.

It’s without a doubt one of the hardest things, especially since we have AMAZING people around, and we have a lot of “stuff” to help us in about every area of life. God gave us stuff, He gave us people, but as a recovering co-dependent I am learning that what the scripture says in Matthew is really how we are supposed to live although it can feel like the most uphill battle ever.

Matthew 22:36-40 New American Standard Bible 

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him,“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and [a]foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

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This sounds hard right? Love love love, it sounds exhausting to me at times if I am being real honest, but then in 1 John it says this:

1 John 4:19 New American Standard Bible 

19 We love, because He first loved us.

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We love, because He first loved us! Which means if we don’t allow ourselves to stop and really ask the Lord to show us MORE love, we are working from an empty tank on trying to fulfill the GREATEST COMMANDMENT.

Letting God love us, then loving Him back, then loving our neighbor (friends, community even family) like we LOVE OURSELVES?

But the question I also wonder about is: Do we even love ourselves? 

Just a few thoughts to talk with Jesus about, asking Him to help us receive His real tangible love, asking Him to help us love ourselves, asking Him to love through us all those around us.  We can not do anything without Him, but in Him all things are possible. Even the healing of our broken places.

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Some would call the Bible God’s Love Letter to the World! I personally love worshipping God in Spirit and Truth!

Now! Meet my wonderful friend Sarah and if you are in (or near) Atlanta- comment below to win 3 tickets to an amazing event on August 27th!

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“The judgments of the Lord are true… they are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold…” Psalm 19:9-10

In modern lingo, God’s Words are to be more desired than money or anything else of value. Have you ever considered the Bible worth more than your paycheck, the amount in your savings account, or the insured diamond ring you wear (or want to wear)?

In your home, on your shelves, & by your bedsides, you have the living breathing collection of God’s spoken words to you in your own language. Doesn’t that just stop you in your tracks? Not only do we have access to God’s Word, but we have an excess of it, at least HERE, in this country!

You, like me, probably have a variety of translations, styles, and leather colors.  Maybe you own a burgundy leather worn-page version from your grandmother, possibly a traditional monogrammed black-bonded one, or the paraphrased message translation of this generation, even available in “hard-back”.

Here me say, there should be nothing guilt laden about having an excess of God’s Word but there is an error when the access to it does not match the excess of it. Bottom line, I long for you to value the Scriptures as more than a book owned, purchased, or stored as a family heirloom, but as your most treasured possession!

We are living in a country where God’s word is in excess yet not fully accessed. There are misconceptions about its true value.  If the Bible was held in the highest worth deserved, it would be enjoyed not just read and personally cherished not just theologically respected. I believe the more we acknowledge the intrinsic value of the Bible as God’s very words the more we will enjoy and engage it in our lives.

The Bible is the most valuable thing I own. I cannot stop talking about it, reading it, and finding my life within its sacred pages! The Bible isn’t just familiar stories or good principals and believe it or not, isn’t available everywhere.

Recently, I learned that women of all ages, in Ethiopia, do not have access to God’s Word at all. Think about that! What if you did not have any words of God available to you? The more I imagined that reality the more a vision clarified in my mind to be a part of answering this heart desire in Ethiopian women.  The two greatest values- God’s Word & the souls of men- coming together in one mission!

What if you realized the costly value of His words in the midst of all you own and gifted the collection of His words, to people who own very little of anything else?

Est.Her’s Garden was born. It is an evening event centered around two things: YOU falling in love (maybe again or maybe a first) with the Word of God more than silver and gold, as well as THEM getting a collection of His words for the first time. The more you value His Word the more you will want to give it to everyone! We have all heard it said, “it takes a village”. Well, literally, in this case, need a village to give a village the greatest gift ever imagined: God’s Word!

On August 27th, men & women are joining together in downtown Atlanta to celebrate OUR excess of God’s Word and fund THEIR access to it! If you cannot attend or live out of state, you can still join us and give to this mission! Every prayer and dollar amount matters!

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased online at esthersgarden.info.

Donations can be made by clicking the GIVE button online at www.esthersgarden.info.

Will you help us raise money that will go to the SEED Company, an organization poised to translate 40 bible stories into the 4 heart languages of these people groups in Ethiopia?

It’s me, Lindsay again. Thanks, Sarah! Love your heart for God’s Word!

I would personally love to sponsor three people in Atlanta to go to this event, since I can’t be there!

Just leave a comment below with your favorite life-giving scripture verse to enter!

*Winner must be subscribed to Putting the Pencil Down Blog (but you can subscribe today and still ENTER) and must return “winner” email  if selected within 2 days or another winner will be chosen (via, good old name in the hat draw)

 

 

Jul
29

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The Lie and the Grip of Fear

The Lie and the Grip of Fear!

As we talked about last time, there are these LIES that the enemy tells us from a young age! It’s sad, but it’s true, and it’s OK because our God, Jesus, came to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8

As we seek Him, we can overcome these lies and move forward with tons of peace, JOY, and love in our lives.

But first, we must confront these lies. We must look inside to see if we have in fact been lied to.

Lie#1. Unworthiness- which talked about in our last post- click here to read!

Lie#2. Fear- let’s deal with this TODAY!

Lie#3. Rejection

Lie#4. Abandonment

Lie#5. Identity

Lie#6. Confusion

Lie#7. Discouragement

Lie#9. Victimhood.

The devil comes only to kill, steal and destroy. John 10:10

But “I have come that you may have life, and have it abundantly,” Jesus said.

I can only talk about these “lies” with a passion because I have dealt with each one very personally. And I believe our sweet God allowed it so I could encourage you that they can be overcome.  For it is God’s will for you to be FREE in Jesus Christ! John 8:32

So let’s continue!

Fear comes in many many many forms, but for this article, we are going to talk about the fear of men. As in guys!

You might think of it like fearing intimacy with men.

I had such a misunderstanding of men because I believed terrible lies about them for years.

One specific lie that I believed about men is that I wasn’t good enough for a man to really love me.

Anyone else?

When God started to reveal a way out for me, a way out of this “fear of intimacy, this fear that I wasn’t good enough,” it was well, scary.

One day a few years ago, I was journaling at my friend Sarah’s house in Atlanta, GA, I had a sense that the Lord was asking me to do online dating.

Now I had done this before- but in the most unhealthy way POSSIBLE, I was desperate and needy for love, because I hadn’t yet realized the healing power of the very real and tangible love of God through Jesus Christ.

So the idea of doing this again seemed SO UNHOLY to me. I was totally against it; I thought it meant I didn’t trust God.

“Lord this CANNOT be you, I need major confirmation if this is you,” I exclaimed.

My friend Sarah is the most AMAZING Bible Teacher ever, and I respect her opinion in a fierce way.

As I shared with her what I thought the Lord was showing me, she said, “Lindsay, although I am not an outspoken proponent of online dating typically, I think for you, with your history of fearing men, this could be a way for you to be more comfortable around men.”

She then said, “I would pray before you go, see what the Lord wants to show you.”

And crazy enough this lined up quite well with what Dr. Henry Cloud’s book talks about (mentioned in this post).

Dating is for learning about yourself and others and seeing what might be a good fit for a lifetime.

UGH.. it seemed horrifying to me to actually have to FACE MY FEAR. Well the LIE that caused the fear.

But here is the thing, when you still believe the lie, you don’t have much clarity that it is a lie. You aren’t sure why you do what you do or feel like you feel, it’s a lie, so it tends to cause confusion.

What I have come to learn is that it isn’t about a one size fits all, for some people online dating isn’t wise because they have different tendencies than I do. For instance, it’s not a good idea for me to drink alcohol anymore because I was an alcoholic. And I didn’t know it at the time, it seemed like I was just a really fun party girl, but I had a deep dependence on alcohol to cope with things I couldn’t handle.

So if a woman knows that her tendency with men is to indulge like I did with alcohol, to fill a void or cope in some way, then it’s probably NOT a good idea for that woman.

But sweet one, that is something to ask God in prayer, I believe He will show you because the Bible says He knows what we need even before we ask. Matthew 6:8

So let’s pause there for today.

And BE EXCITED and ENCOURAGED that the Lord is good, and His LOVE endures forever, even while we wait for whatever it is we are waiting for in this life.

“Father, I pray you pour out your love in a new and unique way to every person who reads this prayer. Father, I pray whether they have known You 5 minutes or 55 years, you show them a new side of YOUR love this week!”

Friend, you are dearly loved, you are His beloved. Allow yourself to be loved today, ask Your Heavenly Father to love you today and just keep your eyes open for how He shows you He adores you!

Jul
20

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The Lies That Entangle Us… Series!

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#GuySchool

In case you’re new to the blog! #GuySchool is a special section on here for singles.  Look up, look to the middle and look for #guyschool

I am posting this next #guyschool series on the main blog because it’s about things that all humans deal with, so think of it from whatever context you find yourself in…

#lecture#3

In our last little #guyschool lecture we talked about –looking inside a bit.

The reason: something might be holding us back that we don’t even realize.

See, the devil, he is a liar, and unfortunately a powerful liar. Jesus called him “the Father of lies.” He is real, and he starts early in our lives, planting seeds of unworthiness, fear, rejection, abandonment, identity, confusion, discouragement, and victimhood. He comes only to kill, steal and destroy. John 10:10

So we are going to start from the beginning of this list of issues above and work our way through it over the next several months.

I like to share my testimony with you because the Bible clearly says “We overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb (JESUS) and the word of our testimony” Revelation 12:11

Now, let’s start with you, Unworthiness!

It was a few months into my “walking through the fear of marriage with God,” as I found myself laying on the floor crying. Hard.

I heard The Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) softly whisper to my heart “Lindsay, it’s up to you, you know that marriage is not all rainbows and puppy dogs but you have to decide, do you want to get married or not?”  I had a sense; he was asking me.

It was one of the most painful experiences to actually dig into my soul and ask myself, “was I willing to TRUST in this area?” This area that for some reason was hardest for me? My heart!

The fear was SO deep, the fear of marriage that is, well the fear was really of abandonment and rejection. I thought if I got married, I would risk being abandoned and/or rejected, so it kept me from wanting to get married. But we will get to those (abandonment and rejection) later.

38 believing lies and they were deep and holding on with everything. It hurt, bad, but after a tear-filled evening, I got it out, “yes, Lord, even if it is hard, I do desire to be married.”

That was two years ago and that evening broke something deep within my soul.  And at the same time started something. An even deeper healing of sorts, led by the Lord.

I completely recognize that some of you are thinking “that’s nice for you Lindsay, but I have been praying for my husband for 40 years.”

And I hear you, I have dear, dear friends who would say just that, and they are AMAZING catches for some SMART MAN some day! But see the lie can sneak in, it can hold us back in all kinds of different ways.

I share my story because I don’t pretend to know everyone’s, but if you want to share yours, email me!

ok, back to the story! A few weeks later, as I was boarding a plane, I heard a still small voice say “it was just good old fashion unworthiness Lindsay.” I didn’t even ask a question, but the words just came to me.

I stopped half way down the aisle of the plane and thought to myself, ” Wait, WHAT?” WHAT?”

I was shaking.

I wanted to scream “THE DEVIL IS A LIAR!!!!!!!!”

I couldn’t believe yet again; I had fallen for such a SIMPLE lie for 38 YEARS.

I had asked the question a thousand times before; “why-why-why am I so scared of marriage, men and relationships?”

And it was at that moment; He chose to show me and I couldn’t comprehend how it could be so simple.

“Unworthiness, Unworthiness, that is the reason for the trauma and torment I have been through all these years, UNWORTHINESS?”

A simple, seemingly insignificant thing like unworthiness had held me captive ALL THESE YEARS.

I was speechless. The “issue” seemed so complex to me, “it couldn’t be that simple I thought.”

But here is the thing: the devil is a liar and I hate him. And that is why I come to you with this little story.

I am tired of the lies holding people captive, making them believe things that JUST AREN’T TRUE.

I know the feeling of lies FEELING really real, but friends, if what we hear or think about ourselves doesn’t line up with what our Father in Heaven says that we are through Jesus Christ, it just isn’t true. I want to encourage you to seek the Lord, your loving Heavenly Father and ask Him.

“Father, is unworthiness something I struggle with?

shhhhhhhhhh, just listen.

Let your AMAZING Heavenly Father tell you if maybe you believe you are UNWORTHY of what you truly desire, it could be hindering you, if it is hiding within you.

The Bible says “His sheep hear His voice.” I believe that means, His sheep, us, hear His voice, Him.

Here are a few resources to learn more about how to hear His voice for yourself.

http://amzn.to/29G6j4Y  -Hearing God’s Voice- Henry and Richard Blackaby

http://amzn.to/1VNCyUV – Hearing God- Dallas Willard

http://amzn.to/29YHOme – Discerning the Voice of God- Priscilla Shirer

http://amzn.to/29G6KfD – How to Hear from God- Joyce Meyer

I have not read all of the above, so use your discernment, read the reviews, these are all Bible teachers I enjoy, but they are human, and they may differ in opinion. One thing I have ZERO doubt about is, Jesus came to set you FREE.

John 8:32
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

And the truth is, YOU.ARE.WORTHY!

Love Always,

Linds

Ps. if you want to dig in more to this subject of unworthiness, click here! 

IMG_3113

Guest Post: Sarah Ott Deyton + God’s Love, God’s Word!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

One of the deep burdens in my life is the journey of learning to rely on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit first and foremost. It’s without a…

The Lie and the Grip of Fear!

The Lie and the Grip of Fear

Friday, July 29, 2016

As we talked about last time, there are these LIES that the enemy tells us from a young age! It’s sad, but it’s true, and it’s OK because our God,…

image1 (3)

The Lies That Entangle Us… Series!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

#GuySchool In case you’re new to the blog! #GuySchool is a special section on here for singles.  Look up, look to the middle and look for #guyschool I…

Meme4 (1)

Suffering Leads to Hope-Hope that Heals

Saturday, June 4, 2016

As night fell I couldn’t see where I was going, my phone was dying and my GPS kept leading me down the wrong roads. I remember reciting Psalm…