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It’s okay to be rejected.

Rejection.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all dealt with it. We don’t get picked to be on someone’s team or if we do get picked we get picked last. We don’t get an invite to someone’s birthday party. We ask someone out who rejects us. We don’t get accepted to the university we really wanted to go to. We don’t get a job we had hoped for.
Rejection sucks.

It’s like walking down the street licking a ice cream cone to the next thing you know it’s raining and you’ve just walked straight into a gang on robbers holding a gun to your head.
It’s like being run over by a semi truck.
Recently I had to deal with rejection. I wasn’t invited to the wedding of a close friends sibling. Over the years I had grown to think of this family like a sort of second family to me.
So admittedly I was a bit devastated. Maybe crushed is more of the right word. There were no words that I knew what to say to explain my hurt.
I felt like this family, these people whom I’d considered family had silently told me, “We don’t value you. We don’t want you”
It sucks not to be wanted, honestly.

It’s also okay to feel sad. It’s okay to feel pain. It’s okay to process emotions. It’s okay to tell people, “I don’t feel okay and I need you to either listen or to give me time to process”. It’s okay.
And that’s what I did.
I took time.
I went camping in Chincoteague over the weekend and took time to process my emotions.
I spent time with God.

At first my thoughts were anywhere from, “God I never want to fucking having anything to do with these people again” to “I guess I understand. Wedding are expensive” to “Why the fuck would you have an expensive wedding? Don’t flaunt your money”.

I never wanted to see any of these people again and I will be honest, I daily still struggle with thoughts like these. Thoughts of hurt and pain and not wanting anything to do with the very people who caused me my pain.

Eventually God tugged on my heart and silenced me.
Jesus died on the cross for everyone, right?
Not just the people who love and accept Him.

Jesus died for people who had him nailed to the cross and he still forgave them.
Luke 23:24 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Even while on the cross and taking the sins of the world upon himself, Jesus found it in himself to extend grace and forgiveness to those who had had him nailed there in the first place.
Wow! Right? I mean, we find it ridiculously hard to forgive people when we get butt hurt, yet Jesus forgave the very people who put him on the cross! How powerful is that?
See, it’s okay to feel rejected because that’s when we need to seek God the most. God was rejected by the very people he loved so dearly. In the midst of rejection and hurt, let us seek God’s affection and love.

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What is spiritual abuse and how to approach it.

This blog topic is a tough one for me to write about, but honestly sometimes the hardest topics to write about are the ones that need to be talked about the most. In my own experience, I’ve dealt with a couple of instances where spiritual abuse was used on me, however over the years I have heard stories from enough people that probably deal with this on a daily basis.

Maybe you’ve heard of spiritual abuse before or maybe you are like, “what the heck is spiritual abuse?” It’s a topic that needs to be addressed because it happens more than we are willing to admit.
Spiritual abuse simply put is when someone uses their faith, religion or particular beliefs and views to try to control, damage or abuse a person.
It is just as damaging as any other form of abuse.

spritualabuse

Some examples of spiritual abuse include:
1. Establishing a culture of fear and shame or intimidation: Often churches, or ministries that are spiritually abusive will try to create a culture of fear and shame. They will try to intimidate their followers into agreeing with them. They will call out others in sin and make them feel bad, but they won’t even admit to their own failures or sins. They will try to make you feel guilty.
2. Distorted view of respect: You know how growing up as a child you think, “I need to respect all adults or all teachers because they are older and wiser?” Yeah, so I think respect is great but respect needs to be earned. If you are in a place of leadership and you desire respect from anyone, then your life and your ministry should show it.
3. A “celebrity” like attitude”: I have literally attended churches where the pastor was treated like a celebrity. They did not surround themselves with the congregation and when they passed by they had to have “security” surrounding them. They sat on a throne-like seat on the stage. They may even flaunt money and have fancy cars and houses.
4. Taking verses out of context: Spiritually abusive churches and ministries will take verses out of context. For instance they may use verses that tell their congregation they should listen to and respect their church leaders, and they may use those verses in order to make their congregation follow them and not disagree with their views. Thus this allows them to get away with more. “Don’t question us. You should be following us as your leaders”.
5. Often involved in debacles: I’m sure at some point we’ve looked in the newspaper or on our Facebook feed’s and seen a headline like, “Pastor involved in sex scandal” or “Pastor involved in taking money from church budget”. Those involved in spiritual abuse will try to hide their sin and brush it under the carpet.
6. No grace or loving attitude: It’s either their way or the highway. There is no grace. No love. No forgiveness. You either agree and follow them. They always have to be right. It always has to be done their way. I think this goes back to a creating a culture of shame and fear. They make you so afraid to disagree, and when you do they try to convince you that every other opinion or belief is wrong and that you shouldn’t be asking questions. They convince you that they know more and you should follow and trust them.

I’m quite sure there are more examples of spiritual abuse but these are some of the ones that I’m familiar with and that I’ve seen.

So, where exactly does this come from?
We all have desires and wants that aren’t in line with what God wants for us. We all get prideful. We all get tempted and enticed by sin whether thats alcohol, sex, porn, drugs, etc. We all get hurt and feel pain. We are all human and deal with our sinful nature.

Two points I want to make:
1. Luke 16:13 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
We can’t continue to live in a lifestyle where money, drugs, porn, sex or alcohol run our lives while trying to give God absolute control and authority in our lives. You can try, but sooner or later you’ll end up serving one more than the other.
2. 1 Peter 5:2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly- not for what you will get out of it but because you are eager to serve God.
Our pastors, priests, elders, deacons, ministry teams, and anyone else in places of  leadership are often called to higher standards. They are entrusted to lead and shepherd us closer to Christ. We often look to them and respect them, as we should. Though, sometimes we may forget that these people are also just as prone to fall into temptation, and sin as we are. After all they are human as well. Sometimes, they may let pride get hold of them and take their titles for granted.

Both of these verses mention the word “serve”. We are called to serve God.

Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Mark 10:45
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

We are called to serve God and others. Christ came to earth and even he served others and humbled himself. He didn’t surround himself with the rich, or the wealthy. In fact he was often surrounded by those less fortunate and outcasted by society. He served them and loved on them. Humility is a beautiful thing honestly…..sometimes people are like, “Isn’t being humble just having a negative view of yourself?” No. When you humble yourself before the cross you are realizing that it’s not all about you. You don’t have to boast constantly. It’s not about how great we are. It’s about the God we serve. It’s about placing yourself second to the cross. It in now way means you should hate yourself and not love yourself.

Knowing all of this not only should we be humbling ourselves and embracing a servant like attitude; we should be praying for and encouraging those in leadership and ministry roles. We should also know when to call out our brothers and sisters in Christ. We should also know that it’s okay to take notes of verses or even take notes of the sermons and to ask questions or do your own research if you are unsure.

 

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The God of Women as much as the God of Men

If you read your Bible I’m sure you are more than familiar with how the lineage is often gone through men. The saying, “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” is familiar. Men are highly respected as being the spiritual leaders.

Honestly? I’ll be blunt here. If I were still an atheist and I read the Bible I would think God favored men and didn’t appreciate women. It would make me feel like women were viewed as property.

Alas, this is false. God is the God of Sarah, Rebecca and Leah as much as being the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Before we go further let me clarify: when reading the Bible we need to approach it with a understanding of the Bible being written centuries ago, in societies much different from today. 

Continuing on, women are more than just friends, girlfriends, wives, moms, sisters, daughters. We are co-workers, teachers, bloggers, yoga instructors, doctors, nurses and politicians. 

For as much as we can learn from men in the Bible we learn a lot from women.We see a woman healed by her faith just by merely touching the clothes Jesus wore. Two women were the first to discover the empty tomb of Jesus. The maternal instincts of Pharoah’s daughter kicked in and she saved baby Moses from the basket he was wrapped up inside.

These are just a few examples of the types of stories we see in the Bible. We can learn just as much from the women of the Bible as we can from men in the Bible. 

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#ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear

If you are on twitter the chances are high that you’ve probably seen the #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear going around

With sayings like:

“Dress modestly, you don’t want to make a man stumble”

“You can teach the children and other women, you just can’t teach the men”

“You’d make a great pastors wife someday”

“You can’t be Christian and Feminist”

“I wouldn’t wear yoga pants, it’ll cause a man to stumble”

These statuses may be 140 characters, but they speak about very real issues and hurt from women in the church. We hear these sayings, phrases and words all the time. Honestly? It doesn’t speak to the heart issues or sins that men struggle with. It makes us feel invaluable, like we don’t have worth. It makes us feel like we don’t have an opinion. It makes us feel like we are viewed as being just another “temptation” or “sexual object”.

Far from it. You see, we have immense value given to us by our Creator, our Father, our God. We are just as capable of holding opinions and beliefs as men are. We are way more than being a “Pastors wife”.

As you read through the statuses in this hashtag, read with an open heart and a place of understanding.

 
-Elizabeth Louise

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The inclusive and expansive love of Jesus

I want to be found sitting around a campfire with barefooted refugees and so-called whores or prostitutes, the LGBTQ crowd. Maybe roasting a few s’mores, except in my case I like to put Reese’s on my s’mores(it’s delicious trust me). 

Anyway, I want to be sitting around a campfire with a whole variety of people deemed “un-worthy” or often looked down upon by the church but loved by Jesus.

I want my love to be so inclusive and expansive that it tells people about my God not the other way around. I don’t want it to exclude people so that it creates barriers or walls and doesn’t give opportunity to tell people about Jesus.

Jesus’s love is inclusive and expansive. 

The woman at the well. The woman caught in adultery. The healing of a man on the sabbath. 

Jesus continued to break down barriers, guys. He continually reached out and included people, saying, “I know you’ve done x,y,z but follow and trust me” Jesus continued to dish out grace explaining that, we all mess up. We all need forgiveness and grace.

Lately….I’ve been thinking. What areas of my life am I putting up barriers and not being inclusive? We all have them. I have my areas and they may be different than yours. But let’s continue to be inclusive and expansive with our love and grace. Let’s let grace and love flow out like a giant kicking  down a door. 

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Rosemary Mashed Potatoes 

Hey fam! ❤️

Tomorrow is Easter! Can you believe it’s almost here? man time really flies….

If you are looking for that last minute recipe this is a great one. I tried this yesterday and the potatoes came out delicious! This is great if you are cooking at your home or bringing a dish to that Easter dinner you were invited to.

What you will need:

-4-6 Medium Yukon Potatoes

– 2 tablespoons of butter

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 1 small red onion, chopped

-2 cloves of garlic, minced 

– 2 drops of Rosemary oil vitality 

– 1/2 Cup of milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions 

1. Place the potatoes in a pot with enough salted water to cover them.

2. Cook for 30 minutes or until tender, then drain.

3. Add butter to the potatoes and set aside.

4. Add oil, garlic and onions together in a skillet and cook until tender.

5. Mash potatoes with onion mixture, milk, Rosemary Vitalit, and salt and pepper to taste.
To get your Rosemary Vitality click here and be sure to enter in the distributor ID: 11577392
Happy Easter guys!❤️

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Hey guys! 

This is a fun little DIY project: Homemade Toothpaste
What you will need:

-Young Living Thieves essential oil(I use anywhere between 5-10 drops, it’ll get you a long way)

-Coconut Oil

-Baking soda

-Sea Salt
 Thieves essential oil is antibacterial and antiviral. It prevents against sickness and cold sores. It is also a great household sanitizer. 
Visit youngliving.com and enter in distributor ID: 11577392