Tag Archives: Jasmine

A Sign Is Not Always the Answer

Hey guys! Quick side note before I get into this blog.  I know that my blogs do not have a certain rhyme or reason and tend to be all over the place when it comes to topics but I gave up on trying to make this blog what I think it should be. At the beginning, I tried to bring my perfectionist persona into building this blog and started planning how, what, when, I was going to do everything. That plan failed miserably really fast. If you could take a peek behind the scenes of this blog site, you would see that there are about 3 or 4 unfinished blogs sitting idle, waiting to be brought into the Internet world. But they were birthed from ideas that I thought would be good to write about. However, I couldn’t finish them. The writer’s block was so real and I believe it is because I was trying to write about God without His help. After taking a hiatus from blogging, I came back recently and decided that I was only going to write about things I feel inspired and led to write about through faith. Lately, ideas out of left field have come into my head and it’s like I was given actual sentences and points to address. What’s even more awesome is that I know these ideas aren’t my own because I need a lot of this stuff for myself. The stuff I write about aren’t things that I’ve mastered by no means! All in all, it’s been cool seeing the verses I’ve read in the Bible being brought to life and used in real life situations. God’s word is alive and active so cheers to letting God lead!

The Blog Starts Now!

So I was in my Community Health Class and we were watching a documentary on “The Lost Children of Rockdale” and one of the guys being interviewed started talking about how he gave his life to Christ after living a life full of anger, violence, and a lot of other things! The Christians he associated with on the documentary described him as a perfect example of a true convert and noted his fire for God was so noticeable. After time went on, this guy started praying for God to give him a sign that He was real and that his transformation and new spiritual walk wasn’t just all in his head. He prayed and prayed and prayed….. nothing happened. So, he interpreted this silence as confirmation that it was indeed all made up and eventually reverted back to his old ways. I was hurt to hear that. Not just because of him but also because I feel as if a sign from God is what many people are looking for, but don’t always receive. I remember on numerous occasions after coming to Christ where I was so obsessed with wanting to “hear God’s voice” audibly and was upset when I didn’t. To me, that would have made God so real! I would learn much later what hearing His voice truly meant, but that’s only because I just knew God had to be real and I couldn’t give up. Later on that day, I was wondering why God sometimes doesn’t give people the sign they believe they need, much like the guy in the video. Something I often do in my head is place myself inside of whatever situation is going on around me as if it were happening to me or as if I was talking to the person that was going through the situation. I was curious to know what I, as a believer, would have to say to someone who was ready to throw in the towel on God because they believe He ignored them and wouldn’t give them a sign. This blog I’m sharing with you is the response I was led to give on why a sign is not always the answer.

Some were given plenty of signs…

If I were to close my eyes and thumb through the Old Testament, I’m pretty confident that whatever my finger landed on would probably be a sign that God used to communicate to the people back in this time. But since there are so many, I will center on the instance that came to my mind first: the Israelites Moses led out of Egypt. The signs God gave them were ALL OVER THE PLACE: All the plagues, the cloud that led them by day, the pillar of fire that led them by night, the parting of the Red Sea, the manna He gave them to eat, the rock Moses struck that gave them water, and just in case you missed it the first time, HE PARTED THE RED SEA!! However, this still wasn’t enough. Despite all of these signs, they still whined, complained, doubted, and flat out didn’t trust God to provide for them. It’s so easy for us (the people of today) to say “man, if I was living back then and saw all that there’s NO way I wouldn’t believe in God!” What I came to realize is that the nature embedded in the people of that time is the same nature we are born with now so we have to be careful thinking this way. It’s human nature to try to make sense of as much as we can and rationalize things despite the Bible making it clear in Isaiah 55:8 that God thinks and acts in a completely different way than we do. Also, the Bible we have to depend on now was being written before their very eyes, so God had to use these means more so in order to get through to them. One of Priscilla Shirer’s sermons (If you don’t know she was the woman that played an AWESOME role in the movie War Room)  mentioned how the people of the Old Testament wanted the constant and readily available indwelling of God’s Spirit like we have just as bad as we sometimes want the signs they had! Ultimately, God wants us to operate in the foundation of  Christianity: faith!

The issue with depending on signs…

Now, I’m not saying that God has completely abandoned giving people signs altogether, but signs cannot be the basis of our loyalty to Him. The Bible makes it clear that His people are to walk by faith and NOT BY SIGHT( 2 Corinthians 5:7 ). To better understand this it is important to know the definition of faith. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is having confidence in what we hope for and assurance of the things we cannot see! Verse 6 then tells us that we cannot please God without faith! With that being said, asking for signs in a way is asking to see…God is God so He doesn’t have to prove anything to us but He did it anyway through the Bible. It’s then up to us to believe. So if He sees fit to give you a sign, then that’s because He saw it was truly needed for His purpose. If He doesn’t, then we must operate in faith and trust that God knows what we need more than we do. When you need answers, look to prayer and God’s Word first because these are the two main ways we have communication with Him. I pray this has been a blessing!

Keep the faith!

-Jasmine

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Testimony Time: Why I Cut My Hair

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Hey guys,
First and foremost let me say that if someone would have told me I was going to cut my hair a year ago, I would have laughed in their face, but I did just that on New Years Eve and I wanted to share how I came to the conclusion to cut my hair and how God used this as practice to put my faith in Him. Hope you enjoy!

The Decision Making Process

August or September of last year I started searching on the Internet to  upgrade my hairstyle. I remember being so sold on jumping on the “Brazilian” bandwagon so I spent HOURS reading and watching…watching and reading reviews over and over trying to make a final decision. Such a tedious process! One thing I remembered was that the whole process gave me NO peace! This was shocking to me since I was so convinced that was what I wanted. I was letting something like hair stress me out, give me a headache, and make me really frustrated. After a few days of this I just quit and said “you know what…I JUST WANT TO CUT MY HAIR!!” What was even more shocking is how quickly all that frustration left me and was replaced with this calmness I couldn’t explain. Now, I must admit that I’ve said this before but wasn’t really serious about it, but the peace I felt this time was different and I believe that the Holy Spirit speaks through our peace. So, my topic of research switched to short styles instead. It was actually fun and I spent time looking up the best cuts for my face shape, maintenance, products etc. Now one important point I want to make is that I prayed through this process from start to finish. I prayed to be led to the right cut, to help me find the right stylist, to open and close doors as He saw fit, to confirm whether this decision was a knee jerk reaction to frustration or a real desire, I even prayed that I would like it and not be unhappy with it…all that. I wanted to be led by Him even in something as small as my hair, something I’d never done before. I also talked to my family and best friend about it which was helpful. Eventually, I settled on a style and made a hair appointment for the weekend after my birthday. However, this appointment didn’t work out. Uh oh. I started freaking out saying things like, “what if this is a sign I shouldn’t cut my hair?! What if I hate it and I just dodged a bullet?” Fear took over for a while and I almost backed out of the whole thing. But thanks to my big sister she talked some sense into me and reminded me that fear doesn’t come from God and said I should go through with it. So after my first appointment was a bust, I was just scrolling aimlessly through Instagram and saw a gorgeous cut that led me to a page full of short styles! This definitely wasn’t a coincidence and I ended up finding a better style and that’s that! I made an appointment New Years Eve and now I LOVE my new cut!

So what does this have to do with my faith?

I was driving in my car today and some revelations came to mind that I didn’t realize until now. I believe God used this whole ordeal to bring to life some things about His character that I’ve read in the Bible and I wanted to share them with you!

1. God cares about even the little things!  I believe God loves to see us depend on Him in every aspect of our lives. I admit that I have a long way to go in this area but I’ve been practicing. My hair for example. Now, some people would probably think it’s crazy to pray to God about some hair. I get it. I used to be one of those people, but God wants us to acknowledge Him in all our ways Proverbs 3:5-6 this means we are to turn over every area of our lives to Him. Every! What I like about this verse is that it doesn’t say to acknowledge Him in the big things, or acknowledge Him when we can’t handle things or after we tried and failed and want God to take over…acknowledge Him in all our ways. We have to learn to stop sorting our lives between the things we want to handle and the things we want God to handle. He wants it all because He is Our Father and He wants to take care of us. Remember that God took time to create the huge sun and sky as well as the grass, the birds of the air, the ants and even those little gnats down in South GA that seem to serve NO purpose in life. He cares. He saw that I sought His help in this and He directed my path and answered my prayers like He promised. I must say that this experience added to my faith in the all powerful God in a way I wasn’t expecting and I’m grateful.

2. God wants us to trust in His timing and not ours.
Like I said, I prayed for God’s help in this thing, but then I proceeded to make an appointment based on what made sense to me and my perfect timing. The weekend after my birthday, which was my original date, was right after finals and at the beginning of a month long Christmas break. I figured this would give me time to get used to my hair and learn how to take care of it. This was also time for me to do something about it if I didn’t like it…well things didn’t go my way. I ended up having two less weeks to get used to my hair and things worked out fine, although I was scared at first. See, once I prayed for God to take care of this, I should have had faith that He would. That way, it wouldn’t have mattered whether I made the cut a month or a day before school started back. This is where trusting in the Lord with all my heart comes into play, but the best thing about making mistakes is that we learn from them!

3. God will change our desires to line up with His will when He sees that we are seeking Him.
For many years, I put so much of my confidence in hair! I needed it! It had to be a certain length or I didn’t feel pretty,  but the more I walk with the Lord, I see more clearly how vital it is to put our hopes in something that’s eternal and not temporary. Psalms 37:4 says “take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  I believe that as we grow in taking delight in the Lord, we begin to desire the things He desires, things we probably never wanted before that align more with His will. My “something” was hair and some of other things and yours may be something different. But I can guarantee that we will come up short if we continue to do this. Hair can fall out. Someone may not have the kids they put so much of their hope in and if they do the kids will grow up and eventually leave the nest. That boyfriend or girlfriend may not be as faithful as we hoped. That job may lay us off or money could be spent or stolen, but God is forever and always.

To wrap things up, God can use anything to bring Him glory and I want to encourage us to take God out of that box and let Him roam freely throughout our lives. I’ve got some work to do on this too but I want to invite you to join me on this quest to stop putting God in compartments while we handle the parts of our lives we are afraid to let go of. Hey, what can you lose?! Know that God has our best interest at heart and loves us so deeply (Jeremiah 29:11 ). If it is difficult for us to trust in the Lord like this, then this could be because we don’t know Him well enough. How many of us trust people we don’t know? So a cure to this is getting into God’s Word so He can reveal His character to us. God knows us very well. The question is this: do we know Him?

God is so much greater than the box we put Him in,

-Jasmine

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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The Patient Man: The World’s Long Lost Love

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Hey guys,

I pray that all is well. I just wanted to take the time to share something with you. Lately, I’ve been working on practicing self control over my thoughts. If you’ve ever tried to “turn off” a thought that kept popping into your head, you can understand how difficult it can be. I needed help, so I started praying to God in this area. Well, today I felt led (by faith) to share a very welcomed thought that is helping me become more aware of how constructive I am with my time and thinking as well as how I can be more intentional about spending time with God. Maybe it will help you too. I will be speaking from my point of view so feel free to make this personal to you as well. So if you are interested, I would really love it if you took a moment to really picture this in your mind.

Here we go…

While I’m sitting at my desk studying hard for the long academic week to come, I imagine that there is a man sitting on the edge of my bed behind me doing nothing, but I can tell he’s waiting for something. It takes hours for me to come to a stopping point. But still he waits. Although I see him there, I only put in some weak attempts to show him any attention. Yet, he sits there with his eyes focused on the ground as if he’s daydreaming. Those eyes look tired. Not necessarily a physical “tired”, but as if he’s someone who is tired of going through the motions. So when I finally decide to take a break from studying, I notice his eyes quickly connecting with me. Those eyes shed their drained appearance and was replaced with, dare I say, hope… as if they were saying “maybe this is it?” I get up, stretch, reach for my phone, and start scrolling aimlessly through Instagram. In response, a grimace became visible on his face from hurt. Meanwhile he sinks down, resorting back to his staring contest with the floor. He is very jealous over my time. After pointless moments of soaking in meme after meme with the occasional selfie and sprinkles of inspirational quotes, I leave my room and grab a bite to eat, start texting my best friend, hop on the phone with mom, then dad, then my sister. When I’m back in my room, the trivial tasks build and build until I look up and realize that the day is gone and night has settled in. Yet, he’s still waiting. So I hop in bed with my Bible because I wanted to have another quiet time like I had that morning. Finally, I see this man grinning from ear to ear. This was a familiar grin, I’m pretty sure I had seen it that morning as well. I give my quiet time a good 30 minutes where I spent half the time trying to keep my eyes open after the long day. Eventually, I give up and call it a night. Following my lead, the man lays down, but stares at the ceiling upset. Another night of seeing me desire time with everything…besides him.

So Jasmine, what are you trying to say?

So maybe your time isn’t spent studying like mine is. Whatever the case may be in your life, the point I’m trying to make is that “the patient man” is our Lord and Savior. God is always with us and always desires to spend time with us and He loves to see that His followers desire time with him too. The Bible compares Christ’s followers and Jesus Christ Himself to being like husband and wife in marriage: 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.- Ephesians 5:25-27.” Therefore, if we ourselves are Christians, we are also saying that we are “married” to Christ! So many people, men, women, boys, and girls alike spend time imagining who their spouses will be and what a great fairy tale life they want to live with them. It’s hard to imagine that fairy tale not coming true. With that in mind, how would you feel if you were in a committed marriage with someone who constantly put things and people before you, did not desire to spend time with you, and made you feel like a last resort? Well, the truth of the matter is that our God feels the same way when we neglect Him! While we are so busy fantasizing about being married and finding “the one”, we can forget due to the hustle and bustle of our busy schedules that essentially…we’ve already found Him. Human beings deeply desire and long to love  and be loved. I’m no different. I believe since we were made in God’s image( Genesis 1:27 ), the same God who IS LOVE, 1 John 4:8 embedded in us the desire to find love in hopes that we would seek to find that love….in Him . Unfortunately, our sinful natures can draw our attention away from God and into this World where we are tempted, persuaded, and distracted from God’s pure and perfect intentions. So we find ourselves running through this life looking for worldly ways to fulfill a desire that only God can satisfy successfully. With all of this being said, I want to encourage you the next time you wake up in the morning and starting planning your long to-do list for the day to seek after the Man who loves you more than anyone else can.

Love you but God loves you SO much more,

-Jasmine

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Jasmine Seeking Jesus is Born!

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Hey guys! Welcome to my new blog! I can’t believe I am sitting here writing my first post since I’ve had this idea in my mind for quite a while now. The topic I want to focus on for this post will mainly deal with how this blog came to be and a little bit about my journey. In the near future, I would like to do a post on my testimony and how I came into the knowledge of Christ for myself so I’ll make sure not to spoil too many of those details 🙂

So, why am I starting this blog?

TO TELL MY STORY!

I have always claimed to be a Christian because I grew up in the church. However, on August 7, 2014, God led me to someone’s ministry who would open my eyes to a new world I did not know existed. However, this “new world” felt oddly familiar in some ways because it spoke to some of my deep desires I was suppressing because society and worldly ideas made me feel as if they were strange and I would never find them anywhere else but in my own mind. Through that ministry, which I will talk about in a separate post, I learned what it meant to truly seek after God for myself. This happened to me at 20 years old and now at 21 with just a tad more experience under my belt, I felt the need to spread to others what God has done for me in my life. I want to show people that it’s more than ok to live for God, even when it seems as if no one else around you is doing it….especially when it seems as if no one around you is doing it! I want at least one person to be blessed by God in some way because of this site. So my hope is that someone can connect to my story and become closer to God in some way. I know it’s possible because it happened to me, so why not pay it forward?

TO BE OBEDIENT ABOUT SPREADING HIS WORD

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’”-Mark 16:15 One of the main ways we show God that we love Him is to keep His commands. It is the mission of ALL believers through Jesus Christ to spread His Word. So, in order to spread His Word, we must read/study it ourselves. Now, I’m not saying that we have to become these great and profound theologians who are experts when it comes to biblical knowledge but God wants to have a relationship with all of His children and wants all of His children to know Him. The main way to do this is by studying God’s word. When we study the Bible for ourselves, we are able to apply it to our own lives, and furthermore, spread it to others. Now, not everyone has to complete this mission in the same way. For me, I felt led to start a blog because I am not the best at communicating my thoughts by word of mouth. I have always enjoyed writing! I’ve used journals for years and actually used blogging for a school project about 2 years ago. Therefore, I took something that I enjoyed doing and was given the opportunity to practice to use it for the glory of God. What talents/hobbies do you have that you can use to also glorify God?

TO PRACTICE MY SUBMISSION TO GOD AND HIS WILL

To be honest with you guys, I have been putting off doing this blog for a while, almost to the point where I gave up on the idea of it completely. One reason for this is because of my personality. When I’m not around family and very close friends, I’m a very reserved and shy individual. I don’t like to draw too much attention to myself. So when the idea of creating a blog one day popped into my Spirit, I felt my flesh immediately pouring doubt into my mind: “You’re really gonna put your personal business….on the internet….for anyone to see? What if you say something wrong? You know nobody is going to read it right? There’s too many people on the internet doing what you want to do, you should just let them handle it. They are better at it anyways. You know you’re gonna be too busy with school to keep that up.” The statements went on and on. I wish I could say that I immediately began to pray to God to shut the Devil out of my mind and pursued what I felt God was leading me to do…but I didn’t. I listened at first. But one thing I’ve learned about being disobedient to God is this: You’re not going to feel peace about just leaving God’s instruction by the wayside. The thoughts don’t just disappear and become a distant memory. So at some point every single day since then, this blog idea would pop into my head. During my quiet time with God today, I was reading Romans 6 and taking notes when verse 21 hit me in the gut: “What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?” This verse is referring to the time in someone’s life when they are/were a slave to sin and is/was not letting God rule in their lives. I began to think about life before chasing after God and realized how none of my sins benefited me in any way…..NO WAY AT ALL! I began to think more and realized how so many people in the world are chasing things in life that won’t benefit them at all once it’s all said and done……they are like me back then and just don’t realize it and would possibly turn to something better only if they knew “better” existed. This is why the Word of God needs to be spread, why I chose to stop making excuses about creating this blog, and why I’m choosing to submit to God’s will despite my doubts and fears. In the end, this life and this mission is so much bigger than anyone’s feelings, including my own.

So I want to close by saying that I am excited/ nervous about this new journey but I’m choosing to embrace it.

-Jasmine

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