Tag Archive: Christ


“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Galatians 3:27

So you want to wear all the name brand clothes, do the things your friends are doing, look the best and be the best? You don’t want to stand out or maybe you do and wear the brightest colors available and have your own unique style.  What if we turned away from the thoughts of flaunting the latest fashions and put on a little Beauty by God? Now this beauty will require that we are willing to be different and it will require many to step out of their comfort zones. I will warn you that many don’t think the Beauty by God clothing line is fashionable, but don’t let that discourage you, God is the best designer around! He is top notch! What does the Beauty by God wardrobe have to offer, you ask? There are many articles of clothing available in this special clothing line and to cover them all in this article is not my intent, but I do want to discuss two of them here.

Let’s see, first let’s look at the belt of truth (Ephesians 6:14). Belts are so important, without them let’s just say that we might find ourselves in a nasty predicament, we wouldn’t at times be able to keep our clothes intact! What does the belt of truth look like? How do we know what truth is? We go to God’s Word.  In John 1:14, we see that “the Word [Jesus] became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory of the only begotten from the Father, FULL of grace and TRUTH.” We must first recognize where we can be sure truth is (John 14:6); where we can get this belt of truth. Now that we’ve discovered we get our belts of truth from God’s Word, what are we going to do with the belt. When you go to the shopping and purchase the cutest dress, do you just let it sit in your closet, no, of course not, we put it on.  We need to do the same with the belt of truth in God’s clothing line. God’s truth keeps our lives intact. It is His truth that we need to base everything in our lives on. Our thoughts, our actions, our motivations, our decisions, ect. Truth is absolute. If truth isn’t truth, it’s untruth. There are no grey areas. When we understand God’s Word as being purely truth and put on our belts of truth, we can rest assured we will have the most beautiful Beauty by God clothing on because our lives will shine with the light of Christ. (John 8:32)

Let’s look back to the Ephesians passage (Ephesians 6:14), what other articles of clothing are in the Beauty by God clothing line? What about being clothed with the breastplate of righteousness? What does the breastplate do? It guards our hearts. It is when we are putting on the righteousness of God and living that out in our lives that our hearts are protected from this sin filled world and the immoral temptations that we go up against every day. What is righteousness? It is living God’s way instead of our own selfish immoral living; it is putting on the beauty of the righteousness of Almighty God. For some examples and to dig deeper into this thought of putting on righteousness check out these scriptures:

Isaiah 61:10, 1 Thess. 5:8, Job 27:6, Psalm 5:8, Psalm 17:15, Psalm 37:6, Psalm 40:10

God’s Word says in 2 Peter 1:3, “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”

So you want to be beautiful? The world’s definition of beauty will only lead to bondage and an ugly heart. Girls, let’s strap on those belts of truth and protect our hearts with righteousness!  With Beauty by God, you are sure to win!

“God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel  16:7

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Unleashed

I went on a retreat with the youth from my church this past weekend. The theme for the retreat was “Unleashed.” Going into the retreat I had no idea what that meant and I was wondering to myself why they were calling it Unleashed. I soon found out what that really meant.

You see we have things in our lives that keep us in bondage, things we place before our relationship with Christ. These can be anything– internet, phone, television, video games, boys, texting, cell phones, self harm, obsessive focus on weight, eating, and exercise, beauty, money, caring to much about what people might think, you name it. There are so many things in this world that we get hooked on and tied down to. We tend to put these things first in our lives when what really needs to be first is our relationship with God. We were reminded this weekend that we need to be unleashed of these things that are holding us back from being our best in Christ. One of the youth leaders on the trip unleashed from the notion that she had to wear makeup so she didn’t wear any make-up during the retreat. We all have things that we need to let go of and give to Christ, things we need to be unleashed from. It’s when we are truly become unleashed from those things that we find lasting freedom in Christ.

“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves of righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. (Romans 6:15-19)

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

So I ask you this….what do you need to be unleashed from? What is holding you back from your relationship with God? What is keeping you enslaved?

Throwing Stones…

Someone who has been so influencial in my healing is Amy (my former youth pastors wife). Below she shares a spiritual principle that is so vital in our journey toward healing and ultimately our relationships with God and others. Many of us have been hurt and think forgiveness is something so far out of reach. But as Amy reminds us, we are all sinners and no one has the right to judge or codemn anyone but the Lord. So who do you need to forgive? Your abuser? Your friend? Your sibling? Your parents? YOURSELF? Amy reminds us what the scriptures have to say about forgiveness.

“Two of my most favorite passages in the Scriptures both talk about forgiveness and speak to the awesomeness of the free gift of salvation. The first passage is a story in John 8 – a story about a woman accused and rightfully so…she had sinned and broken God’s law. When she was brought to Jesus by her accusers for judgement – he rebuked her accusers and offered her forgiveness. He was the only one who was without sin and could have stoned her, but He said “neither do I condemn you, Go and sin no more.

The same thought is echoed in Psalm 130:3-4, “If You, Lord, should mark iniquities who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You that You may be feared.” No one can stand before Him in our sin, not the woman accused, not her accusers, not me, and not you – except for His forgiveness so that He may be feared – respected, awed, magnified and worshipped.”

God has chosen to forgive us. CHOSEN is the key word. We have the choice to forgive or to not forgive. One leads to peace one leads to misery. We also have the choice to accept God’s gift of forgiveness and salvation or not to accept it. One leads to death and one leads to life. What’s your choice going to be?

There are a few truths we need to recognize when it comes to keeping bitterness out of our lives or overcoming it in our hearts. The first thing that we need to recognize is that God is a Sovereign God. He is in control of all creation. This is something that was hard for me to grasp after struggling with why God allowed bad things to happen in my own life. God has a permissive will and a direct will. His permissive will allows or permits good or in this case bad, things to happen in order that He be glorified in the end. We may never know the reasons why God allows bad things to happen, or even good things for that matter, and we don’t need to know. We just need to know that God is God and we are not and that His plan and purpose will be accomplished. Jesus , understood this. God permissively allowed His son to be tortured, beaten and crucified. And yet on the cross, Jesus’ response to the mockers was “Father, forgive them…” He understood that God had an awesome plan and that even if it meant the pain and agony He went through He knew that God would be glorified. He didn’t become bitter , He forgave and acknowledge that God is a Sovereign God. It is good for us to be reminded that God is all-knowing. He sees beyond our immediate circumstance and pain and sees the end result. In the example of Jesus, He saw what Jesus’ crucifixion would accomplish, He saw struggling frail sinful humanity and desperately longed for us to be made new and find salvation in Him! I don’t know why God allows things to happen, but I do know that He always has a plan far greater than we could ever comprehend and I know that if you faithfully walk with Him and trust Him in the circumstance you will see one day why it happened. I know that is true in my life and I know it can be true in yours too.

Secondly, we need to realize that God is a just God. He is an impartial God. A quote that I found recently (from christiannet.com) is this “Justice is not an optional product of His (God’s) will, but an unchangeable principle of His character.” He is righteous.

Thirdly, we need to realize that we become what we focus on. If we are focusing on all the horrible things that have happened to us, we are destined for depression, despair and a miserable life. But if we dwell on who God is and His promises, we are well on our way and we will be able to see God doing great things through the circumstances in our lives. When we focus on Christ and not the circumstance we realize that God is indeed in control and we start to see His character more clearly. When we begin to see who we are in relation to who God is, we see our sin more clearly and realize that our sin is no different than the sin of those who have hurt us. Romans 3:23 says, “We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

We also need to follow Christ’s example of forgiveness. 1 Peter 2:21-23 gives us great insight into His character and His response to those who betrayed and hurt Him. It says, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.” We need to do the same to those who have hurt us. Harboring bitterness only hurts those who harbor it and blinds us to the purpose God has in the circumstance! Forgiveness requires us to see God for who He is, a Sovereign and just God. As we focus on Him and see the one who hurt us as He sees them and us alike, through eyes of love and forgiveness, this then opens up the door for Him to do awesome things in and through a seemingly horrible situation in our lives.

If you are a believer you can hold on to Romans 8:26-28 which says, “In the same way the Spirit, also helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we KNOW that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” How often is the pain of your past too deep for words? I know I have felt that way many times. But isn’t it a comfort to know that God understands even the unsaid!

So what about you? Are you harboring bitterness toward those have hurt you? Do you want to live a life free of bitterness? Then why not get a different perspective of the situation and view the situation through God’s eyes and follow the example Christ has laid out for us. Realize that God has a purpose in every tough time.  And then sit back and watch all that God will accomplish through the circumstance.

Stand in Awe

 What I’m about to share I have wrestled with for weeks. I was afraid that by sharing this, my heart would become prideful. But as I sit here and write I can sincerely testify that none of this is a result of anything I have done, or anything I will do, or anything I could even be close to capable of doing but what I have seen is all a work of God, that in God’s awesome love and grace which I cannot fully understand, nor am I worthy of it, God has placed me here. As I wrestled with whether or not to share this today, I’ve been humbled and convicted. I am reminded that even the rocks cry out in praise to God, so how can I be silent about the awesome works that He has done in my life. (And I ask myself how could I have ever doubted Him?) How much more then should we be filled with awe at the greatness of God and tell of His glory. I think about the many people who God healed in the New Testament. I think I now see how much their hearts were ready to burst in awe struck wonder at what Christ had done in their lives. How could they be silent after encountering God Almighty?!?! That is where I stand now. I am at that place right now that if the rocks cry out in testimony of God’s greatness so must I!


God has taken a broken, hurt, torn up girl and performed an awesome work of redemption, restoration and healing throughout the short 28 years of my life. I can speak with the Psalmist as He says in Psalm 18..”The cords of death encompassed me. And the torrents of ungodliness terrified me; The snares of death confronted me.” That was my life. Full of torment, full of hopelessness, full of brokenness, full of disaster. But PRAISE GOD, that now I can say with the psalmist what is said later in Psalm 18, “THE LORD LIVES, AND BLESSED BY THE ROCK; AND EXALTED BE THE GOD OF MY SALVATION.” He delivers, He lifts up, He rescues, He shields us, He strengthens us, He lights our way. He conquers all, He hears our cries and because of this and ONLY because of this I “give thanks to You among the nations, O Lord, and I will sing praises to Your name.” What does God have to do in our lives for us to see that He is God Almighty, He is Sovereign Lord, He is the Most High God. He had to take me to the darkest of darkness and prove Himself more times than I can count. Don’t let that be You! Proclaim His work in your life to the nations, not out of selfish pride, but out of the depth of humility and praise stand in awe! Let Your heart be filled with wonder and let Him take you to heights you could never have thought up yourself! By the GRACE and MERCY of God He loves to take us to a place of complete brokenness and unworthiness to a place of staring in full view of God’s awesome greatness. In Philippians 2, it speaks of God the Fathers plan and purpose for the life of Jesus the Son. God plan, His sole purpose of Jesus’ self-sacrificing gift to us through the cross was “that at the name of Jesus at the name of Jesus, EVERY knee will bow, for those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of Gd the Father.” His greatness extends throughout eternity! So I ask you, what is your victory story???? Let’s surrender it to God and let Him amaze us at how far He will take His awesome work and declare it to those around us if we will just allow Him to take the drivers seat!!!! Stand back, looking up to heaven, hands off the steering wheel, and prepare to be amazed. Stand in AWE!

 I know many of you struggle with physical eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia but is your spiritual life also disordered? There is a book that I have recommended on the Speak Don’t Bleed website called “Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves” by Erin Davis. As I was reading through this book, something stuck out to me. In the book Erin talks about our beauty and how it’s affected by media. Erin talks about her struggle with a distorted self image. One of the chapters in the book is about Eating Disorders. One thing stuck out in this chapter of the book…in the chapter Erin parallels physical eating disorders with spiritual ones! So I wanted to devote this devotional to talking about how we can have a spiritual eating disorder and what we can do to be spiritually well nourished.

Spiritual Bulimia

In the book, Erin asks these questions that I think we all need to consider…“Do you binge on Jesus? Do you get filled up at camp or weekend retreats or on Sunday morning and then purge so that you can live the life you want to live? Instead of getting a steady dose of Christ through His Word, do you count on filling feasts of God every once in a while?”

We need to be constantly fed through God’s word, prayer, worship, and fellowship with other believers. This will give us the proper Spiritual nourishment that our mind, bodies and hearts need!

So consider this, are you a spiritual bulimic? What steps do you need to take to make sure you are getting spiritual nourishment?

Spiritual Anorexia (Col. 1:9-11)

Consider these questions, “Do you starve yourself of Jesus altogether? Do you go weeks and months without seeking Him in prayer, fellowshipping with other Christians, or digging into the Word? ”

I don’t know about you but I have had this experience. I have just gotten away from God. Let me tell you, missing one day of spending quiet time with God can throw you off and that one day can turn into a few days and then weeks. We need to be consistently, daily in the Word of God so that we can come to know Him more. He is our Father! What would happen if you didn’t spend time with your earthly father? You feel like you don’t really know him and you aren’t developing that relationship with him, well that’s the same way it is with God!

Are you a spiritual anorexic? How will you take action and get your spiritual nourishment?

Spiritual Stress Eating

Are you a crisis pray-er who runs to Jesus only when the going gets tough? Do you neglect Him when life is smooth but seek Him with urgency when the road gets rocky?

So many of us struggle with this one, don’t we? We just go to God when things get tough or when we need His help. But is this really growing a relationship with your Heavenly Father? How would you feel if your friend just came to you when they needed help and didn’t talk to you any other time?

So are you a spiritual stress eater? What action will you take to grow in your relationship with God?

Just like physical eating disorders can destroy your body, spiritual eating disorders can keep you from having the kind of relationship with God that God desires for us to have.


Interview with Erin Davis about her life experiences and her book “Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves”.

1. What was your purpose in writing the book “Graffiti”?

“Graffiti” was originally written as a Bible study for a small group of girls I mentored. One of the girls in the group said that she would really like to learn how to feel better about her body. I started doing some research and couldn’t find a resource that approached the issue with the depth and Biblical insight that I knew was necessary. So, I wrote my own study. That six-week study changed my life. It changed the lives of the girls in that small group, and God has been so faithful to multiply that message. Ultimately, my desire is to see young women understand their value from God’s perspective. They can do that by really digging into His Word to see what He has to say about their value. It isn’t as simple as “God loves you just the way you are.” But He does love you, He did create you purposefully, and He does dedicate a lot of time in His Word to assuring you of your value. My purpose is to use those assurances found in Scripture to help girls develop a sense of value that isn’t shaken by the world’s standards or the opinions of others.

2. What has been the biggest struggle in your life and how have you overcome?

“Graffiti” is really the depths of my heart written down for all of the world to read. By far, my biggest struggle has been to see that I have value that isn’t dependent on what I weigh, what I accomplish, or what others think of me. That struggle has manifested in many different ways in my life including destructive relationship patterns, self-hatred, and disordered eating. Even though I accepted Christ at the age of 15, I still spent years battling anxiety and frustration because I didn’t understand my value. It wasn’t until I really began to study the Word of God that I found freedom in this area. It really didn’t matter what others told me about how God saw me, I needed to read it myself. God’s Word truly is living and active. Once I started reading that living Word and discovered all that God says about me, those chains really started falling off.

3. What advice would you give to girls who are struggling with their relationship with God and understanding their worth to Him?

Read His Word, read His Word, read His Word! That seems like a simple solution for me just to say “read your Bible more,” but I truly believe that His Word has the power to free us like nothing else does. Start reading it with the specific intention of learning what it says about you. It is no overstatement to say that from Genesis to Revelation, God declares your value to Him. I would also encourage you to be very careful what alternate messages your allow into your heart. Everyone knows that the World is pushing for a standard of beauty that isn’t real. But that doesn’t keep us from striving for it does it? Obviously we can’t hide in a hole and never see another airbrushed model again. But you can take some steps to guard your heart. Did you know that 70 percent of the women who look at fashion magazines reported feeling depressed, guilty, and ashamed of their bodies after less than five minutes of flipping through the pages of those magazines? Additional research has linked exposure to the unrealistically thin, young, and often airbrushed female bodies consistently portrayed in the media to depression, loss of self-esteem, and the development of eating disorders in women of all ages. That doesn’t seem like harmless entertainment! Make a conscience effort to get rid of as much of the World’s beauty messages as you can. That may mean that some magazines, television shows, or movies need to go, but I promise it is worth it! Finally, I would encourage girls to find a mentor who loves the Lord and can be a truth speaker when they are wresting with something. I have had mentors in my life ever since I came to know Christ and they have had a huge impact in my development of a women seeking to know and please the Lord. Believe it or not, your mom might be a great mentor (she wasn’t always your momma, she has been where you are!) If not, a friend’s mom might be great. Or your pastor or youth pastor’s wife might be a good fit. Just find a woman who is faithfully serving Christ, is committed to the Truth found in His Word and who you wouldn’t mind sharing a few cups of coffee with. And then…get talking!