Thirsty For Christ Thursday

Faithful Fear: Craig’s First Post of 2016

Thursday

It’s our favorite day of the week here at The (Not-So) Newlywed Lefebvres… and I have such a treat for you today!! Craig graciously told me he would write today’s post!! He is such a wonderful man and an amazing spiritual leader for our little family. I loved his insight and I hope you will too!


 

Let’s just start this off quick and to the point. Being a Christian is not easy. If you think it is easy, then chances are you are not doing all of what Christ is asking of you to do.

The most faithful of followers even will admit that following in the footsteps of Christ and doing what we are called to do as Christians is not an easy road. BUT what they also will tell you is that it is a rewarding road – A road that leads to much more than just life for these 80, 90, 100 years we are on this earth. It leads to the most rewarding promise God has – eternal salvation.

While reading through the Bible, I have noticed that in the last few books I’ve read, (Isaiah and Jeremiah) God has asked His people to do some difficult things – things that would definitely make you fearful and that only trust in Jesus will overcome.

In one instance, He  asked King Zedekiah to surrender to the Babylonians. By doing so, God promised to save him & his family and Jerusalem would not be burnt down. (Jeremiah 38:17-18) In the society in which we live, though, surrender seems like defeat. And since Bible times,  not much has changed. As the events go on, out of fear and lack of trust in the Lord, King Zedekiah did not do as he was asked and surrender, and as a result, he and his family died and Jerusalem was burnt. (Jeremiah 39: 6-8)

Shortly before this, Jeremiah was placed into a cistern and left to die at the order of King Zedekiah. Again, the king acted in fear as he did not know what to do with this prophet (Jeremiah) who was foretelling of great destruction to Jerusalem. In retaliation, his officials lobbied to have Jeremiah thrown into the cistern.

Fear can be a bad thing when you are not following Jesus closely and  not putting all trust in Him. HOWEVER, fear also can be a sign of going against the crowd and speaking what Jesus is telling you – A good fear! We see this demonstrated in a man named Ebed-Melch. He was one of King Zedekiah’s court officials. When he heard that Jeremiah had been placed in the cistern and left to starve to death, he spoke up to the king – demanding that Jeremiah be lifted out of the cistern. (Jeremiah 38:9)

To come against a king like this must have brought immeasurable fear into Ebed-Melch! It could cost him everything… Often, when doing what Christ wants, we find that it could cost us what seems like everything. But, we must remember that when we place our trust in Jesus and follow Him in all that we do, losing the  so-called ‘everything’ here on earth, gains us the EVERYTHING of eternal life in Heaven! Later, in Jeremiah 39:15-18, Ebed-Melch gets to hear our Lord tell him he will be saved and rescued for his actions in standing up to King Zedekiah for Jeremiah.

For today, let us focus on standing up for what God says is right. And what the Lord sees as right, is not necessarily what the world dictates or the easiest path to follow. But by following Him, He will always make a way, even when it seems impossible, for His plan to be carried out.

In this story of Jeremiah, all it took for King Zedekiah to change his mind and let Jeremiah live, was for one person to come forward and speak his mind. When we are called to be that one person, I pray that we have courage to trust in Him, and be the Ebed-Melch of today – changing the tide of evil.

You can be assured, through Scripture, that “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be disgraced.” (Rom 10:11) Don’t let fear rise up in you. Trust in the Lord for you will not be disgraced!

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TTC Tuesday

This Isn’t Part Of The Plan!

Tuesday

Have you ever felt God asking you to follow Him…and not wanted to go where He was leading? Have you ever silently prayed, “Lord, really?! This is not part of my plan!!”?

Sometimes we spend so much of our time focused on what we want and what we plan to do in the future that we dream up the most ‘perfect’ scenario…and then are disappointed when God ‘gets in the way’ of our plans and suddenly, things don’t ‘look like’ we assumed they would.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (AMP)

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Lucky for us, as Christians, God is the one in charge and He sees the big picture. Sometimes Most of the time The plans He has for us are always better than anything we could imagine.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT)

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

It’s such a comfort to know that when He interferes our plans, He always has something even better in mind.

If you’re feeling the Lord calling you to do something that wasn’t part of your game plan, maybe that’s all the more reason to be assured it is God leading you. As humans, we have a pretty strong and determined will. When we want something – from the time we are infants – we want it and we want it now. If God is tugging at your heartstrings to go in a direction that you may not have chosen for yourself, a completely unselfish direction, it certainly isn’t a worldly pull.

If you only follow Him, He will take care of you…and He may even have a few surprises in store along the way! As the book of Jeremiah tells us in the passage above, God has not only plans for us, He has GOOD plans. And when we pray to Him, He listens. His rules are there for a reason – to keep His children from harm. And when He guides you, it is to green pastures. He listens to His children. He hears our prayers and gives us a ‘future and a hope’.

Perhaps it isn’t exactly the future you imagined for yourself…but you can rest assured that if you are following the Will of God, it will be better than any plans you had for yourself!

God's Plan

Pray with me:

“Father God, 

I know You are leading me to a brighter future than I could ever imagine for myself. Please instill in me the faith I need to follow You wherever You are leading me – no matter how it is interfering with the plans I have for my life. Help me to love You so much that following You is something I would never question, and always trust.

In Your Precious Name I Pray, Amen.”

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Food For Thought Friday

All That Matters

Friday2

Whoop whoop! We’ve made it to Friday!!! For me, this means that after tonight, I get my husband back at home for the rest of the month, and I can’t wait!!

Now, before I get ready to head to either Boston, Manchester (NH), or just up the road to Portland to pick him up, I wanted to share a little food for thought with you:

Click this Picture For Your Food For Thought!

Now, I don’t know about your political views or stances, and those are your business – not mine, but while the gentleman pictured above, Glenn Beck, can be a controversial political figure, he is also a human, created by God – just like the rest of us.

When I read the above article (You can get there by clicking on the photo!) a few days ago, I wasn’t struck by anything political, I was struck by the awesome power of God. His healing and His guidance is available to each and everyone of us – if we open our hearts and allow Him inside! It’s that simple.

Doctors may tell us it’s all over. Family & friends may say quietly to themselves we are looney tunes. But the fact of the matter is, it’s all irrelevant. What really matters –  The Only Thing That Matters At All – is what our Lord says.

And have you ever stopped and thought, where we would all be if the only one we listened to or followed was Him?

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Thirsty For Christ Thursday

A Porch With A View

Thursday

If you’ve ever asked God to lead you and to work in your life miraculously, you know the warmth that overwhelms your entire being when you recognize His will, follow Him and watch Him work. It is absolutely incomparable to anything else you’ve ever experienced.

Almost a year ago to the day, Craig and I knew we were ready to move on from our house in Dallas. Where were we to go? We had no idea. But we knew it was time for something different. At the time, we figured just another house in Georgia would do, and so we set about looking at the worldly ‘figures’ of how we would make that transition. With the market the way it was, we knew our house needed something to make it stand out from the crowd and with our new addition, Lucy, we decided that something was a fence.

So, we started building. And while it was a great addition for Lucy, and not much later, Caroline, when we finally got around to putting our home on the market, the fence wasn’t enough. We needed something more.

We prayed. We asked for God’s Will to be done. We gave up OUR desires and OUR dreams and OUR “ME ME ME!” attitude, and we asked God to soften our hearts to hear His voice in the matter. It wasn’t long before we ended up at FullTurn Church, where we began to insurmountably grow in our faith, and it wasn’t long thereafter that Craig came to me with the ‘suggestion’ from God that we simply “PACK”.

As you know from previous blogs, we ignored that suggestion – until we absolutely couldn’t let His voice fall on deaf ears any longer, and we packed.

Never in our wildest dreams did we consider God would move us to Maine. But He did.

As I sit on our patio this afternoon, with a cool breeze blowing in my hair, I look out at the steeple and the cross I can see in front of me, and I feel the warmth of His Presence.

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As I sat in my office at St. Bartholomew’s in Cape Elizabeth yesterday, I pondered how will I get everything ready for my youth group in time?!?! And God whispered, “Don’t worry. Follow me. I will show you. I will lead you. I will guide you. Don’t forget, I lead you here for my purpose.”

It is a wonderfully freeing understanding to realize that following Jesus doesn’t mean you are ‘dropped off in an unknown place’ and left to your own devices. It means that as long as you are in His Will, He’s holding your hand.

Isaiah 41:10

10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Sometimes I don’t think we realize just WHO God is. The King of the Universe is your guide – not your horrible boss, or your overbearing ruler. He is both your Creator and your constant companion. Take heart.

Love You All.

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My Choice Monday

Ask & You Shall Receive

Monday

Happy Monday!

Whew! What a weekend! I’m about to fall asleep at my desk, and I have a sneaking suspicion Craig is feeling the same way today! His birthday weekend was AWESOME – but also one of those ‘vacations’ you need a vacation after to catch up! 🙂

Today’s “My Choice” is an answer to many a question we have received regarding FullTurn Church and our attendance there.

Here is a video clip of the Sunday ‘sermon’ a few weeks ago:

Listening to Pastor Alan, I can feel the Holy Spirit leading his message. We truly followed God to this place, and couldn’t be more ecstatic to have our weeks and weekends JAM-PACKED with Christ!

When the Holy Spirit is tugging at your heart, and urging you to do MORE for Him, to seek Him more, to follow Him more closely… you need to listen. It doesn’t matter if you are comfortable in the pew at church you have been sitting in for the past 12 years. He requires of us as Christians to seek Him first and foremost, and where He leads us, there shall we go.

Matthew 6:33

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

 2 Chronicles 7:14

14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Y’all, if you ask for His guidance, He will lead you and He will guide you. There never has to be a decision you have to make alone. No problem or issue is too big or too small for Him.

And on a lighter note…

Lulu’s On Main

This AH-MAY-ZING restaurant in little ol’ Sylva, North Carolina is the definition of a hidden gem. The next time you come to visit us for more than one day, we will drive the 2 hours to have dinner here! There is a great menu for anyone and everyone – including those of us who are gluten-free, or going through a Lenten season of vegetarianism. 🙂 Click the image to be redirected to their website.

Enjoy the rest of your Monday – It’s time for a nap!

xoxo