Author Archives: byhisgrace686

About byhisgrace686

I am a wife, mommy, and a registered nurse who loves Jesus! I have been a Christian for 27 years and no, it has not always been easy. But God has been faithful and kept me all this time! I teach the young adult Sunday school class at my local church, the Kenova Church of God (associated with the church of God out of Cleveland, Tennessee). I am a scrapbooker by heart, and a Pinterest addict by default. I love to read (Lysa TerKeurst, Beth Moore, Max Lucado, Elizabeth George and Karen Kingsbury, to name a few). Studying God's Word is a passion and I just can't get enough of it! That's why I started this blog! I wanted to connect with more people, especially women, in these difficult days while we wait on the return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I am here to encourage, remind, and share what God has done for not only me, but others in my life! Please join me and lets be like Esther and be pleasing in God's sight and find HIS favor...for who knows, maybe He brought us together for "such a time as this!" Esther 4:14

Standing On God’s Word…When It’s Hard to Stand!

Today, I just want to share my heart with you. The past three to four years have been somewhat difficult at best. My husband has been on disability for a back injury and this has taken it’s toll on our whole family. We have been married for 11 1/2 years and when I took the vow “in sickness and in health” I took it seriously. I just never knew how serious it would get. Not the sickness or health, but the marriage and trials that come and try to steal all the love, sweat and tears I would put into my marriage.

Things started getting bad in 2009, when my husband had to have his third back surgery. It was a time in his life that was very trying and painful, not only in the flesh but the spirit. He has suffered depression, medication changes that have about drove him insane, and even suicidal thoughts have invaded his faith driven mind. One thing I believe he has learned is to never say never and don’t judge until you walk in someone else’s shoes. He became angry. Who wouldn’t, right? He became depressed. I know I would. He became quiet and turned inward to try to adapt and deal with his uncharted feelings and thoughts. He turned away from everything he loved and knew to be good in his life. Why? I don’t know. Everyone deals with things differently. Our roles reversed. I was the one going to work. He stayed home with the kids. I had a life outside of the house with work and friends.  He did not. I wanted to work part time and be a wife and mother. That was his job now. He wanted to go to work and be able to work outside mowing the grass, working in the garage, building things, or tearing them down. I was working eight plus hours and then coming home to continue working in the house taking care of our two girls and the monstrous house we had just built. I couldn’t do it all. We both had feelings of resentment. Mine could not be hidden. I became bitter. Not just towards him, but God. I began to question God why. Why is this happening to me?  Why did I wait all those years to marry (I was 34 years old) only to have my husband taken from me 6 years later. I felt as though I didn’t have a marriage, but an legal arrangement that had produced two beautiful girls. After so long, I wanted out. Deep inside I knew that I loved him and wanted our marriage to work, but I couldn’t help but feel that somehow, I could start again. I deserved that didn’t I?  After all, I stayed pure until marriage just like God had commanded. I had been a  Christian since age 17. I was faithful and devoted to my husband and kids. Why was I having to endure this? It wasn’t fair.  Well, that’s when I read something T.D. Jakes said, “Faith isn’t fair.”  Ouch! Jesus was a man. Yes, He was God, but He WAS a man also. He had all the manly feelings, thoughts, and desires. I’m sure He WANTED things in His life. I know He didn’t want to go to the cross if there could possibly be another way. Remember the Garden of Gethsemane?  “Take this cup from me” , He prayed. He also prayed, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”

So, for the past 2 years, I have fought a fight of bitterness, resentment, anger, rejection, and anything else Satan could throw at me. My marriage has been tested. My faithfulness has been tried. My Christian walk has been rocky. I asked a fellow Christian at work to pray for my marriage. I had shared with her that God had spoke to me and said He would restore my marriage. She said to me, “If you had a Word from God, and you are 100% sure, stand on it! ”  God’s word says, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”  Ephesians 6: 12-13.

God has been faithful to His word. Two weeks ago, my husband told me God had been dealing with him about some things and our marriage was one of them. Not only did he apologize with tears and sincerity, but gave a public apology at church. God is mending hurts in my family. Hurts between my husband and I, and hurts that have reached my children. I have seen visible results as well as invisible results. All I know for sure is God is my refuge in storms, my captain in battle, my lifeguard on stormy seas, the light in my darkness, my comforter in sadness, my shield against the devil, the lover of my soul and my kinsmen redeemer. He is the one true God! He is faithful to His word. So, sister and/or brother in Christ, I urge you to STAND on God’s promises to you.  Whether they are spoken or from the bible, stand on it! Believe it! Wait on it! It will come to pass. And remember, my sister and/or brother, worship while you wait!

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DETERMINATION IN SPITE OF TEMPTATION

Good morning ladies! Or for those of you who are no up yetl, good afternoon! I bed you can tell just by reading this blog that I am feeling chipper. Happy and full of joy, right?  WRONG! I am happy and joyful, but only because I am a daughter of the Most High God. I have been doing this study “Made to Crave” with 40,000 women from all over the world and well, let’s just say it has not been easy. See, we were made to crave “something” and that is God! Our desires and needs all stem from a need for a full relationship with our creator. Sadly, we substitue Him for food, success, drug, alcohol, sex, money, fame…get the point? Also, we tend to indulge a little. Now, don’t look so shocked and condemned!  I am in this thing with you. I have had to do some serious soul searching and I realized I am a needy human that is severely starving and CRAVING my creator.  I thought I was good. Ya know?  I thought I had this Christian thing figured out. After all, I have been a Christian for 27 years. I have been saved and filled with Holy Ghost. I have taught sunday school, study the bible like a maniac, love my neighbors, baptized in water, and so on…

Guess what?  I am a deficient Christian. Yep, you heard me right. I have been malnourished for years and didn’t realize it. I crave things. I crave sweets, pasta and bread.  Olive Garden and Panera Bread are on my speed dial. One day, I was at church and I overheard a comment made about someone that had a habit, which I won’t put on here. Anyway, I felt the Holy Ghost quicken my spirit and I suddenly felt condemnation.The kicker is it wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about the person they were talking about. It was about the person talking. God showed me something I have never forgotten and probably won’t ever forget.  He showed me the church (as in His people) are sinning. Yes, we are sinners. We like to sit and point fingers at each other and judge and condemn, but we are guilty of gluttony. We will run people off because they don’t look, act, speak, or dress like we think they ought to. I told the church this one sunday morning. Sin is a sin. Christians love to eat. And if you notice, there are no? Who are we to tell somebody how to live a Christian life? Didn’t Jesus tell the woman that was caught in the very act of adultery to turn around and look for her accusers?  They had dropped their rocks and turned away. They were guilty as well. And I have often thought, how did they catch her?  Were they peeping through windows?  Did they follow her around until she went inside with a man and go in after her and say they caught her?  Very disturbing set of circumstances. Those men were so caught up in condemning her, they didn’t take the time to check themselves and see they were sinning too.

I said all that to say this, we need to be so full of God that when we are faced with temptation, no matter what that may be, we can be strong enough to resist. We need to be determined in spite of temptation. Seeking the Lord for a relationship with Him is our main goal. Not just going to heaven to avoid Hell!  We need to purpose in hearts to make God a priority, He should be first in hearts and on our mind every day, all day long. Our desires and cravings should be for Him.  Determination requires some work on our part. After all, our Lord died for us! Whatever we do here for Him, is the least we could do. For He knows what we go through, He knows what our weaknesses are. He made us to crave things. HIM! If gossiping is a problem you have, then there needs to be more God in you than you in you. Sex, drugs, alchol, food, tobacco, selfishness, laziness, and I could go on all day! We need God more today than ever. And whether you like it or not, believe it or not, He is coming soon to take His people home. We need to be ready. We need to be determined! We have a race to finish, a work to complete before He does. So let me encourage you today in your personal set of circumstances. God knows. God understands. God is merciful. God is waiting. He is waiting on you to just look up and ask to draw closer and closer to Him.  And I promise He will take care of everything for you. You might have to do a little work or suffer a little, but I guarantee that He will and has done, the majority of the work for you. After all, He didn’t ask that you die on a cross or fast fourty days in the desert. He did it for you. All you have to do is trust and believe and stay close to Him until He comes back to take us home.  Until then remember “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” I Corinthians 10:13

Love you more,

Marsha


#StickWithIt

I started this journey with Proverbs 31 Ministries and 22,000 woman (it has grown since then to 24,000) at the beginning of August. I remember hearing Melissa say to get ready, we would be facing some battles since we had stepped out and stepped up to the challenge of saying “yes” to God. That was on a Sunday. On Wednesday, the devil busted down my front door and raided my house! Not literally, but he might as well have. I have fought a battle with Satan that I did not take authority over until yesterday, August 28, 2013. Why? Well, I’m like everyone else. If I ignore him, he will go away. At least that’s what we think most of the times. But the reality is he won’t leave. He just hides behind doors, under beds and in hardened hearts and depressed minds. He tortures your children and chases you around all day laughing while you are pulling out your hair wondering “Lord, why is this so hard right now? Where did this weight of the world come from all of sudden? Why do I feel so tired? How can I commit to this study when I barely have time to breathe?” Sound familiar? Well, it was a reality for me.

My husband has been suffering from chronic back pain for 4 years. He has been on disability for 3 years. He is 41 years old. No longer working at his job as a Social Worker at a local hospital, which he loved. No longer working in the yard, plowing gardens, raking leaves, weed eating and “piddling” as he likes to call it. This young man, married with two beautiful girls, worship leader and piano player is no longer functioning like a normal man his age. Yet everyone around him, including his wife (me) has expected him to carry on at times. It’s been a while and not much is getting better. Actually, if anything, it’s getting worse. He wants to move closer to his aging parents for fear he will end up in a wheelchair and need help from his family. But his aging parents are still aging with health issues of their own. His siblings are scattered. Me and our girls are what he has. I’m not sure anymore if he really wants that either. You see, chronic pain, it does a number on you. It plays tricks on you. Tricks of Satan. He makes you question everything you have and everything you are. So when I started this bible study, this was the perfect opportunity for Satan to kill two birds with one stone. John 10:10 says that Satan comes to kill, steal and to destroy but Jesus came to give us life and give it more abundantly. Satan wants to kill. He is a blood-seeker. He’s after mine right now. I have purposed in my heart to make heaven my home and serve God as long as there is breath in my body. I am praying and claiming healing for my husband. I am putting God first in my life, for He has promised to move mountains for me if I just put Him first in my life. Satan is mad at me!!! But guess what, girls? I’m going to #StickWithIt!!

My husband says husband says he loves me. I doubt it because of actions and words that are hurtful and I’m not placed before others at times. But I took my vows seriously and I am praying deliverance. My marriage is very important to me. I will do whatever it takes to make it work. I’m going to #StickWithIt!!!

My home is beautiful. God has blessed us. Even though there are days I am very tired and I could throw my hands in the air and give up and say I don’t care. This is the life God gave ME! I’m going to do what He has called me to do as a wife and mother. I am going to praise my way through the piles of laundry and dirty dishes. I will claim His promises while mopping the floors and cleaning the toilets. I am a registered nurse and I work 40 plus hours a week. I leave I’m going to #StickWithIt.

This OBS (Online Bible Study) with Proverbs 31 Ministries has been a life saver for me. I thank Him every day for this study. I have drawn closer to God the past few weeks and have become a stronger Christian woman for it. I am focused. My eyes are fixed on God. HE is my number one. HE is everything to me. He is the air I breathe. When all Hell breaks loose and the world is falling down around me, He shelters me under the shadow of His wings and keeps me safe. He has NEVER let me down. He has ALWAYS answered my prayers. Even when I didn’t like the answer, I still got one!! I don’t deserve Him. He is the love of my life and I finally realize NO ONE can love me like He does. He is so worth it. I could have called it quits many times during this study with all the stress and interruptions and aggravations I have faced. But I said #YesToGod and I’m going to #StickWithIt!!


Wholly Committed

(Singing) To be like Jesus. To be like Jesus. All I ask is to be like Him. All through life’s journey, from earth to glory. All I ask is to be like Him!”

So many today have American Idols, Pop Icons, and other famous wanna be’s. I will admit there was a time I wanted to be like someone famous. I wanted a different life. A different name and definitely a different body! But when I realized that God made me special for a reason, a purpose that only I could complete, I became satisfied with who I was. I was made to serve Him! I was made to be a nurse to make people who were suffering have a little better day. I was made to be a mommy to my McKenna and Madison and love, teach, and nurture them into adulthood. I was made to be a teacher of the Word of God. He put these desires in my heart for a reason, after all. I didn’t pursue these on my own. God planted the seed and birthed these in me. However, I have a confession. I wasn’t “wholly committed” when these came about. I was ready to receive, but not ready to give my all. I love my children and being their mommy is the best thing in this world. I love being a nurse and it has given me a purpose in life that I think has really completed me on many levels. But committed to God? Why, yes. I got saved when I was seventeen. Committed. Really? Well, uh, yes. . Really? I don’t know. Really? Well, maybe not like I thought I was. OUCH! That really hurts to admit. Hurts my flesh and my spirit. How did I not know this? Simple. LIFE. Life gets in the way of so much. Especially our relationship with God. We are human and on this sinful earth. We get caught up in our daily activities and the world that surrounds us and consumes us that we don’t realize that we are not wholly committed to God.
This is where I found myself a few years back. I realized that God was not number one in my life. Oh, I said He was, but He really wasn’t. My job was. My kids were. My house was. My marriage was. EVERYTHING else was BUT God! I loved Him. But I didn’t want to be “wholly committed”. You see, that would require committment and a lot of work and effort and that wears me out. Right? Wrong! What wears me out is running from the calling of God!! God has called me to share His Word with others. I am doing that many ways now. I do bible studies with the women at my church (which God is calling me to do again soon), He has called me to start this blog with women on my facebook page and hopefully with women I haven’t even met yet. He has called to teach the Sunday school and I do that with the Young Adults at my church. He has called me to LOVE Him and tell everyone that He is coming soon. Sooner than anyone thinks and to get ready! GET READY!! Did you hear that? Get ready for Jesus is coming for His bride! Not a girl who wants a casual relationship, but one that is wholly committed to Him and Him alone! I am. Are you?


Trust Walk

049Have you ever had to walk blind folded while someone lead you around? It is so hard not to peek! What if you trip over something? What if you run into something? And worse of all, what if you fall? Well, folks, God sometimes requires us to take what I call “faith walks” with Him. We have no idea where we are going and we can’t see the obstacles in the way until we are right up on them. But think about the ones that God moves BEFORE we get to them. You know, the big ones that can cause great damage, or worse, our demise. Yet we still complain about what’s around us, in front of us and yes, behind us! Why worry? The past is the past. God has forgiven that if it was a sinful one for you and if not, then hopefully you learned the lesson He wanted you to learn. What’s around you doesn’t matter. God is greater. We all know that! So why worry about the future? What’s in front of us is there and there is nothing WE can do to change that. We have to rely on God for taking care of us and removing the obstacles that get in our way. Some obstacles He leaves on purpose to test our strength, agility and endurance. Yes, He will test us. But, guess what the good news is? He wants us to rely on Him to pass the test too. And if we fall or fail? It’s ok. He helps us up and try again…with His help! Trust Him. Walk with Him. Have faith in Him! #He’sGotThis!!!


God’s Got This

God's Got This

There is nothing too hard for God. Leave it with Him.


#SayWhat

Ok. Just this week I had a #SayWhat moment! As I was reading Lysa’s book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, I came across  something that made my mind turn around and say to God, “Say what, God?  Uh….Yes, Lord.  I remember….”  On page forty seven in bold letters it says “A WHOLE AND PURIFED HEART”. I didn’t think much about it, but then I read the scripture from Malachi 3:1-3 that followed it. To summarize, this is a prophecy regarding John the Baptist and how he went before Christ and prepared a way for Him. The part that spoke to my heart was “No we are the messengers who are called to prepare people for Jesus’ second coming. God wants to purify our whole heart so we are prepared and mature for our calling”.

OUCH!!  #SayWhat??  Yes, Lord.  I remember… I was on my way home from work and the Lord spoke to my heart and told me that I was going to see some changes in our country. He said “the winds of change are coming. I will sweep across this land and only those who are in the shadow of my wings will be protected. Tell everyone you see that I am coming and it is sooner than you think. Tell them to get ready!! For I AM COMING!”

I am ashamed to say, I have only told a few, and mainly on facebook and social media sites. My face to face message has suffered. He told me not to worry for He will take care of my job, my home and my family. To me, that is a promise of protection. So why haven’t I done it?  I wish I could answer.  Laziness?  Afraid?  I’m really not sure. Maybe I have been too busy that it hasn’t entered my mind. This is what I am thinking and this is the scariest of all.  How can I be too busy for the one who made me, saved me, and is one day coming back for me? How can I not do what He says after ALL He has done for me and through me? I put the book down and I felt shame. Conviction. But thanks be to God that lead me to Melissa Taylor and Proverbs31.org and I have had this study to encourage me, remind me, and strengthen me for the calling that God has given me. It is a monumental task. You may think no, it’s not. All you have to do is tell people about Jesus and that He is coming back and to go to church and get ready.  But I see it this way…God has given me a job to tell EVERYONE I see that Jesus is alive in Heaven, loves and forgives all they have done and wants them to come live with Him forever. All they have to do is Ask, Believe, and Confess! If I don’t tell someone, then I could be the reason they miss heaven!!  Please remember me in your prayers as I move forward, and ask God for His favor. Because just like Esther, He has brought me to this place, for “such a time as this!” Esther 4:14


Yes To God

Yes To God

Are you willing to say “yes” to God? Are you ready to do whatever He asks of you? It’s a serious moment with the one who made you, saved you, called you and one day, is coming back for you!


First Blog Ever!

I know I should be sleeping, but I’m really excited to get this blog started! Yes, I teach Sunday school in the morning and yes, I will be extremely tired tomorrow, but isn’t that what Sunday’s are for, resting? I am sure I will see a nice nap in my future tomorrow!
I first want to welcome you to my blog, ByHisGrace! For truly, if it wasn’t for God’s grace and what all He has done for me, I truly don’t know where I would be. I shutter to think about it! I am currently doing an Online Bible Study (OBS) with Proverbs 31 Ministries and Lysa TerKeurst. It is called “Yes To God” and I have to say I am just beside myself as I have progressed and finished week one! #YesToGod
I invite you to visit http://Proverbs31.org and click on the Online Bible Study link and see what’s going on! Over 120 countries and around 22,000 woman from all over the world are doing this study together! Can you say, “AWESOME”?
I will leave you with one thought for my first blog. This really caught my eye and touched my heart when I read this one week ago when I started this #YesToGod study. If you are to hand someone something, and they are to take it from you, aren’t their palms facing upwards towards the heavens in order to receive it from you and be able to hold to it and keep it from falling or them from losing it? The same applies for when God has something to give us! We are to have our palms of our hands facing heaven when we are praying in order for God to give us what He wants us to have. We need to “receive” our blessings, our callings, and our assignments, if you will. So this week I encourage you to have your #palmsup when you are praying so you can receive the answers to your prayers or #whatever God has for you!

I love you more,
Marsha


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