should christians date nonchristians?

Should christians date nonchristians?

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The same moon.

Dear N, 

Remember when …

we both looked up at the sky from different places and saw the same moon? You were on one side of the island, and I was on another. And we saw the very same moon. 🙂 Big, bright, beautiful. It glowed in the sky and shone so brightly that if it had breath, I could feel it breathe on me.

How close I felt to you, dear one, as we considered life and love and relationships and what we deserved. It was a magical moment. So filled with joy, I didn’t know what to do with myself but sing out to you through the night sky and wonder if you could hear my voice from a faraway distance. 

Can you hear me? Do the vibrations of my voice carry through the noise and the hustle, the bustle. Did my words make it all the way to your ears, entering into your stream of consciousness, one at a time, formulating phrases and sentences that hopefully demonstrated how much you mean to me.

Can you hear me now? As I reminisce on the times we gallivanted through the picturesque streets of West Side and contemplated what it would be like to date different people and end up in different places. You were living in that mansion at the time, and I, on the island. What beautiful times. What beautiful memories; like of your little lime tree growing in the open room. Or was it a lemon tree? 

N, I think of you often and wonder what it would be like if time travel were possible; what I would have said to you, or not have said. The time I pretended to smoke pot with you instead of telling you that I didn’t want to do it anymore. 

I saw that same moon tonight. The same exact moon, only a little bit older. The moon doesn’t change. It’s the same one that comes every single night faithfully and can be seen from all over the world. 

Beautiful. Magical. Accessible. I wonder why God created the moon? If not to make me feel closer to you and closer to Him. Those two reasons are good enough in themselves.

Goodnight Moon. 

<3

 

Joy

The difference between happiness and joy is this: happiness is fleeting and joy is a state of being.

By the power of the Holy Spirit I can remain joyful throughout any situation. No matter how many fiery darts are flying in my direction; darts of disappointment, discouragement, disdain, detestation (wow, this is a word… I like it!!! even though it means “intense dislike” hhahah 🙂 )

As the darts roll in, I can let them roll off. My back, that is.

How?

Because of the knowledge of the Truth that I am in Christ Jesus and was bought by His blood when He died on the cross 2k years ago. I trust Him with my life, and know that I stand victorious with Him against any schemes that the enemy might conjure up.

So. That being said.

I’m at an interesting time in my life. I am still working as a private, in-home caregiver. I also just started a new endeavor doing direct sales. Direct sales can be discouraging if I choose to focus on the outcome of my reach-outs. What I mean by this is simple: rejection.

Nobody likes to be rejected… but if you are working in direct sales, you have GOT to get used to rejection. Not everyone is going to like the products, want the products. Some people may even get nasty. But I know this to be true: the war is not against the flesh and blood, but in the spiritual realm. So when people take out their negativity and hatred on me, I must choose to look past it and believe that (1) it ain’t about me (2) it certainly ain’t about vegan, chemical-free, anti-aging shampoo and skincare (this is what my company offers! <3 ) and (3) I have a real opportunity to shine the light of Christ to each individual through my response to people.

Notice I said “response” and not “reaction”.

A person’s emotional intelligence (EI) can be observed through the way they deal with certain situations. When someone is being difficult, I could mirror back their pettiness and anger to them (as they might expect me to do), or I could treat them with love, compassion, and forgiveness and choose to focus on listening to them and helping them in whatever capacity. This is not to say that we should be rugs.

Don’t be a rug. Repeat: do not be a rug. I don’t want anyone to enable anyone. We are not to be enablers of bad or rude behavior.

But loving? Yes. We should all always be loving. I will listen to you. Even if you come at me from a horrible angle. Because I KNOW that it isn’t about me. Whatever work the Lord has me doing is for my sanctification, His glory, and for the sharpening of other people; be it shedding light in a dark place, encouraging others when they feel alone, enhancing somebody’s life by simply entering into their life.

Being a child of God is a big responsibility! But God didn’t leave us to do it alone. We are empowered by His Holy Spirit.

One of my favorite prayers is this: “Lord, please redirect me if I need to be redirected. Thankyou for always leading me down your path of righteousness. Lord, please line up my will with yours, and kill my desire for anything that isn’t in your will for my life. I want to live according to your design. I want to live life to the full, through the lens of grace.”

Something like that.

<3

No two prayers are ever the same. None of that ritualistic stuff. I talk to God like I talk to any other person. Openly, honestly, with transparency, authentically. For God knows the words we’re going to speak before we even think them. Isn’t that amazing? Psalm 139 says “even before a word is on my tongue, you know it altogether”.

Lord, you knew that I was going to write this post this morning. You knew that I wanted to go to the early service but then I got held up … and this is the result of that. Lord, I pray that this post and these words blesses somebody. I pray that these words were exactly what somebody needed to hear today. Lord, I thank you for your presence with me right now. Thank you for the opportunity to do laundry this morning. I thank you for my car. I pray that you help me travel safely. Thank you for being able to worship today. Thank you for my lunch meeting. Thank you for the afternoon meeting. Lord help me make good use of my time later. Thank you for my sabbath this weekend. Thank you for restoring me. Your presence is so sweet. Thank you for teaching me how to choose you. Thank you for instilling within me the desire to seek you. I need you. I NEED YOU. Not only do I need you, but I WANT YOU. Do I believe you when you tell me that you’re the lover of my soul? That you love me with an everlasting love? When love is in the air, I just want to HEAR from the person. I can’t wait to SEE the person. I can’t wait to COMMUNE with the person. I VALUE and RESPECT the person. I want this with you. 

I want to hear from you.

I want to see you.

I want to commune with you. 

I value you. I respect you. I trust you. 

<3

<3

<3

Whatever your vessel is that God has given you to work in, lead in, be a part of, perform in it for His glory. For HIS glory. For God sees the heart. He knows our motives. Do you trust Him?

<3

xxx

V

Relief

Oh my goodness. What a relief it is to know you Lord.

You’re IT. You’re what gives me purpose. You’re the missing link. The missing piece.

You answer the “why” that I’m looking for.

Why am I here?

Why am I alive?

What’s the point?

How do I live in this jacked up world?

How do I survive?

How do I forgive people?

How do I take care of myself well?

How do I say “no” to doing and saying things that hurt me and others?

How?

 

You kept me awake all night the other night. I kept waking up, lurching forward out of a dream. A nightmare. I was in the passenger seat of a car and we were driving too fast. There wasn’t enough time to brake.

I kept waking up out of this dream and lurching forward to almost sitting straight up.

I know what You were trying to tell me. Hit the brakes. HARD. Turn around. Better yet,

get.

out.

of.

the.

car.

I’m in the wrong place, with the wrong person, heading in the wrong direction. And if I don’t hit the brakes, we’re both going to crash.

I knew that was You speaking to me through a dream. And people say You don’t speak through dreams. Ha

People say a lot of things

people say

people say

“people say”

it doesn’t matter what people say. It’s just words. But YOU, Your Word. When YOU speak…. we MUST pay attention.

 

Lord… 

Thank you that you know my heart and you love me the same. Thank you for the gift of conviction and the gift of knowing You and hearing from You. Thank you for calling my name and speaking to me. Thank you for redirecting me. Thank you for capturing my attention. Thank you for not leaving me alone to make bad decisions that I’ll later regret. Thank you for wanting me to look more like Christ and less like me. Thank you for properly posturing my heart to desire You. To love You. To not just modify my behavior on the outside for PEOPLE but to earnestly seek to love you with every cell in my body. 

Help me trust You with every detail. Help me not settle for the wrong car, for the wrong person, for the wrong trip, for the wrong direction. For the wrong motives. For the wrong outcomes. For selfishness. For personal gains. For thrill seeking. Lord I thank you that every thing you created is good… but it isn’t always the right time or place to enjoy Your creation. Thank you for allowing me to enjoy so much of my every day life. You didn’t have to do that. From the time I wake up in the morning to the time I go to bed; I love my life. 

I love my life.

I love this life.

There are parts I want to change.

I am actively working on changing those parts.

There are parts that can’t change right now or maybe never.

I am actively working on accepting those parts. Even if that means giving them up again and again on the daily.

All we can do is the next right thing.

We must focus on the next right thing. We mustn’t focus on what’s lacking.

For the Lord is my shepherd, and I shall. not. want.

xxx

<3

V

Stillness

I’ve thought about you about 1,000,000 times.

About about.

What are we going on about?

I feel like a shout.

Shouting.

No, actually, no. I don’t.

I’ll remain quiet over here.

Though I wonder if I’ll hear your voice today.

I wonder if you actually expected me yesterday or if you were just …

being polite.

Actually, no. I don’t think you were. I trust that you wanted me around. But maybe you didn’t think it through.

Because after I had arrived… you didn’t seem to notice whether I was there or not.

I’m not good at those sorts of things, you know.

Walking into situations where I’m not totally comfortable or not totally secure by myself.

Going with the flow. I want someone to paint me a picture of the flow. I would like a hand-painted copy of the flow-chart of whatever situation I’m entering into so that I know exactly what I need to do or say with every happenstance. I want to be prepared and equipped. I want to feel safe and secure.

There’s so much newness here. So much newness.

Not much of a foundation.

The flow has been going but seemingly in 1,000 different directions. It’s like a fire hydrant that’s erupting water every which way. I feel like a loner with a bucket who’s contemplating collecting some of the water but it seems easier to stand a ways away and not make a move.

Aways away.

What are we doing anyways?

You are like an ant building a kingdom; picking up piece after piece of dirt and carrying it from one place to the next to construct the work of art that you painted in your head. I’m wondering if I have a place there. I’m wondering if I should partake in that. You’ve invited me in, yes. But do I want to come in?

“He’ll be busy, you know” a friend told me. A wise friend who’s been around the track a few times.

It’s funny (I guess) how relationships bring out all sorts of insecurities. Vulnerabilities. Weaknesses. Issues you may not have known you had. They all float up to the surface. Though I know without a SHADOW OF A DOUBT that timing is everything.

Time.

I wish I didn’t have a clock right now. I’m glad I don’t have one of the ones that tick every second. I feel as though I already hear a ticking clock in the background of my mind.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

60. That makes up one minute. I admit, I didn’t type all of those out. I typed out the first 12 and then copied and pasted the last 48. Hahha

A lot can happen in 60 seconds.

An uncomfortable conversation that makes or breaks a relationship.

Many people talk about “split-second decisions”. I’m not good at those. I’m cautious. I think I’m the steady one. I’m the overthinker. I’m the one that contemplates things from all angles. I’m the one who researches products for months before purchasing them.

Meanwhile, you’re over here living in the moment. Living by the moment.

I want to do this too but I’m scared. Good thing is…

DRUM ROLL PLEASE

I’m not alone.

I trust God.

I trust His leading.

I trust His guiding.

I trust His outline.

I trust His Word.

I trust His timing.

I trust His will.

I trust His ways.

I trust His thoughts.

I trust Him.

I know God’s got me. He’s my anchor. My rock. My solid ground. My sword. My shield.

Nothing formed against me shall stand. No weapon.

🙂

So as I sit. As I wait. As I idly anticipate.

As my mind races, whatever I face

I’m warm in His embrace.

His Spirit leaves no trace

of doubt, of fear; it disappears

I’m complete. I’m full. I’m whole. I’m here.

He’s near. I’m free. I’m exactly who He created me to be.

Velvet.

Just Velvet.

I’m going to just be… Velvet.

There’s only one of me.

And I’m free…

I’m free.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~

Did you know that you’re free too?

xxx

<3

V

I Want to Encourage You

Hey brothers and sisters.

I just wanna take a minute to encourage you.

Whatever you’re going through is going to come to an end eventually. You might have to fight long and hard for a while, but you’re going to get through it.

Maybe you won’t have to fight hard the whole time, but you may have to fight for a long time.

People might be hating, and they might not want you to get by. They might want to crush you with their actions and their words. They might want to exclude you. They might spread lies about you and try to turn others against you.

You’ve got to focus on the Truth about who you are.

You are a child of God.

You were created in God’s image.

You were created with a purpose.

There is only one of you and only you are equipped to do what God has equipped YOU to do.

You were not created by mistake.

There are NO flaws in your design.

You have strengths.

And yes, you have weaknesses.

Know them. Know and understand your strengths and weaknesses so that you know where and when to seek help. Know your weaknesses so you don’t keep getting discouraged over and over again.

Give yourself time to grow.

Be patient with yourself.

And in turn, be patient with others.

Be patient, even with those that are out to get you. Be patient with the ones that think seeing you fall would benefit them or elevate them in some way.

These are all lies from the evil one. He is out to divide, kill and destroy.

Don’t let him.

When we control our thought lives, we are finally free. When we take every thought captive to Christ, we can see God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they see God”.

When those impure thoughts come in, when those lies start pouring in-whether it be from your own mind or the poisonous minds of those toxic individuals in your life- take those thoughts captive:

as in, put those thoughts in CHAINS and present them to the Living God.

Ask God: Lord, give me eyes to see any Truth in this thought. If it is not of you, cast it away. Rid my mind of it. Demolish it. Burn it, shatter it, crush it, and take it. Lift if off of my mind.

But Lord, if there IS any Truth in it, help me embrace it. Help me change. Help me repent of any way that isn’t of you.

Let’s always humble ourselves and be ready to receive from others. Nobody has it all figured out. God uses His people to sharpen other people.

“As iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another”.

Let us be open to constructive criticism, sanctification, and growth.

Let us always be striving to be Christlike. Let us be flexible and prepared to change. Let us be willing to change and sacrifice things, and give up our own preferences or desires for the preferences and desires of others.

We’re all on this journey together to know God and love Him and enjoy Him. Let’s remember that every person that God created should be able to do these things too. Other people aren’t the real enemy. Satan is the real enemy.

Don’t get me wrong, there are hard-hearted people. There are EVIL people. There are hateful people. But let’s remember to put on the lenses of the bible to help us see past the humanness and into the spiritual. Nobody is too far past God’s grace and the free gift of salvation. And while there is breath, there is hope.

So I challenge you:

when they start tearing you down

when they start leaving you out

when they start talkin smack

when they start hatin

when they start beratin

when they start inflatin themselves

humble yourself

acknowledge the grace that God gave you that enables you to see the truth

that enables you to see Him in all of His glory

that enables you to choose God’s way and live a life free of guilt and condemnation

and pray

rise above your selfishness and self-centeredness and taking-things-personally-ness and pray for them

they are the ones that need the prayers

we all need the prayers, don’t get me wrong

but they especially need the prayers

because once you know God

you know love

because God is love

and real love is not out to divide and destroy and push others out the way so you can get to the top

real love lays down one’s life for one’s friends

real love goes last, and lets others go first

real love patiently waits for others in hopes that they will catch up and spiritually see eye to eye

real love

God is real love

GOD BLESS Y’ALL

xxx

<3

V

“Hard-to-love” people

Some people are hard to love.

Some people do whatever they can so that you won’t try to love them anymore.

Some people… hate you and mock you and persecute you and treat you illy.

People you’ve known for years.

Some people expect you to fail and are rooting for that; to build themselves up.

Some people are so dissatisfied with themselves and their lives that they don’t know how to celebrate with others.

Some people are jealous.

Some people proclaim to live one way and live a completely different way.

Some people’s social media accounts reflect one personality, while in person another person is seen.

I love beautiful autumn!

So what shall we do about these people in our lives?

The people we see week after week; sometimes multiple times in a week.

The people we can’t help but be involved in one some level.

Jesus says to love them. Bear with me here.

Let’s talk about what real love looks like.

 

Real loves says…

 

I will never leave you nor forsake you.

 

Nothing you can do will separate you from my love.

 

While you were still a sinner, I loved you.

 

I will lay down my life for you.

 

I forgive you for wanting me dead and gone.

 

I count you as worthy because you are a human being created in God’s image.

 

Worthy of time, attention, being heard.

 

Worthy of my help.

 

Real love bears burdens and pushes forward.

 

Real love doesn’t keep records of the wrong things people have done against me.

 

Real love chooses to forgive.

 

To know God is to know love, because God is love.

God helps believers to love others through the power of His Holy Spirit.

I think all of us have at least one person in our lives that is hard to love. A family member, friend, perhaps your spouse or child. We must learn to love them. We must give them the time and attention that we would want to be given. We must forgive their shortcomings and pray for God’s grace in their life to continue to change them into Christlikeness. And while we’re at it, pray for ourselves that God would complete the good work that He has begun in US. Ask God to show you in what ways YOU need to change.

Dear Lord, thankyou that you are over all things, in all things and through all things. Thank you that you have gone before me and laid down all of my steps. Thank you that you know the thoughts in my head before I think them and that you love me the same. Lord I thank you that You love others through me. Please give me the patience and the grace of Jesus as I walk through places with people that are so hard to love. Lord I thank you that you didn’t give up on us. That you continue to love your people despite our shortcomings and straight up rebellion towards you. Change the attitude of our hearts to love you wholeheartedly and to bring all things under your reign. Father I thank you that your way is the only way to life and life to the full. Thank you for sharing this truth with me. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now please help me love people. 😛 Amen.

xxx

<3

V

“I refuse to check my fbook one more time”

She says adamantly. While contemplating the hypothetical relationship she invented in her head.

She takes another bite of her perfectly-ripe pear and chews slowly with slightly widened eyes.

I wonder if he added me yet. Or if he saw my message. Oh dear, I hope he accepted me! Why wouldn’t he accept me? Is it because I gave him the cold shoulder last night? Why am I so weird to people when I have a crush on them?

She got up and walked over to the mirror, looking at her own reflection. She saw her freckles and long, brown hair and bright blue eyes and smiled at herself. One of those school-picture smiles with no real emotion in it that one would give the photographer when he says “cheese!”. Essentially bearing ones’ teeth. Awkward.

Or maybe he hasn’t seen it yet. Maybe he’s one of those people that checks their social media once a day. Or once a week. Hmm. Even if he doesn’t accept my request, which he will, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. But then there’s the message I sent… 

All of the sudden she realized what she was doing. Living in the hypotheticals was something she promised herself she would stop doing. Living in fear or possible rejection was something she had declared she was “done” with. She had decided to live her life.

And right at that moment…

When she let go of the need to hear from this person…

He messaged her.

AYyyyyyyyyy

Okay. This story was about me, I admit it.

😀 😀 😀

TO BE CONTINUED!

xxx

<3

V

why is it hard to say i miss you

It shouldn’t be so hard.

But I guess you don’t miss me.

Though your actions suggest that you do.

Your words (mostly) suggest that you do.

You notice that I was “miss”-ing.

Though you couldn’t say the words

I miss you

Haste makes waste. I’m always saying this stinkin’ phrase. But then I want everything to happen within a certain time frame.

I do it to myself. HURRY UP HURRY UP

Oh God, why is this way in me?

I guess I’m conditioned to think that if at first you don’t express yourself the way that makes me feel loved, I fear you never will. But love grows

love grows

and we learn to love people properly.

“I’m just not a loving person” someone says.

We learn to love.

Not everyone feels loved the same way, so we must learn to love them the way they need to be loved.

Just like I shouldn’t expect someone to tell me the words that I want to hear. I want to hear that I was missed. I want to hear that it was you that missed me. I want you to be bold enough to say it.

But maybe you aren’t ready. And I can’t force you to say it. I don’t WANT to force you to say it. I just can’t help comparing you to others in the past. The way they said exactly the right words. The way they loved and made me feel special. The way they knew how to love.

I am missing it. That’s why we aren’t supposed to awaken love until its’ proper time. But I thought those more recent times were the appropriate times to

 

I found this in my drafts. I read someone else’s blog post about a draft they found, so I thought I’d share this one. Cheers! <3 xoxo V

Young Love

is what he called the bunch of beautiful flowers that arrived on my doorstep yesterday afternoon

“Young love” were the only two words that came to his mouth when he saw the clear ovular glass vase overflowing with roses, irises, another tiny purple flower and greenery

Young love

The implications behind these two words are many. Perhaps these are a few

Young people

Short duration

Affection

Infatuation

Emotion

Excitement

Hope

Hope. Is that what I’m holding onto?

Maybe. Possibly. Is that so wrong?

I don’t think so. Real love is never wrong. Legitimate selfless, unconditional love.

But that’s the problem here. The love is young.

In fact, it’s SO young that it’s under condition.

No vows or proposals have been made.

In fact, the relationship is under construction. The site is closed off. There’s currently nothing really to see, and nothing to show. Walls are being knocked down. The floor has been ripped up. The doors are hanging off their hinges. The electricity is still hooked up but no appliances are on. Except one small light.

A small light is on and yesterday it grew brighter. Before yesterday it was a flickering bulb, but today the light is brighter. It’s not flickering anymore, and it’s revealing some of the work that’s being done on the site of the relationship.

Progress has been made. There’s still a lot of work to do, but progress has been made.

The site is your heart and the light is my hope.

Though I realize that storms are unpredictable in this life. A storm could blow through at any time and take literally everything. All the work that has been accomplished could be destroyed. It could all be taken in an hour.

So I offer this young love up to God. And I ask Him:

Lord, I trust in You completely. I trust in your sovereign plan. Thank you for looking out for me. Thank you for giving me good gifts. Thank you that all good gifts come from you, because you are good. You turn my darkness into light. You reveal what I need to work on. You make me better. So now I ask you Lord, to guide my steps. I ask you to reveal to me the words I should say, the steps I should take, the choices I should make. Show me where I ought to spend my time; where I should invest my heart and emotions. Thank you Lord for working all things together for good for those who love you. I love you and am ever grateful for your mercy. Thank you for always working… and never tiring… thank you for your long suffering over my faults. Thank you for your grace and desire to communion with me. Thank you for teaching me how to love with a love that doesn’t fail or give up when things are hard. Thank you for not writing me off <3

xxx

V