What are the qualifications?

If you’ve read any of my blogs you are well aware I was not raised a Christian.  Your also well aware that I did not start believing in God until a few years ago and began in Youth Ministry a year after I was saved by the Lord.  The journey has been beautiful, insane, crazy and incredible.  When I first felt a call into being a youth pastor I first asked God, “what are the qualifications?”  In fact, I think I asked many people, “how can I feel this call with NO qualifications?”

  

 God doesn’t call the equipt, he equips the called.

Someone recently read me that quote and I can’t think of a better quote to try and explain what God has put on my heart this week.  I have recently been doing a Bible Study on Jonah with one of my great friends, and this week she touched on something that brought all the hallelujahs and amens right out of my soul.  She talked about the Holy Spirit.  For any non-believers reading this, and yes, I believe you are because I would read stuff like this too and scoff the entire time at the ridiculous comments BUT I urge you to read this one through.  

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38

The gift of the Holy Spirit Peter said.  What a beautiful, incredible, amazing gift we are GIVEN by God when we repent and accept Him as Lord.  If you’ve been given the gift of the Holy Spirit YOU ARE QUALIFIED.  This was and still is the most difficult part of this call on my life to be a Pastor.. What are the qualifications?

JESUS TOLD US all we needed to know!  We are given the gift of the Holy Spirit so that God may do HOLY work through us!  We have the living God INSIDE OF US!  

Today, STOP asking God if you are qualified.  Stop feeling like you aren’t good enough.  Stop asking God if He is sure when it is YOU that are unsure in your Faith if you doubt who He is calling.

“Forgiveness of past sins qualify you for present service” – Pricilla Scrier Jonah Study week 3

Do you realize that?  Do you fully accept God in your life?  Then ACCEPT that you are forgiven and that you are qualified. 

 Quit asking God if He is sure and start telling God you are ready.  

What are your qualifications Lord?  No.  What are my duties Lord?

  

You can’t really have chosen me Lord..could you?

Your testimony matters.  To someone. To everyone. Someone, somewhere needs to hear your testimony.  Don’t ever stop sharing it.

Psalm 34:18
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit

  
*DISCLAIMER: if you are a drinker, a smoker, a broken woman or man, whoever or whatever you are or do I will NEVER judge you, ever. This is MY story, not a writing of judgement and hate*

The photos above were pictures of my life about three years ago.. I spent many nights with alcohol, & sin.  I was diagnosed with depression (anyone who knows me now wouldnt believe that), I was sick constantly and battling migraines all the time, I was unmotivated, pushing 270 lbs, doing the bare minimum in life to get by, and my priorities were so out of whack I bearly ever saw my family or siblings.  

I was introduced to Herbalife (cue God).  I started getting my health in order and felt amazing and slowly started changing my life.. Obviously didn’t cut the drinking but cut down, lost weight, got off meds, and discovered motivation.  My husband (fiancé at the time) and I decided we wanted to open a nutrition club, but for some crazy reason we kept getting denied at our Sylvania and Toledo locations (thank you God).  We randomly get a call one day that my friend from college parents had a space we could use but it was in Dundee, MI.  “What the heck is in Dundee???” I asked Tyler and he responded, “no clue but let’s do it”!  We did just that (thanks again God).  21 years of bad decisions and a life of sin BUT I saw a light as we opened our business in this small village of Dundee.  I continued to drink and make stupid choices that I don’t think are super important but my life continued on a path where I was still lost but there was a light at the end of the tunnel.  Then my husband and I met a couple who came into our nutrition club in this small town of Dundee.  This couple laughed with us, got to know us, and spent time with us.  A few weeks into our new friendship the husband explained he was a Pastor in the area. 

HOLD IT

My Faith then: who the heck is God? A fake, imaginary character you all make up in your mind to judge and be nasty to anyone unlike you.  Religion is a joke and your God Is a complete figment of your imagination. 

   Although I felt VERY STRONGLY about my Atheist viewpoint on Religion I decided they were too nice of people to shut out over differences in opinion so we continued to be friends.  Eventually they invited me to their church just to try it out, my husband and I talked and decided because he believed it wasn’t fair for me to rule that part of our marriage and we would go.

   I couldn’t tell you what Pastor Jeff preached on that week but I remember it made me feel weird.  It made me wonder and question my beliefs.  I walked out of that church wondering what having Faith truly meant and my life would never be the same.  I met with Jeff almost daily as we studied scripture and dove into the Bible.. I immediatly wanted what he had.  This secure, strong belief in something that he knew was so real. I wanted the fulfilling life he seemed to lead and the impactful man he was, was the woman I aspired to be.  I never stopped asking questions, but I had the hardest time  believing what he was teaching and telling me.  Here is what you need to know:  

I spent 22 years not believing in God and claiming to be an Atheist.  I spent 22 years believing in nothing. I spent 22 years disconnected from my creator.  

  I started attending church because of a RELATIONSHIP God created and I continued to go because of the curiosity he laid on my heart.  It was not easy.  I spent so many nights crying in bed praying to this God I still couldn’t believe in.  I cried out begging for Faith.  I cried out pleading with God.. “please Lord, give me Faith and give me a heart and mind to believe in you because I want to but I just can’t”.  No matter what I did or what I prayed I still didn’t believe the Bible I was reading and one day, a few months later, sitting in the pews at the Dundee Community Church of the Nazarene God saved my soul.  God grabbed ahold of me like no passion or love I had ever felt before in 22 years.

This testimony is MY story.  This is what God did in my life.  I share this because of my current situation.. I spend days and nights sometimes worried that there is no way God called me into this ministry.  There is NO WAY God chose me to preach His word, teach these kids, or be this woman for His people.  Then I realize that is Satan still creeping in my life.  I remember that it is my testimony that it is proof of His grace and redemption.  It is a story just like mine.. One of a broken woman with a broken past saved in Christ, born into a New Creation to change His world and serve His people that inspires others to believe in Him.  I don’t share my testimony because I am perfect or complete.. I share my story because I am one of millions.  I share this because God didn’t just chose me.. He wants you too.  Even you reading this means He is crossing our paths and there is a reason.  

Psalm 34:18 — The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

The Lord saved me.. He restored my broken pieces & lit a fire in my soul.  The Lord is using me and will continue to use me because that’s exactly who he uses.  Do not let ANYONE lead you to believe you are beyond repair because the God who created the UNIVERSE wants to reach you, you just have to answer the door.  Don’t ever feel unworthy, I promise God created you for so much more.  He needs you, are you ready to share your testimony?  Are you ready to ask God to meet you?  Trust me, he’s already been setting you up for this very moment.

 Thank you Lord, for saving me.  Thank you for using me even though I am worthless without you.  Thank you for loving me, for trusting me with your work no matter where I came from.
 


Move over God, I’ve got this!

We are all faced with choices. Where do you want to live? Where do you want to work? What kind of car do you want? What color hair do you want? Even in random day to day activities we are constantly asked to make a choice. What if the choices get more serious? What if the choice determines your future? What if the choice is huge? Then what?  
Sometimes it seems so easy to let God take over parts of your life right? Sure God, you can take my choices.. I mean, most of them. Sure God, you can totally have my body I’ll take care of it for you. What about sure God, you can have my heart.. Sure God, you can have my life.. Sure God, you can have my kids.. What about those things?

        You see, it seems we have no problem giving certain things to God but we are so quick to hold back on so many things God requires us to give to Him. I am a firm believer that we hold these things back because we are afraid of the outcome if we are not in full control.  We have become apart of the world just as scripture warns.  We become of the world and start to feel this crazy need to be in control of all things at all times.. There are even self help books out there that tell us as long as WE manifest it we can have it.  WOAH, isn’t that nuts?  To think that we don’t need God?  We can, by just manifesting our wants, we can speak them into exsistance.  Even that very concept puts God in the backseat and that’s a very popular Personal Development concept!  What if I take that career and I end up with so little I can’t pay bills? What if I move to that place and don’t know anyone? What if i want to be in the drivers seat of my child’s life? You have to see the trend here.. The reason we spend so much time holding onto the steering wheel in our lives is because of the “what if” outcome and because no way are we letting anyone make our choices for us.  We MUST control our destiny!   

Let me challenge you with this. What if God has incredible plans in store for you? What if everything that is happening is exactly what he wants for you? What if you missed His plan for you because you couldn’t get out of the drivers seat?

Check out a few of these verses..

  
Trust in the LORD with all your heart;do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6) 

I, personally understand the difficulty in giving your life to the Lord because I spent 22 years not believing there was a God only to discover after 22 years of doing it my way that he wanted full control. I will never say it was the easiest thing I have ever done but it was absolutely the most freeing thing I’ve ever done. You see, when I gave my heart, my life, and my decisions to the Lord I gave up the life of sin I was living. God knew exactly what he was doing when he required me to put him first. I challenge you to do the same. I don’t mean let God drive only when it’s sunny out.. I mean give the keys over when it’s pouring and your afraid. Even if you feel nervous sometimes in the decisions God is making in your life just take a deep breath (you know the one He gave you), & relax. Take a moment when it feels scary to realize that He planned this before you were even a thought in your mothers head. He knows you, He loves you, & even though sometimes it’s the hardest thing in the world.. He has you in his hands.. Let go, hand over the keys, and get ready to watch your life transform in Christ. 

All I have is yours God, take it all.