What’s your story?
So I have this cup. It’s a coffee mug to be exact. Exciting, right? 😛 This cup is something I want to get rid of really bad but I keep holding on to it. It’s not like it’s going to fix anything or make everything go back to the way things were if I keep it. I don’t even really feel like the cup is mine. It’s just there bringing unwanted memories.
But I’ve had this feeling that in some way I could bless someone by it. I just haven’t quite figured out how yet. Any ideas?
I figured I could use it to start a prayer chain in which the cup is passed around. Tell them to pass the cup on and pray for the person whom they give it to. Or maybe as a way for people to release their burdens. Or maybe simply just make someone’s day and put a smile on their face by giving them an unexpected gift. Handing over the cup along with a simple “God bless.”
Instead, God brought the idea for this series of blog posts:
The Cup of Life
Take This Cup From Me
Cup of Thanksgiving
I hope this series brings you blessings and inspires you.
P.S. Any suggestions on what to do with this cup are welcome! 😉
Hey everyone! My awesome friend Joshua wanted to share his testimony with you. Thanks so much for sharing Josh! Sending prayers and blessings your way!
As God would have it, I went throughout my whole school career having a pervasive development disorder known as “Aspergers Syndrome”. It’s a high functioning form of autism and has gained much attention over the past several years. Personally, I have a hyper active mind and that causes me to think about possibly anything except the task at hand. I experience below average or zero short term memory. Yet, I can remember an entire day from 1996 down to my outfit. And I still fight social anxiety because social settings are stressful and more difficult than for “neuro-typicals”, people without autism. I overcame the disorder, alongside self-diagnosis of an eating disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, social phobia and anxiety, from sexual abuse (rape) at the age of ten or eleven, plus, being raised by my wonderful single mother.
As a Christian, I walk close with God, my Father, and redicated my life to Him in 2008. At 19 years old, this was a decade after being raped and me tearfully and painfully confessing the event to my mother, I was liberated. After bouts with severe mental depression, sexual confusion, pornography addiction, masturbation, a life of loneliness and no girlfriends, drugs, alcohol, wild, life threatening parties, domestic abuse, faced with homelessness, air mattress nights and a dim, misunderstood, flawed life outlook (denying autisms place in my life to the core), I stand a young/old 24 years of age. God has kept me and will continue to do so.
I was searching for God, love, purpose. No dad around. I made TV, celebrities, hedonism and self pleasure my gods, idols. I tried it. Began reading my Bible at 19 years old, my party stage. God was speaking to me. I was raped and thought I had a deadly std. A false complex. Anyway, I had panic attacks, fighting God’s will. I quit. I confessed to my mom that I was raped and I was liberated. Set free.
I was a babe but wanted to be a pastor. Preaching, judging anyone next to me. Through trial and error in my walk, and struggling to this day to kill sin, I have a pretty good head on my shoulders now. I was a super pharissee from 19 years of age to very recent times. Scaring people away from God. I still love God, and I want to bring Him glory. Giving up more of my life each moment, trying with all that is in me, at least. Learning biblical manhood and I don’t really belong to a church. I was at a church which felt good at first. But after three long, servant oriented years, I learned of false teaching, and the prosperity gospel. Praying about that situation. Sometimes I attend a particular Presbyterian church I totally enjoy worshipping together there. Christ centered grounds. I just need to go consistently, prayerfully. Pastor John Piper and desiringGod ministries really encourage and challenge me to grow in Christ. They have plenty of free resources and I thank God for my adopted family there.
To His praise and celebration, I live life with purpose, encouraging whoever may be next to me at any given moment, in different methods. I am passionate, compassionate, motivated, humbled, perfectly lead, intimately family oriented loving and also any bad thing you could think of.
The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? ~ Jeremiah 17:9 (New Living Translation edition Bible)
God’s indescribably perfect love, grace, mercy and forgiveness is my everything. And I pray, through my God’s honest testimony of providence and His awesome character, my life story will stir your heart to come back to Jesus, God’s Son, the Risen Saviour of the world.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. ~ John 3:16, 17 (New Living Translation edition Bible).
That’s all…for today! Haha. God bless us all. Life is meant to be lived.
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. ~ John 14:6 (New Living Translation edition).
Amen. My family is the best. I love you! God is Love. Grace and peace to all who read my growing story.
Read Psalms 16 & 89
To say, “God is enough” is to give an absolute and incontrovertible answer to every doubt and every question that has arisen or can arise. It may not seem to our consciousness that any prayers are answered, or any promises fulfilled, but what of that? Behind every prayer and behind every promise, there is God … and if he exists at all, we know he must be enough.
I have discovered that nothing else really matters – neither creeds, nor ceremonies, nor doctrines, nor dogmas. GOD IS; GOD IS UNSELFISH; AND GOD IS ENOUGH!
~ Hannah Whitall Smith
Ever miss that person who at one point was so special in your life? A friend, relative, spouse…. Time has gone by but you are still missing them. From all you can tell, they have moved on with their life. They have no intention of trying to contact you or make amends. You, yourself, have gotten to the point where you have given up trying. Despite everything that has passed between you two, you still miss that person. It doesn’t seem like that feeling will ever go away. Something small will remind you of that person. This reminder turns into a rather long daydream of thoughts that you would rather put behind you. Yet, there you are, thinking about everything – the memories, how much you really did care for that person.
At this point, maybe God has healed our hearts. Or maybe we haven’t asked him to yet. For the most part, it may seem that our heart is healed, that it is whole again. But each memory causes a fracture in our hearts. We might not see it or notice it but it is there. Every time we refuse to let go another crack forms in our hearts. We are resisting the healing that God wants for us.
He heals the broken-hearted and bandages their wounds. ~ Psalm 147:3
We are haunted by the ghosts of our pasts because we let it haunt us. Maybe we are afraid to admit we made a mistake and so we feel the need to reconcile the past or the person we thought they were. Nevertheless, memories don’t fade as fast as we would like sometimes. They can be what keeps the cracks in our heart from being sealed, keeping us from being whole.
We need to turn wholeheartedly to God. We need to learn to let go of the things we cannot change and look to the future. We need to look forward to the new and better things that God has in store for us.
Jesus said to her, “My daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your trouble. ~ Matthew 5:34
We might never see that person again but if we can honestly say that we tried to put the relationship back together, then that is all we can really do is try. We can’t force a relationship to work.
Our ghosts don’t have to consist of past relationships. They can surface in the form of regrets, missed opportunities, embarrassments, mistakes….
What are you holding on to that God wants you to let go of?
Whatever it is, nail it to the cross. Lay it down at the feet of Jesus. He wants to lift the burden from you. He wants you to have a whole heart. God doesn’t want us to be consumed with the ghosts of our past.
Find peace in God’s healing.
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. ~ Psalm 31:24
Read 1 Corinthians 3:10-15
You are the quarterback of a football team. Let’s call it Team Jesus.
Your coach: God. He calls the shots. He formulates the plays. He encourages you and supports the players on the field.
Next we have Jesus, standing in front of you, forming the offensive line. He blocks the attacks of the other team or in this case, the enemy. You are playing against the evil one, Team Evil. When the evil one has the ball, he entices you to come to his side; wants you to think that his team is the winning team. But Jesus separates you from the evil one. He protects you from temptation and the enticing calls of the evil one.
The Holy Spirit constitutes the other players. The Holy Spirit backs you up, supports and encourages you. The Spirit helps to bring guidance and to help you make the right decisions.
So now you have a team, a position and team mates. As the quarterback, you make the plays. You can decide to follow the plays that God recommends and has laid out for you or you can go your own way. But here’s the deal: if you decide that your decisions are better than the one true coach, God, well your own decisions could lead to a bad relationship between player and coach. If this occurs, you could be traded to the evil one’s team. Therefore, you need to work hard to maintain a good working, positive relationship between you and God. Relationships take work. Winning the game takes work. Don’t let the evil one get a grasp on the ball.
Further, the crowd is a swaying factor. You can let them encourage you as you strive for a win on Team Jesus. You can play the game for them. In essence, you can serve and put others first. Yet, if you let the cheering that’s meant to encourage become pride and an over abundance of self-confidence, the evil one starts winning the game again. In another instance, the crowd can be cheering for the other team, and encouraging the actions of the evil one. If we keep company such as this, we are at risk of being swayed over to the other side. Let the company you keep strengthen your faith.
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:33
If we let God lay the foundation, we are a winning team. You and God. If we let others falsely build on the foundation, we start to stumble, and the foundation isn’t as strong as it should be.
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Corinthians 3:11
In summary, the rules of the game ares:
One: we need to decide which team we are playing for and stick with it.
Two: we need to keep working at our relationship with God.
Three: we need to decide on the swaying factor of the company we keep.
Four: we need to consciously decide to live third putting God first, others second, self third.
Five: we need to be aware of the evil one’s schemes and make every effort to avoid developing a relationship with him instead
After all, that’s what the game of life is all about!
Read Romans 12:9-21
Do you know that person who seems to frustrate you to no end?
That person who doesn’t stop talking and won’t give you enough personal space?
That person who thinks they are always right?
That person who comes on a little too strong?
Whatever it is that frustrates you, it makes you want to run away.
You want to avoid that person.
But before we turn away, I think we need to stop and take a second look.
For whatever reason, God has placed certain people in my life.
People that frustrate me.
I have asked a few people for advice about what the best course of action would be.
I was looking for worldly reassurance, I guess.
A reason to walk away or a reason to put aside the frustration and stay.
But I never liked the answer I got back.
No one could understand why I kept holding on and why I didn’t just walk away from those who frustrate me.
From the start, there was that still small voice in the back of my mind.
A voice that said to love.
Hearing that voice should be enough reassurance.
It should be all we need.
These people needed a friend.
They needed to feel loved.
I couldn’t walk away from that.
We need to look beyond the surface of things.
Jesus loves these people as much as he loves you.
He created them.
Gave them a purpose.
Jesus wouldn’t walk away.
Neither should we.
Jesus ate with sinners.
He went out and found that one lost sheep.
He forgave the unforgivable.
So we must forgive and love in the same way.
God calls us to love one another.
We shouldn’t pick and choose who we love.
We need to love EVERYBODY.
We need to love without worrying if it is reciprocated.
There is absolutely no exception to the love commandment.
God puts people in our lives for a reason.
We might not know that reason but we know that we need to love them no matter what.
We need to put aside that which frustrates us or angers us and just love.
We need to forgive the transgressions of others because we sin also and want to be forgiven.
By forgiving, we can love without hinderance.
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another. ~ Romans 13:8
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