Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dear Anna Duggar

Dear Anna,
I am so sorry that you and Josh have to go through this extremely difficult time. The pain you must be feeling is beyond words. I am praying for you guys knowing that the both of you are going to have to go through so much to find healing and renewal. Even though the information I have gotten about your feelings is a source, I think you are being a very good wife. Keep drawing near to God and His word. I pray and hope that you have someone to help you process what you are feeling through this. It is most definitely ok to talk to someone other than your husband.
In my own life I have experienced some love ones who have struggled with sexual sins. It was surprising and hurtful all at once. Sometimes I blame other people or sometimes myself for the decisions that they have made. But I can't do that. Yes I have a responsibility in the relationships I have with them but their decisions were only their problems. It is only my problem because they are my love ones but they have to ultimately deal with their problems with God. I knew that I had to reevaluate my feelings towards them when I heard what they did and the hurtful things they said to me. Through time and tons of prayer and time in God's word, what was revealed to me that I was not the person I thought I was and I really struggled with my relationship with them. I really had to lean on God's grace to be there for them when I really did not want to. I have recently only discovered after much time and communication with them what I needed to do.
In return I guess I encourage you to not give up on Josh. Even though my source is only through a tv show and friends of mine that have actually spent sometime with your  husband's family, Josh really seems like a great guy that has chosen to indulge in the things of this world. As you know already, to be a Christian wife is a big thing! We have a huge responsibility for our husbands. The verse I always hang onto is 1 Peter 3:1-2, 
"Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear." 
All we can do is focus on what we have to do through Christ's strength in us. Josh needs someone to tell him that they love him even when he is not being very lovable. I know that is extremely hard right now because you are hurt and angry. I don't even know from my situations how much hurt you feel. But I do know that drawing near to God got (and still getting) me through my situation. I know Satan wants to put every thought into your head but give him 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 ("For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ"). He wants you to fail but we have the cross. I am pushing for you guys. 
Also there is a website that helps people like you and josh called xxxchurch

Praying always
Your sister in Christ

Monday, August 17, 2015

God has been challenging my heart and mind and how it affects my life a lot lately. As a mom and wife, I see the importance of drawing near to God. If I don't, I am not a pleasant person to be around. I am a very self centered person, driven by what others think and how that makes me feel. Kinda discouraging ya know? But I long to be a person that my little one wants to learn from. I long to be a person that my husband can confine in. So I try. And I try. And I try. But then that gets exhausting or I consume myself in the things of this world for temporary pleasure. And all the while, God still remains faithful in working in my heart. This only works through what Jesus did on the cross.
I have been looking up the word phrase "the cross" in the Bible as my quiet time.

Here are some of the verses I have found:

1 Corinthians 1:17
 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.

Paul preaches the Gospel through what Christ did on the cross. He did not preach from his own strength by his own words because otherwise he would be saying that the cross was useless.
       How many times do I add my works or the good things I do to what Jesus did on the cross for  
       me? I am saying that what He did was not good enough for me which I know that is not true.

1 Corinthians 1:18 NKJV
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Do I believe that the cross brings power? Acknowledging what the power of the cross is a step in the right direction.

Galatians 5:11 NKJV
And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 

In 1 Corinthians 1:18, the cross is foolishness to those who are not saved. It is foolishness because it offends. As my pastor on Sunday stated, why would anyone want to believe in something that makes you admit that you are wrong and worthless. That is what the cross does. It makes us evaluate our lives and see that we are nothing without Christ and what He did on the cross. If you read before this verse, the Jews were saying that they had to be circumcised in order to be apart of Christ. In believing that, they were rejecting the full power of the cross. It was hard for them to let go of their works and surrender to the cross. They believed something they had to do made themselves apart of Christ. It is called pride to think one is able to still follow the law. That is why Paul asked why does he suffer still if he preached circumcision was part of the cross. He would not be suffering if he agreed with them. In his weakness of suffering, he held onto the offensiveness of the cross that he was nothing without it.
       Am I offended by the cross or do I humbly accepted that I cannot keep the law and rest fully in
       the cross?

Galatians 6:12-15 NLT
Those who are trying to force you to be circumcised want to look good to others. They don’t want to be persecuted for teaching that the cross of Christ alone can save. 13 And even those who advocate circumcision don’t keep the whole law themselves. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast about it and claim you as their disciples.
14 As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross,[c] my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. 15 It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.

I liked how the NLT version made it more easier to understand. When we do good works in our own strength, it is self motivated. We want to look good especially when we encourage others to do the same. But like Paul when we boast in the cross, we loose interest in what others think and do it for God alone. The cross makes us a new creation. As Christians we need to boast in the cross to be the new creation that we are.
       Do I hold onto the things and opinions of this world or boast in what Christ has done through

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