Is it well with your soul?
Is it well with your soul? I love how my church's, Allegheny Center Alliance Church in Pittsburgh, Pa, worship team sings traditional hymns and some contemporary songs. As stated in the post last week I grew up in a traditional AME Zion church; I have vivid memories of singing in the pews with hymnal in hand.
I love traditional hymns. One of my favorite hymns is It Is Well With My Soul by Horatio G. Spafford, 1873.
My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!--
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Read that verse again. Did you get goosebumps, the chills and/ or butterflies in your stomach? I always do when I sing this song. God’s love is so immense for me and you that He sacrificed His son to bear our sins. Thank you Jesus! My soul is well.
Is it well with your soul? One of the ways that makes your soul well is worshiping God.
I love worshiping God through music. When I sing and listen to my favorite praise and worship songs I feel his presence. When we praise God, He is here in our midst!
Why should we worship God?
“Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings;
honor the Lord for his glory and strength.
Honor the Lord for the glory of his name.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.” Psalm 29: 1-2 (NLT)
God is good, perfect, holy, blameless, love, strength, comfort, provider, life, peace and so much more. You are made to crave and worship God. He fills your hearts with peace and joy.
“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.” 1 John 5:21 (NLT)
When you don’t worship Him, you worship something else. Those other things will not make your soul well. See my previous post Like , Love or Lust Objects of worship (Idols).
When we worship the Lord, He gives us strength and blesses us with peace.
“The Lord gives his people strength.
The Lord blesses them with peace.” Psalm 29:11 (NLT)
Is it well with your soul? How are you worshiping the Lord? Are you taking time to praise Him and give Him thanks. Are you worshiping something else? I know that our lifestyle is actually a form of worship, but in this post I'm talking about setting a special time for worship (besides Sunday morning at church).
What is your favorite way to worship the Lord? Let me know. Worship Him, your soul will be well.
It is well with my soul.
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Here’s my 2 play lists I’ve been worshipping and grooving to! I’m a child of the 90’s and loved rap/Hip – Hop, and I was so happy to find some good Christian Hip – Hop to dance and workout to (my praise beats list). Let me know what your think.
does your light shine bright?
“This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine”. Do you remember singing that at church when you were younger? I remember standing in the choir area of St. Matthew’s AME Zion church (shout out to St. Matthew’s AMEZ in Sewickley, PA!) singing that song with other youth in our little choir. It is such a simple song with a powerful message. Although the song was written for children by Harry Dixon Loes in the 1920’s, a music director for the Moody Bible Institute, it’s message is for both young and old.
Is your light shining? Do you stand out in the crowd? Do you brighten up a room with your presence? Do you covet to please God and not the world? Do you seem happier than others? Are you peaceful and bring peace to a situation? Do you speak the truth in love and help others out of their sin? Are you patient, kind, good, loving? Do you not slander others? Do you excel at your work?
There is a lot of darkness in this world. It is echoed in TV shows, movies, memes, social media, newspapers, the culture and more. As Christians we are the light. We are human lighthouses. Lighthouses are used as navigational systems for those at sea.
Take a moment to meditate on that. We are a navigational system for those who are lost in the sea of humanity. Our lives should point others toward Jesus. When we surrendered our lives, repented our sins, followed Jesus and acknowledged Him as our Lord and savior, His light entered into us!
Be a beacon of light at your jobs, in your home, on social media, in the news, on TV, in videos, movies, memes. Be the light in this dark culture.
“Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.” Ephesians 5:3-5 (NLT)
“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.” Ephesians 5:8-9 (NLT)
This light in us is God’s grace. God’s grace assists Christians to turn from sin, keeps us in the faith, influences our hearts to be pleasing to God, frees us from sin and blesses us. This light sets us apart.
Please don’t let Satan blow out your light. God’s light in you is powered by trust in Jesus. Keep trusting and obeying Jesus and Satan cannot blow out your light.
I speak the truth in love. If your light is growing dim I pray that you set some time to pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal to you why. Stay reading God’s word every day. Do what His word says. (The book of Ephesians is a great place to start.) Guard your heart. Be intentional what you are reading on social media and what you are posting. The world needs your light.
Remember you are not alone. God is always with you. I am here to encourage you, too. You got this.
I love this prayer Paul wrote in Ephesians (3:16-19), I pray this over you:
“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” In Jesus name I pray Amen.
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Let your light shine bright!
Who wrote this little light of mine? Kim Ruehl. ThoughtCo. Updated November 20, 2017 https://www.thoughtco.com/this-little-light-of-mine-1322521
Why you should guard your heart
I like a good action movie. Give me a Mission Impossible or James Bond marathon and I am set. Avenger/ Marvel series? Check, watched every last one of them. I think that may even be one of the reasons why my hubby married me! I am not a chick flick watching type of gal.
However, every now and then I do want to immerse myself in a girly romantic or rom-com movie. Heck around Christmas time I sometimes turn to the Hallmark channel and watch some of their highly predictable movies! (Side note: Hallmark why are there so few movies with African – American women lead characters on your channel?) When I do that my husband leaves the room very quickly.
Don’t get me wrong, I like romance. I love getting gifts, flowers and hearing sweet nothings from my husband, especially when it’s a surprise. But I don’t like watching or reading romance books that are filled with predictable sex scenes. I start to feel a little uncomfortable.
I admit I used to read some romance books. After reading a few of them I realized there was a pattern to that type of book and they weren’t too interesting to me. And reading those sex filled types of books aren’t too pleasing to God. I only want to be aroused by my husband, not a book or movie (Sorry, TMI, but truth).
Watching or reading sex filled movies, tv shows or books causes arousal and raises dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with the brains pleasure center. I like to say Dopamine makes you feel dope. It rewards you with that good feeling when eating chocolate, doing something good or exciting. Dopamine has no morals, its doing its job. It can’t tell if what you are doing is right or wrong. The good feeling from dopamine can make you want to keep on doing that pleasurable or exciting thing more and more. Sometimes leading into wrong choices, bad consequences or even addicted to sex filled movies and/or books. (More of this in my book)
As Christian women we should be honoring God with what we watch and read. Some of these movies and books treat sex, dating and one night stands as commonplace and blasé’. Just a natural thing and no one gets hurt! Wrong, in my six years of working at a Pregnancy Resource ministry, I met countless women who were affected physically and mentally by casual sex and one night stands. No one was there for them after things fell apart, so they come to the ministry to get the help, healing and love they need, without judgment. (I write more about this in my soon to be published book).
As mentioned before, sex filled books and movies can raise those feelings of the flesh that can be hard to tame. Guard your heart! It’s better to not watch and be safe.
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5 (NIV)
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 (NIV)
“For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” 1 Thessalonians 4:7 (NIV)
Let us not make Jesus' sacrifice be in vain. He loved us so much that He died for us. Do you love Him so much that you want to do what is pleasing to Him? Live by the Spirit. Be pleasing and honoring to God in what you read and watch. When we do what is pleasing to God, our lives are immensely better.
I don’t want to leave you without listing some of my favorite romance movies. These movies are some of the most romantic movies out there with no sex scenes!
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Christina Leeman MPH, writer and health educator, emboldens women to be the She Who Honors God with her all - body, thoughts, words, actions.
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