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Lord, Lift Me Out of My Past

This chapter explains how I started with Christian Nymphos and why I felt it important to continue this ministry.  My testimony of the immense feeling of relief when I was lifted out of my past is why I need to continue this blog and tell EVERYONE who will listen and who has been where I have been, that there is healing and it is HUGE!

This chapter also reminds me of one of my favorite Igniter Media videos The Gospel According to Blaine.   Our sin is like Blaine’s watch in the video.  It is always a burden and before we became believers, it always weighed us down.   Christ came to save us, and when we admit we are sinners with no hope, believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came down to earth and gave up his life so that we could have eternal life, we are saved.  If we confess Christ’s death and resurrection, we are saved.   Nothing else to it.  Blaine’s watch was removed…. our sin was removed as well.

Just as in the Garden of Eden, though, Satan always tries to make us doubt our salvation….doubt that we really are forgiven… so after my marriage and my first child was born, like Eve, I allowed Satan to deceive me.    I bought into a pack of lies that he told me was the truth.   Mom’s didn’t have sex.   Sex was for procreation only.   Something must be wrong with my DH because he wanted sex ALL THE TIME.   I wore my past (that I already asked forgiveness for … both to God and to my husband) around my neck and it anchored me in misery.  For 11 years, my DH loved me, patiently and sometimes not so patiently.   He had every right to leave me and to start a new life.  I was a refuser, plain and simple.   I started reading The Power of a Praying Wife with the wrong motivation.  I thought that it would be a great way to pray that God would change him… then the first chapter floored me.  It said before anything else, I needed to pray for his wife.   That God would give him the wife that He intended for my DH, and that she would be ME.  What?  Me?  Pray that I would change?  I don’t need to change?  HE does!  I did say the prayer at the end of the chapter though…. halfheartedly.  I still wasn’t convinced that I was the problem.

Then one day, he told me he had been praying that God would take away his sex drive completely.   Our marriage was very good, except for the sex issue.  He said he loved me and if that was what it took to make me happy, he would give it up.    That hit me like a softball right between the eyebrows.   I realized he was willing to give up what was created in him by God to save our marriage.

God knew that was the time I was ready for the truth.

Up until then, I wasn’t ready and I wouldn’t believe it.  I looked in the mirror, and God showed me what I looked like through my DH’s eyes.   I could see why he desired me.   God then revealed to me all the lies that Satan had been telling me.   God told me that he gave us this gift…. sex was approved by God because it was created by God.  It wasn’t created to be fruitful and multiply only…. it was created to be enjoyed, too!  I experienced my sexual awakening at that point.   God also revealed to me that while I had been forgiven by Him of my sin, and I also had been forgiven by my husband (past promiscuity), that I had forgotten to forgive myself…and that is where Satan had gotten a foothold in my life.

It was about then, maybe a year or so afterwards, that my sisters in Christ and I had the vision from God about Christian Nymphos.  We had all been through our own times, we had shared them with each other, and we decided that it was high time that Satan was a fraud.   That things we had learned and not learned from our parents and from the church needed to be put in biblical perspective, and Christian Nymphos was born.    Over the years, one by one, the six of us became 5….then 4….then 3…. three of us stayed strong for awhile, but we finally became one and I just didn’t hear from God that my work was finished, so here I am.  Monogabliss was born this past December.   It is my prayer, sisters, that if you are holding on to any past hurt, any past sin, and past pain, please don’t give Satan a foothold in your life and your marriage.   God will wait patiently for you to be ready, but he is so ready to help you let go of it all.   What Satan intended for evil, God used for good.  Amen?

Does Satan still throw my past at me?  Sure.  But I don’t look back.  You know what….God has helped me to forget a lot of it.   I know I sinned against God and against my husband by not remaining a virgin for him, but I also know I am forgiven, and God remembers that sin no more.   If God doesn’t remember  it, then I need to forget it as well.

Have you been freed from your past?  If not, I would suggest you spend a lot of time in your bible.   God’s word and Satan do not mix.   He hates God’s word.  Ask God to show you how you can use past hurt for good.  God is GOOD.   He can fix anything.

Lord, Change Me Into the Likeness of Christ

Change is a hard thing.  We always think “I don’t need changing.  Change him!”  I was taking notes in a journal on the way to dinner this past weekend, and I noted that the journal I grabbed was an old prayer journal I started 2 years ago.   It only had 5 prayer entries in it.  Prayer for my mom (who had Non Hodgkins Lymphoma at the time), prayer for my FIL’s health, prayer for my MIL’s health, prayer for my Dad that God would protect his heart from Satan while helping Mom undergo her chemo, and finally prayer for my husband…. and that prayer entry went like this…. “Help me to accept DH the way he is and not try to change him.  I realize in some ways he may never change, but at the same time, I release him to change in ways I never thought he could.  I leave any changing that needs to be done in Your hands, fully accepting that neither of us is perfect, and never will be.   Only you, Lord, are perfect and I look to you to perfect us. “  Looks like I was reading Power of a Praying Wife at the time!

Changing ourselves is hard.  Really hard.   But if we look at it as changing us to be more like Christ, it can be easier.  I mean, as Christians, we should all strive to be more like Christ every day of our lives.  Living out the greatest commandment, to love one another.  Stormie listed seven ways to be more like Christ.   We can all learn something from these as well.

1.  Jesus was loving.  Jesus wants us to lay down out lives for others.  His love worked miracles and it can work miracles in our lives and those who we show love to.   My biggest problem?  showing love to my family when I come home from work.  I word so hard to show love for others at work that I don’t have a full “love tank” when I get home.  I need to work on that.

2.  Jesus was humble.  Humility is a rare commodity in our world today.  Look at Tim Tebow.   What a humble man, who gives all the glory to God in public for everything he does.  And he gets made fun of.  People are so into themselves in the world, that seeing someone who does act humbly makes them feel awkward, so they have to ridicule him.    Jesus was Lord of the Universe, yet he chose to come to earth as a mere mortal.  It takes someone really humble to give up everything Christ had in heaven.   Pray for a humble heart like our Lord’s.

3.  Jesus was faithful.  He was faithful all the way to the cross.   He never stumbled.   He knew why he was here.  We need to know all about his faithfulness, so that we can learn ourselves how to be faithful.

4.  Jesus was giving.   He gave his power to heal people.  He gave his time to anyone who would listen.  He gave his life to save the people he loved…all of us.   When we don’t feel that we have anything to give, God shows us what we have that we can give to others.    Pray for God to bestow upon you gifts in which you can share with others.

5.  Jesus was separate.   I like the way she put it… He was in the world, but not part of the world.   He came to touch the world, but never became like the world.  He was separate from the world, but he changed the world.   While we are in the world, we cannot lose sight of our goal.  This world is temporary.  We cannot become like the world because it won’t last.   Don’t lose sight of where you are going.  Keep eternity in your perspective.

6.  Jesus was obedient.  Jesus never did anything on his own.  He always prayed to the Father and waited on His Word.   We must be like that too.  We can be so impatient.  The world has made us that way.  If we wait on the Lord, we can be truly blessed.   We must be obedient to the Lord when he does give us instruction.   Jonas learned the hard way what happens when you aren’t obedient to the Lord.  He spent some time in the belly of a whale!   We need God’s help to learn to die to ourselves, so we can live for him.

7.  Jesus was light.  As a moth is attracted to the light, so must we be attracted to God’s light.   We should be the light to this dark world.   We need to be the light, so we can attract those out of the darkness to the light, to learn more about Jesus.   Let you light shine.

Pray that God would start a work in you, right now, as you read this.  Ask him to help you learn to be more like his Son.   Ask him to help you separate yourself from the world and be a light to all who would see it.   Pray to learn how to be humble and be a servant to all as Jesus was.  Pray for faithfulness, obedience, and a giving spirit.   Pray that you will be a person that people see and want to learn more about Jesus because of the way you live your life.  Keep your eyes on Jesus and eternity.  We are only here for a short while.

Lord, Transform Me into a Woman of Mountain-Moving Faith

Dictionary.com defines faith in the following ways….

1.  confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.
2.  belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3.  belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4.  belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5.  a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.

Faith is an area that I have trouble with, too, at times.  Not in my faith in God or in Jesus Christ as my Savior.  I am solid in that.   But if God asked me to do something like, say, he asked Abraham.   Leave where you are, I’m not telling you where you’re going, but trust me.   Or like the Apostles…. all Jesus said was “Come and follow me, and I’ll make you fishers of men.” and they did.   If God called me to do something like that…. could I do it?   It makes me squirm to think about it.

Then God reminds me that what I am doing right now, I stepped out in faith to do.  Originally, when the CN blog started, there was comfort in numbers.    I was one of 6.  Then one of 5.  Then one of 4.   Then one of 3 for a long time…. but when it became one of one…. could I do it?  I felt so very strongly that God was telling me there was still more work to be done.   So it has been my prayer that God would continue to bless me in this ministry, would continue to bring to me the women who need to hear His word through this blog, and that he would continue to use me as his messenger, speaking his truths to anyone who needs to hear it.   This blog isn’t within my comfort zone, but I have faith that the Holy Spirit, who indwells me, will continue to provide me wisdom in covering topics that are important to you and your marriages.

Mustard seeds are tiny.

but it grows into this….

Read your bible.  Pray for more faith.  Our God is faithful.  He will always be there to do what he says he will do.   I know I will be.

“If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there, ” and it will move; nothing will be impossible for you.”  Matthew 17:20

Lord, Train Me to Speak Only Words That Bring Life

This is a work in progress for me.  I’d like to claim that I have seen improvement in this area, but lately, I’ve been sliding back down that slippery slope.

Sometimes I hate the things that come out of my mouth…. I say things the complete wrong way, and after their out there, I wish I hadn’t said them at all.

I’ve found lately that I cannot tell my daughter things… because she has not learned the ability to discern when to hold her tongue and when to speak.    The other day, we were talking about who our closest relatives were… so I told both her and her brother that I consider them my closest relative, since they were conceived in my body and grew inside me for 9 months until they entered this crazy world…. to which she promptly told her Dad that I considered HER my closest relative, not him.    This hurt his feelings, but it was not the intended way I wanted or even meant for him to hear this.   I had to swallow my pride, apologize and explain what I meant at the time.    Once something is said, it is out there.  There are no take backs…. we have to be sure that what IS coming out of our mouths is kind, gentle and above reproach.

My DH has a relative that constantly is either complaining about life and the things she has to do or making herself out to be a martyr.    In my mind, I really want to tell her to deal with it.  Treat people nicely…. get a real life….your problems, while they seem to be life shattering to you, to most people, they aren’t all that bad.    All the melodrama in her life and in her family….. makes me thank God more that my life is “sane and normal”…. LOL.   But will I ever say this out loud to her…. nope.   It’s not edifying.   Do I get tired of hearing her tirades, yes, but what’s the saying “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. “

I like how she goes back to the Philippians 4:8 verse I used earlier.  Is what you say true?  Is it noble?  Is it just?  Is it pure?  Is it lovely? Is it of good report?  Is it virtuous?   Is it praiseworthy?  If not, don’t let it exit your mouth.   pray that God would take those thoughts away from your mind at all if they are not one of those.

Lord, help me in all I do to be more edifying to the people I meet.   Lord, remind me that things that I say that are hurtful to my husband, my kids, my friends, my coworkers…. I am hurting you just as well.   Please help me to watch what my tongue says and help me to apply the Philippians 4:8 verse to everything I say. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Lord, Use Me to Touch the Lives of Others.

Since becoming a Christian in 1993, I’ve been growing a little bit more every year.   In the past 5 years or so, I’ve really wanted to make a difference for Christ in the world.  I wanted to touch the lives of others.  I couldn’t go on Mission trips to all places around the world.   But one day, God showed me and a group of lady friends of mine what His plan for us was….where our mission field was…. and it was all of you dear readers!

This chapter has actually been my prayer for the past 4 years, and the answer came in the form of christiannymphos.org.     When I started writing for this blog, I had no clue what I was doing.   I look back at some of my first articles and think “what an amateur she is!”, but as I let God continue to work through me, some of my articles I can tell were most definitely written by God and not me.    He took over my fingers as I started to write them.  I look back at some of the topics I wrote on, and it was by God’s grace that they made any sense!  Amazing.

One by one, 3 of the original 6 writers started dropping out of the ministry.   When it came time for Cumingirl and Cinnamonsticks to also move on to new arenas in life, I was so deeply saddened.   Christiannymphos was something I  was very proud to be a part of.   I just didn’t feel done, so that is the reason for this blog branched off to the next generation of CN.  No, it won’t be exactly the same.  Some of my other spice sisters were much spicier than I am, but I am still hopeful that there is an audience that I can reach.  God wouldn’t have me continuing if there wasn’t someone else out there that needed this blog.   Just as Stormie asked in this chapter for corporate prayer for all her books to reach all over the world, I ask also for corporate prayer for this blog.  That God would continue to use me as long as there is still a need for this kind of blog.   I am finding that I am reaching all over the globe, and it is overwhelming at times.  I have even had an offer to translate my blog into Spanish!  I need a lot of prayer about God’s will and getting me the right translator for the job if that is part of his plan.

Thank you all so much for following me here from CN.   Thank you for all your support and prayers.  It really means a lot to me.   Praise be to God for all his blessings.  May I truly be able to grow in the love and wisdom of Christ.   Thank you Lord for all you do for me.  I couldn’t do it without you.

Lord, Free Me From Ungodly Fear

What do you fear most?

My fears, you ask?  How about falling from heights…. being buried alive….  drowning….at one point in time I was afraid of death….now it’s just the fear of how I will die, not death itself.

Here are two things that  I will never do.   You can wheel my dead body out here, but while I am alive and kicking, these will mortify me forever…..

   The Grand Canyon sky walk …. and

  The glass ledge on the Sears Tower

DH and I actually went up to the top of the Sears Tower on our honeymoon 17 years ago…. way before this was added on, and I wouldn’t go near the windows.  Water parks…. I really had to FORCE myself to do one of those water slides with my kids where the bottom drops out from under you….. there was the fear of falling and drowning all in one.    I hate that feeling, but how do you make it go away?

All of those are ungodly fears.   There was a guy that lived down the street that I went to HS with….he was a senior, I was a freshman.   Just through some innuendo with knowing him, he really gave me the heebie geebies…. so much that I hated taking a shower for fear he was in the bathroom closet.    He died that year….even after he died and I knew he was gone, I still had that irrational fear that he would come back from the grave and haunt me.   I like Stormie’s word for it.  Torment.   I was/am  literally tormented by these fears.  Some I have overcome.  (Yes, David is not in my bathroom closet), but there are some that would still literally cripple me.  I need tons of prayer over those.

Here are 4 ways Stormie recommends to get rid of ungodly fear.

1. Praying: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.  But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)  Draw close to your Abba Father and let his love consume you.   There is no fear in the Lord.

2. Control what you receive in your mind:  I don’t like watching the news anymore.  I’ve kind of given it up.  Yeah, I get surprised by the weather, since I didn’t watch the news, but there are too many images that require a brain scrubber sometimes….I loved scary movies as a teen.  Not anymore.  It was no fun trying to run to my bedroom when I was 18 in the completely dark house because I was afraid Freddy Kruger was around the corner…. (Actually, my brother took great pride in scaring the crap outta me then….he is 3 years younger!)   Fear disappears in the presence of the Lord.   Read your bible.  Pray.  Listen to praise music.   I like to do the latter.

3. Be in the Word of God: Reading and speaking the word aloud has so much power in it.  Takes away fear every time!

4. Live in the fear of the Lord:  No, don’t be afraid of the Lord.  That is not what fear of the Lord means.  Fear is respect.  Reverence.  Fear of the Lord makes you want to obey him.   It makes you forget all the things you are truly afraid of.   I can’t imagine my life without God.  Talk about scary!

The Lord is the light of our life.  He is our strength and our shield.  Whom shall we fear?  He is with us wherever we go.

Lord, Heal Me and Help Me Care for My Body

Oh, the Lord knows how much I need this chapter.

I do not take care of my body.   My attitude stinks when it comes to eating and exercising.  You see that avatar that I post on each and every post that I write?  That was probably me when I graduated from high school and that was 27 years ago.   I went to college….and gained weight.  I got married….and gained weight.   I got pregnant… and gained a lot of baby weight that I didn’t work on getting off, so 7 years later when I got pregnant again, I was at a “better” weight, but I still am about 37 pounds overweight according to BMI (which I totally dislike BMI… it is NOT a good gauge of a healthy person…)  Seriously…. when I dropped from “Overweight” to “Normal” in the BMI scale, I was thinner, but I didn’t like how thin it made certain areas of my body.   It didn’t look natural.

But I digress from the point of this topic.  I stink at will power.

So, I am probably about 30 pounds or so overweight.   I need to take care of my body.   And that takes discipline.

Discipline I lack in my time in the Bible.  Discipline I lack in my prayer life.  Discipline that I need to get on  my knees and ask God to help me with.

I’ve probably beat this story like a dead horse, but I had a really dear friend who had breast cancer in her mid-20’s.  She got sick.  Went through chemo.  Went through surgeries.   We prayed for healing.  We laid hands on her.   In the end, she passed away, succumbing to breast cancer.   We all, myself included, prayed that God would heal her so we could have more time with her.   It wasn’t until I became aware that, yes, God is a healer, but sometimes the healing comes in Heaven.  I started praying for healing again for her, and that if it was God’s will for her to be healed on this side of Heaven, that he would.  But I also released her to God if the healing needed to happen with her dying to us, but living with him.   And that’s what happened.  What did she do wrong to contract cancer so young?  Nothing.  Cancer latches on and is an evil tool that Satan uses in his arsenal.  My own mother suffers from cancer and is at this time undergoing chemotherapy.  My mom is the LAST person that I feel should ever get cancer, and Satan knows that.   Did she do anything wrong?  No, she has been the picture perfect vision of Christ to me my entire life.   When I was so obsessed all my young life with my Dad, she sat back and waited, knowing there would be a time when I would seek her out, just like God does.  He allows us free will, knowing full well, that those of us who believe in him may stray and sin, but we always come back to him for repentance and redemption.     Sometimes our bodies get sick.   There is nothing wrong with praying for healing.  Miracles happen.  I have a dear friend that is a coworker who has a new lease on life with an organ transplant that God provided for her from a complete stranger who she now calls her “grafted sister”.  Miracles do happen.  Our bodies can and do heal.

But it is our responsibility to take care of this temple that the Holy Spirit resides in.  I’ve given the Holy Spirit a dump of a place to live.   I need to change that.  He deserves a much better place to live.   I need God’s help and guidance as to what is best for my body.  I need to pray to him to help remove all cravings for sweets that are bad for me, and to give me cravings for his delicious fruits he gives me… natures candy.   I need to get on the bandwagon.  Thank you, Stormie, for this chapter.  It comes at a time in my life where I am really struggling.   Thank you for the words to help me begin my spiritual journey to a healthier body.

What about you?