We All Fall Down

Everybody fails from time to time.

No one you know is perfect, and almost everyone can outline at least a few failures. God understands and prepares us for it in Proverbs 24:16. We are not perfect, even in our faith, and God wants us to understand and accept that.

Proverbs 24:16 – “Even if good people fall seven times, they will get back up. But when trouble strikes the wicked, that’s the end of them.” (CEV)

God Lifts Us Back Up

God knows we’re going to fail every once in a while. Yet, He also stands by us and helps us get back on our feet. Is it easy to accept failure? No. Can it make us depressed and feel down? Yes. Yet, God is there to help us work through our anger and disappointment.

Psalm 40:2-3 – “and pulled me from a lonely pit full of mud and mire.  You let me stand on a rock with my feet firm, and you gave me a new song, a song of praise to you. Many will see this, and they will honor and trust you, the LORD God.” (CEV)

God Wants Us to Correct Ourselves

So, God helps us back up, but does that mean we dwell on the failure or repeat the same behaviors? No. God wants us to acknowledge our shortcomings and work to better ourselves. Sometimes that means moving on to something else we can do better. Sometimes it means giving ourselves more practice.

Other times it means being patient for things to work themselves out.

Jeremiah 8:4-5 – “The LORD said: People of Jerusalem, when you stumble and fall, you get back up, and if you take a wrong road, you turn around and go back. So why do you refuse to come back to me? Why do you hold so tightly to your false gods?” (CEV)



Abraham and Lot

Abraham reminds us of loyalty and going above and beyond for friends. Abraham gathered hundreds of men to rescue Lot from captivity.

Genesis 14:14-16 – “When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.” (NIV)

Ruth and Naomi

Friendships can be forged among different ages and from anywhere. In this case, Ruth became friends with her mother-in-law and they became family, looking out for one another throughout their lives.

Ruth 1:16-17 – “But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.'” (NIV)

David and Jonathan

Sometimes friendships form almost instantly. Have you ever met anyone that you just knew immediately was going to be a good friend? David and Jonathan were just like that.

1 Samuel 18:1-3 – “After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself.” (NLT)

David and Abiathar

Friends protect one another and feel their losses of loved ones deeply. David felt the pain of Abiathar’s loss, as well as responsibility for it, so he vowed to protect him from Saul’s wrath.

1 Samuel 22:22-23 – “David exclaimed, ‘I knew it! When I saw Doeg the Edomite there that day, I knew he was sure to tell Saul. Now I have caused the death of all your father’s family.  Stay here with me, and don’t be afraid. I will protect you with my own life, for the same person wants to kill us both.'” (NLT)

David and Nahash

Friendship often extends to those who love our friends. When we lose someone close to us, sometimes the only thing we can do is comfort those who were close. David shows his love of Nahash by sending someone to express his sympathy to Nahash’s family members.

2 Samuel 10:2 – “David said, ‘I am going to show loyalty to Hanun just as his father, Nahash, was always loyal to me.’ So David sent ambassadors to express sympathy to Hanun about his father’s death.” (NLT)

David and Ittai

Some friends just inspire loyalty until the end, and Ittai felt that loyalty toward David. Meanwhile, David showed great friendship to Ittai by not expecting anything from him. True friendship is unconditional, and both men showed each other great respect with little expectation of reciprocation.

2 Samuel 15:19-21 – “Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, ‘Why do you also go with us? Go back and stay with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile from your home. You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander about with us, since I go I know not where? Go back and take your brothers with you, and may the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you.’  But Ittai answered the king, ‘As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.'” (ESV)

David and Hiram

Hiram had been a good friend of David, and he shows that friendship does not end in the death of the friend, but extends beyond to other loved ones. Sometimes we can show our friendship by expanding our love to others.

1 Kings 5:1- “King Hiram of Tyre had always been friends with Solomon’s father David. When Hiram learned that Solomon was king, he sent some of his officials to meet with Solomon.” (CEV)

1 Kings 5:7 – “Hiram was so happy when he heard Solomon’s request that he said, ‘I am grateful that the LORD gave David such a wise son to be king of that great nation!'” (CEV)

Job and His Friends

Friends come to each other when one faces adversity. When Job faced his toughest times, his friends were immediately there with him. In these times of great distress, Job’s friends sat with him and let him do the talking. They felt his pain, but also allowed him to feel it without putting their burdens on him at that time. Sometimes just being there is a comfort.

Job 2:11-13 – “Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him. And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven.  So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.” (NKJV)




1 – Jesus was born earlier than we thought.

Our current calendar, which supposedly starts from the time Jesus Christ was born (A.D., anno domini, Latin for “in the year of our Lord”), is wrong.

We know from Roman historians that King Herod died about 4 B.C. But Jesus was born when Herod was still alive. In fact, Herod ordered all male children in Bethlehem two years and younger slaughtered, in an attempt to kill the Messiah.

Although the date is debated, the census mentioned in Luke 2:2 probably occurred about 6 B.C. Taking these and other details into account, Jesus was actually born between 6 and 4 B.C.

2 – Jesus protected the Jews during the exodus.

The Trinity always works together. When the Jews escaped from Pharaoh, detailed in the book of Exodus, Jesus sustained them in the wilderness. This truth was revealed by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:3-4: “They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.” (NIV)

This was not the only time Jesus took an active role in the Old Testament.

Several other appearances, or theophanies, are documented in the Bible.

3 – Jesus was not just a carpenter.

Mark 6:3 calls Jesus a “carpenter,” but it’s very likely he possessed a broad range of construction skills, with the ability to work in wood, stone, and metal. The Greek word translated carpenter is “tekton,” an ancient term going back to the poet Homer, at least 700 B.C.

While tekton originally referred to a worker in wood, it expanded over time to include other materials. Some Bible scholars note that wood was relatively scarce in Jesus’ time and that most houses were made of stone. Apprenticed to his step-father Joseph, Jesus may have traveled throughout Galilee, building synagogues and other structures.

4 – Jesus spoke three, possibly four languages.

We know from the gospels that Jesus spoke Aramaic, the everyday tongue of ancient Israel because some of his Aramaic words are recorded in Scripture. As a devout Jew, he also spoke Hebrew, which was used in the prayers in the temple. However, many synagogues used the Septuagint, Hebrew Scriptures translated into Greek.

When he talked with Gentiles, Jesus may have conversed in Greek, the commerce language of the Middle East at the time. Although we don’t know for sure, he may have talked with a Roman centurion in Latin (Matthew 8:13).

5 – Jesus was probably not handsome.

No physical description of Jesus exists in the Bible, but the prophet Isaiah provides an important clue about him: “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” (Isaiah 53:2b, NIV)

Because Christianity was persecuted by Rome, the earliest Christian mosaics depicting Jesus date from around 350 A.D. Paintings showing Jesus with long hair were common in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, but Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:14 that long hair on men was “disgraceful.”

Jesus stood out because of what he said and did, not for the way he looked.

6 – Jesus could be amazed.

On at least two occasions, Jesus showed great surprise at events. He was “amazed” at the people’s lack of faith in him in Nazareth and could do no miracles there. (Mark 6:5-6) The great faith of a Roman centurion, a Gentile, also amazed him, as noted in Luke 7:9.

Christians have long argued over Philippians 2:7. The New American Standard Bible says Christ “emptied” himself, while the later ESV and NIV versions say Jesus “made himself nothing.” The controversy still goes on over what this emptying of divine power or kenosis means, but we can be sure that Jesus was both fully God and fully man in his incarnation.

7 – Jesus was not a vegan.

In the Old Testament, God the Father set up a system of animal sacrifice as a key part of worship. Contrary to the rules of modern vegans who do not eat meat on moral grounds, God placed no such restrictions on his followers. He did, however, give a list of unclean foods that were to be avoided, such as pork, rabbit, water creatures without fins or scales, and certain lizards and insects.

As an obedient Jew, Jesus would have eaten the Passover lamb served on that important holy day. The gospels also tell of Jesus eating fish. Dietary restrictions were later lifted for Christians.


Who Am I In Christ

Who Am I In Christ


2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV / 1,325 helpful votes

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Ephesians 2:10 ESV / 940 helpful votes

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

1 Peter 2:9 ESV / 924 helpful votes

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Romans 8:1 ESV / 836 helpful votes

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

John 1:12 ESV / 722 helpful votes

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV / 578 helpful votes

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

John 15:5 ESV / 567 helpful votes

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

1 Corinthians 6:19 ESV / 536 helpful votes

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,

John 15:15 ESV / 492 helpful votes

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Ephesians 2:6 ESV / 487 helpful votes

And raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

2 Timothy 1:7 ESV / 481 helpful votes

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Galatians 2:20 ESV / 466 helpful votes

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 3:26 ESV / 465 helpful votes

For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

1 John 4:4 ESV / 449 helpful votes

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Philippians 4:13 ESV / 415 helpful votes

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Romans 12:2 ESV / 414 helpful votes

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Philippians 3:20 ESV / 400 helpful votes

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Romans 8:17 ESV / 394 helpful votes

And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

1 Corinthians 6:17

But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

1 John 5:18

We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.

Romans 5:1 ESV / 357 helpful votes

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:27 ESV / 338 helpful votes

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Colossians 3:12 ESV / 324 helpful votes

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV / 310 helpful votes

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

Ephesians 1:3 ESV / 308 helpful votes

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

Philippians 4:19 ESV / 302 helpful votes

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

2 Peter 1:4 ESV / 286 helpful votes

By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

John 15:16 ESV / 284 helpful votes

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

1 Peter 2:9-10 ESV / 282 helpful votes

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

John 3:16 ESV / 273 helpful votes

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Ephesians 1:5 ESV / 269 helpful votes

He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

Psalm 139:14

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Colossians 3:3 ESV / 252 helpful votes

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 2:10 ESV / 251 helpful votes

And you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

Philippians 1:6 ESV / 248 helpful votes

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:20 ESV / 243 helpful votes

For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Matthew 5:14 ESV / 243 helpful votes

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Ephesians 1:7 ESV / 241 helpful votes

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

Ephesians 3:12 ESV / 234 helpful votes

In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

1 Corinthians 1:2 ESV / 232 helpful votes

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

1 Thessalonians 5:5 ESV / 230 helpful votes

For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.

Colossians 1:13 ESV / 229 helpful votes

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,

Romans 8:37 ESV / 218 helpful votes

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

John 15:1 ESV / 218 helpful votes

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.

John 14:6 ESV / 218 helpful votes

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV / 214 helpful votes

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

1 Corinthians 2:16 ESV / 214 helpful votes

“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Matthew 5:13 ESV / 212 helpful votes

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

Hebrews 4:16 ESV / 209 helpful votes

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Ephesians 1:4 ESV / 208 helpful votes

Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love

Romans 8:28 ESV / 207 helpful votes

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 6:23 ESV / 204 helpful votes

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 1:1 ESV / 201 helpful votes

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:

Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV / 199 helpful votes

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:18 ESV / 196 helpful votes

For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

Colossians 2:7 ESV / 191 helpful votes

Rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

1 Peter 2:11 ESV / 187 helpful votes

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.

1 Corinthians 1:30 ESV / 186 helpful votes

And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,

Colossians 1:14 ESV / 183 helpful votes

In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

1 Peter 1:23 ESV / 182 helpful votes

Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

James 4:7 ESV / 180 helpful votes

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

1 John 1:9 ESV / 179 helpful votes

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 Peter 2:5 ESV / 178 helpful votes

You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Galatians 4:6 ESV / 173 helpful votes

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

Romans 10:9 ESV / 170 helpful votes

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

James 1:22 ESV / 169 helpful votes

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Acts 1:8 ESV / 168 helpful votes

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Romans 3:24 ESV / 166 helpful votes

And are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Romans 6:6 ESV / 165 helpful votes

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

Romans 6:18 ESV / 164 helpful votes

And, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

2 Corinthians 2:14 ESV / 162 helpful votes

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

Romans 8:2 ESV / 162 helpful votes

For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

1 Thessalonians 1:4 ESV / 155 helpful votes

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you,

Galatians 3:13 ESV / 154 helpful votes

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—

Romans 8:1-39 ESV / 154 helpful votes

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. …

Ephesians 1:7-8 ESV / 153 helpful votes

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight

Ephesians 2:5 ESV / 152 helpful votes

Even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

Ephesians 2:1 ESV / 151 helpful votes

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins

Romans 5:17 ESV / 151 helpful votes

For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 4:24 ESV / 147 helpful votes

And to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 2:13 ESV / 146 helpful votes

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 5:8 ESV / 139 helpful votes

For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light

1 Corinthians 3:9 ESV / 139 helpful votes

For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

Romans 5:8 ESV / 139 helpful votes

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV / 137 helpful votes

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Colossians 1:22 ESV / 134 helpful votes

He has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,

2 Corinthians 1:21 ESV / 133 helpful votes

And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us,

Ephesians 1:6 ESV / 130 helpful votes

To the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

2 Corinthians 1:22 ESV / 129 helpful votes

And who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

2 Timothy 1:9 ESV / 125 helpful votes

Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,

Philippians 4:6-7 ESV / 124 helpful votes

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 2:9-10 ESV / 122 helpful votes

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

Romans 12:3 ESV / 120 helpful votes

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

John 8:12 ESV / 119 helpful votes

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

2 Corinthians 2:15 ESV / 116 helpful votes

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,

Galatians 5:1 ESV / 115 helpful votes

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

John 10:10 ESV / 115 helpful votes

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Colossians 1:2 ESV / 112 helpful votes

To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

Romans 3:23 ESV / 111 helpful votes

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

1 John 5:14-15 ESV / 108 helpful votes

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

A Prayer for Wisdom and Strength When Facing Temptation

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Cor. 10:13
     Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deut. 31:6
     Faithful Lord Jesus, as you know, this was one of the very first verses I memorized back in the summer of 1968, just months after coming to know you. It was an important and hope-filled Scripture then, and a little over four decades later, the same holds true. The enticing and seizing power of temptation is just as real in my early sixties as it was in my late teens.
     It would be one thing if temptation came like junk mail—easy to recognize, ignore, and discard; but at times temptation comes with such enticing, alluring, and promissory power that “standing up under it” isn’t very easy. I would despair and question the reality of my faith if I didn’t have the assurance that temptation itself is not sin (James 1:13-15). Jesus, the very fact that you suffered the full fury of temptation gives me hope and keeps me wise.
     The encouraging and timely parts of this verse are the “commonality” of every temptation and the promise of a “way out” of any temptation. This assures me that whenever dark, foolish, or destructive thoughts enter my mind, such temptations are not unique to me. I’m not alone. Such temptations are common to other believers, just like me. I’m not terrible because I’m tempted, I’m just tempted to do terrible things.
     Lord Jesus, I ask for myself and for a host of friends, bring the hope and resources of the gospel to bear at the very place the seducing power of temptation rears its ugly head. Whether our temptations are Technicolor or seemingly “harmless”—sexual, vengeful, financial, or self-righteousness; whether we are tempted to medicate with alcohol or drugs, religion or goodness, sugar or purging, it makes no difference—show us the way of escape, and give us strength to choose that way.
     Give us enough grace in this very day to prove your faithfulness and to keep ourselves free from acting out in ways we will surely regret. Our peace, our great peace is in knowing that you are our righteousness, Jesus. So very Amen we pray, in your all-sufficient and loving name.


I know that Jesus loves me.

I can see it in the sky.

It shows in every white, white cloud

That dances for my eyes.

I know that Jesus loves me.

I can find it in the sound

Of the happy little waving leaves

That breezes whirl around.

I know that Jesus loves me.

I can hear it every day

In all the kind and gentle words

My parents often say.

I know that Jesus loves me,

For I feel a burning start

When I kneel and say a prayer.

The Spirit fills my heart.xxxxxxxxxxxxx


These are the end times. What does that mean? This earth will not continue as it always has. It will end. Time will end and God will judge the world. The heavens and the earth will be destroyed by fire (2 Peter 3) and God will create a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1-8); but first there are other scriptures which must be fulfilled. [Note: It is important for you to read whole books of the Bible so that you can grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Then you will have personal understanding of what is in the Bible. The Holy Ghost will teach you as you read and obey and you can judge what is right and what is wrong. Our Lord Jesus Christ hath made us kings and priests unto our God.] As the end approaches, evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. The laws are getting worse (for sin and against the saints), crimes are increasing, sins are increasing, blasphemies are increasing. As we see people open wide their mouths against the Lord, we are actually witnessing people sealing their own fate. . . . The school children are being kept from the truth of the Bible and are exposed to anything outside of it (legends, confounded puzzles and riddles, mysticism/devil worship, etc. Our children can learn, but they are being confounded and tempted and even those that do okay academically are being brainwashed with false knowledge). Through television, education, and various means, people are being tempted to sin and are wrecklessly plunging into sin. They are also being taught to despise Christians and to worship the devil through mystical/magician practices. This is preparing the way for the man of sin. Please see the next point. The man of sin, that Wicked, will appear (2 Thessalonians 2) and the great tribulation will occur, a time worse than any other time period (see Matthew 24). Christians will be killed and hated of all nations. [This is not new, the historical record shows that the Roman Catholic “Church” has killed millions of Christians. Her inquisition was instigated and sustained by the popes themselves. You can read further of these things on this index page.] Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. With lightened eyes, one can see today’s rabble-makers and rabble-rousers creating and stirring up wrath against the Bible and Christians. Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. Don’t read blasphemy–the enemies of the gospel are many and sometimes even Christian ministries give too much information as they seek to warn people of what is going on. Some of what is on this website is for those ensnared in sin so that they can be free–I do not want you to read everything that is here, be careful about what you read (I wrote and compiled these things back when I was confronted with certain grievous errors.). Pray, read your Bible, do good, and fall in love with Jesus. You also need to be baptized and learn how to live the Christian life (which includes doing all your daily tasks and housework, spending time with your family not forgetting your children but rather caring for them and enjoying them while working together, praying, Bible reading, walking, doing projects based on the needs of life (e.g. food, clothing, shelter, water, fire, health), etc. Cleave to the scriptures. They will keep you safe. I commit you to the love of God. You can find hymns and spiritual songs (free–with words and music) at this link to encourage, admonish, and uplift your spirit. The Christian Family Page is for the married and the unmarried. It is for those with no big problems and for those who have been harmed or abused in this life. Be careful of church people and church buildings. No Roman Catholic “church” can be right because Roman Catholic doctrines are not right. They directly contradict the scriptures. The Roman Catholic religion teaches multitudes to pray to “Mary” instead of in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It calls its Mary “the Queen of Heaven”. In Jeremiah chapters 7 and 44 (along with Deuteronomy 32:16-17), the Queen of Heaven is revealed to be a devil. The Roman Catholic institution says that our precious Lord Jesus is turned into a little cracker (the eucharist) when the priest speaks certain words at the “mass”. This is a very great blasphemy. Many Catholics possess and pray to little statue idols that they call “saints” when the Bible says do not make unto thyself any graven image (ref. Exodus 20:4)–this includes images and pictures of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (many are guilty of this trespass). They light candles for the dead, bow before relics (e.g., a dead man’s finger) and believe in a fictional purgatory that they try to pay their way out of–more money for the coffers of the “church”. Their leaders have deceived them and are making merchandise of them. The love of money is the root of all evil. There are many heresies that Catholics are taught to believe but if they will only decide that the word of God is true, they can come out of these deceptions in an instant. If you are a former Roman Catholic, you are familiar with the Romish rituals. You must never return to those unclean things. Get rid of all traces of Romanism that may be in your life–including the rosary which is used for what our Lord Jesus Christ called, “vain repetition” (ref. Matthew 6:7). I would not have you to be ignorant–the Roman Catholic institution is not the only apostate church…but the Bible reveals that she does have a special status. She is the mother of them all–Revelation 17:5 calls her MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH (cursor down this link to see Revelation 17:3-6 and photographs showing how she fulfills it). The Bible also calls her the great whore (Rev. 17:1; 19:2). As a whore, she has MANY children. And since she is a whore, you do not know who the fathers are of these various bastard children (“bastard” is a Bible word e.g. Hebrews 12:8). One outbreak that you see is the hordes of false churches with their hierarchal systems. Instead of a pope they have a superstar pastor at the top making merchandise of the people and having all kinds of departments below him (some churches even have investment counsellors). They meet in fancy church buildings and offer endless programs and activities to keep their members busy and entertained. When we look closely at these churches we find that heresies abound across the board–whether charismatic, pentecostal, “community” church, Mormon, Seventh Day Adventist, “Church of Christ”, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Greek Orthodox, “Jehovah’s” Witness, Calvinist, dispensationalist Baptist, non-denominational, Christian Science, et al. I cannot recommend one church. Be ware, dear one, be ware. Do not jump at the chance to be called by any other name but what the Bible calls you–Christian, saint, disciple, etc. Calvin was not crucified for me. I would never call myself a Calvinist, a Baptist or any such thing. A new Christian is young and a babe, like a baby. At a certain point, babies seem to start putting almost anything in their mouths. It is part of their exploration time. It is possible for them to put something in their mouth that is not good–or that is even fatal. New Christians need to read the word of God (Authorized King James Version of 1611) and grow up and get strong. There are many false teachers marching all over the earth and they can–and do–fool people. Just because a group has one doctrine seemingly right does not mean that they have them all right. It also does not mean that when they use words that you know, that they mean the exact same thing that you do. They use our words, but they do not mean what we mean, but you do not know that at first. As a person stays in their organization for a while, they get led into learning and believing the blasphemies. ). For instance, a mormon male may give you a King James Bible or try to tell you about the Lord, but he does not tell you that he believes that he can one day be the exact same as God the Father, which is blasphemy (I’ve been approached by some Mormon missionaries and I asked them if they believed that they could become gods with their own planets, etc., they were clearly uncomfortable but they did acknowledge that the answer was yes.). The cults fool the unwary and lead them into error bit by bit. Don’t jump to join any group. The Bible says to LAY HANDS SUDDENLY ON ****NO**** MAN. To the unsuspecting, cultists can seem so “nice” (just like that worm on the fishhook looks so nice and good to the unsuspecting fish–he eats the bait, the hook goes into his guts or head, and he quickly ends up in somebody’s frying pan). Study and obey God’s word (Authorized Version of 1611 of the Bible) and you will not be tricked. Read whole books of the Bible, don’t just flip here and there or just take somebody’s word for what the Bible says. II Timothy 2:15 STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. “How can I study the Bible except some man guide me?” There is a general overview of the Bible at this link, but it is only an overview, it is NOT the Bible–you must read the Bible itself. When you read and obey your Bible you will get your strength and your power and you will grow and overcome. Read whole books, don’t just flip from place to place. God’s people do not follow man and man’s traditions. We follow the scriptures, always. We read them until we die (and they still abide forever). The word of God, the holy Bible, is our bread–you need to eat and digest your own food, and leave the television alone, no more monthly cable bill. WARNING: The Galatians heard the gospel message of how to be saved through faith but they SOON left the truth for ANOTHER gospel–do not do this, be ware. False teachers preached A PERVERSION of the gospel to the Galatians. False churches do the same thing today–whether “Jehovah’s” Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, “Church of Christ”, antinomian dispensationalist Baptist, etc. May you never call yourself a Baptist, Calvinist, etc. because that is not what the Bible calls you. Saved people are Christians, disciples, saints. Cults take Bible doctrines and add to them, take away from them, pervert them, and twist them. We are to stay with the word itself, not somebody’s perversion of the word. THERE ARE ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES FOR FOLLOWING A PERVERSION OF THE GOSPEL. WE ARE TO LEAVE GOD’S WORD IN TACT, JUST AS IT IS WRITTEN. IT HAS ALL OF THE LOVE, GOODNESS AND CORRECTION IN IT–NO CHANGES ARE TO BE MADE TO IT, NO SOFTENING IT. NO CONTRARY DOCTRINES. I heard somebody say something like this, “You do not have to be careful with God’s word, it already has the care in it. Just be careful that you share it just as it is written.” Don’t alter God’s word. Revelation 22:18 If any man shall ADD UNTO THESE things, God shall ADD UNTO HIM the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall TAKE AWAY from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall TAKE AWAY HIS PART out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. [our note: The lake of fire that burneth with fire and brimstone is the destiny of those whose names are not found written in the book of life.] Galatians 1:6 I marvel that YE ARE so SOON REMOVED from him that called you into the grace of Christ UNTO ANOTHER GOSPEL: 7 Which is not another; but THERE BE SOME THAT TROUBLE YOU, AND WOULD PERVERT THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, LET HIM BE ACCURSED. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If ANY man preach ANY other gospel unto you than that ye have received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED.



Before you start reading this, I would like to ask you to take a moment to pause and pray about what I am about to share with you.  Pray that God will use it in your life all for His glory.

And please know that this took a lot of strength to write.  Everything you read in this testimony is something I’ve never shared with anyone outside my immediate family.  Posting this on my all-public website and other social networks is like opening the most secret part of me for everyone to see.  And honestly, it scares me.  But I know this is what God wants me to do.  And I hope and pray that you will be encouraged by what you read and that through it, you will only get to see more of just a glimpse of Who God really is.  And just what His love can do to one person.
It was a couple days after September 11, 2001.  My little six-year old self was listening to my mom pray for the grieving families of everyone who was a victim to the Twin Tower destruction.
My mind was racing faster than I knew it could.  Thoughts filled my head, thoughts of death and dying and heaven and hell.
What if I was in one of those towers?  What if I had died?  Where would I have gone?
God was working in my six-year old heart.  And I knew that He was calling me.  Right then and there, I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins, to come into my life and accept me as one of His children.
Regardless of how my little prayer went, I know He heard me.  And I will never forget what happened the second I said ‘amen’.  I felt something lift off of my shoulders.  It caught me by such surprise that I opened my eyes and looked behind me to see what it had been and who had removed it.  But there was no one there, physically.   I remember smiling to myself and just knowing that I was a new Christian.
I didn’t get baptized till I was ten.  And I wrote up my little testimony and said it in front of a congregation of the new church my family and I had recently started going to.  I remember shaking nervously as I stumbled over each sentence.  But I was so happy to finally get baptized.  And I really felt like I was ready for it.  I knew the significance it held in my walk with God.
But there was still much I would learn about being a Christian.
Fast forward three years to a time where I was a troubled thirteen-year old girl, deeply struggling in my spiritual walk.  My life was a mess.  I was so far from God.
I was scared.  That’s really the only word I can think of to describe what I was feeling.  Over the last few months, I had felt myself falling away from God.  I never read my Bible.  I basically hated praying.  I didn’t think God was doing anything in my life.  Going to church was a chore.  And when someone said the name of Jesus, I cringed.  Almost as if I felt guilty just by hearing His name.
I was too scared to talk to my parents about any of this because I thought that they would be mad at me; that they would think that I had lied about becoming a Christian seven years ago.  But one day (and I’m not exactly sure when or how it happened), God showed me that I couldn’t get through life without honoring Him and keeping Him as the first priority.  I was so ashamed and thought to myself, ‘How could I really be saved if I’ve been acting this way?’  I remember one time being so scared that I went into my bathroom and huddled in a corner, sobbing into a towel.  I even went so far as to think that I would go to hell whenever I died because I hadn’t been living a fruitful spiritual life.
In a very tactful way, I remember approaching my mom and asking her: if a Christian felt far from God, what should they do?  What would be the best remedy to closing that gap between Creator and creation?
‘Raquel, God doesn’t have us base things on our feelings.  You have to base them on His promises in His Word.’
That really struck me.  And as I meditated on that for a while, I realized that all this time, I had been doing just that – basing everything on my feelings.  I was reminded of John 11:25, where Jesus says, ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life.  He who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me, will never die.’  Every Christian sins.  It’s not as if we receive Christ and become perfect.  When I received Christ as my Savior, I was saved forever.  For the rest of my life.  And whenever I die, I will immediately go to be with Him.  The ‘gap’ that I felt between me and God was something I needed to work on.  The more of an effort I made, the more He honored my desire to grow in Him.
Fast forward another three years.  I’m sixteen.  I thought I had my next three years planned out before me.  I would meet a guy this year, get married by the time I was 18 and have my first baby at 19.  Sounded like a good plan.
I joined a Christian homeschooling social network that I knew a few friends were involved in.  I even knew a married couple who had met on it and needless to say, it pique my interest.  Maybe I’d meet some awesome Christian guy and the first step of my plan would be set!
Within a month or so of being a part of this website, I started communicating with a guy through the direct messaging system.  He had contacted me first and told me what a beautiful young woman I was and how I seemed to have so much of what he was looking for in a future wife.  He was very bold and full of compliments for me.  And of course, my young, sweet sixteen heart was flattered and excited at the attention I was receiving from him.
When he started mentioning ‘courtship’ and ‘marriage’, I decided I had to tell my parents about him.  Even though I didn’t have a very good relationship with them, I knew that this was turning into something serious and they needed to know.  I wouldn’t be able to start dating this guy without them noticing something changing in me.  They immediately expressed concern for me and told me that my guy ‘friend’ had no right to be talking to me about such things and that if he was genuinely interested in pursuing a relationship with me, he should’ve asked to contact Dad.  I was upset with them – to the point of tears.  ‘You don’t know him!’ I argued.  ‘I think he’s such a neat guy and I like everything I’ve found out about him!’  But they argued back with ‘You don’t know him well enough’ and that basically settled the matter.  They told me not to email him anymore and that they didn’t want he and I to have anymore one-on-one contact (emails, texting, etc.).  But I, being the rebellious daughter, went against their wishes and continued talking to him behind their backs.  And that was my first mistake.  When this guy found out about me still talking to him (even after he knew my parents had told me not to) his attitude and way of addressing me changed.  I didn’t understand how or why until later.  He wasn’t genuinely interested in me.  He was interested in what he could get from me.  And believe me, satisfaction can come in many different ways.
And thus, I was introduced to the modern technology term known as ‘sexting’.
In my innocent, naive little mind, I had no idea what some of the words and phrases he said to me meant.  But once it got a little more detailed, I tried putting together bits and pieces of it.  It shocked me a bit at first.  But my first argument to my conscience was ‘We’re not doing any of this in person, so it’s not that bad.’  This was my second mistake.
How God ended this ‘friendship’ was by me, one day, telling this guy about a certain doctrinal view I had.  He strongly disagreed with me and the next thing I knew, he had deleted me on Facebook, blocked me on gmail and his phone, and cut off all communication with me.  The WAY he did it, though, made me know that it wasn’t just because he disagreed with my doctrine.  It was because he had lost interest in me.
He may have been out of my life, but the little seed of knowing how to have ‘sext’ didn’t leave me.  And it wasn’t until a few months later, that another guy starting taking advantage of my friendship just like the first one had.  Except this guy didn’t talk to me about actually starting a serious relationship.  He was ‘going through a lot’ and ‘needed comfort from a true friend’.  And how could I say no?  I’m a very caring, trust too easily sort of person (or should I say, ‘I was’?).  This guy went a lot farther than the first one had, though.  And soon, I knew this was something that I either had to tell him to stop or just completely cut off communication with him.  But I didn’t.  And I had two ‘reasons’.  1: I didn’t want to hurt him.  And 2: I was addicted to it.  None of this was happening in person so why should I be so concerned?  I didn’t really love this guy.
Then came a day when I felt he was being too possessive of me.  I had been super busy during a certain weekend and hadn’t replied to any of his texts.  When I finally did, he was livid with anger at how I ‘hadn’t made time’ for him and that he had ‘needed me’.  I told him to back off and give me some space.  He started calling me all sorts of names.  And it got to a point where I had to tell my brother to tell him to leave me alone.  (At the time, my brother had NO clue about any of the sexting that had transpired between us.  Nobody knew.)  Noah (my big brother) told this guy off and let him know that he wasn’t allowed to talk to me till he apologized for the way he had addressed me.  Exit Mr. Possessive.
I must admit, after he was out of my life, I felt a sense of relief.  I felt almost free.  It was like something had been strangling me the past few months but now, I was okay.  Nobody was breathing down my neck, making me stay up till 3 a.m.
Then one day, I got an email from a friend on Facebook.  He’s the son of a very large homeschooling Christian family, good-looking, has a lot of the same interests as I do.  I was flattered he would even talk to me.  We started casually chatting every few days.  And then one day, exchanged phone numbers.  I don’t even know why or how actually.  But we switched from emailing to texting.  At the time, he was in a relationship with a girl.  But within a week of he and I talking, he told me that she had been putting a lot of distance between them and he didn’t know what was wrong.  He came to me for a lot of advice regarding their relationship and I was happy to try to help him out.
I felt like he and I were both in need of someone to ‘be there’.  I was slowly working my way out of the addiction to sexting with the previous guy ‘friend’ and he was in the middle of a break up.  We gained comfort from each other.  But that comfort quickly turned into something else.
The first time he made any sort of hint to wanting something sexual with me, I jerked back, reminding him that he was still in a committed relationship.  ‘She’ll never know,’ he said.  ‘And besides, she’s not giving me what I want.’  He might as well have added, ‘but you can’ to the end of that sentence.
Again, pity took over and I couldn’t say no.  I tried to not give in too much.  I just let him do all the texting.  I sat and read his replies and would text back short little phrases.  I felt I was justifying myself by not exactly ‘participating’ in any actions.  And if he was staying happy, then that’s all that mattered, right?
This continued for about a month and a half.  We talked almost all day, everyday.  During that time, I lied to my family and some of my closest friends.  They had all noticed something changing in my attitude and appearance.  I was slowly sinking into a depression.  A depression because I had been trying so hard to climb out of this addiction, but this third guy just kept pulling me back.  And I didn’t know how to say ‘no’.  I didn’t know that I even could.
Finally, I decided I could try asking for some help.  I wouldn’t tell anyone exactly what was going on, but I needed advice.  Two of my close friends knew something was going on.  They noticed how depressed I had gotten, and very withdrawn.  So I told one of my friends (Andrew) that ‘someone’ had started talking inappropriately to me, and what should I do about it?  He told me to tell the guy to leave me alone and then to go immediately and talk to my parents.
‘Heck no,’ I muttered in reply.  My parents could never, ever find out about this.
Finally, a day rolled around where something clicked in my brain.  I knew I had to get out of this mess.  I knew I had to fix this as best as I could.  And the first way to do that was gonna have to tell this ‘friend’ goodbye.  A friend of mine (Emily) and I had started a Bible study together and I really felt God working in my heart.  As much as I was ashamed and embarrassed by how much I had been sinning, I still felt like He was calling me.  Through reading more of my Bible and praying more often and being encouraged by my friend, I felt myself coming out of that pit again.  I knew that God still loved me.  And still wanted to call me His daughter.
So, one day, I sat down and wrote this guy an email, then texted him and told him to check his inbox.  My email read something like this:
‘God has really been working in my life lately.  And I know that what you and I have been doing to and with each other is a sin.  I’m cleaning up my life and getting rid of any friends who aren’t pushing me closer to God because He is what is the most important thing in my life.  You aren’t.  So I need to tell you goodbye.  I would be more than happy to forgive you, if you want my forgiveness.  But until you do, please never contact me again.  And delete my name and number from anywhere you have it saved.  I’m praying for you.’
I have never heard from him again.
As soon as I had hit ‘send’, I knew that God was happy.  I knew that He was applauding me.  I felt His presence so greatly in that moment that it was overwhelming.  I knew I had done the right thing.  I sat down and bawled my eyes out for a good ten minutes or so.
I texted Emily and told her.  She started rejoicing with me.  She didn’t even know all the details, but all she needed to see was how that ‘friendship’ had been affecting my life in a negative way.
There were still two more people I needed to tell.  My parents.
For over a month, I tried hard to figure out a way to tell them.  I knew they would be upset.  They’d probably hate me and take away my computer and phone and iPod.  They’d make me delete any social networks I belonged to.  Keep me from seeing friends.  The list I created in my mind went on and on…
Until I decided, one day, that I would write them a letter.  Sometimes I’m better at communicating through paper than I can through speech.
The letter turned out to be six pages long.  I gave it to them and asked them to pray about it before reading it.  About a half hour later, they both came to my room, their faces wet with tears and hugged and cried with me, telling me they were so thankful for my honesty.  I was so assured by their love that I knew I had done the right thing in bringing this to them and showing them this part of my life.
After I had told them, I felt a lot of peace from God.  He had honored my decision in letting my parents into my life – even the darkest part of me.
Also, I noticed that I didn’t have as many bad memories as I had had before.  ‘Bad memories’ meaning flashbacks of certain conversations.  Every time I had/have one, I literally jerk myself back to reality and immediately start praying that God would purge my mind.  He has been.  And they come a lot less frequently now.
Now, dear readers, I’m not sure what any of you are thinking right now.  But as I bring to close this testimony of my life, I want to share with you just what I learned through these experiences.
2012 was a year full of many different lessons for me.  I believe that God presents many different situations to us in life to see which choice we will make with them.  For me, I chose the choice that I thought was ‘okay’, instead of saying ‘No, I need to stay focused on the LORD and not turn to this world to fulfill my desires’.  Through that choice, I experienced betrayal, confusion, mistrust, pain, sadness, depression, but ultimately…forgiveness from my Maker.  The kind of forgiveness I never knew existed.  Forgiveness for things I never knew a ‘perfect little homeschooled Christian girl’ would ever need.  The LORD revealed Himself to me in ways that I never knew I could see Him in.  He pulled me closer to Himself and loved me with a love I didn’t know I could ever possess in a relationship with my Heavenly Father.
There are three parts to learning a lesson.
The first part is the beginning stage.  When you’re introduced to an idea and it’s YOUR choice whether to learn it one way (the easy way) or the other (the hard way).
The second part is the actual, hands-on learning process.  This is where you can either have God hold one hand while you lightly experience it with your other.  Or where you can push God away, say you can do it by yourself, and end up sinking up to your neck in trouble you don’t know how to get out of.
The third part is the end of the lesson.  The part where you stop, look back and realize what the lesson was actually about.
For me, going through all these different feelings and exiting, feeling used and hurt, I didn’t understand why God had let me experience that.  I didn’t understand why He had presented that lesson to me in the first place.  What did He want me to learn?  Ah, but that’s the beauty of His patience and love.  And I now know why I learned that hard and painful lesson.
When God first laid this in front of me, it had been because (like every other lesson), He wanted to see my decision.  He wanted me to prove to Him just what kind of Daughter I really was.  And I failed.
BUT God uses our failures, yes?  He uses our mistakes in life to teach us little lessons inside our bigger lessons.  Our whole life, we will be learning.
Through this mistake, these failures, God has taught me something beautiful.  Something that has impacted my life so greatly.  Something that has changed my whole outlook of every, single day that I know I will remember for the rest of my life.  And that something is this:
No matter what we think we need or desire, God is the answer to every want and pleasure.  We already have everything we need.  If God chooses to give us something else, it’s a blessing.  And it’s only because He’s giving it to us out of His pure and indescribable love.
What I thought was fulfilling my desires and making me ‘happy’, was only taking more from me and leaving me more empty than I was before.  My priorities were all jumbled too.  One of my top ones being that I wanted to have that significant other that ALL (at least it seems) my friends have.
But God, in His infinite grace, mercy and love, showed me that HE is Who I should be falling in love with.  That HE is all I need.  Ever.  A man won’t make me happy.  If I’m not happy and content with life right now, I never will be.  A man isn’t perfect.  He’ll fail – just as I do.  He’ll make mistakes – just like I do.  He won’t have all the answers – just like nobody does.  But God will never fail me.  He never makes mistakes.  He has every answer to every question.  He should be my satisfaction.  He should be my only True Love.
And that’s exactly what He has become to me.  I stand in awe of the God who created me.  I am so, so in love with my Jesus.  My only desire is to grow closer to the LORD.
Forgiveness has played a huge role in my healing life.  Not only forgiveness FROM God and myself.  But forgiveness TO the guys from my past.  It took a lot for me to forgive them.  I wrestled with it for a while, asking God to help me bless ‘my enemies’ and forgive those who have sinned against me.  But I have.  And I can say that I have whole-heartedly.
I’m sure that your opinion of me has changed after reading this.  At least in some way, it has altered your view on me as an individual.  But before I end this, I want to say a special message to any girls out there reading this.
Perhaps you’re in a similar situation like what I was in.  Maybe there is a guy (or guys) who are taking advantage of your friendship and using you to fulfill their pleasures and satisfaction.  Dear heart, you can tell them ‘No’.  You can just walk away from their dirty words and inappropriate jokes because you deserves so much more than that.  You are WORTH so much more than what they can give you.  And you are so, so, so beautiful.  You don’t need a man to tell you that because really, it doesn’t matter what they think.  God made you so perfectly unique and He never hates something He made.  You’re a princess.  You’re a beautiful maiden.  You’re a warrioress.  You can fight against any evil in this world with God’s strength.  If I could sit down and tell you this with my own voice, I would.  You may have heard those words before, but don’t let that make you not believe them.  Because they are so, so true.
Looking back on my experiences, I can see just how much God protected me.  He made something as simple as a doctrinal issue to separate me from the first guy who started talking to me inappropriately.  He used my brother to make the second guy leave me alone.  And the third guy was someone who I never would have ever thought would treat me in such a way.  He was the least suspected one, you know?  He used to call me ‘little sister’ and even told me one time how he was protective of me and concerned for my safety.  But a few weeks later, was asking if I would send him ‘pictures’ or secretly meet him in town to ‘hang out’.  Guys are cunning.  They will do just about anything to get what they want.  Evil men are like that.  But, sweetheart, there is a man out there – the man God made JUST for you – who will treat you so much better than any of those boys ever will.  Wait for him.  Don’t believe the lies of wolves in sheep’s clothing.  Believe the promises of God’s Word and remember that He cares so, so much for you.
If you ever need someone to talk to, please contact me (itisjustraquel@gmail.com).  And now that you know my story, please don’t be ashamed to share yours.
And yes, finally, I will close this…
There’s really only one thing to say, one way to end this.  And that is by giving God all the glory.  I am only who I am today because of His grace and mercy.  He has brought me through so, so much and I would go through all of that again if I knew I could be this close to Him.  He is my everything.  And He deserves all the praise for any beautiful thing you see in me and my life.  I’m just a reflection.  Just a mirror.
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD.  ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a hope and a future.’
– Jeremiah 29:11ddddddddddddddddddddddddd


SOMETHING terrible has happened. John the Baptizer has just been killed. He·roʹdi·as, the wife of the king, did not like him. And she was able to get the king to have John’s head cut off.

When Jesus hears about this, he is very sad. He goes into a lonely place by himself. But the people follow him. When Jesus sees the crowds, he feels sorry for them. So he talks to them about the kingdom of God, and he heals their sick ones.

That evening his disciples come to him and say: ‘It is already late, and this is a lonely place. Send the people away so they can buy some food for themselves in the nearby villages.’

‘They don’t have to leave,’ Jesus answers. ‘You give them something to eat.’ Turning to Philip, Jesus asks: ‘Where can we buy enough food to feed all these people?’

‘It will cost lots and lots of money to buy enough so everyone can have only a little bit,’ Philip answers. Andrew speaks up: ‘This boy, who is carrying our food, has five loaves of bread and two fishes. But it won’t be nearly enough for all these people.’

‘Tell the people to sit down on the grass,’ Jesus says. Then he thanks God for the food, and starts breaking it into pieces. Next, the disciples give the bread and fish to all the people. There are 5,000 men, and many more thousands of women and children. They all eat until they are full. And when the disciples gather up what is left over, there are 12 baskets full!

Jesus now has his disciples get into a boat to go across the Sea of Galʹi·lee. During the night a big storm comes up, and waves toss the boat this way and that way. The disciples are very much afraid. Then, in the middle of the night, they see someone walking toward them across the water. They cry out in fear, because they do not know what they are seeing.

‘Don’t be afraid,’ Jesus says. ‘It is I!’ They still can’t believe it. So Peter says: ‘If it really is you, Lord, tell me to walk across the water to you.’ Jesus answers: ‘Come!’ And Peter gets out and walks on the water! Then he becomes afraid and begins to sink, but Jesus saves him.

Later, Jesus again feeds thousands of people. This time he does so with seven loaves of bread and a few small fishes. And again there is plenty for all. Isn’t it wonderful how Jesus takes care of people? When he rules as God’s king we will never have to worry about anything!