Becoming more in Christ in our every day circumstances…more of Jesus, less of me

John 3:30: “He must become greater; I must become less.”

Since March 2, churches around the world have been celebrating the lenten season–a time to remember events leading up to Christ’s crucifixion and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. This is also a time of reflection, prayer, and reading of God’s Word to help us be a mirror to reflect God’s love in our lives.

I was gently reminded of the Lord’s presence in my life this week when I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night and heard these words: become more. My immediate reaction was to be reminded of hurtful words that I heard several years ago that “you could have become so much more.” These were not comforting words to me at that time, and they were said by someone who didn’t really know me that well. But these words haunted me at that time because it made me feel inadequate, and I questioned everything that I did and had become up to that point in my life. I wondered why the Lord was reminding me of this encounter.

So the next morning I looked up scriptures pertaining to “becoming more in Christ” and to my surprise, I was led to a book by Lysa Terkeurst entitled “Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl” written in 2009. I knew then that the Lord was directing me to read her book and immediately ordered a copy. She is such an accomplished author/writer, is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, and has a number of best selling books.

While reading this book, I was reminded that Jesus is the only measure of my worth. I am not defined by what other people think of me. Proving myself worthy to others should not be the measure of my faith. When I need Christ to be my guide–He is there. When I need Christ to help me forgive–He teaches me how. When I need Christ to help me love–He shows me how He lived and loved everyone around Him. When I need a friend in times of doubt, worry, or fear–He guides me to the scriptures to calm my heart and soul. Oftentimes, He leads another person (via phone call or in person) to just listen and also share their own experiences to help me at the very moment I need them.

During the Easter season, I am reminded of a love far beyond our comprehension–a love so unconditional–that I want this kind of love for my husband, daughter and grand children, friends and other family members to be just that way. Unconditional love that reaches beyond how we are feeling at the moment so that we can look past our circumstances.

Psalm 103:5 tells us that “He fills my life with good things!” God wants the very best for us. He is not looking at all the things we could have or should have done in our lives. He has a purpose for each one of us and sometimes that means that the path He asks us to choose is not going to be the path that others (family or friends) have or want for us.

They say “experience is the best teacher.” What better teacher could we have other than Jesus Christ our Lord. The scripture tells us that “greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends.” As we celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord, let us be reminded of the love, joy, compassion, and hope that he has given to us all and “become more like Christ” in our every day circumstances.



Aging More Gracefully God’s Way

Aging, Maturity
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity”–Proverbs 3:1-2

We’ve all been there–standing in front of the mirror and “what to our wandering eyes should appear” is another wrinkle. You tell yourself that it wasn’t there two months ago but then reality sets in and you realize you are “getting older.” Struggling with aging is not what God intends for His children. In our society we have a tendency to look on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart.

Living in a world where social media ads and other forms of advertisements are readily available, we notice “how to become” younger by using certain products to reduce those fine lines and wrinkles, remove all of those dark spots, and color our hair to get rid of all the gray. There are ads for exercise equipment, diet programs, liposuction, and ageless creams to help us achieve that younger looking body and to get smoother, younger-looking skin.

But what is the secret to longevity? According to, you can obtain a healthy lifestyle and live longer if you follow certain criteria to get there. The list consists of: avoid overeating; eat more fruits/vegetables; be more physically active; don’t smoke; prioritize your happiness; avoid chronic stress and anxiety; nurture your social circle; drink coffee or tea in moderation; and develop a good sleeping pattern.

All of the above-mentioned guidelines are helpful in avoiding strokes, heart attacks, and getting a healthier immune and digestive system. However, on January 1st each year people all around the world make New Year’s resolutions to begin another year with new vigor by following a certain diet, getting more exercise, and breaking an unhealthy habit. Unfortunately, statistics have proven that most people fail in their pursuit of “healthiness” by February or March because they tried to focus on too many changes at one time and did not begin at a slower pace.

We are also told by that “life killers” threaten our health in a bigger way: toxic living; lack of movement; no community; and broken relationships. All of these killers attack our emotional and mental health in one way or another. Living a life worth living, no retirement in an abundant life–being more productive in our latter years–and staying active should help us reach our healthy goal.

In Genesis 5 there is an account of Noah’s line indicating that he, along with his children, lived well beyond in years. Noah built the ark when he was 500 years old and died when he was 950 years old. Adam lived to be 930 years and the oldest man in the Bible, Methuselah, lived to be 969. But then in Genesis 6:3, God decided that man should not live as long by saying, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.” (NIV) Currently, our median age is 90 years.

So how do we live a long, healthy life God’s way?

Proverbs 3:1-2: “My son, do not forget the teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.” (NIV) God’s Word is filled with promises for living a fulfilling life in Him. Reading His Word and applying those principles in our lives every day will help us live a healthy lifestyle and prolong our lives.

Proverbs 4:10-11: “Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I will guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.” (NIV) We are to hold on to God’s instruction and not let it go because He promises to be with us and uphold us in our life’s journey.

Proverbs 9:10-11: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.” (NIV) Wisdom, knowledge, and understanding are the key to a longer life.

Proverbs 10:27: “The fear of the Lord adds length to life, but years of the wicked are cut short.” (NIV) Reverence and respect for the Lord’s provision and to all that He is gives us renews vitality in our mind, heart, and soul.

Proverbs 17:6 reminds us that “our children’s children are a crown of the aged, and parents are the pride of their children”; and Proverbs 16:31 tells us that “gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” (NIV) Allowing the Holy Spirit to live within you (by loving the Lord God with all your heart, mind, and soul and loving your neighbor as yourself) and allowing God to renew you from within on a daily basis will help us age and mature in Godly wisdom and attain a righteous life.

May the Lord bless you and keep you and may He make His face to shine upon you and give you peace as you follow His guidelines for a long and healthy prosperous life.