No Fear in Perfect Love

As I scroll through my social media accounts, I start feeling anxiety, frustration, and total disgust. In fact, a simple search of anxiety and social media brings up article after article describing the different types of anxiety and mental health problems that come from looking at our accounts over and over. Why is that? I mean, social media is not a nice place. It started out as a way to connect with far away loved ones, old high-school friends, and to see what your ex is up to and if you are still cooler than the person he is with now….Well, maybe that’s not what it was intended for. Who knows 🤷

The point is, it’s really none of those things now. It has become a source of shouting opinions the loudest, making others feel stupid for their opinions, and a breeding ground of fear over the things happening in this world. Is this at all healthy? I think that we can all agree that it is not. Probably each of us has been viciously assaulted by a post we thought as simple and witty while others couldn’t wait to make us feel shamed for our “insensitivity” or “lack of social awareness”.

“We need a new president!” “We need social justice!” “We need equality!” “We need freedom to make choices for ourselves!” “I need! I need! I need!” So many posts about equality and fairness for each person, yet there is no love behind it? There is judgement if we disagree on any point? There is cruelty and no compassion for those that make a mistake in your eyes?

What happened to giving others room to grow? Time to change? Freedom to have their own opinions? Love hopes all things. Love is patient. Love does not easily take offense. What about those things?

While social media is a breeding ground of fear and shame, many are disoriented and completely disillusioned in life. Everything looks bleak and hopeless. So, where does that leave us? Those of us that claim to have a God that protects us. We claim to have a God that brings us joy? We have a God that says to be anxious for NOTHING. Is that what others are seeing? How can we achieve that in our relationship with Him?

In fact, God goes as far as to say that there is no fear in love. It says that fear involves punishment and that if we fear, we are not perfected in love. What is He trying to tell us?

As always, it’s a matter of our hearts. Are we actually trusting Him? Do we trust that He created us and wants the very best for us? Of course, His best for us and what we think is best, may very well be different! God deserves glory in everything. So, do our lives of comfort and having every need met make us feel as if we need Him? Not usually. It’s all about the lens we are looking through as we live our lives.

Do I wish to bring Him glory in every, single thing that happens in my life? When I’m in pain, how do I bring Him glory? When my car breaks down, how do I bring Him glory? Is my first thought, “Poor me! I can’t deal with this right now!” Or, is my first thought, “God, what do you wish me to do in this situation? Wisdom, please.”

You know, I read the most amazing book a few years back and it’s completely stuck with me. Muslim women are very difficult to talk to because, often times, they are only allowed to speak with those whom their husbands have given them permission to speak to. Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh put their lives on the line to live in Iran and witness to these women. It proved to be almost impossible due to having no access. After some time, they were put in the worst of prisons. Raw sewage, rodents, bad food (if any). Their response? “Thank you, Lord! You have given us unprecedented and total access to share You with these women!” Because they didn’t think of themselves and ask God why He would have done such a thing to them when they were so faithful, the ministry they had was unfounded! They looked at it as the biggest opportunity to speak to these women, completely undeterred! They had a captive audience instead of seeing themselves as captives.

Can you even imagine how much glory they brought to God? Can you imagine their welcome when they get to Heaven and see Him and how proud He is of them? What a beautiful moment! What blessings!!!

It sounds scary to us to think of being in a situation like that. However, the truth is that we don’t have what we need to handle it because God hasn’t put us in that position. He gives us what we need to handle in our lives only when it is time. I might feel overwhelmed by a big day coming up. Does it help me to stay up all night worried? No. I don’t have what I need to get through it yet because it’s not here yet.

We can rest in the fact that we have a loving God that delights in us! He says, “indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” He is always with us through all things.

Yes, the world is a mess. Yes, we could be headed to persecution. Yes, we are turning away from God in our country. Yes, yes, yes. Does this cause me concern? I certainly don’t like it! Does it cause me anxiety? No. Not anymore. I know that God is truly in control. He has proved to me over and over again that He will provide for me what I need when I need it. He has showed me numerous times how He holds me through the difficulties. My only question?

How can I bring Him glory in all of it?

Face-Off with Kathleen Fuller!!

51JTWq5R3pL._UX250_Welcome to the blog, Kathleen!! I am excited about this face-off! So fun 🙂

So, I know that you guys have heard of this fabulous lady! She’s only authored like 30+ books…

Kathleen started writing in 2000, and published her first short story a year later. Since then she has authored several short stories, novellas, novels, and have done a lot of freelance non-fiction work. She’s also worked as an editor. Kathleen has a Masters degree in Special Education, emphasis on teaching the blind and visually impaired, and a Bachelors in Early Childhood/Elementary Education.

Check out some of her great reads here:

Let’s do this!!


 

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The rules are simple. I ask Kathleen some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Favorite Season has to be FOOTBALL SEASON! So, what team? Ever been to a game?

Kathleen – Football season is definitely my favorite season. I have several teams I root for. NFL: Browns, obviously, since I live near Cleveland. I also like Green Bay. We used to be Browns season ticket holders, so I’ve seen a lot of pro games. College: Arkansas Razorbacks (because I’m from AR), Bowling Green State Falcons (because my daughter goes to BGSU), and Ohio State (because, hello, Ohio State).

Charity – No way! Why does that sentence say, “Used to be”??? Oh man!! We love football…well, my kids and I do. My hubby could take it or leave it.

Washington20Redskins20Jerseys_xlarge

— Tie

Charity 1 / Kathleen 1

2. What would be the hardest part of living an Amish lifestyle?

Kathleen – My answer changes all the time with this question, but I think the hardest would be not having air conditioning. Yes, I’m a wimp.

Charity – I’m sorry. Did you say that I can’t have my Apple Watch, iPad, iPhone and Apple TV?

— tie

Charity 2 / Kathleen2

3. Is there a good Amish movie you can recommend?

Kathleen – I don’t watch Amish movies.

Charity – Uh….me either. haha 🙂

— TIE AGAIN

Charity 3 / Kathleen 3

4. What is the coolest natural thing you have ever seen? (Natural Bridge, Blood Moon, Eclipse, Thunderstorm, etc)

Kathleen – Blanchard Springs Caverns in Arkansas. Absolutely gorgeous. I’d love to visit again.

Balnachard Springs Cavern
Balnachard Springs Cavern

Charity – So cool!!!! Wow! My son and I went out and did some Blood Moon gazing. haha. It was a lot of fun!! We sat out there and stared up at the beautiful sky right by the water. It was really neat!

— I have to give that one to Kathleen.

Charity 3 / Kathleen 4

5. Best concert you’ve been to?

Kathleen – Monsters of Rock back in 1984. Yep, I’m that old. Sting comes in a close second.

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Charity – Check you out!!!!  You are a rock and roll queen!!!!! I can’t even compete with that.

And you aren’t old!! haha 🙂 I was also born in the 70’s. woot!

— Definitely Kathleen!

Charity 3 / Kathleen 5

6. Favorite song when you were a teenager? Fess up to those boy band crushes!!

Kathleen – “Save A Prayer” by Duran Duran has to be my favorite. I still have it on my playlist. I crushed hard on John Taylor back in the day. This song stands the test of time though, in my opinion.

 

Charity – haha. That video and song scared me!!! Mine is pretty scare too…

— Yeah. Frightening.

Charity 4 / Kathleen 6

7. When did you last paint your toenails?

Kathleen – Last week–dark purple!

Charity – Awesome!! Mine are just a couple days in and they are a bright, cherry red!

— Tie!

Charity 5  / Kathleen 7

8. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Kathleen – Through daily living (I hope!). Also through my relationships with my family and friends, and through my writing. I give God all the glory. 🙂

Charity – Beautiful

— God wins!

Charity 5 / Kathleen 7

9. Do you enjoy flying?

Kathleen – Not as much as I used to. But I love to travel, and flying gets you there fast.

Charity – I love it. It’s so fun to fly by myself and I really enjoy sitting in the airport too.

— Tie

Charity 6 / Kathleen 8

10. What chore do you dread above all else?

Kathleen – Housework. Yep, all of it.

Charity – haha. I don’t mind it. I don’t like taking the trash out though. Lucky for me, I have 3 sons… So, there’s that. I never have to do it.

— tie again!

Final:

Charity 7 / Kathleen 9

Movies_Films_L_iLost_Jack__Lost_008226_

Kathleen’s Questions:

1) Dogs or cats?

Kathleen – both–we have two dogs and one cat

Charity – neither!!!!!!!!!!

2) Cake or pie?

Kathleen – Cake, cake, cake!

Charity – PIE PIE PIE! 🙂

3) Coffee or tea?

Kathleen – Coffee, all day long. Or at least all morning long.

Charity – Too funny!! I definitely choose tea!!

4) Peanut butter or jelly?

Kathleen – Peanut butter (but it’s better with jelly)

Charity – Definitely Peanut Butter! YUMMMMM
5) Print books or electronic?

Kathleen – Electronic, because I can carry them with me easily. I hate being without a book to read.

Charity – Hmm..I like both equally. I really like to have some of each.

6) Winter, summer, spring, or fall?

Kathleen – Fall–I love it!

Charity – Fall! Everything about it!!

7) Pumpkin spice, yay or nay?

Kathleen – Nay. Not a fan of it anymore. I’m pumpkin spiced out.

Charity – Oh, yes!! I love pumpkin everything. I make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. YUM!!!


Thank you, Kathleen! So fun ❤ 6ddd0-530b9ea8e4b035db7175a1af

This awesome lady is giving away a copy of her book, A Reluctant Bride. Just head on over to the Rafflecopter giveaway and start entering!!!

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*U.S. Rez only. (We do love the rest of you too!)
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Jesus, Jihad and Peace

by Michael Youssef

I will tell you right now. Yes, I do believe I shall. This book opened my eyes and helped me to see. We sit here in America wondering “what in the world would possess these people to be so brutal, to be so intense, to be so focused, so hateful, so….fill in the blanks”??

Michael Youssef manages to get the balance right. He explains in great detail the workings of Islam and how it relates to Judaism and Christianity. He shows you how there is no hope of salvation, only hope that they did enough to please Allah. There were so many things that I didn’t understand that make perfect sense now. For instance, they cannot fathom how we could allow people to say His name in vain. They are floored that we would allow that kind of disrespect to the God of the universe. The God we say we love. They see how flippant we are in our belief and it disgusts them. I get that. It disgusts me too.

I also found it interesting that they can’t stand Christians because they believe we are polytheist. The trinity of God looks like we worship three Gods and they know that is wrong to worship more than one. It’s very interesting to see how many little things upset them and how some of it is true (we don’t stand up for God when people use His name in vain! That is wrong. I am guilty of standing by silently. Shame on me!!). Other parts are not true, just not translated correctly. They don’t understand that we see Him as One. That, coupled with their fear of doing enough to please an almost impossible “god” to please, lead them to become more and more frantic and dangerous.

There are so many things that you will find in this book. It truly helped me to understand and have more compassion for the people that hate us so much. Some of the book is pointing to the end times and what the world looks like now. I was more interested in learning the culture of Islam and understanding the hearts of the people.

So, pick up a copy of Jesus, Jihad and Peace: What Bible Prophecy Says About World Events Today and take a look for yourself. This is the best book at breaking down their religion, thoughts, fears and goals that I have ever read.

Thanks, so much, Worthy Publishing (First Look), for giving me a copy of this book. As always, this is my honest review. Here’s to many more!

Last Words of Jesus

by Stu Epperson, Jr.

I have never really thought too deeply into the last few phrases that Jesus spoke before his death on the cross. In this book, Stu details the words and their meanings. He shows us why they were so significant. Jesus never did anything that was of no significance. So, what are they? What did they mean?

Each chapter focuses on one of the seven phrases. It also includes discussion questions and some scriptural reflections with each chapter. I would imagine it is probably a great book to do with a small group. Reading on my own, I felt a little detached. I am not sure why. I felt like the information was a little scattered and I didn’t quite get all of the significant implications that he was trying to point out. Within a group setting, I believe it would be different.

I do think it is an important read because we don’t often think about His final words. So often, we gloss over the crucifixion with rhetoric we have heard our whole lives and we become disconnected with the power and raw affliction he bore to free us. To bestow His love on us and give us the promise of HIM for all of eternity.

I challenge you to spend some time reflecting on the last words of Christ as He took every ounce of persecution and discipline that we would have had if it were not for Him and His great love.

The Last Words of Jesus: First Steps To A Richer Life will be available on Feb. 24th. Please pick up a copy. You can find it by clicking the link here in the name, or on the pic of the book above.

Thank you, so much, Worthy Publishing, for sending me this book. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

The Story for Kids — By Max Lucado and Randy Frazee

Discover the Bible from Beginning to End

Amazon or CBD.com

I was so excited to find this book! Many of you have probably read The Story, NIV: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People. Well, this is the children’s version of the same book. My seven year old was waiting for this to come in the mail every day. Once it did, he has been wanting me to read it to him and not stop.

I love how they write the Bible as a novel. It has chapters and reads just like a book. He loves to have me read it to him and I am happy to do so. It’s such a reasonable price and you will enjoy spending time with your kiddos while they learn about God in a way that’s’ simple and easy for them to grasp.

Thank you so much, booklook, for this awesome read. We will be using it for many years to come! Here’s to many more!!

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