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In my studies of the Gospels I have been drawn to the role that John the Baptist played in the story of Jesus. John really had one job. John was called to reveal Jesus and to prepare the way of our Lord, Jesus.

I believe that as Christians today, we have that same role as John. We are to reveal Jesus to a broken world and to prepare the way of the second coming of Jesus. The questions I have to ask myself is this:

How am I revealing Jesus to the world? How am I preparing the hearts of people so that they are ready when Jesus comes back?

In some ways (the less interactive ways) I am doing fine. I write a Bible based blog that encourages others in their walk with God. My main goal with my blog is to point others to Jesus.

In other ways I have failed miserably. I am not comfortable bringing up Jesus in conversation. I pray that my life speaks for itself, but bringing up Jesus with others is not an easy thing for me. I am trying to do better though.

To that end, I am moving forward to establishing an in person single mom ministry. I debated on keeping it online, because of my own social awkwardness, but God spoke to my heart and made me realize that in order for relationships to be built, the ministry must be in person. I am preparing to share my vision with my church’s education team in April and I am both excited and nervous. I have met with a couple of ministry leaders already, sharing my vision and my testimony. Little by little God pushes me out of my comfort zone and prepares me to share my vision on a larger platform. I see the vision evolve as it takes shape in my own heart. I am grateful that I will be able to prepare the hearts of single mom families for the return of Jesus. I am grateful for the opportunity to reveal Jesus to a broken world.

My questions to you:

How are you revealing Jesus to the world? How are you preparing the hearts of the people for the second coming of Jesus?

As Christians, we are called to prepare a broken world for the return of Jesus. This is the ONE JOB for EVERY Christian. We need to be aware of how we can do that in our own lives. I am challenging you to step out of your comfort zone and reveal Jesus to those around you. God does not wish for any to perish (2 Peter 3:9). That is why he calls us to partner with Him to share the Good News of Jesus to those in our own little corner of the world. So, GO! And share what God has done in your life!

I was blessed with the opportunity to write a guest post for faithcoffeeandakid.com. Chere Williams is the founder of a single mom ministry that hosts conferences, workshops, and podcasts. I was so excited to be able to minister to her single moms through the written word!

I was participating in a single parent retreat weekend in June of 2006 when God ignited a passion in me to serve the single mom. That is where it began and now, here I am 15 years later starting a single mom ministry in my church. FINALLY! It’s finally coming together. I will be working full-time serving single moms and it only took me 15 years! I know! I hear you asking, “what took you so long?” To read the rest of the article click HERE.

I’m sure it is no secret at this point that I am super passionate about serving single moms. I have spent 15 years getting to the point where God can actually use me in HIS ministry to single moms. It is my passion to advocate for the single mom, to educate the community about the single mom life, to break down those barriers to resources that are desperately needed in order for a single mom to move ahead. More than anything though, I simply want the single mom and her kids to know how much Jesus loves them. Single moms are judged unfairly by society. They are condemned by the church before they can share their story. They are afraid to ask for help. They and their children may desperately need help, but they put on a brave face until they are at their breaking point. They stay in abusive relationships because that may be easier than the struggles of going it alone. They don’t ask for help because they don’t want to be condemned for their lifestyle. They don’t reach out because they are afraid of being judged. We need to do better to love on that single mom who is leaving an abusive relationship. We need to do better to alleviate some of the physical needs of the single mom so that she can focus on her kids. We need to do better to build that supportive village for these moms and their children. We need to do better as Christians to have compassion on these moms who are struggling in isolation. It doesn’t matter why they are single moms. The only thing that matters to Jesus, is that we take them and their children in, we love on them and we build them up. We simply need to do better. I have shared some statistics below.

National Statistics

According to The Life Of A Single Mom Ministries (February 5, 2019):

  • There are 13 Million single moms raising 19 Million kids
  • 1 out of 5 kids is raised by a single mom
  • There are 300% more single mom led families now than in 1960
  • About ½ of single moms have never married
  • Childcare is sometimes more than half of a single mom’s income annually
  • ⅓ of single moms spend more than half of their income on housing
  • Only ⅓ of single moms receive child support
  • Around 40% of single moms are employed in low wage jobs
  • Snap Program: 59% of all recipients are single moms
  • TANF: 90% of recipients are single moms
  • ⅓ of single mom led families are food insecure
  • Single mom led families make up 60% of homeless families in the United States

Children living in single mom led households are at higher risk for:

  • Suicide
  • Poverty
  • Food insecurity
  • Imprisonment
  • Dropping out of school
  • Teenage pregnancies
  • Drugs
  • Crime 
  • Mental Illness
  • Academic Issues

Of the 13 MILLION single moms in the United States, 9 MILLION of them do NOT attend church. That is 69% of single moms do NOT attend church! (TLSM November 13, 2019)

The single mom family has become a mission field in itself. 

There are over 300,000 churches in the United States and only 1% of those churches have a single mom ministry. 

Basic Needs Of A Single Mom

  • Car repairs
  • House repairs/maintenance
  • Yardwork/maintenance
  • Food 
  • Basic household items 
  • Diapers/baby items
  • Clothes
  • Childcare
  • Financial Assistance
  • Children’s needs (tutoring, mentoring, etc.)
  • Support system (Social Network) for herself and her kids
  • A Discipleship Program/group

Why do we need a single mom ministry?

Raising kids is hard enough when 2 parents are sharing the burden. Many couples are struggling financially to make ends meet on 2 incomes, not to mention the burden of  making sure household and parenting responsibilities are being taken care of. The single mom does not have that extra person to share the burden with. She is paying the bills on her own, along with balancing all of the other responsibilities on her own. Many single moms are also dealing with emotional baggage from past relationships or abuse. It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a church to help alleviate some of that burden. When the church comes together to help the single mom and her children, we not only help to alleviate the physical burdens of the single mom journey, but we are also loving that single mom and her children to Jesus and isn’t that the most important thing? 

Single moms should NOT have to struggle alone! We as the Church need to be more proactive in helping single mom families. We need to quit talking and start doing. We need to put compassion into action. They and their children deserve so much better than what we have given them. My challenge to all Christians is to keep your heart and your eyes open to opportunities to serve the single moms around you. Build those relationships without judgement. Be that example of Jesus to these moms and their kids. You will receive your reward when that mom gives you a grateful smile with tears in her eyes or that child gives you a hug that you feel to your toes. It makes it all worth it!

I have been studying the book of Matthew recently. What caught my attention was how many times Jesus had compassion on people:

Matthew 15:32

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”

Matthew 20:34

Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

Matthew 14:14

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Jesus was a compassionate person. He didn’t just have compassion on the people though, His compassion always led to action. Jesus felt compassion and because of that compassion He fed thousands, He healed the sick and raised the dead.

When was the last time my compassion led to action?

When was the last time your compassion led to action?

While I am on the subject of compassion, let’s talk about LOVE.

1 John 4:16

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

Matthew 22:37-39

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

God IS love. Love is an action word. It is easy to say the words “I love you” but until you put action to the words, you miss the point. Love means feeling compassion for another person’s situation and putting compassion into action. Love means leaving judgement at the door and putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. We all have our struggles that no one else knows about. We don’t know what a person’s past has been like or what challenges they have overcome or are overcoming.

GOD IS LOVE

JESUS HAD COMPASSION

Choose to be like Jesus. Put compassion into action.

It’s been three weeks since my last post. I usually try to do these Discovering Jesus posts every week or two, but life happens and here it is three weeks later.

Week one: I came down with a cold that completely drained me. I didn’t want to post, work on my single mom ministry or anything else. I just felt like I couldn’t do anything. These times can be really difficult. I didn’t want to pray or do my Bible study. I didn’t have the energy for it. I forgot that I can do nothing in my own strength.

Week two: My cold was better, but I still felt drained. I still did not want to do much as far as my blog or single mom ministry. I began to think that it was God’s way of slowing me down to give me “HIS” vision for this ministry. It was in NOT blogging and in NOT working on the ministry that God could tell me what HIS vision was.

Week three: I feel my energy coming back! I am working on a life coaching model to work on the physical areas of life in order for the single mom to create a peace filled, joyful and safe life for herself and her children. I want this to go hand in hand with my discipleship program. I have changed one aspect of the ministry and am ready to launch! It is coming together and I am excited about it! YAY! Thank you Jesus!!!

Matthew 12:25

25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

This is where we are as a nation. We are divided in so many ways. Satan has divided us and he laughs at our foolishness. Even Christians are being revealed to be foolish. We are turning on each other and this nation is suffering for it.

PRAY AND REPENT!!!!!

There are so many people afraid of this President and his administration. There are so many that are afraid of President Trump and his administration. We have become distracted. These men and their cabinets are not the ones to fear. They can not harm us. We are not fighting against them, but against the devil. Equally, these men are NOT our saviors. We have ONE savior and HIS name is JESUS! He is the only one who can save this nation.

Do not worry about tomorrow. God is in control. Whatever happens, God still sits on the throne and HE is in control. He has already won the battle. Satan was defeated along time ago. We already have the victory through Jesus!

This is my first post of 2021 and I am not wanting to write it. I was debating on what God has taught me this last 2 weeks that I wanted to share. And then Wednesday happened and our nation once again showed a side of ourselves that absolutely breaks my heart.

This goes way beyond politics or race or inequality in this country. This is about the condition of our hearts and our deep seated hate for anything that goes against what we believe. Our intolerance for anything different and our anger of any opinion that isn’t ours is of Satan. We have a heart issue here in America. That heart issue took root the moment we turned our backs on God. As soon as we allowed our compassion to turn to anger, as soon as we allowed our love to turn hate the devil won.

So what is the answer?

GOD IS THE ANSWER!!!

How do I know that? How do I know that God is the answer?

1 John 4:8 tells us that GOD IS LOVE!

Without God there is no love. Without love there is no compassion. Without compassion we will become a nation of selfish, hateful, angry, unhappy people who live thinking that we are the only ones that are entitled to everything. Sound familiar? Yes, we are heading down that path! Even among Christians this attitude has taken root and we are in trouble.

WITHOUT GOD THERE IS NO LOVE!!!

WITHOUT LOVE THERE IS NO COMPASSION!!!

WITHOUT COMPASSION THERE IS NO PEACE, OR JOY, OR RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER!

The only problem we have in America is a lack of God. Wake up AMERICA!!! Don’t be deceived by the devil! He is lurking at our doors and he is ready to devour those who are not prepared.

GOD IS THE ONLY ANSWER!!!

I have set some spiritual goals for 2021. After some reflection, I decided that I need to be more intentional about prayer and Bible study. Not that I don’t pray or study the Bible. I do, but I want that intentional devotional time with the Lord. I will continue with my current pray as I go about my day routine, because there isn’t anything wrong with continual conversation. God tells us to be in continual prayer. As far as Bible study, I look up scriptures for my blog posts and I take notes on church sermons, but I am not intentional about Bible study. I have a close relationship with God, but it is a journey. It is about continual sanctification. It is about taking it to the next level and doing whatever it takes to deepen our relationship with God. I expect that there will be ups and downs, but the main thing is not to quit. Nothing is ever accomplished if we quit.

My 2021 Goals:

Mornings

I will:

Read a morning Psalm to get me going for the day.

Pray using the Lord’s prayer as an outline. I probably will use a bullet method for my daily prayers instead of writing them out. I have a tendency to get redundant and I want to make sure I am praying from my heart.

Journal my Bible studies following the studies in Farm Girl Bible Journaling Group on Facebook. The group is run by Farm Girl Journals and I love it!

Evenings

Read an evening Psalm to end my day well.

Praise God for those things that I am grateful for.

Daily Practices:

Practice contentment

Surrender worry, anxiety and fear

Choose faith over fear

Send up bullet prayers as led by the Holy Spirit throughout the day.

Once a week:

Attend church

Serve others

Give of myself (time and/or resources)

On a regular basis:

I think I will turn off the T.V. other than watching Youtube videos on George Muller and other faith based videos.

Study the life of George Muller and take notes on his life of faith.

I don’t want any of it to become legalistic. I want it to be something that I always long for and right now I am longing for a deeper relationship with God. I will be updating as the year progresses!

Question:

What are your 2021 spiritual goals?

I think most people around the world are reeling from the chaos that has been 2020. Here in the United States, we are emotionally overwhelmed from the pandemic, the racial/police tensions, and the election. We are a nation divided. I think we always have been, but we experience times of peace, as well as, times of discord. Are we a nation ready to implode? I don’t know. Will we recover? I hope so. I am afraid though that if we continue to stray further and further away from God, recovery may not be possible.

But all of that is beside the point. This blog post is about the lessons I have learned from 2020. This has been a tough year for me, but also a blessed year. I moved back from Georgia in March after saying that I would NEVER return. I had a shoulder injury that bothered me much of the year. We welcomed a precious granddaughter in March. My parents were supposed to visit in July for their bi-annual visit, but the pandemic happened and now it will be 3 years between visits. I have been blessed to be able to watch my grands this school year. So, it hasn’t been a horrible year. It has had it’s challenges, but what year doesn’t?

Now for the lessons I have learned in 2020:

  1. Change is inevitable – Change is part of life. Transition happens ALL the time. I have had to adapt to change this year. I moved back from Georgia after 10 months. It was a tough decision. I had determined that I was not moving back to Indiana, but it was a better place for me. When I returned, I moved in with my ex-husband Howard and his wife Tami. I struggled with this. Tami and I are best friends, but it wasn’t necessarily what I wanted. I have learned to embrace the changes in life, instead of fighting them. Change happens. Fighting only wears you down to the point of missing all the good stuff that is mixed in with the bad.
  2. God still performs miracles – I had an MRI on my shoulder in February that showed a partial tear in my rotator cuff. It caused me a significant amount of pain and I didn’t have full range of motion for several months. I prayed for healing in my shoulder. In July, another MRI showed no tear at all. Since then I have regained full range of motion with just a little discomfort and the pain is 95% gone. If I over stretch, I feel some pain, but it is so much better. I can use my arm again and I am so grateful for that! Miracles DO still happen.
  3. God knows best – When I moved to Georgia in May of 2019, I had planned on a happy life soaking in the sun and warmth year round. That was MY plan. That was NOT God’s plan. Because I did my own thing and was out of God’s will, life became pretty difficult there. I struggled in a way that I can’t even describe. God allows us free will. God allows us to make our own decisions. I wanted so badly to escape Indiana that I read into the open doors as a sign that I was in God’s will. I needed to know for myself that the grass was NOT greener on the other side of the country. God allowed that and now I am back in Indiana where I belong. God allows suffering to bring us closer to Him. It is often in our suffering that we seek Him the most.
  4. Be grateful for the simple things – I am a simple person. I don’t own a lot of material possessions. I don’t need a lot of things. I am grateful for what I do have. I am grateful for what I have access to through family and community. Who knew that we would ALL be thankful for a simple package of toilet paper or cleaning supplies. Some stores still have empty shelves where what we thought were necessary items once lived. We have ALL needed to prioritize what is absolutely necessary. I have become grateful for the basics. I am not taking anything for granted, because in a heart beat, it can all be gone.
  5. I need my family – From my dark place late 2019 and earlier this year, I thought that my family did not want me and that I would be better off somewhere alone in another community. I realized that my family can not be replaced. We bicker. We don’t “hear” each other when we should. We don’t always understand each other, but we are family. I need my family. In the midst of social distancing I have realized that my family is where I feel safe from the chaos of the world. My family is where I feel loved. My family knows me and accepts me, quirks and all. My life would not be the same if I was not with my family.

In this last week of 2020, I reflect on what I have learned. I encourage you to take a few minutes to do the same. 2020 has not been all bad. What are you grateful for? What good has come out of this year? What lessons have you learned?

In the days leading up to Christmas I came across the question, “What will you give God for Christmas?”

It was a question that caught me off guard. I always ask God for things when I pray, but I never considered asking God WHAT HE WANTS FROM ME. What can I give God for Christmas? The question humbled me. The question convicted me. God loved me so much that He watched His Son be crucified on the cross for my sins. He gave up His Son so that I may have eternal life. What can I possibly give God when He gave everything for me?

I don’t know. What can I give God?

An open heart that seeks only Him.

Obedience when He leads.

A dedication to prayer and Bible study.

A heart of love and compassion.

A generous spirit.

A discerning spirit that will turn away from the sinful ways of the world.

A heart totally and completely devoted to Him.

A willingness to be an example of Jesus to a hurting world.

These are all things that I can try to give. I can’t promise to give these things, because I am imperfect and I will fail. I can give a willing heart that will TRY to live as Jesus. I think He only wants us to have a willing heart. He knows that we are human with human imperfections. He is not looking for perfection. He is looking for open hearts that are honestly seeking Him and honestly trying to be obedient to His will in this world.

I now challenge you with the same question:

WHAT WILL YOU GIVE GOD?

I have been reading through The Women Of Christmas, written by Liz Curtis Higgs as an Advent study. The two points that jumped out at me were the faith and obedience of Mary and Joseph. According to the customs of the day, Mary would have been between 12 and 14 when she married Joseph. I can’t imagine what Mary felt when she was visited by the angel. Was she afraid? Did she fully understand what God was asking of her? Did she ever doubt? Did she consider saying NO! Not me? From the little written about the angels visit, if Mary felt any fear or doubt, she didn’t entertain those thoughts for long. It seems that Mary, even at her young age understood that God was blessing HER with this unbelievable gift and she had faith to obey.

And what about Joseph? Was he worried about what the townsfolk might say? Was he worried about his reputation? Did he care about the gossip? We don’t know the answers to these questions, but we do know that he had the faith to obey what the angel told him to do.

Mary and Joseph were facing risks obeying God’s will. Mary could have been stoned as a woman of ill repute. Joseph could have been pressured into handing Mary over to the townsfolk. They could have said NO! God always gives us a choice. God does not force his will upon any of us. They did not have to obey and do God’s will. They could have said no. Mary could have said that she did not want to be the mother of our Messiah. Joseph could have refused to marry Mary. They had a choice. Think of how different the story would be if either of them had refused to obey.

What if Joseph had refused to move to Egypt and had stayed in Bethlehem or Nazareth? Jesus may have been killed when he was a child. It doesn’t say if Joseph or Mary ever wavered in their faith. Being human, I’m sure they moments of hesitation. It seems as if they immediately surrendered those thoughts to God and moved on with the plan of our Father. They trusted God with their lives and with the life of this miracle child.

Do I have that faith? Will I obey even when facing risks? Will I trust God to provide? Will I trust God with my life? Will I walk in faith without hesitation or looking back?

I hope so. I don’t think we really know until we are faced with those situations. I pray that I would have the faith to obey God in any situation. I am constantly growing in my faith. I am on a journey of always seeking to grow closer to the Almighty. Obedience is not easy when you face risks, but there are always risks when you step out to do what God tells you to do.

Will you do it anyways? Will you obey God despite the risks? Will you trust God to provide? Will you trust God with your life? Will you walk in faith without hesitation or looking back?