What to look for in a church home

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NLT)

A while ago I posted on why I left the church and I just want to take the time to clarify some things. Now just because I’ve stopped associating with typical church people, doesn’t mean that I’ve isolated myself from the TRUE church or body of believers. I’m not crazy. “One who has isolated himself seeks his own desires; he rejects all sound judgment.” (Proverbs 18:1, NET)

As a matter of fact, my husband and I have found a deliverance ministry that we pray to become a part of. We understand the importance of fellowshipping with like minded believers. I am always praying to be connected with the saints. Especially with my sisters, that’s one of the reasons why I created this blog♥ But the truth of the matter is that your every day (on every corner!) church has conformed to this world and is full of idols and vain worship. So I’m going to share what my husband and I have been looking for in a congregation to determine whether or not they’re apart of the remnant or just some “christian” organization. Hopefully, this will also help some of you out.

Now, the first thing that we look for is Sound doctrine.

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. (1 Timothy 6:3-5)

Many are merely hearers and not doers of the Word so like that house build upon the sand, many churches aren’t built upon what Jesus teaches.  They claim to be “Bible based” but they’re really just founded on man’s opinions and interpretations of it. So with that being said, find a place that preaches holiness, and that doesn’t have any taboo topics like demons or repentance.

Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. (2 Timothy 4:2-4, NLT)

The power of God

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Nowadays everyone is claiming to be a Christian but no one is overcoming sin or physically healing others.  All we do is TALK but real believers posses real power and authority from God. Let them keep them motivational speeches.

For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power (1 Corinthians 4:20)

Order

This could be a post in itself but all I’m going to say is that when looking for a place to fellowship we need to make sure that the church is being ran properly. For instance, sin should be addressed and error should be rebuked. They should be following the examples of the apostles and early churches not evolving with the culture.

Love and Humility

 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35)

One thing that will be different about a congregation of people who are truly following Jesus is their humility and love for other people.  We are so used to reserved, mean church cliques that we forgot that the greatest among us should be the servants.

 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, NLT)

True followers of Jesus Christ humble themselves by lying down their lives to serve others. And true leaders aren’t too proud to (first speak!) repent publicly or to receive deliverance. Now of course they should be above reproach, but no one has no more to learn or to grow.

People of prayer and repentance

We should be gathering to pray and to edify each other. Not to be listening to the choir sing secular “gospel” music all day. Find a place where the people are dedicated to prayer.  And I mean real prayer, not emotional (sensual), self seeking and eloquent vain prayer.

But anyway,  these things are just a start. More importantly we all have to make sure that we are being led by God.

Your sister, Brandi

30 things I’ve learned before turning 30

(Featured image provided by Pexels.com)

So I had a birthday earlier this month and I wanted to share 30 things that I have learned by the age of  30. Now of course I’ve learned a lot more but here are the things I’ve chosen to share (they’re in no particular order).

1. Beware of self love/self care

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves (2 Timothy 3:1)

This world is influencing us to be selfish and self centered, when following Jesus requires us to deny ourselves and to love others. Even though taking care of ourselves is necessary, making that our number 1 priority or obsession isn’t.

2. You can overcome evil by doing good. The fight is and has always been spiritual. We aren’t truly having issues with other people.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:11-12)

3. Ultimately, ALL sin is committed against God. So be mindful of how you act AND REACT towards others.

4.Cast down vain imaginations, immediately.

5. Popularity is not an indication of quality.

6. The wisdom of this world is foolishness.

7. Less is more.

8. Knowledge is not understanding.

9. Don’t live above your means.

10. I do not have to sin (or be a sinner). Jesus died so that I can live and be free to do and think the right things. See Roman’s chapter 6

11. Grace does not excuse sin. It assists in sanctification. Don’t let anyone deceive you. If you (or I!) die in willful sin, we will NOT inherit the kingdom of God.

12.Take it one day at a time. Say it with me, “Daily bread”.

13. Do not fear man.

14. I have issues.

15. A spouse (or a child) can’t fix internal issues.

When I was single I had an idolatrous desire to be married. I though that that would make me whole and happy.  That didn’t happen. I learned very quickly that only Jesus can satisfy me .

16. Traditional holidays do not truly commemorate God. Research the origins.

17. Do not follow trends. Many are on the broad path that leads to destruction.  Plus, emulations is a work of the flesh.

18. Be quiet. Fools vent too much

19. PUT SOME CLOTHES ON!

Wearing revealing clothing not only shows that I don’t respect myself, it also shows my lack of respect for others. Especially for families (marriages and children).

20. Don’t let your feelings govern you. I can do what is right whether I feel like it or not.

21. Men need respect. Quite frankly, they’re entitled to it.

and while we’re at it..

22. Feminism is ungodly. It’s perversion at it’s finest.

23. Sometimes you just have to cut people off— Starting with your own family members!

24. Read ingredient labels

25. Keep cursed objects out of your home.

26. Love the truth.

27. Jesus is the promised Messiah AND the Son of God. He is not The Most High God. Not according to him, the bible or to God Himself.

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 6:13-17)

28. My identity is hidden in Christ

I used to wonder who I was (or “Who Am I?”)  because I didn’t know.  But I knew that I wasn’t just comprised of a list of roles. Then I had a revelation.. I AM NOBODY because I have died to myself. My true identity will be found in Christ as I conform to him.

 As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. (Galatians 6:14, NLT)

29. Dysfunctional relationships are not true love. They are ungodly soul ties. Sever them!

30. It’s the simple things in life— like wild flowers, rain and children playing♥

So, what are some things you’ve learned this year or wish you would’ve known earlier?

-Brandi

The Excellent Wife book review

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones. (Proverbs 12:4)

So I stumbled across this book at my local library, and I STILL can not believe how much it has impacted me. Now I don’t know much about the author, Martha Peace so I can’t really endorse her (or her trinitarian views) but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this book is the truth!  Seriously, it is one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Through The Excellent Wife, Martha Peace seems to be the epitome of the Titus 2 woman by teaching us younger women EVERYTHING we need to learn to mature into godly women.

The wise counsel in this book definitely lives up to it’s sub title (“A Biblical Perspective”) because with scripture, Martha proves what God requires of Christian wives. And even though the standards are high, Martha demonstrates how with and by the grace of God they are attainable.

I have a notebook full of things I took away from this book because she addresses everything from idols in our hearts to sinful (but understandably painful) emotions that are enslaving us. One of the many things I loved about this book was how it mainly focuses on obeying the Lord’s commands which makes it applicable to any area of our lives. So with that being said,  I would just recommend this book to women in general. But as a wife, the most valuable part of the book (to me) was on respecting our husbands unconditionally. The advice is tried and true. And I say that because my own husband immediately noticed (and received) my improvements.

So, if you’re working on becoming a better wife, check out this book it’s an “excellent” guide.

Much love, Brandi

 

Order The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace here

My Breastfeeding tips for first time nursing mothers

Being a mother definitely marks a new chapter in a woman’s life no matter how many times she may find herself with child. And for me, this time around has been very different because it is my first time breastfeeding.

I have been exclusively breastfeeding our baby girl Lauren for the past 10 months and have been wanting to give other first time nursing mothers a “head’s up”.  So keep in mind that this is just information on how to get started.  If you would like me to share more things on breastfeeding like how I pump or  increase (and decrease!) my milk supply, my nursing diet etc. then just let me know and I’ll make additional parts to this post. But in the meantime let’s get started!

Now the first thing that I would recommend for those of you who are new to breastfeeding is Google. Yes, do your research and get familiar with breasts.

I read COUNTLESS books and articles while I was pregnant. I even watched (way too many!) youtube videos. Some of them were of animals! Now of course you don’t have to be that extreme but I would definitely encourage you to research the process and to examine yourself. The more comfortable (and knowledgeable) you are with your breasts the easier it will be learning how to breastfeed, especially from other people.

And speaking of other people,
Read blogs and talk to other women with experience.

Don’t get me wrong, “professional” opinions are okay but you want to get advice from people who are actually experiencing (or have experienced) what you will be. No shade but I prefer someone who could offer me a little more than book reports and word of mouth. But to each her own. If you are the type to get peace of mind from consulting with professionals, just make sure you’re getting help from EXPERIENCED doctors or nurses who are (or at least want to be!) mothers. And if you have friends or family members who have breastfed then that’s even better. I didn’t have anyone so I asked to have a lactation consultant come and talk to me during our stay at the hospital. She was very helpful. She helped me get through the first couple of days because the nurses were making my experience VERY stressful. Which leads me into the next tip..

Relax and get to know your OWN baby. Always remember that everything isn’t for everybody.

Like I mentioned before, researching is a good thing but setting laws and standards isn’t. Allow yourself time to grow. Especially at the hospital. Your baby is not only new to breastfeeding but to BREATHING in general. Be patient and gentle. Don’t let anyone, not even the doctors ruin  your experience.  For what it’s worth, a lot of the videos I watched on latching were useless. At least for me and my baby.  And that’s the thing, you’ll learn what works best for you and your baby. Each and every family is different so don’t take everything to heart.

And speaking of the heart, Guard it!

We live in a very perverted generation where women think there’s strength in being masculine. Embrace your true femininity. There is nothing more beautiful than a submissive wife and selfless mother. You have to be encouraged because the majority of women will have that “I don’t know how you do it” attitude. Especially selfish mothers or women without children! Don’t be afraid to stand your ground. Even if that means telling your husband that you don’t want any visitors until you guys figure some things out.

Get a manual breast pump

This will be your best friend. Especially if you have a fast let down or an over supply of milk like I did. Trust me,  get one while you’re pregnant and bring it to the hospital with you. And while you’re at it,  grab a few nipple shields too!

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The Lactation consultant at the hospital gave me this manual breast pump and some nipple shields. To this day, I have only used this pump. She doesn’t know how much of a blessing she has been!

Don’t buy into the hype

Now I have to throw this out there because there is nothing wrong with formula feeding! I didn’t breastfeed any of my older children and you wouldn’t know the difference (as far as development goes). Going forward my husband and I just decided to breastfeed because it’s natural and I am embracing godly femininity. Yes, I know that the food industry isn’t trust worthy but what I’m saying is, is just feed the baby.  Don’t let pride and/or idolatry creep up in it.

And last but not least, don’t give up! Just pray.

I’ve noticed that a lot of the things I learned in the beginning were not even applicable until I was about 3 or 4 months in. That’s why we’re repeatedly told not to give up. Especially not within the first 3 months. It really does get easier. I wanted to give up SO many times. So ultimately, my advice to you would be not to give up when it gets tough, just PRAY! That is what has helped me the most.  At the end of the day, no one can help you more with this than God. And not only because He’s GOD but because breastfeeding was all His idea!! He strategically designed our bodies to give (and to receive) His provision. So ask Him to help you and your baby do all that He had originally intended.

So yeah,  I hope that this post helps! And I would love to hear all about your breastfeeding experiences or aspirations!

Group hug!!

Brandi

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Me nursing Lauren❤

Being at peace with all men: A few things I’ve learned about Forgiveness

Jesus made it very clear that God expects us to forgive quickly and freely ..

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)

But let’s be real, knowing that doesn’t make it any easier. So I thought I would share a few things I’ve learned over the years that have made forgiving others easier.

So the first thing I’ve learned is not to take offenses personal.

See, when we realize that ultimately ALL sin is committed against God, we will begin to change the way we act, or in this case REACT towards others.

Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mineI will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)

When people sin, they can either repent and receive the same forgiveness of their sins as we did. Or they can (and will!) suffer the eternal consequences. Either way, we have to be at peace with all men. And that doesn’t mean that we have to trust or tolerate unrepentant sin. That just means that we can’t withhold love or forgiveness.

Another thing I’ve learned is that we really have to start trusting God. A lot of us think that we do but we DO NOT, AT ALL!

It can be hard to see the good in difficult situations but we should find comfort in the fact that GOD IS GOOD. And not in a cliche way, but in a way of if He allowed it,  somehow it’s going to work out for my benefit in order to bring HIM glory.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

We have to trust that. And speaking of giving God glory, God does not get the glory out of us being victims, or gossips and slanderers! Instead, we should learn to pray.

I’m learning that praying enables us to see beyond what was done to possibly why it was done. And trust me, I know the last thing we want to do is pray for those who hurt us or our loved ones but the truth is is that’s only because we aren’t abiding in the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (Galatians 5:22-23)

God is rich in mercy. So how can we say that we have his HOLY spirit when we aren’t producing any fruits of it? It’s because we either DON’T have His spirit or we need to humble ourselves. Which is another thing that I’ve learned—to humble myself!

Seriously, It’s easier to forgive as you consider your own debts! Do you guys remember the parable of the unmerciful servant?

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. (Matthew 18:21-35)

It’s like, NO MATTER WHAT,  I too was (and am!) NOT worthy of God’s grace and forgiveness.  I offend God and have hurt other people. Hey, I need Jesus! And maybe you already know all of this and just want closure. Well I’ll tell you this, closure does not depend on the other person. Lastly, I’ve learned that we can’t always physically forgive because of physical or “mental” distance. Sometimes we just have to forgive by faith. And that’s okay because it’s all about releasing people in our hearts anyway.

So, I hope that this post has encouraged you to forgive. Let us remember above all else that unforgiveness is sin.

With love,
Brandi

How to choose Modest apparel

For this is God’s will: that you become holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality, that each of you know how to possess his own body in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4. NET)

If you haven’t read my post on how I dress as a Christian woman then you should also check that out because this post is just going to be about how to choose modest apparel.

Now, I know that there are a lot of “white washed” women out here but that doesn’t justify vanity or lack of discretion. Because either way,  a woman who is truly holy and God fearing will not present her body in a provocative (or worldly) manner.

Generally speaking , the outward appearance really is a reflection of the sanctification process that’s taking place within. I am a witness to this! I started dressing different because my MIND changed about what I used to believe was cute or appropriate for godly women. This is just one of the ways we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. Only then can we truly tell whether we are dressing appropriately or not.

 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

It’s like how is it that we think that we’re so set apart when we look (and behave!) just like the women of the secular world. It’s because we’re deceived! And I remember being in that place, not even considering the fact that my clothes didn’t match my profession (which was that I was a Christian woman who knew God). Looking back I can admit that I was all talk. Obviously, I did not know God or have His spirit because if I did, I wouldn’t have been so comfortable dressing raunchy and provocative.

But again, this post isn’t about the way I dress. I believe that we need to leave our own personal convictions (or decisions) out of the equation lest we cause division. Therefore, I’m just giving you some things to consider in general as you get dressed as a “Kingdom Ambassador”.

Because that’s the thing,  if anything, we are to be exalting God, not our clothing! If you are still trying to express yourself through “fashion” then you are still a little immature. And that just real.  That immodest heart (and mindset!) is all about emulating others and worshiping Self. It’s about drawing attention from men (and other women!) to your body and sexuality.  It is about trying to be beautiful and desirable when you are should be continuously dying to yourself (your will and desires). On the contrary, true Modesty is about humbling ourselves and exalting God. It’s about honoring our body (which is God’s temple), other people (especially other people’s marriages and children) and the scriptures. I can still be feminine without being vain or inappropriate. In fact, godly femininity doesn’t even require all of that.

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

If I really want to dress Modesty then the Bible tells me exactly how to do that. We are even told what to “put on” spiritually!

  • This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:17-20)
  • Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:13-14)
  • Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  (Colossians 3:12-14)

So after we start there, we can began to assess whether or not our physical clothing is appropriate.  You may even find yourself  shopping at different places then you would normally. I am 5’8 and I weight about 135 pounds so right now, in the current state of this world, the only place I can find modest apparel for my body type is at the goodwill.

Eventually I plan on making my own clothes but for now this is where I shop and STILL I have to check myself. When choosing the right apparel it can be very helpful to ask yourself things like:

Why do I like this shirt, skirt or dress (etc.)?

Am I at peace with it or am I indecisive?

Does this cost too much?

Do I find self worth or value in designer items? Do labels puff me up? Would I feel some type of way wearing cheap or resale clothes?

What type of people usually wear these prints or trends (etc)? Am I emulating celebrities or will I be associated with ungodly groups of people?

Am I seeking the admiration or approval of men (and women!) or am I seeking the approval of God?

Do (or will) I look like I have an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ wearing this or would people assume that I am living the American dream or the night life?

Is this clothing too tight or see through in the natural light??

Are areas close to my private parts (thighs, stomach, cleavage etc.) exposed? Are my private areas showing? Would they show if I  bend/ lean over,  sit down, reach up etc.??

Do I feel sexy or fierce wearing this? Do I feel socially (economically) puffed up wearing this?

Do I get fashion inspiration from celebrities or from other people on social media who don’t know or love God?

These are just some things to think about. We should be asking ourselves these kinds of questions because not only are we to abstain from the appearance of evil but because Modesty is an attitude. So is my attitude concerning the way I dress selfish and prideful? or am I thinking of others?? And if the process has just begun, am I willing to let go of all my favorite clothes that do not glorify God because I love Him more than anything and I understand that I am not my own!?

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

So, now that we know that we are to dress with humility in a respectable manner not being inconsiderate or flashy, we do not seek to draw attention to ourselves knowing that our true beauty and identity comes from our godly character in Christ Jesus. I love you all my precious sisters and if you are able to, please share your transformation pictures and/or stories with us!

With nothing but love,

Brandi