This scripture is often misquoted. The first half is typically omitted and people usually say, “But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”
However, it’s important to see what Joshua actually said here. He said, “Choose who you will serve.” He didn’t tell the people who to serve but instead told them that it was their decision.
I don’t understand why people would make a choice other than God. But as I get older I recognize that, like Joshua, it’s not for me to decide for them. I have to know who I serve and where I stand.
Hopefully, they will see something through the relationship that I have with God that they will want for their own life.
Don’t waste your time trying to convince people why they should serve God or arguing with them about these details. Instead, put every effort into living a life that brings glory to God, doing everything to please God. In other words, stop telling people why they should have a relationship with God and start showing them through your own life.
God, help us to seek you always. It’s not our job to convince people to serve you. We only need to set an example of serving you but giving you our best in everything. Amen.
“We may think we don’t deserve His goodness in the wake of our mistakes, but in the Kingdom of God, it’s never about us anyway. It’s always about Him.” -Broken Things devotional
How much of our relationship with God is about us and how much of it is about him? The reason we are told to daily pick up our cross is because we need to identify with Christ daily. The cross is called a symbol of sacrifice but what if it wasn’t a sacrifice for us, the world. But a sacrifice for God.
Jesus asked God if he could take the cup from him but followed by saying He wanted God’s will over his own. Are we following that example? And if so, to what extent? Are we striving to find our purpose, our calling, in God’s kingdom? Or, do we find purpose simply in sharing about His kingdom?
When we gather with a congregation of believers are we focused on God or our surroundings? Are we asking God to place us around the right people for His purpose or are we seeking the music, preaching, and social status of that congregation?
If we look at the sacrifice that Jesus made and decide to follow him around like a lovesick Juliet amazed at his love for us we’re missing the point of the story. In reality, he never did it for us. He did it for God. How can I say this? Because he was always saying, “I do this so that you may see the Father.”
Most Christians know about the God of the Old Testament- fire and brimstone raining down on those that chose evil over God. The Bible says that God is the same. So, why no fire and brimstone nowadays? Grace and mercy gives us an option to run to him out of love rather than fear.
Thats awesome. But part of me wonders if we could use a little fear and reverence back in the hearts of believers. Has God become a convenience to us? No different than fast food or microwaves? Or do we see him and respect Him as the supreme deity that created the universe?
God, help us remember that it’s all about you. King Solomon said this whole life is meaningless if it is being lived for any other purpose except to give you glory. Let us understand that doesn’t mean we have to constantly seek what our calling is or strive to make something happen. Help us recognize that you want our hearts so you can fill them. Then you want us to overflow that love onto others. Amen
Life’s a Trip (All This is Real)
(c) 2019 Nicole Donoho
Hey you / how’s it going inside? / I wish that I knew / if you thought that I could read your mind / that thought lied to you / the truth is that I’m kinda scared /I’m lost /what should I do / do I trust what you say to me / or is what my gut tell me true? / I don’t know how to navigate this space that I’m in / this is all quite new to me / I want it to end (want it to end?) / yeah, that’s what I feel / but it’s all just begun/ this teeter totter back and forth, this spinning around / this searching for a quick fix / but it seems no one is found / so what do we do with this life? / what do we do with what we feel? / are we just on a bad trip? / or is all of this real?/
it’s real / I tell you it’s real / how you feel deep inside / and there’s no place to hide / it’s real / all that you feel / we’re gonna get through this night / yeah you gotta hold tight / ‘cause it‘s real
hey you / I just thought I’d let you know / that I’m still here / I said I wouldn’t go (where would I go) / so many things goin’ through my mind / and I’m trin’ to find / the right way to deal / with all that I feel / but I don’t know / which way to go / you’re acting like you’re a burden / that you’re just too much to take / I guess you think you’re my problem / but see that’s your mistake / I was messed up before you got here / I just assumed I was livin’ right / something was deliverin’ a hidden beat down / but I’d forgot how to fight / I was strong (sure) / if that’s what you think / the truth is I was hanging by a thread / and you provided the missing link / and now I know that
it’s real / I tell you it’s real / how I feel deep inside / and there’s no place to hide / it’s real / all that I feel / we’re gonna get through this night / yeah we gotta hold tight / ‘cause it‘s real/
hey you / how’s it going I just gotta check in / see I found this to be a marathon / and here we thought it’d be a quick win / that’s silly, yeah it’s crazy to think / how this life means so much to us but could be ended in a blink / of the eye / you can’t deny / that the struggle ain’t fake / we can’t make the same mistake / pushin’ aside / all that we hide / refusing to share / not letting people care / how’s it gonna help when we can’t ask for help / what are we gonna feel when we bury this pain? / I’ve buried this pain for too long (too long) / and I’ve just felt the same (the same)/ I need a new heart/
Would you reach down deep inside? / find all the secrets that I hide? / mouth to mouth I need revived / I’ve yet to live I’ve just survived / breath your life into my soul / if this is real I’ve got to know/
it’s real / I tell you it’s real / how we feel deep inside / and there’s no place to hide / it’s real / all that we feel / we’re gonna get through this night / yeah let’s stand up and fight / ‘cause it‘s real/
stand up and fight (fight) / fight your life (life) / cause it’s real (real) / all that I feel (feel) / all that you feel (feel) / know that’s real (real) / real what I feel / good and the bad / happy and sad / joy and the pain / sunshine and rain /stand up and fight / this your life / this is my life / all this real / real what we feel (feel) / this is our life so hold my hand / all this is real (real) / yeah this is our life and it’s real/
So...that just happened...
I was having trouble sleeping. My mind was spinning, processing through everything that’s happened over the past seven days. Everything that I’ve seen and everything that God has revealed. From a tiny flower on the sidewalk to the emptiness that others feel inside. From how to help others without taking on their burden (cause it’s lighter for God to carry, duh, Nicole) to helping myself awake from under the walls that I’ve built in my heart. I was deceived into thinking those walls were protecting me but with every step of life they shook loose and buried me deeper and deeper under their weight.
So yeah...sleepless night + God = rap lyrics? Not sure if you’ll find the same humor as I do in God giving me, someone who can’t carry a tone not play an instrument, some AMAZING lyrics like this but you know He works all things together for good so I’ll trust He knows what He’s doing. Goodnight.
Every time I find the courage to post a video, the still shot preview always seems to capture the best picture. And by 'best' I mean a face that reminds me I am so out of my element with public speaking. But, maybe that's okay. Hopefully, my lack and inexperience allows God more room to do His thing.
I started www.goodbyechristianwhore.com to promote a book. I started this blog because I love writing and didn't want the book to end the experience. "Goodbye, Christian Whore" was a snapshot of one experience in my life. One moment of transparency sharing how I navigated through life. This blog was meant to continue that transparency because let's be honest, sometimes we want to be inspired but don't want to part with the $9.99.
I've been struggling with be a "blogger". I see mommy blogs, I see sports blogs, I see fitness blogs. These people seem to have it all together. They have a theme and they are sticking to it. My blog is all over the place. I write about writing, I write about books, I write about God, I pretty much just write whatever is going on in my life or my general thoughts about life. The lack of theme has made me feel like a failure up to this point.
But today, when I recorded this video it all came together. There's a voice that keeps telling me I'm failing the competition. It keeps telling me I'm wasting the talents God has given me.
Dear That Voice,
You are a liar! God did not create this life to be a competition. He created it to be a collective. Humanity wasn't created to compete with each other, we were created to contribute to each other. Competing requires us to be the best. Contribution allows God to be the best, like it should be. You sly little devil, you almost had me once again. Focused so much on me (my lack of) that I lost sight of God. No worries, I'll take that crap you're dishing out. But I'm done letting it stink up my life. Instead, it's going to fertilize all that God's trying to grow!
When you taunt me saying that I'll be one voice drown out in a million, I'll be a voice. When you tell me I'm not qualified, I'll be a voice.When you tell me to sit this one out, I'll be a voice.
I'll be a voice...because it's not about my voice or my story. It's about His story. When life gives you lemons...well, God didn't give me lemons He gave me words so I'm going to write them down, I'm going to speak them out, I'm going to paint them, I'm going to share them in every way that I can. Because that's what I've been given to work with.
God, thank you for growth, inspiration...thank you for being God. My rock in this crazy tornado called life. Amen.
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens." Ecclesiastes 3:1
I don't know about you but sometimes I forget that there is a time for everything that happens here on earth. Especially when it's time to move from my comfort zone. Change can be frustrating, aggravating, stressful, and uncomfortable. However, change can also be a breathe of fresh air.
Why is it then that most of us avoid change like it's the plague? Could that be a curse of the sin we're born into? We like things to stay the way we like them rather than embracing the freedom God offers. In fact, some of us are so stuck in the way we like things that we can't even think about buying our underwear anywhere else except "Kmart on 400 Oak Street in Cincinnati". (Yes, that was a Dustin Hoffmann quote from Rain Man.)
You might have noticed that shift happens is awfully close to the phrase sh*t happens. One of the words means "nonsense, foolishness, crap". The other means "change or move". Hopefully, you're able to guess which is which.
The past few weeks I've been circling over the first church, the first followers of Christ. What was it that made them want to profess Jesus as their Lord and follow Him even to death? Were these people a bunch of religious fanatics, had they been brainwashed, or was there something more to their passion and dedication?
Well, first of all, that's more than I can cover in one blog. But the simple answer is shift. They shifted from an earthy mindset to a heavenly mindset. That didn't mean they no longer suffered pain or heartache, it simply meant that they processed it in a new light. They began to understand "this too shall pass" was more than an empty phrase your neighbor told you when things turned to sh*t. It was a lifestyle that could be embraced through Christ.
God would be their God. Not because they were a people that He choose like Israel. Not because He was the God of their ancestors- Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. But because He took their place in an awful punishment, out of love for them, before even knowing if He'd be loved in return.
God, help me embrace the shift that you have for my life. Help me not to become so wrapped up in the things of this world that I lose sight of your will and your kingdom. You are God, not me. Your will be done, not mine. Lord, ignite a passion inside of me that burns away my selfish desires. Ignite a passion for you that consume me from the inside out. That cleanses me and flows out of me. Amen.
Sometimes, sin is simply rushed by. People say things like, "Of course you've sinned. We all have!" Which ultimately eliminates the person's guilty conscience in the matter. This one struck a cord with me. Mainly because I've heard people flippantly say, "Well, we've all sinned." almost as if it is no big deal. It's treated no different than eating food or drinking water. Sin is a common occurrence and there's no point of thinking too much about it. Or is there?
Our God is holy...
Some time ago, maybe six or seven years back, I found myself somewhere I never would have expected. I had grown up in church my entire life and at that moment I wanted nothing to do with going to church. I was desperate for God and sick of religion. I will never forget the moment that I had my 'come to Jesus' moment. God spoke to my heart and told me to go to a church that, at the time, I had come to despise. There was so much that I'd felt they had done wrong that I wanted nothing to do with it. But I went out of obedience to God.
They began singing a song about being free and dancing. As I was singing, the Holy Spirit hit me hard. Why are you even singing this song, you're not free. I was upset for being there in the first place so I stopped clapping and just thought, God, what is it that you want? At that moment, I saw myself laying face down in front of the stage. I knew that I wasn't losing my mind. I knew that God was telling me to set aside everything that I wanted and lay myself down as an act of worship. I went up to the front, terrified, and knelt down in front of the stage.
In that moment, I felt all the anger that I was holding against the leaders of the church wash out of me. I felt sorry for them. I felt sorry for the way that I had felt.
Some well-meaning ladies came up to me and knelt down by me. I was sobbing at this point and they were trying to comfort me. I didn't need or want to be comforted. All I wanted to do was sit in that moment of worthlessness because in that moment I knew how big and incomprehensible my God was.
They said something about God being able to help me through whatever it was I was dealing with and I just shook my head. I told then that I wasn't there because I wanted God's help. I was there because I was a filthy rag in his sight and that's where I needed to be. Kneeling there, worshiping Him because He was holy.
Again, with good intentions, I'm sure, they tired to comfort me and tell me that God loved me.
In that moment, I was even more saddened because they really weren't getting it.
We are dirty rags in God's sight and He continuously longs to wrap us in His arms. Who is this God we serve?
I left the church that day free from the anger and bitterness I had once felt. But burdened so much more by the reality of how blinded we, Christians, have become. Blinded from who God really is.
It is so very easy to water down the gospel message. So easy to tweak it ever so slightly to a feel-good message of empowerment. We cannot let ourselves be fooled.
Two days ago, my 11-year-old asked me what the point of life was. He said, "If we're either going to burn forever or be with God forever when we die then what is the point of our lives right now?"
I wanted a really good answer but I found myself in the same predicament that King Solomon expressed in Ecclesiastes. Everything is meaningless. I said, "Elijah, I don't really know what the point of this life is since things are going to happen whether we are here or not. All I know is that we need to live our lives to give God glory because He is God and He deserves it."
Do it for the glory of God
God, I don't know why I was simply overcome with emotion today but I thank you for this reality. Thank you for awakening my mind over and over again to how holy you are. Lord, clean my conscience daily. Show me where I have taken my own path instead of furthering your kingdom. Cleanse my heart and fire up a passion in me. Give me boldness and wisdom to speak of the sin that enslaves us and of You, a mighty God above all other gods that is worthy of our praise. That is holy and just. That has provided us salvation from our slavery to sin. That has made a way for us to be free. Amen
A New Identity
What is this blog about? You mean, I'm supposed to have a purpose? Ok, if that's required then my purpose is life.
Better with age...
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