I Knew You…I Know You…And You Are Free

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When I think of the day of my salvation I think of it kind of like a courtroom scene. So this is a little story I created to help you understand what I think of when I think of the day that God saved me, it’s not real of course, I’m not saying I’m God (thank goodness), just my thoughts 🙂

My child.

Do you remember the day that you became Mine?

I will put it in words that will help you understand: My courtroom.

You were lying on the floor…dead.

I sat before my Son and before your enemy.

The charges were great in number; your prosecution went something like this: “Almighty, great God. You call yourself righteous, the “good” Judge, perfect…that’s the word. But how can you be perfect, the good God, if you allow…her into your midst? Look at her…she’s dirty, filled with hate, rebellious, a gossiper and that’s only some of what goes on on the outside…on the inside she’s angry, has lustful thoughts, backstabbing…how can you love her? How can you accept her? You’re being hypocritical…you can’t allow her…”

I’m not going to lie, I cannot lie. I was angry. He was right about you, I am God. I knew you before you were born, and I know you. Everything he said was true about you. What your enemy did not know is this won’t be the last time you would be accused. I am God, who is righteous, and cannot allow the stench of sin in My presence. I am an angry God, I am a jealous God, but what your enemy forgot was that I am a loving God.

It was my Son’s turn…He was your defense.

He stood in front of you, right in front of you, in a way that I could not see you, I could only see Him. He turned around to look at you and closed His eyes. He was remembering the day He died. He remembered the betrayal, the accusations, the nails, and the day I turned My back from Him. The moment He truly felt the separation from Me…His own Father. You can’t know it or understand it because you were born in sin. You will never know what it’s like to be in perfect harmony with Me until the Day I call you home. I love my Son.

As He stood before me, in between you and Me He simply said: “I died for her.”

The gavel dropped and the case was closed.

My Son carried you, He cleaned you, He brought you to me and I placed a clean, and new heart in you…and just like that you awoke. You were a new person. I remember the first breath you took with your new heart. You were re-born.

Did you forget you were mine? Did you lose your way? You WERE dead. You are no longer dead, you are Mine. You are Mine forever. I picked you. I chose you to be Mine. I love you and a Day is coming where we will be together forever, but until that time, don’t lose your way. Trust me. I have your days planned out, I know your future. You don’t. You don’t have to worry, you don’t have to be angry, you don’t have to be scared. I’ve got you. I’ve got your life planned out, I remember the day you took your breath and I know the day you’ll take your last breath. I love you. I’ll love you forever. I knew you…and I know you…and you are free.

 

Romans 8: 1-5, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has SET YOU FREE from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”

Psalm 103:8-13 “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.”

We are FREE friends! Free of guilt, shame, sin, the enemy, ourselves, we are free! And “who can stop the Lord almighty!” He is coming for us! Our Father is coming for His beloved children! Nothing can stop Him. He has won the battle over literally EVERYTHING! He’s coming, hold on, He is coming!

John 14:1-3 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

How are we to live? We are to live with our eyes, ears, hearts, and lives focused on bringing glory to God in however way He wants us to. You are forgiven and free, live in the freedom! Don’t take advantage of it, but live in it!

Thanks for reading!

Sarah S.

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Safe From the Storm (explanation)

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Would you mind reading that poem again? What if I asked you to replace the Wind with the Holy Spirit? How about replacing the Sun with…the Son? Our dear Savior Jesus Christ. And what if I asked you to replace the Mountain with the Father? Would it make more sense to you? Allow me to give you a front row seat to this amazing life that God gave to me…and this Walk that He planned for me before time began:

I was/am so blessed to have grown up in a Christian home with a pastor for a father, and a mother who was and is still my father’s helpmate who’s character is that of a Biblical woman of God . Both were and are exemplary examples of what it means to be a Christian, but that did not make me a Christian…

“I’ve seen the Sun several times, but this time it looked almost indescribably different, and for the first time I felt the Wind push me towards it.” -Growing up in a Christian home I was exposed to Jesus and all that He did for us several times. I knew the right answers, and I believed because of my parents I was a Christian as well. But God in His mercy showed me that it was more than that, and He answered the prayers of my parents, and He saved me. The moment I was saved I viewed Jesus so indescribably different. Can I ask how many times you see the Wind in this poem? “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;” John 14:6. As Jesus promised in John, God sent the Helper to us, to be with us always and forever. “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;” Romans 8:26. When I don’t know what to say to the Father, or where to go, the Holy Spirit does.

“The clouds had almost covered it, but left enough space for the Sun to peak out. Can you imagine it? It was like an eye was watching me. I blinked in its gaze and flew away in fear. I thought It to be a danger, and it seemed like the Wind was pushing against me, as I flew away.” -There have been so many times that I have tried to run from God for several reasons: I don’t understand why I’m going through something, I don’t trust Him, or I want to go my own way. So instead of Christ being a Savior for me, He instead looks like a danger to me. Do you realize that “winds” here is un-capitalized? These winds are not the Wind meaning the Holy Spirit, these are the winds of deceit sent by the deciever. The Holy Spirit will never lead you away from God.

“As I flew from the Sun I saw the sky turn a light green, the winds grew stronger and it started to rain. It was beautiful at first, but as it grew stronger it’s painful bite began to rip at my wings and I fell.” -The minute I run from God is when the flesh, satan, and the world attack. Whatever I am running from God towards seems really great at first, but then when I get there I realize it is not what I expecting and how wrong I was to even try and run from God. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour, but resist him firm in your faith…” 1 Peter 5:8-9a

“I couldn’t see. Fear set in, and I tried to fly back to the Sun, but I could no longer see it. It was there, you must understand, but I was so blinded by my fear and my situation that I could not see it. The Wind seemed to be flying in several directions. I gave up trying to fly on my own and let the Wind carry me. It carried me to the only Refuge I knew. The Mountain. The only Strong Mountain. The Mountain that could be seen throughout the whole world.” -This is the time I start to panic and fear that I am too far from God for Him to reach me. But Jesus said He would be with us always. “…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20. Even though at times it seems He was not there, He actually was…the whole time. As fear continues to grip my understanding I finally come to the point where I realize I cannot do it on my own, and I need God’s help to bring me out of the mess I put myself into.

“I hid from the storm in the crevices of the Mountain.” “Be still under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7. Praise God for His unending grace and mercy, especially during the times when I try to run away from Him! I can come before Him and pray, and He will always have open arms to welcome me back to Him! “A mighty Fortress is our God!”

“Then I saw It. The Sun…the bright Sun shining and breaking through the dark clouds.” -Once God has brought me out of the situation I was in, I see and understand that He was with me always. I may let go of Him, but He never let of me…and He never will. What an encouraging thought! When we see the dark clouds, the thunder, lighting, and rain fall down we have to remember that the Sun is still shining behind the clouds. It is always there! “I will never leave you, nor will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b.

“A joy came over me that I could not understand. I was safe. Safe from the storm with the Mountain, the Sun, and the Wind by my side.” -The joy that comes into my heart when I am reconciled with God is indescribable. It makes me never want to run from Him again. Unfortunately I still do at times, but as we get closer and closer to the Day of Jesus’ return I have hope in that Day that I will run towards Him forever!

Sarah Skepple

Thanks for reading 🙂

Dreaming on the Country Road

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Think of autumn leaves slowly swirling to the ground to join their friends.

Think of the tall trees.

Picture the bark tearing from the trees.

Look up.

Look how tall they are.

Their branches are bare, like rising knives stabbing at the sky.

Look down.

What do you see?

I see a country road.

It’s long and winding.

It never ends.

It’s surrounded by dead leaves, trees, and hopeful dreams.

Visions of old times, sights of today, and thoughts of new life.

I was made for this road. The hopeful road. The dreamy road. The never ending road. The old road. The country road.

Your life is a fish bowl…pt. 2

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This may not make sense to you if you didn’t read my previous post, but everything I mentioned there…STEREOTYPES.

Let’s start with our parents…

My Daddy’s a Pastor…and a good one! I used to hear people tell me all the time how blessed I was to have him as my Dad…and yes I am blessed! 🙂 I had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home with BOTH my parents who loved the Lord…and even more so blessed that my Dad preaches what the Bible says, and does not try to bend it or fabricate it. As all dads are, or definitely should be, he cared for me and my siblings. There were times obviously that we thought he was being overprotective, but that over-protectiveness was love and care…and I’m so thankful for it.

It’s always a typical stereotype that when we were young we went to bed at 8:30 P.M….especially on Saturday nights because “you can’t fall asleep in church!”, I don’t really ever remember a time that we were forced to go to bed at 8:30…I wish we had though, I LOVE SLEEP.

Sadly what is somewhat true is that no one wants to be friends of a Pastor’s kid, but not because of us…it’s because of our Dad! Everyone’s threatened by the fact that our Dad is the Pastor that they don’t want to say or do anything around us…we don’t tattle tale!..except on our siblings 🙂

Although I have to be honest my siblings and I definitely thought the words “stupid” and “shut up” were curse words so we never spoke them…I think it’s good we were so threatened to say it to other people, and our parents because those aren’t very nice words anyway.

And yes we were very sheltered…but that just comes with how we were raised. There’s a lot of things that children shouldn’t and don’t need to know until they’re of age to understand it. That was WISE, not ridiculous.

Let me tell you the truth. I LOVE being a PK. I couldn’t have asked for a better life. Let me tell you how God blessed me:

  1. I have 3 siblings.
  2. I grew up in a Christian home.
  3. My dad’s a Pastor.
  4. My mom is submissive to my Dad, and showed me and my sister what it means to be a good wife.
  5. My church is so supportive of my family, every week it’s “how are you doing?” “How can we pray for you?” “How has your week been?” There’s so much love and support anyway, but even more so for us because we are the Pastor’s family.

Those are just a few things…and I’m still learning as I go through life as a Pastor’s Kid…someone told me a while back, “your life is a fish bowl.” People are always watching, and sometimes waiting for you to trip and fall…the sad thing is we will fall and we do fall. We’re not perfect, we’re just normal people who’s Daddy stands in the pulpit every Sunday, thankfully preaching the truth!

Sarah Skepple

P.S. I want you to know that my Daddy’s a goof…it’s where I get my weirdness from but I love him. I am most definitely a Daddy’s girl! 🙂

Dear Future Husband, I pray for you every night pt. 2

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“For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.” Matthew 19:12

I never understood this verse. I’ve heard it maybe a couple of times, and then once in one of my dad’s sermons. At the dinner table on that Sunday afternoon I asked him what it meant. He said, “Some are single by the divine secret Will of God, some are single by the decisions of others, some are single by personal choice for the sake of the Kingdom. But it’s very important to keep this verse in its context.” (I would suggest reading Matthew 19 as a whole).

I remember my heart almost dropping out of my chest when I heard that. ‘There are some people who WANT to be married but aren’t going to be?’ That thought is enough to drive someone insane. Anxiety, frustration, and anger come with that if it’s not combated with the truth.

Self-pity. In a book called “Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?” it talked about self-pity and how harmful it is. Carolyn McCulley quotes John Piper, “The need of self-pity does not come from a sense of unworthiness, but from a sense of unrecognized worthiness. It is the response of unapplauded pride (p. 60).” Reading that convicted my heart. I sadly have to say most of the tears I cried were due to my self-pity, my thinking that I deserve something, it’s shameful even saying it now, but God….

God in His mercy has given me such a wonderful mother who knows what to say in the moments when I’m feeling at my worst. She called me to her room one day to ask what was wrong, through tears I tried to explain, and justify, my feelings of loneliness, self-pity, and feeling left out…

She joined me with tears saying I didn’t have to worry, I’ll never forget what she said, “I know you want to be married and have kids, but you have to be patient. Before the foundations of the world God planned your whole life! He saw this day, and He saw tomorrow. He knows what He’s doing, and He has a reason for it. You can’t fill your head with lies, you’re not alone. You’re going to look back on this day and understand all of it, just be patient.”

I love my mom. She always knows what to say in these moments, I believe the words that come from her mouth in these moments are truly from God.

After these talks with my mom I always feel so much better. While I can’t write down everything my mom has taught me about prayer, and patience, another major thing she has taught me is to trust God. I know and understand that, while most women get married, some may not. Another great quote from Carolyn’s book is, “God may change your assignment [singleness] and calling, or you may find that, as the years go by, you are increasingly contented with being single. There’s grace for being so gifted either way.” This gave me so much hope, and confidence. God is good isn’t He? He gives us the grace and mercy to BE content in whatever situation we’re in…as Paul says in 1 Cor. 7. If Paul could be content in whatever circumstance, and he was a human, I (we) can be in our singleness.

Of course my mom cannot promise me that marriage is what God has for me, but she taught me that prayer is powerful. “Are you praying for your future husband?” She asked. “Are you praying that God would make you to be the woman/wife God wants you to be?” Before this time I had never prayed for that, I sometimes prayed for myself being the woman, but I never really prayed for him.

What if he doesn’t exist? Should I still pray for him?

While reading one of my favorite bloggers, Phylicia Delta’s blog, she explains the importance of still praying for your future husband…(please go read her blog!) Do we know if he exists or not? Of course not but that should not stop us from praying for him. We don’t know God’s plan for our lives, but one thing we do know is that we are to bring Him glory, it’s only God’s decision if marriage (for you and for me) will bring Him glory. Ahh trust. Trust God because He truly knows what’s best for us.

I’ve dropped the ball sometimes, but I try to, every night, pray for my future husband. I pray for his salvation, if he is unsaved at the moment. I pray for his relationship with the Lord, that it would be strong. I pray for the moments when he’s down, frustrated, angry, and/or sad that he would find comfort in the Lord, because the Lord is the only one who can give us the comfort we need, no human can, only the Lord…and it’s so great to serve a good God who loves His children. I pray for his leadership, and respect for his parents and the adults in his life. It’s not much but it brings me a lot of joy that, if marriage is something God has for me, I can tell my husband that I prayed for him.

Sarah Skepple

Checkout my previous post “Dear Future Husband, I pray for you every night pt. 1.”

Dear Future Husband, I pray for you every night pt. 1

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If I hear someone tell me one more time, “Sarah when you meet your future husband you’ll just know.” I may try to ACTUALLY attack them

.

.

.

KNOW WHAT?

Will a light go off in my brain?

Will he be turning his head a certain way?

Will I see our future kids when I look into his dreamy eyes?…(maybe)

What is IT? Obviously some sort of magic happens when you meet your future husband…right? But what if I already thought that I kinda felt it before? Then I’m like PSYYYYYYYCH it’s not that guy!

So what do I do then?

What should I do then?

I convince myself he exists, in convincing myself of this, I’ve believed that God owes me that much.

I used to wonder what was going through God’s mind when He hears that thought in my head…how much pain I was causing just by not being thankful for what I have, and even thinking that God owed ME something?

CRAZINESS!

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11.

This Psalm burned in my brain when I read it. ‘Is it not a good thing to get married?…Is it not a good thing for ME to get married?’ I ask myself all the time ‘what’s wrong with me?’ I mean obviously it’s not good for me to be married, so I have to prepare now to be alone forever. I’ve spent long nights in tears: angry, frustrated, confused, sad…all because I had convinced myself that every time a guy broke my heart, every time a guy told me “you’re my friend,” every time I watched all of my siblings and friends get into relationships (or even a person of the opposite sex have feelings for them) it was a sign…a long road preparing me for lifelong singleness.

I’m only 21 and I’ve watched 15 year old’s holding hands with their boyfriends, 18 year old’s walk down the aisle toward the love of their life…and 20 year old’s lovingly looking into the eyes of their first child. My heart grew dark with envy and jealousy. I stayed off social media “that’ll help” I told myself. If I can’t see the pictures or posts I won’t feel anything…then sooner or later I’ll accept the fact that I’m going to be single forever.

I was wrong to assume that my problem lied within Facebook. My problem lay within my heart. Even when I stayed off for two weeks at a time, my thoughts never stopped. I was just so angry with God, and what He was putting me through (because God TEMPTS us to sin right?…WRONG!)….

(to be continued) 

 

Canvasing

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C-Creative

A-Anxiety

N-New

V-VERY exciting

A-Accomplished

S-Secluded

I-Imagined

N-Night

G-Genuine

Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest. Probably the coolest thing that has ever come to the internet…like hands down…right? You can search for anything, and find anything about anything on there…that’s why I love it. Last Christmas I was on Pinterest and found these really cool Christmas decorations, as I began pinning different Christmas decorations more suggestions would come up until I was pinning 10 or more pins a day to my Christmas ideas board. One day I came across a beautiful canvas…I don’t remember if it had words on it or if it was just painted but all I know is it was beautiful and I wanted to try it. I thought it was very creative. 

I saw an incredible movie this year called Interstellar (have YOU seen it?! If you haven’t stop reading and watch it…well finish reading and then watch it 🙂 ) and was incredibly moved by the quote “We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt (I literally just got chills).” I told myself (that belongs on a canvas). Finally the time came for me to make my canvas, I went to Walmart and bought two canvases, some paint, paint brushes, pens, and any other items I would need to make this canvas. As soon as I got home I felt much anxiety because I had never tried this before…what if I messed up? What would people think? But putting all that aside I laid out the newspaper on the dining room table, turned on Netflix to watch Tarzan, and began to paint.

How new this was! As soon as I started to paint everything around me began to drown out and my eyes and mind were focused only on this beautiful piece of art. Even Tarzan in the background began to disappear, “I wanna know ca…you..sho……….” No mistakes had been made…yet. Everything was coming together, and I remember thinking “I can do this.”

As my family walked in and out of the dining room, my concentration was slowly opening its door to everything going on around me. “What are you doing?” “Why are you using those colors?” “Why are you smiling like that?” “BECAUSE I’M EXCITED!!!” I had never done anything like this before! It was VERY exciting! I’m not a painter, and I’m definitely not artistic in any way, but it was turning out so well. I remember thinking “wow…if I can do this maybe I can learn to draw.” Some things are just dreams.

I was feeling so accomplished by the end of the night. My phone said 10:34. I felt like going to bed, but I couldn’t. I had to finish! I just had to finish. The black and brown colors of my canvas were perfect, but what would I do next? I know I wanted words, but should I add any other decorations? I was getting sleepier and sleepier as the credits of Tarzan rolled on and on and my paint brush rested on the paper plate. I’ll sleep on it.

I woke up the next morning ready and prepared to finish my canvas. The house was empty when I started to canvas, I felt secluded. It was perfect. I work better this way. I started pulling out my paint pens….hmm gray? Silver? I think silver. Excited was an understatement of what I was feeling. My stars and planets were coming out very well.

I never imagined I would make a mistake. I was basically done, so proud, and accomplished in my work I told myself “there can be no mistakes now.” Then it happened…almost immediately. My first mistake. Ugh I was so frustrated! They’ll notice! They’ll think it’s stupid! It’s over…what could I do?

When I finally finished my canvas I was in awe of it’s beauty. Yeah there were mistakes, but who cares! I had finished a canvas. My first canvas. At night I held up the finished product for Instagram…”they’re toootally gonna want to see this!” I thought to myself. Loving the 30 little approval points from my followers, I thought maybe I could do more. Ideas began rushing in, “that quote was always cool!” “Ooo but I really liked the quote from that movie…” “hmm”

The most important thing was how genuine these ideas were. They kept popping up…quotes, drawings, maps, all these ideas! I couldn’t wait to try them all. But a horrible beast under the name of School stood in the way, and here I sit…writing about my love for canvasing instead of canvasing. Once School has walked away, maybe I can finish this canvas.

Canvasing.

Sarah Skepple