Pressure to Get Married

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Be ready for this week’s video, our last in this series! Every Monday by 6pm for the next 2 weeks. There are three videos in this series! Can’t wait for you to see.

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The Secret to Confidence: Know Your Worth

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Low self-esteem is easier to find than dirt on the subway as insecurity devours our culture, stripping away more than we possibly realize.  Once we forget who we are, we settle for less, we walk hunched over.  Confidence is an afterthought when survival is what we grasp for.  The problem begins because we do not know our worth. 

1.  How much are you worth?

I spoke with someone once about this, I believe it was my brother.  He calculated his worth and pointed out that some people are worth more than others.  How then do you determine yours?

I started a new tradition where I collect all my coins and turn it in at my local bank on my birthday and after Christmas.  It’s my surprise birthday/Christmas gift to myself.  Plus, if I ever find myself really strapped for cash (and assuming I haven’t recently done this) I can cash in my change.

My bank allows me to guess how much money I’ve collected.  I thought I didn’t collect much, it didn’t even really fill the jar.  I guessed $30 thinking I was being too optimistic.  I was wrong, I had collected $60 without realizing it.  I dramatically undervalued how much I saved.

I felt God pleading with me recently reminding me that I am worth so much more than I realize.

2.  Don’t use the wrong formula.  

It’s so easy to forget our worth, isn’t it?  There are all those markers that seem to define us. But, who are you beyond your job, your looks, your Facebook profile or your grades?

So many times I fear that I, as well as many people I love, do the same.  We don’t understand our worth.  We are jars of coins trying to be sold to the highest bidder, never taking the time to count what’s actually inside.

I began a new yearly bible plan, click here for a link.  When reading over Genesis I was reminded of something beautiful.  Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

How remarkable is this?  And really think about this- you are created in the image of the most beautiful God.  How much are you undervaluing yourself?

Thinking back to my conversation with my brother, I may be worth nothing “technically”, but no price can actually be put on your life.  You may try, but no one can ever measure the way you love, no one can ever measure the lengths those who care for you will go.  These barometers forget that because of God, our worth breaks any scale man can make regardless of who you are and what the world thinks of you.

3.  Turn to God

I remember loving myself growing up, maybe a little too much.  I rarely even thought about how I looked like but knew I was special, I knew I had importance.  Then puberty hit and a wave of insecurity came along with it.  I questioned everything I once knew for a fact.  Was I ugly?  Why did others do better than me in school?  Did I really have friends?  I didn’t know it at the time but these were whispers of deceit from the enemy that would tear me down- but not completely.

I wish I could say that at the age of 21 that I am immune to insecurity, that I’ve solved the problem of low self-esteem.  But I too need to stop myself from undervaluing my worth.

The difference now is that I know the truth: that I am worth more than I can possibly comprehend.

Why else would God of the universe send His Son to earth to die for me? Am I worth the life of someone so perfect, so holy….to take the place of my wretchedness, my sin, my deceit, my shame…?

I am worth it. YOU are worth it. You have value much more than you know, so much that He laid his life down for you. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” John 15:13 NIV

So next time when you’re feeling down about yourself, remember that the Creator made you in His image, His beautiful and perfect image, and that your life is worth the price of His Son.

4. The Challenge 

Today I challenge you to look at yourself and let God speak. Look deeply into your heart and hear what God says.  He crafted you, he is molding you as his perfect creation.  Comment below when you do this about how God is speaking to you.

The secret to confidence is knowing your worth.  

If you see yourself through the eyes of the Father, you can be confident in the knowledge that He created you for a purpose, you are beautiful and loved, and you have worth.

Written by Nina Thomas, Edited by Shannon Mathew

Oh, how He loves you!

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The above picture is from the “Everything” skit.  

Whenever I hear a really great message, I must share it!  All credit is given to the speaker of this message, Jay Koopman.  He spoke on this topic at my church this past Friday.

Think back to a time when you were in love, or really loved something.  It could be a video game…or a human.  But regardless of whether it was a person of thing, when you were in love, you longed to spend time with that object or person.  Sometimes our problem is that we don’t experience God’s love in our life. We cannot “get right” with God by the things that we do, we need his love.

Now, the amazing thing about the Holy Spirit is that is has the ability to change us and thus, those around us.  Koopman began by saying that we will change the world, but first we ourselves need to be transformed.

When you look at the story of Samson in the bible, Samson was never supposed to have his hair cut.  In fact, his strength was never utilized until the end of his life because he was so scared of losing his hair.

When we look at the bible we see that we will have the authority to:

-Cast out demons

-Heal the sick

-Raise the dead

But how many of us do this?  The reason we do not is because we are not free.  Samson too was not free to live in his blessing.  

At one point in Koopman’s life, he rid himself of everything secular in an attempt to win God’s approval.  When the devil would try to hurt him, he felt as though God had abandoned him.  The problem was that he did not understand God’s love for him.

After he spoke, Koopman asked us to come to the front and open our palms expectant of God’s love.  I’ve seen and experienced many things in my life but nothing compares to feeling God’s love.

Someone once told me that we all have a “God sized” hole, we have that hole for a reason.  Nothing compares to the love of God, and nothing can replace it.

What is the Meaning of Christmas?

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The end of my “25 days of Christmas” photo challenge (check posts below) leads me to asking, what is the meaning of Christmas?  I’m tempted to say, “family”.  Heck, I know lots of people who aren’t Christian who have a Christmas tree and exchange gifts.  I’ve even heard that Christmas has pagan roots.  Looking past all of this, what should Christmas mean, or what does it mean to me?

Mathew 1:23 reads, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”  It’s funny because it was Christmas Day I remembered that I somehow forgot about the true meaning of it all along.  The meaning of Christmas is honoring the birth of Jesus Christ.

I’ve always had mixed feelings about the holiday.  We can all get so wrapped up in the material things and forget what’s important.  But there’s something very beautiful about Christmas time: it requires you to think of others.  It brings people together.  If done right, it reminds us of what we should truly be grateful for.

My Christmas memory was from when I was a little kid.  I received a Christmas sweater I didn’t like, and I actually told the person who gave it to me what to get me instead the next year.  Yes, I was that kid.

Sometimes when I reflect on the person I used to be, and in some ways the person I am becoming, I feel so grateful.  My memories, good and bad, are not me.

Regardless of what you may have received this Christmas season, there’s is one gift available to all: salvation.  This means that everything that separates and divides you from the love of God is taken away because Jesus Christ died on a cross for your sins. This gift reminds me everyday that my worth is beyond any number.

You are loved and eternally valuable!  Merry “day-after” Christmas!  🙂

P.S- I’ll be renaming this blog and buying a domain name, does anyone have suggestions?  Let me know!

25 Days of Christmas (Day 25)!

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(Day 25) Shannon Mathew

“Secret Santas have always been a generally horrible experience. One time in the second grade, I had a boy for secret Santa and had absolutely no idea what to get him, so I thought a box of chocolates would be nice. Except that the poor kid turned out to be allergic to peanuts, so he was the only one without a present. I guess ‘life is like a box of chocolates’ doesn’t apply to that guy.

Funny story-I saw that kid the other day for the first time since elementary school…he remembers the whole thing”