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This is from one of our blog contest winners, run by Mark Showalter!

Bearing Witness; My Uncut Hair by: Nancy Watrud

https://i0.wp.com/www.gospelgifs.com/art_pages_19/images/trans3s.gifI was praying. Tears were streaming down my face as I let my long hair down and draped it over my hands.  I studied it carefully, noticing the deep browns and the glistening auburn where the sun was shining on it. I pulled the length of it through my hand, then I held it out and studied the varying shades from the ends upward. It had been almost thirty-five years since it had been cut, thirty-five years of an unwavering conviction that the Word of God desired women to not cut their hair.* This standard had been strongly upheld within my organization for generations, but now this rich heritage; this unexplainable blessing was fading in relevance in the churches and rarely preached or taught over the pulpits.  It was becoming simply a tradition passed from generation to generation. The trouble is, convictions cannot be “caught” or “passed along”, convictions are a matter of an individual’s beliefs as they grow in faith and are convicted by the Word of God.  Families may plant the seed of these beliefs in their children, but they are not convictions until the individual owns them.  True godly convictions are the moral rudder of an individual and are rooted deeply in the Word of God.  How do I explain to someone the power that is in a woman’s uncut hair that has been consecrated to God?** How do we explain the power in a handkerchief that has been prayed over and anointed with oil?*** or how do we explain the power of Peter’s shadow to heal?**** Some things must be spiritually discerned. *****

It may be, those of us who were not raised in this way are more hungry for it because many of us have experienced the coldness and emptiness of a life without the peace and power of the Holy Ghost. Once we experienced it, we desperately want it in our homes and in our lives. Those that have lived in their own hell already, gladly count the cost of dedicating their life to God and do not hold any price too dear. I had already lived in such a hell and knew that this life of consecration to God was a good life. It was the way I wanted to raise my children and I wanted it for my children’s children. I remember the moment I consecrated my life to God.  I was standing in my kitchen at the foot of the stairs and was praying.  I said to Jesus, “There’s a lot in my life that needs to change and most of it’s going to take a while, but there are some things that can be changed this very night.”  I was ruthless. I packed up all of my slacks(ref i), leaving me with very few clothes. I knew I had to get them out of the house and I did. I packed up all of my jewelery except a few sentimental pieces that loved ones had given to me; the rest went into the trash along with my makeup(ref ii).  You see, I was not just hungry for God, I was desperate for God. I never wished for any of it back. These were the easy changes, but important none the less. No one had twisted my arm or held me over the fire of hell to do this. I knew it wasn’t going to buy my way to heaven. Jesus had done that for me on the cross. They simply showed me the scriptural basis for it in the Bible and that was all I needed. Because I was desperate for God and desperately wanting to consecrate my life to him.

I wondered, as I looked at the ends of my hair, if I was looking at hair that had laid on the altar in that old church where I first repented. I also thought of the many years my tears had fallen on my hair as I prayed in my home for my lost loved ones. Memories flowed before me as my hair slid through my hands and it occurred to me that my hair was a witness of my years of striving to live for God. I thought of the different times in my life that I had struggled with personal failures but had hung onto the grace and mercy of Jesus. Inch by inch my hair bore witness to times of  heartache and times of joy, times of power with God and times of great weakness.

 Then I stood and held my hair up to God.  It would once more bear witness.  I prayed, “Jesus, I will not remove the old landmark, let my hair be a witness today and may it testify to man and to the angels that I will continue to live for you every day for the rest of my life.  Let my hair declare it!”

Proverbs 22:28 “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.”

*I Corinthians 11:15; **I Corinthians 11:10; ***Acts 19:11-12; ****Acts 5:15; *****I Corinthians 2:14-15; ref i Deuteronomy 22:5; ref ii I Timothy 2:9-10

 

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Characteristics of Living Organisms–Physical and Spiritual, Part 2

Written by: Vernon McCoy

Breathing or Respiration – All living things exchange gases with their environment. Animals take in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.

Breathing is interesting in that we do it involuntarily. We don’t have to remind ourselves to breathe, we just do it. Not only do we just do it, but it happens all the time. It isn’t a one-time deal, so it just turns into something that we do. It is something you take for granted, until you no longer have the ability to do it. You don’t think about it, nor should you, but it is readily there. Breathing.

Also there is an exchange happening. It isn’t just one way, but there is two-way communication happening here.

We need God to breathe on us, and when He breathes on us, in exchange, we worship Him and give Him praise, and when we worship Him and give Him praise, then He breathes on us some more, and we worship Him and give Him praise, and it goes on and on, until we live a lifestyle of praise and worship. Praise is just who we are. Praise is what I do. We don’t just do this in the sanctuary, but even outside of these four (church) walls, we live a lifestyle of praise, because God is breathing on us.

Job 33:4 – The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

God breathed into Adam and man became a living soul. We were made to give God glory. We have to understand that there is life in the breath of God. It should be our desire to have God breathe on us every day, all the time, until that is just who we are. We need to learn to live a lifestyle of praise, and that only happens when God breathes on us.

Unfortunately, the alternative is true. We live in a twisted and perverse world, and if we allow ourselves to breathe in the bad air of our society, then in exchange, we won’t be able to praise and worship the way we were designed to, and therefore we won’t live. I am talking about the characteristics of a LIVING Spiritual Christian. A living, healthy Christian is very apparent because God is breathing on them, and in exchange they live a lifestyle of praise and worship.

We have to be careful about what we allow our environment to breathe into our spirit and make sure that God is breathing on us.

Excretion – is the removal of waste from the body. All living things need to remove waste from their bodies. If this waste is allowed to remain in the body, it could be poisonous. It will become poisonous.

This is simple folks. Sin is sin. It needs to be removed from our lives. This is interesting in that it points out that all living things need to remove waste. This implies that you are already living for God, that it doesn’t matter how long you have lived for God. This isn’t the message for the new convert, or the sinner, but this is here for the saint, who has been in church for a while. There is always something that we need to shed.

Hebrews 12:1 – Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

I like this verse because it makes a very clear distinction between sin and weight. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 10:23 that ‘All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient.’ Thank God for the man of God (the pastor) who will draw lines in the sand for my soul. Moses defined where the base of the mountain stood. The sons of Kora found out that you don’t want to be on the wrong side of the line. Let me say that if the man of God (pastor) draws a line in the sand, then we as saints need to make sure that we are on the right side of that line and as far away as we can be on the right side. Lines don’t get drawn haphazardly nor do they get drawn for fun. If the pastor draws a line in the sand and says that we are going to do this and not do this, then so be it. It might not be sin, but that doesn’t mean that it is good for me. Thank God for the Man of God who loves me enough to draw a line in the sand.

Our bodies are the temple of the living God, and we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. It is really just that simple.

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Also, just a quick announcement: my first inspirational romance book, Violet Miracle is now available on Amazon.com! It is the first in a series called, A Little Bit of Coffee, Flowers, and Romance. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Sweet, Simple Romance Book

 

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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