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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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How to Find Joy and Peace

Matthew 10:30-31 says, “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows,” (NLT). The Lord doesn’t care so much about our accomplishments. He created each and every one of us to be unique and special. He values even our hair—whether it’s a lot or only a little! God loves me. God loves you. He loved you when you were only a child, with mud on your nose and peanut butter in your hair. He loved you when you succeeded and when you failed. His love is completely unconditional.

Take a moment to think about that truth. You don’t have to prove anything to God. He just loves you because you exist. God loved you before you were born. He loved you before you even knew Him. He loved you when you were lost in your sins and He came to take care of that! You don’t have to look a certain way or do a certain thing to earn His love. He loves you and He values you, more than you can ever fathom. Even when you mess up and fall flat on your face, He still loves you. Believe this truth. It will set you free.

Our world teaches that the only person you can really trust in is yourself. Unfortunately, that’s a lie. For one thing, the Bible teaches that you cannot trust yourself at all. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death,” (AMP). We, left to our own devices, are headed for destruction, death, and hell. However, Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take,” (NLT).

Sometimes, it’s really hard to trust anyone else, especially if you’ve been hurt in the past. Trusting in God can seem extremely difficult because of the simple fact that you can’t see Him or touch Him. However, anyone and everyone can EXPERIENCE God anywhere, anytime.

The great thing about Jesus (God) is He never lies and He always keeps His promises. He is completely reliable and absolutely faithful. If He said it, that settles it! Every promise written in the Bible is for you and me. The Bible was written not just for a few people, but for the entire world. Jesus does not force Himself on people; He simply offers Himself and His Spirit. He wants to walk with you. He wants a relationship with you. Matthew 11: 28-30 says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly,” (MSG).

I’ve heard it preached that the Lord wants to show you what a real Sabbath is. If you are living a life of perpetual fatigue, perhaps you are carrying around too many burdens. Jesus wants you to have a life that is light. He wants to show you a better, more joyful way to live. When we finally let go of our worries and believe the truth that God can handle our lives better than we can, suddenly we sleep better. We awake refreshed and energized. And joy quietly fills us. It’s there, exactly where it’s supposed to be, felt freely and fully.

Remember Psalm 37:4? It says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart,” (AMP). This means that if you will walk with the Lord, He will make your dreams come true.

Excerpted from my book Allowing Joy Into Your Life coming soon.

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2012 in encouraging posts, Excerpts

 

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Found this on FaceBook today and wanted to pass it on. Sometimes it is easy to fall into wanting to receive love a certain way, but the best way is to give it. If we delight ourselves in Jesus and the things that He considers most important, we will have all of our needs and even many of our desires fulfilled. We will be fulfilled. This will find its way somewhere into my next non-fiction book, Delighting Daily in Jesus.

Pictures like these and more can be found on FaceBook.com/ACoffeeBreakWithGod.

May your day be one of victory that overflows with His Spirit housed in you!

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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