Tag Archive | Prunable

Do Everything In Love

1 Corinth 13

Heaven gained a great Christian apologist on Saturday.  Nabeel Quershi was called home after his yearlong battle with stomach cancer.

Apologetics comes from the Greek word ἀπολογία meaning “verbal defense” or “speech in defense”.   Apologists defend objections using historical evidence.

I first read about Nabeel’s life in Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity.  Nabeel was brought up in a very loving and deeply religious Muslim family, memorizing the Qur’an by the age of five.  His family trained him in apologetics so Nabeel could defend Islam and disprove other religions.

I reread excerpts from this book to my husband after I learned about Nabeel’s passing.  I forgot how much I enjoyed reading about the lighthearted teasing between Nabeel and David Wood.  As students at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, the two intellectuals became good friends.  When Nabeel challenged David’s Christian beliefs, their discussions eventually led Nabeel to dig deeper into the history of Islam.  I could feel the love in their friendship and discussions.  Not anger, not hatred, not arrogance.  Love.  

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One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”  John 13:34-35

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When Nabeel found about his stage IV stomach cancer, he vlogged to keep people informed of his progress.  This was his last vlog.

Norma McCorvey, who was Jane Roe in “Roe v. Wade” was Won by Love.  Nabeel Qureshi was also won by love.  As Christians, love needs to be our motivation in EVERYTHING that we do!  May we all pray not only for Nabeel’s wife and daughter, but also for his many family members who are Muslim.  

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My Renovation Project

I am facilitating a study of “Taste for Truth” by Barb Ravling with about 50 ladies online.  This week we are focusing on appearance and renewing the mind.

My earthly father called me Fatty Patty.  I wasn’t fat.   He also called me dummy.  I’m not dumb.  I’ve carried those lies with me far too long in this life.

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I renew my mind by reading God’s Truth.  I can not do this on my own; I’m being extremely prideful when I try to make any renovations in my life on my own.

My earthly father passed away 13 years ago today.

I thought I would become free that day.  Free from having an abusive earthly father.  Free from worrying about the possibility of him hurting my children or grandchildren.  Free from his anger and hatred.  Free from the bad memories of my childhood.

My life did not change on that day because I was already free when I was accepted into the family of God. ❤  I have had a loving Father for almost 23 years now.  A Father Who has accepted me, Who doesn’t call me names and Who doesn’t hurt me.  A Father Who wants the best for me and Who doesn’t put me down.  A forgiving Father Who guides me in His Truth, Who lovingly corrects me, and Who shows me how to do better in this life.  A Father I willingly obey because He loves me, He cares for me, and He protects me.

I am who I am because of Christ, NOT my earthly father.  I am who I am because I’ve been forgiven.  I am who I am because I renew my mind with God’s Truth and do not pollute my mind with what the world says I should feel.

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If you had an abusive father or didn’t have a father present in your life at all, you DO have a heavenly Father Who loves you and desires the best for you:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
Revelation 3:20 (ESV)

 

Tasting Truth

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”   Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)

I am reading Taste for Truth and it has been a very enlightening journey.   Instead of using a specific diet plan or digging into the reasons why people overeat, this study focuses on the boundaries we may need and the renewing of the mind in order to gain freedom from the control of food.

I started drinking at age 15.  By age 18, I was using alcohol daily to cope with my home life.  I liked the way alcohol made me feel and how it made me more outgoing.

I continued drinking in my early to mid-20’s, but quit a couple of years before I became a mom.  I didn’t enjoy hangovers and had started to take notice of coworkers, family and friends whose lives were out of control because of alcohol or drug abuse.  I am one of the fortunate rare people who could stop using alcohol without support and have had less than 10 beers over the last 30 years.

Sometime in my late-20’s, I replaced my alcohol usage with food.  Unlike alcohol or drugs, our bodies need food so overeating is the acceptable addiction in our society.  I ate when my stress level went up because I took on too many volunteer positions.  Like many people, I often ate too much at celebrations.  My overeating was the most out of control when I had to deal with stressful family situations.

One particular time was the last time I saw my father.  My siblings and I were were physically, mentally and verbally abused by this man, so visiting him was extremely nerve-racking for me.  I hadn’t seen him in over 20 years, but my sister and I had to visit him before cancer took his life so we could ensure that our grandmother was taken care of.  I had a strong urge to get a drink after leaving his house, but thankfully my sister was doing the driving and wouldn’t allow it (thanks, Little Sis  ❤ ).  Instead of alcohol,  we both self-medicated with pasta and cannoli.   I can look back on that event now and realize that using food wasn’t any different than using booze.

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We have an enemy who wants to use our weaknesses so we are ineffective for the Lord’s work.  Through this study, I realized that I have spent more time overeating than renewing my mind.  By renewing my mind, this was my very first Thanksgiving that I DID NOT overeat and I feel I finally have gained control over food!!  Thank you, Jesus!!! 

If your story is similar and would like to learn how to break free from the stronghold of overeating, I will be leading an online study of Taste for Truth  beginning on January 2nd – February 24, 2017.  There is a companion book, I Deserve a Donut that is available in paperback, a Kindle version, and even an iPhone or android app (I purchased the Kindle version of Taste for Truth and the iPhone app of I Deserve a Donut for under $10).  You can click on the links to the books to look inside them and/or read the reviews.  The online study will take place in a secret Facebook group where only the members will be able to read your posts.  Feel free to email me at plewing@hotmail.com if you have any questions or visit http://barbraveling.com/  for more information on the author and her books.

Helping Those Who Hurt

 Places like The Covering House bring awareness to the prevalence of sex trafficking and help those who’ve been exploited.  The Covering House is non-profit organization that provides refuge and restoration for girls that have experienced sexual trafficking or sexual exploitation here in the United States.

 On September 3rd, The Covering House is hosting their 6th annual Race for Refuge.
I will be walking a 5K to raise money to help support the good
work they do there.

ANY amount will help. ❤ ❤ ❤    Please prayerfully consider giving up your daily coffee/tea/pop stop for a week or even just even one day to sponsor me.  You can give online and your donations go directly to The Covering House. 


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 Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love and for Your daily provisions.  Thank You for providing places like The Covering House that help the exploited. Thank You for inspiring me to help places like The Covering House and to do this 5K.  Thank You for each person who will read this post and who will prayerfully give to The Covering House so they may continue the good work being done there.  Please give Your wisdom, strength, and guidance to each staff member and volunteer at The Covering House as they minister to broken girls.  Please restore each client who goes there as only You can.  It’s in Jesus’ precious Name I pray, so that You alone will be glorified.  Amen. 

After God’s Own Heart

  I’m heartbroken as I read this morning on Facebook that yet another
Christian friend is going to vote for the female candidate.  

If we are reading God’s Word, we have the answers to EVERYTHING in how we should live: from dating, marriage, raising our children, dealing with sin, etc.

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King Saul chose to do things his own way.  Through the prophet Samuel, God told Saul that due to his disobedience he would be replaced by a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).  When we fast forward to 1 Samuel 28, we find Saul consulting a medium and is told why the LORD had turned away from him and the consequences he would face “because you did not obey the voice of the Lord” (1 Samuel 28:18).

Americans love our country, but do we love it more than God?  If we truly love God, why are so willing to choose leaders who believe it’s okay to kill the unborn?

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 Heavenly Father, I praise You as the One True God!!  You alone appoint kings and leaders.  Father, I lift the United States to You.  Please bring us to our knees to seek Your face and Your wisdom in choosing the leaders You desire for this country and in our local elections.  Please show me how to lovingly respond to Christian friends and family who don’t follow Your Word.  Please correct us and forgive us as You corrected and forgave King David in his sin.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen. 

Keeping My Gaze Forward

My kids have told me that I have adult ADD because I get easily distracted.  I dislike hate how I sometimes allow things of this world or memories of my past draw me away from the things of God.  

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I desire to honor the LORD with not only my actions, but also with my thoughts.  I often wonder if the Apostle Paul was tormented by his past.  If he did, he didn’t allow his prior persecution of Christians to hinder his serving the LORD.   Philippians 3:12-21 shows how he pressed forward:

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.  Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.  For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.  Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.  But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,  who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

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Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace.  Thank You for loving me even when I sometimes gaze back.  Please forgive how I get distracted with the things of this world and help me to keep my eyes focused on You and Your work here.  Please guide me, Holy Spirit, and correct me when my mind wanders.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, so You will be glorified.  Amen. 

Being a Good Mother-in-Law


I married my husband at 21 and became a Christian at age 33.  I
never had a Christian mentor and could have used the help of an older Christian sister when my mother passed away when I was 42.   As I revisited the story of Ruth, I realized I want to be a better Christian mentor to my own daughter, daughter-in-law and to other Christian young women.

  If you’re unfamiliar with Ruth and Naomi’s story in the book of Ruth, Naomi had been a widow for 10 years when both of her married sons passed away.  Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem and since both of Naomi’s daughter-in-laws were Moabites,  Ruth instructs the childless younger women to return to the homes of their own people.  Orpah does, but Ruth insists on staying with Naomi:

 And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.”  But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”  And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.
Ruth 1:15-18 (ESV)

Each time I read Ruth, I wonder what made Ruth decide to stay with her mother-in-law.   Was it her kindness?  Was she just feeling sorry for her?   Had Naomi been such a good mother-in-law that Ruth desired to go with her instead of going back to her Moabite people?

  I would only want to go with a woman who was kind and upright. As a child/teenager there was so much turmoil in my own family, so I didn’t have good examples.  I married into a Christian family, but I’ve only seen favoritism and badmouthing of ex-daughter-laws which made me bitter.  Rereading Ruth has shown me the kind of mother-in-law I would like to be and how God has directed me to be.

Titus 2:3-5 shows the responsibilities of females in the church body:

Titus 2

Here’s my list of rules for mother-in-laws.  Please feel free to share any advice/rules that have helped you in your mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship.

1. Pray for your daughter-in-law.
2. Always call ahead before visiting.
3. Do not be intrusive.
Don’t call too much, visit too much or do things without asking.
4. Don’t be critical of your daughter-in-law.
How she raises her children, keeps her house, her cooking, etc. is her business.
5. NEVER criticize your daughter-in-law to your son or other family members.
6. Do not gossip about your daughter-in-law.
7. Don’t show favoritism – this includes your own children, grandchildren, and other daughter-in-laws.
8. NEVER tell your grandchildren that their mom or dad is wrong.
9. Love and praise your daughter-in-law.
10. Do kind things for your daughter-in-law.
11. Always include your daughter-in-law.  Schedule special times with her, other daughter-in-law(s) and your daughter(s). Going out to eat or getting coffee together, a simple day of baking, getting manicures, etc. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
12. If your son divorces, be kind to your daughter-in-law, especially if there are children. She will ALWAYS be the mother of your son’s children. NEVER talk badly about an ex-daughter-in-law, especially in front of your grandchildren.