Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Perfect Storm - Guest Post by Chard Phebe

You could say I’m a sailor of sorts.

Now before you get the image of me in a parka on a dinky old boat yelling “Ahoy mateys!”, hear me out.

Why do sailors sail? Some do it for fish, others for the adventurous feeling it gives, still others do it because they want to explore the world. Every sailor sails for a reason.

God calls everyone out upon the waters of life at its fullest, yet most of us fear leaving the shore.

We’re like Veggie-tale Jonah.

One of the saddest things about that is one of the reasons God calls us out, one of the reasons He designed us the way He did, is to co-labor with Him in solving the world’s problems. (1 Cor. 3:9)

Did you ever wonder why you felt so strongly about a problem in the world few people, even your closest Christian friends felt the same passion for? Maybe it’s because that’s not their problem.

I believe God will show us two or three problems in the world that we are to make our passions. (1 Cor 12:4-6)

(Now just a disclaimer, I don’t really know if the number is two or three, I’ve just never met anyone with only one passion, and having four or more seems like you’d start to slack in one of them.)

I believe God shows us these in a variety of ways, through hard times (2 Cor. 2:4), visions and dreams (Isa. 6:1-8), prayer and meditation (James 1:5-8), and also having seen/experienced things that move your heart for the things that move the heart of God (Matt 9:36-38).

Now, thinking back on your life, I’m sure you can probably name at least a couple things that had truly weighed on your heart. Don’t tell yourself what you felt was superficial, the person say who feels saddened at there not being any entertaining Christian movies to watch, may be the next filmmaker for a wholesome blockbuster.

I also want you to get a weight for the importance of you pursuing the thing you feel God pulling you toward. Not only the world, but the Church needs you.

If you haven’t found out yet, the Church is full of sinners.

We’re all broken in some way, and you living out God’s call for your life might just be a blessing to dozens, hundreds, thousands, even millions of other believers...and God only knows how many countless unbelievers.

You can’t believe the lie that you aren’t important, and you don’t matter (Ps. 8:5). That’s from the pit of Hell and it’s just what the Enemy would want you to believe.

Which brings me to what may be my most critical point: spiritual warfare.

As I said before, I am like a sailor. I’ve begun to answer God’s call and it’s taken me out from shore so far I’m not really sure where home is anymore. Out here on the water, there are waves, big ones that take you high and low. There’s pouring rain, lightning, and fear.

So much and so often I want to quit, give into temptations, start believing the lies and settling for an alright life knowing Christ.

But I can’t, the call is too strong, you can’t the world needs you too much.

I would love to tell you that as you begin to pursue the callings God has on your life, things will nice, fun, and safe. I would love to...but I can’t.

Fact is the few years I’ve now spent looking for ways to pursue God’s call on my life, interacting with people the way He’s told me to, and trying to conform with who He’s making me to be have been some of the hardest years of my life.

And most the joyful, rich, and fulfilling as well.

We need to be ready to keep our eyes on heaven even when the waves are 50 feet tall and we think we’re going to capsize, God is bigger than the problems, the need is bigger than our fear.

The Bible says when we resist the Devil he flees from us (James 4:7), we have no need to fear the world for greater is the one is us (1 John 4:4), and our flesh is exactly that ours and we can discipline it by God’s grace into obeying us (1 Cor. 9:27).

See what I just named there? The Enemy, the world, and our flesh? Those are our biggest opponents with chasing our dreams. They’re what would feed us lies, what would cause us to stumble, what would make us want to quit. They are the waves, rain, and lightning in this Perfect Storm...and by the Holy Spirit, you've already gotten the victory over them!

So what’s stopping you?

Remember, having the victory doesn't mean these things won’t still rear their ugly heads, it just means when they do you can fight if off with God’s power.

Start small and move on to bigger goals as you complete the smaller ones. Pray to God for guidance and for comfort when you fail. Remember failure is a learning experience, and you really can’t get success until you've failed a few times. Constantly refocus yourself so you can keep the main thing the main thing.

Remember, your Creator is proud of you and your world thanks you.

So go, and I hope to see you out there on these waters very soon.
-Chard Phebe

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Aquarian Bath Naturals {review}

Hey ladies! Sorry for the absence in posts. I just got back from a week-long beach vacay, and besides that have been just super busy with life in general.
Anyway! Several months back I was sent some natural bath products from Aquarian Bath.
"Aquarian Bath, Inc. is your source for all natural gentle soaps, herbal balms, and salves. All my soaps are either unscented or lightly scented with only pure essential oils. My soaps are orangutan friendly. I do not use palm oil, which is a threat to orangutan and rain forest; jungle habitat is cleared to make way for palm plantations." - quote from the Aquarian Bath Facebook page.
I've been trying to find natural alternatives to shampoo and conditioner for years. But most things I've discovered either don't work, or are too expensive for my limited budget. Have you ever been in this situation?
So, I enjoyed getting to use the hair bars and sea salt scrub that were given for me to review. I definitely made them last!
1. Ocean Waves sea salt scrub bar.  This is the bar furthest to the left in the picture above. It has a good lather and excellent exfoliating properties. My only complaint is that is doesn't really have a scent, and I prefer soaps with strong scents. Nonetheless, this is definitely a practical bar and it lasts a long while. You get your money's worth, so to speak. I liked using it as a facial bar to help with my oily skin.
2. Lavender Patchouli Hemp shampoo bar. This has a mild, pleasant scent. I liked it well enough. It worked decent as a shampoo, although a little harder to use than traditional shampoo. But that's expected of any shampoo bar versus liquid shampoo.
3. Key Lime shampoo bar.  This was my favorite of all the bars I was sent. I liked the smell, which was very fresh, citrus-y and tangy. Invigorating! It was the same as the lavender bar in consistency. I would use this one again. I don't really have any complaints here. The only thing is that it takes a little getting used to making the transition from liquid to solid shampoo, but like I said, that's expected and I'm not going to make a fuss over it!
Aquarian Bath is a family-owned business in Daytona Beach, FL. They don't use GMO oils of any kind which I'm pleased to see. I appreciate that they are keeping their product line completely natural and organic. Overall, I give this business a thumbs-up and suggest you go check them out for yourself!
Here are some social media sites they're on:
Note: I was provided these items in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed remain mine and mine alone.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Scripture Encouragement

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

 It seems so silly that people find the Bible hard to understand when it is written out so clearly for all of us to see and learn and apply to our lives. Take this scripture for example. It promises that if you trust God with your whole heart, instead of trying to understand things yourself, and you give glory to Him and acknowledge Him, He WILL direct you path! 

 I think sometimes we try to learn things by ourselves instead of praying for the Lord to provide us with understanding. But He is so amazing and holds the answers to so many Biblical truths and understanding.