Is it possible to stop sinning?


This has been a topic laid heavily on my heart for some years now. I have been very reluctant to write about this topic, but God has been leading me to do so.  I pray that while you read you let the Holy Spirit direct you and open up to His will and purpose and to His truth. There is so much regarding this topic that the Holy Spirit has revealed to me that I might have to do future parts to this.

I can’t tell you how many times I have saw the saying “Don’t judge someone because they sin differently than you do”. It really makes me just shake my head in amazement. Many times people like to use quotes, but they skip around the scriptures that tell us to live Holy lives that are pleasing to God. They fail to quote scripture, yet they are quick to quote a man so that it will make them feel better about their sins.

I would like to start this post off by saying first thing first. There is no one on this planet earth who hasn't ever sinned before. All of us have sinned and fallen short. Jesus is the only person who has lived on the planet earth without ever having sinned. We all need him as our savior.

That being said after receiving Jesus as our Lord and savior there becomes a transformation. The scripture that so many people like to use as an excuse to stay sinning, that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory is using past tense. That is not the state of a renewed believer in Christ. Once we accept Christ and repent it’s through him that we can get a clean slate. It’s through Christ that he picks us up from our fallen state and it’s through him that we can sin no more. So yes it is possible to stop sinning, but only after receiving Christ and God’s power and grace to do so.

2 Corinthians 5: 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.

So from these scriptures and many others it is saying that we become new creatures when we accept Christ. We become reborn. We have to stop identifying ourselves with the old nature, the nature to sin and to justify our sins. There is no excuse for sin and God has it in His word how much He hates it.

Psalms 5:4 For You [are] not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You. 5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You HATE all workers of iniquity. 6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

God really hates sin, so much that he doesn't want it in His sight nor His presence. We have to start thinking like Him and accepting that new heart and spirit He gives us when we become His. When we start hating sin as much as God does, the thought of it alone will make us just as angry as He is about it and we won’t want to do it because we love God and don’t want to disappoint Him.

Jesus tells us to go and SIN NO MORE.

Remember the popular verse people use about not judging others about the lady committing adultery, but they fail to read farther where Jesus says to go and sin no more? For starters when Jesus asked the crowd he who is without sin to throw the first stone we have to look at his audience, they were teachers of the law and the Pharisees, who were trying to trap Jesus anyways, in order to have a basis for accusing him.-John 8:6 It is clear that the Pharisee’s were hypocrites, but does that mean that you have to be one as well? As a matter of fact Jesus tells us not to be like the Pharisee’s.

Matthew 23: Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

Jesus also used this as a means to show that we are supposed to display forgiveness to an individual and not condemn them to death like it were their customs to do back in those times.
But Jesus did in fact still let her know what she was doing was wrong and that she needs to go and sin no more. – John 8:11
He also told the same words to another man he healed earlier in the book of John.

John 5:14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

Why would Jesus give us a command that’s impossible? Why would Jesus give us false hope? That is not something that He would do, because He is not a man that He should lie. If God tells us to do something then it’s possible. All things are possible through Christ who strengthens us. God also doesn't give us false hope. There is nothing false about GOD. All of His ways are true and pure. If He gives us a command it’s because it can be kept!

1 Corinthians 10: 13 And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

God is faithful, He provides a way out every time, it’s just up to us to accept His power or will we succumb to the ways of the world because we believe what man tells us vs. what is in God’s word.
I remember I too used to believe that it was impossible to stop sinning and usually when I tell people what the Holy Spirit has taught me they look at me like I'm crazy. It can be pretty discouraging and I have to continually fight for the seed God has placed inside of me.  I trust God because I personally know where He has taken me from and I also trust His word vs. the opinion of a man.

You see, God is much more powerful then sin can ever be. He is able to keep us as long as we trust Him and obey Him. God wouldn't tell us to do something that we couldn't do. Let God mold you into the person He is calling you to be. Trust Him, because His ways are always better and they work!

God’s Grace is limitless,



3

Growth


One thing I have been recently learning is to not remain at the same level, whether it be in spiritual growth or as a wife. Too many times we can become complacent and just settle, but if we continue to do that then how will we produce fruit? An apple tree doesn't just grow to a certain point, no it grows until it fully matures to produce ripe, bright, and juicy apples. If something is not growing then it's dying. We must set aside time to spend with God daily. Just like a relationship with your spouse, friend, family member or etc. there must be constant communication for your relationship to prosper and grow and for you to know the person more and more. God wants us to have a relationship with Him. He wants to hear our voice and talk with us, laugh with us and expand His kingdom on the earth through Us. Really God is such an awesome and loving God. He wants to talk to His children.

Within my marriage, I must continually communicate with my husband and not through yelling at him, but through really respecting him and understanding where he comes from. That's how relationships grow. I have learned so much more about my husband then the time that we were courting for three years. It's true that being married is so much more different than courting, and may I add it's much better too! I am currently reading a book called A Wife after God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George. It's such a great read to gain more knowledge to keep your marriage established on God and having a peaceful and  happy marriage. 



I hope everyone is having a great weekend. Remember to grow, never remain complacent, that's exactly what the enemy wants. Allow God to mold you to the person He wants you to become.

GOD'S GRACE IS LIMITLESS,



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Finding the Balance


Hi everybody! So sorry for the long absence. Life has been busy and there has been a lot of stuff I am trying to sort out. I have learned that balance is so key in living a productive and fruitful life. I am a college student if I haven't mentioned before trying to finish my bachelors degree. Of course I am also a wife now :) still makes me smile every time, hehe, so I have been busy trying to create new recipes for my husband. I totally wasn't a cook when I lived with my mom so it can be challenging sometimes. Later I will make some post about quick new recipes I have stumbled across. It's so much fun seeing my husband enjoy the meals that I make for him. Ministry is another big thing that's keeping me busy, also work. But we will chat more later about these subjects and finding the balance of it all. I hope everyone is having a great Monday!! Be blessed. :)

GOD'S GRACE IS LIMITLESS,






PS thanks so much to my new friends who have followed my blog. I really appreciate you!
2

Setting the Example


I have been MIA for a while. Life has been busier and I am learning how to balance it all. As I mentioned in another post my husband and I are now youth director’s for my church. We pretty much started from the ground up creating a system that would work most effectively for the youth ministry. It’s had its late nights of planning and challenges but I can honestly say I can already see a great change taking place. The youth needs God more than ever in this generation.

They are facing things that some of us might not have had to face growing up. There are so many things now considered “right” when the Bible clearly states it as being wrong. So much peer pressure, bullying and compromising going on. More than ever they must learn how to defend their faith and follow God even if the crowd is going the opposite way.

Sadly in this time there are few Christian role models for them to go to. As believers we have to know that blood can be on our hands and that’s why it’s so important to conduct ourselves Christ like in all areas of life at all times. And it’s possible with God’s grace. If the only thing the younger generation sees is double minded Christians then they will in turn produce the same mindset. It’s time to take our young generation back for God and win souls. God has passionately lain the youth on my heart. They after all are our next generation. Let’s set those Godly examples and be the driving force to bring God’s people back to loving righteousness and holiness above all else. You CAN do this!

God’s Grace is Limitless,


1

The Power of a Kiss


We've all seen it in the movies, the true love’s kiss, able to transform slimy grotesque frogs into charming handsome prince; they can wake princesses from deep sleeps and give them back their angelic voice.
   
Yeah they might be going on a stretch, but even movies are able to realize the beauty and power that comes along with a kiss from the person you truly love. They might not turn a frog into a prince, but kisses can evoke passion and emotion along with a lot of other things.

In this blog I am going to share with you on why my husband and I decided to stop kissing until we got married. As I stated in Our Not So Ordinary Courting Story we did start off kissing because we weren't saved when we first got together, but when we started getting serious with our walk with Christ my now husband came to me and told me that God laid it on his heart that we should stop kissing until we were married.

At first I didn't understand this. I am really an affectionate and romantic person. I thought since we were “just kissing” that it would be OK and by this time it was just mini pecks. I thought since I had learned how to stop lusting after him that it was all good and dandy, but in the back of my mind part of me still wanted more and to go deeper with our kisses. 

So after thinking it over some more I understood.  For starters kissing is a precursor to sex. What do people do before having sex? Yeah you guessed it right, kiss. So in order for you to remove all temptations it’s wise to get rid of that which leads to it. Why would you continually flirt with temptation when you are trying to fight it off? The Bible says lead us not into temptation. Why would we pray to God not to lead us into temptation, but we are leading our own selves to it?

It wasn't easy at first not kissing my husband, but just because something isn't easy doesn't mean you have to give in. The harder something is the more rewarding the results, and I can honestly say that I am so happy that we did stop. It really gave us the opportunity to grow more as a couple without all the physical stuff. We learned to talk things out because instead of “making up” through kissing we had to dig deeper for the root of our problems so that we could prevent future arguments. A peaceful home is a happy home. Doing things Gods way is the only way if you label yourself the title of a Christian, and when you do things His way the fruit will be there. I definitely see the fruit in our marriage with the decision of no kissing and no sex before marriage.

Kissing is really a deep and passionate gesture to the person that you love. Kisses shouldn't be handed out freely to a person you don’t even plan on marrying, and even if you do plan on marrying let them wait for it. The kisses will be that much more pleasurable within the marriage because you know how long you waited and anticipated for it. I still get butterflies brushing lips with my husband. Still amazes me that I get to kiss him anytime that I want now!

I am not saying this is a mandate for everyone, you should definitely go to God about it. But I believe it’s time that our society looks at things like this seriously and stop acting like it’s just a kiss. It’s not just a kiss. It really goes deeper than that. It shows that you want to connect yourself to this person, and that you desire them. kissing just like sex should be a reflection of your love for the person, not just because it’s "fun" and everyone else is doing it. Be different and regard yourself with high esteem. If someone just wants you for what they can do with you then it’s not love, its lust. It’s an amazing feeling when you are blessed with a person who loves you for you, who just enjoys spending time with you and talking with you. Khalid showed me what a real prince and gentlemen was like when he told me he wanted to wait for me.

So I encourage you to wait for your prince or princess. But wait until the wedding day to see them transform with a sweet kiss. You can do this!

                                                     Love and happiness, 

                                                            Shaniqua

1

Walk by Faith


So lately I have been dreading going to work. No surprise there, if you read my recent post about God Cultivating Me, you'd see why. I am not a morning person and having to get up to a place I don't want to be is just miserable, but what I have learned through the process is to be grateful where I'm at. To praise God for the little blessings because the big one's will come.

Despite that I have been feeling a tug at my heart to just walk by faith. What I mean by this is, I am seriously thinking about quitting my day job soon. Why be stuck at a place where you lack the passion? To be honest I am only there for the pay. There are so many other passions and talents God gave me, why not use them for His glory? 

I tried to play it safe and wait until I make another stream of income from other arenas, at least enough to pay the bills right? But I feel more and more led to put in my two weeks notice and just trust God to be my provider. Abraham walked by faith and left everything he knew because He trusted God. God never fails to provide for His children. 

I am at an exciting, yet busy stage of my life. It's challenging yet rewarding. My husband and I have recently  been placed as Youth Directors at our church. The youth is our passion. God already told me this before it was going to happen where He was taking us and calling us to do. I desire to see young people set on fire for God and stop following the pressures of the world. Right now I actually teach middle and high at Sunday School. I love being able to impart knowledge and wisdom into them. 

So I would love to do more with ministry, but right now my job is taking the majority of my time. So I am deciding to walk by faith. Of course first I will listen to the voice of the Lord because faith comes by hearing. And God always directs. When you trust God He will always work it out. You Can do this!

God's Grace is Limitless,



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When God is cultivating You(Part 2)

So on my previous blog post I discussed how God got on me about a few things. Since then I will admit it’s still been a struggle getting up to go to work on time, but I have been pressing. I am just so excited for the day I can work my purpose for God, which I believe God has revealed to me is pretty soon. I actually spent quite some time with God yesterday in prayer and in reading His word, around three hours to be exact and it was just what I needed.  I was reading the book of Matthew and one thing struck me while reading, even Jesus Himself had to be prepared for His ministry He was about to do for God.

After Jesus was baptized the Holy Spirit led him into the wilderness where he fasted for forty days and forty nights. The Bible says after Jesus had fasted he was hungry. I am sure after fasting for forty days and forty nights His body was also very weak. And not to mention he was in the wilderness with all kinds of bugs and he probably was feeling uncomfortable, and even after all of this the devil came to tempt him.

With every temptation Jesus fought back with the Word of God. That’s why it so important for us to be in our word, so when anything tries to come up against we have the Word to speak to that situation. Jesus didn't give up, he was determined to fulfill the plans that he knew God had over his life.

Jesus didn't so happen to stumble into the wilderness, no, he was actually led their by the Spirit. God wanted to lead him there to test Him.

Matthew 4:4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

God wanted to know would Jesus be faithful to Him and serve Him only. Actually that was one of the things the devil tempted Jesus with, but Jesus got so upset and actually rebuked the devil telling him that He would only serve God. Amen!

Matthew 4:10 Jesus said to the devil, “Get away, Satan. It is written, ‘You must worship the Lord your God. You must obey Him only.’”

It wasn't until after Jesus was tempted that then he went out and started to preach and teach the gospel.
Maybe the reason why God is not blessing some people with money is because He knows they wouldn't come to church anymore. Some people only serve God because they want to know what He can do for them and not what they can do for Him to advance His kingdom here on earth. God wants us to be responsible when He gives us an assignment, position or when He blesses us with things.  Everything should be to advance His kingdom and give Him glory.

So when I spent time with God for those hours I must say I felt so at peace. I have to admit that is the longest I have spent with Him in a while. He revealed to me my purpose and things that I needed to do to effectively work my purpose.

When God is preparing you do what He says. He is only doing it for your benefit. He cares about you so much.  I am just in awe about how much He cares for me. It really humbles me and I trust Him completely. He knows what He is doing we just have to get on board with His plans. You can do this!

God’s grace is limitless,


0

When God is Cultivating You



Lately I have been in a state where God is teaching me lessons about myself. It’s not that I am rebelling against Him or anything it’s just that He wants to take me into new heights in Him so that I can do what He has called me to do effectively. I didn't understand this at first. At first I wondered what was taking God so long to do what He said He was going to do in my life. Don’t get me wrong I am extremely, extremely blessed, but I know what God revealed to me with what He said He was going to bless me with and where He was going to take me. When things weren't going as fast as I thought they should I got frustrated and impatient, where were these blessing He had promised me? Finally I got in God’s presence and asked God what is it that you want me to learn?

I always say when something is not going the way that you think it should or there is chaos in your life there is either one or two things going on. Either

     1. You are rebelling against God and there is a sin that He wants you to get rid of because it is causing your relationship with God to become distant. You might be putting other things or people before Him. He could want you to get rid of filthy entertainment that you watch/read, you might be performing idolatry unknowingly because you adore people who goes against God's Word. Whatever sin it is ask God about it and get rid of it, because sin separates us from God, but if we ask for forgiveness and move away from it then the relationship is back to where it needs to be.

Or

     2. God’s wants to teach you something and in order to do so He is sending situations your way that you have no choice, but to get on your knees and spend more time with Him.

Despite what some people might say there are consequences to our actions.

Romans 2: To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil.

So if you have anything in your life that is not pleasing to God get rid of it ASAP because for one it’s breaking God’s heart and it is also bringing destruction in your life.

Back to God preparing me, when I got into God’s presence and asked Him what is it that is holding me back from my blessings He told me that there has to be discipline in my life. Before I go any further let me give you a brief description about me.

For one I love to sleep! It’s like one of the best things ever to me. I could sleep about 10 hours straight if I could. Matter of fact I love sleep so much that sometimes I would run late for work just to get another ten minutes of sleep in, sometimes even another hour of sleep in. I didn't care at all to be on time for work. I would even call out. I thought hey it’s a “secular” job why should I care? It’s temporary until I start working my purpose so I shouldn't worry about doing my best. In high school I missed so many days, about forty in my senior year, (I know right that’s a lot of days). But praise God for His mercy I was still able to graduate in high honors. I remember one of my teachers telling me that I missed so many days, but still did good, just imagine what I would be able to accomplish if I went to school every day. I could have been valedictorian, but I didn't put in greater effort, I just settled for less. Graduating with high honors is still a huge accomplishment, but I know I wasn't putting in the best effort that I could have.

And sometimes I don’t follow through with where I say I am going to be at, actually a lot of times I reschedule appointments.  I can procrastinate and I don’t plan ahead.

So God got on to me about all of these things. He told me to be faithful over a little, and then He could trust me with a lot. There has to be structure and order for things to run more smoothly. He wants His children to perform in excellence; we shouldn't look like the world we should perform better.One thing about God is He will challenge you to do great because He loves us and He wants to see the best accomplished in our lives.

So for the past couple of days I have been waking up earlier, and continually making an effort to be to work on time at 8am in the morning. I am so not a morning person! But with God’s grace I am progressing. And I am actually appreciating my job more by getting my work done. We cannot be lazy, God has opened my eyes to so many scriptures about it and how laziness leads to destruction and stagnation.

Proverbs 13: 4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.

I was too focused on “men” and not “God”. Everywhere God places us is for His glory. Christians shouldn't be seen as lazy people. We should model God everywhere and put forth our best effort.

God has to see if He can trust you with much. If you have a beat up car, act like it’s a state of the art BMW and take care of it. If you are in a one bedroom apartment, act like it’s a mansion and take care of it. Appreciate God for the little things, be obedient, and He will bless you with more. Pray for me ya’ll as I continue to wake up early for work. I feel like God wants me to write more about this subject so there will be a part two, but for now work towards your dreams. You Can do this! And I can too! J

God’s grace is limitless,


4

What it's Like Being Young & Married So Far



So it’s almost been about 3 months married and I can honestly say that these last few months have been the best 3 months of my life so far. Being married young is awesome! Being married in general is a beautiful thing.  You should be so connected to that person that you can’t imagine life without them and you know without a shadow of a doubt that God created that person just for you and that they were created to be your spouse. When God created Khalid God was thinking about me and when God created me He was thinking about Khalid and how absolute we’d fit together.

There is not a day that goes by that Khalid doesn't make me laugh.  He is there always encouraging me and helping me to become all that I can be. He is always pushing me to God and he is patient with me. I don’t believe our marriage would be so peaceful if it hadn't been for us both giving our lives to God before we got married. Read our Courting story here if you haven’t already.

In our courting stage we decided to stop doing anything that was physical and we focused on getting to know each other as Spirit to Spirit, which is what we truly are. We are Spirits having a human experience in earthly bodies. If we are only attracted to someone because of their outer shell then it won’t work because you won’t know how to effectively communicate with that person and minister to who they really are by speaking life into their spirit.

I still get butterflies just holding his hand because I know how patiently I have waited to do so. Kissing him makes me warm with joy all over. I enjoy just lying in the bed being cuddled up with him, I love talking with him and him understanding me sometimes without me even having to say anything, when I might be feeling a little down he knows just what to say to lift my spirit again and when I am away from him it feels like a part of me is missing, I can’t stand it. I honestly believe without him I wouldn't be what I am today. Without any questioning I know God created us to be together. We have endless fun I am so blessed to be married to my best friend.


Here are a few questions I have received since being married.

Q: Is it any different being married?
A: Yes! It’s extremely different. For one there are no restrictions and we now get to be intimate with one another how God intended it to be within a marriage between a husband and a wife. Not only that, but I feel like we are extremely intertwined with one another. Now I understand what the Word means when it says two flesh become one. I truly feel like I am one with my husband because spiritually we are connected now because we made a covenant with God. I came from Khalid’s rib and no one else’s.
Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Q: Have you had any big arguments yet?
A: As I said in my blog post Our Not So Ordinary Courting Story we don’t yell or argue, we talk things out if we don’t agree with something. I will admit there have been times when my flesh wanted to be prideful and stubborn, but those are the times when I have to seek God’s voice the most. He will tell me to listen to Khalid and apologize when I was in the wrong. Other than that my husband knows me and he knows how to handle me and keep me in check, and I can say the same about me for him too.

Q: How’s married life?
A: Lol, this is a no brainier question and I suppose we will get this question asked often in the beginning; hence the title of the post, but married life is awesome and I am so happy that God has placed us together, I feel extremely blessed to experience such a beautiful thing.

Other than that those are some common questions we get. If you have any other questions yourself feel free to ask. Of course with anything you have to put in work. I would say the best advice that I have for married couples is to communicate. It’s good to listen to your spouse and be genuinely concerned and interested with what they want to talk to you about, or if they are having something that they want your input about. Also you have to be on the same page to make it work. I wouldn't advise anyone to be unequally yoked. Be with a person who loves God the same as you do, if not even more so they will encourage you to go higher in God.

If your foundation is set on God it will be strong and unbreakable. Include God and God will bless it. You CAN do this!

                                                     Love and happiness, 

                                                            Shaniqua



4

Taking Leaps of Faith

Lately I have been taking really big leaps of faith and believing God to do what He says He is going to do through my life.

In life there are many choices one must make and many of them permanent so it’s important to look at the consequences and longevity of our actions.  At the same time we must learn how to trust God and not over think things. Sometimes God can be telling us to go a certain route, but we are too busy looking at all of the negatives and “what if’s” then we second guess if it was God who really told us to do that in the first place. The enemy likes to replace God’s voice and direction with fear and worry. The main reason why fear cannot operate with faith is because it holds us back from the doing the will that God has placed over our lives. Fear can literally paralyze a person from living the life God called them to live because they become too busy questioning if they can really succeed. Learn to trust in God. Yes you can succeed! Yes you can do it! Through Christ all things are possible; it just takes making that first move.

Faith without works is dead. James 2:17.

Trusting in God means relying on His direction and knowing that He has your best interest and it means going with His ways. I encourage you to trust Him. You might not know or understand how you will be able to achieve your dreams, but God is faithful, He already has it planned out and He will order your steps if you just follow Him. Our source comes from Him. He will give you the tools necessary to fulfill your desires. Take that leap of faith. Be motivated and know that you can achieve all things through Christ. Don’t just chase after you dreams grab a hold of them and achieve them. You CAN this!


Love and happiness, 


Shaniqua





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Keeping Yourselves from Idol Worship



First I want to get into what idols or idolatry is. Idolatry is a form of worship and excessive devotion to a person or a thing. Whatever you put more time into than you do with God becomes your God because you are pursing it more than you are pursuing Him. God comes first and He is a jealous God. He wants you to love His ways and hate all forms of wickedness Psalm 97:10.

Back in the old testament idol worship was where they bowed down to chucks of wood, gold or carved images even though some religions still do that today, the more modern form of idol worship is where people actually worship other people for their gifts. They become so infatuated or attracted to the person’s gift that they don’t care if the person disrespects God’s Word as long as they claim to believe in God, it's OK right? Wrong...

Lately God has been placing in my heart His disappointment for the way the church is placing things or people before Him and how they find great entertainment and joy in watching sin and filth. We should be more careful of the things we let enter into our Spirits because whether we know it or not it has a great effect to our Spirit and over our life.

Matthew 6:22-23 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.

Our eyes are a window to our soul. Whatever we are feeding our eyes becomes a direct filter to our soul, and if we think it’s actually good to watch we become greatly deceived and the addiction becomes even harder to break. Therefore we should not be looking at garbage. One compromise leads to another, and when we write a sinful show off as "simply entertainment" we deceive ourselves. Why waste your time on reality shows(or any other show) looking at someone else’s life when you have a purpose for your own life to do for God. Time is precious and that one hour that you used looking at the fake drama on TV could’ve been used working on your purpose, or building the Kingdom of heaven on earth. Those shows, movies, and even what you read plants seeds. If what you’re reading or watching involves things that are not glorifying to God put it away. It won’t be too long before you’re compromising God's morals or even envisioning yourself in their shoes and wanting what they have. Then it will keep a firm grip on you to want to watch it more and more, therefore seeking it before seeking the kingdom of God. Just look at the delirious fans who flock to these people concerts and will pour their eyes out in tears. They become devoted to that person or thing, and will set aside one hour or more out of every week to watch their favorite show or catch up on their favorite "celebrity", but do they even do that much for God? 

Do you find more pleasure in watching those reality shows, football and basketball games, or reading those “romance” novels (more like soft porn novels) then you do spending time in God’s Word? Whatever you find more joy in then you do spending time with God becomes your idol.

America is all about the worship of others and about self-pleasure. Instead of following the culture, follow Jesus. It has become so in your face that shows like American Idol will place it right in their title what the point of their show is all about. It’s to create an idol that people will flock to, to buy their music and albums. God wants your total alliance to be with Him and Him only. It's just sad how I see these little girls and boys obsessed with people who are not even good role models.


It even comes down to the music we listen to. If the musician is not glorifying God and pretty much goes against everything Christ stands for and spits on His word by disregarding it, why would you want to support them by listening to their music? We have to be loyal to the one we decide to serve. It doesn't matter if the artist profess Christ are they living Christ like?

The devil will throw anything at you to try to make your relationship with God become a second factor and to make you compromise, because he knows if he can do that then it gives him full authority to have his way in your life. Because if you are not putting God first then you are putting Him last and something else is influencing you more.

And Jesus knew this that’s why he got so upset when the devil told him to bow down and worship him.
Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" Matthew 4:10

Worship also means a complete admiration or adoration to a person or thing. We have to stop looking at people’s “gifts” and start discerning their spirit and are they producing holy fruit or are they shaking their rumps and displaying their cleavage for the world to see? That is not of God and we shouldn't be promoting ungodliness.

So whatever you do, ask yourself is it bringing glory to God, if not put it away because in everything we must put God first. As warned in 1 John 5:21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. You can do this!

Love and happiness, 


Shaniqua


2

Our Not So Ordinary Courting Story


So as you all may know I am married to Khalid Snowden, that fine guy in the above picture with me! My rock, my best friend, my lover, my one and only, my everything! Ahh, I just love that man! We actually got married November 30, 2012, exactly 2 months ago, so happy two month anniversary to us!!Yay! I know there is going to be plenty of more time for us to grow together and spend the best time of our lives together. I am so excited to spend this journey in life with him and for us to grow old together. I will discuss in another post on how we met…

To begin I want to share a testimony of how God completely changed our lives. When we first got together we weren't saved in the least. It was our senior year of High school and then we both decided to move in together with roommates that we knew for our first 2 years of college. Mind you we were raging sinful teens when we first started to date and didn't do things God’s way at all. And let me just tell you this doing things your own way is NEVER a great option and it will always, always lead to destruction. It is NEVER OK to put your girlfriend or boyfriend before Christ. We submitted to the lust of the flesh and disregarded God’s law. And as the consequence of our sins this lead to many arguments and break ups to make ups. It was like there wasn't a day that went by that we wouldn't be going off on each other. And then when we did get saved at one point we were kind of up and down with that too, we were like those “sorta, kinda Christians.”

Finally there came a point to when the arguments ceased for a bit after a really big argument had escalated. We decided we should really start maturing if we really loved one another. We started loving God more than we loved each other and we wanted to begin taking our walk with God seriously. God convicted us that if we were going to profess to be Christians it was high time that we started acting as ones. God became number one in our lives and we really started to serve Him. We made the decision to stop dating and start courting. There is a difference between the two and I will also be making a post on that topic later as well.

When we started courting it took some getting used to at first, but God’s grace is truly sufficient. Through His grace we were able to break the power of the lust of the flesh. We were still room mating with friends at the time. It was a 3 bedroom apartment with four people. But being now committed to our relationship with Christ we started taking turns sleeping on the couch. We stopped kissing and even stopped holding hands. He wanted to wait until we were married to kiss because kisses are powerful and can lead to something more that you have no business doing until marriage. Read my article here concerning the The Power of a Kiss.

I saw a real change in my now husband. He inspired me and encouraged me to run after God with my full heart even more, as he still does to this very day. His love for God and his servitude for God truly amaze me.
And as a reward of being obedient to God and doing things His way we reaped the benefits. We learned how to talk things out if we disagreed with anything instead of arguing. We actually don’t argue anymore, and by argue I mean yelling at each other and disrespecting one another. We do have disagreements, but we talk them out with respect versus arguing. At first I thought this was impossible when my pastor would say to the church that her and her husband never argues. I thought “as if!” But after taking the psychical aspect out of the relationship we learned one another and we begin to know each other from spirit to spirit instead of flesh to flesh. We have to remember we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but we are spirits in a human body having a human experience. If you can’t get to know a person from their spirit and it always requires something psychical then your love for them is conditional. You love the feeling and not the person because their spirit, which is who they really are, should be enough to satisfy you to the point of no fornication.

Us in our courting stage, notice the space between us, lol.
We did make the huge mistake of moving into a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom because we couldn't find any roommates that we could separately roommate with when our lease was finally up with our previous roommates. Our previous roommates decided to get their own places so that option was off the list. It was still a new city for us at the time, because we moved from our hometown to go to college. We didn't want a stranger because we didn't want to go through the nightmare of having a complete stranger who was an immature college kid. Granted, we regretted moving in together to the point that we became willing to move in with a perfect stranger even if they turned out to be psycho. We just wanted to please God and not allow what is good to be spoken evil of.

Even so we couldn't change the matter. We couldn't move back home with our parents since they lived so far away and we couldn't break the lease. We decided we were going to continue to keep our boundaries. We still wanted to live for God because that was our first heart's desire is to please Him. We made the mistake of moving in together, but we were still going to be accountable, and we weren't going to be having sex outside of marriage and sinning against God. We did tell our pastor about it, because we didn't want to hide something like that away from our leaders. Of course she didn't encourage it, but God confirmed to her that we were setting boundaries and not fornicating, she saw the love we had for God and our actions did match up with our words.
So how were we able to live together without fornication? We SET boundaries and we KEPT them!
1.       We always kept God First.
Before there is Khalid there is God, and before there is Shaniqua there is God. We love Him more than we love each other so in that way we respected and honored His ways before our own. His ways actually became a part of us because we loved Him so much.
2.       We slept separately in separate beds.
You can’t expect to fight off temptation but invite it into your bed.
3.       We did not walk around naked or in boxers.
My body was not officially his yet so in order for him to see the goodies, we had to be married first, flaunting off your stuff inevitably causes lust, point blank and we can't cause others to stumble. 
4.       We didn't kiss, hold hands or get intimate in any type of way.
We kept away all that would lead to temptation.

Of course there were people who talked about us and didn't believe we were keeping ourselves pure, but I learned to tune them out. As long as we were staying abstinent and God and my Pastor knew that we were, then we were holding ourselves responsible. Let’s get this clear, I am in NO WAY CONDONING for couples to live together before marriage. That does not please God. This is just my testimony and one that I hope can help others from making the same mistake, or if you are in a similar situation without any type of way to get out of it, that you can still put God first and remain abstinent before marriage. Whether you have backslidden or slipped up, it’s never too late to start living for God, God can grab you out of any mess and turn it into a beautiful message, but we have to at some point stop the backsliding and the back and forth and remain faithful to Him because the word says in John 14:15 If you love me, you will obey what I command.

While living together we learned the power of God's grace and how it can keep you. We didn't allow for there to be any temptations. We didn't allow for each other to kiss one another, or fondle one another. We were basically living as roommates. Of course I was excited for the day for us to marry, but I didn't let my mind wander to that far in time. I wasn't going to open the door for the enemy even one bit because my heart, mind, body and soul belonged to Jesus. If I claimed to love Him, I was going to obey Him like His Word says.

Courting removes all of the psychical and places it on what’s inside of the person; their thoughts, their ways, their future. And once Christ became a part of us I loved what was inside of my now husband even more. Words can’t even describe how much I love Him. I am so glad God came into our lives and turned everything new for His glory.

We kept off marriage for awhile because we were college kids dependent on financial aid, we weren't sure if the aid was going to get reduced or cut off if we got married so we originally set a date for 2013. Then we started discussing it with one another again and decided why wait? It wasn't because we were struggling, like I said the barriers we placed plus God’s grace helped us not to struggle with lusting after one another. We didn't want to wait anymore because our source came from God, not financial aid. And also God was taking us higher in Him and in ministry. We didn't advise such a thing for anyone to live with their boyfriends/girlfriends and we didn't want our good to be spoken evil of. Not to mention we didn't want to look like the world and do what the world does. Nowadays people think it's OK to move in before marriage, but that's not so. Besides we loved one another, was equally yoked and on the same page so marriage was just a natural thing for us to do.

God was so gracious to us while we lived together because He saw our dedication to serve Him. We weren't going to let our mistake steer us off the path of righteousness. We were going to obey God and do as He said by honoring His word.

When we got married everything felt like new. Our marriage day was the best and most joyful day of my life, besides the day I invited Jesus into my heart. We didn't put on a grand show for our wedding, that will come later, but everyday with him is already like a celebration. So here starts a new journey and as always God will be leading the way. And I know wherever God leads, my husband and I are headed in a good place to give Him the glory.

So honor God through everything you do and I can guarantee you that you’ll reap the great benefits He has for you if you obey Him. There is so much great things God has in store for my husband and I, and it all starts with obedience. Stay strong and be encouraged. You CAN do this!


Love and happiness, 

Shaniqua





Throwback pic of us. My have we grown.
12

Being Saved in an Unsaved World


Looking at the state of the world I sometimes wonder will it ever change. The lack of passion for God that I see in people and them not wanting to do His will. All they want to do is their own thing, it can be pretty discouraging. I can sometimes start losing faith in my generation because all they talk about is relationships, sex and drugs. They don’t understand the dire consequences of sinning against God. They say “Oh well we all sin, it’s all good, God will forgive me.” Yeah um, keep using that same “excuse” and see where that leads you. It won’t be pretty on judgment day. And where do I get this from?

Hebrews 10:26-27  If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

Matthew 7:23 But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God's laws.'

Proverbs 2:22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.

Psalms 37:28 For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off

There are so many other scriptures in the Bible that shows God’s seriousness of His HATE towards sin, yet people try to sweep it under the rug. You must be faithful when serving God and you must show that faithfulness towards Him through your love for Him and through your lifestyle. You can’t keep sinning willfully then give yourself the title of a Christian. God wants you to obey Him and really act like you are His offspring.

Thank God for His grace despite all of the chaos and evil doing going on in the world today it is still possible to be saved in an unsaved world. If I was able to escape the grasp of the enemy through God’s grace then anyone can do the same. But it won’t be with just a click of the heels then your set. It requires you to renew your mind daily and develop a love for God so much that all other things are considered a lost compared to Him. Jesus is good! And once you start meditating on His scripture and how good He really is it will bring you to a humble position to where nothing else matters and you will start desiring to serve Him with your whole heart.
So how to be saved in an unsaved world:

      1. Ask Jesus to come into your life and repent of your sins.
There is no other way around this one. The only way to God is through Jesus. This is the first step of salvation, but it requires sincerity. Tell Jesus you want to be saved and believe by faith that you are now His.

      2. Don’t just stop at step 1!
This step is also VERY important. Many people stop at step 1 and think its all dandy. But according to those scriptures God wants more from you. He wants your full heart. Just like you went all out for the devil and to serve Him when you were in the world God wants you to do same for Him, but MORE for His kingdom!

      3. Get rid of the old creature.
The lord says once we become saved all old things have passed away and we become new creatures in Him. This has not been a truer statement for my life. You have to get rid of some things and even some people. Yeah it might hurt them and even you, and yeah they might get offended, but if they are hindering you from your walk with God then they have to go. It’s better to lose an earthly friend than to lose your soul.

      4. Renew your mind
You have to start thinking like a child of the most high. The once evil thoughts you used to mediate on needs to be replaced with the Word of God. There is no way you will produce different results with the same mindset. So a man thinks in his heart so is He. There is so much power in our thoughts, but that will require another later post.

      5. Fear God and hate sin
These two pretty much come hand in hand. If we fear God, in the sense of respecting Him and His ways then we are going to automatically begin to hate what He hates and love what He loves. And if you hate something so much to the point to where it makes your stomach turn then you won’t do it. If you hate or dislike a certain food you don’t eat it right? We have to start seeing sin as a disgusting poison because that’s exactly what it is. And any poison even in moderation is still poison, don’t indulge in any of it!

Go deeper in God and start taking your salvation seriously. Examine if you are even in the faith because what a man considers the right way God might consider sin. Sex outside of marriage is sin, lying, stealing, and fornicating are sin. Living saved does require discipline, but God’s rewards are so much more fulfilling then any sin can ever be.

Stop making excuses, because those excuses won’t grant you permission into heaven. Those will be the same excuses sending you to hell. The enemy likes to toy with people’s minds and try to make them believe that having some of him and some of God is ok, but not so! God want’s your FULL obedience to Him only, being saved means willing to give up your ENTIRE life for the sake of Jesus.

There’s no way 3 or 4 years ago that I would have ever imagined myself being such a dedicated Christian who wants to spread the Word and minister to people to be set free. If you would have told me I would have laughed because I was in my own little bubble, I barely liked to even interact with people, I was so shy. I thought “hey as long as I am in right standing with God, I accepted salvation so all is well, it doesn't matter about anybody else.” I was being selfish and comfortable, but God took me out of my comfort zone and continues to do so for His glory. Being saved is not only about us, it’s about spreading the light of Jesus around the world.

But you can’t spread the light if you’re filled with darkness. Stop doing what the world does. You can live pure, you can respect your body and wait until you are married God’s way to have sex and you can live saved. I haven’t experienced so much peace in my life until I started to get serious about my walk in Jesus. God is so good. He has done so much for me and I am excited to share as I continue to do my blog. I hope it can help someone else to be different and be bold for God. God wants your whole heart. You CAN do this!





















GOD’S GRACE IS LIMITLESS,


4

Where is the Love?


Lately I have been hearing others talk about how evil the world is and how people are getting crazier by the dozen. They ask why is this happening, why is God allowing all of these bad things to happen, where is the compassion, where is the love?

Well I can tell you where the love is, it went right where they told it too go when they so eagerly escorted it out of the schools and out of the ethic systems. People want love, but do they know what it is? God is love(1 John 4:8) and it seems like the world wants nothing to do with Him, but then when something crazy happens like a mass murder, they dare to blame God for it. You can't ask for love when you don't want to accept the essence or substance of the very thing.

Our society extremely lacks any kind of morals or convictions. It's a "do what you want" kind of mentality. People are free to do and behave however they want because it's just another part of who they are right? We can express ourselves any kind of way, but as long as it doesn't disagree with what others do. Don't get me started about being "politically correct." Either you agree with everything the world does or get attacked for thinking other wise.

When you take God out of anything all hell will break loose. We need to pray for the world like never before. There are so many broken people, people who don't know who they are because there is no set of right and wrong anymore. Anything goes. So while they are trying to find themselves through alcohol  drugs and unwise choices they are killing themselves and each other due to lack of guidance. You can't even go to places anymore that were once considered somewhat safe due to the uncontrollable violence going on in the world today.

The Bible says love comes from God, so in order for us to experience this love we must accept that His ways are always right and true. And we must also LIVE OUT those ways.

1 John 4:16 God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement: In this world we are like Jesus.

So in this crazy world if we continue to live the way God wants us to and live in love we can have confident on judgement day. We must remain like Jesus always and stand apart from the ways of this wicked world. Jesus never was swayed by the systems of this world, he always was obedient to the Father. Jesus never followed the trend, He set the trend. So even when the world might say a wrong way is right, we should know that God's Word is always set and stone, point blank. 

Don't let anyone deceive you. And even when the world around you might be going crazy and chaotic you can always find peace in God by humbling yourself and letting Him have His way in your life.

GOD'S GRACE IS LIMITLESS,






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