WHY MUST WE FORGIVE? By: Jennifer Hill
FROM FLOWER TO FLOWER By: Lisa Wilkerson
SERVICE & SACRIFICE
By: Ashley Chambers
ASPIRING TO BE
ASPIRINGTOBEMAG.WORDPRESS.COM | SUMMER 2017 | ISSUE 6
Letter from the Editor
Why Must We Forgive? By : Jennifer Hill
From Flower to Flower By: Lisa Wilkerson
Service & Sacrifice By: Ashley Chambers
Obey & Do By: Dianna Auton
WWW.ASPIRINGTOBEMAG.WORDPRESS.COM | SUMMER 2017 ISSUE 6
the editor Dear readers, We have been abundantly blessed that you continue to read this publication. I would love for you to help us by sharing our magazine with your friends and family on social media. We know it's important for God's people to be encouraged daily, whether it be reading your Bible, watching preaching video's on Youtube or social media posts. All of us here pray that you find our magazine as another form of good spiritual encouragement to help you on your daily walk. We pray we are able to lift you up and help you grow. We would also love to hear from you. Let us know how God is using our words to bless you. You can contact us by posting on our social media channels or you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org . We look forward to hearing from you.
WWW.ASPIRINGTOBEMAG.WORDPRESS.COM | SUMMER 2017 ISSUE 6
Why Must We Forgive?
The Word of God is very direct about a lot of issues in life... and the issue of forgiveness is no different. Matthew 6:1415 says; "For if you forgive men their sins, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you your sins. But if you forgive not men their sins, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive your sins."
Forgiveness is not even 1% about saying what the person did is ok or that we just need to "get over it." Forgiveness is about you and me being right with our Heavenly Father. We must obey the Lord and obey His Word. None of us are perfect, or without sin,
the Bible tells us in Rom.3:23 “We’ve all fallen short of the Glory of God, we’ve all sinned.” (paraphrasing) I have forgiven my abusers, my own mother and step dad. Was this easy? Yes and no, when I learned what true forgiveness was and how to forgive, it became so much easier. See, forgiveness is a choice, we choose on purpose to forgive those who have done us wrong. When you see how much your God has forgiven you, you have an easier time forgiving others. Everything we do in life is a choice and forgiving someone is no different. I believe many people are so confused in this area. They believe if their emotions\feelings haven’t caught up, they haven’t forgiven, but that simply isn’t true. We are all created in Gods’ image, He created the world with His words, we create our world with our words. Rom.4:17 tells us, “to call those things that are not as though they were.” You call\speak their forgiveness
into being. You keep speaking on purpose that you forgive, and it will happen. God spoke and it happened, we speak and believe and it will happen. I remember having to say, “I forgive them” 20 times a day, my emotions didn’t feel any different for quite awhile, but they did catch up. You will too see that after some time, you can see them and not feel unforgiveness, anger, or anything at all. The Bible says “We believe therefore we speak”. What you keep speaking, you will believe, whether it’s good or evil. So choose to speak truth, to speak forgiveness, to speak freedom from your abusers\betrayers. Now, let’s talk a little about what forgiveness is Not!
Forgiveness is not: Relationship You do not have to have a relationship with the people who have hurt or betrayed you at the ultimate level. You do not have to “do life” with them. Going out to eat, to the movies, having them over for coffee. You can forgive and if it’s family like in my case, love from a distance. Please make sure you are getting this. Many people, even Christian people will tell you, if you’ve truly forgiven life can go on as though nothing bad ever happened. This is simply not true.
Forgiveness is not: Forgetting
You don’t simply forget what happened. As I have said on my show, God does not come down and tap you on the head with a fairy wand. God is God, not a fairy or a magician. You will never forget, some memories might become hazy, but you will never completely forget. Forgive and forget is not scriptural. Please do not listen to the other lie, that if you haven’t forgotten, you haven’t forgiven. We are human, we have memory, recall, it was put in us by God Almighty. I think it’s helpful, if we constantly forgot what others did just because we forgive, the abuse or betraying would continue. The Lord loves us, He wants to protect us from ALL harm or evil.
The main thing I hope you carry with you always from this article is this: Forgiveness is a Choice. You can choose to forgive and walk free! God Bless You Always.
is the founder of Broken to Blessed Ministries. You can find more information about Jennifer and her ministry on their website: www.brokentoblessedministry.com . Watch on Youtube and follow on Facebook.
From Flower to Flower "Those who are planted (positioned, situated) in the house of the Lord shall flourish (thrive, prosper, do well)" Psalm 92:13
Ladies, have you ever felt like the challenges of your life were piling high on you? You may ask yourself, does anyone understand what I’m going through, why am I alone? Well, let me tell you that you are not alone. When I went through a heart breaking divorce and became a single mother, I certainly felt abandoned, afraid, and very discouraged. I was fortunate to have a caring family that encouraged and supported me and a church that prayed for me.
Tina K Baker is the pastor of International House of Fire in Cleveland, Tennessee. But let me share the one thing that impacted my life the most. It was the words of my grandfather, who is still living at 98 years old. He said, “Sugar, wugar (my sweet nickname by him), you are a budding flower and every flower must grow through dirt. It will grow when you water it”. What he was telling me is that things will come into my life that are not always favorable, but when they come, the decision has to be made to trust God, press on and grow where you’re planted. The word of God says, “Those who are
planted (positioned, situated) in the house of the Lord shall flourish (thrive, prosper, do well)” (Psalm 92:13). I decided to not allow my circumstance to dictate my destiny. God is able to take our messes and fertilize our future, sister! Let’s look at Jeremiah 29:11 in the Message Bible. “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out-plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for”. What do you hope for in your future? When we hear lifechanging words like that continually, that is the fertilizer to increase our faith in Him and that is when we begin to grow and do well. When I taught in higher education, I called all my students “flowers” because I was blessed to witness their growth along the way. I still practice this with my clients today. I explain this powerful principle to them and they report back to me that they are “blooming” and it blesses my heart to hear it. Being likened to a flower, ladies, we can be fragile or easily broken, but I encourage you to plant yourself around people who will build you up and celebrate your growth with you on your journey to your destiny. The devil loves to tear us down and he sends the “dirt” of life to try to disrupt the plan of God concerning you and me. We were born on purpose with a purpose! Song of Solomon 2:1, 2 says, “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters”.
"We were born on purpose with a purpose."
Did you catch that? Jesus said lily among thorns, that’s a flower growing in something prickly and unfavorable. but God says His love is there with us! While we may be going through something right now, know that God loves us, guides us, protects us, provides for us, and will heal us. May I go deeper? What can we learn about God from a study on these particular flowers?
First, we notice the form and majestic beauty of them. I think how beautiful God must be because everything He makes expresses or embodies Him. What strikes me next is their fragrance. They are not merely appealing to the eye, they enrich the air that we breath coming in and out of us. God’s thoughts are filled with a sweet fragrance (us breathing in) and our lives are a Christlike fragrance rising up to God (us breathing out, 2Cor 2:15, NLT). Next, we notice the colors of the flowers. The whiteness of a lily represents purity. A rose symbolizes love and desire, but comes in many colors and have different meanings. For example, a pink rose represents grace and gentleness, and a yellow rose represents joy and friendship. All of these are characteristics of God, who wants us to know how wonderful, how pure, how beautiful He is and He has placed Himself in us, if we are a Christian. So the beauty of God inside of us makes us beautiful, too! (Song of Solomon 4:1) You may get down sometimes, but you are not out, you will make a comeback. Let me pose a question to you if you are in the “dirt” right now. “What is it like to live in a beautiful place”? I know you’re probably thinking, that’s a crazy question to ask in my current situation. I thought that, too, when God asked me. He explained that I had forgotten about the good around me, about His presence, and His blessings. I had
forgotten that the earth is the Lord’s footstool (Acts 7:49) and the devil is under my feet (Roman 16:20). That’s a beautiful place from which to think and focus. When we stop and take an inventory, we become aware of our growth and then we become a thankful person as the Giver of our countless blessings teaches us to live and enjoy our life with Him. So today let’s focus on the fragrance and not the “dirt”. Today, let’s stop, look, and smell. I feel God wants us to have a full realization of His perfect love for us and how we are to see ourselves when faced with dirty circumstances. By using flowers as a symbol, we can
better see how God’s love is the fertilizer of our life. He wants us to be victorious (2 Cor 13:18), He wants us to win (2 Cor 2:14), and He wants us to be strong (Eph 6:10)! He wants us to remind ourselves and the enemy of our soul who we are and who we are to be! Progress is progress, whether it be big or small. The environment in which you live does not determine whether you will bloom, but the person in you and the person you are determines that. You can be in a land field, and still be a beautiful sight and a fragrance of Christ.
Jesus is the most perfect of all flowers in His look, smell, and beauty. We are created to be like Him in every way and reflect Him every day. Sometimes when we are trying to figure out what is going on in our life, it is wise to stop, look and smell. It is wise to put our faith in the Holy one and dare to believe, refuse to be denied, take action and bloom where you are planted, sweet flower! You can do it, you will do it, and God gets to watch you do it and say “well done”!
Lisa Wilkerson is a native of Knoxville, TN. She came to Jesus Christ at a young age, but had a shallow relationship with God. After spending 8 years in the military and going through life's trials, she rededicated her life to God and made a decision to go deeper. She went back to school and obtained a master degree in Counseling from Liberty University and is a commissioned minister through Abundant Life Christian Counseling and Training Center. She spent some time providing mental health services and then the hand of God transitioned her to the classroom to teach in higher education. She currently works at the YWCA as a Counselor. She humbly supports her husband in sharing the gospel, while raising their children and ministering to women in all walks of life. She believes in and emphasizes the power and love of God to and through every one who believes. Contact information: www.winningwithgod.org
Service & Sacrifice establishing different routines since summer break is in full swing. It has been interesting with five children in the mix. My husband is a local police officer that faithfully serves his community well. He is a dedicated servant in his career, at Church and in our family. I am beyond grateful for his service and sacrifice.
We have just come out of the Memorial Day weekend which we, as Americans, thankfully honor and humbly reflect on...
the many that gave themselves to ensure our freedom. I couldn't help but think of the generations impacted by the lives lost over the years. Forever the future was changed by the loss of many that gave their lives, futures and heritage for you and me. It
really stops one in place and causes a humbling moment of gratitude. My family and I just moved to a new city ten days ago. It was an answered prayer and has many positive benefits that we are over the moon excited about! Unpacking and
As the week rolled on, I started taking mental notes of my own life. Also, the lives of other moms I do life with.
I have been dedicated since day one of our move to cook and bake our meals, snacks and desserts to be a good steward of our finances, health and family time together around the dinner table. We have trained our children to be mannerly however for some reason at least one of the meals every day I've been faced with chronic complaining of some sort. I've tried to gently remind them of the importance of being thankful for a hot meal around a dinner table with family! I also have tried to not take it personally. They end up eating the meal and by the end apologize for their complaining and ask for forgiveness. Praise the Lord! My husband had his first extra job assignment a few nights ago and I was responsible for dinner and bedtime all alone since being in the new house. I handled it well with the help of prayer and pandora. Turn on the praise music: works every time! I poured a mug of hot decaf coffee and sat down in my chair and propped my feet up with a sigh of relief. I did it. WE did it! Everyone safely made it to the end of the day and peacefully drifted off to sleep. I patted myself on the back for a job well done that I kept five little humans alive another day and I survived it all. I started thinking about how as moms we serve in so many capacities and sacrifice so much for our children. I decided to record just what all I personally sacrifice and how I serve my
"...as moms we serve in so many capacities and sacrifice so much for our children." family everyday. I make sure they are fed healthy filling meals, are safe, all their needs are met effectively and their little hearts are full by me loving them as individuals. I sacrifice sleep and forgo doing my hair and makeup the way I want! I really enjoy using a flat iron or curling wand and perfecting my winged eyeliner, bright lips and getting my brows on point just as much as my teenage self did back in the day. I love dressing up and taking my time getting ready. These days my hair is usually in a messy bun and
impact on whether I see it or not. My answer is yes. A thousand times yes! Even on those hard days when I sit down and thoughts of failure try to overtake me I remind myself of these truths straight from God's word: For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45 And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2 Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
I'm thankful for LulaRoe so I can be totally comfortable and still look stylish. I have gone to makeup musts that take five minutes to apply and I'm thankful for hats of all kinds and sunglasses. As for Enjoying a hot meal, cup of joe or chocolate forget about it. I've learned to improvise. Even with all of the facts facing me, I lined up my thoughts and feelings with God's word to help me remain focused, thankful and firm in the truth. My job as a mother is important. It's necessary and it requires much of me. I ask myself a tough question. Am I like those brave military men? Am I like my husband? Do I serve and sacrifice with an attitude that says I do this because I want to. Because I love this and because it's worth it. Because it matters and it impacts future generations. How I do my part has a major
So, yes we serve. Yes, We sacrifice. However, the greatest sacrifice of all was the one that the greatest servant Jesus provided. He came and served and sacrificed himself so we could be restored to the Father. Let us remain committed to serving one another in love always and whatever sacrifices we make let them be done with an attitude of humility out of love and Thanksgiving. The greatest example of both is our deliverance.
Ashley Chambers is a wife and mother to 5. She is founder of Count It All Joy Ministry on Facebook.
Obey & Do Ephesians 6:1-2 “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise.”
If you grew up in a christian home then Ephesians 6:1-2 is a very familiar set of verses. They are the ones that talk about children obeying their parents. If you have children of your own then, most likely, you have also repeated these verses to them and they know them well. We do this in order to teach them that obedience is a command from God himself. Ephesians 6:1-2 “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise.”
We teach these things to our kids for a number of reasons. But the important reasons is we teach them to obey in order to protect them from harm or train them to create good habits, and so they learn to obey God when he asks them to do something. As adults, we still have to be reminded that it is important that we obey. I mean after all we are God's children, right? Why do we have such a hard time obeying what God asks of us? In my own life I have discovered that
realize is they are transfering their own fears onto us. This is when we need to make sure that we are surrounded by people who are more concerned that we are obedient to God's will than to what may look like the “logical” thing to do. However, we have put so much influence on other people's thoughts of us, than we have of God's commands to us. We must be willing to put other people in their proper place in our life. And sometimes, that means not listening to them.
fear is a big issue. We are afraid of what others think. Or we are afraid that maybe we really didn't hear him correctly and it is only our own voice that we are listening to (this is my biggest issue). We are afraid that God will not hold up his end of the bargain. The majority of the time it's because of other people's influence in our lives. We all have those people who don't understand what it means to hear and follow the voice of God. So when we tell them that God has called us to do something they will give us 101 reasons why we shouldn't do it. They think they are trying to help us but in reality they are harming us. I think what they do not
God created community and in so doing he has put in place people we can trust to talk to about our dreams and visions. These people will pray with us, they will advise us wisely and not selfishly. These are the people that will cheer us on whether they understand what we are doing or not, but know that we are following God's will for our lives. These people are important and we need them. However the most important thing we need is to learn to hear the voice of God for ourselves. How do we hear him and do what he has called us to do?
1. We must spend time in conversation with him. Matthew 7:7 says “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you”. Asking God is talking to him, talking to
him is praying. As you can see when we ask Him what His will is he will show us the answer we seek.
2. We must spend time in His word. Psalms 1:2 says “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.” We must keep reading the word and meditating on it to learn to hear the voice of God.
3. We must ask Him what His will is for us. Again Matthew 7:7 says that if you ask it will be given to you. So ask. James 4:2 says that we do not have because we do not ask. In Matthew 7 verse 8 goes on to say that “Everyone who asks will receive...”
4. We must wait for Him to reveal His will for us and how to go about it. I think this is one of the hardest steps we have. Waiting. No one wants to wait. My pastor has been speaking recently about faith. And he specifically brought something to my attention. Faith and patience work together (Heb 6:12). We must not get into a hurry over what God's will is for our lives. He will reveal it but sometimes that means we have to wait to get the clarification that we need.
5. We must start where we are at. When God gives you an answer and you have an idea of your calling then start where you are. If it's to write a book. Start writing. If it's to serve in a specific ministry in your church then sign up to volunteer. If it's to start a business that will be a blessing to others then go find out what you need to start but make sure you listen to the Holy Spirit guiding you. He will show you where to go and what to do. But you must start doing something. You will not do what God has called you to do if you don't start somewhere.
Once you get to this point we must learn not to care what other people think. As long as we are plugged into the Holy Spirit and being lead by Him, God will point us in the direction we must go. Just be sensitive to Him. Ok ladies, get to work. Go out there and kick procrastination in the pants and get your ministry moving. Take it one step and one day at a time. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!
holds a Bachelor of Science in Christian Education and grew up in the home of a minister that taught her the importance of ministering where you are at. Her personal ministry is to encourage women of all walks of life to serve God. She lives with her husband of 18+ years, Andy, and daughters in East Tennessee, where she serves in her local church. You can connect with her on her personal blog, "A Little Bit of Everything" at: diannaauton.wordpress.com
Recommended Resources Without Rival Lisa Bevere Revell Publishing You are a daughter without rival, serving a God without rival, called to a destiny without rival. It's time to step forward into a life...without rival. In Without Rival, you’ll learn how to make the deep connections you long for with your Creator - connections that hold the promise of true identity and intimacy. With biblically sound teaching filled with prophetic insight for our day, Lisa uses humor and passion to challenge you to:
Flip rivalry so it brings out the best in you Stop hiding from conversations you need to be a part of Answer the argument that says women are unfit Dismantle gender rivalry and work with the men in your life
Spiritual Weapons Rick Renner Harrison House "The whole armor of God" that worked so effectively for these early believers is the very same set of spiritual armor worn by the Church of Jesus Christ
today. Just as these early Christians were fully equipped with the whole armor of God for the troubles of their day, we also have the whole armor of God to live victoriously for Jesus Christ during our day. And this armor still works just as effectively as it did then!