Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Lies I Have Lived

A few times a year, we try to capture a beautiful picture of our family, and this year it all looks a little too perfect.  

His goodness to us shines in the faces of our children, but it needs to be told that there was another picture from the past - and it wasn't pretty.  God may choose to never recall that picture to HIS mind (Hebrews 8:12), but I want to recall it to yours, lest any of you have any misconceptions of who WE are.

The truth is that for the first 33 years of my life, I lived a lie.  Around middle school, I began to pull back from everything that was good - my Christian friends and teachers - and I ran headfirst into the world.  

I lived as a professing Christian, but behind the scenes, everything about Christianity bored me to tears.  I had no desire for Jesus, I never read or desired God's Word, but I believed I was "saved" because I went to church.  I had one foot in the world, secretly dabbling in things that were overtly sinful, and kept one foot firmly planted in the world of churchianity - just in case.  

I was a hypocrite, I was dead in my sins, and I was what God calls a child of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-10).

And I knew it, but I figured if I could keep an even balance, I might please God enough to prove myself a Christian. 

In college, my carefully balanced facade came crumbling down, and I went careening into a world of darkness and sinfulness.  Some of my oldest, closest friends know more about the extent of this than others, but let's just say that there was no fooling anyone anymore.  Of course, I was wise in my own eyes and continued to compare myself to others (who were comparing themselves to others, 2 Corinthians 10:12) and I figured I was still "good enough".

At a certain point, a few blessed people tried to intervene, bringing me the Gospel or saving faith, and I began to understand the terms more clearly...that Jesus does forgive and is rich in mercy, but He was calling and commanding me to repent from (turn from, change my mind about) my sins and follow Him.

"Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil." 
- Proverbs 3:7

I wouldn't do that.  I loved my sins.

The things that God showed me in my life that were sinful and dishonoring to Him - my partying, my barely-there clothing, my selfishness, my pride, my lies, my materialism and my covetous heart, my unspeakably awful acts of depravity - even my gossip and trash TV - these were things that I loved and cherished.  To follow after God would mean I would need to be willing to turn my back on these things, and I had no desire to do that. I held out hope that perhaps "carnal Christianity" was a real thing and I exchanged the truth for a lie.  

Ten years came and went, and I came out the other side beaten by the world.  My hypocrisy reached its full pinnacle when I began teaching middle school at private Christian school (and partying on the weekends), when suddenly, for better or worse....

Paul and I crashed right into each other.  

We both found what we were looking for:  a "Christian" spouse who liked to party AND attend church!  We got married, had our first child, and began laying our plans:  a nice Christian school for the kids, enough money for vacation here and there, matching gym memberships - and hearts full of emptiness.  It all meant nothing and it was leading us straight to hell (Proverbs 14:12).  

In 2011, it all came to a halt.  Within weeks of each other and both by different means, Paul and I heard and received the Gospel of Life.  

In the light of God's Holiness, I saw my filthy sins as God sees them, and the Holy Spirit showed me that no matter how much I tried to be a better person, my sins separated me from the Holy and perfect presence of God.  

My sins had to be atoned for.  I had spent half of my life trying to atone them myself, and the other half rejecting that atonement outright because I could not abide the terms - mainly the repentance part.  

But the Holy Spirit intervened, and the Cross became sweet to me, and my sins became sour in my mouth.  My former treasure was quite suddenly a trash heap in my eyes, and Christ was the prize.  

The truth about Christ is that He was God and man in one, and He came to this wretched planet and lived a sinless life and died a selfless death at the hands of sinners just like me to appease the wrath of God that is justly poured out on unrepentant rebels who break God's law (Romans 6:23).

He gives us His law, His Commandments, as a schoolmaster that drives us to the Cross of Christ in our inability to keep them (Galatians 3:24, Romans 3:24, James 2:10).  Jesus was the propitiation and the final Passover Lamb that takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), and He rose on Resurrection Day and defeated the death that every last one of us deserves as rebels to His Law.  

SO many years.  So much Grace trampled under my feet.  

I lived licentiously - using the Cross and God's forgiveness as a ticket to do as I pleased (Grace! God Forgives!) - refusing to examine myself in light of God's word.  

But this verse right here - an arrow to the heart:

"...Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, 
not knowing that his kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?  But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgement will be revealed." - Romans 2:4-5

God was so patient with me, and one afternoon while my babies napped upstairs, I fell quietly to my knees and surrendered my will for His, turned my back on this world and my sins - and the wrath that was meant for me was transferred to the Cross, and His righteousness was imparted to me.

It's not a fair trade.  It's a divine scandal, to say the least.  

My prayer for each of you is to examine yourself. So many of us are deceived, living under a false and imaginary faith that is built on sinking sand and is not of God.  If we worship a god of our own liking who differs from scripture, we are just worshiping an idol we made for ourselves.

In an age where professing Christians are willing to accept the god of The Shack as a reasonable representation of our precious Savior, and  46% of professing Christians believe that all world religions lead to God, (click HERE) we can't shy away from examining our own hearts.

Ask yourself:

Are you passionate about God's Word, willing to defend it, proclaim it, share it, or even die for it? Do you desire and see growth in personal holiness and discernment, bear fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8), and long to see others saved as well?  Is Christ your treasure, and all else "rubbish" (Phil. 3:8)? Is your life built around knowing Him and making Him known?

These are tough questions, but God wants us to do this:  
"Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith.  Test yourselves."  
(2 Corinthians 13:5)  

You cannot serve God and man.  And you can't live halfway for either.  (Revelation 3:15-17)

As you reflect on what Resurrection Day means to you, I highly recommend this video, which has led so many to the truth:

Here are some other resources we recommend:

Test Yourself:  Click HERE
How can we be sure of our salvation?  Click Here
True and False Conversion:  Click Here
What is the Gospel?  Click Here 
Charo Washer's Testimony:  Click Here
Don't Waste Your Life:  Click Here

I pray for each of you, and I'm here if any of you ever want to talk. May God bless you and grant you the unspeakable fullness of joy He has given me in knowing His Son, my blessed Savior, and the freedom found in walking in the Light of Truth. 

- Missy

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Our New Baby

In May of this year,
we were surprised
by God's Grace.

We were all so excited about this pregnancy,
and were filled with hope over this new life and soul being knit together for God's glory.

 We had no idea that this was going to be
the beginning of a trial for our family.

Two months into the pregnancy, I began hemorrhaging heavily, and found myself in the emergency room. 

And despite everything that happened with Baby Joshua's pregnancy, I was certain that we had lost this baby. 

This time...

I was the one
who was wrong.

I was diagnosed with another subchorionic hematoma, and given a 50/50 chance of carrying the baby to term. 

The clot was as big as the baby, and I found that when I stood up or walked around for any length of time,
I began to bleed heavily - so I stayed down. 

Any of you who have experienced this condition know that the amount of blood loss that comes with it simply makes it hard to believe that a baby would be capable of surviving it.  

During this time, our Bible reading group happened to be focused on Luke 8. I took so much comfort in reading the account of the hemorrhaging woman who was healed in an instant.  

 I was spending so much time laying down, unable to get up and mother my children in the way I am used to, and I just kept closing my eyes and reaching for the hem of His garment.

As sick as I was those first few months,
I was strengthened in knowing that Jesus not only saw but ORDAINED my affliction, and that the outcome was in His hands.

After 27 weeks of waiting,
we saw our collective prayers answered.

The clot had entirely dissapeared.  

The baby has continued to grow,
and by God's grace...  

we are now 34 weeks pregnant!

We have no idea what the gender is, either!

We are overjoyed - but in retrospect - this has been the hardest season of our lives as a family.

And yet everything we have experienced this year has been a reminder that we live in a fallen world, broken by sin and suffering, and that all of creation is groaning for our Savior's return. (Romans 8:22)

Each and every one of us has broken God's Law, given in the Ten Commandments, and by God's standards we will fall short.

The entire creation is fallen, and we need a Savior - because the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)

And so He came, wrapped Himself in flesh, lived a sinless life, and willingly died the death we deserved (John 1:14), bearing our sins upon Himself. 

He rose again, defeating death, so that He can offer us the greatest gift that has ever been given... 

...a full pardon from all of our sins, given freely
when we call upon the name of the Lord in repentance, trusting Him alone for salvation.
  (Mark 1:15)

Friends, the baby who was born in that stable
is not a baby anymore.

He is the Risen King, ruling at the right hand of God in Heaven, and He is coming back to judge us by our own righteousness (and the Bible says we all fall short) or by His own perfectly imparted righteousness.

We need to take cover in the Cross.

(1 Corinthians 15)

In this crumbling world where babies die, children are abandoned by their parents, and everything spins out of our control - God has given us a refuge in the Gospel...

and a promise to make all things new.

A star pierces the darkness, 

lighting the way to the Savior.

The weary world rejoices...

Our family wishes each of you
a Merry Christmas.

If we can pray for you, let us know: 

Local friends - all the pretty pictures were taken by our dear friend at Alyssa Fenty Photography:

Check out this short video from Living Waters about the true meaning of Christmas:

Related posts: 

- Missy

Monday, February 27, 2017

Update on the May Family

We want to thank those who shared Cody and Kimberly's story herehere, and here.  Kimberly and the children were also featured in several news reports, including this video interview  

Cody was an evangelist and a missionary to our country, and he left a huge impact on his children. 

This week, they traveled to stand in their father's shoes in Texas, where a bill has been introduced that would abolish abortion in that state. Most of you already know that Cody was dedicated to this cause.  

Cody's testimony has impacted so many people beyond his own 7 arrows, and I know Kimberly cherishes hearing those stories. 

 There is no way to measure that impact this side of the Kingdom, but we do have an update on the monthly commitments.  

At this point, donors have committed to a total of around $1,500 a month.  ($18,000 annually).

  I am asking everyone to keep sharing, and to pray about becoming a donor and a prayer warrior for this family.  Cody was an evangelist, and it a great privilege of the Body to care for evangelists, widows, and orphans.  I want to leave you with this passage from Matthew 25:  

"Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and cloth you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 

'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least 
of these my brothers, you did it to me.'"

Matthew 25:37-40


1.  Click here to read and share Cody's story.

2.  Click here to sponsor Kimberly May and her children 
with monthly, recurring donations.

3.  Click here to give a one-time donation. 

"Truly, Truly, I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, 
it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit."
John 12:24

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Though He Slay Me

Last month, our friend Cody May drowned in a lake within sight of his wife Kimberly 
and their seven children.

This world has lost a man of which it was not worthy, 
and my dear friend Kimberly and her children are mourning this loss deeply.

Cody was an open-air evangelist and an abortion abolitionist.  His life was BUILT around making Jesus known, defending the fatherless 
and speaking up for the voiceless.  

This life - wordly things - Cody counted it all loss 
for the eternal worth of knowing Jesus Christ.

Cody was also an adoptive father to children 
from Connecticut, DRC, and Ethiopia.

  He is survived by these precious children - 
six of whom just experienced the loss of their father for the SECOND TIME.  

The May family had just moved to Texas a few days prior to Cody's death.  
Several of their children have special needs, 
and they were looking for a fresh start and new opportunities. 

Cody was transitioning between jobs, 
and at this moment in time - he had no life insurance.   

As a larger adoptive community, 
we have learned that family PRESERVATION is right there in James 1:27
and that sponsoring endangered children in other countries is such a crucial part of orphan care.  

Orphan prevention and family preservation 
ARE widow and orphan care.  

Inspired by other child sponsorship programs, 
we have set up a special tax-deductible fund through a 501c for Kimberly and her children through Bethesda Family Ministries

We are asking people to prayerfully consider 
becoming MONTHLY SPONSORS for Kimberly and the children by until adulthood, 
or until no longer needed. 

In terms of impact, no gift is too small.  Consider this:

A $10/month commitment over the next 15 years 
could buy college books for Cody's boys. 
A $20/month commitment over the next 15 years would be $3600 invested in the future of these children and the preservation of this family!!!

200 people committed to just $5/month equals $1,000 of reliable income.  

Four of our children were brought home 
by mostly small donations from people all over the world - it adds up!

Unlike other sponsorship programs, a massive 95% of your contribution (or more, depending on which form of payment  you choose) will go directly to Kimberly and the children.  The best child sponsorship programs normally run at about 80% down to as low as 50% of direct-to-program costs, so this fund is truly exceptional. 

Additionally, the person administrating this fund has been a local, trusted, and personal friend of my family for many years.  

I believe that knowing that there was a dependable amount of support coming in monthly would be such a blessing to Kimberly.  

It will enable her to make plans as she faces the future 
without her best friend and her earthly provider.   

Please pray about this, and consider committing to the May family.  We talk so much about supporting widows and orphans - we treasure this cause because God always has.  

Our God is the Father to the Fatherless, and those of us whom He raises up to adopt, foster, sponsor children...all we are doing is following His lead and example.  

...we love because He first loved us.  


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