Author Archives: grelanmuse

Commit to seek your reward in 2018

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By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

Weeks ago, I began my search for a new home. In the midst of the dreadful task came a message worthy of personal reflection.

I found a home on Zillow that fit my family’s needs – close to work, quiet neighborhood, and in a good school committ-in-2018-proverbsdistrict. I scheduled a tour with the real estate agent who is handling the rental process. After the tour was complete, the agent and I talked a bit more about the owner’s and my desired date for rental.

As we closed our conversation, she asked about my current career. I volunteered that although I currently work as a technical writer, my ultimate goal is to teach English composition at the college or university level. After all, I told her, this was the only reason why, in 2013, I began my pursuit toward a graduate degree in English (I graduated in May 2015).

The agent told me I was a smart woman, but I needed to stay dedicated to my original goal. I thought to myself, “Well, I have been dedicated. I’ve applied for several positions but have been passed up.” I assessed my situation: I diverged from my intended path, allowing setbacks to take control of my centeredness.

She said, “God rewards those who stay committed. “ Furthermore, she noted that the road may not be simple, but, in the end, He knows your heart and desires.

Since our meeting weeks ago, I have replayed her comment over and over again in my head: “God rewards those who stay committed to theirtonya-andris-whitaker-2017 desires.”

Instead of commitment, I had become a wayward soldier. I now shamefully admitted that I have become discouraged because I didn’t immediately secure a lectureship. And, although it is not the blessing God has for me, technical writing provides financial safety. Commitment with God’s assurance, not comfort, will drive away the doubt and mismanagement in my life. Goodness, the first sentence of my master’s thesis acknowledgments was a thank you to Him. How has it become that my reliance on Him during the writing process is no longer needed as I press forward?

As we prepare to enter 2018, what goals have you set for yourself? If it includes work and education goals, remember to keep in prayer, stay focused, and count it all joy. As God used this real estate agent to deliver His message, dedication and commitment are essential. Know that God has our best interests at heart; He promised this to us (Psalm 37:5, KJV). In the end, the victory will be ours, as solemnly presented in 2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV): “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Food for thought: Remember your words. Stand stronger behind His.

Photos: Main: “Proverbs 16:3” courtesy of Womanista Wellness, formerly known as Skinny Mom. Secondary: Tonya Whitaker

Tonya Whitaker is managing editor of Inside The Pew.

© 2017 Inside The Pew

 

Merry Christmas to our readers

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By Grelan A. Muse Sr.
Inside the Pew

President Donald Trump has declared that, “We are saying Merry Christmas again.”

Sadly, some people are afraid to say Merry Christmas. In a move not to offend anyone, believers opt for the generic “Seasons Greetings” or “Happymerry-christmas-manger Holidays.” Those two greetings lack individuality. But, there is no subjectivity when it comes to Merry Christmas. When the greeting is spoken, we know exactly what it means. Do Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1: 30-33, and Matthew 1:18-25 sound familiar?

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, appeared on FOX News’ “The Story With Martha MacCallum” on Dec. 21 to explain that Trump’s stance on Merry Christmas is a “breath of fresh air.”

“So the president coming to the forefront and saying, ‘Look, we’re going to say Merry Christmas again,’ it is a signal to say, You know what, it’s OK to express yourself on religious issues in our culture,’” Perkins said.

Society may or may not say it isn’t acceptable to say Merry Christmas, but Christians have to stand confident in their beliefs. Say Merry Christmas with joy in your heart!

Americans Overwhelmingly Prefer Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays, According to New Marist Poll

By more than 20 percentage points (59 to 36 percent) a majority of Americans prefer the greeting “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays,” according

*Results do not add up to 100 due to rounding (PRNewsfoto/Knights of Columbus)

to a new Knights of Columbus-Marist poll.

The nearly 6 in 10 (59 percent) who prefer Merry Christmas is slightly higher than last year’s 57 percent.

This survey of 1,074 adults was conducted Nov. 6-Nov. 9, 2017 by The Marist Poll. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the contiguous United States were contacted on landline or mobile numbers and interviewed in English by telephone using live interviewers. The results were balanced to reflect the 2013 American Community Survey 1-year estimates for age, gender, income, race, and region.  Results are statistically significant within ±3.0 percentage points. The error margin increases for cross-tabulations.

Grelan A. Muse is founder of Inside The Pew and Pew Talk Radio. Contact him at pewnews@aol.com.

© 2017 Inside The Pew

 

Retired educator feeds her community with books

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By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

For Dr. Lynda Jones-Mubarak, being a champion of early literacy initiatives and tackling hunger in the community in which one lives is a trueauthor-mubarak-carver-city blueprint for happier, safer, and more vibrant communities.

To place her vision in reality, the retired special education teacher, facilitator, and U.S. Army veteran has formed an alliance with Community Food Bank in Fort Worth.

“This alliance was forged in an effort to end hunger in the North Texas region,” Jones-Mubarak said.

As a longtime supporter of the food bank and other community based organizations, Mubarak saw fit to donate 15 percent of all proceeds from her newly published children’s book, titled Carver Park  to the Community Food Bank.

Mubarak said Carver Park is an area that was designated for African-Americans when segregation prevailed as law and as a dominant force in social life in Waco, Texas.

In the book, Mubarak recounts her times in Carver Park and gives readers a perspective of one child who found the vibrancy of life through the harshness of society’s circumstances during that time. The storyline affirms that choice people in our lives provide us with the knowledge and support needed to learn, survive, and progress during a time of great social unrest and historical change, similar to what many marginalized communities may be facing today.

Community Food Bank’s mission serves to fight hunger by providing food, education, and resources to hungry families in a dignified, personal and timely manner. They operate as a food pantry and as a food bank; without ZIP code restrictions.

The educator said the collaboration between Mubarak and the Community Food Bank is the subtle reminder that one person can make a difference, even in the most modest of ways.

Carver Park is available for purchase at www.melaninorigins.com/books/.

Feature photo: Carver Park by Dr. Lynda Jones-Mubarak. Inset photo: Dr. Jones-Mubarak.

© 2017 Inside The Pew

UT Austin professors discover copy of Jesus’ secret revelations to his brother

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Special to Inside The Pew

AUSTIN, Texas — The first-known original Greek copy of a heretical Christian writing describing Jesus’ secret teachings to his brother James has been discovered at Oxford University by biblical scholars at The University of Texas at Austin.

To date, only a small number of texts from the Nag Hammadi library — a collection of 13 Coptic Gnostic books discovered in 1945 in Upper Egypt — ut-autin-biblical-scholars-find-jesus-teachingshave been found in Greek, their original language of composition. But earlier this year, UT Austin religious studies scholars Geoffrey Smith and Brent Landau added to the list with their discovery of several fifth- or sixth-century Greek fragments of the First Apocalypse of James, which was thought to have been preserved only in its Coptic translations until now.

“To say that we were excited once we realized what we’d found is an understatement,” said Smith, an assistant professor of religious studies. “We never suspected that Greek fragments of the First Apocalypse of James survived from antiquity. But there they were, right in front of us.”

The ancient narrative describes the secret teachings of Jesus to his brother James, in which Jesus reveals information about the heavenly realm and future events, including James’ inevitable death.

“The text supplements the biblical account of Jesus’ life and ministry by allowing us access to conversations that purportedly took place between Jesus and his brother, James — secret teachings that allowed James to be a good teacher after Jesus’ death,” Smith said.

Such apocryphal writings, Smith said, would have fallen outside the canonical boundaries set by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, in his “Easter letter of 367” that defined the 27-book New Testament: “No one may add to them, and nothing may be taken away from them.”jesus-manuscript-smith-landau

With its neat, uniform handwriting and words separated into syllables, the original manuscript was probably a teacher’s model used to help students learn to read and write, Smith and Landau said.

“The scribe has divided most of the text into syllables by using mid-dots. Such divisions are very uncommon in ancient manuscripts, but they do show up frequently in manuscripts that were used in educational contexts,” said Landau, a lecturer in the UT Austin Department of Religious Studies.

The teacher who produced this manuscript must have “had a particular affinity for the text,” Landau said. It does not appear to be a brief excerpt from the text, as was common in school exercises, but rather a complete copy of this forbidden ancient writing.

Smith and Landau announced the discovery at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting in Boston in November and are working to publish their preliminary findings in the Greco Roman Memoirs series of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri.

Featured photo: A piece of the Coptic translation of the First Apocalypse of James preserved in the Nag Hammadi Library. Rights to published images of the original Greek fragments are owned by the Egypt Exploration Society and currently unavailable for circulation. (Nag Hammed Library, Oxford University).

Inset: Geoffrey Smith, left, and Brent Landau take a closer look at the Greek fragment identified as the First Apocalypse of James. (Courtesy of Geoffrey Smith, UT Austin).

Christian leaders unite to heal racially troubled Charlottesville

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Local pastors and leaders, plan Prayer Walks and a Holy Convocation, to promote racial healing, and repentance, in Charlottesville, Va.

By Bill Bray
Campus Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Local Christian leaders met in Charlottesville on Nov. 29 to finalize plans for a Prayer Walk and Holy Convocation on Dec. 2 in this racially troubled campus community at the University of Virginia.

Calling for a day of “prayer and repentance” on the eve of Advent Sunday, Dec. 2, the event aims to bring healing after rioting here left three dead and 19 injured last August.  The Day of Prayer and Repentance is called “Healing4Charlottesville” and will begin with a Pastor’s Prayer Breakfast at 9:30 a.m. followed by two public events.

The Healing for Charlottesville Day of Prayer Walk will start off at the chapel on the grounds of University and 9 other points around the city’s heather-heyer-memorial-new-downtown mall. Many small groups of walkers will start at various churches and parking lots and gradually merge at the County Office Building.

From that point they will walk the length of the Downtown Mall and gather at the Pavilion for a 90-minute program.

“The Church of Jesus Christ should transcend and transform politics,” says chairman Mark Beliles of the Grace Covenant Church and president of the America Transformation Company, “but on this day, we plan to gather to ask forgiveness of God and one another.”

The Reverends Beliles and Al Edwards – along with about 15 other clergy from white, African American and Korean churches – organized the walk. Pastor Edwards, from the predominately black Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church, also organized the Charlottesville Clergy Collective. It is the leading inter-faith group that includes Jewish and Muslim groups.

Most of the pastors involved in the Day of Prayer were at the deadly riots on the weekend of August 12 that have since made the city of Charlottesville a symbol of racial hatred. At that time, Antifa and Klu Klux Klan extremists rioted over the removal of Confederate war statues in the downtown parks.

Beliles is no rabble rouser and is asking those who participate to “not speak or carry signs that in any way focus blame on anyone but ourselves.

“The majority white churches especially need to do this,” he said, as he outlined plans for inviting visiting speakers to promote reconciliation and repentance.

“We want to end this year with a holy season of peace and love, and that’s what is bringing us together in this way.”

Photo: A memorial to Charlottesville victim, Heather Heyer.

Eat like the pilgrims and Native Americans this Thanksgiving

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Authentic recipes from the Plimoth Plantation’s Thanksgiving meal

GAITHERSBURG, Md. – Sodexo, the leader in Quality of Life services, and the Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Mass., bring the firstthe-first-thanksgiving-jennie-august-brownscombe Thanksgiving feast to life as they tell the story of the Pilgrims and the native Wampanoag people.  The meal is made up of authentic recipes from the 1600s and is served to more than 3,000 people during Thanksgiving week at the Plimoth Plantation.

Items on the menu include native turkey with giblet gravy, traditional stuffing, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, steamed white turnip, Harvard beats, green beans and cranberry relish. Dessert is comprised of apple pie, pumpkin pie and Indian pudding.

According to Sodexo, the food served has been carefully researched and recreated to make it as authentic as possible. The chefs use local, seasonal ingredients just as the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people

would have in the 17th century.

The Plimoth Plantation’s Indian pudding recipe brings a sense of history to the Thanksgiving table.

INDIAN PUDDING – Serves 10-12 people

6 cups — Whole Milk

1 Cup — Molasses

6 Tbsp — Granulated Sugar

6 oz — Butter

½ tsp — Ground Ginger

¼ tsp — Salt

½ tsp — Ground Cinnamon

¼ tsp — Ground Nutmeg

1 Cup — Cornmeal

Combine all ingredients except Cornmeal in a large saucepan.

Bring to a boil and whisk cornmeal in slowly to avoid lumps.

Turn Heat to low and cook until thick – Pudding will continue to thicken as it cools.

Serve warm with a little heavy cream poured over it, or vanilla ice cream.  Or serve cold with whipped cream.

Sodexo Sports & Leisure also provides food services at the Plimoth Plantation and full array of catering services for private events.

 

Featured image: “The First Thanksgiving” by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe, 1914

 

Texas AG files brief urging the Supreme Court to protect prayer at public meetings

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Special to Inside The Pew

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and a coalition of 22 states are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the practice of lawmaker-led prayer at public meetings. The case, Lund vs. Rowan County, focuses upon a North Carolina county’s practice of opening its meeting with prayer offered by its commissioners.  The coalition’s friend-of-the-court brief supports the county.

The coalition filed a brief Nov. 16 asking the Supreme Court to hear arguments and reaffirm the constitutionality of the practice. Such a decision would clear confusion among the lower courts. The states argue that lawmaker-led prayer is woven into the fabric of American society. The practice also is fully consistent with the Constitution and our nation’s long tradition of non-coercive expressions of faith in the public sector.

“Lawmaker-led prayer has existed across the country for more than a century,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Opening legislative meetings in prayer has [sic] consistently involved lawmakers themselves exercising their own religious liberty.”

The brief further cites examples across the nation of states, counties and municipalities that open meetings with a government official’s prayer. It argues many governing bodies cannot afford to hire a full-time chaplain or recruit volunteer clergy.

West Virginia led the amicus brief in support of free expression of faith. States joining West Virginia and Texas were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Wisconsin, along with the Governor of Kentucky.

 

 

Wooding: ‘Persecution has finally come to America’

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International journalist’s comments came after the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TX (ANS – Nov. 6, 2017) – While ANS Founder, Dan Wooding, was speaking on Nov. 5 at a Southern California church about persecution around the world on the occasion of the 2017 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, a rifle-wielding shooter burst into the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people – including children.

Wooding, 76, had been sharing with the congregation at Hosanna Christian Fellowship in Bellflower, Calif., about persecution that has been taking place in countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Nigeria, and North Korea, when the alleged gunman, who has been identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, according to law enforcement officials, went on a shooting spree and was later found dead in his vehicle.

“When I heard the news, I knew that persecution has finally come to America,” he said. “For so long, terrible atrocities against believers have beendan-wooding-hosanna-christian-fellowship taking place in different parts of the world, but now it is here, and I wonder if we are ready to deal with it.”

Law enforcement officials have said the alleged shooter was formerly a member of the United States Air Force who was court-martialed with a dishonorable discharge for assaulting his wife and child, according to an Air Force spokeswoman, and who had a domestic dispute with his in-laws who at times have attended the church in Sutherland Springs.

Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains are in Sutherland Springs, Texas, following the horrifying and deadly shooting rampage during a Sunday morning service at First Baptist Church.

“The evil at work in this tragedy is incomprehensible,” said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. “It’s impossible to understand what could drive a young man to do something so inhumanly cruel. While we don’t have all the answers, we will do everything we can to comfort the grieving and give peace to those in despair as we bring the hope of Jesus.”

Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, shared, “My heart is heavy for the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas, who have lost more than 20 of their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, parents, and friends today in this senseless act of brutality. My prayers are with this community and church.”

Even as the shooting developed in Texas on Sunday, Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains remained deployed in New York City following last week’s terror attack which killed eight people on a bike path. Both efforts follow closely on the heels of the group’s ministry in Las Vegas following the concert attack, which killed 58 people.

Among religious leaders who have spoken out in response to yesterday’s shooting, are Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship), who has been working for four decades to build bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews, and who called the deadly attack on a church near San Antonio on Sunday “terror” that seeks to undo decades of growing interfaith goodwill and return religions to past centuries of conflict.

“Terror that penetrates into a house of prayer is particularly evil and cruel, and seeks to undo decades of bridge building by and between people of faith,” Eckstein said. “Sadly, there are people who want to turn us back toward old circles of hatred.”

Eckstein added that The Fellowship was “shocked and sickened by this evil act, and our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their loved ones.”

“Christians, Jews and moderate Muslims should join together in condemning such attacks and work together to prevent further violence,” he said.

Dr. Ronnie Floyd, president of the National Day of Prayer said: “When attacks of hate and terror happen in our places of worship, they shake us to the core. We must beg God for His mighty hand of protection on our nation and the world. May God be with the victims of this shooting. Only God is our refuge in these times of trouble.”

Dr. Floyd is the senior pastor of Cross Church and president of the National Day of Prayer, which each year mobilizes millions of Americans to unified public prayer for the United States of America. He’s the immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Dr. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, said: “Today’s horrific church shooting is every pastor’s worst nightmare and is proof of the reality of evil. Although the Bible never diminishes the pain of evil, it does promise that one day when Christ returns, evil will be defeated forever. Until that time, we pray that the members of First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, will experience the promise of Psalm 34:18: The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.’”

Feature image: Mourners participate in a candlelight vigil held for the victims of a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (Darren Abate/The Associated Press). Left photo, Dan Wooding speaking at Hosanna Christian Fellowship in Bellflower, Calif. (ASSIST News).

Michael Ireland is a volunteer internet journalist serving as Chief Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, as well as an Ordained Minister, and an award-winning local cable-TV program host/producer who has served with ASSIST Ministries and written for ANS since its beginning in 1989. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. You may follow Michael on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MichaelIrelandMediaMissionary.com, and on Twitter at @Michael_ASSIST. Please consider helping Michael cover his expenses in bringing news of the Persecuted Church, by logging-on to: https://actintl.givingfuel.com/ireland-michael  

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, SiriusXM partner to launch channel

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Special to Inside The Pew

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association announced its partnership with SiriusXM for the launch of “The Billy Grahambilly graham station on sirius radio Channel,” a limited-run channel headlined by world-renowned Christian evangelist, Billy Graham.

“The Billy Graham Channel” debuted Monday, Nov. 6 and will run through Friday, Nov. 17, at 11:59:59 p.m. ET on channel 145 on satellite and via streaming.

Launching in celebration of the acclaimed preacher’s 99th birthday, SiriusXM listeners nationwide will have access to the preacher’s timeless, inspiring messages from his seven decades of ministry.

“On Nov. 7, Billy Graham celebrates his 99th birthday and we, along with SiriusXM, thought a channel featuring some of Mr. Graham’s most memorable messages would be a fitting way to mark the occasion. ‘The Billy Graham Channel’ is the kind of gift Mr. Graham would greatly appreciate: it helps point others to the hope found in Jesus Christ,” said Jim Kirkland, executive director of Audio Media at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

“Billy Graham has inspired millions of Americans with his uplifting messages of hope, courage, love, and forgiveness,” said Dave Gorab, vice president and general manager of Talk Programming at SiriusXM. “We are honored to be part of Billy Graham’s 99th birthday celebration by bringing this limited engagement channel to SiriusXM listeners coast to coast.”

In addition to the catalog of Graham’s motivational messages and sermons, “The Billy Graham Channel” will also include personal reflections on the pastor’s life by family and friends including Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, and his daughter, Anne Graham Lotz. The channel will also showcase remarks from Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

Born in 1918, evangelist Billy Graham has preached the Gospel to nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories. Since the 1949 Los Angeles Crusade that vaulted Mr. Graham into the public eye, he has led hundreds of thousands to make personal decisions to live for Christ, which is the main mission of his ministry.

In addition to the SiriusXM partnership, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s audio ministry, Billy Graham Radio, accomplishes the mission of the association – to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world – by producing a number of online and broadcast programs. The newest program in the ministry’s line-up is GPS: God. People. Stories. Each weekly GPS podcast features an inspiring story of how God has worked in someone’s life. Decision Minute is a one-minute feature that airs on more than 600 radio stations. To listen to the programs, visit www.billygraham.org/radio.

 

Don’t buy the lie!

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By Marian Jordan Ellis
Inside The Pew

A few years back, I fell in love with a pair of jeans at a local department store. They were fabulous! The perfect cut, color, and length (and if you’re 5 foot, 11 inches like me, you know that is hard to do.) I adored everything about them … except one thing, the price tag.

Since I was on a budget, I would often go try them on and try to justify the price tag.  I told a friend about my dilemma, and she recommended I look online. Back then I hadn’t shopped much online (this was before my UPS guy knew me on a first-name basis) so I asked my friend where to search, and she recommended eBay.

A few hours of searching later, and I found them – the same exact jeans. Brand new! With tags! And get this, only a fraction of the price! Fast forward, a few days later, to when the little brown package arrived at my doorstep. I ripped open that package like a kid on Christmas morning.

Holding them up like Simba from The Lion King, I welcomed them to my little closet tribe. But as my hands wrapped around the denim, an alarm bell went off in my head.

“Something’s not right here?!”

The fabric was stiff… not soft and luxurious like the jeans at the store.

The color was off…and rubbed off on my hands.

“What in the world?”

The too-good-to-be-true deal was just that, too good to be true. I’d bought a lie. I was the sucker!

Don’t feel too badly for me, because this taught me a valuable lesson about how we can recognize the difference between a lie and the truth. The way I recognized that the jeans were fake was because I knew the real thing. I’d held in my hands the real deal. I knew what the true cut, color, and fabric was and when confronted with a fake, I could easily recognize it.

Jesus called our enemy the “Father of Lies.” His mode of operation from the very beginning has been deception, and he is still at work today – aiming sex-and-the-city-undercovered to deceive us about our identity, destinies, power and worthy. I pray this lesson brings freedom to many reading this today. So often we are duped by the enemy to buy lies about ourselves but we don’t know that we’ve been deceived.

When we buy into these lies, it affects everything about us, our self-worth, relationships, callings and experience of the Christian life. And since we behave how we believe, we end up in all kinds of messes, simply because at some point, we bought a lie.

I know this one from experience. I was once the girl who severely struggled with insecurity and feelings of rejection. I believed the lie that my value was based on people’s opinions or my own performance. If I was pretty enough, smart enough or successful enough, then I would earn love. This lie kept me in a prison of fear, people pleasing and self-hatred.  This pattern of thinking was so ingrained in me that I had no idea that I believed it. This was just my normal, relationship drama, roller coaster emotions, and disappointment.  I had no idea that everything I was feeling and experiencing was based on the lies I was believing.

Then, something powerful happened, I discovered the truth!

After living the “Sex and the City” life for most of my college years and young 20s, I was redeemed by the grace of Jesus Christ. When I fell in love with Jesus, the next thing that happened was I fell in love with His word, the Bible. I would sit for hours and read the scripture. I discovered that these are not just words on a page, this is the living, breathing word of God. As I dove into God’s word, I found a surprising result – I began to change from the inside out. After all, it was Jesus who said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

As I immersed myself in God’s word, I began to experience real freedom. The reason? I finally knew the truth. And by knowing the truth, I could recognize the lies of the enemy when they landed on my doorstep.

As we renew our minds with the truth, we begin to see the world and ourselves differently. It is my prayer that you will dive deep into God’s word. Allow the truth to expose any deeply held lies you may believe about yourself with God’s truth and experience the freedom and abundance that is yours in Jesus.

Photos: Top, Marian Jordan Ellis. Bottom: Ellis’ Sex and the City Uncovered.

Marian Jordan Ellis is the author of “Sex and the City Uncovered” and her new book, “Stand,” releases August 2017. She is the founder of Redeemed Girl Ministries. You can follow her on social media @marianjordan.