Category Archives: Glory

Love does not dishonor…

1 Corinthians 13:5
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not dishonor others.  Love is not rude.

Love does not make fun of people.
It doesn’t call them names.
It doesn’t say ugly things about them.
Love does not embarrass and humiliate others.
Love accepts.  Unconditionally.

Love is not self-seeking.  

Love considers others.
It puts their needs first.
It lends a helping hand.
It gives a voice to the silent.
It walks for the weak.

Love is not easily angered.

Love finds joy in situations.
Love looks beyond mistakes.
Love seeks to encourage.
Love speaks calmly.

Love keeps no record of wrongs.

Love wipes away the tally marks.
It doesn’t keep score.
It doesn’t seek to settle a debt.
Love forgives.

This kind of love is unnatural.  It’s difficult to look past the hurt and pain from the world around us.  We want others to suffer as we have.  We want justice.  God wants those things for us as well but He wants so much more than that.  He wants us to find peace, hope, faith, trust and love through Him.  He wants us to hand over our baggage and let Him carry it for us.  
  
Can you love others like God has loved?  I pray we all learn to love like that!
 

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

A Greater Man…

So, you all know I love Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Study, right?  Well, it’s that time again!  This time, she’s leading a study from the book, Greater, written by pastor Steven Furtick.  The book is awesome – if you haven’t picked up your copy yet, what are you waiting for?  And while you’re at it, hop on over to Melissa’s Blog and join us in the study!

One question that Melissa threw out for us bloggers this week was:

 3. Lifted Up! “The president probably won’t release a statement calling us the greatest anything when we die…Nobody will post a blog entry about our lives…”.  Write a blog post lifting up someone in your life or a person from Scripture who inspires you to live greater!

While there are many people who have helped pave the path in my life, both good and bad, there’s one man that has brought me more peace than I ever imagined.  I didn’t really know of this man until a couple years ago and when I first heard his story, I immediately felt peace.

This man was an angry, ugly, bitter man.  He committed horrible crimes – murder.  He was viscous and evil.  He lived to destroy.

This man swore to wipe out Christianity.

His name was Saul.

On a trip to Damascus with friends, Saul was blinded by a light and then heard a voice, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Acts 9:4.  Saul questioned who was speaking to him.  A voice said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”  Acts 9:5-6  Saul was blinded.  His friends led him on to Damascus. 

In Damascus, a man named, Ananias, was told in a vision from Jesus, to seek Saul.  Jesus said, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.” 

He was telling this man to go to Saul, a murderer, a liar, the man who wanted nothing more than to destroy Christianity, because he was chosen … chosen to serve God, to be a man of God, to love God and to tell others about God.

How unlikely is that?

Wow!  Every time I hear this story, it gives me chills but how reassuring is it that God could love a man who had done so much evil, so much wrong?  He could forgive him and in turn, use his story to glorify the kingdom of God.

Ananias was afraid.  He knew Saul’s reputation, but he trusted the Lord and obeyed.  He went for Saul.   Ananias found Saul at Judas’ house, praying for help. Ananias laid his hands on Saul, telling him Jesus had sent him to restore his sight and that Saul might be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Scales fell from Saul’s eyes.  He arose and was baptized.

Saul became a new man. He changed his name to Paul. 

Of course I’m not sure on all the reasons around why he changed his name exactly, but I have a feeling it had a lot to do with putting his past behind him.  I don’t imagine too many people would just welcome him in to teach about God considering his past goal was to destroy Christianity.  I think it was a good move on his part and perhaps it was a suggestion from God ;)

Anyway, Paul went on to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest teachers ever.  He lead people, he loved people and he shared the things God had done in his life.  He didn’t hide from his past, but instead, he used it, to glorify the one who brought him out of the darkness.

And that is exactly why I chose Paul as my greater man.  Paul has taught me that it doesn’t matter where I came from, God can use me, if I allow him to.  He can take all the dirty, all the shame, all the sin and use it for something greater.  He can use me, yes me, for something greater.  I am not my past but my past is in me and the memories I have carried and held onto are my testimony to the darkness I have come from, and the light I have found.  I choose not to let my story or past weigh me down and burden me, but instead to allow God to use it, to help others, to bring others out of that darkness and to glorify Him!

Paul’s testimony is one of forgiveness, desperation, hope, faith, change, grace.  Paul handed over a life of evil to live a life of glory, to glorify his new Lord & Savior.

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

The Name Game!

So with the new look all finished, it’s time to lose the .blogspot.com name.
Can you help a girl out?
I need something fun, fresh and full of glory for the new .com name.  I’ve tried a bazillion things like:
morningglory.com
jenarmstrong.com
jarmstrong.com
jennyarmstrong.com
psalm143.com
etc.  and yes, those are all taken :(  Needless to say, there must be a lot of cool Jen/Jenny Armstrong’s in the world cause there’s sure a lot of domains taken w/ the name.  I ran into that issue years ago when I started my photography website which is why is has the long, boring, confusing domain of www.jenarmstrongdesigns.com.
Nice, huh?
So, this is where I need your help.  I need some suggestions.  I really do like the name Morning Glory but I’m not opposed to changing the blog name to suit a domain name.  It’s still new enough that it will fly just fine.
I’m fine w/ using a Bible verse as well but I prefer it to be something that has to do with glory, joy, prayer, prayer in the morning, etc.  You get the idea, right?
Do you have any wonderful suggestions for me?  If I pick your name, there just might be some kind of goodie involved!

Some of my own thoughts are…

www.theimperfectprincess.com
(right now, this is the one that stands out most to me but is it too long?  I like something along these lines best – something fun or a little catchy!  For me the thought on this is He is King and I am His princess.  I am not and never will be perfect, thus the imperfect part.  Is this too out there or once people get the drift of my blog, the name will make sense?  Thoughts?)

Something with mom in it would be okay – psalmmom.com or morningglorymom.com.  Better suggestions there are much encouraged, welcomed and appreciated ;)

morningpsalm.com
(this is along the lines of morning glory but I wouldn’t want the assumption that it is a daily devotional of psalms and that’s kind of the feel I get from the name. How about you?)

www.jenarmstrong.org
(though with so many awesome jen’s out there would this be overkill & confusing?)

psalm143-8.com
(I like this okay but would the hyphen be too awkward? Not girlie enough?)

Oh boy!  I feel like I’m naming a child – well, this will be my baby for years to come ;)  It would be much easier if I were using my maiden name which is hard to spell and pronounce, HA!

Please help a girl out!
Yours truly, 

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

Learning from Paul…

 For me personally, there has been no greater hero in the Bible than Paul.  Until recently, I didn’t know a lot about him but as I’ve learned more and more about him and followed his teachings in the Bible, I find myself drawn to him.  Perhaps it’s because in Paul, we see a villain turned hero or maybe it’s the simplicity that if God could forgive Paul, He can forgive me.

There is so much we can learn from Paul’s teachings but I think his story, his own testimony is his biggest teaching tool.  The story of Saul (Hebrew name), transformed to Paul (Greek name), is a story that gives all sinners hope for forgiveness and redemption.

Saul was quite possibly one of the worst sinners of the Bible if not the worst.  The story of his conversion is found in Acts 9.

Saul was a murderer.  He was filled with hate towards the followers of Jesus Christ.  Saul lived his life persecuting people because of what they believed, which was different from his beliefs.

When I first heard the story of Saul/Paul, I got all hung up on the name.  I later learned that Paul chose to use his greek name once he started sharing the gospel.  I suspect this was probably to somewhat pull away from the awful things he had done under the name Saul.  How many times would we have loved to change our name and start fresh?  Even though he went by the name Paul, he chose not to hide from his past, but to use it as a tool to give others hope.

Paul’s personal encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus changed his life (and mine).  When Jesus confronted Saul on the road, blinded him and later called for him, he opened the door for my forgiveness.  We are all sinners in a sinful world.  There were times in my life when I didn’t realize things I did were sins but there were many other times when I knew I was making bad choices or going against God’s word.  I didn’t grow up knowing scripture but I sure knew that sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach when I did something wrong or even before I made the choice to do it, that silent voice in my head saying “No, big mistake, don’t do it!”.  The sin was when I chose not to follow my gut instinct or ignore that silent voice.

As I read Paul’s story, about God’s desire to use him and how great his teachings were/are, I am reminded that God can use any of us.  If God can forgive Paul, surely he can forgive me?!  What a wonderful thought!

And not only can God forgive me, but he can use my story as an example to others, to teach them, to grow them, to lead them to a life everlasting, wrapped in His loving arms.  What greater blessing could I possibly have than to be able to share my own life in order to show others the power of God’s grace and redemption!

In the NIV Life Application Bible notes for 1 Timothy 1:15, it says Paul was not nearly as interested in creating an image as he was in being an example.  He did not hesitate to share his past, becasue he knew this failures would allow others to have hope.  At times we hesitate to share our past struggles with others because we are afraid it will tarnish our image.  Paul demonstrated that lowering our guard can be an important step in communicating the gospel.  People will not believe the gospel is important if they can’t see that it is crucial in your life.

That last part, “People will not believe the gospel is important if they can’t see that it is crucial in your life.”  is a big one.  If we are not living Christ-like, then what kind of example are we?  We can preach to others but if our actions are different than what we are preaching, will people really see God’s glory through us?

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

Lessons Learned…

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

I am not at all without sin.  In fact, I have had so much sin in my life that for most of it, I felt absolutely unworthy of any love from God.  I turned away from Him in shame.  I withheld prayers because I felt dirty.  I cried out to God in anger because I was angry with myself, for my own bad choices.  I blamed God for all the wrong in my life.  I spent years miserable, soaking in my own world of self pity.

I thank God every day now that HE has brought me out of my own world of darkness and into His light – He has forgiven me.  I thank Him for the beauty he puts before my eyes each and every day – beauty that for years, I couldn’t see.  I thank Him for the man He placed in my heart to love me and to share my life with.  I thank Him for the children whom He entrusts me with each day – even when they turn the house upside down, through the temper tantrums, the crumbs, the runny noses, the dirty diapers.

I thank Him for making the most unimaginable sacrifice anyone could make – saving me by allowing His own son, a man who did nothing wrong…ever, to suffer in tremendous pain, hanging on two slabs of wood, with metal shoved in his wrists, blood dripping from his brows, crying out “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34).

How could I not be thankful?  How did I go through so many years with anger and darkness in my heart, missing out on all the glorious things surrounding me?  How did I not wake up with His songs in my head and His words in my heart?  How did I survive and why did Jesus have to die?

I have spent the past year doing some deep thinking and lots of growing.  In that time, I have had to make some hard decisions.  I have had to step out of my comfort zone and follow God’s lead.  It’s a choice that took me too long to make but I am glad I did.  In doing that, I have met new people, grown closer to my heavenly father and learned new things about myself.  I am learning to trust myself.  I have learned that in all this life, the ones God places in your life, to love and to take care of are most important.  I have learned that living in His word, reading my Bible as much as possible and drowning myself in His glory is all I need to get me through each day.

I have learned that my life is headed in a direction I never imagined was possible.  I have dreams of all the ways God can use me.  I never thought God would use me – why would He? 

I was broken.
I was damaged.
I was dirty.
I was angry.
I was depressed.
I was suicidal.
I was lonely.
I was afraid.
I was worried.
I was ashamed.
I was sad.

All that time, I failed to add one thing to that list, the ONE thing that mattered…

I was HIS!  I was His daughter.  I was His creation.  I was His glory, His name, His word, His testimony …

I AM!  I am God’s princess – and I can glorify Him with my actions, my words, my story, my life.  I can choose to continue to grow and move forward, even when it means letting go.  I can choose to walk next to Him, trusting Him, even when my feelings are hesitant.  He has proven to me that I am worthy and that I am His!

I am thankful for He is what I need and He is my rock.  I have spent most of my life trying to fit in.  I’ve tried to fit into places that I was never going to fit in.  I was really just fooling myself, trying to believe that I had to be here or there or I had to do this or that.  I made bad choices and tried to impress the wrong people.  I lived an ungodly life.  I allowed myself to be hurt, putting myself in places and situations that I knew were wrong.  I turned my back on God and lived my life the way I wanted to.  I failed to let Him guide me.  I failed to let Him lead me.

I am following Him.
He is leading me.
I am thankful.
I am His.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.  Psalm 23:2-6

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com