Bachelor Believers

IMG_9688.JPG

Bachelor Nation is big, and it gets bigger with each new season…but long before we (Bachelors/Bachelorettes) were cast into the Bachelor Family, many of us were born into something bigger. And better. Something eternal and perfect, where love is unconditional, and everyone gets a rose.

Many of us have been born into the body of Christ.

Every believer has that one scripture that he/she turns to as a reminder of God’s grace, mercy, and promises to His children. And in this post, some of your favorite members of the Bachelor Family (past and present, contestants and fans) have volunteered to share theirs in an effort to spread a little faith, hope and love through Christ’s Word.

Shawntel (Newton) Poidmore
The Bachelor – Season 15

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to The Lord.”
– Philippians 4:6

This Bible verse had been very special to me for many years now.

I can be a very anxious person sometimes. I tend to try and “fix” all my worldly problems on my own (don’t we all). I allow my stress to take over and affect my attitude, relationships and prayer time.

Phil. 4:6 is the perfect reminder for us to not allow worldly stressors to take control. God is in control!!! We need to catch ourselves before we get too anxious and immediately start praying. God can handle anything, and He knows what’s best for us!

Raichel Goodyear-Suarez
The Bachelor – Season 15

Esthetician/Manscaper
Manager/Supervisor at Family Business
http://www.furaccents.com

My favorite verse is
Isaiah 26:3-4

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you. Because he trusts in you.
Trust in the lord forever for the lord God is an everlasting rock.”

I love his verse because I tend to battle sometimes with doubts/ “what ifs” and anxiety. This reminds me to keep my mind and eyes on Him and to trust in Him.

I do not know where I’d be or who is be without Jesus but I know it wouldn’t be somewhere or someone good.

I rely on the lord every single day and I am so excited to raise my newborn to know that Jesus is lord and He died for us and so we love for Him!!

Monica Murray (Spannbauer)
Season 16 – The Bachelor (Ben Flanik)
Occupation/Business: National Speaker/Consultant and Author

Psalms 46:10
“Be still, and know that I am God…”

This scripture inspires me because…so many times I forget that there is someone out there watching over me. When life seems to crumble around me or the stress meter spikes…I have to remind myself to “let it go”, like in the Frozen way ;)

Being “still” is a very difficult thing for someone with passion, drive, and independence. This verse reminds me to take a deep breath and just be still. Don’t act, definitely don’t react, and know that some things are just out of your control. The only thing to do in situations like this is be STILL.

Joshua Albers
Season 11 – The Bachelorette
Industrial Welder

“Believe in him with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Trust in him and he will make your path straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

This is my Mom’s “go to” verse ever since she got sick and was going through treatments (Hodgkins Lymphoma).
It began helping me as well.

Josh Seiter
The Bachelorette – Season 11
Chicago, IL
Professional Dancer

My favorite scripture is:

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil…” (Psalms 23:4)

It just speaks to the trials and tribulations I’ve encountered in my life and provides a semblance of peace when I’m going through these struggles.

Emily Coffelt Evans
Bachelor Superfan

My favorite scripture is:

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
– Ecclesiastes 3:11

It’s my favorite because I can relate to it an insane amount.

I mean, I’ve been through some horrible things… but EVERY TIME when I need it the most, the most magical and PERFECT thing happens to make me smile the biggest smile EVER & everything seams perfect in the world, it NEVER fails!!!!

I’m living proof that every time there’s bad,there’s Always SO much more good!!!!

Many times I want to give up or feel like why do I have to live this horrible life of all people?! But when I read this I realize This will soon be over & I can choose to accept that it will not last forever.

I choose happiness & always turn to this when I need a reminder that this will soon be over & the most wonderful thing is on the way!!!

Never ever EVER give up no better how ridiculously hard things get. TRUST ME I know!!!!

Sarah Elayne Willoughby
Bachelor Superfan

My favorite scripture is:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
– Philippians 4:13

It helps me to know I can handle it with my nieces and nephew picks on me.

I’ve been so blessed by reading these testimonies! Thanks to everyone who felt led to share your heart and your faith.

After all…that is what our journey is all about, right? Taking any opportunity God gives us and using it to build His Kingdom. His Nation.

Just think of the impact Bachelor Nation could have on this world if all it’s members decided to join hands and build it together…

We would love it if you’d leave your life-verse and testimony in a comment! A little inspiration goes a long way!

Hoping to have more Bachelor Believer posts in the future!

Until then… Be blessed in the Name of Jesus!

My Momma Raised Me

There’s not a string of words known to Webster, or any other man, that could justifiably express how blessed I am to be my Mother’s daughter. And to be the granddaughter of Mimmy and Mamaw Helen.

I can confidently say, “I was raised right.”

I wrote this song in honor of my Mother…without whom I’d be lost.
6ft under.
Gone long and long gone.

My Momma didn’t just raise me… She RAISED me…

Thank you, Momma, for raising me, even when I didn’t want you to. I love you.

“Raised”

I was raised better than to cuss
Better than to love too little
Or kiss too much

I was raised better than to hate
Better than to speak too soon
Or move too late

And I was raised this way
Because He was raised from the grave

He was raised
To show the world He was who He said He was
He was raised
So the grave wouldn’t hold me down
He didn’t die so I could die in sin
But so I could live shame-free
And He was raised
So I could be raised the way
My Mamma raised me

I was raised better than to fight
Better than to think two wrongs
Ever made things right

I was raised better than to judge
And see’ns how ornery I am
I thank God I was

And I was raised to pray
To Jesus Christ
Who gave His life
So I could be saved

Then He was raised
To show the world He was who He said He was
He was raised
So the grave wouldn’t hold me down
He didn’t die so I could die in sin
But so I could live shame-free
And He was raised
So I could be raised the way
My Mamma raised me

I’m Single, BUT

“Single”

It’s like a disease in some parts of where I’m from. Especially during wedding season.

Don’t get to close, ya might catch’et! God forbid!

The fact is – people get married young ’round here. If you’re a single girl over 25, you’re an “old maid.” And the single guys over 27 are individually labeled as “that creepy, single dude.”

But not all “mature” single people are weird Mamma’s boys or spoiled divas. Furthermore, there are actually singles out there who aren’t extremely promiscuous OR hyper-obsessed with getting married.

The really funny thing is – single people are often the most judgmental of other single people. Myself included.

This makes pursuing other singles and dating awkward, and the experience is often over-analyzed.

So…

I’ve written this post with all us single folks over 25/27 in mind. I have many single friends, and we’ve all agreed that there are some “single stereotypes” that aren’t true for us or the vast majority of mature single people.

If this is true for you, say amen!

I’m single BUT…

1. I don’t hate my life

In fact, most of us single people are probably more content with ourselves and our lives than we ever have been – with or without a significant other.

We’ve had “me” time to grow and mature as a person. Maybe checked some items off the bucket list. And we’ve had the opportunity to focus on being successful in our careers.

Life as a single person hasn’t sucked.

2. I don’t go around saying “I LOVE being SINGLE”

A) Because, though we don’t hate the single life, we can’t honestly say we “love” it, either. We’re grateful for God’s timing, but not obsessed with being single. I mean…most of us want to get married before we’re 40.

B) Because we’re not in high school, and we don’t try to make other singles want us by pretending to be unattainable.

3. I’d love to settle down, BUT I’m not desperate

Speaking for myself, I was much more “desperate” to be with someone back when I was “with” someone all the time.

As I mentioned, earlier, we single people are quite skeptical of other singles. And we’re typically much less likely to commit to the wrong person now that we’ve gone through pheromone detox.

If anything, we should probably be a bit more open-minded (myself included).

4. I’m open to dating, BUT I’m not “looking” for my spouse

Though this isn’t the case for all mature singles, it is the case for most.

We’ve taken the world’s advice – “It’ll happen when you least expect it.” – quite seriously.

After all…looking and not finding seems like a wasted effort.

That’s why a lot of us don’t “date” much. We don’t want to go lookin’ cause then everybody we know will broadcast that we’re lookin’, and that’s just embarrassing.

5. I’m not asexual, BUT I don’t sleep around…

…secretly hoping this “hook-up” is “the one.”

Many mature singles know that it’s not logical or healthy to believe “hook-ups” are equivalent to glass slippers.

And many also avoid promiscuity so that their reputation isn’t tainted to the point that a “good” girl/guy would turn down a date because of it.

Then, of course… Some aren’t promiscuous for other reasons.

6. I love Jesus, BUT I’m not an overly-religious prude

Some single people have made vows of sexual abstinence (or other vows pertaining to physical intimacy).

Often times, single people who have not necessarily made similar decisions find such vows intimidating. Or simply unappealing.

But just because a person wants to save “it” for the honeymoon doesn’t mean they’re unaffectionate or uptight. That is simply a common misconception.

All humans desire physical intimacy. Some are just “all in” quicker than others.

7. I don’t worry about being single forever

Not all single folk mope around because they have lost hope!
Many of us remain positive and self-satisfied in the meantime.

8. I don’t mind going out alone

The single species can be seen hangin’ out happily in many environments.

There may be some singles that would rather stay home than attend a wedding solo, but most of us embrace opportunities to mingle with (potentially) other singles.
Seeing couples dance, kiss and flirt doesn’t bother us. We just look forward to the day we can dance, kiss and flirt with someone.

Don’t think asking us to be a third, fifth or seventh wheel is going to depress us. It won’t.

9. I am excited to experience relationship milestones with the right person, BUT I’m not jealous of engagements or marriages

We may joke around by saying “Her ring is ugly, anyway,” or “They’ll just be another bad statistic,” or “How did SHE get engaged before I did?” But we don’t mean it.

We’re joking.

We know our happy moment will probably come come after out friends have all been divorced a few times anyway… It’s all good.

10. I’m not a feminist, or a male-schovenist, BUT I’m not incompetent

Personally…I can change a light bulb. I can carry my own groceries. I can run a mower just fine. I assemble clothing racks and shelves and other random necessities using my own tool kit. I know how to change a tire and use a plunger. And I have a Dad and a Papaw just a hop, skip and a jump away for anything I haven’t taught myself how to do (like change the oil).

I’m not saying we wouldn’t love to have a man around to fill our gas tank every now and then…but we make it without major disasters.

Male singles aren’t any less competent. Guys can cook, clean, stitch buttons and iron clothes.

Swear.

So there ya have it! 10 “single stereotypes” that we shouldn’t assign to ALL mature singles.

I’m sure I left several out. So feel free to add your own!

Smooth Talk? Pick-Up Lines? REALLY? There’s a Scripture For THAT?

IMG_8402

Some may say that The Bible is a terrible place to look for “pick-up lines” or romantic terms of endearment.

To those unlearned folks, I simply say…

Have ya read The Song of Solomon?!

Yes…Believe it or not…

There’s a Scripture For THAT! 

I have compiled a list of my favorite lines (scriptures, if you will) from this book… some of which are nearly too steamy to read! I almost didn’t believe I was reading The Bible!

All my single ladies and dudes (and those who are newly married for MUCH of this intimate content) – take proper notes and, of course, ENJOY!

(Taken from Song of Songs in the New Living Translation – because, in this book’s case, NLT is a bit more blatant than KJV)

1:9 You are as exciting, my darling, as a mare among Pharaoh’s stallions.
(NEIGGGGH!! WINNIEEE!! Giddy Up!!)

1:13 My lover is like a sachet of myrrh lying between my breasts.
(This is a female-spoken line, FYI…in case you couldn’t figure that out to start with)

2:2 Like a lily among thistles is my darling among young women.
(I actually love this – blush blush!)

2:3 Like the finest apple tree in the orchard is my lover among other young men. I sit in his delightful shade and taste his delicious fruit.
(He’s clearly tall…and he feeds her. Sounds like a good man to me!)

3:11 Come out to see King Solomon, young women of Jerusalem. He wears the crown his mother gave him on his wedding day, his most joyous day.
(Wedding Day = Most Joyous #HowItShouldBe)

4:1 You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words. Your eyes are like doves behind your veil. Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead.
(I mean…I’d swoon)

4:5 Your breasts are like two fawns, twin fawns of a gazelle grazing among the lilies.
(This is one of those Honeymoon lines, fellas. And, clearly, it’s a must-say)

4:9 You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace.
(Note-To-Self: wear more necklaces)

4:12 You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain.
4:13 Your thighs shelter a paradise of pomegranates with rare spices— henna with nard
(Hey, Ashley S! Pomegranates!)

4:16 Awake, north wind! Rise up, south wind! Blow on my garden and spread its fragrance all around. Come into your garden, my love; taste its finest fruits.
(Not sure how to interpret this one…any takers? #Nah)

5:10 My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others!
(Remember, girls. Men like praise, too! & white lies aren’t really lies…)

5:14 His arms are like rounded bars of gold, set with beryl. His body is like bright ivory, glowing with lapis lazuli.
5:15 His legs are like marble pillars set in sockets of finest gold. His posture is stately, like the noble cedars of Lebanon.
5:16 His mouth is sweetness itself; he is desirable in every way. Such, O women of Jerusalem, is my lover, my friend.
(On a serious note, these lines are on fleet!)

6:7 Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates behind your veil.
(Pomegranates again! I have a whole new respect for Ashley S! She really DID know what she was doing!)

7:1 How beautiful are your sandaled feet, O queenly maiden. Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a skilled craftsman.
7:2 Your navel is perfectly formed like a goblet filled with mixed wine. Between your thighs lies a mound of wheat bordered with lilies.
(Sad news to those with outies, huh? And in reference to the wheat mounds and lilies…I got nothin,’ again…)

7:3 Your breasts are like two fawns, twin fawns of a gazelle.
(Here he goes with the fawny breasts talk again! Somehow, I doubt those can be “bought.”)

7:6 Oh, how beautiful you are! How pleasing, my love, how full of delights!
7:7 You are slender like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters of fruit.
(Anybody know a good palm-tree-figure workout/diet?)

7:8 I said, “I will climb the palm tree and take hold of its fruit.” May your breasts be like grape clusters, and the fragrance of your breath like apples.
(Note-To-Self: Bring bubble wrap & JuicyFruit Chewing Gum on the Honeymoon)

7:10 I am my lover’s, and he claims me as his own.
(Swoon!)

7:11 Come, my love, let us go out to the fields and spend the night among the wildflowers.
(Someone should write this into a country song, right?!)

To close – we end with two lines that truly embody “romantic love.”

8:6 Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame.
8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.

I don’t know about you, but this book had me at: “Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats.”

If ya need a little help on how to be smooth & have a way with words…yeah…there’s actually a scripture (more like several) for THAT!

There’s A Scripture For That! What About Fake Ministers???

IMG_8214.JPG

This is the first of several devotionals that I will be posting called:
There’s a Scripture for That!
(You know…sorta like “there’s an app for that?!”)

My Premier Topic:

Fake Ministers

How do you handle a situation where you feel like a minister is ministering not because he/she is called to do so or because he/she truly wants to reach lost souls, but because they want to be seen? Because they want to feel important and needed? Because they want to prove how much better they are than another minister? Because they want to make money? Because they thrive on attention and holding a position of authority?

Guess what?
There’s a scripture for that!

In the first chapter of Philippians, Paul confirms the fact that there are (and always have been) people who preach/minister “for the wrong reasons.”

“And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:14-17 KJV)

So what does Paul have to say about those who have such vain and egocentric motives behind delivering the gospel to the multitudes? Should we shut them up? Sit them down? Rip off their masks and reveal to the world (and anyone on Social Media) just how big of a phony they are?

That’s how we usually handle posers, right? Because it eats at us that a person could have the nerve to embody such hypocrisy!

They must be stopped!

Well…that’s not what Paul says…

“What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, (Philippians 1:18-19 KJV)

“Rejoice!” Paul says. Because despite their motives, the gospel is being spread.

Don’t call them out. Don’t murmur to other members of the congregation. And for YOUR OWN sake – don’t allow the circumstances to consume your spirit with bitterness and resentment.

Pray, instead, than someone receives a the message. That someone gives their life over to Jesus because of that “poser’s” choice to share the gospel.

After all… Nobody’s perfect! And the ultimate goal is to bring souls to Christ!

This is just one of many tough situations we will come across in life. But I can promise you that no matter what your question or circumstance is – There’s a Scripture for That, too!

Don’t Lump Jesus With Phil Robertson

Wisdom from above sounds nothing like the speech that was delivered by Phil Robertson this past Friday at a prayer breakfast.

If I weren’t a Christian… If I had never known truth, never gone to church, never read a scripture, never been taught about Jesus… I can honestly say that I would despise Christians after reading what such a well-respected, influential, vastly-supported, highly-praised man of God spoke in the name of Jesus. And since I would associate Jesus with this man, I’d probably despise Him, too.

I’m writing this because I’m sick of sitting back and allowing other believers ruin MY witness as a Christian.

I refuse to be considered as one of “them.” A person whose words impose hate & despise onto the hearts of anyone who hears or reads them.

Of course, Phil would see this differently, but God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for living the type of evil, wicked lifestyle that is both imagined and expressed by Phil Robertson vocally and proudly. The scenario painted on Friday was, in fact, much more graphic and offensive than the story of Sodom and Gomorrah itself. If you don’t believe me, go read it.

And the Bible explicitly tells us that what we think on and what we speak defines who we are.

If this is the case, then what is the definition of a man who would think and speak such terrible, degrading things about another human? Another soul?

I want the world to know that I have never fantasized about torturing anyone who believes differently than I do. Instead, (through Jesus) I seek to bless and encourage everyone I meet. No matter their lifestyle or belief.

It doesn’t matter how many Christians “get it.” If lost souls don’t “get it” and are pushed even further away from Christ because of “it”, then what has been gained? The hoots and hollers of camo-wearin believers?

Hot Dog & Hallalujah! We’ve done scooted another soul off a golden pew in the clouds!

I could ramble on about Phil Robertson’s speech and never say everything I’d like to say.

So I will keep it brief.

Jesus did not inspire those words.

And I beg the world to spare Jesus from being associated with the foolishness spoken on Friday by “Duck Dynasty’s” – Phil Robertson.

That Time I Prayed For A Robber…

IMG_5479

A little over a year ago, some nice folks broke into my house and stole over $8,000 worth of stuff.

Among the items stolen were several pieces of jewelry (most were sentimental), a Wii System, an iPod, an iPad and my MacBook Pro.

I’d lived alone for six years and never even entertained the thought that such a thing would ever happen to me.

But it did.

Now what?

This is not a sad story about how Kara Grey Wilson endured a heartbreaking loss, yet stayed positive and strong in the faith despite the fact that her home was violated and her most prized possessions were stolen. No…

This story is not about me.

This is a testament to the unspeakable awesomeness of Jesus Christ.

He is the only one who can turn an unspeakable act into an unspeakable gift.

“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.”
– Romans 12: 9-14 (KJV)

IMG_7242

As I said earlier – nothing like this had ever happened to me. So I didn’t really know how to feel.

The robbery happened a few days before Thanksgiving; it was safe to assume the kind folks who stole my stuff made a desperate (and successful) attempt to accumulate some holiday funds…and possibly even gifts. For their family. For their children.

This realization made me sad. And even though I was technically and literally the victim of thievery… even though I had done nothing wrong… I felt guilty.

Did I hate that my stuff was stolen? Of course. But not as much as I hated knowing that someone resorted to stealing – potentially because of holiday pressures we all experience. Some, however, much more than others.

I am in the “others” category. Always have been. My family may not have always had the best of everything, but my parents provided my sister and me with the best they could give. And most of the time, we were indeed given the best – according to my small town’s standards, especially.

Even when we lived in a single-wide trailer out Jock Rd. and rode around in a beat-up minivan, I got teased for being a “rich kid.” That bothered me even at a young age because I could see the longing in my classmates’ eyes, and I could feel the resentment toward me in their hearts. I always wished they knew how I felt for them. I’d even try to make up for it by sharing my crayons or complimenting their outfits.

But I didn’t understand then that their hurt ran so much deeper than coveting my name-brand snacks and sneakers.

I never could bring myself to curse them – those who weren’t nearly as fortunate as I was. And evidently I hadn’t changed much over the course of twenty years, because no part of me wanted to have bitter feelings for my thieves.

So I didn’t.

There was nothing I could do to get my stuff back. That job was out of my hands and in those of the city police. Basically, mourning my loss would be pointless, and the guilt I felt made me feel like it would be petty to do so, anyway.

So I didn’t.

I’d recently gotten on a “I’m going to do what the Bible says to do when I’m not sure how to respond” kick, so I decided to step out in faith and bless my robbers. After all – what else could I do?

My prayer was very specific, and a little strange. But it was what I felt at the time, so I went with it:

Dear Lord, bless the hearts and minds of those who stole from me. I pray that, next time, they turn to You. AND…I pray that somewhere out there, a little boy or girl who never would’ve dreamed of getting an iPad for Christmas will be the recipient of my stolen iPad on Christmas morning. I pray that the gift brings them joy. An excitement like they’ve never known. And I pray that it instills in them a hope for their future – no matter how pitiful their childhood has been or is. Lastly, I pray that they somehow know that the joy they feel is Your Spirit, Lord. I pray that this crime is used to introduce a young child to Your unspeakable love. An unspeakable gift. I pray these things in the Name of Jesus.

I’ll never REALLY know what comes of this prayer, I thought. But I was fine with that. I knew I served a merciful God who could do whatever He wanted. And I had full faith that He would honor my prayer in whatever way He saw fit.

Almost exactly a year passed… And I received a very unexpected message.

A friend of mine had just purchased a MacBook Pro from a local Pawn Shop, and he/she suspected it was mine. The one that had been stolen from me a year earlier.

He/she said my information was still present when he/she tried to set up his/her e-mail account.

I was first shocked. Then excited!

I had forgotten about my special prayer, and I was selfishly interested in figuring out how I could regain possession of the laptop. MY laptop that happened to be worth a LOT of money. I knew it wasn’t my friend’s fault, and I hated that my friend may end up getting the sore end of a deal… but it WAS, after all, MY laptop! God was showing up for me, right?

I told my friend some of the other items that had been stolen from me in case he/she had seen something similar in the pawn shop. Maybe I can find those, too!

“The people who had the laptop before me wiped most everything. BUT…there are a couple of pictures on here. Of the previous owners and their kids it looks like.”

And just like that, my prayer came back to me. A knot formed in my throat.

No way… This isn’t about me getting my stuff back, is it?

 

“Can you tell anything about the family from the pictures?”

“In one picture left on here, there is a little boy playing a game on an iPad…”

 

Oh. My. God. You did it, God! You really did it!

 

“and based on the living conditions I can see, it doesn’t look like they could have afforded a computer and an iPad...”

THIS is the God I serve. He ALWAYS answers prayers! And His gifts…they truly are unspeakable.

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
– 1 John 5: 14-15 (KJV)