A Beautiful Testimony

A Beautiful Testimony

A Beautiful Testimony

By Toni Weisz/Spiritual Disciplines

Scriptures: Ruth 1:15-18 and James 4:6-8a,10

And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more (Ruth 1:15-18).

Even in Naomi’s suffering, she was a powerful testimony to her two daughters-in-law who were living with her. So much so that Ruth left her family and all she knew and followed Naomi and embraced her God. To suffer well is not an easy thing to do, especially when we are plagued with prolonged suffering, hardship, and pain. We cry out to God and ask, “Lord, why is this trial lasting so long? What am I supposed to be learning from this? Please help me to endure.”

I know several of you are in a season of prolonged hardship, grief, difficult family situations, pain, physical challenges, and depression. It makes my heart sad to see you suffer so. But I know that our God never wastes our pain. He uses it for a specific purpose, which could be for salvation, or to make us aware of a blind spot, or to expose an unconfessed sin, or spiritual warfare, and/or a combination of several things, or the fact that we live in a fallen world and these human bodies are slowly breaking down.

I know in prolonged seasons of suffering; I have learned some very valuable truths about God that I would not have if I were healthy and strong and able to do my daily routine.

In your season of prolonged trials, what is God showing you?

Others are watching how you handle adversity.

For one of our dear sisters, her prolonged trials are leading her husband to seek the Lord. Praise Jesus for that.

While in this season, how has God used you to share the gospel with others or to pray for others or to receive help from others (which is sometimes hard to do)?

A humble and teachable spirit is of great value in the sight of God.

God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up (James 4: 6-8a and 10).

When we keep our eyes focused on God, I believe suffering can conform us to the image of Jesus. We can reflect His beauty, love, forgiveness and compassion to the world around us. When we have a humble, teachable spirit and we are seeking God with our whole heart, God can do amazing things in and through us. I believe this is what Naomi did, and as a result of her suffering well and seeking God with her whole heart, God turned her ashes of grief, sorrow, and despair and turned them into great joy. Ruth married Boaz and conceived a child who would be the grandfather to King David. Naomi’s life had been redeemed by God. She felt so blessed and cared for by God, and I pray that you too will experience that joy again.

Questions to take to heart:

  1. What is God showing you during this time of prolonged suffering?
  2. How can we come alongside you to help you endure this very difficult season?
  3. How has God used your trials to minister to another person?
  4. How can we pray for you?

I pray this topic has been helpful for you. If you need to talk just text or email me at: toni@myashestobeauty.com.

You are loved,
Toni

Covering Up My Sins

Covering Up My Sins

Covering Up My Sins

by Toni Weisz/Spiritual Disciplines

Scriptures: Genesis 3:6-9 and 21, Numbers 32:23, 1 John 2:2, 2 Corinthians 5:10, and Revelation 20:15

 

Genesis 3:6-9
So, when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; and they sewed fig lives together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

Genesis 3:21
Unto Adam also and to his wife the Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them.

Numbers 32:23
But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.

1 John 2:2
And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

My marriage did not start out on a solid foundation. I married my husband, first, because I felt a bond with him because we aborted our first child, Joseph, 43 years ago, and second, because we were living in sin and I was about to graduate from college and that meant my parents would be visiting me in Ohio for the first time on my graduation. I was frantically trying to figure out, “How am I going to hide this from them?”

Seven weeks before my sister was to be married, she broke off her engagement. It turns out her fiancé was a heavy drinker and had physically assaulted her. I had no idea that was going on, but I didn’t even console my sister, when I think back at that. I was very self-absorbed. I was living in sin and doing the devil’s bidding, and that made me a very selfish individual. I was obsessed with keeping that perfect mask on and making sure my sin would not be found out.

So, I devised a plan, “What if I took her place? That might work. The wedding is in August, and I graduate in December, so the timing will be perfect.”

I saw red flags. He was too controlling and manipulative, but he took care of my physical needs, so I decided to go forward with my plan.

A few days before the wedding, I was at my parent’s house, and I was vacuuming my brother’s room. The only window in his room was a small hexagonal window on top of the west wall. I was thinking to myself and saying a prayer of sorts; I didn’t know the Lord then, so I only cried out to Him in times of desperation. “Am I doing the right thing marrying John?” All of a sudden, the sun shone in through that little window on me, and I could feel the sun’s rays on my face. And I felt a calming in my spirit, and I said to myself, “OK, I guess that means yes.” So, I went through with it.

I was like Adam and Eve in the garden. I too was hiding from God, and I tried to cover up my numerous sins by rushing in and getting married and then thinking to myself, “That takes care of that; I am all good.”

No. it doesn’t work like that. I was covering up my sin with more sin. Just like when Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together to cover their nakedness (their sins), it didn’t work either. Only God through the blood of Jesus can cover our sins. Anything else is a counterfeit.

Are there sins in your life that you are trying to cover up too with more sin? Or are you medicating to numb yourself so you don’t feel anything? Or are you pretending your sins do not exist?

One day, your sins will find you out. They will all be exposed. Just when we think we can get away with something, God shines His light into our darkened souls, and he exposes our faulty misguided ways to deal with our sin.

The only way our sins can truly be covered is by trusting in Jesus and receiving the gift of salvation that God freely offers all of us. God killed animals to cover Adam and Eve’s sin. When we put our faith and trust in Jesus, His blood covers our sins.

If you have never asked Jesus to forgive your sins and be your Lord and Savior, then there is still time. Please, if God is convicting you right now, don’t delay. Please reach out to me, toni@myashestobeauty.com.

You are loved,

Toni

P.S. For those of you who know Jesus, what are you doing to share the gospel in your part of the world with your sphere of influence? Time is short. Please reach out if you need help with that.

The Woman Jesus Healed

The Woman Jesus Healed

The Women Jesus Healed

by Toni Weisz/Spiritual Disciplines

Scripture References: Matthew 27:55-56, Matthew 28:1-7, John 19:25, Luke 8:2, Luke 8:44-50, and John 20:14-16

When I think back at how revolutionary Jesus was towards women in that day, I find it so amazing how they were permitted to travel and minister to Him and the disciples. Women during that time were treated like a piece of property with no rights, but Jesus changed that. They all felt valued and respected and were vital to the work He was doing.

In Luke Chapter 8, Mary Magdalene is described as a woman who was healed of evil spirits and infirmities, out of whom went 7 devils. Can you imagine for a moment the torment of a life she had? I wonder how many pregnancies she terminated? And how badly she was used and abused?

Mary was present for the most pivotal parts of Jesus’ life; she was at his crucifixion and burial. She was also at the tomb and saw the angels, and they spoke to her. She also met the Lord Jesus when He was resurrected and thought He was the gardener.

I love her conversation with Him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”

She said, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and recognized Him.

How sweet that Jesus appeared to her of all people, the woman with the horrible, troubled, and tormented past. What an incredible honor. When Jesus completely heals our lives and gives us a new purpose and values and loves us, then our natural response would be similar to hers. We belong for the first time in our lives.

Jesus speaks these words about a woman in the city who was a sinner, who washes His feet with her tears and wipes them with her hair and puts expensive ointment on his feet and kisses them. All those who observed this shameful display were horrified because she was a woman, probably a prostitute.

Luke 8:44-50
Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon,
“Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

 

We love Jesus so much because of the many sins He has forgiven us of. We want to share that same love with other women who are still being tormented by the evil one.

Questions to take to heart:

  1. How has your life been impacted by Jesus?
  2. How do you serve Him because of what He has done for you?
  3. How are you sharing your testimony so others can hear the “Good News”?
  4. How can we encourage you today?

If you too want to be healed by Jesus, the first step is receiving Him as your Lord and Savior. Please listen to the audio story below where I share Bible verses that will help you understand God’s Salvation plan for you. God loves you more than you can imagine. Will you give Him a chance? He is patiently waiting for you to cry out to Him.

If you want to know more about what it means to be Born-Again, then please reach out. We are here for you. Feel free to email me at: toni@myashestobeauty.com

You are loved,

Toni

A Sinner Saved by Grace by Toni Weisz audio gospel tract cover 600x600

A SINNER SAVED BY GRACE

by Toni Weisz | My Audio Gospel Tract (Click Here to Listen)

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Has God Covered Your Sins?

Has God Covered Your Sins?

Has God Covered Your Sins?

by Toni Weisz/Recovery Tools

Scripture References: Genesis 3:6-21, Psalm 85:2, Psalm 32:1, and James 5:16

Genesis 3: 7-9 and 21
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees in the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” Also, for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

Hebrews 9:22b
And without the shedding of blood is no remission.

Psalm 85:2
You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people;
You have covered all their sin.

Psalm 32:1
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

James 5:16
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one to another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

It’s interesting when we read the verses in Genesis 3 how Adam and Eve tried to cover up their (nakedness) sins by sewing fig leaves together, but they were still in their sin. They were still hiding from God. Only God can forgive sin and remove it from us. It wasn’t until God sacrificed an animal and blood was shed, a foreshadowing of the precious blood of Jesus shed for us to cover our sins, that their nakedness was covered. This is the first time in Scripture that an animal is killed for a sacrifice for sin.

I tried everything to cover my sins on my own, but that never worked because I was covering up my sins with more sins. I had created this huge web of secrets and lies, and I found myself getting more and more tangled in them. I didn’t know how to break free of this. Without Christ, it was impossible. But when I received Jesus as my Lord in 1994, I had the Holy Spirit to help me to have victory over sin and this destructive pattern.

It wasn’t until I surrendered to God and asked Him to forgive all my sins that my sins were covered. This is an ongoing process for the rest of our lives. As God reveals truth in areas we were once blinded in, we have awareness, and with that comes responsibility.

“What is my part, Lord? Show me what I need to do to make things right.”

Confessing sin to one another, apologizing for things we have said or done, and always asking God to show us our sins and shortcomings are all part of the ongoing process. We are always responsible to do the right thing regardless of what someone else does to provoke us.

In Step 4 of the 12 Steps of AA, we are to make a search and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. The next, Step 5, is to admit to God, ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)

God wants us to go to Him about all our sins that the Holy Spirit convicts us of. It’s not a blanket prayer for the rest of our lives, e.g., “O God forgive my sins.” He wants us to mention each one to Him. He wants us to be broken over our sins and to turn away from them. He has so much He wants to show us.

Are you willing to sit at His feet and put everything else in your busy life on hold while He ministers His grace, peace, and love upon you?

Take some time right now. Come, Holy Spirit, and show each of us areas that we need to work on, ways we have fallen short and have disappointed You and hurt others. Help us, Lord, to be clean vessels ready for Your use.

What has God reveled to you? Write it down.

Our sanctification is a lifelong process. God wants us to bring everything into the light that the Holy Spirit reveals to us. “Show me, Lord Jesus, areas I have sinned against You and another person.” He wants us healed in all areas of our life, and this is a process that takes sometimes decades. We must be patient and kind to ourselves, especially those of us with abuse in our past.

Questions to take to heart:

  1. What did God reveal to you today?
  2. What area(s) in your life has God showed you that you need to address, change, apologize for, or repent from?
  3. Do you have an accountability partner that can help you in these areas?
  4. How can we pray for you?

Please know it takes hard work to heal from trauma, and not many people do it because it hurts sometimes. But the hurt will subside as God reveals even more truth and He fills you with His love and peace.

Lord, strengthen these women to step out and trust You. We ask You to heal all their wounds. In the powerful name of Jesus, we pray, amen.

You are loved,
Toni

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Leaving Things Behind

Leaving Things Behind

Leaving Things Behind

by Luci Boudreaux/Abuse Recovery

Scriptures: Philippians 3:12-17 and 2 Corinthians 5:17

Philippians 3:12-17 “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.”

2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

 

From the time I was a young girl until the age of 25 when I surrendered my life to Jesus, I had established so many ungodly behavior patterns and unhealthy thinking (which led to unhealthy coping mechanisms) that I was having difficulty becoming the woman of God I knew He wanted me to be. I knew I was delivered from eternal damnation. But what about living an abundant life now?

I was unsure of myself, always secondguessing myself, very insecure and filled with painful memories, which made me angry and frustrated. It affected my relationship with the Lord and others. I knew what the Bible taught me; that Jesus loves me and cast away my sins as far as the east is to the west.

Just as 2 Corinthians 5:17 declares, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

I wanted to believe God’s promises were for me, but I knew who I had been, the things I had done. My faith and hope were weak, and the enemy was working hard to steal my hope for a better life. I was fearful to step out and trust God in all areas of my life that needed to be dealt with before I could move forward.

But one thing was constant and strong in my heart. And that is, I wanted to be healed and whole. I worked at it by spending time in God’s Word, in community with other believers, playing uplifting music, and listening to godly teachers who lived like they believed.

But I continued to struggle. I couldn’t understand why I was still stuck in this place and continuing to return to my old ways of thinking and doing.

Does this resonate with any of you?

You go to church, read God’s Word, listen to worship music, but it doesn’t seem to be moving you forward in your faith or healing. Perhaps you are holding onto that one thing that is weighing you down. Is it possible that pride is preventing you from dealing with it or asking for help?

At this point, I sought out ministries and two specific women counselors that understood my broken past and what it felt like to have no self-worth. I’m thankful that they had the courage to ask some hard questions that caused me to face my distorted thinking. These women saw beyond my pain to what God had for me. They taught me to understand my position in Christ and that I was a new creation; I no longer needed to revisit my past for the sake of condemning myself.

I learned how to recognize that the painful events of my past do not define me, nor do they have the power to control how I live my life today. I learned that healthy boundaries are important and that I have the power to use these experiences to forgive, which allows me to heal and help others in their journey. So, my past no longer has a hold on me; I now use it to glorify God!

I am a very different woman today. I embrace the truth that I am a daughter of the Most High and that I don’t need to fear anything in this world or in the spiritual realm! I am a warrior, an ambassador, who God promises to equip for every situation in my life so that I may walk in victory and display His character.

As Paul said in Philippians Chapter 3, we haven’t “arrived,” but we are focused on moving forward, towards the goal of becoming more like Jesus. In view of this, I see every situation that comes into my life as an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to teach me how to live out my faith. He allows situations (positive and negative), so, I submit to them, knowing it’s for His glory and my ultimate holiness.

God is doing a spiritually renewing work in each of us. And my desire is that we all draw closer to His heart. One of the spiritually powerful things in my life is spending time with like-minded believers who I can encourage and be encouraged by. It’s important for us to pay close attention and seek out those who walk in the way of Christ. Follow their example; you will become like those you spend the majority of your time with.

I encourage you all to use the issues we discuss in our conference calls to propel you into a better place. Don’t settle for less than God’s best for you! We can experience the abundant life here and now! But it takes a lot of courage to change!

Questions to Consider:

  1. Are you allowing your past to hinder you from moving forward in your healing journey?
  1. What is preventing you from embracing what God is calling you to?
  1. How may we pray for you?

We are here to help you in your journey. Please reach out if you need to talk. You can email me at: overcomer982@icloud.com.

Your friend,
Luci

 

 

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