Blogs

When People Are Cold to You
Courtnaye Richard
Experiencing the Joy of the Lord
Christina Patterson
Encouraging the Encourager
Jennifer Maggio

About Courtnaye Richard

Courtnaye is a Christian blogger who loves writing to help women grow in their walk with the Lord. It's all about real talk, real issues, and real life in the faith! Don't miss out on her weekly posts every Monday at 7:30am on www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org. For more info or questions, you can visit Courtnaye’s website or contact her via email. Also be sure to "Like" her page on Facebook. God bless!  

Courtnaye Richard

Courtnaye Richard
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Courtnaye is a Christian blogger who loves writing to help women grow in their walk with the Lord. It's all about real talk, real issues, and real life in the faith! Don't miss out on her weekly posts every Monday at 7:30am on www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org. For more info or questions, you can visit Courtnaye’s website or contact her via email. Also be sure to "Like" her page on Facebook. God bless!  

When People Are Cold to You

                             www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org

Have you ever encountered a person who was just plain rude, mean, cold, or distant towards you and you didn’t quite know why? If so, how did you handle that type of behavior? Are you dealing with it now? If it's happened to you, know that you are totally not alone, sister! The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:9, “Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.”

That’s right! Suffering – because it doesn’t feel good at all. Yet, I want to tell you that there is a way that we can deal with individuals who do act in either of those ways. As Christian women, we can know how to respond well biblically, right now.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” Think about it. How many times have you gotten into a heated argument with someone in your household, a friend, someone behind the counter, in the drive-thru line, at work, or church for that matter and lost your temper? Have you ever been there before? Have you ever experienced a cold person? Furthermore, have their unkind actions caused you to respond improperly?

Well, I’ll tell you, I’ve been there. But this particular verse has really helped me over the years to deflect it. In other words, from a natural and biblical perspective, to deflect anger is to simply cause the other person to change direction, veer, to deviate or diverge by your gentle response. Because if you don’t deflect it (i.e. change the course of the encounter) and you begin to challenge the person with a tougher response, that’s when tempers flare, arguments break out, or you may say or do something that you never intended to say or do in the first place. So, the next time you find yourself dealing with a cold person, try being gentle, while not giving into the temptation to react negatively. In so many words, choose a gentle answer.

A practical way of dealing with individuals that may seem cold towards you for no apparent reason is to ask him or her, “Have I done anything wrong or offended you in any way?” Take the low, humble, clueless road. Or be overly kind. Go the extra mile to do the right thing. This will hopefully give them time to think about their negative actions. NOTE: Regardless to how they respond, you remain patient, forgiving, and choose to counter it with love and persistent humility.

I know that’s hard! Especially when you know deep down inside that you haven’t done this particular person anything wrong. Trust me, I get it, sis! Been there too!

BUT…consider how the Lord would want you to respond as His daughter (especially in a public setting). Also, think about the idea that maybe this person just has a lot on their mind. Or maybe they're dealing with a personal problem and you’re just the first person to take it out on. It’s usually deeper than what the natural eye can see.

So try not to take it personally. Instead, be concerned without being tempted by the enemy to cause additional strife or tension stemming from their cold attitude or demeanor. Try to keep in mind that we are responsible for our actions, not the other individual. Again, deflect it with a gentle answer. ;-)

Now, I want to talk to you about if someone is giving you the cold shoulder, because you have in fact said or done something wrong, hurtful, or offensive. In this case, their having a cold shoulder towards you may not be the right reaction, but they have a right to be upset. When this happens, choose to pray, repent, and apologize. Make amends. Restore and mend the broken pieces. The Bible tells us in Philippians 2:13-14, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Do everything without complaining and arguing.”

Lastly, we know that in the last days, the love of many will wax cold (see Matthew 24:12). People will just do mean, arrogant, hateful things plainly because they’re either in the world (not saved) or angry about everything. Unfortunately, these are our times. So whether it’s cold in the world, relationships, people we encounter who are just being mean or rude for no reason, or persecution - the Lord gives us His Word to help us.

For instance, love, gentleness, and humility. They are all great life-changing keys to freedom, peace, and right relationships! And if you go a bit deeper, these are all attributes of God and the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). In addition to these things, the Word of God lays out our biblical and proper response in Romans 12:17-18 saying, “Never pay back evil for more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”

It goes on to say in Romans 12:19-20, “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back, says the Lord. Instead, ‘If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.'” In other words, they will feel wrong for what they’ve done or said to you, because you’ve blessed them or been kind to them, instead of retaliating.

I think it’s safe to close this post with this verse in Romans 12:21 which says, “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” You can do this, sis. And so can I! ;-)

Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!

Resources: Here is a helpful resource this week. It’s entitled, “Mean Girls All Grown Up: Surviving Catty and Conniving Women.” Oh my, right! I KNOW! LOL! But it’s so real and helpful!!! Grab it today!

QUESTION: Have you experienced some mean, rude, or cold individuals in your life lately? If so, how have you dealt with them or how are you trying to deal with it now? If you need prayer on this issue, or anything for that fact, let me know by emailing me directly at [email protected] and I’ll join you in prayer. I look forward to hearing from you soon. God bless!

ALSO, my NEW 8-Week Study Guide and Video Teaching Series from my book, "IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ & Moving Forward in Your Purpose” is coming soon!!! Stay Tuned! 

                                        

*Tune in every Monday at 7:30am for new posts, “Like” my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/InsideOutWCourtnaye), and follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/InOutwCourtnaye. Also, share this blog with friends, family, co-workers, or your women’s group or ministry. I’d love to stay connected and help more women grow in the Lord! Thanks again and may God be with you!


Preparing For a Trial

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What a way to title a post, right? I mean, who wants to prepare to go through hardships in life? Who wants to deal with that? I get it, sis. Nobody does – including me. But the truth is…we will go through trials in this life. We were never promised a flowerbed of ease on this earth. Instead, Jesus prepared us in advance (before He ascended into heaven) in John 16:33 saying, “…Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Through Christ, we are overcomers. But He tells us first, to take heart.

The phrase “take heart” actually means “to be courageous; to regain one’s courage, to be comforted, of good cheer, and to be encouraged.” I don’t know about you, but that’s encouraging! When trials hit, you have to hit another gear – a spiritual one. You have to renew your mind (replace negative, discouraging thoughts) with the Word of God and encouragement. Remember, King David encouraged himself in the Lord. And so Jesus is telling you today to take heart, my sister.

God prepares us in various ways for the approaching storms of life. Think about it. For most natural storms, there’s a warning sound or news alert. With hurricanes, there are city officials who alert the city to evacuate before the storm hits. With tornadoes, the weather man will tell you where it’s about to hit next. Tsunamis usually sound an alarm. But earthquakes sort of happen more unexpectedly, at least to those who are just going about their regular day. Yet, geologists already know that something’s coming.

So here you have two situations happening. You have the awareness that something’s coming and you have the unexpected. That’s also how life’s trials strike. Sometimes we can sense that something’s about to happen by the Holy Spirit or God may send a prophetic word through someone or even prepare us through the Bible itself. But then there are the moments when you get a tragic phone call, devastating news, or something completely unexpected happens to you personally. How do you prepare for any of those times?

Get into the Word of God now.

Have a steady diet of God’s Word now. That way when life’s trials strike, you won’t say, “I can’t handle this!” Instead, no matter how hard the blow, you’ll hit that other gear and you will be able to handle it with God’s Word and with Him holding your hand through it all. Hold onto this powerful verse in Isaiah 41:10 which encourages, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” He’s got you. He will strengthen you.

I know this personally for myself, because God prepared me for one of the hardest seasons of my life. I kind of sensed that something hard was about to happen. I didn’t know what exactly. But I sensed something. And then the Lord told me so clearly one day, “I will strengthen you for what you are about to go through.” I knew it was Him. And sure enough…the trials struck me hard! My dad was diagnosed and unknowingly dying of Stage 4 lung cancer and on top of that, I was struck with one of the hardest trials in my personal life. Yet, God brought me through them both in His own way.

The Bible tells us this in Psalm 34:19, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them from them all.” Remember, in this world we will have trouble, but in the end, we are overcomers through Christ. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. So no matter what the afflictions look like in either of our lives, the Word holds true. Our job is to believe it and let God strengthen us. So let Him carry you through, sis. He’s a BIG God.

Here are a few practical, yet biblical nuggets. Gird up. Get into the Word of God. Find some verses that will help you when life gets hard (even before it gets hard). Pray. Talk to God when things are good and when things get tough. Keep in mind. You two have a relationship. So communicate with Him all the time.

Fast if you feel led to do so. Sacrifice a meal. Read up on this life-giving biblical practice. When trials were happening in the Old and New Testament, many called a fast. Remember Queen Esther. When her people were threatened to be annihilated, she called a fast for the Lord to save them. And He delivered them. God’s answers are always right…even when they’re hard answers or even hard to understand. It’s important to know that He’s a Sovereign God. And He loves us. Don’t ever forget these things, sis.

I pray that this post encourages you and helps you to prepare for the trials up ahead and the trial or trials that you may be experiencing right now. Be sensitive to God’s voice, His leading, and know that He is very near. He won’t forsake you. And ultimately, know that He has a plan in store for it all. He’s building your testimony, strengthening you as He strengthens others around you because of your faith, and making you more and more like Christ through the suffering and your response. Remember Jesus said, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.” Nothing happens by chance with God. Absolutely nothing. So be strengthened and encouraged in Him, today.

First Peter 1:6-7 says, “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” Hold on, sis and trust Him every step of the way. #byfaith

Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!

Resources: Here are a couple of resources that I want to recommend to you this week. One is entitled, “Trials” by June Hunt and the other is “Lord, Where Are You When Bad Things Happen?” by Kay Arthur. These are very powerful and life-changing books. They help put things into perspective.

QUESTION: Have you ever sensed that God was preparing you for a trial? If so, what was that like and how did He bring you through? Share your testimony here. Also, are you going through a trial right now? If so, I’d love to join you in prayer. You can email me directly at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you.

ALSO, my NEW 8-Week Study Guide and Video Teaching Series from my book, "IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ & Moving Forward in Your Purpose” is coming soon!!! Stay Tuned! 

 

*Tune in every Monday at 7:30am for new posts, “Like” my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/InsideOutWCourtnaye), and follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/InOutwCourtnaye. Also, share this blog with friends, family, co-workers, or your women’s group or ministry. I’d love to stay connected and help more women grow in the Lord! Thanks again and may God be with you!


Steps Toward Your Purpose

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I was recently a part of a women’s conference (She Will Conference), and one of my fellow sisters in Christ spoke on a lot of “P” words. It was truly awesome! And I say that to say, that even though this was not intended, I can’t help but have a bunch of “P” words coming out of me as I prepare to write this week’s blog post! LOL! So as you read this write-up, I can’t help but talk about the process of prayer, patience, persistence, and perseverance, as you take the necessary steps toward walking in your purpose successfully.

Personally, I know all about this, because I went through these steps and I’m still walking out a lot of them as I currently walk in my purpose. So I hope this piece helps you, because it’s definitely tried and true!

Now, let’s proceed…

Prayer – For starters, prayer will be essential before you step into your purpose. Reason being is because as you spend time in God’s presence, talking and listening to Him, that’s where He can reveal what it is that He wants to do in your life and for the season you’re in and moving toward. So talk to Him. Ask questions. And listen for His leading. First John 5:14-15 says, “And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him (according to his will –KJV). And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.” (NLT)

Also, I want to say that if you don’t know your purpose yet, again, pray and ask. And in due time, I believe that He will reveal it to you. But if you do know your purpose, then understand that it will be a step by step process of prayer and movement. However, in most cases, before you step into your purpose, it will take patience for it all to come together and come into fruition.

Patience – Before you step into your purpose it will take patience. Patience in spiritual growth, patience in experience and trials, patience in moving in God’s perfect timing, and patience in waiting for His clear direction for each step forward. This is usually NOT an easy process, because we typically want it all NOW! We are truly a microwave generation. But God doesn’t work that way. Often times, He takes His time. He’s not in a rush. And as His daughters, we shouldn’t be either.

God is working and when it’s time to do what He has predestined you to do, it will be perfect and you will be completely ready to move to do His good work and finish the assignments that He gives to you. Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (NLT) He’s got you all the way covered, sis! So be patient, because He will bring it all to pass.

Persistence - Now, as you begin to move forward into God’s perfect timing to walk in your purpose, it will take persistence to get the job done! In other words, when you're tired, you'll need to find the endurance and when you get stuck and don’t know what to do, you’ll need to pray and ask for wisdom. The Holy Spirit will lead, guide, and strengthen you. Just follow His divine provision and follow His lead step by step. Just don’t give up in the process. God has called you for such a time as this…so trust Him to guide you to get what He wants done through you. Stay persistent and do what 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immoveable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” (NLT)

Perseverance – Press! Endure unto the end. Don’t stop! Complete the assignments that God gives you, sis. It will not always be easy to do what God is requiring of you. Some assignments will be easier than others. On the flip side, some assignments will be harder than others. Either way, with God nothing is impossible (see Matthew 19:26). Second Thessalonians 3:13 encourages, “…dear brothers and sisters never get tired of doing good.”

Where are you as it relates to steps toward your purpose, sis? Are you there yet? Are you walking in it? How’s it going either way? Are you praying, patient when God calls you to be patient, persistent under trial or hardship, and persevering no matter what? Another “P” I might add is preparation. Walking in your purpose takes preparation. Are you preparing yourself in every way to walk in it successfully?

As I prepare to close this post, I have to say that walking in your purpose can look like a lot of different things. It can look like divine assignments or a specific calling. But it can also be roles that you play in life. Meaning, if you are a mother, that’s purpose. If you’re a wife, that’s purpose. If you’re a single or married woman doing amazing things in work and ministry, that’s purpose. If you’re a boss or leader, that’s purpose. If you’re a volunteer, that’s purpose. The point here is that whatever God’s purpose or will is for your life, the key to success is following Him step by step in every way.

Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!

~Courtnaye

QUESTION: Need prayer today, sis? If so, you can email me directly at [email protected] Talk to you soon.

ALSO, my NEW 8-Week Study Guide and Video Teaching Series from my book, "IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ & Moving Forward in Your Purpose” is coming soon!!! Stay Tuned!  

 

*Tune in every Monday at 7:30am for new posts, “Like” my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/InsideOutWCourtnaye), and follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/InOutwCourtnaye. Also, share this blog with friends, family, co-workers, or your women’s group or ministry. I’d love to stay connected and help more women grow in the Lord! Thanks again and may God be with you!