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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!  

Nothing Is Impossible with God

                                           www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org

Have you seen this line of Scripture posted on refrigerator magnets, bumper stickers, coasters, wall art, or online? Is this one of your favorite verses? This Scripture can mean so much in a time when you need it the most. It’s actually one of my favorites! In this post, I want to dig a little deeper into its context. I think this will help you appreciate it even more for the season you’re in!

To gain a really good grasp of the power of this verse, let’s take a quick look at it in Scripture and then we’ll go from there. Luke 1:26-38 says...

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, ‘Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!’ Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. ‘Don’t be afraid Mary,’ the angel told her, ‘for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him a throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end!’ Mary asked the angel, ‘But how can this happen? I am a virgin.’ The angel replied, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and then power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.’ Mary responded, ‘I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.’ And then the angel left her.”

This is a loaded and powerful passage of Scripture! There’s so much empowerment through it. So let’s pull it apart to find the jewels that will help you grasp how God can do the impossible in your life for the benefit of you and others.

For starters, did you get the first part? I don’t know if you noticed it, but Mary was favored by God and was about to marry into a royal family! Her fiancé was a descendant of King David! What an honor and privilege. God is so amazing how He does things that just blows our minds and everyone else’s around us! Okay…let’s go on. ;-)

Mary was a VIRGIN who became pregnant with the Son of God, Jesus. Talk about what seemed humanly impossible! BUT GOD! He is so supernatural, sis.

Also, He gave provision. Our takeaway from this is to listen for the Holy Spirit’s direction, believe it, and follow His ordained steps. God will never give us purpose without provision. So look out for it through His Word, messengers, and His Spirit directly.

If you look at this passage even a little closer, the angel had to remind Mary of Elizabeth’s pregnancy (which seemed impossible because people knew she was barren). This reminder gave Mary more confidence to take the word of the Lord seriously and take it beyond her human reasoning. He literally had to show her that with God nothing was impossible.

Sometimes God will do that for us, today. He’ll show us what He did for someone else to reveal His supernatural ability for what He wants to do in our own lives. And even though we might not understand it, we just need to go with it. Remember what Mary said, “May everything you said about me come true.” And it did!

I say all of this to say, if God has told you in some supernatural way that He is going to do something that is completely beyond your understanding, yet so awesome at the same time, believe it! Because remember what He said in Isaiah 55:8, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” He will do things that are far beyond what your mind can imagine. In the end, it will be so much better than your own plans!

I hope and pray that this post has brought encouragement and enlightened you. Remember, whatever the Lord has told you will come to pass, sis. Also, keep in mind that there is nothing like His favor and again, He will never give you purpose without provision. So as Mary did, I encourage you to do also. Take Him at His word because, “Nothing is impossible with God.” Believe it!

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: Has God ever told you that you were going to do something that was beyond your understanding, sis? What is it? Also, if you need prayer, you can email me directly @ [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you and praying for 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 FINALLY available!!! Purchase here.

*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!

 


Finding Joy Through Hardship

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I’ll be the first to admit that maintaining your joy is not easy when life’s disappointments, tests and trials beat up against you. A part of you wants to go into isolation, be angry, depressed, and sad, but God doesn’t want us to go into those dark emotions. Instead, He wants us to renew our focus and trust Him for the overall outcome when we face hardships in life.

Most of us know that “joy” is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and it’s defined as a very glad feeling, a shout, triumph, cheerful, and a calm delight. I like that last definition – a calm delight. Because that's what we need when we're going through difficult and trying times. Now, what it doesn't mean is that you'll be smiling ear-to-ear or laughing when you hit a hard place in your life. Not at all. It just means that your mindset has to shift into a new gear.

In other words, a gear of having a better attitude and being thankful that no matter what, God is still faithful, sovereign, and loving. He is working things out for our good. It's also about keeping our eyes on Jesus. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

I would say endurance is a highlighting factor, here. Think about it. Without it, Jesus could have jumped off the cross and said, “I can’t do this. It hurts too bad! Father, I don’t know where you are. I’m done.” But instead, He endured the hardship. He didn’t give up. He didn’t allow the trial of His life to sidestep God’s plan for salvation. He focused on the purpose and the joy that awaited Him. He endured it and then it was finished. And thank God He pressed through the pain – for us.

I want to take a minute to share with you a few practical things that you can do to find joy in the midst of hardship...

  • Pray (cry, talk to God about what you're going through - He's listening)
  • Renew your mind (change your attitude - try to think about good things and what God could be doing through it)
  • Put on a pot of coffee or tea and read on joy, getting through trials, let God minister to you through His Word regarding your particular situation, and journal what's happening (pen your thoughts, prayers, and verses)
  • Call a friend to talk to and help you carry the heavy burden and then pray together
  • Do something that you enjoy to help take your mind off of the hardship as you wait on God to move in the situation
  • Look around and find something to be grateful for in the midst of it (1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "Give thanks in all things, for this is the will of God concerning you in Christ Jesus.")
  • Be intentional about finding joy
  • Trust Him

Listen sis, Scripture tells us to count it all joy when we fall into divers temptations (meaning various trials). That’s what the King James Version of James 1:2-4 says. Again, this doesn’t mean that you have to go around faking happiness. Because when hard things hit, it does hurt and sometimes you do have to cry, and sometimes you do wonder where is God in all of it. We are human. But what God is saying through this verse is that He wants us to see the bigger picture. He’s doing something greater – even though we can’t see it. And that is where the joy comes from.

He’s building character. He’s making you stronger. He’s increasing your faith. He’s maturing you. He’s building endurance for your good and for a later testimony.

So when things go wrong in your life or when your day just isn’t the best, choose to kick into another gear and say, “Lord, I need help down here. I need supernatural joy. I need help shifting my mindset.” Like I said earlier, I know it’s not easy. But don’t allow the situation to make you go crazy, act out of character, or cause you to lose faith, sis.

With that being said, I want to give you the verse in full from James 1:2-4. It states, “Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.”

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: Are you struggling to find joy today, sis? Are you going through a difficult situation right now? If you need prayer, you can email me directly @ [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you and praying for 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 FINALLY available!!! Purchase here.

*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!


Sexual Purity for Women

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I believe it’s time to have this discussion. I can honestly say that I haven’t written on this topic before in such depth, but I felt led to do so at this time. God knows why. So if you’re reading this right now (whenever you clicked onto this post), I believe that our good Lord has you on His mind and heart. He loves you and wants to deposit something to you in His own special and loving way. With that being said, let’s talk about sexual purity.

Whether you’re single or married, sex and sexual morality (or immorality) is something that comes up in the mind, conversations, Internet, social media, television, and even discussed in our churches. So I’m going to dig in a little deeper and talk about how to live a pure life in various situations from a very real and biblical perspective.

I want to start with a particular verse to help set the tone for this post. It’s 2 Timothy 2:21, “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.”

THIS is why this is so important. I know that you want to be a vessel that God can use in a mighty good way. And what I am going to share with you will help you to accomplish this with a clear conscience and a pure heart. So let’s tackle the mind first, because I believe that’s where the battle begins, especially as it relates to this topic.

If you’re thinking impure thoughts, quench them with the Word quickly. In other words, if you’re single and you’re thinking lustful thoughts about a guy in your mind or you’ve already gone to the bedroom in your mind - renew your thoughts (Romans 12:2). While it’s totally natural to be attracted to someone, God still wouldn’t want you fantasizing about him sexually, because that’s when it becomes an impure thought. Also, if you’re married and you’re thinking impure thoughts in any way, renew your mind with the Word as well. This will help you get back into the “clean/pure” zone (Philippians 4:8 – “think on things that are pure”).

Next, I want to tackle pornography. Whether you’ve watched it while you were young or struggling with it today (because women struggle too), allow God to purge you from it in every possible way. Don’t entertain it in your mind or actions. Fight it off with the Word of God. This will take intentional effort, renewing your mind, and self-control. The Holy Spirit can definitely help you. But this is such a choice when you find yourself being tempted again. This goes for single and married women. Remember, the goal here is to be sexually pure.

Also, whether you are at work or church, watch your relationships with the opposite sex. Being too friendly, is being just that – too friendly. Sometimes those giggly conversations can unintentionally become more than you ever intended, and then you find yourself in an emotional affair (or physical affair) if you’re married or in an unwanted relationship if you’re single. Now, I need to say this for single women – you can meet your potential husband at work or church. Totally realistic! My point here is to keep it clean in the sight of God. ;-)

SINGLE WOMEN – I want to say something as it relates to creating boundaries. Some believe in it and some don’t. No matter where you are on the subject, I hope and pray this will help in either case. Try not to be alone with a guy (i.e. his home or apartment), because this is when sex (see fornication in the Bible) can become a thing. You know what I mean. So keep it public vs. private. If you have any questions or need a little more advice on some things, you can email me directly at [email protected] and we’ll talk further. ;-)

NOW…you also have to guard yourself against the spirit of homosexuality. Yep! Reason being is because this is becoming a very common practice of our day, and we as Christian women are not exempt. Lust doesn’t have a face (figure of speech). Meaning, the enemy can manifest himself in whatever form he wants to get you to sin against God with your mind and body.

And since homosexuality is becoming more prevalent and promoted today, I want to share with you a very enlightening New Testament passage of Scripture found in 1 Corinthians 6:6-10, “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people-none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.” This is God’s Word.

But here’s the transformation side of things found in verse 11… “Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God.” *This is absolutely true. If you practiced any of this, including homosexuality and adultery, but repented, you were cleansed and made holy…so don’t go back to it. Stay clean. Stay free. (And if you’re struggling here now, salvation and deliverance is here for you today).

Lastly, I want to share with you a few Scriptures that I pray will help you live a sexually pure life as a Christian woman…

-      1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God.”

-      Ephesians 5:3, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”

-      Proverbs 6:27, “Can a man swoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?”

-      Matthew 5:28, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

-      Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”

-      Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

-      1 Corinthians 6:18-20, “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself. For God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

-      2 Timothy 2:22, “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

I hope this has helped, sis. Just know that wherever you are on this topic, help is just a prayer and Scripture verse away. Also, if you’re struggling or need an accountability partner to help you stay pure, pick up the phone, email or inbox someone that you know can be trusted in confidence. That could be a close friend, mentor, counselor, pastor’s wife, or godly woman who will give you sound, wise godly advice, and pray with and for you. You and I can live sexually pure lives, today. It just takes effort on our part with the help of the Holy Spirit. ;-)

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

~Courtnaye

QUESTION: Are you struggling in any of these areas today, sis? If you are or have a question, you can email me directly @ [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you and praying for 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 FINALLY available!!! Purchase here.

*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!