You matter. You matter to many who love you. You matter to your family, friends, and community. You matter to God. He created you because He loves you and delights in you! You are important to Him. Your life is valuable. Always remember: keep going and do your best! No matter what you are going through, hang on. You matter!
Love is patient. It does not get annoyed. It is not anxious. It endures for the sake of the greater good and higher pursuit within love.
Praying for you as we celebrate the greatest love of all, the love of Jesus Christ our Savior, this Holy Week.
“Be still and know I am God.” Psalm 46:10
The Lord will fight for you. You need only be still. (Exodus 14;14). The Lord wants us to take time to be still and rest in His glorious, loving presence. He is bigger than anything you are going through today. May the strength of His love, peace and presence be your comfort today.
Here is a song I wrote with this in mind. May it bless you with His peace, strength and love today!
Be Still – Music and lyrics by Mandy Seymour.
Music and Lyrics by Mandy Seymour
Be still and know I am God
I will be exalted over all the nations
I will be exalted over all the earth
I am your refuge and your strength
So do not fear when heavy waters are crashing down on you
They won’t overcome you. I will carry you
I will never leave you or forsake you
I uphold you with my hand
I am the one who made you
I am the great I am
So don’t think for a moment I don’t know what you’re going through
Just seek my face and I will carry you
Be still and know I am God
I will see you through
I’m the beginning in the end
Walking beside you
Mandy Seymour + Deeper Love Music. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.
Deeper Love International connects people and communities to love God, self and others more deeply with the compelling love of Jesus Christ. We are devoted to building up one another in faith, hope and love. We desire to live in Christ’s love in every area of our lives – personally, publicly, in our families, communities and the world.
“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
One day when I was 17, my phone rang and I answered it to find a man and woman on the other line. “Hi. We are calling you because you filled out the modeling agency form at the mall and we have selected you to participate in our modeling agency,” the woman said. “We just want to get a few more details from you.” She asked me for my name, address, phone number, and other contact details. Then the man said, “What’s your hair and eye color? Okay. Now we need to get your sizes. What’s your dress size? Your shoe size? And your bra size.” I answered their questions. But I hesitated to answer the last one. “We are asking for the swimsuit modeling,” they said. So I told them. “GREAT! You are EXACTLY what we are looking for!” the man said. I was flattered and excited at the thought they had selected me for modeling. But I also had a slightly creeped-out feeling about the whole thing. I felt that something was not quite right about it. But I was not sure what it was. “We will call you back in a few days with further details,” they said.
A few days later, the phone rang. This time, only the man called. “Hi. This is Robert,” he said. “I have been thinking about you and how beautiful you sound. We need you to meet us at the hotel with the other contestants. Can you come meet us this afternoon?” I told him no. Something didn’t feel right about it (but I didn’t tell him that).
He called back the next day, “You sound so beautiful. Will you come meet me at a hotel? Just come meet me. I know you are 17, but no one will ever know.” At that point, I told him no and requested that he not call again.
He called a few more times. Each time he called, I became more adamant. I went from “I cannot meet you. Please do not call me again,” to “I WILL NOT meet you. DO NOT call me again,” to “DO NOT EVER CALL ME AGAIN. EVER!!!” Finally, he stopped calling.
When I began to study human trafficking, I came to understand more about what was going on with the modeling opportunity. Here is how it works:
Human trafficking recruiters place “Enter to Win” boxes in the mall which solicit participation in a modeling opportunity. They then contact people who fill out the forms and have similar conversations to the one the man and woman had with me. When the individual goes to the hotel, to their surprise and detriment, they are lured into a human trafficking scheme. The recruiters promise them fortune, fame and fun and then they gradually ensnare them into a dark underworld of human trafficking where they are threatened, coerced, and/or forced to work for little to no pay in the sex trafficking industry.
That happened 22 years ago. However, the same human trafficking scam/scheme is still happening today. In years since, I have heard from other girls ages 16-22 that they, too, have received similar calls with similar requests. In other words, human traffickers were luring young women into human trafficking then and they are still using the same methods today! Why? Because they must be working on some women. Otherwise, they would have stopped using them.
This is why education and prevention of human trafficking schemes is so important.
Read more on modeling and human trafficking here:
“Modeling Website Linked To Disappearances, Rape, and Human Trafficking” ABC 17 News http://www.abc17news.com/news/crime/modeling-website-linked-to-disappearances-rape-and-human-trafficking_20160823075525915/53416783
Let the deep love of Jesus Christ draw you closer to Him.
I said a prayer for you today that you would let the deep love of Jesus Christ draw you closer to Him. We invest our time, attention and resources in all kinds of ways and with all kinds of people in our daily lives. Yet no time is more precious and valuable than our time spent in prayer, Bible reading, and enjoying the presence of Jesus The Christ, our beloved Lord. He loves you so very much. I want to encourage you to take a few moments to let the deep love of Jesus Christ draw you closer to Him. If you’d like, you can just pray and ask Him, “Jesus, please draw me closer to You and let me know Your deep love. In Your name I pray.”
Many years ago, the apostle Paul prayed a prayer for the Christians in Ephesus, Turkey. I, and many other Christians in America are praying this same prayer for you today. Here is our prayer for you. It is from the letter to the Ephesians, chapter 3 verses 8-21.
8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a]in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
My prayer for you today: I pray you would let the deep love of Jesus Christ draw you closer to Him and those you love would also be drawn to Jesus through His deep love as well. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. ~Hebrews 10:23
A moment to breathe and she left. Only by the power and covering of the Spirit could she go. A baby on her hip, she quickly packed the car and went. The enemy had already come to steal and destroy. She was not going to let him kill.
She sped away from the abuse and into the loving arms of her parents. As her mom embraced her, she could feel the rapid decay of her presence as alcohol was taking the last sip of life from her mother. Within a year she was gone.
A single mom, facing a road of legal fights, financial struggles, loneliness and countless twists and turns, she had no idea what would come next. But with each step, she chose to live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
As her friend, how could I hold her hand tightly enough to fill it with a love that would fill the holes of betrayal and loss?
“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty. ~Zechariah 4:6
Nine years of chronic pain finally got a name – actually several names and none with a cure. The relief of finally knowing what was happening to her body was swallowed by the fact that it was not going away. It could stay the same. It could get worse. Too young to have her body betray her and too busy as a mom and wife to be slowed down, this was her new reality.
She literally had to give in to this body. She would push it to its limits, but she had to submit to the fact that strength could only be gained by acknowledging weakness. Humbled yet hopeful. Prayerful through pain.
As her friend, how could I hold her hand tightly enough to fill it with a love stronger than the pain surging through her body?
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” ~2 Corinthians 12:9
The older sister who always protected her baby brother just heard the words that he only had months left of his life. She knew she couldn’t protect him any longer. She knew God was in control. She knew it would take a miracle…and that anything was possible. She knew she had to set up doctors appointments and walk through chemo and be loving and not allow fear to rule and trust God and be an example of Christ through this trial…
But how? How would she get through watching her brother slip away? How would she face a future without new memories with him? How would she believe God was going to turn this into something good? How could she know her faith and yet feel numb to her faith? She grasped for God’s peace and any inkling of His presence.
As her friend, how could I hold her hand tightly enough to fill it with a love stronger than the heartbreak of her brother’s diagnosis?
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28
As I held their hands, a friend at a loss for words and knowing I had nothing to offer, I felt love pouring back into my hand. I felt God’s love in their faith, in their struggles, in their questions, in their moments of doubt and in moments of silence.
As I held their hands, I learned that it’s okay to share verses when it seems redundant, because God’s word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). His truths are not simply inspirational quotes.
I also learned through holding their hands that it’s okay to be angry, be searching, to question and to not have any answers or words that will make things better. God is in the middle of the flames (Daniel 3:23) and there is power in prayer. Prayer together and prayer in private. Prayers that are silent and prayers that are spoken by the Spirit. There is power and healing and strength and love in the name of Jesus.
There is none like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might. ~Jeremiah 10:6
You keep track of all my sorrow. You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book. ~Psalm 56:8
Never stop praying. ~1 Thessalonians 5:17
Source: Hope-fully Devoted