Author Archive for: Candimmarsh

About Candi Marsh

  • The heartbeat of society thrives on companionship and finding that special person. It is only evident in all the dating sites that has emerged in the past decade such as Match, ChristianMingle, eHarmony, and Ourtime to name but a few. It is clearly obvious that people are looking for love.  I too am single and […]

    5 Ways to Remain Pure in a Sexually Polluted World

    The heartbeat of society thrives on companionship and finding that special person. It is only evident in all the dating sites that has emerged in the past decade such as Match, ChristianMingle, eHarmony, and Ourtime to name but a few. It is clearly obvious that people are looking for love. 

    I too am single and waiting for love to find me. I do know that it will happen at the right time- God’s time. The question is, how do single men and women who value the sacredness of sex, maintain and uphold sexual integrity when the odds are stacked against us? From billboards, and magazines, to social media feeds and the movie screens, we are constantly being bombarded with the same message- sex, sex, and again I say SEX!  

    We have become so accustomed to seeing sex being portrayed in such trivial manner that the sacredness of such a beautiful act has become lost.  The concept of waiting until marriage to have sex is viewed as a mere joke.  When did purity and sexual integrity become so comical? It has even reached a point to where some people are even ashamed to say that they are a virgin.  Instead of being praised for such a commendable commitment they are being depicted as weird, or even an outcast for not conforming to the world’s standards and its’ views on sex.     

    So how do you stay pure in a sexually polluted world?  I have listed what I believe 5 ways in which you can:

    Have standards and keep them

    Society will continue to give us its standards on sex. You as a child of God must have your own standards and choose to stick to them.  If the standard is “I will not have sex until I get married” then that is the standard. If anyone tries to convince you to lower your standard, be strong and empowered enough to uphold it regardless.  Keeping your standards will not always be popular, and you may have to stand alone in the choices you make and that is okay. When you keep the standards you set for yourself it demonstrates that you have positive self-esteem and you care about yourself.

    Have and set clear boundaries

    Boundaries are specific and detailed guides to help you uphold your standards. If someone cannot accept your boundaries then you may want to evaluate if you’re in the right relationship. Having clear boundaries is simply communicating ‘this is how I would like to be treated if you would like to maintain a dating relationship with me.’ Examples of such boundaries could be not accepting calls or text after 10pm or  not kissing on the first date.

    Have accountability-

    Having accountability while dating is imperative.  As your relationship begin to progress and emotions get stronger, you may find it a challenge to keep your standards.  Find someone you can confide in and trust, who will pray with you, and not judge you but rather guide you on the right path. Finding an accountability partner is half the battle though. The key to effective accountability is honesty and transparency/ Pray and ask God who would be the best person that you can be open and honest with. 

     

    Have self-awareness

    Being self-aware is intentionally being mindful as to what you will allow to enter into your space. Be aware of the type of music you listen to, especially avoiding those with explicit lyrics. Also be aware of the type of shows and movies you elect to watch. Steer clear of those with a lot of profanity or nudity. Even books and magazines where the content is sexually potent should be avoided. Although you may think that it is harmless, these things can subconsciously impact your behaviors and actions. As the old saying goes, what goes in, will eventually come out.  Therefore, make it a point to strive to only have healthy and positive portrayals of love and companionship in your space.

    Have patience while you wait– Waiting on your mate can be difficult. Trust me I know what it’s like to start to notice that everyone who was once in your single circle is now married. Please do not allow this to discourage you or even encourage you to lower your standards by any means; that’s the easy way out. Plus, when you do that you will be disrespecting yourself and devaluing your self-worth just for a relationship. Even after you’ve lowered your standards, there is no guarantee that it will work out and in the end you’ll still be left in pain, heart ache, and disappointment. Therefore, commit to saving yourself some unnecessary emotional turmoil and wait of God’s best for you.

     

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  • Are you prideful? Do you struggle with not reaching your full potential in life and not sure why?  Do you struggle with creating and building lasting relationships with others?  Pride is defined as having or showing arrogance, superiority to, or disdain of those viewed as unworthy.  Being self-confident is one thing, but thinking you are […]

    Feeling Yourself a Bit Too Much? 3 Signs of Prideful Behavior

    Are you prideful? Do you struggle with not reaching your full potential in life and not sure why?  Do you struggle with creating and building lasting relationships with others? 
    Pride is defined as having or showing arrogance, superiority to, or disdain of those viewed as unworthy.  Being self-confident is one thing, but thinking you are better than someone is a sign of pride. 
    As Christians we must be mindful that pride does not get in our way.  We must not think of ourselves more highly than we are. (Romans 12:3) Even worse, pride is one of the most grotesque sins in the eyes of God. The root of pride is the very thing that got Lucifer kicked out of Heaven as he began to think that he was better than God.  

    Cocky Confidence 

    Cockiness is one of the first signs of pride. There is nothing wrong with having a good sense of self. It is important that you know and like who you are.  However, when that self-confidence turns into arrogance, watch out. Be cautious of this cocky behavior as it can rub people the wrong way. This type of attitude makes it difficult for you to build healthy relationships with others. No one wants to be around a person who is always gloating of themselves while making others around them feel less than.  
    When it comes to developing a good sense of self, you must find the balance.  That balance is Christ. You will then start to exhibit, what I like to call Godfidence. This means to have Christ centered confidence.  When your confidence is centered in Christ, there is no need to be cocky.  
    To build a Christ centered type of confidence you must have a relationship with God and understand what He says about you.  To develop a relationship with Him ask Him to come into your heart. Christ changes that cocky into Christlike confidence. 

    The Blamer

    Do you have trouble admitting when you are wrong? The second sign of pride is when a person does not take full responsibility for their own actions when a mistake is made. Instead they blame others. We all know that when you make a mistake and have to admit it, that can be ego bruising. Also, depending on how high the stakes are, it can most certainly damage your self-esteem. To avoid having a crushed ego, the easy solution is to blame something or someone for the mistake.  
    Choosing to play the blame game is not the answer.  That solution will take the focus off of you for a brief moment but if you do not address the real issue (your heart), you will continue to make mistakes, sometimes even the same mistakes over and over. 
    “Whoever hides his sin (mistake) will not succeed, but the one who admits his sin (mistake) will find mercy. Happy is the one who always respects the Lord, but the person who hardens his heart falls into misfortune.” (Proverbs 28:13-14 NIV) 
    Do not harden your heart by trying to cover up your mistakes and blaming others. When you make a mistake, step out of the pride zone and have the courage to say, “It was me, it was my fault and I am sorry.”  


    The “I Got This” Complex 

    The third sign of pride is the unwillingness to ask for help. The mindset which says, “I got this.” “I can do everything by myself.” or  “I do not need anyone’s help.”, all point to having a prideful mentality. A person who has this type of mentality views asking for help as a sign of weakness. Asking for help is a very vulnerable place to be in but you should never feel like you have to do it all. It is okay to ask for help, that’s why God is a God of community and family. 
    Further, do not be afraid to seek God for help. When things get difficult do not leave God out of the equation. It may appear easier to take matters into your own hands, but when you are relying solely on your strength, things start to get heavy, and the load becomes difficult to bear. To resolve this, invite God into your situations.  
    Philippians 4:13 states, I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. It is Christ’s strength that is perfected in all the areas where you feel weak. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength.  When you ask for help you have a strong sense of who you are you know what can handle.
    These are just some of the ways pride can manifest in our lives. If you find that you do indeed struggle with pride, first repent of all the ways you have let pride into your life. Proceed with asking God to give you his spirit of humility. From there, remember that prideful behavior starts in the heart and mind. When you start to get a prideful thought, don’t harbor on it too long. Instead cast it down immediately and start negating those thoughts with the truth, which is the word of God. 
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  • Happy Independence Day! For many in America the 4th of July is a much-appreciated day off from work to celebrate the Independence and birth of the United States as an independent state. The Fourth of July for me has always been a time filled with good company, good food, and a good time.  As we enjoy […]

    Happy Independence Day! 

    Happy Independence Day!
    For many in America the 4th of July is a much-appreciated day off from work to celebrate the Independence and birth of the United States as an independent state. The Fourth of July for me has always been a time filled with good company, good food, and a good time. 
    As we enjoy the barbecue and the beautiful fireworks, it’s hard not to ponder on the awe and wonder of freedom. What exactly does it mean to be independent?  Independence is having the autonomy or liberty to take care of your own needs and to assume responsibility for your decisions while considering both the people around you and your environment. 
    Let me describe it to you this way.  Do you remember when you got your first apartment or car? The sheer joy you had when you knew that you would be calling all the shots because you paid the rent or the car note. Nowadays we call it adulting. Independent means not being dependent on another person to take care of your responsibilities.   
    The fourth is a great time to rejoice in our natural and physical freedom, but what about our spiritual freedom? It can be hard to be truly free when our spirit is being held hostage by our bad habits and sins.  
    Think about it, have you ever found yourself asking these questions?
    -Why am I struggling to reach my full potential?
    -Why am I not able to accomplish the goals I set for myself?
    -Why am I still making the same mistakes, repeatedly?
    The reason you are not able to live up to your full potential may point to a heart issue.  If your heart is not right, nothing will ever be right! “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” -Galatians 5:1
    Slavery is a condition in which individuals are owned by another, who control where they live and work. Our bad habits have a tendency to enslave us and control our lives, dictating how far we will get in life. We are only as good as our worst bad habit. If you do not break free from your bad habits eventually you will find yourself feeling like, you are chained down, unable to move, just stuck! 
    It’s horrible knowing that you have all these wonderful gifts, but they are being held hostage by our bad habits. You do not have to remain stuck as mentioned in Galatians 5:1. Of course, this is often much easier said than done.
    Nonetheless what this verse tells me, is that we are in control of our independence; We have the power to make the decision to remain free. Christ already made you free, now you just need to stay free!  
    How do you stay free? 
    You will need to remove pride, and remain in a position of humility.  Humility is a posture you must have in your heart to keep your independence:
    -Instead of holding grudges against someone choose to show love.  Choosing to love means to not to treat a person any different based off the actions they have done to you.  You still make the choice to love them in spite of their actions. 
    -Instead of telling someone off seek to understand the other’s persons perspective.  When you seek to understand, you put yourself in a place of the bigger person, you are seeking to keep peace for the betterment of the relationship. When you understand each other you both can grow and learn from the miscommunication that may have occurred. 
    -Instead of secretly having joy in your heart, about someone else’s misfortune, demonstrate and show empathy.  You can do this by praying for that person. I am sure you know what it feels like to make a mistake, it is not the best feeling.  Knowing that someone was praying for you, I am sure was reassuring, what not extend the same love.
    Christ death on the cross resembles those fireworks that fill the night sky every fourth of July.  It was Christ blood that came cascading down the cross to not only set you free from your bad habits, but from
    The past
    Your mistakes
    Your addictions
    Your negative mindset
    Your hurt and pain
    Your fear, guilt and shame
    and your bad habits
     
    It was for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then and you do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1.   
    Happy Independence Day!
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  • God has promised us that He will do exceedingly, abundantly, and above all that we could ask or think(Ephesians 3:20). However, if your heart is not postured in the right position, you become the very person responsible for blocking your blessings.    You may be wondering how could you be blocking your blessings. Well, we […]

    Are You Blocking Your Blessings?

    God has promised us that He will do exceedingly, abundantly, and above all that we could ask or think(Ephesians 3:20). However, if your heart is not postured in the right position, you become the very person responsible for blocking your blessings.   
    You may be wondering how could you be blocking your blessings. Well, we can do this through pride and ungratefulness. The moment we forget to thank the person who provided us with the blessing, we put our heart in a posture that will block God’s ability to bless us.  When our heart is blocked, pride sets in and there comes this sense of entitlement that blessings are owed to us.
    Greed is yet another thing that can block your blessings. Greed is the inability to be satisfied. We can become ‘blessing gluttons’ who are always busy consuming more and more that we never take the time to stop and take in all that God has already given us.
    Not that we can ever deserve a blessing from God, but in order for us to be qualified for another blessing, we must resist the urge to be greedy, especially for the things this world will tempt us with; that is, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, (1 John 2:16).

     

    The Lust of the Flesh

    The lust of the flesh is the temptation to do something sinful that will bring physical pleasure to your flesh.
    For example, God blesses you with a relationship. You make the decision to have sex without being married. Sex outside the confines of marriage is a sin, and this may block God’s access to bless you with the deliverance, and peace you’ve been wanting.  
    God blesses you with a healthy friendship. You engage in gossip with others about those same friends. Speaking bad about others, will block God’s access to bless you.
    Outside of sex and gossiping, the lust of the eyes can manifest as use of illicit drugs, excessive drinking, violence, domestic abuse, and much more.

     

    Lust of the Eyes

    The lust of the eyes is coveting something that does not belong to you such as another’s car, house, appearance, or lifestyle. “Thou shall not covet” is one of the ten commandments.  When we desire or want what others have, this again means we are not satisfied with what God has already given us. We fall into the trap of thinking we need more, but the truth is you will never be satisfied if you have the lust of the eyes. Even if you do end up getting the very thing that you covet, you will still want something else.  

     

    The Pride of Life

    The pride of life involves the desires to get glory for something God did.   We must remember who is the one passing out the blessings. This goes back to having a heart of gratitude.  The moment we try to take the credit for something God did, we have blocked our future blessings.
    It also involves the desire to have a position of power over others in a way that puffs up our ego for the sake of bragging rights. There are some people who are moved by titles; they believe that those titles defines them as a person. Pride in titles such as doctor, lawyer, director, or even wife, can put us in a place of blocking our blessings. We can be thankful for the skills, and gifts that God has blessed us with but still remain humble.
    The desire to feel valued or more important than others around you is also a manifestation of the pride of life. This goes hand and hand with being in a power position, but takes it a step further saying that you need to receive special treatment because of the title you carry.  If you have this attitude or a sense of entitlement because of your title, this can block your blessings.
    In conclusion, being ungrateful and prideful can always block your blessings. God blesses to give us an opportunity to give Him thanks.  When we have a heart of gratitude and appreciation for all the things God has done, our hearts remain open and ready to receive the next blessing. God can bless us with many things, but the biggest blessing He gives is a changed heart.  Now it is your responsibility to keep your heart open to receive. Don’t block your blessing.
     
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