Author Archive for: Candimmarsh

About Candi Marsh

  • As the culture changes, so do its standards and its values. A typical romantic evening has been reduced down to a Netflix’s & chill vibe, lust is the new “love,” marriage is losing its value while the other woman, or better known as the “side-chick”, is being glorified and glamorized.   It is no wonder why […]

    REAL LOVE PURSUES

    As the culture changes, so do its standards and its values. A typical romantic evening has been reduced down to a Netflix’s & chill vibe, lust is the new “love,” marriage is losing its value while the other woman, or better known as the “side-chick”, is being glorified and glamorized.   It is no wonder why it is hard for so many singles to find love. The key thing to remember is real love will find you if you let it.

    Love and the idea of love is something that has always fascinated me.  Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year and not because it is my birthday either (well maybe a little). I am truly a hopeless romantic; movies like the Titanic and the Notebook are high on my list.  I love a good love story and always have been enamored when married couples share how they first met and when they fell in love.  

    However, before you or anyone else for that matter can be found by love, you first need to know who and what “Real Love” is. Let me start by saying what love is not:

    Love is not a feeling or a strong overwhelming emotion

    Love is not flowers, candy, and a beautiful card

    Love is not jewelry or an expensive gift.

    Love is not a romantic dinner

    Love is not a trip to a beautiful island

    Love is not a beautiful poem

    This is where having a hopeless romantic attitude can be deceptive if you are not too careful.   All of those things that love is not, aren’t necessarily bad things. Those are all actually wonderful things. I am sure anyone would want someone to give them those things as an act to demonstrate or profess their love, but that is not love.

    Love can be tricky. If you look to external factors to define love, you will always be dependent on someone else to validate love for you.  Same is true with physical attraction.  When it comes to love, lust can easily be confused with love.  Now attraction is an essential factor to have in any relationship, but that should not be the only factor.  This is how you can tell the difference between love and lust.  Lust never wants to wait while love is willing to wait. I know this was an issue for me. My logic was if a person was attracted to me physically that equaled love. However, that was low self-esteem. Further, when I couldn’t find it in a man, I took to masturbation in order to grasp that affection that I longed for. I put myself in these compromising situations to find love, only to be left with the feelings of guilt, shame, and regret. This cycle and patterned continued to where masturbation became my vice.My vice was separating me from God.

    God wants us to have a relationship with Him. However, we are not able to actively pursue love, if there is sin in your life. What is your vice? Is it lying, cheating, stealing unforgiveness, hatred toward others, pride, envy, laziness.  Be sure to identify your vice and lay it aside. Your vice can be the very weight that is hindering you from pursuing an intimate relationship with Christ. God tells us to lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily separates you from real love. When you lay aside your vice and pursue God you will come to discover that love is already actively pursuing you.  This is when I learned the real meaning of love.

    Allow me to share what love is from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

    Love is patient

    Love is kind

    Love is content (not envious)

    Love is quiet (not boastful or loud)

    Love is humble (not proud)

    Love honors others (rather than dishonor)

    Love is giving (rather than self-seeking)

    Love is patience (not easily angered)

    Love keeps no record of wrong

    Love delights in truth and not evil

    Love always protects, trusts, and hopes

    Love never fails

    Real love will be patient enough to wait for you and kind enough not to put you to shame! Christ is love and He has pursued us through HIs death for our sins in order for us to have a relationship with him.  

    Now, talk about a bomb love story! Real love pursues.

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  • Are you good at following rules or do you like to break them?  Rules, for some, are difficult to follow because they can appear to be restraining.  Most people would prefer to do whatever they want. In the natural, when someone refuses to follow the traffic rules (i.e. run a red light) it would be […]

    The Great Benefits of Obedience To God

    Are you good at following rules or do you like to break them?  Rules, for some, are difficult to follow because they can appear to be restraining.  Most people would prefer to do whatever they want. In the natural, when someone refuses to follow the traffic rules (i.e. run a red light) it would be considered “breaking the law”.  Appropriate consequences such as a suspended license or a traffic ticket may follow.

    What if you were to look at the concept of rules from a spiritual vantage point?  If you refuse to follow God’s rules (or Commandments)  you are walking in what is called disobedience. There are some people who refuse to obey God’s commands.  The mere idea of following God’s word seems to be overbearing, a straight up fun snatcher, or just plain ole boring.   

    It is imperative to know that anytime you disobey God to do your own thing you leave yourself open, vulnerable, and defenseless.  Following “the rules” may appear to be restrictive, however, if you read Psalms 119 you will learn that obeying God’s commands produce the exact opposite results.

    When you choose to operate in obedience you will receive 3 main benefits:

    Protection

    Freedom

    Peace

    Protection

    One of the first main benefits you obtain when you choose to obey God’s word is His unfailing protection.  Psalms 119:114 says, “You are my hiding place and my shield: I hope in your word.” The author of Psalms was David and he understood the key to obtain God’s protection is obeying His word. Similar to a parent-child relationship, God will do anything to keep His children safe. It is any parent’s hope that the wisdom they instill in their children will be obeyed and their child will make the right decisions by taking heed to their advice, especially when there is some perceived danger.  For example, a parent might tell their child don’t run across the street, touch the hot stove, or go to that party. The reason the parent communicates these things to their child is because the parent is well aware of the consequences that may arise if the child does not listen to them.

    In case you forgot, God has a vested interest in keeping you safe. He will do anything for you to make sure you remain under the shadow of his protection. He has already committed the ultimate sacrifice of dying on the cross to prove his love. Don’t ever think for a moment that God is not going to protect His investment, but the only way to remain safe is if you listen to what He tells you. He does not speak just to be heard; he speaks to be obeyed and with the hopes that His children (you and me) will make the right decision and listen to Him.  God expects us to heed His instructions not to punish us, but to take it as a warning because he loves us and does not want to see us hurt. This revelation gives new light to the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17.These commandments were not established to restrict you but protect you.

    The best way to remain under God’s protection is to do the following:

    1. Read the bible daily.  Study and learn God commands.

     

    2. Obey His commands intentionally.

     

    3. Remind yourself that each word God speaks is out of love and protection for you, not out of restriction and punishment.

    Freedom 

    The second benefit of obedience is freedom.  Psalms 119:95-96 states, “the wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies. I have not seen a limit to all perfection but your commandment is exceedingly broad.” Again, David understood that if he did not obey God’s word he would be left vulnerable to attacks of the enemy (in his mind, physical body, finances, emotions etc). Therefore, taking heed to God’s word was critical and resulted in freedom.  The last two words, exceedingly broad, does not sound restrictive or confining at all.  Instead, they mean limitless or with endless possibilities. This means when you make the intentional decision to trust God at His word, you are liberated. The trick of the enemy is to lie and plant seeds of doubts that obeying God’s word will create enslavement. The truth is when you disobey the voice of the Lord and His righteousness you become a slave to the enemy and his unrighteousness.  Paul, the author of the book of Romans, wrote in Romans 6:16, “Do you know that if you present yourself to anyone as obedient slaves you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death or of obedience which leads to righteousness?” He then goes on to state in Romans 6:22, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end eternal life.” Simply put, disobedience leads to death while obedience leads to eternal life. Just remember it was for freedom that Christ died on the cross. He did his part but it is up to us to make sure that we stay free and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law nor to sin. The only way you can walk and live in complete freedom is by listening and obeying what God tells you and by Trusting in Him.

    The best way to remain in freedom is to do the following:

    1. Cut out people, places, or things in your life that keeps you bound.

     

    2. Renounce to the lie of the enemy when he tries to plant seeds of doubt and unbelief of God word

     

    3. Consistently obey God no matter what.

    Peace

    The third and final benefit of obedience is peace.  Psalms 119: 165 states, “Great peace have those who love your law, nothing can make them stumble.”  This means peace is contingent upon obeying God’s word.  The moment you stray away from His word you will find yourself in chaos and confusion. Have you ever experienced a time when you had to make a tough decision but something about it did not seem right? You kept wrestling over it, thinking about it in your mind, but for some reason, you could not get any peace?  

    The best way to maintain your peace in God is to do the following:

    1. Pray and ask God to give you guidance on what you should do

     

    2. Look for scriptures in the bible that may be a point of reference on how to make the right decision

     

    3. Rest in God’s word and believe that whatever He said will reap the best results from your decision

    Obeying God’s word does more good than harm. Don’t allow the enemy or the standards of the world to deceive you into believing that there is a better, faster, or more exciting way of doing things if it is not aligned to the word of God. Just like with the traffic rules, following the laws may not give you the most instant gratification, nor may it get you to your destination the quickest, however, you will be protected and have peace knowing you are doing the right thing and don’t have to be anxious about consequences.

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  • Author Candi M. Marsh Fear is an overwhelming emotion caused by the belief that something bad is going to happen that will cause pain or harm. Fear may seem like a difficult giant to overcome, but in reality, fear is just an emotion and it is your responsibility to choose how you will respond to […]

    Conquering The Spirit of Fear

    Author Candi M. Marsh

    Fear is an overwhelming emotion caused by the belief that something bad is going to happen that will cause pain or harm. Fear may seem like a difficult giant to overcome, but in reality, fear is just an emotion and it is your responsibility to choose how you will respond to it. If you make the choice to give into the emotion of fear and accept it as truth, you may allow fear to control you, or even worst immobilize you from walking in your spiritual gifts and calling (starting that ministry, writing that book, or launching your business etc). This is why it is important that you conquer fear head-on.

    Of course fear can be a difficult emotion to overcome but nonetheless, God already has given you the recipe to overcome it and that is through the gift of faith. As stated in Hosea 4:6, a lot of Christians are destroyed due to the lack of knowledge. Similarly, it is due to the lack of knowledge of where fear comes from and the tools needed to defeat it, which makes overcoming it so difficult.  

    You must remember when you experience fear that this emotion does not come from God. 2 Timothy 1: 7 states, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but power love and a sound mind.”  Timothy states two very important points in this verse that will help you overcome fear

    – God does not give you fear.

    – God has given you power, love and a mind of peace to defeat fear.

    – The key to defeating fear is understanding, believing, and applying these major key points.

    God Does Not Give You a Spirit of Fear

    If fear does not come from God then where does it come from?  Yup, you guessed it, it comes from the enemy.   The sole mission of the enemy is to kill, steal, and destroy your purpose, goals, dreams or plans.  He is crafty and will use whatever scheme or tactic he needs to accomplish this and one of his tactics is placing fear in your heart to stop you from doing what God has called you to do. Fear is one of his greatest weapons because it works.  Once he has you in a frightened state he knows you will be too afraid to move or use your gifts for the glory of God. I admonish you do not give into the lie of fear. Instead, use the weapons God has given you to conquer fear.

    He Gives Power…

    Power is just one of the many weapons God has given you to overcome fear.  When I say power specifically what I am referring to the Word of God. Hebrew 4:12 states that The Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirits, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  There is nothing more powerful than the word of God, therefore, any time fear starts to overwhelm you, fight back with The Word! The word of God is effective in fighting off the spirit of fear because it is the absolute truth and any lie that the enemy tries to exalt in your mind or heart, must bow down to the word. Hide God’s Word in your heart to use them when faced with fear. Here are some really good ones.

    – “No weapon (or spirit of fear) formed against me shall prosper”—Isaiah 54:17

    – “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”—Psalms 118:6

    -“I will be strong and courageous. I will not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord my God goes with me, he will never leave me nor forsake me.”-Deuteronomy 31:6

    He Gives Love…

    God is love (John 4:8) and 1 John 4:18 states, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love drives out fear” Therefore, God and fear cannot exist in the same space.

    Now, this begs the question:

    What type of relationship do you have with Christ (love)?

     

    Have you accepted Christ into your life as your personal Lord and savior?

    Asking God into your heart is the number one prerequisite needed to eliminate your fears.  Once you have Christ, you will be empowered to use His word to destroy the enemy and walk in the gift of love that now lives on the inside of you. Fear will no longer be able to take root when you move in the direction to speak in front of millions of people, start that business, write that book or launch even too launch your website, because Christ is fueling your fear with faith.  

    If you do not have a personal relationship with Christ I strongly encourage you to begin one today.  To start your relationship with Christ

    Trust Jesus Christ

    Admit you need God in your life

    Change your mind and turn away from sin (repent)

    Believe that Jesus Christ died for you, was buried and rose again for you

    Pray and ask Jesus into your heart to become your personal Lord and Savior

    Find a Church what will help you build your faith

    Remember, if the enemy is working overtime to use fear to stop you in a specific area then that is perhaps the area where God wants to use you most mightily. Don’t let fear immobilize you.  Feel the fear and do it anyway!

    He Gives You Peace of Mind

    The last and final weapon God has given you to defeat fear is a mind of peace.  The opposite of peace is chaos and confusion.   Chaos and confusion creates anxiety and anxiety produces fear.  John 14:27 states, peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

    Here God is stressing the importance of protecting both your heart and your mind because once fear enters your mind, your thoughts are overwhelmed with chaos and confusion.  The only way to combat fear is to transform your mind.  

    You transform your mind by using the weapon of power, or the Word of God. Eliminate those negative fearful thoughts and lies of ‘I can’t do it’, ‘I am a failure’, ‘I am weak’, ‘I have no purpose’ with God’s truth found in these scriptures below.

    “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13

    “I am more than a conqueror.”- Romans 8:37

    “God has a purpose and a plan for me.”- Jeremiah 29:11

    “In my weakness, God strength is perfected.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

    Let’s conclude with a recap!

    God did not give a spirit of fear. That came from the enemy!

    You have the recipe to eliminate fear out of your life (power, love and a mind of peace)

    Recite scriptures that will renounce the lie of the enemy with truth. The Word of God

    Developing a personal relationship is key to eliminating fear out of your life.

    Transform your mind of with the Word of God

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  • In any type of relationship (friendship or romantic), the level of intimacy grows with time.  The same is true with our relationship with Christ.  The more time you spend with Christ the more your intimacy with Him grows.  However, spending time with God is not always easy for many reasons such as the day to […]

    3 Practical Ways to Develop Your Intimacy with Christ

    In any type of relationship (friendship or romantic), the level of intimacy grows with time.  The same is true with our relationship with Christ.  The more time you spend with Christ the more your intimacy with Him grows.  However, spending time with God is not always easy for many reasons such as the day to day responsibilities of life, investing in our relationships, climbing the corporate ladder of success, or possibly taking a more entrepreneur path by starting a business. These things can consume the majority of our time to where Christ becomes an afterthought. It’s not until we are faced with a crisis that God is the person we call on for strength.  However, God is more than our strength in a time of crisis,  He is also the lover of our souls.

    Some may assume spending quality time with God requires too much effort and therefore the ability to be consistent is a struggle. Contrary to what some may think, quality time with God should not be based on certain emotions or doing different rituals at the same time and place every day. The moment you rely on your feelings, you have entered into religion and not a relationship.  God has called us to be in a relationship with Him.   Religion means you are bound by agendas, traditions, and or rituals.  A relationship is intimacy; this involves communication, vulnerability, and transparency.

    Allow me to clarify, I do not think there is anything wrong with seeking God at the same place and the same time every day.  There was a season that God called me to seek Him every day at 4:30 every morning.   Looking back, I see that this was a time God was teaching me discipline and how to be consistent. However, if God has not called you to seek Him in that fashion don’t allow that to stop you from developing your intimacy with Him.

    There are numerous ways to develop your intimacy with Christ but here are three of my favorite practical ways.

    Make-Up A Song

    God loves to hear the sound of praise.  He created every living thing to worship Him.  Trees wave their branches to give God worship.   Birds chirp and the wind blows all to give God glory and praise.  What more can you do? God gave you a voice to exalt His holy name.  Make up a song of worship to develop your intimacy with Christ.  Remember, your praise is indeed a weapon.  Before the Israelites when out to battle, God said to send the tribe of Judah first (Judges 20:18).  Judah means praise.  Praise was used to distract and intimidate the opposing enemy.   The sound of praise from the tribe of Judah instilled fear and doubt in their enemy’s mind to where they were paralyzed, defenseless, and ultimately defeated.

    The worship song that you create can be a simple hymn, similar to the ones I made up.

    “I am ready to be used by you.  Take all of me, I am ready to be used for your glory”

    There is none like you Lord for you alone are worthy God”

    “I honor and praise your name! I honor and praise your name Lord!”

    Take some time to make up your own worship song to the Lord. It is an opportunity to be vulnerable and transparent before God and let Him know what’s in your heart.  Once you have made up your song, sing it!  As you begin to sing your songs throughout the day, the Joy of the Lord cannot help enter and fill in your heart. Your mind will have peace that surpasses your understanding to where the enemy has no ammunition to work with because trust me, the enemy cannot compete with a Worshipper.

    Spark up a Conversation

    That’s right, just start talking to God.  Prayer is defined as having a conversation with God, it’s really just that simple. Sometimes we wrongfully think prayer has to be filled with biblical rhetoric. Knowing the Bible can benefit you in prayer, however, don’t allow that to stop you from talking to God.  You can pretty much confide in Him about anything and He will listen.  It’s like you have a built-in best friend in Jesus, how cool is that?  Do not worry or doubt if God is listening, trust and know that you have Christ’s undivided attention, he is just waiting for you to just start talking.

    Talk to God about:

    Your hurts,  fears, struggles, and concerns

    Your hopes and dreams

    Your accomplishments & successes

    Most importantly give God thanks by expressing your gratitude toward Him.  Magnify His name, and declare who He is in your life.  Tell God how much you appreciate Him for never leaving nor forsaking you, for His hedge of protection, and for all his spiritual, mental and emotional provisions.  Thank God for His unconditional love towards you, for His grace, mercy, favor, and peace and thank Him for even the simple things like your clothes, your family, friends, co-workers, and health.

    God calls us to pray without ceasing.  This does not mean you are to be trapped in your prayer closet all day.  I believe God just want us to have a prayerful attitude.  Prayer should serve as the vehicle that will navigate you through the everyday rhythms of life. Simply put, there should be nothing that you pursue (marriage, new job, nor business opportunity) without first seeking God in prayer.  God’s answer in prayer is your license to move.

    Write Him a Love Letter

    If singing is not your forte, another way to develop your intimacy with Christ is by writing Him a letter, however, not just any letter—a love letter.  Writing is a great way to express your heart to God in a thoughtful and meaningful way.  A love letter, on the other hand, is personal, vulnerable, and intimate.  In addition, when you take the time out to express your thoughts to God on paper you are also being intentional.  It’s almost like you are going on a date with Jesus!  Schedule a date, time, and location and once you arrive at the writing location, whether it be at your home office, bedroom, or prayer room, God will be there.

    Lastly, while writing your love letter try to be free from all distractions –avoid using your cell phones, getting on social media, or responding to personal emails.  This should be a special time between you and God.

    As you can see, these are 3 practical ways for you to development your intimacy with Christ. If you truly have a strong desire to draw closer to God  I encourage you to try one, if not all of these methods.  I can almost guarantee you that you’ll see a difference in your relationship with Christ.  The key is being consistent. Whichever method you use, keep at it and in time I can almost guarantee that your intimacy with Christ will grow!

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