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By Rebecca Brown
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Rebecca Brown
All right reserved.
Imagine a young woman, in her midthirties, sitting at a desk with a notepad, thinking about the things she had to go through, wondering if the things she endured could help somebody. As she pulled out her chair and sat down, she began to write. She feels that writing down her feelings can somehow relieve some pressure and also give her some release. She does believe that her release can possibly help do some good for someone else, knowing how hard it was for this young lady to deal with her issues and come out to share her story. At first, this lady was afraid to share her story. She wondered what people would think and say about her. But as she grew older and mature in the Lord, she really didn't care what people would say as much as she cared about being obedient to what the Lord says. We will call her Reba. (Let me explain something to you: Reba and I are best friends and have been for years. We use to party together; now we pray together. Over the years, I listened to Reba share some of her life experiences with me. Jokingly, I said to Reba, "You need to write a book and let the world know how to overcome some situations without a personal counselor." After about ten years, here we are today. So just try to bear with me as I try to relate her story to you.) Now, this is what I mean by Reba coming out to share her story. It is a real and true story about a young woman with challenges and some unruly circumstances that lead to a true and real relationship with the Lord. The Lord has helped her to deal with her circumstances from a different point of view: the Lord's point of view. Reba is a wife, a mother of two, and a cook at a children's home. What could this young lady accomplish by sharing her story of defeat and victories in her life? What could she accomplish by talking to women of all ages that work hard every day, living from paycheck to paycheck? I mean women that have been in physical, mental, sexual, and emotionally abusive relationships. These are women with a whole lot of neglect and rejection. Explain how to survive emotionally and financially even when you are just earning a little bit over minimum wage an hour. What can she do to help me?
Is that what you are thinking? What can this woman with a GED and no college education do to help me? In some people's minds, she is considered a con artist, a troublemaker, and a nobody. But if you know anything about the Lord, this is exactly the type of person he wants to use and change, to make a difference in his kingdom. One of the answers to all of those questions is living un-perfectly saved. I am not going to preach to you and tell you to come out of sin. I am also not going to tell you how easy it is, because it's not. But I am going to share some real things about Reba and how she overcame real situations and circumstances. I hope that it will encourage you as it encouraged me. The Lord has been dealing with Reba on living a saved life and preparing her to share her testimonies with other people. She is a living testimony. One night, Reba told me the Lord woke her up a few years ago at 3:00 am and whispered two little words: "un-perfectly saved." What does "un-perfectly saved" mean? "Un-perfect" means not perfect and/or lacking. "Saved" means to be rescued or delivered from danger or harm. That is exactly what the Lord wants to do for us: deliver us from Satan's grasp. The reason Reba wants these words explained is because people get the wrong perception of what being saved is all about. Some people believe you are just saved because you go to church a few days a week, give a decent offering, use no profanity, and do not smoke or drink. Others believe there will be no problems or issues when you accept Jesus in your life. It's more than that. You have to work hard for salvation because when you truly get saved, Satan steps up his game on you and your family, and that's when the real warfare begins. Reba is an un-perfectly saved child of God that struggles daily with not yielding to temptation, and believe me, we are not going to tell you how easy it is or that everything is going to be fine every day, because it's not. But we are going to inform you that you can make it. The real deal about being saved is knowing whose side you're on and that there are two sides and you have a choice. "To choose" means to select, and you have to select what side you want to be on. The Bible says in Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to the one and despise the other" (Discover God Study Bible, New Living Translation). Now, this is real talk going on here with real people, with real situations, and dealing with real issues. Being saved is a lifestyle, not a dress code or church membership. Being saved is also a way of life, and when you start this special way of living, people and things around you will start to change. You probably will lose some friends, and they will talk about you. Just to be real with you, family members will also leave you and also talk about you, too. The change is for your best. Losing some people in your life is good but sometimes bad, depending on where the Lord is taking you. But the reward is worth all the hell you endured. Trust me, certain situations in life will either push you to the Lord or push you to Satan. Then Satan will play with our minds. Then he tricks us in to working for him, to do things to hurt people, ourselves, or just plain not care about the consequences of our actions. Now that Reba is truly saved, she tries very hard to consider what the consequences of her actions will be. She also tried very hard to instill those morals in her sons. It seems as though the greater the anointing on the parents, the more unruly the children become, and believe me, we are speaking from experience. Reba has two sons. One is grown and doing very well for himself, and the other is still in school. For example, she is trying to teach her sons morals. She tries to teach them about respecting themselves and others around them. One of the biggest problems that we notice about our young people today is that they think casual sex is okay. We really believe that these young people believe the more sex partners they have, the more advanced or experienced they become. Well, the Bible tells us differently, and the Bible is the best guide for us, meaning young people, old people, Christians, and non-Christians. Reba tried so hard instill godly morals in her sons. Then she explained what the Bible says about having extramarital sex. The Bible tells us about sleeping around when you are not married and the consequences of that, such as pregnancies and disease. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 7:2 and 9, "Let each man have his own wife and let each woman have her own husband. Because if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry for it is better to marry than to burn with lust." Her son knows a lot about what the Bible teaches. But at the time of decision making, regardless of what teaching they have acquired over the years, the choice is still theirs to choose. Does that make their mother less saved, or does that even reflect on her as a Christian? People do blame the parents when children act up, but understand this if nothing else: our teenage children do have the ability to make their own choices. No matter how hard we try to teach our children, they still have to make their own choices. Her job is not over because she has a grown son, because even as we have grown children, we still have to pray and actually pray more when they reach adulthood. We as parents don't like some of the choices our children make, and a lot of times, it is because we have made some of those same mistakes. We try to keep our children from making the same mistakes, but as I said over and over again, the choices are still theirs to make. So as parents (saved parents), all we can do is be examples in their lives. Pray for our children, and definitely plead the blood of Jesus over their lives. Also, ask the Lord for grace and mercy for them and over them. Trust and know that the Lord will cover and protect our children. Reba and I will try to relate to you what vision the Lord shared with her about getting his people un-perfectly saved to being perfectly saved. Understand that no one is perfect, but we are to strive for perfection. Get ready, because the trip is just getting started and it is long and hard road, but it is worth it in the end.
Making Mistakes Is Okay!
For a long time, being saved has been a trying walk for Reba. I know Reba felt for a long time that she had just started this walk and she was all by herself: out of everything she has been through in her life, starting from being molested around the age of seven until about the age of thirteen by men she knew, respected, and loved. Most of the men were family members, and it was very hard to accuse men whom everyone in the family loved. Imagine being passed around from one man to another. When they say word of mouth is the best way to get things out and around, well, it was when it came down to Reba. One man told another man and then another man told another man and by the time it was over, it was at least half a dozen men that had just passed her around. Now, the family believed that all this was just a fast little lying girl that no one trusted around their men. So she felt as though she couldn't tell anybody. There was nobody she could trust, and nobody trusted her anyway. She also was being physically and mentally abused by family members. If the family only knew. As a child, Reba believed no one loved or cared about her, especially her family. Reba had tried many things to build herself up, for example, looking for love in all the wrong places and from all the wrong people. As a young girl, Reba was a runaway child. When things didn't go right for her or when she felt as though her mother didn't want or love her, she would run away. A few times, she would run to keep from having to do sexual favors for the men she was around. She would stay in abandoned houses and at one time in an abandoned train station with no food or clean clothes. She did not realize that the Lord had his angels of protection around her. No physical harm came to her. Now, Reba realized after many years of a whole lot of neglect and rejection in her life that sex was not the answer. But that was all she knew because that was the only way Reba received affection from the men she was around. And believe me, men are not the answer. Reba had been in church all her life but never had a true relationship with the Lord. She was walking around with a form of godliness. But now, she has one; I mean a true relationship with the Lord. We are going to share with you what a true relationship with the Lord is all about. Reba found out that through everything she had been through and feeling less than a person, the Lord picked her up and let her know that everything was going to be okay. Lord and it is okay! Okay! Is that it, you ask? Imagine being used and abused as far as you can remember, feeling as though no one cared about you or even had your back. As you get older, you don't feel good about yourself. You feel unworthy to be loved. You really feel terrible about some of the choices you made in your life, and you cannot change the choices you have made. You can't go back and change the past, so what do you do? You feel sorry for yourself, and you throw a big pity party and try to invite and take anybody with you that will go. How do you bounce back from all that? What do you do? Reba asked the Lord that question, and he answered her. He told her, "It is okay. You made some mistakes, and you made some wrong choices in your life, but, my child," he said, "it is okay; I forgive you; now, forgive yourself." That is the hardest thing for Reba. Well, actually, it is hard for us to forgive ourselves. We sometimes feel as if we have messed up so badly that the Lord doesn't want us or cannot use us or even forgive us for our actions and bad decisions. The Lord wants his people to know it's okay. It's okay to get upset, feel sad, mad, and/or cry. Being saved doesn't mean you're not going to be hurt, get angry, and yes, make mistakes. We all are going to make mistakes! We just have to trust in the Lord and encourage ourselves. When you're in a negative environment and there is no one to help build you up, start building up yourself and, if possible, change your surroundings. The majority of the time, you have to stop hanging around people that are not good or positive influences in your life. Ask the Lord to send you to a good spirit-filled church and surround yourself with real spirit-filled Christians, and that will help change your lifestyle. How do you do that, you ask? Pray! Prayer is nothing more than a conversation between you and the Lord. There is no special way to pray. You cannot pray incorrectly. You may not pray like other people, and if they make you feel bad about the way you pray, they are not truly saved; hurry and get away from them right now. Because the Lord is not going to turn his back on you because your prayer doesn't sound dignified. Just talk to the Lord as you would talk to one of your closest friends. So if you think you have messed up so badly he won't listen to you, well, let me tell you something: the more messed up you think you are, the more the Lord wants to help you. Give him a chance to be ruler of your life. He's not going to force you. That's what makes him even more special because he is a god of choice and another chance. When you develop a prayer life, your situation around you will change; people around you will notice a change. Then one of two things will happen: they will either support you and try to get what you have or they will move around and stop dealing with you. I will provide you with a model prayer. Matthew 6:9-13 is a good start when you are unsure about how to pray. It's called the Lord's Prayer. It's a simple and very easy way to start praying. Another way to help you in this walk with the Lord is to change your way of thinking. The mind can be your worst enemy. The mind in a weak state can be very deadly. So remember to start to encourage yourself and tell yourself you are somebody. You can accomplish all things through Christ, and that is not just a Bible quote; that is real life. You have to want to change before anything can happen. Then ask the Lord to forgive you, because forgiveness is one of the major keys to change. Believe the Lord Jesus for a change. Then accept that a change is coming. Speak the change, because life and death are in the power of the tongue. Finally, expect change. And you can believe me: a change will come. Believe! Believe that a prayer life and a way of thinking can help you get to the next level. A lot of times, you are going to have to tell yourself it's okay even when your life is in turmoil. Understand that being saved is not a party, and at times, situations do get hard and people are going to dislike you and even hate you for the Lord's sake. That's a really good sign to know you are on the right track. John 15:18 says, "If the world hates you, remember that it hated Me first." So be encouraged and know everything you are going through is okay. All things work for the good of those who love the Lord Jesus. It's okay when you know that the Lord has your back. So go through your trials and tests. Pray, believe, have faith, and know you are not going through your situation by yourself. The Lord is there with you in spirit. And believe me, someone you know is going through something similar and maybe worse than what you are going through. Knowing you are not alone is half the battle, for the Bible tells us that the Lord will never leave you nor forsake you; trust the Lord; he has your back! Be sure you surround yourself with saved, Holy Spirit-filled people to encourage you. And know this: that it is okay. Repent, mean it, and move forward.
Excerpted from Unperfectly Saved by Rebecca Brown Copyright © 2010 by Rebecca Brown. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents
Contents1 Introduction Un-Perfectly Saved!....................1
2 It's Okay! Making Mistakes Is Okay!....................9
3 The Key Is Deliverance The Lord Is Waiting for You!....................17
4 The Joy of Forgiveness You Can't Make It Unless You Are Forgiven and You Forgive!....................23
5 What's Fair? Being Saved Is Not As Hard As You Think!....................31
6 Why Me? I Didn't Ask for This!....................37
7 Never Sin Free You Have to Fight for Salvation!....................43
8 Saved But Not Dead You Can Still Have a Life!....................51
9 The Reward Life Is Real....................57
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It was not a long book but it got straight to the point. I love the format in which the author wrote. I felt like I understand and knew Reba and how she felt through some of the circumstances she was put in. If you have ever been abused sexually, mentally, or even physically I reccomend that this is the book for you!