Family Life, June 2017

Humble Thyself

Humble Thyself

by Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis

You’re running a hundred miles per hour trying not to become your father’s son. Why is that? Your father will catch up with you, he’s faster, stronger and mightier than you are. Humble thyself to your father for the legacy must go on even if you have to rewrite it…

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.” But what are you giving back? If you were told to give up your first born son, what would you do and how would you feel? Jesus was given up for a good cause but we as people are forgetting the because
in the cause.

Being a believer doesn’t mean that you become so religious that you don’t live life to the fullest, or so judgmental of your religious beliefs that everyone who’s not participating in your man-made group is condemned to hell. Everyone doesn’t praise God the same way, but that doesn’t mean that they are not praising. He is different to everybody. He gives more grace. Therefore, the Bible says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)

Does riding in your car with the air conditioner fill you with gratitude
to God and compassion for the man standing at the corner with a sign? Are you thankful enough that this isn’t your struggle? What about the small towns in South Africa where the houses are one roomed huts made of tin with little to no running water? Are you thankful you’re able to drive up to a luxurious house with brick and several rooms with running water, cable TV and a working toilet? But these people are all too eager to praise God anyway with little to no money or vehicles. What’s your excuse?

Are you praising God just for more stuff? I know everyone wants nice things, but is it a need? Sure, you work hard to accomplish things but who are you really doing that for because when “ashes is to ashes” and “dust is to dust” you’re just a mere wooden “box of bones” waiting to be eaten by the bugs that get inside the coffin, and none of that materialistic stuff can go with you. Oh, but your soul, the everlasting spirit is what God is concerned about. He doesn’t care about your riches and glory especially if you’re not using what you have to assist and encourage his people. He cares that you’re doing right by his son who gave his life so you could breathe.

So, I am challenging everyone for a week to go without the luxury and live solely from the bare essentials. I bet half of you guys won’t last a week without your cellphone. Sometimes you have to declutter to realize what really matters. I beg you to please humble thyselves to Christ Jesus.

Father, I beg your forgiveness for my proud ways. I know everything I have is because of you, Lord. Please forgive and enable me to live a life of humilty in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis, affectionately known as “The Refresher,” is an american author, empowerment speaker and a life catalyst. She launched The Refresher Course to educate and empower others to dramatically shift the quality and direction of their lives by using spiritual principles as well as the Life Catalyst curriculum.

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Family Life, October 2015

Determined to Be Great

by Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis

Picuture“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

 I recently watched a documentary about a guy who had wanted to play baseball since childhood, but his sight had been diminishing, and by the time he was 17-years-old he was declared legally blind. However, his determination and resiliency would set him up to make history.

Shortly after becoming legally blind, he realized that he was still living, and that he could still play baseball. The National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA) was organized for visually impaired adults to play baseball. Beep baseball is played on a grass field with six fielders and one or two “spotters” from one team, and the pitcher, catcher, and batter from the other team. They blindfold the fielders and the catchers so that everyone can be on the same level. I would go on to learn that his (NBBA) team won the championship this year.

What is your determination today? Will you allow the setbacks in life keep you from being great?

Accomplishing greatness is not about being a celebrity or a media mogul.  Donna Douglas, aka Elly Mae Clampett from the popular TV series The Beverly Hillbillies, went on to live a low-key life in Pride, Louisiana. She was very popular in her day but decided not to take the often-traveled route to Hollywood. She said that she could have been more famous if she had taken her clothes off, but her spirituality came first.

 You hear of folks all the time wanting to be celebrities, but you never know the path they (celebrities) might have to walk to get there. Michael Jackson was one of the greatest singers of all time; he had everything, including a zoo, at his fingertips but couldn’t sleep at night. Greatness can come to anyone who desires it. However, it is the way you go about achieving greatness that will determine how great you will truly become.

Family Life, September 2015

A Marital Revival

by Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis

PicutureWe know in marriage that nobody can ruffle your feathers like your spouse.  It is designed that way because the two of you are learning to become one. Normally one personality is a bit more dominant than the other, and it shows. Can you imagine what Mary and Joseph’s marriage was like? Think about the overwhelming love and trust that Joseph clearly had for Mary. Why are marriages not like that in today’s society?

I can go on to name a few excuses, not reasons, but excuses, as to why they aren’t. Are you poisoning your marriage with your emotions? Often times we carry emotional baggage that has never been allowed to heal from past hurt and pain. Meaning, your spouse did something you didn’t agree with in the past, you all had a discussion to end it then, but when something else comes up you replay the last discussion.

That’s one type of poison. Do your co-workers see you more than your family? That’s another type of poison. Marriage is a never-ending lesson. Your marital quest is a journey to the work that God wants to do in you and He has given you an all-star team to do it with.

Like revival (spiritual awakening) in church is much needed, revival in marriage is needed as well. Marital revival means reestablishing the marriage, or awakening it. In Christian marriages we often don’t realize that we are under attack even more than non-Christian marriages. In some recent studies the divorce rate of Christian marriages almost matched the divorce rate of non-Christian marriages.

Why is that? Is God at the center of your marriage like He once was? Sometimes God will take your marriage through the ringer because He wants to draw you closer together. Will you be a survivor through the revival?

Marital Revival Techniques:

  • Acknowledgment of the problem (come clean, be transparent)
  • Seek Counsel to resolve the issues
  • Pray that the change has already taken place
  • Be patient
  • Help another couple the way that you’ve been helped
August 2015, Family Life

Creating A Christian Canvas

by Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis

PicutureA Christian Canvas is defined by the way people see you, not just in the spiritual world, but in your everyday world. Often times we say that we are Christians, but I sometimes stop and ask myself, is my canvas a Christian one?

A new mother with her newborn baby is very cautious of the baby’s surroundings. As the baby progresses and begins to crawl, the mother makes sure that the house is childproofed and everything is neat and in order. Because whatever a baby sees, we know it goes straight to their mouth, which then can get inside of their little system. The new mother is doing everything the correct way because she wants to create a safe canvas for her baby.

We as Christians are newborns in Christ. We need to be conscious of what we allow into our spirits. We need to ensure that our surroundings have been Christian-proofed (safe for Christians).

My husband and I recently went to the movies; surely a good comedic film was within the scope of my Christian canvas, or was it? We began watching the movie and after the use of vulgar language one too many times, we looked at each other and realized that it was time to go.  I am a firm believer that what you allow in, will stay in, to some capacity.

You will find yourself saying things that you don’t usually say or doing things that you don’t usually do.  Our Father did not groom us for this behavior. He wants greatness for us, just as a mother does for her newborn baby. But, we must follow His plan. We must detoxify our minds, bodies, and spirits, and fill them with the pure essence of Godly pleasures, not worldly endeavors.

So as Christians, we need to be aware of our surroundings and ensure that we are creating a Christian canvas for both ourselves, and the people that follow us.  Lord, protect my surroundings and remove anything that is not of you, Father I pray, Amen.