Christian

Life, Love, Loss, and Needing Jesus | with Rachel Symone Gilliam

Rachel Symone Gilliam

Rachel Symone Gilliam, a digital marketing entrepreneur, shares how God has been faithful and has provided again and again for her during tremendous seasons of life. Rachel is a bone marrow transplant survivor, and she shares how God remained steadfast to her through that time. Rachel’s husband, Joe, whom “everybody loved” and who supported Rachel through her illness, was diagnosed with a malignant spinal tumor not long after they had married. Joe went to be with Jesus in September of 2018.

You all will adore Rachel, her faith, and her positivity and resolve to acknowledge God in the small things. Rachel is truly a joy to talk with, and her story beams with God’s goodness amidst trial.



About Rachel

Rachel is a digital marketing entrepreneur running primarily on coffee and avocado toast. She lives life in Dallas, TX and shares her story of life, love and loss. Having survived a bone marrow transplant in 2014 and losing her husband to spinal cancer in 2018, she's not immune to suffering and depending on God to carry us through all seasons of life. 

When she's not curating Instagram feeds or strategizing email content, you can find her on the couch with a full-bodied glass of wine catching up on all things Bravo TV, entranced by a thriller novel, grabbing a cocktail with her girl gang, or mindlessly wandering the aisles in Whole Foods. You can keep up with her over on Instagram and her blog where she shares non-toxic brands that she's obsessed with, wellness and whole living tips, and tips for digital marketers and entrepreneurs.

Find her on instagram @rachelsymonegilliam

rachelsymonegilliam.com


Note- Worthy Quotes

It’s hard that when you’re raised in faith and you hear your whole life, “All things are possible through God, God is our ultimate Healer, our Savior,” and then you’re in the situations where you’re just like in the pit and needing saving, and the one thing you’re praying for isn’t happening. I’ve had to really look for God in the small things, versus the big, miraculous healing.

We were so covered.

 

It’s those small things, even in day to day life that we have to seek out, because otherwise we just miss it. We miss what God’s really about. He’s in the small, day to day details.

The people God has placed in my path has been insane. The people that have blessed me and the people that I have blessed in my path.

 

I’ve learned just how human I am, and how narrow-minded I am. I don’t see the big picture.

 

Going through everything that I have, I’ve seen just how human I am and how little I know, and how big God is. I’m sure there’s a better word, but He’s just big. He sees everything, He knows everything and even on my best day, nothing I can do, think, or even try to come up with compares to what He has for us.

 

I know that His plans for me are good. So all I have to do is sit back and trust Him and allow Him to carry me through this wave of grief.

 

I’ve really come to see how short-sighted we are, and how long eternity really is, and how short this life is here on earth.

 

Seventy plus years is a long, fruitful life, but it doesn’t even compare to what’s next for us.

 

I am in desperate need of a Savior, everyday.

 

Just the fact that God sees me enough and loves me enough, just to swoop down into my brokenness and love me as I am.

 

I’m a very broken person who needs a lot of Jesus every single day to even be remotely friendly enough to be around.

 

It’s sweet that He is so big and so vast, yet comes into our brokenness and makes us whole.

 

I like to look like I have it all together, but I simply don’t. And the fact that God knows that and loves me through it is pretty sweet.

 

When we are scrolling through Instagram.. people are still people. They are not on a pedestal. We all need Jesus.

 

We just need Him; every step of the way- even in the small decisions that we are making… We need to seek after Him in the small things and to know that these people who you see on Instagram or Facebook who have everything together- we all need Him, we are all human. Our brokenness might look different from person to person, but it’s still there. And it still requires one person to make it whole- and that’s Jesus.

 

Going through autopilot: or I’ll be so in my head about something, and then I’m like, “why am I not praying about this?!” You know, I’ll be sitting in my car, complaining to myself, I have someone who wants to listen. I might as well just offer it up and surrender these thoughts and these emotions to Him and just let Him do what He does best.

 

I try really hard to see people the way that God sees them, and to not be so judgmental.

 

Favorite Resource:

Uninvited by Lysa Terkurst

 

God has lavished His unaltered grace in her life again and again by:

My marriage with Joe.

 

Joe, literally, you cannot be a better person in any way. There’s always this saying in our friends and our family, that “everybody loves Joe.”

 

He was a one-in-a-billion person. I consider myself so blessed that God considered me worthy enough to be Him wife.

 

God has been so gracious and so patient with me as I’m riding the wave of grief- because every day looks different.

Rachel Symone Gilliam Life love Loss

 Thank You for Tuning in To Our Conversation!

Also, prayerfully consider leaving an iTunes rating and review. Your rating and review will, ultimately, help others to stumble upon Unaltered Grace Podcast & to Biblically inspire|equip|implore others through our conversations about God's Unaltered Grace! 

We Would Be Honored if You Would Share this Podcast with Friends!

Stewarding Finances Well | with Alexis Busetti

Christian Finance Tips

Alexis, who is a Personal Finance Coach, shares her passion with us on how to steward finances well. She offers biblical wisdom and practical advice on all things financial freedom. Alexis will share some personal stories on how God has been faithful to her in all seasons of life. She also will encourage us to become intentional with our finances and to use them for God’s glory!


About Alexis

Alexis Busetti is a Personal Finance Coach in Houston, TX.  Her biggest passion is to help people build financial plans that will unleash their generous spirits. She wants to see everyone do well for themselves, so that in turn they can do good for others! Alexis and her husband Seth spent the first 7 years of their marriage as starving students and paying off debts. During that time, they worked diligently to learn how to handle money (even though they didn't have much of it).  After graduate school, her husband took a corporate position and Alexis quit her job as a social worker to stay home with their babies.  Now, they have four kids, two dogs, and are living out their dreams to give, save, spend, and invest using all they've learned.  Alexis loves to spend time coaching people on how to do the same! 

You can find her at cisternandgrove.com

Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook





Stewarding Finances Well

Noteworthy Quotes

Money is something we deal with every day.

 

We have to deal with this every single day, let’s not make it something that is horrible, or something that is really really hard.

 

There is so much power in the Gospel. The Gospel is God’s love poured out on us.

 

The first thing is; I think that God is very generous. Part of what He wants us to do is be more like Him.

 

He also uses physical things to teach us about the spiritual things.

 

Matthew- where our treasure is, there our heart will follow--- Jesus is saying that where our treasure is, there our heart will follow. So when we are good stewards, and when we put our money in the places that God wants us to put our money, then our heart will follow our money. It’s a crazy thing, but it’s a spiritual truth. If we are pouring all of our money into our American Express, or our Visa, or the Financial department at the car dealership, that’s where our heart will be. But if we can pour our money into our own families, being generous at Church, and with people who are close to God’s heart, then our heart will follow.

 

That’s where we see God’s heart and our stewardship connecting with the Gospel.

 

As Christians, we are called to live in a healthy relationship with money.

 

Money is amoral; it’s not good or bad in and of itself, but how we relate to it is a different story. It all starts with having a healthy relationship with money.

 

People have other parts of their life together, and God will call them out about their relationship with money; the rich young ruler.

 

Recognize what your values are: those are going to steer how you deal with money.

We are made in God’s image. And He is a giver. He’s a worker. He’s a rester. He’s a lover. We are made in His image.

 

God honors His Word. He is true to His Word.

 

We can look at money in a lot of different ways. We can use our money, in a lot of ways, as acts of worship.

My desire is to empower you and to encourage you in the things you are doing well; to give you hope.

 

I have to keep a conversation going with God throughout my day. It’s not that I’m super spiritual; it’s that I’m super desperate.

 

Alexis’ Favorite Resources:

YouTube Worship Videos

Her favorites are:

            -Bethel

            -Passion

            -Stephanie Gretzinger

I recommend:

            -“I am No Victim” by Kristene DiMarco

            -WorshipMob

           

YouVersion Bible App- Audible Bible; listening to the Scriptures

 

 

 

 

 Thank You for Tuning in To Our Conversation!

Also, prayerfully consider leaving an iTunes rating and review. Your rating and review will, ultimately, help others to stumble upon Unaltered Grace Podcast & to Biblically inspire|equip|implore others through our conversations about God's Unaltered Grace! 

We Would Be Honored if You Would Share this Podcast with Friends!

 

 


What Does it Mean to Be Born Again? | Solo Episode with Rachel Lawrence

New Birth Christian Podcast

John 3:1-8 New Living Translation (NLT)

3 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”

3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”

5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

 

Titus 3:3-7, NLT Paul writes:

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. 4 But—

When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.


 

Regeneration, being born again, is one of the foundational doctrines, an important principle, of our Christian Faith.

 

Without being born again, Jesus teaches that one cannot be part of the Kingdom of God. Without a new birth, or without regeneration, one is not saved. We need to be spiritually renewed by faith in Jesus in order to inherit eternal life and eternal joy in Him.

 

The commentary of the NIV Fire Bible teaches us that, “Regeneration, or spiritual birth, is an inward re-creating of a person spiritually- a life transformation from the inside-out.”

 

Man, do I feel like Nicodemus sometimes. I think we all must, especially when first coming to faith in Jesus. In our passage, Jesus clearly lays out to Nicodemus that one must be born again in order to see the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus, like many of us, think in things that we are familiar with. Born again.. labor pains, birth. What? Nicodemus doesn’t understand. He’s not seeing it. He is blind in the spiritual ways, he needs the eyes to see. The heart to understand. The Holy Spirit’s guidings and promptings to just get it.

 

We need life-change. Without it, we are separated from God. God, in His perfect, undefiled Holiness cannot ignore our sinfulness. Our sinfulness places us all away from God. But yet, in His great love for us, He made a way. He made a way for us to be redeemed and washed clean of our trespasses against Him, and He offered Himself in His Son, Jesus Christ for our ultimate redemption, restoration, and renewal.

 

Spiritual birth happens when we are led by the Holy Spirit to know our sinfulness, to know our dire need for God, and to repent of our wrongdoings. Spiritual birth is a leaving of our old selves, who were once slaves to sin, and turning towards God and accepting Jesus as our Savior and our lord of our life. When Christ becomes the forgiver of our sins, and the leader of our life, He bestows upon us the living water, the Holy Spirit, so that we may never thirst for fulfillment or thirst for a purpose in anything but glorifying God again. The Holy Spirit, one person of our one, Trinitarian God, penetrates our life. He washes us. He restores us. He turns our entirety to Jesus and He leads us to Christ and His Word. The Holy Spirit illuminates the Scriptures to us; teaching us the things of God. The Holy Spirit also illuminates our sins. Making things that once seemed appealing, now seem disgraceful. He births a longing for God and a greater disdain for sin. A greater understanding of the world versus the word. And a greater understanding of what pains God.

 

We are set free from the stronghold of sin.

 

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)

 

 

Romans 6:1-7 English Standard Version (ESV)

Dead to Sin, Alive to God

6 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin.

 


By depending on God, we may daily say no to the things that we used to do that were against God’s commands, and begin to say yes to being renewed in His Word. This is possible only by God’s undeserved grace. By His unaltered, unchanging grace, may we continually be renewed day by day, and may God’s mercies also be new day by day. With the spiritual birth, our fleshly, sin-stained, bodies are not yet re-birthed (we don’t go back into our mother’s wombs like Nicodemus suggested). We wait. We live in this tension of the already but not yet. We are already justified, but we are not yet glorified. Jesus has already paid the price for our sin. But He has not yet came back to fully glorify all of creation. He will. And then, we will be free from sin forevermore. We won’t have to wage war against our flesh and against the Devil. (But more on that spiritual warfare later.)

 

With new birth comes sanctification. After we are born again by accepting Jesus as our Savior, and by receiving the Holy Spirit, we are thrust into the lifelong process of growth. Of sanctification. Of becoming more like Jesus and of becoming greater image-bearers of God. This process is different for everyone. It’s a process that God ultimately takes us on, and works within us. But it is also a process that we must yield to. We must submit to. As Jesus said in Luke 9:23, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Submitting is hard. The Holy Spirit nudges us along into submission, and we must allow for it. We must humble ourselves daily. We must think less of ourselves than we think of others, we must desire to know God more and to love Him.


 

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

 

2 Corinthians 4:16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.


Ephesians 4 New International Version (NIV)

Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ

4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Regeneration New Birth

Thank You for Tuning in To Our Conversation!

Also, prayerfully consider leaving an iTunes rating and review. Your rating and review will, ultimately, help others to stumble upon Unaltered Grace Podcast & to Biblically inspire|equip|implore others through our conversations about God's Unaltered Grace! 

We Would Be Honored if You Would Share this Podcast with Friends!

Gory + Glory | Solo Episode with Rachel Lawrence

Gory + Glory | Solo Episode with Rachel Lawrence

Rachel will be discussing the “gory and glory” of the crucifixion of Jesus. Prayerfully, may we fix our eyes upon Jesus and the measures He went to secure our salvation and consummate God’s Kingdom. Let’s bring ourselves to really reflect on Psalm 22:12-18 in light of Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion. What David wrote fits well with the exhaustion, stretching, suffocation, and circulatory stoppage that occur during crucifixion.

Crucified Christ | Solo Episode with Rachel Lawrence

Let’s kneel down and sit back today, at the foot of the cross, seeing and feeling Jesus’ sacrifice for us and soaking in our blood-stained, glorious redemption through the love of our God, who sacrificed even His only Son to restore us to Him; to redeem this fallen world, to offer forgiveness of sins, and to create a way for us to finally be with Him yet again- for all of eternity. In this episode, Rachel will deliver a message entitled “Crucified Christ,” based on Psalm 22.

Discipleship: Up-Close Ministry | with Caroline Saunders

Discipleship: Up-Close Ministry | with Caroline Saunders

It has been a joy to talk with Caroline Saunders about discipleship! In this episode, we will discuss Jesus’ perfect example of discipleship and how He based it on three vital aspects. Of note, Caroline exhorts, “Discipleship is up-close ministry. In those up-close places, that is where change really happens.” If you need a practical kick to go out and make disciples, stay tuned to the gems that Caroline gives us in this chat.