Wake Up

We have fallen asleep. How is that possible? How can it be that a successful bunch of folks Spiritually (those who are intelligent enough to accept the gift of salvation through Christ) could possibly become complacent at worst and mediocre at best? I am not talking individuals, I am speaking collectively. How can it be that the body of Christ followers have let their love grow cold? Could it be that we are no longer thankful for our salvation? Could it be that our excitement has died down because so many theatrics have become more exciting? Surely been there, done that philosophy wouldn’t enter the church of God, would it? Could it be that we would be more excited about Spiritual matters if we didn’t have so many distractions? Could it be that our First Love is no longer our first love? There are some amazing people out there who love the Lord with all they have doing all the work and serving those who are supposed to be the same way but now seem to have better things to do. Those called to serve are doing so but now have themselves as the subject of their service instead of the Lord and His church body. When any of the parts of the body become unwilling to do their part, other parts of the body that are meant to do something else try to cover for them, and when that happens, they eventually burn out because they are not made for that role and thus struggle in it. It is imperative that the church get back to it’s First Love and start showing appreciation for its salvation. We are sorely needed by our fellow church body members and our country. If we don’t get it to get her and do right, everyone suffers. We are called to live, worship and serve joyfully and in constant prayer. It is imperative that we rise to that high calling before we’ve lost our chance.

Advertisements

Salt and Light

We (Christ followers) give the world flavor and the ability to see. Jesus Christ said that we (His followers) are the salt of the world and the light of the world. That means that we have what the world needs. We have taste enhancers and light to see with in the form of our lives shining with the Holy Spirit who lives in us and teaches us how to shine and flavor the world. Our caution is to not lose our ability to flavor and not hide our light. So, as long as we keep doing what we are supposed to be doing, we will continue to help people see the truth and spice up their palate to enjoy fully our lives on this planet. Think about it, it is us who have the Holy Spirit in us, so we are carrying around in us love and joy, peace and patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. No wonder we are salt and light! These are the things people need most!! We have these tools! And we know how we got them, so we can hall other people get these valuable treasures too. We have to share. The beauty is that sharing these treasures actually gives you more than you had, both in this life and the one to come! We got the flavor, baby! We got the light! Live like you do!

The Greatness of Children

Looking at my children, studying them, I learn so much about our Father. We study the creation to study the Creator. To study children is to study early life. I mean growth and development of extraordinary people. A child, no matter the child, is beautiful and a blessing to the parents. We see the patience of our Heavenly Father in the amount of patience we have to utilize with our children in a given day. We see intellects grow as the years do and wonder at the complexities of the human brain and stand in awe that God is Spirit and doesn’t even need a brain to be all knowing. We see their faith and wonder at the world, just knowing they will be cared for and experiencing every taste as new and every smell as foreign and accepting it is what you tell them. And I realize why God wants our faith to be a child’s faith so we trust Him without having to worry about anything. I see the pure joy in a child when new delights dazzle them or Mommy or Daddy tickles them or they run and I am so pleased that God builds joy into us as our strength. The laughter of a child heals the soul and the cry of a child will shatter the soul just as quickly. We have emotions to protect us and balance us, push us forward or compel our hearts to compassion. Without these human emotions and abilities of the higher intellectual mind, life would never feel beautiful, and I think it is a pretty impressive design. We all started as children, perfect in design and perfectly flawed in function, and I dig that common denominator to us… Purposely designed by a perfect Creator to be exactly who we are at this moment. What an enormous gift we have in our children and in life!

Putting Up With It vs. Standing Up

To let it go or stand up against evil. There are very good arguments on both sides. Sometimes, we put up with the evils around us because we don’t wish to judge anyone or try to pretend we understand the actions of others. We don’t want to judge lest we be judged. Other times we don’t want to rock the boat. Still more time, we are quite content to pray and let God handle it, knowing that He is in control of the universe. Still other times we are busy and have enough on our busy plates to deal with one more thing. Other times, we just don’t want to get involved because we are quite content without all that drama or don’t really want our lives to change at all. On the other hand, at times when we feel a stand must be upheld against evil, we say that yes, God is in control and we must pray but it is not enough. We feel strongly the urge to act upon our convictions, especially if we want justice to prevail or someone’s safety or ours is on the line. We will also fight for freedom, as evidenced by history. There certainly are a myriad of options on both sides of the question. So, how do you know which is right at a given time? More importantly, which you should do in what circumstance? It is not ours to judge or condemn without first looking deeply and objectively at ourselves and praying. Jesus Christ is the final judge of a matter. However, those left unchecked in this life will be checked in the next in a manner most unpleasant and for all of eternity. Would not your own conscience be clearer if you try to help the fellow believer doing evil in your path lovingly see the error of his ways and have a chance to repent and save his eternal soul in this world before we get to the next? Wouldn’t you want someone else to help you if it were you? And if we do see someone held bondage in sin, are we not sharing in responsibility for his sins if we do not attempt to restore Him to Christ Jesus? If you are uncertain still, think if such a believer were your grown up child. If he were living in sin unchecked, wouldn’t you rather see him be confronted of his sin, admit to it and come to repentance in this life before he meets his Savior? It is food for thought.

Memorial Day

I am so thankful for those brave and amazing men and women who have served our country in war times and peace times, especially those who are no longer on this side of heaven. Thank you to all who have served, are serving now or who will serve. It is a high honor to fight for our great country, to wage war on injustice and attack where er it occurs. I salute you all, for what it is worth and will give you the highest honor I can by teaching my children the values you fight for and the love of country and freedom and the history of how we got here. We have a truly great heritage, not all perfect, but definitely God has had a hand in it. Thank you!

A Conscience Clear is a Conscience Dear

To have a conscience that is clear before the Lord, to act in obedience with what you believe the Holy Spirit is guiding you to do is the absolute best feeling in the world. I just want to celebrate for a moment because I did what no one else in a church did. I stood up for truth. I called sin sin and called a lie a lie and demanded that it be addressed. Other people’s advice was to “pray and trust God to take care of it”. Which is fine and good unless you actually want something to change. Yes, God can do anything He wants to and can work supernaturally to effect change and does so all the time. Most often, though, truth be told, he works through people who obey Him. If your Spirit is telling you to act, you must act. We are responsible for our own consciences. If you are burdened to pray only and not act, then by all means pray and do so diligently. But if you believe with all your heart that God is calling you to pray and act, then by all means, you had better do it. Until I did, I was conflicted. After I stood for truth, I feel at peace and content. Now, we all have sin. We are not supposed to judge others lest we be judged. I get that and agree with that. However, our watered down, impure version of God’s holy church has become so by good people allowing these behaviors to happen. If you don’t call them out in the body of believers, like we are called to do, we are sinning. Sometimes we have to act, pure and simple.
Interacting with the world and spreading the Good News of Christ should have a very strong emphasis on the Good News and not opinions about manner or behaviors. We should tell people what we are for because it matters little what we personally are against. Those interested can read the Bible for themselves and the Holy Spirit will help that person studying to know right and wrong and discern for themselves. However, within the body, we need to keep each other in check sometimes, especially when some are in leadership positions. Screw ups left unaddressed become stumbling blocks for any sharing of the Gospel and hurt the church and it’s body members. And each of us should be wise enough to know that we are humans and humble enough to be approachable if someone sees us doing something that may be harmful to the body of Christ, His church. There is sometimes a laziness, sometimes a fear to act or speak up as to not offend or keep the peace or maintain the status quo. This bothers me. Sometimes we are called to act because it will help in the present and/or the future of the church body. There are times of peace and times of war. We are being waged war against, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, and we will be judged according to how we responded to the call to just pray or to pray and act. There must be accountability. When that goes, so goes the moral standards and so goes any credibility we had left. It is imperative that we obey. It’s not as if anything is owned by anyone anyway. Everything is God’s and it is only through His great goodness and patience that He sustains any of us, especially those who say He isn’t even there. We will all see Him soon, and I for one would love to do so with as clear a conscience as is possible.

The Inner Church

Mother Theresa, the beautiful woman of God that I admire greatly, was once asked what could be changed to improve the church, or something very close to that. Her response was “your self”. That is the answer, folks. We are the church, we Christ followers come together for one purpose, which is to collectively worship, praise, pray and study. That is what church was initiated to be. What has it become? A theatrical performance? A dogma-rich religious ceremony? A show of an opinionated carnal preacher? A country club? A contest of personal greatness or achievement? If any of those, I hurt for us because we are far from God’s design. And who on earth can swoop down and save us from ourselves? Well, I am so happy to tell you that someone already has. Jesus Christ has saved us and when He left, He did not leave us high and dry. We have three precious and extraordinarily powerful gifts: the Bible, the ability to speak face to face with the Almighty with Christ acting as our intercessor and the Holy Spirit. Between these three incredible gifts, we can figure this out, and we had better step on it because Jesus is coming back soon for His bride, the church (us), and we had better be right with Him. To restore our churches, we need to first be certain that we are holy, pure, joyful, righteous, blameless, integral, etc. A tall order, in these ugly times? Absolutely! Doable? Absolutely? How? By the power of the Holy Spirit and the truth of God’s Holy Word and consistent prayers! Jesus Christ has defeated our enemy already and the gifts He gave us have the power and authority to produce in you and amazing godliness. You are invincible if you have this perspective and stay in constant companionship with these three gifts. And let me be clear, the invincibility is not of your own power, should anyone boast, but clearly from the power of the Creator of everything we know anything about. He is the power we cannot even fathom and yet, He graces us with the gift of tapping into His powerful Spirit and defeating the enemy that seeks to kill us on our own personal front. It is a battle and the heat is on because the enemy knows their time is short. Remember that. If time is so short that they are getting more aggressive and panicky, that means time is also short for us to endure it. And heaven as it’s us on the other side!! That is no small motivation! Keep your eye on the prize for which we were called. Work hard for the Lord because it won’t be long until you will never have to work at it at all forever after.