Social Media

This will be a sore subject if your awareness has not been dulled by the constant presence of an electronic device plastered before your face. This might seem a verbal slight but I assure you it is meant for me. My wife and I both have IPhones an IPad, an older IPhone because I didn’t want to part with it. Our kids both have Kindle Fires. We have media players, computers. And a large bandwidth pipe along will data packages in which to empower them to collect all the information we could possible want and more than we could possible consume.

Do you find that your appetite for digital media comes before a real conversation, a face to face conversation? Does your conversation contain phrases like “Did you see?” “Did you read?” “Check out this meme?” “Did you see what they posted?” The thing is who doesn’t love their smartphone, their tablet, it keeps us connected and we can justify the cost by saying it makes us more efficient, we are more available. Efficiency is what drives the bigger picture in our country, to do it better and faster while costing less and because of this thinking, technology will continue to grow without provocation. Have you ever considered that our focus has been torn from real relationship to that of a superficial digital illusion?

Maggie Jackson Wrote in her book: Distracted: The erosion of Attention and the coming Dark Age “Lose the will to focus deeply, to point the compass of our lives firmly in one another’s direction, and we become islands.” It is a warning about trying to be everywhere at once.

Almost everyone you know has some sort of social media, but looking at the larger picture nearly one out of ten people on Earth have a Facebook account. We are in love with our digital media, to the point that we don’t see how we can live without it and we don’t want to try. It is available at our fingertips on any of our devices at any moment, including when we are standing in front of someone in the middle of a conversation.

Most of what comes at us through social media, email and the internet is meant for no one in particular and it serves no usefulness in our lives. It can be like drinking from a fire hose, we are drowning in the amount of information that is coming at us and it will get worse. America won’t be slowing down when it comes to technology we want more and we want it faster, and the rest of the world isn’t far behind.

As I go back over what was just written I realize it comes across as a bit of a rant. I am guilty, I wrote this for myself. I have done and do most of these things. The only successful avoidance so far has been not having a Facebook page; I know what I would do with that, sarcasm would reign supreme if I went there. So I will occasionally live vicariously through my wife’s Facebook Page. Many might say but in moderation everything is okay. If we are honest with ourselves how often do we act in moderation? Are we more excited about our smartphone than our Bible? I can hear it now, “But my smartphone is my Bible!” Guess what; so is mine. Do we spend more time on social media, on the internet than we do with God, than we do with our spouse, or with our kids? Do our relationships come second to our need for digital media? Another way of putting that is: How do you react when your internet is down or slow?

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Praying For Your Spouse

There is an unusual contest in the Finnish town of Sonkajärvi, it is the “Wife Carrying World Championships”. During the contest, men tote their wives a full 831 feet through gravel, grass, and sand, over two obstacles and through water. Dropping your wife means a 15 second penalty; not to mention dealing with an angry woman.

​You might be thinking; okay where are we going with this but I believe it is a good illustration for marriage, because I believe that men need to carry their wives, and wives need to carry their husbands or so to speak. One important way to “carry” your spouse is through prayer.

​If your spouse isn’t near the top of your prayer list maybe it’s time for a new list. One idea is to ask God to give your spouse “knowledge and wisdom of His will” (Colossians 1:9). Don’t we all want more wisdom in family related decisions?

Besides knowing God’s wisdom, most of us need strength to meet life’s challenges. Paul prayed for the early believers to be “strengthened with all [God’s] glorious power” so they would have “all the endurance and patience [they would] need.” If your spouse needs help in some area, ask God to give him or her staying power to deal with the problem. And let’s not forget to pray for joy and a spirit of thankfulness. Gratefulness can make molehills out of the proverbial mountains. When our spouse knows we are praying for them, it brings them comfort not to mention an assurance in our marriages. Now can you imagine if you actually prayed together. Praying together can be one of the most intimate experiences. Lifting each other up while holding hands and letting God speak through and to both of you is an amazing experience. When you pray with your spouse you will come to find that more often than not you will become in agreement with each other where you were once in disagreement. Miracles can happen, attitudes changed, love deepened and a better understanding of the Father’s will can happen when you pray with your spouse.

Colossians 1:3 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel 6 which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth ; 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, 8 and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit. 9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God ; 11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience ; joyously 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. 13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Shame/Habitual Sin

Transparency of our struggles is key in overcoming our sin. When we bring our sin out of the darkness and into the light, it takes away so much of the power and control that sin holds over us. It is truly the first step out of captivity.

I John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

James 5:15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Fear itself is the wall that prevents God’s love from reaching us and removing this very fear from us. We end up with, for many of us, in a long standing cycle of deception because of fear of punishment or thoughts of what others will think. We even convince ourselves that it is to the benefit of the ones we love “We are keeping the hurt from them and the disappointment” yet we continue on in our secret sin, we feed ourselves the very lies we hold onto to justify our actions.
There is so much uncertainty in how life will unfold. But the one thing that is not uncertain and does not waiver is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And it is Him that we have to put all your hope and trust in, we know this, we have been told this; we have even read it in scripture. But don’t just know it, don’t just think it; believe it hold onto it as if our lives depended on it, because it does.

II Corinthians 4:2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

I John 2:28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.

When His light shines through us, the vessel becomes transparent, and all the cracks and imperfections stand out in us, they become visible. When we lie and deceive we are cloaking the vessel for fear of exposing these imperfections. The gospel becomes veiled to those who are unbelievers. It is very easy for us to hide God’s Glory and the work He is doing in us because of fear and shame. Shame also breeds un-forgiveness and hatred toward ourselves. Transparency is a good first step to avoiding this trap, but we must be mindful and prayerful because it will happen we will be tempted, we will be attacked, we will not just need to depend on Christ but we need to develop a desperate dependence on Christ.

II Corinthians 10:3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ

John 18:36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

Jesus Christ came to “Testify to the Truth” the truth of His Father. God is truth, everything in opposition to His truth is a lie, if we believe these lies they become the very strongholds of sin that we live in. More than anything an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ comes first and He will reveal these lies to you.

Walking in obedience is the only proper response to our salvation and is the only way we will grow as a follower of Christ, it is the only way we will receive true healing. We must walk in obedience, we must have accountability in our lives, and we must surround ourselves with other believers who are willing to do life with us.

Hebrews 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil– 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

This passage is not just about physical death, but spiritual, emotional and intellectual death. When we live with habitual sin in our lives we sow distrust into our relationships that have long lasting effect on them. We plant seeds of fear in others that we will do it again, we will hurt them again. Fear can harden our hearts and it only pushes us to serve ourselves rather than trusting in God.

But there is always hope and it is in Jesus Christ, He can work through us and repair the damage that has been done. We doubt this but have we asked the simply question of God lately; “Who am I?” If you do the answer is still the same as it ever was. “You are the one I love. You are precious to Me. You are worth the Life of Jesus to Me. I am so proud to call you My children. Let me wrap My arms around you and love you. You are secure in Me. No one can shake My love for you or the destiny I have planned for you.

Things I used to think when I was a kid

When I was a kid I would restart my video game if I knew I was going to lose. If I couldn’t decide which cereal to have in the morning, I would have two bowls and alternate between them, usually not finishing either one. I had that one pen with six colors and I tried to push all the buttons at the same time. I tried to burn ants with a magnifying glass but always got to impatient, so I never succeeded. I would wait behind a door to scare someone, but if they took too long I would leave. Remember Lawn Darts, I would throw them into the air and run like crazy. I would fake being asleep when my parents checked on me. I would dare all my friends to eat the dog biscuits we had and of course I would have to do it too so they would, but I liked them. I would worry like crazy if I ate a seed from a piece of fruit, that it would grow in my stomach. I would pour my soda into the cap and sip it like some kind of aristocrat. I thought monsters lived under my bed. Whenever I slept over at a friend’s house and I would wake up before them, I would just lay there looking up at the ceiling until they woke up. I could never stay mad at a friend if they made me laugh. My mom and dad never played stay off the floor because its lava, they thought we were crazy. I always thought volleyball was the grownup version of don’t let the balloon hit the floor. I would make grill cheese in the toaster by laying the toaster on its side, no one knew. I never understood how John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt could have my name too. I thought earwigs tried to get in your ear. I thought the song “Bad Moon Rising” was bathroom on the right. I thought thunder was God bowling. I use to think gunpoint was a place and wondered why so many bad people lived there. I thought there was a left sock and a right sock; it took me forever to put my socks on.

If you have any fond or embarrassing moments you are willing to share we would love to hear them.

We hope you enjoyed this stroll down memory lane.

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It’s Not About Me

​Today I heard something on the radio; it was an excerpt from an upcoming discussion they were going to have. It was about why young adults are leaving the church today. They played a few responses which all boiled down to people not wanting to be told what to do. Unfortunately I missed the discussion, but it did get me thinking and the first thing that came to mind was Matthew 23.

Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, 3 so practice and observe whatever they tell you–but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, 6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues 7 and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. 8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

When we read the bible it’s easy to forget that it is all relative to us today, it is written for all of us regardless of whom, where and when we are. In Matthew 23 Jesus is really letting the scribes and Pharisees have it but what He is also saying is that it’s not about us and it’s not about religion and if we make it about either it can morph into elevating ourselves and what we can do for ourselves rather than for God or our neighbors. It’s not about us, or how much wealth and power we can accumulate. It’s simply about the two greatest commandments; Love God and love your neighbor in all that we are and have.

We have heard about how people these days have a sense of entitlement about them. I think it is easier and even truer to simply say they are selfish. We could discuss how putting ourselves first is idol worship. Do you think that Jesus wants us to be focused on finding more ways for us to be happy and successful? I think Jesus wants us to be people who are filled with joy and who are doing the best we can but it should not be what we are about or what we are focusing on. We should be looking for ways to bring others joy and help them to do the best they can.
Jesus didn’t just criticize the faith of the scribes and Pharisees; he showed them and us what real love, humility and what loving others looks like. The manifestation of Faith that is Christ’s was shown by, not serving himself, by not looking to His own happiness, it was shown upon a cross and then a few days later Jesus shares the words of Matthew 23 with us.

All too often our first actions or thoughts are for ourselves and our own concerns. We make sure we take care of those that matter most, unfortunately that is ourselves. When we continually put ourselves first, the cost is high.

Jesus has shown us authentic love, which is selfless and He wants us to share that with others. Jesus was beaten, tortured and executed not for Himself but for God and for us. He loved us with His life and His death and that is what he wants us to do.

The funny thing is when we love others and we are able to help bring them alongside of us in all the joy that Christ gives us and they are doing the best they can. We end up focusing on them and not on ourselves.

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Hupomone

Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.

I am sure this is a verse that we are all familiar with. But for anyone that says they are a Christian you still need to beware of the road that leads to destruction.

Hebrews 2:1 We must, therefore, pay even more attention to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away. 2 For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, 3 how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was first spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him

Hebrews 3:15 As it is said: Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. 16 For who heard and rebelled? Wasn’t it really all who came out of Egypt under Moses? 17 And with whom was He “provoked for 40 years”? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did He “swear that they would not enter His rest,” if not those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

This is a real warning for those who make a profession of faith to not turn away from God. This should raise a question in us because for a number of those who profess to be a Christian they think once that profession of faith is made they are saved and nothing can take that from them. We could debate if that profession of faith was sincere and real from the beginning. And I would agree, I don’t believe all professions of faith are real and that belief is based in scripture as we see in Matthew.

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The fact remains the warnings we find in Hebrews are pointing out the need for perseverance to those who profess faith in Christ. To believe in the Gospel and the written word of God is life changing. But belief has to be accompanied by faith they are not mutually exclusive, they are both necessary.

The bible shows us a whole group who left Egypt with a strong faith but who turned away from God and none were permitted to enter the Promised Land. I don’t feel as if I need to reiterate scripture here but we can look at a couple more verses that reinforces the need for perseverance in order to finish the race or to stay on the narrow path.

Hebrews 3:6 But Christ was faithful as a Son over His household. And we are that household if we hold on to the courage and the confidence of our hope.

Hebrews 6:11 Now we want each of you to demonstrate the same diligence for the final realization of your hope, 12 so that you won’t become lazy but will be imitators of those who inherit the promises through faith and perseverance.
In Chapter 15 of Exodus we see the people rejoicing and singing a song of redemption and then in Chapter 16 the people are signing another song but this time one of complaint and ungratefulness. This is a good picture of what not following through on ones faith with perseverance looks like.

We can easily say not me, I won’t turn away. How often have you questioned your faith? Or the faith of those around you that call themselves Christians. It could be someone who has even left the church, that appeared to have it all together. I believe if we are truly honest we will find that we have all questioned our faith before.

Hebrews 4:1 Therefore, while the promise to enter His rest remains, let us fear that none of you should miss it. 2 For we also have received the good news just as they did; but the message they heard did not benefit them, since they were not united with those who heard it in faith.

A persistent faith will remember the warnings that are in scripture. And in times of trouble will turn to God and His word. How do we ensure that we keep from drifting away from God?
The answer is found in scripture, as it always is.

Hebrews 1:1 Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. 2 In these last days, He has spoken to us by [His] Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things and through whom He made the universe. 3 He is the radiance of His glory, the exact expression of His nature, and He sustains all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

When we are beat down, when we don’t think we can continue on a moment longer, when the burdens of life seem about to break us, when we question our faith. Who do you turn to?
Christ is the heir of all things and that includes us as we are co-heirs with Him. God created everything through His Son and all things have been created by Him and for Him. These truths are what we should be standing on and what we are to have faith in. The creator of all things knows who we are and He knows us by name. Christ is the continuous Glory of God who sustains all things and He became God’s unrepeatable sacrifice for sin. And it is He who sustains us and all of creation. And where do we find Him; seated at the right hand of the Father.

John 18:37 “You are a king then?” Pilate asked. “You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”

The truth of who Jesus Christ is and who we are to Him, comes only from Christ himself. To believe anything less is to believe lies. Jesus tell us what need to hold onto so we won’t become like so many who have drifted away. It is His truths that we need to stand on. To believe is to have faith. But trust is developed through perseverance. Belief is where we start but perseverance and trust is what it takes to finish the race.

A Little About Us

HI! We are Joe and Debi Profeta.
* We have been married for almost 16 years and we have twins, a girl/boy almost 11 years old.
* We are both Christ followers who are members of a non-denominational church.
* Joe is an IT salesman and a part time caterer.
* Debi is for the most part a stay at home mom who home-schools our twins and works
part time on staff at our church as the music/media assistant.
* The amount of random knowledge that Joe has would scare you.
* Debi loves all things painting/arts & crafts and jewelry making.
* To this day Joe does not have a Facebook page but he does have a LinkedIn page.
* Debi uses her Facebook page as a ministry to share God’s Word and encourage others.
* Our favorite thing to do is to just hang out together as a family.

OUR BLOG:
* We intend to blog regularly, hopefully at least weekly.
* Our intentions for this blog are to write about scriptures that we are studying, our views on the
world, maybe some funny stories about our family, some parenting tips and some marriage tips.
We hope that what we write helps you in your walk with Christ and with your own relationship
with your family.

https://www.facebook.com/debi.profeta