Sacred

Why is the idea of racism so unifying these days? Most people have no fear of speaking out against racism, if anything it is encouraged and praised, which is a far cry from where this country was even 50 years ago. Is it simply about equality and being treated fairly? That is how society in general sells it these days, equality above everything. And who doesn’t want to be fair, who would stand against equality, so it’s a pretty easy sale isn’t it.

It seems social morality and politics have focused their energies on fairness and equality. I really think it is more than that, our race should be considered a sacred thing, our ethnic background and family should most certainly be sacred and it should be treated that way. But we have reduced it to a thing of fairness and equality. Do you think it is about equality no matter what our race is? Or do you think race and family are sacred and should be treated as such?

You might be wondering why this line of thought. Well it just dawned on me that sexuality in our society has been treated as something that should be viewed with fairness and equality when it should also be treated as sacred. Because of my faith, I know that sexuality is a sacred gift from God. So when asked about homosexuality I can’t justify the aberration just like I could not condone or justify anyone’s actions of promiscuity outside of marriage.

We were created by God and it is His plan for a man and woman to be united as one. It is in this union that the needs are met for and in each other. Now I know the argument for those who have the disposition for homosexuality and I would not argue that because everyone faces temptation, everyone has a thorn in their side. As a Christ Follower we need to renounce our disposition and we hope and pray that we receive the strength in order to resist our flesh. This does not mean we are perfect and without sin, it means with all our intent we strive for who Christ has told us we are.
So an individual choice needs to be made. Do you let society tell you that a storm of emotions leading you to do what we want, are more important than a man and woman who are committed to each other, mutually helping one another and raising children together. The term individual is important here because the decision is for each of us to make, but do we make that decision based on the worldview or a biblical view? Some say the Bible isn’t relevant these days, funny thing none of the issues have changed that the Bible speaks about, and it is relevant in my life, in fact it is life changing.

I haven’t written this to separate myself from others. That isn’t something we as Christians should do. We’re called to minister to all people, especially those not in the Christian community. However, the Gospel at times is repulsive to those who do not know Christ. The idea of giving up power, greed, and pride to be a servant to others is against everything inside our hearts. The idea that the closer we get to Christ the more broken we look in comparison is not appealing to us in the slightest. That is why the Gospel, and consequently Christians, are treated the way they are.

“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:19

Disappearing Respect

Our guest blogger visited again with a great post about RESPECT. . .

I have been saying “I guess it is because I am getting older…”, but that is not true. Respect is disappearing, it has been for years. Most children do not respect their parents, themselves, teachers, each other, personal property belonging to anyone or anyone else in authority over them. The news is filled with murders, robberies, beatings, bullying and suicides. In every age bracket these crimes and others are being committed. Everyone thinks it is okay to call others names, or slander one another in public and on social medias. With the technologies today there are inappropriate pictures and text messages being sent left and right. Stores and businesses have no customer service anymore, they do not care if you come back to shop with them or not. Stupid, idiot, or worse come out of our mouths so easily we think nothing of it. A sense of entitlement is the rule rather than the exception.

What is going on in this country? Have seen all manner of disrespect from people of all ages against our government, country and leaders. Even leaders in the House and Senate, (and White House), are disrespectful.

God’s word is very clear about how we are to act toward our leaders and government, oh and each other. Look what I found the other day in Matthew while reading The Message translation.

Matthew 5:21-22 “You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that WORDS kill.

Wow! How many times I have thoughtlessly called out “Stupid’ or “Idiot” in a moment of frustration. We are to be about unconditional love……toward one another…..oh my goodness. Our focus has gotten so far away from caring about the other people we are around, no matter where we may be, that we just open our mouth and spew out things that are hurtful without stopping to think how it will impact anyone, DISRESPECTFUL!

I don’t know about you but I am going to:

1.) Thank the Lord for showing me this scripture.

2.) Ask Him to forgive me.

3.) Write this on a card to keep in front of me where I can see it and try to do better.

If we know better, we can be better (Mya Angeliou)

So let us each try to be better, kinder, gentler toward all!

Priorities

Priorities; what comes first in your life? No, don’t answer just think about how much TV you have watched this week? How much YOU time have you had this week? Did you spend time in the word? Doesn’t that sound passive spending time in the word. Did you at anytime in the past week open a bible and read God’s word? Did you just read it? Did you gloss over it or did you have to fight to stay awake reading it? If so are you counting this as your quality time with the Lord. During the Old Testament only the best livestock was acceptable for sacrifices’. Do we give the best of ourselves to the Lord or just what we have left? When was the last time you hungered for God’s word? When was the last time you looked forward to studying His Word?

​Yeah life isn’t easy, and it is that much harder if we are to be a Christ Follower. And why is that? Well we have to recognize that the world is so very contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ you could say backwards. Christ turned the status quo upside down. Have we let Christ turn us upside down, have we let him hold us there and shake everything that we hold onto right out of us? What sin or secrets are we keeping hidden? Not only does this keep healing from happening it destroys intimacy with Christ as well as with others. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Mathew 7: 21-23 Is it in anyway shape or form possible that God does not know us. He created us so of course he knows us, the very hairs on our head are numbered. What is being said is “You and I have never been intimate.” The word knew in greek is Ginosko which is better translated as intimacy. Are we being intimate with Christ? So are we letting God shake out all that we were, are we letting Him work in us. I say we’re because most of us listen to the world that says our past shapes us, we are a product of our environment. And that is all true without Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, but when Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior we have to look to Him to tell us who we are, we have to let Him shape us. Are you letting Him shape you?

​As Christians we are forgiven, we are saved. How have you responded to your salvation? The only proper response to our salvation is obedience. God so loved the world that he sent His Son to die for us. It’s by God’s Grace alone that we are saved. But why? So we will tell others what Christ has done for us, so we will spread the Gospel and bring Glory to God’s name. Sharing the Gospel and living in obedience is what others who do not know Christ see in us that they wonder about and causes them to seek themselves. When we do not respond in obedience we can do a lot more harm than good. When we do not live in obedience we are not being intimate with Christ. Now obedience does not mean perfect, we are sinners and we will continue to sin, but the Holy Spirit will convict us when we do sin. Our response should be to repent and ask for forgiveness from God and of those we sin against.

Modesty

When someone says “modesty” what does it make you think about? Modesty should be practiced by not only females but by males as well. When I think back about the way that I used to dress it makes me sick. Thank goodness that I serve a God who forgives because I did not dress modestly! I tried to show as much as possible whenever possible because I thought that was the way to get noticed. Well, let me tell you, I got noticed but not in the way a woman should want to get noticed that’s for sure! Not only did I get noticed for the wrong reasons but I also ended up with a reputation that matched the way I dressed. When we dress inappropiately it can make others question our character as well. Since I have become a Christ Follower I have had Godly conviction to dress modestly and to help teach others about modesty as well. When getting dressed ask God if HE is pleased with what you are wearing. If you feel like HE would not be pleased with it, change.
Let’s take a look at what scripture says about it.

And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.
1 Timothy 2:9 NLT

When we do not dress appropriately we can be a temptation to others that could cause them to stumble and fall into sin. Have you ever wondered about that? I read an article today that had the statistics of how many people look at porn in the state of Alabama and 3 cities in Alabama that are also known as “religious” states are also listed in the top 10 cities that frequent porn sites. That is very troubleing to me! Porn not only gives a warped vision of what a beautiful godly marriage-bed should be but it also destroys marriages, families, and relationships.

What are we teaching our children when we let them wear things that are inappropriate? What are we teaching them when we let them watch things that are inappropriate? Not to long ago I heard a mom offer her early teanaged son the Victoria’s Secret catalog to look at if he did his homework! What?!? And then people wonder why there is such a problem with porn. Lusting is a sin! Check out these words from Jesus Himself:

“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye—even your good eye —causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
Matthew 5:27-29 NLT

Looking at porn or looking at others with lust is the same as having an affair. I truly believe that if we all REALLY believed that God really is omnipresent that we would not do, say, look at or even think most of the things that we do. Omnipresent means that God is EVERYWHERE all of the time. HE hears what we say, HE sees what we wear, HE knows what we look at. WOW! If we really did believe these things and had a healthy fear of our mighty God this world might look very different than it does now.

Fear God, and keep his commands, because this applies to everyone. God will certainly judge everything that is done. This includes every secret thing, whether it is good or bad.
Ecclesiastes 12:13b-14 GWT

I Am Everything God Says I Am

The problem with stuffing your feelings and putting on a mask in front of others is that when you finally come clean about being a stuffer nobody believes you. This could essentially be detrimental to your relationships.

When you stuff your feelings, especially over long periods of time, it can cause you to become a perfectionist at trying to keep everything perfect that way you won’t have to worry about failing or being rejected. It causes you to desire to control every aspect of not only your life but the lives of those around you.

Growing up in an environment where you have not experienced a normal parent-child relationship can also cause people to stuff their emotions because of feeling unloved and rejected. These types of environments can also cause low self esteem, self-doubt, second guessing yourself, it can also cause you to second guess yourself and avoid making decisions or setting goals for yourself.

They believe the lies that the world is telling them. These lies are a stronghold. They are chains that are keeping you locked up in a prison. And to avoid further hurt, rejection
and emotional distress they do whatever is needed to take the attention off of themselves and become masters at making cynical comments or sarcastic criticism at others.

Once you become a child of God you should know that He loves you and wants you to break-free from the chains and lies that have kept you in bondage. In order to be set free you have to replace each lie you have believed with the truth. Below is a list of what God’s Word says is the truth about who we are once we are a child of God. My encouragement to you is that you would read these statements of who you are every single day. Read them out loud to yourself in front of a mirror, several times a day when you first start. Journal your about your feelings when you read these out loud. Ask God to help you believe the truth about who HE says you are.

You are accepted. . .
John 1:12 I am God’s child.
John 15:15 I am Jesus Christ’s friend.
Romans 5:1 I have been justified.
1 Cor. 6:17 I am united with the Lord, and I am one spirit with Him.
1 Cor. 6:19-20 I have been bought with a price. I belong to God
1 Cor. 12:27 I am a member of Christ’s body.
Ephesians 1:1 I am a saint.
Ephesians 1:5 I have been adopted as God’s child.
Ephesians 2:18 I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit.
Colossians 1:14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:10 I am complete in Christ.

You are secure. . .
Romans 8:1-2 I am free forever from condemnation.
Romans 8:28 I am assured that all things work together for good.
Romans 8:31-23 I am free from any condemning charges against me.
Romans 8:35-39 I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Cor. 1:21-22 I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God.
Colossians 3:3 I am hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 1:6 I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected.
Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.
2 Timothy 1:7 I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
Hebrews 4:16 I can find grace and mercy in time of need.
1 John 5:18 I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me.

You are significant. . .
Matthew 5:13-14 I am the salt and light of the earth.
John 15:1-5 I am a branch of the true vine, a channel of His life.
John 15:16 I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
Acts 1:8 I am a personal witness of Jesus Christ.
1 Cor. 3:16 I am God’s temple.
2 Cor. 5:17-21 I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
2 Cor. 6:1 I am God’s co-worker. (1 Cor. 3:9)
Ephesians 2:6 I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.
Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

I would recommend saying the following quote out loud as well over and over:
“I am nothing my enemy says I am and I am EVERYthing my God says I am”

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Words

This was written by someone very special in our lives and we think it is right on!

Quite a few years ago, on my birthday, I woke up late and hit the floor running. Hurriedly showered and dressed and headed off to work. Arrived at work and realized that I had not called the night before to check the recorded jury duty message. So I quickly called and of course my number needed to report by 8:30am, now 8:15am and had to drive in morning season traffic 15 miles. Was gonna be late, so told my boss what was going on and left, with the phone number for the jury selection office ringing on my cell phone! Got there just as they were escorting us jurors to the courtroom for selection process to begin. Once there the judge gave everyone instructions, then announced the numbers of the first sixteen jurors that had been randomly picked for questioning by prosecuting and defense attorneys. Yes, I was the 16th number, we were ushered to a special seating area. The defense attorney asked this question, “Do you believe the nursery rhyme, sticks and stones may break my bones but WORDS may never harm me, is true?”. I’ll never forget how that question made me feel, sick to my stomach.

Words…..so many of them filled my mind, and the faces of those that had said them to me. Those words had harmed me all my life, made me feel less than, a failure, ugly and fat, undeserving, unwanted, not worthy, unlovable, fearful, untrusting, a pile of garbage, lower than anyone else, just not enough. Certainly not unharmed!

Words are abuse unseen, they bruise you, cut you & bleed you where others can’t see. In your mind, heart and spirit. So how then can anyone help? Someone can help, not just anyone. Someone that thinks you are truly special and are worth dying for, worth giving perfect love and driving out all fear. This unconditional love requires nothing, no strings attached. It is there for taking, I took it. I got healed, and now when WORDS try to harm, I can give those words to HIM and He restores me with HIS love.

I am a beloved daughter, a princess

I am blessed beyond measure

I am surrounded by mercy and grace

I am given songs in the night

I am called valuable

I am free of from sin, guilt and condemnation

I am accepted and adopted

…….and so much more. Everyday in His WORDS I find more and more that “I am”, you can too!

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Attitude

Imitating Christ’s Humility

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:1-11

Politicians and other world religions point to unity as being key to a tolerant and harmonious life.

I find it interesting that Paul does not point the Philippians to the idea of Unity itself. But to a deeper foundation which is to be found in humility. Jesus Christ is God and man in one, indivisibly, meekness and majesty, the man who is God and Paul points us to having his attitude. The fact that Jesus was both God and man makes His humility that much more incredible to me. Christ had a higher priority than His own interrupted Glory. Christ did not give up the attributes of God by subtracting His Authority but He accomplished His plan by the addition of His humanity.

When we live with self being our priority and pride our conceit, disunity is born. It’s easy to miss what Paul is not telling us here, he isn’t giving us a list of things to do in order to be in harmony or unity with others, he is simply pointing to Christ and the fact that Christ did not hold onto His Authority but He made himself nothing, a servant. Don’t forget that God didn’t just speak to us from the heights of heaven but He spoke to us by walking with us and speaking to us right here on earth in the Form of Jesus Christ. And during His time with us, He established an attitude that is to be the attitude of His followers.

How does this relate to us in our lives? When was the last time you refused to forgive someone because you waited for them to make it right or you didn’t want to be the first to give in? When was the last time you refused to apologize because it wasn’t your fault? There are few things that we have control over but two are the effort we put into living our lives and our attitude. We must remember the example of Christ, we must live the example of Christ. Thankfully we are not without an unending supply of Grace because we are going to mess this up.

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