Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Business Life and Christianity

    It has come to my attention that many Christian people who own businesses tend to leave Christianity out of it. In my opinion, someone who is truly saved cannot help but seep Christ through every part of their lives! The love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). If you're keeping Jesus separate from your business because you're afraid it will hurt your profit in some way... you are deceived. You can't serve Jesus and yourself, money, or any other thing (Matthew 6:24). You can only choose one. 

    Though separating your "Christianity" and your business may seem to work better for you now, it is only for a season. Even if you heap onto yourself riches in this lifetime, you'll regret it in the next. However, if you choose Christ, He will sustain you. It's not a bribe - Christianity comes with the promise of life and life more abundantly, blessings, and grace to be sufficient, but also persecutions. Yes, there is a cost to follow Christ... So, is eternal life worth it? 

    Jesus Christ is my Savior, and if He never did another thing for me, the shedding of His blood on the cross was enough. He is my King, He is my Lord, and I'm not ashamed to have it plastered all over me, my life, and even my business (Matthew 10:33). "I choose 'trials'" - like Bro. Tommy would say. (Meaning, though trials may come my way and I know I might be asking for it, I choose to go through them anyway.) (2 Timothy 3:12) 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I Have the Answer!

    So, I have picked up reading again - something I haven't really found the time or desire to do in the past couple years. Sad, considering I used to read through three hundred page books in hours because it was such a passion. My reading led to my writing. Other than this blog, writing is something else I have let wane over time. Both were favorite pastimes of mine that have gone to dust.

    When I used to write, my stories were pure fiction. I never imagined I'd experience, or know of any experiences, that would be book worthy.  However, especially recently, I am completely convinced that the real life testimonies I have witnessed, and been a part of, are one hundred percent book worthy. I tell people all the time that I should walk around with a video camera - my life could be a reality show. But not for the faint of heart.

    I have noticed that a major trend going around in the media is real life. Reality shows. Controversial documentaries, songs, books... stuff that is made up of the truth - the happenings, thoughts, and experiences of REAL people that don't hold back. Sure, some of it is staged... but that fact of the matter is this: people are dying to know that there are others out there who have the same problems, feelings, thoughts, and experiences as they do.

    Someone recently brought to my attention a popular secular song about abusive relationships. However controversial, the song was a major hit. Why? Because it's flat out honest. The struggles so many people keep tucked away under their rugs was blared into a microphone for the whole world to hear. Why am I writing about it?? Because I see all this: the songs about fighting addiction, the revealing of so much pain, the shows like "Intervention"... and all I can think is, why aren't Christians sharing their testimonies?? So many times, these songs and shows and stories don't have happy endings. And when they do, it's always a question of how long will that happy ending last? I just want to scream, "I HAVE THE ANSWER!"

    I think that once we are saved for a little while and get rooted in a church, we get into this lifestyle that secludes us from the world. We start to forget where we came from. We start to pretend like it never happened... But the Bible says that we overcome by the word of our testimony (Revelations). Is it because of pride that we don't like to admit how we were in the past? I think yes. How does that bring God glory?? "Look at me, look at me... a perfect Christian, perfect home, going to a perfect church..." How selfish to keep it all to yourself? What if there is someone out there who needs to know that this thing is real. Jesus Christ is the ANSWER for whatever they're going through. They'll never know unless you tell them. What good is it to say, "You can be free from your struggles...." when you can say, "You can be free from your struggles just like me, give me a second to tell you exactly what my struggle was and how Jesus Christ freed me..."

   Another thought I had was, why are so many Christians STILL struggling with those things and not being honest about it! Quit being so prideful, and start telling the truth. Go to your pastor, go to your elders, get prayer. Get deliverance.

    I'm not so sure so many Christians know the same God that I know. They claim to know Him, they claim to be born again. But let me tell you something, my Jesus - my SAVIOR - is a mighty, powerful God, and He has delivered me, my family, and my friends of every evil, wicked thing in our lives. And I DO NOT have to sin anymore (this is outlined in Hebrews in detail). I can walk day to day, trusting in the grace and mercy of the Lord, and know that the power given to me by the blood Jesus shed on the cross is enough for me.

    The devil's biggest lie here in America is that he doesn't exist. Well he most certainly does, but so does my God. And my God isn't this candy coated, ruffly man in the fluffy clouds. He is majesty, and He is mighty to save.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Coming up for Air

Last night, at church, God really convicted me of where I was in my relationship with Him. It's not that I don't love Jesus Christ with all my heart, soul, and mind... it's that He has called me to something deeper than that. He has called me to have a divine romance with Himself. A depth of love, a relationship, a passion so overwhelming that it is all that I am.

Am I led by my spirit to such an extent that I AM the will of God?? Does every step I take glorify Him in that it was ordained by His perfect will?? This is what I want... this is what I need.

Lately, I have been suffocated by the affairs of this world. I have felt like I was drowning in a sea of strife, chaos, confusion... nothing that is of God. Every phone call. Every conversation. There seemed to be no escape... It sounds easy to say, just shut it all off - but we all know it doesn't work like that. Not when relationships are on the line. Not when SOULS are on the line. However, I have realized that I have been looking at it all wrong. God doesn't want me to find a way of escape; He doesn't have me in this predicament so that I end up "shutting off". God has me here so that, in the end, He can be glorified. And that is all. I am supposed to go through it, not get out of it. The one and only way that is going to happen, is by being encompassed in that overwhelming relationship with Him I mentioned before.

Instead of being so worried about the thoughts and actions of men, I have to KNOW that God's thoughts and actions are all that matter. My words and my actions should reflect Him. I am supposed to be ready in season and out of season for all these phone calls and conversations. The spirit of God in me should be directing the things that I say.

God help me to love you so dramatically that I am undoubtedly the bride of Christ. Help me to know You and to know Your will so that my spirit is in perfect alignment with Yours. Have Your way in me. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Inlaws or Outlaws?

I think one of the biggest trials married couples go through involves the in-laws. In comparison, I have some amazing in-laws and so does my husband. That doesn't change the fact that we will have disagreements that are made super tricky simply because we are family now. As one big happy Christian family, you would think everybody would walk Godly every step of the way and we would all live happily every after. Too bad it doesn't work that way in the real world. Everybody has off days, and everyone has different opinions, habits, and characteristics.

God has really been working some things out of me lately. Deep inside I have always had this hate for authority that I never wanted to acknowledge. What that means for me, is that I have a VERY hard time respecting someone simply because of position. I have always lived by, "You get respect when you earn respect." By the world's standards, there is nothing wrong with that. However, there are multiple scriptures (on honoring your parents, submitting to authority, and respecting elders) which disagree. There is no exception to honoring your parents just because you're older now, or married, or a parent yourself.

Now here's the bomb that has fallen into my world lately - my in-laws are my husband's parents. When I married my husband, we became "one flesh." Do I use that verse only when it is to my advantage, or suck it up and realize that his parents are my parents now. Therefore, I am to honor his parents. Honor is to "hold in high esteem" and to "reverently respect."

When this concept truly hit home, a lot of things had to happen in my heart. My pride was shattered. I realized, the opinions and disagreements I had with them - however noble they may have been - meant nothing to God as long as my heart had no respect for them. I also had to realize that God is GOD ... and I'm not. I can't be the Holy Spirit in their lives convicting them... only the Lord can do that. When I'm having an inner battle over something I see happening that I disagree with - I need to remember that the battle belongs to the Lord. I don't need to be the hero... that's God's job.

Why is it so hard to trust that God is truly in control and that He holds the hearts of men in His hands when it comes down to us having our say? I suppose it's that I'm not content with God's timeline. I always want to step in and save the day myself... but who am I to say that God even wants the day saved? What if He's trying to work something out of that person I'm trying to "save"? What if He's letting that individual be blind for now so that years from now He will be glorified by the chain of events that take place?

I'm still not sure that I have the level of respect in my heart for authority that the Lord requires of me. I know that it's something I can't change without His help. I am learning every day to trust Him, to believe whole-heartedly that with every situation, every person, and every problem... that the battle belongs to the Lord.

When I humble myself, and allow God to be God in my relationship with my in-laws, I believe I'll never have a true set of "out-laws".

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Trial of the Spiritual Desert

The hardest trials I go through in life aren't the life-threatening ones, those filled with persecution, or those in which other things fail or go awry... the hardest ones for me are the spiritually bleak ones. Those times when you're prayers seem to bounce off of heaven and echo right back in your own ears. The times when your heart is heavy with no releif.

I try to remember the days Jesus spent in the wilderness, but sometimes I'm easily distracted. Distracted by the things going on around me, the multitude of unanswered questions piling up inside, the depression and disbelief knocking at my door...

If I think about it all too much, I know I'll succumb. Everything happens for a reason. My head knows I'm supposed to be learning to trust God and just let Him have control. Why is my heart so deceitful? I know now why David spoke to his soul. He was having the same problem! He knew what was supposed to be happening, but his heart wasn't there.

Praise the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me... praise His holy name.


Monday, January 18, 2010

An Open Book

Growing up, I saw all too many marriages that were really obligations in disguise. Each spouse would keep stuff (big or small) from the other, and so many times it was almost like they didn't even know each other. This has become the norm. Sitcoms are made up of this stuff. Even the church is full of it.

Thankfully, I have tried to learn from their mistakes. Before we even got married, Paul and I purposed to make our relationship an open book. We shared our thoughts, dreams, fears, and deepest (darkest) secrets with each other. I married my best friend and I intend to keep it that way forever (in Jesus name!).

I can tell my husband anything, and he feels the same about me. There isn't anything we don't know about each other. Sometimes I think we know each other better than we know ourselves, lol! Because of that, there are no invisible walls, there are no "touchy" areas we have to tiptoe around, and there are hardly ever misunderstandings. We get over problems we have quickly (since we talk to each other about everything, stuff can't build up for very long), and arguments are shortlived. We TRUST each other!

When God compares our relationship with Him to a marriage, I imagine an open book marriage is the kind He expects. Not saying that my marriage us a perfect example or anything, just saying that God wants our relationship with Him to be so amazingly close that we go to Him with everything. That we read the Bible often so that we get to know all we can about Him. That our heart and life is so full of Him that there is no shame when He peeks in. That we trust Him with EVERYTHING.

I hope that my marriage is a good example to my children so that they can learn to have open book relationships with my husband and I, with God, and also with their own spouses one day. :)

I encourage you to build open book relationships with your husband, children, parents, and with God! Be patient, be forgiving, be understanding, and love unconditionally. Walk in the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and lean on the grace of God - these are the foundations of such relationships.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Powerless

Compared to the Christians in the Bible, and those in other countries, the American Christian is weak and powerless. John 14:12-13 says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."
And so I ask myself, where are the "greater works"? Where are the healings? Where is the deliverance? And why is it not here? Unbelief. Pure and simple. Unbelief.

When it really comes down to it, we don't really believe that praying over that man is going to make a difference whether he is cured of that cancer or not. We don't really believe the bipolar schizophrenic in that mental hospital can ever be delivered and changed. And we surely don't believe God will ever raise anyone from the dead. The saddest part is that we don't even want this to change. We have found a comfortable little place in our Christian walk while the rest of the world goes to hell. We would much rather curl up in our warm beds and watch some movie than delve into the Word of God to find out what we can do to to change all this. Forget spending time (that we say we don't have) in prayer and fasting!

Well I'm tired of it. I want to be passionate about walking in the power that Christ paid for with His blood. I want anything inside of me that is hindering that power to be gone. I want to walk into a room and demons flee because Jesus is just beaming off of me. It's time we stopped living selfish, lustful lives and became truly passionate about getting the power of God back in the church.


Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Eve

This New Year's Eve, I watched one of the most amazing things. I watched both of my parents and both of my husband's parents celebrate the day with us and their other children... and everyone got along, we had a wonderful, Godly fellowship, and there were memories made to be had for a lifetime. I am so blessed!!

Growing up, I had only one set of living grandparents that I really remember. Even so, they weren't much a part of my life at all. Knowing that my child gets to grow up with so many Godly influences is a result of reversing the curse sin had subjected our families to. I am so excited to be a part in raising up a Godly heritage!!

I am learning more and more every day about God's true will for the family. His intentions for how things should go are so vastly different from what Americans are taught... it's radical. Instead of our in-laws and other relatives being a burden, they should be a blessing and we should seek to honor them. Instead of our children growing up to become lazy teenagers spending their lives on computers and video games, they should be mature enough to be taking over the house respinsibilties at that age. Instead of them mirroring the world by not getting along with their siblings and parents, they should mirror Christ by displaying the fruits of the Spirit even at a young age. Instead of our parents growing old and being placed in nursing homes, we should be serving them and taking care of them ourselves....

I could go on and on. As Christians, our lives should be different from that of the world's. They should look at our family and go, "Wow, what do they have that we don't?" and the obvious answer should be, "Jesus!"