Tag Archives: 1 Thessalonians 5

I’m Leaning a Little Closer to Crazy

From the day the Holy Spirit entered my heart in 1996 it’s been quite the journey. I’ve been on mountains, I’ve been in the lowest of valleys. I’ve seen the shadow of death. I’ve explored the caverns of the recesses of my mind and discovered that there were terrible, vial things hidden in the dark. I’ve dragged them to the mouth of the cave and thrown them off a cliff.  On the outside of my mind, where other people dwell, I’ve been an encourager and a discourager with the same mouth. I’ve allowed people to matter more than He who created me, at which time I would retreat into the recesses of my mind again and as I went back in I’d pick up those vial things from the valley below the cliff. I’d use them for company. Sounds pretty dramatic doesn’t it.

Life is filled with drama.

And I can be a drama mama inwardly but outwardly I try to keep it sane. I don’t want the world to see the crazy that lives within me. But believe me it’s in there. So I went back to the revival to hear “crazy” preach again last night. And I say that in the most respectful way about Sebby Volpe. Sebby is crazy about Jesus. He’s just crazy enough to let the Spirit lead in such a manner that when you leave the service you not only knew that you were in the presence of God, but God had stirred up a little bit of crazy inside of you too.

Sebby spoke on the spirits last night. A subject matter of my heart for months and months and months. I’ve longed to see the Spirit moving in a great way. I’m also aware that not everything that moves is of the Spirit with a capital “S”. There are little spirits out there that can make a big mess of things if we’re not careful. So the scripture says to try the spirits and see if it’s of God. (Paraphrased from 1 John 4:1). And so I earnestly seek God’s wisdom to know what’s real and what desires to deceive me.

A.W. Tozer wrote this:

Now our Lord Jesus. That great Shepherd of the sheep, has not left His flock to the mercy of the wolves. He has given us the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit and natural powers of observation, and He expects us to avail ourselves of their help constantly. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good,” said Paul (I Thess. 5:21) . “Beloved, believe not every spirit,” wrote John, “but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1) . “Beware of false prophets,” our Lord warned, “which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15). Then He added the word by which they may be tested, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

And so I lean on scripture to guide me through this haphazard world that seems to go from one extreme to the other on spirituality. The pendulum swings from deader than a hammer to wide open crazy! And I’m somewhere in the middle leaning toward the crazy side because I know Christ ain’t dead. So what struck me about Tozer’s writing was the closing of that paragraph. “Ye shall know them by their fruits” – Matthew 7:15.

So regardless of denomination I look at the fruit of the body of Christ (people I believe to be saved) And upon inspection of the fruit I find this:

SEEDLESS FRUIT

They’re a sweet bunch! But they’re not sowing any new seeds. They are content with our four and no more in their congregations and so they rest on the laurels of those who have gone before.

SOUR FRUIT

Oh they are the faithful! Every Sunday, rain or shine you’ll find them in their place, hanging on the branch. But don’t ask them to move to another limb because that’s where they’ve hung out since their granddaddy brought them to that church and for pete’s sake don’t ask them to blend in with another tree, even if they are apples.

SACRED FRUIT

They put themselves up on a pedestal of righteousness and only affiliate with those who will conform to their standards of ritualistic observances. Your peeling must be the right color and your flavor must be the same. Usually bland.

SEASONAL FRUIT

Also called C&E Christians. Christmas and Easter only. I truthfully don’t think they’re fruit at all.

SEDCUTIVE FRUIT

They draw people into them with gadgets and gimmicks. But often times it’s a flesh thing. There is no fruit inside. And because of that people are convinced there is no such thing as “fruit of the Spirit.”

And then there’s my favorite:

SPIRIT FILLED FRUIT

It’s could also be called the passion fruit. The passion fruit has a tough outer rind with a juicy, seed filled center. It’s a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins that benefit your health. Hello? Doesn’t that sound like what a true Spirit filed Christian should be? I’ve been hurt so many times (many by fellow believers), so I’ve developed a somewhat, though not impenetrable skin. Else I’d have already left the tree. I have however managed in 21 years of salvation to keep that ooey gooey center that makes me love people all the more and have a desire to see souls saved. I am filled with the seeds of the gospel but I’ve allowed life to squelch my desire to sow them. I’m considered to be a little too passionate for the Lord sometimes. How can that be? After everything He’s done for me.

Sebby Volpe makes people uncomfortable because he tills the soil when he comes to town!

The world is looking for a tree that bears a fruit that has passion and power. It’s called the cross of Jesus. But they’ll never see it unless we become passionate about our purpose. I’m leaning a little closer to crazy this morning!

Church and Chick Emotions out of Control

chick emotionI get really excited over the silliest of things. For example, the latest iPhone update included additional emoji’s, of which two were… are you ready! An emoji which rolled it’s eyes and one wearing my glasses. I know!!!! Is that cool or what? I warned you it was silly. But I’m am eye roller, just ask my kids. I need that eye rolling emoji if for nothing else, just being able to send it to my kids so they know I’m rolling my eyes. And the one wearing my glasses, well that’s just cool.

I’d like to add a few Christian emoji’s to the list for the next iPhone update.

How about an “I’m holier than you emoji.” It would have a dangling cross beneath it’s chin and a smug look. I needed that one last week when someone looked down their nose at me because sometimes my warped sense of humor goes too far. It would have been wasted though because I don’t foresee myself being in a “texting” conversation with that person. But I’d still like to have it for grins and giggles.chick emotion 1

What about animated emoji arms of praise. I need that!!!!

A more practical use of an emoji would be the preacher one. I’ve seen the emoji with Catholic collars, but we’re Baptist so I’d prefer my emoji preacher would skip the collar and perhaps be behind the sacred desk. I could use this one as a reminder to my kids that services start at 10. Or any other time I wanted to remind them that they need to attend church. And when they responded with an excuse I could send them the rolling eye emoji. Win win!

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One that I’m sure we could all use is a “What were you thinking” emoji… no wait. Just use the eye rolling one it’s universal!

There most assuredly needs to be that Baptist “talk to the hand” not to the face emoji. That way when someone else tried to share their opinion they could just message them this emoticon and the arguments would cease. Imagine how   great that would work for church unity. (not)

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What about a “back of the head emoticon?” For those church folk always looking back when someone has a new idea and they say “That’s not the way we’ve done it here.” Oh… now I’ve gone to meddlin’!

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While I’m there… we need an “eye rolling, smug face, if only emoji’s had hips so I could put my hands on them” emoji so that when kids cost the church money or made a mess someone could send that to the deacon board. Wow… I may have just crossed the line.

We Christians are an emotional lot are we not?

But the emoticon that we really need is the Holy Kiss. The one that says I’m just a sinner saved by grace, but I sure am glad you’re here. I need  to share that one before I share any of the others, even with the mean people.

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Romans 16:16

Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.

1 Corinthians 16:20

All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.

2 Corinthians 13:12

Greet one another with an holy kiss.

1 Thessalonians 5:26

Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

Social Media: Inherit the Land, don’t buy the farm

chick friends

I have watched it play out so many times it’s ridiculous. And every time I’m shocked that people had the audacity to say such things as my stomach twists and turns for the person to which they said it to; because usually it’s someone who will take the cut and go on in life  because “that’s what people do.” It happened on the Facebook page of a young friend not so long ago when a “so called” professional tried to smash her dreams by insinuating she wasn’t qualified for a job she was enquiring about. My blood went to the boiling point in seconds. I wanted to lash out and give that woman a piece of my mind, but I knew I didn’t have much to spare. My solution was to private message my young friend and tell her that the professional which offered her advice not to seek the “highly qualified” position was an idiot and I encouraged her to chase her dream. For the record, she was qualified for the position because it was a position that she could apply for and then seek the training, I wasn’t adding to a pipe dream, she was qualified. There are just as many other illustrations about every subject matter out there where people will comment hurtful, maliciously under toned comments that tear at the fabric of people and feel that they are entitled to do so in the name of “friendship.”

If I post on a public website I can expect that people who thrive on making others feel less, wrong, unimportant etc. will comment. If you post it they will come. But on my social media page, where I am queen of that domain, I will not cut your head off, but I’ll cut your access and be no worse for the wear because it’s biblical.

I don’t know what the “social media” site was in Solomon’s day, but he had a handle on it when he wrote Proverbs 27:6 – Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

For some reason today I felt compelled to post on the need to self-assess your self-access.  Who has access to you and how do you feel when you’ve come into contact with them? Because she’s the ultimate bestie, I’ll use my friend Gloria as an illustration. When Gloria and I converse I always leave the conversation feeling better than before, she’s an encourager. Apostle Paul’s advice to the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 – was Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”

So as you self-assess or self-access ask yourself these questions:

Have you been comforted or discomfited? When someone was discomfited in the Bible they lost the battle after being attacked and were often times caught off guard. An attack of a ne’re-do-well often comes without warning. You posted something innocent enough and before you know it the conversation turned into a judgmental rant and stirred up all kinds of feelings in you and none of them were good. Pray and delete.

Have you been exhorted or exiled?  Are your friends invested in what you’re interested in or are your conversations one sided… and it’s their side? A real friend may not love all the things you love, but they love that you love it, or at least tolerate you while you talk about it. I won’t say you should delete this person, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend you investing in a one sided conversation. I would however recommend you search out Facebook friends who have a like passion. They’ll love listening to you and it may just open up doors to wonderful honest friendships that you never expected.

I have 1300 or so friends on Facebook and truthfully only interact with about 10%. It’s those 10% who have invested in me and I in them. They encourage me for the battles I face in life. The Lord told Moses in Deuteronomy 3:28 to “…charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.”

If Moses had a Facebook account he would have had a few million friends, but not all those were encouragers. When they originally set off on the journey it was the bad advice of a few of his social media buddies that had them wandering around 40 years. (Numbers 13:32) But Joshua was an encourager and in return God made sure he was encouraged too.

We don’t have 40 years to wander. Invest wisely in your time on social media and make sure your friends encourage you to inherit the land, not buy the farm.

Proverbs 27:17 – Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.