Tag Archives: real

Is it Real Religion?

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A little reflection is probably good for the soul, but it certainly needs to be balanced. As I wind down 2015, I’m first of all shocked that I’m winding down 2015! Somebody put my life in fast forward mode and I can’t slow down. Do you feel that way too? But as quick as it went, this morning had me thinking about what I did with the past 323 days. Were they productive for the cause of Christ? Some were, some weren’t but for a fact they are both un-re-doable. Should you double hyphenate a word? Life is short… let’s walk on the wild side.

A little food for thought today from the book of James caused me to ponder the question “Has my 323 days been real religion.”

RELIGION MAKES ME NAUSEOUS

You can be “religious” about anything. I was raised in “religion.” A theory of theirs was religiously going to church was “enough.” Saying you are a Christian was “enough.” Don’t overdo church, once a week is “enough.” Well enough already! There is no point in rehashing pre-salvation failures, those are under the blood! Glory to God!  Lukewarm Christianity that makes my Lord want to puke and spew us out of His mouth isn’t good. So when I start “going through the motions” of Christianity it concerns me. I want to arrive at church with great expectation of what the Lord is going to do, I want to get up in the morning and say, “Reporting for Duty Sir!” to the Lord… and mean it. I want there to be excitement in my life every day for the opportunities before me. I don’t want to be religious, I want to be as spontaneous as a fire on a windy autumn day, igniting everything around me. Yes I’m getting fired up! How about you?

James 1:22-25

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:   For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

My second point is this

RELIGION MAKES ME NERVOUS

And it’s why I’m reflecting today. Not living up to my potential as a child of God can cause eternal damage and a friend to be in that fire that cannot be quenched. If I get lacks on my responsibilities as a Christian, and concern myself more with the affairs of this world and not the cause of Christ, who will I not see in Heaven? I look around at friends and family and I’m nervous for them. Because I don’t see Christ in their life and I have no assurance if they were to die today that they’d be in Heaven. I don’t want to go through the motions of Religion, I want a relationship with Christ which will motivate me to share the gospel. Reflection and reading God’s word blesses and readies my heart for service.

James 1:25

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

RELIGION MAKES ME NEGATIVE

It’s a line I have to try so hard not to cross, and one that I see so many good people crossing. They spend more time setting fires of destruction with their negative attitude and critical spirit than lighting a fire for Christ. They’re constantly (religiously) concerning themselves with what’s happening in another church, rather than concerned about the lost and those in need.

James 1:26-27

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

As I wind down 2015 I want to be wound tight for 2016. I want to be busy in my relationship with Jesus and the people I meet every day. I want to open my “Big Stinkin’ Mouth,” in the words of a recent sermon title I heard. I want people to see the love of Christ, and that I am religious with my relationship with Him so that they’ll know it’s real!

Join me! And if you feel so inclined… share me. Post this blog link on Social media or share it with a friend!

Love ya… mean it!

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What Develops After the Camera Clicks

pinterest-craft-fails-21-1So I stole today’s blog post idea from Pastor Steven Furtick, just sayin’ that up front in case any of you are fans of his pod cast or watch him online. Yes, he uses the wrong Bible…you probably won’t like his music and you may find a dozen other things you consider faults. Before you judge, check the mirror. This sermon was just so spot on I felt the need to do the Jesus Chick version. It was like he took a page out of my life and scribbled it on his sermon notes. Seriously.

Almost every time (if not every time) I speak, someone says to me, “I love how you’re so very real.” The reality of that statement for me is, they’re saying, “I love how you let us see how very messed up you are.” And that’s the truth. I’ve never professed to be a model of how you should live your life, I’m more the “what not to do” version. I realized this again when I spoke at the Ladies Retreat at Five Forks Community Church and they had decorated their platform with the goal of showing a messed up, packrat home. My first thought was, wow, I’ll be right at home here. My home will never be on the better homes and gardens cover, unless it’s as a cleaning project. I run from daylight to dark (literally). So for someone to judge my housekeeping, they have to take over some of my responsibilities. But they’ll have to fight me for them, because I’d rather serve the Lord than clean house. Yes, I’m using that as an excuse to be messy, I’m sure God will line me out about it when I get to Heaven.

Steven Furtick’s sermon title was “The Problem with Pinterest.” His problem was that when the projects on Pinterest (a social media sight) were tried by the average mortal soul they never quite turned out like they had anticipated. More often than not they were epic failures that cost you money, left you discouraged and feeling inadequate and in constant comparison of the “perfect people” whose children are well behaved, their homes are immaculate and they look like they just stepped off the cover of Vogue. Personally, I prefer another sight Steven Furtick tuned me into which is www.pinterestfail.com, ‘where good intentions come to die.’ How precious is that! Now that’s a website I can identify with. It’s filled with pictures of Pinterest projects gone wrong. You can literally burn up hours laughing at what would been your picture had you actually tried the project.

Ironically enough times haven’t changed since the days of Moses.

In  Corinthians 3:13 Apostle Paul says:

And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

It’s often thought that Moses put the veil over his face because it was too bright to look upon, but more than likely the veil was there to keep them from seeing that the glory was fading away, and thereby they’d become discouraged because the old covenant wasn’t a permanent fix. (Exodus 34:29-35). And such is life…

We are continually looking upon Pinterest posts, Facebook profiles, Twitterpics and Instagrams and believing that that perfect image is everlasting. It lasted for the split second the picture was taken. And then more than likely the child threw a tantrum, the happy couple got in a huge fight because someone was unappreciated or spent too much money and that perfect family went back to being perfectly dysfunctional. The picture perfect home may very well have a huge crack in the foundation of life and although it looks beautiful, the reality is very ugly.

But nobody posts that. Well some do, but I’m quick to hide them, who wants to see it! Well some do… those who are every bit as miserable but love looking and judging someone else’s misery.

Praise God for the New Covenant! Even though the perfect children fade into tantrum throwing, backing talking, door slamming teens, the picturesque home has Oreo’s ground into the carpet and dog hair on the couch, and the happy couple isn’t always so happy when the door closes behind the company that showed up unannounced, we still have a perfect plan.

It’s the one that we’re not in control of.

It’s the one that covered by the unconditional forgiveness and grace of our Savior, who loves us in our messes and in our brokenness.

For marketing my blog and speaking, I call myself “The Jesus Chick.” That doesn’t mean I’m so spiritual I have all of life figured out. It just means I’m pretty tight with the One Who fixes the disaster I call life.

 If you’d like to see Steven Furtick’s video message from Elevation Church, here’s the link!

 http://elevationchurch.org/sermons