Tag Archives: relationship

It’s Time to Come to Myself

Sunday is not my only day of listening to sermons. I listen to a variety of preachers and pastors throughout the week, some might surprise you and some may not. I’m no respecter of denominations. I’m a respecter of those who biblically speak Jesus. Period. It’s why, when a preacher that I’m “Facebook friends” with, and I use that term very loosely, went on a trashing spree of preachers my blood boiled.

There were a few that I utterly disagree with too, but I leave them to God. Although if someone asked, I’d willingly tell them why I disagree.  But this guy went so far as to say they were lost! My first thought was “who made you God?” The only One who has the right to call a man or woman saved or lost is God. I cannot look on the soul and tell. Nor do I want that responsibility.

I’m not sure he mentioned Perry Noble, though he probably would have; but I’ve followed the ups and downs of Perry Noble for years. I’ve wept with him and for him. He broke my heart when he fell as Pastor of New Spring Church. I cheered him on when he fought his way back. Though he didn’t know, because he doesn’t really know me. See… we’re “friends” too.

I like Perry because he’s real. Sometimes too real for me, I’ll be honest. He says some things that goes against my good Baptist girl grain. And he says some things that make me laugh really hard that really shouldn’t. But most important he gives me a desire to have a deeper relationship with my Heavenly Father. And that is what a preacher is called to do. Not judge other preachers!

So this week on Perry’s new podcast for his new church “Second Chances” he preached on the prodigal son. Not an unknown sermon for even a lost person. But Perry preached it from the perspective of the brother who stayed home. Again not an unknown sermon topic. But what was new to me was the thought about the “good” son didn’t have enough of a relationship with his father to know that (1) how upset the father had been (2) that the son had come home and (3) why there was a need for the party.

The prodigal came to himself, the farm boy needed a come to Jesus moment with Dad. But that’s not what he got. The Father had mercy for both. That was the gist of Perry’s sermon. But much better. I just gave the highlights.

What drew my mind into this today was my own relationship with God. How much do I know about what God wants for my life? I know what I want, but do I know what He wants?

It’s time to come to myself.

I am often guilty (really often) of studying for the purpose of others, and not for myself. It’s not that I don’t receive and need the messages I write and the Word of God that He speaks into my soul as well. But many of those messages are about general life issues, not personal life issues. If you’ve studies scripture for yourself, you likely know the kind; when the word of God cuts you open and fillets your heart like a fish! Showing you all the nooks and crannies of it and draws you into a conversation with Him where you almost feel like you’re sitting in His office on a crystal stool like a princess as He gives you the “Dad” talk.

Oh…. I so need to draw that someday.

But more importantly I need to be there.

I don’t need to preach to anyone about “their” life, nor do I ever want to be guilty of judging the soul of another person. I don’t know who’s saved. I only know that we all need to come to the knowledge of Who Jesus is and then grow in His grace so that we can know Him in a way that a child should know their Dad.

My girls have a very special relationship with their Dad. They adore him and when he speaks, they trust in his wisdom. That’s how a child of the King should be. Adoring. Listening. Believing.

When I lay down at night, I should listen for His bedtime story. When I rise in the morning we should meet at the table for a game plan kind of day. It should never be about you. It should be about us.

When the prodigal son came home His dad cleaned him up and threw a party. The other son threw a temper tantrum, complained about the slavery he had invested in for his Father and missed out on all the fun. Don’t miss the party because you’re looking at other folks. I’ve been guilty of it.

Oh How He Loves You and Me

Hosea 3:2

So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley and an half homer of barley:

Have you ever wondered why God puts up with you? I certainly do. Most every day I’m asking myself that question. I have a feeling that nobody asked that question any more than Gomer, the wife of the prophet Hosea.

The story of Hosea’s prostitute wife was not that of the ordinary man of God. God had instructed him to marry a prostitute. That is what I would all an extreme sermon illustration! Once they were married, Gomer’s infidelity and abandonment meant that Hosea had to buy her back out of prostitution, in a very public way and then tell the children of Israel how his wife’s infidelity was no different than theirs was to the Lord; which would bring great judgment upon themselves.  

Praise God for grace… but Gomer’s life story still rings my bell. I long for a relationship of deeper proportion with the Lord, but I stay so busy and scattered about with various things that the Lord more often than not, gets scooted over to make a seat for some vain desire. Thinking I’ll get back to Him later. What? Even writing that makes my stomach roll over to think that I would treat the Creator of all the earth in such a manner.

It’s why I can identify with Gomer. Hosea married her and made an honorable woman out of her, but she refused to stay away from the world from which she came out of. She had children, and she even abandoned them to go back.

Infidelity has a much broader meaning when it comes to our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

He’s not asking us to turn our backs on family, forget about hobbies or favorite pass times, He merely wants included. And yet, even I, who the world around me knows me as the Jesus Chick, will not bring Him into a conversation for fear of it being an unwanted conversation sometimes. Or I’ll get distracted by some worldly television show or social media and my day has dwindled away and I’m left wondering why I feel like a dirt dog at the end of the day.

It’s the equivalency of not showering! The Word of God is a spiritual wash cloth as one of my favorite preachers use to say.

My relationship with Christ cannot possibly get to a deeper place, if I’m not willing to wade out into the water where He is.

It reminds me of those times that He and the disciples would get away from the rest of the world for some ministry training and rest and it would be in a quiet place, or in the midst of the sea. It wasn’t in a crowded room, dusty street, or in front of a blaring television with idiotic commercials every 3 minutes.

So today in an attempt to understand why God tolerates me I looked into the eyes of Hosea through the eyes of Gomer. I realized it was for no other reason than He loves me. Thank God, I am redeemed. Bought back with the blood of Jesus Christ after I went astray.

He loves you too you know…

How Crazy is it?

The closer I get to Easter, the more my mind reflects on the cross. And the more I reflect on what God did that day the more I have to say that it’s got to be a crazy love that would be willing to do what Jesus did that day. When I look at the world we live in I think to myself “Why on earth would you have saved this wicked and rebellious generation?” For which I am one. I know my heart and how I can turn on a dime toward something sinful and ignore the Holy Spirit within in me that gives me more than enough support not to fall into it. And yet I do. And yet He still loves me. That’s crazy! But what’s crazier than His love is those who fail to accept it.

The Love of Jesus is Without Condemnation

While sin is not ever acceptable it is no less inevitable. 1 John 1:8 says If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” There is a difference between condemnation and conviction. Jesus will not condemn the child of God for the sins they’ve committed. That crazy day on the cross He died to cover every sin ever committed by His children. Is not that a worthy payment? Of course it is. Does that mean we can sin and not understand there should have been a penalty and yet may still be repercussions? Of course not.

If a store is robbed there is an earthly expectation of the penalty that freedom should be lost. If I hurt a friend without regard for them or our friendship I may lose that friend. But when I sin, regardless of the depth of the sin the penalty is paid in the eyes of God, and the relationship is restored the very second I turn to Him. That’s crazy love, but it’s how He works.

Sin is without condemnation but it is not without conviction. The Holy Spirit reveals to the child of God when sin is in the house, we know better. We may still fail but He has given us the power within us not to. If we fall into sin it is our choice.

The Love of Jesus Cannot be without Declaration

Matthew 10:33

But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Professing Christ is more than just saying that you know Him. Satan knows Him. The demons of Hell know Him, but they are not children of God. I knew Him in my head from the time I was a child until 1996. But not until I declared Him as Lord of my life and trusted in Him to save me did I know Him in my heart. It was then that I truly felt the Holy Spirit guiding me and putting that conviction upon me when I wasn’t going in the right direction. It was also when I began to declare my love for Him. Even when the world thought I was crazy.

My friend Doyle Ballengee said it best when he said “Go ahead and call me a fanatic, when you or someone you love gets a bad doctor’s report, you’ll be looking for a fanatic.”

That’s how I feel about my declaration of love for Jesus. Go ahead and say I’m crazy when all I want to do is talk about my Lord and all that He’s done in my life. Because when your life gets turned upside down but this old world, someone as crazy as me can help you set it up aright by showing you how Jesus did that for me.

I know it sounds crazy to the world when I say that Jesus died for me. Because the world wouldn’t give you the time of day if it cost them anything of any magnitude. But Jesus will give you more than you could ever imagine in return for your declaration, acknowledgement of Who He is. God.

The Love of Jesus is Not without Expectation

I can hear the naysayers now, “Oh, there it is. I knew you had to do something.” No, you can sit on your toosh and do absolutely nothing and still make it to Heaven. Jesus paid the price once and for all at the cross. All who accept, believe and declare Him as Lord, that He died on the cross, rose again the third day, and ascended to Heaven to make intercession for you will be saved. But if you want to be all you can be for Christ, and have the reward of His glory, on earth and in Heaven, there is an expectation.

I sat at a table with three friends this past Wednesday, each with their own story of coming to the knowledge of Christ in their lives; four very different people with one common bond…Christ.

  • One came to Christ because she grew tired of being with people, and yet alone.
  • One came to Christ because the religion she had grown up with let her down when she needed it most.
  • One came to Christ when He realized the law wouldn’t save anyone.
  • And this one, me, came to Christ when I realized there was no peace in this world without the Prince of Peace. And “religion” wasn’t the same as a “relationship.”

Each one of us now serve Christ and desire to serve Him greater because He did that crazy thing on the cross.

How crazy was it? He was beat until His body was unrecognizable and said to have looked like hamburger, He was spit upon, and ridiculed, at the height of His pain had a crown of thorns rammed on His head and was mocked as King of the Jews. His earthly mother sat at His feet with her friends and wept for the Son God had allowed her to give birth to. Some of His final words were “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34 in part) That’s crazy because it’s true.

He did that for you. Have you experienced His love? Declare it and share it! He is worthy.

Is it Real Religion?

chick real2

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!

chick encourage 2

Rededication – Getting back to God’s Plan

chick bethelIf I asked you this morning how your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is, what would be your answer? It’s not a comfortable question, because if we’re truthful, none of us are walking as close to the Lord as we should be. At the end of Wednesday night teen class last night all the teens had cleared out with the exception of a few girls who wanted to talk (such an honor!). One of those young ladies had made the decision to rededicate her life to Christ and her friend encouraged the way.   She wanted to put a marker down that she could look back at and say “This is the day I moved closer to Christ.” While the renewal of our mind should be an everyday occurance because of the garbage that travels through it in the course of a day, rededication is a more serious event. I think of it much like the time in Jacob’s life when he left home. In my mind’e eye I always picture him as a young man, but in truth he was past the age of retirement when he left his parents home heading toward Haran (Genesis 28:10). That puts a some what different perspective on his behavior and a certain need for a getting his heart right with God.

He’d lied to his father, deceived his brother, and his mommy made him run away at 70 years old… I think it was time. His first night on his own wasn’t in an apartment in the city it was on a hillside with a pile of rocks for his pillow and there he found himself with night dreams, visions and a lot of time on his hands. It’s those harsh nights that get me too. When your mind won’t stop reeling of the things in life that are not as they should be and darkness has a tendency to bring things to light… Like the need for a right heart with God.

Jacob’s dream: (Genesis 28:12-15)

And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.

For me that was the equivalency of arriving at church, and at the end of service saying, “Wow! I had no idea God hung out here.” I’m pretty sure there are some folks who still don’t know… but I digress. God had met Jacob there and he didn’t know until he awoke from his sleep. That’s the time of rededication! When you wake up and realize that God is trying to move in your life and you’ve been so far from God’s mindset that you had no idea. When He created us, He spoke a plan but then we get off track. As a child of God we all want it… you know… God to do something great in our lives, but we start going through religious motions. We can do it in our sleep. Don’t cuss, don’t chew, don’t date the guys who do (especially if you’re married), go to church, treat people right and so on and so forth. And then church becomes less of a priority, but we still treat people right! Jacob didn’t even do that. He likely felt as low as a snails belly! He knew he’d messed up.

God wanted to do great things in his life, but first Jacob was going to have to come to terms with God, on God’s terms.

Vs. 17-22

And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

Jacob put that stone down as marker in Bethel (which means house of God) as a reminder that he and God and renewed their relationship in that place. Do you have to be in church? No, but it sure helps set the tone! My young friend had come to church last night with the need to lay a marker down. I can’t wait to see what God does with her life! She’s entering her first year in high school and was ecstatic that a church across the street from her high school was opened once a week by the senior class for a prayer lunch. A group of young people returning back to the place God began dwelling many years ago… What do you think might happen there? Revival!!!!! I hope.

Let’s all go to the Rock! Age doesn’t matter, but God needs us to get back to the plan.

A Trip to the 7-Eleven

chick saturday

We don’t have a 7-Eleven in our neck of the woods, nor any other large chain of stores. We’re about as rural as rural gets before it gets to frontier. You can’t always “have it your way” in Calhoun County, West Virginia, sometimes you can’t even get it! It’s a small price to pay though in my opinion to live in a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone and when the emergency services scanner goes off with directions to a home, somebody around those parts knows who to pray for. But another fact of life in our area is there’s little anonymity, possibly none.

As I read about the Corinthians that Paul had written to, anonymity wasn’t the case for their sins either.

Sometime around the middle of the first century, Paul traveled to spread the word of God at which time he traveled to Corinth. The level of wickedness in Corinth was as bad or worse than America, if you can even imagine it. A check list of issues was

  • Pagan altars
  • Idol worship
  • Worship of other gods
  • Prostitution
  • Blatant sin
  • Rejection of God
Hmm… Sound familiar?

The Jewish population of Corinth rejected Paul’s teachings, so the apostle turned his efforts to the Gentiles and thus the church of Corinth was born. One of the many sins of that day today was the lack of morality. Men and women alike did not honor their marriage and even weak members of the church were involved in affairs on a regular basis. But repentance did come for many.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 7:11  –  For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

A lesson in life from the 7-Eleven. We all struggle with sins and temptations, some to a greater degree than others, especially if your exposure to sin has been greater, then there’s more tools in Satan’s tool box to work against you. But here in this text we find the “overcomer’s club!” They’d fought the battle and won the victory.

Because of their:

The godly sort – the repentance of the Corinthians was genuine. And with it brought evidence of their desire to live for Christ.

Carefulness – to avoid the sins that had drawn them in and away from God. Oh that we would be more careful to avoid the pitfalls of sin through the company we keep and the exposure to multi forms of media. Sin is everywhere… oh be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down in love, oh be careful little eyes what you see.

Clearing yourself – That carefulness to avoid sin, and striving for a relationship with God brings a clearing of the air! There is nothing between you and the Holy One in Heaven.

Fear – A godly fear. A fear of falling back into the ways of sin that so “easily beset us.” God puts that fear in us because He knows without it we’d be prey daily.

Vehement desire – He also put within us a desire to know and serve the living God. You generally don’t know what it is until you’ve found it. But I believe there is a hole in the heart of every non-believer that draws them to the throne of God. They may reject it, but God said He would be lifted up to all men. John 12:32 says –And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Zeal – Salvation and repentance brings a zeal, a fervor that can only be satisfied by telling the world about Jesus.

Revenge – The ultimate revenge against Satan is a soul on fire for Christ that robs him of the opportunity to steal other souls from God.

Clear of that matter – we cannot work for salvation. But we work to draw out minds into the goodness and wholesomeness of God and away from the sins of the world that will find us clear of the matter. I envision a long spiraling climb and finally reaching the peak of the mountain to where you can see clear from above… oh Glory… to be in that spot. Above the sin and reproach that Satan loves to lay at our feet.

March on Christian soldiers! Love ya! If   I encourage, please! share my blog with others.
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God, the Girdle and the Glory!

girdle

Strange title I know, but an even a stranger story that pierced my soul this morning as I read it. Jeremiah, who was only about 17 when God called him, was known as the weeping prophet. He knew what God’s judgment would bring to Israel and no matter how he cried or warned the people would not listen. In one such warning God gave Jeremiah an illustration using a girdle; not one of our modern day vices that conceals our fluffiness, but a belt worn by a man.

Jeremiah 13 

Thus saith the Lord unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water.

So I got a girdle according to the word of the Lord, and put it on my loins.

And the word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying,

Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock.

So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me.

It is said that the belt symbolized the close relationship that God desired with man. So Jeremiah did as he was told and hid the girdle in the hole in the rocks for many days until God told him to dig it up. When he dug up the belt, it was ruined; the scripture said it was good for nothing. God explained the illustration to Jeremiah in verses 10-11:

10 This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and ~     worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.

11 For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.

I know that the prophecy is about Israel, but oh how our beloved America echoes their behavior. I’m not a doom and gloom personality. I love seeing the cup half full. But deed we make it hard. America was that girdle once upon a time that put God in His proper place, held tightly by a faith unwavering. He was written into the founding father’s plan for our nation only to be removed generations later by a leadership who has cowered to Godless religions that seek to destroy us from within. Well… that sounded a bit doomsday didn’t it?

But it’s true… they will not hear.

We were created in His image, for His glory. As Gentiles we were adopted into His family because the nation of Israel turned their back on Him and today we as a nation do the same. So what’s a gal to do? It appears we can’t fix Washington… or so Satan would have us believe. I will never give up on the possibility that God will turn us around again. But it’s going to take more than words.

It takes votes – November 4th

It takes valor – When the world says it’s acceptable, we have to stand our ground and say not it’s not.

It takes vigilance – we have to be on constant guard of what Satan is trying to do.

It takes vengeance – Not ours but Gods.

Please pray throughout the coming week.  Imagine if we viewed these next coming days like the wall of Jericho, and we march every day in silent prayer, and then come Tuesday we shout! We look at the ballot from God’s perspective and tear down the lies that Washington is hiding behind. It could really happen if we lived what we say we believe.

My prayer is that as a nation we bind God tightly around us and then wait for His Glory.

The Art of Seduction

seducing eyes

One would think I’d be beyond seduction. After all I’m the Jesus Chick. Even as I write those words my stomach twists and turns knowing that I’m just a sinner saved by grace. I try hard to walk the talk (and fail.) I don’t want to be just another hypocritical living child of God.

I loved the funny tale of the man who wanted no part of religious, hypocritical living Christians, but at the coercing of a friend decided to go to church. He watched as the people from his small town filed into the church; one by one their sins rehearsed themselves in his mind. He listened intently to the sermon, sure he’d find discrepancies of truth, but the strangest thing happened… at some point he stopped looking at the people, and the Pastor’s words began to pierce his heart and within him he could feel his soul tremble. The Word was truth, and it had not pointed to the sins of his peers but to his own. When altar call came his heart nearly beat out of his chest as his white knuckles relinquished their grip on the pew and he made his way down the aisle. As he got up from the altar the man was amazed that God had not only saved him, but the entire church of hypocrites as well, he couldn’t spot a one!

I love that story! It’s not my own, nor do I really fit into it as my story of salvation. I was a lost sinner living a lie. I didn’t look at other “Christians” and think of them as hypocrites because I didn’t understand what Christians were supposed to be. That my friend is a sad indictment on society. I knew right from wrong, the moral sense of the law but was clueless to what a Spirit filled Christian looked like. I was seduced by Satan who had convinced me that there was no need to seek a relationship with Christ; that was for Preachers and fanatics. But then “it” happened, Shari got saved, really saved! Holy Spirit filled, call me a fanatic, I don’t care – saved! And a different type of seduction started. Satan could no longer seduce me into idleness but would rather seduce me with busyness.” Regardless of whether or not it was work, church or family related, I was still being seduced away from the relationship with Christ.

1 John 2

26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.

27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

The Anointing

God’s plan of action for every believer. Every day He has a job that only you can do, and He’s anointed you with the power to do it. Every day Satan works to get you off focus.

The Abiding

God’s place within the heart of every believer. Everyday God makes your heart His home and begins to fill it with godly possessions. And every day Satan strives to overcrowd that space with pretty pieces that serve no purpose in eternity.

The Appearing

God’s Pledge that He’s coming back for every believer. Every day God wants us to be ready for His return. To have confidence that we are okay in Him, and every day Satan removes that confidence of God’s return and replaces it with complacency.

He has seduction down to fine art. It doesn’t have to be sexy, or vile; it just has to catch your eye long enough to get you off focus. God’s eternal design was not so much for us to walk the talk as it was to walk with Him. That will speak for itself.

8 Words that Describe Life

baby feet

If you were to describe life in just 8 words what would the words be? That was the question I posed to my teen class yesterday morning in Sunday School. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­Would those words change if circumstances changed and what might some of the words look like to describe God in the bad times? It was a great conversation starters! Word’s stir us. If I mention a word, like “fear” and ask you to think on it, it usually calls to remembrance a time in your life when you were afraid. The Word of God is greater than any word I could use, and has the power to stir your soul with ever jot and tittle. That’s God.

So when it comes to the Bible, why do you think we hesitate to read it? … not enough time, lack of understanding, conviction, you just don’t want too? I think that’s called rebellion. God created each of us in His image and for the purpose of having a relationship with Him. For me it’s an overwhelming thought sometimes to think that the Creator of the all the universe created me for Him. To have a relationship with Him in the manner that I have a relationship with my children. Parent/Child. But that’s how it is, and His word is the greatest and most easily understand way of communicating with Him and yet we take if for granted.

The beginning of our relationship with God began in Genesis

Genesis 1:26a

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:

It was as if God was saying – They’re going to look like Us, and they’re going to like the things We like. What kind of things do you and God have in common? Did you ever think about that? It’s amazing when someone who wasn’t raised by their parent discovers that there is commonness that can’t be denied; looks, mannerisms, likes and dislikes. It was amazing to think that God placed certain things in me that He too likes, it was like He had a purpose for them…

Genesis 2:15

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

I’m pretty sure the garden didn’t have to have Adam’s attention. It was self-sustaining and no doubt glorious. So why would Adam have needed to “dress” it? When we get dressed we put on things. What could Adam “put on” the earth to make it better? God had made Adam in His likeness, to take care of things. That was Adam’s purpose, He couldn’t improve upon what God had given him, but He could take care of it. It’s true with us as well. We cannot improve upon the things God has given us to work with, but we can use them for His glory.

Romans 13:14 says “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” We’re not going to make the world better with man’s ideas. God put within us His ideas, but we often choose to ignore the very thing that would make us happy.

 Remember my question to the kids “What eight words would you use to describe life, well I’d use the first eight in Psalm 100:3

Psalm 100:3 says – Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

He is the Creator of life.

Much of the trouble we have in life comes from the fact that we’re always searching for “something” or “something better.” We’re never satisfied with what we have. God gave Adam and Eve everything they needed in the garden, and yet still they chose to search for the one thing they could not have. Satan has a way of distorting what we think we want. People question why God gave man the free will to make a choice of sinning or not. It was the gift of free will that made love possible, otherwise it wouldn’t have been love; it would have been an order.

If I were to ask you what one thing would bring happiness to your life what would that be? Have you forgot the things you once liked? Have you talked to the One who created you? He has a way of reminding us.

A Message from the Keeper – What He gives back, He’ll be in

Matthew 3:1-3 ~ In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

John the Baptist came out of the wilderness eatin’ bugs and wearing leather britches; he was the toughest hombre of the day. He’d known Christ from prebirth (having lept in his mama’s womb when Mary came to visit after the Lord had revealed His plan to her). He was excited then and he’s excited now but he doesn’t deliver his message in blazes and bling; it’s simplistic, rugged and humble. It’s straight forward. The salvation of the Lord had begun in the wilderness when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, the law we could not keep; and its completion began in the wilderness when God gave John the Baptist the message of the Keeper, “Repent!”

Turn away from Sin to Sanctification

The Holy, Creator of all the universe, Who created this earth in perfection only to have it marred by the fallen angel Lucifer needed a sacrificial way to restore His relationship with mankind. Throughout the Old Testament the blood of slain lambs was a temporary fix for sin, but at this point God was about to reveal the final sacrifice. And the initial announcement didn’t come from where they’d have expected it… the church. They were waiting for a King in a splendor greater than King Solomon to arrive on the scene, but instead God sends a cowboy preaching on sin. And it works! Because deep in the core of God’s creation lies a seed waiting to take root, and when it hears the Word of God it’s a fertilizer on the soul that makes that seed grow the sinner know that it is God who speaks, and a desire to know Him springs forth. Every Word of the gospel spoken after that is water on the dry thirsty ground making them grow in the grace and wisdom of God’s design. It’s seldom traditional… there’s still a wild side about it. It’s as if we’re still blazing new ground, although it’s not new. But because sin has taken root in the world it is what is considered the norm. So when a child of God begins to see sin as it is (to be fled from) the world doesn’t understand why we’re so against what’s normal.

Turn away from Religion to Relationship

In John the Baptist’s day and in ours religion is a part of the problem. Religion doesn’t like leather. Unless it’s on the embossed seats of their pews. Religion likes tradition, things that don’t change… but when God’s involved things change. Religion doesn’t want a relationship with God, it wants rules. Everybody doing the same thing, the same way, every day, day in and day out and what occurs is legalistic ritualism. So, when God does speak it scares them to death, it’s not the norm.

John the Baptist had spent time away from the world and the message he received and still delivers is “Repent!” There’s no works involved in a relationship with Christ, it’s simply turning away from what the world offers, and turning to what Christ offers. The work comes when we build relationships with people so that we can introduce them to Christ. That’s work! Because religion has convinced them that God is a sharped dressed, Rolex wearing, untouchable man that flies around in a jet looking down on the people. When in reality God is common clothed, barefoot Lord that will stand toe to toe and eye to eye with His creation to prove that He loves them and wants to be a part of their lives in non-traditional ways.

Non-traditional is not about what we wear, or eat, or any man created ideas. Before you think that what you are, is what God’s about… you need to ask Him about it. Turn away from everything in your life and give it to God… what He gives back, He’ll be in.