Saturday, May 22, 2010

Link Love

OK, I remember teaching bible studies at a young age and a singles class (which I am sure I had no business doing) at the age of 19. It was such a struggle to not feel like I had to earn the right to be able to say anything of worth to people that were older than me. I still struggle with it when each new study rolls around but now I have a different perspective. I want to be a voice to be part of His plan. He doesn't have to use me or any of us to be any more or less God. I have so much more sanctification that needs to take place...yet I want to be a woman after God's heart. Anyway, I know the most precious girl that has a voice. A humble voice. She just gets it. The Lord just has His hand on her in a special way. When I think of her I am just seriously taken with the Lord and how He shines thru her life. Seriously. I first started praying for Kelsie before I knew her. She was on a high school choir tour (I think at the beach) and a pole blew over and hit her, breaking her back. Then I met this precious girl who everyone loves. I can't imagine anyone not loving her. Anyway, she just made me think of this verse as I read her blog:

1 Timothy 4:11-13 (New International Version)

11Command and teach these things. 12Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.

Also, as I was just being blessed by her blog it made me take a small jog down memory lane over the last decade and look how far I have come with the Lord. I will tell you I have always struggled with being really hard on myself. I mean really. I totally used to look at a year or two and think Lord why am I not making any progress?!?!? Now I look and go what in the world! I am not who I was. I am not where I was. The Lord has been so faithful. I have been faithless, yet He remains. I found myself confessing some things the last couple of weeks regarding my attitude that I just can't believe I can't get with the program on. Anyway, I don't ever want to have to remember the height from which I have fallen...yet we can fall so easily. I want to keep on running the race. I need the Lord so much. I am just plain scary to myself without Him. Please don't think I am living in some condemnation, especially since Psalm 130 is my banner! Let us not forget the quarry from which we have been hewn!
Isaiah 51
Everlasting Salvation for Zion
1 "Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness
and who seek the LORD :
Look to the rock from which you were cut
and to the quarry from which you were hewn;

Here is Kelsie's sweet blog:


May we all continue to grow up in Him and grow in grace.

1 Samuel 2:26 And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the LORD and with men.

Anyway, go over and show her some blog love or siesta love. lol

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Sinful Contentment

Leviticus 10
The Death of Nadab and Abihu
1 Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command. 2 So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. 3 Moses then said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD spoke of when he said:
" 'Among those who approach me
I will show myself holy;
in the sight of all the people
I will be honored.' "
Aaron remained silent.

I have been having a time of personal observation which really isn't that raw and honest considering that the Lord knows me better than I know myself. However, I can't shake the thought of wondering what complacency and unbelief have caused me to miss in the perfect will of the Lord. I found this definition of complacency and it defines my thoughts regarding settling for less than God's best: (complacent-adj.)"contented to a fault; self-satisfied and unconcerned"
How much of this definition just about sums up the attitude of the general population at large? Case in point...the other day I asked a certain someone to help me hang up some things in my closet and I told...ahem...cough...cough...that I would give _____ (insert name) a dollar. The response, "only a dollar? well, let me sink (think) about it. Can I do it for two dollars?

Then, the conversation turns to this:
Me: no a dollar and I am not bargaining.
Said person: um, not for a dollar.
Me: You have got to be kidding me. I would rub someones back for an hour for a stinking quarter. I guess you are figuring inflation...or cost of living?

I really couldn't believe that my child was just not going to help for only a dollar. Why should she if she can get more or better yet, why put herself out for a dollar? That was a small wake-up call concerning my dealings with her. I for one want to help teach her the value of money and work and what it means to earn something. If we really got down to the bare bones in the closets of our own "spiritual house" we would see how much we settle, are indifferent, or just plain content with the status quo. I see it in my life. I am sure you see it in yours.
Interestingly, I was reading Ezekiel Chapter 3 and the Lord is telling Ezekiel what he is to say to the house of Israel and of course prophets usually weren't very popular among a stubborn, hard hearted people if you will. I sensed the inflection in the passage almost as if the LORD were saying (this is me paraphrasing): "Hey, you go tell them this. In my hesed love I will send them a human agent to speak to them to turn away from their rebellion and to turn to me. They needed a king like all of the rest of the pagan nations before them so they could see flesh and blood leading them...but Ezekiel...if they aren't going to listen to me, they sure won't listen to you.
We sit and pour over their Exodus from the grueling slavery of Egypt and we scratch our heads and pound our fists when they rebel by the Red Sea or make a golden calf when Moses heads up Mount Sinai and they feel all hope is lost. We wonder why they didn't get it! Why can't they seem to stinking obey the Lord? Yet we are so like them. See for yourself:
Ezekiel 3:7 But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for the whole house of Israel is hardened and obstinate.

So why in the world am I quoting that Leviticus book? Because Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu (those are some fun names) had a sinful contentment. They were content with less than God's standard of holiness. Their discontent, and Aaron's refusal to discipline his own, led to their own demise and destruction. It cost them their lives. They offered an "unauthorized fire" the NKJ version says a "profane fire". They offered their fire and the Lord gave them His. Was God just being mean? No. Why all the He just the great killjoy, I mean couldn't he have let them slide? The Lord is absolutely Holy and He was to be regarded as Holy, yet they treated His holiness with disdain.
We need to be on the look out for attitudes of contentment "to a fault" or being "self-satisfied and unconcerned". Isn't that the same mentality that so many of us learned through studying the book of Daniel? The attitude of the Babylonian culture (Daniel 4:4) and ours as well was one of being "contented and prosperous" or "fat and happy". If we read on further we see how that attitude of pride led to the downfall of King Neb. and the fall of the Babylonian empire as we know it.

So what gives. Why do we become so content where we are? I would like to suggest that we have a faulty view of God. We think of our lives in the thought cloud of well, if I really do this thing with the Lord what all tragedies does that mean for my life? We view everything as loss and none as gain. We trade a beauty and intimacy with the Lord for fear of possible future pain. So much of our lives in Western Civilization are wrapped up in comfort. Yet, our true comfort is found only in the presence of the Almighty. Our peace is in Him not in our false delusions of what life should be...a life free from pain. Tell that to my friend who just lost her husband to suicide. Tell the woman who just got diagnosed with cancer again, the mother who just lost her child, the man who just lost his job, tell them that their life should be free from pain. You do that and you have a recipe for disaster on your hands. You know even this week I came before the Lord and asked in essence...Lord if you are so good why do we have to live in a world that is so bad? So painful? So corrupt? I for one do not have all of the answers but to me to live in complacency is to just kill yourself softly. You think you are looking out for you but you are only hardening yourself from the abundant life found only in Him. No matter the doubts that may arise on my part, this I know, He is good and faithful and all of His ways are perfect.

We really don't have long here. Let us press on to know Him. Let's come with no condemnation and allow the Holy Spirit to point out an area (I mean don't overwhelm yourself all at once) that we have become slack in and come before a loving God, a God who longs for us to repent and return, and just deal with our stuff.

Thankfully you and I live on this side of the cross or I am afraid I would have had some fire called down on me so to speak.

I realize that I can get going here and that most people don't have time to read for long (nor would I find myself that interesting) but last week I had a minor health scare. When I was pulling away from my house I saw the cutest little baby girl standing in my yard. She had her cute little haircut, orange shorts, a brown shirt that said "Life of the Party" on it and her flip flops on. My heart broke to think that there could be a possibility that I would not raise her. She even makes me want to be free because I just don't want to mess her up with any of my past junk. Yet I can't promise her my tomorrows anymore than you can yours. One shot. That's it. One life here of pain and suffering among great times of joy. Not to discount pain but this is it for those of us in Christ. No more of it after this brief tenure. So let us not settle because I can say this for sure (Job 19:23-27):
23 "Oh, that my words were recorded,
that they were written on a scroll,

24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead,
or engraved in rock forever!

25 I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;

27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!

Our Redeemer lives. We will see Him face to face and the Lord will be our light that extinguishes any of the darkness.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Jennifer Knapp-Comes out about being homosexual

In the following article in Christianity Today (CLICK HERE), Jennifer Knapp comes out about her same-sex relationship. She was under a Christian label for a few years, got burned out and left and moved to Australia. There were rumors all over the place that she was now gay, yet those were unconfirmed rumors. Anyway, I really loved her music back then, especially because my walk was so new with Christ. I was genuinely sad to see her up and vanish. I remember going to a concert several years ago in Birmingham and thinking wow that really seemed like nothing more than a secular concert and not a time of worship and praise. Anyway, I am sad for her because she is so misled. I am sure someone will jump on here and try to argue with me to death. It is a funny thing to say we have freedom of speech, yet Christians don't seem to be allowed to have that same freedom without getting ostracized for their belief system. Everyone else can have a belief system, with freedom of speech, but a Christian.
Anyway, my point is you can not be a bible believing Christian and live an open life of a perpetual stronghold, not having any conviction and call yourself a believer. Can you struggle with sin and be a believer? Yes. But to live an openly gay lifestyle and try to make the bible fit around your life and your own belief system in the name of getting a little! It is the same thing with other issues as well. God made marriage for one man and one woman. We are commanded in Genesis to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Well, last time I checked you can't procreate with a man and a man or a woman and a woman. It isn't the natural design or order of Gods plan. Can you come out of a homosexual lifestyle and become a believer in Christ, yes! But you have to put off the old nature and put on the new. You can not persist in a stronghold and claim to have the Holy Spirit in you and be joyful about the sin you are wigging out in. I will be praying for her and I do not say that in a self-righteous manner at all, nor am I judging her. However, it is not ok to live an openly gay lifestyle and say you wear the name of Christ. The Lord will convict us and we all have a moral conscience which can become so tainted. Yet if we scorn the Lord and persist in rebellion, we will be given over to our own lusts and a debased mind. The Body of Christ should love, yet admonish in truth, and not preach a gospel of tolerance because that is not the gospel of Christ. He died for our sins so that we might live unto Him. In Him is liberty and freedom...we as believers should be miserable when we are living to please our flesh.

Romans 1:18-32
18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

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