Christ-A-Tarian

Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 17:58 | No Comments »

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Tuesday, December 21, 2021, 12:51 | No Comments »

Question:  Should I?

Answer: Why are you waiting?

Nike’s official slogan, “Just Do it” is well-known all over the world. Its catchphrase inspires everyone whether professionals or novices to get moving and “Just Do it.” Interestingly, this familiar quote, can apply to other areas too. For example, while looking for employment in South Carolina, I asked my husband about a particular position listed on a job search’s website, Should I apply or not?” His response, Just Do it- you do not have to say, ‘yes’ until they offer you the job.”

Another way this mantra can be a great motivator is when we have to do something we really are not looking forward to doing.  To explain, my least favorite chore is folding laundry. Admittedly, I have often let the clothes get wrinkled sitting the basket and then had to “fluff” them up by throwing them back in the dryer. (Do not tell Paul or my sons, but I have let the same clothes get wrinkled again 😯). Therefore, I have decided to mentally remind myself to “Just Do it”-take those dried clothes and fold them as soon as I hear the dryer buzzer (I am still a work in progress 😊).

Of course, the best way to use this encouraging advertisement is in our spiritual walk. Since God is a Promoter of action (1 Peter 1:13-16), it is important that we respond when He whispers in our ear, “Help that person financially; be extra nice to the co-worker who is not so nice; volunteer at church; or honor your body (the temple for the Holy Spirit) and make specific changes to take care of yourself -physically, spiritually, and emotionally.”

Remember, although it requires obedience and commitment, God is not going to ask you to do something that He is not going to equip you to do. To illustrate, the Bible promises us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). The key to this verse is that with His help, we are capable of accomplishing tasks that are difficult, sacrificial, or as in the case of folding laundry, just not fun.  Life is full of steps and choices that we can take to reflect our love for God, for others, and for ourselves. 

What is somthing you sense He is prompting you to begin?  With the New Year of 2022, around the corner, I could encourage my readers to use this concept as a New Year’s Resolution; however, to be true to my own words from this blog: Why are you waiting?- Just Do it!

 

*Special thanks to Tina for inspiring this topic.

Song – “Start Right Here” by Casting Crowns

 


Friday, November 26, 2021, 10:31 | No Comments »

Question: Why promote a negative characteristic?

Answer: Who defines what is negative?

As we begin the holiday season, I wanted to share a way that my readers can take a negative and “flip” it to a positive. Over the last year and half, we have definitely seen too much negative. One way to accomplish this is to look at words and how they are used. Specifically, many words or phrases can be characterized as negative; yet, when applied differently they can take on a more positive role. To illustrate, younger generations are masters of changing the meanings of words. For example, in the 80’s when I was younger, (Yes, I was once young and hip 😊) “Wicked” was not just defined as evil, vicious, & disgusting, it was “flipped” to mean even better than good or awesome. . . It was “wicked awesome”! Of course, New Englanders still love that word and pretty much put it at the beginning of every sentence. In addition, to bring an example for those who are even younger, the word, “Mad” does not mean one is angry, it is used like “Wicked” to emphasize awesomeness!

Which brings me to this blog’s Question/Answer-with-a-question post. Recently, while reading a devotional from my YouVersion Bible App, I read the words “Navel-gazing”. To be honest, I did not know what it meant; however, I could tell by the content that it was not being used to describe a positive characteristic. Thus, I searched my browser, “DuckDuckGo” and saw that it meant: “self-indulgent or excessive contemplation of oneself or a single issue, at the expense of a wider view”. Well, that definitely is not an encouraging phrase! 

Although I am no longer considered young, as a writer, I do like to “play” with words. For me, I view the “navel” as proof of life. To explain, the bellybutton is the result of a child’s connection to his mother in the womb. It is the lifeline of blood, nutrients, and oxygen. Therefore, navel-gazing can be “flipped” to mean “a focus of life, creation, bond, and love”. So, let’s use this in a sentence with its new meaning: "Thanksgiving is the perfect day to navel-gaze as you celebrate with family and friends".

As we pass through Thanksgiving and see Christmas on the horizon, choose to “reverse” the negative that is bombarding all aspects of the media (social & news): Be a NEW navel-gazer and show the world around you Who defines your viewpoint. By keeping our focus on Christ’s sacrificial love, we can redefine our attitudes and come together to heal our relationships, community, and nation-Amen!

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. (John 3:16).

**Suggested Song:

for KING & COUNTRY - TOGETHER (feat. Kirk Franklin & Tori Kelly) [Official Music Video] - YouTube


Sunday, November 7, 2021, 17:17 | 2 Comments »

Question:  How does one get Christ Confidence?                                                                                      

Response: What or Who are you relying on?

Recently, while studying the book of Matthew, I came across the story of Peter walking on water (Mat.14:24-31). This story is often used to illustrate Peter’s bold faith as he stepped out of the boat and walked on water. However, Peter lost focus of Christ and began to sink. Peter cried out, “Lord save me!” (Mat. 14:30). Even though scripture does not say it, I think Peter was questioning in his mind, “What the heck just happened? Why did I sink?” Scripture only shows Christ’s response, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  Jesus asked Peter a question so he would think about why his faith faltered. One reason is that the storm with all its noise, wind, and waves distracted Peter; however, I think Peter’s faith wavered before he even got out of the boat.

Let me explain, Peter and the other disciples saw Jesus walking towards them on water and thought Jesus was a ghost, and they trembled in fear (v26). Jesus’ response to them: “Take courage, it is I! Do not be afraid” (v 27). Now, listen to Peter’s reaction in verse 28, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”  I highlighted, “if it is You”- this is where Peter doubted! Jesus had just told them it was Him.

Just like Peter, I have doubted (I guess Thomas should not be the only one with that nickname 😉). I know God has spoken to me-maybe, not audibly, but through scripture, music, sermons, and Holy Spirit whispers to my spirit. There have been many times when I have asked, “If it is You, show me this is what You want me to do or say.”  It was only recently that I heard Jesus answer my question with a question, “Why do you doubt”? He does not want me to sink-thus, my trust in Him has to come before I step out of the boat. Leaving the boat is an action of a faith that is already grounded in knowing my Savior.

Finally, Christ Confidence is gained when you spend time with Him. Ask yourself, “What or Who am I relying on: self-knowledge/ability, education, job/money/possessions, news, or government?” When you feel the storms of doubt and fear brewing, remember what He has already told you-“It is I-Do not be afraid!”

**In counseling, one of the best ways to answer a question is with another question. This technique requires the person to think about a way to answer the question himself. It creates a step towards an inward self-reflection. Ultimately, people know what they should do, and although some questions have obvious answers, the struggle is more with NOT wanting to hear the answer because the answer requires a change in thinking and/or actions.

Jesus used this technique throughout His ministry. Whether conversing with His disciples, religious leaders, or to the public who came to Him, He often responded to their questions with His own question. Thus, I believe God is leading me in this direction to recreate Christ-A-Tarian’s posts with a question that is answered with another question. May this new look for my blog be a blessing to all who read it.

Suggested Song: Waymaker


Wednesday, March 24, 2021, 11:53 | 1 Comment »

Over the summer, I jumped on the Mandalorian’s show craze.  I am a Star Wars’ fan anyways so, watching baby Yoda’s (Grogu) adorableness was definitely entertaining.  Although his cuteness was undeniable, my favorite character was Kuiil.  He had a signature line: “I have spoken” which reminded me of something my mom used to say when I was growing-up, “Because I said so”.

Being raised by a pre-Baby Boomer, I was taught with many of her generational parenting ideologies.  In her day, kids were seen and not heard; spankings followed most misbehaviors; kids ate whatever food was put in front of them; there was no such thing as an allowance, and reason given for these rules: “Because I said so”!

Since I am a Gen X, I modified those rules just a bit.  First, my kids were seen and heard - as long as they remained respectful and did not interrupt adults speaking (unless they were on fire 😊). Second, I did spank my kids’ bottoms occasionally for complete disobedience. Overall, I choose the disciplinary concept of “punishment had to fit the crime”.  For example, if they mistreated a toy, the toy was given away to someone who would appreciate it.  Next, I did not make my kids eat everything on their plate; but I did not allow fussiness or wastefulness either.  Specifically, they could not have any seconds until they finished firsts.  Since I was a tad smarter than they were, I gave them a small portion of what I knew they loved -including chocolate pudding-(yes, I served pudding during dinner-it has milk in it 😉).  They would immediately gobble-up the pudding and ask for more.  In my most loving voice, “Yes, you may have more as soon as you finish your chicken, beans, and rice.  We do not waste God’s food, so, no seconds until you finish your firsts.”  Almost, always, they would quickly eat the rest on their plates and get their seconds of pudding.  This created a diverse palate while eliminating the power struggle that is often seen when kids decide they do not want to eat something. Finally, I stayed true to the allowance rule of my mother’s era because I always found it counterproductive to give an allowance for something that should be done anyways.  No one gave me money for doing dishes or laundry, and I was not going to give it to them.  Now, I have heard the argument, that it teaches them how to manage money. Teaching them to manage their money came from birthday $, Christmas $, and eventually the money from working jobs. 

Now, that I listed some of my parenting rules, I usually did give my sons reasons for them.  It was important to show them cause and effect with the Biblical, “reap what we sow” truth (Galatians 6:7).  However, I have to admit there were times when I gave the reason, “Because I said so!” Just like Kuiil, there were times when enough was said, and the matter had to be dropped.  Even the Mandalorian’s Creed, “This is the way” on the show was enough of an explanation, and sometimes this is the way parenting should be.

*Galatians 6:7

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

 

 


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