Christ-A-Tarian

Thursday, April 28, 2022, 16:52 | No Comments »

Question: How Should an Offended or an Offender Respond?

Answer: What does God Say?

When I was younger, my mother would insist that I apologize to my sister when I wronged her, and she had to respond by extending forgiveness.  It did not matter if we were sincere, it just had to be said, and the matter would be settled.  My mother was not concerned about justice, her objective was to ensure her daughters did not fight.  Later, when I became a mother, I recognized that my sons were doing the same thing, they were apologizing (perpetrator) and/or forgiving (victim) without meaning it. 

Several weeks ago, while attending the Oscars, Will Smith was offended by Chris Rock’s comments about Jada, his wife.  Even though we have all seen and heard many opinions on this matter, it is God’s opinion which matters. Regardless of the passage of time (πŸ˜‰), He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  Below is a list of scripture specifically written to Christians that will give direction on how we should respond when we find ourselves in either Will or Chris’s shoes.


The Offended

Proverbs 19:11 – “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense”.


Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 – “Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others”.


Matthew 18:15-  “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother".

The Offender

Psalm 38:18 – “For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin”.

Matthew 5:23-24 – “Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering”.

1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.

When we look at this event through Biblical eyes, we see how a sincere apology with a repented heart will lead to true forgiveness and begin the healing process towards a Restored Relationship. As you may have noticed, I did not clarify who was the Offended and who was the Offender. We have all found ourselves at each end of this spectrum.  Therefore, we ought to strive to live in harmony. (Ephesians 4:2-3 With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”).

Bear in mind this portion of Lord’s Prayer: “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Mathew 6:14) because without it, there are no winners!

*References: 11 Bible verses about Apologizing (knowing-jesus.com) , What Does the Bible Say About Offense? (openbible.info)


Thursday, January 20, 2022, 09:01 | 3 Comments »

Question: What is your love language?

Answer: What is God’s love language?

As a Christian Life Coach, I have often used Gary Chapman’s resources from his books based off of the concept that everyone has Five Love Languages.   This concept has helped individuals (including myself) understand a better way to communicate love whether with a spouse, child (teens), neighbors, and co-workers.  Even though Chapman has two books that I have not yet read entitled: God Speaks Your love Language and The Love Languages of God, it had already occurred to me how this can work with our relationship with God.  God is our Creator, and He expresses all five love languages to us and our purpose on earth is to express them back to Him (Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind -Luke 10:27).

First, to list them:  Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Gifts, Quality Time, and Acts of Service.  Everyone has all five, although each one is placed in order of personal importance of how a person feels when he receives them and how he feels when conveyed back to others.  For example, mine are (in order) 1. Quality Time, 2. Acts of Service, 3. Words of Affirmation, 4. Gifts, 5. Physical Touch. Since Quality Time is my top love language when I am with family or friends, my love bucket is over-flowing. However, this does not mean that my last love language of Physical Touch is not important.  If no one ever hugged me or put a comforting hand over mine, I would definitely begin to feel unloved.

Now, let us break each one down from a spiritual view establishing how we as the creations can connect with their Creator to show Him love. First, God wants our Quality Time.  Scripture states to seek Him and His kingdom first (Matthew 6:33).  Seek means to spend time with Him by studying scripture, reading books like Gary Chapman’s, praying, listening to sermons, and praising and worshipping through song and dance. 

Next, Acts of Service. God wants us to walk the talk.  We do this by serving Him with our actions. Specifically, when we volunteer our time, we express our love for God because we are helping those He loves (1 John1:5-7 & Matthew 25:40).

**To Be Cont: See next post - Speak It part 2

 


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

Subsequently, Gifts are pretty much like a boomerang affect that co-mingles with Acts of Service because God gives us gifts/talents, and He loves it when we give them back!  For instance, our tithing is an expression of returning the gift of money back to the Giver of that money in which is used to help others in the church and in the community (Haggai 2:8 & Proverbs 3:9).

After that, Words of Affirmation.  David was a man after God’s own heart and is believed to be the primary writer of the Psalms where he is full of praises and adoration for His God, His Lord, His Savior! When we praise our Heavenly Father, we are drawing near to Him with an enduring expression of love (Psalms 5:7, 26:8, 116:1 & many more!).

Finally, Physical Touch. Even though this may be a tad trickier to illustrate with a Spiritual Entitiy, I imagine two ways to show God this type of love.  When we ultimately believe in His Son's physical birth, death, and ressurection, we are indwelled with the Holy Spirit. Thus, our souls, bodies, and minds are connected to Him.

Plus, our physical connection to our Creator comes from honoring the temple He has given us. By exercising to maintain a healthy weight; eating balanced meals, and resting from work while  getting enough sleep at night, we are expressing our love and appreciation to Him. 

As God lovingly speaks all Five Love Languages to you, make certain to consistently communicate them right back.  We are made in His image (Genesis 2:7) and we can love just like HIM.

*Side NoteGod’s Speaks Your Love Language: How to Feel and Reflect God’s Love and The Love Language of God: How to Feel and Reflect Divine Love are resources that I have on my bucket list to read. It will be interesting for me to see how connected my thoughts may be to Gary Chapman’s writings especially since I have read 3 different versions of The 5 Love Languages (couples, children, and teens) and The Four Seasons of Marriage

Feel free to share if you have read any his books. 

Song: The Proof of Your Love by King & Country


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 πŸ˜‰). 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 πŸ˜‰).  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.

 

 


Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 18:45 | No Comments »

Hark! The herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king”. I know, these are lyrics to a Christmas song - do not worry, I have not lost my mind (yet -😊). I am well aware that we are about to crossover into springtime. Plus, this is not an old holiday post from my blog that I pulled from my computer files because I am running out of topics either (thankfully, the Holy Spirit keeps my fingers tapping on this keyboard with His ideas). This is a post about words.  I love words; especially words that have powerful meanings.  For example, in the lyrics above, I am sure you know “Hark” means: to listen/to pay close attention; however, there is another word that has a similar meaning and even sounds close to it, but its meaning entails so much more: it is Hearken.

To clarify, recently, while reading Isaiah, I came across this word in both Chapter 48:18 and Chapter 51:1. 

“Oh, that you had hearkened to My commandments! Then your peace and prosperity would have been like a flowing river, and your righteousness [the holiness and purity of the nation] like the [abundant] waves of the sea”. (Amplified Bible Classic Edition).

Hearken to Me, you who follow after rightness and justice, you who seek and inquire of [and require] the Lord [claiming Him by necessity and by right]: look to the rock from which you were hewn and to the hole in the quarry from which you were dug”.

When I first read this word, I wondered why it did not say, “Hark, listen, or pay attention”. Why did this version choose the word Hearken?  Well, I think the answer is found in its 3 meanings. 

1.      Listen

2.      To give respectful attention

3.      To bring to mind something in the past.

God is the Creator of words and the Creator of the Bible. However, sometimes translations are lost when certain Biblical versions insert/replace words for a better understanding.  Reread the scripture verses above and imagine God’s powerful plea:

1. Listen, give respect attention, and recall from the past My commandments. 

2. Listen, give attention, and recall to Me, you who follow after rightness and justice. 

All three meanings added to these verses bring them alive, and you feel them reach down into your heart. It creates a heart-to-heart connection with God.

Moreover, when I look at the word Hearken, I see the word, “heart”.  God’s heart has such a deep love for us that it is so much more than we can even fathom. It is an Agape love: a sacrificial love that binds (another word lost in translation-which you may see in a future post 😊).  It was Christ’s Agape (love) for humankind that brought Him to the cross. Therefore, when we listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, give respectful attention to God’s Holy Bible, and bring to mind Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection, we can be confident in knowing that our eternal future is guarenteed.

Now that is worth singing: “Heark, the hopeful people sing-glory to the eternal king!”

(Heark is spelled incorrectly for effect!)

* Hearken | Definition of Hearken by Merriam-Webster (merriam-webster.com)

 


Saturday, February 27, 2021, 10:47 | 1 Comment »

Years ago, I read The Four Seasons of Marriage by Gary Chapman.  In the book, Chapman explains how couples experience emotional seasons similar to the weather. To illustrate, the synopsis of the book describes these marital seasons as: “winter--discouraged, detached, and dissatisfied; other times, [couples] experience springtime--with its openness, hope, and anticipation. [Next, they] bask in the warmth of summer--comfortable, relaxed, enjoying life. And then comes fall--[full] of uncertainty, negligence, and apprehension” (1). Being married for almost 30 years (This May 2021, I will celebrate 30 years with Paul, my storm-chasing partner😊) I can definitely say this book is not just a theory, it is a reality.  Couples will go through these climate phases; yet, when they weather the “storms of life” and stay committed, they will emerge stronger and experience a deeper more fulfilling love.

Even though Chapman’s book was geared towards marital relations, it occurred to me that this concept can apply to other areas of our lives too.  In general, a person can go through similar seasons at work, church, or even with family and friends.  For example, when a person is first hired, the excitement of the new job is springtime while the day-to-day work-related stresses will seem like the dead of winter and generate employee dissatisfaction.  Furthermore, one’s connection to his/her church can create a summertime forecast of calm, stability, warmth, and acceptance, and then, unexpected congregational issues can shift to more of a fall forecast that is full of dropped leaves stained with doubt and concern.

Next month, in March, will mark a full year of Covid-19 adjustments.  Even though the calendar’s seasons have rotated from winter, spring, summer, fall, and now back to winter, the emotional climate of Covid for many has stalled somewhere in between fall and winter.  Fear and uncertainty are wrapped around the number of cases while lockdowns, 6 feet of separation, and masks leave our spirits detached, discouraged, and isolated.  When will it be springtime? When will it be summer? Answer:

             Springtime is remembering our hope is in Him.

“We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Thessalonians 1:3.

            Summertime is focusing on Him instead of our circumstances.

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit” Romans 8:5.

Regardless of when or if “normal” pre-Covid life returns, as a believer, you can be confident that there is a Reason for this Season.  God always has an eternal purpose; thus, every day is springtime and summer when we choose to feel the warmth of the Son as we seek His face in prayer.  Plus, our joy is found in knowing He is always in control of ALL our circumstances-including Covid-19.

1.     The Four Seasons of Marriage - Which Season of Mar | Cokesbury by Gary Chapman


Monday, February 15, 2021, 20:26 | 2 Comments »

Recently in the news, I heard about the “Gamestop stock” incident, and although most of the selling/buying information went above my head, I did grasp the bottom line.   Basically, regular investors were “evening the ledger with the financial elite”(1). The everyday/common investor worked together to fight the Wall Street giants. This made me think about the movie, A Bug’s Life, where the ants (and a few other “warrior bugs”) used their numbers to stand-up and fight against the power of big, nasty grasshoppers.  The grasshoppers had manipulated and suppressed the ants for a long time; yet, through one brave soul named, Flik, the ants unite together and finally free themselves from being under the grasshoppers’ feet. Hopper -the grasshoppers’ leader knew the ants outnumbered them 100 to 1 (2).  Alone they were weak; but together they were strong.

In a similar manner to both the fictional Pixar story and the real-life stock market drama, there is no denying there is power in numbers.  Thus, as Christians, we have the ability to be powerful for Christ when we join with other believers to accomplish a single goal.  To illustrate, as mentioned in my previous post, tithing is Old Testament law with A New Testament backing.  The concept of tithing is both for an individual’s spiritual growth and for the collective good of the whole.  Specifically, when you obediently tithe from the heart, it is given to the kingdom of God to help those in need.  My monetary gift has more power/value because it is a part of a bigger offering from others too. 

This application does not just belong to financial support.  Let us look at time, talent, and resources.  I can spend two hours helping someone pack-up boxes for moving day, and even though things will eventually get done, imagine 10 people helping for 2 hours.  The task would be completed faster, and the participants would be less tired because the “labor” was shared. Even providing a meal is not as overwhelming if someone makes the dinner while someone else provides the dessert and drinks. We are so much more efficient when we work together.

Moreover, maintaining one’s own emotional, spiritual, and physical health is always better with others.  For example, exercise is more bearable with someone by your side and meeting a friend for lunch is more enjoyable than eating alone. Forming a Bible Study group allows us to learn from each other while progressing in our walk with God. Plus, singing alone in the shower or car may be entertaining (if you are me-it can be quite comical 😊), yet, find a room full of praise and worshippers and you will be amazed by their spiritual harmony. 

Ultimately, we all have a spirit strand of rope, and when we seek other strands to wrap around, we are stronger -we are powerful - and we are more efficient.  Our ropes hold each other together creating a bond that will not easily unravel– Remember, even the Trinity’s authority unites three in ONE.  

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken”. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)

 

1.      EXPLAINER: Why GameStop's stock surge is shaking Wall Street (apnews.com)

2.      Pixar Animation Studios


Monday, February 1, 2021, 19:19 | 2 Comments »

Are You a Revolutionary Liberal?
(Keep reading-titles can be deceiving 😊)

I bet you read the title of this post and thought, “Great another political opinion?” Well, you are incorrect. Christ-A-Tarian is a blog with posts that will challenge you to increase your spiritual walk. It has always been my goal to encourage believers to continue to grow more and more Christ-like. Therefore, “Are you a Revolutionary Liberal? – is not a question for you to answer your political affiliation; however, it is an opportunity for you to apply this same word to your life with a R{EVOL}utionary Biblical perspective.

To explain, the word liberal has more than one meaning, and the meaning that I want to use for this post is, “given, used, or occurring in generous amounts” (Source 1). For those who are followers of Christ, generous (liberal) giving should be a part of our everyday vocabulary.

Recently, I was listening to Joyce Meyer’s message, The Beauty of Generosity, and her message immediately connected with my heart. This is what is known as a Holy Spirit “tap” or “nudge”. Through this message, He revealed ways for me to increase my giving. Specifically, God does not just call us to give of our tithes, time, and talents, but do so liberally. This is clearly seen in Isaiah 32:8 “But, the noble openhearted, and liberal man devises noble things; and he stands for what is noble, openhearted, and generous”. Did you catch the key words, “liberal man”? Without a doubt, when we are liberal in our thinking, we become noble, openhearted ambassadors for Christ.

Now, let us apply liberal giving to the three T’s in specific ways that brings glory to God:

First, TITHES. The concept of tithing is an Old Testament Mosaic law with a New Testament backing. What do I mean by this statement? God through Moses established a tithing requirement of money, animals, land, and/or vegetation as an offering. The Israelites were to give back to God as a reminder to always trust in His provisions. The concept of tithing crossed over into the New Testament but not as a law for Christ was interested in the giver’s motives. The early church promoted giving as a free-will collection to help those in need (source 2). Today, financial giving is still a choice and with the hardships of 2020, it may be difficult for some to monetarily give more. Thus, remember Jesus knows your heart and just making an extra plate of dinner to share is more valuable than gold.

Next, TIME. We all have 24 hours in a day. How we spend that time is important to God for He loves to spend time with us. As I mentioned in my last post, God is the Creator of both time and you. Thus, when you pray, read the Bible, sing songs of praise and worship, and gather with other believers, He is right in the center of it. Moreover, He wants you to use your time to help other people. Whether you volunteer at church or help your neighbor shovel (I am currently looking at the snow falling)- a genuine liberal giving of time is priceless.

Lastly, TALENTS. Our gifts, talents, or abilities are an inheritance from God. It is with these gifts that we can accomplish His will. Many Christians do not realize that God’s will is the same for all of us. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself' ” (Luke 10:27). These are the two most important commandments. Now, does this mean we all accomplish His will in the same way? Of course not. My ability to write is different than someone’s ability to teach, lead, protect, or support. Thus, maybe you can turn a hobby into a blessing. For example, use that beautiful voice God gave you and record yourself singing a praise and worship song on your iPhone. Then, send it to everyone (add me to that list) -music has a way of touching our souls .

Ultimately, we honor the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit when we intentionally give generously of our tithes, time, and talents. Therefore, declare yourself as a R{EVOL}utionary Liberal and show the world your true alliance belongs to the Trinity.

Sources:
1. Liberal | Definition of Liberal by Oxford Dictionary on Lexico.com also meaning of Liberal
2. The Origin of Tithing (letusreason.org)

 


Wednesday, January 20, 2021, 20:22 | No Comments »

Every New Year’s Day, people make “resolutions” to change or improve something in their lives.  Some vow to lose weight-eat healthy, exercise, read more, spend less, give more, etc. This year, I kicked it up a notch, and decided I was going to pick 3 topics and change/improve one thing for each category.  For instance, I am a Certified Biblical Life Coach, and my training has taught me to focus on wellness as a whole unit.  Specifically, a person’s emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being are collective process.  Thus, it is vital to keep all three in balance.  Being out of balance with anything-even “positive” or “good” things can still result in negative consequences.

To explain, a Christian can be too focused and out of balance even on spiritual matters such as: attending church for every function; volunteering several days a week; or staying up too late to read the Bible. Although these are “good” and even admirable, this person is completely out of balance.  Due to his choices, he is NOT getting enough rest/sleep; he is always grabbing something “quick” (and unhealthy) to eat; and he is harming his family dynamics from the lack of “quality time”.

So, how does a person choose a “resolution” to improve in one area without causing the scales to tip in another? Plus, without a tangible resolution, the “new” you will not last past 2 weeks.  Therefore, finding goals that are realistic, specific, and balanced are essential.  To illustrate, as I mentioned, my 3 goals fall under each classification of physical, emotional, and spiritual.  First, my physical goal is to work my muscles from the waist up.  Although, I have conquered the “workout” goal for over the past 35 years, like most people, my exercise activities have matched with things I enjoy.  Specifically, running, biking, and hiking do not feel like exercise since I like doing them.  However, lifting weights and strength training for my abdominal muscles are a bit tougher since they are the last things that I want to do. 

Next, my emotional goal is to spend time relaxing my mind with a book.  I tend to go, go, and go so more without taking much time to “rest”. See, my eyes are just below my brain and they literally “see” everything (no pun intended) that needs to be done, and I am constantly adding more things on my “to do list”. Thus, I have carved out/planned at least 10 minutes of reading on my days off from work. Interestingly, since starting this goal, I find the 10 minutes fly by, and I often exceed my original goal. 

Finally, my spiritual goal (save the best for last) is creating a “word” for the year.  This year, my word is LOYALTY.  Like most of us, my loyalty to my family and friends is easy; however, my loyalty to God does not happen as naturally.  I know you may be thinking, “How is that tangible?”  My answer: “It is tangible, and it is in even more ways than my other two”.  To clarify, writing this post instead of cleaning (anything) is being more loyal to God (believe me when I say -stepping away from laundry is a real struggle).  Moreover, although I may be better at writing about God, my conversations with co-workers, neighbors, some friends, and even family members are not so comfortable. Thus, praying before conversations and asking the Holy Spirit to help me work God into the conversation is quantifiable.  I know I need His help with things that do not come naturally.  Some things are difficult-but difficult does not mean impossible.  Plus, who said following Christ would be easy?  Take up your cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24-26) sounds like a Christ-challenge that I am willing to pursue. 

As we look forward to 2021 (and happily say goodbye to 2020 😊), look for tangible ways to keep your life balanced.  Do you work too much?  Cut back your work schedule by 30 minutes or place your phone out of reach for just an hour, and you will see the beginning of a more balanced life.  Likewise, do you watch too much TV?  Take just 1 program away and spend that time with your spouse, kids, or with God.  It is amazing how many people have “quality time” as one of their top love languages (The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman). Even God wants quality time with you-especially since He is the Creator of both YOU and of TIME!).  Balance brings stability and stability leads to contentment - Make 202, the year of balancing the building blocks of your life. 

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

 

 

 

 


Tuesday, December 29, 2020, 22:15 | No Comments »

How does a Christian make sure he is a Christian?  Is it because he was raised in a Christian home with God-loving parents, or is it because he continued the tradition by attending church every Sunday?  Maybe, he was even baptized as an infant, or he consistently serves/volunteers for the needy and faithfully tithes.  While all these are important, none will create a path to Jesus.  The answer to the question is actually found in the word, Christian which literally means, “belonging to the party of Christ” or a “follower of Christ.”1

A Christian knows he is a Christian because he knows Who he follows.  Without accepting God’s Word and Jesus’ claims (I could write a book on all the statements pointing to Christ being the Messiah- Oh, Wait! The Bible already exists 😊), a person cannot be confident in his salvation.  The second a person believes, accepts, and relies on Jesus for his forgiveness of sins, is the minute he is guaranteed a room in eternity (John14:2-3).  Even the thief on the cross turned to Jesus for mercy and received a place in paradise (found in Matthew, Luke, & Mark).

Remember, another person cannot tell you whether or not you are a Christian.  That truth is between you and your Creator. He knows everyone’s heart, motives, actions-for He sees everything (Proverbs 5:21). Ultimately, each person will stand before God and give an account for the Bible says every knee will bow (Romans 14:11& 12), and NOT just the ones who embrace the faith.  Therefore, it is an individual’s responsibility to receive Christ and develop more and more like Him each day.  Disappointingly, some believers get themselves into trouble when they “doubt or question” someone else’s authenticity.  For example, have you ever heard someone say (or maybe you have even echoed these words in your own head), “How can she be a Christian? Look at the way she is dressed!” Or “He is definitely not a Christian because he was unfaithful to his wife.” Or “They do not go to church.”

Moreover, when a Christian falls into sinful behavior, sadly, it is sometimes believers who criticize more harshly. Perhaps, pointing at another’s sinful conduct will somehow makes them think they are not so terrible.  Yet, remember it is Satan who wants to deceive you and make you think there are levels of sin.  Specifically, a little white lie; receiving money for work under-the-table; gossiping; or even excess of food, alcohol, movies, and exercise separate us from a Holy God.  Almost anything out of balance can become an idol in our hearts.

As we celebrated the birth of Christ this past week, and we will shortly bring in a much-needed New Year, take a moment to consider your own Christ Meter.  The baby born in the manger came to take away ALL the sins of the world (1John 2:2).  Do not mistake your short-comings as little hiccups that are NOT as “horrible” as the unmarried neighbors who live together or the coworker who has a nasty attitude. In God’s eyes, we ALL fall-short from His Holiness, and NOT ONE is acceptable to stand before God – that is without Jesus.  His sacrifice (Easter celebration) allows us to approach the throne-Spotless.

Henceforth, in 2021 make a decision to focus on your own path with Christ and let Christ handle His relationship with others. When you love God and love others as yourself (Mark12:30-31), your Christian Meter remains boiling hot.

 

1.       What is a Christian? | GotQuestions.org


Thursday, October 29, 2020, 22:08 | 1 Comment »

 

Bob Goff is a fantastic motivational, Christian speaker and author.  I have read two of his books (Love Does, and Everybody Always), and I am excited to read his latest book, Dream Big.  One of the things that stuck out in my mind is how adventurous Bob is.  For instance, I remember in one of his books, a story he told of how he and a friend snuck into a Washington DC museum where National Treasure the movie was being filmed and met Nicolas Cage.  After hearing this, I remember being on a tour of an old colonial-times home and there was a rope across the stairwell with a sign “DO NOT ENTER”.  I wanted to step over that rope and climb the stairs to see what was up there.  Of course, I did not act on that impulse because deep down, I am more of a rule-follower, especially, with actual laws. Since, I have this fear of getting into trouble, I often choose to comply even if I do not agree with the rule.

With that said, Although I am more of a rule-follower than I am a rebel, there are times when I am not so quick to follow “made-up” rules or regulations.  Especially, if someone or something has pronounced it as “Mandatory”.  This word often sends a chill up my spine and causes my defensive mode to ignite.  Some examples:  I have had previous church members tell me that I am NOT saved if I do not speak in tongues; I have seen emails to attend “mandatory” volunteer meetings (which is an oxymoron-the word, “volunteer” means I choose to help); and more recently, my work is trying to assign me to work specific hours when I am PRN –(which means: Pro re nata: As needed.  I do not work if there is not a need, and I set my own schedule).  Finally, the last example is being told I “must” wear a mask. 

Now, before I continue to write why this last one is an issue for me, I want to make it clear that ALL my readers have a right to their opinion, and this is NOT meant as a way to persuade anyone to think the way I think.  Hence, do I believe a retail business owner has the right to ask me to put on a mask?  Absolutely!  But do I also recognize my right to NOT shop there if I do not want to wear one? Of Course!  This is Not a blog about whether a person should wear a mask or not wear a mask. We all have reasons why we are either Nay or Yay on this topic.  However, as a believer in Christ, whether I agree with it or not,  I will put my mask on when asked to do so by a friend, neighbor, co-worker, family member, and/or business owner because showing the love of Christ is more important than my personal thoughts about it.  However, it is the “mandate” that I am against because our governmental leaders have disregarded the importance of human relationships and replaced it with forced compliance in following their rules. 

To explain, we are required to separate with mask and social distancing which is the opposite of what the Bible teaches.  According to Open Bible.info, there are a 100 verses pertaining to gathering together (To name a few: Matthew 18:20, Hebrews 10:25, & Acts 2:1-47). Since we are designed for relationships, these restrictions are harming us spiritually, emotionally, and yes, even physically.  To further clarify, Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 states: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.  But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.” 

Ultimately, rules should not replace our Creator’s plan for us to be together.  When we gather, embrace, hold hands, dance, and sing our emotional health is encouraged; our spiritual needs are edified; and our physical connections are fulfilled.  Finally, apart we are weak - together we are strong! Josh McDowell once said, “Rules without relationship leads to rebellion”.  My prayer: May the value of togetherness trump the rules of separation-Amen. 

 


Thursday, August 20, 2020, 00:02 | No Comments »

 



I never realized how much of a movie fan I was until I started writing and using movies to “draw in” my readers. My next film to “grab your attention” is Rocky – not the first one, or the second one, and not even the third one; my choice for today is Rocky IV. There is something about this storyline that stands out for me. Maybe it’s because it was released the year I graduated from high school (yes, I know, I just revealed my age 😊), or maybe it is because it is the most patriotic one in the series. Anyways, as a quick recap. Rocky travels to Russia (Soviet Union at the time) to fight a TANK of a man, Drago who previously killed Apollo Creed in an exhibition fight. At the beginning of Rocky’s fight, Drago -standing a full mountain over Rocky, threateningly says, “I Must Break You”! Although Drago meant Rocky’s bones, this post is going to focus more on Rocky’s broken spirit (something we all can relate to in 2020). To explain, due to the death of his friend, Apollo, Rocky’s spirit had been shattered. His heart ached, his mind was tormented, and his love for the sport of boxing was gone. This leads our champ to a wintery, Russian farm where, with consistent training, unyielding determination, and unwavering dedication, Rocky’s fighting spark is re-ignited.

Currently, with so much loss and uncertainty from both Covid-19 and protests turned violent, it is apparent that our world has changed, but our God has NOT. In a similar way to Rocky’s rekindled progression, we must Remember to Not Forget what God has done for us in the past. To illustrate, before his training montage in Russia, the audience is privy to Rocky’s memories while the song, “No easy way out” by Robert Tepper is playing. Thus, with the upcoming anniversary of 911, it is vital that Americans do not forget how this country pulled together during one of the worst times in our history. We supported our leaders, our firefighters, our police, our communities, our cities, our states, and UNITED WE STOOD-together for our country.

Recently, it was reported that the 9/11 Memorial & Museum decided to cancel the twin beam light tribute for 9/11. Thankfully, many Americans adamantly spoke out against this decision. One example was Frank Siller (he lost his brother, a heroic firefighter on 9/11), who chose to remember what we stand for by doing something. Specifically, he told Fox News, “All I know is that the Tunnel to Towers Foundation wants to make sure that we never forget the sacrifice that was made on Sept. 11 and the loss of life. That's what our responsibility is. That's why we are going to make sure we are reading those names live on Sept. 11”.

Praising God, due to the outpouring of patriotic responses like Siller’s, the decision was rescinded, and the twin beams will light the sky of NYC once again on 9/11/20.

Ultimately, America can overcome this pandemic and work towards healing a broken, conflict-ridden divided country. First, Christians can take the lead by consistently praying for God’s will over our own agenda; expressing an unyielding Christ-like attitude towards everyone (especially those who we do not see eye-to eye with certain “HOT” topics); and showing through intentional actions an unwavering love to those in need. When one person takes a stand – like Stiller, others will follow, and we can heal this nation.

*(Spoiler Alert)* In the end, of course, Rocky wins the match, and the American flag is draped over his body. His victory was more than just the “knock-out” of Drago – it was a triumphed moment because he remembered who he was and the beautiful country he represented. Interestingly, not only did he win the fight, he even won the hearts of the Russians who “booed” him in the beginning.

Hence, it is once again time to proudly wrap the American flag around ourselves, our communities, our cities, our states, and OUR country- We must Remember to NOT Forget: We are One Nation Under God.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwPb7g_BlXQ
https://www.foxnews.com/us/new-york-city-911-tribute-memorial-lights-tunnel-to-towers
https://www.theepochtimes.com/9-11-light-tribute-canceled-because-of-health-risks-amid-pandemic_3461626.html
**This Blog’s title and idea came from: https://www.life.church/media/dont-forget-to-remember/

 

 


Thursday, June 25, 2020, 18:18 | No Comments »

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears-OH MY!

Kansas, 1900’s, we all know the story of Dorothy with her sweet dog, Toto and their adventure through the mystical land of Oz.  Just like most of you, I have lost count on how many times I have watched The Wizard of Oz.  In addition, being a huge fan of Michael Jackson, who starred in the The Wiz, the Motown musical version of the original film, I am well acquainted with the characters and the storyline. To recap, and connect to the point of this post, Dorothy is NOT happy with her life in Kansas, and her unexpected, tornado-induced trip to Oz helps her realize how wonderful her life was back on the home front.  Yet, to get back home, she has to face her fears and seek the help of the mysterious Wizard who resides in Emerald City.  Along her travels, she meets three characters battling with issues of their own - a hay-stuffed Scarecrow who believes he doesn’t have any brains, a rusty old Tinman who believes he has no heart, and a cowardly Lion who believes he lacks courage.  At one point in the movie (before the lion enters the scene), they are walking through the dark forest feeling quite uneasy and chanting, “Lions, and Tigers, and Bears-OH MY”, when one of their worst imagined fear jumps out in front of them- The Lion (I know, if you read my last post, I seem to be on a Lion streak 😊).

Interestingly, I think the recent events in the media have the same effect on us that the chanting did on Dorothy and her crew.  To explain, we keep reading, and reading, and reading—listening, and listening, and listening to all the negative news of 2020 - over and over again. To illustrate, turn any news channel on the tv, read a syndicated newspaper, or open any social media venue and you will see many articles/posts on the Covid-19 pandemic, the economic devastation, and the racial protesting/rioting tension.  Thus, I often wonder if the continued focus on all the negativity will just continue to divide this country even more instead of reporting on ways to heal it.  Before I continue, I want to make it clear that hiding our heads in the sand is NOT what I am advocating.  There is a huge difference between staying informed and over-kill.  The news wants us to stay anxiously glued to their reports.  Not for knowledge, but for political promotion and gain.  Is Covid real? Of course! Is our economy at its worst in history? Absolutely! Does racism in all forms still exist? Beyond a shadow of a doubt! However, regurgitating the adversities with biased agendas takes away from finding genuine solutions to move forward. 

Moreover, from a Biblical perspective, it is important to ponder that “what we fear most, is where we trust God the least”.  Recently, a devotional that I was reading on my YouVersion app, connected Dorothy’s experience with our country’s current predicament. Think about that for a moment.  Dorothy, the Scarecrow, & the Tinman feared wild animals and instead of finding strength inside (Christians call this the Holy Spirit power), they kept repeating the words that scared them the most.  Similarly, instead of problem solving, the media just keeps pointing to the problems while highlighting the divisive state of our country. Ironically, as the story goes, the Lion was more scared of them than they were of him, thus, showing that they wasted too much time and energy worrying about something that did not happen.  How many times have you fretted over something that never transpired?  I know I have! Thankfully, through the Holy Spirit’s help, I have learned to Not worry about things that are beyond my control.  Therefore, instead of chanting, Corona, and Recession, and Violence-OH MY, I sing, the chorus, “I will trust in You” by Laura Daigle while finding ways to be a part of the solution. 

Ultimately, the more we highlight and emphasize the adversities of our time, the less we will overcome them.  Half the year is almost over, and I pray that the second half will be about rebuilding this great country through understanding, love, and support.  By remembering that Jesus is our Healer, our Guide, our Counselor, and our Peacemaker, we can be confident in our ability to return our nation to our Sweet Land of Liberty - Home of the brave, home of the free:

Back to the Land that we love!

 

**Laura Daigle – Trust in You


Thursday, June 18, 2020, 21:51 | 3 Comments »

Growing up one of my favorite animals was the Lion. After watching the original cartoon movie, The Lion the Witch and Wardrobe, I had a huge stuffed male lion who I named, Aslan. I truly believe that was God’s way of reaching out to me at a young age. Although the male Lion is known as the King of the Jungle, interestingly, I did not learn until later that the lionesses are primarily the ones who attack and provide food for the pride. “It’s good to be the king” is obvious with this feline species.

To illustrate my point of this blog, I first want to take a moment and explain how this “takedown” of prey is done. Initially, depending on the habitat, the lionesses will often watch the prey during the day and quietly wait till darkness to begin the attack or patiently watch over the area for a thirsty herd to drink from a nearby body of water. Next, since they work as a team, they circle around the herd while one end pushes the group towards an ambush waiting directly ahead. Finally, in the confusion and panic, one member of the herd is either separated or tripped by heal biting, and that is all the lionesses need to pounce on their helpless prey.

Although this is a part of the natural “circle of life” (yes, I am a Lion King fan too), I use this illustration to give a complete picture as to why the Bible says the enemy roams around like a roaring lion waiting for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). The enemy lion is Satan and he is not alone. Satan has many “minions” (and no! Not the cute little guys from Despicable Me) who are all a part of the strategy to separate us. His number one attack weapon is to divide us. “Divide and conquer” is not just a saying, it is a calculated reality. Demons are biting at our heels trying to trip us up. Moreover, they are encircling us, trying to make us panic so that they can separate us and move in for the kill. Likewise, darkness is our enemy’s friend. Not just the darkness from lack of light-but the heartbreaking darkness of hate. The more we hate - the more the darkness engulfs – giving our enemy an advantage over us.

Sadly, I feel as though we are losing the battle in 2020; there is so much division among us in politics, pandemic opinions, racial outlook, gender equality, financial status, and even religious practices in the body of church.

With so much turmoil, I think every Pastor is trying to reach their congregation/followers with some type of hope message. This past Sunday, I listened to a message about the state of our nation and how as believers we could make a difference if we just started showing others what we are “For” instead of what we are “Against”. To explain, many non-believers can easily recite what Christian’s are against. Yet, they often cannot point to the things we embrace. For example, the 10 Commandments basically have 9 “don’ts” and only 1 “do” (Exodus 20:2-17). Instead of using a Holier-than-thou pointing finger, it is time to show the world Who we worship by loving exactly like Jesus did.

Believers MUST stand and speak up for the things that we embrace---love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Do not let another day go by without showing ALL your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, community, leaders, and your nation the love of Christ. How, you ask? First, STOP all negative interactions, specifically, on social media. Negativity is only fueling the fire instead of throwing sand onto it. Post positive stories-showing the goodness of mankind instead of the wickedness. Next, do at least one act to help be a part of the solution instead of the problem. For each of us, this will look different. Use the gifts and talents that God has bestowed upon you to show others the love of Christ.

Pastor Craig Groeschel from LifeChurch said he misspelled the word, “United” in his notes for a wedding he was officiating to “Untied”. Just by moving the “i” one position over, the word was completely opposite in its meaning. We as a nation are Untied because too many people are putting their own “I” in the wrong place. But, I have faith that we have the ability with the Holy Spirit’s power to win this divisive war and create a United country once again. Do you want your actions to cause this country to be more Untied or do you want to be a part of a resolution that reestablishes a United States of America?

https://owlcation.com/stem/Lions-Hunting-Behaviour

https://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/african-buffalo-defense.htm

 


Friday, June 12, 2020, 00:12 | 3 Comments »


Last week, I had the privilege of joining with other believers across the state for a time of prayer at the State Capitol Building in Harrisburg. In the darkness of 2020, it felt invigorating to be under both the sun’s warmth and Son’s presence. There was no doubting the power of prayer that mid-morning. The first song we sang, “Way Maker” has lyrics that aptly expressed the unity in our hearts. Thus, I wanted to write about the names that describe God so well in this song. He is our Way Maker, our Miracle Worker, & our Promise Keeper – a Light in the Darkness.

First, Way Maker has a few ways (no pun intended) to look at this attribute of God. Obviously, we are all familiar with Jesus claim in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father except through me". It is important to remember that Jesus is claiming exclusivity, therefore, it is clear that there is ONLY one path. It is Not possible to think Jesus is a good man, teacher, or prophet because this claim would show Him as either delusional or a liar. Since Jesus actions throughout the Bible were seen as trustworthy, then it is easy to embrace His claim as the TRUTH. Next, Moses wrote, "Teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you." (Ex. 33:13). When we follow the ways of God as they are clearly written in His word, we actually are more free than if we do not. To explain, many think that following God’s rules are restrictive when in fact they are more liberating. Let’s look at the concept of lying. Once a selfish lie is told, the culprit has to continue the lie and even make-up more lies to cover the original one. This web is far from freeing, thus the phrase, “Trapped in the web of lies” is fitting.

Second, Miracle Worker has many examples in both the Old testament and the New Testament. Just to name a few in the Old Testament: Daniel unscathed in the lion’s den, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego rescued from the fiery furnace, and let’s remember the parting of the Red Sea by Moses. Following into the New Testament we find: Jesus turning water to wine; healing many & feeding thousands; walking on water; calming a storm; and the greatest miracle of all - His resurrection.

Third, Promise Keeper is probably the most vital attribute of God. The entire Bible is based on God’s covenant with His people. Initially, it is seen first with Abraham in the Old Testament, and then is echoed through a New Covenant with both the Jews and the Gentiles in the New Testament. God keeps His word and does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8).

Ultimately, when we cling to our Creator’s qualities, we can have confidence and hope during these troubled times. In Particular, our prayers are directed to a Way Maker who has a plan and is still in control; a Miracle worker who can heal our land; and a Promise Keeper who will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). He is our Light in the Darkness that threatens to engulf us. At the prayer event on Saturday, the theme was “Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly” – when the church starts praying walls come down, and love will be victorious over evil.

*He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

 


Thursday, June 4, 2020, 23:53 | No Comments »


Many of us are familiar with the famous Dragnet line by Dan Aykroyd’s character, Sergeant Joe Friday- “Just the facts Ma’am”. Yet, many of us do not know that this was NOT quite a quote from the original Sergeant Joe Friday in the 1950’s television series. To explain, Sergeant Joe Friday actually said, “All we want are the facts, ma’am” or “All we know are the facts, ma’am.” The 1987 movie combined these two quotes for the above “funnier” version that has embedded itself into the minds of Dragnet fans.

While this example of misquoting had a positive result, misquoting in the news often does not produce the same outcome. There was a time when the public could trust the media for the truth. However, the truth is not so obvious anymore. The sad part is with development of the information highway, a person can easily find an article to support his opinion. Even more troublesome is how certain News Broadcasting Companies are obviously either supporting the Democratic or Republican party Thus, their interpretation of the same event is described differently as a way to persuade the audience one way or the other.

Unfortunately, these misreported/misconstrued headlines are NOT going away in the near future and are not restricted to politics either. For instance, even scripture from the Bible has been misinterpreted for centuries. Most Christians refer to this practice as “taking scripture out of context”. Plus, did you know that some universally known sayings have been attributed as Biblical quotes, yet are NOT in the Bible. Here are two famous examples, “God won’t give you more than you can handle, and God helps those who help themselves”. Admittedly, when I heard these saying, I thought they were true scripture references too. Thankfully, with God’s help, I went from a new “spoon-fed” baby Christian to a more mature believer who studies His word on my own. Therefore, I discovered God does give us more than we can handle so that we rely on Him and not our own strength, and God desires to help everyone; especially, those who cannot help themselves for when they are weak, He is strong!

Now, when I hear a sermon, I often make sure that the scripture verses used are correctly represented. In addition, as a writer for this Christian blog, I feel it is my responsibility to hold my writing to God’s standard. The scripture I quote should appropriately reinforce the point of my post while remaining true to its original Biblical content. To illustrate, God’s word (The Bible) is “God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Even though this scripture is copied accurately, it is important to mention the verse before it and after it as to fully understand its full significance.

Let’s look at verse 15, 16, & 17 altogether:

Verse 15: “From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”.

Verse 16: “All scriptures is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”

Verse 17: “so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work”.

Verse 16 needs both 15 and 17 like the bread of a sandwich to complete its meaning. If misrepresented, verse 16 may cause a new believer to think that scripture alone is useful for teaching righteousness. However, righteousness does not come from reading, being taught, corrected, or rebuked by scripture. Furthermore, attending church, singing Hymns, or memorizing verses will NOT make you right with God. Righteousness is a gift from God because an individual is saved through the blood of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. It is through faith and Holy Spirit inspiration that the words in the Bible come alive. Plus, when you follow verse16 with verse 17, you realize it is God who completes and fully equips EVERY believer for His EVERY good work.

Ultimately, just as a responsible citizen must take the time to research a topic on their own to find unbiased information, so should a Christian when he hears or sees any scripture. By reading the whole chapter, using a reputable commentary, and praying to the Holy Spirit for wisdom, a believer will have more than Just the facts ma’am-he will have the God-breathed truth!

**NOTE: Read the whole chapter of Timothy for leading up to these 3 verses, Paul is warning Timothy to not be deceived by those who are imposters. Scripture is essential to test against false teachers.

https://www.strategicamerica.com/blog/2012/10/just-the-facts-maam/

 

 

 


Thursday, May 28, 2020, 21:40 | 1 Comment »


If you are older than a three-year-old, then you know the story of The Three Little Pigs. To summarize, there was a wolf who wanted to eat a piggy for dinner. The 1st piggy-not so bright, built a house of straw; the 2nd one, also not the sharpest nail in the door, built a house of sticks, while the 3rd piggy built a house of bricks. Not knowing their enemy, the first two pigs were not wise with their house building techniques. They underestimated the hungry wolf, and he just blew their houses over. Yet, the last little piglet was a smart little swine, and he knew the wolf did not have enough wind in his pipes or muscles in his body to knock the brick house down.

Similar to the 3rd little piggy, Christians need to be Wiser Than the Ways of the Wolf. Thus, it is important to study the enemy who seeks to destroy (John 10:10). The best defense is actually a combination of both an offensive strategy with a defensive stance. Therefore, by understanding the characteristics of Satan who is a liar, murderer, destroyer, deceiver, a thief, a tempter, and a distorter - a Christian can stand firm and NOT be knocked down. The offensive house you strategically build must be on a solid foundation (Matthew 7:24-27)

Next, since Satan also roams around like a roaring lion just looking for someone to devour (1Peter 5:8), and he has a host of fallen angels who savagely seek to destroy God’s flock, Christians must employ a defensive stance too. To illustrate, the Bible explains how putting on the armor of God is vital for a believer to remain strong. The only way to stand firm against the devil’s schemes is to put on the Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness; have feet fitted with Peace; hold up your Shield of Faith; wear the Helmet of Salvation; and tightly grasp the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Realistically, during these troubling times of Covid-19, what does this offense and defense plan look like in 2020? First, let us discuss the best offensive plan by thinking of your body as a temple built for the Lord (the 3rd pig’s house). This is the Holy Spirit’s dwelling place, and you must take care of it (1Corinthians 6:19). This means eat well-balanced portioned meals (Proverbs 23:2); get plenty of rest by turning off the tv, computer, smartphone, and go to bed; exercise 30-minutes with a cardio or strength-training routine at least 3 times a week. This does NOT include normal daily activities such as cleaning, yard work, grocery shopping, or even walking the dog around the block. Thus, find an exercise that increases your heart rate such as: brisk walking, jogging, biking, swimming, aerobics, or stair-stepping. When we take care of our bodies, we are helping establish an offensively, strong immune system that will fight when pestilences try to invade.

Now that we have established an offense, it is time to focus on the defense. I use the terms differently because the Armor of God is designed to proactively defend yourself against this enemy. First, wrap that the Belt of Truth around your waist. Never forget Jesus is the way, the truth, and life (John 14:6). Second, don on the Breastplate of Righteousness for it covers your core. A Christian must remember he/she is made righteous ONLY through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Third, readily follow the Footsteps of the Prince of Peace or He is the only One who can keep you on track. Fourth, use your Shield of Faith to block the evil arrows of Satan’s attack. Finally, safeguard your head with the Helmet of Salvation (there is no other path to Heaven) while holding onto the Sword of the Spirit, the Bible.

These items are not mere recommendations they are necessities, especially for spiritual warfare. Each day you spend reading the Bible, completing devotionals, listening to Praise and Worship music, and praying, you are establishing a strong tower with Holy-Spirit fortified walls. Hence, although Covid-19 can try to huff and puff, it cannot blow you down because you have the ability to activate the same Power Who raised Jesus from the grave - He lives in you and is stronger and wiser than he who lives in the world (Romans 8:11).

**any NEW exercise routine must be approved by your Primary Physician.
*Acts 20:29 - I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.

 


Thursday, May 14, 2020, 16:32 | 1 Comment »

Scene: You are a customer at a grocery store (pre-Covid 19 because nobody talks anymore), and as you walk-up to put your items on the black moving belt, you greet the cashier, “Good morning, how are you today?” Now, most of us use this typical question as a mere way of politely saying, “Hi”. If we are honest, we expect the other person to say, “I am fine, how are you?” Yet, how many times did a cashier, postal worker, waiter, or anyone else in the customer service industry, actually tell you how he/she was feeling? Instead of, “I am fine”, he/she revealed his/her horrible day in about 30 seconds. Since, I cannot solve his/her life’s issue in a 3-minute conversation, I typically respond with comforting words such as: “I am sorry, I hope you day goes better”. I have even offered to pray and specifically use the person’s name that is revealed on the work badge. As a Christian, it is important that I emphatically listen, and at least let them feel as if someone cares even if only for a moment.

With this type of scenario, it occurred to me how prayer can be used as a way to highlight what is negatively happening in one’s life. Although some use prayer to ask for guidance, the majority of the time when I am asked to pray for someone, it is a request to turn a negative into a positive. Thus, if we are not careful, prayer request can actually promote a negative mentality.

A negative mentality? You may be wondering if my quarantine has lasted way too long since I seem to have lost my mind. Especially, if you are friends with me on Facebook because you have seen all my posts of a picture with a lit candle and a different “prayer” focus every night. So, why am I, a praying woman, saying prayers can promote negative thinking? Let me explain. As humans, we tend to see/focus more on the negative events in life than we do the positive (it is the nature of our sinful flesh) For example, think about the topic of weather. People are constantly (me included- MY RANT: if the weather does not hurry-up and get nice around here, I am moving to Florida so I can enjoy being outside) complaining. Plus, what about work and life? Most people complain about their jobs, their kids, their finances, their messy house/yard, physical ailments, or even their church. I am sure the average individual is not even aware that he has more complaints that come out of his mouth in one day than the fingers on his hand.

During my studies of psychology, it takes at least 7 positives to wipe out just one negative. Hypothetically, if we apply this same concept to prayer, when a person requests prayer for an “undesirable” event, and he verbally ask 10 different people, that means he will need 70 good things to occur to help take his attention off of the 1 unpleasant thing.

Please do not misunderstand me. Prayer is one of our main connections to God and to others. Moreover, the one bad thing occurring in someone’s world could be really bad. The point of this post is NOT to tell you NOT to pray or to even to tell you NOT to ask someone to pray for you. As an alternative, it is to remind you to NOT forget about all positives and to appreciate ALL the praises in your life just as much -if not even more. When we focus on our numerous praises, it helps lift our spirits.

Therefore, the next time you ask for prayer, make a Positive Prayer Sandwich (a spiritual spin to an old psychology term) by evenly spreading the prayer request in between two Holy Spirit white pieces of praise. To illustrate, here is my Positive Prayer Sandwich: "Thank-you God for a wonderful morning walk; Lord, help me to honor You in words and actions during this Pandemic crisis; Jesus, I am grateful that You are my source of Strength, Comfort, and Peace-Amen"!

**7 positives – 1 negative Source example & Positive Sandwich approach

http://www.lifesourcecoaches.com/chemistry-of-leadership/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-empaths-survival-guide/201807/how-the-sandwich-technique-can-transform-your-relationships


Thursday, May 7, 2020, 17:44 | 5 Comments »

I was reading my Bible the other morning when a certain passage in scripture caused me to pause and think. When this happens, I take my pen and underline the words in the sentence. It amazes me how God and His goodness with such perfect timing can still reveal encouraging words that I had not previously noticed. Anyways, as I was pressing my pen under the letters, my smooth line was suddenly interrupted by “something”. Now, some people may be able to ignore this crooked line; however, with a tad bit of OCD tendencies, I had to fix the uneven blue line.

Taking my pointer finger, I rubbed along the line and could not feel any bump. Hmm? So, I flipped the page over and to my surprise – nothing was there. Again, I flipped the page back and tried to feel for anything that might be the cause of my predicament. Thinking my eyes may be in better shape than the nerve ending in my fingers, I moved my face even closer to the book giving a new meaning to “having one’s nose in a book”! 😊

Without any evidence, I concluded “it” must be gone. Thus, I used the pen to retrace the first line and it went astray in the same spot. What on earth? So, in my human wisdom (lol-I should have asked God right away to help me find the culprit), I flipped the page again. Still, nothing was on the page that I was underlining or on the next page. Then, a “light bulb” went off in my head - the Holy Spirit who is the “Light” living inside of me took pity on me as He whispered, “Check the next page too”. Since my Bible’s pages are pretty thin, two pages over, there was a tiny morsel of a crumb (Note to self: I may want to stop eating and studying God’s word at the same time).

Hallelujah, I wiped the crumb away and fixed my “inked” underlined mess. Whew! Now, I can get back to studying His word. Not so fast! That is when the Holy Spirit decided this could be a teachable moment for me, and one that I can share with all of you.

To explain, the crumb represents sin. We often think of sin as being a big mistake or some type of criminal activity; yet sin is anything that separates us from our Creator. It often creeps up on us like this little crumb – hiding between the pages of our lives. We do not even worry or notice it until a line is drawn that brings attention to our sin like a fluorescent highlighter. That is when the bumps begin.

With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can prevent these “bumps” by cleaning the pages of our lives daily. For instance, I ordered an item online. Because the item had not arrived, I had my credit card company stop the payment to the company. To my surprise, 4 months later the item arrived. At first, I just considered doing nothing because the company was not forthright in communicating. So, I felt, “why bother”? There it was - my crumb, hidden in the page of my “whatever” attitude. My ethical lines were now crooked, and I had to make it right. Therefore, I sent an email to the company explaining the recent arrival of the item, and how I would like to pay for it.

Unfortunately, their communication skills were still lacking because they emailed me back and told me to check my mailbox for the package. Although it is still not resolved, at least I know I made an effort to brush the crumb off of me.

Ultimately, Christ died for our sins, and although this is a free gift, a believer still has a responsibility to obey God’s Word. Therefore, pray daily for clarity and choose to keep the crumbs from creating bumps in your life.

Job 11:14-15 “If sin is in your hand, put it far away [from you], And do not let wrongdoing dwell in your tents; Then, indeed, you could lift up your face [to Him] without moral defect, And you would be firmly established and secure and not fear”.

 


Tuesday, April 28, 2020, 14:30 | 1 Comment »

With all the different daily news options, viewers have had to decide which broadcast they prefer to watch for informative coverage during this historic Pandemic. After watching several briefings, I wondered what it would be like to put myself in a journalist’s shoes? Now, before you judge- please continue to read, and do not worry, I am not going to give you my political opinion. I am well aware of the 3 taboo topics: politics, religion, and exercise. Just kidding! Exercise is not one of them, and this is a “religious” blog, therefore, all my posts reference my belief in Jesus Christ.

Since my focus in this post will be on journalists and not on politics, it really does not matter if you sway towards the left side or towards the right side. Most can agree that the News Media coverage in recent years (and definitely in these last several weeks) is unquestionably influenced by the journalist/reporting station’s political opinion. I have watched both sides, and it does not take long to figure out which channels support which side.

As mentioned above, admittedly, my religious bias stems from my faith in Jesus Christ, thus, I developed a hypothetical, journalistic Question/Answer session with God. Below are the questions that I (a Christian Journalist) would ask God if He were standing up on a podium like President Donald Trump does every evening.

Questions:

1. Why are we in this Pandemic?
2. What do you want us to learn from this Pandemic?
3. What do you want us to do during this Pandemic?

Now, for the Answers:

1. My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways. (Isaiah 55:8 – For a deeper reason check out My response to Job too).
2. Trust in Me with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Me, and I will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Me and turn away from evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones (Proverbs 5-8).
3. Love Me with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27).

The best way to defeat Satan’s lies of doubt, fear, and hate is with scripture. Jesus used it when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), and during these uncertain times, we can too!

There is a movie called, Interview with God written by Ken Aguado. I would recommend watching this movie not as much from a Biblical standpoint, but more as a message on God’s love. This movie showed a conversation between two people (one, of course, being a Deity) connected in a relationship built on love and respect. Something that God desires with and from all of us.

My prayer: May the News coverage return to the practice of reporting accurate facts with a level of respect for our leaders (remembering that God has allowed their appointed time), and finally, with a type of self-sacrificing (agenda) love for a country that desperately needs to pull together.

**Share: What Question would you ask if you could interview God?

 


Thursday, April 23, 2020, 15:24 | No Comments »

During this time of isolation and lockdown, many of us have hair styles that are NOT quite what we would like. For instance, I am not truly a blonde! LOL, I bet most of you already knew that secret. Yet; how many of you know I have curly hair? Since I am not going anywhere outside of this house, I have frequently let my hair dry “all natural” (make sure you read these two words with a French accent for it sounds more stylish).

Since, the local leaders have mandated the closure of all non-essential businesses, everyone is at least experiencing some type of over-growth, grey surge, color fade/root increase, or as in my case: curls gone wild with their hair. Even my identical twin sons who usually have different hair styles to showcase their uniqueness are starting to look more alike as it grows out.

People like to look good on the outside, thus, a trip to the hair salon for a color, cut, shave, shampoo, perm, or straightener are all ways to help make us feel good on the outside. This type of maintenance insures us that our hair is healthy and appealing.

So, how does this fact relate to our personal spiritual walk with Christ? Well, glad you asked! In a similar way, a Christian’s faith can be nourished when he reads the Bible, works on a devotional, listens to Praise and Worship music, watches movies like: God’s Not Dead, attends church (online live-streaming makes that possible), and prayer. As we daily communicate with our Heavenly Father in these ways, we will tap into joy, peace, and contentment with the increase of our faith.

During these uncertain times, no matter what you may look like on the outside, Christ sees your heart and your steadfast faith that flows from the inside. Moreover, it is that type of faith that will look healthy and appealing to others as you express through actions of love.

Until the mitigation is lifted, I will have to contend with some dark roots, grey strands popping out, and curls that have become a bit crazy but, with even more time on my hands, my faith in my Savior is the type of growth that is worth shaping.

Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

**Side Note: In loving memory of my Aunt Janet who would be loving my curls right now-she use to get so frustrated with me straightening my hair. 😊

 


Wednesday, April 15, 2020, 13:41 | No Comments »



Casting Crowns has this wonderful song, Nobody that has become one of my favorite songs. As we are in a crisis that most of us have never lived through in history, Praise and Worship music has helped me to remain calm, find peace, and feel comforted. In addition, songs like: Same Power by Jeremy Camp, You Never Let Go by AJ Michalka, and In Jesus Name by Israel & The New Breed have reminded me to hold onto my Savior and trust Him through this storm.

Yet, Nobody is not a just a reminder to hold onto my Lord- but a challenge. To explain, the lyrics:
“Moses had stage fright and David brought a rock to a sword fight” illustrates that I have a purpose and regardless of my weaknesses, God wants me to use my gifts to share the Gospel. When I do, then I am - “somebody trying to tell anybody about somebody Who saved my soul”.

With the isolation recommendation, I have wondered what can I do to help others? I cannot work due to lower numbers of surgical cases, thus, the need for personnel is reduced in the Operating rooms. Moreover, I have family members with “immune compromise” conditions who I do not want to expose to this virus by taking unnecessary chances. Here is what I believe the Holy Spirit has shown me that I can do:

1. Pray- Pray for our family, friends, neighborhood, community, city, state, country, world!
2. Call those who cannot go out and check on them weekly to see if they need any supplies.
3. Stay connected to those who are alone during these times. Even if I cannot see them, communication via phone, text, or even letters can help someone feel like they matter.
4. Use social media to point others to Christ.
5. Provide financial support to those in need. (ex: ordering take-out can provide monetary support to small businesses or continuing to provide funds to organizations who help those less fortunate -like a food bank). provide service and/or supplies to your door (ex: postal workers, UPS/FED EX/Amazon drivers, Waste management employees).

Let’s all think of ways to become “somebody trying to tell anybody about somebody Who saved my soul! Although Nobody but Jesus can save us, our actions and words can point others in His direction.

**Daily, on social media, I post one Praise and Worship song in the morning, and then in the evening at 10:00pm, I post a photo of a lit candle with a different prayer that is on my heart. 

 


Friday, January 31, 2020, 17:28 | 1 Comment »

If someone asked you to describe your story, “What would you say”? “How long would it take you”? Many of us would tell the person to sit down, take their shoes off, and relax because it would take a few hours. Yet, what if I told you to do it in 6 words? Believe it or not, less words can be more powerful than too many. For example, statistics show that when a person attends a lecture, they will retain about 5% of the material. Now, let’s imagine the material was one sentence, one point, or one concept, then the receiver would remember 100% of it.

Recently, I was reading a book by Kyle Idleman (the end of me), when he wrote about the power of words. He illustrated how even a few words can tell a huge story. Specifically, he referenced a challenge that was given to Earnest Hemingway from his colleagues to write a story in 6 words. Winning the bet, (although there are publications that believe Hemingway did not pen these words first) he wrote, “FOR SALE, BABY SHOES, NEVER WORN”.

Interestingly, the above 6 words are known in the writing world as a “flash fiction or sudden fiction” phrase that tells a story- which I find kind of an odd description. Especially since these short grouping of words definitely illustrate someone’s true non-fiction heartbreak.

Here are some more phrases of 6 words that tell a story: (taken from Kyle’s book: Chapter 2 pg 43)

1. Your position is no longer needed.
2. You are unable to conceive.
3. Take a rose off the casket.
4. The cancer is not responding to treatment.
Each phrase tells an obvious distressing story; and the storms of life are real. However, as Christians, we can attach power scripture words from the Bible that bring a sense of peace and hope that speak His truth during these trials.

Here are His Biblical Promises in 6 words to supersede the trials above:

1. God shall supply all your need (Philippians 4:19 NKJV)
2. Cast your burden on the Lord (Psalms 55:22 NKJV)
3. Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ (Romans 8:37 NLT)
4. The Lord’s plan stands firm forever (Psalms 33:11 NLT)

As a receiver of the Gospel, no matter what circumstances have occurred, are occurring, or will occur, you can be confident that His 6 Words for your story are more powerful.

My 6 words: I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14 NKJV)

You Turn: What is your 6 worded Scripture Promise?


**thepeakperformancecenter.com/educational-learning/learning/principles-of-learning/learning-pyramid/ **https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/09/24/for-sale-baby-shoes-never-worn-tracing-the-history-of-the-shortest-story-ever-told/

 


Monday, October 21, 2019, 21:11 | No Comments »

My posts in this blog have a way of coming back to haunt me. To explain, in a previous post, I wrote, “Three Times a Charm” and described how God has a way of grabbing my attention-not once, or twice; but three times. I described how He wanted me to recognize that everything I say and do should bring Him glory. Some people may only need one tap-on-the-shoulder from the Holy Spirit; however, I think He sends me messages in three because I choose to ignore the first two.

In a similar manner to bringing God glory, He has clearly revealed the word, “Unity” to me. First, while leading an online women’s Bible study, one of the themes woven into this Ephesians’ study was Unity. Next, I received a daily devotional via email from Our Daily Bread and SURPRISE-the title was “Unity”. Finally, the sermon by Mike Bowden at Living Water CC a few weekends ago was entitled, “Unity in the Family” (specifically the church family). These Holy Spirit subliminal hints were all received within a few days of each other.

If I am honest, I believe this is an area where I tend to struggle. Hence, in His loving way, God has shown me this truth. To explain, my instinct is to fight back when someone tells me that I must do something or that I cannot do something. In my stubbornness, I will sometimes dig my heals into the ground, thus, creating disunity. Even if I do not say anything, my thoughts are completely “checked out”, and I have already boarded the boat to separation.

Thankfully, I am a work in progress, and My Lord and Savior is patient with me. He helped me recognize at least one-step that I could take towards unity on a particular issue that crossed my path. I will admit, I was not keen on following through and obeying; however, I know that I cannot continue on the path of disunity for any hindrance will slow down my spiritual growth. Interestingly, taking the first step helped me to see the next step, and the peace I felt was undeniable. I once heard a Christian speaker (I believe it was Joyce Meyer) say that when we take the first step of obedience, God reveals the next.

Oddly, it reminds me of the song from Santa Claus is Comin to Town:
“Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking 'cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking out the door”.

Although my obedience may be baby steps, with the Holy Spirit’s support, I know I will walk through the “Door of Unity” in both my thoughts and actions.
Psalm 133:1 How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!

Colossians 3:13-14 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the LORD forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OORsz2d1H7s

Picture: http://www.thebackpew.com/uploads/4/2/4/9/42493387/929206_orig.jpg

 


Monday, September 16, 2019, 16:54 | 1 Comment »

Finding something wholesome to watch on television has been a challenge lately. For instance, I start to watch a program, and although it basically seems acceptable at first (For me, I am trying to pretend that Christ is sitting on the couch next to me, and if He does not want to watch it, then, neither do I), a few episodes later, I recognize it is not going in the direction that I want to follow.

Thus, when I saw a post on Facebook about a show that even mentions God, I just had to check it out. I have been watching “When Calls the Heart”. It is a program based on an old-time mining town where a teacher ventures away from her prestigious life to follow her heart and work with children from Coal Valley (rated: TV-G).

During one of the episodes, Elizabeth is writing in her personal journal, and she reflects how the children are teaching her with “educational keys”. Keys to unlock something in each of them. I wrote down her words for I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to apply this thought process to one’s spiritual education for this blog. In other words, we have Christ Keys that can unlock our spiritual journey in a similar way to how Elizabeth’s “educational keys” were unlocking the children’s minds.

To explain, when we become a believer, the Holy Spirit knows our learning style. He knows who needs to be pushed and challenged with a faster pace of Godly lessons while others will need more time and patience. Specifically, with the latter learner, He works in the person’s life at a slower pace as to not overwhelm him or her. I am an example of this type of learner for when I was 22 years old, I accepted Christ during one of my pre-marital counseling sessions. There were many things that needed changing in my life. Yet, God knew that if He pointed ALL of them out at once, I would have had a nervous breakdown. I am not a Saul to Paul kind of believer; I am more like a Peter-some lessons had to be learned over time and with mistakes.

Furthermore, in education, there are several types of learning styles: Visual Learners, Auditory Learners and Kinesthetic Learners. While all three are beneficial to my learning, I find that I am more of combination of Visual and Kinesthetic with some Auditory foundations. What type of learner are you?

With these same learning concepts, we can learn how to enhance our spiritual growth. Thus, the Christ Keys to unlock Visual learners: church attendance; reading the Bible, devotionals and my blog πŸ˜‰; or join a community/small group. Christ Keys for Auditory learners: listen to praise and worship music; tune in to a podcast sermon; and pray out loud. Finally, Christ Keys for Kinesthetic learners: teach others (Sunday School or a Bible Study); volunteer; make a meal for someone in need; send a card of encouragement; or support a ministry financially.

There are so many other ways to unlock your spiritual journey with Christ Keys. Remember, the Holy Spirit is your guide: “When He Calls Your Heart”, He becomes your Perfect Teacher!

https://teach.com/what/teachers-know/learning-styles/
Picture: https://lifevine.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/keyjesus.jpg

 


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