Monday, July 25, 2005

Back to Nineveh...

So, as much as I am growing in the Lord I realize I still have quite a ways to go. Here is the thing, God has been showing me a lot of different things lately. The problem is that I tend to get ahead of myself and ahead of His timing.

Recently, I made a decision concerning the church I attend without waiting for His peace, without waiting for Him to release me, and now I have to go back and try again. The problem is that it involves a dear friend & I had made the decision under the guise of God's leading. Now, I do believe that the descion may be implimented in the future, but now is not His time for it. Now, because I rushed ahead I have to return, lay aside my pride, and apologize.

And that's the thing, I see even in this God's hand transforming me. The old me would have just gone back without saying a word and never brought up the issues again, hoping that everything would be forgotten. But I cannot do that. I have to stand up and admit what I did and take responsiblity for it. It would be easy to do it the old way, yet I know that isn't God's will.

I've been hitting a brick wall with Him, but until yesterday wasn't willing to go back. And another friend called me on it, told me a few things God had layed on her heart and refered me to this hymn coupled with a pair of verses. At the same time she was worried I'd be upset with her. Little does she realize I value that in a friend, when they are willing to risk offending you because they see something going on that isn't right. That's true friendship.

But boy oh boy, does God has interesting was of getting your attention. Whales, friends, songs...At least I don't have to smell like a fish while I apologize and go back to set things straight.

Take Time to Be Holy
1. Take time to be holy,
speak oft with thy Lord;
abide in him always,
and feed on his word.
Make friends of God's children,
help those who are weak,
forgetting in nothing
his blessing to seek.

2. Take time to be holy,
the world rushes on;
spend much time in secret
with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus,
like him thou shalt be;
thy friends in thy conduct
his likeness shall see.

3. Take time to be holy,
let him be thy guide,
and run not before him,
whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow,
still follow the Lord,
and, looking to Jesus,
still trust in his word.

4. Take time to be holy,
be calm in thy soul,
each thought and each motive
beneath his control.
Thus led by his spirit
to fountains of love,
thou soon shalt be fitted
for service above.

"let him be thy guide,
and run not before him,
whatever betide. "

Now, if that wasn't a kick in the pants I don't know what is. It really was funny, not in a haha way rather in a "hey that is interesting...and heart wrenching" kind of way. As she was reading it to me we both just kind of stopped and said "ooh." It was dead on for my situation and we hadn't even set out with the intent of finding anything, she was just showing me what she and her husband had studied that day. God's provisions...

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Why do you do what you do?

“Christians, I would love to know your rationale for doing things you know you shouldn't on a continual basis?”

I think the reason I do things I know I shouldn't, and believe me there sadly are plenty of things (less things lately perhaps, but more than I would like), is because I don't stop to pray. I follow my flesh a lot of the time, I put confidence in myself and don't turn to God and His word to get me through some things.

And I know from experience that when I do turn to Him when I'm tempted I'm FAR LESS likely to follow my flesh. He gives me the strength to get through it. So, I suppose it's pride. I want to be able to do things on my own, and that's just another thing of the flesh I'm dealing with.

The point is not that we don't need Christ, I think perhaps that it is simply that if you say you need Jesus & accept who He says He was then act on it. Christ said to be holy as our Father in heaven is holy. Does that mean we stop sinning? I don't know, I think it just means if we continually submit ourselves to Him, especially during our temptations we'll be sinning less.(This doesn’t mean we are perfect, because without Christ were is the strength to resist temptation going to come from?) Therefore, we as Christians really have no excuse.

Just because something feels good to our flesh or doesn't hurt anyone else doesn't make it right. Just because something "good" comes out of our act of sin doesn't make it any less of a sin. It is during those temptations that if we turn to Christ & willingly deny our humanly desires that we are doing as Christ commanded, and if we do not turn to Him & knowingly go against His will we're not demonstrating Christlike behavior.

For example, I like arguing. I do, it’s silly but I enjoy it. Perhaps that’s because it’s harder to lie in a heated moment, therefore people are generally more honest when they argue. At least that has been my experience, which is why I like fights. Does it make it right? No. I’m not supposed to go around arguing with people just because I know they’re lying to me. But my flesh loves it, I love the adrenaline rush. So, because I accept Christ for who He says He is I can’t keep doing that. And I know that.

But when I don’t get up in the morning and start my day off in His word I’m more likely to give into the temptations of that day. And depending on the day I may need to stop around lunch time for another refill of God’s will. If I have to stop every 5 minutes during a stressful situation and pray to keep from doing things that are outside of God’s will, well, I guess I’ll just be in prayer a lot. And that’s the thing, it’s pride. I don’t want to have to do that. I don’t want to stop mid sentence and take a breather, and I certainly don’t want to go back to the person I’m arguing with an apologize for arguing with them. That takes effort, it takes strength. And I am weak. But again and again, if I come to Him in those moments He gets me through them. So, why do I do what I do? Because I'm sinful, and pridful in nature. But those things are dead, the old Kristina is dead because I'm alive in Christ. The old tendancies may pop up now and again, but if I turn to Him I can move past them and they shall die again.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Consumer Christianity?

Rick Warren puts a positive spin on new paradigm philosophy in his very popular book The Purpose Driven Church ... Many of Warren's suggestions are excellent. Churches should pay attention to cleanliness and attractiveness, where people are going to park ... We should strive for excellence and do the best to communicate God's truth. And we should want to grow - in the right ways. Warren states, "Every church needs to grow warmer through fellowship, deeper through discipleship, stronger through worship, broader through ministry, and larger through evangelism." (The Purpose Driven Church, Rick Warren, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, p. 48)
By repackaging ministry ... Barna has made it attractive. If we can convince people that Christ died to meet their need, they will line up at our doors to buy our product. But is this the Gospel message? Has Barna merely repackaged ... the Gospel product, or has he gutted it of its purpose and value? An important question upon which so much hinges...

The Gospel is not bringing people to Christ in order to meet their felt-needs. According to Scripture the gospel is the good news that lost sinners can be forgiven of their sins and receive the righteousness of Christ in exchange. This is the real need of humanity, the need for which Christ died...

"The Church's problem today is simply that it does not believe that without tinkering, the Gospel will be all that interesting to modern people" (Losing Our Virtue, by David Wells, p. 207). And tinker it must... The new paradigm church is offering a purely Americanized, yuppie brand of Christianity found nowhere in the NT...

"Is Willow Creek correct in their teaching that a relationship with Christ will provide a life of fulfillment? In a word, no. ... Personal fulfillment is the dominant goal of the vast majority of Americans. In this context it is a great temptation for American evangelicals to argue that Christianity is a means of a more fulfilling life... the Church becomes another place that promises to satisfy emotional desires...To argue for Christianity primarily by pointing to its usefulness in satisfying felt needs is to ultimately undercut it...If someone is able to satisfy their felt needs without Christ, the message of Christianity can be discarded. ... The bottom line why individuals should repent and worship God is because God deserves it. Fulfillment theology does not reflect the teaching of the Bible. We find in Scripture vast evidence that Christianity is often not 'fulfilling, " Jesus promises his disciples that "in this world you will have trouble....... The Lord did not promise fulfillment, or even relief, in this world but only in the next... (Pritchart, p. 254-256)...

They have redefined salvation. Salvation is not simply, under the new gospel, the forgiveness of sins and the imputation of righteousness. It is not a deliverance from the wrath of God upon a deserving and rebellious people. The new gospel is liberation from low self-esteem, a freedom from emptiness and loneliness, a means of fulfillment and excitement, a way to receive your heart's desire, a means to meeting your needs. The old gospel was about God; the new gospel is about us...We are forced to ask, with Peter Jennings in the thought-provoking video, In the Name of God, "As these churches try to attract sell-out crowds, are they in danger of selling out the gospel?"

“The product or service must be tailored to the wants and perceived needs of the customer, or there is no sustainable profit. The consumer rules, because where there is no customer, there is no profit and, therefore, no business.”

It seems to me that a lot of churches today will do anything, have anything to get people in the building. Coffee shops, video arcades, skate parks, post cards promoting everything but Christ. Come have [enter desire] with us at [name of church]. Whatever you want, we have and if we don't you can help us set up the program/small group we are missing!

We all have different interests, we all have something to share, we can all bennifit from each other if only we would reach out and get to know each other. It doesn't matter what your beliefs may be, if we can find some common ground we can get along peaceably so long as we don't judge each other or proclaim any kind of truth.

Lonely? Come meet people at our coffee shop. Like to swim? Help us organize a trip to the beach. Like books? We can do a new book a month, anything you want. Like movies? We can and will show movies for your entertainment, and even our services have movie clips! Want to play the latest video games? Come see our arcade. Need a place to skateboard? We’ve got it, just bring your board and stop by. Get to know us, we want to know you. We want you to know we are here for you, get connected.

“Innovative programs are then formulated to sustain the interest of would-be converts and motivate the rarely active church members, with particular emphasis on entertaining activities to attract the youth and keep them coming.”

“Consumer Christianity’s most deadly effect is what it does to the presentation of the gospel of salvation, the only hope a person has to be reconciled to God. It is nearly always a subtle sales pitch featuring all the wonderful things God has for mankind: He loves them so much and desires to have them spend eternity with Him, and they are significant and of infinite worth. This then becomes the reason for Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. That mixture of truths and self-indulging distortions is followed by a brief “sinner’s prayer” being repeated by those who were persuaded by the enticing offer. This method has become so commonplace that it’s difficult for some Christians to recognize any problem, let alone realize how misleading it is with regard to a person truly being saved.”

The churches seem to say, "Anything but the truth, we will give you everything you need to keep busy. We will give you plans for what to do in all of life’s situations, just so long as you don’t mind occasionally hearing about God. That’s a problem? Don’t worry, we don’t judge anyone here. We won’t try and tell you about sin or the reason Jesus was on the cross (if we bother to mention the cross at all that is), but you’ll walk away knowing that you and Jesus are friends. He’s your best friend and wants you to feel good.

There’s no need for anything that makes you feel badly. So, you never have to worry about hearing about sin, or hell, and the only mention of evil you'll hear is that Satan temps you. But that is it, you don't have to take responsibility for following the temptation."

Prayer at Daybreak

I found a link to this over at Slice of Laodicea, a blog I frequent & would suggest you start frequenting it as well if you're interested in Apologetics or just a lively discussion on Biblical topics. Here's the link to the actual thing, Prayer at Daybreak. I'll post my thoughts at the end of it. I'm going to post the entire prayer, and make bold the things that spoke to me.


O Lord Eternal and Creator of all things,
Who of Thy inscrutable goodness called me to this life;
Who bestowed on me the grace of Baptism
and the Seal of the Holy Spirit;
Who imbued me with the desire to seek Thee,
the one true God: hear my prayer.
I have no life, no light, no joy or wisdom;
no strength except in Thee, O God.
Because of my unrighteousness I dare not raise my eyes to Thee.
But Thou said to Thy disciples,
'Whatsoever you shall ask in prayer believing, you shall receive.'
and 'Whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do.'
Wherefore I dare to invoke Thee.
Purify me from all taint of flesh and spirit.
Teach me to pray aright.
Bless this day which Thee give unto me, Thy unworthy servant.
By the power of Thy blessing enable me at all times to speak
and act to Thy glory with a pure spirit, with humility, patience,
love, gentleness, peace, courage and wisdom:
aware always of Thy presence.
Of Thy immense goodness, O Lord God, show me the path of Thy will,
and grant me to walk in Thy sight without sin.
O Lord, unto Whom all hearts be open,
Thee know what things I have need of.
Thee are acquainted with my blindness and my ignorance,
Thee know my infirmity and my soul's corruption;
but neither are my pain and anguish hid from Thee.
Wherefore I beseech Thee, hear my prayer and by Thy Holy Spirit
teach me the way wherein I should walk;
and when my perverted will would lead me down other paths
spare me not O Lord, but force me back to Thee.
By the power of Thy love, grant me to hold fast to that which is good.
Preserve me from every word or deed that corrupts the soul;
from every impulse unpleasing in Thy sight and hurtful to my brother-man.
Teach me what I should say and how I should speak.
If it be Thy will that I make no answer,
inspire me to keep silent in a spirit of peace
that causes neither sorrow nor hurt to my fellow man.

Establish me in the path of Thy commandments
and to my last breath let me not stray from the light of Thy ordinances,
that Thy commandments may become the sole law
of my being on this earth and all eternity.
Yea, Lord, I pray to Thee, have pity on me.
Spare me in my affliction and my misery
and hide not the way of salvation from me.
In my foolishness, O God, I plead with Thee for many and great things.
Yet am I ever mindful of my wickedness, my baseness, my vileness.
Have mercy upon me.
Cast me not away from your presence because of my presumption.
Do Thee rather increase in me this presumption,
and grant unto me, the worst of men,
to love Thee as Thee have commanded, with all my heart, and with all my soul,
and with all my mind, and with all my strength:
with my whole being.
Yea, O Lord, by Thy Holy Spirit, teach me good judgment and knowledge.
Grant me to know Thy truth before I go down into the grave.
Maintain my life in this world until I may offer unto Thee worthy repentance.
Take me not away in the midst of my days, nor while my mind is still blind.
When Thee shall be pleased to bring my life to an end,
forewarn me that I may prepare my soul to come before Thee.
Be with me, O Lord, at that dread hour and grant me the joy of salvation.
Cleanse me from secret faults, from all iniquity that is hidden in me;
and give me a right answer before Thy judgment-seat.
Yea, Lord, of Thy great mercy and immeasurable love for mankind.

I really don't know what to tell you. Basically, this prayer is a much more elequent version of what I pray for my life. It is my sincear hope & prayer that God contines to guide me in His will. I hate it when I stray from His path, as it does nothing but harm for me and my loved ones.

Even momentary slip ups, those moments when I let loose & resurrect the evil that died when I came to Christ, I hate them. I wish not much more than for my quick - sharp tounge, my temper, my lustfullness, to be finally cast down & burned. But when I don't stop and pray in those moments that these things tend to come to life, I'm ignoring God & asking for trouble.

I long for His guidance, to know when & how to speak, and when not to. And Christ gives me that guidance through the Holy Spirit, yet I ignore it more often that I'd like. It is so frustrating. The more I seek His will the more Satan puts people in my life that I will just go off the handle with if I don't stop and pray. And if that means being in prayer 23.5 hours a day, that's what I need to do.

Slowly, I am coming to that. It's just these set backs are so painful. I get discouraged easily with myself, and indeed with others, and Satan temps me to act on that rather than acting on love.

Even the sarcasm, boy that's going to be a hard one, has got to go. I mean the things I say in good spirit, I never intentionally hurt anyone yet I know I have to lay that down. If I want a better relationship with my Father, I have to willingly and joyfully give up the things that seperate me from Him. And when I slip up I have to drop to my knees in repentance and then correct the issue with whoever might be in my path at the time.

I cannot fight with someone (there are many of them), I cannot continue to get in screaming matches with someone just because "they deserve it" for whatever they do to me. Let people think of me what they will, Christ will defend me, has defened me in a way I'll never match. Let them accuse me, let them think wrongly and speak lies. Let them believe their lies. I care not (I strive not to care at any rate).

Christ said nothing when He was accused. He said nothing in His defense as He was nailed to that cross for my sin. That's what I long to model. I long to do as Christ does. I want to follow Him, even unto death for I know He is with me and that in the end I shall spend eternity with my dear Savior.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Mom Jailed After Giving Birth to Drunk Baby

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — A woman who police say had been drinking heavily before she gave birth was charged with child neglect after the baby was born intoxicated and diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome.

Melissa Irene Tanner, 37, had a blood alcohol content of 0.29 percent when she gave birth June 30, and her daughter's was 0.21 percent, according to an affidavit by police. The legal limit for drivers in Oklahoma is 0.08 percent.

Hospital staff had to use an oxygen bag to help the baby start breathing and gave her medication to counteract any narcotics, according to the affidavit.

Tanner allegedly told police she and another person had consumed a case of beer and that she regularly drank during her pregnancy.

She was jailed on $30,000 bail. At a court appearance this week, Tanner was advised of her rights and ordered to return to court Aug. 5. She has not yet filed an application for an attorney or entered a plea, the court clerk's office said.

Sheriff's investigator James Wynn said the baby has fetal alcohol syndrome (search). The baby was placed in a foster home with a caretaker experienced in dealing with addicted infants.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (search) lists the syndrome as the leading preventable cause of mental retardation and physical deformity. The severity of her disability won't be known until she is older.

Ok, all I can say is, Praise God that the child is at least alive and that her mother is being held accountable. Sadly, you hear of "mothers" doing things like this all the time. Beautiful, innocent children are born addicted to crack, heroin, and a vastness of other drugs and sadly it seems you never hear of these women being proscituted. If you're smoking & drinking and are pregnant, you're abusing an infant that can't do anything to protect itself.

And I feel like if a child dies as a result of a woman's irrisponsibility I feel they should be hauled into court & charged with murder. I can't imagen, especially in today's society, any woman being unaware of what she does to her body when she ingages in these activities. And I cannot fathom how women that knowingly do these things while they are pregnant and aren't charged with neglect or anything. Stories like this encourage me because at least something is being done for the child, and yet I am broken hearted. A poor child is going through withdrawl right now soley because it's mother cared more about having fun than doing her job and caring for her.

Innocent children around the world are suffering the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome, and sadly may never fully recover from the idiocy of these so called mothers. It is not uncommon for children born with this syndrome to suffer from mental retardation, learning disablities, hyperactivity, and abnormal social issues. I cannot understand why women, who God has blessed with a wonderful and vitally important role as mothers, would choose to "live it up" and "just have a good time." Are their own selfish desires more important than the life God is knitting together in their wombs?

"These children don’t spend their childhood in sandboxes and attending story times at the library. They end up on an endless course of therapies and treatment to try and deal with the multitudinous developmental problems their mothers caused. Yes, a mother that does this to her child deserves arrest and prosecution for child abuse of the first order." (Slice of Laodicea)

Sadly, today there seems to be more concern for finding our "purpose in life," and realizing our deepest dreams and desires, and embracing our destiny than there is for the life of our children. We go from self help group to self help group looking for a deeper relationship with Christ. Yet, we never stop to really dig into His word. And there lies the problem; without a knowledge of the Word we cannot come to realize the importance of our children, nor can we come to understand that Christ calls us to bear our cross and follow Him (Luke 14:27). We are to lay down our desires (Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23) and die in flesh & be crucified (Galatians 2:20, Galatians 5:24, Matthew 10:38-39) so that we can be truely alive in Him and His righteousness (Romans 8:4).

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Why men should head the church

Source. My critics argue that St Paul’s words, along with much of the Bible, should be reinterpreted according to our culture — women in his day were not as educated as they are today, for example — but I am as unconvinced by their argument as they are by mine. St Paul’s teachings are not based on the prevailing culture of his time but on the pattern of human relationships established at the Creation. Adam was formed first and then Eve.

Just as the pattern of the Creation produced mother, father and child, so it should be echoed in the family of the Church. The father figure stands for leadership, the mother figure for nurture.

In the Church, there is a variety of different roles that a woman can take on within the nurturing realm — as deacons, pastoral workers, youth or child workers — but by ordaining them to the role of the man, we are denying God’s children of the clear roles that the two sexes play in the developing process.

I've been saying this same basic statement for months. You'd be amazed how many people don't agree.

I suppose it's hard to imagen, that a young woman could be happy not "being allowed" to do certain things. That I'm content with the idea of a man being the headship of the house, and of the church, but that's it. I am.

Now, I suppose that might seem pretty contradictory considering I'm going through a divorce, but it's not really. I long to fill the roles God has given me. I want to do as He says, but at the same time I'm not called to follow my church or even my husband into sin. Yes, Chris is figuring himself out, but I know that right now I cannot submit to him. And I do wish him the best and hope he truly lets God transform him.

But that doesn't change what I know to be right. So for now at least, God will have to be my direct head. We all have different funtions to serve, different jobs to do, and we cannot ignore what God calls us to do. I am an equal heir with my brothers in Christ, but we serve very different and vitally important roles. And it's only in understanding that and being willing to submit to it that we truly allow God to move freely in our lives.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Jung vs. Christ

“We all must do just what Christ did. We must make our experiment. We must make mistakes. We must live out our own vision of life. And there will be error. If you avoid error you do not live; in a sense even it may be said that every life is a mistake, for no one has found the truth. When we live like this we know Christ as a brother, and God indeed becomes man. This sounds like a terrible blasphemy, but not so. For then only can we understand Christ as he would want to be understood, as a fellow man; then only does God become man in ourselves.” (Jung, New York Lecture, edited by Lane A. Pratt, 1972.)

What?! "We all must do just what Christ did...We must make mistakes." Now, out of the many many times I have read the Bible I never once noticed Christ make a mistake. Have you? He knew from the begining what it would all lead to, He knew He would be unjustly accused & murdered, but He knew it was for the good of the one's He loved that He must endure the cross, and He knew He would rise three days later.

So, where is the mistake He made that we must model? Is Jung trying to imply that the cross was a failure, that the cross was Christ's mistake? Because it sure seems like that's what he is saying, no in fact that IS what he is saying here:

“The utter failure came at the Crucifixion in the tragic words, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" If you want to understand the full tragedy of those words you must realize what they meant: Christ saw that his whole life, devoted to the truth according to his best conviction, had been a terrible illusion…

Ever noticed that Jesus calls God "God" here and not "Father"? Wonder why? It's not because He realized He's hanging from the cross for no reason, that He has failed, He cries out in this manner because He has accomplished His work. He has taken on our sin and bore the full wrath of His Father for our own sake. He cried out in this manner simply because for the first time in His life He was disconnected from the Father, this was the only moment in His life where He bore sin. And sin disconnects you from God, and sin leads to death. And it wasn't even His own sin He bore!

"Christ saw that his whole life, devoted to the truth according to his best conviction, had been a terrible illusion…" Oh, this man was so off base and he's led many others astray simply because he has no Biblical concept of Christ or His work on that cross. Jesus didn't see that his life had been a "terrible illusion," and He didn't devote His life "to the truth according to his best conviction," He devoted His life to THE TRUTH. There is no other truth than what Christ spoke and lived. What's right for you may not be right for me is not truth. Truth is truth, and Christ was that truth.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

True Worship or Spiritual Cavities?

There is a topic at frenzyboard concerning the song "Friend of God" Basically, here's what it says:

POST: I don't like that song.
POST: Me neither.
POST: You guys are crazy, I like that song.

Ok, I'm just going to copy and paste my replies now, along with anything that you might need to read to understand my point.

as of late I'm becoming distressed that most of the songs we hear on the radio, and sadly in the church, speak nothing of the cross. Most of the stuff is all "feel good" tunes, nothing with any real meat to it. Nobody seems to want to sing about the cross & why He hung from it, ect.

POST: Quote:Nobody seems to want to sing about the cross & why He hung from it, ect.

We do a lot of self-degrading songs, er, you know what I mean. Heart of Worship, Give us Clean Hands, that sort of thing.

POST: I don't think there's anything wrong with celebrating you're relationship with God. Yes, there is sorrow and pain in being a Christian but there's so much more good then bad. All of the suffering and trials are nothing compaired to the good that is to come. You can't dwell on sorrow, that's not what it's all about.

MY REPLY: Yes, but sugar coating everything doesnt do any good either. You have to look at the bad to see just how great the good is. If God saved me from good how powerful and mighty would that salvation be? But He saved me from the trenches, He picked me up when I was absolutely at my lowest point covered in filth and sin on the verge of death and eternal seperation and He called me. He cleaned me in His Son's Blood.

If all I ever thought about was that I'm a friend of God and that He is one "rad" dude what good would that do me? If I only look at Him as my friend, I can lose perspective of the work He has done and is continuing to do as my Savior. Like Vanilla Sky said, the sweet just ain't as sweet without the sour.

I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
He calls me friend

God Almighty, Lord of Glory
You have called me friend"

There is no meat to this, this doesn't speak anything of what Christ has done for us. It's fluff, it's sugar & if that's all one listens to I would tend to think you'd end up with spiritual cavities from eating all this sugar. A balanced diet is important. Yes, I may be a friend of God. But He is my Lord, He is my Savior, He is my redeemer, He is my protection, He is my peace, He is my guideance, He is my Creator, He DIED for me, and He ROSE for me. He bore my sins, He bore my shame, He bore the WRATH of the Father for me. He's more than my friend, He is more than anyone could ever express, He is "my all in all"

My point is not that you can't worship Him for calling us friend, my point is simply that as of late it's the soft songs, the feel good songs, the ones that don't speak anything of what He has done for us to be able to call Him friend that are always being played. Ok, not always, but they get played WAY more than anything that's going to make you think about why He was on that cross. At least that has been my experience as of late.

Nobody wants to feel bad, and it seems like the Pastors & music directors are catoring to the "nobody wants to feel bad" idea that's floating around. And I'm not trying to make it sound like we should walk around in sackcloth weeping, but there's got to be something in between.

It's not even just about the music, the sermons in a lot of churches are like this. They are self help books with pulpits. There's no talk about sin, or hell (at least not in a Biblical context), there's "are you disconnected from God? Do you feel sad? Well, there's no need for that! God doesn't want you to feel bad about what you've done, get over it and join us in happy land. Oh and make sure you join a small group b/c anyone who is anyone is in a small group"

Sadness and grief and things of that nature are good, they lead to repentance...If you feel badly b/c you've sinned you'll be wanting to get right with God. If it is condoned within the "church" why repent? Nobody cares what you're doing.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

In the belly of the whale

Sometimes Christ gives us direction that seems so off course with our perceptions of what is best for our lives; when He does this it is quite often because He is trying to use us to reach someone, but more often it is because He is trying to show us something about ourselves and our relationship with Him, trying to help us grow in Him.

But so often we are comfortable with where we are in life, and want to stay put. I picture us as Veggie Tales portrayed Jonah, plugging our ears and running for Tarshish saying, “I can’t hear you, Lord!” You can see how silly this is, especially because we’re basically leaving God with no option other than to send the storm.

We become overwhelmed by the crashing waves, our friends will often turn and throw us from that ship, and are finally swallowed up by that great whale, when we run from God. Because when we don’t follow Him we are opening ourselves up to attack since we are outside of His will. And when we knowingly run from His will, we are just begging for Him to get us completely alone and desperate for change, just so we can grow in Him.

It is when we are in that whale’s belly and realize we are about to be digested that we have no other options. We can either submit to our Father and ask for forgiveness for our stubborn pride and unwillingness to do His will, or we can rot in the trenches. We can let the whale eat us and spend eternity whishing we had just unplugged our ears and opened our hearts to God’s loving guidance.

For three and a half years I’ve been going my own way, plugging my ears to God’s leading. I did what felt good, what I wanted to do, and ignored Him and His will for me. And needless to say the storms came, and I became whale bait. But I’m thankful for it. Because I fear that if I hadn’t been swallowed up I never would have reached out to God. I never would have turned and chosen to do it His way. Is doing it His way easier? No. But it is better. I know after I get through this my reward will be great.

And though it is overwhelming, though I wish I could turn back or even just lie down and find rest, that’s not His will. I have to hold onto my Father’s finger, as a little child holds on to her daddy, and keep walking. I may stumble, but that’s why He is here holding my hand. He will pick me up when I fall, so long as I continue to go His way.

The valley may be muddy, and dark, and frightening, but walking through all of this is strengthening the muscles that matter, my spiritual muscles. And someday I’ll be on that mountaintop looking back, and I will see all that He has done for me. I will see that I never could have made it out of that valley, out of that whale if not for His loving mercy.

So what shall it be? Nineveh, or the belly of a whale? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather smell like whale vomit and go to my Nineveh than to be consumed. I’d rather just do what He knows is best. And though it may be difficult, though I may at times wish I could plug my ears and run away, I know if I do I’ll just end up right back in that whale, and I’m tired of being swallowed and then vomited back up.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Allstate Insurance

Recently I have become aware of a news story concerning controversy surrounding Allstate Insurance and their firing of Matt Barber. Matt is a Christian who was employed as a manager in Allstate's Corporate Security Division. While he was employed for Allstate, he wrote an internet article on his own time that was critical of homosexuality. His article was deemed a violation of Allstate's corporate philosophy and resulted in Matt being suspended and eventually fired.

The state of Illinois did an investigation into the matter, and "The State's investigation further concluded that Allstate intentionally chose to terminate Barber's employment for writing the article despite the fact that he engaged in no misconduct whatsoever: "The term misconduct means the deliberate and willful violation of a reasonable rule or policy of the employer…In this case, the claimant's action which resulted in his discharge was not deliberate and willful." This determination, issued March 8, 2005, was not appealed by Allstate." Source.

I suppose Mr. Barber isn't "in good hands with Allstate," which raises the concern of how good those hands are that they would turn on a valued member of their staff so sharply based on an undisclosed "outside agency". And be so unwilling to disclose why he was fired, if in fact they did not fire him for his faith. But they will not disclose it, nor will Allstate disclose who the "outside agency" is, if indeed there actually is an outside agency. I cannot help but wonder if they can't disclose that information because there is in actuality no outside agency.

If you would like to hear a recent radio program concerning Allstate's promotion of homosexual agendas visit VCY America and look for the show from 7.6.05.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The purpose of your life

What trash, I cannot begin to wonder how many people are being led astray by this junk. And sadly, it mirrors so much of what you hear in a lot of churches these days. It's all about finding "your purpose" in life. Nobody seems to want to stop and ask "what is God's will for my life?"

It's whatever is going to make you happy, or that's what a lot of people seem to want us to believe. That God supports whatever will make us feel good. Pastors push self help books, and ignore the cross & Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake...

"There's a lot of pain out there. There'’s a lot of darkness. The world needs your Light right now.

It really does.

So …glad you could show up. Now the fun starts. Now the challenge gets underway in earnest. Now the Healing begins.

With you as the Healer.

That'’s why you came to Earth, in this body, in this time and in this place."

"You cannot know what that is unless and until you decide on a Purpose. That is, you cannot decide how to get where you are going until you decide where you are going."

And these people sit there and talk about "God" but it has nothing to do with God, it's all about me. Or you. Or whoever wants to read and believe this. Through Christ we are healed, it is only when we submit our lives, & everything in them, to God's will that we can be healed. We cannot fix ourselves, if we could don't you think we would have by now?

Yet there is no Point to it all. Life has no point. If Life had a Point, who would assign it one? And if you say God, why would God create the Point, then make us all search for it for 50 years! (And, as a society, for 50 thousand years) And if you say God does not make us search, but has given us the answer, why did God not give us the answer in a way in which we could easily understand it, and with a formula upon which we could all agree? And if you say that God has done that, then you have not looked at the world lately.

Now, the Bible tells us that many things will happen, there are plagues & trials coming, these are all in God's plan and when these things are fulfilled Christ will restore His followers and we will have paradise b/c God will be with us again. But we have to walk through the bad. But Christ is coming (Revelation 22:12), and as more prophecies are fulfilled the closer we are. We have a ways to go yet, just read the book of Revelation. We are still waiting for the temple in Isarel to be restored, and the organizationtion of a one world govenrment and it's "peace".

All of these things are coming, and quickly. The appearance of the Euro, has brought us a step closer to having a world wide currency & technology has made chips that can be inserted under the skin which could be used as a means of identitification, and there are plans underway to rebuild the Jewish Holy Temple.

All of these things were told to us in the Bible. God has a plan, and it is rapidly playing out before our very eyes. Christ did not come to bring peace, rather He came "'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and "a man's enemies will be those of his own household.'" (Matthew 10:35-36)

"You do not believe this, and so you have spent years trying to figure out the Purpose of Life. And all the while, Life (God) has been waiting for you to decide Its purpose."

"Right Livelihood is seldom attained through a doingness decision although it may involve a doingness function somewhere along the way."

Now, they just got done telling me that there is no right answer, whatever I feel is right for me and whatever you feel is right for you. Yet now they are saying there is a "right livelihood". Which is it?

A person in “right livelihood,” by the way, is a Bringer of the Light. That is because all people in right livelihood are being who they really are...and Who You Really Are is the very Light you are seeking to bring!

Did you get that? Did you hear that? There is no brighter Light in the Universe than the Light of your Beingness. Therefore, let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Where do I begin? There is so much wrong with this it confounds me. They keep telling you that you are who you search for, that there is nobody that is going to come & that we have all we need within us. So, if that were true, why would there be a Father in heaven that would need to be glorified? If we are our own gods & the reason for living is within us, doesn't that nullifiy the need for a god?

But there is a God, and only His Son can save us. We cannot save ourselves, nor can we get to heaven on good works alone. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6)

The entire website is like someone picked out the pretty promises of the Bible and smooshed them together with a bunch of New Age ideas. They tell you to meditate on "being peace" and that when you do that you become peace and the chaos around you may change because you have brought peace into it. But you have to choose to be peace. And if things are chaotic around you it is because you chose them to be that way.

Society is so stuck on themselves, that even within our very own churches the idea of purpose is seeping in. Christians are turning and doing everything they can to discover the purpose for their lives, and letting that "purpose" drive their lives that they are not allowing what God gave us to lead them. The Holy Spirit is what was given, we are to follow It's leading. Not pick a purpose and drive it home. How do we know the "purpose" we've chosen is God's will for us? We have to submit to God and allow His Spirit to show us what we need to do. Only then can we truly be living for God & in His will.

Are we really so prideful as to think we could possibly know what is best for our lives? So many of us walk around trusting that we know what we are doing and never stop to consult God, our Creator & Father, what He wants us to be doing. Yet, He has even told us already. We are to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. And we are to love each other, including our enemies, as ourselves. Yet we lose sight of that and go on our own marry little way seeking out purpose and wondering why we feel so utterly alone.

It is my sincere prayer that we may all turn to God and seek His will for our lives. Philippians 3:3 tells us, For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,. We must daily come to Christ & His Word to seek His will out for us. We must allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit of God, and not driven by a desire for purpose.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

It is well with my soul

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul


It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul
My sin o the joy of this glorious thought
My sin not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross and
I bear it no more paraise the lord, praise the lord,
O my soul
And lord haste the day
When my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound and
The lord shall descend
Even so it is well with my soul

Tonight is a rough night. William has been a monster, it took 2 hours to get him to sleep. Then after I got him down and I tried to go to bed I had 6 messages from Chris. It's like ripping open a wound that has just barely began to close. I'm hurting so badly right now. And yet I sing "How Great is our God" and "It is well with my soul". God's provisions. I got a few free iTunes downloads today and downloaded a bunch of praise music.

This is so difficult, so painful. I feel so broken and weak. And I sit here crying and He reaches out and covers me in His love. I feel Him here, and He reminds me that He can do anything that He is great and it is ok for me to be weak, because in Him I am strong. I can do nothing without Him.

Sing with me, how great is our God?
And all will see how great is our God...

This is so insane. "Love song for a Savior" just came on. "She will come running and fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and she'll pray 'I want to fall in love with You'"

Do you know why I love Jars of Clay so much? It's because their self titled cd was the first album I purchased after coming to Christ. I remember so vividly putting it on and cranking it up and when this song came on I just sat on my floor and cried for the longest time. It still breaks my heart because when I hear it I am reminded of how broken I was and how loving Christ truely is. "It seems to easy to call you Savior, and not close enough to call you God"

You would not believe how much God speaks to me through music. When I came to Christ it was through song, not preaching, just a song & His peace. Praise God, for that peace. It has come again. He's picked me up and touched my soul yet again. Although I suppose He is always here, I'm just more aware of Him when I'm in the valley.

I feel like an 80 year old woman

I have a lot of problems with my knees and hips, it's all from a foot problem and how I walk.

Yesterday my mother and I went to Walmart and my left hip started bothering me, but I didn't say anything b/c it is normal. Well, by time we were done shopping it was about ready to give out, it was right at that point where if I kept walking it would have gone out of place, but instead we left. As if that weren't fun enough (it actually hurts quite a bit when this happens) as I put William into the van I somehow managed to slam my knee into the side of the van. Yes, I am a clutz. So there I am with my left hip threatning to give out and now I've got my right knee feeling like it's going to explode.

It's the morning after and my knee feels the same, though my hip finally feels better.

Moral of the story? You can't buy replacement body parts at Walmart.