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Archive for the month “December, 2010”

Losing Sight of An Evident God

This morning as I was scrolling through FB and Twitter, I came across a post by The post was about why do you or don’t you believe in God. He posted his post in reply to a post by an atheist. It was saddening to me to read the atheist’s post, and all of his reasoning behind his disbelief in God. I think one of the most saddening parts of the atheist’s post was reading how he once did believe in God.  How is that someone can believe so strongly in God, and the next minute deny His very existence? I cannot wrap my mind around it. I know that some people may say that it cannot be scientifically proven that God does exist, but as I look around all of creation I see Him everywhere. I see Him in everything. He is in the warmth of the sunshine. He is in the cool breeze. He is in the trees, the flowers, the grass, the ocean.  He is the laughter of a child. He is in the kiss of two lovers. He is in the smile and hugs of friends. He is in the embrace of parent and child. He is in everything. I cannot deny Him, because He is evident in all things! 

I do believe that sometimes we forget that, or lose sight of that. We focus too much on the hurt, pain, and negative things of the world and slowly we lose sight of God. It is dangerous when we as believers, followers, and lovers of Christ lose sight of Him, because then those who do not yet know Him cannot find Him. We are called to be the light of Christ to others, and the salt of the earth. But if we lose sight of Him, we cannot do this. Then how will people know Him? How will people find Christ is we have lost Him ourselves? Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) I believe we, as believers, play a vital role in this. If we lose sight of Christ, then we fail to show Christ to those who do not believe and do not know Him.  And it is when this happens, that those who do not believe and do not know Him, seek out truth (false truth) in other things. I find this quote appropriate in closing. “Stop giving people reasons to question your faith.” (Jarrid Wilson) We must start giving people reasons to want it!

Merry Christmas, and let your light for Christ shine so brightly that people cannot help but to see it!


What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up?

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” We all remember that question, don’t we? As a small child, we were asked this question numerous times during our childhood. It seemed like that was the only interest that the “grown ups” had in us….what we wanted to be when we grew up. Some of us wanted to be doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, teachers, dancers, rock stars, astronauts, and ballerinas. Sometimes, we might have just wanted to be like our parents, and then again maybe the opposite of our parents. Whatever answer we had to that famous question, we had an answer and we believed in our answer. I can remember always wanting to be a teacher, because well, my mom was a teacher. I remember my brother wanting to be a “preacher astronaut.” (Yes, he had that dream for a long time.) We thought that his dream was humorous, and often asked him whether or not he would be preaching to aliens. You know what though? With all of our teasing and making light of his dream, he never waivered from it (well, until he grew up. He’s in the navy now.)

Sometimes though we didn’t have an answer to that question. Sometimes our answer was simply, “I don’t know.” The sad thing about that answer is that, if we aren’t careful that can remain our answer. I know people who still don’t know what they want to be when they grow up.  I am not trying to make anyone feel bad about themselves if they are still trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. I do want to assure everyone though, that God’s word already tells us the answer. God tells us who we are, and what we are. Listen to this, “For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” (Ephesians 2:10 NRSV) WOW! We are what GOD has made us! We have purpose and meaning! We have been created in Christ Jesus to do good works! How is that for an answer to, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Imagine if we all clung to that verse and claimed it in our lives! There would be no stopping us. Imagine if we started now instilling this in our children, so that when they are asked what they want to be when they grow up, they can be assured that no matter their answer they know that they are WHAT GOD HAS MADE THEM! Imagine the confidence boost!

This excites me! To know that no matter if I am still pursuing a career, or already in a career, I AM WHAT GOD HAS MADE ME! There is no difference if I am a teacher, lawyer, preacher, stay-at-home-mom, or a student, because in any of those ideas I am what GOD HAS MADE ME! How awesome is that? YOU ARE WHAT GOD HAS MADE YOU! YOU ARE CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS to DO GOOD WORKS! You have purpose & meaning!

My challenge to everyone (and myself) is that we begin instilling this in our kids. We need to start claiming this in our lives, and speaking it into other people’s lives. We need to encourage each other in life by affirming God’s promise in our lives. Imagine how different the world would be, how different you would be, if we just believed this! My friend, YOU ARE WHAT GOD HAS MADE YOU! YOU WERE CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS TO DO GOOD WORKS! YOU HAVE PURPOSE AND MEANING!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas: How Will You Celebrate? The World’s Way or the True Way?

 Christmas has to be one of my favorite times of year. I love decorating, singing & listening to Christmas music, eating Christmas foods, enjoying getting together with family, and of course celebrating the birth of Jesus! This time of year is a time of celebration, but it can also be a time of depletion, chaos, and stress. Everyone running out to the stores to buy up the latest deals to take home, wrap up, and give away as gifts, as well as stressing over trying to make sure that you see ALL of your family during the holidays, can cause many to break during this time of year. Sometimes just the utterance of “Christmas” can cause one to break out in tears, throw out a few “bah humbugs”, and lock themselves inside their house till mid-January. Doesn’t sound very celebratory does it?  Sometimes we get so caught up in the business of Christmas, that we forget what it is all about. I think this is what leaves us burned out, out of gas, and depleted at the end of Christmas. Listen to the words of God from Jeremiah 31:25, “I will satisfy the weary, and all who are faint I will replenish.” This is HOPE. God promises to satisfy & replenish us. When we feel burned out, we can turn to God and be rejuvenated. When we feel stressed, we can turn to God and be given peace. When we feel as if we are stretched beyond our limits, we can turn to God and be renewed. How awesome is that?

How do we do that though? I believe that during this time of year (Christmas), if we will take our focus off of the world’s way of Christmas and start focusing on the true way of Christmas, we will feel our stress melt away. I believe we will start to see the joy & peace return to our lives, and we will have more than enough life within us to enjoy this season. Christmas is about celebrating Jesus Christ. It is about worshipping our Lord & Savior. It is about the wonder of the miracle of His birth, and the anticipation of His return! It is about knowing how much He gave to us, and seeking to give into the lives of others. It is about the love of God that was displayed through an infant in a manger, and passing that love on to other people. Christmas is about the joy that is found in Jesus, and wanting to give other people that same  joy. Christmas is not about how many gifts are under the tree. It isn’t about whether or not Santa likes sugar cookies or chocolate chip cookies better. It isn’t about the PS3 or the Xbox. It is about JESUS CHRIST!

I challenge you to stop and refocus, if you are feeling stretched beyond your limits, stressed to the max, and depleted. Allow God to satisfy you and replenish you. I promise you won’t be disappointed.  Merry Christmas everyone!

“It’s not love, It’s just sex.” Is This really What We Want to Teach Our Kids?

I have been burdened & broken-hearted today over how sexualized our culture is. Everywhere you look SEX can be found. From porn movies, pornographic magazines, sexual posters and pictures, barely dressed girls, clothing with sexual content printed on them, & the list just goes on and on. The other day while riding in the car I flipped through the radio stations and came across a song with the lyrics, “It’s not love, it’s just sex.” I looked at my husband and asked if he had heard it, and we both just shook our heads. SEX is everywhere! Today I have thought on how this is effecting our kids. With all of this casual SEX everywhere, what message is being sent to our kids? Last night Lifetime aired a movie titled, “She’s Too Young.” This movie was about how 14 year olds were experimenting with sex. Everything from oral sex, multiple sex partners, group sex, and pornography were being delved into by these 14 year olds. As a result of all of this casual sex, syphilis was contracted, & it didn’t take long for it to spread to almost the entire 9th grade class. SEX was treated as just another extra curricular activity & nothing to make a big deal over. I was saddened to think that this is really what our 14 year olds are doing in their spare time.

Listening in on teen conversations one might hear teenage boys talk of how they like to watch the teenage girls on the cheerleading squad or volleyball team, all because of the tight & extremely short shorts that are worn by these teenage girls. One might also hear of how male coaches are encouraging this behavior by pointing out these “hot” girls to the teenage boys. In a conversation amongst teenage girls, one might hear of how many sexual partners she has had, or how you must dress to get the boys attention. And then there is a common topic in both groups of how “everyone is doing it.” Being a virgin isn’t looked upon as being cool, and if you want to fit in then you need to put out (or at least give the impression that you will). Our teenagers are becoming SEX slaves! They are imprisoning themselves & other people by engaging in these dangerous activities.

SEX is meant to be a sacred & holy act between a husband and wife. God intended for it to be a good thing, not what it has become. It is definitely not meant to be treated with so much disrespect as it is being treated. Romans 12:1-2 comes to mind. It says, ” I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God–what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  We have to change our way of thinking when it comes to SEX. We cannot treat it as casually as we do, and with so much disregard.

Men need to show our younger generation of men how to treat women. Show them how to love, care for, nurture, and respect women. Let’s stop showing & teaching our teenage boys that looking at women as SEX objects is ok, because it IS NOT ok! Let’s put a stop to putting out sexually explicit content in songs, videos, magazines, and clothing. Women need to show our younger generation of women how to carry themselves, respect themselves, and present themselves for modestly. Let’s stop teaching our young teenage girls that selling & putting out their bodies will get them far. Let’s put a stop to sexually exploiting women! It is time we said ENOUGH! It is time we took back our younger generation on men & women, and took a stand for what is right! Turn our thinking to the thinking of God, and teach our kids God’s way of SEX .

My challenge is for us to take action, and help teens see SEX the way God intended it to be. Together we can make a difference!

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