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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christian, Are You a Tool for Satan or for God?

As a Christian, when a situation or temptation arises, what weapons of warfare do you chose to fight with?
Weapons of unrighteousness?  Such as: Fear, negativity, bitterness, hatred, selfishness, greed, pride, anger, unforgiveness, gossip, slander, sexual immorality, lying lips, racism, gluttony, etc.

Or Weapons of righteousness? Such as: Prayer, praise, joy, peace, compassion, love, forgiveness, encouragement, servant-hood, faith, walking in righteousness, speaking the truth in love, contentment, etc.
When we realize Whose we are and who we are in Christ, we can defeat the enemy by choosing weapons of righteousness! As Born-again, Spirit-filled Believers, we sound foolish when using the excuse, "The devil made me do it"! This is a lie straight from the pit of hell. The devil can’t make anyone do anything! When a Christian makes excuses for sinful behavior, it makes a mockery of our GOD!
Evil and Holy CANNOT dwell in the same temple, for your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit! Wake up, mighty men and women of God, repent! KNOW He who paid the highest price, His life for your eternal salvation, has equipped you to fight with weapons of righteousness!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV). “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

2 Corinthians 10:3-6, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,  and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled."

Joel 3:9, "Proclaim this among the nations: “Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up."

The battle begins with us; in our minds! We must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and be ready to destroy anything that is against our Savior! You and I are to be proactive and not reactive. This mentality that has so many Christians living in bondage, in essence is telling the world, "Our God is not who He says He is"…How sad that!? YOU AND I are the reason so many turn away from knowing true salvation…

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NLT), "For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There is no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death."

I say again, “Wake up mighty men and women of God, repent!"

To bare the name of Christ, is to say I have died to sin and it no longer has a hold on me! "I have been crucified with Christ, I no longer live but Christ lives in me." Galatians 2:20.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

We must stop condoning BAD behavior!

For my fellow Christians; I have read several posts, and have heard conversations that condemn or condone/justify the behaviors in Ferguson and around the country. Whether it is the behavior of the police/government officials or the protesters, there is judgment on both sides.
The posts that hurt us the most, Christians, are the ones that condone/justify BAD behavior. Police brutality is NOT alright and should never be overlooked! I agree that body cameras will hold our Officers accountable and I pray for those officers who abuse their authority in any manner, will repent and turn their hearts and minds toward Christ Jesus!
Rioting, looting and burning of vehicles and businesses is NOT alright and should never be acceptable! I read one post that really struck a cord with me: "White people...we learned this from YOU". Have we so digressed that we can get away with VIOLENT acts and call it justifiable because it was taught...COME ON PEOPLE OF GOD!
I just gotta be raw and real about what I learned from the time I was a toddler through my young adult years, before I surrendered my life to Jesus. I know some will say I share too much but this has been burning in my soul; therefore, I must speak!

I learned that a man can beat you and you are to forgive him each time his hands abuse you...
I learned that a man can leave his responsibilities at home and have multiple woman at his disposal...
I learned from a young age that if I was angry and I wanted to fight my siblings, kids in the neighborhood or at school, I could without any discipline. I carried this learned behavior into my young adult years, so if someone looked at me wrong or if I didn't like you for whatever reason, and I wanted to beat your a$$ that's what I did...I was applauded for it...
I learned from a young age (12) that drinking alcohol was acceptable as long as I did it with adults and if I got biggie...
I learned that drugs helped a person cope with life and that if you do drugs just don't get caught...
I learned that stealing was okay if I was hungry or needed/wanted something...
I learned that education was not important...if you don't feel like going to school, don't want to drop out, okay...
I learned that having sex was expected no matter how young...
I learned that lying to the police was expected to cover your butt or a loved one's butt...
I learned to judge people by their societal status; Rich people were evil and poor people were poor because of the rich...
I learned to judge people because of their skin color... It was fine to have black friends but nothing more and all hell broke loose in my family, his family and with some of our "friends" when I started dating Jameson in high school..."It will never work..."
I learned that some black women didn't like me because I married "one of their good black men"...yes, this has been said to my face and I have felt the hate across the room...
I learned that some white people thought I was lower than dirt for dating and then marrying outside of my race...Yes, our family has been victims of racism from both races...

I could go on and on about what I learned from "YOU" the people in my family, circle of influence, and society, but I'll stop there and say this; I AM NOT WHAT I LEARNED! PRAISE GOD!

When I recognized my sin and my need for a Savior, at the age of 28, I called out to Jesus and He saved me, sanctified me and made me right with my Father in Heaven. He could have left it at that but He didn't! He then sent His Holy Spirit to live in me and TEACH me His ways. I am not the same person that was taught to do wrong! The bad behaviors that were acceptable and often praised, God showed me it was sinful behavior and His children are called to live HOLY lives!
I love how Paul sums it up in 1 Corinthians 15:10, "But by God's grace I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain."
I am changed! I am a new creation in Christ Jesus! I desire to please my Lord and no longer be a slave to sin, self, or man!

When you call yourself a Christian and have any ill will towards another human being, for whatever reason, then I must say, "God's grace toward you is in vain." You see His grace was extended towards us so that we would become ONE with Him, not to stay ONE with the world! His grace was extended to us who believe and we are to extended others!

The Lord has taught me His ways are higher than mine, yours and this world we live in... I don't understand everything about Him but I do understand His GRACE and FORGIVENESS!
Romans 5:8, "But God showed His GREAT LOVE for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners."

If I trust the God of the Bible, then I trust Him to vindicate all the injustices that have occurred throughout time!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Would You Shun Her or Help Her?

I awoke before the sun to have, "Coffee with my King", my time with my Savior and His word. I realized I was out of sugar so I decided to take a trip to our 24 hour Wal-Mart. I didn't tell my husband because it was just down the road and I would be back before he would wake up.
My daily prayer is that the Lord would empty me out completely of self, fill me with His Holy Spirit and use me for His glory. I prayed this simply prayer on the way to the store. I pulled into the barren parking lot about 4:45 am and as I walked toward the entrance, there was a young lady standing in front of the store. I smiled and said, "Good morning." She then stopped me and asked if I would buy her a pack of cigarettes because she was caught shoplifting and couldn't go back in the store. I hesitated for a second and the Lord prompted me to do it. I obliged and asked what kind she needed. She handed me some money for the purchase and I walked into the store.
My mind was going crazy! "I can't believe this is what You want me to do, Lord!" I proceeded to the sugar isle all the while thinking this was not right. I hate cigarettes and what the harm they cause! But the Holy Spirit was ever present!
I purchased my sugar, her cigarettes and met her outside the doors. She thanked me and I simply said, "You're welcome. God bless you." I then headed towards my van and suddenly I felt as if God had a Holy Spirit lasso that grabbed hold of me and He said, "You're not done! Give her a ride."
I got in my van, bowed my head and prayed. "You want me to give her a ride? Okay whatever You say, Lord."
I pulled up to the entrance, rolled down my window and asked if she needed a ride.
"No. My boyfriend is coming back to get me."
"How long have you been waiting for him?"
"About 30 minutes."
"Honey, he's not coming back to get you. God told me to give you a ride."
She hesitated but took me up on the offer.
"Where do you want to go?"
"I live in Hillsboro which is about 30 miles south."
"Okay. Just show me how to get there."
On the way to her house she shared her life story. How she grew up in an alcoholic and abusive home, that she really doesn't have a place to live but she stays with her mom from time to time when she isn't living with her boyfriend. She admitted that she carries a knife for protection because she's a prostitute. She's also an alcoholic and drug addict and she was stealing to support her habit.
My heart broke for her as I listened to her story. Her pain! Her brokenness! Only Jesus can heal her!
I shared a little of my testimony and how I was raised in a broken home but that when I surrendered my life to Jesus, He began healing my heart and turned my pain in to a beautiful story.
"I went to a church camp when I was younger but never felt welcome at a church" she said.
My heart was crushed even more!
I shared the Gospel with her and how Jesus wants her to come to Him with her pain and surrender it all to Him. She began to weep. When we finally pulled up to her mom's house, I would call it a shack, I asked if I could pray for her.
I grabbed her hands and the Holy Spirit said what He needed to say to her...We both wept and then embraced. She continued thanking me as she got out of my van and stood before my headlights. As tears rolled down both of our cheeks, I drove off and headed home.

I know what some of you are thinking but your thoughts don't matter. My God was pleased that I obeyed Him and loved on this beautiful broken soul! I was blessed by being a blessing to this woman I will call, Beautiful. Beauty is in the "eye of the beholder" and since God sees us through the eyes of Christ, no matter how ugly our lives appear to the human eye,  we are all made beautiful because of His suffering.
Her face is forever etched in my heart and I often pray that she is free from the bondage of sin. Pray for her. Pray for me that I will continue to see others through His eyes and not my own. Pray for the Body of Christ to stop shunning people who don't fit their "perfect American Christian standard" and start embracing people as Christ embraced us.

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (The Message Bible)
"Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!"

Friday, June 27, 2014

I'm Holding On, Lord!!

I'm Holding On, to the One Who is Holding Me!
Psalm 18:16--
 "He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters."

When our children were little and something scared them, they would either jump into mine or my husband's arms and squeeze our necks as tight as they could. In turn, we would hug them and reassure them they were safe in our arms. The more scared or unsure of what was going on, the tighter their grip...their holding on eased their fears.

Lately, God has been reminding me to hold on to Him as my children would hold on to me. I know I'm not the only one who needs this reminder. I am safe and secure in the arms of my Lord!
I keep waking up to David Crowder's song on my heart, "I am Holding on to You". God keeps saying, "You forget to hold on to Me." I thought about that and realized this was true. I know He is holding on to me but I need to remember to hold on to the One holding me. This brought instant peace to my aching, stressed out heart. Like a child who is scared, holding tight to their daddy's neck, I too can "climb in my Daddy's lap and squeeze His neck" as tight as I need to, any time I need to!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

His Position Never Changes

“His Position Never Changes”
Isaiah 59:1-2 "Indeed, the Lord's hand is not too short to save, and His ear is not too deaf to hear. But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen."
If you ever feel God is far from you, this truth says, He is always close enough to help and hear you...but it is our sin that causes a "wall" to be built up between us and God. WE, not God, distance ourselves from Him because we choose to sin. How often do we say things like, “I don’t feel God anymore” or “I feel as if God has left me”? These are just a few lies Satan wants you and I to believe so that we walk away from God and continue living in sin. The truth is God’s position never changes! He will never leave you nor forsake you. It is our unconfessed sin that separates us from God.
Now imagine with me building a brick wall. Each brick represents our sins. Brick by brick, sin by sin, we build this wall between us and God. Some walls are neatly assembled with care and others are built in a rush and look horrible. However, a wall is a wall no matter how neat it looks. Just as sin is sin no matter if one sin seems more offensive than another. Suddenly we realize there is a massive wall separating us from God and what is our first reaction? We blame God. Your sin, my sin, our sin causes God to hide His face from us and it is quite easy for Him to do so because of our wall of sins!
One thing we must do today is ask His Holy Spirit to reveal any sin that is causing a wall to be built up between us and Him. He is on the other side waiting for us to call out to Him for help! I envision Jesus behind our wall of sins, kneeling down, weeping over our behavior and praying to Father God on our behalf. He doesn’t want to keep hiding His face from you. He wants to break down the barrier so that we are living face to face with our Savior. Repentance is the “dynamite” God uses to break down our wall. What are you waiting for? Simply say His name, “Jesus”! He will do the rest, if you are truly sorry for your sins.
Honestly, this should be done on a daily basis so that we do not build up a barrier between us and our Savior. Sometimes there are unintentional sins, such as not following Jesus’ command to go to all nations or having an unforgiving heart. These are just a few examples and yes I know no one is perfect but we must commit our lives to being a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to the Lord. I don’t know about you but my desire is to see His face beaming with delight, not hiding with disappointment!

This week take the time to allow His Holy Spirit to search your heart. In order for this to happen you must have alone time with your sweet Jesus. Allow Him to speak to you about any sin that is causing a barrier to be built up. Then be honest with God because He already knows who is on the other side. Until we meet again, remember His position never changes! 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Christian, Have you Had a Garden of Eden Experience?

Christians around the world have heard the creation story. We know God created the heavens and the earth and all living things in it by speaking them into existence. He then created Adam and Eve with His very hands that would later be pierced for all mankind's' sin. Then God placed them in the Garden of Eden to live face-to-face with their Creator. They had a relationship with God that was unhindered by sin. They walked in the cool of the night and day with God, naked and unashamed(Genesis 2:25).

Then one day they chose to disobeyed God. Once Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they saw and experience evil for the first time. They only knew what they had lived; a good, peaceful, perfect life with God and all His creation. But at that very moment they saw God as GOOD and themselves as evil. Suddenly there was an invisible barrier between them and God. Isaiah 59:2 says, "But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide his face from you so that He does not listen."

Adam and Eve realized they had sinned against God and were ashamed, humiliated and tried to cover their butts (no pun intended) by placing blame (Genesis 3). Adam blamed Eve and even God for giving him "the woman", Eve blamed the serpent, and IF the serpent could have blamed someone, he probably would have pointed his finger at God and said, "You created all of us, so it's Your fault."

I think one of the most grievous sins is blame! It's easier to blame others instead of taking responsibility for our own actions and acknowledge our sins. We even have the audacity to walk around with our noses stuck in the air as if our sin don't stink! I say this with all sincerity, until you and I understand that we have sinned against God alone, stop blaming others, stop rationalizing in our minds that our sins are "not as bad as...", and stop justifying sin because "everyone else does it", we are harming ourselves, our fellow man and hurting the heart of God!

God listened as they played the blame game and then He disciplined each one of them which resulted in a broken relationship, demonstrated by Him kicking Adam and Eve out of the Garden. However, before he did that, He provided clothing for them to cover their nakedness, which I believe represents God's willingness to forgive their sin. The consequences for their sin could not be stopped, and sin entered the world like a plague!

So I ask, have you had a Garden of Eden experience? Have you, His child, been so close to the heart of God, living in relationship with your Father in Heaven and then suddenly there was a barrier because of sin? Realizing sin is sin and it is against your God, have you been humbled and ashamed of your sin? You see that "little white lie" isn't so little in the eyes of Jesus who took our punishment for sin. He was beaten for that "little white lie", lustful eyes, prideful heart, prejudice, hatefulness, grudges, bitterness, drunkenness, sexual immorality, disrespect of God...
Isaiah 53:5 "But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him."

When we allow His Spirit to show us our sin in comparison to His Holiness, we will be broken and ashamed of our sin. We then humbly cry out to Jesus for forgiveness, He will once again clothe us with His righteousness and wash our sins white as snow! Saved people must remember to repent.
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."
Daily, I want to be reminded that I too am a sinner, my sin is no less or worse than yours and sin has consequences...

If you have never come to Jesus as your personal Savior, repent and turn to God. Call on Jesus' name, for there is no other name on earth or in Heaven by which you can be saved (Acts 4:12). I pray today is the day of salvation for you because no one is promised tomorrow.

Praise God, Praise God! He is close to the humble!