Sunday, February 24, 2008


I love being a Christian. I even love the denomination that I belong to. What I do not love is the church to which I belong. I find it so difficult to even pretend to want to get up and go any more. This is not a new unhappiness. We have been attending this church for almost 10 years and I have felt this way almost from the beginning. I go in cycles where I am able to put my own discontent to the side and go to worship for the most important reason which is to worship the Lord and give glory to him. Then there are other times where I just can't do it because I feel so unhappy about the experience. The congregation is just so stodgy and set in its ways, I feel very stifled. In the 10 years we have been there very little has been done to affect real change and to move the church forward into the future. As far as the denomination goes, I think it is great, it is an open, liberal and progressive denomination. They stress "Freedom of belief. Disciples are called together around one essential of faith: belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Persons are free to follow their consciences guided by the Bible, the Holy Spirit study and prayer, and are expected to extend that freedom to others" But that is as a denomination, not as a congregation. Our congregation is so conservative and not very open minded. I realize that it shouldn't stop me from worshiping there, but it begins to grate on me after a time. I think it is mainly the area in which we live, everyone around me is conservative and i find myself the odd duck more times than not. One thing I won't do is put my comfort above that of my family though. If everyone else is happy at that church, then I will continue on. I will be in deep prayer about this situation over the next several weeks because I really need to resolve it in my mind; because at this point I am just running circles in my mind and getting nowhere, as evidenced by my writings here.
Proverbs 2:1-10:

1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,
3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Peace, man.

I find myself yesterday and today, not only dispirited by an Atheist, but also by fellow Christians. The enemy is trying to shake me in whatever way he can. This often happens in times of spiritual growth. Satan sees me coming into a deeper understanding of God's word, or moving to a new level of relationship with God and he doesn't like it. There are two ways to attack, one is by sending in the opposition, the other is to divide and conquer. Both tactics are being used. I am glad that I can see it for what it is. The enemy has no control over me. God is in control and if I stop and listen to his voice speak to me through his word, I will learn what I need to learn in order to arm myself against these attacks. I will not allow myself to become disheartened. My faith in a loving and graceful father is too strong for that. It is in Jesus that I have the power to overcome the forces of darkness that are at work ever day to keep me down. I don't believe in war, except for spiritual warfare. I have armed myself and I am ready to battle!

Watch this video and let the word of God speak to you.
Word of God Speak - Mercy me

Passage Psalm 139:5-6:
5 You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Passage Romans 8:35-39:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Passage 2 Corinthians 4:7-10:
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

Passage Ephesians 6:10-13:
The Armor of God
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Love is in the air.

As I prepare for Valentine's Day I am struck by God's Unfailing Love for me. I know how much I love my children. I also know that god loves me more than that. It really is the most amazing kind of love.

Jesus gave his words of love before he left the earth. In John he tells me that he loves as God loves and that I should in turn love as he loves. When I follow his command I am considered his friend and no longer his servant. He wants to be on those kind of terms with me. He desires to have a relationship with me.

It is mind bending to think of the kind of love that it takes to endure what he endured for me on the cross. Then to say - I want to be your friend - My love for you is unfailing. I am having a hard time even comprehending it.

He knew that throughout my life there would be friends who would let me down and that I would need the kind of love that only he could offer to help me through those times of deep heartache. He set it up so that I would always be able to come back to his arms and find comfort there. Sometimes he has taken me by the hand and led me where I need to go. Other times he has admonished me for making the wrong choices. Still other times he has just held me as I cried and felt sorry for myself. He has been there through it all and he has always known just what to do. He is the perfect friend.

Passage Psalm 119:76:
76 May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.

Passage Lamentations 3:22:
22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

Passage John 15:9-17:
9"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17This is my command: Love each other.

Friday, February 8, 2008


I detest that word - Evangelism. It evokes thoughts of knocking on doors and hitting people over the head with my religion. I really don't think that is what Jesus had in mind when he said go out and preach the gospel. I have seen so many people turned away from Christianity by overeager, under educated zealots. They will meet someone who is of a different belief system and immediately try to save the other person. Instead they should be getting to know that person, living by example and thinking like Jesus.

I have heard many Atheists say "If that is what your religion is all about - No, thank you!" when faced with this kind of hypocrisy. I can't say that I blame them. I have befriended a few Atheists in my day and I have found them all to be thoughtful and knowledgeable people. More times than not they have read extensively about Christianity and have come to the conclusion that there is no God. I am not sure if there is anything that anyone could say that would change their minds; but I know for certain that telling them they are going to hell and that their children would be better off somewhere else is surely not going to persuade them.

I wish that I could knock some sense into some of these Bible thumpers. They are often the most closed minded people you will ever encounter though, so it is doubtful that they will see the error of their ways. I truly believe that God has called us all to mission work and that he does want us to preach the gospel to the non believer. It is the method of delivery that I often question. Our lives are to be our witness. One of my favorite quotes is "Be careful what you say and do; you may be the only bible someone ever reads" I earnestly try to live my life this way. Do I make mistakes? Yes. Do I always live as Christ? No. I do my best.

I pray that there will be a chance for everyone to acknowledge God at the second coming. I fervently believe that God wants everyone to join him in heaven, so it is my hope that there will be a chance for everyone. So I don't feel that it is my duty to tell anyone that they are going to hell for non belief, because I don't know what is going to happen in the future. God has it all figured out. All I need to do is live my life as he wants me to and stay out of other people's business.

Passage 1 Peter 1:13-25:
Be Holy
13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
17Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you.
Passage 1 Peter 2:1-3:
1 Peter 2
1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Happy 13th Birthday!

My little girl is not so little any more. She turned 13 last week. When she was born I wondered what kind of teenager she would be. It seemed so far away, but now it's here already. She has turned into a beautiful young lady. She makes good grades, she makes good choices when it comes to friends, she loves the Lord and has chosen to be his child. I am very proud of her. As she grows up over the next several years she will face many decisions that will be more difficult than those she had to make as a little girl. I pray that the Lord will guide her to make the right decisions and that she will listen to what has been instilled in her by her dad and me. God has such great plans for her! I can't wait to see them unfold and to watch her fly.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Victorious and Free

These are the things from which I strive to be free. Despair, strife, depression, anxiety, fear and low self esteem.

I have struggled with depression and anxiety since I was about nine years old. There are components of the depression that are due to brain chemical imbalances. I have never been able to "pray it away". I don't believe that it is because I haven't been faithful enough or that my relationship with God is lacking in dedication. That being said, I don't believe that I should just take medication and forget that it is God who lead me to my path of freedom from these stronghold on my life.

Satan seeks to make me believe that I am in charge of my own destiny, that I can overcome any obstacle if I have enough strength of character. This gives me a false sense of what I am capable of on my own. It is only in my weakness that I am made strong by God's power. The freedom that I find in Jesus' sacrifice is greater than anything that I can ever do on my own.

Jesus died on the cross so that I could have life and to live it abundantly. He expects me to live the victorious life that he has planned for me. For me to strive for anything else would be a rejection of his sacrifice. He gave his all for me and I should give my all to live my best life for him. This is where my reliance on him comes in. I have to count on him to pull me out of my own thoughts and dwellings on the negative things in my life so that I can focus on him and the great way that he made me.

It is not bragging to say that I am a wonderful, great and beautiful person, because I am made in his image and he is wonderful and great and beautiful. I have to give him his due and live like I am his child, with all the potential that is mine. It is great to know that these negative spirits have no power over me because in him I am Free.

Passage Romans 5:1-5:
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Passage Ephesians 4:1:
1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Passage Colossians 1:10-14:
10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Passage 1 Corinthians 15:57-58:
57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain