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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Freedom



My youngest is about to get his drivers license.  His grandpa bought him a truck and its ALL he talks about - ad nauseum!!   This is, to him, the cusp of freedom.  The edge of growing up.  The freedom to come and go as he pleases (ha, he thinks!!)

Freedom.  What does that word mean to you?  When you hear it, what image does it invoke in your
head.  Its different for many of us.

Freedom - 
    *from an abusive husband
    *from debt
    *from a job we hate
    *from rules
    *from our sins

or is it Freedom in something?
     *freedom in new choices
     *freedom in forgiveness
     *freedom in our finances
     *freedom in our ability to love
     *freedom IN CHRIST

You see - freedom can mean something different to each of us based on our circumstances and the place we are in life.

I looked up the definition of freedom.  It means "the condition of not being in captivity or prison; The condition of being free of restraints, especially the ability to act without control or interference by another or by circumstance."

Kelland sees freedom as being free of my interference.  We sometimes see freedom as being able to make our own choices and doing what we want to do, without interference by anyone - especially God.  Or we can see freedom as the condition of not being in captivity or prison.

This picture spoke to me - the chains that bind us in the depth of our sin are broken thru the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  He set us free and therefore we are no longer bound by chains.  Chains of debt, unforgiveness, hatred, bitterness, loneliness....the list can go on. 

Today, think about freedom and what it means to you.  And maybe, just maybe, it will cause you to think on Christ and what He did for you.  If you are reading this and you haven't experienced the freedom that comes with knowing Jesus, contact me and I'll be happy to share with you what He has done for you so you can live in freedom.  

Romans 8:1-4 says:
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."

Monday, January 12, 2015

Is it really a BLESSING?

Something has been on my mind lately.  I've pondered it and hashed it out with my mom.  I have gotten upset by it and it even angered me a few times.

What is it you ask?

Bear with me - I may say something that you don't like.  I may go to a place that makes you uncomfortable or I may be speaking something that you feel is truth.

When people who don't live a Godly life say that God is blessing them, I get bunched up inside.

When people who outwardly sin - and live their life going against what God has spoken as truth in His word, yet they claim that God is blessing them or how BLESSED their life is, it burns me up.

God doesn't bless sin.  He just doesn't.  I think many people tend to forget there is another father - the father of lies.  Satan allows good things to come from your sin to keep you SINNING!

God calls us to repentance.  To live righteously.  To live a life free from sin.  Is it possible to follow God's word and BODLY do what He says not to do and then claim He is blessing you?

James 1:23 says "Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like".

God has told us how to live our lives.   Matthew 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it".

So, if you are co-habitating with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you are doing what many do - and broad is the road that leads to destruction.  If you are being dishonest on your taxes, or cheating your boss, or gossiping about others and spreading lies, you are on a road that leads to destruction.  Satan will make all those things look glamorous, justified, fun and they feel good.  But NARROW is the road that leads to life.

What road do you want to be on?  I want to walk the narrow road.  How do I do that in my life?  I don't co-habitate.  I won't have sex before marriage. Have I before? Yes.  Shamefully I admit that I have not always done things the way God commands.  But, conviction and repentance have changed my heart.  I want to follow God's commands for my life.  Maybe that's why I'm still single - because I do things differently than the world does it.  I know I am considered "WEIRD"...most men would probably call me a prude.  But, God's best for me is out there and he will want to walk the narrow road with me.  Narrow is the way.

I walk the narrow road because I choose to watch what I say about people.  Do I stumble? Yes, but God always convicts me and humbles me.  I've had attitude adjustments recently that have opened my eyes and changed how I view things and how I handle things.  Narrow is the way.

Do you want to live as God calls you to live and be different or do you want to continue doing things your way, and following the father of lies?  Satan makes sin enticing so that you STAY IN SIN!  Sin is fun, it feels good, but its not the way of the Lord.

I'm sorry if this post bothers some people.  Its not my intent.  But, when a blatant, in your face sinner says they are blessed by God, when God's people are walking a narrow road, I want to say to them "Who says its God blessing you?  God doesn't reward sin - but Satan does.  He allows you to feel blessed to keep you in sin" 

John 8:44 "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your fathers desire...When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies"

Its not my intent to make anyone mad by this post.  If you feel uncomfortable or angry reading it, maybe God is convicting your heart to seek out the sin in your life.   We are called to live differently than the world.   We are to be set apart.  They will know us by our actions. 

2 Cor 5:10 "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad".  This verse refers to what we have done with out lives as Christians.   We will stand before God and have to answer for what we did after we knew it was wrong.  We will answer for what we did as Christians, good or bad.  That verse is enough to keep me on the narrow road.  I don't' want to stand before God and answer for why I continued to blatantly sin after knowing what I should do.  Will that make me stand out to the world?  YES.  And that will be my BEST YES.  Doing what I know I should do in the face of temptation.  Is it hard? Absolutely?  Will I fail? Yes.  But, God calls us to STRIVE for perfection - knowing we will never attain it.  

What can you to do today to get on the narrow path?  What is God calling you to give up or step away from?  If you don't know, then seek Him.  Ask him and be willing to listen.  All have sinned and fall short - but we are still called to walk the narrow road.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Reality v. Fairy Tales


I have a desire.  A dream.  I want to write and perhaps speak in women's ministry someday. 

That is something I want.  But is that God's will for my life?

I work in youth ministry at church.  I hang out with teenagers and mentor them.  Its pretty awesome and its fulfilling.  Its hard sometimes to know what to say to the issues they have.  Sometimes I want to step in and fix everything for them.  

I want to be the fairy godmother that waves a wand and makes everything ok.  But, we don't live in a world of fantasy.  We live in the real world.  A world of broken dreams, disappointment, heartache and failure.

I need to release what I deemed my "fairytale" to the reality of my life.  Nothing turned out like I dreamed.  Nothing I dreamed of came true, yet I know I am where I am because it's where God wants me.

If all of my FANTASIES had come true, I wouldn't have lived leaning on God. My faith may have been weaker and my trust may have been more in myself than in God.

We have all seen or read Walt's fairy tales.  Cinderella meets Prince Charming and lives happily ever after.  Or did she?  What happened in the rest of the story? Did he stay a prince?  Or did he work long hours and come home late while she cooked and cleaned up after the children all day?  Sleeping Beauty got tons of sleep - until the Prince woke her up.  Then what?  Did she ever go to sleep like that again?  Or did she have to call the doctor for something to help her fall asleep because of all the things on her mind she couldn't quit thinking about.  And what about Snow White?  Did she really sing songs all day long as she cleaned up after 7 dwarfs? (Her 7 kids?)  Or did the birds go away and her happiness turn to grumpiness because no one helped her?

See, we live our lives based on a fantasy of how we think things will turn out - but we then wake up to the see that none of that fantasy is reality.  Reality is - life is hard.  Life is messy.  And the only Prince who can see us through is the Prince of Peace.

The Prince of Peace stepped into my life and rescued me from my illusion of what I thought my life should be like, and led me by the hand into the life he created for me.  This year, I am excited to see where He takes me.  I'm curious to see what He has up his sleeve for me, and I'm EMPOWERED by His love, grace and mercy.

I live in the REAL word.  And I want to have a PRINCESS heart.  God is my Prince, I am his princess.  I'm open to the adventure that awaits!