A message to the single Christian ladies out there

When I was eleven years old I felt the hand of God in a way that I would guess isn’t common. I remember that while other girls were writing “I love Joe ” ( or whatever name), I was writing “I love Jesus”. I wanted more than anything to serve him and really loved hearing from missionaries and reading their stories.  Then one day I met Bill.  
He was different than the other guys I’d known. He seemed genuinely to care about me. He was fun to hang out with and he was willing to go to church. One day, it was clear to me that Bill was never going to take church seriously. He was there for me, not for  God.  I knew the time has come to end it, missions dating should not be a thing, I knew this.  

I tried, really… And I knew it was the right thing to do, but when he said he loved me and would do anything to make it work. I let myself believe the lie. That I could have both. Missions work and Bill.  That evening, without realizing it fully I chose him over God. 

We were married a year and a half later and shortly there after he started going to church less and less.  Then one day, he said “I’m done with this nonsense, I tried to believe. I wanted to believe, but I just don’t”. That was over twenty years ago and except on rare occasion he has never gone back. 

I have lived with regret and resentment fit all these years. Marriage is a.covenant,i can’t walk away. Time travel has not been invented so I can’t go back and choose  God when I should have. All I can do is release my dreams to God and know that the story is still unfolding, that no life is beyond redemption. 

I say all of this to make this point, If you are married to an unbeliever, hold fast. He can be won by your silent witness.  If; however, you are still single and seeking  God’s will and you are dating an unbeliever run away! Hold fast to God.  Put him first, choose him send he will put the man of His choosing in your life. 

Walking away after you are emotionally attached is hard. Dating can not and should not be a mission field.  Dating should be finding a life partner that will put God first. When God is first everything else will fall into place. I didn’t follow this advice and have lived to have regret. I am ever thankful for the redeeming power of God’s love. 

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To Dance with the Lord

Reflecthim's Weblog

All of life is a dance and my partner is Jesus. I must learn to be sensitive to His guidance, to be aware of His moving. If I remember during our time together each morning to lean in close, to inhale deeply the fragrance of His love and Mercy, then His fragrance will linger on me. It will refresh the souls of those around me as they catch the scent. Like a familiar cologne they may not fully recognize for what it is, it should be reminiscent of a home they have not yet known.

Through out the day my mind goes back to our moments shared in the morning and my heart is refreshed as I whisper to myself a reminder that he is closer than the air I breathe, that His throne room is in my heart. Like one of those automated air fresheners, he restores my soul…

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Rejoice in the Lord!

In this life there will always be hard things. We will have less than perfect relationships, jobs, finances… you get it, because your life isn’t perfect either. Sometimes, our circumstances can seem so big, that we just can’t see anything else. It is in these times, right now as a matter of fact, that I remember, Paul wrote these words from prison. Not fairly warm well fed American prison, but from a prison under Roman rule. A prison during and era and in a society that was arguably one of the cruelest societies ever.

My joy doesn’t come from the things of this world and I am thankful for that. As much as I love my husband, my children, my extended family I would be remiss to allow them to be the source of my joy. AS fallible humans they will let me down. Just as I too will let them down. Jesus; however, will never let me down. My finances may be insufficient to pay all my bills, but the grace of our great God will never be insufficient. This is the source of peace that passes understanding. In the midst of the storm, I am joyful, because I know that the promise was never to pull me out of my circumstances, but to love me through them. Sometimes, he calms the wind and the waves, but other times He walks me through. I am thankful today for who God is and that he is in control no matter where I am. If I will stop and listen, he will guide me through.

He will guide you through too! Draw close to him. Listen to his voice, he will keep you on the narrow path.

34They did not destroy the peoples, As the LORD commanded them, 35But they mingled with the nations And learned their practices, 36And served their idols, Which became a snare to them. 37They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, 38And shed innocent blood, The blood of their sons and their daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with the blood. 39Thus they became unclean in their practices, And played the harlot in their deeds. 40Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against His people And He abhorred His inheritance. 41Then He gave them into the hand of the nations, And those who hated them ruled over them. 42Their enemies also oppressed them, And they were subdued under their power. 43Many times He would deliver them; They, however, were rebellious in their counsel, And so sank down in their iniquity. 44Nevertheless He looked upon their distress When He heard their cry; 45And He remembered His covenant for their sake, And relented according to the greatness of His loving kindness. 46He also made them objects of compassion In the presence of all their captors. 47Save us, O LORD our God, And gather us from among the nations, To give thanks to Your holy name And glory in Your praise. 48Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, From everlasting even to everlasting. And let all the people say, “Amen.” Praise the LORD!

How ironic that I should pick up this scripture today. I am struggling with very real issues that stem from allowing the world to sneak in the back door. You let one little seemingly harmless thing into your life and next thing you know all his friends are throwing a proverbial party right there in your living room. Suddenly, you find yourself out of control being carried by a force that has become much bigger than you wondering “how did we get here?” If you have sin in your life, no matter how small you must eradicate it. You must war with your flesh and get rid of all that is not directly of God.

As we fight to rid ourselves of the “old man”, it is helpful to turn our eyes on how we can be blessing to those around us. While it is imperative that we examine our own hearts, we lose the point if we spend too much time focusing on ourselves. Our holiness is all about our relationship with Him, our relationship with Him is all about relating to others and fulfilling the great commission that all man would become followers of Christ.

There is a precarious balance between loving the world and being part of it. We are told in the Bible that Jesus spent his time with liars and thieves. It was them that he showed love to. The religious sects were the ones that he was hard on. The ones that he called “white washed tombs”. We must be the love of God, exude his fragrance to the world around us and that does mean going where people are; however, it does not mean to do what they are doing. For example, I have been known to go to the local bar and hang out with and talk to some of the people there; however, while I am there I do not participate in lascivious or drunken behavior. It seems as though I should mention that I do not, nor have I ever had, an issue with alcohol. If I had ever had such an issue, I wouldn’t be tempting myself in that way. It also seems pertinent to mention that I don’t “Lord it over them” that I am not getting drunk or doing other things that would sully my testimony. If I act like I am somehow better than others they are not going to like or want to be around me. My purpose in hanging out there though has been served multiple times, because I am seen as the “religious” one, they come to me when tragedy strikes.

In my humble opinion, the key to balancing loving hte people of the world and not being part of the world is being others focused. That is to say, not thinking about what I am or am not doing, but about being interested in the lives of other people. Reaching them where they are for the gospel first requires that we are walking the talk so to speak and living holy lives. It also requires that we spend time letting people know that we care about them as people. It is an insult to think that someone who does not know me, would have any of the answers to my life problems. Jesus is always the answer, but our goal in sharing with them it to clear the way for them to see their own personal need for Jesus and most of the time, this is a process that takes time. Just like the process that each of us who already know Jesus as our personal saviour is in becoming the person He intended us to be.

To Dance with the Lord

All of life is a dance and my partner is Jesus. I must learn to be sensitive to His guidance, to be aware of His moving. If I remember during our time together each morning to lean in close, to inhale deeply the fragrance of His love and Mercy, then His fragrance will linger on me. It will refresh the souls of those around me as they catch the scent. Like a familiar cologne they may not fully recognize for what it is, it should be reminiscent of a home they have not yet known.

Through out the day my mind goes back to our moments shared in the morning and my heart is refreshed as I whisper to myself a reminder that he is closer than the air I breathe, that His throne room is in my heart. Like one of those automated air fresheners, he restores my soul again. Something that I often need, and often before i even realize I need it, as the cares of this world begin to over shadow my ability to see with His eyes and to recognize the opportunities to reach out and be water to the thirsty souls of another.

My dim human eyes often miss the hurting soul next to me, but my Saviour sees. He opens my eyes to all the opportunity to be His hands and feet. If I am not paying close attention throughout my day to my partner I may miss a step. I need Him every hour, no every minute… There are so many hurting hearts! I don’t want to miss even one chance to do His work, to love the lost.

Church, we need to wake up from our slumber!! Some of us are guilty of allowing our legalism, our religiosity, our rule following to blind us to the truth of the gospel. That we were all lost and blind and that is by the grace of God alone that we were saved and not the work of our own hands. We allow ourselves to become judgemental and press our rules onto others. No one is ever going to care about how much we know, until we are willing to show them how much we care first. Bringing them into accordance with God’s will is NOT our job. Our job is to pray for them, love them, and when God leads teach them the Word of God.

Others are so caught up in their own relationship with God, with their own reading and studying that they are no real earthly good the to world around them. We must remove our stained glass eyewear and see the hurting the world around us. Leave our comfort zone and go to the people who are hurting. We are blessed, so that we can be a blessing!

This thanksgiving season, let us reach out to those who are in need and just love on them.

Government Shut down

First and foremost, I feel the need to state the obvious. No matter who is in charge of our government, or what they do, Jesus is king. That being said, did you know that our government follows a distinct pattern that was standout in the midst of monarchys. The predominate style of government was a monarchy, but the Jews only king was God and then Moses had a system of judges who incrementally oversaw increasingly large numbers. These judges according to Exodus 18, were to men that were seen as wise and Godly men, they were not only responsible for upholding the law, but they were held to a higher and stricter standard. Rightly so, those who are to make and enforce the laws must also be subject to them. If they are not, they are setting up a ruling class of people who are above the law. God viewed His people as created equals with Him as their ruler. We are a Republic with Democratic tendencies, because all men are created equal.

More and more this seems to be what is going on in this country, that we are two classes. A ruling class of wealthy men who have their own agendas. Agendas that likely have nothing to do with what is best for our nation. Now, I am sure that it will not take much guessing for any of you to figure out where I stand on Affordable Healthcare Act, but that said if it is going to be the law, it needs to apply accross the board to everyone.

The problems that this nation is facing are so much bigger than just this act. We seem to have almost forgotten about the need to raise our debt ceiling again. This is also a huge problem. We have failed to cut costs and if we continue to fund, um everything, we will default. Funding Obamacare is just the tip of the iceburg. We need a huge scale back of our government. We are headed for disaster and I just don’t see how we get back.

Last year, when I got sick I was unable to work. I had to incur debt to pay for healthcare and related things. Shortly after, I was forced out of my full time job. During the last few months, I have had to cut my spending. Getting rid of things that were good and beneficial. What I need now is to increase my income. I could for a breif period of time use more debt to get through this, but that can’t continue. I can already feel the weight of lower income and higher debt. I can’t imagine how bad it would be if this pattern of borrowing to pay debt had been going on for years! Yet, that is how our government operates. It’s scary.

Now, I am not sure if shutting down the government is the best way to address these issues. I think that even the powers that be have forgotten what the fight is about, they just want to win. Meanwhile, the people suffer while the ruling class fight like petulant children.

We need to be on our knees praying for our leadership, clearly, they are in need of wisdom. Imagine if every Christian got on their knees and prayed for wisdom for our leaders. What if each one of us prayed for the revival of this land and begged God to forgive our national iniquities? Before we can have national holiness, we must first have personal holiness. We must work on having our own lives in accordance with God’s will and pray for personal revival and then let that fire spread through out our home towns, permeate our nation, so that we can have corporate holiness that the world will see, that will be so compelling that they can’t help, but to be part of it.

Providence

The story of Moses is such an incredible picture of God’s providence. In the days of Israel (Jacob), God revealed that His people would be oppressed for 400 years, and that after that they would be led to the promised land. There was never a time that God did not know what was happening in the lives of His people. When Moses says to God, “who am I that I should tell Pharaoh to let the people go? I am not a good speaker” God responds that Aaron his brother is on his way to meet him. This made me ask why. Why is Aaron on his way? There is no mention that they were close during the forty years that Moses had been hiding in Midian. I have to come to the conclusion that God knew what the argument of Moses would be and that he had already placed it in the heart of Aaron to go to his brother. Countless times, the word says, and God hardened Pharoahs heart. As the story progresses and the plagues are getting worse, the first one that will really bring harm come first with a warning. “at this time tomorrow” (exodus 9:13 – 26) – those who would were given the opportunity to heed that warning and take cover from the hail. We are also told countless times that “the heavens declare the glory of God (psalm 19:1) and that nature itself has made God known to us, if we will listen with our heart (Romans 1). God is an all knowing God. He has a plan and He knows exactly what it will take to make it happen. Surrender to His plan. He will make us more like Him, He will shine through us. Only when there is tribulation can we persevere. Have hope! Our promised land awaits.