Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"Rapture-Palooza:" Spoof of the Rapture Defiling Christ

     So, I saw a reference to "Rapture-Palooza."  Yes, you heard me right, "Rapture-Palooza."  Needless to say, I was curious as to what this "thing" was.
     Apparently, it is a spoof on Jacob's Trouble, as seen in the book of Revelation (what many refer to as "The Great Tribulation").  Yes, folks, God's Word is being parodied.  What a shame.
     I was greatly angered by the blatant disrespect shown for the Almighty God, Creator, and Saviour.  I was also greatly burdened about my part.  What am I doing, or neglecting, that would bring blasphemy to God?
     So, I am purposing to be more diligent in my love for God!  I am going to show Him more reverence, study His Word even more, and be ready to always point to the only important one, ever:  Jesus Christ!  I do not desire to be a part, directly or indirectly, of such wicked and lewd behavior.  I must not shame Him!

A Brother's Response To This Wicked Video

**I can say that I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with Brother Bryan in this video!  When I first saw the trailer to this video, to come to theaters on June 7th, I was INFURIATED!  I pray that souls who are contrary to Christ become reconciled, but I also pray that Christ returns soon!**

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Would Christ Do It?

     I am always having to be on guard against "entertainment."  Oh, how it grips me, if I am not careful!  How it seduces me, and causes me to err!
     I know there are various forms of entertainment.  However, it has been my studied opinion that I must ever be vigilant to not abuse it.  What do I mean by "abuse it?"
     Well, I can end up spending too much time entertaining myself, rather than being productive.  I can slip into forms of entertainment, (by starting with something "innocent"), that God abhors.  I seek to reconcile my lusts with "liberty in Christ."  However, Christ is pretty clear about not using our freedom in Him for an occasion to sin:  "What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. "--Romans 6:15
     It is well-known that many forms of entertainment are created to keep you wanting more.  Just watch the average t.v. show or movie, and you will be craving (lusting) for more!  How else will the ratings improve, the viewer count increase, etc.?
     Naturally, these methods of entertaining one's mind is geared toward the lusts of the flesh and eyes.  What ever tittilates the flesh will draw viewers back for more.  Thus, money is continually reaped, masses are effectively shepherded, and minds are controlled.
     I know these things.  I have learned over the years how things are propogated in order to reach people, for whatever the reason(s).  I know what is expected of me from my Lord.  King David of Israel said it well: "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. "--Psalm 101:3
     "Abstain from all appearance of evil."--1 Thessalonians 5:22  If I, as a born-again soul, am to abstain from all appearance of evil, why watch it?  Why listen to it?  Why view people doing things that "appear" wholesome, yet by their very doing of it, they are disobeying God?
     Is it okay for a man to kiss another man's wife?  Is it justifiable for a woman to kiss another woman's husband?  How about for the sake of "godly" entertainment?  How about for "family friendly" values?  After all, they are depicting a faithful husband and faithful wife, with children, trying to live according to God's will...
     Would I do it?  Would I kiss another man that was not my spouse?  Would I lie in bed next to him, pretending to go to sleep with my "movie-husband?"  Would I be alright if my husband was the actor, with another woman pretending to be his wife, for the movie's sake?
     I came to this conviction long ago.  It is pretty clear that Hollywood is not okay for me, by God's standards.  What about the Christian alternative?  I have not yet found one that I can wholeheartedly stand before God, and be justified in viewing it.  There are some documentaries, some reality programs, some educational pieces, some preaching, I have found to be safe...But nothing else.
     Why do I say all these things?  Because I struggle, still, with what my flesh wants.  It wants that drama.  It wants that entertainment.  It wants the rush that all those things bring!  And, yes, I still find myself succombing to that which I detest!
     Oh, how I wish that I never had a desire for that which God abhors!  I wish I had stronger character.  I wish that I would not waver in the convictions the Lord has placed in my life.
     Well, in myself, I will never amount to anything worthwhile.  My unredeemed flesh is still exceedingly sinful.  Yet, in Christ, I shall be victorious!

Romans 7:14-25
"For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."

     So, I must daily remember that it is through Christ that I will be victorious in this battle!  I must avoid yielding to any temptations that come my way.  I must flee to Christ when they come!

Ephesians 4:17-24
"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

     So, I seek to find other ways to fill my mind.  I seek other ways to "have fun."  I seek other ways that will be enjoyable, but yet unoffensive to Christ.  I try to find ways that I know that if the Saviour were physically here, He would participate.
     I am trying to keep my mind in the Scriptures, to remind me of what God has already taught me on the matter.  I am trying to remember that when the yearnings to stray from God's holy living comes, to immediately pray, remember what He has said, and to do according to His will; not that of the flesh.  Every time I do yield to God, I see the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
Colossians 3  
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Relinquishing Worries By Resting In Christ

     Lately, I have been pondering our current state of affairs.  No, not with regards to the nation, but of our home.  With all the "new" happening in our lives, I cannot help but muse upon them!
     "Look ahead, not back."  "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."--Luke 9:62  What would I miss, if I looked behind me?
     For some time, since the transition God has me undergoing, I have been guilty of "looking back."  Granted, I am not considering abandoning faith in my only Hope:  Jesus Christ.  However, I am guilty of looking back to a place from where God has removed me.
     Instead of wisely using the time and abilities God has given me in proper preparations for our new direction, I am still trying to cope with the change.  Granted, it is quite the change:  anyone who knows me, personally, would understand.  I do realize that there will be some adjustment time needed, yet I need to focus on gearing up for what lies ahead of us!
     Oh, so easy to say, yet harder to do!  Who wants to leave their comfort zone?  Who wants to start over, after being in a routine for years?  Who wants to leave behind a people who have been a family to them for years?  Sure, I know that there are people who do not like to settle, yet, I am not one of those people.  Give me a home, let me make it, and let me thrive in it.  :)  Please, oh please, just do not make me leave it.
     Yet, many times God has done just that to me:  made me leave where I was comfortable; even if it was not a good place.  There have been times I have left a good place, but needed to go to the right place.  So, nothing new to me, but it does not mean it is easy.  I try to remember that starting afresh is a blessing.
     All through this time of big changes in my life, I keep recalling what this ol' Gospel hymn says:  "This world is not my home, I'm just a'passin' thru.  My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue.  The angels beckon me, to Heaven's golden shore; and I can't feel at home in this world anymore."  Indeed, this world is not my home.
     With that realization in mind, I seek to comfort myself with the words Jesus left behind for me:

John 14:1-4
"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know."

Matthew 6:24-34
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

     Oh, if I but always rested in Christ's promises!  If I only always walked confidently in His integrity towards me, rather than doubtful disputations in my mind!  He deserves better than my doubts and fears.
     It is easy to yield myself to the insecurities within me.  Rather than faithfully cast every thought and care to Christ's faithful, able care, I try to handle it all on my own.  Rather than trust His leadership of my life, I recoil at the unknown.
     I do not know what all lies ahead for me.  I do not know what will become of us in our new home.  I do not know where God will have us best serve Him.  I do not know anything, rather than what each day brings.
     Yet, is that not what my Lord desires of me?  Trust Him for the future, and do today what He wills?  Does He not want me to faithfully implement the skills given unto me, as each day progresses, simply doing what I already know to do?  Does He not want me to utilize the wisdom, to prepare as best as He desires me to prepare, for the unknown...But, not seek to control it?  Does He not want me to rest in Him, not fear?  "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. "--1 Peter 5:7

The answer to my questions is "YES!"

     So, as I look ahead, I must look to Christ.  I must not look to the arm of the flesh, but to the arm of the Lord:  "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help."--Psalm 146:3  "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones."--Proverbs 3:5-8
     I know that the Lord has the best in mind for me.  Though I may not be able to say so in regards to another, for sure I can say it about Him.  I know that He has sanctified me in Himself:  "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."--Hebrews 10:14  I know I matter to Him!
     With that knowledge of His love for me in mind, I remind myself of His very special prayer.  I remember that He is currently my mediator, and is interceding for me.  Wow!  What a thought!  May I rest in Him.  

John 17
"These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them."

**His prayer for me...makes me cry even now...Knowing that He tenderly loves me...And cares for my well-being...Oh, how foolish I am, to worry over things He never intended for me to worry over...But rather, hand it all over to Him, and REST in Him.**

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My Saturday

     So, what to do on a warm, partially sunny Saturday?  Run errands.  Fix truck.  Do chores.  Have a cook-out!
     We had planned on having over some friends-family that we have not had over for a while, and are excited about it!  We love this family so much:  God has immensely blessed them by their presence in our lives.  This time ought to be delightful!  With some good food on the menu, and good fellowship, I am also *hoping* that we can get some fun game time/s going on over here.  ;)
     I am trying a thrown-together marinade on the chicken we are grilling; I will let you folks know if it is palatable, and if so, share it.  :)  We have asked them to bring a dish that they are happily known for making.  I am also going to make some sort of potato dish, a green salad, and a fruit salad.  There is also a fresh fruit tea!
     That all just sounded so good for a warm spring evening affair!  I pray it all turns out well...If not, well, at least I know their dish did, and we can order take out for them!  ;)  Most of all, I pray that the Lord is blessed, and they are blessed, by us.
     I am also happily anticipating tomorrow's gathering with some friends-family.  We will be having another Bible study and singing time together.  It has been a blessing for us in many ways:  a time to grow, a time to nurture, a time to be nurtured, a time to learn, a time to teach, a time to worship God.
     Every time we come together with these folks, it is as though we have never parted.  We are family, thanks to Jesus Christ!  It is wondrous, to see and experience, how the Lord molds and shapes us, and blesses us with one another.  I am so thankful to be a part of a large family...The family of God.
     On that note, I shall end for now.  We are needing to prepare for our folks coming over here.  But, I leave you with the recipe of a very refreshing drink!

Very Berry Fruity Tea

2 Packets of Tazo Tea's Passion Tea (They are in a large, loose-leaf bag)
Washed, Rinsed, Sliced Strawberries & Cherries (As many as you like)
1 Peeled & Sliced Tangelo
2 quarts boiling water
2 quarts cold water
As much sweetener to your taste (Honey, Sucanat, Coconut Sugar, Etc.)

Place tea bags in a 4 qt. pitcher.  Boil 2 quarts water.  As water boils, prepare fruit.  Once water is in a rolling boil, pour into pitcher.  Let steep for 8-10 minutes, then take out tea bags.  Pour in 2 quarts cold water.  Immediately add sugar and prepared fruit, then stir.  Enjoy!  (Pour over ice in glasses, enjoy warm, let sit to get to room temperature...Whatever your fancy!)

P.S.  What is "friends-family," you may ask? It is : folks that are not biologically our family, but are our family nonetheless. :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Relinquishing Bitterness, Choosing Happiness

...Oh, what to write...what to write.  So much on my mind, and in my heart--where to even begin?..

     So much has been happening in my life, our lives, these days.  With everything that has been happening, I am asking many questions.  I am also in a constant state of searching my mind and heart.
     There is much that I am finding needs changed in me.  I know that through Christ, and in Him alone, I will find the ability to change.  I know that I will be a better daughter to God, by His grace.  I yearn for that blessing!
     For a while, I have been struggling with many ugly thoughts, all swirling about in my head.  They were instigated by many hurt, frustrated, angry, sad, despairing, lonely, abandoned feelings...To name a few.  Instead of consistently and constantly turning them over to the Lord's care, I decided to mull over them--too often.
     I know that it is good to go through the way God intends folks to grieve, whatever the circumstance:  death, abuses, abandonment, ended relationships, etc.  Yet, I know that I am to be applying Scripture appropriately; e.g., "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."--1 Peter 5:7.
     However, instead of regularly, faithfully, applying that verse alone, I consult with me, myself, and I.  I also consult with family and friends...Mostly seeking those of the faith.  I understand that I am to seek out a multitude of counselors, and share with my brethren (and we, as the family of God, are to be caring one for another):

Romans 12
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." 

...But, I am to rely upon the SAVIOUR most of all!
     So, as the good Lord reminds me, faithfully, of what the Bible has to say to me, I seek to employ His wisdom.  It is so easy for me to do contrariwise; for, I have been contrary to the Bible.  Shameful, but yet my Lord is faithful to redirect my thoughts, feelings, and actions.
     Through these current experiences in my/our life, I am learning to seek Christ more.  I am learning to communicate with Him better; and, more frequently.  I am learning to lean upon His words more.  I am learning more humility.  I am learning more grace.  I am learning more hospitality.  I am learning more meekness.  I am learning more mercy.  I am learning more of my Heavenly Father.  I am learning more charity.  I am learning more zeal.  I am learning of Christ.
     Oh, difficult it may be, but my Saviour walks with me, and talks with me, as I go down this narrow way.  "He speaks to me of His mighty love, and He helps me bear my load.  He comforts me, with thoughts of Home; and says we don't have much farther to go."
     I find this time as another time of growing pains.  To experience these troubles and trials are nothing more than a time of refinement, and I desire to go through the process gracefully, meekly, peacefully, and joyfully.  In order to truly, regularly, do so, I had to let go of the bitterness starting to root within me; and, ever so faithfully, God weeded it out of my heart.  Now, when the pain strikes at me, I must remember to speak to Jesus of these things, (and, when I speak to my brethren in Christ, to do so with the right attitude), and also remember His words, His actions, His desires...To see me through the roughness.
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