Tag Archives: church

Tend To Your Own Weeds

29 Oct

I am that girl. The Jesus freak girl.

I am that girl that found Jesus late in life, though I had religion much of my life.  I am a bit of a rebel  at heart. I am an “I can do it myself” kind of girl. It’s been hard for me to surrender to God. I have found great peace in this place of surrender, but obviously I have trust issues as I keep finding myself back in the driver’s seat.

I am also the girl that always hated injustice. I’ve stood up for people, fought battles for people, alongside of people.

I am that girl; the one that brought home the stray pets and outer fringe people.

I am also the girl that at age 47,  finally heard the words of Jesus, echoing in my heart as I read, and reread “The Sermon on the Mount” (*Matthew 5-7).   Literally, I understood my salvation as I read the words of Matthew 5:3-5 in the Message version.  It changed everything.

Church friends…We can talk about needing a revival all we want, but we have to start within our own four walls. It’s time for the church to wake up. It is time for us to hear what He has been saying to us, in Matthew, Mark, in John, in Roman’s. Stop with the rules and rituals. Stop thinking that your actions determine your salvation. They don’t.  Stop thinking you have to fit a type! Stop rejecting people based on sin. Seriously!

Love God and Love your neighbor. Believe that Jesus is exactly who He said He is.  Our redeemer. For the man hanging next to him on the cross, it was as simple as saying “remember me”.  It isn’t hard! Stop making it so hard!  These are the simple rules we have unless we want to go back to trying to earn it again by doing our best to follow the Ten Commandments.  I can’t even get through traffic on my way to work!  I am desperate for a Savior!

This is my takeaway on the very words of Jesus from that sermon.  It is the philosophy of not throwing stones before you look into your heart to see if you have ANY sin.

If you are going to call out Homosexuals for not “turning from their sin”, you had better be free from every single sin you meant to turn from. Every single one.   Because that is how you will now be judged.

If you are going to hate or judge a person for the color of their skin, their religion, for their economic status or their politics, you are acting as if they are your enemy. You have villainized them and you are  not loving your neighbor. Period. Period. Period.   The verb.

If you are not going to forgive every single person, every single thing they have done, every single time, then you don’t know what redemption is.  (This isn’t about boundaries, this is about forgiveness).  See, I can say all this because I know how prideful I can be, I know how unfair it can seem in my tunnel vision of looking at other’s instead of myself. The really sad truth is, when you don’t love the people of this world…then you have not loved God.

I have walked through grief, fear, anger, un-forgiveness and I have walked through peace. Unshakable peace even in the midst of great trials. Oh how I wish I could sit here and write this from a place of having it all together.  Some days, I am there. Some days, not so much.

I have had great faith, great joy, deep peace and I have really messed it up.  I have hurt people I loved, I have been selfish. I am never perfect like Christ. Never!  But this is the truth. I have zero secrets from God. I have confessed all of my sin. I can walk in freedom knowing this.

I really wish I was so faith filled that I would ALWAYS come from love, always forgive everyone everything, always be filled with supernatural peace.  One day, in Heaven. I will have all of that and more.

I don’t care what your sin is, because we all do it. We all have our thing, the thing we know the bible tells us is wrong, but we have this thorn in us. Stop letting ANYONE tell you that it separates you from God ‘s redeeming Grace. It never has and it never will. He loves every single one of his beautiful sheep.
He probably loves his homosexual sheep a bit deeper because they have been treated like lepers.  Just sayin!  They are like the tax collectors, and remember who Jesus spent time with!

I want every single person I come alongside to see so much of God in me, that they want to know if it applies to them. (It does, but that is YOUR journey).

What real faith looks like, perfected: Being grace filled when someone slanders you, when someone lies about you, when someone blames you or uses you, rejects you, or disrespects you.  When you watch a loved one suffer or there is more month than money. When things unravel or no longer look the way we thought it would look, that is the kind of disappointment that makes faith really hard.  Oh but when our faith is that big, NOTHING can touch us.  This is MY religion.

Grace is perfect. I am not. No matter if I mess it up or remain in Him, He never stops loving me. He never leaves my side or stops reminding me to check myself first.

Before we look over the fence at anyone, ever… we may want to check our own yard. We have to constantly look for new weeds, especially the ones hidden in corners.

My friend and I were on the phone the other night. She was driving around, retracing her stops, searching for her son’s missing glove. When she finally found it, she happily texted me to share the good news! We were both happily giving God praise. That is how God feels about the people that He is searching for. When they turn to Him, Heaven sings praise!

God’s words of loving affirmation belong to you, whether you know them or not.
He lovingly knit you together, carefully planning every detail of you, even numbering the hairs on your head. Even if you never stop to wonder at His amazing creation that is you, He still loves you.  He pursues you, longs for you to know Him. Not the church, not the rules, not the teachers, not the religions, not the writer of this blog.

Him. He just wants you to know Him.

 *Matthew 5:3-5 The Message (MSG)

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

 

Advertisements

One Door Closes

25 Apr

I closed a chapter today.

I sent the “other woman” a letter. This will be my one and only contact of this woman. She is not really a part of my story.  If she knew about me, then I needed to forgive her. If she didn’t know about me, then she needed to know the truth. End of chapter.

What remains in my heart is this deep cry to the body. Cry to the church. Cry to my brothers! Cry to my sisters. Why? Why do you react so harshly to homosexuality and turn a blind eye to the friend engaging in porn? To your friend that sleeps around? To your friend that cheats? To divorce?

There is a war going on. Am I the only one seeing this? I am left to wonder ; Why isn’t my church body standing strong together, men helping men in their struggles with fidelity, with lust, with temptation that seems to be a struggle for the large part of the male church.

Women have so many opportunities to share their hearts. To be sharpened and encouraged by one another; To be supported, and held in times of trial and temptation.We sin in the same ways. I understand this but lust seems to be a stronghold for a vast majority of men.

Men of courage, step up, speak out, speak truth.  We need you desperately. We don’t need your opinion of other’s, we need your leadership and strength. We need your courage.

There is so much temptation, we need our men to help one another. We need the church to speak up about sexual sin and how weak the flesh is. We need to acknowledge that we are carnal, saved by Grace. We need the men of God to lead, support and encourage one another in truth. We women need to openly pray against the darkness that wants to separate.  We women need to pray together for the men of this world to step up. We need to pray for our hearts to be softened to being lead. Biblical leadership is beautiful. Honoring.

Lies cause us so much harm. The seeds of destruction begin with the smallest of lies. Truth is vital to having a relationship with Christ. Not because He expects it.  Satan has free access to all things kept in the dark. When we are truthful, we bring things into “the light”. The truth shall set you free truly means you let go of the bondage that a lie holds on you.

We are lying to ourselves when we look at things outside of ourselves. We can only truly be transformed, redeemed and made whole by Jesus Christ. One body for one Christ.

I long to see righteous men, rising up, leading by truth, love, mostly, by the Spirit. Lord ,I beg it of you. Teach us.

Keep in Step with the Spirit

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy,[d] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do[e] such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

My Christmas Wish

20 Nov

 

 The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs‬ ‭11:25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

 



In my lifetime, like most, I have walked through pain and heartbreak. I have known pain that took my breath away; the kind of hurt that hurt so bad I couldn’t breathe. Fortunately for me, it was in the darkest moments of my life that I found my lighthouse, my compass, my hope in God.

My Bible tells me that God loved us so much that he sacrificed his own son for us. When I think of my children, this humbles me; This is truly a love beyond anything I can imagine. His grace and mercy are as vast as the oceans.

I imagine as He watches us (nothing goes unnoticed) His heart must break. His pain and heartbreak must be constant. We have imagined that we are somehow so incredibly important. As if WE run the show. We are thoughtless and unkind, we are opinionated, we are selfish, we are hypocrites and yes, that is a blanket statement that actually applies.

We are here for such a short minute; some do great things, most just do their best. We matter for a blink of an eye, to only a few. Just a few generations actually will know us or remember us. But God will remember us always. He is and was and always will be. Satan will seek to keep you from Him and he is deceptive.

Ecclesiastes say “to everything there is a purpose under heaven”. What if we sought to learn and gain wisdom from one another rather than fight ? What if we stopped looking outward and started to look inward. Just because many agree on a matter, doesn’t mean it’s a good thing.

Here is truth-and logic- when you have extreme positioning, the truth has been lost.
When I sit back and I think about what God says in Genesis, that he created us in his image, you have to pause and humble yourself for a minute and let that sink in.This means that all of us no matter our homeland, what we look like, whether we are born “different”, rich or poor, we were all made in his image. By design; In His own image.

I love my fellow mankind. I love those that have different beliefs than I. I love those that have different shades of skin tones. I love those that have different customs than I. I love those that hate and even those that hate while calling others hateful (they challenge me most). I can ONLY love when I lift my heart up to lightness rather than darkness. When I do that, everything is brighter, clearer, better.

We are the light-bearers or we should be. We are so blessed in this country. We have miles to go before we are perfect ( as individuals and as a collective whole) but that doesn’t mean we aren’t incredibly blessed. We have gotten so distracted by our discontent.

For me , I have divine peace and my hope is for heaven. When I get out of my way and allow God to press that on my heart, my whole world is bright and full of peace. Peace! We have to start with being quiet, being peaceful, start by inspiring hope in even one person.
If you want change: surrender and Do! In all due regards, Facebook posts do not change the world. Not this one – not any. We are just not that powerful.

This has been a draining year. We have our amazing season of hope and peace, Christmas.

Take time to pause, to consider, where does your peace come from. Find out what you truly believe in that and be that, from peace. When you know where your hope and peace come from, nothing in this world can change that. You become that.

I encourage you to find a cause: the vulnerable children adults and pets, poverty, immigrant needs, homelessness, sexual trafficking, addiction… whatever pulls your heart strings, and do that! You will become a better person, you will grow in ways you had no idea you could.

Let God break your heart for what breaks His heart and follow that call.Maybe we will stop breaking His heart so much. Maybe we truly can be the peacemakers, the peacekeepers.

““You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:14-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” 

Proverbs‬ ‭11:25‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Before You Go

5 Aug

If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.~ Mark 3:25 NIV

The Church family, like a safe marriage will go through times that simply don’t make us “happy”. I pray that you look within yourselves for the source of that unhappiness before you act on that feeling. In quitting a thing…there is a huge piece of the pie missing. Commitment.

First of all, marriage and church is meant to help us stumble along the journey to become Holy. To mature and grow in our faith and relationship with God. To prepare us to be the Bride/Groom of Christ in Heaven.

Do your interactions and actions towards a solution match your level of energy spent in your unhappiness. (It is important to add that God never intended for people to be abused in a marriage or a church so I want that clear…People need to be safe, in those instances, leave.)

Commitment is something that isn’t about feeling “happy”. It is change and it is boring, it is arguing and crying and loving and liking and giving and refusing to give another inch sometimes. It is laughing and watching and talking and barely speaking. It is human and it is forgiving. It is about staying when it’s tough.

It is about the whole, not the moments. It’s about seeing who we are supposed to be, where we need to grow, where we need to accept and give Grace and Mercy to one another. It is about agreeing to disagree sometimes as long as it is biblical truth. It is forbearance,because we are all so fallible.

It isn’t about the immediate. It is about building a thing. Starting with foundation. Sometimes you need to rebuild the foundation to get it strong again. You may not always want to be somewhere, but commitment is a promise that gets you through to the other side. To another plateau of enriched learning and growth. To new joy and acceptance. Today, most people leave at the most important parts and never fully understand the blessing of working it out.

If you are led in a different direction, if you are not being “fed” at church, happy in your marriage, there are many questions you need to pray about, and seek answers to.

God is very specific about speaking against and dividing a church. I am not a fan of divorce and neither is God.

There are great reasons to leave a church. I am linking several great articles. I encourage you to read, pray, seek to rectify. Honor your commitment or at best, evaluate your commitment.

Romans 12:3
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

1 Corinthians 4:17
For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

1 Corinthians 10:32
Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God–

1 Corinthians 11:16
If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice–nor do the churches of God.

1 Corinthians 11:34
Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment. And when I come I will give further directions.

1 Corinthians 14:33
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace–as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

2 Corinthians 8:18
And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel.

2 Corinthians 11:28
Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

Galatians 1:22
I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.

1 Thessalonians 2:14
For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews

2 Thessalonians 1:4
Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/148839-how-to-leave-a-church-well
http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2010/07/23/good-reasons-for-moving-on