Tag Archive: Christian living

  1. Topsy-Turvy

    Leave a Comment

    “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” ~Psalm 39:14.

    There is no one who can be you as great as you.  God made you, in His image, unique.  We were made to stand out and be different from the norm.  The norm tells you to be politically correct, everyone’s a winner, and it’s okay to identify any way you want.  That is not what God says.  God is the complete opposite of the world.

    Look at what the world says is right and do the exact opposite.

    Chances are you will probably hit God’s will on the preverbal head.  To the world, when walking God’s way, it will look like you don’t fit.  Why would you want to fit?  Fitting into this world means that we make choices that are selfish, instead of selfless.  It means that you believe God lied or made a mistake when He created you.

    The Word says that God’s timing is perfect.  His plan for our lives is prosperous.

    “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” ~Jeremiah 29:11-13.

    He designed us as fearfully and wonderfully made.  We are unique because that is how he created you.  God’s way is topsy-turvy to the world.

    “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” ~Ephesians 2:10.

    To a Christian, how people are dressing provocatively, in same sex relationships, changing their sexual orientation, cross dressing, or choosing to be in a pre-marital intimate relationships, appears different.  That is just not true.  Those behaviors are the norm for our society.  They are the exact opposite of how God created us.  It is Satan’s attack on how we were created and by whom we were created.  Satan wants us to second guess who we are, creating insecurities and a need to experiment.  We imagine that we are missing something.

    You are missing something but not an identity!

    There are distinct parts you have, that are masterfully made, to suit the gender you were created to be.  Your design only fits with the opposite gender.  God goes even further than that when he talks about two people being united as one: a husband and a wife.  He honors that union and blesses it.

    I have spoken to several people, through my practice and as a minister, about the order God provides for our lives.  They come questioning why their life isn’t working out or why they are always suffering.  When things are constantly going wrong, they seem to be shocked by it.  Most of what comes from their lips are complaints, discouragement, and despair.

    The one things I have been able to identify, that is lacking from their lives, is following after Jesus.  I can ask them how long has it been since they have studied the Bible, had conversational prayer with God not just ritualistic memorized prayers, or participated in fellowship with other believers in or outside of the church setting.  Inevitably the answer comes with shrugged shoulders or “I don’t know.”

    Disconnect from God means disconnect for His perfect will for your life.

    You cannot expect to have a blessed life if you are far away from the very source of life.  God created life and helps it grow.  If you want to flourish, you need to be near your origin.

    When a seed is planted in the ground, it dies to itself, casting off it’s outer skin.  To continue to grow it needs a direct connection to water and the sun.  Those two things combined bring the plant to life, creating it’s best version of itself.

    “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” ~Jeremiah 17:7-8.

    We need to get close to our source.

    Just as a garden cannot grow, without key elements, neither can a lightbulb shine without electricity.  Everything that grows needs to be near it’s provision.

    If you are wondering why your life is not feeling put together, ask yourself if you are connected to Him.  The fact is that this world is messed up and will continue to live in sin…because if we were still an Eden, we wouldn’t have a need for God.  The Bible declares there will still be problems in this world that will directly effect us.  However, when you are living for Christ, you respond differently which causes spiritual growth.

    Spiritual growth means that our lives are better, not because the world is better but because we have guidance for how to handle the issues.  God provides for His people.  God will bless those who follow after Him.  He makes the way to walk through the tough stuff and come out the other end still growing.

    He wants to bless you and keep you.  The only way that can happen is if you get out of the way!

    We are the ones who hinder the blessings.  We choose to make choices about our lives based on our feelings or what others might think.  Be different.  Choose to go against the world, the norm, for the topsy-turvy that God has for you.  You will be blessed in ways you could never imagine.  Doing things differently then the world has given me a health and loving marriage, kids that are also going against the world, a nice house, vehicles that work, bills paid, and a career that allows me to be active in ministry.

    Satan still attacks.  Stuff still breaks or stops working.  Bills continue to show up.  Death is still part of the circle of life.  BUT GOD!  I am taken care of, free of worry and flourishing.

    In addition, please let me take a moment to warn you about something that can cause discord.  When you come across the people that live in the world, don’t condemn them: it is not your job.  Love them like Jesus, show them what they are missing and be around as an open ear for their questions.  Give them encouragement and guidance through what the Bible says.  Let God work on their hearts through your example of being loving.

    Be uniquely you, follow the Lord, and see His perfect plan for your life unfold! 

     

  2. Not the Flower Power Version

    Leave a Comment

    I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. ~Romans 15:13

    Look to Him to find peace. 

    This too shall pass. 

    Run to the Father, again and again. 

    Surrender anything to God and He will give you peace. 

    Get in the Word, daily, and it will have the answers that you need. 

    Just pray about it. 

    What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

    These were the common phrases I heard throughout my entire childhood.  They were meant to answer my tough questions, maybe because the people I was directing the questions to did not know the answers.  Or maybe because they knew the truth and understood that I had to discover it for myself.

    We need Him, whether we know it or not.

    I still have people who do not recognize me from the childhood version I once was.  They stare in awe and wonder, attempting to try to figure out what happened to me.  I was a tormented person, messed up by emotional, sexual, and mental abuse.  I rebelled against the world because either people didn’t want to see what had happened to me or they were just in denial.

    My family took my behaviors personally and at times treated me, from my viewpoint, ugly.  I would often hear those above statements, in reference to hoping I would change when I discovered God for myself.  They didn’t know what to do with me or how to respond.

    When you don’t know what to do, move out of the way!

    God has a plan.  His plan is perfect for our lives, from start to finish.  We get in our way.  Others get in His way.  If things do not seem as though they are going well, it is probably because you are in the way or allowing someone else to be in His way.  More often then not, this was my problem.

    For many years, I looked to other things to take away my hurt.  When drinking wasn’t enough, I allowed things to happen to me because I felt I deserved it.  When that didn’t work, I tried witchcraft and living the hippy-dippy-love-joy-peace-flower-power-child life.  None of it worked.  Peace did not come from any of those substitutes.

    There is only ONE way to find peace.

    I have chased and chased and chased after things that I thought would give me peace.  I was running in the wrong direction.  When I discovered that the peace began to grow in me.

    Having lost hope on all of the other things I tried, I broke down asking for help.  I knew who He was and believed that He did exist but did not have a relationship with Him.  Much like Peter and Andrew, I experienced the call to follow after him and leave everything and everyone behind.  Being a fisher of men (women) never felt like a big task to me.  Simple, in fact.  Compared to every other version of “peace” I had reached for, this just came naturally.

    Like inhaling fresh mountain air after a morning rain shower, was His peace.

    Choosing to do things His way, moving out of my own, peace came quickly.  As peace became the compass, I began to recognize the difference between His way and the way of the world.

    With each new day of morning devotionals, my prayers developed and knowledge of who He is to me and others, grew.  The closer I got to God, the less negative my responses were and the more loving I became.  Peace has been my compass, pointing me straight to Him.

    Ironically, every life event that occurs has the possibility to cause anyone to break but they have caused me to grow stronger.  Anytime I am walking through something now, I think about how great it will feel to look back on it and discover the characteristics that were created out of that, lessons learned, and how the experience will help me through the next thing.

    We are constantly in process, progressing towards are finish line.  People can see the obstacles as something that is tearing them down, run from it, or make unhealthy choices that lead to dangerous consequences.  Those that have the hope in the Lord see the same obstacles as a way to refine the rough edges we still need to smooth out in ourselves.

    Refining is a tough course, yes, and the most precious and beautiful things come from it.

    I have peace.

    It is used all day, everyday.  When things feel overwhelming and I feel like I am struggling, I get my compass out and get back on track.  Peace has been my guide, giving me direction back to the Father, again and again.  Stuff will continue to come up and I just pray about it, surrendering my way to His.

    Yesterday, I had the privilege of conducting two great things: giving the benediction for my sister’s funeral so that those attending will hear about Jesus and then marrying my niece to her long time boyfriend.  Beautiful events that just needed peace from the circumstance that brought us together.

    They got to see Jesus through my example, my other sister’s example, and the words we shared.  We prayed for peace ahead of time and God got the glory.  He was able to be seen through our eyes, during a moment that could have been filled with misery, there was joy and peace.  Those that were closest to us, prayed for and over us, throughout the entire service.  And when I felt as though the attendee’s grief was creeping in, I prayed in tongues and pulled out my compass of peace.

    This did not kill me, making me stronger for the next attack of the enemy.  This too shall pass because His mercies are new every morning and there is joy every morning.  I will run to the Father, again and again.

    Thank you, Father, for the peace that passes all understanding.  You bring peace in the darkest of situations.  Your Son, the Prince of Peace, made a way for us to receive His peace and I will share that message anywhere you call me.  Like Peter and Andrew, I leave everything else behind to follow after You, to share Your news even to the grieving.

    Flower Power has NOTHING on You!