Tag Archives: love

What It Means to be a Godly Father

So I missed the boat on posting this by Father’s Day, and you’ve probably already read a ton of blog posts on this topic because last Sunday was Father’s Day, but guess what? It’s important to remember these guidelines year-round; not just on Father’s Day. Wouldn’t you agree?!

Anyway, bare with me and read along on a redundant topic, but one that is well-worth the attention.

What does it mean to be a Godly Father?

I’m sure when asked we would all say things like “going to church” and “praying for our families.” But it is so much more than that.

In a society full of darkness and a culture where it is deemed “the norm” to have single mother households, we need the men of this world to step up, take responsibility, and be the anchor their family so desperately needs.

Just to State Some Facts:

According to the 2014 U.S. Census, 23.6% of U.S. children (17.4 million) lived in father-absent homes. Of those children, the ones living in female-headed homes with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6%. This is over four times the rate for children living in the homes of married couple families. Families need fathers. Mothers need additional moral, financial, and physical support. Children need their fathers too. Did you know adolescents from father-absent homes were 3.5 times more likely to experience pregnancy by the age of nineteen than were adolescents from father-present homes. Moreover, the rate of pregnancy among adolescents from father-absent homes was 17.4% compared to only a 4% percent rate in the general adolescent population. There are plenty of additional statistics out there that are available to research further and the numbers do not lie. Fathers are SO important to a family.

What Does the Bible Say about being a Godly Father?

God has designed fathers to be the leader in their marriage and in their household. 1 Corinthians 11:3 says “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ; the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” This establishes the order of authority within the home and sets boundaries for your children to follow as well.

As a child growing up in the South, my house was riddled with old country sayings like “Waste not, want not” and “Do as I say; not as I do.” But children have to see a Godly example in their fathers (Matthew 23:3). Children learn by example so the only way to teach them is to show them through your words and actions.

Children view their fathers are leaders and follow their example. They need somewhere to root their identity (Deuteronomy 6:6-8). In this passage, the Lord tells fathers to pass down the word of God through the next generations so their family’s identity will be centered in the Lord.

Paul teaches in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 that men who are lazy and refuse to work should not be allowed to eat. You have to be able to provide for yourself and your family.

Most fathers want what is best for their children, but in many cases, your children will take a different path than the one you would have chosen for them. They may not have the profession you would like for them to have, they may not think college is their next step post-high school, they may not ever have children, or whatever else you think they may need to do, but they are living their life and you must love your child unconditionally as Christ has loved you. Do you think you have always stayed on the path your Heavenly Father wanted you to be on (or your earthly father for that matter)? We all stray and we all have different ways of doing things, but a father’s love is SO very important. Think back to the story of the prodigal son. When the son returned, the father did not judge the son or force him to earn back his favor, love, and approval. He simply embraced him and threw a celebratory party for him (Luke 15:20-24). Why? Because he was his son and he loved him despite all that had happened.

You must love the mother of your children as much as you love yourself (Ephesians 5:25-29). Showing your children you love their mother, whether it be through grand gestures, or simple nuances, you are teaching your sons how they should treat their wives and teaching your daughters how their future husbands should treat them. You are setting the bar for the kind of person your child will end up with later in life. Do not take this responsibility lightly.

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Ephesians 6:4 echoes the Proverbs passage, saying, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” It is not good enough just to make children go to church, say their prayers, and learn Bible verses. Those things ought to be part of the training process; however, we don’t come to know Jesus or grow in Him simply by going through the motions of “church” or “religion” or whatever you want to call it. The issue as a father is teaching a child to love the Lord as they model their own love for Him.

In order to show your children Christ through your words and actions, you first have to spend time with them. Be involved in their lives. Take time out of your day to read with them, play with them, ask them questions, etc. Giving your child your time demonstrates your love for them. Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Another important one that is very controversial among parents everywhere is disciplining your children. Even our heavenly father disciplines those sons whom He loves (Hebrews 12:6), and the fact that a father is willing to discipline his children demonstrates love. Young children need to know their boundaries as it makes them feel secure. As kids grow older, they must see that they don’t run the home and that Biblical principles will be followed in the home. Discipline reinforces these realities through imposing consequences. But it must be evident to the children when they are being disciplined that the father’s love for them has not changed. Discipline is never aligned with wrath because it is kindness that leads to repentance (Romans 2:4). Discipline is simply another expression of love (Deuteronomy 8:1-6, Hebrews 12:6).

So to sum it up, a Godly Father should love God, love others, teach their children the right ways in Christ, work hard in everything he does, discipline his children when they do wrong, and love them always-despite their wrongdoings. In doing so, you will be a great example of a Godly Father to your kids. Know that no one is perfect. You will stumble. You will lose your temper. You will say a cuss word when you drop something on your toe. You will do wrong, but through the wrong, know how to show your kids how to correct the wrong (i.e. ask them for forgiveness when you lose your temper or ask them to pray with you when you are having a rough day, etc.). Use everything as a teaching moment to bring your kids closer in their walk with Christ.

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A Super Special Father’s Day at Our House

Our two youngest daughters got saved during Vacation Bible School this year at our church. We were ecstatic. We were even more excited about what followed-their baptism. Because we have a blended family, it took a little shuffling to make sure everyone’s schedules could accommodate this joyous occasion, but finally, we were able to get them dunked! 🙂

I was thinking about how special baptism is, what it symbolizes in our lives, and then I started thinking about how God has a time and a plan for everything. How cool is it that our girls were baptized on Father’s Day?! A day that is meant to celebrate how important our father is to us and all he does in our lives…our girls got to give themselves to their Holy Father and made an outward confession of faith before the entire congregation to their “Capital F” Father.

How am I feeling about the whole thing? BLESSED!

The Terror Attack on Orlando, FL from my perspective, as a Christian

I’m sure you’ve probably heard about the mass shooting that took place last weekend in Orlando, Florida. If not, read more about it here: http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/12/us/orlando-nightclub-shooting/

On Social Media, the world was booming with people’s thoughts and opinions on the attacks. I read many horrible slurs, many close-minded individuals spilling forth their poison, and witnessed MANY people, within the church, saying things referencing that God destroys sin and that the victims of the attacks deserve what happened because they lived a sinful life. “Let he without sin cast the first stone!” NEWSFLASH: We all live a sinful life. If you think God had any part in those attacks last Sunday, then you apparently don’t know the loving, compassionate, merciful God that I serve.

I saw someone post this article on Facebook several hours after the horrific attack on Sunday and honestly, it really got under my skin and I could not keep quiet on the issue any longer.

Here is a link to the article they posted:  https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/kevindeyoung/2015/07/01/40-questions-for-christians-now-waving-rainbow-flags/

If you don’t want to read it, here is the gist of it:
-it was written by Pastor Kevin DeYoung
-it states that Christians are becoming too politically correct and are too afraid to step on people’s toes (I agree).
-it lists a bunch of questions that “true” Christians should be asking themselves to make sure they are staying true to Christ.

I felt that most of the questions were completely bogus though and that in posting this article mere hours after an entire group of people, mostly within the LGBT community were targeted and killed, the person who posted the article was justifying the act of terrorism.

This was my response to her Facebook post:

“In posting this mere hours after a tragic massacre occurred, despite what your true intentions were, it looks as though you are saying these victims deserved what they received simply because they live a lifestyle you disagree with. As a Christian, I do not support gay marriage and never have. I do, however, support loving one another and showing Christ in everything we do. So to answer some of the questions in the article you posted (because answering them all would be tedious):

1. I don’t believe gay marriage is something to be celebrated, but I believe we should love one another despite differences and ostracizing an entire group of people is only going to push them further from the light of Christ.

5. I do not think Jesus would have been “okay” with “homosexual behavior”, but, and that’s a very big but, Jesus hung out with prostitutes and the morally corrupt in order to show God’s love and mercy and kindness. Think back to the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. Samaritans and Jews were not to associate with one another; yet Jesus asked her for water. This woman had 5 husbands and was now living with a 6th man who was not her husband, yet Jesus did not shun her. He spoke with her and listened to her speak and showed her God’s plan for her life. God uses flawed people to show hope to a flawed world.

14. Children probably do best with a mother and a father, statistically speaking, but all children really need is food, shelter, encouragement, and love. They need a loving environment. There are plenty of single parents out there raising children who turn out just fine. There are plenty of sisters or brothers or aunts/uncles/cousins/etc. raising children in homes without both male/female influence and those kids are not “turning gay” or becoming menaces to society.

19. This question is absurd and has nothing to do with the topic at hand. “Do you think close family members should be allowed to get married?” If people with the same DNA are getting married, their children are going to have physical and mental problems due to incest. Gay people getting married (who cannot procreate without intervention, mind you) would not be bringing physically and mentally challenged people into the world willingly and knowingly.

25. Absolutely. We live in America and have freedom of speech for a reason so if someone disagrees with homosexual practices, they should be allowed to exercise their religious beliefs without fear of punishment, retribution or coercion. Exercising your religious beliefs should not include hating, slandering, bullying, or other malicious acts/forms of speech that can be seen going on in the church currently by people claiming to be Christians.

35. It is absolutely possible to love someone and disagree with decisions they make. That being said, have you ever heard the phrase “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?” You can tell an LGBT person you disagree with their lifestyle all day long. There is nothing wrong with expressing your opinion. It becomes wrong when you ostracize them, hate them, have malice in your heart and mind towards them, etc.

I’ll end my statement the same way Mr. Kevin DeYoung decided to close his article because it works both ways. “Food for thought, I hope. At the very least, something to chew on before swallowing everything the world and Facebook put on our plate.”

Let me know what you think about how Christians should “handle” the LGBT community. How should we react to acts of terror such as this? How should we behave when it comes to politically correctness in society?

As of yet (nearly a week later), she has yet to respond to my comment and it has received dozens of likes. It is very justifying to know that there are still “good” people in the world who stand for good values and try to truly show Christ in all that they do.

Just remember: “God uses flawed people to show hope to a flawed world.”

Valentines Day: A Conspiracy?

No one knows the complete history on Valentines Day because the details are somewhat murky as to how Valentine’s Day has come to be and what we now know and celebrate. The story says that Saint Valentine served in third-century Rome. Emperor Claudius decided that single men made better soldiers. Therefore, Claudius banned soldiers from being married. One version of the story is that Valentine continued to perform the weddings of young soldiers who were in love, and Claudius had Valentine imprisoned. While imprisoned, Valentine reportedly fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. Valentine sent her a card and signed it, “Love, your Valentine” just before his execution. Because of this romantic gesture, now we are expected to show love and appreciation for the one(s) we love every February 14th.

Here are my problems with Valentine’s Day:

1. We should be showing those we love how special they are to us EVERY day. Don’t wait for Valentine’s Day to do something meaningful. Bring your girl some flowers “just because.” Cook your man a meal because you love him on a random Tuesday; not only on Valentine’s Day.

2. We should be showing love to EVERYONE.

John 13:34-35 says “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

3. You don’t have to spend money to show someone you care about them.

According to the National Retail Survey, men routinely spend double the amount on Valentine’s Day than women do. “The average man plans to shell out $135.35 to impress the people in his life while women only expect to spend $72.28.”

To me, as long as something is heart-felt and sincere, the cost doesn’t matter. If a man cooked me dinner, rented a movie, and spent the night snuggling on the couch, it would be just as nice, if not better, than going out to a fancy dinner and spending a bunch of money. We have made the “holiday” about what jewelry we’ll be receiving, what restaurant we’ll be dining at, and/or the dreaded “if he buys me a cheap box of chocolates from the drug store, he doesn’t care.” As long as he’s thinking about you, he cares.  Let’s just hope for the kind of person in our lives who shows us how much we mean to them more than one day per year.

4. Valentine’s Day is not about REAL LOVE. People feel mandated to have a “special someone” in their lives and will get into relationships they know will not last or stay in relationships that make them miserable just so they won’t be “that loser” on Valentine’s Day.

This gives many in our society a warped sense of what LOVE really is. It is not sticking it out so you get some jewelry or hooking up with a random guy so you have a story to tell your girlfriends. LOVE is such a special, unique, unexplainable emotion that we all can only hope to experience at some time in our lives.

The Bible Describes Love as the following:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

We are only able to fully love through God’s example because “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

 

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God Commands Us to Love One Another & To Forgive

An enemy is anyone who has taken a personal interest in harming someone.  Although it isn’t always easy, in fact, I guess it’s probably never easy…we are commanded by God to love our enemies.

Jesus, himself, said “You have heard it said ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:43-45

You may be asking yourself WHY???

The first reason I believe we should love our enemies is because holding on to anger and grudges will allow us to be overcome with evil. [See previous blog post on this topic here: https://proverbsmomma.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/how-to-control-your-temper/%5D

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” James 1:19-20

The second reason we should love our enemies is because in doing so, our enemy loses. The reason someone decides to do something malicious to someone else is to get a reaction out of them. If you get angry when they do something to harm you, you are letting them have control of you. By keeping your cool and praying for them despite their evildoing, you are not only being a great example for Christ, but you are also allowing God to take care of the situation, rather than putting it in your hands and prolonging the problem.

“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:19-21

The third, and probably the most important, reason we should love our enemies is because it is what Jesus would do.

Even when the people of His time mocked Him, beat Him, drove nails through His hands and feet, pierced his flesh with thorns and a spear, in the end He shouted out to God and said “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

He did not hold malice in His heart towards the people. He prayed to God for his enemies. During his time on this earth, He ministered to the lowest of the low. He did not care about social status, wealth, profession, etc. He ministered to everyone and did so with a willing spirit because God was working through Him.

Do you remember those W.W.J.D. bracelets that were immensely popular in the 90’s and early 2000’s? Maybe it was just because of the circle of people I hung out with, or maybe because I live in the Bible belt (Georgia), but everyone used to wear those. I used to wear multiple bracelets at a time in different colors (because if I remember correctly, each color was supposed to represent something). Why don’t people LITERALLY wear Jesus on their sleeves anymore? We SHOULD! They are a great reminder to think and act like Christ.

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Additional Verses of Reference:

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13 NLT

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

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Starting to Date in God’s Time

I had an epiphany the other night and I thought I would share it with you because it may help others out there as well.

I have been struggling with being a “newly” single woman (after divorce). I really miss having a man in my life. For all of the feminists out there, yes, I understand that a man is not necessary for happiness. I am perfectly happy. But I miss the passion, the love, the snuggling, etc. I miss having someone with whom to share my life. I’ve been single now for 3 years with not even so much as a prospect. I took this as a sign that I needed to change more about myself. I needed to get to know myself, independent of man since I had never been without one as an adult, and I feel I have done that.

I’ve been praying about it a lot lately-praying that God would send the right man into my life.

One problem I’m discovering is that I never go out. I am a full-time mom and I work a full-time job so never go out and meet new people. I don’t think that is a problem for God though…He would bring the man to my door if necessary. People have recommended internet dating to me, but the concept just seems so foreign. From what I’ve gathered from those sites, everyone lies, most of the men on there are already married or in a relationship, and there are several instances of people being murdered after meeting up from one of those sites. No thank you…it’s just not for me.

The other night, I was thinking about what it is that I truly miss about being with a man and here is what I decided…of course I miss intimacy with a man, but more than that I miss things like:

-having someone to share in the responsibilities (i.e. helping me take the kids to school, drive to doctor appointments, cook dinner, pack lunches, clean the house, do the dishes, do the laundry, walk the dog, etc.)

So in other words, I just need a maid or housekeeper or nanny. The things I miss here are not specific to a “male” role. I just miss having someone help me out because now, on top of working full-time, I have to do all of the chores as well. That’s no reason to marry someone.

-having an extra income [because let’s face it-3 people and a large dog (we have a standard poodle) on one income is tough]

Yes, it’s hard to have myself, two children, and a large dog (we have a standard poodle named Millie) on one income; especially since I miss a lot of work due to my daughter’s regular doctor appointments. But that’s no reason to marry someone. In fact it wouldn’t even be a factor when dating someone (how much they made).

I think I need to find some better reasons before God will bring the right person into my life. I need to stay focused on God because I know He knows what is best and will do what needs to be done in my life that will best glorify Him. I need to focus on making myself as close to perfect as I can be so when the right guy comes along, I’m 100% ready.

Christian author, Sheila Wray Gregoire, wrote an article called:

“Top 10 Ways to Get Ready for Your Future Husband”
You can read the whole article here: http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2014/04/get-ready-for-future-husband/

And she says to do the following:

1. Pray–for you and your future husband.

Ask others to pray with you and for you. Are you asking God to bring you a man or a better man but not truly believing (by your actions and self talk) that you are worthy of the best, most gentle, loving and caring man? Are you praying for your future husband but not asking God to open your heart, mind and eyes to the lies you are currently believing and accepting? Are you not asking God to change you, mold you and prepare you for your future husband? If not, it is time to start.

2. Stop having premarital sex.

It does not matter if you are currently in a relationship. Stop and wait until your married. If he leaves you because of this, then you will know without a doubt that this person is not “the one”. It doesn’t matter if you have a child with this man, you have been dating him for 10 years or your relationship is new. This type of sin slowly chips away at your soul, self-worth and separates you from the relationship you were meant to have with God. You should be insulted as a beautiful and worthy woman of God, if he feels it is important to sample you before marrying you. By not waiting, you are the one in control of your life and you are choosing your own path. When you choose your own path over the one God has for you, you are missing out on the opportunities God wants for you–including the opportunity to meet someone who is really right for you.

3. Don’t Define Yourself by Your Boyfriend

If you feel your worth is defined by having a man in your life and having that man stay in your life depends on you giving him your precious body then you need to spend much more alone time with God and His word. Understand these are Satan’s lies you are believing to be true about yourself. These are lies.

4. Learn what real intimacy is.

Understand that sex is really NOT the intimacy and connection you desire and crave. Satan tells us it is readily available to us through sex. This is a huge lie designed to separate us from our Creator, think less of our selves and destroy our self-worth. See the lie for what it’s worth and turn yourself towards Gods truth.

5. Know that sex does not equal love.

Love is not full of lies, cheating eyes, nor cheating bodies. Love is not belittling and degrading comments or gestures. Love is not a strong abusive hand or voice. If you have believed this lie to be true know that you are worth so much more. Read what the bible says love is (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

6. Get involved in helping others.

Get involved at church, start a singles small group. Take up a hobby. Get yourself healthy – emotionally, spiritually and physically. And do this with your boyfriend, if you have one. His character will be revealed as you help others together. And if he doesn’t want to help? That’s a huge sign, too.

7. Love yourself through God’s eyes.

Believe His truths, speak His truths over and over in your head. Speak them out loud. Wrap yourself in the full armor of God and take captive every negative and sinful thought. Believe that you are worth waiting for and your future husband is worth waiting for. Prepare now for future temptation.

8. Realize that you can not pick and choose which parts of God’s word you choose to believe.

There are many sins which are the result of following with your flesh and not with your faith. Sex before marriage is one of those. Control your thoughts and your flesh will follow.

9. Own the truth that you are not alone.

You may feel alone but if you really dig deep into God’s word you will see that you are not alone. You are beautiful, precious and very much-loved. You are worthy and valuable. So much so that saving yourself for marriage…for your future…would be the ultimate gift to give to him. By not waiting you are in control of your life and choosing your own path. When you choose your path over the one God has for you, you are missing out on opportunities to meet someone who you will be able to serve God with fully.

10. Be patient as you get ready for your future husband.

While it may feel that God is making you wait forever, He is still preparing you. Remember He could still be at work in your future husband too. Even though you may be ready in God’s eyes, your soul mate is not ready yet. Be still while He readies him for you. Maybe your future husband is just as stubborn as you once were! Be patient and have faith.

WEAR ORANGE NEXT FRIDAY, JANUARY 30, 2015

My daughter, Bella, is having surgery next Friday, January 30th.

Because of her weakened immune system due to the chemotherapy used to treat her Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, she catches any and every virus imaginable. Most of them, with time, go away. She got plantar warts shortly after beginning treatment (early 2014 probably) and they’ve just progressively gotten worse and worse. They cause her immense pain and she can’t walk with flat feet. She is constantly walking on her tiptoes (because they’re on her heels) which, I’m afraid, will cause permanent damage if it continues.

We had to wait on Bella’s blood counts to be consistently good and for her to reach maintenance therapy so she wasn’t receiving “intense” chemotherapy anymore (she still takes chemo orally every night and chemo through her port once every 28 days, but the dosage and amount is not as potent).

The time has finally arrived and we can get my baby’s feet back to normal!

For the squeamish, look away…this is what her feet look like and they are continuing to grow! 😦

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For her surgery next week, please wear orange and post a picture of yourself on her Facebook page (www.facebook.com/isabellavsleukemia) or post it on your Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook page with the tag #isabellavsleukemia as a caption and we will find it. That way, on the day of her surgery, I can show her all of the people who love, support, and are praying for her!  THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Please feel free to share these pictures on your social media pages or at work, school, etc. so we can get everyone to wear ORANGE (leukemia awareness color)!

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Are Your Actions Leading Others to Christ?

1 Timothy 4:12 “…Set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”

“Set” is an action. It requires action on our part. We have to be an example with our words, actions, thoughts, etc.  Everything we do and everything we are should glorify God. In the same sense, everything we do NOT do is speaking to others as well. For example, if you are invited to a party and you know there is going to be drugs, alcohol, and promiscuous behavior there, why would you put yourself in the situation to make a mistake? I understand that you don’t go there with that intention, but peer power is a powerful thing. It is more powerful than many of us would like to admit. Instead of putting yourself in a bad situation, stay home, go to a movie, go out to eat, etc. Do something that is still fun, but on your own terms where you can control your circumstances. By you choosing NOT to go, you may help a friend who isn’t as strong as you are and he/she may choose to hang out with you instead; therefore keeping someone else from trouble.

A good question to ask yourself is “If God were standing beside me right now, would I be embarrassed by my current behavior?”

In Romans 14:13, God says for us to “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”

Not only do we have to worry about ourselves, but we need to worry about how our actions affect those around us. Are your actions causing a friend to slip away from God? If what you do offends others and causes them to be mislead or to stumble in coming to Christ or to the truth, then don’t do it. That’s a pretty simple rule to follow.

1 Thessalonians 5:22-23 “reject every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Living Godly Lives in a Pagan Society

“Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” 1 Peter 2:11-12

Why is this so important?

“To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted…In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” Titus 1:15; 2:7-8

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Music Monday-“Lead Me to the Cross” by Hillsong United

This song is so great. It has me belting it out in my car every time it comes on the radio. It paints such a beautiful picture of Jesus’ sacrifice for us and how we should just submit totally to Him. I want to seek His heart. I fully belong to Him and want Him to lead me in every step of my life. I want to cast away my old self and become completely new in Him.

Here are the lyrics:

“Lead Me To The Cross”

Savior I come
Quiet my soul remember
Redemption’s hill
Where Your blood was spilled
For my ransom
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lostLead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross

You were as I
Tempted and trialed
Human
The word became flesh
Bore my sin and death
Now you’re risen

Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lost

Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross

To your heart
To your heart
Lead me to your heart
Lead me to your heart
Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross

Stop Arguing with One Another!

The quote pictured above really spoke to me “You don’t have to attend every argument you are invited to.” Such a simple idea, but yet it’s so true and could be so significant in our lives.

2 Timothy 2:23-25 says “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.

Most of the time when people argue, you can look back on that moment later and think about the insignificance of the topic you were even arguing about. If it is something you are truly passionate about and you’re trying to tell someone about it, you should speak calmly and use supportive evidence that shows how awesome it is. When you start off with an aggressive tone, the person/people you are talking to are automatically going to get defensive and an argument will ensue.

Many people will try to provoke you. They will say things that they know will get you “heated” on the topic. You have to be the bigger person though and know when to walk away. Have you ever heard the old playground adages that most people learn in elementary school like “I am rubber and you are glue. Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you” or “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? Well, let them be your mantra. People spitting words at you does not have the power to provoke you to anger. Only you can control your words and actions and make sure everything that comes out of your mouth is glorifying God.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

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