How Did We Get Here?

It is a simple question.  The answer is really just as simple…we, as a country, have turned away from God.  In this ever-changing world, change is the obsession…what is faster, flashier, eye catching…not boring.  A year ago I would have said, “but truth is truth…apples are apples, oranges are oranges, what goes up must come down”…but in a world where we let first graders decide that they are not the gender they were born as, how can I convince anyone that an apple is still an apple and that truth is still truth?

The truth is our country was built on biblical foundations.

The truth is if I jump off a building, without a go-go gadget copter, I will fall.

The truth is an apple is an apple and an orange is an orange.

The truth is if you live in this country and you are an American,  you should respect the country and the people who defend it by standing up for the National Anthem…and knowing the words doesn’t hurt.

The truth is drugs will kill you eventually if you keep using them, and they will surely hurt those who love you until, and probably after, you stop using them.

The truth is you are the gender you are born as, yes changes can be made after, but not before, and those changes tell God that He made a mistake (a slippery slope).

The truth is abortion is taking the life of a human being.

The truth is we are all sinners, and should love each other regardless of what we think of their personal choices.

Why am I saying all this?  I am saying all of this in a last desperate attempt to keep America from voting for someone who is going to take our country far away from it started…and not for the better.

The truth is Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein are all sinners, as well…we can’t vote for any of them as individuals.  We need to look past those individuals to their teams (who are also imperfect).  Stein and her team stand for practically everything the Bible stands against.  Johnson has a nice appeal, but he supports pro-choice, and he supports staying out of people’s lives when it comes to drugs.  Its a nice view…the government shouldn’t be too involved in our personal choices…but their has to be a line somewhere, or before long it will be our personal choice whether or not we rob banks or murder.  Being a teacher and knowing the heartache of the kids who have lost a parent to drugs, seeing babies in the hospital fight for their lives because they are addicted to drugs at birth, proves that those “personal choices” aren’t just personal.  Hillary Clinton would be in jail today if she was a normal person like the rest of us, but seems to be the front runner to lead the country…what does that say about us?  Donald Trump is arrogant and obnoxious.  He has made some horrible choices in his life.  I would not recommend you vote for him if it were solely him you were voting for.  BUT…he has surrounded himself with a team of people who have morals and values…and who will try to get this country a little bit closer to where it was when it began.

I want my kids to grow up in a world that is closer to the way the country was when I was growing up…or even before then!  I do not want my kids to be part of the downward spiral the country has been on…and the last decade it has been on fast forward.

The truth is, in this country where I have freedom of speech, this blog could be considered hate…which is so far from what it is.  It is speaking truth in love.  It is a mom’s desperate plea to make the world a little more safe, a little more truthful, a little better for my children and all children growing up in this world.  It is loving people no matter what, in hopes that they will return the favor to me, knowing that it is my job as a Christian to show Christ’s love.  Knowing that He died for me and everyone knowing how crazy this world would get.  Knowing that He died for us…us…us who think we can plan and make things better than He.

And a truthful question is…if Jesus came back today, would we be embarrassed?

Martyrs

As we approach Easter weekend…Good Friday, remembering our Savior being beaten and killed for our sins, Resurrection Sunday…knowing He still lives and He has overcome, I thought reviewing this strong courage and faith seemed appropriate.

The strength, courage and faith of these 21 men could only be given by Christ.  They encompass what we all hope we would do in that situation.  They faced the fear, the pain, the anguish not with timidity, but with singing and praising the Lord.  And moments after, they joined their Savior in eternal perfection of Heaven.

Maybe the most amazing part of this story is that there was one man taken with the group of Christians who was not a Christian.  He, however, chose their same fate after seeing their faith.  He saw their faith and knew their God (our God, the only God) is real.  He gave his life to Christ moments before joining Christ in His Kingdom.

When we go into this weekend, we praise the Lord for giving us earthly examples of incredible faith.  We also praise Him for being the only One through Whom we can be saved.  He paid the ultimate price…pain, suffering, death on the cross, taking every sin of all of ours onto Himself.  There has never been greater pain, and He took it for us to offer us a way to Heaven.  He is the ONLY way.  Not anything good we do, but knowing we are not good enough and giving our lives, ourselves, to Him.

Remember His sacrifice this weekend, remember His love, remember His daily grace and mercy.  And talk to Him…thank Him…give yourself up to Him.

10.28.14

Yes I am still here!  Life just recently exploded (nothing serious, just time crunches all around)  🙂

First of all, I want to start with this verse that came in my email a few days ago.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

Talk about a convicting verse!  All of our thoughts and attitudes are judged by our SINLESS, PERFECT, Master and Creator.  If only we could remember that every day.  Remember that not only do we not have any right to judge another no matter how “bad” that person may seem, but how do we stand before our perfect maker knowing that He knows our innermost thoughts, feelings and secrets.  We are not called to judge, but we can hold each other accountable…there is a fine line there we must be careful not to cross.

Something else I have been convicted by for quite some time is prayer for children.  I have been a pro-life advocate for as long as I remember, but it goes beyond that.  We need to do everything we can for children all over the world.  Some of us can help them in a tangible way, some in a monetary way, some with prayer.  I feel that kids need to be the forefront of prayer…our own childrens’ eternity, babies not to be aborted, girls who are sold, children who are bullied, children who are abused, bullied, taken advantage of, and even killed.  Children need to know real love, real hope, real faith.  They need to know their loving Father through Him and through us, through prayers and through hugs, through warmth and through clothing, through kindness and through honesty, and through safety.  Let’s keep them in solid and consistent prayer.

Now, I also was supposed to put health and fitness on here too, so moving onto that, which is significantly less important than what I have typed above…BUT…we do need to take care of our temples, too…so here we go…

I have been doing pretty well with calories and workouts…I now have a Christmas party to add to the motivation list.  😉  Even if your calories don’t change, you will feel so much healthier if you switch soda for water and add some green veggies.  Health is the key, remember.  Health and toning is the goal!  If you have ever heard the saying “Abs are Made in the Kitchen” that is correct.  Granted you have a bit more leeway if you are working out hardcore, but part of being toned is what you put in your stomach.  Some foods will help shed fat, while others will put a nice fat layer over those muscles you worked so hard to achieve.  Switching up workouts also keeps your muscles on their toes.  I have been adding some cardio boxing into the mix, which has been great!  Constant moving, squats, arm and back muscles active, and very fun!

OK, off to tackle the day!  Enjoy yours!

10.17.14

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

Acts 9:5-6

I found this today and wanted to include it in my notes about “Prodigal God.”  Paul, a follower of Christ, a servant of the Lord, a man whom many have great respect, was once a persecutor and a murderer of Christians.  Here is the perfect example of a man changing completely for the Lord…completely!  We will meet many Pauls in our lives.  We may know some in their Saul stage, we may know the rest after the conversion  Irregardless, when we feel self righteous or judgmental about people in this world who have done horrific things…we need to remember God may use them to do great things in the future.  We need to pray for the lost, no matter how lost they are.  

10.15.14

I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God.

Isaiah 43:11-12

I have been reading “Prodigal God” and it is very good at drilling home that we all need a Savior.  The man on death row is no more a sinner than the man who has hate in his heart.  The woman who “works at night” is no more a sinner than the woman who lied.  Many of us know this, but how often do we truly believe it?  Do you know that you are as much a sinner as the people you judge?  Do you know, really know, that nothing you do will get you into Heaven?  Do you know that the person on this earth that you despise is a child of God?  We need to put our judgments away, we need to repent of our own sins, we need to pray for EVERY soul on this earth to change for Him.  And more than anything else, we need to trust Him, our Savior, our Lord, the Creator.  Our lives will be filled with joys and trials, but our life is the tiniest blip compared to eternity.  And He is waiting for us, all we have to do is knock.  

Perfection

I am glad I am not perfect.  I am glad I am so far from being perfect that I have no place to judge others.  Of course we all do at times, wrongfully.  But…I am glad that is not my authority.  (note: Christian accountability and malicious/flippant  judging are very different things)  I am thankful that God can see past even the ugliest of sins and see how He can use that for His glory, in many cases taking the sin away and creating a whole new person from the trials.

Right now there are some people in my life that are choosing very different paths than the ones in which they started.  I have Christian and non-Christian friends trying to take control of situations that need to be given to God.  Someone asked me yesterday why I want them to be in Heaven.  My heart breaks over each situation.   I pray that God changes their hearts quickly.  I am a sinner, too.  Perhaps their sins are more noticeable than mine because they are on display right now.  That makes them no worse than mine.  So while I pray dramatic changes in their lives, I also pray dramatic ones in mine.  Though I will never be perfect on this side of Heaven, I pray that I (and everyone) will grow closer to Jesus, and His will, everyday.

Praise God who gave His only Son.  Praise Jesus that His perfection reigns and that He took our place on the cross, so that when God looks on our lives He only sees the perfection of His Son.

Frozen

I was listening to the radio last week when the dj mentioned that Frozen was the only Oscar nominated film he had seen this year.  It made me smile, because I may just be in the same boat.  I am a fan of the movie Frozen, but moreover I am a fan of the soundtrack.  I enjoy playing the songs for my kids, because I like them myself.

I think music touches us all a bit differently.  The one song from the soundtrack, “Let it Go” is probably my favorite.  And…the more I listen to it, the more I relate it to my relationship with God.  Elsa (one of the princesses in the movie) is born with a special gift or curse, depending on how it is used.  Her parents told her to keep it hidden, so she was isolated and afraid of letting others see who she really was.  She gains a bit of freedom in the movie and sings about how she can finally let her whole self show, she can be herself and she doesn’t have to be perfect anymore.  I see this as an excellent teaching moment for kids.  We all have been given gifts and we all have faults.  We can try to be perfect, work very hard at it, but we cannot do it on our own.  Only with God can we truly let ourselves go, be who He wants us to be, figure out how to rely on Him instead of trying to be perfect.  No, we should not go on sinning simply to get more grace, but we can show Him our scars, our faults and our attempts at being perfect.  We can rely on Him for everything, stop hiding who we are and let it go.  A long time ago a friend told me to “Let Go and Let God.”  I think that applies well here and in life.

1.5.14

Titus 2:11-14

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

12.12.13

Our family that lives in Texas recently lost an amazing pastor, Ronnie Smith.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/05/american-teacher-ronnie-smith-shot-dead-jogging-benghazi

They shared with us this beautifully put together, completely scripture based sermon from him.  I implore you to listen to the entire thing, word for word.  It is the Truth.  It is not long, but even if you run out of time, listen to it in pieces.  🙂

I also encourage you to pray for his family, as well as give praise to God that his family knows that he is without a doubt at Home with his Savior.

http://austinstone.org/resources/sermons/469–the-history-of-redemption

11.23.13

Matthew 7:21-23 ESV

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Romans 8:1 ESV

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

John 3:16-17 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

 

The other day I was with a group of people.   The group was a mix of Christians and non – Christians.  One of the Christians in the group is quite outspoken and opinionated.  This person likes to have attention and  isn’t too concerned if anyone is offended.  Another  person in the group quietly takes it all in, as in many other areas of life, but then is quick to make little snide comments about certain situations or people.  They are unheard by most and I am sure there are a number of thoughts for every comment that comes out.  Neither is better than the other.  They are both sinning, one quietly and one outspokenly.  And guess what?  So am I by judging them instead of looking at myself instead of them.

Christians sin.  We are no better than anyone else in the world.  But we love and believe in a Lord and Savior who forgives us; who died for us knowing every horrible thing we would do in our lives.

There are some Christians who come across as judgmental and hopefully their intentions are good.  If you are a Christian and believe in heaven and hell, the last thing you want is for anyone to live in hell for eternity.  So sometimes we try to “help” others come to Christ in a misguided way.  We aren’t perfect.  We love all people, whether or not they sin, because we know we are sinners.  We know we are lost without Christ.  We know we are saved and going to Heaven and just want as many people to come with us as possible.