Do you remember having open book tests in school? Do you remember how amazing they were, and how you knew they would be a breeze to ace? I mean, if you were to fail an open book exam – well, you would be an idiot! Right?!
The reason I say this is because I sat through an entire church service recently without ever reaching for my bible or reading a single scripture during that hour of so called “service”. That seemed like a dis-service to me. Even astute teachers have to open their textbooks to teach from them. Pastors should be no different than the most esteemed professors of today. Students, if you went to your classes without your textbooks, you know that are setting yourself up to fail. Christians, if you go to church without your bibles, you better know you setting yourself up to fail. How many sermons have we all listened to and never really heard a word? However, the living word – once opened – can reveal a truth to you personally. We have to read that book! The bible.
There are bad teachers and bad preachers. They both went to school, and attained the degree to teach – but it doesn’t automatically make them the most qualified for the job. This is YOUR life here.. Don’t you want to make certain the facts you are told?
Where did the scripture based churches go? These worldly churches that preach the “stories” of the bible, and accent their “preaching” with cartoon slideshows and quotes by CS Lewis, but don’t give the word of God a minutes glance. You don’t just paraphrase the bible and give the ‘gist’ of it. Uh- uh.. No sir! How did this happen?! I understand going to church to be fed, but it’s not just about the moment of feasting.. In order to feast you have to have the groceries! That bible has all the groceries you need.. Even if you have to feed yourself. Do it.
2 John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
While in this church, God was telling me that these half in – half out churches and preachers need to be identified and examined. That is what leads to dead churches and an even deader congregation. How can lives change without the living words of God? These congregations aren’t seeking out the word of God. Afterall, their pastor has never placed an importance on bringing the bible to church anyway. (some anyway) These lost souls are relying on their pastor to tell them the truth, and will accept anything he says (mostly). My question is, how do you know if his teachings are correct if you don’t research it? Bring your bibles to church and follow along! If you go see your physician, and he tells you that you have a rare cancer – don’t you go home immediately and research it until you know everything he knows about it? Yes!! So why is your church pastor any different? He is preparing you for the school of life, the test of your life, the test where you pass or fail eternally. Do you want to fail because you have half truths? Or maybe he is preaching his opinions instead.. Hmm…. it happens guys…Just letting you in on a little secret. I have “church hopped” (as they call it) enough in my life to know when there is a dead church and dead preaching. Half of the congregations in the world are confused. They won’t listen to the real truths, and maybe were never told the real truths. Just maybe it’s because they never took a bible to church and opened it. Some of these preachers are scared to preach the hard messages because they might lose those precious-pew-filling-tither’s. C’mon guys, people want the meat and potatoes!
We have heard the story of Christmas over and over. It’s not just another story to tell. It becomes folklore without scripture. An old wives tale without the facts. The facts are written in the bible. Do yourselves and the world a favor – DONT let anyone get away with improv that stands in the pulpit or at the alter. God said to rise up and feed the people. He must have given me boldness for a reason. When God speaks, I listen. Afterall, why would god listen to you or I if we won’t listen to him? Let’s pass this open book test. Open the book.
Oh shut up Devil, I am going to be happy today no matter what!
That response always warrants action. Mostly the re-action of a fleeing evil spirit hovering in your light. Rebuke and refuse to accept it, that is my advice to you. Sometimes you wake up in a foul mood. Sometimes you can’t get anything to go your way, and it in turn puts you in a foul mood. Guess who’s jumping up and down in your face? ahem… Yes, that’s right. You can expect those attacks because undoubtably they will come, however your response limits his actions. Let’s repeat that. YOUR RESPONSE LIMITS HIS ACTIONS! Can I get an Amen? So today I am limiting the devil. I am lengthening the reach of God.. Want to join me? I dare you to take your stance. Guard your place today. Go bounding out of bed and out the door. Smile at someone that looks grumpy today. Hold the door for someone being rude. If someone looks frazzled go up to them and say God bless you. (And not hastily and with attitude either!. Do it nicely) It’s funny how we have to remind ourselves to do good deeds – and also place the fine print – do it nicely and with good nature. I am sure something is bothering you this week. I am certain there is something laying heavy on your heart, and it is probably giving you a bad disposition. Quit allowing that to rule your spirit and emotions. Let it go this week. Pray it through and hand it to God, and for Christ’s sake – be happy.
Merry Christmas to you all!
Don’t you just hate it when the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is say something stupid? I mean to tell you, that devil attacked me this morning before I even had a chance to wake up and have the conscious ability to shut him up. Grrrr… This morning I did it… I did it good. Well, I guess it was just my day to wake up and say something stupid. You can always tell those days when he harps on you hard, and you just feel mad at the world and moody (for lack of a better word..and mind you, I have the perfect word for this up my sleeve – but I’m refusing to let if roll off my tongue because I already prayed that God would help me watch my tongue today) Of course, after I already said something stupid! I just felt like moaning and groaning and being rude.
Anyways, I was just sitting here thinking about what I said. I’m still thinking, why???? Why did that come out of my mouth first thing? I just didn’t THINK about it. I honestly did not think before I spit out those ugly words. And unfortunately, I hurt someones feelings. God took me to Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. And it’s true and I know it! I’m just hard headed, thick minded, and stubborn some days. Especially in the mornings.
SOMETIMES YOU JUST DON’T FEEL LIKE IT!
You don’t feel like thinking before you speak, you don’t feel like praying,you don’t feel like doing anything holy, you just feel like you want to be mad at the world for a little while. Anyone out there agreeing with me? Or am I the lone ranger?
I can’t help but think that’s exactly the way that darn devil want you to be – mad at the world and too weighed down to even get to the point of wanting to pray. That stinking heifer just jumps up and down on your shoulder and pulls your strings when you don’t even know he’s there. It is a conscious effort to say to him: You know what?! YOU NEED TO BACK DOWN! My day will not be ruled by you today, so sayonara buddy!
Ya know, you would think I would have these things realized by now. But it’s everyday that God deals with me on something different. Everyday I am more humble. Humbled by God because he is showing me my flaws. And for God it’s not enough for me to just see them, but he has to place them under a microscope so I see it very clearly. Today I just can’t win! The Devil’s beating me up on the left and God’s beating me up on the right! Grrrr…. Things that I need to do to be more Christlike….Well that process will never end. I’m just too far away from it. I vowed this morning – actually I vowed all week and still my hard head didn’t get it – but every morning this week my prayer has been “God, hold my tongue today.. watch my tongue today”
That stinkin devil attacked me this morning before I could even get my prayer out! He knows my challenges. Afterall, I’ve been voicing it all week long. Guess next time I will have to be a little bit firmer. I didn’t set my mind for the attack this morning. I’m just MAD about it. I am upset that something so stupid would come out this early in the morning and be so heartless as to hurt someone elses feelings. I’m banging my head against the wall. Ever since I said those words I’ve been kicking myself in the rear. Dag-nab-it! When am I going to ever overcome this tongue of mine??!!
I don’t know how to fix that part of me. I mean, watching and guarding your tongue is one of the hardest things to do, atleast it is for me. It might just be me, and no one else. Everyone else may let things roll off their backs and just blow through the day hunky dorie. But I can’t. The old me couldn’t for sure…
I’m one of those road ragers. (baring my soul here – be nice) If someone cuts me off in traffic I am one of those “Oh you yakkity-blah-blah-blankity-bleep-bleep” people. Then immediately God has begun to hit me over the head with the Godsmack Slapstick and say “Really? well now, do you feel better?” And Immediately I go to God and say “Oh Im sorry forgive me! ugh! I know I know!”
“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” —Matthew 12:36
Im getting better about the road rage thing. But Im just not getting it when it comes to everyday life and day to day operations. I feel bad for the people closest to me. Lord knows they get a good ole Cherish lashing every now and then.. I should be worried about what I say and how I say it. But it is tough! It is the toughest thing!
“But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” -James 3:8
I am going to open this blog up to it’s followers. I am asking for encouragement and comments. I want to know if you christians out there have gone through this same challenge I am facing daily. It’s harping on me. I see it, and want to change it with all of my heart but I just can’t overcome! I dont know why Im not getting it, and why I can’t put that skill into action. Learning it and seeking it and knowing it is one thing, but putting it into practical life skills is really hard. I just want to know, what do you guys do??? Do you put a rubber band around your wrist and flick it everytime you have a bad thought thats about to come out? I think I will use duct tape like momma always said…
What do YOU do? I really want to know~ It is heavy on my heart this morning and I need some support. I am showing my imperfections at every mile marker on this lifes highway and I am sick and tired of it. Because I am sick and tired of it thats where I can grow and get better. Help me! People help me by giving me some advice. I could really use your advice today.
You look around everywhere these days and see crosses hanging around peoples’ necks. You look on the back of minivans and see the christian fish signs. “Jesus Rocks” t-shirts strolling through the malls. You can look everywhere and see the religion. But where do you look and see the relationship side that God himself has required? I’m stuck in a pondering mode…..
When did Jesus become a money-making aftermarket thought process? I just don’t get it. I don’t think the people that are caught up in “IT” do either! Darlin’, those cross ear-rings sure do look nice, but they aren’t getting you any closer to heaven than the next girl. What are we doing these days!? I am stuck in between the people wearing the outer support for Jesus, and the ones wearing outer support for the Yankees. But my question is: who is actually doing anything more than merely wearing the colors? Just pondering…..
Jesus is not an accessory that we put on before we go to church or when we go out for our day. Jesus should be more like an undergarment that you always wear. One that you HAVE to wear to go out. It should be the most prized possession and the closest thing to who you are. I am not knocking that cross necklace, or Jesus clothing (I own them also)….I just want everyone to see what I see. You don’t just take Jesus off at night and place him in the jewelry box, or the dirty clothes bin. To some, that is all it is. Christianity that is taken off and put on at will. Christianity is more like a birthmark that can’t be removed. Like the mark of your renewed birth. You can try to cover up a birthmark but it is always there. It shows up, and you can’t hide it.
You can wear a cross necklace everyday, yet only go to church on Christmas and Easter. (Chreaster Christians as I heard a pastor call them). It’s not about that! I realize that it is much easier to put on a piece of christian jewelry than to stretch your faith and go the real work of the kingdom. You can keep the t-shirts, hats, necklaces and such, but I think you should also let that light within shine through. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (NIV) Matthew 5:16
Again, just pondering….
Two things make great music.
1.) GREAT CONDUCTOR
2.) GREAT COMPOSITION
Have you ever watched the conductor at a concert? Did you see the passion in their hands? Feel the music in their hearts? The grace and patience as their hands move the tempo? The smile upon their face when everyone hits the right notes in unison? It feels good to them! It is the same for God. The almighty conductor of life’s orchestra.
The conductor is always behind the scenes, never showy, yet always the one that puts in the most effort to make the symphony a success. His hand gestures guide the tempo and forte of the whole piece. Without the conductor the orchestra would be nothing but a group of people aimlessly hoping to succeed. Without the conductor no musical masterpiece can achieve its maximum potential. Ever hear a violin playing solo? sounds good. Then put 5,000 violins together and you get awe inspiring. The musicians may have been practicing their music in seperate places for months, but if you put them all together and add a master conductor – magic happens.
God you know how to play the heart strings of people. In using my words I think you are pulling and tugging on people at the right time. God we know your timing is everything and you are the best conductor in the orchestra of life. It is really amazing to hear your music.
Thank you for being an awesome composer as well. Every piece that is carefully written is beautifully made. (Psalm 139:14I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.)Thank you for writing those compositions and letting me help fill in the missing notes. You have a great composition. Each little note has a single person that fills it in perfectly. I am truly amazed at how things work when we realize you are the almighty composer and we give it all to you and let you conduct.
I asked God a simple question today.
“Why didn’t you make goldfish the apple of your eye?”
Afterall, goldfish would be way easier than us humans. They have very basic needs of food and water. Those two things are easy. check!
I swear I heard him giggle at me after posing such a question. I was just honestly pondering why on earth he would choose us..such difficult and needy creatures! That answer came to me later that morning….
As I was searching on my blog and trying to figure out how this thing is doing, and wondering if anyone is interested in my words. I was looking to see if anyone was searching for this blog on google. (I know, it’s silly) Then it hit me like a ton of bricks! God likes to be searched for. I saw that three people put in my blog name into their search engine yesterday and I was stoked! I was so excited that word is getting out!
Can you imagine how God feels when we actually go searching for him? Hunting him? Wanting to read what he wrote? AWESOME! The goldfish answer fell into place. I know its silly.. but goldfish don’t need anything! That is purely why he made humans as the apple of his eye. We are needy, sinful little creatures and he knows that. God doesn’t want an emotionless character going ‘bloop bloop’ and eating all day. No, he wants actions, obedience, Q & A sessions, interaction with him! He knows our lives inside and out, at every single angle. He wants that deeper connection. He wants us to play seek and find. We will never go on the hunt for God and come up empty handed. Never.
Paul said in Ephesians 6:10-18
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Understanding that the spiritual battleground for Christians is in the mind, is critical. If you don’t know where it is you can’t fight the battle. And you certainly can’t counter any attacks on you.
The devil uses YOUR mind against YOU! He will redirect you. He will distract you in your own mind. Well now…That’s not very pleasing to hear now is it?! Don’t let him get away with it. When does sin begin? It’s not just in the thought but in the thought process. The manifesting of thought into actions and eventually into your reality. I want you all to know where the battlefield is, so that you can arm yourselves better when it’s time to fight. It takes a lot of determination to weed through your own thoughts. It takes focus. However, if I asked you if you want to give the devil a foothold in your life every day wouldn’t you say no? Ok then, lets get to work on this! Learn to think like God thinks for your life.
When you cancel out the negative thoughts, the strongholds, imaginations, and theories – and begin to think about what you’re thinking, you are fighting the devil with the sword of the spirit. Your mind is your battlefield. James 1:8 says: he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. Renew your mind. if you put garbage in …. You will get garbage out. Rom 12:2: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I have learned that the one thing the devil hates is Jesus’ name. When you keep that name within close reach of your tongue – he scurries away. He also hates the truth. He knows his place, but some people don’t take the authority to put him there. Arm yourself with the word of God! Tim 3:16: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. Keep a few verses close to your heart, the ones that mean the most to you. Use them against your attacker. Spiritual warfare is the worst kind, yet it is so much overlooked. A favorite verse of mine is: “greater is he that is in ME than he that is in the world” and let me tell you.. Ole slewfoot hates that one. It’s ok though. My business is God’s business. My message from God to you is to make sure you are aware of this truth. What you do with the knowledge is your choice.
A quick thing I want to add here….If God has placed a calling on your life, and you know the truth about it – keep it close to you. Even if it doesn’t make sense to you. It makes sense to God. Isa 55:8: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. The devil is a great deceiver and he will try to talk you out of Gods will and plan for your life. Do not listen to his lies. Learn God’s voice over the latter. God doesn’t condemn, he teaches. God doesn’t lie, he deals only in truths. Remember these little principles and keep the devil from entering the battlefield. Atleast now you know, that if he does get to the battlefield – you can fight the good fight and win.