Friday, February 13, 2015

To obey or not obey?

     (If your like me you are already tired of hearing about a movie that doesn't interest you. So this is my humble opinion on a topic of our culture. I just feel the need to express what has been rumbling around in my head and heart over this topic.)
  So there is a movie coming to a theater near you, it has been a conversation starter.  Although I am not sure the conversation always ends up good. I'm sure you know which movie I am talking about so I won't advertise it here. As always I am stirred to share my heart, and that is why I am writing today, as it has been a very long time since the last time I put thought to Blogger. I hope that my words come across with love. I have struggled with how to show a lost world the love of Christ, for me it is often about encouraging my fellow Believers in their walk. Consider this an encouragement.

     I am a little amazed over the way Christians are acting, and talking about this movie .Because they seem to be all over the place. There seems to be a lot of finger pointing and a lot of opinion on both sides but not much discussion. And I may be accused of the same, but hey, this is my blog. ;-) Talking about a topic goes much further than finger pointing and judgment. Let me start off by saying that I have not read the book, nor do I plan to. I also do not plan on seeing this movie. Ever. I will explain why I have made this choice and why I hope to encourage you to also chose this stance if you follow Christ. I had of a period of my life where my worth was wrapped up in sex and beauty. I believe that many women have also struggled with this sense of worth, although it may not have played out the way mine did. I am thankful to no longer be there, but it still tints the way that I view things. It is also a way that the enemy of my soul will attack, if I am not on guard all the time.

     This is where the post seems to take a strange turn, but stick with me. 

     Our church has been doing a study called The Blessed Life, by Pastor Robert Morris. It is a study about tithing and our heart condition. I really encourage you to watch videos or read his book, in a group. Tithing is a difficult topic to teach on, for years tithing was used as the church needs money, give us your money but God's plan was much different that just give me your money. Because of our different history's with tithing the discussions get very interesting. If God is not first in our lives He does not get the first of anything, correct? I am involved in 2 small groups talking about this topic. One is a couples group and another is a ladies group. And honestly I would be part of more if I could make it work, because I see that through discussion and truth, are lives being changed, strongholds being broken, and thought lives being reordered. Praise the Lord!!! Mine included! I have loved talking about this topic and listening to others thoughts on the subject. We don't always agree, but are able to voice our opinions with out judgment as we each wrestle this out with God.

     Here is where the two connect. The one thing I feel impressed on me over and over is this, I am to 1-Trust God and 2- Obey God. That's it. Trust and Obey...wait isn't there a song out there that I remember singing as a kid? Trust and obey for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.
     Anyway, now that the song is in your head... when I hear the different sides of this movie I am drawn to ask myself what does the Bible say about this topic? I am often drawn to Ephesians. I know I have used these verses before, about fleeing from sin. But what about this...
     Ephesians 5:3(NIV) But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

     I am pretty sure that verse does't say this...if you are a mature follower and have all your sin issues under control you can go see, read, touch, smell things that have a hint of sexual immorality, especially if the couple gets married at the end. You'll be holy. (This would be true of ANY sin issues that we individually struggle with.)

     No, it says there "must not be even a hint of sexual immorality". That right there is enough to stop me from watching some shows on TV that I might find entertaining, reading romance novels even if they are geared toward Christian women. I make mistakes, I watch/listen to things that have "even a hint of sexual immorality" in them. I have lived a life of sexual immorality, but now that I want to chose to obey God in my actions, deeds and thought life. I am trying to listen to what He says concerning the things in my life. This is written in the Bible. I am not saying to you "I have a message from the Lord, new decree..." No this is Paul encouraging Christ followers to live a life that is proper for God's holy people.

There is more...

     Ephesians 5:8(NIV) For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness,righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.

     If I want to take the lessons that I am learning about tithing and putting God first in my heart and life my actions in EVERY other aspect of my life need to be a reflection of the Light. I am no longer a child of the dark, but I am a child of the Light!

     In my small little corner of the world, I want my light to shine as brightly as I can. I want to walk as closely as I can to the holy life Jesus died to give me. I fail Him daily, but in this I want to make Him say, "That's my girl.". I have struggled with this "mommy porn". I have to be careful what I see and read, as we all do. I have an over active imagination at times I've had to reel in from time to time. And when I am intimate with my husband, I want to be with him. Not thinking about something "great" that I read and how that worked for them, because just like with "regular" porn, intimacy becomes unsatisfying and will not live up to our expectations. When I compare my real life to someone else's best, even if it is made up, it is set up or disappointment. God designed intimacy to be great between a husband and wife. Anything outside of that becomes a sin problem.

     Can I trust that the Bible includes verses like Paul's in Ephesians because God knows what is best for me and my marriage? Can I trust that if God made sure to include a topic into the Bible that I should at least try and knowingly make steps to obey? Why obey God?

     God sees every option and choice in my life, why would I not take His thoughts on the subject into consideration? He is my Creator, my Redeemer, my Lord.

     Be careful what you allow, you can not serve two masters, or you will hate one and love the other. This is a slippery slope of a topic. I know.

     Here is another thought for you. I recently heard of a missionary who said that people from outside of the USA think that because America is a Christian nation that Hollywood represents Christ and Christians. What?!? That struck a very deep cord within me. I do not stand with most of the stuff coming out of Hollywood and would say that Hollywood doesn't represent me or what I believe. This just adds to the long list of things that the world believes "Christians" stand for.

     I am not judging you if you are a Christian and go to see the movie, that is for sure between you and God. I will still love you, a movie doesn't change who you are. I am just asking you to ask some of these same questions I have asked myself and examine the heart behind the matter.

 Will I choose to obey or not to obey?  Life or death?  Blessing or cursing?

     Deuteronomy 30:19 (NKJV) 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;

     Today and for the rest of my life I choose to take steps to always obey. I am willing to examine my heart and see why I am hesitant to follow God when He is very clear on a subject, any subject. It is a constant growth, one that I am willing to go through to draw closer to God. I am willing to allow others to point out a sin issue I may not be aware of, to draw closer to God. 

Check out The Blessed Life study or Pastor Robert Morris click

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Broken hearted...

     Good day to you!  I am happy to say that the sun is shinning in Michigan today, and there is basketball on TV. Does it get much better?
     I think that maybe why my heart is so broken. As I think about what I am going to write, I am so grateful that God has blessed my husband and I the way he has.  If you look back over your life, you will often see times that were so dark you could end up in the worst situation. I see those times, if I am honest with myself, a lot over my early 20's.  I lived in a completely different state from my family, roughly 16 hours drive. And there were lots, I mean lots of days were I didn't have money to drive to the store let alone go home. And yet God sustained me, even in my very active rebellion. There were a lot of dark moments, where I just needed something to fill the empty space inside that only God can fill. I tried with some many other things to substitute God.
     Last night I read and saw pictures of a little girl, that really made me count my blessings. It original post is from  I then went to the website from the photographer here...    (If you go to the photographer's website know that there are pictures of a man without his clothes on.) Here is the story in a very bad nutshell. The photographer saw this mom walking down the street after being out partying pushing a baby in a stroller. She then asked if she could come back and take pictures of their life. Document the mom and the dad of this little girl. They are drug addicts who often party at their home with their little girl.
     I'm not here to  judge the parents or the photographer, my last post had enough judgment, and there is another call to action in these pictures.  The photographer and her subjects are in Russia. But I know that Russia is not the only place where children are being raised in families like these.  There is drug addiction here in America, even in the beautiful town that I live in.  My heart breaks for the girl, but also for the parents. Where are the people who can help? And I don't mean the government, I mean God's people?  Where is the church?
     This morning these pictures remain with me in their sorrow and in my sorrow that I can not go over and help. If you knew anything about me it is that I long to help. With not too many miss steps this could have been my life.  And I am grateful God kept me from going down this path, but it is not just an "over there" problem.  It is a here, now, in this place problem!  In our town, it is hidden. I believe pride keeps it from being so in your face, but it is here. Ask those who work with various charities. This winter has been long and hard in Michigan and families who are homeless struggled a ton this year. All the area charities, homeless shelters struggled to provide food and coats to the people coming in for help.
     There are horror stories about living conditions of children in Michigan. I am thankful for friends I have that do foster care. I wish I helped them out more. That is a rough open your home and life. Pour into these kiddos then when they leave you realize how you loved them and how hurt you are by their absence. They do something to your heart, and to the hearts of those around them.  There are many, many children in Michigan who need homes, forever home.  If you live in Michigan check out this site and see if God is calling you to help, in anyway.
     The parents of the young girl...I don't even know where to start, except on my knees in prayer. God send someone who can help!  That is my cry if there is someone here in Michigan or living in Russia.  Nothing is more powerful than prayer. This is where I plan to stay until God says move.  Prayer...for a child...for a mother...for a father...a city...a neighborhood...prayer.
     God change my heart, my city for Your Glory for your purpose! Let me, us not miss one opportunity to love someone deeply.
     James 1:27 (GW)
Pure, unstained religion, according to God our Father, is to take care of orphans and widows when they suffer and to remain uncorrupted by this world.

I challenge you because of He who challenges me!
Heather  for scripture

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


     Tonight, I am feeling a little passionate.  Not sure why tonight, as some of the thoughts I am sharing I have had for a while or have mulled over with my husband a time or two.  My biggest guess is that I am feeling better after being sick for the last week.  Some energy is coming back and I always get a bit more fired up when talking about God!
     So a few of you might now that MIM (Morality in Media) Dirty Dozen ( came out recently and I had a number of post that showed up on my Facebook were about how Verizon was on the list. Many of my friends posted that they would cancel their service with Verizon if they used them among other comments. We do have Verizon phones, and I have never watched porn from my phone, but I also know that if I was on any service provider, I could view porn of any title or content. It's pretty easy to come by these days.  But as my husband and I were talking about it, he decided to look up the list and found Facebook was #3 and Google was #4.  He laughed sarcastically and said "So, what does it say for those who used a Google Chrome browser (#4 on the list) to log into their Facebook account (#3 on the list) to post their disgust with Verizon (#2 on the list)." So pretty much all Christians should cancel their phone services, Facebook accounts, and no longer use the Google or for that matter the internet.  Now that seems a little extreme and I am going to explain why I think that is a bit extreme.
     I am all for stepping back from what causes you to sin, if you are a Christ follower. We are to walk as close as we can to how Jesus walked. He even talks about plucking out your eye if it causes you to sin. (Matthew 5:29)  But we are not to judge the world.
1 Corinthians 5:12-13    
 12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.
  And how could we anyway?  We don't actually look much different from those who don't profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  Our churches are full of people who look the same as the world, we listen to music that doesn't glorify God, watch TV shows that don't glorify God, we gossip, we have sex outside of marriage, we watch porn from the secret of our bedrooms, we drink, we smoke, the list goes on, and on, and on.  For every one thing the "world" does,  we also do inside the church.  It is sad and it saddens my heart. But it is the truth. And if a church is stepping out and doing the right thing, other Christians think they are weird or have gone to far with the Holy Spirit or what ever excuse we could use to point away from our sins.
     My questions I wanted to post to my Facebook page and I didn't because I love my friends, and in my heart don't like to cause waves, but the questions is, Instead of using words to judge the world of porn, how are your actions changing the world?  Some of these friends are very active in changing their communities, it just seems to me that more than anything "Love always looks like something." (Heidi Baker)
     I get the fact that we want to protect our children. I do too! If that was the only reason I felt this list got posted over and over and over again I might have had something better to say about the list. It is my job as a parent to teach my children, once seen never unseen, and make wise choices. Then pray, pray, pray!
     As Christians we have put on this mask for so long that we have got it all together, and you know what?!? Not a one of us does!!!!  I have struggled greatly with sexual sin, instead of getting to know why I did what I did people from church called me a whore. (Yes, actually happened!) Which of course led me deeper into searching for someone to love me in a way that I understood, physical.  So Church instead of judging those we are not called to judge, see above scripture, why don't we work on getting healthy from the inside out.  Let get to know, really know those inside our church walls, find out what their struggles are and pray with them to be set free. Ask for prayer for your struggles, seek after the King of Kings together as a church. His Words and Breath bring healing. I know, I have gone the long way to healing, but I have received healing.  So when I have a sin struggle now, it is much easier to trust that He is waiting, wanting to heal me.  Once you are healthy it is much easier to reach the world, those outside of the church who are hurting and sinning. You can reach out to them from a place of health and compassion.  Because once you realize all the bondage you are in now, you have compassion in those who walk in the same bondage.  And you can truly love those who are hurting and broken, because you can admit to them that you once were right where they are. You can love them as Jesus love you.
          Fear is the real reason that we as Christians move in ways that are outside of what God is calling us to.  We rant about the end times and all the sin and all the people going to hell, but we are not out there doing anything about it. We sit and wait for someone else to go into the bad parts of town and serve.  Some of that is because we live in defeat of our own sin. If they knew that I struggle with sin how can I help them? It is not about us anymore!  But it should be about them!
Ephesians 5:1-2
      Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
     Actually the whole first part of  Ephesians 5 is wonderful for this topic of who we are called to judge and how.  Friends Let's walk in love, as Christ has loved us!

*If you were one of my friends on Facebook that posted the list, I love you, this is a call to action in my own heart that God moved me to write to others. There is no condemnation, only a harsh look at my life and how little action I have put out there, while I also rant about how bad the world has gotten. But my Jesus is constantly changing my heart and my life for the good of His plan. Praise the Lord!

I challenge you because He first challenged me!!!

Heather for scripture

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


     Hello! I just have to admit that I am tired.  Don't go just yet, I am hoping this ends up encouraging even in the midst of my tiredness.
     It has been busy in our household, especially now that the kids are back in school,  no more snow days.  Although my sons white crayon is still in the freezer.  I keep telling him if they miss much more school they will be in school all summer long, but he doesn't believe me. So back into the freezer the crayon goes.  But it is much more than just getting back into a routine, there is just the start of a new year, new plans to be made, new goals to set. And if you don't set them early they start looking like they will never be done, or even started.  But even more than the not made plans, is that we have been battling some serious spiritual battles within our household.        
     The winds of change they are-a blowin'.   LOL, not sure where that came from.  It is the truth in our house. Things are changing.  We have taken over a very tough ministry that is quite frankly battling the gates of hell daily, but its not the outside ministry that has me tired but the inside one.
     While I am not going to go into what is going on here, it is rough, spiritually.  I pray and beg God and cry until my eyes hurt.  Here is the thing I am noticing through out this "rough spot". My prayer life has never been sweeter! The words that my Daddy God speaks to me during our quite time is wonderful, and encouraging.  Then I remember that what I am battling is not a war on flesh and blood  but against principalities. (Ephesian 6:12) That is what I am battling.  
     I am also encouraged by He gives strength to those who grow tired   and increases the strength of those who are weak. ( Isaiah 40:29Or that  He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 )  Or greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world.   (1 John 4:4)  Especially that He has overcome the world.( John 16:33

     So when I am tired, just lay down on the kitchen floor and take a nap tired, I remind myself of these truths. So simple, yet they can get lost in the business of our lives.  In that business is where we become weary, and burdened.  So tonight I will lay it all at His feet, for all those verses and many more He is worthy of my love and trust. Tonight I will just trust. I will get back into a place of abiding within Him. 

Not blow your socks off great, just real... real tired. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Kingdom Vision

  Good morning! I hope that is cold January morning is finding you in a warm place. It's cold here and our kids don't have school's going to be a great day!  No really it is. We will play some games, do some laundry, maybe a sleepover.  I have learned, over the last few weeks, that I love snow days and having my kids home, we have had a few days off from school lately.  I am sure that is because there are no more diapers to change and babies to feed, everyone is pretty independent now. Sad, but for sure a new chapter in our lives.
     I have struggles posting this post for awhile.  I haven't wanted to offend, but I really believe that American churches have been asleep. Not all of them of course, but we have kind of misses the Great Commission here. We are pretty good about going overseas to minister, but we don't often go out into the streets to tell people about Jesus, or share with those who are in the church but have missed who Jesus really is. My heart breaks for them.  To sit every Sunday and listen to pastors talk about reading our Bibles and spending time in prayer, listen for that voice that come from the Holy Spirit, is a hard thing when you open your Bible up and struggle to read. Being a child of God's was never suppose to feel like you are banging your head on the wall, not getting anything out of the Book.  But I have a feeling that for many people in the church this is what it feels like.  And you could get very discouraged because the pastor, and that crazy woman in the corner, they make it seems so easy. The talk about hearing from God like He was sitting on the couch with them.
   But beloved, it should be that easy. That was how God designed our relationships with Him. He created a garden in which He would come and stroll with us. But we live in a fallen world. And that means we have to work a bit harder on our relationships. In a similar manner, if we never talked with our spouse how would they know what we were having for dinner?  What bills were paid?  That we loved them?  Just as we talk with our spouses we need to talk to God, that is how He designed us.  When we ask Jesus to be the Lord of our lives we are invited in to a relationship with God, a walking, talking relationship.  Here is a "vision" God gave me to share with a friend, I have asked if I could share it with you. It is a great picture of the Kingdom, if you are struggling...

  Imagine a large, beautiful, city surrounded by a metal bar fence. In the front of the city is a Golden door. There are people inside the city, and there are people outside the city. Some of the people outside the city are reaching their hands in through the fence, trying to touch something, anything from inside. Some are wandering around the city, looking for anyway in other than the Door. They look up, thinking that maybe they could climb the fence, but it appears to go up to the sky. They look down, but can not dig under the fence. Many look at the Door, knowing that the only way into the city is to walk through the door and yet they shake their heads and continue to look for other ways into the city.  For some they boldly walk up and open the door and walk through the Door into the city, and when they do a party erupts at their entrance.

    The city is Heaven, the Kingdom of God. The Door is Jesus. There are many who have asked Jesus to be Lord of their lives, but there are many, many "Christians" who are wondering around the outside of the city, wanting to be party of the city, but things like pride, deception, and religion have kept them out.
There have been too many laws and expectations that no one could meet the standard (except Jesus). That is why sin is hidden, why people get burn out and leave.  I personally believe that we have made religion so difficult, because Jesus is so simple. We had to add some laws or some pride, because it couldn't really be that simple.  It couldn't be as simple as saying "Jesus, I have sinned. I want to be washed clean, and I want you to be Lord of my life." There just has to be more to it than that, right?

Romans 10:9-10
9 If you declare that Jesus is Lord, and believe that God brought him back to life, you will be saved. 10 By believing you receive God's approval, and by declaring your faith you are saved.

And yet, there are so many people who call themselves Christians, but have missed that very first step. Maybe because no one explained it, maybe they felt they didn't need to "walk through the Door". We can't expect lives to be changed until they have exchanged their heart condition for Jesus heart.
I was recently reading in Mark about the moments leading up to Jesus being arrested, and it made me think about some of this religious spirit inside the church.  I was thinking specifically about Judas Iscariot. He walked with Jesus, he got to be apart of the miracles that Jesus preformed, but when it came down to religion or relationship, he unfortunately,  chose religion.  We often think to ourselves, if I just walked with Jesus in when He was on earth it would be easier for me to believe. But here we see one who walked in the shadow of Jesus chose the religious over relationship. Many didn't come to know God through Jesus because of religion then also. Again not a new problem.
     The people who are wondering outside of the city could be like myself where I understood God was a rule making God who see your life, but refused to become involved in the messiness of my life. The spirit of religion will do that to you. Flip you upside down and inside out so that you never understand the simplicity of Jesus blood in our lives.  I struggled with that idea . I loved Jesus, but His father seemed unloving and didn't seem to care how hurt or sad I was. It is hard to struggle with this duality of Jesus who died for my sins and God who created the world, but don't care about me. Maybe this is how Judas felt. He walked in the shadow of Jesus and still didn't believe what He taught. .
     Let me say to you, if you are one of the ones who are wondering around outside of the fence, longing to get in, it is simple. Jesus came to make an exchange of your old nature for His new nature by asking Him to become Lord of your life. He will give you  His nature.  Here is the secret, it is a heart condition exchange. It will, for most, take time for things like sins to change in your life, but even sin is a symptom of your heart condition. (Another whole post itself.)

2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if  anyone is in Christ, he is a new creations; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

  I really believe that God is moving and working in the hearts of the people represented walking around outside the city gate.  I hear over and over from people in other parts of America that God is moving in the church. "Sleeping" hearts are being awaken and the realization that they have to walk through the door of Jesus in order to have that walking, talking relationship with God. I thank God that He loves us so much to not let us sleep, but awakes us even if it hurts for a bit to realize that what we thought was a relationship was a missed opportunity but the Door is always there and there is no condemnation in Christ (Rom 8:1). If you have missed the relationship, don't look back, look forward to what a new life with Him as a friend looks like, not what your past has told you, your relationship with look like.  Ask God to make is Word come alive for you to really see all that He has for you. 

Seeking a pleasing aroma!


Monday, January 20, 2014


     Happy New Year! 20 days in isn't too bad, lol.  We have been busy getting back into some "normal" routine, we are still trying to figure it all out honestly.  I don't know what happened over Christmas break, but we totally got messed up and it has been a struggle to get back on track.
     There has been going on a lot with our church that has affected our lives. My hubby and I agreed to take a leadership role in the prayer ministry, we have never done anything like that before.  It has been pretty amazing how God is leading and directing our lives right now.  My quite time has definitely been spent hearing how God would like me to pray for Him people.  Then often I will remember a scripture verse that would apply to what He has spoken.  Our church has gone to 2 services. Which, taking over a ministry that would pray for both services, it gets tricky as a family to figure out how we need to accommodate this "extra" time a church, especially since we were not involved in the prayer ministry before the 2 services.
     Which leads me to why I am writing today.  I was starting to wonder if God would continue to give me things to post on here.  I learn so much from what He speaks first to me then what the finished post looks and sounds like. But through the course of conversations with my family I came upon this idea that we NEED to be available to be inconvenienced for Christ if in fact we are Christ followers.
     Ohhhh, that kind of hurts a bit. Our lifestyles are busy and we barely find time to spend time with our friends, in person, not on social media. As I think about how this concept applies to our family it gets hard. We have 4 young children, who I want to love God not feel anger towards, we have obligations that may take time away from our "ministry" of prayer, but this is where I keep struggling within myself. I want to be available for inconveniences that God puts in my life.  I want to be available to stay and pray for someone at 2nd service, I want to pray for the leadership and worship teams. I want to build relationships that could get messy.  I want my family to feel the same way. I want to stop at the grocery store and pray for a woman in need.  I want to give a bit of Jesus to that woman on the corner in the snow and freezing temps begging for money.  I want to be inconvenienced for Jesus.  I realize that is a desire that only God can actually instill in ones heart and make it that everything still works out on a daily basis.  So I pray that God begins to instill this desire into each member of our family. To live out this "radical" inconvenienced lifestyle.
     I am going to share with you some of the people from the Bible who I believed were "inconvenienced".
Noah, having to spend 100 years building a boat while everyone thought you were crazy. Abram better yet Sari, she had to stop what her daily jobs were and cook a meal for the angels that appeared to speak to Abram about his decedents when she was almost 100 yrs old. Then Abraham taking his nephew's side during the Sodom and Gomorrah deal. Samuel, trying to counsel Saul but being dismissed, going through all of David's brothers before finding the youngest would be the anointed king.  New Testament people, the first one is Mary! Boy did her life become inconvenienced. She was willing to be inconvenienced for her Lord.  Then there is the woman at the well. I love this story. Here is this woman going about her daily chore of getting water for her household and she has an encounter with Jesus.
     BUT that is what being inconvenienced is all about! Having an encounter with the Creator.  After all that God has done for me, how can I not live a lifestyle that says yes I will skip my Sunday nap and spend an extra hour at church, so that I can pray for someone who is in need there.  Or spend time in the Word, instead of watching TV, something that will help me hear that voice of God just a bit more. I want to hear God say "Don't speak to your child like that. It hurts him," when I am in the wrong so I can fix it right away, instead of dealing with the consequences later.  Handing out food in the cold to the hungry. Taking in foster kids.  Clothing those who need clothes.
 Why is this something that the modern day church does not want? We don't want a service to be longer that an hour.  We don't want to go back on Sunday night. We don't want to do small groups, that might be the night our favorite TV show is on. We don't want our friends and neighbors knowing that we believe in God, or that Jesus is our "Lord" because we will be compared to the crazy lady who was praying for people in line at the store. ;-)
     Forgive that person who said all that nasty stuff about you, haven't you been forgiven? Didn't Jesus go to the Cross so that you could be free from your sin?  Give, instead of loan that  money to your family member, because God has given you enough, and maybe through that gift they see Jesus!
     I don't know about you but I really, really want to live a lifestyle of inconvenienced. This is what I would like my 2014 to look like, more encounters with Him and those He wants to encounter.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Offense Will Come

     Hello there! How are you doing today? Oh yeah this is a blog not a conversation. Sorry!
I have some pretty serious things to talk about today, so before we begin let me just say that again I say these things because the One who loves me lover you and is calling you to something deeper than you are in right now. Whether that is a new relationship with Jesus, a worshiper or a pastor of a church. God always wants to go deeper with us, if we will seek Him.  Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 
     This post is about offense, so really no offense if I hurt your feelings. ;-)  First of all God never promised us a life without hurt and offense in fact His word says offense will come.
Luke 17:1 Then He said to the disciples, "It is impossible that no offenses should come,"
     Oh yeah, offense is coming, hopefully not from me but it will come. So here is what got my mind rolling with the whole offense things. I was at a prayer meeting at our church and I got a word from God that I shared with the group. It had the word "now" in it. I know that when God was speaking to me about what our church is doing "now" didn't mean that it wasn't doing that same things years ago, just a confirmation that "now" we are currently doing what He has called us to do. Really had nothing to do with past actions of our church one way or another. There are leaders who have attended this church their whole lives, or pretty close to it. (For someone who has moved around as much as I have that is so hard to believe!) We have only been there over a year. After I got home I thought about what God had said and how what I could have said to make sure there was no offense at all. I don't believe there was any but again it could happen. Sometimes I speak about changing our lives using things in our past as our deciding factors, it could be that some would see offense. If I use past relationships or words that are spoken as indicator of our heart condition both past and present, I want it to always come from a place of love, His love, but I am human and sometimes a bit blunt.
     I have had past relationships in my life that I have had to repent from, in fact before my hubby and I got married we had to repent of aspects of our relationship. We didn't understand at the time the full impact of our actions but repentance was what God was calling us to do through our pastor. We did things wrong, we are human and make mistakes, but I know Someone in the restoring business.
     Here is the things, we all have past, something that we are not proud of and somethings that we wish would never be brought back up. EVER. Those things we wish we could hid in the darkness are usually the ones that cause the most offense.  Quite frankly Satan would love it if you would keep those things hidden and be easily offend when people push those buttons, or hurts. It keeps you from the love of God and all the good things He has for you. Offense seems to momentary put a guard around our hearts protecting others from seeing the places we hurt.
Mark 4:22-23 "For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."
     There are moments when as Christians, we are the worst about offense. We walk around with our noes in the air. We know best. Or something. A few years ago we left a church we had been at for 4 1/2 years. It was a time of big change and there were lots of people who were leaving. I walked into the foyer and felt "This place isn't home anymore." drop into my Spirit.  I prayed for 6 months before I  shared with my husband what God told me. I didn't want to leave. I begged God for 6 months, on my knees and with tears, to change His mind. But He didn't, and we finally left. It was hard, we left friends that had become family for the unknown yet again. And even thought it was "only" our church and not our city or state, because of all the other people who had left, there were a lot of hurt friends who didn't even ask why we left, just spoke and felt bad about us, it felt like me move to a new city in a new state. We had to make new friends, put my outspoken self back out there to be judged and possible rejected.  In those months of searching for a new church, which we were blessed is was very short, many of our friends and fellow church members left the same church. I really believe some left out of offense rather than waiting for God to call them out or doing the work that He needed to do there.  The church where God planted us just went through, and continues to go through changes, as we are trying to bring heaven to earth. Again I have seen member leave over offense.  It really breaks my heart because that offense can become a root, and before we know it, that root colors everything we see. Everything. We lose our way and don't know why we don't love church or Jesus the way we did before. If we do finally get pulled out of the oppression that comes with roots of offense it takes time to then repent of all the things said and done during the time of rooted offense.
     Offense is also a heart condition, based on our past hurts. We choose everyday to live in offense. Please guard your heart from offense, of every kind. It is  going to come, could be in the color chosen for the carpet in a church renovations, or a new worship song, or a lie spoken about you by a friend. It could come from closer than that, a spouse. Those we love hurt us the most, right? Offense is going to come. Check you heart and see if there is offense there.  Repent and be free then chose to live as much as you can offense free. Choosing instead to live in Forgiveness. Realizing that people who are walking in flesh will hurt us by their words or actions, or lack of. But our choice needs to be forgiveness.
Luke 12:3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven time in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you say 'I repent', you shall forgive him."  
I would challenge you to forgive even if they never come to you and say sorry. Better to live in over forgiveness than offense.  

I challenge you because of the One who loves me also loves you!  Seek first the King!!!


As always scripture taken from