What kind of “world” creeps in and drags your mind out of His light? Is the world to blame, or are our bad habits and cyclical circumstances a result of our own choices? Has your curiosity left the door open a crack? For some, it is willful disobedience that has swung it wide. What kind of activities consume your days? What programs and games are filling your screen time? What kinds of “nano-bites” are eating away your morality?
Discipline in our lives is crucial. For our body we want to eat the right things and get exercise. How are we taking care of our minds? Our culture is more concerned about the outside, but the health of our mind determines what kind of person we truly are. The Bible is God’s food for a healthy mind, and yet our culture continues to turn to clever sounding manmade mantras.
Is it possible to have a free mind? It is difficult to understand what freedom in Christ means, until you experience it. To many, God’s commands and boundaries sound harsh, and unrealistic. Doing what ever “we want”, seems to be the current definition of freedom. The depression statistics in teens is evidence we have not taken godly truth and wisdom seriously. Doing “what ever we want” is leaving quite the bondage wake.
Most of the anxiety our medical charts are reflecting, comes from an unhealthy mind. That anxiety is often a sign of our need for repentance. The gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach may not be anxiety at all, but the muffled voice of the Holy Spirit calling you out of sin.
You do not have to remain painted with the sinner’s brush…..
If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we’re obviously lying through our teeth—we’re not living what we claim. But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin (1 John 1:7 MSG).
For at one time we too were foolish, disobedient, misled, enslaved to all sorts of desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. ButwhenthekindnessofGodourSaviorandHislove for mankindappeared,He saved us, not by the righteous deeds we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:3, 4 Berean Study Bible).
Do not conform 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 (Romans 12:2 NIV).
This week I was witness to a grievous situation. Much is expected of those who represent Christ, and whom are vessels of his love. Scripture emphasizes that those in leadership, who teach, are judged more strictly (James 3:1). The every day tasks we share together must never overshadow the value of another man’s soul. Our projects, and dreams must always be tested by God’s Word, lest we get a head of Him, and trample all over His children in the process. Do we know the people we are leading? Have we bothered to take the time to get to know them? Have we heard their stories, or have we settled for warm bodies filling chairs, to make it look like we’re doing something right? Are our words reflecting Christ, or turning people away – for eternity?
We drove through a frosted postcard, with trees dressed in their choral gowns, and the mountains draped in evergreen. Fresh streams hung frozen from rock faces creating tears of teal glass, and white woolen snow on winter’s breath, swirled and danced around us.
It was the day before Christmas Eve, and we stopped for the night at an Inn. There was room for us. The snow was falling hard, and rather than peer at the magic through our room’s window we bundled up and went in search of wrapping paper. Neither one of us had our winter boots on, and our shoes were disappearing in a foot of snow. When we reached a recently shovelled sidewalk, we slipped and slid as if on skates, from the ice beneath the snow’s crust. But it was peaceful, and dark except for the streetlight’s glow and winter’s gift.
We purchased our paper and trundled off back the way we’d come. Distant hums and whines of snowplows and sanding trucks lulled us to sleep, and thankfully bad dreams of closed road signs were not to be realized.
At morning’s light we drove further, and deeper, and higher into the magic of winter, with anticipation of something far greater than the wonder all around us – the wonder of a child, two in fact.
At times our tires crawled with the crunch of the snow beneath, and at times our engine purred as we descended mountain tops. We reached the Ferry at Horseshoe Bay early Christmas Eve, and quietly ached for a place on board. One by one the cars started rolling forward. We were near the end of the line, and we held our breath.
Moments later we had crossed the Straight of Georgia, and were surrounded by one of God’s most miraculous gifts – our children and grandchildren.
“More Bitter Than Sweet”, isn’t a song of hopelessness, but one that takes us into the Father’s presence to hear his heart next to ours.
I just want to crawl on your lap, I know you’re busy, but if there’s anyone who cares, it’s gotta be you. Life as we know it has turned out to be tougher than nails, more bitter than sweet. I appreciate your answers but I just need your love. Wanna hear your heart next to mine.
I was speaking to someone today about those who are discouraged with “church” in general, burnt out. She told me that she had heard a quote somewhere that said “if you are churched out, you have been putting your faith in people, and not God”.
What are your thoughts with regards to this quote?
Do you think it is important to go to church, and if so, why?
What are we suppose to do when people disappoint us?
I am always in the process of learning. Jesus is continually taking me deeper. As I move forward I long to make sense of everything around me. Or maybe I long for heaven and home? However, it is better to get to know Jesus, and understanding will come, (Phil 3:10 ESV).
Without Jesus my natural instinct is to make sense of things by pointing fingers, and elevating my righteous choices over another’s, (Romans 3:23).
And I pause…..If Christ in his mercy has called me, then how do I respond to my brother, (1 Timothy 1:15-16)?
The power of God’s Word, along with a recent discussion with a mentor, is teaching me to analyze how I think, and react to the world around me. Just because I believe in Christ, doesn’t mean I’m incapable of making bad judgement calls.
Why do we alienate those who have made different choices than ourselves? We may tell ourself it is because we want people to do the right thing, according to the scripture. Who does that sound like? Someone more concerned with the right religious act, than the value of one’s soul, (Matthew 23:23,24).
Is it wrong to hang out with those who do not believe, or do not abide by God’s commandments? Who did Jesus hang out with, (Luke 19:1-10)? And once a relationship was established what did he ask for, (John 8:11)?
We alienate others because of fear, (Matthew 10:28)?
Is it possible we are afraid to befriend a specific person because of what others may think? Are we afraid we’re not equipped to explain our faith? Then we need to get equipped, (1 Peter 3:15). And here’s a reality check, are we living in such a way that someone wants to know about our faith?
Are we afraid others may cause us to question our beliefs? Can that not be part of the process of working our faith out daily, (Phil 2:12,13)?
If we are seeking first the Kingdom, and His righteousness, we need not be afraid, (Matthew 6:33).
If we are abiding in Him, He is abiding in us, (John 15:4).
In this atmosphere we are unafraid, and excited about the relationships Jesus will bring into our lives, and the faith conversations we will have about Him, (John 14:6).
Spring came early to a barren, brown world. The sun’s outstretched arms awoke the ground, and set the seeds to sprouting, the roots to wriggle, and the buds to bloom.
Usually the Lilac tree in our backyard explodes into fragrant flowers in the month of June, but it is blossoming now… in May?
Lilacs have always beckoned me to write, because they are a fleeting gift. [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Like the Lilac, every vanishing whisper from God brings cause to ponder man’s momentary breath.[/clickandtweet]
Then there’s the purple, whether royal or pastel, the colour is rare, as are we. One needs only to look into the eyes, to see the unique hues of each man’s soul.
Thousands of delicate petals sewn together form what look like living lace. We too have many layers.