Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Why do we always want to be like someone else? I guess the reason I am thinking about this is because I live in a house with many females and each one has an attribute they don't like. Whether it's their nose or their hair, their height or their feet, discontent stalks them like a hungry predator. If something goes wrong in their day, it's because their hair didn't work the way they wanted it, and of course "so in so" who has perfect hair doesn't have those problems. Their day went just fine. Everyday the battle of discontent stalks my girls. Somedays he is more subtle and other days we are in all out battle. I don't think my girls are so much different than the rest of us. Secretly we wish we were smaller, more tanned, had straight hair or curly. We don't voice our discontent so much because after all we should be grown up and past that. Still the predictor stalks us and somedays we lose the battle. The Bible tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God in His great creative wisdom made each and everyone of us. He isn't prejudiced against us because of how we look. On the contrary, He looks with pride and pleasure at His workmanship and loves us all the same. Our greatest enemy is our own prejudice against ourselves. We covet someone else's body and Discontent becomes our friend. Don't fall into his trap. Thank the Lord for The great job He did making you. Break free from discontent. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pinky Swear

Pinky Swear. The other day, my daughter gave me a quick lesson on the seriousness of a "Pinky Swear". Now, I have heard of such a thing but I was not aware of what it meant. For those of you who do not know, a Pinky Swear is an unbreakable covenant, usually made by little girls. It can never, (according to my daughter) ever, under no circumstances be broken. A promise can be broken (not in my book!) but a Pinky Swear is unbreakable. If someone wants to make such a Pinky Swear or, if you have read my book, covenant oath, you make your solemn promise, then link your pinky finger with your friend's finger. Voila you have just made an unbreakable covenant. I couldn't help but ponder over this as my daughter was explaining a Pinky Swear. In our culture, when people are working so hard to removed us from the consequences of a broken covenant, our children are longing for stability and truth. They want to know that when they make a Pinky Swear, that it will be honored above everything else. My daughter told me that she has never known anyone to break a Pinky Swear. Imagine a covenant so great that it can never be broken and is honored above all other promises. Knowing you can depend upon someone's word brings stability. Knowing that your Pinky Swear friend is speaking the truth builds faith. I am a follower of Christ and I believe that we should be people of truth and faith. That what we say should be the truth and that we should keep faith, not only with God but with our family, friends, and anyone else in our life. How can we be an example of God working in us if we don't live in the truth and keep our faith. A broken promise here a broken commitment there. Oh, it's no big deal we say, but it is. I think we should take a lesson from my daughter. Our word should be our word. Our covenants, or can I say promises, be unbreakable. I don't care what we call it. Be it a covenant, a vow, a Pinky Swear...let's be responsible and keep our word.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Create In Me

In Psalm 51:10, King David cried out saying, "Create in me a clean heart oh God". This very statement brings us to a window of David's soul. Looking inside we see a man grieving because of his sin. Desperate for Gods acceptance and fearful that he would, one day, become like King Saul, David says the only thing he knows. "Create in me." I have spent much time thinking about this verse and I always seem to zero in, to the part where David asked for a clean heart. But tonight as I read these words I was struck by the simplicity of the word "create". David cried out to God and he said "create in me!". As incredible as this may sound this is exactly what God wants to do in us all. He wants to create in us. Where there is sorrow God can create hope. Where there is fear, God can create courage. Where there is hopelessness, God can create faith for the future. We serve a God who creates. Out of nothing God created the world and every day there are new creations. God never stops creating. Life and the wonder of his creation surrounds us on every side. No matter where we look we see His handy work. Yet for many of us, we have given up hope that God could ever do anything good in us. Some have even asked, "Does the God of creation even know that I exist?". Its time we went back to David's simple words " create in me". Simply said, these words come from faith in the God who can make something out of nothing. My friend, if you have nothing left, no hope, no friends, no money, no job, no family, no health, whatever it may be that is missing in your life, pray with King David, "Create in me. Create something out of nothing. Create in me!". He did it for David. He'll do it for you.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Loving the Sinner

Last night I had a late night conversation that caused me to reflect on the way, we who profess to be Followers of Christ, communicate. A young adult woman, who was expressing her confusion in regards to Christianity, said she was very unhappy about how Christians spoke so hatefully about people who believed differently then they did. She said that she could not understand why Christians hated homosexuals, Muslims, or those who were of a different political persuasion. She was confused and even hurt at the hateful things she has heard people say. I could tell that, as far as she was concerned, she didn't want to be a Christian, if hating people was what was expected of her. For a few minutes I was in shock. I am sure that even as you read this you may be in shock too because as a follower of Christ the last thing a Christian thinks about is hating people. I asked my friend if she had ever heard me say things that sounded hateful and I was relieved to hear her say that no I had not but many others had. I then began to ask her what kind of things had been said. I began to realize that what was spoken from a passion for right and wrong was, in truth, interpreted as hatred for people. We have all heard it said, "Hate the sin but love the sinner.". I am sure you would agree with me that that is the right way to think however when we start expressing our hatred for sin, it becomes too easy to lump the sinner with the sin. Too often there becomes a hard tone in our voice when we talk about liars, adulterers, drug dealers. You name the sin we talk about it. Should we? Sure. But shouldn't we spend more time loving the sinner? After all how can we expect those who do not walk with Christ to have the same qualities as those who do? They just need Jesus? How can they change who they are until they change whose they are? As an illustration, today, we have a president who is mired deep in controversy, both pros and cons. I didn't vote for him, however he is my president and he deserves the respect and honor due him as president of the United States of America. Because of that I am also obligated to pray for him and for our nation. Why do I say that? Because I don't hate him. I dislike what he does and the decisions he makes. But hate him? No. I don't hate him, after all he is doing what he truly believes is right. And God loves him as much as He loves me. The same blood of Jesus was shed for him as it was for me. The same grace that is available for him is available for me. I just believe he is wrong. However, no matter what I believe , he still needs God's help to rule this Nation. He needs godly advisors and I have an obligation to spend more time praying and blessing him than complaining and cursing him. After all, people may get the wrong impression and think that I hate him. No wonder my young friend is confused!

Friday, March 2, 2012

No Ungodly Thing

I happened to watch a movie tonight with some friends. I don't watch a lot of movies and since this movie was a favorite of several friends (some with me and some not), and since I had never seen this film before, I agreed to watch it. Now after some reflection I wish I had not. This is not one of those movies that, right on the cover of the DVD case, lets you know that you shouldn't see it. No, this was a kid's movie, half animation, and half more realistic or could I say human. It was beautifully and masterfully filmed as to entice people to watch it. The thing that disturbed me most about this movie was the blatant witchcraft and and mother/earth worship. And second, the number of Christians who recommended it. We live in a day when Harry Potter, Zombies, and Vampires are common words in the American home. Not only are these books and movies accepted by many (including Christians) but we, the church, deny the power of God. So the demonic is seen as good and even desirable and the power of God is seen as week and in most cases nonexistent. Some of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ have even begun to worship angels/demons and call it good or even seen as a way to become closer to God. I spend a lot of my time in other countries that fight evil, dark, powers. Countries where Christians routinely fight the demonic without shame and even expect to see people delivered from demons as soon as they give their lives to Jesus. However in the USA, I see Born Again people struggling with demonic activity, fighting principalities and powers without much success. Mostly because they don't believe these powers are at work in their lives. And yet, at the same time these same people are embracing the demonic celebrated through the media. And when challenged about this issue, accusations of legalism are brought up. Now our consciences have become so violated that we have embraced evil and have even declared it good. One may argue that I am picking on a movie with just a few allusions to witchcraft or the demonic, however this movie had numerous mentions of a female deity and also spent most of the movie in earth worship. Twice there was a demonic service where one was "sacrificed" for another, people channeled their spirits, and witches who led multitudes in chanting and "worship ", were seen as heroines. These were not small allusions but obvious, blatant, in your face demonic activity, cloaked in a beautiful wrapping and declared GOOD! I'm not going to mention the name of the movie because I want everyone, including myself, to start looking at the media that we allow to penetrate our spirit with more critical eyes. Don't just take issue with one movie, book, game, or song. Take issue with the entire system that has brought us to the place where we see evil as good and good as evil. Our whole nation is bing sucked into spiritual quicksand that if we don't grab a hold of the truth and pull ourselves out we may just dry up and die. God help us. Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before my eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.