Standing Strong

I found that when I preached the actual truth of what I was reading, it conflicted with my church’s teaching. 

My son in Massachusetts has a lung infection and is at high risk in our current COVID- saturated environment. So he’s been quarantined for a month by the doctors but through prayers and good medical care, he is doing better. He had me scared there for a minute because when he called, he could barely breathe or talk. Mama was going to be on the next plane out, but an ambulance was called and got him to the ER. His friends and his landlord have been making sure he gets food and what he needs. Thank God.

On another note and the real point of this post is that I wanted to make belief statements today. In my journey to more honest Christianity, I’ve been amazed at the influence church organizations can have over how you read your Bible, how much you read your Bible and how honestly you read. I think it’s something to be vigilant about on our spiritual journey.

I used to read and preach from the Bible with my mind confined to my denomination’s teaching and not honestly reading for truth. Even though I thought I was doing just that–reading openly and honestly.

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I found that when I preached the actual truth of what I was reading, it conflicted with my church’s teaching.

Oh yeah. For real.

People would get confused and start questioning my loyalties and what I was saying. I finally realized what was wrong with that picture and finally took the step of leaving my beloved church and not trying anymore to change their system, but staying with God. When people have such a paradigm shift it’s possible that they would leave Christian life altogether, but one thing I knew was that the Lord had saved me and I held to that. Of course, to them, those two things-leaving them and staying with the Lord – could not co-exist. If you leave them, you’ve left God. But I had to get over that and move on. freedom in Christ

freedom in Christ

I Believe…

I believe God wants Christians to commune and be influenced by Him more than their Pastor or fellow Christian friends. I believe we should have our mind and heart focused on Christ and his words alone and live by them and love those principles from the heart, and I believe that is all that matters.

I believe God wants us to develop our walk with God based on his personal revelations to us from His words about our lives rather than other folks’ revelations.

blue freedomI believe that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is just that. One where you are not judged by the next man about your personal convictions regarding non-gospel related things. Of course, you have some that believe everything in life is tied to the purpose and goals of their church organization, but that is not what the Bible teaches. As it’s often said, God didn’t call us to church but to Christ. Having lived under strict teaching about outward things, I can say the bible is correct. This is the doctrine of the Pharisees. People create strict rules to make themselves more holy, but more often than not, those same people will tend to act fleshly in attitudes and conduct, which is the more serious offense. Those man-made rules have no value in changing or cleansing the spirit.

I believe that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is just that. One where you are not judged by the next man about your personal convictions regarding non-gospel related things. Of course, you have some that believe everything in life is tied to the purpose and goals of their church organization, but that is not what the Bible teaches. As it’s often said, God didn’t call us to church but to Christ. Having lived under strict teaching about outward things, I can say the bible is correct. This is the doctrine of the Pharisees. People create strict rules to make themselves more holy, but more often than not, those same people will tend to act fleshly in attitudes and conduct, which is the more serious offense. Those man-made rules have no value in changing or cleansing the spirit.

18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. Colossians 2:18-23

I believe that freedom in Christ is the freedom to do as Christ leads according to his words and guidance. It is grace to live as we should and submit ourselves to the will of God as he reveals it to us.

I believe God has a truth that transcends petty differences that divide men.download (1)

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I believe it takes a long time for Christians to realize that although we have truth in Christ, it is not our job to be judge and jury. It is our job to love humanity and show God’s unconditional love as much as it is in our power. That’s a hard lesson for most of us to learn.

God does not always fit into our small box of judgment, as he has proved time and again.tiny box

tiny box

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

Amen to His Word

Confidence in the Lord

I have new goals and a new life. A total change from the last 30 years.  Not without problems, though, but a new outlook. A more mature outlook.  I am excited about my future and my family and we are getting closer everyday. 

A recent scripture came into focus for me.

Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust…

Psalms 40:4a

images (1)Blessed is the person that makes God his confidence and confidant. I am leaning on Him and relying on Him, whatever else I rely on in life: connections, education, or charisma, the Word of God always leads me back to the fact that none of those things means anything without trust in God. 

I’m reminded that God is in control even when my life seems chaotic.  I remind myself of this time and time again. Each time, the situation is different.  Often more complex or difficult than the last in some way, shape, or form.

It all has to do with our trusting God in our circumstances and for our life.  This doesn’t mean being impractical or shrugging shoulders just hoping it works out.  That is leaving your life to fate with no direction.  God gives direction.  There are efforts we have to put forth that are within our reach, and then we see what God will do. download (2)

I remind myself that God takes care of the flowers and birds which we pay so little attention to, and yet, he still is focused on us and our problems in every detail, even when it seems that he’s left us alone.

When I feel alone in my troubles, I’m  reminded that Christ felt alone on the cross. He also felt God had forsaken him when God was indeed with him more than ever as he completed his divine mission.

It’s odd how God in our creation blessed us with emotions.  They are a blessing even though they can often seem a curse. Oh, that we could go through life and feel nothing. But we only wish that kind of stuff when things hurt. We hate pain, and so don’t want anything to befall us that’s painful.

We only love our emotions when things are well.  I guess it’s all part of being human. But I’m learning to deal with the devil on my shoulder and push negativity aside.  Often I have to ignore feelings and that voice in my head that screams doom and disaster,  just to get through the day. 

Sometimes it seems like torture, and other times, I begin to understand the value of those emotions. They teach me to overcome.

They teach me that feelings are not truth itself, they are only reactions to truths and circumstances.

I am determined more than ever not to let the past dictate my future or encroach on the present.  

We have a family crisis but we are hopeful for the new year because of our reliance on the Lord. So many don’t have confidence in the son of God, but I do.  I believe he is all that he says he is.

Focus on the good things.

It takes practice when you’re surrounded by pressures and problems, but it’s worth the effort to stay positive, to stay present.  

Trust in the Lord is a wonderful thing. 

 

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Why Do We Worry?

find great comfort in the scriptures telling me not to worry about my everyday life. What I will eat, wear, or how I will live.

That’s not giving up on life; it’s trusting God with my life.

Most people that believe in God will tell you that there’s no limit to what God can do. He can exceed what we ask him to do. Most people have experienced God working on their behalf. And still, each time, we’ve been pleasantly surprised when God works to the fullest. We testify and shout until the next time God’s divine hand shows itself in a big way in our lives.   That’s us.  We love when God does something great for us and yes, he deserves the praise.giphy

I believe there’s a part of us that often feels unworthy.  So when God does show out on our behalf we’re not only humbled and but also surprised. Think about this:   if we are children of the King and obedient to his will, we have every right to believe he will perform miracles for us. Sometimes after the miracle happens, I will say to myself, “I knew he would,” but it’s those in-between stages before he DOES IT that I often worry. Continue reading “Why Do We Worry?”

Healing Divine and Otherwise

For the next few posts, I’m back to more spiritual awareness. This next series of posts may be bit dark, but I hope that they help people understand why man-controlled religion can be deadly, and why it is of the utmost importance to have a relationship with God for ourselves. I distinguish mainstream religion from walking with Jesus because from what I see in America, we tend to get the two confused. When we look at scripture, God says that he will dwell in his people and that those who accept and receive Christ into their hearts and follow his words would be his people. He no longer needed his people to have a temple with His presence dwelling in the ark and the tablets of stone to remind them of righteousness. We, his people were to be living epistles, read by all men. The word of God was to be written in our hearts. We as the people of God were to be his dwelling place, his priesthood and he would establish a new covenant. Finally, because of the sacrifice of Jesus, the veil that separated man from God was pulled away. We no longer need a mediator or anyone to go to God for us, we could approach God directly through prayer and walk with him in a personal way. Continue reading “Healing Divine and Otherwise”

Worry Never Changes Anything

One summer afternoon, I received two notices: the gas was going to get turned off and the bank was going to foreclose on our home.  I did what most responsible adults would do—I worried.  How can I fix this?  I pondered. Who can I call to help me?  It’s amazing how easily we can tell others no to worry until we are the ones who have to pack our bags and sit on the curb.  Panic started to trickle in.  My daughter, who was about seven years old, was concentrating on a double-dutch game. I had promised to show her how to turn while she was jumping rope.  She came in from playing outside and said,  “Come on, Mom; I thought you were going to show me.”

My first reaction was “Not now.”  But then I realized that life goes on and there was nothing I was going to do in the ten to fifteen minutes it would take to show her that would mean a hill of beans in the outcome of the situation.  In fact, I probably would have just sat and worried some more.  So she and I went outside, played Double Dutch, and had a great time. Both of us got really involved in the game, and I was able to relieve the emotional stress of the looming crisis. We all have to “let go” when we need to. My husband always says, “When there’s nothing you can do…there’s just nothing you can do.”  As adults, our lives can be filled with stressful circumstances, but I learned that day that having the heart of a child helps us relieve that stress.

Having the heart of a child, even in adult situations, is what the Bible encourages us to do.

Matthew 18:3 (KVJ) says, “ …Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Children are more trusting than adults and adjust to their circumstances more easily. As we grow older, we learn that everything may not turn out the way we’d like. Our problems seem larger and the consequences greater.  What was once a natural reaction—adjusting—has now become a chore. So as adults, we lose our sense of safety and have to relearn how to find the silver lining in the clouds,  smile when things are going badly, and trust that we will survive whatever happens to us. Seem impossible? Seem unrealistic?download

As I go through life, I realize God enables us to accomplish the same impossible feats over and over again when we overcome our fears and stretch out on faith.  I hope the stories I share with you will encourage you to trust God with your life. And even though you will make mistakes because that is part of the journey of life, I hope the lessons I’ve learned will teach you not to make the same mistakes that took me so long to realize I had made.