I was reading an article on the magazine “In Touch” the other day. They will have to forgive me because I don’t remember the specific author or the edition of the magazine that I read. The article was talking about how as believers we tend to have unrealistic expectations of what our emotions should be in determined situations. I think the saddest part about it, is that we permeate this culture of unrealistic expectations when we attempt to provide support to someone in distress.
I’m guilty of telling someone one that they are not trusting God on a situation, because they are exhibiting anxiety or distress and I know I’m wrong for that. I also know that I’ve accused myself of not being submitted enough to God for experiencing things like: fear, anger, sadness, anxiety.
There’s this wrong perception that if you’re a believer everything in your life has to be going absolutely perfect. We forget to read that part of the Bible that says, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). Who can forget the scene where Jesus kicked everyone out of the temple? He was angry. The Word says, “be angry but do not sin”…it doesn’t say you’re not allowed to be angry.
Where do we even get these ideas that because we believe we’re going to be walking in clouds, our children will be perfect, and our relationships will be perfect? Yes, we have deceived ourselves.
The interesting thing that we missed, that was addressed in the article was that we are made as God’s image; this means every emotion that we have, he has and made for us. It’s what we do with our emotions that could either edify us or destroy us. If we use our emotions and turn them into prayers, instead of complaints, and remember that the test is only the beginning of the testimony; we would see our life with different eyes.
I had a situation this week, where everything that could go wrong, went wrong. At the end of the day, I was tired, frustrated, overwhelmed. I kept praying God’s peace. I surrounded myself with my accountability support people. I finally came to the conclusion that this was the test becoming a testimony. The testimony is that every single thing that looked impossible on Monday was resolved without my intervention and in ways that only God could have shown himself. The fact that I cried and was frustrated doesn’t mean that I didn’t know that God had it in his hand and was going to deal with it. I didn’t’ doubt it for a minute. I just had a bulk of emotions; I recognized them as such and treated them as such.
Sometimes we lose focus that not only the lost souls struggles, but our fellow believers have struggles too, and how can we be of help when instead of mercy, we hand out judgment.
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I just finished reading an article on Christianity Today , it was an interview with Bristol Palin regarding her new book and the topic of abstinence. I agree and disagree with some of her points of view, but the thing that shocked me the most were some of the comments in reaction to the article.
In the interview she states that her son “Tripp is the light” of her life and a reader characterized her comment as one that sends an erroneous message to other teens. How saying that you love your son is wrong? I understand and agree that having a child out of wedlock is a sin, but is a sin of the parents, not of the child. So what is the recommendation here, she should be ashamed of her son?
She sinned. She admitted it, she repented. Who are we to judge? Are our sins any different? The Word says to us, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from the other person’s eye” Matthew 7:5
A child born out of wedlock already comes with a list of situations that will affect their whole life. They will experience the absence of a nuclear family life, probably even the absence of a parental figure. Most out of wedlock children come from unskilled parents that will try to raise them the best way they can, but without the proper skills. They may experience feelings of rejection and abandonment. Should we encourage out of wedlock children? No! but once they are here, what impact we as a society contribute to their futures?
Where is our love and mercy? What happened to no condemnation?
As a society and as Christians we need to reevaluate ourselves on how we contribute to child abuse and exploitation. How our attitudes and our lack of involvement in our children’s lives may create some of these issues.
- Do you know where your teens are? Who they keep company with?
- Do you read the things they post in social media? (Good Lord I still get horrified with things I read in the walls of very underage children whose parents I know!)
- Do you know who they talk to?
- Are you afraid to talk to your children about sex and its true purpose? Or do you just tell them not to do it and wish for the best?
- Are you the first one to reject someone who becomes pregnant outside of marriage?
- Are you judgmental of single parents?
- Or maybe you don’t judge them but give them no assistance, even when you are able.
I think its time to stop pointing the finger at others and see where our own contribution to the problem is. These new children did not ask to come into this world, but they did and they have a divine purpose. God knitted them too in their mother’s womb No, we should not encourage and make it seem like out of wedlock pregnancies are cool, but once the child is here, those children deserve the same love, affection and chance as any other child.
Food for thought
Every time someone thinks of Jeffrey Dahmer the first thought is that of a serial killer. He raped, killed and kept the parts of some of his victims. He buried some of them. It was known that he killed around 17 men and boys.
I was looking into my usual crime stories and amazingly enough I had heard the name but didn’t know the story. To my surprised I read not only about the despicable disgusting things he did, but as I kept reading I found out something that it’s not talked about much.
While in jail, after being apprehended while his last potential victim was able to escape and alert authorities, Dahmer did something amazing… He gave his life to Christ. Yes, my mouth dropped and I couldn’t believe it, he repented and got saved and accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior. He even got baptized.
The bible says that in Mark 16:16 “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” and it also says in Isaiah 1:18 “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool”
Dahmer was attacked twice in jail, once coming out of a church service and later on while cleaning floors and that’s when he was killed. I think this is an inspirational story. I believe that in the eyes of God there are no sins bigger than other. A lie and a murder carry both the same weight; maybe not in our eyes, but in God’s eyes. (1 John 3:4-5 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness)
If I follow the Word of God then yes, Jeffrey Dahmer could be in heaven. I can’t be certain as only God knew his heart. We believe in a God that can forgive it all. Isn’t that great? If you have not raped and murder anyone, guess what? if you repent, what you did can be forgiven. But there’s more, even if you have… if you repent you can be forgiven too. We all can.
I thought that was a deep concept to process and wanted to share. I would love to hear your thoughts.
I think one of the things Christians, especially new Christians struggle the most is condemnation. We live in the world of “forgive and not forget” and we have the tendency to look at God in the same light.
I have said many times that understanding God’s mercy was hard for me. How could he forgive the things I had done when his Word said that those things were against his will? Then I discovered Grace. That favor that God gives us that covers all our sins. That which brings to life the sacrifice of the cross.
Even after salvation we are not perfect, and there are times when we life in this fear of when will be the day when he will say enough, you’ve crossed the line of unforgiveness. But lucky for us that day will not arrive. As long as we repent we will be covered once again by the blood of the lamb, because Jesus died for ALL our sins. The ones we did and the ones to be done.
1 Peter 1:18-20
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
Let’s Praise God for that!
Every day I’m thankful that God is God and he doesn’t react like we do to situations. Every day we make decisions based on impressions, emotions, hormones (both men and women), pressures and they’re not always the best route. Imagine a God whose mercy depended on the weather outside, or how upset He was about the things we did? I think this would be a very empty world. I mean that literally.
We all have been in places were raw emotions have taken over, but as we grow in our spiritual walk we tend to be able to manage those better. It’s not an exact science and it doesn’t mean that we always react the best way to upsetting situations. This is definitely well described in Proverbs 14:29 ”Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly” Folly in case you don’t know means a fool; and don’t we make a fool out of ourselves when we lose our cool. But when we lose our cool or make a mistake the Grace of God can restore us through repentance. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19)
It still amazes me how God can love us through our sins, how he never loses his cool with us as we are too quick to lose ours sometimes for the smallest things. He doesn’t want us to stay there and wants to restore us to peace; therefore the quicker we come to repentance the faster we can continue our life of peace. Psalm 103:10 “he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
So my invitation for today is to be” slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:9) to prolong our peace on earth and enjoy our everyday relationship with God.
- Watch Your Mouth! (freshlyground.wordpress.com)
I really didn’t think I was going to address this subject, but the more I hear about it, I feel compelled to do it. I’m talking about the situation that Bishop Eddie Long is being named in.
I think as Christians we have lost perspective. Part of the reason why I didn’t think it was a matter worth talking about is because this is a legal issue between the accusers and the accused. Yes, Bishop Eddie Long comes on television. He’s still a human being and so are the young men who are involved in this process. I do recognize that is sad to see Christians involved in things that go against our beliefs, but we can’t lose perspective these are human beings as well. Sin is sin; lies, abuse, murder, adultery, stealing is all the same in the eyes of God. “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone” John 8:7
It comes down to this…someone needs to repent and someone needs to forgive, end of the story! I don’t know who is guilty or who is not and it’s not my place to know. I know that if justice is not obtained on earth it definitely will be achieved in heaven, so all I hope is for a transparent and honest process from both parts and that whoever did comes forward with the truth and repentance and who ever received the offense is ready to forgive.
Why did I decide to write this? I’ve heard of fellow Christians enraged by the situation, which it’s understandable, but I think we are focused on the wrong thing. Our duty right now is to pray for all the parts. For those who are near Bishop Long and the young men, they need to pray for wisdom to give adequate counsel and to determine where God wants them to be at this moment in time. We all need to pray for a congregation that is hurting because of these allegations.
I have never stepped a foot on New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, but I feel for all the people in the congregation, because I can understand that they are hurting. This is their time to look to God and not towards men for their answers.
I love my pastors. I’ve been part of my church family for 5 years now and I have a great respect for my leaders. I do recognize that they are humans and that just like me they can fail and that because of their visibility their attacks are way bigger than mine. I pray that God covers their every step, but if tomorrow something was to come out, true or not, my pain needs to turn into prayer because I can not forget that before they are my pastors they are souls to the Lord. Isn’t that what we as Christians are called to do? Isn’t our job to go after the lost? I don’t know who is lost in this case and as it’s not my job to judge, so I don’t care. I do exhort everyone to pray for ALL; Bishop Long and the young men that have filed these accusations. Both sides are hurting, and both sides are important to the Lord.
Natalicio is another word for birthday in Spanish. I happen to be counting another one of those in my calendar. I woke up this morning thinking about my daily routine, even complaining about things here and there and then I stopped myself.
New Years Eve is not the only day to make inventory of your life, every time another year of life is added is good to see where you are, especially in comparison to where you’ve been. I started by thinking where was I for my last birthday. I remembered having a family dinner and a small gathering at home. I am grateful for the efforts but I was not in a good place.
This last year has been filled with hard lessons and great challenges, but has also been filled with the Mercy and Grace of Jesus Christ. I look at myself in the mirror and I’m definitely not the same person I was. I have grown a lot and thank God it has not been in my dress size. I have made new friends, have taken new risks and I can look at the future with purpose.
I also reviewed that God has allowed me to live this far, not saying that I’m old, but any enterprise more than 20 years is a long journey. I looked at my life with gratitude. I have a God that has provided for me every single day. I have never gone to bed without eating, unless I wanted to and I obviously don’t chose to. I’ve had a roof over my head all my life. I’ve always had clothes to wear, and all of you should be grateful for that too. My bills have always been paid, a delay here and there, but that’s my stewardship challenge, not lack of provision. I can’t even count the many times God has saved my life from trouble. I stopped my pity party and looked at life in a different light. I made a decision. Today was the day to move forward; to start looking at life for its blessings.
I felt filled with joy and left my house to live the first day of my life, it was truly my birthday; my day of birth. To complete my joy, friends and family overwhelmed me with demonstrations of love. I was already happy to be alive and have the Lord, everything else was icing in the cake, and I had tons of it, all fat free as it was all involved in love.
Even if it’s not your birthday today, take an opportunity to look at the blessings in your life. Be mindful, your job may not be perfect, but at least you have one. Your check may not be enough to allow you to travel, but your bills are paid. You may not have the latest fashion but you’re not naked. You may not be able to eat at a fancy restaurant, but you don’t go to bed hungry. Be grateful for all you have and all the blessings God has poured into your life and experience your own birthday.