Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ring the Alarm!.. Wait not you, Idiot!

Hi kiddos!  I totally forgot today was blog day... Not entirely my fault I might add... Last weekend I was busy with my music team in Saint John Trade and Convention Center for SYNC Youth Convention! Which was AH-MAZING! Be jealous!  Since I've been home I've been nothing but a sicky!  Seriously, I never get this sick, didn't go to work for two days in a row and stayed between the lazy-boy & bed until this morning!  Not to worry, I got some Buckley's pills and am having a good hour now so I'm taking the time to write you all something! Hope you like it!

We all know about the crazy who recently declared the END OF THE WORLD (said in one of those Star Treky announcer voices haha! Yes I watched that with my dad when I was little as well! ha!) would be Saturday, May 21, 2011... And surprise, surprise it didn't happen.  I seriously have a problem with these idiots (yeh, that's the word I meant to use there, that's what they are... If you want me to get biblical for you they would be called fools) and not because they are... well... Idiots but because they are effecting other people!  UGH! I'm not talking about the silly followers jumping on the band wagon of doom and gloom but the on-lookers who know these people are missing a couple of the bright crayons in their pack. Those people "know" the world isn't ending on Saturday but the problem is the predictions and warnings desensitizes them completely! 

I'm going to admit something that will make me seem silly to some but it's the truth and I think I need to share it anyway (those of you who know me well know I usually don't shy away from silly anyway ha!) Thursday or Wednesday night last week I lay in bed stewing over "the idiot" and all is warnings for all the reasons stated above... But then my mind went somewhere else... The Bible says the end of the world is coming, that Jesus is going to return to fight for Israel and take His church (His people) to heaven... Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36-39 it just says "But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven's angels..." that it is not going to be at an expected time but it "will take place in times like Noah's. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away!" And I started thinking well, an unexpected hour is Saturday because really, no one believes this dufas anyway! Yikes, what if God really does come back Saturday or what if he surprises everyone and comes back before Saturday!  Would I be ready to meet Jesus? I mean I think I am but how do I know, they say you're supposed to know! Would he be pleased enough with the way I live, speak, act, love and think to take me with Him or would I fall short!  I mean I try but how do I know!  Oh I should pray, but if I pray it's just because I'm frightened... I wouldn't accept that kind of prayer if I was God, maybe I should just rely on God knowing I try and am sincere!

And those thoughts and scriptures are what inspired this blog:
  • First to make sure you know, even though there are some idiots around who think they can predict THE END OF THE WORLD (see prior voice description haha!) and are never correct it will some day come.  I'm not predicting doom and gloom or following the footsteps of a fool... I do not know a day or hour and I, like you, have heard the warnings all my life but I must ring the alarm I heard that night in bed!  God is coming back and soon!  Don't get comfortable in having lots of time to get things right just because the alarm has dulled after so many days ring!  Matthew 24:42 and Luke 12:39 both tell us to keep expecting and not to get careless, so don't!
  • And second, to answer my own question, possibly yours as well... "How do I know?" Revelation 3:3 tells us to "Think of the gift you once had in your hands, the Message you heard with your ears—grasp it again and turn back to God. If you pull the covers back over your head and sleep on, oblivious to God, I'll return when you least expect it, break into your life like a thief in the night." Therein lies the answer, did you miss it?  It's the gift, the message, the turning to God! So I need to go back to the first thing I heard, and not just I as one person but the origin of the gospel, the first time anyone heard the message... Acts 2:37-39 Peter was the one who first put into words what Jesus said would be the rock on which he would build His church! Peter taught to "Change your life. Turn to God" the way you probably heard this is "repent!" (which is King James Version of the same scripture.) The process of repentance is confessing your sin to God and determining a change of direction with follow through! But the salvation plan Peter described doesn't end there, in fact, he didn't even end his sentence with just turning to God through repentance but seamlessly joined "and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven!" So there's step one and two... That's the message and turning parts covered... But wait, we forgot something, What about the gift portion?  I like gifts... Oh common, we all love gifts! Don't worry, Peter didn't forget the gift part either, "Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit!" was his very next sentence! (the evidence of the gift is always the same -speaking in tongues- and is explained in these and other scriptures, here are the links: Acts 2:3 the first time anyone received the gift! Acts 10:44-46 when the Jews first knew "the outsiders" meaning non-Jewish people received the gift! Acts 19:6 when Paul laid hands on people after repentance and baptism they received the gift!)
The alarm has been rung, Jesus is coming back. I've determined to be ready for the END OF THE WORLD (again, voice reference) and by following the bible I've remembered the message, followed the turning through repentance, baptism in Jesus' name and I've received the gift!  Now I have to stay alert and remember the actual turning to God is a lifetime process and commitment to share the gift and message with others hoping they will experience the turning! I for one am glad I now know "This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it's out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God's glory. It's that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That's what I'm working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me!"Colossians 1:28-29

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Baby on the Way

Something that I thought of tonight... Some people are wondering why their churches aren't growing when they are working so hard to have the best music, speakers, events, etc.  I think God helped me realize (at least part) of the problem. All through the Bible the church (which by the way is the people not the building) is referred to as "her," "the bride" or the "mother." We are also told that Jesus desires his church to grow and promised he will "add daily" if we do our part... So what's missing!?  I'm sure the lack or delay is not on God's part so simple elimination would tell us we are the ones that lack.

What is it we lack? It can't be desire, we want new people coming into the building and having their own experience with Jesus!  It can't be work ethic, we have been sweating in labour for years over this thing we call outreach!  Let's take a step back, look at our titles of her, bride and mother and compare... What is it all three have in common? What are we missing? What can we do to create the change!? 

  • "Her" relates to the feminine and what is it the sets the female apart from the male, other than the obvious?  Maybe it's a certain level of care, empathy, love?  But all those can be achieved by both genders... What about preparation!?  Yeh, I mean, no matter who the guy is the girl is bound to spend more time in the washroom getting ready for the first date! 
  • "Bride" is quite obvious as far as meaning... And we all know no one in the wedding party prepares like the bride!  No one looks at every detail with such attention or spends what are supposed to be sleeping hours thinking of every second of the upcoming ceremony... And not just the ceremony itself but the week before and after, the bride has to detail everything around the event!
  • Finally, "mother" again an obvious definition comparison.  But the mother is not just the one who goes through the labor pains only. The mother loves the father and gives herself completely to him.  She makes herself available to him in any way she can. The mother trusts the father with her mind, heart and spirit holding nothing back from him, having no secrets unknown to him.  But more than than any other aspect of life, more than her own life the mother cares for the child. The mother plans for the children to come in her life, before she has heard the heartbeat of a baby, before she's felt the flutter in her belly, before she has felt the breath of the baby on her cheek, before she's seen or touched the baby, the mother readys for the arrival.  A mother stores up clothing, changing materials, nourishment and much more.  A mother gives her own body, her time, her habits, she's careful to only do things that will benefit the child... A mother who is expecting a child "nests."  She makes ready for the new life coming. She makes safe the surroundings for the little one.  A mother prepares the people around her and advises them how they will treat that precious gift.  A mother cleans any dangerous junk out and makes a comfortable, loving environment ready for what's to come.
So there it is.. We need to PREPARE, spend some time in the washroom of prayer cleaning ourselves up and making ourselves attractive for both Jesus and the people looking on. (I once had a friend tell me I was the first Christian that ever made her feel a lifestyle change to being a Christian was doable based on appearance alone... Not to mention personality but I think I've hit the reminder button enough on people always watching Christians to make sure they are Christ-like...? Yeh I slipped it in again ha!) PLAN the details... Make sure we have the ability (or at the very least have contacts who have the ability) to lead a new comer closer to God... To answer some tough questions with the word of God, understanding, love, empathy and compassion. If we don't plan the before and after the event will fall flat of the expectation. Finally, we must start NESTING! It's not just for birds you know (ok, corny but I couldn't resist! Ha!) Give everything to Jesus first, anything you think he is even hinting toward is worth it when you love Him. Trust Him, keep nothing from Him and stay as close to Him as you can get!  Before we hear the heartbeat, felt the flutter of excitement, before we have felt the breath of new life, before we've seen or touched the promise we muse ready!  Start storing up some things we will need to remember when the new life starts coming, make safe the surroundings, start preparing the people around and advise them how they will treat that precious gift, clean any dangerous junk out of our homes and lives and make a comfortable, loving environment ready for what's to come!

Friday, May 13, 2011

God has no Requirements: Sin Permits

You've probably heard a lot of theories on God's love over-looking of all of our sins floating around out there... And I have to admit, at first, it sounded good to me!  I mean, think of it, I can do whatever I want, marry whoever I'm feelin' in the moment and break the vow as soon as it gets inconvenient or routine, I can live in any old way and treat people however I want and still make it to heaven because the cross took care of it long ago and now God has no requirements to live above sin!  Come on! Yes, the cross and ressurection does take care of all sin, but not before it's applied to your life through repentance... and repentance is not, according to Jesus in Luke 18:9-14 "I accept what you've done Jesus, come into my heart now" although acceptance is part of moving forward, repentance is more like "Oh my God, I've embarrassed you and myself, I've sinned against you and what you stand for. I choose to turn from that sin and die to my flesh and with your help I will continue to follow your ways EVERYDAY! Change me, cleanse me, mend me and save me from my own bad decisions! I choose you! I will do whatever I can to follow you and make it up to you although I can never do enough Lord I start today and never stop until I see your face!"  And when you receive the Holy Spirit it's a sealed deal my friend! Acts 2:38, Acts 2:4 & Acts 19:6
  • "People conceived and brought into life by God don't make a practice of sin. How could they? God's seed is deep within them, making them who they are. It's not in the nature of the God-begotten to practice and parade sin." 1 John 3:9 So if you are of God, a Christian (which, by the way means to be "Christ-like" and since there was "no sin in Him" 2 Corinthians 5:21 there should be no sin in us without repentance... Which is not that sorry sort of feeling but that changing decision of direction.) you will not continue to make sin your practice.
  • "...God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one's way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer." James 1:13-15  "Impervious" meaning - not allowing something to pass through (according to God cannot allow sin to "pass through" into heaven, there is no sin permit and like a boarder guard God is vigilant regarding sin, we can't sneak it through, or hide it from his search... We must dispose of it before entering his kingdom. 
  • "If we give up and turn our backs on all we've learned, all we've been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ's sacrifice and are left on our own to face the Judgment—and a mighty fierce judgment it will be! If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death, what do you think will happen if you turn on God's Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit? This is no light matter. God has warned us that he'll hold us to account and make us pay. He was quite explicit: "Vengeance is mine, and I won't overlook a thing" and "God will judge his people." Nobody's getting by with anything, believe me."  Hebrews 10:26-31  This scripture has always been a heavy weight in my mind... No grey area here! If you choose to ignore the truth of God's work and excuse yourself from his guidelines "that's not for me,"I don't have a problem with that so I can do it without sinning" which by-the-way sounds like an addict saying "I don't need it, I can quit anytime I want but I choose not to." or even "that's not for today's society, God understands we are different now, educated individuals..." last time I checked there was no codicil to the Bible. Not to mention why would anyone want to "repudiate Christ's sacrifice" on the chance you can get away with it!? If you do away with the sacrifice for sin you are also doing away with the healing stripes, transgression forgiving bruises and life of the resurection! I agree "God has warned us that he'll hold us to account... He was quite explicit: "Vengeance is mine, and I won't overlook a thing" and "God will judge his people." Nobody's getting by with anything, believe me." speaks for itself and is as clearly laid before us... Sin is a choice, and when we follow that path we will suffer the consquences.  God is loving but He is also just and cannot permit sin, He cannot over-look our sin or remove the consequence but he has given us clear instruction on what sin is and how to avoid it along with free will to choose the right path and a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13) from every temptation!

So, with David (Psalm 86:11-12) I pray "O LORD, teach me how You want me to live! Then I will obey your commands."  I will live according to the guidelines you have set up in your word (the Bible) not how I want to live or people think I should live, not how I think I should live or what what I think I may get away with or be permitted to do but as close to sin as I can get. "Make me wholeheartedly committed to you! O Lord, my God, I will give you thanks with my whole heart! I will honor Your name continually!"  I want to be committed to Christ! I don't want to "spit on the sacrifice that made me whole" or "insult this Spirit" Jesus, I want to prove to you that I appreciate what you've done enough to change what I am doing; so I will, I will change what I am doing.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Anyone got a Light? Drugs & Jesus

I have a confession to make... I'm a junkie. I don't want to change it, I don't want an intervention and I'm definitely not going to rehab! The only thing I need is my "fix" and my only goal is to become a "dealer" to as many people who need the same "stuff" I do!

I need to be a junkie and so do you!  Completely strung out for Jesus, willing to sell out just to get the next "fix" of his presence!  I want to "trip" on the wonders and miracles in the alter and let the smoke fill the temple! "And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power..." (Revelation 15:8)

So Come on, who's got a light?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I am Because You Are: a Mother's Day Poem

Hi my little friends! haha!  I thought it fitting to post a blog dedicated to my mama today!  This is a poem I wrote about her for the Mother-Daughter banquet I had to speak at.  However, I know it shares the sentiment of the heart of every daughter who is lucky enough to have a Godly mother! I preface this poem with the fact that my mum isn't perfect (nor am I!) but that's not a requirement of motherhood. Part of what teaches your children to cope, be strong, be persistent, respectful and to have success despite adversity is watching you overcome outside circumstance, personal weakness and struggle. Watching a mother who doesn't necessarily do "all the right things" but apologizes when she's wrong and works to become more everyday is what causes children to grow in the same ways.

PS.  Feel free to share it with all the mamas you know on facebook and twitter, they deserve it!

I am strong, anchored and steady in the face of adversity.
I am because you are.
I am caring for those around me and compassionate on those less fortunate.
I am because you are.
I am loyal, loving and encouraging to friends and acquaintances.
I am because you are.
I am beautiful and self-confident in a world that always tells me I'm not enough.
I am because you are.
I am an over-comer, singing songs of praise through the dark and dreary days.
I am because you are.
I am a minister and reacher for the lost people in this world.
I am because you are.

I am not judgmental but helpful. I do not push down but I lift up!
I am because you are.
I am trusting in a God whom I've never seen but know is real!
I am because you are.
I am appreciative of the little miracles I see everyday and the blessings I've been given.
I am because you are.
I am loved and have chosen to love in return despite any scar my past has left on my heart.
I am because you are.

I am a woman after God's own heart, desiring and longing after his presence.
I am because you are.
I am a leader, exalter and worshiper in my church and day-by-day.
I am because you are.
I follow the footsteps of Jesus and am captured by His love!
I am because you are.

I am strong, anchored, steady, caring, compassionate
I am because you are!
I am loyal, loving, encouraging, beautiful and self-confident
I am because you are!
I am an over-comer, praiser, minister and reacher
I am because you are!

I am helpful, trusting, appreciative and blessed
I am because you are!
I am loved and I love in return
I am because you are!

I am after, I desire and long for God's heart
I am because you are!
I am a leader, exalter, worshiper and follower of Christ
I am because you are!

I am all of who I am because you are all of who you are
You are exactly the mother God has intended you to be
You are the only mother I need
I would not trade you for every pearl in the sea!

Monday, May 2, 2011

"Ding Dong the Witch is Dead"

"Which old witch? The wicked witch! Ding dong the wicked witch is deeeaaad!"  Since I heard about Osama Bin Laden this little song has been going over in my brain! haha!

Hi my little readers!  The world is a better place today than it was yesterday, one less crazy here!  I'm just feeling happy today so I thought I would share it in a frivolous post! I suppose it started yesterday when my pastor spoke a beautiful word in the a.m. (if you want to look it up go to Capital Community!)  
Reason # 3 for my fabulous mood: It's spring guys! Yay! Warm weather, green grass, birds singing, "twitterpation" (thank you Disney's Bambi for that word), flowers sprouting, open windows and up-beat music! Okay, so that was more that one reason, sue me! haha!
Not to mention, I get to be a beautiful, fun, smart and ridiculously great catch of a woman! haha!  Seriously, I don't give myself this pep talk enough and it's easy to forget sometimes... But that little statement isn't only for myself it's for you, whether you're male or female! 

Today I think you should follow my lead: get yourself in a good mood ASAP! Smile ("Always remember to be happy because you never know who's falling in love with your smile." -Author Unknown), allow (or force haha!) yourself to happy and confident and do something nice for a stranger to pay it forward!  Start something good with a note left behind when you leave (one of my favorite ideas! It costs nothing but goes farther than you would think!), free coffee or smile and compliment wherever you are right now and watch it spark all around you!