Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Promise On The Other Side

**Sorry I haven’t been around to blog much. I know I haven’t blogged several of the church sermons (and I don’t think I’ll get caught up). If you’d like, can always listen to the ones you missed at www.missionoflife.com**

Last Sunday, Craig preached about being “hard-pressed” in our faith. He asked: “What do you do when you’re a Christian and life’s a mess?“ He started off by talking about the testimony of C.S. Lewis. I’m sure many of you know who he is. He is the author of “The Chronicles of Narnia” books as well as many other renowned books like “The Screwtape Letters“ and “Mere Christianity.” (If you want to read more about C.S. Lewis, you can look him up on www.wikipedia.com where they have all the details). Though, for the sake of this blog, I will just tell you a little bit about him: 

C.S. Lewis was raised in church, but turned his back on his faith and became an atheist when he was fifteen. He later returned to his faith in his thirties. I remember watching a documentary about him in the bonus features of “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe”. I remember how they said that he had ideas for Narnia before he was saved, but that it didn’t come to life until after he had dedicated his life to Christ - as if God had unlocked his mind. I just LOVE that because there are just so many things we DON’T know or can’t accomplish until we are totally opened and surrendered to God. THEN, he unlocks our mind and shows us all that we’re missing and all that He wants to accomplish in us and through us!! That’s exactly what He did with C.S. Lewis! 

C.S. Lewis eventually fell in love and married a woman named Joy later in life. She had cancer, and he hoped and prayed that she would recover. After being in remission for a while, the cancer came back and she died. It was devastating for him. 

Craig said that C.S. Lewis was able to get through his pain through realizing how much pain God’s own Son had gone through. Jesus wasn’t spared hardship and pain, even though He’s the one and only perfect man to ever walk the earth and the Savior of mankind. We live in a fallen world full of sin, so bad things are bound to happen to everyone.

The question we all have, though, is “why?”  It’s a question with no easy answers - and sometimes no real answers at all. We may never know the “whys” behind everything, but Craig pointed out the scripture form John 9:1-3 in which the disciples asked Jesus whose fault it was that a man was born blind. Jesus said that it was neither the man’s, nor the parents’, fault that he was blind but that the power of God could be displayed in Him. This is the same scripture that has always personally touched me because my son was born hearing impaired. I had the same thoughts of “fault” at first. Craig says that we do that because we are too “past and causal.” We are so focused on the past and what mistakes and bad things have occurred to “cause” what happened that we miss out on the fact that God is going to shine through the circumstance. It’s ok to wonder and ask “why”, but if we remain stuck in those “whys” we will never move forward. That is why I resolved to move on quickly once I found out that Casey had hearing loss. We prayed that maybe it was a temporary thing and that God would heal him and make it alright, but when that didn’t happen, we let go and moved on. The verse that was on my mind at the time was Job’s response to his wife’s urging to “curse God and die” (that phrase sums up Satan’s ultimate goal for all of us doesn’t it?!) Job told her: “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" Faith is a piece of cake when everything is good isn’t it? But, the minute anything goes wrong, is God suddenly not good anymore? No, of course not! James 1:2-4 says: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Any hardships we go through tests our faith and builds our character. Does anyone develop a mature faith without experiencing tests? Does a doctor become an expert without demonstrating  and perfecting his knowledge and skills with each medical crisis he is faced with? How does one learn without being tested and disciplined? God disciplines those He loves (Proverbs 3:12). 

I know that no matter what, God is going to do mighty and wonderful things through my child! He has chosen him to be a shining example of His power and glory; whether that‘s ministering to others as he is or whether God chooses to miraculously heal him for all to see and believe in!! In my son’s life so far, he has been a blessing to everyone that knows him! He’s the sweetest most compassionate child you would ever meet and melts the hearts of those around him. What God has allowed to happen in Casey’s life is all for His  glory and the purpose to which my son is called (Romans 8:28). 

We all go through pain and struggles. It’s hard, and sometimes there’s no good reason or explanation. Sometimes, we go through times like Job did. Like Job, and like my son Casey, things will work out for good (Romans 8:28). There is a promise on the other side of our suffering if we will walk through it and persevere. And, we are not alone! There are those that have gone through the same things and know our pain. We have friends to walk through our struggles with us (and of course, we have Jesus). Whatever hardship you are going through, you’ll make it!! If you need someone to “make it” with, let me know!! I’ll walk through it with you as best I can!! 

God bless all of you!! May His grace and peace be with you today, tomorrow, and always!! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

True Christmas Joy!!

Christmas is all about God's gift to His own creation; sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem His children from their sins. Salvation is available to all who choose Him. Today, I am proud to rejoice in the fact that a former lost sheep has been found and has chosen to follow the Good Shepherd!! He officially announced his loyalty to Christ and I am overwhelmed with joy and thanksgiving at the news!! It is certainly cause for rejoicing!! Ashli, from the S.I.C.L.E Cell blog, stated it brilliantly in her blog entry today (which I encourage you to read!).

I never tire of hearing the blessed testimonies of a person's journey to the Lord! It's always a joyous blessing to me!! Matthew 19:26 comes to mind today: "Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." AMEN!!! It reminds me of Saul's conversion after his encounter with Jesus. When you experience Jesus, you are never the same! Saul/Paul was forever changed!! Likewise with my friend, The Raving Atheist, who is now called The Raving Theist. Praise God for another "Paul" who has seen the light!! The world will look forward to all the ways his testimony will minister to others and win more Sauls to Christ!!

Join with me in giving thanks to God for His love and grace. Thank Him for His sacrifice for your sins and for your redemption!! There is nothing greater to celebrate!! And, if you have a moment, encourage and welcome the reformed RA (now RT) into the family of God!!

Grace and peace to all of you!! Merry Christmas to you all - and happy birthday Jesus!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dear Al

Dear Al,

I must confess, you were right about global warming. Right now, we are experiencing an unbearable heat wave and eleven degrees is just about as intolerable as it gets!! It's so hot that my furnace decided to take the rest of the year off (seriously, he's not working right now!). So, I have had to wait out this miserable warm weather at my father's house while we continue trying to coax Mr. Furnace out of hiberation. I have no worries about my house's plumbing because you have assured us all that Earth is so hot that we are in no danger of freezing to death or having our pipes explode.

I will continue to hope that those polar ice caps don't melt and wipe out the world. The last thing we need is water rushing down from the north. Or, maybe that's what really happened over the last week or two!! Maybe that's why our trees are frozen in ice and people are trying to dig themselves out of their frosted tombs!! Oh my goodness, did I just say ICE??!! Ha ha, I guess the heat is making me dillusional because surely our flaming hot planet isn't experiencing any cold weather - and certainly not at temperatures below zero!! I mean really.....who has heard of such a thing?!! We're all boiling alive so what's all this talk about ice and cold weather? And snow....ha!! What a fairy tale!!! (Shhhhh, don't tell those hallucinating Arizonians I said that! They really think it's snowing!!).

Well, that's about all I have to say. Thanks for all you do to promote your very "convenient" lie.....oops, I mean "inconvenient truth." I'm glad that you and all your enlightened little zombies are so wise to the truth that all of us frigid Americans are in denial over. Once we all wise up, I'm sure we'll all "chill out" soon!! Thanks Al!!

Sincerely,

Melissa :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thank You Planned Parenthood!

What you are about to see is a shocking undercover video. Of course, we all know that Planned Parenthood is always truthful, compassionate, and always looking out for the well-being of women everywhere so I'm sure this video will be a huge surprise to everyone that holds Planned Parenthood in such high regard. Who would have thought that Planned Parenthood would gladly help to cover up a criminal offense against a 13 year old girl? Wow! I was so surprised - NOT!!!!! Oh, by the way, this happened in my very own home state!! Gee, I'm so proud!! :P Thank you Jill Stanek for blogging about this!! Check out www.jillstanek.com for more updates!!

Additionally, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!! Oh, and don't forget to buy some lovely Planned Parenthood gift certificates for the women closest to you this "holiday" season. They make great stocking stuffers! Nothing says you love them like a gift of death!! Once again, thank you Planned Parenthood for caring so much and please don't cease to distribute your "Choice on Earth" cards !! I haven't heard any mention of them yet this year, but I hope that you aren't backing down from sharing your message of goodwill and peace! I would surely miss my "holiday card" if you neglected to keep sharing your priceless message!

Anyways, we appreciate your efforts to enrich the lives of women everywhere as you inflict more pain on them in an already strenuous time in our nation's history. We thank you, Planned Parenthood, foryour support of FOCA . We hope that Mr. Obama will keep his promise to you and sign the bill straight away so that you can help to spread even more death and destruction in the lives of women everywhere. Thank you for all you do!! We'll continue giving you our tax dollars so you can keep spreadin' the love!! Yes, we know that Washington could do the ethical, responsible, and smart thing by putting our dollars to better use elsewhere (like, oh I don't know, fixing the economy) but we would rather filter our dollars to you so you can keep killing our generation and inflicting physical, emotional, and psychological pain on everyone. We can't get enough of that!! I'm sure your founder, Margaret Sanger, would be so proud!! Thank you for working so hard to get rid of so many "human weeds" (especially the "black" ones …..those are the worst right?).

So, are you thoroughly nauseated yet? If you aren't YOU SHOULD BE!! While we are busy celebrating the hope and life of Jesus Christ, Planned Parenthood is working harder than ever to snuff it out by promoting their death agenda!! So PLEASE check out the links that I have shared in this blog and get involved!! Don't let your loved ones suffer at their hands!! May God help us all!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Newness Under the Son

I wrote this for the Mom Life Newsletter at church. My hope is that the meaning and hope of Christmas will be fresh and new in our hearts!! God bless you all!! Merry Christmas!!

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"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."
Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV)

Do you ever feel like Solomon, like there is nothing new and that everything is just the same old thing? Does it seem like everything just repeats itself over and over again? Such is the case with me the older that I get (and I am only 26!). I find that there is nothing "new under the sun" and that everything just cycles and repeats in a monotonous routine. It's how I felt when beginning to write because I struggled to come up with something beautiful, inspiring, and focused on the reason for Christmas. Though, the more I tried, the more cliché it seemed. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing cliché about Christ's birth and the miracle of what God has done for us. What I'm talking about is the tireless beat of the drum at this time of year. The whole "in the midst of your shopping, get-togethers, etc. don't forget that He's the reason for the season." I mean, don't we all know that by now? We are reminded of it every single year. Yet, everything repeats. We get through the holidays, celebrate a new year, and the seasons change, holidays come and go, and everything just keep going and repeating.

How do we stay fresh in a world that has gone stale? How do we find the "newness" under the sun? Well, my friends, I think that we need to think about things a little differently than Solomon. He was probably the wisest human to ever live, and yet, he seemed so empty. That is why he came to the conclusion that there was nothing "new" and that all had been done before because he had "been there, done that" so much. Hence, he became bored and discontent when there was seemingly nothing new left to discover or experience. So, of course there was "nothing new under the sun" because nothing under the sun can fulfill! ALL of it will grow cold and lose its luster! This world cannot offer us anything that lasts.

Thankfully, since Solomon's time, we have been blessed with something truly new: the new covenant! Now THAT would have been something for him to discover and experience! Maybe he wouldn't have been so bored if he could have had the renewal that all of us can have in Christ every day of our lives! Though, even with all this "newness" at our fingertips, we STILL get bored because we are still searching for fulfillment under the sun rather than the SON!

This concept provokes deep thoughts in my heart. It stirs me because I know that I get "bored" a lot. Though, I don't suppose there is much excuse for that when there is so much joy, fulfillment, and LIFE in Christ (which is FAR from boring)! Yet, we still get stuck in the temporal things and wonder why we are wasting away inside.

Christ never gets old, and the newness doesn't lose it's luster. It's our desire for him that sometimes wears away. We get busy, distracted, and overloaded with responsibilities (and even the blessings) of our lives. Just like Solomon, we can have so much and still be so bored and discontent. Dear friends, this need not be! Jesus said that he came to give us life to the fullest (John 10:10). Life isn't found in the temporal things, but the things that are unseen and non-material (2 Corinthians 4:18). The unseen things are what last, and what will fill us and bring us joy. These are the things of the Spirit; the untouchables that we cannot get our hands on, but fill us beyond measure! It's the loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled moments that bring us unfathomable renewal, and keep us from getting bored, apathetic, and on a downward spiral in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23).

I pray that we would do more than just "survive" the season and breeze through all the traditions, rituals, etc. I pray that we will remember the "Jesus is the reason for the season" mantra, but that it will truly sink into our hearts. I pray that the newness the Son brings will fill us up with gladness as we focus on the freshness that Jesus can bring to each moment of our lives; whether we have experienced them over and over again or not!!

Grace and peace to all of you!! Have a truly blessed Christmas as you celebrate the Son!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Do You Have A "Morning Mist" Heart?

Last Sunday, Chad began talking about the blessing of Christmas and all that there is to celebrate. Though, as he pointed out, it is all too easy to get swept into the worldliness of Christmas and lose sight of the real thing.

Chad described being excited about finding that “perfect” toy for one of his children and how he just got a joy and a rush from it. He said that just that quick, he became convicted as he thought about how we so often miss that joy and that “rush” when it comes to Jesus. When was the last time we got that feeling of intense joy when we thought about or experienced Jesus?

The thing that I liked most about Chad’s message was when he touched on the core aspect of what God wants (and has always wanted) from us: our hearts. God is ALWAYS bringing this phrase to my mind: “It’s all about the heart, Melissa” as well as, “It’s not about you.” Indeed it’s true. It’s not about me, you, or anyone else; it’s about HIM. It’s about the HEART and not “stuff” or our meager attempts to do everything “right” and “perfect” all the time. He wants sincerity and authenticity. He wants intimacy, depth, and a heart-to-heart relationship with us.

Chad used these scriptures to illustrate things:

I know all about Ephraim; Israel is not hidden from me. Ephraim, you have now turned to prostitution; Israel is corrupt. "Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the LORD. (Hosea 5:3-4)

"What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears. Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth; my judgments flashed like lightning upon you. For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:4-6)

What is He going to do with us? It’s just like a parent sometimes says to their child, “What am I going to do with you?” I know I feel that way sometimes!! When children are stubborn and willful, you just get so frustrated and wonder how you are going to manage them. It would be nice to have some compliance and obedience - or at the very least, acknowledgment. Both scriptures talk about acknowledging God. He wants more than our rituals and “religion”, He wants our hearts to be in it. He desires the obedience and love that comes from turning from our ways and repenting. He doesn’t want the “morning mist” hearts. He wants TRUE hearts that are hungry for Him and that separate themselves from idols.

At this time of year, we celebrate Jesus’ birthday. So, where are HIS gifts? What are we doing FOR HIM? What are we giving Him? Are we giving Him our hearts; REAL hearts? Are we giving to OTHERS in His name? Where is our focus? Who or what is our joy? I pray that our joy would be Jesus and that our hearts will belong to Him. I pray that His love will thrill us and fill us as we remember that everything really is all about Him.

In closing, I would like to invite all of you who live in my area to help give back and have the chance to give from your hearts by giving your time. My friend, Jama, works for the Salvation Army, and she has asked for volunteers to help sort toys, etc. Myself, and a few of my friends, will be in Fort Wayne on December 13th in order to help. So, if any of you would like more information, please send me a message and I will give you the specific details so that you can join us in helping out and giving back! Though, even if you can’t volunteer, I hope that maybe you could help out by donating items or funds to the Salvation Army. The most heartbreaking thing that Jama has to do is deny applications for help because they are simply overwhelmed with requests right now and are having a hard time meeting the demands that they currently have!! Please donate if you can (I know, the economy is tough for everyone right now). The need is greater than ever!!

God bless all of you!! I pray that the grace and peace of God will be with you as you enjoy the celebration of Christ’s birth!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Unloading The Bus

In the previous blog, judgment was talked about. Now, it’s time to focus on mercy and forgiveness. (Ahhhhh, much better!!).

Beth Moore uses the parable of the unmerciful servant in order to address the topic of forgiveness. Of course, we all probably know the story (which is found in Matthew 18:15-35). A servant was forgiven a tremendous debt that he couldn’t pay (which would equal millions of dollars in today’s currency). The king had mercy on him and forgave the debt. Yet, the servant went out and found a fellow servant that only owed him a few dollars and demanded payment. He refused to have mercy and patience with him; even though his plea was identical to his own plea that had just been honored by the king. He had the servant imprisoned, but also ended up being imprisoned as well (and tortured) when the king heard of his merciless behavior!

Beth Moore says about the parable: “The parable of the merciless servant is about forgiveness…a forgiveness prompted by patience, and a patience perfected by mercy. If we neglect the necessity of forgiveness, we fail to complete the portrait of biblical patience. Patience is the vessel through which God pours His mercy. Mercy is fueled by forgiveness.”

So, WHAT exactly is forgiveness? Beth explains it well: “The Greek word most often used in the New Testament for forgive is aphiemi. It means ‘to let go from one’s power, possession, to let go free, let escape.’ In essence, the intent of biblical forgiveness is to cut someone loose. The word picture drawn by the Greek terms for unforgiveness is one in which the ‘unforgiven’ is roped to the back of the unforgiving. How ironic. Unforgiveness is the means by which we securely bind ourselves to that which we hate most. Therefore, the Greek meaning of forgiveness might best be demonstrated as the practice of cutting loose the person roped to your back.”

Can you imagine “cutting loose” whatever person (or persons) are tied to your back? My gosh, why wouldn’t you want to?! That gets awfully burdensome and heavy!! Why hold onto that which you detest? How much sense does that make to torture yourself? Cutting loose will benefit YOU more than it benefits them!

Jesus tells us to forgive EVERYONE (Luke 11:4). And, in Mark 11:25, He reminds us to forgive others so God can forgive us. Yes, it’s difficult and sometimes even painful, but it’s a must if we expect to receive any mercy for ourselves (and also to set ourselves free).

Of course, there are those that have been offended greatly and for them, forgiveness is virtually unthinkable! Beth reminds us that “God desires to pour His patience through those with every right to avenge…every right to be merciless…every right to be angry and bitter…those to whom perhaps no earthly mercy has ever been shown.” Even in your “right” to be mad or vengeful, God wants to work out His patience, mercy, and forgiveness through you! “God wants to reveal Himself in us--not our rights or weaknesses.”

Maybe that’s not convincing enough for some. There are many offenses that just seem too monumental to forgive. However, Beth talks about several reasons why it’s so important to let go and forgive. We know that God COMMANDS it (and for good reason!). God wouldn’t issue a command if it weren’t for our benefit; after all, it’s His will that everything work out for good (Romans 8:28).

I like how Beth beautifully illustrates just how burdensome it is to carry unforgiveness in our hearts: “Frankly, it's difficult to live an effective Christian life with a body roped to your back. Can you imagine how many of us are walking around roped to a corpse? Some of us are harboring unforgiveness against someone who has long been in the grave. Is there anything heavier than 'dead weight'? Well, as a matter of fact, there is: a group roped to your back. Unforgiveness is extremely habit forming. Unchecked, it spreads from on person to another. Before you know it, you have a school-bus load of people roped to your back! You cannot be free to keep step with the Spirit when you are encumbered by the load of unforgiveness.”

Well said!! She also states that “the one who will not forgive always suffers more than the one not forgiven.” As in the case of the parable of the servants, both were imprisoned, but the merciless one was the servant that was tortured. To illustrate the point further, Beth tells of her own experience (which brought tears to my eyes): “After suffering a serious degree of childhood trauma, God continually confronted me to forgive my perpetrator. I refused for many years. Would you like to know why? I was absolutely certain that my forgiveness would ‘make it all right,’ and it wasn’t all right. I feared that if I forgave, he would be off the hook. I had suffered painful repercussions. I didn’t realize that my failure to forgive was causing me more pain than the original offense.”

I imagine that is how a lot of us feel. We feel the person needs punished and that if we forgive, that will be like excusing the behavior. But, that is not so! Beth said: “Finally, God wore me down until I was forced to listen to His gentle whisper to my heart. ‘Beth forgiving won’t make the offense all right; it will make YOU all right.’ He demanded that I forgive for my own sake…so that I would not be tortured by it for the rest of my life!” She said that once she forgave, it was the “most wonderful thing” that God ever gave her the ability to do! She says: “I am free. Not free from all memories-but free from all torture. Yes, He is faithful.”

Beth also reminds us that we must forgive so that Satan won’t have the opportunity to take advantage of us. “Few things exist in life that Stan can take advantage of more effectively than unforgiveness” she said. Just think of how he uses that one thing to spark a whole chain of events! He builds on that foundation to create more problems, rage, bitterness, the whole works!! Who wants or needs that?!

Beth further elaborates by affirming the fact that Satan will stop at nothing to rob God’s presence from us by using that unforgiveness to wedge itself between us and our heavenly Father. “He knows that it is impossible to be filled with the Spirit and filled with unforgiveness. Only Satan wins in the war of unforgiveness. When he sees a rope, he sees an opportunity to hang us.”

Finally, Beth says: “We must forgive because we are not the only ones bound by the rope of unforgiveness. If we refuse to forgive, we tie God’s mighty hands from ‘working all things together for good.’ He will not bring personal good to you from your pain if you do not release Him through your forgiveness. Why? Read Romans 8:28. This verse applies to those who love Him enough to be called according to His purpose. Christ has a purpose in the pain you’ve suffered or He never would have allowed it. Until you surrender to His purpose in the specific matter at hand, He cannot work it for your good. Do you know what that means? It all happened in vain--for absolutely nothing.”

In this fallen world, offenses and wrongs are a certainty. We are going to be offenders as well as the ones who get offended. There is trouble, pain, and all sorts of turmoil because of the sin nature in us all. Though, God’s promise is that He will use all of that for good if we will allow it. If not, we will have suffered for nothing if we remain bitter and cling to our pain. However, if we cut the cords, empty our bus-loads of people we need to “cut loose”, and allow God to heal us, He will be able to make the most of our misery and turn it into a ministry!!

I hope that these two blogs have been helpful to someone out there. It is a powerful subject matter, which is why I felt compelled to share it. If you need further help in learning to forgive, letting go of judgments, etc. PLEASE read “The Shack” by William P. Young. It’s one of the most helpful, inspiring, and powerful books you will ever read!!

Grace and peace to all of you!! May we all be blessed with patient, merciful, and forgiving hearts!! Amen!

Forsaking Our Judgment Robe

As many of you know, I have been involved in the Beth Moore Bible study “Living Beyond Yourself” which examines the fruit of the Spirit. Periodically, I have been sharing bits and pieces of it (though I wish I could share the whole thing! I encourage you to do this study for yourself because there is so much to it!).

I’ve decided to share some more of the study because this particular section that I am reading is something I think we all could stand to examine and get clarification on! I’m talking about the fruit “patience.“

While going into depth about this fruit, Beth talks about judging, condemning, and how to forgive. Does that seem like a strange link? One doesn’t really think of judgment when the word “patience” comes to mind right? Well, as Beth points out, where judgment exists, impatience abounds!! She said that judgment is the very opposite of patience. To BE patient is to DELAY judgment; just like God does with us. Because of His mercy and love, He is patient with us and delays punishment because He wishes to give us all a chance to repent and do the right thing. Patience cannot exist without mercy.

Here are the reasons why we shouldn’t judge; according to the Bible and as outlined by Beth Moore:

SCRIPTURES: Romans 2:1-5, Matthew 7:1-5, James 4:11-12, John 8:14-18

REASONS NOT TO JUDGE:

1. When we judge others, we cause God to be harder on us
2. We do many of the same things we condemn in others.
3. We do not know the whole truth.
4. We are mere humans.
5. When we judge others, we are judging God.
6. God’s judgment is always righteous. Ours is tainted by the flesh.
7. We risk application of the same type of judgment to ourselves.
8. We cannot judge the speck of sawdust in another’s eye because of the planks in our own.
9. “There is only one lawgiver and judge”
10. Only God has noble purpose in His judgment.
11. Just like Christ’s, our judgment would have to be completely consistent with God’s He must agree with us for our judgment to be valid.


To elaborate, I will state some of the things that she said for each reason. Reason one being that when we judge others, we only condemn ourselves and invite the Lord’s discipline.

For reason two, she gives this perfect example: “…we are quick to judge sexual sin; yet few of us have not transgressed in at least some area of sexual sin. If not physically, mentally. We often sit on the judgment seat as if to determine and compare degrees of sin. Judgment bears hypocrisy.”

Next, she points out the fact that God bases His judgments on truth. We as humans don’t always do that. Often, we have incomplete facts because we don’t see the whole situation. Even more so because of the fact that we cannot read minds or hearts like God can.

That goes in conjunction with reason four which states that we are merely human. She uses the verse from Isaiah 29:16 which says: “You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘He did not make me‘? Can the pot say of the potter, ‘He knows nothing‘?” Beth said, “We must withstand all temptation to assume God’s job!”

Furthermore, in reason five, we are judging GOD by judging others! How? Beth explains this perfectly: “Our judgment reveals contempt for the riches of God’s patience (Romans 2:4). To judge why God won’t bring a speedy punishment to those who mock or despise Him is not our responsibility. To all of us, His long-suffering has been our salvation. Eternity is a long time; the effects are irreversible. God desires to give every chance for the sinner to say ‘yes.’ I once heard Dr. Adrian Rogers say, ‘Time is not nearly as important to God as timing.’”

Reason six reminds us that while God’s judgments are consistently and always righteous, ours are tainted by the flesh. They are “colored by our attitudes, our pasts, our personalities, and our positions. Only God is the perfectly righteous Judge.”

In point seven, we see the danger of judging as applied to ourselves. What we measure out will be measured back! Forget the “Karma” crap! I absolutely detest it when people talk about “Karma” because God is the one who instituted the concept of reaping what you sow (Galatians 6:7). We need to treat others the way we want to be treated and love others as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). If we just go around judging instead of loving, then expect that which you dish out!

Next, of course, we have the infamous “plank in your eye” point. Beth says: “We can’t judge righteously because our sight is hindered by our own sin.” How can anyone with a sin nature judge correctly? It’s impossible! And, since we all have a sin nature and no one is perfect or righteous (Romans 3:10) no one can accurately and righteously judge!

Reasons nine and ten affirm that God is the only judge! “There’s simply no room on the bench!” You can’t sit beside Him and help Him do His job! Besides, what is our real intent in judging compared to God’s? Beth says: “We judge to make ourselves feel righteous in comparison. Whether or not the thought is conscious, most judgments boil down to this justification: ‘At least I don’t do that!’ God’s judgment is not based on His ‘ego.’ It is a practical action by which He determines the fate of all humanity.”

And finally, Beth explains reason eleven this way: “We judge by ‘human standards’ (John 8:15) and, therefore, possess little heavenly perspective. To make a valid judgment, the second testimony cannot by our best friend or neighbor…it must be God.”

In conclusion, Beth reminds us that it’s “easier to be clay than the potter.” Judgment isn’t our job, and would be one we are grossly under-qualified for if we had the job! Judgment isn’t a kind thing to do or to have done to you, so why participate in it? We need to show the same kindness, mercy, and forgiveness for others as God has displayed towards us. “If He is patient with us and He has no sin, how patient must we be toward others with whom we share the same sin? Judgment strangles patience and grieves the Holy Spirit.”

Now that I have shared about judgment, feel free to read the next blog that I will post which deals with mercy and forgiveness. Judgmental behavior can be overcome!! Grace and peace to all of you!!

Benchmarks

In my last blog, I talked about Scott’s sermon on God’s love. Towards the end, I mentioned how he encouraged us to set a “benchmark.“ Where will we be in our walks with God in a year or more from now? Personally, I pray that I can only go “up” from here! Though, growth can be painful and unpleasant (as I have found out more than ever this year) but it’s worth it!! As Kent always says: “Feel the heat, face the fire, find the gold!”

Recently, I was privileged to see evidence of my growth as I read a particular e-mail. Oddly enough, it was an e-mail from myself!! This particular e-mail was a result of a project Yahoo had had; it was a “time capsule” thing. You could compose an e-mail to yourself and they would save it and deliver it to you in a few years. Well, I had been thinking about that e-mail recently, and wondered when I might be receiving it. Though, I couldn’t remember what I wrote or what year it was supposed to be delivered. Then, wouldn’t you know, it happened!! Here is the note I wrote to myself in 2005:

Dear Self,

You wrote this message to yourself in 2005. At that time, Casey was 2 and a half and Gianna was almost 2 months old. Oh how time flies!!

What have you done since then? Have you finished your book yet? That is the main thing you should have been doing. If it isn't finished by now and on its way to print, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??? GET R DONE!!!

You should be very proud of your accomplishments, assuming you have any. Live for God and not yourself and enjoy life!!

Sincerely,

Yourself


You know, I never expected a letter from myself to have such an impact!! LOL You want to know why? It’s because of the fact I can see who I was then and who I am now. I was always consumed with the idea of having to finish a book that I felt that God wanted me to write (which I have started and have been working on here and there for years). I had set a sort of “time table” for myself when I wrote that. Though, I often forget that God’s timing isn’t my own! I also didn’t realize how time-consuming motherhood would be with two little ones, or all the other God given tasks that would come into play over the past three years.

The thing that struck me most was when I read the accusing judgments that I had written to myself. “What is wrong with you?” and remarks that inflicted doubt as to whether I would have any accomplishments to be proud of (as if parenting two children wasn’t an accomplishment in itself!). I was a little stung by my own words, and was amazed to see how nasty I used to be not too long ago! How could I have used words like that to myself when I wouldn’t even say something like that to a friend? If I wouldn’t utter them to someone I loved, why should I be using them on myself? We’re supposed to love others as we do ourselves (Matthew 22:39) aren‘t we? Yet, for a long time, I didn’t love myself very much because I didn’t know my true worth. I used to be extremely harsh on myself and I had a very narrow minded view of success (among other things). Thankfully, however, I have learned to treat myself with the same kind of kindness and acceptance as I do to others. I’m a loved and accepted child of God, and I don’t need to be accepting judgment and condemnation from Satan, or other people (including myself!). So, yes….I DO have accomplishments to be proud of!! I may not have finished and printed a book, but I have come a long way spiritually in three years! Three years ago, I wouldn’t have recognized that rude, criticizing, and judgmental spirit in me. It was “fact” and I accepted it. Though, when I read that TODAY, I just want to say, “Hey! You can’t talk to yourself like that! It’s not nice and it’s not true!” I just wanted to rebuke myself!! LOL

The one good thing that I did write to myself was this line (which REALLY woke me up!): “Live for God and not yourself and enjoy life!!” HOW TRUE IS THAT?! If I am living for GOD and not myself, I WILL enjoy life! I can’t truly enjoy life if I’m am inward focused. Yes, it is great that I have learned to love and accept myself, but that can be a delicate boundary too. Also within the past three years, I have lost weight and have been working on my physical health as well as the spiritual. It has had its benefits, but also its drawbacks. As much as I love dropping the extra pounds that weigh me down, it’s hard to get used to all those changes. One of them being the attention. Sometimes, I feel as though people just see the “outer beauty” before the “inner beauty”. I just want the entire me to be seen and valued. I don’t just want to be another “pretty face.” And, I don’t want to become vain either. Blessings can sometimes be a double-edged sword.

Other people have noticed positive changes in me as well. I get feedback from people (online and offline) about the growth that they have seen, and that is such valuable and positive encouragement/affirmation to me! It only helps to spur me onward to continuing growth as I strive to work on my weaker areas that I have yet to mature in (still working on food issues, self-discipline, prayer, and so much more!).

In the upcoming months and years, I hope to be at a healthy weight and have a greater respect for my body and for food. I hope to rely on God for all my needs and not replace Him with food, people, or things. Hopefully, this will be a blog I will look back on in a few years and say, “Yes, I do have even more accomplishments to be proud of!”

I am also proud of the fact that so many of you are such good friends of mine and that you are so kind and supportive of me! So, to all those that adhere to and practice 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and Hebrews 10:25, I THANK YOU FROM THE DEPTHS OF MY HEART!! I am thankful for you all and I enjoy fellowshipping with you and ministering to each other through blogging, e-mail, etc.!!

May the grace and peace of God be with you all as you strive for your own benchmarks (and you don‘t have to wait until New Year‘s to start setting goals)!! God bless you!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Boundless Love

Last Sunday, Scott Kaehr preached the message. Scott is the husband of our church counselor, and also a mentor to Chad. Chad had been wanting him to preach a message for some time, because he really felt like he had an awesome message to share (and indeed he did!).

Scott talked about the love of God. As cliché as that would seem for a sermon, it's not really cliché at all when you think about it. After all, does hearing about God's love ever get old? Does it ever lose its power? Is the message of God's love ever something that we should get tired of? God's love is so glorious, boundless, and multi-faceted! The more we hear about it, the more we understand. Though, I'm sure we won't fully grasp the depth and wonder of it until we get to heaven!! It's just SO BIG!! Like the Chris Tomlin song says, it's "Indescribable" !! 

This is one thing that is just so hard to put into words! The love of God sometimes just renders me speechless (and it's one of the few things that can! LOL). So, I don't know if I will even have much to say other than a few of the hard-hitting aspects of Scott's message. One being that God is a God who loves us, pursues us, and created us so that we could have a deep, personal, and intimate relationship with Him. In fact, His love is so pure and true that He even gives us the freedom to CHOOSE to love Him. He didn't just make us to be robotic people and demand our worship and fellowship. A relationship is nothing if it's not genuine. 

As if that weren't enough, God just kept on loving us even when we chose sin and independence and rejected Him. In the garden of Eden, and since then, so many of us have chosen to live our lives without Him; though His love remains. He loves us anyways; even if we don't love Him back!! How awesome is that! It's easy to love the ones that love you back, but to love those that don't….WOW!! 

His ultimate proof of love was demonstrated by sending His son to die for our sins; even if we couldn't care a lick about that generous gift. Isn't it amazing that even after displaying such love and mercy, we could STILL spit in His face? Yet, some of us do, but He STILL loves us!! Period!! AMAZING!! 

Do you have that fellowship with Him? If you haven't, you CAN! Or, if your fellowship has been broken, you can return! No matter what the case, you can make that "U Turn". You can repent, turn you back on all the things that pull you away from His presence, and turn to Him. His offer is always there: "Come!" He lays out the beautiful banquet table for you and offers you to come and fellowship with Him and indulge in all the wonderful things that He has to offer you. We can lay everything else down; our ways, our burdens, our heavy weights around our necks. We can "yoke up with Jesus" (as Scott put it) and He will carry those things that we needn't be carrying anyways. He will lift us up and out of all that drags us down, and replace it with good things that will enrich our lives. He will fill us with the fruit of His Spirit and our cup will overflow! 

Scott encouraged us to have a "bench mark" day. He said he had a time not that long ago that he had strayed away, but that looking back, he can see how far he has come. Our faith should be like that. We should be able to look back a year from now and say that we are stronger in our faith than we were before. We should be able to look back on our journey and relish the joy that we are even closer to God than we were before! It's kind of like a joke Mitch and I always say (which we heard from a comedian). The joke is this: "Did you know it was a year ago today?" Did you get it? LOL It most definitely WAS a year ago today! It's a year ago, a month ago, a week ago, etc. every day! What has happened in that passage of time? What will your bench mark be? 

May the wonderful love of God bring peace and joy into your heart today - and every day!! Grace and peace to all of you as you bask in the simple but profound truth that "God made you special, and He loves you very much!" (Yes, I borrowed that from "Veggie Tales"!). 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Blessed Thanks

Every year, my husband has to work the Sunday before the big holidays in order to stay caught up on production and have the actual holidays off. Today was one of those Sundays. Therefore, the kids and I just stayed home this Sunday and missed church today (and no "tsk"ing! I go every Sunday otherwise!). Today was baptism Sunday, though I don't think I probably missed a sermon (so all you peeps that love Chad's sermons shouldn't have to fret). Though, if you really want to, I'm sure they'll have the audio of today uploaded on the church website (www.missionoflife.com) by the end of the week.

So, since I don't have any notes from church to blog on, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to share an article I wrote for the Mom Life Newsletter that I produce for our Mom's group at church. It's entitled "Blessed Thanks" because it's focused on the concept (as well as the holiday) of Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoy it!! God bless you all, and I hope you have a wonderful week and a blessed time of gathering with your families!

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“Thank you, Mommy!” Those are three precious words that I should never get tired of hearing, or take for granted. The importance of showing thankfulness is something that my own parents taught me; just as I have strived to teach my own children. It’s important that you acknowledge and show your appreciation to someone who has shown kindness to you.

However, I think the “politeness” of saying “thank-you” has caused its meaning to be lost in the vast sea of social courtesies. “Thank you” is often a formality and an obligation and we say it almost nonchalantly and without much thought. Of course, I am thankful that my kids have learned to automatically say “please” and “thank you” when they should, but my greater hope is that they will know that true thankfulness goes beyond just mere words. It’s all about the heart!

Having a thankful heart has been on my mind; considering that the Thanksgiving holiday is coming up. We all know the history, the traditions, and the meanings behind this holiday, but do we really truly grasp the joy? How often do we really allow thankful thoughts to invade our minds and seize our hearts with gladness? How often do we get so filled with gratefulness that we just burst with praise because of our gratitude? For me, the politeness in our house is so prevalent that I often miss the greater blessings of thankfulness. As a wife, mom, woman, etc. I sometimes feel under appreciated; despite the regular “thank yous.” They get dismissed too often when they become casual and expected, but nevertheless, they ARE acknowledgements and affirmations are they not? Maybe it’s my perspective that needs the change. Maybe if I spent more time offering God more high quality and non-casual “thank yous”, I would be able to appreciate any grade of “thank you” from my family and friends with a greater sense of joy and without so many judgments towards the authenticity of their every-day “thank yous“.

God craves that same genuine display of appreciation and thankfulness as well. Yet, how often do we take the time to thank Him - REALLY thank Him? How often do we just give Him polite every-day “thank yous” but neglect to really tell Him from our heart just how much we appreciate His goodness and blessings to us? Just like we go the extra mile to thank someone for an extra special gift by writing a thank-you note (or reciprocating with a gift of our own at some point) we should be even MORE eager to give back to God by sharing our heart with Him; and with others. God never tires of hearing our praises and offers of thanksgiving. The Psalms are full of exclamations of thanks. Psalm 69:30 says: “I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.” And, Psalm 95:2 “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” And that’s just a start!

Why are the Psalms so full of praises? Why such a grateful heart? Well, my friends, it’s because the Lord is worthy of any and all praise we can offer! Not because He needs to be reminded of how glorious He is (He already knows!) but because WE need to remember how glorious He is! WE need to remember how sovereign, wonderful, loving, and amazing our heavenly Father is! We need to meditate on His goodness and share with Him how humbled and blessed we are that He has shown such favor to us! Thanksgiving blesses us just as much (if not more) than it blesses Him because it forces us to remember just how much we have and how little we have to complain about! Our God is GOOD and He shares that goodness with us!!

Beyond just the holiday, thanksgiving is truly year round. We should be cherishing it in the every day moments; whether giving or receiving it. In fact, it’s the very foundation of prayer! In Philippians 4:4-7, Paul says: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Did you notice that declaring praise to the Lord is so noteworthy that Paul emphasizes rejoicing TWICE! And, he says “always.” He also says “with thanksgiving” we are to present our requests to God. Those exhortations then turn into the peace we receive as we rest in the joy of knowing that we are blessed, protected, and so much more! And, it’s just like a saying I saw on a poster once: “Always thank God for what you have before you ask Him for more.” It’s a good thing to remember; especially when we are feeling stressed, busy, greedy, etc. at this time of year!!

May your hearts be blessed as you savor the joy of each blessing God has given you! May every “thank you” you give and receive have value, and fill your hearts with joy! May we ALWAYS rejoice!! Grace and peace to all of you!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"And Knowing Is Half The Battle!"

If any of you are even remotely familiar with the "G.I. Joe" cartoons of the 80's, you'll no doubt remember a familiar phrase that I am about to repeat. At the end of the cartoons, they always did public service announcements in order to teach a concept to kids. The kid would always say, "now I know" and then they would say "and knowing is half the battle." If you need a refresher, check out the video I found on YouTube in which a girl is encouraged to keep trying to learn how to water ski. She finds it difficult and wants to give up, but is encouraged to keep trying until she masters the new skill she is hoping to learn. 

What I'm getting at is that if knowing really is half the battle, why do so many people not even "know" about the battles we are fighting? How can we win if we are so ignorant of the facts? Case and point being this new video from American Life League in which they present the truth about Margaret Sanger and the organization she proudly founded: Planned Parenthood. Take a moment to watch the video as you see and hear her words of hate and racism. Listen to how she talks about implementing eugenics programs in America as they had in Nazi Germany. Listen carefully to how she talks about exterminating "Negroes". Don't miss the part where she talks about using black ministers to "educate" the black population and dissuade them from multiplying. Is it any wonder Planned Parenthood loves Barack Obama so much? They are proud as peaches to be able to use his influence to further their destructive agenda!! Though, I still can't figure out how or why he or ANYONE (no matter what your "color") would want to promote the evil legacy of Planned Parenthood and the twisted logic of Margaret Sanger!! How can anyone be so proud of trumpeting that horn? 

So, what do you think? Do you believe in Margaret Sanger's idea that we are all just a bunch of human "weeds" and that there are so many inferior human beings standing in the way of progress? Do you agree that there are so many "weeds" who have no purpose or value, and that we must be cleared out to make way for a super race? Well, this is one "weed" that she will not be able to get rid of! You see, I am NOT a weed!! Quite the opposite. I am grafted into the VINE (John 15:1-17) and through that abundant LIFE-GIVING source, I bear fruit! I am FAR from a weed, and I am pruned and nurtured in that precious vine! I AM NOT , and WILL NOT, be a weed or branch that is bundled and burned in the fire! 

Don't believe the lies of Margaret Sanger! Hopefully, your eyes have been opened to the truth so that you KNOW how to fight in this battle!! Consider this to have been your own public service announcement (though, I am not a "G.I. Joe" er…Jane lol). Remember that you and everyone else on this earth is NOT a mistake!! As my English teacher always used to say, "Everything is done on purpose FOR a purpose…..there are no accidents." I am not an "accident" and neither were you!!  We were created "on purpose for a purpose" (Ephesians 2:10). We were known even before we were even born (Isaiah 44:2) and were knit in our mother's wombs by the hands of our Blessed Creator (Psalm 139:13). YOU ARE PRECIOUS AND PURPOSED!! Your life is NOT a waste, so don't waste your life!! LIVE IT! LIVE IN HIM!! Keep fighting the good fight!! Grace and peace to all of you!! 

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Red Letter" Days

Over the past few weeks, Chad has been talking about the tough questions of our faith. It all leads up to our response to the gospel. How will we react? What will we choose?

In our bulletins, Chad has lots of scripture listed there. It was the “red letters” of Jesus. Do we cling to the “red letters”? Will His words lead to “red letter” days for us? Will there be people who are praising God because of the “red letters” that are being displayed in our lives?

We are a light to the world (Matthew 5:14-16). We need to be shinning!! We shouldn’t be hiding our light, or letting our fires dim and fizzle out!! Because of the dark places all around us, there are people crying out for light!! We need to be taking our light into those dark places; and leading people out!! We shouldn’t be the type that just shines our light in the dark, remind people that they are dark, and then just expect people to get out if we don’t lead them. We need to extend our hands to the ones that are searching for something to hold onto. We shouldn’t just shine in a stationary place and expect people to come to us if we aren’t coming to pursue them too!

What kind of light are we then? Does our light go to others, or do we just expect others to come to us? You know, it’s like something I read once about darkness not existing unless there is an ABSENCE of light. But, where there IS light, there is no darkness! So, the LIGHT has to go to the darkness in order for it to be eliminated. Darkness doesn’t seek light, because darkness cannot exist where there is light. LIGHT seeks the darkness to make the darkness light!!

How do we be the brightest light possible? Well, Chad said we have to be a student of our master. The better student we are, the more effective we will be. We will be “salty” and create a “thirst” in others. They will crave the living water that will quench their thirst!! Chad illustrated how well of a drummer he was in order to show the relationship between student and teacher. He showed us the best he could do on the drums, which was a drum solo that he was taught when he was in school. He played a timid “little drummer boy” solo, that he performed in a Christmas program, and that was it. Then, he had one of our praise team drummers perform a drum solo (which was astounding!). And, it definitely had me “thirsty” because his salty solo had me wanting to clap my hands and tap my feet! When his solo was over, I was thinking “Ah, come on! Play some more!! That was awesome!” THAT, my friends, is how we need to be!! We need to be a seasoned and experienced student of our master in order to be able to have that kind of effect - having people desiring “more.” If all we put out is “little drummer boy” efforts, we won’t attract much!

Chad ended the sermon by having us all write down our responses on a piece of paper. We wrote about our personal response and mission, and our prayer requests for it. He even had a few envelopes placed around the auditorium at random (and each envelope had “seed money” in it). He said those envelopes had God’s resources in it, and that he was challenging everyone (envelope or no envelope) to invest in God’s Kingdom by planting seeds. The church’s mission is to live out the “red letter” messages of Jesus!

So, what’s my “red letter” mission? Well, many of you know that it’s my passion to write. Therefore, I blog and share my heart online and otherwise. I do my best to serve, minister, and encourage others, work for good causes, use my talents in the church (writing, drama team, prayer team) etc. I’ll continue to do all I have been doing, and will look forward to having more opportunities to use them!!

May you all have “red letter” days and use your gifts to “shine” and serve!! Grace and peace to all of you!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Say "No" to Suffering!

Back in April, I participated in the pro-life t-shirt day (sponsored by American Life League). I even made a video with my son, Casey, who had asked me about my shirt as best as he knew how (watch the video and you'll see what I mean).

American Life League/Rock for Life even featured it on their YouTube and on their site. My greatest hope was/is that the common sense of that video would touch hearts and spread across the internet as people realize that if even a CHILD knows a baby is a baby, how can anyone be any less perceptive?? I never had to tell my son that a "fetus" in the womb is a human being - he knew by looking at it!! So, is that to say that most of us aren't smarter than a five year old?? Where is our common sense, reason, and compassion??

I DREAD the day that my children become of age to understand what abortion is. How does one explain abortion to our kids? Even CHILDREN know that babies are babies!! I can only hope and pray that by that day, abortion will be a tragic thing of the past. Though, if Barack Obama has his way, it will be the stain that never gets washed away. For some reason, it's his greatest hope that human life continues to be destroyed and that women everywhere continue to be victimized, psychologically scarred, and so much more!! I have heard countless abortion stories and heard the pain, guilt, and regret of women as they tearfully tell me the stories that weigh them down with so much regret and shame. Thankfully, for those that know Christ, they have learned how to heal, and that God remembers it no more and holds their children in his arms. Though, even then, the memories rarely fade away; and many live with the after-effects of abortion (miscarriages, infertility, increased risk for breast cancer, psychological distress, etc.).

This is why I fight for life so much!! I am so tired of seeing people needlessly suffer - and that's only the tip of the iceberg! I have even had a man tell me his story of how he pressured his girlfriend to have an abortion; and he has grieved it ever since. EVERYONE suffers, people!!

This madness has got to stop!! America can't go on letting this silent genocide continue!! That is why we must stand up and fight FOCA aka the "Freedom of Choice Act" which Barack Obama is eager to make the law of the land. To learn more about FOCA, and to sign the petition to fight it, click here. It explains what FOCA is and also includes the video of Barack Obama addressing his buddy, Planned Parenthood, about how he plans to indoctrinate FOCA into our nation .

If any of you still aren't convinced about what's at stake, or how much abortion hurts people, click on the links I have provided at the end of this entry. They are the stories of real-life women who have shared their stories on my blog. And, in addition to that, I'm including a link to a poem I wrote last year when I was raising money for the "Walk for Life" for my local Crisis Pregnancy Center. Grace and peace to all of you!! Keep fighting the good fight!!

The Lost Child: Nancy’s Story

Saundra’s Story
Jackie‘s Story
Saved from Abortion
Poem: “Hearing Their Hearts’ Cry”

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Video: Obama Cheats His Own Supporters!

While reading some blogs today, I noticed a video on Ashli's blog that I would like to share. Though, before I do, I had better tell you a little bit about Ashli first (because she's someone worth mentioning!). I have mentioned her before (most specifically in last year's "Walk for Life" video on my YouTube) but let me refresh your memory! First of all, her blog can be found at http://www.thesiclecell.blogspot.com/ Secondly, she is also the author of the book "Beyond Morning Sickness: Battling Hyperemesis Gravidarum" If you don't know what that is, you're not alone. Most people don't because so little research has been done and not much information is available on the topic (which is why she wrote the book). It's a condition in which a pregnant mother gets so debilitating and horribly sick that death is almost rather preferable. Ashli personally suffered through this disease FOUR TIMES (and deeply regrets the abortion of her first child because she didn't know how to cope with her disease). Now, she speaks of her loss, her triumphs, and the precious children that she has now. She is a powerful voice for life, and is the poster-child for women everywhere who have gone through the horrible trenches of "choice" and are now recovering. In addition to her blog, you can also check out the website for her book: http://www.beyondmorningsickness.com/

As for the video I mentioned, this was prompted from a recent blog entry on her page. And, ironically enough, this event that you will see in the video took place right here in my home state of Indiana!! It's a video of Obama campaign workers trying to get the compensation that they were told they would be receiving. As you will see in the video, most of them only got around HALF of what was promised. Does this tell you anything?? Obama's inauguration hasn't even occurred and he's already cheating the American people; and his OWN supporters no less!!! How's that for a "thank you"? America, are you waking up from the Obama trance yet?? This is only a taste of what's to come!! EVERYONE'S paycheck is NEXT!! What a shame! Glad I didn't vote for "that one" (and no, I do NOT mean that in a racial way!! I mean it as a choice between any two alternatives of "this" and "that" and I most certainly didn't vote for "that" - which will soon turn into "this" as soon as Obama takes control in January).

Keep praying America!!! May the grace and peace of the Holy Spirit be with you!!

Stuff I Have Been Wanting To Say/Share

Today, I am just posting a lot of thoughts and information that I have been wanting to share. So, this blog is going to be a little "random" for a change. LOL So, anyways…..

First of all, today is a day we pause to remember and honor our veterans and active military. My Dad served in the army, and so did my Mom's father (my Grandpa). My Great Uncle's son (Mike) served in the Navy. My husband's father served as a marine in Vietnam. I'm sure we all know someone who has gallantly served in our nation's military - and has maybe even died while defending our country's honor and freedom. These people deserve our thanks and our prayers. Salute your heroes if you see them today and/or call them up and thank them!! God bless them all!! We love you!!

Second of all, today, my baby brother turns 23!! OH MY GOSH!! LOL Happy birthday Ryan!! Your big sis (though now much shorter than you!) loves you VERY much!!! Have a WONDERFUL birthday and many more….yeah, CRIPE!! LOL

Lastly, I wanted to make you all aware of a few important links I have come across in the last few days. One of them being a very interesting explanation of why Barack Obama has been so easily able to smooth-talk his way into office. If you have the time to even briefly look this one over, please see this detailed and comprehensive document that my myspace friend, Elaine, found (thanks Elaine for finding this and confirming what I had already suspected for months!).

The next link I want to mention is a VERY important one: http://www.fightfoca.com/ FOCA is what's known as the "Freedom of Choice Act" which Barack Obama wants to make his first priority to sign!! Dear friends, let's stand up, make our voices heard, and fight this!! We have harmed enough women and children over the years; it's time for it to STOP, not continue!! Please, visit the link (all the information you need to know about FOCA is posted there) and sign the petition!! Pass it along to everyone you know as well!!

I also want to share a link that I became aware of today. It's from Grassfire.org. Please click here to sign this important petition and pass it along. This is a peaceful petition of resistance which states: "As an American citizen, while I will show respect to President-elect Obama, I oppose the far-Left and socialistic elements that comprise the centerpiece of his agenda. I recognize that it will take a patriotic and resilient Citizen Resistance to block implementation of this agenda and I join with others who oppose these threats to our liberties." In conjunction with that, I also agree with the brilliant statements given by Mike Huckabee: "Some of President Bush's harsh critics went beyond loyal opposition and engaged in angry, vile and mean-spirited hate. Those of us who found that kind of attitude and behavior despicable can hardly engage in similar conduct toward President Obama. We can show our true patriotism conducting ourselves in the way that we wanted people to have treated President Bush…….If Barack Obama pushes tax increases, indifference to the sanctity of life or same sex marriages, I'll strongly and loudly disagree. But I will still show him the respect that he has earned having been elected president of the United States."

The last link I want to share is one that particularly resounded with me, because I had the exact same thoughts after election day (and was going to blog it myself). Though, this article articulated it perfectly (one small correction….the Bible text quoted is supposed to be first Samuel, and not second Samuel. May we all remember the history and warnings found in 1 Samuel 8 and may we be aware of the end time prophecies being fulfilled even now!). Sometimes, God just allows us to have what we "think" we want in order to open our eyes to the goodness He TRULY wants for us; and to draw us back to Him when "our way" falls apart. The one good thing that will hopefully come out of all of this is that God's people will band together in unity even stronger than before and press onward for righteousness!!

Grace and peace to all of you!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Life or Death?

On Sunday, Chad continued the series of tough questions. The latest question was “What difference does Jesus make?” In other words, do we exhibit the changed life that occurs when we become a child of God, or are we no different than anyone else?

It’s an important question to consider. After all, if Jesus has made such a difference, shouldn’t others be able to see the fruit of that? Or, is there a big gap between what we say we believe and the actual evidence of our faith? What is faith without action? It isn‘t enough to just “believe in God“ - even the demons “believe“ and SHUDDER (James 2:19). So, what sets us apart from a head-knowledge belief, like a demon, and true faith? It‘s our FRUIT, my friends!! It‘s our ACTIONS!! James 2:26 says “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” Basically, practice what you profess!

How much “gap” is there between the faith we profess and the actual evidence of what we say we believe? Chad said that the gaps “diminish Jesus.” In all actuality, NOTHING truly diminishes Jesus. What Chad meant was that the more our testimony displays a poor witness, the more that unbelievers will look at our lives and say “if that’s what a Christian is, than Jesus is not for me!” All my life, I have tried hard to make sure that there was as little “gap” as possible. Though, I am not infallible. Being that I have a sin nature, I am prone to mistakes. There are times that I won’t measure up to someone’s ideals, but that’s ok. I don’t live to please the world; neither can I be the “savior” of the world by my testimony alone. Laying down the legalism and perfection was something that was very tough for me to realize and cope with, but living on the side of GRACE is so much better than trying to act as though everyone’s choice to accept Christ depends on me! Through Christ, I will do the best I can, but everyone is responsible for their own response to God’s Holy Spirit. If they don’t like the message of truth that I proclaim, that’s their choice. In fact, let’s talk about the ability to “choose” for a moment.

Chad said that REAL love gives a choice. True love cannot exist without freedom, because love is not demanded. God NEVER demands our love. In fact, He communicated to Adam in the garden of Eden that he was FREE to eat from any tree in the garden, but that he must not (He didn‘t say “you can‘t“ just that he shouldn‘t) eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or he would surely die (Genesis 2:8-17). He gave Adam a CHOICE; whether to choose the tree of life, or the tree that would lead to death. Adam made his choice, and it’s that choice that caused the separation between us and God (which God so graciously decided to restore by giving us a second chance at life through Jesus sacrifice for our sins! ISN‘T GOD AMAZING, GRACIOUS, LOVING, AND COMPASSIONATE?!).

Of course, one might argue that if God is so “loving” why does He give us rules? Some may view rules as a restriction, but what are the purposes of rules anyways? Rules are for OUR benefit and protection. If their were no guidelines, boundaries, or standards, how would there be any peace? God is our Father, and He tells us the “yeas” and “nays” for OUR own good; just as any parent instructs a child. One makes “rules” out of love. Of course, we can “choose” to disobey, but we will suffer consequences. Though, if we DO obey, we reap the benefits of positive results that flow from good choices and we spare ourselves pain. It’s like I tell my children, “Casey, Gianna, don’t jump off the couch or you’ll get an ouchie.” They can “choose” whether or not they want to obey, but their choices have consequences one way or another. Giving them a command is for their benefit, because I love them and don’t want them to get hurt. However, they are still free to see for themselves what jumping off the couch will do if they don’t believe me. Regardless of their mistakes, I will comfort them; just as God comforts us even when we defiantly go against His good plans for us. His love for us never changes, just like my love for my children doesn’t change no matter how much they disobey.

The choice is truly ours; and it really is a “life and death” choice. Deuteronomy 30:19-20 says:

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

Blessings come when we choose LIFE! Destruction comes when we choose death. Which would you rather have? Life by the Spirit which is real LIFE, or life in our sinful nature which is death? (Romans 8:13) Choosing ourselves results in death, but choosing God equals life - FOREVER!! God freely gives you the option. It’s up to you to DECIDE! I pray you will choose life and that the separation from His presence wouldn‘t be something you would desire!! May grace and peace be with you!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Barack Obama is Covered in Chinese Food! :)

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:12

Since Tuesday night, my heart has been sick. The hearts of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ have been sick as well as we mourned and grieved over what is to come in the next four years. We shared our concerns for Israel, the unborn, and for the welfare of our faith and families. We painfully watched the world rejoice over their exalted “messiah” and groaned to think that so many in our nation voted for the one that was the choice of all our hostile enemies and terrorist in the world. We are left wondering “why” and how we can cope with what lies ahead. Beyond any promises of “hope” we hear from the mouth of the world, we rest in the REAL hope of what we know to be true:

This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. - Jeremiah 23:16

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. - Psalm 130:5

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. - Psalm 33:20

O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the LORD, the spring of living water. - Jeremiah 17:13

For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. - Psalm 37:9

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. - Psalm 31:24

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Our only hope is God, and in Him will we trust! We will bond together and stand stronger than ever in our faith. Hopefully, the body of Christ will be unified even more as we seek to uplift our leaders and pray harder!

As I cried and prayed Wednesday morning, I was comforted with the fact that as surely as the Lord lives, there is HOPE! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! And, as long as His people are drawing breath here on this earth, we have hope, unity, fellowship, and His Kingdom come on earth!! We who are in Him will still continue to do His Will and goodness and love shall prevail!

You know, I serve a great God!! Even though this nation acted in defiant rebellion against His will, He is greater than all things!! He will have favor on His faithful ones and protect His people. He will redeem and restore those who cry unto Him. He will give us grace, hope, and peace. It is the very thing He graciously gave to me in a powerful way, yesterday, as I carried the burden of sadness on my heart. I would like to share that beautiful and blessed story with you now:

Yesterday afternoon, I told Mitch I just wanted to get out of the house and get my mind off of things. So, we decided we would go to Fort Wayne (which I had an errand to run up there anyways). Usually, when we go to Fort Wayne, we pick somewhere to eat. Knowing my state of being, Mitch kindly offered to let me pick the place to go; hoping that it would cheer me up. So, as we made our way to Fort Wayne, I felt a strong urge to go to a little Chinese place that we hadn’t been to in a long time. I was almost hesitant to go considering that our children are such picky eaters, but we went.

As we entered the place, it was very empty. We were the only ones there. The kids headed straight for the fish tank, so we picked a table right in front of it so they could enjoy the view. The owners of the establishment were very friendly and kind, and they took our order and we waited.

Meanwhile, two guys came in and ordered some food to go. They sat down at the table beside us as they waited for their food. All the while, they watched our children talk about the fish, and they made funny comments to them as they seemingly shared in their joy and delight in seeing such big fish. We said a few words to them here and there as well, and just smiled and laughed along with them as they watched our kids take joy in such simple pleasures. Then, we motioned the kids to sit down as the lady brought us some food. We told the kids to pray, and we all bowed our heads as our five-year-old son uttered the blessing in a small little voice. Promptly thereafter, the kids decided they weren’t ready to eat yet, and went to admire the fish some more. (That’s children for you! Ha ha!).

A few minutes later, the men received their order and left. Then, the owner came up to us and said that our bill (tip and everything) had been paid in full by one of those guys. Mitch rose from his seat; hoping to find them and thank them, but they were already gone. The owner asked if we knew the men and we said no. He then told us that they were from a town nearby (which is in the northern part of the county that we live in). He said the one guy came in a lot to get take-out. I asked if I could write a thank-you note and if they would give it to him the next time they came in. He said of course, and gave me a paper and pen. Clearly, they were just as moved by such a random act of kindness as we were. He read my note of thanks and we talked to them a little while as we enjoyed our very delicious meal (and the kids ate their food that night too! LOL).

I tried hard to hold back the tears as I marveled at what had been done. The whole time, God was speaking to my heart and here are the few verses that particularly came to me:

So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. - Matthew 6:31-34

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. - Psalm 30:5

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. - 1 Peter 4:8

As I pondered all those verses in my mind, I was blessed with such comfort and peace beyond what I imagined was possible. I was assured of God’s sovereignty and provision for my every need, whether great or small. He is my hope and security no matter what happens! I knew that the night of grieving was gone and that the time for rejoicing had come! No one or nothing will steal my joy!! God is still good and worthy of my praise and He will work all things out for good (Romans 8:28) even if we disobeyed Him and went against His will by choosing someone who will oppress His people (Israel), kill our children (the unborn), and bring strife and calamity on this nation. God is sovereign over it all!! And, His people are STILL here and we can STILL carry out His will and bring blessing on this nation through our rendered hearts!!

Deeper still, I thought of King David’s reaction to his child’s death in 2 Samuel 12:20-23:

Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. His servants asked him, "Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!" He answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.' But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.

In other words, what's done is done. We will reap what we sow. David learned that disobedience has consequences. Then, he prayed and fasted and hoped that God would show mercy. But when it didn’t happen, he accepted it and moved on. Likewise, we mustn't look back and try to "revive the dead." The past must stay in the past; we cannot resurrect it. It cannot come back to life. All we can do is live with whatever consequences come and band together in unity and prayer so that we can face our lives today and in the days to come. God has nothing but good plans for us if we would only listen and welcome Him in. Otherwise, we bear the consequences of our own free-will. Hopefully, we will learn from our mistakes and have changed and repentant hearts like David’s.

Above all else, I was comforted in remembering that love covers!! Love certainly covered us in that little restaurant. My heart was blessed beyond all I could comprehend. That act of love and kindness COVERED the wrongs and sadness that were disturbing my heart! God must have stirred that man’s heart to do what he did because only God could have known how much it would mean to me. I don’t know the heart of that man, but what he displayed was true agape love - which he must have recognized in our family as well. He blessed us immensely, though I know in some way we must have blessed him first. Maybe it was the pure joy and innocence of our kids, our display of faith through prayer, or maybe even the pro-life t-shirt I was wearing (or all of the above!). I may never know, but what I do know is that those blessings spread! Those two guys, our family, and those restaurant owners were touched. Now, more hearts will be touched as they read this story. I had written on the note that the world would know of their kindness, and I gave them the link to my blog in case they should ever see it. The best thing you can do with a blessing is pay it forward and keep the chain going!! Moments like that is what encourages me that in the broader scope of things, we will all be ok because the Holy Spirit continues to work and move in the hearts of His people. We will not be shaken!!!!

Because of that blessing, I am not bothered so much by what has occurred in our nation. Of course it’s saddening and even scary, but it’s COVERED!!! LOVE COVERS!! Barack Obama is covered in Chinese food (ha ha)!! No matter what he does or doesn’t do, the love of God’s people can cover it because we have God’s grace and agape love in our hearts!! NOTHING on earth is greater than God’s Holy Spirit - NOTHING!!!

Believe in REAL hope and pray for REAL change!! Let’s lift up all of our newly elected leaders in prayer (especially Barack Obama). May those whose hearts are right before God continue standing up for what’s right, and may those who don’t have a heart changed by the Holy Spirit!! Take heart in knowing that God will carry us through - just as this Mark Schultz song describes (which totally spoke to my heart as I heard it on the radio after leaving the restaurant).

May true hope, grace, and peace be in YOUR hearts!! God bless you all, and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Final Thoughts and Truths to Consider Before Voting Tomorrow

What you will read at the end of my message is something that I also found on a message board today. If you need some refreshing on who stands for what let me remind you:

McCain/Palin are Christians who will stand up for our faith and for YOU!! They are whole-heartedly pro-life and they seek to overturn Roe vs. Wade (and through appointing some good supreme court justices, that just might happen eventually!). They also support and defend marriage between one man and one woman. They do not promote the perversion of homosexuality. Also, they seek to stick to the capitalist system that keeps our country running (and they will cut your taxes too!). They do not believe in “wealth spreading” and encouraging idleness/laziness by insisting that we provide funds and benefits to those who only seek to use and abuse government systems (such as welfare). They want to create jobs and encourage people to work and provide for themselves (and save us tax money!) They also stand with ISRAEL and do not support the radical agendas to break it apart.

By contrast, Obama is the mirror opposite (and then some!). He claims Christianity, but none of his beliefs reflect that (and, as we all know, he has roots in Islam as well as ties to terrorists). Add to all this that he doesn’t even like to salute our flag (and would rather create his own version of the American flag - as evidenced by his logo). My gosh, he’s more and more like Hitler all the time!! Brainwashing crowds everywhere and gaining their allegiance as they blindly follow and believe whatever comes out of that smooth-talking mouth of his! When, all the while, he is helping to promote the American Holocaust of MILLIONS OF BABIES!!!

It’s downright blasphemous how he claims that he cares about all us “Joes” but says that we just cling to our guns and religion! But it doesn’t stop there!! He also claims that he wants to provide quality education for our children (well, those that survive life in the womb anyways!) Only “wanted“ children have the right to life and prosperity; but if they are a “mistake“ we shouldn‘t be “punished“ with those children; even more so if they have special needs. Just abort and try again. Why bother with them right? This is all part of his plan. In fact, he said that the first thing he wants to do as president is sign the “freedom of choice act.“ He supports every form of abortion under the sun (AND infanticide!!!). He is endorsed by Planned Parenthood, and has even said that he wouldn’t yield and Planned Parenthood wouldn’t yield (just what we need right? Unyielding radical liberals who will never stop promoting promiscuity, abortion, and perverted “sexual education” to our children - when they aren’t killing them of course). I’m sorry….is all of this news to you? I’d imagine it is because the media sure wouldn’t broadcast it!! However, you can hear all these statements from his own mouth by checking out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NN4TKrViNE

Obama would appoint supreme court judges that would strip away all of our rights (our right to our faith, to bear arms, and so much more!). Not only that, he seeks to grant homosexuals the right to marry; which would destroy the family dynamics and moral fabric of our nation (and it is not something that God purposed or created us for! It violates the completion and unity that He created through a one man/one woman union).

Also, he seeks to “spread the wealth” with his health care schemes and wealth redistribution (do we really want a socialist system? Is it working for Cuba???). In other words, you will work hard so that other people who refuse to work can have your money - after all, that’s the “fair” thing to do…..that way, everyone benefits right? And, last but not least, Obama opposes Israel. World leaders every where are hoping for Obama’s election so that they can have his support in dismantling the country and taking what they want. Can you imagine terrorists having an ally in the White House, someone that will pretty much give them a stamp of approval when he yanks our troops out of Iraq and all hell breaks loose? God forbid we ever see another 9/11!

One final notation, the majority of Hollywood endorses Obama (how about that? Are you going to vote the same way those radical and empty-headed celebrities vote?? How well does a godless millionaire celebrity relate to us “Joe the plumbers”? Whomever THEY are voting for, we should vote the opposite!!). The world doesn’t embrace children of God, but they do embrace other worldly and ungodly people. So, shouldn’t we be thinking about that and embracing the ones that AREN’T being endorsed by the world/media/Hollywood?

Those are my final thoughts before the historic vote tomorrow. If you want to read more about Osama Obama, re-read my October 16th entry: “Truth Serum Anyone??“

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!!!

********************************

WHO WOULD JESUS VOTE FOR?

1. Jesus would not vote according to his "pocketbook."
" For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager
for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many
griefs." 1 Timothy 6:10

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory
by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

2. Jesus is Pro Life.
"Before you were formed in the body of your mother I had knowledge of you, and before your birth I made you holy..." Jeremiah 1:5 "

"But Jesus said, suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:14

3. Jesus is not tolerant of the homosexual lifestyle.
"And in the same way the men gave up the natural use of the woman and were
burning in their desire for one another, men doing shame with men, and
getting in their bodies the right reward of their evil-doing. And
because they had not the mind to keep God in their knowledge, God gave
them up to an evil mind, to do those things which are not right..." Romans 1:27-28

4. Jesus would not vote for anyone who has interests in other religions besides Christianity.
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

5. Jesus is against welfare.
"For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." 2 Thessalonians 3:10

6. Jesus is pro Israel.
"Because they did not give the children of Israel bread and water when they came to them, but got Balaam to put a curse on them: though the curse was turned into a blessing by our God." Nehemiah 13:2

"I will make of you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great. You will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you. All of the families of the earth will be blessed in you." Genesis 12:2-3

7. Jesus knows who really controls the economy.
"So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear? 'For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:31-34

8. Jesus is not worried about social security or the stock market.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." Matthew 6:19-20

It all comes down to this. We need God in America again. Our economy,
our children, our marriages, etc. need healing.

While neither candidate looks to be a strong Christian candidate - as
a nation which one will lead us closer to God and not farther away?

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

As Christians, who we vote for does matter to God!
"As surely as I live,' says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God. ' So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God." Romans 14:11-12

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