Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Signing Off Of FaceBook!

Well, I guess that got your attention!

It's won't see me there posting, commenting, liking, least for the next 40 days.  I'll be using the time for prayer and "fasting" from FaceBook.  To some that might sound silly.  To others, they might be thinking, "Yay!  Jame won't be posting anymore annoying political or religious posts!"  But the truth of the matter is...I've become a bit of a FB addict.  There...I've said it!  It has entered too much of my thought process, especially during this passionate election season. 

Here's what I will be doing:
Using the time to PRAY.  That's it!  Anytime I have the urge to click on that little blue "f" on my browser, I'll be "logging on" to prayer instead.  I've even deleted the app from my phone.  WOW!

What will I be praying for?
1)  A deeper relationship with Christ. You can never go too deep, in my opinion...
2)  My husband; his faith, our relationship, my willingness to be his helpmate (or lack there of sometimes..."eh-hem"...).  
3)  The faith of my children. They NEED me...more of me.  I'm not just their mom, but also their teacher!  And I'm suppose to be an example of righteousness...YIKES!
4)  Our nation and this political season we are in.  I'll be praying for the president (yes, I do pray for him...sometimes...and, no, I don't pray that he get struck by lightning).  I'll be praying that he seeks wisdom from Christ, that he rises up to be the Christian he claims to be, that he turns back to the Bible, and that he leads his administration in doing so.  
5)  I'll be praying for friends and family who do not know Christ yet and do not have that personal relationship with Him that He offers to us all ("I stand at the door and knock" Revelation 3:20)  I'll be praying that those friends repent, put their trust in the Lord, and turn to His Word for the truth.  I'll be praying that lives be changed for the glory of God.

I'll also be praying that this election will be the start of a new revival in this wonderful country.  I'll be praying that we turn BACK to God and that we concern ourselves less with offending each other and care more about offending God.  I will be praying...fervently...  At times, I'll be on my knees, at other times I'll be praying while doing the mundane day-to-day tasks.

So why do I feel the need to do this?  Do I think my little prayers will impact the entire nation?  Well, all I can say is that I am doing this for a deeper faith.  I already know that the Lord's plan is in place.  He appoints the leaders (good and bad).  Remember when the Israelites whined about not having a king?  (1 Samuel 8-9)  Well, He gave them one; not a very good one, but they got what they asked for.  So, I'll use this time to strengthen my trust in Him.  If our country rejects God as a whole, so be it.  I, personally, will keep my eyes on the Lord...not the world.  His plan is good, even if I may not see it right away.  Even if the election outcome isn't what I personally hoped for.  He is faithful to those who trust in Him.

After the last election I was physically sick over the outcome.  I was terrified that this would mean the demise of every hard working small business person, including my own husband.  But you know what?  It wasn't.  Our business didn't shut down.  We didn't lose our shirts.  Our children didn't starve.  We survived and the Lord provided.  I feel a bit convicted now over the way I responded to that outcome.  I certainly didn't portray myself as a pillar of faith.

I'm not saying that I have already accepted that this election will not turn out the way I personally want it to.  I am just preparing myself for what God has planned and the promise that His plan is good no matter what.  His return in imminent and I want to be ready.  There will be struggle and strife, but His faithful followers will rise above it.  In the end we will see Him and that's all that matters.

Why did I choose to do this for 40 days?  Well, 40 is a significant number in the Bible.  It's the number of days Christ fasted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:2).  It's the number of years the Israelites spent wandering in the desert (Exodus).  I believe that will be a significant number of days for personal progress.  And I do want to see progress!  I also believe that the Holy Spirit has placed this on my heart.  I spend too much time on that blasted FaceBook!  I'm looking forward to breaking the "habit", and in the process, turning my attention to spiritual growth and a closer connection to my family. Oh...and it just happens to be 40 days until the presidential election!  ;-)

You are welcome to join me!  I may not be spending time on FaceBook, but I do plan to share whatever the Holy Spirit reveals to me here on this blog, and how this time of prayer is impacting my life.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Tasting Blood

That's what happens when I bite my tongue and I've been doing a lot of that lately.  I go on Facebook quite regularly and I've been known to be a bit outspoken about my beliefs and political views, but lately I seen so much political opinion being shared by others that it would take me all day to respond to it all if I really wanted to.  Truth is...I usually do want to, but there is a still, quiet voice inside of me that says, "don't".  In fact, many times I've typed something out, sat there and read what I typed, and then (a bit begrudgingly) hit the backspace key.  It's not worth it.  I've come to realize that I am not going to change anyone's political view.  I can have a few moments of "touche", but that's fleeting and it's just part of the vicious cycle of bi-partisan politics.

I'm learning all this as I go.  More and more the Holy Spirit guides me in what is "throwing pearls to swine".  The only way to impact the beliefs of another person is to let Christ do the leading.

The most disheartening part of it all is seeing how many people truly are deceived. 
My people perish for lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6  
These are people that develop their views from the world rather than The Word of God.  Sure, they may take the scriptures that they like, the warm and fuzzy ones that get twisted and taken out of context so they "tickle their ears", and then they ignore the real meat that could save them from a fiery eternity.  Denying the scripture is SERIOUS business!  We MUST believe it ALL...or the truth is, we don't really believe it!

I really like the analogy about the path being a straight and narrow one.  We walk a straight line.  If we take our foot off that line it might not seem like a big deal, but as we walk we deviate away from the path a little more, and then a little more.  The next thing we know, we are so far off the path that we can't even see it anymore.  It's too late.  We are then knee-deep in deception!

If only people could really come to realize what is really happening:
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine (that "sound doctrine" is the Bible, by the way). Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers (there's plenty of false teachers selling a lot of books and doing lots of t.v. appearances these days) to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
So what does this have to do with the election season we're in?  Well, it's like one corner you have a man who calls himself a Christian, yet has not proven to be one (that would be the current president).  Then, in another corner, you have a man that is a Mormon.  The problem is, unless you truly know what the Bible says, you vote for the wrong man.  As a Bible-believing Christian, I have to look at who is going to adhere to biblical principles, not at what they say they are.  Who is going to respect God's definition of marriage, rather than try to rewrite it into something that is clearly NOT natural?  Who is going to protect unborn babies, rather than be an advocate for killing them?  Who is going to stand with Israel?  Who is going to encourage people to be self-reliant, rather than put their trust in the government to take care of them?  If you truly see yourself as a follower of Christ, you will know who the "wolf in sheep's clothing" is.  You will have discernment from the Lord.

I write this, not for the person who hasn't accepted Christ as their Savior, but for the person who calls themselves a Christian, yet has not chosen to truly GIVE their life over to Him.  Maybe you think you have.  Ask yourself a few questions...  Do you take the WHOLE Bible as the Truth or do you take bits and pieces?  Do you accept the Truth that Christ is the one and only way to salvation or do you accept the world's view that "all paths lead to God"?  Do you "draw nearer to Him so that He may draw nearer to you" (avoid sinful practices as outlined in the Bible) or do you find yourself being entertained by worldly desires that do not edify you or glorify the Lord? If you answered "yes" to the second half of any or all of those questions then you are just like I used to be...before I accepted the Truth completely AND decided to live my life completely for Him.  It changed my life in so many wonderful ways.  I know that I know 1) who God is, 2) that He is real, and 3) without Him, there is no hope to eternity in Heaven.

Time is short.  We never know when that moment will be when we stand face-to-face with God....

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Choice Is Ours

courtesy of Teen Challenge
 Teen Challenge

I was so blessed to hear testimonies from men with Teen Challenge yesterday at church.  Each one was so encouraging.  However, I couldn't help noticing a trend with all their stories.  The stories all started with the fact that they were raised in Christian homes.  They all went to church (some even on Wednesday - oh, that's when we get really holy, right), they knew Jesus, knew some scripture, etc, etc, etc.  Wow!  That is a wake up call!.  How naive we can be if we think that just "raising" our children in a so-called Christian home seals their future as something righteous and holy.

I, of course, used this opportunity with our 14-year old daughter.  I asked her if she notice something that they all had in common.  I then pointed out the fact that they all grew up as "Christians" yet, they still had to make their own choices (usually around the age of 12 or 13).  It's not up to parents or church or anyone else.  We are all responsible for how we live out our faith, if at all.  We are responsible for the choices we make; for the friends we choose, for the things we fill our minds with (t.v., movies, books, music, video games), we are responsible for our decision to trust the Lord with our whole life.

What a great teaching opportunity we had!