Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Today I choose........


We do not choose what happens to us, but we get to choose how we react to those things that happen around us.

Today, right now, I am making a choice.......

I choose to feel JOY instead of pain and sadness.
I choose FAITH to dispel any fear that I may encounter
I choose to feel HOPE when it is easy to feel despair
I choose HEALING  because I can't endure any more hurt.
I choose to be CERTAIN instead of doubtful
I choose to stand STABLE even on rocky ground
I choose to be GRATEFUL for it fills my soul with goodness and drowns out self pity.
I choose LOVE
I choose LIFE


Monday, May 19, 2014

Have you determined to follow Jesus?

In Church the question was asked of us, Have you made up your mind? have you determined within yourself to live righteously no matter what?

I would ask the same of you today. The time has come to decide which side you are on. You can no longer be part the world and part of the Lord's kingdom. The gap is becoming too wide.

Living a righteous life in this world is hard. You will have to go against the mainstream society. You will have to choose to do differently than those around you. It may not always easy and you may have to stand alone. But when living like Christ becomes important enough to you. You will find a way to do it no matter the consequences.

The time has come to stand for truth and righteousness. God does not want our excuses, he wants us to be valiant men and women to stand for him, and with him in these last days.
Please come back often to find encouragement and practical advice as to how to follow Christ and live the disciple life.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The seemingly impossible call to "be ye therefore perfect"

The call to be perfect found in Matthew 5:48 has come to a boiling point for many. Thoughts of perfection and our lack of ability to do so has caused so much despair and hopelessness. It is overwhelming.  We live in a society that puts such stress and pressure on us to be perfect.  Just look around you, it comes at us from all directions. The idea of being perfect in everything has overwhelmed our homes, our schools, our churches, it is everywhere. The quest to be perfect in every possible aspect has nearly overtaken us. Combine the TV, magazines, and movies ideal of perfect with social media like Facebook, twitter, and Pinterst it has all come together in a  "perfect storm."  (no pun intended.) I recently wrote about The comparison trap that comes with social media. It seems so easy to overly compare ourselves, and pour fuel on this fire.

We are all feeling the effects. Parents are so overwhelmed by keeping up with the other parents and making sure that their children have the opportunity to be the most perfect of all the children. Our young people are becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the pressure on them to be that perfect child. Those in the teenage years are having trouble finding their way through this raging storm (as if teenage years weren't hard enough), I feel bad for them. Families are being ripped apart by this storm.

The trouble is an attitude is growing in ourselves and our children. We have been overburdened with the thoughts of perfection to a breaking point. Mention the words perfection or perfect, and it is like a swear word. You mention being perfect and some people want to throw you under a bus. People have become crazy in their pursuit of the unobtainable worldly perfection. A side effect of this crazy ride is that it is causing a shift in peoples perception.

Here are a few thoughts and quotes that I have seen floating about social media lately (This is just a sampling of things that I have seen and the attitude that is beginning to prevail)

1."Have no fear of perfection, you will never reach it"
2. "They say no one is perfect, then they say that practice makes perfect, I wish they would make up their minds"
3. "nobody is perfect, I am nobody so therefore I am perfect."
4."perfection is not what the heart is aiming for"
5.  "shooting for perfection is like shooting in the dark". 

These quotes and thoughts of "I can't be perfect" have lead to an attitude of "I am fine the way I am, I will find solace in being imperfect " 

6. "Imperfect is the next perfect"
7. "I am perfectly imperfect"
8. "Imperfection is really two words  I'm perfection"

Take a moment and think about the above quotes. How do they make you feel?  Do you see yourself in them? Do you find your attitude shifting? Satan is very sneaky. He has infiltrated to the very core. Do you see how he is keeping us from the Goal of being like Jesus?  The problem is that these attitudes and perceptions of perfect can overtake and distract us to the point that it keeps us from even being willing to try to become like our Savior Jesus Christ because perfect is just too overwhelming.  

It has been said that The pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement.

 If we are striving for worldly perfection that is very true. We often find ourselves so wrapped up in the pursuit of worldly perfection, and showing our perfection for the world to see.  We can find that we have been blinded as to perfection in the Saviors eyes. Perfection according to the world, and the Saviors perfection are different; yet somehow we let them become one and the same. Let me explain further.

An understanding and enlightenment comes when we begin to define the word perfect. To often we use the word perfect as an adjective; entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings.  The Lord is using the word perfect as a verb which has an entirely different meaning; to bring to completion; finish. to make fully skilled, to bring nearer to perfection.   

Perfection is an ideal that helps in removing, not demeaning imperfections. Tasneem Hameed

The Scripture "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" comes from the Sermon on the mount. In Matthew chapter 5  Jesus begins this beautiful sermon. The chapter ends with the command to be perfect. In the next chapter he continues on and he gives some advice about how to do this. The first thing he says in chapter 6, "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men to be seen of them; otherwise you will have no reward of your father in heaven." He was warning about becoming preoccupied with the world and their view of perfection. Being perfect in Christ is not about putting ourselves out there for everyone to see. It is NOT about being perfect on the outside, but perfect on the inside. God sees our inside, he sees what we are becoming we need to trust his work within our souls.

Often times the world can't see the inner beauty of someone who is growing and developing in Christ. I would like to compare this process to that of a growing apple. We are all growing and just as an apple, we begin by growing from a little bud to a blossom.  The blossoms are beautiful but they have not grown to be a fully developed fruit. It is a process for the blossom to change from flower to a full grown fruit. During the sermon on the mount Jesus was teaching the people this process. These people were  blossoms, he was teaching them how to grow to be full grown fruit. We are also in this process, many of us are just beginning to blossom.  He is changing us from a blossom to a full grown apple. This process is not appealing to the world.  Take a look below at this group of photos that chronicle the journey of an apple blossom to a fully ripe fruit.


When we see ourselves changing from the blossom into the small and somewhat ugly fruits as seen in photos B, C, and D; we begin to wonder what is happening. We begin to doubt the hand of God, sometimes we believe that God is changing us into something strange and unsightly. We often lose understanding of where we are going and what is happening. We have to grow and change, we can't be a blossom forever. We are not meant to be a blossom, we are meant to be an apple. This is the process and it is an essential part of life. It is the only way for us to be like Christ and our Father in heaven.

We are called to be perfect, to be changed and become a new creature in Christ. It is a wonderful thing once you get past the world and its views on perfection. Can you feel it? Have you caught the vision yet?  Do you have a desire to grow into something more? Do you have a passion or even a small desire for Christ's perfection?  If you have the smallest desire for it, let it grow within you until it fills you.

Jesus continues on with the Sermon on the mount giving all kinds of advice and sharing with the people the skills, attributes, and virtues they should develop to be more like he and his Father.  If you have not read it lately I would suggest taking the time to read it.

Christ lays out to the people the path that they are to take from here on out. He gives them many skills and tools that they can use along the way. Over the next few weeks and months I will be exploring some of the skills, character traits, and virtues that God lays out for us in the scriptures. I will be writing about them along with practical advice for those who are willing to embark on this path.

Please come back and visit often. As always I welcome your comments, thoughts and advice. We can all learn from each other. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Has Christ consumed you heart and mind?

I have been reading a wonderful book Anchored: Pressing On by Pressing Into the Savior. It is an easy to read book about a young woman's true conversion to Christ.  Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book.


She writes in a way that really spoke to my heart. I would encourage you to pick it up and read it. It is worth reading.  

Anchored: Pressing On by Pressing Into the Savior

PS. I wrote this post of my own accord simply because I really liked the book.

The above links are affiliate links. This just means that I am referring you to Amazon to purchase the book. If you buy through Amazon you are supporting my work here, but more importantly you are helping a young woman (Teresa Blondo) share her conversion story and helping to spread the word of the Lord.

Monday, May 5, 2014

"Let it go" makes me Freeze in my tracks.

I have been amazed at how the movie "Frozen" has swept the country. The song "let it go" has been belted out and sung over and over so many times it makes one crazy. We hadn't even seen the movie and my kids were singing it everywhere we went. Even my five year old who stays home with me has been swept up with her older sister who learned the words at school. It is such a catchy little song. It gets going around and round in your head (I bet you are singing it right now).  I sometimes find myself singing it and it makes me crazy. Let me tell you why it is so annoying to this Christian Momma.
Over the weekend I finally broke down and went to Redbox and rented the movie "Frozen" for the family to see. It seemed like a great idea to have a family movie night.  My 8 year old had been begging me to see it. We went to our local Redbox and my son was so excited he could hardly contain himself. He made sure to announce to everyone in line that we were renting "Frozen". When one of the mothers asked him "How many times have you seen it?" She was shocked by his response that this was his first time to watch it. She went on telling about how her family has watched it dozens of times. "you'll love it!" she said.  There were about three mothers in line that also said, "you'll love it" with one mother adding, "Your Mom will love it too."

We sat down and watched the movie and I was surprised by what I saw. I had heard such great things about it and I was kind of disappointed. It was kind of lacking in storyline, and the dialogue is really cheesy. My husband was annoyed by the songs. But we had to find out what everyone was talking about. We sat and watched as a family. After it was over the son who was so excited to see it was asked how he liked it; he replied, "I haven't made up my mind yet." The only one who was real excited about it was his six year old sister who was in love with Elsa and her beautiful song "let it go"

There are a few things that I do not find appealing or right about the movie. First, is the way Anna is allowed to run rampant in the castle as she is growing up there. So many Disney movies make it seem like this is what princesses do, their home is their domain and they can do whatever the *#$@ they want. We have a generation of "little Disney princesses" growing up that have that same attitude. It makes me really sad. My youngest does not need motivation from the movies to encourage more of this behavior. I work hard to help her to know the rules and obey them. 

Second, is the fact that Anna falls in love and is engaged all within a day. Oh brother, our teenagers think that love is all like that. So many of our young adults are growing up, falling in love, then getting divorced several months later when they find out that life isn't always happily ever after.  I am seeing more and more of it, and it makes me sad that it is becoming acceptable to society.  I am trying to teach my children a different kind of love story, one of never ending love. One of real love such as is found in the Bible.  

Third, The song "let it go" Have you really looked and thought about the lyrics that are going round and round peoples heads?   I have highlighted a few phrases in the lyrics below.

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight,
not a footprint to be seen.
A kingdom of isolation and it looks like I'm the queen.
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside.
Couldn't keep it in, Heaven knows I tried.
Don't let them in, don't let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know.
Well, now they know!
Let it go, let it go!
Can't hold it back any more.
Let it go, let it go!
Turn away and slam the door.I don't care what they're going to say.
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway.
It's funny how some distance,
makes everything seem small.
And the fears that once controlled me, can't get to me at all
It's time to see what I can do,
to test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me.
I'm free!
Let it go, let it go.
I am one with the wind and sky.
Let it go, let it go.
You'll never see me cry.
Here I'll stand, and here I'll stay.
Let the storm rage on.
My power flurries through the air into the ground.
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I'm never going back; the past is in the past!
Let it go, let it go.
And I'll rise like the break of dawn.
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand, in the light of day.
Let the storm rage on!
The cold never bothered me anyway.
These are just a few phrases that go through the kids heads. I even find myself humming "no right, no wrong, no rules for me. I'm free" I catch myself and it makes me so upset. This is NOT what I want going through my head. These words, and especially the attitude associated with this song will infiltrate us and eventually destroy us. Music has such a powerful impact. I listen to Christian music on the radio. The other music has no place in my life anymore.  K-love is about the only radio station we listen to. You can find K-love in most cities. Good music makes a huge difference in our lives, and I am saddened that a little song like this has pushed its way onto the stage leaving little room for anything else.

 There is something else about this song. Elsa was originally set to be the villain in the story. The song "let it go" was written for her character, and it seemed so great, they tweaked the movie and made Elsa more of the hero as opposed to a villain. Think about this, the villain is now the hero?  A warning was given about the last days and about such things. in Isaiah 5:20 "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"  I would say that this is a really good example of this and there are more examples all around us.

I was surprised to hear the young people in our congregation sing this song as part of a talent night.
I saw their faces and what I saw amazed me. I could see it in their faces that they were feeling a battle inside. They were seemingly gaining strength to fight the battle as they sang this song, but is this the strength that we want them to gain? I would suggest that this is not the strength of the Lord. Strength in isolation is not it. Strength in numbers, strength in the Lord's ways. (look back at the words again)  In 1 Chronicles 16:11 it says "seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually"  We do not need to do it alone, we cannot do it alone. We need not isolate ourselves, but turn to God and seek his ways. This is what I want my children to learn. Yes, we all have a battle to fight inside of us, but to let it go and give up the fight? Is this really what we want to teach our children, to give into the "natural/carnal minded man" In 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him. I want my children to understand and walk with the spirit of God. I want them to learn to use the gifts that God has given them, not hide them, and not to battle inside with the spiritual gifts they have been given.    
I know that not everyone would agree with me, but this is where I stand on this movie. It is not a movie that we are going to buy or entertain in our home. It does not teach anything worthwhile for my family in fact it teaches the opposite of what I want. There is the message of true love that melts Anna's frozen heart. It is there, along with some other great messages, but it is overshadowed by the other things. "Let it go" seems to be the overwhelming message of the movie and the part that people remember and relate to. The other messages get lost.

I wish that I could get the song "let it go" out of our lives completely, but that is nearly impossible. So until then, we can tame it, we can be aware, and when we find ourselves entertaining that song (or any other questionable song for that matter)  we can call it off the stage of our mind and replace it with a hymn or song of praise that will be more uplifting to the soul. 

I would urge you to look into your own life, your own soul. If these words have prompted you to take another look at your life, please do so. Make any changes that you find necessary so you  won't drown in the popular culture.  

Blessings to you all,
 Happy Christian Momma