Category Archives: Church

People of the Day

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Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.  The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
~Romans 13:11-14

Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.  While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.  For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of dayWe are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.  For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.  But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.  
~1 Thessalonians 5:1-8

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.  The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.  Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!  But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.  Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.
~2 Peter 3:8-15a

Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.  But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.  For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will
~the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:42-44)

Open the Eyes of My Heart 

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Life Together

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I found the perfect spot in the library, away from all the bustle. I was thirty-one with two little boys at home and badly needing a day away to think.  I can’t quite remember if my second relapse had hit me yet, but I knew I was in much need of rest.  I found the perfect spot next to an enormous glass window overlooking the pond.  While sitting on a little couch tucked under the stairwell, I asked the Father to please guide me to do the right thing. “Cause, I desperately want to do the right thing.”  I took out my journal, my pencil, my Bible, and Bonhoeffer’s book, Life Together.

The book had been on the shelf for years, but I hadn’t ever read it, thinking it was too “theological” for me to enjoy.  It’s not a very big book but, as I found, it is chock full of truth and wisdom for the church body to discern what living this life together “should” be like.  It’s a book that radically changed the way I understood I am to “be” in the body.  Practical spiritual wisdom for everyday life together.

God was faithful to guide me.  I understood the admonishment from scripture, “as much as it depends upon you, be at peace with one another.”  With tears streaming down my face, I wrote out the apology, understanding a heart-rending-deep-cleansing had been done.

God made it clear to me what the next step would be.  The apology was sent and now it was time to hope for reconciliation.  It was time to release the situation in order that Christ might deal…

“…spiritual love proves itself in that everything it says and does commends Christ. It will not seek to move others by all too personal, direct influence, by impure interference in the life of another. It will not take pleasure in pious, human fervor and excitement. It will rather meet the other person with the clear Word of God and be ready to leave him alone with this Word for a long time, willing to release him again in order that Christ may deal with him.”
~D. Bonhoeffer, Life Together

It might be time to read that little — powerful — book once again.

You Found Me…HOW?!?

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Recent search term:

having freckles means you can speak with God

Seriously?!?
Seriously?
(in your best Meredith Grey voice)

Yeah, seriously.
It’s good for a giggle,
I suppose.

Except,
I went to church this past Sunday and heard a fantastic sermon on favoritism in the Body.
Jesus is against it,
in case you didn’t know…

In Christ’s family there can be no division into
Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female.
Among us you are all equal.
~Galatians 3:28

Within the Body, NO DIVISIONS!!!

NO racism:

no division into Jew or non-Jew.

NO social or class standing:

 no division into slave or free.

NO chauvenism or feminism:

no division into male or female.

NO favoritism because — get this, it’s really good — we are ALL His favorite.

ALL
Every last one of us.
With or withOUT freckles!
(I’m letting that one sink in… )

It’s truth.
He loves me with my freckles.
He loves you without freckles.

You get to speak to Him NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE…

In Christ’s family we are all equal.
It’s an awesome thing to know we are all sons of God according to His promise.
Each of us stands equally as we are clothed in His righteousness.

No matter how you look…

No matter how much money you make…

And no matter your gender…

IN Christ, He listens to you.
In Christ, you’ve got God’s ear.

Speak to Him.
He loves you THE MOST!

You’re His favorite.

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
For all of you who were baptized into Christ
Have clothed yourselves with Christ.


There is neither Jew nor Greek,
There is neither slave nor free man,
There is neither male nor female;
For you are all one in Christ Jesus.


And if you belong to Christ,
Then you are Abraham’s descendants,
Heirs according to promise.

~Galatians 3:26-29

To hear the complete sermon:
No Favoritism Here

Forgive Us

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It is our fault.

Christians should be the most loving, caring, forgiving, gracious, merciful, and compassionate people on the earth. 

If we truly believe in Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God, the Messiah (Christ) who came to forgive the sins of the world and save us as His own…

…then we are to live as He preached. 

Jesus preached Love. 

It’s our fault if, when people think of Christians, they do not think of Love. 

I watched a show on Shalom TV last night:  Repentance.  It struck me hard.  It is a film documenting a movement of repentance in Germany which acknowledges 2,000 years of anti-Semitic Church history that culminated in the Holocaust.  It features Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel.

After reading Night by Elie Wiesel years ago, I embarked on a study of his writings.  Seeing his name in the description peaked my interest.  Although I’m only 49 years old and have never been an anti-Semite, I felt compelled to ask God for forgiveness for my ancestors  since I do have some German blood running through my veins.

I don’t really believe it works that way, that I can seek forgiveness for my ancestors.  I do believe we will all stand individually and give an account for the deeds done in the flesh.  However, I feel a deep grief over the 2000 years of Church history.  I feel we have smeared Christ’s name by hateful acts of prejudice toward His people.  And then, I think of all the other people we seem to snub, push aside, act as though we are better than…!!!

What’s wrong with us? 
Do we really believe the words of Christ?
How is it we can be so hateful toward our fellow man and call ourselves Christians?

Christ came to save the lost,
To bind up the wounds of the broken,
To release the chains of the prisoner.

I could get on my soapbox and wax loooong about what we’ve done as Christians, but my point:

We need to apologize.

We need to apologize for the ugly distortion we have taught as Christ followers.

We need to apologize for the evil we’ve done in Christ’s name.

We need to love as He taught us to love the world.

ALL people.

We would not be here, we would not have any of our Christian teachings, if God did not choose the Jewish people through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  They are the People of the Book.  They have kept the sacred text indisputably incorrupt (proven through the Dead Sea Scrolls) for thousands of years.  Our Savior came through this people…and look what we have done in His name…

Please.  Please, accept this heartfelt statement of repentance from one lone girl deep in the heart of Texas.

This act of contrition is not for the Jewish people only, but for all people who have seen and heard an ugly word or action done in the name of Christ.

Please, forgive us.
If you do not see us as a loving people, we are to blame.

It is our fault.
Our Savior didn’t teach us to act this way.

Do You Stink?

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Once upon a time, I was told that I stink.

It was humiliating, to say the least.

You see, I knew I didn’t

I had showered. 
I had on clean clothes. 
I was freshly sprayed with my favorite perfume.

But, to this person, I stunk.

And the memory of being told such a thing still bites.

Well, please forgive me if reading this post bites you…

… … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

 God uses us in the world to spread the Truth about Christ:

Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.

When we teach the Truth we smell goooooooood.  But, not everyone appreciates this perfume.  In some nostrils, it’s more like death:

But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume.

To some, our teaching is malodorous. 
To others, it is life-giving. 
If the words you teach are true, faithful, loving, just, and gracious…
you can know you are spraying sweet perfume throughout the world.

Even if someone tells you, you stink. 
It might just be they don’t recognize words of life.

How can you tell the difference? 
How do you know if your words about Christ smell good? 
Or if you’re just stinking up the atmosphere?

And who is adequate for such a task as this?

You see, we are not like the many huckster who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us.

What’s the motivation?
When you speak, are you speaking for yourself?
Are you trying to manipulate with your words?
Is it for your own gain?
Is it all about you?

Remember, God is watching.
He knows if you are sincere.
He knows if you are speaking with His Son’s authority.

What kind of perfume are you spraying?

(scriptures taken from 2 Corinthians 2)

Treasures

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What would happen if Christ followers did as Jesus taught?

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth–eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves.  Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.  Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul.  But an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness. If the light you think you have is really darkness, how deep that darkness will be!  No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” ~Matthew 6:19-24

How enslaved are we to our things? 
What do we spend our time thinking about?
If our thoughts are not on the Lord, where are they? 

I decided to ask these questions of myself.  What do I spend most of my day thinking about?  Where do I find my thoughts when the world becomes quiet?  This scripture tells me that my treasure is in that place.  The place where my thoughts wander.

So then, the next question:  Were my thoughts on God?

If not…then what?
Is that place truly my God, or…my god?
I cannot serve two masters.

Do I imagine something to buy…?
What I might want to eat…?
How I’d like to entertain myself…?
What my next project will be…?
Or was it someone with whom I’m invested: my kids, my husband, my friends…?

If any one of those things is not God, and His kingdom, have I just recognized an idol in my life?

Where my thoughts wander is where I’ll put my treasure.
If my treasure is truly the Kingdom of heaven, won’t my money follow?
And if my money is going to things, food, or entertainment, does it follow that my god is my stomach…my desires? 

Doesn’t it follow that my heart must not be on heavenly things?

Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where moth and rust do NOT destroy…
where theives do NOT break in and steal.

What does that mean?
Do I give all my money (after my responsibilities) to the church?
Is Jesus asking for us to not have any materialistic desires?

I think it means we give our money to the things Jesus was concerned about…
His kingdom (Luke 4:18-19).

People:
Hungry,
Hurting,
Sick,
Poor,
Anyone needing Jesus.
Anyone who hasn’t heard the Good News of the Gospel.

Would we have a problem with elder care, health care, orphans, or poverty if the people of God would truly care about the things God cares about…???

But He’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what GOD is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously–take God seriously.
~Micah 6:8 (The Message)

Live justly,
With mercy,
And walk humbly before God.

Thinking it through…