Monday, September 26, 2016

My 2 cents

I've been paying close attention to what the people in my life say. Not that it's a really big deal. I haven't been LOOKING for specific things, just been paying attention to the words that leave their mouths.  Here are some things that have caught my attention:

"I don't read my Bible everyday. I know I should, but I'm not much of a reader and, well, I just don't."
"Well, they're kids, they're gonna get in trouble"
"If you can't tithe, you can give of your time"
"You can worship where ever you are, on the soccer field, at a bass tourney, at the deer camp. You don't have to be in Church."
"I don't pray out loud"

I've rolled these things around in my head for weeks now and I've made some decisions.

First, it's not okay to not read your Bible. Really. It's not okay. When things go bad in life, we cry out to God for help. Many troubled times can be avoided when we follow God's Word, but we can't follow God's Word if we don't read it. We cannot know the character of God without reading His Word and we cannot fully trust Him unless we know His character.

I'm not going to expect my kids (or you or your kids) to get into trouble. I am going to EXPECT people to do the right thing. I am going to EXPECT people to behave properly. I am going to expect people to make good choices, and treat others with respect. If they don't, forgiveness, grace, and mercy will be offered, but I am not going to EXPECT people to do the wrong thing.

If you can't tithe, give what you can and make changes in your spending until you can tithe. It is hard to not spend the money you have to buy the things you want, but God gave you the money in the first place. 10% isn't all that much. Your life will be less stressful if you live so that every dollar isn't spent before you make it. Trust me...I feel your pain on this one. There are few things worst than having more month than money.

You need to be in church. Yes, you CAN worship anywhere....but DO you? Do you have a worship GOD at the game? Are you worshipping GOD on the lake and in the deer stand (or are you worshipping nature)? Scripture says not to forsake the gathering together. The early church spent much time together. We grow, learn, and bond while we are TOGETHER. One of Satan's greatest tactics is to separate a Christian from the body of believers. Separated, we fall victim to Satan's lies and deceit. Go to church. Make it a priority. Get involved. Find a church where you fit in, where you feel comfortable and can be yourself while you grow in Christ.

Finally, praying out loud isn't a big deal. Be like Nike and just do it. I am an introvert, so I get it. Praying out loud is daunting. ESPECIALLY if you are praying in front of seasoned "pray-ers". Really, I get it. Here's what helped me: I started praying. The more I prayed, the more natural it felt. Now, talking to God is just what I do. I can pray silently, out loud, in a text, email, or on Facebook. People will tell you this, and it is true, no one really cares how you fumble through a prayer. I have NEVER heard ANYONE say "good grief, he really botched that one!"  Know what I HAVE heard? I have heard all manner of comments about people who pray all high and mighty and pray differently than they talk. My personal favorite was a guy who would start every prayer with "ourrrrrrrr Faaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhtherrrrrrrrr aaaaaaaannnnnnnnd ourrrrrrrrr Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhd." Oh! I wish I could write it how he said it! He was a quiet man...until he prayed in church. Anyway, my point is, no one is going to think anything about your talking to God unless you go all King James on them. Just talk to God. Share what's on your heart. That's all there is to it.

That's all I got. I'd love to know your thoughts.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

There will come a day when everything is made right

I still watch Disney Channel. I get teased about it a lot. I find great comfort in shows like "Girl Meets World" and "The Middle" where problems are solved, misunderstandings made right and relationships are restored within each 30 minute episode. (Reminds me of the sitcoms I grew up watching - the Brady Bunch, BOY Meets World, Saved by the Bell, Facts of Life, and Full House)

I also enjoy Hallmark Channel movies. They are predictable. Girl meets guy. They have a conflict. Both fight their desire to date. Something tragic happens that causes them to realize they love each other, (mutually and equally). They get married and live happily ever after. There is no massive baggage brought into the relationship, no unsolvable disagreements, oh! and did I mention that they are ALL absolutely G-rated? No expletives - even when they squabble and nothing more physical than a kiss - which is almost always after they declare their undying love for each other.

I watch other things too, but these are my two "go-to" things to watch It comforts me that each episode or movie is wrapped up and tied with a nice pretty bow, because in reality, life just isn't like that. Life can be messy. People can be difficult. Relationships can be strained. Circumstances can become hopeless.  Problems aren't always resolved neatly. People are not always quick to see the best in others, to forgive, or to give the benefit of the doubt.

Life is just... hard.

I guess that's why I watch G-Rated stuff, listen to Christian music, and do my best to steer clear of, well, most everything else I guess. The real world is dark enough for me.

There will be a day when everything is right and good and holy. There will be a day when there is no sin, no sickness, no guilt or anxiety. One day there will be no rape, murder, divorce, adultery, sex trafficking, birth defects, cancer, or broken hearts. One day everything will be as it should it was INTENDED to be when God first created the world and man, but not here. We won't experience the peace our souls crave until we reach heaven.

I am so thankful for the promise of heaven. My heart hurts for those who believe that this life is all there is. My life is great and I love my family, career, friends, church, etc. but oh my goodness, my heart LONGS for heaven.


Monday, September 12, 2016

How to Share Christ with Someone who Doesn't Want to Hear about Jesus

I filled a guest spot over at (in)courage on Saturday. (Sign up here to receive free daily notes from (in)courage, sent right to your inbox! ) I've shared my testimony before and will likely do it again (and again). If you are shy about sharing the Gospel, just share your story. Jesus changed your heart, right? Share that. you've seen God work in the lives of friends and family, right? Share that. My point is, share what you know. There are people in your life who need to know Jesus. Tell them. In every way you can, tell them. I am so thankful that someone told me. Even though I didn't want to hear it at the time, I am SO thankful that someone saw my need for a Savior and didn't pass up any opportunity to share His love with my hurting soul.

How to Share Christ with Someone Who Doesn’t Want to Hear about Jesus

I remember how the office smelled. I remember the rough feel of the table under my hands and the tears stinging my eyes. I remember exactly what his voice sounded like — gentle, soothing, pleading, and full of a passion I did not understand.
“I can’t”, I whispered.
“You can.”
“It’s not that easy. You don’t understand.”
“Do you believe that God can forgive you?”
“Yes . . . but . . .”
Continue reading here

Thank you for stopping by. I pray that you will be encouraged, challenged, and uplifted. I'd love to hear from you. Leave me a little comment and let me know how you share Christ with people in your life who don't think they need Jesus.

Much love and big hugs!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Where's your Mission Field?

Please join me today at Internet Café Devotions. God teaches me so much. SOOOO much. HE is faithful to keep His promises and HE blesses us when we are obedient. I am overwhelmed by the peace and comfort I've felt knowing that we were obedient to God's nudging to share the Gospel with Tyler all those years ago. The longer I serve Christ the more overwhelmed I am by how He works things together for good. Good things, bad things, seemingly insignificant things...He weaves them all together to bring about HIS plan and purpose. In the days since I first wrote this, I've found myself wondering "What's God doing here?" in so many different situations. My relationship with Tyler has encouraged me to be more aware of the people in my life and the impact being in my life could have on them. I hope it does the same for you.
Much love and BIG hugs!

Our Mission Field

Brian (my oldest) and Tyler are seniors. Tyler works at Sonic and the only time I see him these days is when I go for a half-price milkshake, but there was a time when he was a big part of my life. Tyler and Brian played little league baseball together when they were boys. Tyler lives with his grandfather just down the street from us, so many times the boys would ride to and from baseball together. After baseball, they’d climb trees and race bikes and do whatever little boys do on Saturday afternoons. In Brian’s words, they were “tight.”
Now, Brian had a system when he was little. When he realized that one of his friends didn’t know Jesus, he’d invite him to spend the night on Saturday so they could go to church with us on Sunday. He’d just keep inviting him to spend the night until we had opportunity to talk to them about Jesus. This was easy with Tyler because he usually Continue reading here.