Stand For Something

Our country is going into a tail spin.  Every single day I turn on the radio and hear what Washington is doing or not doing.  I read the headlines and shake my head.  Then I pray, Lord come soon!  Do I really want that?  There are still so many that do not know Jesus.  So many that have not heard the Good News.  Still more who have heard the Gospel message but keep putting off their decision to make things right with God.  There are some who have rejected Him and care nothing about God or what matters to Him.  Our world is turning upside down before my eyes.  What was good is now bad and what was bad is now good.  It reminds me of the verse in Isaiah.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Isaiah 5:20

I have heard the saying that if you do not stand for something you will fall for anything.  I do believe that to be true.  The bible tells us (paraphrased) that we are to build up one another in the faith so that we grow stronger in the knowledge of Christ so we will no longer be as a child , “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— Ephesians 4:12-15

Without Christ we are as the world is. Lost to God and blind to truth.  How can we be shocked at the things the lost say and do?  It is in their very nature to be deceitful, hateful and twisted in their thinking.  In the flesh we, Christians, have the same bent but we are called to stand firm on the truth of God’s Word.  To not waver to the left nor to the right.  But sadly even most Christians do not understand what it means to stand on truth.  They compromise on the little things, gray areas they are called.  When they do this they are allowing the enemy a foothold into their lives. An open door so to speak.  Over time their hearts become harden to any truth.  They no longer have spiritual discernment in that area.  What a dangerous place to be.

ten-commandments

For in God’s Word there is no gray.  Black and white!  Just reading the 10 commandments you can not waiver.  You do or you don’t!!!

I have, when I was younger, being dead in my trespasses and sin, turned my eyes to the world and followed their way of thinking.  It was years before I came to know God and realize my perspective was in opposition to God and His Word.

The older I get and the closer to God I become, I see even more how I was blinded to truth.  To not speak up against sin is basically to agree with it.  To not warn others of the wrath of God and impending judgement is to stand with their blood on your hands.  17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Ezekiel 3:17-18

When I began to read the bible and apply it, my eyes were open to the truth of it. Applying His Word to the lies of this world brings you to the choice of who will you serve this day and all the days to follow. You can not be in the Word for any length of time and not be convicted of its truth.  You either accept it or reject it.  And rejecting is as turning your back on God, rebellion.  And rebellion is as witchcraft.  And witchcraft is an abomination unto the Lord according to Deuteronomy 18:9-12

Some of the issues I am talking about are so divisive that it is often difficult to have a discussion with those that disagree without it becoming very explosive.  Marriage, Sexual Orientation, Religious Freedom and Life.  It has of course come down to politics and money.  Who has the most money to buy the power needed to shove ones beliefs down the throat of another.  In order for one side to have their rights the other sides’ rights will have to be forfeited.  This is what is happening before our eyes today.  It is the work of the enemy. For we know he rules this world with an agenda.  One that keeps as many from coming to Christ as he can and causes many Christians to stumble and fall.  According to the end of the book, the Bible, we  know where he ends up just as we also know who will reign forever and ever.

So it is our duty, as Christians to stand up and speak truth. Be salt and light in a society that is becoming dark and tasteless.  There will be a day when we will no longer have the freedom to do this without fear of death.  We in America do not know what this means.  But soon, very soon we will.  I am a born-again child of God, a Christian. I have a Christian world view, meaning I view everything through the lens of God’s Word and His principles.  While some of my view is skewed a bit from my upbringing and experiences I strive to err on the side of Jesus.  I pray that each day for the courage to make the choices that show others who I serve.  That my Lord will find me faithful!

To this end, it is important for us to stay informed. To make sure we do the research.  To stay involved in the civil process.  To tell others what we know and most importantly live ‘Christ’ before others so that they may be won.  We can not quit because it is uncomfortable for us or because the world goes to hell in a hand basket around us.  No, we must stand more firm and keep reaching for the prize of the high calling.

Remember God wins. Just read the end of the book.  It is all there, I promise!

Grace to you all,

Shell

What does it mean to be a ‘tolerant’ Christian?

PS:  I have added this post as a page to my blog “Stand For Something” and will post links (drop down menu “Do Your Research”)  to reliable news sources for those interested in keeping up with current events.  Pray as to the direction the Lord would have you go in standing for His principles in society.  If we, as a church, do not stand up and be His voice then eventually we will lose our voice.  And thus begins the death of the church.  If you have a reliable link that you think I should add, please feel free to send to me.  Thank you in advance for your courage!

Oh Lord Jesus Fall Fresh On Me

November 5, 2012

It is the day before the 2012 election that will be taking place in the United States of America and I am not sure where to begin.   So many thoughts swirling about in my mind.  I have spent many hours reading articles, listening to speeches, watching news stories unfold as they happened around the world. Much of that information has left me disappointed, frustrated and at times angry with the direction our country is moving.  I heard someone say today that after tomorrow the America we remember as a child will never be that America again.  And I do believe that to be true no matter the outcome.

Growing up I heard sayings like “It’s as American as apple pie.” and “America is baseball, hot dogs and Chevrolet!” As a kid I believed America was about The Pledge of Allegiance, Stars & Stripes,  Star Bangled Banner & fireworks, Pilgrims and Indians, White Christmases & Jesus in the manger.  It was hot summer days eating bologna sandwiches, swimming in the neighbor’s pool and warm evenings chasing lightning bugs in the front yard.  Politics? Don’t think I ever really knew much about that except occasional overheard conversations.  I do remember watching Nixon give his resignation speech on  television but don’t remember what my thought was about it.   The symbol of politics for me was the image of Uncle Sam with a tall hat and extra long stilt-like legs.  I remember seeing elephants and donkeys but not understanding what they meant.

As a teenager, it became something a little different.  I remember my parents taking me to a Jimmy Carter campaign rally.  I did not much like it nor do I remember why.  I became a little more aware of the role of our president and what his job was but really did not pay too much attention to it all.  It was over my head.   The most I recall is the media making the public aware of the antics of the president’s brother, Billy, who drank a lot.  President Carter had a Georgia accent which was kind of distracting when he spoke.

Then came Ronald Reagan.  I knew he was an actor but did not know much about him then.  I liked him and thought he was genuine.  I liked that he did not back down and he had a sense of humor.  I paid more attention to him though I still was not into all that.  From my high school years to early adulthood I was pretty much focused on me, myself and I.  There were a few years in there where I did not watch much television other than the current sitcoms or read many newspapers.  I was not informed nor did I care at the time.  I had opinions perhaps some were passed down from the previous generation but for the most part they often were formulated by the current music and film culture.  I am sad to admit that.

It really was not until I joined the Air Force that I began to take notice of the events taking place in our nation and the world.  I began to understand the bigger picture in regards to the United States and where it stood on the world stage.  My first assignment took me to Europe.  And it was there I got to see my country from another perspective.  There was a growing patriotism rising up within me.  I saw history up close and personal.  For the first time in my life, at the young age of 23, I not only appreciated the fact that I was American but I experienced what being American meant.

Over the years since then I have become passionate about our country and its history.  Probably too passionate as some would say.  Age and experience have given me a better perspective on world around me.  Christianity and motherhood have a part in that as well.

November 6, 2012

Today is election day! Finally it is here.  I have had a quiet soul this morning coming to work.  So different from several weeks ago.  I was anxious about all the back and forth, up and down the crazy, horrible division that has come with it.  Our pastor said something that changed that for me.  “No matter who is elected President, God still wins!”  How profound that is.  It sort of yanked me back to earth so to speak.  Since that time I have searched my heart and realized whatever way it goes it is all in His plan.  America is changing and will continue to change.   Changes coming from all directions and mostly not for the good.  But what will not change is a Holy God who has it all in His hand.  By His providence we, the United States of America, began from a small group of folks looking for freedom of worship.   Freedom to study His Word and live it out in their lives.

America was great, because God was great to America.  He is no longer great to many and is no longer known by many.   God blessed us because we, as a nation, stood on the principles of His Word.  Change has taken us far from our roots, it began many, many years ago.  Sometime after WWII we took God out of our schools and out of our government.  Men twisted the words of our founding fathers and hid them away from the generations.  Truth is gone in many textbooks and replaced with lies.  Holiness is gone from our churches and replaced with feelings.  What was good is now bad and what was bad is now good.

I have often wondered how things have gotten so mixed up and ludicrous.  I sometimes wish I could shout truth from a mountain top or tall building.  I want to scream, “STOP!!”  I shake my head and am right back where I started with a question.  “What can I do?”  I recently listened to an audio book called Holiness by Henry Blackaby and my heart fell under conviction.  So heavy and yet so needed.  My heart has wanted to see God move, wanted to see revival.  And I wanted my family to experience God as well.  I wanted them to witness His power!

To witness His power and be in His presence  is one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced.  There are no words to describe it.   It only happens when we pursue holiness.   I have done that before.  I have experienced it.  I have no excuse for not being there now.  Life happened and I let it.  But I yearn for it again.  I so want the Lord Jesus to fall fresh on me, on my family and those that are in my life.  Being in the presence of God moves your heart  to share the love of God with those around you.  It just spills out.  You can not stop it and you can not control it.  It is truly God’s Holy Spirit controlling you.    People see God through you for that is the only way they will see.

It begins in my repented heart.  When holiness is pursued my heart will change and there will be fruit.  It will then effect change to those around me,  my family.   The change in my family will affect change in my church.   The change in my church will affect change in my community.  I want to see that!

When I arrived at work this morning my devotional calendar for November 6 said

‘God’s purpose for us is holiness, His own holiness, which we are to share.’

 

And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.  

1 John 3:3

When you ask God for wisdom, He gives it in sometimes not so subtle ways.  He waits but not forever.  He waits so that no man will perish.  Regardless of the outcome of the election God will still be on the throne, the world will continue to turn and we will still be left wanting.  The only true way to change our country is to make a change in our hearts.  A change of direction, turning away from sin and toward the one who forgives our sin.

Change comes from one person. Just one person standing up for what is right.   For that matter, kneeling down for what is lost.

Grace to you,

Shell