A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART1

I had an amazing opportunity to attend a WOMEN OF FAITH conference in my hometown.  To describe the wonderful energy in that place would take every word in the dictionary!  It was definitely a highlight in my life and I felt so blessed that my very good friend saw to it that I got a ticket.  God makes my path cross with so many great people!

I was standing in the line for the restroom (well, of course I was – duh!)  I was not eavesdropping on purpose…  really I wasn’t.  I could not help but overhear a conversation between the lady behind me and her friend standing behind her.  Then I heard it – OH MY GOD!!!

I cringed…  I hear it in the “WORLD” all the time – and I deal with it because that’s what has to happen.  I’m not a baby – I know there are ignorant people in the world who don’t know they are offending a real person.  More than offending actually – taking His name – His Holy, Righteous, Name above all Names…  IN VAIN.  It’s a COMMANDMENT – one of the BIG TEN, in fact.THOU SHALT NOT

I expect ignorance OUT THERE – but I was IN HERE – in this meeting with WOMEN OF FAITH.  I wonder if people in the church remember that we’re supposed to be DIFFERENT than the ones outside the church?  Yes, I did think for a split second that maybe it was a non-believer who was invited by a believer – in hopes that she would come to know Jesus as her personal Savior.  That certainly could have been the case.  I hope it was – and I hope she did.

It just seems like so much of the world seeps into the church instead of the other way around.  It’s difficult to have to live IN this world and not be OF it.  Things slip out – oh I totally understand.  When they do, God’s Holy Spirit checks us – we repent and we go from there and do our best to keep it from happening again.  God is quick to forgive our transgressions – even when we take His most Holy Name in vain.

It’s just scary to think that the OMG has found its way into the church – and when it’s said there is no shame – no remorse – no regret.  Just because the world accepts it, doesn’t mean that God’s people should accept it.

I try to say OH MY WOW…  I get very strange looks when I say OH MY WOW…  but oh well.  I sorta kinda hope it catches on inside the church doors… because people of GOD don’t need to be saying OMG – we can say LOL all day long – but adopt the OMW.  Seriously – we need to be separate from the world – give it a try – you might like being different.  OH MY WOW!!!  🙂

 

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JOHN 9:25 ON 9/25

TL JOHN 9 25 ON 9 25

He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”  – John 9:25

I was recently called a hater – again.  Have you ever felt completely exhausted because you have been so misunderstood?  For the billionth time, whether someone else is a sinner, I don’t know.  One thing I do know.  I was blind but now I see!

https://youtu.be/LJEET8cM7mM

All who have felt the power and grace of the Lord Jesus wonder at the wilfulness of others who reject Him.  So much of the negative stuff in our lives is self-inflicted.  What if we would ask God to help us before we just jump in with both feet – huh?  I’m talking to myself too.  But judgment – nah – that’s not what it’s about.  It’s about obedience to God – but if we don’t talk to Him about things, how do we know how to be obedient?

VICTORY WITH MY JESUS

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation.  If you were blind and accidentally discovered that smearing sour cream on your eyes would restore your sight, would you keep that miracle to yourself?  I’m betting you’d shout it all over the place!  I would.

On a spiritual level, I’ve learned that through prayer and Bible study, our lives can be brighter and better.  I don’t want to keep that miracle to myself.  I just want to share it with anyone who will hear me.  That’s what we do when we witness.  It’s not about me saying I’m better – it’s about me saying I was once at the bottom, but when I accepted Christ Jesus into my heart and life and began to learn more about Him and His love, I was raised up from the pit and set on a solid rock to live my life in victory!

I want to share that…  of course I want to share it!  We’re all making life’s journey with different backgrounds and different challenges.  The good news (the gospel) is all about Jesus.  It’s Him and His sacrifice on Calvary which bridged the relationship between God and man.  Restoration.  Like refinishing an old piece of furniture.  I was the worst looking piece of furniture in the junk heap.  When I accepted Christ – He refinished me – restored me.

The laws are God’s, not mine.  Sin is still sin – and the Bible is still God’s Word.  This liberal upside down world does make me crazy sometimes.  When it makes me too crazy, I have to back up, breathe; close my eyes and ask God to give me the patience that He has with me.  Truth from God’s Word is hard to handle if you know you are so far away from it in your life and lifestyle.  May God bless His own as they minister.

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.  – John Quincy Adams

In a nutshell, God and His laws are how we measure our lives – and that’s a very high standard indeed.  So high, in fact, that nobody can achieve it.  He wants the best for us, which is why there are laws.  He wants to protect us.  God forgives sin through the blood of Jesus when we sincerely seek forgiveness.  As we depend on Him more and more, He helps us stay away from things that would cause us harm.  When we sin, He is quick to forgive our sins.  And – this is the part I LOVE about Jesus…  He NEVER brings it back up to us again – but the enemy will – like really often.  But – we can tell him to sit on a tack in Christ Jesus’ Name.  Amen!

There are two kinds of men who never amount to much – those who cannot do what they are told and those who can do nothing else.  – Cyrus H.K. Curtis

Remember that you are not a robot and should not be afraid to show initiative in life.  Don’t be scared to step out and take action, but continue to be obedient to the Lord.  God wants all of us to GO AND SIN NO MORE.  God’s Word – His desire for us.  We all need God’s wonderful love, forgiveness and a lot of mercy, for sure!  🙂

 

APRIL FOOL’S DAY

TL 4-1 APRIL FOOL'S DAY

When I share God’s Word, I share all of it.  There are parts that are not easy to hear (for any of us), but we can’t just pretend it’s not there.  Christians are the only people who are not tolerated in today’s society.  We’ve been labeled haters and intolerant toward those who openly embrace a lifestyle that contradicts Biblical teaching.

What about the rights of Christians?    Are they still protected under the first amendment?  We still have a Constitution here in the United States, right?  Christian faith-based businesses are being backed into a corner.  I used to have a cat that was generally a docile pet, but there was one thing you really didn’t want to do.  You never wanted to back that cat into a corner where she didn’t think she had a way out!  If you did, you only got to do it once.

What exactly IS an abomination?  According to the dictionary, it is defined as something that causes disgust or hatred.  The Bible says that fools have done abominable works.

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.  – Psalm 14:1

As I sat in front of the television set last evening, listening to the ongoing debate about the now famous RELIGIOUS FREEDOM bill in Indiana – and the spin that sprang forth, I had to laugh.  Nineteen such laws are on the books already – so what’s the big deal?  Indiana’s Governor, Mike Pence, is in my prayers.  He has really taken a lot of heat over this.  I have to wonder if the bill had been called the FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION bill, would it have drawn such attention???  I doubt it.  The word RELIGIOUS gets some people’s dander up.  In this case it is completely unfounded.

Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.  – Proverbs 13:16

The only thing this would do for folks is give them the right to fight in court.  It does NOT say that they have any right to turn anyone away for any reason.  It just says that if they do, they can present a case in court.  Nobody gets to discriminate so just calm down, fools!  All this spin is ridiculous!!!

Oh wait…  Christians are getting trampled and backed into a proverbial corner – but who cares about them, right?  Hey, just keepin’ it real.

It’s funny, (not ha ha – but sad), when other special groups want FREEDOM, that’s okay – when they want equality, that’s fine.  There’s something about the religious community…  when we want protection, i.e. the right to defend our personal religious beliefs against abomination – well, that’s somehow different.

A few years ago I wanted to be a professional photographer.  I changed my mind after I saw how the ceremonial trend was moving.  I truly believe that some Christians will be forced to get out of the business they are in if that business could possibly run into a conflict.  Yes, I know it’s not fair and Christians who believe every word of God’s Word have rights too – or we should.  Do we now?  Nope.

I can’t imagine what it must feel like to have a business that you spent money and sweat equity on, as well as every minute of your life – just to be ruined because you are asked to go against your fundamental beliefs.  If you say no, you will be sued – and you will lose.   

Remember when florist Barronelle Stutzman was taken to court because she wouldn’t sell flowers for a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony?  She lost – and had to pay a $1,000 fine plus $1 for court costs and fees.  She violated Washington’s nondiscrimination laws and was told by Judge Alexander Ekstrom that she was not to discriminate against anyone again, including but not limited to goods, merchandise and services for weddings and commitment ceremonies.

Up until now, we have been so very blessed to live in a county where we have the choice to believe as we choose and respect each other’s beliefs and have a Constitution that protects our right to do so.  – Barronelle Stutzman

True religious freedom does not exist because tolerance does not cut both ways.  One would think that a mutual level of respect and maturity would come into play, but that’s apparently too much to hope for.  See, I don’t know why if a business owner is asked to do something that goes against their beliefs, they cannot just politely recommend another place.  Why is that offensive?  I don’t get the level of insensitivity.  I’m not going to go into a Kosher deli and eat a ham sandwich!  Why are the beliefs of some business owners not just respected?  If someone tells you no and recommends a different place – just go to the other place and leave it alone!  Grow up, people. 

In this day – face it, there is no religious freedom, so the name itself is misleading.  Now the Indiana law will get tweaked, so it’s really a joke.  In the 20 years this law has been around, no one has ever won a case using it – oh, except that dude who wanted to use an eagle wing in his religious ceremony – and he was told by the government that he couldn’t.  Yeah – he went to court and won using this law – they are giving him his eagle feather back so he can use it in his religious ceremony.  Good for him. 

I do not discriminate against anyone; however, I expect the same respect in return.  Tolerance needs to cut both ways – it really does.  You can’t force someone to accept you.  Christians are well aware of that fact.  Christ never won a popularity contest for sure, but He is my best friend.  And God’s Word – all of it – yeah, I’m a big fan.  I know not everyone is, but respect me for my beliefs – it’s my belief that abomination against God is sin and God can’t look on it.   It’s not about my beliefs, every person needs to read God’s Word and find out what He says about it.  He is the judge of all of us.

 You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.  – Leviticus 18:22

Man’s laws will come and go.  As Christians we are to be obedient; however, God’s LAW was in place a long time ago and it is steadfast.  If man’s law goes against God’s law…  hmm…  gotta go with God.  That’s no April Fool’s joke…  that’s a fact.  🙂