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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Be set free

In God you are a new person! 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

God's English Class 101

Not long ago my friend was standing in line at the movie theater to see one of the newest movies. She was texting me to pass the time. She said "there's these hot guys behind me and I wish you were here!" I was like "why?? So I could make you talk to them?" Her reply was "no! They're attractive but they're words are awful!" Girls you probably know the feeling! You see this extremely attractive guy... then he open his mouths and POOF not attractive at all!

Guys! Think of it this way... You see this gorgeous girl and want to meet her. You get one of your friends to introduce you... but right as you walk up to her... bam! Explosive! Not so attractive now that she's swearing hm?

When I hear swearing or see it in Tweets or Facebook posts or anything else, all I can think of is wow! Uneducated much?! They cant even think of an adjective! Go back to Language Arts people! Anyways... I won't rant about that now... :P
God says in Ephesians 4:29, "Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful in building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."  How is swearing helping build anyone up? For that matter, how is it showing in anyway that you're a Christian and are living for God?
James 1:26-27, "Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." God has called His followers to be set aside and life in the world, but not of it. That includes how we talk. Check out what James says about the tongue.
James 3:3-12, "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures are being tames and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water."

Our tongues are actually set on fire from hell! WOAH! Just a little bit of an eyeopener there! God wants us to keep our talk pure. Remember the verse I posted last week about dwelling on pure things?? Well swearing doesn't help us with that. It is also super disrespectful and God calls us to respect and love the people around us. We are to build eachother up in love, not tear them down with words.

Proverbs 17:27-28 says "The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues."
Proverbs 18:2 "Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions."
Proverbs 18:4 "The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream."
Proverbs 18:6-8 "The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating. The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts."

So to conclude this lesson... God wants us to use adjectives... not profanity. ;)

God Bless!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Out of Time...

Sorry Guys! No posts today. :( Ran out of time to do one. :P I'll make sure you get a really good one tomorrow! :)
God Bless,

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Judging and Forgiveness

Throughout my day, in different ways, God has been speaking into my life about forgiveness and judging people. From the sermon at church today, to the theme Shine FM was doing, to what Mike Love spoke at tonight at the BlueTree concert... Forgiveness and the price of judging others has been spoken into my life. I know for me... I have been deeply hurt before and struggled with it and accepting what the other person had done. I realize now that I am able to forgive them, because God forgives me. Who am I to judge their choices when they are on their own journey with their faith?
Luke 6:37-42 " "Do not Judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." "
Matthew 7:1-2 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Who are we to say how bad their actions were? Or say because of those actions, they are this sort of person or that sort of person. Who are we to say they aren't good enough by their pasts? Look at Paul! He was a murderer and yet God chose to use him in a mighty way. What's to say the people who made mistakes then, won't be the biggest lights for God now? Remember sin is sin. God will judge us on ALL our sins doesn't matter how good we see ourselves. Judging others is a sin... so do not condemn another person for some mistake they made when you make mistakes yourselves. We all are growing and it sometimes takes mistakes to place us in the right path.
As for forgiveness... the friends that I have had hurt me, have come to me after and have asked me for forgiveness. Even though I was hurt, I forgive them. The Bible says in Matthew 18:21-23, "Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."" We are called to forgive them when they ask for it. If God can forgive us all the sins we have committed against Him, we can forgive those who wrong us. Forgiving doesn't mean you have to forget, it just means we step past that hurt in our relationship and grow and learn from it.

This is a huge thing, and takes time to learn how to do. So I encourage you to grow and search and find out more on what it means to forgive and not judge.

I am saved because God forgave me!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Final Post forContinuing on Dating Struggles: Real Love?

Alright... so my day has been insane... but I thought I'd do a short post anyways. :) 
I wanted to tell you guys (and girls) how to distinguish that the person you're dating or like actually does love you. For this we look at 1st Corinthians 13.

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

This passage tells us exactly what Love looks like. Real love is patient, kind, its not jealous, its not a showoff, its not prideful, it doesn't hurt others, its not selfish, or quick to get mad at someone, and is forgiving. Love encourages truthful behavior and discourages lieing. Love always protects you, always hopes, and never quits! 
Now think of your bf/gf/person you like. Do they fit this mold? No one but God will fit it perfectly, but the more they fit, the more they are striving to be one of God's followers. If they show all of these qualities in how they treat you and others, then my goodness you have a fantastic girl/guy. If not... maybe you should consider what real love actually looks like. 

Remember the greatest is love, and when its real its worth it, and God's love is very very real! :) 

God Bless!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Continuing on Dating Struggles: Who is the Center of Your World?

Alright… today I felt like I should share about putting God first. And that can be a huge struggle when you’re dating. When you think you found that perfect guy/girl and you want to spend all your time with them. You sometimes forget about everything but that person and they become your #1. RED FLAG ALERT! A person is your #1?!?! That isn’t a good thing! Here’s why…
GOD WANTS TO BE YOUR #1!!!! Exodus 20:3 says, “You shall have no other gods before me.” Aka… God says I am your #1 so don’t try to put other things in My place. That means boyfriends/girlfriends too people! Sure you can love someone but even when you’re married to the person, they still shouldn’t be your #1. God wants to be your numero uno! Actually it is in the 10 commandments! Exodus 20:4-6 say, “You shall not make yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” God is a jealous God and there will be consequences when you let things/people take His place in your life. Idolatry is a sin! Remember, people aren’t perfect and they will let you down, especially when you raise them up on a pedestal. God is perfect though, and He will never fail you!

Here are some ways you can live this command out:
Spend at least 10 mins in His word every day
Talk to Him! Share your heart with Him!
Encourage your bf/gf to spend time with God and maybe even read your Bibles together! Growing together in God can only be a good thing! J
Don’t spend every waking moment with your bf/gf. Girls need girlfriends and guys believe it or not actually do need to have guys to hang out with! :O (Shocking, I know!)
Have an accountability partner that will be honest with you if they see you putting something in God’s place, not just a bf/gf but anything that could become an idol in your life.
Finally, take time to think about whom really and truly is the center of your world? Is it someone on earth? Is it yourself? Is it money? Is it that new video game? The new spring fashions? And where should the center of your world really be?
God Bless! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Continuing on Dating Struggles: Where do I Draw the Line?

Ahh the inevitable question that most, if not all, people ask at one time or another. How far is too far? When should I stop? Let’s take that question to God and see what He says on it. J
1st Corinthians 7:1-3 “Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.”  Alright… so God doesn’t like sexual immorality! But I’m sure it’s not that bad…
Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”   Well then… Maybe it is that bad! :S
1st Thessalonians 4:3-8 “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.”  YIPES! It is that bad! But… where does the line come in?? How far is too far?
Well according to God in 1st Corinthians 6:18-20 “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
So we are to flee from it! Not try to justify it or say “well I can play around with it as long as I don’t go all the way”. That is STILL sexual immorality and as you saw in the verses previously, it is something God doesn’t like at all! Why is God so harsh? Why does He say the line is NO SEXUAL IMMORALITY? Because He loves you! He wants to keep you safe from the things that will hurt you when you do them outside of God’s plans. Think of it this way, if your heart was paper and you glued it to another piece of paper that was your bf/gf’s heart and then you pulled it apart, pieces of your heart would be missing, and you would have some of their heart left on yours! Keep doing this with different hearts and there wouldn’t be much left of your own heart and a lot of pieces from other people to carry around. The baggage would be huge and just try to explain why you have this weird multi colored heart to your future husband/wife! I don’t think that would go over well… :P Another example is packing tape! If you stick masking tape on cardboard and pull it off it is still relatively sticky! But keep doing that and you lose the stick factor. The same is with relationships. If you keep giving your heart away then ripping it off, you are going to lose the ability to stick to one person! If you keep giving your body away to others to use and abuse, you will lose your ability to stick with one person and the likelihood of your future marriage being successful is way less.
This is a story I heard a while back and went “wow! How easy is it to think it’s not a big deal!”
“On the 16th Birthday of a girl her dad got her a beautiful charm bracelet. The charms were made of different valuable gems that sparkled and shined under the sunlight. She was amazed that her dad would spend so much on a bracelet for her. Her dad told her that this bracelet was more than just looks. It represented her purity. She was a bit surprised but listened anyways. He said that she was to wear it and whenever she did something for the first time with a boy, she was to give him the gem that went with it. One for holding hands for the first time. One for first kiss. One for first boyfriend. One for first saying “I love you”. One for first engagement. And so on. And when she got married she was to give her husband the bracelet. She agreed to it and wore the bracelet constantly. Throughout her young life she gave away different gems to different boys. Finally, when she was in her 20’s, she got married.  On the night of her wedding she gave her new husband the bracelet. There were gems missing, and he noticed. He asked her why she had lost so many gems, and she had to explain to him where the gems went.”
If you think it would be hard to tell your future spouse about your past… imagine what God thinks of it? God wants to be your ultimate lover and protect you!
If you have already given away your “gems” you’re probably feeling guilty right about now. GOOD! This is God’s way of saying “HEY! You! You’re doing this wrong! Please, let me help you!” You may not ever get those things back, but He will forgive you!
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1st John 1:9
God will take those sins from you and wash you clean again. You can be pure in His eyes once again and start fresh in living the pure life with God. Hope is not lost if you are struggling! Find your strength in Him.
A verse to dwell on as you exit my blog.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

2nd Corinthians: The Deal With Dating Non-Christians

Alright... So I decided since I talked about love yesterday... I'll talk about different dating issues faced by Christians for the rest of the week. :)
Today I read through 2nd Corinthians 6:15-7:1. The author of this book, Paul, is touching on a very big issue... Dating/Marrying non-believers. I know to some people this isn't a big issue... but in reality it is an issue that can cause a lot of heart ache in the future. With divorce rates on the rise... and the church equal to the world with those ratings, who you choose to marry is a big deal! Dating (to me and I hope to most of you) is a way to get to know a person you think you would like to marry. I personally would rather court than date. The world today uses dating as intimacy before commitment, while courting is more of commitment before intimacy. Anyways... who you choose is a big thing! So why is it such a big deal if you find this amazing, nice, hot, guy/girl that you want to date/court and maybe spend forever with? Why is because there is one thing missing... NOT A CHRISTIAN!
In 2nd Corinthians 6:14 Paul states, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" To make sense of that for you guys... In Lord of the Rings... could Saruman have ended up dating Eowyn? NO WAY! Eowyn is all that is good and beautiful. Saruman is hatred and evil. They don't mix well. Eowyn may have ended up dead for smiling at the wrong time. :P That example is a bit to the extreme side... but not by much! If you are a Christian, you have the light of God in you. Non-Christians do not have this light... and if given the chance and right circumstances, can even snuff out yours! In context with Paul's time, he uses the example of animals being yoked together. Normally, two animals of the same kind were yoked together and tended to pull at the same speed, in the same direction. But if you yoked two different animals together, they tended to pull different directions, and at different speeds. Two different animals often ended in disaster and a huge mess to clean up.
God doesn't tell you not to date/court/marry non-Christians because He wants us to be superior to them! He says it to protect us from the destruction that will ultimately come from it. He wants us as His children to be set apart for Him. (2nd Corinthians 6:16) How are we to be different, if our significant other is always wanting us to be the same? That is why God uses Paul to warn us not to date/court/marry non-Christians. He loves us and wants to protect us from the disaster that will come when the relationship breaks apart... or you walk away from Him.
Missionary Dating, also known as dating a non-Christian to be a witness to them. DON'T DO IT! Girls, you can not change a guy or make him believe anything he doesn't want to. Guys, same goes for you! If you want to be a witness to someone you like that may not be a Christian, BE THEIR FRIEND! Invite them to youth, church, etc... get them involved with things that are God based. Don't shove it in their face, but invite them as a friend. And PRAY for them. Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have and has more power than any of us could imagine. If God truly wants you to be with that person, then they will become a Christian and things will work out in time. Just don't rush it! :)

Anyways... I hope this gives you guys something to think about and hopefully saves a few of you the heart ache that comes from yoking yourself to the wrong person.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dating and "love"- My Thoughts

Mkay… soo… I was reading my Bible this morning and came across some verses that made me think. I wanted to share my thoughts with you all and maybe possibly get you guys to think too. J
So here it goes… Today many teenagers (an some adults) believe that they “love” someone. They think because they are dating someone or are highly attracted to someone they “love” them. And the TRUTH is… you more than likely don’t (sorry if I’m bursting your bubbles.) Love is so much more than that attraction you feel for your bf/gf. That feeling could lead to love, I’m not going to say it won’t, but a physical attraction to someone isn’t love, its attraction.
Many teenagers, and even adults, choose to get into relationships where they know it won’t be long term. They give all their emotions, thoughts, and desires to the relationship and forget about everything else, even God. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” How are we to guard our hearts if we flippantly give it away to whomever we are attracted to? The answer is simple, yet so very hard to do in this world. We choose NOT to give away our hearts. The world may say that you have to have a bf/gf to mean anything or be important, but the truth is… You are already the most important person in the world to God. I am God’s daughter and His love, just as you are His sons and daughters and also His love. He is so amazing that each of us are so important to Him that HE SENT HIS SON TO DIE FOR US! His only son! He chooses to LOVE us even though WE KILLED HIS ONLY SON!
I know as a girl who has chosen to not flippantly give my heart away, it is hard! Discouragement is everywhere. So I wanted to encourage you who are choosing to wait for God’s chosen person or think you found him/her but are waiting still. First I will start with a verse to make you think. Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5, and 8:4 say, “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” It says that 3 times! I think God is trying to get a point across here! You are not wrong to wait to give your heart away. In fact, guarding your heart is a good thing! Before you are ready to love another person, you need to love God with your whole heart. “How do I do that ?”, you ask. Spend time with Him! Instead of seeking relationships that won’t last, put your time, desires, and emotions into a relationship that will last forever. Read His love letter to you! Talk to Him like you would your bf/gf. God wants to have that relationship with you too! He wants to be your love and your best friend. The best part, He understands everything you’re going though! Your human bf/gf may not understand, but God does. Don’t be afraid to tell Him anything, He already knows your heart. And guys, this is for you too! God wants that best friend/love relationship with you just as He does with any of the girls.
So while you may be attracted to the opposite sex here on earth, remember that love was designed by our Greatest Lover and Creator. God doesn’t just say the words… He shows us in everything! Love isn’t just the words, love is action and Jesus set the biggest example. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.” John 15:13. So when you say you “love” someone, be careful that it’s not just words and attraction saying it, but action too.

First Post

Hey All! :)

So here goes my new thing... blogging! haha We will see how good I am at keeping up with it! I am going to try to post a little blurb every day about something I learned from God and hopefully it inspires you guys. :)