Are you looking for a spouse? Matchmaking is nothing new! Nowadays there are many ways to meet someone. If you are single, widowed, divorced or looking to get involved in a relationship be careful. It does not matter how young or old you may be! If you are married be careful as well. If so your first priority should be to cultivate a loving home environment with your spouse. Developing an ongoing up close and personal growing intimate, emotional and physical relationship is crucial. This will help to affair/divorce proof your marriage! This will also help safeguard you from falling prey to or being tempted into the internet maze saturated with those who are looking to hook up married or not; but it’s for all the wrong reasons.
The trend today for many is to find a mate or supplemental partner over the internet! One must be really careful because you do not know for sure if you are dealing with a true authentic person; or in fact if this person is dangerous… I realize it is considered the “Now” thing to do. Many consider it the current modern safe way to go? But, way too many have gotten into relationships that have proven to be harmful! This is not true in all cases but enough so that one should definitely proceed with caution.
Due to very hectic schedules many want to date or mingle but cannot seem to find the time to find the right person. That in itself is interesting because it is important to put in the time if you really want to meet someone who you are compatible with. Quality and compatibility is important. This is not an area you want to make a rash decision that can impact the rest of your life. There is a plethora of sites to choose from. On line dating allows you to search by age, religion, politics, city, physique, physical characteristics such as, height, weight, or even ethnicity! Make sure you spend time getting to know each other’s cultural preferences. Whenever possible meeting someone through someone you already know helps. This still does not mean or guarantee that it will work out. But just in case there is a problem you can trace them to someone!
Proverbs has many warnings against the perils of having sex outside of marriage! Today in this 21st century sex outside of marriage is widely practiced and encouraged! Adultery is when someone is married and has sex outside of marriage. Adultery was considered a crime punishable by death at the time of this Proverb. Some countries are still adamant about adultery being a crime. Here in the United States the moral principles are constantly being relaxed and redefined, many are being desensitized to what is morally right in the eyes of God…
I ask that you listen attentively to what Solomon is saying in this wonderful Proverb! Remember we are talking about someone who had many wives and concubines! Here he candidly shares the many pitfalls of adultery. Sexual immorality can be dangerous! Pornography is a growing form of adultery it too is destroying many marriages! Extramarital relationships for many is a chosen lifestyle, many consent to open marriages… The multitude of people with STD’s = sexually transmitted diseases and HIV are rising! Adultery destroys trust in the marriage, hinders intimacy and erodes the stability of the family. Sexual immorality goes against the laws of God!
Learning about the pitfalls of sex outside of marriage can be helpful! Knowing and keeping in mind the consequences before it is at your doorstep can be a powerful deterrent and a dose of preventive therapy. Know that adultery is a sign of weakness. You are not able for whatever reason to keep your commitment, that you made to your spouse as well as to God! Sad but true adultery is practiced by many within the body of the Church! When someone is indulging in adultery they have set aside their Christian Principles and are “walking in the flesh.” According to Galatians 5; “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries…”
Did you know that whomever you join yourself to becomes a part of you? Please think long and hard before you go here. Or if you are here or have been here; please seriously think about repentance and not repeating this! There are lasting consequences. I often use the illustration of “epoxy!” It is a formidable thermosetting polymer! Notice how the two components are packaged separately. There is an almost unbreakable convalent bond that takes place once the two cohesive components join together! They are known as structure adhesives! Once they come together it is almost impossible to separate one from the other without some type of damage… Sex outside of marriage creates an emotional bond to someone other than your spouse. There is something much deeper that takes place during the exchange of bodily fluids… So much so it can result in the beginning of a new life! This is another reason why God does not sanction sex outside of marriage!
Solomon is relentless in his quest to relay the message of not getting involved with an adulteress! He goes so far to say “Keep to a path far from her; do not go near the door of her house.” The Scripture is clear that adultery is a sin! I find it interesting in John 8 the story of the woman who participated in adultery! Jesus is greeted by a group while teaching in the Temple! A group of religious leaders come to Him with a woman that is “caught” in adultery! “they said to Him. Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery the very act…” The Law of Moses commands that this woman be put to death… Deut 22. Why was the woman alone? Surely she was caught with someone? The leaders were really only interested in condemning only the woman? Jesus with all His unlimited Wisdom knew their thoughts… As He begins to write down on the ground all the men leave! Makes one wonder what He wrote? One by one from the oldest to the last they disperse until Jesus is left alone with only the woman! He then asks her “Woman where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you? She said “ No one, Lord” And Jesus said to her “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more…”
Many conclusions can be drawn from this story! Jesus did not condemn the woman but nor did He let her off the hook! The guilty leaders all left when Jesus asked “He who is without sin among you, let him throw the stone at her first.” Adultery is a sin that not only impacts those who physically take part in it, but those who they are associated to them as well. It weakens the marital bond and allows deception, insecurity and mistrust to become components of the relationship. Adultery weaves a wicked web around those involved, spiritually blinding them. This is true whether the adultery is real or emotional! One should ask is it worth the price? Or are you so weak that you cannot resist its temptation? The Word says “if you resist the devil he will flee…” Jesus can give you the strength to resist! But one must repent and be willing to turn away then as Jesus said: “GO and send no more!”
Key Verse: “Let your fountain be blessed, And REJOICE with the wife of your youth!” If you have ever read the Song of Solomon you will discover here how Love, physical and emotional intimacy between a husband and wife are encouraged and honored! Here in this Proverb much is said to discourage adultery. So much so that it tells you to RUN from it! There are many who live to seduce and entrap one into the snare of adultery! Only because of their own insecurity there is a need to cause others to stumble> Then justify their own inability to commit! It is not wise to risk what you have built in a marriage for an illicit affair! Many families, homes, ministries, honor, respect, integrity and working relationships have been destroyed due to adultery! Be careful not to be overtaken by this overwhelming temptation…
One can take heed to the wisdom of Solomon to avoid the numerous consequences! Please start by reading this Proverbs through slowly and absorbing the “spiritual nuggets.” Build an affair proof marriage! Sexual fulfillment is an attainable goal in marriage. The “fresh water” in Proverbs is a metaphor that describes the beauty of fidelity, commitment and trust in marriage! In the eyes of God the “marriage bed is undefiled!” There is nothing shameful about sex within the context of marriage. There should be a desire to seek comfort in the arms of one another! Each spouse has a responsibility to each other to come together and lovingly create a mutually satisfying sexual environment! Remember to keep in mind what God’s description of love is in I Corinthians 13!
Love, transparency, commitment, good open and honest communication and sexual fulfillment are key ingredients in a strong happy marriage! They are also good deterrents to safeguard against adultery! It is important to keep the embers of love burning in your marriage! A nice warm toasty fire within a fireplace is relaxing and inviting. Sex outside of married is like fire outside of a fireplace. It’s dangerous it will burn your house down! Those who have been faced with adultery must struggle with some very painful issues. Anger, Abandonment, Emotional Pain, mistrust and betrayal are results of adultery. If you have repented of adultery this is not to open up old wounds. Use this as an opportunity to solidify trust, cling to the Lord and embrace God’s Grace! Praise Him for restoration Victory!
Healthy boundaries are important in the work place, and yes within the Church! Adultery does not have to be! God truly is able “to Keep you from falling!” But in the event that it does happen it takes an enormous amount of work to rebuild a new trusting relationship with healthy boundaries! In order for restoration to take place the couple must seek to find out what caused the infidelity? What patterns need to be broken? What emotions need to be healed? What steps need to be taken in order to move forward! Avoiding discussion about what has happened will not serve to heal. Sad but true, By not confronting what has happened, it is almost certain it is highly possible it will happen again. Denial is a big NO here! To move forward towards “affair proofing” your relationship by spending quality time together, working through the issues and gradually building trust is necessary!
Adultery unfortunately is also a big headliner in today’s news! Many celebrities engage in adultery as well! Late night host, David Letterman is going through the pains of adultery… Tiger Woods the famous pro golfer is currently under the microscope for his alleged multiple liaisons. It is ever unfolding the multiple cast of participants that continue to surface and claim having had an affair with him… In this case wading through the perils of adultery are even harder. Tiger and his wife’s personal lives are magnified and examined in and on the news worldwide. All of this further creates even more pressure and continues to inflict pain on the two hurting hearts. Each spouse needs to evaluate and focus on their related issues. Can forgiveness override their pain? It is possible to restore trust and intimacy but it is a tedious journey. A solid biblical foundation makes all the difference in the world.
Solomon encourages husbands and wives to delight in one another rather than participate in adultery! Marriage is a beautiful life enriching union designed by God. Sex is a wonderful gift from God to be enjoyed! Plan a weekly date with one another and make sure you continue to “keep the fire burning, light the embers of Love! Try reading and enjoying the “Song of Solomon” together! The Bible is clear on the importance of keeping and honoring your marriage vows and remaining committed to one another! With God “All things are possible!” Adultery is about false love and is so very destructive, everyone who is involved ultimately gets hurt in some way or another… Adultery is an illusion of greener pastures! “What GOD has joined together let NO man put asunder!”
Solomon concludes this Proverbs: “His own iniquities trap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin. He shall die for lack of instructions, And in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
America along with the world has been privileged to share a monumental, memorable phenomenon. Barak Obama becoming the 44th President of the United States of America is nothing short of a miracle! If you look closely and attentively throughout the corridors of America’s history you will find that what was thought to have been unheard of has happened. By the grace of God the “Impossible has become possible!”
It took faith, fortitude, stamina, dedication, persistence and perseverance to forge ahead against insurmountable odds for Barak Obama to pursue relentlessly the position of president. His winning the candidacy for the President of America reaches far beyond the United States. It has been said that his methodical, strategic campaign was a seamless, well planned, professionally skilled endeavor of any other candidate. This victory has brought about a much needed message of “Hope” and renewal of confidence within the American people. It also yields a restored “Faith in God.” The Word of God tells us that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” The Truth and promises of the scriptures have been “made alive.” “With God All things are possible.” One can surely appreciate the fact that the ” highway of possibilities” has been opened. The possible pathway of opportunities are boundless for our nation, the world and future generations to come.
Traveling throughout the world affords one the opportunity to broaden your perspective and experience and envision life through a much broader lens. I am thankful for having been afforded such an opportunity, to travel throughout the world along with my husband /pastor as well as in a group. The world is so very diverse with a plethora of multi cultural people, customs, religions and beliefs. All having such a broad assorted variety of lifestyles in which an innumerable amount of peoples with diverse backgrounds live together. But regardless as to where I have traveled, from Mexico to Aruba, the Bahamas to Jamaica, England to Rome, Athens Greece to Ephesus, France to Spain and Switzerland…. I have always been thankful to return home to America. We have met wonderful people. There have been countless wonders, magnificent architectural expressions and artistic monuments as well as majestic sceneries to behold from the hilltop Montserrat to Notre Dame Cathedral, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City to the Blue Mosque and Hagias Sophia in Turkey. Yet I have never seen nor experienced a place where the freedom in which we are privy to here in America is experienced anywhere else in the world. It is because of this freedom and opportunity Barak Obama has become the 44th and 1st Afro American President. How ironic he and his family will be the first Black Family to ever take up resident in the nation’s capitol infamously known as “The White House.” “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us.”
In the 1930′s America was a segregated society where everything was separate. There were even separate water fountains and restrooms labeled for “Whites only” and less hygienic accommodations for the “Colored”. Let’s not forget back seats on buses and back entrances to public facilities. Many Blacks decided to migrate to the North. Being born and raised in California has had its benefits since here, we have been somewhat shielded from the dire profundity of racism and discrimination that permeated the deep south. Not that discrimination did not go on here, it did, and has ……. Here we have just been a tad further removed from the antagonistic discrimination which was so outwardly and blatantly, readily displayed itself in the deep south. Despite the fact America is a country made up of immigrants from all over the world. Where slavery was practiced and embraced. Where many Whites felt that they were superior to Blacks and we were perceived as inferior. To many even to be dark skinned was considered a curse. To be beaten, severely punished, raped or lynched and treated less than human was once considered acceptable behavior. The right to learn how to read and write was also denied as well as deemed illegal. Dissension, factions, immorality and discord are works of the flesh. Here is an excerpt from the article; Blacks are better off than in 1999 than in 1960 “After the Civil War, many amendments were passed in order to better represent blacks in America. The 13th, 14th and 15th amendments all changed blacks’ lives drastically and positively. The 13th amendment ended slavery and the 14th declared blacks as citizens. The fifteenth amendment stated that anyone can vote, regardless of color or race. However, the South devised poll taxes and literacy tests in a successful attempt at preventing blacks from voting. But in 1964, after a sufficient number of states ratified an amendment proposed by Congress, the tables turned for blacks. The 24th amendment banned poll taxes. The voting act of 1965 banned the use of literacy tests related to voting. Voting gave blacks a say in government and helped raise the moral of blacks in America.” “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us.”
I can personally recall from time to time watching on television the injustices broadcasted on the news and the many interruptions for special bulletin news reports as a child. I can remember the many tales of my parents and the many experiences they encountered growing up in the early 1900′s in Arkansas. I was a mere toddler when segregation in the schools legally ended in 1955, which resulted in the Montgomery Bus Boycotts. The Supreme Court eventually ruled that Alabama segregation laws were unconstitutional. It is during this time that Rosa parks decided not to give up her seat to a white person simply because she was so very tired. This protest resulted in Dr. Martin Luther King a Baptist Minister at the time, being ushered to the front lines as a prominent Social Leader for the Black Community. Discrimination in theaters, hotels, hospitals and public places continued on until in 1964 Congress passed a Civil Rights Act. Dr. King lead many “Peaceful Freedom Protest Marches” protesting the many injustices upon Blacks. Dr. King believed, practiced and exemplified the Fruit of God’s Spirit which is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness and Self-Control. “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us.”
I can recall when I was in Jr. High School during the sixties, as president of my homeroom. I clearly remember having to lead the class in the “Pledge of Allegiance.” But, halfway through one particular morning, all of a sudden it dawned on me. It had become quite clear to me that it really was not “Liberty and Justice for all”. So I decided that I would silently and peacefully protest not to complete the pledge. Of course it did not go over big at all with my homeroom teacher. But it was a real awakening in my soul… One cannot help but to appreciate the far reaching magnitude of what has taken place here on November 4th 2008! It will be forever recorded in America’s History. American has resumed its intended purpose and the opportunity to provide “Liberty and Justice for All” has been forthrightly reinstated! There is no doubt that the successful election of Barak Obama was a concerted effort that included a network of people of All Colors and creeds working together. This is truly a victory for ALL people of America! He comes from a multi faceted colorful ancestral heritage that represents a multitude of people. “With God ALL things are possible.” His Word tells us “that God is not a respecter of persons…” It may be hard for the finite mind to fathom that God who is Omniscient, knew way back then, even from the very beginning of time what would be taking place today! “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us.”
We as Christians and as a Country have so much to be thankful for. All of God’s Word is true! Today we are living in perilous times. But despite the nations many financial hardships, declining economy, overwhelming number of businesses closing, devaluation of property, wars and rumors of wars, terrorists attacks, natural disasters, famines and earthquakes in divers places throughout the world, we can have peace knowing God is still in absolute control! Absolutely nothing gets by Him! Romans 12 tells us, “To not be conformed to the pattern of this world! But to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, His good, pleasing and perfect will…” As a professed Christian and believer it is very important to know God’s Word! To have an intimate personal relationship with HIM! The book of Romans goes on to tell us that in leadership the ability to govern diligently is a gift from God. Ultimately every authority, government and principality is under God’s authority and the headship of Jesus Christ. Colossians tells us that ” For by Him All things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible, and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and consist for Him…” Whether you believe it or not only God is Sovereign! The Bible tells us how God, delivered the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. There are also endless true life stories in His Word of how He delivered His people from unjust rulers and countless situations that seemed impossible. “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought us.”
It is through a committed personal relationship with His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ one can truly experience necessary continued spiritual growth and development as well as His peace and freedom that surpasses the understanding of man. There are invaluable benefits knowing who you are in Christ. Today it is through God’s grace and mercy America has been delivered! It was quite evident as we all watched the hysterical excitement permeate the enormous crowds as Barak Obama was elected president. God has truly delivered America from the clutches of despair and hopelessness and ushered in a glistening glimmer of “Hope”! “Nothing is impossible with God.” In His Word He also tells us although we may be accused living among unbelievers (pagans) we must still live to please Him! God’s promise to “never leave nor forsake us” is quite true! Truly we can say “GOD BLESS AMERICA!” As Christians we must individually, collectively and corporately pray and ask God’s protection, grace, wisdom and direction to rest upon President Barak Obama , his family and his staff. As he takes upon his shoulders the awesome tasks of restoring America’s dignity, credibility and prominent visual universal position. He will encounter many land mines and obstacles. America has a tall order to fill. The 24th Psalms says, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live within it…” As a country and a nation that proclaims to be “one nation under God with Liberty and Justice for ALL.” The Word says, ” With God All things are possible.” Praise be to God from whom ALL blessings flow. Praise Him ALL creatures here below… It is truly amazing ! Again “GOD BLESS AMERICA”
One can truly say “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought us.” He has delivered us from unjust rulers, slavery, oppression, and given us freedom. In America, Egypt, Libya, Iran, Yemen, and all over the world, Let Freedom Ring.
Yes, Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us. He has brought us from a mighty long ways.“But we still have a long ways to go.”
Listen/Purchase “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us” from the CD “Somebody Somewhere Was Praying For Me” by Brenda Lowe.
Life is Not FAIR but GOD IS!
Habakkuk is a wonderful short, sweet, powerful Book in the Old Testament that is packed with wisdom. The prophet Habakkuk asks God, “Why are things not fair? And why does God not do something? He prophecies during the final reign of the Assyrian Empire and right when the Babylonians began to increasingly grow in power to control and dominate the world. The Chaldeans were being sent to judge Judah. The key scripture is: “Lord I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.”
This miniature book illustrates just how powerful God is, consisting of only three chapters! God can use any situation to demonstrate His mighty power! God eventually answers Habakkuk; this is why this book is so valuable. God tells him to “Look among the nations and watch~ Be utterly astounded!” For a season God allowed the cruel treatment to take place. It is here He uses the unbelieving decadent Babylonian pagan nation to reprimand His rebellious nation of people! The Babylonians in time would also suffer punishment for their wickedness…
The Book of Habakkuk boldly demonstrates that our complete Faith and Trust must be in God! We can have complete confidence in Him! When there is much pain, sickness, trouble and distress one must turn first to God and not man! Allow Him to direct you! Remember “Trust in the Lord with ALL thine heart and lean not to your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He WILL direct your path.” Proverbs 3 Although we can study and learn intellectually what actually opens the door to our spiritual wisdom and understanding is our relationship with the Lord. It is so important to know God’s Word! It is here through the Divine power of His Holy Spirit; The Comforter and Teacher where learning the essential keys of life resides! Despite everything that goes on in the world it is important to keep in mind “God is STILL in CONTROL!” God alone deserves to be worshipped, honored and PRAISED!
Habakkuk cries out to the Lord for help! There is very little known about Habakkuk, there is less personal information recorded on him than any other prophet. There was much going on about him. Just like it is in the 21st century today! Like Habakkuk we too can turn to the Lord in times of distress. He tells us “Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem the righteous, so that justice is perverted. Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed.” Look how applicable this is today! Remember, although “bad things are happening to good people” God has not forgotten us! When you know that things are not right, when you know that there have been injustices against you it is important to know God in His time will vindicate you! Sometimes you just have to be patient and humbly wait! Knowing that what is important is that “God Knows,” in the meantime draw close to the Lord! You must learn to put things in their proper perspective!
How often have you heard someone say; “That’s not fair!” What does it mean to be fair? According to Webster’s’; pleasing to the eye or mind a flawless quality; clear legible, unbiased or impartial. What makes anyone think that life is fair? Life is not fair, but God is! God is ALWAYS right! As Habakkuk says; “The righteous will live by Faith!” The Apostle Paul also says this in Romans and again in Galatians! It is also once again confirmed in Hebrews! The question is often asked; “Why does bad things happen to good people?” Really, in essence the TRUTH is only God is good!
Judah, God’s people had a series of wicked kings that did not subscribe to God’s way, they rejected Him and His principles they adopted the ways of the world. Judah had a young King Josiah, he believed and trusted in God but his successors did not. King Josiah tried to turn their hearts back to the Lord but it only lasted for a season. He had instituted significant spiritual reforms in Judah! Eventually they were finally invaded and taken into Babylonian captivity under King Nebuchadnezzar. During captivity they were oppressed, persecuted and their possessions were taken away. The Babylonians were a strong military force they were a nation that plundered the goods of many. Does any of this sound familiar? Habakkuk was aware that the Babylonians were being used to punish Judah. He realized that there were some things that they would experience that did not seem fair…
Habakkuk realized that the people were actually being disciplined. He prays to God on their behalf and asks for mercy. He did not quite understand why this was happening but He trusted God anyway! “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in your day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” Regardless how things look or appear and no matter what happens God always does what is right! There are many things in our little finite minds that we will never quite understand. But we can surely always lean and Trust on an all knowing Infinite God who knows exactly what is going on! Habakkuk knew that God would triumph. We too can be reassured He will in His time vindicate us when we are sincere and faithful to Him! We must learn how to patiently wait for Him. We must focus on God and not the circumstance. Our strength and Joy comes from the Lord! Even though it may appear that the wicked prosper at your expense sometimes, in the long run they really don’t !
Today when many are turning away from God’s principles, When right is yoking up with what is wrong, When the world is saying this is right and the scriptures is saying that is wrong… When nothing seems to make sense; “wait on the Lord!” We never get to the point that we are not susceptible to spiritual attacks and oppression no matter how much we plan or grow spiritually. This is why we have to continuously pray and daily seek God’s face. This is why we need a Savior! Praise God! Hallelujah anyhow!!!
One can be encouraged as Habakkuk reminds us how “the sun and moon stood still in their habitation!” This happened when Israel gained victory over the Amorites at Gibeon the Lord made the sun stand still, during a battle for Joshua! (See Joshua 10) Although we cannot see what God is doing we have to learn to trust Him! We should always consult God and let Him know how we are feeling even though He already knows! God will take us through the test and trials designed by man and over the landmines put in our path. Look around today and see there are many economic difficulties, families in crisis, marriages resulting in divorces, sickness, diseases and natural disasters! Know God is Able! God is here to help us endure any hardships that may arise in life! It is to Him we must look to, He is Sovereign and greater than any situation! Habakkuk concludes with an illustration of a deer! Notice how a deer can manage to scale and climb up the rugged terrain of seemingly impossible mountain and doesn’t slip! As Habakkuk says: “Yet I will REJOICE in the Lord, I will be JOYFUL in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my STRENGTH; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.” Keep looking to the Lord! It is here in Habakkuk we find “The Lord is in His Holy Temple. Let all the earth keep silent before Him” Praise God!
Christianity is much more than just a religion! It is so much more than a social club. In general, for many, religion has turned into a manufactured system where rules are dictated, regulated and policies are made. Quite often there is an ever increasing list of do’s and dont’s to conform to, which sometimes go so far as to require a staunch or restrictive dress code. Often actually forsaking the Power of the Holy Spirit’s ability to transform the individual’s life from the inside out! The Holy Spirit is the ultimate Spiritual Guide and Teacher! The Word of God teaches us that true worshippers worship the Father “In Spirit and in TRUTH!” John 4.
Keep in mind that the LORD is the most HIGH GOD who desires to continually transform the lives of devoted believers and reach out to the world! Above Him is no other! Without the Lord one is disconnected and is but a wretched lost human being, living aimlessly in the flesh without promise of eternal life! Once we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we then have purpose and are adopted into the family of God! We embark upon a life of becoming enlightened, spiritual growth and being renewed as we apply His godly principles to our own lives. The Promise of Eternal Life waits as we grow spiritually realizing that we are forever “becoming…” As long as there is breath in the body there is Hope! NEVER underestimate the POWER of the LORD! “What is impossible with man is POSSIBLE WITH GOD!
God intended for Christianity to be a daily lifestyle centered on Him! Christianity consists of the process by which we can learn the origins of man and draw closer to our Creator and Governor of the universe! We can discover more about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and commence to live life to daily please the LORD! It is the “GOOD NEWS GOSPEL!” The central tenet in the Christian Faith is our belief in JESUS CHRIST and HIS WORD. He actually was God incarnate within sinless human flesh. The world was spoken into existence through Jesus! He actually became the WORD wrapped in flesh! “In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD. He was with GOD from the beginning. Through HIM ALL things were made; without HIM nothing was made that has been made. In HIM was life, and that life was the LIGHT of men…” John 1. Acceptance of Him as Lord and Savior is a definite requirement for all Christians. He reconciles us to the Most High God and gives us the gift of Salvation and the inheritance of Eternal life!
Let’s take a momentary glance into the secular perception of religion from a widely respected source. Dr. Sigmund Freud, who is well known for his psychoanalytical theories, perspective on religion says:” Religious faith produces a repression of impulses and thus keeps the personality secure at the expense of honesty.” He is recognized as the father of “Psychoanalysis.” He also developed many of the concepts in *Psychology.” It is here the mind and behaviors are studied.
“Psychology is the study of the mental processes and behavior. The term psychology comes from the Greek word psyche meaning “breath, spirit, soul” and the logia meaning “study of.” Psychology emerged from biology and philosophy and is closely linked to other disciplines including sociology, medicine, linguistics and anthropology.
Freud believed that the actual drive-oriented nature is overlooked because the aspect of human nature has long been suppressed by religion. People in their insecurity begin to look for a cosmic father in order to compensate for their feelings of inferiority and insecurity. Freud also believed that religious activities are rituals of compulsive behavior that are employed to temporarily ease the intense guilt feelings that are fostered by religion. Likewise Christians neurotically try to free themselves of guilt feelings by performing religious rituals. Freud also maintains that the dependency fostered by religion causes infantile regression.
Much to my dismay there is a minuscule element of truth in what Freud believed in regards to religion. I do not personally embrace his theories of psychology. But many do hide behind the guise of religion. There is a tendency to project a façade where things appear to be alright. They often go along with the majority and conform in order to feel connected to their particular group but remain insecure within themselves as an individual… There is often much ambivalence and unrest in their conscious relationship to God personally. They feel distant from Him trying to fill the inner void with some of everything!
Whenever the soul is not really anchored; the philosophies in regards to the origins of man becomes a playground for answers.
Whenever GOD is not the center of religion one can regress into this sea of uncertainty. Nothing is infallible and there is much doubt as to what has already been proven to be true! What was wrong becomes right and therefore one becomes polluted by the world. The world continues to migrate further and further away from God as Creator and the principles of His Word. Many religious folks modify His Word to adjust to the current desires of society. We can learn much from the Word of God. When His principles are abandoned there is a downward shift in the overall moral standards.
The Bible does not contradict itself! The New Testament has fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament! There is no other book like the Bible! It is an extraordinarily remarkable library of infallible spiritual wisdom that is inculsive of 66 books! It cannot be fully grasped by the intellectual mind alone. One must solicit the Holy Spirit to intervene and illuminate the significant meanings of its plethora of Scriptures. It is also the all time best seller! In order to not be lead astray it is important to know for yourself what the Word of God says! We as Christians believe and accept the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD by FAITH! This is why we are called “Believers.” When Christians follow the ways of the world rather than embrace the Word they usually have not actually taken the time to build an up close personal intimate “one on one” relationship with the Lord.
It is only with the Lord can one discover true “Security & Significance!” There is a tendency to encourage focusing on the outer rituals and traditions rather than to intrinsically search within to see where the true problem lies to resolve any inner conflict. The inner anxiety or unresolved issues can then become ongoing baggage that is carried throughout life producing anxiety when it is not addressed. God wants us to become whole! He wants us to take responsibility for our actions and take a stand for our rights. He wants to write His laws upon our hearts! Inner Peace can be experienced when one readily repents (turns from) any wrong behavior and moves forward… God does not want us bogged down in guilt nor shackled to any uncivilized or inappropriate behavior. He wants us to be FREE! There are very good reasons why He has said DO NOT do some things! The world says do as you please! God wants us to become disciplined! A disciple is a learner! God wants to deliver us from whatever hinders us from growing spiritually and becoming all that He created us to be He wants us to; “Take My yoke upon you and learn of me. For I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your soul…” Matthew 11. This is why He has given us JESUS CHRIST to “SAVE” us from the power of sin reigning within our daily lives! GOD IS MORE THAN ABLE!
Jesus died to take upon Himself the sins of the world and make it possible for us to become directly reconnected back to GOD! Sin had widened the abyss between God and man. The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are One! Jesus His only begotten Son humbled Himself to come to earth. He was DIvine! Shaped in the image of GOD In the form of a man covered in sinless flesh, He overcame sin for us because He loved us so! Jesus bridged the gap between God and man and became the only “PERFECT” example! He arose with ALL power and took away the sting of death and sin. His Holy Spirit is our Comforter! We can now go straight to GOD wherever we are at anytime. He knows everything past, present and future about everyone and everything! This is why we all need Jesus Christ as Savior and LORD! He can and will make a significant difference in our life! God wants and up close and personal relationship with each one of us! We were created for HIS GLORY! Now that’s LOVE!
Prayer is communication with GOD and we need to regularly spend quality time with Him! His Word tells us in I Thessalonians 5; “Pray without ceasing, give Thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God’s Will for you in Christ Jesus.” This is a continual mode of interacting with the Lord! We are able to consistently become aware of HIS PRESENCE! There is nowhere we can go that God is not… As the people of GOD, there must be a growing daily focus on our personal relationship with the LORD that becomes more an more natural. We are able to grow spiritually each day. God’s Church is collectively all over the world made up of a diverse multiplicity of people of all races, colors and creeds that believe His Word! Whenever are wherever we come together and assemble as His Church we will be much more effective when we have spent time with Him throughout the week! We are to apply His principles to our own lives and allow Him to guide us as He works out the kinks in our lives. Life is about becoming “perfected” which means to become completed in Him! We can invite Him into the “Messiness” of our lives! We can also worship Him more freely as we draw near to Him! Worship becomes a part of our daily lifestyle.
I truly believe that it is the intentions of many to have God’s will done in their life. The desire to please man and to be accepted often supersedes the spiritual responsibility to be led by the Spirit. This is where the conflict lies… There is much spiritual warfare to entice believers away from GOD and to keep non believers from embracing God personally and intimately! We learn in Genesis that God created us in His own image. ( I don’t mean looking like Him) In essence we are spiritual and relational beings. We have been created for God’s purpose. Until we arrive at the point that helps us realize just that, we can often unconsciously create more adversity and anxiety in our lives trying to adapt and please man. This in turn can and will at times create a mental deficiency because the deep void remains. This void can be filled by many things… But they never really quite satisfy. God has a place within us that only He can fill. Ideally speaking; Did you know that if we were all following the Lord we truly would be on one accord. There would also be a lot less schisms and division within the Body of Christ!
Religion ritualistically practiced often focuses on the exterior. Encouraging others to worship in a way they deem appropriate by their denomination or non denomination at a certain time rather than ascertain a truly intimate relationship with the Lord. What do you mean? A few examples! If you are too quiet you can be perceived as standoffish and unemotional! If you don’t speak in tongues you don’t have the Holy Spirit! If you wear makeup you are being carnal… If you don’t pay tithes… If you do not wear long dresses or cover your head… If you don’t come to the service every Sunday… If you shout and pray loud you are… If you are quite emotional it can be perceived as being more spiritual… If you are… The point is worship is personal and the object of our worship should be the LORD. The wonderful thing about God is HE KNOWS ALL of our hearts! God wants you to be the best You! Conforming to be accepted can leave one with an ever greater void. The Word tells us the proper way to worship God is to be led by His Holy Spirit! Remember! “GOD is a SPIRIT and HIS worshippers worship HIM in SPIRIT and in TRUTH!” John 4.
In many cases it is not said in an audible language, yet there is a penalty for not adhering to what is expected, sometimes resulting in labeling or alienation. Many are far few and in between that have truly experienced the unconditional Love that is so often spoken of. This is nothing new, way back when even the Samaritans, Gentiles and Jews differed in their concept of worship. This is why we currently in this 21st century have so many denominations and varied places of worship. It is important that your chosen place of worship does not compromise the Word of God! Know that ultimately God who is Love is really the only source of unconditional Love! He Loves us because HE is LOVE! It is in HIM you can experience TRUE LOVE, inner fulfillment and PEACE! Spend time each day growing closer to the Lord! The LORD has a purpose and plan just for you…
Life is a cavernously deep expeditious journey. It is a complex menagerie of diverse emotions, feelings, thoughts, interactions, relationships and occurrences! How long or short will each of us be here no one really knows! As we grow we encounter a multiplicity of experiences that cause us to look deeper into what life is really all about. Each day is a new opportunity to discover something new no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential! As we grow it becomes evident that there is so much more to life than meets the eye! We embark upon a remarkable quest of discovery; but where does or will it all lead? We discover that we are also spiritual beings…
How do we get to know GOD?
The spiritual journey leads us to the realization of our Creator! God the Father the Great “I AM.” The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! This is what we as adherent believers believe! ( I realize that not everyone believes the same.) As we begin to relate to the Lord properly He will free us more and more from the things that misrepresent Him. As we grow spiritually our spiritual eyes are opened and we become more conscious of why we do what we do! Our conscience becomes much more sensitive to the things that are contrary to His Will and His Way! Our desire should be to live to please Him as we grow spiritually. Growing in the Grace and Knowledge of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ is an ongoing continuing life process! The Canonical Gospels which we know as the WORD contains a wealth of the history and origins of mankind! This is why it is so important to spend time in HIS WORD! Here we are able to ascertain the invaluable, priceless and precious TRUTH!
Through a plethora of life lessons we grow! We all have areas in which we are lacking! It is within our deficiencies we can discover a need for something greater than ourselves for survival. How do we cope with life, living and the anxieties that come along with it! As we become aware the discovery of a supernatural existence greater than ourselves and the ongoing need for spiritual growth and balance becomes apparent! It is a continual learning process.
God did not create us to be or become robots. Each of us is uniquely different with varying temperaments! He has given us the free will to choose… The world also offers many choices as well. It’s important to know the difference and then choose wisely. There are both good and bad consequences for our choices. Sin is what separates us from God! God is the Creator and Maker of mankind an ultimately knows what is best for us. It is our choice to draw closer to Him or look to the world and society for direction. The ways of God and the ways of the world often conflict here lays the inner conflict…
God sent us His only begotten Son; JESUS CHRIST to redeem us from the curse of sin! Sin separates us from GOD! Jesus came as an innocent babe wrapped in sinless flesh. He overcame sin in the flesh. He went through all the stages of life, yet He never sinned! He was crucified, died and was buried and then He arose with ALL POWER! He came to point us back into the right direction that once again unites us to our Creator. The Narrow Path is the Way that leads to Him! Jesus was the Door back to the Father! Jesus is the only perfect example! Living for the Lord is meant to be a way of living daily! No one knows when but the LORD is going to return for HIS CHURCH!
GOD NEVER INTENDED FOR RELIGION TO BE A CRUTCH!
Why is there so much confusion about religion! What is religion?
Religion consists of cultural views, beliefs and various systems worldwide. Religion in itself is not bad but for many it means different things. It takes on many forms depending on the particular culture! Christianity, Islam Buddhism and Hinduism are considered the four major religions. There are thousands of religions throughout the world. Within those religions are varied and diverse practices and an assortment of ritual. What, whom, why and how we choose to worship is where the problem lies. What we believe varies… We must become aware of the mixture of misconceptions in order to know what true godly religion really is according to the Word of God.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about religion: “
“The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system, but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Some religions have organized behaviors, clergy, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural), and/or scriptures. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. However, there are examples of religions for which some or many of these aspects of structure, belief, or practices are absent.”
Technically by the worlds standard you can elect to worship just about anything. For some religion is just a commitment to an organized institutionalized system of beliefs and doctrines. The beliefs vary and often adapts and changes as the world changes…
CHRISTIANITY & RELIGION
Christianity goes beyond just being a religion. It is also the main focus within the context of this narrative! Religion is an essential important fundamental aspect of Christianity. Let’s take a look at The WORD of GOD’S definition for religion! “If any one considers him religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that GOD our FATHER accepts as PURE and FAUTLESS is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to KEEP oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1. These verses are quite self explanatory.
Christianity is a way of living, it is meant to be a daily lifestyle! Being a Christian simply means to follow Jesus Christ and His teachings! Jesus is the promised Messiah! We who are called believers, through FAITH believe the Bible to be the intrinsic infallible Word of God! Christianity is monotheistic! We believe in one GOD! The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are ONE! We are supposed to actually apply the principles of God’s Word to our daily lives! It is the barometer by which we determine right and wrong! Yes! It was divinely inspired by dedicated followers of God! As mentioned earlier the aspects of pure religion are explained in the Book of James! For many religion is about conforming to the beliefs of the masses without really personally taking the time to know what is actually in the Bible. Sometimes often embracing the traditions, doctrines and beliefs of a denomination over the Word of God!
GOD’S WORD IS ALIVE! It can sometimes be so simple we miss the intended message. The closer you or I draw to GOD the more we can increasingly understand the simplicity and powerfulness of HIS Word! His Holy Spirit further opens our spiritual eyes and illuminates His Word so we can better comprehend the intended message. His Holy Spirit is the eternal inner Teacher and spiritual interpreter that reside within us as believers! To lead us to ALL TRUTH! Listen closely to what Jesus said! “I have much more to say to you, more than you can hear now bear. But when He the Spirit of TRUTH, comes He will guide you to ALL TRUTH. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what he hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it made known to you. ALL that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the SPIRIT will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” John 16.
During Jesus’ last days on earth He talked quite candidly with His disciples. He warned them that they would be misunderstood, mistreated and persecuted. He also told them they would not be accepted by the world. But most importantly He assured them that they would not be alone! He has given us His Comforter, His Holy Spirit to be with us always! This is why it is so important to know HIS WORD! We can call on the LORD anytime and anywhere! Think about this for a moment; when JESUS left the earth and ascended to Heaven there was not an actual physical Christian Church as far as a building! The disciples and His followers met in homes, they knew then as we should know now that they themselves were the CHURCH! GOD’S CHURCH is universal!
We are living within a pressure driven society! There is a myriad of social pressures that are imposed on one to make them feel the need to fit in. This can at times cause undue stress and result in unfavorable behavior. These behaviors are not readily discussed but are becoming more prevalent! Fitting in is not easy and makes it harder to transition through the stages of youth and early adulthood development. For some it is much more difficult than others. As a matter of fact we have a growing number of individuals that are self mutilating themselves in order to relieve intense inner pressure. Self injury is on the rise!
What? Yes, they harm themselves; they are a part of the growing number that leans towards cutting themselves. Growing up can be painful and difficult! Did you know that not being like everyone else really is okay! Once you accept this you won’t have to cut yourself to feel okay! Everyone still on this side of Heaven is here to learn and grow… You are like a beautiful flower waiting to bloom!
What is cutting?
Cutting is when someone takes a blunt object, pin, paper clip, scissors or a razor blade and proceeds to make cuts on their wrists, arms, legs, thighs or torso to the point that they bleed. Some will even burn themselves or harm themselves in some other way. This is usually done in a place that is less noticeable! It is becoming an increasing reoccurring behavior that can become addicting. It often goes unnoticed because the self mutilator will make excuses for the cuts and bruises or try very hard to keep them hidden by making excuses. Oh the cat scratched me, or I fell in the bushes, i slipped, or I scraped myself on the… Cutting is considered an impulse – control behavior reaction!
Who cuts themselves?
Cutting is something that is done by both genders. It appears that female teens and younger women are primarily the predominate participators. However there are a growing number of guys who cut themselves as well. There are a number of reasons why they result to such drastic measures. Some cut because they know that their friends cut themselves. One viable cause that jumps out is the need for inner, “relief!” They are tormented and driven by thier pain. These individuals feel and enormous amount of pressure!
Books on Cutting
Someone who is cutting can’t always freely express themselves and they often feel as though they are emotionally knotted up. The need for a release is why they begin cutting. Some like the way the cuts look and when they begin to heal will reopen the cuts. You can’t really force someone to stop cutting. So what do you do? Lend a listening ear and let them know that you care! Yelling at someone who is cutting is not very helpful. Approaching them with patience and concern is a much better method if you really want to help them. Be firm in letting them know that they need to get some relief; but in a healthier way. Allow them some time to vent… Encourage them to seek help!
Signs of Cutting
There are a few signs that you might notice such as …………Continue Reading
Music for Healing – “Balm In Gilead”
Entertainment for recreation and amusement purposes are a wonderful part of life. It balances out the seriousness of life and living! It gives our minds the opportunity to rest and journey into the land of imagination and creativity. It is healthy when done in good taste… Marriage on the other hand is not meant merely for entertainment purposes. It is one of the most serious relationships one can have. It is meant to be a beautiful lifetime relationship between a man and a woman. A great marriage should be built upon Love, Intimacy, Mutual respect, Integrity, Trust, and yes Sex. These marvelous attributes for marriage make up the great helpful acronym which = “L I M I T S!” These are healthy virtuous ingredients that are an important part of building a good marriage.
Life is serious and time is so very precious! How you spend the majority of your time is important! In marriage one should not become carried away into an unconscious state of oblivion and become out of touch with what is happening around them. It is not something to escape into because you are bored, are need somewhere to escape until you find something better to do… Many turn to marriage in order to just be entertained. Marriage is about learning how to give yourself to one another. Each spouse should become increasingly aware and sensitive as to how their spouse is feeling.
“L I M I T S”is a good acronym to remember for a lasting marriage! The desire to grow together and develop character is very important.
Planning your wedding is one of the most important events of your life. It is a day that you both will forever remember. It will be etched in yor mind! Your wedding should consist of all the things that reflect you. The friends, relatives and love ones who participate are instrumental in making this a great, wonderful festive occasion. The theme, music, invitations, color palate, gown, bridal wear, grooms wear, flowers, decorations, and time of the venue all reflect the ambiance that you want to create as you together celebrate your special day. Regardless as to however large or small it should be a grand, marvelous memorable occasion.
Today weddings vary and are quite different and sometimes diverse. Some elect to have a large reception immediately after the ceremony; some have a small private wedding and then a large or small reception. Going to a remote place, a tropical island, beach side, seashore, valley, garden, and winery or on a mountaintop, or some unusual place, or just having a traditional church wedding is your choice. Others decide to just keep it very quaint private and personal and just have a few close friends and family in attendance. Whatever you do, please do not get so caught up in the wedding plans that you do not take the time to be mindful of one another. Yes it is a special day! A good photographer will capture the essence of your day! Yes it is all important; but so is your relationship!
The point here is whatever you choose to do make sure that your main focus is the marriage itself.
Many marry and have not really taken any time to plan the marriage. What do you mean? They have not taken the time to have a candid open discussion as to what happens after the wedding. It is important to set some priorities! I know that you know this but as you plan the wedding really keep in mind that after the wedding there is a marriage. Where do we go from here…?
Continue Reading “Planning Your Wedding Is Important, But So Is Your Marriage!”
Marriage is for an emotionally mature man and woman who desire to grow together with a spouse as a life partner. The age in which one embarks upon marriage maturity varies greatly. You can be young and ready for marriage. You can also be older and still not be ready for marriage. Marriage is about working together to build the ultimate partnership. It is the ultimate relationship of “oneness.” Marriage is about growing and learning how to love.
Love is one of the most misunderstood emotions, feelings and or state of being. Love does not always feel good nor does it mean that things will always go well. At times you will have to say and do some things that may not be well received by one another because you love them. Yes, at times you will have to chastise one another. When you love one another you should want what is best for the marriage. Love is encouraging healthy boundaries and sharing transparently to build an intimate partnership. Love encompasses being disciplined and making sacrifices. When you truly Love someone you love them for who they are. According to the Word of God, “Love is patient, Love is kind.”
Marriage is wonderful but at times it can be difficult. You are two different individuals who have agreed to learn how to grow together as you share life. At times you will clash. This is why you want to marry someone who will be there for you through the thick and thin. Someone to weather the storms of life with you as well as celebrate the good times. Someone who loves you for you and not for what you do, or for what you have, or what you can do for them.