Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

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“To be Queen Elizabeth with a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors, and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes, and books; to be Aristotle with a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine ho it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.” G.K Chesterson

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wait! Without Me?

Spiritual Lesson 

Wait!  Without me? 
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All of us women enjoy quality time.  Especially quality time with the men God has placed in our lives.  Whether that be our brothers, our fathers, our boyfriends or our husbands.

It's natural, healthy, and perfectly innocent to desire this.

But I also thought it was worth noting that some women actually become upset when their men want to do something without them.

For example:

Hang out with friends.
Pursue a lone hobby.
Social media by himself
Immerse himself in a ministry
Pursue a "to-do" list

We can take it personally when they go "do their thing" and are completely content to do it without us.  Or find it top priority before asking how we are, or how our day went, or whether they want to go to coffee with us.  I'm not advocating men to be selfish jerks.  But I do want to challenge you.

Firstly, to look at your own heart.
Honestly we can be pretty selfish.  Especially with relationships we think we have a right to be selfish with.  They are our men.  My brother.  My Dad.  My husband.  My guy.  And sometimes our expectations can be unrealistic.  Every moment will be spent together.  Our boyfriend is going to enjoy our hobbies and want to do them with us.  Our brother should his activities to maintain our relationship.  Dad should take us out on dates.

Yes, it would be nice to spend every moment with our guy.  Yes it'd be ideal to have the exact same hobbies.  Yes it is beneficial to have our brothers drop some of their "to-do" list in order to be a friend.  And yeah, dates with Dad are healthy and really special.

But we don't have to freak out when this doesn't happen.  There are few things less disturbing than a clingy woman.  Ladies, as singles we heard over and over who is able to fulfill our needs and desires.  When we find we're fretting over an unmet expectation, Jesus is still the answer.  Even when we are in a relationship.  Or even when we miss our brother, or desire our Dad's attention.

There is immense freedom in allowing our men to be men.  And honestly, when we find peace in letting them go, it is an instant invitation for men to be who God created them to be.  They feel assured and encouraged and inspired when we stop demanding.  Think of the clingons in your life.  Then think of the friends who both take and give.  The ones who are are there, who encourage, who listen.  Who are we in our men's lives?

Secondly, look to find ways to encourage our men.

What ways can we reconstruct our conversation to encourage them and show we are supportive of them?

When they go, we can make sure to tell them to have fun and smile and wave when they leave.  Who wants to be their man's burden and make him feel guilty for being gone?

Letting him know you're interested in hearing how it all went.

Finding ways to be interested or help in a hobby.

Standing next to him in his ministry.

Talking well of him in public.

Not taking it personally when he chooses to be by himself.  Giving him that space and cheerfully accepting it.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Can the Church be Enemies of God?

Spiritual Lessons

Can “the Church” be enemies of God?

I reflect on the many “Christians” I have talked with on the subject of love, murder and the gospel.

Many of them claimed that love is being friendly. Love ignores sin. Love accepts and never judges. That murder is only murder when the victim is a certain age or is wanted or not the product of rape. And that the gospel is: Jesus forgives and loves you. Period.

The Christians at Planned Parenthood scream “Jesus loves ME” before going in to murder their baby. And who convinced them of that? The Christian at church.

It was a Christian who stomped a baby model into the street, a Christian who howled at my “Image of God” sign. It was a Christian driving out of the church parking lot that flipped me off while trying to hand him a gospel tract. The Christian lesbian tried to explain to me how “love does not judge” and it was her Christian pastor that told her so.

Instead of engaging the darkness, being the salt, judging righteously, being a light, compassionately pulling people out of the fire, loving our neighbors, the “Christian” has tried to become the world's friend.

“...Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will b a friend of the world is the enemy of God...” James 4:4

Just as Jesus fought against Israel and called them an enemy for rebelling and vexing Him, He does so to the conventional Church. Isaiah 63. He rejects and hates our worship and songs when we have tolerated, condoned, prolonged and justified our modern Moloch. Our nation literally murders children on the alter of self and convenience. And we Christians stand by and watch. Amos 5.

It's not just the mega churches. Joel Olistein's church. Or the liberal churches. The majority of conservative, even small churches have failed to be truly Christian. Once upon a time to be Christian meant to be bold as lions. A voluntary martyr. You were a world shaker. A non-conformist. Christ-like. A relationship with Christ was merely a result, not the purpose of your Christianity. Total obedience and trials and working faith were matters of rejoicing.

Now to be "Christian" means you're emotional. You are passive. You only love worship. You listen, learn, submit...but doing, teaching, edifying are forgotten. You're sleepy. You are a friend of the world. And you condone sin.

Yes Christians, the Church can be enemies of God. And we will be judged. Christians must be awakened, or warned. Christians are either asleep or lost.

Wake up church. This isn't a joy ride. We're in the middle of a battle.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

We Are Lions

Spiritual Lessons 

We Are Lions

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I was talking to my little brother last night and he asked me why the Pharaoh of Egypt had decided to kill all the male children of Israel. I explained that Pharaoh was afraid of how large Israel had become, and he knew that it was possible for the men to rise up and seize Egypt.

While explaining this I realized what amazing qualities God has instilled in men. He has given them the desire to conquer for righteousness' sake, to be protectors, to be noble and courageous. Pharaoh feared godly men. And then, my ten year old brother found it amusing that Pharaoh was so afraid of men, when God used women to conquer him. The midwifes, Moses' mother, and Miriam, his sister.

We women have the opportunity to be used greatly. To not only dwell in the Light but walk in it. To shine. Women through the centuries have been used to save nations, to spread the Gospel, and to usher in the King of kings. Our feminine heart was created to be great. To co-labor with noble men. To save nations. To spread the Gospel. To show the world Jesus. 

We are capable of being Esther's and Mary's. We may have Hamman's in our life. Or reputations that may be at risk. Or even our lives. Maybe it's our time, our energy, our finances that are to be sacrificed? Maybe it's our fears, or our low expectations that need to be conquered. God has a purpose for us far far beyond a good life and a good relationship with Him. 

We were created to be helpmates. To be lionesses. To be culture shapers. To be warrior raisers. To be light and salt. We can and we must live up to this. He will be our strength. What nations wait to be saved? What destinies teeter on the balance? What lives wait hanging on our “yes” to Jesus?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Quote of the Day

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"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it careful round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket -- safe, dark, motionless, airless --- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable... The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers...of love is Hell."

- C.S. Lewis

Friday, July 15, 2016

There's a Difference

Spiritual Lessons

There's a Difference 
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There is such a thing as being gracious and yet grieving. Being humble but acknowledging wrongs. Having mercy yet recognizing lost friendships. To let go of people who once were pillars of security, in a healthy way. To move on without reconciliation.
There's such a thing as standing firm to your conviction without pride. To warn others of “Alexanders” (2 Tim. 4:14-18) without back-biting. To disagree with authorities without being a “victim”.
AND, there's such a thing as condoning bad behavior and calling it grace. Ignoring wrongs and calling it mercy. Enabling and calling it submission. Internalizing grief and calling it forgiveness. Being bitter and saying “we just need time”. Rebelling and calling it justice.
There's a difference. James 1

Monday, July 11, 2016

Warrior Brides

Spiritual Lessons

Warrior Brides

“Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!”

A cold voice answered: “Come not between the Nazgul and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shriveled mind shall be left naked to the Lidless Eye.”

A sword rang as it was drawn. “Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.”

… “Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!”

… It seemed that Dernhelm [Eowyn] laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. “But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Eowyn I am, Eomund's daughter...Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him."

Ladies, we are women warriors. It is imperative that we engage in the spiritual warfare around us. Men are not meant to be alone in this battle. It's true, we are the weaker vessel, and God did create men to be our leaders, providers, protectors – but all the children of God are called to fight the principalities and rulers of darkness. (Eph. 6:12)

God has bestowed us with loyal fierceness for a reason. We are co-warriors.

All of us can attest to Satan's enjoyment of attacking us Christians. I'm here to warn you that Satan will attack us women, not only to insure our inaction but as a means to stab our fellow warriors in the back. Especially our men.

Here is one thing that has been prevalent in my life and in my friends life. I hope with all my heart this is heartening and even helpful in staving off destruction.

Attacks in our relationships.

Sometimes it's emotion driven. We are plagued by depression, anxiety, low self-worth, fear, etc. Over and over these emotions are used against us in our family relationships. Well-intentioned family may wonder (aloud) at the wisdom of our husbands. They share their concern and or counsel. They sew seeds of doubt, mist-trust or disrespect into our hearts. (By the way – we aren't to reverence ANY men in our lives other than our husbands). Though well-meaning, they've overstepped their bounds. Who is responsible for letting them know that? We are. We tell them, kindly but firmly, that they can take their concerns to your man. No-one should be allowed to step between you and your husband. You're his right hand, and together you're a team. It's sinful to sit behind his back and question him with your concerned family. (Honestly, if anyone approaches us about someone else we should send them to the person they have a problem with). And if we are the woman who goes to other people about their husbands we must quickly repent and acknowledge our sin. We are not only doing this couple a disfavor, we are attacking their marriage and are sinning and will be held responsible. It doesn't matter if they are our best friend, our sister or our daughter.

We engage spiritual wickedness and our relationships will be attacked. We must recognize isolation, guilt, harbored hard feelings, etc. as an attack. We will be rendered useless in the battle and we may take our fellow soldiers out as well.

This being said; grief is appropriate. Acknowledging wounds is right. It's okay to recognize that all the faces you sought friendship from are gone. It's healthy to let go of people who once were pillars of security. We are allowed to flee spears. If reconciliation is impossible we're righteous in “moving on” without them. Our part is to call upon God as our savior, cast our burden on Him and look to Him for wisdom and sustenance. If you have Ahithophel's in your life: follow David's example. (Ps.55).

But it's not okay to allow someone's injustice towards us to fester into back-biting, hard feelings, snide remarks, gossip and sleepless nights.

We are Christ's bride. He is a Victor. And He has declared war on the world. We aren't the damsel's in distress here. We're married to a warrior King. He has chosen to use and need us. Of course our men will fight for us and often stand between our enemies and us. This is noble and we should be thankful. If our men, (our husbands, boyfriends, fathers, brothers, brothers in Christ) have taken up spiritual arms, we should rejoice and thank God. So few are willing to be the men God created them to be. They are under severe attack from the world, the enemy, their spiritual leaders, and Christians friends. They stand on a lonely righteous battle field. We are either standing next to them or against them. There isn't a neutral ground. If we are not encouraging, strengthening, or supporting them we are most certainly discouraging and tearing them down. We've joined enemy ranks when we are uncertain of them. When we offer criticism. When we cheer them on in “their thing”. Or when we distract them from their purpose. Or pout. When we think of spiritual warfare as being a “man thing”.

Christianity is not a passive religion.

Christianity is not a man's religion.

All of us fight. All of us take dominion. All of us rule. All of us reign. All us are light. All of us minister to the afflicted. (Gen 1:26, Matt. 25:21, Rev. 22:5, 2 Cor. 4:5-6, James 1:27).

We are not helpless as women. We are not victims. We are meant to be courageous Jaels. What lies have we allowed in our lives to keep back our hammer and spike? Really – as yourself. What accusations of our men have we allowed to taint us against the battle? What disappointments, hurts, and injustices leave us useless and lifeless?

It is possible that these things are attacks. And it is most certain that they have been allowed in your life to move you into a active Christianity. True Christianity. A religion where we not only have a relationship with Christ as His bride, but where we practice our religion and work our our salvation as warriors.

Ladies, we have have an amazing and fulfilling calling as Warrior brides. Christ desires to train us how to be compassionate, willing to dies, merciful and bleeding; while also to put on his armor, cry the battle cries, pull our swords ad defy the enemies of darkness.

What does that mean practically? It means we will set aside nagging doubts and join our husband in his vision. It means we be willing to be made willing to love again. It means working at our friendships even when it's uncomfortable. It means bringing our concerns before our God and refusing self-pity reign. It means doing something instead of just talking about it. It means sacrificing time, ease and reputation. It means actively looking for opportunities. Habitually sharing the gospel. Speaking for the voiceless. Ministering to our children or siblings. Praying. Committing our homes and lives to God alone. Prioritizing our life so we might be available to be used. Spending our money wisely. Questioning traditions. Allowing ourselves to be put in uncomfortable stretching experiences. In other words ACTING like Christians.

We live in a culture of death and sin. The enemy moves unchained. He seeks who He may devor. And how has God chosen to hinder him? The Beloved. That's me. That's you. He is that great in us. We were chosen to be women on purpose. He wants to use your femininity, beauty, strength, fierceness, to encourage those around you and to love your neighbor and to stand by your men.

If you are allowing people in your life to keep you from the battle, if you concede to their low expectations, if your generously refuse to be a warrior bride on someone else's behalf: You are sinning. And you are enabling that person to sin. If you know what is right and refuse to do it, you will be held doubly accountable.

We are in a life-and-death battle. The spiritual life IS our life. It's not a piece of life. It's not optional. We are in a battle with an enemy who works 24/7 to destroy life. The Lord is our warrior and overcomer. He asks, even commands, that we join Him.

Will we be a Warrior Bride?

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