Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

Nasty Talk

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swearEven before I became a leader in BSF I was not a fan of curse words.  I’ve always thought that people who resort to using such language were just too lazy to come up with an appropriate word.  But once I was born again my disgust grew for my own haphazard speech, still littered with profanities, and soon thereafter included other’s bad speech.  Especially egregious was taking the Lord’s name in vain.  God.  Jesus.  Jesus Christ.  These were not words to speak in anger or contempt, but names of The Most High God and to be spoken of with love, respect, and adoration.  Even though I’m not Catholic it even bothers me to hear, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph” spoken in anger because the intent is clear.

When I began posting on Facebook I quickly found that people, hiding behind the isolated and thin veil of the computer screen, were much more prone to unleash their tongues and post all types of vile and crass material.  Horrified at what I was reading, I quickly unfollowed friends and hid pages that posted such nonsense because I didn’t want to be associated with it.  I was merciless when it came to my own newsreel and timeline.

Last month I posted some research on Hillary Clinton on my Facebook page to show her willful disregard of our military, her white house staff, and even her husband.  It included her speech which apparently is overly abundant with foul-mouthed words, beyond tactless and downright evil in its connotation.

Regrettably, I didn’t follow my own guidelines and got called on it this past week.

Through a fellow leader in BSF, I was told that someone was very concerned about the post on Hillary, believing that I condoned that type of language.  Clearly, she didn’t read the post or would have realized that I was wholly against this type of language and behavior – presidential candidate or not.  But why should she have to read through gobs of despicable speech to understand my point?  She shouldn’t and it was wrong of me to post it.  I thought of 1 Corinthians 10:31-32

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory. Give no offense to the Jews or the Greeks or the church of God,

And immediately took it down.

Christians are called to a higher standard.  We’re called to a standard so lofty we won’t reach it until we relocate to Heaven. But that doesn’t mean that we lose sight of that glorious ideal until then.  No.  We are to constantly work toward it.

Even more so leaders.  Leadership has been my top spiritual gift since I’ve started taking assessments.  God has gifted me to be a leader, it’s up to me to take that responsibility seriously and live my life the best I can to what Jesus has modeled for me.

Monitoring my speech is an easy place to start.  Especially when you read Ephesians 4:29

No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.

And how a pastor can know that verse and still believe it’s acceptable to swear is beyond me … but that’s a post for another time.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

He is Holy

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We’ve just finished up the study of Revelation through BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) and I can’t really contain myself.  Firstly, if you’ve never been to a BSF study, and you find yourself a quart low on studying the Bible, get yourself to one (a study of John will begin on September 12)!  BSF headquarters are based in Texas but the study is offered worldwide and over 500,000 people participated in Revelation at the same time.  You can find out more, and where there is a study in your area, here: http://www.bsfinternational.org

I found BSF through a friend who fortunately invited me last year for the study of Moses.  It came at the right time when my educational options were limited in my church and I was desperate for some comprehensive Bible study.  I got just what I needed in BSF.  It’s a long and detailed study that is perfect for delving in deep and hearing volumes from God.  He has taken the time to speak to me in each of the two studies I’ve been involved in and I’ve been thrilled.  You really can’t go wrong when you hear God speak.

This past year God has really been working on me to understand His sanctity and studying Revelation just brought everything to a head.  I was really struck by His unfathomable holiness.  It’s led me to examine how I think about Him and whether I fear Him like I should.  I think it’s easy for us to put God in a human-sized box.  Partly due to our general humanness – He is so vast, we just don’t know how to comprehend Him so we bring Him down to something we can latch onto; and partly due to the songs we sing these days … the Jesus is my pal – type songs.  Well, Jesus may be friendly toward me, but He’s not my pal and I don’t wish to think of Him like that.  He’s my Savior.  My King.  My Lord.  My Judge.  Putting Jesus on a friend level does Him a disservice … it limits him, cheapens Him.  None of my friends can die for my sins.  None of my friends can heal me.  None of my friends can facilitate my eternal life with the Almighty Father.  And, I hate to say this, but sometimes I’m not a very good friend.  I know, hard to believe, right?

God is so far above what we can imagine.

Chip Ingram asked recently on his program ‘Living on the Edge’, “Which Jesus are you worshiping?”  I probably screwed up my face when I heard that line … thinking “wha?”  But as he started explaining I found myself nodding vigorously in agreement.  He asked a pointed question (my paraphrase), “Do you worship the Jesus that walked around Judea with 12 other guys doing miracles here and there, or do you worship the Jesus that was arrested and crucified on a cross, or do you worship Jesus as He is today?”

You see, Jesus as He is today is explained very beautifully in Revelation 1:13-16.  He wears a long robe with a gold sash and has hair white as snow, His eyes are like fire, His feet like burnished bronze, His voice like cascading waters, His face shines like the noon-day sun, and His mouth yields a sharp two-edged sword.  Friends, our Lord Jesus is no longer the God-man who roamed the countryside for three years and He no longer hangs bruised and bloody on a cross.  He is a warrior!  Our warrior!  The Ancient of Days, the Almighty, holy, faithful, true, and the victorious conqueror over evil.

History is good to know to complete the picture of Jesus, but we need to worship Him as He is … today.

 

Unequally Yoked

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Disclaimer: The following is not an indictment against believers and non-believers getting married. It is a cautionary tale about how easily the evil one can cloud our connection to the One True God and distract us with other gods.unequally-yoked


A social-media friend of mine, and pretty audacious Christian, recently got married.  Prior to the nuptials, we had shared some special private messages getting to know each other and it seemed as though she’d come to see me as a mentor of sorts (as much as one can mentor being separated by miles and having never actually met).  Not to get too far off track in this post, let me just reiterate that it’s imperative that maturing Christians hook up with new and younger Christians – it’s a bless-bless situation.  Their fire and zeal for the Lord is amazing and invigorating and we help support and guide, having been entrusted by God to do so.

I touched base with my young friend right after she announced she was in a relationship on Facebook.  I’d messaged her to wish her well and in the course of conversation, inquired of her boyfriend’s beliefs.  She, quite gleefully, informed me that he was not a believer but that she was sure God had put him in her life so that she could bring him to Jesus.  I cautioned her to be careful and to take it slowly and then prayed that God would keep her safe and direct her path.

Her engagement came as a shock to everyone … within weeks of the onset of their dating, they were engaged.  I reached out again as the rush just wasn’t sitting well with my soul.   “Be careful,” I told her although I feared she wasn’t listening, “ask God for an extra helping of discernment.”

“I will.” She said joyfully.  I could hear and feel all the excitement that comes with a betrothal.  After years of pain and hurt over bad, broken, and abusive relationships, she was jumping in and not looking back.  Anything I said would have fallen on deaf ears so I did the only thing I could do, I prayed.  I prayed that God would watch over her and minister to her throughout their engagement and open the heart of her fiancé to accept Him.

God didn’t have long to do that.  Within a matter of months she announced that she was married.

Paul’s words rang in my ears …

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? ~ 2 Corinthians 6:14

I continue to pray for my friend, but I still worry.  She has always been impetuous (which is one of the traits that drew me to her) and her posts used to offer up praise and worship for Jesus on a daily basis.  Her passion for Christ couldn’t help but bring a smile to your face.

Truly, if her posts and tweets were cups of water, we’d all be drenched in His glory.

But she never mentions Christ these days.  Her posts are still quick and bright and bubbly, but now she blasts out, “I love Target!” and a week later, “I love grape jelly!”  I’m concerned that her love for Jesus is being replaced in her heart with a love of the world and it makes me sad.  Gone is the girl with a heart brimming full of love for Jesus.

Let me take a moment and assure you that I am not condemning the union.  Also, I’m in no way saying that I think believers should never marry nonbelievers.  I know of several successful marriages where one spouse believed in the Messiah and the other didn’t … at least at first.  Gratefully, it seems that sooner or later, the unbelieving spouse awakened to God’s voice and joined our family and I can only pray that the same thing happens here.

What I am calling attention to is how easy it is for us to fall away from God.  Even Jesus reminded us that believers would fall away:

The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. ~ Luke 8:13 (NLT)

Perhaps my friend’s roots weren’t as deep as I believed them to be.  But are we, the single Christian, perhaps desperate for a mate, to forego pursuing relationships with non-believing men?  The world would say, “No way!”  “Love the one you’re with.”  “Do what feels good to you.”  But, maybe we are.  Maybe we’re supposed to have faith in God that He will bring us the right man and not just any man who flips our skirt.  After all, didn’t He ask His chosen people not to mingle with others?  Aren’t I, after having been grafted in, now chosen by Him?  I have to put the hard question to myself … in the end, who’s relationship do I value more?  God’s or a man’s?

I don’t know the future for this young girl and her husband but I continue to pray that (1) she doesn’t completely fall away from her faith and (2) that her husband comes to know our Lord Jesus Christ and accepts Him – for the sake of his own life and that of his marriage.

Situations like these are weighing heavy on my heart right now because I’m writing a memoir and being reminded through the writing just how long I dragged my feet in coming to Christ and even when I did, how many times I fell away from God.

But what is awe-inspiring – completely amazing – totally astounding is that God never stops waiting for us to return to Him.  He is so patient and merciful.  We can hardly deserve it.  We really do need to trust Him above all.

In His love,

Felecia

Photo credit:   www.christianpost.com

Early Belief

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A couple of you have inquired about the subject of the book I’m currently writing.  Firstly, I need to thank you for that question! Just the fact that you’re interested warms the cockles of my heart and gives me additional fuel to continue writing.  I’m tentatively calling it “a memoir chronicling God’s ceaseless and redemptive spirit.”  As I’ve aged and matured in Christ, I’ve been able to see how He has been beside every step of the way, constantly saving me from myself and from others.  My story may be just like yours or nothing like yours but to Him, we are all the same.  His children, in need of Him.

The Lord has our individual journeys under His watchful eye throughout our entire lives.  He constantly shapes us and works to equip us with the tools we will need to perform His work for the Kingdom.

Writing this book has had me looking back to my childhood, and there is no doubt in my mind that the Lord has been calling me to Him since I was a very young child.  Because every person on the face of the planet is known by God since before the world was formed, I believe He is calling each and every one of us from birth.  That may startle some people; but regardless of the part of the world you were born in, the socio-economic system you were born into, and even the religion you were born under – He is waiting for you to look His way.

How else was it that when I was about 8 years old I remember coming home from church every Sunday, gathering five or six other little children in the neighborhood, and preaching to them from atop a grassy knoll with my child-sized bible in hand.  It must have been quite a sight!  It makes me laugh now to remember, I wonder what my parents thought about this behavior or did they even know what was happening?  Would my life have been different if they had recognized and cultivated this youthful zeal to bring the word of our Lord to others?  We’ll never know and it probably doesn’t matter because God has grown me into the woman of faith I am today using the whole of the experiences of my life.

Although I wasn’t truly saved in Christ Jesus until my mid-thirties, my absolute, unwavering belief in The One True God from the age of 8 surprises me today.  Perhaps it helps me to understand what Paul meant when he said:

But then something happened!  For it pleased God in his kindness to choose me and call me, even before I was born!  What undeserved mercy! ~ Galatians 1:15 (NLT)

He calls each of us.  Even if you haven’t heard Him yet, He is calling.

What undeserved mercy … indeed.

Be well my friends,

Felecia