The Christian Public Witness

My husband and I were having a conversation about being a public witness. What I mean by ‘public’ is sidewalk ministry at the abortion facility or street ministry at strip clubs, bars, for example. Public means what and where is legal. Public means public, anyone can be there…even the opposition. TRUSTJESUS

In public ministry people love to battle, to justify sin, to embed their superiority. But the truth is they know they’re living a lie out loud, they know way deep down that this lie they live is getting harder and harder to keep up with.

When I remember who I used to be before Christ, I had to keep my justifications in absolute order so that I wouldn’t seem WRONG or in error of a badly lived life…after all, who’s life is it anyway? I thought it was mine alone.

GETTING TO THE POINT: There was not one time that I was ever confronted with a public witness for Christ, not at the abortion facility where my mother forced me to go to OR at the local night life clubs/bars I used to frequent.

Do we know we are a sinner? Yes. Even if we have one shred of ‘morality’, we know that we are failing God and slowly losing our life to sin.

A public witness does what Christ told us to do, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to EVERY creature”. Being a public witness for Christ is not a comfortable thing to do, people don’t like being confronted with a jealous God.

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25, NKJV

Most people are caught up in a worldly web of deception, a web of discontent…a web they feel they cannot be free of. And like most people, I wanted someone to come along and save me from this horrible life…was I worth more than a glass of vodka and a pack of cigarettes? As I sat in that bar every day….I mean EVERY DAY….I wished for that great guy to come along and save me. And one day He did. But it wasn’t who I expected.

I didn’t believe in the supernatural, I saw only in disparity, what was around me. Never was I told I was better than the next cocktail, the next guy, the next party. I HATED to look at myself in the mirror, I HATED what I saw, I HATED ME. And the reason I hated me was because I allowed it.

Much like the woman at the well [John 4], I gave up. This life is what it is, I can’t change it, my family left me, my children left me, my dignity left me. All I had left to do was die.

But then Jesus came, He didn’t say I feel like going to Samaria or say maybe I’ll go through Samaria…Jesus said He NEEDED to go through Samaria. He met her where she was, at the well. This was her divine appointment with her Savior.

Street preachers and ministers meet people where they are to preach a loving Jesus who wants to save them from this existence of stacking sin in a neat pile. We are all the same, we need a Savior to be saved from this life….we have enough ‘friends’ to help us out with sin.

There is no judgement, just “Go and sin no more”. One day your accusers will go away, one at a time. And Jesus will be there for you. That’s the Jesus I know and that’s the Jesus we preach.

“When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to 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.” John 8:10-11

Street preachers/ministers are Christian Public Witnesses, just like the Apostles. Christianity hasn’t changed – we’ve changed it. We keep putting Jesus in a nicely decorated box called the Church. Church was NEVER a building but a concept and a reality since the first century.

Churches are full of people and Pastors that are hearers only. The street affords nothing but the purity of the Word and the intent behind it because I did not get saved in a church, I was presented with the Gospel by a man who was led by God to tell me about Jesus. You see, He came to where I was – at work and hungover.

Thank  you God for bringing Him to me.

TESTIMONY: Choosing LIFE & Faith, no matter what.

For there to be a testimony, there has to be a test. And as Christians, we are tested all the time. In a time when a woman finds herself pregnant at the very worst time, God tells us it’s never bad time to be the life giver He made women to be. Since the foundation of the WORLD we have been known by God, each with a divine purpose only He can give.

FAITH.

Being on the sidewalk, we hear so many ‘reasons’ why they can’t have their baby. But there are no reasons…not ONE…good enough to kill an innocent unborn child entrusted to the parents by God.

What a blessing to read this incredible testimony given by God’s woman, a woman who follows Him no matter what. After all, lemonade tastes much better than sour, bitter lemons.

Thank you God’s woman, for sharing this incredible testimony, and thank you for choosing LIFE: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” [Gal 6:2]

Written in her own hand, enjoy this beautiful testimony:

One year ago today at this time I was saying hello for the first time to my 2nd little bundle of joy, Zachary! I knew as soon as I found out he was a boy that the Lord put the name Zachary on my heart for him. I knew the meaning of the name at the time but I didn’t know why in particular the Lord wanted me to name him it until after he was born. You see I’m not going to go into details but a few months before Zach’s birth I started going through one of the worst times of my life and it was something completely out of my control. There was nothing I could do to avoid or help the situation but I had to just deal with it and do it 7 months pregnant at that! The beauty of being a child of God though is that I didn’t have to deal with it on my own but as always my Heavenly Father was right there by my side taking care of me in any way He could. If I only had the time to tell you all how many ways God has showed me how much He loves me and has had my back through this thing! One of the biggest ways was by Him giving me Zach. Before his birth I honestly was a little worried about how I was going to take care of a newborn and a 3 year old in my emotional state but after he was born and I spent a little time with him I understood immediately why the Lord gave me the name Zachary for him. Zachary means “God remembered” so you see in a time of deep despair God remembered me and gave me a literal bundle of joy! He really is just the happiest most laid back baby ever and has been since his birth. You can pretty much guarantee a laugh out of him whenever you see him. Of course my 3 year old already made me smile and laugh everyday no matter what but the Lord gave me another little blessing to make me smile and laugh even more despite what I was going through. Words can’t even describe the love I have for my 2 little boys and the joy that they bring to my life! [Anonymous]

The Bible says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Jesus

The Day After Mother’s Day

You may have noticed that I did not post anything for Mother’s Day. To me, Mother’s Day is not what it is for everyone else.

I have learned a long time ago not to wait by my telephone on Mother’s Day. Sometimes it rings, sometimes it doesn’t. This is why my husband and I usually take a day trip that day. We really love to get out and drive the countryside, see and hear God’s creation, give Glory to God….because sometimes, my telephone doesn’t ring.

It doesn’t ring for everyone else, either. I know too many moms who have been rejected by their adult kids. I have grown accustomed to the disrespect and hate, I can’t change them. So, I have to change ME.

As I mentioned a bunch on times during the 30 Day Parenting Prayer Challenge for our adult kids, parents have to not look back but blaze a trail FORWARD. If we are forgiven by God, then who are they to keep us in THEIR subjection? That, my friends, is being held hostage. And I won’t live like that….anymore.

There are other victims of Mother’s Day: post abortive women, women who miscarried, mom passed away, kids in foster care, adopted kids, the brokenhearted, etc. A victim stays a victim until you escape. A holiday does not identify who we are to God. We are His, we are forgiven; if our kids can’t forgive, then too bad. I can’t live in the memory they have for us for the rest of THEIR lives.

My husband honors me for Mother’s Day. He always has. He knows that this day is really about MOM, they one who gave life, the one who loves unconditionally, the one who is there when she’s not needed or wanted. I have made mistakes just like every other person in the world, but I certainly don’t need a holiday to remind me of it.

Happy Day After Mother’s Day:

v16 Thus says the Lord:

“Refrain your voice from weeping,
And your eyes from tears;
For your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord,
And they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
v17 There is hope in your future, says the Lord,
That your children shall come back to their own border.” Jeremiah 31:15-17

The Minimalist.

I have to admit, I love our minimalist life. I feel free of the world and it’s traps. I can’t stand the frivolity of the way some Christians live; we are at war with the devil himself and we clamor for more clutter.

My husband and I, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, have shorn down our life and lifestyle to accommodate our Christian walk. Now some would say that it’s a bit extreme, mostly because way too many Christians still want their one foot in the world. I mean, is it really necessary to have that $500 Coach purse? Did you have to get leather seats in the new car? Just how necessary is the mid-life-crisis Harley? How does anyone NEED a 3000 sqft home unless you’re a Duggar?

This world in which we live allows us – wants us – to go into a debt abyss to have things that others have…not just Christians, ESPECIALLY Christians. We are much more malleable to the government if we have a lot of debt. A lot of believers think that God will provide for their ‘stuff’ – and He will provide….to our NEEDS. We need food, we need clothing, we need shelter. We do not need ‘stuff’.

While having coffee with my husband, we discussed whether Christians should live a lavish lifestyle, whether in or out of debt. My first thought was if this lavishness glorifies God – I don’t think it can. We are to be a light to the world, not a lighting concept: “v14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. v15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. v16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven,” Matthew 5:14-16.

There is a great peace that comes with having less. We are unencumbered with ‘things’ that have no room in a Christian’s life. By choice we have one vehicle; by choice we do not have cable television. By choice we have a home that is reasonable rather than getting one big enough to store more stuff AND still rent a storage unit to store the rest of it. By choice we choose to have less so we can have more with Christ.

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Matthew 8:18-20

Give much? While it is true that God does supply the needs of His people, this is a specific promise that those who are faithful and devoted in their giving to Christ will never suffer lack. God gives us a lot of latitude to do His Will as well as just enough to mess it up. We are OBLIGATED to be the good steward that God wants us to be. He can put money in your bucket OR put a hole in the bottom of it.

And to summarize, 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work…”

The Valley Christian

Are you a valley Christian or a mountain Christian? Is God only God when it’s all good? That’s too bad; you’ll never know the fullness of God.

Psalm 23:4-5 says: “v4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of deathI will fear no evil; for You are with me; your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. v5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.”

I do believe that some of us spend more time in the valley than others because our ‘free will’ is conditioning us to continue to fail rather than learn and get the victory. God wants us to learn from our valley experiences. God does not hate us, He wants us to be victorious…but we keep getting in our own way and blame Him for our own rebellion.

“I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in a way that is not good,
According to their own thoughts.” Isaiah 65:2

The mountain Christian definitely believes in God only when life is going their way, which isn’t very often. Sin has a way of sitting us down a spell. The mountain Christian HATES God in the valley; they truly think that being a Christian gives them a pass. The truth is Christians are tested more after salvation than before. Is that from God? Maybe. Remember, God EITHER causes or allows bad things to happen for His Glory, not ours. He gives us every minute of every day to repent and come back to Him, but most won’t. Being so high-minded is going to get ya a nose bleed, not victory.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

God goes before us, He is there waiting for us, He will protect us.

 “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deut 31:8

The valley isn’t so bad, it’s where God is. Trust God to bring you out of the valley, His promises are sure. Pray for His guidance, not your own.

“v22 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. v23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 30

As I wrap up this 30 Days of Parenting Prayer, I am inundated with so many emotions…most of which I brought up during these 30 days. If there is one thing that I can’t say enough [well, maybe two] is that we are parents to our kids forever. They were our children since the beginning of time [Jeremiah 1:5] and will be even into Eternity. The second is that prayer should be the FIRST thing we do, not as a last ditch effort to save the day.

Being a parent is has been the one thing that people take for granted as if it’s a right rather than the privilege that it is. I am PRIVILEGED to be their mother, whether they give a darn or not. It is I that has to answer to God for being their mother, it is I that will ultimately bear the day when I have to answer to God for my parenting.

We take advantage of the system by allowing our own dreams supersede those of our kids; once we do that, we fail. When you hear “You’re pregnant!”, your private, comfortable life is over and a new life is about to embark. We are but vessels, not God.

Secular/worldly feminism has no room in motherhood, but a God-intended feminist does. It’s true: there is such a thing as a God-intended Feminist. She was profiled in the Bible, Proverbs 31. She wasn’t perfect, in fact Bathsheba FAILED…but she was used mightily by God and was blessed to be the intended mother to Solomon.

Bad women do not have to be bad mothers. In other words, I have failed, you have failed…but through the Grace of God we are given chance after chance after chance to do it right. God knows our kids depend on us so He is quite willing to help us to be better. And, IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO BE A BETTER PARENT.

v17 “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; v18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” 1Peter 3:17-18

Pray for BALANCE. It’s been a great 30 days of reflection but I certainly see how I can do better, even after all these years. God Bless you all.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 29

With our adult kids also comes their significant other, and there are times we know that we know that we KNOW something is not quite right. And just because we think we raised our kids right doesn’t mean the significant other’s parents stepped up to the plate. In this instance, they didn’t bother showing up to the game.

Nothing angers me more than a person who pretends to be a Christian to the point of being quite the actress at it. I will never understand how anyone can deal with the bondage of being so deceitful. It’s quite the heavy bag to carry. I am so glad God gave me the gift of discernment. I saw right through her at the onset but hoped for the best that maybe I was wrong…this is one such time I wished I was.

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” Matthew 12:25

So much happened that I will not go into, but suffice it to say that it was TWICE I let my guard down to be burned again. When someone hurts one of our kids, his or mine, I nearly come unglued…momma grizzly here. I will never understand how people can be so evil to each other, especially other Christians. It makes me question their salvation, although I cannot judge it, that is for God to do.

So then I pray. And pray. AND PRAY that God will convict her for how she is trying to destroy our son. He’s got this, He is in control. God wants our son to be victorious and He will get His Glory. So for all her effort to hurt our son, God will gather his sheep, especially the ‘one’. She has no idea that God is working extra hard to help him, not her:

“v12 If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? v13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. v14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 8:12-14

Pray today that the one will come back to the fold and be victorious. Be a parent, not a friend…I assure you, they want their moms and dads when all seems so hopeless.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 28

Divorce is an awful thing. I can’t see how divorce really solves anything except put everyone involved into a tailspin. The events that come from divorce aren’t good, usually bad, and sometimes detrimental. A divorce can change the lives of our children forever. I am one such offender.

Children of divorce are more likely to get divorced themselves; it is one of those generational sins that get passed down to the next generation. And I believe that children of divorce lost respect and confidence in their parents which puts them in the firing line of divorce one day. We can’t be so selfish to believe divorce only affects the divorced.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:22

Divorce is creating a subculture of people, adult kids, that has no respect for anyone much less their parents or a spouse. They’ve been let down, their home divided and subdivided, and are placed with a parent that now has a myriad of brand new problems. They are now programmed to believe that relationships end rather than creating long lasting marriages and relationships with the children they will have one day.

Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband.” 1Corinthians 7:10

Remember, I am one such offender. But you can heal from divorce. I am one such person who healed because I realized that because of sin I was doomed to fail without God….and I was without God. And one day a man who was chosen by God for me finally found ME.

Then, the answer is to wait for your God chosen mate rather than usurping God’s authority to be God. I cannot say that often enough or loud enough for our kids. Life is hard enough…but having your God chosen mate makes it so much better.

v4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. v5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:4-5

Pray that adult kids learn from our stupid mistakes rather than emulate them. Our mistakes creates their ‘out’ to sin.

 

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 27

Is life really that hard or are these adult kids just not getting their way? Has society really slipped so far that they are quite comfortable that everyone sees their pajamas at the mall? Do they hate society so much that they won’t [not can’t] shower and wash their hair once in a while? How has life and parents become so inconsequential until they need something from us? Isn’t it always everyone else’s fault?

It should be apparent that I’m picking on ALL adult kids, not just ours. When I was in secular work, I processed credit applications for vehicle loans. It is shocking how much bad credit these adult kids have, tens of thousands in arrears. Most of them do not pay their cellular phone bills much less other incurred debt. They looked at us in amazement that they could not be approved for a 30K automobile loan. To be fair, I do understand that life can happen and mess up a credit score, but that is not as likely as it should have been. Instead we have heard them say that since they were fired they didn’t have to pay the debt they owed.

We are in the land of ENTITLEMENT. And like it or not, a lot of it started in their own childhood, my kids included. Having never been entitled to anything as a kid or teenager, I thought I was doing a great thing by doing more for my kids. You see, my dad thought that if I wasn’t cleaning the house somewhere all the time that I was being lazy; ‘outside’ was a luxury. So, by doing more for my kids, I mean being a stay-at-home-mom, cleaned after them, cooked and baked all the time so that their time would be free to have friends and participate in sports or activities…all the the things I couldn’t do as a kid.

Balance. While I thought I was more balanced, I was really enabling them to have more free time to do bad things rather than being engaged with school and it’s activities to keep their free time not so free. I sure wish I knew where the ‘middle’ was then. I see now that not being a Christian when my kids were little set them up to be ‘free thinkers’ who depends on everyone else rather than themselves. The economy of God tells us so much, mostly from the book of Proverbs, of how to live, not be in debt, to be better wives/husbands, live within the community, to be a hard worker, and to love God.

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:

v2 To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
v3 To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity;
v4 To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion—
v5 A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
v6 To understand a proverb and an enigma,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
v7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:1-7

Pray for this generation, all of these adult kids need our constant prayer and love. They need to learn how to be adults rather than grown up kids. I pray so much for them to come to Jesus…we are nothing without Him!

 

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 26

Many years ago I was forced to leave the area in which I was born to begin a new life. I had to leave my family because of my now ex-husband to do it. My ex, who was raised by hard working never-in-debt church-going family-oriented people, was an adult kid that had a drug, alcohol and gambling problem [that led to domestic violence] which eventually became my problem. I remember so vividly my EX-mother-in-law saying, “You knew him when you married him“. NOT true, I did not know these things…but that really isn’t the point. The point is that SHE knew he had addictions and did not warn me; it was as if she was passing him off to me so she didn’t have to deal with it anymore.

Some of us, who never exhibited addiction, have children who may eventually have an addiction. But should a parent just pass them off? When did they stop being a parent? I have a myriad of cousins that are grandparents already, and they are still battling alcohol, meth, crack, etc. At least half of them are still living with their parents. I know their mothers, not one of them is an addict of any kind.

Dear Mom & Dad: Your children’s poor choices are not your fault. But enabling them to continue their ‘choices’, is. Don’t clean up their messes, pray over them – they need restoration.

There are some parents that have children and practically gift them the generational sin they have. How often have we seen a generational problem with alcohol and claim it’s in the DNA to justify it? Generational sin is passed on through mimicking what we see while we grow up. God has never created one single person that is an alcoholic or addict BUT they are born into sin with the propensity to sin [the sin nature] BECAUSE of the Fall of Adam:

“v1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. v2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2

And then:

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

The answer is that we NEVER stop being a parent. EVER. Ignoring or passing off a problem and acting unaware is just plain evil. However, I do realize we can’t make these kids do anything. But one thing we can do is PRAY and NEVER FLINCH.

Pray to be an open book to your children, not an open checkbook. They need to hear about Jesus incessantly, they are our ministry!