Mary Believed.

Unimaginable. To think that a young girl, barely marriageable, was chosen to be the vessel God would use for the birth our Savior, Jesus Christ. And even more unimaginable is her Faith in whom she heard this Good News!

Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45

The New Testament reflects what the Prophet Isaiah said regarding the birth of The Redeemer:

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet [Is 7:14], saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:22-23

Why was Mary so special to God for Him to choose her? It has to be assumed that Mary’s heart to some degree, while yet a sinner by nature through the fall of Adam, had a level of receptive purity toward God. This would fulfill the sovereign Plan of God.

MYLIFEASACHRISTIAN

While Mary’s lineage went back to King David, the Bible doesn’t say who her parents were. However, the Scriptures do tell us her husband’s lineage [Luke 3:23, Matthew 1:16], both Mary and Joseph being descendants of David [Romans 1:3]. They seemed ‘common’, but they were chosen.

Though Mary was chosen by God, she still needed to answer the Call. Mary believed, through Faith alone, that her sacrifice would change the world.

Unimaginable…but Mary believed.

Authority & the Cult Christian

Do Christians believe in cults? Do they participate in cults? But do they believe they are involved in cults?

A cult isn’t always obvious…in fact, they are usually sneaky, which makes sense considering the source. ‘Strange Fire’ was addressed early in the Scriptures [Lev 10:1-3] to let the reader/believer know that bringing anything before the Lord that isn’t holy [false doctrine] will not be recognized by Him. The work of one’s hands is not of Faith, it is worthy of damnation.

The flesh is an ugly thing; God addressed this in Leviticus essentially saying that nothing unholy can be in His presence:

“Aaron therefore went to the altar and killed the calf of the sin offering, whichwas for himself. Then the sons of Aaron brought the blood to him. And he dipped his finger in the blood, put it on the horns of the altar, and poured the blood at the base of the altar. But the fat, the kidneys, and the fatty lobe from the liver of the sin offering he burned on the altar, as the Lord had commanded Moses. The flesh and the hide he burned with fire outside the camp.” [Lev 9:8-11]

The Prescribed Order of Victory, Christ’s finished Work, does NOT include or allow:

  • Perverting the Truth [2Pet 3:17-18, Acts 13:10]
  • Faith turned into law [Gal 1:6-7]
  • Arrogance, personal agenda, pride or self righteouness [1Tim 6:3-4, Neh 9:16]
  • Ignorance [2Tim 2:22-23]

Matthew 26:41 says, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Too many Christians are tempted to add to or subtract from Christ’s Finished Work. It is tempting to abuse our authority in Him to exalt ourselves, but we are called to ‘watch and pray’ rather than divide and conquer.

There are Christians that believe in the Prosperity ‘Gospel’, Calvinism, Mormonism, keeping the Sabbath, etc. But what they are really saying is that what Christ did at the Cross was NOT ENOUGH. They have to add to it to suit themselves, they bring outside authority to it rather than the Godly authority we have in HIM.

Why do Christians add to or take away from the Finished Work of Christ? Even Christians who sit under correct teaching sometimes stir in their own personal authority – or superiority – to what they are being taught, unbeknownst to the teacher/preacher who purports Truth. The teacher/preacher cannot control what the Christians thinks they hear from the pulpit.

Do we have authority or a false sense of authority regarding the word of God? Then, do we abuse the knowledge of the Finished work of Christ by adding our own salt? This why many Christians don’t have or walk in victory.

Christians have authority in the name of Jesus and believing in His Finished Work at the Cross. We do not have authority in changing His Word to suit our agenda. We cannot put our Faith in anything but the Finished Work of Christ or we add salt to an already Perfect Truth.

It is an abuse of power and authority that can make a cult out of truth! Adding your own salt is an improper authority called PRIDE & SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS. We humans are so imperfect that we continue to follow paths that Cain followed. Improper authority killed Abel, improper authority cast out and marked Cain [Gen 4:8-15].

“But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” [James 2:20]. AND works without Faith is empty and has no power, only a presumed authority that is not of God.

WE HAVE TO DIE TO SELF [Romans 6], ‘allowing’ Jesus to do what He was called to do by the Father, dying for a people who abhorred Him, spat on Him, abandoned Him. How can anyone add one extra grain of salt to that? How is that NOT enough?

IT IS FINISHED. Once and for all, forever and ever.

 

*EMPHASIS MINE.

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.

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 6

And then, there is joy. It may be brief at times, but I’ll take it. It’s like watching your child take his first steps, speaking his first words – joy unspeakable. Their baby steps are milestones and we still have to look at these victories as the baby steps they are.

Do our children try the hand of God? Yes, since the day they were born:

“v5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
v6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” Psalm 51:5-6

As I watch them grow up I see this pattern of good, then bad, then repentance, back to good; but it’s the backsliding they do that is so frustrating. Much like a baby Christian will fail, our children fail, too. Children look to us as God when they need to be looking up TO God. Our kids don’t feel accountability to us or God, then the job at hand is to get them TO God.

Our greatest ministry is to our family. Women need to get that. We raise our children to be better wives, husbands, parents, friends. Neglecting them for any reason gives them up to the devil himself. Children cannot raise themselves, parents cannot be absent. The family unit has crumbled, we’ve let the tail wag the dog, as parents we have failed them allowing any part of the world near them.

For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5 

But JOY! Yes, there is joy! Looking at one of my sons last night I see a young man in training. Through my natural eyes I see where I failed and need to get better. After all, he is my child, not an experiment or hobby. When he fails, I fail. But when I get one of those momentary glimpses of Glory, I see through my spiritual eyes and see a beautiful bit of workmanship only God can do.

I promise you, Joy does come in the morning…every morning. Thank you LORD for your loving kindness and forgiveness that I can start AGAIN every day.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 4

Is it just me or do these adult kids never really grow up? I had sons and it was my job to raise MEN. What was really sad is they had no real men to look up to, not even their own father. Real men stand up FOR their family and the ‘least of these‘. Instead, we see smartphone and Minecraft gurus. Young men sit in front of computer, tablet and smartphone screens not knowing one thing about real life outside of the box they created.

Adult kids think they can parent US when they’ve had NO real life training to even garner an opinion. I don’t need parenting, I need children that are doing their best to be better adults and somewhere along the line to find salvation through Jesus Christ. Ultimately, I answer to my Heavenly Father.

Sometimes when I think this verse of Scripture is for me, it really isn’t…it’s for those that try to throw a speedbump right in front of us:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1Peter 5:8

People have NO idea that they are being used by the devil all the time. Of course the loftiness of people would never agree with that, but using your spiritual eyes you can see it coming from miles away.

Persecution: Jesus said, “v21 “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. v22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved,” [Matthew 10:21-22]

‘To be put to death’ is literal; it not only means that kids will physically murder their own parents and families [we see it all the time on the news] but also means they are being used to break down their own parents by means of their Christianity; to question it, to leave it, and even to apostatize. The devil himself uses people closest to us to hurt us and to kill us simply because we chose Jesus Christ as our Savior.

My prayer today is for the adult kids that pit their love for us by what we do or provide for them rather than respecting our position as ‘parent’. I do not quiver wondering if I’ve earned their love, my love for them is that they are my children regardless of what they do to me or anyone else. Love does conquer sin:

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins,” Proverbs 10:12.

Intention, Prayer & FAITH

PRAYER. Prayer is an interesting thing; it’s free, it’s easy…it’s POWERFUL and we make more time NOT to pray rather than using this great discipline to move mountains:

v22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.
v23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
v24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” [Mark 11:22-24]

When I go to  the sidewalk of abortion facilities, I go to PRAY. If I am asked or led to counsel, I will…but my intention is to pray and stand as a faithful witness. Christians with great intentions hardly ever come citing many things; not enough time, not ‘my’ ministry, etc. That, Mr. & Mrs. Christian, is an EXCUSE, not ‘intention’.

Don’t be too discouraged…even Jesus had a time with His own disciples:

v40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?
v41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” [Matthew 26:40-41]

ONE HOUR. That’s all Jesus asked of them but knew they could do much more. Why didn’t they?

v19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
v20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
v21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Intention is what the Apostles had, but FAITH moves mountains and heals; lack of faith makes what was alive to be dead.  Some Christians believe that abortion will not be defeated so why bother praying? Even in these ‘last days’ we have given up…but let me assure you of this: We do not know this side of Heaven who we have effected by being faithful. Just seeing you on the sidewalk praying can change someone’s life!

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Heb 11:1]

How will they know there is a war if they don’t see the army? I would not ask anyone to do something I won’t. And being post-abortive I have the best excuse of all…but that’s not how God sees it. He takes our fears and turns them into ministry.

ONE HOUR. I CHALLENGE YOU TO ONE HOUR OF PRAYER AT A LOCAL ABORTION FACILITY TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR UNBORN LIFE. THIS ONE SELFLESS ACT CAN CHANGE SOMEONE’S WORLD AND SAVE LIVES!

Find a local prayer vigil here.

The Bipolar Church & Family Division

Like most Christians, I came to the Lord later in life. And I hated that because of all the time I spent pretending to be part of a notion that I was NOT a sinner and NOT at fault. You have to wonder why it takes so long to get saved but considering what our families put us through, I AM A MIRACLE.

It’s bad enough that I jumped ship from the family’s religion of choice, but to actually live it was quite another.

Regardless of what we are called to do as Christians the world tells us to pull up a chair and shut up. Interestingly, the world only believes in ‘choice’ with abortion and homosexuality but we can’t choose to be against it? Then how are we are judgmental, hypocrites and intolerant? The ‘tolerant‘ is trying to kill us.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Knowing the TRUTH has great responsibility attached to it. I take it seriously. WHICH is why most of my family has shunned me. Calling out sin is not for the faint of heart or those seeking to be popular.

When I was young [long, long ago] my family was never well to do but aspired to be better. We set goals. MANY years later nothing has gotten better but much, much worse. Sin has attacked this family and is winning because they are their own God rather than serving God. They are sin-sick, He is the Great Physician, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance”. [John 2:17]

Since they deny Christ, I may not see these people in Heaven. I struggle with that. But Christians are not called to be as the world, we are called to be Christ-like:

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” Matthew 10:34

We are also called to tell the truth in everything, no gray area or it justifies sin. Homosexuality and its agenda is wrong; abortion and its agenda is wrong. God is not pleased with people killing His created and mocking His covenants. God’s way is perfect while the world perverts it to satisfy their prideful lusts. Before Christ I made myself my own God. After Christ, I committed myself TO God. Then the scales fell and I saw for the first time that I am His created, His workmanship.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” Romans 1:18

Tolerance is compromise; I will NOT compromise my Christianity for ANYONE for ANY reason, not even for my own family.

The devil disguises himself as someone you trust…but this I challenge you to do: TRUST JESUS. His opinion will never change, His love will never change, He will always be there for you…just accept Him as your Savior rather than people who seek to keep you in condemnation and fear.

v18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore[c] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20

A Sin of Omission, The Sin of Diversity

The Church has an obligation to cause division between itself and the world; the Bible says that the Christian and the Church is to be separate from the world (2Corinthians 6:17) – but the theory of diversity has created a gray area that is not of God or the Bible. The theory of diversity is causing division within the Church and Christians: Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” Matthew 10:34, NKJV.

The Church is causing itself to become as the world. God is not pleased with His Creation being caused to fall at the hand of the Church. The bigger problem is Christians and Catholics allowing the Gay Agenda to lie their way into their lives and churches. Nearly every one of us knows someone or is related to someone that has succumbed to the sin of homosexuality and the lie that they were born that way…my family included. It is their plan to get the ones closest to them to yield to their new chosen lifestyle and accept homosexuality as ‘normal’. Is it diversity they are looking for or is it division? Espousing to an agenda that is against God to appease your gay son/daughter/mom/dad/grandpa/grandma/cousin/aunt or uncle is a sin of omission, or a sin of convenience. A Christian has to love them enough to tell them the truth.

‘But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.’ Isaiah 59:2, NKJV

Preachers and Pastors that teach against the sin of homosexuality are called judgmental and haters, even from other Christians. However, the Bible tells us that Christians, Pastors and Preachers that do not or will not tell the homosexual they are in sin and destined to an eternity in hell will have to bear the sin of omission:

‘Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.’ Ezekiel 3:20, NKJV

It’s real easy for the gay community to call Christians ‘haters’ because we tell them they are wrong – the truth is they are the haters; haters of the Creation as God intended it to be – one man and one woman. Homosexuals weren’t born wrong, they were lied to. And I am not going let them tell me where to shop, worship or work to placate their agenda of hate and diversity.

Time is so short – we are supposed to be ready for the day when He comes back for His Church. I cannot stand to think for one moment that someone I loved or knew, gay or not, did not have the opportunity to hear the Gospel before that day comes. God loves the homosexual enough to tell them they are wrong and need a Savior.

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Matthew 24:36, NKJV