Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Call of Christ

The call of Christ to every Christian - both young and old - is to GO! When Jesus left, He gave us a job to do. While we await the coming of the Lord, we are commanded to be Christ's hands and feet here on earth; to be His eyes and the very mouthpeice of the God who says, "Come unto Me!"

They don't know!! The world is dying without the saving grace of our Savior and they don't know! Christians, let us die to self so that we may live and bring forth fruit.

Answer the call of Christ of today.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Cry in the Night

Late last night I got an unexpected phone call. As I'm about to settle in for bed, my plans were interrupted. At first? A total inconvenience. Then I realized that God's hand was in this surprising call. Now I'm not going to divulge their identity but let's just say the person has been on my heart and in my prayers for many years.

The caller didn't originally phone to talk to me but, after a minute, began to talk to me anyway. Out came the baggage, the dirty laundry....and tears. Years of drugs, alcohol, lawlessness and rebellion and this was the result. It amazes me how so many waste their lives living for the very things that destroy their homes, families, and bodies. They hate their addictions, yet cling to them with every ounce of strength they posses. For nearly an hour, I listened as the caller told of their demons, their "burdens." I listened as I heard the statement: I've done so many horrible things.

And my heart broke.

After giving this person truth, offering them true hope - Jesus Christ - this remark was made: It's too late for me. I can't think of anything more heartbreaking than in hearing a soul who needs Jesus say that there is no longer hope for them. There is always hope!!!! There is grace, love, healing, mercy, FORGIVENESS! It's all right there! But the devil, once again, dishes out the lie that it's too late.

There are so many more just like the caller last night. There are those, and maybe you know some of them, who are in the darkness...and they are crying. There are tears of shame, regret, loss and pain, and there are tears of hopelessness.

Lord, let us be a light that shines out in the darkness. Let us have ears to hear their cry and hands to reach out to them.

Those of you reading, join me in prayer for this person, and for the millions more who are in the same position.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Will Break Us?

This past summer at a youth Camp, the theme was "Broken." I thought it was an excellent theme! Now, more than ever, we (Christians) could use a little brokenness. Why?

* Our family members are lost
* Our friends are lost
....and hell is real.

* People are starving
....and we are well fed.
* People are lonely and abandoned
...and we have friends and family

While we text, play on Facebook, surf through YouTube and go to and from school, college and work with parties and dates on the brain, millions are reaching out and crying for help. We don't hear. Why? Because we're not broken. Our hearts are cold, not warm. Our lives are built around us, not others. Our mind is saturated with self, not consumed with Christlikeness. We don't cry unless there's been a broken relationship or something to that effect. We certainly don't weep for the lost, or for those kept in bondage to sin. ...maybe it's because we enjoy a little sin on the side ourself.

At Camp, I was moved seeing dozens at the alter. I wept. I wept for others and I wept for myself. And I walked away changed. But I saw others weep too. I saw big brothers cling to their younger siblings as tears streamed down their face. I saw girls weep at the alter for hours. I saw young men praying, crying, shaking with grief and sorrow.

I saw brokenness. Or at least, I thought I did. Maybe it wasn't. Maybe it was all an emotional experience. Maybe it was a bit of a stirring....a moving. But certainly not a changing.

Think about it.

IF there had been a change, would they be drinking every Friday night?

IF there had been a change, would couples still be sleeping with one another?

IF there had been a change, would Facebook statuses still reek with foul language and impurity of every kind?

IF there was a change, would there be a willingness to compromise?


From where I'm sitting, there weren't that many people broken. And along with the ache and burden that puts on my heart, there is also a fear. A fear of what God might bring to break His people. If the enslaved don't break us, if the alcohol and drug addictions don't break us, if the compromising and justifying Christians don't break us..... and if the lost millions don't break us...

....What WILL break us?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Spirit Is Willing

Matthew 26:41
"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mighty Muscle

For years, I’ve been a Rocky fan. I know coming from a girl who rambles about princes and fairytales, that might be a bit odd. I cry watching “Sleeping Beauty" and sigh when I finish reading “Pride and Prejudice”….but I also enjoy watching a good fight. My fiance’ is a cage fighter and my Dad can break bricks and lift logs and show macho strength. So though I wrinkle my nose when I think of sweat and dirt, I also revel in it.

This weekend, I'll be a part of a very cool show here in south Arkansas. The WWC (website here), which stands for World Wide Crusaders, is what we call Muscle, Music, Mania. It's bat breaking, steel bar bending, concrete busting, log lifting, awesome feats of strength! And it brings a message that NOTHING (aka - Satan and all his tricks) can conquer you. NOTHING is too hard for the Christian who has the Living God inside of them.

Too often, we get to thinking that the things we face are too big for us. The boy who is caught up in violence and gang activity who thinks he can't get out needs to know that there is hope! The girl who is involved in an abusive or sexual relationship needs to know that there is something better! The boy consumed with alcohol, the girl strung out on drugs, the hundreds and thousands who are trapped in some kind of dangerous and destructive activity, substance, or relationship needs to hear the wonderful message - there is hope for you!

The men performing the awesome feats are mighty men, indeed. They snap baseball bats like sticks. They bust through concrete blocks with their arms, hands, and even heads! They roll frying pans into burritos! They bend steel bars in their teeth! So many acts of strength. Yet honestly? That's childish games when compared to the strength and might of Jesus Christ. The human muscle is as weak as a spaghetti noodle when held up next to the muscle of the Son of God! The men this weekend who will tear through phone books and bust open coke cans showcasing their human strength for one reason: It is not to glorify themselves and show the world what they can do. It is to glorify our Savior and show the world what we can all do by His power - both physically and spiritually!

This weekend we will bring uplifting and inspiring music that speaks of the glorious redemption and freedom in Christ! And along with that, mighty men will do unbelievable feats of strength - as a picture of what we can do with Jesus Christ.

All need to know that there is hope. The lost need to see salvation, freedom, and sin conquered. The Christians need to see what can be done with a life yielded and full surrendered.

Romans 8:37
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

2 Corinthians 12:9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Being Christ's Hands - To Haiti



The Poor.

The Needy.

The Lost.

....all are passions of mine. All are things that tug on my heart.

In light of the recent devastation in Haiti, those very passions have been on my heart a bit more than usual. A country already riddled with poverty, malnutrition, sickness, and Vodou religion, is in need of help. Since Tuesday, when the 7.0 earthquake hit, people have been sleeping in the streets alongside dead bodies, people have been hearing the cries of people trapped under rubble and there is no food or water to go around. On that horrifying day, homes and towns were destroyed and hundreds of thousands lost their lives. Where did they go? is the question on my

Looking at the country's history of negative response to Christ and Christianity, and its open arms to Vodou, it doesn't look good. Yet with a crisis like this, there is no better time to reach out than now! Of course, Haiti is in dire need of medical help and financial relief, but what they need the most is spiritual help. They need Jesus!

Pray how you can help! Pray how you can reach out to the broken, the poor, the suffering, the homeless, the sick, the orphaned, the widowed, the childless, and the LOST! Find ways to give. Find ways to go. Be the arms, legs, mouths, ears, eyes, and hands of Jesus Christ.

Help Haiti. Help the world.

James 1:27
"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Set-Apart? Or Settled-In?

This past week, I have seen a new craze throughout Facebook. Simply put, it's awareness for breast cancer. And so "in the spirit of raising awareness" all the women are and were encouraged to share the color of their - ahem - top. Just one word, one color, posted in their status to let the whole world know that they support cancer awareness. How ingenious!

Of course, I did not participate. And my naive' self thought "Surely no Christian lady would!" How wrong I've been. I was stunned speechless when one girl after another - both young and old - gladly and proudly posted her "color." And before I knew it, the boys jumped in, giving their brand of underthings all in the name of a good cause. I naturally had a response. For a Christian to post the color of their undergarments, then stand up in Church and sing, testify, preach or teach is a shame and a disgrace to our Holy God who said "COME OUT" from among the world and "BE YE SEPARATE!" What happened to modesty and purity among God's women? Where are the Ruths? The Marys? The Hannahs? What happened to nobility and honor among the men? Where are the Davids? The Peters? The Joshuas? Sadly, it's not the lost people that argue, it's the Christians. It's the Church. It's God's people who have a strikingly amazing ability to let their pride have full control. I have been met with the typical...

The Bible says not to judge!

Stay out of my business!

It's not your place to tell me what's wrong and what's right!

God has not convicted me!

I am NOT going to hell!

My sin is no different than your sin!

God loves me just as much as you!

Quit starting fights! etc. etc. etc.

I find it odd that with one correction, people can jump to the most off-the-topic-issue they can think of. For example:

"Hey, you shouldn't be doing that. It's not holy, it will cause others to stumble. It's not right."

"I am not going to hell! Quit judging me! God loves me the same as you!"


However, in the midst of such ridiculousness, I have been touched, blessed, encouraged and edified seeing many stand up and defend set-apart living, and in hearing several say "Oh my! I shouldn't have done that. Everyone, please forgive me for being so thoughtless!" Amen. :)

But I am forever amazed at how quickly we can forget the true meaning of holiness. Moreover, I'm amazed at how shallow and self-oriented the Church has become. A topic such as declaring to the world your "brand/color" is debated and defended by Preachers, Pastors, youth leaders, and Church members. God help us! Deeming it their "right" and throwing around "opinions"....forgetting that according to 1 Corinthians 6:19, we have no right and we have no opinions of our own. ALL is dead and is now the property of Christ. Yet there are still debates; Christians still fussing and arguing over how "innocent and noble" it all is. While lost people die and slip into eternity, the Christians stumble around, wasting their lives living for themselves. While orphans are abandoned, while 5-year-old prostitutes are kept in slavery, while scores are left in drug and alcohol abuse, while millions are left in poverty and hunger, and while the lost search for what only Christ can give, His people settle in, quite satisfied with the world in which they live. While they claim to be on fire and set-apart, they fail to see that the life they demonstrate holds little power and little victory.

So I ask you... are you set-apart? Or are you comfortably settled-in?

God, may we see ourselves as You see us. May we shun the world and grab hold of You and cling to You with every fiber of our being. May we rise up and be mighty men, mighty women - a mighty generation who give NO PLACE to the devil, NO PLACE to the world, NO PLACE to compromise and shallow thinking and lukewarm living. Your word says that we are more than conquerors, that we can do all things through You. So help us, dear God, to put off our flesh and put on the Spirit. May we fuel the fire that has been burning in Your heart since before time began. Give us boldness. Give us martyrs passion. Give us a hunger for prayer. Forgive us for thinking of ourselves. Forgive us for living for our own pleasure. Forgive us for justifying what Your Spirit is not a part of. May we come back to You and be named a set-apart generation.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Resolved | pt 4

Ending the postings of Jonathan Edwards' "resolves," I have to say I'm overwhelmed and humbled. What high thinking! What grand goals! is even attainable?

Though the usual question, I have to say that that is the wrong question to be asking. The better question is this:

....will I endevor to do all I can to draw nigh unto Christ?

Mr. Edwards was not different than you or I. But he so loved His Lord that he wanted every moment, every decision, every word, thought, or deed to be wholly honoring the God who "so loved that He gave." So, as the new year dawns, may our resolves be likened unto Jonathan Edwards. Not the resolves themselves, but the heart behind them..a heart that bleeds and yearns and is desperate to be all that God desires us to be.

1. to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to
do something):
2. to convert or transform by any process.
3. to settle, determine, or state formally in a vote or resolution, as of a deliberative assembly.
4. to deal with (a question, a matter of uncertainty, etc.) conclusively; settle; solve: to resolve the question before the board.
5. to clear away or dispel (doubts, fears, etc.); answer: to resolve any doubts we may have had.

A list of the resolutions that Jonathan Edwards read once
every week to keep his mind on his duty before God.

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards (1722-1723) Pt 4

41. Resolved, to ask myself at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly in any respect have done better.

42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.

43. Resolved, never henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God's, agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12. Jan.12, 1723.

44- Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it.

45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion.

46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eve: and to be especially careful of it, with respect to any of our family.

47. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented, easy, compassionate, generous, humble, meek, modest, submissive, obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable, even, patient, moderate, forgiving, sincere temper; and to do at all times what such a temper would lead me to. Examine strictly every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning.

48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of.

49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.

50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world.

51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned.

52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.

53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer.

54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it.

55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments.

56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.

57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether ~ have done my duty, and resolve to do it; and let it be just as providence orders it, I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty and my sin.

58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity.

59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times.

60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination.

61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc.

62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty; and then according to Eph. 6:6-8, do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man; "knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord."

63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time.

64. Resolved, when I find those "groanings which cannot be uttered" (Rom. 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those "breakings of soul for the longing it hath," of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be wear', of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness.

65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton's 27th Sermon on Psalm 119.

66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.

67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.

68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help.

69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it.

70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.

Aug. 17, 1723

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