What'll it be for you this year? Another day, another dollar? Another day, another headache? Another month, another knawing feeling in the pit of your stomach? Another month, another ache in your heart? Another year, another time of not speaking to a family member that hurt you? Another year, another brick in the wall?
Why not start out this year differently? Yeah, yeah, you and I do that every year with your resolutions and turning over a new leaf. "This year will be different", we say. But I ask you, how long did resolutions last in the past? Three months? Three weeks? Three hours? Three minutes?
One resolution you can make that will last for a long, long time is to find out who Jesus Christ is. Not what your Mom or Dad or Priest or Rabbi or Imam or boyfriend or girlfriend told you about Him, but what He says about Himself.
You'll find in the Bible (Old and New Testaments) a love story written by the Creator of the World (that is, Jesus) just for you. It started with Him in the Beginning, and it can end with you safely in His arms for eternity! Ask Him to show Himself to you, and He will.
He stands at the door of your heart and knocks. He will not force Himself upon you; you must make that decision to get to know Him better. Make that your resolution today - it will be the most lasting, most beneficial one you will ever make!
Stop and think. What's the best gift you've ever gotten? The cool train set? The Disco Barbie? The green Jaguar? The new hardwood floor in the dining room?
How did you feel the instant you knew what it was? How did you feel toward the person who gave you this thoughtful gift?
How do you think the giver felt toward you? Great love?
Now think of the gift of Christ at Christmas. He came to give us a gift greater than all the ones you've ever received: salvation from sin and eternal life.
And there are no strings attached; come just as you are and say, "Yes, Jesus, I accept Your free gift." "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."
Then, go out and tell someone about the Greatest Gift you've ever gotten. Great Love!
Do you grab it and hoarde it and say mine, mine, MINE! Do you tilt your chin to your chest kinda sideways and look up through shy, blinking eyes and tenatively take it? Do you immediately tear the paper off and, in tornado-like fashion, open the box and show it off? Or do you slowly undo the tape one piece at a time and savor the moment?
No matter how you receive gifts, there's one gift you don't have to open, you don't have to unwrap. All you have to do is accept it in your heart. That is the gift of eternal life, given by Christ Jesus' death on the cross for you and me. There are no strings attached, except life abundant. But Jesus will not force this gift upon you; He will stand at the door and knock until you either receive it, or die. And if you die without receiving this free gift, you will spend eternity separated from God.
Can you imagine what the world would be like today if men had to put up with such things as makeup, hairspray, nail polish, periods, mood swings, hot flashes, pantyhose, high heels, neanderthals whistling at you or staring you down, tender breasts, shaving legs and underarms often, uncomfortable/unsupportive shoes acceptable for work and all the other various things women put up with every single day?
How different would it be for men to have to live in our world for just one complete month! To experience all the good, the bad and the ugly of being female. To hold your newborn baby, once a literal extension of yourself. To feel that instinct deep inside to hug a hurting soul. To get ticked off when it's cold outside and you can't wear a baseball cap because it will mess up your hair or wrap a muffler around your face to stave off the wind because you'll get makeup all over it. To get out of bed and realize that your breasts are so tender and sore just from a normal monthly cycle that it hurts to walk to the bathroom (or anywhere) as you start your day. To walk a mile in shoes that don't support your feet or won't keep them dry when it rains. To hear the laughter of a child and get tears in your eyes.
How different a world it would be if Mary had not listened to the Angel who said, "Fear not, for I bring good tidings of great joy which shall be for all the people." She humbled herself to the Holy Spirit so that Emmanuel, God with us, would be born. Y'shua. Jesus. Christ the Lord!
Hmmm...how did I get off on that tangent? It's on my heart, my little female tender heart, that this world would be so different if men knew what it was like to be woman, and if Mary hadn't had her heart open to follow the Lord her God.
What if Jesus had not been born until now? How would life be for women and men? Men still wouldn't have a clue!
I've been checking out some of the other blogs on some of the blogrings I'm on.
Is it just me, or are there a bunch of immature, blathering airheads out there? Most of the stuff is personal-diary-type diatribe from teenagers! I guess if I had the chance to use the 'Net when I was their age, I might have done the same thing.
It sure gives me a glimpse into the vapidity of the moral conscience of today's society. Insipid, flat, boring, empty yabberings about nothing of eternal importance.
Of course, everything I write is significant and trenchant. Not to mention humble...
Are you a half-born Christian? You know who you are...you go to Church on Sunday in pharisaical fashion, greeting others and smiling like you're sliced bread, extending the hand of fellowship, singing hymns like a blessed canary, listening intently to the sermon, only yawning once or twice, and waltzing out afterwards like you'd done your deed for the week.
You put your Christianity in your pocket, only to bring it out during an approximately 2 hour Sunday window. It is returned safely for the rest of the week. You smugly think that because this deed, this faith is close to your vest, then it counts. You've been to the front of the church, you've been dunked in the baptistry, and your faith sits smugly in your pocket.
You only gossip when gossiped to. "They brought it up first," you think, "so it doesn't hurt to contribute." You pay a tithe...well...you were going to pay that tithe when you got that new job that paid more. You may even sing in the choir. You may serve in the nursery or library. You may be the pastor's best friend and confidant. You may be on the building committee or the head of the Committee on Committees.
All those works do not matter a hill of beans. You are a half-born (and I'd really like to use the "a-word" here) Christian. You are not living as Christ Jesus said live! "He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf." II Corinthians 5:15.
What are your motives for going to church? For extending the hand of fellowship? For taking Communion or the Lord's Supper? For singing in the choir? For doing anything, anything at all?
I'm sick of Christianity being called hypocritical usually because of some half-born Christian!
Be so thankful for the indescribable gift of Christ Jesus and forgiveness of sin that you keep your faith on your shirt sleeve, on your visage, your face, your lips, your very countenance, instead of tucked away safely in your pocket.
Am I perfect in doing all this myself? Heck, no, but who said I was perfect? I am the Sinner of Sinners. But I do try my best to see each person I encounter on the 'Net or live in person as Christ would see them, with love, compassion, mercy. Live each day for Christ, like it was your last on Earth. In these times of terror, it just may well be.
After thinking on it a little while longer, I don't think the wizardry and magic of Harry Potter will have long-lasting harmful effects on most smaller children, who read fairy tales and have imaginary play friends (just like I did).
But what about older children, those that should be old enough to know that magic can be used for evil and there are consequences for evil behaviour? What about immature adults, looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places? Those that are operating in a spiritual vacuum will suck up anything around them, it seems, except Christ, Who is the Truth.
"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." - Colossians 2:8, New Kings James Version
Don't allow yourself or your children to be swept up and sucked in to the wizardry of Harry Potter! If you'd like an exciting, enthralling alternative to Harry Potter, check out the Chronicles of Narnia series of books by C.S. Lewis. You'll be glad you did, and where you spend eternity may depend on it.
I finally saw "The Matrix." I need to see it again, to continue making connections from its plotline to the Bible.
I might even do something I don't usually do; rent a movie, so I can watch it again (it was on TV this past weekend). There is so much gratuitous sex, trash, vulgarity and non-appealing stuff in movies these days that my husband and I have basically stopped renting and going. Kinda like we've done since 1994 with Major League Baseball, those stuck-up, money-hungry jerks.
And I'm still mad that the Vols lost to LSWho. I guess I'll have to stop calling them LSWho, now, huh? <grin>
I have a friend who I think is struggling with homosexuality. Her own homosexuality.
It's interesting to me that my own Father was very distant, and that made me not really want to have anything to do with men in general. All I'd known in that arena is abandonment and hurt, so why bother at all with the male sex? So, I wondered myself for a while if I was a lesbian, but came to find out that Dad's negative influence on my life caused me to have this question about my sexuality.
My friend has a Mom that does everything she can to compliment/build-up/cajole/pay attention to my friend's Slug younger brother, all while telling my friend that she's not good enough. And my friend is not a teenager or child - she's in her 40s! I see her sliding down the slope toward lesbianism because she wants soooo very desperately the approval and love of her Mother, and she's turning to other women to get that love need fulfilled. But I'm afraid that she's bought into the lie that homosexuality is something you're born with, and thus her slide is inevitable.
God created her (and me) very specially, in His own image. He created us male and female, not male and male or female and female. Homosexuality is changeable, redeemable. Tell that to a homosexual and they'll tell me I'm intolerant and full of hate for trying to change them. They know *deep inside* that homosexuality goes against creation, but they don't want to face it, so they lash out at me, and God.
Very sad that they're kept in a prison. So sad, since all they have to do is examine the family in which they grew up and check out the relationships with their parents and/or parental substitutes, and see where the dysfunction is, and as soon as that's worked through and healed with the help of a wise counselor, the homosexuality falls away. They find they were not born that way.
Nevertheless, God loves them just where they are, just as He loves me where I am, and calls me to love homosexuals where they are. Let it be so, Lord.
So, I was talking with a Presbyterian friend of mine, and we discussed predestination. As in God chose, before the foundation of the world, who would be saved (go to Heaven) and who would not.
To me, predestination is fatalism. If you're saved, you know you're going, so why bother living your life for Jesus? Aah, but he tells me, you don't know *who* you might influence into being saved, and thus be a part in that Predestined Plan of God, if you do live your life for Jesus.
But, I muse, if God already knows, then living your life for Jesus won't matter in anyone else's life because their eternal destiny is already sealed, one way or another no matter what you do in your own life. So, why bother living for Jesus?
To me, if you're into predestination, think on this: what loving God would purposefully choose who would live with Him forever in Heaven and who would live apart from Him forever in Hell? Is that really love?
I say not. He loved us so much that He gave us free will. Free will to choose Him, or not. He gives us the free gift of salvation through Christ Jesus, and we can choose to accept it, or not.
I choose the free gift of Christ Jesus. Did God know I was going to choose Him? Of course! Did he *force* me into accepting the free gift? You decide.
I hate it when I'm in my car and I think of something profound about which I would like to blog. Usually, by the time I can find a scrap of paper to write it on, I'm already on to something else, and forget what I was aspiring to pontificate on.
And if I carry that digital recorder in the car with me, so I could immediately record these thoughts of wisdom, I can get in trouble in the place I work for just having it in my car in the parking lot (nuclear weapons plant).
So, all you thousands reading this, think of what you're missing by my 39-year-old brain not being able to remember from one minute to the next...
So, why would I call myself "Narrow-Minded Simpleton," a moniker
that is usually launched with derision towards far-right Christian
"lunatics" who quote the Bible all the time and think there's only
one (simple) Way to Heaven?