Life Truths

Who Cares How God feels?

March 27, 2015

Does God really have feelings? Does He feel like we feel?

Have you ever asked yourself in the midst of our “ME” culture…how does God feel about this? Does this hurt his heart? Does this make Him happy and full of joy?

Despite what the mainstream media has tried to portray, God exists and He has feelings. He actually does care about what is going on in your life and sphere of influence and the world as a whole. Remember, “God so LOVED the world that He gave his only Son…” (John 3:16) If you have ever felt rejection or had your feelings hurt, you know the pain of it, which many times has long lasting effects. God feels this daily.

I have often gotten wrapped up in how I feel…

I’ve said to myself, “but that’s not fair”, “that hurts my feelings”, or “I feel uncomfortable in this situation so let me change it to make ME feel better”. However, today is a good day to remind myself and anyone who takes a second to read this, that this life is really not about ME. He is our creator, the one who put, HIS BREATH in OUR LUNGS. If it wasn’t for Him, we wouldn’t be alive. And we were created not to just fulfill our desires, but to bring Him joy. We often forget this as we get entangled in our own thoughts, beliefs and wants. Yes, we all miss the mark, and we are thankful for His grace! But let us remember His feelings today, not just our own!

Our God is a Loving Father

As a perfect Father, He looks down at the state of our country and grieves some at the things we allow in our culture. Genesis 6:6 states, “And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” Therefore God has feelings and can be grieved or hurt. But God also can rejoice over us when we obey and honor Him, “…so your God will rejoice over you..” (Isaiah 62:5) So how does He FEEL about our small daily choices, the larger choices we make that affect the course of our lives and also world issues such as abortion, racial injustice, homosexuality, abuse of all types and the list goes on. How many tears does God cry when humans kill a little life (that has no choice) that He is forming, but continue with it selfishly to make OUR own lives less complicated in caring for that child. It is time we remember God’s feelings and take a stand for them as Christians. If we are His children through salvation, we must make His feelings our priority. In a world that dismisses and rejects Him, we can love, honor Him and bring Him joy!

Again in asking the question, “WHO cares how God feels?” I DO!

Life Truths

The Truth About Sex

March 19, 2015

Well, now that I’ve got your attention via the title, let’s talk about a misconception and myth about sex. It’s 2015 – as a young adult today, it’s harder than ever before in the history of mankind to CHOOSE to and STAY sexually pure. The innuendos, temptations and pressures rage out of control every day like a bonfire full of dried out wood. between what we wear, the conversations we choose to participate in, and the media outlets we choose to watch, it’s flat out tough to live pure.

…it’s harder than ever before in the history of mankind to CHOOSE to and STAY sexually pure.

A big misconception of young Christians is the idea that it’s supposed to be easy to say “no” to sex. They believe that the church really believes and expects the youth to make this incredibly simple decision to abstain from immorality and sex before marriage. Let me tell you, on the other side of being a teenager and young adult, now as a married adult with two beautiful daughters (they are not adopted), my observation is that it’s anything but easy. It’s a constant discipline, and a struggle at times; but hey, being a Christian in itself is often a struggle. Just ask Paul, or Peter, or any Christian living in the Middle east right now. So that’s MYTH #1. That you should be a young pure christian and it should come as easy as breathing and sleeping. FALSE! Like I said, it’s all about discipline. A growth process that will probably never become “easy” but will become easier as your draw closer to God.

1 Corinthians 10:13 NCV says:

“The only temptation that has come to you is that which everyone has. But you can trust God, who WILL NOT PERMIT you to be tempted more than you can stand, but when you are tempted, HE WILL PROVIDE a way to escape so that you will be able to withstand it.

There’s an old film from the 60’s called “The Great Escape”. It’s Steve Mcqueen at his finest (If your saying “who’s Steve Mcqueen”? He was like an old school Liam Neeson, Stallone, Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp all rolled into one – but better). It’s a story about a large concentration camp full of british and american POW’s in WW2 that build an underground tunnel in their attempt to escape. There were only a few “tunnel kings”, the guys who actually built the tunnel, but the intent was to use the tunnel and take out 250+ soldiers to escape. The tunnel kings, all they could do was provide the route; It was up to the individual soldiers to work up the courage and ultimately make the decision to crawl out to freedom. God is well aware of the internet, Instagram, and and those channels that you should probably have on blackout (“oh, i’ll just skip over those” – that never works). He is well aware that being a young Christian in 2015 can be a struggle with acceptance, choices, and with sex – and that’s the truth, but bring it back around to 1 Cor. 10, He WILL provide a way out, but you actually have to execute the escape. It’s a fact and ultimately up to you to make make the wise CHOICES.

The Word in Action

Is The Heart Of America Really Racist?

March 18, 2015

If we’ve heard the word racist or some form of it associated with America once, we’ve heard it hundreds of times over the past few months. It seems that some in this country would like to stoke the flames of an issue that has already caused much pain in decades gone by and that still does have a sting in our culture today. I’m not sure what the role of other organizations is in all of this name calling and finger pointing, but I know that God has called the church to be the peacemakers. God has called His body to be the healing salve to those deep hurts caused by many painful circumstances.

I can’t vouch for other churches

or speak on their behalf, but this much I know for certain: I go to a church that represents over 50 nations from around the world every Sunday. Yup. 50 nations. I mean I’m a red, white, and blue American and I probably can’t name all 50 states let alone the 50+ countries that these people are from. We worship together, we listen to the Word together and we all have that common meeting place in Jesus. So while the media is saying that racists are the new bogeymen that tend to hide in the body of every heterosexual white male, (yes they have singled this particular demographic out) I just can’t go along with that narrative because this video shows the heart that I see reflected in every Sunday service:

God has used some strong men in my life from all different backgrounds to help me become the believer I am today. These people were Puerto Rican, El Salvadorian, Ecuadorian, Italians, Japanese, Cherokee, Apache, African, Hatian, Jamacian, Korean, Dominican, Guatemalan, Mexican, Costa Rican, Indian, Israeli, Lebanese, New Yorkers, New Jersey boys, and people from many different states across this nation. God has used them all in my life, and they have all graciously accepted me into their lives without either party ever giving a second thought to race. And if you think that all those people had the same skin color you are sadly mistaken.

So can I in the honesty of my heart, say that America is a racist nation?

I can’t. I can’t because only in America could I have experienced the life that I have lived. Only America has been able bring together all nations under one banner. And we haven’t done it on our own strength or ingenuity. We accomplished this feat because we are and always have been “one nation under God.” That same God that the founders of this nation worshipped is that same God that is the glue of our country. He is the only common thread for all those different nationalities that I mentioned before. Only Jesus could bring understanding between different cultures, languages and experiences. He is the one who neutralizes all the racist tendencies in the heart of man so that we can enjoy the unique differences of other cultures instead of alienating people because of them.

Short of the long:

America is not made up of those people that the media puts out there as examples. The media cherry picks stories to validate the narrative they want to create. I believe that the majority of America is made up of people like you and me that are sick of racism and tired of injustice. There is a hope for this country but it’s not in the media or government solutions: the change starts with you and with me. We must accept personal responsibility for our areas of influence. We must speak out against the injustices that we see everyday. We must show that we care about those who have different culture, skin color and language. When we change our individual pieces of this country we will see that the world isn’t as ugly as the media wants you to think it is. But that’s only because you made it better than it was.

For us it starts under the banner of God, and there’s enough room under it for everyone to join in.

Feel free to comment below.

Grace and peace!

The Word in Action

How To Be Led By The Spirit (A Beginner’s Guide)

March 14, 2015

Have you ever heard the phrase “Being led by the Spirit”? Or maybe you’ve heard people say that they’re being led by the Spirit. Do you ever wonder what that means or how that works out in a practical way? Well this is the beginner’s guide to being led by the Spirit.

There’s a lot of theologians out there that can give a 14 day dissertation on the Scriptural principles and proper hermenutical interpretation of the Bible when it comes to this subject, but this is not that. The aim and intent of this is to just get those who want to be led by the Spirit started somewhere on the path as soon as they finish reading this.

So let’s start at the beginning

What is the Spirit and why should we be led by Him? The Spirit that we’re referring to is the literal Spirit of Jesus. On the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, the 120 believers in the upper room were filled with the literal Spirit of God. Now that doesn’t mean that they lose control of their minds or bodies or anything like that, but what it does mean is that they accepted the fullness of God’s ability to dwell in their bodies. So when we reference the Spirit let’s all be on the same page. This Spirit is not some emotional force that has no reason, this is the heart of Jesus that we’re talking about.

That being said,

let’s head over to John 6:63 where Jesus said:

“The Spirit is The Life Giver; the body does not benefit anything. The words that I speak with you are spirit and life.”

Here’s the one big key that I want to get over in this message: you can start being led by the Spirit today through reading God’s Word. Jesus Himself said that the very words He spoke are Spirit and Life. If that’s true (and I believe it is) and you take those same words that are Spirit and life, and allow yourself to be led by them, you’re already being led by the Spirit! When a believer says no to anything that is contrary to the Word of God, they are being led by the Spirit of God. When a believer says yes to something that is approved of in the Word of God they are also being led by the Spirit of God. Once you develop basic obedience to the written Word (which is in essence the Spirit of God) you will then become familiar with the voice of God. Once you become familiar with God’s voice through His word you are able to distinguish what His will is even when the decision isn’t as simple as choosing between something evil and righteous.

Here’s the bottom line:

When you start reading the Word of God (Which is Spirit and Life according to Jesus) and obeying that same Word (or Spirit), you become more acquainted with the voice of God which then enables you to be more sensitive to God’s direction thus making you ready to be led by the Spirit in every situation.

Start with the basics and work your way up. This Christian walk is a long journey, not a sprint. Start small and you’ll grow tall if you just keep at it day after day.

What You Should Start Doing Today:

Start reading the Word and whenever you come across a place that you know you’re not living in total obedience to stop and consider what God might have you do to fix that. Start to execute the Word in your life today so that you can become a mature son or daughter of God that is always led by the Spirit of God.

Grace and Peace to you!

True Beauty

Rolling Out Of Bed Beautiful

March 10, 2015

When is the last time you woke up and said I look beautiful? Probably not recently, or EVER for that matter. This may not be realistic to think positive about yourself right after rolling out of bed, but what about after you are dressed and ready for your day? Do you ever really think constructively about who you are, and how you were created?

Psalm 139, is one of my favorite, if not favorite chapter in the bible. Verse 4 says, “I praise you, because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way!” Our thinking in this area of our lives is skewed and many times contrary to the actual truth! We stand in front of the mirror, staring and picking out our flaws and thinking about the “flawless” girl that we just saw on the coupon for our favorite store, on that billboard we passed on the way to school or work or even that just walked past us in the coffee shop. We let our culture dictate how we should look and feel, which causes us to compare ourselves to those who we feel meet perfection. But in fact, God says the opposite! When we compare ourselves or dwell on what we think are shortcomings, we are saying God did a poor job in creating us. We are actually saying we could do a better job than THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE—the One who perfectly placed earth in relation to the sun to give life!

An underlying theme in our culture and taught in schools across the nation as truth is evolution. This is not a lesson on evolution vs. creation, however think about how each will motivate you to live your life. If you allow the theory of evolution to creep into your thought patterns, you will have little to no motivation to live with confidence and purpose. On the contrary, believing that God created each person individually, with specific fingerprints and a destiny will encourage and motivate you to love who God CREATED you to be.

God sees you as perfect not your imperfections. In fact, He loves your imperfections, because they help you to realize a need for a PERFECT God!

He loves you, regardless of what you have said, done, or even thought. Verses 17-18 of that same chapter says, “God, your thoughts are precious to me. They are so many! If I could count them, they would be more than ALL the grains of sand.” Imagine trying to count every little grain of sand in the entire world! It is unfathomable, just as God’s unconditional love is. God has knit you together perfectly in every way! That means that imperfection, whether it be physical, emotional or otherwise, is really not an imperfection at all! It is a unique aspect to you that no one else has, given to you by your Creator!

Changing your thinking, will give you freedom in your mind and release a new JOY into your life! You are truly, wonderfully made!

The Word in Action

Silence Is Not The Answer

March 10, 2015

With all that is going on in the world today we can easily get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of problems in the world. Sometimes I look around on social media and just shake my head when I hear about some of the vile things going on today. But shaking our head isn’t enough. Taking a deep breath and hanging our heads isn’t enough to make a difference. If we are going to see anything change in our corner of the world we can’t just stop at feeling bad about the wrong that’s being done in the world.

Too often we become calloused to the injustices around us because we compare it to the worst things we’ve seen in the news. If we allow it, our calloused heart then causes us to remain silent about even the smallest of injustices in our lives because “they’re not as bad as the stuff I saw the other day.”

But silence is not the answer. Silence is not the solution. If our desire is really to see the entire world transformed, we must start where we live. We have been empowered by and equipped with the Word of God to bring justice to our spheres of influence. As we speak God’s Word, He will personally make sure that it will come to pass.