Molds Are Made To Be Broken

Have you ever felt like you just don’t fit, no matter how hard you try?

Everyone has an idea of how you should behave, what you should believe, what you should do, how you should do it, what you should be like, how you should talk, how you shouldn’t talk, how you should make sure not to offend anybody – and they all push these ideas onto you, in reality doing all of the things TO you that they say you shouldn’t be doing to anyone else!

It gets tiresome and frustrating. Especially when what I do is based entirely on my religious convictions according to God’s Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I don’t mind being ridiculed for them, but eventually it becomes exhausting. Standing up for what is Right is not at all easy. Nothing about it is easy. Nothing about this is easy.
It’s not fun to be outcasted or muted by your “friends”, to be called names and shunned…
Losing friends isn’t any fun either, or being held to their standards and judged because you’re different.

Being of a diffferent perspective of Faith, a different concept of Spiritual beliefs outside of denominational teaching and traditions, having right-leaning political beliefs, having Holistic values in healthcare, being an herbalist, being an Activist for fundamental Freedoms and Rights – it’s emotionally exhausting.

But– if I stopped, and I gave in to silence, what does that benefit anyone?
Sure. I can decide I don’t care about not feeling at home in a church this side of Heaven, and not deeply bonding in Spiritual connection with believers around me.

I can worship God as I desire despite being judged. Whatever are they judging me for anyway? Standing up with arms spread wide worshiping our Creator? How silly is that? They’re the ones who put ashes on their foreheads to show off that they’re fasting. According to Scripture, we’re to fast in private (Matthew 6:16-18), and worship on the mountain tops. (John 4:21-24).

It’s hard to find common grounds in a crowded room.
It’s hard to stand up for what is Right in a world that doesn’t care about the Freedoms they don’t even know they’re losing.

I don’t mind being Brave, and walking alone.
I don’t mind not fitting into your mold of who I should or shouldn’t be.

We were told all through our formative teenage years to be Ourselves, be true to who God created us to be…. and then when we get into the World, nobody wants us to be our true selves. It’s a dark kind of ironic.

Personally, I have had enough of the church. I, like most other disenfranchised believer, am tired of how the Denominations have treated people – and myself included. If I didn’t go back to church ever, I’d be okay with that. However, my spirit LONGS to connect with other Believers in the Depths of the mysteries of God. To have intellectual conversations about deep Biblical Truths. To discuss the BEAUTY of the Human Body and how God created it in perfect order, and how we’re screwing it up in so many way with “modern medicine”. To discuss the wonderful plants that God gave us, and how to use them as He designed for the benefit of our health and wellness.

To talk about Spiritual Warfare and dive headfirst into freeing people from Spiritual Bondage. Identifying Satan at work in their lives, and sending the demons packing.

To talk about the Holy Spirit alive in the Believers, and Prophetically minister to one another.

To pray in tongues in a group of Believers committing ourselves to intercessory prayer, entirely directed by the Holy Spirit as He guides, and discuss what happened with joy to other Believers – not to be condemned for doing these things.

To discuss the amazing power of Creation and how Science points toward the TRUTHS of God as Creator.

Why must there be so much division and persecution? Why must those of us who whole-heartedly pursue an AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL God be shamed for desiring Him more?

Why must the people who fight so hard for what is Right and Just be laughed at and mocked?

I desire to be who GOD created me to be, and He has always mattered most of all.

Palm Sunday Should Shake You

Christians around the world have/are celebrating Palm Sunday.  The following week, is “Resurrection Sunday.”

Currently, the entire world is experiencing shut down from a pandemic, that will have churches closed for what the traditional Catholic-parented denominations call “Holy Week”.

It’s a cruel spiritual irony.

Let’s start reading in Matthew 21

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
    humble, and mounted on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them.  They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them.  Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?”  And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

Jesus sends two of his disciples into town to collect a donkey for him to ride on, the Disciples go out and get it, everyone is having a good time, they’re all praising Jesus and calling him the King of Kings, putting their cloaks and palm branches on the ground for the donkey to walk on, then Jesus gets off the donkey and begins wrecking havoc on the temple grounds.

To be fair, people needed to have sacrifices available to give to God for their sins.  Why not be convenient, and sell them right there in Temple?  I mean your church has a coffee bar right?  You can buy the coffee you don’t make the time for on Sunday morning, right?  Same concept?

No.

They were selling with wrong motives, they were taking advantage of each other– they were taking God’s name in vain.

The third commandment, should be one of the most powerful commandments adhered to as the Body of Christ.

DO NOT MISAPPLY THE NAME OF GOD.  ((Exodus 20:7))

To the Church, the most important part of Palm Sunday is NOT when Jesus is declared King by the people, we all know who He is and worship him as the King of Kings.  It’s when He immediately gets off the donkey, and angrily drives out the people in the Temple defiling it.

What kind of church do you attend?

Do you believe God doesn’t judge His people?

Do you practice deceit and cultural relevance in order to draw people in?

Do you charge people to attend the functions your members are encouraged to attend that is not opened up to the public?

How many denominations insists that only Pastors should know the Word of God in depth, and does not teach it’s congregation to explore the Word of God for themselves?

How many churches around the world willingly profane the name of God, and the people not knowing any better blindly follow it?

If you truly believe in Jesus, are you willing for him to crash the party?

There are members of the Body of Christ who do not believe in the active gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Thereby silencing the active and living Word of God in their body, effectively pursuing worshiping God by their own philosophies and religious system.

There are members of the Body of Christ who do not believe all of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are in use today, thereby silencing the Prophets God sends them to correct their behaviors.

There are members of the Body of Christ who misuse the active Gifts of the Holy Spirit, running around prophesying in God’s Name, and interpreting for themselves what his word means.

Still yet, there are people so in love with the concept of the Holy Spirit, they make a mockery of him through the actions of giving themselves over to whatever spiritual possession could happen to their body.

All around the world, the Internet is muting the voice of Christianity so their own platforms can be heard.

It is no wonder the plague is happening right now, there is so little bearing on what the Church believes and the Body is not unified.  All the while the World is effectively taking it apart.

At the end of this plague, how many people will go back to church, after attending an online service?  How many are not even watching online services?

How many are actively meeting with the Body weekly for Bible study?

How many are checking in on the people who are supposedly apart of their fellowship groups?

How many people are being left out, wildly losing their minds in the uncertainty of our current times?

Today, on Palm Sunday, reflecting on the coming of Christ, what kind of shape is the Western Church in, and what would GOD say of our congregations if we all received a prophetic letter, as the seven churches did in Revelation?

Jesus is coming again.  People all over the internet are trying to figure out where we are in the End Times, watching for the Beast, for the Mark of the Beast, making sure we’re warning people not to take the Mark of the Beast, worrying for ourselves what the Mark of the Beast is…..

None of these things matter nearly as much as OUR personal communion with Jesus Christ, and where our hearts and our local body of Christ is at with God.

There are far too many churches caught up on being ministry to everyone outside of the church, they forget to minister to the people INSIDE of the church.

If this is not your church, great!  I am so glad your congregation is taken care of.  I myself have yet to find a body of Christ that ministers to EVERYONE in their church, and doesn’t push out those who are different from them, offering an alternative perspective to their denominational teachings.

Receptivity to God is vital.  And instead of Worshiping God and calling out to Him to heal us and heal our land with Jesus Christ, many of them are waiting on a vaccine.

It’s ironic WHO uses a snake on a staff.  Jesus was lifted up for us, and looking to GOD as our healing, hope and salvation, instead of the Snake on the Staff the medical community uses, is going to weed out the Wheat and the Tares as we come together again when our church doors open, to find out who is still here, and who has lost Hope in Christ.

Are YOU watching the numbers they project onto the screen, in fear and trembling? Wondering if you’re going to die with the rest of them, because your faith is misplaced?

Is your Faith solidly in Jesus Christ, and people mock you because you’re not taking this seriously, because you know GOD is greater than disease, and He’s already got the End in sight?

Chaos. Confusion. Hate. The internet is full of dividing us against each other, waiting on the World to find an answer to it.

GOD is clearing house.  The I AM is calling His people out.

We have set up idols in our households.  We worship the doctors who treat our family.  We worship the medications they give us.  We worship the vaccines they inject into our children, thanking them for caring for our Offspring, and we berate anyone who doesn’t worship the medical community for the God-send they are.

And during this plague, GOD is asking of US, WHO DO YOU WORSHIP?

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so also must the Son of Man be lifted up – so that anyone who believes in HIM would have eternal life. ((John 3:14-16))

Whatever you believe about the medical community doesn’t stand against the power of the God of the Universe who has already determined who will live, and who will die during this curse against Humanity.  The only thing He has asked of us is to BELIEVE he is who he says he is.

 

Who Is Your Savior?

WHO IS YOUR SAVIOR_

Here in the United States of America, our churches have cancelled services all across the country during one of the most important times of the Christian year. This being, our reflection on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is THE MOST IMPORTANT part of our faith. If Jesus did not shed his blood, as the ultimate sacrifice for all of us, there would be no redemption for our souls.

In the last 100 years, somehow American’s have gotten caught up in the idea that only doctors can save our mortal bodies. They do whatever the doctor tells them to, and take whatever medication is prescribed without a second thought.

It has gotten so bad in Western society, if you even question the medical community – which we all know is severely imperfect – you’re automatically labeled anti-science, and written off as an idiot.

God established perfect order for the world, even to the point He gave us plants that would heal our ailments and illnesses. Ailments and illnesses we have because of the Curse.

The Creator of the Universe loves us so much He planned every last detail of our Exile.
As I sit and write this, my heart is overwhelmed with joy and sorrow by this concept.

Christianity in the world today is a ritual. We go to church, we sing about God, we go home and we do not include that same God in our daily lives.

We don’t ask Him if what we do is good for us, or if what the doctor has given us would be best for our bodies. We put more Faith and Trust in the snake on the staff, than we do our own God.

Many times in Scripture, Jesus addresses the Pharisees at the core of the issue – they are not acting in the interest of God, they are acting on behalf of their own idea of God.

Matthew 15:1-20 is where we’re going to start.

Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.”
He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ But you say that whoever tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God,’ then that person need not honor the father. So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void the word of God. You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said:

‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’ ((Isaiah 29:13-16))”

Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.”
Then the disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?”
He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.”
But Peter said to him, “Explain this parable to us.”

Then he said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”

Kind of an appropriate place to start in this current plague, the Pharisees come up to Jesus and they’re like, “Hey, why don’t your disciples wash their hands before they eat? Because- it’s what we teach, and it’s one of our traditions.”

Hygiene is very important. Let’s all stop and acknowledge this. Road signs off the highway currently tell us to wash our hands. Washing hands prevents the spread of disease and keeps people healthy. BUT! Jesus doesn’t care about the washing of hands, Jesus cares about their motives.

His response to them is, “why do you break the commandments of God for the sake of your tradition?” In the recording of this story in Mark 7, it says Jesus also added “You neatly set aside the commandment of God to maintain your own tradition.”

What traditions do we follow in our society that set aside the Commands of God?

You might be saying, “Jesus fulfilled the Law, the Law doesn’t matter anymore” and according to some denominational teachings, you would be correct in your perspective. However, if you further study on your own outside of leaning on the understanding of your pastor and denominational doctrines, you will find this is untrue.

Jesus came to be the ultimate sacrifice and therefore we no longer have to sacrifice animals for our redemption, but through the law, Paul says, we become conscious of sin.

Jesus re-established during his time on earth, it is not the law that matters, it is how WE interact with GOD that matters.

Paul is pretty concrete when he says you can’t serve two masters. You have to pick one.
Either GOD is most important, or the Traditions of Man is most important.

Satan is an evil, frustrating demon. From the beginning of time he has been looking for the opportunity to become greater than God. Each time he has ascended to “greatness” God has knocked him right back down through the Glory of His Goodness and supreme reign over the Universe.

So, along comes the Serpent to establish a new, fresh way of conquering God and His people. Their health and wellness.

Let’s talk a minute about the Snake on the Staff. The real one, of course. From the Bible.

Read with me in Numbers 21:4-9

They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.

Ironic, right?

Jesus references the snake on the staff is a symbol of HIS own death and salvation.

In the beginning of His ministry, one of the Pharisees came to Jesus and asked Him who He was and what He had been sent by God to do. ((John 3:1-21))

We’re only going to look into a small part of the passage for right now:

No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

vs 13-16

Our salvation is entirely dependent on the sacrifice of Christ, who was lifted up on a cross to shed his blood for US.

Is your faith and trust dependent on the medical community “finding a cure” or “creating a vaccine”, or is it in the God of the Universe who has already planned ahead of time this would happen, and gave us the cures to our illnesses in nature?

This Resurrection season, it is seriously time to focus in on who your savior is.

If it is Christ, Serve HIM.

Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says:

“Because you have rejected this message,
relied on oppression
and depended on deceit,
this sin will become for you
like a high wall, cracked and bulging,
that collapses suddenly, in an instant.
It will break in pieces like pottery,
shattered so mercilessly
that among its pieces not a fragment will be found
for taking coals from a hearth
or scooping water out of a cistern.”

“Go up to Gilead and get balm,
Virgin Daughter Egypt.
But you try many medicines in vain;
there is no healing for you.

The Lover

There was a Lover who created a garden.
Perfection displayed in brilliance.
To the trees He said, “Bear fruit of many kinds, for my Bride is coming, and she will need nourished.”
To the ground He said, “Bring forth vegetables to sustain her, and satisfy her hunger.”
To each plant He said, “Bring forth vitality, to protect and heal her sickness and ailment. She will find healing in you when complication may arise, and where I destine that you cannot heal her, I will renew her body.”
Then, He created and brought forth animals to be companion and friend, for cheer and play.
He looked in awe of the splendor of His hands and said, “All is ready, and it is good.”
Finally, crafting with His own hands, He formed the Glory of His Creation, His Bride, to live in the Garden He had prepared.
Together they communed in peace and happiness. The Lover had never been so full of joy….
But soon, the Bride was deceived by a great Enemy and cast out.
The Lover, broken and filled with sorrow watched as His Beloved drifted farther and farther from Him.
To the trees her offspring said, “Your fruit is too sweet and not good for our bodies, we will not consume it.” And they limited their children from it as well.
To the vegetables they said, “You are too high in starches, and the rest of you are meager. We do not wish to consume you, either.”
Turning to the beasts given by the Lover to be companions, they ate of their flesh and drank of their milk, abusing them to satisfy their thirsts and hunger.
When they became sick, and forced sickness on each other, they trampled down the plants the Lover had crafted, and said, “We will grind the rocks instead.” Pulling from mines and refining chemicals, using the waste from different sources-even from the dead, saying “surely these will heal us!” These did not heal their sickness, and made them worse. They dug for more stones and strained through more waste, and more of the dead, to find their cures.

The Lover watched as His Bride trampled down the beauty He had given them, overcome with sorrow and anger. He sent floods to wash out their crops, frost to ruin their trees, fires to burn their vineyards, storms to display His glory – but His Bride made excuses, “It is us, we have done this, our hands are causing this to happen.” Some yet said they themselves had managed to create these disasters to destroy each other.

So few turned to Him, delighting in His gifts.
To those who did He blessed them with health and peace, for they looked to Him and said, “Your Creation is enough for Me, and I will Delight in you, all of my days. I will eat and make use of your Garden. For you created the world in Perfection and I praise you for providing for My needs, and designing them by hand to prepare a place for Us, before you even made us.”

On Faith and Spirituality: What Is The Bible For?

Everything in our world requires a manual to understand it.

The Bible is the written evidence, and instruction book, to understand God.

Surely if there is a God, he’d impress on his creation to write about him, yes?
Some people believe in the Mystical forces of Nature communing with us.  Through ancestors, through nature, through the elements around us– why wouldn’t the Creator of the Universe whisper to the hearts willing to hear him?  Why couldn’t we attribute the callings and impressions to BE from that Creator?

The bible records several key moments when Man communed intimately with God, and God reached out to Man.

In recent centuries, Science and philosophy has done a number on drawing mankind away from the concept of God.  The need for God.

The bible is not a history book.  Or a science book.

It has one purpose.  That purpose is to study and understand the amazing, powerful El who has created all things, lives and breathes in all things, and to equip the followers of Christ with what they need to understand.

It is foolishness, Paul states in Corinthians.  It doesn’t make a lot of sense that we’re stuck here on the planet, with an invisible God somewhere across the Universe, watching over us.  And the only way to get to this God is by believing in Him and His son, Jesus Christ.
In the book of Job, that God, somewhere across the Universe, stands up and says WHO are YOU – little man – that you can know me?  ((Job 39-41))

Job was without the bible.  He had the oral traditions of his fathers, and his Faith.
For 6,000 years, people have been believing in God.  For 6,000 years they’ve been passing down the oral and written accounts of that God.  And in the early turn of a new Era, less than 2,000 years ago, it was decided that God’s word would be in the hands of the people.  He moved on the hearts of man, and together they decided which written scripts, carefully preserved through years and years of re-recording, would end up canonized to become what we call today, The Holy Bible.  The Word Of God.

One, CONSISTENT invisible being, after shedding the blood of his own son, gave mankind a book so they could learn about Him, get to know Him.  Understand Him-even if just a little-and come back to Him and his undying love.

His words are consistent.  Sin separates us from Him.  But following hard and fast after Him is enough to save our broken souls.

In our broken, hurting world, it’s obvious none of the religions we’ve established for ourselves are getting us anywhere.  Perhaps if we turned Religion aside, and just spend time studying the Bible, taking it at Face Value for what it is – the written account of the Creator of the Universe, and treated it as the Manual to understanding God, we could finally grasp a handle on Hope.  On what is Right, and what is Wrong.

Stop picking and choosing what you want to read, and contorting it into reasons why you DON’T want to follow God.  If you truly want to know, then read beyond the book of Dueteronomy.  Read the books of the prophets.  Read the New Testament.  Read the first four books of the New Testament.  Anybody can pick up a manual, read the first five chapters, and claim they understand the whole picture.

That’s not what the Bible was designed for.  The Bible was designed to study.  To cross reference.  To examine.  To underline.  To search.  To know.

And God says you don’t need more scripture beyond that book to know who he is.  Because HE established the writing of it.

 

Either you take it.  Or you leave it.  It’s a personal biography of a great and mighty God, who exists beyond the Universe.  And it’s there.  For you.
Don’t know where to start?  Start with Jesus.  Start with Ephesians.  Start with Romans.  Start with Proverbs. Start with someone you know.  Start alone.  Wherever you start, don’t let what you’ve already decided get in the way.
Read it for yourself.  God is so much more than the box Liberal America has Him in.
Discover it for yourself.  You never know what will come from opening the pages.

Church Hunting

It seems the worst thing a person could put themselves through, is the experience of church hunting.  Finding a place to call “Home”, and a church “Family” to be apart of.

Several things that stand out as you walk into a church, is the interior.
Where are your children going to be during service?   Is it easy to find?  How many hallways do you have to wind through before you find it?
Where are the restrooms?
Is there carpet?  Is there concrete?
Will your expensive cup of hot coffee have to cool in the car while you sit through over an hour of service?

The next thing people note, are the people.
They look friendly, but are they going to talk to you?  Is the church even small enough to know when there are guests?
Will the Greeters be the only people who make your acquaintance?  Will they care if you come back next Sunday?
Are you going to meet somebody genuinely interested in who you and your family are?
Will the person who told you you can’t have your coffee in service be the only person who reaches out to you?

And then you sit down, and service starts.
Why do churches spend so much money on a sound system, when no one knows how to use it?
Either the acoustics are too loud, or the sound is muddy, or you can’t hear the vocals…..
People around you worship God, oblivious to you and who you are.  Wrapped up in their moment– not even realizing you’re there for the first time.
Never taking the moment afterward to reach into your Life.

People don’t go to church to sit through service.  They go to find people who will connect with them and help them find the things they are looking for.
They come in, wanting to be poured into, and leave empty.
When the emptiness continues, time after time, eventually they stop trying to find something new.  They stop going altogether.

The “greeting” comes around.  Your hand might be shaken, you might be nodded at.

And then the pastor gets up.

Now, going into a non-denominational church presents several problems.

1) The pastor is waaaaay too Charismatic, and you sit through what feels like a televangelist service.  It includes prophetic “messages”, or escatology and “the end is upon us!”
((Which I believe is highly possible….. but not quite the same as they do))

2) The pastor starts mistranslating scripture, taking things out of context and pushing modern ideology instead of sound theology held strong through the ages.

3) The pastor goes into political moments and asks for the wrath of God to fall on our Nation’s leaders.  Also not biblical.

4) Prosperity preaching.

Non-denominational churches seem like they all spring out of the Pentecostal movement.  Where are the Spirit-led, Baptist background churches with sound theology, but openness to the Gifts?

5) Universalism

At any rate, it’s so hard to find what you’re looking for, when there are so many options….  and you’re tired of looking.

I’m tired of looking.
I’m tired of going to church, never being talked to.
I’m tired of going to church and only ever being talked to by the guy who tells you you can’t have your coffee in service.

The lack of friends in my Foresaken home in the High Plains becomes even more than obvious as our second child prepares to come into the world and we lack EVERYTHING for a little girl, because the first was a boy.

The lack of a church Family with people we can talk to as our life stands on the balance of Change, is also highly frustrating.
Man was not intended to be alone.  Even Jesus surrounded himself with friends.

Jesus was highly extroverted.  He was a natural people person and confident in who he was.
Unfortunately, mankind is not at all like Jesus.  And you walk into a new church and walk out of a new church still waiting to be reached into.

Ascribe To The Lord What Is The Lords

He has carried our hearts, our pain and anguish.
He has done great things for us and instructed us in the ways we should go.
His staff protects us from the things that would hurt us.
In Him is life, hope, light and love.
Without Him these things cannot exist.
Because of His great love for us, He wrapped himself in flesh and came to the World to know us.
Because of His great love for us, He came to understand our pain, our heartache and our agony.

Because He stepped down from heaven, we have the freedom to come before Him and ask of Him anything we need, and He will provide according to how great our needs are.

Sometimes it’s just a gentle, “I’m here.”
Sometimes it’s the money to get by.
Sometimes it’s the hope that He’s got us covered and nothing is going to hold us back from the great things He has planned for us.

His hand stretches to the end of the universe, He put them there.
He greatness is more than we could imagine, and His plans are better than ours could ever be.

Ascribe to God what He does, don’t mistake His Will for yours, stand firm in righteousness and never, never let go of the Promises He has made to you.

“….and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those that sin against us….”

There is only one person in this world I have ever really “hated.”
When I first experienced this new emotion, I was riding home with my sister Anna on the last rainy Tuesday in December 2010.
With bittersweet malice I asked, “Anna, can you avoid someone in heaven?”
Half a second later, the only bolt of lightning that winter shower produced shot across the sky.
After an uncomfortable moment of silence, Anna replies tentatively, “Dana, don’t say that again. The next one hits the car.”

You can’t fully grasp the concept of “strongly disliking” a person until you’ve been deeply wounded by someone you cared about.
Not just deeply wounded, but they struck you EXACTLY where it would hurt most.

The reason why Hate is so seducing is because it gives you a false sense of power.
The flavor of hate is like a fine wine.
To hate is to replace vulnerable pain with choking anger.
To fester in hate is to pride yourself into believing that somehow you have been made the victim and they don’t deserve anything good.
But like too much wine, it can become intoxicating.

It’s a dark, dreary, black hole that eats away at joy, life, love and peace.
It hurts your ability to love others, and ultimately, the ability to trust God.

The longer you let a worm live in an apple, the more it will eat away at the sweet, juicy insides.
You don’t realize how bad the damage is until the smell of rotting flesh overpowers your thoughts.
Where once was Life, there remains a dead leathery shell, drying stem and loose seeds.
Seeds. The cradle of life. A chance to start over.

God makes all things good, right? Look at the creation story. The only thing wrong with Creation-was Adam’s loneliness!

Why is it so hard to forgive?
I’ll tell you why.
Forgiveness relinquishes our fallible security in power, pride, and arrogance. It forces us to be vulnerable to hurting all over again.
But, like those seeds in the core of a dead and empty apple, God desires to plant in our lives the amazing ability to Overcome and become a New Creation.

If God created us for Fellowship, both with Him first-since obviously He was all Adam had until Eve was created, which essentially makes others second, then why should we let hate seperate us from each other?
Hate can make you lose trust in everyone. It hurts your Fellowship with believers, and your ability to witness to non-believers. Sometimes it isn’t intentional, but when you fester in hate, somewhere along the way something will trigger the pain you try to ignore, and you’ll react. You probably wont even necessarily mean to! Either way, your reaction will affect everyone around you.

Your ugly, infected scab will tear open, and before you can stop it, it will bleed. All of your pent-up anger and grief will ooze out of you until
a) you gain the composure to stop it
b) you’ve sobbed until the tears run dry
c) depression consumes you and you hide away from everyone
or d) you’ve chewed everyone and their dog out.
You wont be able to understand yourself until the blood clots again.
Forgiveness washes over you like a flood.
When you beg God to remove a piece of you you don’t like, He does. And His grace is overwhelming.
When you ask to make amends with someone close to you, peace is restored. Trust might not be replaced right away, but you know deep inside that your chance to prove yourself worthy of /their/ forgiveness is available at your earliest convenience-and something inside jumps for JOY at the thought, even through the fear that you might fail again, you are relieved to know you have a second chance.

So if you know what it’s like to be forgiven of a sin that was gnawing at you — why would you rob someone else of that joy?
Jesus said to pray for God’s Will, His Lordship, His provision, His forgiveness and His strength, because He controls and manifests in everything in creation.
“Our Father who lives in Heaven, your name is Holy. Bring Your Kingdom, as Your Will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us for our sins as we forgive those who sin against us, for YOURS is the Kingdom, YOURS is the honor, and YOURS is the glory, now and forever, Amen.”
I hear the Spirit gently convict me of my sin of hate, God whispers gently, “How can I forgive you, if you wont forgive him?”
In my heart, I know I can’t Fellowship with the Father while I marvel in vengeance and pray a thousand times a week that I could avoid this /one/ person for the whole of eternity.

Back in January 2011, God gave me the chance to give this person a moment to talk to me. He wasn’t very good at getting his lame apology across to me, and then blew his one opportunity to ever talk to me again.
Looking at my reactions to it after the fact, I probably wouldn’t talk to me again either.
When God said, “He’s going to contact you. Be nice.” I laughed.
God knew I wouldn’t and made a POINT to tell me what He expected of me.

Jesus expects all of us to forgive each other, no matter how much it costs us. It cost Him nails through his wrists, ounces of blood, absolute isolation and separation from God when he needed Him most, and a brief moment of eternity in hell in order to conquer Death.

What do you have to do to forgive? How much will it really cost you?

For me-only my pride.

‎……..but what’s that worth anyway? 🙂

The Love Dare

In 2010, God taught me an amazing lesson about love.
At the TIME I didn’t know it was just a lesson and not preparation for something more — but now that I look back, I did an excellent job at passing that test with a 70… and get why I was one point from failing.

I was reading the Love Dare, and applying it to my actions. God would have me pick it up and read the daily devotional, as well as practice the daily-do’s.
Everytime the book was in my hands, I read exactly how to deal with what I was going through. God never once failed to get me through everday when I needed Him to be there.

Giving up was easy, and I admit I gave up a few days.
…..but the thought well thought, and the deed well done aren’t complete without mistakes.

This soldier I was supporting was a jerk. And God wanted me to love him. But not just /love/ him, be Christ to him.
Now I know The Love Dare is for married couples, but I encourage you-if you’re going to learn the lesson God wants you to, even if it’s alittle odd, DO WHAT HE TELLS YOU TO.
That book was not just for my benefit to learn how to love my future husband someday. The love practised between spouses is SO SIMILARE to God’s love for us.
Becoming a servant, and loving others as Christ loves the Church is soooo hard!
Especially when people are stupid…

Looking back now, I wish I could have loved better. I listened intently to God, and did everything I needed to, but I still feel like I could have loved better.

I look at the book on my bookcase now, the memories click into place with “oh!! I get it now….”
….and then I wonder what happened after those lessons were learned, and if I need to do it again.

“I dare YOU to love like Me.” I hear God say.
What would that look like in my life, and should I improve?
The love thing I’ve got…. the servant thing? Yeah, everyone knows, not so much.
My example is Christ, and God-you’ve got to help me live like Him.

What is the core of Doctrine in Christianity?

That Jesus Christ was the son of God, who was wrapped in flesh to be born of a virgin to walk on the earth with mankind, establish the New Covenant and die on a cross for the redemption of ALL Creation, and HE is the only way to heaven.

Every evangelical denomination will hold to this core teaching.

There are many other “Doctrines” in Christianity today.
From the “Core Doctrine” to the “Lesser Doctrine” of the Baptist churches, the sixteen fundamental truths of the Assemblies of God, to five point Calvinism, EVERY evangelical denomination will claim they believe Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and He is Lord over all creation.

But, the Values of the Bible, the Teachings of Christ, the books of the Prophets, Apostles, Moses and the Jewish Law, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the work of the Spirit, whether or not God speaks, the Redemption of Israel, the Tribulation, THE BIBLE ITSELF, have all been misinterpreted, taken out of context, and twisted into heretical opinions and teachings.

With so many voices screaming around us, and so many different opinions flying through the air, what do you believe?  Who is right, and who is wrong?

How do you tell what is “of God” and what is not in a time when the Body of Christ is divided against itself?

I am non-denominational in my “church” standings.  I lean towards the Baptist denomination, because they’re the ones that have it the most “right”.  They don’t have everything right, but they believe the Bible is the authority of Mankind, even if individual churches don’t believe everything in it to be true.  Like Calvinists, they are REALLY good at using the Bible to back up all of their points.  Which is awesome!  I Timothy 3:16-17  “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

But what I’m having trouble with is the legalistic, close-minded approach many individual congregations take to the Scriptures.  Everyone has their own “boxes” they fit God and the Spirit into.  What I find in many churches (especially some of the fundamental, traditional Baptist churches, Bible churches, and some other denominations) is that they go BY the bible, and only the bible.  The Spirit doesn’t have the freedom to move inside of the church and create a broader spectrum for Believers to grasp and understand.

Just because God saw to it that the Torah, the Jewish Chronicles and Histories, the Hebrews Psalms, the writings of Solomon, the books of the Prophets, the accounts of Christ, and the letters to the Churches were all bound together in a canonized book, so there would be no more confusion and carpal-tunnel from faithful scribes recording the letters over and over again…..  Just because God saw fit to give mankind these things in ONE book, He did not negate His right to move in the Spirit and reveal even greater things to the World.
Now, I don’t want to sound like a Universalist here, I believe FIRMLY that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to Salvation (John 14:6) , and the Holy Spirit is the Seal of our Salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14).
However, I do believe that there is more prophecy, beyond the Bible, that God has for America, Australia, New Zealand…. If you haven’t noticed, the Cradle of Civilization was all in the Middle East.  All of the Old Testament prophecies are in relation to the coming Messiah, and the Nations surrounding Israel.  (Save for Daniel and Ezekiel, which have prophecies marking the end of days, and do include the rest of the world at times. E.g. the vision of the statue made in different materials, which was fulfilled through the Egyptian, Greek, Persian, Roman, and British empires, and still today with the bits of clay here and there.  And Ezekiel where the wars and rumors of wars are prophesied about that will take us into the end of days… and beyond, when every man in Israel will have a job for the next thirty years after the War of the Lamb [in Revelation 19], during the 1000 year reign where Jesus comes down to rule the earth)
I believe that there are SO MANY THINGS God has to say to individual believers.  And the reason why He says we need two or three prophets in the Church to agree and affirm a Prophecy given to one of them (I Corinthians 14:29) is to test whether the Word is from the Spirit.  Based off of the Consistency of God lined out in the Scriptures, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can know whether or not a Word from a Prophet is true.

Since controversies arise in relation to the Gift of Prophecy and the active calling of Prophets, (as well as what I call paranoia of False Prophets) most believers (especially again the fundamental traditionalists, who claim the Bible is *all* we need from God) will deny the existence of it, and use I Corinthians 13:8-9 as an excuse to ignore they exist.  (They also use I Corinthians 13:8-9 as a reason to cut down the gift of Tongues.  But they haven’t exactly studied it to put it into context either.  I have a study on it that I will be posting later)
If God really did end these gifts, then why does He go on, through Paul, into Chapter 14 to tell the Believers how they should use Prophecy and Tongues?

These practices remind me of the Amish and their way of shutting out the World to keep from straying from God.

Should a Christian box off their mind and God, telling Him that He can only work the way THEY want Him to, or should they believe that God wont give them more they can handle, and slowly stretch their Faith in Him?
I didn’t come to believe everything I did in one night.  God stretched me, grew me and gave me understanding a little at a time.  Jesus grew in Wisdom and Stature, little by little.  I mean, He was Jesus – He already KNEW everything because He was Deity wrapped in flesh, but even so, the writer of Luke says even Jesus grew in Wisdom.

I promise you God wont lead you astray.  If the Bible is His Word, written as Holy Men of God were carried along by the Holy Spirit (I Peter 1:20-21), then He isn’t going to act outside of what has already been Established by the Old Testament, and the Gospels of Christ.  Jesus HIMSELF quoted the Law and the Prophets again, and again.  They already knew the Truth, because they’d been told generation after generation the stories of the people who had gone before them, and the great and wonderful things God had done for the Children of Israel.

If God incarnate, wrapped up in flesh, did not try to lead the people astray in His own teachings, but re-established God’s Word again and again, then wouldn’t the Holy Spirit do the same with you?

Don’t let Fear hold you back from serving God the way He designed you to serve Him.

*I* worship God in Nature, in Worship, in Dance… With the Elements.  I don’t worship the Elements, I worship and serve the Creator of the Created things 🙂
I don’t hinder the Spirit, and I go and do where He leads.  I speak as He prompts, and I trust that His Word will not return to Him void. (Isaiah 55:11)

Only the Lord knows the hearts of Mankind (I Samuel 16:7), yes?  Let your heart trust and rely on a God who has remained the same from the Beginning of Time until now.
The One that will never Leave or Forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6)
The One that Knows the Plans He has for you (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
The One that give you Strength when you can’t go on (Isaiah 40:29)

Stop relying on the teachings of Man, only capturing pieces of the Word of God.  Study it for yourself and let the Spirit guide you into the Truth that you seek.  Mankind was given the responsibility to spread God’s Word.  They’ve been doing it for over 2000 years now.  Since it was given to Humans, Humans have contorted Scripture to say what they will it to.  Human teachings have created controversies in the Church and division among the Body.

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15 NASB
Another version translates it into “Carefully Study”.
Either way, ask, seek and knock, and the doors will be open to understanding deeper what so many choose to never look for at all.