Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Swearing 101 #@$%&*

Every day we are bombarded by it, Our culture has said its ok. It's the norm. It's cool. Everyone else is doing it.


It's OK for us, Right? Well to borrow a phrase we use with our dog Faith, "Aaaaent Wrong!" ( Its kind of funny to watch how fast her ears drop and she shrinks over to you for a hug) Guess again.

The bible says:
Colossians 3:8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
James 3:10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 
Proverbs 13:3 Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
Exodus 20:7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
1 Peter 3:10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;
James 5:12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Are we getting the picture? To me, it would seem that God hates swearing (cursing, oaths or anything else we want to call it).

When we became a Christian we became a new person.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Why would we want to un-bury a corpse? Well, that's what we do when we swear as a Christian because it's unburying our old selves that died at the foot of the cross. And I don't know about you but I don't want to dig it up.

Friday, April 19, 2013

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Me? A Leader?

Imagine you are on a battlefield.

You stand in line with other soldiers, your armor is heavy your sword firmly fitted in your grasp. The enemy roars its battle cry across the field. Their leaders yelling orders and direction, you can hear it but on your side...  it's silence. You look around "Where is our leader?" you ask. But no one is there. You are now faced with a decision, you can wait and hope someone else will step forward or you can take the lead. The choice is yours which do you pick?

 Few were born into a position of leadership, and fewer still are courageous leaders. A truly courageous leader adds God into their goals into their life and into their dreams. They seek him like a thirsty person after water. Not just on Sundays or during a crisis. You see, where our mind is where our heart will be. What is your mind centered on?  God longs to use us but many people are too big to allow God to use them, too self-important.

OK, I'll be honest with you, I hate leading. I never have liked it. It makes me feel awkward and, to be frank, I just downright can't stand it. But time after time after time I get put in that role.

OK, I have another confession I am really shy. It freaks me out when I have to talk to someone I don't know and heaven forbid if I must go into a store by myself. (I know I know, strange.)

Today I was reading a devotional called Courageous Teens, and it was talking about leadership. I thought it was very interesting and so I decide to touch on the subject with you girls. Whether we like it or not we are leaders. Our siblings, our friends, and even people we don't know are watching us. They follow are lead. So that leads me to my first question; When people look at us do they see who we serve? Do they see our principles? Or do they see yet another teenager tapping away on their cell phone? Headphones on and eyes rolling, disconnected from the world around them. Well, let me set it straight for you, the world has enough ordinary teenagers, who can not be bothered with the world.

To be a leader we have to be courageous. Let me introduce you to a guy named Joshua. For those of you unfamiliar with his story he was born in Egypt as a slave and then became the General of the Israelite army. And one of the most well-known men in the Old Testament. Do You want to know what made Joshua such a good leader? He was a good leader because he was a great follower.  His heart was for God and his will and he took God at his word.  He believed that although God saw him threshing wheat in the bottom of a wine stomping pit to hide from the enemy that God called him brave. So he believed it. All through his life instead of taking credit for the battles he won, he gave glory to God for the victories. Truly courageous leaders don't need applause, attention or medals.

Leaders rise to the occasion. It's a fact. Proven over and over by courageous leaders such as Joshua and so many others. The one's that rise to the top are the one's who learned to hit their knees before God.

Another great example is a woman from the Old Testament by the name of Deborah. She is the only female judge in the Old Testament. She led the Israelites to victory over the Canaanites.  Barak (the military commander) refused to go into battle without her.
(Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go."...)
 Miriam is another woman from the Old Testament. She was Moses' sister. She was also a prophetess, who led her people in worship. 

(Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord: “I will sing to the Lord...) In Micah 6:4 she is referred to as a core leader. "I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from slavery. I sent Moses and also Aaron and Miriam."

Esther, she is one of only two women in the entire Old Testament to have a book of the bible named after her. She risked her life to save her people from Haman.  (Ester 4:16 Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.") You can read her story in the book of Ester.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, She was just a young teenager, when she obeyed the will of God even though she risked her life and her marriage. (Luke 1-2...)

Joan of Arc is another great example from the pages of history. She led the French army during the Hundred Years War. She was then burned at the stake for claiming to see visions from God.

Clara Barton lived during the American Civil War. She delivered medical supplies and treated wounded soldiers on the battlefield. She later organized the Red Cross.

Mother Teresa, among her countless other acts of selflessness once negotiated a temporary cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians. She also crossed a war zone to rescue thirty-seven children trapped in a hospital.

The pages of history are alight with amazing role models. In Joshua 24:15 states "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," Actually  "As for me," is used twenty-one times in the book of Joshua. He didn't take a poll, he didn't wait to see what was popular. He stepped forward and said, "Though none follow I and my family will serve the Lord."

So it's your turn. Choose this day who you will serve. As for me... I will serve the Lord.

  • Joshua 1: 9 Haven't I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

  • Matthew 10:19 Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time, you will be given what to say,

  • "The best and wisest thing in the world is to work as if it all depended on you, and then trust in God knowing that it all depends on him," Spurgeon

  • Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

  • Matthew 10:16 Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

  • Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Monday, April 15, 2013


A lot comes to mind with the word princess; such as puffy dresses, wands, crowns, high heeled shoes, jewels, prince charming, feather boas, Disney, and hot pink -the last one, one of my friends dislikes-. Proverbs 31 says that this princess is a "virtuous woman" in the year 1611 that translation was spot on, but our language has gone through many changes since then.  I mean look at just the last couple of decades and you can tell that the English language has changed so much.  Bad was once bad and then bad was good, awesome was once something that struck a person with a fearful awe and then it became something that was even the least bit good.  So with this word "Virtuous". 

There is a whole other side to this "princess". In Genesis 2:18 God says he is going to make women, The English translation says "I will make a helper for man" aka Adam. - I don't know about you but I love helping my family out but having that as a mission in life doesn't make me want to jump up and down with joy- on the surface it does not make me feel important or worth much. 

But lets dig deeper and take a minute to look at the word helper, shall we? The word used here in Hebrew is ezer. Its the verb form of azar which means, "to help, succour, support" Most of you have probably never even heard of the word succour and for good reason (unless you are home schooled that is or into classic literature), it's not a word that is used any more but its a word with a powerful meaning. It means someone who provides assistance in a time of great trouble. The word is Ezer and if you look in the original language of the New Testament it is found there 21. It for the most part is used referring to the military. According to Dr. Frank T Seekins in his booklet' A Mighty Warrior The Hebrew- Biblical View of a Woman' it is a military ally, one who sees the enemy. In this case the word Ezer stands with the word Chayil and that means one who is capable, strong, valiant; a mighty warrior.  Now that is an important role! Would you send a soldier into a battle alone?  Even Christ sent the apostles out into the world by twos.   A warrior on his own is vulnerable.  Who is there to watch his back in the onslaught of the enemy?

So the Princess that God calls us to be -that's us girls- God sees as a warrior. Although we live in a culture/world that tries to pull our hearts and lives toward the things of this world. God calls us to battle. Will you answer the call?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Faking You Out

You can't cook without heat. That is a lesson I have learned a lot over the years, But I got a refresher course yesterday while I was trying to boil water. What I hadn't realized was that though I turned the burner on (I blew up the stove so we are using a hot plate) The hot plate wasn't plugged into the power outlet. I was getting irritated because my water was not getting hot until someone pointed out the fact that it was not even plugged in.

Then I got to thinking about it. How much is that different from us? We can be "Plugged in" to church, Sunday school, youth group, Wednesday night service, bible studies and the list goes on-. We can go through the motions of being a Christian in Church, and still act like the world every other day of the week.

The bible says, we are to be in the world but NOT of it. Do we always act like that? I don't.

The bible also says we are to be salt and light. - I don't know about you but I've gotten salt in a cut before, and for those that haven't, it BURNS.-

During the bible time, they would pack a wound with salt to disinfect/heal it. -I've tried. though painful it works.- And light -come on do I have to help you on this one?- Sunlight can be used to purify water, It cleans and disinfects laundry and textiles. And honestly what kind of world would we have without sunlight?

So as Christian "teenagers" we need to, plug in ourselves to Christ himself and not just the church or activities -It doesn't matter what anyone else is doing. As a Christian, you are called to be a leader, not a follower. Or as I like to put it be a goat, not a sheep.- because what good is a pan of lukewarm water? We are also supposed to be salt -Which means we are going to burn and disinfect other people's wounds and our own. Not everyone is going to like you because of it- And last we are supposed to be light.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Called To Be More

Satan is looking for our weaknesses. He is looking for our faults and fears. He doesn't have to tempt us with evil, he only has to get us to delay or detour for a "Good" reason from God's plan for our lives.

An interesting thought is it not? Our hesitations and fears are keeping us from being all that we can be.

What would have happened if Esther had said no I'm afraid I can't do this. I'm just an orphan. I'm just one person. But she didn't she stepped up handed her future to God and obeyed. That doesn't mean she wasn't scared -I'm sure she was terrified- but she had courage and obeyed anyway. Courage doesn't mean that you're not afraid. It means that despite the fear you act.

I'm here to tell you that one girl - yes that's you- can change the world. That doesn't mean you're going to be famous, or that people will always remember you. Or that you will be a star. - though all those may happen- Sometimes it's just getting the door for someone of giving them a smile. Other time it's getting your hands dirty. Or giving someone a cup of water. You don't know what is going on in someone else life.

Mother Teresa put it this way "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." What you are called to do may feel small or terrifyingly huge. But without us, the "Ocean" would be less.

So here is my challenge to you, change the world. Even if it is just for one person. Change it.