Thursday, July 21, 2011

Calmly Think On This (Selah)

I was reading a book entitled, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible by Jay E. Adams. It is one of the few books that I even bothered to read the preface and introduction (I usually like getting into the meat of the Word, nevertheless...) before really diving into it. Not usually reading Christian authors that weren't referred to me by a reputable Christian themselves (Matthew 7:16 KJV), I was surprised that some of the questions he remarks about, even before I could finish the first chapter, I have had; which is the reason for this blog entry.

The topic of his book is where I believe God called me to (along with the family, of course) and I am in agreement with the author that there just isn't enough information to help believers who seem to be falling in slots of the world with the excuse that God doesn't mention these matters in the Word and therefore neither do men and women of God. That would be error.

The other focus the author mentions is the differences between conservative and liberal Christians. Terms I would only use with politicians but until he described his definitions of each, I had to do a selah myself. The liberals bend the biblical principles to fit everyone in and the conservatives border on tradition and religion rather then faith, research for the truth, and prayer. Which are you?

Its just with all of the reading, it made me think of something that I don't believe has really been an issue. I  don't mean for it to be an issue now, its just that I would think that pastors would be more on their guard not to marry people so quickly just because the two individuals say that they are ready when we all know who has ever been there, they don't have a clue. Let's calmly think about this, seeing it is one of the elements that makes the foundation for the next generation.

Understanding that the two young people determined to marry have no idea what the life they are choosing will come to, who then is at fault when the two end up in divorce. Resoundingly, most people will say that it is the fault of the two individuals that decided to marry, yet we have already established that they have no idea what they are getting themselves into. So therefore, we could then use the verse, my people perish for lack of knowledge, and be done with it (Hosea 4:6 KJV). Oh well, it was their choice. But what about the verses that if you know to do good and not do it, to him it is a sin (James 4:17 KJV)? Or the one about, the older training the younger (Titus 2:1-4 AMP)? What about the one where the Word tells that if you saw that something bad was going to happen and did nothing to stop it and bad happened, that the blood is on your hands (Ezekiel 33:1-11 AMP)? With that established, let's look at these young people stepping into a territory that they know nothing about.

Not doing things as the world does them, wouldn't it be beneficial for all of the denominations to come together and be in agreement - at least those that believe Jesus is Lord and are only looking to please the Father, to not marry anyone without them agreeing to 4 weeks of marital counseling. I don't mean meeting one day a week... I mean 4 weeks. That's 30 days! 30 days of the pastor (or qualified Christian counselor) seeing the behavior of the two people each time they come in to meet, the attitude of the two people when asked those tough questions, the answers given of the two when topics that weren't discussed in the dating process comes up, talking about finances, sex, their history of sex, children, family, values, ethics, morals, fidelity, taxes, etc. No stone left unturned. If not this way, then what?

I pose the question to all who believe that Jesus is Lord. There will come a day when we are all going to be judged (James 5:9-10 AMP). Believers who have divorced and have remarried will be judged as whore mongers and adulterers, for it is written (Hebrews 13:4 KJV). There is no getting around that. But if the two that married didn't know this and the one that married them did - who is it again that will be judged? I have been to Christian counseling sessions and I believed many times that the counselor would have this enormous insight about the issue I was having. I believed this not only because of the expertise but also because of the anointing that is on this professional individual. I cannot describe to you the disappointment when leaving the session no more enlightened then I was going in. Would that be my fault that there was no breakthrough? The counselor would have you believe that it is. What would Jesus say?

There are pastors, ministers, evangelists, and all sorts of clergy that marry people to enhance and build their congregation. On the outside it looks well and we move on to matters of more concern. But if we really looked at the heart of this man/woman of God in doing such a thing it is the equivalence of giving the keys to a drunk to drive himself safely home with the instruction, "be careful." You can see that he cannot be careful! He is not equipped to! How can we keep doing this?!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


The way I was introduced to faith was too scary for the time. I refused to go up for alter call to get "saved". It wasn't explained to me for a better understanding and I didn't trust the preachers. After services and later that night, I had a dream. I was 12 years old and I recall seeing myself at the edge of a cliff. Below the cliff were jagged rocks, stones, thick roots resembling branches, and I couldn't see the bottom of where I would land. I heard a voice telling me to jump because He will catch me. Of course, I didn't do it, I knew I had much to learn. If I recall correctly, it was dark outside (I capitalized He because I assumed it was God. I didn't know any better). Every now and again I think about that dream and instinctively know how far I have come and where I will never be again. I thank God for all of the tools He has shown me over the years (once I received Him) and the power given by the Holy Spirit through Christ Jesus can never be taken away.

I began this blog because of those times when we look at where we are and wonder, if this is all there is? Those feelings of frustration and discontentment while being in righteousness have to be addressed so that when or if they return, you understand why. Because of the understanding, frustration is obliterated and discontentment will have to find residence elsewhere.

Frustration comes when you think your will is better then God's and what you would like to do isn't being done when you want it to be. We then usually get on our knees (because of training and for answers) and we ask God, "why, why, why?" Have you ever heard yourself saying this? Have you ever heard children asking their parents this? It is a special parent that listens to every why question from a child and answer each and every one for the child's satisfaction. Does it end though? Is the child ever satisfied? And what becomes of such a child that has so many questions? Private Investigator, Reporter, Research Specialist, Scientist, Surgeon, Doctor - these are some of the careers that are ideal for such a child that needs to have the answers right now. Nevertheless, listen to yourself saying why three times. Do it. What does it sound like? If you still don't know, do it again. Make the last why linger a little. Now, what does it sound like?

Babies instinctively will never be still if they are wet, hungry, thirsty, needs to be burped, sleepy or bored. They like for their environment to be a certain temperature. They like what they want when they want it. And as much as we would like to believe that we are the heads of our manors, we know when there is a baby in the house, everything changes. Its just that when the baby gets to be of some age, things slowly with each year, will get back to normal. Children cannot and should never be able to have run of the house. They have no idea what they are doing and all that entails in keeping a house to run smoothly. Why? Because of inexperience. It is why God entrusted certain people to be parents. This would also be true for babies in Christ... and then we grow up.

Satisfaction comes as we learn more about ourselves in Christ, just as Jesus did when his parents went looking for Him and was found in the temple. He answered them that He has to be about His Father's business (Luke 2:48-50 KJV). He was reading about Himself and asking questions of the clergyman. He gained an understanding of His calling as He read more about the Word. It is what we are also called to do. To be discontent is a sure sign of what you are not doing in Christ and therefore your questions of why have been answered.

Knowing that it impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6 KJV), He, being a good Father, answered all of our whims way back when. We didn't know any better, but each day as we drew ourselves closer to Him and finding more about Him, He showed us our faults and we changed what we could while He did everything else. We are willing and obedient. That's how we got as far as we have. When I recall that vision or dream on the cliff, if I ever see that again, I know what to say and do. First, I would no longer be in the dark. Second, I know that the Holy Spirit leads me away from danger. And third, if ever a voice tells me to do something that I would question the sanity of it, instead of just venturing forth as some have preached, taking that huge leap of faith and it could be to my death, I will whip out the many tools that my Father has given me to test that voice to see if it is from God (1 John 4:1-6 AMP). Because even though, it was a dream, one thing that God will do in those dreams is speak to us. If it isn't a warning then it will tell something about ourselves that we need to get straightened out. Still having the questions of why with all that we have to do means you decided not to do what you were told.

The time is coming sooner then we know. We have been warned ever since coming into the knowledge of the truth. God is still seeing when the bride is ready without that spot or wrinkle. I declare being a part of the body of Christ daily. I try to make sure there are no cob webs in my closet by renewing my mind daily, checking the cleanliness of my heart, and the death of the flesh. My walk in the Spirit has been tested more then I can count and when the voice of the Lord is quieter then usual, I know I am still going through one of those tests again. I wake in the middle of the night and pray because He has trained me to do so. When I hear people talk I am more apt to listen then make a reply (James 1:19 AMP). There have been times when the conversation was so juicy, I had a load to add, but had to remain quiet to learn those lessons- life lessons or deal with the consequences later. It is much easier to listen then it is to gossip and easy is the path we are supposed to be on anyway (Matthew 11:29-30 AMP).

Watch. Pray. Listen. What's hard about that?

Monday, July 18, 2011


There are some really odd places where I have been inspired to write in this blog. For this entry, it happened to be some reruns of The Real Housewives of Orange County. I was watching an episode where Vicky and one of the other housewives were on a yacht. The other housewife was enjoying her husband while Vicky was trying to be a comedienne for the camera. In doing so, this meant that she continually degraded her husband. Her guests were obviously embarrassed and felt sorry her husband. I know I did. He did what he could to save face and continued with their trip. Every now and again, the other housewife and her husband would steal kisses in private and would always have some physical contact with each other. Vicky noticed this and started to complain. She actually complained throughout the entire trip. When she wasn't getting enough attention she decided to take the few moments the other housewife was having with her husband and come and be, what I would think is, a pest. For some reason, she thinks this is normal behavior. Her husband is left to have a conversation with the maitre'D, the ship's captain, the steward, anybody else but his wife, Vicky. I have watched this series off and on and at the end of each season Vicky makes this declaration to be different, easier to get along with, closer to her friends, and has even coerced her husband to renew their martial vows. Why does it seem coerced?  He just looks so unhappy.

Towards the middle of this particular episode on the yacht, Vicky, in her narrative portion, states that she is empty and she doesn't believe her husband could fill her love tank. She then starts to cry - twice. I don't know if she realizes that every time she does this, her husband, family, and friends sees all of this stuff and it cannot be taken back. Once those words are spoken in film, it is up to the director and producers what will be aired for the entire world to see. From what was aired, she didn't take the time to tell her husband, get some therapy, or make the decision as her fellow housewife did, to leave the show and work on the marriage and family. Her excuse was, she and her husband works hard for what they have and they love it. Fine, then you cannot complain! Is it a wonder that the next season, Vicky orchestrates a vacation for all of the other housewives and wanting for all of their husbands to stay at home. She tells her husband he is not invited. He was looking forward to going with her. He says so. Aggravated is a pale description of how Vicky acts when she sees that the other housewives bring their husbands along. And why? Because they love and reverence them! Vicky pouts.

What really interested me about the episode with Vicky and her friends was her sincerity with why she wasn't getting out of the marriage of what she assumes should come from nothing. What do we have for free? The only thing I know of is God's mercy and grace (Acts 15:11 AMP). With everything else there has to be some effort. Even with salvation we must speak the words to get it and believe in our hearts (Romans 10:10 KJV). I was amazed how this grown woman expected her husband to keep giving and giving in spite of how she was treating him. This use to be the behavior of men back in the day when they had it all and thought if they didn't get it from their wives, they will go and get it from someone else. It is no different. Back then the men didn't get what they asked for because they cannot get something from nothing. There has to be a deposit put in from someone in order to get something back.

The Word tells us this all of the time. A seed has to be sown in order for there to be a harvest. If love was never taught, it cannot be expected (1 Corinthians 13:3-10 AMP). If there were no kind words spoken, how can there be annoyance if kind words are not retrieved? There are times when a marriage hits a wall and it seems the only answer is to leave and start all over again. This would be a mistake. You are the same person leaving the marriage as you are starting a new one. To think the failure or the boredom or the monotony or the extreme aggression has gone just because you are in a new relationship is foolishness. There were two people in that marriage that had become one. It is written. That reason the two became one is that there was an agreement to get married. There had to be some point where in the relationship there was something common that made the two join. That common place is the glue. Agreement was continual when there was support for the other in discussions, with other people, and in creating a family. Arguments that can arise doesn't remove that common place. Therefore the common thing the two of you shared, you are now taking to a new relationship. Did that common thing have baggage attached to it? Did the common place have childhood issues lingering, hurt feelings, fear of rejection, regret, other phobias, manias, obsessions, jealousies grabbing on for dear life? Many still think its life and we all have to deal with it the best we know how. That would be error. In choosing life, we allow God to do what He does and we do not give place to the enemy. The enemy has no life and wishes to snuff out yours.

This is where that feeling of emptiness comes from. The Word tells us not to give place to the devil and yet, when the consideration of turmoil comes about, we call it life and its issues. Life has no issues. It is problem free! Problems arise when the acknowledgement of our Creator has not taken place (Philippians 2:13 AMP). Vicky's viewpoint could be the influence of the producers telling her that she is the "spice" that keeps the show alive when all they are concerned with is keeping the ratings up. The housewives have seen the problems in their lives and while  they could remain on the show and receive a paycheck, it is clear where their priorities are. Vicky is the only original housewife left. From a drug addicted child in and out of jail to the down sizing of the family's residence because of the economy, the other women could not allow their families to be torn apart just to keep the fans happy. Vicky remains on the show. Her husband is rarely shown, yet she is not a housewife without him (Proverbs 14:1 AMP).

The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10 AMP). Emptiness is his playground. It is the evidence that he has been there. To speak emptiness is the graffiti that the devil has left on that wall. God says, they that thirst after righteousness shall be filled (Matthew 5:6 KJV). What say you? Made any deposits lately? What have you sown (Galatians 6:7 KJV)? Surprised at your harvest?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Voice

The world has either a gut feeling or women's intuition. I have heard of warning signs and the proverbial red flags to tell them of danger or when to run. The world uses experimentation, process of elimination, theories, and hypothesis to establish some sort of sense in the environment by which they choose to live. If listened to long enough, I suppose one would think it could make some sort of sense. I recall not so long ago when the theory of evolution was just that - a theory! Recently, I heard a relatively seemingly intelligent woman have a discussion with a group of women about the fact of evolution and anyone believing otherwise is an idiot. I waited for rebuttal from the other women and it was more like mumbling amongst themselves rather than a loud voice as she felt assured to have her say. It was bothersome.

Not being of the world but in the world because we are a peculiar nation having chosen life, we know not to ask for signs to see that which we should have faith in (John 20:29 AMP). It is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6 KJV). Asking God to give us a sign would mean that faith is just not enough and we need to see some evidence right now in order for our faith to be at work. That would be the antithesis of faith or don't you see that? Therefore, amongst other things, God has given us this inward witness by which we hear Him. Some say it is an audible voice while others believe it is an internal knowing. Which ever the case, it is necessary to know that it must be tested to know that what is being heard is actually the truth.

There are some basic truths we know in hearing His voice. It is our safe guard so we won't have to ask for signs to believe and won't be fooled by every wind of doctrine:
1. Whatever God tells us will not be contradictory of His word.
2. He would not give a partial verse for us finish it on our own.
3. He will not answer a question with a question.
4. His voice will exhort, edify, and comfort.
5. His voice will not compromise your ethics, values, morals, or Spiritual rectitude.
6. His voice will stand the test.

While some believers claim they don't have this inward witness that they have heard others speak of nor do they hear an audible voice, God still speaks. You just have to be aware where and when He is speaking to you. For instance, I wrote about a couple of women. One is my co-worker while the other is a resident at my place of employment. Both worked odd hours and had families to care for as well. With the schedules they had, everything else became the priority and their health was secondary. Neither of the women felt it necessary to stop and rest or have the time to take a vacation. They had mouths to feed and extended family members they had to care for. There just wasn't time. One woman had a massive heart attack while the other had a stroke. It took months for them to rehabilitate and get back on their feet. They took the time for themselves now. They get plenty of rest now. I heard the voice of God even though when both of the women told me their stories, they didn't tell it to me as a warning for me to slow down, yet the inward witness did. I heard their words and what they weren't saying was God speaking.

Another example was when I was in high school. My brother adored Science class and when he advanced to Chemistry there was this teacher where her reputation proceeded her. She expected the best out of everyone that passed through the threshold of her classroom... well, that's how my brother perceived her harsh manner of teaching. I heard one student asked her a question and her reply was, "aw honey child, you should have learned that in elementary school." She never did answer that student's question. Another time I heard her tell a class, "I got mine. you've got to get yours." The rumors intimidated me so I made it my assignment to do whatever I needed to in order for me not to have her class. I got through the entire four years without having her as a teacher. I would see her from time to time in the hallway and she would look at me as if she was wondering why she hadn't seen me in any of her classes. While I passed her in the hall, I would smirk. Later when finishing college, I thought about that teacher and the things she said. Why would a grown woman say those things to children? She went to school to be a teacher and make a difference not to be a bully. Then I realized that she might have been intimidated by them. What if she got a student that was brilliant and had a question that she couldn't answer? She had to lay the ground work of fear so that couldn't happen. What I heard without her saying it was that she didn't like her job. She didn't like children. She liked to be respected no matter if it was through fear. It was a life lesson for me to enjoy the full extent of my life and not to fall into complacency without an out.

There are comedians that make jokes so they won't get depressed over their many faults. We laugh at those jokes because the faults are familiar to us. Yet at the same time, it could be the voice of God showing you that you are not alone. The bible tells men to learn from their forefathers and for the older women to tell the younger - does that happen? Do you see a seminars, retreats, or forums for men and young women? No one is beating down doors to tell of all of their many faults for others to learn from them. No one likes to hear their mistakes over and over again yet God said to do it. I heard an elderly woman tell of her family and how her sons treat her. It was shameful yet my first thought was, "how did she raise her sons to be so cruel?" She didn't believe she was cruel to them nor would she believe that she raised them incorrectly, yet her telling me what her sons did, taught me without her knowing it. Another woman was caring for her elderly mother. She has one grown son and said to me, "I wish I had a daughter. Sons don't take care of their parents in their old age." She continued to tell me of all she has been doing for her mother in caring for the estate. She inadvertently let slip as well that she didn't expect her mother to live this long. She was about to be 93. Having four sons of my own I continued to listen and watch what she did for her mother. One day I caught her grumbling about how much money it was costing to care for her mother, yet her mother had invested this money for her old age. It wasn't as if the daughter was spending her own money she just expected a sizable inheritance. When the doctor made visits to check the health of the elderly woman I overheard the daughter ask for a DNR to be put in place. Would a son ask for such a thing? And if her mother invested that money for her old age, would she also have put a DNR in place for herself. The daughter looked at me when she finished with the doctor. She didn't think I knew what she requested. I continued to listen and watch the life lessons that was being played before me.

The Word tells us that in the last days men will be lovers of themselves. Men would become intelligent able to predict the weather yet looking over the signs of the Lord's second coming. Yes, there is a voice and He speaks to us everyday whether it is an inward witness an audible or watching the scenes from everyday life. Our jobs is to be aware, stay alert, and keep on watch. Test everything until you are absolutely sure that it is right (1 John 4:1-3 KJV). He tells all what we need to know and that which is to come.