Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Have a marriage everyone else looks at and wants...

As Christians we are the same in many ways as unbelievers, however, we are called to be different and sometimes...that can be viewed as strange.

Remember, we don't belong here this is not our home. Our home is in heaven with Christ.

He has given us
  • a new birth with new hope
  • salvation is secure in heaven and nothing can take that away because Christ paid for it with his blood.
  • Ministry we are all called to be priest
  • ALL you have to do=receive these gift out of His grace
To be different we must Do/Behave
  • embrace submission
    • submission is a bad word these days, but all it really means it to rank yourself under someone else...just put someone ahead of you.
  • forgive as I have forgiven you--Does not matter how bad someone has wronged you. Christ still forgives you and you should still forgive others (no matter what!)
  • giving most of the time as Christians we're giving people, but 10% ?? You mean we can only live on 90%??
  • Marriage: when you said "I do" there was something there you wanted to be with But when you read what God says a husband and wife should be...that's where I draw the may have worked in the Bible, but there's NO way it can work today.
What if YOUR marriage could be the most incredible relationship ever...most love, most intimacy...

What if those principles ran against everything you know to be true in our culture...still want to put them into play?


1 Peter 3:1-6
In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourself instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.

Principle #1
  • Submission has more to do with your position in Christ than your position in earthly authority
    • We will always struggle with being submissive of those over us if we have not fully and completely given our hearts to Christ (Ephesians 5:22-27) because ultimately your surrender is to Christ--NOT your's about being obedient to Christ, not some other person
    • I have been reading Let.It.Go. By Karen Ehman and she describes submission much like a dance. For the dance to fall into place, the woman must follow the man's lead. It doesn't mean she's inferior or less than or subservient. It isn't about importance. It's about function and roles.
Principle #2
  • Our obedience paves the way for God to do His best work!
    • possibly opens up others' hearts, minds, eyes to who Jesus really is. When we refuse to live in obedience, it can shut doors.
    • People may not be able to hear you because you actions are too loud
    • we can't even communicate the truth of Christ when this happens
    • ***Christ set us free not to just be free and live how I want BUT to lead others to Christ and to serve Him with NO guilt and shame from my former life (AMEN!) ***
    • Live in Godly submission!
    • Live it out in my home
Principle #3
  • Beauty should be more than skin deep
    • Beauty in God's eyes is in the heart, most other men look only at what's on the outside
    • Quiet and gentle = secure in who you are, you don't have to cause a scene to get people to approve of you
    • don't let jewelry and stuff get in the way...let it enhance
      • **Note, this is not saying to be quiet and meek and stop dressing up or wearing making or pretty's simply saying that that is not what God looks at...use these things as enhancements, not as the only thing people notice about you.
    • Follow Godly examples
      • Sarah followed the leadership of her husband
    • God will never hold you accountable to the spiritual condition of your home
      • You can encourage him all you want (without nagging)
    • What I WILL be held accountable for = am I willing to put myself under Daron (your husband) and encourage him.

1 Peter 3:7
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God's gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

1) Know your wife--be considerate, understand her, love her, cherish her

  • Men: if you were God's gift to creation-He would have stopped with you, but He then created's never good to leave man alone (Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18
2) Honor your wife
  • Respect her in the things you say, do, and think (when she is with or without you)
  • stop looking at other ladies...stop window shopping = not showing respect to your wife.
  • "weaker" not emotionally or spiritually, but (in most cases) physically
Word Picture:
  • fine China vs. daily plates
    • fine China you put away in a safe place where no one can touch it, you use them only for special occasions, you treat them delicately
    • whereas, daily plates are chipped, use them all the time, they are dropped, replaced, etc...
      • **Treat your wife like fine China--with special care, respect, she's special and worth it!
  • If you fail to honor your wife--you willingly choose to diminish your access to God.
    • if you don't want your prayers to be hindered treat your wife with honor and respect.
"To live like no one else, you have to live like no one else"
~Dave Ramsey
If you know Dave Ramsey, you know he is talking about finances, but in the same way with our life and marriage. If we want to look and be different for Christ, we are going to live different.
It's easy for us to listen to the voice of pride and every other voice out there except the voice of God. You can draw lines and live like everyone else...OR be willing to listen to the voice of truth and have a marriage that everyone else will look at and want to have.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Live to Love People

Live to Love People

1 Thessalonians 2:7-12

As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands of you, but instead we were like children among you. Or we were like a mother feeding and caring for her own children. We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too. Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good News to you. You yourselves are our witnesses—and so is God—that we were devout and honest and faultless toward all of you believers. And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats hi own children. We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and glory.

Actions speak louder than words. You can’t just say “I love you,” you have to show it too.

Paul’s love for this church is demonstrated three ways:

  1. He shares his message.
    1. The Gospel—Telling people the truth about humans and telling them the truth about God. We have a sin problem…
    2. **If we can not share the gospel with people, we do not really love them. This IS the reason we are here! This is really tough to swallow, but true.
    3. Atheist was once asked how he felt about evangelist, his response, I’m honored they care enough about me to share what they believe with me.
  2. He shares his life.
    1. became friends—shared burdens, pains, frustrations
  3. He shares his example (by words and actions).
    1. Somebody IS looking up to you. You are being an example to someone right now.
Life Points

  1. Each act of love mentioned above carries a risk.
    1. Not everyone is willing to do it because there’s risk of being ridiculed and rejected.
    2. Don’t let the fear of someone making fun of your belief make you stop loving
    3. Make sure your lifestyle matches what you’re preaching
  2. Having authority/rights doesn’t mean always using them.
    1. Just because you have authority to press down on someone doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
    2. Be a blessing instead of a burden
    3. Follow because you want to, not have to
  3. There is a true family to church life.
    1. The Church is more than a legal organization—we are family.
  4. Loving people this deeply is not automatic.
    1. These relationships don’t happen over night
    2. Make a commitment—let your walls down and become a family member, not an observer.

Fight the Feelings


“Same but different”

1 Peter 2:11-12

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and will give honor to God when he judges the world.

Our loyalty should be God’s truth, his way of life, and his dedicated people. Because we are loyal to God, we often will feel like strangers (aliens) in a world that would prefer to ignore God.

What does it look like to be an alien, to be different, to be weird for God?

  • Some think, if I just blend in and not stand out maybe I can avoid some persecution
  • You must know, you are God’s chosen person—you are NOT an accident
  • He has given each of us a plan and a purpose—Jeremiah 29:11-12 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen.
Lets break down scripture:

 Abstain (keep away from/Restrain oneself from doing or enjoying something) we need to continuously, habitually, everyday—stay away from sin.

 Sinful Desires (worldly desires) = whatever makes me happy at whatever cost

  • Sinful desires will provide momentary pleasure—then it will start taking its toll. Then you physically begin to carry it mentally and emotionally until you can no longer focus.
War = temptation keeps coming everyday. There will never be a day I wake up and not be tempted. The temptations that trip me up the most are the ones that are going to come at me the most

Soul—my entire body. War against every part of me: mentally, spiritually, physically—to the point you literally feel like you have been beat up.
*Challenge: Fight against your feelings because:
            1) they are your enemy
            2) our friends need us to fight those feelings
Don't give into your feelings such as this song...

Following your feelings will lead you into:
            1) slavery NOT freedom
            2) insecurity NOT peace

The worst advice ever…”follow your heart”

Jeremiah 17:9-10
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

God makes it clear why we sin—it’s a matter of the heart. Our heart is inclined toward sin from the time we are born. It is easy to fall into the routine of forgetting and forsaking God. But we can still choose whether or not to continue to sin. We can yield to specific temptation, or we can ask God to help us resist temptation when it comes.

We think we want “freedom” where no one tells us what to do, but it is guaranteed if you follow your heart it will lead you into bondage.
Bondage: The state of one who is bound as a slave

*Only trust the Word of God, not your heart! Find scripture to back up your feelings.

Our friends and unbelievers need us…
Don’t write people off because they misunderstand Christianity; instead, show them Christ by your life. The day may come when those who criticize you will praise God with you.

My friends watch my life, they need to see: Authenticity NOT Perfection
Authenticity: true to one's own personality, spirit, or character

Unbelievers think God is only here to judge, but take a look.
Visits from God in the Old Testament:
1)      to bring judgment
2)     to rectify
3)     to bring grace and mercy

Visits from God in the New Testament:
1)      to bring grace and mercy

God doesn’t want us running around stressing about this world, but to have peace. When God comes down in mercy and grace—that they (unbelieving friends) will be ready to accept him. I have so much to do with my unbeliever friends by how I live my life.

God wants me to focus so much on him that I don’t get distracted from this world. He doesn’t want me to worry all the time because THIS world is NOT my focus.

Don’t get caught up in chasing worldly desires and consumed with them so much that you lose sight if what’s most important. Our goal should be to take as many people to heaven with us as possible.  We should live our life based on our TRUE home, not our earthly home.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I'd still love you if...

Walking and talking with my girl...

A great friend of mine gave me the genius idea of 14 days of Valentines...for Daron and each of the kids I have given them a small little gift each day to show them my love and appreciation. The kids have really latched on and look forward to the next days gift.

As Faith and I were on our walk this morning she said, "Are you giving us a gift today?" When she asked I realized I had forgotten to give them something yesterday--oops! I immediately apologized and said I loved her bad...

She looked at me and said, "Mom, you don't have to give me gifts to make me know you love me, or to make me love you. I would love you if you didn't give me anything! I will love you no matter what.  I'd still love you even if we were poor!"

Ahaha my precious one! I explained that I would love her no matter what as well.  It's not about the gifts it's about innocent, pure love.

When I told Daron, he was like...did she ask for an iPad again? LOL...We will still want things, but at least we know our love is NOT conditional!

Titus 3:4-5
But--"When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.

Romans 12:9-10
Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

Sin vs Holiness

This morning Faith joined me for a walk/run. I informed her that it would be a long one, she said she was up for it. As we began our morning venture I told her we would do whatever she felt good with...when you want to run, I will run, when you need to walk, I will walk, and we did just that.  Might I add her run is more like my sprint :/ but that's neither here nor there :)

We were a little over half way into our 3.8 mile venture when the trail split into two. One half was asphalt and the other half was crushed gravel. We had been talking about all kinds of stuff. After a few moments of silence, she said, "This is a lot like sin and holiness..." I said, "What is?" (At this point she was walking on the paved part and I was walking on the gravel) She said, "THiS, pointing to the asphalt, is like's bumpy, cracks all in it, dirty looking...and THaT, pointing to the gravel I was on, is like know, pure." 

For a brief moment I felt as though the World stopped turning. My 8 year-old gets it...For us to be randomly walking and her make such a connections. It was a learning experience for me. I am thankful for Awana that she attends each week that engages and encourages her to learn more about Jesus and memorize scripture. It has helped Daron and I memorize scripture as well as we help her learn it.

After a brief moment of soaking it all in, I looked over at her and told her how amazing she is and how I proud I am of her.  She smirked at me and started running on the asphalt and said, "I'm gonna be a bad girl for now and run on sin...I'm kidding, I'm kidding, I'm not a bad girl, but the rocks on the gravel keep getting stuck in my shoe so I'm going to stay on this side." :)  I pray fervently that she will continue to live on this path of righteousness and will not turn from it (Proverbs 22: 6)

I think we will take these walks way more often now.  It was such an awesome feeling to have that one-on-one alone time with her. Her smile, her glowing blonde hair blowing in the wind, her beautiful eyes glistening at me...moments like these I latch on to and never want to let go of. I am so blessed to be her mommy!

~Be Blessed~