Hidden Reality

The face in the mirror that’s so familiar to you and your acquaintnaces isn’t you.  It’s simply the tent you dwell in.  Your place of abode, the physical characteristics people relate to as you.  The real you is hidden away somewhere inside, a person only God truly knows.

The evaluation offered in this article can help you understand who you are and may also offer hints to your bent in life and the direction in which you are heading.  Take time to honestly answer a few questions – for a glimpse of the real you.

  1. What places do you voluntairly frequent?
  2. Who do you enjoy being around?
  3. Who do you pity?
  4. What brings you joy?
  5. What is the most prominent goal in your life?
  6. Who do you admire?
  7. What do you fear?
  8. What do you hate?
  9. After what do you consistently seek?
  10. How do you want others to see you?
  11. What are your secret desires?
  12. Who are your friends?
  13. Where do you spend your discretionary funds?
  14. What makes you uncomfortable?
  15. Would you want you as a close friend?  Why or why not.

As you think about your life experiences,  choices, talents, and  aspirations, perhaps you will begin to discover the unique individual  you are.  It may not be who others think you are, or even who you think you are, but the real you that only God can see.

If this blog has given you insight into strengths, talents or gifts that perhaps you did not know you had, share your findings with others.  Comments are encouraged.

 

 

Soles Defining Souls by Lori Dixon

Recommended Reading….a must for all women.

Soles Defining Souls: Walking In the Shoes of Different Church Ladies
. . . and Those Who Left
Copyright © 2015 by Lori E. Dixon
Published in Abbotsford, British Columbia by LKM Publishing

Defining souls offers an exceptional insight into the hearts and souls of women.  While focusing on the different personalities found in our places of worship, the analogy is easily applied to women everywhere.  We are all unique and different; God made us that way.  We are different parts of the same picture.  Our size, shape, and coloring are all designed to enhance the overall landscape as God intended. God’s plan is perfect, but we are not.   The problems arise when the pieces of the puzzle are offended by the shape and size of other pieces, and attempt to manipulate God’s design by usurping His authority in their placement.

The author’s use of different shoes easily defines the different personalities in a way that does not diminish their importance.  Offering the reader a chance to see beyond the action and understand the why.  Not only in the lives of others but also in their own.

“Your actions will always be what the world sees, but people who choose to see through God’s eyes will always have the compassion to understand why.”

― Shannon L. Alder

Nothing goes unseen!

You may not realize it but you are writing a book, a book about your life. Every thought, word, or deed is recorded good or bad.  Your book is being read as you write it.  By your children, spouse, neighbors, friends, and everyone you come in contact with.  What are you saying?  At the end of the day are those who crossed your path stronger?  Do they look forward to your uplifting smile, attitude of thankfulness or the warmth of your presence?

We are born and we die.  That fact alone is hardly significant, it is what happens between those two dates that will change the world. That’s right everyone’s story will change their world for better or worse.

It’s not possible to re-write yesterday.  What messages did you send to the people around you?  You may not have a tomorrow – who knows the length of a lifetime?  Over today only do you have control – write well for life only moves in one direction.

James 4:14

Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.

The Dash by Linda Ellis

A poem by Linda Ellis called ‘The Dash’ speaks volumes concerning the book we are all writing.  Follow above link to read copyrighted poem.

Know What You Believe and Why You Believe it!

What’s so important about studying Scripture?

The ability to skillfully use God’s Word is vital to making sound decisions. Decisions that not only affect you but those who look to you for guidance. God seeks to reveal Himself to his creation through the scriptures.  Both the Old and New Testaments were written by holy men instructed by the Holy Spirit.  It is amazing that a book thousands of years old has been and still is, relevant to all generations.  It contains  God’s plan of redemption and constant guidance to the redeemed.

Over the years, many have struggled with reconciling the teachings of the Old Testament with the new.     God never contradicts himself.  What was true in the Old Testament is still true in the New.   A good method for studying the scriptures is the “analogy of faith.” It is a Reformed Hermeneutical principle which states that, since all scriptures are harmoniously united with no essential contradictions, therefore, every proposed interpretation of any passage must be compared with what the other parts of the Bible teach.

“The New Testament is concealed in the Old, and the Old is revealed in the New”  St. Augustine

God has preserved his message down through thousands of years, many translations, languages, and peoples.  So why aren’t more people interested in studying this personal message from God?  For the same reason, Adam sinned in the garden.  The same reason Christ was crucified.  The same reason the Israelites rebelled against God.  Satan, the enemy of God, has been and still is fighting against God to usurp his power and authority.

It will never be easy to study God’s Word.  It will require commitment, dedication, and perseverance. However as a believer, you will never do anything in this life that is more important.  We are foreigners traveling through a hostile land.  The only reliable compass made available to us is God’s Word.  You can rest assured Satan will do any and everything in his power to keep you from this vital information.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine(teaching) is not mine, but his that sent me (God).  If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.   Genesis 2:16-17  

 

 

Women’s Ministry or Misery

I have been in women’s ministry for 20 plus years. During that time I have listened to numerous speakers, read many books and attended a wide variety of functions. I almost always came away with the feeling I had been cheated. The excitement would be high, well known speakers, great music and a healthy ticket price.  However, I  usually left disappointed.

I finally accepted the fact that I was the piece of the puzzle that didn’t fit.  Everyone else seemed content with the way things were so it must be me.  Then I ran across this quote on Facebook by Sarah Bessey.

“I’m here tonight because I want what the world cannot give me.  We are chocking on cutesy things and crafty bits, safe lady topics and if one more person says that modest is hottest with a straight face, I may throw up.  We are hungry for authenticity and vulnerability.  Not ‘churchified’ life hacks from lady magazines.  Some of us are drowning, suffocating, dying of thirst for want of the cold water of  real community.  We’re trying really hard, – after all we keep showing up to your lady events and we leave feeling just a bit empty.

We are seeking deep spirituality. We are seeking fellow travelers. We are hungry for true community, a place to tell our stories and listen to another, to love well. But above all, point me to Jesus – not to the sale at the mall.” ~Sarah Bessey

Thank you, Sarah!  Perhaps I’m not crazy after all.

Visit Sarah at  Sarah Bessey

Are there others out there that feel the same?

Know What You Believe and Why You Believe it!

Continue reading “Women’s Ministry or Misery”

Church just doesn’t work for me anymore.

“Coffee with Jesus.” When I first heard the phrase, it was not especially interesting or motivating for me. It came from a fellow class member in our women’s Sunday school group. She had requested the opportunity to address the class that morning. I had only been a part of the group a few weeks and wasn’t familiar with the lives and struggles of other members.

As I sat there listening, thoughts began swirling around in my mind. Having coffee with Jesus is a unique idea but for what? I could do that at home. I was disenchanted enough with organized religious services.  I had been a believer all my life— —a believer in God, Jesus, church, doing the right thing, and I also possessed a healthy fear of God for not doing the right thing. Church was as much a part of my life as anything I had experienced since I was old enough to remember. I was well schooled in the responsibilities associated with being a church member. I was a faithful, tithing, active member yet something was missing.   I dare say there are many individual Christians sitting in church pews every Sunday feeling empty, and unfulfilled. Why? Is it possible we are misled as to the purpose of assembling ourselves together? Confused as to what purpose church should have in our lives?

Many professing evangelical Christians envision church as a building and a sequence of events that takes place at previously scheduled times throughout the week. A place they go out of habit or duty with little or no input of their own.  The body of Christ is made up of people from all over the world and from all generations. Individuals, God called out from among the population and set aside for his purpose.

The Church is not a place but a body with Christ as the head.  The body is made up of Individuals whom God has gifted and placed in the body as it pleased him.   Each has a specific function, and when all are operating in the place which God designed them for, the body will be healthy and happy if not the body suffers.

Additional problems develop when misguided leadership usurps God’s authority and attempts to designate -or deny- areas of service in the body based on personal perception. Often resulting in a schism in the body as members become confused and frustrated.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according to as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.    Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;   Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.   Let love be without dissimulation { hypocrisy}. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.   Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;   Romans 12:3-10

The church should have an environment conducive to the development and implementation of spiritual gifts.  It is through the exercise of personal gifts that members of the body grow and develop spiritually.  The church does not produce growth; it supports the growth of its individual members.

In responding to his call, the believer enters into a personal covenant with God. “Church” was never intended to supersede, overrule, or replace that personal relationship.  Instead, it was intended to support members as they develop that personal relationship.    We have church covenants and bylaws that set forth the rules and regulations to which a potential member must adhere. They also express the doctrines each particular assembly or denomination embraces. Unfortunately, many of these documents are much like the numerous additions to the laws of the Old Testament set forth by the Pharisees in biblical times.

Did you ever wonder why believers in third-world countries are steadfast in their faith enduring torture, imprisonment, martyrdom, and all manner of evil to assemble with other believers? While in fear for their lives, they meet secretly in small groups to worship. I dare say there are no rules, regulations, overseers, or covenants these people are subjected to, yet they risk their lives every day simply because they love God.

What happened to the body of Christ? Why is it so divided? What happened to its power and influence? Why are parts of the body suffering? Why is there competition instead of unity? Could it be the body is not taking its direction from the head?

Know What You Believe and Why You Believe it!

THE STATE OF OUR NATION

 

Our country is in a battle to the death.  This conflict is viewed by most as political. This would be a reasonable assumption based on surface data.  However, the truth is it’s a spiritual battle between good and evil and we as believers are key players in the outcome.  Sources say religious beliefs and political standing are closely related – they are- due to the views held by each group.  Like minded individuals join to form alliances based on the code they live by.

(Politics can be a cause of religious identification as much as religion can cause political identification and behavior.) (Patrikios 2008)

America is a country founded on Biblical principles and has been known as a Christian nation since inception.  The evidence of our country’s heritage is clearly seen throughout Washing DC and is reflected in historical documents and records of previous statesmen and political leaders.  The favor of God on our country has also been evident over the years.  What other country has enjoyed the consistent freedom and prosperity that America has?  While the battle to defeat God’s influence has been going on since creation, it has reached a level of power and influence never before seen in America. The boldness and deliberate acts of defiance are stunning at times yet often proceed unchallenged.  Many of our citizens are unaware of how far our country has strayed from its humble beginning.  What happened?  Why? What will be the outcome?

The enemy of God will use any means available to promote his agenda.  He will gladly use you, your church, politics, or anything else that will yield to his influence.  His methods are not foreign they are clearly spelled out in scripture.  Lies, deceit, misrepresentation, half-truths and hatred are just some of his methods; however, his most effective weapon is human nature.  The desires of the flesh are powerful. Intuitively we all view events in our lives through a lens of how we are personally affected.  Jealousy, envy, hatred, covertness, and greed, are all powerful motivators the enemy can use to promote his cause.

There was a time in our history when there was great respect for the church and followers of Christ.  Not so much today. Anti-Christian rhetoric is spreading across our nation like a poison fog silently seeping into every crevice. Stealing our youth and destroying the bedrock upon which our nation was founded.  Believers are salt and light in a dark and corrupt world. Fulfilling our purpose helps stem the corruption and expose the deception.  Are you standing up for what is right?  The lack of God-honoring behavior and leadership in professing believers is paramount in the demise of our country.

There was a time when politics was seen as an irritating unpleasant part of our lives of which only career politicians were concerned.  We trusted our leaders to make the right decisions based on those made by the founding fathers.  While we focused on our personal pursuits, the enemy infiltrated our government, schools, colleges, state and local governments as well as other powerful groups influencing our society.  We are a sleeping nation that is systematically being taken over by those who oppose our Constitution, freedoms, and way of life.  It is very alarming to realize how much sovereignty we have already lost.  Can our nation be rescued?  Or are we doomed to become a country governed by socialism with a disregard for individual rights?

(A socialist economy often results in poor production, mass poverty, and little advancement. This occurred in the 1980s to the Soviet Union when poverty became so widespread, and rebellions and revolutions caused dissolution of the nation.) (Investopedia 11/1/2016)

Our individual choices dictate the course of our lives.  Bad things happen to good people, and good people sometimes do bad things.  It takes only one choice to believe in God and secure your eternal destination.  It will take many choices, however, to maneuver through this life.  Our country will continue to suffer hardship imposed by the influence of evil. We as believers have the opportunity to be an influence for good and make our country a better place.  Will you stand against the influx of evil?

(“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”) ( 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV))

Know What You Believe and Why You Believe it!