Here is the intro. to the book I am currently writing. The condition of your heart is an essential part of your journey and no one cares more about your heart than God. What do you think God could do for you that no one else ever could this side of heaven?
I am a pencil in the hands of God- Mother Teresa
Are you longing for something in your heart? Do you have a dream that you desperately want to come true? Do you feel the meantimes in your life are just plain mean? Are you tired of being tired? Does something or someone keep knocking you back down? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this book is for you. I want to get right to the heart of the matter because I sense what may be holding you back is in fact the condition of your heart.
My hope for you is that God unleashes his great and mighty power in your life. Our God is not just a God of words; He is a God of action. However, before you can receive the promise, you may have to endure some pain as you allow God to make the exchange.
My precious friend now is the time to lean in. I will show you through my own journey and how we can fall into traps if we don’t seek wise counsel (God). I believe my aches and pains will speak into the depths of your sorrowed soul if you will listen and receive what God showed me, His goodness.
Know beyond a shadow of a doubt there are blessings with your name attached. It has been written and God’s promises are absolute truth. You get to choose your seat in the kingdom and the kingdom is NOW. You do not have to wait in agony until this life is over to live your eternal paradise. It’s time to activate your faith and believe the best is yet to come.
There is much to learn so grab that cup of coffee or glass of wine (don’t get carried away on the wine), I want you clear headed. I will call these keys that will help you along the way to unlock the promises. I must warn it won’t always seem or feel easy because this is a partnership with your creator. However, I will give you solid biblical tips that began to make an extraordinary difference in my own life and led me to the first love in my life, Jesus.
Buckle your seatbelt! With God at the helm, adventure awaits.
Benjamin Watson, a tight end for the Baltimore Ravens said ” Obama can’t save us. Mrs. Clinton can’t save us. Mr.Trump can’t save us. The only one who can change the heart of a man is the Lord.”
I am working on a book right now and last night I read about Solomon in the bible. As some of you know Solomon had it all. Power, wealth, influence, intelligence, and most importantly God’s favor. Scripture actually says that Solomon had more wisdom than ALL men, not some men but all men. However, Solomon compromised God’s morals and exchanged it for lust, pride, idolatry and so on. Something was happening on the inside of Solomon that was rearing it’s ugly head on the outside. Solomon had a fractured soul and got too big for his own britches. Solomon thought he was the exception but God’s favor was lifted. Solomon slowly started to lose his mind.
This sure does seem to be the case for our presidential candidates too. I have watched both debates and actually paused my television more than once because I was so uncomfortable. It sadden me that the first question of the night was The last presidential debate could’ve been rated as MA ( mature audiences) per TV parental guidelines. Knowing that educators are tying the presidential debates to student homework, do you feel you are modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today’s youth?
Both candidates talked about how they were going to make America great again. Their “so” called goals about the economy, Obamacare, and terrorism but not one of them answered the actual question. The moderator, Anderson Cooper even said the question was “are you both modeling positive and appropriate behavior for today’s youth? Then, he went on to say how they received a lot of questions about the explicit Trump tape that was released last week. Anderson said you called it “locker room banter.”He went on to say that you have bragged about sexually assaulting women. Do you understand that?
Trump went on to say that he did not say that at all. Then Anderson challenged him again and asked” so you did not say that?” Trump said and I quote” I have great respect for women.” “Nobody has more respect for women than I do.” “I’ve said things that frankly, you hear these things I said.”And I was embarrassed by it.” But I have tremendous respect for women.”
Cooper: Have you ever done those things?
Trump: And women have respect for me: No, I have not. And I will tell you that I am going to make our country safe again. We’re going to have borders in our country, which we don’t have now.” “People are pouring into our country, and they’re coming in from the Middle East and other places.” ” We’re going to make America safe again.” “We’re going to make American great again, but we’re going to make America safe again.” ” And we’re going to make America wealthy again, because if you don’t do that, it just- it sounds harsh to say, but we have to build up the wealth in our nation.
Here comes Hillary….
Cooper: Secretary Clinton, do you want to respond?
Clinton:I’ve spent a lot of time thinking over the last 48 hrs about what we heard and saw. You know, with prior Republican nominees for president, I disagreed with them on politics, policies, principles, but I never questioned their fitness to serve. Donald Trump is different. I said back in June that he was not fit to be commander in chief. And many Republicans and independents have said the same thing. What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women, what he says about women, and what he does to women. And he said that the video doesn’t represent who he is.
Donald responded with the terrible job she has done for African Americans. She wants their vote and then does nothing.
Now back to the tape again.
Raddatz: This tape is generating intense interest. Jeff from Ohio asks, “Trump says the campaign has changed him.” “When did that happen?” “So, Mr Trump, let me add to that. When you walked off that bus at age 59, were you a different man or did that behavior continue until just recently?
Trump: It was locker room talk, as I told you. That was locker room talk. I am not proud of it. I am a person who has great respect for people, for my family, for the people of the country. And certainly not proud of it. But that was something that happened. If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine are words, and his are actions. There’s never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women.
The entire debate was just bashing each other. It was absolutely crazy. He said she should be in jail for her 33,000 deleted emails. She said he has no respect for women. Then of course he bashed Bill Clinton who is not even running. Then they brought the Obamas in to their nonsense. Then when moderators wanted to move on, Trump thought Hillary had more time than him.
However, there were a few times when they tried to really address issues that are important to the American people but each time got side railed with attacks. This debate was so painful and embarrassing to watch but ultimately God is in control. He knew this was coming and isn’t surprised by it in the least. We can really fall far when we think we are on top. Both candidates clearly are not honest. What do we do with that? How can we see through the rhetoric to know?
Since, I am a women I am disgusted by Donald Trumps comments. Violence, including sexual against women and girls is a global issue with 1 and 3 across the world experiencing. Worldwide women are paid less than men earning 60-75% of men’s wages. Women spend at least twice as much time as men on domestic work, and when all work- paid or unpaid is considered, women work longer hours. International evidence shows that increasing the share of household income controlled by women changes spending in ways that benefit children. Women are more likely than men to work in informal employment. Bringing women’s wages in line with with men’s would add 28 Trillion to global GDP. Ironically, when women and men work along side each other in a respectful and equal manner productivity is up and conflict is lower.
We are all suppose to matter but in this crazy election it seems little of us really do. We all want a growing economy but greed has played a part. Over 60% of single mothers are impoverished. African Americans are still being racially profiled and some living in poverty too. Kids are still going hungry. Homelessness is increasing rapidly and this includes our youth. 1 out of 5 children live in poverty. Wages are down but the cost of living is up. Climate change is real. 99% of the world’s scientists are saying we are destroying the world. This is not for the planet’s sake but for our sake. By 2050 most of Manhattan will be under water, not tidal but gone. Literally parts of the world that will be nonexistent. We have flawed humans trying to do the job that was God’s in the first place. We were supposed to listen to his leading. He gave us the earth and each other to take care of, not destroy.
God is so clear about his commands but it seems so many just don’t care anymore. We can’t make this country better until hearts change. Heart’s change when God is at the forefront.
A person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
We are a 3 part whole
Body- houses our soul and spirit
Soul- will, thoughts, and emotions ( Our souls are fractured without God, daily)
Spirit- Christ in Us.
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ…. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him. Phil 1:27, 29
We often wonder why suffering is a part of this life. I mean originally it was God’s plan for our lives to be full and perfect. Since the fall of mankind we have had a great deal of suffering. The apostle Paul speaks of suffering… There’s also suffering for Him. And the suffering is as much of a gift as the trusting.
Some of us don’t want to feel pain so we will do anything to avoid it. Yes, some pain we should avoid. God is clear about avoiding people, places, and situations that will cause you to sin. However, there is another type of pain that is imperative for the Christian because it is part of our growth. When we suffer, get wise and turn to God, He creates in us empathy for others. How can we begin to help others when we have never experienced deep losses ourselves. God’s purpose is to work for the good of others. If we are just constantly in our own ways, we are not working for the good of others. Sometimes God has to wake us up and say, “My child, get out of your selfishness.
Pain comes in all sizes and is there to teach us God’s ways. God knows the language of your tears.
The Bible says to fear the Lord means to revere and honor Him. A sinner’s conscience will drive him either into guilt resulting in repentance or to death itself because of refusal to repent. It is no act of kindness to try and make him feel better about his sin. The more guilt he feels, the more likely is he to turn to God. If we interfere with the natural consequences of his act, we may make it easier for him to continue to sin. For many people, the rugged individualist is a hero. We admire the bold, self-directed men and women who know what they want and fight for it. They are self- reliant, neither giving nor asking advice. What a contrast to God’s way. A person can’t know the future and can’t predict the consequences of his or her choices with certainty. And so the totally self- reliant person is doomed for failure. The wise person depends on God.
God wants us to identify with the needy, not ignore them. How can we identify if we have not suffered ourselves? The Gospel is not just hearing the word but doing something for somebody else. Jesus is the prime example.
The second part of this proverb could be restated positively: “Those who open their eyes to poor (weak) people will be blessed.” If God said it, don’t you think it’s pretty important? If we help others when they are in trouble, they will do whatever they can to return the favor. This is without strings. Strings correlate with an impure heart. God always looks at the heart and the motive of His people. Paul promises that God will supply all of our needs ( Phil 4:19). He usually does this through other people. If you feel a tugging to do something with pure intentions, then know that is a directive from God. Ask God to give you the wisdom to know the difference between your ways and His.
What can you do today to get out of yourself and supply someone with a need they have today?
Warnings rarely come with countdowns. We can’t tell when we’ve had our last chance to change. When we, like the person in this proverb, refuse to consider valid criticism, we leave ourselves open to sudden disaster. The moment we realize that a change is necessary is the best moment to take action. What significant adjustments have been on hold in your life for too long?
The Lord is the only one who gives sight for those who seek it. Don’t wait until it’s too late for God to show you the way you should live and go. “The Lord gives sight to the eyes of both,” means that everyone depends on God for sight. Both the oppressor and the poor have the gift of sight from the same God. God sees and judges both, and his judgement falls on those whose greed and power drives them to oppress the poor.
What kind of climate are you setting? Allow God room to work in you so that you don’t fall short of His glory. His help is available to all who seek His guidance. That is a promise.
Jesse is dating a guy she met in college and wants to bring him home to meet her parents for fall break. “Mom, you are going to love Justin.” He is kind, and smart, and so cute.” “I can’t wait to meet him, Jess.” Jesse looked really happy as her mom remembers the same glimmer in her own eyes when she met Jesse’s father. “What’s he want to do for a living when he graduates?” “He is going to be an electrical engineer.” “Does he go to church?”
Jesse thought, here we go again and responded back, Not, that I know of but please don’t start with church stuff again.” “I just want to know what kind of values he holds, thats all.” Jesse’s father Sam overhears and makes his way into the kitchen where he proceeds to ask Jesse, “Does he believe in God?” “Yes, dad he believes in God!” “Whether he goes to church or not is not an issue for me.” Well, it is for me,” he says firmly. Just because Justin and I don’t believe exactly like you do, doesn’t make us bad.”
Jesse’s mom feels terrible, “Honey, we do not think you are bad.” “We just don’t want you or Justin to get hurt.” “Justin will never hurt me, mom.” Susan, thought what a naive thing to say but kept quiet. “Well, we are excited to meet Justin and we love you.” “I’m going to go change the sheet in the guest room.” Jesse looked at her mom in irritation. “Mom, we are grown adults and are going to stay in my room.” “No, you will not in this house, Sam responded. “You know that is not right, Jesse.” Susan could barely get the words out but needed to know. “Honey, are you and Justin sleeping together?” “Yes, mom we are in love,” Jesse said matter of fact.
Jesse and her parents are at a cross road in terms of how they view and tolerate things differently. Jesse would like her parents to be okay with her choices now that she is an adult. Sam, the spiritual leader in the home who has raised his family with biblical principles will not bend in terms of what the word of God says. Conflict has now ensued.
There are many different sources of truth. We, humans tend to think we are the end all be all on truth but little do we know; we know very little. Sam’s narrative of truth is based on his understanding of what God says through His word. Jesse and many people, young and old base their truth from a cultural stance that says moral truth is found within the individual.
Biblical truth- Moral truth is grounded in the character of God; it is objective and universal. This truth is known by discovering the nature of God and His ways as revealed through scripture and within all creation.
Cultural truth- Moral truth comes from the individual: is is subjective, situational and changing. This truth is known through choosing to believe it and through personal experience- you are the creator of your own truth.
When Jesse’s mom told her “I don’t want to see you get hurt.” What do you think she means? If they are in fact in love, then why is sex such an issue for her parents?
Let’s look at these statements for a second and let them resonate before we go on.
“No one has the right to tell me whats right or wrong for me?”
“I can’t tell you what’s right or wrong for you, you must decide that for yourself.”
“It’s wrong to impose your “morals” on someone else.”
“I have the right to do whatever I want as long as I am not hurting anyone.”
“Look, that’s your opinion.”
“Listen to your heart.”
“Only do what makes you happy.”
“That’s not what I was taught.”
“You are judging me and that is not right.”
When moral truth becomes a matter of opinion, personal preference, or the individual’s view and feelings, then practically anything goes. In a culture of tolerance where the individual decides morality, morality has no bounds.
If we truly believe that individuals get to decide what is best for them, then what do we do about the authority of the Bible? The Bible is a book that is the very foundation on which our faith and morals rest. God gave us free- will as a gift but he wants us to use that gift to honor him and his ways, not our own. The reason that God commands us to love him by following him is because it keeps us from sin ( which is harm). The word sin has gotten such a bad wrap as if it means that God and Christians are trying to restrain someone from doing something. That is a lie from the enemy. The Hebrew word for sin is to miss. ie, misbehave, misconduct.
See, God says come to me all who are burden and weary laden and I will give you rest. God does not want us living in a state of confusion, a free for all. He longs to show us how loved we are. Then we can begin to obey His teachings.
Many consider the Bible to be only one resource of many. Just think about all of the self help books out there. People view the Bible not to discover truth and bend their lives to it accordingly but to use it as just sort of a resource to help them form their own version of what’s true and false, good and evil, right and wrong.
Real love isn’t an unlimited endorsement of just any behavior a person chooses to engage in. Many of those behaviors are inherently and inevitably harmful, and to endorse, approve, and encourage them is not loving; it is cold and uncaring. If we care we won’t approve behavior that is damaging and destructive to a person’s life. Nevertheless, expressing real love doesn’t mean condemning people when they live contrary to scripture. God’s love ( real love) because God is love and love is God, exposes cultural tolerances as the counterfeit of love because cultural tolerance fails to point people to a universal standard of morality designed to save them from serious harm. Real love looks out for the best interest of others, and sometimes that means addressing destructive choices and behaviors that can cause harm to themselves and others.
God gives us clear moral commands and boundaries in his word. Now, some people do not know this because their parents did not teach them or perhaps even know themselves. However, once we do know, then we now know truth. At first we think that God’s moral commands are restrictive and negative but they are actually freeing and positive. God did not concoct a set of rules just to be a buzz/joy kill or to throw his weight around. He gave us rules because he loves us and wants the best for us. How can we ever question our creator on this topic? It just shows how prideful and arrogant we really are when we do.
I was, for sure and still am but now that I know God’s goodness, I go to him for direction and to help work out the harmful stuff in my life for He is gently and firm with me.
Real love makes everything right! This is the character of God and what he wants to teach His children. The predominant quality of God’s love is that it is other focused; sacrificing for the good of others.
When we turn to our own understanding and what we think works best, we are not necessarily living from a place of sacrificing for the good of others. This is why we have so much destruction going on in our world.
Joyful are people of integrity ( Hebrew meaning is completeness, wholeness) who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts- Psalm 119
Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found-Psalm 119
My child, listens to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your eyes to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. Wise choices will watch over you and understanding will keep you safe- Proverbs.
The Lord your God requires you to Fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statues which I am commanding you today for your good.
The Beauty of Intolerance- Josh/Sean McDowell.