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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Breakdown.”

Most of us have a bad habit that we cannot seem to break, and some of us have more than one. The bad habit that I have tends to be along the lines of telling myself that I cannot do something, and therefore it is not even worth it to attempt. Also: biting my nails, getting upset if something doesn’t go my way, and tuning people out when they are trying to talk to me. But who is keeping count?

Unfortunately, for some of us our bad habits include things like drug and alcohol addiction, smoking, and other such vices. I know that I have a few people in my family, one who has passed and others who are battling these types of habits, who struggle with these issues. I have good news for these people: you do not have to go through this on your own.

“What? I don’t?” you might be asking me. “My family doesn’t even care, and I have nobody on this Earth who even wants to help me.”

This might be true. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a loving and supportive group of family or friends that they can turn to. Such is the broken ways of this world.

The good news is that there is someone who cares, someone who has been with you through each and every step of this way. Someone who is longing to reach out and give you the help that you need and deserve to have as a fellow human being. Let me introduce you to Jesus Christ.

His power and His grace is sufficient. He is God Almighty. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. As fully human, He can identify with you and all of your pain and suffering. As fully God, He has all of Heaven, Earth, and His own mighty power at His disposal to help you. All that we need to do is humble ourselves where we can admit that we need His help, cry out to Him, and He will be there for you in your time of need.

Reach out to Him today. He’s listening for your call.

BearBedtimeStory

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Bedtime Stories.”

Not everyone has a favorite book while growing up, because reading is not everyone’s cup of tea. As a child and a teenager, I was the odd one out. I have always loved books, and I have always loved to read. Unlike most people, I have never really gotten into the shows on television, preferring to escape into a completely different world of another person’s creation. Reading a great escape from reality when you just need a break.

My personal favorite book since the age of ten has always been Harry Potter. I know, I know. “You’re a Christian! You’re not supposed to read Harry Potter! That’s about witchcraft, and that’s against the Bible!”

Yes. Practicing witchcraft is against God and the Bible. Yes. As Christians, we are not supposed to practice witchcraft. As a friend of mine told me as we discussed this very subject: realize that everything we read in books or see on television has a hidden agenda to it. Acknowledge that fact, work on your relationship with God, and make sure that you are strong enough in your faith that you will not succumb to the temptation to do wrong. As for what you should or should not read, that is your own prerogative.

As much as I enjoy escaping into the school of Hogwarts and the magical community through the Harry Potter series, it has not had the profound effect of changing my life. No book has, no matter how often I read it. In fact, it is impossible for a simple book to cause your ideas or morals to change. Impossible for all books, that is, except for one.

The Christian Bible is the exception to this rule. Sure, you can read it and see no change take place in your life or in your thoughts. That’s because a life changing walk with God takes more than simply reading the Bible; it takes reading the principles that God offers and requires of us and actually applying them to our lives.

Over the years, I have collected many Bibles from many sources. Most of them have been gifts from family members or friends. In fact, I have only bought three Bibles: my personal devotional Bible that I am currently using, a King James Bible for my brother, and a Spiritual Warfare Bible (which I have stopped reading, because I disagree with the compiler’s viewpoints on how to wage spiritual warfare in our lives).

Time and time again, God has been there for me when I have been in need of Him. He has met where I am with His Word. The concordance has just about every issue that man faces and gives us the way to live our lives abundantly. Sure, it might take time to see our problems shift and change for the better, but it also takes time to see your body change and become healthier through right eating and exercise.

There is no quick fix to our lives and our problems, but if you give God a try and give Him the benefit of the doubt He will always pull through for you. Take time every day to read the Bible, and then I challenge you throughout this next week to actually apply what you read to your own life. Watch your life start to change for the better.

Rest with God

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Sit quietly in My presence while I bless you. Make your mind like a still pool of water, ready to receive whatever thoughts I drop into it. Rest in My sufficiency, as you consider the challenges this day presents. Do not wear yourself out by worrying about whether you can cope with the pressures. Keep looking to Me and communicating with Me, as we walk through this day together.

Take time to rest by the wayside, for I am not in a hurry. A leisurely pace accomplishes more than hurried striving. When you rush, you forget who you are and Whose you are. Remember that you are royalty in My kingdom.

  • Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young, page 228

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. – Psalm 37:7

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
– Romans 8:16, 17

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the prases of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. – 1 Peter 2:9

Old English: What?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Dictionary, Shmictionary.”

‘Fess up. You’ve done it. I’ve done it. We’ve all used words when we have had absolutely no idea what it meant, and we’ve all gotten caught at it. My cousin has caught me at it multiple times. In fact, just the other day as she, my mom, and I were coming home from house hunting, I let slip the doozy, “It’s even got a basement on top of the two floors!” What I really meant to say was, “It’s even got a basement as well as the two floors!”

They lost it, of course, and I can’t blame them. It was funny, and I had to giggle when I found out what they thought I meant. I digress.

Words in the Bible have changed much over the centuries. Nobody carries around denarii and shekels of silver, and nobody measures out wheat in ephahs and wine in baths. I bet if you were to approach a random stranger on the street and attempt to convince them that these were real things used at one point in time, most people would probably look at you like you had suddenly sprouted three heads.

Take the word “you”, for example. Most commonly, we use the word “you” in a singular sense. “You have my book,” you might say as you speak to a friend of yours. Occasionally you might have someone who uses it in the plural sense as well, addressing a group of people where you could address a group of people at a wedding, “You have my sincerest congratulations!”

However, the King James Bible was written somewhere in the 1600s, and it is riddled with “thees,” “thous,” “thy”s, and “ye”s. You will also stumble across an occasional “you” as well. What does this all mean? What is the difference?

I have a pastor friend at work that I asked this question of, although I am not quite sure whether I agree with him or not. According to him, “thee” and “thou” are singular. They address one person in particular, whereas “ye” is plural and addresses a group of people.

Just to be one hundred percent sure that he would be correct, I looked these words up in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. No matter how much you trust anyone in your life when it comes to the Bible and spiritual truths, I suggest also reading the Bible or looking it up for yourself to be on the safe side.

Thou: used as a singular form of “you” when it is the subject of a verb

Thee: used as a singular form of “you” when it is the object of a verb or preposition

Ye: used originally only as a plural pronoun of the second person in the subjective case and now used especially in ecclesiastical literature or literary language and in various English dialects

As we can read now, he was quite correct. No wonder he prefers to read the King James Version, when he can understand old English much better than I can!

Trans-isms: A New Trend

No matter where you turn on the Internet whether Facebook, a news network, a blogging community, you will hear about transgendered and transabled individuals. I am sure that there are more trans- people out in the world, although a quick and unfruitful Google search did not show anything. Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner even won the Ashe Award for showing courage in his transition.

While I was searching the headlines on TheBlaze, my own personal preference to catch up on the latest news, I happened across an article titled, “Famous Pastor Explains Biblical View on Manhood and Womanhood and Draws a Line on the Transgender Issue: ‘I Would be Lying to Call “he” a “she”.'” According to the article, we can call people whatever name that we are asked to call them, as names are “arbitrary”. We cannot call “he” a “she” or “she” a “he”, because that would be lying.

The example that Pastor Piper gave was that you move into a new neighborhood. Your new neighbor, a big and burly man, visits you at the first opportunity to welcome you into your new community and he introduces himself as Sally. You have no other name for this person except for the name he gave you before continuing on his merry way. Days later, you discover that you and Sally also work at the same location. Not only is he insisting that people call him by the name of Sally, he is also insisting that you use feminine pronouns to address him when you are speaking of him in emails or in everyday conversation.

A friend and I had this same type of conversation when Bruce Jenner revealed what he has done to his own body. She insists that God does not make mistakes, and therefore Caitlyn is exactly as she is supposed to be. God loves Caitlyn and other transgender people, regardless of what they are identifying themselves as or who they are, because He made them the opposite gender and put a female soul in a male body; it was not a mistake, and who are we to judge these poor, maligned souls?

God does not make mistakes. He is perfect. He is almighty. He is just. He is good.

Suffering is not good, therefore He does not cause suffering to occur. He may use suffering to accomplish His purposes in this world and to turn it to good, but He certainly does not cause it. We have caused it, and Satan has caused it, because of the fallen nature of this world (Genesis 3).

God alone owns souls (Ezekiel 18:4), He alone has the power to give life and death (Deuteronomy 32:39), and He alone has the power to destroy those souls (Matthew 10:28). Transgendered, transabled, and other trans- people are suffering in the state that they are in. God would not purposely put a person into the wrong body, knowing that He would purposely be causing them to suffer and fail to obtain the things that He has for them. Satan, who seeks to destroy and to tear people down, loves to cause suffering and pain in everyone’s lives. He has caused these poor individuals to believe a lie: that God is not in control of their destinies, that God has somehow made a mistake, or that God has a malicious sense of humor and simply wants to see what a female would do with a male body. None of these things is true of God; if they were, He would cease to be who He is.

God never intended or willed Caitlyn Jenner to exist. In fact, God doesn’t love Caitlyn at all. Bruce Jenner, being fooled by the tricks of the devil, underwent intense surgery and hormonal therapy to make Caitlyn Jenner himself. Caitlyn was made by man, not by God. How can God love that which He hates? So am I saying that God hates Bruce?

Not in the slightest. God loves Bruce Jenner with all of His heart. God the Father sent His Son to redeem Bruce; Jesus willingly died on a Cross to pay for Bruce’s sin, even the sin that he is now committing against himself and God if only Bruce would turn to Him; the Holy Ghost is at work in peoples’ lives to encourage them to turn from their sin and to turn to God, to teach us more about God, and to convict us of the sin that we commit. God certainly does not hate Bruce, nor any other trans- person, not after everything He has done to ensure that they all have the option of having eternal life. All they need to do, regardless of how far they have gone to disfigure themselves, is to return to God, ask and receive His forgiveness, and begin a new life in grace.

Under the Juniper Tree

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Picture yourself sitting right beside Jesus under a spreading oak tree. Perhaps His arm is around your shoulder and your head is resting on His chest. You can feel the beating of His heart against your cheek and your head moves with the rise and fall of His breathing. With His other hand, He strokes your head and immediately knows how many hairs are on your head. His breath warms your skin as it brushes past your face. Imagine Him looking into your eyes and knowing your innermost being and meeting your gaze with a warm, affirming smile reassuring you of His love and care.

Now tell me, as you imagine yourself in the presence of Jesus, how anxious do you feel? How rejected do you feel? How worried about tomorrow are you?

A Letter from a Friend

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I just had to write to tell you how much I love you and care for you.  Yesterday I saw you walking and laughing with your friends; I hoped soon you’d want Me to walk along with you, too.  So I painted you a sunset to close your day and whispered a cool breeze to refresh you.  I waited – you never called – I just kept on loving you.

As I watched you fall asleep last night, I wanted so much to touch you.  I spilled moonlight on your face – trickling down your cheeks as so many tears have.  You didn’t even think of me; I wanted so much to comfort you.

The next day I exploded a brilliant sunrise into glorious morning for you.  But you woke up late and rushed off to work – you didn’t even notice.  My sky became cloudy and My tears were the rain.

I love you.  Oh, if you’d only listen.  I really love you.  I try to say it in the quiet meadow and in the sky.  The wind whispers My love through the treetops and spills it into the vibrant colors of all the flowers.  I shout it to you in the thunder of the waterfalls and compose love songs for bird to sing fr you.  I warm you with the clothing of My sunshine and perfume the air with nature’s sweet scent.  My love for you is deeper than any ocean and greater than any need in your heart.  If you’d only realize how I care.

My Dad sends His love.  I want you to meet Him – He cares, too.  Fathers are just that way.  So, please call on Me soon.  No matter how long it takes, I’ll wait – because I love you.

Your friend,

Jesus

.Holy Matrimony?

ChristianBigots

As I am sure that most people are now aware, on Friday the Supreme Court passed a law that allows same-sex marriage to occur all across the country. Not only does this law allow same-sex marriages to become legal, but it also overrides the sovereignty of the individual States that banned this from occurring. Like many before me, I am in favor of traditional marriage, regardless of what the Supreme Court demands. The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being of the universe who created marriage, who judges sin, and who gave His all for love of humanity.

People can try – and have tried all throughout the history of humanity – to redefine what God has said to better suit their own needs. No matter how our earthly courts define certain words, God’s definition will stand forever. He has said that this world will pass away, but His word will never pass away. God, the Creator God we have previously spoken of, is the One who created the institution of marriage. Not people. In the Garden of Eden, God presented Eve to Adam in the first marriage ceremony and declared, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Anything outside of this marriage described in Genesis 2:24, and elsewhere in the Bible, is described as disobedience to God and His will, and is thus sin.

Sin has distorted the perfect creation that God made in the first chapter of Genesis. Sin destroys and kills. That being said, one sin is not better or worse than the other. Homosexuality will take a person to hell just as sure as lying and murder will. God is a holy and just God, a righteous God, and He will not tolerate sin in any form. He will judge sin as unrighteous and dirty and ugly. He will judge America and her sinful people for trying to conform to the world and its ways, for turning her back on her God. It won’t be pretty. I sincerely hope with all my heart that you are ready for His judgment to fall.

Praise God that it is not too late for us. God loves the homosexual people just as much as He loves anyone else on this earth. The blood of Jesus Christ is just as available to them as it is to anyone else. The Bible says that if we humble ourselves, and pray, and seek God’s face and turn away from our wicked ways, then God will hear from heaven and He will heal the land. All we need to do is repent and seek God, and God will heal and save and restore.

Like many Christians before me, I also believe and uphold traditional marriage. It is good, holy, and right before God. Anything outside the traditional marriage view is sin; it is sin that God will judge and find to be evil. It can and it will doom people to hell unless they turn to Jesus and repent of their wicked ways. Thank God for His mercy, His love, and His grace.

If you are interested in learning more about the Christian worldview on marriage, and why it is holy and sacred to us, then I would suggest you give the following video a try. It is short, to the point, and very insightful.

What Is The Purpose Of Marriage?

Hear No Evil

Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil

Eavesdropping. Admit it: We’ve all done it. Whether you are in a confined space like the city bus and simply can’t help but to overhear a conversation, or whether you were in the office and intentionally listened in on a conversation, we have all been privy to information that we should not have heard. Unfortunately, what we overhear tends to influence the way we behave and think. But should we really allow that to happen?

As Christians, this is something that we need to be particularly careful about. You never know what you are going to hear coming out of a person’s mouth, and we are to guard our hearts and our minds. What you allow to come into your mind ultimately comes back out through your heart. Jesus has said a man speaks – and even more, we act – out of the abundance of our heart. If we allow evil thoughts to enter into our hearts then we can expect those things to take root and bear the same types of evil things in our thoughts and lives.

Unfortunately, what we tend to hear when we listen in to conversations is usually negative comments made about other people. These provide fodder for gossip, maliciousness, bitterness, and hatred to come into our hearts and manifest in our lives. Most of us do not set out to go out of our way to talk about other people, but what if the comments that you heard were about you? I know that for me, my first reaction is to go to my best friend or family and tell them exactly what so-and-so said about me, it hurts my feelings, and I may end up feeling bitterness or great dislike for the people who were speaking about me behind my back. It’s a natural, human reaction. I know I can’t be the only Christian who would feel that way.

Once we feel so negatively toward someone, it tends to affect our witness to them. We need to remember that, ultimately, we are ambassadors for Jesus. When people see us, they should see Jesus and His love reflected through us. We don’t give off a good reflection of our Master and Savior when we gossip about somebody in return, or when we allow that bitterness and hurt to take root and affect the way that we treat the other person. If we are the ones taking part in the gossip, we also need to realize that does not give a good reflection of Christ. Jesus did not talk about people behind their backs; when Jesus had something to say to somebody, like the Pharisees or Sadducees, He told them about it. And He only told them about it for their own good, to show them where they were falling short and challenge them to draw a little more closely to Him, so that they might believe that He really is who He says He is and be saved.

Eavesdropping can be a very difficult thing to avoid in close quarters. I work in an office, but we don’t have walls; we have cubicles that have a half wall between myself and the person next to me. We can see and hear everything the other people do and say. Still, in those instances where you accidentally overhear something that you should not have heard, I feel that it is best to pretend that it never happened and go on. If you are the kind of person who seeks to overhear a conversation, it is probably best not to continue to do so. Curiosity killed the cat, you know.