Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Are you a Christian because you walked an aisle? Part 3

So, you think you're a Christian because you said a prayer or walked an aisle when you were younger.

Maybe you were sitting in church (like I was) and as the pianist played, “I Surrender All”, you had the feeling that YES - you do want to surrender all to Jesus – so you walked to the front and told the world that you want to be a Christian.

Maybe it was during the quiet prayer at the end of the service and the Pastor had everyone bow their heads and close their eyes. Then he asked for anyone who wanted to become a Christian to raise their hands – and you did (again, me too). Then you silently repeated the prayer after the Pastor that stated you were sorry for the sins in your life and that you wanted God to forgive you and give you eternal life through Jesus Christ.

That is fantastic! What a wonderful experience it is to repent of your sins and give your life over to Jesus as Savior and Lord of your life.

Oh, now there is the fine print. Give your life to Jesus and make Him Lord of your life? Did that happen? Or did you just say the prayer and ask God to forgive you because you truly do not want to go to hell for the sins you commit?

Jesus is not a “get out of hell free” card. Yes, eternal life in heaven, in the presence of God, forever in paradise is free, but it will cost you everything you have. It is a life change. There must be evidence of this change.

 Now I am not talking like those TV preachers who want you to send all your money to their “ministry” so that you can have your best life now or be healed of any and all that ails you. If you wonder about these preachers, you should read the book of Jude. It won’t take long. It is only one chapter. He has many warnings about these ‘preachers’.

What I am talking about is what it means to be a true Christian. Jesus gives a strong warning about who will actually make it through the pearly gates and who is actually self-deceived.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ {Matthew 7:21-23}

You see, these people not only call Jesus lord, they call him ‘Lord, Lord’ meaning they thought they knew Him well. They thought they had a close relationship with Him. They did many acts in His name. However, they were self-deceived.

Right before this warning, Jesus also talks about how many people will be going to heaven (narrow gate).  

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. {Matthew 7:13-14} 

The way is narrow and there are few who find it. Please, please, please be sure you are on the right path. More than saying a prayer and walking an aisle, you should be actually following Jesus. Being a Christian means being “Christ-like”. Do you want to be like Christ? Do you know who He is or what He is like?

In the letter to the Galatians, Paul gives a list of deeds that are consistent with a true believer (fruit of the Spirit) and in Romans 1:29-31, he gives a list of deeds of someone who is an unbeliever (works of the flesh). Can you identify with any of the characteristics below (surely you know which list is which)? Would you say you are more like the black square or the blue one?


Which list describes your life? I usually am not a fan of the Message translation of the Bible (they are a little too free with their translation of the text sometimes), but in this case, it gives a good description of what a non-believer’s life may include:

 It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom. {Galatians 5:19-21, the Message} 

Wow, between the black box and that description from Galatians, it is clear that at least in some point in all of our lives, we can be found in those lists.

The question is which list do you most identify with now? Do you see a pattern of change in your life – moving away from sin and towards the fruit of the Spirit?

If you have made Jesus Lord of your life and you desire to be more like Him, you will see more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. You will start to feel uncomfortable with the sin in your life (like wearing an itchy wool sweater in the summer heat).

If you repeated a prayer or walked an aisle when you were younger but have not noticed a change in your heart, then now is the time (do not delay) to pray to God and ask Him to truly forgive your sins, repent (which means turn away from the sin in your life) and follow after Christ (a good way to start this is to read your Bible daily).

Don't forget about our giveaway. This is the last week to enter.
The winner will be drawn on April 1st (no foolin').

Friday, March 16, 2012

Are you a Christian because you go to church? Part 2

Are you a Christian because you go to church? This is an interesting question. I bet you think the next thing I will ask is what denomination is the church?


Does denomination and doctrine matter? Most certainly! But if you have truly started living for the Lord, then you'll figure out soon enough if the church you attend is a good church.

The question I have for you is, "Why do you attend church?"

1. Do you attend church because that is what everyone does? It is what the typical American family with 2 cars, 2 kids, one dog, and a white picket fence do on Sunday mornings (or even Saturday evenings now). It is how your kids will learn to be good, moral citizens. Plus, your Mom calls and asks what the kids are learning in Sunday school each week and there IS NO WAY you can admit that you skipped church!

2. Do you attend church to network your business? There are so many people who attend that large church down the road and everyone knows that Christians tend to stay within their own church friends / family when looking for doctors, dentists, insurance carriers, builders, real estate agents, etc. The best place for you to grow your customer base is in that big church, so you are there on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings (with a business card in your pocket for anyone who may seem interested).

3. Do you attend church because it makes you feel good? Do you serve as much as you can (or in a vital ministry) and feel as if you are giving so much to the church that it may be adding to your "good" bank that God is keeping up in heaven. Do you picture God as the ultimate Banker and He is constantly adding to your account when you do "good deeds" and deducting when you "slip up" (aka sin).

4. Do you feel as if you are doing some sort of penance for the week? Maybe even thinking this is something you need to do in order to get through the pearly gates? You know that you have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (as we all have) and feel justified when you attend church each week? Does taking communion or hearing God's Word taught make you feel closer to God and this removes the stain of sin in your life? Do you feel less *complete* or like a bad Christian if you are not able to take communion for a week, month, year?

5. Do you attend church to sing praises to your King? Do you love belting out Hallelujahs to God? Do the old (and some new) hymns echo in your ear all day long after singing them corporately as a church body?

6. Do you attend church to be around fellow believers? Are you encouraged by sharing life with others who love the Lord? Do you look for ways to love on others in the church so that you are both encouraged? Do you feel as if you are running on a battery pack all week and come to church each Sunday to be recharged by the reading and studying of God's word and praising His name?

If you resonate with numbers 1-4, you might want to do some more evaluating. If you resonate with #5 and #6 then you should be encouraged. The Bible tells us that the church body was created for...

1. First of all the church is for believers in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Matthew 18:17 gives guidelines on what should happen if a church family member refuses to repent of a habitual sin. Not only is this to ensure the person is in fact a believer (not giving the person false hope in a shallow relationship with the church and Christ), but also to keep the body of Christ pure. Even just one person who is habitually entertaining sin can give the devil a foothold and split a congregation (it happens all the time - how many churches are in your neighborhood?).

Self Examination time: Do you notice an increasing hatred of the sin in your life? Do you willing subject your personal thoughts and actions to someone else in the church so they may hold you accountable? If someone pointed out a sin you were committing, would you be willing to repent?

2. In Acts 2, we are given a little picture of how the first church conducted their daily lives. They are committed. They are set apart from the world. They are sharing, kind, giving, and gracious. The church is to be different than the world, but in a good way (not a snobbish way). They are to be the hands and feet of Jesus and be eager to serve each other.

Now all who believed were together, and had all things in commonand sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. {Acts 2:44-47}

Self examination time: Are you different than the world (in a good way)? Do you have a servant's heart, being ready at all (or most) times to help others? Do you share your time, money and life with the church - and are you happy about that?

3.  In Acts 20:28-31 Paul explains the role of the elders of the church. They are watchmen over the flock. They are to protect and guide the congregation. That means they are to spend time studying the scriptures so they are able to teach others.  They are to pray for the congregation and be willing to comfort those who are hurting. They are to confront sins within the body and be willing to follow the tough love described in Matthew 18.

Self examination time: Do you submit to the authority of the elders in your church? Do you see them as shepherds leading a flock (yes, that would make you a sheep) - protecting and loving each little lamb? Or would you rather sneak in and out of church and go virtually unnoticed by the elders? Do you fear an elder getting to know you or see you in your daily life (everyone looks pretty good on Sunday mornings, eh?)? If your Pastor dropped by on Friday/Saturday night unannounced, would he be welcomed with open arms?

4.  One more point (because I could go on for a very long time, which I kind of already have) about the church. This one is in reference to the church in Laodicea. They are described in Revelation 3 as a lukewarm church. This is neither on fire (hot) for Jesus or indifferent (cold) to the things of God. They claim to be followers of Christ, but you would not know that by the way they lead their lives. A very strong warning comes from our Lord as He addresses this problem church:

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:   “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked  I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”

Self examination time: How would you rate your dedication towards Christ. Sure you say you love Him (at least I hope you do), but are you *on fire* for God? Do you live as though Jesus is your King or is someone or something else reigning on the throne? The answer to this, and to all sin issues, is to repent and believe. Believe in Jesus. Trust in His promises. Life is so empty and disappointing without Christ at the helm. Be zealous and repent and there you will find true joy. Not saying it will always be easy, but you will have joy.

Remember the song, This Little Light of Mine? Sing that to yourself as a reminder to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Super Yummy and Easy Dessert

Do you remember the commercial with the Mom throwing flour on her face as if to show how she slaved in the kitchen to make the super yummy Rice Krispie treats? What a great commercial!

Well, I discovered a way to spice up those yummy treats so they are even better.


Have you noticed that the Cheerios cereal comes in all sorts of flavors now? Fruit, Chocolate, Plain, Multigrain, Peanut Butter and .....Dulce de Leche (caramel). Well, if you take the Dulce de Leche flavor and substitute it for the Rice Krispie cereal in the treats - you create a wonderful, rich flavor!  And since our family (at least us girls) are dairy and egg free, we substituted dairy free buttery spread (Earth Balance) for a yummy, dairy, egg, and nut (and red dye) free treat!

I made these yesterday and my girls L.O.V.E them! My two year old loved them so much that she snuck back into the kitchen (when she saw I was properly distracted with a sewing project) and ate another bar. By the time I found her, she had run to the bathroom to clean up any evidence. The fact that she had a Cheerio stuck to her elbow and her hair was matted to her sticky face told the whole story.


Caramel Cheerio Treats

1/4 c butter (or substitute margarine or DF buttery spread)
1 package of marshmallows
1 box (8 cups) Dulce de Leche Cheerios

In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the marshmallows and stir until they are melted and smooth. Remove from heat and add the Cheerios. Spread out into a greased 9x13 pan and press down to make the Cheerios more compact.

Let it cool and then cut into squares.


Don't forget to enter
current giveaway (click for details on how to enter).

Monday, March 12, 2012

Top Ten - Goals for this week

I am a list person. If it is on a list, I tend to get 'er done.

So here is my *to do* list for the week. I am going to print it off (I need to add *buy printer ink* to the list so that I am able to print it off - oops!) and post it in my bathroom so that I remember where my focus needs to be placed.

Ten Goals for the week of 3-11-12

1. Read and listen to my Bible readings every day. I have been working through a daily Bible program and have found such depth to the passages if I can not only read them each day, but also listen to them. I have the YouVersion app on my phone and love the audio that is available. This makes reading and listening to the scriptures convenient and frees me from any excuse I have used in the past.

2. Beef Kabobs: I am going to try a new recipe. I *love* to cook, therefore, I love recipes, cookbooks, online recipe collections (with reviews from people who have tried the recipe is an added bonus - www.allrecipes.com is my fav). This one was sent by Crystal & Co and I can't wait to try it out.

3. Finish the new spring dresses I have started for the girls. They are super cute and I cannot wait to see my girls dressed up in their new dresses. I'll be sure to post a picture when they are done.

4. Drink more water. I drink water, but I need to drink more. In order to make sure I do this, I am going to fill a 46 oz jug to make sure I drink at least that amount each day. I had better get it in early in the day or I may be making several trips to the "little girls room" in the middle of the night.

5. Behold the Beauty:  I want to review this art curriculum and use it with my daughter over the summer. She is such a *learner* that taking a full break from school over the summer is not beneficial. School and books are a great way for she and I to spend quality time together and it will be so much fun to teach her *art* this summer! I can't wait to order this book this week!

6. Play / work outside as much as possible. It is spring here in Indiana and our family loves to be outside! It is time to clean out the flower beds and see the wonderful new growth beneath the dead leaves. Spring is such a great reminder of how we, as believers, come alive when we are born again!

7. Write and post the next 2 articles in my "You think you are a Christian because you {fill in the blank}" blog series. This is such a challenging article and I want to make sure that I do the research and prepare these articles in such a way that they are both truthful and full of grace and love.

8. Take a load of stuff to Goodwill. I have so many bags of clothes and household items that I keep putting aside to take to Goodwilll and I need to just take it.

9. Run 15 miles this week. I am not sure if my knee will let me complete this goal, but I like having goals so I am leaving it on the list. I started today off with a 4 mile run, so that leaves 11 more miles for the week.

10. Last but definitely not least, become an Aunt again! My sister is expecting her first baby and is due on 3/15. I am so thrilled to be an Aunt again and to have the blessing of seeing my girls with a younger cousin (they have been the youngest on both sides of the family so far). I am also thrilled for my sister to enjoy being a Mom. She did not think she was able to have children, so to not only get pregnant, but to also have a pretty easy pregnancy is truly a blessing straight from heaven! Thank You Lord for the life you have created. Lewis Patrick - we cannot wait to meet you!!

So what is on YOUR list for the week, besides entering my current giveaway (click for details on how to enter).

Linking up at

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

Friday, March 9, 2012

Are you a Christian because you...? Part 1

What makes a person a true Christian? Going to church? Taking communion? Confessing sins? Being an American? Living a moral life?

I cannot dwell on this fact for too long, but it makes my heart sad that I *thought* I was a Christian for so many years when I was clearly not seeking after the Lord or obeying any of His commandments. I am thankful that God will redeem the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25). How could I have thought I was a Christian? I did not go to church. I did not have a love for God or His people. I did not obey any of His commandments (well, I wasn't murdering, but I was hating people and Jesus says that is the same as murder). In fact, it seemed as if I was trying to break as many commandments as I possibly could. Sigh. I was blinded by the father of lies and by my own sinful pride.

This weighs heavy on my heart. There are so many people who would say they are Christians, but one look at their "likes" on Facebook or just listening to how they speak tells a different story. Are they just as deceived as I was?

I have decided to start a series called "Are you a Christian because you { fill in the blank } " where I plan to detail several marks of a genuine Christian. This is not to have the true believers live in doubt, but Paul gives us all this warning:

Examine yourselves,
to see whether you are in the faith.
Test yourselves.  
2 Corinthians 13:5

I pray that God would use this series to give those who are in the faith, a renewed sense of assurance in their salvation. I pray that He would also use this as a tool for His Holy Spirit to move in someone's life. If just one person would repent and be saved, angels would rejoice in heaven! Just because you have signed a prayer card, walked an aisle, or even been baptized does not mean you have a saving faith in Christ. Remember Jesus warning:

“Not everyone who says to me,
‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of
my Father who is in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day,
‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name
and in your name drive out demons
and in your name perform many miracles?’
Then I will tell them plainly,
‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Merry Mail 3-8-12

Don't forget to spring forward this weekend!

I am hosting a giveaway. All you have to do to be eligible is leave a comment on this post. I'd love it if you would consider following me on either Facebook or by email (you can do both of these on the sidebar), but it is not a requirement to win the prize. The winner will be announced on April 1st (no foolin').

What is the prize you ask? A DVD of the 180 movie. This movie is thought-provoking look at Hitler and the infanticide that is happening all around us today. It also has a great segment of the Way of the Master street witnessing which is a great way to evangelize. You can watch this video free online and the reason that I am giving one away is to spread the word. I am hoping that you will not only watch the movie, but you will pass it along to your friends and family so they can watch as well. I do not get anything out of this except the joy of hopefully impacting someone's life for God's glory.

Six Sisters has a recipe for Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake. I cannot wait to try this and hope that it will work with our dairy and egg substitutions. If so, it is going to be our new yummy breakfast surprise for Easter and Christmas (and any other non-holiday in between). From the looks of this picture, I think you're gonna want to be at our house this Easter morning. I can almost taste it!

X is for X-ray looks like a super cool (and educational) app for the iPhone or iPad. Thanks Mom for passing this one along.

I recently took an online course through Blogelina and was pleasantly surprised. She has so many helpful ideas for your blog (if you have one). If you are interested in what you may learn over at Blogelina Products & Services has to offer, you should check it out! This skeptic was very surprised!

World Magazine has a great article about Kirk Cameron (remember Growing Pains) and how he is being slandered by many over his interview on Piers Morgan's Show. This is a great article and great reminder that our world is moving farther and farther away from God, which means we are moving closer and closer to the time when Jesus will return.

Roo Magazine is a new online magazine put together by Kirk Cameron's younger sister, Candace Cameron Bure (remember DJ from Full House) and has a great article on how to Wake up Refreshed and Start Your Day Off Right. I liked the friendly reminder not to eat too much the night before so that your stomach isn't working all night long to digest all that crap food (that's in my words, not theirs. Their writers are much more eloquent than I could ever hope to be).

Real Simple has a fantastic tip! Check this out! You can put a mason jar on a blender to make a single serving of your favorite smoothie. Fantastic!!

I love good, thought-provoking quotes. Here are a couple I have enjoyed finding this week:

"And people who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives…and when the bubble has burst they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted."
- Nate Saint

"It's amazing what can be accomplished if you don't worry about who gets the credit."
- Clarence W. Jones

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - Books

Just a little preview - I am planning to start a giveaway later this week. Stop back by on Thursday, or better yet, follow the blog on either Facebook or enter your email in the right sidebar to receive the posts right in your inbox.

Many Little Blessings has decided to host a top ten link up and I thought it would be great to join in the fun (and to see what the other top ten lists will be).

This week, my Top Ten list will be {drumroll please}...

the Top Ten Books I Recommend

note: I love books. I love to read a book and come across something so profound or heart touching that I pull the book close, take a deep breath, give the book a hug and say, "Thank You, Lord for this author".

1. the Bible. Period. It is God's Word and when you read it, you are close to Him. God describes His Word in the book of Hebrews as:

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. {Hebrews 4:12}

Who wouldn't want to read THAT every single day?!

2. Pilgrim's Progress. I love this book. It is such a great analogy of my own walk with Christ (and most likely yours as well). I loved every single chapter, well, except one, but you'll have to figure out which chapter that is for yourself. Here is a hint: it has to do with Faithful in the town of Vanity.

3. The Little Pilgrim's Progress. This is just as wonderful as the adult version, but it has the added bonus of being able to share it with your children. I read it to my daughter when she was 5 and now that she is so big (she is 6), she has read it 3 times on her own. She loves this book as much as I do. I think her favorite part was when she realized there was an entire section for Christiana (smile).

4. Holiness. C.J. Mahaney (in a different (but also great) book, 'Humility') suggests that in order to develop a humble spirit, one key thing we must do is meditate and focus on God's characteristics that are different than our own. This is how we prevent ourselves from creating our own image of God that resembles a pocket-sized genie to whom we turn when we need or want something. The book, Holiness, will help anyone put God into perspective. God is awesome and He is so much greater than we can even imagine. He is Holy, and not because He meets a standard. Holy is His Name. He sets the bar - and we fall SO SHORT!

5. Crazy Love. I have to confess that I did not read this book, but listened to the audio version (which was fantastic!). This book has you look at your relationship with Jesus (it is supposed to be a relationship) and basically examine how committed you are to Him. Do you love Jesus the way should? I mean, He did die for you and save your soul from eternal damnation. One powerful statement that Francis Chan says refers to the parable of the Sower and the Seeds. Chan says, "do not assume you are good soil". Pow! That is powerful! Most people assume they are Christians because of something they did/do but they do not show the fruit of the life changing gospel. There should be a change if you are in fact 'good soil'. There should be evidence that you love Jesus with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. I had better stop before I write my own book. But I definitely recommend getting a copy for yourself.

6.  Same Kind of Different as Me. This is a fabulous true story about two men whose lives intersect at a homeless mission in Texas. One man is married to a woman who is serving in the mission and the other man is homeless and is receiving help from the mission. God works in a big way in both men's lives and it is such a heart touching story to read. Grab the tissues though. There is a part of the book that would even make Rocky weep.

7. Under the Overpass. A couple of guys (who did not know each other prior to this adventure) decided to live life on the streets. They put some stuff in their backpacks and set off to live homeless in 6 different cities, spending one month in each city. The people and situations they encounter are eye-opening for sure! One thing that stood out to me is how they were received (stinky, raggedy and everything else that goes with being homeless) at different churches along the way. Take a few minutes and think how you might react if a couple of homeless guys showed up at your church services on Sunday morning. Would they be accepted, ignored or even worse - asked to leave?

8. The Excellent Wife / Exemplary Husband. If you are married, engaged or hoping to get married sometime in your lifetime, these companion books are essential. The culture around us paints a completely different picture of what a wife should be/do than the Bible. The only way for your marriage to glorify God is to follow His design for biblical womanhood (or manhood if your husband is reading the Exemplary Husband). The Excellent Wife is a book I could read every year from now until I am 90 and learn something new each time. It is full of scripture and real life examples that just convict (and warm) my heart.

9. Shepherding a Child's Heart. This book talks about how disciplining our children is more than behavior modification. We need to look into the deeper heart issues and help them to mature their walk with the Lord (or to seek Him if they have not accepted Jesus as their Savior yet). We need to help point out the actual sin problem and that we are all failures without Christ. We need to seek Him for our salvation and for everyday forgiveness, grace and strength.

10. Love and Respect. This is one of the first books on biblical marriage that I read that truly convicted my heart. This book points out that women long to be loved (which we all know with the millions of sappy romantic movies available), but that to an equal or even greater degree, a man longs to be respected. Most men would rather be respected by their wives than loved (and as a woman, that doesn't make sense to me, but I believe it because my husband totally agrees). This book points out that a wife saying a man must "earn her respect" is the exact same things as the husband saying a woman must "earn his love". We don't want that, right? We want our husbands to love us for who we are.  Then why do we say that our husbands must earn our respect? We need to respect them for who God created them to be. They are not perfect, and neither are we {shocker!} - but we are perfect for each other.  Marriage was designed to make us holy, not happy.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Broken relationship

I have decided to end my long relationship with Survivor. Gulp! It is so hard for this fan of the show to not watch but I do not want to quiet the voice if the Holy Spirit living inside me.

For many years, I watched the show and laughed when people were blindsided, {gasped} as players' clothing began to sag in places that needed to be covered and {cheered on} the players who were strong and cunning. I simply did not care that they were promoting the very things my Savior died for. At that time it didn't matter to me.

Then I had babies. Life got serious. I was feeling very convicted about the way I was living my life and started living for the Lord. I continued to watch Survivor, but felt convicted when my husband stopped watching it with me. I almost stopped watching it then, but for the last two seasons, there was so much talk about God - the True and Living God! I was {shocked and amazed} that He was getting so much facetime on a prime time show. How wonderful!

But I feel like when something good happens that glorifies God, Satan just seethes with envy and works hard to steal the spotlight back for himself. And I do believe that will happen this season. I watched the first show and I could feel the Holy Spirit being grieved. Nothing was God glorifying (except the beautiful landscape scenes). The show was filled with so much of what the culture thinks is "cool and popular", but as a Christian it just makes my heart sad. There are so many who have been fooled and don't even realize it.

So I have cancelled my season pass (that's TiVo lingo if you don't know) and I will miss the beautiful seascapes and even the drama that plays out with the different personalities, but I cannot watch a show that promotes so much sin. Sigh. Sadly, this is not the first show I have had to stop watching, and most likely will not be the last.

If you are still watching Survivor, I do not condemn you at all. I get it. I love(d) the show! I just feel as if there are so many other things that I could spend this precious time doing that will work towards furthering God's kingdom. That is why I am still here, right?

Has this happened to you? Have you had to quit watching a show you enjoyed because you felt it did not honor God? I'd love it if you shared your opinion.

Merry Mail 3-2-12

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Can you even believe we are already into March? Where on Earth did February go? We have been experiencing some wonderful spring weather here in Indiana (and they are forecasting some spring thunderstorms for tonight) and we have tried to enjoy as much of it as possible. We visited a local park and soaked up some much needed Vitamin D in the warm sunshine.

I love how the earth comes alive in the Spring after the cold, gray, barren, (seemingly) dead winter! It reminds me so much of how my own soul came alive when Jesus spoke softly to me and said, "Come and follow Me". I was dead and now am very much alive and living for my Lord!

How about you? Have you decided to follow Jesus? It's a narrow path and you may not meet many along the Way, but it is leading to the Celestial City and to the King of Kings. Any other way is leading you astray.

On a completely different note, I am sad that Downton Abbey is over for the season and I have to wait another year to find out if Lady Mary and Cousin Matthew will in fact get married.

Here is a list of other things I found interesting this week - and I hope you do as well:

Watchman Fellowship has a listing of 1200 different cults, occults and new age groups. Did you know that there are so many different religions (if you want to call them that)? My husband and I are doing a little research into the Jehovah's Witnesses since we have been recently visited and I am amazed at the nonsense that people will decide to believe and follow. It makes my heart very sad for God that people will decide to believe crazy things instead of believing in Him as the Creator of the universe and His Son, the Savior who died as the one and only Sacrifice for our sins.

If you are wondering more about what Jehovah's Witnesses believe and how you can engage them in a conversation about Jesus, check out these youtube videos about the Top Ten Shocking Beliefs of the JW and Three Tips for Reasoning with JW.

“We have a right to believe whatever we want,
but not everything we believe is right.”
― Ravi Zacharias

Joyful Mothering is having a Dayspring giveaway (ends March 6th so hurry and enter).

Cajun Joie de Vivre has been writing a series on natural cleaning - and I really enjoyed the guest post about Essential Oils. I have to say that I love my bleach and other antibacterial cleaners. I love the smell of bleach. It just screams cleanliness (which we know is next to godliness) and germ-free to me! But the more that I read about natural cleaning, the more I am wondering if I am not only killing the harmful bacteria, but maybe I am wiping out some of the good microbes and bacteria from our home. {Oops!} Do you clean naturally? Do you even know what it is (I confess, I didn't). Find out more about why you should clean naturally on Cajun Joie de Vivre.