Friday, June 29, 2012

Worldly or Godly? ~ aka ~ Stand Alone

Romans 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 

   You know, this verse is very convicting. It is a hard verse to follow at times as well. Conforming to this world is so easy, yet so dangerous. It is so much easier to just "go with the flow" than to stand alone. But if we will not stand alone, and take the hard road instead of following "everyone else" down the easy path, God will not be pleased. It takes courage to stand alone, to go against the flow, but to be strong Christians, we must learn to stand alone.

   At times, standing alone hurts....Terribly.
   In this world, we have so much against us; we have to stand alone because of our beliefs, the way we see life, view family, hold to morals, etc. Though it is hard, and though it hurts, I have found that deep inside, I feel a satisfaction that I know I am doing the right thing and not grieving my Lord when I do stand alone.

   So, worldly or godly? This is a question that can apply to almost all of life!!! We should be asking this about everything we think, say, and do [or what we are planning to say or do]  

   Oh! She is making me so mad right now! She's the rudest girl in the world!  I wish she had never even b...... Wait, are these thoughts worldly [or sinful] or godly?

   Hey, Sarah, I have this really funny joke to tell you! Okay, well, it may not be the best joke 'cause it's kinda crude, but anyways........WAIT - did you just say "crude"!?! Mark telling that joke off your list! That is definitely not godly - but worldly.

   Oooh, what  nice dress! - Wait, if you were to wear it, would it say to everyone who saw you in it, 'She's different' [in other words - godly] or just 'There goes another teenager!'

Those were just some random examples I had off the top of my head! [wink]

   I suppose a good question that will lead you (should lead you - excuse me) to the same conclusion is WDJD - What Did Jesus Do. Yeshua (Jesus) would have never done anything worldly, right? So, it is exactly like asking "Worldly or Godly?" but it is easier to remember.

   Going against the world and its ways is HARD! ~ I know! Don't we all? Since we are called to be in the world but not of it and in the world but not conformed to it, but rather called to be a set-apart, separate, and  holy [kadosh in Hebrew] people - should we not look, act, speak, and think differently from the world?

   All of us who have put our trust in Yeshua (Jesus) have a hard way to go - going against everything the world does and says, and rejecting all the world has to offer! Trials and tribulations will arise, but we have the blessed assurance that Yeshua is with us WHEREVER, WHENEVER, FOREVER!!! Amen & amen!

If God is for us, then who can be against us?

Thank you for reading today! Blessings to you, my friends!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hidden Messages if We but Look!

When you talk to [or ever just look at] someone, the first thing your eyes make contact with is the other person's eyes.

  Eyes express so much emotion, yet oftentimes we never go past just making contact with another's eyes. But how much depth of feeling can be detected if we were to actually gaze past that person's eyes & into their soul!

  When I have actually gazed into someone's eyes, past the eye itself, it is as if I get a message from within that person. There have been times when I've thought, “Oh, she seems so kind and happy, I wonder what is going right in her life? Is she a Christian?............Yikes! He looks mad at the whole world, I wonder what has made him this way?............ That lady appears to be very sad. What could have caused her sadness?............ That cute little boy seems as if he hasn't a care in the world! I wonder at his joy..........” and other thoughts similar to these.

   Eyes are the windows of the soul. Everyone you see each day is either saved or lost. If you look past their eyes, into their souls, you might be able to figure out which group [lost or saved] they are in. 

   There are so many emotions our eyes express: worry or peace, joy or sorrow, anger or happiness, bitterness or forgiveness, indifference or compassion, friendliness or coldness, excitement or boredom, etc. etc.

   Sadly, there have only been a few times that I have actually looked past someones eyes & into their very self - I wish I could say that I've done it more. For when we do this - it gives us wonderful opportunities to pray!    "Lord, that lady looked so sad, please help her...... Lord, that man seemed so angry, help him through whatever he's going through....etc."
   Prayer is such a powerful weapon [or tool] and all believers should use it MUCH more than sparingly if they want their spiritual lives to become stronger! Praying for others [stranger too!] is a great way to increase prayer life!

  So, in summary for today; if we will take the time to look past the eyes and into the very soul of a person, we will most likely be able to see what their emotions are at that time, how they are feeling at that moment. Then, if they are sad we could say a cheery word to them, if they are mad we could smile sweetly - all in hopes that their day would be brightened!

Have a wonderfully blessed day, my friends!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Where AM I Now? ~ Enter the World of Imaginations

I'll be the first to admit - I have (and always have had) a rather wild imagination.

   So much so that at times it is quite difficult to control. My imagination has always had a way of carrying me away, sometimes to places I really shouldn't be going. I know that this happens to all of us who are given vivid imaginations, but still, it doesn't have to carry us away - after all, we do have control over what we do.
   My imagination was always for me, a way to escape reality and be someone else, somewhere else, doing something(s) I have most likely never done. In other words, my imaginations do not help me at all in keeping my focus on the things of God [I mean, how can you keep your focus on the things of God when your mind is going in a bazillion different directions at once?] Basically, I used let them keep me from thinking on better, more worthwhile things.

I think the quote below relates to what I am trying to say:

   How can I be "all there" for God when part most all of my mind is in a fairy-tale? We are called to set our mind on things eternal, but I find I simply cannot do this at all when I let my imaginations go.

   Now, do not misunderstand me, I love the gift of imagination! Without imagination, the world would be a dull place indeed! Without imagination, many of the books, songs, and art that exist today could not have been produced; and no one could be a proficient actor, artist, composer, etc. 
   All I am putting forth is that, when we let ourselves get tied up in vain [worthless] imaginations, we can get into trouble.

   A while back, (some years) I remember a time span of a few weeks when I let my imagination go, and could hardly think about anything but my imaginary characters. To my shame, I was completely caught up in "another world" I had made for myself. ~ I wonder if Christ would let himself get caught up in worthless imaginations when there is always something He could do to further the kingdom of God.

   In the time I have spent fulfilling my imagination, I could have memorized many Bible verses, read tons of wholesome books, played with my young siblings, talked extensively with my Father in Heaven, helped my siblings with things they were having trouble with, and the list can go on and on! [I am totally preaching to myself here!] I can get so mad at myself for things I didn't do that I could have done! (Silly me!)

   The Father has brought to my mind 2 Corinthians 10:5 & 6 a good many times. It says, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled."

   I tend to believe [my opinion coming] that anything that can distract us from doing things for God, or lure us away from thinking on things that matter for eternity, is vain. Obviously, I do not mean that thinking about what to make for dinner, how many new shirts you need, and how you're going to learn algebra is wrong!
   Please understand me, my friends! These thoughts I am putting on paper are things I am attempting to make some sense of in the large puzzle I have found myself in!

   The truth, my friends, is that so much of my childhood was spent on silly little imaginations - so very much time was wasted in this way. Honestly, most of what I remember from my childhood up until I was 13 is that I was frequently soaring magnificent heights on the large wings of my very interestingly wild imagination. I cannot remember a week during those years that my imagination was not on "full alert" - and I cannot remember it ever being "at ease". 
   Why? Simply stated - Movies mostly. Books to a degree and audio books a little. It wasn't that I watched movies all the time, but rather the fact that I am the type of person with whom movies stay in the mind; long after the screen turns off. I may never be able to change that fact, but I can, I must learn to exercise full control over my fluttering imagination - always.

   I thank Adonai (the Lord) for my imagination when I can use it to write books that have purposes, and act out good, pure, godly stories, but when it gets out of hand - well, it gets out of hand! Simply put, our imagination does have the potential for being useful (as an author, actor, composer, artist, etc.) IF, and only IF it is used properly AND not allowed to just "run away" - pulling us along with it. 

   If we control our imaginations and not vice versa; instead of being continually pulled into an imaginary word that is "perfect" [because, by the way, WE created it] we will be able to use our imagination for worthwhile things in this "imperfect" world. 
   After all, Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven used their imaginations to compose songs. Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews, Kirk Cameron, and others used their imaginations to be able to act as different people in films quite well. Monet, Thomas Kinkade, and other artists like them used their imaginations to help create beautiful paintings. Martha Finley, Lois Walfrid Johnson, and other authors used their imaginations to write interesting books. {Just a few examples for you}

   As I've said before, I'm not against imagination - except when one lets it take over and go whenever & where ever it pleases - or worse, when one lets their imagination take over their precious vapor of life each of us have been given!