Monday, February 22, 2010

Find YOUR Way

Find YOUR way

It is certainly a good thing to raise your children in church or to be raised going to church. However, it is a negative thing if you at some point don't develop your own faith and find and seek the answers and truth for yourself.

There are too many people out there, who have become "set in their ways" or become "narrow-minded" in their religion because they have not developed or matured in their own faith, but they simply have a belief system and not a relationship with Jesus. Their faith is based on what church they grew up in, what grandma or grandpa told them, what their family believes, or something along that lines.

It is certainly noble to have a family heritage that is christian, but, if we think we can grow and mature in a personal faith by simply beliving what we were raised to believe, we will be immature christians, narrow-minded, and judgemental people. Because what happens is the way we were raised or taught to believe becomes "the only way". First of all, the Bible tells us Jesus is the only way. Secondly, Jesus is the only way to salvation, but people come to Jesus, learn about Jesus, or grow in their faith in Jesus in many ways.

If your family raised you to worship a turkey, then you'd think a Turkey is the only way, and you'd do things turkey ways and have turkey rules, and turkey ideals, and everyone who didn't agree with you would be wrong. That may sound silly, but that is how many people are when it comes to their christianity. Think about it, you were raised that you have to dress up to go to church, so if you see other people that don't, you think it's wrong. Maybe you were raised to only used the King James version of the bible, or only sing hymns or without any music. Maybe you were raised as baptism can be in many forms, or that once your saved, you are always saved, and it doesn't matter how you live. There are all kinds of beliefs out there people have, soley based on the way they were raised or what they were taught and they have not taken the time to research, study, and pray on their own to discover the truth.

Some of those topics are simply preferences, but others can be more serious because they abuse or misuse scripture out of context, but my point is, we need to be careful to develop our own faith and we are responsible for our own salvation. Mommy or Daddy or Grandma or the Preacher cannot save us and we can not get to Heaven based on some of their well-meaning, but wrong teachings.

I encourage you before you choose to "die on that mountain" about a certain belief that you take the time to study it, see what your beliefs are based on, is it based on tradition or truth? The way you were raised or what you took the time to learn? I can tell you my views on certain things changed with age, study, discernment, and truth and will continue as I continue to grow and mature. I am thankful I was raised in church and for my family before me that were believers and I respect them, but sometimes we have to undersand those people in our lives, might be misinformed, taught in ignornace, or set in their ways, and they didn't know any better and they raised us the same way, but it is my hope that each of us would discover truth on our own and never stop learning, growing, and developing our faith.

Your faith should be based on God's word and your own faith in Jesus Christ, not tradition, denomination, family heritage, or narrow-minded and legalistic views. Seek God and develop and deepen your own faith, even if that means you have to do things different from what you were taught or raised. I'd rather be right with God than agree on every issue with my family.

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
Acts 4:12 (NIV)

Monday, February 15, 2010



I watch alot of dateline and 48Hrs mystery shows. Sometimes they have these murders that went years without being solved. Then finally 10,15, 20 years, and sometimes longer there is a break in the case and a person is caught for committing the crime, years after it took place. Many times they have moved on with their lives and probably thought they got away with it, and for years it seemed they did, but eventually it caught of with them.

Many times it seems people get by with stuff. We try to be honest and struggle and people are dishonest and evil and seem to thrive. A spouse repeatedly cheats on his spouse and never gets caught. A child spends years living a lie to his parents and they never find out. A man hides his income from the IRS for years or a woman steals money from her employer. A person lies repeatedly to a friend or betrays a loved one and thinks they get by with it.

Sometimes people do seem to get by with things and maybe they do in certain ways or terms, but they certainly don't get away with it when it comes to God. God repays evil for evil and God says that vengence is His. God may allow bad things to happen in this world because of human beings sinful nature, behaviors, attitudes, and actions but consequences do not go unchecked. If we do believe God's word, we do understand that people do reap what they sow. That people who lie, cheat, still, are dishonest, hypocritical, or do wrong with no repentence will be repaid for their chioces by God.

I know there are things in my life that I did or said wrong that in that situation I may have "gotten by" with it, but God punished me and disciplined me in other ways. Sometimes when people do get caught, they are simply sorry they got caught, they are not remorseful for the hurt or pain they have caused. I'm thankful for God's grace, but also thankful for His discipline. I need it.

I want you to know that people who do wrong or wrong you do not "get away" with it. They may not "get it" the way you want them to get it or in the time frame you want them to, but rest assured God is a God of Justice. In His way and His time, people will face consequences for their choices, poor judgment, bad decisions, and lifestyle choices. Sometimes it's minor things and sometimes it's major crimes, but either way, know God does not look the other way or ignore our behaviors.

The key for us is to learn if we are the guilty one is to learn from our mistakes, and repent and confess our sins and mistakes. To make ammends and accept the consequences of our actions. Don't wait to "get caught", but acknowledge our short-comings. It's like if we tell the truth and stop telling lies to cover up lies, the consequences are less, but when we keep trying to hide or cover up the consequences are greater.

If you are the victim, trust in the Lord's justice and vengence. Pray for God to avenge you and pray for yourself that you forgive those who have wronged you and leave the revenge up to Godl. We can't control how others act and they may get by with it for awhile it may seem, but in time God will expose them. So just like the murders who live free for years thinking they got by with murder, they most likely lived their life in constant fear of getting caught and eventually most of them do and no one escapes God's eyes or judgement.

"do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'Iti s mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord.'" Romans 12:19(NIV)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010



I am not sure how familiar you are with this word? But it's a word that is the opposite of pride or arrogance or over-confidence. It's very easy in our lives to get caught up in our lives and become prideful like we are above the law or arrogant like we deserve more or over-confident like we are better than others.

Whatever the case, at times we need a good case of humility. The thing is if we don't learn to humble ourselves, God is always willing and able to make sure we are humbled. Humbleness is a good thing. It can keep us honest, give us perspective, and keep us closely connected to God.

I got a dose of humility this week. In my new job, I've been training on different jobs. So far they have come to me easy and haven't been too hard to learn, but this past week I can into a job that I having a hard time learning. It was so frustrating to see others doing it and I couldn't, or feeling like I was too smart to not be able to do this job, or that I couldn't figure out why I was having so much trouble. I became very stressed, angry, and frustrated, I was ready to give up.

I finally believe I figured out my problem and have begun doing it the right way, it is a big relief, but even more, it was a huge dose of humility for me. I was humbled by the fact that I'm not as smart or as good as I think I am. Sometimes we need that reminder don't we?

God wants us to rely on Him. God wants our obedience and faithfulness. God wants to be the source of our strength and confidence. God wants us to take pride in our work, but not too much in self. God wants us to have confidence, but confidence becaause of Him not because of self. It is very easy to become arrogant, stubborn, rebellious, prideful, and think you don't need God, or you can handle something alone, or you are above the rules. Luckily, God will provide opportunity for humility.

It is His hope we will recognize it and humble ourselves, but if not, be sure God will humble us.
"For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." Matthew 23:12(NIV)

Monday, February 01, 2010

Easily Distracted

Easily Distracted

It doesn't take much for me to be distracted. My mind races 100 miles a minute, I'm always 3 conversations ahead in my head, so it's easy for me to lose focus if I don't concentrate and make an effort to focus on things.

Focus is so important in life. It's very easy as a Christian to lose our focus be distractions. We can choose the wrong friends and lose our focus. We can be attracted or date or even marry the wrong person. We can accept the wrong career path or take the wrong job when our focus in not right. Distractions are everywhere and in every aspect of life.

I have changed jobs in the past month and am working 3rd shift(midnights) and it has been a major adjustment to my body, my schedule, and my mind. I'm working when my body says I should be sleeping and I'm sleeping when my body is telling me to be away, which is probably why today I can't sleep. Because of the life changes it has been hard for me to find the time or energy to exercise. I have been used to going to the gym 3 times a week and now i've been lucky to workout once a week.

I have been doing a daily bible reading, devotional reading, and prayer time every day, but since I began my new schedule, it has been difficult to maintain that, I'm lucky if I do that a couple times a week. It's very easy to become distracted and lose focus if we do not stay in the word, and spend regular time talking(praying) to God. We need more than attending church on sunday mornings. We need study, reflection, and personal time with God. If we lose that, stop doing that, never start that, etc...we are never going to mature or grow in our faith. Better yet, we are going to slowly fall away, lose interest, and defintely lose our focus.

We need focus and our focus needs to be our personal relationship with God. The world is full of distractions so it is up to us to decide what our commitment to God will be. No one can do it for us and no one will make us do it. We can have accountability partners and people to encourage us, but ultimately it's up to us. We are responsible for our own salvation and maintining, growing, and keeping our faith.

it's very easy to be distracted by all kinds of excuses: work, kids, job, school, hobbies, stress, problems, the list is endless, but make time as I am trying to do for God's word, alone time with him, and daily communication with Him.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful."

Hebrews 10:23(NIV)