April 22, 2012 Comments Off on Who’s Your Keeper?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Phil 4:6-7
One of the most important decision you will make for the rest of your life is who you decide to marry. However, for so many of us we really don’t have a lot to go on besides “oh, he/she’s attractive and fun”.
So, I have put together 3 checklist items for you to see if your on-track with what I believe is the right direction. Ask yourself, who are you allowing to be the keeper of your heart, mind, and happiness?
- Are you more concerned with the you in you or the you in us? I think one of the biggest and fastest mistakes in a relationship is to lose sight of who you are as a person- your values, your relationship with God, and your morals. Keeping in touch with the you in you (who you are as a person) will keep you on track with where God wants you to be. The moment we begin to act and make decisions based on our emotions, we run the risk of creating serious mistakes that will not only affect the relationship, but our life as a whole. Keeping up with who you are is so critical and ensures for a long-lasting relationship. God created the person you want to be with, you cannot change the way they act. Stop wasting time trying to fix their tendencies that you don’t like about them and either learn to compromise or move on. Do not dig yourself in the never ending hole of trying to mold them, focus on YOU first because the MOST important relationship that you will ever have is between you and Jesus Christ.
- Where am I looking for in my worth, my self esteem, and feelings about myself? I think the common tendency is that the longer we date someone or the more we care about them, the more we give away our rights to our feelings. We begin to only seek their approval rather than Gods. I think this is especially important for non-married couples because it is so easy to fall prey to seeking attention through a comment and feeling lesser about ourself if our significant other forgets to comment about our new dress or our latest hair style. The moment we become obsessed with what others think about us, is the moment that we forget who created us. The bible tells us that we are uniquely and wonderfully made in His image, we are made in the image of God; therefore, we are special because He says so, not because he says so….
- Does my view on Sex involve emotional and physical sensations or symbolism? After reading Genesis, we find out that sex and marriage were things that God made for Adam and Eve- which would then be obviously carried on to our generation. However, for the longest time when I thought about sex I always considered it to be something that was pleasurable to our bodies and that was it. But after reading Genesis, we find that God created marriage as a symbol between a man and a woman to show their relationship together, to live together, and to help each other out. The bible clearly states that men are responsible to be respectful, honorable, and serving their wives. Sex isn’t just an emotion, a movie rating, or something to do in your bed- sex was created by God for us. God created the institution of marriage, and designed sex to be the ultimate creator of intimacy. Just go read Song of Solomon! You will find out that romance is referred to as intoxicating, Sex is only meant for a husband and wife, which is clearly found in many many verses throughout the bible. On a practical level, I think that commitment is especially important to keep because the emotional intimacy is all too powerful to share with just any stranger. God wants to protect us, not deprive us of what we want. There is a time and place for everything.
January 26, 2012 Comments Off on Blackout: What’s Important?
Q: Ever wondered why after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol people can’t remember anything?
A: Upon consuming alcohol (which is made up of ethanol), it enters your blood stream and dissolves in the water of the blood; therefore, taking the place of the water in your body. The alcohol is then carried throughout your body (especially to the brain) and begins to effect it. Drink enough alcohol, fast enough, and the alcohol content in your bloodstream becomes so powerful that your body has to begin to prioritize what key functions it plans on being able to use in your brain because it can’t keep up. Drink too much alcohol and your body has a choice of only 2 options:
Die or stop remembering and help vital functions remain active (such as the cerebellum, which controls motor skills).
For many, drinking alcohol is an attempt to feel more confident, outgoing, or lively– becoming something you’re not. For all of humanity, sin is an attempt to become more like God- to be all knowing and have discernment what is right and wrong for us, to be something we’re not.
Scientifically speaking, alcohol (which is ethanol) replaces the water in our bloodstream; however, it is also easily dissolved by water.
If you feel like sin is dragging you down, if you feel like no matter what you do sin has become a part of your life, that no matter where you go you always find yourself tripped up by sin in every relationship…There is someone that wants to change your life.
John 7:38 Jesus says “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” See, you may feel like that you have no chance, you may feel like you are one drink away from ending it all and sending yourself over the edge. But there is a God that loves you, there is a Savior that wants to give you living water that can dissolve that sin away from you forever.
“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” -John 4:14
January 26, 2012 Comments Off on Where’s Your Meaning?
Meaning (noun): to have an intended purpose.
We are plagued by our past, we are shaken by our decision, but most of all we are afraid to let go of them. Before we know it, they have overcome us and it seems that there is no way out, and shame sets in day by day. We want to know “why”, but we can’t find any meaning in our situation. We are stuck with our past mistakes. For it seems that:
the past is worse than it was and we think of the future worse than it really is.
Enter the Samaritan woman (John 4:1-26). She finds herself in a terrible situation; confronted in a 1 on 1 situation with someone of a different ethnicity that is known far and wide to be more superior. To make it worse, Jesus ask’s her to give Him water. Perplexed, the woman asks why He would ask someone of far lesser class to give him water (it was believed that it would have defiled the water if a Samaritan woman gave a Jew water).
See, Jesus cares about every single one of us. According to the bible, we are all children of God once we believe in God. We are all children, we all have meaning to Jesus. We are all equal in Gods eyes, yet we still are afraid of our past. Our meaning is soon to be believed that we are worthless and forever slaves of our flesh and addictions.
Picking up where we left off, Jesus tells the woman that if she knew who He was, it would be she that would ask Him for water because the water Jesus offers her is eternal life. But here’s the best part of the whole story: Jesus already knows who she is, what she’s done, and the sins she has committed.
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
Jesus knows where we’ve been. Jesus knows that we are filthy, dirty, sinners even when we think we can hide it. Sometimes, when God reveals an opportunity or His presence in our life we feel unworthy because we feel like we have no meaning and we feel the need to try to hide who we think we truly are. But the Bible tells us that we have all fallen short of the glory of God and that God knows our yesterday, today, and tomorrow’s faults. God loves not because of who we are, but because of who God is.
What once seemed to be worse than it really is, Jesus makes: the past forgiven for what it was and the future brighter than it is, through His ultimate sacrifice on the cross.
November 9, 2011 Comments Off on Pursing: What Am I, Why Am I?
How many of you have ever heard or said this statement: “He/She is such a great person and I love everything about them, but I just wish they were more attractive…Then I’d want to date them”? But why do we say that?
The truth of the matter is, they really are a great person and are precisely the person you need to be dating. Why?
Our society has become obsessed with attractiveness to physical qualities and even popularity. Our eyes are poisoned and drawn to tan skin, toned muscles, and big curves.
The problem: We are drawn to wanting to pursue sin with these people without even knowing it. We are allowing ourself to pursue their physical nature, something that isn’t constant, rather than the things that we need to be. We want attractive significant others to enjoy our physical pleasure- now I am not meaning just sex, but anything of physical pleasure for the only reason of just experiencing the pleasure.
At the heart of the matter, we have subconsciously trained ourselves to believe that we are only going to find love, happiness, and joy in a relationship if he is muscular, chizled, and she has toned legs and a incredible face. We want all our friends to be jealous of how attractive our boyfriend/girlfriend is.
ASK YOURSELF a question: How many attractive people do you know? Probably a lot. You can pull up tons of them on your facebook page if you made yourself, but ask yourself another question….How many people do you know that if you merely observed from a far without knowing anything about them you would see God’s love and joy in their life? Probably almost none.
Sure physique, smarts, and knowledge are may seem what matters and have been things I have pursued my entire life until last year, but the most beautiful and pure thing you will find in someone is their ability to pursue God. Not their belief in God, but pursue God on a daily basis with so much passion. A immense desire to please God and nobody else.
It is this writers opinion that attraction can be built and sustained at a level far greater than physical desire if you find someone that you enjoy being around rather than staring at like a trophy on a shelf. A love can grow that will not fluctuate based on aging, based on their mood, based on if their hair falls out…
Pursue a body and you will be let down every time, pursue God in them and you will never be dissatisfied.
November 7, 2011 Comments Off on Obedience = Resistance
“Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, and so that you may live long in the land that the LORD swore to your forefathers to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.” Deuteronomy 11 : 8 – 9
We believe that God treats us like we may treat our dog. God may ask us to do something, but if we decide to go and chase a squirrel instead God will still be happy with us because it’s all about just enjoying eachothers company, right? Wrong.
Sometimes great obedience to God causes great resistance from others in our life. Others will not understand why God has called you to make a certain decision or live your life in a certain way. However, that’s ok if they don’t understand because we’re not out to please others with our life choices – only our God. I have found that the quickest way to lose obedience and closeness to God is to start valuing what others think of me more than what God thinks of me.
People may make fun of you, friends may forsake you, or you may not get invited to all the functions you used to go to. But hold firm to the promises God has made you. Understand that when someone may threaten you or tell you your full of lies and God tells you something different, God will always 10 times out of 10, 100% be right.
Look at Deuteronomy 11:8-9, the verse opened with, God called Moses to obey the commands He had given him for today to be able to accomplish Gods plan for him weeks later. God promises the Israelites the promised land, but it was only going to be accomplished by following the commandments He was giving them in the here and now.
What are the things that God is asking you to sacrifice for today? What is He asking you to do right here, right now? Sure certain things about our life may be fun or important to us for now, but they are the very things that are going to keep us from inheriting the life God has planned out for us later.
The greatest intimacy found with God is created through our obedience on the smallest of things.
November 3, 2011 Comments Off on Relationship Checklist
- Your conversations with the opposite sex always turn into advice seeking and dissatisfied life decision talks. Here’s the problem: Misery loves company. Your priorities aren’t right and you are seeking the wrong people for advice because they cannot give you the solution to your problem, but only a speculation and mutual pitiless regrets as well. Any relationship that begins with deep emotional stimulation will eventually be required to be stabled with intense physical or spiritual compensation- don’t let this happen. Why? This never ending cycle of always having to be intense in all aspects will leave you dependent on that person for your happiness and leave the door open for you to be burned, hurt, and abused every time. Moreover, fully cutting God out of your life. The ability to be honest and level with someone is beautiful, but becomes ugly and self centered when it’s the only thing you look forward to in your time with that person.
- You plan on making Christ a priority after He gives you prince charming. We like to think that we can approach the negotiation table with God; we think we are worthy enough to make demands of God in exchange for service to Him. But here’s the thing, God is never going to be willing to give you big things in your life if you can’t execute in the small things He wants you to beforehand. God will never honor selfishness, ever. If you aren’t satisfied with who you are as a single person (what God has given you now), you will never find satisfaction in a relationship (what God gives you later). Our obsession with wanting to have what we want, when we want it has inbreed a strong dependance on what we can do for ourselves, rather than honoring the awesome plan God has already created for us. Honor him first, be honored later by Him later.
- I don’t have a clue what I want to do with my life. In my opinion, one of the most beautiful and heart warming characteristics about a healthy relationship is the ability to support goals and aspirations of the other person. The most important role any woman can play in their relationship to their man is their ability to provide counsel. Notice I did not say be their counselor, but provide counsel- 2 totally different things. I strongly believe in the wisdom and keen emotional abilities God has equipped each and every woman. However, if you have no clue what you want to do with your life, how do you expect to be able to understand the compatibility of your future with someone else? Yet again, I am not saying you need to go through your contact list until you find someone that has an adaptable job in any city, but it is a true sign of maturity that you have a great awareness and concern for both members futures and aspirations.
October 16, 2011 Comments Off on Come as You Are
40But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:40-43
Did you know there is absolutely no qualifications or level of deeds required to be a christian? None. Yet, we still get so down on ourselves for feeling like we let God down – feeling like we lost our faith because we’re not good enough to stay on track with what the bible says.
There are those of us that live our life not living in the joy and peace of Jesus. We aren’t saved by Jesus and have no intention on doing so because we could never be good enough to ever enter a church. We feel outcasted because of our past, so we forget our future. It’s like our one wrong decision has stamped us as a failure for the rest of our life and we can’t seem to escape it.
However, you are missing the point, the true amazing love that Christ has shown us and is offering all of us today:
Jesus accepts you for who you are, no matter your circumstance or resume, but He doesn’t plan to leave you as you are. We serve a come as you are God, not because He’s that desperate for our attention or that lonely, but because He loves you that much.
Exactly like the thief on the cross in Luke 23, Jesus doesn’t care what you did in your past – He didn’t even care why the thief was hanging there. Jesus doesn’t want to know where you’ve been, but where you plan on going. The thief believed that Jesus was Lord of all by asking Him to remember him in Heaven.
Come as you are to Jesus this very day. Start at the cross and let the thief be a constant reminder that Jesus loves you just as you are and wants to spend eternity with you because He loves you that much.