Friday, November 15, 2013

"Love Me" Prayer

When we think of praying, we often think of going down a list of important concerns and covering loved ones with God's protection and provision for the day.

I want to recommend a simple beginning to your prayer time that you might find an amazing blessing and welcomed change to your prayer life. As you are focusing upon the Lord, ask Him to love you.

By AnnaZoey on deviantART


Asking God to love you is not a selfish thing. It opens us up to receive His love that is always being poured out toward us. God is love and He desires to love us completely, to fill us with His love.

In my years of prayer, I have asked for many things: a new fresh filling of the spirit, to see His glory, to be healed, to know Him; and each of these are appropriate prayers. But, nothing is so absorbing of His presence as to be loved by Him!

After I soak in His love, I can overflow His love to others. In being saturated by Him, I function out of security, acceptance and wholeness.

Does it matter what this day brings once I am loved fully by God? I can face whatever is placed in my path knowing I am His precious daughter whom He greatly loves.

Blessing to you today.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Greatest of These


I wrote this in 2010 as a guest blogger on a fellow-writer's website. I decided to share it with my blog readers today.



The Greatest of These

Enjoying a day with my husband of 26 years is something I don’t get enough of during this stage of life our raising teens, but yesterday I enjoying a small two day away trip with him. We drove for about five hours, and as usual I read almost the entire trip. When we arrived at the hotel poked fun at me being the only person in the world that would be as excited about reading a 1917 book I found in an antique store.
Original Documents
I unofficially call myself a historian, because I love to read real life accounts of people. I call them original documents. While they are not an escape or creatively written as fiction, they are true impressions of life as seen through the eyes of the person who lived it. Several of the books of the Bible are eye-witness accounts of life. The Bible is a very historical book.
To truly understand history, I know of no better way to experience history in its purest form. In turn, by reading these little gems I find, I gain a deeper understanding of what the world must have been like through an eye-witness account. While I know I am viewing through the interpretation of the writer, at least this writer was there. This is why I give them higher credibility than current day historians writing what they think happen in the past.
God Teaches Us In Words

Original Gems
Every now and then, a collector of antique books will find a gem. Well, to be honest, for someone like me I am very delighted by all the treasures I have found and plan to preserve in my home library. But the particular gem I was enthusiastically trying to share with my husband was a little book titled The Pentecost of Calamity by author, Owen Wister. The topic of his book was Germany before and right after World War I. The insight: hatred was the motivation.
 Let me jump right in and tell you about the creed of the German people. This was their declaration of faith, of decades to be only ratified by actions of destruction of human life…
            “The German claim must be: Educate to hate…. Organization of hatred…. Education to the desire for hatred. Let us abolish unripe and false shame…. To us is given faith, hope and hatred; but hatred is the greatest among them.”
          And it was there, at those last few words, that I paused, recognizing the words and hand of Satan, the destroyer of old, twisting what was pure, lovely, holy to a religion of destruction …. yes, a “religion” and a claim of “God” but not The GOD of the Bible… another “God” altogether different, that likes to masquerade about as Him, always wanting to be superior to Him.
Did you hear it, as you read those words? Faith, hope and … hatred. Could the Germans really have repeated this creed and not flinched, not wondered, not questioned the words they spoke.
           God – Jehovah God – the One True God of Jesus Christ our Lord, says in Scripture, 1 Corinthians 13:13 – “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
 Original Words
How often do we get duped because we don’t know God’s Word? How many times do we accept the creed of others, even unbiblical creeds, because we don’t identify it is contrary to Scripture? Germany was the very location the Bible was translated into the language of the people by Martin Luther and published in print in 1534. Tyndall followed Luther’s lead and so have all Bible Translators. Is it not ironic that from the birthplace of the Bible being translated, one of the wicked twists to Scripture was incorporated into a government sponsored national creed that led to Nazism?
Hatred was replaced with Love, and it was gone unnoticed by generations of people ignorant to essential truths of God’s Word. Does this make you want to be certain you read and rightly divide God’s Word for yourself. My husband is slowly learning to appreciate original documents and gems I find hidden among piles of discarded books in antique shops and thrift stores. The Word of God is a true gem to seek and hide in your heart.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Missing Message for Seekers on Sunday Mornings

"Lord, hear me, for You are gracious, and Jesus died; I cry to You as a condemned criminal who seeks a pardon. Deliver me from going down into the pit, that I may praise Your name." (Quote from Charles Spurgeon)
What would need to happen in Church on Sunday morning for a visitor to kneel down and confess such an argument before GOD?

Churches desire seekers to visit their church on Sunday morning.

BUT will seekers going to Churches all throughout America on a Sunday morning FIND what every seeker truly needs?



Why do churches want visitors? Each church, its leaders and members must ask this question; their answer will shape what they provide on Sunday in a service (or mass).

Seekers attend a church looking for something they feel they needs. Why do they go? What do they need?

What is a church? 
According to the Bible it is a called out body of believers, called out because they are "set apart" from all the other people living in the world at that time. 
The church is often thought of as a building on the corner or a congregation of particular believers, but the church is the people -- both a small group here or there and all believers as a whole. In the Bible a church was grouped by the city such as the Church in Antioch. All the believers in the city of Antioch were considered one church. 
This is all good, but what is a believer? Re-read the passage at the top of this post. A believer has cried out this heartfelt confession to God. So what is....

The Missing MESSAGE?

Seekers visiting churches need to hear that God is seeking to help sinners who are condemned. God loved them when they were sinners. God loved them knowing they would sin, sin and continue to sin. God does not help those who are fine with life, who are content with who they are, who have their needs already met and who are looking for a purpose to give their service.

Are you a mess? Is your life falling apart? Do you feel unsatisfied, unfulfilled, empty? Are you deep inside aware that you are hurting, barely hanging on, and causing pain in other's lives because you are weak and incapable of loving selflessly? Are you a sinner? Do you do evil, desire what you should not, live a secret hidden life?

God is ready to help you.

Deliverance - a pardon - is available.

A person who visits a church needs to know they are hurting because of sin, that their life is a mess because they are not living according to God's ways.

Unbelievers have no rights before God; they are not to address Him nor think they can approach Him because of anything they have accomplished. Our achievements are utterly worthless to God; He is not impressed.

God's grace, His unfailing love, is available for the asking.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Jury Duty

Sitting in a pew, not in church.
Packed in. Worship - we do not do.
Roll called, duty served, we the few.
Unknown - brings anticipation.

All stand, given oath, say, "I do."
Names drawn, one by one - lots are called.
Last chair - each filled with average folks.
Voir Dire - reasonable questions doubt.

Presumed innocent, or hung jury.
Bottle is the deadly weapon.
Verdict tells who you believe most.
Truth sought, tossing coin, two sides told.

Threatened, "I'm going to kill you."
You all were concerned, were you not.
People change, when drinking alcohol.
Have you been in a drinking fight?

Assess - Don't touch me - fight or flight.
Cornered - Can I defend myself?
Focus, stand on your own two feet.
Can you fight for your conviction?

Guilty, not guilty - you decide.
Need more than just some evidence.
"How 'bout"- likely is, more like not.
Anybody have issues with that thought?

Wood floors, wood walls, wood doors - enclosed.
Like a casket - I suppose - we stay put.
Innocent 'til proven guilty.
Jury chosen, his fate is dealt.






Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Yom Kippur - What This Day Means To Christians?

Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement; it begins this Friday evening (September 13) at sundown. This is a holy day in which the entire public Jewish sector of Israel essentially shuts down. While today Israel is mostly a secular State, still millions of Jews will humble themselves by fasting for 25 hours of both food and water.

By Wailing Wall by Cyclist on DeviantArt


Kippur in Hebrew means "to cover over; to pacify; to make propitiation; to ransom by means of substitute." It should not be hard for Christians to see that Jesus fulfills the need for Yom Kippur; He is our "Kippur." Going back to Biblical times a goat was slain and its blood was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies. A second goat had the sins of the nation confessed over it and then was led far into the Judea desert and released to "bear away" the sins of the people.

"Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the LORD's lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before YHVH, to make atonement upon it, and let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness" (Leviticus 16:8-10).

Of course, Jesus also fulfilled the part of Kippur for He bore our sins on the cross. He became our sin for us and then too the punishment of death for our sins. When we confess our sins, the sins are cleansed and also carried away from us. God choses to not remembers them anymore. He see us righteous in Christ.



By EkStenseth on DeviantArt


The goat that "bore away" the sins of the people was considered damned/cursed. Jesus because cursed for our sins; he died a cursed death on the cross. Today in Israel a common curse word contains "azazel" which is the Hebrew word for "scapegoat." 

In 70 A.D. the second temple was destroyed and the shedding of the goat blood ended. The Jews confessing their sins today simply remember the shedding of the goat blood. A child or seeker might ask, "Where is the shedding of the blood today? How are my sins forgiven or carried away?" 

Hebrews 9:22 states "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" 

Christian Jews, after accepting Jesus as Lord, understood the shedding of blood was no longer needed because Jesus shed his blood once and for all --for all people and all time. His was the ultimate sacrifice that fulfilled all of God's need of propitiation; Jesus was, is and forever shall be the our ransom for sin. He was both the blood sacrifice and the "sin-bearer." 

Pray for the Jewish community today and through this weekend that many will ask, "Where is the blood sacrifice?" as they celebrate Yom Yippur. Pray for the Holy Spirit to open their eyes to see Jesus as the fulfillment of this sacrifice. 

In our daily life, we are asked to bear one another's burdens when we pray for each other. I have always found it interesting that the Greek word for bearing burdens can mean two different ways. We can come along side and carry the burden with our friend we are praying for or we can carry that burden away for them and take it to Christ. Occassionally when someone asks me to pray for them, I ask them which way they want me to bear the burden. Some burdens are necessary for growth, to transform us to Christ; others are piled upon us from ourselves, others and our enemy and keep us from doing the kingdom work God desires that will bring Him glory.

As you go throughout this weekend, consider... have I confessed all known sin? Have I released the shame, guilt and sorrow to God? Have I forgiven myself and others? Have I accepted Jesus' clean righteousness in place of my sinfulness? Have I turned - repented - to sin no more in the same way? Aim I only carrying the burdens God wants me to have? Is my life free, and at peace with God, to bring Him glory?

In my own life, I have to continually examine myself with these types of questions. It is a wonderful thing to be focused on God and His purpose for your life. It is so easy to distort and get entangled in the world and sin. Talk with God. Confirm that you are walking in peace with Him and then do the next right thing He wants you to do. 

Have a great day, 
Lindy

Sunday, September 8, 2013

What is a Strong Church?


Our family has been looking for a church for quite some time. 

We have been watching Charles Stanley on TV and love it. He is such a solid preacher. Still we need a church. Below are the points we were given today. After listening to the sermon we examined the churches we have attended the past month or so and in the past attended. While you will never find a perfect church you should look for a strong church.

By GrimmDreamArt on Deviantart.com


Matthew 16:15-20:

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.

These were the points Charles Stanley bought out in his sermon as being what to look for in a Strong Church:

Leadership - Spirit Filled - Living and moving in the Holy Spirit (Gal 5) 

Solid Biblical Teaching - doctrinally sound that meets needs of people, we must read, listen and know the Word.

Uncompromising In Your Convictions - What you watch on TV, How you spend on money, Drinking

Strong Emphasis on Faith and Prayer pray and read God's Word daily, having your own personal relationship

Worship Service - Focus our attention upon God, His Word, Allowing God to speak to our heart, to lift our spirit in prayer, singing and sermon

Faithful Giving - if you obey God you will give motivated by the Spirit of God, to learn to Worship Him in our tithes and offerings

Strategically Organized - to reach goals and meet needs, organization to be reliable and meet needs, beneath service

People Serving with their Spiritual Gifts - Romans 12:6-8, most efficient and happiest

United in Spirit - Oneness, helping each other, meeting needs

Genuine Love for One Another - built church on us loving Him and one another

Vision for the Lost World - getting the message of the church to the world, so everyone who wants to hear the truth can hear it.


Questions we are asked to consider: What are you doing to strengthen your church? If others in the church follow your pattern will the church be strong and fruitful for the Kingdom of God?


Pray for my family that we might find a strong church, and that we may be a strong part of it.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Shooting Stars and Hearing God Speak


Star Gazing for Shooting Meteorites

 
As I write this I am stargazing, or more precisely meteor gazing.

 I am thankful for the time I took to take a blanket outside to lie upon my lawn to look up and stare into the skies. It is impossible for me to do this without hearing God's intimate voice overwhelmingly speak to me so many wonderful thoughts. It is true that he is constantly speaking to us and we are simply too distracted and not listening.



I recalled the summer I was in Kenya 
on a missionary trip and the first night I arrived I went outside and was in awe of HOW MANY stars were actually in the sky. Coming from a rural area of TN, which is not so rural anymore, I have seen stars but never it the brilliance and as numerous as in the Kenya Bush area sky. I am sure it was because we were actually closer to the equator but also because there is not electrical light in the bush of Africa. The sky was filled, every spot covered in shining little diamond like twinkles. I praised God and thanked Him.

Tonight I have only seen a few, but I will be patient.
 Each "shooting star" is a thrill. My heart leaps; I am not sure why. Maybe because my being instinctively knows it is special; it feels like a gift in the sky just for me... but of course, I know so many others around the world tonight are also looking. It is a universal event. And we joy in watching, waiting and being able to experience the seeing.

Our pastor --not aware of this phenomena happening in the skies tonight-- taught about the time God intimately took Abram (who would one day be renamed Abraham) out into the darkness to see the stars. Abram was going through a dark time of his soul. Ten years earlier God had given him a covenant promise that He would make him the father of a Nation of  people who would be God's. I am sure most have heard of the descendants of Abraham. Well, Abram was discouraged because he was now in his 80s and he had no heir. How was he to be the Father of many descendants without a son of his own. Therefore God took Abram out, and walked with him in his time of darkness and told him to look up to the skies. He told him to number the stars if he could -- that his descendants WOULD be as the number of stars in the sky. God kept his promise.

Today I am one of those little shining star descendants of Abraham. 
What a fine family I am blessed to be part of; what a wonderful heritage. We are more alike -- akin -- as human beings than we frequently recognize. We are all of one race, coming from one line and having one Creator that we can all equally trust to be our Redeeming Father and King. Sadly, we all need this redemption--we are each flawed, filled with sins, seemingly as the number of stars in the sky, but we are joyously able to be forgiven, cleansed by Jesus' life, death, burial and resurrection.

I am a child a God. I am one of those stars in Abraham's night. And for that I thank God. I hope you are also. It is good to be numbered among the stars of Abraham's descendants through Jesus.

I have seen several more falling stars as I type. Each is a treasure to behold, but to God we are each a treasure of his. We are his little lights; His shining stars on a dark planet earth. A few of us are even delightful shooting stars, at times, glowing brightly, shooting across a sad, dark and all too frequently evil world of people who are self-centered and absorbed chasing after pleasure and wants so fast and hard that they burn out or up before they take time to consider their Creator and their eternity.

God is so good, so full of grace. 
He provides a way to Him and away from the power, guilt, shame and penalty of sin. We can be free indeed, as we were created to be... little bright lights of joy bringing Him glory. I thank God for this time to reflect on Him, life and wonders. I thank Him for the stars and the several shooting meteorites I was able to view, but most of all I thank Him that He made sure in this life of mine that I was able to come to know Him, that He walks with me and talks with me and will from now and throughout eternity. I am never, and will never, be alone; He is always with me and never forsakes me... even in the darkest hour He is right there with me. And this is the gift offered for every one of us. Choice today whom you will serve. As for me and my house I serve the Lord.

I think I will go awake my daughter to see if she wants to share this moment in the skies. Joy to you and yours today.

Lindy

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Can a Christian be Gay? Can a Vegetarian eat Steak?

This question "Can a Christian be Gay?" is very easy to ask, but (and isn't there always a "but") following it out to the end takes a little more willingness to take an honestly intelligent look at the words of the Bible.




Let me pose some questions:

Can a Christian be a murderer?

Can a Christian steal?

Can a Christian be an adulterer?

Can a Christian be a liar?

The answer is certainly YES!

But what does that solve. It is shallow, because it does not ask the real question... though it might suggest it.

"To be gay" is to have sex with someone of the same sex, to choose to be sexually active with someone  and have a relationship with this person in the most intimate way possible.

The Bible says the two shall become one, meaning obviously one man and one woman. 

The physical sexual organs of the male and female body align (fit) most naturally together. A simpleton can clearly tell that this is not so for two woman or two men, having like sexual organs they cannot naturally complete each other in a physical, sexual manner.

Now I am not naive, I know the two same sex people find many ways of sexually gratifying each other but the obvious point is two same sex people will never join together as God intended as a perfect match (one having what the other does not) and thereby most naturally become one together.

Can a person have sex with an animal? Is that natural? Can two males or females have sex with each other? Is that natural?

And what do I mean by natural? according to nature, by design, created to be that way.

So beyond the physical, "Can a Christian be a Gay", or simply be Gay (living the gay lifestyle)?

A Christian is humanly possible to do anything a non-Christian can do. Are they not? So, we are not talking about physically... we are talking about by definition.

What is a Christian? A person who has CHOSEN to follow Christ. A follower of Christ by grace accepts Jesus' death in place of their own as a sacrifice and payment due of their own life owed to God for sin. You see, many people do not understand what it means to be a Christian. Choosing to be a Christian means that a person has chosen to follow the Bible, Its teachings, to the very best of their ability and most importantly with the aid of the power of the Holy Spirit to help them understand what it says.

I can say many things but that does not make me many things.

I can say I am a vegetarian, but if I eat a nice thick steak am I a vegetarian?

What makes a person a vegetarian? It is a person who eat vegetables and no meat to varying degrees. I have never known of a vegetarian who eats steak. It is kind of like eating steak disqualifies a person from being a vegetarian because this person is not following the rules or description of what it means to be a vegetarian. A person who openly and continually eats meat is not a true vegetarian.

The Bible is clear on the fact that homosexual relationships are not to be followed by Christians, and that it is a sin against God. All Christians sin but any person that openly continues in a lifestyle of clear sin not repentant or surrendering to the power of the Holy Spirit to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ... well that person is not a true Christian.

I don't think this is too hard to follow or understand. I hope this helps to answer this question that many have.

Let me end with this: 
a friend of mine just last week shared that her pastor said the question is not "is a person once saved, always saved", it is "IF a person is once saved, then they are always saved". Thus related to this topic, IF a person is a Christian, they are always a Christian... thus a Christian could never live a life in continual repetitive sin and not be led by the Holy Spirit to be changed and to repent of that sin... regardless of what sin it is.

Lots of Love,

Lindy





Sunday, June 23, 2013

Where Does Love Begin?

Love - 

it is the craving of all. It is a common need; we must have love in order to be fulfilled in our life. The absence of love creates a vacuum, an endless hole within, a need that must find its abundant source. In all of creation, One meets the satisfaction of this definition... one and only one is the sufficient, boundless, and everlasting source--that one is God.


Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
 1John 4:7


BUT where does LOVE begin?

We seek love mostly in people, but after being hurt, rejected and treated ungracefully we convince ourselves that we will never be loved genuinely. We seek love with sex, desires, things, adventures and accomplishments searching to be fulfilled. We try to love over and over, but mess up so much, and get rejected.

So where do we start with love? Where does it begin?

GOD is birthed in us through Jesus. When we accept Jesus, the Holy Spirit--LOVE-- lives within us and enables us to love. GOD is LOVE. Without God we are unable to love.

I have friends that have not decided whether to believe that Jesus is God or that God is real or that God is what the need/want in their life. But truly the majority of their question result from their opinion, experience or understanding of religion and a church. They are left with a less than appealing view of God. So they are unsure they want to be part of "religion and churches" which they assume is equated to God Himself.

The big questions should be: Do they want to serve God's purpose instead of their own? Do they want to be surrendered to God allowing Him to live through them? Do they believe in God enough to devote their life to Him, to worship Him and to live for Him?

I am glad my friends understand these is the real question to ask. The shallow question often asked in churches about God is: Do you want Jesus in your heart? Do you want to go to heaven? Do you want to have your sins forgiven?

Of course when we surrender to God to be Lord of our life, Jesus as the Holy Spirit does come to live within us, we do go to heaven and our sins are forgiven, but these gracious gifts of love do not proceed or come to anyone without them FIRST giving themselves wholly to God.

Why are there so many problems in churches? Splits? Arguments? Backstabbing? Hurtful people? Power struggles?
Why do so many "Christians" habitually sin? Act hypocritical? Are two faced? Elitist? Judgmental? Stern? Hateful? Petty? Unforgiving?
"These kinds of people" who call themselves "Christians"--in fact-- do not have God, the source of LOVE, complete fulfillment, satisfaction, and confidence. What they claim is false and therefore misleading to the world and painfully God is misunderstood by many.

The Truth is: God is where LOVE begins! 

Do you long to have love, to be on a journey that will require suffering/sacrifice but will bring growth and many opportunities to love others, to know what it is to be totally loved and to overflow with the power to make a positive impression on those you know and beyond?

Know God and you will always be loved. God is the beginning of LOVE.


Love to you today,

Lindy Abbott

Monday, June 10, 2013

Show Me My Sin - Know Grace

Grace is the ability to receive undeserved mercy. 

Mercy is forgiveness, access, protection or ability granted that did not have to be given.


Therefore Grace is receiving forgiveness that is not deserved but granted by the power and benevolence  of the One that is able.

God gives grace and mercy. 
He is able and worthy to do so, because of Jesus' life, death, burial and resurrection. He is the only one able to forgive sins.

Sin...

a small word.

Without sin, grace, mercy and forgiveness is less needed and therefore does not poured out into a person's life. While grace and mercy can still be provided to draw you away from sin or to "for a time" when you are under another's covering, insulate you from temptation, forgiveness is only known by sinners.

"Show me my sin" 

is a request a person can make if they are serious about knowing God. Sin keeps us apart from God. Sometimes in our life, when we are not sensitive to sin or before we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we don't recognize sin in our life. We mull through life thinking we are basically good, but --in fact--are oblivious to countless sins we commit regularly.

I will not give you a list of sins to check off. This is a spiritual exercise between you and God. If you want to see yourself, if you want to get a picture of your need of God, if you want to hear God and walk a deeper spiritual path, ask God, "show me my sin."

When I did this in my twenties, God answered this prayer quickly. Matter of fact, I got to a point in watching my sinful life roll before my eyes like a replay of personal "hidden" life video that I cried out to God to "stop." I had seen enough. I could bare no more.

And after-- when I realized what a great sinner I was-- and how much God had done for me to make me sinless in His sight through Jesus Christ, I could not and still can not contain my thankfulness and love for God.

This spiritual exercise was a definite turning point of great growth in my life. I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to ask God this question because I was deeply struggling to see myself as the greater sinner over someone who had hurt me so deeply over so many years. You see in my mind this person would always be the greatest sinner, but not after God showed me my sin against Him.

Oh, the joy to know complete forgiveness and then to be seen clean in the sight of God.

What freedom this brings! I pray that as many as want to know, that they ask and receive.

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7

Lindy

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Build The WALL First, Mexican American Border


UPDATE: June 2013



I wrote this post on February 14, 2011; it is now June 2013 and still nothing has been done about building the wall between Mexico and the United States but much has been discussed and plotted about giving Mexicans and other Nationalities that have illegal entered or illegally overstayed their visa to have the right to become an American Citizen.

Let us start with the right terminology. A person that enters the country illegally is a foreigner who is breaking the law thus they are rightly called an illegal alien, not an immigrant. An immigrant is one who applies for immigration status and obeys American laws, so let us stop calling lawbreaking foreigners immigrants. If they want the fine status of immigrant they can return to their foreign nation from which they came and apply to come to America as an immigrant legally.

American Citizenship is not a right to be tossed about lightly and given to people who come to our country illegally or who are lawbreakers by staying here beyond their legal permitted time. Being an anchor baby grown up as a child while most would want to grant citizenship is legally questionable because the parents were not under the legal jurisdiction of the State in which the baby was born if they were here illegally. You see, you can't have it both way. An illegal (a criminal of the United States) can not simply become legal by passing through the birth canal on American soil. But this is beyond the scope of this article while it still has a lot to do with amnesty.

The whole point of this article was to state the unquestionable fact that AMERICA could have build a wall on our southern border several times over if they started and were determined to finish it. Then, they could eliminate the illegal crossing and entry and the overstay of visas.

But no one in power, not one political person has the fortitude to demand that the wall be built!

Get politicians and politics out of the way. No nation can remain sovereign with porous borders. American will crumble and not be valuable to anyone if we don't face the pure fact that a secure border must be established, PERIOD. This must be dealt with FIRST, completely, and when the border is finished and the Nation's boundaries and ports are secure, then and only then should we be discussion other issues regarding illegals aliens (not immigrants) in America.

Let us look at History!

China has a Wall. It measures 3,339 miles long. This wall has 7,000 lookout towers and 700 beacon towers.

The Berlin Wall was constructed by USSR on one weekend. It began on Friday and on Monday it was finished. The Berlin Wall was 96 miles. It had 300 watch towers and 30 bunkers. During 1961 to 1990, only 5,000 people successfully crossed this border wall. 

Soviets build the Berlin Wall in 3 days, Fri evening to Mon afternoon
The American- Mexican border is 1,969 miles long. The estimate of illegal entry from Mexico to US is 500,000 per year since 1990:

For a period of time in the 1990s, US Army personnel were stationed along the U.S.-Mexico border to help stem the flow of illegal immigrants and drug smugglers. These military units brought their specialized equipment such as FLIR (infrared) devices and helicopters.
 They worked in conjunction with the US border patrol who were deployed along the border and, for a brief time, the smugglers and the alien traffickers simply ceased operations over the one hundred mile sections of the border was sealed at a time. It was very effective but temporary as the illegal traffic resumed as soon as the military withdrew.

I keep hearing people say the Mexican-US  Border can not be sealed. How can this be said by a country that  has sent men to the moon, and a hubble telescope giving everyone amazing pictures of space?

America Can't Build A Wall To Protect It's Citizens?!?

People who work the border have been convinced it is an impossible task. I say they are naysayers and quitters. Don't mistake me for blaming the border patrol. They are wonderful Americans doing their job, but they do believe it can't be done. I know this sounds harsh or mean but it is a LIE, that our border can not be made permanently secure. We don't need some high tech wall.

The Berlin Wall was effective and it was 13 feet high concrete, that was enforced with "shoot to kill" dead zones for people who tried to escape.

Mexicans are not illegally escaping Mexico. Mexicans are illegally entering USA. For anyone who didn't know, Mexico and America are two separate countries.... not two American states. Mexicans do not have the right to take what belongs to Americans, just as Americans do not have the right to enter Mexico and take the rights of Mexicans.

Hello!? When is it cruel to protect your border? It is called sovereignty of a Nation. All Nations have not only a right but an obligation to its citizens to secure it borders from illegal entry.

If you think it can't be done, give me the job... or I will give the job to my 17 yr old son. It a matter of weeks the border would be sealed! Building a concrete wall does not take a very long time. Even if we do 100 feet every weekend. in 20 weekends the wall would be build. But let's say we work around the clock. 100 feet each three days (and this is a slow 1961 model). In 60 days, the 2000 foot border would be complete!

And who would be the manpower, anyone receive welfare checks or unemployment. If you don't work you don't eat, unless you are unable do to illness. For 60 days tents with cots could be put up for the people to stay in while working. This does not take high intelligence. It takes common sense.

People are illegally entering the United States. This is an issue of National security! We are being invaded illegally by people who are stealing our citizens tax dollars in receiving American education, healthcare, food, jobs, and subsidized living. NO NATION CAN REMAIN IN EXISTENCE DOING THIS!

People who plead the case of rights for people illegally entering USA are traitors against our Nation. They are destroying our sovereignty, economy, security, hope and future.

I am an American Citizen. I stand up as a Patriot. I refuse to be hushed. I love my Nation. I will not be silent while our Country's survival is at stake.

What is your response? Are will you remain silent, and see what happens?

If I died Tonight - What I want you to know

None of us know when our last day on earth will be.



I was thinking about this and decided to write down what I would want anyone left behind after my death to know:

GOD is all that matters. 
I know I am going to heaven. It is not because I was good, though I tried to be. It is because God is good and He showed me that He is life. Jesus is God. He was born to live a life without sinning so that he could die to release all humans from the curse of eternal death. I have sinned and so have you, therefore, you and me and every person who ever lives is cursed to eternal damnation, to join the rebellious fallen angels in hell for eternity.

But as I said, God is Good, therefore, He became the provision to give us a way to avoid that future. He loves us so much He died for us so that we might live. And He didn't stay dead, He rose from the grave. He beat Satan and death... and made a way for us to do so also.

You see it is kinda hard to realize that what is physical in life is not as real or important as what is spiritual. We are here on earth for a short time... a speck ... a grain of sand on a beach... but eternity goes on without end.

Think spiritually.
 Push past the physical realm. I know there is a lot to push past, but you never have to not be physical... you can't. You just need to get your priorities straight. Put God first in everything, every decision, every drive, every goal, every want... filter everything through God.

I promise you life will be so much simpler, happier and more at peace. You are loved, accepted, chosen and special. Stop trying so hard to be somebody when you already are - who you are. Don't change for anyone except for God.

In everything you do, make sure it please God. 
And I am not talking about any god, because God is only one - Jehovah God of the Bible who came to earth as Jesus. Jesus is God.

May the Holy Spirit help all who read or hear to see what He so graciously showed me so many years ago, for which I am eternally thankful.



I have said it all - if I died tonight, I can know that I said what was most important.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Three Essentials to Prayer - How to Pray?

Many Christians wonder how to pray.

They "try" as they suppose they should. They study prayer topics in the Bible and try again to emulate the "Lord's Prayer" which is an excellent example of the ingredients of prayer...but they are frustrated by the lack of power found in their prayers and the sheer boredom of trying to pray.

They hear voices and are confused if they are hearing God, Satan or their own heart desires. Rightly so, they sense their meager attempts to pray are fruitless, and worse, cause them to doubt their faith and question both their own heart and that of the reality of God Himself.



Should communicating to the Creator God be so troublesome? Is God not able to communicate to us if He wishes? God is ABLE. Therefore, if God is able then what is wrong? It must be us-- our condition- - our own attitude and actions. While in everything spiritual we are continually growing, here are three essentials to Prayer:


  • Patience
  • Precepts 
  • Perseverance.



Any Christian --young or old -- should work toward developing and practicing their prayer life... effectively communicating to God.

Patience

We are instructed continual in Scripture to "wait on the Lord." God does not live by our clock or time zone; we must learn to align our soul to His. In a real sense God is beyond our concept of time... but we can grasp some truths about God's timing. First and foremost, His timing is perfect and ours definitely is not; we should eagerly want to make certain that we are not rushing into something or lagging behind. We need to press into the Holy Spirit and be willing to set our life to His schedule. God is never early or late. He is quite timely!

All of the prophecies foretelling of the Messiah would not have been fulfilled if God was in one instance untimely. We need to trust Him fully that no clock or calendar days are of any importance when it comes to waiting on the Lord.

When we come to Him in prayer, we are to be still before Him and continue to seek Him, until we have full assurance from Him that we have received the steps or direction we must take according to His will.

Many persons (ministers/ministries/followers) meaning good have blundered by moving forward when the grace of God did not lead in unison. How tragic that many harms have come to churches and their members because the leaders follow visions of greatness and thoughts of goodness instead of pressing into the fact that a true believers waits upon the perfect timing of God.

No program can facilitate a movement of the Holy Spirit and His power. This is not to say that churches need not run their assemblies in order and respect the time of its attendees, but when followers of God gather to worship and learn and love they should not be constrained by the minutes ticking on the clock. 

In the same way when we pray, we must be patient to allow the Holy Spirit to guide our private time in talking and listening and meditating upon trials, prayer requests, joys and simply relishing being in His presence.

It is a wise lesson to learn early that we should never move forward without assurance from Him of the step we should take, even if it is to be a step of faith (one of not knowing what the next step will bring) we should wait until we make that step in full assurance that the unction of the Holy Spirit abounds, that we are right with God in every area of obedience that we are made aware and that we are totally abandoned to submit to His will, upon His asking.

Precepts

The diligent study of the Bible is our greatest source of foundation in prayer and in every other aspect of life as a follower of Jesus.

Reading, studying, and applying the Word of God as a balm on every need is they way we should live from the day of salvation until the day we have our final breath of life. We are not to be silly in opening the Bible and taking the first verse that our eyes light upon as an answer to prayer or to go dipping in with a finger to find a response pretending that God is a mystical source of chance. This is totally unBiblical!

We should read verses within chapters and chapters within Books and Books within the entire Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. We should cling to the easiest of verses first, the ones that we know there is no doubt about its meaning. If we did this for the first several years of being a Christian, even the first decade, we would not tire of not having enough to embrace and embed within out heart. 

We need to read these passages, and apply them to our lives --both within our heart and by our outward actions. Learning to be obedient, to the easiest and clearest of instruction, will guide us gently to rightly dividing the more obscure passages of Scripture, because when we come upon them (the controversial/obscure passages) we will have a large wealth of Scripture knowledge that must not be contradicted, since we stand on God's Word as fact and promises that can not lie or change. 

So in prayer, what we suppose we hear God say must always be aligned to what we KNOW for certain God has already spoken in His written Word. It is by this process, we become very attuned to identifying the voice of God verses our own, one in our memory or the enemy. 

Truly it is a simple process and easy for any believer to become quite apt at doing, that is, if they would only study God's Word and become a doer of the Word, not a mere hearer. In this way, being a doer of the Word, the Word becomes flesh in our own life and It becomes a part of our very fiber because we are being shaped by It as we are obedient to It.

Quickly we will be to discern a lie or a suggested answer in prayer that is impossible to be of God because it contradicts Scripture, thus we will be sharp against the deceitful tongue of trickery that might try to masquerade as a word of encouragement or unction from God that is clearly false.

Understand this to be absolute: God cannot and will not contradict Himself.

He can't hate divorce and love it at the same time. He can permit it when the occasion rises to the point that it becomes one of sanity or health or safety but we must tread very lightly in these type of situations. Moreover, God will never condone the murder of a baby in the womb or the union of homosexuals - these are absolutes and if we - in earnest prayer - hear differently we must belabor our time before the Lord until by His Word He instructs us to obedience.

Perseverance 

A praying saint finds perseverance is necessary. God is not a magical genie that instantly answers our request by manipulating people's freewill and bending physical circumstances to meet our wish. This kind of thinking is a completely perverted concept of God.

We know in our own life that God is ever so resilient and full of grace that He never gives up on us no matter how long it takes us to learn or change. Therefore, particularly when we pray for others, we must persevere in their behalf knowing that God is working with an individual like ourselves that is not easily molded into submission and obedience though it is the best for us. God's grace sufficiently draws us and teaches us until we chose to surrender to Him and His best for our life. 

Oh, if we were all more of a malleable brood of children in the hands of our loving Father - what kingdom work could be done for the glory of God - if we were truly a lump of clay laying on the Potter's wheel without a hardened self-will and sinful determination.

Therefore, we must persevere for both our own benefit and that of the person for whom we pray - waiting until God's will to manifest and form.


I hope this helps...

for anyone reading that is seeking how to pray.  Pray! Continue every day and through each day in this worthy pursuit, for it is the only way for us to know the will of God and to be filled with the power of God, that His will on earth may be done - Yes, We must pray!


Friday, May 31, 2013

Benghazi - Left to Die



Wood was shattered on the roof
Rescue called-- never came through.
Told to never doubt this truth
They did what they had to do.

With the gates torn down,
A flashing blaze rushed smoke.
They heard the Jihad sound
They knew they couldn't choke.

Pictures blared round the world
Each minute death drew close.
Into action their instinct hurled
Deep stench filled up their nose.



The call went out for help
They kept looking to the sky,
Not ever thinking of them-self.
Brave men were left to die.

Disgrace is the only medal
He should wear upon his chest
Rome burned, Nero fiddled
Barak denied their request.

The devil danced in the street,
The Ambassador tossed thru crowds,
Brave heroes never accept defeat,
They fought and made us proud.



Our President brought us shame,
Plotting lies while Americans died,
Now dodging personal blame,
But, we --the citizen-- know he's lied.

Redeemer of Righteousness
Hear our plea before Your throne,
Expose truth until they confess,
May their evil deeds be shown.

Set the Benghazi record straight
Let us see what You already know,
Turn Glory from this wretched hate,
May Your mercy and justice flow.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Always Right = A Fool

Do you know a fool? Do you live with one? Are you one?

If you think you might be a fool, that is a huge sign that you are not. A fool thinks he is always right and would never ponder on the fact that he might be one. But you might feel like a fool because you live with a fool or someone very close to you is a fool.

Do you know someone who is so self-confident that they are always right? Now I am not talking about a teenager that naturally goes through the 'I am right, parents are dumb' stage. We all have periods of foolishness in our life. It can be hard to love someone through a foolish period, but tough love will not cater to the whims of foolish whimpers and cave in with giving what they want rather than saying or encouraging what they need.



A fool is deceitful. Every Christian knows it is wrong to be deceitful because Satan is the father of lies and deceit. To be deceitful is to follow the father of lies.

Just yesterday I heard that Sun Tzu in the Art of War said that all warfare is based upon deception. There is that word I try to avoid "deception" because I equate it with the evil one. But I began to look up what in the world Sun Tzu meant by this quote and found that it is most often misunderstood because it is taken out of context. (Is this not so common?) [great blog on Sun Tzu]

Sun Tzu taught that a leader in war must be careful to let his opponent believe his own lies about himself, others or the situation without ever actually speaking one lie. It seems he knew well how to deal with fools. An enemy who thinks he is always right will delude himself into his own personal disaster and drag along those who follow him closely or who get caught in his web of lies.

A fool is arrogant, but a delusional arrogance that comes not from achievement or hard work. A fool lies to himself and to others. He is convinced he is something he is not and others believe his charade about himself.

A fool need a posse. 

He can't stand on his own because he doesn't do the hard work necessary to stand. He needs to surround himself with 'wannabes' who are willing to do the grunt work for him, who will drop everything when he calls, who will jump on the wave when the tide is rising because they desire to partake in the ride. A fool collects people like a magnet but drops them without a compassionate thought when their usefulness comes to an end. Callously a fool prunes back perceived 'dead weight' regardless of the love or sacrifice previously bestowed on him. People are disposable, but most never leave; they keep on giving regardless of how many times they are trampled.





A fool has an amazingly appealing good side, a dazzlingly bright star, a stellar competitor, and a charming presence. People feel fortunate to be called a friend or to be in the fool's inner circle because the high times are intoxicatingly special and regardless of the price to be paid during the fall they remember how great it felt to be there during the good times.

In this way, a fool is addictive, but more than that...

 a fool is a trap. 


They can catch people on their hook and drag them along thinking they are actually choosing to be around. This is the deception... a fool make people believe lies and even live lies as they toss out a few bits of bait to keep them around.

It is hard to awaken and recognize a fool when you consider the person a friend or even worse if they are a family member. You have a kind heart, you want to believe good about people, you question your own responses, you imagine that you are the fool and at fault... it could never be the other way around.

But remember if you dare to think for a moment that you are a fool, if you regret and repent of your sins, if you seek forgiveness and want to live right according to God and not in your own sight, you are not a fool. You might need to wake up and realize you don't need that fool in your life, but only God can reveal this to you. If you are in doubt, ask Him. He will be happy to show you. He hates arrogance, deception and foolish ways.... the ways of a sinner but never the person. God love you and me and all of his creation.

I hope this helps you see more clearly. I hope you have enough self-respect to let God remove fools from your life. This is my prayer for you and for myself.

Lindy

Monday, May 27, 2013

Daily - One Thing A Christian Has to Do

Religious duties are drudgery and have nothing to do with Jehovah God - Jesus - of the Holy Bible. Most certainly many in the name of God, claiming to represent Him, have laid down upon man many religious musts and don'ts, but let me be clear... we have only one thing to do:



TO EXPERIENCE a life of RELATIONSHIP and INTIMACY with GOD!

I say that as though it is a simple, common thing that can be done by any person... and it can. That in itself is the mystery of grace that is boundless and sufficient for all.

Yes, yes, that sounds like religiosity... the mystery of grace.... boundless and sufficient for all is about as simple for most to understand as how one is to practically and daily experience a LIFE of relationship and intimacy with God.

But that is precisely what I am saying can be done and must be done in order to be a Christian.

While discipline is important, religious duties are not in the least pleasing to God unless we are practicing steps of discipleship with a heart to know and love Him, with an inner heart cry for touching the hem of Christ's garment, hoping with your complete being to be engulfed in the presence of God's manifest spiritual awareness.

What must you do? What must I do? What are the requirements?

A longing after God! (oh, is that all! YES! but what and how?)

In our age of technology that burst out of the age of science and high intellectualism, people have lost their way in believing and experiencing the inward life. Sure we eat, and watch and go and do. We touch and smell and taste and see.... but feel with our spirit in our soul. How does one find that in a cadaver? Who has seen it under the microscope of real world facts?



But if even the greatest of skeptics were gut honest, he knows he feels and not only with his mind but with his soul. The heart skipping beat when one knows he is loved regardless of imperfections. The awe of seeing the wonders of nature and everything in creation.... a newborn baby emerging from the mother's womb, a sunset on the horizon of the ocean, a butterfly unfolding its wings for the first time, a hug that fills the deepest hole during the agony of loss... yes, if we have allowed ourselves to live life, we have felt and been touched by something unseen, intangible. The honest scientist knows there is more beyond what can be dissected or observed with instruments.

It takes no degree in theology or innumerable days spent in Bible study to reach out and know God. In time it will take diligent study to grow deeply, but never study that is detached from the spiritual yearning and delight in knowing God and being known by Him - the zenith of life itself. And yet, no matter how much we grow, we will always be young seeking the Lord in fresh experiences, never satisfied to live on a memory of a time we had once or twice in life.... "daily" is all that will do.

It takes courage to move beyond the physical to explore the inward life, to ask 'how to'.

You and I --ordinary human being--are able in Christ to be liberated from the physical bounds of body and mind -- to be quickened in spirit daily.

Superficiality find satisfaction in fulfillment of purpose and joy of living. BUT HOW?

By God, not by what we can muster through hard work and determination. I laugh, because the full work is already done by Jesus... God simply will complete it within us as we sit at His feet surrendered to His molding, obedient to His calling, vulnerable to His passion, yearning to please Him and walk abiding... Him in me and I alive to being in Him. Awareness comes through stillness and surrender. Listening for His voice and following Him where ever it might take you.

What must I do? I must be still and know that HE IS GOD. I must be quiet, I must listen, I must be ready to obey... it is not about anything you manufacture, but think of it more like allowing the Artist of life to paint through you onto the canvas of today. Stroke by stroke, moment by moment, color by color, shadow by shadow, shape by shape, brush by brush, wash by wash, technique by technique. A gigantic canvas being tooled through you by the One that is the object of all your desire.



That is a perfect picture of the union of God becoming real in a person's life. We simply must learn how to let, and then to be.

May you have a wonderful day.

Sincerely,

Lindy

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Christian Versus Atheist All-Star Celebrity Apprentice

This coming Sunday night is the finale of the Donald Trump All-Star Celebrity Apprentice. Our family has enjoyed watching the show together each Sunday.

Source Credit Link:abc

We have grown to know the celebrities better and appreciate their strengths and weaknesses. One unusually part of this season has been the oddity of the celebrity Gary Busey, once an up-and-coming actor who got in a vehicle accident, had brain injury and went through a period addiction. Now he is getting his life back together. Gary has a beautiful wife, precious young boy and a definitely up-and-down mental stability; but Gary is Gary--and most viewer enjoy his out-of-this-world mental trips giving us his unique view of life in the mind of Gary.

The show's final two celebrities are Trace Adkins and Penn from the magician act, Penn and Tell. The finale has been slated as Nashville versus Los Vegas. Both men are quite confident of winning and coincidently of similar physical stature--tall, big, long-hair pony tail men. In many ways I find their personalities comparable--they don't sweat the small stuff, they rise above the riffs and have very creative, intelligent minds.

But what struck me to state that this is the Christian versus the Atheist, especially since both Adkins and Penn do not talk about their faith--they are very private and don't disclose a whole lot about themselves through their words?

I was thinking this morning about the irony of the fact that Penn's charity, Opportunity Village, serves the intellectually disabled community in Nevada. I remembered how he and Lisa Rinna two weeks ago belittled and emotionally cut-off Gary Busey who is intellectually challenged following his brain injury. Penn had so little compassion for Gary and simply could not work with him but instead frustrated Gary who was trying to be project manager. Lisa joined up with Penn and stayed clear of helping but instead seemed to talk down to Gary like he was retarded instead of injured and needing an OPPORTUNITY for extra loving care and patience.

In stark contrast last week when Trump pulled out a surprise return of Gary Busey and placed him on Trace's team for the finale, Trace treated Gary much differently. I initially felt Trump gave Trace Gary to aid Penn in winning because without question having Gary on your team is challenging. To my delight, Trace gave Gary a leading opportunity to star in his 60 second video highlighting the new ice cream flavor developed in support of Red Cross, Trace's non-profit group.

Mary Lou, who was also a returning team member for Trace, even teared up when she watched the beauty of seeing Gary come to life in her words with a spark of "genius" when he was in his craft of acting. Also, Trace chose Gary to accompany him whenever he picked one of the celebrities to go with him to do a part of the challenge. He didn't sideline Gary or give him a low level part (like Penn who chose Dennis Rodman, the oddest person on his team, to lie under the table and have ice cream dropped on him as part of the magic trick) that was a questionably degrading position for a celebrity.

Of course, I have no way of knowing if the Nashville Stars of Country music are going to out-contribute the flashy Las Vegas Show Stars in order to bring their Celebrity the crown of All-Star Celebrity Apprentice title and at least $250,000 charity prize money for this Sunday's show. Yet, I recall the old-timers slogan that it does not matter who wins or losses, it matters how you play the game.

After thinking about these points I see the clear winner, in my opinion - Trace is the winner! And in his own subtle way he has shown the walk of the character of Christ in treating the least of us as the best. I am honored to live in a Nashville suburb and to claim Trace Adkins for my hometown as a winner!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Youth Ministry - A Place to Practice

In many churches today youth ministry is the place that the church deacons employ young up-and-coming pastors. They deem that youth ministry is like a trial run for big church, or for pastoring the adult or even the whole congregation. Many senior pastors have used youth ministry as the gateway to becoming the main leader of a whole congregation.

Typical youth crazy activities


Let us look at the pros, cons and mindset that corresponds with this process.

Middle to High School students don't know as much about the Bible so it seems a nice place to let green ministers cut their teeth so to speak. The pastor can try out his Bible knowledge and develop a means of communicating messages to people. Youth are more apt to being flexible and forgiving of errors, let us face the fact that the majority of young people will not even notice if a youth pastor blunders a message or gives advice that is mediocre or not totally wise. And the feeling is "what does it matter" the issues a young person faces are not as surmountable as the adults who are making life important decisions daily.

Youth ministry is also considered the place for the less mature pastor to grow and thereby become a more complete, perfected Christian. The youth are in a maturing process themselves so it seem logical to allow a young pastor who needs time to mature to spend years ministering the comparable members of the church.

Most youth ministries are very silly and few mature Christians would want to engage in such youthful activities anyway. It is therefore seen as a win-win situation to place the silliest, most playful leader with the youth.

Then, of course, most congregations have the mindset that the youth need to be entertained and engaged in songs, skits, games, etc. that would never be acceptable on a Sunday morning but are highly palatable on Wednesday nights in the youth service. Loud rocking music, concert lighting, dimmed club-like room settings are the choice of esthetics for youth ministry.

So this is all grand! Is it not? What possibly could be unwise about this arrangement?

Well, it is similar to the blind leading the blind which is birthed from the mentality that the young don't need as much solid teaching and wisdom. From all of the teens I have known this is not so. Teenagers are growing up in an increasingly unprotected evil society and they are faced with unstable family structures and highly unBiblical public education that often lead to being forced to growing up fast.



In Scripture God never gives the church time for mindless play and immature teaching. All saints regardless of their age needs solid Biblical teaching of laying down foundational truths and a pastor that is able to spontaneously react to given challenging situations in a mature Biblical manner. A youth minister has a powerful opportunity to lay the strongest Christian foundation into impressionable minds and quite often tender hearts who have been hurt by adults and peers in their life.

Quite possibly the most grievous downside to church youth ministry is how it separates youth from their family and how it weakens teens relationships with their parents. The public school mindset that parents are a hamper to minister to their our teen children is damaging not only to the individual parent-teen relationship but to the strength of the church body itself. Parents are seen as noising around visitors that are over-protective or unable to relinquish their young to socially exciting events and cool experiences. Viewed as fuddy-duddies that are out of touch parents are excluded from events and thereby miss any opportunity of having shared experiences with their teens. Just like public schools, parents are felt they are intruding on someone else's territory if they try to hangout with the youth ministry. This is a most unfortunate trend in churches.

Teens are naturally growing and looking for answers. They frequently are open to the input of adults in their life beyond their parents. They are seeking to find out if God is real and if His Word can truly help them navigate the trials and obstacles they are facing. Teens need mature ministers that can instruct them in how to apply the Balm of Gilead (Scripture) to their hurts. They need experiences with God that are spirit-led, meaningful and life changing.

Youth is no time for Practicing Pastors. It is quite rationally the most essential age period for reaching the unsaved and for grounding men and women in righteous living and Christian ministry. The prudent church will recognize that youth is the age to ground individuals in a disciplined pattern of Christian response and living.

With all this said, I include this "food for thought" on youth ministry. Christians need to be on their knees seeking the wisdom of God and searching His Word pertaining to the teaching of children. Parents - not the church - are instructed with this high mission. It is folly to try to replace the life on life instruction of a parent in their child's life, and quite possibly a very dangerous mindset. Parents are given the responsibility to train up their children and it is unwise to try to establish a method of living that is extra-Biblical.

The wise deacons of a church will bring in a mature youth pastor who can come along side the parents of youth and equip them to be the best parents they can be to their middle and high school children. The youth ministry with work hand in hand with God's chosen minister (the parents) in facilitating the growth of the teens and work tirelessly to create a family-friendly atmosphere where family units are encouraged to grow in the Word together and to apply teaching in their daily relationships. The youth ministry should be a resource in the Body of Christ that happily welcomes parents and teens to come and learn together and to build strong bonds that will last a lifetime.

Let me end by saying, that among the Kingdom of God there are some churches who are perfecting their children and youth ministries to be family focused and to be Bible Study based. The children and parents are richly growing in God and mutual respect developing into the people God created them to be and assisted by men and woman of God that have devoted their life to the ministry of youth and their families. The key is to honor God and the teachings of His Word in every ministry of the church. We need to search for Biblical precepts before developing ministry and church programs so that we are certain God's will is being done and HE is getting the greatest glory through our time, money and efforts.

I hope you have found this post beneficial and I would be happy to hear your experience and any Biblical insights you may have to add to the discussion of youth ministry.

Love,

Lindy


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