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Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” -Galations 6:7

My soul is so tired and weary of dealing with the God-mockers and the lukewarm. Those who claim the name of Christ yet act in as many ways unlike Christ as they possibly can. The people who aren’t simply making an human error, but are perpetuating a lifestyle of sin and essentially spitting on the throne of grace. People who claim Jesus as “ok with it”, but forget that he told the adulteress to “go and sin no more”. Those who talk about Christ’s forgiveness, but forget that he turned the tables on the merchants in the temple. People who say “don’t judge, or you will be judged” but forget that Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

The same Jesus who said “love your neighbor as yourself” is also the one who said “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Referring to teachers who led children astray.)

The same Jesus who forgave the prostitute, healed the lame, and said that we were to forgive repentant brothers seventy times seven times also said “be holy, as I am holy.”

Jesus never excused sin, never allowed for sin, or encouraged it. He forgave the sins of the repentant and gave them a way out! Of course, that is not enough for those who want to live sinfully without the fear of guilt or judgment. Someone once said that if an act (a sin) was excusable, then it didn’t need forgiveness! A sinful behavior might be explainable, understandable, or even anticipated, but it is unacceptable: sin is sin, and we must strive for perfection through the help of the Holy Spirit. What we’re saying when we intentionally sin and sin habitually is that God’s grace and mercy are worthless and that He is unworthy of our praise and respect. If you claim to follow the God of the universe, do not be surprised when something is expected of you, or when your sins are revealed. My God will not be mocked.

Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” – Hebrews 10:28-30

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” -2 Peter 2

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Men are the stronger sex; they work, build, and provide for their families. They don’t cry. They don’t get overrun by “feelings” like women do. Men are tough; they are not sensitive and do not get emotionally hurt easily.

Or do they?

Something that I have observed over the years is that there is a little boy inside every grown man. I see it in my husband, I see it in my father, and I see it in many of my friends. The same things that delighted them as a boy, the same things that made them sad, still affect them on the inside, thought they may not show it. My husband delights in fixing things, taking things apart and seeing how they work and then putting them back together (he recently built a computer). From the stories I’ve heard of his childhood, this is something that he has always enjoyed. My father has always loved story-telling: the adventure, the struggle between good and evil, the hero persevering, etc. This shows even now in the things that he writes, and the stories that touch him.

My little brother (now a teenager) was always a very sensitive little boy. He would cry when characters on TV got hurt, and he didn’t like scary movies. He never tortured earthworms, or pulled the wings off of flies, or any of that. He was always considerate of other people and animal’s feelings. One year when he was 8, I had a bad birthday and I cried because no one in my family cared (it was a special birthday too), and I was going to have to make my own cake etc. all by myself. My brother made a card in the shape of an alien (complete with antennae) and wrote inside “greetings earthling, our leader wishes you a happy birthday” and stuck a dollar inside. That card was so very precious to me. I still have it, and the dollar he gave me, as a reminder of the sweet sensitivity of my eight-year-old brother.

The little boys I teach piano to also exhibit some sensitive traits. Very often, if they have a choice between Thomas the Tank engine and Littlest Petshop stickers, they’ll choose the pets! Between Buzz Lightyear and animals, they’ll go with the animals most of the time. Even when they pick the Toy Story stickers they want Ham or Rex or Bullseye more than the others. The sad thing is that many older men (and women) will tell these boys: don’t you want the rocket ship? Or will reprimand them for crying, or for enjoying something that might be a little “girly”.

This is important: the sensitivity of the little boy that you raise will dictate the kindness and courteousness of the man he will become.  That gentle little boy that you treat to respect others, to value life (even the life of a worm), to love his family, and to cry when he sees injustice and suffering will grow into a man who respects everyone, who fights to protect life, and will not stand for injustice. That little boy needs to be loved and nurtured so that he can grow into the type of man our society needs today. There is still a little boy inside of every man. If you look carefully, you may see him. But be careful not to frighten him away.

Here is what the Bible says about living peaceful lives:

1 Corinthians 13:11 – “Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

1 Thesselonians 5:12-18 – “But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.Rejoice always;pray without ceasing;in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Proverbs 15:1 – “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”

For more on this concept read John Eldredge’s “Wild at Heart”.

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My boyfriend Justin is so wonderful, do you want to know why?

Justin is sweet, romantic, and dorky. He whispers sweet nothings in my ears and tells me cute things. Justin is a very handsome man, tall and slender, with beautifully sad green eyes. He leaves me sweet texts and messages on facebook, tells me I’m beautiful, and he picks flowers for me for no particular reason. 🙂 One of the first sweet messages he sent me, while he was working overnight security: “Good morning fair maiden. I kept watch over your kingdom during the night, now the day is yours and I must rest. Go forth and bless the land with your grace.” *sigh*

He is very protective of me, and is always wary when it comes to other guys. I really appreciate his protectiveness and slight jealousy over my attention; it makes me feel valued. I feel safe when I am with him, when I’m wrapped in his arms…there is no place I like to be better than snuggled up close to him, safe and warm. ^.^

He is a strong Christian and desires to please God with his actions. He is also a prayer; he always prays before meals and he often prays with me. He also prays for me when I am not there, and I really like that a lot. He is trustworthy and honest, a man of his word. I have no fear when I talk to him; when I ask if something is wrong (or whatever) I don’t have to worry that he is holding something back from me; if there is something he needs in our relationship that he isn’t getting, he tells me. I also know that I can trust him around other women…he keeps his mind clean, and doesn’t even pay attention to anyone else. Communication is highly important in a relationship, and I think that we communicate very well. If there is something bothering one of us, we can talk about it easily. Whatever it is, we’re comfortable discussing it because we want to keep our relationship healthy. I think it is very refreshing to have someone who can be so honest and open with me. We are also going to start doing devotionals together soon; just another step to keep our relationship strong and God-centered. 🙂

Something fun about Justin is that he is Jewish, or as he would say, “Jew-‘ish’.” He uses random Yiddish phrases fairly often and it makes me giggle. He is very funny! He likes puns a lot and will often go off on a long string of them. He is a drama kid, does some amusing impressions, and frequently writes comedy with his roommate. The two of them are hilarious together!

A neat thing is that he also likes the Medieval and Renaissance time periods; we actually met at a Ren Faire (through a friend), and have been back several times together. Of course we went in costume! I wore a medieval dress and he wore his kilt! 😀 (The first text he sent me was a picture he took while in Ireland…we want to go there someday together.) When we visited his family up north over Christmas break he showed me his sword collection, and we brought back his little gaming figures that he had painted; he did a nice job on them. They are from Lord of the Rings! He really likes LotR, and Princess Bride, and things like that. We often use quotes from our favorite fantasy epics and science fiction shows. We both enjoy sci-fi television shows; we watch an episode of Stargate every time we get a chance. (I haven’t seen very many of them, so we’re working our way through the seasons.) Next up: Star Trek!

Something that really makes Justin stand out from other guys is his sensitivity to my needs and desires. He is always checking on me to make sure that I am ok, that I have what I need in our relationship, and that I am provided for in the ways that make me happy. He often buys gasoline for me, goes places with me when he’s had little sleep, helps me eat healthier food, and makes sure that he has paid enough attention to me. On those days when I’ve overtired or feeling hormonal he takes very good care of me too! He knows how to calm me down when I’m stressed out, and can always cheer me up when I’m feeling sad. And when past memories make me emo, or I’m bothered by some guy, he is very understanding and patient with me.)He always knows the right thing to say, and his hugs and nuzzles make everything better! ^.^ He is also very observant of things that I need or want. For my birthday he bought me a wooden pennywhistle. I had mentioned once somewhere in the beginning of our friendship that I would like to have one someday, and he got it for me! 😀 For Christmas he bought the third book in the Eragon books, and also got me some plastic eld ears. I know it’s silly, but I thought it was cute!

It’s rare these days to find a guy as responsible and hard working as my love is. He works long hours overnight doing security at his school, and has worked twenty-four hour shifts before, just so he could have off to go somewhere with me. He always takes pride in his grades, and works hard to make sure that he gets all his school work done and makes good grades in his classes. He keeps a schedule, and doesn’t just do things willy-nilly and irresponsibly like many college guys do. And even when he has a lot of work to do, he still makes time for me to meet my needs as well. He’s amazing!

I really appreciate that Justin is also very willing to do things that I ask him to do; like sing, or cook. He’s not a musician (I am a music education major) but he has a nice voice, and he likes Renaissance/Folk music almost as much as I do. I’ve asked him to sing more often, because I like it, and so he does. 🙂 I also think it is a good thing that he learn how to cook, and he agrees that it is a necessary skill, so he always helps me in the kitchen and is very willing to learn how to cook yummy food, so that someday in the future (if we marry) he will be able to take care of me and of any children we might have. Lately I’ve been trying to lose some weight and get in shape; a few times a week I go walking/jogging with some friends in the morning. Justin often goes with me because he is very supportive of anything I really want to do; he’s always been that way. He is encouraging in my efforts to be healthy, he supports my work as a composer, and keeps me from feeling too down when music stuff at school is irritating. He attends church, family gatherings, and random events that I ask him to go to. He comes to church picnics, my sibling’s concerts, and whatever it is that I ask him to go to. He’s so wonderful!

It makes me happy too that he gets along with my family. He and my father have theological and intellectual conversations, and my siblings always jump on him and give him a big hug when they see him. It is reassuring to know that my family really likes him. I think if I don’t marry him that my dad just might! He enjoys spending time with them I think, and I feel comfortable enough to leave him alone with my family. Hehe. 🙂

I know it’s silly, but I like the fact that he is nerdy, and very intelligent. We find sci-fi to watch, video games to play, and nerdy things to download. He is very good with computers and internet stuff, and is so very smart. We discuss interesting hypotheses about things and have fun being dorky together. We also talk about theology and history and music. It’s nice to have someone smart to talk to who is always willing to listen to whatever silly thing you have to say.

You may have heard of the book, The Five Love Languages, by Chapman. It’s a really interesting read. There are five main love languages, and if you can figure out which ones you and your friends identify with most it is very helpful. Justin and I share the same top three love languages, though we all use all five of them; quality time, physical affection, and words of affirmation. He is very good about spending time with me, telling me things that make me feel loved, and he is very affectionate. He is so sweet and tender, sometimes just a kiss on the cheek can make me melt. :’)

Justin is such an amazing boyfriend, and is my best friend. I love him so very much! We are coming up on our eleven month-a-versary in a few day, and I hope that we can be together for many years to come. He is such a precious gift from God. Thank you, Jesus, for bringing us together. Thank you, Justin, my handsome sweet prince, for being so wonderful to me. I love you!

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This year has been quite an interesting one for me, though it shouldn’t come as a surprise, my college life has been one big adventure so far. I’ve had many things happen to me this past year, a lot of them very good, and some of them very very bad…

I’ve had my heart broken, my trust betrayed, my kindness and friendship taken advantage of. I’ve been disappointed, in myself and others. I gave my heart to someone who couldn’t take care of it. I’ve lost friends, and discovered that people who I thought were my friends, really weren’t. I’ve been lied to and manipulated, by those I loved dearly. I’ve been taken for granted. I’ve watched my friends argue and fight and end their friendships. School has been intense too. I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I thought God wanted me in music, but I’m not so sure anymore. I’ve discovered new depths to my fear of being alone. I’ve been to two funerals in the past four months, and they were only two weeks apart. One of them was a young man who I never really knew, but the legacy that he left with my friends is a testament to the wonderful man that he was. I will miss him, because he so strongly affected my friends. The second was one of my dad’s old friends. He was my parent’s best man, he went to college and later taught school with my dad (they even had the same laugh), he was one of my teachers in middle school, and eventually taught at my high school. I attended both his wedding, and his funeral. I’ve seen my father’s health deteriorating, and know that finances in the family are not good.

BUT.

I’ve also been in love, which is a wonder in itself. I’ve known the joy of being close to someone, of being held in the arms of a man who loved me…who would kiss me softly and tell me that everything’s going to be ok.  I’ve made friends who think I’m amazing, who tell me I’m beautiful, and I know they love me and will be there if ever I need them. I’ve gotten closer to my girl friends…mostly Deanna, Erin, Kat, and Heather. I never thought that Kat and I would be that close, but I am so very glad we are. I’ve had friends comfort me when I was down and hurting, when I wasn’t able to be strong anymore. I’ve met some wonderful Christian guys in this past year, like Tom, Brian, and Ben…guys I can talk to who will encourage me to Christ…I am very thankful for them. I’ve gotten closer to some of my older friends…Travis, Justin, Jennifer F., and a few others. I’ve made random friends out of the blue, who I feel like I can truly trust…like Kristen. I’ve seen other friendships grow and blossom, people I introduced to each other becoming good friends. I’ve been to one wedding, seen multiple engagements, and have weddings to look forward to in the near future. I’ve seen children growing up and laughing. I have friends who have gotten married, and I see their love for each other grow; I see their children being born. My sister and I are getting closer. Actually becoming what sisters should be. We have had a couple “girl talks” and  I am excited for the time when we can really be friends and trust each other…we’ve NEVER gotten along in the past. My father’s health may not be the best…but he’s ALIVE. And the doctors often tell him that he shouldn’t be. My brother is growing up and doing great things, and I am so proud of him.

My life is changing…my thoughts and emotions are being rearranged. My hopes, desires, and dreams are not the same as they once were. The way I view people and the world is getting scrambled. How I interact, how I love, how I care for others…it’s all changing. My future is uncertain, this is true, but it’s also true that GOD IS IN CONTROL. He’s changing me, molding me…the things that happen all have a purpose. If I’ve lost or gained friendships, it’s happened for a reason. All the hurt and frustration that I’ve gone through, though less than some, will teach me things that I need to know. I’m learning how to trust again. I’m learning how to show love, and be vulnerable. God is good. I don’t know what exactly he’s doing, but I do know that he is good, and only wants good for my future. I may have to go through some things before reaching the mountaintop…but I know that I am not alone as I walk through the valley. Thank you Jesus for your great grace and mercy…and love. I thank you Jesus for your love.

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A lazy tree, a summer’s day.

Tilted branches bend and sway

‘Neath sweet scented summer rain;

Bringing peace and easing pain.

 

Laughing children dance and sing,

Soon they’ll hear the school bells ring,

Sending them upon their way,

Free again to laugh and play.

 

Two young lovers sit and smile,

As they pass away the while,

Savoring the hours long,

They rejoice in true love’s song.

 

A man and woman, oh so grey,

Rock and watch the young ones play,

Looking back on yesteryear,

And their memories, so dear.

 

 A lazy tree, a summer’s day.

Tilted branches bend and sway

‘Neath sweet scented summer rain;

Bringing peace and easing pain.

Summer’s here, once again.

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Frustration

Lord Jesus, I am so frustrated right now. Things are just so complicated sometimes, and they don’t have to be. There are waves that I can see in the distance, coming soon to crush me, if they are not redirected. I have to get a second job, figure out my career path, focus on practicing my instruments, choose and work with disciples, maintain friendships, and wonder about love, all at the same time. Where is there time for me to just, be quiet? Spend time with friends, read a book, write a blog, pray, or listen to music with nothing else to do. *sigh* I just had a conversation with my dad on the phone and, like his mother, he reminded me of all the things I need to be doing and need to take care of and of all the things I haven’t done, and it just stresses me out. Lord, please help me to just have peace of mind and heart and spirit right now, to find the good friends who I can lean on when I’m troubled, and to rest on your promises. Father, quiet me with your love, Amen.

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