Saturday, January 5, 2013

Letter To The World


P.S. However, there is something that you can put your money into that you CAN take to heaven with you! Wanna know what it is? People. Because whenever you invest in a person it is never waisted....never. Even if you never see one ounce of change in the person, God honors your efforts and that is not something to poo-poo.


When ever you show concern for someone, you are being Christ to that person....and that is NOT to be taken lightly.


Whenever you show love to a sinner you are obeying God's most important that person's darkness needs to see the light of hope in you.


Whenever you show deep concern for a deep sinner, you show them there is a better way to live. You've also done something that will be almost impossible for them to argue with you about...your actions. They can argue against your words and say they don't believe...but it is much harder to argue against your actions and the light they SEE in you!!


So, yes...there is something you can take with you! 

Friday, January 4, 2013

oOps!! My Only Guarantees III

I apologize, for some reason I posted this without meaning to, as it was not completed....this is how 'kinda coo-coo' it's been around here lately! Ha!


 God has told us in various places in scripture that we do not have much control over our flesh...therefore I have no guarantees that I will always do things right.  So, this is where I got my title for this 3 part study.



Let me clarify, our human nature (all by itself) does not have control over sin. If one has had a good and loving upbringing then that foundation that was laid could very well have given them the ability to have more self-control over sin. But generally and in the long run, in order to have control and victory over it we MUST allow the Spirit of God to take control. This also means that the unsaved...and even more so...have little control over the human nature.



So, this means we must be doing things GOD's way in how sin is dealt how anything is dealt with! Not the way that necessarily makes sense to us.....but then we will have already known that! Especially since you and I know that His ways are not our ways...and His ways will naturally sound strange to our human nature.



1 Cor. 1 : 25 "For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."



This being said I am going to bring up what I believe is the 2nd most important thing in all of scripture...the 1st being that God loved us so much that He gave us His Son to die and rise again on our behalf so as to bring us back to God.



Love....what it is and what is it for?



For God so loved the me this means what it says, that God loved us all. John 3:16



Romans 5:6-8 "When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."



Think about what love is made up of...patience, kindness, long-suffering. If you and I were perfect like a robot or inanimate  object that rarely if ever make mistakes....would we need patience or long-suffering? Would we need for someone to be kind to us? Would we need or want love? Would we even care?



I believe that the whole reason for love was to bridge the gap between perfection and imperfection...and between the mature and immature...otherwise, how could there ever be any way to relate or connect??



This is why, as a good parent will go through SO much for an immature, wayward or troubled child, why I believe God went through so much for us...because it is just what love does.  He showed this in so many instances. By 1st creating us. Then giving us another chance after the flood. Then giving us the law to show us our need for Christ and then of course the final and ultimate, Christ and the cross.



The love of God is amazing. It is something that God wants everyone to matter how deep into sin they have fallen. In fact, it is the only reason why someone would not want to stay in sin! Think about it...if all you've known is sin...or merely the world....then it would only be the love of God that is so different from the world that could possibly ever get your attention and sway you.



This is precisely what love is for. This is why we have to be Christ and show His love to every person, no matter their sin or station in this is the primary way for them to see God and be drawn to Him...and why I believe there are so many that are not coming to Christ, as we are not being Christ to them. We have the human mind set that there are only certain people that deserve love...yet this is not God's mind set. So, who's mindset sets the standard for who deserves love?

I am thankful that the church I was saved at was patient and kind and did not endeavor to alienate me by pointing out my sin soon after walking through the church, I was drawn to Christ by the love I was shown. That love that caused Christ to die for me while I was yet a sinner. Yes, I was embraced...or I would have been long gone.

So, who's mindset sets the standard for you?










Are you SALT and LIGHT
         to the world?

 Are you salt and light? When I say this I am not saying...and what I know the bible is not to be salt in someone's wound or a blinding light in someone's eyes so they can't see. No.


Being salt preserves the truth by living it ourselves...but also by living it, salt makes others thirsty for what we have.



Being light means we are not walking in darkness (Gal. 5:19-21)...and so when we are light (Gal. 5:22-26)  it draws people to the Lord and His goodness. Also, when we are with people, the life we are living in the light will naturally challenge and convict will naturally expose what is in their lives...without a word from us. That is, IF we are walking in the light ourselves.  


Ephesians 5:11 "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them to the light. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."


Please click on following link... 




My Only Guarantees II


This post is the continuation of:


The perfect law in the OT and all laws are black and white. Unless rules or laws have negotiable elements written into them, they are for the purpose of exposing fault and imperfection. They are stagnant...hard and fast...unbendable...concrete...and measurable. It is fairly easy to determine whether you have failed at obeying a rule. Whether you have turned all of the lights off, or you forgot to turn off just the two is measurable. So, most rules are easy to measure, whether you broke the rules completely or by how much you broke them!



However, love really can't be measured, yet God says that it fulfills the law. Oh, my!! Talk about throwing us for a loop!  So, how can it fulfill the law if I don't know if I am doing it right?? Ah-ha! Is this the reason why we feel much (MUCH) more comfortable following rules, because with rules we know when we have done them correctly?



But, you know what? There is no 'correct' way. The way you are doing it right now, is OK! (Ya gotta start somewhere!) The bible says that when you love, you are not under the the consequences are much different, and not like they would be for breaking there are not any rigid expectations on how it should be done.




 The hug I give you today is love...even if your cousin walks in and shows her love by giving you a hug and washing your dishes too. They are both love. Love starts at any given point and then grows. It doesn't turn into love at some starts right where you are, and what you can do right now, and then never stops growing from there.




  Imagine you are walking your neighbors dog and only walk him around the block 4 times instead of 6, and you feel like you should have done next time you walk him another block or two. Then the next time, as God is teaching you and reminding you that the owner truly needs extra help, then you'll perhaps step it up and become more used to acting in love, and you'll get better and better at it. Remember, it is a journey, not a love never ends. 



As rules and law produce consequences since their job is to expose a life of love produces blessings for all parties involved, including the one showing the there is no way you can bless someone else and not 'get some blessing on yourself...anyway, it is part of the plan!' (Read James 1:25)




So it is much better than just living a life trying to have good behavior...especially since the more you walk in love means the more you won't be walking in sin. Really?? Yup! (Read Galatians 5:16) It is about impossible to go in two different directions at the same time!




Now because you are living with your mind on doing what's best for everyone involved, and not just focused on self...then you are less likely to want to sin against them or yourself (Read Romans 8:6). So essentially, you're killing two birds with one stone.  



"Hey Juliana!" 



"Oh, Hi are you?"



"I'm OK..kinda sad though"



"Why are you sad?"



"Well, someone called me a name that was very hurtful. Remember when someone said hurtful things to you recently? What did you do about it?"



"Oh, well, I stopped and put a card in their desk saying that what they did hurt me and that I am sure they would not want someone to do the same to them. Then I said I forgive them."



"So, your mom told you that you had to do it huh? Yeah, we have rules about that too in our house."



"No, no rules..."



"What do you mean, no rules? Then why would you be kinda nice to that kid that hurt you then? I mean, if you didn't have any rules that said you had to..."



"I just like to treat people the way I would want them to treat me. When I was little I had mom called them, 'do's and don'ts'...but it's mostly always been that way in our house."



"Hmmm...that's sure not the way it is in my house. My mom put up a list of rules that she says makes things easier around the house. I guess it is easier, cause we don't even have to think about how to do something cause the list will tell us what to do."



"Oh? My mom always says, 'God's love already has integrity, so it doesn't need rules'".



"What does that mean?"



"Well, it means that love always thinks of the best way to treat everyone in whatever you are doing, so there is no need for rules to tell you how to act. My mom says to always carry love around in my heart, then I won't have to worry about how to do the right thing."



"But, I don't know if I could do that. I always had a rule to tell me how and what to that would be hard!...because how would you know you did it right?"



  "I just learned to trust God's love I guess. I don't know. I learned to think this way since, well..since for a long time! But anyone can learn it."



"It just seems so hard to do."



"No, because there is a place to start. Remember your place to start was on the rules list? You went to the list to find out what to do, right? Well, with love you start right where you are...because you 1st think about how you would like to be treated!



"So, start with me...?"



 "Yes! Oh, and you know what...I forgot, there are some lists in the bible that really do help. They are not lists of rules though, so don't worry. They are things that are inside of God and His love (Read Gal. 5:22-23, Col.3:12-17 + 1 Cor.13: 4-8), and things that are not inside of God and His love (Read Gal.5:19-21 + Col.3:5-9), they do give you lots of  help for sure!"



"Ooh! Kind of like a you know you got the right ingredients or it might just be something that comes out looking and tasting terrible?!"



"Yup! You got it! But then after a while, as you practice making the cake, it will become more natural for you, and especially since you already have God inside you...and when you do make mistakes and add some bad ingredients, you just talk to God about it because He is your very best friend. Then if that bad ingredient hurt someone then you talk to them too. In fact, you will make mistakes, but that always happens when someone is learning something new!"" 




"Hmmm...I wish your mom would talk to my mom about this..."



"Well, maybe she can! I'll ask her...." 



Juliana and Jenny both bow...
















Romans 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.        
Laws and rules  are strictly for the purpose of letting you and others know of your sin. Laws have no mercy or forgiveness in themselves. If you do not live up to their demands then you will suffer whatever the consequences there are, unless a human being has decided to have mercy on you...the rule all by itself has exposed you.

1 Timothy 1:9
For example, a person must realize that the law was not intended for people who have God's approval. Laws are intended for lawbreakers and rebels, for ungodly people and sinners, for those who think nothing is holy or sacred, for those who kill their fathers, their mothers, or other people.

Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

Galatians 5: 22-23
But the fruits of The Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, sweetness, goodness, faith,
Humility, endurance; the law is not set against these things.

Monday, December 31, 2012

A Little Side Note....

As the New Year is almost here, and before I post my number II study I wanted to post a little side note...which will also include a prayer request. Something I've had a hard time with in my life is boundaries...and I have been reminded of this by a number of things that have happened this year (2012). I began learning about the importance of boundaries a long time ago when a Pastor gave me a book by Henry Cloud called, "Changes That Heal".



Well, first before I could even be open to a book that in my mind was a psychology-type book...of which I was taught would be from the devil...I had to go through a time of learning about grace and the freedom grace gives. This then helped to dispense with the rigidness that kept me bound to what was mostly superstition and fear.



Anyway, that book put me on the road of a journey that has not ended. I am still learning to say no when I need to, and to only say yes when I truly feel it is right for me...and all in all to always let God in on everything I do. Something I learned about boundaries...and the purpose of to cultivate the ability to make choices as to who and what to "let in" my life, or certain areas of it, and what or who to not let in. This, biblically, is what God wants for all of us.


 To discern between good and evil, and to only let in the good...yet balance this with making sure we don't also leave out in the cold what our fears would have us shut the door on.  Such as challenges, new situations, areas of our heart that need attended to, different kinds of people and so these are what help us grow, as well as give us the opportunities to bear fruit for God.



The biggest thing I am learning is to never hang on to anything with a closed, tight fist. To let God be in charge of everything. There has been soooo many times in this journey that I have either held onto something so tightly, or shut the door on something and locked it!...where God had other plans. 


The way God does things is in a manner that is very careful and gentle...whereas we want to just get things done. God also wants us to learn...well, me anyway...that most of life is not black and white. It's not all bad or all good. So, the things we might have a tendency to get rid of, may very well be something that is good. This is where faith comes in...because in time the bad will come to light as we closely abide in Him.  



Matthew 13: 24-30


24Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.


27“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’


28“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.


“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’


29“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”




So, I am sincerely asking for your prayers, as this coming year I know will present many challenges. I am considering going back to school...for possibly a BA in Art Education, and I will need financial aid for this. I also have fibromialgia pretty badly which adversely affects my energy level. In addition, I have a tendency towards bouts of depression. There are some other things that I won't share publically, but if you have it on your heart to pray for me I'd be glad to share it with you via email -        



All in all what I really want to keep in the forefront of my mind is that life is a journey...and to truly let God have the reigns. To not be afraid of the hills and valleys...and to be ok with what I have. Because I know that most of the time we are not content is because we are comparing our situation with someone who seems to have more than we have.  So, to be thankful for food and shelter...and most of all, to be content with God and where I am at right now.


I will also be praying for you in this coming better believe it! Thank you for the time you take to read my have no idea how much it blesses me!!



Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Three Post Study: My Only Guarantees I


*I believe one of the big reasons God introduced the Old Testament laws to His people was to show them, and us, that we would never be able to live up to them. As the law was perfect and we...well, we weren't! 



 So, in the human - small picture of things, the perfect law was a guide on how to live God's way...which is why many people memorize the 10 Commandments or have them on a plaque on their wall. But in the big picture of things the law's perfection was meant to highlight our imperfection and our huge need for a perfect Savior!  Then, since this perfect Savior was able to save perfectly, this granted us the ability to be able to fulfill every single one of those laws by obeying just ONE...the New Commandment! Yes, I am still mindful of the 10 Commandments, but it is the one New Commandment that has become my focus, as it fulfills every one of those 10.




Please follow this link, as it not only shows this wonderful Galatians 5 verse that we will talk about, but many of the other verses (in the right-hand column) that tell us how important this New Commandment truly is and what it covers.




 Wow, how perfect for us, huh!? And we are even empowered to do that ONE command by the Holy Spirit who has been given to each person who asks the perfect Savior to do for them what they could never, ever do for themselves!



So, why am I using the word perfect so often? Well, it's because we humans use it so often. "Well, no one's perfect"! Like, somehow, deep down, we think we ARE supposed to be perfect and so we are trying to talk ourselves and others into being OK with not being that way! I dunno...I just know we are not perfect...and it's OK not to be that way. God never made us to be robots that act God wants us to deeply understand!!




Trying to perfect our behaviors only keeps our eyes on ourselves and hinders our ability to love others. Think about how it was for God's people in the times before Christ. There were over 600 laws and commandments to follow, no way was there time to do much else. There was very little time to serve and be available to those around you. Take some time in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. The law was perfect, and perfectly good! However, an imperfect people cannot obey a perfect law so as to satisfy the human nature is too prone to satisfying self. And God says that if we fail one of them, then we fail them all.

James 2:10

"If someone obeys all of God's laws except one, that person is guilty of breaking all of them."


Come, sit among the roses,

Let's chit and chatter

About what life supposes

Come, sit among the flowers

Lets wonder about the times

As we while away the hours

Come, sit, relax in my garden

The thorns will be few here.

The welcome will not harden.

Come, sit ’n sip some tea.

In this ofttimes scary world

You’ll find a safe place to be.

Come, sit, please be at ease

Patience and kindness reside here

Though, they’re my only guarantees


If you read my poem, (As you can see I really enjoy writing poetry) you will have noticed the last stanza (the last 3 lines). I share this because I truly believe that this is essentially what God wants from us. He wants us to get to the place where we absolutely stop trying to be perfect. Where we can sit with one another and be OK with being imperfect...because God does not expect or ask that we have perfect behavior. What He asks or commands is that something else gets perfected. Our love. To the point where He commands it. So, we need to change our focus.



Change our focus?? Yes. From law to love...then, in so doing, you better believe that our behavior will follow, as it says in Galatians 5: 16-18... 



"Let me explain further. Live your life as your spiritual nature directs you. Then you will never follow through on what your corrupt nature wants. What your corrupt nature wants is contrary to what your spiritual nature wants, and what your spiritual nature wants is contrary to what your corrupt nature wants. They are opposed to each other. As a result, you don't always do what you intend to do. If your spiritual nature (love) is your guide, you are not subject to Moses' laws."



   If I am focusing on loving God and the people He created, then my urges to harm them become less and less.



If my heart is directed at what God values, then my behavior is much more appt to follow in kind.




If I am living my life learning to obey this one command, then I begin to sin less and less, and become helpful and have good behaviors more and more...which begins to satisfy the reason for the law.  


Romans 13:10
"Love never does anything that is harmful to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the Law."



When you are endeavoring to follow a law...then you are keeping your focus on yourself. You are making sure you do this right and do that right so as to stay within the parameters of the law. Just like when you are driving your car and the police, who make sure the law is obeyed,  are out watching: You watch your speed very closely. You keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. You cannot have your eyes or mind on the conversation going on with the people riding with you. No, your job is to drive within the law.



However now, God said in Galatians 5:13-14 that the freedom we now have from having to focus on obeying the law doesn't mean we can now put our focus on anything we want. No. God says to use our freedom for focusing on love....because in doing this, we ARE fulfilling the law. We are now driving carefully, but even more so, because of the love we have for the people (which includes ourselves) in our car, as well as the people in the cars around us.



"For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."


*Please take time and get into the written word yourself. Seek God and follow His Son's life as your example. It's important that you also do your own study and never just rely on what others say, teach or preach.

2 Timothy 2:15
Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.