Combatting hypocrisy was a passion for Jesus.
Webster’s Dictionary definition states that Christianity is a practice of a religion, a belief, dating back to Nazareth. Talk about crucifying Christianity!! Now, I know I may not be the brightest light in the midnight sky, but I beg to differ with this description. I’ve practiced a lot of things but I never saw attending church as a practice. Practice isn’t a commitment! Doctors practice medicine, athletes practice their sport. And as far as their definition of it being a belief? OK, maybe that’s where our generations differ. Christianity, in my opinion, is about being and living Christlike—hence, the first part of the adjective.
Christianity, I’d like to believe, is a way of life–waking in the morning and asking God to bless your day; or praying to our heavenly father to forgive those who trespass against us, as we go to sleep. Do you practice, at our age, what we should have mastered by now–praying? Right or wrong, it’s a way of life for Christians.
I wander in my thoughts….
Some can recite bible scripture backwards, but does that make them a better Christian or more Christlike? Or is it those that wake in the morning to give of themselves, showing respect and honoring others, and living by the commandments that have been passed down? Christianity – is that when someone forces you out of your driving lane, or is it using some choice words to say how grateful you aren’t for their stupidity? NO! That’s crucifying the meaning behind Christianity!
The words, “I’ll pray for you”, does that pertain to practicing? Helping you on with your coat or holding a door…. maybe. But that’s being courteous and isn’t that what Christ would want? Christ could care less if you’re a Baptist, Catholic, or Presbyterian and those who follow His footsteps should know better than that! You treat everyone equally because it’s a way of LIFE–a life that brings you to God in the end. As Christians, we should respect all whom are born into God’s kingdom!
Ah…and now for the Christian hypocrites – those who could care less how they drive others out of their lane, while they read the Bible over breakfast! Their swords wave as they swear. Their hearts are less than the brains God gave them (though they don’t consider that as an option). So many–hiding behind the words they read and living by the rules that are only applicable to suit themselves. Perhaps they are the people that Webster’s definition refers to when we speak of Christianity – practicing a religion!
Combatting hypocrisy was a passion for Jesus. In fact, much of Matthew 23 is dedicated to this topic:
“‘Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.’”
According to God’s wishes, we as Christians, must make it our duty to enlighten hypocrites of their wrongdoings. Be vulnerable, honest, and authentic with these unbelievers. Let them acknowledge their sins so they may share in the freedom of God’s forgiveness. Jesus encourages us to make disciples, not just “save” people, so let’s pitch in to help the hypocrites who are crucifying Christianity!
So, tomorrow when you wake, will you read your bible over breakfast, or scalp the neighbor that lives next door to you? Will you scream at the kids when it’s really your fault? Will your spouse get a hug and kiss goodbye as you go out the door and into your car?
Now tell me…. what part of practicing a belief is Christianity in your everyday walk of life? Are you, too, crucifying Christianity by knowing the Word yet living by your own demeanor? Or are you trying to do a better job of being the best you can be to others? If you’re only attempting to try, then maybe you are practicing after all!
…receiving miracles and blessings
Watching the hands of Gentle Ben hanging above her head, the sun shines on the bottom of her slippers as her eyes grow heavy. Her mind is a million miles from here. The living room looms as the world is in her hands. With her swept-back hair and bedroom eyes, she stretches out on the couch in blue sweats. I watch her in awe. The sun gleaming through the window caresses her smile as she dozes off again. So I stare at the love of my life. Once in a great while, God honors those heartfelt dreams.
Keeping the faith, our Father in heaven reciprocates with a genuine love you’ve spent your life looking for—a true blessing. Holding on to the dreams you prayed for long ago, God’s in the business of answering them. You see, patience is the secret.
So, you may ask, “How can I receive God’s blessings or a miracle?” First, be diligent in prayer and praise as God did all His miracles by the spoken Word. Prayer may be in the form of singing or reading and studying the Bible. Be sure it is positive though and avoid negative phrases.
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
Second of all, live by God’s Word! It doesn’t mean that Satan will not try to interfere with your prayers, but our powerful Lord will ultimately win.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
So maybe we wait, or maybe we become impatient and make mistakes. Regardless, God is forever faithful to us. I try to be on my best behavior–never wanting to bend the Ten Commandments. It’s a good practice to follow the laws God handed us.
So now soundly sleeping, it’s best I write and not wake her–my sleeping beauty. Watching as the sun shadows the tree tops, I clutch my heart for the love I just adore. If man ever had a second chance at life, it surely would be me as I stare at my gorgeous wife who sleeps so innocently. There’s not much to say as I think about the gift God gave me, except to always stay in prayer. I’ll never forget who made this moment happen. Our Father in heaven, gets all the honor and glory!
Have eternal life with God in Heaven!
Have you ever just pondered, “What is this world thinking”? Luting and rioting, shootings, people fussing and fighting, and then the firing of war missiles…. all in the name of power. But personally, I’d rather sit and listen to the heavens while God portrays His awesome righteousness on those who display love versus hatred.
For the lost souls that have never heard it, there’s a sound under these armored skies, and it, too, will penetrate your mortal soul. It’s a whisper of an undetectable fragrance that rides in a chariot through the night air, indescribable to a human. His name is God, folks—the only entity you can feel as your busy world comes to the end of each day! The hint of His aura drifts aloft over your spirit. Anointing you with His grace, God will manifest himself on those who want to remain in His Grace. And for all those times you wondered about doubting Your heavenly Father’s presence, you can suddenly stack them on the pinhead of a needle.
” For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life.”
The years spent in the prison of your conscience, trapped in your own selfishness of spirit, was little more than self-pity as you never received what you thought you deserved. But as the sun finally breaks through the gloomy forecast, it casts it’s rays upon you. Suddenly you feel different, enlightened maybe. Something has changed, you can’t explain it. God has anointed you, my friend!
Be blessed, as the pain is broken. In the sunset, tears flow for no reason as God, Himself, miraculously washes away the impurities from within your soul. He has saved your heart and pours His grace on your now weary anointed spirit. God’s forgiveness–the secret to an eternal life!
When you turn away from your sins and turn to God, Jesus saves us and we have eternal life with him in Heaven!
Get rid of all bitterness, passion, and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. Instead, be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.
How can you be saved?
Ask forgiveness from God and forgive those you have sinned against. Ask the Lord to come into your heart as Lord of your life. God forgives our sins when we confess them to him.
Find a bible and church and learn about who Jesus is. We need to grow in the Lord. God’s will is for us to go into the world and preach the good news of Jesus Christ.
….if a marriage cannot be glorified in the Lord, then we are settling for Satan’s interference.
Written by Anne L. Bicks, editor of Dana Bicks LLC
I have been so blessed to have found the right partner for life. It wasn’t until my sixties that the wisdom of God taught me what I should have seen when I was younger. Even so, when I was nineteen years old, I married for the first time. I was raised in a Lutheran church, so marriage was considered a very sacred event. Had I known then, what I know so well now, that matrimony would have never occurred. The only positive thing from that union, was my three beautiful children. But, I realize that young people, widows, or divorcees are all capable of getting married (or remarried), for the wrong reasons. The golden rule is that if a marriage cannot be glorified in the Lord, then we are settling for Satan’s interference. Most people that are in and out of marriages constantly, are not looking to God for their discernment of true love. They have also chosen to ignore the Christian traits of a perfect spouse.
So, I have decided to put together a list of important characteristics that you should consider when deciding if someone is the right one for you. I wish this checklist had existed for me, so if you or someone you know is considering marriage, please share and pray for your or their discernment.
CHRISTIAN TRAITS OF A LIFE PARTNER:
Does he/she love God more than you? This is critical, as in time, the way they serve Him will be reflected in the way they love and serve you. Remember, this trait will be passed on to your future generations.
Are they to kind to others? If you don’t see your future partner treat others with kindness and grace, in time he or she will be treating you the same way.
Do they treat their parents with honor and respect? How a person gets along with parents, brothers, and sisters will tell you volumes about their character.
A son who “mistreats his father and chases away his mother is a son who causes shame and brings reproach.”
A person who honors his father and mother enjoys the favor of the Lord.
Are they trustworthy and righteous? This indicates they will keep their word no matter what the cost. By the age of 30, a person’s character and values are formed so this trait should be seriously evaluated by young people under the age of 30.
Are they respected by others? Pay attention to any hesitations people may display when they speak about your possible partner. Do others say both negative and positive things about them? If so, take heed, for they may know something you do not about their personality.
Are they flirtatious? A person’s actions and looks speak volumes about respect for you and the opposite sex. It is NOT in their personality to flirt – it’s indicative of insecurities. Understand that insecurities cannot be “cured” by you or a marriage – it is a character flaw.
How does your potential partner dress? They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing clothing that flaunts personal assets. Sexy clothing should be reserved for the marriage partner.
Are they contentious or violent? If you notice a lot of unhappiness or anger in this person, then be warned this will definitely transfer into your relationship. Most partners in abusive relationships, report anger issues from the very beginning of their dating cycle.
Are they selfish or lazy? A selfish, lazy person will lack the desire or the means to fulfill certain spousal responsibilities. It is a snapshot of their maturity level. Remember, you can’t pay bills with promises of love.
Are they addicted to alcohol, drugs, food, sex, work, sports, or impulse buying? This indicates how they keep emotions and desires under control. Addictions are a symptom of a larger problem and much larger than your marriage could survive most times.
Are they a believer in the Lord and share the same religious beliefs? If you are religious and they are an atheist, this will form a constant discord in your family. Oil and water do not mix. Nothing should be more important to you or to the person you marry than your spiritual well-being. By ignoring this critical trait, you may be facing a lifetime of spiritual unrest in the marriage and a battle for the spiritual well-being of your children. In fact, the Bible warns of dating someone who is unevenly yoked with your spiritual beliefs.
What kind of close friends does your potential partner have? Friends can easily mislead and falsely persuade the best of partners.
Have they been open with you about their part in the failure of past relationships? Beware of the person that always blames others for a failed relationship. This indicates they are not honest to their own self, or God, of their personal downfalls. They can’t ask forgiveness from God without confronting their own part they played in past problems. How can they correct their mistakes and learn from a past relationship without an admission of guilt? They can’t and they will surely carry it through to your marriage!
Do you know the true priorities of your future partner’s life?
Have you continuously prayed for guidance in making the right choice of a life partner? As Christians, we must learn that we have to wait on the Lord. For a man or woman who has an aching heart and longs to get married, the wait can be very, very hard. Any delay you may encounter might be a message from God that it is for your good. God wants you to call on Him, walk close to Him, and wait on Him. Don’t lose patience and wander away from God in your attempt to find someone to marry. This is extremely dangerous and will usually end up disastrous!
No one is perfect but these basic spiritual and character qualities should be there. Proverbs is very clear that we are to find a partner who has godly characteristics in our lives. Looking for a man or woman to keep us from being lonely, or just to fill our needs, or to be a parent to our children, should not be the only reasons for marrying someone.
God cannot fail and therefore any marriage built on Him is guaranteed to succeed. Women or men who allow emotions of a potential love to dictate their lives, will never be victorious Christians.
But, so they say, “Love is blind”. Just don’t let it be you!
Our sincere, lifelong relationships with others are so precious and dear–
So, you want to be my friend! Instinctively, we guard our domains in an effort to protect not our hearts, but our souls. There is a place saved for the holiness of spirits that gets invaded by the ill-will of those who call themselves friends. I read your intentions and listen to your body language as it sways on a dance floor. Your lips, nonchalantly, spew out a bible verse to impress…like Romans 8:28. I ask our Heavenly Father, “Where is the conscious mind of people who allow Satan to rule their bodies?” I wonder…. has their integrity taken a vacation?
They are ashamed of themselves, I know, for they used to be servants of God. I listen as they wave their sword as their tongue controls their persona. I pray not for them, but for God to ring their neck in an attempt to remove the corrupt ways from their body.
For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.
The cold morning sun shines through the curtains on the breakfast table, trying to comfort the innocent who are hurt from the night before. But it’s no use…. for only God, through prayer, will consummate relationships between these so-called friends. Like a little child crying wolf, you can’t help those with self-serving intentions. I realize I should pray for their well-being, but my prayers go out, consumed for the meek. They are destroyed by the prey which seems to have strayed from God. I picture in my mind, a vulture–high above the clouds–swirling in the gentle warmth of a sunny breeze; they peer down at the weak, trying to move on…. long after the residue of the attack.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
The scavenger’s victims pick up the remains of what’s left of their pride. Praying to God for their strength to resonate, I react by lending them my hand. My heart goes out to them, just as Christ would want. There’s no mercy where evil lurks, a result from indecisive intentions.
So I say to those who walk in the shadows of Satan’s thoughts — be careful! Your footsteps are numbered and they will never be seen in the sand. The meek will continue to walk on in the heavenly sunshine, so God help you! To those who’s integrity precedes them, my hats off to you! You are to be commended! Our sincere, lifelong relationships with others are so precious and dear– there’s no price tag you can put on its worth. It appears that the longer I age, the more the value of true friendships, climb. It’s like an investment at Dunn and Brad…. it just keeps rising. Life may appear like a Monopoly board at times, but our hearts are full of joy as we share each other’s lives.
So let this new year begin by putting God first in your life.
With the fanfare behind us, I stand before God. Thank you God for my many blessings of ’17! Though there were downfalls, the promise of faith kept things in perspective. Abundant blessings can only originate from heaven. I can’t wait to see what our Lord has in store for 2018. Feeling extremely blessed, I’m not sure I can handle much more as God has anointed me, like so many others, with His love. Merely a messenger, I try to share God’s grace through my creative gift of writing. I only pray I can touch those searching for Christ’s love.
So let this new year begin by putting God first in your life. How much unfinished business do you have to deal with from years past? Start fresh — wipe the slate clean! Be born again as God grants to His anointed. Establish daily prayers and worship. Read the Bible because it contains an abundance of wisdom and encouragement for everyday life. Let your soul prosper, friends!
Watching the sun as it warms my heart, it’s fifteen degrees beyond the pain. I draw comfort knowing God is right here with us. He’s like a very best friend that you’ve known for years. Relish the fact there’s no fear inside although going outside is another story for Satan frolics in near subzero temperatures. Let your spirit be complimented by the will of the Lord, for only He can grant miracles here on Earth.
Waiting to watch the frozen sunset, I’ll put another log on the fire to warm up our heart’s desires. May God be with all of us, forever more, in the comforts of our own little sanctuary. The super moon is on the rise in the shivering cold so let’s wrap ourselves together and watch it climb. Blessing every step we take, holding hands, God will protect our love for each other. It will endure any bitterness.