Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hero in My Eyes

My husband is a very humble man. He will never share those moments in his life where he made a difference, but in all honesty he does it quite a bit. In fact it's one of the things that attracted me to him in the first place. Call it a heart of gold or a path way into his soul, but that is exactly what I saw and continue to see in him every single day.

See he knows all about unconditional love. The kind of love that the Bible speaks of, the kind that would never consider the risks of stepping out to help someone no matter the costs.

John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends"

I shared a mini post about this yesterday through my Facebook page because it dawned on me the importance of stepping up and stepping out as believers in Christ. In fact the message was so powerful it carried its way through the entire evening where the Holy Spirit was moving in a big way in my heart. One word Hero.

To give you the back story of what happened yesterday began as a day like the others, nothing out of the ordinary. The phone call from my husband telling me he was finally on his way home after a long day at work. A call to let me know that the clock was ticking and within an hour or so, he should be pulling up in our driveway. But that was not the call I would get.

While we were talking about our decision to attend church last night due to our daughter's illness, he told me he had just witnessed a horrible accident and needed to hang up to call 911. I agreed and texted him that he needed to help and don't worry about being late. Because that is the man he is. He would help, no matter what was involved.

Apparently the man in the SUV had blown a tire while driving in the fast lane, lost control of his vehicle and proceeded to flip his car, a couple of times, ending up on the center divider. My husband along with two other drivers stopped to lend a hand. Two of those men just happened to be an EMT and the other a Paramedic who just happened to have his medical bag with him. Between all three they assessed the man's condition, before attempting to remove him from the vehicle. After being assured it was safe to remove him, they cut him from the vehicle and freed him just as the fire department and ambulance arrived. They transported him and called his wife to ensure her he was safe and being taken to a local hospital.

My husband called when he was leaving just to let me know he was finally headed home, a bit dirty and worse for wear but happy to be able to help and to see this man alive after that horrible accident. It could have gone so much worse.

Did God have any hand in what happened? I know He did.

My husband just happened to be three cars behind him when it happened. The other two drivers just happened to be medically trained, had supplies with them, and stopped to help, the fire truck and ambulance just happened to be heading back up the freeway after dealing with another incident. Some would call it luck, I call it God's Intervention. This man aside from some scratches, would be going home to his family, not being buried in a funeral. He would live another day. Does the message end here?

No, God still had plans in mind. In fact, my husband arrived home in enough time to shower and change so we could make it to church on time. While we were hoping it would be our typical Wednesday night Bible Study, turns out God had other plans. The service that night was a training session for the Harvest Crusade coming to Anaheim, CA in just a couple of weeks. The guest speaker that night was Chad Williams, who shared his amazing testimony of being a Navy SEAL and how God was using him. About how no matter how much Chad achieved in his life it was still empty because God wasn't in it. When he got to the proverbial top of the mountain, there was nothing there. Because God was missing.

In fact he gave his life to Christ at a Harvest Crusade and shared how much that made an impact in his life. In fact he wrote a book about it called SEAL of God. So what is the point of all this?

You have an appointed time in this life to be born and to die. What you do with that dash in between is all up to you. God doesn't barge into your life, He waits to be invited. Without Him, you will continue to climb that corporate ladder and find it lacking. In fact the only thing you'll find when you reach the top is people trying to knock you off. But nothing will fill that longing for happiness you're searching for like Jesus will. NOTHING!

No perfect job!

No perfect family or marriage!

No amount of financial success!

It's a longing in your heart and soul for something more than what this life has to offer. It's about what Christ did for you, taking all the sin in your life, the good, the bad and ugly and bearing that weight of every single sin that would ever be committed past, present and future that day He died on the cross, because He loved us that much, that we were worth dying for, rather than letting us live a life in utter hell.

Heaven and Hell, they are real places.

And one of these days, the math is simple, we will all wind up in one of those places.

I know for sure, where I will end up, do you?

If you haven't accepted Jesus Christ into your life, if you are simply waiting for another moment, if you aren't saying yes, then by default, you are saying no.

While that man today lived because of the efforts of God and the men who were willing to stop, he may not have been so lucky. Death can happen in the blink of an eye, and if you're waiting for the right moment, guess what, it is NOW!

You didn't wind up here by accident, God has a plan and purpose for you! He loves you with a love you will never find on this earth. He loves you enough that He wants you to spend an eternity with Him and the rest of the believers in Heaven when this life ends.

The people that wind up in Hell are there by their own choice. Like I said before, God doesn't barge in, He waits to be invited and let me tell you, that once you invite Him in, your life will never be the same again. You will be filled with the love of God and you will never need anything else in your life. The climb for meaning ends with satisfaction that you are loved unconditionally and saved like the masterpiece He created you to be.

Are you ready to accept God into your life?

It's super easy and if you mean it with your whole heart, you will never have to worry about where you will spend an eternity.

Simply say this outloud and don't worry what anyone else thinks. This is between you and God. Your life is literally on the line here. The one that matters. Your eternal life.

Lord Jesus,

I know I'm a sinner, but I thank You for dying on the cross for my sins and rising again from the dead.
I'm sorry for my sin, Lord, and I turn from it now, and I put my faith in You.

To be my Savior, my Lord, my God, and my Friend. Thank You, for loving me and calling me, and accepting me, In Jesus Name ~ AMEN!

Now if you prayed that prayer with a whole heart and sincere in your soul, let me be the first to welcome you to the family of Christ. YOU have been completely washed clean and your life begins again today. Here are a couple of things that will encourage you:

1. Get a Bible and begin reading about the Lord you are now serving and part of His family now. Not sure where to start, try the gospel of John. It's a great starting point.

2. Being praying. Don't worry about how it sounds, its simply like talking to a friend, but you now have heavenly access to speak directly to God. No need to go through anyone else and His calls never go to voicemail or aren't returned. He's waiting anytime you want to talk and NO ONE is more important than hearing from you.

3. Find a church, and get plugged in and join in the fellowship so you can be encouraged and grow in your relationship as a Christian.

4. Finally, tell others about your decision. It's worth sharing your new birth and you might be surprised at who you will meet that will welcome you with open arms into the family of Jesus.

Congratulations!!! You are now a member of God's Kingdom and you are Eternal!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Artificial Additives

I've been noticing a trend lately both in the news and in some of the books I've had the opportunity to read and review and there is so much being written about the additives not only in our food but in the food sources as well. I guess what really hit home for me, was a Science Experiment my niece did for her Science Fair Project involving the things that are in our food we may not even understand. Her experiment involved taking a hamburger from McDonald's, In and Out and one she made from meat at home. She then had them sit on the counter for a month to see what the results were. Within a few days, the homemade burger was the first to mold and begin to breakdown. Next was the In and Out Burger, and after a month, the McDonald's hamburger had shown no difference in all since the first day of the experiment. No mold, no breaking down of the food ingredients. Just the same old burger.

So what does all this have to do with anything?

It shows that the products were are buying aren't necessarily the healthiest options for us, even though we are often led to believe otherwise. Even our wheat and grain products that we used to consume are now being genetically modified to produce more grain and faster yields. So shouldn't this concern us, since we are the ones buying it and consuming it? The answer should be a 100% yes, but to others, as long as it is deemed safe, it should be okay right? Do you know even members of our own government won't eat what they are forcing us to eat. What about the hormones and antibiotics being given to chicken, pork and beef? Isn't that having an effect on our bodies and the increase in the numbers of disease and cancer as well as increases in the rate of obesity? Isn't it much harder these days to lose the weight we are slowly putting on? Is it possible those same additives that they are adding to our food products are slowly fattening us up as well making for an increase in medial care and weight loss products?

Forgive my pun, but isn't this food for thought?

Along the same lines, as believers in Jesus Christ, we are instructed to keep our bodies healthy because they house the Spirit of God, or the Holy Spirit.

1 Corninthians 6:19 "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God will your body."

For the believer, the advice is clear. Not only are we supposed to keep our bodies healthy but pure as well. There are additives in this world that are seeking to desrory us and defile our temple. We are warned that if we continue in the pursuit of these pleasures, we will have no place in the kingdom of God.

Just like the nutritional labels warn us what is in our foods we consume, so does the Bible have a list of things we should stay clear of. So what should we be on the look out for?

1 Corinthians 6:9-11:

"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexual immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God. 

Verse 13b ~ "The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 

Verse 16-17 ~ "Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, 'The  two will become one flesh. But he who united himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body." 

So as believers in Jesus, we need to make sure our lifestyle reflects the Spirit dwelling within us. We need to do whatever it takes to ensure we are walking on the narrow path instead of accepting what the world has to offer. In the long run, the benefits will definitely outweigh the risks. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

God Doesn't Exist, Retard

"God doesn't exist, retard."

Hard to believe that I had accurately predicted that after my latest book review on Saturday, I would be targeted. I was right.

Since I became a blogger back in 2009, I knew the power of the written word. Being a Christian, carried its own set of targets, and when you put the two together, especially when the world doesn't agree with your opinions, persecution would undoubtedly follow.

Just this Saturday I was faced with the dilemma of how to write a book review on a book I requested, but was mislead, that didn't agree with my religious beliefs. In my eyes, I had two choices.

To write a honest review.

Or to write the publisher and tell them I couldn't write the review based on my own personal beliefs.

I've even read Christian authors who have targeted book reviewers, even Christian book reviewers to not post reviews on sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble because those less than favorable reviews have an overall impact on their novels rating.

I can agree to a point.

God does call me to be accountable to what I think, what I say and what I do.

He also stated in His Word, the Bible, that when you go against the world, persecution will follow. If I was mislead by the synopsis I received, couldn't someone else follow suit?  Consider the words found in James 1:2 ~ "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,"

What benefit is there if you don't tell it like it is? Without being too critical and watching your choice of words and what you will say. In fact, I sat for quite awhile and really considered what and how I would write in my review.

I couldn't let someone else make the mistake and pick up a book dealing with the issue of gay marriage and not say something. So I wrote what I felt was a very heartfelt review. I did not say anything hateful and expressed that the reason for my unfavorable rating was based on my Christian beliefs and thus others might have a different review of the book if they don't find the subject matter offensive. I did.

In this country, we are allowed the ability to speak our minds even if our opinions differ. Yet is there any reason to drop to the level of leaving nasty, critical comments and resort to calling names?

I already knew the heat I would take in writing this review. In fact, if you want to read it, please click here. 

I even told my husband, I would be a huge target from people who didn't like what I hate to say, not based on an honest review, but that I didn't agree with gay marriage as a believer in Jesus Christ. Thus the comment I received on my blog yesterday that has become the title of this post.

Rather than chose to debate the merits of this issue and with what I knew would become a blog post filled with hate comments and less likely to deal with the real issue, I chose to delete it.

I knew it was coming and more than likely there will be more to come.

Yet, I hold fast to the truth that God shares with us as believers in Christ, that we will be targeted and persecuted for simply stating the truth. I didn't write the law, God did. If He says gay marriage isn't part of His design for marriage, then I challenge those to take it up with God when you see Him, and we all will some day. I refer to 1 Corinthians 6:9 from the New Living Translation ~ "Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality,"

I guess the point of this comment was not targeted to me, per say, but to God. Obviously someone doesn't believe He exists. If we, as believers in the Bible, accept everything that is in it, then this isn't something we should entertain our minds or thoughts on. We can't pick and chose what we like in the Bible and toss out what we don't agree with. It's an all or nothing thing. I chose to accept it all, even the stuff that makes me uncomfortable and squirm, that is just what sin does when called into the light. It makes us uncomfortable but it is still sin and wrong.

I believe that God exists without question, 100% in my mind. 

I believe it with every fiber of my being. I have witnessed the changes in my life through knowing Him, the God of the Bible. And one day, so will everyone else whether you believe in Him or not. Because He does exist.

Does that make me ignorant, bigoted, retarded?

No, it doesn't.

It simply is the truth as I believe it.

I'm not asking you to believe it to, by writing the review I did, nor did I attempt to convert readers to follow Jesus, I simply stated why I felt I couldn't write a more favorable review.

To my fellow Christian bloggers, how do you handle negative comments and feedback? I'd love to hear your opinion.