End of Churchianity

Ah! Was excited to see today that the documentary ‘End of Churchianity’ is now on YouTube for people to watch for free! I definitely recommend it to everyone, especially those discouraged about having an Acts church.

The End of Churchianity – DOCUMENTARY:

There are other testimonies I might leave links to in the comments later when I have my computer with me.

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Believers Offended

During the days that I was being more rebellious against God (I say “more” because I still struggle) and was not working on developing any sort of relationship with Him, I still never doubted His existence or denied Christ died for our sins (though I was not holding this very sacred by my lifestyle). However, I did not parade around telling everyone I knew that I was a believer and I was the first one to quickly admit that I was not living the life or example I should have been.
These days when I come across someone who says they are a believer I not only try to encourage them but also test them against their own word on their faith, especially when I witness questionable actions coming from someone claiming to be a believer. There have been many that, although I do believe they accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, are headed down the same worldly path I’ve been down many times.
Through simple questions or statements of Truth they can be easily offended. They are unable to recognize that it is through love that I (or others) may try to call them out on what they already claim to hold dear to their hearts. I’ve come across some, while claiming I was one of their only friends, that avoided me for weeks for simply asking how reading their Bible was going. Now to many that may not seem like a hard question, but to someone still incredibly young in their faith and not fully knowing what the Bible teaches (or taking an interest in it) that type of question is viewed as “being judgmental.”
We live in an age where our “churches” (I use that term loosely here) are not working to actually challenge and encourage our youth. I know this not only from personal experience but also being a witness to it from those I have been around.
We are in a time where at a young age children are told stories about God and the Bible, much like a bedtime story, to keep them busy. As they get older they are still being kept busy, mostly through skits and entertainment, with some lessons about why abstinence is important. Other than that the gospel never seems to reach the youth of today, or yesterday… or the day before…
I would say that most youths never fully know what the Bible actually teaches from attending church but because they have grown up hearing entertaining stories they think they know exactly what it says. All the while they can now go out into the world and anything they do will somehow have no effect on them spiritually.
What I have learned is that I was never really taught much about the spiritual life. I was not taught what things in the world can affect my spiritual life which in turn can affect my decisions and my entire life. I was not warned against the ways Satan will work against us or what to stay away from other than the obvious. And to be completely honest, I now see that many adults don’t even have a clue as to what can have a negative affect on their spiritual lives. There have been so many generations that have grown up with such a watered down gospel and lack of experience that they do not know how to teach their children and the cycle continues.
If you never warn others of what is bad they will assume everything they come across is good. By that I mean, if you never share experiences involving a real spiritual life (good and bad, not only showing what is sweet and happy) they will never be able to recognize the ways Satan works and know how to deal with the trials of life.

But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
(Matthew 13:20-21)

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
(James 1:2-4)

Even today those I would have considered youths during my days of my own youth are now the age of adulthood, as am I. Even today they are still infants in their faith as I once was, though I will always be learning because the realm in which God dwells can never fully be learned by us. Even I am still a child in comparison to others but I have grown tired of milk and am fully in want of strong meat. (Hebrews 5:12-14)
So do not become offended by your brothers and sisters in Christ if they are trying to challenge or encourage you in your faith. If you become offended or feel guilty it may not be for their reason but your own. Try to reflect on that the next time you feel someone is “judging you” and ask if they have reason to. If you are unable to hold up to what you say you believe how are you helping the Kingdom?

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (Matthew 15:8)

Another thing to note is that by claiming to be a believer in Christ, that He died for our sins, you are then held to a higher standard than others in that regard. When I was still working I did not hold the non-believers to the same moral or spiritual standards that I did those who claimed to be Christians. Even still the Christians became offended due to a lack of maturity in their faith. We cannot hold those who live by the world to the same standards as those who believe on Christ; even we as believers will be tested in our faith.

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
(1 Peter 1:7-9)

Please Don’t Awaken the Sleeping Church

revisedhistory

By Al Benson Jr.

Recently on http://www.thedailybeast.com I read an article entitled: A Global Slaughter of Christians, but America’s Churches Stay Silent. It was written by a Kirsten Powers. I don’t know anything about this lady but she did posit some thoughts that American Christians should be thinking about and probably haven’t a clue about.

Anyone who has read my material in recent years realizes that I have grave questions about what the Church in this country is doing (and isn’t doing). The Church today seems to be submerged in what I would call a wait for the rapture, just be nice, the Lord’s in control and so we do nothing theology. That’s about the briefest way I can describe it and keep it civil.

Powers states in her article: “Christians in the Middle East and Africa are being slaughtered, tortured, raped, kidnapped, beheaded, and forced to flee the birthplace…

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What Side is Your World On?

There have been a lot of topics on my mind recently that I would like to write of though I’m not sure of their timing and will need to pray about them more. One topic that has been on my mind for quite some time is involving around Westcott and Hort and the many different Bible translations we seem to have today. For those who aren’t familiar with Westcott and Hort, they are credited for having found older scrolls than what was used to translate the King James Bible we have today. I disagree with most that think that the older the better in this case, especially considering where their transcripts were found or stored for so many years. There is also the fact that neither men were true believers and it is documented through their own letters to each other during their translations. Many who take their versions as just “easy to read” and in my mind that discredits God’s ability to help us understand His ways.

Another topic I have felt strongly about writing on has to do with the rapture. Though I was raised to believe in it (even read some of the Left Behind series) I do not believe in it anymore. God put a burden on my heart about it and after seeking His guidance, the theology surrounding it feels completely wrong for ways that I will not explain right now. I also believe there are dangers in not only believing in it but also teaching it to others, but I will not get into that now.

I’ve had a difficult time knowing where to start on these topics and have mostly just been doing my own research about them. I love to research and find what others believe compared to what the Bible teaches us, to see how most other religions all connect with each other in ways they are not even aware of (Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, etc). I also research sects of “Christian” groups, churches, or organizations and see how they compare with the Bible as well. I recently did some research on a Mar Thoma (“Indian-Christian”) church as I know someone who attends periodically. I found a lot of Hindu/Buddhist influences that are still involved in this church and are seen merely as Indian traditions. I found, in my research, that most of their “traditions” are still paying homage to other gods from other religions and I do not believe most are aware of this and the importance of not continuing with such “traditions.”

It’s very important to be aware of what is going on around us in other groups, especially now when false prophets and leaders are pushing to have “oneness with each other.” After that statement you might ask, “Well, what’s the big deal with that? Shouldn’t we get along? Wouldn’t the world be a better place?”

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  (35)  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  (36)  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.  (37)  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  (38)  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  (39)  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. – Matthew 10:34-39

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  (16)  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  (17)  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  (18)  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  (19)  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  (20)  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. – Matthew 7:15-20

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. – 1 John 4:1

We are here to find God. More and more I am realizing how much our generations and the generations before us have slacked off from a real relationship with God. I’m not claiming that everyone is lacking, but a lot of them are. I’ve lived it myself, I know how it feels to want more. To attend a church and go to Bible studies every week only to find yourself still thirsting, still wanting more, still.. empty. But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14)
Why are so many people today still thirsting if we are truly being taught what Christ came here to teach us? Why are so many still lost? So many living the church life, having the word of God, and seeing it, and God Himself, as a joke? Because of watered down teachings. Why are so many falling away or buying in the false teachings, just to have acceptance and temporary joy? So many are filled with repetitive songs that have lost their meaning, with repetitive study plans that don’t break open what God is speaking about TODAY. Oh yes, they want to mold us into good little Christians, but the world was not turned upside down by factory made soldiers!

But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. – Acts 17:5-7

I want to be one of those. Through the blood of Christ and His true way, I want to be one that turns the world upside down from what it believes today. How many see it happening in their cities? How many see the impact? How many miracles of healing the sick, healing the blind, healing the crippled, and casting out demons do you see in your church that are true and real? How many reach out to the homeless, the fatherless, and the widows? I for one, don’t see it today.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16

He gave his only begotten Son for our sakes.. We can never fully repay him for that.. but what are you going to do to try?

Casting out in His name/Faith and Fasting

And when he (Jesus Christ) came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.  (15)  And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him.  (16)  And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?  (17)  And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;  (18)  And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.  (19)  He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.  (20)  And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.  (21)  And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.  (22)  And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.  (23)  Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.  (24)  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.  (25)  When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.  (26)  And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.  (27)  But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.  (28)  And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?  (29)  And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. – Mark 9:14-29

Often times that scripture will come to mind and I will consider what it says, typically the last two verses where the disciples ask Jesus why it was they could not cast out that demon and his response is, “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
There are many people out there that are teaching that the Word of God, the Scriptures, are not enough to fight against the devil. That they are not enough to charge the enemies minions, his demons, to leave us or others alone. I myself often use Luke 10:19 when I am praying over my house, my family, and my friends.
To say that the Word of God is meaningless in fighting against Satan and his armies is to say that the Bible, the actual words of God, are useless. That even Christ would be useless and powerless. Even Christ used the scriptures against Satan:

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.  (2)  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.  (3)  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.  (4)  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. [Deuteronomy 8:3] (5)  Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,  (6)  And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.  (7)  Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. [Deuteronomy 6:16] (8)  Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;  (9)  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.  (10)  Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. [Deuteronomy 6:13-14] (11)  Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. – Matthew 4:1-11

And did you notice that even Satan tried to use scripture against Jesus?
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,  (6)  And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. [Psalms 91:11-12]

So why do people believe that the scriptures do not work against Satan and his minions? I think that most believe that when they use the Words of God, the Bible, that they expect some dramatic exit to happen right before their eyes while using verses. I think that due to a lot of the stigmas that Hollywood has put out we often think that our spiritual life will end up being much more dramatic than it may seem, which often leads to disbelief and a lack of faith.
If you’re expecting something dramatic to happen you are more likely to have a loss in faith when what you expect doesn’t play out right in front of your face.
Many times in the Bible it says that demons were cast out and even people were healed “In that very same hour.” That does not exactly say “at that very moment” or “right when the words were said.” It says in that time frame, not always in an instance. Just because there are moments where you don’t instantly feel something has changed around you does not mean that nothing is happening. I’ve been victim to that far too many times. I pray over something and because I don’t feel that anything is happening then I don’t feel that God is answering my prayers, that my faith is too weak (which I prove to myself that it is by giving up), or that I’m not worthy of being helped. Do you see how having such expectations, based off of worldly views of what we think should happen, can affect our faith? I’m not saying that everyone out there will go through those experiences, but I think it’s important to note that there are some out there that will lose their faith because they expect something to happen and if they do not get instant results they give up.

And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. Mark 9:29
If Christ tells us that some demons, or I could even say most situations that we have genuine concern over, are not resolved but by fasting and prayer, what do you think that means? Does that mean we need to expect instant results and give up when we don’t see anything happening? Of course not! It means we need to have faith, to come to God through fasting and prayer, humbling ourselves before Him (James 4:10) (1 Peter 5:6) (2 Chronicles 34:27), bringing our prayers and supplications to Him (Philippians 4:6-7). He will hear our prayers and He will help us when we come to Him humbly seeking His help.

We typically understand prayer and speaking with God but what about fasting? How many of us today actually fast? How many think that it’s still important? How many Bible studies, churches, Christian leaders encourage it? I for one rarely heard anything about it growing up.

Tony Evans writes about fasting:
Jesus said that in His absence, fasting was to be a priority.
Matthew 9:15 for example, And Jesus said to them, “And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.”
That is, in Jesus’ absence fasting would be a way to make that connection with Him. Since you can’t go to Jesus right now and sit down with Him and have a verbal conversation face to face, God says there’s a special way you can make a spiritual link with Him when you need to, and He says “and they will fast.”
Fasting is a way to get through the gateway to God in the crises of life.
1.) In the bible, fasting occurred during the burdens of life that demanded a spiritual breakthrough; emotional burdens, relational burdens, circumstantial burdens, physical burdens, ministerial burdens, directional burdens or what have you.
Fasting is the deliberate abstinence of physical gratification to achieve a spiritual goal. It’s a denial of the flesh to gain a response from the Spirit.
It’s renouncing the natural to invoke the supernatural. It’s saying “no” to yourself in order to hear a “yes” from God.

When you eat, who do you eat for?
I can guarantee it’s for nobody but you. You do not eat with me in mind, and I don’t for you either. When I eat, I’m concerned for three people only; me, myself and I.
I become an obedient servant to myself. I even eat when I don’t need to eat.
But when you fast, God says that’s for Him because that’s when we get His attention. Food satisfies us, but fasting satisfies God.

(please note: I have not read all of Tony Evans views of the Bible or walking with God. I cannot say that I agree with all doctrine or opinions that may be listed in any of his writings, but I did think those made good points.)

Though I have a difficult time with the idea of fasting it is still something that I will need to work on with my relationship with Christ. In the last month or two I have had a couple of days of fasting (not consecutively, mind you) and I will admit that it was difficult for me. I have grown so accustomed to having food for not only comfort but for nourishment. But where is all of my spiritual nourishment coming from? Yes, I read my Bible and pray everyday, but am I really being spiritually filled just from that? I’m starting to find and realize, even while I write this, that during my physical days and weeks of repetitive mediocrity that I most likely am going through a spiritual state of the same. That I need to actually take the time to force myself to fully depend on the Lord and get back to that state of mind not only for my own faith’s sake, but for the sake of helping others.

I know I have gotten off on a tangent here, as I do quite often.. But I have realized some things through it.
I would like to say that I already knew and understood that during times of trials, temptations, or even harassment by the minions of Satan we need to stay in our faith and keep in mind that our prayers will not always be answered in the blink of an eye. (On another note, we need to keep in mind that sometimes we might have to have multiple people pray for us or with us on such things instead of trying to do it all solo.)
Another thing is that in order for our authority to be placed we have to be where we need to be in our faith. We can’t be wishy-washy asking for help and then assuming it doesn’t come if it’s not immediate, causing us to lose faith.

For those of us who are struggling out there in our faith, that might have things that we fear God will never answer despite how much we beg and plead, we might need to really consider giving things up that WE need in order for Him to know we’re serious. That we are truly going to depend on Him and we need to leave these situations in His hand knowing that if we truly are following Him, He will help us. He will help those who seek Him with an earnest heart.

But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; – Deuteronomy 4:29-30

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6:33

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. – Mark 12:30

Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. – 1 Chronicles 16:11

When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. – Psalms 27:8

How long will you be among them?

For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. (Deuteronomy 7:4)

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Acts 20:29-31)

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. (Romans 16:17-19)

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Timothy 4:2-5)

I am fully aware lately to the truth of seeing those around me, whom I love, falling prey to false doctrine. I ask myself quite often questions concerning this mentality that those around us have attained concerning such false doctrines. The “let’s agree to disagree” theology that has made its way into Christian homes everywhere.
Feel that you’re being lead in a different direction? Fine, but let’s test the spirits of those directions and find the truth.
Feel that it’s okay and we should be loving and accepting of our brothers and sisters who live in sin?

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.  (12)  For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?  (13)  But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. (1 Corinthians 5:11-13)

Sometimes when I think about the church, the supposed body of Christ, I feel sorrowful. I don’t know how much of what I feel or what I “see” in regards to it all is speculation on my own part of a view-point from God. I find it incredibly sad that in this day and age one might be more skeptical of a church actually following God than assuming they are not.
I can’t walk into a “Christian” bookstore without seeing false doctrine spilling off the shelves all the while Christians are lining up with money from their pockets to purchase these “best sellers” and words of those who have no real intention of glorifying God.
You can’t walk around in a store without seeing them push all the holidays that we’re not even supposed to celebrate. We’re constantly told to come OUT from the world yet we accept everything they sell in stores and play it off as not being a big deal. What we’re actually doing is disobeying God and downplaying it because we want to be entertained and have the same enjoyment as the rest of the world. That’s not what our Bible teaches us. That’s not what God has been teaching us.
I’m sure I’ve ranted about this before and I will continue to do so. I am incredibly thankful that God has opened my eyes and I pray that he not only continues to do so but will open the eyes of many others in the world.
My heart breaks at the things that I’m shown and I will be glad to be removed and help those that He has told me we will be helping. I do not know what all my future holds but if it has anything with being able to glorify God and bring others closer to Him, I want it more than ever.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  (15)  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  (16)  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  (17)  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)

In the past I used to think that verse 14 was talking about marrying non-believers, as that is how it was taught to me growing up. Now I realize more that it means not to belong one to another. Not to allow them to effect your lives and lifestyle in a way that it separates you from the Lord. Does that mean that we cannot even talk to them? No, how would we witness? Just don’t allow the lifestyle of the world to corrupt what God has given you.

Keeps coming back up

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.  (Ephesians 3:20-21)

I wrote a post awhile back speaking about the way that we minister and witness to others. It has been coming up in my mind on and off over the last couple of days and I’m really not sure why. I kept thinking that I had written about it in a way that I need to go back and correct myself but upon reading it just now I realize that I wasn’t really saying what I thought I was (in the last couple of days).
I thought I had written something along the lines of the way a lot of churches teach in the “you witness to others by living by example” which I do agree with, but that is not actually how you witness to others.
Let’s actually look at the definition of the word

wit•ness (wĭtˈnĭs)
n.    One who can give a firsthand account of something seen, heard, or experienced: a witness to the accident.
n.    One who furnishes evidence.
n.    Something that serves as evidence; a sign.

Now after reading that, can you say that keeping quiet about your personal relationship with the Lord and just “living by example” we are being a true witness? Are we giving out testimony and speaking about the wonders God is doing in everyone’s lives? In our own lives? Speaking about His Son and the miracles that are still going on even unto this day?
Although it’s good to be able to live by example I’d say that most of us are not actually witnessing.
Since that is being taught in a lot of churches (I heard it a lot in the youth group I went to growing up) I want to point out the way that Christians (who are living their lives “by example”) look like to a secular world; they look snotty and prude. They do not look like people who see the world, understand it, live in it, know how to even react to it. They look like they’re living in their own little bubble and anything that comes their way from “the world” they turn their nose up to and back up slowly. It’s almost as if they’re germaphobes and the world is the grime.
Now, granted, the world is pretty bad. It’s grimy and gritty; fully of sin. BUT we are called to live in the world to help those who are stuck in it NOT to live in a bubble; in the safety of our church. I’m not saying that all churches just expect everyone to always stay within and never help anyone else but from first-hand experience I can tell you that some of the ones I’ve been in (and grown up in) seem keep from encouraging others to do what we’re told to be doing in the Bible. I see a lot of people that wouldn’t know what to do without a pastor/preacher telling them what to do. People are lazy and they don’t want to have to think for themselves. If they have someone that will tell them what to do, think, say, or feel then they’re gong to get overly protective of that person and really who is there to tell us those things other than God? I’m not saying that all pastors or preachers are corrupt either, my uncle is a pastor, I’m saying that people need to wake up and learn to think for themselves. To ask what God would want THEM to do, as an individual. Pastors are very busy people, do you really think they they have you specifically in mind when they speak about what to do in life? Could it not be that they have to speak their messages to fit a mass amount of people? If we’re not seeking it for ourselves then we will never find it. No one is going to do our work for us.

I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (John 17:15-21)

Christ asked for us to not be taken out of the world but kept away from evil. To not be removed but to be left as a witness for His Glory and Love. Are we doing that by spending our time in church and never working towards His ministry? Are we able to share the love of Christ with others by avoiding the non-believers because they are “of the world?”
People say the world can be a scary place. I say that it’s never venturing into it that’s the scary part.
I’m not saying we should all go to parks and try to talk to everyone about Christ, because it doesn’t always work that way. I’m saying we need to be more in tune with being open to doing things and going places that are in the world. We can’t hide ourselves up in little holes hoping that we’re doing it right just by reading and praying everyday; that’s not what we’re called for.
We’re called to be a witness

wit•ness (wĭtˈnĭs)
n.    One who can give a firsthand account of something seen, heard, or experienced: a witness to the accident.
n.    One who furnishes evidence.
n.    Something that serves as evidence; a sign.

A Hard Fall Off Pride Rock (part 3)

I would say I’ve been pretty whiny lately. Actually, I’ve been that way on and off (most of the time) for several months.
Recently I asked the Lord to show me some things that are in my heart or in my life that I need to allow Him to work on with me. He did that. It hasn’t been very fun and it has been difficult to even know how to react. A lot of the things that were brought up are issues that stem back throughout my childhood and have really effected the way I am today in my relationships with not only Him, but other people as well.
It has to do with feeling loved and desiring to feel loved, coupled with distrust that anyone would or could love me.
I’ve already written about these subjects several times (not all of them are posted) and I will post links to those posts at the bottom of this one if anyone is interested in reading them.I was sitting here listening to a broadcast about the tribulations to come and the way we will be tested when I suddenly realized that once again, I have failed the test God has put before me. I then remembered that I had asked for Him to bring some things forward that I might need healing with and couldn’t figure out if it was the process of going through that or if it was being tested. Of course it dawned on me that it’s both.

Not only was He bringing forth things that I needed to work on and allow Him to help me with (such as believing that He loves me and I am deserving of His love) but it was also a test to see how well I would believe in Him. To trust Him. To be honest with you I didn’t do a very good job.
When I talked to Him the other night I felt that He was calling me to go and sit. A part of me was excited in thinking that Him and I would be able to discuss what had been causing me such heartache all week, of course it didn’t seem to be what He wanted to discuss. He showed me something that was gold and shining with warmth. I noticed it had precious jewels in it and it was incredibly beautiful to look at. I kept wanting to describe it as a part of a chalice. It was cylindrical in shape, wider at the base, but had no base (bottom piece), and there didn’t seem to be a top piece that would make the actual cup.
I asked someone to ask Him about this and all was said was that it was His (Christ’s) divinity. When asked what it meant they told me all He said was that it would be revealed.

Afterwards I felt that there was a brief discussion of.. something and then the conversation kind of just ended. It wasn’t exactly the heart-to-heart I was hoping for and didn’t seem to have anything to do with myself. I remember seeing this piece of the “chalice” (still not sure if that’s what it was) and feeling like I was shown that it was a part of us, as believers.
Maybe it had to do with Him being a part of us and His divinity/love in us? I’m not sure. I hope that will be revealed soon enough.

Anyway, after this talk I felt almost numb. It was as if someone played surgeon on my emotions and took out whatever part of me was actually in pain. It was incredibly confusing especially considering that I still had memories of all the things that were hurting me and it seemed that there was a part of me that was wanting to hold on to that pain. Granted, it’s all I’ve known and tried to bury for most of my life, but that’s not a very good excuse.

It seems to be a habit of mine to constantly look for the negative than to let go and enjoy my blessings. Besides, letting go would mean that I would have to completely have trust, right? I wish I could say that I’m trying my best but I know that’s a lie as well. I could be trying a lot harder. Actually, I could be trying. As much as I hate to admit it, the amount that I have “tried” has been little to none. I’ve still tried to hold on to all the pain and heartache and it’s getting me no where fast. Most likely it’s more of my pride getting in the way than anything else at this point and this would not be the first time that I will have prayed that He would humble me for His sake and mine.

We are loved. We are beloved. We have to learn to trust in His words.

No, I didn’t hear him tell me He loves me with His own words. In some respects I already knew it and probably tried to hide it to keep my pain on the surface. I wish I could explain why I do the weird things that I do but that would probably take an encyclopedia of books about my life, and let’s face it that would not be a very interesting read (on top of the fact that I would hate to have to go through that much of my history).

Either way, please be praying that I will continue to move out of this. At this point, regardless of how I might feel or what I might think, there’s work that needs to be done. His purpose is a lot more important than my own and I don’t even have one without Him.

Thank you to those who have listened to me whine and prayed for me, even if you said a random little prayer while accidentally stumbling across my blog. Thank you.

Please continue to do so and may we all pray that His will be lifted up.

Continue to work and continue to allow your eyes to be opened by Him. He has a lot to share with a lot of us and it’s time to really start paying attention.

Pray for all of our patience as well. Hopefully by morning I will still have this same outlook and my pride will not get in the way again. There’s too much at stake.

Previous entries:
How do you convince yourself that you are loved? (part 1)
A Purposely Broken Heart (part 2)

How do you minister to others?

For those of us who do not feel God’s calling in a specific ministry life or understand what witnessing or ministering to others might entail, I thought I would write my feelings on the matter based on my personal life, what I have witnessed from others, and through reading the Bible.

How does one minister to others?

That question has been circling my head this evening. How am I, being in the place that I currently live and working where I currently work, supposed to minister to those around me?
Most of us are not fortunate enough to have the spiritual gifts of teaching or preaching, so how are we to minister to others? No, we don’t have to memorize all the Bible verses and know everything there is to know of what the Bible says. The answers are right in front of your face when you start to think about it.
We minister through our lives and how we live daily. If we are living with God, speaking to Him and seeking Him daily, we are then able to discern which actions or decisions would be more godly. If we then start to live up to these godly expectations, with righteousness given through Him as we grow, then we are ministering through our lives and how we live. You have to remember that it’s not always about having a sit down with someone to speak about Christ. And even if you do talk to someone about Him you shouldn’t worry about having the right things to say or right questions to ask. God will give you the things to say when He has called you specifically for that purpose or to help a specific person, but you also need to ask. That is not to say that you have to wait around until you feel compelled for a certain person. You can ask Him for guidance in speaking about Him on a regular basis throughout your life, to whomever you come across.
But otherwise in the world, we show it with how we live, what we surround ourselves with, how we talk, and how we act or treat others. If we’re living just as worldly as everyone else, do you think that they’ll start to listen to you when you suddenly speak of the Father? Do you think they’ll see what sets you apart and how only true peace can come from Him? I’ve thought about this concerning with my work place quite often. I’ve even realized that with how I was living in the past most people I am around find it odd or don’t really have anything to say if I bring up anything dealing with God or the Bible. They think it seems “out of character” of me to even speak of what I believe. Which is my own fault because of how I used to live. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be turned around for His purposes and that others wont start to see changes in my life that can only be explained by my relationship through Christ.
I’ve found that as I read the Bible every day now it’s about all I want to talk about most of the time. I don’t care about what TV shows are playing, which movies are out, about the newest pop sensation, and any views I have in regards to what’s going on in the world usually get strange looks from everyone else (because of the insight we are given through Him in regards to the world). Continue reading