GrowingInLOVE

..Sharing with Fellow Christians..

Tears For “Julian” November 7, 2010

Filed under: My Thoughts — growinginlove @ 9:17 pm

So, I haven’t blogged in quite a few months.  Sometimes I get into a mode where the only way I can constructively express my feelings about certain things is to go to God in prayer and also write about it.  So, needless to say, something has happened recently to break my streak of blog “silence”.

Just recently, a very dear friend of mine  (unmarried) informed me that she had found out she was six weeks pregnant and that she did not plan on keeping the baby.  During the course of the phone conversation, I was as honest and as straightforward as I could be about what God’s Word says about murder.  I explained to her that human life is human life, no matter what stage it’s in.  An infant has no less human value than a toddler, who has no less human value than an adolescent, who has no less value than an adult.  Suffice it to say that an unborn child has no less human value than an infant.  They’re all different stages of human development.  A human is a human in each of these stages.  A fetus/unborn child is alive, and that’s evident by the fact that it’s growing.  Non-living things don’t grow and advance in development.I also shared with her that life comes from God, and that man is made in the image of God, which is one of the reasons why murder is such an abomination in His sight.

I did say all this in love and as gently in tone as I could, but I didn’t withhold the things that needed to be said.  She even still agreed to come by my house so we could sit down together and talk and go through the Word so I could let her read the Bible for herself so she could see what God has to say about it to truly make an informed decision.  I had written out an outline and everything.  And had also planned for us to read info and watch videos on what stage her baby was in at 6 weeks, what happens during methods of abortion, and the risks of bodily harm and complications she could face if the abortion route was taken. 

Ultimately, I let her know that murder is murder, and that she would have blood on her hands.  With that, I also told her that she needed to repent, and that I had planned to show her scriptures to that effect.

She agreed to come by one night, then cancelled because she said she was tired, which I’m sure she was.  So she rescheduled for the following night.  The next night came, and she cancelled on me again.  I had asked her if she could hold off on making a decision until we had the chance to meet, and she said she would.  After the two stand-ups, she stopped communicating with me.  I just wanted to make sure she was doing okay.  I called and left voicemails and sent text messages.  She never answered or returned my calls, nor did she respond to my texts.  She didn’t respond to  my texts until I just plainly asked her if she was avoiding me.  She responded to deny that she was avoiding me.  The next day I texted her to check on her again, and told her I still wanted to speak with her, and then I asked if she had made a decision.  She responded by saying, “It’s done…almost”.  That’s when the tears flowed.  Part of me believes she never intended to hear any other alternative that opposed her initial desire to kill that child.  In our first conversation about it, I asked her if she had thought of adoption as an option.  She said no because if she ended up having the baby, she would want to keep it.  I was flabbergasted by that.  So you’d rather murder the baby than to give him/her to someone else, perhaps a lovely married couple who is unable to conceive a child?  Complete and utter selfishness.

I believe I did well in keeping my emotions on a leash when talking to her.  I love her like crazy, but I will not support rebellious decisions against God, ESPECIALLY when you make verbal claims in the direction of Christianity and you KNOW better.  This may sound harsh, but I have no sympathy for her in her decision.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a sympathy for her in a sense that she’s a sinner and in need of repentance and saving faith in Jesus Christ.  And I get that she was afraid, as any unwed, young pregnant woman could be in that situation.  What I do not have sympathy for is the fact that she’s an adult and knows the possible outcomes of sex (babies and diseases) and she knows fornication (sex outside of  marriage) is a sin.  She was not raped, she willingly participated in the act and then chose to run from the consequences.  Where was the shame when the sex act was being committed?  Why does the baby have to suffer because the mother feels shameful of her actions?  None of this is the child’s fault. 

I had planned to tell her, but never got the chance, that I named the baby. I figured giving the baby a name would be one more way to help her realize she had a human life inside of her.  I named the baby Julian.

I don’t know who God may have to come across this blog.  I don’t really have many readers/visitors, but I’m in prayer that this blog serves whatever purpose God has for it, even if He uses it to reach just one person in some way.  That being said, in the coming week I plan to post the outline I had written to share with my friend. I’ll have to go back and organize and re-work it to make it reader-friendly since I just jotted down scriptures and notes to use in the context of a verbal, face-to-face conversation. 

I pray that it will be useful to someone out there…..

Christ is King!

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The Fiery Furnace May 5, 2010

Filed under: My Thoughts — growinginlove @ 9:09 am
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Last night I read the first 4 chapters of the book of Daniel.  I had heard the story of Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego since I was a kid in sunday school, but it never resonated within me as it did last night. 

Nebuchadnezzar had demanded that these three be thrown into the fiery furnace because they refused to obey his command to worship the idol he had set up.  They were bound and thrown into the fire, but upon looking, Nebuchadnezzar saw that they were no longer bound and were up walking, and he also noticed the figure of a fourth person whom he said was, “Like the Son of God”.  When the three came out of the fire, their clothes were not affected by the fire, not a hair on their heads was singed, and they didn’t even smell like smoke.  (Daniel 3:10-27)

Maybe I’m late with this, but this just spoke so beautifully to me.  It’s so encouraging.  When circumstances arise that threaten to take you through the fire, God won’t always prevent you from being taken through the fire.  He didn’t prevent Nebuchadnezzar from throwing them in there, tied up and all.  But while you’re in the midst of that fiery trial, God will be right there with you, and loose the ropes that bind you and walk with you to get you through it.  And since the one true God you serve is with you, once you come out of the fiery situation, you won’t even look or smell like you’ve been in fire.  Through Christ Jesus we are victorious, and He will bring us through the fires we face, enabling us to stand  firm in Him and for Him through any situation.  Because of our faith in Jesus Christ, we won’t avoid every fire, but we can stand in the midst of a fire and not be consumed!

Christ is King!!!

 

“You’re a Calvinist” April 15, 2010

Filed under: My Thoughts — growinginlove @ 11:24 am
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I’ve never called myself a Calvinist, but I’ve been slapped with that label recently.  I do agree with the “five points”, however, I’m not familiar with the rest of John Calvin’s theology or system of beliefs in entirety, so I won’t title myself.  Besides, I think believing in God’s grace would make me a Bible-ist first…or maybe it would just make me a Christian?

What is it that’s got people so riled up about something as beautiful as God’s grace and sovereignty?  I understand the shock of it because I’ve been there.  I understand it completely!  I know how I felt when I was first introduced to it.  However, God has changed my thinking from man-centered to Christ-centered.  I no longer view God as “owing” man something.  We are owed nothing but what we deserve and that is Hell.  Flat out.  I won’t mince words about that.  But why do other Christians get so bothered by even considering God having a choice in who receives salvation?  Why does it bother them that God must change our hearts in order for us to even be able to receive Him?  And why does it bother them that theheart that’s changed to receive Him can’t choose to do anything but receive Him.  A changed heart comes with changed desires.  Here are some of the reasons that have crossed my mind why many people have a hard time with accepting God’s sovereign grace:

-Men are prideful.

-Man thinks of man as the focus of the universe instead of God

-Man wants more freedom than God.

-Man thinks God “owes” him something or that he is deserving of good things from God.

-Man thinks that if God doesn’t work the way he thinks He should or wants Him to, then He’s wrong or unfair.

-Man doesn’t like to be at the mercy of anyone other than himself.

-Man doesn’t really want to trust God, he’d rather trust himself.

-Man wants God to be God when he wants Him to be God and in the manner which he prefers Him to conduct His Godliness.

So in effect, I’m a “Calvinist” or anything other than just a Christian because I believe that God created this universe for HIS purposes, HIS pleasure, and HIS glory.  Who is the creation to answer back to his Creator?  I recognize that I was put here to glorify God and to serve the purposes that He put me here to serve.  When I was speaking with a loved one about God’s elect, I was accused of possibly developing the mentality of  boasting, “Oh, I’m God’s elect! That must mean I’m special!”  And that could not be FURTHER from the truth.  When you realize what you were before regeneration and faith in Christ, you understand the horrific state you were in, being under the wrath of the Almighty God!  I was no better, no more special, and worth no more than any other sinful human being.  There was NOTHING good about me, and being under the wrath of God is being under the wrath of God..I don’t think “degrees” or levels come into play much here.  So when I think about the fact that He, in His own will and for His own good pleasure, sent His Spirit into me crying Abba, Father, when I didn’t deserve it, it does nothing but humble and baffle me!  Humbled and baffled because I know that I don’t deserve it..and God could have very well left me alone to face the penalty for my sins committed against Him.  I understand that I’m unworthy of such a gracious and precious gift.  I have NOTHING to brag on and no reason to look at myself as if I was something special.  In my flesh dwells no good thing…and before God’s work in me, I was controlled by my flesh..and in that state, there was NOTHING I could do to please God (Romans 8:6-8).  And I couldn’t go from being fleshly-minded to spiritually-minded until the Holy Spirit enabled me to be so.  The natural man can’t understand the things of the Spirit (1Cor 2:14).  Therefore, in order for him to understand the things of the Spirit, the Spirit must reside upon him and in him.  A man who is still carnally-minded  and dead in his sins and trespasses can’t make himself understand the things of the Spirit.  No, God BEGINS the work and He, being faithful, will COMPLETE it (Philippians 1:6).

On the other hand, for someone to think that he pulled himself up by his own bootstraps and enforced his mighty will to “activate” Christ’s finished work…what stops him from boasting?  “I chose Christ! I was smart/spiritual/wise/intelligent/had common sense enough to choose Him.”  And those who didn’t weren’t smart enough or spiritual enough?  So then your salvation gives you reason to boast or look to yourself as the final decision maker in salvation instead of God?  That would kind of mean God would have to share the glory for your salvation.  “Thanks be to God for providing Jesus, but thanks be to me for making it effective.” Glory split 50-50?

I’m labled with another title because I know that salvation is of the Lord, and that it is by His grace that we’re saved through faith, and not of ourselves, but it is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8-10.  I just want anyone who claims the name of Christ to know that salvation is a product of God’s work in them by His grace and faith which He gave them…not by some emotional decision they made when they raised their hand, filled out a card, or repeated a “sinner’s prayer”…and not because they decided to give mere mental assent to Jesus Christ. Salvation is a miraculous work of God.  The greatest miracle He’s performed/performing among human beings. It is literally a miracle that an enemy-of God by nature, wrath-deserving sinner can be transformed into a child of God, truly loving Him and having their sins atoned for by Christ and Christ’s righteousness imputed to them, causing them to be justified and declared acceptable to God and inheriting eternal life!  Professing Christians of ALL “denominations” need to know that.

Soli Deo Gloria! Christ is King!

 

Just an Update (Journal) April 1, 2010

Filed under: My Thoughts — growinginlove @ 11:53 am
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Well, I made an attempt at talking to a couple of people very close to me about my “Reformed Theology” learnings, specifically election/predestination…yeah…didn’t go over well at all.  I all but got my head bitten off.  I thought it was a safe place to try to share it, but I guess I was wrong…lol.  I wasn’t expecting them to agree, but I also didn’t expect to get jumped on like I did.  But hey,  I can understand how they felt…it just put me in a scary position I guess.  I’ve never experienced that kind of reaction before.  Anywho, I’m still studying and learning about the Reformed Theology in general.  What I like most about it is that God gets ALL the glory in every aspect.  I’ve come to realize that church/religion, as I’ve known it, seems to put man at the forefront with God as his assistant, only serving the purpose of answering prayers (always with a yes, of course), bringing prosperity and healing, and being there to rescue people out of bad situations.  In actuality, God is the One in charge of this whole thing, and He owes man NOTHING.  We are the creature, He is the Creator.  Until the last year or so, I hadn’t really considered what that really meant.  We are here to serve the purpose that God put us here for.  He doesn’t depend on us, we depend on Him.  Once I started to realize that, I began to put God back in His proper place in my life..me yielding to Him, not me expecting Him to yield to me.  I grew up with a very skewed perception of the Godhead…and I didn’t know it was skewed until good ole “hindsight” kicked in.  I realized how arrogant the church, in the general sense, has become.  In my opinion, it seems like we make God dependent upon us…Like puny humans have tied God’s hands behind His back and He’s just a-wishin’ and a-hopin’ that we’ll untie Him so He can go back to doin’ His “genie thing”. 

Growing up, I can’t really say that I was taught about the judgment of God, how He REALLY feels about sin, what Christ REALLY did on the cross, what grace REALLY is, and what we as sinners REALLY deserve and WHY.  I didn’t even really know, in depth, what the Gospel was truly about, yet I spent almost my whole life in church.  Now that I understand it a lot better, I rejoice and thank GOD for His Son and what He’s done! Soli Deo Gloria!

Also, I’ve been doing much praying and studying and praying and studying, and I have a strong desire to enter into fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ.  I disconnected myself from the “church” for very good reasons…but I’m not so foolish to think that there aren’t some assemblies out there, even of 15 people, who have a grasp on what the church body should be like.  There are no perfect churches, I know, but I’m not settling anymore.  I want to find a place where the true Word is going forth, no fluff..with people who have great respect for God and His Word.  I just don’t know where to go yet.  I’ve recently found 2 churches in an online search for my area that have interested me, but I haven’t visited yet..but I really want to.  God has stirred up within me the desire for Christ-centered fellowship and I can hardly contain myself.  I am resolved to visit one of them this Sunday (Resurrection Sunday).  They’re both Reformed churches, so I might be forced to visit by myself..lol.  Anywho, we’ll see how that goes 🙂

Just needed to vent and get some stuff of my chest today…so there ya have it!

Christ is King!!!

 

From a Heavy Heart… February 19, 2010

Filed under: My Thoughts — growinginlove @ 3:12 pm
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I wanted to write something well-thought out and clever, and even organized, but my current state won’t allow me to do so, so I’ll take the “stream of consciousness” route.  Lately I’ve been feeling “wheighed down” by quite a few things.  I’m daily in prayer about some things that have caused me to be grieved on the inside.  Some of which have to do with me in my personal life, and others have to do with other people.  I sorrow over my own shortcomings, but I continue to give God the glory and praise.  He is ever true and ever faithful and always good…I’m the weak one.  I have things that I struggle with, but I trust that God will deal with them according to His will and timing.  Even the apostle Paul had a thorn in his flesh, a problem he dealt with, that he begged God to remove, but He wouldn’t, and instead God told him that His grace is sufficient for him and that His strength is made perfect in weakness.  Now, whether the things I’m dealing with are just temporary means for God to accomplish something in and through me, or whether it’s something He will use on an ongoing basis to His glory, I’m not sure which one it is yet.  I will continue to seek Him first and stay in prayer.  I have a bad habit of getting impatient and panicky about things, especially matters of the faith, such as things in the Word of God that I don’t yet understand, and areas where I find myself to be lacking, and when I discover sin in my life.  It is my everyday prayer that God sanctifies me and teaches me to walk in holiness, denying myself.  I also pray for God to teach me patience.  I’m finding out that it takes patience to learn to be patient.  I keep asking for patience, and I keep finding myself in situations where I tend to become impatient..lol. And I know that it’s going to keep happening so that patience and longsuffering will be built up within me. 

In a strange way, I like the fact that my shortcomings and my personal struggles keep causing me to go running to my Heavenly Father in prayer.  In Him is my satisfaction, my joy, and my comfort.  It is through Christ that I realize where my strength comes from.  I constantly go running to my Source, my Provider.  I’m not perfect by any means, and I deal with the frustration of the flesh everyday..longing to be conformed to the image of Christ.  In the meantime, I’m glad to cling to my Savior, trusting in His righteousness and His sacrifice.  GOD IS GRACIOUS!!! 

Something else I’ve been weighed down by is a borderline overwhelming sorrow for others.  I have a particular concern for false teachers/deceivers and those who are being deceived.  A lot of professing Christians are being thoroughly deceived and beguiled by silver-tongued wolves in sheep’s clothing.  I get so upset when I see the precious, life-giving Word of God being twisted, taken out of context, and abused by people who have no love for God or His people.  I get equally upset when I see people feast on that garbage like starving raccoons.  Some of them are getting what they deserve because the Bible does tell us that people won’t desire sound doctrine and won’t want to hear the truth, but instead will heap to themselves teachers who will tell them exactly what they want to hear because they’re promoting the lusts/desires of the people.  They’re getting exactly what the Bible tells us they want.  Some of them will be stuck there, that’s clear. 

But there are some people who are meant to come out from under lies and false teachings..such as myself.  I was once fooled by false doctrine, but God, in His great grace and mercy, pulled me out of it, and I’m ever grateful to Him for that.  So I’m very sensitive to the fact that people are being deceived, and it is my prayer that God unveils their eyes and exposes the truth of His Word to them.  That they come to the saving knowledge of Christ through the TRUE Gospel of Christ.  I found out that I was following a false Christ and it TERRIFIED ME TO THE CORE when I recognized  it.  How I would just LOVE to see more and more brothers and sisters brought to salvation and repentance in the TRUE Christ, the Holy Son of God.  It’s not a light issue to me by any means.  I stare it in the face everyday.  It pains me that some won’t listen.  They’d rather cling to the comfortable lies of their beloved pastors and teachers than for one second to entertain the thought that they’ve been lied to and gotten over on, and that their very soul is in danger.   People have been sitting in churches for decades and are still ignorant of some of the most important aspects of the Gospel of Christ.  My heart grieves for people. 

There are some pretty theologically-intelligent people, but nobody on this earth knows everything, so we must never shut our eyes or ears to the knowledge of God’s Word, making sure that all things line up with the Word!.  Even what we think we know, we must always confirm it through the Word and prayer.  It’s one thing to be shown selective scriptures and have them read over and over and over with the preacher’s twist on them.  But it’s a whole other thing to see those very same words in light of the actual CONTEXT and intended meaning the Bible gives it.  This extra-biblical, and sometimes anti-biblical, indoctrination sickens me.  And I know that if it offends me, then it is no doubt a stench in the nostrils of the Almighty! 

There ARE people who are teaching sound doctrine and who handle the Word of Godwith great care, but they seem to be grossly overshadowed by the hucksters who have no real reverence or respect for God or His Word.  I am in prayer for the body of Christ.  I am moved to compassion for all my brothers and sisters.  And for those who contend for the faith and hold to the TRUE Christ, my prayers go up for you and my heart waxes large for you.  I pray that God strengthens you and increases your wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, and that He encourages you and keeps you.  To God be the glory!

Christ is King!

 

Suffering for Christ’s Sake February 5, 2010

Filed under: My Thoughts — growinginlove @ 10:46 am
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This is a video showing Christians in other countries who hang on to their faith in Christ at the cost of their very safety and lives.  I often wonder how we, here in America, would hold up under such circumstances as these.  Would we stand firm and steadfast in Christ, or would we buckle under the pressure and deny Him to save our own lives?  I honor and admire the brothers and sisters who endure persecution for Christ.  I also cry for them and pray for them.  The Bible warns us that we’ll face persecution for Christ’s sake.  My prayer for those of us who are being/will be persecuted is that God strengthens us to love not our lives unto death, proclaiming the Gospel of Christ unto death.  That we remain firm in our faith and faint not…that we don’t fear those who have power only to destroy the body and not the soul.  Let us pray for one another.

Let all be done to the glory of our Heavenly Father.  All is in His hands.

Christ is King!

 

The Wealthy Christ January 26, 2010

So I was watching television this morning, waiting for one of my favorite shows to come on as I get ready for work, as I do every morning.  Kenneth Copeland’s “Believer’s Voice of Victory” program comes on before the show I like to watch, so sometimes I’ll just let the program run while I do my morning routine.  Fredrick K.C. Price was the guest speaker.  I sort of grew up in a Word of Faith/Prosperity church, so I was very familiar with Price.  Now, having left that environment back in late 2008, and having grown and matured in the Word, I decided to listen to him now and compare his teachings to the Bible.  I wasn’t suprised at the fact that the topic was “prosperity”, and I wasn’t surprised at the fact that some things were said that I didn’t agree with and that were not truly biblically sound.  The issue Price focused on  was dispelling the myth that Jesus was poor.  Some problems arose during the course of his arguement in favor of a wealthy Jesus.  Of course, I was upset at the tactic of making scriptures say what he wanted them to say, but what flabbergasted me was a particular comment he made about Christ and His disciples. 

Now, I could have totally misunderstood what Price was trying to say, but I doubt that’s likely.  His argument is that Jesus was wealthy.  He then takes things from scripture to back up this claim.  He pointed out Mark 1:20, where Jesus calls James and John.  He said that since they had hired servants they couldn’t have been poor, since poor people don’t have servants.  I’ll give him that, but he ignored what that passage shows.  They were fishermen who had fishing equipment, a boat, and hired servants, so they weren’t dirt poor, but when Christ called them, they FORSOOK it all, including their father, to follow Him.

He used that to get to his next point, the statement that made me cringe, close my Bible, and say, “Guess I won’t be needing this!”.  With his reasoning, he came to the conclusion that 12 grown men would not have followed a poor man, and that Jesus had to have had something to convince them to hang around….that absolutely floored me.  It wasn’t because He was the Son of God, or because He hand-selected them, or because it was revealed to them who Christ was, it wasn’t even because he performed great miracles.  It was because He was wealthy?…

Disgusting!

Within a very small sentence he sure said a lot about what he thinks of our Savior.  Even if that wasn’t his intent, it was a VERY dangerous statement because of its implications.