Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The TRUE Hope

What would solve the world issues? What would solve all the "world problems"?

We have been discussing these questions in Youth Group recently. Most of the discussion has revolved around community - close, extended, and farther. We touched on going farther - to the ends of the earth -  this last week and I found it really interesting to hear the direction it went. We discussed world problems (The need of food, water, and shelter. The need for a cure of diseases and/or need of medicine around the world, and many more.) and what would be the only real HOPE the world would have in solving all the issues. JESUS!

Yesterday was a very interesting day. I was reading some facebook posts and saw that there was an overwhelming number of people that had changed their profile pictures to a red box with rectangles of pink or white inside them. (The EQUAL sign) This was/is a direct way to indicate through social media support of equality of gay marriage. More specifically referencing the "human rights" campaign and all the discussion happening currently in the Supreme Court. Marriage equality. "Love is Love", right?

I don't normally post things like this, but this has me very intrigued.

Love is love. Doesn't matter who it's between.

I would agree, to some extent. It doesn't matter who loves who, however, it does matter how it is carried out. Marriage was intended to be between one male and one female. It was intended this way through God's perfect design. Any other way is a distinct motion/action against the Creator's plan.

God's design was made without flaws because He is perfect! Why would you mess with a perfect design?

I went to a conference last weekend. There were several helpful and informational workshops. One workshop was specifically talking about this exact thing. The workshop was conducted counselor (by profession) that counsels those with same sex attractions. This gentleman has a passion for this because he too is a man that has same sex attraction. He spoke about many things but a few points that stood out to me were the following:

1. You CAN'T choose your attractions
2. You CAN choose how you act on your attractions
3. God designed marriage a certain way - one man and one woman. Living outside that design (action opposite of God's design) is sin. It's a distortion of the design.
4. No matter what your attraction is: You need friends (and JUST friends) of both genders
5. No matter what your attraction is: you need to be treated like a man if you are a man and treated like a woman if you are a woman.

Personally, I choose to love everyone as Christ does. It's what I am called to do. Love the person, and point them to Jesus!

HE is the TRUE Hope!

Something that was posted this morning from a good friend of mine. A great example of how to process this current action flooding the social media and our hearts:

"I hope each of you decides to read's been heavy on my heart and mind all night.

"In the past couple of days, I have noticed a large outpouring of profile pictures displaying a red equal sign. If you don't know where this comes from, it comes from the human rights movement supporting gay marriage, saying equality for all, no matter religious or sexual beliefs.

"The reason this has been heavy on my heart is because I see people in my life that say they are Christians (Christ Followers), placing this red equal sign as their profile picture. I simply want to ask the question, is this Christ like? Is this a Biblical worldview? Would Christ have fought for gay marriage to be okay if you wish to live in that way?

"The way I understand Scripture is that anything we pursue outside of God's design and purpose for our lives is living in sin. Scripture states that sexual immorality (which includes homosexuality) was not God's design for our lives.

"So back to my supporting this movement as a Christ Follower appropriate? I'm not saying Christians shouldn't be about human rights...we are called to love all...but does love mean saying that it's okay for people to live in a sinful lifestyle?

"I'm open for a respectful conversation here."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wants and Desires

Last time I posted I talked about contentment. Well, here's a spin on it with a focus on Spiritual contentment.
I have realized that I'm not as content with things as I thought.
I would like more clothes, yet I'm getting rid of a bunch.
I would like a new car, yet I have a good reliable fuel efficient car already.
I would like a dog, yet I don't have time for one.
I would like a house, yet I don't have the finances or time for one.
I would like a deeper relationship with the Lord, yet I don't make it a priority.
I would like to do missions work in another county, yet I am scared & don't feel I can leave my job.
Sometimes I feel like even though I'm doing lots of good stuff, it's all successful (overall) and most all of it is impacting the Lord's Kingdom, I feel as though I'm just not quite "there" yet.
Obviously we all keep working on things. We never quite reach the goal we set for ourselves, and we can ALWAYS be striving for something better. Especially when it comes to our relationship with Christ.
Recently I have a desire for more boldness in my faith. I want to be more bold with courage to talk to my coworkers, family, friends, and students about Jesus and how He can impact their lives as He has mine. However, I have also realized one of the reasons it has been such a struggle is because often times it's a reflection of your own relationship with Christ.
I believe in God, many people do. I believe it's not about just believing in God, it's also about a relationship. Sometimes I forget the truly incredible gift He gave us by sending His son and the magnitude of that gift. I realize how easy it is to accept it. That's what I have been teaching students and many others for years. All you have to do is receive the gift. It's there for the taking. You just have to take it.
However, one of the things I miss in these teachings is this. The gift is precious, and it has several benefits. One of which is a relationship with Our Creator. How cool, right? But like any relationship, you have to take care of it and nurture it. It takes some work.
Work: Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.
Effort - talking, learning and listening.
We need to talk with God. It's a 2 way conversation. You talk some and you listen some. I like to think of it as.... I want to call or text my best friend to tell her about my day, I don't even have to text God, He's just there waiting to hear all about it, no matter where I am.
Learning.... The Bible is PACKED with treasures.... studying it [regularly] will unlock the important and applicable truths. I am in a spot in my life where I am yearning for something of treasure.... Something that I can dive in and drink until my never ending thirst is quenched. And only by the Holy Spirit in the God breathed words of scripture will this happen.
In my daily activities I am surrounded by this type of information, and regularly am I reminded that my daily walk or even weekly walk isn't what it should be. So, here I go.
Each moment and each day is a new beginning. Each meeting with the Lord is a fresh start to only get deeper from where you are and where I am right now. 
Next up.... digging deeper! And taking it just one day at a time!
Talking with God more often, reading the word more regularly, and just finding the place and time to...