Misconceptions about Christianity.

BACKGROUND: After a series of nightmares and endless tossing and turning, I woke up this morning feeling like I had been hit by a train. I felt awful so I put the heating pad in the microwave, took 3 IB profen, and started to pick up around the house. That last part has to sound crazy to most people and it did for me too, at least this morning because I had the intentions of hugging the recliner while I wallowed in my pain. After picking up around the kitchen I turned on the television thinking “okay I’ve done some stuff, so I’ll sit down after I hear the microwave go off.” Yeah, about that… that didn’t happen either haha. I kept making my way around the house, slowly feeling the headache go away, and then heard the local news saying the Pope decided to resign.

If you’ve been in the faith long enough, one of the things that should have came into your mind is the book of Revelation/ End Times/ Rapture/ Anti-Christ/ False Prophet/ Prophecies. Whenever it comes to strong authorities or leadership in this world, I can’t help but believe those will be the people who will be responsible for helping God’s prophecies come alive. It usually only takes one topic as such to get this girl’s mind going. Shortly after I received a message from my sister asking me about the book I had been reading, Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples by Francis Chan, the wheels started to turn more. Everything in my thought process this morning kept going back to God. Inevitably I think about people who aren’t saved when I get on this one track mind.

I decided there was way too much on my mind this morning to make a Facebook status out of it, one that would probably get over looked any ways. At least my thoughts have a few cents more value on here. The reason I’m writing this blog…. *drum roll please*… if you read the title, yes, it’s about misconceptions about Christianity. Don’t ask me how I got there, I just did haha. When I come to to these random thought processes I honestly think it’s the Lord trying to get something across through me. You may beg to differ, but with God anything is possible.

The few misconceptions that stood out to me were:

1.) Jesus Christ – in the words of C.S. Lewis, He is either a “Liar, lunatic, or Lord.”
I don’t think there are enough people in this world who take the time to actually ponder about who Jesus is. Most people lean on the thought that he was a good prophet. When people say this, it leads me to think they have never read the actual Word of God – The Holy Bible – KJV  (Kings James Version) – NKJV (New King James Version) – ESV (English Standard Version) – NIV (New International Version). John 14:6 says that Jesus is the ONLY way to God. He died a criminals death on a cross to take the burden of our sins – to make us acceptable before God. Can someone really say a good prophet would do this? A liar? A lunatic? Christ did not die in vain. He took the punishment we deserve and He is currently sitting at the right throne of God in heaven, He is a Sovereign God who deserves our never-ending praise and devotion. That is who Jesus Christ is.

2.) Grace – the definition or what comes to mind when you hear this word. 

Before being saved, when someone said the word ‘grace’ it made me think of people who dance ballet ‘with grace’. Something peaceful, serene, slow, light handed. Dictionary.com even defines this term first as…

  •  grace [greys]  noun, verb, graced, grac·ing. noun “elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action: We watched her skate with effortless grace across the ice. Synonyms: attractiveness, charm, gracefulness, comeliness, ease. Antonyms: stiffness, ugliness, awkwardness, clumsiness; klutziness.”

Some people may even think of it as the thing you say before you eat dinner. However, the grace that God gives is free unmerited favor. Meaning it is a gift, not anything we can earn or deserve. It means we are forgiven because Christ has taken our place. The best example of grace is how we constantly spit in God’s face, but His grace makes Him long-suffering and ultimately puts up with us. Again, not because we deserve it… but because He is God. It’s non-existent in our society to give others grace because we’re more prone to be bitter, vengeful, unforgiving, hateful, etc.

3.) Sin – Don’t do this and don’t do that. Hello legalisticcc!

This is actually addressed in Scripture and it’s called hypocrisy. The biggest people back then to make up these lists of dos and don’t were called Pharisees. These people were super-religious and thought they were holier than thou. They did everything right in their eyes and even in the public eye. They would even go to lengths of making sure people knew they were fasting because their appearance would be dreadful (fasting would usually show on their faces). These exact same ‘religious’ people nailed Christ to the cross. They accused him of blaspheming God and summoning demons. Christianity is more than the 10 commandments, it’s about our hearts. Do we think we’re fooling God with our works? No, of course not. Some people think they can abuse the grace of God yet proclaim Him on Sundays and call themselves “Christian”. Sin is not just about doing bad things, it’s also about not doing good things. When we’re given wisdom by God, we’re even more accountable because we know better. Sin is a heart thing.
4.) Church – Money scandals and hypocrites?

I find it sad that a lot of people blame bad churches for being the reason why they don’t attend. You wouldn’t believe the excuses I’ve heard, especially when it comes to tithing. “Ohhh churches are just after my money.” I can see where a few bad news stories might make one apprehensive, but the real reason is that they just don’t want to go or they just don’t want to tithe. Churches aren’t just the building and they aren’t perfect. The church is the body of Christ and it’s made up of believers imperfect believers. Another excuse that people use is that people are hypocrites within the church. I’ve heard Matt Chandler preach on this and his response to that was “Yeah and you’re one of them.” We’ve got way too much time on our hands to be nit-picking the church. If you find yourself in drama at church, examine your heart. Have you been going for God or the social aspects of it? And if you care so much about what other people are saying, are you letting that outshine the truth of God’s Word? God’s opinion is the only one that matters. As believers we are to live above reproach. Humble ourselves. Forgive others always – no matter how bad. Rebuke in love. And pray about it.

This blog isn’t directed towards atheists, I’ve read way too many discussion boards from Ray Comfort’s blogs and posts to know they have “read the Bible front to back” “researched Science” or what have you. They think they have it all figured out and there’s no talking to them because any kind of truth you give them, they want proof. The fact is, one of us is right and one of us is wrong. We can’t both be right. I believe in the God of the Holy Bible. Please do not make excuses when it comes to God. We’re never promised tomorrow and that ‘proof’ you need will cost you your soul. I’d rather people not wait till judgment day to figure this out. If you have any questions or comments, please list that below and I will be glad to talk to you. God loves you my friend!!!

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Your worth.

In a world flooded with advertisements, music, newspapers, television, movies, radio, what have you… we’re constantly being told what a person of any kind of worth looks like. Popularity, wealth, success, relationships, friendships, beauty – these are all things that define us by the world on the radar of worth. Striving to be all of these can wear a person out, not just physically but emotionally. Who can be all of these things or even one of them? What about times in our life where we have nothing going for us? What are we worth? When depression seeps in we either pull the trigger, develop an addiction to a drug, or become a hoarder.

You get my point. We run from our feelings by tapping into other things that consume our time. Why is it that we let things that CONSTANTLY change in our lives define who we are as a person? Or what about our happiness? Sounds circumstantial. You can only muster up ‘looking on the bright side of things’ for so long till you start to question things. For the woman who hasn’t found a man yet, will you be happy when you get married? What about when things start to suck and he disappoints you because he’s human? Someone might say that’s time for a divorce, but to me, that’s just another way of running from a problem that’s a lot deeper.

I love the fact that people are now standing up for their weaknesses and flaws. Examples: It’s okay to NOT be a size 2; having a disease doesn’t define one’s strength. Those are good things to realize and bring awareness to. But what about things that are not so good? I feel like people take this and go 10 steps deeper and start taking perversity and justifying it. Having an identity crisis means it’s okay for a man to start wearing women’s clothing. Maybe you don’t feel like anyone relates to you, so you marry a chicken. The Bible even talks about how we trade wisdom for foolishness.

Dude read Romans 1, it tells us how mankind became corrupted verse 1:25 says They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” This isn’t a gay bashing blog, it’s about a deeper problem. Our sin. Before I get too off track, the point I’m trying to make is that we take the weird or flawed things about ourselves and use them to boost our ego. We’re taking the lemons from this life and making lemonade. That can be a good thing but also deadly. You could either be sipping something sweet or poison. See we can either be self-centered morbidly or be arrogant and think the sun shines out of our butts. Either way we’re constantly putting the focus back on ourselves.

I love seeing the beauty in things and in people, but don’t be the type of person to worship it. True beauty comes from knowing who you are in the Creator. That your worth and foundation for happiness and purpose in this life is based on the cross where Jesus died. That’s where all of God’s wrath and love poured out all at the same time. Bottom line, this world brings attention to flaws and can either make you arrogant or completely insecure. When you get the focus off yourself and look at your flaws for what they are and your strengths… you see them in a different light. I see grace and an area to grow when God exposes my weaknesses to me. I don’t want to run from my problems anymore. I have a God that is willing to carry me through them. He knows we can’t do it on our own.

Don’t be so prideful to think that if God really loved you, He would accept the way you are and you wouldn’t have to change. Coming to Christ means denying yourself. People paint Christianity as God being okay with our sin, that He requires little or no committment from us, that God is only there to make us happy. If you read in the New Testament, Paul was constantly in prison. Are you telling me he missed the picture? Following Jesus is not easy, but best believe if He calls on your heart to come in a relationship, that you answer knowing it won’t be easy. I can’t see my life without Christ and the reward of knowing Him in those dark moments of my life make it worth it. I use to be alone in my troubles, but now that I’m saved I have a Savior who shares in my suffering and gives me strength to live for Him. You can’t abuse His grace, live how you want, repent, and have the cycle start over. What kind of relationship is that?

God is such a loving God, the verse on my phone the other day was Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you…”

Where has your focus been?

Day 1: A Call to Die by David Nasser

As I started the introduction to this book for the second time, I realized it has only been a year since I last did this 40 day devotional fast by David Nasser. I’ve never went through a book twice, but here we go I guess lol. This book had helped me overcome a lot of darkness in my walk with God, especially when it came to hurt relationships dealing with people. The second time around it is different, it’s about my hurt relationship with God plus some other things I’m struggling with right now. It’s humbling to go back to the basics of Christianity, there’s still so much that God needs to pound into my head and heart. I’ve been complacent, lazy, and too ‘gentle’ with my sin. As Nasser says, Satan is not gentle in dealing with us… so we cannot be gentle in dealing with our sin. Sometimes I think we expect our sin to go away, but how often do we pray for those things that hinder us from God?

The main things I’m hoping God will help me overcome is my want to when reading the Word, intentional prayer time (not praying in my head & then getting distracted), bitterness in my heart towards people, boldness to step out and make friendships with others (can’t disciple people if there is… no people lol), anxiety I’ve been having about my health, and just overall prioritizing my time.

I’m fasting from Facebook since it consumes a lot of my time and let me tell you… it’s not easy. I’ve signed out of the app. on my phone and have caught myself trying to log on twice today (without even thinking about it I was doing this). When I opened up the laptop to type this blog I almost logged into Facebook (again, not intentional, just habit.) It’s really sad how routine I am with logging onto something lol.

Where I put off doing what I’m supposed to and hate dealing with my thoughts… my anxieties… I try to log on a billion apps to consume my time. Where I’ve not been able to get on FB though, I’m on my phone a lot less. I’m kind of ashamed how addicted I am to my phone and the fact I’ve been running from my feelings. I’m only doing this for 40 days, but try giving up something for a week that consumes a lot of your time. You’re going to notice withdraws and be like… “Now what?!”

Something I’d like to share to hopefully help encourage you to get in God’s Word is Isaiah 55:10-11. A lot of us tend to think reading our Bible is a waste of time, but we need renewal. We’re constantly battling against our flesh and we need to put on the armor of God. Nasser says that “God’s word has the power to change lives. If you marinate yourself in the truth of the Scriptures, I’m confident God will do some amazing things in you and through you. Count on it.” God’s promises do not return empty.

“As the rain and the snow

come down from heaven,

and do not return to it

without watering the earth

and making it bud and flourish,

so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

It will not return to me empty,

but will accomplish what I desire.”

– Isaiah 55:10-11