Dangers In The Pew

Ok, so, this post won’t, necessarily, be for everyone out there, and if you have not been in leadership, and/or you haven’t been in church for a very long time, this probably won’t even be of interest to you. However, I came across these notes the other day, and I was reminded of the book by Pastor Jim Bolin titled, “Recognizing the Spirits That Hinder the Flow of God.” I thought it might be helpful to those readers who are pastors, leaders or even church members who want to be a benefit to your church family (and pastor) rather than a hindrance… 😉

dangerous-people

therideronline.com

Often times, sinners aren’t the ones who destroy the church, well-meaning Christians do. Everyone of us who call ourselves part of the Body of Christ should be aware of this fact and shield our hearts from this temptation. We were not created to be dividers of the body. We are here to love God, love people, and show them the way to Him. Every one of us, the longer we serve Christ, the easier it is for Satan to use us. If we are not vigilant in our prayer life, of sober mind in our walk and of humble spirit and attitude, we can easily grow comfortable on the pew and be led astray. The Word says, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” He wasn’t kidding, and He didn’t have this written simply for our enjoyment of reading…

 

Some of the most dangerous people in the Body of Christ are the ones who think they could never be used by the enemy to hurt, deceive or push away from the cross another believer (or nonbeliever, for that matter), but if he or she is not alert and cautious, anyone can be used. Look no further than Scripture to see this proof. There are seven spirits that, if left unconfronted and ignored, can kill revival and essentially destroy the body of believers (you can look up these characters in the Word to read their stories):

Cain – spirit of murder: killing people with our words, back-biting, slander and gossip.
Balaam – spirit of false doctrine: remember, “If it’s true, it isn’t new, and if it’s new, it isn’t true!”
Kora – spirit of rebellion: full frontal assault against authority: They get a team together to fight their cause. They never want to meet with authority alone. They bring a reproved, organized group.
Absalom – spirit of disloyalty: this is a whisperer at the gate who brings disloyalty against the one placed in authority.
Jezebel – spirit of control: this one doesn’t want to lead, he/she only want to control the leader. Commonly, this is referred to as a woman, because Jezebel also will use seduction as her tool. However, a man can operate in this spirit, as well, because he “seduces” the leader by threats of withdrawal if confronted.
Leviathan – spirit of confusion: this is one who twists words, heard and repeated, in a twisted way. You can never reason with Leviathan, because, as an octopus will “ink the waters” to confuse it’s prey, leviathan does the same thing in conversation.
Pharisee – spirit of righteous judgment: this is, perhaps, one of the most dangerous, because this is when Satan convinces you that all your manipulation and control is helping the church. A Pharisee will throw stones at sinners and saints for the sake of religious tradition. The longer we serve God, the sweeter we should become. We should have a gentle and gracious spirit. Pharisees will throw rocks, make judgements and live by their opinions of the Word rather than the living, breathing Word of God.

When we believe we should hold a position that we don’t have, Satan can lead us to rebellion. We’ve got to figure out what position God has called us to and do it well, regardless, of where we believe we should be. Once we allow rebellion in our heart, we will allow one of these spirits to run rampant.

So, what’s the cure? How do we avoid these issues where we are?  The Word speaks pretty clearly: “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29-32

Submit to God, for feelings follow actions. Change your behavior and your feelings will follow. If we will respect the positions set over us, our actions will follow. Let us see the king in those over us in the Lord, even before we “feel” like they are king. Look no further than the story of David and Saul. David was anointed king, but he didn’t touch God’s anointed (King Saul), because God never gave him permission. God fought his battle and rewarded him for his faithfulness and submission! 😉

dangerous-people3

 

 

Advertisements

Blessed Heart and Home

I read this article the other day, and it really hit home…

18 Things That Are Hard to Explain to Third World Country Friends

Please, know I’m not bragging at all, but I have to say, I consider myself an incredibly blessed person. God has blessed our family so much that, many times, I am simply overwhelmed to tears because of the favor and blessings we have. Please understand, I’m not going to be one of those “prosperity preachers” who claim you will always have favor, you will always be blessed if you just do (blank) and (blank). No, you don’t give to get.

That’s not how God works, but He does honor obedience. He does give wisdom, and when you walk in it, you find blessings. He does honor prayers when you diligently seek Him, and, sometimes, He simply blesses; so you can, in turn, bless another. I can’t tell you all the reasons our family is blessed; I’m sure I could write another post on that later, and I won’t tell you that I’ve never gone through sufferings and pain. That, too, can be saved for another post…and another, and another… but all I am saying is I count myself a very blessed woman.

With that being noted, I really try to keep a grateful heart at all times, and I guess I do pretty good most of the times, but there are moments in life when I forget to be thankful. I forget to remember there are greater struggles in this life than the ones I am facing. There are people in this world who do not know from where their next meal will come, or even, if it will come. There are those who don’t even have a roof over their head, much, much less, an abundance of stuff that they’re needing to throw out!

I read this article the other day, and what the author described reminded me, again, of how very blessed I am…

Each of our family members sleep in their own beds every night.

When I’m hungry, I simply walk over to our refrigerator and decide what I’d like to eat.

When I’m cold, I put on a jacket, cover up with a blanket, or turn the heat up.

When I’m hot, I pour a glass of ice water, go outside and feel the cool breeze, or in the summertime, go stick my feet in a creek or waterfall.

Both of our boys have all the clothes they need, food they can eat, and even too much of material things they want.

When I want to go to the store, I simply jump in my car and drive over to the nearest store.

If we want to travel, we drive the car, fly in a plane, rent a boat, or ride in a train.

I take all the pictures my heart desires on my little smartphone and download them onto a “cloud” program to be retrieved at a later time.

When I want to share with the world what’s going on in mine, I simply sit here at my desk and begin to type, clicking the little blue button when I am finished.

When compared to our daily lives in America, these things I’ve listed seem like little, meaningless things, things that we each take for granted. Yet when compared to the daily lives of those from a third world country who don’t even live at the level of poverty, these simple things seem monumental. We all have something for which to be grateful. We all have someone for whom we can be thankful.

Can we take a few moments today to remember what and who those might be?

Appreciate the things you have. They are just things, and we should never be obsessive nor materialistic; yet, we can acknowledge the ease those things bring to our lives. We can enjoy them and not take them for granted.

Cherish those whom you have in your life. You never know which moment may be the last. Never let the sun go down on your wrath, and never let a moment to be cherished be one forgotten. Live. Love. Laugh, and remember what and who is most important. ❤

People are Just People

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/dbc/71492601/files/2015/01/img_9300.jpg
Originally posted January 6, 2015… Hope you enjoy…

Okay, I admit it, I’m a people watcher. I like to find a place to sit, on a busy street, and just watch the people go by. Some hurry, some saunter. Some smile, some frown. Some look you straight in the eye, some look away simply to avoid the encounter. They’re all living their lives in the way they choose, but I wonder what that life is like…

Every time I grow impatient and frustrated, I must remember. When I want to rant and rage, I must recall this simple fact: People are just people. I must work to be more like my Father.

People are just people.

Some are so frantic, it’s hard to know they genuinely see. They are so consumed with the deadline. Some are so depressed, it’s difficult to know they sincerely care. They are so consumed with the foreseen doom. Some are so angry, it’s impossible to know they earnestly love. They are so consumed with their own revenge.

People are just people.

Every time I grow impatient and frustrated, I must remember. When I want to rant and rage, I must recall this simple fact: People are just people. I must work to be more like my Father.

People are just people.

Many are so confused, it’s problematic to engage in conversation. They are so consumed with the implications. Many are so fearful, it is wearisome to strengthen an alliance. They are so consumed with the unspoken and unknown. Many are so grieved, it’s toilsome to deepen a friendship. They are so consumed with the sick and the dead.

People are just people.

Every time I grow impatient and frustrated, I must remember. When I want to rant and rage, I must recall this simple fact: People are just people. I must work to be more like my Father.

I must love Him more; so, I might love them purely. I must seek Him more; so, I might speak to them truthfully. I must know Him more; so, I might see them clearly.

After all, people are just people.

“…We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6b


“Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us,[a] to the glory of God.” Romans 15:7

Fallen and Uprooted

You have fallen

You have been uprooted

Now your branches remain lifeless

Your leaves are withered and brown

All because your roots did not remain

You allowed the cares to pluck the life and hope from your veins

Yours is not the only life that is suffering

The small saplings that were beneath your nest

Their tender sprouts are now withered and splintered

Seemingly beyond repair, beyond any hope

The winter is coming, how will they ever survive

Your shelter is no longer useful, exposing them to the bitterness

But God…

He is the Author and Finisher of all life

He is the Beginning and the End

He is the hope beyond all hope

He can bring life where we only see death

He is coming, walking near your demise

Will you turn toward His gaze?

Will you call to Him not shielding the pain?

He is loving, true and kind

He will mend and heal, repair and bind

He can make all things new if you will but send them

Come yourself to realign

God is…

Author, Finisher, Alpha, Omega

Beginning and the End

Rose of Sharon, Lily of the Valley

Prince of Peace, King of Kings

Lamb of God, Lord of Everything

Will you come?

I hear Him drawing near

He is gently calling your name

Watching Airplanes

IMG_9574 As I watch the plans fly over, I wonder who might be on it, where they might be from, where they are going, where they’ve been?

Is it a mother, a father, a friend?
Is it brother, sister, next of kin?
Are they going north, south, east or west?
Are they returning home or leaving less?

Is it their first time or last time?
Do they want to be there or is it more a crime?
Is it a business man just making his sum?
Is it a young soldier returning from the war for freedom?

I do wonder who they are and what is their stories. I wonder what kind of person they’ve become. What kind of person they long to be. All the airplanes going to and fro. So many people, so many lives never knowing this one girl watching them from below.

IMG_9575

Comfortable Skin Livin’

“Don’t embarrass me!” …So many people have an almost paranoia of being embarrassed in front of others. Some are indifferent to the feeling, and some are so brazen that they seem to not care, while still others have grown comfortable enough with their own flaws that they generally don’t care what others say or think of them. If you’re human, I’d say you probably fall into one of these categories.

We all have SOMETHING about ourselves that we really don’t like, something that’s different, odd, maybe even embarrassing. Depending on our own personalities, openness and confidence level, we may or may not feel comfortable with others seeing these flaws. Maybe it’s a toe or a finger that is slightly bent or longer than it ‘should’ be. Maybe it’s a set of teeth you wished would’ve had braces set so long ago. Maybe you speak too fast, too slow, too much, or just not enough. Maybe it’s a limp, a lazy eye, or even just a smile that you don’t feel ‘measures up’ to the world around you.

If you lean toward the category of people who get embarrassed easily, or those who don’t like to get embarrassed, no matter how sensitive or tough-skinned you like to portray to others that you are, then this post is written for you. If you are totally comfortable in your own skin, you don’t care one whit about what others think of you, and you just can’t believe that I would ever be concerned about embarrassments, because, after all, you’ve never been embarrassed a day in your life…well, then you might just want to skip this blog today, because this message might not be what you’re looking for. However, for those who might fall into one of those other categories, ones of not really having a love for public humiliation, please feel free to read on… 🙂

Personally, I really don’t like embarrassments. I like to try and maintain a stoic attitude, one that is strong and capable of taking whatever life swings my way, but deep down, I’m a pretty sensitive creature. Now, don’t confuse that with “high maintenance.” I work hard to not throw my expectations, personal standards and sensitivities onto others, but I will blush at some of the silliest things, and I will tear up or ‘shrink back’ from the boldest of embarrassments. I’m just hardwired that way. I have quirks and particulars about my personality that I really try to get over; yet, I find myself “stumbling” over them from time to time. I have things about my body, my thinking and my abilities that I really wish could be different, better, or maybe at least, ‘the same’ as someone else I know. I really try to be comfortable in my own skin, and many times, I succeed. However, I am an incredibly introverted person, one who was raised around the “good old Southern Belle” mentalities, believing a lady should be first and foremost feminine and gentile, and on top of all this, I am an incredibly private person, not caring for the general public to “know all my business.” So, when my ‘business’ becomes public, I would just rather run and hide than to pick up my embarrassing trait, shake off my stubborn pride, smile and walk on by valiantly. I’d rather crawl under a log and disappear than to stand tall with humility and grace and endure the heat rising to my cheekbones and soaking my eyes with its truth.

It’s tough, sometimes, to keep your wits about you when you feel the spotlight of life glaring so brightly that you need shades just to see the road ahead, but if I’m to leave a legacy of truth and grace behind me, there are moments I must square my shoulders and smile the biggest smile of my life and walk right back up those stairs I just tumbled down. I must, daily, grow more comfortable in this skin God has given me and realize life isn’t perfect, I’m not perfect, and neither is anyone else I know, save One…and He is my ultimate goal! I must learn over and over again that it’s okay not to be like everyone else, and it’s okay to stand out from the crowd if the foundation upon which I stand is solid truth and the cause for which I fight is one of integrity and faith. This concept can be especially difficult to learn and to teach, when you have a teen or a young child in the house,  but we must remember the paths we set in place today are the footsteps they we follow tomorrow. How we react, when we get embarrassed, will determine the mood of the home, and it will set the stage for how they will respond when others see their flaws, how they will react to teasing and how they feel about themselves. What we live out before them speaks volumes of truth and character into their lives, or it screams at them to lie, to bully, to deceive and to shrink away from responsibilities and anything else that becomes difficult. Our words, our character and our actions are a living example from which they learn, grow and develop into a man or a woman.

If we can grow comfortable in our own skin, realizing God has created us to be us, as an individual, if we can handle mishaps with grace and generosity, we will teach our children how to stand strong in the midst of embarrassment, adversity and failure. If we can hold our tongue when we’d prefer to lash out in anger, or when we’d rather speak boldly with pride, proclaiming our rights, regardless of our failures, we will teach our children how to be humble in their confidence, solid in their self-esteem and gracious to those they encounter who may not admire or even like the way they act or speak.

We must set the stage for those coming behind us. We must blaze this path called life with integrity, honesty and character. We must be able to be comfortable enough in our own skin that we can be okay with who God has created us to be. We must be honest and humble enough with our own flaws that we recognize we may not be the best, but we’re a “work in progress,” and with God’s help, we can do anything in this life. We must carry enough integrity within and have enough character without to be able to graciously say to our opposers, “You and I may be different, and we may never agree on that subject, but we can agree to disagree and continue standing our ground. We can be different and go our separate ways.” We must become comfortable enough in our skin to say, “That sure was an embarrassment to me today, but it’s not the end of the world. I will survive, and you will to!” When we become comfortable in our own skin, honest about our own frailties and weaknesses and confident enough in who God created us to be, we will shine brightly for all those who follow behind in this world turned gray.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14