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Perfectly Imperfect ~Pretty Lies by Veridia

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
so that you may prove what is the good, well pleasing, and perfect will of God. ~ Romans 12:2

As we approach New Years Day, it is common to make New Years resolutions. The only problem is that many, if not all, of the resolutions that are made by the majority of people deal with the external being–Losing weight, eating right, working out, getting outdoors more frequently, etc. These are focusing on the outside…the looks, the appearance, the body image. They are temporary, and who determines when you have lost enough weight, whether you are eating right, or if you are getting outdoors enough? When is enough good enough? Who sets the bar? Resolutions to improve the external shell are wonderful, don’t get me wrong! However, if it is society telling you to lose weight, eat right, exercise more, than your resolutions will not succeed for societal views of perfection can never truly be achieved (hence the reason why resolutions typically fail)! After all, if we were able to be “perfect” then why the need to airbrush/Photoshop ads? Why would we need to starve ourselves or exercise till we break if perfection could be obtained?

Instead of focusing on the outside this year, take some time to devote to the inside…the heart, the mind, the soul. The goal of life it not to be perfect, for we are “perfectly imperfect” beings! The goal of life is to be perfected through the blood of Christ, who was born and died for you! The only way to change the outside, is to first change the inside. You were created by God on purpose for a purpose and your body is not yours…despite how you may feel! It is the Lord’s. If you focus your energy on God, his commands, his love for you, his sacrifice for you, his never-ending grace towards you, and his endless mercy, then you will see that you are perfectly imperfect, which is just how it should be! It is in our imperfections that we are able to see our need for God. If we were perfect we wouldn’t need him!! When you accept that you are imperfect, you can accept who you are, where you are, and how you look and feel about yourself. When God is at the center, the external becomes a part of the journey. However, if the external is at the center, you will never be happy because there is always someone prettier, handsomer, richer, smarter, more athletic, and on and on it goes. You will never find happiness or true joy if you try to reach the illusion of perfection!

Perfectly imperfect 2

So, rather than focusing on the external this year, shift your center to the internal. Find your peace with God and with whom he created you to be. Find peace with all of you–your looks, your job, your family, your life. No matter how imperfect, you are in God’s hands and he will work all things out for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose—that is YOU! Believe me, I know hard times and how hard it is to see yourself as beautiful when life tells you otherwise!! Remember, you are “PERFECTLY IMPERFECT” and that is breathtakingly BEAUTIFUL!!!

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~ Ephesians 2:10

For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future. ~ Jeremiah 29:11

And we know that God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose. ~ Romans 8:28

May you pray more, dive into scriptural truths, and spend some time listening to God’s still small voice midst the noisy chaos of life! I assure you that when you do, you will find true joy in who you are, no matter the circumstances.

All my love and blessings for a wonderful, fabulous, enriching new year! ❤

The Mess and the Masterpiece

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There are times when the church and those within its walls are considered to be hypocrites, which turns many off to the church experience. The reality is that every human being in existence is a hypocrite, whether they acknowledge it or not (only Christ walked the line of pure truth and never came close to being hypocritical).  There is one standard we tend to set for ourselves, while we often hold a higher standard for others. There have been moments where someone has promised something that went undelivered. There have been times where a parent has told a child not to something they consider inappropriate, only to turn around and do the very same thing they just told their child not to do. There are times where people lie, whether a little white lie or bold-faced lie, it is still a lie and not a true representation of what we think or feel. There are moments where we all lose our temper, saying things that can be hurtful out of anger or pain when we know better. I think you get my drift. People screw up. We make messes in our life, and at times the lives of others, whether on purpose or accident. We all make mistakes and we all walk the line of being a hypocrite each day that we have life and breath in our bodies. I have been labeled a hypocrite at times for a variety of reasons, some good and accurate, others out of anger or frustration when someone does not like what I have to say.

The purpose of church is not to create perfect people, it is to help broken people find healing and hope in their Creator! The purpose of church is not to point out faults, but to meet you where you are, and bring forgiveness and love! The purpose of church is not to clean up life’s messes for you and make it all better, but to point you in the direction of the One True God who can come alongside of you and lead you out of them, creating a stronger, more faithful, loving, and compassionate person!

Today’s sermon, titled “The Mess and the Masterpiece” speak to this beautifully, so I figured I would share it with you. May it bless you as it did me.

All my love ❤

Savor the Moment

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want, He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalm 23:1-4

secretplaceministries.org

secretplaceministries.org

Savor the Moment

When your down and feeling blue
Here is a tip that might help you
No matter where you are, let your mind be free to wander
Give yourself time to dwell on all that life has to offer
The warm sunshine softly touching your face
The gentle breeze caressing your cheeks
Or perhaps you envision yourself basking on your favorite beach
Is it a stroll with a friend while discussing your day
That helps you unwind and whisk cares away
Whatever your delight, let the feeling consume you
Savor the moment, create a new point of view
Life is all in how you view it this one thing I know
Focus on the Lord and let your smile grow

A microphone?!

I heard a wonderful quick minute excerpt on Air1 radio from Levi Lusko today.  The primary part that stood out to me was that we all have a microphone to use in this world, but it is not meant for us to speak about ourselves, rather we are to use it to amplify God in our lives.

That statement really resonated with me today and made me ask if I was amplifying God in all that I do. With some current struggles in my life, I began to feel like I was letting God down, not being all he has called me to be, and wondering if the choices I made were right or wrong. As I have been praying the last few days, reading the word, and perusing a variety of inspirational websites, I came to realize that there are times when I feel bad because I have hurt someone or because I had to deal with conflict and close some doors that were unhealthy. That doesn’t mean I am a bad person, it means in faith I stood my ground.

Having walked this world with some pretty devastating events in my life, I know that God is leading me in all that I do. He has brought me from the depths of the miry clay and placed my feet upon the solid rock. Now, with that said, I know I am not perfect and I too act out of fear and confusion at times, but God always has a way of putting me back on the solid rock that is his refuge!

Closing doors and dealing with confrontation, or speaking in bold love often take me out of my comfort zone. However, I know that God is using the microphone during those times to amplify his love to those around him. He is using me to deliver a message that may not have been heard otherwise. Do those messages hurt? Do they cause rifts in relationships? Does my integrity, character, and walk with God get attacked? Yes, yes, and yes! That is where my struggle lies….in doing what God calls me to do, I end up hurting too. But I am not saying this to throw myself a pity party. Instead I say that to remind me that when I amplify the voice of God through these confrontations, I should expect to be persecuted and ridiculed as Christ was. Thus the pain is diminished through the knowledge that I am being refined and used of God to do good things (though they may not feel that way at the time!).

I refuse to give into the lies that bold love is always agreeable, that peacekeeping means being untruthful, and love is silent in regards to the bondage of the past or that love keeps the doors open. Even Christ called people out for their wrongs, for idols in their lives, for areas of weakness they had to work on. Did that mean he loved them any less? Absolutely not!!! It meant that he loved them that much more, wanting to see them live the life God had planned for them, desiring that they know true peace of the heart and not be bound by the shackles of the past or the fears of the future. He spoke bold love in its raw, purest, truest form!!

That is what I desire, to be like Christ. Do I falter and fall? Do I let my own issues get in the way? Do I stumble over my fears? Yes, yes, and yes!! I am human, but I am a person who desires to see those I care about flourish and grow in ways they never thought possible. I am a person who wants to see everyone find an inner peace and freedom that brings them ever so much closer to God. I am a person with a heart filled with love for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I long for God to be amplified through me in each and every way. I trust that as I surrender and give all I have for him, he will use me in ways I could have never dreamed or imagined!

What are you waiting for? Be the microphone God has called you to be and let the beauty and glory of the Lord emanate in sound waves across the globe!!

God bless and keep you and may your voice reflect the truth of God always. In God’s love!

If I have not love…I am nothing!

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:1-8a & 13

Ultimate Healing

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Many are the afflictions for the righteous, but the LORD delivers them out of them all. ~ Psalm 4:17-19

initials.blog.com

initials.blog.com

Ultimate Healing

When bad things happen we tend to question God
Feeling He is inadequate to ease our pain
Thinking we are unworthy of His tenderness
Blaming ourselves for the evils that have occurred
If we listen to the whispers of our soul
Our perspective would change dramatically
When bad things happen God is with you
He weeps when we are hurt
He is angry when evil destroys our hope
God made us and we are His children
Little ones in need of a Father we can trust
God is our fortress but we must run to Him
God is our physician but we must give Him our pain
God is our strength but we must submit to His plan
God will pursue you in love yet allows you free will
Ultimate healing awaits you
Simply ask and God will reveal
Where fear, bitterness and anger dwell
Peace, happiness and joy will exist
Where self-contempt and ambivalence thrive
A heart filled with love and contentment will grow

Color of Sin ~ Food for Thought

I was helping a dear sister in Christ write a paper on racism in response to a video shown in her ethnicity class. As we were making edits, revising words, and refining this paper, it became evident that racism is everywhere. Although I knew this already, it was more transparent today. It is a shame that people judge others based on the color of their skin, the way they walk, the clothes they wear, the house they live in, and all that other outward stuff. If we stop for a moment and reflect on Christ and who he hung out with, we will see that he did not judge others while on the earth, but rather embraced the different, the outcast, the shamed. Yes, he called sin sin, but he did not judge the person based on their sin. He still loved them and called them to turn away from their sinfulness and walk in His light.

Society in Biblical times is truly no different from today. Everyone JUDGES, everyone casts their expectations and their views on those they encounter, whether they know them or not. The Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the rich men of the time looked down on the lowly, the poor, the prostitute, and the diseased. Who were they, and who are we to judge anyone? Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. When we judge others, we sin by placing ourselves in the throne of God, for only God has the power to judge; only his Son is perfect and can cast judgment on others.

Romans 14:10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Why do you treat them
with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

The problem with the human race is that we try to correct racism by demeaning and calling out those that practice it, which is truly the wrong approach, for racism is not based on the color of a person’s skin, but rather on the attitude and character of the mind and heart of those who judge them. They judge based on what they see, rather than by what is true and what is in the heart. They judge based on appearances and insecurities, rather than by the fruit of the person’s actions.

2 Corinthians 10:7 You are judging by appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do.

Matthew 7:1-5 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

We are not to judge others according to their appearances, for all are from God and no man is able to boast of themselves, or put themselves above anyone else, for, I say it again, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Not just some, not just a few, not just one particular race, not just one culture. No! Everyone, all, each person that lives and breathes has sinned. No man or woman is better than any other man or woman. And if you are trying to compare yourself to someone, consider this: if you say you are good, what are you comparing that to? Mother Theresa was good, and have you given all you own to the poor and sacrificed your time, your energy, and your desires to help others in need? Hmmm. Are you really good? That good? And if you feel someone is bad, consider this: are they as bad as Hitler, murdering and destroying all who did not fit his ideal of the perfect race. Hmmm. Maybe the one you call bad, isn’t so bad after all. My point is that good and bad are relative terms, non definable by human definition. Are you as good as God or Christ? I think not, for they are perfect and can do no wrong. Are others as bad a Satan? I think not, for they are creatures of God, given breath by the very same God that gave you breath. Think about it!! We all lie somewhere in the middle of Mother Teresa and Hitler. We all harbor light and dark in our hearts, and we can make a choice of which we choose to serve. So next time you begin to judge and to boast of your own goodness, think upon this scripture:

1 Samuel 2:3 “Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.

God is a God of love. Christ came to save the world, not to condemn it (John 12:46-48, John 3:16-17).

The only way to change racism, or any other kind of -ism, is to pray for a transformation of mind and heart. We cannot change a person by judging them or condemning them, but we can change a heart or mind by showing them grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness. We can be the vessels that God uses to bring peace, unity, and joy to a world that seeks to divide, conquer, and destroy.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Matthew 5:13-16 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Finally, if you are not yet convinced that a change of heart and mind is necessary, than at least understand that others deserve to be treated with the respect and dignity that you desire!

thisthatnhealth.wordpress.com

thisthatnhealth.wordpress.com

Luke 6:31-36 Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Peace be with you and my you share that peace with all whom you encounter today and always.

God bless! ❤

Lies and Deception!

Smack dab In the middle of life lies confusion, distortion, and destruction! Satan wants nothing more than to rob you of your hope, filling your heart and mind with an endless supply of lies—that there is nothing better than what you have, that you are not worthy of good and wonderful things, that you will never measure up to whom you were created to be so why bother, that you can do whatever you want and no one will care or ever know, that your life is meaningless and has no purpose. LIES!

Each and every one of those thoughts are lies created by Satan meant to deter you from receiving all the Lord has to offer you—direction, clarity, wisdom, discernment, peace, joy, comfort, righteousness, forgiveness, purity, wholeness, love, hope, and so much more!

Why is it that you listen to the lies of the enemy so easily, yet struggle so to believe the truth that exists right in front of you? Why do you knock yourself down and beat yourself up when the Lord accepts you and loves you as you are? Why do you turn your back on the beautiful promises that the Lord brings only to hold onto the brokenness and deception of this world? Why?

Because you are a mere frail, weak human! (Matthew 26:41)

Because you have not let God penetrate your heart to the deepest, darkest parts!

Because it is easier to believe the lies than be vulnerable and exposed by the truth of God!

Because your flesh has desires and cravings for things of this world and does not desire to transform!

God has designed you with perfection in mind, but it cannot now, and never will be attained in this world. This world is designed to strengthen and refine who you are and how you perceive your worth. It is an integral part of shaping you to appreciate the true beauty and glory of God! Think about it!! As you traverse the alleys of doubt, it is the Lord’s truth that brings you clarity and helps you reveal God’s grace to the lost and broken. As you walk the streets of despair, it is God’s comforting love that renews your hope and gives you reason to reach out and encourage others. As you swim in the ocean of sin, it is God’s forgiveness and mercy that cleanse you, building a repentant heart that all can see.

You see, you are in this world to have the time and opportunity to become like Christ! He wants you to grow in your faith, renew you heart, and fill your soul to overflowing with His power, His might, and His glory! You are an imperfect vessel strategically placed in this world to become a perfect reflection of Christ!

Psalms 40:12-17 For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. Be pleased to save me, Lord; come quickly, Lord, to help me. May all who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” be appalled at their own shame. But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!”

Satan throws lies at you to rob you of your life—joy, hope, peace, comfort, love, beauty, direction, and more—but the Lord is great indeed! He stretches out His mighty hand to hold you, beckoning you away from the deceit, offering so much more through His love, grace, and mercy. Open your heart, and let God fill with the truth. Open your eyes, and see that through every moment Satan attempts to tear you down, there is opportunity for growth that brings you that much closer to the perfection of Christ. Open your ears, and let the still, small voice of the Lord provide direction, wisdom, and discernment amidst the chaos that Satan throws at you. Open your mind, and allow God to transform your worldly, fleshly way of thinking into powerful thoughts of freedom and eternity.

1 Peter 5:8-11 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Be vigilant. Pray. Seek. Devour the living Word of God. Transform your heart and mind into the image of Christ!

God bless and keep you in all your ways and may you hear the truth of God instead of the lies of Satan!

 

Judgment Day

There are times in this world when I do what I don’t want to do, and I don’t do what I should do! What appears to be so easy is indeed quite difficult when it comes to my flesh, and the drive to have what I want when I want it, or avoid the things I don’t want. Paul discusses this same concept in Romans 7:15-20:

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Sins of the flesh often surface even when we want to do what is right. The old adage, “If your best friend jumped off a cliff, would you do it as well?”, applies here. Just because the world beckons you to do something it deems as “fun” or “feels good”—be it partying and getting hammered, having sexual relations outside of marriage because you feel like it, lying to avoid consequences—whatever the something is, does not always mean it’s the right thing to do. On the flip side, we often want to do the right thing, but the flesh keeps coming back stronger than ever, tempting us to choose the “dark side” of life.

One very important point comes to mind for me when I think upon Romans 7:15-20…”How do my actions change people’s perceptions of me as a Christian?”

Whenever you are about to do something, whether having a lot to drink, having sex outside of marriage, using drugs, cursing like a sailor, gossiping, or anything else inappropriate, STOP for a minute. Evaluate the impact your choice will have on how others view who you are. Will they see Christ in you? Will they know that you are “walking the walk” of the Christian faith? Or will they see the same thing they see in everyone else…nothing different that will draw them to Christ? Will they see the world in your life or will they see Christ? The choice is yours. Choose wisely.

Blessings and may you always think twice before doing those things you don’t want to do, and work hard to do the things Christ calls you to do!

But you must be careful
so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.
1 Corinthians 8:9

Judgment Day

Freedom comes in many forms
Allowing choices to be made

You can walk by faith
Choosing to follow Christ

You can traverse the worldly path
Choosing to side with the enemy

Be cautious which side you choose
For all will come to pass
When death knocks upon your door
Answers will be sought

All the gifts given you
Their application will be reviewed

All the words you speak
They will be accounted for

All the deeds you do
A judgment will take place

Standing transparent before the Lord
What will you say

I chose to follow my own path
Or I chose to follow you?

Stand! –A Writing on Freedom

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and  be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you.”  Matthew 5:10-123

Fourth of July is a day in which our freedoms are celebrated in the United States of America; a day in which we honor those who fight bravely for our country, for our rights as American’s, including free speech and beliefs that comprise this great nation.  I am so very blessed to have been born and raised here, in a place where I can speak my mind freely.

fourth of july

However, it is with great concern that I pray for this nation, for our freedom, for our rights to believe and speak about subjects close to the heart and soul.  Little by little, we as a Christian community are being told that our beliefs are not valid, but rather narrow-minded, hateful, and politically incorrect.  Amazingly enough, scripture stated hundreds of years ago that this would happen, and would continue to happen until Christians are persecuted all over the world for their beliefs, as many are in other countries already.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.  Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.”  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.  If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.  They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. ~ John 15:18-21

In America, people from many professions and walks of life, from teaching to the military, are being told to shut up when our views do not match those of others around us, lest we offend someone.  Some churches have even been threatened with fines for preaching moral values from the scriptures that do match the general consensus of the areas in which they exist.  Even military chaplains have been threatened with demotion or discharge for speaking Christian scriptural beliefs that go against socially accepted norms.  Am I the only one that feels that is pretty crazy since military chaplains are part of the very institution which is fighting for our rights and our freedoms as American citizens, yet they cannot speak freely?

Well, let me say, I am offended that I cannot share my belief with others without being called a hypocrite, or worse yet, a hater.  The true fundamental base of Christianity is to love.  We are called to love others, no matter their opinion, no matter their sin (for we are all sinners!).  We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to speak the truth in love and with gentleness.  We are called to hate the sin and love the sinner, for they are God’s creation, made in His image (as everyone is).

My heart cringes when I hear of pastors being sued, or churches being harassed for their moral beliefs and scriptural values.  But at the same time, my soul is angered when I see fellow Christians condemning and judging others.  We are called to speak in love, to call what is right right and what is wrong wrong, but we are not called to judge the person, to condemn them to hell.  Nor are we called to determine their worth or value in the eyes of God.   There is only one judge, Jesus Christ, and on the day that I face him, I want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  I want to share the love of Christ, not the condemnation that comes through human selfishness and ignorance.

All I speak and all I believe to be true in my heart, mind, and soul are not always going to be the beliefs of others.  I understand that I may offend, or I may upset others by my words, but I too am offended and upset by the words that others speak to me as well.  The difference is that I welcome their opinion, not trying to shut them up, but instead taking the opportunity to learn and converse about our differences, our likenesses, and our systems of belief.  You may not agree with what I say, but we can agree to disagree.  No one needs to shut the other up, but rather through our lives, be witnesses to what we believe and what we know to be true.  I cannot turn hearts toward Christ, only God can do that.  But I can be a light that draws others to Him, makes them want to discuss my beliefs, and creates a desire to know more about the One True God.  If their hearts are to be changed, it will not be through my words, but rather through the reflection of Christ in my life and the glory of God.

GodBlessAmerica-nice

One thing I know for sure, no matter how much I am told I am wrong, no matter how many times I am called a hypocrite, no matter how often others try to shut me up…my voice will carry on in the crowds of millions!  Through my belief in the power of God, I will be heard, whether by voice or by actions.  As our freedoms as Christians stand trial and are slowly stripped away and denied public grounds, God’s voice will stand.  He will be heard, and I am ever so thankful to be called one of his children—called to share his love, his grace, his mercy, and his plan with the world!

You can strip me of all that is good, you can take every possession I own, you can drag me to ends of the earth and back, you can cut me down, but I will stand on the Word of God until the day he takes me home to be with him!  That is my freedom, it is my right, and I will stand!

Happy Fourth of July, and may you stand for your beliefs, whatever they may be!  Continue to fight for the freedom to speak your mind, but remember that we all have that right, including the Christian community, and we can agree to disagree.  In God’s love!