Financial Frolicking–“We’ll Be Fine!!”

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Frolicking, the word in-and-of-itself means to be playful and have fun; yet in the case in point is more meaning, “to play in a frisky, light-spirited manner.” Frisky and Light-Spirited when dealing with finances is the recipe for conflict and confrontation.

Financial conflicts still rank and the number 1 cause for divorce in marriages. And why wouldn’t it be? Finances are what the world sees as making life happen or not happen! So if a person’s “claim” to their piece of the pie gets taken or removed unexpectedly; the hostility begins like a brewing volcano!

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Picture the fuse:
The fuse representing the money you’ve worked hard and made; the match representing the desire for senseless buying. The desire drags across the grain of responsibility striking a fire that through SIN burns into a flame. This flame burns your desires into a wreck-less need for action ultimately striking the fuse and lighting afire your money to burn. Then, moment by moment, flicker by flicker, your money is frolicked into obscurity instead of designed for the purpose God intended for it in your life. Before you know it…..BAM!!!! it’s all gone and you are left with the ashes of a problematic brokenness that you need to live.

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We feel entitled to spend. We are surrounded by numerous temptations to buy and consume the world’s market. Yet there is no honor in spending what God has blessed you with frivolously. Seeing that deal on the dollar rack, seeing that clearance sign flash in your eyes like neon, those coupons of free “cash” to a store that you “have to use“….is Satan’s ploy for you to fill a gap with something else you hold as important or desirable MORE THAN GOD!

Financial frolicking is why savings accounts hardly exist anymore and the importance of saving (or putting off one’s impulsive desires) isn’t instructed to our children! When a man and wife’s discussions about money are summarized by “We’ll Be Fine“….there’s a problem!! Effective communication of each others intentions for the finances and aspirations of where it will go is essential to defuse the match!

As the husband in this equation, it’s the most difficult for me when I am out working 12-14 hour days, “bringing home the bacon” and I’m not in control of the checkbook; this I don’t know most the time what’s going on with our finances. I know I make and bring home food money, but don’t see much of the fruits of my labor in the savings or balances of our bills going down! I know my wife pays the bills, some better than others, but our fuse is lit in frivolous spending making our contributions to the bills we’ve paid minimal. Why is this so frustrating you might ask??

We like to buy for ourselves, that is no secret…..who doesn’t? Yet when it comes to spending our “cushion” money or money from the savings; that in my opinion, is frolicking our money away! Allowing the fuse to continue to burn closer to the blowing up point! The blowing up unfortunately will be me…. 😦

So what’s the solution? Well, if I knew that directly I would be telling you that right now wouldn’t I? Each couple is different in how they view their finances, thus I am speaking solely for myself. My thoughts on own struggles is that we are two passionate people with two different emphasizes of how to manage it. I want to save….period. I want us to have a “have fun” fund if we wanna do fun things; yet I don’t want us to spend money on NON-NEEDEDitems unless we communicate it better. Now I’ll admit this openly….I haven’t been perfect at doing this. Like a pouting child, I at times (can’t believe I just called myself that!!) spend money on things without telling Amber due to my wanting to make her “know how it feels”. But this isn’t right and frankly isn’t helping the matters any. Yet I also can acknowledge openly that I have a fear to tell her how I feel anymore due to the automatic defensive response I get.

Money is truly the root of all evil in that we allow the evil within it to bare it’s roots in us! We can submit the authority of our money to Christ and be successful and glorify Him; yet it HAS to take Mutual Submission!

Mutual Submission ISN’T:

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Mutual Submission IS:

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Unless we share our hearts personally with one another (no fear of what’s said) we cannot gain mutual understanding about our goals and aspirations with our money. This will ultimately lead to a deepening commitment within the marriage and defuse the burning flame! Heart intimacy is there; maybe the flame needs to burn there instead!

If our hearts burn for money and the misuse of it, then the interpreted words of Eugene Peterson of The Message in Acts 8:20-23 would be a huge wake up call! “Peter said, “To hell with your money! And you along with it. Why, that’s unthinkable—trying to buy God’s gift! You’ll never be part of what God is doing by striking bargains and offering bribes. Change your ways—and now! Ask the Master to forgive you for trying to use God to make money. I can see this is an old habit with you; you reek with money-lust.” (Acts 8:20-23 MSG)

In all, financial frolicking is dangerous. Using your money in a way not pleasing to The Lord let alone your spouse is a recipe for striking the match of SINFUL spending! I love my wife and appreciate her willingness to run our finances; however our submittance to The Lord and each other’s heart intimacy will truly help our finances grow how He intended!

Know your needs over your wants; know your desires over the absolutes and know The Lord as the LORD of your money! Give it all to Him who provides it all!! AMEN

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The VOID of one’s Best

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Ever been missing the presence of someone you really need? If so, this is for you…..

The VOID of one’s BEST

I’d like to make a toast; a toast that is tasteless.
A glass that is raised for praise; a glass with no substance.
The mic is on and ready for a speech; but these lips are set to mute for an empty room.

A simple request, an honorable position; a void never been filled.
Comrodery, friendship, trust; attributes listed on your résumé.
Yet not a privilege to fulfill; not a memory to cherish; not a brother to share it with.

The void of one’s best is not like the rest; for it is a peace within your chest.
The void of one’s best is not a test; it is a crest to symbolize your in one’s nest.
The void of one’s best is not just for a day; it is a journey in life from the east to the west.

My heart questions the darkness of this test; valuing a moment that defines a lack-luster vest.
The knowledge that came only deepens my scars; oh how I wish I could just set the bar.
Being a “bestie” is nice and holds a value; but the exchange of its worth couldn’t beat any vantage.

The view of a man held close to another is deeper than the root of the tallest tree.
There is blindness in these eyes; there is emptiness in this heart.
Oh dear Lord, to have the worth of one’s best be as the pulse within finger tips!
The void of this one’s best cannot be laid to rest; the desire to honor another in life, is this heart’s quest.

Tears for Time; Tears for Thine

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Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock….you can practically hear it in your head even when all you have is digital clocks! TIME is the heartbeat that replaces the thumps with “ticks”! Now I know that time for a lot of things are good, however being ruled by it is bad for life!

Even as I sit and write this now, I’ve made three different attempts to write this first part!! Time is a deep struggle for ALL people and the condition of this world is the condition we feel prisoner to! We have to wake up to a certain time, we have to leave our homes at a certain time, we have to plan events and time to be with family at certain times! It is ridiculous and frankly wearing us all out!

The best time I’ve ever had with The Lord is when my mind was complacent on what time it was and where I was suppose to be next. We all left our watches and cell phones home and only the light and dark is the sky told us the time frame! No appointments demanding our presence and no expectations other than our own!

The Bible depicts the concept of time on a different light in Ecclesiastes 3 where the writer of the book says in verse 1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ok then, what does that mean exactly?? Later in verses 2-8 all this is given TIME for….”a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

With so many areas where time is a factor? What does this mean to all of us and especially us Christians?? This is what it means (to me) and most likely all of us who dig deeper here: Distinguishing Time in our lives for the healthy means we must discipline the UN-healthy out of our lives!. We have to submit to time one way or another; however we can be healthy in its management IF we discipline the bad that is cluttering it up!

So what is it taking you away from our Heavenly Father? TV? Internet? Kids activities? Work? SIN? There are different stages and chapters of our lives, and we must accept the freedoms and limitations that come with each of them. Above all, there is time for everything God wants us to do! We just seem to choose the distractive activities over time with God.

People struggle the most with strongholds and habits of SIN when time consumes even our thoughts. Like “Tonight I have to be _____ by 4pm and then starting _____ by 5:30pm; however I really would like to do _____, but there just isn’t anytime I can sacrifice!” Obligations, guilt trips from others, and over stretching your limits make the desire for being with God….go numb in a hurry! Again I laugh, for as I write this I have taken multiple breaks and have thus far written on this for 3 days!! Needless to say, this blog is as much for ME as it is for the readers!! 🙂

So why did I title this blog “Tears for Time and Tears for Thine”? Well consider the emotions you place in the center of time’s hands….it is like giving an offering to a false god! That would make anyone cry! Yet my tears for time would be the let downs I cause myself to not be in better shape. Tie myself down to over achieving at work and then catching up on the latest TV shows and call it “family time”…..I’ve shed a lot of tears lately because of where IWISH I could be with Jesus!!

If each Child of God could lay down their time in submission to Christ’s will for us; we would all have time set aside for giving the appropriate attention to our Lord!

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So are you right now reading this and pondering what you think you should be doing rather than reading this? Does it bother you watching quality time FLY AWAY? We won’t be here forever, we all know that. So seize each moment for the glory of Christ!

As I conclude this I realize that I’m still a work in progress here as well. It’s taken me from start to finish off and on, 4 1/2 days to write this. Each moment with Him is worth it and I pray this blesses you as you have read.

It’s worth it for servanthood is a direct extension and representation of love. DO YOU LOVE YOUR SAVIOR ENOUGH?

There is a TIME for everything….so….NOW IS THE TIME TO CHANGE YOUR USE OF TIME!!

Shackled Shepherds & Evil “Elders”

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It gets old….it gets REAL old when I hear of a church having issues amongst themselves. Especially when it’s between the pastor and the leadership. It has been well documented that Jesus Christ is the Shepherd to the lost sheep. In fact God states many times in the OT that shepherds are those who watch over and tend to the lost sheep of the world.

In Jeremiah 23:1-4, God specifically expresses His desire for Shepherd’s purpose in service to Him and what He doesn’t approve of:
“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:1-4 NIV)

Who are the Shepherds? God’s chosen people to lead His flocks! We are all suppose to be leaders; some are just called more dominantly than others. Earlier in Jeremiah, The Lord declared, “Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:15 NIV)”.

Look at the KEY PHRASE there….”After My Own Heart”!! Shepherds always keep God’s heart in focus of all they say and all they do! These people are typically called Pastors, Preachers, Reverend, Priest, or Teacher. These people dedicate their lives for the betterment of the Kingdom; they are in tune with the Holy Spirit’s guidance and influence over any other factor.

Where does that leave elders? The Apostle Paul puts it this way, “Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.” (Acts 14:23 NIV) Leaders to whom much time, prayer, fasting was committed to The Lord. Mainly men, whom have a desire to serve for The Lord and not themselves in the church body. Christian leaders & historians state an interesting observation saying, “It was necessary for a congregation to exist for some time before those whose growth toward maturity and whose gifts would be recognized by the local community could be appointed as elders. The religious con man might temporarily deceive with smooth words. But within a community that shared life intimately, time would reveal true character and motivations.

Without trying to make all elders seem negative or like “con men” in the church, let me emphasise the reason I am pointing these specific scriptures out is because most of the dissension of the leadership is caused by unruly, and ill-appointed elders who gossip as fight for their own intentions. As a pastor, I have been unfortunately burned by this issue and currently have a dear friend of mine going through it now. This is NOT how the church was suppose to be!

The Apostle Paul stated this openly and honestly to Titus of how to qualify and prayerfully chose elders to lead the church: “An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. (Titus 1:6 NIV)” Likewise a Shepherd of the church (Pastor, Preacher, etc), described as an overseer, “Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. (Titus 1:7-9 NIV)

Notice how Paul emphasized an overseer’s responsibilities being much deeper than even an elders? The relationship between the two must be in harmony and unity to make the church it’s must glorifying to The Lord! But the question that is tainted the most (in my opinion) is whose “in charge” of the other? Should either have more authority over the other?

As a body for Christ, the leadership (Elders & Deacons) can ordain a leader or pastor by how Paul described above (much fasting and prayer giving them to The Lord). Yet, when it comes to spiritual direction, one should not be over the other per say. The pastor should not become a “spiritual dictator” (see 1 Peter 5:3) and the elders should not be the preeminent “big shot” (see 3 John 9-10).

When conflict arises, we are told by Paul in 1 Timothy 5:19-21 that we are to “receive an accusation against an elder” (or in either case a pastor): “Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism. (1 Timothy 5:19-21 NIV)” Reprove before EVERYONE; not in gossip or selfish quarrelsome….but before the body of Christ!

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When the church leadership take it upon themselves to deal with the conflicts without doing it scripturally; it allows Satan to manipulate the church body and bring potential destruction. Matthew 18:15-17, ““If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17 NIV)” It’s the right way to deal with it. What would the church be like if we just did what God has told is to in His word consistently?

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This is why Paul can expect things to happen ‘in a proper and orderly way’ even without any apparent hierarchical leadership to enforce rules and regulations (see 1 Corinthians 14:40). If all Christians are guided by the Spirit, he reasons, and if it is God’s will that ‘harmony and peace’ should be the hallmarks peace should be the hallmarks of the church (see 1 Corinthians 14:33) then God will not only equip Christians for different ministries, but will also give others the grace to recognize and accept such Spirit-led leadership where it emerges.

My prayer is that someday the church will continue to raise above the petty arguments and gossip that cause God’s house to lie in darkness and ultimately turn the lost away. And for those like my dear friend having problems right now; stay strong in the word you’ve chosen to dedicate your life to teach and don’t allow Satan’s manipulation to tear you down. He will rise above the darkness, even the darkness people bring into His house!

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The Dark Hole of Decisions

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I’ve written a lot of poems, sermons and blogs. Many different topics both personal and spiritual. However this blog may put to shame the deepness of the rest. Why am I doing this? Because if not for my own benefit….someone out there reading my heart in words may relate, find connection finally where they’ve struggled, or come closer to Jesus through it. It is my goal and my personal relationship with Jesus Christ that give me the confidence and no fear attitude in these writings. Too many times we sugar coat the depth of our hearts to restrain from bothering someone else or “crossing a line”…..but this man is trying with all I have left to carry my cross to the end.

Carrying this cross hasn’t been easy; in fact, the splinters that have dug into my flesh while carrying it will leave its share of scars. What I mean is, each move I have made in my life to try and go the direction that Jesus wants me to go; I find it a battle between my flesh and His cross. In a world born in sin, my flesh craves to be in the comfort of sin. It takes deep discipline to keep yourself farther from sin; however with the world increasingly allowing sin to be acceptable (sin according to scripture), the blinding yourself from the temptation is humanly impossible.

The human possibility is the focus of the problem. When I wrote “Christian” Hedonism my focus was to solely describe the pain I feel as a Christian having a desire indescribable to serve the Lord; only to be held back by an equal desire to feel good in a way that only the here and now can do. 😦 I, like many of us Christians, feel a lot of things and sometimes the feeling of temptation or of the temporary trumps the desire of fulfillment that only the Lord can give. Much of this struggle goes with our physical desires that the world emphasizes that we need more than desires that are unknown. I feel a dominant emotion that not only is Christ in my heart, but that all I want to do in this life is serve Him beyond ANYTHING this world has to offer….yet like a carrot dangled in front of a bunny, my direction goes with the temptations.

This “dark hole” that I’m feeling in isn’t a feeling that I have just found out I’ve been in; its a hole that Satan tries to keep us in for as long as we let him. However the longer you allow yourself to dwell in the darkness; the more the buzzards will circle above you looking to pick your bones….

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How do we get this deep in darkness when we have a Savior so loving and has proven it to us day in and day out? Most of us, myself included, suffer from spiritual dozing….meaning that we can “sleep walk” in our spiritual life and when we doze off to how our relationship with Christ is going. We are unaware of where we are…..before we know it, we are in the dark hole of darkness wondering where HE went. WE leave Him….He never leaves us.

So on to why this is so big to me….it is no secret that I’m a deep thinker and that my life has had its ups and downs and overall; any problems I’ve had has been my fault. I have embraced God and slapped Him in the face all at the same time. I pray and cry and constantly complain about wanting Him more in my life and yet I am the one that is holding Him back! Why? Because I love sin still too much. I love to have wondering eyes and when I see distractions it gives me a silly temporary boost of egoism. But really? I feel like I have made excuses all the time for why I cannot stop thinking about and “gaucking” at other women. Its not to say in the least that I don’t love my incredible wife or think that she isn’t gorgeous; its a distraction of insecurity that I’ve had since I was 8 years old. I want VALIDATION in that I’m a good looking person and a person to whom people want to be around and learn from. Since I have struggled to have that in my life; I work harder to try and achieve that. Here’s the problem: I am constantly being misinterpreted in my gestures when I try and compliment others….however, I struggle worse in using good words not having sexualized double meanings. I want people to love me and like me and think positive about me; yet I have been hurt so bad by words and people not wanting to give me the time or day that this is what I’ve resorted to. A failed marriage, a failed first attempt at seminary, bad relationships, etc. have defined my insecurity within myself.

Yesterday I listened to Andy Stanley’s “Your Mission” series that he produces each week and he was speaking on “Guardrails” or boundaries in life. One area that I have good experience in and one I still struggle with through my professional manipulation (my words). His last session in that series was called, “Once and For All” where he spoke deeply about the commitment a person struggling with their guardrails needed to have to make them successful. We had listened to him speak about relationship guardrails, financial guardrails, spiritual guardrails, etc. each segment powerful in their own right. This last one he told the story of Daniel being tested by the King Nebuchadnezzar and wanting He and Shadrack, Meshack and Ebendego to eat from the King’s diet of the animals he sacrifices to his god. They all had a choice and like we do, the obvious choice would be to give in out of fear to please the King and not be punished. Yet that isn’t what Daniel did. Daniel had a choice to make and unlike the majority, he made the choice to not partake of the King’s food. This decision altered his life forever. The temptation was there to go with the flow and please the here and now; yet his faith in God the Father made him see that his faith in God taking care of his whole life was worth the sacrifice of the temporal. (Reference: See Daniel 1-3)

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A decision….man, but just being normal and allowing the temptations to flow as long as I don’t give in to them again….isn’t so bad. Yet again I must remind myself Paul’s words: “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. (Ephesians 4:17-18)” My heart has dark spots. My life struggles to see God and all His promises over the simple pleasures that lead to or is sinful. Have you ever hated being a Christian simply because of all the “rules” you have to follow? Why is that so bad?? Because you’re surrounded by a world that endorses and promotes SIN. You hate it because the sin is enticing! Sin is easy! Sin gives you the “boost” you sometimes need….so how can we get out of the dark hole and TRUST in God’s promises we all should know??

I’m tired of excuses….aren’t you? Making excuses to tell God how much you love Him but yet your actions are “lukewarm”? Telling God how sorry you are for mistake after mistake after mistake….and then after you “repent” (half-heartedly) you do it again in a short time. What is so enticing about the dark hole?? You can’t see….the conditions suck….and there you can’t even see yourself! There it is…..you can’t see yourself in the darkness….and Satan doesn’t want you to see yourself….the child of God you are!

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Its decision time…..for you and for me. I am not afraid to admit I continue to fail and that what I want to do I don’t do; but what I don’t want to do, I do. How far will you go to show God He is the ONLY ONE and I mean it when I say it…..the ONLY ONE that means anything to you? Promises are nothing without commitment to back them up! I love to feel good, and I love to be the center of attention at times….but there is nothing these typing fingers want more than what I’m typing to be true and real for my heart, mind and soul! Daniel was offered security in the King’s court and even though he said NO to the King’s food requirement; the King saw that He was not only healthier and smarter than others who have eaten the meals. God blessed His dedication to Him by his faithfulness! To say NO in the face of temptation….I want to FEEL that everyday; no just every-so-often.

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Today i visited a customer’s home that i ha e honestly never looked forward to servicing. The wife complains too much and they never fulfill their commitment to the time we set. Yet seeing them today the husband looked awful (being honest). Upon talking to him some, he’s getting over phenomena and has lung cancer. Immediately, as you could have guessed, my heart sunk. But it was what followed that haunted me half the day leading to writing this. He said, “I just hope I’ve done enough to get to Heaven.”

This floored me! Immediately I began thinking “pastorally” and tried giving all the best advice about grace, forgiveness, and a personal relationship with Jesus. He said he was taught that a sin was to be held accountable for and he would hope to get there at least admit what he’s done. I left there feeling overwhelmed with emotions. I realized that I was scared that I haven’t done enough yet for The Lord….not to get into Heaven; but to make Him more proud of me than ashamed. I knew I had to make a change….a REAL change!

I’ve done this before and so I pray that by making this public to all my brothers and sisters that it may mean more and it may sink in more how bad I am dying inside to have this. I don’t want to be in this dark hole anymore and I want every thing I ever say about God in my sermons, Sunday school or what….to be more passionate, more powerful, more meaningful to His glory than ever!

I am deciding today…..

  • To stop watching inappropriate TV (any negativity, too much skin, sexuality)
  • To stop having any relationship with a female, no matter who it is, without my wife knowing all there is about it.
  • To stop feeling sorry for myself when I make a mistake; let the Lord transform me by each one and give Him the glory!
  • To take better care of myself health wise so that I feel better overall.
  • Love, Love, Love my wife beyond my abilities and quit picking on her, her weight, or anything to tear her down.
  • Love my daughter and encourage her positive behavior and not be overly aggressive or mean to her when she acts her age!
  • Read my Bible more. (Nuff said)
  • Stop Complimenting and trying to “fix” people. I am not their Superman.
  • Love the Lord my God with ALL MY HEART, ALL MY MIND AND ALL MY STRENGTH.

Pray for me…..this is the hardest thing ever for me; but I want it more than anything ever. Please Jesus, PLEASE heal my eyes and mind from all this crap that isn’t more important than you. You are worth more than the darkness! I DECIDE YOU! 🙂

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Are You A Sin Addict?

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Hello….my name is Chad Taylor and I am a SIN addict. (Respond: “Hello Chad….very good!) 🙂

I realised something very prudent today in Sunday School as we were finishing up our discussions in Romans 6; we were discussing how we are to respond when sin tries to reign in you. Just as Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins, He Himself killed our sins! They are dead to us now for we are ALIVE in God through Jesus!

The realisation seemed more real after writing “Christian” Hedonism yesterday. When we allow sin to reign in our mortal bodies, we are obeying its evil desires! (Romans 6:12) We continue to OFFER our body parts to sin as INSTRUMENTS of wickedness (v. 13)!

Why do we do this? I believe it’s because we like it! We, being born into this sin condition, are naturally drawn to it and each and every day do it because we know we have all fallen short! So when we convince ourselves enough that the behavior were doing is “natural”; we continue to do it and worry about it later! I am comfortable in this sin-soaked body doing what I hate most! The knowledge we have about God doesn’t transfer enough to our everyday lives and thus doesn’t impact enough of our sins to kill them as they should be!

Verse 13 in the latter part, Paul says instead of us being instruments of wickedness, we are to “…OFFER ourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life…” We haven’t grasped the depth of that statement and made it a life verse! When you’re DEAD to sin, it has no life within YOU! But why do we still know it to live? Because grace in your life for all that sin continues to do to you, isn’t important enough TO YOUto change it! You are obedient to the easy pleasure sin brings; not the uncomfortable obedience that living in grace will bring for you eternally!

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Repentance is more than just a prayer you pray or a moment of “I’m sorry”; it is a life changing, life conditioning event that lasts everyday, every moment, every second! As the picture above’s scripture says, “He will judge the world in righteousness…” Do you really want to live righteously? Do you truly believe that you have been made DEAD TO SIN?

Consider this before you allow yourself to jump away from the sin addict bandwagon…..if you find yourself seeing the same sin come into play over and over again and you’re becoming more and more comfortable with it there….than your a sin addict. Christ isn’t the center of that concern in your life and until you’re obedient to His calling towards those sins; you will never be dead to sin.

So what’s the best program to be on to get away from the addiction? Simple….as the song “How Great is Our God says….“and darkness tries to hide (our sin)…it trembles at HIS VOICE”. We must call out His name above the sin when it tries to hide in our lives and let God tremble the addiction away with the TRUTH of our LIFE away from sin!!

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“Christian” Hedonism

“Christian” Hedonism
I remember feeling the pain of recognition.
Between each “thump” I clasp my chest moving my legs towards the front.
The small hairs on my knees felt the mesh between the fibers and my pores.
I felt…..the knock on my heart.

I felt happy even though I could not see.
I felt relieve though I could not see the change.
I felt hopeful even though I was surrounded by negativity.
I felt different, even though my skin and body looked the same.
I enjoyed the pleasure of Jesus Christ.

I felt the tingles as she walked the aisle towards me.
I felt the warmth of “love” when our lips sealed our oneness.
I felt the chills of her words of bitterness and despise.
I felt empty as what I thought of “us” was depleting with each month.
I felt nothing anymore as our “home” grew empty as each box left.

I felt lonely, numb and unrecognizable.
I felt the cold hard smoothness of the bottle as it stuck to my dry lips.
I felt my reflection staring back through me and it wasn’t who I was.
I felt who I was was what you made me; yet I felt ugly inside and out.

I felt my eyes hurt as an unforeseen light began to shine in my darkness.
I felt my jaw ache as it began to flex toward the north and not the south.
I felt the physical exertion of grace fill my soul as she showed your love.
I felt a sense of worth that had eluded me most of my life.

I have continue to feel this way as a whole for over 9 years now.

Today…..I feel hedonism.
Today…..I feel hedonism outside of what I am suppose to.
Today…..I feel hedonism in the knowledge.
Today…..I feel hedonism being your child.

However…..

Today…..I feel hedonism in not caring.
Today…..I feel hedonism in settling with less than your will.
Today…..I feel hedonism in making fun of people that annoy me.
Today…..I feel hedonism in looking lustfully when I feel like crap.

But…..

Today…..I feel hedonism in giving a helping hand.
Today…..I feel hedonism in smiling beyond my given emotions.
Today…..I feel hedonism in listening to Christian music and feeling “normal”.
Today…..I feel hedonism in being man enough to ask for forgiveness.

Sadly…..

“What shall we say then? Do we go on sinning so that grace may increase?”…..well, sometimes.
There is hedonism in RISK.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”…..what if my cup is cracked?
There is hedonism in sarcastic relief.

“But among you there should not be even a HINT of sexual immorality…”….Hint hell! I’m surrounded by barely covered bodies!
There is hedonism in imaginatively observing.
Double-sided hedonism is killing God’s Disciples.

I feel tired Lord; give me purpose.
I feel frustrated Lord; give me perseverance.
I feel consumed by lust Lord; give me your eyes!
I feel ready…..ready to quit Lord… PLEASE GIVE ME HOPE IN MYSELF.

Love Always?

The “Christian” Hedonist