June 30, 2012

Holidays Are Not Holy Days

Filed under: Christianity, holidays, religion — Tags: , , — yalandarose @ 8:07 am

Christians have long debated celebrating holidays. I wasn’t convinced of either position after reading compelling arguments for and against – I was confused!  Ironically, after studying pages and pages of commentary and other denominations, I came across just a couple of verses that clarified my perspective.    There are no Christian holidays.

I used to think that holidays were a gray area not specifically mentioned in the Bible, but it is.  Christians are instructed “to abstain from the pollutions of the idols…”(Acts 15:20) and “to abstain from things offered to idols,”(Acts 15:29).

Considering that holidays have pagan roots, what I once considered a gray area is now a prohibited area for me as a Christian.

Fireworks, birthday candles, Easter bunnies, and Christmas trees all at one point were offered and according to Acts 15, polluted by idols.

I am aware of the arguments that state modern “Christians” do not use any of the above traditions (and more) for idolatry, but rather for festive decorations. However, regardless of how it is used now, it was and (still is) “polluted” by idolatry.

Pollution is an impurity, and according to Ephesians 5:3, uncleanness must not be named among pure Christians.

Expressing his fear to his new Christian converts, Paul wrote,“days ye observe, and months, and times, and years! I am afraid of you, lest in vain I did labour toward you. (Galatians 4:10-11)

Paul was afraid for good reason. He knew that his new Christian converts were already risking their salvation.

 And manifest also are the works of the flesh, which are: Adultery, whoredom, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strifes, emulations, wraths, rivalries, dissensions, sects,envyings, murders, drunkennesses, revellings, and such like, of which I tell you before, as I also said before, that those doing such things the reign of God shall not inherit.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

If for no other reason, why mark key salvation milestones –  the birth and resurrection of our Savior – with silliness.  Santa Claus, Easter Bunny – really?

“When I was a babe, as a babe I was speaking, as a babe I was thinking, as a babe I was reasoning, and when I have become a man, I have made useless the things of the babe; (1 Corinthians 13:11)

Young’s Literal Version

June 26, 2012

True Lenders Are Repaid By God

Filed under: Christianity, Faith, religion — Tags: , , — yalandarose @ 3:18 pm

`Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed, and shaken, and running over, they shall give into your bosom; for with that measure with which ye measure, it shall be measured to you again.’ Luke 6:38

I am so familiar with this verse that I can usually remember when and where I hear it – in church prior to the tithing and offering service.

However, it wasn’t until a recent experience that I begin to study the verses prior to this verse, and realized my whole life I have been hearing this verse out of context.

Recently, I loaned a relative a large sum of money.  As a single mom without a double income, a large sum doesn’t have to be in the double digits, but coincidentally this was.

Deep down, I hoped that I would get the money back, and worried what would happen if I didn’t.

I was so consumed with worry about the money, that I didn’t have room for grace.

and if ye lend [to those] of whom ye hope to receive back, what grace have ye? for also the sinful lend to sinners — that they may receive again as much.” Luke 6:34

Hoping for my money, instead of putting my hope and ultimately my faith in God reminded of the sinner I was instead of the saved person I was trying to become. I was humbled.

Then I got the call, my relative was ready to pay me in full.

Considering that was the call I was hoping for, I still struggled as I came upon, “…release, and ye shall be released.”  Luke 6:37

Should I have just forgiven the debt?

The setting for this internal conflict was on a hot, summer day in my car, with the AC blowing full blast – wondering that if I made the trip to collect the funds, would I be on the road to eternal damnation.

The punishing price of gas was a reprimand to turn off the engine and let down the windows while I continued to seek an answer from God.

Then I heard a loud commotion, which was previously muted by the running AC and engine.

Two men were loudly arguing over a debt owed to the other.

“Man, I need my money!  I got four kids!  You need to pay me right now!”

A woman suddenly appeared outside gathering 2 young children inside.

The other man just dismissively waved his hand as if he was swatting away a fly.

“I’m not leaving until I get my money!”  The aggressive debt collector said as he followed the other into the house where the children were called in most likely for their safety.

The two men were no longer in sight, but their argument was still in earshot – from across the street.

As the confrontation and the voices escalated, I became anxious  and I’m sure the children became frightened.

I couldn’t take or hear anymore.  I started my car and drove off.

I headed to my relative’s house to collect the payment. Beyond the greeting and the mutual departing thanks, no other words were passed.  For the sake of the children I just saw, if only it could have been that peaceful for them.

While driving back to the scene of the argument, I was hoping that I would not drive up to the scene of a crime.

I walked up the front porch and one of the men, met me outside.

“I didn’t mean to be nosy, but I overheard an argument about money owed to a man with 4 children, and I just came to pay it so his kids wouldn’t do without,” I explained.

No ma’am, we’re fine.” The second man then appeared, so I knew no one was hurt.

“Are you sure, because I would rather pay it for him so that the argument doesn’t escalate in front of the kids, and he doesn’t have to pay me back.”

“No ma’am.  We were just playing.  “See,” as the first man gestured at the other. “He’s alright.”

As I walked up the porch, I thought about how I could pay the man and show him relevant verses from my pocket Bible, but my conversation didn’t go as planned.

I hope by my actions that the man learned to forgive his debtor as I attempted to forgive his.

And I hope that I have fully learned that regardless of whether I was repaid or not, I should have forgiven the debt, as God Has Forgiven so many of mine.

“Forgive our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Matthew 6:12

June 24, 2012

Funny Joke

A Christian was asked, “What’s your religion?”

The Christian replied, “Doer.”

“What was that?” The person replied.

“Doer.”  The Christian repeated.

“What is that?”  The person asked.

The Christian responded, “Doer.  If God Tells me to do something, I just do it!”

March 15, 2012

Persecuting Pastors?

Filed under: Christianity, God's Love, religion, tolerance — Tags: , , — yalandarose @ 4:33 pm

“An East African gay advocacy group alleges a Massachusetts evangelist has waged a decade-long campaign to persecute gays in Uganda” (USA Today)

The words evangelist and persecute are in the wrong order in this sentence. The Bible says that Christians are supposed to prepare to be persecuted for our faith, and count it all joy. (James 1:2)

However, there are too many instances of Christians persecuting everyone else (including each other at times) and being called judgmental, hypocritical nutcases.

Christians should master the 2 greatest commandments (Matthew 22:36-40) before taking another step in their walk with Christ.

If all Christians became united on just these 2 commandments alone and put this at the forefront of our minds, there would be no incidents of “Christians” attacking homosexuals or each other for that matter, and maybe homosexuals and anyone else living in the midst of sin could discern the truth for themselves.

January 18, 2012

Defrauded? Suits Me!

Filed under: Christianity, Faith, God's Love, religion — Tags: , , , — yalandarose @ 4:25 pm

…Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 1 Cor. 6:7

The simple answer:  Who wants to be vulnerable, had, taken advantage of, walked on, stepped on, etc. etc. etc. especially in a society where we have rights and we judicially, litigiously and at times unmercifully enforce them.

The hard to swallow answer: It’s not about you.

I saw this verse as I was contemplating a lawsuit against my ex-husband. He initiated a quickie divorce against me so he could marry a woman I didn’t even know existed until after they were married.

The front door of our former home had become a revolving door when I moved out and she moved in less than a year later.

Concurring with the simple answer, I filed a lawsuit before she finished unpacking.

It seemed as if I had everything to gain – a house and half the assets. However, during our separation, I decided to quit focusing on my broken marriage, and start focusing on God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness first. With God’s Kingdom – an entire kingdom – at the forefront of my mind, suddenly a 2500sqft. house seemed quaint.

I also realized that if my ex-husband was willing to stoop that low to keep the house, he has already received his reward in full. (Reference Luke 6:24)

I started evaluating the real reason I filed the lawsuit in the first place. I wanted revenge, what was owed to me. But…I had to remind myself of my new commitment. Instead of seeking revenge, I committed myself to seeking God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness first. Vengeance is not mine, it, us, the universe, and everything in it is His. It’s not about me. It wasn’t my battle to fight. (Reference 1 Samuel 17:47) As a matter of fact, God Reminds us Whose battle it really is more than once in the Bible.

In fact, instead of me giving my ex-husband a piece of my mind, God Instructed, “The LORD Will Fight for you while you keep silent.” Exodus 14:14. It’s not about me at all.

The contents of my legal petition should have floored my ex-husband as I was when I learned that a man who couldn’t pay child support for his biological child was now providing room and board for a child that wasn’t even his. Yep, his stepson was now living in my daughter’s old room.

I couldn’t get over how unfair God seemed that my ex-husband and his new family seemed so happy and comfortable while my daughter and I were financially struggling. But, God Reminded me, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Gal. 6: 7-8.)

Then, I realized that they won’t be comfortable in that spacious house for long as God Said, “He who returns evil for good, evil will not depart from his house. Proverbs 17:13

And as far as my less than pleasant financial situation is concerned, “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than he who is perverse inspeech and is a fool. Proverbs 19:1

Besides, no matter how dire our situation gets, “The LORD Will Not Allow the [b]righteous to hunger…” Proverbs 10:3.

I was requesting spousal support, child support, and half of the assets. I was not going to tolerate a deadbeat dad. However, I realized God Loathes deadbeat parents as well. “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Cor. 6:7

That verse made me realize that my ex-husband wasn’t merely robbing his child, he was robbing God. What may floor you is that he is a minister.

Another reason I started having second thoughts about the lawsuit is because again I was reminded that “…whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.” Luke 6:30

Then I remembered my new commitment, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Only by the Grace of God, my daughter and I aren’t starving or naked! (reference Matthew 6:25-31)

While I was focusing on a house I can see (within a short commute), I was reminded that by faith I should be focusing on what I can’t see and what God Has In Store for me.  “while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  Hebrews 4:18

Going through the emotional and financial toil of a lawsuit would cause me to sin in worry and would be taking time away from my life and my daughter. (reference Matthew 6:27) The details of the lawsuit were also causing me to be anxious about my situation when I should have invested that time praying. (Reference Philippians 4:6)

With all the worrying and anxiety of a lawsuit, I came across the verse, “for God is not a God of confusion but of peace…1 Corinthians 14:33.

I decided to refer to the Bible to see how God Really Wanted me to deal with my ex-husband. Referencing Matthew 18:15-17, if I couldn’t resolve the matter in the church, treat the person like a tax collector. I am personally not acquainted with any tax collectors, and am no longer acquainted with my ex-husband either. In other words, don’t try to reason with the insane. Just accept the fact they are spiritually (and sometimes mentally) ill.

I was also told to “bless those who curse you, pray for those who revile or mistreat you.” Luke 6:28

I know this sounds crazy but the reason I have been able to do this is because even though my ex-husband took the house and neglected to support his child, hey, at least he didn’t try to kill me!  I was merely duped out of a house and money. However, even while Stephen was being murdered by a group of people who clearly didn’t know God, he prayed “…Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Acts 7:60

My ex-husband is oblivious to the fact that he has done anything wrong, and  those crucifying Jesus were ignorant to the fact that they were crucifying the actual Son of God and for that Jesus said “…Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34) before Jesus inherited the Kingdom.

Bible verses came from Biblegateway.com NASB version

Nothing New About Women

Filed under: Christianity, evolution, religion — Tags: , , — yalandarose @ 2:35 pm
Considering Stephen Hawkings is an atheist, it seems a bit redundant that it took him 70 years to discover that women are one of the world’s greatest mysteries when the Bible prophesied that thousands of years ago. (Proverbs 30:19) Instead of reinventing the wheel, he could have used some of that time to find one.

November 9, 2011

Don’t Forget Your Fruit!

Filed under: Christian living, Christianity, God's Love, religion — Tags: , , — yalandarose @ 3:41 pm

On a diet? Try these fruits! …the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…Gal. 5:22-23 NASB

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