Saturday, January 1, 2011
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Bullying. It's all over the news. Suicides. Accidental deaths. Petitions. Required teacher training. Just yesterday, I read in the news that Facebook has even developed an application to allow users to reach out for help if they experience cyberbullying.
The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center reports 1 in 3 students are involved with bullying. Gender is not an issue. Girls are just as involved with bullying as boys are...yet their bullying strategies are very different.
Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
I was reminded of this verse as I read 1 Timothy 3 this morning. Listing requirements for deacons and overseers, while men are warned against violence and their tempers, women are warned against being malicious gossips. Titus 2 reflects similar instruction.
Sadly, "mean girls" aren't confined to high school, or even to secular places. I've heard some of the most caddy comments at events that were supposed to be honoring Christ. A few of the worst rumors I've ever heard have been shared as prayer requests.
I'll admit it - I'm far from perfect in this year. But God gave me one truth this morning that I feel I should share: Women who walk with Christ are our allies - not our enemies. It's that simple. It doesn't matter if she's a cheerleader and you're in the drama club...if you're married and she's not...or if you can't see past your flaws and she seems perfect. We are all on the same team.
Of course, we're different. 1 Corinthians 12 compares the body of Christ to our physical bodies. We are composed of many different parts, but we need each of them to function properly. One part of our body is no less important than another. Just the same, we need Christians with different abilities, personalities and purposes.
I love this challenge from Elisabeth Elliot: "The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman." As much as we may be different, the bottom line is that we are the same kind of different.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
In our young married small group, we are going through a study on Philippians by Matt Chandler. We are only 5 weeks in, and it's already been a huge encouragement...and challenge to all of us.
What stirs your affection for the Lord?
Monday, September 27, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Bet you've never seen that verse cross-stitched in a pillow.
It's sad, but it's true. Think about the verses that you have memorized, that are hanging in frames around your house, that are etched on the walls of your church. We choose to display the pretty verses - the ones that talk about God's love, His grace, and His mercy.
Not that God isn't any of those things - He most certainly is! But I can't help but think...If we really want to grow in our faith and challenge ourselves to be more like Christ, we have to be reminded of some of Scripture's tougher truths....like the verse at the top of this post.
If you truly want to know how to live out your faith, the book of James is a great place to start. He doesn't sugar coat anything. He calls out the readers for being of the world, and He pushes them towards God to seek wisdom.
In this passage, James is in the middle of calling out the church for showing partiality - for favoring people in their congregations who wear fine clothes in jewelry over those who can't afford as much.
Now, they weren't kicking them out of the service. They were allowed to stay. But from the text, it's obvious that the poor people weren't as welcomed into the church as those who were wealthy.
As Christians, if we labeled the sin of partiality, it would fall into the "little sins" category. You know, little sins are not near as bad a "big sins" like adultery, murder, stealing, etc.
Yet, when we look at James 2:10, God doesn't seem to have the same categorization system for sins as we do.
Now, this verse doesn't mean that if you steal, God automatically put you down for committing the other nine commandments too. But it does mean that if you sin in one area, you're every bit as guilty for sin as someone who has broken all of God's laws.
To this day, I've never touched alcohol. I didn't smoke cigarettes or even think about experimenting with drugs. I didn't have sex until I was married. And I was appalled by those who did.
But my heart didn't ache for them because they had acted against God's holiness. I was just disappointed in them and satisfied that I would never do such a thing.
You know what that's called?
Pride. It's a sin.
I elevated myself above them just because of a category of behaviors that I didn't participate in. And that arrogance in my heart disgusted God just as much as any substance abuse or premarital sex.
Over the next few months, I want to study the "little sins" category we've created: lying, jealousy, bitterness/lack of forgiveness, judging, pride, arrogance, greed, worldliness, selfishness, etc. If you can think of an area you want me to explore, please leave a comment on this post, and I'll add it to my list.
Monday, September 13, 2010
I've decided to start a new blog that's a little different from this one. It's called...