Maybe God Has a Better Plan

Okay, so I’m a little late in writing today, but nevertheless, here’s today’s post!  It may not be as lengthy as some of the posts from the last few weeks (or reflect on societal issues), but today’s topic hits close to home for me:

Surrendering your plans to God doesn’t mean He’s not listening to your prayers!

Over the past year, I’ve been anxious for God to help me in a certain area of my life.  Being a perfectionist, I racked my brain for a “solution” to what I had convinced myself was a “major problem” that I was going through.  Finally, upon discovering said solution, I began praying for God to carry out the solution I had in mind.  Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with notifying God of the desires of our hearts.  However, I had become something I have dubbed the “selfish prayer warrior”, which basically entails the fact that I was being as stubborn as Jonah while he was trying to avoid Nineveh!  And guess what happened?  God hasn’t answered that prayer.

Instead, He one-upped my “solution” for a better one, once I finally surrendered my plans to Him.

GodMeme

Taking into consideration the comic above, God pretty much dragged me through that long groove of relentless prayer for my selfish desire, through all of the torment and strife I faced while experiencing anxiousness and doubt, through all of the sleepless nights I faced wondering if He was listening to me, in order to finally get me to a place where I would realize that His plans for my life are infinitely better than any “solution” I could fathom on my own.  One night about a month ago, God let me catch a small glimpse of what my proposed solution would be like.  After reflecting on it that night, I realized that I had lost interest in chasing this dream, because I felt that I was fighting God in the process.  And let me tell you, that is a fight I will never be able to win! So, in turn I placed the issue in God’s capable hands and stepped back completely, knowing that He already has a game plan for this crazy life of mine, and that it isn’t my place to worry myself to death over conjuring up my own happy ending.  And guess what?  My life has already taken a turn for the better by taking a step back from my own desires, and allowing God to lead me down the path that He has planned for me.

He’s got this, guys.  He’s got it all figured out.

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.”

-Proverbs 16:9

 

Goodnight and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

Photo is attributed to chainsawsuit.com | Found on Pinterest at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/324540716877105942/

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Political Parties Won’t Save Us

Donald Trump.  Hillary Clinton.  Ted Cruz.  Bernie Sanders.

These names keep popping up on television, social media, and roadside signs throughout the United States, as if they are actually supposed to mean something.  New advertisements for their presidential campaigns air constantly, each addition to their arsenal more degrading and fabricated than the last.  National news stations, as well as campaign supporters throughout the country have taken to advocating specific candidates, spewing all of their faith into their favorite, and judging anyone who has the audacity to choose another candidate.  Before the primaries began, I behaved in the aforementioned way, sharing posts from my favorite candidates on social media websites, thinking that if the two of them ran together and would get elected, our country would be a better place.

When my favorite candidates (Dr. Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee, if you’d really like to know) dropped out of the race due to poor poll results, my hopes sank.  The remaining candidates that we are being offered exhibit little of what I saw in the character of my favorite prospects: a fire for God that would not be extinguished by the PC Patrol of Washington D.C.  Before Carson and Huckabee ended their campaigns, I thought that they would be infallible if they ended up running as a President and VP combo; however, their promises were not even stable enough to keep them in the race.

Nevertheless, I’m not composing this blog post to bash presidential candidates (former or current), or political parties.  Neither am I going to try to convince you who you should vote for. In all honesty, I have absolutely no idea who I will be supporting come November.  Instead, I’m going to share a little secret with you about the presidential election, one that is glaringly obvious, yet overlooked by the vast majority of voters:

Political parties cannot and will not save us.

That’s right folks, it’s as simple as the eight words listed above:  Republicans, Democrats, or Independents do not have the ability to save the United States from caving in economically, socially, or morally.  Candidates, no matter how extensive their backgrounds are in the realm of politics, cannot restore the United States to its former glory.  The reality is that no matter who gets elected as the next leader of the free world, the entire world is still being judged by the omnipotent God who created it, and the well-being of our nation depends on how well we strive to abide by His commandments.

Cue laughing from naysayers, but if the Bible says it, I believe it.  And boy, does the Bible say it!

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”
-Psalm 33:12

First and foremost, this verse pretty much says it all: nations are blessed when they put God first, and He will honor their commitment.  Flashback to the Evangelistic surge of the 1950s, where Americans embraced the teachings of God after World War II.  Now picture the United States today, where the percentage of citizens who identify as followers of Jesus Christ drops with each passing year.  Correspondingly, our nation’s prosperity drops as well, evident in the ever-increasing budget deficit, surge of racial wars, and rapid depletion of moral character.  In the 1950s, America experienced prosperity, bouncing back tenfold from the hardships of the World Wars the nation participated in during the first half of the century.  Though some historians attribute the nation’s overall success to the increase in manufacturing and home construction, I hate to tell them, but the housing market collapsed itself a few years back.  So, what is holding back America from becoming great again?

“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”
-Proverbs 14:34

Politicians of any party can easily lay the blame on guns, over-exposure to sexual content, warfare, global warming, excessive spending, or countless other ludicrous points of interest, while they are ignoring the heart of every issue that is rotting our nation to the core: sin.  As stated in the verse before, sin is a reproach to any people, including a nation that was founded on religious freedom, the majority of which remains Christian.  However, instead of standing up for what the Bible tells us to be true, large numbers of self-identified Christians have ignored God’s commandments and have in turn sided with the teachings of man.  From legalizing sinful actions such as abortion and same-sex marriage, to stripping away the religious freedoms for Christians, it is no wonder that the United States is on the verge of turmoil.

“But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.”
-Titus 3:9

One of the most notable reasons why political debates are oftentimes considered entertaining to watch is due to the fact that the candidates verbally assault one another while debating over the policies and laws they think will best aid the United States.  Obviously they think that their ideals are the best things for us, or else they wouldn’t be running for office, even if their proposed plans are anything but intelligible. Be that as it may, the majority of politicians are quick to forget that a rule book of laws was written for us long before they stepped foot on this earth.  That rule book, God’s Holy Word, contains the only ideals that will help not only this country, but any country thrive.  So much time has been wasted arguing about domestic policies, environmental policies, and tax reform, when the answers have been stashed away in the Bible collecting dust for decades.  God gave us the answers, and until someone acknowledges the truth in His Word, He will not allow us to prosper as a nation.

“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.

 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” -Matthew 12:25-28

Furthermore, if our nation’s politicians -our appointed rulers- cannot agree upon issues, the nation will inevitably be divided against itself.  Constantly the news airs reports of Republicans speaking against Democrats and vice versa, as well as politicians within the same parties tearing one another down with hateful accusations. Additionally, if candidates are against the teachings of God’s Word, how can they rid our country of the hindrances of sin?  As stated in Matthew 12:26, “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?”, meaning you can’t advocate sin and want to get rid of it at the same time.  However, if someone were to “cast out devils”, vis-a-vis sin in accordance to God’s Word, our nation could thrive again.  Therefore, we will not be able to stand much longer unless we agree to disagree on the pointless policies, and focus on how to restore our faith in God.

” Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”
-Acts 5:29

In essence, political parties, individual politicians, and the arguments both of any sort spawn are never going to fix the immense amount of problems that the United States, as well as the world, are facing.  By continually placing faith in mere men to make decisions to best prosper our nation, we are not allowing Jesus, nor His father, to be the King of Kings and lead us to righteousness.  The only way to restore our nation to its former glory is to do as Peter and the apostles realized in Acts 5:29, “we ought to obey God rather than men.”  In the end, there will be a winner of the 2016 Presidential Election here in the United States.  Nevertheless, there is a God in Heaven who is judging the decisions made here, and who will reward us only according to our obedience to him, not the future President.

Good day, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

Credit for Featured Image is attributed to Judy Stines:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/319051954828819599/

Biblical Women Versus Modern Feminism

“Feminism is for everyone!”

“Modesty equals oppression!”

“Smash the patriarchy!”

These phrases, along with countless others, have become the mantra of modern feminism.  Feminism, for those who are unaware, has been a controversial topic of global discussion throughout the past few years, arising to combat the “war on women”.  Defined, feminism means, “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men”, which at first glance seems like something that everyone should advocate.  I mean, who doesn’t want equal rights?

But, upon taking a deeper look into the ideologies of modern feminism, I have decided that it is a frightening mindset, in which I cannot bring myself to support.

I’m not a misogynist, a bigot, or sexist.

In fact, I’m a young woman myself.

So, the question on the table is why don’t I support feminism, even though I am a woman?  Well, let’s go back and review the opening quotes:

“Feminism is for everyone!”

“Modesty equals oppression!”

“Smash the patriarchy!”

Over the past few years, I’ve been addicted to Pinterest.  From time to time, I like to review the quotes feed of the website to browse for Bible verses, quotes about writing, or inspirational quotes from people I admire.  Lately, every time I log in, quotes advocating feminism are plastered everywhere.   However, the quotes aren’t always as innocent as they appear above; in fact, they are oftentimes crass and support ideals of misandry, meaning the hatred or dislike of men.  I have read comments on various posts, on Pinterest and elsewhere, where feminists have claimed to hate men in general because they rape, control, and oppress females.  Now, I’m not saying that some men don’t rape, control or oppress women, for they obviously do.  Nevertheless, the actions of those men do not give feminists the right to verbally assault the entire male population.  You see, modern feminism isn’t driving to aid everyone; if it implied equal rights for everyone, it would be called egalitarianism.

Despite the apparent hypocritical mindset of many feminists, the main reason why I do not support feminism is that modern feminism strongly deviates from what God says about being a biblical woman in the Bible.  While surfing Pinterest this past weekend, I came across the following quote, advocating feminism:

“I continue to be amazed when I see Christian women defending a Bible that denigrates women.” -Seth Andrews

Upon reading this quote, I laughed to myself.  Obviously Mr. Andrews has not taken the time to fully grasp the content of the Bible, especially what God has to say about biblical women.  You see, people who state that the Bible denigrates women take verses out of context, therefore framing the verse to mean something that is not true.  For example, below is one verse that is often framed as a misogynistic view from the Bible:

 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.” -Colossians 3:18

Modern feminism wants us to believe that the Bible is a product of misogyny because wives are asked to submit to their husbands, as stated in the aforementioned verse from the book of Colossians.  By itself, this verse makes it seem as if men are supposed to rule over women with an iron fist.  However, the naysayers neglect to seek out further understanding of the verse than what they are coming up with on their own.  Let’s take a look at a verse that expands upon the act of submitting:

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.” -1 Peter 3:1

In this verse, wives are asked to submit to their husbands in order to relay the Word of God to them, not to be controlled or manhandled by their husbands.  So, in reality, God is giving the woman of the household a great deal of responsibility in entrusting them to be a Godly influence in their husband’s life, not bashing the rights of women.

Additionally, the following verse is also often overlooked, even though it immediately follows the verse that is criticized for the request of submission from wives:

“Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” -Colossians 3:19

God does not ask men to be the supreme ruler over their wives, but to love them as Christ loves His bride, the Church.

Furthermore, in contrast to the accusation that the Bible states that all women should be housewives, let’s take a look at this shout-out to the single lifestyle:

“There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” -1 Corinthians 7:34

God knows that some women don’t necessarily need a husband, just like some men don’t need a wife.  However, He doesn’t bash the concept of marriage, unlike some modern feminists who believe that marriage is synonymous with confinement.

Lastly, I would like to point out that Proverbs 31 dedicates an entire section to describe what a godly woman is like.  While I’m not going to rehash the entire section below, here are some highlights:

 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.” -Proverbs 31:16-17

 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” -Proverbs 31:20

“Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” -Proverbs 31:25-28

Modern feminism often makes the argument that the Bible teaches against women’s rights.  However, as you can see above, that argument is anything but valid.  Proverbs 31 depicts biblical women as strong, hardworking women who are willing to help the needy and aim to see their families thrive.  Godly women are depicted as wise, kind, and adored by their families.  All of these traits are virtuous, and are celebrated in women around the world today.  Modern feminism on the other hand does not advocate biblical virtues, but instead worldly actions such as sleeping around, dressing immodestly, submitting to no one (including God), abortion, etc.

Being a woman myself, I am all for equal rights for women.  I believe that we should be able to vote in elections, and we can.  I believe that we should receive equal pay as our male counterparts, and some of us do, though this is still an issue throughout the world. I believe that a woman should not have to worry about being raped or abused by males. Nevertheless, I will not support a movement that is geared towards defiling men, supporting sin, and blaspheming the word of God.  Instead, I choose to be a Proverbs 31 woman, seeking to please God in all that I do.

Goodnight, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

Confessions of a Sheltered Kid

Being born and raised in the Bible Belt, I grew up a little differently than some of the people I’ve met while attending college.  Though I went to public school from grades K-12 and have had friends from loads of different backgrounds, I did not fully realize that other people had different viewpoints and opinions on most matters until I was a freshman in high school.  So, today I’ve compiled a list of Sheltered Kid-isms that will explain why I turned out the way I have:

And why I want to raise my future kids the same way…

I did not know what the word “gay” meant until middle school. 

I have a distinct memory of playing a word game in second grade with a group of my classmates and our teacher’s assistant.  We were coming up with words that rhyme with “day”, or something of the sort, and after everyone had a turn, the assistant wrote down the word “gay”.  This caused a round of giggles to emerge from my classmates, while I sat there absolutely out-of-the-loop on why the word was so funny.  However, the assistant explained that she was using the word in the context of meaning happy, as the word’s original definition states.

Fast-forward to middle school, where just about every controversial subject ends up getting around to all ears, no matter how they were raised.  Somewhere in the mix of information, I figured out what the word means by today’s terms.

I did not know about the “other b-word” or the f-word until middle school.

Turns out, one of my younger cousins knew more cuss words than I did when I was in the seventh grade, because he had to explain to me what the “other b-word” meant after he saw it in a book he was reading.  Also coming from a Christian family, he hadn’t known it was a foul word until he asked his parents what it meant.  Around the same time, I heard the f-word used for the first time at my class’s lunch table in the seventh grade.  Not knowing what it meant, though knowing it did not sound nice in the context my classmate was using it, I asked my momma what, without saying the actual word, “the f-word” meant.  I can still remember how the look of complete astonishment covered her face as she asked me where I had heard it, and explained as innocently as she could what it meant.  After that, more kids at school started using the word as if it were a comma, along with other expletives.  For the first time, I began worrying about my generation.  I even went as far as taking a tally sheet of how many cuss words I heard during one school day (reaching an astounding amount of 40+), and brought it to my teacher’s attention that afternoon.  My teacher that year, however, did not seem to be phased at all; she didn’t even address the class on the issue.

I did not know what the word “homophobic” meant until my freshman year of high school.

Similar to my experience with the word “gay”, I did not know what the word “homophobic” meant until I was talking with a couple of friends of mine one day.  At the time, I made a negative comment about homosexuality, thinking that everyone felt that way.  Keep in mind, I only said this because the Bible states that homosexuality, along with sexual immorality of all kinds, is a sin (see Leviticus 18:22 and 1 Corinthians 7:2)  One of my friends then asked me if I was homophobic.  Not knowing what it meant, I asked them to define it.  When they told me that the word was defined as being afraid of homosexuals, I said yes.  Looking back on that day after nearly seven years have gone by, I regret saying that I was homophobic.  I still agree with what the Bible says about homosexuality being a sin, because I believe everything the Bible has to say, though I’m not afraid of homosexuals.  I have a few friends who have professed they are homosexual or bisexual, but I don’t avoid them or slap them with the Bible because of it.  It is their choice to choose how to live their life. All we as Christians are asked to do is present them with the truth of God’s word.  If they refuse to accept God’s word, then it’s not our problem to “fix” them; only they can begin or mend their relationship with God.  However, as a friend, we can still be the light of God to them.  In the book of Matthew, Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).  So now I’m not afraid of being nice to someone with that type of lifestyle.  Maybe, just maybe, they’ll see the light of God and change their ways if they have a Christian influence in their lives.

As you can see, the list goes on and on.

There are probably at least a dozen more Sheltered Kid-isms I could mention, but I don’t want to turn this blog post into a novel.  Instead, I want to explain why I want my kids to be raised the same way my parents raised me, and it all points to one little word:

Innocence.

From watching my younger sister’s experience in high school, I can conclude that it has changed drastically since I was there, even though we are only four years apart.  If high schools (even in the Bible Belt) are growing farther and farther away from the teachings of God, I don’t want to imagine how vile the middle schools, and even elementary schools are becoming.  Growing up in the late 90’s right on in to the 2000’s, though the world wasn’t completely innocent, my parents made sure that I grew up without my mind being clogged with aspects of sin.  I’ve heard people say that they’ve been gay since birth, whereas I didn’t know there was even such a mindset.  I didn’t use foul words as a kid, because my parents did not say them around me (okay, so occasionally they would let some slip, but no one is perfect).  What I’m saying is that as kids, children shouldn’t be thinking about things that require an adult choice, or adult consequences.  If a parent gives a kid the option of being gay or transgender, they are robbing the child of their innocence by putting the thoughts into their young minds.  Meaning that if a child is worried about their sexual orientation or gender from such a young age, they will be focused on things like dating and sex throughout their childhood, therefore missing out on the pure innocence of discovering the world on their own and making their own choices later in life.

Even though I was out-of-the-loop on a lot of things during my childhood, I had an awesome one.  I watched Nicktoons and Disney movies like any other kid.  I also went to VBS and made the decision to follow God on my own when I was eight.  My parents never forced that upon me, nor anything else for that matter.  They just protected me from things that they knew were against God’s teachings, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Have a great day y’all, and God bless! 😀

-Allyson

 

 

 

Don’t Take “Only God Can Judge Me” Lightly

Over the last few years, the phrase “only God can judge me” has been a mantra for countless people.  While the phrase is definitely true, (see James 4:12), people tend to use it to justify sinful actions, which is the exact opposite of what the phrase was initially intended to accomplish.  So, without further ado, here is my warning to those who use the phrase frequently.

No, I’m not judging you.

But God will one day, and that isn’t something to take lightly.

I can understand where people are coming from when they utter the words “only God can judge me”, don’t get me wrong.  It goes back to the instance in the gospel of John, when the scribes and Pharisees were asking Jesus if they should kill a woman for committing adultery.  Instead of giving them the authorization to stone the woman, Jesus instead began drawing in the dirt.  Continually pressing him for an answer, the crowd remained hotly determined to make the woman pay for her sinful actions.  However, rather than giving in to their desires, Jesus simply stated some of his most referenced words, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”.  In other words, meaning that we are all sinners and come short of the glory of God, and we have absolutely no right to judge others for their actions, because we all sin equally.

So, it’s completely understandable why you would use the aforementioned phrase to ward off haters.  Nevertheless, it doesn’t give you a free pass to sin intentionally.

From what I have observed from posts on social media websites, most people post rants that feature “only God can judge me”, while complaining that people have been saying negative things about them for one action or another.  Though they are right for stating that it’s no one’s place to judge them for their actions, they are forgetting that if their actions go against what God has commanded of us in His Word, then they are not in the clear.  If a person truly acknowledges that they have sinned, then they will repent to God, and ask for His forgiveness.  Conversely, ninety-nine percent of the time when I see the phrase “only God can judge me” posted online, the author of the post is using it in order to justify their actions, or shift the focus to the “haters”.  After considering both sides of the spectrum, I have come to the conclusion that if someone acknowledges that they have sinned against God and feel convicted of their wrongdoing, that they would turn to Him to address the issue instead of a Facebook status.

In all honesty, no matter how many times you spit out “only God can judge me”, people will continue to gossip and make judgments about you, simply because they find it entertaining.  Despite this, they are not the ones you have to worry about; make your relationship with God your top priority instead of people who obviously do not have anything better to do with their time.

“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
-Romans 14:12

If God is our top priority, we will seek to do His will instead of regarding what other people think of our lives. Seeking God’s will means that we are aiming to please Him by obeying His commandments, digging into His teachings, and sharing the news of Jesus Christ to others.  If we are sinning intentionally and have no desire to change our ways, God will judge us accordingly.  Think about it:  if someone believed in God in His totality (His love and His wrath), would they continue to choose to live in sin, or would they repent for their actions?  I’ll take it one step further and ask that if someone claims that God is the only judge, why would they persist in sin to kindle His wrath instead of working to change so that they will fall into His good judgment?

 “But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?”
-Ezekiel 18:21-23 

Remember, God is the judge, and one day (if you don’t acknowledge your sins before Him and accept Jesus as your Redeemer), anything you say or do can and will be held against you in His court of law.

Good night, Happy Leap Day, and God bless!

-Allyson