Give God a Chance

For God so loved the world…

If you’ve grown up in a Christian family or have accepted Christ as your Savior, I’m sure you know how this verse ends.  I know my past posts have been directed more towards encouraging Christians to actively seek God and live to reflect His love to others, but this week I want to reach out to the non-believing community:  atheists, agnostics, those who practice other religions, and those who are just curious.  Don’t fret, I’m not going to debate why Christianity is the superior religion, because I know that talking down your beliefs does not enhance my own.  And, if I’m being completely honest, Christianity isn’t a religion;  Christianity is a one-on-one relationship with God, made possible through intercessions made by Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world, He’s had all of us in mind from the beginning.

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”
-Jeremiah 1:5

Long before you were ever conceived, God had you in mind.  God created the world, and He has specifically designed the timeline of earthly events, as well as the people who participated in them.  God knew each of our names well before our parents named us, and knows each of our destinies, because He has already created plans for our lives.

Now, you may be thinking, “if God is so all-knowing and has already made a plan for my life, then why hasn’t He stopped me from denying Him so far?”

For God so loved the world, He gave us the gift of Free Will.

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.”
-Proverbs 16:9

Free will, in my opinion, can best be explained like a Sims game.  When you play the Sims, you are essentially the creator who designs different people and instructs them to do different tasks throughout the game.  Despite this, sometimes the Sims engage in behavior that you did not tell them to do, such as go online and chat with other Sims when they’re bored, play fetch with the dog, etc.  Likewise, God allows us to have the same freedom to choose what we want to do with our lives.  So, if you are living in a way that doesn’t have anything to do with Christianity or following God’s commandments, then it’s just because you made that decision.  If God wants to intervene in your life and redirect you to the path of righteousness, He will.  Saul persecuted Christians before God physically knocked him off his horse and directed him to righteousness (Acts 9).  The thing is, God doesn’t make you choose to follow Him while on earth; that decision is entirely up to you.

 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
-John 3:16

Everyone born on this earth is a dirty, rotten sinner.  Everyone, whether Christian, atheist,  or what have you, has lived outside of the commandments of God at some point in their life.  The difference between Christianity and the many religions of the world is one simple thing:  accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior.  God sent Jesus Christ to be born on this earth many years ago so that we could be redeemed from our sins if we choose to be.  God gives us a choice to believe or not believe, with the belief being that Jesus died on the cross at Calvary as the most unselfish sacrifice in history to cleanse all of humanity from everyone’s individual sins if they so choose to let Him.  Jesus was sent by God to bear the burdens of sin for everyone who is willing to accept that gift.  By the way, that gift is free, and entails this promise:

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
-Isaiah 41:10

God doesn’t offer you His gift of salvation to punish you.  God only wants to help you if you’ll help yourself by accepting Jesus as your Savior.  You have nothing to lose in the matter, except for selfish pride.  To belong to God, you must be willing to admit that you can’t navigate life solely on your own merits, that you need a higher being to guide you and to take away your afflictions.

For Jesus so loved you, that He took the punishment, even if you were the only one that would benefit.

Goodnight, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

Author’s Note:

If you feel led to accept Christ as your Savior, feel free to comment, and I will be happy to talk to you about your decision.  If you still do not feel led to accept Christ, then I respect your decision.  I would like to point out that I will be deleting any comments that are intended to start a debate about religion, or those that are demeaning Christianity.  I did not demean anyone’s beliefs in this post, so I expect commenters to respect my beliefs as well.

Featured Image Found At:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/256283035021521266/

Featured Image Attributed to:  Billy Graham Evangelistic Association | No Copyright Infringement Intended

Advertisements

Wait For It…

For the longest time, I had a Lydia Bennet mentality.

For those of you who love Pride and Prejudice as much as I do, you can imagine just how horrid that period of my life was.  And, for those of you who have no idea what that means… I was boy crazy.  Not just boy crazy… idiotically boy crazy to the point where I felt privileged if a guy wanted to text me because at least I was attractive to someone, even if I didn’t even really like him myself.

darcydontprove

P.S. This meme is my favorite thing on the Internet. XD

Needless to say, it was a very dumb part of my past that I’m glad to say is over.  However, it didn’t end because I found a boyfriend, but because I rediscovered God.  Today, I’m going to be straightforward with you about why it’s important to wait until God provides you with a Christ-centered relationship.

The Road of Rejection

Girls, I’m just going to go ahead and throw some advice out there:

1) If a prospective guy texts you nonstop but never makes an effort to make plans with you, then he’s not worth pursuing.

2)  If a prospective guy stops talking to you out of the blue, do not, under any circumstances, fall for his charms again.

3) If you like a guy, and he won’t acknowledge your existence, let it be.  For the love of love, just let it be.

Over the course of the past few years, I have found through numerous instances that these truths are indeed self-evident, yet difficult to adhere to.  Sometimes the guy that’s texting you seems really interesting, and you get addicted to talking to him everyday.  Sometimes after he has stopped talking to you for a while, you’ll feel relieved when you see his name pop up on your phone again.  And sometimes, you’ll notice some guy that you swear up and down is your dream guy, that you’re meant to be and all that hoo-ha… and he’ll ignore you as if his life depends on it.

Long story short, rejection isn’t fun at all.  Trust me when I say that if you have been or are currently going through any of the scenarios above, that God didn’t let you go through that because He feels you’re not worthy of earthly love.  Instead, God lets you be rejected by guys who are unworthy of a romantic relationship with you in order for you to recognize the love you truly need:  a relationship with your Heavenly Father.

Seek Him, Not Them

“The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.”
-Lamentations 3:25

When you’re going through the single season, you may feel insecure due to failed attempts at love, or a lack of acceptance from guys who you have been interested in.  Your first instinct may be to solve this problem on your own by trying to become acquainted with different guys in order to find a boyfriend, but please know that your attempts will be futile if you go about it with the wrong intentions.  If you claim to be a daughter of God, seek to engage in your relationship with Him first and foremost, and then He’ll lead you to the man He knows is right for you.  The main problem girls in the single season face, (including myself when I was there just a few months ago), is that we become obsessed with the idea that we have to have a boyfriend to feel validated.  Therefore, we often let this obsession overshadow our love for God, and begin to become attracted to guys who are outside of His Will for us.

Be Equally Yoked

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” -2 Corinthians 6:14

In a match-made-in-Heaven relationship, the couple will be equally yoked with one another.  Being equally yoked means that they will share a love for God and His commandments, and that they will be able to encourage each other to follow Christ.  On the other hand, if a couple is unequally yoked, they will disagree about their spiritual beliefs, which will inevitably cause conflict in the long run.  I can say from experience that if you are truly dedicated to following Christ, that God will save you from falling for a guy who will cause you to be led astray.  Remember, God wants what’s best for you,  and having a long-term romantic relationship with someone who doesn’t acknowledge or believe in Him and His commandments is definitely not where He intends to place you.

God Hears You

.”The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” -Psalm 34:18

Single Christian women, God knows about the heartache you’ve suffered.  God hears your prayers where you plead for a godly man to begin a relationship with.  Likewise, He also knows who, when, where and how in which that relationship will begin.  And trust me, when you finally find yourself meeting a godly man, you’ll be thanking God that He made you wait for him.  A godly man will build you up and encourage you to lean on Christ, not ignore you and leave you crying by yourself.  A godly man will show you Bible verses and pray for you, not ditch church on Sundays and belittle you.  It may not seem possible now, but if it’s in His will, God’s got a godly man specifically designed for you if you’ll simply let love take it’s course and wait on the Master with the plan.

Goodnight and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

 

Featured Image Found At: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/546483736010632995/

Featured Image Attributed to: spiritualinspiration.tumblr.com

 

 

We Blame Society, But We Are Society

Whatever happened to “In God We Trust”?

This phrase was adopted by The United States in 1864 when it first appeared on American currency, and it only took us roughly 150 years to run that once meaningful motto into the ground.  I’ve only been on this earth for a little over two decades, and have witnessed our country, as well as society, continue to falter with each passing year.  Americans claim that they can’t stand to watch the news because the media lies and “they only show negative things”, yet they fail to realize that our media is a product of what we allow in our society.  Everyone seems to wonder why America seems to be caving in on itself within the last few years, but are blind as a bat to the answer:

“In God We Trust” has been left in the dust.

“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”
-2 Peter 2:20-22

We’ve turned from God’s commandments of us, and like a dog, we’ve returned to our own vomit.

How exactly did America sweep God under the rug?  Well, I’ll tell you a little secret… Christians of the United States, we’re the ones to blame.  Now, before you all get high and mighty on me saying things like, “I vote Republican!  I vote against the legalization of certain sins!” or, “I go to church every Sunday!” or whatever else, know this:  just because you participate in typical Christian-like activities does not mean you present yourself as a Christlike person to the world.  Yes, there is a difference.

I don’t know about yours, but my hometown has a lot of church pew/bar stool people, meaning that they live on a fence between following Christ and following the world.  Not to say that I, or others, don’t sin.  We all get wrapped up in sin from time to time.  The difference that I’m referring to here is discovered through daily choices.  For example, two churchgoers who claim to be born-again Christians are provided with an invitation to a party that will have a plentiful supply of drugs and alcohol.  The church pew/bar stool person would willingly accept the invitation, go to the party, and then show up at church a couple of days later feeling no remorse.  On the other hand, the Christian who is honestly trying to live in order to please God will not partake in those activities, period.  Likewise, a worldly churchgoer would vote for legislation that will make them popular from a societal standpoint rather than for a law that honors God’s commandments.  Therefore, the blame for society turning away from God falls on the church pew/bar stoolers, the ones who can’t paint a clear picture for others of what Christianity really is because they don’t know it themselves.

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”
-1 John 3:4-9

The only way to bring a God-centered focus back to our society is to first acknowledge our problem of pretending to know God while still reveling in sin, and then doing something about it.  Right now, I’m calling for Christians to reflect on their daily choices, and to close off the paths that have caused them to go astray.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
-2 Chronicles 7:14

Fellow churchgoers, we can’t expect society to change from its wicked ways if we are not willing to begin that change within the church!  Fellow Christians, we can’t expect evil to repel from the world if we keep allowing it within ourselves!  Fellow Americans, if we want our country to be great again, we must seek God again!

Goodnight, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

 

Featured Image Found At:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/324540716878638570/

Image Attributed to: keepcalmgodloves.tumblr.com | No copyright infringement intended.

 

Syllabus Week Stress

I don’t know about y’all, but just reading the syllabus for a class stresses me out.

Assignments. Pop quizzes. Articles. Exams.  Online work.  Internships.  Family.  Social life.
Oh, and driving for us commuters out there.  Just about every time my professors are explaining the outline for our coursework during the first week of each semester, I can’t help but worry about how I’m going to have time to get everything done without neglecting another area of my life.  Wednesday was only my second day of senior year at the University I attend, and after having a rough morning, I texted my boyfriend about it because I needed to vent to someone.  I told him that I feel like I’m going to fail in one or more areas of my life if I take too much stuff on this semester.  The pressures of graduating in May have been weighing on me all summer, and I just want to get everything right.  He told me to pray about it, and I said that I’ve tried to, but it feels like I can’t find the right answer to what I’m supposed to do.  That’s when he replied with the slap-to-reality I needed:

When was the last time God made a mistake?

Yep… he shut me up right there.  Every time I get worried about how I’m going to get through this semester, get a job after graduation, or whatever else… I have to remember that God put me in this position for a reason, and He didn’t do it to leave me here to figure it out on my own.  God didn’t give me something I can’t handle, and I’m not stressing out because of a mistake He’s made, because He makes NO mistakes.  Oh, and that doesn’t only apply to me.  God has never made a mistake with any of us.

The only mistake here was caused by me.

“Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” -Proverbs 15:22

Stress is caused by overthinking.  Overthinking occurs when we have something on our mind, over-analyze what could go wrong in the situation, and practically kill ourselves to find a solution.  Therefore, the bad day I had Wednesday was not due to the fact that God placed me in a situation that I won’t be able to handle; it was due to the fact that I was not relinquishing the burden to Him.  Yes, as I stated before, I had prayed about it.  Nevertheless, my prayer was, “please help me make the right decision”, when it should have been, “Lord, I place this situation in Your hands, and pray that you’ll have Your will with my life.  Guide me to make the right decision according to Your purpose for me.” At first glance those prayers don’t seem that different, but the one I was hurriedly spitting out before falling asleep at night was said out of frustration in myself for not being able to conjure up an answer on my own, not out of true reliance on God.  I was relying on my own counsel, not God’s, therefore causing myself disappointment when I kept letting the stress get to me.

Then I remembered a verse…

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” -Jeremiah 29:11

When I graduated from community college a couple of years ago, one of my favorite instructors gave me a bracelet with the scripture reference for this verse inscribed on a charm.  I didn’t think much of the verse then, but I wore the bracelet around a lot until part of it broke one day.  I don’t wear the bracelet anymore, but every time I think of graduating, my instructor and that verse come back to mind.

The first time I ever had a class with this particular instructor, it was for a programming class called Microsoft Visual Basic.  This was my first time learning how to write computer programs, so I (and many of my classmates) struggled throughout the semester.  Over time, I began do dislike my instructor because she wouldn’t help us when we ran into a problem; she made us take the time to figure it out the best we could before she would come take a look at it herself.  For the longest time, I thought she was just being lazy or hateful; however, by the end of the semester I had grasped a good understanding of the programming language and had figured out that the instructor didn’t ignore our requests for help out of rudeness, but out of preparation.  You see, she wasn’t trying to be hateful to me and my classmates so she wouldn’t have to do any extra work.  Instead, she axed our lifeline so to speak to teach us how to solve the problems that occurred on our own.  Just like Jeremiah 29:11, she had good intentions for us, despite the fact that I thought she was plotting my failure in her course.

God works in a similar way.

Whenever you’re wondering why God has placed you in a situation where it seems as if you have to do a million different, difficult tasks, think back to Jeremiah 29:11.  During times like that, we may question God as to why He’s allowing us to be stressed out or worried about our future.  I certainly have this week, but that’s not how we should react.  Satan wants us to blame God for our circumstances, when in reality Satan’s handiwork (overthinking, self-doubt, insomnia) that causes our stress in the beginning.  The key thing to know in times such as this is that God is trying to teach us how to rely on Him when our lives become overwhelming.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say, “figure it out thyself”.  Nah, actually it says pretty clearly:

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
-Proverbs 3:5

You may not understand why you’ve been swamped with loads of responsibilities all at once.  You may not understand why you’ve suddenly become sick and have had to take extended time away from your duties.  You may not understand why someone left you to deal with life on your own.  Nevertheless, know this:  you may not understand it now, but if you trust in God to get you through it, He will reveal the trial’s purpose to you sooner or later.  God’s not trying to hurt you by leading you through difficulties; He’s trying to teach you the most valuable lesson of all.

Goodnight and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

Featured image found at:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/283163895297962133/

Featured image attributed to:  561quotes.com | No copyright infringement intended

Relationships: Don’t Look for Perfection

Calling all Christian singles, or Christians who may be dating (or courting) someone at the moment… I have to let you in on a little secret:

“Mister/Miss perfect for you” won’t be perfect.

I know, this may be a devastating blow to some of you readers out there.  You may be thinking, “there’s a guy/girl out there for me who truly makes God their top priority, and they will have minimal sinful baggage to bring to our relationship”.  And yes, that may be true for some of you; however, that won’t be the case for all of us.  Some of us are going to fall for people with troubled pasts.  Some of us are going to have to practice patience and forgiveness whenever we find out about our significant other’s past.  Some of us are going to have to nudge them back to Christ.  Some of us are going to end up with an imperfect person.

But guess what?  We’re all imperfect.

Oh yeah… remember that lie you told?  Remember that time you disobeyed your parents?  Remember that time you had lustful thoughts about someone, even if you didn’t put those thoughts into action?  You, me, he, she, we… we’re all imperfect sinners who are given grace by a perfect God.  We as humans tend to think that there are different ranks of sins, meaning that some are worse than others.  Honestly, that’s not the case at all.  God’s word tells us that all sins are of equal measure:

“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” -James 2:10

So, if you’ve committed one sin, you’ve basically committed them all.  No sin is better or worse than any other… they’re all bad.  It’s bad to lie.  It’s bad to steal.  It’s bad to sin against our bodies through using drugs, alcohol, or having sexual relationships outside of marriage.  Going back to what I said in Forgive and Forget, we as Christians know that God will forgive us every time we fall short of His commandments, but we’re quick to cast shameful looks on others when they sin.

Parable time! 😀

There are two Christians, Jim and Kim.  Jim murdered someone before he got saved, and Kim is a compulsive liar who is a sort-of Christian.  As you can see, both Jim and Kim have sinned in their past.  Both Jim and Kim will die, and will appear before God to be judged.  When God looks upon Jim, the reformed murderer, He will not say, “well Jim, you killed a man.  That’s a terrible sin that isn’t worthy of salvation, even though you’ve lived for Me for the past 30 years.  You’re going to Hell.”  Likewise, He’s not going to approach Kim and say, “well Kim, you lie like a penny in the parking lot at a grocery store, but it’s just a minor offense.  I know you haven’t really tried to live according to my commandments, but you’ve done some Christiany things.  Welcome to Heaven!”

That’s not how it works.  That’s not how any of this works. XD

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…”
-Romans 3:10

Alas, none of us are perfect, so don’t think that your future boyfriend/girlfriend should have a pristine past.

Now you’re gonna ask me,

“How do we deal with their past sins?”

Okay, so you’re dating/thinking about dating a Christian who has struggled with sin in the past.  Maybe they did jail time, maybe they’ve been promiscuous in past relationships.  Upon learning that information, it’s going to hurt you.  You’re going to want to ask them a million questions as to why they acted in that manner when God’s word clearly states that it’s a sin.  You’re going to wonder if they’re worth pursuing a relationship with, and if they’ll return to their former ways.  It’s going to take a toll on you to find out that your potential mate isn’t all sunshine and sweetness like you initially thought they would be.  Nevertheless, remember that their past is going to be even harder on them.

Before you verbally attack this person with questions and doubt their potential, I beg of you, reconsider and take the following steps:

  1. Talk to them about your concerns, but don’t ask them for all the details.  If you ask someone to go into the gory details of their past, you’re going to receive a whopping dosage of TMI, and your over-analyzing may make you think less of the person.  Instead, just tell them how you’re feeling after hearing about what happened.
  2. Ask them if they’ve talked to God about the issue.  If you’re a Christian, this is especially important, considering you’re thinking about pursuing a long-term relationship with this person.  If they have asked God to cleanse them from their sin and are actively working to live according to His commandments now, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about, darling.  Conversely, if they don’t think what they’ve done is wrong and refuse to ask God for forgiveness well… here’s your sign.
  3. Forgive and Forget.  They’ve already asked God for forgiveness, and He’s shed His grace upon them.  We should be willing to do the same.  If you truly care for this person, a sinful past shouldn’t be the end-all of the relationship.  Remind yourself of all of the amazing things about this person, why you took a liking to them in the first place.  Don’t let the past, especially if they’re trying their best to change, skew your perception of them.

Let the past remain in the past.

Don’t let past offenses overshadow tomorrow’s miracles.

“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” -Romans 6:14

Besides, maybe this is your person.

I know this post is getting long-winded, but here’s the main reason I wanted to relay this message to the Christian dating scene:  maybe this imperfect person is YOUR person.  Maybe that guy/girl who used to drink and sleep around needs you to be a Hosea-like person and lead them to Christ.  Maybe God placed you in each other’s lives because you both need rescuing… by inspiring one another to work through the sins of their past and to actively make God the center of their relationship.

Perfect couples don’t exist, because neither part of the couple is perfect.

Nevertheless, a couple that builds each other up to follow Christ is perfect in God’s eyes.

Don’t throw away a beautiful future because of an ugly past.

 

Good day, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

Featured image found at:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/324540716880897930/

Featured image attributed to: Eddie Cortes

The Appeal of Unpopularity

Last night, I had a dream that I received 1,500+ views on a blog post…

Yeah, so I had a rather nerdy dream last night about this blog.  I had completed another post like usual, and within seconds, both the view count and the like count went through the roof.  I was ecstatic, and was relaying the news to anyone that would listen.  When I awoke this morning, I smiled to myself, wondering how awesome it would be if that ever became a reality.  Then I realized that I was being entirely selfish.

This blog isn’t about me.  This blog is about God.

Popularity shouldn’t be my intention.

I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
-John 17:14

In fact, popularity shouldn’t even be an expectation.  If I am aiming to make the word of God and the gift of salvation through Jesus known to the world by writing this blog, then I should not expect the world to indulge in reading it.  The above verse states clearly that the world will hate Christians if we broadcast the word of God.  In fact, I know this to be true, because I have received ugly comments about this blog from nonbelievers.  The thing is, we shouldn’t care that people of the world are shunning us for our beliefs, simply because they are not hating us… they’re hating God, and everything He stands for.  Therefore, when I felt a nudge from God to start this blog back in February, I came into it knowing that I wasn’t going to please everyone.  I’m fine with that.  I didn’t start writing this blog to make me known, just God.

“For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?” -Luke 9:25

Luke 9:25 is one of my all-time favorite Bible verses, because it put into perspective for me why we as Christians should seek to be unpopular in this world.  The only way for a Christian to become popular in this world is to tolerate and actively encourage others that choosing to live in sin is fine and dandy.  The world doesn’t want to hear the truth, that we need to repent our sins, turn away from them, and accept salvation from Jesus Christ.  People of the world do not want to hear that they can’t save themselves.  People of the world don’t want to be told that they’re living down a futile road unless they ask God to take over.  If we tell them the truth about God, we’ll be mocked and questioned; however, that’s a risk I’m willing to take if I can reach one person and help them to find the love of God.  Jesus: Be My Escape is not a blog that preaches the toleration of sin.  I’m sure that if it was, I’d have the 1,500+ views I dreamed about last night and then some (Note:  I’m not saying that true Christian blogs can’t have large view counts.  I’m simply saying that, like Christian movies, books, etc., we’re inclined to have less views than media outlets that produce worldly media).  Why do I choose not to spread a thick layer of sin toleration on the sandwiches of the masses?  The answer is simple:  I have read the Bible, and I know what it says.  Because of that fact, I am not going to supply a feast of false teachings onto the plates of the world.  My goal, as I wrote earlier, is to reach that one soul who is hungering for the real truth of salvation through Jesus Christ.  If I were to supply a feast of false teachings, I wouldn’t gain a soul for God; I’d just lose myself in the process.

Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.”
-1 John 3:13

If you’re a Christian and you’ve been wondering why the world seems to hate us, refer back to the verse above.  The world doesn’t hate you because of anything you’ve created on your own, but because you believe in a Heavenly Father who has your best intentions at heart.  In this day and time, Christians can’t escape persecution.  As the world is falling farther and farther away from the teachings of God, Christians are going to receive more backlash than ever before.  Well, what are we going to do about it?

“And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
-1 John 2:17

In the words of my favorite filmmaker, Walt Disney, “keep moving forward.”  If we don’t succumb to the lusts of the world, then we’ll spend eternity with God.  I’m going to let you in on a little secret if you haven’t read the book of Revelation:  the world, sin, nonbelievers, Satan… they’re not going to make it to Heaven.  We’re on this earth for a sliver of time, but life in Heaven lasts for an eternity.  Therefore, don’t let them bother you here on earth and make you feel like you’re an outcast.  You’re not an outcast if you belong to God; you have believers, a Heaven full of people, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and an almighty God rooting for you!

Have a good day, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

Featured Image Found At: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AQ2eglyH7yP67I-kRsnj5meuxeKaL7B00_OjLtx57pMv3DmNcoZzVco/

No copyright infringement intended.

Backsliding

Backsliding: Don’t Fall off the Cliff Just Yet

Whether you’ve been a Christian your entire life, or only for a few months, you’re going to experience a period of backsliding at some point.  Despite your best intentions to live a pristine life, actively pursue Christ and abide by God’s word, Satan will do his best to break your habit by interfering.  Satan will try his best to lure you away from God by tempting you with the lusts of the world, and will attempt to convince you that you’re a horrible person and not worthy of God’s love.

But Satan’s a liar.

You can get back on track.

 

Analyze What Happened:

“Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?”
-Galatians 5:7

Did you stop going to church?  Did you fall into the wrong crowd?  Did Satan attack you individually with lies and deceit?  Think back to when you first felt like you were straying away from God.  What was the reason you stopped going to church?  Is the crowd you’re hanging out with causing you to stumble?  Where did the bad thoughts/actions first stem from?  Once you ask yourself these questions, it is easier to pinpoint the origin of the problem.

Consider Your Guilt:

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
-2 Corinthians 13:5

If you’re backsliding in your walk with God, you won’t have to have someone notify you, for that is the purpose of the Holy Spirit.  When you ask Jesus to come into your heart, the Holy Spirit will abide in you and will help you stay on a path that is pleasing to God.  The condition is we have to be willing to listen to the Holy Spirit; it’s unfortunate that we can’t set it on autopilot, but that’s why God allows us to have free will.  If you have accepted salvation through Jesus Christ, you will develop a weird feeling whenever you begin to backslide.  While you’re partaking in the sin, you’ll feel a pang of guilt and think, “this goes against what the Bible says.”  From here, you have two options:  continue, or quit and repent.

Option 1: Continue in Sin

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins…”
Hebrews 10:26

To quote Once Upon a Time, “magic always comes with a price, dearie.”  Magic, in this case, is sin. Jesus paid the price for everyone’s sins on the cross.  If we accept the gift of salvation and turn away from our sinful ways, we will not have to pay the cost of our sin.  Conversely, if we continue to dwell in sin, we are ignoring God’s commandments.  Therefore, if we are ignoring God and are more willing to feed our hunger for contentment in sin rather than in a relationship with our Heavenly father, we’re not really accepting the terms and conditions of salvation, are we?  Please consider that fate if you choose this option.

Option 2:  Quit and Repent

 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
-1 John 1:9

No matter where you are in life, no matter what you have done in the past, God is willing to forgive you of your sins if you accept Jesus’s gift of eternal salvation.  The thing is, if we want to hold fast to our salvation, we can’t choose Option 1 (see above) any time we please and still expect God to give us a clean bill of health.  God knows everything, including our individual hearts, meaning He can tell where our loyalty lies.  If our loyalty lies with Him, He will know it because we will turn away from sin.  Sure, we may still slip up now and then, but He will know that we are trying our best to rid our lives of sinful behavior.  Therefore, repentance and turning away from our sin is the first step to getting back on track with God.

Remember There’s Always a Rope to Hold on to!

“It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” -Lamentations 3:22

Just because we backslide, it doesn’t mean that we’ve fallen off the cliff completely.  Jesus welcomes us back every time we stumble, and always offers a helping hand if we are willing to accept it.  We don’t have to be consumed by guilt if we fall off of the straight and narrow path God has set out for us, for Jesus will always have compassion on us if we turn to him with a loyal heart.  Hold on tight to the rope Jesus has thrown you every time you stumble.

 

Goodnight, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

Featured Image Found At: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AQCGc9GGCURttXhtIrl0sZVPjv_wMH2izhM75BUd2Oh8Z38felIt_fc/

Photo Credit Attributed to: David Platt, christianbook.com

Let’s Stop Girl Drama

If there’s one thing I have learned while growing up, it’s that girls can be ruthless.

Girls are notoriously known for sparking, manipulating, and obsessing over drama.  Consider the media, where films like Mean Girls and television shows like The Bold and the Beautiful have garnered large audiences from portraying women as being vindictive and hateful to one another for asinine reasons.  I can’t count the number of times I have heard my younger sister complain of other girls tweeting mean things or slurring off at one another in public over petty things.  As a young woman myself, I have been caught up in drama before, but I am the least bit proud of it.  After considering how I’ve looked at other girls in the past with harsh feelings, I now want to change my way of thinking.  Today, I propose a change for all women:

We’re all God’s daughters.
Let’s treat one another with kindness, love, and respect.

Now you may be thinking, “you have no idea what she’s done to me!”, or, “I hate her guts!” I’m not going to lie to you, even as a Christian, you’re still going to have these thoughts initially.  It’s going to take a lot of time and effort to change your way of thinking, and I’m still in the process of changing mine.  Despite all of that, if we as women work towards this common purpose, we won’t have to worry about how we handle drama in the future.

In times of strife…

Imagine that one of your friends is talking to another mutual friend about you in a derogatory way.  She may be saying that you’re ugly, that you’re annoying, or she may be starting a rumor about you that is untrue.  Whatever has been said, you find out about it, and you become upset.  If she’s your friend, why would she be saying hurtful things about you?  What should you do?

“But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” -Galatians 5:15

The Bible warns us in the book of Galatians that if we seek to retaliate on someone who has wronged us, that we may be prone to let that person consume us.  Consider your friend who has been talking badly about you:  do you really want this person’s negativity to consume your thoughts, to get inside your mind, to make you question your worth?  Hopefully, the answer is NO.  Therefore, we should not fight fire with fire, but fight fire with water.  Next time this sort of situation occurs, let’s aim to solve the problem as Jesus would.

 “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.”
-Matthew 18:15

The ideology from the verse above, though it says “brother”, works for the female population as well.  Jesus tells us in the book of Matthew to talk to the person who has mistreated us alone, without anyone else around to interfere or allow for further points-of-view.  Relating back to our situation, when you meet with your friend to talk about what has been said, approach her with an open mind and a heart of forgiveness.  If your friend continues to belittle you or refuses to apologize, simply agree to disagree, turn the other cheek and forgive them.  The key thing to remember here is to forgive them, even if they are not sorry, and to pray for them regardless of what happened.  Retaliate harsh words with forgiveness and prayer, not fire, and you won’t have to worry about everything burning to a crisp in the process.

In times of jealousy…

Truth be told, this could break out into a hundred or so mini-situations, but we’ll focus on the main aspect:  Jealousy.  Someone seems to have it better than you, and you’re ticked off about it.  Your ex-boyfriend may be treating his newfound love better than he treated you, and you’ll wonder why he didn’t do the same for you.  Your boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend may be attempting to create a wedge between you and your boyfriend, and you’re scared that she might be able to steal him back.  Some girl may be winning the heart of your long-time crush that has no idea that you exist, and it infuriates you to the core.  Been there, witnessed all that. It all stinks.  Jealousy makes us act really dumb sometimes, so we need to work to combat it.

 “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.”
-Proverbs 14:30

See that?  Jealousy will destroy you.

Whoever she is, whatever she’s accomplished, she’s not better than you.  On the flip side, you’re not better than her, either.  This life is not a competition to see who scores the hottest guy, who looks the best, or who makes the most money.  God created us all individually, to live individual lives, and He has orchestrated all of our lives not according to one story line, but to our own (guess the word) individual script.  So if she gets the guy you wanted, fine.  Pray that they’ll be happy together.

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
-Matthew 5:44

It’s easier said than done.  I know you’d rather say mean things about them, accuse them of promiscuous behavior, or what have you. I’ve done it, but I’m not proud of it; however, when you pray for someone who you consider a threat, you’ll begin to feel better after a while.  The jealousy you have accumulated will soon dissolve, and you will be at peace.

Hush and Let God Handle It

“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!”
-James 3:5

Whenever you get the feeling that you’re about to embark on a dramatic escapade with someone, pause, reflect, and shut up.  Brash, I know, but it works.  When you pause, you’re allowing yourself time to think through the situation without doing something that you’ll regret.  When you reflect, pray about the situation. Look to God for guidance.  Whatever you do, don’t react on your own instincts.  The above verse points out that our tongues are powerful, and can cause an immense amount of strife between opposing forces.  Girls, we’re infamous for tearing each other down through hateful speech.  God made all of us… not just you, not just her.  God loves all of us the same.  We’re all God’s daughters, so let’s aim to treat one another as such by praying for one another, and loving one another as sisters in Christ.

 

Have a good one, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

 

 

Featured Image Found at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/195977021264095232/

No copyright infringement intended

A Message to Parents

No, I don’t have kids, but I definitely know lazy parents when I see them.

Don’t lie; I know someone came to mind when you read the heading above.  We all know of lazy parents who don’t discipline their kids.  If you rack your brain and none come to mind, then check yourself, because it may be you! 😛 Yeah, I’m going to be quite brash today, so go ahead and buckle your seat belt for this wild ride of truths that parents in modern society need to hear.

Truth 1: Raising a Child Takes a Village… but You Should Be the Tribe Leader, Not the Village Idiot

The old saying of “it takes a village to raise a child” is true in that people besides the child’s biological parents have a hand in helping to raise the child.  Grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, and friends all may play a part in caring for the child; however, because they did not bring the child into the world, they should not have to hold more responsibility for the child than its parents.  I’m a firm believer that if you engage in actions in order to bring a child into the world, then you should step up and take care of said child once they are born.  This means that you should tend to your child (when you’re not working to provide for your family) instead of pawning your child off on their grandparents or someone else.  Now, I’m not against letting Grandma babysit every now and then, but if your kid spends more time at someone else’s house than their own, then there is obviously something wrong.  I know that in many cases in today’s world that either both parents have to work, or the child only has a single parent to take care of them.  Nevertheless, if a parent truly loves their child, they will make time for the child and be their primary caretaker instead of floating the responsibility to someone else.

  “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
-1 Timothy 5:8

1 Timothy 5:8 states that people who do not provide for their own families deny their faith.  At first glance, you may think, “just because I always allow someone else to fix a plate of food for my kid while I scroll through Facebook on my phone doesn’t mean that I’m not a follower of Christ.” And yes, that is somewhat correct; however, God calls parents to be an example for their children (Proverbs 22:6), and to act responsibly (Galatians 6:5).  If a parent chooses to ignore these teachings, then they are not attempting to honor God’s word.  If a parent is not working to honoring God’s word, then they are not exhibiting true faith in God, and therefore neither will their children.

Truth 2:  Children Don’t Learn Respect on Their Own

Just like learning to use the potty, reciting the alphabet, or learning how to read, children need to be taught how to respect people and property.  Being respectful is not a trait that exists inherently in human beings, but one that is learned through watching and interacting with others.  Children have to be taught to share, to take turns, and to be quiet at certain places and times.  Again, the responsibility to teach children these aspects of respect belongs to their parents.

“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”
-Proverbs 22:15

Now, the “rod of correction” mentioned in the Proverb above does not necessarily mean that parents should beat their kids every time they mess up.  Instead, it implies that parents should guide and correct their children whenever they are lead astray or do something wrong.  After being around “new school parents”, let me clarify what I mean by correcting children:

Example:  The child is running around the grocery store, yelling at the top of their lungs.

  • What you should NOT do:  Yell at your child to stop, to knock it off, or to come back.
    • Why?  Simply yelling at your child to stop doing something is basically an empty threat, because your child will eventually figure out that you’re not going to do anything to them about their misbehavior besides asking them to stop it.  Besides, it shows your laziness as a parent to be quite honest.  To be even more honest, you’ll probably provoke the child to yell more if you yell at them, and you’ll end up causing a bigger scene.
  • What you should do:  Approach your child, make them look at you, and tell them how you plan to discipline them face-to-face.
    • Why?  Think back to your childhood:  the scary momma’s-gonna-get-you-face was a lot scarier than when she yelled at you from across the room.  When you approach your child and tell them that there will be consequences for their actions, you have demonstrated to them that they will have consequences whenever they misbehave.  Eventually, depending on the consequences, the child should begin to refrain from misbehaving in that manner.

Another thing, lazy parenting is a huge part of why some kids grow up to be uncontrollable brats.  If you notice, the kids who run around all over the place and never clean up after themselves don’t come from families where the parents actively seek to show their child right from wrong, but from the ones where the parents turn a blind eye to their child’s bad behavior or rely on others to correct their child.  It’s as simple as that.

Truth 3: Raise Them Up to be Followers of Christ

Want to know a fool-proof way to raise your child up to be a well-disciplined, kind, and respectful person?  Raise them to be disciples of Christ.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22:6

If you raise a child in a house that rarely mentions God’s love, then they will barely know God’s love.  If you raise a child in the ways of the world, they will become like the world.  If you teach a child the love of God and help them develop a love of God’s word, then those teachings will reflect in their daily life.  If a child is full of the love of God, they are not immune from misbehaving; nevertheless, they will have the Holy Spirit to help guide them from bad behavior.  Children learn from watching their parents, so give them something good to watch.

 

Goodnight, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

Featured image found at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/324540716880536360/

Comparison: The Ultimate Killjoy

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt, my second favorite former President of the United States, is attributed for the six words above that put into perspective for me how vile it can be when we compare ourselves to others.  Stemming off from my post from last week, this week’s focus is how to combat that disgusting desire of comparing ourselves to those around us.

“She’s skinnier than me.”

“He’s better at a sport than me.”

“I can’t do anything as good as them.”

We’re all guilty of saying these things to ourselves.  There’s always going to be one person who does something better than you, or seemingly does everything better than you, or who you think looks better than you.  There are going to be things you want in life that are going to be rewarded to other people rather than you, and it’ll spark your jealousy.  You’ll start to think, “why did they get that promotion over me?” or “why does he like her and not me?” The questions will flood your mind to the point that you’ll drown out every good thought you’ve ever had about yourself, replacing them with toxic thoughts of comparison.  Comparison is a bully, a bully that has been pounding my mind, and the minds of many, for years.

 “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
-2 Corinthians 10:12

Comparison is a product overthinking, and overthinking, (though at first glance of the word, you would think it would produce intelligent thoughts), more often than not produces nothing but absolutely detestable filth that will rot your mind to the core.  Overthinking takes place when we try to take the wheel for our lives rather than allowing God to steer us clear of the pitfalls we will inevitably fall into if we choose to ignore Him.  Comparison, overthinking’s spawn, is a deeper version that tells us that we can’t succeed in our lives because we aren’t as amazing as other people.  In actuality, comparison is one of the stupidest things we can use our minds for, as Paul points out in the verse above when he says, “but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise”.  Overthinking a situation usually does not improve the circumstances, but making false comparisons will lead you to become insecure, anxious, and will virtually ruin the said situation with all of the negative thoughts that have been compiled.  Overthinking is bad, comparison is worse, yet we still continue to feed those demons.  Why?

What we aspire to be like is what we aspire to please.

“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”
-Galatians 1:10

When we dig in deeper at the root of comparison, we find that it’s not merely a mind problem, but a heart problem.  Society manifests in the minds of millions daily that we should aspire to keep up with the Joneses if we want to fit in, and I’ve heard that it only takes around twenty-one days to form a habit.  Multiply the twenty-one days that made constant comparison a habit by the average lifespan of a person, and that perspective is no longer the product of a habit, but the product of a deeply-rooted belief.  The belief that we should compare ourselves to others, model their behavior, and chastise ourselves for not living up to their standards is not how God calls us to live.  In Galatians 1:10 Paul tells us that if we strive to please others, we are not serving Christ as we should.  When we compare ourselves to others, we are basically marking a set rubric created by society up with red marks in ways that we pale in comparison to those who have set the bar; however, socialites and bigwigs didn’t set the highest bar.  That, my friends, was Jesus Christ.

Conform Renew Your Mind!

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
-Romans 12:2

That Paul guy was a pretty smart dude, but not because he compared himself to other apostles.  Paul was a pretty smart dude only because he constantly strove to perform the will of God in all that he did in order to please Him… not the Corinthians, the Galatians, the Romans, or the world for that matter.  Paul didn’t conform to this world full of empty aspirations, but was steadfast in the word of God and His teachings.  Paul was transformed, literally from Saul to Paul, by the grace of God.  When has society ever transformed someone for the better, especially when comparison is involved?

One last thought…

 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” -Psalm 139:14

You is fearful. You is wonderful. You is marvelous.
God made you *YOU* for a reason.
Stop comparing yourself to the devil’s lies.

 

Goodnight, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Image found at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/316307573804088905/