Grace is a Gift

Well with us being close to a week into the New Year and today being the Epiphany the holiday season is officially over.

This week I’ve decided to write about something I struggle with and that is my struggle with grace and being too hard on myself.

It’s very important not to hold yourself to higher standards than God.

He has given you grace as a gift. It doesn’t come with a gift receipt. Don’t try to return it. Accept it.

If you make a mistake, call out to the Lord, ask for forgiveness and focus on the solution not the problem.

God is the solution.

He can and will get you through whatever you’re going through.

When you mess up remember, He forgives you, so forgive yourself.

God is greater than all, He knows what is best. I’ll say it again don’t hold yourself to a higher standard than God does.

Before I had a strong relationship with the Lord I found myself feeling immensely guilty when I would sin. I would feel so terrible and put so much pressure on myself that I would feel sick from being so hard on myself. I would then abandon having a relationship with the Lord. I would stop reading the Bible and lose focus on the Lord.

This of course just led to more sin and unhappiness.

It was only when I truly gave myself to the Lord that I was able to see His grace and allow Him to do His work through me.

My entire life has changed since then and I truly have been able to change.

All thanks and praise to God.

If God is choosing not to punish you, don’t punish yourself.

There may be consequences on Earth for your sin, if they’re trust in God’s will and accept it. But remember ultimately you are forgiven by His grace.

The ultimate punishment you can bestow upon yourself is keeping yourself from God.

Go to Him humbly and let Him change you.

Remember…

Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 I can do all things through [a]Christ who strengthens me.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians+4%3A13&version=NKJV

In Defense of Christmas-A Re-post

I wrote this a couple years ago. Since I already re-blogged this last year it won’t let me re-blog it again this year. Unfortunately the topic still seems to be an issue still so I am re-posting this entry for the third year in a row, hopefully it will reach a few different readers.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris…

It seems the new trend for many Christians is abandoning Holidays like Christmas and Easter. They shout that it is Pagan and we shouldn’t celebrate these things. Some even condemn those who do to Hell. Seems pretty harsh too me.

I often wonder if these people who go on commenting about these things or pointing out every “False Prophet” on the internet, really have God in their minds and heart or are they just using this time to make themselves feel better than other people? They claim they are doing this out of love, and that we need to “correct” our Christian brothers and sisters.

Doesn’t sound a lot like Jesus’ message of love, compassion and forgiveness does it?

I love all my Christian brothers and sisters. Views may be different but the most important thing we must do is show love. You know who loves believers arguing and dividing themselves over small things like holidays? Satan. God wants us to love each other not fight.

I also love Christmas, so many stories of miracles, people reuniting with Family, putting their differences aside and coming together. People become more charitable and volunteer more around this time. Church attendance increases. Many become saved this time of the year. I think God would approve of this Christianized Holiday. God accepted Gentiles, their countries, why not make some of their traditions Godly too?

I look forward to this time of the year, which is my favorite and I hope you all enjoy it too.

Be Blessed

A Wounded Person

I was praying for someone who is dear to me, they have a lot of anger and pain in their life and during the prayer I was wondering what more I could do for the person or maybe if I had done something different maybe they wouldn’t have gotten so angry in the situation.

But the Lord laid this on my heart. What I could have done would have just been a temporary solution, a quick fix that wouldn’t help long term.

It’s like this, if you have a wound that has become infected you must treat the wound to heal the infection. Placing a bandage over the wound or taking something for the pain is a temporary solution. The infection must be treated.

But if treatment fails and the part of the body that is infected is damaging and destroying the rest of you then you must remove the part that is infected.

If there is something or someone that is damaging you or destroying you, there must be treatment and God is the best medicine.

However if the problem is unfixable then it must be cut out of your life.

If there is a person in your life who is going through this you can help administer the medicine. Minister to them, show the love of God to them, show to them that God can fix them.

However be careful their wound may be contagious. Have the Armor of God on, let Him be your medicine as well.

God is the great healer, take the medicine He prescribes.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Defending Yourself

When someone attacks you how should you handle it?

 

The Bible tells us to turn the other cheek and be slow to anger.

 

But the Bible makes it clear that people should defend themselves and the Word of God against those who attack.

 

That is why it is so important to use discernment.

 

Know the situation and how it differs from another. One situation you may have to ignore the person and hold your tongue, another situation you may have to say a nice thing filled with love and sometimes you may have to stand bold and not back down.

 

Jesus knew when to show patience, kindness and love.

 

He also knew when to be firm, bold and even show His anger.

 

Most times He ate at tables with sinners, showing love, compassion and grace. But another time He flipped a table over when enough was enough.

 

Know the situation.

 

So that when someone attacks you with hate you defend with love.

 

When someone attacks you with darkness you defend with light.

 

But when enough is enough you stand bold and strong. Flip the tables on them, battle them with scripture and don’t let them hurt you, your family or attack your God any longer. Because He is with you through it all. Let Him guide you in love and compassion, show His grace. But also let Him guide you in firmness, boldness and in your anger.

 

That is very important, when you speak in anger speak the way Jesus would. Because even in His firmness and anger, the love, His love was always there.

 

His love will always be there.

 

So most importantly remember this. When someone attacks with satan you defend with your Lord your God.

 

He is greater and stronger than all.

 

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

What Do You Do? You Pray

I see many questions about God from atheists who have anger in their hearts.

They want evidence, they want proof and they demand answers.

Now the truth is I have seen many Christians ranging from your average person to highly educated apologetics present many different types of evidence from archaeological to scientific to historical to even personal accounts but they are never believed.

Often times when you do present your views they become angry and say harsh things and take a nasty tone to God. Many are upset that we even had answers to their questions.

They call their views “rational” and say they have “logic” and “reason”.

Which even in a polite conversation when you use those words to describe your atheist views we can assume since our beliefs are the opposite of the atheist that they believe our views are, “irrational”, “illogical” and “unreasonable”.

I have personal experience with this but there is no need to get into those stories.

I heard a quote from a former New Ager named Steven Bancarz he said, “Atheists have two beliefs when it comes to God. First that he doesn’t exist and second that they hate him.”

If you encounter a person like that you may ask yourself, “What can I do for them to know the love of God?”

Well the truth is their heart is hardened and their mind is made up.

They have created a barrier to protect themselves from outside views.

So then what can you do?

You Pray.

Pray to God for their heart to be softened.

Pray to God for their mind to be opened.

Pray to God for them to see the Truth, The Way.

You Pray.

Have a blessed week,
Chris

Links for Steven Bancarz…
https://reasonsforjesus.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3g3LSHLqOm4HnsWi20uumg

Can I Be Fixed?

That is a question that many ask. Sadly to some it is a question that isn’t even worth asking.

If you’re asking if you can fix yourself the truth is…

You can’t.

There is only One who can.

 

The One.

 

Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

 

He can fix you.

 

I realized a while ago that I couldn’t fix myself so I let Jesus into my heart and surrendered to Him. There is a battle in me every day and sometimes I feel like I’m losing but the truth is with God you will always win in the end.

 

Surrender to Him and let Him do His work.

 

It won’t be easy and it will always be a process and a fight but with the Lord you can overcome.

 

He will help you walk on the narrow path.

 

Just take it one day at a time. Baby steps with your Father.

 

He loves you and He can fix you.

 

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

 

Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 I can do all things through [a]Christ who strengthens me.

The Rebellious Child

I once read a story from an Atheist, she was professing how she became a Christian. It sounds like a nice story but in reality she had since abandoned the faith.

This story was being told by request of her Atheist friends. They wanted to know how a “rational” person could become a Christian like she did.
In her story she was in a tough time in her life. She felt broken and met with a pastor. They talked, she cried and she decided to give her life to Christ.
After a time she began to reject the message of the Bible. She disagreed with a lot of the rules and laws.
She eventually came to believe the pastor had taken advantage of her emotional state and now that she was of “sound mind” she reverted back to her old views.
I read her story and I have to say it truly saddens me. I do pity her but I feel more sad for God.
My perspective on her story is that in her brokenness she found the Lord with the aid of the pastor. The pastor didn’t take advantage of her, he helped her at her own request.
God fixed her brokenness but as soon as she was back to “normal”she abandoned God.
She’s like the rebellious child who doesn’t like the parents rules so they run out on them and refuse to look back until of course they’re in need. Then they rush back but as soon as the problem seems solved and their back to living the life they want they abandon their parents again.
Like a good parent God waits for them and continues to love them. Hoping that they chose the right path.
Let this woman’s story be a lesson to us all. Understand scripture and trust in God and not ourselves. God knows what is best and wants what is best for us.
Praise Him and trust Him in the good times and bad.
Be there for those around you especially the new Christians who need to be led. Be there for each other, you never know what’s going on in someones heart, mind or life.
The Bible says in the End Times there will be a great falling away from the faith. We as Christians should be a net to catch our falling brothers and sisters in Christ.
Have a blessed week,
Chris

Ten Years Ago Today

Ten years ago today I went on a date with a girl. I was in charge of what we were going to do and where we were going to go. I put on some jeans and a brown shirt with a guitar on it, at 19 years old I thought I looked cool. Of course I knew nothing about music and certainly couldn’t play a guitar, I probably wouldn’t be able to hold one properly but I felt good.

My date showed up late and got lost, she couldn’t find the apartment building I lived at with my Dad despite it being a giant brown High Rise. She was wearing sweatpants and a shirt no makeup, no “dolling up” which was fine by me. A girl had actually said yes to a date to with me and not to mention she had caught the eye of several people I knew, I was going a date with a cool and pretty girl!

I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I was going to be, we had talked for hours online. First on Myspace and then on AIM when those were both still things.

I chose the perfect place to eat, the Wild Buffalo Grill.

The Wild Buffalo Grill was exactly as you may have pictured, dark, dingy, weird colors and trashy. But it was Wing Wednesday! I got myself a plate of those wings and cheese fries, she got herself a burger and we went to town eating and talking. I thought it went well.

After going to the rest room to clean the chicken grease, cheese and ranch dressing off my face and fingers we headed out. Not knowing anything else to do we ended up back at my house.

We went inside and she met my Father who was sitting on his bed which also served as the couch in the living room.

I took her back to the only bed room in the place, which was mine.

We crammed in together on my mattress which sat on a broken box spring on the floor, there was no real bedding either.

She politely informed me, “That there will be no funny business” then suggested we watch a movie.

I went out and looked at the movies my Dad and I owned none of which seemed like good date movies, I listed them to her and to my surprise she chose, “Fargo”. I pulled out my VCR ignoring any feeling that it might be ridiculous that I still own a VCR and popped in my VHS version of Fargo. We watched the movie and then towards the middle of it she asked if I had anything to drink.

I quickly went to the kitchen and looked in our fridge which was empty, I grabbed some Crystal Light out of the cabinet and poured the contents into a glass with some water. I stirred vigorously to prepare her Fruit Punch Crystal Light, I didn’t want to keep my date waiting. I came back with red stains on my hands and handed her the beverage which she politely drank.

After the movie, she saw my PlayStation 2 and asked if I had any games we could play. All I had was sports games and some awful game called Mojo that my Mother had purchased for me that I had never opened.

She said she would like to play it so we did and surprisingly had ourselves a good time.

However in mid-conversation she randomly announced she had to leave, wondering if I had done something wrong I came up with the perfect solution. After I take her to her car I was going to go for a kiss…on the cheek.

When we reached the car, I gave her an awkwardly long hug, I kept holding on because I knew when I let go I had to go for a kiss. When I finally let go I went for it! I planted a kiss right on her cheek. However right afterwards I noticed she had leaned in too. So I quickly went in again and this time I gave her a kiss on the lips or more like she gave ME a kiss on the lips and boy was it a kiss. I had no idea what one Earth I was doing but I liked it.

We parted ways and later when we talked she told me we should take things slow and not rush it.

Three months later she agreed to marry me.

Later she told me that on the date she loved that I was myself and took her to a place that I loved to eat and that there was no fakeness or judgment. That is also why she showed up in her sweatpants and no makeup, she wanted me to see her as she was, the true Jane.

We fell in love fast as you can tell and throughout the years we love telling the story of our best/worst first date.

The past ten years have been the best years of my life. Before I met her I never had a true girlfriend and didn’t have any real direction in my life. I know it’s a cliché but I truly feel like Jane completes me.

I know God put us together. We have so many connections, we both grew up liking the same things and going to the same places. Even these little obscure things that no one even remembers from our town we remembered loving as a kid.

It was like our hearts grew up together.

God knew we needed each other. We both have gone through similar things and have similar problems that we can help each other with.

Jane has been a huge help in my life and often times when I pray I tell God she is my “Peter” because she is my “Rock” and the person I count on the most.

Which is why I have to Thank God in this post because without Him I wouldn’t have known her and He has helped us so much.

I know this because we have had our share of problems and had a lot of dark times and moments but God was with us even if we weren’t with Him.

Sometimes we may have wanted to abandon the ship but God was in charge of the boat and He lead is through the storm even if we didn’t realize it was Him.

My faith has grown stronger over the years and Jane who was agnostic when we met has become a Christian.

God was there for us even when we were weak and didn’t trust in Him and He is still there for us now.

Thank you God for Jane, my wife and I can’t believe it’s already been ten years.

I pray for many more with her.

I hope everyone has a blessed week,
Chris