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Men & Church….

Why does it seem like there are more women in church than men? It seems like its more difficult for men to live for God than women and I can’t help but wonder why? Is it a pride thing or fear of what the “fellas” may think? I’m curious so I just thought I’d ask……

LIP SERVICE

Do you remember what you told me? How you confessed your love for me! Do you remember what you said in the middle of your trial? Do you remember how you cried out and said, “If you help me, I will serve you” and like a mighty warrior I stepped in and saved you. You praised me for the valiant act and now I hear only your lips.
You continue to tell me about your love for me and yet you don’t attend my house. You blame others for your attendance and yet my promise was with you and I alone. How come all of a sudden others are involved in our relationship?
You lift up both your hands in surrender and sing “I Surrender All,” but the moment I ask for your service, well maybe next time.
How long shall I receive lip service? How long? When your spouse asks for attention, you say you love them and yet when asked for service, well maybe next time.
How long shall your spouse receive lip service? When the divorce decree is being drawn up by the lawyer? When the home and children are being taken? How long?
Let’s declare today to end lip service. Speak the truth. Your actions will always reveal it. Telling someone you love them and not demonstrating it with actions, is like a glazed Krispy Kreme donut. I see the surrounding goodness, but where is the center where the heart should be.
Post shared via Roger Tharpe

A Stumper of A Question

This post is courtesy of I Spy God

One Sunday afternoon, my kids told me they asked their Sunday school teacher a question that she didn’t know the answer to.

“What did you ask them?!!”  I blurted out, slightly fearful of what topic they dared to breach…
“Does God love the devil?”
Wow.
Now there’s a question.
I can only assume that the Sunday school “teacher” they asked was one of the teen helpers and not the actual teacher, because I am sure the teacher has an answer to their question…but it made me think and wonder if what I thought was correct.
“Well, what do you think?” I asked back
“NO!” they almost simultaneously screamed… “he’s bad and so naughty!”
Great point.
Great question.
Does God love the devil?

“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good…”   Genesis 1:31

God made the devil.  And if he made the devil, then the devil is part of the “everything” Genesis 1:31 is talking about.

“… You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them …”   Nehemiah 9:6

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”   Colossians 1:16

The devil was the most beautiful of God’s angels.

 “You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and arbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were an anointed guardian cherub.”   Ezekiel 28:12-15

And as with all of God’s creation, He allows free will, and like the Coke Zero commercials, the devil wanted more.

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.”   Isaiah 14:12-15

And again as with all creation, choices come with consequences… the devil and his angels were punished.

“… God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;”   2 Peter 2:4

But praise the One who is forgiving and longs for us to accept it.

“The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.”   Psalm 145:9
“… not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”  2 Peter 3:9

“Yes” I said.

“…  God is love.”   1 John 4:8

Dirty Little Secret…SHHHH!

That’s what she called him.  Her “dirty little secret”.  Here was Malynda*, an attractive, vibrant single Christian woman.  She thrived in her job as a paralegal, owned her own home, and was a leader in her church.  By all outward appearances, she had it together.  But she had a “dirty little secret”.  Actually, it was a huge secret.  Despite what she appeared to be on the outside (together, compliant…even spiritual to some), Malynda carried on a secret sexual relationship with a man to whom she was not married.  While she felt extremely guilty, ashamed, and convicted by God for her behavior, Malynda could not seem to stop.  And, despite these feelings, she also felt a hidden thrill about her secret.  She felt a distorted satisfaction at a base level–despite her faith and what she knew intellectually about the importance of obedience and submission to the will of God.

What is it about things that are secretive that seem to feed the flesh and ignite a fierce drive to get more, more, more?  That cake of which you know you should not have another piece.  That money you promised you would not spend because it was set aside to pay an outstanding debt.  That online relationship that, if exposed, would damage your reputation and entire life.  These things and others like them can be and usually are secrets, but they feel good.  Why is that?

The short and obvious answer to the aforementioned question is because we have the flesh and anything that appeals to it is attractive.  The forbidden feels good.  The forbidden that is also a secret can feel even better…almost powerful.  Yet I propose that there is something deeper than the obvious…something that is both general to all and specific to each individual.  It is the longing to be “like God“–an offering originally promised by the devil himself.  It is the desire to be in control of our world, to satisfy our every desire and longing on this side of heaven, to create (and have) our own personal Eden.  This is the thing that drives every outward move towards the “dirty little secret”.  It is sin.
Well, if it all goes back to sin, what hope is there?  If I go to a counselor to address my secret shopping addiction and they (eventually) tell me or lead me to see that I “just need to repent”, what is the point in paying them if I already knew that in the first place?  Valid questions.  The answer is both simple and complex.

The answer is Christ.  It is His death on the cross.  It is His resurrection from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit.  It is the fact that He made us alive again spiritually and gave us the power to live with unmet desires and longings on this side of heaven–regardless of the fact that it often feels like we can not.  It is that power that brings our “dirty little secrets” to light and gives us the power to overcome their relentless pull.  The real, life-giving secret is in Christ. We’ve FOUND the (real!) secret!  This is our hope.

*The name and story mentioned in this article is fictional and used solely for illustrative purposes.  Any similarity to actual persons or events is purely coincidental.  Individuals seen in a professional counseling setting are protected by confidentiality as agreed between them and their respective counselors.

Written by Nicole Efunnuga, M.S. – Christian Therapist

Beautiful Christian Sister

By Maya Angelou

A woman’s heart should be so hidden in Christ

That a man should have to seek Him first to find her.’

When I say. ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not shouting ‘I’m clean living,’
I’m whispering ‘I was lost, Now I’m found and forgiven.’

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say.. ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I still feel the sting of pain…
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not holier than thou,
I’m just a simple sinner Who received God’s good grace, somehow!

Pretty is as Pretty does…. But beautiful is just plain beautiful!