27 May

Conforming to What

 

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I am not here to confrom to anything. Awake.  Alive. Redeemed. Speaking Truth.

 

If I shatter your little illusion, bummer. Life is tough, get a helmet.

The act of conforming is: to act in accordance or harmony; comply; to act in accord with the prevailing standards, attitudes, practices, etc., of society or a group: to be or become similar in form, nature, or character.

God says,  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
It is said the world runs on Dunkin, but I digress.
Alcohol consumption is now modeled to much of the living world as fun, a good time, deserved R &R.
It comes is all packages, translates to all cultures and has the same effects in culture that we see listed in the above notes statistics in America.
And the party rages on.
What happens in America if you step off of the platform society finds acceptable? You are excluded. So we once again do what the Bible says not to do and make divisions.
The Bible says if what you eat or drink makes another stumble then stop. But we don’t stop, we move on. We excommunicate and expel the ones who learn how dangerous alcohol is, the truth sounds like hate and is unpopular but the truth is alcohol is a gateway drug and is a neurotoxin.
I married into a family that consumes at almost every event, alcohol is present for all things.
I struggled with alcohol addiction in my 20s after forming an unhealthy relationship with it. It was my courage and charisma for years. In my 30’s though it was insidious. I was not in the fervor of my youth any longer I simply was fitting into society. I had a new job, was in Rome doing as Romans do. In this new role I assumed that I’d be safe.
By the time I was drinking every day again, it was medicine, for pain, the pain of my life. Amid all the DR’s and pills that did nothing, the wine and beer took the edge from me, I was able to relax and laugh.
Little did I know I was healing problems on my body. On Methotrexate and getting my liver tested every 6 weeks did not bode well with binge drinking. As I got sicker and sicker from the viruses and bacteria in me, the deeper the Dr went with treatment, I was told not to drink. But I did. Being in social circles makes me stressed, I am an introvert by nature and have never fit in with the masses. It grafted me in and I became part of the culture around me.
Once I was being treated and tested they found my body never could process alcohol, no wonder I got so very sick from it. It poisoned me, it poisoned my kids and relationships.
The ones who gave it to me early could have killed me. Yes I always was called weak by the consumption crowd, told you can’t handle it…..right I could not.
Now it is the culture who is intolerant of my staunch abstinence and defend their positions. What rights do former addicts have? Can they still see the people and go the places they did? No. And does society make that any easier? No. We make a way for the everyone who is set apart by something but not the ones caught in the crossfire of society’s love for the bottle? These get treated like outsiders, pushed to AA meetings just to say sober, pushed into seclusion so temptation does not rule over you. What a selfish culture indeed. What a shame.
Fast forward to today. As I read Romans today and was reminded of how we are grafted into God’s Family, I see also how we get grafted into unhealthy places.
I have had to separate myself from most events I used to attend. Oddly when you step up and say I have a problem, they do not stop, they get offended when you speak up and continue without you.
Today I will spend my day alone by choice. The event gets planned without me, and  will be happening without me. Not once did anyone consider any of this. They do not ask, do not care.
Sadly I have seen the level of selfishness and my way that dominates this culture today. But I refuse to be a victim of it.
Dear reader who also is set apart. Jesus said come outside the city where the party is to outside the gate. That is where He is. He went to the events to heal and show the glory of God not to pander. TheBible says in Proverbs, “Let beer be for those who are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish!”
We are told to find out what pleases God, I have found drunkenness is dissipation and bring forth no fruit of the spirit. I speak against it as it does not edify, nor does it build up any man. That makes me a freak here and I let my freak flag fly. Unashamed. Outside the camp. 
Much love peeps <3
25 May

Rights or Faith

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America, the home of rights. We are led wrong as Christians in this.
Did you know when rights are the guiding factor it dulls spiritual insight?
God wants America to be home of the Righteous not rights. He has blessed us and calls us to set an example. 
The greatest enemy of our faith is not sin but good choices that are not good enough. You see good is always the enemy of what is best. We are told it is our right to choose and it is, it is free will.
I am called to walk according to God’s standards, not mine or the ones set by the culture around me.
God’s standard is justice, love, kindness, peace. This culture says nothing that remotely sounds like the Lord I know. Pretend you are a refugee coming here, follow my link in red, what would you say you are entering? A country of faith or self reliance?
Enter here: refugee center
In todays churches we have shepherds in pulpits leading flocks, flocks that claim to be the sum of the body of Christ. Yet these flocks do not look or act like Jesus, they forget the lost and dying world is out there, forget we have all power and authority to change that. Dulled spiritual insight.
It is age and wisdom, maturity in faith that can lead this way. How many pastors do you see filling up his flesh on what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body, the church? (reference Colossians 1:24)
Are these men in pulpits preaching culture or the Gospel? Why are we entertaining flocks, these people of faith, doing ear tickling and pandering bad habits?
Colossians says to not be taken captive throughout hollow philosophy (the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline) which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of the world rather than Christ. Mix theology(the study of God) into the pulpit and you have a great risk of heresy. How do we know each man preaching has a true relationship with God. Should we be dependent on that? Do we risk our own souls?
The Word of God says to hold your doctrine closely, how many of us hold a doctrine at all? 
Doctrine defined is this:
Doctrine (from Latin: doctrina) is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the essence of teachings in a given branch of knowledge or belief system.
We are called shoots, grafted in to the Branch, our Lord Jesus. We are told we are taught by the Holy Spirit. This is one of one, you and God in prayer, not done in churches. They are gathering places for us, but we should already be taught from our relationship with God, but for many church is it. Church never saved one soul, it is Jesus in us working His glory. I fear for many who walk out the world, serving themselves and claim to be His by attendance and deeds.  
One would think the ones who gather in churches are all on solid food but this is not so. No wonder evangelism suffers as it does. Discipling a soul is done one at a time, over time, we do this in life, not in church. It is down at home, in families and social circles. Faith is shown by living it out, we are told our lives are a testimony. See Titus 2, available here https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Titus%202
Solid food is good for these who have been trained to discern good from evil. Yet many churches are full of greed, envy, hostility, infighting, selfishness among the flock. 
Who are they following? We take kids there for all of their lives but still they cannot discern good from evil. Christian kids who go to secular colleges lose their faith in the first year. Scary statistic, go look it up. They come out claiming to be a Christian but they look like the world. They all out lives like the world, cultured by media, taught by the education system, small spirituality, weak faith but a plan to conquer the world and gain status, career, the American dream. Where is Jesus is all of this? 
Among a seasoned flock one should see rebukes for evil, admonishments and renouncing of such, done with love. I see us passing it over, letting it go and bitter roots being established. Are pastors waiting for God to come down and do it? We are the hands and feet of God, He speaks and acts in on ones who obediently do as He instructs. I fear many ignore that call, they have ignored it in dear and now acts as ones never enlightened. Saying yes to Jesus means you walk as He did not settle into lazy self serving. 
Falling away….a dreaded term but what do you call the milk fed babies who never mature? 
This subjects God to public disgrace. In the Bible it says it is impossible to be enlightened again. Woe shepherds for work undone. It is you who are unfruitful not the masses you are called to lead. What a heavy weight you carry, how I pray for pulpits to be cleansed. I cannot look at the youth and not see utter failure from these alleged leaders of the greater good. They are men called to live above reproach, I have yet to see that. 
Land with crops are harvested, they drink in rain, but land covered in thorns and thistles is in danger of fire and begin burned. Do with that what you want, not my words, God’s. 
Are they trampling Jesus under foot? Treating the covenant that sanctifies us as unholy, are we insulting the spirit of Grace? 
We allow wolves among the flock, we do not say a word, we let this all go on fearing loss of tithe, attendance and reputation, do we not know grace fills in for us? We are called to be bold and speak against evil. 
People of faith in the Bible were nomadic, led by faith living add strangers. They did not act on ideas but waited for a word from the Lord. Without faith it is impossible to please God. God says be prayerful for the brethren, stand in the gap until they reach faith.
The faithful are called to endure hardships as disciplines, for this is God treating us as sons. God disciplines us for our own good. He is the Father of our Spirits, He knows this produces a harvest of righteousness and peace, it is we who hate this, we only hurt ourselves. We run to flesh solutions in the world system, mother’s milk instead of faith, we need it now, we cannot wait. 
How many of these ones sat in church for 40 years and still have no possession of faith to testify to. But we have 401K, IRA, shiny kids, salaries and a lot of stuff. 
There is a church described in Hebrews 12. Mount Zion, the city of God. In the company of thousands of angels joyful in assembly. This is the church of the firstborn, the ones whose names are written in Heaven, we come to God, to the the sprits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant and blood that speaks a better Word. 
He will once more shake this earth, He will take what is not shaken, He will remove all created things. Your precious church buildings will burn and fall, then who are you going to be? You spend all this time doing and doing and were told to go be the light, bring the Gospel and yoke with our Lord.
I suggest we all turn and worship Him in reverence and awe. 
Our charge as His church (not a building but hearts of men) is this:
Love as brothers.
Remember imprisoned ones as if it is we who suffer.
Marriage honored the bed kept pure. (not as Hollywood and books say)
Keep life free of love of money and be content.
Remember your leaders and imitate their faith, Jesus never changes, follow Him.
Do not be carried by strange teachings.
Go outside the camp and bear disgrace.
Offer praise, the fruit of your lips that confess His name. 
Do good to others.
Share with others.
Obey leaders, submit to authority. No rebels.
In the covenant of Jesus blood we are equipped with everything good for doing His will. He will work in us what is pleasing to Him throughout Jesus. We glorify His name. We trust and obey. 
I write not to condemn anyone but to speak truths that must be spoken, what God lays on my heart will not leave my lips and return empty but will accomplish what he desires and achieve the purpose He sets forth. 
Much love,
Marla
24 May

Being in Christ…Spiritual Identity

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The ultimate meaning of experience is felt in such a way that all of oneself is included….It is not the experience of oneself as a male or femail, as black or white, as American or European. It is rather the experience of oneself as being.”

 

Reflect on the ice breaking conversations in which we all engage. Next to the weather, the most common question has to do with vocation. “By the way, what do your do?” But is the answer to this question the truest window into who we are?

Of course, we require ways of defining ourselves, of demarcating ourselves from other people and vocation, economic status, race, nationality, and the like help us in the process. Who among us, though, has not wondered, “Am I not more than what I do, where I am from, the color of my skin?” We search for an understanding of ourselves that brings wholeness to the separate strands of our existence. We seek unity in our being. 

The gospel calls us to the experience of unward unity. This is not merely a philosphical idea. The inward unity of being that we seek is a gift of God in Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul told the Athenians, it is in God that we live and move  and have our being. Acts 17:28

In God’s love in Christ we come to know, at the most profound level, who we are. 

O God, we thank you for the joy of being made whole in Jesus Christ, Amen

An excerpt from a very old book my mom gave to me, A pastor named Roy Hall wrote this and it lines up perfectly with how the Lord has shaped my own life. Just the other day I said to my mom, I need to shed these labels. American, white, sick, depressed, green, thrifty…I suffocate on them. I am a child of God, my name is Marla, I am here to lead a crusade of love. I hold high the banner I was told to hold at age 10.  Late bloomer. A few delays. 

Church does not develop us, hardship does. The Bible clearly says it is perseverence built in fire that lasts through hard times and develops faith.

The media loves to group us and rank us by class, kind of how you manage large herds. I am not livestock, nor am I defined by this culture. At a time when finger pointing is high and blame is thrown like a dagger one cannot survive without spiritual armor but to wear that one must know the role of a warrior. You cannot know that until you read God’s Word and understand the culture war is exactly what rages against the spirtual development of God’s children.

My goal is to be a resource so today I give you a passage to read. Colossians 1:9-14. Read  and please note the Apostle says “keep praying and asking God to fill you with knowledge of His will thorough all spiritual wisdom and understanding”. This is the only way to grow in knowledge of God, to ask God. But to ask one must believe fully. Ask for more faith. God will hear you but will ask you to seek and obey. This means to develop your self disciplines,  slay desires, to reject time wasters and seek the Lord in His Word. We will never posess the Word of Life to save without knowlegde. Pray, pray, pray and I will pray for you dear reader.  I love you!

Feel free to share my posts, I serve the greater good of the Kingdom of God. None of this is mine, it belongs to the Lord God Almighty.

 

 

12 Jan

Doors

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It was my mother who is 92 who always told me to have faith. Have faith in God, have faith in others. I watched her be a gift to the lives of so many people. She was effortless and refreshing and her style could not be mimicked.

I was not the essence of grace. A klutz, on my feet, in life. Awkward in my skin and undiscovered. I charged into the pasture once the gate was open to the world and it almost consumed me, which bring us to today.

The day before I turn 48, it is cold, rainy and morose outside but there are songs of praise in my heart. It is nice to sit here in the quiet, all I hear is the fishtank bubbling and the dog who whimpers in his sleep. I feel I have arrived at a very good place, there is evidence of it. The other day was nothing but tears on my face, uncertainty, words hard to hear fall on my ears. I wince, I cry, I pray. I lay in bed that night experiencing the peace I cannot describe. Peace that passes understanding, yes Lord.

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And this message is pressed into my heart. Giving up is not an option. It may be a fire you stand in but as long as Mark 10:19 stands, I stand unafraid. There is a message put in my heart, one the world needs. But before it could be said I needed courage, I needed tenacity, I needed the ability to discern and make better choices for my life.

But I had to move, get out of God’s way. Stop inviting God to my plans instead of letting His beautiful plan unfold. Much of my life has been unplanned, I was not taught to dream or set goals. There was zero competition in my life. Yet somehow the designer in me managed to always decorate it and tweak it. As His Kingdom comes, my kingdoms fall. This mortal life will not last.

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So Jesus brought me back to here. This version, who didn’t care about others and was having too much fun with her Father. Well, my daddy lies in wait for the day he is raised up unperishable. And  I have found my True Father and He is more than daddy was, He showed me daddy is one day to be considered my brother in God’s Kingdom. How that has helped me let people off the hook. There is coming a day of reconciliation of God’s children.  When the relationships dissolve so will all the issues you took with people. Let go or be dragged.

I am consumed with the work of Jesus. A step I avoided at the ripe age of 13 when my dad said, you will have to testify one day. I took the detour, I went the other way and said no. I hated myself for that but I later learned dad’s ideas may not be God’s call. God’s call showed up when I was 18, her name is Jessamy.

I am a mother to more than she, God created this nest heart in me, many have rested there. My children share.  I hope today to pass the baton of hope to you dear friend.

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Be a sanctuary to others. Stop, pause to help the downtrodden, the outcast, the broken. This is the work of Jesus. This is a call to action. Love the dirty teenager you don’t understand, the angry man that cannot shut his addictions down himself, the old person who repeats themselves over and over, the friend who gossips and brings negativity, the homeless one who clutters the walks.

There is a brokeness in all of us and love is the antidote. Small acts of kindness go far when you send them with prayers and blessings. Your dear reader have sphere of influence around you, people you can impact. We build or we tear down. We have tounges of fire, are you kindling the work of the Holy Spirit or torching the fires of hell.

You can make a difference right where you are. God wants us to evangelize the community. This is not door to door, this is social and it is adventure. Your identity in Christ is the key to your success.  Do not be scared, Jesus is immunity.

Message me, find me on Facebook and I will pray for you. I seek to be a friend, of you, of Jesus, of God.

Much love, Marla